Friday, December 30, 2016

Why everyone needs to stop hating on 2016

I told my husband I was writing this post as he was putting on his socks. One of the socks had a hole in it and he said, "This is a moment of despair and anguish... 2016 SUCKS!" This was all in good fun of course, but people are legitimately drawing similar conclusions. 

I know, I know... A lot of great people passed away. Maybe the presidential election didn't go your way. But COME ON, PEOPLE?! Was there really more bad than good? Even if the bad overshadowed, is that what we should focus on?


Am I right?? Good things happened! They did. Look around you. And if you honestly don't see anything, BE the good. DO SOMETHING. And I don't mean protest riot in the streets.... Portland, anyone?

Bad things are inevitably going to happen, but we can choose how to respond. 
We were not sent to earth to be grumps. 

Obviously, it's okay to cry, be sad, and grieve. Trials are a part of this life and sometimes they bring us down. All I'm saying here is I think it's a little dramatic, and also a bit unfair to the rest of 2016, to call it all bad.

Anyway, 2016 was a great year for us. We had a (ridiculously adorable, bias much?) baby, and it was arguably the best day of our married lives. We moved to Utah and Austin started new work. My brothers got married to FABULOUS women. We ended it all spending time with both of our families.

Bring on the new year! May it bring even more good times than the last!

And now here is a photo dump of the past few weeks with our family - including Russell FAMILY PICTURES!! (Thanks Danielle Cluff!)

Christmas Morning!

V was very interested in the paper, of course.


 V loved spending time with G&G Russell

So much yummy cooking and food!

 Meeting Uncle Chadd for the first time!

 Stockings at G&G Cornilles'

Cornilles Christmas card photo

Now for the Russell family photos!

Merry Christmas
& Happy New Year,

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Struggles & Goodness

I use this space kind of as a journal, but because it's also broadcasted to world I don't always openly share my struggles. I should though. Struggle is a natural, even necessary part of life. 

Recently, Austin has been working late. I haven't been exercising or eating as well. V hasn't been sleeping as well. I haven't been getting out of the house as much. I haven't done a great job of studying my scriptures. (Wow, I sound like a hot mess....) To top it off, we had Vienna's 4 month appointment yesterday. She got her shots, which are always a traumatic experience. And she's now dropped to the 5th percentile for weight. *Cue crying face.* I swear we are feeding her!! She's just such a tiny thing. I guess all of these things combined has made me a little more on edge and grouchy. And I hate being grouchy! It's no fun for me or anyone around me. 

Soooo, what can I do to fix this? 

First off, Vienna is taking a nap going on 2.5 hours.... THANK YOU, CHILD!!!! That's helping. But really, I often am reminded that we can't always change what's happening around us, but we can choose how we want to respond. I can choose to be happy and positive! I can choose to focus on all of the blessings and good things in my life - which are abundant. So that's what I want to do right now!

I love my little family.

I am so thankful for a husband who works hard to provide for us so I can stay home with our baby girl.

I love this time of year! 

I love my Savior, Jesus Christ, who brings light and hope everyday despite any trouble. #LightTheWorld

I can't wait for my family to arrive on Friday, and to spend a whole week with them!

I enjoy my calling as a primary teacher in our church. Teaching the kids every week is truly a blessing.

I'm loving the baked goods these days.

Even though it's freezing temperatures outside, I love cozying up inside with my husband and an episode of our favorite show.

Thankful for great friends who make us laugh!

Aw, so much good to focus on. Its amazing how focusing on the good in a short post like this can turn your whole attitude around!! I can honestly say I feel better already. Let's hope I can carry this through when V wakes up and the struggles start again ;) 

Focus on the good, people! It's what Jesus did, and he is the ultimate example. He is the ultimate example of light, love, hope, and happiness. I'm not sure if this random, babbling post will even make a difference to anyone, but it did for me. Yay journaling!

Merry Christmas, everyone! 


Sunday, December 4, 2016

4 Months

You are slowly but surely growing out of 0-3 month clothes, and graduated to size 1 diapers over Thanksgiving. You had your first real laugh, not just a chuckle, and it was at DADDY! You love all things light, color, & sound. You love your feet. You like to pull them up to your mouth and suck on them. You are generally still sleeping through the night, with the occasional "newborn" night. Just to keep us on our toes haha. You love mama, and I'm not mad about it. You are putting everything in your mouth. You are drooling at all waking hours. You are so happy, squirmy and squealy. And we love you so, so much!!

I'm realizing with every stage of baby and motherhood, new challenges arise. I'm making it a goal to fully enjoy every stage. Struggling with not being able to get outside in this winter cold. The one car situation is a bummer! Struggling to exercise... ugh! I need to get back on track!!  Overall though, happy and grateful for my little family and life :)


Monday, November 28, 2016


We just got home from a very fun filled week. We road tripped to Oregon/Washington for Thanksgiving, to see my family, go to the beach house, and attend Marci's wedding. I am always so filled with with love and gratitude after weeks like this one. Here's why...

