While Daddy’s Away…

A few weeks ago I signed up to do the April Foolery mini sessions with Samantha Kelly and Heather Nan at the Charcoal Loft.  I thought it would be the perfect way to do Sloan’s 18 month pictures + Easter pictures and call it good.  I got the photos back this week and I am thrilled with how they turned out.  I was super hesitant when I realized the backdrops were going to be yellow [not my favorite hue, to be honest] but I was pleasantly surprised.

Heather Nan Photography - Family Photography

Zach and I have two watercolor portraits in a gallery wall in our bedroom by Elizabeth Mayville.

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I contacted her about doing a commission for us of Sloan, to match our set.  Turns out she is booked out completely for custom stuff this year and I couldn’t get her to even start one until 2017.  So, with a little ingenuity and some help from Photoshop, I made one myself.  Sloan has this curl in the back towards the nape of her neck and it has always looked like a little duck tail.  So naturally (Zach gives everyone nicknames – I think I have like 12) he started calling her Ducky.  I’m grateful the ladies captured this shot – it is exactly what I wanted to do a watercolor version of.  It’s not Elizabeth’s quality, but it will fit in nicely, I hope.

Heather Nan Photography - Family Photography

Zach was in Cabo most of this week with his friends.  We missed him terribly.  I never sleep well when Zach’s out of town, truthfully.  I end up staying up all hours of the night binge watching shows [Call the Midwife] and working until I can’t keep my eyes open any longer.

Zach had a great time.  His friends are a super close group, if you can’t tell…

IMG_0676So what did Sloan and I do to pass the time?  One word:  Target.  I think we went three times whilst Zach was gone for 7 days.  IMG_0621

And visited a few of our parks, of course.IMG_0632We also had a little drama with my car – which meant I got to drive around a gigantic F250 on loan from the Ford dealership until mine was all spiffed up.  We couldn’t even fit it lengthwise in the garage, which means my dream of getting a Ford Raptor isn’t possible while we live in this house…which is going to be a while.  Besides, trucks aren’t really “mom-friendly” automobiles.  I guess I’ll have to wait until all my kiddos are grown to get one of those bad boys.  But really, I loved driving it around.  I felt on top of the world.  Literally.  And Sloan loved the view from way up high as well.

Sloan had no trouble sleeping while Zach was gone.  In fact, she even slept in until 8:30 a few of those days he was away.Sloan sleeping

I loved spending time with her – just the two of us.  I know I get it all day every day – but when Zach gets home from work, Mom is old news and Sloan is a total daddy’s girl.  I got extra long cuddles at night and plenty of slobbery kisses.  Sloan silly smile

Thursday I went to a Favorite Things Party at my friend Melinda’s house.  I had never been to one of these shindigs before – and I have to say, it was so creative and fun!  Everyone brought a gift to exchange ($10-15) and then a small gift to share with everyone.  I walked away with a free car wash – Zach was beside himself with joy – and some delicious treats.

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Sloan has always had a thing for sunglasses – but lately she’d rather wear mine.  She kept mine on through two grocery store visits and was devastated when I made her take them off so I could use them in the car. Screen Shot 2016-04-17 at 10.10.29 PM

Zach got home at the end of the week and we spent Saturday doing things together as a family.  We fed the ducks at Sugarhouse Park and ran errands.  Sloan liked the other kids at the park more than she did the ducks.  She’s a social little soul. Screen Shot 2016-04-17 at 10.12.35 PM That night Zach and I had our date night – which I got to plan.  I chose to eat dinner at Brio [but the wait was 1 hr 30 min] so we ended up at the food court at City Creek.  We spent the next few hours shopping for an upcoming trip.

Sunday Zach had a full day of meetings and a fireside – so it was just Sloan and I most of the day.  We reached a new record at sacrament this weekend:  Sloan lasted 45 minutes without us needing to take her out in the hall.  That’s a huge deal for her, considering her track record.  She was also sporting a new dress her Mimi got her.  The skirt was so full that you couldn’t see her legs underneath it.  She looked like a little floating doll and couldn’t get enough of herself in my full-length mirror.  Screen Shot 2016-04-17 at 10.13.08 PM

We had Sunday dinner at my aunt’s house and we all brought our own meat to grill.  Sloan loves her uncle Blake – so he got his exercise in running around the house with her.

I know Sloan doesn’t get it yet – but I loved our little girl’s only weekend.  I can’t wait until she’s older and I can force her to go on trips with me.  Hopefully she won’t realized how uncool it is to hang with your mom until she’s much, much older.

