Matt and I were able to fit in so many fall activities and hikes these past few weeks in Utah! I’m sharing a little bit about everything we’ve been able to do on the weekends while the leaves are changing. Fall in the mountains is coming to a close in the next week or two, but the fall temps in the city are perfect right now! I love that about Utah, once one season ends in the mountains, it begins in the city (or vice versa with winter to spring).
ALPINE LOOP DRIVE
This drive is my favorite fall tradition we started this year. We went 2 weekends ago when the colors were in peak, and we loved it! We went early in the morning to beat traffic since it is a very windy and skinny road (barely big enough for 2 cars to pass each other at times). We stopped at pull outs along the way and went for a hike at the summit. My favorite area was at Sundance with Mt Timpanogos views and on the way down towards the American Fork side. We did the ridge line trail at the summit, and we found the most beautiful trees and views there! We detoured a bit and did some connecting trails from the same parking lot as well. It was way more crowded after noon when we were leaving!
On the way home from the Alpine Loop Drive we stopped at Mabey’s Farm in South Jordan. It was a back yard farm and pumpkin patch that wasn’t too touristy! We didn’t have to fight crowds and were able to explore and grab some smaller pumpkins for our decor. We only spent $10 which was so nice! I would recommend this patch for those who don’t have kids, since there are not many activities/things to do besides pick pumpkins.
MILL CREEK CANYON
We’ve done a few of our favorite hikes in Mill Creek this fall. Rattlesnake Gulch is a favorite hike of mine with only 600ish ft of elevation and 3 miles long. The fall colors last weekend were the brightest red orange and yellow I’ve ever seen in this canyon. I was in love!
Lamb’s Canyon Pass was another favorite hike this fall. It’s 3 miles with 1500 ft of elevation, so parts of it are very steep! I would recommend using good hiking shoes with grip for the way down. We did it from the Mt Aire trail head on the Mill Creek side and the fall colors were just starting. I will definitely be hiking from this trail head again next year!
Murdock Peak is a 7 mile trail with 1900 ft of elevation, starting from the very end of Mill Creek road. We hit the back end of the fall colors changing, but it was still a beautiful trail! It ends at the top of Canyon’s Ski Resort, so I believe you can hike this from either side. The trail wasn’t very clearly marked at the top, so we followed the directions from All Trails.
Neff’s Canyon is located just outside of Mill Creek Canyon, in one of the surrounding neighborhoods. There is a 6.5 mile trail with 3000 ft of elevation and a smaller 1.5 mile loop with 400 ft of elevation at the same trail head. We did the shorter loop and caught the sunset at the end! It was the perfect after work hike and the fall colors are in full bloom mid October! Can’t wait to make this one of our sunset viewing spots in the future!
BIG COTTONWOOD CANYON
We did two hikes in Big Cottonwood Canyon this fall, including Willow Heights and Donut Falls. You can find pictures from these hikes in my Wasatch Wednesday 2019 blog post!
LITTLE COTTONWOOD CANYON
Last Saturday we went to Oktoberfest at Snowbird, one of my favorite fall stops! We went the very last weekend to celebrate a friend’s birthday, but I was also able to bring some Midwest friends along! We spent the afternoon there and it was fun catching up with everyone we haven’t seen in a while, while drinking some good local beer. Matt and I brought our own stein, and it saved us so much money on beer refills! On the way home we stopped at Porcupine Bar & Grill for dinner in Cottonwood Heights, and they were having an Oktoberfest themed weekend. It was a great way to end the day!
East Canyon is on the way to Park City, and it meets up with Emigration Canyon Road. I hadn’t been to this canyon yet while living here, and it had my favorite fall colors! Last Friday I hiked the top part of the Mormon Pioneer Trail with some girl friends! It’s 3 miles long with about 700 ft of elevation, and it starts from the summit and goes down. The whole trail is about 20 miles, but we did a small section that had beautiful fall colors! It’s popular for mountain bikers, but we only saw a few others on the trail that night.
Last weekend we did a fall Photo Shoot with our friends Sam and Katie, and it was right in the peak of the fall colors! I have some IPhone shots from that night when we saw the sunset, but you can see my last blog post “Fall Photo Shoot” for all of the pictures Sam took for us!
