Wednesday, April 30, 2014

patience young padawon

Last week Mia and I went on our first hike of 2014! Beware people, tis the season for weekly hiking posts. What can I say? I'm trying to convince you all to come visit me so that I can show you the amazing beauty that is right in my backyard! We hiked with my friend Laura and her two girls and looking back we had so much fun, but in the moment? I experienced a few stresses that almost ruined my fun.
Hiking was so easy last year! Mia was tiny and immobile so she was just happy to be out exploring while I packed her around. This year she is obviously very mobile and independent. It took Laura and I an hour (H O U R) just to get the girls sunscreened and everything gathered from the car to our packs before we started hiking. Then Mia fell off a picnic table (winning mom moment, let me tell ya! ugh!) and my heart shattered to a million pieces. The actual hike was fun but good heck, I need a real hiking pack (that doesn't cost hundreds) to keep my back from screaming at me the whole time! We made it to the little waterfall and Mia would not stay out of the freezing cold pond/stream. It was so fun to watch her splash and play (she was in heaven!) until I had to strip her soaking shorts off and realized I left her diapers in the car. Mia's diaper was full to the brim of ice cold water and all I could picture was pee running down my back on the hike back, ha! I felt so unprepared! When we finally tore our screaming, frozen toddlers from the water and walked bare foot (had to lose the shoes and socks to be ready to stop the girls from going too deep) over the hot sand and being poked by sharp stuff every step I took, I half jokingly said "who thought this would be a good idea?!" Laura laughed and said "it WAS a good idea! We just have to be a little more patient." That's when it finally hit me that life as I knew it is over for the time being.... and it's really not such a bad thing!
Thinking back on that hike I can't help but smile as I picture Mia plopping her little diapered bum in the ice cold water and splashing to her heart's content. She was so happy! And when we found a shady spot to stop and eat snacks (and put our shoes back on) I can still see Mia bouncing excitedly as she sat on a rock eating her food. The girl was half naked and half frozen but she was eating food while sitting on a rock. This was a first for her and she was loving it! I don't think about the lack of diapers (luckily she didn't pee through on the hike back) or the frustration of how much longer everything takes with toddlers, I think about the good and it makes my heart so happy! So I gotta remember to slow down and look at the world through Mia's eyes! Patience is the key and if I can remember that with each adventure we go on, the experience will be magical for the both of us!

pics via iPhone

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

just some randoms {16}

 Mia tried to undress herself (for the first time) when she woke up from her nap. Looks like she wasn't too happy with the outcome :) ha ha! (I'm really bummed I didn't grab my camera because the iPhone pics obviously aren't as good.)

This girl is obsessed with her sunnies (and candy, and Easter). She rips her bows off every chance she gets. But the sunglasses? She doesn't touch 'em!

Another crappy picture (at least I have my phone handy since it seems that my camera is nowhere to be found!) of Mia being the biggest helper unloading the dishwasher. I turn my back for 2 seconds...

You can practically hear her yelling "noooooo" through this picture! Mia is really loving pictures these days... I wonder where she gets it from *cough* Eric *cough*

To end on a good note... this smile cracks me up! She thought something was super funny and I can still hear the laugh coming out of that crooked smile :) She is such a fun little stinker! Also, we are obsessed with these shorts from Dainty and Lion (and her headband from Sweet Angel Kreations, and her moccs from Freshly Picked)!

Monday, April 28, 2014

ice cream, swimming and snow... oh my!

I can't even tell you how much I was looking forward to spending the weekend with Eric and Mia! This was the first weekend in so long that we were in town with no plans at all, and to top it off? Eric worked 40 hours between Thursday and Friday. So yes, I was beyond ready to just be lazy and hangout with my two favorite people!
Saturday morning I packed Mia up to go to a piyo class at the gym (and let Eric sleep in) when I just happened to peak out the window before opening my front door and what did I see?? Big, fluffy snow flakes everywhere. We were having a major snow storm... at the very end of April! I must admit that this happens every year, but I was totally shocked because we've had like no snow (I could seriously count the number of storms we've had on one hand... hello drought!) this winter and it's been so warm for months now! Mia thought it was great as we made a mad dash to the car and gym, so whatever floats her boat I guess :) Of course the only sensible thing to do after the gym was go to the pool! I tried to get a picture before we really got in and started swimming but Mia was totally concerned about the huge bucket dumping water all over the kid play set, and the screaming kids to look at the camera. She quickly warmed up to the craziness and she had the best time swimming with us! We've got a little fishy on our hands and I don't mind it! To top off a perfect snowy April Saturday... Eric and I indulged in our favorite ice cream (duh)! So even though the weather sucked, we made the best of our time together! Mia was in hyper/giddy heaven having both mom and dad to play with for two whole days :)

