just so lyla

this is one of my most favorite pictures of lyla.
{it's from a few months ago, i believe it was taken in june}
every detail is so telling of her bright, creative and genuinely individual personality.
she is loving just being near her dad, even when he is trying to take a sunday nap.
she is using her beloved star wand as a universal doctor tool and is giving her dad a checkup.
she is wearing her "wedding dress" {her flower girl dress from hailey's wedding}, her pink beaded necklaces, butterfly wings, and floppy bird hat. all of these items are among her favorites and i love that she feels absolutely beautiful and special when she is dressed up in a style that she has completely created.
i hope i never forget the very pleased, proud, and confident attitude that she had at this very moment when she was free to wear what she chose and was able to imagine and pretend and be whatever she wanted.

as a constant observer of this little girl's childhood i have often wondered at what point a child begins to worry what other people will think about her choices and when and how and why does this begin to influence the choices that we as people make. it makes me so sad to think that someday she might feel silly because she chose to wear a dress to school or because someone makes a dumb comment about her necklace or hat or whatever the item may be. i definitely remember being informed throughout my elementary school days that something about me was not actually considered normal. i specifically remember not wanting to wear dresses to school or do my hair a certain way. all of this thinking leads me to wonder if it is possible to raise a child with the confidence to not care and to not be swayed by all of these kinds of influences. is it something that comes with the child into the world or is it something that i as a mother can instill in her? or maybe a little of both?


Pregnancy Update

I have been very terrible at documenting this pregnancy. It's not because we are not thrilled about this little girl, just that blogging seems to have taken a back seat. And also pregnant selfies are not very flattering. 

But here are some fairly recent pictures:

26 weeks

This is one if my favorite things to wear right now. My sisters spoiled me with this way cute shirt for my birthday and it just feels so fancy. 

29 weeks

Which is actually about two weeks ago. Jordan was in idaho visiting his sister who just left for her mission and I had my horrendous 3 hour glucose test on a Saturday morning. (Ugh, but I passed!!!) After the test Lyla and I came home and crashed and then got up and ready and went to the mall for a girls' night. It was so fun to have a fun little outing with my girl. 

Also, can we talk about how super it is that the Motherhood store has a bin of toys for kids to play with while we try on clothes!? It is brilliant.

Some quick facts about this pregnancy:

Baby girl is super wiggly. She has been for a while. We are now at the point where I can not only feel her move but we can see her move as well. This is my favorite part about being pregnant. I love feeling this little miracle move and I am constantly so grateful for her. 

My back pain has gotten better due to the exercises from my physical therapy I had during the summer as well as the body pillow that I now sleep with.

NO DIABETES for me this time!!! There are not words to describe how happy I  about this. So I think I will eat a brownie instead. (Just kidding. While it's super nice not to have to count carbs and be so strict, I have been loading up on my vegetables and all kinda of healthy food.)

I am just starting to feel big and swollen and I can tell that she has really grown lately. This is all exciting and also a little scary because it makes me realize that we are, in fact, going to have a baby...

Lyla is the sweetest and seems to understand quite a bit. She asks all the time if we can go to the hospital to get Baby Sister. I have also heard her tell other kids that she is a big sister. She loves to put her hands on my tummy and talk to her. Lyla also gets very very jealous when I hold other babies, so we have learned to hold babies together and she loves that. 

Overall, I am so excited. I love newborns and I keep just wanting to hold this little girl. 


lyla at temple square

way back in may when lyla and i spent a few weeks in idaho and utah we were able to visit temple square.
luckily, my seester of alex hawker photography, was with us and snapped a few photos.
i love how these captured lyla's little personality.

of course there are lots more, see the rest after the jump.


like father like daughter: car enthusiasts

lyla has really developed a love for cars.
she watches car shows with jordan.
and lately she often asks to go wash the car.
she loves it.
she also loves to make car sounds and play with cars.

it's become a part of their daddy-daughter bond.

one weekend in june we went to a really great car show at the henry ford museum.
we all had fun and lyla even oohed and awed at some of the cars.
in fact, one couple offered to let her sit in their car.
she didn't want to sit alone, so lucky me, i sat with her and she pretended to drive.


