the end.

something happens when you grow up.
i think it starts when you get married.
and then you buy a house.
and then you have a baby.
(or whatever order it all happens...)
and then maybe you have another baby.
or sell that house and buy another house.
or maybe you do all of those things and also live in a temporary house in between while remodeling a house.

and then this thing called priorities......
well they change.
sometimes drastically.
and it's kind of out of your control a lot of the times.
but necessary.
and good.

but when this happens, some of the things that used to be a priority become less of a priority.
or not really a priority per-say, at all.

like blogging.

for some, who are great writers and use writing as a way to journal and express themselves and be artistic and creative and get out all their emotions from the day-to-day....well a lot of them keep up the blogging. and i am so glad, because i still love to read and keep up on a handful of blogs every week!

but for me?
it's just not a priority anymore.
as you can probably tell from my lack of writing in like 6 months.
and i don't think anyone will really mind.
and to be honest, since i kind of made the choice to not worry about blogging anymore a couple months ago, i feel a weight lifted.
not that i was a great blogger before (ever), but it had become a not so fun thing that i felt like i had to do to keep up on our life and our babies and if i didn't blog, it'd be like this time in life never existed or something.
which is silly.
and i am a little relieved to realize that and to be able to make the decision to be done with my blog (at least for now) and just live life and enjoy it.
and not have to worry about the not blogging thing.

so, this is goodbye, blog.
it's been just shy of 10 years since i started my first blog back before kids and houses and the husband. i think that's a pretty good run for a non-blogger like myself ;)


to lola grey: 1st birthday.

my sweet lola bear:

you are one year old! i'm not quite sure how that even happened but i am pretty happy about it. you have been the sweetest light in my life this past year that i didn't know i was missing. you're our little rainbow baby - maybe that has something to do with it.

you are so brave. you are such a little dare devil. you want to climb on everything and get into everything and go wherever everyone else goes. you started walking just before your birthday, and now, almost two weeks later, you are perfecting it already.

you are so smart! i think you understand more than we even know. you say momma, dada, 'uh' for uh oh, and your own version of 'zo zo' for our pup, zoey. you shake your head no (you've been doing that one for a while now ;)), and you nod your head yes.

you think your sister is the funniest. she makes you laugh all the time. she also makes you cry a lot when she rips toys from you. we're working on that one. but you love her all the same and love to be around her and give her loves.

you have the sweetest little dimple in your left cheek, up next to your nose. i don't know where it came from, but i love seeing it when you smile big.

speaking of giving loves, you give some seriously sweet hugs! big neck squeezes that make anyone lucky enough to get one so happy. you also like to give open-mouthed kisses, but only when you're really feeling lovey dovey. they slobbery and awesome.

you gave us a beautiful 3 week streak of sleeping through the night when you were about 10 months old. before that and since then, you wake up during the night and are a little needy for mom or dad. but honestly, it's hard to be mad. i just want you to be happy and if you need some extra snuggles, i'll spare the sleep.

you are SUCH a binky girl. you've loved them from the start and learned very early on how to pick them up and put them in your mouth by yourself. you also know how to take them out and put them in my hand when you're ready to eat :) it's the funniest.

food! you are such a food lover. totally your dad's daughter. you will eat anything and everything we give you and you don't ever really seem to be 'done' eating. you'd probably just keep eating or snacking on whatever if we kept giving it to you, all day. you still don't even have any teeth!!! but you sure don't let that stop you. some of your favorites are fruits, pb&j sandwiches, waffles, puffs, and chocolate pudding. yes i let you eat chocolate pudding a couple times a week and you enjoy the heck out of that. you are a foodie for sure.

you are just a little thing still. you are currently about 17lbs, which puts you at about the 2%. and i love it. you are the sweetest littlest thing there was, and i wouldn't want you any other way!

since you were very little, you've been pretty hesitant with anyone but mom and dad. you used to cry even being with your grandmas. you've gotten a lot more comfortable with them and other people in our family, but you still would rather have mom or dad holding you or close by most all the time.

lola, since the day you came into this world, you have made our days so incredibly happy. it doesn't matter if we're having a bad day, if we spend time with you we are so so happy and forget about all the rest. i'm not sure i can put into words the impact you've had on our little family. you've brought this light into our home that i just can't really explain. you're the best thing, and i cannot imagine our lives without you.

love you to the moon baby girl.


family pictures 2016.

