soccer mom

i'm officially a soccer mom.
and i seriously L O V E it!
never thought i would enjoy the title of "soccer mom" as much as i do.

i decided pretty last minute {i.e. the night before it started} to sign Elijah up for soccer.
i was debating about it all summer and then when i saw it was starting soon i just went for it.
our apartment is small, Elijah has toooooons of energy, and so i felt like it would be beneficial for all of us to have something productive for him to use up all his craziness on.

and he LOOOOOVES it!!
right after soccer is over, Elijah says he wants to do it again.
can't get enough!

i was nervous that he wouldn't really listen or know what to do
but he actually does really well.
[minus when he was being super stubborn last week...]

it's so funny to see his little legs try to maneuver the ball
and to watch how he runs full force across the gym.
{tongue wagging :)}

it's just another milestone that really accentuates how big and independent Elijah is getting.
it makes me so happy to see him grow up and & learn so many new things,
but at the same time i just want him to be my little baby for a little bit longer.

i mean seriously, soccer?!?!
how is time moving so fast!

but he's so dang cute at it :)

[i feel like it's impossible to get good pictures of running toddlers, especially inside. any pros/semi-pros have tips??]

forget me not

[couldn't find a source on the image]

i've been feeling pretty emotional & frustrated about things recently... 
life isn't perfect or fair most of the time. 

but i'm thankful for good friends who listen to me and the amazing power & inspiration from this talk that helps me remember that i am not forgotten. 

if you are having a rough time, or just need a little boost, i strongly encourage you to read this talk by Elder Uchtdorf and remember that you are of infinite worth

HUGE Fall Giveaway

I am so excited and honored to be a part of this amazing giveaway with 19 other great bloggers!

Stesha and Savannah, with generous contributions from 18 other bloggers, have put together an amazing giveaway for you today to celebrate Fall! The best part of this giveaway? There are NINE amazing prizes which means there will be NINE winners which also means your chances are pretty dang good in winning one of them! The first prize will be a $300 VISA GIFT-CARD to use for whatever the heck you want (I know, awesome!), as well as these eight fantastic gifts...

...from our eight fantastic sponsors (please go check out all of these sites, you'll love them!)

One of the nine winners will be chosen via Instagram as well. How you ask? Post about this giveaway using one of the pictures of the Fall loot above, and make sure you hashtag #fallgiveawaysarewhereitsat because that is how we will be choosing the winner.
May the luck be on your side!

Thank you to all of the sponsors and bloggers. You all rock.

You want to enter? You can do so right here...

the chocolate monster rears his ugly head

it feels like this has been Elijah's permanent face lately. 
and it's almost {always} because of one of the following reasons: 

1. he wants chocolate milk 
2. he wants chocolate candy 
3. he wants a chocolate sucker 
4. he wants to chocolate milk 
5. he didn't get to blow out a candle [like in this picture]
6. chocolate milk 
7. chocolate 

chocolate is in his veins. 

for his very first solo prayer he said, 
"Dear Hevwy Fader, dank dee dis day. Dank dee..... chocolate cake. Amen."

i'm thinking we need a toddler chocolate intervention. 

lessons learned from our first year of dental school

over the summer i've had a lot of time to reflect on how this last year went for our little family. 
my first reaction is to say, "it was a lot better than planned!" which i think is true to an extent. 

before we moved for dental school, i was trying to prepare myself for never ever seeing Adam, having to do most things on my own, and basically know that i will probably be an emotional wreck all the time. {the latter being Adam's biggest fear whenever we talked about dental school plans.}
and for the most part, i think it's safe to say none of those big fears really came true. 
so in that sense, yes it went a lot better than planned. 

but then i look back and think... man, when i was struggling, i was struggling! 
it wasn't just normal emotional breakdowns that i was kind of aware i was susceptible to. it was full-blown frustrations/anger/rage-fests where i would question everything in my life that made me get to this place i {apparently deep down} hated so much. 

i felt more volatile in my emotions because my life felt more unpredictable. 
toddlers are not easy to understand, 
my husband's school/work/church demands are not easy to understand, 
my own ambitions and desires were becoming harder to understand, 
nothing ever seemed to be going according to plan. 

though there were a lot more good times than bad, the bad ones were still bad. and it truly put our family through a trial by fire in a sense. 

this summer [although Adam had to work most of the summer & study for boards the first half...] we started making it a point to actually do stuff, either as a couple or as a family. 
part of it was that we were just trying to live up the only free time we had after a busy year. 
but the other part of it was that we really felt disconnected from one another and needed to get that back on track. 

i can see now how there were many things we went about the wrong way. 
mainly: we didn't put our relationship first nearly as much as we should've. 

we put family first. but not us. 

so if i could tell any other couples who are just starting out in school whether it be undergrad/grad/professional/residency/whatever, it would be this: 

get out of the house alone. 
get out and do something that will help you reconnect. 
get out of the rut you may have/eventually will build up around your relationship and do something else. 

