August 18, 2014

how to make health and fitness a habit.

I think everyone knows what it's like to have a hard time getting and staying motivated to work out. We've all been through those phases where you're pumped to get eating healthy and exercising every day.

This motivation typically occurs during 1 of 3 events:
a) You just watched the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show
b) Summer/a vacation/a big social event is coming up
c) You just ate a whole plate of cookies and then you remembered you had a plan to get abs.
this chick only ate 7. Sometimes I don't even remember until cookie 57.

After dealing with that on and off again relationship with health and fitness, I am happy to say that habit has changed over the past 2 years. The gym has become my favorite time of the day and what I look forward to the most. I can tell you it definitely didn't start out that way though. There's a quote that says "Motivation is what gets you started, habit is what keeps you going." I think for most people, the initial motivation isn't necessarily the hard part, but turning it into a habit sure as heck is. So here are a few things that have both motivated me, and helped me turn my health and fitness into a daily habit:

1) Start a motivation board or collage. If you have one already, change it up. I like to have mine on my fridge so that I remember my goals in the hardest place to stay strong- the kitchen. (hi, I love food).

Here are some of the things I have on my motivation board:

  • The quote "Garbage In, Garbage Out." This is a reminder that what I put in my body will effect my performance at the gym, my mood, and my energy.
  • Pictures of Crossfit women that I admire. Notice that I didn't say bikini models. There's a big difference between having a photoshopped picture of a 6'1" bikini model on your fridge and someone who is a real athlete with a real body. (Also I was joking about the VS fashion show- I don't watch that nonsense for that reason.)
  • My 2014 New Year's Resolutions with very specific goals listed. For example, I listed specific weights of certain lifts I wanted to reach and movements I wanted to master. The beauty in that is that as you do each one, you get the satisfaction of writing in a check mark next to your goals as you complete them (use a red pen, it feels more legit). So it was really cool that I got to check off my 8 pack one bullet point at a time.              That was a joke. But I did a lot of spaces because I wanted you to think for a second that I was serious. 
  • And lastly on my motivation board I have pictures of athletic competitions and races I have done to remind me of what I've accomplished.
2) Following these rules: "Never miss a Monday, never miss 3 days in a row, workout at least 4 times a week." For me, never missing a Monday is a big one because I feel like it sets the tone for the entire week.
3) Remembering that the journey is the reward.

4) When I really just am not feeling it that day, I force myself to go change into my workout clothes. Doing this gets me out the door 999 out of 1,000 times. The other 1 time it leads me to a nap, but I'll take my chances.

5)  A good reminder: a one hour workout is only 4%. (At least that's what a quote I once saw on Pinterest told me. Still haven't actually sat down and calculated that to verify.)

6) If you dread working out, then you need to do find a different form of exercise, a different place to exercise, a new workout routine/video, whatever! Just try something else until you figure out what you enjoy. Working out should be an escape from work, school, and home life and should an hour that you look forward to every day. If that's not the case for you, try something different!

7) Go with friends. Find yourself some swole mates, son. Not only does it make working out more enjoyable but you also have someone to be accountable to.

Also, I feel the need to make it known that I don't use the term swole mates seriously and if I did, I hope you would feel the need to punch me in the face.

8) If you don't like to waste money, this is a good one for you. There's a phone app called "Pact." How it works is you form a pact with a group of people who also have the app. You put in how many times a week you pledge to go to the gym, and the amount you're willing to wager. Whenever you go to the gym, you check in there (it verifies that location is a gym using GPS). If you don't go, then you lose your money for that day. If you do go, and someone else in your pact doesn't, you all split that money. The amount of money can be small or large, but I say go all out to keep you motivated!

9) It all starts with your attitude first thing in the morning. Wake up to a positive message on your alarm, listen to good music, have a nutritional breakfast, and put a motivational quote as the background on your phone. Or maybe even Ryan Gosling if that's your thing. Lay out all of your gym clothes so that you wake up and see them there, and have it in your mind that a killer workout is on the agenda for the day.
10) I'm just going to throw this out there and I think you should try it. Run to slow music. It's my absolute favorite thing to do. My  mind just wanders and before I know it, I've run so far I'm in Mexico and then I can't get back in the US because I don't have any identification.

