Sunday, December 31, 2017

Cloudcroft, NM and Goals for 2018

These photos are from our time in Cloudcroft, New Mexico while visiting Ryan's parents a couple of weeks back. They just moved into a house there and we were the first official visitors! I wish I took a photo of the outside of their cute house. I'll have to remember for the next time we visit. I foresee many visits to escape the heat during the hot summer months.

Ok, so, goals.
I usually avoid making a list of New Year's Resolutions because I always fail, but I'm feeling pumped about the goals I have in mind for this year, so here goes nothin'.

1. Continue working out regularly and watch what I eat.
I've lost seven pounds since I joined a new gym in November, and I'd like to continue on that path. I've noticed that I'm more energetic and less stressed since I've started exercising regularly, and I honestly think it has made me a better mom.

2. Less social media time while the kids are awake.
This is another one that will help me be a better mom. I actually felt impressed to spend less time on my phone during our trip to Cloudcroft when I got in touch with an old friend of mine. He's doing big, important things in his life and it made me question my own life. Am I doing important things with my time? I feel like I do a decent job of raising my children, but I know that I should be more present with them and less worried about my "following" on Instagram. It takes a stupid amount of time liking, commenting, and trying to seem interesting to strangers on the internet. Instagram is still my numba one, but I'm happy to spend less time there. I'm striving to be more genuine on social media.

3. Blog once a week.
I'm pretty pumped about blogging now that we have a desktop computer! I want to force myself to do this one because I've regretted not taking more photos of Fox in his first year. 2017 was just a bad blogging year for me. I was overwhelmed with two kids! Now that I feel more settled with them and in our new home, I'd love to take up blogging regularly again. I've missed it.

4. Read.
I have like, 4 books that have just been waiting for me to open them. I don't know why I just can't bring myself to read them! Before the year is through, I will have read them! They're not even very long.

5. Visit the temple once a month.
There are 3 temples that are pretty close to me. There's no reason I shouldn't be going more often. Sometimes visiting the temple can be a little intimidating to me, but I figure the more I go, the more at home I'll be. Any other mormon gals wanna be temple buddies with me?

6. Date my husband.
Why is it so hard to go on dates with your spouse? Oh, it's because we usually don't want to spend money for a babysitter. I figure I need to get more creative with at-home dates. Even just renting a movie with some snacks or playing a game would be good. We just gotta set aside some time for just the two of us.

Well I could probably go on about all the ways I'm lacking, but I think 6 items on my list is quite enough. Wish me luck.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Blogging? An Explanation...

The year is almost through and I have done a TERRIBLE job of blogging. Absolute rubbish. All I have to show for it is 10 blog posts, including this one! To be fair, I've been updating my Instagram  account fairly regularly. But it's not the same as sitting down to write a complete blog entry, with multiple photos. The big reason I had stopped blogging was because my MacBook Pro was dying! It was slower than molasses and it was a pain to edit my photos. It was coming up on 7 years. I avoided using it and just stuck with the convenience of my phone. Luckily, Ryan got a new desktop computer! So I have no excuses now. Other than I'm really rusty at photography, and I'm a busy mom that just wants to watch TV at the end of the day instead of blog. Ha ha! Maybe it'll be my New Year's resolution- blog more. 

A lot has happened since I've been gone. 

1. We bought our first house in September! It's just big enough for our needs- 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a good sized back yard, and a garage. It's small, but we love it. In my mind, I thought we'd have everything packed away in time for Christmas, but we still have some stray boxes floating around, and no cute pictures in the wall, yet. Oof! If I wasn't so busy chasing around these kids, I might have a cute house. 

2. My sister-in-law and family moved here to Arizona! We have been really enjoying having family close by, again. Oh, and one of Ryan's brothers moved here, too, back in June(?). It's nice to have a weekly family dinner on Sundays with them, a tradition I was always jealous of when friends would mention doing that with their own extended families. 

3. I joined a new gym. And I meet with a personal trainer twice a week. WHO AM I?? To be completely honest, I was struggling with my body. I didn't necessarily want to lose a bunch of weight when I joined, I just wanted to get my body moving again, because that makes me feel great! But there was this free consultation with a trainer when you first join the gym, and well, they sold me. It has been so good for me to go workout regularly. And Gwen loves playing with the other kids at the "kids club", so it makes me feel like a good mom when we go. ;) 

4. Gwen has been potty training, again. It's our second attempt, and I gotta say, she's improving! Once you've come to terms with the fact that you'll probably be doing a load of poop/pee stained laundry a day, it's not so bad. I was much more high strung during our first attempt, but now I feel more chill about it all. Our new house doesn't have any carpeted floors and our couch cushion covers are washable, so that helps. 

5. I am feeling very blessed lately. 

That's all I can think of right now, although I'm sure there are more things that have happened. 

Please enjoy some of these beautiful photos that my friend Fatima took, that make us look like we have our crap together and love each other all the time.  

All photos taken by Fatima Dedrickson.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Houpt Family Reunion

Okay! I am so behind on blogging! This family reunion took place three months ago in July. We went up to a cabin in southern Utah and it was beautiful. I feel like this blog post will mostly just be a big photo dump since the trip isn't as fresh in my mind anymore.

I regret not taking more photos with my DSLR the week of the reunion. I took more photos with my phone's camera and a lot of those ended up on my private Instagram to be printed into a Chatbook. I mostly just took photos of The Grand Canyon and Zion National Park. So lots of outdoorsy pictures! I also took a lot of video during this trip, but I'm not even going to attempt to compile them until we get a desktop computer, which should be pretty soon!

It was Ryan's idea to make a pit stop at The Grand Canyon on our way to Utah. We drove up with his parents, brother, sister, and her family. I now understand why people say that photos don't do it justice. There's nothing like actually standing in front of it. 

Gwen was being really silly on these steps. I love how these turned out! 

These next photos were taken after our hike in Zion. We were all kind of a sweaty mess, so I hope the family that sees these photos will forgive me! :D 
 Gwen loved riding on the ATV with grandpa back at the rental house.

You can't be up in the mountains without s'mores. 

It was a super fun week with an emotional ending involving everyone gathering around the piano to sing primary songs as grandma played. Many a tear was shed! We sang karaoke, had a talent show/"film festival", played games, did Zumba, watched movies, and ate lots and lots of food. My one regret was not getting a big group photo! Next time, next time. 2019 can't come soon enough.