When two of our best friends, Cami and Jeremy Perdue, came to us asking if we would help with their gender reveal I was of course overjoyed and filled with excitement! I LOVE surprises, and this was not just any surprise, it was one of those special surprises that change the course of life.

Needless to say, it was such a treat for me to get to participate with them on this glorious day and I am delighted that they let me capture this sublime moment on camera!!

Congratulations you two! I know you will be the best parents and your sweet baby boy is beyond blessed to be born into such a remarkable family!

 

 

 

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arches, bryce, and monument valley 3 day doable roadtrip

Bradley and I rang in the new year in Southern Utah with my dad, Karen, Savannah and Kellen, and my step sisters. We also had a special guest appearance from Bridger T. Harris and his darling better half Ali! Needless to say, the weekend was full of laughter and adventures!

Over three days, we visited some some of Southern Utah’s most glorious parks: Arches National Park, Snow Canyon State Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, and we finished our journey in Monument Valley- which is on an Indian reservation, so it’s not National Park, but still awe inspiring in every way.

Here is how we did it:

Day 1 (starting in St. George):

  • Snow Canyon State Park — Lava Tubes hike & exploration. This is right next to St. George.

Day 2:

  • Drive from St. George to Bryce, explore Bryce Canyon (Sunset and Sunrise Points, a little hike down the Navajo Trail!)
  • Drive from Bryce to Moab to spend the night.

Day 3:

  • Explore Arches National Park (right next to Moab) — enter the park before sunrise to get the most out of the day, as well as beat the crowds onto the Delicate Arch trail!
  • Drive from Arches to Phoenix, which takes you right through Monument Valley! (if you had more time, you could also stop at the Grand Canyon, which is on the way!)
    • For this, we spent the night in AZ, then woke up really early the next day to drive back to San Diego. Depending on where you live, you may need to drive somewhere else on Day 3!

Snow Canyon:

The drive from St. George to Bryce Canyon:

Bryce Canyon National Park:

Arches National Park:

Monument Valley:

 

 

 

 

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hidden ice cave hike in utah

Brad and I spent Christmas in Salt Lake with my family. It was a perfect weekend- it snowed all  Christmas Eve night and we woke up on Christmas morning to find the earth covered in a blanket of snow. It continued lightly snowing all day long.

Since my siblings are older, we decided to spend the holidays doing fun activities outside. We drove up Big Cottonwood Canyon, which was a treat by itself, to go sledding and on a snow hike. Our hike was to Donut Falls, which is a 3.5 mile hike round trip. The views were dazzling and we felt like we were in a winter wonderland. The evergreens looked almost edible like they were coated with globs of vanilla frosting. We followed the barely visible trial to the frozen waterfall and didn’t stop there, we continued to climb right on up. At the top, there was a small cave that had thousands of icicles and a small stream that carried the mountain’s run off water. It was such a fun experience. If you live in the Salt Lake area, I recommend going.

 

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sister sister road trip across the country

When I found out that Mads was moving from Boston to Salt Lake City, I knew that her driving alone was not an option and that this could make for a really fun sister road trip. So I jumped a plane and flew to Boston! It was great because I got to spend time with my Grandma Williams, Aunts Tarryn & Becky, and I also got to see my cute cousins!

Brad provided Mady and me with the best cross-country itinerary:

  • Day 1: Drive from Boston to Palmyra, NY and explore the Hill Cumorah, Sacred Grove and other LDS church history sites. Then drive to Buffalo, NY to stay the night.
  • Day 2: Take a quick 20 min car ride across the Canadian boarder to see Niagara Falls from the Canada side (it is the better side). Then drive 8 hours to Chicago and spend the night there.
  • Day 3: Tour Chicago in the morning, then start the 7.5 hour drive to Omaha / Winter Quarters. Stay night in Omaha.
  • Day 4: Look at Winter Quarters Temple in the morning, then drive to Salt Lake City (12 hour drive).

This is the best itinerary, we think, from Boston to Utah… but Mady and I only followed it for the first two days because we wanted to stop in Iowa to visit our sister Kenzie and her husband.

Drive Highlights:

  • Being stopped by the  Canadian border patrol with a car so full the doors look like they might pop open at any moment. We learned that we fit the profile of drug smugglers: two innocent-looking girls.  For about 20 min, they questioned us while going though our phones and after reading our family text about which is better between almond milk and real milk, they figured we were harmless and let us cross over to Canada. We drove away laughing so hard I thought I might pee my pants.
  • Driving through a HUGE snow storm in Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Illinois.
  • Going off random exits to roam slowly through dusty farm towns in rural America.
  • Singing all our favorite country songs at the top of our lungs and then laughing about it afterwards!

I will always cherish this special road trip with my sister. Here is a short video of the highlights from our exploration across the country.

 

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Hello family and friends!

I think it’s safe to say that this has been the best year of both of our lives! We were married in the Salt Lake temple this March and are so grateful we could see many family and friends at our wedding ceremony, as well as at our receptions in Utah and Arizona. Thank you everyone for your kindness, love, and support. We appreciate that and are grateful for you.

In addition to getting married, we’ve also had an eventful rest of the year! We moved into our first apartment together – we live in a small, but cozy and well-decorated apartment in the Crown Point neighborhood of Pacific Beach. We are fortunate to live a short bike ride away from Mission Bay, which we enjoy quite a bit. We’ve also been fortunate to make a lot of good friends in the area and have enjoyed our time in the San Diego 7th Ward so far! We’re currently serving in the Nursery, which has been a great experience!

Another big highlight of the year was when Alexis graduated from college! Alexis finished up at San Diego State University, where she majored in Marketing. All of our parents came in town for that, which was very nice. Keep your eyes open for big things around the corner from Alexis!

Brad has continued working the same job and is now in his final year of the 4-year Research Associate program at Brandes Investment Partners. His exciting news is that he has been accepted into a couple different MBA programs now, which we’re excited about! We won’t know for sure for another month or two where we’ll be going next, but it’s currently looking like it will be Chicago. New York and the Bay Area may also be in the running, but we’ll have to wait to find out for those.

We’ve also been fortunate to go on a few trips this year! We went on our honeymoon, a “second honeymoon,” and various trips to spend time with our family. We’ve also had the pleasure of having all of our immediate family come to visit us in San Diego at some point or another this year, as well as a lot of extended family and other friends. To anyone who hasn’t visited, come visit! To everyone who has, come again!

The final, and most important thing, for us this year is that we’ve come closer as a new family, both to each other and to our Heavenly Father. We love Christmastime for many reasons. The most important of these for us is the opportunity we have to think about our Savior, Jesus Christ. We are incredibly grateful for Him and the many blessings our faith has brought to our lives. We would like to share our testimony of Christ, of the Book of Mormon, which testifies of Him, and of the love God has for us. If anyone is curious and wants to learn more about that, please reach out to us or visit www.mormon.org!

We wish all of our family and friends a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Alexis and Bradley McMullin

 

 

 

 

 

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