living & not just surviving.

{inspired by ash and this post. thanks again, ash}

i was talking to my coworker yesterday about food and feeding gracie and how i suck at it. she eats a lot of purees still (mostly purees, really) and most of the 'solid' foods we've tried feeding her, she ends up spitting back out. i know, i know - you have to try things 15 times (15 hundred million trillion times) before they really like or don't like them. plus she doesn't have any teeth yet. not one! so i tend to take the easy route out. i buy more pureed baby food and that's what she usually eats. and i hardly try new things. meanwhile other moms are buying fresh produce and steaming this and food-processing that and baby-led-weaning their way to toddler-hood and it all just makes me feel like a big baby food failure.

i know. it sounds silly and feeding my 10 month old really shouldn't be so hard. but for whatever reason, it is a big stress for me.

so there's that. and then there's everything else.

exercising, for example.
i don't do it.

eating healthy myself.
not really.

going to the temple.
i'm embarrassed to even admit how long it's been.

scrubbing my bathrooms.
jae finally did it because i had let it go so long.

i can't even list any more. it gives me anxiety and makes me want to cry. i feel like now, while i have one baby, i need to get a hold of myself and my life and my house and my schedule and get some perspective and priorities in order. otherwise, i feel like i'll constantly be chasing...something. life, i guess?

i already feel like that a lot, and i'll tell you what - it's exhausting.

i feel like i'm constantly looking to others in these situations. someone to tell me what to do. make decisions for me. and i'm reminded - i'm meant to do this. this is my life and i am in just the right place at just the right time. i'm where i'm supposed to be, and it's all for a reason. i just need to step up to the plate and stop making excuses and stop trying to out-do myself or anyone else. this is a constant mental battle for me.

i need to slow down and re-focus.

life is meant to be enjoyed, not just endured.


ogden temple open house.

some of my family and gracie and i got the opportunity to go through the newly finished ogden, ut temple. it is BEAUTIFUL. and that is a serious understatement.

all the golds and cremes and accents of blues and turquoises....oh it was something. just gorgeous.

i was thinking the whole time i am so glad i wasn't the interior designer because, MAN, that would be a huge, tough job. and also - so glad i didn't have to clean that whole place. it is huge and endless and absolutely spotless.

gracie ooh'd and ahh'd at all the lights and paintings and was such a good baby even though we kept her awake right through naptime.

we have so many temples around and we are so blessed by that.

perfection. (except jae was missing)


a date!

for fathers day, i 'gave' jae a date to the shooting range. well, 2 months later we finally went!

grandma karen babysat baby girl (thanks again!). jae and i went to lunch all by ourselves (so nice to eat without worrying about little hands grabbing my food or having to take turns eating & containing the child), and then we went up to the shooting range.

jae's only shot a rifle before, and i am completely inexperienced in shooting anything more than a bb gun, so it was way fun and also gave me a little anxiety handling the handguns.

but it was totally fun and we weren't too terrible and it was just nice to get away for a couple of hours by ourselves.

(i got a whopping four pictures)


life lately, according to the photo dump.

here it is. life the last month, in photos
(all via my phone, of course)

super pleased with herself for emptying out the tissue box while i did dishes.

first time on a hammock with aunt chelsea :)

mom & baby selfies

trying any new foods we can think of. she's pretty skeptical of a lot of them.

fell asleep on a walk the other day. that hasn't happened since she was a newborn.

my cute mother in law packed me a full meal for lunch one day & had it ready for me when i dropped gracie off to her. complete with a note and even more notes inside with the food!

when all else fails & momma needs a break...

a walk around station park to pass time til daddy got off work.
everytime i see this picture and that face (those cheeks!), i think it looks exactly like me when i was a baby.

jae grilled up these delish brats and kabobs. SO good.

church selfies :)

had to wake her up the other morning to go to physical therapy.
she looked so sweet & was so sleepy, i felt so bad.

 new cookies/crackers to try. she loves them but they are MESSY.

we went to dinner & she completely turned herself around in her chair to face other people.
didn't want to look at boring mom & dad!
first zoo visit!
clearly she likes to turn herself around & face backwards a lot.


cookies & ikea catalogs.

..I eat entirely too many cookies. at work, they have these chocolate chip cookies that are big and chewy but not too soft. and they're absolutely delicious. working at hours like 5am and 11pm make for very dangerous cookie-craving times. this past week I decided to go off cookies for a week. just to see if I could even do it. that is sad to admit, but it's true. I'm happy to report I went 8 days without one single cookie! although on day 8, I had two of them...and this is why I will never be super healthy and fit. I have zero self control.

