Wednesday, December 30, 2015


I described 2013 as the best year ever. I described 2014 as exhausting. How would I describe 2015? I'm not so sure. A mix of happy and utter sorrow. Harrow? Haprow? I don't know.

There has been so much beauty in this year. I started the year with a precious little baby and ended the year with an amazing, busy toddler. That has most definitely been the highlight of this year, watching my sweet son transform. He is CONSTANTLY talking, and it's most often in English. He still speaks a little "Jonahese" every now and then. He doesn't walk anywhere, but runs. The only time I see him slow down is when he approaches our tile entryway while wearing his footie jammies. Other than that, he's hauling. He loves music, and it's been awesome to see him try so hard to sing along. He started attending nursery at church (and I spy on him every single week). He can say so many words, understand even more, and is growing constantly. It's been overwhelming to feel so much love and wonder for my little man.

Jordan's professional life has made big improvements this year. He received a raised and has gotten a lot of recognition for his hard work and skills at his office. He has found his spot at work, and he really enjoys his boss and job. Plus, with his hard work, we were able to pay off our student loans this year! On Thanksgiving, we gave Sally Mae her last piece of pie. We are thrilled.

We didn't go on any exotic vacations this year, but we had some nice getaways. I got to go to Seattle three times, as well as Oregon to visit my sister and her new baby. We did several weekend trips to Tulsa. In June, we took our first trip WITHOUT Jo when we went to Vegas, which was a lot of fun. In September, Jordan and I took another trip sans toddler to Dallas for a weekend. Other than that, our travels were pretty simple this year.

Another highlight of 2015 was seeing my family. Oh, how I miss my family members. I got to see my sister three times this year (for a total of about four weeks, which was nice. Yay for long visits!), I got to see my oldest brother's family twice, and I got to see my other oldest brother's family once. I got to go home for Christmas. I got to have my parents come for a week to visit me here in Oklahoma. My brother and his family stayed a week with us, which was heavenly. I'm so happy to see everyone.

On the flip side, I have missed my family so much this year, much more than the previous years. My homesickness is always there, though its intensity fluctuates. This year, however, it never seemed to fade. I think part of it is because we don't really have an end in sight here in Oklahoma. That worries me. Also, I am seeing my siblings all settle where they are, and I struggle to know how we can live close by. 

This year, we had to say goodbye to Jordan's beloved grandfather. We saw him last Christmas, and he was so happy and energetic. A mere four days later, he was in the hospital, and died a little over a month later. 

The world was so sad this year. All the shootings, the political garbage, the sad cases of refugees....sometimes it was too much to bear just reading about it. There have been many days this year where I worry about the future for my son. It's a sad worry to have.

For me, the hardest part of the year has been the last two months. In July, we decided to go back on my fertility treatment. I had to wean Baby Jo, which broke my heart. July, August, and September resulted in no pregnancy. We were able to conceive in October. I found out on Halloween morning, and it was probably my happiest day of the whole year. Sadly, we found out a few days later that my hcg numbers were a bit low, and five days later I miscarried. I have spent November and December with a heavy dark cloud hanging over my head. Christmas was an ok distraction, but not great. I am embarrassed at how upset this makes me, as I know there are so many women who cannot have ANY children while I have my son, but I can't help my grief right now. It's been so hard to accept that my children won't be the age spacing that I had dreamed. It scares me that I won't be able to have as many children as I want to have in life, and I hate the uncertainty of getting pregnant again.I feel rather powerless, yet somehow completely responsible for my fertility. It's been emotionally and mentally exhausting. Plus, my doctor told me that my condition has a miscarry rate of 38%, which makes me sick to my stomach. I had such high hopes of ending this year with a pregnancy....but I hope 2016 will result in that. 

At the end of the day (and the end of the year), I am grateful for the past 12 months. Living them and experiencing them is far better than the alternative. I'm grateful for everyday I have on this earth; even the really sad, terrible days. 

In 2016, my goals are the following: get friggin' pregnant, take an exciting vacation without my kid, take a fun vacation WITH my kid, and to have fewer sad days and more happy days. Stay tuned!

