Friday, August 26, 2016


The "SSS" became my family in the last years of single life, as we bonded over boys, life in the avenues, Hatches chocolates, weddings, careers, school, travel, and basically everything in between. I feel so blessed to have the opportunity to share my world with them, and likewise to be constantly inspired by them. 

For one year the three of us were all just single ladies building our careers and making the most of our lives. We supported each other through the big things like broken hearts. We helped each other in the small things, like cleaning each other's apartments when life got overwhelming and busy. And we played and danced and enjoyed friends and city life. 

During that year, Chrislyn met Ryan, and our little group started to expand. Miss Emma joined their family shortly after. A few years later Brad finally hit an acceptable age for marriage and swept me off to Florida. Then last year, Andy married Erika, completing the circle. 

A few weeks ago, we got together to celebrate yet one more thing we have in common. Our baby boys were all born in the past year, and the stars aligned for us to spend a few hours together so the entire SSS clan could meet, and our boys could start a friendship we hope will also last a lifetime (I know, they probably won't remember their first meeting, but we have the photo evidence for later). 

People aren't perfect, and 9 years of friendship has seen all of us through ups and downs, both big and small. We've had to grow, adapt, and learn how to be friends, especially when we can't just pop around the corner when we need a good chat. But I am eternally grateful for these women (and their families) who love me for me, and see the very best in me. Who love me in spite of my weaknesses, and truly appreciate my strengths.

My mom always says that the best relationships exist when someone else appreciates what WE have to give, and we need and appreciate what THEY have to give. I am at home when I am with Chrislyn and Erika, and I know they feel at home with me. They are my family, and I am eternally grateful for a few extra years of single life that allowed me to meet the women that helped shape who I am today. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Bryce Canyon

I met Brad in October of 2010, and on July 29th we celebrated 5 years of marriage. I can't imagine a greater adventure than the time we've spent together. Brad is the most gentle and kind soul I've ever known, and has treated me like his princess from the moment we met. I'd say we came as close as one can to love-at-first-sight, which was important because otherwise our unlikely beginning would have never begun.

We started our 5 year celebration downtown SLC with dinner and a stay at the Little America (of course we had to get in at least one night that didn't include dirt and rocks and sleeping on an air mattress). It was a lovely night, and we got to sneak back to my parents the next morning for some Devin love while we packed up the car for the real adventure.

Brad got the "romance package" which included delicious chocolates and a rose.

Oh and rose petals on the bed. :)
Brad and I settled on camping for our anniversary, and this trip never could have happened without my amazing parents! My dad pulled out all of his gear and packed most of the car for us, and my mom made the most DELICIOUS tinfoil dinners and helped gather the rest of the food needed! Oh, and of course they generously shared a vehicle with us for the week. Did I mention they also took on an extra child for 3 days?

Bryce Canyon seemed like a fitting destination based on some upcoming changes in our living situation (we're not moving back to Utah just in case you're wondering), and we ended up spending time in Red Rock Canyon and Escalante as well. We met people along our journey from Florida, Switzerland, Germany, New Jersey, Virginia, and more as we explored, reminding me that I never fully appreciated all my home state had to offer while living there.

Brad and I haven't camped together for at least a couple of years and it was awesome to enjoy a few days outside of cell range (for the most part) with just the two of us. We rode horses, hiked, gazed at billions of stars (you could ACTUALLY see the Milky way!!), cooked over a campfire, and did a semi-okay job setting up our tent.

I hope it doesn't take us another 5 years to celebrate in style (or whatever you call spending time in the hot, dusty, desert), but in truth I feel like every day I celebrate the blessing of having my best friend and love of my life by my side. I can't wait for an eternity of anniversaries!

Nightlinger and Blue Duck
Thankfully they didn't tell me until over halfway through that
Nightlinger used to be a "buckin' horse".
A view of Escalante

Brad the Breakfast Guy

We had some tent issues... one was not getting the poles quite even
(this was after it blew over and we had to put it back up)

We also discovered the front zippers of the tent didn't zip. This was fine until we thought
an animal got into the tent the first night and couldn't sleep. We decided to remedy the situation for night #2. 
Clearly our solution worked wonders.

Friday, August 12, 2016

10 Months

Hi Devy Boy!

Last month was an intense one! We had lots of adventures, time with friends and cousins, and lots of travel. You are definitely a social kid, and brought smiles to others everywhere we went. You wave to everyone now, including the dogs.

Early in the month you came down with Hand, Foot, and Mouth which was fortunately incredibly mild, but showed up along with your first major diaper rash. Based on advice from the nurse we spent a couple of days away from other kids, and you took lots of tubs and had as much naked time as possible to help your rash get better. For being "sick", you seemed blissfully unaware that anything was wrong, which meant we had some amazing uninterrupted Mommy/Devin time. We snuggled, we played, and you tubbied it up! While there was some extra work involved in taking care of your rash(es), I had a great excuse to just be home and enjoy you. I know that as you get older I will cherish that weekend so much!

You were definitely starting to teethe, even though nothing had poked out by the time you hit 10 months. Spoiler alert though: you have a couple of bottom teeth finally coming in now!!

You are crawling all over the place these days, and constantly standing whenever you can pull yourself up to something. In fact, while we were in Utah you pulled yourself up and let go a couple of times, standing for 10-15 seconds all on your own!

You love to play with other kids. You had such a great time with your cousins while we were in Utah, and you also learned to roll the ball with Mimi, and of course climb all over the Devin-sized couch.

You got in a lot of water time this month, playing in the backyard baby pool, and taking a trip to the lake with Mimi and Papa while we were in Utah. You rode in a boat for the first time, and even took a couple of rides on the wave runners. I was worried you would be nervous, but you almost fell asleep when I took you out for a ride. Clearly mom doesn't get too crazy (even when she doesn't have a Devy boy along for the ride).

You eat pretty much anything (except bananas since they seem to make you sick). You especially love food that is on someone else's plate. You still eat most foods from a squeeze pack (cereal is totally unappealing in any other form), but you like things you can eat with your hands (unfortunately this is not limited to food), and will eat off a spoon when we all eat together. You also discovered snow cones while we were in Utah, and I think Bryn hardly ate any of hers between sharing bites with you and Aria. You tried lemonade for the first time and LOVED it, although you made hilarious faces after each drink.

You also love to dance and "work" on the computer, or anything that someone else is working on. I finally found a great app for the computer so you can play on the keyboard without doing any damage.

Although I have taken the scissors to your hair a few times, you got one of your first real haircuts this month. There's not a lot of hair up there, but it's definitely growing and getting thicker by the day.

Every day is such an adventure with you in our lives Devin. In the mornings I walk in to find you smiling and laughing, jumping with excitement to see me. Then we quietly sneak back into our room and you can't climb over the blankets fast enough to get Daddy. All the tiredness melts away in moments watching you start to explore each new day. I love your smile, your laugh, your big, blue inquisitive eyes, and basically every little bitty bit of you! This has been an incredible year, and we can't wait to see what the rest of it brings.


Mom and Dad