Dirty 30 in Palm Springs

I’m going to be 30.  In less than a week, but who’s counting?  My high school friends and I decided we needed to do something to celebrate this milestone and we voted to go on a Girl’s Trip.  We debated on several locations:  but Palm Springs won out for the most convenient + best weather.

We had booked the flights and vacation home several weeks in advance, and the trip totally snuck up on me!

We flew into Palm Springs late on Thursday night.  We didn’t arrive until after 10 pm.  We went straight to grab our luggage and then to pick up our rental car.  Once all was settled (and crammed into the back seat of our crossover) we drove to a nearby grocery store for some supplies.  Little did we know that we would be returning to this said grocery store every day (some days multiple times a day) during this trip.  Thank you Ralph’s for putting up with us!  They even had Sea Salt Caramel Halo Top in stock – so I couldn’t have been happier.

The property we rented was one of my favorite parts about the trip.  My mediocre iPhone photos don’t do it justice.  Whitney is the one with a professional camera.  The pool was in and of itself a game changer.

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One day my dream is to have a lap pool in my backyard.  Swimming laps is one of my favorite things to do for exercise.  One day.

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We unloaded our groceries, unpacked our bags, and settled in.  True to form – we didn’t call it a night until well passed 3:00 am.

The next morning we woke up to rain.  We had breakfast, showered up, and went to lunch at Bill’s Pizza.  I wasn’t expecting it – but it was actually one of my favorite meals of the entire trip.

After lunch we hit up the outlets just outside of Palm Springs.  They had nearly every store you could think of.  Their Lululemon Outlet even had a 30 PERCENT OFF EVERYTHING sale.  Britt and I were over the moon.  Since the rain didn’t let up, neither did we.  We weren’t finished until it was nearly closing time.

The next day was warm and sunny.  I went on a run before the rest of my crew was up and at ’em.  I had been dreaming of it for weeks.  Running on the treadmill has had me gloom and doom lately, so running amongst all the mid century modern homes and palm trees was like a little slice of heaven.

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I got back, had breakfast, and showered up for the day.  Since the weather was good – we grabbed lunch and then drove over to Indian Canyons for a hike.  The first route was short, but it was my favorite.  There was a natural spring coming down the canyon with palm trees lining nearly the whole way.  It was so picturesque and the temperature was perfect.

We did a second hike – called Palm.  It was short and sweet as well, but a great view and more of a desert landscape mix.  It was the perfect activity for the warmest day of our trip.

Later we had dinner at Trio – a surprisingly busy restaurant down town.  We stayed up again – way passed 3:00 am – and awoke very slowly the next morning.

We all weren’t up and ready until the afternoon and decided to get a late lunch at Melvyn’s [Britt’s request – it was one of Frank Sinatra’s favorite restaurants].

The chicken pot pies were bigger than expected, but it hit the spot on our rainy afternoon.

After our late lunch the rain wasn’t letting up.  So instead of staying at the house, I convinced a few to go back to the outlets with me.

We shopped around until closing time, returned home, and then went and picked up some pho for dinner.

We ended our night with a swim in the heated pool while it rained!

The next day we had to be up earlier in order to get ready, pack up, and check out of our place.  We loaded up our rental car, locked up the house, and set off for brunch.  Turns out the occupants of the entire city had the same plan we did on that rainy morning.  Our brunch spot was a hub of activity – so for the sake of time we decided to eat at the airport.

We all got lunch and awaited to board our flight.

We always joke how close we are – but we never see each other.  Last time I went on a trip with these girls – I was about 4 weeks pregnant with Sloan!  Time passes so quickly.  We always promise to see each other more often, and hopefully we will keep that promise this time.  Because being together at Christmas is not nearly enough.

So glad I have these ladies to celebrate this milestone with and I couldn’t have picked a better way to do it!






Catching Up

A few weeks ago, the day of rainstorm we had lunch over at my friend Lindsey’s house.  Sloan was in heaven playing [aka trying to keep up] with the four boys.  She was elated to have people closer to her size to throw things around with.

Since we didn’t have ideal weather, we busted out some of our warm cozy clothes.  Just in time, too.  The girl is about to bust out of them already.  I have been putting sunglass on her when we go on drives [she honestly loves them] and she about had a coronary when I tried to take them off for lunch.  So Ms. Thang had her lunch with her sunnies on.

