Wednesday, September 17, 2014


A few weeks ago, a friend of mine challenged me to post the things I was grateful for on Facebook for a week. I could give lots of excuses why I didn't, but let's just skip all that and simply admit that I didn't fulfill the challenge. Still, it got me thinking about all the things I'm grateful for on daily basis.

I am blessed with..

Graham, who loves and supports our family and makes me laugh daily

My two little boys, who provide all the challenges, excitement, & energy I could want

Parents and siblings who have become my best friends and whom I am grateful I'll have forever

A house, car, food, and all the basics of life (and many of the luxuries) that so many in the world go without

Technology, to answer questions big and small

Faith in God, to answer everything that the internet can't

And I could go on forever.

This weekend involved a special blessing. In my faith we believe in blessing babies within the first few months of birth. The blessing is typically given by the child's father and is usually done in our church meetings. However, because of some extenuating circumstances, we decided to bless Logan at home this Sunday. It was wonderful to be surrounded by family and watch Graham take our child and promise him wonderful things from our Heavenly Father.

As I look at this tiny infant, I wonder who he will be as an adult. I wonder what his career will be, whom he will marry, and whether he will make good choices. But as he was blessed, I could imagine for a moment the man he will grow into. And that makes me smile.

Friday, September 12, 2014

The Two-Month-Old, the Two-Year-Old, and the Mom Caught in the Rainstorm

On Tuesday, Logan had his two month check-up. He measured 23 ¾ inches and was exactly 12 lbs. That puts him in the 75% for height and 50% for weight, so he’s a super healthy little man. Hooray!

The best (read: craziest) part of the appointment actually occurred before it even started. A few blocks from the doctor’s office, it started to sprinkle, and I thought, Oh no, PLEASE just hold out till I can get the boys inside. Apparently Heavenly Father thought I needed a challenge though, because it started POURING within minutes. We’re talking, I-can’t-see-through-the-windshield-so-I-better-hurry-up-and-park pouring. I parked the car, knowing I’d be late if I didn’t head into the building right away. Still, I didn’t want to get the boys soaking wet.
As I sat debating whether to make a run for it or not, it started hailing! Waiting in the car won. For a moment at least. Once the hail stopped I thought I’d be brave. I had two umbrellas in the back seat and a hat, so I gave Will a hat and umbrella and left him by the side of the car while I ran around with my own umbrella to get Logan. By the time I got back, Will had let his umbrella slip sideways and was whimpering while getting soaked by the rain. I put back up his umbrella, told him to hold it tight, and we ran. 
The parking lot was flooded, and I realized suddenly that Will’s feet were completely covered by the puddle--no, LAKE--of water between us and the doctor’s office. SO, I picked him up and ran, our umbrellas doing absolutely no good at this point. 
Finally, we made it inside and up the elevator, now 10 minutes late, and I was rushing to get to the office. Again, I heard Will behind me whimpering, and when I turned and looked, he was standing about 10 feet behind me with his shorts around his ankles! I couldn’t help but laugh. I think it was just a combination of his shorts being a little too big and the water making them stick to his legs as he walked. Poor boy! He didn’t know what do (that happened three more times before we got home). I got his shorts pulled up, and we made it to the appointment, which thankfully went really smoothly, even if we were a little wet. 

Adventures in parenting!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Will's Big Boy Room

Once upon a time, I contemplated pursuing a career in interior design. I don't know what I was thinking. I'm pretty sure that trying to come up with designs for clients that would capture their lifestyle and personalities would cause me enough stress to kill me. I can't even manage to fill the walls in my own home. I have a really hard time conceptualizing what I want my home to look like, so its blank walls continue to look at me longingly.

However, one area I've had a lot of success with is the kids' rooms. There is something so fun about decorating a child's space. There is so much more freedom in decorating a room for a child whose imagination has yet to be tamed (I hope it never is).

With a new baby joining our family, we decided it was time to move Will into a big boy bed and into a new room. I wanted Will’s new room to have meaning to him and reflect his current interests, but I also wanted it to be one that can grow with him over time. He LOVES cars and construction, but I couldn’t bring myself to cover his walls in orange and yellow. So, I started brainstorming. After some Pinterest inspiration, I developed a plan.

I wanted to create a room with the theme of exploration and travel. That way I could incorporate the cars and trucks, but it would be part of a greater concept, one that will hopefully inspire him to be an explorer in life, to love uncovering truth and discovering new things.

