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.