she's still a girl!

today our doctor confirmed that the baby is definately a girl... and we are so glad! we didn't want any surprises and we're both pretty set on a girl now. i thought i'd post my last couple of ultrasounds, even though they are sort of lame pictures of the baby... and i had to take a picture of them with my camera, so the quality is not that great. anyway, here they are!

{16 weeks: top of her head on the right, belly on the left}

{20 weeks: face on the right... freaky looking, i know... belly on the left, and little arm & hand on the bottom}

it's always such a relief to have an ultrasound and see that she's doing fine in there! i scheduled for a more detailed ultrasound to check out her whole anatomy & make sure there are no problems, but i won't get to go in until FEBRUARY. hopefully the technician will get us some good pictures of her. aside from seeing the baby, my favorite part of the appointment today was learning that i'd only gained 2 lbs since the last appointment. i thought for sure with the holidays and all the yummy food we've been eating that i had put on like 10. whew!



i bet you could learn a lot about a person by looking at their google searches. this is a list of my recent searches:

blueberry waffle recipe
citrus fruits
willow tree figurines
pottery barn kids
marcia brown cinderella illustrations
pregnancy shrimp
libba bray
tomato soup recipes
greg kinnear
pregnancy 20 weeks
hitler reacts to byu loss
emotional intelligence
ghost town dvd release date
dollar cuts bountiful utah
seven pounds movie title
fred astaire movies
waffle maker
poisonwood bible
moustache gloves

i'm apparantly obsessed with food, baby, books & movies. and there you have it. i'd say that's somewhat accurate! i dare you to post your searches too. {not tag, DARE}.


december in a nutshell.

{a really big nutshell}

i can't believe december is coming to a close. it has flown by... which is good in some ways. my baby ticker is counting the days so fast this month. today is my halfway point! happy 20 weeks to me!! now that i've joined the ranks of the blog slackers, i have to do the random update posts. so here it goes!!!

{i'm actually getting out my day planner so i can remember what we've been up to these past weeks.}

i had my final christmas concert with the salt lake symphonic choir a couple of weeks ago. it was fun to finally have a concert that my family could attend. my parents, sean, his parents, shannon, seth, dave & kirsten all came and i was so glad to have the support. unfortunately they only got to see my smiling face for about 2/3 of the concert. for the first time in my life, i felt like i was going to pass out/puke/die right in the middle of a concert. i've heard horror stories of people passing out in the middle of a concert and i did NOT want to be that person. luckily i was on the back row of the risers and the girl next to me had a speaking part. when she got down, i did too, and i hung out on the back of the risers for the rest of the concert. i only caused my family SLIGHT panic and worry {haha!}. the best part was when i got back on the risers for the final song, the lady in front of me told me i shouldn't be locking my knees. THANK YOU dear choir friend, but i was not locking my knees. after years and years of singing in choirs, i think i know that one by now. anyway... it was a fun and slightly dramatic night. but from where i was sitting on the back of the risers, we sounded great!!

next item of business. sean and i celebrated our 3rd anniversary on the 22nd. i really can't believe it's already been 3 years. in some ways it feels longer than that though. sean gets offended when i say that, but i just feel like we've known each other forever. i'm so glad sean didn't give up on love like he wanted to at age 24 {seriously... he had made peace with the fact that he would never get married! what a dork.}. he's the best husband in the world and i'm so excited for this baby & the next chapter of our lives.

last tuesday i gave my mom an early christmas present and took her to see a christmas carol at hale centre theatre. if you haven't read the book, you should. the play was great. the guy who played scrooge did a fabulous job. i would love to make this a family tradition every year, but i guess sean's parents tried to do that with them when they were young and now sean DESPISES the play. i don't know how that's possible. but he does. what a scrooge.

our christmas festivities were wonderful. we had delicious fondue on christmas eve with my family {steak & battered shrimp and veggies & breads in a yummy cheese fondue}. i have to say that one of our newer traditions is my favorite: this book. it's hilarious. we went back to my parents house on christmas morning for gifts & breakfast. it was so nice to be home and be lazy and be with my family. we had lots of fun lounging around the house after breakfast and playing with our new toys from santa. we spent the latter part of the day with sean's family. we had a delicious ham dinner, a short devotional, gifts & a game of catch phrase and then we were exhausted! we loved driving home in the storm. the snow was probably my favorite christmas gift this year!

the rest of the weekend we were LAZY. we played a lot of american idol on our new wii, ate way too much food {including some really yummy waffles courtesy of my new waffle iron... another favorite gift this year!}, saw a couple of movies, went to bed early, and thoroughly enjoyed our christmas break.

this week i'm looking forward to the annual "shrimpfest" {more to come on that later}, my 20 week appointment, which means another ultrasound {yay!}, another short week at work & maybe a trip up to the cabin! maybe i'll actually take some pictures of these festivities so my blog doesn't look so boring.


merry christmas.

