i snapped these pictures when we "met" steven over skype.  and you didn't even know.

now he's leaving for 2 years to richmond, virginia.  what a great missionary he'll be!  i'm so glad you guys found each other for the summer and that you got to spend a little time with such a great guy.  it'll be so much fun to write him on his mission.

love you mina may!



24 OF 30

from 30 things. 

describe the family dynamic of your childhood vs. your family dynamic now.

we often talk about how great the "good old days" were.  the good old days, where we rode our bikes in the street in nothing but our swimsuits, and in the winter we'd pull each other on a sled just in the backyard.  where mom and dad were in charge and we'd just play.  where school was fun and your teacher was like your mom and your best friend combined.

some days i wish i could go back to being a kid.  it's weird to think about what has changed since then.  when i was a kid, life seemed simpler. 

but other days, i'm happy to be where i am.  my family is changing and growing up and it's fun.

we're old enough now to play games together.  we joke with each other and laugh together and talk about serious things.  we help plan our family vacations and everyone is expected to help.  there are almost 5 drivers in the family now if parker would hurry up and get his permit.  school isn't that fun anymore, and tests and act scores and getting into college and paying for things lay heavily on our minds, rather than who ate the popsicles out of the freezer.  we have developed our relationships with each other, and we still fight and argue, but who doesn't?

life is ever changing.  it rolls on, we change and grow up, but it's so good.



"man radiates what he is, and that radiation affects to a greater or lesser degree every person who comes within that radiation .... every moment of life you are living, you are affecting the whole world."

-- president david o. mckay



happy birthday to you,
happy birthday to you,
happy birthday to you!

top ten reasons why i love my best friend jewels:

#1:  we laugh.  a lot.  one of my favorite things to do is laugh with julia.  we have basically the same sense of humor and it is soooo great.  julia can always make me laugh, even when it feels like the world is ending and all i want to do is die.  when i was sick last year, jewels brought me a powerade with a ton of our inside jokes written on it.  it made me feel 1000 times better!  she is good at making any bad situation better :)

#2:  we cry.  not a lot, but sometimes.  it is the best to have a friend to cry with.  the best cry session we ever had was one night at byu... i walked over to julia's apartment, asked if i could borrow her room, and we sat in there and cried our eyes out on the bed together.  we laugh together AND cry together.  i love it. 

#3:  jewels is sooooo good at giving advice.  i love talking to her about everything under the sun -- be it boys, family, friends, boys, school, work, boys, church, self, boys... julia always has great things to say and prime advice to offer.  we can talk for hours on end and never get sick of it!  we joke that we talk about the same things over and over, but we never get sick of hearing about each other's dramas and stories!  in high school, we nicknamed her "oprah" because she was always so good at listening and advising!  julia is a fantastic listener.  such a great quality to have in a best friend!

#4:  she sets goals and follows through with them.  totally not a strong point of mine.  but she always has been a great example to me of getting things done.  she is super organized and always has a plan for EVERYTHING.  i think i need to be a little more like that haha.

#5:  she is a dang good student.  her study skills are soooo much better than mine.  this kind of goes along with number four... julia always puts the effort in and studies for tests, goes to class, takes good notes, and wants to succeed.  she's a good example to me like that!

#6:  she likes to do things i like to do!  dance party, shop, go running, eat (bahaha), dance party, write in her journal, blog, dance party... it's super fun to do things together because we like the same things! we are always having tons of fun together. 

#7:  she has a strong testimony and pushes me to be better.  that's what true friends are for, right?

#8:  she isn't afraid of who she is.  she's funny and crazy and fun and she's not afraid to show it!  it doesn't matter what people say, she'll be julia marin snow whether they like it or not! haha i  love this!

#9:  gangsta dancing is her specialty.  nothing like throwin' on the dude shorts, the dude jacket, a nice high side pony, and rockin' out.  yo yo all my homies....

