Washington Trip

https://flic.kr/p/sznFnk Here are more pictures of the trip to Washington and celebrating Sophie's first birthday. Sophie loved hanging out with grandma and grandpa and all her aunties!

Our first day in Washington we went to Lake Wilderness and the arboretum. We fed ducks, played on the playground and picked little white daisies in the field. All the ingredients for a perfect day!

https://flic.kr/p/sx71Vs

https://flic.kr/p/rCoBeb

https://flic.kr/p/shWySR

https://flic.kr/p/sx797G

https://flic.kr/p/shPQNy

Sophie loved listening to Grandpa jam on the guitar.

https://flic.kr/p/sU6rtG

Sophie's birthday party was a blast!

Emily made her this beautiful pink ombré cake decorated with flowers from the garden. I loved the way it turned out!

https://flic.kr/p/sWq7n4

https://flic.kr/p/rZqBvU

https://flic.kr/p/sWbYXN

https://flic.kr/p/sWqwNe

Sophie loved all her wonderful presents. Thanks to everyone who was able to come and celebrate with us!

https://flic.kr/p/rZoKzy

Oh sweet little one. 

https://flic.kr/p/szmqCH Here is Sophie's one year photo shoot! She got some new dresses for her birthday, so we thought we would model them. Washington was the perfect setting! Everything was so green and tons of flowers were in bloom.

This little girl has been soaking things up like a sponge. Her new favorite word is "No!" (Yay for me.) If she's getting into something she shouldn't, I tell her, "Sophia, don't get into that," she'll very sternly say to me, "Noooo!" She will then continue to test the waters. She can shake her head yes or no if she wants something or not. She's recently learned how to sign "please, thank you, and more. " She's a pro at animal sounds ( dog, cat, cow, fish, chicks, and lion/tiger) and has figured out how to do the fishy face and surprise face (it is the cutest thing I've ever seen.) Hide and seek is her new favorite game. She likes to snuggle and rock her baby and is good at helping mommy put away her toys, unload the dishes, and throwing away trash. We love this girl with all our heart and can't wait to see what new things she'll learn as she continues to grow.

https://flic.kr/p/shNZ43

https://flic.kr/p/rCnQJu

https://flic.kr/p/rCzs3T

DIY Tufted Headboard

9 months (1 of 1)Interior design is seriously an addiction for me. I love putting together textiles, furniture and decor so it's pleasing to the eye and creates an overall good feeling in the room. I often scroll through Pinterest in search of ideas and ways to decorate our  home but find that a lot of the decor I like is way too expensive for me to even consider. So I try to find ways I can just make it myself for a lot cheaper. For instance these gorgeous tufted headboards. I would see places like West Elm and Restoration Hardware sell these bed frames for thousands of dollars! See here. Well, I found this tutorial to make my own for a little over $60.  I think it looks awesome and was just look I was going for. 9 months (5 of 9)Headboard - DIY ($60), Pillow Cover - Ikea LAPPLJUNG RUTA ($10) , Night stand - Ikea SELJE($30), Lamp - Ikea RANARP ($40).

9 months (1 of 9)

My little Vanna White. 9 months (6 of 9)

Sophie's 9 months

9 months (7 of 9) 9 months is such a fun stage! Sophie's personality is really starting to shine through! She's becoming more active which means she's a busy busy bee. Always finding boxes, baskets and cupboards to dig through and examine the things inside. And she's walking!!! I can hardly believe it! She just seems way to little to be doing that. Instead of nonsensical babbling it's slowly turning into words and phrases. She can say mom, ma ma, mom mom, dad, da da, daddy, yum yum, yeah, hi, and she's close to saying ball, bath, book, dog, hello, bye bye, and I love you! At her last doctors appointment she weighed 16 pounds and was 27 inches tall. She finally got her very first tooth! It's been a rough couple of weeks with soar gums and fevers up to 102 degrees but she's doing a lot better now.

