Thinking Minimal

Over the last few months Brig and I have been studying up on the idea of “minimalism“. We’ve been dapping in it here and there, but I think we’re ready to take a more serious dip. The theory that less is more and more is distracting from life is something that I’ve never really thought about until the last year. We’ve been extremely blessed, so blessed that we literally have everything we need and everything we want. But the interesting thing that I’ve taken note of is this:

our happiness has nothing to do with what we have.

Seriously! Our happiest memories consist of our time spent together, with just each other, with friends, and with family. I can’t even think of a memory that was centered on a thing, like, I can’t say that our movie watching nights were better because we had surround sound. No, our movie nights are awesome because we pick movies that are interesting! And our memory wouldn’t be dampened because of where the sounds was coming from. Or, our family is not closer together because we have the newest Apple products (which we don’t). In fact, our stuff is getting dated, and we don’t even notice!

I think the only object that has enhanced our memories is a camera. And that is because it freezes those moments in time, to be remembered in full color.

I guess what I’ve been noticing is that we don’t need the objects that we want to be happy, we need those moments, those experiences that bring us together, make us ponder, strengthen our friendships and faith and family. We NEED those things above all else!

I think a life of simplicity will be liberating. I feel like it will bring freedom in so many ways: freedom from financial burdens, freedom from mental stress over messes, disorganization or clutter, freedom from time-wasting appliances. Instead I think it will bring a feeling of peace and contentment, the ability to focus on family, health, relationships, and experiences. I’m so excited to be fully on board. I know that this process will be a journey, and one of great discovery! It will be interesting to see what we decide to keep and throw away- what do we value the most? What brings beauty into our home? What is distracting? What is useless to us? I think it will reveal a lot about us, who we really are and what we deem valuable.

And the big question is: After all is said and done, what will we do with our new-found freedom?

Tanner Park

Salt Lake County continues to become more fun the longer we live here. Since Molly and Hank have been a part of our family, we have utilized the best resource SLC has to offer: Dog Parks.

Dog parks are so much fun! We pretty much plan to go there any time there is leftover sunlight because they are so much fun! There are tons of dogs running around, big ones, little ones, giant ones, and they all come up to greet you when you walk in. Our puppies get to make friends, run, run and run. And while they are chasing and playing, Brig and I get to have a great time too! Dog owners are awesome. Who knew you could sit around and talk about dogs for hours? Who knew you could find people you really like by talking about dogs? We always walk away from the parks feeling like we’ve made new friends (which we legitimately do! We see them again and again at the park and we get to pick up our conversations from the last time), we feel like our puppies got some proper exercise (they fall asleep immediately upon driving home) and we feel good anyway for getting outside, even when it’s cold.

Tanner Park in Sugarhouse is our favorite. It’s like you’re going hiking, but it’s secretly a contained area. You get the feeling of getting away into the mountains without having to go very far. And there are dogs, everywhere. Running through streams, chasing each other up and down the hillsides, swimming, playing fetch with large branches… it’s amazing. It feels free and wild! And do you know who thought of this wonderful place?

SLC that’s who.

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Murder Mystery

Photo: Murder Mystery Party 2013! Had a great time, thanks everyone! :)

We have such great friends, and they apparently trust us very much. We were invited to do a Murder Mystery (you know, you act out your part and play sleuth to find the murderer?) to replace a couple that couldn’t come. Brig and I didn’t know any of the other couples except 2- and I think that means that they must have trusted us to fit in with the rest of them really well! I don’t know why, but it made me feel really great. It’s nice to know your friends (and our new friends!) though we were “alright”.

Being newly married is so funny- we have almost totally forgotten what it’s like to get together with a bunch a friends! That may sound really silly, and that’s because it is! We probably get out to visit or do something with friends, like, once a month. I don’t know if that’s normal. But when we do get ourselves out- it’s always so much fun!

And so, to our friends: We love you dearly. Don’t think that our absence means that we don’t like you! We do! We just haven’t gotten over being married yet I guess. And that’s alright 🙂 We’ll break out of that I’m sure (well, not so sure. Just assuming :P). Thank you for always reaching out to us- we always enjoy our time with you!

FYI- I totally knew who the murderer was. I’m awesome.

