{i never said it would be ten consecutive days of gratitude!}

let's end it with a bang! we had so much fun over thanksgiving weekend, so here's 10 things i loved about it:

1. laying in bed watching the thanksgiving parade.
2. spending the day with my family, enjoying my mom's delicious cooking.
3. my parents' bigger, better, beautiful family room.
4. serena sleeping during the entire drive to mesquite! {we drove at night}
5. my mom doing my black friday shopping for me :)
6. making headbands for kelty and teagan. and then headbands for their baby dolls. and then headbands for their barbies. they were so cute :)
7. listening to music from glee on the drive to las vegas.
8. the nice workout we got while running down the strip trying to make it to lion king on time.
9. being lazy with sean and serena while the rest of the family was hiking!
10. coming home and sleeping in my own bed.

hope you all had a lovely holiday weekend. . . and now back to real life.


day nine.

eternal families.


day eight.

the snow! the snow! {and a garage}

what is more magical than waking up to find a blanket of snow covering the ground and the trees and the mountains??!! i loved my drive to work today. i don't know if i would like the snow as much if i didn't have a garage to keep my car dry & warm, though :)

day seven.

this little baby doll.

i can't believe how drastically your life can change so quickly. and what a wonderful change. i love this little girl to pieces. her giggles make me so happy. i'm so grateful for my sweet serena.

and speaking of music...


tickets available here.


day six.

{a little late on posting this, i know :)}

what would my life be without music??

i love it in mostly all forms. classical. pop. alternative. jazz. country. opera. choral. etc.

i sang with a choir a few years ago that was one of the best experiences of my life. i get all warm and fuzzy just thinking about it. the music was amazing. the singers were amazing. performing with them was amazing. it was so rewarding and just filled up the part of me that needs to be filled up with music. i still am depressed that it had to end.

earlier this year i saw madame butterfly with my mom and it will always be one of my favorite memories. it was just so so so beautiful {like the kind of beautiful that makes my heart ache a little... is that weird?}.

hearing the salt lake children's choir every year completes my christmas season.

the lyrics of where can i turn for peace? have so much significance to me.

some of my favorite memories are singing at the piano at my grandma's house with my sister.

i could go on and on and on and on.

music is a huge part of my life. i am so grateful for the wonderful experiences that have come to me through music.


day five.

these ladies.

we've been best buddies since elementary school. i can't believe 3 of us are mommies now and one more in march! how time flies.

you girls are goofballs and i love you ♥

{the bride doll represents erin. . . hehe}


day four.

this guy.

he makes me so very happy.

today he had me in tears from laughing so hard :)

i love him ♥


day three.


talents, skills, individuality, etc.

sometimes {often} i covet other people's talents. sometimes {often} i want to strangle those people who seem to be really good at everything. sometimes {often} i wish i could be really really good at just ONE thing, instead of just kind of good at a few things. i hate feeling that way, so i sometimes {often} have to remind myself that everyone is different. sounds like a primary lesson, right? everyone is different. everyone has been given different talents and strengths. and everyone has to work to make themselves better and more skilled in those areas. i really am grateful for the talents and strengths that i have been blessed with. i am grateful that we are all different, and even when i feel ordinary, i always know that God loves me and i am unique and special in his eyes.

{my family and friends think i'm "unique" and "special". . . but more in the ariel-you're-really-weird kind of way.}


day two.

modern medicine and dentistry.

medicine: this year, after having a baby, i am particularly grateful for modern medicine. how amazing is it that we get to see our babies before they are born? and know if they are ok, or if there are problems. and know the gender! AND how great is it that childbirth can be relatively painless if that's the route you want to go {and that is definitely the route i went}. i know a lot of women want to have their babies naturally and i think that's great... but not for me. i think i was placed on the earth in this day for a reason. it's funny that at the time i was complaining about what a nightmare my IVs were and what a terrible recovery i thought i had. but in perspective, i'm just really glad i had my baby in a clean, comfortable hospital room with well-trained doctors and nurses monitoring me and the baby {and that they gave me plenty of pain medication to take home...}.

dentistry: yesterday i went to the dentist. i sat on a comfortable couch and had a bottle of water in the waiting room. i got all numbed up so i wouldn't feel a thing. i put headphones on and watched a movie while they fixed my teeth. i'm so glad that if i have a toothache the doctor doesn't just rip my tooth out.


ten days of gratitude.