9 months (8 of 9)

We went for a walk the other day. It's crazy how nice the weather has been this winter. Sophie had fun examining/eating the grass, twigs and leaves. It's so cute to see her putter around and do her own thing. She's curious about everything! It amazes me how fast babies minds develop. The doctor was telling me that babies brains develop more in the first 3 years then they do in the entire human life span! That's insane! I love being a mom and getting see one of Gods beautiful creations grow right before my very eyes. 9 months (9 of 9)

Sophie is 4 months!

_DSC4290 Sophie turns 4 months today! She is now starting to get more and more mobile! She's able to roll over during tummy time and scoot around on her back. One time I laid her on her play mat and I walked away for a few minutes only to find that she had wormed her way under the coffee table. And so it begins... She is constantly pulling things to her mouth to chew. One of her favorite toys to mawl is her Sophie giraffe. She's been practicing sitting up in her boppy pillow and loves to stand up on her feet! It won't be long before we will have to move books to higher shelves and put locks on the cabinets. It's so crazy to me how fast she is growing.

Her personality is also starting to shine through. She babbles all the time! Sometimes, in the morning, I will wake up to the sound of Sophie cooing (which is probably her telling me to get my butt out of bed). She lights up every time Daddy comes home from work. She is definitely an outdoor baby. Sophie enjoys going on hikes in her snazzy Osprey baby carrier. If she's not babbling a story to you about her life as a baby, she's completely knocked out. When we go camping, she's mesmerized by the campfire. It's the cutest thing ever to see the flames reflect in her wide-eyed gaze (Daddy's little pyro!).

_DSC4285

_DSC4303 _DSC4304 _DSC4313 _DSC4319More soon to come!  (I'm working on compiling photos and writing posts about our most recent adventures.)

Grotto Falls and Devils Kitchen

Grotto Falls-1-2 Last week we went on a fun little 1/2 mile hike to Grotto Falls. It's located along the Nebo Loop Scenic Drive. The trail is perfect for kids cause it follows a small stream that keeps them distracted the whole hike up. Sophie was too little to play in the water but in the future I'm sure she would love it! When you reach the waterfall, it's surrounded by rock walls so it creates a nice shaded oasis.

Grotto Falls-1

After that we dove further up the loop to the Devils Kitchen, a scenic red rock formation that is similar to Bryce Canyon.

Grotto Falls-4

Grotto Falls-2-2

Painted Mason Jars

Mason Jar (3 of 1)

I made these lovely painted mason jars for my baby shower and afterwards put them in Sophie's nursery. They are super easy to make and look so cute and rustic! The suplies you need to make them are:

  • a mason jar ( I reused spaghetti sauce jars)
  • craft paint ( I used Acrylic FolkArt Paint)
  • a paint brush
  • optional- some twine and/or other embellishments

Just paint the outside of the jar with your desired color paint. Let dry and then add embellishments of your choice. That easy!

I'll be posting pictures of Spohie's nursery soon! Just a few more finishing touches and then it will be all done!

Rock Canyon In the Rain

Rock Canyon-2 Last week we had a fun day hiking up Rock Canyon! It was so beautiful! The stream was flowing and so clear it looked good enough to drink! It started to rain a bit and suddenly I felt like I was back home in Washington. It was great. Nick came with us and we showed him some cool places to go climbing. Then it started pouring so we decided to head back before Sophie got too cold. When we got back down to the parking lot and took Sophie out of her carrier we noticed she had a big yellow surprise all up her back. Yep. That was sure fun to clean up. Overall it was a fun little adventure in the rain.

Rock Canyon-6 Rock Canyon-4Rock Canyon-3

Sophie's 1 month!

Sophie's 1 month (4 of 5) Sophie's 1 month old! I can't believe it! Here are some cute candid baby shots of her taken by my amazing photographer husband!

Sophie's 1 month (3 of 5) Sophie's 1 month (1 of 1)We tried taking naked baby pictures outside but it didn't last long cause Sophie decided to pee on me. This was the only good one we were able to get.

Sophie's 1 month (2 of 5)

Baby Sophia's Birth Story

Sophie (12 of 1) Wow! I can't believe it's already been three weeks since Sophia was born! She really does soak up all our time. But it's okay. I wouldn't trade this time with her for the world. Even the sleepless nights, poopy diapers, and sore nipples (yes, even those...). She and all her cuteness make it oh so worth it!

