November 19, 2013


Not long ago, I spoke to a woman over the phone at work.  She was placing an order for her grandson, who had made an unfortunate decision and was now serving time in prison.   Before I could complete her order, I had to put her on hold.  When I came back on the line, this sweet woman was crying.  She apologized for being so emotional and I did my best to comfort her.  As I listened to her cry, my heart ached for her and her family.  I wondered if this young man realized the pain he had caused.  I wondered why people have to suffer so due to no fault of their own.

Our phone call lasted only a few minutes, but it taught me a valuable lesson. For the first time, I think I grasped the reality of how much we matter.

What we do matters.  

The decisions we make matter.

Be it good or bad, we are not alone when dealing with the consequences of our actions.

What we do matters.

We matter.

And I can't help but imagine what this world would be like if we really understood this simple truth.

You matter.

Act like it.

November 7, 2013

THANKFUL thursday: my JOB

A few months ago, I started a new, part-time job, and I absolutely love it.  It is probably the best job I've ever had.  The work, the environment, the people are great.  I feel so incredibly lucky to have a job that I not only enjoy, but that works well around my busy schedule of being a mom.

Even though I'm not actually alone, this job gives me what I consider alone time.  Or even me time.  I guess any time away from my children feels like alone time.  And because I get a few hours a week away from the craziness of motherhood, I feel like I am a better mother overall.

And anything that helps me be a better mom {which is, after all, my real job} is something I will always be grateful for.

What things are you grateful for?

November 6, 2013


Every once in awhile, Dustin will write me love notes.  He'll fold it like a genius, {which in theory is super cute, but usually only reminds me of the horrible experiences I had doing origami in school} and usually the note is simple and sweet.

It's the little things in life that matter most, and the-fear-of-origami-love-notes certainly can brighten my day.


November 5, 2013

the END of an ERA

Shortly after Isabelle was born, I decided to quit my job.  It was around that time that I realized how much of my self-identity was wrapped up in my work.  It took me awhile to get used to the idea of not having an answer to the always fun question, "What do you do?" or having to put a checkmark next to the "Homemaker" {#gag} option on mortgage applications.  Over the years, I've learned how to deal with not working full-time all while still feeling like a contributing member of society.

However, I find myself feeling somewhat the same as I enter a new phase in my life.  This is a very exciting phase, one that I never thought possible, but that doesn't take away the weird feeling of leaving a part of me behind.

Two months ago, I got my learners permit.  Yes, at the ripe old age of nearly 33 years old, I will, in a few weeks, be eligible to become a licensed driver for the first time ever.  I'll spare the details as to why I've never driven before because it's health related {#seizuressuck}, and it's not really relevant to this post.

Not being able to drive has been something that has defined me in so many ways.  Driving has always been my greatest fear.  It has restricted me beyond belief.  It has been the source of much stress.  But it has also allowed me to see the kindness and goodness in other people as I have had to rely heavily on friends and family for many, many years to get from point A to point B.

After consulting with my neurologist and having been seizure-free for 3 months, I decided it was time to conquer my fear and learn to drive.  I don't think I could have ever done it without the inspiration of my two daughters.  It was for them that I did this.  Learning to drive meant I didn't have to worry about things I constantly worried about.  Things that other people probably never thought twice about:  How will I get my kids to school?  What happens if they get sick or forget something and I need to get to their school quickly?  What if they want to go to a friends house?  How will I get them to dance or music lessons?

And the list goes on and on on.

Growing up, my mom drove me everywhere.  I have no idea how we would've functioned as a family had my mom not been able to drive.  I had nightmares {ok, not actual nightmares} of my children resenting me for not being able to take them places.  I knew my not being able to drive would have a large impact on their lives, and I didn't want that.  I didn't want to be an embarrassment to them, but I especially didn't want to inhibit them in any way.

And so I'm learning to drive.  And things are going well.  Being able to get into a car and drive a few blocks to the grocery store is one of the greatest luxuries ever.  Not having to worry about how I will get somewhere, anywhere is a feeling I can't describe.  All the planning, the organizing, the inconveniencing is gone.  

It's simply gone. 

I honestly never thought this day would come.  And I'll always be grateful to my Isabelle and LL for inspiring me to be strong and courageous.

After all, driving is easy.


November 4, 2013


I'll admit I'm not that well versed in the world of Imogen Heap, but I've heard enough of her songs to know that she's worth listening to.

My favorite song of hers {for now} is HIDE AND SEEK

I kid you not, I could {and have} listen to this song probably ten times in a row and still get goosebumps.  I love it when music has that sort of effect on me.

It also doesn't hurt that this song is on the soundtrack to The Last Kiss, starring Zach Braff.  Holla, he is hot.

Anyway, give Imogen Heap a chance, if you haven't already!

July 25, 2013

to my BROTHERS...

I have two younger brothers, Jonathan and Matthew.  Both of them will be embarking on new adventures within the next few weeks - both of which are things that I have gone through myself.  So, what kind of older sister would I be if I did not freely give of my wisdom?



Your life as you now know it is changing.  It is not ending.  It is just changing.

Be content in knowing that there really isn't any way to be completely prepared.  Sure, the nursery is all put together and you have a plethora of blankets and clothes.  But, when all is said and done there is no way to fully prepare yourself for how you will feel when you hold your sweet bundle of joy in your arms for the first time.

You may feel an immediate bond.  You may not.  Either way is perfectly normal.

Your baby will entice all sorts of emotions within you.  You may find yourself being completely frustrated to utterly giddy within minutes.

