8/19/16

GUIDE TO LAS VEGAS

I love my city more than anything- the bright lights on screens as you drive down Las Vegas Boulevard, the delicious treats at Sprinkles and Serendipity 3, most of all the fact that any weekend can be made into an occasion. What some people travel miles to see is just 20 minutes away from my house. I'm going to miss it so much when I'm up in Logan starting the next chapter of my life! I'm absolutely convinced that Vegas will always hold a piece of my heart. 
With that said I want to share a project I've been working on for months that captures my favorite spots in the city. 
Having called Vegas home for the past 10 years, I'd like to think I know my way around pretty well. For every friend's birthday or high school dance I'd be down on the strip enjoying all the food and entertainment that the city has to offer. This little video will show you exactly what that is!

I started filming this clear back in May and a lot of the footage in it was from a little staycation I had with my favorite girls to celebrate graduating. The pictures from it never made their way onto the blog because I wanted to wait to post them with the Guide to Las Vegas. It really pulls on my heart strings to look back on these pictures because it was the last time we were all together like this. I'm so grateful for these girls, the influence we've had on each other, and all the memories made. We're all moving on to our next chapters now that it's fall but I hope with my whole heart that we can continue to be on each other's teams despite the distance.
we started off our staycation at the Mandalay Bay/Delano pool which is 10/10
we felt like mermaids just hanging out in the wave pool and floating around the lazy river a billion times
Always divas. Always. 
 
 ^^ one of my favorite shots of the whole trip. I'm pretty sure it's a snapchat with a black and white VSCO filter but I think it captures the behind the scenes perfectly hah!
Day 2 of staycation was spent exploring (thanks for being designated driver Han!!)
 
 

This is hands down my favorite vlog to date. I think I just love it so much because it totally captures one of the last best days with all of my best friends. I miss our 7 so much already. I'm gonna get all cheesy and quote the Mads' guide theme song, "you're the only ones worth seeing and the only place worth being!!"

8/14/16

IN BETWEEN SEASONS

I'm gonna get pretty real in this post and I hope I can get my point across the right way without sounding like I'm complaining. I don't usually share things like this on GL but I feel strongly that it's something a lot of people can relate to  but I don't see many people discuss. Lately I feel like I have been stuck in such a weird spot in life. Everybody makes musicals about high school and senior year and going to college and all but I haven't seen/read/heard one thing about what life is like in that 3 months between graduation and the day you move into your new dorm. For me it's a lot of idleness, sleepless nights, anxiety, stress headaches, and crying to Syd. I'm stuck in a position where I don't know who I really am anymore because I'm not high school Madison but also not college Madison yet.
I don't know if any of you have noticed but aside from travel and month-in-review posts, my little blog has seriously been neglected. Same with vlogs. I think a lot of that is due to the things I talked about above.
However, good things still happened. I still have a great life and I tried not to let my little in between season get the best of me. So here are a few things that have happened this summer in between all the big stuff.
Before some of my 2 best friends left (Dyl to go become Elder Hafen and Eliza for BYU summer term) we had a super fun hike that I actually felt like I was going to die on but made it because of such great company
and then Dylan left for Fort Lauderdale which was a test of faith but I wouldn't want him anywhere else! I've truly noticed so many blessings come from his service.  
 Even though Dylan left I still hung out with the fam which was also a blessing
 then I went rogue in my quarter life crisis and sold a ton of my clothes
(thank you to everybody who supported @shopmadscloset_)
 The next goodbye was sweet Emma Park. This cute girl has been my friend for as long as I can remember and was so sweet to take us for one last joy ride in her mini down the strip.
Then it was the 4th of July! Activities included boating with the boys that were still home, treating ourselves to bahama bucks (that was actually a weekly occurrence), and going to a baseball game with my cute family.
 
 
Eliza's birthday rolled around in mid July and that resulted in a lot of reminiscing
Syd reminisced too...
I was in charge of our stake's girls camp video so even though I was too old to go, I still got to hang out for a night along with Syd for testimony meeting. Don't take girls camp for granted ladies- I would do anything to be a 4th year one more time.
More goodbyes... Elder(s) Judd are doing a fantastic job as of now in Colorado & Texas!
Elder Hafen made it out of the Mexico MTC by this time which meant getting to ship a package to Fort Lauderdale!!

Also on the topic of missionaries, my friend MaCall's boyfriend gave her literally THE sweetest surprise before he left. I couldn't help but share it because it needs to go viral!!
Our Last Date For Two Years // VLOG from MaCall McClellan on Vimeo.


 I was very busy filming a variety of projects (some of which are SUPER out of my comfort zone and exciting so stay tuned!!)
one of the things we filmed at the epitome of our summer boredom was this...
 
 
Lake days were also a fun time until one day when this happened...
Long story short me and Robby flew off the hot dog tube and hit heads at 20mph. He had a black eye. I had 9 staples and blood stains on my Kortni Jeane suit :(. Stay safe on the lake kids.
So there you have it! These were the everyday joys. I stumbled upon this conference talk and it really put things into perspective for me. I highly recommend checking it out if you've been feeling stuck in a season lately.