Our friend Sam is a photographer, and asked us to be models for a fall photo shoot! We took photos during the fall peak up East Canyon, and we’re so excited with how they turned out. Utah friends, check him out if you want pictures taken! 🙂
Spring in Utah has been amazing so far! It’s warm enough to hike near the city and sit on a patio, but cold enough in the mountains to still ski. We finished up our ski season last weekend and while we had so much fun exploring the ski resorts, I am ready for warmth and hiking on the weekends! There is truly no off season in Utah, but we are excited to take a few weekends to rest before the craziness of summer starts. We have found some beautiful places in the city and mountains to enjoy the fresh air and blooms. It is beautiful here year round and we are soaking it in!
SPRING IN THE CITY
The Cherry Blossoms at Capitol Hill are one of my favorite places to visit this spring! My friend Katie and I went to see the blossoms the other weekend and they were gorgeous! We walked all along the outside of the capitol to see the blooms and beautiful views of the city from above. I would highly recommend checking this out soon if you are in Utah!
Matt had some college friends Tyler and Mel visit and we took them to the capitol and on a sunset “hike” in the Avenues neighborhood. It was so fun to show them our new city and go on a few hikes as well!
My friends McKenzie, Katie, and I hiked Gobblers Knob the other weekend. It was a gorgeous but snowy hike halfway up Big Cottonwood Canyon. The views were incredible with all of the spring snow we got, but we weren’t prepared with snow shoes. We went up about 1.5 miles before sinking to our hips in the snow every step and turned around. It was a great workout, but we are definitely going to wait until more snow melts before hiking in that high of elevation again! Afterwords we treated ourselves to brunch at Silver Fork Lodge about a mile up the canyon from the trail head. I highly recommend this restaurant; they also have the cutest patio for summertime!
As a part of a hiking group we joined, Wasatch Wednesday, our first hike of the season was Mount Van Cott. We joined our friends Katie and Sam on this 3 mile round trip hike in the foothills with 1300 feet of elevation. It was challenging but had lots of switchbacks to help ease the elevation gain. We would recommend this hike in the spring since all of the snow has melted! It was beautiful at sunset as well.
Some other Wasatch Wednesday Hikes we’ve done are Heughs Canyon, Mt. Wire, and Rattlesnake Gulch. Heughs Canyon is a 3.5 mile hike with 1900 ft of elevation. Some parts of the trail were steep but overall it was shaded and a great week night hike. The trail head starts in a neighborhood but turns into a wooded trail alongside a creek and leads to a waterfall at the top. To get to the waterfall, you have to cross a wall of boulders but the views at the end were worth it.
Mt. Wire is a 5 mile trail with 2000 ft of elevation change. It is located in the foothills and has a great view of the Wasatch and city at the top. It is a steep climb and took us about 2.5 hours to do. It was muddy and slippery when we went after a rain storm, but worth the climb.
Rattlesnake Gulch is a 3.5 mile trail in Mill Creek Canyon with 800 ft of elevation change. The first half of the hike has all of the elevation, then it meets up with the pipeline trail to the city lookout point. This is a great sunset and week night hike!
Adams Canyon is a 3.5 mile hike with 1400 ft of elevation located north of Salt Lake in Layton. It’s exposed and sunny at the bottom, but becomes shaded and follows the creek to a waterfall at the top. The water was too high for us to access the waterfall without scaling up part of the mountain, so we decided to not hike to it. Our friends did and said it was beautiful, so we will definitely be back in the fall!
Diamond Fork Hot Springs is located in Spanish Folk Canyon about 1 hour south of Salt Lake. It’s 4.5 miles and 600 ft of elevation, a gradual hike with a waterfall and 3 hot springs located at the top. We spent about an hour at the hot springs and they were incredible. The temps were perfect and we got there after a large crowd of people left. Due to limited parking and crowds, I would go early in the morning or at sunset on a weekend.
We spent our first Easter as a married couple in Salt Lake, and while it was hard to be away from family in the Midwest, we had a great time celebrating! We had brunch in the morning with our friends Lauren and Derek, and went to our church in the afternoon. They rented a special venue downtown for Easter service, and it was beautiful and uplifting!
