gratitude // a letter to ezra

You have filled me with gratitude lately.

ezzy and bear

I took you on a walk in your new stroller the other day. You looked so big sitting up the way you were, holding on the crossbar tightly with both hands. You kept leaning your head over the side looking at everything we passed, then looking up at me to make sure I saw it too. I was laughing out loud at your excitement. You are filled with so much curiosity and wonder; and at only 6 months. I swear if you could talk, you would teach me everything there is to know about the world. Every tiny thing catches your attention. You are so aware, so alert, and it makes me stop to see the little things as well.

We were walking down the hill and I had such an overwhelming feeling of love and gratitude. My eyes welled up with tears and you just stared at me with your slow blinks, until you fell asleep. In that moment, I realized that I am one of the lucky ones. So lucky to live where we live, to love so deeply, and to have the freedoms we have. We are able to take walks outside and not have a worry in the world.

It is hard for me to remember these things sometimes. Hard to realize how lucky we really are. I get caught up in the grind and the tedious things in life. Sometimes they overwhelm me to no end and I start to feel like a hamster in a wheel. But I hope you will be different. I hope someday you will be able to see your life in a positive and grandiose perspective, and I hope you have a deep knowledge that you are loved  by so many.

xo

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scenes from the weekend // la jolla, ca

la jolla

la jollala jollacolors of summer

la jolla

la jollaRunning on only 3 hours of sleep on Friday, I was bound and determined to sleep in on Saturday morning. And that we did! We slept until 8:30. haha — Not too long ago, sleeping in for me meant being in bed until 11:30 in the (almost) afternoon. Those were the days. — We woke up with Ezra cooing and squealing between us… I would venture to say it is the best way to wake up. We made our way to Starbucks before heading south to La Jolla for the afternoon. And let me just first say, if you have not tried the sausage, egg and cheese sandwich, paired with a vanilla bean frap., I highly recommend it. HIGHLY.

A summer afternoon in La Jolla is always a good idea. Before heading to the beach we wandered around the neighborhood and talked real estate, (we are really good at that lately). We dreamed of one day living in one of the beautiful homes by the shore. We pretended the red doored cottage was ours… “K, I’m going to go run inside and grab some lemonade for us and we’ll just sit here on our perfect front lawn on our perfect little street in this perfect little neighborhood!” :) It was just that perfect. WHO LIVES THERE ANYWAY?! I need to know, and go to lunch with them. I am sure we would be friends.

We stumbled upon a little hole in the wall shop brimming with STACKS upon STACKS of persian rugs. I fell in love. Especially in love with one sitting on the bottom of the pile. I think it is the 7th rug from the bottom. But like I was going to ask the man working there to unfold 30 rugs, just so I could gaze at it longingly, realize it is one million dollars, only to have him add it back to the pile. So we left.

Accomplishment of the weekend: finally got into the water. Bare back. That means no wet suit. I was told the water was over 70 degrees… I beg to differ. Anyway, I caught a couple waves, (on a boogie board), hit the surf, (on a boogie board), and showed Clay what I was made of, (on a boogie board.) *note: boogie boarding is not as cool as surfing… again, so I am told. I beg to differ.

I hope all of you had a fabulous fun-filled weekend. Summer is almost over! I can’t believe it! We’ve got to make these last days count!

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rants about mommyhood and other stuff…

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This housing search has engulfed every conversation Clay and I have lately. Between that a baby stuff, I don’t think we talk about much else. Life seems to be moving right along… at a steady pace… I need a shake up. I need some adventure, a new hobby, or maybe I just need to get Ezra on a good schedule so I can free up some time and get some sleep! Whatever it is, something has GOT to change.

Anyone else feel this way? Maybe post baby?  Don’t get me wrong, I am happy. I am obsessed with my little peanut and the joy he bring to me. I just feel like the ME part of me is drifting away somewhere in “Working Mommy Who Hasn’t Had Time To Grocery Shop In Weeks” Land.

Back to the housing sitch. We have put offers on 3 houses, all of which we were not the lucky ones. It seems our only hope of getting into a house is to choose one that NOBODY ELSE COULD POSSIBLY WANT, otherwise, they all have multiple offers and we never win! It’s a game. A game that I hate. A game that has broken my heart several times and I’m sure plans to break it a few more before we’re finished.

For now, I am reminding myself to enjoy the little moments. The other day, after I had just given Ezra a bath and made the bed with clean sheets, we snuggled and played until our hearts content. He would grab my face and plant a slobbery one on me, and I’d tickle his chubby legs because that makes him giggle the hardest. This went on for until for a good while, next thing I know, he just sound asleep next to me.  OH MY GOODNESS I just love being a mama.

the ULTIMATE list of baby must haves

ultimate baby listI have noticed that so many of you are mothers, or mothers to be! I also know how daunting it can be to gather all the necessities for a newborn. Especially while pregnant! So this list was made for you. Great for your last minute shopping or for a baby registry.

