Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Finding Hope

All shot on a Contax 645, 80mm 2.0 at f/2.8, on Kodak Portra 400 Film

I wish I could say I was the sole brain child behind this conceptual shoot. However, this session comes from my good friend Duston. This man oozes creativity. I attended his workshop last March where we learned a lot about shooting from our hearts and souls. He is going to be having another workshop in 2012. I suggest you check it out. I came across these images this week when looking for photographs to donate to my tiny friend Holden.

When I first shot these they were meaningless to me, everything was pretty much meaningless. I had just had the shock of my life given to me by my sweetheart. I was feeling like less than garbage. I was just days into the worst torment of my life. I left that workshop a heap of despair. I got the images back and there they sat for months and months until I came across them this week.

They speak to me now. I am this woman. I am the one bound and trapped. I am the one hoping and praying for release. I am the one wishing for shears to cut through the ties that are binding me.

I weep.

For as this woman has found her way out, I am still trapped, held, bound. I am struggling to breathe. To wish. To dream. To hope. My sadness is tangible, it is real, it is dark and it is ugly. For the first time in my thirty years of life I am struggling to know what to do, what steps to take. How to rely on anyone else but myself.

The problem is, I don't trust anyone. Least of all myself.

I come back to this blog for the next while. Not in hopes of sharing my portfolio, or my fun blogging adventures. Instead, to get back to the whole entire reason I started this blog, to share my innermost thoughts. The pathway ahead is rough, it is scary. I am at a precipice. There is nothing before me but a huge divide. I stand on the edge unsure of what to do.

Here I will find my refuge.

Here I will figure a way out of this pain that is binding me.

Here I will find hope.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Shops at Riverwoods | Provo, Utah

A few weeks ago I had the amazing opportunity to spend a morning with some fabulous ladies at the fabulous Shops at Riverwoods in Provo.

I had the honor of visiting Blickenstaff's Toy Store, Ike's Ice Cream the Provo Beach Resort, Zion's Mercantile where I got to meet the fabulous Robert Boyd and the day ended with a most exquisite lunch at La Jolla Groves Restaurant. A special thanks to the talented Bryce Olsen for photographing the event for us so that we could enjoy it all the more.

The morning started out at the beautiful and fun and my new favorite toy store, Blickenstaff's.






Where we got to play with toys to our heart's content. I love this about Blickenstaff's. A toy store where you can actually try it before you buy it. They also have so many unique toys as well as vintage toys. Check them out for your holiday shopping as they are having some fantastic deals for the 12 days of Christmas up until Christmas Eve.

Next we were blessed to try out the famous Ike's Ice Cream. Ike's is a quaint little ice cream shop inside Provo Beach Resort. It has an old time feel right down to the red booth seating and the old fashioned Coke machine. Oh and the ice cream is divine. This coming from a non ice cream eater. I did eat it and it was terrific. I will definitely be back.





Provo Beach Resort? Did you know Provo had such a thing? From an indoor ropes course to mini croquet to an indoor Flow Rider, Provo Beach Resort is the place to be this winter when it is icy and cold. The beachy fun can last all year through with all the activities available at the Provo Beach Resort. What is a Flow Rider? I didn't know either, but it is, well, you have to see it, the best way to describe it is to call it a surf machine. There are only three in the state of Utah, and Provo Beach Resort has one. Go and try it out, it looks like a blast.

Our next stop was the Zion's Mercantile . Full of beautiful artwork and replica's of vintage books and dishes, Zion's Mercantile is the place for those who love all things LDS history. My favorite items were the reconstructed Books of Mormon and guns from Porter Rockwell. It was so neat to see the kinds of things he liked to carry with him. If my grandfather were still alive he would most definitely be getting one of those from me.





Zion's Mercantile was where we got to meet the wonderful LDS photographer and artist Robert Boyd. You may not recognize his name, but if you are LDS or in an LDS community you are certain to have seen his artwork. It was so fun as a photographer to get to discuss his process with him and to pick his brain a little bit on how he captures his images and how he ends with the images he does. Beautiful art, beautiful man with a beautiful wife who it was also a pleasure to meet.


