Wednesday, February 26, 2014

If you have been following my instagram, you have seen that Zac and I have recently taken up hiking. Let's just say it is absolutely wonderful, but my calves are on fire.. and my shins… and thighs… and feet. Just sayin'. I thought I would share a few more photos of our hiking adventures that I didn't post on instagram. Mostly because Utah is gorgeous, and everyone needs to see how freaking gorgeous it is. Okay? Okay.
First was a random little trail we found near the mouth of Big Cottonwood canyon. We were both nervous about the avalanche danger, so we tried to find someplace with no snow. This was basically all we could find at the time.
So lets just talk about my fear of heights real quick, and how what appears to be joy on my face is absolute terror on the inside. Just clarifying.

Our next adventure was up Milcreek Canyon. We stayed towards the bottom once again, so we decided on Pipeline. You will soon see why we couldn't exactly finish that one.
Here was the beginning of the hike. So wonderful and calm... but then...

Yeah... let's not talk about it. Haha
After that we decided to turn around which was a very good choice on our part.
Our next hiking adventure was in Bountiful, and that hike was literally death. I only took once picture, mostly because the only thing I could focus on while walking was putting one foot in front of the other, and trying not to fall over and die. So here is your one picture.
Hehe soo handsome!

After the hike of death we decided to hike Ensign Peak aka the easiest hike in existence.
So the four days of hiking ended on a Tuesday. We decided to give ourselves a nice long break, and not hike again until Saturday. Saturday we headed up to Antelope Island, and settled on Frary Peak. We also brought along a little friend of ours, Frary the Summit Frog. He is our new friend that will be joining us on all our summit hikes. Yay Frary the Frog!
This was the first hike we actually finished! 7 miles round trip might not sound like much, but I was pretty proud!

Our last hike for the week was supposed to be the Bonneville Shoreline trail, but it is kind of in the process of being made, so we just kind of wandered around a bunch of different trails. We made a friend on the way which was pretty cool.
Through hiking and choosing to exercise more I have gained such an appreciation for my body. I have learned to love the body that I have. I am so grateful for a body that allows me to be active, and has the opportunity to get stronger. It just makes me happy.

Hopefully these hiking adventures don't stop. I like being active, and I like getting outside and enjoying some fresh air. Zac and I are trying to hike Kings Peak this summer, which is the highest point in Utah. Wish is luck!!
P.s- we also watched Star Wars inside a tent, so I guess we are pretty cool. Yes, those are light sabers, and yes they are my boyfriends. And YES, I love him even more for it!

Journal Day #1

Friday, February 21, 2014

A couple weeks ago I stumbled across the blog Sometimes Sweet, and absolutely fell in love. Danielle is the coolest mama, and has the cutest little family ever! One thing that Danielle has started is a journal day. Basically, at the beginning of the week she writes a prompt, and invites everyone to write about it, and than share our writing with one another. I have been in a bit of a blogging funk lately, so I thought I would give it a try. I don't really write here anymore, so I think this challenge will help me with that. Here is the prompt for this week.

Everyone has a time in their life they view as a crossroad. Sometimes you can see it as it's happening, and you're able to choose one way or another. Other times you may not realize you're there until you look back, and see what a turning point it really was. This week, write about a time you view as a marker in your life; a distinct place where things changed, for better or worse. 

This prompt was kind of a difficult one for me. Mostly because this crossroads of mine happened not to long ago. Exactly a year ago I was filling out my papers to serve as a missionary for the LDS church. It was a big moment in my life. At the time it felt so good. All my friends around me where leaving on missions, and it was nice to feel connected to all of them in some way. It was exactly a year ago yesterday that my best friend left for France to serve as a missionary for the LDS church, and at the time I felt like that was the only thing I should be doing with my life. I mean, everyone else was. 

As time went on, my excitement towards serving a mission began to fade and feelings of anxiety and dread soon took over. It didn't feel RIGHT anymore, but everyone was getting ready to leave, and they were all so excited. I thought that I needed to be on that level with them, so I faked it. 

In May (I think it was May), my mission call came, and I was asked to serve in the Mississippi Jackson mission. The whole day leading up to opening that call was not a good one. I had been waiting so long to get this thing. There had been a bunch of mix-ups with my papers (like them getting lost), so it took a lot longer than it was supposed to. I had so many different emotions, but the most present one was feeling like I was going to throw up. Yeah, basically the whole day. As I opened my call, for the first time in a long time it finally felt right again. Unfortunately, those feelings were quickly fading away.

I didn't feel like I could tell anyone about this. The only person I wanted to talk to was basically on the other side of the world who I could only communicate with one day a week through email. I just felt lost and broken. I felt myself getting dragged deeper and deeper into this depression that I had no reason for being in. Then I met a boy.

This isn't one of those stories where I fall in love with the boy, and decide to stay home from my mission because I am madly in love. Sure, that may have been a result, but that didn't come until much later. This boy that I am now madly in love with was rock during this time. He was the only one I felt like I could open up to, because he wasn't a member of the LDS church. He was the only one who seemed to be able to strip away all the religion crap, and see me and how I was truly feeling. It felt so nice to finally be able to open up, and get all my feelings and thoughts out there. My thoughts of not wanting to serve a mission, and wanting to take this time of mine that I had to educate myself by going to school, and traveling the world. He could see the real me. 

I can still remember the conversation I had with him. It was a warm August day, and I was sitting outside on my back patio. I had a chair facing the house, and I was running my fingers through the cracks of the brick trying to make sense of it all. We had been texting back and forth, and on this particular day I was just completely done. I didn't want to fake it anymore, but I was so scared of what everyone would think of me. I was scared my family would be angry, and that everyone would look at me different afterward. I just felt completely lost, and I had no idea what to do.