our little family of 4 had some pictures taken a few weeks ago. we just got them back and i am in love. usually family pictures are stressful and chaotic and you feel rushed and not ready and sometimes kind of disappointed in the results after all that effort. or at least that's been my experience with them haha. not always! but with my girls it feels so much harder. take their newborn pictures, for example - you always see these perfect newborn photos with a sweet happy sleeping baby in these cute poses and cute settings. and then i did them for both my babies, and they were everything but! i mean, i guess we got a few good ones of both babies, but they were both just awake and unhappy and wouldn't cooperate and usually the pictures just didn't turn out how i imagined in my head. which is a bummer, especially when you spend a chunk of change on them.

this was the first set of family pictures that i think went so perfectly smooth. i wasn't stressed about it. i had a few weeks from when i booked it to the actual session so i had plenty of time to figure out outfits, etc (which i promised myself not to buy anything new for those, i just pulled stuff together from what we all already had, and i'm kind of proud of myself ;)). i didn't have to worry about finding a location (outside) or weather because we just did them in her studio. so easy! of course outside pictures in the fall in Utah are beautiful, but we've done a handful of outdoor sessions and i was actually excited to just do them indoors and not have the added stress of doing it elsewhere. we were on time (!!). we were only there about 45 minutes (it was a 'mini' session) and the girls did really well (although lola did have her fingers in her mouth a lot of the time, but whatever. i don't even care). it was just us and our photographer and it was quiet and easy and i just loved it. alright. onto the picture overload. (i did narrow it down so this isn't all of them)

photo credit: Jen Herem Photography



gracie talks a lot. like, all day long. and she's been that way for a long time now! she just picked right up on her language and has never looked back. and most of the time, it's pretty hilarious. here are some of my favorites from her from the last few months that need to be documented somewhere other than my phone:

"it's ok mommy. i'm super gracie. you don't have to worry."

mom: "ok gracie, if you come in my room, you have to be super quiet cuz lola is napping."
gracie thinks for a minute... "maybe i'll just go downstairs.."

g: "i'm sorry sister, but you have to share." (she then picked up lola's socks)
mom: "why her socks?"
g: "cuz my baby wants some socks."

"let's watch the clouds go by mommy."

"i'm going to clean up dad's shoes. it's ok, i'm a big girl. i've got my sleeves up!"

mom: "gracie can you be quiet for like, 2 minutes?"
g: "no i can't! there's music in my ears. so i can't be quiet."

mom: "are you going to go outside?"
g: "no it's really windy. my  head doesn't have glue so it will blow away." (with a very concerned look on her face)

mom: "gracie we don't spit."
g: "but if there's a big dragon in my mouth, i have to spit it out."
mom: "there isn't a dragon in your mouth."
g: "i know, cuz i just spit it out! see right there??" (pointing to her plate)

"seriously, child??!" (she got that from her father! just sayin.)

"please stop! my hair will fall out if you talk so much." (to me. thanks.)

mom: "gracie was that fun taking cookies to people?" (we had just made cookies & taken them around to some of our neighbors. sidenote: she really likes to help with the mixer when we bake things)
g: "yes, we gave them cookies cuz they don't have mixers." (yeah...totally. that's why.)


to gracie jane: 3 years old

this past year you have had to grow up and become a big sister. you have handled all those changes (including two moves to new houses and everything that went with that) like a champ. it's been a busy and confusing time i think, but you just go with the flow and say ok and keep being the big helper that you've always been. you're still learning patience with your sister and how to share and not rip things out of her hands, but you are working on it and you are getting better and you are so nice, even when little sister pulls your hair. it hurts, i know!

you are so dang smart. too smart! you pick up on so much just listening to others around you, and your little mind is so quick to catch onto things. you've pretty much been talking non-stop since you were 18 months, and i don't see that changing any time soon. you're starting to understand sarcasm more, and we can joke with you and you get it and laugh and it's so fun (except sometimes dad is too serious and you just get mad because you don't know he's joking..that dad!).

you are so excited for school. you don't even start school until next fall, but you have met your teacher and visited your school already and ever since, you talk about her and going to school almost daily. you have a backpack and a couple lunchboxes and you pack stuff up and 'go to school' all the time. you will be so great, i know it! i'm so excited for you and your future.

while you have a ton of personality (and some serious sass), you are so very sweet. you always want to give loves and kisses to everyone. you are the best little momma to your baby dolls (even though you don't like to name them - they're just known as 'baby' usually ;)). you feed them and burp them and swaddle them and carry them in your little mini carrier and push them in the stroller and put them to bed. and then shush everyone in sight so we don't wake up your babies.

your imagination is pretty amazing, and it only keeps getting better. you come up with things that come out of nowhere, but you're so clever! you are so obsessed with dragons right now. everyone is usually a dragon at some point during the day (many times it's lola). you are also obsessed with ghosts (that's what you want to be for halloween! a 'nice ghost') and you love to put blankets over anyone you can, and tell them to be a ghost! you think it's hilarious.

