December 5, 2016

I'm not who I used to be.

Have you ever found yourself sitting in the middle of a difficult or frustrating situation when, unexpectedly, you recognize that you're handling the situation leaps and bounds better than you would have in the past? It's this quiet but empowering moment that fuels you to keep growing and reassures you that you are not the person you used to be-- but in a good way. I'm not the person I used to be in other ways too: for example, I used to be in impeccably good shape (I was a soccer player, for crying out loud... and I loved to run) and I was well-versed in the laws of punctuation (but all of that flew out the window when I went to Korea and had to learn an asian language). But that's the thing-- we change. Sometimes in positive ways, sometimes in negative ways, and at other times, we just trade things we're good at in order to be good at new things. I think, in both small and big ways, the whole reason we're alive is to change

There are parts of us, however, that don't change. Just the other day, as we drove out of the mouth of Provo Canyon, I was left breathless at the beauty that spanned out before me (pictured above). The sun was setting, sinking lower and lower beyond the horizon as it cast out its final rays of light in a last ditch effort to kiss the mountains goodnight; the sun greeted the coming night and the world was frosted in a haze of golden light. I reached down into my backpack and pulled out my camera-- just as I would have years ago. That thought makes me happy, really. I like that, although I change, some parts of me will always remain the same. Throughout my life, I have consistently valued the documentation of my existence. I know without a doubt that this particular part of who I am will never change; I will always love to remember.

It's cool to be caught in a moment when you very vividly recognize that you've changed in some way for the better. It's also cool to be caught in a moment when you realize that some parts of you will always stay the same. Time has a funny way of changing everything and nothing all at the same time. But I'm grateful for all the ways I've changed and for all of the ways I've stayed the same.

December 3, 2016

a need to create.

Just wanted to drop in and share some of my favorite photos that I've taken over the past little bit. They're gritty and weird and unpredictable. These photos speak more of who I am and what I feel as opposed to the client work I have been doing (which makes sense, because client work is supposed to tell the client's story, and only a little portion of my story). 

I look forward to little shoots where I'm completely free to do whatever the heck I want to do. Lately I've been getting really stressed and anxious-- which also leads to me being very overwhelmed. But I've been trying to tap into my creative side more (and it's been helping me to feel a bit more at ease). I've been painting, photographing, interior decorating-- you name it. I'm just one of those people who needs to express myself in bizarre ways. And I'm okay with it.

December 2, 2016

Hello again, December.

I wish I was better at coming up with witty and intriguing titles for all of these blog posts, but I'm not-- so we'll all just have to put up with the fact that they're all terribly redundant and boring. We hit up the mountains with an old/new friend this past week after a big snow storm (and the usage of both "old" and "new" isn't just an oxymoron, it's one hundred percent accurate. How? #highschoolfriend (we reconnected)). I don't care if you love snow or you hate snow-- I think we can all agree that it's probably one of the loveliest tricks mother nature has up her sleeves. 

There's something about a white blanket of soundlessness that opens up the mind to feel calm. We treaded through the powdery snow and let its quiet beauty fill our hearts with wonder. I'm grateful for my camera because it encourages me to get out and find beautiful things. It encourages me to travel into the cold, frozen mountains when maybe I wouldn't have otherwise. The thing about photography is that it allows you to seek out all that is lovely and then create loveliness by the way you decide to capture it. It's really empowering and it changes the way you see things.

I'm glad that December has come. I like December and all that she brings with her; christmas trees, cozy sweaters, three cups of peppermint hot chocolate a day, gift-giving, snowy days, more cuddles (because its cold), the lights on temple square, and lots of holiday cheer. (Now I just wish we had time to visit Disneyland while it's all dressed up in its finest Christmas attire.) Welcome, December. It's nice to have you here.

photography by Claire Boyle.

November 29, 2016

Hey look, Christmas sweaters.

We got our pups a couple of cute little Christmas sweaters (as if they weren't cute enough, I mean, come on). They've become quite the little pair! Kingsley has assumed the role of "big brother" even though he's technically the little brother in terms of age. We originally named the new dog "Dobby," after the house elf (holla to all the potter heads out there), but we ended up calling him "Dopey" so much that it eventually just became his name. So, behold, Dopey the Special Dog. 

He's the sweetest little dude. He actually has a mental handicap, which honestly makes him one million times cuter, if you can even believe it. That being said, his mental handicap makes normal doggy things a little harder for him, but he's a champ and has been doing so good adjusting to our family and his new schedule. He's terrified of new friends and will run away from anyone who tries to pet him (besides Taylor, he loves Taylor). But he loves popcorn and scratches behind his ears, so he's pretty easy to win over. 

