Chocolate Chip Cookies

Hi Baby,

I have been thinking about you a lot today. You are on my mind every day of course, but there is something about Sundays that allows me to focus more on the not-too-distant future with you in it!

There are a lot of things I hope to be able to pass down to you. I don't feel like I am an expert in anything enough to teach you, but I know you will learn from me either way. There is something I'm pretty dang good at, and I will do my best to pass along my skills.

Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Never underestimate a good cookie recipe. I have been making these cookies for 17 years. Your grandpa loves them, your daddy loves them, and I'm sure one day you will be fighting your daddy over who gets to lick the bowl and spoon. This was my first recipe I laid claim to and I still have the recipe card. I haven't had to look at it for over a decade, but it's still there.

I remember making them for my family, my neighbors and even the cute boys in the apartment across the hall. I would have to freeze a few after making them before my family ate them all in one day. I use to get upset and refuse to make them because what's the point in making cookies if you don't have any tomorrow? I eventually grew out of that selfish way of thinking and realized the entire point of making cookies is to give others something to enjoy.

It's the little things that stack up to a life full of happiness. I might not be able to teach you how to sew or play the piano, but I can teach you to read, write and make some delicious cookies.


A.M. Inspiration

"Beyond comprehension, my brothers and sisters, is the love of God for us. Because of this love, He sent His Son, who loved us enough to give His life for us, that we might have eternal life. As we come to understand this incomparable gift, our hearts will be filled with love for our Eternal Father, for our Savior, and for all mankind."
                                                   —Thomas S. Monson, "Love—the Essence of the Gospel"


My Pregnancy Must-Haves

I wasn't super into Pinterest until I bought a house and then again when I got pregnant. I read every pregnancy post out there. 95% of the stuff didn't really apply to me, so I'm making my own "Pregnancy Must Haves"

Underbelly black slim fit leggings/pants from Motherhood Maternity

Aside from the fact that I hate this picture (4 inch heels? really?) I LOVE these pants. I wear them at least 5 days a week at this point. They are thick enough that I don't feel uncomfortable wearing a shorter shirt, but it's thin enough that I don't get really hot wearing them (and being 8-9 months prego in July..this is a MUST). My favorite thing is the fact that they are underbelly which means there is nothing tight squeezing my belly in. I didn't really mind those kind of pants when I was 5 months pregnant, but eventually I just wanted to let that bump be FREE. These pants are my #1 must have.

Compression Socks

I only started wearing these socks about 5 weeks ago when I started to get nice and puffy/swollen ankles and feet. I don't wear them every day, but after a really long day when my feet are huge I go to bed and that next morning I make sure to wear them. Two days without support is a bad combo. These socks help keep the swelling away and despite the swelling I haven't seen any varicose veins just yet (knock on wood). I don't know the swelling situation for women who aren't pregnant in the summer heat, but if you find yourself with sore legs and feet after a long day...these help.


Ok ok so you can't have my Bart, but having a sexy man with a great beard around is a MUST. He takes such good care of me and has never once commented on my excessive couch time. Having someone in your corner who loves you and doesn't judge you and is kinda scared to question your choices is always a good thing. He has made the hard days easier and the good days even better. 

(Or two or three or four...) 

Favorite snack

I haven't really had any weird cravings, but there have been foods I only want to eat and nothing else sounds good. Instead of rationing myself I have just embraced it. Only want toast all day? Make sure you buy extra bread your next trip. Baked potatoes...cheese sticks...just accept it girlfriend. 

A pregnancy pillow 

Some people swear by this pillow:

I, however, prefer this one: 

Find what helps you sleep better. Even if that thing is an old flat pillow, leaving your $75 body pillow to sit in the corner....

Lotion lotion lotion! 

I don't really think lotion prevents stretch marks, but if I did then this lotion would be the one to buy! I put it on morning and night and no stretch marks yet! I mostly like it because it's thick and smells good but absorbs well and isn't greasy. 

