Summer 2019 Recap

This summer has been NUTS. And even that feels like an understatement.

In April Kyle graduated BYU and that very weekend we finished packing our little apartment in Orem, loaded our moving truck and drove the 12 hours to Arizona. Oh and did I mention I was 10 weeks pregnant at this point and suuuper sick, enough to land me in the ER over night.

That next week Kyle started work at a Pediatric dental office in Mesa. We left most of our stuff packed up while we stayed with Kyle’s parents for 2 months. In the meantime my mom kept me very busy helping plan Kaylee’s wedding and get Jordan ready to leave on a full-time mission.

In June Kaylee and Justin got married in the Gilbert temple. It was a beautiful sealing, even more so for our family because all 6 of us kids, spouses, and my parents were in attendance.

A few weeks later, on my birthday no less, Jordan left for his mission. Kyle and I got to see him the morning he left for the airport and he was absolutely beaming. What an amazing kid. Spending the summer with him made it even harder to say goodbye for 2 years.

Then just a couple days later, Kyle, Ollie, and I once again loaded up our stuff to move into our apartment on the west side of Phoenix. Exhausted comes to mind when I look back at this summer. So you are probably thinking they same thing we were thinking last week…WE NEED A BREAK!

We decided to go to Vegas for a few days and then drive down to Newport Beach and meet up with Kyle’s family for a few days. Ollie was on cloud nine the whole trip. We played games, saw a circus show, went bowling (his first time), shopping, to the beach, the the fair, to the park, and ate the most amazing food. We really did it all! By the end of all this, I was ready for my vacation from the vacation! And Oliver was ready for the vacation to never end!

Oliver playing his favorite game in Vegas

We had a blast and made some great memories together! Bring on Dental School!!

Xo,

Tay

Life with a 9 month old

Our little busy bee is becoming more and more mobile! He stands & squats all on his own now! He crawls so fast I can barely keep track of him! He took his first solo step last Friday but has yet to try again without assistance, but boy is he getting quick when he is holding mama or daddy’s hands!

He was like a little celebrity at church last Sunday walking down the halls with mom and dad at each side! He had friends and neighbors in awe cheering him on! I know he won’t remember, but what a special moment for us! That’s my boy!!

He loves to eat! His favorite foods are beets, graham crackers, yogurt and peas but he really will devour any and everything! And he makes such an adorable mess while he does it.

He loves to follow us into the bathroom and get into all the goodies hiding out in the cupboards. We have recently become better at keeping the door shut at all times.

His favorite toy is anything mom or dad is holding and the kitchen utensils. He could bang those on the ground all day! It’s helpful when I am trying to get dinner prepared! Haha.

Last night he slept 12 hours and I’m really hoping history will repeat itself in this case! He is the best snuggler (sorry ky!) and could win a staring contest any day of the week! He loves to babble and say dadda…maybe someday he will grace us with a mama. I have not given up yet! He laughs when I ask him if he wants more and we are still trying to teach him baby sign language.

Bath time is a blast! He splashed all over and stands up and sits down non stop! He keeps us very busy, and active. I just might loose the baby weight faster than I thought.

For whatever reason he is really into chewing everything and by everything I mean anything made out of paper. We are talking books, magazines, instructions, letters, even homework! So for now our book shelves are bare and all the books are stashed away in the high shelves. Sooo strange. Maybe he is trying to take literally “you are what you eat” 😂

He gets cuter by the minute with that big gapped-tooth smile and bright eyes. He is our world and we adore every minute of this stage! My baby is becoming a child! How did this happen!?!

Love,

Tay

Christmas 2018

We celebrated Oliver’s first Christmas & our first Christmas as a family of 3!!

We decided to celebrate on our own a few days before Christmas because we were heading down to Arizona for two weeks for the break. We really wanted to start some of our own traditions and share this special time as a family. So Dec. 20th we all woke up at 6am. And no it wasn’t because Oliver decided to wake up early. And yes I might be a little crazy. BUT I LOVE CHRISTMAS SO MUCH!!! Kyle made homemade cinnamon rolls and while they baked and the sweet smell of cinnamon filled our tiny apartment, we watched our sweet boy chew on the wrapping paper of all the presents.

