Friday, February 28, 2014

what's your norm?

 Try and tell me this doesn't make you smile :)
I was driving to work yesterday during cross walk hours. You know, when the flashers are turned on and you have to slow down to 20 MPH because kids are walking to/from school? As I was cruising at 20 MPH I noticed a young, chipper little crossing guard I'd never seen before. She was groovin' to who knows what and waving enthusiastically to a car passing by. I couldn't help but stare her down (with an incredulous look on my face, I'm sure) when she looked across 4 lanes and caught me staring. My first thought was, "Oh crap! I wish I was wearing my sunglasses so that she couldn't see me staring...." when she gave me a huge smile and waved so hard she almost fell over. I had to wave back, it was obvious I was staring! I made sure I kept a straight face as I waved and then I kinda chuckled over the whole thing. As I kept driving I watched in my rear view mirror and noticed that she waved to every single car... so it wasn't just the ones she caught staring, ha ha! I kind of rolled my eyes and wondered what set her of her rocker that day..... and then I gave myself a huge, mental slap!
Why was I being so rude about a woman who was being happy and friendly? Why was I being so rude about a woman who was giving passerbys a reason to smile and brightening our day? I mean, if that doesn't put a smile on your face (for one reason or another...) then I don't know what will! Why was my first instinct to hide behind my sunglasses, or look away before I got caught, instead of smiling and waving enthusiastically as well? This world can be such a dark, angry, unhappy place. Why has it become the norm to hide behind whatever and avoid contact with the millions of humans we pass in our life? We all know that a simple smile or hello can change some one's mood, their attitude that day... maybe even save a life.
I am ashamedly admitting the obvious, my norm is to hide behind my sunglasses, my phone, my baby, my whatever to avoid the "awkward" smile or hello. But not anymore, people! I am a happy person and I refuse to hide that. And you know what? It makes me feel good to be happy, nice, friendly etc. So no more hiding! I'm just going to be myself and even when I want to hide, or I feel nervous, or I'm afraid of making a situation awkward... I'm going to stop avoiding eye contact, plaster a smile on my face and just be friendly. Maybe I can help brighten some one's day and make the world a little happier.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

if you were a mind reader

You'd see that Mia and I had a picnic at the park with friends yesterday.... and we got HOT! This weather is unreal! Which means that we are going to get snow in June, or Utah will be on fire all summer. Both will be equally miserable, but for the sake of the state, I guess I prefer the snow.

You'd check out my Instagram right now to enter my Freshly Picked moccasin giveaway!

You'd know that I'm dying for all of my shows to be updated on netflix. C'mon already!! Revenge, Scandal, Pretty Little Liars, Vampire Diaries... I like the "good" crap, ha ha! Until then, I need a new show to become addicted to. I'm thinking about trying Friday Night Lights? Any other suggestions?

I'm daydreaming about stuffing my face full of Clif (kid, but I'm still a kid at heart!) Organic Fruit Rope. They are so, SO good! I just ordered a box from Amazon and I'm sure I'll have it cleaned out not even 2 days after it arrives ;)

You'd be packing your bags to join on us on our fun little trip we have coming up in March. I can hardly wait!! 

I'm dying to get out of this town. Part of it is wanderlust (hello, can I please live by the ocean??) but most of it is because I don't like this town. And Eric deserves a job that treats him like gold. I know, I know... doesn't everyone? My answer is YES! But especially Eric. He's good at what he does and needs to be compensated for that!

That being said... I do LOVE the friendships I've made here. I don't know how, but I seem to find the best people who are willing to befriend me with every move!
ALSO, I'm dying to have a visit with some of our dearest friends (hint, hint Nicole!)

Do YOU ever wonder why men's basketball shorts are a million times more comfortable than any other piece of clothing?! I don't get it, and Eric certainly doesn't get it. But there is an unwritten rule that I get free access to each pair he buys ;)

If you were a mind reader, you'd be scared to death with me because my sweet, little Mia has developed an attitude and it's my responsibility to teach her how to share all of her emotions... in the nicest way possible. What if I'm not doing it right? What if she ends up being the bratty kid no one likes because I taught her wrong? Scary, scary!

