Monday, January 28, 2013

Headed on a Jet Plane

J and I are heading out early tomorrow morning to celebrate life, love and each other 
on the beautiful island of Maui! 

We're pretty much stoked and cannot wait for 
lying on the beach, 
shaved ice, 
our first luau, 
seeing friends, 
and falling in love all over again.


Saturday, January 26, 2013

5 Years of Married Us

Today, J and I celebrate five years of marriage.

Incredible to think it all started {officially} just five years ago.

{all photos by the Youngrens}

 Everything was just right.
Little did we know what we were doing ;).
I love the growth we have shared together.
I love looking back on the experiences we never anticipated experiencing.
But we did. Together.
Every day for five years, we have walked through life hand in hand.
We may not always have been very happy.
But we have always been committed to one another and we have always loved each other.

I'm so thankful for my best friend.
I'm thankful I get to walk through today... and tomorrow.. and the next... with him.

I'm thankful for a Savior who never leaves and who truly has a divine plan.

Happy anniversary honey.
I love you.

Can't wait to celebrate in Maui with you... 3 days baby!!!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Puppy Smiles

Love these smiles.
Nothing like happy puppies :)
Good for the soul.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

{fearing} A {un} Filled Home

I have always hoped for and dreamed of and prayed for my family. My husband, my children, my animals, my home, the environment created for my family. And lately, with children being more on the forefront of my mind than in past years {no, none are living in my tummy today}, I have had many more of these thoughts.

But with excitement for children and having a full home comes countless fears.
Part of it could stem from my work as a nurse. I see so many things that can go wrong in pregnancy and birth and having a baby. And I've seen the long-term effects of the challenges that drag on.
But I fear so much.

What if I can't get pregnant. What if my baby is not healthy. What if something goes wrong in the womb. What if I pass on something I didn't even know I had. What if my child gets cancer. What if my child has a chronic condition that requires me to care for him or her every moment of the day. What if I do something wrong that terribly screws up my children. What if they don't see love. What if they don't want to be home. What if I don't know what to do.

Fear is paralyzing. It stops you dead in your tracks and worry keeps you from taking another step.

I used to worry alot. Growing up I was afraid of everything, it seemed. I have come so far as far as fear is concerned. God has shown me He conquers fear and perfect love casts out fear. And so I try to go through my days and keep moving forward and not allow fears or unforeseen worries creep into my mind. Because really, I can't do anything about them!

But this kid thing... my goodness, these are my children I am thinking about. It seems different.

Yet I know God's word is just as true for my children. I know that my {unborn} children are not mine, they are the Lord's. I know if I am blessed to be a mommy he is entrusting these precious children to me for a time. And that is such an honor.

So I rejoice in the blessing of hoping for a full family. A home full of love and peace and joy and laughter. I want to trust the Lord fully with these requests. And each day, little by little, I trust Him more and more.

It's exciting to think about having a family. :)

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Joey Jackson Patt

Joey was born December 27, 2012 to my bestie Ali and her hubby Joe.

I of course tottled off to the hospital to see them as soon as she was in her recovery room.
And then waited while family and friends stopped in to visit all week.
One week later, I trekked to her home and visited the Patt family together at home.
Joe, Ali, and Joey.
And it was as if everything was just as it should be.

Ali has been through it, and I have had the privilege of walking with her through the journey.
She and I have both grown and learned many lessons since freshman year of college when we met.
I feel like we've gone through as many challenges as possible.
And yet, there has been lots of laughter. 
Lots of coffee dates. 
Lots of long distance phone conversations and late night bunk bed chats.
A few runs but lots of walks.
And lots of hugs.

Joey is such a lucky little baby to have Ali for a mommy.
I love watching their hearts burst with love for this precious baby they created.

True fatherly love. 

I love him too!

There will be many more visits, many more phone chats and walks and coffee dates.
But it was so fun to watch a few moments happen 
between two one-week-old parents and their one-week-old baby boy.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Joys of Christmas

Christmas 2012 was definitely special, 
but a bit different, in that I worked both Christmas Eve and Christmas night. 
But in my house, Christmas can happen any day of year. So Christmas this year consisted of little bits of fun in the midst of sleep for me. And lots of snuggling those sweet NICU babies as I prayed for them and cared for them.

Grandma's house Christmas morning is the one part of Christmas that always happens at the same time, due to the sheer volume of people that come. I love the chaos that ensues when we get my mom's four brothers and families and cousins together. Nothing like it.

and nothing like her christmas tree.
 my grandma is the cutest. and my mom is the other cutest.

 of course J and Carly have to have their photo shoot. 
 i love my mom. i was about to fall over from sleepiness and joy at this point :)
 it's not christmas without these yummies from grandma.
 my ladies. four muskateers.
 did i mention this girl is my new {and old} TRAVEL BUDDY?!

J had some get-togethers with his fam over the few days I was working also, which I don't have pictures of.
Our Christmas together with our families happened December 26th. 
{after work... i didn't really dress up for photos this year :)}

 one thing i realized in this photo series is that we look like crazy dog people. we didn't have our Sammy to calm things down this year, and my goodness, these three young lads sure know how to get 
in. the. middle. of. everything.
steve was so sweet to go into work a little late and put his robe on to emulate christmas morning.
we made carly a photo book of Ava's first year. :)
j got a rad cute little ladder.
snuggle/play time with uncle john.
 i love my mommy, says ava penney. {her new nickname}
 us and our kids. just wait til there are real kids. oh goodness.
 finally they were tired.
 emma loves her grandma. {both of them}. little snuggle bug.
 watch dog x 3

Then we went home and I went to sleep. 
That evening, we went to J's parents for yummy pizza and dessert and presents. 
Christmas part 3!!
somehow we didn't get quite as many pictures here. but there was just as much love.

I love love love Christmas. Hopefully next year I will be a little less tired through the whole thing {although I'm thinking this may be the way of a hospital nurse, which I'm ok with!},
but I am definitely thankful for family to share it with.
And I am thankful for the Savior who was born that day in Bethlehem to save us all.
Best gift ever!!