Friday, February 14, 2014

Valentine's Day Gift For Him

I looked around for ideas for gifts for my husband for Valentine's day, but I couldn't find much that was up his alley. Most of the ideas people gave seemed like they were a bit of a joke. Gag gifts are fun, but not for the prices these were asking for. Others were thoughtful, but not something my husband would really appreciate. (Per example, an engraved guitar pick. Really neat, but neither of us play guitar.)

I'm an interesting combination of my parents when I'm trying to think of a gift. Like my mom, I try to think of something that is meaningful and sentimental. Like my Dad, I like to get people practical things that they have mentioned wanting or needing. So, I've tried to come up with both of these for Cam.

He's been saying that he wants a few pictures for his desk at work. He also likes motivational quotes and scriptures and things to work on memorizing. When he's at work I try to send him encouraging emails whet he get's tired or bogged dow, but I have a feeling that will be harder to do frequently once the baby is here.

So, I got a whole bunch of pictures printed of the two of us (I'll get him some of Baby when he comes) and printed out some nice quotes to go with them.

I was originally going to write all of the quotes by hand, but I've been teaching myself how to use photoshop and I love it, so I ended up doing them on the computer and then printing them with the other photos. I forgot that to get good quality you need to save it as a JPG not a PNG. Whoops.

Some of the quotes are motivational, others are just silly and hopefully will help him laugh and smile when work is boring or hard.

Same with the pictures. Some are sweet, and others are silly.

I was going to hang them all on one big piece of paper so that Cameron wouldn't have to pin them each individually to his cork board in the office, but he wanted to take them this morning when I showed them to him, so I guess that leaves more time for me to finish tidying up the house and getting ready for dinner tonight.

For our Valentine's Day date we went to see Frozen this afternoon (finally,) then tonight we're making breakfast for dinner! I may or may not also have plans for some 'better than whatever' cupcakes from the Cocoa Bean at some point this weekend. YUM.

What are some of your favorite Valentine's day gifts for your husband? What are your favorite gifts that you've received?

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Projects I Might Possibly Someday Have Time For

I have too much that I want to do before baby comes that isn't on the top of my priority list, and therefore not getting done. Mostly, I need to stop browsing facebook and pinterest so that I A) stop wasting time there that could be used doing fun and productive things and B) stop finding ideas for more things to do! I also need to lear to multitask better so I can sew and watch olympics at the same time.

Here are some of the projects I really want to make for baby.

I'm obsessed with these darling little bow ties. I doubt I'll have the energy to dress him up all the time, but if my little guy could look dapper for church every once in a while, I would love that!

This tutorial is from, and I think it's my favorite out of the many I've looked at. Can't wait to try it!

Last easter Cameron got me fabric to make myself a new skirt and I used the leftovers to make him a matching tie! I know, I'm one of those newlyweds. Today I thought to myself, how cute would it be to make our baby a tie to match his Daddy? Yup, now I'm that mom. It would look so cute if I could make him some little matching shorts, too. Sadly, I don't think I have much of that fabric left. I'll have to see if Joann's is carrying the same ones this year.

This tutorial is from
I love these little cardigan onesies. Again, I want my little boy to be dapper on occasion. I was thinking I could somehow alter this pattern to make a blazer as well, so that I could make him a men's chorus uniform to match his Daddy's. This tutorial is from Diesel in Bloom.

I want to try to make some jammies for Baby, too, with the leftover fabric from the carseat cover and the madras plaid flannel I used to make the pants. This pattern is for using an adult t-shirt as your fabric so you can use the original collar instead of having to finish the edge yourself, which I think is genius. Courtesy of Feather's Flights.

Here's another fantastic "upcycle" pattern that uses old sweaters to make jammies. We just so happen to have a few well loved sweaters hanging around (and DI always has some as well.) I think these look adorable and comfy. These are from Corduroy's Closet.

So, it's doubtful I'll get most, if any, of these done before baby arrives, but hopefully I'll at least get the chance to make a cute little tie or something!

More Artwork for Baby's Room

Here's another piece I did for Baby's room recently.

I really like the quote. I think it's cute. I think most things Winnie the Pooh said are cute, though. If you haven't read the book, you definitely should. Especially if you've only seen the more recent Pooh movies (from 1990 forward.)