When I showed my rough sketch to Graham, his response was something along the lines of… “I like it, really, don’t get me wrong. I just look at it and think, ‘Wow, I didn’t even have a room as a kid for a while, let alone one with matching, themed d├ęcor’.” Thankfully, he really was supportive, and I went ahead with my plan.

I didn't want to spend a lot of money on the project, so I created a lot of the decorations myself. I wanted to have it all the way done before Logan was born, but I didn't quite make it. Finally, though, I got the last of the artwork up, and I'm ready to take you on a tour:

This is the view when you enter his room. 

The bed and dresser were old pieces of furniture that we refinished in white. Note: refinishing furniture is NOT my favorite DIY project. It will be awhile before I conquer something that big again. Whew! By the time I was done with those, I decided to leave as-is the table and chairs I had gotten at a consignment sale ($25, wahoo!). I like the blonde wood anyway.

I wanted blackout curtains for the room, but I couldn't find any that were under $50 that were even remotely close to the right color scheme and wide enough to cover both windows. So, I made some. It was another time-intensive project, but I'm happy overall with how the bold navy and white stripes turned out. Just don't look to closely if you ever come over.

In designing the space, it was important to me to give Will a space dedicated to reading. I want him to know that we love and value books in this family. I stole an idea from my brother's house and used IKEA picture frame ledges to create a book display, and on the other side of the dresser I created a "reading corner" filled with comfy pillows. I already had the pillows, and I used mostly scraps & clearance bin fabric to recover them in the right colors, so it was another super cheap project.

The above picture isn't even posed. He just plopped down on his favorite pillow to read while I was taking pictures of his room. It's where we sit and read stories before nap and bed time.

Above the dresser is some artwork I made myself in Photoshop using free clip art. The frames I got on clearance at Michael's for $4 each. The W on the dresser is from his old room, but the colors match the new room better than they ever matched his nursery. Score!

The last project for his room, the EXPLORE letters, sat on my bedroom floor half finished for a month and a half while I adjusted to baby #2. I bought paper mache letters from JoAnn's and spray painted them the same color as the frames on the opposite wall. Then I decoupaged the front of each letter with part of a world map. 

I finally hung them up last week (hence why I'm finally able to post the tour of his room), and I'm thrilled with the way they turned out! 

So, that's the tour! Will loves his room, and I think it will serve him well for a long time.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Labor Day Adventures

I love holidays! Especially when it means Graham has the day off of work and we can have some fun family time. 

On Monday, we turned Labor Day to into a true staycation. We didn't do anything "productive" all day long. It was wonderful! We just focused on being together as a family. 

We started out by going out to breakfast at The Belgian Waffle and Omelette Inn, a place right by our old apartment that we always told ourselves we should go try, but we never did. It had awesomely outdated decor and a stereotypical diner waitress, but the food was really good.

After filling up at the restaurant, we headed up Little Cottonwood Canyon to hike Cecret Lake. I was so impressed with Will, who hiked the entire mile (and 450 ft. elevation gain) up to the lake! 

He was having a great time jumping on and off of rocks, admiring the birds and bugs we passed, and crossing over the streams in our path.

The only picture we have of all four of us...

Logan slept the entire way up and back in the Moby Wrap (I love that thing). He was cranky at the top when I pulled him out to try to feed him. It was bright and windy, too cold for my little man. He was okay snuggled up in Graham’s sweatshirt though, as long as he had his pacifier for comfort.

The adventure took the whole morning (it’s amazing how much longer things take with kids who require emergency stops for car sickness, unexpected diaper changes, and feeding).

(On the way down, Will finally tuckered out and insisted on being carried. I can't blame the kid. Those little legs got quite the workout.)

Will crashed for a nap shortly after we got home, and Graham and I enjoyed a little down time before we headed out again in the late afternoon. Graham had been wanting to take Will up to the rec center in Bountiful all summer because they have a fun outdoor kids’ pool in addition to their indoor facility. Somehow we got all the way to Labor Day and realized that it was now or never (at least not until next summer when the outdoor pool would reopen). So, we drove up, had an early pizza dinner, and headed to the rec center.

I had my own fun adventure of trying to feed Logan in the women’s locker room, and then I met the boys out at the pool. Will had a blast. He spent most of the time going back and forth between the kids’ area (he preferred the indoor one, ironically) and going down the giant waterslide they have there. It’s awesome that he’s allowed on it with an adult. Brave boy!

By the time we got home, it was bedtime, and I was about ready to join Will in sleeping. What a busy day! It was so fun, though, to fill it with family memories. I don’t regret a moment of the crazy schedule. I’m happy to have a few low-key days to follow it up though.