Florida part 1: getting there...

note from the author: normally i wouldn't do a whole blog post just about getting to the actual place i am blogging about, but it was kinda eventful so i wanted to write about it, again so i can remember it all.

so getting ready to leave for this trip was interesting. i was so dang excited about going away alone with Brett, but i knew i was going to have such a hard time leaving Dylan. weirdest feeling ever. two complete opposites at the same time, basically from the time we started packing all the way until we came home. so packing the night before, i was packing for both Dylan and myself. he knew he was going somewhere, he saw all his stuff going in a seperate bag than mine, and he was getting excited. i dreaded when he would realize he wouldn't be going with us though. but excitement was there too so that kept me at bay.
the morning we left, i made sure the house was clean, laundry was put away so we could come home to a clean house. we got everything in the car, and went and bought tons of food and snacks for Dylan to have at Grandma Hancock's while he was with her. then we went and picked up Heather, Brett's sister, who was so nice to take us to the airport. Dylan was so excited she was with us, i am pretty sure he thought she was coming with all of us out of town. i had avoided telling Dylan we were going to the airport because he knows exactly what that is and what it means to go there (he has been on a plane 10 times). Brett decided to share the news as we got on Bangeter, and Dylan went crazy. he started clapping, laughing, kept saying over and over "planes! planes! airplanes!" ugh, i was dying inside. i knew he would be a wreck when we left. so i sat in the backseat with him and just spent the last few minutes of our ride there just cuddling him and taking photos so i could look at him whenever i wanted while we were in Florida.

then we got to the airport. and we stopped at the terminal, and Brett and i got out. we got our bags. then came the moment i was dreading. we opened Dylie's door, and he is just so excited to be there. he is trying to get out of his carseat because hello, we are all going on an airplane. Brett hugged him first, we just left him in the seat because we didn't want to make it harder on Heather than we had too. he didn't really get what was going on. then Brett said his goodbyes and it clicked. panic set in. he started crying and kicking and screaming and yelling "go with you mama, go with you!" i started too lose it, but put on a strong face as i hugged him and kissed him as best i could through his tantrum. we gave Heather hugs and thanked her, then we shut the door and i lost it as we walked away. i knew it would be hard to leave, since i had only been away from him a total of 2 nights in a row ever. i was sure at that point he hated us, and that 7 days would kill our relationship with him.

then we got to the counter, checked our bags, went through security in 5 minutes (there was no line. so weird, yet very convenient). we had an hour to kill. so what do you do when you aren't super hungry, but know you won't have time to eat until you get to Florida? Cafe Rio at the airport of course. once we went there and sat down to eat and just talked, we texted Heather. she said she gave him her phone a little after they drove away and he was fine and was happy as could be. i was okay then. i didn't worry, i was just super dang excited. excited to ride an airplane and actually enjoy the ride and know i could do whatever i wanted and not have to worry about keeping a little boy happy. and excited to get to paradise.

we boarded and the flight was great. except for the fact that they didn't give us any snacks whatsoever. i got my bloody mary mix just like usual, but no pretzels, no chips, not even one small peanut was served. United airlines are cheapskates, but whatevs.  luckily i had packed for such an occasion and those gummy worms tasted divine.

we got to Pheonix and had about 20 minutes until our plane left for Florida. i needed to use the restroom. and guess who had come to pay me a visit? aunt flo. all over. all over everywhere. of course she would come after 5 months of not making any sort of appearance. she would of course have to come the one day i at 30,000 feet. let me just tell you, i have the most unpredictable period known to man. i never know when its coming. it's honestly a miracle Dylan was ever conceived, especially since we weren't even trying when that happened. but anyways, i panicked. i obviously hadn't packed any feminine products, didn't even cross my mind. but as i sat there looking at the mess i needed to get out of, it then struck me why my lower back was killing me the day before. i should've known. so lame.
so anyway, i run out to Brett who is waiting with our carry-on, and that carry-on happened to hold a pair of clean garments that Brett had made me put in just in case our bags got lost. i didn't think it was necessary, but he insisted. ummm, talk about divine intervention. i told him what was up, we went and bought some tampons from one of those little airport stores with the most awkward cashier man on the planet (seriously, what guy says "oh boy, lucky girl. best time of the month." i wanted to punch him). i ran back into the bathroom, got my new garments on, put my nasty shorts back on and met Brett in line. then we were on a plane. then we were floating. and all was right in the world, we were heading to the land of Mickey, sun, beaches, roller-coasters and fun.