This is actually a legitimate fear I have when driving so I thought I would be a little dramatic with how far I run. If you want to try this slow music goodness, try the "sleep" station on pandora or stations like John Mayer or Ed Sheeran. You can thank me later. Well I mean, if you don't end up stranded in Mexico with no ID.

11) If you stare at and criticize your body every single day expecting changes, it's going to be a long, long journey. Eat healthy and train hard, and the body will take care of itself.

*But do (!!) take progress pictures every once in a while! This is something I try to do regularly now, but I didn't do when I first started and I wish so badly I would have.

11) This thought is obvious, but sometimes it gets me to the gym: Do I ever regret missing a day of working out? always. Do I ever regret getting up and doing the workout? never ever. (the same can go for eating healthy. I never regret when I do, almost always regret when I don't).

12) If you get off track with your food that day, don't just say "I'll start back up tomorrow." Start with the very next thing you decide to eat (or not to eat).
But with that being said- allow yourself some good food, man. All things in moderation.

13) And if all else fails, go buy new workout clothes. The day new workout clothes don't get me motivated is the day that I am truly a lost cause. Am I right or am I right?

xo Natasha

August 14, 2014

Best Of Beauty.

I love reading the "best of" section in a magazine or reading about people's favorite products so I thought I would share some of mine. Here's my Best of Beauty list:

1. Foundation: Bare Minerals. I've been using Bare Minerals for about 5 years now. What I love about it is that it's a powder, but gives you the dewy look of a cream foundation. I love that I can get more or less coverage depending on how my skin is looking, and mostly I love that it doesn't feel heavy.

If you haven't tried Bare Minerals, go to Ulta or Sephora and have them do a little makeover. One container lasts me at least 6 months. You'll be a life long Bare Mineralite like me.

2. Blush: Urban Decay in "Quickie." I bought this blush because it was on sale on Haute Look and I was out of the blush I was previously using. It's a good thing I did, because I absolutely love it. The picture isn't fooling you- the blush looks super bright pink. I was hesitant when I got it, but with it being so bright, you hardly have to apply any at all to get a natural glowing pink look. With the Maybelline "Dream Bouncy" blush I had been using prior to this, I had to keep layering and layering until I got a dark enough look.  I've had this Urban Decay blush for well over a year and the two of us are still going strong. I hear that this stuff is going to be discontinued, so grab some while you can!

*Just a side note that I'm a huge fan of blush, and especially creamy blushes (verses powders). I feel like slightly pink cheeks give you a fresh look, and the cream gives you a dewy glow.


I used to be the drug store beauty product girl, and for a lot of makeup products I still am. This mascara is expensive ($23) BUT it lasts for a long time and I found that I don't have to layer it over and over to get the volumized look that I like. Something that helps me determine if a makeup/beauty product is worth the price is thinking about how long the product lasts me (for this mascara, it's usually about 4 months) and then dividing the cost by that number. The final number you get gives you the cost per month, which for me would be $5.75/month for this mascara. Worth it!

4. Face Lotion: Clinque Dramatically Different Moisturizer. I have normal skin and this moisturizer is the perfect fit to keep my face moisturized but not too oily feeling. I haven't found any other moisturizer that keeps my face feeling moisturized and fresh all day.

5. Body Lotion: EO for Everyone in Coconut and Lemon. I happened to be at Whole Foods when they were giving out samples and having a sale. I instantly fell in love with it. I love the smell, I love that I recognize all of the ingredients in it, and I love the way it makes my skin feel. I just went back to Whole Foods and bought another bottle and it was on sale again for $7.99 for a 32 oz bottle.

