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Wednesday, January 22, 2020


Jambo (That's hello in Swahili. If you know, you know).

This picture has nothing to do with this post, but I am learning to accept winter for what it is because these views are not bad at all (more on that below)! Utah mountains are beautiful and I love photographing them.

It's 2020! What?! Didn't you think we would all be wearing bright silver jumpsuits and everyone would be driving flying cars (well, flying cars exist, but, I digress).

I know it's super trendy to have a word for the year, but I'm a follower (Ha! Oh, yea, that's me...), so I had to come up with a word for this year. It helps me stay focused and organized.


Oh, this word, you guys. This word. There is so much that encompasses this, for me.

For me, Acceptance means:

Accepting my body for the way it currently is. Accepting doesn't mean that I give up. It doesn't mean that I stop working out, eat like crap, and not take care of it. It means accepting the fact that my body is different post-baby. It does not make me less than or affect my worth because my body has changed. It means accepting the PCOS and depression and the gift of childbirth that accompanies it and dealing with it. It means owning the changes and continuing to stay active and moving in ways that make me happy.

Accepting my new role as a stay at home mother. I love tutoring and I enjoy the having a positive impact on these individual students, but I am not going to lie, I miss the classroom! I change my mind what I want to do every single day. One day I never want to go back to the classroom, the next day I want to go back part time, and the next day, I want to go back full time. I devoted seven years of my life to teaching in a classroom and my new normal is so different. It is wonderful, but it is different. I just keep telling myself once I have children I won't have time to think about missing the classroom. ;)  I know this sounds like I don't enjoy being a mother. That is not the case at all. I love it. I love setting my own schedule. In fact, I am surprised how busy I keep myself (it must be the teacher in me!). It's just different! My child and future child(ren) (no, not pregnant) need me at home right now. Teaching will always be there.

Accepting winter for what it is. Ugh, winter. It's so hard, ya know? I am so grateful that I live in a state that has the sun come out, though! I try to not let the winter stop me from doing too much, but I definitely feel myself hibernate a little in the winter (as, I have noticed, a lot of people do! Ha). I am learning to embrace winter, though. I am allowing myself to slow down, enjoy winter things and let our home slow down! Plus, the snowy mountains with a clear blue skies are unreal.

Accepting that I can't do all the traveling and things I want to at this stage of my life. The FOMO is real with this one (me, if you didn't get that). I am getting better as I get older and have children, but I want to do ALL THE THINGS. I am an introvert, but I love to have fun and socialize. I want to go to every concert, every movie, every activity, and most prevalent, I want to travel everywhere!!!! I am accepting that I can't do it all. I am so grateful for what I am able to do and what we are given. I am learning to be happy with where my family is at: my cute little family, my cute little home, and our simple life is simply...well, wonderful. There are seasons for everything and I'm learning to love all Seasons (figuratively and literally).

Accepting my abilities. I made some goals for the New Year. But, to be fair, they aren't really new goals. Many of them are things that I already do and I wanted to continue them! Some days I don't do everything. Some weeks I don't get to it at all. AND THAT'S OKAY!!! Accepting the good things about myself is the most important part. We need to try to progress, but accepting ourselves is the first key to progress. :)

Image may contain: possible text that says 'Weekly Journal Daily Emotional 20 minutes of alone time/Meditation Make bed. Monthly Massage Mental Tutor students/work. Weekly Family Planning Meeting Read ~4 books a month. (50 for year). Physical Move! Steps! Workout ~3x Spiritual Personal Study A Attend temple Social Come, Follow Me Family Study Tap Class, weekly outings with Bunco, Book Club.'

What are you working on accepting in your life?

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Georgia One Year

Happy First Birthday to our Georgia Peach!

*These photos are from her first photos shoot the day before her birthday and on her birthday party.

You have been in our lives for an entire year, on November 12. I genuinely cannot believe it. This was the fastest year of my life (and I hear it just goes faster!).

