Tuesday, December 31, 2013

the hardest goodbye

2013 was by far the best year of my life! That's not to say it didn't come with its fair share of trials... because it did. I (or Eric and I) had to relearn how to nurture my marriage. It's true what "they" say about how everything changes when you have a baby. And it's such a GOOD thing! That baby changes the whole structure of the life you've known and sometimes it's hard to change old habits to make a better, happier life. We experienced major stresses, heart ache and let downs with work. We've been in limbo, never a fun place to be. We've gone through more than I could publicly share to the world wide web. But looking back, the bad is far outweighed by the good.
The good I'm talking about is only 3 letters long... Mia! We have experienced more intense happiness than ever because of our precious, baby girl. We are forever in love with Mia! We got to watch my family and friends fall in love with Mia and there is no greater feeling knowing that we produced something that tangible (even though really, Mia gets all the credit)! We've seen her change lives, literally. Ours included! We've been on so many adventures as a family of 3 and it's the best watching Mia experience new things! I'm really, really sad to see this year go. I know that we have more fun and adventures ahead, more Mia to fall in love with, more... you get the picture. But I kind of want her to stay little forever. Gru said it best on Despicable Me 2, "don't EVER grow up!" But since that's not possible I truly do look forward to watching Mia grow.
Just know that 2013 will always be one of the most special years of my life! So with a little bit of heart ache, I admit that I'm sad to see it go. I pray that 2014 brings us as much happiness and joy as 2013... and to try and ensure that it does, we'll be ringing in the new year the right way ;)

Happy New Year, my friends!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

scenes from our Christmas 2013

Each year we get "matchy" Christmas eve outfits instead of pj's (but Mia got pj's, too!) and this year I kind of dropped the ball so we just wore our festive outfits that we wore for family pictures :) Next year I will do better with the whole matching theme.
Mia, daddy and grandpa Santa. I thought Mia would like Santa better if it was grandpa, but nope! She just can't get passed the beard, ha ha! She kept waving at him the whole time, and I'm pretty sure she was waving goodbye. Check out my IG for a classic picture of Mia sitting on Grandpa Santa's lap :)
Grandpa was dressed up because in Eric's hometown Santa visits every one's home on Christmas Eve! Mia was still scared of the Santa that came to our home :)
Mia's Christmas pj's that she picked out! We let her choose between three and this was the lucky winner :) P.S. Those eyelashes?!!
Santa came!!
Daddy was a good sport to fake that smile even though he just woke up :) Oh the joys of Christmas morning!
SOOOOO EXCITED! Check out my IG for a video of Mia and her rocking hippo.
I won't name names, but only one of us got dressed and ready for the day on Christmas....
My favorite view this Christmas season!

This Christmas was so amazing! Last year was incredibly special having a precious 5 day new baby, but I was totally out of it and Eric worked. So I loved spending this Christmas together and watching Mia's excitement :)
We were able to travel to my in laws for the special day and we truly had the best time together! Mia couldn't get enough of playing with her cousins and it was so nice to relax and hangout together. All of Eric's siblings were there which rarely happens (and of course we didn't get pictures, OOPS!) so it was such a treat!
We ate SO good (ie: prime rib for Christmas dinner) and we ate waaaay too much of everything!
I will always look back and remember this Christmas being so amazing because of our darling little Mia and our loving family! Life is good. We are SO blessed! And I owe it all to my Heavenly Father who loves us all SO much that He sent Christ to Earth to die for us... I hope we never forget the gift of baby Jesus and all He has done for us.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

just some randoms {12}

She totally gets this from her daddy. The tongue comes out when there's concentration going on inside that pretty little head :)

She looks SO big in this picture! But she really is tiny, tiny, tiny. (I sounds like I'm in denial, but she wears 6-9 month clothes and 3-6 months shoes. And I am in denial!)

One of Mia's favorite things is to walk around carrying a bag :) She carries around one of the recycle bags (used to carry groceries and whatever else) that is as big as she is, ha ha! Luckily she got her very own purse for her birthday... but I'm sure that won't stop her from carrying around any other bag she can get her hands on!

(Don't mind the ugly sleep slack, it's the only one I could find big enough for this winter!) The eve of Mia's birthday... I can't believe I have a 1 year old.

Mia doesn't have time to take a picture, obvi. She's too busy swiping her bestie's snacks :)

The prettiest December baby in all the land!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

love, the Brinkerhoff's

 We are wishing you all the happiest and merriest Christmas ever!

P.S. Things have changed so much since Mia wished you all a Merry Christmas last year! Time FLIES!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

happy 12 months to my love bug

How is my baby A YEAR OLD?! Fastest year of my life. And by far the best year :) Eric and I have had so much fun with Mia, and we intend to keep soaking up every second with her!

