Growing up my family always took pictures on the stairs on Christmas morning. No matter what our mood was (there's a few pictures of me flat out scowling), my parents would get everyone together and snap a couple pictures. We would get a little impatient since we wanted to open our gifts, but looking back I'm so glad that we have pictures from all those Christmas mornings. 
Since we got married, we've adopted the same tradition. This year we had a new cute face which melts me. 
I have always loved Christmas morning, and not just because of the presents. I love staying in my pjs until noon, watching/listening to our new gifts, spending time as a family wishing time would just stop. I also love watching people's reactions when they open the gifts I bought them. The kinds of gifts that are simple, but always create the biggest smiles.
My wish is that as Calvin grows he will remember that simplicity is always best as we remember the simple circumstances in which the Saviour was born. After all, if it weren't for that first Christmas gift, we wouldn't have any of our blessings today. 



I used to love snow growing up, but once I started commuting to university and work, it started to become a huge nuisance. The thing is, in Ottawa the first snowfall is usually early November and the snow stays until March/April. It becomes for slushy, icky and just a pain. Luckily this year the weather has been stunning! We've had an extended fall which resulted in a green Christmas. Quite a few people have been a little disappointed, but I have absolutely loved it! At the end of the day snow doesn't make Christmas. It was still a special time with my favourite people! 



Age: 8 months (and 9 days to be exact)

Clothing: 12-18 months

Sleeping: He's getting back into a more regular sleeping pattern. Bed at 8:30-9, wakes up

Baby Development: (1) He has two little teeth that are so close to coming in! You can see the little indents! (2) He's been copying certain actions I do now and again which entertains the both of us for quite a long time. Especially when he plays peekaboo.

Likes: (1) When someone blows in his face. He loves the sudden burst of air in his face. (2) Pear. This kid downed an entire squeeze pouch of pear baby food in like 5 minutes. (3) He absolutely loves having his legs chubbed and tickled. Such a squealer when he's tickled. (4) The song Round and Round the Garden along with the actions. (5) Tummy Time. Still no sign of crawling, but he sure loves kicking his legs!

Dislikes: Surprisingly mango is the only food so far that Calvin has denied retrying. Well that and formula. Since I was sick the past week my milk supply went really low so we tried to give him formula and he kept turning his head away. Can you blame him? If I had been used to eating cream, there is no way I would eat powdered milk ;)

Other: Alex's parents are coming down for Christmas!!!!! We didn't think it was going to be possible since his dad used up all his vacation days, but it looks like they were able to figure something out! I am so beyond excited for Christmas this year and to see Calvin's reaction to wrapping paper. It's seriously going to be the best!
I know it's blurry, but I am so glad I got a picture of Calvin's "silly face"



I was so excited to spend an entire day exploring downtown Washington DC. Since it was Thanksgiving Day, it was pretty quiet. There is nothing better than being able to do touristy things and not feel like there is an ambush of people everywhere you go. We first visited the White House. I have always loved the architecture of this building, so I couldn't wait to actually see it in person.
Next we walked down to the mall to see the Washington Monument, the World War II memorial, and the Lincoln memorial. That chunk of the day was definitely my favourite. The War memorial was absolutely beautiful, and there was such a reverence there. It was one of those moments where I decided to put my camera away, and pay respect for those who gave their lives for future generations. I didn't want to be distracted by taking pictures, I just wanted to soak it all in.
We then walked to the other side of the mall to go the Air and Space Museum. We had heard there was a moon rock that was on display that you are allowed to touch. Not going to lie, the idea was cool, and I was super excited, but it was a little bit of a disappointment. It wasn't at all what I imagined to look like, and the display was just meh. At the end of the day I got to touch a piece of the moon, so it is still one of those "once in a lifetime moments". 
I still have one more post from my Washington trip to post, so stay tuned for that!



I have been blogging for almost 6 years, and I have never (ever) received a comment like this one before. First things first it came at the worst possible moment. I have been sick for the past few days so I've just moping around. I had to read and re-read it a few times because I couldn't believe what I was reading.

