4th of july.


4th of July in Utah is pure, patriotic magic. Utah Valley knows how to celebrate Independence Day. Between watching Provo's iconic small town parade, eating tacos and shaved ice downtown at the fair, swimming in the hot sun at Spanish Fork pool, and getting together with the family to bar-b-q at Grandma's Gray log cabin house- you really just can't beat a Utah 4th!

Eliza wore the cutest little vintage outfit I picked out of my mom's shop, and her rosy cheeks matched perfectly. It was a HOT day, but we had a lot of fun. She started to poop out towards the end of the day, but when the sun started to set and the breeze came up through the canyon she got a second wind and was running all over the lawn again. My favorite part of the day was sitting on the porch with the family and watching the fireworks. We had a few fun, small ones to shoot off in the yard, and Eliza was not scared at all. She would lean forward on my lap with huge eyes. When we ran out, we all just sat watching the rest of the valley explode with color. It was one of the first summers in awhile where "illegal" fireworks were actually legal to purchase in Utah. Like, the big ones. Also, you're allowed to shoot them all month long. So, we had a show every night! But, on that night, it was the most perfect. Eliza started to droop in my arms, her little head sliding into my elbow. She fell asleep watching the lights, and I lay there long after the family went inside, listening to the wind blowing through the aspens and watching the fireworks bloom over the trees. 

We couldn't have asked for a more perfect holiday. I know this is late, but Happy Independence Day!


_MG_3921 _MG_3879 _MG_3859 _MG_3869 _MG_3900 _MG_3926 _MG_3912 _MG_4127 _MG_4134 _MG_4144

We had such a great visiting Utah the past few weeks. We made the trip specifically to go to Sam's brother's wedding. Adam and Kenzie had the most beautiful wedding, that was amazingly stress-free, and just perfect. It was so nice to be able to just show up and enjoy the event. I know my wedding wasn't that easy (whoops). Kenzie was gorgeous, and we couldn't be happier to welcome her into the family. With six brothers, I have always been excited to see who the sisters-in-law will be. And, Kenzie fits right in. She is always smiling, and so much fun to be around. 

During the rest of the trip we tried to see as many friends as we could, went on a few trips up to Salt Lake with the family, hiked to Stewart Falls, and ate at all of our Utah Valley favorites. Honestly, we are such Bay Area kids now- I could not handle the heat. Holy smokes, it was so hot. We would already be dragging by noon, and it made it difficult to make plans because we just weren't used to it! Eliza has never been that hot in her life. Her little cheeks were always rosy, and she would randomly flop in the grass and look at me like, "Dang, how do these people live here!?" It's ridiculous, because I grew up in hotter weather than this! I guess now I know why the real estate is so expensive in California. 

But, we still had such a good time! We beat the heat with multiple trips to the Hawaiian shaved stands. They give you these HUGE mounds of shaved ice, drowned in a couple of flavors off of their HUGE list. You can even add a scoop of ice cream to the center, or condensed milk to make it creamy. We were big fans. 

Eliza loved being with family. You have to work for her affection, but when she gives it back, it's the best. She would sit and watch the World Cup with the brothers, or stand up on a chair to watch Grandma cook dinner. She went on a lot of walks in Springville and even got to help feed some sheep. She was spoiled with treats, and would march around the living room showing off just to get a few laughs. She makes the funniest faces these days! She was totally spoiled with  treats, and always seemed to find the location of the cookie jar even after we hid it. 

It was so nice having the entire family in one place, even if just for a little bit. We miss you all!

great basin.

_MG_3850 _MG_3856 _MG_3847 _MG_3858 _MG_3845 _MG_3843

Eliza is our little adventurer. She is a little, wild thing and we love her. But, we swear, she is on a mission to destroy herself. She loves nothing more than to run and climb and give me daily heart attacks. 

We spent the night at Great Basin National Park on our way to Utah a couple of weeks ago. It is such a beautiful place. We got there after dark, so Eliza just curled up in my arms and fell asleep right away. She was so excited to wake up the next morning and start exploring. She would pick up sticks and poke them in holes. She would waddle around the picnic table collected pebbles, and stopping by every few rotations to grab some cereal from her bowl. She loved it out there.

So, we went for a hike up to the lake and Eliza sat in her pack and held leaves in her hand. When we reached the lake, we let her dip her hands in the cool water and she splashed happily. 

As you may have heard, it didn't end so peacefully. Poor girl tried to run, tripped, and hit her head on a rock while we were up by the lake. In one quick second she took a step and smacked her head. It all happened so fast.

It was seriously the most terrifying experience of my life. It was a mess, I was a mess. I have never been so scared. She hit right above her right eyebrow, a perfect gaping hole. Not to be gruesome, but it looked like she had been shot in the head. It bled for just a minute and then stopped. She screamed so loud, and then I finally grabbed her and she just clung to me all the way back down the mountain. Once we got in the car and saw the ranger, she was completely fine. They told me not to let her fall asleep during the drive, because we still had two and half more hours until we would reach a hospital. So, I played sock puppet and read her books. She just laughed and giggled, and didn't even nod off once. She was such a strong girl.

Honestly, the worst part was the stitches. They swaddled her arms, and held her down on the table with a light shining in her eyes and a needle in her head. I had to look away so I wouldn't scare her because I was crying so hard. She screamed and screamed. She got two stitches, and then they let me hold her again. She was shaking so much.

She immediately fell asleep after that, and we were given orders to wake her every two hours for the next two days to make sure that there was no delayed internal bleeding. Those were scary nights.

