León, Nicaragua

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Leon was nuts!
I mean when we got out at the bus depot, at least 6 different transporters (taxi drivers, bike taxis, etc.) were clamoring around us because hello, we're white and have like 3 bags so clearly we are prime suspects for a classic over-charge. ;)
We took a bike taxi for an up-close and personal look at the city...

Plus it had the cutest lining.

Tipitapa, Nicaragua

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Our first day in Nicaragua, we had a little visit in Las Mercedes (near the airport) where we got our bearings and I got to meet Helga, who is the greatest. 

The first place we adventured in was Tipitapa, which was Drew's last area in his mission. It kind of has a scary reputation, and I don't think tourists go there much (particularly not redheaded ones) but we went to visit a few people Drew had taught and served while he was there and it was wonderful. We got there by disco bus. (It's hard to tell in the photo, but if you look closely, you can see neon rope lights all over everything up there in the front.)

#tbt: Burlington, CO

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Because it's taken me so long to get through the pictures from Nicaragua and come to terms with the fact that our summer adventures are over, rather than dumping it all now, I'm going to do little installments of our Nicaragua trip in a series of throwbacks (because yeah, it's been that long now).

Our Green House

Friday, October 24, 2014

For the last few month's we've been trying to get our house in order, and I realized it's probably not going to be "done" ever, because I am apparently just taking my sweet time deciding what to do with our house, but we've got to start somewhere, yeah?

We call it the Green House, by the way, because it's green.
But we like that it sounds like we live in a greenhouse. Like we're growing. Or maturing or something (we're not).

So welcome to our home! Most of the projects we've been working on are just real lame things like putting together an IKEA dresser, picking rugs on KSL, rearranging our room a bunch of times, etc. So our house isn't really "decorated"--we haven't really put things up on the walls or painted things, but we're trying to take our time and be deliberate about what we do with where we live. So we see this as our rounded-out base of our house. We have big ideas, but we're happy with where it is now and feel at home here, which is the whole point anyway.

Behold la casa Holman!

P.S. most of the pictures are fairly fuzzy because I think I changed some settings on the camera a few weeks ago for some night photos that I now can't for the life of me figure out how to switch back... oops. I'll try to replace these pictures if I can figure out how to get better ones.

So we live in the back half of this house turned duplex. It's the perfect size for us and gets just enough light.

Yurts & Nerts

Sunday, October 12, 2014

This weekend we got to party with two of my siblings & co. at East Canyon State Park in Morgan, UT, which is now on the official Katie list of loveliest places.
My siblings do fun adventurous things with their fun adventurous kids and they let us tag along anyway even though we're noobs.
We stayed in yurts by the lake (reservoir?) that were stove-heated and had a skylight dome in the top--just so dreamy.
The views from the drive were killer, and did I mention it was so pretty up there in the canyon? Fall is my favorite and it was just wowing this weekend so I was a happy camper (pun intended).
The colors were two thumbs up. I couldn't even believe how pretty and golden all of the mountains were.
And my family is the funnest. Win-win!

Sorry/not sorry for the photo overload. It's too pretty not to share all of it. Plus, this way, we cut out the part where I pretend I can be decisive. Better for everyone.


Tuesday, October 7, 2014


After a nice little hiatus I realized if I don't catch up I'll probably end up forgetting everything that's happened in the last two months and that's just not a memory loss issue I'm prepared to deal with.

So here is a speedy recap of the last two months of our life:

Ode to Truman: a house tour

Saturday, August 30, 2014

For the last 3 months we've been living in this charming old building called the Truman. It was built in 1911 as a single-family home and then was split up into 8 apartments, which is a huge bummer, but we're kind of glad about it. It's been so fun to live there. (Definitely could not have swung renting the whole building.) Especially after being in Nicaragua for the last week and a half--feeling really appreciative of AC and other cushy things we're so lucky to have.

It's certainly not real fancy but we loved it for its charm and old-school-ity. And its quirky paint jobs. 
(You'll see.) Some of the furniture wasn't ours, since we're subleasing and hot dang is it a pain to move furniture in and out of this place. So we just kind of went with it! Luckily they're the coolest and everything they left was great anyway.

