I have been counting down the days for David to turn one as if that was the magic number that would suddenly make my life easier and... WE MADE IT!!! He's one!!! It's all coasting from here on out! ;)

I expected the transition from one to two kids to come natural for me, and it totally didn't - I've never felt so exhausted and overwhelmed and anxious as I have in this last year and I think God had a lot he wanted to teach me about grace when he sent David to me - God's grace is sufficient. He helps me with what I can do and does what I cannot. I am doing my best and that is enough through His enabling power.

Last night, I quietly checked on David before I went to bed like I always do. I kissed him, tucked him back in his blankets, whispered my love, and just stared in wonder at my miraculous baby. There is something about an angelic sleeping baby that puts life in perspective - it's been a hard and exhausting year, but also a year of so much love and grace and happiness and joy. Life is good!

I remember holding David for the first time and the excitement that commenced - introducing Jack to his new brother, stressfully trying to keep up with Spencer's phone conversations and gender announcements while simultaneously listening to the nurse's instructions; texting friends and family while nursing and diapering and teaching Jack to be soft and being monitored by nurses and doctors constantly. Then the sun went down, my family went home, the hospital quieted, and for the first time my hospital room was still. It was just me and my baby. I kissed him, snuggled him, stared at him, sang to him, and counted all of his fingers and toes and steady breaths. I prayed for him and thanked God for sending me this brave, baby boy. I told David about this beautiful messy life and he taught me about heaven - and heaven never felt so close.

Happy Birthday David boy! I love you!

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Chick-fil-A is awesome, Flashback Friday and my grandma is on Instagram!!!

We had a rough start to our week. On Monday morning we went grocery shopping, and while I was talking to my mom on the phone while getting David out of the carseat I heard a man yell, "Ma'am, your son is rolling down the hill in the grocery cart!" Jack rolled about 10 parking spaces before he ran into a parked car that stopped him :/ (Luckily both he and the car we unharmed!) I was surprised that he didn't yell for me when he started to roll away - instead he was dead silent and had a look of terror in his eyes! I thanked the man for telling me, he gave me the dirtiest look ever, then I went to redeem myself by buying Jack ice cream for breakfast :)
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We went to Chick-fil-A and they gave us the ice cream cone for free, plus a little bowl of ice cream for David! Now that is customer service!
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David ate his ice cream, plus finished off Jack's :) Almost-one-year-olds are totally allowed to have ice cream, right?!
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My Aunt was going through boxes and found these gems:
Christmas Eve during the glory days:
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My mom in her prime (ha!):
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When my brother James was in elementary school, almost every girl in his class had a crush on him. Can you blame them?!
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When I was in 7th grade, I thought I was so cute. Truly I did. I loved how I color coordinated my braces for each holiday and I loved my short hair. This picture is proof that I was delusional. At least I had high self esteem? haha
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Activity of the week: went to the mall across the river with with a friend to check out their new children's play place. It seems like the Quad Cities has a hard time branching out of the tractor/farm theme, but that is perfectly fine by Jack!
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I found out that Bob from the Biggest Loser is also doing the Whole30 so now I feel pretty cool. I love Bob!

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And the biggest news of all - My grandma got an Instagram account! (she sometimes goes by Grandma Annie because when I was little, I called her Grandma Annie since my other grandma was Grandma Wirthlin - a grandma for each of my names. Totally makes sense. And it also conveniently worked because my grandma's first name is Annette.)

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Then she posted and we were all so proud and surprised! Was it an accident or one of those artistic curling-in-bed-reading-a-book posts??? (total accident)

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Group text with my mom, aunt, brother, and cousins:

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(Background to why she would post WTF - My grandparents are the most hardcore Aggies ever and they hate BYU with every fiber of their beings. My grandpa swears that his car will never drive south of the Point of the Mountain so dropping James of at BYU was a BIG DEAL! ;)

I put in my time supplying my mother with my facebook password, so now it is my brother's turn:

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Tractors, Whole30 and Cholinergic Urticaria

