top five friday 1.5.17

1 - we just booked a trip to cabo! we are going at the beginning of june and we are doing it without kids. i'm so excited!! the last kidless trip we went on, we took a red eye to orlando {biggest mistake of our life}, got on a boat, and set out to the bahamas. there was a huge storm the first night we were out and the rocking and swaying was ridiculous. i was already not up to par from being so exhausted {remember the red eye? oh, and i was also 18 weeks pregnant} and i ended up having to leave dinner early because i felt so nauseous. i got right outside the door and puked everywhere. so embarrassing. and yet, i really didn't care as much as you'd think i would, because i felt so. dang. awful. we slept almost that whole trip away. my point is, this trip will be soooo welcomed. we found an awesome room at an awesome resort and it was ridiculously cheap! so stoked.

2 - i spent almost 3 full hours walking around target on monday. also by myself. {totally coincidental that the first two highlights of my week have to do with me being away from my kids...i promise i don't hate them.} it was gloooorious. i spent way too much money, but i'm patting myself on the back because since i spent a lot less than i wanted to. winning? i just want to revamp my entire life with everything target.

3 - i signed up for a 6-week workout program that will probably rock my world {not in a good way}, but i'm weirdly excited for it. i've been needing something to kick me in the butt and get me to workout. i have successfully counted calories and eaten better for over a week now, but that can only get me so far if i'm not exercising. my friend, diana, and i have been practicing for the early mornings that the program is going to bring {5:30 am. ouch.} and have been to the gym early in the mornings a couple of times this week. it hurts so bad to get out of bed {totally not a morning person. as far from it as possible.}, but it feels incredible when i can come home and shower before the kids are even awake! {even if it means me taking a quick nap at 9 am. ha! i'm not joking.}

4 - we went on our first family bike ride! every year, zach and i make a list of big-ticket items that we want or need and then we number them, based on which ones we think we should buy first. then we put money into a savings account each month that goes purely to buying things on that list and it is so fun to see the list get smaller and smaller! we have had bicycles and a trailer on our list for the longest time and we finally bought them about a week after graham was born...not the greatest timing. now that he is big enough to sit up and not being bounced around all over the place, we were finally able to use it and it was awesome. i didn't realize how much i loved riding a bike. {even if my butt says otherwise.} can't wait to use it more. too bad that we just got a foot of snow dumped on us.

5 - it's a new year. i'm a sucker for fresh starts. i've seen a bunch of things going around about how much of a crock the idea of a "new year, new you" is and it makes me so sad! i love the clean slate feeling that the turn of a new year brings. sure, you won't just magically be a different person on jan 1 than you were on dec 31, but it makes you think about how you want to change and how you're going to do it. i love it. we were able to celebrate 2017 with dear friends that we have made in cheyenne and we had so much fun. {especially the part where we ate cuban sandwiches. first timer here and man, they are amazing!!} we are sure going to miss everyone when we move this year.

happy first week of the year!

-the mrs.


2017 resolutions.

i'm a sucker for making goals. i live for to-do lists and love the feeling of accomplishment when i complete a task. i can't let a fresh, new year start without laying out my own resolutions, so here they are:

1. be on time. i am late to everything i ever do and it stresses my brains out so bad. i feel like i'm constantly running from one place to another and it leaves me feeling like my life is out of control. i hate it. so i'm making it a goal to be on time. i'll start out with making it to church at the right time, which might be a little more difficult since it starts at 9 this year, but i'm going to do it! hopefully practicing that will teach me how to give myself a buffer zone when i go to other places as well.

2. lose 25 pounds. there. i've said it. technically, a health weight for my height, age, and gender would equal about a 35 pound weight loss, but i'm not that ambitious. i know that baby number three is probably going to happen in the next couple of years and i don't want to be starting it off on an uncomfortable note. because let's be honest - it will only go up from here once that train starts moving. ha! zach and i have already set some goals, laid out the rewards for them, and are three days into making it all happen. it is empowering and invigorating to feel myself offer up some restraint!

3. visit the temple every month. we were so good at this until we had kids. the temple was 2 hours away, making it an all day event for whoever is watching our kids. as of october, we have a temple that is about an hour away in fort collins now and we can totally make that happen. i'm really excited for this one!

4. read at least one book per month. i know this might seem like nothing to a lot of people, but since the only time i read is right before bed and i get way too sleepy after only doing it for a bit, this might actually be a hard one to accomplish. but i'm going to do it! plus, i got a new kindle for christmas that i absolutely love, so i really look forward to reading. if you have any suggestions, comment below!

5. be more present. i kind of thrive on the three days per week when addi is at school and graham naps the entire time. as nice as it is to get some time to myself, i hate that i look so forward to a break from my kids. when i am with them, i want to actually be with them. i want to play, imagine, and enjoy the time we have together, since i know that they are both going to be grown up before i know it and things won't ever be like they are now. my phone is the culprit for not being as present with them as i should, so i'm going to limit myself to two hours of electronics per day.

6. dejunk. we have things still packed up after moving into this house a year and a half ago. clearly, we don't need it. i want to get rid of everything that i am holding onto out of guilt or because "i might need it one day". i really don't want to be moving things around for the next 15 years that i don't even need. i plan to go through all of our boxes, closets, and cupboards and purge the stuff that i don't really want.

7. get organized. it has been on my list of things to do for months now, to buy an organizing system for addi's preschool papers, any baby items that i want to keep, papers that pile up in our kitchen, and all of our important paperwork. it's time that it happens.

8. clean my pantry. it's sad that this needs to have its own number. ha! it's out of control though, guys. it doesn't help that addi gets into it daily and likes to throw things around a bit, but i'd be lying if i said that part of it wasn't my fault.

9. hang pictures on my walls. one of the downsides to air force living is that it's hard to motivate yourself to hang things up or to really decorate your house when you know you're just going to pack it up and move it all soon anyway. plus, what if something fits on the walls in this house, but then there is no wall space in a future house? it's amazing what hanging a few pictures up does for a room though, so i'm determined to print some off and hang them up in this house in the coming month.