Be prepared to learn how to do all things using only one hand.

Changing a diaper could, at first, take you 15 minutes.  But, before you know it, you'll be a pro.

I don't doubt you'll find yourself looking at your lovely wife and thinking, "She's a natural."

It's easy to focus on all the horrors of parenthood, so instead think about all the memories you have with your (our) dad.  Think about the first time he helped you ride a two-wheel bike.  You're going to be that dad some day.  Think about the first time he took you to Disneyland.  You're going to be that dad some day.  Think about the first time he let you drive a car.  You're going to be that dad some day.

You will be a wonderful father.  And you couldn't ask for a better mother for your child.  Together, you two will make a great home for your daughter.  

And always remember, that one day, your little girl, will say to her friends, "One time, my dad...."  

Make sure her "One time, my dad..." stories are good ones!


You're leaving the land of your birth and moving out of state!  Trust me when I say that I am 100% excited for you.  I'm glad that you and your beautiful wife will be embarking on this adventure together.  It's easy to completely change your surroundings when you have the love of your life by your side.

Moving away from family and friends can be difficult at first.  But, just think about how fun it will be to meet new people and form new friendships.  The friendships you make will have a great impact on your new life.  Make sure they are good friends, and people that place similar importance on things as you.

Emerse yourself in your new city.  Sure, you're not that far from home and weekend trips to visit family wouldn't be too far fetched, but make them few and far between.  Don't live to leave your new home.  Live to explore and find out all that it has to offer you.  Become a local.

Be sensitive to your wife.  She agreed to pack up her life and move away from her home just for you.  Make sure her needs are met.  I imagine your shoulder will be her new favorite place to cry when she finds herself missing her mom.

You are lucky to have this experience.  And you probably won't ever have a chance to do this again.  Take advantage of this time to learn and grow and become more independent.  In twenty years, you may just look back and think, "That was a great time!"


So, to my little bros, never forget that I am here for you.  I'll help you in any way that I can.  You're always in my thoughts and prayers.

June 11, 2013

$20 for your THOUGHTS...

I am in desperate need of some advice!

My 4-month old daughter is a spit-up machine.  There is no end to her spitting up, and, as a result, she is constantly hungry.  I go through one package of formula in less than a week, which is costing me tons and tons of money!  The formula should be lasting longer than this, and I may as well flush $5 down the toilet every time another river of spit-up lands on my shoulder.

I need some practical, wholesome advice on what to do.  I've tried everything my pediatrician recommended plus a few tips I read on various websites, but nothing has worked.  Here's an example:

Trial and error with formula.  She is currently on a generic form of Enfamil AR.

Hold her in a more upright position during feedings.

Keep her in an upright position for 30-45 minutes after feedings.

Burp in between ounces.  i.e., drink one ounce, burp, drink a second ounce, burp, etc.

Feed her less at one time, but more frequently.

None of these suggestions have yielded any changes.  She continues to spit-up and spit-up and spit-up.  At this point, I'm in denial about the possibility that I may just have to wait for her to grow out of it.  I'm determined that there is a solution, and I'm almost certain someone out there has been in this same situation and can help me.

And the person that provides me the most effective advice will get a $20 Amazon giftcard.

Please comment and leave me any advice you may have.  

P.S. To all you die hard, anti-formula moms out there:  The reason behind why I do not breastfeed is none of your business.  But, I promise with all of my heart that I have a very legitimate reason for bottle-feeding my child.  Trust me when I say I would love nothing more than to feed my little one FREE breast milk, but such is not the case for me.  As much as I know how much you'd love to lecture me on how I'm ruining my child's life by not breastfeeding, it really is unnecessary. 

June 5, 2013

INSTAGRAM wednesdays: HOME

I had the idea a few months ago to hang pictures of all the different homes we've lived in over the years.  This is a picture of the first house Dustin and I lived in together as a married couple.  It's fun to see it everyday and to remember what life was like all those years ago.

How do you like to decorate your home?

June 4, 2013


My youngest daughter, we call her LL, will be four months old tomorrow.  Time usually flies, but it seems to be flying particularly fast when it comes to baby LL.

The past four months have been all about creating a schedule and finding a routine that works for our now family of four.  I knew if I was ever going to have a normal, non-crazy life again, there would need to be some major structure within the walls of my home.

And, thankfully, we have settled on a good schedule and things seem to be heading in the right direction, with all the usual bumps and scratches along the way, of course.

As I watched Isabelle ride her bike in front of our house while holding LL in my arms, I realized my time with the two of them at home all day is quickly coming to an end.  Isabelle will be attending pre-school three days a week starting in August, and it won't be too much longer after that that she'll be in kindergarten.  And then first grade.  And then junior high.  And then high school.

I knew if I ever had more than one child, I wanted them a little further apart in age.  That's how it was for me growing up and I liked it.  With the exception of a few years in elementary school, I never went to school with any of my siblings and felt like I had more opportunities to do things on my own because of it.  And, in the end, I think it helped me in many ways.

I'm very proud of the progress we've made as a family and how far we've come with getting used to our new normal.  

This is particularly true with Isabelle.  She struggled at first with being a big sister, but now loves it.  The two of them genuinely love to see each other.  No one can capture LL's attention quite like Isabelle can, and it melts my heart to see them have fun together.

While I think there will be many advantages to having one child in school with another one just at home, I will miss our days of all being home together.

I suppose I should get used to the idea of constant "new normals" because life is doing anything but staying the same these days.

