Thursday, February 28, 2013

just some randoms {2}

Mia is 10 weeks old today!! How the heck did that happen? I feel like time isn't slowing down, and I imagine it never will :( While I am so excited to watch my daughter grow and develop, it kind of breaks my heart when I think about how she's not going to be my little baby very much longer. I'm trying to soak up every moment with my love bug!
Here are some more random pictures of Mia that haven't made their debut into the social media world yet, ha ha! What can I say? I love showing off my daughter!

Mia loves her play mat and is obsessed with the mirror!

Bath time!! Mia's favorite :)

 How CUTE are these leg warmers? She loved them so much that she wouldn't hold still for a picture :)

Mia's snuggling up with dad while he reads a book! (Eric never reads, so I had to snap a picture!)

She is finally growing out of her newborn clothes!! I'm so excited to start dressing her up in cute outfits!

I realize this picture is just wrong to share on so many levels, but it's too funny! Our angel baby had a strong opinion about having her picture taken while she was napping :)

Once again, I'm so in love with this girl! Mia makes being a mom easy and FUN! I'm so lucky she's mine :)

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

there is beauty all around...

Eric and I have been blessed to live in towns that are surrounded with natural beauty. We've also been very lucky to go on some amazing vacations and see some gorgeous parts of the world!

Brian Head Resort, Utah
Arches National Park, Utah
We have met and made so many friends through our short, almost 5 years of marriage. We are so happy that we get to see so much beauty with our friends and family! Through our ups and downs we've never stopped exploring our surroundings. In fact, enjoying fresh air and appreciating this beautiful earth usually turns the bad times into good times :)

Zion National Park, Utah
Mesa Verde Nation Park, Colorado 
Las Vegas, Nevada
The best part about living in such a beautiful world? We have a beautiful daughter that we are so eager to take exploring! We can't wait to show her new places and teach her to appreciate each moment and take in all the beauty we are blessed with.

 Salt Lake City, Utah
 Cabo, Mexico
I guess I'm trying to say that I am SO thankful God gave us this beautiful earth to live on! I've tried to enjoy it as much as possible, but we are definitely going to appreciate the beauty a lot more because we get to teach Mia all about it! Our tiny baby is already teaching me how to appreciate life so much more :)

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

weekend review {a snowy getaway}

If you look closely, you can see our "home" for the weekend through the trees  :)
Our view from the balcony
Mia loved our vacation so much that she slept through most of it :)
Don't mind Eric.... he's just relaxing in a few feet of snow :)
Oh you know, just eating treats instead of smiling for a picture!

We got to escape real life for the weekend and hangout with my family and enjoy the snow! My parents got a cabin last year and we had so much fun, I think this has become a yearly tradition? I have to admit, I'm totally okay with it :) 
The weekend started out a little iffy for us. We packed everything in the car (when I say everything, I mean everything plus the kitchen sink! It is insane how much more you have to pack with a baby) and headed out! Half way up the mountain a storm turned into a white out. We were creeping along just fine until someone stopped in the middle of the road to put chains on their tires. We had to stop and instantly lost traction, scary! We slid backwards until Eric was able to get the car to swing around, and we drove back down the mountain. We got home and switched everything over to the truck and tried to go up the mountain again :) By the time we got to the cabin, the storm had passed and my whole family made it safely! 
We all enjoyed a beautiful Friday boardin' down the mountain! My mom stayed at the cabin and watched Mia all weekend. Eric and I loved our time together and I have no doubt that my mom loved having Mia all to herself :) Another storm rolled in on Saturday which resulted in the most insane powder! I've never snowboarded in anything like it before..... it was amazing!! When we weren't out in the snow, we were playing games, playing with Mia and eating food. It really was a perfect weekend together!
When it came time to go home on Sunday (booooo for going back to the real world) we had to drive through another white out! Thank goodness we had the truck, we wouldn't have made it down the mountain otherwise! The storm and roads were so bad that they closed the road and my parents were stranded at the cabin for a few hours. But thankfully, we all eventually made it home safely! 
I can't wait for next year... we'll be making snowmen and snow angels with Mia :) I'm sad to see her grow so quickly but excited for the fun that we will have together!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Love is...

Now that I feel like I've sorta got this mom thing figured out and life is back to our new normal... I've just been overwhelmed with all the love I feel for my daughter, my family and life! Even though my life is far from perfect, I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite moments and memories of my loves. It's the best way to brighten my day, right?

Love is...

... spending time with my sweet family.

... staying in bed until 11AM playing with this love bug until she zonks :)

... gorgeous scenery {and amazing vacations!}

... this man and his guns, ha ha! Seriously.

... forever friendships {and food, of course!}

... family fun, silliness and laughter :)

... from here to eternity.

