Our First (or third…) Christmas

So, after a long holiday season, and a long month of being ill in January, I’m happy to update you all with our first post of 2010! It’s only two months late, and it’s mostly Christmas stuff, but you understand, don’ t you?

So here’s our Christmas in a nutshell:


As you can see, we had a lot of fun with our first REAL Christmas Tree! Standing a noble 11′ tall, it really made our front room more cozy. Did I mention that it smelled like heaven! Although it took us almost three days to get it decorated, it lasted for a long time. We took it outside the day after New Year’s, and it was green and soft up until last week when I finally got around to throwing it away.

In the bottom left corner is our first little memory of our wedding: we purchased the the green hand-blown glass heart from a small shop in downtown San Diego on our honeymoon. Now we’ve started a tradition of buying a family ornament every year.

So, I’ve decided I don’t like wrapping gifts. In lieu of buying Maren one big present, I thought I would surprise her with many little gifts. I will never make that mistake again. Fortunately for Maren, she humored my tired, poor attempt at making things look pretty, and we both decided that would be her job from now on. (Maren says: When did I agree to that? I’m pretty sure that never happened.)

Speaking of making things look pretty, when we first got married, Maren had grand plans of hanging her stocking collection down from our banister. She did such a good job, and she topped it off with some rock candy garland. We probably should have left it up too, not a week or two later I fell down the stairs and bruised my tailbone.

And that’s a segway into the next part. For the first three weeks of January, Maren and I were both sick. We just couldn’t shake the colds, flus, and other ailments. I had two plantar warts removed with what seemed to me to be no more than a soldering iron and a razor blade. The sick was so thick you could almost feel it.

So now in our recovery phase, we were blessed last week with an extra bonus from my company. It was expected, so we’ve been planning to use it to get a better bed for a long time. My little queen was okay for just me, I mean, I could fit mostly within the boundaries of the mattress. But with both Maren and I, we’ve been having to untie ourselves from each other every morning for the last ten months. We bought a nice king bed that sits more than six inches off the ground (I’ve always been afraid of falling off!), and there is now a space between where I sleep and where Maren starts out. I find in the mornings that she migrates in my direction, but that’s okay.

Sorry for the long delay, I’ll make sure Maren gets the next post out a little sooner! (Maren says: Seriously? What is this? Someone is trying to slack off enough for me to finally give up and do it all myself….)

It’s all coming back to me now…

Nate + Maren = 8mm Film + Digital Film from David Perry on Vimeo.

After waiting for several months for the Super 8 film footage (because I can never do things the easy way, noooo, I always have to make everything complicated and difficult), our videographer David Perry – words cannot begin to describe how completely gifted, talented, skilled, and just all around AMAZING he is, not to mention a complete joy to work with (such a good guy!) – finished our wedding video this weekend.

I was actually just getting ready to head out the door on my way to Sundance yesterday for a wedding I was helping out with when I got the email from David saying he had posted our final video on his blog. I, of course, did not have the patience to wait one single minute longer to see our video, so I ran downstairs (with Nate yelling after me, “Waaaaiiiiit!!!”) to watch it. And I must say, I am blown away. He captured the spirit, essence, emotion, and beauty of the day masterfully. All of the feelings I felt that day came flooding back, and I was overwhelmed again by how lucky and blessed I am to be married to Nate, and to have been surrounded by such wonderful family and friends that day (and now, too). Who knew that a wedding video could do that to you?

After watching the video, I ran back upstairs to finish getting ready and then sped off to the Sundance wedding (85 mph on the freeway, missed my exit and had to turn around, but still got there on time!). As I stood there in those beautiful surroundings watching their ceremony, I couldn’t help but look back again at my own wedding day, kneeling at the altar of the temple across from Nate and knowing that if we live worthily, that our marriage will last much longer than “til death do us part.” And I can’t help but be grateful for that.

Maren’s New Store

So, as many people know, Maren has her own line of designer invitations. Before we got married, we had struggled a little bit with distribution methods. This is the reason that you haven’t heard from us in a while. We have been very busy putting a shop together for Maren on Etsy. Etsy is a site to sell handmade crafts and special interest items. After we moved into this area, we met a couple that we get along with really well – Zak and Beth. She has a shop on Etsy(loveseptember.etsy.com) and after talking to Beth and doing some research into the site, we found that it would be the perfect fit for Maren’s business. We’ve spent the last month trying to come up with all the graphics and supplies for us to open this shop, and we proudly announce that it’s finally here! Click the link below, or take a look in the sidebar to see it.


