how reading books on parenting is really loony

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Haha! My bestest friend sent this to me, and I just died with laughter. While I admit to having read a good handful of parenting books, it is pretty funny to look on as an outsider at how loony it is to really expect one method or book to have the answer on how to raise a perfect child ;)  

our own magical world, but not disney

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Ok, treadmills really need to tone down their beeping of buttons. You know, when you push incline, speed, weight, WHATEVER, it dings. This causes a lot of anxiety when you are confident doing your thing at your own speed, but then someone comes on the machine next to you and holy cow, starts pushing the crap out of the buttons and all you hear is  beep beepbeep beepada beep beep beep beep beep beep, and then you're totally intimidated thinking what type of superstar am I now competing with right next to me?! What's their incline, what level did they choose, am I running faster than them? I hope they look over and see that I've been on here for 20 minutes already, so I totally already did my sprinting at super speed thing, which is why I'm not going turbo right now... and also - i'm pregnant, so, ya know, I can't run that long before my bladder wants to explode. But wait, do I look pregnant or just fat right now? Ahhh, then they start pushing more buttons - what does it all mean!? So then I push buttons and we're all just trying to out ding the other one with our beeping until finally I get off the treadmill and head over to the weights so they can think "wow, she lifts weights, too" :)

Annnnyyywayyy.... We are really enjoying our new city. Sacramento is super family friendly with the most amazing parks! We bought a year pass to Fairytale Town because it is the most charming play place. Having been built in the 1950's, Fairytale Town has this antique-y feel to it, but it has been so well-maintained that it's not run down and creepy but rather magical. It is a gem of a place!
Being the family photographer is a tough position. Looking back at these photos I'm disappointed that these are the only ones I took. They totally don't do the park justice. They have live animals for Little Bo Peep, Three Billy Goats Gruff, Peter Rabbit, and the Three Little Pigs. They have a playground in "Sherwood Forest," a slide and well on "Jack and Jill's Hill," Cinderella's Coach, Jack and the Beanstalk Slide, and Evelyn's favorite - the Crooked Mile, and so much more. But while taking photos, I was also taking video, and trying to be a partaker of the moment and not the mom behind the lens. But here is Fairytale Town documented on the blog to look back on years from now when we reminisce about our time spent there. 

uh, what a dull ending. my blogging skills are really rusty...

teenage love dreams and we're having another baby

Sunday, March 30, 2014

The other night I couldn't sleep. I was tossing and turning, which is quite regular for me, unfortunately. A lot of things have been weighing on my mind, namely how to run a small business (which branches off into worrying about the quality of my work - is it worth what people are paying, how to make sure the IRS doesn't come after me, quickening production, hiring employees), attempting to balance running said business and my number one job of being a mom (which branches off into anxiety about how much time I am spending with each one of them everyday, was I on my phone too much around them, did I stimulate their creativity enough, am I too rigid when it comes to discipline, trying to let some things roll off my back, questioning Evelyn's educational level and thinking of a preschool curriculum that will work for for us), to yet again our family's future and Jared's career (yes, Jared was blessed with a great job at the beginning of the year, but some other even greater opportunities have opened up that have us on the fence of what to do), to church callings and feeling like I'm falling short of being a Christ-like example, to lastly just feeling overwhelmed by all this stuff and thinking "will life ever calm down?"

In my tossing I turned to my left side, and my eyes fell upon the other person in my bed who was so calmly sleeping. I laugh every time I watch Jared sleep because he sleeps like a super model, always perfectly positioned with arms up, which make his muscles look like they are flexed, and pouty lips. There is no one who looks better when they sleep than him. Annnywayy, too mushy? I'm in the moment of recounting my exact thoughts, so that all had to be included to set the mood. I was sleeping next to a gorgeous man, which brought a smile to my face, and I felt very lucky. My mind then left all the troubles that it was previously occupied by and drifted back to a summer June night just about 6 years ago. Jared and I had gone out with some friends and it was late into the evening, or I guess early into the morning at that point. Jared was my ride home ( I cleverly planned that one), so we were parked outside my house. We talked for a good 45 minutes in his car, and I thought I had an inkling that he just miiiiight kiss me, so i stayed in there as long as I could until I reached a point where I realized I must have been wrong, unbuckled my seat belt and said I was heading in. As I looked at him and said bye, I just remember him leaping forward and giving me a big smackaroo. My heart felt like it was going to explode and the rest is history.

Imagine this all playing out like a movie scene or something where the screen flashes white and all of the sudden you are brought back to the present moment, because that's just how it happened. I was lying there in bed, having those young love emotions just stirred up in my heart and brought back to the surface, when I was snapped back to real life gazing at this man who I have now built my life's foundation with, thinking how lucky we are to have our story. And how giddy and humorous I find it that we started out as teens and now we have not just one, not just two, but THREE children that are ours. I've put it out there on all my social media outlets but here that i'm pregnant with baby numero tres coming this September! We are excited, albeit, intimidated about the prospect of having three littles three years and younger, but we are feeling rather blessed that this third child will indeed be joining our family. And now child number two is tugging on me, so I guess I'll end here. What was the point of this post? I suppose the most significant thing is to document here that we have a third child on the way, and that I still have gushy teenage feelings for my husband, yet my mind is very consumed with adult things. Sure. That was the point.