As a part of the Gratitude and Happiness Committee at work, I was asked to write a blog post on how I’ve connected to nature and how it’s benefited me mentally and physically. I thought I’d share this article on my personal blog too!
This time of year has me feeling grateful for all of the outdoor activities in Utah. How lucky am I to live in a place where it’s possible to explore the mountains any day of the week? The spring is especially my favorite, because I can choose to ski, hike, or road trip to the national parks down south when it comes time for the weekend.
I feel lucky that job opportunities brought my husband and I from the Midwest to Utah. Living close to the mountains and national parks was always a dream of mine, and now it is finally happening.My mental and physical health always improves from being outside, and I love that there is no “off season” in Utah where you’re stuck inside hibernating and waiting for Spring to come. The Wasatch Mountains, Zion, Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, and Bryce Canyon are among some of the most beautiful places in the world and they are right in our backyard.
In my ten months of living in Utah so far, I’ve been able to see Bryce Canyon, Zion, Escalante, and hike or ski almost every weekend in the Wasatch. I went to Bryce Canyon this past weekend, and it was amazing to see it snow covered and experience what the park has to offer in different seasons. Escalante is a national monument full of slot canyons to explore and waterfalls to see; we went there last fall and stayed in the Yurts and they were so beautiful. I went to Zion in the fall and we did Angel’s Landing and Observation Point hikes. I can’t wait to head back to this park and explore more and see the rest of the national parks in Utah.
My favorite time to hike in the Wasatch has been the fall. The leaves start to change, the crisp feeling in the air, warm layers and the sun shining makes it the perfect escape from the city. Fall is one of my favorite times of year, you can see and feel so much of nature changing around you. Some of my favorite hikes are tucked away in Big and Little Cottonwood canyons and the hiking scenery and weather is perfect during September and October. Utah has such an amazing variety of places where you can check out all the changing colors and different trees as well. Some of my favorite hikes so far are Lake Blanche, Red and White Pine Lake, Lake Mary at Brighton, and Cecret Lake at Alta. I love hiking after work, and for those hikes I tend to stick to the foothills or behind the Avenues neighborhood so that I can fit in a quick hike before dinner and sunset. I also joined a hiking group this year that will take group hikes once a week after work in the Spring through Fall; it’s a great way to meet new people and explore new parts of the Wasatch!
No matter how short or long I hike, just getting outside makes life so much happier! I feel so much joy from exercising and being outside, and Utah makes it so easy to do those things. I felt especially joyful during the winter this year, which has not always been the case living in the Midwest. I was able to ski every weekend with my Brighton ski pass and some weekdays with the Clearlink ski passes. My favorite resorts have been Alta, Deer Valley, Park City/Canyons, and Snowbasin. Something else I do to get fresh air during the work day all year long is take a walk outside at lunch. Just a 15 min break and fresh air can make a big difference with my energy levels in the afternoon!
There are so many beautiful places to explore near Salt Lake and in Utah, and I am so thankful to live here and be able to share it with friends and family. The mountains truly make me feel grateful and happy. With Earth Day coming up on April 22nd, I hope you’re able to get outside and appreciate this beautiful place we live in.
For those of you that don’t know me, I am an extroverted introvert working as a corporate accountant. In a sense, I love social gatherings and one on one conversations, but I tend to be shy in new situations with big groups of people. I also crave alone time after a lot of social time to re-energize. This past year I have gone through so many life changes, including planning a wedding, getting married, leaving family and friends and moving across the country to Utah (homebody over here), starting a new job, making new friends, moving in with my husband, and living the mountain life. It’s been hard but so worth it! I fully trusted in God’s plan and it turned out to be so good! He has provided in more ways than I could imagine and I am so thankful prayers have been answered. I also started this personal blog last year, and that has been go good for me to stay connected to family and friends back home. I think my #1 fans are my Grandma’s, but I love that! I want to inspire people to follow their dreams even if it’s scary! That’s where the growth comes from.
