our week in photos

There isn’t too much to say about this week, so I’m just going to dump my photos here and let them do the talking (for the most part, anyway)!
_MG_6918 _MG_6915 _MG_6930 _MG_6947 She pulled a piece of string out of my blanket… and played with it for probably 10 minutes. Who needs real toys when you’ve got string?_MG_6871 _MG_6867 Those teeth!_MG_6957 She is a yogurt-eating machine (okay, so she doesn’t eat ALL this yogurt in one sitting, but I did buy the whole container for her). This week, she tried and loved blackberry, raspberry, and strawberry-banana._MG_6960 _MG_6966 We don’t play in the kitchen here. We play ON the kitchen._MG_6975 _MG_6938Happy weekend everyone!

temple square in the evening

So because I’ve been a slowpoke awesome, I still haven’t blogged everything from my trip out west about two months ago! I’m hoping to maybe dedicate Thursdays to Utah recaps, but we’ll see how that goes. If you missed other posts about my trip, you can read them below:

Flying with Kaya
The Living Planet Aquarium
This is the Place

We went to Temple Square twice on our trip. The first visit was at sunset, and the light was just perfect for walking around and taking some photos. I’ve wanted to see the Salt Lake temple ever since I first saw a picture of it about 6.5 years ago. It was even more beautiful in person, so I’ll just let the photos speak for themselves (although I do wish I’d had a lens hood back then, since there’s some awesome lens flare going on in these)._MG_4562 _MG_4564 _MG_4566 _MG_4572 _MG_4595 _MG_4592 _MG_4590

down on the river

This weekend, my in-laws came up to our neck of the woods to go camping, which meant lots of food, fun, and family time! They camped down at the river, so that gave us a chance to cookout, enjoy the sun, and go tubing.

_MG_6794 _MG_6793 _MG_6813Dad and Jeff kept teasing Michael for being so slow to get ready and actually get in the water…_MG_6818…so he tried pretty hard to catch up._MG_6819 _MG_6820 Lelia tried to get Jax to go swimming (“tried” being the key word)!_MG_6779 But as you can see from the look on his face, he was not so thrilled._MG_6777The puppies still had their share of fun outside the water, though. I think they wrestled all afternoon! (And yes, that’s Fallon doing a somersault!)
_MG_6782 _MG_6823 We filled up on hotdogs, burgers, homemade mac n’ cheese, and strawberry salad! (And of course there were s’mores for dessert!)_MG_6846

Kaya had lots of grandparent cuddles…_MG_6791_MG_6803 _MG_6811Seriously… how precious is my princess?
_MG_6839-2There is nothing I love more than spending time with my family.

five songs that bring back memories

I’m doing Tuesday Topics again this week (with Lauren and Tiffany), and the subject is “five songs that bring back memories”. I might not have been born in the south, but I am a country music junkie through and through, so here we go:

“Never Grow Up” (Taylor Swift) – When this song first came out, I was at an age I’d label as “new adult”. I was newly married, about to finish university and trying to figure out how the world works. I was stuck between wanting to still be a “kid” (although in many ways I still am), and being forced to tackle the challenges that come with growing up. Now when I hear it, I think about how fast my baby girl is growing. This song can make me cry every time I hear it, without fail.

“Drive” (Alan Jackson) – The first verse of this song brings me back to when I was a little girl and we’d take the boat out on the lake in the small town where I grew up. Those were the days before my brother was born, so it was just the three of us. I remember wearing that little fishy life jacket and watching the boat break up the waves. (I was 4 years old in this photo.)boatdrive

“Farmer’s Daughter” (Rodney Atkins) – I’d say this was one of Michael’s first “favorite” country songs, and it was also the song that Lelia had as her alarm when we did foal watch together a couple of springs ago. (Foal watch means that you sleep at the barn and wake up every couple hours to check on the mares… so I heard that song a lot)! It was dark, chilly, and even a little scary trudging out into the fields all by our lonesome. None of the mares foaled that night, so they just gave us these sleepy-eyed stares every time we checked on them. I always think of that night whenever I hear it now.

“It’s a Great Day to Be Alive” (Travis Tritt) –  I kid you not, this song comes on the radio every single time I’ve been going through a trial or just having a bad day. It’s such a good reminder that today can be a good day if we make it one, and this life really is something special.

“Wanted” (Hunter Hayes) – I first heard this song last year when I was pregnant with Kaya, and it made me cry my eyes out because it perfectly described the tiny princess I was so eager to meet. She was and is so wanted and I always want her to feel that way. Some of my favorite lyrics: “You know I’d fall apart without you…
I want to wrap you up…
I want to make you feel wanted
and I want to call you mine
Want to hold your hand forever
And never let you forget it
Yeah, I, I want to make you feel wanted”.

And now that I’ve gone all sappy on you… here’s a cute picture of Kaya to make up for it!_MG_6842

kaya- 9 months!

