Sunday, December 29, 2013

2013 in Review

A Recipe for the Eaton's 2013


1 rescued puppy
2 exhausted college students
1 growing baby
A handful of U-Haul trucks and trailers
2 dozen baby names
1 job search
1 pregnant woman
1 motion sick man
At least 15 kolaches
1 new R&D food science job*
1 cross country move


1. Place two exhausted college students in the last semester of their undergrad programs. Add a rescued puppy (Label says puppy is house trained, this is not true. Puppy must be trained.) Stir frequently for three months, add in a search for post graduate jobs.

2. After job search has been fully incorporated in the mix place growing baby, pregnant woman and motion sick man in a plane, have them skydive from airplane in Zion’s National Park. Let sit for two months while the job search continues to form.
When job search has finished, attempt to place two former college students, now trained puppy, and all of their belongings in a small UHaul truck and midsize sedan. Not everything will fit, sell or donate items to various individuals.

3. Incorporate the cross country move. Sprinkle miniature disasters like losing housing, three flat tires and one puppy who hates long car rides along the way. Once cross country move is complete, combine with R&D food science job.

4. While new job is settling, use the rest of the UHaul trucks and trailers to replace those items that were sold or donated.  At this point you will discover the deliciousness that is kolaches and also that the 1 growing baby is male. While eating many kolaches, add two dozen baby names and debate about them. The motion sick man will settle on the name Roland Isaac and the pregnant woman will agree.

5. Finally, let growing baby finish baking, motion sick man settle into his job and the pregnant woman continue to take college classes, while the rescued puppy is content.

Combine with various road trips and lessons learned to wish you a wonderful 2014 from our family to yours.

Photography by Joshua Eaton


*R&D stands for research and design, Gabe currently helps formulate new recipes and tastes for frozen food products. We will soon be able to tell you about his latest project that will be available in stores in a few months.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

For hate is strong and mocks the song...

I love the Christmas season, I love warm cookies, warm feelings, and our little fake tree decorated with too many ornaments and lights. I enjoy picking out and making presents for Gabe and those we love. I relish in the songs that celebrate the birth of Christ and family Christmas cards that are sent to us. But lately, it seems like this season has been covered by a fog of hateful words and actions.

The media has been perpetuating that a "war on Christmas" is occurring across the nation. Signs in Time Square, a rude letter from a neighbor about a lit nativity scene, and interviews with atheists who claim that "religion kills people" are a few of the articles and videos I have seen floating around the internet.

And there are two things that have baffled me throughout all of this:

1. This is being claimed as persecution. While I may not have Mormon Pioneer ancestors who were run out of their homes and/or killed, I have grown up in and feel very much a part of the heritage of pioneers who were. I am grateful for those who lived their religion despite persecution so I could experience the joy and peace that I feel on a daily basis through the gospel of Christ.

But, signs? Rude notes from anonymous neighbors? A man expressing his opinion on the news? That is not persecution, and to say that it is denotes those who are, to this day, persecuted and martyred for practicing Christianity.

2. While these things are not persecution they can hurt feelings, and that has been very obvious from many of the comments I have seen and heard posted throughout the internet (I seriously need to stop reading the comment sections of anything).

To be Christian is to follow Christ, a being who atoned for each of our sins but who was also persecuted and crucified for His beliefs. Christ was/is loving and kind. He said "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." (Luke 23:34 KJV)

When Christ was on this earth, one of his most renowned sermons is the Sermon on the Mount, and in it we learn
"Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God...." and later on "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." (Matthew 5:9,16 KJV)

To me, being unapologetically Christian is less about saying things and more about living a Christlike life despite what anyone else is saying or doing. It is about random acts of kindness and making an effort to reach out to others, not because we want them to believe what we believe, but because we know who they are, a child of God.

May we all remember that this Christmas season as we sing the mantra
Peace on Earth... Good will towards men....

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Travel back in time with you to where this all began...

Sometimes it is really fun to remember all the little things that happened as Gabe and I went from friends to... friendlier. Don't get me wrong, I love our relationship at the moment (especially as he is crawling on his hands and knees around the house chasing after Starky). But some of those moments were just kind of adorable and I never really wrote in my journal back then.

So... once upon a time, when Gabe and I were just friends he went waaaay over his texting limit (remember those) and almost all of the texts were to the same number, mine. I had assumed that because he text me so frequently he didn't have a limit. Nope. Luckily, the hundreds of dollars on his bill were negotiated and he didn't get into too much trouble. Looking back on our friendship at that time the texts couldn't have been too substantial. Mostly song lyrics (see this post), inside jokes, college woes and overall nonsense.

