Some fun Elijah-isms for you today. 

The other day after Adam got him dressed for church and combed his hair, he went to look in the mirror and said, 
"Mom, mom, come here! Look! I look like Malfoy." 
Yes. Malfoy from Harry Potter. And no, we didn't tell him to say that. 
It was a proud mommy moment. Though I do wish he didn't look like Malfoy... 

Another Harry Potter reference. 
While watching Harry Potter tonight he said, 
"Look! That's Harry Potter's castle (Hogwarts). It's in Utah. I want to go to Utah too to see Jersey & Phoenix (his cousins)." 
Apparently all of Elijah's favorite things are in Utah: the BYU "Y" mountain, his cousins, and now Harry Potter. 

Almost every night at dinner, I ask Adam if it tastes okay. Mainly because I'm self-conscious and always am afraid I ruined it. Elijah has caught on to this "tradition" and he will ask each night, 
"Dad, it tastes okay? Mom, you taste okay? Now ask me." And then he wants me to ask him and he will say, "It's good!" 

After getting dressed up for church on Sunday Elijah said to me,
"Oh, Mom, you look so fancy!!"
I guess it's a miracle when I'm not in my pajamas. 

He's become the biggest sassy-pants lately! 
When I ask him to do something, or have to ask him multiple times, he says,
"o-KAY, Mom!"
Excuse me??? You are not 15. Do not start that. 

We have also had to have some very serious talks about him not body slamming mom in the mornings. Especially after a scary moment where my body cramped & seized up afterwards. He pretty much gets that there is a baby, more so when he sees the picture. But he doesn't quite understand that mom cannot move & play like before and he has to be so gentle.
Gentle is one word that doesn't quite describe Elijah... 

Elijah has gotten reallllly attached & emotional with me lately. 
Even when I'm mean & angry & moody all day to him all day, he's still obsessed with having me put him to sleep or cuddling or helping him to the simplest tasks. 
{I really am so undeserving of this little boy's love. Truly.} 
The other night [and also many other nights] he was so upset that Adam was putting him to bed instead of me he says, 
"Mom, I'm so sad! I just love you!! I'm going to miss you!" 
And then he walked away, pouting, hanging his head low as if he was on his way to the guillotine. 
Kind of broke my heart... but also I laughed really hard at his dramatics. 
[just like his mom ;)]

And that's my sweet little boy who puts a smile on my face every single day :)

my great loves

I think it's fairly obvious to say that Adam is my one true Great Love. And my love for him has grown immensely through the years we have been together and I know it will continue to grow. 

But I've thought a lot about the idea of "great loves" and think that I have had many great loves through my life. All in different circumstances & in different periods of my life that have shaped me to prepare me for my one true Great Love to come around.

My first ever "great crush" from elementary school which really consisted of any boy that would give me attention on the playground. Chasing and teasing soon ensued until a few weeks later I was over him. But oh my heart loved all those boys the same! And that passionate little girl never gave up.

That "love" crush from middle school that I have written all over my school notebooks. For years that love burned with no chance of return. I was heartbroken, but never deterred. My 13-15-year-old heart took the pain with the dignity of a 13-15-year-old, crying in my pillow at night. But I "loved" him. And looking back at how obviously silly I was, I learned how essential great friendship is! We became the closest of friends and I was grateful for it in many ways. And especially grateful that it taught me to be friends first with whoever I may end up with.

Then the "first love" boyfriend, who made me think I knew what love meant at the time and I had fallen head over heels for. So much so that I couldn't see straight and really made some terrible decisions. All in the name of love. But that experience taught me how to love and what a healthy love should really look like. 

Then there's the next real love boyfriend who motivated me to be better and helped lift me out from my horrible, dark cloud that I had been carrying over me for 2 years. He was the first one that I realistically could see myself ending up with. But I also learned that in order to truly give myself to someone I had to love myself first. And that person also had to love me for me, not insist on changing me to fit their standard.

After that came Adam, my true Great Love who loved me for me, even if he didn't necessarily agree with all the weird parts of me. But loved me anyways and fought for me from the beginning. The one who showed me that I could truly have a better life, that I was a good person, and worked along side me to be the best we both could be. He taught me what it means to enjoy life but to also have plans for the future to work towards. And from the love he has always shown me, he has given me even more Great Loves! 