Trust me, I didn’t always have this mind set. I grew up in a smaller Wisconsin town and went to college in the town right next door (Go Eagles!). I majored in Accounting and Finance and continued my career in the corporate world after graduation. I thought moving from WI to MN 3 hours away from home was a huge step! And it was for me, I met so many new people and started my career there. The corporate world has its ups and downs, but I have learned so much and it’s helped me grow to where I am today.
Starting my own business and being creative always was a dream in the back of my mind, but I didn’t think it would actually happen. I made a conscious decision this year to go out of my comfort zone and try something that challenges me! I have been a swimmer for most of my life, so my hair has been damaged by chlorine for as long as I can remember. I’ve tried every salon brand and chlorine treatment out there, but nothing has brought my hair back to health. I used to have thick, full hair, and recently it’s gotten frizzy, dry, and thin. When my friend introduced me to new hair products, I was skeptical at first. I wasn’t sure I wanted to buy products that I had never heard of, but I knew I needed something to help my hair get healthy again. I also loved that were naturally based, cruelty free, 100% vegan, and gluten free. She was also a swimmer with me in college and the products had improved her hair so much, so I decided to try it out. After the first few washes I could tell a difference, but now just a few months later I am noticing dramatic results. I love that you use so little of the product each wash instead of dousing your hair to make it smooth, so the products last much longer. I used to have greasy hair after a day or less because I was using so much conditioner to compensate for my dry and frizzy hair. Now I can go 2-3 days before I need to use dry shampoo (even after doing hot yoga everyday!). I wash my hair 2x a week and I am working up to 1x a week. It air drys so nice, the wave and curls I always wanted! It no longer is frizzy and out of control, and it holds a curl or stays straight when I style it until the next wash. I just do a touch up every morning or add a little dry shampoo if needed. I was already telling all of my friends about how my hair has improved, I thought why not help my girlfriends out and start a business of my own?
I am so excited to face fears and try something new that I am passionate about! I want people to feel confident about themselves and I am so excited to help women and men with their hair. Please reach out if you have any questions or want a free hair consult. I would love to help. The link is in my Instagram bio!
I surprised Matt for Christmas with a winter photo session in the mountains! I wanted to capture our favorite place in our new home, Big Cottonwood Canyon in the Wasatch Mountains. We’ve been in the canyon too many times to count for hikes and skiing, but it was so special to get dressed up and have some fun in the snow with our photographer Jordynn! The week before we met, Utah got 40in of fresh snow. You could say it was an adventure taking photos while trying not to fall through the snow past our hips. One of my favorite moments was at the end of the session when Matt suggested he throw me into the powder. I agreed and Jordynn captured the most epic shot of me in the air! I sunk so deep in the snow it was hard to get back up, but it was a blast! For anyone in the SLC area, we would highly recommend Jordynn (@jordy.b.photo on Instagram). She is so creative, bubbly, and fun to be around! We felt comfortable right away and I’m so happy with how our photos turned out. Here are some of my favorites. I will treasure these photos forever!
This year was our first Christmas as a married couple, and it was so fun to be back in Wisconsin for the Holiday’s with both of our families! We fit in so much during our 10 days home and I can’t wait to share our favorite traditions and memories back home. It was bittersweet coming back to Utah after such a fun week, but we felt ready to be back and start the new year in our new home.
We spend the first 4 days of our trip in Hudson, where my Husband Matt’s family is from. We got lots of family time with his immediate family and extended families on both sides. It was so great to see everyone! Some of the highlights were going to Christmas Eve Mass with Matt’s Grandpa, that is his favorite tradition. Another favorite memory was hiking at Willow River State Park with Matt and his siblings to the waterfall on Christmas Day. It is gorgeous this time of year! We also played lots of rounds of our favorite board game, Ticket to Ride.
The day after Christmas we went a few hours south to the La Crosse Area to spend time with my family. We got to see my parents, Grandparents, and a few friends! I missed not having my brother home since he recently moved to Phoenix, but I will get to celebrate with him in less than a month when I visit. A few highlights were going to our favorite spots in our college town, including Grandad’s Bluff, our college campus, and favorite Bar & Grill Howie’s. We also played lots of Ticket to Ride with my parents, and Grandma surprised us all being the champ her first time playing!
