Exploring Mt. Lemmon

We’ve lived in Tucson for seven months now and that entire time we’ve been wanting to explore Mt. Lemmon. We finally got around to it on Saturday! It is absolutely beautiful and about twenty degrees cooler than the valley. My boys had so much fun running around, finding sticks, and climbing up stuff. I got my fair share of sideways glances for following right behind them with my big pregnant belly. At the top of the mountain there’s a small pond lake that we’ve talked about taking Dawson fishing at. When we got up there we noticed most people were catching buckets and buckets full of crayfish! It’s all Kellen has been able to talk about since. I think we’ll be spending a lot more time this summer “climbin’ a mountain”, as Dawson calls it. DSC_0994_0823_edited-1

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30 Weeks With Baby Girl


We’re pretty darn close to single digits in our weekly count down & I’m wishing I had taken the time to document this beautiful experience from the beginning. So here I am doing my first baby bump update. Better late than never right?

HOW FAR ALONG: 30 weeks & 1 day

GENDER: Girl!! Kellen was convinced from day one we were having a girl. I had this little mama nudge that said he was right but I didn’t want to get my hopes up. We couldn’t be happier!

MOVEMENT: This girl is an active one! Her little feet are kicking away all day, every day. It’s always high up in my ribs on the right side, just like her big brother.

HOW BIG IS BABY: 15.7 inches long now and weighs almost 3 pounds, about the size of a large cabbage.

NAME: Her middle name will be Joanne after Kellen’s sweet grandma. First name is still up in the air but on the list we have Claire, Hazel, Eleanor, and then the two or three new ones that we throw around each day.


After such an easy pregnancy with Dawson I expected a similar experience with this one. It’s been more of a challenge but I love it all the same. The past week I’ve been on a baby high & the excitement in our home just keeps building. We can hardly wait for baby girl to come into our family! I’ve gone into a deep, crazy nesting mode. My days consist of cleaning and organizing until we hit the pool or I pass out on the couch with an entire row of otter pops. I’ve been feeling the usual pregnancy discomforts that come with the third trimester(and raising a toddler)…backaches, a big belly, & exhaustion. Along with that, my emotions take me for a roller coaster ride nearly every day… or hour. The anticipation of meeting our sweet girl is growing each day and I couldn’t be happier!











Water Baby

I was completely dreading the Arizona summers from the minute I heard this would be our new home. Do you want to know something crazy? I kind of love it. I love that we can play in the water all day every day. I love the afternoon snuggles and endless popsicles. Dawson has been having so much fun at the pool that we decided to try out a little wiggly caterpillar sprinkler. I’m blaming the tears on the fact that we tested it out ten minutes before bedtime… We’ll try again tomorrow!

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The Very Hungry Caterpillar

In our house we love to read and imagine; two main ingredients in a magical childhood. Today we stuck our noses(quite literally) in one of our very loved, very worn out books & we imagined. We imagined how hungry a little caterpillar would be. In fact, ours were so hungry they ate through lots of toy peaches and even more toy popsicles. After all that eating they were ready for a race. They ran even faster than the Incredibles AND Lighting McQueen. All that racing wore them out and they took a “biggie nap”. Boy, were those caterpillars surprised when they woke up and they had the most beautiful wings! Now they were ready for a flying race. This time they were twice as fast as the “Intedibles” and “Muhh-Queen”.

DSC_0879_0741_edited-1 DSC_0865_0730_edited-1 DSC_0876_0740_edited-1 DSC_0910_0749_edited-1Between growing a human and taming the tantrums of a toddler I seem to miss it. My eyes somehow pass over the beauty of the life I live. It’s dishes, laundry & a tired body. It’s counting down until bedtime and trying not to lose my patience. Then my heart catches up to what my eyes have mistakenly missed. I am a mother. I provide life for my little ones and then teach them how to live it well. I am ever watchful and aware of needs beyond my own. I am giving all of me because I love them so deeply. It is beautiful, truly. I wish I knew how to fully appreciate it in each moment. The days are long but each night I find myself wishing I had done something more. The most wonderful thing of all is the opportunity to wake up the next morning and begin again. Each new day is bright & filled with moments of redemption for yesterday’s shortcomings. In the end I believe motherhood is something to be lived day by day. It’s the only way to love it for all that it is. 

Fourth(+3 days) Celebrations

We spent our Fourth of July unpacking and settling in after being away from home for over a month. It never gets easier to be apart, in fact it’s getting tougher on Dawson the older he gets. Dawson’s been Daddy’s little shadow and melt down comes nearly every time Daddy is out of his sight for more than two minutes. Whenever we head out swimming, grocery shopping or even taking out the garbage he has to make sure, “Daddy’s coming??” Their relationship is something I treasure so close to my heart. Kellen is an incredible father and I couldn’t imagine a better example for my son. As I’m writing this I can hear cheers coming from the bathroom… Dawson just peed on the potty standing up like a big boy! We are so happy to be home, living the day-to-day moments that we long for when we’re apart. We’ve been relaxing and soaking in this much-needed family time. Today my two pyromaniacs made up for missing the celebrations last week with fireworks before the sun even set.

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Little Horseman

Before we left for Utah last month Kellen & I told Dawson all about Grandma’s horse. He couldn’t wait to ride a horsey and talked about it nonstop. When it came time to meet the horse he was a little more hesitant about the whole thing. Horses are big and maybe a little scary when you’re two. Dawson decided he really could wait to ride one. In the picture below he was jumping into Kellen’s arms saying, “Daddy!! He’s… looking at me!” All the nerves disappeared as soon as he saw his daddy in the saddle of “Little Joe” this morning.

