Jackson Hole was the perfect last road trip of the summer! Ever since one of my best friends, Carlee, moved away to Rexburg last December, I've been wanting to take a trip out to visit her. So last month when she was down for our friend Paisley's wedding, and we were sitting together at the luncheon, we finally decided to just pick a date and make it work! And we decided that from Rexburg, we would all take a day trip out to Jackson Hole. It was a lot of driving to do in only one weekend, but it was well worth it! 

Friday night after work, Jake and I hit the road for Rexburg. We stopped along the way at Sweeto Burrito (one of my FAVS. drooling just thinking about it) and continued on our way. It was so fun to arrive in Rexburg, see Carlee and Brett's apartment for the first time, catch up and chat until midnight! The next morning, we woke up and Carlee and I had a little kitchen dance party while we made some breakfast burritos. It was just like we were roommates again! ;) 

The drive from Rexburg to Jackson Hole was a beautiful one. We stopped a couple of times, hitting up a small street market, taking pictures at breath-taking lookouts, and lastly arriving at Jackson Hole Town Square! Of course right away we had to head over to the antler arches for a little photo-op. Then we wandered around the many different shops, perusing the t-shirt options, trying not to buy ALL the candy in sight (I may or may not have spent $20 on salt water taffy alone...) and then realizing how hungry we were, stopped by a little burger joint called Liberty Burgers. As we ate our lunch, we pulled out a map to see what our options for the rest of the day were. We decided we had to go on the Cowboy Coaster! On our way back to our car, we pass a little shop where you can take old fashioned photos....I have ALWAYS wanted to take those photos! You see people taking them all the time at Lagoon, and never having done it, I wanted to so badly, haha. I begged and begged Carlee and Brett to join Jake and I for some photos, and finally they gave in! haha. And, oh my heck, those photos were so much fun to take. We got to dress up in old western outfits, and we just had a blast. I'm so glad we did that. Then we made our way to the rollercoaster! It was a little scarier than we thought, because we were in control of our own speed the whole time. But it was so much fun! 

By this time, we were all feelin' a little tired and decided to make our way back to Rexburg. Once we made it back, we stopped for some dinner at my all time favorite, Cafe Rio, and then grabbed some stuff to go do a little campfire in the woods! That lasted about an hour, until it became pitch black outside and Carlee and I got a little (a lot) spooked. By the time we made it home, we all passed out pretty quickly. 

Not only was it such a fun weekend, but it was so good getting to spend time with Carlee and Brett, and having them be able to get to know Jake a little better. 

As another summer starts to fade away, I can't help but reflect on how much has happened since this sun-soaked season began. It's hard for me to believe everything that has gone on in just 4 months, but I am happy that I've been able to find meaning and happiness in all of it. 

Now bring on Autumn! 



So exhausted that Jake fell asleep on the way home from dinner, haha.

This past weekend, Jake and I went on a little road trip to visit one of his old mission companions in Tetonia, Idaho! It was short, but sweet, and we packed in a lot of fun in one day! 

I don't know that everyone would love to travel the way Jake and I do, haha. We're pretty relaxed, and we like to enjoy ourselves, so we really don't rush anything. For example: we decided to take off Friday night after Jake got off work. He met me at my place around 4:20, and we sort of moseyed around as I finished getting ready, casually finding snacks for the road, stopping every couple of minutes to cuddle a lit bit (haha), and then finally getting out the door a few minutes before 5:00. Being on the road with Jake is always one of my favorite parts of our adventures. You just never know what you're gonna get with Jake, haha. It was a blast singing and dancing in the car, and the 5 hour drive went by quickly. We stopped for dinner at Wingers somewhere along the way, so we didn't end up making it to his friend Braden's house until close to 11:00. But once we got there, we were going non-stop! 

It was great to finally meet Braden and his girlfriend Jenna, and after a few minutes of introductions, we all grabbed our swimsuits and headed to the pool! We sat in the hot tub and swam around the pool until one in morning. 

Saturday morning, after making and eating breakfast, we went on a rzr voyage! I don't know if I've ever gotten dirt/dust in so many places before? We drove around for a couple of hours, so I'm not kidding when I say we were COVERED in dirt. The boys' hair looked gray, and Jake kept joking that my eyelashes were so covered in dirt that there were little puffs of dust every time I blinked. We all looked pretty funny. Eventually we drove to a little lake, where we planned to throw on our swimsuits and jump in for a while. There were so many people there when we got there though, that there wasn't really anywhere to change! But there was a rope swing that I didn't want to miss, so we grabbed ahold of that and jumped in anyway with all our dirty clothes on. It was so cold! But it was nice to wash all that dirt off. That is, until we jumped back in the rzr to head home for dinner, haha. 