2 month catch up!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Gah, I've clicked over to this space here just about every day since the last post and thought "today will be the day when I update!"... but it never gets done. Life has been SO BUSY lately, and blogging hasn't been on the forefront of my mind, which is so totally weird because I used to live and breathe blogging. Trying to play catch up for the past two months sounds exhausting. Uhhhh, sounds so boring, even though life has been nothing but. My main journaling platform these days has transitioned from this blog to instagram, an instant and brief way of documenting life. Part of what sounds exhausting right now about blogging is that it is a redundancy of what I've been instagraming, but I really need to get back into the swing of writing in this space. I've missed my writing outlet, because heaven knows I have a lot on my mind and heart to share! Since moving to Sacramento, things have gotten rosier for us. Life has taken a turn for the best in all kinds of ways and we are feeling very blessed.

So where to start? Let's just start with what a beautiful day yesterday was since that is fresh on my mind and I just uploaded those pics, k?

The weather yesterday was picture perfect. Not too hot, not too cold, just right in the mild 70's. Not a cloud was in the sky. Evelyn had been asking for some time to go to the beach. Living 2 hours away from the nearest sand bar, it really wasn't quite a quick trip option for us. So on Friday night I looked up some spots along the American River by us. I found something on YELP about Paradise Beach, supposedly this stretch of river bank that you can wade in. The pictures looked convincing enough to pass off as a beach, so we packed up our gear, grabbed the sunscreen for the first time in months, and rolled up to what was a surprisingly beautiful sandy shore. The kids were in heeeeaavveeennnn!
It's crazy that when I look at these pictures, I don't see a baby anywhere in sight. Warner is a full-blown toddler boy who has hair just about as long as his sister :) For yesterday morning, that little river beach lived up to it's name - Paradise.

the magical world

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Last week, just days before we moved, we hit up Disneyland with my family. We had to make it in before Ev turned three so we didn't have to pay for her ticket :) Jared and Warner were supposed to come, but we decided the day before that the two boys would stay home since Warner was breaking in FOUR TEETH and was a crankster. I was sad they wouldn't be there, but once we got  to the park I felt fortunate to have this time to show Evelyn the magical world without the distraction of brother. It was sooo nice to just be able to share in that moment with her.

I was so impressed with how well Ev did at the park! It was fun to share in the day with Grandma & Grandpa, Aunt Boo, Aunt Jay and Uncle Luke, and especially baby Shane! I felt like the worst mom for taking Ev on Pirates and Haunted Mansion - she's told me every day since that she doesn't want to do those rides ever again. BUT she totally braved a real rollercoaster TWICE with her stuffed bear, Brownie. Brownie is always a good companion when she does things outside her comfort zone :) We didn't mean any princesses. Ev isn't quite into that yet, although she would have loved to have met Anna and Elsa, but the line for meeting the FROZEN characters was TWO HOURS LONG!! Yep, didn't do that one.

We had such a wonderful time! Thanks Grandma & Grandpa for making it all possible!

job. we got one. and that's a big blessing.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

The blog has been silent, but life has been nothing but. 2013 was a bittersweet year for our family.
We had a lot uncertainty and it was a year of endurance spiritually, financially, and emotionally. As 2013 came to a close, we were hoping to start the new year off on a different foot, but we received some news just before Christmas that threw everything off track again. As January 1st rolled around, I had a pit in my stomach. I couldn't handle another year like we just experienced. My heart was feeling rather hard toward any inclining of the spiritual nature, and everything from my soul to squishy thighs I mentioned here felt unbalanced.

One night two weeks ago I was sitting in my parents garage, hovering over my sewing machine and stitching bags for my shop (I don't think I ever mentioned it here, but I've been crazy busy with my new business Swankaroo! It's been one of the better and more promising parts of 2013), when I listened to a BYU devotional given by Jeffrey Holland, an apostle of Jesus Christ today, entitled "cast not away therefore your confidence." Drawing parallels from Moses' experience on the Mount, and leading the children of Israel across the Red Sea, and then wandering in the wilderness, Holland's message is full of many wonderful insights, but my favorite excerpts are these:

And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord. . . . The Lord shall fight for you.

In confirmation the great Jehovah said to Moses, “Speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward” (Exodus 14:13–15; emphasis added)...

 After you have gotten the message, after you have paid the price to feel his love and hear the word of the Lord, “go forward.” Don’t fear, don’t vacillate, don’t quibble, don’t whine. You may, like Alma going to Ammonihah, have to find a route that leads an unusual way, but that is exactly what the Lord was doing here for the children of Israel. Nobody had ever crossed the Red Sea this way, but so what? There’s always a first time. With the spirit of revelation, dismiss your fears and wade in with both feet. In the words of Joseph Smith, “Brethren [and, I would add, sisters], shall we not go on in so great a cause? Go forward and not backward. Courage, brethren; and on, on to the victory!” 

