Monday, December 2, 2013


Thanksgiving has never really been on my list of favorite holidays. I've lived away from my family for 12 years, plus in college I felt like my mom just pawned me off on my boyfriend's family. I remember one year going to his aunt's house and being so upset because they did not serve ANY of my favorite Thanksgiving foods! And I'm pretty content with the basics. Nothing fancy, as long as it can be smothered in gravy, I think it's Thanksgiving food.

So anyways, it hasn't really been a very significant holiday to me for many, many years.
But then...four years ago this guy sent me a text message asking me out on a date the day after Thanksgiving. Yep, a text message, he's classy like that. :-) We had already planned on going to the ASU/UofA game with friends, but this was A REAL DATE. Honestly, my first thought was..."damn, if this doesn't work out, I'm going to have to find a new co-ed softball team."

Needless to say, I took a chance and it did work out. Here we are four years later...married almost two years with a crazy adorable 7 month old that melts my heart a million times a day. My life is better than I could have imagined and I am truly grateful.

When I think about my life now and all that I would I have missed out on had I not taken the chance and said yes to that date...God is so very good. I'm so thankful this year for my sweet little family.

We had a wonderful long weekend full of lots of outdoor time, lots of "Ted firsts" and of course, a beloved victory for ASU! (This post may have needed a different title if they lost like Husband Gone Mute From Depressing Loss)
I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Now on to all the Advent/Christmas festivities!!

Friday, November 22, 2013

A Toast to My Sissy

Last weekend we traveled to Playa del Carmen to celebrate my sister's wedding. It was quite the adventure traveling with a six month old. Maybe I will get around to writing more about that experience - for the most part he did great...until he didn't. ;-)

More importantly, it was a beautiful wedding and great weekend of celebrating the happy couple with family and friends!! 

Here is my toast to my sissy :)

Thank you to everyone who made the trip to celebrate this wonderful day with Bart and Kara. Looking around the room, I am so happy to see them surrounded by some wonderful couples who will support them throughout their marriage.

Whenever a friend or family member has a new baby girl, the first thing I say is, “Congrats! Now... you need to give them a sister!” I think every girl needs a sister and I believe that because I wouldn’t be who I am today without my sister.
It wasn’t always roses and sunshine growing up...ask my parents, they will tell you. ;-) Picture in your mind the younger sister (me) constantly following around and copying her older sister, Kara. Borrowing her clothes without asking...going so far as to actually take the clothes and change at school. When she found out I was taking her clothes, her response surprised me. She said, “If anyone compliments your outfit you have to tell them they are MY clothes.” I know there were many times we annoyed each other and everyone around us. (My parents nodding yes, yes this is true).

As we got older, our relationship changed. As Kara and I both love cheesy quotes, this is one that sums us up perfectly, Fate Made us Sisters, Hearts Made us Friends.

I followed my older sister to Arizona a few years after her and we had the best time living together. Again, not always roses and sunshine. If you know Kara well, you know she is a very neat and tidy person. Me, not so much. When I was about to move out to AZ, she called me concerned one night asking if I was planning on making my bed when I moved in? I said, “Sure, I’ll make it, but if I don’t, can’t we just shut the door?” She said, “Well, it’s just that your room is the room everyone sees when they walk into the apartment and it will seem smaller if the door is shut.” Needless to say, I’ve made my bed Every. Day. Since.
Kara truly is my very best friend. There is no one that knows me quite the way my sister does. She is my favorite person to laugh with and someone I can always turn to. Our family has faced a lot of trials, and just knowing that she knows what I am going through gives us both strength to carry through. Kara is an amazing woman and she deserves a wonderful man. I am so happy she has found that in Bart.

In the past there were times I knew that the person Kara was dating wasn’t right for her, but as a sister, you just stand by them and love them through it. You don’t judge, you just make sure you are there for them when they realize this on their own. Kara has always known exactly what she wanted and needed, she just didn’t always know she knew it.

