concerns of a future mother-of-two

I can't believe this little boy is going to be a big brother in 4 short weeks. 
A big brother!!
4 weeks!!

When I look at Elijah and think about the huge change he's about to endure, without even knowing it, it makes me feel all sorts of emotions: 
overpowering love & admiration 

In Primary on Sunday, he introduced himself to his new class and kept talking about "baby sister." 
And then he drew this family picture of "Mommy with baby sister in her belly, Daddy, and me." 

Seeing as he cried & yelled & gnashed his teeth when we told him he was going to have a sister to now telling everyone about her and drawing pictures of her in-utero, this picture has become pretty precious to me already. And has helped ease my anxiety a bit. 

Just a bit though. 
Too many worries, not enough time. 
{4 weeks!}

Elijah has always been a sweet, loving, and super caring & compassionate little boy. 
I remember the first time he saw a baby doll at Gigi's house and he automatically held it close and carried it around gently. 
Whenever he sees little babies he gets so excited and talks about how little they are. 
He wants to care for them and makes sure they are okay. 

I remember once babysitting a newborn when Elijah was just 18-ish months and when the baby cried, Elijah would race to get her pacifier or try to get her a bottle. 
He naturally wants to protect, help, and care for all babies. 

Knowing this gets me more excited to see Eli be a big brother
I know he's going to be so gentle and so caring. 

I know he's going to try to help [or "help"] any chance he gets. 
I know he's going to be so excited to have a little baby to dote on every single day. 
I know he will be an increibly loving older brother. 

Or at least I hope all this is sure. 

But makes me nervous is how he is going to adjust emotionally to a new little person in his territory. 

He has been very clingy to me lately, demanding only I put him to sleep and cries anytime Adam tries to go in his room. How is he going to feel with a foreign little baby is taking away his mommy?
Are they still going to be friends even though they are far apart in age? 
Are they still going to be friends even though they are different genders?
[Why didn't I try harder to get them closer together?]

How is he going to feel when we are more gentle with the baby? 
How is he going to react when we have to spend more time helping the baby because we know he can do things on his own? 
Is he going to resent us or the baby because we may instinctively treat a little girl different than a little boy? 

Are we going to be able to divide enough attention between both kids? 
Enough time?
Enough love?

Will I even love the second one as much as I love my firstborn??  
Will I start to love Elijah less?

Am I going to be able to handle two kids? 
Will I be good enough? 

There's so many worries & concerns & anxiety that I think about daily. 
I want to soak up every last second I have alone with Elijah before his world is rocked forever. 
And it makes me want to hold him & keep him small. 
And apologize for possibly messing up his life for years to come... 

I love my sweet boy. 
All I want in life is to do right by him. 


This picture 
Their face is the exact same!! 
I can't even handle the perfectness of this shot. 

Here are some fun Elijah-isms lately. 

"Mom, are you mad and grumpy?
"Yes, because you won't listen."
"You need to go to bed then." 

The  mornings are still really hard for me and I usually am dealing with an onslaught of Braxton Hicks contractions making it harder to get out of bed. When I tell Elijah to wait a few minutes so I can get up because I don't feel good, he rushes out of the room and comes back with a cup of water for me. 
"Here, Mom. Drink some water and you feel better." 
Sweetest kid ever! 

"Good job, Mom!! I'm so proud of you! Yout cut [my nails] softly! Good job!! 
We can be friends now."

Last night he was trying to get game down from the closet to play and said,
"Oh man! It's too high up there! How am I going to get that down? I not big enough."
Then when I suggested he ask Adam to help he said, 
"Hey Dad, do you think you are big enough to reach the games? Oh good job, Dad, you are big enough!!" 

He's very encouraging as you can tell :) 

He was really determined to take a sticker off my apple for me and said,
"I will do it because I a good sticker take off-er." 

He also likes to go around and tell me,
"I a good helper mom. I'm big & strong!"

Elijah hates change!
I mean, I do too, but his is pretty extreme. 
We recently moved out of our apartment to a rental home and every day since we moved E has told us how much he doesn't like our new house and wants to "Go back to the 'Bird Home' because it's so cozy!!" (It's called the Bird Home because the sign used to have a bird on it) 
His hatred for change even goes as far as complaining that the Netflix app on my phone is no longer red but white & black now. 
He seriously complains about it every day. 

He also hates that I made him sleep with a new, lighter blanket so he doesn't sweat to death at night. 
It's all too different for him. 
He is a strong lover of routine & consistency! 

