30 December 2014

Year in Review 2014!

Another year has gone by!
And holy cow it went fast!
I love doing these year in review posts!
I love seeing how much has changed in just 12 months.
We went to the Gilbert Temple Open House
 Rory loved seeing all the pretty lights and crystals
and every time we drive by it she shouts
"Mama it's da demple!!"
 We announced that we were going to be adding to our little family,
I got called into Activity Days and the 10/11 girls teacher in our ward,
Andrew got called to be a ward missionary. 
Rory hated taking this picture haha
she had just seen the baby on the ultrasound and just kept wanting to see
it move around in there and listen to the heartbeat.
Rory got her big girl bed and officially moved out of the crib
and we found out we would be having another sweet baby girl
There was a lot going on in that month haha
lots of big changes and excitement!
I went to the Blogger Meetup
and my nesting instinct had kicked into full gear hahaha 
oh and Easter of course!

Hahahaha so many preggos in that picture!!
And my cabinets still aren't clean but that's ok,
and Rory still talks about the swings and wants them so bad!
Maybe next year for Christmas kid....
or we'll just go to the park haha
Celebrated Mother's Day,
Rory's first As You Wish trip,
and her first Diamondbacks Game

She points to her flower with pride on the fridge
(I had them make it into a magnet)
and she's made 2 more things since then haha
I still haven't finished all that chocolate ;)
Be proud people!
Rory turned 2!
Andrew turned 25!
We took a trip to San Diego with my in-laws
including the San Diego Zoo!
And geared up to be ready for Jade to appear in 2 months!
Andrew still loves his grill
and Rory is still just as sassy hahaha
As You Wish for 4th of July
I opened my Etsy shop
and I had a slight meltdown about having another baby

It all worked out though didn't it? ;)
And Rory is obsessed with her horse she made that day.
I had a bunch of amazing guest posters while we waited for
Jade to make her arrival
and then she did!
Andrew got a new job with Apex Electrical Sales
and we are forever grateful for that.
Best month ever!
Became a mother of two
and watched Rory become a big sister 
and Andrew be a brand new dad all over again.
We adjusted to life with two little ones
and took a family field trip to the aquarium!

So fun!
And absolutely insane!
I turned 26,
we went to Disneyland with my family,
and a birthday week of giveaways!

The magic of Disneyland experienced through Rory 
just brought me to tears on multiple occasions.
My birthday was a little lackluster BUT I got snuggles from both my girls
and Andrew took me to dinner that night which was nice hahaha
Rory got even more into her role as big sister,
Jade was blessed in church,
and we put the tree up over a month early.
Also got our family pictures taken! 

It was the beginning of the crazy but the fun of the season ;)
Andrew and I celebrated 4 years of marriage,
Christmas was amazing,
Haley came home from her mission,
Liam turned one
and we just learned to enjoy the moment.
What a year!!
I can't wait to see what's in store for the next one!

26 December 2014

Oh Christmas!

