, ,

Disneyland Memories

Right now we are taking Eva to Disneyland for the first time (don’t worry, I scheduled these posts last week). Words can’t describe how excited we all are! Last time we were in Disneyland was for our Honeymoon! We were such babies! And I was thin! Oh… so much has changed!











This was the last day of our Honeymoon after we had fallen asleep on the beach all day long. T.J. face was SO burned… hahaha poor guy!


, ,

Hannah Visits Again!

My bestie from college is coming to visit me tonight and staying for a couple of days! To celebrate her arrival and to procrastinate cleaning the apartment, I’m going to bombard you with Hannah and Katie photos.

1930950_33967786446_1819_n 1918054_170033951446_4564781_n 67293_444694991446_6086566_n 378931_2201444565708_1489186139_n 426827_10150487558396447_162936819_n 1930965_36760491446_9811_n 38478_407619361446_2812210_n 22177_279268456446_6827602_n 15383_10151533161746447_1753629549_n Screen Shot 2014-10-30 at 11.13.15 AM

Screen Shot 2014-10-30 at 11.26.17 AM Picture-12-560x559 Picture-9-560x561 n639486446_682818_4730 kthannah IMG_2982-560x560 IMG_2742-560x560 IMG_2181-560x747 caa2a1409be611e18bb812313804a181_7-560x560 DSCN8482-560x699

Hannah and I met our Freshman year. We were in the same Freshman ward and I visited taught her roommate. We realized we were the only people in the dorms who watched Lost religiously, so we gathered together to watch the show each week. Since then, we have lived together twice, driven across the country together, seen many movie premieres together, and shared many memories!

, ,

The Utah Series: BYU Memories

T.J., Eva, and I headed down to BYU on Wednesday where we visited our old offices and walked around campus a bit. It was so fun to be back on that gorgeous campus. Made me miss the old days! After lunch, we went to the renovated Bean Museum on campus with T.J.’s parents and my sister-in-law Lindsay, along with her two kids. I was pretty impressed with the renovations and the kids enjoyed it, as well.

Screen Shot 2014-07-27 at 2.49.47 PM Screen Shot 2014-07-27 at 2.49.42 PM Screen Shot 2014-07-27 at 2.49.31 PM

IMG_3970 IMG_3967 IMG_3960

, ,

Happy 4th!

We are in DC right now celebrating Independence Day and seeing my baby nephew Spencer for the first time! Hope you have a great weekend!

Here’s an 11 year time portal for you:

4th of July in Chincoteague, VA

IMG_1378-620x464 IMG_1363-620x464

4th of July in Fort Thomas, KY then DC for the weekend to surprise TJ



4th of July in Provo, UT, pregnant with Eva and fireworks with friends


Newlyweds and camping on 4th of July weekend


T.J. and I were dating and he was visiting me in Kentucky for the 4th.


My family and I celebrated the 4th of July at Deep Creek Lake in Maryland. Look how little Claire was and now Mary Beth just had her third!


2007-Seven years ago, I had just graduated High School and my parents and I were in DC visiting my sister Mary Beth before she was to have her baby a month a later. It was really special to visit the monuments during the 4th of July.

2006-Eight years ago… gosh, this is hard. I had just finished up my Junior year of school. I think I was just at home and took a shift at Snowie?

2005-I think it was nine years ago when my friend Katie Chichoni was in our ward for the summer and we went to the parade together with Blair.

2004-Ten years ago, who knows. I had finished up Freshman year so I was probably at the parade with Kelly and Blair and working a shift at Graeter’s Ice Cream.

2003-Eleven years ago, my parents and I went to San Francisco for the 4th of July. It was one of those last minute trips on Travelocity so it was really cheap and really spontaneous. I think it was the first time I went on a trip with my parents without the other siblings so it was awesome. Also, this hilarious and awful story happened.


Anniversary Flashback

3 Year Anniversary (Also first day in NYC)

2 Year Anniversary (T.J. was in NY for his internship)IMG_2809-560x560

1 Year Anniversary (such baby faces!)

248970_10150195998131447_3801331_nJust Married!


, ,

One Year

A year ago today I wrote this post: My Farewell to Utah. Oh, Utah, you will always have a place in my heart and I certainly hope we get to have more memories together one day.

Last night, as T.J. and I laid in bed, we were talking about how fast and slow this year has been. In some ways, it feels like we just were eating at JCW’s for the last time with his family.

Photo-May-21-8-48-59-PM-1024x1024But we got on a plane and had faith we were doing the right thing. I remember those first couple of weeks of living out here so vividly. Trying to find a place. Having no money. Being stressed out of our minds. Even the smells of Spring in the city again has made me remember some random memories of when we first came here. It was so humid and sticky as we apartment hunted and frantically tried to find a place to live. T.J. and I agree that those first couple of weeks of living out here were the most stressful and difficult times we have had together. But once we signed for our apartment, our new life and adventure began and what a year it has been.

