December 3, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

I'm usually not that excited for Thanksgiving to come around, I've never had that great of a Thanksgiving to really get me excited for it come. To me it's just the holiday that comes before Christmas and once it's over I can put up my Christmas decorations and the real celebrations can begin. I'm kind of the Grinch of Thanksgiving. However this year Thanksgiving change my heart, it was one of the better Thanksgivings we've had in a long time, and I was truly thankful for all I had this year, especially my little family. As we sat down to eat dinner together I was holding back tears of joy and gratitude for all that we have been blessed with over this past year! It's a wonderful time be living!

^^ The later part of the morning we spent at the park swinging and "running" I ran a little bit and David followed behind on the skateboard. We fed the ducks their own Thanksgiving feast, which I thought Rivers would love but he just wanted his own bread to eat.^^

^^ The rest of the day was spent at home hanging out and cooking up our feast. David does most of the cooking in our house, so I let him do all the heavy lifting in the kitchen. I did contribute a pumpkin pie and some deviled eggs though, even though we forgot the eggs in the fridge. I didn't do any fancy table setting like I had planned, when it came down to it I just didn't feel like it, plus I wanted to spend that money on more Christmas decor. Can you blame me? Hope everyone had a wonderful day spent with the ones they love!^^

December 2, 2013

The Magic of Christmas

I knew this little guy would make those ordinary moments in life something special, something to cherish but oh my goodness I don't think my heart was ready for Christmas with a baby. He makes the magic of Christmas really come alive, and to see it all for the first time through his eyes is something I wish I could explain in words. Lets just say that my heart as been so full of love and joy this weekend and I think we will be spending every night before bed underneath the Christmas tree from now until New Years.

Merry Christmas Season Everyone!!

November 27, 2013

Nursing friendly clothes and other fun things.

Sweater: F21 | Shirt: Target | Pants: Gap | Shoes: H&M

I think one of the hardest things about being a new mom or a mom in general is always have to wear clothing you can nurse in, especially when you need to nurse in public. In those early months I wore Pajamas a lot of the time at home, I just didn't see the point of getting dressed when I was just going to have to take the whole thing off again in a couple hours. Not to mention that by the time I actually got around to getting ready in between feedings it was time to nurse again, so really what was the point. Please tell me others felt/feel this way too?

But as Rivers gets older I'm not having to feed him as often or as long and oh is it glorious!! I have been able to find the time SOME days to get ready and look like a normal human being again but there is still the challenge of finding things to wear that are easy to nurse in, and comfortable enough to do all the other crazy running around mom things I do in a day.

This outfit has proven a winner in the nursing situation, the top is flowly and light and easy to lift up. Is there a better way to say that....? Sorry. But the shirts lifting abilities are key. The pants are loose and comfy as far as pants go, the sweater makes me feel cozy and all that fur adds some spice to the mix.

But sometimes I just want to wear what I want to wear, like on the weekends when I know I will have help from Dave and I don't have to worry about holding a baby all day and if he will pull and tug on everything. So sometimes I don't wear things that are so nursing friendly, but I still have to nurse right? That is where the magic of the car comes in and tinted windows, tinted windows is a must for this trick. If I'm not wearing something I can nurse with in public I just simply go to my car and I don't have to worry about what people can see. Although I have had people try to look in to see what I am doing, crazies.

Most of the time though I just use the amazing nursing cover my sister in law made me. It covers 100% of my upper body and I don't have to worry about a thing. I need to post pictures of it sometimes, it's not the most glamorous but it gave me the confidence to get out in those early months.

November 26, 2013

Bajillion Million

Dress: H&M | Jacket: J.Crew | Necklace/Booties: F21 

This, my friends, is the most comfortable dress in the world. Perfect for chasing after your crawling baby, running errands, eating big meals, and dressy enough to wear to church but not so much so you want to run home and pull it off. I've probably worn it a bajillion (yes that's a number) times before we finally got pictures of me in it, I blame the quickly setting sun, and my man child for this. But really the sun sets at 5:30 here it's miserable. I mean don't get me wrong Utah is beautiful and so are it's mountains but those mountains cut out a lot of precious sun time.

ooo the winter.....

