Tuesday, March 31, 2015

weekend highlights {not what I planned}

I was so excited to take Mia to her first Easter egg hunt of the year, but mother nature had other plans for us when Mia woke me up in the middle of the night Thursday (or I suppose it was the early morning hours of Friday) with a fever of 103 and a nasty cough :( Poor girl! It always breaks my heart when she's sick! So we took it easy on Friday with lots of stories, cuddles and some shows, but she just couldn't kick the fever. I wasn't feeling too bad about cancelling with our friends on the egg hunt because of obvious reasons.... until I discovered there was an Easter bunny there for photo ops (hello? I love me a good screamin' picture of Mia!), mini ponies for the kids to ride (Mia would have DIED from excitement) and so much more! Kids man, they ruin everything! I'm kidding, I'm kidding ;) I'm just glad Mia didn't understand what she was missing out on!
Mia's fever didn't break until Sunday evening after a heavenly 4 hour nap! So of course we celebrated by throwing together a tiny egg hunt in our back yard! Mia loved it and tore into every egg to eat the candy before putting them in her basket. Obviously she remembered this from last Easter, ha ha!
 Egg hunt Arizona style.... rocks everywherrrrre!
We had a full day planned on Monday to make up for all the fun that Mia missed while sick (way to give her time to recover, right?) We went to the zoo first thing in the morning and Mia was so happy to run around with us in tow! Once she got her "monkey George" fix (obsessed much?) she really stopped caring about the animals and wanted to play in the water. She was the happiest, squealiest, nakey baby (she did have her bracelet and diaper on, HA!) at the splash pad! When Eric and I couldn't handle the heat anymore we tore Mia away and went out for lunch. After running a couple errands on the way home, we changed clothes then headed to the pool! Did I mention that the high was 97 (all freakin' weekend?!) so give us alllllll the water activities! Once again, Mia was in heaven! After the pool, I showered Mia while Eric grilled our dinner, and it was like pulling teeth to get her out of the shower! She is such a water lover- it's a good thing we moved to Arizona where we will be escaping to the water often!
I never want the weekends to end but this week will seem short because work has finally slowed to a normal pace and three day weekends are officially the norm for this fam! I can't wait to celebrate Easter with my little family + an extra day with the man we love most!

Monday, March 30, 2015

I have to admit...

It's no secret that since moving to Arizona Eric has worked his little hiney off, and we haven't seen much of him. Since moving to Arizona, I also no longer work. I used to work one day a week at the salon while my parents watched Mia and it was the perfect set up! It got us out of the house, I got to enjoy some adult time/my creative outlet/a break, Mia was spoiled rotten by her grandparents and had the chance to miss me. It was the perfect balance for us all and Mia never really favored either parent when we all were together.
Well, since moving to Arizona Mia has turned into a stage 5 clinger when it comes to daddy. I totally get where she is coming from because she is stuck with me from the moment she wakes up until the moment she goes down for the night, and she was lucky if she got to rock and read a story with daddy before bed. At first I totally loved the clinginess because she wanted Eric to do everything for her, not me, so I finally got a break on his one day off each week. But some thing's changed in the last couple of weeks and it's totally hurting my feelings to watch Mia freak out if Eric leaves her in the room with me for even one second. We have been seeing a lot more of Eric these days (hallelujah!) and it's painfully obvious that Mia could care less about me... at least that's the way it seemed. Blame it on hormones, blame it on the lack of "me" time, blame it on the big changes we've been experiencing these past couple of months... I don't know what to blame it on but I went a little cray one night and shouted at Mia that she was hurting my feelings. I was on her side for crying out loud! I did every little thing for her and she instantly forgot that the second daddy walked in the door. Sweet Mia grabbed my face, gave me a smile and told me "luh yoooooou!" and gave me a hug. That's when I knew I was losing my freakin' mind and it was time for a break!

