November 30, 2012


As much fun as November has been writing a post per day {in theory} about the things I'm grateful for, today I'm very glad that I'm done.  It definitely gave me the boost I've needed to blog more often, and I think it gave my creative juices a jumpstart.

Thanks to everyone who followed along with my posts.  You helped me keep going!

November 29, 2012

{day TWENTY-NINE} BLOG nominations

I'm grateful today that my humble little blog was nominated over at At Peek at Karen's World.  This is the second time "someone" {I'm pretty sure I know who it is} has nominated by blog, and it sure is nice.

I'm nominated in three different categories:  Best Kept Secret, Most Inspiring Post and Most Thought-Provoking post.

Last year, this post won and I was so happy because it is something that is very dear to my heart and a major issue that people need to be more aware of.

Go ahead and check out Karen's blog and vote for your favorite blogs and posts.

November 28, 2012


I went to a doctor appointment today, and at 29 weeks things are looking just as they should at this point during my pregnancy.

I heard the baby's heartbeat and it sounded so strong and fast.  Since I've only been able to hear it once a month so far {I'm not at the point where I go to my doctor every two weeks instead of four}, there's always a part of me that is worried that something might be wrong.

In two weeks I get to go to another appointment, and because I raised some concerns about my lack of weight gain {I don't have anything to worry about.  I just thought I'd be bigger at this point than I am}, my doctor is going to do an ultrasound.  At this point, the baby will be much more recognizable and it will be so much fun to see her face.

Having a baby is always risky.  In my situation, it's a little more risky because of my epilepsy, so I am so grateful that our newest addition is healthy and, by all accounts, happy.

November 27, 2012


In preparation for Baby #2, I am dejunking and reorganizing my house.  Specifically all of Isabelle's toys and clothes.  I've been meaning to do this ever since I stopped working over a month ago, but never had the motivation.

Well, now I have my motivation and it's great.  Getting rid of stuff is such a great feeling, and I'm constantly amazed at how many things we acquire over time.  I don't know where everything comes from, but I do know consolidating and only keeping what we really need makes a huge difference.

If you've been meaning to do some dejunking, get to it!  You'll be grateful for all the extra space.

November 26, 2012


Dustin is on a business trip this entire week, which means it's just us at home.  

It also means I get the entire bed to myself, and sometimes I just love when I can sleep in the middle of the bed.  It feels like such a special treat to lay in the center of the bed when most nights I'm confined to my own little side.

I told Dustin how excited I was about this, and he whole-heartedly agreed that he was excited to do the same thing in his hotel.

I love that we can talk about how excited we are about certain things and be okay with it, especially when those things involve the other person being gone.

That's just the kind of marriage I have, I guess.

Anyway, so yay for an entire week of sleeping in the middle.

November 25, 2012


Dustin asked me when I was going to do a grateful post about our dogs, Sammie {L} and Tod {R}.  And since I'm very grateful for Dustin, I decided to follow through with his request.

I'm not a die-hard dog lover, but I don't loathe them like some people.

There are elements to being a dog owner that I can't stand.  But, there are things that I enjoy too.  Particularly, when Dustin is on business trips and I'm home alone with Isabelle.  I'm grateful that the dogs are there to bark their brains out if someone comes to the door.

I don't consider myself a paranoid person by any means; however, I do feel a sense of security when I go to bed at night knowing that Sammie and Tod will lose all control should they hear anyone near or in our house.  These creatures bark at the wind, so they'd certainly bark at a strange person coming into our house.

They've even comforted me one time after I watched an episode of Medium when I was home alone.

So, yes, in some small way I am grateful for Sammie and Tod.  They may look harmless, but when it comes to people in the house they are fearless.  :)

November 24, 2012


I try not to get uber religious on my blog.  I'm not ashamed or shy to talk about my faith, but religion in general is not what my goal is for this blog.

But, I can't put together a grateful list without mentioning a few aspects of my faith that mean the most to me.  And one of them is prayer.

