love letters.

i was going through my wallet the other night and pulled out three letters from jae that i've been hauling around for years now. one was from 2009, just after we got engaged. the other two from 2010 - one valentine's day, and one a random one for our 4 month wedding anniversary.

i haven't pulled them out and read them in a long time. i got about halfway through the second one and was just a teary mess. i don't know why i randomly decided to read them at that moment, but it was just the pick me up that i needed right then. reading them made me so happy.

they were so so sweet. short and simple and to the point and reminded me why i married that guy.

it's so weird, life. it's like, i feel stuck in a rut a lot of the times with being a mom and taking care of gracie, being a wife (sometimes?), church, having a full time job (plus some), sleep (sometimes). and then repeat. and then repeat again. but at the same time, it's like life is on fast forward and months and years are passing by and now we're about to celebrate 6 years of marriage together and i can't quite figure out where the time went or what all we've done in those last 6 years. the day-by-day seems slow and sometimes monotonous and hard, but the months and years go by fast, it's hard to keep up. it's a strange thing.

anyway, the letters. reading those just put me right smack dab in the middle of a oh yeah, this is what it's all about. this is what matters moment. i stopped working right then and wrote a little love note to jae. something i haven't done in awhile. i am nowhere near perfect, and i know it. i have things to work on, and i'm trying to improve every day. and jae sticks by me and supports me and loves me all the same. even when i'm a little on the crazy lady side. and i need to make sure he knows that i notice that and how much i appreciate him for it.

he's a good one.



gracie hasn't been able to conquer riding her scooter the 'right' way yet. she's still pretty small and has always just sat on the scooter while we push her around. well not anymore!!

this is just one of my favorite videos of her ever, i have to post it on the blog. she's in such a challenging but such a fun stage right now, i love it.

i love her.


i need to do an update post on her soon. after all, she's almost TWO. (mind blown).


remember your happy.

because sometimes, before the crazy starts or after the crazy ends or in the midst of it all, i need to take a breather and refocus and remember the happy in my life...

(post idea taken from ashley)

here are 25 things guaranteed to put a smile on my face:
1. thunderstorms in the evening (or anytime, really)
2. hearing jae's truck coming up the street
3. cookies n cream ice cream with chocolate syrup
4. breakfast for dinner
5. hearing that little toddler voice yell excitedly 'mommy!' when she first sees me in the morning
6. having my nails freshly painted
7. clocking out at work and knowing i get to go home to my family (even if it's 1am and they're asleep)
8. getting packages in the mail
9. having fresh flowers on the kitchen table
10. a saturday with no plans but to be with my family
11. a freshly manicured yard
12. a sunshiney drive with the windows down
13. the way the pup always runs right past everyone else to come say hi to me first ;)
14. tender mercies, right when you need them most
15.tim mcgraw love songs
16. new shoes
17."i miss you" texts from the husband
18. standing in total quiet with the burning hot shower water hitting my back
19. getting prettied up for a date night
20. big beautiful white farm sinks
21. eating plain chocolate chips straight out of the bag
22. a fresh notebook
23. the toddler quietly singing songs to herself while playing
24. getting my wedding ring cleaned and shined up real nice
25. that first 'truly fall' week when temps drop after the hot summer


thoughts on pregnancy #2 (vol.1)

**disclaimer: these pics were taken 3 or 4 weeks ago - my belly seems to have doubled since then

How far along? 25 weeks (wow! when did that happen?! and this is my first real post about it...)
Maternity Clothes? pants, yes definitely. i just splurged (not really - they were actually on major sale) and got two pairs of maternity leggings. how did i not get these the first time around?? best pants ever. i still try to wear non-maternity shirts (mostly cuz i only have like 5 total maternity shirts, 3 of which i just bought last week), but they're all getting too small/short.
Sleep: i'm still sleeping pretty well. i tend to only get up once a night, probably partly due to the fact that i work late a lot of nights and don't go to bed til 1am & i'm up at 630-7am with gracie. i usually sleep pretty well during those few hours, although it is getting harder to flip myself from side to side. and my hips hurt.
Best moment this week: i asked gracie what baby sisters name is and she said excitedly "waco!". that's my brother-in-laws name ;) maybe more a gracie story than baby story, but it was pretty funny
Miss Anything? sleeping on my stomach. 
Movement: i feel her a lot more just the last week, but i still expected to feel her more/more often by now. it just hasn't been super consistent yet, i feel like, but i do feel her every day now, so that's good. she's usually always active in the evening, around 10pm or so, just like her sister was.
Food cravings: nothing i'd really call a 'craving'. i like the same things as i did the first time - turkey sandwiches, ice cream, lots of water.
Anything making you queasy or sick? not really at this point. i was definitely more sick in the beginning than i was with gracie and i've been more spontaneously sick this time then before, but i haven't gotten sick in the last couple weeks at all, i don't think.
Have you started to show yet? uhhhh yeah.
Gender: GIRL!
Labor Signs: none yet, thank goodness
Belly Button in or out? in
Weddings rings on or off? still on, yay!
Happy or Moody most of the time: i would probably have to answer moody, but that isn't necessarily pregnancy's fault. our life has been a constant up & down the last 6 weeks or so, and there's still more to come of that in the next few weeks. i'm just exhausted, let's be real. exhaustion = easily grumpy for me.
Looking forward to: the fall & cooler weather. jackets and sweaters. maybe some time to relax???


where in the world.

i probably shouldn't be writing a blog post at 6am because i'm not exactly totally awake or coherent in my thoughts or sentences, but here i am. i feel like my brain and my mind and my thoughts and my everything is going a million miles an hour in a million different directions. i feel unsettled and unsure. and tired. i feel very very tired.

