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.
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