I wish to encourage every one of you today regarding opposition that so often comes after enlightened decisions have been made, after moments of revelation and conviction have given us a peace and an assurance we thought we would never lose. In his letter to the Hebrews, the Apostle Paul was trying to encourage new members who had just joined the Church, who undoubtedly had had spiritual experiences and had received the pure light of testimony, only to discover that not only had their troubles not ended, but that some of them had only begun....

The reminder is that we cannot sign on for a moment of such eternal significance and everlasting consequence without knowing it will be a fight—a good fight and a winning fight, but a fight nevertheless. Paul said to those who thought a new testimony, a personal conversion, or a spiritual baptismal experience would put them beyond trouble, “Call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions” (Hebrews 10:32; emphasis added).
Then came this tremendous counsel:

"Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.
For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. . . .
. . . If any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. . . .

. . . We are not of them who draw back unto perdition." [Hebrews 10:35–36, 38–39]

In 40 minutes I was taught how to soften my heart, which I had been attempting to do for a whole year. I felt a huge burden lifted as I just... gave it all over to the Lord. I never fully used or understood Christ's invitation to "take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light" [Matt 11:29-30], but I suppose that is what happened that night. Not that I gave up my concern for our future and became whimiscal about anything, but I just trusted and chose to learn from our experience as much as I could.

Not more than a week later, Jared got a job offer. He got hired on the spot! We will be relocating to Sacramento this weekend! Jared will be the Security Operations Manager for Johnson & Johnson at one of their pharmacutical facilities. We are feeling very humbled, blessed, and excited for this opportunity. We still have some other balls up in the air, but we are feeling the most optimistic we've felt in years. I have learned to "cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence for reward."

virtual christmas card

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Because I know what you all wanted for Christmas was a photo session of our family :) Thanks so much, Christa, for such beautiful keepsakes!

a haiku for my legs

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Jared and I were talking about haikus the other day, and how we like their simplicity for telling a story. So here I present to you my beautiful prose about the evolution of my thighs.

Skin used to be tight
But now it has turned squishy.
I do not like that.

I can't believe my body is showing signs of aging. I for sure have noticed my metabolism slowing down. My calories are starting to catch up to me, especially now that Warner is weaned. Like, seriously, the texture of my skin has changed from silky seal to.. I don't know, frumpy??  Boy, this sucks...

portraits of an almost 15 month old

Monday, December 16, 2013

Does this post even NEED words after looking at that gorgeous smile?! Good grief, kid! I feel like I should just leave this post as a pictorial only, but I posted a photo of Warner on instagram the other day and I had a friend comment that she didn't even recognize him because he is SO MUCH BIGGER than when we moved from Virginia! Warner boy is sprouting so quickly from infanthood to toddlerhood. What's with my kids deciding to both grow up so rapidly?! So before he grows another inch over night and turns 15 months on Thursday, let me quickly document Warner at 14 months.


:::Electronics! Anything with buttons! You don't limit yourself to just the phone and kindle, oh no, you must touch EVERYTHING with buttons - the garage door opener, the thermostat, portable heater, baby monitor, keyboard, cd player, radio, lightswitches. You are a gadget magnet!

:::Animals. Stuffed or real. You love grandma and grandpa's rabbits! Every morning it is someone's duty to take you out to spy on the bunnies.


:::Playing duck duck goose or chase.

:::Cars. Dirt. Planes. Dirt. Water. Dirt.

:::Brushing your teeth (more like just chewing on your toothbrush)

:::Wrestling. You especially like it when Dad throws you on to the bed in a pile of pillows. You come out giggling and signing for more.

:::Recently you've started a thing for chapstick. You've come up with your own sign for it, and you like putting it on your lips and other people's lips. You do a pretty good job about not eating it, which I can not say the same about your sister.

:::You like to give love. You are so good about spreading happiness wherever you go.

The world is a better place because of you, Warner Bradley!

trim up the tree with Christmas stuff!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Decorating the tree was a big deal as a kid. We always did it Thanksgiving Day. While my parents cooked the feast, us youngin's broke out the ornaments and created a beautiful masterpiece, that no doubt my mom would come back and re-do later, but we felt it a huge responsibility to be the first to arrange the trinkets on the evergreen.

Since we are staying with my parents this holiday, it was fun to go through boxes of their ornaments and talk about the memories a good handful of them held. While watching Evelyn and Warner decorate the tree I just had this impression that this is going to be the BEST Christmas. They are both old enough to identify with the magic of this holiday (Warner's owl oooOOs at the lights are one of my top ten favorite things), but young enough not to expect anything. Like, every thing is just awesome - no disappointments, no high hopes for presents, no anticipations - just raw in the moment reactions and amazement. It's all pure joy! I am so loving being on the parent side of Christmas :)