You'd also be constantly craving ice cream, white chocolate covered popcorn or some type of junk food because my sweet tooth is never under control!

This is just a fraction of the randoms that run through my head all. the. time. ha! If I was a mind reader... what are YOU thinking right now?

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

just some randoms {14}

I pulled out our play mat to lend to a friend and I think this brought back a lot of memories for Mia ;) She loved to go lay on it or to sit with a stack of books and read. Silly girl! (And yes, we still have Christmas gifts stacked against the wall, ugh! Does anyone else procrastinate exchanging for stainless steel? No? Don't worry, I am embarrassed!)

This picture cracks me up because Mia looks like the longest baby in the world, ha ha! But she's average for height, maybe even on the shorter side. Definitely a little peanut!

This girl knows what's up. Pack her blanket, her teddy and herself in the suitcase and she's ready to go! She's also got this new thing where I pull out the phone to snap a picture and she REFUSES to look at me. Daddy is rubbing off on her {insert angry face emoji}.

We tried having Mia sled by herself.... ha ha! Maybe in a couple more years she'll get it ;) (This totally makes me think of A Christmas Story...)

Once again, Mia is all about the baby toys. But she can't go anywhere without her trusty $2 back pack (her latest obsession) The things she comes up with these days are ridiculous and hilarious!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Mia's 1st time sledding {our snowy getaway}

Our home for the weekend... thanks mom and dad!
Daddy built Mia her first snow man :)
And then she was done with the snow!
 I've never seen this little snow in February! I'm afraid that Utah is going to be on fire all summer!

We got to spend another weekend at Brianhead Resort with my family (this is our 3rd year, we aren't complaining about this fun family tradition!) and I'd been looking forward to it for WEEKS! Unfortunately I came down with altitude sickness our first night at the cabin and it took 24 hours to recover which was a total bummer! But I did make it outside for a few minutes to watch Eric and Mia play in the snow. Saturday was the BEST day! I was totally feeling 100% so I got to enjoy a day of snowboarding with my favorite husband, dad and siblings while my mom watched Mia! The rest of the weekend was spent eating junk food and playing Avalon, a ridiculously ridiculous, FUN and addicting game :) This time out with my family is always a good time, and Eric and I are loving that we are able to get out and have some fun together while Mia is being taken care of just minutes away!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

happy 14 months to my love bug

- Mia loves to "fix" her hair... which means she smears it all around with her hands and totally messes it up :) But when she sees my messing with my hair, she loves to fix hers and it's the cutest! She also "brushes" her hair and rubs "lotion/oils" in her hair. Heaven help me the time she does rub actual oil all over her hair, ha ha!
- She says her own prayers now... I think :) When she sees a plate of food coming her way she folds her arms, bows her head and speaks a quick little jibber, then digs in!
- Mia discovered toilet paper! She's only unraveled one roll, so far ;) And she's figured out how to flush the toilet.
- This girl loves her purses. Anything she can tote around on her arm and she's in love! But her newest obsession is backpacks!! She discovered one at a friends house and the next day I found some on clearance for $2. I bought her two and she wears them every day... sometimes at the same time, ha ha!
- She throws stuff away for us. Which means she also gets stuff out of the trash (we are working on teaching her that is off limits, but I think we've almost got that down!) We have got quite the little "helper" on our hands, ha!
- Someone has discovered her belly button!! (Hint: It was the baby toddler Mia)   
- Mia has learned to blow on hot food! She also just blows when she wants to be cute :)
- She says hi ('iiiiiiii!), hey ('EY!) and uh oh!
- Probably my favorite thing that Mia has picked up is grabbing our faces to give us a kiss. It KILLS me! So CUTE!
- Mia got 2 more teeth, totaling 8.
- She still wears 6-9 month and 12 month clothing. She just moved from 3-6 month to 6-12 month/size 3 shoes.
- And she's still in size 3 diapers.