Visit Maren’s Etsy Shop

Maren will also be presenting her goods at an event in Salt Lake at the This Is The Place Park on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 5-6. She will be featured on their site, and has been asked to do a demonstration of how she so perfectly uses her gift wrap to make exquisite designs. Here is a link to the event site: sparktheevent.com

Also – I just thought it would be interesting to throw a link in here of a spotlight that featured Maren a few months ago. It’s a little old, but I think it’s a cool interview.

Interview with Maren

School Daze

So, as you may have read in Maren’s last post, we have been quite busy lately. After having all of our time taken up with these freelance projects, we finally got a little break. During this time, we decided that the best move for our family would be for me to go back to school and get my degree. It has been six years since I was in class, but starting tonight I’ll be working towards finishing my bachelor’s degree in Digital Arts with an emphasis in Internet Communications and Website Design. I have about 36 credits left, so I’ll hopefully burn through this in a little over a year. Wish me luck!

I’ll hopefully be making some changes to the website soon to make it more interesting, it’s a little boring right now!

Everything Will Be Alright

We haven’t written anything for a long time, mostly because we are just working all the time! So I thought we should update everyone. So here goes.

July is the month of birthdays in both of our families – 5 of our 6 nieces and nephews have birthdays in July, along with Nate’s brother, Josh, my grandma, Nate’s grandma, 2 aunts, and 2 cousins. First, we went to Deakin and Josh’s Birthday party (and saw an amazing moonrise on our way home):

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Then, the following week, we celebrated Mia, Joseph, and Christian’s birthdays at a Knight party, complete with obstacle course, all of the applicable weaponry, and one cute baby:

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Nate’s company let go half of his department, with the lion’s share of the additional work falling on his shoulders, so he’s been pretty stressed by all of that lately. I am back working at BYU in the Dance Department and also at Thanksgiving Point (lots of women = lots of drama!), in the Emporium – I work in the floral shop. Here are a few (crappy) photos I snapped with my phone’s camera of some of the arrangements I’ve done:

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I’m also still trying to do my business, and Nate and I have both been working on a number of freelance projects lately, so we’ve been pretty swamped. Here are samples of 3 of the projects we’ve been doing:

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Choosing Glory is a new book by our dear friend Lili Anderson (it goes on sale Monday at the BYU Bookstore, or it is available online through the author’s website – that Nate did – lilianderson.com) that everyone should really read. It was seriously difficult to keep myself from reading it as I was typesetting it. It’s chock full of great insights that can help all of us gain a little better perspective.

Getting used to our new ward has been pretty interesting. There are 168 children under 3 years old in the ward (!!!) and 5 nurseries. Needless to say, it’s quite a bit noisier than we’re used to. But we’re finally getting to know some people in our ward a little better and it’s starting to feel a little more normal. Nate has been called to be the Choir Director, and I’ve been called as the Gospel Principles teacher.

Right around the time of our wedding, my mom hurt her knee. She finally had knee surgery last week, so hopefully within a few weeks she’ll be pain-free and able to walk around again. Also, my dad has been really sick off and on for the past 6 months or more, but they couldn’t figure out what was causing the problems for him until about a week ago. They still don’t know the full extent of everything, but they have found cancer in his lungs and possibly also in his lymph glands. He goes in for surgery on Monday (the day after his 61st birthday) – they are going to try to remove what they can and try to figure out which tumors are malignant and which are not. We’re hoping and praying everything will be alright.

So in the midst of all of this, we heard about Peter Breinholt’s upcoming concert at the Sandy Amphitheatre. With everything going on, we just didn’t think we’d be able to make it. But I knew we needed to be there, so I surprised Nate with tickets.

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Throughout our courtship and our marriage, Peter’s song “Everything Will Be Alright” has been one of our favorites; one that has had great meaning to us. Right before our sealing in the temple, one of the workers who was helping us told us that if we would just keep holding hands and remember our covenants that “everything will be alright.” At the last minute, I secretly emailed Peter asking if there was any chance he could sing that song for us. He emailed me back and said that the band wasn’t prepared to do that song and it was too late to change the set, but that he would see if there was any way he could work it in. And, bless him, he did. He surprised Nate and sang our song for us, and it was just what we needed to hear.

So despite all of the busyness and the stress of our lives, we just wanted to let everyone know that we’re still alive and kicking—and that everything will be alright.

Wedding Pictures!!!!

So after what seemed like eons, we finally get to see our wedding pictures! The proofs are posted on our photographer Duston Todd’s website if you’d like to see all 354 of them. :) You can even order copies for yourself directly through that website. Anyway, here are a few of the best.

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Honeymoon Pictures

Nate and I had a fabulously relaxing and thoroughly enjoyable honeymoon. We didn’t take as many pictures as we had planned to, but we do have a few to share.