10. go on a date every week. i have dreams of having a babysitter that knows to come to my house every week on the same day and at the same time so that zach and i can go out, but until that time comes, date night will just have to take a little more work. it's amazing the difference i feel in my connection level to zach when we go on a date together. it feels so good to be able to talk without interruptions and be able to rekindle our love. this is the year that we make it happen every single week.

11. be happy. i just finished reading elizabeth smart's book about her 9-month long kidnapping and she ended it by relaying something her mom told her when was returned back home. her mom told her never to let her captors take another second of her life away from her by being unhappy and dwelling on her experience. she told her to go on and live an amazing life and to always be happy. and she did. guys, if she can do it, anyone can do it. i have much less reasons to be unhappy in my life and for some reason, i still focus on negative things. i have a jealous bone and i compare myself to everyone i know. 2017 is the year that stops. i am enough for me and my family and i want to be content with that, instead of wanting to be doing things that are better than someone else. so if we don't talk as much in this coming year, know that it's probably because i think you're awesome and want to be just like you, but i can't handle the constant pressure of trying to do that. i'm going to be me and rock it.

here's to the new year and being a better person than i was last year! cheers.

-the mrs.


the houses that built me.

I have been looking up ways to display our Air Force adventure in our home for the longest time and I haven't been able to commit to anything. I have a cork board of the U.S. that was getting the job done, until Addi pulled all of the marker tabs off and I was too lazy to replace them. For our anniversary yesterday, I gave Zach these watercolor pictures of all of the houses we have lived in together.

They were drawn by a friend of mine that does amazing work and I am totally over the moon about them! It makes me giddy to look at them and remember how special each place has been for us. 

The bottom left was the first house we lived in in Del Rio, TX. I can remember showing up to that place and wanting to puke knowing that we were going to be living there for the next 2-5 years {or so we thought}. Looking back, we both cherish the memories we have in that house so much. It was our first year of marriage, I didn't have a job, Zach worked minimal hours, and it was just the two of us. I spent my 21st birthday there, where Zach sent me on a scavenger hunt to find all of my presents, which included a sewing machine {I was so excited!} and a pinata in the backyard. There I was, swinging a bat to break the thing open in my pajamas, no makeup, and rocking some awesome bedhead and it is still one of my favorite birthday memories. I also got my first taste of caffeine that day. Yeah, it took my 21 years to jump on that bandwagon. It felt kind of like the Mormon version of being able to legally drink alcohol. Ha! Zach also took me gambling for the first time that day as well. Man, 21 was good to me! We spent hours in that house watching Lost, eating ranch popcorn, and planning our future. We were able to spend so much time together and we will forever be grateful for the 7 months we spent there! Even if it was in the middle of nowhere. 

Next was the top right - Santa Maria, CA. I got a job working as a secretary in a tax office and Zach was in training to be a missileer, so the 'us time' was a little more limited. We lived in a townhome with a loft and I loved that place so much. It was perfect for us. It backed up to a beautiful park, where we spent countless hours running, trying to get fit. Spoiler alert: we didn't get very fit, but we had some of the best food ever while living there! We camped on the beach, visited Disneyland twice in the same month, spent our first Christmas together as a couple, and celebrated our first anniversary. We weren't there for very long, but we had so much fun!

6 months later to the day, we left and headed to Cheyenne, WY and were offered the house on the top left on base, during our drive out there. The house was built in the 1800s and while it was beautiful, it had its quirks. There was one useable shower in the entire place and it was connected to our bedroom. Having guests over was super fun. 😉 The only winter we were there, the heater went out and I remember reading the thermostat as 56 degrees in the main living area. We were so cold! Right after we moved there, I spent a couple of days visiting pharmacies in town and handing out resumes to work as a pharmacy technician and when I left a certain one, I remember thinking it was the last place on my list that I wanted to work at. I felt intimidated and like I didn't connect with the owner. I honestly sat in my car and cried because I didn't think I would actually be able to get a job anywhere. I ended up getting a call for an interview at that same pharmacy that week and got a job a few days later. That was my favorite job I have ever had. It was while living in that house that we also adopted Copper. I visited the local shelter and saw a litter of coonhound puppies and I knew that I was going to have to take one home with me. I came back later with Zach so we could play with them and we left as the proud owners of a 10-week old named Yodel. Haha! We quickly changed that name. And my favorite memory of this house was it being where we brought our wonderful Adelaide home to. Luckily, it wasn't the house she stayed in though. The staircase in that place was gorgeous, but was steep and slippery. I fell down those stairs once, about two weeks after I found out I was pregnant with Addi, and I swore I wouldn't have a baby around them. There were some not-so-fun times as new parents in those first few weeks, but there were also some really amazing ones. 

Addi was three weeks old when we moved into the house in the middle, 45 minutes south of Cheyenne, in Fort Collins, CO. It was the first house we bought and it is my favorite house that I have ever lived in. We had a few hiccups when we moved in, considering we were the first ones to live in it and had some kinks to work out, but that place was roomy, beautiful, and full of so much love. I did more growing up in that home than I have in my whole life. I had no idea how much parenthood could change me and that is where I spent two whole years witnessing it. It was in that home that I saw Addi learn to crawl, walk, and talk. People laugh at the fact that parents tend to document the crap out of their first child's life and slack on subsequent ones, but can you blame them? Never had I seen the day-in and day-out of a human going from this tiny, helpless thing to being able to dress and feed herself only a couple years later. It was amazing! I spent so many hours pushing Addi in a stroller as I walked and ran around that neighborhood, training for my first half-marathon. I talked with her as we did it and that time in my life still holds some of my favorite memories with her. The houses next to us felt like they were only an arm's reach away, but it backed to a greenbelt and I loved having some extra room to play. We didn't have grass in our backyard until we had lived there for about a year and Zach installed all of the sod himself. My dad planted trees and flowers for us and we had our own garden in raised beds that we put in ourselves. It was an amazing house and we miss it so much. BUT we are so happy to be where we are now.

