Sunday, March 30, 2014

Things That Make Me Say Yay || 01

Kaylie Marie gave me the idea for this series that I'm going to start doing. I think it will be a great way to keep track of all those little happy things in life that I want to remember.

So, without further ado, here are the things that have been making me say "yay" lately:

|| This straw fedora that I found at Target. I'm totally crushing on it. I imagine myself over-wearing it this summer. Style post to come very soon.
|| The fact that the trees in my yard are starting to flower. Spring cannot come fast enough.
|| The way that my daughter mimics me. We got into a "wow" "uhm" "what" exchange while strolling through Target the other day. She's my little echo.
|| How much Klair likes loves peanut butter and honey sandwiches. She's becoming a kid, and it's surprisingly fun.
||Along those lines, going to the park with my toddler. She has transformed from a baby during the warm weather days of last fall into a little girl this spring. Playing outside has never been so enjoyable.
||The Fuji apples I picked up at Costco the other day. I'm kind of an apple snob (I won't touch red delicious with a ten foot pole) and these apples... they might as well call them candy. Perfection.
|| Dancing around the house with Klair to my Ingrid Michaelson Pandora station. My girl can groove.
|| The romper that I bought for Klair. It isn't quite warm enough yet, but a mom can dream... right? I can't wait to see those chubby little legs "rompin'" around!
|| How excited baby girl gets when her dada comes home everyday. She squeals, runs to the stairs, and refuses to let him go once he's home. She a daddy's girl through and through.
|| Spending a Friday night in with my husband. Free from any distractions we ate sugary cereal, cuddled, got caught up on all our shows (a.k.a. watched way too much TV), and stayed up late talking about life.
|| Also, how much my sweet husband did this weekend while I was feeling under the weather. He took care of the babe, cleaned the house, and made me dinner. He even took Klair on a daddy-daughter date to Chuck-E-Cheese so I could have some alone time (hence the last picture). I'm spoiled.

In my effort to repay him, I just made some gluten-free brownies with homemade buttercream frosting. Yeah, that just happened. Because calories don't count after 10:00 at night, right? Yeah, pretty sure that's how it works...

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Peter Pan, Polka Dots, and Pleats

Spring has sprung! Well... at least most days of the week. On the day of this photo shoot at Daybreak Lake it was particularly lovely and sunny. Yesterday, on the other hand, it snowed. Today, the season depended on the hour. I woke up to snow, in the early afternoon it rained, and by dinner time it was sunny. Oh Utah, it will never be said of you that you are predictable or boring. 

I love both the Peter Pan collar and polka dot trends. So, naturally when I saw this shirt I couldn't resist. Plus it's super flowy and pleated, so I'm thinking it will lend itself nicely to a future pregnant self. A shirt that looks good both when you're not pregnant and when you're ready to pop is a good thing, right? A girl's gotta plan ahead, after all. 

With the collar, pattern, and cut I feel like this shirt is a bold statement piece in itself. Therefore I decided to keep everything else simple, and paired it with some simple black skinny jeans, gold jewelry, and grey wedge booties. 
After years of being a stiletto girl, I've recently fallen in love with the wedge. They are so much more supportive and comfortable, while still giving me a much needed boost in the height department (without assistance I'm a measly 5'2"). I feel like I could walk around in these all day. 
The talented photographer Jesse Wride took these photos, and at the end we had Sam jump in for a few. All the people passing by thought we were taking engagements, so we decided to play along. Cue classic proposal pic:
This is actually the location where we took some of our engagement photos... 5 years ago. Wow! Time flies when you're having fun. I guess  it's good timing to get a few more couple pictures in the same location for old time's sake. 

I do love this man :) 

Blouse: Lush (Similar Here) | Jeans: H&M (Similar Here) | Wedge Booties: Forever 21 (Similar Here)  | Watch: Geneva (Similar Here) | Lipstick: Revlon 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Springtime Accessory Giveaway Winner!

The Spring Time Giveaway hosted by myself and Emma Cristy of now closed.  The winner of the two statement necklaces, nail polish, and faux leather hair bow tie is...
Congratulations Melissa!  We will contact you shortly so you can receive your prize :) And Thank you all for participating!  Have a great Wednesday!

Klair's First Roadtrip: Viva Las Vegas

This past weekend we decided to do something arguably crazy: we took an (almost) 16 month old on a road trip. Our original plan was to have Klair stay with her grandma, but she became ill and on a whim we decided to just take baby girl with us. Our travel companions, Brittney and Jesse, love Klair and when we proposed the idea to them they were fully supportive. 
Thus, we all piled in to our SUV and headed south to Sin City. 