When I first met Bart, I knew there was something different about him. It’s not that Kara changed, it’s that she finally felt comfortable truly being herself. Bart has brought out the very best in her. He knows how to balance her, to challenge her, and sometimes to tell her just how ridiculous she is acting. He knows how to love her exactly where she is.

Good things definitely come to those who wait. I could not have asked for a better man for my sister than Bart. He is a faithful man, a wonderful father to Maddox and Ava, and I know he will be an amazing husband who will love Kara unconditionally. I am honored for Bart to be my brother-in-law and uncle to Ted.

So congratulations to the happy couple and now, Bart and Kara...Ava needs a sister! ;-)

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Ted Picks - Six Months

I can't believe we were here just over six months ago! I look back over the last six months and I can't help but feel so blessed that I get to be Ted's mom. It truly is the greatest gift I could ever receive. That does not mean it does not bring with it some serious exhaustion or moments where I feel like I am making all the wrong decisions. 

Then...I see this smile and I know we must be doing something right.
Ted has developed quite the personality the past few months! He is so fun now! He is always smiling and laughing. I would give anything to know what he is thinking sometimes.
He is my stubborn little man for sure! Sometimes I will try to give him his beloved WubbaNub if he's sleepy and he will start screaming and push it away. Then he picks it up himself and plops it in his mouth. Stubborn and so independent. Not sure where he gets it.

He's full on crawling!! Not just scooting and rolling about to and fro, but 

Seriously, it's the cutest. He has to get himself all talked up for the big crawl, but once he's ready...he is off!

Way back here I wrote all about my favorite newborn items. Now it's not so much as what my favorite items are, but what are Ted's favorites.

So, here they are...

Ted's Picks 2013
1) The beloved WubbaNub - I love that Ted really loves this now! There is nothing cuter (albeit also stubborn) that he can pick it up himself and put it in his mouth. It also means we all sleep better at night because he can find it himself...unless it mysteriously gets launched out of the crib. Hmm... ;-)

2) Baby Einstein Piano - It doesn't really matter that it's Baby Einstein, it's more that it plays music. Ted really loves toys that light up or where he can push a button and hear music play. He doesn't even have this toy, but he makes a bee line for it when he goes to his friend Bridget's house.

3) Sophie the Giraffe - I didn't really get all the hype of Sophie at first. I bought Ted's on sale and just always put it in his car seat. He ignored it. Around 4 months he must have: a) noticed it was there b) realized he could pick it up and c) was on a mission to get all four legs in his mouth. He is well on his way to accomplishing this goal.

4) Infant Swim Class - Ted could be super grouchy, tired, teething, really doesn't matter, but the minute I get out his swim trunks he gets all jazzed and excited! He knows where he is going. He gives out a super cute shout/shriek of joy when we pull in the parking lot of the swim place. The second he gets near the water he is kicking and splashing all around. He loves it and it tires him out! I linked to the place we are at now because they offer free lessons until 7 months and they start teaching Infant Swim Resource from the beginning. Ted has already learned to turn his head up when he goes under water! I know, I know what you are son is a genius ;-)
*FYI - If you use us as a referral we both get credit towards future classes!

5) ERGObaby - We've tried other carriers...I've borrowed wraps and slings, and I can't seem to really get the hang of it. Nothing says "awkward new mom" like trying to tie a mile long cloth around you in an airport while your baby is screaming in your face, balancing a million carry-ons and everyone is staring at you and praying they are not sitting next to you on the flight. Soooo...I was pretty darn happy that my big baby could fit comfortably in the ERGO at about 3 1/2 months. He loves it and I love it because we get to shop for about 12 extra minutes.

6) Vtech Rhyme and Discover - This book is really cute and lights up and sings to him aaaand...he actually owns it. ;)

7) iPhone - I really should have listed this first...Ted could be swimming in a pool in the ERGO, with every single toy in the world at his fingers tips and he would STILL make a desperate mad dash for my phone if he sees it. In fact, just tonight he was nursing, saw my phone out of the corner of his eye and seriously jumped up and layed out for the snag. 