Once we finally revealed the gifts for him, he was pretty excited! We decided that we wanted each gift to represent something. For example each year he will get three gifts, one that focuses on a hobby that he likes, one that focuses on something active or physical, and something that is educational or takes some brain power. We decided on three gifts because that is what Jesus got, and since it is His holiday, we want to focus on Him as much as we possibly can.

We also decided we wanted opening presents to be kind of a game! So on each gift, we write a reason why we love the person by saying what made us think to give them that gift. We really felt that would help bring more of the Spirit of Christ to this aspect of Christmas.

In the background you can see some of the I love yous (& my hunky hubs baking)! Oliver got a drum set, to represent his love for banging on things 😂, a name puzzle to help him learn, and a train that he can drag around the house! Great grandma and grandpa also sent him some books! He really loaded up!

The holidays with a child are exponentially more exciting! Seeing the pure joy on his face about literally everything makes my every minute!

This holiday season was also home of a couple other firsts! Oliver’s first airplane ride, and his first Christmas party!

We had such a blast in Arizona! Both of our families live in Mesa so it is so nice to be able to see everyone when we go down, but it’ll be even better when we live there!! We are moving May 1st and I am only slightly excited…jk I wish we were moving tomorrow!! I CANT WAIT!!!

We loved all the time spent with family over the holiday and it makes me ache for next year when we can do it all again!

Love,

Tay

Throwing the Perfect Summer BBQ

There are not many things better than a summer barbecue! They are one of my favorite ways to get together with friends and family during the summer! Kyle and I have a park by our house that has this really huge jungle gym with basically everything that a kid could dream of! There is a lot of grassy area and Ramada’s with barbecues beside them. We have had two barbecue there so far but I can see many many more happening there this summer!
I feel like there are two things that really MAKE a barbecue amazing, the food and the people! And then there are things that are just the cherry on top like the activities!

My parents would always throw barbecues and they have a pool! It was so fun to eat a couple bites and then jump into the pool! We never followed the eating and swimming rule…oops! Swimming at a BBQ goes together like peanut butter and jelly! If you don’t have a pool, I think lawn games are suuuuper fun! Spikeball is one of Kyle and I’s favorites! Corn hole is also becoming a family favorite. We will definitely be playing a lot of that this summer!

Let’s talk food! When I think classic barbecue food I think of hotdogs and hamburgers which, in my opinion, never gets old!

But for those who want to spice things up, here are some other great ideas!

  • street tacos. We made these the other week and they were a huge hit! We grilled marinated steak and chicken. We also grilled the tortillas! Chips, salsa and guacamole were the sides. Guys, it was so good!
  • Grilled chicken wings. We had a bbq at our friend house and they made these! We paired it with sweet potato fries, salad and chips! It was so delicious!
  • Kabobs. I am a big fan of kabobs! For Kyle’s birthday this year, I made fruit and brownie kabobs. They were so cute! For a barbecue I would love to try veggie and chicken kabobs but really any meat, veggie or even fruit would work. Here are some that I’ve pinned to try this summer:

Happy grilling!

Love,

Tay

What to wear Post-baby

Raise your hand if you are like me and either didn’t fit into anything after coming home from the hospital or looked horrible in everything.

I am a really firm believer that when you get ready and put in the effort (no matter how small), you feel good. There is nothing I wanted more (other than the health of my newborn) than to get some normalcy back into my life after his birth. All of a sudden I was living in a body I didn’t recognize and what helped with accepting that was finding cloths that felt like something I would normally wear.

