Friday, September 26, 2014


25- The newborn startle reflex cracks me up.
26- My little boy, kissy me, my birthday. (One month and one day old for Abe!)
27- Abe's inquisitive face. Big eyes, pursed lips, arms out of course. Studying the alphabet flashcards hanging on the wall.
28- Getting a little more friendly with Fang, and smiling every. single. day.

Monday, September 15, 2014


Way back in October before we knew Abe's gender and before we had even told anyone we were having a baby, Terry and I were in Anthropologie and saw the cutest stuffed animal of my life.
Keep in mind I am not a stuffed animal person. I like books more. 
But it was a CROCODILE. (Okay, actually they call it "Ally the Aligator", but look at it's teeth! Outside of it's mouth. It's a croc.) We went home without it but I was back for it soon.Since "Ally the Crocodile" doesn't work quite the same way, we just dropped the whole alliteration thing and came up with the name Fang. 
So naturally we have been trying to trick Abe into liking Fang from birth. The first time Abe and Fang met, when Abe was just about a week old. 
(P.S. Abe's expression- cutest ever, right? Believe it or not, he's getting pretty fond of Fang now).

Maybe it's a gassy smile he's hiding behind his little hand, but I think he just really likes to play with his dad.

One of my favorite pictures from that dreamy three weeks Terry got off work when Abe was born. Light-filled afternoons and newborn cuddles. Always wanting to be near our little boy.


Our very new little Abe and his dad on Sunday morning before we left the hospital. 
I feel all the time that all my dreams have come true. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

20 of 52

So, catch-up!

I've been taking these pictures all along, I just haven't had time to post them. Or, really even look at them after I took them.

May 18, 2014. The day before Terry turned 26. The day before Abe was due to be born. The day my parents and brother were randomly in town after a work trip in California (hoping to witness a birth, to no avail). The day Terry requested corn dogs and tater-tots for his birthday dinner, upon which we feasted. The day I made Terry his official birthday cake for the third year in a row (he accepts none other but Royal Chocolate Fudge Gateau). The day I realized I forgot to buy a "6" candle, but it was a Sunday (thus the "25" and a lit match in other photos). A good day. A good week. Full of so much anticipation.

Terry's birthday traditions are these: eat Royal Chocolate Fudge Gateau, pick out a birthday dinner the Sunday of his birthday, and go on a birthday date with me on his actual birthday. 

This is how the birthday date goes. I think of some places to eat, write them down on slips of paper, and put them in a hat. Then I think of some fun things to do, write them down on slips of paper, and put them in a hat. Then Terry draws the date from the hat. I first did this the year we were dating. We ended up eating at a Chinese place we had gone together with friends when we were first introduced. It was the place that we sat across from each other and talked the whole time, so I guess you could say sparks were flying. ;) Also, you can get a giant Chinese meal there for $5, so we kind of love it. I think there's only one waiter because we got the same one every single time we went. I wasn't trying to be cheap on his birthday, I put some expensive places in the hat too, but he just happened to draw the Chinese restaurant. Then we went to this park where I gave him his gift. I don't remember what we did after that, but it must have been awesome because later on that night was our first kiss. Awwww.  

The second year we did this was the first year we were married, living in our little basement in Provo, but we just so happened to be visiting my family in Tennessee that year. I don't remember anything about what we did or where we ate that year but I remember we went and jumped on the trampoline at the very end.

The third year we did this was our first year here in Phoenix. We did the date on the 18th since his birthday was on a Sunday. We helped some friends move, and then Terry drew the place to eat but didn't want to eat there, so somehow we ended up at Smashburger. Then we went to a park and picked our baby names (we weren't pregnant or even trying at the time, but obviously I was super baby hungry). Then we came home where I had a SURPRISE PARTY planned for Terry. Which he actually found out about before, but he thought it was going to happen the next day on his actual birthday, so he WAS surprised a little bit. Hallelujah!

This year, we had no idea if we would have a baby or not by or on his birthday, but turns out we didn't!  Although I did get my membranes stripped that morning. So we did the whole tradition. Except I think it's becoming part of the tradition for Terry to draw a place to eat, decide he doesn't want to eat there, and shuffle through the rest of the options until he picks one. This year we ended up at Potbelly's. Which I totally love. Then we came home and watched Top Gear, I had a few Braxton Hicks, and it was awesome. 

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Feeling yes.

I am sitting here, nursing Abe, watching the corners of his mouth curl up in a teensy smile, feeling his body relax and his eyes open and close, and at first I wish I can capture a picture of this. His sweetness. He has been so happy and peaceful and content all day, and especially now as he eats. He is so tiny and so perfect. Sometimes I think about how much I love Abe and how happy I am to have him in our family and I wonder, "Does he love us back? Is he happy to be here in our family?" Here, with his little hand relaxed on my chest, I just feel yes. Yes he is happy to be here with us. Yes he does love us. I don't need a picture to remember this feeling.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014


Peach Festival two years in a row! (We only bought 11 pounds of peaches this time).