8) Baby Einstein Activity Jumper - I'm really only partial to this particular one because I scored it at our church's consignment sale for $15! It's in perfect condition and it keeps Ted entertained for all of 17 minutes...that's about 6 minutes longer than anything else. But again, if he saw the iPhone...I'm pretty sure he'd be diving bombing himself out of the jumper for the iPhone.

9) His mama :) Ted loves his toys, but honestly the way he smiles when I walk in the room or follows me with his eyes and now with his crawls tells me I'm still his favorite...maybe it's because I have the goods or maybe it's because it's my iPhone he covets. Either way, I don't really care because nothing can ruin my day when I hear that shriek of shear joy from my little man.

I know I keep saying this, but I can't help it...I'm just so in awe of this kid every single day. I have learned more about myself and the person I want to be in the last six months than I think in my whole life. I can't believe how lucky I am to be his mom. I know there are days that I feel like I might go crazy, but at some point in the craziness Ted seems to know to look up at me at just the right time and my heart just melts all over.
Be still my heart.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Not even a little

Recently I have had a lot of people ask me if I miss teaching. Sometimes my answer even surprises me. It's a very quick, "Not even a little." 

When Jason and I had Ted we talked about what we should do as far as work and childcare. Jason knows me so well and knew how much I wanted to stay home. We could have spent half my salary on childcare while I worked full time or work half as much and spend more time with Ted. Seems like a no-brainer to me. :)

I loved teaching. I love spending time with my son. I could not imagine trying to balance both. I think I might be resentful. Resentful for looking after other people's children while someone is looking after mine. Resentful for having to grade papers, plan, etc. when I all I really want is to spend time with my son.

Sometimes I feel guilty for "wasting my degree", but then a day like this happens...
Last week, Ted had a horrible day of teething. He did not want to sleep in his crib or play, he just wanted me to hold him or lay right next to him. I couldn't help but think about what would be different if I was teaching full time. First, I wouldn't be able to snuggle with him all day. Second, I would probably have to continue working after I got home.

Jason's parents came to visit and his mom made a comment about if we ever moved to Olympia, Jason's aunt could watch Ted so I could work. This really bothered me. I thought about that for awhile and realized my choice to stay home is not just a monetary decision. I'm not staying home with Ted just because daycare is expensive. I stay home with him because I believe it is the most important vocation I could ever have. I can always go back to teaching, I can never get back these early months and years.

The truth is if I had free childcare and a quadrupled salary, (yeah, I want to know where that school is too!) I would still choose to stay home with Ted. I know there are women who do both and women who love doing both. In fact, I admire you all very much. I am not that woman. There is no job I want more than being this kid's mom. 

I love every. single. minute.
 Teething is the worst...but at least he will let me snuggle with him!
 Two words: baby legs
baby yoga

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Earth Mama Angel Baby {Guest Post}

The greatest thrill of my life was the day I found out I was pregnant. I have had some other amazing days, like my engagement and wedding day, but nothing compares to finding out that you have a new life growing inside you. It truly is the greatest miracle! There is nothing I have ever wanted more than to be a mama, so the day I found out I was pregnant was pure bliss!
This blissful feeling lasted most of my pregnancy, unless I started thinking about change. I knew our life would change for the better, so I wasn’t really worried about that. The change I am talking about is how your body changes and never seems the same again. I definitely felt the mourning of losing myself… these body changes during pregnancy would affect the me I had known my whole adult life. I really don’t think of myself as a vain person, but I have always been blessed with a flat stomach. Don’t be jealous mamas…it’s the result of a long torso and short legs.
Morning sickness didn’t phase me, but when I couldn’t zip my pants anymore some, anxiety set in. Will I ever wear these jeans again? Will I ever lie on the beach in a bikini again? Will my husband see me as sexy again? These thoughts can be so damaging in such a beautiful stage in a woman’s life. Mixed with all the changing hormones and look out!
So I was thrilled when Jenna from A Mama Collective asked me to review Earth Mama Angel Baby's Pregnancy Essentials Bundle
You can read the rest of my review here.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Thankful for Today

I have a really bad habit. 