I'm really chomping at the bit to get started on our next place, which we'll settle into tomorrow, and just go nuts with the light color scheme. And by go nuts, I mean, go completely boring and light. Of course. It will be so dreamy.

Anyway, I took pictures in several different phases of rearranging things all the time (most of these pictures were taken when we pretty much had no living room), but here you have it:

(Photo from the Truman's Facebook Page)

under the sea

Saturday, August 9, 2014

The other day we took a tiny vacation on an undersea adventure.
But to the aquarium, because in real life I'm pretty afraid of the ocean.

We started in the South American exhibit, because Drew.
It was so humid.

that time we got married

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

So I'm 3 months after the fact, but now that it's "someday" and we can all have a good laugh about it raining all day, here it is.
It was awesome.

*Sorry, but this one's going to be pretty endless. But this is our diary, so... #sorrywerenotsorry

We woke up to pouring rain. My mom and I went to get my hair did then picked Drew up and made our merry, slippery way to the temple. (late. whoops.)

The sealing was set for 10am, so we checked in my dress and his suit (which got lost), gathered our witnesses, and got ourselves set. It was so lovely. We didn't know the man who sealed us, but he was an emeritus member of the Quorum of the Seventy and was so sweet and gentle.

I'm getting cheesy, are you ready? Everything just melted away. I was nervous and my hair was doing weird stuff and there were people there I hadn't even met yet but literally none of that mattered because everything I've ever worried about just stopped. Like, really legitimate things to concern myself over were swirling around the whole day and all of its happenings, and it just plain didn't matter, because that promise we made mattered more than any of it.

I think often on the significance of our sealing, and I could write a very short and awkward book on it, but suffice it to say, it's pretty much changed everything. 
My sister has told me that a few months after her wedding, she told her husband that actually marriage was really nice, and he asked her, "Well, what were you expecting?" It's cute. And they're so funny.
I had a lot of fearful expectations but they really just don't matter now. I know that there are very real concerns to be considered. But even though there are always chances that things in life will go terribly wrong, the fear about those things doesn't grip me the way it did. Because the hard part is behind me now. The choice is made, and the life is new. President Monson shared, "choose your love, love your choice." We will face a lot of trials, and heaven knows we've already had some of those come at us. It's all about faith now. We have so much faith in the Lord's plan for families.

I don't feel like a new human and I don't feel like I've left myself behind. My problems didn't go away and in fact I face new ones every day but all of them are a lot more okay now because I have an ultimate cheerleader who must cheer me on forever because he promised it in the holy temple and I am just so grateful for that. 
(In all seriousness, there was no promise for cheering but we promised each other support so I consider it synonymous in most cases.)

tl;dr love this husband guy and families are for eternity.

So after our sealing I got to put on my flowy dress and fix my hair in the lovely bride's room in the temple, and went upstairs to see my new husband. And I forgot a lot of times to call him that. 
The temple workers really get a kick out of asking you for your name just to see if you remember to give your new one... I didn't, but it didn't matter because it's not much different anyway. Joke's on them.

We came out of the temple to a lovely downpour and all of our loved ones waiting with umbrellas to welcome us into our new life. I mean, is there anything better?



Aruba, aruba

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Don't worry, no one's off to the Caribbean.

(start at 2:54)
Everyone remember this song?
Drew does...

Today on the way back from church, a very long chain of song-stuck-in-the-head led to Drew singing a rendition of this song where, instead of "ashira ashira ashira" he sang "aruba aruba aruba."

It was the best. We decided it was because we just watched that episode of The Office where Andy comes back from his boat trip.
Anyway, it pretty much made my day.
(Watch the whole video though, because that song is so sweet.)

Just jamming to made up songs like a rock star.

Lemonade Folk Festival

Friday, July 11, 2014

The day after the Fourth of July, our cousins had a really awesome concert in the lawn and called it the lemonade folk festival. They made homemade lemonades and had all these really cool people to come play and it was just a grand old time.
Drew and I even got to work the drinks.

