Some funny Elijah-isms for you on this bright Thursday morning. :) 

The other day Elijah told me he was going to give me golf lessons. It went something like this:
"I be the teacher, mom. Okay. You hit the ball like this. Oh, almost! Oh try again. So close! GOOD JOB, MOM!!!" 
And then if I didn't actually hit it in the little hole, he picked it up for me and then would cheer as if I won the big prize. Such a great teacher! :)

Lately, everything is either his absolute favorite or absolutely disgusting. 
"I love water! Water is my favorite drink." 
"No, Mom, I don't like chicken. That's gross." 
"I love treats!" 
"I don't like those carrots. They make me choke." 
"I love popsicle yogurt!"
"That yogurt is disgusting!" 
It goes on and on... 

My favorite one though is: 
"I don't like those vegetables. Vegetables are gross. Only babies eat vegetables. And I a big boy!!" 
Good reasoning... 

After I had yelled and gotten mad at him allll day the other day, he still cuddled up to me before bed and said,
"Mom, I love being with you! We are two friends. We're family!!" 
My heart melted & I felt like a bad mom all at once. 

He said his very first prayer in Primary a couple of weeks ago and it was one of the proudest mommy moments I have had so far! He sat there so nicely waiting his turn, then he said most of the prayer by himself and said it so clearly and sweetly. A little girl in another class even said, "That was the cutest prayer!" 
I know. It was my boy :) 

And this is what Elijah likes to wear all day every day: pajamas and my Run Arizona headband. 
But seriously he changes pajamas at least three times a day. And once he gets home from school he just wants to get into his pajama pants. 
The kid knows where it's at! 

black & blue

pants: Nordstrom Rack, on clearance // shirt: c/o Romwe // shoes: c/o Blowfish // earrings: Claire's forever ago 

I love basic pieces & outfits with pops of pizazz. 
Like the gold corners on a basic black button-down, the bright pop of blue pants, fun pair of shoes, and a good statement piece of jewelry. 
Outfits like these are ones that make me feel like a pretty cool, but still useful, mom. :) 

And speaking of being a useful mom, I've really made it a goal this year to up my mom game. 
I look at Elijah and in a lot of ways I feel like I have already failed him in not better teaching him or playing a more important role in his development. From diet to activities, I feel like there are a million things I can (and should) change about how I parent. 

So that's my biggest challenge this year. 
To get back [or get started] on a better track. For both of us. 
I've been trying new lunch ideas, I've been trying to consciously keep him off of technology most of the day, and I've been mostly trying to be more active and present in his day-to-day activities and play and not be distracted {or annoyed}. 

Being as I am a big ol' comparer all the time, I get down even more that I [most likely] have not been the best mom the last 4 years. Seeing things on Facebook or blogs of other kids writing out words or being more independent & active I feel like I am kind of a loser mom that I haven't helped Elijah better. 
But I'm hoping beyond hope that I really am NOT alone and other 3.75 year olds also are addicted to Paw Patrol & don't know how to write out their names.... right??? 

I hope so. 
Please humor me... 

And also, I would LOVE ideas on how you get your preschoolers to eat more healthy foods and what kind of activities you have prepared throughout the day to keep them busy. 

Annnnnd if you can tell me how to do all that without feeling exhausted at the end of the day, I would also appreciate that too. :) 

Happy Tuesday! 

what I wish I knew in college

This is me, pouring over my overpaid textbooks in college and obviously looking pretty frazzled. 
But with how much textbooks are these days, it's not wonder college students are a bit crazy and have lots of steam to work off. I mean, I was poor and oblivious to what a "savings account" was and any extra money I had I ran out and got Beto's (the best burritos.... mmmmm.) But what college student isn't like that??? 

Well, Adam wasn't actually. He was good about money. 

My point is: 
If you are working your way through college, paying your own bills, and have to add textbooks on top of that, there's not much left to go around. Savings is a foreign concept. And you just end up eating your feelings in burritos. 

I'm not the only one right?? 

When thinking about how the price of education is continuing to increase, I feel like I'm already behind in trying to save money for Elijah's college expenses. Adam's schooling alone is steep enough to make anyone have a heart attack. 
(Funny sidenote: I met a new friend at the playground the other day and we started talking about education and when I ended up telling her how much dental school is, she literally grabbed her chest and gasped so loud. It's no joke people!!) 

