The First Two Weeks

The time flew by quickly as time often does during a transition phase of life. One second we were packing up our things in the hospital and putting Hudson in her car seat to go home, the next minute both of our moms had come to visit and then returned to their homes again.

I’m a big believer in getting out of the house once a day — so starting with that first official night home from the hospital we ventured out for dinner with Avery and Trever along to help. We caught up over nachos at Costa Vida on how Paityn did spending the night with them, learning that she woke up multiple times crying for the baby (having seen Hudson the day before when they came to visit us in the hospital.) We got our turn the next few nights as she did the same — waking up just whimpering for the baby.

Pink eye had (of course) decided to land in both of her eyes the day we brought Hudson home so Landon would curl up with Paityn helping her fall asleep safely away from the little one.

By then my sweet mom had flown in from Alaska and was able to help with the 24 hour quarantine phase, and we got right back to little outings every day. The mall one day to grab a nursing friendly dress, grocery shopping and or the park another day. Landon was back to work a week after Hudson was born, but those six days together meant so much to me and our relationship. I can’t tell you how much my love for him grew in that short amount of time.


One of my favorite nights with him was the night that Utah got hit with a random/freak windstorm. Without any real plans for the evening — my mom spending the night with her sisters, we packed the girls in the car and went for a drive. I hope I’ll be able to remember those sweet emotions forever. The simple but strong love in the air as we turned on some music and drove North and then up the canyon. Nothing to talk about we joked and laughed and held hands and watched the clouds close in on us, the sky becoming rusty colored and dark. Then up the canyon we went, the clouds parting revealing peaks of brighter sky and the ground showing off some of winter’s snow. I accidentally also fell even more in love with Utah that night and vowed to never leave.

At some point we headed off to Pizzeria Limone to share a pizza and diet coke as the storm intensified in wind and rain. Paityn was the happiest camper, having finally gotten her first nap for the day on the drive. Again we ate and laughed, and I nursed Hudson for the first time in public. We got kind smiles from strangers in the restaurant who were sitting out the storm, the kind of smiles that somehow reassure every decision that led up to where you are now.

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There were a few days in these first two weeks that weren’t quite as romantic and lovely. Paityn’s struggle to fall asleep without Landon near by kept up long after the pink eye was gone. I saw a jealous side of her for the first time during a random nursing session, and then saw it again and again. It’s hard when I just have one lap but two babies that want to (or one that needs to) be on it. Speaking of we can’t forget the days of counting down from ten and closing my eyes tightly every time Hudson would latch on, and wondering if that dang Lansinoh was even doing anything. But looking back if my biggest pain postpartum has really nothing to do with being postpartum or from labor, then that’s probably something to celebrate. After a day or two of ibuprofen after coming home from the hospital I was really feeling great. Huzzah!IMG_0824

Now that this pregnancy has come to an end, I feel surprised at how complete our family feels now and how uninterested I feel towards the idea of pregnancy again. Which is totally ok! I have a sweet little daughter to get to know and fall in love with, and a two-year old who suddenly seems years older to me. Big sister looks good on her.


a Weekend In Idaho

This past weekend we headed over to Idaho to visit my brother Kyle and his cute wife and son Riddick. When we moved away to California a few years ago I felt bad that we hadn’t made more of an effort to see them — feeling like they were so far away, when in reality they were a 3 hour drive away, and that once in California they’d be 12+ hours away. So once we planned to move back to UT I thought hooray! a second chance at not sucking at visiting family. And then before we knew it and it was March and we hadn’t seen them yet. *womp womp*

I take that back, they drove out to see us the second week that we’d moved in! So by “we hadn’t seen them yet” I meant, we hadn’t made the effort to go see them in ID yet. So learn from us! If you have family or friends within a 5 hour radius schedule in a time to see them in the next month. I promise it’s a shorter drive than you think.

Paityn and I drove up to Salt Lake to meet Landon at his office which in of itself was a victory. Once of my goals last year was to become more comfortable with driving, so let me just, ah, pat myself on the back.