Friday, April 25, 2014

being a toddler's mom

People tell me all the time that this is the stage when being a mom gets really fun, but if you ask me? I think this is the stage where being a mom gets really challenging. The first year of Mia's life was a breeze! She was the happiest, most easy going babe who slept through the night, took multiple long naps through the day, totally stuck to a schedule and the most loving, smiley baby girl! It was the most natural thing in the world for me to just love on my baby and enjoy every second with her! Now I have this independent toddler who has a mind of her own and plenty of attitude (ie: her favorite word is no). She loves to explore and wants to figure out this thing called life. The scary part is that I have to teach her right from wrong. I have to discipline when it's necessary. Sometimes I have to let her learn the hard way instead of coddling her. It's no longer just rainbows and butterflies with this little one. Sometimes I hurt her feelings and it breaks my heart. Sometimes she falls and gets hurt and I would give anything to take away her pain! Most of the time I have to let go of control and let her be her, if that makes sense, and it's really hard for me to let go.
It's still completely natural to be Mia's mom and I wouldn't trade it for the world! But I am being challenged by a 1 year old from the time she wakes up in the morning until her sleepy little head hits her pillow at night (she doesn't really have a pillow, I just thought it sounded good, HA!) and at times I feel so flustered. I feel like I have so much to teach her but I feel so inadequate. I feel like I'm doing it wrong. And then I have moments like I did today where I realize... I am just as much the student as I am the teacher. I am feeling the pressure to teach, teach, teach and yet Mia is teaching me without even realizing it! Mia teaches me to love selflessly. She has reminded me to slow down and soak up tender moments. She is the best example of being quick to forgive, which I really need to be better about. Mia is teaching me to truly soak up the beautiful world we live in, the people we are blessed to know and love and to be happy with what we've got! The lessons she teaches me are the same lessons that I will be reteaching her as she grows. What a gift that Mia is to me (and Eric)!
So as challenging as this stage is (mainly for the roller coaster of emotions I feel, and the tantrums that can erupt from my little monster)... it's equally as fun and full of love! I just really love being Mia's mom!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

a cause for celebration (?)

I'm not really sure how I should react to what I'm about to share. Should I continue laughing and pat myself on the back? Or hide in a closet and hang my head in shame? Last week I mentioned how popular my silly, ridiculous peeps post is. Then I started getting a ton of traffic from the freakin' Huffington Post... they referenced my stupid peeps post, bahahaha! So even though I'm not sure how ashamed I should be that my post has reached that level of popularity... I am sure that it calls for a half off promo code (valid today only)!

 Can't stop (won't stop) posting Easter pictures!
 Visit my sponsor page and use the code "peeplove" to receive 50% off any ad spot, today only! I hope you all have some left over peeps sitting out so that you can try the crunchy version, you'll probably thank me later ;)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Easter 2014

Coloring eggs for the first time. So much fun with her cousins!!
Cheeeeeese :)
Her reaction to finding a minion egg on her second Easter egg hunt of the day!
Mia learned about the surprises inside the eggs. So on her second egg hunt she stopped finding eggs and just dug in to the treats :) ha ha!
So much fun jumping with dad!
This girl would NOT look at the camera. Oh well, at least you get a good look at her gorgeous dress.
She liked her marshmallow pop about as much as she liked peeps, ha!
Mia's pink bow c/o Sweet Angel Kreations
Easter is now at the top of my favorite holidays list!! We had the BEST weekend! It's definitely the BEST having a kid who can be involved in all the fun activities :) We spent the weekend with my in laws and Mia was spoiled rotten (okay, we all were)! Mia was soaking up all the love and attention from her grandparents, aunts and cousins! I was so blessed to marry into such an amazing family. We all have so much fun together!
Anyway, our Easter fun started Saturday morning with a local Easter egg hunt. The perk of my hubs coming from a tiny, tiny town is that there wasn't much competition for the eggs! Mia easily filled up her basket (she's a pro at egg hunting!) and there was no fighting from kids or parents over eggs (I hear these things can get crazy)! We dyed eggs, well, I let Mia color on them while I dyed them :) The Easter bunny visited Saturday evening and hid eggs all over the yard for Mia and her cousins to enjoy a second egg hunt. Again, Mia was a pro! After finding a few eggs she started popping them open and shoving in the candy before we could stop her, ha ha! 
Sunday morning we woke up to baskets left behind from the Easter bunny but Mia had no interest in anything but her slinky. She kept saying "Whoa!" as she played with it :) We didn't even get a picture of Mia with her basket... but by evening she had discovered all of her goodies and loved it all! We went to church and reflected on Christ's sacrifice so that we can all live again someday! We had a delicious Easter Dinner together before we packed up and headed home. It was a beautiful weekend filled with family, fun, candy galore and so much love!

