desert mountain sunset and finding my calm.

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i’ve been working my hardest at slowing down over the past month or so. it makes such a difference, which i think we all know, but it’s difficult to actually put into practice when we’re just so busy and set in our ways all the day long. my brain sometimes feels like it never shuts off, and i sometimes feel so stuck in this never ending pattern of the constant “go” as we all try to do everything all the time. as well as this never ending pattern to “scroll” as it applies to all things in this tech world.

i feel like i’ve already talked everyone’s ear off about our trip to st. george, utah, and you’re probably not even reading this because you’re so over it! BUT, while we were there, we witnessed the most magnificent pink sky one evening. we also witnessed the most vivid rainbow. and then, josh and i went out one evening to watch the sunset near his parents home, and that sun, rolling behind the mountains and red rock and desert foliage was so freaking beautiful, i left feeling more calm, more energized, more at peace with everything around me. and more in control of not catering to the “go” or the “scroll,” but seeking more of that calm and peace the nature around me offered up that evening. we took photos, because at the end of the day, it’s what we so enjoy. especially the times when it’s just us having fun with the camera and playing with the light and no one else is around.

i absolutely love this incredible earth we get to call home. she is full of such beauty, and she reminds us of the important stuff when we’re willing to slow down, look around and see or listen. i went home from watching the sunset and started deleting stuff off my phone. apps i don’t need, people’s feeds which i’ve so enjoyed but are also a distraction from my own life to be present in. it can be overwhelming when before you know it you’re following hundreds of people on an app. it just gets to be a lot. (and side note: absolutely no offense taken if you yourself do a similar cleanse of the apps and everyone you follow and realize following me takes away from your family time or your calm. i just want everyone to find their calm, gosh dang it!) i love the stupid internet but i also love keeping it at a distance. and finding it more and more critical to do so, though i’m sure it sounds ironic considering we’ve been so very lucky to have an income from a job tangled up in it all. i definitely don’t want this to sound like i don’t love what we get to do everyday, because i’m so very thankful and i feel it such an honor to have this sort of platform and that anyone cares to follow along or check in. i’d hate to see my words misunderstood here.

i’ve always felt i’ve had a good grasp on living life to live it, not for the instagram or the blog or the internet in general. but i still think there is always room for improvement, and i’ve enjoyed the challenge of finding something for my hands to do when i don’t have my silly phone in them all the day long. somehow that journey to find “calm” seems to happen more efficiently when the phone is not around.

i’m just so appreciative of finding and acknowledging the calm in our chaotic lives which i believe the internet often contributes to, and trying my best to make a solid change of habit to bring her, this incredible calm and quiet, into the forefront of my every day thoughts and actions.

a few photos from the beautiful sunset we enjoyed together in st. george one evening…



baby blue bomber knitted jacket, sunglasses, dress by shop doen (a gift), ankle booties by rebecca minkoff (or see the thumbnails above for these and similar options.)

  1. These pictures are amazing! I can’t wait to explore southern Utah more now that we’re back in the state again!


  2. Annika

    These pictures make me really happy and that is a wonderful sentiment. I need to put technology down and look for a bit more calm. She says and turns the computer off for the night ;)

  3. Rena

    It’s so important to calm down and I see you reached this definitely! Wonderful pictures and dress!
    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena

  4. framers! all of them.

    also, i feel this so deeply. there are days i want to smash my phone. go live off the grid captain fantastic style. then as a blogger, i rely on consumerism/commission/numbers to stay in the game. adding to the carbon footprint while wanting so much to minimize it… i don’t really know how to do it well. all that to say, i empathize!

  5. Mollie

    Such beautiful photos as always. What a lovely place to explore. I cannot believe we live in such a beautiful and naturally (and culturally) diverse country in which there are so many different kinds of places to explore and enjoy,

    xoxo Mollie

  6. Jasmine

    Oh, miss Naomi we are so on the same page! Something I felt God speak to me recently is, “It’s not about having an internet presence but rather being present in your own life.” I, like most get caught up in how other people are living their lives and so forget to live my own ((or worse start to compare)) and forfeit whatever gifts I have to share with those in my life. Now, of course your job requires you to be connected to a degree more than most and this blog is no doubt your gift, but I’m sure you will find the balance within it.

    “Simplicity is not a goal, but one arrives at simplicity in spite of oneself, as one approaches the real meaning of things.” Herbert Read

    Love you and thanks for another great and honest post!:)

  7. Anne

    I so hear you Naomi!

