you think you’ve got things figured out…

…and then life reminds you that you, in fact, do not.

Somehow in the midst of the applying-to-law-school-insanity of 2011 and 2012, I missed the memo that it’s somewhat common to transfer after your first of three years. But a few months in, I learned that it was and Kenny and I talked about the option casually. Suddenly the year was over, grades were out, and applications were in. An interview was had, an acceptance took place, and money exchanged hands. And just like that, we’re packing up our stuff and apartment-hunting in an unfamiliar (and kind of maybe a little bit terrifying) city that I really hadn’t given much thought to living in.

Just like that.

But we are thrilled. UCLA was always Kenny’s dream school and I’m so proud of him for making it happen. And we’ve always loved the idea of living in Southern California. But the speed at which it’s all coming together is, admittedly, a little overwhelming. We’re trying to figure out financial aid, on-campus job interviews that happen in August, and transferring particulars, not to mention the always-delightful moving tasks: finding boxes, packing, scouring Craigslist apartment listings, and wondering how we’ll fit all our furniture from our 750-square-foot apartment into something remarkably smaller and significantly more expensive. It’s a bit dizzying.

But then I remember that we’ll be FIVE MILES from the beach (my happy place). And enjoying perfect weather all year long. And Kenny’s favorite perk: living an hour from his happy place, aka, DISNEYLAND. Which means exactly what you think it means: season passes!! (Even though we may have to sell one of his kidneys to pull that off.) Also, apparently, the news of us living in such a prime location has already made it much more likely that friends and family will come visit us, which is a very very good thing.

There’s a lot we’ll miss about this area though, mostly the friends we’ve made and living in beautiful, quiet Davis. Not to mention our proximity to my beloved San Francisco. But it’s all part of the adventure. And we couldn’t be more excited!!

the jones family

One of the best things about being in Utah for three weeks last month was having time to visit all of the wonderful people I love and miss so much. These three are very high on that list. Megan & Ryan are some of our best friends and I’m so sad that we aren’t around to watch Jace grow up. Are you guys sure you don’t want to move to California with us…?!

Really, this is just the sweetest family. And I have to say, this was the breeziest, funnest family session ever. Joneses: I love you!

july goals

reunited with kenny after two weeks / a quick trip to southern california / our newest hobby!

It’s July! I feel like I have so much to update on after being such an absent blogger. June was amazing. So many wonderful things about this last month, plus we capped it off with a trip to L.A. this last weekend for an incredible wedding I photographed for some friends of ours.

I have a bunch of shoots and weddings to share, plus some blog changes to let you know about, and some updates on life for us lately. (That’s code for telling you that things are going to get more interesting around here, I promise! So don’t stop reading my blog when Google Reader dies today!).

In the meantime, here are the goals that are going on this month for me:

daily habits:

  • Get back on track with my study/scripture time in the mornings

specific goals:

  • Keep reading Les Mis (I’m loving it, but it’s taking me SO LONG!)
  • Read Daring Greatly by Brene Brown
  • Start blogging again!
  • Catch up on all my editing
  • Revamp a few business systems
  • Enjoy summer and the pool :)

Also, just as a side note on these monthly goals now that we are halfway through 2013: I have NEVER stuck to goals/resolutions/intentions like I have this year! I don’t know if it’s the fact that I’m breaking them down monthly or that I’m sharing them so publicly, but whatever it is, it seems to be working. I have loved doing them this way and the feeling that I’m actually making real change in my life. So thanks for letting me share them here with you. :)

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(This year I’m posting my monthly goals for a bit of accountability and motivation! They are based on my eight intentions for 2013.)


For a few years now, I’ve thought a lot about the state of my heart. I often try to examine whether it is closed or open, hard, soft, or broken. I have always loved the visual of an “open” heart — being open to love, God, others, opportunities, etc. One of my intentions for this year was to actively focus on that.

I am still on board with that idea, but I’ve recently discovered a word I like even better: wholehearted.

I love that word. I don’t necessarily think of it in terms of what it actually means (“complete sincerity or commitment”), but more of how it feels.

To me, it feels like openness, warmth, and love all wrapped up together. If I were wholehearted, I would be kind, accepting, honest, authentic, connected, and vulnerable. It’s about loving with our whole hearts (like Brene Brown talks about in one of my favorite TED talks ever).

The beautiful thing I’ve noticed is that the more I embody those traits, the more people around me tend to respond in kind. Like attracts like. Wholeheartedness attracts wholeheartedness. I’m always amazed when I open myself up to others how quickly they open up in return. I want the people around me to feel all of that goodness from me and then give it back to me (and the next person they meet) in the same way. Because, like the warmth of the sun (hence the photo!), wholeheartedness fills all it touches.

I’m still figuring it out, but for now, I’m going to let the word bounce around in my mind while I see how it might change the way I live and interact with others, even in the smallest of ways.

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(Oh and also. I’m blogging again. I was trying to just jump right back into it like nothing happened and it actually hasn’t been three and a half weeks since my last post. I was hoping you wouldn’t notice, but then I thought I should comment on it. I do apologize for my absence!)

june goals

(may notables: a rough month for pip / the prettiest i’ve ever seen cache valley / meeting my sweet new nephew!)

May was a long month, but full of exciting events. I’m currently halfway through a three-week trip in Utah, where I’m visiting my family and doing a few photography jobs. Kenny was here for a week and is now back in California starting his summer internship. We also both got new callings at church (primary president for me (eek!) and primary teacher for Kenny (heh heh heh)).

Kenny successfully finished his first year of law school (YAY YAY YAY!) and I’m thrilled with how quickly we are 1/3 of the way finished. I photographed my first home birth, which was an amazing experience.

Pip had a bit of a stressful month–he got some vaccines and had a sad, scary allergic reaction to them. :( He also got dragged along to Utah with me and we both survived, thanks to a direct flight and a sedative. (The sedative was for him, although I’m considering one for myself for the flight home.)

Best of all, May brought our family a brand new baby! My nephew, Trey, was born on May 8th and after three excruciating weeks, I finally got to meet him. (You know I take my aunt calling extremely seriously, so this was tough!) There’s something so special about this boy and when he looks at you, you feel like he’s seeing your soul. He’s pretty incredible and I can’t get enough of him.

As for the goals I was working on, really, they weren’t the priority this month. There was just so much going on. I did do a pretty good job of eating well and keeping track of it all (until I got to Utah, that is…). I also finally sold a few things online and improved my time management issues, although I think that will always be a work in progress.

With my June goals, I’m keeping it a bit light this month. I’m in Utah for half of the month and I think we all would agree that being away from home makes it hard to keep up on good habits. I want to get a lot of reading done and I’m also finally feeling ready to start committing to exercising more. I’m trying really hard to keep exercise something that is positive and fun for me and doesn’t involve any feelings of guilt. I started a few things in May (like taking advantage of the pool at our apartment complex) and Kenny and I have plans to learn how to play tennis as something for us to do together. I’m also even kind of maybe liking running a little bit. But don’t tell Kenny or he’ll just get his hopes up that we’ll run a marathon together someday (not happening). So we’ll see how that goes. :)

The other priority for June is spending as much time as possible with Kenny when I get home from Utah. It’s been a hard few weeks with his four weeks of finals and our lives just going in so many different directions lately. And I’m really bummed that we’ll be apart for our anniversary next week. :( So I have plans for us to spend lots of time together when I return to make up for it!

daily habits:

  • Read every day
  • Write 3-4 times/week

specific goals:

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(This year I’m posting my monthly goals for a bit of accountability and motivation! They are based on my eight intentions for 2013.)