Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Solar Eclipse

I'm a little late blogging about the eclipse but better late than never, right?!  We drove up on Friday night and back on Tuesday.  We didn't get any of the really bad traffic but a four our drive for 2 minutes of crazy darkness was totally worth it!  I'm so glad we went!!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Finding Our Home

About five years ago we got serious about buying a house, we wanted to get one right after we got married(10 years ago) but the market was crazy!  Everything was really high, and it just didn't seem possible, but we didn't give up, we kept our eyes and ears open.  After, my husband graduated from college and we had two little kids then we really started looking again and didn't want to give up until we found something perfect for us.  While we started looking seriously, for a house, the market changed(again), the housing market crashed and we were able to see more houses in our price range. Although the prices didn't drop as much as you would think, it was better!  We didn't have a lot of money, so even the "deals" were too expensive for us!  It seemed like everything was out of our price range!  It was really discouraging, but we just kept going and trying our hardest to get something for our family.

After looking for a while(like a year) and seeing so little that would work for us, we knew our only option was to go with a "fixer upper."  We were going to make something work for us, even if it didn't look perfect!  I had to brace myself for something awful but tried to remind myself that I would like it in the long run. 
 Sometimes, it is so hard to see the potential when the house smells and looks so bad(I think the smell is worse)!  
Looking for a "fixer upper" really opened our eyes to look at houses in a different way, we were looking more at the structure, and the floor plans instead of the countertops and carpet(the carpet and countertops were usually super gross).  We started to get pickier in our looking, because, although, we knew we wouldn't be able to get a house that looked perfect we could get something that will be perfect for us in the long run.  We prioritized our wants and made sure the house we were buying had the things that were most important to us.
If you are looking for a house, make sure you make a list of the things that are most important to you and do not compromise on those!  This was our "must" list: master bathroom(I was surprised at how many starter-homes do not have a master bathroom!), three bedrooms upstairs (because I had two little kids that I wanted close to me, but not having to share a room), a garage, an unfinished basement(not a must but a bonus), we did not want to be on a busy road, and a good sized backyard.   I didn't think that list was too demanding but it was super hard to find a house, in our price range, that had all those things!
We looked and looked, but FINALLY, we were able to find our house:

Doesn't this look like an adventure waiting to happen!!

 Ahh!  This kitchen gives me anxiety just looking at it, again!  It was so scary buying this house but I love it now!

This is how all the bedrooms looked!  They were so dirty!  The carpet was original to the house and it totally looked like they had changed the oil of the car in this room, it was so frightening!

We put offers in on probably 30 houses, over the year we were looking, but every time we would be outbid and we didn't want to go more money(or couldn't go more money).  It was a really frustrating time.  The house that we ended up buying was the worst looking house that we had put a bid on, but it was the only house that had all of our "musts" and we feel very lucky to have gotten our house at the time we did, even with the problems that it had or we never would have been able to afford it!

 OH MAN, our house needed a lot of work!  My sister walked through our house before we bought it and she begged me not to buy it(she just didn't have the vision:)).  It was seriously nasty!  It was really dirty and smelled really bad(like a stinky dog and cat pee).  We hoped that just getting new carpet and new paint would get rid of the smell, but we ended up doing a complete overhaul on the whole house, and I love how it turned out!

When I say EVERYTHING needed to be re-done, and I really mean EVERYTHING!  I'm going to break things down in a couple post and talk to you about some of our step by step choices.  I also wanted to give you some of the tips that I've learned a long the way.  I hope this is informative if you have any questions just let me know and I'll try to get to them best I can!
We knew it was going to take a long time to get everything done, but we also knew it would be worth it in the end!  Honestly, when we moved in I was told it was going to take 10 years to fix it all up, and I was crushed to hear that(that's WAY too long)!  We have been in the house five years and we are still doing fixing but it has slowed down a ton in the last two years.   We've finished almost all of the main projects, and now we are just doing things slowly.  Honestly, I don't know if we'll ever be done because we want to do more work and change things, I think it is just part of owning a home! 

It has been so much work, but I would do it over again in a second!  I loved making the decisions to make my house my own.  I loved watching my visions come together!  It has been amazing watching how my husband has learned so many new skills and has been able to do so much to our house.  He does mostly every, I paint and buy supplies.

Here are some afters:

I need to take more pictures of how my house my house looks now.  I'll be posting more "after" shots when I go into more details of everything we've done.  This is just a look at our kitchen/living room area.  So there is more to come!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Utah Wedding Photographer Bridals

 Here are the rest of my sisters pictures!  I am so happy she has found someone that makes her happy!  They deserve all the happiness in the world!  Thank you for letting me be a part of your happy day!  We love you guys!

Monday, June 5, 2017

Orem, Utah Bridals

My little sister found the guy that will make her happy forever!  They are a super cute couple and it was so fun taking their bridal pictures!  Here is a little sneak peek of some of the bridals.  She was a beautiful bride and I think I'm just going to post every one of these pictures throughout the week because I love them so much!!

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Spring Flowers

 April showers bring May flowers!  I am so happy it's Spring!  Winter was so long!  The last couple days have been beautiful and I LOVE it!!  I am so thankful for the promise of Spring.  The colors, the smells, the beautiful world coming back to life!  I love it!!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

New Things are Coming!

I'm working on some super cool things for photographers and decorating, I'm super excited!  I will tell you more when I get more done:).  As for right now I just want to leave you with this super cool picture of my little boy down in Southern Utah.  I love these red rocks, I can't get enough of how unique and different they are!  These small narrow hikes are so fun.  If you have time, go down to souther Utah and check out all this awesome hikes!

