Monday, October 31, 2011

My weekend in pictures

I hope you all had a lovely weekend!

DATE NIGHT! Ryan's friend Jesse and his fiance Sam went with us to get pedicures!
 It was the boys first time being pampered with a pedi, and they said that it was definitely worth risking their manhood for;)
                         
Although, it was a bit ticklish at times for Ryan..... hahaha
We are loving the weather right now! Not too cold, not too hot. Perfect for some Ryan & Ellie time on the trampoline :)
                                                             wwweeeeeeeeeee!

Ellie spent her actual birthday night with her dad, so last night we had cake & ice cream with the fam at our house. Ellie got lots of cute stuff from her Aunts and Uncles!

We lit two lanterns for Ellie's 2nd birthday and let them go in the sky. She loved them, but was sad when she realized they weren't coming back. ha

                                                                      Getting ready for Halloween!

I was a complete flake of a mom when it came to Halloween this year.... between school and work, I just totally spaced a costume for Ellie. whoopsies! So, an hour before her halloween program at daycare, I pulled together a little cat/tiger/whatever-it-is costume for Ellie. It works, right? I am definitely going to redeem myself next year.... pinky promise. But I still think she looks adorable. :)

Then for trick or treating, we made last minute super hero costumes. Most people didn't know what we were, but oh well. ha trick or treating with Ellie was seriously the BEST this year! She was totally into it. Isn't Ellie the cutest lil super hero you've ever seen?!

Hope you all had a safe and fun Halloween!

Friday, October 28, 2011

gratitude

I have been posting a lot of pictures lately and not so much writing. I am going to try my best to not overload you with cheesy happiness, but I may or may not be able to resist. :)
I have had an overwhelming feeling of joy in my life lately, and I wanted to share a few thoughts with you!

I have been through ups and downs, trials and triumphs, and made more mistakes in my 23 years of life that I can even count.. but I am grateful for them. Every single one of them. I can't tell you enough how much I believe in the saying, "Everything happens for a reason". I now know that I definitely would not be where I am right now if I hadn't had gone through what I have. In the past few months, I have been surrounding myself with positive people and I have been making healthy choices, and taking care of my body--and the difference it has been making in my life is night and day! It feels SO good to be able to love myself again and realize how I want to live my life and how I deserve to be treated. I don't mean that in an arrogant way, I just have realized that everyone deserves to be happy and to be treated like royalty. I look back on the last 5 years of my life and see a lot of wasted time and mistakes and negative influences, and it makes me sad to think that it took me so long to realize what truly makes me happy. But that's ok! Because that is what life is about.  I think a lot of the time, people try and impress others and change themselves to make others happy, or even to try and make yourself happier. I was very much this person for wwaayyy too long.

I was lucky enough to have found someone who brought me back to reality, who knew me before I lost myself, and who helped me realize my inner beauty. I don't know how I got so lucky, and I will forever be grateful for him! But along with help from him, I was determined to change my outlook on life on my own and change my inner thinking that has been engraved in my head for so long. I think the first step that I took came from something that my old boss said to me and it has stuck with me. She said, "Life is what you make it" and she explained that life is to be enjoyed not endured. At one point in my life, I took a step back and realized that I was living life only to endure it, and just trying to get through each day. That just makes me sick to think about! Life is for us to grow and learn, but most importantly to be happy and love ourselves and others, and to ENJOY every moment!  Once I realized this, I started to make a change. It was not easy for me. I gave up a lot of my old habits and ridded my life of negative things/people who were bringing me down. Life should be filled with positive people who lift you up and bring out the best in you and who love you unconditionally. And life is about making choices that better you as a person.

Another thing that I needed to learn was to love myself. Because of trials in my past, I didn't have self confidence or felt any self worth. I went to therapy after therapy, and it helped. But the thing that helped me the most, has been surrounding myself with genuine people who want the best for me and who treat me with respect and love. Then I automatically saw that it is possible to be treated like a queen and that no one should have to settle with being treated any other way. I even got discouraged at times because I felt that since I had made so many mistakes, I didn't really deserve to be treated the best. That is TOTALLY false, people!! Everyone makes mistakes and that is what life is all about is learning from them and becoming better people from those mistakes. That is why it is so important to surround yourself with people who love you unconditionally. Those people will stand by your side no matter what and help your through any trial that you may have. I am truly grateful for those people in my life.

I want to share with you an article that someone sent to me. I absolutely loved it.

1. I followed my heart and intuition
2. I said what I needed to say
3. I did what I needed to do
4. I made a difference
5. I know what true love is
6. I am happy and grateful
7. I am proud of myself
8. I became the best version of myself
9. I forgave those who hurt me
10. I have no regrets

Read it HERE

I LOVED this article! It talks about taking action, and being productive, being true to yourself, and how gratitude=happiness.

My favorite part was in #5, and I just want to quote a part of it.

"Finding a companion or a friend isn’t about trying to transform yourself into the perfect image of what you think they want.  It’s about being exactly who you are and then finding someone who appreciates that. Love is beautiful and unpredictable. The best thing you can do is to start to become the most outstanding person possible. The universe will know when you are ready, and when you are, true love will happen, unexpectedly."

