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. ;)



Out of all my nicknames, I think my ultimate favorite is Auntie Pay. It all started back when my sister got married to a guy named Jon Walter. I was 11 at the time, and I thought it was funny to call him Won Jalter. In turn, he started calling me Palynn Ketersen. So when they had kids, instead of Auntie Kay, I became Auntie Pay, and it has stuck ever since. 

I take the title of "aunt" very seriously. And obviously I have to make sure that all my nieces and nephews love me more than they love their other aunts. So the day before they went out of town, we planned a super fun afternoon. 

We started out by making a stop through the Little Caesar's drive-thru to get some pizza and cheese sticks, and drove straight to the park for a little pizza picnic! Picnics are the best. You eat a little, you snuggle a little, you pick the green grass and throw it on everyone else, you eat a little more, you climb trees, you have stick wars-- and then repeat. There's really nothing better! As soon as we finished eating, we went to Nickel City to play some games and win some prizes. Although, I don't really feel like they can call it a nickel arcade anymore, because everything is done on cards now! And let me tell you; it's must easier to mindlessly spend your "nickels" this way, haha. But it was a lovely afternoon! Everyone walked away with their desired loot and ready for a popsicle and a nap once we returned home. 



It was MONTHS ago when Jake and I had been talking about how much I love bookshops. It was January, and we had just gone ice fishing when we came back home to change before we wanted to go grab some dinner.  While trying to warm up, we spent a solid amount of time sitting on the floor of my bedroom looking through my book collection, and Jake would pick up random books and ask me about them. Fast forward to last Thursday when Jake picked me up after work and told me he wanted to take me somewhere as a surprise. We were driving up to Salt Lake and he kept giving me little hints towards where we were going, but I just had no clue! When he pulled up to Trolley Square, I was even more stumped! But as we walked through the square, and eventually came to Weller's Books, a rare and used books bookstore, I became overjoyed.

It is one of the most thoughtful dates ever planned for me! I will never get over how sweet and thoughtful Jake is. And as we walked in, Jake told me about how he'd randomly stumbled across this bookstore one day and thought about how he wanted to take me there. He also gave me a "coupon" good for one book + one kiss, haha. You bet I cashed in on both! ;) 
We spent about an hour there, just casually perusing the selections. 
Afterwards, we grabbed some dinner and hit up the last inning of a Bees game. 
And then my heart exploded. 
Okay. Not literally ;), haha (duh), but, I mean, could I even ask for anything more?  

Also, for anyone needing some good reads:

My favorite book(s): The Catcher in the Rye 
and The Language of Flowers 
Jake's favorite book: When Breath becomes Air
What I'm currently reading: Ready Player One

All of which I'd highly recommend. :) 

Also Harry Potter. 
If you haven't read Harry Potter, 
you should really get on that.

Laser tag, Deal or No Deal, enough food to feed 100 people for an entire week...must be the Petersen Family Reunion! This past weekend we had a little family reunion. Typically, we either head to Bear Lake or the ranch for our family reunions, but with two very pregnant sisters in law about to pop any second, we thought we'd play it safe and keep it close to home this year. 

All my siblings came to town and we all stayed in my mom's house. Haha, it was a mad house having 11 kids seven years old and under running around everywhere in one house for 4 days! As far as family reunions go, we didn't actually have much going on that often. It was relaxed, but we were all able to enjoy each others' company, while sneaking in a few very fun activities. The girls got our nails done, the guys saw a poorly-made movie, and the Petersens had their first biscuits and gravy breakfast, courtesy of Jake. ;)

 It was fun having everyone together again for something happier than a funeral! My dad's absence was pretty strong this weekend, and I'm just so happy to know that families are forever. 



Jake will probably be upset that I'm sharing about this date, buuuut....he totally took me on a girls' night out date! hahaha... Juuuuuust kiddin', but also kind of not. ;) We've hung out a few times with his friend from work, Garrett (who I also went to high school with!), and his wife, Paige, and they've been talking about going to get pedicures with us for a while now, haha. So tonight we finally made it happen! We all went and got pedicures together! It was so much fun! I love getting pedicures every once in a while, and I got to go with my very favorite person! Afterwards, we all went to dinner at Maria Bonita's for some delicious Mexican food before Jake and I went back to my mom's house to watch a chick flick, haha. Cause, you know, it's not a girls' night out without a chick flick! ;)

On Saturday, one of my best friends, Paisley, got married! I always love going to my friends' weddings as both the videographer and friend! It means so much to mean when my friends trust me enough to film their wedding. I've got the most supportive friends. Jake also came to play second shooter, and that only made it better! It's been nearly two years since Jake and I first met shooting a wedding together at the Payson Temple, so it was fun to have him shooting alongside me at that same temple again for Paisley's wedding! And he's a champ for staying by my side throughout that blazing heat. We're talking over 100 degrees, people. But I am so happy for my dear friends Paisley and Spencer, and it was so good to spend time with all my best friends all day! 