One of my requests after I die (because that happens, we totally get requests... right?) is to be able to go back and reread all of those messages between two kids who had no idea that they were talking to their future spouse.

Labor Day

I completely forgot about Labor Day weekend...

Gabe has been working some crazy hours since he started at his job. We kind of thought it would be a 9 to 5 gig but some days that just isn't the case, so it was nice to have a three day weekend to just relax.

At the same time my mom and stepdad had been wanting to come see our new place and bring Starky back to us after they looked after him while we moved. It was so fun to "host" my parents and little brothers for a few days at our place.

Saturday morning we treated the boys to some good ol' Texas kolaches. My mom had a taste of IKEA when they came to visit us in Utah and was dying to go back so we took her to the one that is close to us. While we were there my little brother John picked out and bought a desk chair for his room. It was really cute to see him sit in all the chairs and compare prices etc.

Gabe and I also found some chairs that were well under our budget and decided that we could just stain them to match the table he recently built. I am usually the one who stains our furniture but since I'm pregnant Gabe ended up doing it and I was very grateful.

Sunday was church and family time. We put the boys in charge of Family Home Evening and they did a great job with the lesson and activity. Faron ended up fixing our towel rack and cleaning up the leftover carpet that the people who renovated left here. Gabe and I weren't concerned with it because we are renting but it was nice to have it gone and the towel rack in the guest bathroom fixed.

Monday we took Starky to get a trim and then spent most of the day just relaxing, playing Wii sport and the boys ran around the backyard with Starky. Benji picked out a stuffed alligator for Starky and he did a great job because Starky takes that little thing with him wherever he goes. We also did a little back-to-school shopping with my brothers on their way out of town. Since my mom home schools John and Benji there are so many supplies to get and she was excited to find a discounted art supply store in our area.

It was a low-key relaxing weekend but it still wore me out and when they left I took a very long nap.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

And I lift my hands...

Thanksgiving started out as a wonderful day. I woke up late, and there were smells of pumpkin chocolate chip cookies and other side dishes and desserts wafting in from the kitchen to the dark basement room where we were staying. I snuck a few cookies for breakfast (pumpkin is a vegetable...) and gratefully sat down as everything in the kitchen was being taken care of.

I walked and then ran on the treadmill while Gabe lifted weights. He is by far my favorite workout buddy and I have missed being in a gym. I miss working out, this stress relief it brings, the pain of tearing down muscles to build them up. But there is a time and season and so until at least February, and most likely later, yoga and walks will have to do.

After that it was a shower and Thanksgiving dinner. Another family from the local ward came over and I enjoyed talking to their teenage daughter as we sat down and enjoyed a delicious meal. Pool was played and sooner than I realized it was time to leave for Black Friday. Yes, my family shops on Black Friday. No, I don't feel guilty about it. But that is another post for another day. Gabe and Josh left earlier than we did and so I drove into town with Gabe's dad and stepmom.

As we were driving into town my sister Emily called. Adam, our little brother, was in a car wreck and being flown to a hospital in the city. My mom is currently in Florida at a rehabilitation center for traumatic brain injuries, my stepdad was out of town for the holidays, and I was hours away. I called my Aunt who had her shoes on and was headed out the door before we were off the phone.

Adam is fine and is still recovering (minus a few broken bones, some stitches and a bruised spleen). But, his wreck shook our family up a bit. It is funny when you stop and realize just how much your mother does. That was ever apparent with her in Florida.

And so, while there were a few hiccups in our holiday as I went to bed that night I said prayers of gratitude for a mother who works so hard, an extended family who pulls together, a brother whose stupid decision didn't take him from us, a loving and supporting husband who will still crack jokes with me no matter what the situation and in-laws who accept and love me despite the fact that there tends to be an unusual number of car wrecks in my loved ones' lives.

Black Friday shopping aside... I'd say it was a pretty gratitude filled day.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Safe and Warm

Gabe's job has been pretty hectic lately, he frequently goes in for twelve hour days. He comes home exhausted and still needs to study and workout. Some days the house is pristine and dinner is almost ready.Other days I crawl out of bed, exhausted and sick, just long enough to say hello and order pizza or thaw a frozen dinner. Pregnancy hasn't been easy on this body of mine, but I regularly feel guilty for the days when I stay in bed or end up sleeping on the couch.

