simply having a wonderful christmas time


I can't believe it's already December. Where has this year gone?! I love this time of year but as an adult, especially now as a wife and stepmom, I've found it's easy to get stressed out and overwhelmed. Between work, church, and my own family, I'm extra busy this holiday season.

Leading up to Thanksgiving I was feeling pretty stressed out and rather bah humbug. It also hasn't helped that for the last 8 weeks or so I've been really struggling with my depression. When you're depressed everything feels bigger than it really is and you have no motivation to do even the normal everyday tasks living requires.

reflections on our first year of marriage


Earlier this month Dale and I celebrated our one year anniversary. On November 11, 2016 we were sealed for time and all eternity in the Albuquerque LDS temple. Our wedding day was the happiest day of my life to this point. I know that's cliche but it's true. 

I will never forget how I felt kneeling across the altar from Dale as we made sacred covenants and promises that united us together as husband and wife. It was a long, a times very difficult path to reach that altar. Our journey wasn't without mistakes, bumps, and challenges, but together we made the commitment and sacrifices necessary to be married in the temple. 

why I'm glad we had our wedding reception in the LDS cultural hall



I always swore I would NEVER--under any circumstances--ever have my wedding reception in an LDS cultural hall (aka the church gym). Well, never say never. Turns out weddings are expensive and the cultural hall is free.

At one point in the wedding planning process, we seriously thought we were going to have our reception at the Sandia Resort & Casino Reception Center. I'm so glad we didn't go that route. Not only would it have been a huge added expense, more importantly it just wouldn't have felt like us.

my wedding dress & flowers


The Dress


True confession: I bought my dress almost five months before we were even engaged. I knew we would be getting married but had no idea when given a variety of factors. Thanks to my years of reading wedding magazines and blogs I knew I needed to leave as much lead time as possible to get the dress I wanted. 

The fact that I bought my wedding dress so early turned out to be a total blessing. My seamstress literally finished the alterations the day before I left Spokane to move to Albuquerque. By getting my dress early I was able to have my mom go with me along with my dear friend and bridesmaid Krista. If I'd waited I'm not sure that would have been possible. 

our engagement story


Dale and I officially got engaged at the top of Sandia Peak on December 30, 2015. It was a beautiful winter day in the Land of Enchantment. Dale had moved down to Albuquerque that October after securing a new archeologist position at Kirtland Air Force Base. He was in the process of buying our home and still living in an Airbnb due to some unforeseen complications. Let me just put it out there that buying a house is nothing like they show you on HGTV. 

We had picked out my ring a month earlier when we traveled to St. George and Salt Lake City to visit his family for Thanksgiving. Dale's Grandpa Harkness (his mom's dad) was an amateur jeweler and bought and sold jewelry as a hobby. When he passed away Dale's Aunt Shirley became the keeper of his ring collection. 

it's wedding week on life enchanted


This time last year I was counting the days to our wedding on November 11, 2016. With all the work that goes into planning a wedding (we did all of it ourselves), it didn't leave much time for documenting the process.

It's hard to believe our one year anniversary is right around the corner. On Friday we'll be heading to Santa Fe for a little weekend getaway to celebrate. Dale and I say all the time how we feel like we've been married for years (in a good way).