One Month of Motherhood

One month. Have you ever felt that time goes so fast and so slow at the same time? The days pass on pretty slow because I am tracking every hour. Has he eaten? When was the last time he pooped? But then somehow it’s a new week!

This past month has been like nothing I have ever experienced. I have gotten less sleep, drunken more water, changed more diapers, washed more clothes then I have in my entire life and yet I couldn’t be happier. There are a lot of things that I wish I could say has happened this past month, like I have gained an incredible amount of patience or that I can change a diaper fast enough before he decides to pee again. But I can’t. What I have experienced is what I consider the purest form of love.

I had a friend ask me right after Oliver was born, “How has your perspective changed since becoming a parent?” At the time I didn’t really know how to answer. You see my brain has basically stopped working since becoming sleep deprived :). I have been thinking a lot about that question and a lot about my Heavenly Father. The main theme that my thoughts have taken is that of sacrifice.

Before having Oliver, I thought of sacrifice as giving something up for someone or something. I still believe that is true but sacrifice has become something so much more now that all those acts of service are for someone who literally can not do those things for themselves. A baby is so helpless. They can’t even really give anything back in return. That is unless you count a big burp or full diaper as payment. I also realize now what it means to sacrifice all that you have for another person. Your time, energy, sleep, finances, even your body.

I always knew that having children and forming a family was part of God’s plan which is why Kyle and I didn’t waste anytime starting ours. Now I have a totally different perspective of why God asks that of us. God wants us to become like him. To learn how to serve and love, and to have patience and humility. He wants us to trust in Him and rely on Him. He wants us to learn and grow. And to sacrifice. I seriously can’t think of a faster way to achieve that then becoming a parent.

Even with all we give up and sacrifice somehow we end up with so much more. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised by that because that is how God works. Even though my body will never be the same and I probably will never sleep again or stop worrying, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Kyle always talks about experiencing emotion in increments. The more love or sorrow that we experience the more you can experience in the future. I totally believe that. I love my husband and my son more everyday.

So it has been one month of motherhood and I would say it is going pretty well, all things considered.

xoxo,

Tay

Welcome Oliver! Our Birth Story

Mr. Oliver made his grand debut April 10th at 7:54pm! I really loved my labor and delivery, once we were finally in the hospital! I started early labor at almost 38 weeks. The contractions were 10-20 minutes apart for about 5 1/2 days! They were painful and exhausting!! We went to the hospital on two separate occasions and got sent home. Being sent home is seriously the most discouraging thing ever! I felt craaaazy! Especially because I was contracting! But no progression, AT ALL! So on that fifth day we had our regularly scheduled doctor’s appointment. It was then that we decided to be induced at 39 weeks, which happened to be in 6 days! So there was more waiting, but a definite light at the end of the tunnel. I actually liked having an exact date, it’s the planner in me!

The day of our induction we went grocery shopping, cleaned the house, ate one of my favorite dinners, and Kyle even sold some golf clubs! We were suppose to go in at 6 pm but we didn’t get in until 9 pm.

When we finally got admitted, they started us on a pretty mild drug to get things started. Then at around 7 am they started us on pitocin or “pit” as the nurses call it! At that point, things started to progress! Noon my doctor came and broke my water. You could really see how big little man was and we started to make bets about how big he would be! I was really hoping he wouldn’t be bigger than 8 lbs. In an hour we went from a 4 to a 6. That’s when the contractions became superrrr intense and I asked for the epidural. It worked great for about three contractions and then the pain was back and increasing. It wasn’t until I was at almost a 9, 1 1/2 hours later, that we figured out that the tube had come out and I had to get another epidural.

During that hour and a half was the most intense pain, but I am so grateful for it. It really is empowering to endure through it, maybe because I knew there was an end in sight. A few minutes after we got the second epidural it was time to push! GO TIME! I pushed for THREE HOURS STRAIGHT! That’s not an exaggeration. Boy am I glad that that second epidural worked! But it was all worth it when I saw that little body, that little face for the first time. I couldn’t believe that a literal, full grown BABY just came out of me! He was…he is perfect. They placed him on my chest and Kyle cut the umbilical chord. I was in a dream! I was in awe! He was finally here! Our little Olliepop! 9 pounds 7 ounces! Yeah he was big! I can’t imagine how big he would be if he came at 40 weeks or later!

Being a Mom and a family of three still feels surreal. I am forever grateful to God for entrusting us with His sweet spirit.