We got in to Rexburg later Friday night than we’d expected — totally our fault with taking too long with “just a few short stops” in Salt Lake  before we hit the road. But Saturday we woke up ready to party. Kyle and Heather fixed us up a tasty breakfast then we all got ready and headed up to Idaho Falls. My favorite part of day was watching Paityn and Riddick run around near the Idaho Falls Greenbelt, feeding the ducks, and running after the geese. Which I’ll admit it, freaked me out.

Later that evening after the babies had a chance to take a nap we went to check out the BYU Idaho campus where Kyle and Heather met.

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That night, after some pizza we grabbed Big Hero 6 which Landon was so stoked to watch. Not exactly my cup of tea, don’t hate me! But he and Paityn were happy as can be with how it went. In the morning we got to go to church together then hit the road by early afternoon to head back home. It was so nice to see them again, and to feel like with each time we see them, or any part of the family — that those relationships are strengthened. I’m ready to make time with family + getting out on adventures here in Utah such a larger priority this Spring and Summer. My bucket list is growing.


Hump Day Highlights

Happy Hump Day! I am so excited to announce that I have teamed up with a group of bloggers to share our weekly “Hump Day Highlights”. Each Wednesday we will list some things or moments from the past week that we are loving.

Your weekly hosts are myself, MistyAprilShannonAmandaDanicaAmy ++ Kaitlyn. We would love for you to add your post to our link up of the things you are loving this week, too. And please spread the love by following the other blogs in the link up/commenting on their posts. This is such a great way to meet like-minded mamas and broaden our community. I hope you link up and follow along!

First things first: we got to celebrate Landon’s birthday yesterday! Man I love this guy. This adventure loving man of mine turned 28, which I can’t help but think sounds like the best age ever. There’s a good chance it has to do with the fact that I love even numbers. Either way I am so incredibly excited for another year together and to see what this year brings. So far it’s looking like it may involve a photography business on the side, a possible trip to France, lots of running, adventures, and who knows what else!

IMG_3750Next, I’m 35 weeks pregnant, and 35 rounds up to 40, so I’m telling myself we’re almost there. I discovered the beauty of Tums for the first time in my life and heartburn is no longer getting me down. Trying to get comfortable at night is though, as well as pregosomnia like you wouldn’t believe. Luckily Paityn still believes in sleeping till late morning, so it all usually works out.

We’ve started getting things for this little girl in the mail –everything from a double stroller that I can’t wait to share about (and have both girls in) to little mitts for the newborn scratch your face phase of life. Week by week I feel more and more ready to meet her.

My last favorite thing is the return of the warm summer sun.IMG_9651

Ok ok, it’s just barely March, and we could have another snowstorm at any time. But the sun’s rays feel strong again, and I can just feel my mood lightening every time we’re outside. We’re breaking out the summer sandals and welcoming the change of seasons with welcome arms! Well, Paityn and I are. Poor Landon’s still waiting for a real winter.

Now your turn — what are some of your favorite moments or things this week?

Hump Day Linkup

Sisters Tag //

How old are you? 
Kyra: 24
Kelsey: 17
Kyrsten: 15

Describe each other in one word?
Describe Kyra: Generous. Bubbly.
Describe Kelsey: Silly. Sarcastic.
Describe Kyrsten: Timid. Spirited.

Do people ever get you mixed up?
Haha no. Except for one High School science teacher has a bad habit of calling Kelsey, Kyra.

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Favorite memory together?
Getting to feel the new baby kick.
This past summer when we got to spend a week together in California/spent the week by the pool.
That one time we had to crawl out the downstairs window when we were home alone, call the cops, and ended up on Alaska State Troopers…

Guess each others favorite singer?
Kyra: “Weird indie music, but not like popular indie music.”
Kelsey: “Not country! Josh Groban? No! Demi Lovato.”
Kyrsten: “Selena Gomez. Zella Day. Everything on the radio.”

Who takes the longest to get ready?
“Kyra. No, Kyrsten! Once you started having to get Paityn ready you got better about getting out the door. Kyrsten however, you take forever to get out the door.”