Manning the lemonade stand


Thursday, July 10, 2014

Last year one of the funnest (I don't believe in the phrase "most fun") things we did together was explore the parade of homes--but we signed on a little late or something so I think we only got to go to like 3 houses.
This year we really churned through 'em, though.

I always get warned about how it'll make me hate my life and want to go out and spend a million dollars on house things. (Which is partly true.)

But the parade of homes just makes me super excited and then when I see the exact same chairs/stools that we have, in like 6 of these fancy homes, I think, YEAH WHAT'S UP plus I got those on KSL for like 75% off. So it's really awesome.

So without further ado or borderline #humblebragging,
Let us guide you on a photo journey through the Parade of Homes highlight reel:

The blue footies. Does it get more sophisticated?

 Let's start with the favorite. This house in Highland was a dream. A normal-budget house with so much light and a really clean, happy design.

July Comma Fourth of

Sunday, July 6, 2014

We had sort of a weird Fourth of July, which is already weird because I'm really not used to it being that big of a deal.

I mean, in D.C., my family would go watch the fireworks by the Washington Monument, I've never gone a Fourth without wearing that red white and blue (I may have counted red hair as my Official Display of Color a time or two), and I've seen a parade or two in my days.

But no one lives to party for the Fourth like Provo.

And if you've ever wondered what 4pm looks like on the 3rd of July in Provo: picture all of the spare couches, inflatable mattresses, picnic tables, camp chairs, and deemed-grass-stain-able blankets owned by all of Provo--all sitting on both sides of University Avenue, waiting for the parade in the morning. It was nuts.

But then we accidentally slept through the parade anyway, so whoops. Strike one?

The only part of the Freedom Festival we saw.

Zion National Park

Sunday, June 29, 2014

This weekend we got to head down to Zion National Park with some friends for camping and a day jam-packed with hiking adventure. I've never really been to red rocks before, so it was pretty huge for me.

friday night, we camped out at this really perfect spot outside of Zion and then in the morning, got a move on and went right for Angels' Landing, came back for some shade and a lunch break, then went out to explore the Narrows.

Da bomb.

If the world were a zoo

Friday, June 27, 2014

"If the world were zoo, I'd spend my whole life looking at you."
THIS IS A REAL THING. That Drew said. Why am I not keeping a log of Drew-isms?
I don't know where these witty, borderline-creepy love statements come from but they crack me up.
I have two months of them.

Also this post is a zoo of pictures and odd updates so if that's not motivation to keep posts regular, I don't know what is. Sorry!

The last two weeks (/two months) have been weirdly busy, but not with normal things, just things like rearranging our apartment all the time and working shifts that don't match up that well and spending a lot of time at Sonic for those slushes. And finally getting all our random stuff out of that weird windowless side room in the apartment so we can not stub our toes or knock something over every single time we go out the back door. Little victory.

For one thing, we just got our Passes of all Passes (Pass of all Passeses?) so we are set to head out with the mouth-breathers to Waterslide Wonderland. (There is nary a day where the Lizzie McGuire Movie does not apply in some way.)

In all of our glory.

Also, we jogged together! I think it's happened once before. But my sissy lungs and motivator-valve (it's in the brain--trust me, I'm a Psych major) were just not made for running.
I actually kind of like running, for a little while, but once the panting and wheezing kick in and I start sounding like some sort of sick hippo, it gets way out of my comfort zone and I begin to feel really okay with slumping onto the sidewalk.


self-imposed summer homework

Saturday, June 14, 2014

I made a promise to myself at the beginning of this summer that I was going to do projects, darn it!
So I have been doing projects--not as many or as cool of projects as my earlier, beginning-of-summer, naive self might have wanted, but still.
Most of my projects involve my free trial of photoshop/illustrator, so they're digital, haha, but should you perhaps need a weird conversion chart or a greeting card or two, here are the digital ones, linked so that you can download them. Most of these are fairly direct copies of things I liked--I haven't done much creative stuff yet, but figuring out how to recreate something helps me figure out what I'm doing, haha.
It helps that Drew pipes in with things like, "wow you're so cool" and lets me spend all this time playing on Adobe. What a guy.

