{update}: the pregnancy

The most common questions I keep getting asked are now answered:
  • Yes, I am still sick.  No, it's not going away and it's just as bad with my second, if not worse.  I am starting to believe that the worse-ness of it is simply because I cannot sleep my life away like I was able to with Paisley because of, well, Paisley.  However, thankfully I am getting some energy back and while I still throw up my guts if I don't take my meds, the nausea isn't as strong...  Distraction seems to be the best medicine for me-getting out, seeing people, etc, but at the same time wears me out terribly.
  • We find out what we are having TOMORROW!!  Yes, I am SUPER excited.  I had no idea that my office would do a 16 week gender check and I am super excited to see what we're having.  I just want healthy really...a girl would be nice because we already have everything, but it would be so fun to have a boy...so it's hard to say what I want.  I kind of think it's a boy...but who really knows until they get here anyway, right?
  • Yes, I have the most amazing midwife in the world.  My awesome cousin Katie is a Nurse-Midwife here in StG and is backed by Dr. Lunt-who seems to be an awesome doc.  I am beyond excited that our hospital is currently installing tubs in 2 of their rooms including equipment to monitor while still in the tub.  They will also allow me to get in the tub if my water breaks (something they wouldn't let me do before) so I'm hoping if things go as quickly and as smoothly as they did with Paisley I can just pop this one out drug free.  We'll see.  Labor hurts-I remember that part, but water saved me last time-it was the getting out of the shower and monitoring that killed so I have high hopes that if I can stay in the water I can make it. 
  • I think, MAYBE I'm starting to feel the critter move.  Maybe.  There's been a few flutters here and there that seem familiar but nothing huge yet.  I can't wait for that.  That's my favorite part-and really the only reason I was willing to get pregnant this time.  It seems like Paisley was really distinct around 17 or 18 weeks so I hope I'm getting close...
  • And yes, I would love it if you want to come rub my feet and clean my house.  So sweet of you for asking...lol.  I'm trying really hard to stay positive and keep my chin up but some days are hard.  I really do have the best and most patient husband in the world.  He tries to take care of me and it's very sweet. 


{laughs}: read

When I read the bottom one I was laughing so hard I was crying-as was Jon.  There have been too many days Jon has come home to me in the exact same state I was in when he left-and our nude child running around the house destroying what may be left of what I accomplished...too funny.


{special}: hyperemesis gravidarum

I love this book.  I cried a lot while I read it.  I'm really struggling.  I think the hardest part is that I will have a good couple of days where I'm not AS sick so I start to think maybe it's letting up.  And then it comes back-with a vengeance.  I keep hearing it's supposed to be so much better with my second baby.  Nope.  I actually think I might be worse.  I also made the mistake of not realizing how much the zofran really is keeping me alive and missed a pill.  I didn't recover for a couple of days.  I keep thinking it's not doing much because I still feel so sick all of the time.  It is doing SO MUCH.

You see, I am part of the blessed 1% that has hyperemesis gravidarum meaning that left unmedicated I would lose more than 5% of my body weight (which I did with Paisley before meds) and that most likely I will be sick for the entire pregnancy (also how things went with Paisley).  Morning sickness is such a hardship that is really difficult to explain.  I'm so happy to be pregnant because it results in a baby, BUT I'm not actually that happy to be pregnant because I feel like I have a disease. 

I see why it's hard for people to understand too-if you've never been sick for weeks at a time, constantly trying not to throw up, gagging often, you just can't understand how it is.  I feel like a terrible mother-we just watch tv all day.  I feel like I've completely lost track of any sort of healthy diet-all veggies are gross to me, as is meat (minus buffalo wings, who knew) but coke and any starchy carbs are great.

I try so hard to be normal but I feel like I'm over compensating half the time...I just don't feel like myself and if I'm left to my thoughts too long all I can think is that I'm going to be sick until June.  That is so far...  So I've been tired and grumpy and ultimately just a sad case.

Normally I try to avoid blogging too much when I'm in this state...it's funny because when I was sick with Paisley there were just a couple of months I was mostly absent from blogging for this same reason.  All I can do is keep praying that I at least get my energy back in the second tri like I did with Paisley-that helped out immensely with making the sickness bearable last time.  This time I wanted to blog this mostly for myself so that looking back when I want another one I can read this and really think long and hard before I do it again.  Also, really just to reach out and offer any support to anyone that is going through this as well...its hard.


{holiday}: gifts

I was just reading in my Martha Stewart magazine and they had asked readers what the best gift they had given was. Then a friend of mine had this song post on FB and the memory just couldn't help but flood back...

I was living down here in St. George and Jon was back home in Idaho Falls. It was December and I had plans to go home and visit him. I'd led him to believe that I wasn't going to be there until right before Christmas but luckily I was actually able to take off from work a few day earlier than he thought. At the time I didn't have a car-I was just buzzing around on my scooter so going home meant finding rides or flying...but this time it meant Greyhound. I hadn't ever ridden on a Greyhound bus, and I honestly can't recommend it. I remember so clearly my roommates and our friend Patrick dropping me off at midnight at McDonalds with my bag and my snowboard. We stopped in Cedar at the station where I paid for my ticket and headed on our way. I ended up sitting next to a nice looking black guy-and woke up in Salt Lake-my head on his shoulder and arms curled around his. lol. I'm a friendly sleeper.

