this practice helps me remember why i fell in love with my husband

i was writing a guest blog post for A Prioritized Marriage & she asked me to send a few photos of parker & me throughout our marriage. of course, i went back through all of our instagram & facebook posts.

as i was looking through all of our memories, i was reminded of the quiet moments where i fell in love with my husband while we were dating & of the moments where i continued to fall deeper in love with him after we were married. i was reminded of the adventures we went on while we were dating & the places we went to as newly-newlyweds. i remembered conversations we had & inside jokes that were made. i remembered the time that he helped me conquer one of my biggest fears while we hiked Angel's Landing in the snow. i remembered the times when he would show up to my apartment with donuts while we were dating. i remembered our road trips to nevada & the deep conversations that were shared on those trips. i remembered our wedding day; how freezing it was but how insanely happy i was to be marrying parker.

all of these memories were brought to the forefront of my mind within a 45 minute period. just from looking at pictures. so if you need to remember why you love your spouse or just want to remember so many happy memories, look back at old pictures. you won't be disappointed, promise.

Book Review: The Enlightenment of Clive the Misunderstood Warthog

GUYS. This book is so cute! I was given a second copy (I sent the first one I bought to one of my nieces as a birthday gift) by the author. I was seriously so excited to receive my copy in the mail! 

I love children's books. Maybe it's because I'm just a kid at heart. Maybe it's because of the pictures. Maybe it's because of the great stories. Maybe it's because of the lessons that are taught so simply. Or probably it's a combination of all of those things. 

I loved The Enlightenment of Clive the Misunderstood Warthog because it not only taught a great lesson but it also taught me new words! There is a glossary in the back of the book (supposedly for the littles) and I loved being able to flip back to the glossary and add a new word to my vocabulary! 

I was going to leave this out, but I just can't. I know the author personally and she has been a major cheerleader in my life since meeting her. I was so excited for her when I found out she was publishing ANOTHER book! As soon as copies went on sale through her kickstarter, I donated to the cause and signed up to follow along! 

Becky Lyn is a lady with the neatest story. She has never given up in time of trial. She's lived in over 75 different places. She has the funniest grandkids you'll ever meet and the feistiest kitties named Mr. Darcy and Mr. Bingley. Her writing is totally unique and her voice is strong. She's taught me so many lessons about loving everyone in the time I've known her and The Enlightenment of Clive the Warthog is just another story of love that I get to add to my shelf of Works by Becky Lyn.

I love supporting causes and people that I know are so, so good. Becky Lyn is one of those people that is just warm and totally worth supporting.

If you'd like your own copy of The Enlightenment of Clive the Warthog, go here. 

To read some of my favorite articles written by Becky Lyn for FamilyShare, go here.

To see the blog she started called Blooming Women to empower women everywhere, go here.

My Amazon Review of The Enlightenment of Clive the Warthog:
"The Enlightenment of Clive the Misunderstood Warthog was ADORABLE and very educational! Even as a 23 year-old, I learned new words from Clive! This book, although written for youngsters, can help people of all ages! Not only does it teach new words but the overall story is a message of kindness and friendship that you won't want to miss!"

life update.

hi. it's been a while since i've blogged about, well, anything other than talk of the week posts or photography. 

so sorry. 

life has been a whirlwind of photography, school (for parker), more photography, major life decisions (that remain undecided), and more photography. 

i started working for bell photography in august, so i get to do school pictures during the day time and then about two times a week i have my own photoshoots in the evenings. i've been working pretty hard to try and be able to do my own photography a bit more and i've been pretty successful. i have no complaints here! 

parker has still been working for frontier secure (a call center; he works in a capital one call center) but he also went back to school full-time this fall. it's been an interesting change for us, but we are taking it a day at a time. we both feel pretty strongly that school is the worst (not necessarily the worst for you, we just don't like going....) he's super not into his HR class, but his entrepreneurship class has been an interesting one for sure. 

we've been working on a few different business ideas. both of us are pretty into entrepreneurship; we really like the idea of being able to own our own businesses. of course, we are still working on a few things and figuring things out. for an assignment in parker's entrepreneurship class, he had to start a business with a dollar (or less) and then see how much real money he could make. i have been wanting to open a print shop for a while but never really had enough drive to actually open it. but then parker got that assignment and we decided to go for it. it's been an interesting ride, but we've learned a lot in the last few weeks. we hope to be able to make some changes and be able to be successful with that. and then since then we've had a few more ideas and are excited to give a few other things a go. 

in the past few months, i've had the opportunity to work with a few different businesses and bloggers for photography (see, more photography. it's literally all i do these days and i'm definitely not complaining!) i posted about the collabor8 app on my photography blog because i love it, but i was able to work with quite a few different people because of that. but i also had the opportunity to collaborate with Jam Tart Boutique, a boutique owner & blogger i met through the @ldsbloggers instagram account! she was so kind and sent me these two adorable necklaces from her etsy shop

i feel so blessed and fortunate to be able to work with and "meet" such wonderful and creative people! i've been stretched and i've grown so much as a photographer and person over the last year and i can't wait to see what the future has in store for me. 

we've also got a few exciting things coming up in the next few months. 
for example: 
- our birthdays! parker's birthday is october 14 and my birthday is november 13, so we've turned fall into "our birthday season." it's basically the best thing ever because who doesn't want to celebrate their birthday for more than a day???