I was really torn between this quote and, "I wasn't going to eat it! I was just going to taste it," but I decided I probably wanted to have that one on a plaque in the kitchen at some point. Teaching my kids great eating habits from the womb, right? Haha.

What are your favorite Winnie the Pooh quotes? I'm trying to think of a cute one to go with a picture of Pooh hanging from a balloon. Although, that one may be cute enough to stand on it's own.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Pregnant Olympics

I love the olympics. Especially figure skating. I was bouncing up and down in my seat when they finally showed ice dancing the other night.

I was told a few years ago that "they" were considering making ballroom dancing an olympic sport. I got really excited...and I'm still waiting for that to happen.

I was wondering about that again this olympics and it got me thinking of a few other events they should add! Basically, they need to add an entire "pregnancy and maternity" genre.

Event #1) Leg Shaving.
I know what you ladies are thinking, it's not that hard. The catch is that to compete you have to be between 8 and 9 months pregnant, or swallow a small, wiggly watermelon shortly before competition. (This way the men can compete, too!) Athletes will be judged on speed, flexibility, and ingenuity. Deductions for missed patches or cuts (including on the knees) and extra points will be awarded for lotion-ing afterwards, and not neglecting the hair on one's toes.

2) Self-given Pedicures
Again, speed and flexibility will be judged, as well as the cleanliness of the cutting, filing, and painting of the toe nails. Calluses should be buffed with a pumice stone and feet should be moisturized. Extra points will be awarded for touches like gemstones, layered colors, or cute little flowers in the polish. Stickers will result in automatic disqualification. Don't forget the cuticles!

3) Rolling over in bed. You have to be using a c-shaped body pillow and end in the same place on the bed in which you started, but facing the opposite direction. Sensors will relay how much pain you are feeling in your hips and extra points will be awarded to those who are able to adjust their technique in a way that causes minimal discomfort. Points will be deducted for falling asleep before turning completely back onto one's side or failing to replace blankets.

4) Labor.
Everyone gets a gold medal. EVERYONE. Sorry, this is a women's only event.

5) Diaper Changing
You don't have to be pregnant or swallow a watermelon for this one. You have to start with a dressed baby (or animated doll, so that the degree of difficulty can be controlled. The officials are still debating on this point.) As you get higher in the competition, the baby will get squirmier, possibly have a diaper rash that needs to be handled accordingly, and probably 'go' again while in the midst of changing. Deductions will be taken for excessive wipe usage, failure to treat a rash, or stains on either the athlete's or the baby's clothing. The competitors of course have to get the baby dressed again when it's done, and if they've had a blowout athletes will need to put a whole new outfit on them. The final round will take place late at night, and in the dark.

That's all I've thought of for now. Does anyone else have other events that need to be added? or additions or changes to the rules?

Monday, February 10, 2014

Our Wedding: Why We Chose the Temple

Cameron and I decided to be married in the Salt Lake City temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. It is a beautiful building with lots of history, as well as being a place where many of our relatives and ancestors were married. But it is so much more than that.

We chose this temple because it was right outside that I first told Cameron that I loved him, and also the place we were when he kissed me for the first time.
(It was right about here that it happened!)

Our families are spread out all over the country, though we both have a lot of extended family in Utah, and we wanted to have the wedding somewhere that would be mildly convenient for everyone. (We realize that, short of having 5 different weddings, it was impossible to make it really convenient for very many people at all, and we so appreciate all the love and support we got from our families, especially those that had to travel to get here!)

We chose to be married in the temple instead of a church or other setting because we believe that here, we could be married not just for this life, but for the rest of eternity as well. A lot of people I know believe that marriage only lasts until death, and that neither our spirits nor our resurrected selves will be connected to our spouse. When we are sealed in the temple, we are promised to be with each other forever.

But there's something even more wonderful than that. We're together with each other, but if we keep doing our best to live the way God wants us to, we can be with our children and ancestors as long as they do the same! We can be with our whole family forever.

For the actual ceremony, we had a lot of family that was unable to come inside to be with us. The temple is a very sacred place, and even lots of members of our church aren't allowed in. To come in to the temple, you must be strictly living the commandments, as well as have made special promises and commitments with the Lord that you will always live that way. These are very serious promises, and so members of the church are encouraged to wait until they are ready to be married or serve a full time mission, or at least are past their teen-age years, before they go to the temple and make those commitments.

