Monday, July 29, 2013

so close

here we are.
on the eve of casey's last big test of his first year.
he's been diligently studying his buns off for it
and so ready to take it already and be done.
we all are.
we're all aching for a little vacation.
for (extended) family time.
for some more extra little fun than that that we're used to.
we're so close!

we're close to the end of the summer.
if you know how much i love summer, you'd know how sad i am.
i'm glad we'll be ending the summer off with a little bang,
but as always, the "summer" as gone too fast.
slipped away like that! (cue snapping finger).
would you believe that it's been in the 70's here for nearly a week now?
it's the end of july and it feels like fall already over here!

we're so close to 8 months old.
yes maxson will be 8 whole months old this week and i can't believe it.
i swear i just had a baby!
but now that baby is crawling everywhere and standing himself up on everything.
growing up too fast, as always.

what else are we close to?
so close to the end of a bunch of different craft/home projects, but alas, they haven't gotten done.
so close to no more of my dishes in my sink!
so close more fruits/veggies to pick from our tiny little garden.

all is well.
all those things will come in due time, and if they don't, we will still be happy over here.

as you read this think your mind

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

my 2 favorite

often i'll look over and see little maxson (he doesn't seem so little when i'm carrying his carseat) in my sweet husband's arms.
those two faces are my life.
they bring me happiness.
and the 3 of us will be together forever because of our eternal marriage in the temple.
i feel so beyond lucky to be this wonderful man's wife,
to be this adorable baby's mother,
and to be a daughter of god.
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ps- for a wonderful video on mormon temples see here!
(a great video if you're not a mormon and want to know what we do in the temple/what they are like inside!)

pps- happy pioneer day! july 24th marks the day the mormon pioneers entered the utah valley to settle the salt lake valley 166 years ago (1847) to live their faith without persecution.
so grateful for the example the pioneers sent and all that they sacrificed.
go have some green jello in honor of mormons today, friends :)
tonight at 8 pm MST there will be a broadcast put on by the mormon tabernacle choir to commemorate the day you can watch it live here!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


yesterday i went swimming with friends.
it was MELTING HOT outside,
the pool was refreshingly cold,
the sun was out,
few clouds in the sky,
2 cute friends with 3 other kids for maxson to watch.
but actually being in the cold water when it was really hot outside was so so so so wonderful!
i think i forgot how much i love the pool!
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oh and maxson LOVED. he was smiling and making cute maxson noises to say he approved.
he was awesome at going under the water too, didn't even bat an eye.
we will most definitely be going more!

Monday, July 22, 2013

the fruits of your labor, literally

although i finished a 4 year degree in landscape management,
i've never had a garden, sad huh?
all our summers of summer sales have never allowed us to.

but this was our first summer that that was different!
in nebraska we are permanent.
and if we are gone, we have friends who can tend to it and we will be back.

so a gardening we are.
we have two long skinny planters we have a few things in,
and they are actually putting out some fruit/veggies.
i give you a tour:
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the tiniest little strawberries.
they are itty bitty but bright red, does that mean they are done?
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we spotted our first itty bitty tomato today!
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but nearer to the bottom of the tomato plant we suddenly saw this beauty!
about the size of a raquet ball!
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our pepper beginning to turn red
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little peppers that just bloomed at the top
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our jalepeno plants are hopping,
we have 4 different plants that each have about 7 or more,
chili's salsa anyone?
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so excited to come back after our break to more fruits and veggies on all the plants!

and here's the gorgeous blue sky.
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maybe next year we will do more?!

