The Mike Pence Saga

I was scrolling through Facebook when something popped up in my feed. It was an article about Mike Pence, and how he doesn’t have dinner with people of the opposite gender alone. I thought instantly “Wow, good for him!” I clicked to read the article, and was shocked about how many people were disgusted and said it was “sexist” for Pence to have that rule in his marriage.

So I’ve compiled a couple thoughts.

1. It’s not really any of our business. Pence and his wife have the right to make absolutely whatever rules and boundaries they want to in their marriage. Randy and I have boundaries in our marriage that other people may not get or agree with. And that’s totally fine. If both husband and wife agree, really nobody else gets to have a say in it.

2. Randy and I actually hold that same rule. I don’t have dinner with someone of the opposite gender alone, and neither does Randy. We try to avoid riding in the car with someone of the opposite gender alone. It’s something that we discussed when we got married and I was in the professional world. It’s something that’s important to use, and for our lifestyle. You don’t agree or don’t like that? Good for you, you can have whatever rules or boundaries you’d like in your marriage and relationships as well!

3. Not everything is about sex. It’s not about that at all, probably not for the Pence family and not for Randy and I. I’m not concerned that having dinner alone with a woman would cause them to immediately need to kiss each other. It’s about the appearance, the boundary for our marriage, the things that are valuable for us and how we live our lives.

4. You need to respect marriages. We have this thing in the world today where we think we don’t need to respect each other’s marriages. Whether that’s some girl in Randy’s class that found out he was married and said “that’s too bad…”, or someone encouraging a married friend to lie to their spouse about anything, or someone saying that boundaries and rules that a couple has made are incorrect. I hope that you haven’t decided to have things certain ways in your marriage, only to see people come up and tell you how wrong it is. I’m certain that Mike Pence finds ways to be professional and have professional meetings in ways that work with the boundaries he and his wife have set. Now we need to respect those boundaries, and their marriage.

5. If you don’t think that inter-office affairs do happen, you’re wrong. They happen all the time. Now, am I saying that having dinner alone with a co-worker automatically leads to an affair? Of course not. But for my marriage, why would we even put ourselves anywhere near that situation? We just have decided not to even go there. Regardless of the fact that I know Randy and he knows me, and we know we wouldn’t ever do that.

6. Mike Pence still hires women. I work in an industry that’s mostly dominated by men. And I don’t ever wish that a woman vs. a man is hired or anything like that, just because I won’t go to lunch or dinner alone with them. I get along really well with most of the men I work with. The fact that I’m not going to go to lunch alone with them doesn’t change that. What it does do is give me a personal boundary, that’s been extremely easy to keep. Sure, sometimes I excuse myself or invite another colleague, but in all honesty it’s not difficult.

The bottom line here, is that someone in their personal life has established a boundary for their marriage. We don’t know why, and to be frank we should all butt out. It doesn’t matter. Is he still getting his job done? It appears so. And if nothing else, I certainly have so much more respect for him now than ever before.

So if you view a man and his wife determining something together, and him sticking to that, sexist…I guess I’m entirely wrong about what that word means.

Budget Fashion

Ok friends, I’m going off on a new limb that I haven’t really done a lot of. And I’m pretty nervous about it, but here we go!

I would consider myself insanely fashionable by any means, but Randy is always SUPER fashionable and I’m pretty happy with the outfits I do manage to put together.

I love seeing fashion bloggers and makeup YouTubers, but I can never afford all the decorations, clothes, and makeup they have. SO I’ve decided to go into a little bit of a budget version of all these things. We’ll see if it works, but I think it’ll be great!

Now I’m not some teeny, tiny perfect haired person. We don’t have all the money in the world. So maybe us doing fashion ideas isn’t a good idea. BUT I do think there’s value in showing that real people can still get cute clothes, and be happy with how they look!

So today, we have Randy and I’s outfits:

My skirt: Bought from The Limited forever ago, similar here.
Top: Bought from Kohls forever ago, similar here.

Look At Your Life, Look At Your Choices

Who remembers this YouTube video series? Great, hilarious stuff from my high school years.

But lately, the words “look at your life, look at your choices” has been running through my head.

I decided to take a look at my life, and take a look at my choices.

Most of them, I’m happy with. But I saw a few things about my attitude, my faith, my dedication to relationships, and I saw the things I wanted to change and improve. I wanted to be a happy person, even in the messiness and complications of life. I wanted to trust God and move forward with things even when I’m scared. I wanted to put time and effort into important relationships, let other ones go. I wanted to make better use of my time, find hobbies, and grow as a person.

It’s one thing to post on social media one day that you have seen the light, that you want to clean up and change your life. It’s a totally different thing to actually change. To start making different choices, rather than just posting about the “new you.”

We all make stupid decisions. We all see the ways to improve and be better.

