Sota Sisters in Utah

June ended with a Sota Sisters reunion in Utah for Tori’s wedding. I was the last to arrive on Thursday evening. After my beeline to pick up some Cafe Rio before leaving the airport (priorities), wonderful Ali whisked me away to meet up with everyone. Although it was a quick trip, we all were pretty excited. So many emails, texts, gifs, plans, and excited emotions were shared in the months leading up to it. I’d say we did a great job setting the tone for the weekend.

Friday began with a short hike not too far from where we stayed in Bountiful. It was really lovely. “Hike” might be a generous term, but we found the most amazing waterfall at the end of our short trek, and despite the sweltering heat that day, it was cool and beautiful at the waterfall.






And of course, we couldn’t resist taking an excessive amount of pictures.



Later in the day we visited this super-fun drink place called Fizz Drinks. They make fun drinks using different sodas as a base (Sprite, Dr. Pepper, Mtn Dew, etc.) and then add delicious sugary things like fruit puree, syrup, or whipped cream. They also have amazing cookie-gelato sandwiches. (Grant and Josi, it’s super-close to your house) If any one checks it out, I highly recommend the North Shore drink and the honey oatmeal gelato sandwich.


Tori’s wedding flowers also showed up at her apartment the day before her wedding, which meant that we had to convert her apartment into a refrigerator until the reception. Let’s just say it was a liiiiiiiittle chilly in there that night.


Friday’s main event was the “Not-rehearsal dinner” hosted by the Sota Sisters for the wedding party. Ali’s parents live in Salt Lake City and have the cutest home and the most beautiful, perfect backyard. Even though it was 100 degrees outside, the massive tree, the misters on the fence, and the twinkling lights zig zagging across the yard provided the most perfect setting for everyone to get together. We had a piñata, which was so fun. (Talise is a genius.) And the GIANT ice cream sundae was a huge hit. (Ali is an amazing hostess.)



Friday was really great and it wasn’t even the reason the brought us all there. Saturday was Tori’s wedding day! The Salt Lake Temple is such a beautiful, inspiring place.


It was really wonderful to be there with Tori and Bridger as they were sealed together for time and all eternity. I was just so so so happy for them. Marriage is the best 🙂


Here they come!!




Selfie with the newlyweds!! ^^

Since Tori and Bridger got married on a Saturday at the Salt Lake City Temple, it was pretty much a mad house once everyone got outside to take pictures. Even with the 100 degree temperatures, it was so fun to be out there. I just love seeing all the couples and wedding parties and thinking about how they are feeling in that moment and their journeys up to that point and where that will go from there. So great. Also, Tori and Bridger’s bridal party and family looked amazing in their ivory and gold. She seriously has the CUTEST nieces and nephews.
There was a wonderful lunch for friends and family after the wedding. Tori’s brothers and father are so funny. What a great family.




Please note the most adorable photographer you’ve ever seen. ^^^

Their reception at a country club high above Bountiful was really beautiful. I couldn’t resist a few pictures of the sunset.



After we bid Tori and Bridger farewell with sparklers, we had a surprise in store for Talise. Not only was Saturday Tori’s wedding day, it was also Talise’s birthday. (And the big 3-0.) After we hauled everything back to Tori’s apartment, we announced that it was time to go for a drive. We all piled into Ali’s dad’s truck and headed back to the place where we had our hike the day before. It has a beautiful overlook of the valley below. Ali made some amazing ice cream sandwiches and we uncorked some Martinelli’s to toast our wonderful friend Talise. We talked about lots of things but of course we had to finish the evening with each of us sharing something we love about her.



Emily and I surprised Talise on her birthday morning with a balloon barricade in front of her door. She kind of loved it 🙂



After church on Sunday, Talise and I headed to the airport. It was a whirlwind weekend but so great. As we drove to the airport, we talked about how very special it is that we have a group of friends willing to fly or drive halfway across the country to be together and support a friend at her wedding.

Adios Utah…


Hello Minnesota! (And my wonderful husband)


Visit From The Borens

In June, we were lucky enough to get a visit from Grant’s wonderful parents. It was really fun to have them here and to spend a little time showing them around our city. Although, they actually did quite a bit to show themselves around the city while we were at work. They went on a really great bus tour and came back telling us all about the things they learned while they were on their tour. After we heard about all the places they visited on their tour, we realized that we had to scratch a few ideas off our lists because they had already been there and done that.

We decided to check out the Mill City Museum, which turned out to be really fun. It was so great I decided that we needed to buy a Minnesota Historical Society pass, so we now we have a better excuse to visit all the awesome historical sites around the state AND we can take friends. (Split Rock Lighthouse anyone?)

At the Mill City Museum, we learned all about the growth of Minneapolis and the history of the flour mills in the city. The museum has a really fun blend of things for adults and kids.



We also got to take in some really pretty views from the top of the flour mill.


A visit with us always requires learning about the fun and intricacies of a selfie stick. (Don’t hate it ’till you try it. I promise i’ll make you a selfie-stick believer. They’re just SO handy.)


Visiting the St. Paul Temple and the park where we had our wedding reception and ring ceremony was really great. The sky was so blue!


And of course, we had to take them to some of our favorite restaurants: Bar La Grassa and Brasa. (Similar names, NOT similar food.) I didn’t take any more pictures, but maybe that was because we were having too much fun to stop and remember to take pictures.

Sunday also happened to be Father’s Day and a week before Grant’s father’s birthday, so we celebrated accordingly with hamburger steaks; potatoes & gravy; trifle, and some lemon meringue pie. (His favorite.)

Also on Sunday evening, the singer/vocalist, Alex Boye came to Minneapolis and shared some of his spiritual conversion at a fireside at our church building. It was really great. Not only is he so funny and so entertaining, but he is British, so he has the most amazing accent. I was instantly hooked. He finished the fireside with the most incredible, powerful, and moving rendition of “How Great Thou Art” I have ever heard. I cried. I couldn’t help it. Those words. His voice. The air was so full of love while he was singing. You can listen to him sing a really cool African/English version here.

We had such a wonderful time with Grant’s parents. We are so grateful for the time we had to spend with them. We are so grateful for our friends and family who are able to visit us when we are so far away.