5 things & a photo.

because lists are one of my favorite things in life........

.1. i love being home during the day with gracie. i hate being gone late into the night at work. it's a constant internal battle to find the balance and appreciate it all.

.2. jae takes such good care of gracie. not that i had any doubts that he would, but i see friends that have babies/toddlers and their husbands that seem so not as "involved" as jae is, and it makes me appreciate him that much more. he does SO much, especially since i'm at work 3-4 nights a week. we're a lucky bunch of girls, gracie girl, zo pup, and me.

.3. i love spring. even when we have torrential downpours out of nowhere, like today. the hail! it was amazing! i was driving around in it today and thinking i don't even mind it's slowing me down. i'm glad it's been a rainy week.

.4. speaking of work, i just realized i never blogged about my new job. people ask me how it is, if it's better than before, if i like it, if it's all i wanted. and honestly, i'm not sure how to answer. in some ways, yes. in some ways, i feel burned out already. which is a little frustrating. but perhaps i should still write something up about the job and put all my thoughts out about it in it's own post. that might take awhile. it is what it is - a job. and jae is so great and reminded me last night when i was especially struggling, to just try to be positive. and he's exactly right.

.5. i've been super sentimental about gracie lately. today, i was going through old videos and pictures on my phone to delete some of the not so great ones and make room for...anything else (i have a lot of photos...). i just got looking through all those old pics of when she was a little one, and got all teary eyed. she is growing up into this totally awesome little girl, which i absolutely LOVE. she is seriously so much fun. but also, it kind of breaks my heart to look back and remember that little baby girl. i've decided that being a mom means that life becomes one giant bittersweet moment after another.

and for a (very poor quality) picture, because it's too awesome not to share....
jae got home from work and was feeling pretty beat, but gracie really wanted him to get on the floor and play with her. so he first sat, but then gradually made his way to laying down. and gracie continued bringing him finger puppets and stuffed animals. and he seriously nodded off for a few minutes and she continued to play around him. it was hilarious.


surprise birthday bash.

(yes, i started this post in february, and yes i'm just barely finishing it and yes i'm still going to post it anyway).

well it happened again.
we had another year go by and another birthday to celebrate!
jae's on the 21st, mine on the 22nd.
but this year, jae turned the big 30!!!

he was less than thrilled about that number. but i have a feeling it'll be a good year for him :)
i decided it was a good year to do something a little extra special for him. i've never tried to surprise him for his birthday before, so i wanted to try it! i was so nervous it wouldn't work out - either he'd find out or no one would show up or something. but it actually turned out pretty perfect and i think he really enjoyed his night, which made me super happy too :)

basically, i had one of his besties help me out by spreading the surprise info to all the other friends. i told him specifically who i definitely wanted invited, and then told him to just invite anyone else who i'd forgotten or who he thought jae might enjoy seeing. we did this about a month in advance and then another reminder the week of. i was just so worried people would forget or not show!

after throwing around a few different ideas, we ended up just meeting everyone at the Garage in SLC. yes, it's a bar and we don't drink, but we've heard rave reviews on their food, so it's somewhere we've had on our list to try for a long time. plus it was a good central location for everyone that was coming so it worked out perfect.

all i told him was that we were going out on a special date. his mom came to babysit and we headed to SLC. he tried guessing a few different places of where we might go to dinner, but he failed. just as we were about to pull up to the Garage, he guessed it and i told him yes. he was surprised, but excited.

we walked in and i kind of pulled jae behind me to the back patio (neither of us had ever been so he was kind of confused where i was going, but i just acted like i was checking out the place). we got out back and i pushed him ahead of me to the patio area and everyone was there and said surprise! haha nothing was really actually planned for that part but it turned out great and he was super surprised! yay!! there ended up being around 20 people come and i was so happy. since being  married and then having a baby, jae doesn't get to see or hang out with his guy friends a whole lot, so i really wanted to make this something fun that was all about him and something he would really enjoy doing. it was so fun for me to just kind of hang back and watch him just hang out and talk and catch up with everyone. it was super laid back and casual, which was exactly what i was going for.

and yes, after all that planning and scheming and work behind the scenes, i only took one picture the whole night. i guess that just means it was too fun to worry about pulling out the camera :)

happy 30th my love! you're amazing and handsome as ever and i love you most.

