five on friday (09/13)

Happy Friday! It’s been a much easier week than last, especially since all of our girls have gotten past the sickness that lingered around here for nearly two weeks. It’s such a relief that they aren’t congested anymore.

ONE. Our Nellie is officially a big girl now because she got her own comforter this week! We had already moved her into a “big bed”, but seeing her bed all made up like this really seals the deal. She was beyond excited when I pulled it out of the box and said it was for her! I would definitely be tempted to have a blush pink bedspread on my own bed if Michael hadn’t already vetoed it years ago, haha.

TWO. Bike rides near sundown are some of my favorite childhood memories, and I love seeing our girls enjoy them, too. Kaelyn is still kind of nervous to ride, but after about half a mile, she calmed down a bit and actually enjoyed it. Daddy passed us on the way home from work, and decided to go the rest of the way home with us. We were laughing about how funny it must have looked to any random onlookers that all the rest of us were getting some exercise and he was leisurely riding his moped.

THREE. We still have Halloween on our minds… and the girls already have their costumes picked out. They decided, all on their own, that they wanted to use costumes we already have from years past. We always buy them secondhand, anyway, but I’m excited to save a little time and money by not having to go costume shopping. Also, yay minimalism.

Plus, it doesn’t get cuter than this, anyway.FOUR. If we’re not talking about Kaya’s upcoming birthday or Halloween lately, it’s usually Uncle Karl and Kaitlyn’s wedding! Because they aren’t brides, I think it’s okay to show off their flower girl dresses. They all look so grown up and gorgeous that I might cry a little when they walk down the aisle. Eve has one, too, but she was asleep when we tried these on.FIVE. Sisters. These ladies are best friends 85% of the time, and I’m so grateful. Disputes do happen, though, like this morning, when one sister bit another on the face. It took a long time to get her to apologize, but eventually, hugs were given and giggles were heard. I love these happy faces.Please, girls, stay best friends forever.Happy weekend!

kevin and tori’s wedding

So… you might as well wish Kevin and Tori a happy 3-month anniversary, because yes, these pictures are from August 2nd. I gave them their wedding DVD at the end of August, but honestly kind of forgot about the more personal photos I took that day. Better late than never, as they say! 🙂 (If you want to see the rest of the wedding go here!)

It was a perfect day for a wedding. The light was a photographer’s dream._MG_7991_MG_8174 Of course we all got a little crazy…_MG_8181 _MG_8179 Okay. A LOT crazy._MG_8176Michael took the photos of the girls, so he took the opportunity to leave this on my camera, too.
_MG_8203 Brothers 🙂_MG_8367 _MG_8360 _MG_8287 These next two crack me up:_MG_8321 _MG_8309 There’s nothing like a little girl and her grandpa. And yes, he let her stick her feet in the stream!_MG_8115

Love them._MG_8118 _MG_8127My best friends._MG_8429_MG_8397 Lelia and I’s corsages!_MG_8453 Pals!_MG_8466

journey (back) to utah

Kevin and Tori are tying the knot on Friday, so we made the trek to Utah yesterday! Luckily, modern transportation actually means the “trek” is a drive and a flight (or two) that can all be accomplished in one day.

We tried to help Kaya wait for a nap until we got in the car and on our way. She did nap, but only for an hour. She was happy for a short time before she was fussy and needed a nursing/play break.

My parents live close to the airport, so we visited with them for a little while before my dad dropped us off. My mom even made us dinner (and muffins to take on the plane)!

Last time we flew, Kaya was mostly easy to entertain and put to sleep, but this time, she was even better! She loved looking out the window, staring up over the seats and just smiling and waving at everyone. She slept for most of the second flight (about 3.5 hours) all cuddled up with me. I soaked in all her precious baby snuggles.
By the time we got in and settled, we didn’t fall asleep until about 2 am (which is 4 am back east)! Today has mostly been about relaxing and goofing around with Michael’s parents. (I might have also had a Greek gyro… And Kaya tried her first French fry!)

the reception

Jeff and Lelia hired a photographer for the reception, which meant that I could just goof around and take as many (or as few) photos as I wanted. So here are a bunch of fun, random photos of our night!

