i'm going to wax philosophical here for a second folks.

as hazel grows and develops, and as i have been working at a rehab facility, i have noticed a pattern. the development for babies and the elderly is the same, just reversed.  hazel learned to lift her head, then to grab things, then sit up, then crawl, then feed herself, then walk.  and soon, she will learn to talk and go potty and do all kinds of things for herself.  as she gains function, i notice my sweet elderly patients losing some- in almost the exact reverse order that she gains it.  it must be difficult to feel your abilities slowly slipping away. and each day i work, i feel for the few my patients that are in that stage of life.  it must be scary and frustrating at times.  it is my job to help them, and help hazel to smoothly transition from one functionality to the next, and it's a daunting task.  each day i am saying a silent prayer that i will do and say the right things.  at times, i fear i fall very short.  but i am appreciating the things i learn from each one of the people in work with.  i believe even more now in God's goodness and His plan for each of us.  He has provided a way for us to return to him.  not only that - but He has provided us with unlimited happiness, if we only follow His life example.  He has said, "i am the resurrection and the life.  he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live." {john 11:25}

things hazel loves:

i've been doing these love life posts for awhile now.
and the other day i was thinking about all the things that hazel loves, and how i want to remember her quirky cuteness forever.  so, here is a list of things 11-month-old hazel loves.

holding/playing with/eating socks
unfolding the laundry right after i've folded it
pointing at clocks
eating avocados and asparagus
dancing to music {particularly her mozart cube}
pitching a fit when i stop her from wrecking something {like my mother in-law's alphabetized dvd collection}
scrunching up her nose and smiling at strangers
trying to stick her fingers in my mouth when nursing
reading books
diet coke {i am semi-responsible for this}
baby einstein
holding my phone
bedtime snuggling


the battle has begun.

this is the face of a baby/toddler that won't eat her food.
this little bug has been refusing table food lately.  it's been a battle of wits as she puts everything i give her in her mouth, and then promptly spits it out! even ice cream. you heard me. ice cream. she must suspect that i'm planning on weaning her in the next few months, and has retaliated in full-force. 

i guess i shouldn't be complaining, since she had always been an amazing nurser and i haven't had to worry about her getting the nutrition she needs.  i'm backing off for now, and hoping that she'll be ready to take it down a notch in a few weeks (the nursing, i mean, because i love it, but i don't want it to be forever ya know). we are raising a stubborn child, and sometimes i think it's very lucky for her that she's so cute. ;) 


motherhood is...

motherhood is sleepless nights.
motherhood is making food or cleaning it up, pretty constantly.
motherhood is praying for the energy to keep up with a budding toddler.
motherhood is being a nurse, a psychiatrist, a teacher, and a maid all in one.
motherhood is a thorough exercise routine.
motherhood is a full-time job.

but motherhood is also....
snuggles in the middle of the night.
the privilege of loving and caring.
fun, and spontaneous, amazing, and infinitely worthwhile.
feeling close to a perfect little someone in a way that only a mother can understand.
and so, so rewarding.

what is motherhood, to you?


the things we do when john has a school break.

the sea of hormones has ebbed. and it feels sooooo good being myself again, i can't even tell you! now for some documentation.

the mba school has these "breaks" that are meant for first-years to find internships for the summer and second-years(that's us!) to find jobs if they haven't already. but since my stud-muffin already has a full-time offer(hurray!), we have had him all to ourselves the past few days. six days off from school, i tell you! what wonderful things are we to do? 
we went and saw "sacred gifts" at the byu museum of art. i snuck this picture but there was zero flash and there are pics of this all over the web, right? the exhibit was amazing, and free. if you live within an hour or less of byu I say it's totally worth it!
we had a gift card to outback that's been sitting on our fridge for months. we finally decided to use it! will you just look at her face? i can't begin to estimate the beautiful relationship these two have, and i don't ever plan to.
and finally, we went up to honey and papa's house to hang out and show off our new tricks. excited to see what the next few days will hold.


apparently, i have anger-management issues about once a month. (pre-hazel i didn't have this issue.... another beautiful thing pregnancy changed about my body.) i would advise avoiding me for the next 3-4 days. unless you are John or the beebes, in which case, sucks for you. 


