Friday, March 14, 2014

Phoenix Half - another QT to AZ

The first weekend in March we made a trip down to AZ. Brad has been training for another half marathon with his buddy, Austin Slade and they decided to do a destination race this time. We thought the Phoenix one would be perfect. It was a perfect excuse to go down and visit AZ family and friends and soak up some sunshine.
We left Wednesday evening and stopped in St. George for the night at Grandma and Grandpa Marsh's house. We love stopping there for the opportunity to visit with them and break up the drive. Grandpa spoiled us the next morning with blueberry waffles and some yummy fruit. We arrived in AZ late afternoon Thursday, after stopping at Last Chance on our way in; we scored again, as we always do :)
The next morning our AZ friends had a little baby brunch for me and the girls and it was perfect. It was a small group, simple, and absolutely darling. I'm so bugged I didn't get a picture of all of us together, or any of us really. The brunch was super yummy and the décor was adorable. My friend, Ciara is a crafty little bugger and hosted the darling event. We were spoiled with a lot of darling clothes for baby boy and we are so excited to use all of them!


 

Brad went golfing that afternoon with his dad and uncle so I hung out at home, relaxed, soaked up the sun and enjoyed doing nothing while I waited for everyone else to get home. Then we enjoyed a night a home with a yummy home cooked meal and a movie, making sure we got to bed early enough for Brad to get enough sleep for the race.
The next morning was Brad's race. His buddy, Austin came and picked him up at like 4:00 a.m. The rest of us woke up in time to cheer for him on the sideline, down the street from home. After we saw him pass, we headed out to watch him cross the finish line. I'm proud to have a hubby that is determined and disciplined enough to accomplish goals like running 13.1 miles. Maybe it will rub off on me someday?..
hottie! hottie!

he seriously runs like a gazelle - it's hilarious. and makes me tired 
 
too cool for school


the runners and their biggest fans - looking lovely that fine, rainy morning

best buddies

my right hand man
The rest of the day was super rainy, but it was fun to see how crazy the rain is down here! It had been almost 100 days since they had rain. We were bummed the one weekend we came down it decided to rain, but grateful they were able to get the rain the needed so badly. Because of the rain, we didn't get to go to a spring training game (which I've always wanted to do, maybe next year?). We also had  a late lunch of Backyard Tacos - a must have anytime you are in AZ. SO GOOD.
We tried to soak up every minute we had with the family - it seems like we are never able to stay longer than a few days. We were so bummed to have to leave Sunday morning and cannot wait for another chance to go down and visit - next time we head down we will have a little guy joining us! Yahoo!!!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

February

Whew! February flew by! I thought I was caught up with my blog with my last post, then I realized February was gone. Oh well, I'm fine with time flying right now, because that just means baby boy is that much closer to making his debut :)
We spent the first full weekend in February visiting with our awesome, sweet, angel of a lady, birth mother, Courtney. We went to visit her in her hometown and had a great time. We started out at her home and exchanged Valentine's gifts. She gave us some yummy chocolates that came with little stuffed animals and we put them in baby boy's crib for him to have. Afterwards we headed over to her grandparents' home and met a few of her aunts, uncles and cousins. We enjoyed just chatting and getting to know each other better. She comes from a wonderful family with so much love and support. We feel so grateful to have them as a part of our lives. Afterwards we headed over to the hospital and walked around to see where baby boy would be born and everything started to seem so real. Afterwards we hung out at her home for a bit again and then headed out to dinner. We enjoyed a yummy steak dinner with her family and enjoyed sharing more stories and even got to feel baby boy move a few times! Courtney was sitting in between Brad and I and we were all eating and talking. All of a sudden she grabbed my hand and Brad's and put them on either side of her tummy. We were able to feel his hands and feet moving at the same time. It was so fun! As if he knew we were there and wanting to show off for us a bit :) We headed out after dinner to make the drive home. On our way home, we got stuff in a really nasty storm and ended up having to pull over and stay the night in a hotel. It ended up being an opportunity for us to slow down and relax a little bit before heading back home to reality.


The next weekend was Valentine's Day. We prefer to spend our Valentine's Day at home - avoid the crowds and use the holiday excuse for us to justify not doing anything productive that night. We made dinner together and enjoyed a Redbox while we munched on some treats. Without getting too cheesy, I am so grateful for Brad. He is truly my best pal and honestly does know me better than anyone else. He knows how to push my buttons better than anyone, but also knows how to make me laugh better than anyone. He knows my love language so well and is so good at expressing how much he loves me. I have so much to learn from him - and am grateful he is my forever. I am SO SO excited to watch him become a daddy and know that he is going to be amazing.

