we finally found out that baby is a BOY!!! we are so excited! when we first got pregnant, i really wanted a girl, but as time passed, i felt myself really wanting a boy more. i just feel like it's good for the oldest. tyler obviously really wanted a boy from the very beginning so he's super pumped. we do have some names we like, but no decisions yet.

finding out the gender was also our very first ultrasound. it was so cool to finally see him! i was surprised at how big and developed he looked. i guess it's easy to just always imagine that little kidney bean.

the ultrasound tech said everything looks good and healthy. he is heavier than average, weighing one pound at 21 weeks.

i'm feeling really good right now. my back has started to hurt so i had to get a new chair at work and use pillows on the couch. he is moving all the time. i don't think 20 minutes goes by without me feeling him. we've both seen him move too now and that's pretty cool. i don't feel overly hungry or have any weird cravings. but i am starting to crave healthier foods. i'm in love with apples right now, so i guess that's a step up from cheese and potato chips. my hands are starting to swell and my ring is not working out too well anymore.

this christmas we're staying here in florida. it was pretty overwhelming (and costly) moving out here so we decided not to go home this year. but we did have an awesome vacation to the keys this weekend, just a little 4 hour drive from our house. we spent saturday in key largo, sunday in key west, and monday in bahia honda. i loved key largo! it's quiet and beautiful. key west is a lot of fun but it's very touristy and crowded. and there is no shortage of weirdos there.

apparently all the birds do fly south for the winter

key largo

our little hotel

sunset in key largo

visiting the little white house in key west

eatin some way good seafood

the crazy key west cemetery

walking along key west streets

saw a lot of boats

bahia honda beach

 merry christmas!


20 weeks. feeling large and in charge. i guess i really look pregnant now.

i felt the baby for the first time on thanksgiving day and now i feel it all the time. it's pretty cool but also kind of creepy sometimes - just to know there's something in there that isn't me.

i'm feeling really great. no sickness at all. the only bad thing so far this trimester has been lots of people telling me my face is getting chunky. oh the honesty of some people.

all my coworkers know now. one of the girls asked me if i was pregnant at 16 weeks. did nobody learn anything from brian regan?? never, ever.

so besides the fat face, other new things are feeling seriously hot all the time (my office is freezing but i'm always over there borderline sweating), linea negra appearing, and i can't stand on my feet for more than an hour or else they hurt super bad (probably from the 20, yes 20, pounds i've gained). no stretch marks...yet. i know it's all hereditary but i can't help but slather on the cocoa butter every morning. no weird cravings. and we still don't know the gender. ultrasound is next tuesday! we both really feel like it's a boy.

tyler has his last final for his first semester in med school on wednesday. then he's got almost a month break. he's super pumped. it's been a really busy semester for him. med school's pretty intense. he doesn't have any big plans for his big break, mostly because i'll be working every day except christmas. i suggested that he could prepare the nursery but he wasn't too keen on that idea.

speaking of christmas, doesn't it look nice and wintery here in florida? it's pretty weird going outside in the morning for work in december and being hot. but i am not complaining. although i love a white christmas, i do not miss the snow or the freezing cold. don't forget that we'd love visitors!


i refuse to post any belly pictures until i actually look pregnant and not just bloated, so you're not going to see that for a while, but for anyone that cares to know how my pregnancy is going, you can read on.

i'm 15 weeks now and i feel awesome!  pretty much as soon as 14 weeks hit, i stopped feeling nauseous. i feel it a little in the morning and if i haven't eaten for several hours, but besides that i don't feel sick at all. i'm getting these massive headaches though. i'm seriously hungry all the time. what i want to eat most is cheese, potato chips, top ramen, baked potatoes, and iceburg lettuce. two healthy things out of five. not too bad, eh? i still haven't told my co-workers. this is an awkward situation for me because it begs the question, "is she going to quit?" but they've got to be wondering why i'm stuffing my face all day and poking out in the middle.