The other day Gabe came home and held on extra long to our hello hug. I asked him "What's up?" He replied "I don't know why, but I really missed you today." and placed a kiss on my forehead. I am so grateful to be adored by that man, to be his safe place that  he comes home to after a long day.

We don't have moments like that every day... and probably not even every week. But, when we do I am grateful for them.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

We Learn A Day At A Time...

I used to say "I am by no means a photographer. At all." but now I will claim "I like taking photos." I have no idea what I am doing half the time, I have to google any settings I want to change on my camera in order to not shoot in auto and even simple edits on Photoshop Elements.

But I am learning, and I have now taken two families' pictures. No, I do not plan on doing this as a business any time soon. I still need to graduate with my undergrad, and don't have the time or money to learn and invest like I have seen so many photographers do.

But, I do want to document our lives and part of that is taking pictures. So here I am, trying to become better at it. These pictures were taken on a cloudy day, which made editing and basic settings on my camera much easier to configure.

Also, I have a copyright on these and all other pictures I have on my blog. Just fyi.


How adorable is this little girl? 




Monday, November 11, 2013

At the End of the Night... in the Cold Morning Light

Gabe turned 26 last Saturday. I love that his birthday is at the beginning of November because it allows me to start out the month being so grateful for such a large part of my life.

I also love birthdays, because I feel like they are a chance to tell someone how much you love and appreciate them. I mean sure there is Mother's Day, Father's Day, Thanksgiving and wedding anniversaries but those days and moments are never singularly about one person. Even an anniversary is about the love you have for each other.

But birthdays? They are all about showing a person how great they are, and Gabe is pretty fantastic.

We had some friends who live in Houston that came to stay at our house for the weekend to help celebrate. James and Haley made the day that much better.
It started out with biscuits and gravy (my mom's recipe), apples and OJ.
We went to the thrift store and picked up some golf clubs, drivers to be specific. We then headed out to the only driving range in Killeen and each got a bucket of balls.




Then it was Five Below (Gabe's favorite store that he just has to show everyone who comes to town), and Freebirds for a late lunch. We took the long way home, through hills, and trees and leaves that were finally turning autumn colors with deer everywhere.
Dinner consisted of peanut butter chocolate cheesecake.
(Yes that is a 25 candle with a single candle next to it. Last year, I was pregnant and extremely sick the day of Gabe's birthday so it was never used.)

And the day was sprinkled with presents, calls and texts from family and friends. I love Gabriel Josiah and I am so glad that we got to spend his birthday this year just having fun and with all of the focus on him. How often does that happen once we become adults?




Tuesday, October 29, 2013

We are not born into greatness...

First of all, I am not about to compare my life to another's, if I were there are plenty of people who have far more to complain about than I do. But, I will not deny that I have seen some adversity in my life. This adversity has, at times, caused depression, guilt, anxiety, sadness, hopelessness and disparity. But it has also allowed me to realize the importance of compassion, to choose to not become another statistic, to learn how to work hard for those things I want, to be inventive and creative, to realize the power to change is within me. I am forever grateful for that empowerment. It did not come easily, I did not come to it on my own, but it was well worth it.

For now, I am just another person. I could easily be considered below average by many measures. However, as I work and strive to become a better person this quote reminds me I have a responsibility to live up to the adversity I have been given.

“If we study the lives of great men and women carefully and unemotionally we find that, invariably, greatness was developed, tested and revealed through the darker periods of their lives. One of the largest tributaries of the River of Greatness is always the Stream of Adversity.”
                           - Cavett Robert


Saturday, October 26, 2013

In the city that we love...

This month has moved along quite quickly... and although I never thought I would say this, but so has my pregnancy. Maybe that is just because I am semi freaking out about being responsible for a new born in four months and the long list of to-dos before then.

This was taken at 20 weeks 3 days. I have gained 20 pounds so far... 
I lied and have kept up with looking at the scale regularly. 

I also chopped off 6 inches of my hair. 
Most people know how big of a deal that was for me. But, I figured 1. If I was that attached to my hair something should be done and 2. My hair has grown a lot since I have been pregnant, so if I wanted to cut it short, now was the time to do it and still have time for some of the length to come back.