June 3, 2013


"I can be anything."
-Anything, Sofia the First

Isabelle is a big fan of the show Sofia the First.  Like I said in my previous post, she loves princesses.  The show is about a little girl named Sofia whose mother marries the king and whose life suddenly goes from living in a village to being a royal princess.

I actually don't mind the show all that much.  Each episode carries a good message and Sofia is a decent character and nowhere near as annoying as Dora.  I also like the show because it has music, and since Isabelle loves to sing I ended up buying her the entire soundtrack to the series.

Some of the songs are very specific to the episode, while others carry a deeper message about Sofia's quest to be a great princess and her new way of life.

One song called Anything is one of Isabelle's favorites and she loves to sing it all the time.  It has a great message about how each of us can be anything that we want, and the episode in which it is featured is when Sofia is trying out for the flying derby team despite everyone's objections because usually only princes are on the team.

Here's part of the song.

I try to share music that I think is appropriate for kids and not super annoying to parents because some of the stuff out there is brutal to listen to over and over and over again.

  I really like this song because I think it has a great message for everyone.

If you're looking for some new music for your kids to listen to, be sure to check out this soundtrack!

June 2, 2013


I literally don't know the last time I bought laundry detergent.  

And I do laundry multiple times a week. 

Every time I go to use it, I keep thinking I'm reaching the end.  But, always to my surprise, the measuring cup fills without any reservation.

There's no logical explanation as to why I haven't had to buy laundry detergent in the last little while. 

But, there is a spiritual one.

I contribute 10% of all of my earnings to my church.  It is something I have been asked to do, and I do so willing.  As a result, I have been blessed immensely.  Not blessed in that I wear only the most stylish clothes or go on frequent, lavish vacations, but blessed in smaller, simpler ways.

And there is no doubt it is a blessing from paying my tithing.

I am currently dealing with a baby that adores spitting up.  I swear she is trying to make it into an olympic event.  Between the two of us, we go through at least 5 wardrobe changes a day.  I used to do laundry once a week.  Those days are long gone.

I'm thankful for the little things in life, like a seemingly limitless supply of laundry detergent, that help remind me that God is real.  He loves me.  And He blesses me even in the most mundane ways.

May 31, 2013


If you didn't hear about the big commotion regarding Pixar's Brave character Merida I guess I'm not that surprised.  In the grand scheme of things, it wasn't too big of deal.  But, in order for this post to make any sense to you, you need to know a few of the details.

A few weeks ago, Merida was inducted into the ever inclusive Disney Princess Club.  As part of her induction, Disney gave her a little bit of a make-over.

Obviously, the princess club Merida was much more sexy, slimmer and without her most prized possession - the bow and arrow. 

Thousands were outraged by the change, claiming that Merida was the first Disney princess that was different.  The first Disney princess that wasn't about beauty and whose only hope in life wasn't to meet her handsome prince.  The first Disney princess that was actually worth admiring.

A petition was started.  Thousands of signatures were collected.  The petition demanded Disney restore Merida to her original settings.  And, after a few days, that's exactly what happened.  The official Disney princess website was changed and Merida was once again portrayed just as she did in her feature film.

So, here's my dilemma.

I am raising a little girl that loves princesses.  She adores them all:  Rapunzel, Cinderella, Tiana, Ariel, Belle, Mulan, Sleeping Beauty, Merida, etc.  She owns many of the princess dresses and would wear them 24/7 if I let her.

As I watch my little girl prance around our house in her dresses and then think about the outrage over Merida's makeover, I find myself conflicted.  I wonder, "Am I setting my daughter up for complete and utter doom by letting her love and adore princesses?  Is she going to grow up feeling like the only thing that matters in life is how you look?"

And then I think about the stories behind some of these princesses:

Belle is an outcast in the village where she lives.  She prefers to read and seeks adventure.  She refuses a marriage proposal from the most dashing, handsome man in town.  She supports and defends her father even when everyone else makes fun of him, and, she ultimately sacrifices her freedom to save his life.  She eventually falls in love with the Beast because, despite his appearance, she has learned that he is kind and gentle and caring.

Cinderella is treated horribly by her family.  She is a slave in her own home.  Despite the cruelty she endures, she always has a positive attitude.  In the end, her dream of a better life comes true, illustrating that, despite the difficulties we may have now, things can turn out for the better.

Ariel dreams of a different life.  She has a curious nature and wants to learn everything she can about life above the sea.  She is rebellious, knows what she wants in life and makes sure she gets it.

Mulan lives in a country where tradition means everything, and where women are viewed as worthless.  Because she is not male, the only way she can bring honor to her family is by getting married.  Even though she wants to honor her father and mother, she knows she has more to offer than just being "a little wife."  Despite the risk of being killed, she disguises herself as a man and takes her father's place in the Chinese army.  After a lot of hard work and determination, she eventually becomes a great soldier and brings honor to her family all while remaining single.

Are all the princesses mentioned above beautiful?


  Does that make their stories any less meaningful?


I don't want my daughters to grow up thinking the most important thing in life is to be beautiful, but I also don't want them thinking being beautiful is bad.

I want my daughters to know that, regardless of physical appearance, everyone has strengths, weaknesses, dreams and fears.  No one is exempt from times of happiness or difficulties.  And, even though no two people are exactly alike, it is safe to assume everyone has similar, basic needs and desires.  And because of all of this, it is important to treat everyone with kindness and dignity.

When my oldest daughter finds herself feeling insecure about her appearance, will I think back on this time and say, "I never should've let her wear that Rapunzel dress everyday!"  My guess is, no.  Everyone feels "less than" at some point in their life.  It's just apart of life.