Favorite animal? [Spirit Animal?]
Kyra: Giraffes, duh.
Kelsey: Squirrel. Because I’m nervous and jumpy.
Kyrsten: Kittens, Dolphins. No. I’m over dolphins. Pandas? Hold on. Let me think.

If your house was burning down, and your entire family was sure to be okay, what would you save and why?

Kyra: The computer with all of our photos.
Kelsey: All my books! One by one.
Kyrsten: My blanket from when I was a babe. Jingle Bear.

Favorite movie?
Kyra: Across the Universe + Les Miserables.
Kelsey: The Great Gatsby.
Kyrsten: Easy A. Monte Carlo. If I Stay.

What is something weird that your sister eats?
About Kyra: “Oh gosh. Tuna.”
About Kelsey: “Salt, on everything. Literally.”
About Kyrsten: “Taquitos dipped in Chili.”

Dream Job?
Kyra: Lululemon HQ in Vancouver BC. Professional Breastfeeder. Sponsored Athlete.
Kelsey: Librarian of Congress. Some sort of FBI brain analyst. Paid mermaid.
Kyrsten: Helping animals.

And finally, your favorite part about Christmas?
Kyra: Sugar cookies. Fudge. English toffee.
Kelsey: Presents.
Kyrsten: Cheese Potatoes. No seminary for 2 weeks. Christmas Lights.

Christmas Morning!

Now that I’m an adult, nothing is sweeter than getting to sleep in (and take a shower!) before starting Christmas Morning festivities. Compound that with a daughter who’s still a little confused about the time change and wants to wake up at 5:30am (oof!) and I couldn’t have been happier to take my time getting ready.

Spoiler alert, I wasn’t born in 1997. But my cute little sister was.

IMG_0396 IMG_0413Though I’ve gotten to see my family since, I haven’t been home in FOUR years. Oh this feels good to be back, and with my two favorite buddies. 
IMG_0432 IMG_0433 IMG_0451It doesn’t take much to make this girl’s day, but almond milk does it every time. And Santa. Santa and almond milk is killing it this month. IMG_0487IMG_0496IMG_0492 IMG_0498 IMG_0506

I can’t forget her new baby. She is such a mom to her. I being the awesome mom in this relationship already lost the doll’s bottle, so my parents swooped in and saved the day. 
Merry Christmas you guys! I hope you had a beautiful morning, wherever you are. We’ll be enjoying presents, cheese ball + Joel the Lump of Coal till the sun goes down. Which is 2:43pm today, in case you were wondering.


A Surprise Trip Home to Alaska

Surprise! We didn’t go to California for the holidays, and truth be told, that wasn’t ever the plan. The real plan I had to keep quiet for a few months now, with the help of my mom, to surprise my sisters and dad. Which was harder than I thought.

The closer the trip got I knew there was something we had to get through first — 6+ hours on the plane with our toddler. More than once I lamented the fact that I wasn’t still nursing. I mean, how easy would that be? It sure made flying with Paityn when she was 4 months easy. But I’m not, so this go round we had to get a little more creative, while still relying on food as a distraction. Obviously.

What We Packed

I researched a bit online of tips and tricks and things that are OK to take on the plane with your toddler, and then relied on what we hoped Paityn would love to fill in the rest.

Knowing we’d need to pack winter clothes we checked two bags leaving room in our carry on to include only things we’d need as we traveled. We brought with us a backpack filled with snacks, a few baby food pouches that TSA thankfully cleared, an empty sippy cup, a book full of stickers and Skullcandy headphones that fit Paityn on the smallest setting and when worn backwards. We also downloaded a handful of Daniel Tiger episodes from iTunes to our phones — which is just her jam. Then in our hands we carried her favorite baby and stuffed bear, blanket and the Ergo.

Our Experience
Wednesday morning we woke early to get ready, grab last minute things and right before we left Landon gave Paityn a sweet blessing to help her be comfortable and calm as we traveled on one of the busiest days of the year. Then off we went to my aunt’s house who had saved the day earlier that week and offered to take us to the airport.