For the weekend after Christmas we traveled to the East side of the state to visit my extended family. On our way there I was able to celebrate my college friend Kelly’s bridal shower and see all of my college besties! After that we went to our family Christmas and did a secret Santa gift exchange and played lots of rounds of catch phrase. The boys pulled ahead this year, but I’m confident the girls will take back the lead next year 🙂
The next day we traveled north to Green Bay to cheer on our favorite NFL team, the Packers! It was a great experience being at Lambeau Field again, and the weather was around 30 degrees so we weren’t freezing! They had a tough season and didn’t score any points this game, but we still had a blast and the crowd is amazing.
After our long trip across the state, we decided to stay close to home & the airport for New Years, especially since we were flying back to Utah the next day. We spend New Years dinner with Matt’s friends and the evening in Minneapolis with my college friends! It was so fun catching up and playing our favorite game, salad bowls.
Overall it was a great trip back to the Midwest, but we are so excited to be making Utah our home. I can’t wait to make this a yearly tradition!
I wanted to share the details of our wedding planning on the blog in hopes it would help other brides and grooms with their future plans! Matt and I planned almost the entire wedding ourselves, with the help of our venue coordinator, so we wanted to share what we did and learned. We also planned the wedding from 3 hours away, so there were some added challenges with traveling and doing things virtually. We kept things simple and affordable, and it turned out to be the perfect day celebrating with our family and closest friends.
We started calling venues a week after getting engaged, because we had heard how fast they fill up. We confirmed it’s true; venue’s were booked a year to a year and a half in advance. We booked our venue two weeks after the engagement in early June. We wanted to get married in La Crosse, WI since I grew up in the area; we also went to college and started our dating relationship there. We toured four venues in La Crosse, and ultimately decided on The Waterfront Venue. I had always thought I would get married there, so when they told us they had one weekend opening left for the summer season, we jumped on it! We loved the location in downtown La Crosse, there is a beautiful outdoor ceremony spot and reception hall, incredible staff, wedding coordinator, and we could make it affordable to fit our budget. It also happened to be the location that Matt said I love you and proposed to me, so you could say it was our favorite place!
I met with a few different photographers in the Minneapolis area about a month after getting engaged. Their schedules fill up almost as fast as venues, so I wanted to review styles, packages, and pricing before while our date was still far enough out. I had met our photographer Jennifer when she photographed my friends wedding, and I loved her photo editing style, candid pictures, and wedding package. We met in person for a consultation, and we booked with Jennifer in July for both engagement and wedding pictures. You can see more of her style on my previous wedding blog post and at her website, jenniferjanephoto.com.
We took our engagement photos in late October, about 6 months before our wedding. It was perfect timing for sending our invites out, printing photos for the Holiday’s, and it landed in our favorite season of fall. Since we planned a spring wedding, we didn’t want to miss out on taking pictures when the leaves were changing. We scheduled our photos a couple of months in advance on a Sunday, so we could get on our photographers busy fall schedule. The weather was incredible, and we met during golden hour just before sunset. You can view more details of our engagement photos in my previous blog post!
We did our food tasting with the venue in early December, 5 months before the wedding. We tried all of the meals we were considering for the wedding, and narrowed it down to 3 that were around the same price per person. We decided on 2 meals with meat and veggies, 1 vegetarian option and a side salad for everyone. We brought both of our parents along, so they could help us decide and tour the venue. It was such a fun day with all 6 of us together!
We got our Marriage license from the County Clerk’s office in the county we got married in about 3 weeks before the wedding. There are different rules for every state, but there are a lot of requirements for paperwork and timing. Make sure to visit your state or county’s marriage license website to see the requirements. We made sure to get ours within the month of our wedding, but more than a week in advance because it took 6 business days to process. It was difficult because Matt already moved to UT, but he flew back for his Bachelor Party so we fit it in that Friday before! There is a process before the wedding, on the wedding day with witnesses, and after the wedding when they mail you the actual document so you can change your name, etc.
We chose our Florist, Monet Floral, about 3 months into wedding planning, and met with them a few times before the wedding day. We had heard great reviews from other brides and wanted a local florist that was able to deliver on a Sunday. We were able to do a lot over phone and email since we didn’t live in La Crosse, but meeting with them in person was also very helpful. We gave them our vision for the wedding party, head table, and ceremony arch, and our vision came to life perfectly the day of. We were so happy with our choice and we even stayed within budget!