A few of my favorites from




We had our first baby shower in February. One of my near and dear friends was in town from Boston and so generously threw a shower for me and my other dear friend, Em. She is also having a baby boy. It was so fun to celebrate with her and share our experiences as we prepare to become mamas. Linds totally rocked a vintage nursery rhyme themed shower and it was SO darling. All the food was themed and the decorations were adorable. Thank you Linds and all my pals for making it happen and for the adorable gifts. Baby boy is lucky to have so many people who love him.

the crew

Em & Em






A couple weeks after our visit with Courtney, her mom texted us and asked if we had time to meet up with her in Orem. She was in town for the day and said she had a little something for us from Courtney. It was the best thing ever! It was a bunch of NEW ultrasound pictures of baby boy and a sweet letter from Courtney. In the letter she explained all of the pictures to help us see what they were and helped keep us up to speed on where we should be with our baby prep and planning. She is so great and thoughtful. It was so fun to see all of the pictures and know that, that is what he looks like right now. You can see his hair in one, a couple adorable profile shots, he's definitely a boy ;), his little foot, and two pictures of a frontal shot of his face. I almost felt like I was looking right at him. It was so fun to see how much he's grown and to know he is growing and developing right on schedule!
 
hair on his head & profile shot

profile & leg/foot shot

these two are my favorite!!!
 A couple of weeks ago my dad called me while I was working for my aunt up in Layton. I missed his call, but in his voicemail, he asked me what I was up to because he was in town with a long layover!!! It was the best little surprise ever. We enjoyed chatting and catching up and just visiting for a while. He had to catch his flight that night so we grabbed a quick bite to eat at Tasty's before he headed back to the airport and I went home. BTW, if you are ever in Layton, go to Tasty's; it will not disappoint. They have YUMMY sandwiches and SUPER yummy donuts. I'm so grateful for my dad and cannot wait to see him as a grandpa :)

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

January

January obviously started out with the fantabulous wedding and then suddenly life went back to normal - in a way it hadn't been since end of September. At first, I didn't even know what to do with myself, but I quickly clicked into "baby gear" and started nesting.
In the first week after the wedding, I had gone through every drawer, closet, cabinet, and bin in our whole house and organized and de-junked it all. It felt so good. I've never been able to let go of so much in my closet and it was so freeing! I also made a point to make more space for baby stuff throughout the house. I also made categorized and subcategorized to-do lists to complete before the baby comes.
We also spent a Saturday pretty early in the month picking out our stroller/car seat and crib. They were shipped to us and the day they came, we (Brad) went to town putting everything together :)

putting together our Britax Travel System - we love it already!

putting together the crib :)
I also (call me crazy) made the goal to get the nursery finished by January 31st. Give or take a frame or two I did it! I am so thrilled with how it turned out and cannot wait to have a little one to occupy it. The room was kind of tricky because it is also our guest room. It's a really big room with a nook. We turned the nook into the nursery, so it's kind of a "nursery nook". Since it is my parent's basement - there is only so much we can do without completely changing the room. However, my mom is always up for DIY home improvement projects. We captured the vision (via Pinterest) of a plank wall together and I called my trusty "Uncle Marc". We worked together to plan, pick the right wood and the right stain and he did all the hard work. Once they were stained and ready to go, we worked together to put up the wall and I even got to use the nail gun the WHOLE time! I felt so powerful - I want to do more of these kinds of projects!
Unfortunately I didn't take a "before" picture of the wall, but you can kind of see it behind Brad, setting up the crib (above).

progress

me, working the powerful, power tool :)
Also, I had looked high and low, forever for the perfect end table to tie together the straight furniture with the spooled rocking chair. I couldn't find ANYTHING that didn't cost a fortune. So I talked to "Uncle Marc" about it and we began to plan on making my own - with his help, of course. Welp, Marc is the sweetest thing in the world and showed up with the table already made and ready for me to paint. He did an amazingly perfect job and just whipped it up that morning. He truly is amazing and was sweet enough to give it to me as a baby gift. It makes me so happy when I see it and I'm so grateful I have it, for me to have forever :)