I called Jon from Salt Lake and told him a long story about being called into work early and not being sure if I'd even be able to get home! I remember him asking me how I was even planning on getting up there and telling him I'd figure something out. It was awesome. This is when the fun really began. I got onto another bus and unfortunately the only route from SLC to IF meant stopping in Logan-making a 3 hour drive a 6 hour one. And we stopped at every single little town on the way. I had no idea. There was a really random station out in the middle of nowhere-this is where a nice man from the back of the bus tried to sell me some weed. Then we got back on the bus where everyone in the back proceeded to smoke said weed. I also got to see some magazine porn for the first time. lovely. Did I mention they were passing around whiskey as well? And the funniest story from one of the guys about how his wife is abusive and he only married her so she could get citizenship and he was travelling cross country to see her so they could divorce....it was a colorful trip. A lot of the details are blurred at this point, I just remember I never really wanted to ride on a bus again...

Finally at noon, 12 hours after leaving St. George I arrived to my parents in Idaho Falls! We ran home and I called Jon to find out where he was and what he was up to. I explained I was on break at work (while actually driving in the car to his destination). He was clear across town at Wal-mart so I drove there as fast as I could. I remember asking him as I headed in the door where he was-he was in the Christmas card aisle with Gayle and they were picking out cards for his family. So I found him, ran up to him and kissed him under his ear. He froze. Surprisingly he looked at Gayle first and she stood-mouth wide open-gaping at me, which I think freaked him out worse. He finally turned and looked at me...Oh I loved his face!! He mumbled and mumbled that he was just talking to me and that I was in St. George....

And that's the best gift I've ever given. I finally surprised him...and he surprised me over that Christmas break by proposing. And here we are...

Oh, and the song? I listened to that on repeat for the entire 12 hour drive...you know, when I wasn't being offered weed or porn...lol.



Soooo...I am with child.  I've been dying to talk about it (mostly so I can complain, I'm awful) but I wanted to see the critter first and the heartbeat and there is definitely a baby in there!!  Hopefully this child will be debuting mid-June, making me 10 weeks along. 

I think I'm actually more sick with this one that I was with Paisley.  I don't know if it's just that I have a 2 year old to chase around, or if I'm actually sicker, but it's been a rough 4 weeks!  My fear is that I will continue to be sick the full 9 months like I was with Paisley-so pray for me!!  I've turned into this sad monster that mopes around crying and puking everywhere-but thankfully not as much as I could be, thanks to my magic friend Zofran! 

We really are super excited, but if this continues to be as rough as it's been I'm thinking this may be our last natural child...I don't know.  I'm not a fan of the person I become when I'm so sick all the time.

And to those sweet people who have been loving on me and taking care of me through all of this...Thank you so much.  ♥


{read}: go have a laugh...

Go read this: http://thebloggess.com/2011/06/and-thats-why-you-should-learn-to-pick-your-battles/

I promise, it's a good laugh.  My friend Stevie posted it a year ago and then again a couple of weeks ago and I've been meaning to repost it for a laugh and today is just one of those days...



{holidays}: halloween

 Soooo...I was super lame this year and really didn't get a lot of good pictures of anything for Halloween.  These are really the 2 best of Paisley...I should have gone out during the day or something, but it just didn't happen.  She was Cinderella!!  We hadn't put her shoes on yet for the bottom picture, but she wore glass slippers too (I found some sweet sparkly jelly shoes at DI!!)    She was so excited to wear make-up, but not excited to let me curl her hair so we mostly just got the bangs.  She was so darling Trick or Treating!!!  She would go up to the doors and say "Please?" or "Treat?"  The next day she grabbed an orange pail we have and headed out the front door to go "treating!"  It was so funny.  She LOVES candy and is constantly asking for some now that she knows where it is!! 

My sweet little Cinderella


{organizing}: bills, budgets, and a binder!

So I've been working on a project for the last couple of weeks and I wanted to share.   My new love is Pintrest and I'm happy to say that I feel like I spend as much time working on projects that are inspired by Pintrest as much as I spend time on Pintrest...so its ok, right?  I might be a little bit addicted...Anyway, a recent blog I got to from there had ideas for a pantry revamp, including a family binder revamp.  AMAZING!!  I have yet to revamp the pantry (it's in the works), but I loved some of the ideas for the family binder so I took some of what she suggested and made up a lot of my own...and it became this!!  My new Bills Binder:
 Something that she suggested was the dividers with pockets-super brilliant idea!!  I used to put my bills in a bin and sort through them twice a month or so.  Jon has never been involved in the bill paying and it's something I've wanted him to be involved in for a long time.  With this system, paying the bills could be done by Paisley!!  I made a tab for each bill that we have with a cover sheet with the logo and following information and due date.  This way ANYONE (which is a little scary) could log into any of our accounts for any of our bills and pay them.  This way when I forget which password is which, or I have customer service on the phone I can readily reference all my information quickly!  I also plan on keeping all the bill stubs for the year behind the tab for records and comparison (normally they go into an accordian file, but I hate filing them so sometimes it just ends up being an endless pile!!)  So ideally* the bill comes in the mail or e-mail, I place it in the tab folder, I sit down to pay bills once a week (or Jon or Paisley, lol) and I have EVERYTHING I could possibly need to sit down and pay everything.  I mark whats paid, place it behind the tab and continue on with my life!!
Another thing that I've wanted is a clean cut "which bills are due when."  I hate having all of that on my normal day to day calendar (it's full) and if the two of us are going to be paying bills I really wanted a visual to show when, who and what has been paid.  I actually have an app on my phone and so does Jon that was supposed to help with this, but so far I really just like having things on paper.  So I put together this worksheet.  This way if something gets paid, or doesn't we have a quick reference at the beginning of the binder.  I added EVERY bill that is a possiblility-some we don't actually always have to pay (like my Victoria's Secret card), but this way if I do have a balance I have a note to check and pay it on time. 