Which brings us to our 5th and final house in the bottom-right, in Cheyenne, WY. We have lived here for 15 months. While it has brought some very difficult times, probably some of the hardest in my life, it has brought some of the most precious as well. Addi has been on a sleep strike for almost a year {Okay, it has gotten better in the past few months, but she still wakes up quite a bit. At least she isn't screaming and demonic though...}, we are 8 months into breastfeeding Graham and it is still painful {No clue why. I've tried everything. Literally everything.}, and I've struggled more with my body image than I probably ever have. But as hard as those things have been, I think the good outweighs the bad. We were able to get completely out of debt after moving here, which has been an incredible blessing that I used to dream about and wondered if it would ever actually happen. We have made some of the greatest friends that I thank God every day for. I don't know what I would do without them. And my favorite happening - this is where our sweet baby Graham was brought home for the first time. I can't begin to describe the kind of light that kid brings into my life. He is seriously an angel in baby form. We have loved every minute of watching him grow up, just like we did his sister, and have all fallen completely in love with him. I am so grateful for him. We expect to be in this house for another 9 months or so. We will find out where we are moving to next in March sometime and while we won't miss the wind here much, I already know that it's going to be heartbreaking to leave.

It's amazing to look at all of the things that happen while living in your home. None of ours have been big or glamorous by any means. On roadtrips, Zach and I like to describe to each other the kind of house we hope to live in one day and we daydream about what that would be like. But for now, I am grateful for these homes in helping us to learn how to love each other and to be a refuge from the outside world. As they say:

Love grows best in little houses, with fewer walls to separate. Where you eat and sleep so close together, you can't help but communicate. And if we have more room between us, think of all we'd miss. Love grows best in houses just like this.

-the mrs.


A beautiful memory

This little story pretty much encompasses my feelings about my little Adelaide - it happened July 4th, 2016.

-The Mr.


I opened the car door to the sound of her tiny voice commenting on how cute the dogs were, playing frisbee with their owners at the receiving end of our car's headlights.  I smiled.  Her obsession with dogs knows no bounds.

After extricating her from her carseat and retrieving the lawn chair and blanket from the trunk, I turned to move out.  She blocked my passage and asked, "you hold me?"  She seemed to be undeterred by the fact that my arms were full.  Looking around I noticed how dark it was getting and my heart swelled knowing that her tender apprehension was a byproduct of the increasing darkness.  I somehow managed to transfer the blanket to my already burdened left hand.  I squatted and picked her up by my right arm.  I was unwavered by the fact that I probably looked ridiculous.  Somehow, holding her sweet warmth in my arm, all 28 pounds of her didn't seem heavy at all.

I began to cross the parking lot, taking efforts to avoid other cars trying to quickly park.  Children were playing football in a small field to our right, the sun's last blood-orange rays were dripping down below the horizon to the left.  Addi still cheeped away about the dogs.  All of these beautiful things reminded me of our good fortune in living in this country... what a fitting scene.

Others were already setting up their lawn-chairs and blankets.  Some families set up camp in the tailgates of their vehicles.  All eagerly awaited the light show to come.

As we approached the gym, which was located between our parking spot and my intended destination, the street-lights fed Addi's courage and she requested to get down.  "Alright sweety, just stay close because there are cars around,"  I responded.  She obliged with a short and somehow adorable, "okay."

My intent was to find a dark and lonesome spot to set out the blanket for the impending fireworks.  Just the way I like it.  Yet, Addi, upon seeing a bright tree lit up by one of those angled lamps that point at buildings to show them off at night, simply pointed and asked, "right here daddy?"  Again, her anxieties about the dark were getting the best of her.  I rejected her request, knowing that a darker spot would enhance our viewing experience - a notion that her little mind might not yet understand.  Yet, she simply trusted in me, summoned some vestige of courage, and we moved on without complaint.  I had but a moment to ponder the metaphorical significance of that little exchange...

We trekked on.  Behind the gym we found an opening in a fence to the baseball field.  Not a soul in sight.  Perfect.  We laid a blanket down and sat upon it comfortably.  I looked at my watch.  Ten minutes until the show.  We filled the time by watching videos of Copper on my phone, at Addi's request, of course.

Frequently we were interrupted by the "bang" of some firework detonating nearby.  Several, Addi ignored.  Others she would gasp at and look around for the lighted display.

In the middle of one of the videos, she was cut-off, mid-giggle by the first big firework above the stadium.  For a few moments she was catatonic - amazed with a mixture of surprise, elation, and perhaps a little fear.

We enjoyed the fireworks for a few minutes.  She and I chatted back and forth, commenting on the colors, the sizes, and the sounds of the performance.  Every pink firework was her favorite.  Wanting to give my tired, crouching back a rest, I convinced Addi to lie down.  We pulled the blanket over us (something that was necessary even on July 4th... that's Cheyenne), and laid on our sides facing the light show.  With her tiny back to my chest I wrapped my arms around her.  That view, that moment, was emblazoned on my memory.

Each fiery display burst into the dark sky.  This back-lit effect seemed to light her whispy hairs on fire as her little head soaked up my view.  I smelled her hair and head - a mix of some kid hair product and what I will affectionately refer to as "toddler" smell - which is probably just sweat and dirt.  I felt her little warmth pressed against me.  I heard her squeals of delight and her incessant questions such as, "what is that firework called, daddy?"  I held her a little tighter.  I didn't want the moment to end.

