the "zoo"

after we visited Utah, we went to California to visit Adam's family. 
while in there, we took Elijah to Micke Grove "Zoo." 
i say "zoo" because it took us about 15 minutes to walk the whole way through and the only animals they have are monkeys, birds, and a pond of turtles. 
but for a 3-year-old with a short attention span, it was perfect. 

and because it was so small there was hardly anyone else there so we could let Elijah run around and take his time going through each exhibit. 
just a fun little family outing! 

i was trying to get a better picture of Elijah so i told him to look at me & smile. 
this is what i got. 

so then i asked him to open is eyes... 
and this is what i got. 

then i said no, just open your eyes big not your mouth... 
and i got this. 

and then i died laughing. 

that boy is my favorite! 

other Utah happenings

from left to right: 

it was fun to go around town and see all the amazing changes and growth that have happened in less than a year. and the weather was perfect to just spend the whole day outside. 
we loooooved it!! 
{we didn't want to leave!} 

we also loved visiting with our friends and seeing them after a long year away. 
we didn't get to see everyone we wanted (or take pictures of everyone) because of our short time frame, but it was great to see all those we could, including some of my very good blog friends. 
i may have gotten teary-eyed a few times when saying goodbye and driving home... 
seriously love our Utah friends!

and of course, we had to have a Provo Food Tour.

we hit up 
[where i got the pizza with a runny egg on top. scary but tasty all the same.]
J. Dawgs 
Cafe Rio 
had Macey's King Kone 
BYU Creamery
[Graham Canyon for the win!] 

we had our food stops planned for months and seriously could not wait to go just for that. 
ahhh we love food. and Provo. 

this trip basically reaffirmed our undeniable love for the state that we once swore we'd never get attached to. but we can no longer deny our true feelings. 
Adam kept saying that he wants to get a home there some day [you know, to see all the BYU football games]. and as much as i always said i'd never live in Utah, i couldn't help but find myself really wishing that would come sooner than later. 

minus the snow. 
after it snows then i remember why i have the love/hate relationship...

thank you for all the fun, Utah!! 


the music video is kind of funny to me... but i really like this song and message. 
and Alex Boye's voice is just amazing! 


Elijah was concerned about a bug on his shoe...

after most of my family left to go back home, we spent most of our time just hanging around Provo and checking out our old {and improved!} stomping grounds. 
Adam kept saying he was reliving his glory days
when i asked why it wasn't my glory days too he said it was because he always loved BYU and i didn't. which is mostly true. 
Adam is a die-hard, bleed blue, true BYU fan through and through. 
and he won't hear anyone speak negatively about it either!
i was very a little slow to warm up at first but grew to love it all the same. 
so we both have some very fond memories of the place including us meeting, being engaged, married, and starting our little family there which means Provo will always have a little tender spot in our hearts. 

Elijah loved going around town and walking around campus seeing all the "BY-YI-You" Y's and "tigers" all over. Adam was bursting with true blue pride to be raising the next generation cougar. 
so much sap.

but really i am happy with our time at BYU and am so grateful for all that i learned there. 
we have our jokes about it,
{EFY kids singing hymns around campus?? i mean, what is that?!?}
but we love it all the same. 
[plus campus is gorgeous this time of year which made it even more worthwhile.]

as Eli says,
"Go Cougars! Rawr!!"

Inspiration: Patterns of Light - part 3

"Jesus Christ is the Light of the world,
a light that is endless, that can never be darkened."

August Group Giveaway

i have some new sponsors and some great prizes this month for the group giveaway. 
and instead of one winner, there's going to be two winners!
so get to know them below and enter to win these two great prizes. 

Umberto Hair Products + a "Life in the Spotlight" sponsor spot from Life with Amberly & Joe
i have gotten to know Amberly a few months ago and immediately we hit it off. she is like a friend i've felt like i've already known my whole life. Amberly is so kind and supportive and funny! i really love reading her marriage posts and the fun stories she shares about her and her husband. 

today, Amberly is giving away a "Life in the Spotlight" large sponsor spot as well as some special Umberto hair products (Amberly is a cosmetologist). 

Half-off a photography session from Alisha Hunsaker Photography 

Alisha took our family pictures {and all the pictures you see in my different blog pages} and we absolutely LOVE them!! she did such an amazing job working with us and especially with our crazy Elijah-boy. i thought for sure she wasn't going to be able to get any good shots of Eli because he kept running around so much but she is truly a miracle worker. she has given us some of our most cherished family pictures. we love them and love her. and i know you will really enjoy working with her as well! 

today, Alisha is giving one lucky reader half-off a photography session. this prize is only for Arizona residents {sorry out of staters!}. so if you are in the area, be sure to enter!

remember there are two winners, one for each prize. 

[enter below


a Rafflecopter giveaway

the lake {or the fake one} {called a reservoir}

we are visiting our family in Utah & California and it's been oh so nice! 
Adam has been in school full-time plus working all summer so we haven't done much yet together to celebrate & have fun this summer. so we're living it up where we can and just relaxing.
and taking millions of pictures of course.  
so some of these posts coming up will most likely just be photo dumps. 
you good with that??

while we were in Utah my nephew, Phoenix, was baptized and confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. it was a really special day to see my nephew take that next step. it was even more special for me because it reminded me of my own baptism which was on the exact same date 17 years ago. i wish i understood then what i know now of how much the gospel would truly bless my life. i realize how much faith a small 8-year-old exercises to make such a big decision and to then continue to stay true to those covenants, even without seeing the immediate blessings or lessons that i can now look back and see. just a really amazing thing to think about... 

Eli had so much fun seeing his cousins and kept yelling out for Phoenix even though he couldn't go sit by him yet. i'm grateful for the good example Phoenix and my niece Jersey is to Elijah that he can see the good choices they are making and follow in their footsteps. 

after the baptism, we went to a local, neighborhood reservoir-lake-type-place and spent the afternoon swimming and talking and building sand castles. so it was just an all-around fun day!

fun was had by all! 
and that is part one of my photo dump :)

we miss you, Utah!