Anyways, back to the baby. Our little boy weighs about a pound now and is 11 inches long. I definitely feel him kick on a regular basis. Gabe feels it every once in awhile and even Starky has jumped a few times at the kicks. Oh and Gabe chose a name that I really like so we are going with it but aren't quite ready to announce it to the internet.

This past week I went to visit my cousin and her three cute kids. I love watching moms and seeing how they parent their kids. Each child is different and I realize that I won't do things exactly like anyone else but it is great to see others in action and realize that while being a mom will for the most part take over my life, that I can still have my own identity and goals for myself. Also, I just love my family and it was a blast to hang out with them for a few days.
Here is me holding the sweetest little girl. 
Seriously, she is happy about 95% of the time and it was so adorable to see her crawling around after Starky. Speaking of which, I was impressed by how well our dog behaved around the kids. He has a few things to learn, but he was so sweet with each of the children. 

While I was at my cousin's house I had the chance to babysit and the two older kids wanted to play hide-n-seek. Each time I counted they ran off, giggled and hid together. I love their relationship as siblings. At one point they decided to hide in Starky's kennel. At first I was mortified, but I decided I could at least snap a picture of their adventure before rushing them out of his kennel and having them wash their hands. 


And then my wonderful long time friend Lyndi drove an hour to come pick me up so we could hang out and talk. I am so grateful for the friendship we have been able to cultivate over the past thirteen plus years (are we really that old?!). We went to a park in downtown Dallas where Lyndi treated me to the food trucks and we listened to some live music. Starky met a few other dogs and we laughed almost as much as we talked. I still don't know how I managed to snap a picture of a food truck but not one with Lyndi. Oh well, I guess that means I will just have to go visit sooner.


Part of the reason I went to visit Dallas is because Gabe went to Wisconsin for a work trip. I usually just stay home and enjoy the freedoms of having a car during the day, but Gabe ended up having to fly into Dallas and I am really glad I was able to spend a few days with some of my favorite people.

Speaking of favorite people, while Gabe was in Wisconsin he was able to see his brother Josh.

I love the relationship those two have. Gabe talked about their visit all the way home from Dallas and I could tell it made such a difference in his trip. I love our siblings and how much they care for and about us. Plus, who else can you have borderline inappropriate inside jokes with for life...

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

And that's how the story goes...

Not long after Gabe and I got married we had a discussion about adventures...
When we were freshman we talked a lot about traveling internationally, and both of us have a few goals to do so. But, when we got married we were extremely poor and knew that there wouldn't be any kind of international travel for quite some time.

I'm not sure what started this discussion but I distinctively remember what Gabe said in response (so much in fact that this comment is the reason for the name of this blog). He said "I know a lot of guys are out there looking for their next adventure. For me, getting married to you was the next adventure."

As we tighten our budget even more to include a child and healthcare (thank you parents for letting us stay on your plans until age 26) I realize that this is our next adventure. One day, I hope we will visit London, see the ancient ruins in Rome or even just travel to Canada. But for now, I am grateful I have someone by my side who is so excited that figuring out parenthood is the next adventure.








Monday, October 14, 2013

That's what you get...

The words of Sheri Dew are so empowering. Love this, love her.


Saturday, October 12, 2013

I walked out this morning and I...

Pardon my french but what the hell are mommy wars?

Seriously, when did it become acceptable to criticize mothers who are not abusing/neglecting their children? And I don't mean abuse in a "well they don't eat organic" or "they don't let their kids have sleepovers" sort of way. I mean full on neglect and abuse. I've heard a lot of reasons why people think others criticize and name call... the internet provides a sort of anonymity, or because people simply want to educate others. 

But really, what it comes down to is a prideful and hateful approach to parenting.

If a woman chooses to stay-at-home, good for her! You think she wasted her college degree? Statistics and research would argue with you. The more educated a woman is, the higher her vocabulary tends to be, and the more successful her children are in elementary school.
Oh and if she doesn't have a college degree? Well, then her kid has something to write about on their college essay, something to show how they worked harder.

If a woman works all day? Well maybe she has to or maybe she chooses to. It should be obvious that it doesn't matter and really isn't any one else's business, or place to judge, which one it is. Besides, daycare is a great way for kids to become more socialized.

As someone who is pregnant and really has no idea what I am doing (no matter how many books I read, you just can't fit an individual's experience into generic reading material) I am trying my best to remember:

"...how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in they brother's eye"

and for those of you who don't care to read the Bible, there is always the simplicity of the golden rule.

