The day I found out I had miscarried was the hardest day of my life that I can remember to date. It was loss and there was nothing I could do. Fortunately, it was during Spring Break and I didn't have to go and face my students or colleagues. This meant I could sleep and lay down and cry for hours on end without anyone to answer to.This week I was looking through all of my pictures for some portfolio changes I'm making and I came across these photos. These are my first day alone after the miscarriage. Jord had to go back to school and I didn't have class until later on in the day. I didn't want to go home and be by myself so I went out to shoot instead. I'm not sure how I ended up at a point where I was taking these but it's what happened.I see now that these were an exploration of coping for me. I never take self portraits and I really never have a desire to be in photographs to be honest with you. But this was a time when I didn't know myself and what God had planned for me and I guess that sparked some interest.This is still very much the case. It is starting to get a little cooler outside here in Charleston -- minus today when it jumped back up to 75. Though I enjoy the sweater weather, with it comes a sense of wanting to lie down, to hide away, to be alone and the only thing I can think of in those moments is -- I'm still not pregnant; how can this be?Though I look at these and have similar struggles I no longer feel the pain I had in this moment. There is still much hurt there with every passing negative month but it is so different. The photos however are not they still manage to have the same peace. I'll always be thankful I have these photos because if nothing else they helped me once again this week; to cope.










I don't think we have carved a pumpkin since our first year of marriage. (circa 2008 below)

And we definitely haven't dress up since then. (Dr. and Pepper -- I had taken off my shaker box by this point -- also circa 2008)



I have to admit holiday festivities are not something we (Jordan) really gets into and let's be honest it's not really that fun if you do it yourself. He tries really hard though for the most part. 

Well this year while we still didn't dress up we did manage to carve a pumpkin once again. It was mostly do to our fun friends who are good at these types of things -- we are going to blame it on their three kids and our none kids whatsoever. 

We decided to go with "the bowtied pumpkin." Nice, right? The original plan was a giant U in honor of our Utes, especially after that win against Stanford. But then they had to go and lose to Arizona. Real cool Utes! We still love you. 

It's supposed to be pumpkin that looks like Jord with a bowtie and some awesome glasses. 

Did we succeed? Looks just like him right. ;)








We went out to Boone Hall last week to the Pumpkin Patch and had a hot sweaty mess of fun! Nothing like 80 degrees in mid-October I tell ya!

It was our first time picking a pumpkin from a Pumpkin Patch. We found the perfect one we wanted and ended up not wanting to wait in the never ending line to buy it. So we purchased one later on that night from the grocery store. I know what you were thinking, we are awesome.

Fortunately, that wasn't the only thing we did at the Pumpkin Patch.


Honestly I just need to write this out and I don't feel like writing in my personal journal with pen and paper. So sorry in advance for the outpouring of emotions.

It's been over six months since we had our miscarriage and my heart still feels as heavy as it did back in March.

Each month is a new challenge, a new hope, a new let down.

Every time I pick myself up off the floor it's time to start a new and every time I start to feel like things may be turning around it's unwanted news.

I can't express the frustration I feel for having symptoms that make you feel so much pain and sickness only to have it be all for nothing.

This is such a personal experience. It's one that often people hide and don't share with others. But it stinks to constantly have to pretend like everything is okay. To constantly have to pretend like you aren't frustrated and "it will happen when it happens." Oh brother. That's one of the most ridiculous things to feel or try to understand.

Faith.

Faith is what I've had to rely on for several months. Faith is what we will continue to rely on.


Magnolia Plantation and Gardens | Part Two



Part Two of the pictures from Magnolia Plantation and Gardens.

We spent the second part of the afternoon around the plantation house and swamp walk.



Magnolia Plantation and Gardens | Part One


Jord and I both had Fall break last week and it was an absolute blast to spend that much time together. We were able to spend a few days doing some things we haven't been able to yet in Charleston. Our first stop was Magnolia Plantation and Gardens and this is only the first part in photos. We spent the afternoon walking the gardens and lakes, looking around the plantation house and the gift shop, and looking around the swamps.  
 

| No big deal that I have now baked two weeks in a row |

Last week A Cup of Jo shared 9 Pumpkin Recipes and I just had to hop on board and try at least one. 

I chose the Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes (Muffins?) and lets be honest if I hadn't told you that's the one I chose you probably would have been like -- what??? -- just from looking at the picture above. 

Well apparently my new favorite thing to do it bake -- but seriously, it's so stress relieving -- and my new second favorite thing to do it change the toppings more to my liking. 

This recipe implements that second fav and I didn't add either the baking powder or maybe it was the baking soda because I keep forgetting which one I don't have when I get to the store and then I'm like yeah right like I'm coming back here when I get home. You would be embarrassed for me if you knew how close the store really is and you should be embarrassed for me that I still don't know which one I am missing and don't want to go look in my cupboard for the sake of this post. 

I ended up taking them to a ward party and they were gone very quickly. So I'm going to pat myself on the shoulder and say that means I can bake. And the good part about baking for others is I'm not eating it and it's out of my house. ;)

But moving forward.


Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes source with some changes by me

> 1 - 15 oz can pumpkin puree
> 1/2 cup sugar
> 1/4 cup brown sugar
> 2 large eggs
> 1 tsp vanilla extract
> 3/4 cup milk
> 2/3 cup all purpose flour
> 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
> 1/4 tsp salt
> 1/2 tsp baking soda (had to go look anyway...darn it)

Directions:

***Again I made this with 2 mini muffin tins. 

> Preheat oven to 350°F and spray tins with cooking spray. I did not use any liners because it's just not my style but liners either foil or silicone are definitely options. 

> Mix together your pumpkin puree, sugars, vanilla, milk, and eggs. Add in the rest of your dry ingredients -- flour, spice, salt, and baking soda. 

> Pour mixture into each tin filling it about 1/2 way. (this is for the mini tins)

> Bake for twenty minutes and let cool for twenty minutes. 

> Remove from pan and let chill in the fridge for atleast 20 more min. 

> The original recipe calls for the topping whipped cream but I wanted to do something different so I decided to go with Dulce De Leche. I highly recommend it but I would bet that the whipped cream is good as well. 

> Serve it up. 











 President Monson, October 2013, © Jenna Miller


At our church, I am a leader for the Young Women -- teenage girls -- who are completing a program called Personal Progress. Personal Progress -- PP from here on out -- is similar to Boy Scouts but it is for girls and it requires a lot of hard work and long hours. 

Since I joined our church when I was eighteen, I never had the opportunity to complete PP and so I am doing it now as the leader with the teenage girls in our area. 

This is a recent project I finished this month for the "Faith" section. I chose to complete a visual arts project and to go outside of my normal photography and make an illustration. 

I really enjoyed making this and think I will make some others. 








During the week before conference I was contacted to shoot some photos about how members watch conference. 

These are some outtakes from the morning session on Sunday that we spent with our friends watching conference. If you can see the cute dog, Curly, that is Roy's favorite lady.  

Also, the heart shaped treat is from the leftover mix for the peach muffins I made that I didn't want to just waste. I should really invest in a few more muffin tins.