Elijah: My second Great Love of my heart, a feeling that is so unconditional & overwhelming that I never imagined it would be possible. He pushes me and strengthens me every day. He is absolutely the reason I live & breathe. Though the time after his birth were a deep, emotional struggle for me, only he could help pull me out of my selfishness and see that life was worth living. He is my whole heart. And no matter how many times he pushes me to the brink of insanity, I will love him all the same and never ever let him go for anything in this world. 

And my new little peanut: The third Great Love miracle we had been praying for. Though I'm filled with many different emotions, from being overwhelmed to being elated, this little nugget growing inside me already has all the love I can give. I am already nervous that I won't live up to the type of mother he/she needs me to be. And with all the love I have for Elijah, I'm nervous how I can love another little person just as much. But I already can feel my love grow immensely for the sweet spirit that is about to come into our family. And I count them as one of my Great Loves. 

All these loves, have helped me to where I am today, the good & the bad. Sometimes I look back and think I really never knew what love was. Or I was just a dumb, silly girl who gave my love away for undeserving causes. And I still believe this is true at times.

But now, with my three Great Loves in my life, I think how blessed I am that I have always lived a life full of love. Whether it be a silly playground crush, a favorite movie, or an amazing Oreo cookie, I live my life full of love. And sharing my love for others can't be such a terrible thing when even if for a moment that love, however silly or ridiculous it may seem, brings me the greatest joy.

So YES TO LOVE! Yes to GREAT loves! Yes to living your life full of of as much love and passion as you can give! Because without love, what is there??


I think the first step to finding and feeling that Great Love in your life, as I learned from when I met Adam, is loving yourself first! That means taking care of yourself inside & out. Being the best you can be and gaining faith in your own capabilities.

For me, I feel good about myself when my body is taken care of. Whether it be eating right or a good face mask & pedicure, I have the confidence to go out and put my heart on my sleeve. The Yes to Carrots Fragrance Free collection has helped me fall in love with my skin again and feel more free to love my skin again! Not only do they make my skin feel great, but I feel better about using it because of their natural ingredients & gentle products.

This year, they are starting the #YESTOMOVEMENT, which is a Hashtag Project and monthly photo contest with a prize for the favorite picture. This month's hashtag is #YESTOGREATLOVE and it's all about sharing that Great Love in your life!

You can also enter to win one of 500 Yes To Carrots Fragrance Free wipes! ONE IN 500! That's a lot of winners. So be sure to enter today (contest ends February 28th).

Thank you to YES TO for sponsoring this post and nourishing my skin naturally!

Inspiration: Mormon Temples

This weekend we have a very special opportunity to see the new Gilbert, Arizona temple be dedicated as a sacred & consecrated House of the Lord. For the last month or so, the Gilbert temple has been open to the public, those of every faith & background, to take a tour of the beautiful building for free. We were able to go with Elijah (which is a crazy story in itself...) and it truly is an amazing and remarkably gorgeous building!

If you have ever been interested in what a LDS (Mormon) temple looks like on the inside and what goes on in the temple, please watch the videos below for a rare look at a LDS temple. It will hopefully answer any questions you may have and also see the incredible beauty that is inside.

stream of consciousness

I just have a lot of random thoughts on my mind. And I decided I wanted to write it all down in a random blog post. So here it goes.

me at 16 weeks. and Adam laughed at my chubby cheeks so I tried not to smile too much... husbands...

:: I already feel like this pregnancy is going so fast and yet so slow! I'm 17 weeks today and sometimes I think, "Wow, I'm already 17 weeks??" But then I'm like, "I'm only 17 weeks!" So grateful for this little babe. But I'm already over the pregnancy business.

:: When you ask Elijah what the baby is he usually says it's a baby brother and his name is Peanut. Today though he said it's a sister. Don't get my hopes up kid! [Actually we would be so happy with either, truly :)]

:: This baby is super weird and picky about what I eat. I can't have any kind of refined sugar, at all! One cookie will take me out for hours and I feel like I want to die. I also can't have foods high in fat or just unhealthy food in general. Potato chips? Not a chance. I guess I'll stick to my carrots.