Bubble Bath

I have taken more baths being prego than ever before. Having fun bubble bath to make you feel fancy is the cherry on top. I grabbed a bottle of the cheap stuff and just used a ton, and then was gifted the nice stuff and was able to stretch it further. As long as there are bubbles it's a win win.

Shows to Binge Watch
Bart and I are currently binge watching "House" and I binge watch "Blue Bloods" when Bart is gone. Then you aren't getting angry when Summer TV SUCKS


Just rub my damn feet

After a day at work my feet looked like this

Fridays are always the most painful day for my feet. After a week of working they need a break. Bart suggested I get a pedicure on my way home. So I did. And it made everything worse!

I walk in and say I want a pedicure but I mostly just want a foot massage. I show them my swollen feet and explain it's all I want. 

An hour later and I pretty much leave in tears. My toes are nicely painted and hey my calves feel great but my feet? They still hurt and they're still puffy. When does a request for a FOOT rub turn into a full leg massage? Even after pointing out exactly where I want it, she doesn't seem to understand and keeps going rubbing my calf. Plus her hands suck and are too weak to do a damn thing 

I sat in that massage chair angry. Legitimately mad at the whole situation and on the verge of tears. 

Rational? No. 
Crazy? Yes. 
Do I care? No.

 Do I plan on going straight home to ask Bart to rub my feet? Why yes, yes I do. 


Hi Baby: 37 Weeks

Hello my little breech baby,

Your head is smack dab in the top center of my belly. Literally the exact opposite of where it is supposed to be! You have been there for weeks and my doc says there's little to no chance you will be moving. Too much baby, not enough space. So we scheduled a C-section for August 8. So unless something drastic happens, that's your birthday!

I must admit the planner in me likes the idea of knowing exactly when you will be here. (15 days!!!!) but of course a c-section isn't what I was planning and preparing myself for. I have never been high strung with a specific birth plan, but I just assumed I would have you the good 'ol fashion way (plus drugs of course....LOTS of drugs). Instead we will have a c-section and that's OK too. I will still be the badass who had a baby and you will be the cutest little squish in a pink blanket. 

I am finally getting some lower back pain and SI joint pain. It hurts whenever I walk or stand, but I consider myself lucky that this didn't kick in until this week. Anyone can cope with pain for just a few weeks. I'm grateful it didn't show up any earlier! 

You still have a little dance party a few times a day and I love feeling you move! It's truly one of the best things about pregnancy. When daddy puts his head on your space you let him know it. It's not just daddy's head that you push away. If I ever put anything on my belly you shove it away. It's pretty funny and I like to tease you already.

Your nursery is pretty much done and your closet is full. All we need is a baby! I am so excited to meet you. People ask me if I'm getting scared. My answer? No! There is no negative feeling associated with you joining our family. Daddy and I talk about you every day and smile and talk about our new lives with you here.

Stay strong and keep growing baby girl,



Hey, it's OK

...to never look at the nutrition label on a bag of chips you just ate in one sitting

... to delete a voice mail at work when it says it's over 2 minutes long

...to hate the guy weaving in and out of traffic and secretly love it when you end up right next to him at the red light

... to avoid Pinterest after dinner because it makes you hungry all over again

... to stay away from a coworker when you know they are in a certain mood...no need to poke the bear

... to eat all of your snacks before you actually bust out lunch that requires reheating

... to act like you aren't included in that group text

... to be jealous that your husband gets to run a half marathon and at the same time be relieved that you aren't the one that has the 3am wake-up call

Hey, it's OK (prego edition)

... to wear the exact same pants 4 days in a row without washing them

... to binge watch TV after a long day at work

... to take off above-mentioned pants as soon as you get home and before you reach the couch for that binge watching sesh.