i'm trying to be healthy and exercise and all that, but let's be honest, i'm just barely keeping my head above water with a full-time job and full-time calling. church here is so different than utah, or idaho, or california, or any other place i've been, except armenia. it's actually quite similar to armenia. just to give you an idea: the fort lauderdale mission is the highest baptizing mission in all of north america. every week there are at least 2 baptisms in our ward. so what does that mean for a young women's leader? going to baptisms, visiting young women investigators with the missionaries, visiting new members, retaining new members, activating a lot of inactive members, giving rides to church and mutual, etc. it's extremely demanding and church is, well, not relaxing anymore. but i still love it. i love being useful and knowing that i'm doing good. i love these girls. it just takes some getting used to.

tyler is also in the young men's and is staying really busy. medical school is a lot of work but we know it will be worth it. we're both really excited to be parents and to find out whether this little bugger is a boy or a girl. we're loving fort lauderdale right now where the mornings are nice and crisp, the days are perfectly warm, and the leaves are still bright green.


well, it's true. tyler and i are going to have a baby! i'm 13 weeks now; baby is due late april.

we've been married for 3 years and for me this has been a perfect amount of time without any pregnancy/kids. we've been able to spend so much time just with each other - learning who we are and how to make each other happy. since i've been pregnant i've been a horrible wife. i can't stand to go in the kitchen so i don't make dinners anymore and i can't stand the sight and smell of dirtiness so i don't clean very much either. i always feel like i'm going to puke which surprisingly to me makes cuddling and touching pretty much impossible too. so i am so thankful i had those three years with tyler to be a really good wife. we also went on a lot of adventures together - living in arizona and texas, road trips, and cabin vacations - which i could see being really difficult with kids. i knew once we had kids things would change a lot and the last thing i wanted was to resent my pregnancy or my kids.

yes, i realize that i'm 28 now and no spring chicken, but my growing age never really pushed me to get pregnant earlier either. having kids absolutely terrifies me. i know i'm totally naive about it all, but i do know that it will be extremely hard and it never stops. i'm not the most energy-filled person. i love my breaks. i'm a dinner and a movie kind of girl; an ideal friday night is watching a movie on the couch with my husband. and i know being a mom will require endless amounts of energy. the responsibility is daunting too. i want to have smart, disciplined children that are strong members of the church and i know that will not be easy. i also wanted to have good experiences as my foundation before i tried to be a good mother so i'm really glad i was able to serve a mission and be a teacher for three years before having a family.

but i have always really wanted a family of my own, so here we are. we started trying to get pregnant in june. when i took the test in late august and saw the results, several different emotions flooded through me. my first reaction was gratitude. i have a lot of friends and family who have been trying for a long time with no success and i thought that would be me too. also, i'm pretty convinced that i have endometriosis. i've never been diagnosed but i have all the symptoms to a t, so when we were trying, i wasn't very hopeful. after i felt gratitude, i did have a moment of, "oh crap. what did i just do???" that feeling surprised me, but i think it's legit. this a life-altering, permanent change so, yes, it scared me a little. after that i just felt excited, mixed in with a bit of nervousness now and then.

i'd say my first trimester was pretty typical: a lot of nausea from morning to night, no throwing up but some dry heaves, strong food aversions (pretty much anything home-made), food cravings (pretty much anything fast food - especially subway and french fries), weight gain (8 lbs-all my pants are already a no-go), heightened sense of smell (i've been buying a lot of air fresheners), headaches, and exhaustion. i haven't experienced frequent bathroom breaks or moodiness...yet. just this last week i started to feel a little better. i don't feel as nauseous but i'm constantly hungry so i still eat a lot. i show a little bit in tight clothes but it mostly just looks like i just ate a cafe rio burrito.

i am really excited and really grateful to be pregnant. there is no greater calling than being a mother and while the depth of that scares me, i'm also excited to grow closer to heavenly father by taking care of his children. i'm happy with how my life's gone up to this point and i think there are good things to come.