Speaking of, only 3 more days until I can put up my Christmas decorations! I know Thanksgiving is only 2 days away woo hoo but really we all know it's the day after we are most excited about. No not black Friday I could really care less about that. It's the day that we can all put up our Christmas decorations and not feel guilty about not showing respect to the holiday that comes before the real fun. As hard as it is to wait I honestly don't mind, I don't like to spoil things by celebrating too soon, or openeing the present before it's time. If I were to put up the tree today the special day of after Thanksgiving would be ruined. It really has become a special tradition and starts our Christmas season off right!

November 25, 2013

Family Pictures 2013

Scheduling a time to get our pictures taken for our Christmas card has been a complete nightmare, so much so I was this close to just calling it off. No pictures and no card. Our original session last Saturday was canceled because of rain, I kept hoping it would let up but it seriously rained all day we re-scheduled for Thursday but again it was raining. Then our photographer was out of town this weekend and with the next weekend being Thanksgiving we were running out of time to get these finished for the card.

However a very sweet friend offered to do a quick session with us using our camera and we would just edit the photos the ourselves. So we headed out yesterday morning for a very quick session and even though it wasn't raining it was still pretty bright out. But we got them done and we are on our way to our first ever Christmas card. Thank goodness David is a master at editing photos because this quick job I've done here is not the greatest, but I wanted to share a few because I'm just so excited to finally have them done. As you can imagine.

November 21, 2013

Our Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies

 I know everyone has their favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe, and everyone says they have found the best one, the worlds greatest, but you guys these are really the best chocolate chip cookies I have ever had! I've been making this recipe for years and I have never found anything that comes close, not even a professional bakery.

I do believe "the best" cookie has a lot to do with the way you like your cookie, so to me these are perfect but to someone else they may be awful. David loves these straight out of the oven when they are warm and gooey.  I hate warm cookies so I think these are absolutely perfect the next day. Although I will eat them straight out of the oven and my husband still devours them even when they're not warm.

These cookies were the first thing I learned to bake and I learned a lot of things I had never heard of. I've shared three things that I believe will really make or break your cookie, some of you (most) probably already know all of these things. But if you are a novice baker like me, listen up!!

My 3 Tips:

1. Make sure your butter and eggs are room temperature. Don't use eggs and butter straight from the fridge, but you don't want them to sit out on the counter too long either. I know my butter is ready when I can push my thumb into it and leave a mark but I don't destroy the shape of the butter. For the eggs I usually consider them ready when I can still feel a little chill when holding them in my hand, if I can't feel a chill at all I know they have gotten too warm. Also do not microwave to speed up time of warming, I had to learn this the hard way.

2. Creaming the butter is so important! I had never heard of this until learning how to make these cookies I didn't know there was such a thing. You want to make sure the butter and sugar blend together into a nice whip like consistency.

3. I always make sure to chill my dough before I put it in the oven. I will roll out a few pans of cookies and put them in the fridge for 5 minutes and then put the rest of the dough in the fridge and roll it out as I move along. 

- 3 cups Flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
- 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 sticks unsalted butter
-  1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar 
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 Cups semi sweet chocolate chips. 

1. Heat oven to 350. In a bowl whisk together dry ingredients. 
2. Cream butter and sugar in electric mixer. This takes 2 to 3 minutes in my kitchen aid. You can do it by hand (I've done it) it just takes awhile.
3. Add eggs one at a time until incorporated then stir in vanilla. 
4. Add dry ingredients in three additions, until each is completely incorporated. 
5. Stir in the chocolate chips and form 1 1/2 inch balls or whatever size you desire. 
6. I let mine cook for 12-13 minutes, but everyones oven is different so I say start with 10 minutes and see where your at and add time until you figure out the correct amount of time needed.

