Tuesday, July 16, 2013

And just like that...

... I feel (almost) better.

I forgot how quickly it happens. Two weeks ago Thursday, I had an absolutely terrible day. I was sick most of the time. I may have cried a lot.

Then I woke up Friday with no sickness at all. I thought I was just having one of those good days that happened so rarely. I took it easy, afraid that I would lose that feeling. 

Then Saturday came, and miraculously, I still felt great. I actually did laundry for the first time that day.

On Sunday, I made it to church with fifteen minutes left of Sacrament meeting (we have 8am church), a first in two months. Since I missed the sacrament, I took it in another ward later that day. Between the bread and the water, and with my eyes closed and my arms folded, I got the impression that it was time to be a normal mom again. It was the greatest feeling ever. That night I cooked dinner for the first time in a long while.

And of course by Monday morning, I was still feeling terrific. I hadn't been that happy since finding out I am pregnant. I took June to the library that day. We went to Joe's Farm Grill for lunch to share a "burgerfries" (as June calls it), we drove to Barnes and Noble where we read more books and played with the train set, got a vanilla ice cream cone (another daily occurrence for me), and drove by the Gilbert Temple to see its continued progress. (June loves seeing the temple and saying that Jesus lives there.)

It feels so incredibly, wonderfully, magnificently, great to be a mom again.

I did say before that I feel (almost) better. I still get a little queasy at night (I'm not sure if it's the pregnancy or the prenatal vitamins). And the painful and intense heartburn/indigestion started waaaaaaaay earlier this time around (I didn't get it until my third trimester with June). But these are nothing compared to what I was going through before. I'll take what I can get.

My summer vacation officially starts now.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Our Garden: A Horror Story

I have to say that I'm surprised our garden even lasted this long. We don't have a lot of room in our side yard, and since it is a side yard, it only gets a small amount of sunshine each day. But last spring we took the chance... and it was glorious.

Baby plants and watering boots
We planted my favorites: tomatoes, strawberries, cucumbers, jalepenos, and five different herbs. June even pitched in to help watering it. It became her first chore. She loved it.

Sitting next to the garden, eating Otter Pops to cure the afternoon blues.
The jalepeno plant didn't last long. We got to eat a total of three strawberries, the rest were eaten by ants before we picked them. The herbs were used in various dishes. The cucumbers grew beautifully, and were as crisp and juicy as ever.

Taking a break from the pool to admire the plants.
Then our tomatoes finally came in. I was thrilled. I couldn't wait to add them to salads, sandwiches, bruschetta, and pasta dishes. They were plump and green, and almost ripe.

Showing her our glorious tomatoes.
Then the unthinkable happened: One morning we woke up, and the top half of the plants were gone. We puzzled over this. The next day, William came outside to water them, and noticed a "cute", "little" green caterpillar. But upon closer inspection, that "cute" caterpillar was a Tomato Hornworm, and seemed to have brought friends... or an army? There were hundreds... okay, maybe 20ish, but they were eating and pooping and destroying our beautiful lush tomato plants. What once looked like an appetizing treat, turned into a bloodbath (when William tore out the plants and threw them into our garbage can).
What's left of our garden and the ENEMY.

Next time, we'll be ready... and by "ready" I mean we're not planting tomatoes ever again.

Note: Yes, I realize most of these photos were not really focused on the garden, but on June. Sorrynotsorry?

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Oh hey, my blog is still here.

(That one time I straightened June's hair, and I realized how old she looked, and decided I probably won't do it again because I got too sad.)

Today I heard my baby's heartbeat for the first time. This lifted my spirits ten-fold. So I decided it's time to blog again.

I heard a few people figured out that I was pregnant just because of lack of blog posts. I don't know why, but that made me really happy.

A lot of people figured it out before I could make one big *SURPRISE* announcement. I'm a terrible liar, so I went ahead and just outed myself at 6 weeks. I seriously wanted to wait until the 12-week mark, but it's difficult to keep it a secret when you look like you want to ralph 22 hours a day. (In case you're wondering, the best times for me are from 2-4pm.)

I've actually typed this post a couple times. Each time I typed it, I made a list of all the terrible things I feel everyday... the nausea, the guilt about not being an energetic mom for June, the frustrations... But I decided that it's probably not worth remembering those things.

Instead I'm trying to focus on the positives... at least for now. I may or may not vent in the near future.

Watching: The Food Network. Since my mom is babysitting me and June most days, I get the pleasure of watching cable TV, and Food Network is always my first choice. I miss cooking more than I thought I would. Since I don't have the energy or stomach for it these days, I'm finding myself living through these chefs and learning as much as I can. And of course, summer veggies are my favorite to cook with, so I hope I feel better soon before it's too late.

