Friday, January 29, 2016

say it isn't so... {Meeno Babies}

Early teething is this momma's worst fear! Okay, so it's not my worst fear, but it's something I'm definitely hoping we avoid ;) Ever since James discovered his hands about a month ago, he has become so attached to gumming on something, anything, as often as he can! I don't remember Mia doing this quite as diligently as James does (ha ha) so I'm crossing my fingers it's not a sign of early teething! Thank heavens for our Meeno Baby goat teether.... our new favorite toy! James gums on this teether non stop, he loves it! It's been so great for his motor skills as he's learning to grip and hold the goat by himself. My favorite is the way he lights up when we squeeze the squeaker in it... true love, I tell ya! These goats come in so many fun colors, but we stuck with blue since the poor babe has so many pink hand me downs ;) ha ha! If you're in the market for a new teething toy or a baby shower gift, we highly recommend Meeno Babies... it's a family favorite!!

Goat Teether c/o Meeno Babies Sweater c/o Osh Kosh

Thursday, January 28, 2016

happy 4 months to my little love

I know how fast time flies when you have a kid considering the fact that James is not an only child, and I knew it would go even faster with a second baby... I thought I was prepared... but I am practically in denial that my precious James is 4 months old. FOUR MONTHS! Too fast! But these past four months have been filled with so much love and joy! He is the perfect addition to our family!

Outfit c/o Osh Kosh

- James is such a happy baby! He smiles all. the. time. We can't get enough of him!
- He's really testing out his voice these days with LOTS of squealing. It really is the cutest thing! His coo's are still my favorite though. Along with the squealing comes an awful scream when he's really upset though. It's kind of heart breaking and sounds like he's in a lot of pain. It's not his normal cry though so I suspect the screaming comes along with the exploration of his voice.
- We get belly laughs out of him (the BEST!) but mainly during bath time. I suspect it's a combination of being freshly fed and totally relaxed in the tub because we receive belly laughs almost every night during bath time now. Goodness, these are the moments we live for!
- James has rolled from his back to his belly 3 times now... and I've missed it all 3 times, BAH! Second child problems, ha! The first time I found him on his belly I asked Mia if she flipped him over. "No, you did!" She usually fesses up when she's been messing with James so when she innocently denied it a second time, I knew he rolled himself over! I was so bummed! I put him down on the play mat later that day (January 23rd) and he did it a second time! I sent Eric a text telling him just how bummed I was that he rolled twice and I managed to miss it both times :( His reply? "He'll do it again." Ha! Thanks, babe. Then yesterday (January 28th) he fell asleep on the play mat (that thing is a great babysitter, ha!) on his side. He started fussing and rolled onto his back. Just a few seconds later his cry sounded muffled and I looked over and discovered that I missed him rolling onto his belly (by seconds!) for the third dang time. Ugh. One of these days I'll catch it, right?!
- He still adores his sister, loves to play with daddy and snuggles anyone who holds him... but we still think he's a momma's boy and I absolutely love it! (I love that he's the perfect mix of momma's boy but loving anyone who is willing to hold him as well!)
- This kid still isn't sleeping through the night, not even close! Maybe once every week or two he will wake up once in the night (he did gift me with only one wake up call for my birthday! bless him!) but he's really up twice in the night... and big sister is up shortly after his second feeding so I am still struggling with sleep deprivation. Naps are a must to keep me going! I am curious to see if he sleeps longer when we start feeding him food because I'm convinced he can't make it through the night without his feedings because of how quickly he's growing. This boy is a tank!
- I take him in for his 4 month check up next week and I'm dying to see how much he weighs. I am betting he's over 15 pounds now. It still blows our minds with how big and full of rolls he is! So different than Mia!
- James was blessed the beginning of January and it was such a sweet day!
- We still don't know who he looks like. It's so funny how Mia was/is a spitting image of Eric, but James looks so different! He makes certain expressions that are Mia to the t... but it's time to bust out our baby photos to compare and find similarities!  
- He fits in a couple 0-3 month outfits but mainly wears 3-6 month clothing.
- I'm in total denial with how big he is and if you were to ask me what size diapers he wears, I would tell you size 1. But he's been in size 2 diapers for weeks now, ha! (Denial, sleep deprivation, losing my mommy mind... we could blame it on any one of those!     