We love these christmas-sweater-wearing dogs!

November 27, 2016

a nowhere place.

We went on an adventure yesterday. Girded in my Lord of the Rings pants and unicorn shirt, I hiked a mountainous trail with Arica and Tay that lead to a mysterious alternate universe (kinda) in the middle of nowhere. There were piles of rubble and debris that told the stories of forgotten yesterdays. Every inch of the concrete was painted over with a vast array of colors-- golds, reds, blues, greens... We brought colors of our own; we wandered through the maze of fallen walls and let our eyes search for meaning in the chaos. Eventually we let our bags fall to the ground and we began to paint our own stories upon those walls.

It had been a ridiculously stressful week. Painting out all of my pent-up feelings was the best kind of therapy. I painted our last name, a sad alien man, a flimsy christmas tree (but ran out of green paint-- hence, "flimsy"), and the word "love" in Korean. I didn't really think about the things I wanted to paint, I just began and let whatever happened, happen. It felt good to clear my mind. It was almost as if all of the paint being pressured out of the spray paint can was a hypothetical release of all the stress and anxiety that had been building up within me. So therapeutic.

Now I guess I get why so many other people spray paint random things on random walls.
I can identify with that now.

November 25, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving.

Some of my all-time favorite pictures are the in-between shots at family pictures. This year, with Tay's family, we did our own family photos using my camera, tripod, and remote. As I was sorting through the images, I found a ton of photos of us all scrambling to stand together and look somewhat presentable. There were also at least ten pictures of Taylor trying to figure out why the remote wasn't working (insert laughing emoji here). Of course, my favorite ones were the shots of the madness between every planned shot. 

I love Thanksgiving! We always celebrate the day before with Tay's family (and we never eat turkey with Tay's family, we always do fish and chicken). It's been a fun little tradition because now we get at least two thanksgiving dinners every year (and we don't get sick of all the turkey). One of my favorite traditions we have on the Gunther side of the family is going to see a new movie in theaters after our Thanksgiving dinner. This year our movie of choice was Disney's new movie, Moana (which was adorable). 

On Thanksgiving day, we woke up to a little surprise: we had fraudulent charges on our bank account. Someone got started on their black Friday shopping a little early (and they were funded by us)! I couldn't help but to laugh because I was pretty frustrated about it initially-- especially because we couldn't call the bank and take care of it right away because everything was closed for thanksgiving.  BUT, it was a good reminder to be thankful no matter the circumstances! There's so much to be thankful for, no matter the challenges or difficulties that may arise. 

We spent the day at my grandparent's house with all of my siblings, my mom's two brothers, and a bunch of cousins. It was hectic and loud, but I wouldn't have had it any other way. This year, as I sat with my family, it hit me how old we're all getting. I still imagine my younger brothers as tiny, squishy little kids, but one's a junior in high school and the other is in eighth grade. My nieces and nephews are now twice as tall as I think they should be, and they'll only keep getting taller. Life moves fast. It's good to have a day where we sit back, eat good food, spend time with family, and recognize all of the little and big blessings in our lives. 

Happy Thanksgiving! 

November 19, 2016

Christmas Crimes.

We put up our Christmas tree before Turkey day... oops? (no regrets) In my defense, I still have all my pumpkins and skulls out. We're just doubling up the holidays over here at the Gunther residence (it's rather festive, everyone should do it). You really can't BLAME me for being excited for Christmas. I'm also equally excited for Thanksgiving. And also New Years. I believe that all holidays are created equal. I also believe that we should utilize our time well enough to be able to have holiday decor out for as long as possible. Heck, I put up my Halloween decorations in September. So yeah, Happy Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Year.

November 17, 2016

welcoming the snow.

Once upon a time we went to a camera store on my birthday and ended up walking out two hours later with the contact information of a new friend scrawled on a yellow sticky note. Today, we headed to the mountains with that same new friend and spent the grey afternoon scrambling through dead bushes and trees, gaining new scratches every step of the way. Then our new friend introduced us to his wife and we had yet another new friend. 

Long story short, God is really cool-- he puts us in the right place at the right time more often than we even realize. He leads us to new friends and new experiences when we're least expecting it and then all of a sudden our hearts are filled with gratitude and we realize that He's been watching out for us all along. So yeah, the end.

Blog Design by Get Polished