- Mia walks everywhere now! We rarely see her crawling! She's just such a big girl.
- Have I mentioned that she runs, too? I don't know how her tiny feet carry her so far so fast, ha ha. She is always on the go!
- This girl has quite the appetite. She eats almost as much as we do (her portions aren't that much smaller than mine) and nurses 3 times a day. I'm going to start cutting out the middle of the day sesh. Time to wean, baby girl!
- Mia is into climbing these days. If boxes or other objects aren't too high up she climbs right on top and plays! 
- She is a pro at going up AND down the stairs now! She's never fallen down the stairs and I hope that never happens now that she can go down herself!
- Mia got two more teeth which makes a total of 6 teeth now (although she's teething right now so we'll see how many more pop out).
- We have been trying to teach Mia nose and mouth (we are moving on to eyes and ears now) and on her birthday I asked where her nose was, where her mouth was, and she pointed at them for the first time ever! It's so fun to see when things click and she totally catches on :)
- She teases us! One of our favorite games (Mia's included) is to throw a blanket or towel on Mia and ask, "Where's Mia?!" and she pulls it down. Lately she hides under the blanket and laughs while we ask where she is... she has hidden under the blanket for a couple minutes before pulling it down :) I don't know where she gets that patience but she thinks it's so fun to tease and "trick" us!
- One cute moment I don't want to forget- One evening Mia took like a 10 minute nap (as opposed to her normal 2 hour nap) so I turned on Despicable Me for cuddle time. There was a part where all the minions were cheering and clapping (she is obsessed with minions) and Mia couldn't pull her arms out of cuddling fast enough to clap :) As soon as they were done clapping she tucked her arms back under me and laid there cuddling. She was in such a daze because she was so exhausted but gosh, it was SO cute!
- Mia has finally moved up to size 3 diapers!
- She still wears 6-9 month clothing but she has worn a couple of 12 month size outfits. She's just a little thing!     
This ONE year old is our whole world :)

Friday, December 20, 2013

happy birthday, Mia!

banner/cake toppers c/o Simply Scissors
Happy FIRST Birthday, Mia!
Mom and Dad love you more than you'll ever know!

Thursday, December 19, 2013


Tomorrow, my baby is turning 1...
...and my oh my, she has changed SO much in just 12 short months!
Pictures taken at 6 days new, 3 months, 6 months, 9 months and 12 months.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

I smile!

I was going to share Mia's Christmas wish list today but I'll be honest, making her birthday wish list was difficult for me! I'm not really sure what Mia wants besides our car keys, empty boxes and bags to carry around her arm (she's totally into carrying a bag the way I carry a purse, except she can't get the straps all the way to her shoulder, ha ha!) and food. The girl loves food! Instead, I realized I haven't done one of these "I smile" posts in a couple of years and it is WAY past time!
Ha ha. Hahaha. Mia is SO mad!
I smile...
...thinking about my conversation with Eric last night. We were agreeing that we both want to wait longer to have another baby when he explained that "his heart is already so full thanks to the two girls sitting in front of him". My heart kind of stopped when he said that. It was the simplest way of describing just how much Mia and I mean to him and I loved it!
 ...every time Mia growls. It seriously cracks me up every time! I don't know if I'll get used to that sound coming out of her mouth.
...each morning when I wake up (once I get over the annoyance of having to be awake) because I have butterfly's in my stomach! Every single morning (starting Monday) this week I have woken up excited (legit butterflies in the tummy) for the upcoming celebrations! I'm excited for Mia's birthday and Christmas! We are going to have so. much. fun!
...about my hair. I was tempted to shave my hair off the beginning of the summer and I'm so glad I held out! I'm loving the long hair that took OVER 5 years to grow out!
...because I have the best blog friends! Social media is an amazing world and I'm so amazed by the people it has brought into my life! I'm thankful for this corner of the internet that lets me ramble about my baby and meet the best girls! (And remember, in celebration of Mia turning one I am offering a buy 1 get 1 free promo on any ad space! After you purchase your ad I will email you a code to use in the future for a FREE ad!)
...because I have a GOOD life. I am relearning each day that it really is the little/simple things that mean the most!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

a not so picture-perfect (but still kind of perfect) night

Mia LOVED listening to the Nativity story !

Somebody (that would be me) thought it would be a good idea to go listen to the Nativity story and see the Christmas lights at the St. George Temple last night. It had kind of been a long day of family pictures, and hardly any sleep. Oops! But we met up with my parents and enjoyed listening to the story (Mia was totally into it! Not even kidding.) and walking around to see the lights. Of course there were tears any time I tried to get Mia to take a picture with us. And there were tears when Granddad wasn't holding her (someone was playing favorites and it wasn't fair to the rest of us)! And there were tears when we wouldn't let her run around and get into the lights anymore, ha ha. But hey, that's real life I guess! Next year I will make sure that Mia is well rested (and Eric is well fed) before we visit the Temple lights :) And even though it wasn't a picture perfect last night, I'm still loving these Christmas moments with Mia!

