Tuesday, July 31, 2012

My weekend in Pictures

This weekend was my family reunion on my mother's side. My Grandma came up from Arizona as well as my Aunts, Uncle, and Cousins. We had low key hangouts at my dad's house and played with all the cousins. It was so fun!

Ellie & Cody are so cute together lately. They are just the best of friends. 

I love my little family!



Saturday, we all went up to Park City and got ice cream on Main Street, and went on the Alpine Slides. It obviously didn't go too well by the picture below.........hahahha

But when the slide was over, Ellie said with tears running down her cheeks, "That was fun!"
She is so funny :)



Saturday night, Ryan's parents graciously took Ellie overnight so that Ry and I could stay up in Salt Lake for a night. We started out by going to the one-and-only Neil Diamond concert!  I bought tickets for Ryan for Father's Day. I love that Ry loves old school music- he was so happy to be at the concert..... we were pretty much the only ones who were standing up, rocking out the whole time! ...probably because we were the only ones who were able to stand up.....I think we were literally the only ones there under 50 years old. ;)

Here Ryan is on the verge of tears, reaching out for Neil.
bahahahah my husband makes me laugh so hard!



Sunday, we went to my neice's baby blessing. Phoebe melts my heart! I love this little girl!!
And how cute is her handmade dress by my Grandma Nona?? To die for.


Grandma Nona & Phoebe


Her favorite Auntie :)



Hope you all had a fabulous weekend!

Friday, July 27, 2012

ink.

I have wanted a tattoo for as long as I can remember. Not really sure why... I just love art and the way that tattoos can express your personality. I have always wanted a small and simple tattoo, but of course, I have never gotten one..because of my lack of decision making...and because I know that I would probably get sick of whatever I chose. Then I would get a new one to satisfy my current style, then get another one a year later because I wished I would have gotten something different, and it would be an on-going cycle until my whole body was covered. Which is the last thing that I want.
(I could never pull it off)

(sorry for the run-on sentence)

My religious beliefs play a big part in why I haven't and won't get a tattoo. because it is a permanent thing that would be on my body. May seem odd to most people, but it is a personal decision... even though it is a very hard decision for me to make. 

BUT....that doesn't mean that I can't still like tattoos, right?! :)  Finding awesome tattoos on Pinterest helps me get my ink fix.  Oh, and sometimes doodling on myself with a marker....haha




Here are some favs from My Pinterest:








Wednesday, July 25, 2012

New blog layout

I LOVE my new blog layout! Don't you?!
My friend Rylee is a mastermind with this blog stuff, and graciously accepted my request to help me spruce up my blog. She was so easy to work with and did exactly what I invisioned!....even better! She has the best style--

If you are interested in some blog cosmetic work, shoot her an email and she can give you an estimate.   rylee_robinson@hotmail.com 

and check out her cute blog HERE.

OH, and make sure to look at her FABULOUS recent wedding HERE. I'm obsessed!

Thanks Rylee!!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

potty training help!

I am dreading this whole 'potty training' thing....

Ryan bought Ellie a little potty today, along with some "Punzel" big girl undies. Ellie is stoked about the undies, (as you can see in the bottom picture....hiking them up past her belly button) but how do I even go about potty training this girl? I have read a few articles where they just dove right in and put the undies on their children, and when they had an accident, just made it seem yucky and told their kiddos that they don't want pee pee all over themselves, so they should go on the big girl potty.
 Sounds messy if you ask me.. but I am willing to try anything at this point.

I have also read articles where they have a "potty party" with a full two days of events including rewards of treats and snacks and movies if they go on the potty.

I also read about a "potty candle" that they get to blow out if they are successful.

These all seem great....but I just don't understand how to get them to tell you that they need to go potty in the first place! Lately,  Ellie will tell us right when she is going pee in her diaper....but it's always too late. 

So....with all this being said, I need all the help that I can get with this potty training stuff!
Mothers! How did you potty train your little one? Any tricks or suggestions?? I would love to hear from you ...because I would be one happy mother if I didn't have to buy diapers again :)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Live the life you love

 I have felt that I need to share some things on my blog lately. I have received a handful of emails from complete strangers, saying that my story has inspired them in their own personal lives and struggles. I feel completely humbled and thankful that my story has touched someone! I never would have thought. Since I have received those emails, I have wondered if I should share some more personal learning experiences, because sometimes when I open up, I have someone out there who appreciates me doing so.