This is where my crossroads happened. This Zachary of mine sent me a combination of words that completely changed everything. These words made me stand up for myself, and take charge of my life. Obviously I don't remember the entire text (it was a long one), but he basically told me that this life of mine, it is MY life. I have the ability to make my own decisions. No one else has control over my decisions. I need to go after my goals and dreams, and what I believe in. You can't live your life being scared of what everyone else will think. This life of ours is ours to live, and we were given the agency to make our own decisions, and we have the ability to choose for ourselves. 

When I look back at it now, these words are so simple. Of course we have the ability to make our own decisions! But before that day I had been so concerned with making everyone else happy. I lived my life scared of what people would think of my decisions, and I always tried to mold my decisions around everyone else's happiness. These words have completely changed my life. They helped me to be bold, and to sit down and figure out what I wanted, and what would make me truly happy. I know how selfish all this sounds, but really, there is no other time in my life where I will get to be a little selfish. This time is my time, and I don't want to waste it on doing things that don't make me happy.

Since this crossroads in my life, I have been so much happier. I am lucky enough to still have this Zac of mine right by my side to always remind me of it. I finally have taken charge of my own life, and I don't know where I would be without those simple combination of words sent to me through a silly text message that August afternoon. And for that, I will always be grateful. 


Thursday, February 13, 2014

About two weeks ago I took in two rolls of film to get developed that have been sitting in my room for a year and a half. They were my first two rolls of film I shot after taking my dark room photography class my first semester of college.

I was so excited to see these. Mostly because I couldn't remember anything I had taken on them. My goodness, did I have a major flash back to the past! In these photos I see experimenting with my camera, past relationships, my pup that passed away almost a year ago, and just random things I thought were important at the time of taking them. I think the biggest surprise with this developed film is to see how much I have grown as a photographer since then. Guys, these pictures are kind of horrible. Haha Half of them are just noise, and the others are extremely under or over-exposed. Oh, and blurry! I couldn't forget blurry. I am going to share them anyway, because it just goes to show what practice and passion can do in just a year and a half. Seeing these have just made me appreciate that I have stuck with photography, and that I continue to learn and grow.

But seriously you guys, get ready for these. Some are a bit of an eye sore. Haha I am not sharing all of them, because that would just be mean. So yeah, here are a few.
Ahhh my pup!! Look at this handsome guy. Love him to pieces! Miss you buddy.

Obviously I have to end with a selfie. It only makes sense. But seriously, don't ask me what made me decide to take a picture of my window, yarn, and best of all an old friend sitting in the corner of a shower completely drenched. Let's not try and figure out how my mind works sometimes, because that is just chaos. 

So there is "younger" Shelby trying to be a cool and hip photographer... HAHAHA if only I had known.


Sunday, February 9, 2014

The PCT, otherwise known as the Pacific Crest Trail. Also known as the one thing I want to accomplish in the next ten years. Yeah, I'm serious.

For those of you who don't know what the PCT is, it is a 2,663 mile hiking trail starting in Campo, California and ending in Manning, British Columbia (or the other way around). You go through California, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia, Canada.

I know a lot of people's thoughts on a thru-hike like this are, "Are you absolutely insane?" and "Why on earth would you do that to yourself?" Well, it all started with the book Wild by Cheryl Strayed. It is basically about a woman going through a lot of tough trials in her life who decides to randomly hike the PCT... with basically not training whatsoever!! Can you even imagine that?! Like, that is probably legit crazy. The thing is, she did it. She didn't hike the entire trail (I don't plan to either), but what I love is throughout the book seeing how much stronger she becomes. Seeing her push herself, and how throughout time she realizes her body has become strong. That is just so cool to me, and ever since I have kind of been obsessed with the idea of it.

I don't really know why I am telling you all this. It has just been something constantly on my mind lately, and all I want to do is talk about it. Zac found a video the other day about a man who hiked the PCT who shot little snippets of him walking from beginning to end. This just blew my mind. Seriously, look at this trail. It is stunning.
Ugh, do you see now why I am so obsessed?! Probably not, but you can't deny that this isn't beautiful.

Do any of you have crazy goals/dreams that you couldn't imagine anyone understanding? Or just cool goals in general?! Anyone want to join me?! Hahaha Just kidding.

San Francisco: The Film

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Oh my goodness, I am so excited you guys. It has been a little over a year since the last time I put some new film in my camera, and now it is all I want in life. I just want piles of film, and hours to explore and take pictures. There is just that look of film, the feel of it. I can't even describe it, but it is one of my favorite things in the whole entire world. I am a little rusty when it comes to operating my film camera, so just be aware of that. Either way, I love these pictures, and it takes a lot for me to say that. I have a bunch, so get ready!
I am kind of obsessed with the darkness of china town. Everything is so close together, so the colors really stand out in photographs.
This and the beach were my favorite part of the day. Just taking a little breather from running around all day, and taking a little nap in the sun. I can't even explain how perfect and needed it was. Especially coming from Utah death cold weather. 
The end of our day consisted of venturing to the heart of downtown, and hanging out there for a little bit. This guy was so awesome, and we stood and watched him play for a while. 

The rest of the pictures are from our last day in San Fran when we went over the Golden Gate Bridge to go an explore Muir Beach. My goodness it was gorgeous!

I actually still have some pictures of Muir beach on another roll of film, but I have yet to finish it. Those will be shared as soon as I find someplace or reason to take more pictures!

This really was the perfect mini vacation. I already want to go back. Just feeling the sun was enough, but the beauty of San Francisco was definitely a plus. Til' we meet again San Fran (oh please let that be soon)!

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