He loves to use my stomach as a pillow, much to my discomfort, and looooves his back tickled. 
And asks me to tickle with my "claws" (nails).
{sound familiar, Mom?}

This kid sure is entertaining us every day. 
I can't wait to hear all the things he has to say once baby sister comes around. 

Homemade Hostess Cupcakes

For Elijah's 4th birthday [back in April] he got to bring in treats for his preschool class to celebrate. 
He kept telling me how he wanting to bring cupcakes to share since all the other kids throughout the year had brought in cupcakes and then were sung Happy Birthday. 
E was seriously looking forward to his turn all year! 

So I decided I wanted to make his class cupcakes a little more special since
1. He was crazy excited about it 
2. It was his last birthday as an only child and I wanted to make it meaningful 
3. E is obsessssssssed with chocolate! 

I found this recipe a friend gave me for Homemade Hostess Cupcakes and had been looking for a good reason to make them for a long time. So I figured a little 4-year-old, chocolate-loving boy was a good of time as any :) 

Cupcake Ingredients: 
1 package Devil's Food Cake Mix 
2 tsp. hot water 
1/4 tsp. salt 
1 jar (7 ounces) marshmallow creme 
1/2 cup shortening 
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla 

Ganache Ingredients: 
1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips 
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream 

1. Prepare and bake cake batter according to package directions for cupcakes. Cool completely. 

2. Combine water and salt until salt is dissolved. Cool. 

3. Beat the marshmallow creme, shortening, powdered sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add the salt mixture. 

4. Using pastry bag, push the tip through the bottom of the paper liner to fill each cupcake 
[I didn't have a pastry bag for this step so instead I cut a hole in the top of the cupcake with a little apple corer and then put the creme mix in a plastic bag, cut off a corner, and filled the cupcake with the creme mix. It worked pretty well! And you got lots of creme :)]

5. In a heavy saucepan, melt the chocolate chips with cream and stir until smooth. Cool slightly. 
[Definitely let it cool slightly or else it will be too runny. Also, when I make it again, I would make sure the cupcakes are even cooled in the fridge a little to make them more sturdy. It's probably cause I filled it with creme from the top but when I dipped the cupcakes in the ganache it was kind of crumby so I had to be careful. Just a tip!]

6. Dip the tops of the cupcakes in the ganache. Chill until set - about 20 minutes. Store in refrigerator. 

Makes 24 cupcakes. 


If you make these, I'd love to hear how they turned out and any tips you have! 

stripes are my momiform

dress: Target // sandals: Wal-Mart // necklace:  c/o That's So Fab // undershirt: half-tee from DownEast

This is basically my momiform lately: 
skirt or dress 
{usually stripes because apparently that's all I like to wear lately?}, 
and ponytail. 

It's so hot!
[can you see it in my "glowing" face??]
And pants don't fit.
So skirts & dresses it is!

Though this bump is starting to make it a little more difficult to even fit into those.
So bring on the leggings and gym pants for the last month of pregnancy!

the truth about pregnancy

Before I was pregnant with Elijah, pregnancy seemed like such a magical time. 
I never really heard many negative [truthful] things about pregnancy and just thought baby bumps were cute and your skin & hair was supposed to become super beautiful or something. 


And then with this pregnancy, I had high hopes that things would be different. 
Maybe I was just a weakling, no endurance, did something wrong... 
This time it would be all the wonderful stuff I heard about. 


This clip pretty much sums up my feelings perfectly. 

Everything in this clip is sooooooo true! 

Although I am so so so incredibly grateful to be pregnant and have 2 kids, it is not all sunshine and roses and beautiful baby bump pictures every day. 

And if I'm being completely honest, though the kids are great, the process can really suck at times. 

So here's my {pregnancy rant} list of truths to help prepare other mothers with incredibly high-expectations like I did. And to hopefully show some support to other mothers who may be feeling the same thing. 

Cause I can't be the only one right? 

WARNING: TMI's ahead ;)

Pregnancy Truths 

::: Morning sickness does not just last the first trimester nor in the mornings. 
If you're lucky, you can be sick the whole pregnancy. 
You get a good ab workout. 

::: And it can come out both ends. 
The whole pregnancy. 
Your body will feel like it's exploding.