I pray daily to my Heavenly Father.  I pray by myself and with my family.  I pray about everything and anything.  Whenever I feel our of sorts, scared or just need to feel peace and comfort I pray.

I have no doubts that my prayers are heard.  I have no doubts that my prayers are answered, according to God's will.

I can't imagine a life without prayer.  The comfort I get from prayer is unlike anything else, and I'm so grateful for that avenue of communication I have with my creator. 

November 23, 2012


Dustin and I rarely go out alone.  We spend most of our time together with our daughter, which is great, but having a date night or alone time outside of the house is something that I rarely make time for.

Today, on Black Friday, we left our daughter with her grandparents to do some shopping.  We usually leave in the early afternoon and come home in the evening.  We are able to get all of Isabelle's Christmas shopping done, then we grab a bite to eat and catch a movie before heading home.

We were both very much looking forward to our day out together, and everything went the way we planned.  Whenever it's just the two of us out and about, it's so nice and stress free.  We can actually have a conversation, eat our food at a normal speed, and basically just enjoy each other's company without the need to worry about anything else.

Even though it's hard for me to ask for baby-sitters, I've decided I really do need to make time for a once a month date night with Dustin.  I think it'll be one of my goals for next  year.  It's an important thing to make a priority and it really does help me with my overall well-being.

November 22, 2012


Today, on Thanksgiving, it seems like the best time to be thankful for my family.  I tried to be creative with my thankful list, but at one point you have express your feelings for the people that are the most important.

I come from a great family and I married into a great family.  Both my parents, all my in-laws, siblings, nieces and nephews bring happiness and joy to my life.  They help and teach me so much.

And, of course, my sweet husband and our little ball of fire, otherwise known as our daughter, are constant reminders to me of what is most important in life.  Life as a wife is very rewarding and it's not something I take lightly.  I'm grateful for my marriage and all the ups and downs that come along with it.  

Motherhood rocks my world.  My dear Isabelle can entice practically every emotion imaginable inside me.  I can go from so frustrated to complete happiness within minutes.  It's the most difficult role I've ever played, and probably ever will play.  It's constant work with never ending changes, but at the same time very rewarding and satisfying.

I love my family.

November 21, 2012

{day TWENTY-ONE} dollar MENUS

Last night, my little crew and I went to McDonald's for some treats.  We were all craving {okay, mostly me} some ice cream, and what's better than a yummy vanilla ice cream cone for only $1?

Of course, whenever you go to McDonald's, you have to get a large drink because, hello, they are only $1 too.  The only thing that would've made our little outing better is if I could have ordered a Dr. Pepper instead of my usual caffeine free Sprite.

So, the next time you have a little craving, hop on over to your nearest fast food joint and enjoy a little treat for only $1.  It really is something we should all take advantage of.

November 20, 2012


I really love my house.  It's not the biggest house on the block, nor is it the most updated with fancy features.  Heck, it's not even decorated with the latest and greatest furniture and gadgets {example:  our TV is 8 years old}, but I still love it.

Two years ago, we were living in a different state and had a completely different house.  While our home now is a townhouse with a small yard, our home back then was a single family home with a generous yard.  We had more space than we needed in that house.  In fact, we had to sell or put into storage many of our belongings after we moved because we simply didn't have the space.

But, despite having to sacrifice space, I love our new home because it's so much closer to the things that matter.  We're closer to family, we're closer to friends and we're in an area that suits us so much better in terms of opportunities for our daughter{s} like better schools, more cultural experiences and so forth.

As I find myself sitting in my house, often wishing I had one more bedroom, I'm reminded of the importance of not being greedy or envious of other people.  I feel satisfied that, when all is said and done, this house represents that we are living within our means while working towards something more grand.

I'm excited for the day when we are one step closer to our dream home, but in the meantime I'm grateful for the house we have and the security and comfort it provides.