Now I'm sure you're probably wondering why we would take a baby to Las Vegas of all places. Well, first off, we stayed with Brittney's parents who live in a nice neighborhood (so we weren't on the strip the whole time). They were such kind, gracious hosts and made us feel very much at home. Second, we're Mormon... remember? Our trips to the bustling desert metropolis don't look much like the Vegas vacations that most people take. Our stay consisted of good food, shopping, a children's museum, swimming, parks, and generally enjoying the perfect warm weather. Brittney's family has a pool, so we took advantage of it. Klair was a little timid with the water and insisted on clinging to us at first, but eventually she warmed up to it and had a good time. 

I can't wait for the weather to warm up enough in Utah so we can enjoy more days like these. 
We managed to go to church and the temple while we were there, and it was really enjoyable and uplifting. The members in Vegas are so warm and loving. It made me want to be better, kinder, and more outgoing. Also, the temple in Vegas is beautiful--especially the grounds. 
The flowers were so vibrant, I could have stayed there all day. 
 Klair was one happy little baby wandering through the gardens at the temple. 
 The craziest thing we did while we were in Vegas was the roller coasters at the top of the stratosphere. I was convinced they would be really fun--I had no idea just how tall that building is, and how high up those rides really are. When we got to the top, it took all my courage not to get back on the elevator and return to a lower altitude. There were a few moments when I thought my life was over and I literally braced myself for the end. Luckily, I lived to see another day. While we were waiting in line for the ride that dangles you over the edge (the scariest one in my opinion) the song "What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger" came on. This became our motto for the adventure. And, although I would never do it again, I'm glad that I can say I conquered my fear. 
Also, since I didn't get killed, apparently I'm stronger for it? I'll take it.
This is a photo Sam took from the top of the Stratosphere... impressive, right? 
Klair came up with us and she kept saying "wow" repeatedly while staring out the windows. It was really neat seeing that view, but it was even more amazing to see it through her eyes. 
Overall, we had such a wonderful time. I cannot emphasize enough how amazing Brittney's family was to take us in, and how much fun we had with the Leavitt's and the Wride's! Even though the car ride was a little rough at times with a baby (we drove at night to minimize the effect on Klair and she slept for most of it), Klair did so well and I think she enjoyed herself almost as much as we enjoyed having her with us. 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Second Anniversary of the Best Surprise

Two years ago today I took a pregnancy test. Sam was working from home, and I suspected that I might be pregnant. This wasn't the first time I had taken one, and I didn't think it would be the last. We had been trying for about 4 months to no avail, and in February we decided to put the whole pregnancy thing on hiatus for awhile. The let downs had been really emotional for me, and it had only been few months. I can't even begin to fathom the loneliness and despair that accompanies real and prolonged issues with infertility. My heart aches for those who experience it, because the tiny taste that I had was harder than I could have imagined it would be. I had a lot on my plate at the time with teaching, so we decided to get through the year and reevaluate our family planning in the summer. Thus, because we hadn't been actively trying to get pregnant the month before, I was skeptical taking the test. I took it anyway, and what happened was the most meaningful surprise of my life:


I was pregnant!!!

Sam and I were both shocked, and happier than we knew we could be. There are moments in life when the love of God is so apparent, so tangible that the distance between heaven and earth seems negligible. This was one of those moments. We laughed, we cried, I made a comment about how I wished the bathroom was cleaner for the sake of a nicer looking memory... and we began to dream. Before, I had been too afraid to really let myself think of what our child would be like for fear that it may never happen. Now, with those double lines beaming up at us, we started to let ourselves imagine the baby that was growing within me.

I don't think either of us could have dreamed up someone so perfect.
That was two years ago. Since that day, we've ridden this crazy world around the sun--twice. And, it has been the best, hardest, and most meaningful 731 days of my life of my existence. Everything that I am--both in this life and before it--has led me to this, and I'm convinced it's more important and beautiful than I can even comprehend. That's an odd thought. The relationship between parent and child is more magnificently and mysteriously beautiful than we can possibly perceive. Try as I might, my finite brain will never comprehend the infinite magnitude and wonder of the work that Sam and I are currently engaged in. It's a humbling idea.
Klair means everything to Sam and me. She is the perfect representation of the love that we have for each other, and of the love that God has for us. In her two years with us she has taught us more about life and love than we managed to learn in our 20 plus years before her.

Her name means light, and that is exactly what she is. She is our light.
With Klair, it's the little things that matter most. And, of course, it's those same little things that often go forgotten if they aren't recorded and cherished. That's the main reason I started this blog, and although I like to attempt various things, I don't want to lose sight of that. Thus, in commemoration of my two year anniversary of being with my sweet (literal) angel, here are some of my favorite "little" memories that I never want to forget--moments when the curtains of heaven were parted and the love of God was so strong that I literally felt embraced:

The moment we found out we were pregnant with her (obviously).