In Las Vegas, it was fun to play tourist. For those of you who don’t know, I went to high school in Vegas, so I know my way around the place, although I still haven’t been to most of the attractions on the Strip. The one place, however, that I always make it a point to visit when I’m in Vegas is the Bellagio fountains (with a little jaunt inside for the most luscious strawberry gelato ever made). We didn’t even have a real camera with us, so these are just (really) crappy cell phone pictures, but here’s a little glimpse:

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After a short stop in Vegas, we headed south to San Diego. On our one week anniversary, we went to the San Diego temple, and this time we brought the real camera. We took turns taking pictures for a while – now we don’t even remember who shot what picture for the most part! Here’s a little sampling:

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Unfortunately, we didn’t take any pictures of the beautiful, brand new condo we stayed in courtesy of our wonderful real estate agent, Brett Bezzant. Or of the beach. Or of anything else for that matter. I just hope that the memories of our perfect honeymoon will always remain with us.

The Bouquet

When I was in school studying photography, I learned how to do Polaroid SX-70 manipulations, which is where you take a Polaroid picture and while the emulsion is still soft and not all the way developed, you manipulate it with various tools to create an image that looks kind of like an impressionist painting. I think they are really beautiful, and I always knew I wanted to have some SX-70’s of my own wedding. Unfortunately, a few years back, Polaroid stopped making SX-70 film. I ended up being able to find some on ebay – one pack of 10 pictures – for a price that was probably too high, but that I was nevertheless willing to pay because it was the only way to get my polaroids. I intended to hand the camera off to my photographer on the wedding day, but never did. Then we took it with us on our honeymoon and accidentally left it out in the car in 90 degree Las Vegas weather (hot car = cooked film = very bad). But I still hoped against hope that I would be able to get the pictures I had envisioned for so many years during the reception.

So pretty much everyone who knows me knows I have a hard time being on time, but I was determined to be on time for the reception. I was also determined to get all of the flowers and decorations done and to take pictures of the flowers and all the lovely details (including those polaroids) before the reception started. So I spent about 10 hours on Thursday and Friday getting all of the flowers ready, and another 5 or 6 on Saturday finishing up. But by the time 6:00 pm on Saturday hit (one hour before the reception), I knew I wasn’t going to be able to be the florist, the photographer, and the bride all at the same time. So I went and got ready as quickly as I could, and barely managed to throw a wrap on my bouquet and pin on Nate’s bouttonniere before he pulled me out the door at 7:03. Of course, there were already several people there waiting for us. Such is my life.

By the time there was a break in the line and I grabbed two of my dear friends (who also happen to be photographers) and asked if they would help me take the Polaroids, the light was fading fast. So we took one polaroid – too dark. The next morning, I set the bouquet against the backdrop of our awesome green kitchen wall and took 2 more polaroids. But with the film in the compromised condition that it was, manipulations just weren’t possible. So I’ve had to settle for the “vintage look” of these, color casts and all. Not exactly what I was going for, but they’ve kind of grown on me over the past week and a half. Here they are:

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Just for comparison’s sake, here’s an sx-70 I took a few years back:

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As a side note, we’re still waiting (I’m dying here!!!) to see our wedding pictures. He said it would take about 6 weeks, which puts us just one more week away. Hopefully it won’t be any longer than that. We’ll post the link here as soon as we get it. :)

The Aftermath

It was sure exciting to see all of our friends and family last night at the reception! I had no idea how many people read this blog! I’ll be sure to keep it more updated now that I know I have some fans. :) Anyway, a big thank you to everyone that came to support Maren and me. We are lucky to have so many caring people in our lives. I’ve put some photos up for those that weren’t able to make it (or for those who want to relive this moment again and again – I know I do ;). Maren is responsible for all the decorations. She spent most of the day before (and the morning of) putting together all the flowers, including the entrance wreath and her bouquet. Of course, it looked absolutely stunning.

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The wonderful food for the event was provided by Marvellous Catering, and the mouthwatering cupcakes were baked by The Chocolate.

We’re back!

A big thank you to our families and close friends that came out to our ceremony and our wedding dinner. Everything turned out perfectly, the weather was beautiful, and we had such a wonderful time. A big thanks to our videographer David Perry, who captured some of the moments in our wedding “teaser trailer”. David was amazing to work with, and we definitely want to thank him for getting this footage up so quickly.

Maren and Nate’s Teaser – 5D Mark II from David Perry on Vimeo.

We had a great time in Las Vegas and San Diego on our honeymoon, and I think I speak for both Maren and I when I say that it couldn’t have been any better. We’re excited to see where we’re going next, but I’ll try to keep things updated here. I’m sure Maren will have more to say later.

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