And it's not that it happens that matters.  It's how you handle it that is the most important.

Does this mean I am indifferent about Merida's makeover?  Of course not.  It was ridiculous for Disney to change her appearance.  (However, I should mention that all of the princesses on the website have been altered in some way, begging the question as to why no one has gotten all up in arms about that.  But, that's besides the point.)  All I'm trying to say is that loving princesses isn't all that bad, and that we should focus more of our concerns on why people like the cast of The Jersey Shore and the Kardashians are so popular.

In the end, I'm glad that people took a stand for something they felt strongly about and won!  It just goes to show that your voice can be heard, even when you're going up against huge corporations. I'm glad to have a daughter that loves to wear dresses, play make believe and who whole-heartedly embraces her femininity and thinks pants are for boys.

And, I'm glad that, thanks to Merida, she can't wait to get her own bow and arrow.

May 29, 2013

INSTAGRAM wednesdays: her HAIR

There's a really good chance that I totally and completely LOVE my daughter's hair.

I think it's so beautiful.

May 27, 2013


I love it when I find a really awesome cover.  I love Simon and Garfunkel's song "Sounds of Silence."  Isn't it a great song?  Of course, nothing can replace the original, but this cover by Emma Louise and Husky Gawenda is absolutely stunning.

I may or may not have been listening to it over and over again for the past few days.

This is the best video I could find of the song.  You can also check it out here on iTunes.

Enjoy and happy MUSIC mondays!

May 16, 2013

to each HER OWN

When my oldest daughter was born, I pretty much learned that I had no idea how to raise a child.  I read a lot, asked a lot of questions and relied heavily on my intuition.  When it came to getting her on a good sleeping schedule my days were filled with a lot of trial and error.

Pretty soon, I found something that worked.  She was sleeping through the night at 4 weeks!  And, she was napping very regularly at least twice a day, for at least 3 hours each time.  I found myself with an unusually large amount of free time given the fact that I had a new baby.

When my latest bundle of joy arrived, I was committed to trying out my same sleeping strategies with her.  And, it worked!  She slept through the night at less than 2 weeks old.  I informed her pediatrician about her amazing sleep habits and she told me so long as she was peeing and pooing regularly, I didn't have to worry about waking her up during the night.

Over the next few weeks, things were pretty smooth sailing at night.  She was going to bed at a good time, only waking up once for a feeding and easily fell back asleep until the morning.

Nap time was a completely different story.  I couldn't get her on a schedule and I found myself wondering if she was going to be a no-nap little girl.  And that just seemed so wrong to me.  Kids needs naps!  I was determined to get her on a good schedule by doing the exact same thing I did with her big sister.  It worked then.  It should work now.

Then things got worse.  She completely fought going to bed.  She was waking up shortly after being put down.  She woke up multiple times during the night.  And, all of this was going on while she continued to not nap during the day.

I decided to face reality.  My methods were not working with this little one.  I thought about all the things I had tried with my first daughter that didn't work.  I wondered if they would work now.  It just seemed so weird that what SOO did not work with one child would easily work with another.

Then, on Mother's Day, I got sick.  I'm pretty sure it was vertigo.  It kicked in later in the day.  By the time it was ready to get the girls down for bed, I was completely useless.  I could barely walk because everything was spinning.  I told my husband all I could do was go to bed, leaving him in charge of getting the kids to bed.  While in bed, I could hear him struggling with both girls.  Both seemed to be fussy and uncooperative.  Eventually, he got the oldest one in bed.  That just left the baby.  She wasn't responding to the usual routine, so I told him to just put her in her bed and let her cry.  Nothing else was working, and I felt comfortable that she was old enough for the cry-it-out method.

So, he put her down and she began to cry.  And cry.  And cry.  And cry.  I told myself I wouldn't let it go on for longer than 30 minutes.  Despite her crying, I could tell she was fine and just crying out of sheer exhaustion.  Dustin first put her in bed at 9:59.  The crying stopped at 10:32.  And she slept through the night.

Because that had gone so well, I decided to try it for nap time.  Isabelle, my oldest, refused to nap in her crib, so she napped in her swing and LOVED it.  This time around, the swing was less than thrilling. 

To my surprise, nap time went splendidly well.  She cried minimally and slept for hours.

That night, she cried for only 20 minutes.  The next night, 15 minutes.  And last night, she didn't make a peep!  And, nap time, has continued to be a success.   She has never napped this consistently her entire life!

I've learned a very important less this week:  my daughters are not the same.  Even at their young ages, they already have their own personalities, their own likes and dislikes and their own preference in sleeping patterns.  What works for one, doesn't necessarily work for the other.

And in order to make my life a little more sane, I need to embrace their differences and not be so rigid in how I go about doing things.

I know we'll have our not-so-fun nights again.  I know all phases, whether good or bad, don't always last, but at least now I am more aware of my daughters' differences.

And being aware is a very good thing.

May 6, 2013

CURRENTLY {may 2013 ed}

  I want to start on my goal of reading all of Jane Austen's novels.  I have them on my iPad, but I find myself torn between reading them on a device or holding the actual book in my hands.  One of the reasons why I want to read more is to be a good example to my kids about the importance of reading, and I think a stronger impression could be made with the actual book.  Thoughts?

Water.  After the caffeine withdrawal headache from hell I finally decided to cut out pop from my diet.  I'll make exceptions here and there, but for the most post I am completely done with pop.  The stuff went straight to my stomach anyway, so it's a small price to pay in order to feel and look better.