::: Not every woman gets cravings. 
And cravings don't always mean you should actually eat it.
(contrary to what my doctor said the first round...) 
AND food aversions can change and last through the whole pregnancy. 
To the point that you feel like you can literally eat nothing even though you feel like you want to eat everything cause you're so hungry. 

::: Hemorroids are real. 
And you can't sit down without crying.

::: Acid reflux you can feel in your knees up to you ears.
Yes, your ears burn.
And NOTHING helps!
Pepcid AC is just like candy to me at this point. 

::: It gets to the point where your stomach is so big your ski hurts
Not hurts like itching from the stretching, but hurts like it's being spread so thin it's sensitive. 

::: Baby kicks are so fun the first 20-30 weeks. 
After that, every kick & punch feels like it's causing internal damage. 
I'm pretty sure I have some organ bleeding somewhere. 

::: Your bones & muscles feel like they are literally breaking especially toward the end. 
Cause they kind of are, getting softer & ready to push a baby out. 

::: You have to pee all.the.freaking.time. 
Even if you just went, be prepared to have to empty your bladder again in 5-10 minutes. 

::: And if you wait to go to the bathroom, it starts to hurt. 
The baby is on your bladder, your bladder is full, and it is putting so much pressure on you that it just becomes painful. 

::: Braxton-hicks contractions can start early.
And toward the end they start to happen so frequently, so intensely, that it's just so uncomfortable. 

::: Your stomach warps into weird shapes a lot. 
Either from the baby kicking or from the contractions tightening your stomach, you'll see lots of weird stomach positions.

::: Before you even have to push the baby out, your lady parts feel like they are falling apart.
Especially when the baby is low and kicks you right in the cervix...
Fun times. 

::: Emotions are hiiiighhh!! 
My family kind of hates me now. 
I'm either angry, depressed, happy, excited, overwhelmed, or crying. 

::: Exhaustion. Exhaustion. Exhaustion. 
And towards the end I'm even more exhausted. 
That whole "nesting" energy peak? 
That does not kick in for everyone. 

::: Pregnancy glow is a joke. 
Though I've never had clear skin, my skin gets much worse when pregnant. 
I feel like a hormonal teenager with grease dripping from my skin.

::: You know what else is a joke?? Thick, luscious hair.
My hair doesn't grow when I'm pregnant.
It's nice for shaving cause I don't have to every day anymore.
But that full head of beautiful locks that I have always coveted? Never happens.

::: Really you just feel gross constantly.
Your body is doing weird things getting ready for the baby to come.
[Weird things down there.]
You're way bigger than you ever thought possible, and only growing exponentially.
You just aren't yourself.
All the things you used to criticize you now miss more than ever.

::: Back pain. 
Back pain!! 

::: Anything you wear makes it feel like you can't breathe. 
All I want to do is take all my clothes off the minute I am home. 
Shirts become constricting, bras are torture, pants are useless. 
Collars or anything around my neck is complete and utter torture. 

::: Those weight gain charts become your worst enemy. 
And you hate anyone who says anything about how big you are. 
I have a long list of names of people I want to punch. 
Sometimes that includes Adam and his "little jokes." 

::: Bloody noses can happen often. 
It's gross and freaky. 
I've never had a bloody nose in my life before being pregnant with this little girl.

::: And the biggest truth of all: Sometimes the connection to your baby doesn't always happen during pregnancy. And feelings of nervousness and anxiety are common and normal.

[I'm sure there's more but I can't think of it all right now.... oh another pregnancy truth: forgetfullness!]


With all that suckiness that comes with pregnancy, there is so much good and blessed.
Especially at the end when you get a perfect, precious, sweet little baby to hold.

It's amazing what your body can endure to bring a perfect little baby into the world.
Though newborns come with their own struggles, just being in the presence of one you can feel so much peace and closer to heaven.

I may not like being pregnant all the time,
but I love that sweet little prize at the end.

That's what makes it all worth it!

Do you have any of these symptoms or others??
I'd love to hear about your experience!
{Unless it's perfect and you had the most amazing, magical time being pregnant ever then you can maybe just pass... My emotions can't take that. ;)}

backyard campout

Aren't these boys the cutest?? 

Since Adam and Elijah didn't get to go to the Fathers & Sons campout [and it would have been freezing!], they decided to have a little campout in the comfort of Gigi & Grandpa's backyard. 

Elijah was SOOO excited! He loves camping and couldn't wait to set everything up. 
And he actually did sleep through the night! The first time they went it was so cold and he struggled sleeping in the sleeping bag. But he did great this time around. 