and after 4 hours of being in the air (and seeing lightning up close and way more personally than i ever hope to do again), we made it to Florida.


intro to Florida...

so a few weeks ago, Brett and I went to Florida. alone. with no Dylan. yeah, for those of you who have kids, you understand what a big deal that is. and a side note, Orlando is where B and i went on our honeymoon 5 years ago this year, so that place has special meaning to us. and oh my stars, this trip did not disappoint. it was about 1000x better than the ol' honeymoon. not that our honeymoon was bad, it was awesome; but just between us girls (and guys i guess?), knowing what to do and how to do it makes a honeymoon-like trip go much smoother and makes things much more fun the second time around. you catch my drift? oh how i wish i could go back. i would give almost anything. almost. it was THAT good.

i have been wanting to post about our fabulous trip, but the thought of doing it seemed so overwhelming. we were there for a full 7 days. 7 glorious, amazing, sun-filled and humidified days. and we took hundreds of pictures. that's not estimating. that's actual. hundreds upon hundreds. we wanted to document every single second of our trip, as if taking photos every minute would take us back there whenever we looked at them. and they do. and i love it.

i am super excited to blog about this because while we were there we didn't Facebook, and we didn't Instagram. we just were. us. nobody else. without electronics and people buzzing in our ears. it was Brett's idea to go phone-less (except if we were calling to check on Dylie, which we did, a lot, every day) and I am so glad he brought up the idea and that I went along with it. if you know me, you know I love taking photos, (obviously, i kinda have my own photo biz) not just of others, but of me and my little family and sharing it with my friends. so you can imagine how weird it was at first for me not to share all the photos we were taking. but after a day or two, i didn't miss it. i liked it. it was amazing to be truly living in the moment, not for Instagram or Facebook, but for me and my mr. just being, and documenting just being. we made so many fun memories that weren't shared with the world the minute they happened, and i loved that feeling. knowing those times were just ours. there is something so fabulous about that thought, especially since my life has been so not that way ever since i joined Facebook. i like sharing, but this trip made me truly realize, that not sharing is almost even more special. don't get me wrong, i will still be sharing a lot. i just like too. that's just me. but probably not as much. i liked keeping our trip private. it made it so much more fun.

but, i would like to blog about it so those of you who have been constantly asking to hear all about it can. but more than that, i want to blog about it to document it so we don't forget it. we have the pictures to look back on to take us back, but lots of little things happened in between the photos or while we were taking them, that i don't want to forget. lots of conversations, laughs, cuddles, silences shared that were more intimate than words could be. so much that wasn't documented in the photos. writing it down can take us back there in a way photos alone aren't able too.

so, if you are still interested in seeing and hearing all about our trip, come back and visit throughout this next week. i am planning on breaking it up into a few posts, so i can get lots of details in. if it's sounding too mushy or boring for you, i will be back the week after to post about regular day to day stuff :) but just so you know, we are kind of cute when we are mushy. and i won't share all the mushy stuff. just a little bit of it. and of course i will share all the fun, silly, Mickey & Minnie, hilarious, yummy food and 95% humidity, and appropriate stuff, which is like, 70% of our trip ;)

buckle up kids.