I'm one of those people that knows useless information about beauty products and ingredients because I google and research all of that nonsense. So let me enlighten you with my useless knowledge by saying that the second ingredient is vegetable glycerin which is a great product for moisturizing, anti-aging, and my favorite- brightening.

6. Product for Dried Lips: Bag Balm.

I have a thing against any and all regular chapstick (Burt's Bees, Chapstick brand, Carmex, all of it). My theory is that regular chapstick dries out your lips so that you are forced to keep applying it. When you apply it, your lips feel better, but you're really not getting to the root of the problem, you're just putting a "band aid" on the lips. I personally believe this is a government conspiracy. Just kidding. But cue the amazing Bag Balm. My go to. My lifesaver. And it's super cheap. 

Bag Balm was originally made for cow udders. True story. But it is now used for a variety of things including Tosh's once dry lips that are now very rarely dry. It's sold at drug and grocery stores with the skin care items. And also at farm and feed stores, so that's funny and cool. It comes in a huge tin (although I have seen adorable little tins to carry in your purse). I just put mine in an old eye cream jar that I cleaned out. And that little jar and I just travel the world together. 

7. DIY Hair Build Up Remover and Face Toner: Apple cider vinegar

I use a mixture of half distilled water and half apple cider vinegar in a spray bottle to cleanse my hair of all the build up. I do this about once a week. Just spray all over in wet hair before washing, and then let it soak for a couple of minutes, then wash like usual. I also use this mixture as a toner for my face about twice a week. If your face tends to be dry, do more water than ACV or play around with the mixture until it's right for you!

*But guys read this! Apple Cider Vinegar is a catch all miracle product for so many things. However, normal apple cider vinegar typically doesn't work magic like apple cider vinegar "with the mother" does. Seriously- that's what it's called "Apple Cider Vinegar with the Mother." I bought mine at a local grocery store in Texas called HEB. But I have seen it at Wal Mart and at Whole Foods. What's the difference between regular ACV and ACV with the mother? ACV with the mother is organic, raw, and unfiltered- in other words it still has all the good and beneficial "stuff" in it which is why it appears cloudy in the bottle. Read more about ACV with the mother here

8. Vitamin E Oil as a makeup remover, wrinkle preventer, and eyelash grower. Seriously! I originally bought this just to remove my makeup but then I noticed my eyelashes growing. After looking up more uses, I found that it also works well to prevent wrinkles. I bought a little bottle of it in the vitamin section in the pharmacy, but if you can't find a bottle you can buy the capsules and break them open. But don't snort them. Or you can.

The wide variety of benefits of both the Vitamin E Oil as well as the ACV has really got me looking more into natural/home beauty products and remedies. I'm not a hippie, but I definitely like how one natural product can have such a wide range of benefits and I think nature just knows what it's doing. So can I get a holla for nature?!

Tell me this doesn't sound like all your wildest dreams come true: a dry shampoo replacement, eyelash enhancer, and mineral veil using the same (super inexpensive) grocery story food product? I'm talking about my new beauty bff corn starch, and I'll have a post about that coming up, as well as another  in the "Best Of" series.

xo
Natasha

May 29, 2014

A Response to "Why I don't do Crossfit."

There was an article going around social media this week entitled "Why I don't do Crossfit."

It bothered me, obviously.
Because as you probably know by now I'm a pretty avid crossfit lover.

The author, Erin Simmons, actually gives some potentially valid reasons for why she doesn't do crossfit. They're the reasons I've heard a thousand times before- you'll get hurt, trainers aren't well qualified, crossfitters don't know when to stop...

Like I said, I completely agree that some of these could potentially be valid arguments, but these could be potential arguments for any form of fitness. I guarantee there are many coaches and personal trainers out there who have no idea what they're teaching and if you let your ego get in the way in any physical activity you probably won't stop which can result in an injury.