Best gift ever would be an understatement. Life with 2 kids is pure chaos, but the happiest kind! I feel so blessed to be James' mom! I'm currently snuggling my sleeping boy while I type this up, doing my best to savor these sweet, fleeting moments. We are so grateful to have James in our family!!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

t w e n t y e i g h t

Monday was my 28th birthday and I've been thoroughly soaking in all the birthday spoils (which means I've basically been a bump on a log. because it's acceptable to let go of all my responsibilities in the name of birthday celebrating, right?!) I know 28 isn't old, and I certainly don't feel old, but when I say it out loud? I sound old, ha ha! When did I become this "old" 28 year old with a husband, two kids and adult responsibilities?! Truth be told, I wouldn't have it any other way. I feel extremely blessed to live the life I have, despite it's ups AND downs... I wouldn't change a thing!

Eric celebrated (yes, I say Eric) my birthday weekend by getting his motorcycle license. Next step? Getting an actual motorcycle. I can't say that I'm jumping for joy over his latest obsession/hobby. But I am glad that he was able to have some time to do something that he's been wanting to do for a long time! We had friends over on Saturday and Sunday and ate so much good food including a chocolate fountain (have you ever dipped classic potato chips in chocolate?! Oh my gosh! Yum!) and apple crack. Birthday weekend was not kind to my diet, ya'll. I mean, not that I'm on a diet (unless you call "gimme all the foods" a diet. I blame nursing) but if I was on a diet, I would have failed miserably! It was so nice to enjoy a weekend of crossing items off the bucket list, relaxing, hanging out with friends, etc. A lot of the little things that we no longer take for granted with Eric's crazy work schedule these past years!

On my actual birthday I started the morning at spin class. I didn't regret not spending all morning in bed and being doted on until this morning, when there was no husband to take charge, and the kids were up at the crack of dawn, as well as throughout the night, ha! But it did feel good to be spinning again! Next we undid my whole workout at the Cheesecake Factory... totally worth it! When we got our slice of cheesecake Mia got SO excited and said, "yaaaaay! It's mommy's birthday party!" ha ha! She loved celebrating my birthday (and didn't get jealous at all that it wasn't her birthday!) After lunch Mia took a nap, I cuddled my sleeping James and watched a couple shows on netflix. It's the little things, people! After dinner we got to enjoy what I look forward to each year... my birthday cake! Eric makes me the better than... "anything" (ha!) cake, it's my favorite! Mia was so excited to sing Happy Birthday to me, told me I was the best mom ever and was just the sweetest 3 year old! I'm one lucky momma! My birthday was super low key and relaxing but was filled with so much love from my little family, happy/loving birthday messages throughout the day from friends and family and really was just the best day! It was perfect!

Friday, January 22, 2016

Friday feature {Izzy and Isla}

Headband and Cardigan Onesie c/o Izzy and Isla

You guys. My matching babies. I just can't get enough!

Moccs c/o Freshly Picked

And this bow tie/cardigan onesie? Melt my heart!  

Who knew that dressing a boy would be just as fun as dressing a girl? I certainly had no clue, but I am having SO much fun thanks to precious outfits like this! Izzy and Isla is a darling shop full of the cutest outfits and accessories for little boys and girls! Don't be surprised if you see an outfit similar to this in every size because I kind of love seeing my James all dapper and stuff ;)

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

2016- a selfish year

I really wanted to kick of  with a word to focus on to better myself, but I couldn't narrow it down to just one word. I feel like there are so many areas in my life I need to improve on and it became incredibly overwhelming to just pick one word to cover everything. That's when I realized that I am letting myself be pulled in too many directions and it's time to simplify. Ever since James was born I've let my never ending to do list overwhelm me to the point that nothing gets done because I don't know where to start. I've let it rob me of the joy of enjoying my babies... they are only this little for so long! I'm learning to let go of the expectations and to do lists and just work on being a better me for me and my family. I have faith that as I focus on what's most important, my family, everything else will fall into place in due time as I learn to ground myself, get a handle of this mom of 2 gig, and not let myself get stretched too thin, if that makes sense? In doing so, I pray that I become a better example, a better friend, kinder, more giving and all around a better daughter of God with little effort as I let go of the things that don't matter. It may be selfish, but 2016 is my year to be a better me, a better wife and a better mom.