So, pardon me while I leave this rant to go work some of the beams I have in my eyes... I believe there are at least a few dozen in there.



Tuesday, October 8, 2013

It is... a human!

Baby Eaton Update

I am exhausted... but in a good way. Conference weekend seems to always do that to me, but add in the fact that we found of the sex of the baby and saw his healthy and cute arms, legs, etc yesterday then add that we had family in town. Even thinking about it is enough to make me want to take a nap.

We have no idea what we are going to name him. We are partial to names in our family history and Greek/Roman names, but we don't really want to name the poor lad Orpheus. Gabe also suggested "Stuffed Crust Eaton" so when they call his name in class it would be "Eaton, Stuffed Crust" and that is about as far as our attempts to pick a name have taken us.

In other news, here are some pictures of our adorable baby boy (if I do say so myself).


The thing that looks like bubbles coming out of his belly button is the umbilical cord.

 We decided that he definitely has the Eaton nose.

He was moving his hand, almost as if to wave at us. 

 Such a cute little baby.



Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Baby Updates

Last Friday night Gabe and I both felt Baby Eaton move for the first time. I had a doctor's appointment earlier that day and the nurse asked if I had felt any movement. I said no but realized that I haven't really been paying attention lately. So later that evening I sat there and kept pushing around on my stomach. Gabe came over and the look on his face was priceless when he felt baby move.

Technically Gabe felt baby move first, which I thought was a great bonding moment for them. Since then he has put his hand on my stomach every morning before we get up to see if he can feel it move.

I am so excited to find out the sex of our baby next week. I have zero expectations for this child as far as sex goes, except I would like it to have two sex chromosomes. After taking a few genetic courses I will say that. Last Friday the heartbeat was 150 and everything else was great, this baby keeps growing and we are so grateful.


Monday, September 30, 2013

You can never go back...

One of my favorite memories from when I was young is my mom playing the piano/singing at bedtime. Growing up I was pretty independent and because of our circumstances I had to figuratively grow up at a young age. But in those moments, when I was in my bed, snuggled up under the covers I felt safe, I felt like a child.

And so, whatever our circumstances are, whatever happens in our lives I will sing to our children. I will sing songs I grew up hearing and songs I fell in love to, songs of belief and songs of question, songs my grandparents sang to us and songs I hear from the husband...

Maybe that will help them hold onto their childhood a little bit longer, to feel the comfort of a blanket and the love of their parents.


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Just keep going...

There are few things in this world that hurt my heart more than someone being rude to my mother because she is disabled, which happened earlier this week. I could get mad, I could bash companies on social media, I could probably file a law suit...

But what would that solve? I'm not sure a store giving their employees sensitivity training would really solve the problem, just like some bad reviews or cash. And so, I have decided that I will be extra kind this week. Because that is all that I can do, oh and endorse exceptional people like this woman:




and this wonderful woman, who I had the chance to be roommates with once upon a time:
Photocredit: http://www.vaporcouture.com

More about Scout's story here.


Monday, September 23, 2013

It just keeps growing...

Baby Update

Here is a baby bump picture for all of you who were wondering :
17 weeks, 3 days

I'm not even halfway there and I feel large. After stepping on the scale this morning I've decided I probably won't do that again until post baby. I am eating right, go walking throughout the week, do my prenatal yoga daily (thanks Mom) and am doing my best to drink lots of water. That's what matters, right?

I think I felt the baby move the other day, but can't be sure. Gabe and Starky both think my bump makes quite the comfy pillow. It doesn't squish me, so I don't mind.
(It isn't very clear, but he is snuggled up against the baby bump)

When I was first pregnant I craved ramen noodles and bologna. Gross, right? But lately it has been dark chocolate sea salt almonds (which are addictive enough when I'm not pregnant) and buffalo wings. I am still waiting to eat some buffalo wings until we have date night at Buffalo Wild Wings, I want the good stuff. Oh and the dark chocolate sea salt almonds? 

Josh, my brother (in-law) saved the day and sent me two entire tubs of them.



I have discovered I am not one of those women who enjoy pregnancy. Don't get me wrong, I am grateful to be pregnant but I do not like being tired all the time, tearing up over random things when I am not even used to crying, etc. 

However, it is so fun to watch Gabe take on the roll of parenthood. A family member text him the other day asking if he had a Christmas list yet, and Gabe told me "Is it bad if I don't really want anything? I just want stuff for the baby. I don't need more things." I am grateful he is my partner in all of this.