You have brought so much joy, happiness, laughter, connection, spunk, tenacity and intelligence into our home. You love to socialize with any and all family and friends. You love all of your aunts, uncles, grandparents and cousins. You love babies and friends your age. You adore "big" kids, too. You love anyone who will give you attention ;). You are an extrovert, through and through. You love people and smile at the random people in the grocery store. Your smile lights up a room and you stop  being told what to do. You are independent and fierce. You LOVE all animals and anything animal related--stuffed animals, real live animals, and animals on the TV. You like to eat, but you would prefer to move and play. You still only have two teeth (I cannot believe it!) and are walking along things and pushing your walker, but not walking on your own yet. This is not a big deal, but I am so surprised because you are so physical and love to move and you were crawling by seven months. You love Baby Signing Time and any Disney move with singing. You are starting to absolutely love books and looking at the pictures. You love singing and music and clapping along with people who are singing to you. She is absolutely adorable with her cheeks and we love her so much inside and out.

Her first birthday party was so fun and cute! I did a Georgia Peach theme with Georgia peach sugar cookies, a white cake with a peach on it, peach banner, and fun pictures everywhere. She loved the attention, but was also very confused by it. She liked the cake, but thought it was even more fun to eat with a spoon. She especially loved it when her cousins helped her eat the cake and show her what to do.

We love this girl and don't know what we did without her!

Friday, November 1, 2019

Seasons of Change

I love living in Utah. I love the gorgeous mountains. I love the change of the seasons. I love that there are four seasons that I get to enjoy. I like that flowers grow in the Spring. I love the unreal colors of the trees in the mountains in the Fall. I enjoy the snow falling on Christmas morning. The hot summers definitely feel like Summer--swimming in lakes and pools. 
But there is something difficult about seasons changing, for me, too. 
I tend to struggle emotionally with change of seasons. I know it sounds crazy but I truly believe that the tilt of the earth and the change of weather truly affects people. I saw it with my students when I was teaching. When there was any change of weather, a Full Moon, or a season change, they acted a different way--they were more lethargic, or, perhaps, more energetic, depending on those factors. 
I find my body doing the same thing.
I find that the hardest change is towards the end of October, when it is changing from Fall to winter. I think that my seasonal affective disorder is very triggered and those few weeks are the hardest. The cold days and the dark nights are just the worst. Ha! 

My life is in constant change. Having babies and kids means your life is in a everchanging--hourly, daily, weekly, monthly and yearly. My life is constantly in a state of "figuring things out" and then it changes again. I just feel like I have the baby thing down and now Georgia is becoming a toddler. Then, in the next couple years, I'll have another baby again. And the cycle continues. It's part of life and it's amazing and difficult and worth it. It's true what they say that the only constant is change. 

I am grateful that I have coping skills for when I feel like my Depression and/or Seasonal Affective Disorder kick in. I am grateful that I can see myself spiraling and just giving myself grace to slow down and be intuitive. I am grateful that I am able to see those things in myself so that I can still take care of myself so that I can be a good mother. 

And I am grateful that Halloween is over and we can enjoy the Holidays. ;) 

Friday, October 4, 2019

Motherly Bodies.

Nine months. I carried you for nine months.
You caused me to become anxious, cry a lot and become depressed.
You caused me, even more so, to look in the mirror and rub my stomach in awe.
You caused me to itch, become severely fatigued and anemic, gain stretch marks and weight.
I am grateful that my PCOS body—hormonal, overweight, and prone to acne, birthed you.
I am grateful you came into my life.
I wouldn’t change my experience to have you in my life.
I cry thinking how much I love you.
You bring me so much purpose, so much joy, and so much happiness.
As I look in the mirror, I rub my stomach in awe.
Not for what you gave me, but what it has caused me to look like.
Stretch marks.
Fat. Lots of fat.
Saggy breasts.
Why do I focus on that?
Why can’t I focus on what you have given me?
You are worth the
Stretch marks.
Saggy breasts.
But society tell me it’s not okay.
Society tells me that I’m less than because of my weight.
Society, (perhaps my parents and family members and friends?) Judge that I look the way I do.
I’m tired of it.
I am proud of my
Stretch marks.
Saggy breasts.
They have given me YOU. Your strong personality. Your joyous smile.
My body has carried you, birthed you, and fed you.
My worth is not my weight.
My worth is not my weight.
My worth is not my weight.
Ten months you’ve been with us.
And I thank my body everyday.
Or, try to.