Thursday night I finally got my first real break since our move two months ago. That may not seem like a long time to many, but when (Mia and) I were used to the weekly breaks, this was definitely long overdue. I attended a church activity celebrating the Relief Society and it was so uplifting for me! It was just the spiritual enlightenment I'd been craving! Then a new friend and I ran to Target where we shopped until they basically kicked us out :) It was such a good night full of yummy food, girl time, etc. Later, Mia woke me up at 3am with the most pitiful cries and a fever of 103. I gave her some medicine and rocked her for a long time as she asked me to sing song after song, until she fell asleep in my arms. I don't even know how to explain how good I felt rocking my sick, sleeping babe and the feeling of content I felt in my heart. Being her mom is the greatest blessing I could ever ask for, and while we are a little overly obsessed with Eric in this house, Mia still needs me :) I felt so rejuvenated after my short time away from home and I swear I'm a whole lot less crazy now, ha ha!
I never realized how important "me" time really is for my sanity, and the sanity of my whole family before now. So in an effort to ditch the crazy side of me that obviously exists (please tell me I'm not the only one?!) I will definitely be making more of an effort to break away from the people I love most for those little moments of selfish me time... because in the end, it's really not selfish at all when I return to the people who love (and now miss) me most, feeling happier than ever to give them all that I've got!

Friday, March 27, 2015

blame it on Easter

Well, I went ahead and talked about Easter yesterday so now my brain only wants to think about all things Easter. So here's the most random 5's I can think of, that all have one thing in common... Easter!

Easter baby! Last year we spent Easter with our Brinkerhoff family and had the BEST weekend! Mia was such a little pro at finding the Easter eggs! Gosh, I love me a good #flashbackfriday! These memories and those shades are totally doin' it for me right now, ha ha!

Easter candy! Tell me I'm not alone when I think that Easter candy is the BEST candy?! Gimme all the jellybeans, cadbury eggs and stale peeps! Speaking of stale peeps... remember when the Huffington Post referred to my blog? Probably the lamest thing ever to be recognized for on HuffPost, but still a lot of fun to talk about :) ha ha.

Easter colors! I love all things springy, pastel and pretty! Easter time is the perfect excuse to wear all things pastel and girly! I'm livin' it up as much as possible through my wardrobe (when I actually get ready, lets be real here) and Mia's!

Easter plans! I was feeling a little bummed to be far from family for Easter celebration but I was determined to make it a special holiday for the 3 of us at home. Well thanks to family and friends who live on the opposite side of the valley from us, we now have the FUNNEST plans and I am looking forward to playing hard all Easter weekend long! But I'm taking Mia to her first egg hunt of the year in our little community tomorrow! Hopefully the kids don't kill each other trying to get to the eggs, ha ha!

Easter bunny and photo bombs :) Happy (flash back) Friday, my friends!!

Remember, use the code "FHTE15" to receive 20% off anything from Charlock and Coleridge through the month of March!
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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Easter goodies

Eric and I have been having a lot of fun brainstorming the perfect Easter basket gift ideas for Mia! We definitely don't plan on making the basket a big deal as we want to focus on the real reason for celebrating Easter- Christ's resurrection- and last year we created a perfectly simple basket for Mia! This year we are basically giving her things we were already buying for her so her basket will be a bit more "plentiful" than in the years to come. But we figured we could get away with it now since she is an only child, and she won't remember this to compare in years to come :)

1 is found here. We were at a friend's house a couple weeks ago and Mia played with a tea set for the first time with her little friend and goodness, our hearts melted! She was absolutely in love with it all and couldn't even part with it to eat dinner :) So we bought this already and will probably throw it in her basket... leaving no room for anything else, ha!

2 is found here and here. Am I the only one who thinks little girl nightgowns are as dreamy as the actual dress ups these days?! I fear that if we introduced these nightgowns to Mia, she would never wear any other clothing... ever again! Ha ha! We will probably wait until summer and let Mia pick out her first nightgown, but we are mighty tempted to sneak one in her basket!

3 is found here. Mia is pretty obsessed with puzzles these days and the animals just scream spring time to me :) I don't think I would be able to resist snagging a new puzzle if I could find the perfect Easter/Spring peg puzzle!

4 is found here. You guessed it! These have been bought as well! I'm the kind of mom that thinks homemade finger paint is the BEST idea, but is far too lazy to actually go through with making our own. So Crayola to Mia's rescue ;) ha ha! I'm saving the finger paint for this summer when it's just too hot to go outside anymore (we are already getting pretty darn close- it's supposed to be 97 degrees on Saturday. kill me now!) and need lots of activities to keep us from going crazy inside :)

I am getting so excited for Easter! I can't believe it's a week and a half away! Let the Easter fun begin!!

