Monday, December 16, 2013

Real Foodies Swap = Sheer Awesomeness!

Over the summer I joined a fantastic group of women here in the Treasure Valley for my first ever real foodies food swap, and oh my goodness, was it the best decision ever! This morning we had our monthly meet up, and I swear, this thing just gets bigger and better each month! Our swap organizer posted an awesome amount of photos from the swap today, and I have her permission to link up to her blog post here, I'm so excited to show you all the goodies we had at this event!! And all of it homemade by all who participated! I had offerings of Rocky Road fudge, Vanilla salted caramel sauce, and a variety of whole spices, turmeric, cumin, celery root, and mustard seeds. I truly feel like next month I need to step up my game again! These women are outdoing themselves with their offerings! Here is a picture of the goodies I brought home, it's just too good not to share!

The goodies above are as follows, jalapeno pickled green beans, honey, chai concentrate mix, pumpkin puree, letterpress coasters, lotion bars, chapstick, pomegranate jelly, elderberry syrup, nutella, chocolate mint extract, tangerine orange sauce, toffee bark, and soap! Not pictured is the amazing loaf of sourdough bread that we were already munching on. I seriously feel so blessed to be apart of such an awesomely talented group!! We have some great swaps!!

Head on over and check out my friend Erika's blog post that explains a bit more what our swaps are all about.

And if you do something similar i'd love to hear about it! or if you want to learn more about how to start a real foodie swap in your area, i'd also love to hear that as well!

Happy swapping!


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Photo Book

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Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Wedding

I am overjoyed to share that my little sister is now married!! Congrats Pam and Kyle!! I'm so excited for them to start the amazing journey that marriage is, and seriously, my new BIL is pretty fantastic. Stella already adores him, she especially loves that he has boats at his house all the time and sometimes he lets her go on them, he's pretty cool. I wanted to share some photos of the day from their photographer, Bill at Select Photography. He's pretty amazing, and captured some great moments that day. I was blessed to be Matron of Honour, cause really, what choice did Pammy have. ;) It was a lot of fun helping her plan, and had it's share of stress involved, but thankfully she hired a wedding planner, and things couldn't have gone more perfect... except when the Bull got out of the fence and was up at the patio... yea that was fun. Pammy looked incredible, and her bridal party wasn't too shabby either, we all clean up pretty nice for fancy occasions. Enjoy some pics of their big day below, 

Congratulations Pam and Kyle!!! 

Friday, August 30, 2013

catching up with life

And the blur that is our life continues. I cannot believe it's almost September when it really feels like it should just be the beginning of July. So many things have gone on here to pass the summer quickly, we took a week and renovated our bath, doing all the work ourselves, including all the new tile around our bathtub. The big event of our summer was my sister's wedding, she became Mrs. Kyle Chinn on August 9th, in what was the most beautiful wedding i've ever had the pleasure to attend. I'll do up a separate post with photos on that next. We had several camping trips up to the McCall/Donnelly area to escape the heat some weekends, which also happens to be where Brent goes Elk hunting, so they were camping/scouting trips. He was super excited to use his new trail cam that my mom got him for Christmas, we checked it almost every weekend in July, which is actually pretty neat seeing all the pictures, there was a particular cow elk that took a liking to the camera, and we have about 20 pictures of it nuzzling and licking it on the tree, they are entertaining to look through. I just hope it helps him bring home an elk this year, our freezer is completely empty, seriously empty, because Brent left it unplugged on accident and everything defrosted :/ so were in bad need of meat, it is pretty good timing actually to have a cleaned out freezer but still, it needs to be full soon. I took a few trips home to visit family and attend wedding events this summer, and honestly, i'm glad all the traveling will be done for a bit, my car, Stella and I are tired of driving back and forth on 6-8 hour trips. 

A new favorite treat this summer, ice cream cones, simple and delish!

Speaking of Stella, she's doing pretty awesome. Our little girl is growing like a weed, no seriously, she's grown 2 1/2 inches since she turned two in March! no wonder were almost grown out of her 3T pants and her 3T dresses are all short on her now. Thank goodness i've been stocking up on 4T. and her shoes! Oh my, she's just about in a 9..... which is pretty darn big for a 2 year old. We go through shoes so quickly it's sad. Thankfully Stella's BFF is also a size 8 right now, so some of Stell's barely used shoes are going to her for the time being. I just stop and stare at her sometimes, and admire how much she's grown. She's so tall, thin, muscular, curly haired, adorable. I just love her. She's got a full on attitude to match her size as well, We've been having more and more meltdowns, which I figured out are due to her not sleeping well, so were working on cutting out naps, and it's really helped her night sleep pattern, she's getting more night hours, and better quality of sleep at night, where it was getting to be a fight to put her down on days she had a nap and then she wakes often, now she goes down easy and wakes happy in the morning, it's such a great change. 