i just made pumpkin coconut soup from justcookalready (compliments of jenna vela) for the third time and am wondering why i don't make it every day. tyler and i would both agree that this is the best thing i've ever made. it's sooo good! although it's still 90 degrees and green here in florida, i had to make soup today so i could feel like it was fall. i just have to keep telling myself that i will be so thankful for this weather come january. i wanted to include the recipe so you can make it. seriously, you won't be disappointed.

pumpkin coconut soup


5 tbsp. olive oil
1 medium sized yellow onion
3 cloves minced garlic
1 inch grated fresh ginger
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tbsp. chicken base or  2 bouillon cubes
3 cups chicken broth
1 can cooked chicken (or you can use 2 chicken breasts... but canned chicken is easier and tastes better in this recipe)
1/2 butternut squash, peeled and cut into cubes
1 15 oz. can pumpkin puree
1 14 oz. can coconut  milk
2 tsp. salt (more to taste if you'd like)
1-2 tsp. pepper
1/4 bunch fresh cilantro


1. preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. chop the onion into small, even pieces and grate the ginger with a fine grater.  in a large stock pot, add 2 tbsp. olive oil over medium heat. once the oil has heated, add the chopped onion, ginger, and minced garlic to the oil and stir.  cook for about 5-7 minutes until the onion is mostly cooked through (it will be translucent).

3. while that's cooking, peel your butternut squash and take 1/2 of it and cut into about 1/2 inch cubes.  in a small glass pyrex dish, add the cubed squash and pour 3 tbsp. olive oil over top. add a sprinkle of salt and pepper. mix together so that all the cubes are coated in the olive oil. make sure the pieces of squash are in one layer (no overlapping) so that they can cook evenly.  bake in your oven for 25 minutes.

4. By this point, your onions, ginger, and garlic should be ready.  add 1 tsp. ground cumin and stir, allowing the cumin to get all toasty and fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. 

5. add pumpkin puree, coconut milk, chicken base, chicken stock, and drained canned chicken (or chicken breast). if you're using chicken breast, cook over medium heat in a skillet with a few tablespoons of olive oil. cut into small pieces. add to the soup once cooked through) stir together and mix completely.  up the heat JUST A TAD so that you can bring the soup to a simmer.  add 2 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. pepper (again, you can add more after this if you'd like.  depends on your taste buds.  mine ask for salt). allow to simmer for 25 minutes so that everything heats through and the chicken becomes very tender.

6. when your squash is done, remove from the glass dish, making sure to drain away any access oil, and add to the soup.  allow to simmer and cook for about 10 more minutes.
7. take a bunch of cilantro and rinse it, shaking it well afterwards in the sink.  remove the leaves from the stem and give it a rough chop.  when the soup is finished, dish into a bowl and add the cilantro leaves.  a squeeze of lime wouldn't hurt.
makes 3 large bowls or 4 smaller bowls
here are a few changes i make: 
* i use 2 cans of chicken instead of 1. if you like a lot of meat in your dishes, use 2 or perhaps 1 1/2. i didn't think 1 was enough.
* i actually skip the butternut squash altogether. the first time i made it, the squash was really hard for me to peel and took a long time to prepare. i found that it adds great texture to the soup but not a lot of taste. so for me, the added texture isn't worth the struggle and time.
* sometimes the store is out of fresh ginger, so i'll use 1/2 T dried ginger instead. fresh ginger is better, but dried ginger works too. 
ok now, try this recipe. it's so perfect for fall and winter and will make you so happy.


i got a job! whew, finally. it took me over 100 applications and six weeks of daily applying. i never thought it would be so hard. i'm basically an office assistant for a legal service company. i mostly process serves. i have no experience with law so i wasn't sure that i would get it, but for what i do, experience isn't really necessary. it's perfect for me though. it's relaxing, i get to sit down and go at my own pace, but the work volume is really high so i'm constantly busy and the time goes by fast. i'm so thankful it worked out. we fasted for just that one purpose this month and two days later is when i got called for the interview. it was the only interview i was even offered for all 100+ applications.