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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

BBQ Meatballs {that taste like candy- sorta}

It's been awhile since I shared a crappy photo of delicious food so I figured this is perfect timing to share a new recipe! I'm not really sure if it's possible to make a picture of meatballs look appetizing, but I am sure that I didn't nail it if so ;)

I first tried these meatballs at a Halloween party years ago and I immediately asked for the recipe from our friend, Lindsay. I'm not really into meals like meatloaf and meatballs where the meat is the main focus, but this homemade sauce is to die for! Seriously, these are irresistible! These are great served as the main course meal, make them mini sized and throw them in a crock pot to keep warm during a party, etc. The possibilities are endless but trust me, you WILL want to eat these all the time and share them with all your friends!

BBQ Meatballs
1 1/2 pound Ground beef
1 Egg
1 cup Quick Oats
6 1/2 ounces Evaporated Milk  (I just use a small 5 oz can and it works great!)
1/2 Chopped Onion
1 tsp Salt (I don't add the salt)
1/4 tsp Pepper
1/4 tsp Garlic Powder (I usually mince half a garlic clove instead)
1 tbsp Chili Powder

Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Roll into balls and place in a 9x13 pan.

The Sauce
1 cup Ketchup
1 cup Brown Sugar
1/4 tsp Minced Garlic
1/4 cup Chopped Onion
1 tbsp Liquid Smoke Flavoring

Mix together then spoon on top of meatballs. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes, or until meat is cooked through. Enjoy!!
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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

weekend highlights

For the last two weeks, Eric's weekend days have been Sunday and Monday and we've actually adjusted quite nicely to this new schedule (it's WAY better than only having Sunday's with him!) Sunday's we basically lounge around and Eric gets to relax and recoup, and Monday's are spent running around fitting in as much fun as possible! Here's a few of our favorite things from the weekend.
Bracelets c/o Poppy Lane and Co
  • Sunday mornings in the Brinkerhoff home are pretty exciting... for me, ha ha! I get so excited to see Mia's reaction when she realizes Eric is home! She jumps on our bed, screams, laughs, squeals, pounds on Eric until she settles down enough to snuggle between the two of us and watch "monkey George" on one of our phones while we all relax and cuddle!
  • Sunday night movie and popcorn. Easily Mia's favorite tradition that's developed over the past few months!
  • Shopping 'til we dropped, literally! It's been so long since the 3 of us have shopped together and I forgot how exhausting it is!
  • Eating ice cream cones.... with a spoon! Of course our daughter would get so excited over using a spoon vs licking the ice cream and making a total mess of her face :)
  • Finally picking out my birthday gift from Eric. He's been begging me to do it since January but I had to try them on in person instead of just browsing the internet. We finally settled on a gorgeous Michael Kors watch (where are the heart eye emojis on this keyboard?!)
  • Letting Mia climb all over the germ infested, waste of money, little car things. She finally settled on the bus but it ate up our 4 quarters without turning on. So Eric just shook the bus himself to give her a little ride, ha ha! Luckily for us, she was completely oblivious as she stared dreamily at her "buddy" the whole time. I think someone developed a crush on Arthur yesterday? ha ha!
  • All the good food. So much good food. Which I'm totally regretting today.

I wish weekends didn't have to end... don't we all?! Until the next one!...

Remember, use the code "FHTE15" to receive 20% off anything from Charlock and Coleridge through the month of March!
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Monday, March 23, 2015

just some randoms {27}

I couldn't help but drop everything and grab Mia's (snow) boots and coat so that Mia could go jump in puddles and enjoy our first real Arizona rain day! Luckily we've been able to enjoy a couple more rainy days since!

I love this picture with Mia's hands tucked sweetly under her face! She never sleeps like that! Little angel :)

One way to cure a broken heart after the grandparents go back home (after a week of too much fun!) is to let Mia pick out her own outfit. She chose 6-9 month footie pants that have monkey's on the feet (she's obsessed with "monkey George" at the moment) that barely fit, a onesie that had to be snapped over the pants, complete with brown boots and a cheesy smile!

I spy with my little eye... a sleeping Mia buried under all of her stuffed animals. Never a dull moment during nap time, ha!

Just practicing her modeling poses at the pool ;) I love that sweet smile!

