1. Wednesday, July 23, 2014

    Moving Right Along.

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    ^Unrelated to this post, but too cute not to share!^

    So life has been a little bit hectic lately. For reasons I cannot really get into, my younger (fifteen year old) twin brothers are coming to live with Ryan and me. We feel confidant it’s the direction God is leading us, and are trusting his plan for it all. This has led to us needing to move into a bigger place, and so this last week we have been busy packing and moving! 

    If I’m honest: I did not want to move. It’s expensive and exhausting. And I liked our old place. I felt really settled there and kind of grew an attachment to it. It was our home. And it was where we brought home our first baby. I really thought we would live there for several years, until we could maybe buy our own place. But then the move happened, and it all sort of happened fast. It was a little overwhelming. 

    But our new place is great! The neighborhood is really nice, and there are shops, restaurants, and parks within walking distance. AND WE HAVE A GARAGE! I’ve never had a garage before. And let me tell you, it is a game changer. Where did I keep all of my crap before?! I have no idea. But I am in storage heaven. 

    Still lots to do and lots to unpack. But I know as we get settled it will feel more and more like home. Feeling very grateful. Just trying to continue to trust in Him. 

  2. Tuesday, July 15, 2014

    Eveleigh’s 5 Month Pictures

    Our sweet little Eveleigh turned 5 months old a little over a week ago. Can’t believe it! She is getting so so big! She is in the 83rd percentile for weight, and 95th for height. She’s a little chunker for sure. Love her little leg rolls. They melt me. 

    It’s been a little busy around these parts so hadn’t taken out the nice camera for pictures in a little bit. So the other day I finally made time to snap these pictures of her. I just love this age. She is so smiley and sweet and loves to interact! 

  3. Sunday, June 29, 2014

    iphone diaries.

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    Just a little glimpse into life lately, according to my iPhone. :)

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  4. Saturday, June 21, 2014

    A Little Trip To San Francisco

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    I really love San Francisco. This was my second visit there, and it is just such a vibrant & beautiful city. I love the old row houses, the parks, the landscape, the restaurants and culture. We stayed in this beautiful old victorian townhouse that we booked through Air BnB. Seriously, amazing. I wish we could’ve stayed longer. The architecture and the details were so gorgeous. I really enjoyed pretending to live there. 

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    ^^She looks like a little baby buddha here haha! Cracks me up!^^

  5. Friday, June 20, 2014

    My Journey To Motherhood.

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    The deep, intense, and unconditional love I have for my daughter is a Iove I didn’t even know I was capable of. And not just how much I love her but how much I love being her mommy.

    Motherhood was not always an aspiration of mine. While I figured I would someday have children, I did not grow up dreaming about the day I would have my own baby and be a mom. I never had a very good representation of what family was all about. What I knew of family was mostly pain, heartache, drama, lies, deceit, neglect, drug addiction. Even church families I lived with in my teen years oozed with dysfunction.

    I did not grow up with the value of family deeply instilled in me. And thus having a family of my own never felt like a priority. I falsely believed that having children meant that my life would cease to exist. That I would become a hollow shell of a person with no dreams or life of my own. Bleak outlook, eh? The funny thing was that I actually loved kids. I was a nanny and baby-sitter for years. But they were not my kids and I was not solely responsible for them. I got to enjoy their cuteness and then hand them back over. 

    Over time, in my relationship with Ryan, my views slowly began to change. His family was warm and kind and actually knew how to love each other. Not perfect, as no family is, but they loved each other well. And I would see Ryan with kids and see how great he was with them, and I saw a man that would make a great father some day. The type of father that the world desperately needs more of.

    When we married I knew we would someday start a family, but that day was distant and not at all on my radar. So much so that I feared my world would crumble if I accidentally got pregnant before I was ready. Ryan, on the other hand, had baby fever. He was happy to wait until I was ready and enjoyed the time with just the two of us, but he longed to be a Father. We talked about waiting five years. We both wanted time to travel, to dream, to be young and just enjoy life (And in my mind all fun/joy/happiness was bound to cease once we became parents. Ridiculous, I now know.). So we waited. But the trouble was, even as years passed by I still kept saying “five more years.” The time never decreased, and I liked keeping it a vague distant plan.

