Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Marriage pt. 1

I know I just did the wedding post, but we've been married almost three months, and you know what? I think our normal day-to-day pictures are pretty cute. Here's what we've been up to since we tied the knot!

Thing #1: We've been going camping, a lot. We're kind of into one day camping, swimming around in the lake, cooking brats over the fire, and bringing coconuts as treat when we get the chance. (Have you ever thought about how perfect coconuts are for camping? They don't need refrigeration, they have water INSIDE of them, they take some force to open, and they are delicious).

My husband has gotten into photography recently, and I end up having to model a lot. 

Thing #2: Doctoring cows wasn't something I thought I would ever do. My family members are not farmers, or anything close to it. But this doctoring cows thing is a big deal in my husband's family and I LOVE IT. It's a lot of fun. Also, cows are kind of cute in an ugly way, which makes me like them (even though they are very stinky creatures). 

Thing #3: We visited Craters of the Moon, which oddly, really does look like how I imagine the moon would. I think he might have liked this trip just a little more than me. 

Thing #4: I pulled a Delilah, and chopped off all my husband's hair. He helped though... and I don't think he lost any power or anything, so we're okay. I think he looks pretty handsome with his buzzed look. 

Thing #5: We picked some home-grown RASPBERRIES. They lasted for about 27 hours. They were so delicious, we couldn't stop munching on them. 

Thing #6: Take me out to the ball game! He's a big Red Sox fan, and I didn't even know how baseball worked until we got married (embarrassing). But I really loved going to a game! We watched the Chukars play. I have a feeling watching baseball might become a more normal event for us. 

Friday, June 10, 2016

Wedding pt. 1

I married my favorite person. And our first month of marriage has been so so so good. How did I get so lucky? 

Special thanks to Great Salty Floral. Look them up on Instagram. She is amazing! 

Can you tell he's my bestfriend?

I could not have dreamed of better in-laws. 

The mamas. 

My not-so-little family.

The whole gang.

More pictures to come...

*Thank you T. Wright Photography!*

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Why he's the best thing that's happened to me.

Well. I know I haven't talked much about dating on here. And this is a very cheesy, and overused phrase but.....

He is the best thing that's ever happened to me. And that's why I'm going to marry him.

Let me tell you a little bit about us:
>>> We have been dating for over two years
>>> A lot of that was long distance
>>> I am hopelessly in love with him
>>> We're getting married in May

Okay now let me talk about why he is the best thing that has ever happened to me.

1. Brennan (that's his name) is nothing like who I imagined I'd end up with, but he is so much better for me. When I first met him, I thought he was REALLY handsome (because he is) and I was really drawn to him but I also thought we were too different to work out long term. There are several entries in my journal stating "this is not going anywhere..." But I was falling in love. really. really. quickly.

This was a picture from our first real date. I already liked him a lot by this point, but was in total denial. I thought he was too cool for me. And I still think that sometimes ha. So anyway, my point here for reason #1 is that I'm in love with him. And falling in love was one of the easiest things I have ever done. I have always been immensely logical, but all of the sudden, I was just letting go and enjoying life. Whenever I'm with him, I'm happier than ever before. 

2. He helps me be a better me. I like to think that I'm tough and independent. But the truth is, I need a lot of encouragement. 

When I'm with him, he helps me not only feel valued,but makes me want to try new things. I feel more adventurous and my life is easier and happier and more fun with him. I feel more capable and he encourages me to do more than I thought I could. Needless to say, the quality of my life has improved significantly since I met him. 

3. He's so patient with me. 

On one of our first dates, he asked me out via text messaging. I told him, no. I wouldn't go on a date with him unless he asked me out like a gentleman. Instead of giving up on me, or thinking that it wasn't worth the effort, I heard a knock on my door. He had left one of the most creative invitations I had ever seen. My frustration quickly turned to laughter. And I realized how silly I had been. 

AND on top of the day to day patience he exhibits, he has also waited around a lot for me to figure out my life.

These pictures were taken right before I left on a mission for our church and right after. I was gone for about 18 months. We couldn't call each other or skype. We could only emailed once a week, and sometime less. We also wrote letters. He was so supportive of my desires to help others and serve God. He never asked me to stay or reconsider. And I will always be grateful for the experiences I had during that year and a half. As focused as I was on what I was doing, I fell more in love with Brennan. 

4. He makes me laugh. 


I'm weird. And so is he. And I love singing Bohemian Rhapsody at the top of my lungs with him. I love when we tweet stupid stuff. I love screaming as loud as I can in the car, just because we can. I love watching Pride and Prejudice and 2001: a space odyssey every. single. month. I like that he farts around me and we laugh about it, because I still haven't farted in front of him.

5. He is such a good person: I get caught up in details, but he sees the big picture. And he is good to everyone he knows. He is kind and thoughtful. I don't have any pictures for this point, but anyone who knows him, knows that he is a good friend. 

There are a lot of other reasons. But I think this is sufficient. Brennan is my best friend. And I'm pretty excited that we get to spend forever together. 

The end. 

Tuesday, February 9, 2016


Well. I've been pretty terrible about blogging. I'm not going to lie.

Recently, I have been thinking about gratitude. I have tried to be more thankful than needy and I am a lot happier. On Sunday, someone asked how I was transitioning to being home and not a full time missionary anymore. I said "I miss it sometimes but I feel like I'm filling my life with good things. And as I do that, I know God is happy with me."

One of my companions sent me this picture yesterday.

I think one of the best things about being a missionary, is that NOTHING is about you. You sleep, eat, shower, bike, and talk all for the well-being of others. But I have found that seemingly "selfish" activities of civilian life can also be for a higher purpose and that the time we take to just be with others is so important. 