... perfection!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

happy 2 months to my love bug

My sweet angel baby is 2 months old today!!
gorgeous headband from Little Miss Millie's Boutique
I never posted details about Mia during her first month so I'm playing catch up... yes I am a bad mom, blogger, blah blah blah. What can I say? I just couldn't put my baby down long enough to get on the computer :)
- Mia has smiled in her sleep since day 1. That's how we knew she was almost out cold, she'd smile a couple of times and then be totally zonked :)
- She started smiling at us between 2-3 weeks old. The first time we saw it, we thought it was a total fluke. But she kept smiling and hasn't stopped! She is the smiliest baby ever and it just melts our hearts!!
- Mia has always been incredibly strong! She has held her head up since day 1 and loves to show off how strong her neck is. She has always been able to hold her weight on her legs as well. (Eric is convinced he taught her how to develop her muscles in the hospital.... ha ha!) We sat her in the bumbo chair at 6 weeks and she has no problem sitting in it for a few minutes at a time!
- Mia is also very alert! At her 2 week appointment the doctor and nurse said she's the most alert baby they've seen in a long time. She definitely doesn't want to miss anything going on around her :)
- Aside from the first sucky weeks of nursing, Mia is an amazing eater! (Which also means she's an amazing pooper :) Oh the life of a mom!)
 - Mia refuses to nurse before bedtime. I don't know why, but she will nurse before bath but not after! So I pump and give her a bottle (which is incredibly annoying. It takes 10 minutes to nurse but 30 to drink the bottle, ha ha.) We all know who runs the show at our house ;)
- Mia hated bath time until her cord fell off.... as soon as we could stick her in the water she was in heaven! Bath time is a favorite at our house!
- Mia started sleeping in her crib just shy of 5 weeks old. One night I was feeding her in our bedroom when Eric decided to clean our bathroom. While I appreciated his help, I was ticked he did it right at Mia's bedtime! The fumes were pretty strong for me, so I couldn't imagine putting Mia in her bassinet and closing the door with those fumes. I just knew she'd cry all night long being in her crib, but what else could I do? I laid her in the crib and she cried for about 5 minutes until she fell asleep. She slept amazing (I was pretty glued to the video monitor that first night, but we slept even better having her out of our room as well!) and we haven't looked back since! 
- She has always been a good sleeper but every week just gets better and better! Currently, Mia goes down at 9 and wakes up between 3-4am. Feeding, burping and diaper change takes about 30 minutes and she's back in her crib. Up again between 7-8, and then again between 10-10:30. It's heaven!! I swear by the routine!
- Mia is such a cuddle bug and I LOVE it! But she's also totally content on her own. She loves to play on her play mat and the swing.She really is the best baby!
- This is weird, but Mia loves to have her nose sucked out. She smiles every time, ha ha! She also loves having her diaper changed... she never ever cries, even if the wipes are super cold! I guess she just loves to be clean :)

newborn photo by Sharley Cotter Photography it's crazy how much she has grown!
We don't know how we were blessed with such a perfect, beautiful baby girl... but Eric and I are so incredibly thankful to be Mia's parents! She is the best part of our lives and we feel as if our hearts could burst each time we look at her... she makes us SO happy!!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

cooking with a baby {ideas?}

When I was pregnant, I prepared some freezer meals to make life easier (and to be sure we weren't eating out every single meal) once Mia was born. I can't tell you how glad I was to have those meals prepared, because it took me a good month to figure out how to cook with a baby to take care of at the same time :) Those babies really are quite the adjustment! Anyway, I wanted to share some of the recipes I used, and I'd love to get some ideas from you because freezer meals are amazing to have on hand!!

Brown Bag Burritos (original recipe from Amy's blog)
  • 2 lb chicken (I'll be honest, I just cooked/shredded a whole bag of chicken from Costco, so I just threw in what looked right instead of measuring the amount.
  • 2 cans black beans
  • 1 1/3 c. enchilada sauce (I used green enchilada sauce)
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 1/3 c. minced onion
  • 1 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 3 c. shredded cheese (I used Mexican blend)
  • 20 flour tortillas (I used taco and enchilada size)
* Next time I make these (and there will definitely be a next time, these were the BEST to have on hand!) I'll be adding brown rice just to make them a little bit more filling.

Cook chicken. Add remaining ingredients (except tortillas). Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
Heat 3-4 tortillas at a time. Spoon 1/4 c. chicken mixture down the side of each tortilla.
Roll up. Wrap each burrito in a paper towel, then wrap in foil. 
Refrigerate or freeze.
When ready to eat, remove foil and microwave for a minute on each side. If you don’t use a microwave, skip the paper towel and just wrap in foil. Then heat burritos in the oven with foil. For a sit down meal they are nice topped with lettuce, cheese, salsa, and sour cream. If you’re eating on the run, just grab and go!

Sweet and Tangy Meatballs

* I'm probably the last person in the world to find out about this recipe... but my sister in law shared the recipe and I'm so glad she did! They are so easy and so yummy!
  • Approximately 36 meatballs
  • 16oz Grape Jelly
  • 20oz BBQ sauce
Cook in crock pot 2-4 hours on low. Serve over brown rice.