Wednesday Sloan and I had lunch over at a friend’s house.  Heidi was due with Rex the same day I was with Sloan, but Rex was born three weeks earlier.  It’s crazy to see them side by side – Rex has Sloan beat by 5+ pounds.  I went to high school with Rex’s dad – and it was kind of trippy to see how much he looks like Jake.  IMG_9204

This week I started prep for Sloan’s first birthday.  Zach’s warned me several times the last week or so about “going too far”.  I told him he was crazy…
IMG_9180I didn’t even see his side of the story when I started to hand-paint all the wooden cutlery…


He had a “come to” talk with me when he found me bidding on a buffalo skull on Ebay.  I decided to take a break from birthday party prep until after my upcoming girl’s weekend with my family.  Sloan has been enjoying all the fun, however.  She was especially stoked when her teepee showed up one morning.IMG_9196

I’ve loved seeing Sloan’s personality develop.  She is already really easy going.  She doesn’t even complain when blinded by her beanie for a 20 minute drive down to T-Ville.  I had no idea it had slipped over her eyes.  Not a peep…

She also loves to make friends.  Jeanene bought her a singing stuffed animal [he dances, too] and she is determined to make friends with it, despite its scary looks…Screen Shot 2015-09-29 at 3.34.20 PMHer appetite has also significantly changed.  She has always loved solids – but who knew she could out-eat both Zach and I.  One night this week I picked up Costa Vida to go and decided to share my black beans with Sloan.  She ate all my black beans and half of Zach’s as well.  The girl knows what she likes…
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Friday was Knowlton Elementary’s Fall Festival.  My sister-in-law Gina was heading up the whole thing and I did all the signage for the event – so Gina hooked us up hard core with some wrist bands and tickets.  I didn’t have to convince Zach to come – I just informed him that the Kaysville Corn Dog Truck would be there.  He was in.

Sloan is still a little small for the face painting and giant bubble machine, but she fell hard for the Petting Zoo.  Even though she was skeptical of the baby camel, the baby goats were a hit!IMG_9166 IMG_9168

Saturday Zach and I had date night.  We dined at the Gateway and then saw Johnny Depp’s Black Mass.  I’m a sucker for gangster movies – and a true story?  I couldn’t resist.  So Italian and mobster movie it was…

Also, while I was packing, Sloan learned a new trick.  The heave.  She basically launches herself onto anything and everything.  I don’t know if this counts as “pulling herself up” on things…but let’s just say that it does?

Or maybe she just wanted to be a stow away on our trip.  I was a nervous wreck leading up to this weekend.  I hadn’t left Sloan for more than one night before – and a long weekend seemed like forever.  Luckily, Zach took work off and watched her the entire time, which put me at ease.

It was a great week and we spent every second we could all together, just the three of us, before I left.

Round is a Shape

I will never let my husband forget the time he commented about my muscle loss after giving birth to Sloan.  I was elated that I had made it to my pre-pregnancy weight and he informed me it was probably because I had “lost so much muscle”.  Thank you, love.  It’s been burned into my brain.  I really am on a mission to get in better shape, in all honesty.  And as much as I joke that “round is a shape” – now that I am no longer nursing Sloan I have no excuse to limit myself to strenuous exercise.  I do miss those extra 500 calories…

With that being said, I reached a personal best this week – I ran over 10 miles.  Something I haven’t done since getting pregnant.  I’ll never love running – but I am addicted to the way I feel afterwards.  Or maybe it’s the cookies that I eat afterwards that I am addicted to.  I will never know.  [PSST…Brownie Batter Oreos are OFF DA HOOK!] IMG_5163Tuesday Sloan had her 9 month appointment.  She has jumped from the 1st percentile in weight to the 7th.  She’s a whopping 15 and a half pounds!IMG_8820

We celebrated with milk and cookies after.  A bottle for Sloan and a Cutler’s sugar cookie for me.  It’s tradition – and tradition is important – even when you make health goals.  Also, she propped her bottle on top of that toy all by herself.  I was so impressed I had to document it.  Ingenuity at it’s finest…IMG_9593


That afternoon we met some friends at the new park that just opened at the end of our street.  Zach and I have deemed it the “Danger Park” because of the controversy it has stirred up in our neighborhood.  People are really hot and bothered about the rocks they placed in the play areas.  Sloan just got her swing on with her pal Parker.  The rocks didn’t bother her that much…


We actually have visited almost every evening this week.  Sloan, in an act of defiance, even sat upon the rock for quite some time.


Later in the week we drove down to Alder to help with the carpet tile installation and furniture placement.  The CEO of Alder has a connection with presidential hopeful Rand Paul and he and his campaign decided rather last minute to have an event at our building while visiting Utah.  We’re nowhere near done with the design of the space, but things are coming along [slowly] enough that we felt we were ready for the campaign visit.