November 19, 2012


I feel like I pretty much bombed last week.  

It started out with me being sick and basically unproductive until Thursday.  I couldn't cook or clean and had to lay around all day.  Even though it wasn't my choice to get sick, it still made me feel guilty knowing I wasn't pulling my weight around the house.  And I had to keep reminding myself that the only way I'd start to feel better is by resting; otherwise, recovery would take that much longer.

Today is a much better Monday.  I'm back on track with going about my usual activities and it feels so good to start the week off on the right foot.

For some reason, Mondays are always something I look forward to.  I like the feeling of "getting back to normal," and Mondays represent that for me.  It always seems like when Mondays roll around you get the chance at having a better or more productive week.

And that is something I'm grateful for today because I really, really needed it.

November 18, 2012


I guess I'm the type of person you'd categorize as "A" or "Red" when it comes to certain things.  I really like to be as prepared as possible.  My husband and I disagree about my level of worrying when it comes to certain things, but I will admit that I'm not a very "fly by the seat of your pants" type person.

I have a calendar in my house that I use regularly.  I like to schedule things like birthday parties probably more in advanced than the average person.  And I like to keep a schedule with things that I do around the house, like the laundry.

I spend all day Monday doing the laundry.  And then I fold it on Tuesday.  As I'm writing this I have a whole pile of clothes that need to be folded and put away.

For whatever reason, I like having a schedule when it comes to laundry.  Obviously, I do a few extra loads here and then, but usually I stay on track.  It's something that helps me feel productive at the beginning of a new week.

And I never get tired of the feeling when I've put the last piece of laundry away and am done for the week.

Maybe my love of scheduling and calendaring is weird, but it's who I am.  And for that I am grateful.

November 17, 2012

{day SEVENTEEN} her little QUIRKS

How surprising is this?  I'm behind and back-dating again!

Today, I'm choosing to be grateful {otherwise I find myself constantly annoyed} by my daughter's little quirks.  I caught myself realizing that one day these will be great memories to talk about when she's older, and possibly things I will miss as she moves on to new and different things.


She wears Sunday dresses to bed and PJs during the day.

A few of her favorite excuses:  She's too little, she's too busy or she doesn't feel well.

She refuses to go the bathroom, and usually only ever does after me begging her for hours.

She consumes applesauce like it's going out of style.  I seriously can't keep enough in the house.


I could go on and on, but I think it will only make my blood pressure go up.  I'm writing this post just after returning home from a few errands, errands that included exiting Costco with a screaming child and cleaning up a pee accident in Rumbi's.

Yep, her little quirks are always amusing and I'm counting on using them as pay back when she's a teenager.  :)

November 16, 2012

{day SIXTEEN} GIRLS' nights

There's something very therapeutic about a girls' night out.  I try to get together with two of my friends that I've known for several, several years at least once a month.  We usually find a place to eat that stays open late so we can chat as long as we like.

Tonight, I'm going out with my two sisters-in-law.  We're going to see the last Twilight movie.  Just for the record, I stopped reading the last Twilight book after I learned Bella and Edward named their daughter Renesmee.  Dumbest name ever.

Anyway, I've seen all the other movies, so it only seems natural that I'd see the last one in the theater just for tradition's sake.  Even though I'm not expecting much from the movie {although, I did enjoy New Moon}, it will be good to get out of the house and have some girl time.

What sorts of things do you do with your girlfriends?

November 15, 2012


Last night I received a random text message from my sister-in-law, Brittney.  Our conversation went a little something like this:


B:  I can't wait for Baby L to get here!

Me:  Baby hungry?


Me:  Only 13 more weeks and then she'll be here!

B:  I better get shopping.  I need to get to work on being the favorite aunt.

Me:  She's going to love you!


It's fun randomness like this that I love.  Random texts, phone conversations, e-mails, Facebook statuses that can sometimes bring people closer together.

Be random today.