Sophia's birth story is actually kind of funny now that I look back on it. It all began on the night of April 16th when I felt my first contraction. Earlier that day the doctor stripped my membranes. Seeing that the doctor did this the week before and nothing happened, I figured that I could expect the same result. That, however, was not the case. After about an hour of mild contractions I decided to try some of the tricks the books said would lessen the pain. I took a nice hot shower, which helped a little bit—enough for me to get a few hours of sleep until they came back with a vengeance. As I felt the contractions coming closer together, Daniel downloaded an app onto our phone to time the contractions. Around 4:00 AM they were one to two minutes long and about four or five minutes apart. I was starting to feel that it was time to go to the hospital. Daniel, however, worried that I was still experiencing false labor and that the hospital would just send us home, so we waited until the contractions became even more regular. It was excruciating; nevertheless, we pressed on and endured the pain. And when I say “we,” I really mean “I.” If I was asked to describe what the pain felt like I would tell you to imagine yourself trying to poop out a seven pound bowling ball. That would pretty much sum it up.

At about 5:00 AM I told Daniel that I really wanted to go to the hospital. My contractions were becoming more painful and frequent as time progressed. He told me that we should wait at least another hour to see if they become more regular. Sometimes the frequency was off by a minute or two, which made him think that it was still false labor. I told him that it doesn't matter, as long as they are happening every five minutes or less. We debated for a while, until he convinced me to wait another hour. By this time I was pacing the apartment and groaning with pain. I developed a pattern of bouncing on our exercise in between contractions and then pacing when they started back up again. It helped a little but I could feel that the contractions were definitely getting worse. It was around 5:45 that I insisted we go to the hospital. Daniel still reluctant and said we should wait a little longer. I said "No! We need to go NOW!" So after finally convincing Daniel, we make our way to the hospital, which to our advantage was only two minutes away. We get to Labor and Delivery and they lead us to a room and told us they would send a nurse to check and see how dilated I was and determine whether I was having true labor or not. In my mind I was thinking, "Of course this is true labor! How could someone feel this much pain and have it not be true labor?"

When we got into the room I had absolutely no shame and immediately stripped down and put on that hospital gown as fast as I could. I was ready for them to do whatever it took to make the pain go away. As we waited in the room (which felt like forever) the pain got worse and I began to panic and wonder what was taking the nurse so long. When she finally came, I was in tears and could hardly control myself. (Just thinking about how much pain I was in makes me want to cry even right now.) The nurse snapped on a rubber glove and proceeded to find out how dilated I was. "Wow, you’re already at 8 cm! It looks like you’re having your baby this morning!" the Nurse said. I turn to look at Daniel and just glare at him. If we would have went to the hospital when I wanted to, it would have saved me a lot pain. But no, he wanted to stretch it out and wait till I was dilated to 8 cm! I then ask the nurse, “So, when do I get the epidural?" That was all I could think about next.

Sophie (21 of 3)Sophie (21 of 1)

This  is me after the epidural kicked in.

Once I had the epidural in me everything was wonderful! I was completely ready to have the baby. The nurse said that once my doctor got there we could start pushing right away. It seemed so surreal to me that I would soon get to meet our baby girl. When Dr. Andrews arrived she got me in position to start pushing. "Dad, grab a leg," she says to Daniel. Then the next part was like in the movies where you have your legs all up and you’re huffing and puffing to push the baby out. The only difference was sometimes in the movie version the mother would be screaming in pain but for me I could hardly feel a thing. (Maybe a little out of breath here and there, but that was it!) There was actually a point in between contractions that we were all having a nice conversation about where the best places are to get sushi in Provo. The whole process was super chill. After about 30 minutes of pushing, we began to see the head. My Doctor pointed out that she had a good amount of hair which was a little shocking to Daniel and I, seeing that we were both pretty bald babies. I guess that old wives tale about having a lot of indigestion during pregnancy equating to baby having lots of hair proved to be true after all. After about an hour and 15 minutes of pushing, our little Sophia came into this world. At 9:35 am they plopped her down right on top of my stomach. She was a purplish tint, wet and crying and my heart was pounding faster than ever! It was so crazy to finally see this little human that had been growing inside of me for the past 9 months!

