Summer Highlights (oh hey, I'm back!)

Whaddup blogging world?! Anyone still out there? Do people even blog anymore? Is there life after summer? These are the questions I need answered.

So we had one insane whirlwind of a summer. In all honesty I sat down with myself in May and had a convo that went something like this: "Hey Laura, you have a million things to juggle this summer. You can be done blogging now." "K cool, thanx."

And it was true. Blogging just was not even going to fit during those cray months. Maybe it would have for someone less OCD about their blogging, but it legit takes me 2+ hours to put together a blog post every time. Between narrowing down what pictures I'll post, editing the pictures, writing the post, editing the post, re-editing the post, and doing final's an ordeal. I totally get how people can turn blogging into their full-time job. Don't get me wrong, I love all parts of that process! I love writing and editing (basically majored in it), and I love taking and editing pictures (even more now since I feel like I got much better at it over the summer). It is a major time commitment though. And I get that it doesn't have to be, but blogging wouldn't be as enjoyable for me if I didn't do it the long, drawn-out way.

Now that we've moved to Georgia and Jared's started his clinical rotations, I finally feel like blogging can (and should!) be added back into the that I actually have a routine going again. There's no way I'm living in the South and not documenting it. It's been too wonderful of an experience so far.  But before I start blogging about Georgia things, I want to do one recap post of our summer highlights. As I was pulling the pictures I wanted to include this post, I got really sad about the hundreds of seriously awesome pictures of trips, weddings, hikes, etc. I took this summer that aren't posted anywhere and probably never will be. Nonetheless,  I'm happy I made the decision at the beginning of the summer not to worry about posting, because it wouldn't have happened anyway, so at least I never had to stress about it.

I usually don't just let me fingers fly and ramble my way through a post like I just did, but it's what's necessary for me to get the ball rolling again. Now that that's over with, here is a random sampling of photos and memories from our wonderful, busy, perfect, exhausting summer. It may be a doozy. Whole summers' wortha stuff in one post, y'know?
 ^^Jared and I drove up to Seattle to surprise his family in July! Not sure I'd do the whole drive-a-million-miles-and-hope-the-surprise-works-out thing again, but it was something we'd always wanted to try and this was the perfect scenario. We didn't find out where we'd be living for the next two years until the first week of July. We knew that we'd probably be placed in California, Chicago, or Georgia. We decided that if we were placed in California we'd take a road trip to CA to find housing, and if we were placed somewhere else we'd find our housing online and drive to Seattle to surprise Jared's family. This was the ideal surprise situation because we didn't want to tell them that we might be coming to visit, knowing full well that there was a good chance we'd road trip to California instead and then everyone (us included) would be disappointed. So anyway, it worked out that we got to go see them, and this is a picture I love of Jared and I when we went crabbing with his family on the Puget Sound.
 ^^Family pictures with my family. We haven't had a formal picture with all of us in years because of missions etc. We had a 3-day window between when Peter would come from his mission and Jordan+Amanda would get married and Jared+I would move to Atlanta when we could get a picture. We decided just to set up my tripod and take some pictures, so that's how this shot came to be! Honestly most of the pictures turned out blurry so next time we probably wouldn't do the tripod thing, but we did get one or two really good options for the wall which is all my parents wanted this time around anyway!
 ^^Dottie came to visit! Dottie is my #1 college souvenir (can I call you a souvenir, Dottie?). She lives in Texas, but came out to Utah for our sophomore roommate Marie's wedding. While she was here we ate all the good Utah food and drove the Alpine Loop to scope out spots for me to take engagement pictures for Jordan+Amanda.
^^Speaking of which, here is one of their engagement pictures I took! (This is Jordan's goofy smile, but lots of people who saw this thought it was his normal smile.) I did several photoshoots this summer, but for those of you wondering, no, I'm not pursuing a career in photography (or videography either anymore). Lots of people have been asking me if they can hire me to take their pictures, and although most of the time I say yes, it's not something I'm actively searching out. I find that I love photography as an art form, but I get stressed out taking and editing pictures for paying clients. I'd rather just take pictures of my new puppy and make her instagram famous and bring in money for my photography that way (but really). I did have lots of fun on all the shoots I did this summer though! They were all for family so super chill super fun. Plus I got to rent a 50mm 1.2L lens for these engagement pictures. #livingthedream
^^Roper family reunion. Ok, so all these pictures are out of order, but here's a little timeline for you:

+May 20-July 2: Jared studies all day every day for USMLE Step I (biggest test of his life, determines our entire future). I work my editing job and start the building blocks for an online store I hope to launch in the coming months. I get to spend lots of quality time with my fam since we're living at my parents' house.  