#10:  we made it through high school together and are still best friends in college.  not many can say that!  we learned a lot in high school and we were always there for each other no matter what!  to this day, we are still there for each other -- learning and growing and laughing and crying and making our way through life!  BFFs yo!

love ya sis!



last night at institute, a rhetorical question was asked that i have been thinking about ever since:

who am i according to the choices i have made?

choices have defined my life.  they've defined yours, too.  good or bad, the choices we make determine who we are. 

i think back on the choices i've made that have affected me for good.  going to church.  going to byu.  going to girls camp and school and seminary and institute and the top of mountains and the back field of my house and out on the lake... places where i've been able to think and decide who i am and who i'm going to be.  friends that i've made that have taught me something and influenced me to be better.  people i look up to and say, i want to be like them someday.

i think back on the choices i've made that have affected me for bad.  and these are part of who i am, too.  people i shouldn't have been with or places i shouldn't have been.  the natural man that overcomes all of us at some point in our lives.  hard things that i chose to go through, when there could have been an easier way.

but you know?  i wouldn't take back any of these choices today.  i am who i am because of the choices i have made.  i am weak, silly, naive, forgetful, immature, unfinished around the edges, and imperfect.  but i am also strong, smart, brave, happy, hopeful, and willing to make sacrifices in order to become perfect. 

the Savior made it possible for me to feel this way, because although i have made oodles of mistakes in my short life, He always stands there ready and willing to help me get back on my feet.  it doesn't mean that i can feel justified in making mistakes.  i don't.  i won't.  ever.  but because of His selfless, atoning sacrifice, i can be a little better every day. 

i don't love all the choices i've made in my life.  but because of the Savior, i choose to love who i am.  and i wouldn't change it for the world.



happy pioneer day to you and you and you! a little taste of mine:

mary kathryn will make a great missionary!

days of' '47 parade with these cuties was the bomb!

and the rest of my holiday was spent at seven peaks with my family.  i swear life couldn't get any better right now :) 



exactly 2 weeks until one of my best friends comes home from brazil.  can't wait to talk to him again!

exactly 3 weeks left of work.  as much as i enjoy my jobs, working 50-55 hours per week is getting so old.  it'll be nice when work goes down to 20 hours per week and school and friends and studying break up the long monotonous hours. 

exactly 3 weeks and 2 days until our family vacation.  oh, a vacation is so needed right now.

exactly 4 weeks until my half marathon.  i need to start getting my long runs in.  i'm excited!

exactly 4 weeks and 2 days until i move back to provo.  I CAN'T WAIT!!!


23 OF 30

list your top 5 hobbies and why you love them.

man, i love to read.  it is so awesome to get into a good book and not want to put it down!  it's so cliche to say "lose yourself in a good book"... but honestly, that's what i love about reading!  you get to escape the world for a little bit and put yourself in a different situation.  it's fun!  some of my favs are harry potter, hunger games, and this new series i've started called the great and terrible. 

so i'll be the first to admit that this hobby is hit-and-miss for me.  when i do it consistently, i love love love it.  running de-stresses me.  it feels awesome to go work out.  it is one of the best feelings in the world.  heard of runner's high?  yeah.. love that.  however, if i don't do it consistently, it can be more of a chore.  {like right now.  i've started running again, but i'm not quite into that "love love love it" phase yet.  hopefully i get there soon.  i like that phase.}

anybody surprised?  you shouldn't be.  i blog more than anyone on the face of this planet.  that's what it feels like, anyway.  but for real... writing is so great.  it is such an outlet for me.  i write when i'm stressed, when i'm sad, when i'm happy, when i'm angry, when i'm emotional, when i'm excited... anytime.  this blog is like an extension of my brain.  also included in this should be my personal journal.  going back to reread my journal is so fun, because EVERYTHING is recorded in it.  from losing my first tooth, to losing my best friends in junior high, to vacations and trips i've been on, to high school and the woes of dating, to college and the fun i've had there {so far!}.

