Count my many blessings

Ahh Thanksgiving. Where do I start? I love having a special day where I can slow down and really ponder on my blessings. I am always overwhelmed by the love I have been shown by my Heavenly Father and the gifts he has rained down on me. 

Last season I was incredibly grateful for my health. I had spent the majority of the year overcoming my Hashimotos diagnosis and by November I had gained a greater appreciation for my body and my health. This year I am still happy for the blessing that is my body, and all that it allows me to do. 

But of course as my family gathers around the table this year to spout off our thoughts, mine will be about my little family. 

My beautiful healthy baby girl that has brought a new kind of joy into my life. Who makes me feel like I am important and needed. Her loves and cuddles and smiles complete my day and have changed my life forever. 

My amazing strong husband who has loved me every step of the way as we do this thing called parenting. Who has looked at me like a crazy person as I cried and laughed my way through pregnancy and then cried even more when the baby finally got here. Who took over in the middle of the night when I was coming apart at the seams. Who laughs with me and runs with me and cooks for me. I can't say enough good things about this man. I am so in love with him. 

My mom who has truly been an angel sent from heaven to help me when I didn't realize I needed so much help. To listen to my tears and give me honest advice and tell me it's going to be OK. 

My dad who kept me company when I was feeling so lonely and who gave me that big hug I can't find anywhere else. 

My siblings who fell in love with my baby and spread some of that extra love my way. For checking in on me and taking an extra minute to chat. 

My in-laws who have supported me and loved me like always and who are enjoying a Bowen Family baby boom! 3 born this year and 3 more due by June! I can't wait for Macs to enjoy her little cousins. 

My job that keeps me sane. What more can I say? 

My testimony and membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The love I feel from my Heavenly Father everyday and the guidance he has shown me and Bart. The peace I have in my life because of my faith and the happiness that choosing the right has brought me. The power of the atonement that helps me be better everyday and the example Jesus Christ set for me to follow. 

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Eat lots of food and find a comfy couch to sit on. I know I will! 


Hey, it's OK

to be annoyed when people have private Instagram accounts. NOW how are you going to cyber stalk them??

to love your baby SO MUCH but be happy that it's not your turn to put her to bed (mama needs some mama time)

to have 34985 things to do but read your new book instead

to tense up and want to cover your child with a bubble when the kid behind you in church starts coughing all over the place (and to be mad at the mother who is letting their child cough everywhere, cover his mouth woman!)

to feel better about eating a string cheese instead of a block of cheddar cheese...even though they are the same thing (a block of cheese is a block of cheese my friend)

to leave clean laundry unfolded in the basket for days (laundry is just stupid amiright?)

to not wash your hair for 4 days (ah it's Friday...I can just pull it up for work. Saturday? well I'm not going to see anyone so... Sunday, OK, I probably should wash it but I can just wait for Monday morning...)

to show pictures of your baby to random people at work who politely ask "how's your baby?" SHE'S SO CUTE WANT TO SEE A PICTURE????

to want to eat pancakes for breakfast but settle for toast instead because you just really really don't want to cook

to give yourself credit for your child's excellent sleeping capabilities. yes my 3 month old sleeps 11 hours a night. yes I think it's mostly because of me. #sorrynotsorry


A lesson learned

I've had the holiday season on my mind the last few days, especially holidays growing up. I looked through my old journals and found the entry I as looking for. I wrote it 11 years ago when I was 14:

December 23, 2003

Something happened tonight that woke me up to reality. Now I know that I am truly blessed and it doesn't show in the packages under the tree. When this Christmas season started I was really ungrateful and I acted spoiled. I was mad that we weren't going to get a lot this Christmas because we don't have any money. I prayed that we would be able to have a good Christmas. Well the Lord made that a possibility in a different way. Someone came by and brought us 3-4 boxes of food. Our friends brought us something we needed. They probably aren't going to have any turkey for dinner because they gave it to us. I don't know why I'm making such a big deal out of this but I learned something today. We don't need to be rich to be happy. We have great friends and neighbors who really care about us. I don't really care what I get any more. Whatever I get will be more than enough. I'm not going to forget this for a while and I just want to thank those people who have taught me so much by their unselfishness.

I have never forgotten that night. Every season I think of the kindness that was shown to my family and the lesson I learned from it. We didn't have very much money for a lot of the years I was growing up. But we always had each other. We always had our home that was filled with love. It was a safe place to come home to and I always knew there were people there that loved me. Every year I realize more and more just how special of a blessing that was. I will probably never know who brought my family food that night, but I will always be thankful for them. They taught a selfish and spoiled teenage girl the true meaning of the holiday season.



Happy birthday to me! I'm 25 today. 25 feels so official. Not old, I know I am still young and I am totally OK with that, but it does seem more legit than 20-24.

This past year has gone by faster than usual and I'm glad that it's over. 

This past year I got pregnant and spent 9 of the 12 months being pregnant. Being pregnant meant I was pretty much in a state of waiting and anticipation. I was just waiting for my baby to get here so the year didn't seem to be filled with much else. 

I'm looking forward to living my life this next year. I get to run again and work and be a wife and a new mommy. Instead of waiting I get to just live, and that's what I am most excited about for 25. 

I really sucked it up when it came to my 25 Before 25 list. When I made it I didn't know I was pregnant and I didn't know how much said pregnancy would make me just want to sit on the couch for 5 months straight. But I did get a few things checked off. 