without a doubt, your favorite people are the 'kids' - aka your cousins. also 'susie' (aunt susan), and your grandmas. you ask to go to their house or for them to come over to ours daily. and they adore you and love you right back.

you are so outgoing. you have no fear when it comes to people. you'll say hi to anyone we pass, either at the park or the store or wherever we are. you will see random kids that you don't know and tell me that they're 'your friend'. you love to put on a show, whenever anyone is around. you like to have the attention and you make sure others know you're around. you have so much energy and you get so excited about all sorts of things - big or small. it's infectious.

you love the park! it's probably your favorite place to go. you cannot get enough the swings, and you always want me to push you higher in the sky like a rocketship! your sister loves to swing with you now, too. and she loves when you push her in the swing, she just laughs and laughs. you make her so happy.

you definitely have your moments - you are strong-willed and you know what you want most the time. and you will let me know! i can't be too mad though, because i know that a lot of that attitude comes from me. you have taught me more about myself in the last three years than you will ever know.

one of your favorite things to do right now is to race. race outside, race around the house, race at the park. anywhere. and your favorite part is to say, in your best announcer voice: 'on your marks, get set, go!'. but no one else can say that! only you. you have a little runners stance and everything.

you are very tenderhearted. you get worried for someone if they get hurt or are feeling sick. you have genuine concern for others and tell people they have to be careful or they need to rest. and you say 'i'm sorry' even when there's nothing for you to be sorry about. you are a sweetheart.

you have changed our world, little one, and it has been the best three years of our lives! you have taught us patience and love and happiness that we never knew before. when i think about you growing up and what you might become, i honestly have no idea where you'll go in your life. there are so many possibilities for you, sweet girl, and i know you will be happy whatever you do and wherever you go. the world is yours, gracie jane.

love, mom.


life lately, according to my iphone.

wow, middle of october? 
this year feels like it has just flown by.

here's a little recap of the last couple of months for us.

sacrament meeting is right during morning naptime - it's rough. a few weeks ago, jae walked around with lola and got her to sleep. yes, i took this during a prayer. i couldn't resist. jae caught me.

every day it's a new baby and/or animal, but gracie tucks her 'babies' into all the beds she can for their naptimes. it's pretty cute, that little momma.

this happy little sunshine insists on standing in her high chair ALL the time now. every time she eats. and it makes me crazy! and also really nervous! seriously, every minute or so she stands back up and i sit her back down, and we go through that about 50 times per meal. gracie never did this, gracie never climbed or stood or tried to get out of anything, so that little cushion with a belt that came with this seat? it got tossed long ago. probably bad idea.

grandpa george came to town a few weekends ago and met lola girl for the first time. he came to church with us and she just stared at him like this while he sang. it was pretty funny. 
(i swear i don't always take pictures during church...)

cousins! and the fall canyons! and snack breaks, of course.

and some sweet daddy snuggles :)

lola wants to do everything big sister does.

beautiful fall in utah

this beaut used to be parked in our driveway (below, where gracie is waving). since approximately 1985. (not joking). it finally got towed away a few weeks ago. don't ask, it's a loooong story. but just be happy for us that it's gone. yayayayay!!!!!!

seriously, that driveway hasn't seen daylight in 30+ years. it's a gall-darn miracle.

soaking up the sunny fall days before it's winter and we will be stuck inside for too many months.

gracie likes to be 'mom' and lola was way happier having sister to look at than mom.

lola's first peach experience. she doesn't have any teeth yet but she was pretty determined to get that peach and eat it. and so she did! and made a pretty awesome mess and quite the show for the rest of us watching. she is hilarious.

gracie often does my workouts with me, or at least wants her matching water bottle to drink from while she watches me workout ;)

high school football game! it was chilly and we only lasted til halftime but it was fun.

gracie's been working on her camera skills. i usually go through and look at all the ones she took and then delete most of them. but this one of her shoes in the grass made me happy, so i kept it.

she's as crazy as ever! she got herself dressed up in this, and then about two minutes later was throwing a fit because she got tangled in the slinky and couldn't get out of it. 

this is her new favorite hobby lately - almost daily you can find all these little people/animals lining our living room window. 'they need to see outside!'. she was very proud.

and now, here we are, days from gracie's birthday, and a month shy of lola's birthday, and then full swing into the holiday season. then anniversary. then more birthdays. the next few months are so busy, but i am so excited for them! these girls make life so full.