Love,

our little party of three

Favorite General Conference talks

It’s that glorious time again! Conference weekend! And what makes this year even more sacred is that it falls on the Saturday before and the Sunday of Easter. If you have never heard of General Conference, it is simply where the leaders of the LDS church gather for four different meetings (2 on Saturday and 2 on Sunday) and speak about building faith and testify of Christ. Saints from all over can gather in Salt Lake City, Utah to watch them speak live or watch from home as it is broadcasted live all over the world, in hundreds of different languages. These meetings only happen every 6 months! Kyle and I were sitting in a Brigham Young University marketing class yesterday and the professor mentioned that General Conference was like the “Mormon Superbowl!” I couldn’t help but laugh! It’s so true!

I love Conference weekend because it helps me to reflect on my own faith and testimony. I always feel the Spirit so strong during these weekends and come away feeling closer to my Savior and Father in Heaven. Usually before Conference I will write down a few questions, concerns, or just things that have been weighing heavy on me. I like to do this because it helps me tune in more to the answers to my questions. While I am still doing that this year, I wanted to do something more to prepare for Conference. Kyle and I have been going back through our favorite Conference addresses from past years and re-reading them. We compiled a list of what we have been reading and thought we would share them! I also should add that their are so many amazing talks that have been given, these are just the first to come to my mind.

I hope that as you read these talks that you feel of the Spirit and feel more prepared to hear the messages of General Conference!

1. Plea to My Sisters

by President Russell M. Nelson

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I love his address of the power of covenant keeping women. This one touches close to home for me because I am in fact a woman striving to keep her covenants everyday. I love the way he describes woman and their sacred role. It is so empowering and makes me want to be better and fulfill my purpose and divine destiny. I also love the way he talks about his beloved, late wife.

2. The First Great Commandment

by Elder Jeffery R Holland

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Although I don’t remember how I felt or what I was doing when this talk was being spoken, This talk changed my life as a missionary. I am surprised my companions did not get sick of me listening to this every. single. morning!! I was obsessed with it! And still am. In fact, I am pretty sure that I could quote this entire talk word for word.

I love the bluntness of it. “If you love me, keep my commandments.” I love the perspective and the context. Before listening to this, I never thought about what it must have been like to be those first Apostles. I love how it makes me reflect on my commitment to Christ and how I show him that I do love Him.

3. Grateful in Any Circumstance

by Elder Deiter F. Uchtdorf

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“Gratitude is the catalyst for all other Christ-like attributes”

This is one of my very most favorite quotes and it comes right from this talk! I am a big believer that attitude can change anything and EVERYTHING. This talk really connected the dots, for me, about just how much gratitude can change and affect your attitude. Gratitude has never had more meaning and substance to me until I was touched by this talk. Gratitude is everything! It really does bring us closer to Christ and helps us to become more like him.

4. Has the Day of Miracles Ceased

by Elder Donald L. Hallstrom

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This talk comes from the most recent General Conference. This was one of those talks that immediately caught my attention while I was watching. He talks about miracles, of course, but more about our own faith and trust in God. I think it is so easy to get caught up in seeking our own will over God’s will for us. Elder Hallstrom poses the question, “Do we have the faith NOT to be healed?” and “Where do we place our faith?” I think those are such powerful reflection question.

xoxo,

Kyle & Taylor

Packing for the Hospital!

I always think it is better to be OVER prepared then under prepared! So that is the approach that we took packing our hospital bag! We are the crazy people that have had our bag packed for two weeks now and we just hit 38 weeks! When I say OVER prepared…I mean it! haha!

Since this is our first kid, we didn’t really know what we would need and what we wouldn’t. After a lot of surveying, research and asking friends and family, we have our finished product! I AM SO EXCITED! It seriously feels like we just packed for an amazing adventure…honestly we kind of have!

FOR HIM & HER

  • PJs
  • Comfortable Tee + Pants
  • Non-slip socks + Fuzzy socks
  • Nursing Bra + Underwear
  • Deodorant
  • Phone + Charger
  • Brush/comb + Hair tie
  • Toothbrush + toothpaste
  • Nipple Cream
  • Chapstick
  • Electric Razor
  • Snacks!!!!!!
  • Pillow + Blanket

FOR BABY + A LITTLE EXTRA

  • Two Onsies
  • Two Outfits
  • Mittens
  • Socks
  • Binkey
  • Swaddle + Extra Blanket
  • Hat
  • Headphones
  • Games
  • Lotion