... to not tell random people what you plan on naming your baby. I don't really care what you think thankyouverymuch

... to wait until you have had all your baby showers until really buying anything

... to stop reading magazine articles about pregnancy when you don't feel like anything applies to you

... to check out #36weeks on instagram just to see how your baby bump compares to other mommies out there

more OK posts


Pregnancy Dreamland: Exercise or Die

When I first got pregnant I signed up for a few weekly emails. Yes I want to know what my baby is doing this week! She's the size of a what? Best sex position? These were all things I thought I would need to know. About 12 weeks in I stopped reading most of them. They usually just annoyed me. I look back and think those were written for women in Pregnancy Dreamland.
 I specifically remember when I got the "33 Reasons to Exercise Now". I'm sure I read it as I was sitting on the couch NOT exercising. 
Here's the thing. There is above mentioned pregnancy dreamland...and then there is reality. Reality is different for every pregnant woman. My reality was that I was too sick to exercise at first, then I was too busy, then it was too hot and I was too big. There was a 2.5 month period where I exercised 5 days a week around April and May...but other than that I haven't been as great as I should. I'm over it.
So here are 9 reasons from that article, followed by my 9 reasons of why their reasons are stupid. 
-(side note: I LOVE to exercise. I love to run and move my body and keep it strong. I know there are 934785 benefits to exercising regularly and I believe that. I just hate stupid articles that tell prego women everywhere to EXERCISE OR DIE.)
1. You’re likely to gain less weight. 
- obviously this makes sense. But I would argue that most women are going to gain the same amount of weight either way. I have had a lot of moms tell me they exercised a lot more for one of their kids, and they ended up gaining the same amount of weight. Why? Because the "weight" we are gaining isn't just fat (and most of the fat we do gain is because we're going to need it to breastfeed later). Exercise or not, you're still going to have double the blood volume and a huge uterus filled with a chubby baby.
2. Labor and delivery may be easier.
- the next line in this tip is "there's no guarantee of course". What does "easier" mean anyway? It takes less time? You don't get as sweaty? You're strong enough to damage your husband's hand as he holds it?
3. You lower your gestational diabetes risk 
- I was one point away from the edge of having gestational diabetes and I was told that even though diet is a way to treat it once you have it, it doesn't really cause it to begin with. Family genetics, weight before getting pregnant and how your baby affects your system are all bigger factors. 
4. You get that “prenatal-spin-class high.” 
- has anyone even gotten a "not pregnant spin class high"?? didn't think so.
5. You’re less likely to cry, “Oh, my aching back. 
- As much as I hate my couch, it hasn't given me any back pain either.
6. You’re less likely to get constipated.
- I have a pretty great digestive system thanks to my Hashimotos program....so my couch hasn't been a problem here either. p.s. you could also just drink lots of water and eat nutritious food? crazy I know.
7. You have more energy. 
- I will agree with this one...unless it's 98 degrees from 6am-10pm. Then that heat will suck all energy from your system
8. Odds are, you’ll deliver a svelter baby. Babies born with excess fat are significantly more likely to become overweight kindergarteners.
- bullshit. I don't believe chubby babies equal chubby children. I would take a happy chubby baby over a skinny sick one any day of the week.
9. You can enjoy the greatest flexibility of your life. 
- even when I was exercising 5 days a week with my baby bump I didn't really notice an increase in flexibility.....


36 things for 36 weeks

1. We have so much control over our health and bodies than most people realize. Except when you're prego, then shit just happens. 

2. I think my couch has my body impression permanently carved into it. 

3. I have never been more at peace with my life than I have felt being pregnant. 

4. When I was physically able to exercise any way I wanted I had no desire. Now that I can only waddle around I dream of running. Typical 

5. Having Bart rub and kiss my belly and talk to our baby is one of my favorite things. 

6. I never thought my ankles and toes could get so big. It's embarrassing and amusing all in one. 
I wore sandals to church and realized an hour in that it was a bad idea. Bart and I laughed the rest of the day

7. No, feeling my baby move/kick isn't "weird", "strange", "freaky" or "painful"

8. If I could sleep naked I would. In fact, if I could walk around my house naked I would to that too. All clothes are stupid when you're 9 months pregnant. 