I really couldn't pick a favorite age of Mia's so far because I've loved them all!! She is the funnest little girl ever!! But I must admit that we fall a little deeper in love with her each month! Mia is the best!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

wanderlust {where are we going next?}

When Eric and I got married I was mortified to find out that Eric had zero interest in vacations or exploring the world! I finally convinced him to go on a cruise for our 2nd anniversary (as in- I went to a travel agent and put half the money down and told Eric we were going!) Ever since then he has loved planning where we will go next! Last year we went on quite a few mini trips, and a week long trip to California, all with Mia in tow! We had soooo much fun and Mia was amazing to travel with! This year the travel bug has hit me hard and I'm ready to go!! But I must admit that it hasn't hit me any harder than in years past... oh how I hope we hit it big someday so that we can afford all of my traveling dreams, ha ha! But I digress. 
This year Eric and I are planning to go on our own vacation, leaving Mia behind. This is the first time I've ever dreaded and yearned for a vacation all at the same time. I am so excited at the idea of getting out of town, exploring with my love and just spend quality time together.... but I die a little inside thinking of leaving Mia. I haven't spent a night away from her yet and that band aid really needs to be ripped off sooner than later (girls/bloggers weekend anyone?? Ha!) So we are hoping to plan the most amazing vacation ever so that we don't miss Mia to the point of pain and depression instead of enjoying ourselves (I know, I'm that totally obsessed, crazy momma)!
Is anyone dying to know where we are going?.... BOSTON! It's no secret that Eric is a huge Red Sox fan, so he's been itching to go watch a game at Fenway Park! We are also planning to spend a day in NYC which has been a dream of mine for like, ever! I still have a hard time believing that we are actually going, this year!!
 BUT we would love some help planning this trip! What are the "must sees" in Boston?? Best places to eat?! We wouldn't mind traveling a bit to enjoy a beach day, which beach?! Tell me everything we need to know to have the best vacation EVER in Boston! Oh, and most importantly (to Eric, of course) how the heck do we get our hands on tickets seating us on the green monster? We can't seem to find them available online?! I think we've got New York City planned out... but if you had one day to spend there (especially since I'm a first timer) where would you insist I go, see, eat??
Thanks in advance for all the advice!! And someone, please tell me that it won't be so bad leaving Mia for a few days!?!

Monday, February 17, 2014

our love week recap

She loves her friends but she just wanted to play with them instead of take a picture of their matching shirts, HA!
 I still can't believe it's been warm enough to play outside... without pants and shoes!

Valentines Day was SO fun this year!! Eric started the fun by celebrating each day of the week! Last Monday he came home with a treat that Mia and I could share! Tuesday he gave me a bouquet of flowers and a stuffed dog for Mia. Wednesday we got a box of chocolate (Mia thinks hers is some type of rattle... she just walks around shaking the box, HA!) and Thursday he surprised us with an amazing, fancy chocolate surprise filled with goodies for all of us! He's never done anything like this so it was SO fun to be surprised each day :)
On Friday I dressed Mia in the onesie that I made with some girlfriends the week before. Then Mia and I went to a little love party with out friends and we both had the best time! When Eric came home I made a fun little dinner and then we gave Mia her gift. I think the book couldn't be more perfect considering we have been calling Mia our love bug from day one! Mia was in the best mood all day and we loved all the laughs and kisses she was handing out :) We all enjoyed far too many sweets that day... but isn't that what Valentines day is for?? ;)
Eric and I celebrated a day later with a fun day date! My parents watched Mia while we went to a movie (movies are a special treat for us now that we have our precious babe. It's kind of our favorite date!), did a little shopping and enjoyed an amazing dinner complete with chocolate fondue dessert! Like I said... Eric totally spoiled last week!
Valentines is the cutest holiday and I love celebrating it! Yes, we should show our love and appreciation every day, obviously, but it's still fun to make the day a little more special! It's gonna be funner the older Mia gets.... or maybe it will become a major stress? Only time will tell, ha ha!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

six years ago...

...the man could NOT keep a secret (for the record, he still can't. He gets so excited about surprising me that it never really ends in surprise, ha!) and in a round about way, he basically told me which night it was going to happen.

...I got my nails done and made sure my hair looked perfect.

...I loaded new batteries in my camera (I couldn't risk having dead batteries that night!) and then accidentally left my camera in the car anyway.