PS...i have to add these in at the bottom since they are birthday-ish related.

these were taken at our Horrocks birthday lunch. gracie with her cousin jack (who's only 9 months older than her but a giant next to her!) and her super fun uncle jaron. aren't they cute? (i realize the picture quality is pretty terrible, dangit)

for our birthdays this year, we went on an IKEA trip and bought ourselves a couple of new dressers as well as a shelf and drawers/storage for gracie's accumulating toys, books, puzzles, etc. happy birthday to us! gracie was getting sick of IKEA (it can be a rough, long trip even for an adult) so this was the only way to help her stay pleasant for the rest of the trip.

my co-workers really went all out :)

and my cute message waiting for me on the bathroom mirror. love mirror messages.


easter 2015.

this year was a little more exciting than last year, mostly because gracie is older and starting to enjoy the holidays and fun things that go with them more. obviously she still doesn't really "get" it, but it's fun to start doing more things with her anyway.

we had a couple egg hunts this year - a smaller neighborhood one with some of her little friends, and the big farmington city one (jae has to work it, so we tag along) with hundreds of people. she's not the biggest fan of tons of people and gets super sidetracked and a little anxious and unsure sometimes, but it was fun to get out and help her find some eggs!

i only took pictures at the neighborhood hunt, none at the city one.

and then for the actual Easter day, we spent the afternoon having a picnic at the park. the weather was beautiful and we had to take advantage. even zo pup got to come!

i had to work in the evening, so i missed out on dinner, but jae and gracie got to spend the evening with my family. it was a lovely day spent together, listening to the leaders of our church give wonderful messages & remind us of the important things in life. i kind of loved having easter and conference end up on the same weekend. less eggs, more Christ :)

and of course, the little lady in her new Easter outfit!
(i totally forgot to get a picture of her in her dress before i went to work, so my dad was nice enough to snap a few)

(hello, teething!)


life lately.

a few quick catch-ups from the last month or so.......

ME...i started a new job. it was supposed to be replacing my other two but instead i decided to stay on PRN/on-call for my staffing job at primary's just for the extra hours and ability to pick up and make some extra money if i need or want it. i just can't seem to stick to only one job. seriously, what is wrong with me. i'll have to post about the new job.

JAE...he already has a tan from all the sunshine and warm weather we've been having. i think he's got the right idea - working outside every day.

GRACIE JANE....is growing like a weed!! (well, as in she's getting so grown up. physically, she's still pretty tiny). she is so dang smart and says pretty much anything and everything. she's got 8 teeth and is working on molars now (not any fun for anyone). now that it's warmed up, she has LOVED being outside and gets really mad when we try to bring her back inside. i think this summer will be full of outdoor adventures!

lately gracie has been getting sick of riding in the usual spot in the cart, but she also didn't want me to hold her and i didn't want her to run around. so i stuck her in the back of the cart at target one day
and she was loving life! 

helping mom make banana bread.
(read: "mom another picture?")

one day, jae came home from work and declared he was going to make a fire in our backyard. mind you, we do not have a 'fire pit'. well, now we do. literally, on the grass in the middle of our backyard. 
and we love it!

afternoon family walk.

the two littles lounging (being bored) while i got ready for work.

enjoying the nice weather with grandma karen! i love that she sends me these 
random little gems throughout the day :)

gracie and i went on a little hike with our gf's emily and zoe. the view was awesome.

just a silly little cheesy gracie girl. got some new clothes & sandals for this girl, we can't wait for summer!

went on a little sunday afternoon hike. it was really windy ;)

this is very exciting for everyone - gracie girl got a new carseat!! 
she is loving it and so is mom. 


baby animal farm day

gracie's cousins have been on spring break this week, so as one last fun day before they go back next week, we all headed up to logan for baby animal days. tons of baby animals to see and pet and hold! what's cuter than baby animals?! even though i worked late the night before, i knew gracie would have so much fun seeing the animals and playing with her cousins, so we went. i'm so glad we did!

she was a little hesitant and a little anxious about the crowds and crowds of people, but i think she had fun and i know she loved petting the animals!

the horses were definitely her favorite (not even the baby ones, the big huge horses she couldn't get enough of! she wasn't scared at all and they were RIGHT up next to us.) there were also baby chicks, ducks, cows, goats, bears, pigs. oh and a choo choo train to ride. so fun.

(did i mention it was coooold? thank goodness for that sun because otherwise, that wind and chilly cache valley temps were enough to send me back to the car. brrr)

 i don't have all the pictures, since some were taken on my moms camera, but here are a few phone pics.


because, look at her!

my gracie girl is 15 months old!!
i realized it's been awhile since i've written down all the fun and silly and not so fun things she's doing right now. so here it is.