November 14, 2012


A few months ago, Isabelle discovered Tinker Bell and fell in love with her and pretty much all things fairies.

Shortly before Halloween, we found her a Tinker Bell costume, complete with the dress and wings.  Isabelle was SO excited to wear the costume she could hardly contain herself.

The first time she tried on the costume, she was so excited for the wings.  I was at work at the time, but later learned that she genuinely believed once her wings were on she would be able to fly.  Dustin told me it was heartbreaking to see her face as he explained to her that she wouldn't really be able to fly.

This experience struck me because it was the first time reality really set in for Isabelle, and she learned for the first time that what she sees on TV isn't always real.

Why am I grateful for this experience?  Because it was a wake-up call.  While it is difficult to know I'll be spending my life explaining why life is not fair and why some people are mean, I know it's part of being a parent.  And I need to be prepared to know how to handle it the best way possible.

I also know that, as a parent, I can do all I can to encourage Isabelle to be anything she wants to be.

I can support her in whatever endeavor she chooses.

And that may as well be giving her wings.

November 13, 2012


I'm grateful that I can take advantage of new opportunities pretty much any time I want.

Over ten years ago, I worked at a store in the mall that sold essential oils.  I was immediately drawn to them, and now, all these years later, have started doing research about them again.  I like the idea of using them for cleaning, but also learning if they really do help with things like anxiety, insomnia and relaxation.  I'm also curious to know if they could help me with my epilepsy, specifically the memory loss I suffered because of having seizures and my overall absentmindedness that comes from having an abnormal brain.

I have a friend who has found herself to be quite successful with her doTERRA business, and it's made me wonder about getting more involved with essential oils.  I definitely need to try more and determine if I really believe in them, but knowing that opportunity is available to me is something I'm happy about.

Here's to new opportunities and making the most out of life.

November 12, 2012


Today my friends received some unfortunate news about their son's health.  It was very heartbreaking  to know this little boy, who's not even three years old yet, will have to endure a painful surgery when he should be living his life as a carefree little guy, playing outside in the snow with his friends.

The whole situation just isn't fair.

When I find myself whining or complaining about the difficulties in my life, especially those attributed to my daughter, I stop and tell myself that I am lucky.  There is always someone out there experiencing something more painful or heartbreaking.

Not to diminish my own trials, but when people whom you adore are going through things that you have no way of comprehending, it is very humbling.  And I paused today as I thought about the physical blessings that my family and I are blessed with.

Good luck, buddy!  We're here for you!

November 11, 2012

{day ELEVEN} SUNDAY dinner

Every so often, we'll go to my parents' house for Sunday dinner.  There's something special about eating dinner with your parents, especially when your mom makes her delish lasagna.  Try as I might, I can never replicate its awesomeness.

This Sunday was extra difficult for us because Isabelle misbehaved a lot during church.  We've been dealing with this sort of thing basically since she was born, and I think Dustin and I were just done with it all.

Right after church, we went to my parents' house and enjoyed a great dinner and conversation.  It was just the thing I needed after such a stressful day.

One of these days church will be an enjoyable experience for me again.  Until then, I,always have Sunday dinner to help lighten my mood.

November 10, 2012

{day TEN} federal HOLIDAYS

My husband works in finance and, therefore, gets all federal holidays off.  It's wonderful!

This weekend is a three-day one for Dustin since it's Veterans' Day on Sunday.  We see so little of each other during the week that I enjoy all of our weekends, but it's extra special when we have one extra day to spend with each other and not worrying about work.

Another great thing about federal holidays is that they seem to come around so often and so fast.  I think there are at least 7 or 8 a year, and since time flies for me it seems as though these fun freebie days are always right around the corner.

I imagine some people who have to work on federal holidays {I've definitely been there} probably are annoyed by them, or at least find them inconvenient if you find yourself needing to go to the post office or bank.  But, in our household they're golden.

Okay, a tad cheesy, but it's late and I'm gearing myself up for the drama that always ensues when it comes to putting my daughter to bed.

