The Journey Continues…

After New York, I headed to Cincinnati to visit my family for three weeks. The timing was perfect because my parents were watching my two nieces through last Tuesday, then my sister and her husband returned and visited until Friday. They live in DC so I don’t get to see them too often.

One day I asked Claire if she wanted to see pictures of her uncle T.J. and she said,

“No, I already know what he looks like!”

Well, how silly of me!

Amelia would squirm and hate to sit still in your lap. BUT I figured out how to cheat the system. All you have to say is,

“Let’s play hunting for treasure!”

She was a sucker for back rubs!

I love those girls and miss them already! Here are a few pictures from the first days I was home:

It’s so green in Kentucky • Pool time-My mom with her grandkids • Diva Eva and her Papa
Claire, the movie star • BBQ for dinner with Nehis • Eva fell asleep at church without any tears
Cousin bath time • Claire and Eva • Claire holding Eva’s bottle-such a good little helper


Filling in the Blanks with Instagram


New York City: Day 5

Friday was our final day in New York. T.J. had to go back to work which was so depressing knowing I couldn’t spend my final hours in the city with him. But enjoy the journey, right?

We met T.J. and Mark for lunch and then said our goodbyes. I thought it was hard saying bye the first time, but man… coming and visiting, seeing how it would be if we were there with him, and then having to leave after just a few short days… that was hard.

After lunch and saying goodbye to T.J., we walked down 9th avenue for a while and then headed to the airport. It’s quite a process to get to the airport and go through security with an infant. Thankfully my in-laws were there with me and helped me through! They’re amazing!

At the airport, Kelly and Mark got on a plane back to Utah and I went my separate way here to Kentucky, which is where I will be until the end of June. Saying goodbye to my in-laws was also hard. They were so kind, generous, and helpful! What a great experience it was to go on the trip with them! Thanks, Mark and Kelly! I had a great time!

New York City: Day 4

Whenever I go on trips, I tend to have a motto for the experience. Like a saying that I’m going to live by, including but not limited to, carpe diem, don’t think-just do, money ain’t a thing. This trip’s motto was,

Enjoy the journey.

A little more mature and responsible than the other mottos.

I thought it was perfect because I didn’t want to get caught up in making it to all the sites. I wanted to remember the reason I was in NY and enjoy the short time I was there with T.J. So, if something didn’t exactly go as planned, I reminded myself to enjoy the journey and be happy in the moment.

That being said, Thursday was the day T.J. had off work so I didn’t really want to plan too much, I just wanted to spend the day with him and enjoy all the little details like being able to hold his hand or being able to go to the store together.

We did some shopping since T.J.’s birthday was coming up. The H&M on Times Square was crazy, as you can imagine, but we forced our way inside and got a lot of cute new clothes (even some cute clothes for Diva Eva!).

For lunch, we ate at Junior’s which is known for their cheesecake. This little orphan baby without her shirt on looked like she needed a home, so we gave her some baby food and took her with us.

Then we continued to see some more sites like Radio City, Fifth Avenue, Rockefeller Center, and St. Paul’s Cathedral.

We almost didn’t go inside the Cathedral because we had Eva in her stroller. But I am so glad we did. I loved seeing people worship inside as the crazy city moved outside. The whole city moves at such a fast (and mad) pace, so going inside helped me remember that there is always a calm in the storm, you just have to search for it.

The building itself was also very beautiful. It took twenty years to make and the details in all the carvings was beyond impressive. I didn’t take pictures of it on my camera, only on my iPhone… so you’ll have to wait for those.

We ended the day by going to the top of the Empire State Building. It was amazing to see the whole city from up there. When you’re down in the streets, it’s hard to get a feeling of how big the whole island is. Eva fell asleep in my little pack and then we enjoyed dinner as a family at the restaurant on the main floor. What a great end to a trip!


New York City: Day 3

On day three in NYC, Kelly and I explored Chelsea a bit and then headed over to T.J.’s work to meet him for lunch. This was one of the highlights of my trip. We ate at this place called the Frying Pan on the Hudson, about a block west of his office building. We went to the very edge of the boat and pretty much had the place to ourself. The weather was beautiful, the food was delicious, and the company was even better.

On the short walk back to T.J.’s work, Eva zonked out in T.J.’s arms. She never ever does this, but I guess NY wore her out! Being in NY for a week actually helped her get used to sleeping with noises and be more flexible with naps through the day. It’s been great!