- CLANCY GETS HOME IN OCTOBER! i am so excited for this! i can't wait for parker and clancy to meet! clancy actually gets to meet quite a few people when he gets home; parker, cora, #sweetgirl, hadlie, emrie, and #aminagirl (aka all of our nieces! he has technically "met" #sweetgirl, but she was only 1 month old when he left and now she's the spunkiest two year old you'll ever meet) 

- fall mini family sessions! believe it or not, i am actually really excited for these! it's definitely stepping out of my comfort zone, but there's no growth in the comfort zone, right?? 

- THANKSGIVING. aka PIE NIGHT. this is seriously my most favorite tradition the leavitt family has ever concocted. but this year, i convinced parker's family to adopt this tradition. so i'm really excited to be able to share a bit of home with his family. 

- CHRISTMAS. CHRISTMAS. CHRISTMAS. CHRISTMAS. CHRISTMAS. CHRISTMAS. i am definitely one of those people who just waits and waits for november to hit so that christmas season can officially begin. i secretly have been listening to my christmas cd in my car for the last week... 

- we are going to NEW YORK in december and i could not be more excited! the last time i went to new york was 15 years ago (in august) so i am definitely ready to go back to the city that i just adored as a nine year old! oh, and did i mention we will be there for NEW YEAR'S EVE?!?! i cannot hardly wait. 

so far, 2016 has been one rockin year. i hope *fingers crossed* that i'll get better at blogging & updating. plus, just look at all of those exciting things that are happening! it's too much goodness to just not share. 

more from the jam tart boutique shoot:
curved gold bar necklace

gold circle pendant

PinkBlush + GIVEAWAY details!

*spoiler alert* when PinkBlush asked me to do a sponsored post featuring an item from their online women's boutique, i was SO excited! a huge thank you to ShopPinkBlush for the complimentary dress! NOW, this post is sponsored by PinkBlush but all of the opinions in this post are mine! i promise i wouldn't endorse something if i didn't love it! to see my full disclosure policy, go here.

a few weeks ago, i was just casually scrolling through my personal account on instagram when i got a DM (direct message) from one of my acquaintances. i checked it, responded, and then noticed that i had a message request from @shoppinkblush. i didn't know what it was, so i nervously checked it.

i opened the message to find that their collaborations rep was asking ME to collaborate with them! i was floored and beyond excited! but i didn't know if PinkBlush even sold anything besides maternity clothes (because i'm definitely not pregnant so that would be a little weird), if it was modest, if they had prices that wouldn't kill our adventure/fun savings, and if i would even like their style. so before responding i headed over to their instagram account. 

i was not disappointed! they had cute dresses for women of ALL sizes. i'll admit, i spent waaaaay too much time on their instagram account and even more time looking at their Women's Online Boutique. floral print tunics, striped dresses and shirts, solid color dresses. i could barely hold myself back from buying the whole shop!

i responded quickly (and by quickly i mean, it had been a few weeks after they had messaged me, but quickly after i saw the message) and was over-the-moon excited when they responded and still wanted to work with me! we hashed out the details and i got right to work trying to figure out what i would choose to get to style and wear. 

now, this was the hard part. because like i said in my about me page, my wardrobe largely consists of ugly sweaters found at a local thrift shop, animal tee shirts, and sunday dresses. i mean, i'll be real-- i have nicer clothes and i really like a lot of the trendy (yet still modest) clothes these days. they just aren't my first pick. 
and here's why: 
1. they aren't that comfy. i'd muuuuch rather be comfy than trendy. (even though i have major heart eyes for trendy clothes)
2. a lot of trendy boutiques online are kind of expensive. like really expensive. like triple digits for ONE dress. WHAAAAT?! 

i'll also admit that i was super nervous about reason #2 when i went to look at the prices at Pink Blush Boutique. but i was pleasantly surprised! no triple digits anywhere in site! (pun intended) and they have flash sales on their instagram ALL the time! win-win!

i ordered my dress and not-so-patiently waited for it to arrive! on wednesday, i got a text from my mother-in-law saying my package from PinkBlush had arrived! i was SO excited! parker got home from work and i told him my package had come. we wanted to go get it, but we had to go to school. so after school we rushed over to his parents house and i quickly opened my package. 

YOU GUYS. i almost died of happiness right there. my dress is perfect! also, it's made of cloud fabric, i'm sure of it! it is the SOFTEST dress i've ever owned! it is striped AND has lace. 

just look at it.

also, parker took these photos. for all the times he's said, "she takes the pictures, i just hold the bag," he's pretty good! 

but wait. THERE'S MORE to this story.

i am SO excited to announce that over here at the banks blog, we are teaming up with ShopPinkBlush to GIVE AWAY a $50 gift card to their online women's boutique! FIFTY DOLLARS! if you want in on that action, and trust me, YOU DO-- head over to my instagram account (@thebanksblog) at 9am to enter! 

the giveaway IS NOW CLOSED!
entering is suuuuper simple:
- follow @thebanksblog on instagram
- like our GIVEAWAY picture
- tag your friends (1 friend per comment. the more you tag = more entries for you!)
follow The Banks Blog on Facebook!

good luck & may the odds be ever in your favor!