July 2, 2013

california dreaming

as i was writing my last post, i considered just smashing in every ounce of information about the past few weeks and every picture that i've taken  since we got to utah and washing my hands of the whole catch up game.

but then i realized that was a lot more work than i was up for  wouldn't do much justice to our time and stories and pictures from our utah summer thus far. so i'm taking it slow. because it's better this way. 

ironically, this post isn't about utah.

this post is about that golden state just west of us. 

so here's the thing: i've been to california before.
i was married in san diego, for crying out loud.

and i've spent a few vacations there as well. 
like the time i went to Huntington Beach and Disneyland with these two friends of mine. 

and the time garrett's family had a week long trip in Northern California and we spent every day on the lake and it was great.

i've had good times in california. but something strange happened a few weeks ago. 
garrett and i were invited to a wedding in Newport. the groom, adam, is a family friend/pseudo older brother of mine. the bride, amanda, is a friend garrett and i both knew from our freshman year of college. it's not every wedding that you know both the bride and groom, you know. so we were really wanting to go. 

for a long time we weren't sure if we would be able to make it, but things worked out and we did get to attend. 
garrett's grandma lives on Balboa Island and it was a perfect place for us to stay. it was also a perfect opportunity to spend some time with her. 

so, like i said before, i've spent my fair share of time in California before. but this trip was just spectacularly awesome. maybe it was the weather that was just absolute perfection the whole time we were there. maybe it was being able to see some of my family that were also able to attend the wedding festivities. maybe it was being reunited with people i had seen in lik 6 years. i don't know. but it was great. 

the rehearsal dinner was spent on a private beach in Laguna and seriously. it was perfect. family and friends. street tacos. a sunset beach. and dancing in the streets. it hardly gets better, amiright?
the sun had obviously set at this time, but what little boy (or 6'4 man for that matter) doesn't like to splash in the water?
we did some serious barefoot dancing in the streets. and it was a blast.

the wedding ceremony was held in the Newport Beach LDS Temple. the inside of the temple was absolutely gorgeous. i wanted to wander around and soak it all in, but unfortunately i didn't get to do that. something about attending a wedding or something..

i've been to a number of weddings in my day. i've attended multiple sealings and i've loved each one. it's an incredibly special thing to witness two people become an eternal family. 
i used to think it was weird when people cried happy tears or tears of joy or whatever you want to call them. it was just weird to me. crying was for sad things. not happy things. 

but as i sat in the sealing room of that temple, as i listened to the words of counsel that was given to adam and amanda, as i watched them promise and covenant to stay true to their marriage for forever, and as i watched these two people become an eternal family, i couldn't help but cry tears of absolute joy. 

i honestly think i cried more at their wedding than at my very own. it wasn't that i was any happier for them than i have been for any of the other couples whose weddings i have attended. i just felt so much joy for them in that moment, so much joy that i had an eternal marriage of my own. so much joy and gratitude to know that families can truly be together forever and that love and relationships can continue on forever-not just until death do us part. 

it truly was just a beautiful and wonderful thing and i'm grateful i got to witness it.  there was a lot of joy. 

when all of the happy crying was over and done with, there was just a lot of happy. i loved watching them come out of the temple together as an official married couple. there's always so much love and excitement radiating from couples at that point. it's one of my favorite moments of a wedding day.
the reception was perfection. it was beautiful and elegant but still incredibly comfortable. it was a perfect balance and i loved every single moment of it. especially the food. because wow. just...wow.

guys, those sweet potatoes were life soul changing.

explanation: according to amanda's dad, she used to always say that she wanted to marry a black man who was a returned missionary, who had dred locks and was wearing a kilt. so obviously that dream had to come true.

seester. take two.

and there was a photo booth. so obviously this had to happen.

since the wedding/reception were both on Friday, we got to spend the rest of the weekend doing all things California. garrett's Nana took us to Fashion Island (and bought us Lulu Lemon stuff. it was/is  amazing.) we went to the beach, we paddle boarded (and as it turns out, going with the wind is a lot easier than going against the wind. also, doing Insanity beforehand might cause for seriously fatigued arms...just FYI)

we drove around on a golf cart (because hey, you can do that on Balboa) and we were total tourists and ate Balboa bars from Dad's.

on the golf cart. with a baby. no big.

it was such a good time. i loved being able to see my family and i loved being able to spend time with garrett's Nana. she's so wonderful. i love her a lot and i'm grateful that she was willing to let us stay at her incredible house with her. we don't get to see her very often, but we always have such a good time when we do. and let's be honest-it's hard to have a bad time on Balboa. really hard.

if you look closely you can see gilly and Nana's pup pup, Jolie. we love jolie.

for a long time i always swore i would never live in California. (Garrett's immediate family lives in the desert and if i'm being completely honest, i think Satan lives there. it's so flap jacking hot all the time and i just cannot handle it. it would take some serious divine intervention to get me to move there.) for the most part i  thought California was a highly overrated state. sure it was pretty,but so was the east coast. sure, it had beaches, but so does the east coast. it just didn't sway me the way it seemed to sway most people.

but the more i go, the more i love it. i still don't know if i could ever get over how darn expensive everything is, but i will say that California (Newport/Balboa Island in particular) is a good place to vacation. a very good place, indeed.


lyrics:i am drowning in this change. it's washing everything i know and am confident with. come to california.


  1. hmmmm. the boy I started dating is moving to CA and leaving me at the end of August. If things go well maybe I will get to move there? I hope so!!! :)

  2. about time you came back to the world of blogging. although i can't be mad if you were gone doing fun things like playing in cali... i can only be jealous

  3. Your weekend trip seems divine! All of that food made me hungry!!!

  4. Looks like a beautiful wedding! I love the part about marrying a black man with dreadlocks in a kilt haha, dreams do come true, even if they are oddly specific!

  5. What a beautiful wedding and post! Weddings always bring a tear to my eye! Such an amazing commitment to one another!

  6. 1. SUPER jealous
    2. you're GORGEOUS
    3. THanks for the shout out. I think about that vacay many times and wish we could go back. SO happy you came with us.
    Love and miss you.