Monday, April 21, 2014

happy 16 months to my love bug

Yesterday our sweet Mia turned 16 months! We were too busy soaking up time with family and stuffing our faces with Easter treats to put together an update... so here we are, a day later :) Life with Mia is so great. I'm convinced it doesn't get any better than this :)
- Mia tried her first peep yesterday! She took a bite and.... spit it right back out, ha ha! I don't blame her. I only like my peeps stale :)
- She has hit the stage where she is obsessed with our shoes and always wears them around the house! She actually gets around in Eric's shoes pretty well considering how huge they are for her, ha! And if she's not wearing them, she's carrying them around :)
- We've got a little talker! Mia says "eye" while poking pointing to our eyes,  and she is trying to say "nose". She says "no" while pointing to her nose. She says "thank you" (it never sounds like thank you, it's just a jumble of noises with the right inflection and tone of voice, ha!) and "pretty" (Pwe-eeee, again, she says this in the same tone of voice that I saw it :)) And she is big into mimicking us. She tries real hard to say the words we are saying!
- Mia can point to her (or our) nose, eyes, mouth and sometimes ears. But she knows that the phone goes to the ear and when she wants me to talk on the phone, she makes sure to push all of my hair out of the way so that it's not covering my ear :)
- She is obsessed with being outside! 
- Mia has been napping twice but in the last week she's been skipping her morning nap. I'm afraid she may be trying to make the transition to just one nap. Not sure I'm ready for that! 
- This is a sad first, Mia got her first skinned knee :( She fell twice in one day and landed on her knee in the same exact spot. Not the funnest part about having a mobile child.
- Mia can open doors with the handles that you just pull down on. I found that out in the middle of changing my outfit at our hotel room a couple weeks ago... and our door opened straight out to the parking lot. I really hope no one saw me hurtle over the bed to slam the door shut with only half my outfit on, ha!
- She loves to throw stuff away and she's really good about only tossing trash. Eric caught her trying to throw my phone away once, but we haven't had any other issues (that we've noticed). One little story that cracks me up... I was chopping veggies for dinner when a little stalk of cauliflower fell to the floor. Mia ran up, grabbed it and shoved it in her mouth. I thought about making her spit it out but figured she would if she didn't like it. When she realized I wasn't going to make her spit it out, she ran into the living room (in case I changed my mind, I'm sure). Then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw her walk back into the kitchen and go straight for the garbage. She lifted the lid and threw the little stalk of cauliflower in, shut the lid and walked back into the living room, ha ha!
 - Mia is a tiny girl and still wears 6-9 month (huge bonus, she gets to wear all the summer clothes that she didn't really get to wear before it got too cold last summer, YAY!) and 12 month clothes. She fits in size 3 shoes, but it's really hard to find shoes that fit her long, skinny feet.
- She still wears size 3 diapers.  

Friday, April 18, 2014

a birthday letter

Dear Eric,
HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! My, my, you are gettin' old ;) But it's really okay because 28 has never looked so good!
I wanted to write a little letter to tell you how I love you so! Basically... you are the cheese to my macaroni, the bacon to my eggs, the milk to my cookie, the ketchup to my fries, and the list can go on. (I really love that you love food as much as I do, okay?)
In all seriousness though, you are the brightest spot in my life. You're my best friend. You're my favorite love story! I am forever thankful for the timing that you entered my life and that you chose to love me!
You are the hardest worker, incredibly smart (too smart for your own good at times, if you know what I mean ;)), witty and hilarious and pretty easy on the eyes (if I do say so!) And we can't forget the fact that you would make for a gorgeous girl (considering that our child is basically your twin)!!
I guess what I'm trying to say is... Mia and I are pretty much the luckiest to have you! I love you more than you'll ever know!!
Love, Courtney and Mia (because if she could talk, she'd totally say these things!)