... he took me to the spot where we connected on our first date (after 30 minutes or so of complete awkwardness. For the love of first dates!)

...he got down on one knee and rushed through a proposal just before the sun went down :)

Six years ago I said YES to my main man, my favorite person in the world, my forever love! And despite the hard times, we've had way more good times and a perfect little girl because of our love.
Six years ago Eric made the BEST decision by choosing me.... but I made the even better decision by choosing him right back! I truly do love him more than ever!!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day from our love bug

This one reminds me of her Valentine pictures last year! Her legs were always curled up so that her feet were close to her face. Oh nostalgia!

Why yes, I did do a little cheesy photo shoot on my bed, change her outfit 3 times and bribed Mia with books all for the love of Valentine's Day! But the overbearing mom and cheesy act paid off.... the pictures are too die for! You better believe that I'll be blowing up Instagram with photos of this gorgeous babe :)
But what I'm really trying to say is.... 
Our sweet love bug is wishing you all the happiest Valentine's Day ever! We love you all!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

turning 26

I never imagined that I would be celebrating my 26th birthday as a mom of 6 kids.... but when the opportunity came to babysit 5 boys I just couldn't turn it down! Yes, Vegas would have been the perfect way to celebrate my birthday! But we love those boys and couldn't turn down another year of watching them (plus we are putting that money towards a bigger, better vacation)! I haven't recapped my birthday because there isn't much to share. But I finally came to the conclusion that I must write this down because my pregnancy-turned-mom brain is totally frazzled and I will surely forget this birthday wish in the years to come. And this is something I DON'T want to forget!
My birthday, a Saturday, was spent getting 5 boys in and out the door to baseball tournaments, friends homes, and church activities, all while trying to keep Mia on her "normal" schedule that she would be on if we were at home. Eric was able to come down for the day, but he had a few errands to run so I was mostly on my own. And did I mention that one of the boys became sick? The glamorous birthday of a mother :) I asked Eric to hold off on my birthday cake because to be honest? I wanted to eat the whole thing by myself instead of sharing.... HA! So after we finished eating dinner, Eric surprised us with donuts! He made sure the birthday girl had the biggest donut of all, ha ha! He wanted me to feel special which was super sweet! He gave me a couple of gifts then life went on as normal.
When I finished watching the boys, I came home to a clean home and the BTS cake that Eric baked for me (he really is the best!) and you better believe I ate most of that by myself :) I was excited for the weekend so that we could have a belated birthday celebration date when Eric unexpectedly had to work instead. So we really never had an actual celebration... which is fine! Life gets crazy, I get it. That's why my sweet husband gifted me with a certificate to spend the day at a spa, literally! Massage, facial, pedicure and lunch... HEAVEN! But!! From here on out, (Eric, are you listening my love?) I need to be sent to the spa ON my birthday! Now that I've had a glimpse into real life as a busy mom, and I realized that the world doesn't actually revolve around me even though it's my birthday, made me realize that that the best gift I can receive is a little me time, getting pampered, and a break from the crazy life of mom world :) Totally selfish but it's okay if it's my birthday, right?! Right!

On a different note, last day to enter this giveaway!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014


Loving: all things pink, red and sparkly; little hearts, big hearts, and all things lovey-dovey. I really think I love Valentine's day/month just because everything is SO cutesy! Tell me I'm not the only one?!

Reading: books with Mia. The girl LOVES books! But I'm ready to dive into a new book/series myself. Any suggestions?

Trying to: not lose my mind. Most mom's hate winter because their kids are sick the whole time. Well, this winter Eric is the one that's been sick the whole time! Last Wednesday he felt like death, stayed home from work which never happens, and went to the doctor. Ours wasn't in, so he saw a different one in the office who assured him he had a viral infection, even though we suspected strep (and wouldn't test him for it). Thursday morning Eric felt even worse and stayed home again. This definitely never ever happens, so I called our doctor. He called in a prescription for strep and I prayed that was the problem. He stayed home again Friday (what?! he was miserable!) but by evening he started acting like his normal self. Saturday he woke up and felt pretty good, hallelujah!! Until Saturday evening when he went to insta care for PINK EYE!! I'm not even sure how he got that since he never left the house... AH! It's safe to say that we are sick of sickness.