The first one I did involved a Pinterest project where they framed a cute tea towel--it looks great, but i was more interested in the print of the towel, so I made a version. The banners were really fun to make. (If you're curious about the original print, this is what it looks like:  (click))

the drew holman fan club

Friday, June 13, 2014

I'm starting a fan club for my husband and here's why:

a little game of jeopardy

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Jeopardy question:
A dirt-like substance disguised as drink mix and given to chumps like Katie. 

Jeopardy answer:
That's right!
*yeeeeaaaaahhhh the crowd goes wild*

Only one of these people is reacting appropriately.

provo, how we love thee

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Lately we've taken to going on strolls like cheesy BYU people tend to do (but I still swear we're not cliche) within, say, the four-block radius of our apartment. It's a really great excuse for me to keep doing that thing where I hover creepily behind Drew and take pictures of the back of his head. He loves that so much (nope).
After we got married and we jet-setted right off to an island, we realized that we both really wanted to just get a move on already and set up our house and go grocery shopping like real people and revel in the delight of Happy Valley. I mean St. Lucia was the bomb but there's a lot to be said for right where you live.
Some days we wake up and I spend like ten minutes directing Drew to look at a bunch of different points on the mountains because HELLO have you seen how beautiful they are today I mean check out the rockies.
It's like Andy so cheesily says: "I wish there was a way to know you're in the good old days before you've actually left them." So right now I'm on a big "love where you are" kick where basically I just tell Drew to look at stuff that's pretty and he humors me so well.

we hiked the Y

Friday, May 30, 2014

Drew's sister Jayde came to party with us over Memorial Day weekend.
There were a lot of Office quotes flying around. It was the bomb.
We made mint lemonade popsicles with my new and already dying mint plant, went on a few hikes (well, one hike--a few "hikes") and played with our favorite borrowed dog. 
(We were petsitting the honorable and squishy Pippen for our cousins over the weekend, and I have never felt more like we're a family than with that fat dog and my sweet husband. 
I mean, is this what family is? I'm all over it. )

We also got a visit from a friend of mine from high school who made a blitz stop in Utah on his way back from a fancy Microsoft convention, so we all hiked the Y on the prettiest night for hiking the Y.

Probably the two biggest mountain acrobatics enthusiasts I know.

st. lucia à la american

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

One of our favorite things about being places that are not our places is that everything is funny. 
For instance: in France, they do this thing where they sell tons of American stuff, but they change the product name--to something else in English. Why do they even do that?

So, in St. Lucia, we tried to keep track of the things that were new to us as Americans and put them all into a single list that makes me laugh so hard every single time.

So voilà--St. Lucia through the eyes of American youths:

st. lucia - rodney bay

So after four days on the southern half of the island, in the Soufrière area, we headed up north to Rodney Bay, near Castries (the capital) to enjoy all that the North had to offer, like a church building, jellyfish-free beaches, and aloe vera.

st. lucia - soufrière

 Well, first, Park City.

We had to wait around for a few days before flying out to St. Lucia (because being stuck in Park City is the worst, right?). We reveled in being the only ones at the little boutique hotel, and ate breakfast like the King and Queen of Sheba.
Then we went to City Creek to east sushi and shop for shorts and flip flops like real vacationers do.

we took pictures

A few weeks before our wedding, it snowed. And then it rained. And then it kept raining and so we realized, "hey let's take pictures in case our wedding day is also rainy!"
Which it 100% was. And it was glorious.

But a week before, Drew and I and our best pal Ben-ji went on a photographic adventure--we literally just drove south until it was un-cloudy enough and then we took our bridals! And stopped at Wendy's on the way for nourishment, of course.
We ended up at what I'm pretty sure is called Yuba Reservoir--a teal blue lake and desert shrubbery with just the right kind of clouds made for just about the prettiest Utah scene I've ever seen.
Ben, you are the bomb.
Also Drew. 

All photos by Ben Allred Photography

the holmans . All rights reserved. © Maira Gall .