Brian’s keeping me on my toes.

I’ve been surprised by my husband lately.

Brian, who I always assume is on his phone for something Fantasy sports or ESPN related, was recently scrolling through his phone and musing, “There seem to be a lot of dessert recipes with coconut oil these days.”

He also surprised me by caring deeply about his sunglasses that went…missing. Just between us, I sat on them. I didn’t know they were Brian’s nice pair by the shards of plastic remnants, nor can I be expected to be a dainty sitter in the midst of fudge season. Three months ago, they may have been repairable, or at least not completely obliterated by my mid-holiday bod.

Tonight, he surprised me again. I tend to like to “do stuff,” as opposed to sit through a movie (my mind is an untameable grocery list machine when I know we’re almost out of milk) (and we’re always almost out of milk), so Brian took me and my brother Keaton out to an archery range.

I’d never shot an arrow before, but I’m comfortable with you calling me Katniss now.

Or, you can call me bloated, because I pounded the best cheeseburger at THE best place on the Strip, Bobby’s Burger Palace. (Watch your sunglasses.)


The only other burger I’ve kissed that’s not In n Out, AND I was too full to pick at Brian or Keaton’s food. MILESTONE NIGHT!

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Christmas. Heart Heart.

Ahh, yes. The 26th of December. Possibly the second best day of the year, and unofficially recognized in my house as Holiday Hangover Day. We’ve loved being cozy in our home playing with new toys, napping, and picking at treats all day.

Brian and I both regret not having more silent nights this season and are making a mental note for next year. Holiday Season 2016, we over committed to…life.

After Brian’s surgery, a few weeks of working like crazy, fun social events, and festivities with my little guys, I took a quick day trip to Utah to see my sweet cousin Kourtney get married. I have a hard time believing she grew older than sixteen, but it’s what they tell me.

Nothing sweeter than a bride with her dad, especially this dad.

In my Uber home, I realized how unprepared for Christmas I was, and we were at T-36 hours with a loooong work day squished in there.

I relied heavily on Santa this year, “nice” status willing.

After a Christmas Eve parade and dinner, and leaving Santa a plate of unwrapped Hershey kisses (Gus explained they were Santa’s favorite), the babies were tucked in bed. I checked my Santa tracker because I’m still nine, and realized I had 10-40 minutes before Santa arrived…from Canada?? Who am I to question the efficiency of Santa’s flight path (and the most downloaded Santa tracker three years running)? That was a short window for me to complete the entire family’s wrapping and hop into bed before the big man arrived.

I LOVED waking up in my own house, with just my little family, and watching my kids light up. We have had some humble Christmases in the not-so-distant past due to my husband starting up his business, and I’ve felt extra blessed this season to not only have all our needs met, but have gifts under my tree that make my kids’ faces light up.

Like I said, nice list.

The magic really is contagious.

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Things I Wish I’d Known Before Becoming a Mother

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I. Had. No. Idea.

An opportunity to share my infinite mothering wisdom from my three years of experience presented itself, and I shared five things I wish I’d known before becoming a mom with Jess Toolson. Check her out for inspiration, or just to look at her because she’s pretty.

A HANDFUL OF THINGS I WISH I’D KNOWN BEFORE I HAD BABIES

1. You cannot die from no sleep. Don’t worry, I checked, and there are no records of a coroner citing sleeplessess as a cause of death. Well, okay, there was this ONE guy that went eleven days, but I tried to forget about that as I dragged myself out of bed with my second baby. Rest (or not?) assured that although your brain may feel dysfunctional, you will live to see the sun rise again. Then, a few years later, your heart will hurt realizing how quickly the sun set and rose during that time, and you’ll wish you could hold that newborn all over again (or at least remember it more clearly).

2. You don’t need so much STUFF. Why didn’t anyone tell me to calm down with the purchases? And, was it necessary to research laundry detergent for two hours? All the baby “needs” and colossal registry recommendations are going to be stacked in your garage Jenga-style after a few months. After you’ve survived all those sleepless nights, do you really want to risk your life every time you wander into your garage to pull out Christmas decorations? Worse, I’m not even sure if a fatal avalanche of Mama-Roos and double strollers will qualify you for a Darwin Award…

3. Your husband will probably slip from your radar a bit. Before I had kids, my whole universe revolved around my husband. Now, after a weekend of working, tell me: am I going to put pants back on to go to a movie I don’t care about, or stay home to bathe my teeny baby with the best thigh rolls (and go to bed at 9:30)? Get real. It has taken me a couple of years to realize it’s beneficial to everyone in the family to reinstate your husband’s title as your main guy. My husband now knows that he is the only guy I’ll put my pants ON for, which is a much greater compliment to him than the opposite.