For my kids: "Children only get one childhood. Make it memorable."
I'm really good at getting us out of the house and making amazing memories in the process. But it's time for me to make our moments at home just as special and memorable. I'll be saying "yes" a lot more to Mia instead of, "in a minute, just let me finish...."  and then getting too busy with something else to ever follow through. There's so much more to this quote than I could ever explain, so I'll just leave it at that :) My mantra for being a better mom to my kids!

For my husband: "The first to apologize if the bravest. The first to forgive is the strongest. The first to forget is the happiest."
I want to be a braver, stronger and happier wife. This mantra couldn't be more perfect to help me be a better wife to my husband!

For myself: I actually don't have a quote/mantra to go off of for the year. But I do have the goal to ponderize a new scripture weekly (Eric and I are doing this together!). I want to develop a deeper testimony and relationship with God but sometimes I get overwhelmed with all the studying I should be doing, and not being able to find the time to do it. I'm starting small and know that my love for the scriptures will grow as I find more time to more intently study as time goes on.
And because I can't just sit back and let my house be a mess while I try to soak up my babies (literally, I don't enjoy my time because I'm busy thinking about all that needs to be done), I think I've discovered a way to help me manage my to do list easier instead of letting it overwhelm me and never taking time to just play with my kids because I'm always cleaning (or trying to)! Aside from the normal daily chores of laundry, dishes, making the bed, etc. I will set aside 15 solid minutes dedicated to cleaning (I've discovered that I can bust out a whole lotta cleaning in just 15 minutes!) After that 15 minutes is up, I let go of my to do list. If I'm able to fit in more throughout the day- great! If not- tomorrow is another day! And suddenly I find myself with a lot more time in my day to just soak up my babies without my house being in shambles ;)

There is so much more I'd like to accomplish this year, but these are the main points I will continue to fall back on to become a better me, wife and mom! This might be the one time that choosing the selfish route, is actually the best route!

Monday, January 18, 2016

California Adventure MAGIC

We took Mia to see Disney on Ice last week and it was seriously magical! Mia dressed up like Elsa (and she was so proud to be walking around in her Elsa dress, we could tell by her strut, ha ha!) then she sang and danced her heart out almost the whole show. Oh my gosh, it was the cutest thing and it was all I could do to keep my heart from bursting with "girl mom" joy, ha! Of course we had to scroll through our Disneyland photos and reminisce about the time that we met Anna, Elsa and Olaf... and that's when I remembered that I never finished recapping our vacation! Shame on me! So excuse me while I relive our trip to the happiest place on earth ;)

Our second day at Disneyland was spent at California Adventure and Eric and I were on parent highs like the whole day! It was such a fun, magical experience with Mia! Our only plans that morning (because we thought it would take all morning) were to meet Anna and Elsa, then Olaf! We were there right when California Adventure opened so we were part of the first group to go see Anna and Elsa! We had no idea what to expect, but they take a small group into a room where you get to have a few minutes of "one on one" with the sisters. When it was our turn, they seriously spent a solid 5 minutes or so talking with Mia! She was so shy at first, maybe even star struck, but she warmed up to the sisters! She loved showing off her new baby brother (James was only 7 weeks old at the time!) and we all got pictures together.

Next, we booked it over to see Olaf and again, had no line to wait in, score! Mia was excited to meet Olaf until she saw the winter wonderland he was in... all she wanted to do was play in the snow! Just seconds before this picture was taken, Mia was yelling, "no, no, no!" because she just wanted to play. (Of course all she wanted to do at Disney on Ice was take a picture of Olaf... girlfriend missed out at Disneyland, HA!) After snapping a few quick pictures she finally got to go in the snow area. Just as we walked in, the lights dimmed and they started blasting music and it SNOWED! It was perfect timing and Mia kept switching between being in total awe, and smiling hugely while frolicking in the snow. I kid you not, there's just no other way to explain it. I remember my heart feeling like it was going to burst from happiness over her happiness! It's so cheesy being a parent sometimes :)

I was really expecting Mia to be in love with the princesses and wanting to hug on them, etc, but she had no interest in physical contact other than giving high five's. But when we met Lightning McQueen and Mater? Mia didn't stop hugging them :) She seriously LOVED meeting them! She is so excited in our photo with McQueen that she's reaching behind and squeezing the heck out of my neck, ha ha!