I'm so grateful for a husband who takes the time to make sweet little memories with his son. You just know that Elijah loves Adam and already looks up to him so much. It is one of my favorite things to see them interact with one another and create that sweet father-son bond. 

I love these boys so much! 

floral, stripes & bumps

top: c/o Persunmall // skirt: Kohl's // shoes: Target // necklace: Claire's


I love this skirt and how comfortable it is. And stretchy! 
I got it while I was in California and have worn it at least twice a week since. 
It's perfect to wear through pregnancy and after. 

Though Adam does laugh at how it accentuates my new pregnant budonkadonk. 
Cause when the doctor says I need to watch my weight gain, it's cause it allllll goes to my backside. 
{emoticon for sticking tongue out.} 


So grateful for oversized, flowy tops & stretchy bottoms! 
They have been a lifesaver this pregnancy. 
And have helped me avoid most of the unflattering maternity clothes that make me feel like I'm wearing circus tents. :)

{flashback} dad: a son's first hero

In honor of Father's Day AND Adam's birthday yesterday, I wanted to share an old favorite that I wrote honoring Adam. I really like this guy a lot. And I love looking back at the how I've shared my feelings before and realizing that they've grown 10x more since then. :)

i have this theory about Adam that i have thought about for some time.
one that i haven’t really shared with him for the risk of sounding kind of ridiculous.
but as i’ve laid here in bed the last two days listening to Adam interact with & take care of Elijah, it has solidified my theory more and more.

to understand my theory you first have to know this: Adam was born on Father’s Day.
when Adam tells me this his face lights up with a small sense of pride that he was the special gift for his dad that day. and in addition, his dad has the same light on his face when he mentions the day as well.
birth can be thought of as a lot of surprises, nothing totally goes perfectly as planned.
birth dates usually seem coincidental and most of the time you don’t know when the baby will decide to come.

but another thing you have to know is i don’t believe in coincidences, there are reasons why these events occur. including with birth dates.

in my own experience, i believe our birth dates are specifically for us & perfectly meant to be.
i know Elijah was meant to come on the 21st.
and i know Adam was meant to be born on Father’s Day.
which brings me back to my theory.

i believe that because Adam was born on Father’s Day, he was given SUPER Father qualities. i believe he was born on Father’s Day because he was meant to be a great father himself.
and i believe he was born on Father’s Day because the Lord knew he would need those extra qualities when the time came.

that he would have a wife who gets overwhelmed easily
that he would have a more active & rambunctious child 
that fatherhood would come at difficult period in life
that it would be easy to forsake fatherhood responsibilities & give up
that there would be a lot of pressure to provide for a new, little family
and that there would be lots of cards stacked against him from the outside world to be the father he was meant to be.

so Adam was blessed with love
the willingness to serve
greater perspective
so that he could be the best father {and husband} the Lord knew he would need to be.
many times I hear Adam reading or playing with Elijah quietly and immediately my heart grows ten sizes.

he is so patient with Eli especially when i’m not.
he reasons with him [as much as you can with a 2-year-old] and explains simple ideas.
he is constantly teaching him new things whether it be counting, colors, shapes, ABCs, food, plants, songs… he’s always pointing out something new to him ever since he was a tiny infant.
he has the magic touch to get babies to sleep in 10 minutes. [it literally takes me 2 hours!]
he has more stamina and positivity to get through the hard days.
and he hardly ever complains and never ever regrets our situation.
[also please note that i was the one that took all the child development classes and yet I learn so much from adam everyday]

he is by far the better parent in this partnership and i am grateful every day that i am doing this parenting thing with him by my side.
and get to have a true superhero helping us along the way.

 HAPPY {belated} FATHER’S DAY, ADAM!! we love you!

farewell my kind & faithful friend

{my cousin Tawna and Uncle Steven playing at my wedding reception}

My cousin Tawna passed away this week suddenly and it has been hard to wrap my brain around it. She was one of the most amazing women I've ever had the pleasure of knowing and loving. Her kindness, positivity, testimony, love, and talents far exceeded almost every other person I've met. She went through a lot in her life but talking to her and being around her you wouldn't have known by her strength and optimism. 

Tawna was one of the most incredible musicians you ever heard. She played multiple instruments but her violin skills were ones that I constantly stood in amazement of. She could pick up a violin and it was like heaven was singing and dancing all around you. And her fiddling! 