Monday, August 12, 2019

On Being a Mother and Not Going Back to School.

Georgia is nine months old today. I can hardly believe it. These past nine months have gone A LOT faster than the nine months she was in my stomach (and a lot more enjoyable). Being a mother has been so fun. I was genuinely nervous that I would not know how to be a mother, or even enjoy it because I have been in my "career" (even though my career was dealing with children). Don't get me wrong, there are days when I NEED to have some alone time, but Georgia is incredibly happy, social, and adorable  that it makes it so fun! I also think that being a teacher has helped me to multitask in many facets in motherhood (one kid--that's way easier than managing 30 sixth graders at the same time).
School starts next week around these parts and I am having a little bit of an existential crisis. "Did I make the right decision?!?!" Although making the decision to be home with G is the correct decision, it makes me a little bit sad to see all of the Back to School posts and all of the teachers getting their classrooms ready. I feel like I should be in my classroom getting everything ready. That is what I have been doing during this week for the past seven years and it's quite a change to be doing something different.
Life changes are a funny thing. Even though you know you make the correct decisions, the natural man in us "questions" ourselves and our intuition.

Plus, I know that I will get over this back-to-school sadness after like a day... Ha.

I am still tutoring throughout the school year and subbing one-two times a week so I will still have my "foot in the door" to keep my license up, so I hopefully will fill the void of being with students.

Don't worry, I am going on a girls trip this weekend to ease the pain ;)

Also, here is a picture of Georgia at nine months. LOOK AT HER. She's so stinkin cute.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Having an Open Dialogue in the LDS Culture.

It's been a while, eh?
This blog ebbs and flows with my life and I think that's how it should be.

I had a baby. This is Georgia. She is seven months old and I just love her so much I want to eat her (normal, right? How could you not with that face?). She's the happiest baby ever and brings so much joy to our lives.

Since having Georgia, I have been having so many thoughts about how to raise her and what I want to show her, as a mother.
Because of this, I have a bone to pick with some of the culture that I am involved in.
Me, opinions? Shocking, I know.

I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. To many of you, we are "Mormons." We have, however, been encouraged to not use this term because we believe in Christ. People seem to forget that we are Christians, but I digress. For the sake of this post, I will be using "LDS culture" to talk about the this particular issue.

Sometimes I fear expressing concern about the LDS culture because we, generally speaking, have a bad reputation. Too many people have misconstrued views and opinions of "my people" and I hate to feed the tiger, if you will. But, on the other hand, because I was raised in a different world that I currently live in (Raised in Oregon. Currently live in Utah), I feel like this discussion needs to be taking place.

*perfect transition here*

I like to talk. I am an introvert, but I enjoy conversing with others about real topics and issues and views (no small talk, please). I love having real relationships with people. It is something I value and that I put time into because it's important to me.
Because I value relationships and friendships, I find it incredibly empowering to have an open dialogue. I have always been an open book when it comes to my views, issues and personality traits. I find that I have nothing to hide and much to share.
But, I, unfortunately, have repeatedly seen too many incidents where people are not HAVING DISCUSSIONS ABOUT DIFFICULT THINGS.

It is hard to talk. Especially about difficult things. It can be awkward to have a discussion with your child, friend, family member, or spouse, but I am a strong believer that if we have an open dialogue in our relationships, so many more issues would be resolved.
I am constantly asking Tanner, "Why are people so scared to just have the conversation?"