Getting tickets to the Joshua Radin concert and seeing Jerry Seinfeld perform live.  Both of them will be in my area this month.  Ah, if only I had all the money in the world...

Curbing my sweet tooth.  It seems as though my need for sweets is completely out of control.  I'm trying to substitute a donut or candy bar with yogurt.  It works pretty well, but I still crave the good stuff every single day.  Every.  Single.  Day.

The nice weather!  It's finally nice enough that I can take my girls outside for a walk.

I'm handling the whole two kids thing better than I expected.  It's not easy and there are definitely days when I wish I could just do whatever I want whenever I want.  But overall I've adjusted to my new normal just fine.

What Dustin will get me for Mother's Day.  I'm more of a practical gift sort of person.  I'd love it if my gift was getting all of our carpets cleaned.

Being more active, planning FHE every week and planning dinner one week in advance.  

April 30, 2013


Today is the last day of the A to Z Challenge.  I got through most of the posts, so I'm happy about what I accomplished.  Even though I didn't get around to writing about it, I do actually have bucket list goals for the letters V, W and Y.  So, here there are.


I'm not a big meat eater.  In fact, most of what meat I do eat is chicken.  If I do eat red meat, it's usually in meals like spaghetti or tacos.

Back during my college days, I did cut out red meat completely and liked it.  My husband also was a vegetarian for awhile, but had to change his ways during his time as an LDS missionary.  Both of us have expressed interest in going completely meat free, but haven't quite committed to it yet.  We have, however, lowered our meat intake and usually try to have at least one vegetarian meal for dinner each week.

Because of all this, I'd really like to live a vegetarian lifestyle for at least one year.  I'm curious to know if I'd love it or hate it.  I'm not sure when I'll do this because I do know if I want my children to live a meat-free life as well.  It wouldn't be hard to accommodate both lifestyles, but it would be ideal if we were all on the same page.

Are any of you vegetarians?  What are your motives?


{w}:  a healthy WEIGHT

My weight has fluctuated a lot over the last few years.  All in all, I am over weight and am usually uncomfortable in my own skin.

One day, I looked at myself in the mirror and didn't like what I saw.  And then it hit me like a ton of bricks that I didn't have to look this way.  While that may sound completely absurd, I realized that day how my weight is both a physical and mental health problem.  I had no idea I believed I couldn't change.

A goal I have in life is not to be super skinny, but to be at a healthy weight based on my height and maintain it throughout my life.  I've always struggled with being active.  I'm not one of those people that adores sports and playing them all day long.  So, maintaining a healthy weight for me will include adding activities to my every day routine.  While I'd love a gym membership, it's just not in the cards for me right now.  Instead, I need to be different ways to stay active.  I'd like to start running and I've heard there are so many benefits to jump roping, so I think I'll begin there.

I think this is an important goal not only for me, but also for my family.  I want to be an example of health to my girls, but not in an unhealthy way.  I don't want them hearing me complain about my weight.  I don't want them seeing me try every diet in the book only to fail.  

I realize I shoulder great responsibility with my girls in terms of body image.  I can't prevent them from seeing the misguided pictures of what society deems beautiful.  I probably can't prevent them from, at one point in time, feeling like they are overweight or not pretty.  

I can, however, be an example to them of leading a healthy lifestyle.  If I want them to eat fruits and veggies, I have to eat fruits and veggies.  If I want them to exercise, I have to exercise.  If I want them to get outside and enjoy the sunshine, I have to get outside and enjoy the sunshine.

I feel blessed that I have a desire to change my habits.  Only good things can come from it.


{y}:  YOUR song

I think one of the most romantic songs ever is Elton John's Your Song.  It's a simple song with beautiful lyrics.  I could listen to it multiple times a day and never get sick of it.  In my mind, it's timeless.

I would LOVE to see Elton John in concert and hear him sing this song live.  

That would be totally awesome.


And that is wrapping up my A to Z Challenge for this year.  Thanks to everyone who commented!

April 24, 2013


For as long as I can remember, I have hated my arms.  Wearing a tank top or anything sleeveless was never an option for me.  And, over the years, fashion trends have not been kind to me in terms of finding clothes that have long enough short sleeves that I'm comfortable in.

Needless to say, I love long-sleeve weather.

But, I'm done hating my arms.  And, despite how silly this may seem, it was only recently that I truly came to understand that I can change the way my arms look.  If not, I'll end up with very flabby underarms indeed.  And I don't want that at all.

What I want is to be comfortable in short sleeves and to have healthy, toned underarms. 

Not crazy Madonna arms, but nice Michelle Obama arms.

I'm in the process of finding a good arm workout routine that I can do easily at home.  If you have any tips let me know!

Obviously, this will be an ongoing goal since my weight will fluctuate from time to time.  But, I'm still putting it on my bucket list because it's something that has bothered me for way too long and will be a great feeling when I finally can say that I love my arms!

April 23, 2013

{t}: TIMES square on NYE

Since I'll be living in NYC and already brave the crowds of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, I may as well round out the year in Times Square.

Yes, I hope to ring in a new year while standing on the streets in Times Square.  I know it'll be beyond crazy with people.  I know every inch of my body will be freezing.  And I know it'll be even crazier walking or riding the subway back to my house {or hotel}.

But, it'll be totally worth it.

April 22, 2013

{s}: SNOW sports

I've lived in Utah almost my entire life.

And I've never, I repeat NEVER, been ski or snowboarding.


