On second thought…

This past weekend was General Conference, more on that later, but we also had the pleasure of watching the kids I used to stay with for a week during the summers when I came home from college. I love these 4 kids. The youngest one, Ali, wore her baptism dress to our wedding, before she even wore it to her own baptism because she wanted to match me, so cute! Anyways, it’s been a few years since I’ve watched them and I pictured them still being the little kids they were. But they are all grown up now, the oldest is a senior in high school and Ali is 10! We had a good time, it was funny to watch Mark and then hear him say, “How did you do this by yourself?” These kids have  A LOT of energy and at the conclusion of the weekend I couldn’t help but think, “on second thought, maybe I do want to wait longer to have kids…” Granted, I know your kids don’t come out 4 at a time (usually) and 12 years old, but I couldn’t help but think about how good life is right now. It’s quiet and just the two of us (plus Leo, who is great because we can leave him by himself all weekend with a bunch of food left out, you can’t do that with a kid!) and we can pack up and go somewhere whenever we feel like it, aka freedom.

I’ll be thrilled when that day comes but for right now I’m enjoying this stage. I guess Mark’s going to get his way a little longer.

Now for some un-related pictures!  Picture 1: Mark is the scout leader for the 11 year olds. He’s loving it… ha! 😉  #2: This is Mark’s favorite thing to do to Leo right now, he thinks this face is hilarious! It drives me nuts!  #3: We are hosting our first annual Halloween party! (Annual is contingent upon this one being a hit…we will see) I’ve always wanted an excuse to use a wax sealer and thought Halloween party invites were the perfect one! It was so much fun and now I’m looking for any excuse to wax seal everything, bills, mortgage payment, etc…

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Anniversary Getaway

hotel

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lodge

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This boy kills me!

sunset

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view

cows

petaluma
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.

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3 Year Anniversary

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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

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london bridge

kauaii

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A different view of San Francisco

invented the mission burrito
please excuse the bird…I didn’t mean to flip the camera off, I was just struggling to hold the burrito that weighed that of a small child

me&mark

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What three year old can wink?! This one!
These girls did work on that banana split!
I thought this house was gorgeous with the succulents on the stairs
Sweet baby Cora
A post isn’t complete without Leo…who is now a lap cat!

While Dave and Lauren were here we went to San Francisco with them for a little day trip. I knew I was in for an adventure because Dave is not one to do the typical touristy day. He beats to his own drum and makes everything more fun. First stop of the day was the Mission. I had never been over to this side of the city, it was like driving into Tijuana or Ensenada! Dave and Mark love Yelp and Dave found the place that made the mission burrito famous. We went there for lunch and boy was it delicious! I scarfed down that monster and enjoyed every bite…I’m embarrassed to admit that I ate more than Mark and Dave but it was so worth it!

After, we went over to Lands End Trails and Seal Rocks, which I had never been to before. It was so beautiful, but a bit chilly. It’s on the West side of the Golden Gate bridge near Bakers beach. I will be going back there to explore the beaches. We drove around the city a little, went down Filbert street, the steepest street, went past Lombard street which was absolutely gorgeous filled with amazing bright hydrangeas, it was unreal! We wanted to go by again to get some pictures but it was too busy.

America’s cup is taking place in the city right now so it was packed! After vetoing Pier 39 due to the crowds we decided to head across the bay and over to Fenton’s Creamery, I was all for this decision. If you have not been to Fenton’s you are missing out big time! They have the most amazing sundays and even their food is great. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!

It was also our niece Coraline’s baby blessing so we had a great time all getting together for dinner. I love this sweet little baby and she melted my heart when she smiled at me this weekend!

4th of July and the Fair

Mark & his nieces Callie, Belle and Sophia
how many nieces can you fit in Mark’s sweatshirt?

reese

Too loud for Reese

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Belle and Dave

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Summer has been in full swing over here lately. We celebrated the 4th of July with some wonderful friends and fabulous food. I couldn’t have asked for a better party, except for maybe better fireworks. For those of you who don’t know, Fireworks are illegal in California, except for the city we live in, Dublin. So Mark and I went and bought a box of fireworks to light off since there are no firework shows around here and I didn’t want to drive all the way to San Francisco to watch their show when I had work in the morning. One of the few things I really miss about Idaho is their amazing firework show on the river. It’s so patriotic and will always be a bright memory for me. Anyways, long story short, we had to take our fireworks to a “designated safe zone” which was really a giant catastrophe waiting to happen!