But instead of arguing with Miss Simmons (who includes in her author bio that she is getting her PhD in fisheries- did you know that's a thing?), I'm going to tell you all the reasons why I do crossfit:

I do Crossfit because I used to be a wimp.
I could probably end right there if I wanted to. Seriously. I had literally never touched a free weight in my life. My hotspot in the gym was the cinema room where I could get two things done at once: watch "Legally Blonde" and run for an hour. I would have never ever considered myself to be an athlete nor did I ever think I would be one. Crossfit has turned me into an athlete. It has taught me to deadlift, squat, clean, snatch, run, pistol, hand stand push up and all of those other wonderfully awesome things. And when I say Crossfit has taught me all of this- I of course mean my amazing, well trained coaches who continue to get certifications and training so that they can teach me in the best and safest way possible. 

I do Crossfit because my body can.
After crossfitting for about a year and a half, it is an understatement to say that I am amazed at what my body can do. Before I go on, I'm not saying any of this to brag about myself, I'm just telling you what Crossfit has done for me that no other form of exercise has done for me. I look at the weights I was lifting even 3 months ago and am in awe of what I have accomplished, and what the human body in general can accomplish. I like knowing that in a lot of workouts, I can hang right along with the guys. I like knowing that because of the training I've put in at Crossfit, I can pick up and run 8 miles when it's been months since my last long distance run. And mostly I like knowing that if I were to be in the Hunger Games, I could maybe hang with Katniss for a bit since I wouldn't be the first person out.  The quote "Most people have no idea how good there body is designed to feel" is so incredibly true. Before Crossfit, I had no idea how good my body was designed to feel, but now that I have a glimpse of that I'm going to keep pushing because I can.
I do Crossfit because it challenges me.
One of the arguments that the author makes in her article is that the Crossfit workouts are too "high intensity." Your mom's too high intensity  

immaturity and defensiveness sometimes tend to go hand in hand for me.

What I really was going to say is that Crossfit is not the first high intensity that has ever been done, people. Your body really can handle it, and you'll be amazed at how far you can push yourself. Erin points out people pushing themselves that hard shouldn't be done. Do you know what I think shouldn't be done? Going weeks, months, or even years without working out. Not wanting to walk into the weight room because you're intimidated. Making excuses. Not bettering yourself and the God-given body that you have. Taking your health for granted. That's what I think shouldn't be done. So if Crossfit or any other form of exercise is going to get someone out of that rut that is so easy to fall into, then who are you to say that it's a "wrong way" of improving their health and life? 

And just a side note- Crossfit style workouts are very common for military personnel and law enforcement agencies. If these high intensity workouts are good enough for them, they're better than good enough for me.

I do Crossfit because it has taught me to embrace my body.
This quote is kind of cheesy but it really is so true to how I feel. When I started Crossfit, it was all about the goals I had for what I wanted my body to look like. Now instead of thinking on a daily basis about my body image, I think more about what I can to better improve my body for it's strength and health, and not necessarily it's image. I eat foods not because they'll help me maintain my weight, I eat them because they'll fuel my body to help me perform better at the gym. Having a mindset like this has been much healthier for me mentally. Your body wasn't given to you simply to be attractive to others. Your body was given to you to be and do. Crossfit has completely changed the way I look at and treat my body. 

"Regardless of what you look like, or what you think you look like, you can feel good about yourself because you are not your appearance. Your body is an instrument you can use for good, not an object to be admired. Believing this is life-changing. Our culture teaches us to constantly picture ourselves from an onlooker's perspective and to gauge our worth based on what we and others think about our looks. This hurts us. This limits our ability to fully experience life and contribute good to a world that needs us – not just a pretty vision of us – but ALL of us. When we learn to recognize the ways a fixation on looks gets in the way of us doing anything more important, we can consciously push back. Want to have positive body image? Experience your body as an instrument instead of an object by using it! Swim, dance, run! Your body is an amazing instrument for your benefit, and not a burden in need of judging and fixing. THAT is Beauty Redefined."  
(This quote comes from one of my favorite organizations "Beauty Redefined.")

