The Saddest Happy Experience

This past week has been surreal for me. My little brother got home from serving an LDS mission. He was gone for two years, two years without hugging him, two long years with only 4 phone calls, two years with scattered emails each week, two years where he didn’t attend any family parties or sunday dinner. When you add it all up two years is a really long time. Christiaan is less than two years younger than me, he and I are very close. Two years where he wasn’t there was a really tough experience.

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In April, my Grandpa Loveless was diagnosed with cancer. The cancer was pretty vicious and had spread quickly. They gave my grandpa 3 -4 months to live, so last week when he was still alive, it was a miracle. We couldn’t believe that my grandpa and Christiaan would have the chance to say goodbye in person, before the cancer inevitably took my incredible grandpa from us.

Christiaan’s flight was set at 10:30am on October 8th. On October 7th, I was making banners to welcome Christiaan home at the airport and trying to sleep through the excitement. I woke up with a knot in my stomach and a few minutes later I found out that my grandpa had passed away. He passed away about 4 hours before Christiaan’s flight landed. We had planned to pick Christiaan up and head to my grandpa’s house, instead we went to lunch and eased Christiaan into the horrific news on such a happy day.

I can’t explain all the feelings I’ve felt over the past week. I’ve cried because I’m incredibly happy and I’ve cried because I’m bursting from sadness, sometimes within hours of each other. I’ve been exhausted and worried. I have slept way too much and yet I still feel exhausted. I’ve hugged Christiaan more time than he probably wants. It’s been a different kind of week for me.

Shia is FOUR!

Photo Oct 05, 10 23 26 PMToday is a very special day. Today is the day Shia L Spinelly was born, of course, at that time her name was Molly and she lived in a really run down mobile home in Idaho. Until she was about 4 months old and for whatever reason she was put on the Classifieds. At that point I enter the picture, I was in a 1 year old relationship and thought to myself what better idea than to get a dog together?

With a large amount of convincing Jared and I were off to meet our little monster. She lived in Twin Falls, Idaho which was about 3 hours away from us. We hopped in the car and off we went. It was dark and snowing when we arrived, we knocked on the door and a man handed us some paper and pointed to a kennel. A little scrawny weird looking dog popped out and I was in love. From that point on Shia has been such a funny, really stubborn member of our family.

For the past 4 years we’ve learned a lot about Shia..
+ If you’re showering and you hear the curtain move, it’s not sexy time, it’s Shia trying to join in on the shower.
+ Shia carries her water bowls all over the house, so if you trip on one, it’s her fault.
+ Sneezing fits are a common occurrence with Shia, she does them if she wants attention or gets really excited.
+ Scratch Shia’s ears and she’ll love you forever.
+ Shia is the last one to wake up, and the first one to fall asleep.
+ Shia’s pee is deadly. She has to pee on bricks or cement, because her pee will kill anything that is living. We’ve replaced our whole front lawn 3 times because of that little pudding cup.
+ Animal planet is always on around our house, Shia loves watching dogs on the TV.
+ Treats are Shia’s one true love.
+ Shia is never allowed human food, her gas is so terrible that you’ll most likely die if she eats one scrap of bacon.
+ Shia is softer than a velvet wall.
+ She occasionally high fives Indie in the face.
+ When all the kids are gone, we take Shia to the park, because she loves the slide. She’ll go down it time and time again.

Shia’s the most perfect 4 year old bulldog in the world. Love you, Shia!

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Costa Rica.

When I was 8 my cousin lived in Costa Rica for two years. He’d send photos home to the family and it was the most beautiful place that I’d ever seen. At the time, I hadn’t travelled much, so it was equivalent to the amazement when you see photos from a different planet.

That same cousin married an amazing women that he met while he lived there and they settled here in Utah. Raquel didn’t speak much english, but she and my mom instantly connected. She spent a lot of time at our house and even took the task of babysitting my brothers and I. Occasionally she’d go home to Costa Rica and come back and tell us how incredible her home was. She loved Costa Rica, her eyes lit up when she spoke about it. Once again, the photos she’d show us were unlike anything I’d ever seen.