The first time we saw her on an ultrasound. She was 11 weeks old, and her little arms and legs were swimming away. I asked the technician if this was any indication of how she would be--it was. She's still constantly on the go.

The next ultrasound, where we found out that she was in fact a she. Our doctor gave us a complimentary gender check, but it was literally in-and-out. We wanted more, so we immediately booked an appointment at a fetal photo studio and we were able to watch her for about a half an hour. We purchased the DVD of this ultrasound and probably watched it a hundred times after too.
The first time I felt her kick. Sam was laying his head on my belly at the time, and the pressure made her footwork apparent enough for me to notice it.

The first time Sam felt her kick. A little over a week after I felt her, Sam was able to feel her too. It was amazing to be able to share in that experience with him (this picture is from that night).
The first time we put headphones on my belly for Klair to listen to. Sam wanted her to listen to Johnny Cash, I wanted it to be something more meaningful. We settled on a song that Sam had written and dedicated to his future child a few years before. It was perfect. (Her next song was something by Johnny Cash).

All the times I sat in the rocker in her nursery, dreaming of the babe that had already captured my heart and soul.

The moment she was born.
 Heaven wasn't just nearby, it was in my arms.
Also, how wide-eyed and alert she was from the beginning. She was very aware of her surroundings, and she was born with a smile on her face.

Seriously, this is the first picture ever taken of her. 
The first time she really cried. She was sleeping on my chest, nestled into me. The nurses came to examine her, and the moment they removed her from my arms she cried out in the sweetest, most soul-wrenching sound I had ever heard. That's right, sweet and soul-wrenching. Until that moment I had never realized just how complimentary those two things could be.

Her first real bath (once we no longer had to sponge her)--and all the bath times since. This girl loves the water, and bath time has always been an incredible joy.
When we put her in the baby swing we bought her that first Christmas. For her first 2 weeks she was very easy going. Around the two week mark, she started getting fussier. We purchased the swing with the hope that the swaying motions would help with those harder times--and it did. She loved that swing, and we loved how much she loved it. It was a lifesaver with good, happy, lovey feelings all around.

There was this one night that sticks out in my mind. It was getting close to bed time, and I laid her on the floor so she could look up at me. I ran my hair over face, talked to, and played with her and she really interacted back. She smiled, cooed, and enjoyed it so much. It was the first time we played together.

Her baby swing had this little mobile with birds that would spin and play music. The first time she looked up and noticed these birds her entire face lit up and emanated pure joy. It was so sweet, and I'll never forget it.

The day she was blessed by her loving dad was so special and spiritual. As Sam blessed her and spoke of her life, I was so proud and humbled by the greatness of this little soul that God has entrusted me with. I also felt a surge of gratitude for a husband who holds the priesthood and can administer these sacred, special ordinances to our family.
Another swing memory. Can you tell this was an important part of her early life? I went to get her out of her swing one day, and I called her by name in a lovey kind of voice. She looked up, and let out a little laugh. It was brief, but even Sam was there to witness that it was her first laugh.

A few weeks later, she really laughed. Rather than explain, I'll let you simply watch. 
This video speaks for itself.

The first time she rolled over. She was so triumphant, I was so proud.
Nursing. All of it. I loved nursing so much. It was an incredible bonding time that I experienced everyday, multiple times a day for 14 months. Even though I know it was the best decision for her to stop feeding a few months ago, I still miss it terribly sometimes.

On that note, there are some breastfeeding experiences that are particularly poignant. All the times we were able to escape various parties and social gatherings to some room to spend quiet moments together. The first time she ran her fingers through my hair. She was so gentle with her tiny, delicate hand. After this she would also frequently stroke my face, and arm as if to say "Thanks, Mama." The countless times that she fell asleep in my arms after feeding, snuggled up close--so tiny, so trusting.
How sweet she looks when she sleeps.

The first time she bore weight on her legs. I screamed out in excitement, "You're standing!" She responded with immediate laughter. She was so proud of herself. We both laughed for awhile. This picture was taken awhile after this experience.
She constantly wanted to practice standing.
The first time she slept next to me. Prior to her ability to roll over I had been a real stickler about letting her sleep in our bed. Once she had good head control and could roll over, I gave in a bit. I brought her in our bed with us one morning and she laid next to me--our faces pressed so close together that I could feel her sweet breath on my face. I thought my heart would burst it was so full of love and gratitude. After this it became a pretty regular occurrence for her to come and sleep with us for a bit in the morning. Laying there with the two most important people of my life--those are some of the happiest, loveliest memories I have.

