Family, Life, Pictures


I have a baby now. This event has changed me in a lot of ways.

For example, I can no longer remember irregular past tense verbs—they get conjugated just like the rest of ’em. One time I said, “I waked up at 3am,” and Nathanael had to point out my error. The other day I said, “I already shaked it,” and I KNEW in my heart that something was wrong, but it took me an entire second to figure out what it was. That’s like a decade in editor years.

But besides that, I’ve gotten a much needed dose of humility (but obviously I have a long way too go if I’m still quantifying my own humility). I say, “Good job,” when a certain someone toots instead of reprimanding him. A smile has become the most wonderful thing on the planet.

I’ve never been a fan of newborns, but I am a fan of this one!! Not to mention the man holding him.

M and N

Trying in vain to get him to look in the mirror instead of at the lights.

Marius faces
Everyone should be a mom. And if you can’t be a mom, be a dad.

I mean, it’s a struggle sometimes but a good struggle. It just wouldn’t make sense if keeping another human being alive and teaching them everything (we’re talking everything, people) they need to know weren’t at least a little hard. However, hard things yield greater rewards. I’m thinking exercise, reading scriptures every day, peeling fresh garlic, dating, practicing a skill, detangling curly hair, making friends in a new place, acquiring Christlike attributes, getting through the Waterloo chapter in Les Mis, etc. etc.

Okay, you get the idea. The end.

Family, Life, Pictures

I’m Bad at This

Blogging is so tedious! But here I go to #sharegoodness.

This is what has been happening lately:

Christmas break.

I wasn’t a grinch this year! I even suggested Christmas music a couple of times, which is an enormous deal. I was really trying to enjoy my last obligation-free time with my love while he was on Christmas break and while I’m in this delightful period of no work, no school, no nothing.

Christmas 1

Nathanael and I recreating our post-engagement picture two years later. | My dad had a fancy choir concert at Abravanel Hall. | My sister bathed our cat and he looked so pathetic afterward! | Making slushies out of freshly fallen snow (just plain snow for me).

Gingerbread 1

My family made gingerbread houses (from kits, naturally), and theirs looked a lot cooler than ours.

Gingerbread 2

Piping icing is apparently harder than it looks.


Nathanael’s first Christmas with the in-laws!

New Year’s.

My friend Anna, who has put up with me for the longest of any of my friends (16+ years), threw an awesome New Year’s Eve party which was perfectly timed because Nathanael had been saying, “I’ve never had a NYE in Utah before,” like it was going to be something special. That made me nervous because I had zero ideas of what the crap married people even do in Provo on New Year’s (hello, the singles dances were the obligatory activity for like 6 years of my life*). So thank you, Anna.

Also, the picture on the right is from the amazing moment where Nathanael actually picked the right box for Deal or No Deal at the local arcade.

Also, the picture on the right is from the amazing moment where Nathanael actually picked the right box for Deal or No Deal at the local arcade.

* Those singles dances. Maggie, Kenzie, and I always had such high expectations for them, which were sometimes met but usually not. My favorite New Year’s memory is when Kenzie and I sang “Drink with Me” (from Les Mis) in her kitchen while drinking Martinelli’s, while her mom looked on in amused disbelief that we were actually that weird. Which reminds me of the time Maggie sang the entire “Star-Spangled Banner” in that same kitchen. Okay, time to get off Memory Lane because no one can even appreciate how funny that was unless you were there, and I know you weren’t there.


Nathanael started his last semester. THAT IS AMAZING.

Being pregnant.

My stomach gets bigger every day. This is a weird experience. I also have to say that pregnancy is approximately one gajillion times better than people make it sound, so for all you ladies out there worried about it—don’t be. As with most things, pregnancy is what you make it. (Excluding those few people who do legitimately get really sick. That seriously blows. But even then, a helpless attitude certainly wouldn’t improve the situation . . .)

Lots of lunch.

  1. Had lunch with Rebecca. Everyone needs to know her, but since this is impossible, read her blog. I found out at this lunch that she can read minds.
  2. Had lunch with Maggie and Kenzie, naturally. Loved talking to them about all the important stuff, like circumcision. 😉

Fancy film festivals.

Not really. But sort of. The putter-onners of the Ash Festival sure did try to make a fancy black tie event, the sort of effort I appreciate, even if I can’t appreciate the artsy movies they showed. But mostly, Caitlin and I look soooo bored and entitled in this photo and it amuses me.

“Dad, you’re taking pictures of us WRONG.”

Hobbies, Life

Shelbey blog

So it’s pretty common knowledge nowadays that everything we’re used to using is bad for you. Who knew that applied to candles, too? Apparently the burning paraffin and the burning scents are toxic to breathe.

