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Anniversary Photo Walk

To celebrate our anniversary this year, we decided we would FINALLY give ourselves a new camera. Both of our ancient point-n-shoots were in various stages of crippling electronic senility, and we had been resorting to documenting significant portions of our life with our smart dumbphone cameras and my iPad. (And yes, I fit riiiight in with the Asain tourist sterotype.) Oh, and on really special occasions, hauling around the decade-old clunky work camera that felt like a 5 pound stone hanging around your neck.

After hours of research, Chris finally settled on the Canon 6D. We decided this back in January and put away a little each month to be able to buy it in August in time for our anniversary. We made it just in time, but unfortunately the package wouldn't ship to our APO address so we had to wait for my parents to bring it. Total bummer!

Chris surprised me on our anniversary day, however, by borrowing the Canon 7D from work for the evening so we could still play around with it and learn the ropes. We took it out on a photowalk and switched off documenting bits of the islands surrounding Stavanger while Chris taught me how to use all the new fancy settings.

Photo by Chelsea

Photo by Chelsea

Photo by Chris

It was really interesting to see what each of us was drawn to photograph. We could be looking at the exact same thing and one person would find it inspiring and create a beautiful image out of it while the other would have just passed it by. It was a fun way to get to know eachother!

Photo by Chris

Photo by Chelsea

Photo by Chelsea

Photo by Chris

Photo by Chelsea

As we were walking, Chris gave me the challenge to photograph something ugly and make it beautiful.
This was my winning photo:

Photo by Chelsea

Photo by Chris

Photo by Chris

Photo by Chris

Photo by Chris

Photo by Chris

Photo by Chris

Photo by Chelsea

Photo by Chelsea

When we got home, we celebrated with homemade Cafe Rio burritos COMPLETE with homemade tortillas :) I'm getting closer and closer to perfecting the copycat recipe!

Here's to many more years of awesome!

 

3 Years and Going Strong

On August 14, Chris and I celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary.

3 whole years ago, Chris and I knelt across from each other in the Las Vegas LDS Temple and were sealed in marriage for time and all eternity.

Sometimes that still blows my mind.

It blows my mind that I found such an amazing man to share forever with, and it blows my mind that he picked me too. And that he still picks me every single day, especially when I'm a less-than-perfect wife :) These three years have been wonderful, full of joy, full of challenges, and most of all full of adventure! Looking back on all that we've shared together so far, I'm all the more excited for the rest of our lives and beyond!

I love you Chris!

 

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A Highland Anniversary

Back in August (yes…I know I’m behind again…) Chris and I celebrated our 1st anniversary! Whoa. Time has gone by so fast, yet it already feels like we’ve been married forever! What an adventure it has been so far! I just want you all to know that I love this man with all my heart. He is a truly amazing husband and the perfect man for me. He has made me unbelievably happy this past year. I’m very excited for all of the future adventures we are going to have together in year 2 :)

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We knew we wanted to celebrate this awesome occasion by doing something, well…awesome. Unfortunately all of our previous plans fell through for various unforseen reasons. So about 3 days before our anniversary we decided that no matter what, we were going somewhere out of Stavanger. We looked at flights and the cheapest we could find landed us in…..

SCOTLAND!

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We flew into Edinburgh,  jumped on a MacBackpackers tour bus we had booked  for a 3-day trip to the Isle of Skye up in the Highlands, and then spent the last 2 days hanging out back in Edinburgh and checking out the Fringe Festival (performing arts) that runs most of August. It was a beautiful, romantic, adventurous trip!

Chris brought the big fancy camera from work so he could teach me how to use things like aperture and shutter speed to take better pictures. Naturally, that meant we ended up with about 1500 photos from the trip. No joke. I didn’t want to have to make you all scroll through tons of photos (nor did I want to have to sort through and edit them at the moment), so me and my friend iMovie made a video instead! Enjoy!

 

 Ok….so maybe I snuck a few pictures in there after all. I really just wanted you to be able to listen to the entire song without me editing it and I ran out of video footage. It’s an awesome song, eh? It’s by a band I just recently found called Seven Nations. If you like bagpipey folk music with a modern twist, definitely check them out!

 

 

A little more info about our trip in case you find it useful someday:

What we flew: Norwegian Airlines

Where we stayed: The first night in Edinburgh we stayed at the Novotel Hotel Centre. Gorgeous hotel with a pool and hot tub. Nights 2-4 were at the Skye Backpackers Hostel in Kyleakin, Isle of Skye. We booked a double private room instead of the bunk room with the rest of the tour. Night 5-6 were at the Holiday Inn Express Waterfront. Since we booked so late and the Fringe Festival was going on, we didn’t have a lot of options to pick from, but the HIE was nice and basic….just way too far from Edinburgh Center. Buses ran by frequently, but it was still quite a hassle to be so far away from all the sights.

Where we ate: To be honest…. Pizza Hut and Pappa Johns :) We may have mildly freaked out when we saw they had them in Edinburgh. We were so excited to eat good, greasy, cheesy American-style pizza again! On Skye we had delicious pub fare at Saucy Mary’s Pub. It was our most Scottish food experience of the trip. The rest of the time, we ate food we brought with us (such as noodle bowls and ramen dinners) which was easy to whip up in the hostel kitchen and worked perfectly using hot water heated with the coffee makers in the hotel rooms. Hey…we’re still newlyweds on a budget afterall :)

What we saw: Loch Ness, The Isle of Skye, Inverness, lots of old ruins, Kilt Rock, Battlefield of Culloden, National Wallace Monument, Faerie Glen, Glen Goe, Eilean Donan Castle, Braveheart Country, The Old Man of Storr, Edinburgh Castle, The Palace of Holyrood House, waterfalls, and tons of other stuff I don’t quite remember and am too lazy to look up. We loved the magic of Scotland :)

**About our MacBackpackers tour: If any of you are planning on going to Scotland and don’t want to rent a car to drive around in, we would both HIGHLY recommend a tour with MacBackpackers. Normally, I’m not a fan of organized tours, but this one was amazing! It was a great way to get out of the main cities see the highlights of the Highlands without worrying about where to stay or getting lost. MacBackpackers is a really down-to-earth tour company run through a local hostel that focuses on the younger backpacking culture, although anyone of any age can come along. It almost felt like we weren’t tourists. Our tour guide, Ruthie, was absolutely hilarious and told us all sorts of stories about Scottish history, legends and local culture. We stopped in gorgeous tiny towns that we never would have thought to stop in on our own. You do normally stay in a hostel on Skye as part of the tour, but they have private double rooms or you can opt to book your own room at one of the hotels/b&bs in town. It was a fantastic 3 days and we would highly recommend it if you are heading out to Scotland anytime soon!