things we did on sunday

1. went to church. lucky for us, there was no bread for the sacrament, so although we should have been "late" church started late and we were on time, oh yeah.
2. i subbed in the nursery again today. some of those kids make me laugh and i want to play with them all day, and then some kids make me want to pull my hair out/give them back to their parents asap. i hope my children end up in the first category for others.
3. while i was in the nursery with the little little kids, maxson took a nap in the arms of the sweetest lady visiting our ward for the summer and then continued to play with him during the third hour, so sweet of her.
4. facetimed with my mom for a little bit while maxson slept.
5. maxson was unusually overly whiny after hid nap, so we went outside on the blanket to play with toys. every time a car would pass by his eyes were on it like a hawk. one day all my caveman talk of "car! look, car! that's a car!" while pointing at objects will pay off and he'll understand what a car is.
6. i biked to my friend's house with maxson for dinner.
7. casey met us there after his additional church appointments for the most scrumptious totally from scratch dinner with homemade rolls and even two different desserts. best part about it was a full belly with no dishes at my house!
8. lounging, talking, and laughing with friends while watching maxson crawl everywhere
9. everyone played the newest casey-favorite game of cornhole in the front yard while i fed maxson food in the bumbo
10. we all raced over to the stake center for a special missionary fireside of uplifting hymns about the restoration of the gospel. throughout i was either standing up with maxson, letting him crawl places, or he was being passed to and fro from our friends.
11. cookies afterward while catching up with other friends who went
12. wrote a novel like email to a friend about more cloth diaper opinions
13. before going to bed, i peeked in on max and watched his limp body just breathing there softly, sleeping in baby land, so sweet and content. oh how i love that child of mine
14. fell asleep cuddling next to the man i love dearly.

it was a wonderful, typical sunday in the cutler home.

and other cute photos from the weekend:

maxson still isn't confident about going from standing position back to sitting, it's funny.
and often he wants so bad to reach something on the floor while standing, makes me laugh :)
and whenever i see his little feet in tip toe position i can't help but smile
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cute binki smiles
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new break through:
maxson sat through 3 books watching me read them!
he didn't try to eat them until the 4th book, i'm so proud!!!!
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the end

Thursday, July 18, 2013

too good to pass up

i can't refrain from sharing this with you!
i'm in the middle of making this for pretty much FREE!(!!!!)
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you can get 50 free photos at target this week only with this coupon
and with this wonderful woman's freebie you can print out an awesome gospel ABC quiet book!
be aware that you will need to add some of your own photos in after you print the book (dad pic, marriage pic, family pic, 2 grandparent pics, 2 child pics, mom pic).

there's tons of stuff like this i've been wanting to print out but they're always full size color pages which
a) i don't think my home color printer would print them out very nicely
b) they seem so expensive to print out at places

so with this awesome coupon and deal they were free!
you can use up to 4 of those coupons/person so you could get 4 sets of 50 for free.
you could print out one set for you with some pictures you'd like and then a few other sets of the ABC's for others you visit or home teach!

it's too easy!

ps- hopefully i'll find one of those picture books i can put these in to easily update the pictures i taped on!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

a few tips from a really lazy "couponer"

let's talk about couponing really quick
i used to be super into it.
like super duper.
and i really loved it.
we think it's lots of fun to find really awesome deals on stuff you'd already normally buy.

but now days with my baby and all the other things i want to invest my time into, i just shop the sales and use a few coupons here and there,
nothing too serious.
i still follow for awesome deals and that's where i find most of my stuff.

let's talk about target though.
they are sure upping their couponing competition!
hypotheticallly you could use ALL of the following in the same transaction (if they offered all these coupons at once)
manufacturer coupon.
target coupon. ( includes onine printed out coupons, shopkick app coupons, and mobile coupons)
cartwheel app coupon (takes like %5 off or something)
ibotta app coupon (puts money back into your paypal acct)
PLUS if you have a target red card you can use that and save another %5!

that is a lot of discounts in one transaction/for one item!!!!!!!!

i only do deals hip2save tells me to, it's the only smart way to do that.
i tried that cartwheel app a week ago, but don't know if it went through... but that's a really easy one i'll keep using i think.
i don't have a target red card and probably won't open one, we really like using our southwest one to FLY BACK TO ARIZONA!

but what i'm really trying to get at is this new ibotta app.
i used it tonight and GEE it's a lot of work!
BUT i'm going to at least use it for 5 different items because once you do that, they just give you $10 in your paypal account, how sweet is that???

why am i writing this?
to encourage you to do just those 5 items too and get $10, and because i like telling my friends how to get free money!
(not really free, you have to answer a few questions, then take a picture of your receipt and the barcode on the product for each "coupon" . like i said, too much work in my mind maybe? but i'll do 5 for $10).
i'm not sure what happens to me if you sign up with "my link" but here's the link to sign up!

