Friday, December 30, 2016

The Year That Kicked My Ass

This year was tough. And I don't mean tough like "I had a few rough days", I mean tough like I cried majority of the year and I wish I was even halfway kidding when I say that.

I've been writing this post in my head for about a month or so. I wasn't sure how much I wanted to say or what I wanted to share. (Trying to be respectful for all parties involved) I've always been vulnerable on here, that's no secret....but something about actually writing things out is so scary. It is so so so scary.


We started out our year by celebrating two years of marriage. Now coming up on three years, it's crazy to see how quickly these years have gone. I know it's only three years, but woah! What a wild ride. We went on our first cruise and we spent a weekend in San Francisco. Great, GREAT memories from both of those trips!


Our sweet little girl turned six this year. One SASSY six year old she became this year.

We went camping, we fixed up our house, and we created wedding films. We did a lot of fun things. The year wasn't ALL bad, but...the title of this is The Year That Kicked My Ass....so let's get onto that part....it's therapeutic for me. Disclaimer: I understand not everyone approves of talking about issues in your life openly on the internet. You do you and I'll do me. This works for me.


I try my hardest not to dwell on the past or things that don't make me happy, and TRUST ME, it is something I am working on. My husband will laugh at that sentence because of how much I DO dwell on things, but it's one of my character flaws I hate most about myself. I am working on it. Just love me. It's what I need most right now.

In August we found out we were pregnant. After almost two and a half years of trying, praying, and crying for a baby, we finally got our turn. This came right after going through the toughest few months in our marriage. Parts of our marriage I honestly didn't know how to handle. I was over the moon about our pregnancy, but I couldn't help but wonder "why?" What was God's plan here? I honestly thought we were being Punk'd. Ashton?! Where are you? I told myself that God was telling us that our marriage was worth it. This was worth fighting for. This was his sign for us. But in October, when we miscarried, I again wondered what the plan was. Why me? Why us? It was so hard to wrap my head around. And honestly? It still is. It's still hard. I know healing takes time, but when is it enough time? Will I ever fully "be over it"? Not that I ever need to be over the pain of losing a baby, but some days I don't feel validated for my feelings. I am not sure who I think I need to answer to, but most days I feel like it is someone other than myself...

This year was a lot of self reflection. It was a lot of learning. It was a lot of growing.
It was a lot of crying and screaming and fighting and saying "I'm sorry" and taking a step back to see who I was becoming. It was hard. Admitting things like this is hard.
I think one of the hardest things for me to admit is when I have downfalls. But those are what make us human, right? If we never admit these things, do we ever give ourselves the chance to grow from them?

No. The answer is no.

This year was a year of growing. Growing as a couple, growing as a family, and growing as a person. Sometimes not in the direction I had hoped for, and that's okay. I need to take time and realize that not everything is going to be perfect. Life isn't picture perfect. There are mistakes to be had, there are lessons to be learned.

One thing I know though? Through all of this....I really got the better end of the deal. I geta loving husband. A husband who chooses me and a husband who chooses our marriage. A husband who loves me on my hardest days and laughs with me on the good days. A husband who doesn't always see eye to eye with me, but challenges me to see things a different way while trying to understand where I'm coming from in the same breath.

Guys, this year kicked my ass. Emotionally, physically, mentally....everything. It wasn't a year I was proud of. It wasn't a year I did anything amazing. It wasn't a year that I accomplished anything cool. It was, however, a year that taught me a lot, and that is worth celebrating.

2017 will be our year. It will be MY year. I have 5302920 ideas for blog posts, YouTube videos, EBooks (WHAT?!) Just roll with it....


I hope 2017 is amazing for all of you. I truly, truly mean that. I hope this next year challenges you, changes you for the better, and brings you lots of happiness and joy. As always, thank you for taking time out of your day to read my ramblings. Most of this blog doesn't make sense, but for some reason I keep writing...I appreciate those of you who keep reading.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Why We Love Elf On The Shelf

Elf On The Shelf sure has gotten a lot of hate the past few years. And I have one thing to say…guys, quit being bullies! Also, if you are a child reading this I am A) concerned that your parents don't monitor your internet usage better and they allow you to read my blog and B) don't continue reading. I may ruin Christmas for you.