I am always looking forward, thinking of what's next. That might not seem too bad. Some people never look forward, never look ahead. 

I do it constantly. To the point where I don't feel present in the moment. I miss being thankful for right now. 

Maybe it's because I was a teacher. Teachers make plans on Monday for what they want Friday to look like. They make plans in August for what they want December to look like. 

Maybe it's being a homeowner and always looking at what needs to be done next. Right after we were married we had our family over for lunch and everyone was gushing over our house. All we could see were the things that needed to be done, we couldn't see in the moment we had (have) a great house. 

I don't know why I do it, but I feel like it's become a problem. Waiting for what's next instead of being thankful for today. 

I have a beautiful 5 month old son and I find myself constantly thinking of when we will have our next child. That's crazy right?! I mean he's only 5 months old! He's only slept through the night for a couple of weeks, yet I am thinking/worrying about when we will have another child. It consumes me.

Ted is a great napper. So great that he doesn't really let me rock him before bed or naps. Maybe that's why I am thinking about another baby already. ;-) 

But today...this little guy didn't feel like napping in his crib. He wasn't sick, wasn't wet, wasn't hungry...he just wanted his mama.

I am so thankful for today because there might be a lot of tomorrows where he won't do this.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Five Favorites {7}

Linking up with Hallie for Five Favorites.

1. I love Fall. I love pumpkin spice and I love carmel corn. These tasty treats were 4 for $1.00 at Sprouts. How could I not buy them?

2. I have not had one of these tasty treats in forever! Yum!! Vanilla frappe from the Bean...yummy

3. I am super excited to try these products and review them for A Mama Collective! (Note: This does not mean I am pregnant) Jason is my tea tester ;-)

4. I don't know if Ted is actually teething yet, but he drools constantly and chomps on everything. I don't know if these necklaces work or not, but really...who cares? How cute is he in this necklace?!
  5. I am in love with this chevron chevron cloth diaper! I think Ted is pretty excited about it too...especially if we win some baby legs too!

  Hope everyone is having a blessed week!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Five Favorites {6}

Hello friends! I've been hiding out the past few weeks. 

For the first 14 weeks with Ted it was just like I was on summer break. Now, all my teacher friends are back to school and staying home with Ted is different. I'm not on Summer Break anymore, I am officially staying home with my son. With that comes some new stresses, such as a big cut in our income and changes in insurance. 

Lots of grown up stuff that I don't like. 

In an ideal world, I could comfortably stay with Ted, guilt-free. No worries about how we are going to make it financially? What to do about insurance in case I get pregnant again soon? How can we afford vacations or trips to visit family?

Like I said...grown up stuff and I don't like it. I have been training to work from home and I am very excited to start. But, there's still the insurance...

So...I'm going to work part-time at Whole Foods! Did you know they offer benefits and vacation to part-time employees? AND a 20% discount? Just think of all the healthy food and new Toms! I'm dreaming about Ted's first shoes being baby Toms! Drool...I'm excited about it, but also nervous. 

It means giving up a few nights home with my boys. I am thankful that with the help of a few friends watching Ted for a couple hours a week, that my sweet boy will mostly be looked after by his dad or me. NO daycare! I think they will really love their time together too! Dad will get to watch a lot more sports instead of Grey's Anatomy.

This and my work from home should make all those grown-up stresses go away. :) 

My ultimate goal is to primarily work from home and then hold on to Whole Foods one day a week for insurance and that discount. Again...dreaming of Toms!

Linking up this week for my Five Favorites with Moxie Wife...

