July 26, 2016

a creative shoot: under the sea.

It's been such a long time since I was able to pour my imagination into my photos. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE getting to do wedding photography; there are few things better than getting to capture various beautiful love stories through the lens of a camera-- but when I was younger, the whole reason I got into photography was because it was a creative outlet for me. Now that it's become more of a job, random shoots where my friends dress up as mystical creatures and lay out in the middle of a disgusting lake have become far and few in-between. 

That being said, yesterday was magical! We drove all the way out to the Great Salt Lake (mostly because I'd never shot there and also because I guess there's weird stuff going on at Utah Lake that's making people sick) to shoot this fantastical mermaid idea. I bought this cheap mer-tail off of amazon (turns out, it's totally from Korea!) once the lovely Callie volunteered to model for me; I mean, you can't look at her hair without thinking "mermaid." 

We didn't know how disgusting the location was going to be until we'd driven all the way out there and walked ten minutes to the shore of the lake. NO JOKE, there were BILLIONS of flies EVERYWHERE. They were itty bitty little demons piling on top of each other and creating the false illusion of GRASS on the beach (yes, there were THAT MANY flies). Every time we'd take a step, a swarm of flies would burst into the air, buzzing around us. The smell didn't help, either. I won't go into too much detail, but we're talking "the smell of a thousand old porta-potties." 

We weren't there for long, but we made our time there worth it (I mean, we weren't going to endure all of that disgustingness for nothing)! These photos are the result of our sacrifices (lol). Now I'm convinced that I want to continue this idea by doing a series of shoots depicting the various Disney Princesses (if you think you're basically a Disney princess, make yourself known). Let me know what you think!


July 24, 2016

a bit of bad luck.

I have had such a bizarre bout of bad luck over the past week and it's been cracking me up! We're talking ridiculously dumb bad luck. For example, I was out playing Pokemon Go with Tay and my two younger brothers last Sunday, and by the end of the night I could hardly walk-- which was kind of bizarre. Come to find out, the big toe on my right foot decided to act out and get all infected and I had to deal with that for a couple of days. HA. Eventually the infection faded away, but it made sure to make me really miserable during its stay. 

Another example: yesterday morning, I took Kingsley out into the yard so he could relieve himself. I was sitting on the front porch in a pair of really tight yoga pants (that information will become pertinent in just a moment, I promise) watching the pup run around when suddenly my butt started to sting (and when I say "butt," it was more like "lower-back, upper butt"). I fiddled with the top of my pants, trying to see if I could see any sign as to why my butt suddenly began to sting, but I couldn't quite get a good enough angle. So, I called out to Tay and asked for his help. He examined my skin for a bit, then pulled back my pants a notch so he could see a little better. Lo and behold, right in my pants he found a really livid wasp. WUT? I still cannot fathom how that little sucker managed to weasel his way INTO my really tight yoga pants, but whatever. My butt started to swell up and everything. There was a big ol' red and swollen bump the size of a quarter around where the dumb thing stung me. (hashtag #MYLIFE)

OH, and today Taylor and I are cooped up inside with some sort of flu or something. Who even knows? But I suppose it's safe to say that we're really not surprised by bad luck anymore.

Anyway, just thought I'd share that little bit of humor with the blogosphere. Hope everyone has been having better luck than me! 


p.s. the pictures are to prove that our lives aren't 100% miserable! We found this gorgeous field of flowers this week on top of a mountain. We spent an entire evening together frolicking through it and catching all kinds of pokemon.  

July 21, 2016

St. Georgein' with Jillian.

We took a quick break from all the crazy hustle and bustle of our day to day life and spent a few days down in southern Utah with our BFF, Jill. We spent 100% of our time either lounging on the couch watching classic movies from the early 2000's or hiking up gorgeous red mountains (which, in my opinion, is the right way to "vacation").  Things didn't quite go according to plan, but I was happy with the way everything turned out. 

We all got to hike up Kannaraville Falls for the first time together! I honestly give that hike a solid 10/10. I mean, if I'm being completely honest, it would probably be safe to say that it's my new all-time favorite hike. It's a good length and pretty easy to do (although, I wouldn't suggest taking young, young kids unless you're planning on carrying them most of the way). Plus, the view is absolutely gorgeous. We spent a lot of time walking through the river bed, so it kept us nice and cool basically the entire time. When you get to the top, there is a series of waterfalls that are really incredible (one of them even has a little natural slide, which I would definitely recommend trying out). 

Anywho, this little trip was very much needed. I was grateful for the opportunity to just chill for a bit with a couple of my very favorite people. Utah is beautiful! Everywhere you go you can find some sort of new beautiful place to explore.

July 15, 2016


I found these photos a couple of days ago, nestled among many other long-forgotten files saved on an old hard drive. They were taken in the months leading up to October 16th of last year, when Taylor and I got married. We didn't know then where we'd be now, but we were excited to discover where our lives together would lead us. These photos take me back to those moments: moments when I doubted I'd ever love another human being as much as I loved him. I was right, of course, but I didn't know then how much I'd love him now. I love him differently and the same all at once. It may not make any sense, but then again, love never really has made much sense. It's crazy and psychotic and beautiful and dumb all at the same time. Love is love and that's that.

