Anniversary Getaway


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This boy kills me!





We stopped in the cute downtown Petaluma on our way homw.

This past weekend we went on a little getaway to celebrate our 3 year anniversary. We decided to go somewhere neither of us had even been. We found a great deal on Groupon and decided to give Timber Cove Inn a shot. It’s up past Bodega Bay and Jenner on Highway 1. It was such a beautiful drive, I didn’t even mind being stuck in traffic on a one lane road!
It was the perfect little getaway. The coast line was unbelievable and the place we stayed was so darling! Our room was a little loft and I loved it! The hotel had a fabulous restaurant overlooking the ocean where we ate duck for dinner and amazing french toast for brunch. It was a very relaxing trip, we watched the sunset, walked the trails along the cliffs, watched sea lions splash and just enjoyed each others company. I am so lucky to have such wonderful person in my life. My heart just melts when I look at these pictures of Mark. He made the trip such a blast, I was constantly laughing.



A good reminder


I’ve been seeing a lot of articles lately along the lines of “things every 20something year old should know” or “things I wish I would have known when I was in my twenties”. These articles have hit home for me. Not that I rely on these articles for advice but it’s nice to know I’m not the only one who feels like I’m a loser and couldn’t get a job I wanted after I graduated college and those 4 years were more social than educational. But as I’ve been reading them I have thought about where I am in my life right now and want to take a minute to remind myself of all the good things I’ve got going on. It’s easy to feel incompetent or lost in this world.   So here is a list of things I want myself to know when I am 24 years old.

1. You don’t know anything. That was true when you were a bratty teenager and thought your parents didn’t know anything and it is true now. That’s what life is about. So close your mouth and open your mind and learn.

2. “Know who you are” is such a tough thing to do. You will continuously be changing and growing so it’s ok if you don’t always feel like you know who you are. But be true to your standards of who you want to be. Be true to your husband, he knows you better than you know yourself. If he likes you, then you should like you too.

3. Stop comparing. Yes, you have very smart and educated friends who are strong and talented. You are lucky to have them as friends but stop feeling lesser when you are around them. They may look like they have it all together but they have other struggles in their lives that may be different from yours. You are smart, fun, happy, beautiful and a good person.

4. Be the friend you want to have. Remember in point 3 that you are a good person. Continue to be a good person and don’t worry if it’s not hipster or indie enough. It’s enough. Make people feel comfortable around you, lift them and always give compliments.

5. Give yourself a break. Stop beating yourself up. Sure you don’t have a dream job at a major corporation and you don’t have a large home with a beautiful yard. But you have a job, that pays you! And you have a small 2 bedroom/2 bath condo with a little tiny porch but it is yours and how many 24 year olds can say they pay mortgage instead of rent! Good job!

6. Your support system is rock solid. You are so blessed to have amazing parents who taught you all the important lessons in life. They have done everything for you and will continue to do so, without ever expecting so much as a “thank you.” So thank them often! You have 3 sweet little sisters who love you and admire you, even if it doesn’t feel like they look up to you because they seem to have it all together, they probably do. Be there for them because some day they may need you. You’re extended family is a source of strength that you are so lucky to have. How many people have grandparents who are so caring? Your in-laws are wonderful! They raised the most amazing son who is the best husband you could have ever dreamed of and he will make a great father one day. You gained 3 older brothers and 3 older sisters when you married into the family. It’s nice to have older siblings to vent to now. They all are so unique and offer great advice, stay close to them.

7. Enjoy now. Stop looking toward the “one days.” Those days will come soon enough and you will probably look back and think “I didn’t take advantage of how good I had it.”

8. Travel often. You and Mark found a niche, a hobby, a love that you share together. That is rare. Go see the world together. The places you have seen have been amazing and memories you will not soon forget. Take every opportunity to go see new places, near or far.

9. Learn to love your body. Sure there are flaws but those flaws are ones you will look back on in 20 years wishing to have again. See similarities throughout your family. Your nose, eyes, moles (or beauty marks 😉 ) are family heirlooms.

10. Manage your temper. You have a hot one. Over the past few years you have really gotten a handle on it (thanks to your patient husband who has taught you a thing or two about patience.). Continue to do so. Don’t let it get out of control. That little thing that is about to make you blow your lid is just that, a little thing. It doesn’t matter.

11. Don’t let a day go by that Mark doesn’t feel loved by you. He is the best thing that has ever happened to you. Tell him that every day, even if it feels repetitive. But if he gets annoyed, stop. 🙂

12. Make time for people in your life. Make time for your family and friends. Don’t ever be “too busy” for someone who loves you. You have a 99year old great grandpa who is amazing, make time for him! Give him a call.