I couldn't wait to take Mia on the Ariel ride and the anticipation of experiencing that with her was not a let down! She loved it so much! She was spoiled rotten with all of the rides in California Adventure (there are so many for little kids!) and took turns riding them with my parents, Eric and me. I feel like I got to do the least fun with her because of our darling James who still needed to nurse often, so I'm grateful that my parents were there to trade off with Eric and keep her busy! I also can't wait to go back and not have to spend my time nursing ;)
Of course we stuffed our faces with good food, gorged ourselves at the Ghirardelli shop and rode the famous cars ride multiple times! The perks of having kids is that we were able to get fast passes AND parent swap passes, so we worked the system and were able to ride a lot of rides with minimal waiting ;) We ended the night with their seasonal water show. It was fun to see but I wish we'd had more nights to be able to watch the other water show... I remember loving that so much when we went 3 summers ago (Mia was just 6 months old at the time)!

One of my favorite parts of the day (because there were truly so many "favorite" moments of that day!) was going on rides with Eric, just the two of us! I loved sneaking away from the kids and having those few minutes of alone time and fun with my man! We so desperately need that time so it was fun to enjoy it multiple times throughout the day! Man, now I'm really craving another trip to Disney (apparently I've already forgotten just how exhausting this whole trip was.... the fun definitely outweighs the exhaustion when I look back on it ;)) Can't wait to recap our final day!

Friday, January 15, 2016


Friday's are usually reserved for featuring shops/products, but since I just featured our amazing Arizona photographer on Monday, I thought it would be fun to do a "currently" post (especially since I haven't done one in what feels like forever!)

 Dresses c/o Arden Store
Loving: getting back into the blogging groove! I needed a break, and still do as I'm not back to it every single day yet, but I've missed this place and all of you! I love the friendships gained through my little corner of the internet, the partnerships and collaborations I've been fortunate enough to experience and the inspiration, advice and knowledge I've gained from your blogs! Blogging is the best :)

Reading/Watching: prepare to be shocked... I actually started a book! What?! I'm slowly reading The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton. It feels so good to read again and I just wish I had more time (and energy, still can't keep my eyes open for long!) in the day to sit and just binge read!
I've been slowly watching The Originals on Netflix. Eric and I are watching NCIS together (still- there are hundreds of episodes ;)) I kid you not when I say that I probably watching 2 hours total of TV in December... any down time I have is spent catching up on sleep. (I'm starting to get really frustrated about my lack of sleep! I don't remember it being this bad after Mia was born, but maybe I purposefully forgot, ha! It's pretty miserable!)

Trying to: take more time for myself. A few days ago I was taking all my frustration out on Eric when we both finally realized that I just needed some "me" time. That sweet husband drew up a hot bath for me (including bath salts) complete with a bowl of treats and my book and all but grounded me to the bathroom. He cooked dinner, drew pictures with Mia for me and gave me an hour or so to myself. It was so simple, but simply amazing! I ended the day in a much better mood and with more patience to juggle both kids! Why am I the last person on my list to take care of? I'll never know. But I'm sure I'll need more reminders that it's okay to hand the reigns over and take some time for myself... I'm a much nicer human being after ;)

Wishing: that time would slow down! I'm understanding the phrase "the days are long but the years are short" more than ever! It can be frustrating to still be very much in the "adjusting" phase since James was born, but I know we will have a routine figured out sooner than later and I'll be longing for these days again. I'm exhausted all the time but I also suspect I'll forget what that felt like (as mentioned above) and I'll long for the feeling of snuggling my baby in my arms and having Mia climb all over me like a jungle gym :) I'm wishing for time to slow down just long enough to take advantage of "the now" in my life and soak up my babies as much as possible, before it's too late!