I am pretty lucky to have 3 older sisters who literally know everything there is to know about… well everything. Especially babies. Between the three of them they have 10 kids. I would say that warrants for some pretty legit baby cred. Before Ezra was born, my sisters helped me gather everything I could possibly need under the sun for this little guy. I also added a few things recommended by my midwife and Bradley Method teacher. Who knew a person so tiny could need so many things! Goodness!

So there ya go! For the over-prepared, overly cautious mothers out there, you’re welcome. :) Everything on this list is not absolutely NECESSARY, but it makes your new crazy life that much easier having everything on hand, avoiding any last minute trips to the store at 2 a.m. Don’t see something on the list that you loved and absolutely had to have? I’d love to know!

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currently obsessing // BRIKA

FIRST OF ALL… Let me clear the air. Sheesh. I want to apologize for the title of my last post: “You win, You win!”. I guess it wasn’t the best title. I’ll admit that. Some people got upset because they thought they had actually won the giveaway, not that it was just the title of my post. Please don’t send me hate mail. It sucks. And it makes me sad. I have feelings too ya know!

Okay, so we are off to a great start.

brikaI want to share a website I recently found that I am so excited about! And let me just say, this is NOT a sponsored post. I seriously just love this site! It’s called BRIKA. And it’s pretty awesome! It is a site designed with the savvy handmade loving consumer in mind. Hey! That’s me!

dipped bowls

pendleton pillow

eing

cutting board

just for you

swaddles

From Pendleton pillows to Moniker leather goods, BRIKA hand picks the best of the best handcrafted shops, and forges a one stop shop for all things handmade and wonderful. It’s a little bit like Etsy, but the difference is they focus a great deal on the designer’s story: how and why they make their craft so every piece you buy will come with a connection to its origin. I swear you are going to love everything. I do.

Check em out HERE!

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marriage after baby // keepin’ the knot tied tight

   

I received an infinite amount of baby advice before Ezra arrived. So much, I didn’t know what to do with it all. I felt as if I needed to carry around a pen and paper so I didn’t miss out on pertinent information that would save me down the road from a major crisis. But I have found that the most important piece of advice is often left out. That is, keeping your partner your top priority. I ran across this article and it really spoke to me. As I was going through the self test questions I found me answering, “no…no… no… I am NOT easy to love!” Ok, step one – recognizing the problem, complete. As terrible as it sounds, sometimes I have to stop and think,
“this is your companion, your best friend, the person you vowed to be there for through thick and thin! Now WHY ARE YOU SO UPSET??!!” And this is the thick ladies and gents. Whether you just had a baby and things seem to be coming loose at the seams, (laundry, sanity, maybe even literal loose seams with the extra lbs we tend to put on during those difficult times), or you are going through something else, or hey, maybe your marriage is great, but could always use some improvement! I believe these tips can be used in any sitch…

Found this article on familyshare.com. It spoke to me. It made so much sense. I have placed these little questions in the back of my mind for a couple weeks now, practicing being an easier spouse to love, and I truly believe it has made a difference. Maybe Clay hasn’t even noticed, but just for me, and my crazy psyche, it has been a lifesaver. I couldn’t remember the last time I initiated the “i love you.” Clay says it every day! And I say “I love you too”. Telling Clay I love him, as silly as it sounds, made a huge difference for me. Hope you find this article as helpful as I did! Let me know what you think!

                                                                                                               

Let’s face it: Sometimes marriage is just hard. There will be days when you and your spouse can’tagree on anything, there’s a mountain of laundry to be done, the dishes are piled high in the sink, there are unpaid bills scattered across the counter, and a baby is crying in the background. At these times, it’s very hard to feel love toward one another. I’m ashamed to say that, at these times, I find myself taking my frustrations out on my patient, long-suffering husband. As if things weren’t already hard enough for him, he’s now got a shrew of a wife blaming him for everything that’s gone wrong.

Are you a wife who is easy to love? Do you give your husband reasons to sing your praises and brag about you to his buddies? Honestly, I know I’m not always that kind of wife, and I’m betting there are others like me out there. You can test yourself on your own loveable-ness by answering the following questions based on your experiences and actions. Consider the possible answers as being Always, Often, Sometimes, or Never.

1. Do you give your husband credit for things he does to help around the house?

Everyone likes recognition and men are no exception. Make sure you notice what he does to help out — running a load of laundry, vacuuming a room, playing with a child so you can have a few minutes to yourself — and thank him for it. He’ll be more likely to do it again.