:: Speaking of eating healthy... I think it's great that there's (what seems to be) a huge movement now with everyone eating healthy and being more aware of what goes in their bodies. As someone who never really thought much about what I ate [I mean I would try to eat good portions and make homemade meals that I thought were healthy], it has really got me thinking more about what I'm putting in my body and has inspired me to really try harder to eat healthier. However, I have to admit I'm kind of sick of seeing articles every other day about how terrible every.single.thing.is for my body. All the things that I thought were fine and healthy, or just making sure I eat things in moderation, apparently will all kill me. The string cheese I eat every day probably has some kind of flesh-eating bacteria in it, sugar will give me cancer, milk will kill me, vegetables have poison on them, bread will stop your heart, and eating meat basically makes me the devil. Even the carrots that I keep as my staple probably grew out of the ground that was mistreated & has a crazy amount of chemicals on them... Can't I just eat what I want?? What happened to just being smart, eating things in moderation (even sugar!), and making sure you get your healthy amount of vegetables & fruits? I miss the simpler times...

(And I'm not trying to mock or anything. It's just all very overwhelming! Am I the only one who thinks so?)

:: I feel like all my pregnancy symptoms this time around is all the symptoms I didn't have with Elijah but are still annoying and/or make me miserable. I'm just as sick as I was with Elijah but a different kind of sick which almost makes it worse (plus chasing a toddler around), I swear I go through so much toilet paper, and my upper-chestal region has grown exponentially. It's so confusing... bodies are so weird, guys!

:: Elijah has been the sweetest little boy lately! For every crazy outburst that makes me want to curl up in a corner, he has the sweetest most heart-melting moments that make life worth living. I feel like I've fallen in love with so much more the last couple of months. I like that kid!

:: I've also realized a lot lately how great of a guy Adam is. He's just the best. I'm a lucky girl. Apparently these pregnancy hormones have really made me all touchy-feely :)

:: I'm reading Anne of Green Gables for the very first time and I'm kicking myself that I didn't read it sooner. I feel like it was some rite of passage in childhood that I never did and I always feel so out of the loop when people reference it. I am now in love with Anne and secretly wish I was her and now I want to move to Nova Scotia and live on a big plot of land with flowers and trees everywhere and a brook. This is now my biggest dream and if we live anywhere else I will be deeply disappointed and my soul will writhe in unfulfilled agony.

And these are my random thoughts on a Thursday afternoon. What random thoughts are on your mind? :)

I choose you

Since I didn't really keep my promise about blogging for marriage week {cause this little baby peanut is all like, "Let's do first trimester again for old time's sake!"} I'm going to try to pick up where I left off. :) 

These last couple of weeks, as school has kept Adam busy and glued to studying his notes all day, I've felt my gratitude for this man of mine grow so much. Kind of funny that the time when Adam is most busy have I felt the most gratitude. But during this time I have come to appreciate him so much more. 

See, Adam studies a lot. A lot a lot. And it shows in his schoolwork. He is #1 in his class and gets the highest marks on all his projects. But even with all that studying & all that education dedication, he is still there for me and Elijah when we need him.  

I know that most of the time it might be easier for him to study at school. Or to stay late after school and on weekends instead of study in the room listening to me and Elijah bickering most of the time... But he also knows that I appreciate him here. And that Elijah wants him here. And so he comes home and is the calming presence I need when my mothering days are rough. 

I know I take these moments for granted and I am lucky that Adam is home and spends time with us. When I hear other student wives say how their husbands are gone all day and weekend studying, usually late into the night and barely home for dinner, I feel a rush of amazement at my own husband and his sacrifice to stay home with us over being at school. And then I feel kind of guilty that even if I might feel like I'm having a rough time, I really am lucky that he's there to help out more often than he really has to. 

[and not that those couples who do that aren't happy! I know they are perfectly happy and amazing couples. I just know that would be much harder for me personally so I'm grateful Adam comes home.]

He could choose to be gone more. And that would be perfectly understandable! Anyone in our position would never fault him in his choice to use every free moment he had to study & be gone from his family at school or locked up in a room. I would even understand. And I have never demanded that he comes home instead of staying to study, I support him as much as I can to let him focus on his schoolwork as much as possible. But at the same time, he knows and I know that his choice to be with his family over schoolwork has greatly blessed our lives and make us much happier these last 2 years than anything ever could. 