The first time she was able to gaze at the sky. It was one of the first warm days since she was born, and we left the cover off of her carseat as we pushed her through the parking lot at Home Depot (of all places).
She was in awe as she stared at the bright blue sky.
Her first time on a swing. It was another of those first nice Spring days. Sam and I walked over to a park near our house. Sam carried her in the baby bjorn, and he sat in the swing like this. Klair loved swinging with her dad, and I enjoyed watching.

After we moved from our house into a temporary rental, Klair became very ill. She was teething, sick with a cold, and adjusting to a new place. It was all too much for her and she wouldn't leave my side. For several days she was literally attached to me. And, although it was extremely difficult having such a sick child, it was also very beautiful. She needed me, and my mere presence was enough to calm the storm within her. As long as I was there, she was okay.

All the times we took her on walks through the park and we laid (and later sat) on the grass and under trees just to escape the house and enjoy some nature. She was so happy, and content on these days.
Watching her examine a leaf intently. Seeing how quickly she learned to pull up the grass after I showed her how easily it could be done (in retrospect it probably wasn't the best thing to show her).
All the times I've taken her places and she has gone from fussy to social. My baby girl loves to get out of the house and go go go.
The first time she said "mama" at about 3 months old while crying. Whether or not she knew what it meant, she would say it all the time.

The first time she said "mama" and I know for a fact without a doubt that she meant it.

The first time she showed real excitement when Sam came home. Now, she gets excited every time he comes home. It's the highlight of her day. She also cries when he leaves. It breaks.her.heart that he has to go to work everyday--another example of something that is both sweet and heart-wrenching.
She loves her "dada." 
When she said "hi" and waved--her first word and action combo. When she said "hi dad!" her first phrase. ... and all the other words that rapidly followed. "wow" (this word started with the fan in our room and is still a favorite) "what" "hello" etc.

Her love of cell phones. She likes to pick them up (and anything that slightly resembles one) and say "hi dad!"

Her first trip to the pool. She loved the water. 
And I just love the way she looked in her little swim suit.
Also, swimming lessons. She did so well, nothing scared her.

Scooting. What more can I say? Could anything be cuter? I love that she walks, but I miss her scooting days.

The first time she kissed me, and all of the thousands of kisses we've received since. She loves to randomly surprise attack us with kisses, and she even makes the kissing noise now. And she likes to blow kisses. Nothing is sweeter.
The way that she loves Rosie and constantly gives her hugs and kisses. They also play fetch and tug of war together.
Their bond started as soon as Klair came home.
Her interest in her reflection and videos of herself from an early age. 
She loves herself. Understandably so.
The way she adores balloons. When we're at the store and I start hearing her say "wow, wow, wow" I know that a balloon display is somewhere nearby. She always notices the balloons first, and I often cave and buy her one.
Her love of swings. This girl could swing all day and be very content.
Every time she has shown enthusiasm towards other people. She is such as social butterfly! She loves and smiles at everyone, and often waves with an enthusiastic "hi" upon seeing someone new. Additionally, she adores other kids, and is fearless in approaching other babes to play with.
I love how sweet, and happy she always is, and always has been. 
5 days old: 
1 year old: 

Always happy. 

She also adores slides, and wants to go down them without our help. And stairs. Climbing and sliding down stairs is the bees knees.
The first time he saw snow and said "wow, wow, wow!" Well, all the times she's said that. 
It's kind of her thing. 
How quickly she took to opening presents on her birthday, and her love of cake. 
Christmas morning. And all other holidays for that matter.  
Every one has been so fun with little girl.
New Year's Eve and our midnight kiss (she woke up just in time for the big moment).
The first time she played in the snow. She immediately, fearlessly took to sledding.
All of the times we've read to her, from gestation to the present. This girl LOVES books. She's obsessed. She prefers reading books to playing with toys.
If one of us isn't reading to her, we often find her reading to herself.
I could go on and on and on. And, now that I've started looking through all of her old pictures, I recognize that I need to stop before I get sucked in forever. Basically, every moment with Klair has been special, profound, and beautiful. I wish that my memory was better and that I could retain all the little things that have made me happier than I can express. I guess I'll just live moment to moment, and try and take as much in as I can possibly hold.

The lyrics to one of my favorite songs just came to mind, and I think it's the perfect sentiment to wrap this post up with.

"If the world could remain within a frame like a painting on a wall, 
then I think we'd see the beauty then. 
We'd stand staring in awe at our still lives posed, like a bowl of oranges. 
At the story told by the fault lines and the soil."
- Bright Eyes "Bowl of Oranges"

Klair is the color in our painting. 

p.s. If you haven't entered This Giveaway yet, there's still a little time left!
p.p.s. This post is part of "The Little Things" link-up.