{wishing you all the best today, wherever you might be celebrating}

♥ ariel & sean


ready to celebrate.

the shopping is done.
the gifts are wrapped.
the house is {somewhat} clean.
i'm completely in the christmas spirit thanks to hale centre theatre's production of a christmas carol last night.
we have the rest of the week off of work.
my mom is making dinner tonight... and breakfast tomorrow.
sean's mom is making dinner tomorrow.
it's going to be a white christmas!!

i'm so looking forward to the rest of the week. and next week. it's been so long since we've spent this time at home. and i'm really excited to give sean his presents... and let him open baby's presents! yes... baby has presents this year. and even a cute pink stocking. i couldn't resist.
{baby also has a name, which i've debated about making public via the blog. maybe we'll wait until my next ultrasound next week just to be SURE that it's a girl. i've been informed that there's no changing the name now. both our families call her by this name, and i can't imagine calling her anything else now. well. we'll see.}



a white wedding.

well annette got the snow that she was wishing for on her wedding day. it was a nightmare for everyone to get to the temple that morning, but it made for some pretty pictures!
me & heather
mom & heather
lindsay & jesse
my dad, keeper of the umbrellas, and sean


christmastime is here.

1- What is your favorite Christmas song? this year my favorites are: christmastime is here by sara mclachlan, the christmas waltz by harry connick jr, i'll be home for christmas by nickel creek, santa baby by eartha kitt, have yourself a merry little christmas by barlowgirl. i like most christmas music except for that dang christmas shoes song!

2- When was your most memorable Christmas? the year i got a dollhouse from santa.

3- What is your favorite Christmas treat? apple cider. chex mix. raspberry sticks.

4- What do you dislike most about the Christmas season? a depleting bank account.

5- What do you like best about the Christmas season? the music, friendly people, snow.

6- Who is the hardest person to shop for on your Christmas list? sean, lindsay & jesse.

7- If you could receive one gift without money being an issue, what would it be? a house in k-town.

8- What is your idea of a perfect Christmas Eve. fondue with my family, reading the night before christmas, how murray saved christmas & the christmas story from Luke. singing some christmas songs.

9- Which do you like best, eggnog, or hot chocolate? hot chocolate.

10- Do you prefer a fancy Christmas tree, or one decorated by the kids? a fancy tree. but i for sure want my kids to help decorate it!

11- What is your favorite family Christmas tradition? fondue on christmas eve.

12- Do you like fruitcake? i can honestly say that i've never tried it.

13- Do you prefer skiing or snowboarding? neither.

14- Are you dreaming of a White Christmas, or do you say “Bah Humbug” to snow? white christmas, please!

15- What was your favorite gift from Santa when you were a child? my dollhouse or the barbie styling head.

16- What is your favorite Christmas movie? home alone. it's a wonderful life. the sesame street christmas movie!

17- Have you ever eaten snow? uh... YES. my sisters and i used to make snow cones and put maple syrup on them... which grosses me out now.

18- Who do you wish could be with you this Christmas? annette & brad. i think they might still be on their honeymoon.

19- When do you put up your Christmas lights and decorations? before thanksgiving, this year!

20- Real or artificial Christmas tree? i wish we could have a real tree. sean is allergic.

i saw this on allie's blog. you should do it too!



i feel like i post about nothing most of the time, so here is what we have been up to this busy december:

my choir recently sang at the beneficial life christmas party. in the audience were President Monson, President Uchtdorf, Elder Bednar, Elder Oaks & Elder Perry. it was so fun to see them out there while we were singing. we were also able to stay and here President Monson speak. i just love him. it is amazing how the spirit fills the room when he speaks. this was another new and wonderful experience with the salt lake symphonic choir.

we have been LOVING all of the snow. i'm so glad my alaskan husband appreciates the snow as much as i do! i think it's the best thing ever to wake up in the morning and look out the window to see snow falling. it's magical.

lately we have been buying a lot of baby stuff. if we walk into a store with a baby section, we inevitably leave with something for our little girl. i've actually been putting some thought into the nursery lately... although it pains me to think about all the junk we need to move to get it ready!

last weekend we doubled with kess & ryan and had so much fun as usual. we watched home alone because i know they truly appreciate how classic it is. seriously, is that not the best christmas movie ever?? well, it's a favorite at our house, anyway.