To my fellow Utahns, I apologize for disgracing Utah and bringing shame upon all those who live in this great state.  I also apologize to all those people that travel from miles away to enjoy the Utah snow when all I do is complain about it.

In all seriousness, I am pretty disappointed with myself for never taking to the slopes.  I don't know if I'd enjoy skiing or snowboarding better, but I do know I need to try it for at least one season.  At first, I 

thought this goal would just be "go ski or snowboarding."  But then I realized that is hardly a difficult goal.  So, I'm changing it to buying a season pass at one of the many resorts and use it diligently throughout the winter season.

Now that is a lofty goal for me!

I'm pretty sure the pictures above illustrate what my skill level will be in a few years. :)

April 20, 2013

{r}: READ

I already have a goal to read all of Jane Austen's books, but I wanted to include another item about reading anyway.  And that is to read one book each month for 12 consecutive months. 

This may seem like a strange goal to some people, but for me it'll be a huge accomplishment.  While I love to read, I tend not to make time for it.  And, I tend to read really, really slow.  When I hear people say, "Man, it took me an entire week to read that book!"  I'm always amazed.  If I finish a book in a week I think I must be way advanced.

Anyway, this goal can go hand-in-hand with my Jane Austen goal, or I may find a different book to read.  Either way, I think this will be a great way for me to teach my children about the importance of reading and making sure I take time out for myself as much as possible.

April 19, 2013


My husband and I spent our honeymoon in Montreal, Quebec.  During our trip, we went to Quebec City which is home to the beautiful Le Chateau Frontenac.  It's an absolutely stunning hotel.  We walked through it and had the money to spend the night there, but we decided against it.

I hope to one day go back to beautiful Quebec City and spend the night in this fabulous hotel.  Maybe by that time I'll know how to speak a little French too. 

April 18, 2013

{p}: macy's thanksgiving day PARADE

My parents were lucky enough to score tickets to the Salt Lake City winter olympics opening ceremony in 2002.  I, like so many others, had to watch it on TV.  From what I heard, my experience was nowhere near as fascinating as seeing all the events unfold face to face.

There are so many things like this, things that I only ever see on TV, and it's such a shame.  I doubt I'll ever score opening ceremony tickets, but there are a few things I imagine I can see live.  One of which being the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.  After all, I'll already be living in NYC.  :)

While I imagine it is a complete madhouse getting to the parade, finding a place to watch, etc., life is too short not to at least try to see certain things in person.

April 17, 2013


I began taking violin lessons when I was in kindergarten, and I continued taking lessons as a college student.  Throughout all those years, I participated in school orchestras - one in junior high, one in high school and one in college.  Orchestra allowed me to meet wonderful people, learn how to work with groups and to travel to a variety of places including San Francisco, Seattle, Vancouver and China.

If you've never played with an orchestra, you're missing out.  It is a thrilling experience.  It is also intense and tiring and bloody.  I don't mean bloody figuratively.  I mean it literally.  My poor fingertips. And, how about playing under the direction of this guy?  Can you imagine?  I can...and did!


Anyway, I haven't been apart of an orchestra for a long time.  I miss playing my violin on a regular basis.  These days, I find myself only ever playing in church or at funerals.  Don't get me wrong, playing in church is fun and I'm always humbled when I'm asked to play at someone's funeral.  Overall, though, they are not enough to keep up my skills.

So, I have a goal to be apart of a community orchestra.  I've researched them in my area and know which one I'll join, but when I am able to do that is still up in the air.  I love my daughters and all, but they sure do make it impossible for me to do whatever I want whenever I want.  :)

The most difficult part about this goal will be arranging the family schedule so I'm able to go to rehearsals.  I figure it's worth shaking things up a bit.  After all, I want my girls to know I have talents that exceed making mac and cheese.

April 16, 2013

{n}: NYC

I love New York.  Love it.  I've only been there once, but in those few days I knew it was a place I could easily call home.  I love the city.  I love that so many people walk and take public transportation.  I love that things are just crazy in Times Square, but completely quiet just a few blocks north.  I just love it!

Because of all this, I hope to one day live in New York for at least 6 months.  I'd love to be in the city, but would settle for living elsewhere so long as access to the city was very convenient. 

This most likely could only be achieved by making it work - uprooting ourselves, finding work and just moving there instead of waiting for the opportunity to present itself.  Or, perhaps I can accomplish it by going on a service mission with my husband for the LDS church.  

This may very well be an extremely unrealistic goal, but I have to have at least one thing like this on my list, right?  

April 15, 2013

{m}: MASTER'S degree

After I earned my bachelor's degree in Family Studies, I had every intention of continuing my education and obtaining a master's degree.

Well, life got in the way and I was clearly suppose to take another path.  While I don't regret the changes I made with respect to my education, I'd still like to think I could earn an additional degree.  The bragging rights alone make it a worthwhile endeavor.

So, onto the bucket list it goes:  earn a master's degree.  

I'm actually open to many areas of study, but I most likely will keep it similar to my bachelor's degree.  More specifically family life education or marriage and family therapy.

I'd like to think I could begin this goal once both of my children are in school full-time, which is in five years.  It could be possible to take classes during the day.  It all depends on how crazy I'm willing to let our life become.

Officially, when I hope to accomplish this goal is TBD.

April 13, 2013

{l}: LETTERS to my girls

For whatever reason, coming up with something for L was rather difficult.  I browsed the Internet for ideas, and landed on one that is just plain awesome.

I am going to write letters to my daughters and give them to them the day they graduation from high school. 

