Monday, January 8, 2018


It has been YEARS since I've updated this blog. I think I need to start right now, because if I had to go back and re-trace the last few years, this would never be up to date!

I want to start by saying, the years 2015, 2016 AND 2017 were all difficult years! Difficult, but there was so much growth and humbling and praying (and therapy!) that went into them. I am very excited for this new year!

Because it's January 8th, I've been wanting to write a Review of 2017, and also list the recent family goals that we came up with tonight for our FHE.

2017: furnishing and settling into our new home in Orem (closed in December 2016), five months of therapy for anxiety, overcoming and learning to better cope with that anxiety (which soon resulted in a pregnancy! ha!), falling in love with Insanity and Pump classes, 10 weeks of first trimester sickness with kids mostly watching tv and having terrible nutrition, Noah starting school, him loving it, volunteering to teach music and art in his class, Ellery starting pre-school and loving it, me living the kid-free life a few hours a week, feeling more connected with Mark than ever, starting a neighborhood book club, getting a calling in church with the young women, aquarium trips, Sodalicious runs, discovering the wonder (and detriment to our bank account) of Amazon Prime, upgrading to Executive members at Costco (haha), and our very first family vacation. Phew!

Our family goals this year are:
1- Read the Book of Mormon every morning during breakfast
2- Read a paragraph each night in The Living Christ--Memorize by Easter
3- Train for a 1-mile race this summer
4- Swimming/Basketball/Hiking/Soccer/ T-ball practice 2 days each week
5- Each member of the family read 20 minutes/day
6- Write in our journals regularly (4 times/week)

As for my personal goals, I want to focus on The Living Christ and the Personal Progress program. I started a rigid budget for this year so that we can begin saving more. I have chosen to be ignorant to my expenses in the past couple of years, and it was time to face the facts and see what an awful spender I am! I am a recovering shop-a-holic (or Amazon-a-holic) and am working really hard at that. I'm finally motivated. I never had the drive to change before now. I can't wait to see the progress in our bank account! Physically, I'm focusing on having a healthy pregnancy by continuing to exercise four or five times a week, have a healthy baby, and get back to moving and recovering as soon as possible. I've never been this active while pregnant, and I'm curious to see if there's any difference once I have this baby.

It is Ellery's third birthday tomorrow! Mark and I have a play kitchen that is waiting to be assembled 😐. I can't believe our baby is three. She's the sunshine in our family (most of the time!).

Until next time....

More Summer 2014 highlights!

Stadium of Fire with all my Clark side for the family reunion. July 4th Carrie Underwood perfomed, y'all. LOVE her.

The day that we found out we were having a GIRL!!!  

16 weeks

When Mark is really feeling generous and especially in love with me, he takes me to our favorite Orem restaurant. Pizzeria 712, you have my heart forever.

Followed by a banana split from Dairy Queen? Random, but the baby must have wanted it. I ate so much ice cream pregnant with Ellery.

Following the news of us having a baby girl, I had to shop for her. Funny though--now I don't really like what I bought for her last summer :[

twenty something weeks, I'm sure.

I always craved banana peppers too. Wraps were my only way of eating healthy and only if I had some tangy banana peppers. Anything with vinegar made my soul complete, and a lot of that has stayed.

We took a trip to the Curiosity Museum and these two ended up falling asleep in the car. And since I had done my hair and make up and wasn't wearing one of mark's big t-shirts, I had to take a #selfie. Vain, vain, woman.

August came and my mom flew out from Dallas to take me to Education Week. It was just the two of us for the whole week and it was wonderful. My grandma Carol watched Noah all day long for 5 days. I am so grateful that I had that opportunity.

By the end of the week I had gained a million BYU brownie pounds.

Mark and I followed a food truck on Instagram called "Art City Donuts" and headed to get some for a date one night. They did NOT disappoint. But I had to stop following them for fear of addiction and therefore...heart attack.

I was eating really well* at this point in my pregnancy...*sugar, dairy, sugar, dairy

I remember this was about the time that I was always in pain. It hurt to do anything! I'm a wuss though.

My daily uniform taking care of my mellow first born (sarcasm.)

More ice cream. Notice it's empty.

Despite all the pounds gained, I still felt cute pregnant. It's a tender mercy, because looking back at pictures I think WHOA. Step away from the ice cream. Far away!

23 weeks 1 day

Summer was coming to a close, and baby girl was growing big and strong. Bring on the Holidays. 

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Island Park, Leanne's visit, Arkansas (JULY 2014)

Mark's family vacation to Island Park every summer was just after the reunion, but he was still in Brazil. I decided to go without him and take Noah. We had so much fun and did nothing but eat yummy food, sleep, boat, play in the sand, throw rocks, do crafts, and eat some more! We were thrilled that Mark could catch a shuttle to Rexburg from the SLC airport and so Noah and I drove down to get him. We were able to go to West Yellowstone like we do every year. 

Daddy brought Noah a Brazil futbol shirt.

It was a little rainy a chilly on the lake for a couple of days. We didn't mind! It's fun to snuggle on the boat too.

Noah thinks nipples are funny, apparently. 

My dearest elementary school friend Leanne was able to come through Salt Lake for a few days on her way back home to Connecticut from a Vegas trip. We went hiking up to Stewart Falls, played at Thanksgiving Point, ate Indian food, hung out at home, watched shows in mine and Mark's bed, went to the Family History center and Temple Square, and picked up right where we left off from the last time we saw each other (I think it had been two years or so!).

My sister had her baby Bennet on March 10th and I hadn't met him yet down in Bentonville, Arkansas. Noah and I planned a trip there for a few days. Noah did great on the two flights to get there, if I remember right. Changing a two and a half year old's stinky diaper while pregnant in a tiny airplane bathroom is an adventure in and of itself, but we survived!

My parents were driving cross country from Philadelphia and decided to stop in Arkansas for a couple days to see all of us. It was a lot of fun to have them there while we were there.

Bentonville has an awesome little farmers market where we bought this marble machine. Noah was mesmerized for hours with that thing.

We got to play at my cousin's house who also lives there and works for Wal Mart. Noah had a blast with all his kids.

A little Ski Ball competition at Chuck E. Cheese. 

And the whole reason for going out to Arkansas....HIIII BENNY! Perfect chubby little man!

Arkansas really is beautiful! We went on a walk around Crystal Bridges.

We had to hit up the community pool. My sister is such a babe!!! 

The food!! There were two food trucks that blew my mind. One was a crepe truck, the other a BBQ truck.

Clearly, I gained all those pounds back. 

15 weeks

On our last day there, we hit up the food trucks again and played in the fountains 

Thank you Erica and Robbie for letting us come and crash (and toddler-style TRASH) your house for a week! Arkansas isn't so bad afterall ;)