_MG_6773 (2)(written June 19th)
28.75 inches (86.9%)
Weight: 18 pounds 7 ounces (42.9%)
Head Circumference:
17.5 inches (64.5%)
Clothing size: Still 6-9 onesies and jammies, but I love her summer clothes so we’ve been wearing some 9-12 things although they are a little big. Pants have to be 6-9 months… anything smaller is like capris and anything bigger covers her feet! She’s got short legs like her mama, I guess.
Eyecolor: Still changes by the day between gray, green, and blueish.
Teeth: Five! She had another upper incisor (“G” according to this dental chart) come in this month. It has broken through the gumline but is still coming down. So according to that chart, she now has teeth G, F, E, O and P.
Eating: I finally have something to write here besides just nursing! We are still taking it slow, so she’s usually eating only one meal per day, but it’s progress. She LOVES Cheerios (she can take two at a time!) and yogurt (strawberry and blueberry are her favorite flavors so far). She’ll eat applesauce with a dash of cinnamon, and we found out this morning that she doesn’t like peaches. She’s had a puree of mixed veggies twice- once she loved it, and the next time she didn’t want it at all.
Words: I’m adding this category this month because I think she’s just barely starting to try and use a few words. She’ll babble crazy consonant sounds all day long with a vehemence that suggests she really is trying to say something! So far we have:
– Dadada (for daddy)
– Mamamamama (for mommy, but she has only done this twice- both times were right after I walked into the room!)
– She was playing with a water bottle last night and kept saying “ba!” Not sure if it counts but I’ll write it anyway.
Favorite things: Her favorite toys are anything that technically isn’t a toy, which includes water bottles, the TV remote, Wii remotes, real keys, bracelets, wristwatches, cell phones, and laptops. She still dances to anything (even hymns or us just speaking in rhythm). Now that she can stand, she also loves “playing” the piano. _MG_6701Her favorite book is “Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You?” by Dr. Seuss (the part about thunder makes her laugh every time)! She often crawls over to Jax to say hello (and steal his toy or try to pull on his face… he is so patient with her, thankfully)! She also thinks it’s a game to take the protective covers off the electrical outlets! Ahh! As far as toys go, I’d say she loves her little Fisher Price kitchen and her rocking horse the most._MG_6707 _MG_6714Anything that belongs to the dog is automatically fascinating…_MG_6504

And we’ve told her no a thousand times, but she loves waving the blinds around. (See that tag on the ground? Yup, she still loves those, too.)


Dislikes: Getting water poured over her head in the bath still makes her cry. She also cries more frequently over taking naps lately. She’ll be so tired but still get upset just because she wants to use all her fun new skills like crawling and standing!
For some reason, her sleep schedule has been off ever since Grandma came to visit. While she was here, Kaya didn’t want to nap at all. Then she’s had days with either extra long or extra short naps… and yesterday she napped almost ALL day (6 hours). She is still going to bed around 7 pm and waking up between 6 and 6:30 am._MG_6524 Milestones, etc.: -Pulling herself up on anything, everything, and anyone she can get ahold of. She even takes a few steps while holding on to things!
-Speed crawling! She can be across the room in the blink of an eye!_MG_6720 – Clapping! Cutest. thing. ever. The first time she did it, I actually had the radio on, and she started clapping to the beat of the song. Between that, her piano playing, and her dancing, I’d say we have a musical prodigy on our hands. But I’ve been talking about how much she loves music ever since she started wiggling to music while still in the womb.
– She waves a lot more now, but it’s still at really random moments.
– She’s started giving these HUGE, WET, open-mouth kisses! Michael has gotten a couple of them and I had one yesterday morning when I was loading her up in the car. So sweet!

Dear Kaya,

Sometimes, lately, you are looking more and more like a little girl than much of a baby, especially when you laugh! At times, I’m sad you’ve grown so fast, but for the most part, I’m enjoying all the new fun things you can do! Seeing you standing at the edge of your crib and smiling at us every morning is one of my favorite parts of being your mom._MG_6503 I’m so proud of those chunky little thighs you have, and now that it’s summer and you’re wearing shorts (or no pants at all, let’s be honest here), I can lovingly pinch them more than ever! _MG_6743I still love our middle-of-the-night nursing sessions and snuggles. You really are my whole world.

And, of course, some outtakes for all of our amusement:outtakesjune

friday favorites

We kicked off the week with a Monday-night barbecue with some good friends. The weather was just beautiful and we soaked up every moment of it.IMG_20130617_202057 I made these lemon bars to bring to the barbecue. I’d never tried them before so I was nervous they wouldn’t turn out alright, but they were a hit! (I think Michael alone ate about half the tray in less than 24 hours…)_MG_6752 I love having two sidekicks who follow me wherever I go…_MG_6738 Kaya has really started noticing the piano this week, and will crawl up to it, stand up and play any notes she can reach. She even did it at institute (our scripture study class) this week while Michael was playing a hymn… we were cracking up!_MG_6555Jax went to the vet this week, and on the way home, we stopped to visit Michael for lunch. We had an impromptu mini-picnic 🙂 Michael gave Kaya some of his PB&J, but she was not too impressed with it.06202013photogridWe had a HUGE rain/hailstorm and I drove on 460 through it… It was the worst weather I’ve ever driven in! We ended up waiting it out in the car for a while.IMG_20130620_092117 I love cozy mornings like the one we had yesterday. Kaya explored on her own, Jax collapsed after our run, and I cuddled up on the couch with a blanket for the first time in a long while.IMG_20130620_092610And I love seeing these two play together!

insta-jam #11 (may 2013)

Now that we’re more than halfway through June… Yep. I’m a slowpoke, but that’s okay. Better late than never! I won’t write captions for all of them since they are pretty self-explanatory (aka my baby is CUTE and I take lots of pictures of her. Haha).