Kaya and her Great-Grandma T. She is the 36th great-grandchild on that side of the family!


Kaya and her Pawpaw!

She was actually yelling during this photo. Crazy kid (wonder where she gets it from… haha)!_MG_7828

Here’s a closeup of her adorable little dress. The flower on her headband matched the one in the bride’s hair- Lelia ordered a blue flower and they sent her a silver one as well, so she gave it to Kaya! I think it really pulled her outfit together._MG_7834

They had a small cake and cupcakes instead of one giant, tiered cake. The chocolate cupcakes were delicious and had the best buttercream frosting. Jeff carved and Lelia painted these penguin cake toppers. Adorable, no?_MG_7838

Michael with Lelia’s sister, Amy._MG_7839

Lelia’s mama and Michael weren’t shy to be out there dancing even when no one else was!
_MG_7861 _MG_7866

Dad stole my camera and took this one. I think it really captures Kevin’s personality!_MG_7867

jeff & lelia’s wedding

On December 28th, our family got to drive up to the LDS temple in Washington, D.C. to witness the marriage of Jeff and Lelia for both time and all eternity. One year ago, when Jeff and Lelia first met, I never would have guessed that she would officially become my “sister”. I’m sure glad that after all my begging and pleading, they humored me and went on a first date (probably just to get me to stop bugging them)! I guess they ended up liking each other just a little bit, because there were more dates, a ring, and now a wedding!_MG_7535I am so grateful for my beautiful family. Life gets more and more fun as we keep adding people to it!

_MG_7537I felt so privileged to be able to be with Lelia as she got ready for the ceremony. Watching her put on her makeup and helping her step into her dress was such a special experience that I’m grateful we were able to share.

_MG_7562I was also one of the photographers, so here are a few of my favorite shots!

_MG_7543 _MG_7638 _MG_7676 _MG_7708 _MG_7749You would never know it by looking at those two supermodels, but it was FREEZING. Here we are behind the scenes, cuddling to get warm.

_MG_7756Lelia wanted everyone in the family to wear either silver or blue for the wedding. Since I knew it’d be hard to find a dress that was the right color, modest, and nursing-friendly, I had my mom-in-law help me make my dress. As a surprise, she made a matching one for Kaya to wear! Here we all are in our wedding clothes.

_MG_7886I’m so thankful for the gospel of Jesus Christ and that we can have temples on the earth today, which allow us to be sealed to our families forever. I love my family so much and can’t imagine not having them after life on earth is through.

PS- This is my 300th blog post! 🙂

lelia’s bridal shower

We went back home to visit with our families last week, so the next few blog posts are going to backtrack over all the fun stuff we did!

Lelia’s shower was at her aunt’s house on the Saturday before Thanksgiving. It was actually the reason we spent the whole week away- I really wanted to be there, but it didn’t make sense to go back home for just a couple days, drive back here to go back to work, and then have Thanksgiving by ourselves (we wouldn’t have made the relatively long drive twice in one week).

It feels like just yesterday when Lelia and Jeff spilled the beans about their pending engagement, so it was hard to believe that it was already time for the bridal shower! These crazy kids have fewer than 4 weeks until they’re old married folk!

It’s almost like she can’t believe it either!

Lelia was the star of the show…

… and Kaya was probably the second most popular person there.

There was a whole lot of delicious food. I was a little over-excited about the cheese and crackers (I actually ate cheese and crackers three times during the week we were home…  just because my pregnancy is over doesn’t mean my cravings are! Haha).

We also had a wedding-themed Pictionary competition! My word was “cake topper”. My cake was a little lopsided and my team didn’t win, but it was still a good time.

Jeff proposed with a message in a bottle, hence the sign. It was so cute!

Lelia and her Mama were cute beautiful too 🙂

I just had to have a picture with both my “Baby Dinosaur” (Lelia’s nickname as our “adopted” daughter when she lived with us last fall), and my baby Kaya. We three girls are going to get into trouble this winter for sure!

I’m so grateful that I was able to go to Lelia’s shower and share this special time with her, and I am really looking forward to getting her as my forever sister when they get married this month!


No, that’s not your doorbell… It’s a RING on Lelia’s finger… from our brother, Jeff! (There’s no ring in this photo though, because it was getting resized!)