Our relationships and just simply being with others priceless.

So I'm glad I am a human being, just being, while being with others. 

It's a good life. 

Friday, January 8, 2016

False Sense of Reality

Hello Everyone,

This is my first blog since I have returned from serving as a full time missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  And I have wanted to jump back into blogging for quite some time but haven't felt able to really express how I am feeling. I am definitely happy to see my family and those I love again:

(there are many of you. I just didn't want to include 100 pictures)

And although I have enjoyed catching up and spending time with people I have also experienced serious "mission blues." which seem to be common among returned missionaries who enjoyed their time serving.

For the last few weeks I have done what I usually do and ignore these feelings and tried to be logical and stayed busy but that wasn't really helping. So today I was trying to be meta-cognitive. 

And I think I am starting to better understand what returned missionaries are actually feeling.

Growing up and most of our lives, we are surrounded by the same solid group of people, normally. Yes friends change, and people grow up but the people we are closest too tend to be around us. We as human beings, change and grow, but when you are around people frequently, those changes are slow and almost imperceptible. And when people do change overnight others are skeptical and a little worried. 

However, the things around us do change a lot. You change grades, or you move or get a new toy. Your circumstances differentiate.

So we grow up unconsciously thinking that things change and people do not. 

When you return home from a mission, you have changed a lot (hopefully) but it has been a year and a half or two years since you have seen people and things. The crazy part is, it's the exact opposite of what you grew up with. PEOPLE have changed. And the THINGS have not. 

In my case, my room looked the same, my clothes were the same, the Christmas decorations were the same. Now I am at the SAME university, living in the SAME complex as before, walking past the SAME things and doing the SAME things, but I am different and the people are different. People have gotten married, babies have been born, people are either doing much better or worse and very few of them are exactly how you left them. 

Because of that, it just feels uncomfortable, like you should know exactly what is going on, but you don't, because all the THINGS that haven't changed don't seem to fit anymore because you are different. That is the reason, we foolishly think "I wish I could just go back." Because on the mission you knew just how the changing things fit and the people (other missionaries at least) were all a lot alike. 

Luckily reflecting on this has helped me realize WHY it is so important that we do come back and begin again. We have to know how to change and make changes even when things around us do not change. We must learn to love especially those who have changed so drastically. 

I am grateful for the time I had to serve as a full time missionary and I am grateful for this new challenge and new reality.


Monday, December 28, 2015

I am a disciple of Jesus Christ

Dear Family and Friends,

As many of you know, this will be my last email as a full time missionary! I feel really sad about that. But this week I had some really cool thoughts that I wanted to share with you that made me feel better about this little transition. 

I think much of the sadness of going home comes from fear that we won't get to do what we did as missionaries: serve alongside Jesus Christ and angels in God's work and glory. I thought at one point this week: "I'll have to take off my nametag and I'll never be Hermana Ries again." 

And then a very comforting thought came. It doesn't matter. It doesn't matter if we have on a nametag or if we are called Elder or Sister. Real missionary work is all in the heart.  

3 Nephi 5:13 says:

Behold, am disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. 
have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that themight  have everlasting life.

The last year and a half, I have gotten to meet some of my very best friends! Some of them are missionaries, some of them are members where I have served, some of them are not members, some are converts. And the reason I love them all is because they have helped me become a disciple of Jesus Christ. 

Being a disciple does not mean that I am anywhere near perfect. It just means that I love, serve and follow Him! He is my best friend. And I am so grateful for how much better I have gotten to know Him over the last 18 months. 

I know that God lives! He loves us so He sent His son Jesus Christ. The gospel is the way to follow Him. Through Faith, Repentance, Baptism, The Holy Ghost, and keeping our covenants, we can return to our Father in Heaven someday. 

I love this gospel. I love Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father. And I love all of you! 

see you soon. 

-Hermana Ries

let your light so shine

Dear Family and Friends,

It has been such a sweet week of tender mercies. I am filled with gratitude! Heavenly Father is so aware of us. As many of you know, we had transfers this week. 

Anyone remember Hermana Christensen?? She and I were companions about 6 months ago and some of the best friends ever. Guess what. She is my companion again! I have been praying since we got split up that she could be my last companion and look! Heavenly Father answers prayers.

Last Sunday the church released a beautiful video about the Savior and how important it is to remember Him and especially His birth this time of year.

As we visited one of the less active members in our area, he shared an experience. He was working in the mall selling stuff at a kiosk and there was a light that kept flickering on and off.

He and his Father have different beliefs and had been talking about God all day. As the light flickered off and stayed off, he thought "the only one who can really turn that light on, is God." Just as he thought that, the light came back on.

That reminds me of the Christmas Devotional on Sunday when it talked about how Christ is the LIGHT in our lives. All good things come from Him and all our joy comes from Him as well. I love the scripture in Matthew 5:16 which says:

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Our light comes from Christ. But as we live like Him, we too seem to have a light about us.

Before my mission, I used to tell people the reason I wanted to serve a mission was to help people who thought there was no hope, find it again. I wanted to bring them light. I didn't realize it at the time, but what I wanted was to help people invite Christ into their lives.

This Christmas, that's all I want to do. I want to invite Him into my life more than ever before! I hope we can all do that. And that we can help others as well come unto Christ.

I know He lives. He is my best friend. I love being a missionary.

-Hermana Ries

p.s. sorry for the lack of pictures. We had to go to the library and I forgot my camera cord so all I have are these pictures from Hermana Riding today.

happy December!