Montana Moments

Once again, it has been awhile since I have posted on here, so here’s a little life update: Ever since we moved to Georgia in February, things have been crazy and awesome all at the same time. About a month and a half after “settling in” here (we didn’t get all our stuff from Utah until May so we were as settled as settled could be without much furniture hahah) we found out that I was pregnant!! It was a total surprise, but also the best news we have ever received. We had been waiting years, with lots of unanswered questions, for that moment so we were pretty incredibly excited (and again, surprised!!) to finally see that positive test. I was the sickest I have ever been for 18 weeks before I finally started to feel better – but I am 25 weeks now and feeling great. It has finally sunk in that we are having a BABY and she will be here in just a few short months! I’ve recorded all the personal details in my private journal and I think I’ll leave them there for now, but we are so excited to meet this baby girl in November.

Long before we knew I was pregnant, my family had been planning a reunion in Montana for the summer, and we were so lucky to be able to take the trip out there before I could no longer fly. I will say though, traveling while pregnant is a whole new ballgame!! On a 4 hour flight, I probably peed 6-7 times, as well as twice RIGHT before boarding and once after we landed hahaha. The struggle was real. Even the lady I switched seats with on the plane (so I could have the aisle) leaned over to Anthony at one point and said “I am glad I switched seats!” I was also hungry. All. The. Time. and was not prepared in the snack department. Whoops.

Anyway, we flew in to Salt Lake City, spent one day there trying to see as many people as possible (which we failed at, too little time and way too many people we love in one place!) and then got in a car the next day and drove 8 hours to Great Falls. There were 3 cars of Crickmore’s so it made for quite the caravanning experience. On Sunday we got to see baby Ford’s blessing and then jumped back in the car and drove 4 more hours down to Big Sky where my parents rented a beautiful cabin right outside of Big Sky Resort. We spent the rest of the week hiking, exploring Yellowstone, horseback riding, river floating, and having lots of family time under one roof 🙂 The week didn’t go by without its fair share of hiccups, but it was still SO fun to all be together in such a beautiful place. Anthony has been telling me for so long that he wants to live in Montana one day and after this trip, I want to too!

I kind of sucked at taking pictures all week…I got some of our hike, Yellowstone, and Ford’s blessing, but I didn’t go horseback riding and didn’t want to take my camera on the river…but Anthony did a good job of picking up my slack and getting some pics on his phone of the river and horseback riding.

Overall, it was a great week spending time with everyone without much technology up in the mountains. In fact, I enjoyed it so much that I think I cried on and off for 3 days because I wanted to go back hahaha. Pregnancy hormones.

and now, for photo overload:

A few from Ford’s baby blessing:






Some from our hike Monday – somehow half the family managed to avoid my camera…hmmm.









These are the only pics I have from Yellowstone. We literally spent half the day searching for just ONE dang bison, so here’s the proof that we actually found some:




This was actually the first bison of the day 😉
Reid, Anthony, & Malinda trying to get a closer look

Last but not least, these lovely iPhone photos are the only two I have from our rafting day. It was so fun, even if our thighs did get burned (Anthony’s may or may not still be burned…and its been a week. Whoops)

Ford had a blowout mid float…and pretty much every take of this photo had Blair’s booty. You’re welcome.


And now I am missing Montana again 😦

Also, I am very impressed if you made it through this whole post.

Arlington National Cemetery

I don’t know where to begin this post – but I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to volunteer and help place wreaths to honor some of our American heroes at Arlington National Cemetery this morning. I didn’t expect to get emotional and went into thinking it would just be a “cool” experience…but I found myself with tears in my eyes on more than one occasion. It was an incredible experience. I am so grateful for all the men and women who have served, are serving, and have given the ultimate sacrifice for our country.  Thank you will never be enough.



Anthony’s Birthday in D.C.

Most people already know that we are temporarily in Washington D.C. for Anthony’s work – and most people have stopped trying to keep up since we are always all over the place. I don’t blame them at all 😉

Since Anthony’s birthday fell on Saturday this year and since he has never been to Washington D.C. we decided that it would be fun to do a little exploring and see some of the sites he has always wanted to see. We didn’t end up heading downtown until later in the afternoon, so we were there at sunset and let me tell you…it was beautifulthat night (and I didn’t get a single photo of it)!! We had so much fun seeing the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, The White House, and the National Archives. There is so much more to see so we are definitely planning on spending a couple more Saturdays enjoying what D.C. has to offer! I, of course, took some photos of our evening so if that’s all you came for, look no further.













And this is the only photo we got of The White House…a good old iPhone pic.