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Friday, March 20, 2015


No matter how hard I try (I don't try that hard, letsbehonest) I just can't stay away from these monthly updates. Maybe it's because I'm obsessed with Mia... okay, it's because I'm obsessed with Mia. But I just love talking about her and recording these little details because I won't remember them years from now (or even a month from now, oops!) So here's a little update and the girl who won't stop growing!
- Mia talks soooo much! It's so fun (and a little scary, ha!) to hear what comes out of her mouth! I've stopped jotting down new words she says (because she can say pretty much anything now, especially when she's repeating what comes out of our mouths) and I'm going to keep track of the funny things she says and record those! You can see the first of those posts here.
- She is finally interested in learning her colors! She knows how to say all the colors, but matching the word to the actual color has been a challenge. Lately she is guessing the colors of EVERYTHING and she's really starting to match the word to the color, yay! Orange is still her favorite color to talk about.
 - I love to listen to Mia count. She used to count to 3 by saying, "two, three, two, THREE!" The last week she has been skipping 2 and 3 and goes straight for: 4, 5, 8, 9, 10! Someday we will get it down :)
- Mia LOVES to sing. Eric and I die every time we catch her singing to her toys, or any time she thinks we aren't listening!
- One day Mia asked me to sing the "do as I'm doing" song- she said, "song?! dis?!" as she rolled her arms over each other. I had no idea she even knew that song! They must sing it in nursery and it makes me so happy that she's retaining this stuff when she is in the care of others!
Mia rocked her first ever pony tail! I've been itching to chop her bob again but we've been pulling her hair up more often and it's kind of fun doing this stuff with her longer hair. I'm so torn because it would be nice to let it keep growing and just pull it up all the time with the summer heat, but goodness, I LOVE her bob! Who knows what I'll end up doing, but for now, Mia is totally enjoying getting her hair done different ways. Such a girly girl!
- She finally cut her first 2 year molar. Those are a beast and I'm dreading the other three!
- Her favorite meals are "panpakes" and "'dilla" and she asks for them daily (usually for every meal, actually) So anything with a tortilla is now a quesadilla and she happily eats it up! She's still a good eater so it doesn't bother me that these are the two items she asks for every meal :) As long as she eats whatever I give her, she can keep on askin' ;)
We don't let Mia watch shows very often but it's kind of become a tradition to turn on a movie Sunday night, cuddle together, eat popcorn and just relax as a family. She's moved on from the girly movies and the two movies she talks about every day now are "Dragons" and "m'Queen" So I think it's safe to say that How to Train a Dragon and Cars are her faves right now :) But Frozen and Tangled will always hold a special place in her heart, ha ha!
- I finally broke down and bought Mia little pant/shirt PJ sets instead of the footie PJs I'm in love with. It's just so warm here, and will only get warmer, so she needed cooler jammies. I have to admit that these new sets are so stinking cute on her, but they make her seem so grown up now :( Mia loves them so much that she either refuses to change out of them in the morning, or it's a big cry fest when I do make her take them off, ha!
- Mia mostly wears 2T clothing but you can bet she still fits in clothes ranging from 9-18 months. She wears size 5 and 6 shoes, depending on the sizing of the brand.
- She is wearing size 5 diapers and we finally discovered the Pampers cruisers fit great, yay! But I am gearing up to start potty training in the next couple of months! She's been showing a lot of interest so I am working myself up to take the plunge! Yikes!!

I can't believe Mia is a quarter of a year into 2! Time is flying! But at the same time, it feels like she's been in our lives forever. Oh how we love our Mia girl!!

Remember, use the code "FHTE15" to receive 20% off anything from Charlock and Coleridge through the month of March!
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Thursday, March 19, 2015

behind the scenes

I like to keep "it" real here on blog and I think I may have mentioned once or twice or a million times that Instagram is my favorite form of social media?! The sad thing for me is that I'm no photographer and my editing skills hardly exist (okay, they don't exist) but that doesn't stop me from posting a million pictures. Sometimes I am just dying as I post a picture while thinking, "if only they knew what was really going on behind the scenes of this photo..." and then I usually text a friend to check out that photo and tell them the real story behind it ;) I need someone to laugh at me, with me, ha ha! But then my genius blogging friend, Tawyna, started sharing a series of her Instagram vs Real life and I couldn't stop myself from playing along! So here's my behind the scenes on Instagram photos from my past!