I got to go up and see where T.J. works and meet his coworkers and bosses. The place is filled with BYU Alumni.

(Notice Eva’s NY swag… love that cutie pie!)

Once T.J. went back to work for the afternoon, Kelly and I hopped on the subway (we only got on one wrong train, it was the right one just going in the wrong direction… I was very proud of our skills!). We walked along Canal Street with all the crazy vendors trying to sell cheap knockoffs. That was pretty fun and thank goodness we didn’t have my stroller or else I think I would have bought 5 purses.

That street then led us to Chinatown and Little Italy. Little Italy was so charming. I loved the little restaurants, the NY Italians with their accents, and all the decor. We even stopped for some pastries, including the “best cannoli in the world.” And I have to say, it was the best one I’ve ever had but I’m no cannoli expert.

Kelly and I didn’t stop there. We kept walking. And walking. And walking. But I loved it. I loved just seeing all the buildings, the architecture, the history, the people. We saw the Manhattan Bridge, Brooklyn Bridge, and this cute Old Town area of NY on a pier.

Mark met us at the pier and we took a cab over to Ground Zero, where we met T.J. This was a pretty emotional experience. My mind kept flashing back to 9/11 and imagining what it would have been like when the twin towers fell. What I found most interesting though was the old church where George Washington was inaugurated, just a block over. It stood as a reminder of peace to me in such an area of past chaos.

After this, I was dead. We walked probably 15 miles that day and my body was so tired. I was at that point where just anything and everything was going to make me cry because I couldn’t think straight. T.J. and I got some cheesesteaks at Carl’s and then headed home for the night.

New York City: Day 2

Day 2 we just put Eva in the stroller and explored! We started at Macy’s, headed up to Times Square, and kept heading north until we got to central park.

Once Mark and T.J. got off of work, we left Eva with our friends at the hotel and headed to Wicked! WICKED! It was the first time I had ever seen it. Just being there, at Broadway, it was so exciting! The show, needless to say, was also incredible. It was an amazing first day in NYC, one I will never forget!



New York City: Day 1

On Monday, June 4, my parent in-laws and I headed to the SLC airport! Mark, my father-in-law, had a business trip in NY and so he let his wife Kelly and I tag along. It was such a blessing. Because Mark was going for work, the hotel was completely paid for which made the trip considerably less expensive. I’m not sure how I could have afforded visiting T.J. without it.

Also, having Kelly there to hang out with throughout the day was great. T.J. worked just about everyday until 6 pm, and so we kept each other company by exploring the island. But I’m getting ahead of myself… back to Monday.

Eva was really good on the plane, all things considered. Four hours in a window seat is a long time for a sixth month to sit. But she spent some time with her grandparents for a while, mangled all the brochures in the back of the seat, and charmed all the ladies around us.

You could tell she was tired when we arrived at the airport, but she didn’t want to miss anything. So, there she laid in her car seat, smiling away and taking everything in. She was smiling so much, it started getting a little creepy… ha!

T.J. met us at the train station. I cried when I saw him. It had been a month since I last saw him last and I was just so excited!

Once we arrived at the hotel, Mark and Kelly went out for dinner and T.J. and I got Eva ready for bed. It was so fun just giving her a bath and feeding her together. I forgot how much I missed doing those little things as a family.

When Eva was asleep, we headed to T.J.’s apartment to get his stuff for the week and to grab some dinner. I had my first (and only) slice of NY style pizza. It was pretty greasy, but not bad.

 As you can tell by my eyes in this picture, I was so tired by the end of the night! We tried to see Times Square while we were out too, but it was completely shut down because Obama was in town.

There you have it. Day 1.


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The Actual Trip

Now about the trip!

Saturday morning, T.J.’s parents, Eva and I headed up to Boise in a nice rented van. I was nervous about how Eva would do in the car, but overall she did really well and slept a lot of the way. This meant extra time for me to watch The Office and listen to New Direction. Bliss.

Once we arrived in Boise, we visited with everyone for a bit (T.J.’s brother and his family came up as well) then we went to the World Market. I went to this store back in DC a couple months back and fell in love, so I was so excited to walk through again.

We ended the night with a little Jack in the Box and tried to convince ourselves we could get all three babies and dog asleep at a reasonable time in their apartment so we adults could hang out and play games.

Well, as I’ve said a hundred times… a baby changes everything. And THREE babies trying to fall asleep at the same time in a small area is, well, what I imagine what one of Dante’s levels of hell is like. One would fall asleep, then another would wake up, waking up another… a continual cycle. We eventually gave up and headed back to the hotel.