Because of the photos and the memories of sitting and talking to Raquel about her home, has made Costa Rica my dream vacation. I have this weird relationship with Costa Rica, I feel like it’s a place that I went every summer as a kid, except that I’ve never been there.

That’s all about to change, because J and I just booked tickets to live out my dream vacation. In January we’re flying to Costa Rica. I can’t describe my excitement because everything I type doesn’t do it Justice. Since I booked the flights, I keep going back and checking the confirmation number on the website and honestly, I couldn’t be happier.

Right now, we have nothing planned except for our flight in and our flight out. Every free minute I have I’m just googling what to do, but I always end up in a google image search of Costa Rica and I am still on cloud nine that this vacation is now a reality.

What’s your dream vacation?

When Glasses are Better than Contacts

Approximately 3 years ago I decided it was time to get contacts, okay, so the guy at the DMV decided it was time for me to get contacts. Apparently I was endangering myself and everyone around me without them. Which, now that I can see clearly, he was probably not too far from the truth.

Every time I see the eye doc, he asks if I want a glasses exam and I always decline. Something about wanting the most hassle free experience in life. I didn’t like the idea of fudging with my glasses all day long and taking them off my face and rubbing my nose. You can picture it now can’t you?

Over the last few years, I’ve come to realize that occasionally wearing glasses is the more convenient option.
+ When you first wake up, but don’t want to get out of bed to put your contacts in, you just want to watch TV.
+ When you’re camping and the camp fire smoke dries your eyes out.
+ When you’re camping and you lose one contact.
+ When you’re laying in bed before you fall asleep, it’s much easier to toss your glasses on the nightstand then fill up your contact case, sit up, take them out and curl back up in bed.
+ When the dogs have to go pee at 4am.
+ When you want to look like a hipster.

Anyway, sent me a pair of glasses to ease my life and my life really has been eased. They let you order online, so if you know your prescription than you can skip the doctor. They have a nifty gadget where you upload a photo of yourself and can digitally try on glasses. That part is pretty cool, because you can honestly see what you look like without being in the store. Jared and I had a blast “trying on” glasses, we were laughing our tails off and finally decided on the perfect pair.

What do you think?

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Check out and then you can come over and have a photoshoot with Indie.

These are the highlights of our lives.


I officially haven’t blogged in 17 days, but who is counting? After Lake Powell life happened and sometimes life is so damn busy, that the last thing you really want to do is sit down and write about it. I remember in jr. high I used to have a diary and when life was so busy, I would scribble down the highlights so I wouldn’t forget them. My highlights back then were like “Curtis cut his hair and now I like Nelson more”. I’m glad I won’t ever forget that.

My current highlights are more like…

+ We thought Shia tore her 2nd ACL, she squealed while she and Indie were playing. The next day she still wasn’t using her leg. We took her to the vet and all the sudden she using her leg and the vet concluded that she’s fine.

+ Jared joined a kickball league, which is where I spend Thursday nights now. There’s something super cute about watching your husband play a sport. I feel like back in second grade when I would watch my second grade boyfriend play basketball and count his score in rocks. I love being his cheerleader.

+ I walked down the street and accidentally walked back with an iPhone 6, then went home and opened my drawer where I have boxes for the iPhone 4s, 5s, 6, iPad Mini and Apple TV and realized I should throw away boxes, even if they’re pretty.

+  My little brother is serving a LDS mission, which means he’s been gone with pretty much no contact for 2 years. He comes home in 13 days and I cannot stop smiling. I haven’t seen his big freckle face for 2 effing years.

+ We’re planning a trip to Costa Rica in January and I just realized I still haven’t changed my name to DeMann on my passport, damn. That’s the last thing in my way to the best vacation of MY LIFE!!!

What are some highlights of your lives?