day one: my family ♥

we had so much fun up at the cabin with my family. wednesday was the only day that everyone could be there together and it was a blast. the women learned how to knit & crochet hats {which we are sporting in the picture} and the men went 4 wheeling, played pool, etc. we made a huge breakfast, lounged around, did some jigsaw puzzles, and enjoyed being together. i am so grateful for wonderful parents and three beautiful sisters. can't wait till one of my sisters produces a cousin for serena :)


serena at six months.

loves eating rice cereal and all kinds of fruits & veggies. particularly pears and sweet potatoes.
hates getting dressed.
likes being nakey.
loves rolling all over the place.
pants and shakes her head back and forth when she's excited.
loves cuddling.
loves it when daddy comes home.
loves to play with daddy's scruffy face.
sleeps on her side.
likes her high chair.
has the chubbiest legs and cheeks ever.
can sit up unsupported, but sometimes tips.
loves the mickey mouse clubhouse.
wears size 3 diapers.
wears size 9-12 months clothing.
loves to feel everything with her chubber sausage fingers.
loves all of the non-toys we can find {wrappers. bags. cell phones. all under our supervision, of course}

we ♥ this silly girl.


we've been enjoying a week up at the cabin. this morning we woke up to some snow {finally!}.

cabin + snow + hot chocolate = a very lucky friday the 13th for us!

be back soon!


things i learned today.


1. sick babies are really really really no fun and super cranky.
2. i ♥ charlie and lola. i put serena down for a nap and instead of working on the millions of things i needed to do {or watching tv made for adults}, i watched charlie and lola. it's adorable. the illustrations are so fun.
3. sometimes you really do have to sleep when your baby does. and that's why i went to bed at 8pm last night. i haven't done that since i was pregnant!
4. nasal aspirators really gross me out... but they get the job done.
5. cooking dinner every night is hard. and that's why i ended the cook's challenge with takeout. sorry to disappoint, fellow chefs.
6. you actually do get used to pushing a shopping cart around the store with a giant carseat totally obstructing your view. and then it feels weird when the carseat isn't there.

this sums up the general mood around our house today:Photobucket

i'll admit. i was counting down the seconds until bedtime. now we can finally start preparing for our family vacation which begins tomorrow! we're crossing all fingers that serena will be over her cold very soon.



sean lost his wallet.
i searched every craft store for these. {found 4 out of the needed 5.}
serena coughed.
i coughed.
mom bought lunch.
we shopped for a sewing machine {my christmas present}.
serena and i rolled around on the floor.
she laughed at my funny voices.
sean brought home cookies from paradise bakery.
serena stripped down to her diaper to eat some sweet potatoes.
i made dinner.
sean went to the jazz game.
serena went to bed at 8:00.
i was ready for bed at 7:30.
watched vampire diaries and knitted.
and now i think i'll crawl into bed.


ten honest things.


01. i kind of have a shopping problem. i've had to be a lot {A LOT} better now that i have a child and i work a fraction of the hours i used to. but seriously i looooove to shop. sometimes i see something and convince myself that i absolutely need it. and if i have the will power to not buy it on the spot, i'll wonder what the heck i was thinking when i get home. sean loves this about me :)

02. i really really hate pecans. pecan pie is the most disgusting food ever created. and it looks just as disgusting as it tastes. and while i'm at it: german chocolate cake. looks like barf. sooooo gross. there are very few foods that i don't like and these two go at the top of the list.

03. i am not a very organized person. we have a junk drawer. everyone has one, right? we also have a junk cupboard. and a junk room upstairs. and my room tends to be a pile of junk 5 days of the week. i do keep my house tidy most of the time, but the junk is hidden :)

04. serena and i like to watch concerts on kbyu in the morning. yesterday was some tchaikovsky and rachmaninoff. it was lovely.

05. i like to eat candy before bed.

06. i have really bad teeth {i wonder why???}. i went to the dentist yesterday and it was not pretty. they scheduled me back for a two hour appointment to fix things up.

07. i get teary-eyed a lot. does that ever change after you've had a baby? because i don't remember being this way before serena came along. i almost cried yesterday walking through costco because they had all of the christmas trees set up.

08. i am afraid of getting a massage. lack of clothing + stranger touching me = yikes, no thanks.

09. i have really enjoyed tasting all of serena's baby food. the banana strawberry apple medley is particularly delicious. the garden veggies one is not so good.

10. i kind of like and can't stand this blog at the same time. i think it all began when alicia started reading it and would text me randomly about weird things she says. and i would agree. love her sister's blog, though. {even if she kept her placentas, alicia.}