Excited for: I have to say that I'm actually dreading getting back in shape as it's been kicking my butt (I suppose it wouldn't be doing it's job if it wasn't kicking my butt!) but I'm excited for the results! Since I got the okay at 6 weeks postpartum, I haven't been able to workout more than a couple days in a row due to sickness, traveling, etc. I finally feel like I can get in my work out groove (I've been able to workout for the past week straight, holla! ha ha!) and it hurts so bad, but it will be so worth it! I just keep telling myself that I'm excited for the results... it will all be worth it in the end ;)

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

his special day

James was given a name and a blessing in our home on Saturday, January 9th! It was such a special day for our special boy! Due to the craziness of Eric's work schedule, we planned this blessing very last minute which means we hardly gave notice to our family, but our amazing parents traveled from Utah to be with us to celebrate James' blessing day! We are especially grateful that we were able to do the blessing in our home (instead of our church on Sunday) because Mia came down with croup (awesome) that weekend and we would have had to cancel the blessing. Everything aligned perfectly and we were able to celebrate with our parents, my cousins who traveled from the east valley and good food! We are so thankful for the love and support shown to our baby boy from family and friends near and far!

When Mia was blessed, I knew I wanted to find her the perfect "princess" dress, and that I did :) But I didn't really know where to start with a blessing outfit for James. My parents sent me a few pictures while they were out shopping one day and Eric and I instantly fell in love with shorts outfit (we must be turning into Arizonian's, if that's a thing) I narrowed down 3 outfits I liked, Eric narrowed it down to 2 from there, and since I couldn't make a decision I let Mia give the final vote. She looked at one outfit then quickly moved to outfit #2. After sizing it up she gave a huge smile, pointed at it and exclaimed, "dat one!" Her choice couldn't have been more perfect for our dapper little man! I love how involved she is with her brother... they are the sweetest of siblings! James looked absolutely perfect in his precious blessing outfit!

Monday, January 11, 2016

birth photographer- yea or nay {my opinion}

When I was pregnant with Mia, a friend offered to take birth photos for us and I was really excited about it... until I was in labor. I was hangry (understatement), exhausted and just plain not in the mood for pictures, so we ended up not getting birth photos. I never regretted not having them done (my friend came to the hospital and snapped photos the next day, and I cherish those pictures with my brand new Mia!) but after seeing so many beautiful birth photos, I was once again curious about having our own birth photos. Fast forward (or rewind since he's already here, ha!) to being pregnant with James... I was put in touch with Chrissy and after discussing my thoughts on pictures, we agreed to tentatively plan on having her do our birth photos, but to definitely be there to photograph the first time Mia met James/the first time we were together as a family of four in the hospital. I discovered that while curious about birth photos, I knew that photos of our family after James was born was what was truly most important to me!
As you can see, birth photos worked out this time around... and I love them! I'm so glad we have them and I will cherish them forever! BUT I do feel like this was a one time deal. My curiosity has been satisfied, we have beautiful photos of bringing our baby into this world... but I don't feel the need to do them again if we have another baby. You better believe that I WILL have a photographer (definitely Chrissy if we are still in Arizona!) there to document my kids meeting each other/all of us together for the first time when/if we do have another baby! I just don't even know how to describe the way my heart glows (cheesy? yes. true? yes!) when I see the love and curiosity my daughter has for her new baby brother... or the love that is obvious on my face and Eric's seeing our babies together for the first time, when we weren't sure how we would be able to love another baby after falling head over heels for our first born. These photos give me all the feels! These photos are what I've decided are most important- a necessity for me! So I am grateful that we had a birth photographer once, but I will always have a photographer capture those first precious moments with our whole family together for the first time!
For all of my Arizona people, I have to give the biggest shout out to Chrissy from Let Me See You Sparkle Photography! Not only is she one of the kindest, sweetest souls I have ever met, but she went above and beyond as a photographer and friend! She eased my nerves/fears/concerns with the birth photos and she gave me the modest picturess I was hoping for (in a situation where all is bared, ha ha! I can only imagine how difficult it was for her to produce the vision I was asking for) She is so personable and instantly put my family at ease so the pictures from the first meet are perfectly natural and portray what a happy time it was for our family! I also had Chrissy take James' newborn photos and she really knows her stuff! She was confident with little James, knew how to comfort him and position him to capture his newborn sweetness! I just can't praise Chrissy enough and look forward to working with her in the future! If you live in the valley (or surrounding areas, she posts when she is available for traveling around Arizona) I highly suggest looking into Let Me See You Sparkle Photography!