I go in for blood work, the gestational diabetes test and genetic testing later this week. We are hoping to find out the sex October 7th, but because Gabe could get called to go out of town at a moment's notice we aren't setting our hearts on that date.

I have started playing videos of babies laughing, crying and making noise to try and get Starky used to those sounds. We got a package of diapers in the mail the other day (Newborn diapers are tiny by the way. How am I not going to break this child?) and Starky thinks they're his.
I can't think of anything else in the baby department. It is growing and healthy, and we are happy for that. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Chairs to sit and sidewalks to walk on...

This past weekend we were able to head down to Houston for a quick overnight stay to visit our friends James and Haley. They were married a little less than a month ago and because I was on bed rest for two weeks we were unable to go. It was great to see them and we didn't realize how nice it would be to escape town, even for a few days.

We left Friday right after Gabe got off work, but due to a series of unfortunate events we didn't get into Houston until late at night and we stayed up talking and eating a late but tasty dinner until almost 2am. Saturday morning we all slept in. Starky only escaped into where James and Haley were sleeping twice to try and wake them up. That dog...

We decided to hit up the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and eat lunch at the food trucks across the street. While the food trucks never showed up the MOFA was pretty spectacular, even if my poor pregnant feet were beyond swollen. But to make up for those toes, we ate probably the best pizza I have ever experienced. I will seriously have dreams about the pizza, and my mouth waters when I think about it. I also can't tell you how excited I was that Gabe ate a Margarita pizza that he liked.

One thing I love about trips like this is the chance to spend one-on-one time with Gabe, for the most part uninterrupted. We have some of our best conversations on these trips. It was also so wonderful to spend time with James and Haley. I am so grateful the Lord has blessed us with such good friends, and seeing them made getting used to Texas that much easier. Even if I failed to take a single picture along the way.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Dog days are over...

Over the next few months I am taking 18 credits in order to finish up my undergrad, which means a lot of time on the computer. Sometimes this makes Starky extremely jealous. This morning he came and sat on the keyboard of the laptop and just looked at me.

He has done really well around babies, but I am kind of worried he is going to sit on our child after it is born. He already walks all over my belly so it is only a matter of time, right?

Oh well... I was definitely pregnant when I went skydiving so I'm sure a little dog sitting won't hurt this baby*.


*No, I won't let our dog sit on our child freely but I am just preparing for the day when I try to run to the bathroom really quick and it happens.

Friday, September 6, 2013

And I was like Baby...

Just in case there is anyone following this blog who isn't my friend on Facebook or Instagram... I am pregnant!
We found out in the middle of trying to pack and move from Utah to Texas and were excited but because we were so busy with everything else we just kind of pushed it to the back of our minds and kept packing and planning.


As you can tell, I was exhausted. Gabe was as well but he was too busy working two jobs and going to school for me to get a picture of it. When we found out I was pregnant we were busy, but I think we were also anxious. When you have miscarriages so close in order it is difficult to keep getting excited about having a baby. The feelings I had kept bringing to mind trying to date guys with thoughts of my parents failed marriage in the back of my head. It is so difficult to trust something wonderful because it seems too good to be true.

But because we were so busy packing and planning and cleaning and running around the time passed quickly. Our first ultrasound showed a strong heartbeat and we couldn't be more elated. When the second ultrasound showed a healthy baby as well we finally let ourselves be excited.


3 month "belly" picture:


Yoga pants have become my best friend as of late and I am glad our puppy is so snuggly and willing to take naps with me throughout the day. Oh Baby Eaton, I hope we can show you just how much we already love you. We are so excited to meet you and are doing our best to prepare to be your parents.


Thursday, August 29, 2013

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Who's over the VMAs? I know I am! I have honestly never watched the VMAs live, and I have never seen an entire show (although I really enjoyed seeing N'Sync together again, middle school flashbacks for anyone else?).

But I cannot get over the rape culture that has permeated our society. Are you kidding me? In the year 2013, on the 93rd anniversary of women being given the right to vote we are sitting around on the internet calling a 20 year old girl words like "slut" and "whore." And if you're Christian, that is even worse. Why is it okay for you to bully this girl or metaphorically to throw stones at the women caught in adultery?

This performance wasn't the result of one girl, just like pornography isn't solely to blame on the people in the videos. I could make a long list of people who I think are to blame from other celebrities to people watching the show. But what is the point? What will that change? My voice isn't large enough to make a difference in those arenas, and even if it was my opinions would probably isolate me from being any sort of influence.