we also played some SERIOUS card games with anthony & gina. and i mean SERIOUS. we like to rotate between nerts, hearts & 13 and these games are intense! we had to play some boggle afterward to calm ourselves down. it's comforting to know that even when i lose horribly at cards, i can still manage a decent score at boggle.

on saturday we went to the temple with my baby sister Annette, who was receiving her endowment. we were also able to help move annette & brad {ok, i supervised... sean moved} into their cute new apartment. i seriously can't believe my youngest sister is getting married. the big day is tomorrow and we are hoping for snow so she can have her umbrella pictures. i wanted snow for my december wedding, too, and somehow there was NONE. like NONE. no snow on the ground or anything. lucky annette.

and most importantly, we watched the 3 hour season fanale of survivor gabon yesterday. BOOOOO. what a disappointment. i wanted matty to win. and seriously, corinne is the DEVIL. i'm so glad the audience booed her.

somehow december is always SO busy and crazy. but it sure is making the days on my baby ticker go more quickly! i hope you are all enjoying it!

i ♥ your blog.

I've done it! I've won my first blogging award. And as a recipient of this prestigious award, I am to do the following:

1. Name five things you love.
2. Pass the award on to five blogs you love.
3. Link back to the giver's blog and tell how fabulous they are.

five things that i love
{just five things... not necessarily the five most important things in my life...}

1. being pregnant. not only is it the most amazing blessing and miracle, it's a great excuse, too! sorry, i can't go scuba diving. i'm pregnant. sorry, i can't try that swordfish or shark. i'm pregnant. sorry, i can't reach the remote. i'm pregnant. sorry, i can't fix dinner or clean the house for nine months. i'm pregnant.

2. laughing. i'm so lucky to be married to sean. he makes me laugh aaaaaaalllll the time. we love watching america's funniest home videos together.

3. shopping by myself.

4. old movies. especially anything with audrey hepburn, cary grant, fred astaire, grace kelly, katherine hepburn or gregory peck.

5. apple cider.

five blogs i love

1. jen's. jen's blog is beautiful to look at. she takes the most amazing pictures {see here. and here.}. plus she is fun and funny. and she has great taste in music!

2. kim's. sometimes her posts are scarce... but when she does post, i love them. {see here. and here.} i am glad that we both share a deep love for Joel McHale. and p.s. what the crap am i doing in picture #4 here?

3. juliann's. as janessa & i like to say, juliann has a lot of "deep thoughts". she & her family are beautiful. and this girl knows how to do a birthday the right way {see here here here here AND here...}

4. seth's. seth's blog is chock full of fabulous videos {some his own & some borrowed}. some of my favorites: this one. this one. this one.

5. eliza's. i can't even link to a favorite post. everything eliza writes is gold. she is witty and candid and quite frankly, hilarious! ok i will pick some favorites. see here. and here. and here.

And a big thank you to Gina who gave me the award. Gina's blog is definately one of my favorites. She always posts beautiful pictures of her family. Seriously I hope my kids are half as cute as hers.


fruit naturals.

these things are the best. individual cups of cut-up grapefruit. thank you, costco.


a goal.

no more smiley faces. i can't promise you'll never see them again on this blog. but i'm going to try. when i look back at my posts... there are hundreds of them! and they look obnoxious! so i'm done. it will be rough at first, but i can do this.

there and back again.

{john, me, juliann, janessa}
Last weekend I went on a very short road trip with the Salt Lake Symphonic choir. As you can see, it was a very squishy ride down & back, but we had fun talking and the drive flew by. We performed on Friday and Saturday with the 23rd Army Band which was really fun. I have never been involved in concerts like this and it was a new and fun experience! Seriously, there was some amazing talent in that band. And the best part was getting to wear these lovelies:
{me, janessa, juliann}
I hadn't even tried on my dress before the first concert, and miraculously it fits pretty well. Better than Janessa's anyway :) It was a fun & exhausting trip. I'm so glad to have my friends from the UMC in this choir! They make it so much fun. We perform again tonight at the Beneficial Life Christmas party. President Monson will be there & we get to stay & hear him speak. I'm sure I'll post something about that tomorrow!


a baby girl!

we're so excited! finally the shopping can begin :) sean's dad predicted every one of his kids' gender and our two nieces. he was right again!

hawaii day eight.

saturday we got up EARLY to go find the beach where LOST is filmed :) paul had a travel book that told us where to find it. it was soooo pretty that morning.
and we found it! it was all fenced off, but you could see the huts and airplane parts and whatnot. we watched LOST when we got home to verify that it really was the same and it IS.
we felt pretty awesome.
then we treated ourselves one more time to the huki lau cafe. after that we went back to the house, packed up, and headed to Honolulu.
oh but first Sean and I snapped the wishbone and I won :) It wouldn't have mattered because we both wished for a healthy baby!
we spent the rest of the day at the mall, going to see james bond and driving around to diamond head, hunama bay and sandy beach. it was really rainy so we didn't get out and walk around. and then we flew home!
it was such a fun vacation. i read two books, slept a lot, and ate large quantities of pineapple. and we're glad to be back on utah time :)

hawaii day seven.