I made the mistake of going shopping after just one month of giving birth. It was a BIG MISTAKE! My hips were still out and I didn’t fit into any jeans like I had hoped. That can really do something to your self esteem, so take it from me and avoid that! Instead wear a skirt. Skirts are a lot more forgiving, especially if you find the ones that have some stretch to them. Skirts are awesome because (unlike dresses) you don’t have to have a certain kind of style. That’s of course if you are nursing or trying to nurse, like I was. Here are some of my favorites:

It wouldn’t be a classic Taylor fashion post if I didn’t rave about how much I adore wearing dresses! Dresses are amazing because they look good on every single body. And for me, they helped hide the pregnant not pregnant stomach that I still had. Dresses are a little bit more tricky when it comes to breastfeeding so you have to find “nursing friendly” ones, which is a little harder than you might think. Here are some amazing nursing friendly dresses:

Shirts are one of those articles of clothing that can do no wrong. Any shirt can work for nursing, which is a BIG bonusss! I do recommend getting one or two new shirts because you just gave birth and you deserve it! Here are some cute ones that I got recently that I am loving!

Leave me a comment and let me know what was a must-have clothing item after you gave birth!

Love,

Tay

Roadtripping with a Newborn

This past weekend we took our one month old on a ten hour road trip from Utah to Arizona! Go ahead and call us crazy but it was actually really fun! We went down to surprise our Moms for Mother’s Day. Here are some things we did that made this trip awesome!

1. We broke up the trip. Stopping halfway made ALL the difference in the world. It was really nice to be able to stretch out and rest. For some reason, driving is exhausting!

2. Over pack. I do this already with Kyle and I so it was pretty easy to add Oliver to the mix! You just never know when there is going to be an accident or a spill. I ended up packing almost all of Oliver’s cloths, three swaddles, a box of 100 diapers, a new pack of wipes, thermometer, a nursing cover, burp cloths, baby bath products and his bath seat, stroller, carseat, breast pump, and bottles with a cooler. It all came in very handy!

3. Bottles bottles bottles. If your baby will take a bottle, this was a lifesaver! I pumped right before our trip down and stored the bottles in a cooler. It was really nice to not have to stop for too long every time he was hungry. I forgot to pump on the way home from our trip and it seriously took twice as long!

4. Try to stick to a schedule. This can be hard when traveling but as long as the routine is the same your baby (hopefully) won’t be too off schedule.

5. Bring a passenger, if possible. My husband and I always travel together so one of us could easily sit in the back with Ollie or reach back to hand him is binky. It make it nice for him and for us. Little man really doesn’t like to feel alone. Who does really?

If you have more tips, we would love to hear them! We take roadtrips all the time, so we are always looking for ways to make them a little more enjoyable! Happy travels!

Love,

Tay

Pregnancy Style Guide

As we were nearing the end of this pregnancy, I thought it would be fun to go back through my very favorite outfits. I am totally laughing while I look through photos because I love dresses but I didn’t realize ALL that I wear are dresses! haha! So enjoy this compilation of my favorite dresses from this pregnancy!

I titled this post a “style guide” because a lot of the dresses are no longer available in store but the look can easily be duplicated. I think it is important to feel comfortable when you are carrying around another human 24/7 but that doesn’t mean you have to look frumpy! I shopped most of my looks at Old Navy, DownEast Basics, and Target. And the thrift store. If you didn’t know by now, I am a BIG thrifter.

#1. Patterns on Patterns

This is one of my favorite date night outfits! It is dressy but not over the top. I don’t recommend wearing a lot of layers while pregnant, mostly because you are already hot all the time! At least I was, and I didn’t want to feel bigger than I already was. haha. The heels I would only wear on a relaxed date night where there is not much walking because those feet are already working overtime. I am a heels girl, though, so any opportunity I have to wear them…I TAKE IT!!

#2 Legging + Dress combo

This look is for those bad hair days…hence, the hat. This is just a simple, extremely SOFT swing dress. It is easy to throw on and you can easily dress it up or down depending on where you are headed…if anywhere ;).

#3 Church Dress

I love this look for Church. It’s bright and fun and super comfortable. I really think everyone needs a comfortable dress that you can throw on and still look fabulous in, even if you don’t feel fab.

#4.

I love having a good mix of light and darker color clothing! Just trying to keep things interesting.

#5. Maxi Dress

Every pregnant woman needs a good maxi dress! They are so comfortable, especially this one! I paired it with some black booties and a winter coat. I would only suggest doing that pairing for a winter look. If you are pregnant in the summer, a cute pair of flats and a vest would look great!