I graduated college
Obviously I had a baby 
I tried new recipes and ate plenty of cheesecake 

I feel like my life will now be spent watching my baby grow up, instead of myself, but I have no doubt 25 will be great. I will just turn my list into the 25 during 25 and finish the rest!


Hi baby: 25 years

Hello my sweet squishy baby,

I just put you down for the night and I'm thinking about you. I turn 25 tomorrow. 25! It seems so young, and yet 10 years ago I looked at that age thinking it was so old. 

When you turn 25 it will be 2039. WHAT?!?! I will be a few months from 50. You might have a baby or two of your own. You might not. Maybe you found the love of your life and maybe you are still looking. Will you be in college or your dream job or off on an adventure somewhere? Will you be organized and responsible or flighty and spontaneous? I hope your dreams will be coming true and you will embrace your youth. I hope you don't try to grow up too fast and I hope you try to take on the world. I hope you'll want to call your mom a few days a week to catch up and say hi. 

I might be turning 25 tomorrow, but all I can think about is you and the life that is ahead of you. I guess that is what motherhood is all about. 

I don't know where you'll be or what you'll be doing when you turn 25 on August 5, 2039. But I know I will love you just like I love you today. You will be an amazing, beautiful, talented and strong young woman, and I will be your proud mama  

And that is a pretty great birthday wish. 



Mastering motherhood

Turning off the fire alarm while breastfeeding. One handed-broom-skills thankyouverymuch 

Making sweet potato fries for a snack instead of a block of cheese

Doing so many other things one handed and NOT eating cheese for every meal 

Trying not to complain when it takes her more than 5 minutes to go down for the night. I know I know, I'm spoiled. 

Leaving my clothes pretty much everywhere instead of obsessively cleaning the house (take a breath and chill mama)

Finally making it to Young Women's after a 6 month hiatus 

Watching my baby bang her head on the glass door when she leaned forward because I was getting a video of how cute she was. (I'm only admitting this because there is NO WAY I'm the only mom that's done it)


Mama's arms

It's hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that my arms are now someone's safe place. 

Sometimes after my daughter eats she just wants to snuggle into my chest and go back to sleep. These mini naps only last a few more minutes, but as I hold her and look at her beautiful face I see complete happiness and contentment. She is so comfortable in her mamas arms. Of course she is! Hugs from my mom are the most loving and healing hugs I could ever get. You don't grow out of needing mom hugs. 

As I stare at my baby girl I am overwhelmed and at the same time at complete peace at the fact that I am her mother. She will forever love and need MY hugs. I will always be a safe place to her. And that's pretty awesome. 


3 months


When you get up close to her face and talk. She chats right back 
Warm baths 
Laying on the floor and wiggling her body 
To sleep at night! 
Getting her diaper changed 

Doesn't love

Lotion after bath 
Having to wait when I have to get her more food 
Napping on the go 

Random tidbits 

-Sleeps 8-10 hours every night
-Talks/grunts/sighs the whole time she is awake 
-I still don't think she has discovered her hands yet. Apparently that was supposed to happen by now...
-And no sign that she will be rolling over anytime soon
-I've been keeping track of her "Wonder Weeks" but she doesn't really get fussy when they say to expect it. (Freaking books! Do they apply to ANYONE's child??)
-Awesome head control and likes to be pulled up to sitting position 
-Starting to use her binki and baby chair less and less
-Still fits into her 0-3 month clothes and can wear 3-6 month onsies (but not the pants-she's all torso, just like her mommy)

Things on mama's mind:

Is it time to stop swaddling her at night? I'm afraid to try because I REALLY like how nights are currently going-

Her skull is still a weird shape from being breech...should she get a helmet? 

Her naps are still unpredictable, but she is happy and sleeping great at night so I'm not too concerned 

Ok...the extra belly fat (on me!) is starting to get on my nerves. 

LOVE having Bart home 

This past month has been a BLAST for me. I have loved every minute that she is awake. I've stressed less about the small things and am trying to just enjoy the moment. 


2 cents: the Me in Mommy

** I started writing this post a few weeks ago (last week?) when Gisel was actually making headlines..**

Gisel Bundchen is making headlines for saying she puts herself first before her kids. She said it's like what they tell you on the plane: put your oxygen mask on first before you put it on your child

Amen sexy sista. Why do women get so upset when a model talks about being a mom, but an angsty blogger can go on and on about her opinions on motherhood (and breastfeeding and discipline and....) and people approve? 

Just because she has a better body and more help and tons of money doesn't make her less of a mom. Since having a baby of my own I have reached a whole new level of non-judgement. We were at Stake Conference a few weeks ago and a family walks in. Their 8ish year old son brought his blanket. Bart leans over and says the typical "we aren't going to let our kids that old bring blankets to church". 4 months ago I would have nodded my head in agreement, thinking parenting is all about setting boundaries and rules and making your kids follow them. HA! Then I had a child and I realized parenting is just about staying the freak alive. If bringing a blanket to church saved that mama of 4 some energy and made her morning earlier, than good for her.

During those first several weeks of Mckenzie's life I did several things that were for me (and my extension for her). I put her on somewhat of a schedule because it gave me piece of mind. I had her sleep in her own room when she was just a few weeks old because I slept better that way. I gave her a binki whenever the hell she wanted because it made my job easier. Am I proud of that? YES. The fact that I was able to find ways to make our days go a little easier might sound selfish, but I'm not ashamed of admitting that I put myself first. Because I realized that unless I took care of myself, I couldn't give 100% to the angel God had given me.

So go ahead Gisel, admit that there should be a capital ME is Mommy...I totally agree


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