Wishing: and hoping and PRAYING that we haven't lost all of our pictures of Mia!! Saturday night Mia accidentally knocked our lap top down. It was a tiny spill but it landed just right so that the screen doesn't turn on anymore. We bought a new laptop and I'm eagerly awaiting it's arrival so that I can get back to blogging like normal ;), and so that I can hopefully project the old laptop onto the new one and pull all of our files and pictures off of it! Do you know what else I'm wishing? That I wasn't such a procrastinator! We bought an external hard drive for Christmas and obviously never made use of it. Ugh!

Excited for: our Valentine's date! We are celebrating on Saturday and my parents are taking Mia for most of the day! Eric and I need this one on one time to reconnect and just have fun. I'm totally looking forward to it!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

a Valentine giveaway {LoveCoup}

I have a special treat for you guys today.... but it's even more special for Eric ;) I was contacted by LoveCoups to create a coupon book and of course I was all over this idea for Eric's Valentine gift (hopefully he doesn't read my blog before Friday!) I can't even tell you how much I love the book! This website is the CUTEST! It's totally my style with all the cutesy designs (and not as cutesy for those of you that gag over that kind of stuff, ha!) and the funnest ideas for coupons! This is by far my favorite coupon website! I'm not even kidding when I say you need to check it out, like yesterday! Luckily, LoveCoups is giving one of YOU a free coupon book as well! But first, some background on the website.
I named us Hubby and Wifey. So original :) is a new twist to the traditional love coupon. The LoveCoups character creator allows the user to edit their own characters to illustrate the book (loved this part! they turn out so cute!). With over 200 coupons, you can select 20 of your favorites (they say it "literally takes 5 minutes to create your book" Yeah. It took me like a half hour because I couldn't choose between the coupons. I loved too many!). They print (20 full-color, glossy, perforated pages in each book), bind and ship books anywhere in the world. Now, are you dying to check them out?! This would make the perfect gift for Valentines, anniversaries, birthdays, Christmas (it's never too soon to start thinking about gift ideas), or just a special little surprise for no reason at all :)
I wish we all could win this giveaway!! Good luck and I will email the winner Valentines morning (and you can tell your love to expect a belated gift)!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

I didn't expect this.

I remember hearing friends/family/strangers comment on how sad they were each time their kid's birthday rolled around. I also remember rolling my eyes while thinking, hello?! You knew your kids would grow up when you signed up to be a mom! It's a good thing to be able to watch your kids learn, grow, age, etc. Right? Right!
Then I got pregnant. Time could not go fast enough! I wanted to shout our news to the whole world! I was dying to know the gender! I wanted to "show" so that random strangers would ask me when I was due! I wanted to snuggle my precious baby in my arms and kiss her face as often as I wanted! Then my wishes came true. She was here!! I snuggled Mia and smothered her in kisses! I loved waking up each day knowing I had my sweet baby to spend each hour with. Yes, there were rough times! I was sleep deprived, I experienced the most physical pain of my life thanks to nursing (and a real thanks to the epidural for making delivery a dream in comparison!), I had body image issues (that were resolved as soon as I was able to take action), and the list can go on. But life was good! For the most part I was able to solve the problems that were making me unhappy so that every day with Mia was just the best! And then my heart started breaking. And it continued to break as time went on! And I had zero control over it.