Leaving Utah...


because of Him...

i just needed to share this amazing video that we watched in Sunday School today. it is only 2 minutes long, but it is one of the most powerful videos i've ever watched. watch it, you won't regret it. it's so simple, yet cuts me so deep.

i feel like lately, i've been slacking. slacking on my duty as a daughter of God, and as a member of my church. i need to be better. from watching this video and thinking about it all day, i have a renewed desire to do the little things daily that i know i should and i know that bring me ultimate happiness and closeness to my Heavenly Father. reading my scriptures, personal prayers, serving others, thinking less of myself and doing all that i can for those around me. doing these things, i feel so much better about myself, my life and my faith and my role as a wife, sister, friend, daughter and a mother. i have gotten so caught up in my stress with school, my business and my roles as a wife and mom, that i have let the most important things slack.

i have a testimony. it's simple, but it's mine. i love my Savior. i love the gospel; without it i would be lost. i am grateful for my tests and my trials, without them i wouldn't know the good, and i wouldn't be who i am. i am grateful for the lessons i learn from them. i am so eternally indebted to my Heavenly Father for my family, and for all i've been given. because of Him, i am alive. because of Him, i can make mistakes, screw up, mess up and i know that i can be given a clean slate to start over and over again. i am so grateful that He loves me, even with all my flaws and all my imperfections. because of Him, i have all that i have. it's easy to forget that sometimes.

i love this video. so glad i saw it today. i needed it.


the wheels on the bus...

this little boy. this one right here. he started preschool last Friday (while Brett and i were on a plane ride home from ORLANDO!!!! that's an entirely different post. can't wait to post about it :) and he did awesome! my mom took him and dropped him off (he is in two different ones) and she said he cried for about 5 seconds before he was fine. so i was a little worried about today, especially since this one (it's a preschool through the state, and he is in it to continue to help progress his speech, which is getting better by the day amazingly) they send a bus, a regular size school bus, to come pick up the students and they get into the car seats they have on the bus and they ride it all the way there. without parents. i was a little skeptical at first, and was just going to take him myself (that's always an option if parents don't want their kiddos riding) but the bus driver called me while we were on our way to the airport to leave on our vacay, and she was so sweet and nice. that phone call put all my worries at ease, and we decided we would let Dylan decide what he wanted.

so last night, as we were getting Dylie ready for bed, i explained that he was going to be going to school in the morning, and that a bus was going to come pick him up. oh my goodness, he was ecstatic! he just kept saying "a bus is coming! a bus is coming!" i was happy he was so enthused by the idea. so he went to sleep, and i woke him up this morning and as we were coming down the stairs to eat breakfast he all of a sudden remembered he was going to ride the bus and said "school mom! the bus is coming! school!" i reassured him that yes, the bus was coming and that's why i had to wake him and and that's why we needed to go eat breakfast, get dressed, then go outside and wait for the bus. oh he was so cute. he ate breakfast faster than i have ever seen him eat, was in such a hurry to get dressed, threw on his backpack and drug Brett and i upstairs to wait for the bus. i quickly made the sign he is holding and thought i would have to fight him to take his photos. nope, he went right over in front of the garage and planted his little bum on the ground and smiled away for me.
after pictures, we went to the sidewalk and waited. after a couple minutes, we looked up the street and saw the big yellow bus coming. Dylan was screaming with excitement; something i didn't expect. once the bus pulled up and stopped, the driver came and introduced herself to Dylan and he warmed right up to her (which never happens with new people, it usually takes him a minute) and then i held his hand to help him up the stairs and stuck him right in the carseat and put his backpack next to him on the bus. he was so happy to be there! i was amazed he wasn't trying to leap into my arms out of terror. he just kept saying "bye bye mom! see you later." i got off and we could see him through the window as he pulled away, and we waved as i prayed he wouldn't have a heart attack once we were out of sight. then we came inside and i kinda lost it. i am sad he is growing up. i am sad he was so happy to go, but i am so happy about it at the same time. and i was worried about him and how he was doing. Brett then had to go to work, and i wanted to keep myself busy so i cleaned the kitchen then worked out.