Anyway, thanks again federal holidays!

November 9, 2012


It's been almost a month since I quit my job.  There have been plenty of days that have caused me to remember why I enjoy working so much.  Going to work added a bit of diversity to my life that I don't normally get otherwise.  I was able to socialize and rub shoulders with my co-workers, and I miss that.

Nowadays, I spend most of my time with Isabelle and her friends.  And, I'll admit, sometimes I just want a break from the usual that comes from being a stay-at-home-mom.

However, despite how mundane my days can seem, I am grateful that I'm able to stay at home.  And that is only possible because Dustin is such a hard worker and takes his responsibility as our primary bread winner very, very seriously.

I used to work part-time at an event's center, and too many of my co-workers were women who worked multiple jobs because their husbands couldn't find "the perfect job." Instead, these "men" opted to not work at all, not seeming to mind that their wives worked on their feet all day long.

Over the years, Dustin has taken jobs that he knew he wouldn't like, but he tolerated them while he looked for something better.  The idea of not working just because the greatest job wasn't falling into his lap was never an option.  And, eventually, his patience and endurance paid off because now he has a great job.

Yesterday, Dustin worked 14 hours.  The day before that he worked 12.  And the day before that he worked 9.  Who knows how long he'll work today.  He works so, so hard because that's the type of person he is.  He has a great work ethic, and even though I know the pressure of being our primary bread winner is great he never fails to go to work every day.

I often ask him how I can make his days easier, to lighten his load.  And his answer is always, "Having dinner ready for me when I come home means so much."

So, not only is he a hard worker, he's pretty easy to please.

November 8, 2012

{day EIGHT} SEWING skills

I can't sew to save my life.  I had to take a TLC class back in junior high and I still don't know how I passed the sewing portion of the class.

Over the past few months I've become more grateful for those people in my life that have sewing skills. Mainly, my mother-in-law Roberta.  She is so talented when it comes to her sewing machine.  She made my daughter's blessing dress.  She made my daughter's favorite blanket.  She has fixed holes in my daughter's favorite blanket.  And most recently, she took in my daughter's favorite Rapunzel dress - a dress that has always been too big for her and now fits perfectly.

Roberta's skills have left a lasting impression on my daughter as well.  Whenever she see's a shirt with a small hole in it or a string dangling from a pant cuff, she very confidently states, "Don't worry, Mom.  Grandma Berta can fix it."

I've since come to realize that I probably should learn how to sew.  It really seems to be a handy skill. For the time being, though, I'm just grateful for Grandma Berta always coming to the rescue.

November 7, 2012


I rarely use Twitter, but when I do it is usually to tweet my distaste for a certain company.  Whether I am the victim of bad customer service or a business just does something that I think is wrong, I tweet about it.  

Sure, I'm limited to a certain amount of characters, and when all is said and done, nothing is resolved.  But I get a kick out of how fast the company responds because they know bad news spreads fast - especially when bad news is posted on social networking sites.

Of course, I don't limit my complaints to just Twitter.  I take advantage of surveys that company's put on their receipts, "contact us" emails company's post on their websites and so forth.  It's a great way for me to vent my frustrations without having to actually talk to someone.  And, honestly, I usually always get a response back and more often than not I am sent coupons for free stuff as an apology.

There really isn't any excuse for poor customer service these days, so if you're not sending e-mails when you're treated poorly be sure to start!  You'll be surprised what company's will do to keep your business.

November 6, 2012

{day SIX} ONLINE banking

Or, should I say online credit union-ing since I prefer them over banks?

Nevertheless, online financing is one of the greatest things of all time.  I remember as a young, dumb teenager my financial institution asking me if I wanted to sign up for an online account.  For some reason I thought it would cost money, so I always declined.  Then I grew a brain and have never gone back!

When Dustin and I first got married, it was very clear we managed our finances differently.  I checked my online account frequently and always had a good estimate in my head of what was available.  I always managed to mess up the math on my register, and eventually just gave up.