    One night, after two years of marriage, in our apartment up in LA, Ryan finally shared his heart with me. His dreams of being a father. How being a Dad was at the top of his list. I listened to my sweet Husband talk about his family and our future family, and why it was important to him. How he didn’t like the vague “five years” that should’ve become three years at that point. My eyes filled with tears and my heart softened. Of course I wanted to have kids with him. In the end, I was just terrified. Filled with so much fear around the whole subject of having a family and being a mom. Fear that I would be a bad mom. Fear that it would ruin our marriage. Fear that it would ruin my body. Fear that we wouldn’t have enough money. Fear that we’d never get to travel. Fear that I would be unhappy. Fear. Fear. Fear. It was paralyzing. I prayed and gave it over to God and slowly, over time, the fear gave way to hope and even optimism. 

    As time passed and more of our family and friends had children of their own, I began to see how skewed my perception had been. I even began to dream about having some little nuggets of our own. About how it might actually be pretty wonderful. 

    My viewpoint on my career even changed, as I realized how much I wanted to raise a family. The time I spent working various jobs and pursuing acting helped me see that it wasn’t all I thought it would be. Having a family became a priority, even over my career.  I started to see the value in it. The immense value and importance of family and raising children. I think I did more growing in that one year of my life than in all the previous years combined.

    And then before I knew it, after over three years of marriage, I started to feel ready. Even sooner than I thought I would. At this point we had paid off some debt and gotten into a better place financially, and had moved to Orange County into a bigger place. We’d been praying and talking about it for several months… And then one afternoon, we were walking around the lake near our house, and we decided to start trying and see what happened. The next month I was pregnant with our sweet little Eveleigh. 

    In the beginning of my pregnancy I was afraid to get too excited. Just in case something happened. I was nervous when we walked into our first doctors appointment and ultrasound, but then I heard my little baby’s heartbeat for the first time and my heart welled with love. Throughout my pregnancy my love continued to grow until finally, on the day she was born, my heart was so full I thought it might burst.

    And every day, even the hard ones, has been a blessing. And I am just so so grateful for my little family, and so grateful for the privilege of being a mom. ♥ 

  6. Friday, June 13, 2014

    Whole 30 Challenge

    Today is day 13 of Ryan and I’s very first Whole 30 challenge. I’m pretty sure I went through all 5 stages of grief, but am now (finally!) accepting and embracing it! It’s funny, I always thought I ate pretty healthy, until we cut out all the unhealthy stuff and I realized how badly I wanted it. When we were on our vacation in Yosemite & San Francisco I thought about all the terrible food I would consume and justify it because we’re on vacation. All the ice cream, chips, and junk food. It’s just like road trips and junk food were made for each other! That week was definitely the hardest. Not to mention it was our first week. I begged to start Whole 30 when we got back from our trip but Ryan really insisted we start June 1st so we could do it with a group of friends who were all starting that day. But it was definitely challenging to eat well on the road!

    Looking back I am so glad we did start when we did. It helped train me to make good choices even when we’re not at home. That I need to eat healthy and be cognizant of what I’m putting into my body even while traveling. That there are healthy options out there that still taste great and won’t leave me feeling sluggish, it just requires a little more effort!

    I’m definitely still eating crazy huge portion sizes due to nursing though. But it’s bigger portions of healthier food, so it’s better for me and therefore better for the baby too. I have to make sure to consume enough calories to keep my supply up, and so far it has not been an issue. I’ve cut my workouts down to twice a week, which helps it not be too extreme. So overall I feel good about it! 

    One thing I’ve noticed is how many products at the grocery store contain added sugar! It’s insane. Lunch meats, salsas, pasta sauce, breakfast foods, etc. This challenge has definitely enlightened me to the importance of checking food labels. Unfortunately it takes me twice as long at the grocery store… but I think it’s definitely worth it!

    Almost halfway there! Hoping to finish strong! :)

  7. Monday, June 9, 2014

    Our Trip To Yosemite

    I don’t think I ever fully understood the meaning of the word majestic until we went to Yosemite. I’ve literally dreamt of going there for the last 5 years. When I still lived in Florida, I got a “Visit California” magazine in the mail, and it had several pictures and images of Yosemite National Park. Ever since then it has been on my heart & mind as a must visit destination. 