currently loving:

dark chocolate-covered coconut almonds.
stretching after a workout.
early morning snuggles with hazelnut.
how great it feels to be painting again.
curling up in a minkie next to the fire.
cooking dinner with hazel happy in her high chair, dancing to florence + the machine.
the calm silence of fresh snow.


this B of ours....

those pincer fingers when she tries to grab food-
and when she lays her head to the side... i can't even handle it.


hazel and i leave a trail of puffs behind us in the grocery store.  i love watching her walk in careful trepidation with every step, and the way she looks at me randomly throughout the day and scrunches up her nose and smiles.  i love those rare moments when she'll sit on my lap, still and content for awhile.  we are getting to the stage that i have to sweep the floor beneath her highchair every night, and that's just fine with me.  she surprises me each day with her understanding, her innocence, and her sweet spirit.  life will never be the same.  i love her so.


peru night.

i apologize for the huge photo of our dinner tonight.  but it was sam tribute night because i miss him SOOOOOOO much and i am dying and can't wait for him to get back in five months.  it's rude that all his friends have been coming home over the past few weeks.... because it's made me realize how close his homecoming is and yet how far way....  we were due for some peruvian cuisine anyway.


christmas recap.

we had a fabulous christmas break.  and although there were many more things i wanted to capture, i just didn't get pictures of it all.  that said, i'm sure i won't look back in ten years and wish i had taken pictures of all the delicious food we ate, or the games we played, etc.  so, here are some moments of our christmas break.

john's birthday.

christmas eve.
 the cutest shepherd you ever did see?

christmas day.



i've been thinking a lot these last few days about the person i want to be this year.  and in five years.  right now is the time to start fresh, and i am feeling motivated to make a change.  the changes i want to make will have to come gradually, over diligent development of habits, but i think they are reasonable.  the key with resolutions is to keep it simple.

1)  i want to become more committed to my Heavenly Father.  that means reading the book of mormon and trying to be more like the Savior each day.  it means attending all of my church meetings, even if hazel isn't being the easiest church-goer.  it means being kind to others around me and magnifying my callings (including visiting teaching, which always ends up being the hardest for me each month.)  here's to a more faith-filled 2014.

2)  i want to spend more time with friends.  it just hit me that we will only be in provo for a little while longer, and we have so many great friends here that we want to maximize our time with.  i'm not generally a planner when it comes to hanging out with friends, but this year, i am going to be.

3)  this year, i want to read each day to hazel.  she has such a long attention span for her age and she will sit through three books at a time.  i want to take advantage of her eagerness to learn and explore the pages.

4)  flossing every day.  i was such a great flosser until i became pregnant with hazel, and then i thought i would throw up every time i brushed my teeth, so flossing was kind of out of the question.  i want to floss every day because not flossing every day is just gross, if you think about it.  i have a perfect record so far for 2014... ;)

5)  commit more time to practicing the piano.  recently, i watched this video.  and even though i don't have 1/100th of this boy's talent, i want to be able to share what little talent i have if i am ever called to.  i want to be ready if the call ever comes.  and if it doesn't, i will still be glad that i continued to maintain my skills.

6)  finally, i want to cook healthier meals and budget for them.  i am going to work on planning and preparing higher protein and veggie meals so that john and i can get on a healthier track.  we feel better when we are putting good things into our bodies, and there isn't a better time to start than now!

wishing you luck with all your personal resolutions and goals!


favorite christmas break memories.

-  hazel as a shepherd in the christmas eve pageant.
-  dancing in the car to the song "kids" by MGMT on our way home from idaho.  {i'll share a secret with you.... john really knows how to         boogie!}
-  making my moms caramel successfully!
-  hazel taking her first real steps by herself.
-  eating flank steak for john's birthday {uh, duh! eating has to make the list}
-  playing about ten games of 7 wonders.
-  watching star trek into darkness.  what is it about spok?
-  talking to our missionary on skype.  he's past his 6-months-left mark!
-  writing lots of thank-you notes on my mom's cards.