+The rest of July (I don't remember specific dates beyond this point) we do 4th of July things with my family; celebrate our anniversary at my aunt's sisters' house in Lehi while we dog-sit her pups for the weekend; surprise Jared's family with a week in Seattle; have a fun weekend with med-school friends up Provo canyon; put a deposit down on a puppy; spend another week after that with Jared's family in Bear Lake.

+August 1-26: Pick up our puppy (more on that in a future post--she's sleeping at my feet right now though, awww); pick up my brother Peter at the airport after his 2-year LDS mission; go to a fun family reunion in Eastern Utah (see picture above); rafting trip on the Green River; Jordan+Amanda get married; pack all our belongings into a moving van; drive to Georgia.

And in the background of this there's all sorts of other work and play going on. But anyway, I'm so glad we made it to the family reunion amidst all the craziness! We do these every two years, and it's so cool to catch up with aunts and uncles and see all my cousins' little kids growing like weeds. Jared and I both looked forward to this reunion for a long time. Jared would seriously mention it every month. I took lots of video that I plan to edits some day, but I'm still behind on Grenada videos so we'll see if I can ever resurface from all the video footage my hard drive is drowning in.
^^A picture at Jordan+Amanda's wedding reception! It's crazy to me that I have two married brothers and two sisters-in-law now! More Haines kids are married than not married at this point. I love Amanda and am so glad she's part of the family now. Also, their reception was in a nursery, which is always a good idea.
 ^^Mona rope swing. I convinced Jared to take a break from studying to come here with me and my dad and brothers. He ended up bringing his study materials and just watching, but it was so fun and so pretty and look at that hilariously awkward pose!
 ^^When I rented the fancy lens for Jordan+Amanda's engagement pictures, I had it for the weekend and did several fun photoshoots with my parents and with Jared. I'm glad they got a picture of this because this is seriously how Jared carries me and I giggle every time.
 ^^4th of July nine-square with cousins! This was such a pretty evening. There were 3 or 4 times during the summer when I was like, "Man, that was just too cool to forget. I need to do a post about it." One of those times was the 4th of July. I'm sorry, but I don't think anyone can truly appreciate July 4th like Jared and I do until you've spent a couple years living outside the US. This country is incredible. The comforts, the cleanness, the opportunities, the freedom, the feeling of safety (if you don't feel like these words describe America, I invite you to spend some time in a developing country and then come back and re-evaluate). Anyway, I'm sure I'll expound on those thoughts in my post about moving to Georgia, but anyway, I was like crying tears of happiness to be in America with family and big fireworks on July 4th, since last year we were in Grenada probably hiding under our one AC unit and watching Parks & Rec. #patriotic
 ^^At the beginning of summer Jared and I took our camping gear for a test drive on a weekend trip down to Zions. It wasn't our intended destination and finding an available place to camp was a huge struggle, but when we found out that we had accidentally discovered a secret entrance to Zions the next day, all was right in the world.
 ^^Dog-sitting Penny (golden doodle), Molly (great dane), and Siri (golden doodle). Jared and I had been throwing around the idea of getting a dog for a year, and spending time with these gentle giants is probably what made it happen. Molly is the calmest, coolest dog I've ever met. Penny (on the left) is the daughter of my cousins' dog Siri (on the right). Both are sweet and fun, but I have never ever encountered a dog like Penny before. She's this crazy cuddle bug. She'd jump up on my lap and push her head into my chest and gently paw my arm for snuggles. All the time. I was like, "I could live with this."
 ^^Fun on Bear Lake with Jared's fam! We especially loved spending time with that cute little niece.
 ^^Our surprise trip to Washington. His family's neighborhood has this cool forest lake tucked right into it that you wouldn't even know was there unless someone told you!
 ^^More crabbing.
 ^^Picking Peter up from the airport. So neat to have a picture with all of us in it! Poor guy didn't even get to sleep in his bed that night, since we immediately took off for the family reunion.
^^Jared and I on our Green River rafting trip.

Alright, that's a wrap on this post. There are definitely way more summer highlights I could post about, but I am wiped out and ready to post Georgia things. If I find myself with excess time over the coming weeks I may go back and post more in-depth about some of the events in this post, but let's be real, I have an energetic puppy so free time is pretty hard to come by. Be on the lookout for shorter, more organized, better-written posts in the future. They may only come once a week, but they'll come!

1 comment

  1. Sounds busy and fun! I'm excited to be able to better stalk your life again ;)



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