With that being said, this post will focus on overcoming trials in your life and learning how to regain your own personal happiness. I am by no means a therapist, but I want to share with you what I have learned from my own personal experiences. So take it for what it's worth-

I know quite a few people who have been in a terrible, destructive relationship- and it breaks my heart. But what breaks my heart even more, is when they dont know how to get themselves out of that binding relationship, to discover their true potential and happiness! My dear friends, I have been in this exact spot. I was married. With a child. And the relationship was unhealthy, destructive, depressing, emotionally draining, and I was coiled up in this unhappiness for quite some time. There were many infedelities, and I just became numb to being in this kind of a relationship, and stayed in it for way too long. I felt that I couldn't get out of the relationship because we had a child together, and I kept trying to make it work. I kept trying to change him. I kept "dealing" with the way he was treating me because I wanted to hold onto that idea of things eventually working out, and we would be a perfect little family down the road.

  Us women are built this way. We dream of that fairy tale life and want that feeling of being in a relationship... Even if we have to "deal" with being hurt every once in a while.
NO! This has got to stop! And the reason why I am writing this post is because I was that person. For too long. And I know too many people who are in that same situation.
While I was going through all of that pain, I didn't realize how bad it really was. I became numb. I literally remember believing that this was just the way that marriage was and I just needed to deal with it. Crazy right? It took me a LONG time to first, realize that I deserved a little bit more than the way that I was being treated, And two, get out of the relationship. It wasn't easy. But I had to get out. I remember my old boss seeing me struggle and seeing me fade away from my usual happy self. She told me something simple, that I never forgot. She said, "you can CHOOSE your life. You can CHOOSE your happiness. Life is too short to be unhappy" and I held onto those words as it gave me the strength to go through the divorce process.
 At the time, it was hard for me to see a light at the end of the tunnel, but I had to have faith that there was happiness in store for me. Atleast more happiness than I was experiencing. Before, during, and after the divorce, I went to therapy. Therapy was the rescue ring that pulled me out of the deep dark water. I highly suggest it! I went to therapy, I traveled, I got new hobbies, I hung out with friends, I went back to school.. I did things to keep myself busy. I had to learn how to LET GO of all the pain that he had caused me. It was the most difficult process I had ever experienced. Especially with a child involved that will forever be connected to him.

Letting go of resentment is key to your happiness.
 Learning how to let go of an unhealthy relationship, realizing your self worth, and rebuilding yourself is the hardest thing to do. But it had to be done with myself. It was my only option to get my life to be how I choose it to be. Through many therapy sessions and with time, I could see that light at the end of the tunnel. That was a great feeling. I started feeling a small amount of happiness again. I started feeling a small sense of self worth again. I started doing things to better my life.  I started focusing on Changing ME rather than trying to change someone else to how I wanted them to be. I started feeling independent. I started focusing on being a better mother for Ellie and doing things for the sake of her future. Feeling these gave me my confidence back. This was a slow process. It definitely didn't happen over night. It took a lot of getting out of my comfort level, trying new things, and learning that it's okay to be on my own and not have to rely on someone else for my happiness. It's MY life and I am the one in charge.

  Once I got to the point of being independent and happy again, everything in my life seemed to fall into place. I do not think that was coincidental, but that it was because I was finally and truly ready for good things to come into my life. I had finally let go of resentment. I had finally felt good about myself. I had finally realized that I deserved to be treated like a Queen. 
 Ryan came along at the perfect time in my life. I believe that if he would have came into my life two months earlier, I would not have been emotionally ready, and things may not have worked out the way they did. He came into my life when I was emotionally stable and when I was independent,happy, and resentment-free. And because I had bettered myself and focused on myself for a while, I was finally ready to let someone into my life. I was ready to take that chance on a relationship again. And boy, was this time around veeerrrryyy different. :) 
 I believe that because I was truly happier on the outside and on the inside, I attracted the kind of man that I was meant to have. I learned how important it is to become the best person that we can be---and then our time for a good relationship will come...because we deserve it.


  I appreciate the many emails from my readers, telling me their story. I have a big place in my heart for people who have gone or are going through something similar to what I did-- Because I know how hard it can be. I know that at times you literally feel like you can't go on anymore. You feel like you're the only one going through this horrible experience.. You wonder what is wrong with yourself...You start blaming yourself for the situation... which is the exact opposite of what is reality. And that is why I chose to write about my experience. So that maybe someone, somewhere would read this and know that they are not alone. And that they can overcome their trials and find their true happiness!
Life is too short to settle for unhappiness.
  I believe that sometimes you need to experience a bad relationship to appreciate the good relationships! You need to have trials in your life, so that you can experience the feeling of overcoming that trial which will result in pure joy. But you will only experience that true joy if you are willing to let go of the negativity in your life that is weighing you down. Easier said than done, but I promise it will change your life. It did mine.