Baking too much; a bath in the sink at Grandma’s; playing with some plastic cups; and one of the last photos I have of my sweet Maggie just two days before we said goodbye.instajammay2013_1 Smiles; frozen keys for sore gums; waiting at the pond for a photoshoot; giggles.instajammay2013_2

She loves panda; I love these “Wendy’s fakeout” homemade chicken sandwiches; being cute; big beautiful eyes.
instajammay2013_3Juni (in motion!)
IMG_20130517_102337 One of the few “fun” baths we’ve ever had.IMG_20130516_214134 Rolling over on the changing table; grabbing toes; eating some yogurt for the first time; and cuddles.instajammay2013_4

The night we brought Jax home (look at that tail wagging); less-than-perfect mint chocolate cupcakes I made for a barbecue; chocolate chip cookies with my buddy; and Jax always trying to sit in my lap.instajammay2013_5

Beautiful; sleeping all crunched up in the corner of her crib; making her laugh is so easy; and letting Jax cuddle in our bed when Daddy isn’t looking.instajammay2013_6

Sheep that didn’t run when we walked up to them; my first walk with a baby AND a dog; enjoying the swings; and a hot, tired puppy.

dog park

On Saturday, we met up with Jeff and Lelia at our town’s dog park. I’d never even been to a dog park before, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. Luckily, it was actually well-kept, clean, and relatively large.

Jax mostly kept to himself at first. He’s usually pretty submissive, so seeing a giant Malamute (among other big dogs) when we first arrived might have intimidated him a little._MG_6562 _MG_6563 A certain little girl was thrilled when all the dogs swarmed around her as soon as we walked through the gate. She just sat and watched them the entire time without making a peep. Little animal lover!_MG_6598_MG_6607We met Jeff and Lelia’s dog, Fallon, for the first time! They just got her last week._MG_6581 She is about the same size as Jax (for now anyway). It didn’t take long for them to become buddies! They started following each other around…_MG_6571 … and then they had a huge [friendly] wrestling match!_MG_6600 _MG_6609_MG_6614Jax was wiped out (and dirty) by the end of the afternoon._MG_6596 He had a bath as soon as we got home, and then we made him wait out on the porch to dry off. “Can I come inside now, pleaaase?”_MG_6625It was a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon!

father’s day recap

Michael had a pretty great Father’s Day (well, in my opinion, he did)! We started off the day with sleeping in and whole wheat chocolate waffles. Mmm._MG_6654

I ordered Michael a special surprise that STILL hasn’t gotten here yet, but he had some other fun goodies to open (from Kaya, of course). She made him a card and got him some Reese’s Pieces (his favorite!) and a new shirt!_MG_6690 _MG_6692_MG_6695

I love that I got this shot as “practice” while setting up my camera. That’s pure, unposed love right there._MG_6664 Buddy, you are so crazy silly with Kaya and she loves it more than anything. You are the best daddy any little girl could ask for, and I know you guys are going to become best friends as you help her grow up.06172013photogridThanks for taking care of us. We love you SO much!

friday favorites

The top moment of the week definitely had to be that Kaya ate REAL food, of her own free will! She was actually opening her mouth and letting me feed her, which is a first. I’m so proud. She was so happy about eating!IMG_20130611_144231She tried blueberry and strawberry yogurt on Thursday, and loved both, so long as I let her hold the spoon herself. She made these happy little humming noises the whole time she was eating her breakfast. Melt my heart!_MG_6543 _MG_6545

Since she was so good at eating, I was inspired to make some homemade baby food- a mixed veggie puree, rice cereal, and oatmeal. I also froze some yogurt in individual servings, and I’ll be making her some peaches and sweet potatoes soon, too.

In other news, Kaya wants to play with all of Jax’s toys (as usual)… It’s a battle I don’t let her win, and she can get pretty unhappy about it._MG_6469

Kaya had a bath, and I guess Jax decided I didn’t do a good enough job, because he washed her himself afterward!_MG_6484Institute started up again this week! The class goes until 8:30 pm (waaaay past Kaya’s bedtime), but she was fine up until the last five minutes or so. Sometimes when she’s fussy, we’ll turn on the front-facing camera on our phones to distract her.


I also had a day this week where I wasn’t feeling so great, so for the first time in quite a while, I napped while Kaya did. It’s amazing how much better a nap can make you feel! I even had a cuddle buddy 🙂 (and no, of course he’s not laying on Michael’s pillow…)IMG_20130612_115630

Other highlights from the week (with no photos to prove they happened) were a HUGE thunderstorm (it even shook the windows!) and a play date with friends. The week has gone by so fast!

And… is there anything more precious than tiny baby toes?_MG_6462