a dream come true + living in the moment.

Thank you all for your sincere congratulations and well-wishes. We are so excited and happy for this opportunity for our family.

I wanted to share more of my personal thoughts regarding one aspect that I am most looking forward to:
not working outside of the home.

I'm your typical Mormon girl: my whole life I've wanted to be a "stay-at-home wife and mom." However, it wasn't until I actually became a working mother that I realized it's more than just a want. It's my dream, and it's one of my deepest desires. You see, my job is just...a job. Sometimes it's satisfying, but more often than not, it's rather frustrating.

I probably sound entirely ungrateful when I complain about my job. I really, truly am grateful that for this season of life, I am able to provide for my family. I find great satisfaction when I think about it from that point of view. On the other hand, my job is not really very challenging, it's not very creative, it's uninspiring, and it is usually rather boring or stressful. (How can it be both? Well, we have busy seasons which keep me busy and somewhat stressed, totally inactive and dull periods where I could feasibly accomplish all my tasks in half the time, and then times of "crisis" when something goes wrong and cause me lots of stress.) I have come to know some wonderful people through my job, and have definitely learned some valuable skills and life-lessons, but ultimately, I think my the purpose of my employment at this time was to teach me something: how much more I will value my time at home.

I find myself dreaming of the day when I can accomplish household chores during the day instead of at night when I'm already tired. I find myself longing to be able to participate in the play-dates that the other moms in my area attend, and to not feel quite so guilty when going out for girls' nights. I am already gathering ideas for putting together our new home when we move, and planning for major purging and organizing. I can hardly wait to have a chance to be creative again...to hone and develop skills and talents that I just don't have time for right now. When I hear women complain about the mundane of mother and wife-hood, it makes me wish they could step in my shoes for just a moment. Oh I know it won't all be picture-perfect....but I'm looking forward to it oh so much.

Having said all of that, I really am trying to live in this season, and to cherish those sweet moments now. Jake is growing and developing at lightning speed, and I know there will be some things I will miss about right now. I am already feeling nostalgic about Flagstaff and know I will miss it. But I know more than anything that this is right.

things that make me uncomfortable.

In list form:

1. Large gatherings of people in which I do not know anyone.
2. Confrontation.
3. Excessive swearing. We walked out of The Green Hornet because I couldn't take the swearing.
4. Getting to know new people. Having the same best friend for your entire life makes it hard to know how to make friends.
5. The fact that this list only had 4 things before I added this last one.

the story of my life in 226 words.

I've decided to follow a little blogging prompt to help me stretch myself in writing, and to document a few random things about life. I won't be linking, but if you'd like to follow that, you can do so here

I was born on a record-breaking, hot day in July, the first child to my wonderful parents. I lived quite a beautiful childhood, when I think about it, full of imagination, creativity, and simple pleasures. I became an older sister twice, to my brother Sheldon and sister Kyndra. When I was 9, I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and when I was 11, I was diagnosed with scoliosis. Both of these conditions were not serious, yet they had a great impact on how I viewed myself throughout my teenage years. In junior high I was awkward, yet blissfully happy with the best friends I could ask for. I had a lot of fun in high school, which revolved around my GPA, choir, and my good friends (and some boys).

After I turned 18 in the middle of a hot summer, I retreated to the cool mountain air to attend college at NAU. I grew and learned in innumerable ways, and sought to learn more about myself and my world. At the end of another hot summer, I met a boy named TJ. He stole my heart and we were wed in May. We conquered some tough downs and had some pretty amazing ups, and grew our love and friendship.

On a rainy day last August, we welcomed Jake into our family, and my world has changed forever.

baby kisses.

The worst time of day for most babies is the two-three hours between the afternoon nap and bedtime. This just so happens to be the time of day when I get to see Jake for the longest stretch. If he's had a good afternoon nap, then he's usually alright. If not, then it's a tossup.

Today, he had a 45 minute afternoon nap. And it wasn't terrible...he's definitely had worse days, but it was a little trying on my patience.