Also here are some bonus photos of my failed attempt to be cute throwing leaves:

We have really fallen in love with this city and will be so sad when it’s time to go – but for now, we’ll just enjoy the time we have here!



5 years & Tibble Fork Reservoir

I decided to finally post again with a little life update and some random thoughts. (lots of pictures at the end, if you don’t feel like reading haha)

Anthony and I celebrated our 5 year anniversary this last week and I still can’t believe its been 5 years! I know it may not seem like a lot to those of you that have been married much longer, but we felt like it was kind of a milestone year. It was also kind of a weird year – I’ll explain that later. I feel like we always choose to have a low key anniversary celebration and every year I am totally ok with that. This year Anthony showed up to pick me up from work a little early and we went to the temple together (if you are not familiar with LDS Temples, you can click here to learn more). Afterwards we went to one of our favorite places to eat and then went home to polish off the rest of the Ben and Jerry’s ice cream we had in the freezer. It was nice and simple.

Now the “weirdness” that came with celebrating 5 years mostly stemmed from my own expectations. I always imagined that by our 5 year wedding anniversary we would have at least one kid, maybe a 2nd on the way. But I’ve learned many times that life rarely goes the way we want it to, and you know what? That’s ok! There are always going to be bumps in the road, obstacles to overcome, and lessons to be learned…and man, am I learning that patience means so much more than waiting in a long grocery line or anxiously waiting for a much anticipated call/package/etc. I would not be as sane as I am (most of the time ;)) without the man who promised me an eternity together 5 years ago. I can honestly look back on the last 5 years, even with all the ups and downs, and be grateful for the time that we have had, just the two of us. I wouldn’t trade these years together for anything. We have learned so much about each other, our relationship, and ourselves – both of us have been stretched out of our comfort zones and changed for the better. We aren’t perfect (shocker, I know) and still have a lot to learn, but I am grateful for the foundation that we have been able to build for the many anniversaries ahead of us.

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On Friday we went up to Tibble Fork Reservoir with the dogs to hang out and spend some time up in the mountains. We haven’t been up there as much as we had hoped this summer, so it was a nice little adventure. The dogs L-O-V-E swimming so they were pretty much in heaven…the people they would shake off next too, not so much. Whoops.

Now the best part, the photos 😉 Anthony hates being in pics (but he makes a good Instagram Husband haha) so all you get are pictures of me and the dogs…



California Weekend

Two weeks ago Anthony and I flew out to San Diego to spend time with family and attend his uncles wedding. It was a short trip, but much needed!! We stayed at my parents house, went for walks on the beach, spent time with my nephews, and ate lots of good food.

One of the many highlights was going to the fair (obviously) that I grew up going to every summer and that Anthony and I went to almost every night when we were dating. It has been at least 3 years since we last went so it was good to be back among the sketchy rides, greasy food, and best people watching in San Diego!

Most (ok, pretty much all) of these photos are from the fair since we were busy just enjoying time with our families the rest of the weekend!

early-ish walk to/on the beach one day



maple bacon doughnut the size of your face


Can’t even express how excited I was that Dan + Shay were performing FOR FREE the night we happened to be there.



no trip to the fair is complete without an ice cream cone
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pretty much the only photo we have from the wedding on Saturday

Thanks for stopping by (and making it all the way to the bottom of my random fair photo post)!





Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Why have I not heard of Bloglovin’ before?! It’s amazing. If you love to follow other blogs as much as I do (this is seriously how I find most of my recipes!!) then you need to sign up ASAP. It’s easy to navigate and has such a clean feel to it – it’s like pinterest, but just for bloggers!

I am so excited that MY blog is now a part of such a fun website, if you go check it out, let me know what you think!

“Are you making one of those in an adult size?”

One of our dear friends is having baby boy #2 this month and I am so excited to meet this new babe! She had her baby shower yesterday and it was really fun spending the morning celebrating their growing family.

I decided that I wanted to give them something that could grow with their little guy well into toddler-hood and this cozy little blanket was the first thing that came to mind. This was only my second time making one of these blankets (the first time was 4 years ago haha) so I would not call myself a pro at all…trust me, there are plenty of lines that are not super straight, I had to redo things a couple of times, and I even called my mom at 10:30 one night because I could not figure out what was wrong with my sewing machine (the thread was getting all sorts of messed up while sewing and I had to rip the stitches out 3 times). But I still found the whole process fun, frustrations and all. Overall, this is a pretty easy project, it just takes patience (especially when you are still a beginner).

Also, I never (ever) in a million years thought I would enjoy sewing baby blankets for fun, but here I am!

If you want the directions for how to make this, I used this link for the first part and this link for the edges. Let me know if you decide to give it a shot! I would love to see how yours turns out!