Staying organized was very important to me from the start of our engagement, and I am not a procrastinator when it comes to planning. I started our Google excel doc the week after we got engaged and started brainstorming ideas and our guest list. It was the perfect way to keep Matt and I and our parents on the same page about our wedding plans. The To-Do list tab had a list of things to plan, the cost, and the details once it was completed. This kept our budget in check from the beginning. The guest list tab had all of our names, addresses, table numbers, meal choices, and Yes/No responses. The venue tab had the number of meals, drinks, timeline, add-ons, and total cost for the venue. We had a timeline tab, listing the details of the entire weekend, location for each event, and time of day that we could share with our wedding party. We had a registry tab, photography tab, DJ tab with songs for each dance and our playlist, Ceremony tab with details of bible verses, order of events, songs, etc., and flower details. It was so helpful to stay organized and I was able to capture the total cost of the wedding day. Planning the main events and details in advance made the month leading up to the wedding a lot less stressful!
DRESS & SUIT SHOPPING
Dress shopping was so much fun for both myself and my bridesmaids! I went to Annika Bridal Boutique in Edina, MN to try on dresses for the first time to see what styles I would like. They happened to be having an inventory sale, so dresses off the rack were 50-75% off. I scheduled an appointment at the last minute and invited my roommate and best friend in Minneapolis to join me. We had a blast drinking champagne and trying on absolutely every dress that was in my size off the rack. I didn’t want to limit myself to any style before I knew what they would look like on. I ended up loving styles that I didn’t originally pick myself wearing, like a illusion neckline and short sleeves! Luckily for me, my size is the typical stock size so a lot of the dresses fit really well. However, I fell in love with 2 right away and my favorite dress was the last one. I loved it so much and it fit like a glove to the point that it wouldn’t need any alterations(besides length). The girls and I had the same reaction that it was THE ONE, so I bought my dream dress that day and all under my budget!
For the girls, I knew I wanted our wedding dress color to be perriwinkle (a mix between light blue and lavender). I also wanted the dresses to lay just above the knee and come from a women’s clothing store so that they could try them on and wear them for another occasion. The dress color is hard to come by, so I started looking at places like Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, and JCrew. I bought a simple classic maroon dress from JCrew Factory that happened to come in a perriwinkle color as well. There was a 50% off sale on their website that day, so I bought all of the girls their dresses for $30 and they were able to try them on after I ordered them. They worked out great for the wedding day since it was almost 100 degrees, and I even bought an extra one for myself!
We found the groomsmen’s suits in Rochester, MN at Knight’s Menswear. They had custom fit suits that you could buy for cheaper than renting at most places, so we went with Navy suits from there. We were also able to find matching ties to the girls dresses.
We wanted to get our bridesmaids and groomsmen simple gifts that they could use again! I ordered the girls necklaces from Etsy that they could wear with their bridesmaid dress and other occasions. I paired it with a card designed by a friend who does calligraphy! For the wedding day, I got them all matching floral robes to wear while we got ready. Matt ordered his groomsmen stainless steel coozies that they used at the bachelor party and can use for other occasions! For the wedding day, he bought their ties that matched the girls dresses.
I created our wedding website on theknot.com a couple months after getting engaged. It was so helpful to have all of our wedding info in one place to stay organized. We posted our wedding day details, wedding party, and love story on the home page for guests to read. On the next page, we added hotel and parking accommodations and things to do in La Crosse, WI. Next, we added Proposal and Engagement photos. After that, we had our electronic RSVP for guests to reply and pick their meal without having to mail anything back. Finally, we linked our Amazon and Target registries for guest to purchase gifts for the shower and wedding. It is a user friendly website for all ages and easy to set up. I would recommend this site to anyone planning an event!
We decided to combine a traditional save the date postcard with a traditional wedding invite into one card. We had a picture on the front announcing our wedding, and the details of our day listed on the back. Since our RSVP’s and details were on our website, we sent our invite out about 5 months in advance for our guests. It saved us a lot of time and money and we were so happy with how they turned out with Vistaprint!
