These were probably my favorite places, we really enjoyed Volterra because it wasn’t as overrun with tourists as some of the others, in Rome there always something incredible to see and it had more famous attractions, Cinque Terra was actually WAY too busy.. there were tourists everywhere which made the trains especially crazy but it was absolutely beautiful and a different style of town then we had seen before then.

Justin LOVED the deep sea fishing. we had a great Italian fishing guide who took us out, Carla pretty much had to translate everything he said, but it was fun, plus he told us how to cook our eel!

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We LOVED our trip to Italy! We had so much fun with Justin’s family and it was great to be able to spend 2 weeks with them. We’ve been back now FOREVER, and I haven’t really had the time or the inclination to blog, but I’m trying now! We had tons and tons of amazing photos, but I have really tried to limit myself when choosing what to blog… and I still have a lot, so I’m going to post the trip in parts.

I know that I haven’t blogged in a long time. And this time I have a good reason. As most of you know I have started my own wedding coordination, design, and decorating company called Simply Stunning Events by Cierra. And for my new company website I do a weekly inspiration post, so generally I spend the week slowly working on my new design board for that. And to make things worse I’m trying to get a business blog going as well. So honestly I just get blogged/interneted out. From now on I’ll try to continue with this blog, and if worst comes to worse your can always check out my business blog to see what I’ve been up to!

Justin has been wanting fish for months now, so I finally gave in! I got the aquarium while he was at school and surprised him, it was in our house ALL DAY before he noticed it (it was in our room), I eventually had to ask him to go get “scissors” for me… and he said NO…. so after a few tries and a lot of begging he finally went in to our room to get them for me and saw our tank.

Aquarium

We got a 26 gallon bow front glass aquarium. Then today we went to PetSmart and Petco and chose out some fishies. Here they are:

DominoDomino (an Angel fish)

PongoPongo (She’s a Dalmatian Molly)

SatsumaSatsuma (He’s a Molly, I’m not sure what type)

ClementineClementine (She’s a Sunburst Platy)

ValenciaValencia (She’s a type of Platy)

I love them all. I got to name Valencia, Clementine, and Satsuma (I named them all after oranges haha) and I also named Pongo. Poor Justin only got to name Domino…I let my fish naming get out of hand and ended up hogging them all.

We’ve been living in Salt Lake for about 2 months now, and so far we both love it. So here are some pictures or our place. My mom and sisters have been wanting me to post some for a long time, but things have been crazy!

Front of the HouseIf I had been on top of the picture taking earlier then the left side of the lawn would be a lot prettier! We recently had some serious plumbing issues, the main pipe burst because the pipes were old and corroded. The back part of the basement that we don’t rent (thank goodness) actually flooded! Luckily our side of the basement is a few inches higher and the water didn’t raise enough to come onto our side of the basement. They actually had to cut the back of one of our kitchen cabinets out and cut about a square foot of wall out in our bathroom to get to the pipeline, but we’re glad that they handled it and they were really nice and helpful about it all (they even bought us bottled water!).

Doorway

This is our creepy staircase. There always seem to be big creepy spiders whenever I am least prepared for them. I’m really nervous about the winter turning this into a death trap.

Living Room 2

Living Room 1
Living Room 3

Dining Area

This is our living room/dining area. Right now its all decked out for Halloween.

Kitchen 3

Kitchen 1

Kitchen 4

This is our kitchen. I love my kitchen. We have a BIG dishwasher (hooray!) and the cabinets and tile are pretty new. It’s much bigger than our kitchen in Tucson was, although the fridge and the oven are much older here. And they aren’t level!!! A lot of our floors seem to be a bit slanted which is apparently common in basement apartments. It can make cooking a little complicated when I’m using the stove because everything gradually slides to one side of the pan!

Pink Bathroom

Our bathroom is way fun. It’s totally growing on me. It’s pink, with a tiny bit of blue. It is a bit of a pain only having one bathroom (we had 2 in Tucson) because I always have to make sure it stays clean so that people can use it. There also isn’t any counter space, and there’s just the one cabinet. It’s starting to get to the point where the outrageous tile makes up for all that though, it just makes me happy!

Our Bedroom 1

Our Bedroom 2

Laundry Room

This is our bedroom. The door in the second picture leads to our laundry room, which as you can see is also my walk-in-closet. I absolutely love having such great closet space. Poor Justin, he got stuck with the tiny closet in the guest room.

Office

Desk Area

This time we put Justin’s desk in the guest room, which works a lot better because then if he is pulling an all-nighter I can still get some sleep! It’s a little cluttery right now. Pretty much anything that doesn’t have a place ends up in here eventually.

And now for some HALLOWEEN pictures! I am way excited to finally have some holiday decorations, my mom ended up with duplicates of a bunch of her Halloween stuff (because she had one set for the Utah house and one for the Nevada house that they’re selling) so I absolutely SCORED. I was so excited that I wasn’t even capable of waiting to put it up, I decorated for Halloween in mid-September.

Halloween 1

Halloween 2

Halloween 3

While I was watching the little girls we decided to do a fun back to school pool party. I have to say that pool parties are my favorite, the kids stay in one place and don’t make a mess, they have a ton of fun! I let all the kids invite one friend, but Ry and Chan opted out on account of them being too cool, so Chloe and Alyse both got two friends instead of one. Our party turned out great!