This comment was in response to my "Unsolicited advice + eczema" post. When I wrote this post I wanted to write it in a way that talked about how I felt. I mentioned quite a few times that I understood that people had good intentions, they just needed to think how it would affect a new mom. There is nothing worse than feeling like you don't know what's best for your child. No matter what the situation we need to think before we speak. I feel that ever since Elder Bednar gave his talk on how we need control our reactions, and choose to not be offended, people think that means that they can say whatever they want and it's not their problem if someone gets hurt.

I really don't understand why people feel the need to go out of their way to write comments that cut people. Whether I struggle with pride, or not, it's no one's right to point it out. When did pointing out someone weaknesses make you more righteous?



Last week I had to opportunity to travel to Washington DC with my family. Alex had a bunch of school work to do so he had to stay home. It was hard being away from each other for so long, but I am so glad I got to see places I have wanted to see since I was a child. Like most LDS members in North America, for quite a period of time the Washington DC temple was "their" temple. My parents, among many were married and sealed in this beautiful building for time and all eternity 34 years ago.
It was an experience I will never forget as I walked the halls of this sacred place, wearing the very same shoes my mom wore on her wedding day. Andrew, Kelsi and I went to last session the first night we got there, and the temple workers allowed us to explore the sealing rooms. All the lights were off on the floor and it was completely empty. We were able to wander around the sealing rooms and see where both my parents and Kelsi's parents were sealed. 
I am so grateful for these sacred buildings that allow us to participate in ordinances that are necessary for our progression. The family truly is forever.



A few weeks ago I was contacted by Heather Von St James to do a special post in support of National Family Caregiver month. This month marks 10 years since Heather was diagnosed with mesothelioma (a rare and aggressive cancer caused by exposure to asbestos). Heather has had such incredible support from her husband and family through her treatments and everyday care. If you are interested in reading more about Heather's story, visit her blog

When Heather reached out to me I knew I had to participate. When it comes to illness and hospital visits I have been extremely lucky. I have never been seriously sick, or had to stay overnight in a hospital. I've never had a long term illness that would affect me physically. But when I hear the word caregiver, the person that immediately comes to mind is my mother. So even though I haven't needed specific care for a long period of time, my mom has always been there to provide whatever type of care I've needed.
My mom has been a stay at mom my entire life. When I was younger I remember coming home from school seeing my mom in the kitchen, preparing an after school snack for me. We'd spend the next few moments talking about school and the highs and lows I experienced throughout the day. This small little act made such a big impact in my life. I knew I could always count on my mom being home when I got home and from this I knew she would always be there for me. Even though her days would be busy, I could always count on her being right by the front door when I came home. 

When I was in high school, I was hit hard with social anxiety (you can read more about my experience here). Through the years as I have struggled with this, my mom has always tried her best to help me. Although I didn't always accept this help, and shut her down, she was determined to get me through it. Realizing that she experienced similar things I did, I learned to trust in her.

My recovery after having Calvin has pretty rough. I didn't suffer from postpartum depression (which surprised me), but I did sprain my tail bone during labour, and had quite a lot of trouble with breastfeeding. For the first 2 weeks of Calvin's life, my mom slept on our couch, took the baby if I needed sleep, made us food, always made sure our fridge was full, cleaned our apartment,  would wake up whenever I needed help feeding Calvin, would let me cry things out, and so much more. Since Alex and I don't know where we will end up when he finishes school this year, the thought of being away from my mom when we have our next child terrifies me. Luckily my mom told me: "Wherever you end up, I will always come down for as long as need, to help you with the transition." 

Now that I am grown and my have my own family, I can always rely on my mom's wisdom, support and listening ear. Even though I'm now a mom, deep down I realize this one simple truth: I still need my mom. 