Sometimes it just feels good to get outta my comfort zone and wear something a little more daring than my every day "mom" attire. Date night for the win, my friends! Thank you @hohshop for helping me look so snazzy for my man, we are lovin' these shoes (outfit will be posted on the blog soon!) #ootd #prettyinpink

Here's the deal, there was definitely no date night that night! I needed pictures for a collaboration but I never got ready for the day. After we put Mia down for the night, I threw on these pants and shoes and told Eric to only snap photos from the knees down... because up top I had a ratty, old blue shirt, no make up and air dried, frizzy gross hair. It doesn't get any more daring than that ;)

This is my ridiculously, awful "I was thiiiiiiiiiiis close to going to church today" #selfie. Eric was called in on an emergency, Mia had a blowout and then I discovered her fever and baby girl was sent to bed. I wish this had all transpired BEFORE I got ready... it's a shame to let the rare occasions I DO get ready go to waste #someoneteachmehowtotakeaselfie #isuckatthis

I wasn't kidding around with those hash tags... I suck at taking selfies! As in I literally spent ONE HOUR in my bedroom snapping photos, hiding messes and rearranging the mirror. In the end the picture still sucked but hey, after all that effort of getting ready AND trying to snap a selfie, I couldn't let that time go to a complete waste ;) Yes, I do realize how pathetic I am!

Oooooh this picture loving family of mine... How I love them so :) Happy 6 years indeed! Eric and I had a great time celebrating yesterday... without our picture "loving" monster #miagram #foreverfamily #happyweddinganniversary #keepingitreal

"6 years of marriage, Eric. You owe me! Just pick up your daughter and take the dang picture! And Mia, don't even get me started on what I had to go through to give you life..." Such a sweet photo to look back on during that point in our lives, HA!'

Mia tried undressing herself (for the first time) after nap time yesterday. Clearly she was NOT pleased with her result! #miagram #moreontheblog #icantstoplaughing

Occasionally Mia's misery makes my heart swell and I literally can't stop laughing. Does that make me a bad mom? In this case? I think not ;)

After discovering that every single photo we took of Mia and Santa was blurry, I did what any social media addicted mommy would do... and I stuck Mia (who was already traumatized) back on Santa's lap to get a clear photo. Eric definitely thinks this makes me a bad mom! I suppose that if Mia's still terrified of Santa by the time she's 16, I'll have to agree with him.

Typical family photo... Eric is ornery about taking a picture, I'm in the middle of threatening his life (or something) if he doesn't smile, and Mia is content as always... ha ha! #happyfamily  

No explanation needed here. This is what our "behind the scenes" looks like most of the time ;) Real life, ya'll! 
P.S. Baby Miaaaaaaaaaaaaa! Ah!

Two peas in a pod, ya'll. I love my people! #miagram #myloves #excusethemess #reallife

Then there are moments like these, where Eric slyly gets my attention to hurry and snap the perfect photo of our adoring daughter copying him.... and all the past times he fought me on pictures are forgotten :) amiright?!

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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Spring bucket list

I know Spring is on every one's mind right now, including mine, so I had to come up with a fun little bucket list for us now that we are more settled in Arizona! But if you ask me, it's like we skipped spring and went straight for summer with this 90 degree weather! The scary thing is that it's gonna get a whole lot hotter in the next couple of months, yikes!

1- Go on a hike! I've been itching to get out and explore but I'm really nervous to try new things (like finding a hike in the middle of nowhere? no thanks!) on my own. So I guess I need to trick Eric into going on a hike with us, or find some friends who are up for some hiking!

2- Sign Mia up for swim lessons. I have no doubt that the pool will be a part of our daily routine (it practically is already!) this spring/summer so it's time for the girl to learn some basics when it comes to water safety and swimming!

3- Celebrate Easter in a fun AND meaningful way! We are sad to be far away from family for this holiday but I'm determined to make it special for our little family!

4- Make homemade Popsicle's.

5- Invite friends over for a meal/dessert/play date, etc!

6- Get in a date to the Temple with Eric!

7- Draw chalk with Mia once a week. She loves it so much and we really need to take advantage before it gets too hot!

8- Find something fun that Arizona offers exclusively during the spring (like an art festival, carnival, etc) and go make some fun memories with Eric and Mia!

What's on your bucket list?! I'm always looking for new ideas to add to our list! Happy almost official Spring, my friends!