2. Do you tell your husband you love him?

I’m not talking about the knee jerk, “Love you, too,” you say when he tells you he loves you or a sleepy, “Love you,” as you lie in bed at night. I’m talking about an intentional moment when you give him a hug or a kiss, lock eyes with him and tell him in all sincerity, “I love you, sweetheart.” Men like to hear the words as much as women.

3. Do you perform acts of service for him?

Men have tough days, worries and frustrations just as frequently as women, but they’re not always as vocal about it. Any little act of service you can do to show your husband how you appreciate him can make his day a little brighter and his burden a little easier. Give him a back rub, make him his favorite meal, run the car through the wash without his asking you or do some other thing you know he loves but doesn’t get to experience very often. There’s nothing more gratifying than the look of surprise and gratification in a man’s eye when you surprise him with something he loves.

4. Do you have open lines of communication?

Don’t suffer in silence when something is bothering you. One of two things will probably happen: either you’ll end up shutting your husband out, making him wonder what he did wrong, or you’ll make the problem worse because you’re not addressing it. Make sure your husband knows what’s going on in your life. That way he can work on changing the offending behavior or help you deal with whatever is causing you to stress.

5. Do you accept his compliments?

Women have a hard time accepting compliments because they often feel they don’t deserve them or the person complimenting them is “just saying that.” Chances are your husband really means it when he tells you your hair looks nice or your dress is sexy. He doesn’t analyze statements or motivations like you might do, men just don’t think that way. But if you don’t accept his compliments or you laugh them off and not take him seriously, he’ll be less likely to compliment you in the future.

6. Do you ask for his help?

Men like to feel needed. One way they can demonstrate their love for you is by helping you when you need it. If he’s not busy or sick or stressed himself, don’t be afraid to ask for his assistance with the kids or dinner or the cleaning. It’s another way he can show you how much he cares.

How did you do on those questions? You can easily score yourself. If you answered Always or Often on most of the questions, you can be reasonably assured you’re a wife your husband can easily love. Those questions you answered Sometimes or Never might give you ideas of how to better show your husband love and allow him to do the same. Implementing those ideas will bless your family and your marriage.

Article Written by Katie Nielsen for FamilyShare.com

One piece of advice I have to constantly remind myself is to KEEP IT LIGHT! Life doesn’t have to be so serious. Jam out in the car together. That seems to do it for us. :)

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my home // dixie

I have a little spot in my heart for Southern Utah. The red rocks, coral sand, cactus, and sagebrush are signs that I am home. We took the trek Easter weekend to see my parents and to introduce Ezra to a few important peeps. Ezra did SO good in the car. Maybe we can chalk it up to him only being 7 weeks old. But I am hoping his mellow demeanor continues. He is just the sweetest babe, doesn’t make a fuss about much. I think we got lucky… fingers crossed.
After being in St. George with mis padres for a couple days, we ventured to Parowan, UT, a little town just north of St. George that hasn’t changed much in… well, forever it seems to me. My Grandma and Grandpa have lived there their whole lives, most years spent in the same house they live in now. It is a place of refuge for me, peace and calm, nothing can compare to the small town feel of Parowan. (I’m talking VERY small town… population 2,827 to be exact). We sat out in the sun on the back lawn… a perfect day for a picnic. I noticed as I was sitting there on the wooden picnic bench, the only sounds I could hear were our own voices, and birds chirping from the bird houses hung by my grandpa. This is starting to sound a little overly nostalgic. But seriously, that’s just how it goes in Parowan. Grandma made her famous deviled eggs and Mom packed a perfect lunch.

The four generation pic was a must. Jeez, I just love these guys.

Okay, this picture captures SOOO much. This is Grandpa’s typical position on any day. He is such a story teller. I love sitting down and listening to the “Adventures of Howard”.

Here he was telling us about a time he took the family on a California road trip down the coast in his camper. Everyone was waving at him as they cruised along… he assumed everyone was just being friendly, turned out he had left his keys in the trunk lock! OK one more. Also told us about a time during the war, he got into a scuffle with a 17 year old Japanese kid, didn’t know he had a black belt in karate, knocked him right out!

Are you getting the picture? Story time is pretty great.
I have always been so fascinated by the knick-knacks and do-dads at G & G’s house. Especially Grandma’s bottle collection. She has a room filled with bottles that she has found out in the desert. She dug each one herself, and each has a story to tell. I remember peeping in this little 20×5 room filled with treasures thinking it was really the most magical place, jam packed with artifacts and pieces of history. My old school… Woodward 6th Grade Center.

My Great Grandma Mary, (the one I was named after), quilted this blanket for my mother when she graduated. This blanket has just been there in the background my whole life, never really paid attention to how gosh darn cute it is until now! (It seems there are a lot of things like that lately… things that have been around my whole life but are starting to appear more valuable as time passes… maybe as I get older. I dunno.)