The last week we were in Arizona, Jack asked every single day if we could go to the "tractor museum" aka the John Deere Pavilion, so that was the first thing we did when we got home.
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I am pleased to announce that David has been sleeping through the night for about three weeks now! (Minus last night) I am so grateful!!! I truly am not sure how he sleeps through the night though because we find him in crazy positions like this every night:
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I wish Jack would teach him the curl-into-fetal-position-bum-in-the-air magic sleep move that had Jack sleeping though the night at two months :) Long explanation - My friend Rachel gave me this book for Christmas and I desperately read the entire book in two days... we tried Baby Wise, gradual extinction, waking him up to nurse again before I went to bed, weaning him at night and nothing was working for David - THIS BOOK WORKED! The trick with him was to put him to bed WAY EARLY (around 6 - 6:30) and make him cry it out forever. It took about for or five miserable nights but he finally figured out how to sleep! (KNOCK ON WOOD!!!!) He still wakes up between 4:30 or 5 to nurse but then goes back to bed which is way more manageable than the 2-3 times he was waking up before.
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Jack is no longer a vegetarian! For the past two months, he will eat "french fry balls" but NOT chicken nuggets :) I probably shouldn't be so happy that my child is eating processed unhealthy chicken but I am anyways :)
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Spencer and I started the Whole30 challenge last week - no grains, dairy, legumes, and sugar. That leaves meat, eggs, veggies, fruit and good fats from oils, nuts and seeds. We decided to do it to recover from the holidays and also because we liked that weight loss wasn't the main focus and that we can eat whenever we are hungry. Spencer has had stomach issues his entire life so he wants to see what foods he has intolerances to. I have had mild eczema on my eyelids for the past three years that has really flared up these last few months and I want to see if my diet is effecting it. I hate the cost of groceries this month and I hate the amount of prep that goes into it but I love the way I feel... except when I feel like I could really use a quick carb fix from grains to help with nursing and running and the moments where I think I would kill someone for a cookie or chocolate covered cinnamon bears! David loves our Whole 30 food, too. It is so nice to have a kid that will eat what we eat and actually sit in a high chair!
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The most annoying quirk/phase of Jack's life - wanting to feed me ever me every. single. meal. I hate hate hate it. When I'm hangry, the last thing I want is a three year old controlling the pace and bite that goes into my mouth. He saves the veggies for last!!!!! Gaaaaahhhh!!!!
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We are trying to keep busy this winter so that we all stay sane. I hate bundling my kids up every time we leave the house but I sure love looking back and seeing this eskimo face:
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We went to the Figge Art museum downtown for the first time last week and it was a successful outing.
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Our community participates in the Dolly Parton Imagination Library. Once you register your kids (ages 5 and under) they are mailed a free book every single month, regardless of family income. We already have quite a collection of Imagination Library books and Jack loves checking the mail every day to see if his present has come :) They are cute books and high quality! We love it!
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I don't think I have ever mentioned this on my blog, but I break out into hives whenever I workout. It first started in Alabama, so I thought I was just allergic to Alabama, but when we moved to Iowa, I still would break out into hives and I realized that I get hives when I workout both outside and inside. After three years of this, asking friends who are really involved in the running community, two doctors and two dermatologists, I was finally diagnosed with Cholinergic Urticaria - I am hypersensitive to my own sweat. I didn't even know that was a thing! I will probably always have to deal with it but the good thing is that the hives always go away after I shower and cool down my body, and while it is itchy and annoying, I can live with it. There is also some medicine that my dermatologist said that I could try but I can't try it while nursing.

The End.


Stuff we did in AZ

  • We roasted marshmallows in the backyard 
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Barefoot and shirtless in December is the way to go in Arizona according to my brother!

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  • We hiked! Camelback Mountain and the Windcaves with my family minus Elizabeth and my dad. I was surprised at how much both Jack and David loved it. I can't wait for it to warm up so that we can hike the... farms here :)
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  • We ate my favorite food/drink in the whole wide world at my favorite boba place in the whole wide world! I now like the strawberry coconut flavor better than chocolate coconut, fyi. 
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Jack did not like the black boba balls in his drink and I've never been so disappointed in him.
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  • We shopped at Last Chance. Nordstrom clothing that is 80 percent off is the best.
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  • We rang in the New Year with my grandparents and cousins from California. (My grandparents gave Jack and David awesome Utah State sweat shirts for Christmas. GO AGGIES!)
My grandma is more flexible than I am
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See, the most flexible thing I can do is sit in a very awkward and weird looking position for a picture. 
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When we were younger and had family reunions at the beach together, we played the card game "scum" every single night. We brought it back on NYE.
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Last selfie of 2014. I am so proud of it:
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Spencer, James and I all jumped in the pool at midnight, then watched fireworks from inside. (Don't worry, we weren't burning down the Christmas tree, it's just the reflection.)
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And I started the year off right with my first breakfast of 2015 - peppermint ice cream with an oreo crust. YUM!
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  • We went to Bahama Bucks! James' Christmas gift to us was a Bahama Bucks gift certificate. Love that place.
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  • We saw the movies Annie and Unbroken and loved them both! I never want to see Annie again thought because it takes a full two weeks to get the songs out of my head.
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  • We went to the Gilbert Temple. I still can't believe that Gilbert has a temple. It is so beautiful!
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  • David ate his "pre" birthday cake and he loved it! 
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  • We went to the zoo, of course!
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  • And the park a few times. Man, I love Arizona weather in December!
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The flight home from Arizona was a nightmare. Spencer went home before me because I decided that flying by myself with both kids was worth staying in the warm weather and with my family a little longer... AND IT WAS!!!!.... I think :)
I got to the airport, checked through security with both kids and with their bulky double stroller and with three carry on bags, waited to get on our delayed plane, got on the plane, sat on the plane for an hour and nursed David on the plane next to a rather large man. Then we were told to get off the plane! We had to wait for two plus hours to see if they could fix the maintenance issue and it turned out they couldn't so our flight was canceled. Then we had to wait another hour or so for our luggage to get off the plane. 8 1/2 hours spent at the airport for nothing! It was so awful. God sent me an angel to help me though - Ellen carried David and a backpack off the plane, played with Jack while I chased David, watched my kids while I went to the bathroom, and made sure I got dinner before the gift shop closed.
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David was SO DONE by the end of the first day.
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They both fell asleep within two minutes of getting into my mom's car.
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The next day we had to be at the airport at 5 am (!!!) and it went a lot smoother - it was a regular kind of hard flight with two kids, unlike the day before :) It wouldn't have been as smooth without the whole flight of people basically helping me - by the end of the second day I'm pretty sure every single person on the plane knew my kids names!
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Jack REALLY liked talking to the 22 year old guy behind us (I know he was 22 because Jack asked him how old he was about 50 times :). That kind young man let Jack talk his ear off and answered all of Jack's questions for about an hour and he was so nice! I am so grateful.
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There is nothing like two days of flying to get you excited to get to your zero degree home! We had such a great time in Arizona and are so grateful that we got to go!