Friday, January 8, 2016

so much love

Today's round up of Friday features has one thing in common... love ;) I have absolutely loved these products and feel so fortunate to have received these for review! My one complaint is that James is growing too fast and can't wear some of these outfits anymore :( but I suppose there's no one to blame for my chunky little man, ha ha!

Baby nightgowns are my absolute favorite, especially for the middle of the night diaper changes! I have multiple nightgowns but my favorite by far is this sweet "Sleepy Bear" gown from Loved By Hannah And Eli! I'm still squeezing James into this because I can't seem to let it go! I made sure to pack this in my hospital bag (look at my freshly born James in this photo!!) and he's worn it as much as possible since! This is probably one outfit I will cry over when he's officially done wearing it (which probably should have been a month ago, ha)!

I find too much joy in matching my babies (including matching myself to my babies... I have a sickness ;) ha ha!) so you can imagine how these outfits from L'oved Baby make my heart pitter patter! Combine that with the soft, organic fabric and I might never let my kids grow out of these... or I suppose I'll have to buy an outfit in every size ;)

Binky clips are a necessity that are so easily overlooked until you find yourself in dire need of one... am I right? I spaced buying some for James so it was such a relief when Loved By Sophia Claire reached out and wanted to send us some, as well as a matching bow for the proud big sister! These leather binky clips are my favorite! They are the cutest for girls and just perfect (and masculine enough) for boys! I always have one clipped in the car seat and another one clipped to my diaper bag so that it's ready to go at all times, no matter where we are! I clip them on to my wraps while I wear James and it's so nice to never worry about them falling to the floor when he spits them out! 
Remember how I mentioned bows? You can also find the cutest and most dainty leather bows here as well! One stop shop for baby boy and/or girl ;)

Thursday, January 7, 2016

2015: one of my faves

I love doing these reviews and looking back on how much we accomplished, grew and loved in the previous year! I'm having a hard time saying goodbye to 2015! Though it was full of it's challenges (as always), it was such a great year for our family!
  • We took a quick trip to northern Utah to visit our friends one last time before our big move to Arizona.
  • I went to Vegas  for one last hurrah with my salon girls (oh how I miss my salon, the girls and my clients!) 
  • I turned 27!
  • I babysat the family of 5 boys that I've watched every year (except the year Mia was born) for what I suspect was the last time (sad about that as well! we love them!) while Eric packed up our house (yeah, I had it good, ha ha!)
  • We announced our move to Arizona and said goodbye to Utah on January 31st! 
  • We woke up in Arizona on February 1st! Our new adventure was just beginning!
  • I took a pregnancy test and it was POSITIVE! Though I suspected I was pregnant by the end of January, I didn't get around to taking a test until after our move. It was such a relief to find out why I was so exhausted 24/7 :)
  • Mia and I traveled back to Utah for my family's annual cabin vacation, and visited our Brinkerhoff family as well!
  • We shared our exciting pregnancy new to our families (even though we hadn't been to the doctor for confirmation yet.)
  • We went swimming... at an outdoor, unheated swimming pool :) Definitely not in Utah anymore, ha ha!
  • My parents came to visit! It was our first official time having visitors and we loved it!
  • We made it to a spring training game! That's one thing we were excited to have at our fingertips with moving to Arizona!
  • We celebrated Easter with family across the valley! Holidays with kids are so much fun!!
  • We finally went to the doctor (had to wait until our insurance kicked in!) and got the confirmation that I was 14 weeks pregnant (just as I suspected!) Mia was so obsessed with listening to the heart beat. Sweet big sister!
  • We announced our pregnancy to the world, ha ha! 
  • We also very unexpecatdly found out the gender of our baby (Eric wasn't even there!)
  • Eric turned 29.
  • Eric and I celebrated our SEVENTH wedding anniversary! 
  • We announced to the world that we were having a baby BOY! 
  • That sweet husband of mine let me enjoy the perfect girls day of pampering for Mother's Day!
  • Eric and I were able to sneak away on a cruise, just the two of us, to enjoy a "babymoon"! 
  • We celebrated Father's Day.
  • We also experienced our first real taste of Arizona summers... two weeks straight of 115 degree temps. Miserable. Even more miserable because I was pregnant, ha!
  • We kind of "spur of the moment" spent a weekend down in Mexico... one last family vacation of just the three of us. And it was the best weekend with my people!
  •  Mia and I went back to Utah and celebrated the 4th of July with family (and missed Eric like crazy while doing so).
  • We celebrated baby boy with a baby shower!
  • We went swimming, a lot!

