May 24, 2017


A few of my favorite pictures from the hospital with Shiloh. I had a friend once refer to the time in the hospital after having a baby as "a little trip to heaven" and I have yet to come across a better description. With Shiloh's birth we had to stay the full 48 hours because I tested positive for strep B and did not make it to the hospital in time to receive the antibiotic. My mom watched Carter and Naomi so we could have two wonderful days of taking in our baby girl without distractions (besides hospital distractions of course). 

I gave birth to Shiloh at the new UCSD hospital located in La Jolla in one of their birthing center rooms. The hospital is so nice, Daron and I often confused ourselves for being in a hotel. The birthing center rooms are on the 10th floor and have gorgeous views. My favorite part was being able to look out and see twinkling city lights surrounding the San Diego Temple at night. It made being up in the middle of the night kind of amazing. 
^^ My dad holding her for the first time

^^Her cheeks!!!!

^All dressed and ready to come home

Having precious alone time with our new babe was a trip to heaven indeed. Amazing how a few months later, these days feel like a lifetime ago... it's all too fleeting!

May 3, 2017


The night before Naomi's birthday, I could hear Carter whispering to Naomi while in their beds. In his high-pitched-I-can't-contain-my-excitement voice he told her how there were going to be balloons in the morning when she woke up and she was going to get pancakes with candles in them. He explained to her how to blow the candles out and taught her all about making a wish and it was the best conversation I have eavesdropped on to date.

We had been talking with Naomi about her birthday all week and so when she woke up that morning and saw her balloons, she put on her shy little grin she does sometimes. I loved watching her realize it was her special day. 

Her and Carter were extra giggly all morning. She sang as we sang happy birthday to her and we sang to her 3 times because she would exclaim, "Again! Again!" after every time. 

Carter prepped her well for the blowing out of the candles. She took one big breath and blew all the candles out in one swoop! I was really impressed!

And then she patted her tummy and cheered which she does when she is very pleased with herself. 

After lots of singing and re-lighting of candles, we dug into the pancakes together. For both the kids birthday, I always make a Swedish pancake recipe that Daron grew up having.

And this girl... because I actually had my good camera out and caught that happy smile of hers...

For Naomi's little party we headed up to Corona Del Mar to meet up with family. It was the last weekend my parents would be living there and so it was fun to have one last little hoorah.

And drum roll, for the first time ever, I tackled making a cake for my kid's birthday! Big deal for my non-cake-making self, even if it was from a box, haha. I wanted to make another cake too for everyone to enjoy so Thursday afternoon I worked on both cakes with my friend Kristy who offered to help me. 

I reminded Daron religiously about the cake during the hour and fifteen minute drive to Corona Del Mar. The cake was still in perfect condition until the last right turn to get to the beach. Two pedestrians unexpectedly walked out and it was either hit the people or save the cake...

^^Better luck next year, hahaha. Still kicking myself I didn't get a before picture. I sort of wanted to cry but I decided to laugh instead because #life. 

We put the cake on her high chair and let her go for it.

She ate her cake the exact same way on her first birthday.

Then there were these little characters with the hats on... I didn't think they would actually wear the hats but as it turned out, we couldn't get them to take them off for bed time!

^^Papa kisses

Cheesing with me while trying out her new strider bike!

Then her two-year-old self put her favorite beach chair on and helped her Uncle Bj push the wagon up the hill. The things two-year-olds love to do...

Sometimes, I catch myself putting a lot of pressure on the traditions I create for our family. I'll feel bad about never getting around to hanging up a happy birthday banner or that I never make a cake for my kid or this or that. I'm realizing though, it doesn't really matter exactly what I do for our traditions, it's just important that we have them.

Happy Birthday, Naomi. Can't wait to hang out with you as my big TWO year old!

Apr 28, 2017

Naomi is TWO!

Happy Birthday to our lovable miss Naomi! 

At two-years-old, Naomi has blonde hair and beautiful blue eyes exactly like her dad's. She has a lot of spunk and is feisty yet calm. Currently, her favorite phrases to say are, "Go away!" "Stop it!" (this is the feisty part) "I did it!" "Hold you" "I come!" "I do it myself" and "Mama, watch this!" She also says, "I hungy" about 100 times a day and that's no exaggeration. 

She is a lucky little girl that has an adoring older brother who wants to play with her all day long. Carter's only frustration with Naomi is when she wants to do her own thing. She's been taught by him how to be silly and funny and loving and kind. But best of all, Carter has taught Naomi how to love her little sister.

I really don't have the right words to adequately express how much I love Naomi.

It's a long story that I may or may not ever get the time to write on this blog, but Naomi coming to our family healed me from one of the greatest struggles of my life. The moment she was laid into my arms, I was lifted and I have felt lifted by her sweet spirit ever since. 

She has a strong love for prayer, is good with her hands, has an undying love for her binky and blanket and loves to cuddle. She requests to sit on mine or Daron's lap for every meal and is almost impossible to discipline because she has a sensitive heart that is easily hurt. Physically she is tough. She rarely cries when hurt.  

Recently, she has been giving out of the blue hugs where her tiny hands grab the back of your neck and her eyes go wide and then she squeezes as tight as her tiny body can. Every time she does this to her dad, I can tell his heart is about to burst. She has the cutest giggle and laughs easily. She has wildly crooked baby teeth that are totally endearing and cheeks for days. She bosses her older brother around like it's her day job and loves to get a laugh from an audience. She's always been able to be happy on very little sleep and has been good at just rolling with it. She loves to eat peanut butter straight from the jar and would eat yogurt for every meal if I'd let her. 

She brings so much joy to her family and we consider ourselves so lucky that she's ours.
Happy Birthday, Naomi! Oh, how you are loved!

Apr 24, 2017


Exactly one year ago today Daron and I met Hanalei Bay for the first time. We were in Kauai celebrating 6 years of marriage. It was a Sunday. We woke early to get ready for church and make the stunning drive along the north shore to get to the church building. I remember so clearly the green, majestic mountains all around us and the wind on my face as we drove in our silver convertible.

After church, we headed to the St. Regis to have brunch. I'll never forget the first time I saw the view from the St. Regis hotel. Butterflies immediately filled my stomach and Daron and I couldn't stop laughing. Was this real life?! After we took a few pictures, we made our way to our table. 
While eating the most delicious food, Daron proceeded to tell me something completely out of the blue. I remember him comfortably leaning back in his chair, taking in the view and then saying to me, "So, a thought came to me while at church today that you're pregnant and that it's going to be okay."

My jaw dropped as I was stuffing my face with taro chocolate chip waffles. I couldn't believe what came out of his mouth. I asked him to repeat himself because I was in shock and had to hear it again. He was so calm as he again told me he believed I was pregnant and that although it was much sooner than we anticipated, the timing was right. He then described the peace that came over him after this thought came to him. 

Then he nonchalantly went back to eating his food while I sat there in disbelief.

And here we are one year later to the day...

snuggling this one every morning. It turns out Daron's thought at church was right. I was pregnant. VERY pregnant. Like, I felt sick on the airplane ride home pregnant... 

This trip was so magical. There are so many good memories from it I need to post pictures soon. I came home from the trip sicker than a dog and never got around to it!