A reflection of my giant belly in the window, and Terry and I playing at the kids station at the Heard Museum. 

Monday, May 12, 2014

Dear Baby in my Belly

How are you, little boy? Are you comfortable in there? Are you running out of space yet? (I am-your aunts think you look like a basketball and Courtney asked me how I carried you around, haha). Are you getting ready to meet the world?

I've been pregnant and had you in my belly for so long that I don't even really notice it anymore. When I have a busy day and am out running errands or whatever, I don't even feel like my belly is any bigger than anyone else's. Then I'll see someone look at my stomach and remember. I'm just so used to having you in there. Sometimes I look at pictures of myself early in this pregnancy or even before and I wonder, "Was my stomach ever really that small?" It seems impossible.

I really like being pregnant with you. You hear about women who get terribly sick, or terribly moody, or terribly uncomfortable, or terribly swollen, but so far I have just been terribly happy. I had about 7 straight months of pure bliss, no stress, no unhappiness, and suuuper clear skin. You are the best baby! I went to the doctor's this morning and he said, "I just can't believe you're not even swollen at all!" I had to correct him and tell him my feet have been a tiny bit swollen, but that's it. My wedding ring isn't even any tighter. And my feet are pretty bony to start with so it's kind of impossible to tell they are even swollen. If I wasn't having problems squeezing my feet into one particular pair of shoes, I wouldn't even have noticed. You've been so good to me and my body, baby.

Some things I love about being pregnant:

  1. I get to feel your every move, including those cute little hiccups.
  2. You really really really need me. It's a surprisingly nice feeling.
  3. People are so nice to pregnant ladies! Strangers all the time tell me, "Congrats!" or "You look great!" (Keep on with that second one in a few weeks everybody, I have a feeling I am going to need it!)
  4. Nesting. It's been fun.
  5. All the happiness that comes from carrying you, creating you, loving you, looking forward to you. I feel like all of my dreams are coming true. 
  6. Satisfaction and gratitude. I have you, I have your dad- you two are everything and there's nothing else in the world to want.

I am officially 39 weeks pregnant, and it just seems so surreal that pretty soon I will have a newborn. I've wanted to be a mother for my whole entire life, and it's about to happen. When I was a kid and it was my birthday or Christmas Eve, I would a lot of times wake up in the middle of the night and be so excited I couldn't sleep. I've done that twice in the past week! Normally I can take a nap in the day, no problem, but I am even too excited to do that. I just keep thinking about you. What will you look like? What will you sound like? I hope you get a deep voice like your dad. I secretly hope you are a miniature version of your dad. What will it feel like to hold you? Baby soft skin? What will birth feel like? I'm not nervous about birth at all, I'm looking forward to it. Maybe that's because I haven't done it before, but there's nothing I'd rather experience more than bringing you into the world. I want to feel it. I can't help but think of it as something sacred. I already love you, but I hear I am about to become totally smitten. I hope you are smitten back.

I also want you to know that normally I am an accidental procrastinator, meaning to be ready well before but always getting things done just in time. But you are different, we literally have everything ready for you. 

You can stay in my belly as long as you need to baby, but I am so excited to meet you that I hope you don't want to stay in there too much longer. I promise I will do my very best at being your mama. We are going to be so happy. I am so grateful Heavenly Father is trusting us with you, so is your dad.  We love you, our baby boy.

Love forever,

Your mama

Slacker Weeks, or Weeks 16-17/52

Terry's parents came for a quick weekend visit, and this was one of two pictures I snapped the whole weekend. The other one was just of those rocks in the background, so I figured this was the most interesting of the two. Gotta love a family photo where everyone is totally candid and unaware that I am taking a picture of them. Also gotta love Terry's Green Bay Packers hat that is literally from the 1990's (does that make it vintage?)
It's great when Terry's parents come visit because they love the outdoors and we always find that we are a little more active when they are here (when they came in February we did a bit of hiking by the Superstition Mountains, and then rode our bikes 15 miles to the botanical gardens).  This weekend we took it easy with a quick hike in the Dreamy Draw Mountain Preserve. Good thing we are so active when they come, because we also eat more delicious food with them than with any other people. Partly because they spoil us, and partly because Terry's dad is more obsessed with candy than I am, if that is possible (he even gives my dad a run for his money!). This weekend we went to a few delicious restaurants, ate a few good meals at home, and finished the weekend with a giant Easter Feast that we worked on for hours. Pork tenderloin, asparagus from our new favorite cookbook (seriously so amazing), potatoes and carrots, italian sodas, and Terry finally nailed the french bread recipe he had been working on for three weekends (another one of Julia's).  Our friend also brought a delicious strawberry-rhubarb pie. Everything was delicious, and the company was the best, and it is what I should have taken a picture of, but I was too busy cooking and talking. So happy late Easter!