But, she is doing just fine. She got her stitches out a few days later and was such a good girl about not pulling at her band-aid for awhile. She didn't seem bothered by any of it. But, she now has a deep, dimple scar on her forehead. I'm only going to say it once, and then I will stop talking about it because I really don't want her to be conscious about it later: I feel really horrible that she will have that scar right in the middle of her face! But, scars fade and we all know Eliza is going to be a fiery thing.

I'm so grateful that my baby girl is ok. I know it could have been so much worse. Being a parent is so scary. I know that this will be the first bump of many. But, can we please just say that we got it over and done with!?


_MG_3622 _MG_3498 _MG_3600 _MG_3697 _MG_3575 _MG_3740 _MG_3814

Amanda was one of my first friends in Berkeley. I remember she had the best style, the friendliest smile, and the cutest, chubby, blonde Asian baby- and I was like, "I want to be HER friend!" She was the first friend to hold Eliza after she was born. She came over to my house, brought me food, made my bed, and rocked Eliza for an hour straight. She had this magic sway that could put any baby to sleep. I was exhausted and covered in milk and baby vomit, and was so grateful for a friend.

Baby Stephen and Eliza are the cutest together. Stephen is such a gentle giant compared to Eliza, and we sometimes see them sneaking a hand hold. They have been the best of friends since Eliza was born. Amanda has been the greatest friend- hanging out at the park or the beach. crafting and cooking, and throwing parties. She is such a talented, selfless, and beautiful woman!

The Stewarts just moved to Salt Lake City this week. I'm not happy about losing our friends. But, I am excited for the adventures they are headed off to. We will miss them so much. We decided that Amanda and Stephen will rekindle their relationship later in life, and we are all looking forward to the greatest long-distance friendship. See you soon, right!?

eliza's things.

_MG_3449 _MG_3452 _MG_3456

(This was posted a few weeks after I wrote it.)

I've been trying to figure out how I'm going to document little E lately. I feel like past one year, it becomes more difficult to do monthly posts. Mostly because she is growing and changing so fast, and her personality and behavior is so much more complex. I mean, a checklist of "things she can do" these days would take forever. But, I still want to make sure that I am keeping track of all of the fun and funny things this girl is up to. So, here is a first go at capturing Eliza- at one year, one month, and three weeks.

These are Eliza's things.

Many children develop an attachment to "lovies"- items that they are just in love with and want to carry everywhere with them. Usually, it's a teddy bear or a blankie or something.

Eliza has an assortment of "things." Like, the most random things you can think of. Here's a breakdown:

Figure 1.

Sam's goggles and Nixon watches,
a combination lock,
a wall hook (that hasn't been hung yet),
and the Apple TV remote.

These are all items that Eliza has developed a very strong attachment to. She found these items at some point in time, and won't let go of them. She will carry them around the house all day, take them in the car, chew on them, and then usually hide them. Not pictured: my iPod which has not-so-mysteriously disappeared. I use it for my dance classes, and so every week I have to go searching for it. I usually find it inside one of her toys, but it has been missing for the past few weeks.

One of my favorites was the combo lock. I mean, how weird is that?! She would carry it around like a little purse, and she really would not let go. It was a little dangerous because it was so thick and heavy and sometimes she might whack herself with it. So, that one had to be hidden away. 

Here's a picture of her sleeping with the orange Nixon watch. She clutches it like a teddy bear.

Figure 2.

sweater (or any article of clothing) and belt.

These are both things that Eliza loves to carry around the house and put around her head or neck. Really anything long enough (and not dangerous) she will throw around her head like a scarf and parade around the house. She is also really into sticking her arms into sleeves and any article of clothing with holes. 

shower curtain rings.

I have no idea. She found these in the drawer of the bathroom and won't give them back.


She usually has a piece of bread or cracker in her hand at all times. She doesn't actually eat it. Just carries it around and smooshes it into every dirty surface of the house or playground, and right when it is gross beyond all recognition she chooses to pop it in her mouth, if I'm not fast enough to grab it.


If she finds a pair of glasses or sunglasses, she brings it to me and insists that I wear them. It doesn't matter who's they are, or if we are inside or outside. I'm not allowed to take them off, either. 

the anti-bacterial hand soap.

So, I keep this in my diaper bag, and somehow she always breaks through all of my barriers and zippers to find it and chew on it. Once, she actually popped it open and drank a bit of it. No worries, we looked up details with poison control. She was totally fine. But, she did have vanilla bean breath all day.

Figure 3.

Baggu bag

Eliza drags these around the house all of the time- like a cape or something.


She is obsessed with our wallets. I don't let her play with them anymore because she keeps running off with the credit cards, but every once and awhile they are used as a last resort for entertainment. She pulls every card and receipt out one by one and then attempts to stuff them back in. If she even glimpses one of our wallets sitting out on a table, she erupts into one of her baby tantrums. 


Lately, she brings me shoes to put on her feet. It doesn't matter what size they are. Like Cinderella.


I once made the mistake of letting her taste a bar of some sort. These things always have so much sugar in them, so of course she's obsessed. She digs them out of my bag, hands it to me, and clasps her hands behind her back waiting to see if I'll open it. If I don't, she will find it again and try to puncture a hole with her tiny teeth. She usually succeeds.


She brings me books to read to her all day long. But, only her favorites. The less than favorite books will get shoved or thrown out of my hands if I attempt to stray from the reading list. 

As a bonus, here is a photo of Eliza wearing Sam's goggles like Kenny Fisher from Can't Hardly Wait. She wore them like this all afternoon...