#6. Your Style

As my belly grows, it is hard for my style not to go with it. I think it is important to keep a look that you would normally wear if you didn’t have a big basketball making things difficult. That is what this look is for me. It is not a maternity dress, just a flowy dress with a cute jacket and converse.

Fun Owl Print Dress

This dress is sooo comfortable and I just love things that are different! How many people do you know that have an owl dress??

Love,

Tay

One Month of Motherhood

One month. Have you ever felt that time goes so fast and so slow at the same time? The days pass on pretty slow because I am tracking every hour. Has he eaten? When was the last time he pooped? But then somehow it’s a new week!

This past month has been like nothing I have ever experienced. I have gotten less sleep, drunken more water, changed more diapers, washed more clothes then I have in my entire life and yet I couldn’t be happier. There are a lot of things that I wish I could say has happened this past month, like I have gained an incredible amount of patience or that I can change a diaper fast enough before he decides to pee again. But I can’t. What I have experienced is what I consider the purest form of love.

I had a friend ask me right after Oliver was born, “How has your perspective changed since becoming a parent?” At the time I didn’t really know how to answer. You see my brain has basically stopped working since becoming sleep deprived :). I have been thinking a lot about that question and a lot about my Heavenly Father. The main theme that my thoughts have taken is that of sacrifice.

Before having Oliver, I thought of sacrifice as giving something up for someone or something. I still believe that is true but sacrifice has become something so much more now that all those acts of service are for someone who literally can not do those things for themselves. A baby is so helpless. They can’t even really give anything back in return. That is unless you count a big burp or full diaper as payment. I also realize now what it means to sacrifice all that you have for another person. Your time, energy, sleep, finances, even your body.

I always knew that having children and forming a family was part of God’s plan which is why Kyle and I didn’t waste anytime starting ours. Now I have a totally different perspective of why God asks that of us. God wants us to become like him. To learn how to serve and love, and to have patience and humility. He wants us to trust in Him and rely on Him. He wants us to learn and grow. And to sacrifice. I seriously can’t think of a faster way to achieve that then becoming a parent.

Even with all we give up and sacrifice somehow we end up with so much more. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised by that because that is how God works. Even though my body will never be the same and I probably will never sleep again or stop worrying, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Kyle always talks about experiencing emotion in increments. The more love or sorrow that we experience the more you can experience in the future. I totally believe that. I love my husband and my son more everyday.

So it has been one month of motherhood and I would say it is going pretty well, all things considered.

xoxo,

Tay

Welcome Oliver! Our Birth Story

Mr. Oliver made his grand debut April 10th at 7:54pm! I really loved my labor and delivery, once we were finally in the hospital! I started early labor at almost 38 weeks. The contractions were 10-20 minutes apart for about 5 1/2 days! They were painful and exhausting!! We went to the hospital on two separate occasions and got sent home. Being sent home is seriously the most discouraging thing ever! I felt craaaazy! Especially because I was contracting! But no progression, AT ALL! So on that fifth day we had our regularly scheduled doctor’s appointment. It was then that we decided to be induced at 39 weeks, which happened to be in 6 days! So there was more waiting, but a definite light at the end of the tunnel. I actually liked having an exact date, it’s the planner in me!

The day of our induction we went grocery shopping, cleaned the house, ate one of my favorite dinners, and Kyle even sold some golf clubs! We were suppose to go in at 6 pm but we didn’t get in until 9 pm.

When we finally got admitted, they started us on a pretty mild drug to get things started. Then at around 7 am they started us on pitocin or “pit” as the nurses call it! At that point, things started to progress! Noon my doctor came and broke my water. You could really see how big little man was and we started to make bets about how big he would be! I was really hoping he wouldn’t be bigger than 8 lbs. In an hour we went from a 4 to a 6. That’s when the contractions became superrrr intense and I asked for the epidural. It worked great for about three contractions and then the pain was back and increasing. It wasn’t until I was at almost a 9, 1 1/2 hours later, that we figured out that the tube had come out and I had to get another epidural.