Jordan's Birthday

Blog fail. I didn't write a tribute to Jordan for his birthday. Every year, I am so good at doing that, but the past two months have been hard ones. So here I am, a few weeks late. Happy Birthday to my guy. We spent the eve of his birthday doing what he loves at his "Happy Place": We golfed at the new driving range. He did well. I was terrible. But it was fun.

I love that action shot of him. He looks like he belongs on the top of a trophy. Happy Belated Birthday, Jordan. You make me laugh. You drive me crazy. You make me swoon. You make me roll my eyes. You make me happy.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy Intergalactic Halloween

In our home, Halloween is done like so: I choose our costumes, I make design/make/buy our costumes, and then Jordan wears whatever I give him on October 31. It works perfectly for us because I love to be in complete control of my favorite holiday, and Jordan likes not having to put any effort into it.

However, there was a little change this year.  In May of this year, we visited the Oklahoma Science Museum where the had a space exhibit. While looking at the various astronaut uniforms on display, Jordan asked, "Hey, have you already planned our Halloween costumes, because I think our little guy would be a cute astronaut!"

As a former child therapist, I am a firm believer in positive reinforcement. So when my normally apathetic-about-Halloween husband made a suggestion, I wanted to encourage him! I sewed Jo's costume from scratch (a first for me. Thank goodness fleece is so forgiving!) and made his jet pack out of two empty vinegar bottles. We did buy the helmet off Amazon because it was only about $6, which is worth NOT trying to papier mache a lumpy, dumpy helmet for him on my own.

And until Baby Jo starts protesting, I am committed to family theme costumes. Jordan and I were aliens. Our costumes were pretty simple, but after spending too much time on Jo's outfit, I was cool with that.

This was the first year that Jo Willy went trick-or-treating! Once he understood the concept that walking up to the door would result in candy being placed in his bucket, he was hooked! He attempted to go into houses each time they opened the door, and he successfully got through the door once! I felt pretty dumb running into the house saying, "Sorry sorry sorry!" We spent the whole month practicing how to say trick-or-treat. By the end of the month, Jo would say, "Tai-Tay!" It was adorable. However, tonight, he was completely silent the entire time. Oh well.

  And lastly, no Halloween would be complete without me carving a pumpkin. Here is this year's model:
I was hoping my son would share in the excitement of carving pumpkins, but unfortunately, he tends to lean more toward his dad on this one. He had ZERO interest in touching the pumpkin guts. I don't get it. That's the best part!

Happy Halloween!!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015


Here is another list of some books that I have read in the last few months.

Room, by Emma Donogue: Of all the books I have read this year, this one is my favorite. The story is told by Jack, a five year old boy who has grown up in captivity with his mother. This book was SUCH an emotional roller coaster; I felt sad, excited, angry, and terrified throughout the story. So many times I wanted to reach my arms out into the pages of the book and give Jack and his mother a hug. Great book.

Pretty Ugly, by Kirker Butler: This book gets a big "Meh" from me. It started out silly and fun, but ended up being over the top and unlikable, even for satire.

Bridget Jones' Diary, by Helen Fielding: My friend suggested this book to me as "a way to feel better about your life". It's a silly, lighthearted book about poor Bridget, a 30-something who doesn't know how to date, diet, or quit smoking properly. The story narrated through diary entries, which is fun.

Everything I Never Told You, by Celeste Ng: Oh, man. This book was heartbreaking. It's about a family struggling with the recent death of their teenage daughter/sister. There is no single protagonist. The narrator, though in third person, describes each family member's thoughts and feelings at various times throughout the book. So many times I wanted to scream at the characters, like I sometimes feel tempted to do in movies. It's beautifully written.

For the Right Reasons, by Sean Lowe: I am absolutely embarrassed to even write down that I read this book, but curiosity got the best of me.  I am a recovered Bachelor/Bachelorette viewer (two seasons sober! Taking it one step at a time), and there was so much of this ridiculous franchise that I wanted to get a scoop on. Sean, former Bachelor, who actually married his "winner", gives a lot of poorly written information about the other side of the show. Not surprisingly, the book was dumb and full of backdoor bragging.

Austenland, by Shannon Hale: This was my second favorite book in this bunch. The best word I can use to describe it is "Delicious". It's a quick, fun story; it was like reading candy. I identified so much with the protagonist, Jane, though our lives are quite different. The narration is funny and the characters are silly. I am SO GLAD that I didn't watch the movie first, because the movie was terrrrrrible.