It truly is a remarkable feeling being with someone who genuinely cares for you and who will do anything for you. Who loves you unconditionally. Who goes out of their way to make sure that you feel loved. Someone who treats you with respect, who is loyal and trustworthy, and someone who will never give you a reason to not trust them.  I honestly never knew this feeling existed. And that is why I am so determined to try and make everyone I know (and don't know), realize this. To try and get people to realize that they can CHOOSE the life they want. That you can overcome anything in this life, if you are willing to become vulnerable and let go of the negativity in your life, and make those small sacrifices that will result in your potential future happiness.

I can't imagine the pain that I would be in at this point of my life if I never decided to change my life and make it the way that I want it to be. I am grateful for my trials for making me a stronger person. I am grateful for my friends and family for staying close to me during my low points. I am grateful for the atonement of Jesus Christ for giving me the comfort of knowing that I can be forgiven of my past choices. I am grateful for my sweet Ellie Mae for being my little ball of sunshine on a cloudy day. and I am eternally grateful for my husband Ryan, for helping me realize what every girl deserves.






images via my pinterest

wedding feature- Bridal Musings

Our wedding and bridals were featured on Bridal Musings!



Check out Part 1 HERE 




And part 2 HERE


And Part 3 HERE

Hair bow tutorial

How cute and easy is this tutorial?

Monday, July 16, 2012

My weekend in pictures

This last weekend was mostly spent running, sleeping, being sore, and running some more.
 My twin brother Russ, my hubby Ryan & I ran the Tour de Run. Just like the Tour de France bike race, there are different stages. The winner of the first stage got the yellow jersey. Then every stage after that, they would combine the times from the previous stage, and the overall winner would then get the jersey if they beat the person who had it after the first stage. and so on. It was a really cool concept! It was the race's first year, so we were the Tour de Run pioneers. :)

The first stage was Friday night and it was a 5K. (3.1 miles) Then the second stage was Saturday morning at 7AM and it was a 10K. (6.2 miles) Then the third and final stage was Saturday afternoon and it was supposed to be 4.8 miles....but they messed up and it ended up being 5.5 miles. UGH.

I thought initially that this race would be fairly easy(er) because you would get breaks inbetween the stages to get some energy back, and reload. But it was for sure the hardest race I have ever ran! Harder than any half marathon that I have done.  It was so challenging for me to get back into the zone after 3 hours of rest, and get myself up to running all over again. Russ and Ry were troopers and did AWESOME!!!  and Russ's wife Jana was our number 1 fan and supported us both days, and even ran the last stage with us. Love her!


Stage 1- (3.2 miles)   The dream team (we don't know what we are in for)

At the end of every race, they wrote the leaders on the board. I thought for sure that I came in sixth, but then they wrote my name on the board. Sweet!!  But I couldn't stop thinking about it all night that I thought they might have messed up....I looked at the results online later that night, and saw that the girl who should have gotten 5th place, was signed up as a "male" so she didn't show up on the females list. I went and told the race staff the next day, and they fixed it. So....I felt cool for a second, until I found out that I really came in 6th place, not 5th. Oh well!



Stage 2- (6.2 miles)    It's tooooo early in the morning for this.......


Ry was so sweet....he finished before me in all three stages, and each time he saw me coming to the finish, he would come run with me to the finish. :) love this man!


Stage 3-- (4.8 miles.....or so we thought....... try 5.5 miles.)  
We aren't sore at all!.....


So... funny story... Has anyone heard of Steve Prefontaine? He was an Olympic runner in the 1970's. aaannndddd Ryan happens to be his identical twin! HA
Most runners out there know who "Pre" is, so when Ryan wore his U.S.A. jersey to the first stage, he had TONS of people just running past him saying, "Hey Pre!" or "No one can stop Pre!" and random strangers even asked him if they could get a picture with him!!! hahaha I was dying....

He really does look just like him, don't you think???
Here are some members of his fan club :)



And another...     (love the mustache sign)

All in all, it was a good race! We were deathly sore over the weekend though.... but I gotta keep training because my half marathon will be here before I know it. Yikes!

Hope you all had a great weekend!!
I am glad to be back with my little matching gingham girl :)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Free People: Aline Weber

Aline is one of Free People's newest models. This post is random, but I saw her in an ad and thought she was beautiful! She is brazilian-- and with that ice blonde hair, her look is quite ethereal.
Don't you think she is gorgeous? and you gotta love Free People's amazing styling.