It was painful for us to not be able to have some of our family with us for that short time we were inside the temple. We wanted so much to be able to share that with them. But for us, it was an easy choice. For us, leaving them outside for half an hour so that we could have the chance to be with them for the rest of eternity as well as this life was definitely worth it. I know that it's difficult for those not of our faith to understand, but we did it because we love our family and we want to be with them always.

Families are central to God's plan. He means for us to be with our families and to be happy! I know that He loves us and wants the best for us. Sometimes we have to make sacrifices in this life, and it is hard, but the reward will always be worth it. This is why we chose to be married in the temple. We want to be with each other and our family, not just "till death do us part," but through all of forever, even after we die. It is a glorious promise, and I know that God keeps his promises.

We're so grateful that our family was so supportive of us and that so many of you who were unable to come inside still came to the temple to be there when we came out. We love you so much, and hope you can understand why we made the choice that we did. We want to be with you forever.

If you would like to learn more about mormon temples, click here, here, here, or even here!

If you would like the opportunity to go inside a mormon temple, completely "legally" and without any commitment or strings attached, here and here are the next opportunities to do so. (When a new temple is built, it is open to the general public for a short time before it is dedicated. There will be a guided tour of the building and explanations of what the different rooms are used for. You do need tickets, but they are free. You can obtain tickets by following the link above.) If you are unable to attend an open house but still want to learn about the temple, many temples have visitor centers on the same property where you can ask questions about the temples and see the outside and grounds.

And here are some more pictures of our wonderful family at the temple with us, and a few of just Cam and I that I love!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Carseat Cover

I finally finished it! 

I just love the carseat canopies so many of my friends have, but they're a little bit expensive. Not terrible, but more than I want to spend for something I could make for half the price pretty easily. (Call me stingy, or a poor college student. Both work ;) ) I bought the fabric for this a few months ago, but just took a while to get around to it. I use a normal cotton (the kind for quilting) for the top and a nice, warm, soft fleece for the inside to keep Baby warm, and also help block out the light if he's sleeping.

I really like the chevron print, and the neutrality of the grey. I plan on having more than one baby, and hopefully some girls, so I'd like to be able to re-use this! Hopefully chevron stays "in" for a few more years. Teehee.

Instead of sewing little button flaps like I was originally intending, I decided to save the extra fabric for a bow-tie and sew ribbon on instead. Hooray for pretty yellow bows!

On a  totally unrelated note, last night was the first time my contractions were coming close enough together that I felt like I should count them. They were small little Braxton Hicks but they were coming every 10-15 minutes for a few hours. They calmed down around 11 last night and I've only had a couple today. I don't think Baby's coming yet, but it's getting closer!

Thursday, February 6, 2014


So... is anyone else's Wymount internet really slow lately? Are the Google fiber vans taking their shortcuts through our streets taunting anyone else? *sigh*

I don't mean to complain, but you'd think a university would be the first ones to jump on this bandwagon. BYU, can we please get google fiber? Pretty, pretty, please with sugar on top?

I'm not sure who one would contact about this, but I vote we make a polite request to the powers that be to get Google fiber for on-campus housing, and campus in general.

p.s. I had way too much fun yesterday making this poster/meme/thingy

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

What Makes America Beautiful

America is beautiful because of what it stands for.
Or, at least, what it used to stand for.
For years, America was the place others in the world would look to for acceptance, for hope, for a chance to start over. It was the great melting pot. A place founded on principles of religious freedom. A place to escape oppression, hatred, and tyranny.

I personally was touched by the Coca Cola super bowl ad. I thought it showed the diversity of culture, faith, and race that sets our country apart, that makes it special. I've heard comments about this ad saying things like "the language of terrorism," or "my soldier didn't die for those people." The only "language of terrorism" is hate. I am so sorry for anyone that has lost a loved one to war, but I hope that they fought and died for the freedom of those they loved, as well as many that they didn't know. Like those in the revolutionary or civil wars, I hope they died so that others could be free from oppression, enslavement, and cruelty. America is supposed to be the place where we can escape these things, not where we face them.