We are one of those families that participate in the ever so controversially Elf On The Shelf. And guess what? WE LOVE IT!

I am going to give you just a few of the reasons why we continue to do Elf On The Shelf in our home!

1. Although they may be creepy, they ARE kind of cute. It took me about a year of moving the elf around to not be afraid of it any more, and now we are on good terms…

2. My kid really is a better kid because she thinks Santa is watching. And guess what? I'm okay with that. It's called THE MAGIC OF CHRISTMAS. Don't be so cold hearted.

3. Yes, sometimes our elf brings "surprises", and it completely makes her day. She jumps with joy if she knows she's been a good girl and Santa sent a gift with Snowflake just for her! I mean really, how special is that for a kid?!

4. Straight up TRADITION. I love traditions. Like really really love them. Ever since baby girl was old enough to enjoy Christmas, we have done Elf On The Shelf. I want to keep that going until she's 37.

5. Our elf is EXTRA SPECIAL and likes to make "surprise appearances" during the "off season". She is just making sure we are being good ALL YEAR ROUND and reporting back to Santa. AKA…our hiding spots suck and sometimes small children find them. We're human. And honestly, that's hilarious. So I had to share.

I know we can't be the only family who loves Elf On The Shelf! Who else loves it?!
Thank you for reading and I hope everyone has a great week!

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Behind The Scenes | Steven & Mikenzie Mexico Beach Wedding

As many of you know M and I have ventured in the cinematography world for the past year or so. We absolutely love it and I love the direction this business is going. If you haven't checked it out, HERE is our website and HERE is our Facebook page. Now that we've addressed that, this post might not seem SO out of the blue for some people. ;) 

Over the weekend of November 5th we traveled down to Rocky Point, Mexico to shoot our highest paying gig yet. Kidding, kidding. It was for my brother and sister in-laws wedding. Haha. They didn't ask us to do this, but we wanted to try and put together something special for them. I loved the challenge of being apart of the wedding but also thinking in terms of cinematic shots. 

It was fun to be getting ready together and knowing in my mind I was looking for video quality shots. Every time I would see something I would run and grab the camera and get what I could. M set up GoPros on the beach which captured the ceremony perfectly. For being as "low-key" as we were, I am amazed at how great things turned out. But really, how bad can things turn out with the beach as your backdrop and a beautiful couple?!

After the ceremony we tagged along with the photographer to capture a few shots on the beach and I absolutely LOVE the way they turned out. Guys. If you're ever getting married on a beach, please call us! I loved loved loved shooting this! (Or if you're getting married anywhere, call us, we do not discriminate.) M threw the drone up in the air and got some awesome shots of the jaw-dropping venue. 
Big homes + beach + wedding = what Pinterest dreams are made of. 

I love doing this business with my husband. Like really really love it. I think we make an amazing team and I love being by his side for this. We are so excited to share this video and truly LOVE the way it turned out! Congratulations, Steven and Mikenzie. We love you guys so so much! 

(Blogger only gives me the option to embed from YouTube, not Vimeo, so here is the link here https://vimeo.com/192410677)




Monday, December 5, 2016

A Pampered Chef Gift Guide | Top 5 Items

*I am an Independent Consultant with Pampered Chef and anything purchased from these links will go towards my sales*

There is no denying the fact that I love Pampered Chef. I think in every recipe I do, or anything I make in the kitchen, I use AT LEAST one Pampered Chef product in the process. When I think of classic kitchen tools, I think Pampered Chef. 

I've put together my top five items for this holiday season for you and I am so excited to share them! These make great gifts for seriously ANYONE. I could go on and on about PC, but let's just get into the good stuff…

If you've never heard me talk about the stoneware or the pizza stone….you probably haven't been around too long. ;) Kidding, but really….I love love LOVE my pizza stone. We do just about anything on the pizza stone including…you guessed it…PIZZA! Haha. Kidding, again. We do however do cheese crisps on it and they are out of this world. Try it sometime. Thank me later. 