I'm excited for the CaLea of someday to look back on the CaLea of today; I wonder what she'll think, how she will have changed, and what she will have learned. I take pictures because they help me remember things. I write in my journal because it helps me remember things. And when the years have passed and I'm feeling a bit nostalgic, I can reflect upon the words I write and the photos I take and remember things I would have otherwise forgotten.

Remembering is important-- which means the photos I take, the words I write, and the ways I help myself remember are important too. 

July 14, 2016

Happy Birthday, Love.

As always, it's been a hectic week for us. Ever since we got married, things haven't really slowed down for us. BUT-- we've officially (like, for reals this time) made our way back to Utah county. We wrapped up our St. George adventure, packed up all of our stuff into our two cars (again), and made our way "home." Believe it or not, this time we're actually planning on staying here for a while. We'll always be traveling adventurers at heart, of course, but I suppose that doesn't mean that we can't have a home base for a while. (I guess it's important in society to go to school and have a real job and stuff... which kinda requires a person to plant some roots in a specific place for a certain period of time, if you know what I mean...)

Taylor turned twenty-two yesterday. I don't feel old enough to be married to a twenty-two year old. I guess that just means that I'm nearly twenty-two myself (but we're not going to even think about that yet). We spent the day being around loved ones, eating good food, and chillin'. We didn't do anything "big" or "extraordinary" on behalf of his birthday, but we were both kind of worn out after everything that's been going on. It was just nice to be together. I sure do love that dude (insert heart-eye emoji here). He's such a good example to me. I learn from him every single day.

Side note: we celebrated 7/11 day with free slurpees. We were one of the first people to show up this year! Last year we waited until the end of the day to go and claim our free slurps and that didn't exactly work out in our favor (the machines were completely fried and we ended up with half a cup full of random juices). Two of my younger siblings tagged along for the fun as well-- the more the merrier, right?

I'd write more, but my eyelids are getting a little too heavy for my weaning will-power to stay awake. There's always so much to say, but life always tends to get in the way. I guess I'd better get used to that, huh?


July 8, 2016

Gunlock State Park.

I looked up all the best hikes to do and places to go in St. George and one of the places that constantly kept coming up was Gunlock Falls. It sounded like a pretty cool place, and after seeing all the gorgeous photos of it, I was pretty convinced that I had to go check it out for myself. Now, looking back, I have to laugh at myself because all of the posts I read about it were pretty outdated... I didn't think much about that until I actually drove out to Gunlock State Park and discovered that Gunlock Falls had all but dried up! (LOL but also SAD TEARS) 

It was still a pretty cool place to visit, though. We climbed up atop a a massive rock and watched the sun sink below the horizon. The sunsets in St. George have been so lovely, hazy, and golden. It's quite spectacular, really. I've been swooning over all the magical light (but also I've been dying to have some people come and model for me, I mean really). 

In other news, we've got some cool things coming up real soon! We're about to make another life change (surprise, surprise, right?) and I'm pretty happy with the direction in which we are headed. I guess I'll talk about that when things actually start to unfold, though. 

Happy Friday! 

July 5, 2016

The 4th of July.

The Fourth of July this year was a total blast! It was my first time getting to experience the way that Taylor's family celebrates Independence Day-- and let me tell you, Gunthers' know how to have fun. We lathered our swimsuit-clad bottoms with dish soap and then repeatedly launched ourselves down a massive home-made waterslide. Needless to say, we've got a couple of bumps and bruises as a result of a little too much fun...

Tay and I began our new family tradition of getting matching T-shirts for the Fourth of July! This year we bought our shirts at Target the morning of (and don't worry, we didn't forget to buy Kingsley a shirt too-- his cracked me up because everywhere he ran the words "USA #1" would follow him). Maybe next year we'll buy our attire a bit more in advance, but then again, we're exceptionally good at doing things in the spur of the moment.

Once the slide was put away and things settled down a bit, we got to try out our new High Hopes Hammock that we won from an instagram giveaway a couple of weeks ago (yes, you actually CAN win those things). It was relaxing up until the point when Tay and I opted to get in the hammock together... our attempt at hammock snuggles turned into major hammock struggles. I guess that's to be expected when you put two extremely awkward humans in one little hammock... all struggles aside, however, we give the hammock five stars!

We ended the night laying on the trampoline in my parents' backyard as fireworks illuminated the sky in every direction. The crackles and pops erupting in the summer sky filled my heart with gratitude for this lovely country that we live in; I can only imagine the emotions that ran through the veins of all those people who got to experience the birth of America. A heavy cloud of smoke settled over little happy valley and the constant explosion of fireworks continued even into the wee hours of the night.

Happy Birthday, America.
We sure do love you. 

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