From the start of our traveling experience till the end things went as ideal as I could’ve ever imagined. Getting through security was an absolute breeze — we didn’t even have to take our shoes off! We had the perfect amount of time to grab breakfast and some juice to fill up her cup. We resisted boarding early to minimize the time Paityn had to be stuck in a seat on the plane. When we did board we amazingly found that our trick of booking the window and aisle seat worked — no one had booked the seat in-between us. Do I get to call this a Christmas Miracle?

IMG_6672Our layover in Seattle was only an hour or so, but Paityn was spent, having not napped yet. She totally kept it together, but got a little weird. Running around with her tongue out and spinning in circles weird. We just went with it as best we could. Except for those few minutes where I was walking back to our terminal carrying lunch in my arms and she decided to sprawl out on the busy walkway floor and fuss. That was a little stressful.

Our Seattle to Fairbanks flight was my largest concern, it’s a solid 4 hours and even makes me antsy. Luckily Paityn passed out in Landon’s arms after take off (and after sticking stickers all up and down her arm) and stayed out for the next two hours. She spent the next two happily watching Daniel Tiger on our laps, having some snacks and just hanging out. Have I mentioned it just went ideal? We were so spoiled.

We touched down in Fairbanks a little before 4:30pm and were welcomed by pitch black outside and my mama waiting for us downstairs! On the short drive over we made a game plan of how to surprise my dad and sister — we decided on setting Paityn on our porch right outside the door, dinging the doorbell then running to hide. From around the corner we got to watch my dad turn on the porch light, open the door, and find Paityn just standing waiting on the other side. So sweet!

I can’t tell you how good it feels to be home. We’re enjoying an easy Christmas Eve all together, which is just what I hoped for. I’m calling this trip a success so far! But have to make this trip again in another 7 days, so if you have any extra tips, please feel free to leave them in the comments below!



Growing up Alaska Halloween was always an adventure. I remember years of having to warm up in the car with my other siblings every few houses but being determined to not wimp out too early. But then somewhere along the way, I grew out of Halloween and it lost its charm.

Having a daughter who’s old enough to start to understand the concept of Halloween did just the trick for helping me fall in love with the holiday all over again. Together we chose a costume, albeit a little last minute, and she’s refused to be away from it since. She cuddled with it Halloween Eve, decided she’d call it “Gaga” Halloween day, and has been asking for it every day after. IMG_4764

Halloween Eve we joined in on a church Halloween party full of a chili + cornbread dinner and fun booths for the kids to join in on. Feeling like the gummy snack to candy ratio was a little off we stopped by Krispee Kreme for an extra dose of sugar before meeting up with Josh and Chelsea to climb for an hour or two.

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Which ended up being such a successful night of climbing. I give those doughnuts all the credit. Realizing that Halloween Eve, out of all the nights of the year, was the night to talk me into finishing the movie Ghostbusters (that we’d started months ago) we cuddled up and stayed well into the night with the 80’s classic.


Then Halloween night, once Landon had got home from work + we’d gotten ready, we headed out for a night of trick or treating with a few of my younger cousins and aunt and uncle. I had been confident that she’d get into it, knowing how much she loves sugar, but I didn’t expect just how much she wouldn’t need me.

Holding my cousin Ethan’s hand, she walked hand in hand to each house and up the stairs, then waited patiently (and silently) for a piece of candy. We tried to enforce her waving goodbye to make up for the lack of “trick or treat” and “thank you!’s”IMG_5246

After the sun had gone down, and she and the boys had fairly full pumpkins, we headed back to my aunt and uncle’s house for some homemade cider, popcorn and the movie Frequency.

I hope that you had a great Halloween and got to eat your fair share of sugar. I’m now anticipating snow outside our window any morning now + can’t help getting for Christmas already now.

Utah Favorites 01

After posting everything that I was loving about the idea of a tiny house life in San Diego it only seemed fair to post about things that I’m loving about Utah. I’ll be the first person to tell you how much I love Utah and that we get to be here. So I’ll post these periodically as we find new things here to love!

The Frontrunner, an easy way to avoid traffic and relax for a bit on your way north to Salt Lake City.