Next is something I actually don't own, however I think it would be perfect for the holidays, birthdays, Tuesday nights when you need a pick me up….
A. WHIPPED. CREAM. MAKER. Hello this is all my dreams coming true in one product. Homemade whipped cream is seriously the BEST and this tool makes it beyond easy. Once again, you can thank me later when you purchase this and it's the greatest thing since this blog…or sliced bread…whatever saying you like to use. 

Link to Whipped Cream Maker:


This Wood & Slate Cheese Serving set is my favorite. This needs no explanation. It is literally perfection and I imagine a lot of Pinterest worthy pictures coming from this here set up. 

Link to Ash Wood & Slate Cheese Serving Set: 


Everyone has kids they are buying for. No one knows what to get kids these days because they all have everything they need, plus some, and have too many toys already for their own good and enough clothes to last them until they are 17 and Barbies like you couldn't even imagine…..but hey, I know nothing about that! REGARDLESS! This Kids Cookie Set is totes adorbs and I can't wait to get in the kitchen with my mini to use these! 

Link to Kids' Cookie Set:



And I just had to throw this last one in here because…well…it's the holidays….the wine will be a'flowin'….and who doesn't need markers for their wine glasses?! And at less than $10.00, you need these. I promise. 
You really really need these. 

Link to Wine Glass Markers:


You really can not go wrong with Pampered Chef, guys. I had so much fun making this post and finding a few products that I think would be GREAT for the Christmas season. Of course Pampered Chef has a gazillion amazing products. If you want to check them all out, I will leave me link below! If you have any questions about products, Pampered Chef in general, or just want to chat, head over to my Facebook or Instagram pages! Have the best week, everyone! 

My Pampered Chef Link: 

Monday, November 14, 2016

Too Much Physical Activity! | A Weekend Recap

Phew! What a weekend. A weekend I DESPERATELY needed!

I feel so lucky to be married to the guy I am and so blessed to be able to have weekends like this. It doesn't happen often, but sometimes we just need to do fun things and spend some quality time with each other! 

We drove down to the "big city" (*cough phoenix cough*) on Thursday night. What was the first thing we did? Put our child down for bed and ordered take-out sushi. HOLLLERRR!!!!! Guys. I'm obsessed with sushi. It's bad. I could eat it every day. Anyone want to go on a sushi date sometime?!

Friday morning I dropped baby girl off with some family for the weekend and went to see an old high school friend. Also, I tried Thrive for the first time. I will do a separate post on it BUT HAS ANYONE TRIED IT?! Holy. Crap! Friday in the afternoon my sweet sister Michelle set up a massage for us! Much needed. Much MUCH needed. I also missed my turn getting to the place and saw a pedestrian get hit by a car. 
But nonetheless, I made it to the massage! It was glorious.

Friday night we went to a quick housewarming party (and by quick I mean we were there for like 10 mins. Sorry!) and headed to dinner with my sister in-law! We had a fun night of bowling where I DOMINATED in the scavenger hunt and won 6 free games of bowling. No idea why I think that's necessary. But it was. And I did it!


Saturday morning we did breakfast at TC Eggingtons. Y'all…I'll be honest….I am not a breakfast person. It just doesn't tickle my fancy. But I still had a yummy parfait and how cool is this coffee bar outside the restaurant?! The cutest.




After breakfast we headed to Top Golf for the first time. Not sure what I was thinking seeing as we went bowling the night before and I am the least active person EVER. Guys….i'm really sore today. Like….embarrassingly sore! But let's be honest…Top Golf was AMAZING! Have you ever been?! Such a fun time!


Saturday night we did "fancy date" at the same place M took me for our first "fancy date". The view at The Compass Room is always wonderful and the food/drinks are devine! We had a creme brûlée trio that I stupidly did not photograph that was out of this world!





Sunday we did a Costco run. (Do all adults love this or just us?!) and went to the mall. We don't have one of those where we live so that's a real treat for me!

This weekend was a good one. It was relaxing, yet exciting. It was exactly what my heart needed. Alone time with the hubs. Good food, good friends, good times. I hope everyone has a great and fabulous week! XOXO!

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Ramblings On Miscarriage

Tomorrow will be one week since we miscarried. I say "we" because my goodness my sweet sweet husband was a huge part of that day for me. Without him there with me, I don't know how I would have handled things. I am going to be making a video on YouTube talking about my miscarriage experience, and once I do I will link it here. 