When the fireworks ceased, the darkness returned.  She was reminded that she needed her daddy and stayed close to me.  Yet, through all of this - through every last tender moment - I was reminded in a very personal, emotional, and tangible way, that I absolutely needed her.


one week.

i can't believe it has been an entire week since baby graham came into our life. but here we are.

it hasn't been perfect {this kid sure loves sleeping all day and being awake all night. and the boobs. so sore.}, but it has been sooooo much more enjoyable than with addi. to put things into perspective, when we went to addi's one week check up, zach and i finished with the doctor and then we just sat in the exam room for twenty minutes, trying not to cry and not wanting to go home. a nurse came in and was surprised that we were still there and asked us if we needed anything. a dark part of me wanted her to offer to take addi back to the hospital because we clearly weren't cut out to be parents. {i know. so sad. it makes me cringe typing that out. luckily, none of those feeling exist even a little bit anymore!} this time around? i couldn't take my eyes off of graham the entire time because he's just so dang cute! i seriously couldn't be more in love.

i don't know for sure if i had postpartum depression with addi, but looking back, it wouldn't surprise me if i did. i am hoping that things will stay better this go around. i have felt the anxiety creep in the past two days like it would with addi in the evenings and that scares me. i think it comes from not knowing how my night is going to go and the reality that i am still getting to know this little man and how he works. i didn't feel those feeling tonight though, and i count that as a victory.

a few things i have learned in the last week:

1. ice cream helps with birth recovery. now, this is scientifically proven, but i'm pretty sure that if it were ever tested, it would pass. in all seriousness, it is actually kind of fun to wake up every morning and choose which place we will visit to get our daily dose in. yes. we are eating ice cream daily. even if it doesn't help with recovery, at least it adds a fun element to the day. i may or may not keep this up for way longer than i should...

2. lactation consultants should get paid a million dollars an hour. i have gone to see them twice since being discharged from the hospital and i could kiss those ladies on the lips for all of their help. both times, i have left feeling confident and capable. i don't know what it is about them, but they make me feel empowered and like i can do this whole nursing thing!

3. speaking of nursing - tongue ties are no joke. that should be the first thing that gets checked when that baby comes out. graham had an anterior and posterior tongue tie. the anterior one was fixed with a quick snip. the posterior one requires legitimate surgery. we have been told that the posterior one can stretch, which is what i think happened with addi {yes, she had it too. which explains why nursing was a beast for 3 months!}, so we are going to see if things get better. if not, we will get the surgery done. in the meantime, pray for my boobs. that's all i ask. #holymothernursinghurts

4. recovery with baby number two is about a thousand times better than with baby number one. at least this has been my experience. i remember sobbing in bed when addi was a few days old, telling zach that God designed this all wrong and it wasn't right to hurt this bad while still having to take care of a newborn. it hasn't been a walk in the park exactly, but it has been phenomenally better and i thank my lucky stars for that.

5. post partum bodies are beautiful. i know that idea gets thrown around a lot and i will be honest in saying that i feel like it's a little dramatic sometimes - because who wants to have a flabby belly and extra pregnancy chub - but i truly feel it this time. while in labor, zach and i couldn't stop talking about how miraculous it is that my body grew a human without me telling it what to do. next, it helps that human exit, without any outside help whatsoever. then it makes food for that human and it's literally the only food that it needs to exist. i will gladly take my flabby belly and extra chub as a reminder of the amazing things that my body can do!

6. it is so worth it to have family come visit right away. a lot of people have told me that they prefer waiting to get settled in before anyone comes over and i totally feel the opposite. zach's sister, arika, is still here and my mom and sister were here for a few days too and i can't begin to tell you how grateful i have been for them helping around the house, when i can barely remember my own name. plus, it helps to have an extra adult in the house when both you and your husband need a nap.

7. baby boys can eat. a lot. our doctor was surprised at graham's appointment yesterday that he has gained weight from his birth weight. i guess it's the norm for them to lose a few ounces in the first two weeks and then start to gain? i think he would nurse all day if i let him. i'm going to start a savings account now, to be able to pay for his meals during the teenage years. #justkiddingimnot #justkiddingiam

8. your little girl that you have spent the last 2 years, 9 months, and 8 days with, will no longer feel like a little girl when you bring a tiny baby home. the other night, i was feeding graham and i heard addi call for me from her room. i went in there to snuggle her and she laid on my chest, just like graham was doing a few minutes earlier. i felt her back and her arms and legs and i was surprised at how huge she felt! of course i know she won't be as small as a newborn, but i was shocked to see just how my little baby wasn't my little baby anymore. i love watching her grow and learn, but dang. it is sure bittersweet. she has been the cutest big sister!

9. helpful people are the best kind of people. we had some close friends, joseph and melissa neary, take addi while i had graham and even for the couple of days afterwards. i seriously can't thank them enough for that! especially when they had their own kids to take care of. we have had friends and zach's coworkers bring us meals almost every night since we have been home from the hospital and i can't say enough how valuable that has been. i hate thinking up what to make for dinner to begin with, so to have that taken out of my hands and have food served to me, while trying to navigate being a parent of two, has made a world of a difference in my stress levels! note to self: be a helpful person.

10. i married a really great man. like, i know a lot of people say that about their husbands, but i feel like i married one of the best. he takes his job as a dad really seriously {and by really seriously, i mean not so seriously - like endless space ship rides, kiss attacks, tickle fights, and whatever else he can do that will make addi laugh and adore him more than she already does. i don't even question why he is the favorite parent anymore.} he also takes his job as a husband just as seriously. i feel spoiled by him every day. like when he buys me yellow tulips, just because he knows i'm excited for spring and those will make it feel like spring in our home. even though cheyenne is a little behind the times and is still threatening to be winter over here. he is willing to jump in and help me whenever possible and is so sweet and kind to our babies. i could cry over how much i love that guy. i only wish his two weeks of paternity leave could be two months! i miss him already and we are only halfway through it.

this really has been a wonderful week, welcoming this sweet baby boy into our lives. i have become more and more grateful for the blessing that is family and friends. although i am sad feeling like time is already on warp speed with this kid, i am so excited to get to know him and watch him grow!