Also, my husband is a scary good actor. Mostly because he acts like himself 😛

And, and special thanks to our new friends for letting us have so much fun with you!

5. I am grateful for my husband’s patience. He knows what I mean.

6. I am grateful for a working vehicle. Life is so much easier when you have control over your transportation!

 

November

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November has come so quickly this year- and in fact, this year has gone by faster than any other year in my entire life. Brig and I have been married for 11 months now- how is that possible!? It seems like only days… and yet it seems like my life has never been without him. I am so happy to look back on our 11 months of marriage (and now 1.5 years total of courtship!) and find so much to be grateful and joyful about. I, personally, never thought I would be so happy- but I am that happy!

This November is going to be a good one, a sweet one. I can feel it! I am feeling the impact of all of the blessings Heavenly Father has given me in my life, and He’s allowing me to taste how sweet life really is when you love unconditionally and are happy with the possessions you have and the health you’ve enjoyed.

My little family is so much fun, and each day greets us with something new to be thankful for. Like this morning- I am so thankful for grocery stores that are so close and that are open early- because when you wake up and find nothing in the fridge or cupboards to eat, you can just whisk over to one and feed your family for only a few dollars. It made me think of when I lived in Liverpool, and we ran out of toilet paper… but none of the stores were open till 10:00! (We were having an out-of-country-experience!). Yes. I am grateful for early-morning grocery visits.

This is a good month for gratitude, and I think I will try to cultivate that part of me just a little bit more.

1. I am grateful for my handsome, charming, funny, intelligent, interesting, fun, and wonderful Husband

2. I am grateful that I can live in a safe city, a safe neighborhood, and a place that lets me have my puppies!

3. I am grateful for my friends- my new and old friends who have supported us and loved us in all of our “forms”

4. I am grateful for opportunities to give.. Like Birthdays! (Brig: I know something you don’t know!)

(Stay tuned for more stuff to be grateful for!)

Happiness is… Puppies and Hikes and Being Together

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We have the best life! We really couldn’t feel any more blessed. We were able to move to a nice, comfortable, and safe community back in August, and we have been savoring every moment of living in such a nice place. It’s funny that you never think about your safety, or what living in a clean place really means- until you’re faced with the opposite! Luckily, we have passed by that stage of life, and now we are happy, safe, and comfortable.

On top of it all, we’ve been able to get us our “Little Miss Molly-in-the-Face” (as we have come to call her!). She is so much fun! I don’t know how we got so lucky as to have such a cute, mild mannered, cuddly puppy! But we sure did! We have had so much fun taking her with us on hikes, dog events, dog parks, and training classes. She really has made our little home feel more home-y. It’s so fun to have little paws running around the house, enthusiastically squeaking her squeaker, and snuggling up for a nap. Brig and I are definitely ooey-gooey pup parents… and can you blame us? Just look at her cute face!

Brig and I are getting into the camping/backpacking scene, and it is so much fun! There is something so refreshing about getting out on a hike away from the confines of the house or work, and away from the computer and TV. I think we connect just a little bit more as we walk through the beautiful mountains, noticing the changing leaves or the last flowers of the season, or the towering peaks with snow at the tips. We get to talk and talk without distractions, and if we want, we can be happy just listening to the birds and the wind. It’s awesome. We can’t wait to go on our first camping trip next weekend! We are pumped!

The next few weeks are going to fly by as we prepare to bring home another new member of the family… stay tuned!

Miss Molly

This little fur-baby has made our home more home-y, and certainly never lonely! We were pining for a puppy, and we allowed ourselves to go “look” at a litter. Well, you know what that means- we brought home Miss Molly!

Isn’t she adorable? Because she is. And she’s naughty. And cute.

We love her ❤

She thinks she’s big and tough:

And she’s super cute when she’s sleepy:

And she knows how to take a bite (after much crying and howling of course 🙂 )

We love this little Miss- she is so much fun! And since we don’t have babies to adore over, be sure you’ll be seeing lots of our puppies! (Wait, puppies??)

With puppy-love,

Brig and Tiff

The Berthold/Hulet Wedding Palooza

Wedding Palooza! Our families know how to do parties RIGHT!