And this is what I have realized has been the key to us surviving the long, tumultuous years of schooling. Choosing each other even if it means an hour or two less study time. And I think because of that choice, we have been blessed beyond measure, including great grades for Adam. :)

Choosing time. Always a key component to a happy family & marriage. 

my long-lasting bathroom aversion

This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™ and Cottonelle but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #CtnlCareRoutine  http://cmp.ly/3/8vNxcO

So let's talk about my favorite subject: bathrooms.

That is my absolutely least, most hated topic ever!!!!

I HATE everything and anything that has to do with bodily, bathroom function topics. 
I hate being in the bathroom. Just having to go to the bathroom makes me feel like a disgusting human being. And if I think about it too much (which I sometimes allow myself), I just am so shocked and grossed out that I swear I'll never go to the bathroom again. 

So now that you know this about me, imagine this person having to potty train a little boy! 

{And seriously, he's gross. He's already into all the potty humor stuff and I want to die.} 

I put off potty training Elijah for a long time specifically because I just couldn't mentally handle having to deal with potty messes and figuring out how to get a crazy toddler to do his business in a disgusting porcelain pot in the worst room in the house. And now teaching him to wipe, correctly without getting everywhere or all over him... [*gags*] has been a true challenge. 

Thank goodness for my new little friend: Cottonelle Clean Care Routine with Cottonelle Cleansing Cloths! 

I was using baby wipes when I first started with Elijah, particularly when going #2, because I hated how regular toilet paper aggravated his sensitive skin. And it never seemed to clean him all the way. 
Adam would give me speeches about not being biodegradable or possibly clogging the toilet and what-not... But I hated doing what I was doing in the first place that I was going to do whatever it took to make it a bit more easier/cleaner. 

So when I heard about the Cottonelle Clean Care Routine and Cottonelle Cleansing Cloths and how well they clean PLUS are they are flushable, that just made everyone in our family happy. And it has helped with the process of getting Elijah more independent in the bathroom, which means me out of the bathroom more. 

I have to tell you. I have tried the Cottonelle Cleansing Cloths for myself and I love them!! Again, going to the bathroom is gross. And now that I'm pregnant and have to go more, I basically hate my life. But the Cottonelle Cleansing Cloths have definitely helped me leave the bathroom a bit happier instead of feeling plagued. 

And you want to know the best part?? When you purchase BOTH Cottonelle Clean Care toilet paper & moist Cleansing Cloths, you will receive a $5 Vudu offer. Vudu is like RedBox and offers HD movies. All you have to do is take a picture of the receipt showing that you purchased both items and text or email your picture to clean@drvusa.com. You will then get a text or email back with a code valid for a $5 move credit!  
Perfect for an in-home date night. 
You can find more information about it here.

Free movies & a clean, refreshed bum??
That makes us give a big thumbs up! :)

brag a little more about the ones you love

Did you know this week is National Marriage Week?
I didn't know about it until I started working with StrongerMarriage.org and have since celebrated it ever since. And usually I like to celebrate it on my blog by preparing posts and guest posts for the week all about marriage. 

But seeing as I'm pretty behind with the whole blogging thing because of a certain little peanut, I didn't really plan much this year. However, I have been thinking about it a lot lately and contemplating my own thoughts on marriage especially how to strengthen my own relationship. 

So I thought I would take this week to share some of my own personal posts & thoughts about marriage to celebrate the week of love! :)

This last Saturday Adam made Elijah French toast, cleaned the kitchen, vacuumed, did laundry, and helped Elijah listen to One Direction's "Story of My Life" 83 times in a row. Oh, and he studied like a champ. Meanwhile I slept in and took a super long shower. I can't even think of anything productive I did actually...

I was thinking about this later and thought about how truly lucky I got. And I really don't take the time to acknowledge it enough. 