And lastly, the Budget worksheet.  This layout is stolen from "One for the Money," but I split it into 2 groups because we get paid twice a month.  This way I have a general idea how much spending money I have versus bill amounts in the 2 pay periods.  I'm debating on using the cash method for this...we tried it for a minute-it's just super hard because I hate going to the bank!!  (we don't have a drive thru on our side of town and I'm SUPER lazy).  Ideally too I can watch these and add in the actual as we go to see how we're really doing.  Once again, I have an awesome website that make pie charts and everything (mint.com) BUT it updates too slowly and I have to go categorize EVERYTHING that we spend if we want it to work properly.  ug.  So I'm hoping with this revamp that Jon and I can be on the same page, and that we can be more organized and aware when it comes to bills and budgeting!!
I share because I hope this works!!  Jon and I have struggled our entire marriage with bills, budgeting and staying organized and I hope so much that this helps us get on the same page!!  I really want him to be involved-to help relieve some stress and so he can see more clearly where his hard earned money is going!!  What things have worked for you in your budgeting???


{modesty}: a discourse

I just spent too long of a lunch being lectured about modesty.  I consider myself and my sister (who was there) fairly modest people, and so the lecture-which wasn't even necessarily pointed toward us-was quite annoying.  I'm tired of it.  Not because I don't agree with being modest, but because I keep hearing the same stupid things over and over again that don't make a lot of sense and I'm tired of all of it!!
  1. (My personal favorite) "Well, people think badly (judge) when they see girls dressed immodestly because they automatically know what kind of girl they are."  What??!  I'm sorry, but this is some lame excuse everyone has come up with to feel better about judging people.  I'm not buying it.
  2. "You just don't understand how men think."  I have only heard this phrase from other women.  Lots of them were single women.  Women that haven't spent a lot of time with men.  I have had several close male friends, and now a husband that have given me lots of insight into the minds of males...and yes, they certainly can be filthy.  And yes, scantily clad women running around doesn't necessarily help BUT I fail to see how their brain, their agency, their ability to control their thoughts or actions is MY PROBLEM?  These men are going to be around women for the rest of their lives, and when it comes down to it are capable of sexualizing ANYTHING...seriously, I know...I have a lot of male friends...  Can we help out by wearing some clothes, absolutely.  Ultimately, is this MY problem? no.
  3. "2 piece swimsuits are terribly immodest."  They are.  So are 1 piece swimsuits.  All swimwear is tight, cut, and revealing.  ALL SWIMWEAR.  We recently went to a pageant (which brought a lot of this up) and several girls wore 2 piece swimsuits.  Was I shocked because they were 2 pieces?  Not so much...more shocked at the lack of self-awareness and inability to realize how unflattering the suits were on themselves.  If you are going to parade yourself around in any type of swimsuit, I don't know that it matters much if it's 2 pieces or one.  We get to see all of your goods one way or another.  Will Paisley have to wear modest swimsuits growing up?  You betcha-currently I'm loving tankinis but we'll see what we're dealing with when we get there.
  4. This isn't a specific phrase, but more of a frame of mind.  I am SO TIRED of seeing all of the sweet girls embarrassed of their bodies because their parents taught them to be (so they would cover up).  It makes me sick.  I had a good friend who had been taught to be embarrassed of her boobs all growing up so that her parents didn't have to worry about her showing them off.  Now, I'm not an advocate for showing them off, but I don't think it should be embarrassment that drives girls to modesty.
  5. "All naked bodies are pornographic."  Yeah, it's because of you people that I had to hide under a tent just to feed my child while I was nursing!!!!  ALL NAKED BODIES ARE NOT PORNOGRAPHY!!!!  If you believe that, YOU HAVE THE PROBLEM.  Please, PLEASE don't tell me that every time you see a naked little kid that you instantly sexualize the situation because that is YOUR problem.
  6. "All naked bodies are disgusting."  How sad for you.  How sad for your children.  How sad that you look at your spouse and yourself in disgust.  I don't understand it.  I see so much beauty in people and their bodies and it's sad to me that anyone would honestly believe this!
I choose to be modest for many reasons.  Mostly out of respect for myself.  I don't do it because I'm worrying what everyone is thinking about me (particularly all those FILTHY men), I don't do it because I'm embarrassed of my body, and I don't do it because of anyone else but myself.  I also am a member of a Church that advocates modesty.  I love how they advocate it too:

     "Your body is God’s sacred creation. Respect it as a gift from God, and do not defile it in any way. Through your dress and appearance, you can show the Lord that you know how precious your body is. You can show that you are a disciple of Jesus Christ.  Prophets of God have always counseled His children to dress modestly. The way you dress is a reflection of what you are on the inside."                               from "For the Strength of Youth"

And that's how Paisley is going to learn.  She should never be doing anything because of what people might say or think about her and how she dresses is at the top of that list!  Modesty isn't even how you dress so much as how you wear it.  It's a frame of mind.  And for me it's how I keep my undies covered ;)


{design}: for fun

Sometimes I like to do some design for fun...I need to do it more.  I love these lyrics by the Avett Brothers.