My childhood friend Tawsha, her husband and little girls came to meet us in St. George. We went to the art festival downtown and her little ones rode the merry-go-round. Could she be any cuter?! I miss these guys. Tawsha, if you are reading this, I MISS YOU! COME TO CALIFORNIA!
Easter Sunday we drove to Snow Canyon… because… well, it’s tradition. It’s just what we do when we go to St. George. I have so many wonderful memories of this place, picnicking on the lawn, (that seemed much bigger when I was small), and playing red rover with the cousins. Crawling around the rocks with G & G Johnson, and venturing out on my own just a little too far. I remember looking past the horizon thinking it was so dangerous where I was and I could be lost at any moment! I would then scurry back to hold Grandpa’s hand.

We just had to bring Ezra on his first jaunt to Snow Canyon, and it won’t be his last.If you have made it here to the end, through my ramblings of childhood, I am shocked. BRAVO! haha. I love taking trips down memory lane, remembering all the good that has made me who I am today. Too cliche? Yes, probably. I am lucky to call beautiful Southern Utah home. See ya later Dixie, hope to see you soon.

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superfood cookies // seriously. they’re good for you.

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When someone says it’s a treat that’s “good for you”, I am immediately skeptical. So I was with this recipe I found on SkinnyTaste.com. These sorry bananas had been eyeing me for a good week, every day getting darker and darker, and everyday I am feeling worse and worse about wasting them. So what the heck. Thought I might as well give these healthy cookies a go. Best part, they only called for two absolutely necessary ingredients. The rest are optional. That’s it! Couldn’t be any easier.

Turns out, they’re pretty darn good. It’s never been easy for me to snack healthy. I’ve been on the lookout for yummy little bits that I can grab and go throughout the day. Anyone have any suggestions? 

Let me know how you like!

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p.s. the cookie on top looks like a face. funny.

life lately: as told by a very inexperienced mother of one whole month

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Being a mom is hard work. It’s the best work, I have been in a little mommy bubble for the past month, not wanting for anyone or anything to disrupt this newness of my little guy and the whole newborn phase. Yes, sleep deprivation was expected but I have found that the real exhaustion comes from my straight up worry for everything this child does, the wonder if I am doing everything right, am I a good mother? Every cough, wheeze, gurgle, I am turning to google way too many times a day to see what the possible ailment could be. “Newborn gurgling sound in throat”, “why is my newborn’s skin peeling?”, “newborn making strange noises”. (These are real google searches from yours truly). I have yet to find solid answers. Most conclude I need to contact my pediatrician immediately, or just go straight to the E.R. (Those people answering questions on google are real doomsdayers, sheesh!) No help there. I am assuming this overprotective/overlycautiousness will diminish as time passes. Or I sure hope it will. It’s driving me insane, I can’t stop.

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I am also in the middle of some sort of inner struggle, doing my darnedest to look like a mom, but not TOTALLY like a mom. This is silly, I know. But it’s bugging me! I am convinced that when I am pushing a stroller through the outdoor shopping center, people assume I am the next to appear on mtv’s teen mom. My friend recently told me I look like the nanny, not a parent. I’m okay with that. To an extent. Part of this image may come from the backpack I wear as a diaper bag. Just an observation. But this new complex I have with myself has really played with my psyche. I spent way too much time the other day in Urban Outfitters debating whether or not to buy a homies t-shirt and blue nail polish. I mean, before this was a total no brainier. Buy both because they’re awesome. But now I’m a mom! Do moms wear that stuff?! Not really. I went with the blue nail polish. Skipped out on the tee. (Now regretting not buying the tee).

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I guess what I’m getting at is this whole other side of the mom transformation. The baby stuff; nursing, holding, loving, caring, nurturing… This has all come pretty natural. I feel like this little man has been in my life forever. But there are other (less important) things that are putting my little self into a stupor.

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My life has been flipped upside down and sideways, and it is absolutely wonderful. I have really loved every moment. He is the best thing to ever happen to me. But someone answer me: why do I feel the need to change EVERYTHING about myself to play the part as parent?! (Including nail color). It’s madness, really. The little man and I wish you a happy Saturday! Enjoy. :)

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2 Weeks :: A Film Shoot with Kavin

36460015 36460021 36460010 36460009 36460012 36460004 36460003 36460008 36460022 36460030 36460031 36460025These pictures pull at my heartstrings. Ezra was wide awake during this whole shoot and didn’t make more than a little baby grunt. He is pretty easy going, VERY tolerant, we got lucky. I jumped at the chance to have Kavin take pictures of our new little family. He is awesome. These pictures are different than any others we have. They were shot with 35 mm film, each photo was thought out very carefully. Kav explained he loved film for that very reason. “You can’t just go to a shoot and click away.” You have to make sure each “click” is something you will be proud of.

Thank you so much for doing this shoot for us Kavin! We love them so much!

Kavin Lindgren

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