be here

By Saturday night, we were all feeling sick (well, not Jax, lucky dog… see what I did there?). Somehow, I was hoping that Kaya and I wouldn’t catch what Michael had… but with all the snuggling we do in this family, we were pretty much in for it.
0302014weekendcollageBetween getting shots earlier in the week and then fighting this little sick bug, Kaya has been a little extra needy lately.

She wants to cuddle and sleep on me, and it doesn’t matter if I’m still in my running clothes, haven’t showered, or have bread dough rising on the counter for hours more than it should be.

The thought that keeps running through my head is just how important it is that I just be here for her.

So whether she wants me to snuggle with her all day, read books, blow a million bubbles, or just play on her own without me, I’m so glad I get to be here.

These days are so precious to me.

five on friday: bronchitis, beads, and nutella

ONE. I’m finally sitting down, happily exhausted, to write this. I had such a productive day, and it feels amazing to be so accomplished! I ran, went to my church institute class, did some grocery shopping, cleaned the kitchen, scrubbed the bathrooms, mopped, vacuumed (I even did the baseboards and furniture… hello nesting!), folded laundry, and had a photoshoot. Phew!

TWO. Speaking of photoshoots… Our dear friends are in town this weekend and asked me to take some pictures of their boys. How handsome are they? I also just loved watching siblings interact, since they are about the same distance in age that Kaya and Peanut will be!_MG_1790

THREE. Poor Michael has been feeling sick on and off since Wednesday, so he finally went to the doctor this morning. He has bronchitis! Seeing him just bumming out on the couch, coughing up a lung, breaks my heart. Kaya had shots this week, so she’s been a great cuddle buddy for him.


FOUR. My dog is stylin’ (Mardi Gras beads courtesy of Kaya).


FIVE. Nutella!!!_MG_1720

Happy weekend!!!

Linking up with Natasha, April, Christina, and Darci today!

baby #2: 26 weeks

_MG_1747Baby’s size: The book says she’s 9.25 inches from crown to rump (14 inches long total) and almost 2 pounds!
Maternity clothes?: Yup. I got tired of my shirts not being long enough, so I busted out the maternity tops this week. They are obviously still very long, but I like knowing my stomach is covered! I know that my belly doesn’t look much different than last week, but I suddenly feel like it’s ballooned out.
Gender: My sweet baby girl!
Sleep: Lots of napping, and my body pillow is still keeping my hips from hurting at night.
Movement: She moves and shakes my belly pretty often, and sometimes now I feel her above my belly button! She’s slowly taking over! She really likes to kick, and I think she’s actually sitting on my left now because I can feel a big hard lump over there.
Cravings: None.
What I miss: Spring? Does that still exist?
Anything making you queasy or sick?: Feeling pretty good this week!
Belly Button in or out?: In.
Exercising?: Ran 19 miles this week. I am SO ready for warm weather so that I can get outside more!
Mood: Tired but feeling so grateful for my little family.
Best moment this week: Having a movie night with Michael and finally watching Frozen!
Comparison: 26 weeks with Kaya!26weekcomparison


Counting down in double digits until baby gets here… 99 days! I can’t believe it. I feel like I’ve done nothing to get ready for her yet!

Loving having a little baking buddy! She waits (sometimes not-so-patiently) for me to finish using the mixer so she can lick the beater. She loves taste-testing everything (this chocolate frosting is officially Kaya-approved 🙂 )kayafrostingcollage3202014

Thinking about taking some kind of family trip before Peanut comes. It’s our five-year wedding anniversary this year, so I kind of wanted to do something a little extra special and have one last hurrah as a family of three. We’ve never really taken a “vacation” on our own, so it intimidates me a little bit and I haven’t actually made any concrete plans!

Taking naps every. single. day. It’s ridiculous, but I’ve been feeling so worn out. I remember getting that “first-trimester exhaustion” again during the third trimester with Kaya… but I’m not even that far along yet, so hopefully all my napping will help ward off the extreme fatigue for a while. I’m just grateful that Kaya has been napping so well lately!

Reading the Book of Mormon in 90 days! Our Young Women Presidency challenged the youth to do it, so as secretary, I felt it was important for me to complete, too. We are almost a third of the way through now, and I’m so proud of how well our girls are keeping up with it.

Singing songs from “Frozen” every moment of the day! We’ve been listening to the soundtrack for months now, but we finally watched the movie. It definitely lived up to the hype! I know that in a couple years, I’ll have two little girls pretending to be Elsa and Anna, and that just melts my heart.

kaya- 18 months!

