my heart

(written April 5th)

Sometimes, I look at my little girl, and my heart just explodes. I love her with every fiber of my being. Without her, I’d be nothing. I’m her mom, but she was sent here to save me. I’m so grateful for my angel._MG_3714 _MG_3713 _MG_3757 _MG_3760 04052013photogrid_MG_3761

“You are my heart, every breath I breathe.”
-Thompson Square

throwback thursday

I’ve been transferring all my photos to an external hard drive, and somehow, I keep finding myself looking at pictures of Kaya when she was brand-new. I never posted these before, and I just can’t resist sharing the squishy newborn adorableness.

September 20th, 2012_MG_4906 _MG_4913


We arrived at the Irwin house late Friday night, after driving through a storm that could only be accurately described as a “waterfall”. Thankfully, we were safe and only a little wet.

This big GIANT frog seemed to want to escape the rain, too (wait… don’t frogs like water?) because he kept jumping at the glass door on the deck. He was nearly as big as my foot!IMG_20130419_223658

Saturday morning was Michael’s bike race, and then we came home for a short while before dinner. Scrappy was happy to see us!IMG_20130420_163920We went out to New York Deli for dinner! (I might have dared Michael to hug the Statue of Liberty…)PHOTO_20130420_180908 I had a gyro, and it was definitely one of the best I’ve ever had here in the States. (Look at that HUGE glob of Tzatziki sauce! Mmmmmm.

PHOTO_20130420_182607You might think your belly is full, but there’s always room in for ice cream- it fills in the cracks, as we always say 🙂

We saw the most beautiful sunset while we were waiting for the ferry.20130420195049783Kaya even went walking around on the ferry for the first time! It was quite windy though, so it was short-lived.

I love my little family!

tour de cure 2013

Remember that 65-mile bike race Michael did last year to help raise money to find a cure for diabetes? Well this year, he decided to be even more hardcore by doing the 100-mile ride! He finished the whole race (despite not being able to train as much as he would have liked due to weather and a lack of time)._MG_4418

He kept a great pace, but slowed down a bit at the end. We thought he’d been done around 1:30 pm, but it was more like 2:30. Dad, Kaya and I just sat on the curb and waited to see him cross the finish line.

There was also a lot of spitting… _MG_4395And mommy-baby dance parties…


_MG_4420We’re so proud of you, buddy! 102.8 miles in 5:59:55!_MG_4413

See you next year!

family friday

Michael had his big bike race this weekend (more on that later), so we drove out to visit our families on Friday! We went to my parent’s house first, although my mom was the only one home for most of the visit! She was happy, because that meant she got Kaya all to herself!_MG_4351

Of course, she spoiled us rotten too, and I might have eaten a doughnut one nanosecond after we walked in the door. (Okay… so I actually ate three. But how can you resist the CHOCOLATE?!)

_MG_4328It was a beautiful day, so we spent most of our time out on the porch swing. We also discovered that Kaya is completely obsessed with dogs! Socks loves her just as much as she loves him._MG_4354


She was SO EXCITED that she just kept letting her mouth hang open. Goofball!04212013photogridBefore heading to Michael’s parents’ for the night, we stuffed ourselves with one of my favorites- Chinese food! Mmmm. It never gets old for me._MG_4376

Auntie Carol and my dad got to visit with Kaya for a few minutes, but by then, she was crying due to being overtired.

kaya- 7 months!

_MG_4281 (2) - CopyHeight: 27 inches
Weight: 17 lbs 6.4 ounces
Clothing size: Mostly 3-6 month and 6-9 month onesies, 6-9 month pants, and 6-9 month jammies (although that is STILL the same 0-3 month onesie)!
Eyecolor: It still just depends on the light and what she’s wearing. Grayish/hazel mostly?
Teeth: Two down in front… aaaaand as of this week, one more coming in on the top right! I can see the tiny white bumps just below the gum line.
Eating: We barely tried solid food with her this month. I’m not sure she’s actually swallowed anything, but she tasted yogurt. We tried some baby food from a jar and it made her throw up milk, so since then we haven’t really pushed anything. She sometimes gets finger food but really just plays with it. She’s “played with” French toast, cucumber, chicken, and green beans. In short, she’s really still just nursing and I’m not going to push her to eat food until she shows me she’s ready.
Favorite things: Her favorite toys are tiny brown bear, her very-hungry caterpillar, and her rattle. She still loves water bottles, dancing to music (it was Tim McGraw this morning!), tags, power cords, smartphones, and playing with other babies! She also likes my panda almost as much as I do.