{autumn}: pumpkin patch

I wanted so badly to get some cute pictures of Paisley with this amazing pumpkin patch in the background...instead, I was getting a lot of this...

and this....

And I did finally get this one, but only because she saw a doggie...

pumpkins hold still.  I like that.

I think this one is my fave.

Now guess how many pictures I had to take to get her in focus and not the fence!!!!  And I know, I could have just used the manual focus...BUT she kept moving!!!
Alecia's Grandfather up in Richfield, UT was SO kind to let us come play and pick out some super cool pumpkins!!  And we had so much fun :)


{update}: miss p

A recent conversation between parents:

Jon:  You know, this show could be so much shorter.
April: What do you mean?
Jon:  If Blue would just tell Steve what she wanted in the first place!  I mean it's ridiculous for him to have to go through all this stuff when she could just tell him!
April:  ?

I also found myself crouched outside Paisley's door during her naptime.  Jon discovered that if you hold his phone upside down we can use the camera to clearly see what she's doing during her naps.  Yesterday that included climbing up on her table, into the window (with blinds) and talking to the world outside, jumping on the bed and generally climbing on everything!!  The crazy thing is that you can't hear any of that downstairs!!

Lately I've been giving Paisley the option of wearing a diaper or panties.  She used to always choose the panties.  Lately she's been choosing the diaper everyday...I don't think she wants to deal with going potty any more than I do!!

She's been talking about her Da Da more and more too, and it's so cute.  I was gone all day Saturday and while Jon was here she fell off a chair on her head, which I guess was pretty traumatic.  While her and I were eating dinner later that night she pointed to the chair and said "I fall" and I said, "Oh?"  and she said "Dada help," while holding her head.  I can't wait until she's talking more!!  I just want to be able to understand everything she's saying!! 

I was having a rough day not too long ago and I had called Jon to whine and Paisley really wanted to talk to him.  So I handed her the phone and she said hello and I love you to Jon.  I could hear Jon ask her if I was right there, and she replied "Mama."  He then told her to give me a hug and she turned and gave me a big hug and said "I love you" and then my heart melted. 

She is such a character!!  Both her and I are struggling with allergies (not as bad as in the past, but they're still there!!) and so we've both been tired and a bit grumpy.  Oh!  And this seems crazy, but for the last 2 weeks I haven't gotten bountiful baskets and that has made such a difference in my mood!  I really think that eating fresh produce everyday makes you feel better in SOO many ways!!  I finally was going crazy so I went to Harmons last night and got a bunch of fresh fruits and veggies.   I've been reading and studying up more on Nutritional Therapy and I'm really starting to think that there's something to it-and it really wasn't until I put it into practice that I've realized the difference that eating healthier has.  It's not that we've not eaten healthy in the last 2 weeks, we just haven't been eating as many veggies and fruits as we have been and it really does make a difference!!  I have been grumpy, tired (and I know allergies don't help either) and honestly craving something wholesome to eat!  It's like we've had scurvy!   Anyway, all that stuff they try and teach in nutrition class is probably true..just sayin'...lol.


{smells}: like fall

It smells like fall at my house:
  • Pumpkin cookies baking...check!
  • Pumpkin candles...check!
  • Halloween box out...check! (this has its own smell of plastic, leaves and fall)
  • Halloween decorations....up!
As a general rule I wait until the first of October to put up decorations, but this afternoon just seemed like the right time.  I really got my hopes up when the weather changed that it would stay fall and it surely did not.  So yes, I have been putting up decorations with the AC blasting, but I'm really hoping we have lovely summer weather this weekend for our trip to the lake, and then after that COLD!!  PLEASE!!!  I'm so ready for snuggle weather.  Paisley had the best time helping me decorate-she loves the little battery operated tea lights and she is obsessed with candles!!  She must smell them!  She also loved making cookies, and I love that she can help (not that I worry as much as I should about raw egg, but these don't have any egg so there's no worry at all!)  Happy Autumn!!


{♥}: love language

It's about time for some sort of update, yes?  I guess I'm tired of opening up the blog and seeing my 9/11 post...sad.  Anyway, today has been an awesome day.  Elder Dallin H. Oaks came and spoke in person at our stake conference and it was the coolest thing ever.  The very best part?  Our dear and kind friends watched Paisley for us so we could pay attention.  It was amazing.  He was actually very funny and cracked jokes most of the time.  And when he wasn't cracking jokes, he talked about love.  Mostly about the importance of loving everyone-which I love and strive to do.  It was a really awesome meeting.

On the topic of love, I've realized lately that food is one of my love languages.  Everything suddenly clicked for me through a couple of conversations that I've had lately and some pondering after those conversations.  My relationship with food is finally in a healthy state.  It's taken me 14+ years to reach this state, but I think I'm here!!  It began to click when I over-ate a couple of weeks ago.  I haven't over-eaten in a long time and the feeling of being overly full was somewhat strange.  To make a very long story short I used to deprive myself of food often and when I did eat-I would over eat, or eat something that "wasn't allowed" and then I would feel guilty, and then I would swear I wasn't going to eat anything bad ever again.  I would then try whatever crazy diet I could-tuna for every meal, lemonade cleanses, etc and end up sick and miserable-only to eat a bunch of garbage and start the guilt circle over again. 

