Fourth of July Camping

A few weeks ago for the holiday weekend, we went up North to spend time with friends. We went to our usual favorite spot in Flagstaff (you can read about more of our camping adventures here and here). When we got there, we headed over to the Priest Draw climbing area so Jordan could get on a couple of boulders. It had been a while since he’s been able to climb (he’s been more into to mountain biking lately), but he did great, like usual! 😉  And Buddy was SO excited to watch Dad!


Jonah kept wanting to get on the rocks and try routes. And use the crash pads as a trampoline. It was the cutest. Jordan also helped him climb some of the smaller rocks a little bit.


Little man was such a trooper. He got into some stinging nettle or some plant that he had a bad reaction to… his legs were SO red and bumpy. It broke my heart. He still just kept trucking along playing with our friends’ dog, Molly, and making friends with new people that came to climb there. One of my favorite things about him and something I admire a lot is how social he is… the kid can make friends with anyone! He has no shame or shyness and just loves people, in general. It is the sweetest.


After Priest Draw, we went back to our campsite and made some MREs for dinner. Not long after, it started raining on us. Of course! Thankfully, my hunky man had made me a super soft and comfy bed to sleep on in the Element, so all three of us just opened the back and snuggled in there, listening to the rain and thunder. It was heaven! It poured pretty heavy most of the night…. we backed the tailgates of our two cars together with our friends, folded up the seats, and all had a pow wow in them. It was a nice way to make lemonade out of lemons and at least get some fun hang out time. There were these huge and prehistoric-looking flying bugs that kept dive bombing us and our lantern that we had hung up. SO nasty. I’m not normally that afraid of insects, but once one flew directly into my hair and made that weird buzzing noise in my ear, I was kind of done for the evening.

Buddy and I slept in the car, and Jordan used the tent. When we asked Jonah earlier if he wanted to sleep with me that night, he said, “No, you too BIG! Daddy is smaller!” Out of the mouths of babes 🙂 We were all so exhausted, we had a nice rest.

The next morning, we had breakfast and headed over to meet up with our good friends, Ammon and Jes, and their family at the parade in downtown Flagstaff. It was sunny and maybe a little too warm, but I think it made us a little nostalgic for small town living. Down in the Valley, it’s way too hot and big to do anything too exciting on the Fourth… you mostly just try and watch fireworks from inside of the car in the air conditioning somewhere. Jonah waved his little mini flag the ENTIRE time and was really excited to see the remote control cars going over jumps and the fire truck that sprayed us with a hose. He also was SO excited to see his friends Emma and Adele (or Miguel, as he called her… hahahah). This picture of them warms my heart.

IMG_0261Later on, we went with the Barkers to a BBQ in their friends’ beautiful backyard and got to enjoy the nice weather. And eat apple pie, which is obviously the best part! Buddy kept disappearing into their house and looking through all of their rooms, which was cracking me up. Seriously, no shame! We had a really great weekend, and I’m so glad we all got to spend such a fun time together celebrating our country. Maybe it was just the pregnancy hormones, but I kept getting choked up during the parade and feeling really teary and proud. I’m just so grateful for our lives and my sweet family, and I know we are lucky to live here. ‘Merica!


The Links


Jordan and Jonah have been spending some father/son time on the golf course lately, and I think its safe to say that both of them love it. Little man brings along his toy club set and gets to help Dad drive the cart… the best! I’m so grateful that Jordan has been off of school this summer and that we’ve been able to spend more family time together (and, honestly, that he’s been able to give me a mommy break sometimes and have fun “dude time” with Buddy 🙂 ).

They sent this sweet video from the course a couple of weeks ago, and every time I watch it my heart turns to mush. I love my guys! And I can’t believe Jonah is growing up so fast. You stop it right now, little man. Okay? PLEASE!!?

It’s A…

The long wait is over. I know all three of you that read this blog haven’t been able to sleep for a month in anticipation that I would post something about the gender of my fetus. Well, hold on to your boot straps, everyone! (that’s not even a phrase, is it?) Baby. Is. A. GIRL!!!!