The Finished Product:
 
 


 
 
...now all it needs is a darling baby boy to fill up the frames and crib :)

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Z + K = Marriage

January 4, 2014 was such a fabulous day! It was the day Zac and Karlie got married! It was such a pretty day and everything turned out better than we ever could have imagined. We have so many people to thank for helping make it all happen. We are so grateful for all of the support the family received as we celebrated this beautiful bride and groom's special day.


the only picture I took that day
I am so grateful to have gained a new sister - she is such a strong, faithful woman that knows how to make Zac happy and truly loves him for who he is - I am so grateful for that. We feel like we've gained a whole family of people as we LOVED getting to know Karlie's siblings and feel like we've known them forever. They are such kind and thoughtful people that truly love and care about each other. They are so quick and eager to help and are truly wonderful people.


our WHOLE family... until April ;)

***I absolutely LOVE their photographer and wish she was around when we got married. She is a dear friend and I love her. She does a wonderful job and is so comfortable to shoot with. She always takes care of her clients and puts her whole heart into her work
Check her out HERE

Ringing in 2014

We rang in the new year the way we used to, growing up. The parents used to have their own adult new years party, then all of us kids would have one together at one of the other houses. Except this time all the kids and parents were together (most of us are adults now anyway, so it worked out - so weird). We missed the usual's that couldn't make it, but still enjoyed a night filled with TONS of yummy food and good company, playing games and catching up.
Unfortunately I didn't snap any pictures that night, but we did get our classic BIG group shot :)
 
 

QT to AZ

The evening of Christmas day, we headed out for a quick trip to Arizona. Rob and Hannah were down there for the holiday with their sweet little Elizabeth and were blessing her while they were down there. It was the perfect opportunity to escape wedding plans for a couple days and visit with our Marsh family - not to mention soaking up the sun a little bit.

the best we have for now :)
We had a fun little 2nd Christmas and got a few perfect things for baby boy. It was so fun to share the excitement with them and soak up every minute we could with little Elizabeth. We enjoyed visiting the temple lights, eating tacos at a YUMMY little taco joint, visiting with AZ friends and family.
It's always great to spend time with our AZ family and sometimes feel like we could maybe get used to being down there... woops!

some of our Christmas spoils

baby Elizabeth as we imagine her "next to" baby boy

sleepy baby bottom



I seriously melt when they fall asleep in my arms!


one on one auntie em - lizzie time

traditional visit to Mesa temple lights
I felt like I always had to be touching Elizabeth in some way. Observe my hand haha

Tis the Season

This Christmas was an extra special one. Shaun was finally home from his mission and Zac had his soon-to-be wife, aka Karlie, at his side which meant we had my WHOLE family together, for the first time in a couple years. It's always fun to have those opportunities because as we are getting older, we are realizing how much harder it is getting to get everyone together.

kids in jammies on Christmas Eve
Christmas morning
lots of people means lots of presents

family dinner pic with mom

family dinner pic with dad

baby stuff on Christmas morning :)

Christmas morning mess

Brad and I hosted the family at our place for Christmas - which meant 8 of us + the dog spending some "close" time together. Yes, our family "Beau dog" came all the way from North Carolina for the holidays - it is all Shaun asked for, for Christmas. So literally the WHOLE family was there :)
Surprise SHAUN! As you can see, it made him very happy :)
It was fun to have our traditional dinner and waking up all together Christmas morning. We enjoyed exchanging gifts, lounging and going to Deelstra's for a bit. We got some really great stuff from mom and dad and the first bit of stuff for baby boy!




We spent the afternoon with the Richards (cousin's on my dad's side) enjoying some yummy food and good company - especially brand new baby Peter.

 
I am so grateful for the holiday season and the opportunities it provides for us to spend time with those we love. Even though our holidays were a whirlwind with wedding plans and such - we had a great time.
On a side note, I'm kind of freaking out that our next holiday season we are going to have a little one to share the love and celebrations with! YAY!!!

annual candy making with grams

"neighborhood" gingerbread party - so fun!



I was hired to wrap presents for someone in the ward and I LOVED it!
I actually really love wrapping presents :)

a Merry Christmas picture
it's tradition to do our Christmas puzzle
 
Here are just some pics of the Christmas décor this year:
(more to help me remember for next year)
 
 


ignore the stuff hanging out in front of the fire place :)