At the end of the year {perhaps this can be something I do every New Year's Eve}, I'll write a letter to each girl.  Maybe the letter will include funny things they said, the TV shows they watched most often, the music they liked, the celebrity crushes they had.  But, most importantly, it'll include something they taught me and how they helped me become a better person.

Assuming I don't have any more children, this goal will be complete in 2031.

Wish me luck!

April 12, 2013

{k}: KISS on top of Eiffel Tower

Even though I already have a trip to Europe on my bucket list, I felt this goal needed to be in it's own category.  While my husband has already been to France and seen the Eiffel Tower, I never have.  And because it'll be such a great experience FINALLY seeing the tower, I want to make it memorable.

So, my goal for K is to kiss Dustin at the top of the Eiffel Tower.  I'm not a particularly romantic person, but that doesn't mean I don't like romance.  And this goal is just that, in my opinion.

April 11, 2013


I used to write in a journal every single day.  I wrote more than what I had done that day.  I wrote about my thoughts and feelings.  I used to collect journals and would buy one whenever I went some place new.  I'd write in the front cover where the journal was purchased, the date, etc.

Even though I have my blog{s}, I still think it is important to keep handwritten journals.  My parents have several of my grandparents' old journals.  I miss my grandparents a lot and think reading through their journals, seeing their handwriting, would be a good way to remember them.

I hope, when I'm long gone, someone will be curious about reading more about me.  This is why I've set a goal to write in a journal every single day for one year.  This goal will be very simple to accomplish.  All I need to do is put a journal close to my bed and write at least one sentence in it every night.

I hope to cross this off the list by next year.  I guess this means I'm going journal shopping tomorrow!

April 10, 2013


For a few years now, I've really wanted to start an invitation business.  The idea of designing any type of invitations, notecards, etc., seems so fun to me.  Picking out my wedding invitations was probably the funnest for me.  Call me crazy.

Anyway, I've never really been able to get my idea up and running.  Part of it is because I'm not as familiar with programs like Photoshop or Illustrator.  Another aspect is that so many people are able to either design them themselves or using pre-made templates from companies like Vistaprint, Shutterfly and even Costco.

Regardless, I'd still like to fulfill my dream of selling my designs.  I've decided I can accomplish this goal a few different ways.  First, I need to step out of my comfort zone and not be afraid to ask questions to people already in the biz.  Second, I need to take some classes on Photoshop and Illustrator.  And third, I need to believe in myself.

There are actually a lot of different ways I can accomplish this goal.  I can set up an Etsy account.  I can design for already established companies like Minted, Shutterfly, etc.  I can invest in an actual store and do things all in person.  

This is a lofty goal, probably the most intense one on my list.  I'll admit I'm not too optimistic about the outcome.  But, I've got to at least try!

April 9, 2013

{h}: HALF marathon

I often wonder where people get the motivation to exercise every single day.  My dad, for example, runs every day except for Sunday.  He runs for a few hours during his work day and then does a longer run (anywhere from 10 - 15 miles) on Saturday.  He also runs marathons, and has for as long as I can remember.  He's a great example to me of being active and using exercise as a way to relax and cope with the stressors of life.

A few years ago, Dustin decided he wanted to run a marathon.  He found a training schedule and followed it diligently.  As part of his preparations, he ran in a 5K and half-marathon event.  Then, the day he had been training for arrived and he ran his first marathon.  It was awesome to watch him cross the finish line.

I want to complete a half-marathon.  It's only 13.1 miles.  I can do it.  

I want to do it so I can understand why people say it's so addicting.  I want to do it because I know training for one will help me stay active and fit.  I want to know what it feels like to cross a finish line.

I hope to accomplish this goal in the next 2 years.

April 8, 2013

{g}: GOOD deed

Too often, I find myself consumed with what is going on with me and my family.  I spend my time worrying about my own situation and how I can better things in my own life.  Even though I'm not suggesting I shouldn't be thinking about these sorts of things, I do think it's just as important to think about what I can do to help those around me.

This is why I set a goal to do a good deed at least once a month.  Ideally, this is something I would continue to do throughout my life and never consider "crossed off the list."  However, I wanted to include it on my list anyway.

I completed my good deed for April a few days ago.  My lovely sister-in-law, Brittney, who works at a rest home, texted me and said one of her residents wanted to meet my baby girl.  Brittney asked if I would at all consider bringing my latest bundle of joy to the rest home so this sweet older lady could see her.  I didn't hesitate in the slightest and we agreed on a time to go.

Just this past Saturday, my husband, our two girls and I went to this rest home and met Carol.  At age 94, she was slow physically, but sharp mentally.  She also had a wonderful sense of humor.  When I showed her my baby, she gushed over her beauty.  I asked if she would like to hold her and she excitedly said yes.  

Over the next 30 minutes, I watched Carol admire my daughter.  She gazed at her precious face as if it was the first baby she had ever seen.  Then, she uttered a sentence I'll never forget.  She said, "Why did I ever think holding my babies was a waste of time?"

We left Carol's room with a promise to visit again.

Like all good deeds, the intention is to help someone else, but the result is always feeling better yourself.  I know we made Carol's day, but she also made ours.

April 6, 2013


I promise all the items on my bucket list are not about traveling.  :)

Dustin and I set a goal shortly after we were married to visit the 50 states in 50 years.  We gave ourselves AMPLE time to accomplish this goal; however, there is one important rule:

We have to spend at least one night in a hotel within the state.  Layovers in airports do not count.  

So far, in less than 8 years, we've crossed off the following states:

New York

All but the trip to Idaho were taken prior to our becoming parents.  Clearly, our traveling days have taken a backseat since then.