Up until my pregnancy with Paisley I stayed in this awful circle!  After being pregnant and having her I realized that I needed to take care of my body in order to feed an infant, and I finally committed to change.  Even in my efforts to have a more healthy relationship with food I still struggled with over eating.  In the past year I have finally been able to just eat until I'm full and not need anything more.  This is huge for me.  I also made a commitment to exercise back in January and I'm so happy to say that I have finally been able to stick with that goal.

Now, I would love to post a before and after picture of me and my 50 lb weight-loss, but that hasn't happened.  And the best part is, I'm ok with that.  I'm healthy.  I enjoy food and don't stay up at night worrying about what I'm eating.  I enjoy exercising and look forward to zumba!!!   And this, my friends, is why food is my love language.  I have finally started to love myself-enough to give myself food.  The best part about this healthy body of mine?  It's feeling safe enough to let go of some of the weight-and I'm down 5-10 lbs from January (I flux), something I never thought I would see without crazy dieting and miserable exercise.  I feel better...in so many ways it's really hard to describe.  I love the energy that comes with working out, and the release that working out is!!  I still love sweets (and I always will), but I don't have a desperate need to ban them from my life, nor hoard them-and I can handle just eating one if that's all I have room for!

This may seem very basic to some of you that have never had struggles with food.  I know that some people that I talk to think I'm nuts when I talk about this like it's a huge break through.  For those of you that know what I'm talking about, and understand it too well I hope insights into my journey will help.  I just remember reading stories like this and gaining so much hope from them that someday I could be better too and I'm so happy to say that I'm there! ♥

"Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise."
Alma 37:6


{events}: 9/11

There is so much that goes through my mind in association with this event.  It's funny because I was listening to the radio that morning and the DJ at the time thought the whole thing was some fluke accident.  He was cracking joke after joke about some moron that flew a prop plane into one of the towers...I'm sure he sobered up real fast after all of the news hit.  I remember going to school and the hallways BUZZING and I had no idea what to think of everything.  My first period Chemistry teacher desperately tried to stick with chemistry and none of us could pay attention.  Thankfully my seminary teacher at least let us watch the news...but it wasn't until I got the my 3rd period class that I realized that this was scary.  I was a teacher's aide for my German Teacher, Herr Koepplin, during his planning hour and he was kind enough to let me just sit and watch the news.  I watched the second plane hit and I remember turning to him and asking if we should be scared...if anything was going to happen to us and if my Dad was ok out at the site (a government nuclear laboratory).  I don't think he had anything to say...which scared me more.  Most kids left at lunch.  Those of us that stayed mostly watched the news.  Thankfully they let us into the library and pulled TVs out to the lunch room so we could watch.  It was terrifying.  I went home to my Dad being home (they released everyone from work that day at the site) and we stayed glued to the tv for the next couple of days.
Unfortunately, now I am an adult and I can see why these events took place.  And the fear that exists is much greater, because at this point there really isn't any doubt in my mind that this was an inside job.  I'm not into conspiracies...at all, but after watching the footage again it's pretty obvious that it was a demolition.  Just recently a tower in Dallas was hit by a plane and NOTHING HAPPENED, because towers that size don't collapse when they're hit by planes.  I could go into reason after reason BUT the important thing is that many families suffered loss that day and for that I am sorry.  I also have so much appreciation for the very brave that did everything they could to help in such a horrible disaster.  It doesn't matter how or why, what matters is all those that were so personally affected by such a tradgedy.   I'm so proud to be an American and to live in this great country.  I feel like there may be many scary things taking place at the top, but in the end I love the people that make up this country and the sense of unity we all gained surviving this event together.  May we never forget to care for our neighbor and fellow Americans and to appreciate those that serve our country.


{summer}: family pictures

We finally did family pictures.  I started planning this in the Spring and originally was going to shoot them then but then I was busy...and then life this and life that...and then I realized we we could just wait for the Fair and do them then!  (of course, I still waited until the last minute to make my dress-even with months and months to do it!!)  I actually found Paisley's little dress at DI!!  I think it's authentic-it's yellow gingham with doilies on it and everything!!  Anyway, our friend Chad was kind enough to shoot them for us, I edited and I just loved how they turned out!!  It was SOO hot, but we brought a change of clothes so that we could have some fun at the fair!

This last one is my favorite.  Paisley could not take her eyes off this panda because she was SO confused.  She kept trying to talk to him and he wouldn't talk back and it was very upsetting to her.  We have a couple of stuffed animals that move or play music and she came home and then thought they were real too.  She sat in front of a monkey that we have that dances and plays music and said "hi" over and over again to see if he would talk and then got very upset when he never did.  She may be traumatized....
We went to the demolition derby again this year and it was awesome!!  We had a good time, but did not take any pictures...oh well.


This is my cousin's sweet little girl.  Her and Paisley were excited to meet each other.

So last weekend I had the opportunity to go up to Provo to my cousin's wedding.  This is super significant because my cousin Brianna is on my Dad's side and they all live in Dallas, TX so I don't get to see them very often.  It's also significant because my Grandma Clark came and I haven't gotten to see her since I was pregnant and I really wanted her to meet Paisley and to get some pictures of her with Paisley.

