Tag Archives: Marla

Another mountain climbed

Another chapter in my life is finished. I am now, officially, a college graduate.

After three and a half years, countless tests, numerous papers, and a several late nights I am finished with my undergraduate career.

Honestly, I feel strange. Much like my high school graduation didn’t hit me until school started the next year, I’m not sure it’s all sunk in yet. I mean, I’m really done? How can that be. It seems like I just started the other day. In some ways, I feel like a scared eighteen year old, wondering exactly where my Comp I class is. At the same time, I know I have grown into a strong, independent women.

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An independent women who happened to have a rockin’ GPA, by the way. Oh, an independent women who made it all the way across the stage without tripping and falling. In heals.

(That is actually the real accomplishment, friends.)

In five days I’ll be a married women. How completely bizarre is that?!

I’ll check in as often as possible.

(Please forgive me for any typos made in this post. I also survived my bachelorette party last night.)

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My 22th year of life

Today is my the anniversary of my birth. I have graced the world with my presence for twenty-two years. This is quite bizarre to me, honestly. Most days, I don’t feel like I’ve matured since I turned twelve. I know I have, but I still feel like that little girl, acting like a grown up.

My twenty-second year is going to be awesome. Really, it is.

And in typical first-born, overachiever style, I’m going to make a list of things to accomplish in the next 365 days.

  1. Get married to the my dream guy, my lover, and the man who makes my heart go pitter-patter when I see him.
  2. Learn to make homemade tortillas.
  3. Figure out the actual rules to football and pay attention to at least one full game.
  4. Graduate from college.
  5. Organize my kitchen.
  6. Actually finish the last season of Lost. I’m obsessed with the show. I absolutely love it, but I had a night class last year when they were finishing it. Thus, the entire season remains on the DVR, waiting to be watched. I’m waiting until I have time to savor the last bit of the storyline. Plus, I’m not sure I want to figure out what exactly is going on. (This is Day 14 of the 30 Day Meme.)
  7. Teach Justice at least three tricks.
  8. Hike through a rain forest.
  9. Finish my 365 Project.
  10. Run a half marathon in April.
  11. Train for that half marathon.
  12. Get a Brazilian blowout before my honeymoon.
  13. Watch a sunrise in Hawaii.
  14. Beat Colby in a game of Poker.
  15. Have a sleepover with my sisters.
  16. Improve my photography.
  17. Volunteer at church more often.
  18. Plant flowers next Spring.
  19. Expand my photography business.
  20. Build a snowman.
  21. Fly a kite.
  22. Relax. Enjoy life. Laugh often. Love. Make the best of every single day God blesses me with.

I think I’ve got some good guidelines anyway.

~~~~

And now, I think we should look at old pictures of myself and laugh.

That’s obviously the healthiest thing to do on one’s birthday, right?

First, there was wittle-wittle baby Marla.

So Young!

That baby grew and grew and eventually became the World’s Cutest Child Ever.

Marla

And then she got some sisters.

Girls

(I’m the one on the right, Shaylin is on the left, and Ashley is the baby.)

1998

Eventually, 1998 rolled around and my bangs were still rockin’ like it was 1987. My mom continued to make me wear my hair like this until I was eleven. I then demanded that they be grown out.

clay & mar dec 1999

Actually, I’m not sure that that improved my hair much.

We should probably stop with the old pictures now, while I still have some dignity left.

~~~

Today, Colby is taking me to my favorite eatery where I’m going to order Prime Rib.