Oh Christmas.
This one was for the books people!
Two very full days of awesome
and two very happy little girls
and two very happy/exhausted parents hahaha
Christmas Eve we spent with the Mills
and had pizza then opened our gifts.
 I got a double waffle maker!
(guys, the waffle possibilities are now endless!)
 Andrew got a set of tools
(which may have been another gift for ME since now he can do all the projects
I've begged him to do for over a year now)
We gave mom and dad a world map and pins to document 
where they've been on all their travels,
and Haley got some headbands from us ;)
Rory and Jade were thoroughly spoiled in clothes, puzzles,
and grandma and grandpa time.
Oh and Auntie Haley time ;)
Rory has been eagerly awaiting Christmas this year.
She's finally grasped the whole
present thing AND the Nativity.
The other day she looked at the one we have on our end table
and said to me 
"Mama, I love baby Jesus.
And His mama Mary?"
I said "yes His mama's name is Mary.
Do you know His daddy's name?"
She looked at me,
put her finger to her temple....
I said "Yeah babes that's right. Joseph was His daddy on Earth."
She would go over to the Nativity every day 
and say hello to baby Jesus and then say "WOW mama!
He's so cute and little!"
She understood about Santa mostly.
I showed her the picture of Santa kneeling beside the Savior's manger
and she lit up!
"Mama mama it's Santa AND baby Jesus!
I love them and they friends!
And Jesus is MY friend"
I love her simple little sentences that are so profound.
I teared up and said
"That's right sweetheart, Jesus IS your friend.
He's always there when you need Him."
"We say prayer to talk to Him."
She ended with very emphatically folding her arms.
I am one very proud mama that something we're teaching is actually sticking,
and her nursery leaders are doing a fantastic job also!
Jade was a super good girl through everything.
She had to be woken up from her nap on Christmas Eve
cuz we wanted to spend all the time we could with the Mills,
but she took a nice little snooze while we were there.
And waited til AFTER Christmas Eve dinner with my family to have her freak out.
She was exhausted and is teething/sleep regressing a little
so we got up a few times Christmas Eve night with her
BUT yesterday she was amazing!
All smiles in the morning
and after we got to grandma and grandpa Bowler's house,
she laughed and snuggled with everyone while we got breakfast going.
And right before we started opening presents she fell asleep.
She then took a 3 1/2 hour nap! 
And woke up so happy it was awesome!
Yesterday was filled with presents and toys
and one happy little girl hahaha
Andrew got me the KitchenAid mixer I've been wanting for years!!
I currently have a 2.5 qt mixer that I love but it couldn't hold everything
when I made certain things.
So now I have a 6 qt professional grade mixer and I'm STOKED!
Her name is "Sin"namon the Spicy/Sultry ;)
 My parents ALSO gave me a waffle iron hahaha
A Minnie Mouse waffle iron though!
My amazing mom also made scrapbooks for us from our last Disneyland trip
with all of our pictures that both we and PhotoPass took!
I cried like a baby when I saw all the hard work she'd put into them
and saw the photos of our sweet girls
in my favorite place on earth.
I gave Andrew a weekend away!
I saw this great deal on Groupon for a hotel in Sedona
and I grabbed it! ;)
He got so excited when he saw that it would be a just the two of us trip
and that I said on his paper that we will be bringing LOTS of board games to play.
He LOVES games and I really don't BUT I love to make him happy
so games it is peeps!
Rory got a Doc McStuffins set from us for Christmas this year.
And since opening it around noon yesterday, 
has given over a hundred checkups to dolls,
Mama, Daddy, Jadey, grandparents, great grandparents, my parents cat,
the car seat, everything hahaha
I guess Mama scored again on the gift giving this year ;)
We then proceeded to the Wilson Christmas gathering
where we chatted and visited with cousins and aunts and uncles.
The girls received a couple little trinkets and socks ;)
Jade again was amazing and didn't freak til we were in the car!
Her Aunt Heidi made her a stocking like she has done for all of us
and it's the cutest thing in the entire world!
We have been truly blessed so much this year!
Adding a second kid to the mix,
Haley coming home from her mission,
Disneyland trips,
California trips,
etc etc
It was a great Christmas!
How was yours??

