Sunday, January 25, 2015


jared and i are in a new place in life. we aren't students anymore, we have decent jobs (most of the time), and are trying to eat healthy and exercise. don't get me wrong, we haven't changed that much... our exercise still primarily consists of the video game "just dance," but things are moving in a new direction.

i worry more about our parents, our siblings, our future. and i seem to spend more and more time thinking about where our future children will go to college, and whether or not we will have raised them with strong, loving, and creative hearts. i wonder about a place where they will call home, which will supply the same sense of love and security that we were blessed with. in truth, jared and i are ready. we've been thrifty, paid off our student loans, and saved all our nickles and dimes- and we're starting to look at houses.

however, looking at the housing market here in salt lake, basically just makes you depressed. all of the options are either overpriced, or too crowded, or just plain boring. we have gorgeous views here in utah, but seldom do architects or city planners seem to take the natural beauty into consideration when designing homes and communities. what the heck, architects. what the heck.

here's what i want, and if anyone has ideas on where i can buy (renovate) or build this, please let me know. i need all of the help i can get.

1. something small. i'm talking something under 1200 sq feet. i grew up in a house with 7 kids, and one of the things i learned was you don't need a lot of space to have a happy family.

2. natural vegetation. we have enough beauty all around us without trying to make it look like we live in great britian. i love utah, and i love deserts. let's embrace the beauty that already exists here naturally and save on watering unnecessary lawns, bushes, and flowerbeds.

3. a room with a view. this one is probably #1 on my list of priorities. i like to draw, and paint, and play music. and nothing seems to rejuvenate and inspire more than rooms with views (minus the golf course).

4. spatial economics. it doesn't matter if you have a family room, and a living room, and an office, and a library, and a mud room, and a game-room, and 8 bedrooms. non of that matters, because everyone spends all of their time in one room, and it is always the room connected to the kitchen. i would like a house that focuses on the living room and kitchen, with a few bedrooms the size of closets.

5. simplified kitchen. i think i am entirely alone on this one, but why in the world are we spending so much money on fancy cupboards, when inexpensive shelves work just as well? why have a dish washer when it only takes 10 mins to wash dishes? minimalism, minimalism, minimalism.

6. nooks for art and books. i want our house to be full of beautiful original art and a love for learning.

so that's about it. and now the hard part, actually finding something that fits into this dream. ideas?

Sunday, January 18, 2015


what do you do? i get that question a lot, and sometimes i hesitate to explain. i think, well how much time do you have? i studied nonprofit management, got a masters degree in the field, and then joined the workforce as a program coordinator in a nonprofit charitable organization. that much seems pretty straightforward. after that, things get a little more confusing. cuter, but confusing.

i work in animal therapy. actually, i coordinate thousands of volunteers in all 50 states and 15 different countries who volunteer in schools, pediatric hospitals, women's shelters, libraries, and rest homes. these sweet, trained, furry friends help children through physical therapy, support young people with learning disabilities, and visit stressed out college kids during finals week. research suggests that these four-legged therapists actually make a huge difference in the rehabilitation process and significantly decrease stress levels in medical facilities and schools. so that's what i do. i coordinate volunteers who cheer up kids with cancer and help young people with disabilities. pretty cool, eh?

in reality, most of my job is just your typical office work. paper pushing, typing on the computer, phone calls. however, i do get to cuddle up with lots of puppies... and occasionally scoop the litter box of our beloved office cat, oliver. i have worked with lots of nonprofit organizations over the last 5 years, but this one's events have been a learning experience. putting together the "winter games" at special olympics was a little bit different than organizing an animal therapy version of the nutcracker. okay, a lot different. 

there are lots of stresses, and tons of busy work. but i do get paid to help thousands of people in need - and not everyone can say that. plus, i have some sweet new fluffy friends.

so that's another piece of my life. in case you were interested.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015


the whole buhanan family was home for the holidays, so, as a christmas gift for my mom, we decided to organize a family photo shoot. in this family, getting everyone in the same place at the same time, and all looking at a camera, is nearly impossible... but thanks to jared's sister, jen, we were able to capture some nice moments.

we are so incredibly blessed to have so many amazing people in our lives. happy 2015!