They actually got engaged on June 16th, but I am slow blogging about it. Better late than never! Their engagement involved sneaking out of the house after midnight, making s’mores on the beach, and finding a message in a bottle. And then Jeff was down on one knee, asking her to marry him. Sounds just like a Taylor Swift song, doesn’t it?

I am SO EXCITED for them, and while it isn’t surprising that they go so well together… it almost is shocking that my BFF is marrying my brother! How often does that happen? I am one blessed girl to be getting Lelia as a real sister.

I’m definitely looking forward to the end of December!

happy 3rd anniversary, best friend!

Yesterday was our 3rd wedding anniversary! I can’t believe how fast the years are flying by, and I know that they are just going to get faster and faster, especially once our little girl gets here!

So much has changed since we got married. We’ve both grown and learned so much about ourselves, each other, and life in general. I’m so grateful for all the encouragement and love you show me, Michael! Thanks for being my very best friend.

We had a fun, simple evening. Michael came home from work, peeked his head in the kitchen doorway… and then pulled these BEAUTIFUL flowers from behind his back!

I love them, and honestly, they are the best ones he’s ever given me- they’re in a pot, so hopefully they’ll last more than a few days!

He also surprised me with Twizzlers (my most favorite thing lately!)

I also found this little note on my keyboard. He left it there in the morning, but I actually didn’t see it until he got home. Whoops!

We went out to the mall for ice cream, and afterward just talked, walked, and looked at baby girl clothes! I love my buddy, and I’m glad that we can have a good time anywhere, as long as we’re together!

where, oh where, have we been?

Have you missed me and my ridiculous blog posts? No? Well, I'm back anyway. We took a week-long Christmas vacation to visit our families, which was both incredibly fun AND incredibly busy! In total we ended up traveling about 900 miles. Here are some of the things we did:

1. We went to three sealings at the Washington D.C. LDS Temple! Congratulations Kevin and GiGi (pictured below), Brianna and Nathan, and Chris and Cerina! The ceremonies were beautiful, as were all the brides. I love going to a sealing, because it is an amazing reminder of how special my marriage truly is. We will always be a family…forever!

2. We saw our buddies Lelia and Murray! We did a practice photoshoot, but it was freezing and the sun was terrible, so it was a miracle we got any good photos. They were really good sports despite the freezing weather, and I was glad to spend some time with them since we won't really get to see them again over the break from school. Aren't they cute?

3. We made gingerbread cookies… again! This is a tradition my parents started, and I can't remember a Christmas without it. This year, Michael and I decorated gingerbreads three times- but it still never got old! What made these even better were the new cookie cutters I got from GiGi for Christmas. There are 101 different shapes, so please notice the football, puppy, and stegosaurus cookies.

4. I ate this entire turkey myself. Okay, okay, not ALL of it. But some of it. Both our moms are the two best cooks ever. Commence drooling!

5. We drove through a huge snowstorm! We truly had a white Christmas, and it continued snowing the entire next day. I think we had at least 9 inches.

I'm very grateful that we were able to celebrate Christmas with our families. No other people on the entire planet are as precious to me as the family I was blessed to get.

wedding weekend

Finally, an update! =)

This past weekend, Michael and I went up to northern VA for our friends', Jessica and Brandan's, wedding!  We drove up on Friday night- Michael was a groomsman and so he had to be there for the Ring Ceremony rehearsal.  Luckily, I just had to watch everyone else learn the routine!

Their wedding was in the Washington D.C. temple on Saturday morning, so we woke up very early and carpooled there.  The sealing ceremony was absolutely beautiful; the Spirit of the Lord was definitely present.  I was so glad to be there, sitting next to my own husband, and remembering the covenants that we've made with each other.  I love him so much, and I am so grateful that as long as we live righteously, we are entitled to the blessings of eternity.  Who would not want to be with their beloved spouse forever?  Marriage is not something you do only when it's convenient.  It's for eternity, and it does take work.  Nothing that was ever worth anything came without hard work and effort.

Their reception was fantastic- what a party!  We danced and just had a grand time.

Instead of worrying about work and all the other things daily life demands, it was great to just get the whole weekend to spend with my favorite person in the world =)