I think the LDS culture struggles to have an open dialogue about difficult topics (i.e. sex, LGTBQ issues, racial inequality) for the following reasons:
1. Members don't have the skills to communicate difficult topics without feeling awkward or uncomfortable.
2. Members are too emotionally-tied to the situation or "feel too bad." Often people don't want to talk about a situation because they don't want to hurt other people's feelings.
3. Members don't have enough knowledge about the topic and aren't willing to see the other side or perspective and the lack of knowledge just leads to avoidance of discussing the topic at all.

It's not okay.
We need to talk to our children.
We need to talk to each other.
We need to talk!!!!!!!!

Have the discussion. Have the discussion with your child about sex and STI's. Have a discussion about what options there are if they choose to have sex.
Have a discussion with your son about consent and what it look and sounds like.
Have a discussion wiht your child about their testimony. Have a discussion with your child if they WANT to serve a mission. And if they don't, discuss ways to help their testimonies or other options.
Have a discussion with your spouse about your finances.  What are you spending money on? What expectations do you have regarding cost of living, etc.
Have a discussion with your spouse about your sex life. What do each of you like? What are you expectations?
Have a discussion with your child about their future and what goals they want? Do they want to go to a trade school? College? Masters degree.
Have a discussion with your children about having goals. Discuss with your daughters to have hobbies and goals...not just "marry someone rich." Help encourage them to pursue something that they love and to experience LIFE.
Discuss with your children the expectations of cleanliness and what that means.
Discuss with your children and friends about the temple. Guess what, friends? Did you know that you can talk about most of happens in the temple? Share!!! It's not a secret.
We need to have an open dialogue with your friends about motherhood and the wonderful, hard aspects about it.
Have an open dialogue with your friends about politics without getting too emotional or focused on your own personal political agenda.
Have an open dialogue about frustrations! With your career, with your religion, etc.
Have an open dialogue with your friends, parents, spouse, kids, about your emotional well-being.
Have a discussion with your daughters about getting married young and the dangers about that.
Have a discussion with your sons about what it means to be respectful to a woman.
Talk to your kids about body image and to be grateful for what their bodies can do.

And we need to be okay with others talking and struggling.
We need members who are willing to talk about their struggle with attending the temple and the real reasons why they aren't going.
We need members who are willing to talk about their struggle with their testimony because of addiction, mental illness, or just a change of beliefs.
We need members who are willing to talk! 
Because if we aren't willing to be talk and learn to see the other side, we are going to continuously be stuck and not progress.

It takes confidence, studying, and an open mind to have discussions like these. But I truly believe it is imperative and I would genuinely love to see it happening more. In relief society lessons, in homes, and in friendships, etc.

The entire purpose of our religion is to be Christ-like. Christ was not timid. Christ called people out. Christ was kind, but honest. Christ had discussions with people of all variety. That is how we progress, friends.

I want Georgia to grow up in a world where can feel like she can have an open dialogue and communicate what she feels openly. With me. With others.

Go have a difficult discussion today.
I dare you.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Georgia Newborn Photos

I can't believe it's already been two weeks with our little girl. Here are her darling newborn photos! 

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving from us to you! 
Obviously we are so incredibly grateful for our new little girl this year. But, even more than that, we are so grateful for good family and friends, health, our freedom of religion, our jobs, our home, and so much more. 

Monday, November 19, 2018

Georgia Kay: Birth Story and Meaning of Name

Pregnancy Journey post here 

Georgia Kay 
November 12, 2018 4:05 am 
7 lbs 6 oz and 20.5 inches 

As I look back at these pictures, I am seriously brought to tears. The overwhelming love that happens when you birth a child is truly indescribable. I know the hormones are flowing and the exhaustion is so overwhelming that I feel like I could cry at anything right now (I may or may not have cried when I left to go to Walmart for fifteen minutes on her third day alive!), but these pictures made me even more emotional. 

