Presidents’ Day Adventure

Thank goodness for Monday Holidays! It makes the weekend one day longer and the week one day shorter. Trent and I slept in, big time, went to a small pottery studio with some friends and then as we were driving home, Trent suggested that we take my little sisters rock climbing. For Christmas I had given Trent a rock climbing harness and although we are no professionals, it is fun for us! We called up the girls and headed up Big Cottonwood Canyon. The day was gorgeous! It was a little windy down in the valley but as soon as we made it into the canyon the wind stopped. We hiked back to the wall, where Trent and I had been before, and it ended up being a perfect adventure. My little sisters were braver than I was and it was fun to spend time with them. Trent belayed all of us and I think we wore him out but he got to climb too! The day was beautiful and we all got so excited for springtime and now it’s snowing…gotta love Utah weather.

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I think I will deem this sweatshirt my adventure sweatshirt because I wear it pretty much every time we do anything…

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Trent literally pulled me off my feet.

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Christmas Break Adventures

Today we took my family and headed up to Trent’s farm for an adventure. With all the snow down in the valley you would have thought the farm would be covered, but unfortunately there wasn’t as much as we thought. Despite the lack of massive amounts of snow, we still had a blast sledding, snowmobiling and just being together. Trent has these crazy cool sleds that have metal skis on the bottom and they were so fast, slightly dangerous, but kept us entertained for hours. My mom was her usual organized self and brought up a delicious lunch for all of us. My dad had way too much fun riding the four wheeler and snowmobiles. I have the greatest parents in the entire word. What a joy it was to be together having so much fun! We played, froze, snacked and laughed the day away.

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Faith is a prime example of what happens if you’re stuck with Eliza and the bottom of the sledding hill…You get a million pictures taken of you. Isn’t she absolutely darling? Let’s be honest, all my siblings are pretty adorable.

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I think Emma and Sam should be ski goggle models. Don’t you agree?

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A word about these brother-in-laws. The four oldest girls in our family got married this past summer, crazy I know…Growing up in a family with 7 girls and one boy, these four new brothers added a whole new dynamic to our family. Things are definitely different but we couldn’t love them more. Brigham now has some guys to do guy things with and my little sisters now have four new big brothers who tease them way too much but also care for them way too much. Not only does our family have to get used to the new boys, but these boys are accomplishing the ginormous feat of getting used to us. Us Jacksons are a wild bunch…just ask T. We sure are grateful for these new additions and we can’t wait for the adventures to come! (Not pictured, Ben, who we sure miss!)

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Selfies with a big camera can be pretty tricky but Lucy and I managed to get a good one. 🙂

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The day could not have been more perfect. We were missing Ben and Grace, who are in Ecuador for the next year, but we know they are doing great things over there. Our winter break has been filled with families visiting from Texas, adventures, family parties, lots of love and just overall goodness. This truly is such a wonderful time to be together and we feel so lucky to have such amazing family everywhere we turn.

Happy Holidays everyone!

Oh Christmas Tree

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As a tradition, every year all of us would receive a christmas ornament from my parents. Sometimes they would all be the same, sometimes slightly different but all equally special. Through our dance company, all the girls in the family would also receive a new ornament though an ornament exchange. You can only imagine the number of ornaments I’ve collected over the years and as my mom gave me the box full of mine, I was amazed. Every year we would get out our boxes and put our ornaments on the tree and every New Years day we would carefully wrap our ornaments up in paper and pack them up for the year. This year it was time to decorate our own tree. Trent’s parents were gracious enough to lend us an old tree of theirs and Trent was darling enough to set it up for me. We strung it with lights and yesterday was the day we finally got the ornaments on. There is nothing like a christmas tree to light up a room. I could tell you countless stories about each of my ornaments but here are just a few.

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I received this fairy ornament at our annual Children’s Dance Theatre ornament exchange when I was about 1o years old. I remember opening the package up and instantly falling in love with this petite, graceful girl. You can attach her to one of the christmas lights and her wings will glow making her a true fairy of light. My family can attest that every year she went in the same place near the top of the tree and this year is no different.