Also watching: "Call the Midwife". Has anyone else seen it? It's amazing. It's about a group of midwives housed in a convent, and it takes place in the 1950s in East England. The stories are wonderful and the messages kind of make your heart soar... and I don't describe things like that very often. 

Eating: candy. Lots of it. Enough to make Willy Wonka proud. Normally, I prefer baked goods and ice cream, but oh my, candy is the only cure right now: Skittles, Mike & Ikes, Sour Patch Kids, anything that rots my already sensitive teeth.

Looking forward to: Summer movies. My favorite movies of all time have little or no action in them... but when it comes to seeing movies in the theaters, my FAVORITE movies are cheesy-lines, ridiculous-plotlines, headache-inducing, walking-away-from-an-explosion, action ones. I especially love watching with my family... we're the ones in the theater laughing at all the impossibly absurd stunts and action sequences. There's nothing better in the summer. Someday, I will write an entire blog post about this, unfortunately for you.

Craving: Mexican food. Every. Single. Day. 

I guess not that much has changed.

Friday, April 19, 2013

What a week.

It's been a month since I blogged... I admit, it's been a sluggish month.

And to add to my sluggish month, it's been an even sluggier week. Yes, "sluggier". The news makes me want to sit in my pj's all day and eat Snickers. I don't even like Snickers, but I'm eating one right now. That's how much I don't like the news this week. (Except, of course, for the "helpers" we've seen in Boston. Isn't it inspiring?).

But hopefully things will pick up here in the next few weeks.

Until then, happy things:
1. The weather lately. Slow down, rising temperatures.
2. A new calling: back in Young Women's... let's do this.
3. I always think June's age is "the best age", but it only keeps getting better. I love a two-year-old June. LOVE.
4. Tiny strawberries in our garden. I still can't believe that seeds, sun, soil, and water make strawberries. It's incredible.
5. The West Wing on Netflix.
6. New Superman trailer. And this video of Patton Oswalt's Star Wars Filibuster.(Thanks Andrea). 
7. This recipe for Baked Ziti. Probably the best pasta I've ever made. Tip: add even more Ricotta Cheese.
8. My brother-in-law Michael (June calls him "Bike") was down the last week to work on the temple (He's putting in the stained glass windows). William was able to work with him too. The windows are GORGEOUS.
9. My favorite purse broke, and the same day, my mom donated one of her purses to me. Mom, you are an answer to my prayers. Thank you for being so stylish.
10. Last week, we went to the Desert Botanical Gardens. As a native Arizonan, I'm ashamed to say I'd never been. I love the desert in the spring... and the butterfly exhibit itself was completely worth it. Look:

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

June's 2nd Birthday

My little June turned two on Monday. TWO. 

I was so excited to celebrate her birthday, I could barely sleep. 

We ate breakfast at Joe's Farm Grill and played at the dog park afterwards. June had never been to that park, and she was IN HEAVEN. The sweetest dog approached her to throw his frisbee. They played catch for a good ten minutes. I think it was magical for June.

After that, we bought her a little plastic swimming pool and let her play in it while we got the final party preparations ready.

We celebrated with my parents, pizza (June's FAVORITE), and cake. (We also missed having William's parents there.)

Ryan and Sarah stopped by to watch June open presents, which included bubbles, shoes, and a slide, June's favorite things right now.

And watch as June tries her cake for the first time:

making gif

That's my girl.

Happiest Birthday to my favorite little red head. We love you so so much!!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Mini Vacation

The only two downsides going to Oceanside in February are the rocks on the beach and Pappy's Market has weird hours. That's how great this trip was. (No really, click the Pappy's link. It will take you to their Facebook page and inform you when they are open and whether or not they have limes.)

My good friend (and June's new favorite dancing buddy), Carli, has a family-owned beach house that we frequent. I feel like I can finally go to Oceanside wearing my "Don't Hassle Me, I'm Local" t-shirt. We have loved every single stay at that beloved Porter house. And of course my good (and new!) friends all came along. It's terrific to surround yourself with people who know delicious food and delicious times. (See more about it here. Thanks Andrea.)

We were excited to take June to the beach for her first time. We thought her reaction would look something like this.

But instead, it looked like this:

June wasn't impressed with the ocean, but we're relieved she LOVED the sand.
 She's obviously a desert girl.