*Martha Stewart recipe.

November 20, 2013

Golden Giving

 .01 | .02 | .03 | .04

I was never much of a crafter or DIY kind of gal until a good friend invited me over for crafting night last year in Rexburg, and am now I am all about making as many of my own decorations for the holidays as I can.  Our mini thanksgiving we hosted for my mom and sister at the beginning of the month was all green, but for the main event I'm really feeling a gold theme.

I haven't done too much decorating for Thanksgiving so far, the excitement of prepping for Christmas has really put Thanksgiving on the back burner. But with it coming up next week I want our place to look somewhat festive for our big feast, so here are a few crafts I think I can get done quickly to get our house looking a little more put together for the big day. Let's be honest though I will probably only end up doing #1, ok and maybe #4 but only because I never pass up a chance to use my gold spray paint. Happy crafting!!


November 19, 2013

An Oldie

These photos were taken this past summer on  June 4th.  My baby had just turned two months old, I definitely wasn't getting much sleep, I was still the young age of twenty four ;), I still had my long hair I could whip up into braids, and I was just beginning my new life as a mom.

So much has changed in the short time these pictures were taken, but at the same time it feels as if no time has passed at all. Becoming a mother has been one of the hardest yet most wonderful things I have ever done. Like I said in my first post back to blogging I am finally starting to feel like myself again and that I have a little control over my life.

I hate to admit that these pictures somewhat make me sad, sad because I know how hard life was back then and I am reminded of what a difficult place I was in. But more sad that life has moved so quickly and I feel like I have missed some of it. My baby is growing up so fast and I have to wonder, have I really been enjoying every moment with him? Have I wasted too much of our time together being upset that I was tired and that my job as a mother was hard? I hate to think that I have missed out on part of my life or my babies quickly changing life because of a difficult time I was having.

I'm just grateful that I am feeling like myself again even if it has taken me longer than what others would say is normal, I guess this is part of what I was struggling to share and why it has taken me so long to come back to blogging. I want to share this story so others do not feel alone, but I still feel like my thoughts are a little jumbled and these pictures from the past have helped me realize part of what I've been wanting to say. 

November 18, 2013

A Thanksgiving Table

Now that I'm a mother I find myself wanting to create special memories for my small family, I'm making a much bigger deal about the little things these days then ever before. A simple walk around the park becomes a new family tradition, Rivers bed time is a special time we get to spend together as a family with no distractions.

So as you can imagine the even bigger events like the holidays are a much bigger deal then ever before, and as such I have been planning and prepping for the holidays like a crazy person. Sure my little one isn't going to know the difference quite yet, but years from now when he is grown and gone I want him to look back with fondness at the time we spent as a family around the Holidays. I'm starting now to build those traditions that will last a lifetime. Do I sound like a Hallmark card yet? I really love the holidays ok.

We won't be spending any of the holidays with my family this year, so when my mom and sister decided to come visit us last minute from Texas last weekend I decided to host a mini Thanksgiving to share a small part of the holidays with them.

Although I planned on getting things for the table setting before they arrived,  I was sick right up until they came and never got around to it. However I still wanted it to be special and make the table look nice.

Pulling inspiration from the million images I pinned on pinterest I put this whole table setting together with things I already had in my house, literally spending $0. If you did want to re-create this look though you could probably do it for under $10 it was that easy.

The branches are from a bush outside my front door, I just simply cut them off and put them in a mason jar. The white pumpkins I had from Halloween and the candles are apart of my regular home decor. The twine was from my crafting box, and the name tags are watercolor paper that I wrote our names on with a black pen. The napkins are actually from the hotel my mom was staying at, and the pears were from that weeks shopping trip.