good luck!!!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

sleeping babies or not so sleeping babies

let's talk about sleeping. babies sleeping. or in my case 1 particular baby named maxson
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i was constantly asking other moms what they did for different sleep issues etc so i thought i'd add my 2 cents to my blog about the subject for mine and other's future interest/reference.

like i've mentioned, maxson's sleep habits were like a stock chart, huge peaks with lots of dips but a general upward trend. we're plateauing out (thank heaven's) at a beautiful spot on the chart and i'm sooooo happy. "how a mother's day went" is often measured on the child's sleeping (or lack there of) that day.

those first few months (up to nearly 5) I was at Maxson's beckoning call (which i'm ok with, i had/have only 1 baby, that's what i'm to do right now: take care of that ONE baby). He'd always been swaddled, and in my mind since he didn't have his hands nor could he roll, he would likely have a hard time soothing himself. Probably not so, but that's how i saw it. I was constanlty questioning myself "should i hurry and go in to put the binki in in hopes he'll sleep longer if i catch it at the perfect moment, should i let him cry a little and see if he'll put himself back to sleep, if he's in the car seat should i rock it, should i pick him up from the crib, should i this or that" the list and questions to myself were endless.

we kinda always had the same general routine though: swaddle, lights out, turn noise machine on, binki in, read good night moon (started that at 5 months), 3 primary songs (teach me to walk in the light, i am a child of god, love is spoken here. those 3 kinda just happened). now days at 7 months, lights go off, fan on (upstairs is hot hot hot!), binki in (his cue to cuddle my shoulder, love) read book sometimes, 1-3 songs, put him in crib awake to cuddle monkey and i'm gone. he never cries and goes straight to sleep, it's vundervul!

for more details month by month, keep reading

Monday, July 15, 2013

a list of awesome things

here's the cold hard truth:
life has been super wonderful and fun lately.
reasons why.
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1. MAXSON IS SLEEPING THROUGH THE NIGHT!and when i say maxson is sleeping through the night i mean 10-11 hour stretches meaning i'm sleeping through the night too, hallelujah! all this crawling and pulling himself up on everything all day long business is wearing him out good. he's sleeping all night long and nearly always takes long naps during the day, i think we're turning a new leaf over here!

2. casey finished his last class/final of his first year of dental school, hip hip hooray! now he's got boards to take in a couple weeks and the first and hardest year of dental school will be behind us!

3. maxson figured out the pincer grasp last weekend (thumb and pointer finger to pick things up) and has been trying to pick up those baby puffs all the time. he used to gag hard core when i'd put them in his mouth, but he doesn't mind putting them in his mouth himself, so fun learning new things!

4. i've also discovered other things he's learned that i didn't realize i teach him: 1) if he's crawling around looking for me he goes to the kitchen first 2) he's learned if he wants more food while i'm feeding him to leave his mouth open and look to me/the spoon. seems like a strange thing to realize he's "learned" but he really did have to learn it! 

5. i took a "facebook fast" for a week and am so much happier for it. i realized i was getting on it like a jillion times a day just to see what was new and it was wasting my time. i deleted it off my phone and didn't get on it on my computer for a week. during that week i got way more projects done that i'd had the past few months (pillow covers, stenciled shirts, organizing clothes/rooms, better meals). it was such a wonderful week! i still do get on facebook now i just don't feel so compelled to do it all the time. so friends, do a facebook fast, seriously, it's well worth your time

6. but before you do your facebook fast, get on there and go like my photography page! i've been wanting to "officially" set up a photo blog/business/fb page for awhile now but always felt so inadequate. there will always be people better than me but i too have something to offer! something in me just decided to finally suck it up and do it and i'm so happy! going through all my old photo shoots helped me remember how much i really DO love taking pictures. and the more photos sessions i get to do for others the better i'm going to get for future ones! it's so fun how they turn out and seeing the happy people in front of my lens. i'm hoping to do a bunch of fun sessions this fall so let me know if you want to schedule ;) the blog page is here:

7. i finished listening to a fun book called the chase by clive cushier. quite the fun historical fiction mystery read if i do say so myself

8. i've been diligent at working out again the past few weeks during the first time period that maxson is awake and i'm feeling great! that feeling of being sore and tired and pushing your body to the max feels great.