you have big papers and tests and practicals and presentations? 
put them down for 2 hours on a weekend night and get out
your project will survive, your grades will survive, and more importantly your relationship will have a chance to survive. 

you don't have to do something fancy or expensive or even well-thought out. 
just get out and do something

this is a rule {and habit!} we are trying to follow more this year. 
our goal is once a month though we would prefer every other week. 
even when Adam just shuts his computer down early, brings out the Oreos, and watches another episode of Freaks & Geeks with me before bed it makes my heart all a-flutter and i feel closer to him than i did ten minutes before. 

truly makes all the difference! 


the family commercials from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are some of my absolute favorites!! so cute and funny! 
and of course an important message to remember :)

plan B

{Adam's retirement plan if dentistry doesn't quite work out}

i mean, i think he has the drive! 
[ha ha ha]
[i don't know anything about golfing to even try to make puns]

::: p.s. $500 gift card giveaway winner announced here.

closet sale

i'm trying to minimize my life a bit and realized i need to start with my ever expanding closet. 
{i'm a bit of an emotional hoarder... i think items have feelings and feel bad getting rid of them} 
{plus if i have one good memory of a skirt i feel like i'm betraying it.}

but now that needs to change!
Adam knows it, i know it, my neighbors and friends know it... i need to give some stuff up. 

my loss is [hopefully] your gain. 
i will be selling some of my items on Instagram if anyone is interested. 
[is that overdone?]
the items will go on sale starting tomorrow at very low prices {and low shipping}.
i will also be selling some of my sister's original necklaces :) 

 so check it out!! 
and if it all goes well, i may have a little project i'm thinking about starting up... 

[please check it out????]


recently, if Elijah asks me something and the answer is no he'll say,
"but just try, Mom!"
no, Elijah, pretty sure even if i try i can't fit inside the play tent.

whenever it's my turn to put him to bed, he always asks to cuddle or to rock because he knows i'm a sucker for a cuddly baby. he knows how to tug at my heartstrings that one!
which essentially leads to taking an hour to get him to sleep ever.
and so now most of the time it's Adam's job to put him to bed ;)

anytime he sees someone new he says,
"who's that, Mom? is he going to bite me?"
note: he has never been bitten by a random stranger. 

i hear, "Mom, what are you dooooooing?" 48 times a day.

if anything goes wrong or something break Elijah says,
"oh noooo!! what's going ooooon?!?!?"

asking him to brush his teeth gets this reaction:
we like to be dramatic in this household.

his new favorite game to play with me is to have me race his cars while he chases them around with his plastic tiger. and then the tiger eats them and they get blown up in the volcano.
obviously he's a boy.

when Elijah asks to do things that he's still to young for, we try to explain to him that he can't by telling him he's just not big enough yet and too little. so now he turns that around on us and when i ask him to do something [like pick up his toys] he'll say,
"oh, Mom... i can't! i'm too little. you do it."
looks like we need to come up with some new explanations...

love that boy!! 

floral + lace

top: Target, on clearance // skirt: Downeast, on clearance // shoes: Forever 21, clearance 4 years ago // belt: thrifted // necklace: Rubee Lane

[my sister took these pictures and her camera is magical and makes my skin look good :)]
[except... why does my elbow look weird in that last picture....??]

lately i've been feeling kind of weird about fashion posts.
i realllllllly don't consider myself to be a fashion blogger by any means,
i actually don't think my outfits are that cool,
and i'm pretty sure i could never pull off any of those serious fashion blogger model poses.

so since we've been back i've been really hesitant to post any outfit pictures.
i kept thinking to myself, "have i lost sight of my original purpose with these posts?"
"am i trying to be something i'm most definitely not?"

i started posting pictures of outfits as a way to document me actually getting dressed,
to help me try to get my style and my groove back.
and really, i love fashion and mixing and matching and dressing up so it was fun to post my creations.

but fashion blogger?

a lot of times i feel kind of vain when i take outfit pictures.
like, what makes me think have something worthwhile to contribute to the fashion world
[or to the large group of fashion bloggers]??

in terms of style or know-how, nothing really.

so i've kind of been at this inner dilemma.
do i have a clear reason for all these pictures?
do i want to be known only has outfit posts that i'm not even good at?
am i fulfilling the original goal i had for this little blog?
or am i just thinking too much about this all and people really don't care and i should just stop being crazy?

i'm thinking the latter...
and with that, i will end this nonsensical blog post and contemplate my existence. :)

Back to School, Back to School + $500 Giveaway

Now that Elijah is a big, bad preschooler I get to celebrate my favorite holiday again... 
Back to School Shopping!!!! 

I always loved going back to school shopping. 
Since I graduated, I would wistfully pass the awesome back to school sales at the stores and wish I {had a real reason} to get all the brand new backpacks and note books and tennis shoes. 
There's just something about getting brand new back to school supplies that make you feel invincible for the new year. 
Seriously. It's my absolute favorite shopping time of year. 

