Monday, January 2, 2017

Austin's Blessing Day

My family drove to Utah to be here for Austin's baby blessing in church yesterday, and it was quite the action-packed weekend! There were adventures to the local aquarium, teppanyaki grills, games, big family meals, and lots of sparkling cider. Nicole and Austin never went to bed on time, houses were packed with family, and we all got to listen to Doug give this sweet baby boy a blessing and a name for the records of the church.

The weather was cold and overcast. We all woke up late and had to rush to get to church. Pictures were hurried and blurry and missing nearly all of Doug's family. Babies got overtired and cranky. But there was never a lack of snuggles and playmates and laughter. I'm pretty sure Nicole was in heaven all weekend. Man, I love this crazy family of mine.

Now we get to hole up in our house (as it snows aaaaaall week), let these poor exhausted kiddos settle back down, and find our routine again. The last week of 2016 was a blur of outings and cousin play-time and rarely a quiet moment. It's finally time to take a deep breath and get a good look at the year ahead of us.

I think it's going to be a good one!

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Year In Review // 2016

This year was one for the books! A lot of big things happened, and I meant to write this post earlier, but it's been an eventful week. I'm just going to type this out real quick and then get back to my New Year's Eve activities, so here we go! I'll try not to forget anything important in my review, I'm in a bit of a hurry ;)


This was the month that I went full-out with my Trim Healthy Mama diet and lost a solid 5 pounds. Nicole became a pro at walking after finally recovering from her foot injury that she received shortly before Christmas 2015. Douglas started his final semester of grad school at BYU while simultaneously working full-time.


We made the happy discovery about halfway through the month that I was pregnant again! We also finally hunkered down with an awesome realtor and officially started our house search. It was stressful. To my friends who are planning on buying houses sometime soon, I would highly advise utilizing the services of a realtor; they are invaluable in decreasing the stress!


In a whirlwind of a couple days, we went to view a freshly-listed house, made an offer that very evening, and waited with bated breath as the owners reviewed all the offers they had received... and discovered that our offer had been accepted! Our house search lasted a grand total of 2 weeks, and I was glad to have it done with so quickly.


This was a big month. It was the birthday month of me and 4 of Doug's immediate family members. I had my first official pregnancy appointment, following which we announced our happy news to everyone. We closed on our house, sold our apartment contract, and made the move, all while Doug was finishing up school. He graduated at the end of the month. It was a craaaaazy month.


This month, we focused on getting into the swing of being home owners. There were some immediate issues to address with the home, some big purchases to make, and lots of boxes to unpack. Doug's whole company received notice of termination this month, effective by the end of June for most employees. Doug was assigned to the "clean up crew" and got to keep his job through the end of July, which gave us a good cushion of time as he searched for a new job.


Doug found a new job, and was able to arrange to start working there on August 1st so that he could finish his time with his old company and receive his severance check. However, there wasn't a ton to get done at work, so he got to be home a lot (or he and his co-workers would leave in the middle of work to go see a movie... things like that. It was awesome.) We got to see a lot of him this month, and during July. Nicole also hit the 1 1/2 year mark.


The highlight of this month was going to visit my family in California. Yay, family! We did a lot of activities during "4th of July" week as well. Nicole was intrigued by the fireworks and soaked up being the center of attention when we went to CA. Oh, and we went on a lot of walks in the hot sun playing Pokemon Go. Hahaha!


I feel like this was a slow month. Doug started his new job (which we all love!) and it was hot hot hot all the time. This was about the time that Nicole and I started doing a pretty solid routine which we continued all the way until the end of me pregnancy. I was solidly in the 3rd trimester by this month, but still felt pretty good.


Nicole and I went up to Provo Canyon at least twice a week this whole month. I got more and more ecstatic as we watched the world turn to vibrant fall colors. We had my brother stay with us for nearly a week, which Nicole LOVED, and we finished renovating the bedrooms on the top floor of our house. Bye-bye wallpaper, hello new carpet and fresh paint.


It was hard picking a picture for this month because there were so many fun things, but the highlight was definitely the arrival of our sweet little Austin! We had all sorts of fun little family excursions this month to soak up the last bit of time before the baby came... and I must say, out of the years I've lived here in Utah, this autumn was definitely one of the longest and most beautiful! I loved every moment of it, and we spent many a day/evening going on walks. Nicole was also thoroughly excited about the whole trick-or-treating concept. Free candy just for knocking on doors? Yes, please!


This month was largely spent finding our groove as a family of 4. My mom came to help out for a couple days at the beginning of the month, and my brother came to stay with us again for Thanksgiving, so Nicole got a lot of play-time with family other than mom and dad. We also had our first big snowfall of the season, and Nicole was enchanted.


I know I didn't really post this month, and there's so much to say about Christmas, but I'll keep it brief. Nicole celebrated her 2nd birthday, blew out her own candles like a champ, and was a pro at the whole present-opening gig. We went to Christmas parties and made lots of treats and Nicole loved decorating cookies to leave for Santa on Christmas Eve. This past week we've gone on lots of adventures to places like the Tracey Aviary, Lowe's Xtreme Air Sports, and the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium. Lots of yummy food consumed. A sad 2-month-old getting shots. And now my family's in town and we're gonna go make cookies now, so I'm going to sign off!

Goodbye, 2016. I know a lot of people on the internet are bashing you, but you were a pretty good year for me and my little family. Here's to a new and even better year! Happy New Year, everyone!

Friday, December 23, 2016

Austin // 2 Months

We're teetering on the brink of Austin exiting the "newborn" phase and it makes me a little sad. So fast! So very fast! But at the same time, it will be nice to see him get more interactive.

At 2 months, Austin:

+ Weighs nearly 11 pounds. He's not quite as chunky as Nicole was, but those little cheeks are still so kissable!

+ Doesn't mind being in his car seat (he smiled all through the grocery store yesterday while chilling in his seat) but HATES being in the car because he can't see and interact with us. We need to get this kid a mirror or something so he can see us.

+ Goes to bed around 8:30-9:00 and sleeps for a 5 hour stretch! Whoo!!!! He started doing that about 1.5 weeks ago, and I've been soaking it up. He did 8 hours straight a couple nights ago and it was MAGICAL.

+ Is SUCH a smiley, happy little thing. I think he'll be a people-person like his sister, he already smiles exuberantly at strangers.

+ Rolls tummy-to-back like a pro. I was actually trying to take some pictures of him on his tummy for this post, but every time I put him on his tummy he would roll right over before I could take a good picture. He doesn't like being on his tummy ;)

+ Coos and gurgles and makes the most adorable single-syllable laughing sound.

+ Looks like he's going to have blue eyes!

+ Is quite the pro at holding his head up for extended periods of time.

+ Has some clogged tear ducts that won't go away! He hates it when I clean his eyes.

+ If I want him to take a long, solid nap I'll wear him in the baby carrier or Moby wrap. He LOVES snuggling close in those carriers. I seriously wear this kid at least once a day, I don't know how I'd survive without a baby carrier.

+ Enjoys munching on his hands.

+ Is entertained for a solid 15 minutes just lying in the middle of our bed and staring up at the ceiling fan. He kicks and grins and "talks" to that fan like crazy.

+ HAS to have his hand on my skin while he's nursing. He will fuss and wave his hand around until he manages to find some skin; it comforts him.

+ There's a certain way Doug holds him - cradled and facing outward in the crook of Doug's left arm, with Doug's hand holding his feet - that keeps him content all through the newborn "witching hour" in the evening. Only Doug can do it; I try and he cries. Probably because I smell like his next meal and it frustrates him.

Oh man, you guys. We love him.