Iceland: Part One

When Chris and I got married, we made it a goal to travel outside of the country at least once a year. Interacting with people around the world, seeing how other people live, and going beyond our comfort zone can teach us so many things and I wanted that to be part of our life together. Thankfully Chris was equally as enthusiastic and we've had fun thinking about all of the fun places we want to go together :)

At the beginning of this year, we started thinking about where we wanted to go. Our big trip last year was to Japan (which I never finished posting about...but our videos are here if you want to watch them!) and it was so much fun, but we wanted to go somewhere pretty different this year. Both of us love outdoor adventures and Iceland was on our list, but after doing the numbers, decided that it would need to wait. We settled on a place that was a little closer and started planning that trip. Fast forward two months when another couple told us they were planning a trip to Iceland in May, the same month we were hoping to travel. Chris claims he wasn't joking but I jokingly asked if we could go with them. They said yes and two months later, we were on a plane together headed to Iceland! Side note: We knew about the baby when planning but Chris and I weren't nervous about traveling while pregnant. I knew I wouldn't be very big at that point (important to think about when considering camping) and that if I was careful, we would be fine. The minor concerns that came up when thinking about different activities were discussed and cleared with our midwife, so we felt good about going.

Iceland was incredible. Some of the views were absolutely stunning, and so magnificent that words and pictures will never do them justice. We still took lots of pictures but just know that like most things, the real thing is so so so much better. It was my first time traveling with another couple and I would definitely recommend it. It was so nice to have more people to laugh with, extra drivers, and our own personal photographers ;) We also split the cost of some things which made our overall trip cheaper! Our trip was definitely more "adventure" than "relaxing vacation" haha with braving the daily rain and intense wind and camping in the car but it really was one of the funnest things I've ever done.

Thanks for a great trip Fifes! Already looking forward to our next trip together ;)

^^No idea what I'm doing with my hands... 


a really long life update

Chris is currently asleep and I'm enjoying just being able to sit and relax. The past month and a half has been a whirlwind but life has been so so good to us. And it just keeps getting better! I haven't been very good at keeping up with this blog so here is a long update on what we've been up to :)

The biggest and most exciting news is that we are going to have a baby! We're going to become a family of three in October and it's both terrifying and wonderful to think that we're going to be parents. The baby is due in the beginning of October and we're waiting until then to find out the gender. Once we started buying baby clothes, it was tempting to find out since there are so many cute clothes for baby boys and baby girls but we stuck with our original decision to keep it a surprise ;) Since we only recently shared our news openly, we seemed to have surprised a few people... We only told our families and close friends for the first few months but the love and support we've felt since announcing it makes me wonder if we should've told people sooner. Either way, we're happy that our good news is out now!

The past month and a half has been full of spending time with family and traveling! Somehow it just happened to all land in the same month. The first family visit was for graduation. My parents came down to Utah for my graduation ceremony at the end of April and it was really fun to celebrate that life event with them. We went bowling, made food together, and played games. It was a quick trip for them but I was so thankful they took the time to come.

The following weekend my little brother got married in Las Vegas. The ceremony was beautiful and it was so special to all be together in the temple. We got to visit with some of Chris' family as well so it was a weekend full of family time and celebrating! Afterwards we went on a road trip with my older brother's family to Grand Canyon and a few other places.

The next weekend we flew to Washington to see family and be there for my little brother's open house. And then a week and a half later, we left to go to Iceland! We planned our trip back in March as a graduation gift to ourselves and as a big vacation before Chris got either an internship or "real job" (which actually turned out to be a good idea!). We were on a tight budget and traveling with friends, so it definitely was not intended as a "babymoon" but it was an incredible trip and I'm hoping to post pictures of it in the upcoming weeks.

Back in April (after we had scheduled our Iceland trip), we found out the Chris got another internship at Pixar Animation Studios! It was a fantastic opportunity so we said yes and now we are in the Bay Area in California! The four days between coming home from Iceland and moving were stressful (how do we have so much stuff and there are only two of us?!) and the drive was tiring but it feels good to be here. That peaceful feeling that comes from making the right decision has been overwhelming (in the best way) and so far, we love it here. We had people from our new church ward here come help us unload the truck and we were done within an hour! After finishing, we went grocery shopping and it was amazing how nice everyone was. Random people spoke to us at the grocery store and everyone was so pleasant! Chris couldn't stop grinning and saying how much he loved it here already :) The fact that we now have air conditioning for the first time and a pool right outside of our door also sweetens the deal a bit ;) The internship is officially only three months long, but we're hopeful that since this is his second internship, it will be extended and he'll get to stay longer, and we'll settle down here.

Even though the decision felt right (and still does), I was still sad to leave friends, family, and my job. I have so many great memories from my time at BYU and in Provo, especially the ones I made with Chris. Big events like this can be a little bittersweet and our experience is no different. But, I am looking forward to meeting new people and making new memories here :)

With college graduation, a new job, new apartment, and baby on the way, 2017 is turning out to be a really big year for us. We feel incredibly fortunate and blessed to be where we are at. We are looking forward to getting settled in California and getting ready for all that is in store for us here!

*These pictures were taken in southern Iceland off the side of the road. The moss fields were one of my favorite parts of Iceland!