But the one thing I can feel good about is knowing there are companies like Campus Book Rentals that make it easier to manage all those college expenses. Campus Book Rentals allows you to rent textbooks at 40-90% less cost than buying them from the school 
[when the professor insists on you getting the newest publication and it's $100+ more! grrr...]
AND you don't run the risk of your books losing their value in just a couple of months 
[and then you go to sell back that newest publication and you only get $20 bucks for it! more grrr...].

And even better, Campus Book Rentals also allows you to rent out your textbooks to other students if you have already bought them. With their Rent Back program, you can earn 2-4x MORE money than selling them back to the bookstore at the end of the semester. 

More burritos people!  

This video gives a little bit more info about the awesome Rent Back program.

Basically, I wish this was around or at least I knew about this 4 years ago when I started college. Because textbooks are the wooooorssssst!! 
Truly the bane of a college student's existence.
And any way a company can make it easier and get more cash in your pocket, I'm all for supporting.

And if I haven't convinced you enough of Campus Book Rentals great programs, here's another tidbit for you. Campus Book Rentals donates to Operation Smile with each textbook rented. So not only do you feel good about saving (and possibly making) money, but you can feel good that you are helping children all around the world with each book.

If you are in college, going back to college, or have friends or family in college now, you should definitely check out Campus Book Rentals to help make their college experience better.
And really, to get more late night burritos. :)

My best friend and roommate (and sister-in-law!) during one of our many burrito excursions :)

I was asked to review CampusBookRentals.com but all opinions are my own. 

desert temple hike

I told Elijah to smile. He refused... obviously. 

A couple of months ago (because I'm late to posting) we went on a little Saturday morning hike near the new Phoenix temple. It was a super small path that took forever cause we're hiking with a three-and-a-half year old. And Elijah was interested in all the cactus and rocks.

I know the rest of the country is hating winter right now so I'm sorry to rub this in but...
Arizona is AMAZING right now!!!
{so come visit!}

One of my goals is to go on more little hikes while the weather is still good and since we are so close to some great hiking trails. We haven't done it much but it always refreshes us and is fun to spend time outside together.
And seriously, hiking to the temple is a pretty great way to celebrate a weekend :)

change of heart

I would say for the last 3 years I really struggled with the idea of being a stay at home mom. 
Once I had Elijah, I absolutely knew I didn't want to have to leave him every day for work. But I also didn't necessarily enjoy the seemingly mundane and difficult tasks that come with being a mom. 

Tantrums, whining, throw up, not sleeping, running away, not listening, messes, hitting, spitting, not listening, tantrums, cleaning diapers, not sleeping, running away, tantrums, not listening... 

I love Elijah with all my heart. 
With absolutely all my heart. 
And I wouldn't want to be with any other little person more. 
But still being a stay at home mom isn't the most.... glamorous or fun every minute of the day. 

But for the last few months I've really had some moments of clarity where I think to myself, 
"There is no place I'd rather be." 

Lately Elijah has become this really sweet, sensitive, tender-hearted boy. 
He constantly wants to cuddle and hold hands and sing songs and give kisses on my cheek. 
And I love it!

While cuddling with Elijah tonight in his big boy bed, stroking his hair and tickling his face, I just thought to myself, "I'm so happy I'm here to experience this." 

I know I am so blessed to have the opportunity to be able to stay home with Elijah. 
To see him grow, 
to watch him learn, 
to be the one he runs to after preschool, 
to cuddle with him for afternoon cartoons, 
to sing {countless} songs to at bedtime, 
to have picnics in the park with, 
to take to the library, 
to get covered in dinosaur stickers, 
to get kisses and hugs all day every day... 
so so blessed. 

I feel like I'm {finally} in this place where I can actually 
truly honestly 
I'm so happy to be a stay at home mom. 
And I'm so happy it's with my little Elijah-boy.

And in his words from the other day, 
"We are just two friends!" 
Best friends :) 


"Many of you are now passing through physical, mental, and emotional trials that could cause you to cry out, 'But I have tried all my life to be good. Why has this happened to me?' 

Now I wish to encourage those who are in the midst of hard trials who feel their faith may be fading under the onslaught of troubles. There seems to me no better answer to the question of why trials come, and what we are to do, than the words of the Lord Himself, who passed through trials for us more terrible than we can imagine. [...]

You and I have faith, that the way to rise through and above trials, is to believe that there is a Balm of Gilead, and that the Lord has promised, 'I will not forsake thee.'"