P.S. Anthony kept coming over the whole time I was sewing to touch it and ask if I was making an adult size blanket for him because the fabric was so soft hahaha. Hence the title of this blog 😉

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?


Image from Pinterest | Original Source Unknown
Picture from here
Picture from here
Picture from here
Image from Pinterest | Original Source Unknown
Image from Pinterest | Original Source Unknown
Image from Pinterest | Original Source Unknown
Image from Pinterest | Original Source Unknown
Picture from here
Image from Pinterest | Original Source Unknown

Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Someone asked me this a few weeks ago and it really made me stop and think. In ten years I will be 36. That seems old to me since I don’t feel 26 at all. I am still surprised sometimes when I have to tell someone my age or write it down. I feel like I’m still 19. But does that ever really change?!

Anyway, that one question led to this post…and if you want to know where I would like to be in ten years, just keep reading.

Growing up, I always wanted to live in a city; there’s so much to do and see, it’s fun for people to come visit you, and you are close to everything. My dad used to tell me that I was going to live in Colorado out in the country with lots of animals and kids. hahaha. I used to roll my eyes and say “yeah right, that sounds horrible.”

Well, I guess it’s true that things change as you get older because I tell Anthony 3 times a week that I want to live in the south (it’s not Colorado, buuut same idea), out in the country with lots of animals and kids. All I want to hear are the sounds of nature coming in through the windows. I want a porch swing, open fields, and a garden. I want a quiet life, away from the hustle and bustle of the city I always thought I would live in. I want to hear laughter throughout our home and watch my kids grow up exploring, appreciating, and enjoying nature.

I know that life won’t be as wonderful as that daydream sounds. There will be arguments, kids whining/crying/fighting, messes to clean, animals escaping, and all sorts of things that life may throw at us. But that is ok. Life isn’t perfect and that’s how we learn and grow. It is still fun to think/talk about together and make (tentative) plans for the future.

Also, don’t worry, we aren’t moving anytime soon. I just thought I would share some of my thoughts that stemmed from that seemingly simple question. Once Anthony gets closer to finishing school then we can seriously consider moving 😉


What about you?? What dreams do you have for your future? Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Vander Hoek Reception




I have never done wedding photos (and I only did the reception for my sister), but I kind of loved it! Our wedding and reception photos are some of my favorites to look back on, so I was excited to capture moments/details that they would love looking back on as well. It was such a beautiful day, everything went so smoothly, and Harper looked absolutely gorgeous! My mom was a champ at pulling everything together (planning a wedding in another state is no joke – thank goodness for amazing mothers) and making all of Harper’s ideas come to life. I just love weddings (I probably told Anthony that 15 times throughout the day) and it was so much fun having everyone together – I can’t wait for the next one in the fam 😉

(^ I am definitely going to get crap for that comment hahaha)

I hope everyone is having a safe and relaxing weekend!




Full Capacity

I had never shot a gun before last weekend and was actually pretty scared of them. I would get sweaty hands and my heart would race whenever I was around a gun, loaded or not. I always knew (being married to a big second amendment guy) that I would have to learn how to shoot one at some point, but I always found myself putting it off.

I’ve never had a traumatic experience with a gun, so I can’t speak from that standpoint. But I had a fear of guns because everything I thought I knew about them made me uncomfortable.

We all have assumptions about what something will be like, or maybe that’s just me, and if those assumptions scare us or intimidate us we tend to back away and go a different route. I could make a list of all the times I’ve done this in my life, but I’m afraid it would be 10 pages long! I have found that my assumptions typically feed my fears. For example, I assume something will be awkward so I allow my fear of said awkwardness to keep me from going/participating. When in reality it may not have been awkward at all! Or maybe I assume something will be dangerous, and I allow my fear of getting hurt keep me from participating in a fun and perfectly safe activity…or maybe I assume that because I can’t surf I definitely won’t be able to snowboard, so I never even give it a try because I don’t want to fail at it.

Instead of putting these assumptions and fears aside it is so much easier to stay within our safe little comfort zones. Unfortunately, we don’t do a lot of growing and stretching within that comfort zone. We grow as individuals when we push ourselves – when we test our limits and discover how much we are really capable of, both mentally and physically.

I am not perfect at this, by any means, but it’s something I am always pushing myself to be better at and some days it’s hard! Actually, most days I don’t want to leave the comfort of my little bubble. Then there are some days when I just need a little encouragement from my husband, friends or family. But I am always so excited and happy when I do stretch myself and learn a new skill, find a new favorite food or activity, or reach a personal goal I never thought I could. 

But I want to hear from you! What have you accomplished by venturing out of your comfort zone?! Or what are some goals you have that will require leaving your comfort zone??