Sophie (12 of 8)

After letting her lay there for a few minutes Daniel had the honor of cutting her umbilical cord. I was actually a little shocked, because Daniel normally gets skirmish around blood and I wasn't sure he would be able to handle it. But he did it, and afterwards said that it wasn't that bad after all!

Sophie (14 of 8)After a moment, the baby nurse (who happened to be Daniel's aunt!) took her to clean and weigh her.

Sophie (17 of 1)Sophie (16 of 8)Her lips were so big and puffy. She looked like Janice, the lead guitarist of Muppet band Electric Mayhem.

Sophie (17 of 8)Sophia weighed 6 lbs 13 oz and was measured at 19 inches long.

Sophie (13 of 8)Love at first sight.

Sophie (17 of 4)Sophie (18 of 4)Sophie (19 of 4)Happy new daddy!

Sophie (20 of 4)Sophie (20 of 1)After the nurses left and things calmed down, all three of us just snuggled together. It was such a special moment. Daniel and I couldn't take our eyes off her! I felt such an overwhelming wave of love for her! I feel so blessed to be a mother to such a sweet, precious baby girl!

Sophie (23 of 3)

Cheesy Chicken, Broccoli and Rice Casserole

food-6 So this is definitely not one for you dieters out there, but it sure is delish! Daniel and I like to get the big bag of broccoli florets at Costco and can never seem to eat them all before they go bad. Now that I've discovered this recipe, we will never have to worry about throwing out a half eaten moldy bag of broccoli again!

This was actually the first casserole that I've ever made and judging by Daniel's reaction I must not of done that bad! I love how creamy it is and the bread crumbs on the top add just the right amount of crunch. Try this recipe out and let me know what you think!

Prep: 45 min.  |  Yield: 8 servings

INGREDIENTS     

  • 2 cups of uncooked rice
  • 4-5 cups of  broccoli florets
  • 2  chicken breasts (chopped into 1 in. pieces)
  • 1 can of condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 1/2 cup of mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 2 cups of shredded cheddar jack cheese
  • pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon of butter (melted)
  • 2 tablespoons of bread crumbs

DIRECTIONS                                                                                  

1. Cook the rice as the directions say. Steam the broccoli. Fry or broil the chicken until just barley cooked leaving just a small amount of pink.

2. In a bowl, add the can of condensed cream of chicken soup, mayonnaise, milk, and lemon juice and mix. Set aside.

3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

4. When the rice is cooked, spread it on the bottom of a 9x13 greased casserole dish.

5. Layer the cooked broccoli over the rice. Add cooked chopped chicken breasts.

6. Pour the soup mixture evenly over the casserole and top with shredded cheese.

7. In a small bowl, mix melted butter and bread crumbs and then sprinkle over the top of the casserole. Add some pepper to taste.

8. Place casserole in oven and bake for 25 min.

Succulents

Succulents (2 of 3)

Lately I have been so fascinated by succulents and for a while have wanted to make my own terrarium. I did some research on them and found out that they are actually very easy to maintain! They only need to be watered about once a week or less and can survive indoors in a well lit room. I got in contact with a good friend Cassidy, who is an expert on succulents and she helped me put together this beautiful terrarium. It was super easy to make and the whole project cost me less then $10! You can find really nice glass bowls and vases at Hobby Lobby or Jo Anns for around $10-$15 and use their 40% off coupons and get a steal of a deal! I found this bowl at Hobby Lobby and used a coupon and it ended up being  $6.50. I bought the gavel there as well which I think gives this terrarium a cool, natural look. You can find succulents at any local hardware store in the garden section or search for them at a near by nursery. For this size terrarium, I water it about a half a cup once a week.

Succulents (3 of 3)

I absolutely love how it looks on our coffee table!

Succulents (1 of 3)

For some great advice on how to care for succulents check out Cassidy's blog Succulents and Sunshine. She also just created a Ebook you can now purchase for $8.99!