the weather's really awesome here; don't get me wrong. but i am feeling really homesick for fall. i love fall so much - just until december when all life dies - and there is no fall here. it feels like summer all year here. i miss utah more than i thought i would. but i always do get more homesick than i think i will whenever i move. it'll probably just take a few months and i'll get over it. probably right around jan/feb when i usually hate life in utah, i'll be liking the 70 degree temps here.

tyler's still working really hard in med school. he likes all of his classes except biochemistry. he studies all the time, usually until 10 p.m. and sometimes gets up at 5:30 to study before his 8-hour block of classes. now that i'm working until 6 p.m. too we never see each other.

well, life's good and i'm starting to get a little more comfortable with being here. i'm just really thankful for all the answered prayers.


here are a few things that i've been up to lately...

painting furniture
 and mirrors

i mostly just work on our house all day and i'm really liking how it's turning out. it is nice to have so much time to just work on it. i've learned a lot about painting and crafts and such, all those things i never had time or energy for when i worked.

it's weird to think that if i was in utah i'd be starting a new school year right now. i am glad i'm not teaching - it really was not my favorite - but i'm also so eager to work, to be busy, to have purpose to my day. i'm still on the job search...

i've really been thinking a lot about trials lately and i can say from first hand experience that i know God allows trials in our life because they draw us closer to Him. i've thought more about Him and my relationship with Him lately than i have in quite some time because of hard things in my life, and that is a great thing.  


this last little while has been hard. we're finally in more of a "house" rather than an apartment and i've been anticipating making it a home. since we'll be here for four years i came out here with all sorts of ideas of what to do with it and how i can actually make it ours. well it's been more work than i thought. i don't think i thought it out actually. painting is not fun. painting furniture, yes, is ok. but rooms, no. every wall in our house has now been painted except the small bedroom. whew.

on top of all the house work, i can't find a job. i've applied to about 40 jobs and haven't heard a single thing back. i thought teaching for 3 years would have qualified me to do something, even secretary work, but apparently not.

i also just found out that i have an eye condition that doesn't allow me to be in the sun very much. me, no sun?? just when i move to florida! there are other things going on too that just aren't working out. the repeated disappointments and struggles have really been pressing down on me.

but i am getting through it and every day is a little better. a lot of prayer and blessing-counting is helping.

we've met a lot of the lds students that go to nova and most are from utah and really fun. they all have 2+ kids though. our ward is really interesting. i'd say it's about 60% haitian and the rest is latin american or white. some of the accents are so thick i can't understand them. they have baptisms every week but a lot of inactivity.

tyler's in his 3rd week of med school now and he's liking it. he's gone all day, except for an hour when he comes home to eat dinner. he's working hard and i'm proud of him.

dania beach, 15 mins from our house


we are in florida! it's been such a chaotic month: packing, moving across the country, unpacking, painting, tyler starting school...i'll write more later when my mind is more put together. the beach is beautiful. it's humid. and wonderful. we're busy and happy.


we just got back from a pretty epic northwest road trip. rather than mostly tell, i thought i'd show. enjoy the pics.

 tyler's driven over 80,000 miles with no windshield cracks. within the first few hours of our trip, we had this beauty and actually finished with two more.

 chillin at the cabin on hebgen lake, montana

 buffalo right by the cabin

 love the playmill in west yellowstone. saw dirty rotten scoundrels.

 hiking bighorn pass near the cabin

 camping at glacier np

 saw a bear!

 hiking the falls in glacier

 deer right by our tent

 fresh local wild in vancouver bc

 capilano suspension bridge in vancouver

 the cliff walk

 tyler aka sasquatch in stanley park, vancouver

 pike place fish market in seattle

 piroshky! a russian food we ate all the time in armenia. tasted nothing like it though.

 bellevue botanical gardens near seattle

 tabor czech food cart in portland

 powell's bookstore in portland

 rose garden in portland

 multnomah falls near portland

 camping on the beach in redwood np

 driving through the redwoods

 near our campsite on the beach