I still am ga-ga over how the way finding turned out.  Wayfinding



The custom reception desk was also installed and all the corresponding furniture was placed.IMG_4515.JPG

It was fun to see all the door decals that had been installed over the week as well.
IMG_1890After we left Alder I convinced Sloan to stop at Madewell at Fashion Place with me on our way home.  So to Madewell we went – with a stop at Hot Dog on a Stick, for good measure.


Thursday Zach left for a golf trip with his friends.  Sloan caught her first cold [undoubtably from our doctor’s visit] and instead of staying in, just the two of us, we decided to have a sleep over at my parent’s house.  They are actually going through the process of selling their place – so our little slumber party might just be the last time I ever sleep in my childhood home.  It was nice to have my mom and dad distract Sloan from being sick.  She loves seeing them and sort of forgot that she wasn’t feeling well.  PS – This is her first bout with sickness in all of her nine months of life – breastfeeding really is magic.  If it wasn’t weird I would have nursed her until she was 12.

We loved hanging with my parents.  We played, ordered pizza, ate hot fudge sundaes, and my mom and I stayed up way too late going through old boxes of my belongings.  The next morning my mom ran errands with Sloan and I before we drove back home.

Meanwhile, the Rand Paul event at the Alder Headquarters seemed to be a hit.  It was fun to see my custom light fixture pop up in a few photos…

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Sunday I had a baby shower for a friend down in South Jordan.  I’ve been friends with Stacey since my days at BJH and it was so great to catch up with some old friends and celebrate her and her baby girl.


Afterwards we had a healthy dinner at my parents.  We cooked some salmon given to use by one of Zach’s jet charter clients – fresh from Alaska.  We all had our first taste of Christmas Melon as well – Sloan was down wit it.

Someone got a little too excited and puked all over themselves – so she went the rest of the night in her birthday suit.  Jumping on the tramp in nothing but her diaper was a major highlight.
Screen Shot 2015-08-30 at 8.57.24 PMWe’re glad to have Zach back.  Sloan gets the biggest heart eyes for him after her returns from being gone.  I’m glad to have him home again, too – but seeing her light up as he walked through the door was the highlight of his return for me.





Babies grow so fast.  You hear people say that and when you don’t have kids of your own, and you think to yourself “sure, sure – they grow up so fast…yada yada yada”…

One of my biggest pet peeves before having a Sloan of my own was when moms would say [on Facebook, Instagram, or whatever] ‘I can’t believe my baby is ____ months old!’  I used to say to myself, and Zach has heard it a thousand times, how can they not believe it?!  I believe it, I have seen you post every single month and you are STILL shocked?  Rude, huh?  I know, totally rude.  Well I vowed I would never post on Facebook every month that I couldn’t believe how big Sloan had gotten.  I can believe it.  It’s so real that I get teary if I think about it too much.  Why?  Well, because this week Sloan decided she was just going to go for it.  Check off like 20 milestones in one single week.  She is sitting up on her own now – not with a straight back, but hey!  It’s sitting up unassisted.

Her and her dad have been practicing in the back yard.

She also rolled over from her back to her belly all by herself.  I’ve been coaching her how to do it and she just did it randomly Monday morning like it was no thang.  I screamed so loud [for joy] when she did it that she totally spazzed out.  Way to ruin a precious milestone, loud mouth mom! 

Zach worked tirelessly in our yard this week to spruce it up a bit.  New bark and some serious weed patrol was much needed.  Sloan enjoyed it from her bassinet on our many walks this week.

Tuesday Sloan and I visited my sister-in-law who recently had surgery.  We brought her lunch and hung out at her house.  Her youngest entertained Sloan with a little serenade on the ukulele.  The only song Charlie knows how to “play” is This Land is My Land and Sloan was hanging on her every note.

On our way home we stopped to get Mexican food for dinner.  Sloan is a Bumbo pro now and watches us eat dinner atop her green spongy throne – completely zoned in on every bite.

 The weather has been so nice – we spend almost every evening outside.  Babies love being outside.

Sloan still isn’t sleeping like her four month self.  I am waiting until our big 6 month appointment before trying anything new with her sleep schedule.  If I am being honest, I AM NOT READY to let her “cry it out” at night.  I figure if she is hungry, I need to feed her.  So we are doing that on the reg until my doc says I can sleep train her.  She still wakes up like this every single morning…[not in our bed, she sleeps in her own room] but as soon as I change her in the morning she is all smiles.

Wednesday after Sloan’s morning nap I was craving some outside time myself.  I still haven’t kicked this virus yet, so any reason to get a little Vitamin D is a good enough reason for me.  Sloan lounged in her makeshift shade and toy tent while I played us some music and sipped on a Diet Coke.  It was heavenly until our neighbors cat leapt over the fence to try and steal Sloan’s toys.  I am not a fan of cats in general, but a greedy toy grubbing cat is just the worst.