I remember I was talking to my trainer Mandi and one of our friends from the gym about bodies and body types. My friend was saying how she was jealous of her sister because she was stick thin, yet she never worked out. Mandi asked her "Yeah, but what can she do?" That was over a year ago and that question really changed my way of thinking. My body is for doing.

And if you're still one of those girls that is convinced that lifting will make you huge (don't worry I used to be one too), you're wrong.

I do Crossfit because I have the best group of friends that do it right along with me.
The term "Crossfit Family" is pretty cheesy but if you know me, I love cheesy and I love people so I'm all about it. I recently told someone that when there are days that I don't have the motivation to go to the gym, the thing that gets me there is that I want to see my friends. So I go, and then I workout, and then I talk a lot. My life story.

There's nothing like the encouragement, friendship and camaraderie you'll find in a Crossfit gym, and Clint and I have met some of our very closest friends because of it.
and working out with this guy isn't too shabby. 

I do Crossfit because I don't care that you don't like it.
I can honestly say Crossfit is one of the greatest things I have ever done for myself, and I think most Crossfitters would say the same thing. We like getting stronger, we like the daily improvement, we like the friendly competition, we like the occasional pain, and we like talking about Crossfit nonstop. Get over it. (I would have said that nicer if I could have, but really.)

I don't go writing an entire article bashing other forms of fitness because bettering yourself is bettering yourself- however you choose to do it; running, yoga, at home workout videos, or even bicep curls in the mirror at Gold's Gym for a solid 45 minutes. That's your health and I don't have any place to say you're doing it wrong and neither does anyone else.

So with that, I'm off to Crossfit. Peace out haters. (Just kidding about that. I don't actually use the term "haters" but you have to admit it was fitting.)

xo
Natasha

May 11, 2014

then and now: real life grown up friendships.

A few months into living in Texas, I wrote this post about real life grown up friendships. 

If you haven't read it, just do.
If you have, maybe you want to read it again to remind yourself of my desperation.

To sum the post up, I wrote about how I didn't know the rules of grown up friendships, if/when hugs, sharing clothes, and slumber parties were appropriate, and other concerns about how finding grown up bffs is a lot harder than at age 6 when you would bond over the fact that you had matching pigtails. 

I specifically remember the series of events that made me post about this dilemma. I had met a group of 3 girls at the gym and they were best friends.

This could have turned out "Mean Girls" style but it didn't. so read on.

They were all around my age, had similar interests, and I just knew they were golden. I legitimately remember calling my mom and telling her that I had some potential friendships on the horizon.

Shoutout to my creepiness.

Anyway. That friendship post from over 2 and a half years ago came about as I thought about how I wanted to be friends with these 3 girls. I wasn't quite sure how to go about forming this grown up friendship. I didn't want to intrude on their little group, but at the same time  actually who am I kidding? I totally wanted to. Especially when Gabby came dressed up as Oscar Meyer Bologna to our Halloween workout. That really sealed the deal right there, so thanks Blu. [I also want to take this time to publicly declare that the spelling of bologna freaks me out. As if bologna wasn't creepy enough by itself already.]
Then one day, all my wildest dreams came true when they asked me to hang out. I don't even remember what we did, but I can tell you that I met parts of my heart that day. They're my Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants in real life. Actually we're kind of opposite. Life lead us all to each other in this little town, instead of life leading us in opposite directions. We also don't share any pants.

Rebecca our little Philadelphia beach lover is about living in and appreciating that moment in life and I just adore her for better teaching that to me. She's our adventurous soul with killer arms. Jill has the biggest and sweetest heart in the world and loves everyone. She's our little independent French gypsy who is from Maine and doesn't have family here, but stays because she's grown to love and embrace it. Gabby is constantly making us laugh (obvi. Have you seen someone deadlifting in a bologna costume?) and is our tour guide of Texas to show us all the greatest things about this place. Not to mention her amazing parents have adopted us since we are all orphans to Texas with families far away.