My momma heart is so full of emotions, extreme highs and extreme lows. To be frank, momma emotions are crazy, cray I tell ya!! I remember thinking that the first two weeks of Mia's life were the fastest, yet longest weeks of my life. Hard to explain but I think I can blame that on sleep deprivation! From then on, time kept speeding by and I couldn't make it slow down! A lot of moms cheer when their babies reach milestone ages and accomplishments! My momma pride was all over the accomplishments, but the age? My momma heart could hardly take it! I never cried, but I died a little inside each time Mia reached a new month. I dreaded the holidays because that meant Mia's first year of life was almost at it's end. I couldn't fathom my baby not being a baby anymore.
Then Mia turned one. Time had flown by too fast! As family trickled out the door when Mia's party ended, I experienced crushing pain in my chest. I didn't know what to think of it! It became harder to breath and the weight on my chest intensified. Eric didn't know what to think of what was going on, and as the pain spread to my shoulders and neck, a dear friend told me she suspected I was having an anxiety attack. Oh Em Gee, guys!! This is so not me! What would make my body turn on me this way? Suddenly it clicked. I was beyond heart broken that Mia was one year old, and I didn't take advantage of the time like I should have. It's no secret that I'm obsessed with my daughter. She's the best part of Eric and me, how can I not be obsessed? But I look back and realize that I still let other things (like a clean house or folded laundry) come in between my time with my baby. Yes, life must go on when we have children! Yes, the house must be cleaned, the laundry folded, the body needs exercise, the errands need to be ran, the food must be cooked. But can it be put off for 5, maybe 10 more minutes when Mia is bringing me a book to read to her? Or on the rare occasion that she falls asleep in my arms, can I spend an extra 20 minutes snuggling her instead of racing to catch up on my shows? Yes, it all can be put off a little longer.
I suspect that the more Mia grows, I won't be any less sad. And everyone can roll their eyes at me, because I knew this would happen when I signed up to be a mom ;) But I can do my best to seize the moment so that for the most part, I won't have regrets when I look back. I never expected to experience so much heartbreak in the same exact moment that I would feel the most joy in my life. But I wouldn't trade the crazy emotions for anything in the world. I didn't expect how much I would love being a mom, so I will take the heart breaks that come with the packaged deal... and I'll just do my best to handle those situations with more grace in the future :)

Wednesday, February 5, 2014


We took Mia to her first ever movie, Frozen!! It was SO fun and Mia did great until the last 10 minutes (when we just stuffed her face with food until the end, ha!) despite the full theater! She knew I would share this on IG so she made sure to wave "hello" :)

This craptastic quality picture if proof of a date night with my hubs! Temple + dinner left us so rejuvenated that we shared old high school stories on the drive home and laughed harder than I remember in a long time :) We are due for another date night!

Young love! I told him to give Mia a kiss.... but she leaned over and took control, ha ha! Mia, Mia, Mia!!

Why yes, this IS a totally stage photo that I made Eric take to put in a shameless birthday plug, ha ha! 26 and pulling for all the social media love I could ;)

Eric and Mia picked out these pj's a few months ago together. I put him in charge of dressing her a couple weeks ago, and even though these are still a little big on her, he couldn't resist waiting any long! Mia LOVED wearing her pretty, princess pj's :)

Sometimes it just isn't fair how long time passes before friends are able to meet up, but the reunion is always so sweet with this one!

She's holding on to mommy's wallet and credit card for dear life. Baby girl ain't no dummy!

I still can't believe it's the beginning of a new month, and time for a mini recap of my IG's from the last month! Time is flying! We have some pretty fun/exciting things coming up in the next few weeks, so be sure to follow along at courtbrink!

Monday, February 3, 2014

a REAL snow day

Ever since we saw Frozen and visited the ice castles I've been dying for a snow storm (even though I enjoyed our abnormally sunny, warm January) so that we could take Mia out to play in the snow! We finally got our storm and I was so excited about the play date my friend and I set up for our girls! I downloaded the Frozen soundtrack and blasted it all morning while Mia and I got ready to play! When it came time to dress Mia in her pink, marshmallow snow suit, she really wasn't too sure of what I was about to subject her to :) Once she was all bundled I took her out to the snow. She took a couple steps, fell, then she started crying. And she kind of didn't stop anytime she had to be in the snow, ha ha! I took off her hat and gloves to see if that would help, but nope! She was happy when I was holding her, and when I wasn't holding her? She was hanging on to my legs (or anything she could get her hands on) for dear life, ha ha!

I was SO surprised that Mia hated the snow because we couldn't get her to stop playing with the snow/ice at the ice castle! So when we got home I decided to try one more time, without her snow suit just in case that was what she really hated. Obviously the snow suit isn't to blame, ha ha! I hope she warms up to the snow because we have a lot more storms in the forecast :) And heaven knows that I'll keep trying until she's tortured into liking it (ha)!!