But we can’t complain about the hard things that we’re dealing with, when they’re directly a result of our choices. Sometimes things happen that we have absolutely no control over. People have family issues, mental or physical health issues, financial situations, struggles with relationships, etc. These are all valid, and are things we have to figure out how to cope with. A lot of the time, however, we make decisions that lead us to be unhappy. We decide to get in with the wrong crowd, date the wrong person, make wrong choices, be lazy, ignore the support or help from other people.

We decide we know best, or that this is just who we are, nothing will change it.

That’s all a lie.

I know the feeling of losing control. Of wondering if you are in the driver’s seat and if you really are the one making decisions. I know the feeling of running on auto pilot and wondering if you can ever snap out of that.

And oh my friends, you can. Look at your life. Look at your choices.

See what choices work and which ones don’t. Which choices are leading you to be a better person, and which ones aren’t.

There’s no reason to despair or think you can’t change who you are. There’s no reason to think you’re a bad person.

People are good.

And when we look at our lives and our choices, we can see the good and the not so good. And then we can work hard to be the best.

Weekend Update

The days and weeks are flying by! We are already almost done with March!

This week/weekend we:

-worked and worked and worked
-randy had spring break and actually got a little bit of relaxing, in between going to work
-went to dinner with courtney and tommy
-facetimed with the sweetest niece
-i went to a baby shower for another sweet niece who is coming SOON
-i went prom dress shopping with my mom and little sister which was a blast
-had a delicious st. paddy’s day meal a day late (huge thanks to my mom who is a bomb cook)
-taught church
-had curry with friends
-went on a beautiful sunday walk with the best weather ever
-befriended a gopher and threw grass at him to eat (check out my snapchat @maddyredhead)
-went on a great date to cheesecake factory (thanks to randy’s parents for getting us the gift card!)
-went shopping for some upcoming trips
-laughed a lot

I listened to a talk by Elder Wirthlin that he gave shortly before his passing called “Come What May And Love It” this morning. Man, did that hit the nail on the head for me! I keep being reminded that we need to find happiness in the mess and ugliness of every day, or we’ll never be happy. There are so many things to be happy about. And yes, there are horrible situations that we are facing, and sometimes it’s OK to be sad or upset. Struggling is part of this life. But we can’t let us entirely weigh us down and forget that there are ways to find happiness, even in sadness.

Catching Up 3.13.17

We’ve been moving like crazy people over here! So many things to do, so little time to do them all!

Here’s a little catch up:

1. Randy has been KILLING it at school, I couldn’t be more proud of him!

2. We have both been working like crazy, and we’re both super happy!

3. I finished The Magnolia Story, and trust me there will be a post dedicated to that.

4. We have been taking lots of photos for clients and are loving it!

5. We’ve spent a LOT of time with family lately. This weekend we got to go home to watch Bethany in Davis High’s Spring Play “Everything I Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten.” It was SO fantastic and it’s always such a treat to see my sister perform. We had birthday cake to celebrate my parent’s birthdays, we woke up Saturday and went to Top Golf which was a blast! My dad won but we all had a blast trying to get better at golfing and tasting injectable donut holes. We then went and hiked Ensign Peak which was super fun, and we took a million pictures. Then it was lunch at Brio and macaroons from Eva (we can’t resist macaroons.) Then it was time for presents before my dad had to leave, and my sister and brother in law went to see the Davis High show!

I feel so insanely lucky to have the family that I have, they are so fantastic and I love how close we are and how much fun we have together.

I promise I’ll be better at blogging and vlogging or some combination of the two!

For now, enjoy some pictures that Randy, Bethany and I took and that Randy edited:)

To My Parents On Their Birthdays


I really wish there were more words to express how much I love you, and how lucky I feel to have gotten you as my mom. You are truly my best friend, and I don’t know how I could get through without you. You make me feel confident and strong, you guide me and help me understand and navigate this life. From music to art, literature and writing, you have helped me develop talents and passions that I wouldn’t have found on my own. You have taught me about the Gospel and gave me a firm foundation in my testimony.

Your example of kindness, service, dedication, intelligence, fashion, and love has inspired me and showed me the kind of person that I want to be. I can’t wait for the years to come when you and I take my kids to the zoo or the aquarium, for Grandma tea parties, for late night chats and more vacations together.

You made our family a wonderful family, and gave us so many perfect memories. You made sure we had habits of scripture study and family home evening, which hold so many fun and testimony building memories. You made each holiday perfect, and still do. You made sure that our vacations were packed with fun and that we laughed.

You have supported me in every single activity I’ve ever wanted to do, you’ve been the volunteer mom extraordinaire, and made sure that I knew that you had my back.

I have so many wonderful memories of you, from learning about gardening, to reading in your bathroom in the summers, to picking out things for our new house, walking to school together, long chats when my junior high friends were mean, long drives to and from the Val Browning Center, seeing you in the audience so many times during performances, talking about books and art, the list goes on and on and on.