But I can teach my children and I hope I have sons, because I want them to know their value and their responsibility to treat women with respect.

This book is a great resource for teaching boys their responsibility in this issue:
http://www.amazon.com/The-Macho-Paradox-Some-Women/dp/1402204019/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1377781880&sr=8-1&keywords=jackson+katz

And this post sums up a lot of what I believe in a more eloquent way:
http://ericclapp.org/2013/08/28/how-to-talk-with-your-sons-about-robin-thicke/

How to Talk With Your Sons About Robin Thicke

If you have ears, you’ve heard Robin Thicke’s hit “Blurred Lines.” If you’ve had any amount of spare time in the past few days and have access to the internets, you’ve heard about Thicke’s performance at the VMA’s with Miley Cyrus. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, congratulations! You must have looked past the headlines on CNN’s main page in order to read about “secondary” news like Egypt or Syria. You can find a video of the performance here.
If you’ve been on Facebook or Twitter with any kind of regularity over the past few days, you’ve probably heard countless friends or followers sounding off on any number of objectionable things about the performance. Undoubtedly, 99% of things written about it throw around words like “obscene”, “offensive”, and the like.
There have been a number of different parenting websites or blog posts who have come up withgood ways to talk to your daughter about Miley. And, don’t get me wrong, I’m all about parents talking to their daughters about sexuality.
But is no one going to hold anyone else on stage or behind the scenes accountable for that performance? Are we really going to have another one-sided conversation where we only talk to the girls about their sexuality while we completely ignore the boys in the room about their standards of behavior too?
There are next to no commentaries, articles, or blog posts that talk about how Robin Thicke was on stage with a woman young enough to be his daughter while thrusting his pelvis and repeating the line “I know you want it” while T.I. non-chalantly raps about much more graphic stuff. As Shelli Latham astutely points out:
Girls’ sexuality is so much the focus of our ire. Women who have sex are dirty. Men who have sex are men. Girls who dress to be ogled are hoes. Men who ogle are just doing what comes naturally. This is the kind of reinforced behavior that makes it perfectly acceptable to legislate a woman’s access to birth control and reproductive health care without engaging in balanced conversations about covering Viagra and vasectomies. Our girls cannot win in this environment, not when they are tots in tiaras, not in their teens or when they are coming into adulthood.
Issues of misogynistic attitudes and acts of violence toward women aren’t going anywhere until us men make some very intentional decisions about our behavior and about the way we act toward women. There are certain things that Robin Thicke and “Blurred Lines” re-inforce in our culture.
For instance… Studies have shown that viewing images of objectified women gives men “greater tolerance for sexual harassment and greater rape myth acceptance,” and helps them view women as “less competent” and “less human“. Certainly singing about “blurred lines” will at the very least reinforce a culture that already trivializes the importance of consent.*
There’s nothing blurry about Robin Thicke’s role in the VMA debacle. Even though he’s come out and defended his song, going so far as to call it a “feminist movement,” it’s pretty plain to see that’s far from the case.

Here’s where it starts

So what can we do? In order to change the way we view women culturally, we need to change the way we view women individually. We need to call bullshit on attempts to end domestic violence and misogyny towards women by only talking to our daughters. We need to talk to our sons and our brothers about respecting women and respecting themselves.
It starts in homes. It starts in small conversations that treat all people as worthy and equal. It starts with having the courage to speak out against the wide variety of forces in our society that objectify women.
It starts with understanding that as men, our value does not come from how much power we hold over women. Our value comes from being respected and being loved as we respect and love the people who matter to us.
Be brave enough to tell a different story. Be courageous enough to rise above the lies that our culture tells you about how to treat women. In doing so, you’ll help create a better world for your sons. And for your sons’ sons. And that’s something to which we should all aspire.
Cheers,
Eric



Sunday, August 25, 2013

As every second that goes by....

Today I am mourning the loss of autumn.
Photo credit here
Don't get me wrong, I am entirely grateful that Gabe has a job and that we feel like we are where we are supposed to be. But I can't help long for those gorgeous fall colors that paint the mountains of Utah Valley for the next few months. I would even take all the ice and snow... but alas, if home is where the heart is then my home is still right here next to my husband.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Her feet are all covered with tar balls and scars. . .