9. Panda Express, Olive Garden, Noodles, have been the places where I thought constantly about their food for a few days until I finally caved and went there to eat. 

10. One of the things I'm most exited for is to see my daughter's face. I am dying to know what she looks like! 

11. It took Bart about 2-3 days to warm up to the idea that he was having a daughter. Now he can't wipe a grin off his face when he talks about having a baby girl.

12. I was standing in my kitchen making dinner the first time I sneezed and peed a little. Bart and I proceeded to laugh about it the rest of the night. 

13. I really really really hate it when men (other than family) comment on my body. I don't know why it bothers me so much. I guess it's because they would NEVER say a word if I wasn't pregnant. All of a sudden having a baby bump gives them a green light? No. 

14. Since finding out I was pregnant I haven't wanted to spend a dime. Which is weird. 

15. I don't like reading pregnancy books. I haven't started reading baby books yet, maybe I will like those better? 

16. I've gain "a lot" of weight according to the guidelines. I honestly don't know what I could have done differently and I honestly don't really care. Bart finds it funny I almost weigh as much as him. 

17. Looking forward to something 40 weeks away makes time squish together. It's already July? I have been waiting for August since December so 2014 has gone by very fast for me. 

18. Watching my husband nest is pretty adorable.    

19. I can't imagine having to raise a daughter without the guidance that comes from the gospel. I won't know most things about parenting, but at least I know where to look for the answers 

20. Eating patterns of a pregnant woman: 1) eat anything and everything all the time 2) only eat certain things multiple times a day 3) don't really want to eat anything 4) ice only please 

21. I dread the moment when my teenage daughter doesn't "like" me. I love her so much already, and she isn't even here yet. I think of how I acted toward my own mom and it makes me sad. 

22. Experienced my first Bracton Hicks this week. It hurt. And it got me SO EXCITED TO HAVE THIS BABY? Call me crazy, or just call me a mom. 

23. You can tell what men are fathers and who aren't. Fathers look at me 9 months pregnant with a smile and a "how are you feeling". Non fathers look at me up and down, pause at my belly with a scared look in their face and then say something like "ready to pop?" Or "you look miserable" or "WHEN are you due again??" 

24. If I could get a foot massage/pedicure every day I would. Having normal blood flow in my hands and feet is one of the things I look forward to the most 

25. The love for my daughter has been growing slow and steady. I know I will just burst when she is finally here 

26. I have never had a dream about my baby and I never got cool cravings 

27. I still haven't bought diapers, bottles or onesies 

28. I'm really really really really looking forward to having 12 weeks off work

29. One of the things that stresses me out the most is the recovery. But hey, I'm 24 so I should bounce right back...right?!?!!

30. I'm really happy that we live close to family and that she will have the chance
to get to know her grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins 

31. There was a point I was waking up to pee 4-5 times a night. I was pretty angry at my bladder. Lucky for me it's gone back down to once a night 

32. Bart and I are so excited to have a baby, but I don't regret waiting 3 years. We have had the chance to enjoy each other and our relationship and we cherish the idea of a new addition

33. She is currently Breech so we might have to have a C-section. At first I felt like that would make me less of a mother. Then I got over it. Mommy guilt already?? Please no.

34. I didn't really follow the rules early on in pregnancy. I ate deli meat and slept on my tummy. Happy mommy = happy baby right?

35. It doesn't bother me when people rub my belly. I can't stop rubbing it!

36. She could be here as soon as 3 weeks if we end of having a C-section! I can't believe it and I'm so excited. She could come any day at this point and we would be ready. I love you baby girl!


2 Cents: Finishing last

I read this article on Facebook and couldn't resist! When I ran my first 10K two years ago I hoped I was ready. Little did I know that my body was sick and my addrenal glands were pretty much not functioning.

I had trained and ran and was nervous but ready! The idea of coming in last didn't even cross my mind...until 10 minutes into the run when I was in last place. Actually that's a lie, I was barely in front of 3 women who were walking. 