This is the part where I get to whine for a minute.  Sometimes I wish that I had a professional photographer to follow me around and take my picture.  It would just be nice not to have to worry about it.  I made the super obvious mistake of waiting until the end of the night to take pictures...so we're all sweaty and Paisley is DONE.  Oh well.  At least we got something.  It was such a fast trip and I wish so much that I would have had more time to see and talk to everyone.  I feel like I saw each person just long enough to say hello, find out where they were in school/job and move on to the next. 
 Jon had to work since it was on a Friday so Christina came up with me and I was so glad for her help!  Paisley was a handful most of the trip-she missed naps both days and it took her another 2 days of being back home to get back on track. She's usually really good but she had a rough time keeping it together there at the end.  I have NO idea how single moms do it!!  I am so grateful for my husband and for Christina's help on the trip! 
I'm just glad I got to go.  I love my sweet Grandma and it was so fun seeing my sisters, brother and parents too!


{recipes}: pumpkin enchiladas

Ok, so I've tried to make it a goal to try new recipes and with bountiful baskets it has been SUPER easy to do that since I never know what I'm getting until I get it!  I found this recipe and it is SO easy and super good!  I am also trying to post the recipes that I'm finding and share!  Enjoy!
  • 1/2 leftover rotisserie chicken, skin removed, meat shredded
  • 6 scallions, thinly sliced
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 jalapeno chile, quartered (remove ribs and seeds for less heat, if desired)
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 8 corn tortillas (6-inch)
  • 1 1/2 cups grated sharp white cheddar cheese (6 ounces)


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine chicken and scallions. Season generously with salt and pepper; set aside.
  2. In a blender, puree pumpkin, garlic, jalapeno, chili powder, 2 1/2 cups water, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper until smooth (hold top firmly as blender will be quite full). Pour 1 cup of sauce in the bottom of an 8-inch square (or other shallow 2-quart) baking dish.
  3. Lay tortillas on work surface; mound chicken mixture on half of each tortilla, dividing evenly. Roll up tortillas; place, seam side down, in baking dish.
  4. Pour remaining sauce on top; sprinkle with cheese. Place dish on a baking sheet; bake until cheese is golden and sauce is bubbling, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes before serving.

I used a rotissiere chicken from harmons for the meat, but I'm thinking that shredded chicken of any kind would work awesome.  I also used dried onions and garlic since I was in a hurry and they blended up super easy with the jalepeno.  I was really worried that the jalepeno would make it too spicy so I omitted the chili powder and they turned out very, very mild.  And I loved the corn tortillas, but I think flour would be super good too!!  This is a fun dinner for fall!  Thank you Martha!


    {birthday}: 2!

    Paisley turned 2 last week and we had a cute little birthday party for her on Monday night as our FHE.  We had yummy cupcakes and cake and she got some of the funnest presents!!  I think she loved every minute of it :)


    {cooking}: my favorite things

    I love to cook-and I especially love that I've got the time to do it (ideally).  Back when it was work and school, or even just work it was super hard to have a desire to cook-even though I do love it.  Now that I've been home I've really grown to love it-so I thought I would share a couple of my favorite things!!
    • Bountiful Baskets:  If you haven't signed up for this YOU NEED TO!!  I love getting fresh fruit and veggies every weekend and it practically plans my meals for me!!  If I get potatoes we have Shepard's pie.  If I get tomatoes, we have bruschetta...cooking couldn't be easier then having some of those decisions made for you!
    • Pesto:  Costco's pesto is SOO good and only $7 for the HUGE jar.  I love keeping it in the back of my fridge to toss up with some chicken, pasta and veggies.  It makes a super fast last minute meal fresh and easy!  It is also SOO good smothered on fish and then sprinkled with crushed Ritz and baked.
    • Red Bell Pepper:  I have grown to love these because they are so sweet after you saute them!
    • Cottage Cheese:  This is my new favorite breakfast.  I've really tried super hard to eat protein with every meal and this is perfect with fruit!
    • Whole Wheat Flour:  in chocolate chip cookies.  Just half though-it makes a much heartier cookie and I get compliments every time I do it!!
    • Whole Wheat Pasta: speaking of whole wheat-I love doing half and half with pasta too.  It makes a heartier meal and I feel like it brings out the good flavor in both.
    • Homemade tortillas: are a cinch to make.  I had no idea they were so easy or I would have started making them from scratch a long time ago.  I already was in love with the ones you buy raw and make-but making up the dough and rolling them out is SUPER easy and SOO delicious!
    • Frozen Chicken Breast/Frozen Fish Fillets:  I always keep in my freezer!  They thaw in 15 minutes in warm water and are super easy to just throw in the oven or in a skillet and eat with some veggies. 
    • Good Knives:  are worth asking for for Christmas.  I promise.  Jon got me a set 2 years ago and I love them-it makes it so much easier to want to cook knowing I won't be sawing away at veggies-the knives falling apart in my hands.  He found a set for pretty cheap on Amazon and I love them!
    This last week I made the most delicious Chicken Tortilla Soup...I know it's not really soup weather here right now but this was SOO good!  Of course it's a pioneer woman recipe and you can find it here, I can't recommend it enough!!  Happy Cooking :)


    {nostalgia}: peaches

    I blog today of home and peaches. 
    Growing up we would come to St. George, UT every Labor Day for our Annual Gubler Reunion. This was a particularly exciting trip for my siblings and I because we were never allowed to have sleep-overs growing up, so the opportunity to stay up all night and party with our cousins was overwhelmingly exciting. We would load up in the van and take the SUPER long drive from IF to StG, gradually getting hotter and hotter as we went. We would often stop in Salt Lake and visit cousins who would then join us on the continuing drive down south. Usually on that stop we would also pick up a box of peaches.