Antelope Island, where Paityn and I spent a few hours checking out tourist spots + looking for bison while Landon ran his first 50K!
Mend Juicery, in the Provo Riverwoods. I tried the sweetest green juice that they offered and still need a little help getting used to drinking my veggies.IMG_4113
Getting to see Landon in his element working for Teton Sports and spending a morning in Big Cottonwood Canyon shooting photos with them.IMG_4228
Beautiful hikes in the fall leaves up in Provo Canyon, even if my pregnant self is a little slower than normal. First trimester energy levels are a joke. IMG_4265 IMG_4291
Camping in the Uintas right by Clegg Lake with our buddies Chelsea + Josh. Such a beautiful area and not another person to be seen for miles. Which when hiking in at 10pm in the pitch black was both a negative and a positive. IMG_4399 IMG_4400
3B Yoga. You guys it’s everything I dreamed of in a studio and more. I tried out the Primary Series class on Monday evenings, a 90 minute class, and had so many personal victories because of the contagious encouraging vibe in there. IMG_4417
Studio K, a Bumble and Bumble salon.  I had heard of their salon through The Beyouty Bureau and I can’t see myself ever having to find a different place while we’re here. Ask for Sarah!IMG_4556
Other undocumented favorites from Utah so far are the ultimate grilled cheese from Zupas (pesto sauce, tomatoes + more!), playdates with new friends from our condo, rock climbing wall double dates, temples such a short drive away, Swig cookies, fry sauce, and the pending snow. The standard movie dates in, falling asleep cuddled up, and efforts to make adventure have carried over easily from California.

We might not live in a tiny house with chickens yet, but you guys, life is really good here. And I can’t wait to see what we’ll fall in love with in the next few months.

We’ve Moved!

We are officially settled into a cute condo in Utah! But first, I wanted to share how we got here.

May 23 I woke up and heard that Landon had been able to take the day off from work so that we could spend more time with Avery and Trever who were in town for a few days. It was 8am and I wasn’t exactly jumping at the bit to go workout so I spent a little time on Pinterest on my phone still laying on the mattress in our living room from a sleepover I managed to talk Landon into. I came across a pin that started my day on a perfect note, “live less out of habit and more out of intent.” I realized, with that little push from the quote, that my soul wanted time writing + with Heavenly Father more than anything. I got up, playfully smacked Landon on the head who was emailing a friend instead of blogging with the notebook I had just grabbed and walked back to our bedroom.

After a few minutes of trying to feel focused, and recognizing thoughts that were from the opposite team “you’ll never get pregnant again.” “think of the life it’d be: uninterrupted CLA taking, preworkout drinking, protein chugging..” I was able to tell those thoughts to scram and a stillness settled in. More than anything else right then, I wanted to experience our family growing to 2 children. And for Landon to be in a job that he’s proud of, enjoys, and feels fulfilled.

“Do a MBA program in UVU, you’ll be happy as a family of 4 there.”IMG_2195

This time this thought was clearly from a different source, a source of confidence, trust and truth. I continued to ponder this idea; it sounded nice and that it could be the missing ingredient on Landon’s resume. But Landon had a plan, and it involved going back to school later, down the road. Then, I realized another truth. “But He has a plan too. And have we inquired of Him lately what it is.”

And we had, we totally had in so many facets of our life: we were praying about future babiessetting goals together, eliminating anything unnecessary or distracting from our lives; but the decision about a career is an interesting thing. No part of that comes overnight. So for a year after we made the decision for Landon to not accept any of his Law School offers he worked on his resume and applied to jobs in the outdoor industry from everywhere from Colorado to Texas to Washington DC.

It was after an interview for one last job, this time in Virginia, that Landon got the answer that he needed. His was, “now is the time, get an MBA from UVU” [ready set go].

It was late July, a few months after I had first had my significant answer but this time it was a call to act. Where mine was a suggestion from the most divine sources of suggestions, his meant it was time. 