-the mrs.


baby number two.

i have always thought that with baby number two on the way, i would feel super sentimental about the actuality of addi no longer being my baby. don't get me wrong, i feel it to an extent, but not as raw as i expected it to be. which is funny, because last summer i felt completely different. i got a positive pregnancy test in june after we had been trying to get pregnant for several months and i was so stoked about it. but there was also a side of me that was surprisingly sad as i watched addi for those first few days. as far as i knew, our alone time together was ticking and i found myself anxious and nervous to add another baby to our family. would she feel replaced in any way? would she miss our days together, just the two of us? would she resent this baby? was i capable of taking care of two tiny humans when sometimes it felt like i was drowning with only one that was even semi-independent, compared to a newborn? i worried and stressed, but after a few days, that positive indicator slowly faded until i ended up with a blank pregnancy test in my hand. we believe it was a chemical pregnancy and i remember being so bummed about it, but a different part of me felt a little bit relieved. which, in turn, made me even more sad. i knew i wanted this to happen, so why these feelings?

flash forward two months and i was visiting my family in utah. something felt off and i took a pregnancy test to hopefully confirm my suspicions. sure enough, it was positive! i debated waiting to tell zach in person because i didn't think that a life-changing thing like this should just be discussed over the phone, but if you know me at all, you know that i am nowhere near that patient. instead, i saved a bunch of pictures of baby things from the internet - baby carrots, baby back ribs, a baby cow, baby corn, etc. - and texted them to him, one by one. it took him a minute to catch on, but once he did, he called me and we both celebrated in excitement! it was then that i realized i didn't have any of the previous feelings that i'd had in june. it was also then, that i knew the timing of this baby's birth was exactly what God wanted it to be. which would make sense, because in january of this year, things began to get super rough with addi and her sleep habits and tantrums. if it were my way, we would have had a baby last october, but i know that God knew i couldn't have handled a baby on top of the few difficult months we have had with addi. i am very grateful for that.

as i sit here with this baby boy in my belly that is due in less than two weeks, i can't help but feel pure excitement still, just like i did the day i found out i was pregnant with him. which i know is normal with a new baby, right? but i have also heard a lot of moms talk about the worry and anxiety that comes with baby number two. mostly for the reasons that i felt back in june. i feel total peace in knowing this boy is coming at the right time in our life. do i worry about the logistics of juggling two babies instead of one? yes. but i think that is totally normal too.

it is also common for people to say that they can't imagine there being enough love to go around between their current child and their new baby. i have to admit that i haven't really felt this. maybe in the beginning, but i already feel a special bond with this boy and already love him just as much as i love addi. i am excited to get to know him and can't wait to meet him!

as of now, i am hoping to go into labor naturally, but have thrown around the idea of being induced, since there is family coming into town and i tested positive for group b strep. any prayers that it happens naturally and uneventfully would be greatly appreciated!! <3

-the mrs.


averett life in a nutshell

{note: most of this was written in october and never published, so i'm doing it today. because i can.}

i know this is one of those generic "this is what we are up to" posts that tend to be suuuuper boring to read, but that's okay. sometimes we need those kinds of posts because let's be honest - if you're here, it's because you're a nosey snoop that wants the inside scoop on what is happening in our life, right? it's okay. just own it. chances are, i was on your blog last week doing the same thing.

to make things easy, i'm just going to sum up our recent life {and by recent, i mean since the last time i posted. in february 2015. yikes} in a 5 piece list. get ready.

1. we went to mexico. it was my first time out of the country and it was pretty much the most amazing thing i've ever done. zach and i like to travel, but when we do it, we are usually pretty concerned with saving as much money as possible. i don't remember the last time that we stayed in a hotel room and didn't split it with someone else and if we didn't split it, you better believe we stayed at an air force base for 60 bucks per night. what i'm saying is, we like to travel, but we don't do anything extravagant as far as hotels and food goes, so we can spend the money on activities. during this trip, we got the best of both worlds.

the air force has a program where you can use their time shares for a ridiculously low price. we got it even lower than the normal and were able to get a weeklong stay at the most amazing resort of our lives {the grand mayan} for a whopping $279. for that price, i was sure it couldn't be that grand. i was wrong. we also bought my plane ticket using a credit i had when i missed my flight for a blog conference in orlando last year. i was bummed to miss it at first, but orlandooooo vs. mexicooooo? don't ever ask me that question again.

we packed a lot in the week we were there. we visited the ruins at tulum, snorkeled, ziplined, and tubed at xelha, walked the streets of playa del carmen, relaxed at the beach and in the billions pools on site, and don't even get me started on the food. we ate like royalty while we were there. and, i fell in love with shrimp for the first time ever! i also had a pina colada every single day we were there. totally worth the 7 bucks each time. to prove how amazing it was, after we came home and i began unpacking, i got a whiff of the resort on my clothes and tears came to my eyes. so, there's that.

it was a magical vacation and i can't wait to go back to this same resort one day!

2. addi turned two! for her first birthday, i literally started planning things in january. umm, hi, her birthday is in july. last year, around march, i thought i should probably put something together. we needed to celebrate our cool girl, right?? i wanted to do either a tinkerbell or minnie mouse party. after putting it off because the thought of it was so overwhelming and daunting, i thought that it was the stupidest thing in the world to feel so much pressure to throw a birthday party for a two year old. so, instead of a big to-do that would cause me way more stress and money than i was willing to give, we decided to rock her world and pack so many fun things into it, that she wouldn't even miss having a party. {not that she would have anyway. she's two, for crying out loud!}

we started with our traditional german pancakes, zipped up to cheyenne to see the thunderbirds, tubed the poudre river, ate lunch at our her favorite restaurant, made time for a quick nap, and topped it off with a lame movie {minions. boo.} at the drive-in. and since we saved so much money on the party, we were able to get her some pretty rad gifts! i don't regret not having a party one bit. in fact, maybe i will do it more often.

3. we moved from fort collins, colorado to good ol' cheyenne, wyoming. ironically, when i was on here last, clear back in february, moving wasn't even on our radar, let alone moving back to cheyenne. a lot of people ask why we did it, so here it goes:

zach was sitting in our living room one evening, clearly with something on his mind. i asked him what was up and he said he had been watching the market in foco a lot recently and it was skyrocketing. he wanted to know what my thoughts were on selling our house and moving back to cheyenne. i just about laughed him out of the room. i told him that i loved our house and i had no desire to move, but i would consider selling it and renting, but there is not way in h#$! i was moving back to cheyenne.

a few days later, i was driving back from the grocery store by myself and i got to thinking about moving and whether or not we would actually do it. just then, i was overwhelmed with the distinct impression that we needed to not only sell our house, but we needed to move back to cheyenne. i immediately burst into tears and yelled, "i don't want to leave!" i sobbed the whole way home and went inside to talk to zach about it. he didn't know about any of this and i told him we needed to have a legit talk about where we stand on things and how serious we are. he listed the pros and cons and why we should or shouldn't do one or the other and after a while, i burst into tears and told him i didn't feel like there was much of a decision to be made anymore and that we needed to move forward with things.