Party Decor

McCall and Alyse helped me make the paper chains, and Chloe helped me make the pom pom’s. We filled containers with matching candies. And we had a kid friendly meal: hot dogs, potato salad, 7-layer salad, fruit salad, and chips.

Decor

Kiddies in the Pool

More Kids

And here’s the girlies on the first day of school! Chloe was really mad at me because they were a bit late and I still made them stop and pose for a picture. The older kids were late too and they drove with Alexa so I don’t have one of them, but they looked pretty adorable too.

School

Girls in the grass

My parents are hunting in Africa this month so 5 days after moving to SLC I came here to Kanab to help take care of all my siblings. When I get back up North I plan to blog about our new place, but for now that’s on hold. I’ve been having a lot of fun with all my little siblings in the past two weeks. It’s great to be home and I’ve definitely missed them. My mom emailed me the other day and asked me to blog about all of the kids. So we went out and we took photos to show to my parents. Sadly the oldest kids are all too cool to spend the day taking photos with us, but I plan to really try to take pictures of all the fun things we do.  We already went to see Annie at the Tuachan, we went to Danna’s baby shower, we went off roading with Alexa across John R and up to the TV towers…Alyse got car sick and threw up, and we have done some little crafts as well.

Here are some more pictures of our “dream home”. We still aren’t sure whether or not we’re going to be able to rent it…. probably not. I’m still trying to think positively though!

Nice Bathroom

Nice Bathroom

Living Area

Living Area

Dream home

BIG DECISION

As most of you know Justin and I have been considering moving back to Utah for quite a while. The unemployment here is almost 10% while in Salt Lake City it is only 5%, and here in Tucson most jobs also require you to speak Spanish. Aside from that the tuition here in Tucson is just too high, $21,000 this coming year alone (S13,000 with our grants), we wanted to try to tough it out so that the following year we could finally get in-state. We had heard that in-state was hard to get, but thought that we had a pretty good chance since we are married, and because so much of Justin’s family lives in the are. We assembled a pro and con list, with a primarily pro SLC list, but we were still torn. Then we discovered the small print: A student who moves to Arizona as a college student CANNOT ever qualify for in-state. The only person Justin ever heard of that did had a letter of recommendation from the Governor of Arizona. You have to drop out for a year, and then get accepted again. So our decision is made. We plan on moving to SLC at the end of the month, Justin is already enrolled at the U of U, we set up a Uhaul, and bought packing boxes. Part of me is so excited for the move: we’ll be near family and so many friends, we’ll have less stress financially, jobs should be easier to find, and it won’t be so HOT. Another part of me is also sad: All of Justin’s relatives live near by here in Tucson, and Justin’s grandpa has cancer that has moved to his spine and he may not live through the year, I am really really sad about moving away from them. Despite all of the sad things though we’re confident that we made the best choice!

APARTMENT SEARCH

We are hoping to find a place that we would WANT to stay in for a number of years. So we are focusing our search mainly on 2 bedroom basement apartments in SLC, we have been looking for about two days now and haven’t had very good luck! We found two decent options but they are both TINY, we would have to trade living room furniture with Chelsea, and we would also have to get a new bed frame, and we couldn’t fit our dressers (we wouldn’t have enough clothing storage space without them) or kitchen table.

One Option:

Rental Option 1 Outside

Outside

Rental Option 1 Kitchen

Great Updated Kitchen - No room for our table!

Rental Option 1 Bathroom

Adorable Bathroom

Living Room

Living Room

Tiny Bedroom

Tiny Bedroom

We found one AMAZING place that I absolutely love. It is 1,024 square feet. And it is BEAUTIFUL, the carpet and paint is all new, the kitchen has granite countertops and all new appliances, it’s right next to the U of U bus line, and utilities are included in the monthly fee so although it is high we could work with it. All in all it is my dream place, I could actually imagine living there for 3 years or more! The issue is that they do not want to allow cats, they worry about the new carpets being ruined and the place smelling. Lucky is actually a VERY GOOD cat, she has had no accidents in the past 6 years, she doesn’t scratch walls or carpets, she is also very quiet usually, but we have to try to convince them of that. The woman who is renting it seems to like us a lot, and I think that she wants to rent to us, but her husband doesn’t, when we called her today she said that it was a no, but after talking to Justin for a while she asked for the contact information of our current landlord and said that she would talk to her husband about it some more. So EVERYONE cross your fingers and pray for us!

Beautiful Dream Place!

Beautiful Dream Place!

Drool Inducing Kitchen

Drool Inducing Kitchen

SECOND BRIDAL SESSION!

My Favorite

Our wedding was almost 6 months ago, and we have FINALLY received the photos from our second bridal session. We had two sessions done because we ran out of time during our first and weren’t able to switch locations. I love all of these, and I like the softer more romantic look, I feel like I ended up with a perfect combination of styles that represent Justin and me.

Nick Adams Photography did our photography for our engagements, bridals, and day of, plus they did a family portrait for us as well, Nick Adams and his wife Signe work together, he takes the amazing shots, she handles the posing and contributes her creativity as well. They are absolutely incredible to work with, and I would recommend them to anyone!

Here is one of the family photos taken the day before our wedding:

Family Portrait

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