Aila Turns Two

My oh my, I don’t know what we have gotten ourselves into with our little firecracker, but it’s going to be a fun ride. Let’s start with food. When Aila is hungry, she opens her mouth super wide, and points to it. Repeatedly. Perhaps you’ve seen the videos of her eating burritos or spaghetti (or photos of her with chocolate smeared all over her face and hair and hands and car seat…). If not, you should check them out. They’re a thing. This girl could single-handedly stuff a super burrito into her face and eat it like a boss before she turned two. Even the burrito company was impressed. Continue reading “Aila Turns Two”

New Year’s Resolutions 2019

After trying and failing multiple times to find time for our annual New Year’s resolution setting (we were too pooped, or had plans every night), Andy and I finally set aside a special breakfast date to get it done. It was, as always, really fun to look back and look forward.

As is our pattern, we killed it on some resolutions and really sucked on others, though we gave ourselves partial checks on goals that we at least attempted to some degree. And, to be fair, though it doesn’t look like our “Communication and Bearing Burdens” category fared well, we have been working really hard on improving our communication skills, so I feel pretty good about giving us a check there overall.

I’m really excited for the Come Follow Me program at church this year (not to mention, two hour church! Wahoo!); it’s only been a few weeks, but we have been diligent about preparing lessons every Sunday, and we have felt the blessings in our family. I think this program will help us improve in places we fell short last year.

As far as personal goals, the one I worked on the most was writing the draft of my first YA novel. I finished it early in the morning on December 31! I never EVER in a million years thought that I could, would, should write a novel. In fact, when I first started writing children’s books, I swore up and down that I would never write anything beyond picture books. Novels seemed too complex, too long, too impossible to even attempt writing. But, after I read The Hate You Give, by Angie Thomas in he summer of 2017, I was inspired and felt prompted to try. Even though it’s just a draft and needs a TON of work, I’m really proud of myself for finishing it.


Here are our family goals for 2019:


Here are our personal resolutions:

In addition to writing goals, I’m really excited about my sleeping one. I’m determined to get so much sleep that the bags under my eyes go away! HA…hopefully that’s even possible.

This goal isn’t purely aesthetic, I have finally learned that I cannot, in fact, function without sleep. Postpartum depression has forced me to really understand that my emotional health is directly tied to how much I sleep. So, I’m really going to try to sleep more even if means I can’t meet the other goals I set for myself. So far, I have been doing a little better, but I still have a ways go to!

This year, Carter told me some of his goals as well. He came up with all of them himself, in this order, and I love them:

  1. Give toys to kids who don’t have toys.
  2. Take guitar lessons.
  3. Share toys more.
  4. Read with mommy more.
  5. Give packages to people.
  6. Play with more people at home (invite more people over to our house).
  7. Listen to people when they’re talking.
  8. Swim (with people).

I feel like this will be a year of changes and miracles. I’m excited for 2019!

Starting the Year in Yosemite

All I wanted to do at the end of 2018 was hole up in a cabin and hike around Yosemite. Thanks to my Uncle Roger and Auntie Sharon, we were able to do just that. We celebrated the end of 2018 and kicked-off 2019 in my favorite place on earth…I feel like 2019 is going to be a year of miracles and change! Continue reading “Starting the Year in Yosemite”

The Big Christmas Post

Every year I feel like I get a little better at the holidays. This year, we got our Christmas cards out before Christmas. We had our presents (for our kids) wrapped on time…and didn’t have to stay up until the wee morning hours on Christmas Eve to get it done. I made sugar cookies with the kids and we delivered them to friends. I helped Carter write and deliver his first letter to Santa. I started prepping for Christmas Eve dinner a few days in advance so it was less stressful on Christmas Eve. We started a new tradition of Christmas morning crepes because they’re soooo much easier than the cinnamon rolls I used to make. We did our first family reenactment of the nativity, and this was my favorite thing about our entire Christmas season.

And yet, there are so many things I wish I could have done better. I have a constant, nagging feeling that I’m not doing enough. I want to follow Light the World better. I want to tie Christmas more closely to the Savior, and make sure my kids know the true meaning of the holiday. I want to do more service with my family. I want to make more crafts. I want to help my kids make presents for others. I want to make gingerbread houses (we got some kits for my parents but they are still in boxes!)…and on and on. Continue reading “The Big Christmas Post”

Family Photos 2018

Last year we attempted to take family photos, but Andy got a migraine the morning of the photo shoot and both kids had low-grade fevers…so that was awesome.

This year, we took photos with Katie Heiner Photography, who I discovered through a mutual friend after she posted a giveaway on her family travel Instagram account. Sadly, I didn’t win the giveaway, but this is a great example social media’s benefits – making connections that might not otherwise have existed.

I was looking for someone to take headshots for upcoming writer news (eeek!), and thought it would be perfect to get some family photos while we were at it. Of course, in the end, we chose mostly family photos and only a couple headshots…I don’t need that many photos of myself, amirite? Plus, my kids are cuter and I’d rather have pics of them.

We were thrilled at the pictures and so grateful we decided to do them this year. Katie did an incredible job. I love photos, and it’s so nice to have some taken by someone who actually knows what she’s doing! Continue reading “Family Photos 2018”