Please, for all our sakes, let's put a stop to this racism, religion-ism, language-ism, any type of oppression, bullying, and hatred. We may disagree on many points, but that doesn't mean that we can't get along. We may worship God differently from each other, or not at all, we may vote differently, we may have completely different lifestyles, but that is what makes America so wonderful.

As long as we're able to love each other, America is beautiful.

Monday, February 3, 2014

It's OK to Cry

I cry a lot. Being pregnant hasn't helped that in the least. While I now get weepy over the smallest little things, I think a good cry every now and again is good. Sometimes even healthy. Crying is a natural reaction to stress, fear, anxiety, pain, and even happiness.

Don't be afraid to cry. Sometimes you just need it. Everything looks a little better when you can wash out all of the negativity and pent up emotion. Just let it out. Crying isn't a sign of weakness. Sometimes other people need you to be strong for them, but when you're alone, don't be afraid to let your feelings out. Keeping stress and emotions pent up is not healthy. It can hurt you physically.

I am so grateful that my husband can cry, and that he understands when I need to. Sometimes life just gets to be too much, so empty your emotional bucket so that you have room to catch whatever else is coming. Even if the stress you are feeling is anticipation for something wonderful, just letting everything out can so often leave one feeling refreshed and like he or she can keep going.

Men, (and women) if you're not someone who cries and you don't understand it, just know that some people need it. It is a coping mechanism. It might seem to you like someone isn't coping well if they cry, but just be supportive. Put your arm around them and just let them get it out. Especially if it is your spouse or a family member, just hold them. Let them know that you're there for them, and support them.

(If you are unhappy all of the time and crying as a result of that, find a good friend to talk to, pray, and if necessary, seek professional counseling. Depression is real, but it is not something to be ashamed of. If you think you might have depression, talk to a counselor or doctor. If you find that your sadness and stress are high enough that you can't cope with on your own, ask for help. It really is ok. And if you need someone to listen while you just get all your feelings out, I'm here for you.)

Sacred Gifts

Last Saturday Cameron took me on a date! It was our first one out of the home in a while since we've been sick and it was great! He took me to the BYU Museum of Art to look at the Sacred Gifts exhibit. Original paintings by Carl Bloch (that have never before left the Frederiksborg Castle since they were placed there in the early 1800's and likely will never leave again after their short stay at BYU,) Frans Schwartz, and Heinrich Hofmann are being exhibited along with some of their etchings in a beautifully redesigned and ornately decorated space.

Many of these paintings are from altars and similar spaces in churches and cathedrals in Denmark and Germany (as well as other places in Europe and America,) so the museum built temporary altar-like frames for them that lend a beautifully sacred ambiance to the exhibit, but are simple enough to not distract from the pieces themselves and their subject: Christ our Savior.

As well as being an enriching cultural and artistic experience, it was amazingly spiritual as well. The portraits of the Savior, although differing in physical appearance, all show an amazing depth of love, sacrifice, and holiness. The eyes of every portrait captivated me. I was amazed by how well these painters seemed to know their Lord. I didn't know before visiting this exhibit how personally religious they all were. Some of them painted for themselves as much as others. Hofmann's famous Portrait of Christ was originally placed in his bedroom to be a reminder for him of who he should be and how he should live. I thought that was really touching.

I would strongly encourage everyone and anyone who can to go to this exhibit. It is so beautiful and so touching. I'm so grateful for art and for the depth and beauty it lends to life.

To learn more about the exhibit or reserve tickets (they're free) go to

Our Wedding: Our Photographer

Our photographer was great. Tyson (Building Moments Photography) came through for us pretty last minute when our original plans fell through barely a month before the wedding. We are so happy we ended up going with him! Our pictures turned out amazingly, and he was so much fun to work with. He also did the pictures for our cousin Kathryn's engagement and wedding a year later.

He helped us relax and have fun with the formal, posed pictures, 

and he captured some amazing candid shots as well! 

He wasn't scared to get creative in order to get the shots he wanted. 

He also got some great pictures of the decorations and guests at the reception, which was really nice because as much as we planned and prepared for the reception, most of what I remember of it was Cameron and how excited I was to finally be married!

Thanks, Tyson, for helping us capture these special moments on our wedding day!