32 weeks!

32 weeks (2 of 2)

Here I am at 32 weeks! The tiredness I was feeling in the first trimester is starting to come back and baby's kicks are getting more powerful and slightly painful. I'm beginning to understand what they mean when they say that the last 2 months are the toughest.32 weeks (1 of 2) I get heartburn pretty much every time I eat. Thank heavens for Tums! My feet get swollen and legs cramp up constantly. I find myself having increased shortness of breath. I'm sure that's due to the fact that my large uterus is squishing up against my lungs. I've also started to feel more frequent Braxton Hick's, when my tummy will get really really tight and feel like I have a overly inflated basket ball in my stomach. I'm starting to get bad back pain, which makes for a really uncomfortable nights sleep. But as I continue reading in the "Baby Bible," What to Expect When Your Expecting, it says that all these things are normal and that they are only expected to get worse as I get closer to my due date. Oh joy...

As far as how baby is doing, Doctor says she's right on track! We found out that her head is now facing down and she's expected to stay that way till birth, which is good. Doctor said that it's unlikely that she will move from that position other than rolling from side to side which she does constantly.

This month is sure going to be an exciting one with baby showers up in Washington and well as down here in Utah. I'm so excited and can't wait to celebrate with family and friends! We've already had the invitations sent out(but if you didn't get one PM me or send me an email). They were purchased on Etsy here. I just love the design! I wrapped some pink and white bakers twine around them to give them a little flare.

As baby's due date gets closer and closer my nesting instinct has gotten stronger and stronger. I have finally narrowed down the colors I'm going to use for her nursery. I really love the combination of  coral and mint. Here is a collage of ideas I've been working on with furniture and decor I like.

Baby Room Plan

We are still working on painting her crib white. I'm going to sew all her bedding so I have been searching for fabrics. I have already found one that I'm going to use for her bumper and possible crib skirt. That's all we've gotten done so far. I feel like I'm starting to get a little overwhelmed with only 2 more months left. Time is surely flying by!

Aside from the temporal things I've been doing to get ready for baby, I've also been trying to prepare my self mentally and spiritually. Bringing one of God's special spirit children into this world is an immense responsibility. I sometimes get down on myself because I wonder how I'm ever going to be this perfect spiritual mother who never gets mad at her children and knows exactly how to raise them up in the gospel so they stay strong and grow up being talented, self-reliant individuals. But then I remember that I don't have to do it on my own. I have a smart, wonderful husband and a loving Heavenly Father who are going to be there by my side to help and that brings me a lot of comfort!

Seven Layer Bean Dip

seven layer bean dip

Wow, what a game! Sucks to be a Broncos fan right now.  I have to say, Danny and I are not the biggest football fans out there but is was nice to watch a super bowl game in which our home team, the Seahawks, were playing. It was also nice to get together with family and friends and enjoy a good time stuffing ourselves with chicken wings, ribs, popcorn, candy and food that will surely give you heart burn by half time. We were asked to bring bean dip to contribute to the smorgasbord and I knew right away what I wanted to make. A seven layer bean dip including, refried beans, guacamole,  sour cream, shredded cheese, pico de gallo, olives and the final layer being a whole lot of love (I know, kinda cheesy. I'm sure you could probably come up with a better 7th layer).

Anyhow,  it turned out to be a great hit so here is the recipe if your craving yourself a good seven layer bean dip.

Prep: 25 min.  |  Yield: 8 cup

INGREDIENTS     

Bean Layer:

  • 1 can (16 oz) of refried beans
  • 1 (1 0z) package of taco seasoning

Pico de Gallo Layer:

  • 6-7 tomatoes (finely diced)
  • 1 large onion (finely diced)
  • 1-2 limes  (squeezed)
  • a hand full of cilantro (chopped)
  • salt and pepper (to taste)

Guacamole Layer:

  • 4-6 avocados
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 cup of sour cream
  • 3/4 cup of pico de gallo
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
  • red pepper flakes (optional)

Other Layers:

  • 1`160z container of sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups of salsa (optional)
  • 1 package (80z) Mexican style blend shredded cheese
  • 1/2 cup of sliced black olives
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions (optional)
  • cilantro as a garnish (optional)

DIRECTIONS                                                                                  

1. In a small bowl mix taco seasoning with refried beans. Some people prefer to mix their taco seasoning with sour cream layer but I wanted a bright white layer so I did it with the beans.