P.S. You're still my favorite husband!! From here to eternity, my love!

Thursday, April 17, 2014


sugar is a must when you party with us!
two things. some "bunny" loves her carrots (ha!) and... photo bomb!
Have I mentioned how excited I am for Easter?
This is such a beautiful time of year, weather-wise. I love celebrating Christ's resurrection and just remembering Him! Annnnnd this delicious candy-filled season is the best excuse to stuff my face with all the good stuff ;)
But throw a kid in the mix and this holiday is just that much more exciting!!
My friends and I (with our 5 kids... impossible to get a picture of them all together!) threw a little Easter party and it was perfect! We ate too much good stuff and the littles enjoyed an Easter egg hunt! This was the perfect practice session before the big egg hunt we will be attending on Saturday. I'm happy to say that Mia was a pro and loved gathering all the eggs she could get her little hands on! I think it's safe to say that I won't have to throw any elbows around at the egg hunt on Saturday ;)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

what's your number?

Am I the only one who enjoys finding out random facts about my friends? I mean, I'm assuming not since we all read each other's blogs ;) Anyway I've seen this number post going around blog land and I thought it would be fun to participate!

11,575 - the number of miles we've put on our jeep.... that we bought brand new in October. #yikes! I hinted at my new "hot mom" car months ago on the blog but I never shared the details, oops! We are going to have some cosmetic work done on the jeep but really, we love this vehicle SO much!

6 - the number of years Eric and I will celebrate being married next month!

2 - years we have lived in this little town, which is 2 years too many ;) I still haven't fallen in love with this place, but I've fallen in love with some of the people here! We are so blessed to make good friends wherever we go! And I do love having access to so many National Parks!

60 - average hours Eric works in a week. ONE week! Definitely not one of our favorite parts about his job.

4 - missing permanent teeth in my mouth (not including the 4 wisdom teeth that have been pulled).

6 - the  number of years I've worked as a hairstylist.

7 - is the number of states I've visited (that I remember) in this country. Yikes!! I can't wait to add more to that list... I hope to visit all 50 states in my life time!

111 - the number that shows up when I stand on the scale.... say whaaaat? I haven't weighed this little since high school, and even then I'm not sure I was this small. But I definitely wasn't this strong! Proof that making changes to your diet and exercising religiously 5-6 times a week (for a year) truly pays off. Also proof that you can get your body back after baby. It wasn't easy, but at the same time, I never expected the my results to be smaller and stronger than before I got pregnant!

5 - times I (we) have moved in the last 6 years.

15 (almost 16) months - the age of our greatest pride and joy. We aren't wrapped around Mia's tiny fingers at all ;)

Monday, April 14, 2014

get in my belly

It's not very often that I'm tempted to give my kid away but today (a Sunday, the first time in who knows how long that I'm writing a post in advance) Mia hasn't been the easiest. She totally skipped her morning nap (2 hours in the crib without a wink of sleep! She's never done that before) which resulted in transformation to a mini monster at church who wouldn't stop running around like a crazy child, screaming at the top of her lungs (and hitting decibels that almost cracked my ear drums) and just flat out disregarding anything I said to her. I'm sure this has everything to do with the lack of naps and ice cream treats thanks to her grandparents. Not that I'm complaining about that... I'll let mine and Eric's parents spoil the girl because that's every grandparents right! I'm complaining because I can assure you that my parents are high-fiving each other as they read this while planning their next spoiling adventure that will wreak havoc on our home life the next day. Oh the joys.
Anyway, now that Mia is napping, I'm daydreaming of all the Easter candy I wish I was shoving in my face. In an effort to be healthier, I've stopped buying crap just to have in the house because I usually end up eating all of it... which is really unfortunate on days like today. This is the best time of year to walk up and down the treat aisles, amiright?! Easter candy is my faaaaave! Since I can't get my hands on any right this moment, talking about my top 3 is almost as good, right? (Who am I kidding? not. as. good.) There are so many other candies I love, but these are usually the ones that I get sick off of from eating so much each year ;)