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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

a REAL weekend!

Her first every pony tail had to be documented!
"Daddy, daddy, DADDY!" was the word of the day... for Sunday AND Monday! That's right people, we finally had our first real weekend since moving to Arizona! I can't even describe how amazing it was to finally have Eric all to ourselves for two days in a row! Work has been crazy for Eric as he's been gone 14 hours a day, 6 days a week, but things are finally slowing down and 3 day weekends will be the norm for us before we know it! YAY! But until then, these 2 day weekends are kind of heavenly :)
Eric actually came home from work early Saturday evening (he even got in a workout at the gym before coming home early!) and he got to come to the park with us where we attended a Pi party! I admit that I've never celebrated Pi day before, but I don't turn down the opportunity to make new friends! Mia dragged Eric all over the park while I got to sit, eat and mingle in peace! I forgot how convenient it us to have two of us around to keep an eye on Mia ;) ha ha!
Sunday was a perfect day of relaxing! Eric made German Pancakes for breakfast, we watched a movie with Mia then went to church! After church we went to our new friend's home for dinner and seriously had the best time! You know how sometimes you find another couple who are basically the same people as you and you know there are a lot of good times to be had ahead? Yeah, we are super excited about this new friendship! I can't say it enough- the people here are so kind and inviting! Aside from missing our family and friends in Utah, we feel right at home and we only moved to Arizona a month and a half ago!
We had such a productive day around the house on Monday, all while cramming in as much fun as possible! We finally went to our first spring training baseball game! We watched the Reds VS the Giants... Eric wanted both teams to lose. Yeah. But the field is so close to home and we couldn't stay away! Of course it was 90 degrees and we went during Mia's nap time so you can imagine how much of the game we actually got to watch.... but we indulged in crappy ball park food, ice cream and sweet family time! After sweating our guts out at the game we went straight to the pool and Mia was in heaven "swimmin'" with daddy! She seriously wanted nothing to do with me the whole time Eric was around, and I didn't blame her! It was such a treat to soak up that family time and it feels so good knowing that we can look forward to this every weekend now! All hail the weekend (which in our case happened to be Sunday and Monday :))

Last chance to win a free custom blog design from Charlock & Coleridge here
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Monday, March 16, 2015

a week of F U N

Mia's Bracelets c/o Poppy Lane and Co

My parents came to visit last week, our first official visitors! Oh we had the best time, and we were spoiled rotten! Aside from finding out our A/C was broken (just in time for 90 degree weather... life was a little miserable for a couple days) and having to rearrange our schedule around getting it fixed,  it was a week full of non stop fun!
I really should have recorded Mia's reaction when she saw my parents at the door. I didn't tell her they were coming (because I didn't want her crying for them all day until they got here, ha ha!) and she was SO excited to see them! The next day we went to a zoo that is SO close to my home (too bad I didn't know about that before purchasing our annual pass to the Phoenix Zoo!) and Mia had the best time. Of course she freaked out when she saw the carousel and got so excited to ride it :) Our little thrill seeker is obsessed with rides! We took Mia to the pool for the first time this year another day! The water was totally freezing but Mia didn't care! "I swimmin', I SWIMMIN'!!" One evening we got together with a whole bunch of my extended family on the east side of the valley and had the best night with them! I've never lived close to the Crowley side of the family so I'm looking forward to more family gatherings in the future! When we weren't out adventuring we were eating good food and just enjoying having Grandma and Grandad in our home to play with!
Unfortunately our week of fun had to come to an end and we had to say goodbye. Mia actually refused to say goodbye as she kept trying to distract my parents with fun things to go do- like go see the "an-mals!" or go for a drive, etc. When it came down to giving them hugs and saying goodbye she just screamed and cried, which made my parents cry, which made ME cry... it was a vicious circle.... until Mia stopped crying once she realized all the adults were crying. Then she just stared at us like we were cray cray. I guess that's one way to get her to stop throwing a fit :) She did eventually tell them, "bye, bye, I luh you much" and blew kisses as they drove away. We went back inside where we cried for another minute or two, then cuddled up in my bed (Mia's request) and watched a show to forget our heart break. The goodbye was rough, harder than I thought it would be (and I thought it would be hard) but Mia has not stopped talking about our fun since then... so worth the crappy goodbye! We had the best visit and are so grateful they came to see us!
Now we are anxiously awaiting a future visit from Grandma and Papa Brinkerhoff and other friends and family! We officially love having visitors come stay! So, who's next?!