Perks and Parks

Being a working stay-at-at-home mom has it’s perks.  For example:  I get to hang all day with a tiny (white chocolate) butter ball at 1 of our 5 nearby parks.  We literally go to the park every. single. day.  swinging again

Another perk?  Food prep.  With Sloan as a sous chef – we get stuff done around here.  This week we tried tilapia crusted with sweet onion and papaya.  It was BOMB.  FullSizeRender-2

Swinging is her cardio…
sloan on the swingsWe tried one more new recipe this week:  asparagus and chicken stir fry (with eggs).  It’s going to become a regular.stir fry

Sloan got a new trike for Easter – but unfortunately can’t reach the pedals.  This is going to be the first of many times her little legs “come up short”.  Welcome to your genetic world, little love…sloan on bikeI heard once that men are more likely to repeat the same meal over and over and NOT get sick of it – when women need variety and change.  Not me.  I could eat this meal over and over and never get sick of it.  Gourmet toast, chia pudding + bananas + cinnamon.  Even Sloan likes it, and that’s a good thing…because it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. FullSizeRender

Meanwhile, still going to the park every day.  IMG_0609 Sloan’s hair has grown almost a whole inch the last few weeks.  Long enough that I could curl it.  And I did.  And then I almost cried. IMG_0610

Speaking of crying…my nephew received his mission call this week.  He has been called to serve in the Italy Milan Mission – which is basically a dream mission (if I could pick one for myself).  Not to mention he’ll find a wife in 2.3 seconds when the local ladies back home hear him speaking Italian.  We are so excited for Keato, he will be a wonderful missionary! IMG_0576 We had a picnic Friday afternoon.  Goldfish, cheerios and the like.  She loved every second until she realized that the blanket wasn’t keeping her anywhere and she could roam wherever she wanted with her treat bag.  Sloan and a picnic

Zach left Friday to go to Cabo with his friends, so we were totally spoiled all weekend with visitors.  My family kept us company and even attended church with us Sunday so I could teach my Sunday School lesson while they helped with Sloan.  We had dinner at our house afterwards:  salmon skewers and brownie sundaes.  Sloan opted for an Oreo.  I am still regretting that decision…
sloan oreo

We’re missing Zach, but lucky to have had the company of our family.

Conference Weekend

I have to start off by saying that my sweet Sloan is cutting SIX TEETH.  She’s gone 4 months with only having two teeth – and now we’re on our way to having six.  One of her top teeth just cut through, along with a molar, and behind it a cuspid.  She’s a total champ.  I didn’t even know about the top ones until I brushed her teeth one night and felt some friction – there it was.  She has been showing no signs whatsoever and all I can do and think is how lucky we are that she is so even tempered.  There is a reason I had this child first, I know it…teeth

Her hair is getting long enough that I can actually style it.  Kind of.  I’ve never been so proud of two little piggie tails in my entire life!


I had a killer streak this week when it came to meals.  I tried two new entrees I have never made before – and both were surprisingly good.  Bacon wrapped turkey tenderloins…IMG_0433…and California shrimp stacks (thanks to my friend Lindsey).  Both will be made again in this household – very, very soon.
FullSizeRender-3Saturday Sloan slept in until 8:30 – so we lounged all morning in our comfy cozies.Zach and Sloan

Not wanting to break tradition, I made some cinnamon rolls for breakfast.  Maybe my best batch yet.  I’m telling you…I have been on a roll.

We listened to the first sessions of Conference, which was by far my favorite of all the four sessions I watched.  Renlund (spelling?) spoke straight to my heart and I hope to keep that feeling that I had that morning with me for as long as I can.  It was one of the more spiritual experiences I have ever had during conference in recent memory.  Afterwards we went on a family run with Sloan in the jogging stroller.  She was in heaven, pointing to every dog she spotted along the trail.

I forgot to mention that this week I got my hair done by my friend Jenn – who was brave enough to attempt my request to be an ashy blonde. I am happy with how it evolved [it took a few attempts because my hair is so dark] and I still don’t recognize myself in the mirror sometimes.  FullSizeRender-5

Saturday evening Zach went to Priesthood Session and I went out with the women in my family for dinner at the Dodo and a movie at the Sugarhouse movie theater.  We so My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 (the original is my mom’s FAVORITE movie) and let’s just say…I’m glad I went with that group of people instead of Zach.  Zach would have lost his mind.

Sunday morning I whipped up a batch of German pancakes per Zach’s request for breakfast and we didn’t move more than a 15 foot radius for…hours.  We watched the first and second sessions hanging out in our pajamas, eating/snacking non stop, and just being together as a family.
germanWe spent the time between conference sessions reading book after book and building towers with Sloan. SLOAN AND I READING

My lucky streak with food ending Sunday night when I made the most mediocre meal of my homemaking career.  But, it was good while it lasted.  They all can’t be winners, I guess.

I have loved the last few weekends.  It’s been wonderful to be with family and then to round it off with a great Conference weekend.  I feel renewed, or recharged, and can’t wait to see what the next few weeks hold for us.