Later that afternoon Zach brought me a Jamba Juice home on his lunch break.  Sloan took an afternoon nap and I decided to put some work stuff on hold to take a hot bath.  A Jamba + a warm bath hit the spot and I felt totally recharged.  I am finally admitting that I am a bather.  Baths used to gross me out.  Then I got pregnant and I completely regret ever slamming a good, relaxing bath.

Thursday night my friends and I went out for ice cream at Leatherby’s in Taylorsville to celebrate my friend Brittney’s birthday.  Her GOLDEN birthday, actually.  28 years old on the 28th.  So we ate ourselves sick [Britt and I share an intolerance for lactose] with sundaes and french fries.  It was amazing.

Friday morning I felt really guilty about my french fry festival and decided to take Sloan on a long run on the Legacy Trail.  Sometimes I look at this girl and think, is this really my child?  How is she SO chill?  She barely made a peep on our run.

Some great progress has been made on the Alder Headquarters I am working on in Orem.  Bathrooms are nearly done…

Glass and steel railings were installed…

Lighting installation is underway…

And the parking lot got a serious face-lift…

Friday afternoon Zach left to go up to the cabin with his guy friends for a manly weekend.  The fight, shooting guns, eating steak.  Guy business.  Sloan and I were completely content to spend Friday night, just the two of us. We picked up a pizza to go from Arella, had a little spa sesh [she got her nails clipped and filed – I painted my toes], and she zonked out around 8:00 – which left me to my seventh season of SONS [Zach doesn’t watch it, so I have been saving it].

I also got news from my friend Megan that Sloan’s nursery was featured on Apartment Therapy!  A friend recommended I submit it, which I thought would be fun.  I have submitted rooms to this blog before, and never heard back.  I did it anyway, filled out the form, and then never heard back again.  Until Friday, like I said, when Megan texted me and told me she saw Sloan’s room on the site.  It was so fun to see the post.  I loved designing it, and it was kind of trippy to see it on there.

Saturday Sloan and I woke up early to attend two baptisms.  Afterwards we drove over to Taylorsville where my mom was participating in a giant yard sale at her church.  Sloan made the rounds with her grandma and then we drove over to my mom’s house…where [get this] there was another yard sale going on…

 Don’t ask me why there was a yard sale at my parents’ house AND the church.  I still find it pretty hilarious.

Sloan and I tried to help slang some gently used items for my aunt and cousins, but we mostly hung out inside my parent’s house – practicing our sitting up and eating all grandma and grandpa’s fruit snacks [my dad calls them FUN FRUITS and I love it].
  We did enjoy being out under the shade tent, however.

Saturday evening Sloan had a nice Amazon order show up.  Her new noise canceling headphones arrived, which I had her try on.  She is doing this face lately.  I call it her ‘special’ face…because, well…

  She slept great Saturday night.  She fell asleep for her late night feeding smiling.  Moments like this, as a new mom who constantly second-guesses herself, make me so happy.

Sunday we attended the baby blessing of my cousin’s baby – Parley Page.  She was blessed at their ward in Bountiful, ten minutes away from my house, and my mom joined us.

Zach’s arrival home was much anticipated.  We missed him.  Although a weekend with just the girls was great, seeing Sloan’s face when her dad came home was pretty great, too.

That night we had Sunday dinner at my parents’ house.  Hamburgers and hot dogs.  My grandpa joined us and loved on Sloan for a while.  She basically tried to rip his tattoos off his arm the entire time.  When she realized that wasn’t going to happen, she tried for every hair on his arm.   I’m glad to have the third member of our party back.  Life without our daily dose of Zach is just not as exciting.

Super Sloan Sunday

This week we (Sloan and I) spent the majority of our time running errands for her blessing day.  We decided – after switching the date 2 times – to bless her on February 1st.  Seemed fitting on my birthday and Super Bowl Sunday.  We deemed it Super Sloan Sunday.

I wore the poor girl out checking off our to-do list each day.  These two are peas in a pod – identical twins, I am telling you.  I asked Zach to watch her while I brushed my teeth and they were both out before I finished.

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She slept like a champion all week.  My pediatrician is finally happy with her weight gain, so he gave me the go-ahead to let her sleep 6 hours at night.  She took full advantage.

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Evenings, Sloan and I have been winding down while watching Downton Abbey.  I got a season pass on Apple TV.  She loves sitting up like a big girl.


I did some finishing touches for her blessing outfit.  Her headband arrived and fit her perfectly.