Thank you for all the time you spent being my mom, plus cooking, cleaning, driving, counseling, teaching, advising, researching, praying, gardening, growing, strengthening, helping, and more. I have lead a charmed life and it’s all because of you.

There just really aren’t enough ways to thank you for who you are, and who you have helped me become. Happy Birthday, I just can’t wait for the rest of the years ahead and how much fun we will keep having. I love you so much and I’m so grateful for the years that you have spent teaching and guiding me, and others.



From teaching me about rock music to teaching me about IRAs, you have always had my back. You always knew the right things to say and the right ways to help me figure out my life. I feel so lucky to have grown up with a dad who was the greatest example about how a father, and a husband, should be. You have always provided and made our family feel safe. I have never worried about what would happen when you were around, I knew we would be provided for and that nothing bad would happen.

Thank you for building up my testimony and never being afraid to share yours. It helped mine grow more than you will know. Thank you for always serving faithfully in callings and being an example to me in that way too.

Dancing with you at my wedding was such a surreal moment, but it was also a dream come true. I feel so lucky to have a father who cares about my happiness and works so hard to make my husband feel like a part of our family.

Thank you for working hard, for cooking and cleaning, and just making sure that I saw and felt love in our home. You were such a perfect example of combining work and fun, and you made cleaning the garage or doing yard work a party.

I have always relied on you to help me and teach me, and getting older hasn’t changed that. I really have loved our new relationship where I can call and ask about work problems or grown-up things. But it doesn’t take away from the days when I asked you about my math homework and you patiently tried to help me, or when I asked to stay up late when I was really little.

Thank you for helping me travel to extraordinary places, go to college, and have a perfect wedding. I don’t take anything you have given me for granted.

Happy birthday, and I can’t wait to spend more birthdays with you and keep growing closer together. I love you so much dad!


The 7 Questions To Help You Decide If They’re The One

So many of my friends are in the dating process, and let me tell you I know how rough it can be! It’s a time of lots of self-doubt, confusion, self-discovery, and working on yourself and on relationships. I have seen my friends meet and get married to really awesome people, and I have seen other friends be with people who don’t treat them well, and leave them hurt.

So it’s time to stop beating around the bush, it’s time for some real talk.

This was my “list” of sorts, for figuring out of someone was worth more of my time and commitment. You may not think these are applicable to you, and that’s your thing! But for most people I know, these 7 questions can save lots of time and heartache.

1. Do they put God first? Yes, even before you. For me, Randy always puts God first, and that is the number 1 thing that has made our marriage happy and healthy. For us, God is an equal partner in our relationship. We make our decisions with him helping us, we grow our relationship around our relationship to Him.

2. Do they make you want to be a better person? A good relationship isn’t about being content, it’s about always working and wanting to be better. Now, this doesn’t mean that they make you feel bad about yourself. It’s the perfect balance of them loving you, flaws and all, but also helping you see the best version of yourself, and wanting to be that person.

3. Do they make you feel safe? Are you safe to have opinions, safe to say no, safe in your own skin, safe in your own beliefs, safe physically and spiritually and mentally and emotionally? This is a tough evaluation, but being in a relationship and eventually being married means that you are the most vulnerable you have ever been. The person you end up with won’t always be perfect, but they will always work their hardest to make sure you feel safe.

4. Do they get along with friends and family? Now, your partner may not always get along perfectly with these people, and that’s OK. But if most of the important people in your life are seeing a problem, it’s a good time to evaluate.

5. Do they keep secrets? Whether it’s about a person they’ve dated, a mistake from their past, activities with their friends, or other things, secrets can be a huge red flag. Now, it’s not always necessary to dredge up every past experience, but if you ask, and they won’t tell you, it’s important to understand why.

6. Do they encourage you in your activities? Do they come to your game or show, do they encourage you to go to your church or family gathering? Do they ever discourage you or make you feel like your activities are stupid? If they do, it will only get worse the longer you’re together. You deserve someone who will always support you in your dreams, your routines, who won’t make you feel stupid or silly for wanting or participating in something. And if they don’t understand your passion, they’ll ask about it and at the very least, respect it.

7. Are you happy? This evaluation is SO hard to do. Because we often mistake contentment, satisfaction, or pleasure for happiness. Real and true happiness is something you are positive about. For me, it was the feeling that I could quite literally do anything with Randy by my side. Of course, getting married or progressing a relationship can come with cold feet or uncertainty, but for me any jitters were always swallowed up in the understanding that I was so happy. It was the certainty that he would never try and hurt me, that he was proud of me, that he respected me, and that he would do anything to continue to help me be happy.

Hope I’m not sounding too preachy over here, I just know how incredibly hard it can be. I consider myself so lucky to have found someone who makes relationships and marriage so fun, and treats me like a queen.

Best of luck for those of you who are looking for the one, it will all work out in the end!