We also made it to the Alameda County Fair! I sure love this place and all the crazies it brings! I could people watch all day, just give me a big ol’ corn dog and set me on a bench and I’ll be happy, however, I will require funnel cake later! Mark’s oldest brother Dave and his wife Lauren (yes, Lauren Warren!) came to visit for the week with their 3 hilarious and sweet girls. (did I mention we have a lot of nieces?) I had a great time walking through the animal section of the fair with them. They wanted to see every single bunny, there were about 500…my arms got quite the workout from lifting each girl to see each bunny. Later we met up with some friends and went on one ride, because each ride cost $5 a person! But this ride was definitely worth the 10 bucks, even Mark had a blast, which is a large task because he is only thrilled by Six flags in Southern California. We went on the swings that rose a good 100 feet in the air. At the end of the night we got to enjoy a beautiful firework show, which made up for the lack thereof the day before. All in all, it was a successful fair day!

Confession time

leo
This is a completely unrelated pic of Leo. It makes me laugh because he totally posed for this.

When me and Mark were dating he would come over to my house a lot, obviously. My neighbor two houses down was a few years older than us and was always having problems. It seems like not a day passed without a visit from the cops. He and his girl friend seemed to have a toxic relationship and often took it out to the curb so they could smoke while they yelled at each other. One of mine and M’s favorite pass times was to put our ears against the window and listen to them. But that didn’t ease our curiosity and we found ourselves hiding behind his parked car to get a better hearing range. It was bad, but oh so entertaining.

Well, the other day I came home from work and as I was walking from my car to the front door I heard people talking, really loud. I looked around trying to figure out where it was coming from. As I looked around I noticed Mark and Leo sitting in the window. A big smile came to my face as I thought they were sitting there waiting for me! I said “Hiiii!” apparently loudly, and Mark whispers through the window “Shhhh, come inside.” When I get inside he tells me that our upstairs neighbor is fighting with his girlfriend, trying to break up with her. It was the best welcome home gift! Mark and I sat there with our ears to the window giggling as she whined and sounded so pathetic asking why he deleted her on facebook and that she still wants to be friends and facebook is harmless….blah blah. As I sat there like an immature 6 year old  sister I realized 1. that I am sick and 2. that I am so glad I’m not dating anymore and M is wonderful and I am so lucky to have found him.

the broken road

The other night our friend Chris stopped by and some how we got on the topic of freshman year and how things came to be with me and Mark. We reminisced about star gazing with our friends and how I would always try to be next to Mark but then his girlfriend would call. Or how we went to the sand dunes ALL the time and that is where Mark and I first held hands after his roommate was trying to hit on me. We definitely had rough times where one of us or the other would decided we didn’t want to be together and then it would switch. We let each other down at times and hurt each other, there were other girls that I still give Mark crap for because secretly it really hurt me even though I acted so tough freshman year, acting like I really didn’t care about Mark and that I could get any guy I wanted… But through it all the memory that stands out the most is the butterflies I got every time I was around him. I didn’t know what it was but he was the first guy I was actually really nervous to hold hands with or kiss. I had never felt anything like that in high school.
As I look back through the past 4 years with Mark, there is so much joy, pain, sorrow, happiness, excitement, so much to move on from and so much to look forward to.
I now know what those butterflies were, a sign that this kid was one day going to be my husband.

“Every long lost dream led me to where you are
Others who broke my heart, they were like northern stars
Pointing me on my way into your loving arms
This much I know is true

That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you”

 I use to make Mark and his roommates do the most random things with me, like build this fort and watch movies under it. This was our first semester, yup that’s Logan!
 At the dunes our first semester.
At Mark’s house, look how chubby I was!