Cadbury candy coated eggs- need I say more?
Sweetarts jellybeans- but any Easter jelly bean is winning at this point. So many good options!! But I love these tangy, addicting little devils!
Peeps- I admit it! I loooove peeps! BUT! I only eat them stale. Yep, you read that right! Stale peeps are bomb!
Ridiculous little side note- years ago I wrote a stupid tutorial on how to make the perfect stale peep. It's seriously the dumbest post ever, but I get hits on it every day! If you google directions? Bam, my post is one of the top of the list! It's one of my most popular posts... if that's not pathetic, I don't know what is ;)

So, what's your favorite Easter candy? Annnnnd, since everyone's doing it.... here's a sneak peek of Mia's Easter basket. I can't wait to give it to her!
"Spring" notebook for coloring, crayons, slinky and marshmallow "lollipop"!

Friday, April 11, 2014

my top five

Every 6 months social media outlets (Instagram, Pinterest, blogs, etc) are bombarded with quotes from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS or Mormon) General Conference. It is such an uplifting weekend full of advice and reminders to make our daily lives easier, that we can't help but share what touched our hearts ;) The things I hear throughout General Conference that really stick out to me are so simple, yet it is just what I needed to help me be a better wife, mom, daughter, sister and friend. These are just the reminders I need to be a better me. No matter your religion or beliefs, I think these words can help us all lead a better life. So I picked my favorites (though I have many more) to share today. The talks aren't available online, yet, but I left the link to view the Conference sessions until I can link these quotes to their direct talks.



Cheers to a happy weekend, my friends!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

m a g i c

We finally introduced Mia to the magic of bubbles! A million and a half pictures of Mia's first bubble experience still aren't enough for me... I can't get over 'em! She was in heaven and didn't want the bubbles to end. Eric, on the other hand, quit blowing them so that I would quit taking pictures (such a stinker!) ha ha. But Mia's adorable Juicy outfit? It's my fave so I had to catch all the angles of that as well ;) Anyway, I still think our tiny backyard is craptastic.... but the magic it holds for Mia makes me more than excited for all the fun, special memories we will be making together as it warms up! Thank goodness for my sweet girl who is constantly reminding me.... it truly is the little things that make life SO happy!
P.S. Last chance to enter this giveaway!
P.P.S. Linking up with Ashley and Jess.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014


Loving: my spring swap package! I'd been dying to sign up for a little swap but I always found out about them after the sign up date ended. So when I saw that Stormy was hosting one, I signed right up! We were paired together and I have to admit, I got lucky because she spoiled me gooooood. My goodies include: an adorable picture frame, the most heavenly smelling candle (seriously, RUN to Target and buy it up!), nail polish, EOS chap stick (my fave flavor), face masks, earrings, and more! She even included a couple of surprises for Mia! Stormy, you are the BEST! Thank you sooo much!

Reading/Watching: the Divergent series. I'm almost finished with Allegiant! Thanks to the many road trips we've encountered in the past few weeks, I've been able to read them a lot faster than I normally would have. Now to find a babysitter to go watch the movie. Any takers?? ;)
Eric and I have been dying to have Netflix update our shows with no such luck (ugh!) Just last night we discovered that House has been added to streaming, so now we've got a new show to be hooked on. Annnnnd the best part? All the seasons are on there, holla!! (Can you tell how annoyed we are waiting for the seasons to be updated? ha ha!)

Trying to: figure out a solution to our babysitting problem. And when I say babysitting problem, I mean that we have zero babysitters in this town. It's becoming more and more apparent that Eric and I neeeeeed a weekly date but we have no family in town, I don't know any teenage girls to hire, and we don't do swaps with other couples. Man, oh man... How do you find babysitters in your neighborhood/town?

Wishing: that Mia wasn't napping right now (obviously I'm not wishing hard enough to actually go wake her up, ha!) so that I could play with her new headbands/clips from Sweet Angel Kreations!! Katie seriously has the most adorable accessories in her shop! And the tiny flower and bow? I die! I have headbands for Mia that are bigger than her head... and I love them! But we all know that everything is cuter when it's tiny... and we don't have tiny bows or flowers so I'm dying to see how cute the clips are in Mia's hair!

Excited for: Easter!! We are spending the weekend at my in laws and their tiny town has the funnest Easter celebrations! Mia is old enough to do her first Easter egg hunt and it's going to be sooooo fun to watch her do it! Plus it will just be so good to hangout with family and watch the kids play! And I'm dying to see Mia in her Easter dress :)