(written March 25th)_MG_1664-2

Height: 32.5 inches (74%)
20 pounds 10 ounces (5%) (my little stringbean!)
Head Circumference:
18.25 inches (44%)
Clothing size: Both 9-12 and 12-18 month pants, both 9-12 and 12-18 month onesies, some 2T tees, and 12-18 month jammies. Size 5 shoes.
We are making progress- she LOVES broccoli, green beans,and grapes now! Other favorites include any type of Mexican food (especially homemade refried beans with lots of cheese) and pasta. She eats mini wheats, pretzels, and peanut butter crackers for snack every day. She still doesn’t want to drink whole milk… and of course she still loves my muffins 🙂_MG_1636 New words: Bubbles (sounds like bub-bub-bub), toes, and she has really mastered “baaaaaahing” like a sheep.
Favorite things: 
Wearing necklaces (and putting them on Jax), riding on Daddy’s back like he’s a horsey, helping me bake (and taste-testing the cookie dough), putting on chapstick/playing with lipgloss, reading books, dancing, and swinging!_MG_1614 Dislikes: She likes baths again, so I don’t think there’s anything for this category this month!
Bedtime is around 8:30 pm, and she’s been sleeping until about 9 am most days. It feels like such a crazy schedule to me, especially because I’m up early just about every morning anyway. It’s weird to be awake without her! Nap starts at 1:15 pm and usually ends about three hours later.Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset Milestones, etc.: -She can feed herself with a fork! I’m so impressed.
-She’s mastered going up and down stairs, as long as there’s a handrail to hold.
-She can take off her own jacket now (which means that I have to put it on her at the very last moment before we walk out the door)!
-She imitates us SO well.
-She makes jokes! For example, she’ll put a hat on Jax and wait for us to laugh! She also really likes to hide Kitty.
-She can wave the bubble wand around herself to make bubbles!
-She also started to pull on our hands or clothes to show get us to go where she needs us to show us what she wants.

Dear Kaya,

I say it every month, but you are growing up too FAST! Suddenly, you seem like a “real” kid instead of a toddler. My heart soars when I see you learning and growing, but it breaks a little to see how quickly it’s all happening._MG_1649

We only have three more of these monthly update posts left before you’re a big sister! I just know you are going to be the best! You are so affectionate and gentle to all your stuffed animals, all baby dolls, and any real animals you meet. I’m sure that your baby sister is going to get more kisses than she knows what to do with.

I love you Kaya. You are one of the sweetest girls I know.

Love, Mommy

baby #2: 25 weeks

_MG_1641Baby’s size: The book says she’s 8.75 inches long from crown to rump (13.5 inches long from head to toe), and 1.5 pounds. However, according to my midwife, I’m measuring about a week behind. She said it could just be because I’m a tiny girl (and tiny girls don’t want to have big babies, anyway)… Or I think maybe my due date is just a few days off, since it’s only based off of measurements at our 11-week ultrasound anyway.
Maternity clothes?: All maternity pants, and I started trying to wear some maternity tops this week too, although they are still very long. Regular tops are just too short though! I’ve also started stealing Michael’s sweatpants for bed.
Gender: Little baby GIRL!
Sleep: One of my favorite times of the day is curling up on the couch under my quilt and taking a nap!
Movement: LOTS! She’ll sometimes kick at whatever is touching my belly… I love putting my hand on her and “playing” that way. She’s big enough now that some of her movements this week were just a little uncomfortable. I don’t know if she was turning around or what in there, and honestly I’m not sure how she’s positioned right now. I used to her feel kicks on my left side, but now I feel them super low and right in the middle of my belly.
Cravings: Fried chicken??? It’s something I almost never eat so I haven’t had any. Poptarts are still so enticing, too.
What I miss: Rolling over in bed easier… But I know it’s going to get so much harder! I also miss running faster.
Anything making you queasy or sick?: This has been a pretty great week 🙂 It seems like milk still makes me a little queasy in the morning, but it’s not enough to make me stop drinking it.
Belly Button in or out?: In.
Exercising?: Ran 18 miles and walked 6. I’m definitely feeling the belly these days, so it might be more of a shuffle than a run. It also seems like the beginning of my run is the hardest, and the farther I go, the better I feel.
Mood: Happy 🙂
Best moment this week: Spending some time in the sunshine with friends!
Comparison: 25 weeks with Kaya!25weekcomparison

i didn’t always know

Tiny toes curled up under a blanket, eating cereal and watching the snow fall softly.Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset

I didn’t know that this is the kind of joy that comes from motherhood.