we listed our house about a month later, got under contract at the end of that week, and closed about 48 days later. it was one of the craziest events of my life. i couldn't talk to people about it for at least 2 weeks without crying and i told zach that i didn't even want to visit foco after we moved because it would hurt too bad. i loved that place. i don't know that there was a day that i drove around it and didn't think about how lucky i was to live there. it will seriously have such a special place in my heart, along with the people in it. not to mention that it was the house we raised addi in, up to this point, and holds so, so many good memories for us.

we have been back a few times and luckily, it didn't hurt as bad as i thought. i'm glad we still live close enough to visit such a wonderful place. and i have to say - cheyenne isn't the most glamorous place in the world, but it has been perfect for us to be back here, for so many reasons! and i am so so grateful for that feeling.

4. we are having a baby! in 5 weeks! and it's a boy! can you tell how excited i am? i was just telling zach that if things were the same this pregnancy as they were with addi, i would have already been on bed rest for 3 weeks. woof. i'm so glad that things have been better this time around and he has given me basically nothing to worry about. now, if only i can get addi to sleep at night, so i didn't have to worry about how ridiculously tired i am going to be, that would be great.

those are the major highlights of our last year, or at least any that are worth talking about. mostly, i just need to hit publish on this post, because i will be sad one day if i don't. enjoy!

-the mrs.


top five friday 2.6.15

there's something about focusing on what you're grateful for that makes you realize how good your life really is. which is why top five friday posts are my favorite and really the only posts that i keep up on this ol' blog. deal with it. here we go for this week:

1 - mommy daughter dates. i haven't been very good at doing these regularly because let's be honest - when you're a stay at home mom, every day is a mommy daughter date. but i do want to be better at going out and doing something fun. if for nothing else, than to get out of the house, because dang. last weekend, one of our cars was in the shop and zach had to go to work overnight. so, i was stuck without a car for a day and a half and that about made me crazy! not complaining though, because being a sahm rocks. just fyi. anyway, today was kind of the ultimate date all day long. we went swimming,

{don't ask me what face this is. i told her to smile and this is what came out.}

ate at panera bread,

{in the middle of our meal, she insisted on giving me a big hug and a wet one with that messy face. let's just say that my shirt and hair both need washing now.}

got frozen yogurt for dessert,

{She should pretty much be a model.}

and then went home for a nap. as soon as addi woke up, zach was home and we went to the dog park, where addi probably pet every dog there, and then to the human park where she played and played to her heart's content. my house may be a mess right now, but i feel like a rockstar mom.

2 - running. man alive, is running good for my soul. do i like it? still undecided. but do i like how it makes me feel? dang straight. zach and i are training for the salt lake half marathon in april and i've been discouraged at how much i want to resist it compared to last summer when i was training for one. then we went running outside {because it was 65 degrees yesterday!} and i was reminded why i wanted to run it in the first place. i'm sorry, but i don't care what you say, treadmill running and outside running are way different. by the time we were done, we both felt like life was perfect and that we could do anything. if you're not into running, get into it. it will change your life.

speaking of working out - this is my motivation to do it. i can't even begin to tell you how downright delicious these are. i haven't been able to stop thinking about them since the first time i made them, so i'm making them for a friend tomorrow and will most definitely be keeping some for myself. make them. now. 

4 - snowboarding. five years ago, actually probably during this exact week, i was snowboarding at sundance and i ate it hard, broke my collarbone, and had to be sent down the mountain on a snowmobile. of course, it had to be on the first run too. boo. i have only been snowboarding once since, and that was even less glamourous. my friends, megan, vince, and i had plans to have a boarding trip here in colorado, but that fell through. so, when we went to utah last week, we all had to jump on the chance to go together. my most memorable snowboarding memories are with vince and megan, so i'm glad we were able to go again! 

5 - this.

i was changing the description in my instagram account this week and wanted to put up a couple things that described me. after writing all of this in, i sat back and couldn't help but think what a great life i live. it might not be perfect and can seem difficult at times, but it's full of joy and happiness and never once would i want to be living a different one.

happy friday, friends.

-the mrs.


new year's resolutions 2015

as of 11:59 tonight, we will officially be a week into 2015. crazy, right? i know that most people think new year's resolutions are overrated and cliche, but i honestly kind of like them. there's something satisfying about saying you're going to work on something for a whole year and then doing it. at least i think there is...i don't know that i've ever actually completed a new year's resolution.

if you remember the ones from last year, i can whole-heartedly say that i tried really hard on them for most of the year. my life has changed as far as laundry goes. i used to only do it when we needed it, but i was on top of my game almost all year long! it rocked my world. i sent a birthday card to everyone in my family for the first half of the year. then i was overloaded with all of the may and june babies and that went to pot. i actually did make a budget for every penny that came into our bank account, but whether we stuck to that budget was a different story. i think we successfully did it for maybe two paychecks out of the whole year? eesh. that could use some work. we didn't save a single dollar using the savings plan that i found. oops. and rather than blogging more here and on our food blog less, i just blogged less on both. so, if you look at it collectively, 2014 was a 38% successful year for us!

despite not being the best goal-reacher, i'm still going to make more for this year and ain't nobody gonna stop me. here they are, in no particular order:

1 - have a clean house. notice, i didn't say a cleaner house. anything with -er on the end is so vague. i'm pretty sure that for the majority of 2014, my house was a mess. i would power clean all day and then not do anything for four days when it was a disaster, and then have to start the cycle all over again. although i will admit that there's a sort of therapy that comes from cleaning a house all day, the fact that it's overwhelming and exhausting kind of outweighs the pros here. so, if i were to have a cleaner house instead of a clean one, i could get away with cleaning it every three days and i'd still be winning. but i wouldn't be much happier with it. what i want here is to be able to maintain a clean house. there are few things that compare to having a clean home and i'm determined to make it happen consistently this year. my only regret with this, is that it's taken me 4 years of marriage to be pumped about it. {yikes. sorry, babe.} with that said, i found a blog post that is going to help me make all of this happen! it comes from Simply Kierste and it's already done so much good for me! i save this picture to my phone and i check it daily, so i know which tasks to complete:

if you plan to visit us at all and want to stay in a clean home, you should make it happen this year. who knows what next year will be like.