then 11:30 came and it was time to wait for the bus to come. i grabbed my mom because she wanted to see him get off the bus too, and as it pulled up and stop i heard him yell "Momma!!" I went to see and he was grinning from ear to ear as the bus driver unbuckled him. i asked her how he was and she was happy to report that he didn't cry once going to school or coming home. he just jabbered on both ways and pointed to things as they drove and told her what he was seeing. i was in heaven!! i thought for sure he would have a melt down or ten before they even got to school. but to hear he was calm the entire time? that was completely unexpected. a wonderful way to start the school year off.

once we got inside, all he talked about for 20 minutes straight was school, the bus, the friends and teacher. i am so grateful he loved it. not only is it great for him and to help be a little more independent, it's great for me so i don't have to take him. win win! i am so grateful he loves school so much too. i love knowing that he is around other kiddos and learning from them and making friends and learning social skills i can't really have him learn with just me at home. i now just need him to stop growing up. they need to make pills for that.


he's 3...

well hello there lovelies. i am honestly so sad to see the date i last blogged. ten months ago. i used to be so good and so diligent on recording events happening in our little family. and now almost a year has gone by with nothing written about it. as much as having my own business is a blessing, it's also a curse in this aspect. it's been bothering me the last couple of months, knowing i am editing (non-stop i might add) other families and couples and their memories, but not my own family and our memories. that is why i am cutting WAY back on my business front (that is an entirely different blog post that i will write soon).  i have so much to blog about and catch myself up on, and i pinky-promise to blog lots and lots more.

but for today, i am only 7 weeks late on blogging about my own son's 3rd birthday. oh my, i have a 3 year old. i can't believe it! time oh time, where have you gone? why must you fly by so fast? oh Dylie, i don't even know where to begin about this little boy. he's a full-blown toddler.

he is talking now, not perfectly, but he says tons and tons of words (he was in speech therapy for a year and it helped immensely). we are working on putting two words together and hopefully forming sentences soon. he knows all his colors, abc's and can count to 10 no problem.

he is not yet potty-trained. judge all you want. until you are the one having to try and train a child to go potty on the potty while editing sessions 4 hours a day, you have no idea how hard it is. i have a few weddings and sessions left to edit, then first priority after those is potty-training this little boy. we tried once, and it was a disaster on both child-and-parent fronts. needless to say, i gave up way too soon and now whenever i ask Dylan if he wants to learn to go potty he yells "NO" and runs off until he is sure i am not going to force him to sit on his Cars potty. ugh. it will stick someday. it has to right? i mean, there's no way he will go to 8th grade wearing a diaper (knock on wood) so that's comforting.

 he is obsessed with his grandpa. whenever we pull up to the street where Brett's parents live, you would think we were pulling into the land of Buzz Lightyear. he absolutely freaks out at the fact he knows he is going to see grandpa.

he is now loving Elmo and Sesame Street. that's all he ever wants to watch (when we let him watch shows(, which i love since i feel like he is learning while he watches.

his favorite foods are chicken nuggets drenched in honey. or maybe it's just honey. he wants it on everything, including fries.

he is terrified of hairdryers, vaccums, roller coasters, getting his haircut, swimming without me holding him or being on the steps, loud noises and bugs. i sound like i am describing a little girl. yeah, we hope for his sake it all turns around too.

he LOVES reading books. he has Green Eggs and Ham memorized and recites it all the time. he just loves books.

he loves trains, helicopters, motorcycles (or icicles as he calls them) airplanes and cars. he spots train-tracks from a mile-away and has to make sure you know about them "choo choo tracks! choo choo tracks!" i hear that phrase over and over until i acknowledge that i heard it.

he loves to help in the kitchen. wiping counters, adding stuff while i'm baking or cooking, stirring the food, he loves it all.

he still takes a 3 hour nap almost everyday. crossing our fingers this lasts forever (even though we know we are very lucky we know he has lasted this long with it) and still goes to bed at 8 (although he sits and chats with himself for a good hour or so before he konks, but he doesn't scream at all, just chats in the dark. cutest.thing.ever.