    First of all, AMAZING photos. Just WOW. I have been to the States a couple of times now, but only visited the classic US destinations when you are an European city kind of gal (NYC, DC, Miami). However the more of US cities, I have seen, the more I also want to visit those fascinating nature locations that the US also offers. And man, do Utah look stunning. The mountains, the weather, it is like I can smell the freshness from my screen, ok that might be a bit over the top, but well, I think you get my excitement.

    In relation to what your are talking about finding peace and calm in an often caotic world, I highly agree with you. I work in politics, and communicating/telling stories through social media platforms is a big part of that position. I love my job too, but sometimes I really wish I could just shut down all my sociale media channels. It would be such a relief, however I think I would miss the internet and all its pros. I have met people through the internet, I never ever would have met, if it was not because of its existence.

    Like you, I try to limit meaningless “phone time” to a minimum. For the last year when I have travled, I always left my phone at home – I did not/do not bring it on my holidays at all. I have found it to be extremely effectful since holidays are for soaking in new places, people and cultures – not scrolling through Instagram on my phone.

    My fiancee, who I travel the most with, always brings his phone so he is the photo taker (which is the only really downside to not bring my phone on holidays – not having a camera by my side). Now though, we bought an actual camera, so who knows, my fiance might even start to leave his phone at home.

    When I do not have my phone on me, I never have the feeling of “messing out”, I am just present and that has really reminded me of that maybe be phone is not that damn important. At least now when I am off work :-)

  8. Anne

    PS. Sorry for the spelling:

    *missing out

    *my phone

  9. This has been on my mind so much lately. Especially since I just got back from a two week trip in Europe (where everything felt slow, where I stayed present throughout) and am having trouble adjusting back to the daily grind.

    Beautiful photos too. <3

  10. Kelsi

    I recently did a similar cleanse–probably about six months ago–and only have two blogs I follow now, yours included. I decided to keep reading your blog because I appreciate your optimism, as well as the way you and Josh adventure and allow your kids to adventure as well, as hard as it is with kids. Thanks, Naomi!

  11. Eriks

    ugh, the red rock with the blue skys…SO beautiful!

  12. I’m sad that I only got to drive through Utah recently on our way to Colorado recently, I’ve always wanted to visit the outdoors there.

  13. Ashley

    Beautiful! I have. Even trying to do this too. Deleted Facebook from my phone and only look at it every few days on the computer when my kids are sleeping. I need to get use to putting my phone somewhere and not allaying haveihg it. It’s such an addiction!

  14. Ella

    Beautiful post! Couldn’t agree more.
    I totally know that post-getaway calm when I feel so refreshed and recharged. I’m wondering what you do to try and hang on to that and maintain it when you’re back in the hustle of Real Life.

  15. Megan

    Oh girl… these photos are beautiful. And the words are beautiful. I’m struggling with living in the moment these days…we are all just doing our very best living life.
    Will you ever sell prints!? Because I would pay money for some of these. ❤️

  16. Natalie

    What size is your bomber cardigan?

  17. Kellie

    These are such stunning photos!!!

  18. mariska

    The pictures are gorgeous, you are gorgeous, and you are so right! i know exactly what you mean. i can click on the tiny instagram icon and scroll away for hours! without even realizing it. same for facebook. and everywhere we look or read, there’s always a link to click.. back when we read newspapers and magazines we just finished reading it and put it down and get to the tasks of the day. and the magazines didn’t vibrate in your pocket or purse to remind you “hey i’m in here! look at me!” sometimes i wish we lived in a simpler world. but i am so grateful how easy communication got with the internet as i have lived all over the world. i saw my nephew grow up over skype.. and how we got a goldmine of information right at our fingertips. sometimes i just put my phone on the little 🌙 moon and put it away from me in a drawer and start reading or doing something creative.

  19. lauren bee

    Beautiful captures!

    I fell in love with Southern Utah on my first trip to America last year and absolutely cannot wait to go back. It’s a magical place.

    Yours in calmness,
    Lauren x

  20. tRiSh

    Such a beautifully written post for such amazing pictures. Thanks for the reminder, it’s what I needed right now. Even though I love the internet and what it offers, i often find myself lost in all that we can do with it.
    Reading your blog always contributes to some good changes in our daily life and I really appreciate it, thank you.

  21. Tamara

    Oh Naomi, thank you for this. You are so right. It is all about finding the right balance.
    I am not that much of a phone addict myself (still refuse to get 4G, I still only have wifi on my phone ;) Eventhough I see the many advantages it has also).
    BUT, when I have to work on my laptop, and I find it difficult or am a little bit lazy, sometimes The Internet takes over. And I hate it and I cannot cope. So when I have to work on something really and I know there’s a risk of me wanting to get out and getting caught up clicking and clicking, I just go out of the house to a place where I’m not on the internet.