At the Nationals event in Seattle with Grandpa, she sure loved the golf cart and loud cars!! 

Stella has been growing up this summer is so many ways, learning things super quick, going on new adventures, working on being away from mommy for a bit at a time, it's an amazing journey and i've loved being a part of all of it, I couldn't imagine not being able to be home with her and to be the one teaching her about life, it's pretty fantastic. We found a great in-home daycare, The Play Garden, and miss Kimberly and her family have been wonderful. I was taking Stella once a week to get her some time away from me, and so I could run some errands and do a bit of work without a kiddo in tow, it's been pretty great. We've started a small amount of homeschooling around the house. Mostly working on letters and numbers, addition and subtraction, using money, spelling words, reading, etc. She's doing well, grasping it as we go, i'm hoping she'll be reading her bob books on her own by her third birthday. She sings, all the time, all sorts of songs, her favorites being 'itsy bitsy spider' 'twinkle twinkle little star' and 'happy birthday', with an assortment of others in the mix. It's so adorable, especially when she's just playing and singing and in her own little zone, I love just listening to her sing quietly. and i've had to stop singing at night time, because she wants to sing along and it keeps her awake, it's adorable but sad at the same time, I loved singing her to sleep and I know she loved it as well, she still does, but sometimes prolonging bedtime just isn't worth it. She's picked up all sorts of words, her vocabulary is amazing and some of the things she says are just shocking. Brent was packing his truck today and out of nowhere Stell goes up to him and says so sweetly "Daddy, Stella wanna go camping toooo" we hadn't said anything about going camping, everything was hunting, she just knew from packing up the truck where he was going. and when she says 'too' it's a very enunciated and drawn out Too, adorable. We've finally had to start watching what we say around her, because she's been repeating it, it's awesome and scary at the same time, she says things we've never heard or said before, out of nowhere, and then it's a mission to figure out where it came from. for a week or so around the wedding she was saying "Ohh MY Gawshh" super drawn out and dramatic, no clue where it came from, until Brent's cousins admitted they say it a lot and they had been watching her quite a bit... solved that one and she doesnt say it much now, but it sure was cute while it lasted! 

Brent and I finally broke down and joined a gym a few weeks ago, partly to work out, mostly to be able to take Stella swimming more often. We've been going once or twice a weekend ever since, and she's SO happy about it! we drive past the gym and she asks to go swimming, It's tough to work out actually, because she doesn't want to go to childcare, she just wants to swim :/ They have private lessons that we'll sign her up for eventually, but for right now Brent wants to teach her himself mostly, she's getting pretty good, we're working on floating and holding her breath and closing her eyes under water, She's great at kicking and moving her arms, and isn't afraid to jump into us in the water, although we have to constantly remind her to walk around the pool, it can be slick. Brent and I are wanting to get a bit more healthy, he's been mountain biking 2-3 mornings a week, and now will add a workout or two into that routine as well, he's pretty stoked. I've never been fond of the gym, so i'm having a bit more difficulty getting motivated, and i'm also already very happy with my current weight and figure, I just want to tone up a bit, not slim down anymore, and build my endurance tolerance, mostly for biking and hiking.... my hubs likes to drag me up and down mountains on hikes haha. I'm really excited for this next health step though, I feel like it's the direction we need to go to get the baby thing happening. 

and speaking of babies.... I finally have an idea of whats going on with my body. My Acupuncturist has had me keeping track of my Basil Body Temperature, which is just basically your resting temp first thing when you wake in the morning. the normal healthy body temp is 98 degrees, we've all heard 98.6 is perfect temp right? Well, my average temp is 96.5, AVERAGE. Which means someday's it's as low as 95... something. So my low core temp, along with short cycles (25-27 days), and a multitude of other things led us to get my Progesterone checked, and sure enough, it's low... I had it checked a day before I ovulated to get a baseline reading, blood drawn and sample sent out, it came back at .7, it's supposed to be around .10 and it's ok to be in the 8-10 range, but .7 is a bit too low. Once I ovulate it should rise up into the 15-20 range, but my Acupuncturist doesn't think that is happening, so we'll test again with another blood draw in just over a week. She has me taking some natural progesterone boosters as well to try to get it producing on it's own in my body, which I'm thankful for, I really don't want to do the medical route of shots and such, which are reserved for IVF treatments usually or recurrent miscarriages, which we qualify under. I guess I should explain why progesterone is important, It's the hormone that prepares the uterus for a fertilized egg to implant, without a significant spike in progesterone, the uterine lining won't soften enough for the egg to attach, and will start to drop and let the body know that egg isn't fertilized and slough off the lining, causing a period. So, if an egg really is fertilized, and the body thinks the progesterone levels are too low, it'll cause a miscarriage, which is what has been happening with us. If progesterone levels are normal, and an egg is fertilized, the levels will continue to increase throughout the weeks, and can be tested to tell how things are going. It's frustrating that my body is slacking in hormone production, but from what i've been reading it totally makes sense, and i'm hopeful we've found the main problem and it can be easily fixed. Hopefully this really is the big problem, and we'll have a healthy, viable pregnancy very soon, fingers crossed! 
Camping. This girl loves to be in the wild.