he has a fetish with balloons and bubbles. those are his loves. oh, and ice cream is too.

he loves watching himself in the mirror, especially if he is crying. it's the funniest thing. if he gets hurt or is sad about something, i figured out that all i have to do is take him in front of a mirror and he just watches himself cry for a good 7 seconds then he is all better and all is right in the world again.

he loves dancing and jumping. if there's music, you can bet your bottom dollar Dylan is groovin and shakin his bottom to the beat.

i'm sure i am forgetting a bunch of stuff, but he is the sweetest, kindest and funniest kid ever with the most adorable giggle we have ever heard. he is so well-mannered and listens pretty well. he loves cuddles and snuggling in a blanket with you, and is your best friend if you have food or a drink. we love this little guy, and love how much fun he is and how much joy he brings to us. he makes us laugh all-day long and is just the sweetest thing. we love you Dylie! happy late birthday. the last 3 years have been the best ever.


happy Columbus Day...

one huge perk of being a state employee is getting random holidays off. i love it! Brett came home Thursday from work and announced that he didn't have to work Monday. i totally spaced Columbus Day was coming (does anybody really remember it? sorry Columbus...). so we decided we wanted to take Dylan on Trax and have a day Downtown shopping, grabbing lunch and walking around the city.

it was a bit chilly, but so much fun to get out of the house and be together the entire day. i even gave up my morning ritual of going to the gym to take full advantage of Brett's holiday. big deal people.
when we pulled up to the Trax station and Dylan saw the train, he was automatically excited. until we got up to the tracks and one whooshed by us. then he got terrified. but once he saw that it wasn't going to run over us, he couldn't wait to get on. he loved the entire ride and couldn't stop looking out the window or looking at Brett and i, probably because he isn't used to being free in a moving vehicle.

once we got off, he would've been happy just watching the trains come and go. every time he saw one, he would automatically scream and laugh. this kid is a future conductor, i swear.

we spent the next 5 hours shopping at awesome Columbus Day sales, eating at The Red Iguana while Dylan played in the kiddie land at City Creek, and walked around the city and Temple Square.

Brett then suggested we go to the top of the Church Office Building. i have lived here my entire life and i have never been up there. so we went, and it was so beautiful. my camera battery died so i didn't get any pictures but a couple of Dylan looking out the windows they have up there, but it was gorgeous. chilly, but gorgeous.

Dylan loved it. and our tour guide was this adorable older woman who was telling us the history of the city, the buildings being built. we got a big history lesson.

by the time we got on Trax to come home, Dylan was exhausted. he almost fell asleep on my lap, and for those of you who know him, you know that's a big deal to even get close to that.

we have spent the rest of the night eating pizza, laughing, cuddling, watching Chopped and relaxing.

oh Columbus, thank you for being so important that you have your own holiday. it was wonderful.


takin' a break...

hello my peeps. so sorry for the long pause on the blog. honest, i don't even have a good reason. well, actually that's not true. i have been quite the busy bee lately, and blogging was always on my list of things to get done, but always got shoved to the bottom and hence, never got done.

but, what's important is i'm back, and hopefully i'll be updating more often. lots has been happening around here, and it needs to be written down so we can look back and remember these crazy busy times we are going through (well, mainly Brett, but that's another post).

this post is not an update for all the months i have been away. if it was, i would be sitting here literally all.night.long. no no, it's just what we did tonight. a fun family getaway that has been much needed.

yesterday, while Brett and i were eating breakfast (and while Dylan was dancing around to Music and the Spoken Word, he loves the music and the nature scenes) i had a pretty brilliant idea pop into my brain.
me: "hey, why don't you take a half day tomorrow, and we go up American Fork Canyon since i already have a pass there from my shoot on Saturday? we have been wanting to go for months, but have been so dang busy we haven't had time. let's do it before it get's too cold."
Brett: "done."