This has been by far the longest week of my life. I feel like life is going by so slow, yet way too fast. It's like I don't want the days to be passing because it hurts my heart that we are going on without our sweet baby. I know this is naive, but I truly thought I would just "bounce back" from this the next day. Boy was I wrong. I wish I had known how rough this would have been on my body. I'm exhausted beyond all measure 90% of the day, I feel moody and emotional 100% of the day, and my body hurts. It hurts so so bad. I don't know how I ever went through labor once before when I couldn't even handle this at 11 weeks along. I think the greatest pain comes from knowing I was leaving the hospital with nothing. Nothing but a broken heart and cramps that I thought would kill me. 

I think one of the hardest things for me is the dreams that have come since this. I've heard of crazy dreams during pregnancy, but my goodness the dreams after miscarriage have been so vivid. So vivid to the point of tears. Dreams of nursing a baby, dreams of being in labor, dreams of holding our precious baby. It's so hard. My heart hurts so greatly and I am still trying to find ways to cope with this. I am trying to be okay with the situation at hand and know that there is a plan for everything. But dang it, it is hard. I wonder how people who do not have a faith in God handle things. I am so comforted to know He has a plan for our life. I would hate to come out of this and just think there was no reason for everything happening. 

Nothing will show you who your true friends are quite like something along these lines. People I barely ever talk to have reached out to me and friends I thought I was closet to haven't even bothered to check in on us. Funny how that works, huh? I can not thank everyone who has reached out enough for the outpour of love during this. You guys are the best and we are so thankful for this tribe of people around us. 

I still have yet to have caffeine or a glass of wine out of guilt. Is that normal? I know some caffeine while pregnant is fine but I chose not to have any and now that I'm not pregnant….I just feel guilty. I feel like I shouldn't be allowed to have any of the things I was not supposed to be having while pregnant. 

I felt like I was pregnant for the longest time, yet no time at all. I was 11 weeks pregnant when we miscarried. We were talking that weekend about how close we were to being out of the first trimester! We had already started stock piling diapers. I already had outfits bought. We talked about if it was going to be a boy or a girl and we had names picked out. Those 11 weeks were some of the best weeks of my life, truly…and I think thats why this hurts so bad. After so long of trying, finally getting our miracle, and then having it gone all too quick.

I know we will get our baby some day. But for the time being, these are just a few of my thoughts within the first week of miscarriage. I know this is going to be a process. A process of grieving, figuring life out, and seeing where God takes our life next. This post is all over the place, but I needed to write these things down. It isn't easy for me, but I know we are on our way. 


Saturday, August 27, 2016

There Was No Us Before You

I've seen a lot of articles circling the internet talking about how "we were US before we had you"…basically, it's the idea that before we had kids, we were dating and had alone time and well…didn't have kids. Pretty dreamy, right?! The articles talk about how important is it to still date because "before we had you, we had us".

I love the idea and concept of this. However, sometimes…for some people…there is so "us" before "you". Sometimes, love happens when there are already children involved.

This post is for those people.

This is for the single parents who had to learn how to date while also being a parent. This is for the person who decided to date someone with a child, knowing what you were signing up for. This is for the people who made their relationship work, despite not always having "alone" time. This is for the people who "pre marriage dating" involved kids. This is for the people who got "alone time" after an 8pm bedtime.

I think it is important for ALL married couples to date. Please don't get me wrong on that. Dating your spouse is just one of those things I strongly believe in. However, for those people who never had "us" before "you", I feel it's even MORE important.
It's important to find yourself as a couple. It's important to find your role as husband or as wife AND as mom and as dad.

I've also read articles about being a "wife" before you were a "mom", but sometimes that isn't always the case. Sometimes motherhood comes first. I'm here to tell you…that's okay. I know I'm not the first person to say that, but I know for me personally, sometimes I read articles like the ones mentioned above and I think…none of this pertains to me. I was a mom before I was married. We were a family from day one. It's okay to not have "us" before "you" and now more than ever, it's important to DATE YOUR SPOUSE! Cook dinner together, have a game night, find a new hobby together….

Guys, I really don't even know if this post makes sense….but it's been on my heart and it's something I wanted to share.