Monday, May 1, 2017

Decorate with Your Pictures!!

Time to get your pictures off your computers and into places and spaces that you can enjoy them!!  It is important to see the memories that you've captured and reminded of the fun times you've had together!  I just finished this wall in my son's room(yay)!  I really liked how it turned out!  He loved it, and that's what is really important.

The big picture of my little guy was printed at Staples.  I know, I know you don't normally hear of professional photographers printing their pictures at Staples, but I do, at least the engineer prints.  I love using the "engineer prints."  They are super cheap and I just print them off and replace the pictures as my kids get older!  I love them!  I think they are like 5$, they are not on fabulous paper but they still look good, you can upgrade and do it on photo paper but the whole purpose for me is to have it cheap and replaceable.  I've printed a bunch of big pictures with the engineer prints and I have loved them all!  I always do them in black and white so that I don't have to worry about the color matching or looking off.  I have printed my pictures at a bunch of different places but the price point for the engineer is so cheap so I don't feel bad doing it often:).  I love big pictures in my house and this is a way I can have them without breaking the bank!  Also, just a note for the people who are interested in doing them for their house.  

I made the Lego guy holder out of an IKEA frame.  I saw the idea on Pinterest and really liked how it turned out!  Too bad my little boy loves his Lego's too much to leave them up on the board(it drives me crazy!) but you get the idea of what it would look like with the three Lego guys that are up there:)!

The awesome Star Wars Print was made by an awesome designer that has an ETSY shop 
called NicholeMariePrintery and here is a link to her shop!
I got the print printed at my favorite print shop called Pro Digital, it's a local print shop in Pleasant Grove, Utah.  They do such a wonderful job withs prints, I really love their work.

I think that presenting your photography in a meaningful way makes such a difference on how your house feels!  These memories of the places you've traveled and the people that are most important to you should be out for all to see and enjoy.  It is such a good reminder of past fun and special times.  The picture of my little boy is when he was in his "super hero" phase and he never wanted to take his costumes off.  It's only been a couple years, but it feel like a lifetime ago when he was so little!  It is a lot of fun for me to look back at those times!
Anyway, moral of the story:
 Print your pictures!  There are so many options on the good places to print your pictures and I'll try to go over more later.
I'll keep posting about the best way's I've found to print and display pictures around my house!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Desert Flower(Goblin Valley Utah, Utah Family Photographer)

When I was young I thought there really wasn't much to the desert here in Utah.  I thought it all, kind of, looked the same.  The truth was I wasn't looking for the beauty.  I didn't care to see the beautiful carved mountains, and vast landscapes.  

I took a geology class in high school where my teacher really opened my eyes to how amazing Utah is, it is so different from the rest of the world.  There is so much to see and do.  He taught me to see things differently(I am so thankful for amazing teachers).  I still am not the best person to see the beauty around me, and still take advantage of my surroundings.  I don't acknowledge the amazing world around me, as much as I should, but I'm working on it.  I try to point out the beauties to my children, and open their eyes to this amazing world that we live in. 

I've always heard people talk about the beauty of a desert flower, but I never really saw it.  This time on our trip to Goblin Valley, when all the kids were playing I noticed the plants we were walking around and trying to avoid and I was amazed at the beauty of these plants.  They are simple and the color didn't stand out as much against the red rocks but they are beautiful!  I wish I took more pictures of the vegetation, it is so unique and different! 

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Panoramas of Goblin Valley(Utah family Photographer)

More of Goblin Valley!  We had a beautiful sunset on our first night there!  I loved the purples and pinks in the sky, it was simply beautiful!  

The main part of Goblin Valley was simply amazing!  I had never seen anything like it!  The day we went down to the main part of Goblin Valley there was so much wind it was crazy!  All that sand flying at you was pretty rough!  The poor kids were not happy(the adults weren't happy either but they usually don't complain as loud).  We didn't want to pass up the chance to see this crazy, beautiful place so we told the kids to though it out and enjoy it(like any good parent would:)).  They did end up loving it but we were cleaning out sand from their ears for the next couple days!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Goblin Valley Utah(Utah Family Photographer)

Exploring Utah is one of my favorite things to do!  I have never been to Goblin Valley, and it is crazy amazing!  I have never seen anything like it!  We watched some Youtube videos on what to expect before we went down there, but I don't think anything could prepare me for the sites!  
The Youtube video we watched compared it to being on Mars, and that is a pretty good description, but when you walk out and see the "Goblins" it is unreal.  It was so different then anything I have ever seen!  The kids were so excited that they could play on them, it was like a huge playground!

 It is only a couple hours away from where I live, and I have never made it down there(honestly, I haven't made it a lot of places, but I'm trying to fix that)!  I am so glad we took this trip, it was beautiful, and so different!  It was a pretty windy weekend this past weekend and the wind/sand down there in Goblin Valley was killing us, so we ended up leaving early, the kids were pretty sad about that.  
I always say this but I wish I had my camera with me the whole time(I get sick of carrying it everywhere) but when I get home I'm always sad I didn't take more pictures!  
I did take more pictures then this but I just needed to get a blog post up(it's been a while) hopefully I can get more up on the blog sometime this week, but this is the first of them!  
I love camping(in a motorhome with toilets, beds, a fridge and shelter:)) because you are right there, playing in some of the most beautiful places in the world!  
The kids just run free, after a long cold winter!  The fun and exploring is never-ending!  Too bad soccer is keeping us here for the Saturday's for the rest of the month, but soon we will be out again!  I love when the temperatures get better and we can play in these beautiful places.

Here is another one I can't decide if I like it in black and white or in color!  I love the red rocks but I also love the black and white shadows it makes it look pretty mysterious!