Our hospital, and most hospitals, provide so much that you really don’t have to pack too much! Everyone I talked to swore by bringing your own pillow and blanket for you and your hubs! The hospital does provide both but it makes the stay a little more comfortable to have your own! Comfortable clothes was also a MUST among everyone I talked to. Which makes total sense since you are pushing a baby out of you!! haha! I think the hygiene items are pretty obvious. We packed games because we are planning on getting an epidural and my sister suggested something to help past the time if we have to wait a long time. Who knows if we will end up using it but like I said…over packing! I am thinking I want to listen to music while in the hospital so that is what the headphones are for. Mamas get fed in the hospital but the Dads don’t so that is why snacks were a must! You also never really know when you will go into labor and how starving you might be! Everyone needs a little treat!

The reason I packed onsies and outfits for the little babe is because I don’t know if it will be warm or cold in the hospital. I also thought it would be nice to have back up clothes. Mittens for the baby’s hands were a big must with everyone. Babies come out with nails and the mittens keep them from scratching their cute little faces.

Something I haven’t mentioned yet but is KEY, probably number one, is a car seat! They won’t let you leave without one so make sure that is set up in the car!

I don’t think I have ever been so excited to go to the hospital!! Let the adventure begin! Seriously…annnnnnnny day now! I AM READY!!!!

xoxo,

Kyle & Taylor

I Love Being Pregnant #32weeks

I love being pregnant! and I’m dead serious.

I’m sure you don’t hear that very often. And I promise you it is not because this pregnancy has been a breeze. I have gone through crazy morning sickness (really all day sickness), unbelievable nausea, pressure, a torn muscle, exhaustion beyond compare, allllways hungry, heartburn, and my lowest moment…puking all over myself on the freeway home from work.

But I wouldn’t change a thing.

A lot of people will tell you that pregnancy is “hard” and “everything is going to change so enjoy life now.” You will get enough of that. I am not going to be one of those voices. The whole point of life is to grow and experience change! Change, to me, is something beautiful and powerful. This journey of change has been so incredibly sacred for me. I feel like I am doing something that I was always meant to do. I am learning so much about myself and my body. I am growing so much closer to my husband. I am understanding so much more about God and His kind of love.

The feeling of moving forward and knowing your purpose is incomparable.

There are a lot of things that you try prepare for when having a baby, financially, physically, emotionally. A lot of those things you prepare for before and a lot of things you have to just embrace during those 9 months. I say this all the time, but I really feel like there is something so special and necessary about those 9 months. 9 months of body changes. 9 months of crazy hormones (am I right!?!?) 9 months of learning this child’s movements and cravings. 9 months to adjust and prepare for parenthood.

No matter what your experience is, the real truth comes down to one word, Attitude. Positivity and gratitude bring peace and power. When you have a positive attitude it doesn’t mean you are always happy. It means you have the tools to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and keep moving forward. It means that you see yourself as God sees you. That is true for any situation! Especially being pregnant!!

I love being pregnant. and I’m dead serious.

I love feeling my 32 week old baby boy wiggle around inside of me. I love seeing his profile on the ultrasound pictures. I love that he nestle up close when daddy’s hand is on my belly. I love that bubble baths have become more of my daily routine. And I love getting foot rubs from my HERO of a husband.

AND I WOULDN’T CHANGE A THING!

xo

love.love.love

ohhh Valentine’s Day! Does anyone else remember the cute little mailboxes you would get during elementary school filled with cartoon or Disney Channel valentines? Those were the days! Then there were the awkward stages of valentines, namely Jr. High and High school. Either you got nothing or some cryptic note from a “secret admirer.” At least that is how it was for me! I was never one of those girls that spent the day eating chocolate or carrying around a stuffed animal.

Then you get older and find out what Valentine’s Day is really all about, A CELEBRATION OF LOVE! All kinds of love. Love between friends. Love between family. And love between that one special person. Plus who doesn’t like an excuse to eat chocolate and conversation hearts!

Last night Ky and I were reflecting about last Valentine’s vs this Valentine’s. It is amazing how much has changed! Last year we were just a couple of kids dating and crazy in love. He came over to my apartment and we made dinner and kissed…a lot! This year we are still a couple of kids crazy in love with an added little bonus (baby G!) We celebrated a day early by taking pictures, going to dinner and watching a really lame movie haha!

This year Valentine’s Day didn’t feel like much of a holiday, mostly because everyday feels like a celebration our love for one another. It is the little acts of service or small sweet surprises like flowers or candy. It is the adventures we go on together, whether that be across state lines or across grocery aisles. It is the loving words written on the bathroom mirror or whispered late at night. When everyday is a celebration of love, Valentine’s Day becomes more of a reflection of how that love has grown!