Anyway, maybe this summer we can attempt a short trip.  Perhaps to Colorado or Arizona.  Heck, we could even do Utah which would probably be easiest since we live here!

What's the best state you've ever been to? 

April 5, 2013


There needs to be at least some mention of Europe on my bucket list, right?  Who doesn't dream about going to London or Paris?  Of course, there's also Greece and Italy and Germany and Switzerland.  How does one narrow it down?

I don't think I would ever travel with young kids to various parts of Europe.  I would do that with teenagers though.  Call me crazy, but I think going to foreign countries as a younger person is important.  My first REAL trip (I'm not including my trip to Canada when I was in high school) out of the country was when I was 19 when I went to China with my university's orchestra.
So, this is a goal I would like to accomplish with my husband AND children in, hopefully, the next 15 years.

April 4, 2013


I can't wait until I can take my kids to Disney World.  Considering the fact that we live in Utah, going to Disneyland is a much more practical and less expensive trip.  Because of this, I'm adding a trip to Disney World to my bucket list.

I've only ever been to Disney World once.  My husband has never been.  I remember loving my time in Florida and know it will be an even greater experience when I am able to share it with my husband and kids.

I hope to cross this one off the list in the next 5 - 8 years.

April 3, 2013


Dustin is big into road trips.  Since getting married, I've become more fond of them as well; however, I'll usually always prefer to fly over driving any day.

One day, I hope to drive across the country because I think it would be an amazing experience.  I imagine doing this just with Dustin.  No kids allowed.  So, this will probably have to be a trip that we take when we're empty nesters.

I think it'll be worth the wait, and I hope to cross this one off my list in 20 years.

April 2, 2013


I absolutely love the water, as evident by my W post from last year's challenge.  However, I don't have what I, or anyone else for that matter, would consider a bathing suit body.  And, I hope to one day achieve a healthy weight and physique that I feel comfortable in a bathing suit.  Now, I'm not talking a string bikini.  With my fair skin, wearing a bikini only means more skin to worry about getting sun burned.  Instead, I'm talking about a nice, but stylish one piece.

Something along these lines:

If I am very diligent with what I eat and being more active, I should be able to be comfortable in a bathing suit this summer.  However, being comfortable in my own skin and being healthy is an ongoing goal and probably one I should never consider accomplished.

April 1, 2013

{a}: jane AUSTEN

I don't read enough.  If a book doesn't capture my attention right away, I get bored and rarely finish it.  I've decided that's not a good enough reason to not read, so I've decided I want to read all of Jane Austen's books. 

Since I usually don't read a book more than once, I decided against buying them and instead checking them out from the library.  One day, curiosity got the better of me and I checked to see how much they were on iTunes.  Imagine my surprise when I saw that they were free!  Score!  However, I'd much rather pay for a Jane Austen book than one "written" by Snooki.

This is a goal I know I can accomplish relatively soon.  I'm a slow reader and I find myself without a lot of "me time," but I'm excited to start reading these novels.  Any suggestions as to which one I should read first?

I hope to cross this one off my list in 1 - 2 years.

March 31, 2013

the A to Z Challenge

I am participating in the A to Z Challenge again this year!  I'm so excited because I really enjoyed the challenge last year.

This year, my posts will all have a theme:


I'll be posting something everyday {excluding Sundays} during the month of April.  I hope you enjoy my posts and comment!

See you tomorrow when the challenge officially begins!

March 7, 2013


After awhile, the comments regarding how much my daughter's life was going to change began to overwhelm me.  On the one hand, I was so excited to welcome a new baby girl into our family.  But, at the same time, I felt extremely guilty at the idea of turning Isabelle's world upside down.

How could I do this to my little girl?

As ashamed as I am to admit it, I began having doubts about whether or not having another child was a good idea.  Obviously, we were going to have another child either way, but I sincerely questioned my ability to handle all the challenges that were waiting for me.

But then something wonderful happened.  You hear women say all the time that they felt an immediate bond with their child the second he/she was born.  I didn't feel that at all with my first daughter, but I did with my second.  It was very unexpected and surprising.

I remember feeling how grateful I was that she was healthy and that I was finally able to hold her in my arms.  As I looked at her in awe, an overwhelming feeling came over me that this was right.  Despite the difficulties ahead, her arrival was no mistake.  This is what was suppose to happen and it was a very, very good thing for our family.

It's now been a month since the birth of our little girl.  Isabelle has come such a long way and genuinely enjoys her little sister.  Things aren't perfect and I still struggle with how to manage it all, but I know things are how they are suppose to be.

And that makes the hard times worthwhile and the good times that much better.

February 13, 2013


My life has completely changed.  

I have spent the last several weeks preparing for our new bundle of joy.

And now she's here.  And she's perfect.

We're still in adjustment mode, though, especially my sweet Isabelle.  She's trying her very best to be brave, but sometimes she gets overwhelmed.  It's heartbreaking to watch her struggle and to hear her say she doesn't like being at home because it's "weird."

Dustin planned a few fun outings to do with her which I think made her feel extra special; however, if there's anything I've learned in the past week it's that no outing or activity can compensate for discomfort in the home.  And making sure our house is a happy and positive and safe haven for my girls is my ultimate goal in life.

So, that's what I'm focusing on right now:  making sure that our home is as a place of peace and comfort.  It's not easy, and will be even more difficult when Dustin goes back to work.  But, I'm confident with a lot of thought I can do it!

I consider this an exciting time in my life and hope I can find time to blog more about it.
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