Not only are the supplies fun to get, but the deals are unbeatable. has made it easy to get all the best deals for the new year with their list of Back to School coupon codes

Since Elijah is growing like a weed, he is in desperate need of new clothes. 
{Plus, did I mention that back to school shopping is my favorite?} 
Kohl's is a great place to shop for kid's clothes. And with the coupon code from it makes them even more affordable. 

These are just a few things I would buy from Kohl's to get Elijah set for the new year:

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10

I think Elijah will be looking pretty good with all this swag, right?

You can also check out some other great Back to School posts and deals on the following blogs: 

And today, to celebrate going back to school, these 10 bloggers and are teaming up to give away a $500 e-gift card to Kohl's or Best Buy to one lucky winner! 

Be sure to check out all their posts and what they would buy from Kohl's or Best Buy for back to school and then enter to win your own shopping spree!

*Enter to win with the Rafflecopter widget below. Giveaway ends September 16th at midnight. Contest open to U.S. residents only.*
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Elijah goes to school

it's official. 
i have a kid old enough for school!

it doesn't feel real. 
didn't i just give birth to that little cheeseball?? 

now he's a big, cool preschooler! 

i was really nervous about having Elijah start preschool this year and kept wondering if i was making the right decision (since he's only 3 and doesn't really need to go). 
but right before we left for Utah & California i was feeling like Eli needed something more structured and productive during the week to keep him busy and progressing. i knew that i was feeling in a rut and having a hard time trying to keep up with a energetic and curious toddler. 
there was only so much i could plan for him to keep him entertained. 

plus anytime we tried to do our own "school" we just butted heads and got no where. 
[we are too similar and Elijah really knows how to push my buttons ;)]

so literally the day before we left i made the executive decision to just sign him up. 
although i was nervous, i was feeling really confident about him going to play with other kids and learn from another authority figure that he looked up to. 
Elijah is always better for other people so i figured this would be a win-win. 

although logically i had it all figured out, i was not at all prepared emotionally for his first day of school. i kept telling myself that this would be a great thing and i would sooooo enjoy some alone time 
[cause of the button pushing]. 
but on the way to drop him off, i couldn't help getting a little weepy. 

i kept thinking of him as a little baby who just learned how to roll over,
and to crawl, 
and to walk, 
and to talk... 

all these milestones that feel like they all just happened yesterday not in just three years. 
three short years.

how did we get here so fast?? 

once we got to his teacher's house, Elijah kept saying he wanted me to come inside and sit with him. 
"please come with me Mom??  Mom, you'll come too?"
it just broke my heart. 

i tried to stay for a little bit to get him settled but any time i got up he would cling to me for dear life. 
then of course i started crying because he was crying. 
finally i just had to let the teacher pull him away from me and hold him while i left. 

i called my sister and just cried to her and continued crying for about a half hour. 
the teacher called me a little while later to reassure me that Eli was doing great and stopped crying by the time i got to the car. and i started crying again. 

the next week Eli went to school with only a quick goodbye hug. 
so i started crying again. 

{seriously what is wrong with me???}
never thought i'd be one of those moms. but i totally am!

he really isn't a baby anymore. 
he's becoming more and more independent each day. 
it makes me burst with pride and long for time to stop all at once. 

i love seeing him grow and learn each day. 
for me, there is nothing more amazing in motherhood than seeing my baby discover the world around him and learn new things. 
but that just means that the time will come all too soon when he really doesn't need me anymore and doesn't think i'm the funnest, most hilarious person ever. 

all i can do is make the most of the time i still have with him. 
so if he really does have to grow up, i'm going to try to make as many memories as i can along the way.

but he will still always be my little baby Eli!

other California highlights

p.s. Eli just woke up from his nap before these pictures and we were lazy and didn't change him back into underwear. plus babies running around in diapers is just hilarious. 

[last photo dump] 

our California leg of our 3-week vacation was a busy and fun one.
Adam's family kindly kept us entertained the whole time we were there and we loved being able to relax and spend time with everyone after a busy year.

some favorite highlights include:

Ports games, astronomy night at the park {we saw Saturn!}, feeding the ducks & getting bullied by geese, Adam going through extreme measures to avoid his 8th grade science teacher, chasing skunks, Adam becoming a man and fixing the car (a lot... our car has lots of problems), boating with grandpa, Elijah bonding [and teasing] with the cat, playing in a backyard!!, swim lessons with grandma, air hockey, playing with uncles, dates, and i read 4 books!

guys, do you even know what that means??
i had time to read!!!
seriously. it was amazing.
Elijah outside playing + i'm in a comfy recliner reading = dream life

all in all, it was a great vacation!
definitely much-needed, lots of fun, super relaxing... all the key ingredients that makes a trip the best.

thank you California family for all the fun memories!
and of course for letting us mooch for longer than originally planned :)

also, Elijah's side-eye in this picture is the best.

he might've been a little sick of the pictures
or life jacket.