Of course love isn’t perfect and neither are we but that’s what’s so important about choosing to celebrate love everyday. I know that it is the times when Ky and I aren’t seeing eye to eye on something or it’s just a crazy stressful week that our love is tested and, if we choose, ultimately strengthened. If everything was perfect all the time, we would never have to lean on one another. Trust and love go hand and hand.

I love the Facebook post from LDS apostle, Jeffery R. Holland, regarding his wife, “I may not know everything about her, but I know 54 years’ worth, and she knows that much of me. I know her likes and dislikes, and she knows mine. I know her tastes and interests, hopes and dreams, and she knows mine. The result is that I know much more clearly now how to help her, and, if I let myself, I know exactly what will hurt her. In the honesty of our love—love that can’t truly be Christlike without such total devotion—surely God will hold me accountable for any pain I cause her by intentionally exploiting or hurting her when she has been so trusting of me.”

Hearing the way he talks about the love between him and his wife makes me so SO excited to reach 54 years with my love! Love really is what you go through together! Including alll the ups and downs and the trust built and kept along the way! I can’t wait to reflect on how our love has grown next Valentine’s Day. What do you do to celebrate love through-out the year?

xo

Valentine’s Fashion Favs

Valentine’s really jipped all the other holidays on colors. Pinks, reds, white I mean, come on! These colors just speak to my heart! So I compiled some of my favorite looks this season that can easily be dressed up for date night or dressed down for a casual night with the girls! Upside is they are all UNDER $25! Each site is linked in the title, if you want to purchase!

CLOTHES

Pocket Front Cord Overall Dress

$20

Just knowing that overalls are back in style makes my 5 year old self SO SO HAPPY. The 90’s style was rough for a lot of reasons, but overalls were not one of them! I am so happy that this dress is a thing AND it’s corduroy. Talk about perfection! I love this look! It can be dressed up with a button-up or dressed down with a casual tee underneath.

T-Shirt Ruffle Dress

$16

This dress for so many reasons…the soft pink, the ruffles, the sporty sleeves. I love a dress that looks good for any occasion, and this dress is just that. Girly and chic but also sporty. Pair it with tennies and a denim vest or wear heels and some dangaling earrings. Badah Bing! Badah Boom!

Hagan T-shirt

$20

This really is more than a t-shirt if you ask me. It’s got the material of a blouse but is simple enough to pair with jeans. This would be cute for a night out with the girls #galentines or a date night with your man!

Pink Velvet Dress

$19

I LOVE velvet. I really do not know what it is about velvet that just makes my heart happy. Maybe it is the soft touch, maybe it is the shine that comes from different lightings. I don’t know, but I adore it. Especially when it comes in pink and dress form!

Embroidered Jeans

$16

Jeans are always classic, but adding a touch of embroidering really changes the look and adds a bit of class and color. These jeans can be worn with a nice blouse and heels (maybe even a little fur) or a nice t-shirt and flats. Either way, you can not go wrong.

SHOES

Hot Pink Suede Flats

$18

I imagine these shoes walking the streets of New York City at night. They just say “City Girl” to me. I think these are more dressy by nature but paired with the right jeans, you could totally dress them down.

 

Rose Gold Birks

$21

Even though most of the country is in cold climate, I can’t forget my Arizona roots and add something a little summery. These are very casual but I love that they are making a comeback. They would be cute paired with a dress or jeans.

Those are just a few of my favorites for the up-coming holiday, but I would love to see some of your date night essentials!

xo,

Kyle & Taylor

Cheesy Jalapeno Poppers

This past Sunday was the Super Bowl and I really feel like everything was ON POINT. The game was UH-MAZING (even though my Pats lost), JT freaking killed the halftime show and don’t even get me started about the food.

Okay, I lied, we have to talk about the food! Let’s just get one thing straight, I love cheese. I seriously feel like cheese should be in its completely own food group. It just makes everything better! Kyle loves spicy food especially Mexican food, so when we were deciding on what to make for the big game, we decided it had to have both!

What could be a better combo than homemade, cheese-filled Jalapeno poppers!? This dish was really simple to but together (big plus for parties) and only takes 10 minutes to cook! Plus guaranteed to be a crowd favorite! We brought this over to our friend’s house and they loved them!