This birth story went very differently than I imagined it would go. 
It was Sunday night. I was scheduled to be induced on Monday morning at 6 am because baby girl was a week overdue (longest week of my life!). During the weekend, I was getting flu-like symptoms. I was achy, throwing up, nauseated and had diarrhea. 
I was doing research and it said that some people have these signs a few days before labor, so even though I felt terrible, I had a feeling that meant baby was coming soon. I was at family dinner with my family and I was starting to feel some pain. I got home and started to feel contractions. The contractions were about 4-5 minutes apart after about an hour so T and I headed into the hospital around 9:00 pm. Once in the hospital, they monitored me because I was only dilated to a 1 1/2. After monitoring me for an hour and walking around for 45 minutes (through awful contractions), I hadn't made any progress, so they sent me home. I was livid! I was coming back the next morning to get induced!! 
I headed home and, well, you guessed it, my contractions were getting significantly worse. I took a few baths and sat on a yoga ball. I found that I couldn't sit to work through the contractions, though. The best way for me to work through the contractions was standing up and rocking. Even though the contractions were getting worse, I just assumed that I wasn't making enough progress because at the hospital, after two hours, I hadn't. I didn't want to head back to the hospital just to have them send me home again, so I waited it out for a little bit. But, eventually, the contractions were getting so painful and close together (like 1-2 minutes apart), that I was crying and screaming out loud. Before I knew it, my water broke.
So, obviously, we rushed to the hospital. Once I was there and they checked me in, I had dilated to a 7 (almost an 8!!). I had dilated from a 1 1/2 to a 7 in about 3 hours!! So, essentially, I did all of my labor at home without medication and didn't even know it!!! 
Even though I was progressing quick at this point, I was in so much pain, I screamed for an epidural. They gave it to me, but because the epidural takes at least fifteen minutes to kick in, it never really took full effect because in 15-20 minutes I had dilated from a 7 to a 10 and was ready to push in those few minutes!!! I think the epidural took the edge off of pushing a little bit, but it definitely did not really kick in. Ha. 
While pushing, Georgia's heart rate dropped, but because I was so "in the zone", I had no idea. I definitely could feel people pressuring and coercing me to keep pushing, but I truly just tried to listen to my body and push when I felt it. I pushed for about twenty minutes (maybe five pushes) and baby girl was here! 
So, in a nutshell, I arrived at the hospital at 3 am and she was born at 4:05 am. My sisters and mom were in the delivery room and they almost didn't make it! Ha. I basically gave a natural birth, but it was not even on purpose! I truly never expected my labor and delivery to go like that!! 
My recovery has been amazing. I went home to the hospital on Tuesday. I went to the store the day after we got home. I went on my first walk with Georgia! I am so amazed at the entire process. It truly is amazing to look back and see how my body went into gear and just knew what to do. 

Also, I am just grateful she wasn't a 10 pound baby. Haha. Both Tanner and I were big babies and I was a week overdue, so I thought for sure she'd be a chunker. But she was 7 lb 6 oz and most of the weight was in her cheeks :) 

During this time of year and Thanksgiving, I am so grateful for such a healthy labor, delivery and baby. I am constantly amazed at all of the things that could go wrong and I am so grateful for Georgia. We are exhausted and we are still trying to get the hang of things, but it is amazing to see how much T and I love her (I know it's cliche, but I didn't even know this kind of love was possible!). Georgia is loved by so many people. Nurses at the hospital had to kick people out from visiting because all of our family wanted to come and see her and snuggle her! She is beautiful (I may be a bit biased) and is a good eater. 

We named her Georgia Kay for a multitude of reasons. Georgia is my great great grandmother's name and Tanner's great great aunt's name, so it was a family name on both sides. Also, Tanner served his mission in Georgia, so that was just an added bonus. But, even more than that, we just thought the name was cute. Anyone who knows me knows that I can't stand weird, made up names with horrible spellings. But, I also wanted something a little unique (one where there aren't a million of them!). I felt like Georgia was a good combination--not weird enough for people to be like, "huh?" but unique enough that it felt special. 
Kay is my grandmother's middle name, also my sister's, and my niece who passed away from SIDS middle name. Kay is also Tanner's grandma's middle name and his sister's middle name as well. So the full name had lots of family and special meaning. 
And I feel like it fits her perfectly.