.she finally has 4 teeth! two on top, two on bottom. slow teeth growers, we are 'round here.
.her favorite foods are mac n cheese, blueberries, chicken nuggets, eggs, waffles, pb&j's, graham crackers, & "nanas" (bananas)
.she started really walking around 13.5 months and hasn't stopped since
.she allows headbands and bows to be on her head (she was on strike there for a few months) but if she gets bored enough, she'll rip them off and they usually end up in her mouth at some point
.speaking of hair, she can wear two little piggy tails now and it's just about the cutest thing on the planet
.she LOVES to dance, especially to taylor swift. literally every day, she brings us the remote (we play it through our blue ray player on our tv) and starts moving her arms around cuz she wants to music on so she can dance! we know every song by heart (jae included)
.she can make just about every animal noise, including dog, lion, bee, horse, monkey, bunny (the bunny makes a 'bouncy' noise, thanks to one of her books), pig, and others i can't remember. my favorite is probably elephant. she makes an elephant noise while putting her arm up in the air like the elephants trunk. it's awesome.
.she's still on the small side, so she wears a lot of 12 month stuff still. she actually was the exact same weight at her 15 month appointment as her 12 month. hello 3%ile! and her shoe size is definitely still in the 6-12 month range ;)
.when it's cold or we look outside at the snow, she pulls her arms across her chest and says "brrrr!"
.she is officially an almond milk drinker. and she's actually drinking less and less lately, which i guess is good in a way because it means she's getting more full on actual food.
.most naps/bedtimes lately, she doesn't care much to be rocked and/or drink a bottle. she is just ready to go to bed. it is nice that she can be so independent and go to sleep so well, but i can't help but feel a little sad and rejected when she sits up and just wants me to put her in her bed instead of rock with me :(
.she still sleeps so well at night - roughly 730pm-7am. naps during the day are always a battle, but we take what we can get.
.she is good at playing independently and loves blocks, cars, puzzles, books, anything that plays music or makes noise, finger puppets. and of course, also things like tupperware, zoey food, random clothing items, tampons, and whatever else she can get. ohh and our phones. gosh if she see's the phone, it's all over. game.over. it's a battle, i tell ya.
.she gives the BEST little puckered kisses. like, real kisses. and makes a "muah!" noise. did I mention that it's just the best?
.she has the sweetest, most fun little personality showing more and more. she makes such funny faces and lets you know exactly how she feels about everything.
.she's slightly obsessed with her belly button and you can often find her with her shirt half up her belly and her fingers over her belly button.
.she knows most her body parts and can point them all out when you ask her - nose, ears, eyes, arms, fingers, legs, toes, belly, bum, tongue, teeth, hair.
.zoey and gracie are best little buds, even though most the time gracie is trying to kiss or hug or sit on zo and zoey is growling at her....they wrestle and play and try to share toys (ick) and i completely love that they love each other. gracie has started picking up zo's food bowl and carrying it over to her bag of food to feed her. then we put food in her bowl and she carries it back over and sets it on the ground for her. smart girl!
.she tries to say any word that you say. she repeats almost everything (enter: mom and dad, be careful what you say! phase). it reminds me often of that friends episode where phoebe is trying to teach joey how to speak French. know which one i'm talking about? phoebe says something, and joey repeats it and thinks he's totally saying it the same. except it totally isn't at all what phoebe said. I feel like that's how it is a lot of the time right now - jae or I will say a word, and she'll say it back. only sometimes it sounds absolutely nothing like what we said. but she has no idea. it is the funniest.

it just blows my mind how much her little brain has grown and seeing her little mind just sucking everything in and learning all this new stuff, every single day. it is unreal. she keeps us laughing all the time. she is a weirdo but so smart and so cute and so funny. yes, we're obsessed.
and now, some more pictures of our sweet girl because basically she steals the show. and that's that.


5 years.

jae and i celebrated 5 years of marriage a few weeks ago. since last year we had a 2 month old, we ended up just staying downtown SLC and taking the baby with us. which was great! but now that she's 15 months, we decided a night or two by ourselves was much needed.
jae planned a few days away at one of our favorites - the Zermatt resort in midway. it was a perfect way to start our new year and a perfect way to celebrate these 5 years together.
we ate at a yummy Mexican place, swam in the crater, soaked up the heat in the steam room, ate a fancy meal at the homesteads restaurant (simon's), went on a little railroad day trip, had some more yummy food, slept in (until 8!!! haha), and best of all - basically just did whatever the heck we wanted. and it was amazing. of course, i was texting my sister the entire time to check up on gracie girl and make sure she was sleeping and eating and everything. and of course, she did great the entire time. we enjoyed every minute and mostly only took time to take pictures of scenery and food.
it was beautiful and wintery and everything was covered in frozen white magicalness. even though i am not one to love winter or snow or single digit temperatures, i cannot deny that it wasn't lovely up there.

thanks for another amazing year, jae, and another amazing trip and
for being the perfect husband for me!