It's no coincidence that I've met these beautiful souls. Rebecca and I were talking the other day about how she had prayed that she would find people like us while she was here, and I had done the exact same thing time and time again. It's crazy to think that we are all from different parts of the country, but life lead us here.
Gabby posted this picture a couple of months back. This is us in 2012, 2013, and then 2014. I didn't even realize the top picture existed, or that we stood next to each other for the picture. It's funny to think about what our friendship has become since then. 

There's just something to be said about friendships, and finding the right people wherever you go; about  allowing yourself to open up and find people who love like you do, who share similar values despite growing up in different states, cultures and religions. There's something to be said about bologna costumes, rollerblading, horseback riding and trying new places and things with the very best of people. I've said it before, but there really is such a thing as soulmate friends. ♥


xoxo.
Natasha

April 29, 2014

the only way to make a marriage fly

I came across this note that I had saved in my phone a little over two years ago and forgot how much I loved it. I think this is one of the greatest quotes on marriage so I thought I would share it. ♥

"Of course some days are going to be 
more difficult than others, but if you leave 
the airplane's escape hatch open because you 
think even before take-off that you may want to bail 
out in mid-flight, then I can promise you it's going to 
be a pretty chilly trip less than 15 minutes after 
leaving the ground. Close the door, strap on 
those seat belts, and give it full throttle. 
That's the only way to make a marriage fly."
-Jeffrey R. Holland

March 17, 2014

I said yes to...

Lately I find myself saying "Yes" to a lot more things than I used to. I'm pretty prone to getting overly-anxious about things, especially when they're last minute or spontaneous. I'm finding that contrary to what your DARE teacher said, saying yes to things is a lot more fun.

I said yes to…

A last minute trip to the Rio Frio Fest to see the Josh Abbott band with my favorite friends. And then I said yes to a 13-year-old who asked me to dance.

Attending an ADEA dental school conference and recruitment fair. I was so nervous about going. To be honest I've been nervous about this whole process because it's such a huge investment of time, money, and probably my sanity. But each step I take, I feel better and better about my decision. So I'm saying yes to going to dental school and it feels awesome. My husband has been the best pep talker and motivator throughout my schooling. He believes in me and never fails to tell me. Love that guy.
Took this picture to show my mom that I was doing grown uppy stuff. So don't judge a bathroom selfie. Plus those hand dryers in the back are my favorite. Dyson knows what's up. 

Letting myself watch 6 episodes in a row of New Girl. Before I knew it, I had been staring at the screen for 3 hours. Gross right? I've never been a TV watcher. We don't even have cable actually because neither of us really care to. But when I found this show on Netflix it was love at first Schmidt. (That won't make sense if you've never seen it, so your loss for not participating in the goodness.)


Eating 4 cookies at our church luncheon yesterday. Sorry. But what happened was I always bring snacks to church because I eat every couple of hours like a baby. Well yesterday I had some meetings before church and I didn't get to pack my snacks. So by the time church was over and it was time to have our lunch, I just scarfed those bad boys down.
And it may have been 5 cookies but I will neither confirm nor deny that.

Trying out this avocado and egg hair mask. If you're not familiar with this beauty blog, you need to be.

And although my heart is saying no, my head is saying yes to being productive on my last day of Spring Break. Which means I have to go to the grocery store so I'll probably see you next Spring Break when I actually post again.

xo natasha.

and I have to give credit to this awesome and hilarious blog for the "I said yes" style post inspiration.

March 12, 2014

One year, five years, ten.

The other day I met a girl serving an LDS mission who was from Utah and happened to go to my same high school. I excitedly said, "No way! That's where I went- what year did you graduate?!" (the exclamations are necessary because I get excited just talking to people in general, but when I find out we have something in common the excitement escalates big time.) "I graduated in 2013" said this baby child.

And then it struck me like a pillow case full of dentures. I graduated high school almost 6 years ago.

So it's been 6 years but it still feels like maybe 2. I forget that I'm 10+ years older than some of the young women I work with because I'm just a young soul. People think it's all hipster or something to say they have an old soul and that they like vinyl records and have a lot of wisdom. Well guess what? I'm a young soul and I can't stand black and white movies, I like my music on my iPhone at the touch of my finger,  and when I pretend to have wisdom I'm probably just winging it.