a little trip to cleveland

during jordan's week off at the beginning of july we took a little business trip to cleveland.
we had our toothpaste squeezes with us for some photo ops at the toledo bridge.
for some reason i think this bridge is one of the coolest landmarks.

lyla always loves playing with her toothpaste squeezes and they kept her busy the entire drive there.

lyla was most excited to swim at the hotel.
sadly i left her swimsuit at home {but remembered ours somehow} so we bought her a new one, which we all love.
this girl would wear her swimsuit as a normal everyday outfit if i'd let her.
{i actually have let her a couple times.}
sorry, they are blurry because she was jumping and dancing around.

playing the drum. haha!

we also went to the rock n roll hall of fame museum, which was really awesome. 
we saw guitars and clothes from so many bands. 
our favorites were: elvis, the jackson 5, katy perry, rhianna, van halen, jimmy hendrix, les paul, metallica, zz top, beatles, the supremes and so many more.
it was a really fun place.

sadly, we didn't make it to the westside market, which i have been wanting to go to for their sandwiches that i saw on the travel channel. this would be a great destination or a stop while on the way to kirtland, for all those who may be considering a visit to detroit with a day trip to cleveland/ kirtland.


a huge update

this has been a very busy summer.
when we got back we closed on our first house. {!!???!!}
but we weren't able to actually move in for a few weeks because there were repairs that needed to be made first.
during that waiting time lyla and i were sick for an entire week. 
i packed up our house and jordan fixed and cleaned our new house.
by the time we finally moved i started feeling like it was actually summer and now, just a few weeks later it feels like summer is ready to end already!
we have met some great people in our new ward. {we still love our friends in our old ward and have seen some of them recently}
i subbed in primary as the chorister for 5 weeks. {absolutely loved it!}
we have been putting things away and getting settled in our new house slowly, but progress has been made. 
{this house is really cute and has a lot of nice features, but definitely needs some work and it will be a consuming project for a while, we think}

during all of this crazy/ new excitement life has continued as usual and lyla continues to be so much fun, though definitely a two year old.

lyla has had the same sickness come back several times since her birthday in april and she has become very familiar with and afraid of her doctor, nurses and doctor's office.
{we also play doctor all the time and she now wants to give everyone a checkup}
there were a couple weeks that we went more than once a week. 
the receptionists knew me just by saying "hi, it's lyla's mom."
although they were so nice and accommodating to our needs and lyla made every effort to be brave and good  at her visits, some were rough and a bit traumatic.
after one particularly sad visit i took her to get her very first happy meal, which was a huge hit. we just ate it in the car, but she was so happy and we really enjoyed all forty minutes we spent eating our mcdonald's in the car. 

there are soooo many pictures in this post with just as many captions, so feel free to continuing at your discretion. 


Goodbye Sister Egbert!

last week my youngest sister entered the Provo MTC
i have a lot of feelings about this:
first and foremost, i am thrilled for her. the decision to serve a mission is such a selfless and mature choice. and in discussing this decision with hannah my respect for this girl grew immensely. she has such a strong testimony and desire to serve our Lord, Jesus Christ. she also is just really excited to teach people the gospel. it just makes me so proud of the woman she is. 
in addition, i am so sad because the last time i saw hannah was in may. living across the country definitely makes it difficult when it comes to big events. it was so hard not to be there when hannah when to the temple, spoke in Sacrament meeting, was set apart as a missionary and representative of the Lord, or when she entered the MTC.
i am just grateful for technology and that i was able to talk to hannah many times before, facetime a few times, and listen to her awesome talk.

i love having a missionary out! 
it's so exciting and it definitely makes me want to be a better missionary myself.

i really just can't believe this girl is now a missionary. 
but i really couldn't be happier about it.

this was when we said our final goodbyes to hannah way back in may.


a baby girl

yesterday we had our 20 week appointment and ultra sound.
we got to see this sweet little GIRL wiggle and move all over the screen.
she really was all over the place. {that's why her hands don't look like hands, the photos are a little blurry}
but she is healthy and things seem to be going very smoothly.
it was so fun to see our baby move.
she was so sweet and had her little hands up on her face.
it makes it seems more real and we are all very excited.