When the race first started it only took a few minutes for most people to get ahead of me. Whatever I thought, they are all going to burn out and I will just pass them later (it had happened in previous 5Ks I had ran). Well those peeps never burned out and I stayed in last place all the way to the finish line. 

I crossed that finish line, went straight over to my mom who was waiting for me and cried on her shoulder. It was the hardest thing I had ever done. Honestly looking back I would compare those 6 miles closely to the 13.1 I ran for my half. 

Before the race (happy and ready to go!)

After the race: I was NOT happy

I didn't know I was sick at the time, that that was the reason I had such a hard time. But even though I finished last, I finished. And I was pretty proud of myself. 

As the cheesy saying goes: it's not about finishing first or last, it's about finishing.


A few things...

Will I ever fit into any of my shoes again? Because even my flip flops are feeling tight. Add my wedding ring to that list...and my 20 pairs of jeans that just sit in my closet looking pretty. I've been told everything will fit again. We shall see. 

I married a really great guy. should we talk about it? I went out to run errands yesterday and on my way to my car I tripped and fell on the stairs in the garage. I immediately got up and turned around, crying my way to the couch saying I fell and maybe it was my shoes and no, I didn't hit the belly. Bart ices my knee and makes sure I'm ok. He says I need to be more careful and try not to biff it. You got it babe. 30 minutes into my errands he calls me to see how I'm feeling. Just checking in on me to make sure Im OK. yes babe, I'm ok, even better now that you called. 

Baby girl is currently Breech and loving every minute of it. As she grows I'm pretty sure her little head has been up top and center the whole time. Doc says a C-section is going to have to be in the plan if she doesn't turn the next few weeks. I don't really care how my baby comes into this world, I'm just happy to have her here. If a C-section happens our daughter will be here in 3.5 weeks! What??? I can't imagine what it will be like to have her here, but I can't wait to find out! 

Cheese, chocolate chips, crushed ice, refried beans, water. 


Hi baby: 34.5 weeks

Hi baby,

We are on the home stretch! You are growing strong and getting chubby and enjoy poking your elbow all the way out.

The last few doctor's appointments haven't been that great, and I have a few medical issues I'm trying to get through. I still consider myself as having a pretty easy pregnancy all things considered, and I just hope it's not "all downhill from here". I had a moment the other day where I was just feeling fat and lazy and uncomfortable and as I rolled off the couch (because rolling is now my way of getting off the bed/couch) I had a hard time dealing with everything. I had to remind myself once again that this is just a moment in time and my body won't be like this forever. I WILL gain feeling back in my hands, and I will be able to walk down the street or sit in church without getting light headed. I will soon be able to run and move my body again and even sleep on my stomach! I know this moment of time is almost over, and I'm trying to appreciate this experience as best I can.

I think daddy and I are pretty much ready for your arrival! We ordered a stroller/car seat combo online and daddy couldn't wait to get it all set up. As soon as I got home from work he showed me all the knobs and straps and explained how everything worked. I'm sure I'll need a refresher course once there's actually a baby inside that thing....but it was sweet to see him so excited. He has taken to 'nesting' in his own way and the nursery is almost complete! Seeing everything come together and little baby girl clothes hanging in the closet just makes me want to meet you more and more!

This whole motherhood thing is coming to me a little at a time. I find myself relating more to the parents in a book than to the teenagers...I look at families and kids in the neighborhood with a totally different eye. Even this week I looked at the 4th of July holiday a little differently. I hope you realize one day how blessed you are to grow up and live in The United States. I don't really know what it's going to be like for you when you get older, but I do know that it's still the best place to live. You will be free to live and grow in ways girls only dream about in other places. You can get an education and become whatever you want. You will have a voice if/when you want one. You will be respected for your talents and skills and not ignored because you are a woman. I value these things myself, but knowing my daughter is going to be blessed with all of this too is overwhelming. I am so thankful.

I love you little one!