1. My birthday was a month ago and it was perfect! Jason made me a delicious dinner...grilled fish, rice and green veggies! Yum! He also gave me a gift certificate for a 90 minute massage. It was pure bliss! My dear friend brought me coffee on my birthday and another dear friend took me out for a pedicure. It certainly was a perfect birthday :)
2. I mentioned a few weeks ago, I stumbled upon Girl Scout cookie inspired coffee creamer. The thin mint was so yummy, but this one is simply divine! Have you ever drank a Samoas Girl Scout cookie? simply must try!
3. Ted started swimming lessons a few weeks ago! Did you know that Hubbard Family Swim School offers free lessons for infants 2-6 months? Ted loves it!! We were so happy that Daddy was able to make it and take some pictures and videos!
4. A few weekends ago Jason and I had our first night out in over four months! It was fabulous! We went out for my friend's birthday to BLD (delicious risotto) for dinner and The Living Room for drinks. Thanks to my sister and her fiance for watching Ted!

5. Two weekends ago I went to Prescott with my sister and co. to celebrate her upcoming wedding! Ted stayed home with Jason over night and I had a night out with the girls! It was a fabulous weekend, so much fun celebrating and Ted and Jason definitely got their baseball/football fix! I was so worried about leaving Ted (mostly because I knew Jason was nervous) but they did great! It was a great bonding weekend for both of them! Ted takes bottles now when I work and this was the perfect crash course for Ted to bottle feed! I still prefer nursing, but at least now I know he will not starve if he's away from me for a few hours. It was such a fabulous weekend celebrating my sis! We can't wait for Mexico in November!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

My Newborn Favorites

Ted is four months old! How did that happen?! We are well passed the newborn phase...

thank goodness

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE the cuddles, the sweet newborn smell, sweet little newborn gowns. Seriously, adorable, but...the first three months were tough to say the least. We had a lot of nights like this one. 

The first few months are somewhat of a blur...sleepless nights, sleepless days, adjusting to nursing (ouch!), gassy baby which leads to screaming baby, overtired baby which also leads to screaming baby. 

Not sure what's wrong with baby, which also leads to screaming baby...and crying mother.

I love my son with all my heart and there is nothing that brings me more joy than being a mom, but it was a rough start for sure. 

Now we have found our stride! Nursing is awesome. I really love it. To any new moms or moms-to-be reading this, don't give up! The first few weeks are pretty awful, but it will get better! There are definitely times I wish my husband could help with the feeding more (usually around 2am), but I love the time with Ted. It's just us and I love that no one else has this relationship with him but me. 

He's getting on a pretty good schedule, both day and night. (Of course, now he probably won't sleep tonight!) 

He laughs, he babbles, he rolls all over the place. He absolutely melts my heart a million times a day. Those first three months are completely worth it and I would do it all over again in a heartbeat!

I did find a few items that were lifesavers for us...

Newborn Must Haves:

1. Sleep Sacks We had several different sleep sacks, but my two favorite are the Halo Sleep Sack Swaddle and the Original Woombie. I loved the Halo because you can swaddle their arms in or leave them out, but it still feels snug around their chest. We used this the first 4 weeks until his legs were too long. Then I discovered the Woombie. I love this product. We had some very difficult nights once he was strong enough to bust out of the swaddles, until I discovered this. He is swaddled, but can still move his arms as much as he wants. This will be a must have for all of our kids.

2. Sound Machine I'm not sure who likes this more, Jason or Ted. :) There are several different settings...white noise, heartbeat, nature, ocean, etc. When we first transitioned him to the crib, we set it on heartbeat. Now it's on nature...Jason says it's Ted's "favorite". We can hear it through the monitor :)

3. Sleep Books I've mentioned before that I read so much about childbirth, I forgot to read about when the baby is actually here! We had some rough days and nights until I read these two books. This book talks about baby only having a 90 minute wake time (at the most) from birth until about 3 months. It tells you cues to look for and to start soothing baby for nap time. Combine that with what Baby Wise teaches about getting baby on a schedule and the Woombie and we were ALL sleeping better!