I never knew how full my heart could be.

These two little girls have shown me love in a form I didn’t even know existed.

I am so beyond grateful for their lives. I’m amazed when I look at our little family.

They are all mine.IMG_20140302_125426_softlight

I’m thankful that Michael chose me to be his wife, and that I’ll get to learn and grow with our girls each and every day.

It doesn’t get any better than this.


If you would’ve asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up anytime between the ages of 4 and 19, I would have told you that I wanted to be a veterinarian, and that I wasn’t going to get married or have kids. There’s nothing wrong with having a career goal, but thinking that I almost missed out on the things that now mean the most to me is crushing.

I’m so glad my heart changed.

There is no professional or academic achievement that could provide me with the sense of wholesomeness that being a mother does. There’s just something about a warm little body curled up on mine, calm and breathing deeply, that fills my heart with purpose.

This is what I was born to do._MG_1508I couldn’t think of a better way to spend my days.
image“Children” by Elder Neil L. Andersen

little things

These are the posts that probably bore other people right into a deep sleep in their computer chairs.

But honestly, the most mundane weekends can hide some of the best little moments.

For example…

I had a good 6-mile run early on Saturday morning, and my pregnant hips didn’t hurt one bit.

We had our church’s regional biannual conference (known as “stake conference”) on Saturday night. However, it’s for youth and adults 12 and up, and I knew Kaya would be a distraction, so I stayed home with her to let Michael go. It was weird to miss it, but I had some quality time with my little girl.
_MG_1595 Kaya was the sweetest cuddlebug on Sunday morning._MG_1634 I just love the way she looks at her Daddy._MG_1632We had a great time at church, and for dinner I tried this new recipe for sweet and sour chicken (which actually completes my March goal to try four new recipes. Woohoo)! It was sooo good. Sometimes, I feel like I’m in the kitchen forever making a meal, but when it comes down to it, I really love doing it for my family and seeing them happy with the end result.
Processed with VSCOcam with g3 presetHappy Monday!

five on friday: (mostly) outside things

Every week seems to go by a little faster… am I right? Here are five of my favorite moments from this week:

ONE. Spring came to visit for a couple days, and we soaked up as much sunshine as we could. Kaya LOVED being able to run around all on her own and explore nature a little bit.


She just didn’t like getting dirt on her hands…_MG_1559

TWO. We took a family bike ride on Monday evening, and it ended with these two climbing a tree. I love my little monkeys!Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

THREE. I made this foccacia bread for our paninis this week, and it was better than anything you could get at the store or even Panera. Mmmmm. The best part was that it was SO easy and took almost no skill. Seriously, if you can stir some ingredients together, you can make this bread. Try it!Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

FOUR. Babies are starting to be born 🙂 Michael sent me this picture from his bike ride last Saturday. I miss my horse time so much!Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

FIVE. I’m in trouble. She’s figured out how to go get the stepstool, climb on it, and open drawers. She also learned how to unlock the dishwasher this week. Ahhh! (Also, please notice her amazing outfit… designed by daddy! Haha.)kayacollage03092014Happy Friday!

Linking up with Natasha, April, Christina, and Darci today!

baby #2: 24 weeks

_MG_1581Baby’s size: Crown-to-rump length is 8.5 inches. She weighs about 1.25 pounds now!
Maternity clothes?: Jeans yes, shirts no. I finally had that moment where I went to get dressed on Sunday and my regular skirts and button-down shirt didn’t fit right… so dresses and maternity skirts it is!
Gender: Our second little princess!
Sleep: All I want to do this week is nap… And I wake up a lot in the middle of the night, partly because of weird dreams, partly because I need to pee, and partly because I get frustrated with myself if I realize my pillow isn’t between my knees anymore. Haha!
Movement: I’ve watched my stomach move back and forth a few times this past week! She moves a lot, but I feel like it’s mostly just kicking, while Kaya used to actually roll around and change what side she was sitting on. This little lady still just likes to sit on my right.
Cravings: Still thinking about s’mores and donuts but haven’t actually had any. I’m still baking waaay too many chocolate chip cookies but that isn’t anything new!
What I miss: It NOT being winter.
Anything making you queasy or sick?: This week has been so much better! 🙂
Belly Button in or out?: In.
Exercising?: Ran only 16 miles due to weather.
Mood: Tired and ready for spring weather!
Best moment this week: We had a couple days of sunshine, so we enjoyed some family time outside. We even took a family bike ride and Kaya LOVED riding in the trailer!
Comparison: 24 weeks with Kaya!24weekcomparison