Stay strong and keep growing


Book Review: Committing, The Lovely Bones

How many of you can say you are friends with a published author? I feel pretty cool about it...I call Ben my friend because 1. he came to my wedding, B. he sends the typical "who's your hot friend" FB message on the reg and 3. he sent me a signed copy of his new book!

His one request was that I review it after I finished and how could I deny that? My book reviews are not even on the same planet as the reviews he does over on his blog, but I will do my very, very best for you, Ben.

Committing, By Benjamin Wood

Have you ever known the author of a book? This was my first time, and it changed the way I read it. I kept thinking of what Ben would mean by this certain character and/or trying to draw connections in a way I usually don't with books. I know Ben likes girls who wear sundresses so I wasn't surprised when the hottie of the story seemed to frequent a dress. Honestly a few chapters in I thought, is Ben depressed? Is this a cry for help? It's crazy because a book with a depressed character has never brought that thought into my mind about the author before.

As for the story itself it had a few twists I wasn't expecting and even though I wasn't really surprised by the ending, I did put the book down and thought Whaaa?? (which is always a good thing). There were a few parts of the booked I skimmed through. I found the dialog between the group of friends boring and a bit over my head so I just skipped over it. Ben is an incredible writer and it shines through with this book. Sometimes I felt like the description he used to set the scene was a bit much, and I found myself wanting to just "get to the point" of that chapter/section. I couldn't decide how I felt about the main character and I liked that I cared enough to notice. I was invested in that character which made the reading more fun.

All in all, it's a short, easy read (took me about a day to finish) and you should get it and read it. The end.

The Lovely Bones, Alice Seabold

This book came out in 12 years ago so excuse me for just getting around to reading it. (no, I haven't seen the movie). The title sounded familiar when I was browsing the shelves and it was on sale soo....naturally I had to get it!

I didn't like it. I hated Alice's depiction of Heaven. The story is about a young girl who gets murdered and narrates the rest from "her heaven". "her heaven" is depressing. She is pretty much alone and even though she can get whatever she imagines, she spends her time watching her family live on Earth. It's a very depressing way to think about what happens to you after you die. I also found a bit of a disconnect within the book. The first third is about her getting killed and her family dealing with it and the killer getting away with it, then the next third is all about her family and various stages of their life as they all grow up and she watches from heaven. Then the last third she possesses a body for a quick second so she can have sex (what?) and then everything gets tied up in a neat little bow.

I thought the author did a good job at depicting the grief of parents who violently lost a daughter. It was heartbreaking to see how the dad handled it, and it was interesting to see how her siblings dealt with it too.

I guess my biggest issue was this whole heaven situation, and I just couldn't get past that part. How depressing (I use that word because I really can't think of a better word to describe it) to think that when you die you won't be surrounded by people you love and who love you and you will just have to sit there on a bench and watch life be lived without you. thanks but no thanks!


Book Review: Defending Jacob

Defending Jacob - William Landay

I love me a good crime novel. I also love me a good crime TV show. What love came first? I don't really know...but I do know that I watch way more crime TV than I do read crime books. I don't know why! They are easy reads but totally entertaining. That's what I found with "Defending Jacob".

Written by the father of the accused (Jacob) this does a bit of a flash back and goes back and forth from past (Jacob being accused of murder) and present (Jacob's dad being questions by a DA for something readers don't know about yet).

At different parts of the book I thought I knew where it was going and what was going to happen...I was wrong. Is Jacob innocent or guilty? We may never know....

Like other books I have read lately [ ie Reconstructing Amelia] I was definitely reading this book from a parent's perspective. How can they really be unaware of their kids' activities online? or what is happening at school? Is that just reality? Murder accusations aside, it kind of made me think of the power/control/awareness I will have over my own children.

If you're looking for a compelling read and if you like courtroom, crime, drama books...check it out! I found this book for pennies on Amazon and now have a former NYC library book on my shelf. I'm not above a used book!

Currently Reading:
"The Lovely Bones"
"Committing" by Benjamin Wood


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