One of my greatest & most pivotal experiences I had as a teenager was sitting and talking with Tawna at my house one day. We were talking about playing the violin and I was telling her how discouraged I was that I would never be as good as I desperately wanted. Especially with so much talent around me in my own family, I felt like it just wasn't meant for me. She sat and had a wonderful heart to heart with me about the power of music in her life and how it helped her grow in amazing ways, including growing closer to the Savior. She told me that we all have talents and we are put here to share them and bless others. And it doesn't matter that our talents might not be the same or as good as others' talents, but that we are magnifying our callings and glorifying God. 

The whole conversation changed my perspective. Not just with playing the violin but in being confident in my abilities, the abilities that God gave me. Having confidence in myself and in the love the Savior has for me. 

I don't remember everything that was said exactly. But I remember going away from that experience with more love and admiration for my dear cousin than ever. And I remember feeling more peace and love and confidence than any previous moment in my life. 

Tawna was one of my heroes, one of my greatest examples. I look up to her in a million ways. 

I know she is happy where she is. I know she is working hard and blessing lives. But I also know that earth lost one of its great ones this week. One of its strongest and most valiant. And now heaven is being filled with her wonderful music and stories for all the angels to dance and sing. 

We love you Tawna! Until we meet again. 

magic of Funland

Isn't it amazing how things that we, adults, might think is totally lame and dumb can make a little kid feel like he won a trip to Disneyland?? 
That is probably one of my absolute favorite things about being a parent: seeing the excitement & wonder in Elijah's face when he does new things, things that I know I take for granted. 
He's a pretty excitable kid and even the simplest things seem to bring him the most joy. 

Bubbles, puppies, shaved ice, chickens, airplanes, finding a coin on the ground... and cheapy, old carnival rides that just go around in circles are just some of Elijah's favorite things. 

Even though we adults might not have been able to do anything exhilarating at Funland, seeing Elijah light up as if he was at Disneyland was pretty much worth it. 

{Thank you Gigi & Grandpa!} 

Also, this was Elijah's first reaction to the fish ride because he said he was too scared of the octopus. 
We all pretty much died. 
This scene was also very worth it ;)

He got brave enough to open his eyes soon enough though. :)

love of grandparents {& micke grove}

Take Elijah for an afternoon of seeing little animals and that boy is in heaven! 

There is this little {and I mean little} zoo that we went to while visiting Adam's family and even if it was not the most exciting place for adults, Elijah thought it was just as great as going to a big zoo. 
His favorite part was seeing the rooster (of course) and kept trying to chase it around. 
I mean, out of all the more "exotic" animals, the rooster is what he focused on. 

My favorite part was seeing Eli grow closer to Adam's parents and see their relationship blossom. 
He didn't mind following grandpa allll around and holding his hand. 
And actually smiled and posed for pictures with Gigi. 

Every day when Elijah woke up, he would come in our room and the first thing he'd say was,
"Where is Grandpa and Gigi??"
And every day when Adam's dad came home from work Elijah would yell "Grandpa!" and run to him. 
And when Adam's mom was sick for the first few days, Elijah was so upset and kept saying, "But Gigi is sick for too long!" and couldn't wait to see her and play with her. 

Even though we are far and don't get to go see them too often, I'm so grateful for the relationship that Elijah has with Adam's parents and the bond that they share. It means the world to me that Eli has such loving grandparents who want to spend time with him, make memories, and spoil him rotten. I still cherish the relationship I have had with my grandparents and only hope the same for all my children. 

I mean, grandparents are kind of the best! :) 

where a kid can be a kid

Hello Big Belly!

We could probably just sum up the next few posts with "Elijah had the time of his life." 
Because seriously, this kid did not stop smiling with all the fun things he go to do. 

He got to go to a fun kid's park called Pixie Woods where there were lots of different playgrounds, a carousel, a train, and a fun splash pad. Everything Elijah loves. 

Plus he got to go to the zoo, the mini theme park, ice cream pretty much every night, camping, movies & gummy worms, Super Mario games, swimming, boat ride... 

I told Adam multiple times I wish I had his vacation. ;) 

He was totally spoiled. And he had a blast with all that stuff. 
But what I loved seeing the most was Elijah playing for hours in the backyard and making friends with the snails and bugs. I had never been more proud to see him come inside dirty from playing in the dirt. I loved seeing him have the space to just be a kid! 

After coming back home to the sweltering heat, I think I'm ready to move to California. :)