Dislikes: Baths, getting boogers sucked out of her nose.
Sleep: We are back to our regular schedule (THANKFULLY). She goes to bed between 6 and 7pm, wakes up once to eat (usually around 3 am), and goes back to sleep until anywhere between 6:30 and 7:30 am. She still takes two naps that usually add up to 4 hours during the day.
Milestones, etc.: – Rolling consistently from back to front! We actually find her asleep on her stomach quite often nowadays.

_MG_4159 – Not crawling yet, but she does try to wiggle wherever she wants to go (which is usually just into my lap. I have become her human jungle-gym)!
– She can pull herself up if she has something to grab onto. We went ahead and lowered the crib already just in case!
– She’s discovering different parts of her body- she’ll grab at her ear when she’s tired, and stick out her lip just because she can. It’s hilarious. She also makes these cute lip-smacking noises.
– She makes the “duh” sound now when she’s trying to talk.
– She’s wary of other people now besides Michael and me. She’s a Mama/Daddy’s girl all the way, at least for now.
– We also moved her cloth diapers up another row in height. She’s so tall!

Dear Kaya,
This month seems to have gone the fastest! You are so fun and absolutely CRAZY these days. You love when I speak French to you, fly you in the air like a plane, or say things in a silly way like “Hey girl, heeeeeeeey!” Your energy level is ridiculous and I think your daddy and I are really going to be in trouble once you’re truly mobile (this month’s picture was the hardest to take so far… you wiggled, rolled, and ate your fingers and toes)!
The most popular comments people make about you is how you have big, beautiful eyes and that you are so alert. I definitely agree!_MG_4296

You make this totally crazy face lately when you get super excited about something._MG_4168

I love how easy it is for me to make you laugh. You really do light up my life, Baby Bird.

Love, Mommy

And some outtakes, just because. She sure thinks her daddy is hilarious!kaya7monthgrid

insta-jam #9 (march 2013)

I’m not doing much better with finishing these insta-jam posts, am I? I guess I’ll blame my cute kid for the overwhelming number of photos that keeps intimidating me from doing it!


Seriously… do you think I have enough pictures of her sleeping? These are all after she’s fallen asleep nursing. She’s just too sweet and I can’t resist.04092013instajam1

1: Toe-grabbin’ pro.
2: Five seconds out of the tub aaaand she’s grabbing her toes again.
3: Cracking up because I was pretending to eat her toy keys!
4: Goofy grin.

1: Caught red-handed… (or thumb-handed?) with her thumb in mouth!
2: Eating her octopus…
3: Eating her keys…
4: Happiness is a thumb and your teddy bear.

1: No explanation needed… she’s beautiful.
2: This was one of the first days in FOREVER that it was warm enough to go outside. Just look at that excitement!
3: Another sleeping picture?!
4: Ohhhhh the cuteness is killing me.
04092013instajam31: We modpodged the temple onto a canvas for the wall!
2: Late at night… not sure why we took this, but this is real life, people. Messy-hair-don’t-care and a big pile of (clean) laundry behind us waiting to be folded. (That’s probably what I should be doing now instead of blogging… whoops).
3: I’m crazy, she’s silly, and I think we make the perfect pair.
4: She couldn’t stop cracking up over the word “pasta”!

Ta-da! March!

we are virginia tech

Sometimes, my memory likes to replay events in my mind. Over. And over. And over again.

April 16th, 2007 is one of those days. That day, my Alma Mater, Virginia Tech, lost part of of our Hokie family.

Remembering the events of that week still makes my heart hurt sometimes.