Eva slept all night long, which was a blessing. I wasn’t sure how she’d do in a portacrib in the same room as us, but she slept soundly.

Sunday morning we went to church. That’s always an adventure with Eva, but I finally got her to sleep in the nursing room.

Later that afternoon, we went downtown to this beautiful park with lots of ducks and geese. Eva LOVED them! Anytime they’d make noise, she’d laugh. Gosh, she’s a doll! I’m sorry that I’m so obsessed with her!

Monday, we ate at the Cheesecake Factory, I ate my daily allowance of calories by just eating one slice of cheesecake (worth it), and we headed back to Utah with Lacey, Cohen, and Beau the dog in the van with us.

It was a short trip, but so fun! The three babies together were such a blast to watch!


I broke a promise to myself…

Once upon a time, I made a goal to never go to Idaho. Never drive through, never visit. Ridiculous. Ignorant. I know. But kind of funny, right? (I know, I’m really lame.) Everyone makes goals of places they want to visit, and from what I had heard from a couple people (and seen on Napoleon Dynamite) I just decided I wanted to never go there.

Then my sister-in-law and her family moved there last month and everything changed. I had to go visit her! My in-laws were driving up there, so I hitched a ride with them last weekend and we headed up to Boise.

Well, jokes’ on you, self… because it was not too shabby of a place. Sure, the drive wasn’t exactly exciting. But I’ve driven through Nebraska and Kansas. After those two states, nothing seems boring anymore. The area my sister-in-law is in is really nice and in a new development. The mall is awesome (so that boosts any city’s rating), and the downtown area of Boise is really beautiful.

I’m not kidding you, on my way up to Boise, I texted T.J. to tell him I never want to move to Idaho. On the way home, I texted him I was in the wrong and I actually wouldn’t mind because it turned out to be really nice!

Anyway, that’s my little spiel. Looking back on it, I am so ignorant. And although it was a funny goal, the moral behind the story is to never be closed minded about new places or go off of what you’ve heard from others or seen in the media. I hate when people do that about Utah… so I will no longer do that to other places! FORGIVE ME!

Flying-with-an-Infant Club

So, I did it! I have officially flown by myself with Eva! It was quite an adventure and we finished with several stories.

  1. As soon as we got to the Provo airport (which is the best because it is seriously the size of my living room), I smelled something rancid. I went to change Eva’s dirty diaper, which I was expecting to be pretty bad since she goes about the same time every day (and it turns out I’m now someone who talks about their child’s potty behaviors online… oh gosh). I put her on the changing table and realized a bomb had exploded. It. Was. Everywhere. So gross. So stinky. All over her cute outfit. Fortunately I had packed zip lock baggies because who knows when you will need one. After rinsing her clothes off, I stuck them in the baggies and put her in her spare outfit.
  2. I waited too long to change her diaper a second time because she was sleeping on the plane. I noticed as we were getting out at the layover her bottom was kind of wet and I didn’t have any more spare clothes. So what did we do at the layover in Denver? I held her bottom under the hand-dryers. She loved it.
  3. Flying back to Provo, I knew Eva was not going to be as cooperative as she was on the way to Kentucky since she slept for the two-hour drive down to Louisville (she slept through both of those flights). She didn’t do terribly, she screamed for a bit before she fell asleep and when she woke up she just smiled and bobbed her head at the people around us.
  4. The flight attendant on the Denver to Provo flight said two weird things to me. I’m guessing she was joking… I don’t know… You tell me. She walked by with another flight attendant and I heard her say to the lady, “She just pinched her.” I knew she was referencing me because I was the only one sitting in the back and the only person remotely close to me was a couple rows ahead of me and was a man. Then the flight attendant leaned over and said to me in a baby voice, “Tell Mommy I don’t like it when she pinches me!” Pinch?? Eva was laying on my legs and I was peddling her feet like I do often. There was no pinching or anything that would have looked like a pinch. So weird, right? About fifteen minutes later, Eva was screaming because her ears were hurting her. The same flight attendant came over to me and said, “Tell Mommy I don’t like it when she makes such mean faces at me.” What is this lady talking about? I doubt I was making mean faces… so was it just a joke to help relieve some of my stress? And since when is it acceptable for her to talk in first person as my baby? So bizarre.
Anyways, it wasn’t that bad and I’ve decided flying with a four-month old is probably a breeze compared with flying toddlers.