He, on the other hand, was very strict with keeping a register and the thought of me spending any money without writing it down was really frustrating.

We attempted having one, joint account and that lasted an entire two seconds.  We are definitely a dual-account couple, and it works for us.

But, getting back to the point, the convenience of online financing is so amazing.  Need to transfer money from checking into savings?  With two clicks it's done!  Running low on your checking account?  No problem, do a transfer from savings to checking in no time at all.  Want to pay a bill without mailing it?  Snap!  You've got a bill pay option!

The possibilities are endless.

November 5, 2012

{day FIVE} JIMMY JOHN'S delivery

There have been quite a few times in recent memory that I have totally and utterly craved a Jimmy John's sandwich but had no way of getting to one.

Insert Jimmy John's delivery service.

This was the answer to all of my crazy, pregnant woman needs.  I probably ordered them at least once a week for a month.

Are they over priced sandwiches?  Yes.

Is it stupid you have to pay extra for cheese?  Definitely.

But, hello, they are delish sandwiches and I may just have to order one tomorrow.

November 4, 2012

{day FOUR} NATURAL light

One of the first things I do when I wake up in the morning is open all of my blinds.  I love the way natural light makes my house feel.  Everything seems so fresh and clean when the sun is shining into the family room.

I used to live in a house that had close to 20 windows on the main floor, 9 of which were basically floor-to-ceiling.  It was AWESOME!  I hope I can live in a house that allowed so much light to come into all the rooms.

If you're not already, open your windows everyday!  The sun really does make such a difference.

November 3, 2012

{day THREE} the FALL weather

Summertime was HOT in Utah this year.  I don't remember a summer quite as hot.  We had more than our fair share of 100+ degree days, and it was miserable.  We had very little rain and it seemed like there was no end to the dreaded heat.

As soon as September rolled around it was the best feeling.  The weather immediately changed for the better.  No more paying for A/C, sweating 24/7, and tossing and turning at night because it was just too dang hot to sleep.

Isabelle and I have enjoyed many walks since Fall arrived.  It's so lovely walking around our neighborhood when there is a crisp chill in the air.  Isabelle adores playing in the leaves with her friends and we've adorned our front porch with some great pumpkins.


Fall also means the beginning of so many fun things like birthdays, Halloween, Thanksgiving, pumpkin shakes and cinnamon candles.

Seriously, what isn't great about Fall?!

November 2, 2012

{day TWO} good NEIGHBORS

All things considered, I'm not the most social person in the world.  I'm perfectly content doing things by myself and don't fret when I find myself without something to do every single weekend.

When we moved into our house, we met a few of our neighbors that had kids around the same age as Isabelle.  We all go to the same church, our kids play together on a regular basis and we help each other when it comes to baby-sitting or borrowing a cup of sugar.

I didn't anticipate getting along with my neighbors like I do, but it's really nice having a good relationship with them.  I consider them my friends and love living by them and seeing them on a daily basis.  Too often I keep to myself, but when I find myself being a bit more social I learn that it really is a lot of fun.

November 1, 2012


I am currently 26 along in my second pregnancy.  Everything about my first pregnancy was a breeze.   In fact, I was really concerned that things went a little too well and that if I ever got pregnant again I was due for the exact opposite.

While this pregnancy has been a tad more difficult in terms of feeling sick during the first trimester, overall things have been going really well.  I'm able to go about my days pretty much the same as before.  I have yet to wear any maternity clothes and have only gained 2 lbs.

I have a wonderful doctor who has such a great office and staff.  Everyone is so friendly and professional when I go in for my appointments.  I genuinely love my monthly visits, and not just because I get to hear my baby's heartbeat but also because everyone is so great to work with.

As the arrival of my second daughter draws closer, I constantly think how grateful I am for the smooth process thus far.  I know things could be a lot worse and uncomfortable.

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