We had just enough time to put in a 30 day notice for our apartment (“So we think we’re going to Utah. Like, next month?) As things progressed, Landon was able to apply to UVU even this late in the game, so he put in his two weeks at his job. Two weeks and two days later he was officially unemployed and we were packing up the last few boxes of our house.

Since our drive out east last Thursday we’ve gone apartment hunting, found a condo to rent, moved in Saturday and had the Uhaul returned early that morning. A day early even! Landon had two job interviews and two job offers by that next Monday, one that he is overjoyed about. He’s started working on prerequisite classes for the MBA program, we’ve unpacked all of our boxes and officially started life in Utah.

I can’t believe how flawlessly this move and transition has gone. I don’t know why I acted like help would leave as soon as we acted on the prompting. This has been such a sweet experience for our family already, and I love that I have this space to share it with you. My three biggest takeaway points from this has been :

  • write down experiences when you have them! You’ll likely need the reminder or reassurance down the road
  • have greater faith. expect that God can and wants to do big things for you.
  • don’t live life out of habit. check in with your soul more often to see what it needs. I’m so glad that I listened that morning and skipped out on the gym that morning. our little family needed it


What’s something you’ve learned or been reminded of after taking a leap of faith?


Our Fourth of July

Happy Fourth of July! I’ve never been one to love this holiday, but this year I’m really digging it. My family just got in last night to visit for a week as they finish their summer vacation of seeing family before heading back to Alaska. You can catch us eating Flag Fruit Pizza, catching some rays, fireworks tonight, and wherever else today takes us! IMG_2518 IMG_2516 IMG_2500IMG_2496IMG_2494IMG_2492IMG_2441IMG_0349IMG_0348 IMG_0347 IMG_0343 IMG_2467aaIMG_0318 aIMG_0310

Scarf + Jeans: American Eagle // Watch: La Mer Collections // Flats: Steve Madden
Headband: Once Upon A Time Creations // Moccasins : Freshly Picked in Golden Rod

Ashland, Oregon | From My Eyes

Monday was a day that just made my soul + heart happy. We got to spend the day with my parents and two youngest sisters; taking our time getting ready in the morning then playing around in Ashland, Oregon for the afternoon.
^ashland-2^blankets from Austria: we’ll take one of each, please!

^^ giraffes are my favorite. that giraffe however, might be my favorite giraffe of all the fake giraffesIMG_9823

^^beautiful little studs with streamlined packaging, yes yes yesAshlandIMG_9835IMG_9839IMG_9815IMG_9903IMG_9873

^^when spending time with family makes you love your husband that much more 
IMG_9834^^classic Kelsey + Kyra photo everything 
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^^ Monday, the one day of the week where the stage goes dark in Ashland
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^^and exploring one of the 93 acres of Lithia Park in Ashland

Ashland was such a beautiful green city with rolling green hills and a fun personality. After walking out of a local running store downtown, Landon and I were both sold which whether it’ll ever happen or not feels good. Finding cities, companies, or people who mesh well with who you are [or want to be] is such a good feeling. The best part was having my parents and sisters there, and that it felt so natural. I decided halfway through the day that maybe it was a good thing I didn’t use my miles and fly home two weeks ago when I was so homesick and just wanted to be with them. The two weeks ended up flying by, we’ll get to spend more time together in a few weeks, and now Landon + I still have the miles to fly up and see them when fall or winter sets in.

Father’s Day Photos | Five Generations

In my sweet 96-year-old Great Grandma’s room in Oregon hangs a few photos, one of them being a 5 generation photo that was taken a few years before I was born. This past Sunday, while all together for the first time in over a year, we were able to take another 5 generation photo: from Paityn to her now Great Great Grandma Anderson. The photos of she + Paityn together just melt my heart completely.
IMG_2915 IMG_2924IMG_2968IMG_2959 ^^L-R, my: great grandma, mom, little one, + grandpa
^^ I love seeing their hands next to each other
IMG_3083IMG_3084^^sharing stories in between photos // Pagga helping his mom back into the house
IMG_3148 IMG_3145 IMG_3137^^ four giggly sisters, reunited again

Now I don’t think it’s important to have a great grandparent still around to feel the importance of family. I hope that whatever your family looks like, that you find joy from those relationships. Naturally my relationship with my great grandma is nothing like it is with both sets of my grandparents, and those relationships are nothing like the relationship I have with my parents. It does feel like a gift though to catch a glimpse of what life is like at 96, and to see that there’s a lot less to worry about with aging than I think. I hope you had a great father’s day. I’m so grateful for my dad and all he did for us, and the love + support he continues to show us. Most of all, getting to see them the day they flew in from Alaska was such a treat!