22 December 2014


Life around here has been nuts!
Or at least it feels nuts,
it's been long days filled with demanding kids in differing ways
and late nights trying to squeeze in some one on one time with Andrew.
As we added another child to our family,
I've discovered that us having time to ourselves every night is an even bigger deal.
I need time to feel like an adult.
All day I'm dealing with apple juice, formula, diapers,
and all that "fun" stuff that comes with parenting.
My conversations are about
who Mickey is,
"are you poopy or just wet?",
"Mama where you are?",
"Mama Jadey Loodawho is crying again"
And when Andrew comes home,
it's dinner, baths, and bedtime.
But around 8:30-9 at night we can finally have some adult conversation.
Often it's interrupted by children needing binkis or tucked back into bed,
BUT it's a time we can relax in bed and just chat.
And I NEED that so much or I go insane.
I've been struggling with being a full time mom of two.
It's way more demanding than I anticipated.
And with a baby that is colicky
and has some separation anxiety already,
it's really hard for me.
Rory has always been an independent kid and I'm hoping to train Jade
to be one too because Mommy needs her space.
I know some moms love having their baby attached to them at all times,
I however do not.
I love her and I enjoy playing with her and such but I CANNOT handle
being at her constant beck and call when she's so clingy.
Luckily she's also really attached to Andrew or I would die.
But even with getting the breaks from constant baby needs,
it's been so hard for me to adjust to dealing with two kids
and having really no adult interaction except occasional park days
where I get lucky if another mom comes,
and my husband.
We don't get out as much either because the kids go down earlier
now (which thank goodness!)
But Jade is a complete routine baby
and if she's not in her bed by 7 she is a MONSTER.
So I'm pretty much at home 5 days a week.
With an occasional outing to the grocery store.
I've felt like I've lost part of who I used to be.
I honestly don't even know what I like to do anymore.
I know I still like reading,
and that's about the extent of my knowledge on the subject of
"Ali's recreational activities".
Since we got married, I've had this a couple times
but been able to get past it.
This time it has been really really hard to feel like I have a purpose other than being
the diaper changer and baby feeder.
And I'm struggling.
I'm not writing this for pity or validation.
I'm writing it as the beginning of a journey into finding out who I am now,
and to help me find my purpose again,
and hopefully get the "help" I need to feel like myself again.
Motherhood is amazing, 
don't get me wrong.
I love my daughters and wouldn't trade them or anything for the world.
They are my pride and joy,
but I need to find some joy in something just for me now.

16 December 2014

4 Years Ago Today

4 years ago today I was a bucket of nerves,
and such excitement coursing through my veins,
and when we knelt at the altar in the temple
and I gazed into Andrew's eyes,
I knew this was the best day of our lives.

We were sealed for time and all eternity
and it's amazing to see how much has changed in just 4 short years.

We went from being such babies
to HAVING babies hahaha
I still love this crazy guy more than anything
and am so happy he chose me all those years ago ;)
Happy Anniversary my Andrew and I'm looking forward to
an eternity more and more adventures to come!

09 December 2014

Wish I had Known

I wish I had known

- that I would be emptying trashes multiple times a day
- that dirty diapers are like a revolving door
- that blowouts can be a daily thing
- that I always have to do at least 3 loads of laundry a day
- that I would need to vacuum like daily to keep the mess under control
- that I apparently am not a fan of the toddler stage
- that I don't handle stress well at all
- that my chores would double like my kids hahaha
- that as much as I don't like the toddler stage,
I LOVE having a little helper and someone to talk to
- that my "Mama Bear" instinct would be so easily brought to the surface
- that I actually have a maternal instinct and it's 99% correct 
- that my patience would be tested to my utmost limits
- that my heart would burst every time Rory and Jade look at each other and just laugh
- that I would have such a fierce love for my girls
- that it would make my marriage to Andrew so much better
- that being a mother would both break and strengthen me
But I'm also glad I didn't know in advance.
I'm grateful for this experience and for being able to learn everything on my own,
and learning that I CAN do this,
that I CAN be a good mother/wife/housewife/friend,
and that I have the best little family in the entire world regardless
of screams/tantrums/puking/burps
because those are always accompanied by smiles, laughs, and loves. ;)

04 December 2014

Thinking thoughts

2 posts in a row?!
What's happening here! 
I've had a lot on my mind recently.
I've been reflecting on the past 7 1/2 years since 
Andrew and I entered each other's lives as more than just friends.
I NEVER would have thought that I'd have waited for a missionary,
that I would work at Disneyland for the best 8 months,
that we'd get married,
or that we'd have 2 beautiful little girls that have blessed our lives.
I was perusing IG the other day and saw all these pretty pictures
of people putting their trees up and the clean,
neat and organized houses they were in.
Then I looked around my living room and saw the disaster that was there.
So I wrote this:
 "Since everyone is posting about their Christmas trees going up 
I'm doing a #realmommoment this is my living room. 
My tree has been up since the 10th cuz 
I just really needed some holiday spirit ya know? 
There are toys everywhere and gear for baby girl taking up a ton of space, 
yes that is a diaper on my ottoman 
cuz that has become our diaper changing station hahaha 
I love the saying "Don't excuse the mess, my children are busy making memories" a lot. 
But at the same time, a mess drives me bonkers! 
And as much as its a constant struggle to keep house and children clean and happy, 
I'm happy to be the one that gets to stay home 
and try to do those things. 
As I sit here thinking of the millions of things I need/could do, 
I'm relishing in the quiet of the house with proof that children live here. 
Here's to taking a moment to love where you're at in life 
and being extremely happy/grateful that you made it ;)"