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This cow ornament, besides being cute, holds a very special meaning to Emma and I. When we were sophomores in High School, our sweet friend passed away from cancer. She is one of the most amazing girls I have ever met and she continues to be an example to me of goodness and light. Her favorite animal was cows, she absolutely loved them. So as a reminder to Emma and I of our dear friend, my mom gave us this little cow.

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This ornament is one of the many my dad would bring back from his numerous trips around the world. He has been traveling since I was little and he has the best stories. This ornament is a little reminder of the exotic places my dad has seen and just how lucky I am to have such incredible parents.

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This last ornament was gifted to me as a baby so it has seen its fair share of christmas trees. I love how it looks way older than 22 years and I love that it was the first of many ornaments to join the collection.

All of us kids have stories connected to our ornaments, (I once took a bite out of Emma’s gingerbread ornament because it smelled good, haha). These ornaments are tradition, they are love, they are memories, they are family.

Deep Roots

It was early morning and Trent and I headed up to the farm. There are numerous reasons I love the farm; endless adventures up there, we learned a lot about each other up there, we got engaged up there, we lived up there. Needless to say, I love it up there. Driving up the lane in the quiet of morning, off on another adventure, always makes me happy. This particular morning we were looking for Elk. No luck in that category but we did traverse the countryside which was an adventure by itself. T knew I was getting tired so he took me back to the car to warm up for a bit while he went off to explore. I cranked the heat and quickly fell asleep.

Waking up to the hush of the snow covered fields was nothing short of magical. Luckily we brought the camera and although it took me a while to get the settings all situated, I captured some pictures. Nothing too crazy but I think the farm has a rustic beauty to it and when it’s covered in snow, it only adds to the magic.

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It has been a wild week for us around here trying to figure out how to be adults. Finals are upon us and that makes for a whole bundle of stress alone. I’m reminded every day just how lucky I am to have Trent, to have our families, to have our beliefs and to be surrounded by the goodness in the world. I stumbled across this quote/poem the other day and I feel slightly disrespectful quoting J.R.R. Tolkien because I’ve only seen parts of the movies but here goes nothing…

“All that is gold

does not glitter,

not all those who wander are lost:

the old that is

strong does not

wither, deep roots

are not reached by the frost.”

-J.R.R. Tolkien

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The last part resonated with me, “deep roots are not reached by the frost.” How do we deepen our roots so that the frost can’t reach us? An interesting thought, I’ll let you know if anything comes to mind.

Here’s to us surviving the week ahead. Thank goodness we’re in this together.

Snowy Sisters

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Trent has been hearing for quite some time about how nice it would be to have a good camera to document all our adventures with. We had been doing lots of research and trying to find the camera that would work best for us. Right before our trip to Texas, Trent gifted me with a camera as an early Christmas present! I feel spoiled rotten. He is the absolute greatest! We have both already put it to good use and I can’t wait to see all the fun things we do with it! Our brother-in-law, Sam, is a whiz when it comes to photography so he’s been trying to teach us all the ins and outs. We often revert back to the automatic feature that does it all for you but we promise we’re trying! It has been really fun to learn something new with T and I’m sure we are in for some pretty fantastic adventures.

Last weekend Trent was going to be gone, so I decided to have a little photoshoot with my little sisters up in the canyons. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it but before but there are seven girls and one boy in my family. Lots of estrogen running around our house but our brother is a good sport. We are all super close and we always love doing things together. Faith couldn’t make it but I snagged Lucy and Hope and it was a blast!  They were so kind to stomp through the snow and put up with all of my crazy ideas. They were even nice enough to take some pictures of me. We just about froze and we had to get a little creative to make our group pictures work but it was totally worth it.

I sure love these sisters of mine!!

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Aren’t they darling??

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Ya…It was a little cold. 

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Crazy I tell ya….just crazy.