..I feel like zoey (our dog) gets neglected. she gives me this super sad, super guilt-inducing face when I'm walking out the door and telling her to stay! and I just can't take it sometimes. it makes me understand just a little bit why people give their dogs away after they have babies. I would NEVER give zo away. but i can sympathize a bit.

..we got a new ikea catalog this week. i love looking through it and seeing all the fun things i want. and i get all these fun house decorating ideas! and then i do absolutely nothing about it. and that's about how that goes!

..still working two jobs. honestly i have no idea how long i will be working two jobs, but honestly, working two jobs (plus the mommy job) is for the birds.

..we're about to embark on (finally) building a new garage. after jae went through and showed me all the people we'll be hiring and stuff we have to pay for, we just might be selling our house to pay for this garage. but hey, there will be a nice new garage! that the new owners can use..

..ever since becoming a mom, it's funny how I've somehow become one of those moms that suddenly needs to go through the mcdonalds drive through just for a drink (usually dp or blue powerade). i never did this before. does it just happen magically once you have a baby in the back seat or what? but in their (and my) defense, mcdonalds drinks are only $1 for any size. so. yeah.

..just recently we got a new lion puzzle for gracie. and we also took her to the zoo for the first time. between those two things, jae has been teaching her how to raaawr! like a lion. so now when you ask her what a lion says, she totally like deep-throat growls at you. it's adorable.

..i'm kind of confused when i think about having multiple children (even just more than one) and how i'm supposed to keep my life straight. and their lives straight. as i was driving into work today, i was making a mental list of things to do this weekend (i always make a weekend to-do list), and it was just kind of amazing how many things i have to remember and get done and wash and pack and pick up or drop off and work schedules and which job am i working today? and feeding the baby and feeding the dog and feeding myself. and then i remembered...i only have one baby. what happens when i have more? and then i felt like the answer to that question was simply that my brain would explode. gives me anxiety just thinking of those to-do lists.

..and then i thought about all of that (above) and i just chuckled. i didn't think i could manage one baby and i'm totally doing not half bad at it! (not that i ever cook more than once a week or dust or have laundry not stacked to the ceiling). but we're living and thriving and that is good enough for today.

..we've had cooler weather lately (and by cooler i mean 80's and some rain) and it's been AMAZING. loving it!

..i chopped my hair a few weeks ago. like 6 or 7 inches. i haven't had this short of hair since like, 2008. and before that? junior high. it feels new and refreshing. and takes 1/4 of the time to blow dry. BUT. it's short. it is what it is, right? some days i love it. some days i don't love it.

..i've decided if i was wealthy and could pay people to do every-day life stuff for me, i would hire someone to go grocery shopping (ugh i just hate it!), someone to deep clean my house, and someone to cook. i'm fine to do laundry and dishes and the occasional vacuuming and general pick-up, but buying and hauling groceries home? and having to come up with dinner and then making it daily? meh.

..jae and i have had a few redbox movie nights lately, which is something that long went by the wayside for a few months. any movie watching, really, hasn't happened for awhile. i just get too sleepy and fall asleep so i don't even want to start one. and it feels like by the time we both get home, get dinner, and get gracie to bed i don't want to have to think about anything, including following a story line in a movie. but we've gotten back on track with movie nights (something we've always loved and used to do a lot), and i've loved it. it feels like we're dating again and it's the best feeling!

..speaking of feeling like we're dating again, if i'd ever regularly blog about life events then i'd have already blogged about this, but since i don't....jae and i got to steal away late one night and watch fireworks together. gracie was long since asleep, so grandma came over to make sure she stayed that way while i met jae in farmington to watch fireworks. it seriously felt like we were back in high school, dating. it was AWESOME. we were surrounded by little high school kids and were baby-less and holding hands and out of the house and it was past 9pm and it was just so funny how almost giddy i was and i loved every second of that 30 minutes we spent together. oh i loved it.

..we also went on a saturday afternoon date last weekend (i will blog about that separately later) sans baby and it was magical. it only lasted about 2.5 hrs but it was a great 2.5 hrs away from the house and our girls (gracie and zo pup, of course) and enjoy each others company.