Our day ended with one of the most delightfully delicious meals I have ever eaten at La Jolla Groves. I loved meeting the owner and the chef. I loved to see their passion for the food they make and serve at their restaurant. The food is truly delicious. My favorite? It was hard to choose just one, but most definitely the Chicken Stuffed Crepes. They are also working on their seasonal menu. I personally can't wait to get back and stuff my body full of all of the deliciousness.





**Disclaimer: This was a sponsored blogging event. I received a very fun afternoon with some spectacular ladies. We were gifted a few fun items from each vendor, especially ice cream and lunch. I was however, not paid monetarily for this review and the opinions expressed herein are my own honest review of these companies.**

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Shot on a Nikon F100, 50mm 1.4 lens at f/1.4 on Fuji Superia 800 Consumer Film and processed at Walgreen's one hour photo .

Life has been incredibly insane the past six weeks. It is weird how the past few weeks really feel like a year. Can you tell I have been gone? I think I have been hiding and protecting myself from anything that I could. I have immersed myself in work and my kids and have been really busy, but when it came to the online world, it was kind of the last place I wanted to be. I felt like my blog was no longer a 'safe' place. That is weird right? Considering this is the Internet. I guess I found out in a very difficult way who can read it and for what purpose they could use it for. I have felt so many different emotions and feelings. I have a few more gray hairs, my forehead is looking a little more aged and I have just felt heavier.

I am so thankful to have the gospel in my life and to be a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This realization has never been more clear to me than in the last two weeks, and especially in the last four days. Hubbs and I have had a lot of setbacks to our relationship in the last two months. It has felt very heavy and sad and I found out a lot of things a very hard way. There was much discussion as to how my blog has hurt him. I feel very sad that I he felt hurt by my blog which is why I have been hiding from it. I am not sure what to write anymore or how to share. I feel exposed greatly by a certain person who knows who they are. I have chosen in the best way I know how to share how I feel in my heart at this very moment.

As I mentioned, I am so thankful for my membership in the LDS church. I did not realize until the past week the difference a good and loving bishop can make in the life of a member of the church going through deep trial. While I have greatly loved past bishops, I have never really felt they connected with my soul in the way that was necessary for my personal growth. Six weeks ago I was in a very low point in my life. I didn't know where to go or who to turn to and I just felt I needed guidance from a priesthood holder. The spirit whispered that I should make an appointment with my bishop. I asked him at that time not to counsel me, but just to listen to my situation and at a later date, after much consideration to counsel me at a later time. I saw him again on Sunday, and the words he said to me were hard to hear and amazingly comforting at the same time. I have never felt so much calm and peace regarding my life, my family, my marriage as I have in the last four days. There is definitely a higher power and there is no denying that for me. I am grateful to have a good bishop who can show me what I need to change in my life to be happy, and that I sincerely deserve to be happy.

I am here to tell you that I love my family. Every single member. I love my husband in a new and deeper way than I ever thought imaginable. I am thankful to him for all of his help and for being an amazing dad to our children. This is something I have always longed for them to have and I know I made the best choice possible for them. I am thankful for the opportunity to become the best of friends and to watch our children grow and find happiness and joy through them.

While we are no where near perfect, and have a very long way to go to be completely better, I can honestly say we are well on our way. I just wanted to publicly thank those who have supported us and supported me through this very hard time. I am sure this will be the last blog regarding the issues we have had, and as long as things continue to go well there will be no need to share anymore about this. I just felt the need to come full circle and share that things are better and healing in a way that almost one year ago I never thought could be possible. So, thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

The healing is nice.

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Copper Onion | SassyScoops Review

I have absolutely adored being an official Sassy with SassyScoops . I have made some amazing friends and have eaten some amazing food and met some amazing people because of it. This week I am dedicating my posts to telling you about all of the wonderful local establishments we have reviewed this past fall and to let you know if you should visit them as well.

We'll start with The Copper Onion in downtown Salt Lake City, Utah.

I have some friends who absolutely favorite The Copper Onion. It is their go to date night dinner place. I had gone there once before and had felt disappointed in the food and actually went home feeling a little sick. I wasn't sure if it was due to the dinner or something else I had that same day, so I was eager to give them another chance.