Baby Girl Ultrasound3D 3D 2

I will spare you a picture of the lady bits, but trust me, they were there. And let’s all pretend that she doesn’t look like the aliens from Signs in those 3D ones, mmkay? She is the cutest! We went in to the doctor just before I turned 18 weeks, so I was a little worried that we wouldn’t get a good glimpse of anything. We wanted to try and get it done before we left for Utah so we could tell our family.

Our tech kept checking organs and different things down towards her bum for a while at first, and we were both kind of thinking that we didn’t see a whole lot, so that must mean it was a girl? Then, at the end (of course they make you wait until then, while your full bladder is about to explode), it was confirmed! We are all very excited… Jonah has been saying it was a baby sister this whole time, so when we told him, he just kind of looked at us like, “Yeah, I know. Duh.” While we were going to be happy either way, Jordan and I have both been kind of hoping that it would be a little lady, so we could have one of each. And maybe less pressure to have six kids in hopes that we get a female one eventually.

Now that I am 22 weeks, she is moving like CRAZY! I started feeling flutters around 13 or 14 weeks this time, but they haven’t been super noticeable until the past few weeks. Jordan was able to feel her move from the outside about a week or so ago, and now when I’m sitting still I can see little kicks and punches on my belly. So so sweet.

I have been trying to not go crazy with the girl clothes buying, yet, but it has been rough. Have you SEEN the baby clothes at H&M lately? Death by cuteness. My Pinterest has kind of taken the brunt of my girl window shopping. All I want to look at are nursery schemes, clothes, how to make headbands and leggings, etc. It’s ridiculous. Right now we are in the process of figuring out how to work our rooms and move things around. I have also been nesting like a mad woman who has just downed three Red Bulls. It’s hard for me to even sleep in anymore because A). Baby starts kicking up a storm, and B). All I can think about is what is not getting organized while I am laying there in bed. Does this mean my house looks clean? Heavens, no!

All in all, we are just so thrilled for our new little sweetie to come join our family. Two kids is kind of terrifying when I think about it, and it feels like forever since we’ve had a newborn, but we’ll figure it out. Yay for babies!

The Joy of Painting


If there is one thing I’ve learned in my 2.5  years of motherhood, it’s that the messiest activities are always the most fun and keep Jonah entertain for the longest amount of time. I found an old canvas left over from a project and let the little guy go to town with his finger paints. His work of art is now proudly sitting on our piano. Love him.




Vertuccio Farms


We decided to spend a day at Vertuccio Farms again back in October. We went last year, and it is now becoming a yearly Gilbert tradition for us! We live in a suburban neighborhood that is pretty close to a big region of farms. Besides the occasional cow smell, it is so nice to be in a smaller more rural area with lots of family friendly parks and activities. A lot of the farms close to us allow people to visit. They have festivals, you-pick gardens, and markets. Every year, Vertuccio Farms has a Fall festival around October and November with a corn maze, pumpkin patch, petting zoo, tractor pulls, etc.  Our favorite parts this year were the enormous slides, bouncy balloon, and bunny habitat.

Can I be real for a sec here? We have loved living in Phoenix closer to family, but we sometimes kind of feel like it is a little too big. And heartless. There, I said it. There is lots of shopping, sports related events, fancy restaurants, and commercial things, but we have yet to find a lot of soul… music that we like, arts, outdoorsy stuff that isn’t an hour away. Back in Chattanooga, it seemed like there were always festivals, farmers markets, and other small-town events going on. We miss going to little things like those so much and love taking Jonah, so its great to find things like Vertuccio Farms here that are a little off the beaten path and geared for families. I know that we are maybe just a little snobby and haven’t given the city a chance (even though I’m a born Phoenician that has lived here most of my life), but I’m hoping we can find more things that are close to our interests and maybe have a little more personality.


<My guys! Jordan will be thrilled that I posted a picture of him in his Harry Potter glasses that he has had since his mission (in other words, a long time). He was getting over pink eye, poor dear!>












<That face. I can’t even handle it.>


<Me and my best little boy friend.>


We all had a blast, and it was fun to pretend for a day that it was Fall and not still 88 degrees outside!