I know not everyone is a big fan of spicy food. Recently this pregnant girl has been a total wimp to spice in general so I mean it when I say, these are pretty mild. Because of the blends of cheese, it helps to balance out the spice of the jalapenos.

Of course I have to put a plug in for party-planning on a budget. Kyle and I are preparing for dental school, so we have to be strategic about how much we spend each week. It actually has been so fun budgeting because we spend a lot more time in the kitchen together experimenting with different recipes and cooking homemade goods! Fresh jalapenos are very affordable, cream cheese was on sale, and so was the bacon! Major score! It helps to plan your meals or snacks around what is in season and what is on sale.

SOOO without further ado…

Here is the recipe!

Try them out, you will not be disappointed! We would love to know what you think!

xo,

Kyle & Taylor

Creamy Scrambled Eggs

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There are really only a few things that I watch on TV, Food Network & Shark Tank! One day I was watching the show, “Beat Bobby” on Food Network and one of Bobby Flay’s competitors described their scrambled eggs as “creamy.” I had NEVER heard it described or presented that way and it sounded so so good! Call it pregnancy cravings, but I had to have it! So I tested out different way to make scrambled eggs and I finally achieved the creaminess that I am sure this man was talking about. They have now become my very favorite way to eat eggs!

Currently it is just Kyle and I (and our gorwing baby boy!) So most of our recipes are not made for big crowds but they definitely can be modified. Like this egg recipe, for instance, fed just Kyle and I this morning. However, the more eggs and milk you add, the more this can feed. The real important things to note when modifying is keeping the ratios the same, so you achieve the same great flavor! Also the technique is what really makes these eggs stand out from other recipes, so pay close attention to that as well!

I am so excited to share this recipe with you all!

Yeild: 2 servings

TIme: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 Tbsp Whole Milk
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Pepper
  • 2 Tbsp Butter
  • Cilantro to garnish

Directions:

In a bowl, whisk together eggs and milk until combined. Add in salt and pepper. Put butter in a skillet and warm over medium heat until butter is melted. Reduce heat and pour in egg mixture. With a spoon or spatula continually stir the mixture in a figure eight motion making sure the eggs are not getting crispy. Cook until the eggs are light and fluffy. Remove from heat and garnish with cilantro.

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I served mine with German Rye bread. My favorite way to eat these eggs is over warm toast. Every bite you get crunch and creamy! I’s love to hear how you like this breakfast!

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Love,

Kyle and Taylor

Social Media vs Me

There has been a lot of buzz lately about the negative effects of social media. The perfectly portrayed lives, the judging, the comparing, and the inevitable self-doubt. Why do we torture ourselves like this? Now we don’t even have to know the Jone’s to try and keep up with them! From the comfort of our own home, even our very place of rest and refuge, can become bombarded with inadequacy. Perfectly cropped pictures, perfect vacations, perfect hair, perfect make-up, perfect children, perfect family…everything seems all too perfect, except of course, you. And all of this shining out of a 10 x 20 mm screen.

I guess the real question lies within ourselves. Is it really the social platforms destroying our confidence or simply ourselves? Can we really be apart of these communities while still feeling beautiful, respected and self-assured? I believe the answer is yes.

Just like the people we choose to be friends with, we have the ability to choose who has the power to affect us. Who are we going to let into our trusted inner circles to give us advice and influence our decision making? I’m sure we’ve all heard that happiness is a choice, I believe that with all of my heart. No one can make us feel a certain way without our conscious or subconscious choice to let them.

Awhile ago there was this big debacle about Snapchat and their new feature of inappropriate content. Some people complained, some people started a petition to make the company remove it but not a lot of people, that I talked to, were willing to delete the app because of it. They wanted the change to be made from someone else besides themselves. It sounds like the same thing is happening now. Bloggers and influencers with big followings should be the ones to change their content. The truth is, however, the only reason that these people have such wide impact is because we let them. We follow them, we “like” their posts, and we even share their content. At any moment we have to power to say, “this is not what I want in my life” and simply stop following them.

It’s hard. We want to be apart of it all. We want our lives to seem equally as important and as valuable as those we idolize. And they can be! I have found that when I think of other’s profiles as simply idea platforms, I am so much happier. I see someone on vacation and instead of comparing, I plan. Where should I go on my next vacation? I think we get so used to expecting the worst of people that we forget they are just people. What would happen if we all assumed the best in each other? If we congratulated other’s successes without taking anything away from ourselves? If we built each other up instead of tearing each other down? Well I think that’s what they call Zion.

xo,

Kyle & Taylor