Photo-Jun-06-1-00-11-PM-1024x1024 Photo-May-22-5-39-30-AM-1-1024x1024

It took a while to get used to being out here, but finally I was able to call it home. I met some good friends, we got callings in our ward, and have tried to really live it up this year since we’re unsure of how long we will be living out here. I just went back through all my old posts from the past year. We really have done a lot… and another summer means more exciting things to come!

A while ago, a member of the Stake gave a talk in our ward and talked about how everyone needs to act and serve in the ward as if this is our permanent home. In such a transitional area, where people are moving in and out so often, it’s easy to continually think of this part of our lives as temporary and always think about what life is going to be after we move away. But he reminded us to enjoy the now and fully dedicate our lives in the church no matter where we are. That talk REALLY impacted me. I stopped thinking about this time in our life as a short phase and adjusted my attitude so I wouldn’t miss out on the memories around me. We are here NOW so make the BEST of it!

And I really do love it out here now. It definitely has its quirks, but one day we will look back on this time here and think about how they were the good ol’ days! I don’t think I want to raise all of my children out here, so that certainly does put a shorter time limit on our Jersey life. But for now, we’re happy we are here and enjoy the life around us. Except for the Winter. The Winter was miserable! haha!

Cheers to us for making it one year!




Family History: Pulling Dandelions

Yesterday, my dad took me to the airport. It also happened to be his birthday. I asked him, as we were driving there, what he used to do as a kid on his birthday. The conversation was basically this:

Dad: Well, my parents never did anything extravagant on our birthdays like your mom does for you all. My birthday was special though because Jeff and I had to pick dandelions everyday and weigh them in. We weighed them in on the “dreaded scale in the garage.”

Me: Dad, you’re lying. I don’t believe you.

Dad (not even cracking a smile, and really pouring out the details now): No, I’m not joking. We would weigh them in, and then half of that number was the weight of food we were allowed to have. I mean, you remember how big our yard was. There were a lot of dandelions to pick. And my dad said he’d never buy weed killer as long as he had sons.

Me: That’s ridiculous. I know you’re making this up.

Dad: No, no, no! I promise this happened. So, on our birthdays, it would be great because the ratio was 1 to 1. Not 2 to 1. And Jeff’s birthday is in April too, so twice in April we’d get to have the 1 to 1 weight ratio of dandelions to food.

Me: (Thinking…I feel like this is kind of like child abuse…) Wow, that was kind of tough/weird/bizarre. But what about school? How could you pick all those dandelions when you had school every day?

Dad: We still had to get the quota for the day, there were no exceptions. And you know you can eat dandelions right? They make a pretty good salad.

Me: Like their stems?

Dad: No, their leaves. You have to get a bunch of them but they’re pretty good for you.

Me: Hmmm…..

So, today I got on my Uncle Jeff’s Facebook page and messaged him.

Screen Shot 2014-04-17 at 9.23.22 PM

They all had such compelling comments and went right along with the story, that I had no reason NOT to believe them. When I talked to my Dad tonight, I told him how Jeff and Tim backed up his story and that I was sorry for not believing him entirely yesterday. Then my dad lost it… lots of laughter. It was ALL a lie! I guess they occasionally did have to pull the dandelions but there was no “dreaded scale in the garage” and definitely no ratio thing going on! Those tricksters! They are all so sarcastic and have the driest humor. It’s the true nature of a Swainhart, I guess!

Screen Shot 2014-04-17 at 9.26.41 PMCan you even eat them, Dad? Or am I going to go try and make a dandelion salad and poison myself?!

Here are my grandparents that I believed made their children pick hundreds of pounds of dandelions so they could eat food (hahaha… it’s so ridiculous now that I think about it!):

225137_212911152066285_7857729_n 225533_212911138732953_3095876_n

And here’s my Dad with his older brother Tim-I guess Tim was too old in the story for the dandelion picking chore 😉 :




Birthday Time Warp

I couldn’t help but to reflect on all the birthdays I’ve had and try to see how far back I can remember. So, here’s a little time warp for you:

25: Piano Guys in NYC

Screen Shot 2014-04-01 at 6.12.09 PM24: Eating Cheesecake with my parents in KY

23: Hunger Games in Provo and SLC Date


22: Tucanos with T.J. and Dustin (the day before I found out I was pregnant, too)

21: Engaged, Tucanos in SLC

20: The Melting Pot with my brother Sam and T.J. (first time I considered him my boyfriend)

19: Double date with friends as a Freshman and Birthday party with roommates

18: Surprise party with Camille and missionaries right before leaving for Disney World (can’t find picture 🙁 )

That’s when it gets blurry. The rest of my high school years I probably hung out with Blair, Kelly, and Lelia at the Levee. Then Junior High and late elementary I had slumber parties. What a fun flashback!

On to 2014!

We had a good year. It was one of the biggest years of my life, up there with the years I became a mother, became a spouse, and became a BYU student. The best months were probably June and October because of all our fun adventures and the worst was March or April because I was so stressed about our future.

Our daughter turned two, we moved to the East coast, visited family, walked all over Manhattan, hosted lots of visitors, went to the beach, cried about being homesick, and met new people. We were blessed so much in 2013 and are still realizing the extent of those blessings.

Happy New Year, you all!