lyla seemed so intrigued but quiet.
today she has talked about the baby a lot and when we looked at these photos she asked to watch the baby.

this little lady should be arriving at the end of november.
our due date is November 27, Thanksgiving day this year.
we can't wait!


a nearly pictureless update about moving

this weekend we moved.
we are still in the same area of michigan, but we are now in a different ward.

i have mentioned on the blog and told nearly everyone i have spoken to within the last year that this has been such a wonderful place to be.
almost immediately i made some of the greatest friends.
i have met people who are kind and willing to do anything to help others.
and i have loved absolutely everything about living right where we were.

on saturday morning we rented a big uhaul truck and were surprised, grateful, and happily overwhelmed by the amount of men {and a couple of children} who came from our ward to help us move.
these men set right to work moving huge pieces of furniture {piano, couch, entertainment center, washer and dryer, etc.} as well as huge boxes that i had strategically packed to be as heavy as possible. {just kidding, i was just trying to be economical about the space in each box, but somehow these boxes were ridiculously heavy}
and every single item that needed to be moved out was removed within an hour.
it was amazing.
our neighbors were so impressed and commented about how many people were here helping and how quickly they loaded up the truck.
we worked hard to be prepared so things would go smoothly {hopefully all our movers felt like that was the case!} but without all those hard working people it never would have happened.
THANK YOU!! to all our friends and even people we had never met who just moved in to the ward. we are so grateful for the help!
{and you better believe that i had at least six offers, that i can remember, from people willing to watch lyla! and she was well taken care of and had the time of her life. it was wonderful!}
we will miss our ward dearly and it makes me a little bit sad to think that we have left.

at our new house we had a very similar experience.
in less than an hour all of our stuff was carefully unloaded and we were ready to return the truck.
and the very impressive thing is that these are people who had, in almost every case, only met us one time before!!!
who on earth is that willing to give up time on a saturday to help strangers?
people who are part of a church family, that's who.
we absolutely love our new ward and are so grateful for the many good people there.

yesterday we went to our new ward for the second time and it was one of the most spiritual sundays jordan and i can remember.
when we were leaving the building jordan said that it was like "spiritual steroids".
and frankly, it was.
two people had been baptized that weekend and they were confirmed in sacrament meeting and it was absolutely beautiful and powerful to witness the beginning of the membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
lyla was even fairly reverent.
i was fighting back tears almost the entire meeting.
and lyla went right in to nursery and STAYED!!! the entire time!
i think we all just feel welcomed and loved in this ward.
and i am amazed by the powerful testimony that so many people are willing to share in this new ward.
we are in for an amazing experience.

some day soon i will post about our cute little bungalow house.
we love it.
we love excited to have a home that is OURS!
and we are so excited to get to work on some fun home renovations.

and since i took no pictures of our house filled with boxes, here is a fun picture of most of the ladies from our ward at a good-bye/ hello ice cream party. {it's the time of year when medical residents graduate and leave and new residents, interns, and ford employees move in.}
it was so much fun and i just love every single person in this picture.


memorial day camping

for memorial day weekend we went camping with some of our friends who moved out from byu right after we did.
they put together a great trip at a really fun metro park where we were right by a park and we camped in a nice, clean grassy park with restrooms just across the road.
it was perfect.

they also invited two other families from their ward who were so nice and made the trip so fun.
lyla had so much fun because one family had three kids who are quite a bit older than her, but they were so nice and included her while they played.
they pushed her on the swings and held her hand as she climbed up the stairs to the slides.
they made it such a relaxing trip for us and lyla had the time of her life!
our friends also brought their dog, who lyla calls Puppy Leo.
she loves this dog and was so excited/ nervous to see him.

it was a great experience camping and hopefully we can do this kind of camping more often.

lyla ignoring/ playing with puppy leo

lyla slept pretty well in the tent. she slept through the night and even slept in the next morning.

she loved the playground toys.

the kids were all so nice to lyla and took turns pushing her and playing with her. i kept asking if they wanted to go play instead of push her and they told me they liked playing with her. 
they were the sweetest!

the swings and motorbike were even fun for big kids, like jordan.

the boys playing football.

lyla loved exploring around the park.

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