  • Mia and I went back to Utah for the last time as just the two of us. My best road trippin' girl!
  • I had maternity photos taken (and they are so dreamy!)
  • We soaked up our time as a family of three as much as possible! We were so excited to welcome baby boy into our family, but it was a bittersweet feeling knowing Mia wouldn't be our only child anymore!
  • BABY MONTH! James came a little early and we welcomed him on the 28th!
  • But before the exciting arrival of our baby, Mia transitioned to a big girl bed (as if I could call it that... there really was no transition. She was such a champ with the change!)
  • I had my one last hurrah with my girl! My one wish was to be able to take her to see the ballet under the stars instead of being in the hospital, ha ha! 
  • We welcomed this month as a new family of FOUR!
  • Both sets of parents came to stay with us and help while we adjusted to having a newborn in the home again. We are forever grateful for their help!!
  • We got out of the house much more than I ever imagined we would be able to (thanks to Eric who happens to be super husband/dad!) and went to a pumpkin patch, car show, hockey game, etc.
  • We celebrated Halloween with Mickey and Minnie mouse!

  • We continued adjusting to being a family of 4. It was pure chaos at times, but the best kind!! But it went much more smoothly than I could have dreamed!
  • We went to DISNEYLAND!! I have yet to recap this trip (oops) but it was such a sweet and exhausting vacation ;) Mia still talks about it every single day!
  • We celebrated Thanksgiving (without Eric, boo!)
  • Eric started the craziest work schedule to date.
  • Eric worked ever single day (except for Christmas day and the day after) and I couldn't help but go in survival mode. Blogging was one of the first things to go and to be honest, it was a nice break! (But I am ready to get back into the swing of things!!)
  • Mia turned THREE!
  • My parents came to celebrate Christmas with us in Arizona! It was nice having family here since we weren't able to travel!
  • We celebrated Christmas... our first as a family of FOUR!
  • Mia, James and I went back to Utah to visit family since Eric was still working so much. I can't tell you how relieved and excited I am knowing that Eric will be with us for our next trip to Utah- YAY!  
I was so excited to ring in 2015 knowing that we were moving and suspecting that our family would be growing. I was so hopeful and positive that 2015 would be our year, and it was! Of course Eric worked too much and missed out on some family fun (I am so grateful for all that he sacrifices to provide for our family, and never complains about it!) and we experienced trials and challenges... but overall I look back on 2015 as one of my favorite years ever! We have enjoyed our life in Arizona so far, we were able to escape on some amazing vacations as a family and we welcomed sweet baby James into our family! It's tough to beat a year that has a new addition to the family in it ;)
Going into 2016 I am a little apprehensive. We are in limbo at the moment (never a fun place to be) and there is a lot of unknown. I don't like that (but who does? ha!) but I do know that as long as I hold my people close, and God even closer, we can make it through anything! I am excited to watch James grow. I'm excited for the memories my babies will make together. I'm excited to (hopefully) have Eric home more. Even though I don't know what to expect this year, I'm excited to experience 2016 with my little family!