My mom loves candles, so for Christmas I decided to make her some candles using only organic beeswax, organic coconut oil, and natural substances for fragrances (like dried lavender, cinnamon, lime zest, etc.). That’s why today I’m going to show you how to COMPLETELY FAIL at making candles!!!

Here are the two recipes that inspired me. May you have better luck than I did:

How to Make Beeswax Candles

DIY Autumn Cinnamon Spiced Candle

What I did was basically triple boiled the things . . . which wasn’t how they did it in either of those tutorials but I hate reading instructions, so I didn’t bother really reading through their processes (similarly, when cooking, I look at the ingredients, scan the instructions, and fill in the mental blanks with whatever I feel like doing). Maybe that’s where I went wrong. Just a thought.

triple boiling

It was slow going, but all seemed to be going well until I took the candles out to cool. Almost immediately, all the scented ingredients either fell completely to the bottom or floated to the top. Stupid chemistry. I don’t know how the lady in the second tutorial achieved some adorable speckling of cinnamon throughout her candle because I pretty much proved it’s not possible.


And guess what? Despite me putting like five zillion times the recommended amount of scented stuff, these candles smell like NOTHING. Nothing, I tell you. Not even beeswax.

Lastly, only the wax within a half-inch radius of the flame actually melted (do you love all that burnt lavender too?). I had this dream that these candles would burn like normal candles do, where all the wax melts, but apparently my vision was too lofty.


Aaaaand this is reason #120 why I am not a lifestyle/health/homemaking blogger. Don’t worry, my mom is still keeping up the charade that they’re the greatest candles she’s ever seen.

Dreams, Family, Life, Marriage

Staying at Home

If you think about it, it’s pretty amazing to have one person completely enable all of your dreams in life.Handsome NathanaelYou want a gorgeous, hardworking, funny, golden-hearted husband? Here I am. You want an eternal marriage? Same here, let’s do it. You want to live in a flat in London and do makeup for and/or play Christine in The Phantom of the Opera at the Her Majesty’s Theatre? Umm. . . (Okay, maybe not ALL of my dreams. I dream big.)

So obviously one of my ambitions is to be a mother and nobody’s employee or boss, not even my own. I make a terrible boss of myself.

You should work.

But I don’t want to.

You’re a terrible person.

I know, I am, which makes me too depressed to work.

So that’s where Nathanael comes in.

Job interview

Off to one of his second-round interviews.

This human being is going to work every day for the rest of his life so I don’t have to. (Well, let’s be honest, I’m going to be working freaking hard, but it’s a very different field.) In fact, on our first date he told me that one of his goals was to make enough money so that his wife could be a stay-at-home mother. (He also prefaced that statement by saying he didn’t want to offend me, and in my mind I was like, Offend me? Marry me!)

I just finished my last job hopefully ever—unless Disney wants to hire me to be a princess—and I have never felt so liberated! Being in the workforce has never been fulfilling to me, and that’s not for the lack of good jobs with fantastic people (Jenn, Jeff, Dennis, Annette, Chani, David, Lisa, Sarah, Jess, Estee, Anne, and so many more). Let it also be known that I hugely admire people who work hard and build their careers.


My last job was teaching adorable children like this robotics (don’t ask), so it’s not like I’ve been doing slave labor here.

But I’m FREE!

I know this opportunity doesn’t come to everyone who wants it (or hasn’t come yet), so I’m just really grateful that it’s my turn (T minus 6 weeks until baby).

Family, Life, Pictures

Halloween 2015

On Halloween Eve, my friends and I threw an awesome murder mystery party using one of those old boxed sets they used to make called How to Host a Murder. They’re so much better than anything you can get online now and I wish they still made them! Plus you can never go wrong with a bunch of funny people with terrible British accents.

Here we are as Dame Allison Bigh, murder mystery writer, and Dr. Malcolm T. Praktiss, “Healer to the Rich.” I bought that dress at DI two or three years ago and I was so ecstatic to find out that it still fits!! More than six months pregnant, woohoo!

Murder Mystery

On Halloween itself, we went to a party hosted by our friends Jake and Anna, to whom we are forever grateful for giving us an excuse to wear our Snow White and Prince Charming ensembles. I don’t know anyone whiter than me or more princely than my husband, so I thought our costumes suited us perfectly :). And clearly I need a new pose!

Snow White

I am so looking forward to coercing my children into wearing family costumes in the years to come. Why yes, I already have next year’s planned!

We also participated in the glorious tradition of pumpkin carving. Nathanael and I like working on one pumpkin together, because we’re good at brainstorming ideas together, I’m good at drawing it on the pumpkin, and he’s good at the execution. Tada!

One Ring Pumpkin