    Some years we picked up 2 boxes of peaches, but usually it was just the one.

    The reunion was always so much fun. Friday night the adults would leave all of us and go out for a fancy adult dinner. I always looked forward to getting old enough to go to that. Unfortunately, I never got to that point (I'm on the younger end of the cousins). We would gorge ourselves on pizza and stay up all night playing video games and watching movies. Saturday morning was always the service project and adult meeting. We would clean up my Grandparents house, yard, garage, orchard and the like. I always found at least one lizard to chase after! After that we'd eat, play softball, kickball or get into a huge water fight. And that night we would do skits and eat fried chicken. This was also significant because this was the one time a year that I got to eat fried chicken!! SOOO good. We would try and play Saturday night too, but usually we ended up going to bed-knowing that there would be another long drive in the morning. Our favorite card game was Rook-something I remember my parents staying up all night playing with my grandparents...and playing blind Rook with my Great-Uncle Merl was the best! He would let us set the points up to infinity.

    Sunday morning we would pack up the van, with our peaches and head home. I think the peaches hold a lot of significance in the story because they were our souvenir from StG. We would eat them one by one and then the box would be gone-and summer with it. We loved eating them cut up with a little sugar and nutmeg and milk poured over the top. It was sad to see them go-knowing that the empty box meant school and homework and fall.

    This last week bountiful baskets had Utah peaches. I also had the opportunity to go out and photograph a reunion at my grandparents house. My Aunt's mother bought their house when they passed away and so it was a lot of my cousins (and their cousins) celebrating in the same house, around the same time of year and going there overwhelmed me with nostalgia.

    I can't believe its the last month of summer! Let's go play and make it count!


    {love}: zumba

    I love zumba.  I don't know if I can really express how much I love it.  Dance is home to me.  I grew up doing ballet-lots and lots of ballet and I hadn't been able to replace that void for the longest time...until I found zumba.  And it was a VOID-a hole in my heart.  Once you've grown to love something so much...having it taken away was really hard on me.  I recently had a conversation with a friend who was a rock-climber he was talking about how climbing uses every single muscle-so much so that you have to push everything else out of your mind and just focus on what you're doing.  The same goes for dance.  It requires focus and discipline...and it becomes a meditation of another kind.  I love it.  I am growing to love my instructors more and more as I get to know them and I am so grateful to have found this amazing outlet in my life!  If you haven't found something that lights you up inside don't ever stop looking!!  It's out there for you...and it may just be zumba!!  Love it...love all of it!  xoxo


    {update}: the flow

    I feel like I need to blog.  When I go too long I feel like I must be missing something.  And I really do look at this as my journal, and that's probably why I worry.

    Life is busy.  As usual.  We went up to Salt Lake last weekend to relax and visit Jon's best friend from high school-Curtis.  It was a lot of fun.  They have a cute little girl, and his sis that we stayed with also has a cute little girl and so we had 3 sweet little girls running around and having a great time all weekend.  Oh!  And the weather was SOO nice!  Somehow, I didn't take a single picture.  Ooops. 

    While in Salt Lake I also had the opportunity to meet Jessa's new little baby boy and take his picture.  I just love to snuggle newborns.  And they smell SOO good.  Mmmmm.

    I'm trying desperately to catch up on editing.  It's happening slowly but surely.

    I've recently become an herbal tea drinker.  I've always enjoyed it every now and again, but lately I have a few cups a day.  It really helps my throat and nose (which, as usual are all upset from allergies).  I've found a "throat coat" and an echinacea kind that is delicious steeped together.  And it's a great way to get my daily dose of local honey.

    Paisley has been doing much, much better.  I think maybe she was just going through some painful teething because she's really mellowed out again.  She loves to hug me and give me kisses-and I love to hug her and give her kisses too!  She is 100% fearless at the pool, and will jump into the deep end before I can get there to catch her!  She is getting more and more grown up every day.  She now knows how to climb onto the chairs at the table and insists on sitting there, she likes to use big girl cups, and she's really grown more accustomed to her big girl bed.  Realizing that she's going to be 2 next month is still really crazy to me-it seems like she's always been here, but at the same time like she was born yesterday. 

    Everyone around me is having babies.  Which leads to continual discussions about diapering, breast-feeding and the like.  It's so strange to me that I nursed for the whole year, which wasn't that long ago, but seems like forever ago...and I do miss it.  I like snuggling little babies.

    And last, but not least-I'm totally going to see The Little Mermaid at Tuacahn tonight.  And my dear sweet husband is coming with me.  The best part?  We're totally going on a scooter date-which we haven't done in a really long time and I'm super excited.  I'll try and be naughty and snap a picture to post!


    {natural disasters}: our trip to the lake

    Last Saturday we took a trip up to Yankee Meadows.  Oddly enough, a good portion of folks I've talked to that grew up here don't even know where this is.  (It's off the Parowan exit up the canyon on the way to Brianhead if you're wondering).  Anyway-we thought it would be fun to go up and get out of the heat for a day.  Unfortunately, the weather has been really stormy and after coming out of the movie late Friday night to a raging thunderstorm (Transformers was awesome, btw) we debated going Saturday.  Saturday morning I woke up exhausted (we stayed up WAY too late Friday night), but decided a nice relaxing trip to the lake might be a good thing, even if we get some rain.
    **Side note:  Paisley has been throwing some EPIC tantrums lately.  I am now realizing it has more to do with her teeth killing her than her disposition, but regardless Friday I made the mistake of going to Target with her toward the beginning of her nap time and she screamed the ENTIRE hour I was there-with a full blown wrestling match at the cash register.  Wrestling a wiggly, screaming 25 lb weight has really begun to develop my arm muscles and I think I could actually hurt someone if I punched them!! Oh, and I tell this side note because I actually woke up sore from the wrestling-both emotionally and physically.