yes, that one little word sealed the deal, and i spent all night dreaming about our family afternoon in the canyon. and it was every bit as perfect as i pictured in my head. i'll let the pictures do the talking.

oh, except i should probably explain one little pup you will see in the photos. he's ours. and his name is Charlie. yes, we got another dog. long story short, Brett's sister took our girl dog (she helped raise her) and so we kept the fattest pup of the litter. oh, you didn't know our dog had puppies? well, yep, she did. 8 weeks ago tomorrow in fact. and we only have one pup left (of the 10 she had, and except for the one we are keeping) and she is most likely getting sold tomorrow. man, i really need to blog more. so sorry.

it was lovely. just.lovely. we loved every second of being away from our phones, computers and just being together. the drive home was sweet, with my hand in my best friends, and our sweet puppy laying under my feet, and Dylan looking out the window, trying not to fall asleep and talking off and on to us. it couldn't have been a more perfect break from all the busyness that has taken over our house since Brett started school again, and since my business has perked up quite a bit since the end of August. i loved today. i wish today could last for an eternity. it was pure magic.



well Dylan, we made it! you are two. can you believe it? i'm stunned. just stunned that i have a two-year-old.

i am feeling such different emotions than i was when Dylan turned 1. when his first birthday came, i was sobbing, whimpering, trying to hold onto every last second of time before he turned 1. i was kind of in panic mode.

this time around is so different. i couldn't wait for Dylan to wake up so i could run in his room and sing him happy birthday songs. he thought i was nuts. seriously, i think i terrified him more than i made him happy and excited. after i got him from his crib, we came downstairs and had breakfast, and birthday donuts (some that were left over from his party, he loved the change from the usual yogurt and banana). then, it was off to meet dad at work so we could take our newly-minted 2-year-old out for a family birthday lunch. Cafe Rio is a family favorite, so we decided to go there (and it doesn't hurt that they give free quesadilla's to little ones). it was so nice spending time with just the 3 of us. i felt like we had none of that this weekend, which was totally okay and fun, we just aren't used to that.

then once we said goodbye to Brett and took him back to work, Dylan and i had our own fun for a while. he got a haircut, then went down for a nap for 3 hours.
then once he woke up, i wanted to take him on our first mommy/son date since we haven't done that yet, and i've been wanting to do it for a while. so i decided to take him out for frozen yogurt then to the park to play for a while. i let Dylan pick the toppings, and he pointed to sprinkles and chocolate.

then it was time for birthday cake...
i just loved this cake. we had it made for Dylan's mustache bash (see post before this one) and i just couldn't bring myself to cut it up until his actual birthday, it was just too pretty! so, tonight was the night it got eaten.
here's a video i took for Brett since he couldn't be here since he had school tonight...

he loved that cake, and especially the black and red fondant balls that were surrounding it. he ate most of them. then, after watching some Toy Story, it was bed time for this little munchkin. he had a very long day of playing and eating yummy food and he was worn out.

Dylan, we love you! thank you for having the sweetest, kindest heart. you are so loving and so good about doing what i ask you to. these last two years have been the best of our lives, and it's all because of you! your personality is one that is so loving and endearing. you are also so outgoing! you want to be friends with everyone you meet, especially children. i could go on and on about what i love about you and how much you have changed me for the better, but i've done that a million times on this blog so i will spare the readers. just know that i am so grateful that you are my munchkin. you are constantly teaching me new things all the time. you have truly blessed our lives in more ways than we will ever know. and, i must say, you are the most well-behaved two-year-old that ever existed, at least according to all your grandparents, and your Dad and i totally agree. you are, and always have been, the most well-behaved child. we are just so lucky and super blessed to have you in our lives and for forever! i hope you had a happy birthday sweetheart! i am so lucky that i get to spend each and every day with you, but i hope today was especially fun for you!

love you for always,

mommy and daddy