The decor is very 'homey' and rustic. I loved it. Other than our table being a little wobbly, it was nothing that a folded napkin didn't fix when I talked to the waitress about it. After that was fixed it was onto choosing delicious menu items.

The open kitchen was very fun and completely added to the atmosphere. I think it would be fun to go back and watch your dinner being made while sitting at the bar.

We ordered an abundance of appetizers (which are always my favorite part of any meal). The meat and cheese plate was definitely the highlight of my evening.

I chose the Carbonara. It was good, but lacked flavor. I ate half of it before the waitress came back and I could request some salt as there wasn't any on the table.

Shot on a Nikon F100, 50mm 1.4 lens at f/1.4 on Fuji Superia 800 Consumer Film and processed at Walgreen's one hour photo .

All in all, I doubt highly that I would ever return to The Copper Onion, and I would have been highly disappointed if I had spent my money on this place celebrating a special occasion.

Read the official Sassy Scoops review of The Copper Onion.

The Copper Onion

111 East Broadway, Suite 170

Salt Lake City, UT 84111

(801) 355-3282


Twitter: http://twitter.com/thecopperonion

**Disclaimer: This was a surprise review. The Copper Onion did not provide SassyScoops or myself with any compensation (monetary or otherwise).**


Monday, October 24, 2011

Ride to a Witch | Gardner Village

Our afternoon started out by getting some of our favorite treats from Gardner Village which generally included a caramel apple from Sweet Afton's.

Then we take a stroll through all the decorated shops and stopped to see all of the fun witches. We stopped at Naborhood Bakery for some yummy grub. The kids chose hot dogs while Hubbs enjoyed a self made creation on white bread and all sorts of delicious deli meats. I went with my favorite chicken salad although my croissant tasted like it has been sitting out on the counter all day.

As you can see, Millz enjoyed everything, if you know Millz that says a lot.

We then made our way to the lineup to visit the witches in their swamp. On our way Millz made a fascinating discovery:

And everyone posed for a photo.

We finally made it and right next to the ticket booth was my favorite witch in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. She is so cute.

I adore how everywhere is decorated at Gardner Village. Makes me feel like somewhat of a good parent when I can take my kids places like this so that when they go home to their non decorated house they don't notice as much.

We got our 'tickets' which turned out to be some very life like looking rubber cockroaches. The kids adored playing with them, which was a good thing because we had a good 30 minute wait in line for our turn on the tractor.

Finally it was our turn and the kids adored seeing the huge green tractor and getting to go for a ride in the back.

It was a short ride and we were at the swamp where the witches lived. There was an old train car that was their house where we saw their yummy dinner cooking. I think it had lots of strange ingredients like bats wings and scorpion tails. They offered to teach me the recipe but I had my hands full with the three littles. We went and did a little dancing and learned the moves to Thriller, one of our favorite songs.

The kids then helped stir the huge cauldron that was outside brewing and simmering. It smelled terrible to us, but to the witches it was delightful. We made it out of there without being turned into frogs or kitty cats. Joth and Memms loved helping stir but Millz wasn't quite sure what to think about the concoction.

One of our favorite witches was the one who serenaded us with her fiddle to a rousing rendition of "Turkey in the Straw". We were all tapping our toes.

The evening ended with a very heartfelt old fashioned cockroach funeral. We all got to say a few words about how we felt about our cockroaches and we had a moment of silence followed by another rendition of "La Cucaracha".

The burial:

Shot on a Nikon F100, 50mm 1.4 lens at f/1.4-2.8 on Fuji Superia 800 Consumer Film and processed at Walgreen's one hour photo .

It was such a fun evening to spend with my little family. It was something that we needed and we want to go back every year and make it a tradition. Thank you Gardner Village for providing so many fun holiday festivities that we can create traditions and memories with our family.

I hope that you consider Gardner Village this holiday season and include all of their fun attractions from witches to elves.

**Disclaimer: Gardner Village provided tickets for me and my family free of cost, to enjoy their newest attraction Ride to a Witch. However, my opinions of the experience are my own, and my mom taught me never to lie, so the things you will read about my experience are true.**