Oh hello Brushfire Fairytales... it has been awhile. This just happens to be a song from my all time favorite Jack Johnson album. Listening to it takes me back to summers between Kansas and Texas, climbing into railroad cars, running around barefoot and having an epic mud fight that landed us in some trouble

...soaking up those last moments of childhood while trying to figure out how to grow up at the same time.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Smiling just dreaming about my puppy in my bed back home...

Our puppy is coming back soon!

While we were moving my parents were kind enough to watch after Starky, which turned out to be a huge blessing because our original place fell through and we were living in a hotel for almost a week. But now we are finally settled and we have missed the little guy a lot.

Gabe told me this morning he was able to secure an extra day off in a few weeks and I am so excited. I know Starky has had a blast with my little brothers and their dog, but we really miss him.



And who wouldn't ? 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Won't Stop to Surrender...

Three years ago today I married Gabriel Josiah...

Oh how I love that man.

Freshman year, before we were even dating a guy in one of my classes make a really rude comment about the fact that I wore sweats to class every day (it was an 8am class, and the only one I had on Fridays). Gabe found an editorial written in response to a similar situation talking about how girls can totally rock sweats and look great, and who cares because it is about getting an education. He cut it out, highlighted a few sentences and gave it to me in an envelope.

I remember once that Gabe made this elaborate mix for me... two CDs, 32 songs long. I have no idea where those CDs are now, but I can remember every single song on each one of them.

A week after we started dating I went to go visit my brother in Las Vegas and when I got back the first words Gabe said when he saw me were "There's my girl."

I thought Gabe was an incredible guy then, but as I think of the long list of stories I could add to this, I realize I was just beginning to find out how wonderful he really is. From working hard to become who he is to showing me how much he loves me and supporting my goals and dreams, making countless road trips and crazy ideas turn into the best adventures...

Happy Anniversary Husband, I'm excited for what comes next with you.

Photography by Joshua Eaton



Monday, August 5, 2013

Life, love, time to fly...

This year we decided to keep our 4th low key. Since we were in the middle of moving and had no idea where we would be on the actual holiday, we ended up just us and Starky at a family member's house who was gone for the weekend.
It turns out Gabe is a fantastic grill master and even though I am not a huge fan of meat, the steak was delicious. We played games, ate and watched a few sets of fireworks with the Kelly Clarkson concert in the background.

Hope your 4th of July was as fun and filled with love as ours was!




Starky loves this big backyard, he ran around for 15 minutes before slowing down...


Red, white and blue

 Cooking up the asparagus and steak



 I absolutely love that smile...



When you belong to a song...

One of the things that I love about Gabe is that he understands how much I absolutely love music. We might not always like the same tunes but he understands how I can swoon over lyrics, feel moved by a piece and the need for music in my life. I think we both used music as a means of therapy to get us through those angst ridden teenage years and because of that it continues to heal and help us through life's calamities.

Somewhere between friendship and something more we decided to start sending each other songs to answer the question "How is your day going?" It wasn't always that the lyrics and the notes combined answered the question, sometimes it would be one or the other. Other times it would just be a line that mattered, like if he just woke up he would text me a song with those words in it etc.
Here are a few songs I can remember exchanging :

 1. The Quiet Things That No One Ever Knows - Brand New
 2. Attack - 30 Seconds to Mars
 3. Such Great Heights - The Postal Service
 4. Embers and Envelopes - Mae
 5. I Wish- Secret Handshake
 6. Way Away - Yellowcard
 7. My Name is Jonas - Weezer
 8. Therapy - Relient K
 9. Kick Drum Heart - The Avett Brothers
10. Your Hand in Mine - Explosions in the Sky
11. Burn Out Brighter (Northern Lights) - Anberlin
12. Green Eyes - Coldplay
13. Annie Waits - Ben Folds
14. The Perfect Mistake - Cartel

Sunday, July 28, 2013

John and Benji visit Pt 2

One of our favorite places in Utah is Park City. The crisp air and mountains full of green tall trees is reminiscent of Alaska. There is great shopping, unique and fun food and enough culture to keep you busy for a few days. Most people tend to frequent the city in the winter during Sundance, but Gabe and I really enjoy summer there as well. We discovered the Olympic Park and thought that boys would love a chance to spend a day on the ropes courses, zip lines, and slides. Gabe couldn't come because of work, but we were right, the boys loved it, and my mom madly wheeled herself around watching them at the different activities.