26 May 2017

Mother's Day

This year for Mother's Day both girls helped
make me breakfast in bed!
Jade is giving me the biggest stink eye because I wasn't eating it yet.
"I maik ehgs! You eat dem!!"
But Mommy, of course, wanted a picture first so here I am in all my 
"just waking up glory".
Rory made me a couple adorable things at school for the holiday and I love them!
But most of all, I loved the snuggles and random kisses and hugs all day long.
Even when they drive me absolutely bonkers
(which is often, won't lie)
I am so grateful to be their mom and 
I hope they grow up to be amazing mothers to THEIR kids someday!

24 May 2017

Magic and Fireworks

10 years ago I graduated high school.
I realize this ages me both ways:
"Whoa 10 YEARS ago?! She OLD!"
"She's a baby!"
I get it a lot hahaha
But I also realized that it's also going to be 10 years since 
Andrew and I started dating!
An entire decade.
I KNOW a decade ago I NEVER thought I'd marry Andrew Mills
and be HAPPY about it!

I wanted to write about how I knew he was the one.
You know, the butterflies every time they walk in,
knees knock together when they smile,
some kind of connection you didn't even know existed until they came into your life.
The magic.
At least I call it magic.
It felt, and still feels, like a fairy tale
(some days more like The Old Woman In a Shoe story vs 
a princess one but still -

You have probably read our story,
if not, click "Our Love Story"
and the posts are there
but I didn't really get to delve into the magic of it all.

The first time I ever though about Andrew in ANY romantic way
was probably graduation day.
And it was extremely brief.
And no that's NOT me in the passenger seat.
I was just another passenger in the back of the truck haha
But I mean,
look at that smirk.
He knew he was cute and all the girls thought so too.

After we graduated,
I went to New York for a week to celebrate and that's really when our relationship started.
Thousands of miles apart and THAT'S how it starts!
He taught me how to flirt.
Not kidding either.
He showed me how to feel love for myself again.
 Soon after we started to date exclusively,
I noticed I felt different around him.
I had never felt so vulnerable and yet so trusting
with someone before.
Quite frankly, it scared me out of my wits!
He would tell me how pretty I was even though he hadn't seen me.
He would even leave notes on my car if he knew we couldn't  see each other that day.
He even wrote me a couple poems and he will deny it hahaha

As time went on,
I fell more and more in love with him without knowing it.
At Christmas was when I really felt that I could say "I love you" and mean it.
That was 6 months after we began the relationship.
But I still didn't want to believe he was the one because of one huge obstacle:
His mission.

In our church, boys (and girls) can go on proselyting missions around the world
for 18 months - 2 years teaching the gospel.
Andrew hadn't left for his yet.
**Back in 2008 they had to be 19 (21 for girls) to go, the age has changed to 18 (19 for girls)**
And I was scared to even think about committing to that time apart.
I never wanted to be that girl who "waits for their missionary"
It was (and still kinda is) a joke to say you're waiting because it rarely ever happens.

He got his mission call to Argentina
and I was so excited for him.
And my heart also broke.
WHY would it break?
He was just my boyfriend,
there was no eternal commitment here yet.
I realized then and there,
that he was THE ONE.

With that thought still came the doubts.
He left in June 2008
and I went back to New York in 2009 for my brother's senior trip
and we were able to go again to Palmyra
which is where our church was founded and the Gospel restored.
It's a very sacred and special place to me.
There's a place called The Sacred Grove.
You can feel the Spirit so strongly there.
I had been there before but I hadn't really had any questions or 
burning desires in my heart the first time like I did now.

I knelt down in those sacred trees and pleaded to know if I was doing the right thing.
WAS Andrew the one I was supposed to marry?
Or was it just hormones or me wishing it to be true?
It had been a year already, did I have the strength to keep going?
As I knelt there with tears on my face,
I felt such a peace in my heart.
I heard a voice say "Just wait. It will be worth it."

When I saw Andrew after he was home from his mission
I felt immense panic and hope.
What if the magic had faded?
Did absence truly make the heart grow fonder?
Or does it render it forgetful?
He looked at me and when our eyes locked I knew:
It HAD been worth it.
He then proposed and within 6 months of coming home
we were married.

How did I know he was the one?
There are some things in this life we can't explain.
Love and the guiding of that still small voice are some of them.
I call it magic and divine intervention.
Plus look at him!
He's the handsomest guy around and I am incredibly lucky he loves me too.
10 years (almost) down, and an eternity to go!


10 May 2017

Weekend Fun!

Guys I had an AMAZING weekend with my BFF Alyx here!
Seriously so much fun!
Dinner at Red Robin and a late night Zupas/WalMart run for
chocolate covered strawberries and sparkling cider
for her boudoir sessions the next day.
We got back to the hotel only to realize that our fridge 
so we improvised our own fridge woot!!
The next day we had SO MUCH FUN!
If you have an opportunity to do a boudoir session,
I did not think I would have as much fun as I did,
or feel as awesome as I did!

 Alyx did my makeup with Maskcara
(yes, she's a distributor)
and it looks like myself, just with the volume turned up a bit.
When I got into my outfit
(which was very conservative and super cute thank you very much!)
and saw myself in the mirror I still felt like it wasn't me.
Then Alyx had me do a few poses and she showed me the images on her camera,
and I was SHOCKED!
I looked AMAZING!
She saw my face and said "Yes, that IS you!"
She's already amazing because she's one of my best friends,
but this was just so much more to me than that.
Since doing this shoot,
I have felt so GOOD about myself!
I haven't body shamed myself,
said anything negative about myself,
and that's a HUGE step!
The biggest question I've been getting is
"WHY would you do a shoot like this!?
Isn't it a little scandalous?"
So I answered it in this video.
I truly wish every woman could feel as empowered as I do!
Alyx helped me so much and I loved working with her!
Plus chocolate covered strawberries and sparkling cider is never a bad idea!
Nor is staying up WAY last our bedtimes to chat and eat pizza
and feel like teenagers again!
And no trip to AZ is complete for Alyx without visiting Los Tacquitos!
 I miss her already!
Is it October yet?!!?!?