family pictures

my practically adopted sister jenna stayed with us a few weeks ago. she is getting her masters in photography in NY. it was gunk weather the entire time she was here. on a whim we decided that we would brave the storm clouds and threw on some clothes for a shoot. lucky we matched, and even luckier that jenna could manage to get a decent shot of us.
thank you girlfriend. your a whiz and i love you.
i also love my little family.


hobblecreek canyon

our sweet neighbors tipped us off to one of their secrets: hobblecreek canyon.  it's just as close as provo and much less saturated. we went at dusk and froze to death. the leaves were brilliant and we decided we must do better to expose this little guy to the great outdoors. there is nothing like it. maybe a camping trip soon if we're daring.


day of firsts

cope giggled for the first time last saturday. he also watched his first football game. big day.


smoothing out the wrinkles

like a freshly ironed shirt, life is feeling presentable again. we are settling into our lives, and feeling ever more capable and competent. cope is turning on his smile often enough for mama to capture it on film. almost all the laundry is folded. i'm not washing breast pump accesories all the live long day. my project list is making progress. cope has learned how to fall asleep on his own and from 730-5 is asleep. devin just cancelled his china trip and i'm thrilled. it's feeling like the new normal. and the new normal is gonna be nice.


there were moments of quiet desperation, i'm sure they are not all gone yet. really hard days. or nights. times i thought this wasn't what i was cut out for. in the moment i didn't think of a specific quote to keep me going, i mostly just put one foot in front of the other and trudged through. 
but this quote does come to mind as i look back retrospectively. i can still hear president eyring saying this quote. i have his voice ingrained in my head. 

hard as things were yesterday, they really have gotten better today!
people always tell me it just keeps getting better. and it does.


she's home

hard to believe another 18 months has gone by.
last week i saw my dear friend becca return home from her mission. she was probably the best dressed sister missionary in the world, and most prepared as well. i loved having a long distance correspondence with someone via letters. i've never been that consistent before and wouldn't trade it for the world.
the year and a half went by treacherously slow and oh so fast at the same time. 18 months ago i was still at byu. 18 months ago we were loving our new townhome in layton. 18 months ago we hadn't lived in belgium. i hadn't worked at my full time job. i wasn't a mother. it's crazy to think how different my life is now from just a year and a half ago. 

 the summer after i graduated high school, becca was gracious enough to let me come live with her in NYC. Up to that point in my life, that summer topped all charts. We lived in an apartment on the upperwest side, 12 blocks from the temple, with a separate bedroom--a high comodity in ny--tiny typical kitchen, and windowsills hosting a view that had us entranced, endlessly peering out at the city below. i'll never forget those windowsills and that view.

we spent our days dancing, sweaty, trying to hit the gym early and failing, giggling, joking, journaling,  studying, exploring the city, blowing our money on clothes, and blowing our burned calories on all the incredible food new york has to offer. mostly we just ate:)

we were able to witness a true conversion, as our dear friend jenna took the missionary discussions and was baptized all in one month. golden investigator. becca was born to share this gospel.

one of the most memorable moments i have with becca came late one night as we were walking home. it started pouring rain. rather than cry about it- we decided to be silly. we had heard it's a good workout to jog backwards. so with ten huge new york blocks left, we half-jogged half-walked backwards out of breath and to the entertainment of every new yorker passerby. we had blistered feet the next day, and practically pulled hamstrings. it was hard. becca's shoes were red and the rain seeped through to permanently stain her feet bright red for a couple of days. it was a hilarious fiasco. from then on we started writing notes to each other backwards in memory of our silly night. i was ram, backwards for mare. and she was ace, backwards for becca. we signed most our letters these past 18 months as ram and ace.

here's to you ace. thanks for teaching me so much about life.