13. Sit up straight. Work on your posture now because it’s going to be a lot more painful when you are 70. And you will regret that big hump on your back.

14. Keep striving for the life you want. You may not know all the details but you have a good idea of what you want your future to look like. Make sure that future has plenty of foliage and shrubbery for Mark, he loves trees and a lush yard 🙂

15. Speaking of the future, your parents are going to make the worlds’ best grandparents! Your dad is going to be the cutest with those babies. And your kids will adore your parents. That is going to be such a great time in your life, cherish it. But let that be in the future, not too soon.

16. Getting old is hard to do. You are going to struggle watching your parents get old. But remember the soul isn’t old, just the body it’s in. And good thing that won’t happen for a long time, since your parents had you when they were 15. 😉

17. Read more books. You enjoy reading but always feel like there is something else that needs your attention, like the vacuuming or the dishes. But grab a book, cuddle in a blanket and read for a little bit. The other things can wait.

18. Keep working out. Make it a lifestyle. Because as you have realized since you got married, staying healthy and in shape doesn’t just happen anymore. You can’t eat Ben & Jerry’s half baked like you did in college. (Shout out to Melissa and Glenna!)

19. Stay true to your faith. It may waiver at times and it may look easier to give it up but you know it’s true and it will bring you more happiness than anything in the world can.

20. You’re wonderful. You have a lot of really great qualities. You forget this sometimes so I wanted to remind you.

3 Year Anniversary


Today is mine and Mark’s 3 year anniversary. As this day was approaching I couldn’t help but reflect back over the past few years. I can honestly say that marriage has changed my life. I never imagined it was possible to love someone more each day (granted, there are some days where you feel like you hate them 😉 or some weeks that are three steps forward, one step back) but overall my love has grown exponentially for Mark, who has taught me patience, respect, trust, happiness and how to laugh through stress. I can truly say that he has made me a better person. I think my family and friends would agree that I am a happier, more laid back person thanks to Mark.

Over these last 3 years Mark and I have seen and been to some pretty amazing places. I will never find the words to thank Mark enough for chasing my dreams with me. We found our niche with travel and can’t wait to see the world together. There isn’t anyone else I would rather share these memories and experiences with.

Seeing how my love has grown, I can’t imagine how strong my feelings will be in 25 or 50 years from now. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for loving me the way you have. You are my everything.

proposingMark proposing 3 1/2 years ago.

tetonsHiking Table Rock at the Grand Tetons

eiffle tower


london bridge



wedding 2

Warning: Long over-due post ahead

So much has happened since I last blogged: Rachel, my mom and I went down to Southern California to 1. pick up her visa 2. go to my cousin Natasha & Wes’ wedding 3. see family and 4. go to Disneyland of course! We also sent little Rachy on her way to Spain for the next 18 months and then left the next day to go to Utah for a Barker Family Reunion. This going to be a long post with lots of pictures. Don’t say I didn’t warn you 😉

road tripRoad trip to Southern California

minnie earsNo Disney trip is complete without Minnie Ears

cars landWe have been dying to go to Cars Land, and it was well worth the wait!

photo boothPhoto booth at Natasha and Wes’ wedding

rachelRachel leaving for Spain

boating  Mark, Courtney, me and our cousin Robbie. Thanks Uncle Mike and Aunt Michelle for taking us! It was a highlight of the trip!

family reunionThe Barker Family

great grandpaOur family with Great Grandpa Flenniken. He’s 99 years old and so sharp. I wouldn’t be surprised if he lives to be 150! He’s the sweetest man I’ve ever met, I hope to be half the person he is.

familyOur family with Grandma Bev stepping in for Rachel 🙂

friends  One of the highlights of the trip was seeing these beauties and their husbands! They are two of my best friends and I’m so glad that it worked out that we could all get together for dinner. Glenna you are a trooper for coming despite being sick! And Melissa I hope your trip to Jacob’s Lake and the Grand Canyon was great! I love you gorgeous souls!

To wrap things up, it was a wonderful couple of weeks. It was harder to say bye to Rachel than I thought it would be, I assumed I would feel like she was just going back to school for the semester. I think the difference is that I can’t just pick up the phone to call her or text her when I feel like it. But 18 months will fly by and will change her life forever. I’m so proud of her and this selfless decision she has made. She’s already been in the MTC in Madrid for 3 weeks. If you want to read her emails you can follow her blog at