During that hour and a half was the most intense pain, but I am so grateful for it. It really is empowering to endure through it, maybe because I knew there was an end in sight. A few minutes after we got the second epidural it was time to push! GO TIME! I pushed for THREE HOURS STRAIGHT! That’s not an exaggeration. Boy am I glad that that second epidural worked! But it was all worth it when I saw that little body, that little face for the first time. I couldn’t believe that a literal, full grown BABY just came out of me! He was…he is perfect. They placed him on my chest and Kyle cut the umbilical chord. I was in a dream! I was in awe! He was finally here! Our little Olliepop! 9 pounds 7 ounces! Yeah he was big! I can’t imagine how big he would be if he came at 40 weeks or later!

Being a Mom and a family of three still feels surreal. I am forever grateful to God for entrusting us with His sweet spirit.

Love,

our little party of three

Favorite General Conference talks

It’s that glorious time again! Conference weekend! And what makes this year even more sacred is that it falls on the Saturday before and the Sunday of Easter. If you have never heard of General Conference, it is simply where the leaders of the LDS church gather for four different meetings (2 on Saturday and 2 on Sunday) and speak about building faith and testify of Christ. Saints from all over can gather in Salt Lake City, Utah to watch them speak live or watch from home as it is broadcasted live all over the world, in hundreds of different languages. These meetings only happen every 6 months! Kyle and I were sitting in a Brigham Young University marketing class yesterday and the professor mentioned that General Conference was like the “Mormon Superbowl!” I couldn’t help but laugh! It’s so true!

I love Conference weekend because it helps me to reflect on my own faith and testimony. I always feel the Spirit so strong during these weekends and come away feeling closer to my Savior and Father in Heaven. Usually before Conference I will write down a few questions, concerns, or just things that have been weighing heavy on me. I like to do this because it helps me tune in more to the answers to my questions. While I am still doing that this year, I wanted to do something more to prepare for Conference. Kyle and I have been going back through our favorite Conference addresses from past years and re-reading them. We compiled a list of what we have been reading and thought we would share them! I also should add that their are so many amazing talks that have been given, these are just the first to come to my mind.

I hope that as you read these talks that you feel of the Spirit and feel more prepared to hear the messages of General Conference!

1. Plea to My Sisters

by President Russell M. Nelson

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I love his address of the power of covenant keeping women. This one touches close to home for me because I am in fact a woman striving to keep her covenants everyday. I love the way he describes woman and their sacred role. It is so empowering and makes me want to be better and fulfill my purpose and divine destiny. I also love the way he talks about his beloved, late wife.

2. The First Great Commandment

by Elder Jeffery R Holland

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Although I don’t remember how I felt or what I was doing when this talk was being spoken, This talk changed my life as a missionary. I am surprised my companions did not get sick of me listening to this every. single. morning!! I was obsessed with it! And still am. In fact, I am pretty sure that I could quote this entire talk word for word.

I love the bluntness of it. “If you love me, keep my commandments.” I love the perspective and the context. Before listening to this, I never thought about what it must have been like to be those first Apostles. I love how it makes me reflect on my commitment to Christ and how I show him that I do love Him.

3. Grateful in Any Circumstance

by Elder Deiter F. Uchtdorf

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“Gratitude is the catalyst for all other Christ-like attributes”

This is one of my very most favorite quotes and it comes right from this talk! I am a big believer that attitude can change anything and EVERYTHING. This talk really connected the dots, for me, about just how much gratitude can change and affect your attitude. Gratitude has never had more meaning and substance to me until I was touched by this talk. Gratitude is everything! It really does bring us closer to Christ and helps us to become more like him.

4. Has the Day of Miracles Ceased

by Elder Donald L. Hallstrom

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This talk comes from the most recent General Conference. This was one of those talks that immediately caught my attention while I was watching. He talks about miracles, of course, but more about our own faith and trust in God. I think it is so easy to get caught up in seeking our own will over God’s will for us. Elder Hallstrom poses the question, “Do we have the faith NOT to be healed?” and “Where do we place our faith?” I think those are such powerful reflection question.

xoxo,

Kyle & Taylor