And I meant every word.
Now I also know that we tend to crop pictures just so on social media
to NOT show our real life sometimes hahaha
I do it too no worries!!
And I actually ended up cleaning the living room
cuz I had Activity Days at my house later that day and needed to not have
things everywhere for the girls to destroy hahaha

I look at Rory and Jade and think how incredibly blessed I am
to be their Mama.
Rory is always wanting me to watch her do things,
help her get things down,
she wants to help me do anything,
love on her sister,
play with her sister,
and is just a little copycat to almost anything she sees
so we're watching that hahaha
 It's a constant
"Mama mama mama where you are?!
Mamamama what you doing?!
Mamamamamamamama where daddy??"
She's so funny sometimes.
All day she'll ask for Daddy and want him home
but then when he IS home,
she's snuggling with me and begging me to read her bedtime story
NOT Daddy hahaha #irony

Jade is just getting so stinking big I can't stand it!
She rolled for the first time on Tuesday,
off the ottoman onto the floor.......
Mommy fail!
But then she was all smiles when we clapped for her rolling hahaha
She loves her family and always has a smile for her Daddy and Mama
and a giggle/coo for big sister Rory ;)
She still loves to swing in the fisher price swing
and swaddled to sleep at night/naps.
She's a binki baby which I was not prepared for
but am totally fine with haha cuz if it keeps her calm,
I'll worry about breaking her habit way later!

So like I said earlier,
I couldn't be more grateful for where I am in life.
I have an amazing husband,
2 beautiful little girls that call me Mama,
I'm happy to be a housewife and stay at home mom,
and I can't wait to see where life continues to take us
and how the Lord will continue to bless us ;)

03 December 2014


Oh my!
I swear time is just swiftly running past me!

Like, it's DECEMBER people!
When did that happen???

 Last week we enjoyed an awesome Thanksgiving
and hosted it here at our house,
and after we decided to skip a movie in a theatre, as per our norm,
my parents grabbed the 2 oldest grandkids 
and took them to the park for a little bit while I made waffles, bacon and sausage
for breakfast/snacking since we weren't eating til 3!
When they brought the kids home, both of them crashed HARD
and slept for a few hours while we got everything ready for dinner.
Rory just did NOT want to take a picture hahaha
Around 5 I got a text form a friend asking if we could still possibly watch her girls 
while they ran to WalMart to pick up one thing on sale.
Sure I said!
After some initial awkwardness,
we had a great time with sidewalk chalk on my porch and outside walls,
some brownies,
and some coloring they all went home happy and well-fed hahaha

Rory has become even more hilarious than I thought she could be
so far hahaha
"Mama mama I did it!!" -
as she realized that she a knot in one of her books.
"Mama I read her a story ok?" -
in the bath with Jade
"I'm not cute, I'm beautiful"
"I'm so funny Mama"
"Time for Granch?!" (Grinch)
"Can we watch Christmastime Mama??
(Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas)
"I don't wanna eat da cookies"
(when really she totally does, but it HAS to be her idea.....)

Jade is growing like a weed yet still super tiny.
She's teething,
yes you read that correctly, teething!
Poor girl.....but she's actually been pretty ok about it.
She's a total Mommy/Daddy's girl.
The complete opposite of her sister hahaha
Rory loved us at this age but loved being with other people,
I never felt worried that she'd freak out randomly if she couldn't see us.
Jade however, is very much a "background" baby.
She prefers to sit with mama or dad
and just observe rather than be the center of attention.
She's such a sweet girl and always has a smile 
and a coo for me when she wakes up,
just makes being a mom that much more worth it.

And since both girls are miraculously down for a nap together
I need to go roll some sugar cookies!
I love my adorable little girls and the joy they give me!