Don't miss the chance to win a free custom blog design from Charlock & Coleridge here
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Thursday, March 12, 2015


First swim of the year yesterday! Mia loooooved it!
Loving: the my parents are in town for the week! WE LOVE VISITORS! My parents met us here the weekend we moved, but that doesn't count as having company because they basically unloaded the truck, unpacked a few boxes, then went back home. We (especially Mia) are so happy to have familiar faces we know and love here to stay with us and plaaaay! Who's next?!

Reading/Watching: other than blogs and Mia's books, I'm not reading anything new. I am ready to take the plunge and dive into a new series! Recommendations?
Between work and the gym, Eric is so busy that we just crash when he gets home so our shows have been put on hold for the time being. It does feel good to know that we have a list of shows waiting for us on Netflix when we have the time again :) I, on the other hand, have been busy watching The Bachelor (I'm the one that waits until they are all loaded on Hulu to start watching! This is how I spend Mia's nap time, ha ha!) and Gilmore Girls.

Trying to: start planning fun indoor activities and crafts to keep Mia and I busy this summer. Aside from our early morning outings to the pool, we will be couped up inside most of the day to avoid the extreme summer heat. I would love ideas/links to your favorite inside activities with kids!

Wishing: that I could send some of our Arizona heat to the freezing parts of the country. I almost feel bad complaining about our 88 degrees this week while half of you are buried under feet of snow BUT.... it's too early for 90 degree weather! I did just move from frozen Utah a month and a half ago! It's official- the summer heat is gonna kill me!

Excited for: work to slow down a bit so that we can soak up more time with Eric! We are itching to get out and explore before it gets too hot! Plus the list of places we want to go eat at is so long it's not even funny... HA! While we miss Eric like crazy, I am so grateful that he is willing to work so hard to provide for us! Work is going SO well for him that I can't even be too sad about him being gone so much ;) I'm just excited it's finally winding down and we will get to play more!

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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

the darndest things...

As much as I am LOVING this stage of Mia talking and actually being able to communicate with us, I continually find myself being blown away by the fact that she can talk and actually communicate with us! It's really the little things like when we were driving in the car and she dropped the lid to her water bottle. I told her we would find it when we got home. A few minutes later she cries out, "look! Mom, look! I found it!" Or another time when she was begging me for a treat, "please?! Mommy, please! I want a treat! PLEASE!" I mean, what happened to one worded demands?! She can talk in sentences now and it is SO fun! I've written down a few of her little comments that kill us dead, and make us laugh! Kids say the darndest things.... and this is only the beginning for us as Mia learns to say even more!

I was doing squats one morning while Mia was eating breakfast. She looked at my funny and said, "Mommy! Mommy, poopy?"
No, love. I'm just exercising, ha ha!

We were visiting family at their home when my cousin was flipping through channels on the TV. He stopped on one where motorcycles and ATV's kept crashing. Mia's reaction to the crashes cracked me up, "oh my gosh! GOSH! Oh gosh (she was so concerned!).... that's 'isgusting!"

We adore Mia's manners. She is the queen of saying "please" and "gank you!" She will be in the middle of a full blown tantrum (doesn't happen often, but Mia has been known to shed some tears!) but she will stop and say, "oh gank you!" in the sweetest voice when you give her water, a hug, etc, then go back to screaming :)

As I was putting Mia to bed for the night, I told her we were going to go to church the next day. The first thing she said to me when I pulled her out of bed the next morning was, "Mourney! Mourney! Church?!" (Mourney = Courtney)

I was singing, very obnoxiously I might add, while bathing Mia when she told me, "stop it, babe!"

Our favorite phrase that we love hearing out of Mia's mouth is, "I luh you much!" I can't wait to record more of the silly things she says in the coming months!