Went to the Botanical Gardens with a friend, and it was blooming and beautiful. Go in mid April to early May, you guys. I went three times in those three weeks and each time my breath was taken away. Gotta get in some green and some flowers before the heat really gets serious here and the whole entire world turns brown and all my plants sitting in pots on my patio die.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014


I noticed when Terry and I were dating that he liked to cook-which was great, because I didn't. My culinary skills were limited to boiling pasta and frying an egg. Literally. After we got married, and my cooking-less skills resulted in Terry dropping 10-15 pounds, I started to feel really guilty and learned to cook so I could feed my starving husband (literally). When I say I learned to cook, I mean Terry taught me how to cook. Also, I used Pinterest. Between the two of them I feel pretty confident in my cooking abilities and the biggest miracle is that I actually LIKE to cook now?!?!?!? (WHO AM I?)

Last year for my birthday Terry got me Julia Child's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" cookbooks. These books are really great because they aren't only full of recipes, they also give step-by-step techniques. So you really can "master the art of French cooking" rather than just make a bunch of French food. We have slowly been mastering a few recipes  and a few weeks prior to this picture Terry got the burning desire to learn how to roast a chicken. Which sounds really simple and unimpressive, but we had just had really delicious roast chicken at a restaurant and we realized we had no idea how to make a chicken taste that good, but Julia probably did. It wasn't just about roasting the chicken, but also about learning to make the most delicious fowl we had ever digested.

I would say we nailed it. The chicken was really, really, really, really moist/juicy/delicious/everything we dreamed it would be (thanks Julia).

This is Terry, on a Sunday afternoon, carving his prize bird with care.

P.S. I love this man.

Monday, May 5, 2014


Terry, #3, and I made it to the Chihuly exhibit at the Botanical Gardens at night. It is really beautiful in the daytime, but when I saw it at night I realized, "oh, THIS is how it's meant to be viewed". This was one of my favorite displays, so striking. 

At first taking pictures at night was REALLY difficult, but I played around with my camera a bit and I felt like I learned a lot, and I actually really like a lot of the pictures from this night. 


I know I wasn't supposed to use any more i-Phone photos for this project, but my camera was dead. And this bike ride was so picture worthy.

March is my favorite month in Arizona. Everything blooms and it's not (too) hot yet. Everything seems really alive. We rode our bikes to a baby shower, and we rode through my favorite neighborhood, the one where even though you are smack dab in the middle of a giant city, you don't feel like it, and you might even stumble upon a dirt road if you're lucky. If you're not lucky, you'll still see lots of palo verde trees and bougainvillea and other flora and fauna, which are totally worth the ride in my opinion.

P.S. Our WorkCycles are bomb.


Spur of the moment trip to San Diego to meet up with Terry's sister and her family. Terry is obviously smitten with our little niece, Vera. Here they are looking at the Jaguar at the San Diego Zoo.

P.S. The San Diego Zoo is awesome. And I am not an animal person but I was totally impressed with the Jaguar. Now I understand why someone would name a luxury line of cars after this feline.

Thursday, April 10, 2014


Week 11 we went to the Phoenix Art Museum. We took some pictures by the T-Rex statue out front. It was about 1:30 pm.

Holy BRIGHTNESS!!! Obviously I am an amateur.

So I have been trying really hard to fix these, this is the best I could do. I learned a lesson about making sure I have a clean camera lens.

So...three pictures instead of one.

Dinosaur yawns, 30 weeks and 5 days pregnant, and true love.

Monday, March 17, 2014


29 1/2 weeks pregnant!

I've been feeling really great, the little guy is really healthy (and BIG), and I even finished that pom-pom garland for the nursery. Which is looking ADORABLE.

The only weird thing that has been happening to me during pregnancy is leg cramps??? Who knew?

We are SOOO excited to meet this little boy. One of my favorite parts of the week is reading about how he is developing this week in my baby book/all the emails I get sent. Another favorite part is poking my belly and trying to figure out which body part I'm poking (I always hope it's not his face...) He moves a lot when there is music, or when I talk or sing to him, especially this song. Which is hilarious, because this is THE song I remember from my childhood. I even would sing this one in my head when I was scared or thinking about something I shouldn't have, instead of humming my favorite hymn. My dad really liked this song too, which is why I listened to it so much growing up, so there's got to be some 90's-music-loving chromosome I am passing down. Huzzah.