usually "friends" doesn't count as a hobby.  but i have to include my friends in this.  i have some of the best friends in the history of best friends.  i'm serious.  how did i get so blessed??  they give great advice, they encourage me to do better, they support me in what i'm doing, they help me with my goals,  and they help me live the gospel.  they are wonderful.  and we do so much together that it should be counted as a hobby!

i could name a thousand other things that i love.  but laughing basically sums them all up.  what good is life without laughter?  a hobby is defined as something you enjoy doing.  laughing is most definitely enjoyable to me.  it's the best feeling in the world when you are surrounded by good friends and can just laugh.  a good, deep, long, belly laugh that makes your sides hurt.  i honestly don't believe there could be anything better than a good laugh.



..... crawled up my leg and bit me.

you might now be thinking, okay.  cool.  a spider bite.  millions upon millions of people get spider bites, and it sure isn't anything to blog about.

but hey.  this is a story.  buckle up.   DISCLAIMER:  GRAPHIC IMAGE AHEAD.

so on sunday night, i noticed a bump on the calf of my right leg.  i totally brushed it off, thinking it was a mosquito bite that hadn't quite started itching yet.  or something like that.  whatever my logic, i thought absolutely nothing of it.

fast forward to monday.  i had to speak at girls camp, so i got up early to spend the day at camp with my mom.  the morning was spent unloading, getting organized, running errands, and getting lunch ready.  that afternoon, the stake leaders and i {including my mom} decided to take a 3-mile hike.  {it was gorgeous, by the way.}  but i was wearing my vans.  not great hiking shoes.  about a mile and a half in, my right leg was killing me.  KILLING me.  i thought it was my shoes.  a mile later, not only my right leg was hurting, but my whole body.  i felt weak, sick, achy, and stiff.  we got back to the cabin and i just wanted to lay down and go to sleep.  but of course, i couldn't do that.  it had started to rain and there was lots to do.  well, soon after the rain started, i got the chills.  awful chills.  i was freezing and shivering and absolutely miserable.  i told my mom i thought i was getting sick.  after giving my talk, i drove home, feeling practically delirious.  i knew i had a fever.  i was freezing cold.  i was achy and exhausted.

monday night.  i got home from girls camp and wanted to pass out the minute i walked through the door.  i talked to my dad for a few minutes about my talk, and then said, "i feel awful.  i think i'm going to get in the bathtub and then go to bed.  i think i'm getting sick.  and on top of that, i have this mosquito bite on my leg that's making my whole leg ache."

dad: "let me see your bite." ....... "oh my gosh shay, that is NOT a mosquito bite."

after looking up online the horrors of brown recluse spider bites, my dad determined that this was what had bitten me.

something inside me triggered freak out mode.  i started bawling.

you guys.  if you want to see something freaky, google image "brown recluse spider bites."  it is DISGUSTING.  and when you're told that's what bit you??  not a good feeling!  here's a sample:

and yeah, that is MILD.  not even bad compared to what's out there.  if this isn't graphic enough for ya, go 'head.  look it up.  it's SICK.  i didn't really want to make people puke today.

so anyway, after being told that "death RARELY occurs" and "coma and death possible", i was freaked out of my mind.  wouldn't you be?  i called in sick to work on tuesday and laid in bed all day with ice on it to keep down swelling, infection, and pain.  because there was a lot of pain.

i'm happy to say that my bite, while still disgusting, is healing.  i think.  it looks better than yesterday.  i walked around on it all day and it's fine.  it still hurts.  and even though the internet says it will take MONTHS to heal, i'm doing okay.

i'll let you know if it gets worse.

and i am officially, 100%, absolutely, completely TERRIFIED of spiders now.