Monday Mornings

Mondays get a bad rep. Here’s to you, Monday morning, because I love fresh starts:

Having my handsome home safe and sound from his trip to climb Shasta again.
Starting a new 5 week training plan from Jim Stoppani, Superman, and loving day 1.
Coming home from the gym, and seeing little Paityn giggling at me through the window screen.

Finding a group of 10,000 IIFYM buddies after failing to talk my parents or Landon into doing it with me. Getting lots of questions answered + help with calculating my macros from just a simple Facebook post on the group page. So amazing!

This JCrew Factory tshirt.
This cookie dough recipe from Dinners Dashes and Desserts. Oh yes, it’s technically for cookies. Semantics.
Vance Joy | Riptide Unplugged at Music Feeds Studio

These verses: alma 41:14, alma 42:15 + alma 45:7
This quote: “you cannot change what you refuse to confront”
And a countdown of 14 days til I get to see my sweet family!


Memorial Day Weekend


This past weekend was full of food, family, driving + fun memories. We spent Thursday in Natomas with Avery and Trever catching up and seeing what Freebirds was all about. I’ll save you the time, stick with Costa Vida. Friday evening they came over to our place, which ended up being one of my favorite parts of the weekend. Time spent out by the pool soaking up the sun, grabbing dinner at our new favorite sandwich spot, and grabbing a Redbox and watching it back at our place. We’re big on air popped popcorn over here, so we made two batches and let Avery and Trever salt their’s bowl how they like it. Then, Paityn sitting in between us, had one hand in each hand, eating as fast as she could! She can definitely keep up haha.

Saturday, we met up again, then drove down to Guide Dogs For the Blind in San Rafael, it was time to pick up Roamer!

Avery and Trever had raised Roamer as pup for year to be ready for Guide Dog training. Before they began, I hadn’t realized this was something you could do! They were part of the Puppy Raiser program, which you can learn more about Here. For a year they taught Roamer basic obedience and skills he needed to know, went everywhere they went with his green vest on, and then had to leave with the good chance that he wouldn’t come back. Below is a white board full of messages from families that raised puppies of their own: “Take good care of Mochi.” “I will miss you Maureen!” “Have a good life” and the kicker, “Thanks for everything. I won’t forget you.” Yeah, tears accidentally happened, and I’ve never even had a dog.
IMG_8851IMG_8836 In Trever and Avery’s story though, he got to go back. After going through 3 months, and the first 3 out of 8 phases of training at the Oregon campus, they saw that his paws were just too sensitive for what would be required for him as a guid dog. So they got a phone call that he was career changed, and could come home if they wanted him. Which of course, was a yes. Once reunited and paperwork filled out, we got to do a tour of the campus with a few other families. The spirit there was so sweet. We got to see the process from beginning to end: from the pregnant lab, to the 5 week old puppies, to being matched to individuals or couples who would raise one for a year, to the recall process when they return and the training really amps up. IMG_8853
The process continued, and we learned about the importance of matching each guide dog as best as possible to the blind individual. Personalities, mobility and energy and just a few things taken into consideration. We were able to view a bit of the building where the blind individual stays the first two weeks after being matched, where they are able to bond and learn how to work best with their new buddy.

IMG_8855Once done in San Rafael, we drove together down to Kragen and Rachel’s for the rest of the weekend! It was full of sun, popsicles, and fun time together. Never before, have I seen so many spontaneous hug before, than between Reagan, Riley + Paityn. Though I regretted later that we didn’t focus on the purpose of memorial day at all, with a focus on family I feel like we came close.
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