Midnight in Austenland, by Shannon Hale: Obviously, I was excited to read this sequel, though it was not nearly as delightful. The lead character is different, and while I liked her ok, it just wasn't the same. The story is much different, as well as the writing. I ended up not finishing it.

Harry Potter Books, 1-4, by J.K. Rowling: One of my goals to complete before I turn 30 is to read all the Harry Potter books. Once my 29th birthday came and went, I got down to business and read/listened to the first four. I liked them, but I don't think I will ever be the hardcore HP lover that so many people are in my life. I would say my favorite so far is Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. The fourth book was so long, and I struggled to get into the story, so I have since slowed down my Hogwart's journey. I need to get back on it, I know.

I feel like I am forgetting some. Hmmm....

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

More Jo Willy Words

Our little guy's vocab has EXPLODED in the past two weeks. It's been so fun to hear all the new words that Jo has picked up. He surprises us everyday with a new word that he can say on his own without prodding... of course, after we hear him say it, the prodding ensues to get him to say it again. Jordan stated, "This is liking the best pet in the world!" I agree.

As of tonight, here is a list of his words:

Ball (pronounced "Boh")
Bird (pronounced "But"
Baba (bottle)
Bib (pronounced "Beeb")
Food (pronounced "Foo")
More (pronounced "Moh")
Car (pronounced "Cah")
Bike (pronounced "Bock")
Truck (pronounced "Chuck")
Wawa (Water)
Bath (pronounced "Baht")
Please (pronounced "Beez")
Tree (pronounced "Tee"
Shirt (pronounced "Sheet")
Duck (prounced "Cuck")
Jesus (prounced "Jee-Jee", or "Jee-uh")
Fish (prounced "Feesh")
Bear (pronounced "Bah")
Choo-Choo (train
Beep Beep
Vroom Vroom

He can also do the following animal sounds:

Cat = "Meow"
Dog = "HMM! HMM! HMM!"
Chicken = "Bahbahbah" (as in "Bock bock bock")
Monkey = "Aw Aw Aw" ( as in "Oo oo Aw Aw")
Bear/Tiger = "Raw!"
Cow = "Broo Broo" or "Moo"

I am gonna miss these adorable pronunciations! My favorites have to be "cuck" for duck, as well as "moh" for more. What I love is how he always says in an asking inflection. "Moh? Moh?" LOVE it.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Translation from 16 Month Old to English

Cah! (said with the cutest inflection): Car
Tuck: Truck
Cuck: Something that is either a car, or a truck.
Vum Vum Vum: Vroom Vroom Vroom
Bow!: Ball, or Book
Bow! (while moving hand like a talking beak): Bird
At: Hat (this one is said approximately 10000000000 times a day)
Moh: More
She-ew: Shoe
Sheeee: Also Shoe
Shite: Shirt
Bah-Bah: Bottle
Mum: Mom
Mama: Also Mom
Dada: Dad
Nuh nuh nuh: No

Along with these adorable words, Baby Jo also signs hat, bird, more, socks, shoes, and train, and all done. He waves hello and goodbye, blows "kisses", high fives, kiiiinda does knuckles, and shakes his head emphatically when he does NOT want to do something. He has mastered the art of pointing at what he wants, as well.

It's been so fun to discover his new methods of communication! He is growing up so quickly. It's amazing to see words that he can understand well, even if he cannot say them. For example:

When I say "Time to take a bath," he runs to the bathroom door and starts banging on it.

When I say, "Time for breakfast/lunch/dinner/snack," he runs and pats his high chair.

When I ask him if he wants to get the mail, he jumps up and stands by the door. The same goes for "Let's get in the car!"

We also like to play fetch with them, where we ask him to bring us certain items in the room and see if he knows what we are talking about. This reminds me of a cute story about this fetching game. We were having him bring us different toys that were directly in front of him, when Jordan asked him to bring us the owl. There was a small plastic owl a few feet in front of Baby Jo. He immediately turned around and ran away from us down the hall. We assumed he was done with the game and had moved onto a new adventure. However, about ten seconds later, Jo came running back to us with a huge smile on his face, carrying a stuffed animal owl from his bedroom. Adorable!