Anyway, thanks to that experience and this post from the blog Life of Bon, I got to thinking back to my plans for the future when I was in high school. You know, my 1-year, 5-year, 10-year type of plans. I know I have them written down somewhere because that's just how my personality works. (Heck I probably had long term goals written out at the age of 3.) But here are the 1, 5, and 10 year plans of where I thought I would be after high school and where I actually was.

ONE YEAR: 

Where I thought I would be:  Going to college- but hard work in class would be balanced out by the fact that I was going to BYU-Hawaii and playing on the beach all day. If you didn't know this about me, my alter ego is a mermaid. I'm in love with the ocean. I think at the time I wanted to do either journalism or broadcast journalism. My ultimate goal was to be a magazine editor (which is still my #1 dream job by the way. Better Homes & Gardens, here I come. Haha just kidding. They wouldn't accept my idea of domestic I don't think.)

I thought that while I was going to school at BYU Hawaii, I would work at the Polynesian Cultural Center because I loved that place (if you're ever in Hawaii this is a must).

Where I actually was: Going to Dixie State College in St. George, Utah- 4 hours away from home. I never used to be very good at taking leaps of faith and as someone just leaving home, I wasn't ready to move thousands of miles away.  For my first two years at Dixie I was a journalism major. I wrote and was an editor for The Dixie Sun. Writing is still a major passion for me but with the economy being the way it was and is, my adult mind came in and I realized journalism wouldn't be the best option for me.

The highlight of my time at Dixie was definitely my roommates and friends at Dixie. I still say that the first year at Dixie was one of my favorite years of my life. Mostly because as I have talked about before, I get on these things called "friendship highs" and that was one year of solid 24/7 friendship highs. Another highlight of my year was my brother. Growing up we never got along. I can't remember a single time that we had fun together or just hung out together. He came down to visit me one week and for some reason that all changed. We had a blast together. He decided to move down to St. George, and over that year we became best friends. He doesn't know how much I cherish that year because of the relationship that developed between us, but I do and I adore the crap out of him.

To me it's important to say that in the year, I hung out with people who partied and drank. I was always designated driver, vomit cleaner upper, shoe finder (my brother always lost one shoe when he was drunk haha), noise controller, but never ever did I drink. When people at work or other places ask me if I drink, they're surprised that I say no. When they ask if I have ever drank in my life, they're even more surprised when I say no. To me there is a big difference between saying "Yeah, I drank a couple of times" and being able to say "No I have never had a drink in my life." I'm definitely not judging people who do drink by any means at all. A lot of the people I still hang out with (friends and family) drink and it obviously doesn't bother me. But in my life I've made some decisions I regret, so this is something that I am very proud of.

(now excuse me while I picture overload because I'm not strolling down memory lane..)
My big brother. I call him Cinderella since he would alway lose his shoe.
My roomies. You hear a lot of horror stories about 6 strangers moving in together. My experience was like the fairy tale of roommates and we lived happily ever after. I love these girls. 

And at the very very end of this first year of college is when I met my favorite person in the world and very unexpectedly fell in love with the guy. And just a side note, my brother (who paparazzi'd this picture) had a huge part in Clint and I starting to date. 

5 YEARS:

Where I thought I would be: Graduated from college and just starting my career. I probably saw myself in a serious relationship, but not married. I knew that I wanted to go on a humanitarian trip maybe after college or during a summer break. I think what sparked my interest in humanitarian trips was when my family and I visited Vietnam for 3 weeks when I was 15.  We were able to gather toys, hygiene products, and blankets to take to some of the smaller villages there. Going to a third world country is an eye-opening experience to say the least, especially at the naive and self-centered age of 15. 