I remember the police cars zooming past me on the street before anyone knew what had happened, their sirens blaring. The entire campus was locked down. I was stuck in the gym for hours. We all watched the news. Disbelief. Fear. Numbness.

One of the victims was in my classes. Her smile is forever etched into my memory.

I spent a lot of time at our church institute building. A couple of friends let me come sleep at their places so that I wouldn’t have to spend time alone. We even had a special church meeting where Elder Bednar came to speak to us. I will be forever grateful for my loving friends and the strength the gospel brings.

For a while, our own little world stopped, but it seemed like everyone else everywhere else just kept going, and I couldn’t understand how.

Before long, classes resumed. The news vans and reporters disappeared. Life crawled back to some semblance of its former rhythm.

Our community grew stronger. Being a Hokie has always been something to be proud of, but now it is also something to cherish.

As the world continues to suffer irrational acts of violence, I know that I can find personal peace through the gospel of Jesus Christ. Elder Cook said it best in this past General Conference: “We earnestly hope and pray for universal peace, but it is as individuals and families that we achieve the kind of peace that is the promised reward of righteousness. This peace is a promised gift of the Savior’s mission and atoning sacrifice.”

We might not be able to suddenly morph the world we live in into a universal safe-haven, but we can make a difference in our own homes, and for that, I am grateful.

picnic at the pond

On Friday night, we went to an ice cream party to celebrate one of our senior missionary couples (they were visiting as they passed through this part of the country)! While we were stuffing our faces with ice cream there, we decided that we haven’t spent a whole lot of time with our friends recently, so we planned an impromptu picnic for Saturday afternoon.

I was sort of in charge of coordinating it… and I say “sort of” because I just told people what to bring and where to be at what time. Being “sort of” in charge also means you have to know to bring charcoal to actually grill… whoops. Good thing I have Michael to help me out with these things!

We waited in the car while Michael ran in to Kroger on the way there. (“What’re you lookin’ at?”)

Sunscreen-spiked hair! SO cute._MG_4106We had absolutely perfect weather for a picnic (it was also perfect for a run, and I did 8.5 miles that morning- my record high thus far)!_MG_4135 The babies stayed in the shade for most of it. We haven’t used our stroller all that much, but it sure came in handy on Saturday._MG_4116 Amanda, Caitlin, and Liam (he’s hiding under the blanket!)_MG_4121

As we girls said, “How many boy scouts does it take to start a fire?”_MG_4118 Many minutes later…_MG_4125 We did eventually get to eat (hot dogs, burgers, chocolate-chip cookies, carrots, and jalapeno-flavored wheat thins)!_MG_4128So grateful for great friends, good food, and beautiful spring!

friday favorites

Happy Friday everyone! We had a fantastic week filled with beautiful spring weather, which meant that this little sweetie and I got to enjoy sitting out on the porch for a bit (and aren’t these just the cutest jammies? I’m loving her spring wardrobe!)


Dressing her in two-piece pajamas makes her seem like such a big girl.

But big girls get piggy-back rides (her first one ever!), so I think she’s pretty happy about it.
_MG_3958We’ve been giving her a sippy cup (full of water), and she doesn’t actually drink out of it, but it’s one of her new favorite toys (right along with her orange kitty)!
_MG_3896Love those CHEEKS! I also love the new hair growth that’s becoming a lot more noticeable._MG_3996

Baby Bird abhors baths, but cuddles with daddy afterward make it a little better.IMG_20130407_134235 I did my sales/coupon shopping today, and I think I saved the most I ever have in one trip. Spent $64.95, and “saved” $81.73. I ended up with 15 boxes of cereal, free Pampers wipes, hot dogs, hand soap, 4 cartons of ice cream, and some other items. I don’t think we need to buy cereal for awhile…IMG_20130412_143820

The blog also had a mini-makeover this week. I always love changing how it looks when spring rolls around! (Michael and I joke that we have “N.E.R.D.S.” (Never-Ending ReDesigning Syndrome). The condition is fake, but it’s pretty true for both of us when it comes to how our websites look!blogmakeover042013Hope you enjoyed my random favorites from this week! Happy weekend! 🙂