Day seven was very eventful. We got up really early to beat the lines at Pearl Harbor. I have to be honest... I really didn't want to go, but I'm really glad I did. It was really cool to be there and see the Arizona.
Here is the memorial.
Here we are inside the memorial.
Here is Sean next to the massive anchor of the Arizona.
Here I am by some ship...
After Pearl Harbor, we went back to Haliewa and stopped at Breakers for lunch. It was yummy. And there was a rooster walking around inside.
In the evening we went to the Polynesian Cultural Center for the Luau and show. We took a little ride on the canoes first.
And walked around the villages for a while.
and had a huge dinner. the show was really fun. i seriously can't fathom how those hula dancers move their hips so fast.

hawaii day six.

I didn't take very many pictures on Thanksgiving Day. We got up pretty early and played the First Annual Smith Family Thanksgiving Day Kickball Cup... and my team lost. But it was fun! Then we all went to Waimea bay again... where Jaimie had a near-death experience and Kirsten lost her camera to a wave. These pictures don't to justice to how HUGE the waves were. I totally got pounded when Sean and I were trying to share a board & ride the wave in... and I was done after that. I had probably 5lbs of sand in my swimsuit.
We all helped prepare a delicious Thanksgiving dinner {yes, we had a full Turkey dinner in Hawaii}. And then we were lazy for the rest of the day! Oh and we played the guessing game with Sean's family. They all guessed if our baby was a girl or boy. 6 said girl and 5 said boy. We found out today, but I'll save that for it's own post :)

hawaii day five.

Day five we stayed close to the house most of the day. We walked down to Laie point to look at the view and these cool rocks.
Then we went with the Steph, Brett & the girls and Dave & Kirsten to Shark's Cove. The girls had fun playing in the shallow water. We mostly sat on the beach.
Then we went down and explored the rocks on the beach by our house. It was kind of fun.
and we saw this crab. Later in the evening we went into Honolulu to pick up Jaimie & Josh at the airport. And of course we had to stop at Walmart. It wouldn't be a vacation if we didn't stop at a Walmart for something or other :) When we got back to the house we had a bbq with the family.


hawaii day four.

We started the day off right with breakfast at this hole-in-the wall restaurant in Laie, the Huki Lau Cafe. The food was so yummy and probably the cheapest food we bought in Hawaii.
Then we went with the whole family to Waimea bay... which is the funnest beach ever! The waves were massive {though you can't tell from the pictures...} and we spent lots of time in the water... and looking for Brett's sunglasses. Sean & the boys got pretty good at riding the waves. They only got pounded & thrown up on the beach like 9 or 10 times... not too bad :)

After Waimea, we stopped at the Dole Plantation... which is good for nothing except for these picture opps and the delicious Dole Whip sherbet stuff. WAY better than shave ice in my opinion. And then we ate at Pizza Bob's in Haliewa... which was way expensive... and full of flies. But the food was good!

hawaii day three.

this was the windiest day EVER. we drove to a beach on the other side of the island but it was seriously so windy that the sand pelting us and it HURT bad. so we ended up stopping in Haliewa for some Matsumoto's shaved ice. we had heard great things about it... and unfortunately i wasn't that impressed. it was too dang sweet. and it melted all over and got on my clothes... that could be what ruined it :)
then we went to Huki Lau beach and played in the water for a while. and i can't remember what we did the rest of that day... this might have been the day that i went to bed at 6... sad, i know :)

hawaii day one & two.

Day one doesn't really count because it was all travel. We got in to Hawaii around 8pm and then drove to the house we were staying at in Laie. The house was in walking distance from the Temple & the Polynesian Cultural Center. It was super nice {see view from the patio above}. We're glad Stephanie found such a nice place for us to stay at! Anyway... we were really tired when we got to the house {it was midnight Utah time} so we settled in and went straight to bed! We never quite got used to the time difference. We went to bed everynight at like 8 and woke up in the mornings at 6. Highlights of day two:

1. going grocery shopping at 7 in the morning... and spending 7 dollars on a friggin gallon of milk.

2. walking to this fun beach right by the temple. this is me after i got a wave of super cold water up to my knees.
3. playing at the beach right by the house. but mostly just watching our nieces play. teagan has a fascination with coating herself in sand and then washing it off... over and over and over :)

4. walking to the beautiful Laie temple.