I forgot to share this photo last month and I thought it kind of went perfectly with this post, ha ha! Mia snuck into the huge, heart shaped Reeces I gave Eric for Valentine's and totally ate a good sized chunk out of it. Once we caught her she just laughed and dove under the sink in our bathroom (next to the toilet paper that hadn't found a place inside a cabinet yet, classy!) and kept eating while laughing at us! Sneaky, mischievous little girl :)

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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

custom blog design GIVEAWAY

I have such a special treat for you all today! I am starting to get the itch to change up my blog design and start fresh... maybe it has something to do with starting fresh in a new state? Maybe I'm ready to start fresh in all aspects of my life?! I don't know, but I'm super excited for the moment when I do take the plunge and start making the plans to change my blog design. So obviously that's why I am so excited that my sweet sponsor, Amanda, is offering one of you the chance to win a FREE custom blog design!! Her shop, Charlock & Coleridge, is full of gorgeous premade blogger themes, with the option to purchase custom designs and other little details for the blog. Did I mention that she is giving away a FREE CUSTOM blog design?! I hope you all enter and wish you all could win! But since there is only one winner, she is also offering you all 20% off any item in her shop using the code "FHTE15" through the month of March, what a smokin' deal! Giveaway ends on March 17th, good luck my friends! xoxo

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Monday, March 9, 2015

spring forward {weekend highlights}

Happy Monday, my friends! We are especially happy because we aren't dealing with the pesky time change! Bravo Arizona for not participating in daylight savings! I never really cared about the time changes until I had a child... then I discovered what a pain that hour change can be! We are perfectly happy to not have to adjust Mia (or ourselves) to that missed hour!

I wish I had some exciting adventures to share from our weekend, but sadly I have nothing to report. Eric is still working like crazy and as much as we are wanting to get out and explore, our chill weekend at home (when Eric wasn't at work) was just what we needed! Friday night I bathed Mia early and we cuddled up under blankets and watched Tangled. Why I don't do that with my little girl more often is beyond me... nothing compares to those cuddles we receive when watching a show together! Daddy came home and surprised us with ice cream! That lucky little Mia got to stay up past bed time AND indulge in ice cream even after I had brushed her teeth! It was a good night :)
Eric worked all day Saturday so instead of lounging in bed all morning, I got up with Mia and we went to the gym for an early morning spin session. It was a pretty amazing sight when we pulled out of our little community and discovered TONS of hot air balloons all over the west side of the valley. They were landing and taking off in fields next to the road, so we got amazing views of the "ba-oons!" and of course, so many in the sky. I don't even know how to describe Mia's reaction except to say that her mind. was. BLOWN. What a good morning to get outta the house bright and early! I celebrated Saturday by getting Chinese take out for dinner, so good! We are totally enjoying having a million options for eating out again (and I totally enjoyed skipping a night of cooking!)
Sunday started out perfectly with an early morning family snuggle sesh in bed, then Eric surprised Mia and I by bringing us breakfast in bed! Mia only lasted a couple bites until we transferred her to the kitchen table, but it was a short and sweet experience for her ;) We had plans to go on a nature walk then go to church when I discovered Eric was sick (yet he still made his girls breakfast in bed- those pancakes are made from scratch!) and Mia was totally under the weather (I blame teething. Those 2 year molars will be the death of me!) so we ended up staying home allllllll day! Princess pjs, cuddles, smoothies, movies, picture hanging, naps, pot roast and treats ended up being just the kind of Sunday we needed! Now I'm just hoping that Mia's 3 molars we are waiting on will just pop out at the same time this week (I wish!) so that we can be finished with this teething nonsense, and Eric can kick his cold to the curb asap so that we are all back to normal asap!

Amanda is so sweet to offer all of you 20% off any blog design/purchase from her shop using the code "FHTE15"! Be sure to check her out!
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Friday, March 6, 2015

spring accessory {Love Blooms Here}

It's no secret that Mia is quite the girly girl (she's actually a really great mix! Each night we take a walk to the mail box and she brings her baby in the stroller and pushes her on the way down, then I take over while she gets down on her hands and knees and drives her cars that she stashes in the stroller on the ground the way back home! HA!) Anyway, Mia has really been into accessories lately and it's the cutest thing! Love Blooms Here sent us this adorable necklace just in time to celebrate the most perfect, gorgeous Spring weather here in Arizona! Mia's face lights up every morning when we put on her "'eckslace!" and she loves to show it off to anyone with eyes :) I can't wait to add to her collection of accessories... obviously 'eckslaces are a necessity around here now! Love Blooms Here has the cutest necklaces to choose from! It's so fun dressing my girly girl!

Necklace c/o Love Blooms Here

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