    Back to the story.  Saturday morning we threw everything together and left with Chad and Sarah to drive up to Cedar.  Paisley chose not to sleep, even though we left at nap time and she usually sleeps in the car.  We stopped at the Cedar City Wal-mart to top off our supplies and Paisley decided to again throw an epic tantrum.  It was bad.  I took her out to wait for everyone else to check out and again had to spend a good 10 minutes wrestling with her, screaming at the top of her lungs.  (I didn't think to just get the car keys)  It was quite a scene.  After that we stopped at Pastry Pub (LOVE!!!) and were on our way up the canyon.  At this point, Paisley finally passed out from what could only be exhaustion.  I was so grateful because she really is such a good kid as long as she gets her naps.  5 minutes later, she woke up.  argh. 
    We made it up the canyon, to Yankee and parked, realizing that we needed to prioritize what we needed from the car to hike around to the other side of the lake.  Luckily I took an extra diaper and hoodies and dressed Paisley in warmer clothes (it was around 60 F, so not TOO terribly cold.  We grabbed the fishing stuff and hiked around to the other side.  Just as we had set up our benches, finished our lunches and started fishing, Paisley went ahead and fell in the lake.  She was fine-but she drenched all of her clothes!!  So we dried her off and I wrapped her up in her blanket and she looked like she was going to go to sleep!!  nope.  Then it started to downpour.  Luckily I had our thick denim blanket so we huddled under there until it stopped, Paisley screaming and thrashing a good portion of the time.  Then the rain stopped and Paisley wanted to run around.  Not wanting her to soak the one clean diaper I had put on her (if she happened to fall back in), I took it off and just let her run free.  (this is when the above pic was taken).  Luckily too when the rain would stop, the sun would come out and it would warm up quite rapidly.  We fished and sat for a bit, and then Paisley fell in the lake again.  She actually fell in the moment after I took the picture. 
    *Second Side note:  This last week Jon finally acquired the phone of his dreams.  He loves it.  It is brand new and shiny.  It is expensive-and while it is insured, it will still be expensive to replace.
    Jon jumped in to save our child from drowning, once again.  And took his phone into the lake with him.  You can imagine that his mood was not so great for the rest of the day.  In my defense-I was taking a picture...and I had the camera around my neck (which is worth more than the phone) and I rescued her the first time.  We actually are thinking maybe we should have just left her to flounder a bit longer because she did not learn her lesson...

    Rinsed off and clean from her second dip in the lake, we diapered her up, wrapped her in my hoodie and began our trek back to the car to start dinner.  The rest of the day kind of went on like the beginning:
    • The wood was super wet and it took a long time to get a sufficient fire started.
    • Paisley would not take her second nap-we put her in the car, we laid her out on the blanket, we tried and tried and tried to no avail.  Extreme fussing and general grumpiness resulted.
    • The boys left us to go exploring further up the canyon (they took the car) and I had nightmares of them not coming back...just the thoughts were terrifying.
    • I burned the tin-foil dinners because I really thought I knew what I was doing...ug.
    • It down poured again before the boys had come back and everything got soaked...including us.
    • My cobbler was described as baked frosting with syrup on top.
    *Third Side note:  Cobblers are meant to be made with canned fruit, not fruit pie filling.  So if you use pie filling, it can cause your cobbler to be WAY too sweet.  Also, cobblers are meant to be made with a plain cake mix like yellow or white.  Not with a vanilla cake mix, which also results in WAY too sweet.  If you use both pie filling and 2 boxes of vanilla cake mix your cobbler will probably be described as "baked frosting with syrup on top."

    After dinner Jon and Chad hiked a bit up the lake to fish some before we left and Sarah and I cleaned up what we could.  We decided to wander over and get the boys after and at this point my arms were so tired from holding Paisley I made her walk.  This was the end.  She screamed the entire time around the lake...but kept following me because I was walking away from her.  And yes, I am a terrible mother-I know, believe me, I know.  Fortunately by the time we reached Jon she was so worn out that I picked her up and she instantly fell asleep in my arms.  Wonderful.  We went back and enjoyed the sunset over the lake for a minute, the boys choking down my delicious cobbler. 

    And we slept the whole way home.


    {holidays}: the 4th

    Our 4th of July was so fun!  We spent it with the Coopers and a bunch of their neighborhood.  We blocked off the streets so the kids could run free and it was so much fun!
    Paisley had a good time with all the cute boys.

    I love taking pictures of all the yummy food.

    I love chocolate ice cream and ridiculous blue eyeshadow...

    Paisley could not get enough lemonade.  She completely covered herself in food, sno cone, lemonade and popsicle so by the time it was getting dark we ran in and hosed her down and switched her to jammies.

    She LOVED the sparklers!

    Some neighbors nearby were lighting off aerial fireworks and she thought the were so awesome!  They put on quite a show.

    We lit off some of our own...luckily everyone kept their eyebrows.