I simply cannot wait to see what new words he learns in the upcoming month. Stay tuned.

Friday, July 17, 2015

What Happened in Vegas

On June 3, Jordan and I went on our first vacation WITHOUT THE KID. It was to Las Vegas. We picked Vegas because there was a conference that Jordan wanted to attend for CEU's, meaning that his work would pay for his flight, our hotel, and Jordan's food, making it a nice budgeted trip. Plus, it was only four days, which was the perfect amount of time away from Baby Jo for the first time ever.

Leading up to the trip, I'll admit that I was pretty anxious. Jordan has spent several days away from Jo (usually due to ME leaving on a trip with the baby), but I had never spent a night without him (minus one NICU night where I came home for 6 hours). I was nervous about leaving my little guy. "What if he wonders where we are the whole time?" and "What if he thinks we abandoned him?" were only a few of my constant worries in my head. While lamenting to my sister over the phone about how I would probably not even have a good time because of all the motherly worry, my sister said, "I bet once the plane is in the air headed to Vegas, you won't even be thinking about your baby."

Whattaknow, she was right!

One fun part of our trip was that we were able to go with another couple from our ward, Alex and Kimberly (he is a PA who also went to the training). They were a lot of fun to hang out with and I was happy to have the company during the daytime while Jordan was at his classes.

On Wednesday, we checked into our hotel and then headed to Fremont District, AKA Old Las Vegas, AKA Street of Boobs. The scenery was charming. It is the iconic, original street of Vegas before the Strip was built... you know, with the neon cowboy and what not. It was fun to see the old casinos....what was less fun to see were all the young women who were topless, except for some strategically placed stickers! Yikes.


On Thursday, Jordan was in class from 7-5, so I had the whole day to kill without him. I tried to sleep in, but my body was still in the Central Time Zone. So I did the next best thing: lay in bed for as long as I wanted while reading blogs and facebook. That right there was a vacation! After a lazy morning, Kimberly and I hit the Strip to check out a ton of the free touristy things. We also saw a magic show together in the afternoon by a guy named Nathan Burton. The show was a lot of fun, EXCEPT for one problem. I was sitting next to this older guy and his friend (probably both in their late 60's). When the show started, they not-so-quietly discussed how EVERY trick was done. "I bet there are wires, " "She's holding onto something in that box," was driving me crazy! Look, buddy, OBVIOUSLY there is an explanation for every single trick. Ugh! I finally tapped him on the shoulder and said politely with a smile, "It's no fun to try to guess the tricks! Stop trying to figure them out and enjoy them!" Thankfully, that seemed to put a stop to the mystery solving for the rest of the show!

After the show, we met up with our boyzzz, ate dinner, and headed to New York, New York to ride the huge roller coaster. It was a very fun, very windy, and very long ride! You can tell from my picture how fast it was. Haha!

We ended the evening by seeing Blue Man Group together. It was a great, interesting show- nothing like I have ever seen before. The show had a great mix of tricks, music, and comedy.The theater was full of black lights, so before the show started, the staff gave everyone tons of neon crepe paper to decorate themselves. I'm glad we went, but my only complaint was the show didn't start until 9:30 PM, and I was still very much on Oklahoma time. Jordan and I were sooooo tired toward the end of the show, which was too bad. But overall, it was fantastic!

The next day, Kimberly and I looked at a few more free tourist things. Jordan got off early so we hit the pools.... but didn't stay long. Caeser's Palace pools weren't very fun. Plus, they were all full of people not wanting to swim; just drink booze and talk loudly. Meh.

In the evening, Jordan and I ate at a very nice restaurant named Trevi. It was inside Caeser's Palace and looked as though it was outside. It was neat! We ended the night by watching the musical Rock of Ages. The music was a ton of fun, but the show itself wasn't very good. I'm no prude, but I felt like it was unnecessarily sexual. Oh, well.
Outside in Rome? Nope! Indoors in Nevada.

On Saturday, Jordan and I watched a daytime comedy show together by a comedian magician named Mac King. He was fun to watch. His stage was simple- no show girls, no music, no...nothing. He did some pretty cool tricks, though, like make a real life goldfish appear out of thing air, etc. It was cool.