4. Video Monitor We transitioned Ted to the crib around 5 weeks. I wanted him in with us longer, but none of us were getting any sleep. Any little sound or movement from Ted meant I was up and then Jason was up too. I love this video monitor. I love that we can still see him. It helps to "see" what kind of cry it is and whether it's just sleepy cry...eyes closed, or a real hungry/wet/get me up cry.

5. Aden + Anais Swaddle Blankets I pretty much LOVE every product from this company. These blankets are lightweight, get softer with every wash and are nice and big - perfect for swaddles! They are come in really cute prints! I have my eye on their Dream Blanket and Organic Easy Swaddles for the next babe.

6. Gripe Water Ted was pretty gassy the first few months and would get some pretty bad belly aches. Gripe water was the only thing that helped. A good friend recommended it and gave it to me at my baby shower. So happy because I had never heard of it! It would work within minutes...relieve his gas and calm him down. A definite must have!

7. Snot Sucker I have to admit, this really grossed me out when I first saw it, but my cousin swore by it, so we gave it a go. It works so much better than the bulb syringe! Plus, there is a filter, so you will not be swallowing any baby snot. ;-)

8. Snap & Go Stroller We have a jogger, but we use this the most. It is so easy to use and takes up minimal space. I use it for shopping and traveling the most.

9. Fisher Price Kick & Play Ted wasn't sold on the baby swing or the baby bouncer. He wanted to be held all the time. I love this babe so much, but sometimes you want to set them down for a few minutes. My friend had one of these and Ted loved it! He loves kicking his feet and when he kicks this it makes music. 

10. Boppy Nursing Pillow I used this more as a lounger to lay Ted on. When he was gassy or spitting up a lot I would prop him up on this for naps.

11. WubbaNub I think I want Ted to love this more than he actually does. He is not the biggest fan of the pacifier, he uses it every once in awhile if he is really tired and fussy, but once he's in his crib, he spits it out. He probably uses it more for teething now. But I am still hopeful he will love his Wubbanub!

12. Mother Love Nipple Cream&Nursing Pads There is quite a learning curve to nursing and A LOT to get used to. Long gone are the days of dresses and tanks with built in bras. Every outfit I have to ask, will I be able to nurse in this? On top of that, the first few weeks are brutal to say the least. Ted wanted to nurse all the time and it was very painful. It took several weeks to get used to it. These two products were a HUGE help. FYI, beware of any type of nursing cream ruining your tops! I learned the hard way. :-/
There are lots of great baby items out there, these just happen to be some of my favorites.

What are some of your newborn must haves?

Friday, August 23, 2013

Five Favorites {5}

1. I went on my first bike ride since before Ted was born! We were supposed to have a birthday breakfast bike ride a couple of weeks ago for Jason's bday, but he had a flat tire. :-/ The other day, my foot was hurting so I didn't want to go for a run. Instead, I went for a bike ride. I prefer bike rides with my sweet hubby, but until Ted is old enough for a trailer, this was good enough.

2. I am lucky to share my birthday with a very special six year old, my soon-to-be niece! She is the cutest and we love getting to celebrate together. We seem to always have pizza, either going out for pizza or homemade by my sister. They are both equally delicious! This year, we opted for Spinato's Pizzeria - all of our favorites, and Ava picked out Bosa Donuts for our birthday dessert! Yum! Ted was super excited to rock his Spinato's tshirt!

3. I have officially started training as a VA (Virtual Assistant)! I am super excited about this opportunity for several reasons...1) I get to stay home with Ted. 2) I get to contribute to our family income while staying home with Ted. 3) I love learning new things. 4) I love working with and getting to know new people.

4. I found this delicious new coffee creamer, so now my coffee tastes like a Thin Mint cookie. Seriously, it's amazing.
5. We watched my friend's adorable little girl the past couple days and she's a little smitten with Ted...who isn't? ;-)