    It actually is addictive. And if you think about that, it is absurd. We have to learn how to put the devices away to be able to use them in a healthy way :) (because technology is too good and fun to ban out).

  22. Tamara

    PS. THIS post exactly is why technology is so great! I never knew Utah is so beautiful! And this cactus with the purple sports, wauw!!
    You brought beauty from the US all he way to the Netherlands.

  23. these pictures you’ve captured are truly wonderful! also i’m definitely not over the posts! i’ve loved reading them all as they just make me feel happy inside :) thwack you for that ♡

  24. i just realised i wrote “thwack you for that” and i’ve been giggling to myself for a minute ;D i do not wish to THWACK anyone!
    what i meant is thank you ahah xx

  25. Lu de la rosa

    hi Naomi!!
    Funny but this is my moment of calm, every thursday i sit and read your blog and really enjoy it !

    I´m in love with yours pictures and all the things you do is like a dream!


  26. Pingback: it’s friday, i’m in love || 10/6/17

  27. Kim

    Beautiful photos, Taza! The sunset is so dreamy. I really want to visit the West now! And don’t worry about talking anyone’s ear off about Utah. I feel like all I ever talk about on my blog is life in Connecticut – an even more boring state hahaha but it’s my home!


  28. I’m so glad you talk about this. I love being present & being in the moment without my phone…then feel really torn because I really want to share what’s happening and show people what I can see…and I feel so recharged and positive after seeing your posts. It’s very tricky to navigate. You are doing an important job, bringing out the magic in life.

  29. Rose J.

    Last night at our stake conference we talked about the simple joys, and finding that balance when it comes to social media, work, church,and feeling like a taxi when it comes to carpooling kids (that’s me!). Priorities if you will. Great talk given by our stake president, and everything he said was right on point! He talked about how finding joy can be a different meaning for all of us. Joy is not riches, or being in a business where you want to make money. It’s about the small, and simple things. Such as family time. Laughing and singing in the rain.

    Sure, going to Disneyland with family is fun and everything, but the biggest memory of that trip is having fun in the hotel pool laughing, and playing Marco Polo with your siblings. Some of my kids greatest memories as they grow older are the simplest ones which blows my mind. Not having your phone out all the time helps us to not miss those moments, and to truly be living in them. I’m so guilty of constantly capturing my family on film, and even though I blog for my posterity it’s nice to take a break every once in a while, step away from technology, and LIVE in the moment, without having the need to take photos in every single angle!

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts, and happy October!

  30. jess

    I agree with what you’re saying and have been trying to do the same myself. its so weird the world we live in. We love and couldn’t live without our phones but then want to chuck them at the wall at the same time? Ha. This book im reading talks about this and it is incredible. Its called “Mitten Strings for God Reflections for mothers in a hurry by Katrina Kenison” It was on a list of top 10 books every mother should read and im so inspired by it. All about how we hustle and bustle through life and really what do kids want most? Us. Real attention, love and nurturing. The way its written will pull at your heart strings realizing that’s all we all even wanted as kids. Not the pinterest themed birthday parties but the love and affections from our family.

  31. Susanna

    I remember when our family went online for the first time. It was 17 years ago, my husband was totally excited, I was very sceptical. After almost 20 years where we all enjoyed the benefits of it I think we might need another 20 years to ‘come down’ and realize that every medal has two sides.
    In my opinion things like ‘digital detox’ and a very honest and critically view on the internet will become as important as the rising of the internet was. You could compare it to smoking. When I was a kid everybody was smoking without knowing how bad it was. Over the decades we realized how toxic cigarettes are.
    I hope in the future we’ll all learn to deal with the toxicity of social media… and stay sane! :)

  32. Hksedwick

    I’ve never commented on your blog, but have enjoyed it over the years. I felt compelled to comment. I have been thinking so much about this constant scrolling and taking on too much. I don’t want my children to become teens and live the way I do. I don’t want them to ignore the world around them (and me and their siblings and their friends and potential future loves if their life), because they are scrolling. I don’t want them to take on so much and feel so stretched thin that they feel they are failing…and yet that is exactly what I am teaching them by my example. I know what could be done, but the thought of changing is too overwhelming. I love this post though (and also loved reading all the comments). I will start small by enjoying the sunsets and the walks outside and teach them to breath it all in and enjoy it. Thanks for the reminder