22 OF 30

where do you see yourself in 5 years?  10 years?  15 years?

one of the things i've struggled with lately is the fact that i don't have any idea where my future is headed.  i look at my life, and i know where i want it to go, but there are so many things that could go differently than i imagined.  i suppose that's also the beauty of life.  i make a plan for myself, and then something goes wrong.  and then it ends up being even bigger and better than i imagined.  Heavenly Father really does have the upper hand in my life.  His plans are so much better than the ones i make for myself.  i love this quote sooo much:

having said that, i know this is most likely NOT exactly how my life will end up.  but here's what i would like to see happen:

5 years:  i will be 24.  i would like to be very happily married to someone who treats me with respect and loves the Lord more than he loves me.  but i still want him to love me like crazy :)  {i tease my mom that i'm going to marry a professional chef and masseuse, who will cook for me every night and give me massages.  i realize this is highly unlikely.  that's okay haha.}  i would like to have traveled, somewhere tropical {like hawaii or the caribbean} and if i get lucky, europe!  i would like to have run a marathon with my husband. {yes, babe, if you're reading this sometime in the future... that is on my bucket list!!}  i would like to have had a baby or be expecting one.  i would like to be finished with school and be teaching 1st, 2nd, or 3rd grade.  {although when my kidlets come along, i'd like to be able to stay home with them.}  i'd like to have strengthened relationships with the people that matter most to me in my life, first and foremost my Savior.

10 years:  i will be 29... weird.  i'd like to think i'd have 2 or 3 kids by now.  that'll keep me busy!  i would like to be only substitute teaching or something else that allows me to keep my certificate current, but allow me to stay home with my little ones.  i would like to keep running and stick with it.  i would like to live in a house on some land, with a garden and a good looking yard.  i would like to have gone on some fun vacations with my kids -- even just small ones, like to zions or goblin valley in southern utah, or the beach or something like that.  i want to practice my patience and be as loving and patient as i can toward my husband and my kids. 

15 years:  i will be 34.  i think that i'll have 5 kids by now.  depending on a lot of things, i'll either be done having kids or have one more.  i'd like to be settled wherever we plan on living, in a comfortable house with cute decorations inspired by pinterest and a wraparound porch with a big yard.  i want to be serving faithfully in my Church callings and teaching my kids to do the same.  i want to love my husband more than i did when we got married.  i want to have my kids visit their grandparents and aunts and uncles a lot.  i want to stay close to my siblings and do fun things with their future families and spouses.  i want my husband to be enjoying his job and be happy with where our life together is headed.  i want to have friends in the ward that i do things with, and neighbors that my kids can go play with.  i want to be happy and healthy and fit.

doesn't that seem like the fairy tale life?  i realize this... but it's fun to think about the big plans i have for myself in the future.  although they will no doubt be changed and fit more according to the Lord's will, i think it's good for me to set goals and try to accomplish them.  here's to the next 15 years and the surprises it brings! :)


21 OF 30

from 30 things.

if you could have one superpower, what would it be and what would you do with it?

hmm.. this is a hard question.  i mean, i automatically think of really stupid superpowers, like laser vision or the ability to fly, or the ability to turn invisible.  all those things would be sweet, but how would i really use them in my life?

so... the one that i think would come in handy would be the ability to turn back time.  would that not be THE greatest thing ever?  i could redo so many moments in life that i now regret.  i could have more time to do the things that i love!  i could go and make things better in the lives of my family and friends.  i could stop accidents.  i could do so many things!

but i guess that would also mess up a lot of things.  we make mistakes because we're supposed to learn something from them.  bad things happen so that the good times can come.  there must be opposition in ALL things. 

but it's fun to daydream, right? :)



laughter.  the best possible medicine out there.

all of us listening so intently to melina's story.  {did i mention how much i LOVE google + hangouts??}

smile! :) haley, jewels, melina, morgan, me

a much needed night with my bff/sister jewels!

trying {and failing} to be seductive.

possibly the ugliest picture i've ever seen of the two of us.

stache time!

6th grade poses! whooo!!! 

best friends :)


seven peaks.  sunshine.  good friend.  crazy hair.  no makeup.  day off.  summer days.  loving life.