We went through the routine. Dinner, bath, lotion (never fun), pajamas (also tends to be a fight), and bottle to wind down for bed. Sometimes, I multi-task while Jake has his bottle. Actually, a lot of times I get a little too wrapped up in my phone or something, and try to "multi-task." I'm working on that.

Well, when Jake decided he was done with his bottle, he tried to reach for my laptop. I started to get a teeny bit annoyed, and then I thought, What the heck am I doing? I am being ridiculous. So, I shut my laptop, scooped that little boy into a baby cradle in my arms, and started singing to him. 

I instantly felt his little body relax a bit and settle into my arms. And then, we just connected. I looked into his face, into his eyes, and he looked back and smiled at me. And then, I gave him little baby kisses right by his mouth and he giggled a perfect little giggle. And then I gave him baby kisses on his nose, on the other cheek, on his fingers reaching to grab my face, on the fingers he stuck in my mouth. All the while, he softly giggled and looked at me.

And then he started scratching my face and arching his back, so I put him in bed and he went to sleep.

But for those few minutes....we needed them. We needed that connection and those baby kisses and giggles and soul-searching gazes. We needed that mother-son time that somehow felt different from other time.

I'm learning this motherhood thing, even if I'm slow. 

eight months.

Jake is now 8.5 months, but it's OK.

Dear Jake,

In your 8th month, you:

>Reach for everything that is in your sight, including but not limited to: my necklaces, daddy's belt, remotes, food, water cups, food, my face, etc.
>Really enjoy riding on daddy's shoulders. You think it's pretty awesome.
>Can clearly say "Mamamama" and "Dadadada," with the first usually being when you are frustrated, and the latter when you are excited/happy. We are pretty sure you know what you're saying. Such is life.
>Love to stand and can easily pull yourself up on our hands.
>Still have yet to figure out crawling, but you lean ever further forward when sitting down.
>Like to "walk" with us holding you up. We bought you a sit-in walker that you like to scoot about in as well.
>Still love being outside.
>Still have no teeth, although were actively teething for about a month but it seems to have tapered off again. You're a chronic teether with no teeth to show for it, poor kid.
>No teeth doesn't stop you from wanting to eat everything you can. You've discovered the joys of Puffs and your pincer grip has vastly improved.
>Are very vocal and social. Daddy took you on the bus to come see Mommy, and he said that you said, "Aaah!" to every person that got on.
>You like babies. Maybe you just want to grab them and suck on them, but we don't allow things to go that far. You like to smile at little babies though.
>Are amazing for your babysitter, but sometimes a terror for Dad. I think it's because you're both the same. And you like playing with the babysitter's kids.
>Love playing with your wooden blocks from your Great Aunt Kathy. Those and your talking doggy from Grammy and Papa Pond are your favorite toys. Plus anything that is not a toy, makes for a very interesting toy, in your opinion.
>Had a bit of a tummy bug that scared mom.
>Somehow bit the inside of your cheek (according to the doctor) and drooled blood, which freaked mom out enough to take you to the doctor.
>You are such a goofy, fun-loving, adventurous little boy. I love it.

Pretty sure that's a solid update on your life. You're my light, baby boy. I love you forever.

love always,

[Started off sitting down, but you really hate sitting against the couch these days.]

[So I stood you up, and you were much happier.]

[And yes, I'm well aware that your pants don't match your T-shirt. I had just made them and wanted to try them on you. You were then being cute so I decided to take pictures. I hope you know I didn't take you out in public like that, and I understand if you're embarrassed by them. Ha!]

[And then you arched your back, meaning you were done with the photo shoot.]

[But I managed a few more anyway.]

[You look so toddler-ish to me.]

[Those eyes are so full of wonder and light. You have amazing eyes baby boy. You are beautiful.]


Our Easter was filled with family, friends, and words about our Savior. Jake enjoyed trying to eat plastic Easter eggs at the Burgess family picnic, and I enjoyed dressing him like a tablecloth, according to cousin Darren. 

In the end, the weekend was simple and perfect, and had no fluff whatsoever. I have decided it just might be my favorite holiday for that very reason.