Monday, December 16, 2013


It's some body's BIRTHDAY WEEK and clearly that someone is pretty stinkin' excited about it ;) 
I still die a little inside knowing that the first year of my baby's life is about to end... but I'm SO excited for the years to come! 
Mia truly is the light of our life. 
Eric and I could not be more in love! 
To kick off her FIRST birthday week, I'm offering a special discount for ad space.... buy any ad space GET ONE FREE! Because, you know, Mia's turning one :)
When you purchase your ad I will email you a promo code that you can use to renew that space, or save it for a later date! 
This offer expires Christmas day! 
Thank you SO much for loving Mia this last year! We won't ever be able to express our gratitude for the little gifts, the advice, and the sweet, loving comments from you all! You have helped make this year THE BEST EVER!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Christmas gifts your hair will love

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 If you've been wondering what product I use in my hair, or what products are worth trying out... I'm giving you my opinion :) Let me start by saying that less is more in my hair! So I barely use product. But these are what I love!

1- Your hair NEEDS a deep conditioning treatment once a month during this nasty, winter season. The cold sucks all the moisture out of the air and you better believe it's affecting your hair! I use this Joico K-Pak Intense Hydrating conditioner and LOVE it! But even better? Treat yourself to a deep conditioning service from your hairstylist :) It's the best!
2- I'm not big into mouse and root lifter in my hair, so I love Big Sexy's Powder Play! It adds texture and volume to your roots, or is the perfect thing to use just before back-combing your roots!
3- Moroccan Oil is my favorite! I ALWAYS run this serum through the ends of my hair when I'm finished straightening or curling; and this is SO good for your hair!
4- I admit it, I'm a Chi girl. So I vote Chi allllll the way for your straightener :)
5- I have a lot of Hot Tools curling irons and I love them! But I am personally using Chi's 1 1/2 inch curling iron to curl my hair. That's the only one I use with my long locks. I love the curl I get and I feel like the heat temperature is perfect... it's hot enough for the curl to stay all day, but it doesn't fry my hair!
6- Let me be honest. I use baby powder in my hair to soak up the oils instead of dry shampoo. I already have it in my house and I can get away with it since I'm blond. I realize most of you can't get away with using baby powder so I suggest Suave Dry Shampoo! It's cheap and it gets the job done!
7- I believe in spending money on certain products for your hair... but hair spray just isn't one of those products! I use Dove's hairspray and it works perfectly for me!

Once more Christmas idea that has nothing to do with hair! I've been meaning to do this shout out all month but you know, my mommy brain is frazzled trying to plan Mia's first birthday AND get Christmas finished! Anyway! For those of you who don't know... my dad is kind of a rock star. At least is thee rock star in Southern Utah ;) He is selling a Christmas CD of music that he has arranged for his guitar and his cello partner. It really is amazing! If you want to listen to something really fun and kinda different, check it out!

Thursday, December 12, 2013


Loving: that Trevor and Alycia (my brother and sista) taught us how to make homemade pazookies! These are so freakin' delish and now I don't have to pay a ridiculous amount (why do desserts cost so much at restaurants?!) to go out and get one! You better believe my freezer is stalked with ice cream and cookie dough so that when I'm having a craving? I'll be set :) ha ha!

Reading: I was just having a conversation with my client yesterday about reading books. I've put reading on hold because when I'm reading? Everything else is put on hold. I just get so sucked in that I can't accomplish anything until the book is finished! And then there's always a sequel... ha! But I am reading blogs when I can an I'm about to read a tutorial to make some decor for Mia's party.

Trying to: wrap my head around the fact that my baby turns 1 next week! This truly has been the fastest year of my life and it's not even fair! I have loved every minute with my baby girl (except maybe those minutes of nursing the first couple weeks... just keepin' it real! But that's not Mia's fault)!

Wishing: and hoping, and praying that I don't go through seasonal depression once the holidays pass. Mia is the best reason to be excited to wake up in the mornings! But I am not a winter girl. I need my sunshine. I am not accustomed to the snow (and driving in it) even though I've lived in this climate for four (this is my fourth) years. So maybe what I'm saying is that I wish we had a family vacation planned to Hawaii from January to.... May! Ha ha!