The rest of the night was spent getting cleaned up, stopping for some famous Huckleberry shakes and BBQ, scouting for elk, and then ending the night by turning on a movie. I was told they decided upon and watched Zorro, but if I'm bein' honest, I was out before they even picked the movie, haha. What a fun and exhausting day! 

We wanted to make it back for our own wards, so Jake and I left Sunday morning at 6:00. So we really were only there for a day, but it was 100% worth it! We had an absolute blast! We can't wait to make the same trip next weekend when we go to visit my friend Carlee and and hit up Jackson Hole! 


2017 SO FAR

"A positive mind finds opportunity in everything. 
A negative mind finds faults in everything."

I never blogged about this day trip I took to Capitol Reef back in February with two of my girlfriends. I remember how badly I needed a day like this at the time. I remember feeling (as dramatic as it sounds) like I needed it in the same way I need water and oxygen to survive. 

This morning my friend Rachel and I were talking about how good life is right now, and we were laughing as we paralleled our current circumstances with how life seemed to be going at the beginning of the year. Mid-December of last year brought the end of the worst relationship I have ever, or will ever, be in, and the effects of that relationship lasted well into the new year. At the time, I refused to even really speak to anyone aside from Rachel about it, because I was just too embarrassed that I had permitted myself to endure through someone treating me the way this guy did. It continued to cause problems for a few months as I tried to get back into dating. I couldn't bring myself to trust guys, but even more so, I couldn't bring myself to trust myself. Haha, it sounds so dumb now, but I was seriously struggling to make any sort of decision! And I was struggling to feel happiness, which is something I had never experienced before. Rachel was going through something similar, but on a different level, and her situation ended up with a called-off engagement. 

Anyway, come late February, we needed a road trip, a day out in the mountains, fresh air, and good company. So to Capitol Reef it was!

I came home from that trip and promised myself that things were going to change. March and April were months that brought a lot of introspection. I tried new things and purposely challenged myself as much as I could. I think I learned more about myself during those two months than I had over the last couple of years! I began to feel independent and strong. 

It felt good to be able to talk to Rachel today about how happy we are now. It felt good that being happy is what feels more familiar than not. It feels good that, like the quote above states, I can make an opportunity out of anything that comes my way. It feels good that I'm not happy just because life is suddenly perfect, 'cause it's not. Yes, I am having a fun, easygoing summer. Yes, I am dating the most perfect (and attractive) human ever. No, I don't really have any big worries right now. But I just think of my worst days, like the day my dad passed away, and how even on that awful, terrible day... I most definitely had happy moments.

So, I guess all I'm trying to say is, it's barely halfway through the year, and it's already been simultaneously the best and the worst year. 

A book that Jake's mom gave me after my dad passed away sums it up pretty perfectly:

"The pain I feel now is the happiness I had before. That's the deal."  
-C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed

And vice versa. 



For date night on Thursday, Jake and I went up to SLC and did one of those progressive dinner things! We started out at a little bar called Bayou where we got our appetizer. (sorry, mom. I didn't know it was a bar when I looked it up online! haha) We had fun trying something new there; an alligator sausage pie thing. Sounds a little weird, but it was delicious! Then we asked for our check, and left, haha. It felt funny only ordering an appetizer and leaving, but it really got our appetites up, so we booked it out of there to go grab some real food. 

Red Iguana was our next stop! I was a first timer there, but it's one of Jake's favorites, so he was really excited about the food. We were STUFFED by the time we finished dinner, but we weren't about to miss out on the dessert we had planned--CHEESECAKE FACTORY! We needed a little time for our dinner to settle though, so we stopped by one of the Green Bike Stations and rented bikes! 
We had so much fun riding our bikes around downtown and to the restaurant. 
Even if it was a little difficult going up one of the hills because we were so full, haha..

Between driving up to Salt Lake, making our way to each restaurant and including wait times, and the bike ride, it ended up taking us 6 hours overall, so I'm just glad Jake isn't sick of me. ;)