7/31/16

JULY IN PICTURES + GRATITUDE

July has been full of blessings. In between the funnest family trip to Seattle and filming the sweet Anderson family in Oahu life was full of farewells, dinner with the Hafens, going to girls camp since we just couldn't get enough, the 4th of July, and even more farewells and goodbyes. While I was in the middle of July it seemed like a trial. In fact, I spent most of this month crying to Syd & my sweet mom about how I feel stuck in between not belonging at home anymore but being terrified for whats to come. Now looking back on July's high points it seems like such an incredible time and I hope that's what I can remember it by. It's been tough to live life without Dylan and tons of my friends but I still have such a full life.
In my next monthly post I'll have pictures of my new apartment and room mates. My last monthly post had pictures of Dyl and high school and Eliza. (Hopefully that puts things into perspective of July being somewhat the calm before in between storms)
I believe in Christ so come what may.

7/31- missionary farewells, mom and dads comfort, Syd answering the phone at midnight
7/30- birthday parties, Lexi, Tanner Barnes
7/29- s'mores, Emma Nilsen, my city
7/28- Taylor Miller, target, goofy boy humor (honeydips)
7/27- best friend tag videos, pool party heart to hearts, Zumba
7/26- reuniting with Syd Stagg, reuniting with the fam, reuniting with my shower
7/25- music, being home, opportunities to travel
7/24- church is true wherever you go, silence at night, also rain at night
7/23- pretty hikes, telephoto lenses, sweet little Jane Anderson
7/22- my own bed, fun babysitting jobs, Hawaii
7/21- Polynesian culture, flower crowns, my family
7/20- s'mores, mom, my many adventures
7/19- quiet moments alone, 24mm lenses, emails
7/18- beautiful beaches, cloudy skies, sunsets
7/17- the Andersons, short 6 hour plane rides, hotel life
7/16- fairy boat rides, cloudy skies, home
7/15- strangers that give me flowers in the farmers market, fresh strawberries, the Murdocks
7/14- the space needle, views of the city, honest people that returned dads lost wallet
7/13- emails from Dylan, trips to Seattle, my silly family
7/12- getting to see (film) a missionary coming home rather than leaving, joy rides down the strip, Emma Park
7/11- babysitting, ikea with mom, dinner with the Hafens (I miss them)
7/10- farewells, Syd, Mady Huntsman
7/9- movies with friends, Drake, journaling
7/8- girls camp, testimony meetings, my sweet leaders that got me through the hard years
7/7- the temple (even when I'm alone), west elm (even though I can't afford it), moms bed (even when dad comes in and ruins our girl time)
7/6- sleepovers with Syd, emails from Dylan, shopmadscloset
7/5- dad (happy birthday), Rex, Target
7/4- America, Dad, family baseball games
7/3- the church, Leavitt house barbecues, easy dog watching jobs
7/2- the Stagg family, lake days, sunscreen
7/1- a fresh start, shopmadscloset buyers, chocolate chip cookies & sleepovers

7/30/16

FILMING IN OAHU

These past weeks I've been in Ohau filming the Anderson family's vacation. I don't know how I get so lucky to have jobs like this. They were the absolute sweetest family and made my job so easy. It doesn't seem like this but sometimes projects like this when you're filming for days and days at a time and I can honestly say I never felt that way about the Andersons. This trip really was the icing on the cake to my summer 2016 travels. You can watch the finished video & vlog at the end of this post!
I have so much love and sympathy for autistic people after spending so much time with Jane. She’s seriously the most adorable thing. She has this huge obsession with flags. Her mom has a whole bag full of little plastic flags with her at all times. Her favorite ones are the Japan & USA flag. It’s so funny to see the looks we get with a little blonde girl running around waving a Japanese flag. No shame though. She’s such a tender little spirit I can’t get over it. Her older brother, Cohan is such a stud. He's been caught him lifting up his shirt in the bathroom mirror flexing his “six pack” hah! He also frequently can be found wandering into little gift shops to try on sunglasses. I crack up every time. The other brother, Neil is such a goof ball. Any time I try to film him he just runs away from me or turns his head. He was bold on this trip and tried lots of new things like snorkeling (he even saw a sea turtle) and climbing trees. The oldest sister, Andi is adorable. She loves anything to do with animals. I always can find her on the beach chasing after “new species of birds” and inspecting old snail shells- some of which were still tenable to a snail : ). These kids are precious though. I hope with my whole heart my future kids will love each other as much as these ones do. 
views from the hotel we stayed at on night 1^ 
 
 views from the beach house which was right by the pipeline^
 one of the best things about the Andersons is that they LOVE their food so we were never lacking in exotic meals and delicious donuts
 
 
Cohen's surf lesson^ 
all dec'd out at the Polynesian Cultural Center 
 
 
 
 
 
I felt super blessed because the kid's grandpa had a telephoto lens that he pretty much let me have full access to. I love what I can capture when given the right gear.