-Elder Henry B. Eyring

lil' slugger

We (well, I decided...) to sign Elijah up for baseball last month after he was done with soccer. I figured that since he loved hitting the ball at Gigi's house over the summer, baseball would be a big hit! 
And it basically was kind of a disaster...

Turns out baseball takes a lot more coordination than a stubborn little 3-year-old can handle. 
Though hitting was still a favorite. Catching, not so much. 

BUT we got some cute pictures out of it so I can pretend it was all a good time right?? 
One for the baby book. 

disco diva...??

pants: thrifted, H&M brand-new with tags! // top: thrifted, Banana Republic brand // shoes: Kohl's

I found these pants BRAND NEW at my favorite thrift store, with tags still attached! I was amazed and my love for thrifting magnified x1000. 

I have seen the whole high waisted/wide leg pants thing and had been really nervous to ever try it. I tried some on at a store once and they just didn't seem right. So I wrote them off. 

Then when I saw these brand new pants at the thrift store I figured I should give them another try. Soooo happy about them :) 

Although Adam told me my outfit looked like I was going to the disco... 
And Elijah said I looked like Jessie from Toy Story..? 
So maybe it wasn't the best choice?? 

You decide. 

Oh and the shoes! 
I posted them on Instagram when I got them and some people were not sure if they are even possible to walk in them. But I'm here to tell you that not only can I walk in them... 
I can DANCE in them!!!

this is me dancing. obviously. 

And that's the end of that outfit. :) 


tender mercies

my little Sunbeam. he's my greatest blessing everyday :)

I wanted to take a moment to share some small, tender mercies that happened to me the last few weeks (or I guess a month now) that I wanted to remember to reflect on later. And hopefully these experiences can help someone who needs some extra inspiration and peace today as well. 


Before Christmas, during all the craziness, I needed to go to the post office to send some presents. Of course the post office is insane at Christmastime and even more stressful with a toddler. Since I needed to get the packages sent right away and the only time I had available to do it was when I had Elijah with me, I gathered up my courage and decided to just bite the bullet. On the way there I talked it over with Elijah what he needed to do and all the rules that he needed to follow: stay by mom, don't wander off, be happy, listen... Knowing Eli is not one to remember these rules when we get to new places, I prayed over and over again on the drive that Elijah would behave and not make this experience too overwhelming. 

Once we got there, the line was out the door. My heart sank as I knew this was going to be a bigger struggle than I planned but I just had to push through. Right ahead of us was a man with his grown sons (I believe) and he was super cheery and kind. He saw Elijah and started to try and talk to him and entertain him a bit. He would ask him silly questions and joke around with him and Elijah thought he was pretty cool. He even would ask his sons to help me when I needed to get something but didn't want to leave my spot in line. Up until the time they had to leave, they helped keep Elijah busy and entertained. Elijah loved the attention and I loved the enormous help while an already stressful time. I wish I could have fully expressed my gratitude to those guys before they left and how they were an immediate answer to my desperate mom prayers. Tender mercy.  


I do some courier work for a lawyer and every so often I have to file documents downtown. I try to go without Elijah since it takes longer and, again, he can be nuts, but some days I can't avoid it and have to tug my little sidekick along. Downtown Phoenix has a lot of legal and government workers everywhere as well as quite a few homeless people hanging out. If I go alone, I usually am fine with them nearby. But when I have to bring Elijah my mom safety and stress radar goes a little haywire. In one particular area there is a man who will come up to you and offer to "watch your car for you" so you don't get a ticket if you use up all your parking meter time. The deal kind of works out that you give him your extra change and he will keep an eye on your time. 

I have talked to this man before when I was with Adam and it was fine. But on this day trying to get Elijah out of the car, answering his many questions, and making sure he didn't run away or out into the busy street (which he tried), the whole interaction with this other guy was making me really uneasy. I had turned to yell for Elijah to come back by me and then put money into our parking meter when I noticed that someone called the guy over to him. I didn't hear the whole conversation but I did hear the end when he said, "You shouldn't be bothering a woman who has a kid and is alone. You need to leave her alone." He then walked away to get in his car and the guy that had been talking to us walked away. 

At first I felt kind of bad cause it wasn't like I felt threatened but it was a really overwhelming situation trying to help him and keep track of Elijah. Then, I just had this immense feeling of gratitude for the man that stepped up and was looking out for me. He saw this stressed out, young mother trying to juggle a weird, stressful situation and he stood up for me when I didn't have the courage or really the strength to do so. I never got to tell him thank you before he drove away. But I hope that somehow he knows what a HUGE blessing and guardian angel he was to me that day. Tender mercy.