4. Kids are FUN.
I wish someone had said, “Hey, you’re going to LIKE this!” instead of telling me horror stories. Kids come with their own unique personalities, and provide constant laughs. Until I became a mother, I didn’t know what true, pure happiness was. I have the most fun friends and great family, an exciting college life, and a wonderful marriage, but I hadn’t experienced true bliss until I saw my first baby smile at me for the first time. There is no elation that can compare. Sure, I’m exhausted and have a weird ponytail every day, but every SINGLE day, I am surprised, I am laughing, and I am in awe of these little humans that light up my whole life.

5. Motherhood isn’t pretty, but that is what makes it incomprehensibly beautiful. According to social media, motherhood means lounging around in a pristine bed with a sleeping baby and a bouquet of flowers, and maybe running to lunch with friends in an #OOTD (outfit of the day).

I just, I don’t…alrighty, bloggers.

Motherhood is Costco on a Saturday; motherhood is defying the laws of physics and being able to juggle any wiggly child/pacifier/bottle/blanket; motherhood is looking in the mirror and not recognizing yourself after two or three days of cleaning up throw up from a sick family; motherhood is innate resourcefulness when you forget to pack wipes; motherhood is never taking a photo when you ARE in bed with a sleeping baby, because you can’t look away from the impossibly perfect face you are studying; motherhood is a million whispered, “I love you”s; motherhood is the most joyous chaos. Motherhood is imperfect and heavenly and messy and teary and hilarious, and just the best.

In my opinion, if motherhood is pretty, it’s wasted.

Besides, pretty is too dainty of a word for a title so strong.

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December 2016 Theme: Feast or Famine

Feast or famine has been the theme of this December, and I mean that quite literally.

I am either feasting on Christmas goodies or at holiday parties, or I’m crazy busy and crazy starving at work. Saturday, I was fortunate enough to find my son’s flattened PB and honey sandwich in the bottom of my purse. I reminded myself that I love paninis.

I’ve also been experiencing the seasonal emotional instability that comes with Hallmark movies, and being moved to misty eyes after watching an angel get her first wings on the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.

Hence, a momentary pause in posting. Busy + food on my fingers + squeegeeing a few tears, can’t type, you know?

However, I HAVE been in the process of submitting pieces to several online sites, with high (borderline unattainably high) hopes of being published, but—have I learned nothing from those Hallmark movies? Sometimes, things get mushy and Christmas magic happens. Ask Bella Hadid.

I’ve also been giving myself pep talks in preparation of embarrassing myself by posting “me” photos, all in the name of building enough of a following to get cracking on writing. My photographer buddy helped me with photos are more illustrative to writing, less portrayal of perfection, which makes me feel slightly less stupid.

We’ve been enjoying so much holiday excitement, I’ve hardly pulled out my camera so I can enjoy the moment without ruining that delicate magic with a mamarazzi flash. We’re all a little pooped, but are looking forward to a couple more visits to the big man before the season is over!

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I’m not minding snuggly nappers!

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Oh, wait. Thanksgiving.

Ever since founding the Save Thanksgiving movement, I’ve felt it necessary to acknowledge Thanksgiving as an independent holiday, since it always gets overshadowed by Christmas.

So, I need to backtrack. I wrote a whole post about our Thanksgiving in Arizona with Brian’s side of the family, and it’s mysteriously vanished.

Is there some kind of exclamation point moderator and I overused them talking about all the fun things we did? Were people consumed with jealousy seeing pictures of my cute new niece Hinkley and report me somewhere? Did I accidently post my dazzling review of Brian’s sweet sister Kasey’s beauuuutiful home on Yelp? (5 stars based on the pebble ice maker alone. Let’s just say I stayed HY-DRATED during the trip.) I didn’t save a copy on my computer or in my brain, but I have to acknowledge it with a few photos and a moment of silence for the words you’ll never read.

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Turkey so good, we ate it for dessert.
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Gus loooooved his older cousins, who were so patient and tolerant of minimal personal space.
Gus loooooved his older cousins, who were so patient and tolerant of minimal personal space.

I could say, “It was fun!” blah blah, but more importantly, I had that “family holiday” vibe. I love that when I visit my inlaws now, I finally have that “I’m with family” feeling. It’s just comfortable. I like it.

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