When I was pregnant (especially when I was overdue), I was constantly receiving unsolicited advice. It's something that I have never reacted well to, no matter how good someone's intentions are. I knew that once Calvin was born, it was going to be even more common for people to bombard me with products and things that has worked for them. While I do appreciate the tips and tricks I get from moms when I ask for it, I still have a very hard time to no react when people start preaching about their mothering techniques when I never asked for help. I understand that these women aren't trying to cause drama, but it really rubs me the wrong way.

As I mentioned in a previous post, Calvin has been struggling with eczema since he was a newborn. It started as baby acne, then became extremely dry skin, and now it just flares up on his cheeks and chest. I don't know what it is about babies, but everyone feels they're entitled to point out his eczema or start asking me questions about it. I do love when mom's mention they had the same struggles with their children, but I don't like when I get questioned about my method of dealing with this experience.

So I thought I would share a few examples of comments or questions that have been directed toward me that I hear on a regular basis from many different moms.

**Disclaimer: This post is not directed at one particular person or situation, it's something that has been happening since Calvin's birth**

1. "Oh, is that eczema?"
First off, why is it ok for people to comment about baby's skin but not adults. How would you feel if you struggled with acne and someone came up to you and said: "Oh I see you have pimples all over your face." Not the nicest thing to hear eh?

2. "What type of cream are you using?"
I don't understand why this is such an important thing for people to know. I had an elderly lady in our ward ask me this once and I replied saying we were using a prescription cream from the doctor because his face had gotten a little infection. She then asked if it had a cortisone base and I said it did. You would have thought that I had given a drink that I had spat in. She was so offended and looked so concerned. I had to remove myself from the situation because I was so mad. We are now using a different cream, but still keep the prescription for when he has really severe patches.

3. "All eczema is caused by food allergies."
I am a firm believer of trusting your gut when it comes to being a parent. Alex and I have spent many nights discussing ways to help Calvin, and we both feel it isn't a food allergy. He has no other symptoms, he skin just gets easily irritated. So when people say "It's now been proven that eczema is an allergy to dairy or eggs." I understand that allergies are becoming more and more common with babies, but I don't feel that he has one. He has no other symptoms, and isn't even bothered by his eczema. It doesn't make him uncomfortable in any way.

4. "Have you tried ____?"
This comment usually hurts me the most. It makes me feel like I'm not doing enough as a mother. That I am selfish because I won't try the elimination diet. That I am close minded because I won't do things that work for other mom's and their situation. We have found a routine/products that work us. We know that eczema is something you can't cure, but luckily we've found a product that has helped soothe and heal his current flare up.

So if you get anything from this post, please don't give me advice unless I ask for it. I understand you mean well, but most of the time it has the opposite affect on me. Every single child is different. Every single mother is different. Every single situation is different. At the end of the day we're sticking to what feels right for us.



Age: 7 months!!

Sleeping: Recently sleep has been a little weird with Calvin. He slept better as a one month old than he does now. He wakes usually once a night, but goes right back. We're thinking he's a little uncomfortable from his eczema flare up.

Baby Development: This child loves rolling, although he doesn't do it too often. He's also slightly learned to play peekaboo.

Likes: (1) Being sung to sleep. He absolutely adores "I am a Child of God" (2) Facetiming grandparents. He loves staring at our laptop screens whenever we are talking with Alex's parents. We wish they weren't so far away, but fingers crossed they'll be able to make it down for Christmas time. (3) He loves when we talk to him in a really deep, loud voice. Especially when I say "Supreme Thursday". Don't know why it entertains him so much. His reaction is hilarious!

Dislikes: Being itchy. The only time his eczema bothers him is when he is sleepy. We know he is tired when he starts to scratch at his chest.

Other: Like I said previously, his eczema came back a few weeks ago. Luckily we found a product that has done wonders and is all natural. I'm planning on doing a full post/review on the product in the next couple weeks.



So I thought we had such an awesome original Halloween costume this year. Turns out every single family on Instagram had the same idea we did ;) Ah well, c'est la vie. Calvin was a little weirded out by our masks, couldn't recognize us we were disguised so well! I must admit I would risk going to jail in order to steal this cute loot.
Happy Halloween everyone!!!

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