We wanted to keep our decorations simple since our venue was a beautiful space. Our florist handled the ceremony alter/arch with floral arrangements, decorated the head table and half of the guest tables with eucalyptus rings, and we re-used the bridal party bouquets as centerpieces for the other half. Matt’s cousin lent us her glass cylinder vases from her wedding, and we used them for the head table and the guest tables without bouquets. I ordered floating candles from Amazon to float in the vases for the reception. Our entry way was full of engagement pictures, wooden signs made with leftover barn wood and decorated by my coworker, date night ideas on popsicle sticks, and letter boards from Amazon. Our guest book was a shadow box picture frame with our invite in the middle. We saved a lot of money by keeping the decorations simple, and it turned out to be the perfect addition to our venue.
Matt and I were able to visit a local pumpkin patch just before Halloween this year! We went to Kuwahara Farms in Draper, UT, just south of Salt Lake City. It’s a popular destination for families in the Salt Lake Valley and has beautiful views of the mountains! Even though we went late in the season, we were able to find plenty of small pumpkins of all colors to decorate our apartment. They had the cutest pumpkin wall that was the perfect place to take family pictures! I can’t wait to make this an annual tradition 🙂
Four years ago today my husband Matt and I started dating. It’s crazy that we have a new wedding anniversary to celebrate, but I still love celebrating November 6th 🙂 We were juniors in college when we met through mutual friends, but our first date was at the beginning of senior year of college. He asked me to be his girlfriend about a month after going on dates. I love looking back at our dating years and can’t wait to share our favorite memories!
IT STARTED WITH CRIBBAGE
The first night Matt and I met, we played the game kemps with some friends and ended up being partners. Almost a year later when we started dating, he taught me how to play cribbage and it became a special part of our relationship. He asked me to be his girlfriend by dealing me a hand with the question in a game of cribbage. It was the first of many romantic gestures in our relationship 🙂 PS this engraved cribbage board is a wedding gift we got and it meant so much to us!!
One of our first dates was to Ferguson’s apple orchard near our college town in WI, and we had a blast getting to know each other. It was the first picture we ever took together! Ever since then, we have gone on apple orchard dates each fall to celebrate our relationship. We will definitely have to find somewhere to go in Utah!
BADGER & PACKER FOOTBALL GAMES
Since Matt had his own football season each fall growing up, he didn’t have a chance to go to Camp Randall or Lambeau Field for a football game. We got tickets to both so he could experience the tailgating, crowd, and energy at the games! The Badger game was during a beautiful fall day in October, and the Packer game was in the middle of January on a zero degree day. I have never bundled up more in my life, but it was so fun!
GRANDAD HALF MARATHON
After my college swim season was done in March, I loved switching up my workout routine and started training for the half marathon in our college town in early May! I had split the marathon in half with a friend the previous year and did 6.5 miles to complete a half marathon relay. I convinced Matt that running was fun 🙂 so we trained together and ended up doing 2 half marathon relays together while we were in college! It was such a fun challenge to do together and although we don’t run much anymore, I hope we can do it again in Utah!
The first time our families met was college graduation weekend! Our majors lined up to be at the same ceremony, so it was fun to see each other cross the stage 🙂 Since my parents are close by, we had a family lunch after the ceremony and he had a party that night at his college house! It was so fun for everyone to get to know each other. That was almost exactly a year before we got engaged which is crazy!
Our first trip together was our post graduation trip with two of our friends to Nashville! We went memorial day weekend since I had a few weeks off before starting my full time job, so we road tripped from WI and spent the long weekend there! We got to experience the downtown, live music, hall of fame museum, food, and everything Nashville has to offer! We definitely want to go back soon!
About a month before getting engaged, we flew to Chicago for a weekend getaway and got to visit with friends while we were there! Matt had never been to Chicago, so it was fun to show him my favorite tourist spots like Navy Pier, Millennium Park, Michigan Ave, the riverwalk, and some of my favorite bars and restaurants! It was a trip we will never forget, despite the cold and rainy weather we had in late March 🙂
Looking back at all of these memories makes me smile so big! Happy 4 years Matthew 🙂