I've been known to say that I don't really believe in the idea of making a big deal out of husbands helping around the house. Usually when I see social media statuses bragging about people's husbands, I just think it's kind of funny... I mean, I know that they are most likely gone most of the day working and maybe it's the wife's "responsibility" to be the one that cleans. But to me, helping clean the house or helping out with the children is all part of the marriage covenant we make, to be partners with one another in all things. So in my mind, they should be helping clean the dishes or help put the kids to bed at night. Because that's what we promised each other. And I hope Adam does feel like it's part of his responsibility to help out around the house, without having me to ask each time. 

And, in all honesty, if I don't get a big hurrah every time I wash the clothes, I'm not going to give it back. 

But then, this last Saturday, I was thinking how actually, Adam really does go above & beyond. He always has. And for some reason, he still does even when I don't always show my gratitude. 

And if I ever want him to show more gratitude to me, then I need to thank him more for what he does, even the little things. 

I have heard stories of other men (and women) who don't share a lot of responsibilities in their relationship. Or maybe they choose to study more and do chores less. And that works for them and they are happy. But I know at least for me, I wouldn't be happy in that kind of arrangement. And so I know I am indeed blessed to have a husband who chooses to help serve me and share my load when he has a million excuses not to. 

Just because we are in this together, doesn't mean I should take our relationship for granted. I can do so much better in showing him my gratitude for all that he does to help make my life easier and happier. Especially when I know he can always choose not to but instead does it anyways. 

So here's to bragging about him more. And being more vocally appreciative of everything he does for Elijah and I. And posting about him more Facebook. :) Cause he really does deserve it {even though I know I don't deserve his goodness}! 

I truly do love that man and can't believe how lucky I am that he picked me. He's made my life more genuinely happy than I ever thought possible. He's just the bee's knees :) 

Jolly Chic Valentine's Giveaway

It's the month of love! 
And to celebrate, I have a great giveaway for you today so you can get celebrate in style. 

Jolly Chic has some of the cutest clothing styles at great prices. From vintage dresses to fancy shoes, Jolly Chic's got it all. Here is just a small handful of favorite items I chose from their site. 

1 // 2 // 3 // 4

And this was just looking around for a couple of minutes!! After looking around longer my list was muuuuuch bigger :)

Today, Jolly Chic is giving one lucky winner a $80 account shop credit!
[The money will be added to your account where you can use it to buy whatever you'd like in their shop. :)]

Enter to win below.
Good luck!!

(open to international readers except those in Vietnam, Morocco, Venezuela, Algeria, or Tunisia)

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Valentine's Inspiration

"Don't withhold those natural expressions of love. Express gratitude for what your spouse does for you. Express that love and gratitude often, that will make life far richer and more pleasant and purposeful. Have faith in those promises and live to be worthy of them." 
-Richard G. Scott

miracle of life

I know I've been really quiet around here lately and kind of a bad blogger. 
Maybe this might help explain my absence... 

After a rough patch filled with lots of tears, prayers, and frustrations, we are SO excited to have our little family grow by one this coming summer!

Elijah is excited to be a big brother and already is asking to help feed the baby a bottle. And although I've been sick and miserable, I'm feel more and more excited to have another sweet spirit in our home.

I have been feeling a whirlwind of different emotions ever since we found out.
Happiness, disbelief, shock, overwhelmed, joy, guilt, gratitude, nervous...
But the farther along I get the more at peace I feel and know that we are blessed.

2013 was a rough one for me, partly because of this whole family planning business. Though I know our story isn't uncommon and there are many more who have been through so much more than we have, this experience has given me a greater realization that the Lord is truly in charge of all things. And that is why we must trust in Him and have faith in Him to help us through the difficult times.

There are so many things I will never ever understand in this life and couldn't understand. But I do know that it is only through Him that we can get through anything that life has to throw at us. Because He is still there for us even when we lose all hope.

So here's to life!! 
The miracle & beauty of life in all its forms. 

Victoria's Secret Valentine's Giveaway

No matter if you have a significant other or not this Valentine's Day, I believe, we as ladies deserve to be pampered. And what woman wouldn't want to feel super sexy?  24 of my favorite bloggers out there have teamed up to give one lucky lady a $215 gift card to spoil yourself silly!

Giveaway will run until February 14th. All entries will be verified, so play nicely :)

(Not open to international readers. I'm sorry!)
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