So on to some photos, i'm sure you're all dying to see truly how big Stella has gotten, I swear, people ask me if she's 4... so it begins. 

Brent and I at the Power employee rafting trip, So. Much. Fun. They provided onsite daycare and Stella had fun with a ton of kids, apparently until pickups began, then she cried until we got there. Overall it was a fun trip, Power sure knows how to celebrate their employees!  

Stopping for breakfast and toys on our return trip home from the wedding, Sunside Washington has a great park and amazing food!

Stella's flower girl dress has become her favorite dress, it's her princess dress ,and she wears it daily, mostly for afternoon tea. 

Thursday, April 18, 2013


I feel angry. All the time. Not really at anything in particular, mostly just how life is going and over what we've been going through. Everything is actually pretty fantastic in our lives right now, aside from the miscarriage and wanting another baby. We have a beautiful, healthy, happy, amazingly smart 2 year old who I couldn't imagine my life without, who along with my husband and family is the biggest reason I have any hope and happiness right now. My husband is so happy at his new job, he's being challenged, working on exciting projects all over the world, and loves the environment he's in and people he works with. My work has picked up also, which is great for us and for the company I work for. But there is this hole, I try to fill it with all sorts of things, play date's, grocery shopping, DIY projects around our home, time with my husband, time with Stella.... they fill it to a certain point, and then it creeps back open when things get quiet. Lately my anger comes from other parents. Bad parents. The ones who do not deserve children, the ones who shouldn't be allowed to be parents ever. Or the ones who don't really want to be parents, who just happened to get pregnant when they really didn't want to be, and then they half heartedly make their way through life with a child, wanting to live their old lives more than their new ones. This makes my heart ache, for those children affected by their parents ignorance to what a gift they've been given. For the parents who are too stupid and selfish and terrible to understand what they are missing out on with their children. For families who desperately want children, but cannot conceive them on their own or even at all. I feel like this is happening all around me lately, people turning up pregnant unexpectedly, in all sorts of situations all across the board. I hear stories being relayed that so-and-so are having a baby, it's a surprise, they were on birth control/didn't want a baby/weren't ready for a baby/not in a relationship/cant afford a child/ etc... and I want to scream and shake the person, tell them I don't want to hear about another oh so easily conceived baby being born into a less than thrilled parents arms. If were really being honest here, and i'm trying to be with myself, trying to let it all go and work through this anger block in my head and my heart, I've reached the point where I don't care to see any info on other babies being born. No thanks to the pregnancy announcements my friends are posting oh so often, the ones who post too many pictures of their growing bumps get unsubscribed from. I'll mentally make note if a baby is due soon, and give the obligatory "like" on their new baby photo, but then, block, I just cant handle seeing all those posts about baby this, and baby that. I'll even admit I might be being a bit hypocritical, I shared more than I probably should have of new baby photos and updates, and I realize it's not their fault they are all giddy with new baby excitement... but it hurts. And I'm fairly certain I had several people block or unfriend me on facebook who were struggling with their own baby making demons when Stella was born. I actually had one friend message me before she did, I knew her story, we had talked for a long time about our struggles. She is infertile, cannot conceive at all, and her husband refuses to adopt. My heart aches for her, I wish she could have her miracle, and I send thoughts often to her. So for now, I'm stuck in a place of anger and hurt. I try daily to process these unfamiliar feelings, but it doesn't seem to help. I hope with time it will, I am not this person, I am happy about all things, thrilled for everyone's exciting news, cry with them if it wasn't what they were expecting, I am emotional on many levels, but not usually anger. I realize it's hard for others to understand also, my husband doesn't really get it, he gave me the crazy look when I told him I was venting through blogging, I think more out confusion and concern for what i'm writing than anything else. But I'm hoping it's a step towards healing. Everyone processes these emotions differently and every situation is different. This seems to be how my heart and mind are handling such a sad event for us this time. I'm not necessarily ok with it, but I hope it will help in the long run of things. I hope my healing is in process, because I really, really want to feel whole again.