2 - delete facebook off my phone. this one shouldn't be hard because it literally takes two seconds. it's the maintaining that's going to be my biggest challenge. has anybody else unknowingly trained their brain to turn to facebook when they have nothing else to think about? no? just me? well then. this is awkward. #secretconfessionsofsarah. there are times when i get halfway through scrolling down my newsfeed when i realize i don't even remember how i got there! i love facebook. i really do. i think social media sites were inspired {except for you, twitter. you suck.} and i love that i can live hundreds of miles away from my family and friends and i'm still able to stalk them every day. but, it's getting out of hand and i need to have my life and brain back. sorry facebook. it's not me, it's you.

3 - be a dog-walking-owner. this is more of just a reminder or a way to make me accountable by putting it out in the open. can i be honest with you? i don't know the last time i took copper on a walk. don't judge me. since he was a puppy, he's always pulled on his leash hard and it's so annoying and a total deterrent from ever wanting to take him. this past summer, we ran outside together almost every day and it was awesome! but then when winter came, along with the cold, that all stopped. after talking with a co-worker and my boss, i guess i was kind of shocked to hear that they go out in the cold to walk their dog every morning. i left both of those conversations feeling like the worst dog owner ever. so, since i'm waking up at the butt crack of dawn now {see next resolution}, why not throw in a little exercise with the pup, right? i'll keep you posted on how it goes. meanwhile, please pray for summer to come early.

4 - become a morning person. if you know me, you know how hard it is for me to get out of bed early. morning practices were never my friend. i always avoided early classes in college because i knew i would probably just sleep in. {totally happened anyway.} i remember years of girl's camp, where my leaders would basically have to pry my best friend and me out of bed. i think i vaguely remember a few instances with buckets of water? it was bad. becoming a mom has forced me to change that a little bit, but even then, we are lucky and addi sleeps in until 7:30 or 8. i usually don't even wake up until she wakes me up, which is still hard to do sometimes when i don't feel rested. not only that, but there are things that i need to get done, that are hard to do with an 18 month old running around. addi goes to sleep at 7:30 pm, so my thinking for the last year has been, "once she's asleep, i can get all the things done that i need to!" umm, have you ever tried to be productive at 8 o'clock at night? unless being productive is defined as 'blowing through every season of new girl, parenthood, and how i met your mother on netflix as fast as possible', then i'm not very good at it. to remedy my situation, i've decided to make this whole becoming-a-morning-person happen. {puttin' on the big girl panties.} everywhere i've read says to turn on a light the moment you wake up because your body will stop producing as much melatonin when that happens. so, for a few days now, i've set my alarm for 7 and whenever it goes off, i flip on my lamp and read or do whatever i need to wake myself up. it's been fairly easy. i upped it a little bit though this week and decided to start waking up at 6. to get up that early, i have to be in bed by 9, which has been easier than i thought, since zach likes to go to bed then anyway. do you know how easy it is to wake up at 6 when you go to bed at a decent time?? way easy! my head just pops off the pillow! in fact, i wanted to work out yesterday before i went to work, which meant i needed to wake up at 5:15. i went to bed at 8:30 and found myself waking up completely rest at 4 freaking 30. it was nuts! i didn't even feel like i needed a nap later in the day either. this is seriously going to be life changing for me. i honestly believe there is power in waking up early. in fact, i remember an lds talk that i heard once that struck me so hard, that i will never forget it. here is an excerpt from it. this quote is from president {then, elder} harold b. lee to the {at the time} brand new general authority, marion g. romney:

"if you are to be successful as a general authority, you will need to be inspired. you will need to receive revelation. i will give you one piece of advice: go to bed early and get up early. if you do, your body and mind will become rested, and then in the quiet of those early-morning hours, you will receive more flashes of insight and inspiration than at any other time of the day."

this is why i have also chosen to use scripture study as a motivator to waking up early. i haven't been very diligent in the last few years at reading the scriptures on my own and i've definitely noticed. i'm excited to see the changes and spiritual gain i get from doing it in the morning without any distractions.

i'm interested to know what your goals are for the new year. leave a note below to let me know!

-the mrs.


top five friday {christmas 2014 edition}

i'm just going to skip over the part about how bad i feel for never posting on here anymore, because i find it boring when people write crap like that. so, let's just pretend i post on here regularly and this isn't anything out of the ordinary.

it's friday {hence the top five friday post} and i've found myself sitting in my living room alone, with adelaide in bed and zach on alert {shh, don't tell the crazies} and i was thinking about how awesome this christmas was and wanted to document a few highlights.

we went home before christmas this year, which was hectic, but awesome, so we didn't get to make it home for the actual holiday. this was our third time in the four years we have been married that we have spent christmas by ourselves and the past two times were rough. i had that homesick feeling during the entire month of december and christmas just didn't feel the same. this year was different though. this year, i looked forward to spending it with my little family, in our own home, without having to worry about anything except ourselves. don't get me wrong, i sure as heck missed our families, but having christmas here at home just felt right. maybe zach and i just advanced to legitimate-grown-up-status this year? who knows. all i can say is that it was awesome. and here are a few reasons why:

1. pomegranates and cream.

yep. that would be a huge-a$$ bowl of pomegranates, cream, and sugar. zach and i are pretty sure we started a new tradition with this stuff. we spent christmas eve eating it, with our backs turned to each other, wrapping presents, listening to christmas music, and talking about everything. might sound lame, but it was actually kind of magical. it totally set the christmas mood.