..i bought gracie the cutest little sunhat (pictured below). she practically immediately pulled it off every time i put it on her at the store, but it was just so adorable on her and i wanted her to love it and wear it. so i bought it anyway, knowing it was probably a dumb idea. i ended up returning it 2 days later. if only she'd appreciate fashion the way i want her to ;)

annnd i guess that's about all that's bouncing around in my head lately. lots of random nothings, really. life is just busy and i'm just trying to keep up. but we do manage to squeeze some fun stuff in between poopy diapers and work, and that's all we can do! and it's a great life!


heart & soul.

I was reading the death summary of a 4 month old baby the other day at work. she was a premie - born at 31 weeks old. she had at least one chromosomal disorder, likely more. some heart issues. and most of all, respiratory issues. her little body just couldn't make things work. too little. too early. too much to handle, and she just wasn't ready to do it. her parents finally could see it wasn't her time to be on earth and she needed to be back up in heaven. and they let her go while holding her in their arms.

working in a children's hospital, I've read these types of things numerous times. all sorts of stories and unreal situations. the things some of these babies and children have to go through...well they just aren't fair. and then there are the parents, too. it's not fair for them either. of course, these things are always sad. always hard to read. but since becoming a parent myself? since experiencing giving birth to my own baby? these stories are almost unbearable to read now. they break my heart. I know for a fact that if I ever went back to patient care, I could not do it in a children's hospital. I just couldn't. I wouldn't be strong enough.

everyone talks about how these little souls just steal your heart and make you love in a way you never even knew possible. and when you hear these things, you just nod your head and smile and agree. but as cliché as they are, I've come to realize how completely true they are. gracie is my world. our world, jae's and mine. what would we do every day without her? what did we fill our days with before? honestly, it's kind of mind blowing.

to be perfectly honest, by the time gracie was about 2 months old, I had this weird feeling that I was already "ready" to have another baby. I wanted to be pregnant soon and have another one close after gracie. of course, I kind of kept those thoughts to myself mostly in part to feeling like a complete CRAZY person for even having the thought cross my mind. but as the months have passed and as gracie grows, it actually is doing the opposite. I'm starting to feel more nervous and am having a harder time thinking about more kids. nervous for logical reasons, like money, work, already running out of bedroom space in our house. but also nervous because it is hard to imagine loving another baby so much. life is so great right now with just jae and gracie and zo and I. why change that? we already were blessed with one perfect little sweet baby girl, why risk it? what if something were to happen? I realize I read too many stories and hear about too many sick babies and it dilutes my perception of reality, maybe. but I just worry about my future babies and all the problems they might have. the illnesses, the disabilities. and as selfish as it sounds, it makes me scared.

I'm not even sure where I'm going with this. just ramblings that I've needed to get out of my head, I suppose. all I know is I just don't feel like I could love any little (or big) human any more than I do gracie. I'm just so incredibly grateful for her and the happiness she's brought to my life. I am so grateful she is healthy and growing and thriving.

she is my heart & soul, that one.


five photos.

a friend of mine tagged me in a fun post on good old fb - the post is you're supposed to pick 5 photos that make you feel beautiful. i'm not sure where it started or why. at first, my thoughts were ugh i don't have time for this! but then i really started thinking about it. and i think it's a neat thing to do. we're always finding beauty in other things - our babies, our spouses, the outdoors, photos of others.....but not usually in ourselves.

so then i was kind of excited about this :) instead of post it to facebook, i thought i'd make it into a little post on the blog. it can be yourself alone, or a photo with your hubby showcasing your beauty as a wife, or maybe it reminds you of a beautiful time or place from long ago that you won't ever forget about. wherever you find beauty in yourself, share it. i think it's a great thing.

here are 5 photos i found (there were way too many pics and i'd be up all night if i went through them all). enjoy.

i love it when jae kisses me on the forehead.
it's just such a sincere, sweet kiss & it makes me feel so loved.

my daddy walking me down the aisle. he was trying not to cry 
& i was trying not to trip.
we're a lot alike and i love that.

this has always been one of my favorite pictures from our wedding day. i'm not even totally sure why, but it just captured a perfect funny but i'm going to love you forever even though you just shoved cake up my nose moment & it makes me happy :)

one of the very first moments as a family of three 
& the new momma role started setting in.
very surreal and very beautiful.

 this picture is from years ago. before jae, before marriage. it's from a time in my single-lady life when i wasn't sure what i was doing or where i wanted to go. i can appreciate this time more now because it hugely helped shape me & prepared me for things (and people) to come. like jae.