We also got lucky on Saturday with the slots! Jordan and I decided to budget some casino fun money for the trip. Originally, we planned on playing something more interactive, like Black Jack or Roulette. But the tables always looked so intense and confusing, and the dealers seemed to have little patience for those who didn't quite know what they were doing, so we stuck with the less intimidating slot machines. I hit the jack pot and won $2.50, and Jordan hit one and won $50. Woohoo!

We ate dinner with our friends on Saturday, and then Jordan and I hit up the wax museum together. Jordan was willing to go, but I was EXCITED to go! I had a little too much fun dorking out with all the wax figures. At the end of the museum, we got to watch a 4D show with moving seats about Marvel super heroes. Then we watched the Mirage Volcano "explode" and headed back to our hotel.

The next day we slept in, checked out of our hotel and headed to the air port. It was a fun trip and it was the perfect amount of time to be away from the baby for the first time. We had a great time, but we all agreed that we were a bit Vegased out. The city has a lot to see, including tons of images of poor, most likely trafficked women scattered everywhere. It made me feel so hopeless for them. It broke my heart.

So that is what happened in Vegas. Woot woot.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

14 months

Baby Jo is now 14 months old. He's changing so quickly, I feel like I can't keep up! Here are a few updates.

Favorites: Jo LOVES his toy cars and balls the best out of all his toys. He hands me cars often during the day and cracks up when I make them roll over his head. He makes a cute little "MMMMM" sound while he pushes his cars on the floor. He is getting really good at throwing balls. He likes to play catch, or more like Kind of Throw.

His favorite NON-baby toy is my cell phone; specifically FaceTime. If he finds a phone, he will take it to me, reach for my hand, pry open my fingers, and place the phone in my palm. It's hilarious! He loves to smile and stare at anyone who is willing to Face Time with him. Then he promptly hangs up on them. I don't think he is TRYING to be rude; it's just that the red hang up button is so enticing to push.

Food: Jo is STILL a dang picky eater. If he had his way, every meal would consist of oranges, meatballs, and goldfish crackers. Other acceptable foods are mac and cheese, shredded chicken, turkey hotdogs, cheese ravioli, his mom's homemade chicken noodle soup, bananas, graham crackers, and fruit yogurt. It is impossible to feed this kid a vegetable. Luckily, he has started getting the hang of drinking whole milk.

Fashion: This month, Jo has discovered hats. He is obsessed with them. His favorites are baseball caps that he insists on wearing backwards like Daddy. He likes Dad sized hats too, though he is tolerant of baby hats. When he sees them on the coat/hat rack, he reaches his hand up as high as he can. It's dang adorable.

Talking: His new catch phrase is "Uh-Oh." He says anything he drops something, whether or not the drop was intentional. He also yells, "MAY MAY MAY!" when he is frustrated with something, and never anytime else. He still says "Mama" a lot, though rarely while looking at me. When he is not saying those words, he is constantly babbling. We are pretty sure he loves the sound of his own voice, Luckily, we love the sound of voice too.

Nursing: We attempted to wean two weeks ago due to me and Jordan leaving to Las Vegas for four days, but it was unsuccessful. At one point, I was down to nursing one time per day. Then Jo came to me carrying my boppy pillow two times, and I caved. He did fine without it while I was in Vegas, but now that I am home, he is back on the tap.

Tricks: He can blow a kiss, wave hello and goodbye, high five, and give big, open mouth kisses. He also loves to run away and be chased, tackle his huge stuffed dragon, and just be dang cute. We just love this kid of ours.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Steppin' Up

On the morning of April 25, my little boy took his first steps.  It was the cutest little thing I had ever seen. Before that, he had been able to stand unsupported for a few seconds at a time, but nothing very long at all. That morning, I was in the kitchen fixing breakfast when I heard Jordan call out, "Babe, come in here!" I peeked my head around the corner and saw my little guy standing by himself, smiling proudly, wearing blue footy PJ's covered in monkeys and bananas. He looked so excited. All of a sudden, he took four steady steps! I was so shocked that I yelped...or maybe it wasn't a yelp. More like, "EEEEAAAUGH!" He swiftly face planted right after that and took very few steps for a few days.

One week later, his walking was sporadic and clumsy. Lots of toppling over and falling. It broke my mama heart to see my baby have to fall over and over and over. He obviously wasn't in pain due to the lack of crying, but it still made me sad.