* I just bought a big bag of meatballs from Costco (I usually make my own, but that wasn't happening with the baby, ha ha) and put meatballs in gallon sized zip lock bags to freeze (I made up 2 bags). We had left over meatballs that we'd bake in the oven and serve over spaghetti. So I got multiple easy meals out of 1 bag from Costco!

* I highly recommend buying the biggest bag of chicken you can find and cooking/shredding the whole bag! I divided mine into zip lock bags, each holding 1-2 cups of chicken. It was so nice to grab a bag out of the freezer, throw together some simple ingredients and have dinner ready in no time! One simple recipe I always fall back on is:

Chicken Roll Ups
  • 1c. shredded chicken
  • 1/3pkg cream cheese
  • 1 can croissants
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
Mix chicken and cream cheese in bowl until smooth. Spoon onto croissant dough, roll into a ball. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes. While the chicken roll ups bake, I bring the cream of mushroom soup mixed with 1/2 can of milk to a boil. Spoon over roll ups and enjoy!

* You can also dip the roll up in melted butter, then bread crumbs before baking to add a little crisp.

What are your favorite freezer meals? Or what meals do you always fall back on because they are super simple to throw together? Even though I kind of have things figured out with Mia, I'd still like to have new ideas for those days when nothing goes my way ;)

Sunday, February 17, 2013

weekend review

Just a nice glow from the sun... since I have no clue how to edit pictures, ha ha!

Our weekend was super low key but somehow it was just perfect! Eric worked all day on Valentine's day (which wasn't perfect, ha ha) but I didn't mind too much because I got to snuggle my love bug all day! She is by far the sweetest gift I've ever received! 
Friday we had big plans to celebrate our engagement anniversary, but we ended up watching movies all day and eating good food with good friends in between :) It was so relaxing and just what we needed! I thought I liked lounging around the house before I had a baby... but anytime I get to take advantage of relaxing is just the best! And having sweet, little Mia to snuggle? Nothing tops that!
Saturday we decided to take a spontaneous little trip down south with friends to enjoy warmer weather. We shopped, we ate, and we took Mia exploring :) Sometimes I forget that I live in/near such gorgeous landscaping! People come from all over the world to see our red rocks and the national parks that surround us. This sounds weird, but Mia makes me look at the world so differently now. I try my best to take advantage of every moment and I get so excited to show her new things! I can't wait until it warms up so that we can continue to show her the world! I am definitely suffering from major spring fever now ;)
I could use more weekends like these in my life.... family, friends, relaxing, sunshine and exploring. Just perfect!

Friday, February 15, 2013

five years ago...

... Eric couldn't contain his excitement. He kept dropping hints of what was to come that evening.

... I remember getting my nails done, curling my hair just how he liked it, and dressing up in my favorite outfit. I had to look perfect for one of the most special and memorable days of my life!

... I was popping batteries in the camera on the drive, which made Eric a nervous wreck. But then I left the camera in the car {fail}, which made Eric relax a bit.

... Eric took me back to where we had our first date. He told me how much he loved me, got down on one knee and PROPOSED!! Even though I saw it coming, there was no way to prepare me for the emotions I felt that night. I couldn't believe this guy, my perfect guy, wanted me for eternity!! 5 years ago today, Eric asked me to be his wife... and obviously I said YES ;)

Sunday, February 10, 2013

I confess...

...that I will give baby girl anything, anything in the world when she pulls this face.


Thursday, February 7, 2013

Mia's newborn photos

My sister in law's (Alycia) sister in law (Sharley) took Mia's newborn pictures (Mia is 6 days old in these photos) and we are so in love with them!! Sharley was so patient with us... I had to feed Mia twice, she pooped on me, pooped on blankets, and peed on everything else ha ha, which resulted in a 3 hour photo shoot! But Sharley got some amazing shots that show off just how perfect our angel baby is!
All of my southern Utah and southern California friends must check out Sharley Cotter Photography! You will love her almost as much as I do :)

P.S. You can see more of Mia's newborn photos here, here and here. They are so incredibly precious!!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


My silly baby at 4 weeks. It is CRAZY how quickly time flies!
Our first date (my birthday date!) without Mia. Yes, I missed her so bad :)
Our first time taking Mia to church. We only stayed for an hour and hid her in the car seat the whole time :) We're only a little overprotective! And she rewarded us with a sweet smile!
One photo from the newborn session. This picture will definitely be blown up and hung in our home!

Birthday snuggles with my sweet angel baby. BEST birthday present ever :)
It is just so hard to be this cute.... ;) (The lighting of this picture makes it look worse, but yes my baby has lost some of her hair :( I might be really sad about this....)
6 week check up! I'm happy because I'm all healed up and Mia is happy because she got plenty of lovin' from the nurses! I didn't even see her the whole appointment because she was being passed around :)

I realize I'm overly obsessed with my baby. And I realize no one really cares about the pictures I post of Mia like I do.... but if you don't mind my obsession and want to follow along, find me at courtbrink!