The weather was perfect. I didn't have my infamous California hair (aka "Seagull Nest") because it wasn't humid. But apparently, June has a m a z i n g beach hair:

The above picture are the Stevensons showing off their cartwheel stunts.
The below family picture is our ride back to Gilbert. We'll see you soon, Oceanside.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Zoo Day

We finally took June to the Phoenix zoo for her first time. I haven't been since high school, so this felt new to me too. Except the smell, I remember the smell vividly.

Some highlights:
• We went with the Reids, who were good sports through June's snack breaks, animal observations, and eventual tantrum on the carousel. Plus, Cora makes the best "funny face".
• June's animal sounds throughout the entire time. (Monkeys: "AAH-oo-oo", Lions: "Neyum Neyum" which is June's cat sounds)
• The monkey cage, which is both amazing and terrifying. (Amazing because of how close the monkeys jump around you, and terrifying because I was thinking of the movie "Outbreak" the entire time we were inside.)
We'll see you again, Phoenix Zoo. That splash pad will be calling our name this summer.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

How to make a Terrarium

Step 1: Know a guy who knows how.
Step 2: Have him show you how.
Step 3: Display in your home and take all credit.

I've been wanting to learn how to make a terrarium for quite some time. My brother-in-law, Michael, works at a glass studio. Last time he was in town, he brought all the tools and showed me know. It's a dangerous job: the glass is sharp, and the chemicals used are poisonous, and metals are melting at high temperatures... but it was all worth it.

Thanks again, Mr. Glass, aka Samuel L. Jackson, aka Michael.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Cooking and A Verb List.

Lately, June has been our helper in the kitchen. She'll add strawberries to smoothies, stir the cookie dough, maybe even take out every single bottle and condiment in our fridge.

I want to teach her and a bunch of tiny cooks how to make kid-friendly recipes... how fun would that be?! Obviously, my goal for June is to eventually have a love for cooking, to the point where she'll want to do ALL the cooking.

Here's to my little sous chef.

Reading: 'The Happiness Project' by Gretchin Rubin (finally), and I just decided to re-read the Hobbit. I really really loved the movie. Especially Martin Freeman as Bilbo. Speaking of Martin...
Watching: Sherlock on Netflix. I NEVER use the term "fangirl", but I think I'm fangirling over that show. I'm obsessed. I love it. I'm watching it again. In fact, I don't know why I'm doing this post knowing that I could be watching it right now.
Eating: A Costco muffin the size of my head.
Pondering: "If they were to remake the movie 'Overboard', who would be the perfect lead actors?" No really, Daphne, it's still on my mind. No one can replace Goldie.
Listening to: Neil Young, 'On the Beach'... just because it's been really cold lately.

Thursday, January 10, 2013


On cloudy days, I get headaches. Without fail. 

Luckily, cloudy days magically become quiet days around here.

Every once in a while, I catch myself actually getting something done without interruption. Then I look to see June lining up her Toy Story figures, stacking blocks, or pushing her baby doll around. I think we've reached a new era where June has actually learned to play on her own. 

On the other hand, sometimes she's dumping her toys everywhere, pulling all the laundry out of the baskets, or rolling out the toilet paper.

It's a good thing she's so darn cute.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


I'm trying not to feel too overwhelmed with my resolutions this year. There's so much I want to do and accomplish. Lists make me nervous, especially those days I feel unmotivated... but here goes nothing.

This year, the focus is HOME. It's hard not to focus on this in the first place, since I'm a stay-at-home mom anyway. Nevertheless, I know there is so much good in our home, but so much that can change and be better. I need to be the one to step it up.

·I want to make my home more organized and less cluttered.
·I want to be happy with how it looks, and not focus too much on what I wish I could change about it.
·I want to make our side yard useful (playing, gardening).
·I want to be in the kitchen more, trying new recipes, and making more wholesome lunches (homemade lunches do not happen as often as I'd like).
·I want to make more homemade desserts, and eat less candy
·I want homemade pizza to be a weekly meal.
·I want to play more music and turn off the TV.
·I want to read more to myself and to June.
·I want to develop a better morning and bedtime routines, at least for the weekdays. I can already tell June thrives on routines.

There's so much more, but I need to stop myself because I feel my nerves tightening. I'm really looking forward to a great year.

P.S. We partied with the Porters on New Year's Eve, and of course it didn't disappoint. In fact, I suspect that's why I was sick all of New Year's Day. I guess the best parties take everything out of you. Anyway, while I was wallowing in "sicky self-pity", I received this video documenting the party, and of course my gloomy demeanor turned to udder delight. June and I watched this video all morning:
NEW YEARS EVE from David Nuttall on Vimeo.

June was so happy to see a dance floor that night... You better believe I plan on having one at her birthday party in March.