The following weekend after that was Mother's Day. His mode of transportation was about 80% walking and 20% crawling, with very few falls.

And now? Crawling is a thing of the past. He is a full on walker. He has mastered holding objects, playing with toys, drinking from his sippy cup, and even holding a bucket over his head while walking.

I have to admit, it's been pretty great to have a little biped. He is better at entertaining himself now that he can happily walk all around the house. It's so nice to easily set him down on the ground standing, opposed to having to lay him somewhere and set him on his butt. He's less clingy and doesn't need to be held all the time. It's been liberating! But a small part of me cringes at his new ability. I miss the sweet sound of his hands slapping our tile floor while he crawled in the kitchen, or how he would crawl up to our lap and paw at our leg if he wanted a bite of whatever we were eating. There are few things more adorable than seeing a baby crawl in excitement toward something. I'm sad that it is over.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

30 Before 30 Update

I turned 29 a few weeks ago (whaaaaat?). It’s one of those ages that always seemed so far away. Part of me thought I would be in my 20’s forever. But behold, I am approaching 30.

Last year, 11 days before I turned 28, I was able to complete one of my 30 Before goals- I became a mother. What I have realized is THIS goal has taken over pretty much all of other goals. It’s hard to learn how to scuba dive when you are at home with an infant. Since I am taking time off of work to be a stay-at-home parent, I don’t see myself being asked to give a professional lecture soon. While I still CAN run a half marathon some day, this year has not been an ideal one to train for, as for the first six month’s of my baby’s life, he needed to be fed every two hours.

Because of this, there is no chance that I will accomplish all 30 of these goals. But you what, that’s ok. I’ve been able to check off some really great ones, the most important ones to me, in fact. So, with that being said, here is an update on my goals over the past years The goals with a line through them are the ones I completed through my 28th birthday. Some of them I have altered to become more plausible.

30 Before 30 List
Due Date: April 1 2016

1. Obtain my MSW
2. Become an LCSW
3. Become a home owner
4. Become a dog owner

owner   Changed to: Have a dog in my home that I care for. I puppysat for a friend last summer. It made me realize that getting a new dog AND caring for a baby is just not workable for me. So sadly, I will not become a dog owner in my 20’s. So….DONE.

5. Become a mother
6. Go to Europe
7. Take Jordan to Hawaii  Done! We went in September!
8. Read the Harry Potter books I've read the first two books and I am working on the third right now.
9.  Sew a dress
10. Become a certified adoption home study worker
11. Complete at least one home study for a family

family I have offered to do home studies for LDS Family Services before they suspended their adoption services. I now have a lead on someone who I can shadow and hopefully do this soon.

12. Go scuba diving

I just don’t see this happening this year. I was able to snorkel a ton in Hawaii, so that’s something.
13.  See the show Wicked
14.  Write a book (not a novel- just a children's book. I highly doubt I'll ever get published, but I think it would be fun to complete a book for the sake of doing it)

I have not done this, but my sweet mom bought me an online book writing workshop. I’m excited to finish the course and hopefully finish a book.

15.  Go skiing with Jordan
16. Run a half marathon
17. Pay for a stranger's groceries anonymously 
Changed to pay for a stranger’s groceries. There was an attempt, but they politely refused.
18. Pay for a stranger's meal anonymously
19. Take a voice lesson
20. Take a piano lesson
21. Take a dance lesson

I have found a salsa dance lesson that I want to take. Jordan and I planned to go, but the class got snowed out. I DO go to Zumba weekly, so maybe I can count that? I feel that it has improved my dance skillz….which are still limited.

22. Sing a solo
23. Participate in a flashmob Are these even still a thing?? I never hear about them anymore.
I’m changing this one altogether to: Take a trip without Baby Jo.We will get this one done in June!
24. Get a pedicure
25. Read Jesus the Christ Jordan and I started this book, but didn't get far. It is now available as an audiobook on, so I may just listen to it.
26. Throw a big party
27. Eat at the Crab Pot in Seattle
28. Finish a scrapbook about Jordan and my courtship
29. Give a professional lecture (as a guest lecturer or a teacher)
30. Learn how to moonwalk

Looks like I have a lot left for this final year. Gulp.