11 Years 

On the 11th of this month Daniel and I celebrated 11 years of marriage. We took our camper trailer out for a trip to the Trona Pinnacles, Las Vegas, then Zion National Park. Our trailer has been such a joy for us! It was our anniversary present to ourselves last year. After taking it to Joshua Tree, Vegas, and the Grand Canyon last year, we knew we wanted to take another adventure with it this year. On our first day we traveled to the Trona Pinnacles. This setting was so surreal! It felt like we were on a different planet. After finding this place online, we discovered that it was a setting for numerous movies that have been filmed there, including Star Trek. We were literally the only ones there that night. We had an amazing time shooting night photography together under the stars.  The moon was so bright that night it felt like dawn. The next day we drove around and explored some more together before setting out for Las Vegas. We spent several nights in Vegas together and stayed at the Circus Circus RV Park on the strip. We enjoyed a lobster dinner on our anniversary, walked the strip and enjoyed all the sites for the next couple days.  After that, we set out for Zion! Before we drove into the park we decided to boondock in Hurricane city where we stocked up on food and enjoyed some time at the local dog park where our little Rusty Roo could run free. When we drove into Zion, we were so amazed by the environment all around us. It’s so different from where we live on the coast. It felt like Cars land in Disneyland 😆 The RV camp site we stayed at was right at the entrance of the park. Our campsite was right along the Virgin river! It was so amazing waking up to the sound of water rushing past us. We spent the next several days enjoying the beautiful sites along the Pa’rus, Emerald Pools, Kayenta, and Angels Landing trails. There was so much beauty to take in that it was overwhelming at times. These are just a few of my favorite photos from our trip! Being married to Dan has been such a privilege and joy and definitely one grand adventure. I love looking back at all of our world travels that we’ve shared together and I’m so glad we made the decision to get married young. Seeing the world is one thing, but being able to see it with the one you love is pretty special and I don’t take any of that for granted. We’ve been through some rough times and our relationship is far from perfect but all of the good times we’ve shared together far outweigh them all. This trip marks another year lived with the most incredible, passionate, talented, and loving man that I get to call mine. I love you Daniel Joseph Ballesteros! Thank you for another wonderful adventure. I love making memories with you ❤️

Comparison 

In a smart phone world saturated with Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, and so much more, it is so easy to find ourselves comparing ourselves and our lives to what we see all over social media. We scroll through photos or videos looking at what our friends, the people we follow, or what celebrities are up to, where they’re vacationing, how happy they are, what they look like, how busy they are, and how successful they appear to be. Then suddenly we find ourselves looking at our lives and realize how “insignificant” we feel, or how “unsuccessful” we are, or how “boring” our lives are in comparison to others. Or, were just left feeling sad afterwards and wonder why. I’m sure in one way or another we’ve all found ourselves doing this. Sometimes we aren’t even aware that we are doing this because it’s such a routine for us to “check in” to all these social platforms. When we start comparing ourselves to others, how are we left feeling after it? Some people would say discouraged, unhappy, jealous, defeated, unimportant, not good enough, etc. So, why do we as humans do this to ourselves? Is it because we don’t like who we are or what we’re doing with our life? Is it because we don’t know who we really are and what God says about us? Are we unmotivated and uninspired and trying to gain inspiration from the world around us? 

We’ve all heard the saying “there’s always going to be someone prettier than you,” “there’s always going to be someone smarter than you,” or “there’s always going to be someone better than you.” I’ve heard this statement being used a lot regarding the topic of comparison and it has always bothered me and I could never figure out why, until just recently. I realized that all it really does is set someone up for immediate comparison, and suggests that in our best effort we will never be good enough, or as good as this person or that person. In addition, I find it discouraging and completely counterproductive to its purpose as a statement. But I say, who defines your beauty? Who defines your success? Who defines your worth? Yes, we all have our unique gifts, talents, and strengths, but let’s take the focus off of what other people have and start looking at who YOU are and what God gave YOU. You are fearfully and wonderfully made, you are a child of God, you are loved, you are enough, you are unique, and you are called to a great purpose. “God is asking you to believe He is who He says He is, believe you are who He says you are, and then live like you believe those things”-Rick Warren. 

Stop comparing yourself to others and stop believing lies about yourselves. Start saying what God says about you and let it change the way you think about yourself. Then, as a result, it will change the way you live. I had a dear friend, Linda Wilson, that passed away and one thing I remember her saying when I spoke to her about this several years ago, was “what’s theirs is theirs and what’s yours is yours.” Stop looking to the left and to the right and start realizing what you have and be thankful for it all.  In moments when you feel yourself comparing yourself to someone else, just stop! Put your smart phone down, close your eyes, and ask God to give you the right perspective. Ask Him to tell you what He thinks about you. Ask Him to show you what He has in store for your life. I promise, you will find so much joy and satisfaction when you truly know who YOU are in Him and what He has planned for YOU.