2. To make the pico de gallo, in a separate bowl combine and mix tomatoes, onions, lime, cilantro, salt and pepper.

3. In another bowl prepare the guacamole by chopping and mashing the avocados and mixing in the garlic, sour cream, pico de gallo, salt and pepper, and red pepper flakes (optional).

4. Here's how the layers are assembled in a 9x13 dish:

5. Layer 1: beans and taco seasoning, Layer 2: guacamole , Layer 3: sour cream, Layer 4: cheese, Layer 5: pico de gallo, Layer 6: olives. Layer 7: love. (If you want to add a real seventh layer you could add green onions or put in some salsa after the sour cream).

6. Serve with tortillas chips and enjoy!

Black Bean Tortilla Soup

soup (1 of 1)

Daniel and I have been stocking up on black beans for that past few months and it was time to find a recipe that I could use some of them up. I found this recipe on marthastewart.com but ended up tweaking it a bit to satisfy my taste buds. So here is my version.

Prep: 15 min.  | Cook: 10 min.

             Yield: 6 servings

INGREDIENTS                                                                        

  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 onion (diced)
  • 4 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1 bell pepper (diced)
  • 1 teaspoon of chili powder
  • 2 cans (14.5oz each) of diced tomatoes in juice
  • 3 cans (15oz each) of black beans, drained
  • 1 can (14.5oz) of chicken broth
  • 2 cups of frozen corn kernels
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon of oregano
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh lime ( 1 squeezed lime)
  • sour cream (optional)
  • cilantro (optional)

DIRECTIONS                                                                                  

1. In a large sauce pan, sauté onions and bell peppers in olive oil over medium heat for about 2-3 minuets or until lightly browned. Stir in garlic and chilli powder and cook until fragrant, about 1 minuet.

2. Add tomatoes, beans, broth, corn and 1 cup of water; season with salt, pepper and oregano; squeeze in lime juice.

3. Bring soup to a boil; reduce to simmer. Cook for about 10 minuets.

4. Serve with crushed tortillas chips, a dollop of sour cream, and a few leaves of cilantro.

25 Weeks

Week 26 (w)-4

I haven't really posted any side profiles of my baby bump, so I thought I would post some. I'm already 25 weeks! I can't believe how fast this pregnancy is going! And I hate to say it, but so far it's been a breeze—I better go knock on wood or something. I hope I don't jinx it, but I've only thrown up twice: once after Thanksgiving dinner, because I ate way too much, and once during Christmas break because I was sick with the flu (which was so not fun). Other than that I just make sure I eat something right away in the morning and throughout the day so I don't feel nauseous and I'm good. Baby girl is doing great too! She really likes to move around. At our last checkup appointment our doctor said everything looks great. She is even measuring a week bigger than we thought! The last ultrasound pictures we got of her were so precious. I seriously can't wait for her to come. It's been so fun planning out how we want to decorate the nursery. We have already found a crib on KSL for $100. It was a Dwell Studio crib so I just couldn't pass it up! It did have a few dings—mostly bite marks—on it, so we decided that we are going to sand it down and repaint it white. I will try and post that whole process later. Along with the colors, fabrics and decor we are going to use for the rest of the nursery.

Well, here are my 25th week maternity shots. Yesterday when we got home from church the sunset was just so pretty that we had to go out and take pictures. Danny's getting so good at photography! I keep telling him that he needs to get his name out there and do paid photo shoots but he seems to think he's not good enough. Pshh! He's way good and I am so lucky to have him be my own personal photographer.

Week 26 (w)-5

Week 26 (w)-2  Week 26 (w)-1 Week 26 (w)-7Week 26 (w)-9

Baby shoes

Baby shoes 1

Check out these super cute "Mary Jane" style baby shoes that I made! They were so easy to make too! Find the tutorial here.