Turns out every pair of tights I bought her were too big – and they don’t sell ivory premie tights.  We even resulted to try American Girl Doll tights.  I am serious.  They fit her scrawny legs perfect…but weren’t long enough.


Mid week I found out our maternity photos were featured on one of my favorite blogs – Grey Likes Baby!  You can see the post here – Maternity Photos.


A new development in our routine around here has been Sloan’s love of books.  She coos and babbles back at the pictures.  Her current favorite is Sammy the Shredder.


Saturday I enlisted Zach’s help in running the rest of the errands before the Blessing.  We had to fill up the giant balloons.  Transporting them was harder than we thought.  Logistics is everything…


A flower centerpiece was also delivered Saturday night.  My friends Richelle and Becca did such an amazing job, it is exactly what I was picturing.

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Sunday morning came and we were busy pretty early setting up at our neighborhood clubhouse.  We rushed off to get ready and then head off to church.  Getting Sloan dressed was so sweet, she was all smiles.

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Zach gave Sloan the sweetest blessing, I thought my heart might explode.  I have such a strong testimony of the power of priesthood blessings.  She was a little angel as well, and slept the remainder of the meeting.  We were so grateful to all our friends and family members who came.


After the meeting we made our way over to our clubhouse for the brunch.  Sloan got passed around and had some grub of her own.

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The french toast sticks were a hit – thanks to my mom who always puts up with my crazy ideas!

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After everyone left and we cleaned up, Zach and I went home to spend the rest of the day together.  Zach surprised me with a cake and he and Sloan sang me happy birthday.

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The cake was a Super Bowl theme, obviously…

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He also somehow found this pair of shoes for me that I have been wanting, they have been sold out for weeks!  I was completely shocked because he already got me my birthday gift a few weeks ago.  He said he wanted me to have something to open on my birthday.

So our remainder of the evening was spent eating treats and lounging in our comfies while we watched the game.

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I can’t think of a better way to celebrate her blessing and my 28th birthday than being with everyone we love.

2 Months

After Christmas was over we started settling back into our normal routine around here.  If there is one thing I wish I would have known before becoming a mom it would be that everything seems like SUCH a big deal, and it really isn’t as dramatic as it seems.  When Sloan hit six weeks old she suddenly went into fast forward.  She had a big growth spurt and started extending her meals.  We’re starting to bulk up around here…


Before Christmas her pediatrician wanted me to start supplementing with formula to help her put on a little weight.  I was devastated about it.  I wanted to exclusively nurse her, that was “my plan”.  Turns out Sloan didn’t mind some formula here and there, but her little belly did not like it one bit.  It was a rough couple of days around here, but on the third day she completely turned around!  Something I wish they tell mothers in pediatricians offices is that breast feeding doesn’t really come together until around 6 weeks.  6 weeks and 1 day and it completely clicked.  We were doing great before, but we started getting into a serious groove right after she turned six weeks old.  I don’t know if her appetite finally showed up or what, but she decided to kick it into gear.  We completely stopped with the formula and she has been doing great ever since!

I heard most women give up before six weeks of trying to breast feed, if only someone would have told them to wait it out a little longer!  I would say that feeding my child has been my biggest anxiety as a parent thus far.  It doesn’t help that she is a tiny little thing.  Whenever I see people (at the grocery store, at family parties, or wherever) they gasp at how tiny she is and ask if she was a premie.  Turns out she just has her dad’s metabolism.  I wished for that, so I guess I shouldn’t complain.

By New Years we were back to normal.  We slept in and Sloan enjoyed the day watching the Winter Classic with her in the morning.


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Later that night we celebrated with our friends and their kids at the Martineau’s house.  Zach and I didn’t stay long, but we loved being with them for the time we were there.


We also soaked up as much time with Zach as we could before he had to go back to work after the weekend.  We love to go out with Sloan.  She still sleeps the majority of the time, but nonetheless, she’s a great date.




We also did our new weekend tradition of a movie at the AMC.  Those recliners are hard to beat, I doubt we ever go to another theater again.


We were on the back row and there were only two other couples in the theater.  Sloan got hungry with 45 min left of the movie, so I just nursed her right then and there.  She is such a professional at this point that the noise didn’t even phase her.


Since our routine has been getting back to normal I have attempted to hit the gym more frequently.  Zach and I made some resolutions for the new year and getting back into a work-out schedule is one of mine.


Speaking of getting in shape, Sloan finally graduated to 0-3 month clothes.  Her waist is so small that we’ll probably be in this stage of clothes for a while, but we are making progress!


So she’s officially 2 months old.  I love spending my days with her.

She likes to smile.  Smiling is her favorite.