Monday, January 4, 2016

Christmas & New Years

I can't believe Christmas (and New Year's) has come and gone! This was our first Christmas as a family of 4 and while we were all sleep deprived, it was still sweet and full of so much excitement! My parents and younger brother came down to Arizona to help us celebrate and we loved it! Eric had Christmas and the day after off... his first in 32 days (when I say I've been in survival mode lately, I'm not kidding!) and that was definitely the best gift of all- spending time together as a family! Of course I was horrible about taking pictures, oops! But I wanted to share a few highlights from our Christmas that I don't want to forget:
  • the glitter that will never fully be cleaned out of our home. Mia got dress ups for her birthday (plus her sparkly Sunday dresses and old dress ups!) and she loved showing them off to family. She basically lived in them and there is glitter everywhere... it drives Eric crazy but I admit that I don't hate it, ha ha!
  • I was trying to delay Mia from going out to look at her gifts by doing her hair and talked her told her that pig tail messy buns is actually reindeer hair (to match her jammies) and she requests "reindeer hair" almost every day since :)
  • Mia thought Santa was actually in our house with her gifts because when she ran out to look at them, she ran straight for me and hid behind my legs. It took a few moments to get her to quit searching the room and actually look at her gifts. It took her a minute to believe us when we said Santa wasn't there :)
  • Mia playing endlessly with her toys... and James! She has taken over all of his gifts as well ;) ha ha!
  • We had originally planned a full day of fun the day after Christmas, but I had the beginning signs of a nursing infection (boo!) and Eric had to work on our cars before he went back to working his crazy busy schedule, so our fun got cancelled. I battled feeling like junk all night and spent the morning catching up on sleep, Eric worked on cars and my parents helped us with yard work. It was NOT the fun day we'd hoped for but it relieved a lot of stress and we were so grateful! And thankfully I was able to clear everything out before my infection turned into full blown mastitis (nursing has been a beast this time around as far as plugged ducts, etc goes. Ugh!)
  • Mia, James and I took my parents to the zoo and Mia loved having new faces to play with there!

We decided very last minute to pack up and go to Utah for a week since Eric was going to be working so much again. Don't ask me why I keep thinking I can handle things like this with TWO kids... ha ha! I think it's a good idea until I'm in the thick of it, then I wonder why I'm crazy enough to ever leave my house with Mia and James (even though they truly are amazing kids!) by myself. Mia is a pro at traveling and James handled the trip pretty well himself! We had so much fun visiting both families but I'm definitely relieved that the next time we go back, Eric will be with me ;) We were in Utah during New Year's and Mia absolutely had a blast ringing in the New Year with cousins, but we did miss Eric like crazy! That was our first New Year's we've ever spent apart... I don't plan on doing that again :) Some highlights I don't want to forget about our trip to Utah and New Year's celebration:
  • All the good food we indulged in. SO MUCH FOOD! It's a good thing I didn't have the expectations to get back in shape in December because... yeah. I couldn't stop stuffing my face!
  • Visiting the Christmas lights and Nativity scene at the St. George Temple. We weren't able to make it to the Temple in Arizona with Eric which I'm still bummed about, but I'm glad I was able to take Mia this season! She wanted so badly to go inside the Temple to see Heavenly Father and baby Jesus. She cried the most heart breaking of cries when we told her we weren't going inside. "I just knock on da door and see my Father and baby Jesus!" Sweet, sweet girl!
  • The excitement of spending time with our Brinkerhoff family! Mia had a blast with her cousins!! She talks non stop about her cousins/friends!
  • Mia loved playing outside in the freezing temps and old snow! I sure am glad that we don't live in that climate anymore, but her excitement for it all almost made me miss the snow! Good thing we will be back in a month to play in the snow!
  • We went to the high school to play games and play on bounce house slides that the little town puts on for the kids for New Year's Eve. Mia was a little tornado and it was so hard to tear her away from the bouncy slides! We were all in bed before 10pm though and I couldn't have been happier about that, ha ha! 
  • Did I mention all the good food we ate during our trip?!
Our trip is never long enough to stay with each family for enough time or see all of our friends. I'm grateful we were able to go visit for a bit but even more grateful to go home to my love! We sure miss Eric when we're gone! I'm already counting down the days until the 2016 holiday season ;) Hopefully we will be more rested and have more time to play as a family of 4... other than Eric working so much, I can't complain! The holidays were good to us in 2015!