9. i'm more than halfway through the book of mormon! the last 2 weeks i've been more than pitiful at reading everyday and have let other things get in the way and i truly have been missing out. tell me, are you reading it too? if so where you at???

here's to a great week!

Friday, July 12, 2013

catching water // picturas de iFono

i read this on a new blog i found today and connected with every word completely. she described EXACTLY the way i feel as a mother right now. 

"There is something magical about having a baby. Your baby. The way you know just how they like to be held. The way their eyes light up when you walk into a room. The way you can understand every noise they make (most of the time after you have put in some good sweat and tears to figure that out). The way your heart feels like it just may burst out of you when you watch them sleep at night. I looked forward from the time I was practically a baby myself to that time when I would be able to carry my own around on my hip, their pacifiers as a ring." 
source here

this first year of motherhood/first year of maxson's life is slipping away too quickly.
it's like trying to catch water pouring out of a firehose with just my hands.
as hard as i try, i can't keep it for longer than a few seconds, before it goes away and new water comes pouring in.
i have tears in my eyes thinking that how fast max is growing.
it's all just too fast.
my heart is so full of love for him.
i just love that little boy like mad.


on a lighter note,
here are some phone pictures of recently

a family trip to yorgutini.
maxson loved.
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a. a beautiful view of the nebraska horizon
b. babies who sleep all night make for incredibly happy mommas
c. swinging but the lawn mower is way more exciting that the swinging action
d. up and coming local artists in our driveway
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a. our 4th of july weather, are you shocked?
b. casey was a delegated pancake flipper for the 4th of july breakfast. although many of the older generation constantly commented that his pancake cooking/flipping skills were not up to their wishes, he did wonderfully, didn't you, babe?
c. a very sweet birthday card from my parents with a not so sweet amount of confetti in it that got all over that maxson promptly decided he must try to eat. that's my momma for ya
d. old man maxson: his little hawaiin shirt we got on our babymoon last year was too tight after his dinner, i had to unbutton it for his own comfort (and the extended quality of the shirt). cutest thang ever.
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a. my toe ring of nearly a decade got caught on the floor while i was racing to maxson for one reason or another and BROKE :( that was one sad moment. my sweet dad let me pick it out with him on the side of the road at an indian stand overlooking the grand canyon all those years ago and i've ALWAYS worn it. R.I.P. toe ring
b. my little cub scouts doing some heavy duty tree digging!
c. whenever i drink out of my waterbottle maxson immediately wants his mouth on it too, always. he usually get the handle while i get the straw part.
d. twinners!
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a. the most beautiful sunset. those clouds were GORGEOUS!
b. like a kid in a candy store: picking out all his fireworks. he'd pick out 3 or 4, put 2 or 3 back to compensate for a bigger and better one he wanted and that continued for 20 minutes until there were about 8 different "buy 1 get 3 free" kinds of fireworks in his basket. he loved it. i secretly did too.
c. out to dinner
d. our nightly ritual: cocoa pebbles. always
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a. confining this mover to this contraption so i could get some sewing done!
b. he LOVES this activity table. he walkes circles around it all day long pushing the buttons, falling, getting back up, and continuing his circles (and excited spitting)
c. / d. bike rides!!!!
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a. / b. sleeping baby max kills me. i never want it to end. except when he sleeps too long and i feel like i barely get to play with him during the day (2 months ago i would have never DREAMED that would be a problem!)
c. the weird paci again, it's just so funny in person
d. his little hawaiian outfit kills me. i wish he could wear it everyday.
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the end.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

happy birthday to me!

i celebrated my 23rd birthday this last week!
although it was a different paced birthday than i've had before, it was special none the less!
highlight of my birthday:
my new bike!!
i've been begging for one for much too long we finally found the perfect one.
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i put the bike seat on it and maxson and i go for little rides around the neighborhood,
i love getting out with maxson, it's just so fun!

that day we went to a friend's house to check on their chickens and garden while they're away.
maxson watched the chickens suspiciously for 20 minutes while i watered the garden.
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it was kinda the hottest day ever on my birthday so after those 20 minutes of watering plants/watching chickens all 3 of us were soaking from humidity/sweat/heat.
maxson wasn't so happy about this hot sweatiness, ha, poor thing
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during the rest of the day we picked up a few birthday freebies from firehouse subs, buffalo wild wings, culver's custard, and iHop.
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in the evening before maxson went to sleep, i got a a humble version of happy birthday from casey sung to me, with maxson moaning along and a donut cake before me lit with candles.
as i held a wiggly maxson who cared less about the candles in arm's length, i blew my candles out to celebrate my 23rd birthday, my first as a momma in nebraska :)
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here's to another great year!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