Learn more about her here and see a video here

Monday, July 9, 2012

Embracing Vulnerability

I am sure most of you have seen this, but if you haven't,
I promise it is worth your time to watch it.



Why do you pin?

Why do you pin?

I pin to express my style, my passions, my wishes, my cravings, my wants, and my dreams. I love having a collection of things that I love all in one place. Pinterest is great, isn't it?










All images via my Pinboards. Follow me here!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Let's talk about kids.

This post is strictly for ventilation purposes, as this morning just about killed me.

Kids. Let's talk about em', shall we?

They are the cutest, funniest little beings on this planet. My little cutie pie, Ellie Mae, is quite the character. And I love her to death.... but I just have one question....How in the world are children so...for lack of a better word.....bipolar?? One minute they are the sweetest, cuddly, most angelic human beings. Then the next, they are throwing tantrums, waking you up at 6 in the morning and using your lipstick as a crayon, and yanking on your hoop earrings till your ears bleed! (never wearing those again)
 Then in the midst of the screaming and kicking, they will randomly walk over to you and throw their tiny little arms around you and say in the sweetest voice ever, "I'm sorry momma"..... then all of the crazyness disappears because of that small moment of love.
How does this happen?! and is this normal? or is Ellie the only bipolar toddler out there?
And forgive me if that sounds harsh, me calling my child bipolar. But these ups and downs are killing me. I need to learn how to have more patience. I need to learn to brush things off. I need to learn that she is a TODDLER and things are going to be crazy for a little while.
 But is it true that this is just a phase? The terrible two's? Or do the ups and downs just get worse? This question is for mothers who have mastered this whole 'mommy' thing. Because I apparently haven't.

Lately I have felt like a moody mother who is always running on 5 hours of sleep.

wait.

I have been a moody mother who is always running on 5 hours of sleep. UGH.
Then I feel bad for being a crappy wife & mother... then I change my attitude and decide that I am going to take the ups and downs lightly, and be a happier person. Then everything just happens all over again. Maybe it's ME that is the bipolar one. hhmm.. maybe I should get checked for that. or maybe I should get checked for being a hypochondriac, because I always think something is wrong with me. Am I going insane? Do I sound like I am insane? I promise I am not.....

oh boy...
just breathe, Michelle.

I mentioned at the beginning of this post that I was going to vent right? I warned you, so don't be annoyed that I just wasted the last 5 minutes of your time.

My Goals for the next week:

-take a chill pill
-quit bein' so bipolar and moody
-smother Ellie with kisses and hugs even if she is making me want to pull my hair out
-love my amazingly wonderful husband with every ounce of energy that I have
-quit writing venting posts (I can't promise this one, so just bear with me)
-quit being so darn baby hungry. HELLLLOOOO I can barely handle one child!


I'll let ya know how my goals go. . let's hope for the best :)

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Fourth of July festivites

Ryan & I woke up early on the 4th and ran the Provo Freedom 10K run. What were we thinking?!
We didn't really train for it, but we survived and lived to tell the tale.

I take my running pretty serious, which is stupid..  I usually have to be strict with my training in order to do well or feel like I did well. Even if it is some dinky little run, I still always have the pressure of beating a previous time, or doing well in it. Luckily, I married a man who is laid-back, absolutely hilarious, and makes me laugh until my stomach hurts. He helps me relax when I get uptight or stressed, and I love that about him!
The race was fun, but I am glad it's over. Next weekend we are running the Tour de Run which is 3 separate races over the course of 2 days. I am glad that Ryan will be running it with me to help keep me chilled out and laughing my little heart out so I don't try and be a perfectionist.
 Oh boy, do I love this man.

This is us: post race. We aren't sweaty at all. . 

After the race, we met up with grandpa, Ellie, and my brother Russ & his wife Jana to watch the parade. Ry and I talked about how much we hate parades..... until we have a child to go to it with. Parades are a hundred times more fun with kiddies! Ellie was in love with the policeman and the firetrucks, and also the "pretty princesses".
 She was in such a good mood and gave everyone lots of loves.
So cute.



Plenty of swimming going on 'round here!

Ellie & her cousin Cody had a blast swimming and drawing on the chalkboard


swim hair cutie


aaannnnddd a random picture added to this post for no particular reason, except for the fact that I stumbled upon it:

I found an old journal entry from Junior High on the day that I started "going out" with Ryan. How fun to read back on how dramatic and immature we were :) Those were the days! ...love it.