Where I actually was: Crazy to think that 5 years after high school, I had already been married for 3 years. This is so cliche to say, but we've had such a fun marriage and have had so many great opportunities and people in our lives. One of my favorite memories is when we were still living in St. George and we had a scooter gang (yeah, you read that right) that we called "The Sawblades" with my brother and his girlfriend at the time, and one other couple. We would just ride around on the best St. George nights on our little scooters. We would ride up big hills "Dumb and Dumber" style because our little scooters had a tough time making it up that slope.


Clint and I had lived in Utah, The DFW area of Texas and Philadelphia by this point (actually we technically lived in North Delaware, but Philadelphia sounds much more exciting). 

I think that if I would have known that I would be married for 3 years by this point, I would expect that I would have a baby, but the years fly by so quickly and the time just hasn't felt right yet. I've never talked about this on my blog, but I did have a miscarriage at the beginning of our marriage and that threw us through a loop. That was one of those big milestones and our first big trial in marriage that brought us closer together. I realized the depth of Clint's love for me during that time and it changed my whole view on our marriage.  

Within that 5 years, I was also graduating from college with a bachelor's in psychology and had no idea what direction I wanted to go with it. Clint had just received a job offer in Texas working for the government. I did get to go on a humanitarian trip to Belize for two weeks and work in an orphanage with one of my best friends and college roommates, Mary. It was an amazing experience and I feel beyond blessed to have been able to do it. At this point in my life I think it is safe to say I was and am much better at taking leaps of faith because that's what life demands.

Just me and my guy getting married.

This wasn't our scooter during our "Scooter Gang" era but close enough.

Sunday boardwalk trip in Delaware

One of my favorite pictures of us in Downtown Philadelphia

The Dallas Cowboys Stadium

Graduation from Weber State in 2012.

My Belizean Babies
If you've never seen 12 people packed into a 5 seater car, you've never been to a third world country.

I shouldn't have had favorites but I did. It was hard not to when this little boy would greet me by my door every morning with a big hug yelling "Good Morning Miss!" He was my little shadow during the two weeks I was there and that little Asher had my heart.
Our one day getaway to the San Pedro Islands in Belize. Absolutely beautiful.

I realize I have never blogged about my experience here. I've tried, multiple times. But it's one of those things that you can't put into words without sounding cliche, and it's hard to put two weeks into a single blog post to accurately describe my time there. It was the experience of a lifetime, as hard as it was, and I hope to be able to do it over and over again in my life. Maybe someday I'll blog about it. I kept a journal every single day I was there so it may be something that I just remember and reflect on for myself.

TEN YEARS:

Does it freak me out that ten years since high school is only 4 years away? Yes. Time Flies. The biggest reminder to me of how fast time goes by is my little sisters who just aren't so little anymore. The youngest one Mariah, turns 15 this month and it always throws me off when I see her because when I moved to Texas she still had that little girl baby face and now she's a beautiful woman. Mikayla will graduate high school this year and is going to come live with me afterwards (right, Kayla?) and Shantelle is getting married in July. 
Left to right, Shantelle, Me, Mariah, and Mikayla.

I don't know why I went on that rant but I did. But you should know by now that I'm obsessed with my sisters so just love the rants. 

Anyway. 

Where I think I will be in 4 years (ten years since high school):

I definitely think there will be a baby in the picture. My Pinterest boards of baby clothes can only get so full before I can't handle it anymore. So calm down, mom ;)

I will be a couple of years into dental school. Juggling school and pregnancy and then a baby will be tough, but I told myself when I started school that I will cross that bridge when I come to it. "Come what may and love it." 

I hope we'll still be living in our little Texas town, but Clint is convinced that we will eventually need to move to San Antonio to be closer to my school. 
and civilization haha. 

You realize (and I especially realize after writing this post) that life doesn't go as planned. My 18-year-old self thought that my 24-year-old self would have a lot more figured out than I do. But I don't think you ever completely figure life out. Unless you are Betty White, because that lady knows what's up. 

So here's to the next 1, 3, 5, 10, and 60 years. May we all conquer them like my girl Betty White.

-xo natasha.