Yum.

~~~

It’s my birthday and I want to be carefree and happy, but all I can think about is my ever growing “to-do” list. Seriously, I have three photo sessions this weekend, a online test, a paper to write, and about a million other things to do.

Maybe I should chop my bangs short and act like it’s 1998. Things were so easy back then.

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I am SO glad they were all wrong…

(Oh gosh. I can’t believe I forgot to publish this on Friday. Oops.)

During my Senior year of high school, I had multiple people tell me: “Enjoy this year; it will be the best one of your life.” I’m not going to lie. I was freaked out by the idea. Honestly, my Senior year sucked. It was plagued by back-stabbing friends and small town drama. I fought with the school board and administration of my school several times. My poor mother was treated with a lawsuit. It was horrible and something I defiantly didn’t want to relive. AND I WAS PROM QUEEN. I doubt I realize some of the atrocities that take place in high schools our country. I’m sure I probably lucked out in the big scope of it all.

Anyway, back to the post, I realize that the older individuals that told me this were probably dreaming of their youth… Days when they had the freedom of an eighteen year old, but still the security of living in your parents’ house. The glories days of when they could enjoy a night out on the town without worrying about who was paying bills. Heck, they probably looked back fondly at high school because their hips didn’t hurt every time they moved. Maybe they were the stud of the basketball team and felt like they ruled to town at seventeen.

Honestly though, the concept still doesn’t make much sense to me. I’m twenty-one years old, have lived on my own for three years, and am happy to report that each year of my life gets better. I wouldn’t go back to high school for a million dollars. Even more, I believe I’ll look back at this post three years from now and say the same thing about being twenty-one. Life just keeps getting better for me.

Every year I seem to get wiser and more relaxed. Petty drama rarely bothers me anymore. I have finally mastered the art of letting it all roll of my back. When my little sister gets too caught up in the drama of her Senior year, I usually laugh and tell her not to worry about it all. It’s funny though- looking back, all those things seemed so important, but in reality only the things that I have achieved since high school seem significant now.

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(Shaylin, Ashley, & Me.)

Two of my sisters, Shaylin and Ashley, graduated on Friday. Because I am the wise, older sister I would like to give them a bit of advice:

  • Life is not fair. I know Mom and Dad have been telling you this for years, but it’s totally true.
  • Work your butts of in college, but don’t let it stress you out too much.
  • Don’t get too caught up in planning you life. You never know what God has in store for you.
  • Never buy a college textbook at the bookstore. Shop around first. Chances are, you can likely find in MUCH cheaper online.
  • Value your relationships. Treat everyone around you with respect.
  • Be above petty drama. If it won’t matter tomorrow, don’t let it ruin today.
  • Surround yourself with positive, happy people. Your friends should not bring you down.
  • Make new friends. Socialize with those outside your comfort zone.
  • Watch your roommates. If your luck is anything like mine, you’re going to have some hard times in that department.
  • Manage your money. Don’t get a credit card. Save, but don’t be afraid to spend every once in a while.
  • Just drink water. That is honestly the best way to avoid the freshmen fifteen.

I’m sure I could go on and on, but I’ll stop there.

Do you have any advice for recent high school graduates? Do you like back on your teen years foundly?

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My ring…

I’ve had my engagement ring for three months, yet I still smile when I look at it.
My ring. :)

Colby did good, real good.

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My Dream Job

I actually have a dream job in my mind… It’s nothing that I ever imagined in high school. It doesn’t involve an advanced education or a fancy outfit. I just want to be a photographer. Isn’t it funny how life works out in ways that you never imagined?

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I know I will never have a big-time, multi-million dollar career taking pictures. I’m not going to be world-famous. Honestly though, I don’t mind. Photography makes me happy. I love being creative and capturing the little moments.

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Yesterday, I started my very own photography fan page on facebook. I sent requests to all my local friends and was impressed by the support I received from the community. Right now, I only take pictures for free, but I plan on actually charging in 2011. After I graduate, I’m going to really throw myself into photography, learning absolutely everything I can and slowly building up a client base.

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I love Photography. There are so many great things are it that just make me smile. Plus, I’ll be making my own hours which means I can be flexible with Colby’s crazy hours in the summer and relax with him in the winter. In a few years, we hope to start a family and I will be able to stay home and take care of our babies. Doesn’t it sound glorious?

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Of course, life may throw me another curve-ball. I don’t know what my future hold in store for Colby and I, but I know we will go through it together. I love having a real plan and some future goals for myself. Let’s hope that it all works out.

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(These are my sister’s Senior pictures that I took way back in September. What do you think?)

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The post you’ve all been waiting for…

On the morning of January 4, I was woken by a sleepy voice murmuring in my ear: “Happy 13th month anniversary, baby.” I was surprised that Colby had remembered the date. We had been on vacation for a full week, and my days were beginning to run together.

It was our first full day at Lake Tahoe. I was excited, like a young child who had been given too much sugar on Christmas. I wanted to get out and explore. We drove up the mountain, planning our day. At one point, Colby casually mentioned, “I want to ride up the gondola at Heavenly.” I nodded, agreeing with him. Soon we were walking down the beach at Tahoe, taking tons of pictures.

I first realized that something was up when Colby suddenly demanded, “I want to ride the gondola right now.” Colby is not a demanding person. The fact that Colby was behaving so decisive was a giant red flag to me. Would this be the big day?
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The ride up Heavenly Ski Resort was beautiful. Like everything else we had experienced on the trip, I was just amazed about how gorgeous the scenery was. I didn’t want to blink and miss something.

Half way up the mountain, they let us off at an observation deck.

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From the observation deck, the view got even prettier.

Inside, I was getting nervous. I knew that Colby had talked to my parents weeks before and had already bought a ring. I just had no idea when he would ask.

Was he preparing himself?

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We continued up the mountain, stopping at the top where groups of skiers were gathering for their lunch. Colby grinned, “I think we should get someone to take our picture up here.”

I looked around, hoping to see another couple with a camera. Unfortunately, we were surrounded by skiers who looked like they were all very busy. I didn’t want to bother anyone and said, “We can just ask Rita to take our picture together later.”

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I turned, snapping one more picture of our surroundings before focusing my attention back on Colby.

“Well, I actually brought you up here for a reason.” Colby dropped to his knee, right there in the snow. “I would like to ask you to marry me.”

Honestly, I have no idea what I said next. The happiness of it all just overwhelmed me. I’m pretty sure I said yes though, because I’m wearing a shiny engagement ring now.

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My engagement ring is perfect. Weeks before, Colby and I had visited a jewelry store. The ladies inside had helped me pick out three different rings that I really liked. Of course, they were three very different styles.

I left and Colby then decided on this ring by himself. He combined two of the styles I had liked, finding the absolute perfect ring. I seriously love everything about it.

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The entire day was really like my very own fairytale.

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