November 15, 2013

Christmas Card Attire

Mother 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 Father 5 | 6 | 7 | Baby 8 | 9 | 10

This will be our 6th Christmas together as a family and tomorrow we will be taking family pictures for our first ever Christmas card! I've always wanted to do one, but every year Christmas would sneak up on me and no card would have been made. This year though I am going all out for the grandest Christmas this little family has ever seen which includes a mega cute Christmas card showing off our cute new baby.

I was really stressing about what we were all going to wear. I feel like it's hard enough to pick out my own outfit on a daily basis let alone pick out outfits for two other people that have to match me AND look good in a picture. I kept putting it off for this stress factor alone, but now that it's down to the wire I really don't have time to go out and buy new things.

So I created an inspiration board of items that look similar to things we already own. This way I would know we would look good and matchy, matchy on paper. But who knows I may be running to the nearest J.Crew this afternoon and buying myself a new dress. I'm sure most of you are super organized and are on top of your Christmas Card shenanigans, but in case you are stressed and clueless like me, I hope this inspiration board helps! Happy Christmas Card creating!


November 14, 2013

Meanwhile, I'm Still Here.

I've been writing, re-writing, re-writing, and re-writing and then thinking, thinking, thinking about this post for months now. Too much thinking probably and definitely too much writing, every draft was way too long and way over explained. I haven't been able to put into words whats been running through my mind during my extra long vacation from blogging.

I guess that's why I've taken so long to come back. First of all I felt silly for taking such a long break, and mini breaks in between those breaks. I didn't want to come back into it unless I was really committed, I also wanted to have the blog re-designed (but that's another story) and I just kept waiting. Maybe because I wasn't really ready and I needed these past months to just be, and come into my new role as a mother.

So will I be posting outfits everyday again? I don't know, these days we are lucky if my teeth are brushed before noon.  Motherhood has been such an emotional whirlwind so far and I feel like I'm just now landing on my feet, so I don't want to promise anything as far as the blog goes. However like I said I've got a million thoughts running through my mind that I've been wanting to share on the blog, but it isn't until recently that I've really had the motivation to do so. So for now I'm here.  

August 15, 2013

Family Photos

As I promised (almost a month ago, oops) here are the rest of the photos we took with Tara for our family photos last year. Yes we took this last summer, as you can see I'm really on top of my game. But we are working on getting these framed and hung up as we speak so there is some productivity.

We rented a canoe from the ORC, took it out to Nature park in Rexburg and Tara worked her magic. She took all these from the shore, while it was raining, and while she was pregnant! Impressive! I'm just as obsessed with this half of the photos as I am the other half, I'm having a really hard time deciding which ones to hang, and you will see why!

 ^^ I'm thinking we will for sure hang this one^^
 ^^ Where was this girl for our wedding? Seriously amazing!^^

Huge thanks again to Tara, and to Davids brother Steven and his wife Margeaux for running around behind the scenes getting things ready!

July 19, 2013

5 Years

 5 years ago today we were married for time and all eternity and since then we have lived in 7 different apartments, moved 6 times only using a moving truck for two of those time (we suggest moving truck over packed car), owned 5 different cars and two different cats. Lived in 4 states, traveled to New York, Mexico, California, Yellowstone,  and of course Texas and Seattle. Held 8 jobs, finished our degrees plus a cosmetology license. Survived one round of Cancer, a broken foot, and a scary ER visit. Had our first baby, and have loved every minute of it.

All week I've been saying "5 years I can't believe it." I know it's not a huge chunk of time but I'm just really proud of us for making it this far and for being happy. We've definitely had our share of ups and downs but even in the darkest of times we never thought of quitting, that's never been an option and I'm just so proud of how far we have come. Those silly numbers up there don't even begin to explain the growth we have made as a couple and individually. Happy 5 Years my love! Here is to a million more!

I finally got around to downloading the pictures we took last summer with Tara and although I shared a few last year I thought today would be the perfect occasion to share the rest. There is a whole other set of us in a canoe and they are gorgeous I will share those on Monday as not to overload you in one day.

Pssst. How lucky am I that I get to married to this handsome guy? The luckiest!