    We’ve tried to plan a trip there every summer since we moved to California, but it didn’t happen for one reason or another. But this summer we finally made it happen! And it was really special having our sweet little Eveleigh along for the ride. This was our first big trip with her and she did really well! Which definitely made the whole trip easier for us all. 

    After our visit to Yosemite, we headed West and stayed a night in San Francisco, but more on that later. ♥  

  8. Sunday, May 25, 2014

    This happened last night. I crack up every time I see it, it just doesn’t get old to me. 

  9. Sunday, May 25, 2014

    A Little Playdate

    A couple of weeks ago we had a little playdate over at Laguna Beach. It was actually Eveleigh’s first playdate! She hasn’t really been around too many other babies. So it was fun to see her reaction and see her observe and take it all in. 

    It’s so nice to have a couple that lives nearby that is our age & has a baby around Eveleigh’s age. It’s so important to have friendships and have people to do life with. In my adult life I haven’t had too many close friends, but the ones I do have I really cherish. The older I get the more I realize how important having community & fellowship is. I really want to invest time in my relationships and pursue friendships. Even (and especially) with my friends that are scattered across the country and I don’t get to see regularly. The distance means a little more effort is required, but it is certainly worth it. 

  10. Thursday, May 22, 2014

    Girl Meets Boy.

                           

                                        ^Our wedding day, March 7th, 2010.^

                

                                ^Fall, 2005. Check out our sweet hair ;)^

    In honor of throwback Thursday, I thought I would share a little bit about how we met and came to be together! 

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    It was 2004 and I was a young little thing. Never would I have guessed that I would meet the man I would some day marry at 14 years old (and yet I guess I always sort of loved the idea of a Cory & Topanga kind of romance). 

    It wasn’t quite love at first site. I was standing in our church lobby with a friend when Ryan approached me, on behalf of his friend, stating “My friend thinks you’re really pretty. Which you are. But don’t let it go to your head.” Oh, well, gee, thanks! It was all so very high school. 

    Time passed and there was a group of us who would all hangout together after church. I actually even ended up briefly dating the previous mentioned friend  - we even went to my freshman year homecoming together. That faded quickly but amicably though. Then it was almost summer of 2005 and a group of us were going to a CD store to see  Ryan’s new band Between The Trees play a show. We were all hanging out and killing time before the show began. We decided to drive over to the mall. Problem was, there wasn’t enough room in the cars. So they were having the girls sit on the boys lap. I was supposed to sit on Ryan’s. I refused. “I’m sorry I don’t feel comfortable sitting on your lap. I don’t know you that well. It’s not appropriate.” Good girl! This surprised Ryan and caught his attention. We ended up getting into a really great conversation and talked for while. That moment and the subsequent conversations allowed us to see each other in a new way. It sparked both of our interests. A lightbulb went off in my head and I was like “hmm… I might like him.”

    The next week I saw him at church and asked if he had my number. He didn’t, so I gave it to him and told him to call me. Very forward of me, I know. He did and we talked until 4 a.m. that night. Soon after I went up North for the summer to visit family. We talked a lot that summer, and when I returned we began dating. We shared our first “I love you” on August 3rd, 2005. Older friends, parents, and siblings would often comment “Aww puppy love! So cute.” But I knew it was so much more than that. I just knew this was the man I would someday marry. 

    Ryan would’ve married me right on my eighteenth birthday - but I knew I wanted to wait a little while longer. I wanted to complete at least a little bit of college before getting married. I completed my AA degree in 2009, and that October Ryan proposed (which, by the way, was pretty much the sweetest/best proposal ever). We married on March 7th, 2010 - an intimate outdoor wedding. It was such an amazing, romantic day, and one I will never forget.

    One of the blessings of meeting Ryan so young is that we really grew up together. We went through so much & grew so much. Instead of growing apart we just grew closer together, and share such a deep connection because of it. I love chasing our dreams together and now starting this crazy adventure of parenthood together. I know our love is forever and I feel so blessed to have such an amazing man to share my life with.

    There is obviously so much more to our whole story, but this little snippet will have to do for now. ♥ 

    ^The  night he proposed. October 30th, 2009.^

    ^A few of our engagement pictures. Wedding & engagement photos by Jessica Bennett Photography^

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