4th of july in nebraska

4th of the july was such a blast this year, as usual!

monday night my neighbor, katie, and i decided we needed to have a 4th of july party in our backyard area (we share a nice, secluded backyard).
plans were made, invites sent out, and low and behold, all our friends came thursday afternoon/evening with food in hand to share and activities ready for all.
we had the most wonderful time all night eating, talking, playing games, holding children, and watching fireworks.
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all our friends brought the most wonderful festive foods to share:
cake pops, r/w/b trifle, r/w/b fruit shish-kabobs, a huge r/w/b cake, smores pull apart bread, salads and chips galore, and you can't leave out the ginormous watermelon slices we snacked on all night long.
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the weather was so perfect all day and night long.
it wasn't the least bit hot or humid!
we sat around in our camping chairs/lawn blankets under the large shade trees all evening chatting, watching the husbands grill, trading children around and going back to the food table over and over.
it will definitely go down as the least hot 4th of july i will probably ever experience.
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after most people we done with their first/second rounds of food (of the 2038505 rounds) we began on games.
there were water balloons
3 legged races,
costume/flag races,
bubble gum eating contests (14 for the female winner and 23 for male!),
hot dog eating contest ,
and a pie (whip cream) eating contest for the children.
it was all so much fun for everyone.
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i secretly want to request guests to wear color coordinated clothing to all events i plan, it's so cute.
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funniest part of the evening:
the 3 legged race for kids!
it was mostly 1 parent paired with their 3ish year old,
but there was one set of 4/5 year olds who bravely did it together, and although they were the slowest it was the funniest thing i've watched in a long time.
one would fall and as soon as he got up the other would fall and while each one was down the other was trying to drag/pull their partner with them to the finish line.
by the end they were both on the ground and even crawling wouldn't get them there.
laughter was a plentiful commodity in our backyard during those 3 minutes.

after we all recovered from our laughing attacks, we did an adult/spouse 3 legged race.
casey and i made quite the pair and i was surprised i kept up with casey!
i would have thought one of us would fall and our race would end up in blaming the other for us losing, ha.
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our wonderful 4th of july crew!
(missing a few who had to leave early)
we played a very fun game of "i've never" with everyone.
almost every adult was holding a child during the game while running to find a new spot in a different camping chair that you could not quickly/easily get out.
it was such a fun hour.
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after everyone was sufficiently stuffed from food and food eating contests,
i brought out some homemade ice cream sandwiches!
this M&M cookie recipe was so good,
after i made the cookies, i squished some softened ice cream between 2 and threw them back in the freezer.
because i have no self control i tried to devour the cookie straight out of the freezer, i swear i nearly broke a tooth, but the last bite was sufficiently softened and tasted wonderful!
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we ended the night with sparklers for the children and small fireworks for the dads/spectators.
this was the first year (in our marriage at least) that casey has gotten to buy an actual bag full of fun fireworks to light off for the evening.
i think that man was in heaven.
once a boy, always a boy :)
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thank you dearest friends for making it such a fun night.
another night to add to our nebraska memories.

hope you all had a very fun 4th of july!
i truly feel so blessed to live in the USA,
the freedom to live, love, and believe.
the founding fathers created a most wonderful framework to build our families on, i feel so blessed to call myself an american!

happy independence day!!!

ps- only disappointing thing of the 4ht of july: the country radio stations!!!! where was toby keith and god bless america all day? my american music/country loving heart was gipped!

pps- when i video chatted with my mom later in the evening when we were done with our festivities, they were having to spray themselves down with spray bottles as they were sitting, waiting for the fireworks to go off, heh heh, glad i wasn't having to do that this year.

ppps- lincoln sounded like a war zone non stop from the evening of july 3 to 1 am july 5.
everyone and their dog bought a gajillion dollars worth of fireworks and lit them off non stop it seemed.
don't know how my baby slept through it all!