I'm really not sure if a better 4th of July weekend has ever been experienced! It was all of my favorite things all packed into a few days! We started off the weekend by meeting Cami and Kyle up at their family cabin. I was thrilled to take Jake there! I have been up there a number of times with a bunch of friends, and was always eagerly looking forward to the day when I could bring someone I love up there. We shot guns, ate some good food, and thoroughly enjoyed each others' company and the great outdoors. Cami and I were inside just giggling away as the boys were outside cooking the brats for dinner. We kept spying on them, trying to watch how they interacted and how their conversation flowed. For as long as we've been friends, we've been saying that we can't wait to force our significant others to be friends, haha. What a relief that those two actually like each other and get along! Cami and I are so happy about it. :) 

As always, I loved being with those three! Friends don't get any better. I can't say it enough that I've got the best people in my life!

Mid-afternoon on Saturday, Jake and I drove straight from one cabin to the next! We spend the next couple of days at Jake's family Cabin with his family. They're really great at making you feel just like you're family. We spent our days doing puzzles, making bracelets and keychains out of boondoggle, eatings TONS of good food, roasting s'mores and popping popcorn over the fire, and getting a lot of good snuggles in with the nieces and nephews. We also spent a day on the reservoir! The water was freezing, and Jake took it upon himself to make sure everyone became accommodated to the water by dunking them under. What a guy, right?! ;) Haha, but really, we were having a blast, and I was pretty sad to leave when it all came to an end! 

From Jake's cabin, we drove straight to my mom's house, where we had about 20 minutes to freshen up before our pre-4th of July BBQ started! As per Petersen Family Tradition, we ate a delicious spread and followed it up with some croquet. Of course Jake comes in his first year playing and gets first place. insert-eye-roll-here. haha, just kidding. He earned it, even though I was the first one he decided to kill off after he claimed poison status, haha. 

Then we did a few (pretty lame, but still fun) fireworks in the front yard before putting the boys down and eating some mud pie while playing a board game. I love this family of mine, and I love our long-standing traditions! 

4th of July day was THE most perfect summer day!! I feel just completely spoiled that I'm constantly having so much fun because of the things Jake plans! After a yummy crepe breakfast with my family, Jake suggested that I pull out my old rollerblades. I hadn't pulled them out in yeeeears. Like, we're talkin' 10+ years. But we pulled 'em out, washed 'em off (I made Jake triple check to make sure there weren't any spiders in them, haha) and they surprisingly still fit perfectly! And then Jake suggested my worst nightmare---DUN, DUN, DUN---riding down Provo Canyon!! My initial reaction? noooooooooooo pleeeeease nooooo! And if you know me, then you understand why! I am just pretty klutzy and unbalanced by nature! I trip over my own feet every single day, and I just knew that trying to rollerblade down the canyon would end my life. But..ah, my Jake. He's such a happy guy, and he's asked to long board down the canyon multiple times, and I just didn't want to disappoint him! So I reluctantly gave in, and we made our way to Provo Canyon. 

Well, turns out I was a wreck, haha. As I was putting on my blades at the point of the canyon where we were going to start, my legs and hands were shaking so badly. It's dumb and embarrassing that I was so nervous, but that's just how it was, haha. But there's just something about Jake, you know? I get a lot of strength from him. He provided me with a substantial about of strength the few weeks leading up to my dad's passing, and I didn't realize how much that would continue to carry over into other things as well. Like blading the canyon. He was on his long board, I was on my rollerblades, and we really only went like 3 miles up the canyon, but he held my hand the whole way down. And during the parts of the canyon when I would start to get especially nervous, he'd sing me a country song to help distract me. I'm telling you guys, IT DOESN'T GET BETTER THAN JAKE! If you can't tell by now, I survived the canyon. Didn't even fall once, thanks to that hunky man. Owe him my life. And also probably a million dollars. Also still glad it's over though, and next time Jakes wants to long board the canyon, I'm riding my bike. :) haha.

After sweating our guts out in the 100 degree canyon, we headed to Rock Canyon Park where Jake's friends were having a big slip n' slide party! That was so much fun. The slip n' slide was huge! We got to go down a few times, I got to meet more of Jake's friends, and we were able to cool off a bit. 

Riding the canyon, slip n' sliding... what would we do next to make it the ultimate summer day? Get SNOW CONES!! I think I might've died and gone to heaven eating those snow cones. So good. Plus, they had cute little American flags in them, and I just really liked that for some reason. 

Next we went to get cleaned up, watched the Sandlot, and then went to a party in Orem where we met up with Jake's parents, got free food truck food, and got to watch the best firework show in the county! The 4th of July has always been my favorite holiday, but it just seems to get better and better every year! I love summer! I love America! I love Jake! 

Hope you all (mom and Julie, most likely) had a wonderful 4th of July! :)