Here are the highlights (in order of wedding!)

Naturally, we were the first! January- starting the year off right!

Next in line: Garr and Jessee! They were married in May!

Next: Sarah and Pete, married in June!

And last, but certainly not least: Mally and KayCee were married in July!

 

 

 

Our family is pretty amazing. I mean, who does 4 weddings in a 6 month period? It has been so fun to see our family grow- we have accumulated such great people! The best part is: we get to live close enough to each other to see and grow with each other- hopefully over many years!

I feel pretty blessed to get to have such wonderful people so close to me. I can’t wait to see where our lives take us!

This Wonderful Man Comes Home Tomorrow!

My husband comes home tomorrow! It almost makes me tear-up to think about it! (I know that’s totally silly, but I love the guy!)

It’s hard going a long time without the companionship of your better half. So much has happened, and I wonder if all the things I want to talk about with him will matter anymore! Time apart always makes me realize how special and eventful each and every living day is. You know those people who say, “Make the most of every day!” or “Each day is a gift from God” and it usually puzzles me- what does “making the most of every day” and viewing each day as a gift really mean? What about a day in and of itself is so special?

Well, I can at least tell you what I think!

Each day possesses the potential for great change, great successes, great failures, great realizations, great tragedies, great love, and great surprises. Potential being the key word here, we usually view a day as having nothing “great”, but having very little. But, as I now get to have stretches with and without my better half, for some reason, it’s easier to see the greatness of a day. Within the 2 weeks that My Man has been gone, I’ve had great discoveries about myself, my desires, my hopes and dreams, I’ve had experiences that have strengthened family relationships and moments of great sorrow and loneliness. Without my best friend around the house to talk it all out with, it’s almost as if those moments that mattered so much in my day were amplified- waiting to be discussed with the man in my life that my world revolves around. It’s strange- each day really is special. Each day holds something to be discussed, something to be grateful for, something… just something!

Each day with the one you love really is a gift- and sometimes it takes those times apart to really see it that way: a gift.

I love that Briggy of mine! I’m counting down the very minutes until I can bring him home!

My Baby Sister is MARRIED!

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Wow.

Aren’t they lovely? I can’t believe that my sister is married now too! What a crazy year it has been! (And my poor parent’s are sick of weddings!) It feels like a whirlwind of love, stress, happiness, and… wedding stress. I guess I personally was done with the wedding stress stuff months ago, but I couldn’t help but feel for my parent’s and my sister as they tried to pull of another wedding. But in the end, as always, it turns out beautiful and wonderful.

It was so much fun being on the other side of a family wedding. I got to watch them smile with relief from finally making it to the day they’ve anticipated for months, I got to watch the little cousins get excited to see the bride in her beautiful dress, I got to be a part of the party and talk my face off with relatives, I gave a toast directed at the newly married couple, I got to send them off at the end of the night. It was so much fun to get to be the sister of the bride instead of the bride ;).

It was so interesting to me to observe how different Sister and I were in picking out what we wanted for our weddings and… pretty much how the whole day went! It was amazing to me that, despite our differences, we still got the best part of the deal- an eternal marriage to the love of our lives.

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Sarah’s wedding was beautiful, and it made me tearfully (with pure joy of course!) think of my own recent wedding. How beautiful it is that two people can find each other and quickly become best friends, in fact, more best friends than you’ve ever had before, I mean, you want to spend the rest of you life with them and make a family with them! I heard of an ancient Greek myth about why we click with each other so quickly:

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The Idea is that we used to be connected, but the gods split us up before we came to earth. They gave us the task of finding each other again to become our whole selves.

I don’t believe in this story or anything… but then again, I look at my husband and I think about our past, and I can’t help but wonder if we promised each other we’d find one another before we came to this life. God didn’t separate us, we chose to come down to Earth to “do” life. But, what if we wanted to find each other, our souls were searching and we just didn’t realize it?

Love is this most wonderful, mysterious thing. It brings us the most joy, and our greatest accomplishment (TRULY!) is finding our second half. No experience in life trumps self completion in love- how incredible is that!

And so, “Congratulations Sarah and Peter!” I love you both so much, and I’m so excited to see what will happen with our lives now that we’ve found our second half!