Monday, April 8, 2013

feeling out of sorts in every possible way...

For the past week and a half I've been traveling around Portland, Vancouver, and the Seattle/Auburn area to visit friends and family, all the while finally going through the most horrific miscarriage I've ever personally experienced (of my 3). I had postponed my trip hoping that a few extra days at home and going to Acupuncture a few more times would help get things moving, it had been almost a full month since we found out that the baby we thought was growing inside of me turned out to just be an empty growing sac. Well, postponement probably should have lasted a few days more, because the day I decided to drive from Boise to Portland also turned out to be the day that everything in my body decided to turn loose and exit in massive amounts. I'll spare the horribly bloody details, but will say that nobody ever warned me that it was going to feel like going through labor again, and that there would ever be that much blood exiting in a 12 hour time frame. I never want to go through anything like that again. Brent and I had had a few small arguments about my going in for a D&C (Dilation and Curettage, basically they dilate the cervix and suck out or scrape out the remnants of the pregnancy tissue, fun times), Neither of us liked the idea, but I was starting to think it would be necessary, Brent wasn't so sure. I am thankful it finally happened naturally, but I really really really!! wish I had stayed home one more day and had been in the comfort of my own home, my poor sister and her fiance were awesome, although they both missed the worst parts of the whole thing thankfully, I think my sis would have just called an ambulance :/ I also regret leaving my husband during this whole thing, I really needed him, and know he was extremely worried about what was happening to me, who was or wasn't taking care of our daughter (I was alone for most of the day with her, driving and then at my sisters), and overall just worried about the whole thing. It's taken me almost 2 weeks to get my strength back, and to almost completely stop bleeding, I'm so glad it's almost completely over, I feel like physically I can begin to heal and move on. Emotionally though? I feel like that might take some time. I also feel like I have a lot of things weighing on me, and I'm considering finding someone to talk to about everything, an emotional healer of sorts. I don't feel like i'll be able to happily move forward with trying for another baby anytime soon, and that scares me. I want another baby, but I have this huge fear building inside of me that this is going to happen again, or worse, we'll be further along next time, or that since it's all chromosomal something will end up being wrong with our next child, or that it won't live at birth. I'm constantly thinking of the what if's, and I don't want to be. I am not a dweller on the negative. I am very much the glass half full personality, and being this way has not been fun. I feel anxious often, if not all the time, I feel like I have a short temper (which I am usually super patient), and that i'm sorta going crazy at times when i'm exhausted or overtired. The past two months have just been a shotgun ride of hormones and emotions, and I think I've lost track of how to handle them all. Plus I've been dealing with some extended family stuff, exclusion and feeling like everyone is just pitying me and leaving me out of very important events because of what I've been going through. It's been extremely hurtful and left me feeling super self conscious which I've never felt before, i'm usually very confident in myself and my family, and this situation has just left me feeling alone and confused as to why someone would hurt me this way. My husband has been amazing through this all, I am so thankful for his love and understanding, and his knowing just what to do to usually make me feel better. He's been my rock through a lot of stuff lately, and I could not have made it through this all without him. I'm also incredibly thankful for Stella, She knows just when I need a hug or how to make me laugh, she is my life, and if she is all we are meant to have, both Brent and I could not have asked for a more perfect child, we love her so much it's scary. I also have a pretty great family, my mom and sister and even my dad in a way, have all been pretty amazing at listening if I need to vent. and my friends know when to check in on me at the right time it seems, I am so lucky to have such great friends. I really didn't mean for this to turn into one huge totally random paragraph of emotional vents, or to get all gushy at the end. I was just hoping that maybe if I wrote about all the shit I was feeling, some of it would stay on the page and i'd feel a little better... I'm not sure if it worked yet, but I sure wish it were that easy.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Day trip to Hagerman, Idaho

A couple weekends ago we packed up the family and headed to the Thousand Springs scenic byway for a little fun in the winter sun. I love Hagerman, Idaho, it is truly one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. The springs in this long valley are fed by the glaciers and mountain runoff from up above the Sun Valley area, and they travel through a few hundred miles of underground deep canals, which means the water that comes out is pure and clear and amazing. It is so peaceeful hiking around this area and searching out the springs and waterfalls that fill the valley. This is one of those spots I'll love to return to over and over throughout the years. 

I love these two

We probably spent almost an hour checking out all the fish at the hatchery, Stell loved them!

The little got thirsty, what an awesome spot to sit and feed my child! 

She kept trying to climb down to the water in the big rocks, daddy had to keep her on track haha

See the houses in the background? this is the spot where the original "mountain man" lived! yea, the one who Robert Redford played in the movie Jeremiah Johnson way back in the 70's. Neat!


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