2. painting toe nails with the babelet.

can i just say how much i looove having a girl? which is funny to me, because almost two years ago, that wasn't the case. in fact, when i was finding out addi's gender, there was some miscommunication and for a split second, i thought she was a boy. i was elated! then, the mix-up was unmixed and i realized she wasn't a boy, but rather a girl. i was this---> |-| close to bursting into tears. i probably would have if we didn't have family around. i was so disappointed! but now, i'm so glad it happened the way it did. i'm pretty sure everyone thinks that way, but let's just pretend i'm original. i was painting my toenails yesterday and she came over and wanted me to paint hers, too. she sat real still and when i was finished and showed her how i was blowing on mine to get them to dry, she blew on hers, too. that wasn't the first moment that i've been able to sit back and soak in the joy of being a teacher and a mom, but it was probably one of my top five favorites.

3. we had a white christmas! sort of. it snowed all day starting at about noon. that still counts, right?

this is a really crappy picture, i know, but when i turned down my street, i needed to take it because this reminds me so much of growing up. when the roads were like this, that's when we would tie a couple sleds to the back of our car and my dad would drive us up and down the streets, giving us a good case of whiplash and a cough from the exhaust. we loved it. to this day, the smell of exhaust reminds me of sledding. because of this scene right here, i spent all day trying to find snow bibs and a sled to take addi sledding. {don't worry. not behind the car.} sadly, target is too busy filling their shelves with swimsuit and pool noodles and walmart said they never got any sleds in this year. what kind of place is this?! maybe tomorrow, i'll have better luck.

4. my super thoughtful husband. {warning: sappy post ahead.} i know that around the world, there are about a kabillion girls a day that go on and on about how they have the best husband/boyfriend/significant other/etc. ever, but can i just set the record straight and let everyone know that my husband is actually the best husband/boyfriend/significant other/etc. ever? {yes. he fits into all of those categories.} not only did he get me everything on my christmas list {hooray for grocery bag carriers!}, but he also got me a few other meaningful things, including this gorgeous ornament:

he hand carved this out of the same christmas tree that we used for our first christmas as husband and wife. i about died! i'd say he did pretty dang well. gift giving isn't the only thing that wins him the best husband/boyfriend/significant other/etc. ever title, though. zach is kind of like a ninja. if anyone knows me, they know how much i love my sleep. zach has mastered the art of getting out of bed, showering, getting ready for the day, doing the dishes, and whatever else he does in the mornings, without even so much as making me stir. it's probably one of my favorite qualities about him. that and his ability to come up with analogies, to dumb smart things down. that comes in handy a lot around this house because he's so much smarter than me and uses big words a lot. oh, and he also has a flawless perception of time. he could guess when we will be home from a road trip down to the minute, before we have even left. i'm awful at that. just last week when i was christmas shopping, i told him i would be home in 45 minutes and i actually believed it. 3 hours later, i pulled in the driveway. oops. anyway. i definitely got a keeper and i'm glad zach is the one that i will be spending the rest of my christmases with!

5. lastly, i loved having a real christmas tree.

can i be honest with you here and say that christmas tree hunting was not my favorite this year? i remember going tree hunting with my dad and we could spot good ones from our car. so, you can imagine my surprise when we traipsed all over those woods for hours and this tree was the best we could come up with. pfft. it's not a looker by any means, but once we brought it in the house and decorated it and we could smell fresh pine every time we walked through the door, we grew to love this little tree and i'm so glad we spent the time and energy to get it. even if i'm pretty sure we killed it while we were in disneyland. this tree was good to us this year and despite the hunt being difficult, we will probably end up doing it again next year. isn't being able to forget bad things such a blessing? #hellochildbirth

there you have it. 5 things that made this christmas special for us. of course, the most important thing that wasn't mentioned, was the Spirit of Christ that we felt so strongly this season and are grateful to have in our home year-round. without it, everything said above would be meaningless. i am so grateful to my Savior and his willingness to sacrifice for me, so that i can have the joy and peace that i experience daily. i hope you had a very merry christmas and have a happy new year, too!

-the mrs.


dear baby a,

happy 14 months, my sweet girl!

a year ago, you were two months old and being blessed at church. crazy how different you are today!

i seriously can't get over you and your cuteness. sometimes, it feels like my whole body is going to go into sensory overload because it can't handle all the pent-up love i have for you.

i know. super cheesy. but, during those moments, i just have to hug you and kiss the crap out of those chubby cheeks of yours.

i'm starting work here soon. just 1-2 days a week. nothing big, but at the same time, it's huge. 

i missed you tonight after an hour at the gym. i don't know what 9 hours is going to do to me. don't worry though, daddy will be home to take care of you. just be sure to tell him how much you miss me and that you love me more. ;)

with it being your 14 month birthday today, here is what you are up to as of now:

-you like to tell us no. but, not in an annoying i'm-a-toddler-and-i-have-dominance-over-you sort of way, but in the kind of way that makes our hearts melt and we want to say yes to all of your demands. your dad usually tells you no by shaking a finger at you, so you picked that up and usually when you don't want something, you give a little finger shake back and forth and through your tears say, "uh-uh" over and over. it's about the cutest thing ever.
-you are obsessed with belly buttons. i can't lie down anymore without my shirt being lifted up. today you discovered that you have a belly button too! life is so fun, huh?
-you love shoes and will match them up and then proceed to have us help you try all of them on.
-you've gotten over the crying phase when we put you down for naps or for bed. usually i will snuggle you right before bed, but nowadays, you like to forego that part and you point to your crib instead. i get the picture.
-you like to get people's attention by waving, but then you're really shy about it and will hide behind me every time.
-you're obsessed with animals. i went to target the other day with the intent of buying you your first baby doll. i was letting you pick out which one you wanted, but you were too interested in the dog stuffed animals in the next aisle. i'm sure you can guess which one won.
-speaking of animals, you can now say, "dog". or rather, "duh". any time a dog barks in the neighborhood, we know about it. you haven't learned a whole lot more words since last month. you definitely know that 'dada' is your dad and 'mama' is me. how about you call me mama for the rest of your life? because it's pretty much adorable.
-you enjoy swimming with your bff, ashtyn czarnocki.
-you think copper's bed was designed especially for you.
-you're afraid of holiday inflatable decorations.
-and you love balloons.

you're the coolest 14 month old there ever was, sweet cheeks.


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