for some reason that's still somewhat unknown to myself, we decided it'd be a good idea to do all of these things at once: both jae and i work full time jobs (while i also have a second PRN job), have a baby, and put our house up for sale on a whim (while still working on some finishing touches in our house and with no real idea of where we'll go). all while raising our toddler in the middle of the hustle and bustle of the busy summer months and trying to stay alive. at this point, that's about all i feel like i can do some days - stay alive.

i can't stop yawning - did i mention i was so tired?

and also - what were we thinking??!

the whole house thing has just been craziness. i started a post about it, and if the saga ever ends i'll finish the post. but basically it's been one giant rollercoaster - so great and promising one day and then super up in the air and uncertain the next. and i'm kind of really over it at this point.

and then there's work - can i just say it? I HATE WORK.

this post is feeling like a really down and depressing post. life is also really good - gracie is growing and learning and TALKING UP A STORM every day, and she is so fun and lively and a little firecracker with some serious attitude, we just can't get enough of her. also, baby SISTER (i don't think i've even blogged about being pregnant yet....hmmm) is growing and kicking and doing great, which is a HUGE relief and blessing.

i just need life to calm down a little bit. i feel like i'm at work every.single.day.of.my.life, because really, i kind of am, and it's wearing me down. i'm kind of super ready for fall, because i feel like life kind of naturally has a way of slowing down a little when september hits and a routine kicks back in that we haven't had during the summer.

and then there's this blog. i really love to blog and love keeping up on our life through these posts, but the posts are few and far between these days, and that's just how it is right now. also, my phone has some weird film/scratch thing right through the middle of the picture lens, so every picture i take with it has like a blurry spot and it's super annoying and ruins all the pictures so i rarely even take pictures on it anymore. so that doesn't help with the blogging effort either.

i guess with this post i just needed to rant and ramble for a minute.
and now, some random pictures of (you guessed it) gracie and life lately, because why not.

she put on dad's hat and picked up a bag and wanted her shoes on because she was "going to work"

i found this little gem one morning after jae had been playing blocks with gracie the night before. in case you need a translation: jae loves mh (that's me, guys) and gracie :)

helping grandma karen water her flowers

relaxing in the hammock with cousin jack.

grandma karen got a new camper tent thing and i think you can tell how gracie feels about it.

i'm not sure where she got it from, but she likes to lay back and relax with her arms behind her head. it's kind of hilarious.

we went on a date the other night, just gracie and i. we had ice cream first and then dinner ;) (see what i mean about the blurry blop in the picture? dumb.)

and another ice cream pic to finish them up.


life lately.

it's time for a little catch-up post of the last few weeks.

summer is already flying by, i mean we're days away from july for heavens sake. and it has been a HOT one lately. i don't know that i'm exactly complaining though - i mean, summer in utah is generally pretty toasty. gracie and i are trying to soak up all the sunshine and summer goodness while we can. i'm not documenting everything as perhaps i should or would want to, but sometimes life is just too fun in the moment with a toddler, it's hard to take two seconds to pull out the camera.
(ie, we've been to the pool at least once a week the last few weeks, and i haven't taken one picture while there. it's kind of become a staple of our summer so far, but i have nothing to say for it except gracie absolutely LOVES splashing and jumping off the side and it's just a good time.)

and actually, my phone camera is struggling at the moment, so that only makes it less likely that i take photos of everything. 


here are a few randoms from lately.

came out one day to run to the grocery store and found a very flat tire on my car :(
the tire place found two things stuck in it. i blame all the dang construction around right now. not cool!

i was making gracie something to eat and came out to find her, and she was just sitting on the rug reading her thomas the train book. it was just so sweet & quiet & cute. i had to take a picture. 
then i told her her food was ready and as i walked away i watched her get up, walk over to the toy/book bins, and put her book away (even in the right bin!) before coming to eat. she makes me happy.

this is a terrible picture, but i had to take it and post it. we are working on getting a walk in every day with zo (she needs to lose a few lb's), and most days, even though we go in the morning, it's still hot already and zo is totally over-heated by the time we get home, with that black body and all. as soon as we get to the garage, she plops down in that corner in the shade & gracie goes to sit by her and pat her back. it's as if she's giving her a pep-talk and telling her job well done, zo. they're funny.

just watching mom fold my laundry while i squish myself into this basket. because, why not?!

our first zoo visit this year. and this is the only picture i took. she wasn't so sure about sitting on that elephant trunk, and the sun was also blinding her. we'll take what we can get.

finally a date night for jae and i. it was simple - temple and dinner after. then we drove around for a bit with windows down, enjoying the summer evening and made a quick stop at the grocery store for last-minute sunday dinner items. i can't remember the last time we went out to dinner without gracie. and let me just tell you, it was so nice to eat my meal without little fingers grabbing or little girl yelling or jae and i taking turns to eat because we had to control the little person. 
love her, but man, that was a nice, relaxed dinner without her.

these last few are actually from our father's day celebration at my sisters house. my nephew has a drum set and gracie took a crack at it. i think it goes without saying, but she seemed to enjoy herself  ;)
(she would blink every time she'd hit a drum, it was pretty funny)


a birthday celebration in the park.

we celebrated jae's mom's birthday a couple weeks ago. it was a nice evening - we just got together at a park and all pitched in potluck-style, and it turned out to be a really fun time. i think karen enjoyed herself.

we just love karen, and gracie especially has such a great relationship with her. i don't know what we'd do without her. she takes care of us and is ALWAYS willing to step in and help out or watch gracie so we can go on a date or whatever it is. she is so good to us and we will forever be grateful for her!

here are a few photos from the fun evening. of course, i didn't get any that are actually with the birthday girl....(sorry karen!)...they're all of gracie. figures, right? she had an absolute blast.
(and those videos at the bottom!!!)

video video