Excited for: Christmas, duh! Eric had to work on Christmas Eve AND Christmas last year (12 hour shifts) and I was completely and totally out of it with a newborn. This year I'm back to my old self (Eric will argue that during my ornery moments, ha!) and Eric won't be working (or I may turn into a crazy person, again) and Mia will love the presents, the food, the family, etc! It's going to be SO fun!

And currently YOU should be entering the giveaway below! This is a good one guys, one you should not be missing out on!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Noonday Collection {$50 giveaway}

I have a special treat today! I am so honored to be hosting a giveaway from Jen who has introduced me to Noonday Collection. What a wonderful company! Not only do they offer beautiful jewelery, bags, scarves and SO much more... but they offer a way for women to create a better life for them and their families! I'll let Jen explain a little more, but this is one giveaway you don't want to miss out on!

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Hey there! I'm Jen. I love my dogs, my niece and nephew, blogging, running, cannolis, and Ethiopia. A few summers ago, I went through one of the most difficult periods of my life, (you can find the full story here, I'll give you the short version to save you time ;) but it also turned out to be a blessing in disguise. It was during that time that I found my purpose and what really lights my heart on fire, which is helping people in need. I came across a couple women (through a blog) who I now consider dear friends, who at the time were fundraising to open a school for kindergarten-age children in a slum in Ethiopia. I instantly felt pulled to email them and see how I could get involved. I ended up helping with the fundraising, and soon after found myself on a plane headed to the other side of the world for the opening of the school in Kechene, Ethiopia.

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It was there that I found a group of people who, although they had so little, had more joy than I had ever seen. I met a group of amazing kids, one whom I still talk to almost every day and now consider family. Ever since I returned I thought about how I wish I could help all of the women there; they had so much talent and were struggling so much to keep their families together and be able to provide for their children. Then I realized that Noonday Collection was a way for me to help artisans in Ethiopia and other impoverished parts of the world maintain an income and be able to have access to food, medical care, education, and a way to provide for their babies. For a long time I was struggling with whether to take the plunge and become a Noonday ambassador or not, until one day when I received a message from the child in Africa I have stayed in touch with.
He told me how I had given him so much hope for his life. This struck me really hard and reminded me that that was exactly what I wanted to do with my life; provide hope to those who need it most. Within a few minutes I completed the process to become an Ambassador, and now I am hoping to use this opportunity to provide hope to these amazing artisans. I would appreciate it so much if you would join me in this journey and help me change the lives of these artisans for the better. Noonday lets you use your purchasing power to create positive change in the lives of those who need it most.

Enter below for your chance to win $50 credit to Noonday Collection! If you find something you HAVE to have now, or the perfect Christmas gift, you can still order and receive it in time for Christmas :) Good luck!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

first ever NBA game

I was hoping to have a fun weekend review to share! I had big plans to take Mia to a Christmas parade (that was cancelled TWICE because of crappy weather), to see Santa again (we missed him by 45 minutes, DANG IT), and to see the Festival of Trees (there were like 7 tiny trees and we didn't spend more than 5 minutes there) BUT things just didn't really workout in my favor over the weekend!
But I haven't shared our weekend before Thanksgiving... that was a great weekend! We were in northern Utah to go to our first ever Jazz game! As you can see we had nose bleed seats but hey, the tickets were free! We still had an awesome time! And Mia did soooo good! She loved to clap every time we clapped or cheered :) Eric told me that we weren't going to cheer for the Jazz but I must admit, I totally cheered for the Jazz! They played against the Chicago Bulls and it was an intense game. And the Jazz ended up winning in overtime (obviously Mia is their good luck charm)! Seriously, I couldn't have asked for a more entertaining game for our first one :) I've got high expectations for the next time we go, ha ha!
We spent the rest of the weekend shopping and eating. We didn't have time to really visit anyone, which we would have loved! But we needed to get some serious Christmas shopping done since our little town offers no shopping.... and to be honest? Eric is one that will totally shop 'til we drop so I had to take full advantage :) I still miss living up there every day, but thank goodness we can visit and have these fun little getaways together! It's so fun experiencing all of these firsts with Eric and Mia!

Too bad I packed my camera but didn't actually take it anywhere so I get to have these crappy cell pictures. The phone camera was struggling against the neon lights and jumbo screens!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

insta life

She really is (hashtag) my little bestie!

This girl and her love for books! They are her favorite.

This guy... even when he's not... he really is my favorite ;)

 Mia's F I R S T ponytail! 

Girl's night!

Mia really showed me! Last time I try to sneak a picture of her little nakey bum, ha ha!

Happy Thanksgiving! This just made the list of Mia's favorite holidays :)

It's official. Instagram is my favorite form of social media to show off my baby, ha! I love how quick and easy it is to upload a photo and caption! And I have two CUTE videos of Mia if you wanna check 'em out :) Follow along at courtbrink!
Kirsty and Seth