A few saturdays ago, Terry woke me up pretty early and said, "Do you hear that?" It was RAIN. Coming down HARD. What a treat. 

So obviously we stayed inside most of the day with our patio door open so we could just enjoy the sound and the smell of it.

Here's to more rainy saturdays.

Sunday, March 16, 2014


When Terry's parents were in town we went to the Desert Botanical Gardens*. They are having a really great blown glass exhibit by Chihuly right now. The giant colorful thing behind us is one of the biggest Chihuly pieces in the garden. We hear the garden is lit up at nighttime and just really beautiful. That is on our to-do list before our little guy gets here.

*All four of us rode our bikes from our house to the Botanical Gardens. It ended up being 15 miles (I was 27 weeks pregnant too!). It was so fun. Basically, we love our workcycles.

Sunday, February 16, 2014


Terry's parents are in town and yesterday we went to Lost Dutchman State Park to do a little bit of hiking. The desert was really beautiful and green (for the desert). We take whatever green we can get down here. That giant rock is, I believe, part of the Superstition Mountains, and you can see it from a long way off on the interstate. I've admired it from afar for a long time and it was fun to get closer. 

So far February has been a super love-able month. I can't believe 7 weeks of 2014 have already slipped away. I have accomplished a lot but still have TONS to do before 20/52 (maybe sooner, fingers crossed!). Side note, this is also my last week of being in my second trimester. So, pressure is on! I made a goal this month to do some organization, which I did and I feel great about. There's still lots to do but I finished the portion I wanted to. I also made a goal to make a yarn pom-pom garland. For the nursery, naturally. I haven't started that yet and I can feel it looming above my head....



This is so I never forget the night I got three yahtzees in two games.  

Thursday, February 6, 2014


On the first day of Valentine's, my true love gave to me
A bike ride to 7-11 to get slushies

Last week marked the start of our yearly Valentine's advent calendar and day one's activity was to re-create our first date. Terry still has the shorts he wore (pictured) and I still have the pants and shoes (not pictured) so we even tried to wear the same outfits. I paid, because I did, and after we bought them we sat and watched the beautiful Arizona sunset.

We definitely have an upgraded bike this time, and Terry is totally in love with it. We've been saving up forever to both get Workcycles, I got one in July and his just came in January. We took his. It doesn't have pegs, but I had the option to sit on the front rack or the front seat that mysteriously came with it when it was shipped to us. We didn't order it, but we think that since they forgot to ship it to us for about two weeks after we bought it, it was a little apology gift. 

I know this picture has a bunch of office buildings and stoplights and cars in it, but I still really like it. I like it because we walk past these office buildings and stoplights every day, they are part of the scenery of our life. I also like it because the sunset really was beautiful that night. I like it most of all because it's a reminder of something simple and meaningful that we did together. 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014


Have you heard of the 52 week project? I decided to do it when I heard about it a few weeks ago, but today I sat down and actually edited the photos I want to use so far. You can learn about it here.

A couple of things about doing this.

I feel like I am blatantly copying somebody, but I guess that's okay.

I have wanted to learn to take better pictures for a while, and now that there is a little w coming in less than four months, I am especially motivated. I want to be able to take good pictures of my children. I want to have family photo albums that are fun and beautiful to look at. We have a decent camera, not a dslr, but a step up from a point and shoot. It has the ability to be operated manually, although there aren't any other lenses and I'm sure there's lots of stuff you can do on fancier cameras that you can't do on ours. But it is a good beginner camera for me. Terry also bought me photoshop cc for Christmas, and I have been playing around on it a little bit.

Cameras and photoshop are both really hard to use. I'm not very good. I should probably take a class, but for now I have just been learning from the internet (hallelujah youtube!).

I'm not in the habit of taking pictures and so I don't take very many. I feel like as in everything, practice makes perfect, so I am hoping that this helps me remember to take more pictures.

I am very unphotogenic (I hear it has something to do with having a small head? My head is tiny, so I'll blame it on that), so maybe I will also learn how to be a little more photogenic? Good thing Terry is such a stud.

My goal with this project is improvement and consistency. And documenting this sweet, sweet time in our life.

A New Year's walk with Terry's grandparents and mom by the Columbia River Gorge. 


One year anniversary in Phoenix! I celebrated by getting some new plants and basking in the warm sunshine. 


My dad had a long layover in Phoenix on a business trip, so I met him for the best short rib tacos ever at the airport. I love my dad.

23 weeks pregnant! Feeling so many kicks and punches from this little man, who knew kicks and punches could be so sweet? 

Oh belly button is going to pop any day. ANY. DAY.