I highly recommend everyone reading this article! I know that I still have a long ways to go to be able to say all of these about myself, but I don't expect myself to be able to yet. That's what life is about:) All I know is that I am on the path to be able to be the best version of myself, and to be able to live my life the way I want to live it.
I am so blessed to have Ryan in my life right now, someone who I look up to and who makes me want to be that better version of myself. He is trustworthy, positive, smart, funny, respectful, non-judgemental, and most of all-- he loves me for me! He knows all of my past, and I can be myself around him and he will always love me.  I feel truly blessed to have him in my life.
I am grateful to have such an amazing family and amazing friends. I am grateful for meditation and being able to take time to relax and think about all of my blessings. I am grateful for the power of positive thinking. I am grateful for Ellie and for her warm hugs. I am grateful for my father for his example and for the way he treated my mother. I am grateful for the examples of my older brothers. And most importantly, I am grateful for the opportunity to feel clean and happy again. Everyone can feel happiness. It is just up to you! :)

P.S. This lovely surprise left on my desk may or may not have helped me with my positive attitude today;)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Happy 2nd Birthday, Ellie!

Today is my little munchkin's 2nd birthday! I can't believe it. Ellie is growing up so fast and is talking more and more every day. I love her with all of my heart and am so blessed to be the mommy of this angel!

A couple of weeks ago, Alix took pics for mine and Ellie's birthdays. Ellie had a rough night and was NOT down for taking pictures. (of course) ha but we still got some good ones. Alix did an amazing job!

Pics by: Alixann Loosle
Cake made by: Annie Biegler
Cake topper made by: yours truly















See more HERE

Birthday videos

Ellie busting a move the night before her birthday. I'm telling you...i'm in for it with this girl! ;)



The night before her birthday, I let Ellie sleep in my bed. In the middle of the night, I put a bunch of balloons in her room to surprise her when she woke up!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Meet Mila.

My friend Whitney had her baby girl! I was so so excited to finally meet her and hold her. Mila is the most perfect baby i've ever seen.. the cutest crinkly ears, pouty lips, and dark skin. Holding her may or may not have made me slightly baby hungry. .

Monday, October 24, 2011

My week and weekend in pictures- Mexican style

  I was invited by Ryan's lovely family to go to Mexico with them! It was ten days of absolute bliss. Sitting on the beach all day, playing sand volleyball, shell hunting, writing in the sand, eating fish tacos for every meal, getting a tan, and being with some of my most favorite people. What could be better than that??

                                                              Where I slept. Tough life, eh?

We went to a church session and it happened to be the primary program! The little kids singing in spanish were so cute. oh and p.s. please forgive me for posting such cheesy pictures. I can't help but show how happy I am in my life right now! :)

                                          Sipping Pina Coladas on the beach is a MUST!



                                                            I love the Copes! + Melissa and Kylee


                                                                I love my Bella boo!


                                      Early morning yoga as the sun was rising....was AMAZING!


                                               But Ryan and I can hardly ever be serious..... ;)

                                                             As you can tell....

      Isn't this picture amazing? Probably because Ryan is really really rediculously good looking.


                                                         I'm so happy :)




                                                                  We love Kev!


I went flying!


I know this may embarrass Ryan, but I have to share it. Every morning, we all woke up early and watched the sun rise over the ocean. On one of the first mornings, Ryan's mom said that she loved the Beatles song, " Here comes the Sun". Well of course by the end of the week, Ryan had taught himself how to play that song on the guitar and sang it for her on the last sunrise while we were there. How cute is that?! It may or may not have brought her to tears:)

                                                          The sun rise was UNREAL!
Ever seen Tangled? We lit some lanterns and let them go over the ocean. It was sweeeet.

and what would a blog post be without a little update of my favorite two year old?!

Funny Story: So while I was in Mexico,  I get a text from one of Ellie's daycare teachers and she sent me this picture, along with the words "This is what Ellie showed up in while you were gone. We could definitely tell that Mom was out of town, because of the way she was dressed!" BAHAHA I just about DIED with I got that picture. The culprit was either Ellie's dad or grandpa. . I think it's safe to say that Ellie should stick to being dressed by her momma;)

And Ellie got some good zoo time in with Uncle Brad and Aunt Gina! She still can't stop saying their names. SO cute. I missed this little bug! It feels so good to be home.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

birthday festivites

                                I had the best birthday!  My day started out cuddling with Ellie, then being surprised by Ryan serving me breakfast in bed! French toast with coconut syrup and reese's puffs for Ellie. ha He also got me a private yoga session at 3B yoga .. I've always wanted one!
                                                                   Isn't he amazing?


                     Then I played hooky and missed class to treat myself to a pedicure, naturally :)

 Last night, Ryan took me to Sapa in Salt Lake, and it was so so yummy!
One of my new favs for sushi.




The night ended with a movie at his cottage with a new blanket, cozy new pjs, and a serenade of one of my favorite songs. I can't think of a better birthday than to spend it with my favorite person!

And to top it all off...I leave for Mexico tomorrow! See you all in 10 days, suckas! 

Monday, October 10, 2011

My Weekend in pictures

This weekend was filled with fun birthday festivities! On Friday night, I went to dinner with some of my best girlfriends, but unfortunately I didn't get any pics! That means it was a good night, right?? ;)

Then on Saturday night, the whole family + our two friends from Germany all went out to eat at the Sundance Foundry Grill. It was so yummy! (and it was nice to be able to sit and have a nice dinner without the kiddos;)
It was my brother Brad's birthday on Saturday, then it's mine and Russell's birthday on Wednesday, and Ellie belly's birthday on the 26th. October = birthday month for the Duncans!





                                                                         My bestie :)


And last night, Ellie & I had a fun birthday photo shoot with this amazing photograher.
Can't wait to share them with you!