We drove 13 hours in the car both ways with four adults and a baby. Vienna was a CHAMP and slept at least half of the drive. We didn't have any car trouble or accidents. We didn't get any tickets. The weather cooperated. It was excellent.

We got to see my family and it was so lovely. I know I say this a lot, but the older I get the more I realize how dang lucky I am to have been born into my family. There weren't enough beds, in the new house my parents moved into, with all of us home so my parents literally gave us their bed and master suite for the weekend. How lucky are we?? Very. We brought our camera but I ALWAYS forget to take pictures. It's so, so fun to see my parents be grandparents, and my siblings and their spouses be aunts & uncles. Everyone ADORES V and I wouldn't have it any other way. 

We went to the beach house just outside of Lincoln City, Oregon. It's always a relaxing time at the coast. I've always had an appreciation for water. I could watch the waves of the ocean all day long. It's fun to watch V experience the things we love. 

Finally, we got to attend Marci's - one of my very oldest and dearest friends- wedding. I was in tears within seconds of seeing her and witnessing the sealing. Marci and I have known each other since we were little girls and we were literally inseparable all through high school and college. Almost every good memory in those years has her in it. She is one of the most kind and caring people I know. I was and am still so lucky have her in my life. It made me so very happy to see her find someone that she can spend forever with. 

Very happy and blessed these days.

Side note: It snowed when we got home. Vienna's first snow! 

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Happy Birthday, Ma

I have the greatest mom. I know everyone says that but seriously... she is the BEST. I deeply feel for people who have lost their mothers, or didn't grow up with one as dedicated as mine. The older I get the more and more I appreciate her, but this year is different. This year I am a mother myself. 

The second Vienna needs something, I drop whatever it was that I was doing and put her needs before my own - cleaning, food, sleep, you name it. I don't think I fully understood how much my life was going to change before V got here. People try to tell you but it just doesn't click until they get here. My whole world revolves around her now. My schedule changes everyday to meet her needs. As it should. I often wonder if I am measuring up to this great responsibility that has been placed on my shoulders. Sometimes I cringe a little when I think how the Lord trusts us, as imperfect beings, to care for these helpless precious babies... but then I think of my mother.

My mom did this four different times with my family. At one point she had four kids, ages six and under. Now that I'm a grown adult, it's becoming more clear what my mom sacrificed for us. I appreciate, now more than ever, everything she has done for me. I don't know how much I've actually expressed it though. I figure there is no better day than today.

So, thank you Mom.

Thank you for life, literally (I know how much of a doozy that one is... haha.) Thank you for putting up with me as a toddler. Thank you for choosing to make me a priority. Thank you for never giving up on me. Thank you for forgiving me. Thank you for teaching me the value of work and education. Thank you for raising me to respect others. Thank you for teaching me about the love of my Savior. Thank you for making countless meals for me. Thank you for making me clean my room. Thank you for encouraging me in sports and activities. Thank you for loving me unconditionally. Thank you for disciplining me. Thank you for making our house a home. Thank you for doing your part in providing for our family, and marrying a man who did the same. Thank you for teaching me how to be strong. Thank you for being selfless. Thank you for being an example of a good citizen. Thank you for helping me figure out how to raise a daughter. Thank you for being my mother. 

Today is a celebration of you and you deserve it. I am beyond grateful to have you as my Mom. I don't tell you that enough. I love you.

Happy Birthday :)

(I made the font extra big for you... hehe)

Friday, November 4, 2016

3 Months

3 Months?? I can't believe it.... You are growing so quickly. You never want to sit still! (As you can see from the pictures.) You are becoming quite the social butterfly. You love to smile your little crooked smile, and talk to people. Minus the last two nights... you are still sleeping through the night! You are wearing 0-3 month clothes and newborn diapers, but probably not for long. Lately you have been giving me the biggest smile when I get you in the morning. Your legs are getting stronger and you're standing like a champ - with help from mom and dad of course. You are rubbing out that thick, dark hair on the back of your head. I know it will grow back but I want it to stay! You don't love your car seat so much these days. You do love when we sing and dance for you. It's hilarious and adorable. You are developing this bright, fun personality and we can't get enough.

I'm feeling comfortable about taking you almost anywhere now. I've been taking you running with me outside. I'll miss that now that the weather is getting colder. I'm still so hungry... nursing is the real deal. I'm still carrying around a few extra pounds but I'm okay with it because, well... winter. I'm alarmed at the amount of hair I lose in the shower these days! With all of the craziness in this world, I am making a conscious effort to focus on the good. I am genuinely so completely happy with my life and little family.


One more! From Halloween... that SMILE!