A few days ago I was really really sick and totally miserable and really having a hard time trying to take care of Elijah during all of this. Adam had two tests to take that day so I really couldn't ask him to come home and trying to explain to Elijah that "Mommy is sick so be quiet" was a lost cause. Elijah had literally not stopped moving and jumping around and I was just going to lose it. 

That morning I {rather selfishly} laid in bed and prayed and pleaded with God that somehow, some way, a friend would be prompted to help me make the day more endurable. I didn't know how or who to really ask for help because I didn't know how they could help, but I know I needed something outside of my own capacities and asked the Lord to provide. 

Later that day I checked my phone and was SO surprised to see this small little post from one of my Young Women on her Instagram. She had picked me for her Woman Crush Wednesday (didn't know that was a thing!) and said the kindest and sweetest words. I immediately got tears in my eyes and went to the bathroom and just started crying. I know the Lord heard my prayers and in the absolute smallest of ways he blessed me with the strength to get through the day. Just having the knowledge and blessing of knowing someone was thinking of me when I was feeling my absolute worst helped turn my day around and gave me the motivation to carry on. Tender mercy. 


I am so grateful for good people and friends who bless me daily even when they don't realize it. All three of these people had no idea the impact they had on my life or the fact that they were answering my prayers. But in some way the were prompted to reach out to me at a time that I most needed them. 

I am grateful for my Savior and His love for me. I know he answers our prayers, even the smallest ones we hold in our hearts. Sometimes His answers aren't what I expect, but they are always what I need. He knows me better than I know myself and He loves me even with all my flaws. I am eternally grateful for that knowledge and that I have an advocate I can turn to for peace during stressful times.  

ruffles & pearls

skirt: c/o Persunmall [similar here] // top: c/o RoseGal // necklace: c/o Persunmall // shoes: Target (while ago)

This top and this skirt are two of the greatest things to grace my wardrobe. 

First, this skirt from Persunmall is oh so so so comfortable! It's made from this wonderful knit fabric that feels like I'm wearing pajamas. Seriously. And I love the length of it and how I can easily stay in it all day without feeling uncomfortable and awkward. 
(you know those skirts??)

Second, this shirt from RoseGal is a perfect casual yet dressy white top that I can mix and match with my whole wardrobe. I don't have very many good white shirts, or actually I don't have any, and sometimes an outfit just needs a good, neutral, white shirt that isn't just a t-shirt. I love that this shirt has a simple look with a touch of flair on the sleeves. Love it! 

Overall, I like how these two pieces are so simple yet make a statement.
Especially with the added necklace.

And to make sure an outfit gets a true stamp of approval, I was still able to chase Elijah around in it and still look mildly put together. 
Crazy toddler approved! 

What are some of your favorite pieces in your closet? 


"I have absolute certain knowledge, perfect knowledge, that God loves us. He is good, he is our Father, and he expects us to pray and trust and be believing and not give up and not panic and not retreat and not 'ump ship when something doesn't seem to be going just right." 
-Jeffrey R. Holland. 

Holiday Snapshots

We're alive! 

I know it's been a while since I've written a real update. 
With the holidays I decided to take a little break and spend time with the little family. 

I wanted to share some of the fun things we did while I was away. 
So here are a few {lot} pictures from our holidays. :)

We had a really wonderful and simple Christmas with my parents and got to start some of our own Christmas traditions as well. Christmas has become so much more special and exciting with a little kid and seeing all the magic of Christmas through his eyes. Writing a letter to Santa, making cookies, seeing all the Christmas lights... It was like a magical wonderland for a 3-year-old. 

Some of our Christmas highlights: 

- decorating a {broken} gingerbread house 
(that Adam had to rig together to keep the walls from falling. he's a genuis.)

- making sugar cookies and decorating with way too much frosting & sprinkles for Elijah

- having Grandpa Gary and Grandma Laurie here for Christmas! 
it was the first time my parents got to spend Christmas with us and see Elijah open presents. it was a lot of fun and Elijah had an extra Christmas surprise when he woke up and saw Grandma & Grandpa sleeping in the living room :) 

- celebrating my grandparents birthdays and having a little mini reunion. it was also the first time in a loooong time that {most} of all the great-grandkids were together. 

- celebrating my dad's birthday with Elijah's very favorite cake. 

We hope you all had a wonderful holiday season!