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This Beautiful Life

Writing on this little blog has always been something I’ve enjoyed. It seems that somewhere between pregnancy, a big move, & a growing boy it’s been neglected. So here’s my attempt to dust it off and rededicate myself to something I’m passionate about. There have been so many moments lately that I’m wishing I had taken the time to photograph, write about & save forever. Life seems to whiz right by me when I’m not taking the time to document the big and small. My toddler is becoming a little boy. My belly is becoming a basketball. My husband is as hard-working, handsome and sweet as ever. Life is beautiful & I want to remember it just as I’m living it now.

We’ve spent the last few weeks spread out between Idaho, Utah, & California. A trip to the lake with my sister, soaking in the little time we get with cousins & more training for Kellen in San Diego. It’s been a whirlwind of a month & it’s coming to a bittersweet end tomorrow, as we celebrate the life of Kellen’s sweet grandma Joanne. My heart has been so full. I feel blessed to be surrounded by so many incredible people & the best part is I get to call them my family.

The Darndest Things: June 2014 Edition

to remember the sweet + silly things he says 

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standing up in the middle of the night

I broke my legs mom!! I broke my legs!!


sitting on the couch with the whole family

I love you people.


after asking him for the 100th time if he needed to use the potty

Don’t keep buggin’ me mom!!


referring to a crocodile 

I like that crocadino.


after looking at a picture of a camel

I wanna ride that baby camel!


running around the park



sitting next to his uncle

You’re Jesus, Derek.


after realizing his grandma was gone

Where’s my Shellie?


while looking at mama’s growing belly

I put baby sister in my tummy.


in his sleep

Bears like ice cream.


attempting to say “uncle garrett”

Gunckle Cheese!

The Darndest Things: May 2014 Edition

to remember the sweet + silly things he says

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After a playdate at the park

R: Dawson who did you play with at the park?

D: My girlfriends. My cute girlfriends!

While driving in the car

D: Mom, I love green people. I love black people. I love brown people!

After a trip to the zoo

R: Did you see a giraffe at the zoo today?

D: I sure did!

R: Did you see an elephant?

D: I sure did!

R: Did you see a lion?

D: I sure did!!

While walking in on mommy changing

D: Ewww! That’s a biggie bum!

(Kellen assured me it’s only a “biggie” when compared to Dawson’s little bum…)

After running up behind Kellen and biting him right in the bum


In the middle of a search for Daddy’s belly button

D: Eww! That’s a yucky tummy!!

While eating the cold cereal I so lovingly prepared for dinner

D: It tastes goooood mommy!

What a regular prayer sounds like around here

D: Heavenly Father. Thanks star blanket. Thanks Daddy. Thanks Kellen Daddy. Thanks Kellen mommy. Thanks a wall. Thanks Daddy’s wall. Thanks dinosaurs. Thanks curtains. Thanks Colby’s house. Thanks Dawson’s house. Thanks baby sister. Thanks Dawson’s baby sister. AMEN!!!

(You can find more sweet + silly quotes here)

Lately Grams

I have this sort of strange love-hate relationship with all forms of social media but especially instagram. It’s a place where I find myself comparing my sense of style, my makeup, hair & even the way I mother my sweet boy.. to people I have never even met. They’re complete strangers and yet I compare myself, irrationally believing their lives are somehow better or happier than mine because they post pretty pictures on a social media site. As I’ve worked day after day to build myself up and become a confident woman who loves herself I have realized that this instagram comparison pulls at me in the opposite direction.

“When we compare ourselves to one another, we will always feel inadequate or resentful of others.” –  Bonnie L. Oscarson

It may seem like a silly thing to struggle with but the way I see it anything that makes you feel less than the divine being you were created to be is worth resolving. I’ve wondered to myself how I can find a balance. How can I turn this into a love-love relationship? I’ve come up with three things:

1- Limitations:

This one is big for me. As a stay-at-home mom I have faced a bit of a challenge with my time management. Being a mom isn’t easy and the days are long and demanding. However, being my own “boss” means if I’d rather read a blog, pin, or spend time on instagram than play with my child I totally can. Obviously, this isn’t what I want to do but some days I crave any sort of connection with the world beyond the walls of my house and I find myself more engaged in social media than being mom. For me what works is saving blogs, instagram or pinterest for nap times. I find myself more engaged in Dawson, more creative & productive when the phone is put away throughout the day.

2- Celebrate the success of others:

I can be a bit competitive & a little bit of a perfectionist. At times it is hard for me to celebrate the successes of others. I would rather be jealous and wish it was me for half a minute(which goes right along with that quote at the beginning ^^). Then I come around and realize that person’s success came through hard work & perseverance. I want to eliminate that need to “come around” & just be happy for that person from the beginning. Heavenly Father has blesses each of us in personal & very different ways and that’s something to celebrate.

3- Perspective:

This one is simple but the most important. When we keep things in perspective we recognize that while social media is a fun way to connect and share our lives it is most definitely not the most important part of life. When we are genuinely involved in life & most importantly the people in our lives we will be truly happy. While on my death-bed I don’t think I’ll be regretting that picture I posted of Dawson when our kitchen floors were dirty. And I hope more than anything I won’t have regrets about not “being there” for the ones I love.

Sisterhood: Oh, How We Need Each Other