Personal

Archive | Personal RSS feed for this section

mothers day 2017

Mother’s day has quickly become my favorite holiday.  I don’t even care.  Those haters who are like “but mothers day is a commercialized holiday – we should be appreciating out mothers everyday..” yeah, well we aren’t.  So we need a designated day in the yearly calendar to be made breakfast, drown in homemade gifts, and be told in writing how loved and wonderful we are.  But to each their own here!  You do you, and I’ll be over here eating sub-par breakfast and crying over my girls fill-in-the-blank cards that say things like “If my mom had more time she would: twirl around in her fancy dresses.” (You get me, Stella.)

In all seriousness though, I tease a lot about gifts and Mr. Miller stepping things up – but this year looked a lot like every single other Sunday.  Running late to church trying to get my girls hair done, shoes found, snack bags packed.  Walking a fussy baby through the halls of church, teaching my young women’s class, hurrying home to feed hungry bellies, rocking the baby to sleep, tidying up the house for the dinner we were hosting, and hitting my bed that night full-hearted, and exhausted.

Mother’s day was not, and never is, a day-off for me.  And I wouldn’t have it any other way.  This work I’m doing is work I wondered if I’d ever be able to do.  It doesn’t always seem magical in the moments, but as I have time to process it all and think about it, I see the everyday miracles of my life in every little moment raising these babies of mine.

I love Mother’s Day for what it represents to me; that I am a mother.  That my heart’s utmost wishes came true in the form of four darling children.

  ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Harlo, Stella, Grae, and Major,

I love being your mother EVERY SINGLE DAY.

Don’t you ever forget it.

(P.S. Mr. Miller did get wise and ordered from my handy email.  I hope you had as much luck!)

Comments { 1 }

Because every family needs a dog

This week has been an exciting one here at the Miller Manor.  You see, Mr. Miller and I both grew up with dogs and firmly believe that no family is quite complete without a family dog.  And this past weekend, we brought our very own family dog home.

You can’t imagine how much time we took thinking and researching, preparing our home and our lives to be ready for this step – it feels like a big one!

I found our sweet guy looking online for dogs up for adoption.  When I clicked on his photo, I felt something special.  I showed Mr. Miller and he agreed, “yep. That’s our dog.”  He’s a 16 month old Llewellin Setter (I grew up with Irish setters!), he was still available, just waiting for the right family to love him well.  I assured them we were the right family, and two days later, he was on his way to our home.

He took about zero time to warm up to us completely.  He laid on the floor that night while I rocked Major, snuggled in with the girls while we read books, and slept on the side of my bed all night and hasn’t left my side since.  To say we are completely in love is an understatement.  It feels like he’s been ours all along.

As I went to pick up our new family pal, Mr. Miller worked hard finishing the backyard fence he built with his own two hands.  (Mr. Miller is not the romantic one in our relationship, but that romantic gesture of building a fence for our family was not lost on me – all the heart eyes over here!) As we sat on the back porch that night, it felt a whole lot like living our dream.  A cute little house, four kids, and a dog to run around the yard.

I am living my most favorite chapter yet – the dog is just the cherry on top!

Welcome to our family, Finn! ♥

 

 

 

Comments { 1 }

major and his mama

There is a boy who I am spending quite a lot of time with these days.

As I scrolled through my photo albums from the weekend, I found various pictures the girls have taken of me over the last few days – all of which this handsome honey is in my arms.  (You could say we like hanging out together.)

Friday dinner making:

Saturday porch sitting:

Sunday after-churching:

Then this picture popped up from “This time last year”.  Remember when we looked like this together? :

I told Mr. Miller that maybe that last pregnancy wasn’t as hard as I thought it was?  He assured me, it was.

Maybe it was.

But it was sure worth it.

Comments { 0 }

a little bit fit | finding a workout plan for beginners

First, I’d like to thank you all for the kind words you shared on my body image post.  It took all the courage I could muster to post that – I had been sitting on that post for weeks.  I felt truly inspired to share it, and I hope that it touched anyone it needed to – at the very least, I hope it presented a new perspective in how we think and talk about our own bodies.

Following that post, I will talk a little more about my actual fitness journey.  For starters though, I want to chat a bit about finding the right workout plan for me – because I thumbed through quite a few until I found something that worked.  For me it didn’t look like starting one thing and sticking with it – it looked like experimenting several different things until I found something that stuck.

*** This post is long, but I always wanted to know how people GOT in shape, not just what they did to STAY in shape, so I’m going to write down all the details.***

Years ago, after my miscarriage with a bruised and broken body and spirit, I enrolled in a yoga studio that was just around the corner from my house.  Here is where I found complete bliss in working out.  I looked forward to that yoga practice every single day, and I practiced EVERY single day.  That daily yoga practice healed me in ways I didn’t realize I needed to be healed.  I thought for sure this would be my life practice.

And then I got pregnant.

The hot yoga, which I had been doing for months and had built up stamina to, made me terribly sick, throwing up after each session.  Some women find great success with practicing hot yoga during their pregnancies, however, I was not one of them.  It made me so sad to step back from that yoga practice, but the sicker I got in my pregnancy, it became apparent I would not be doing ANY kind of yoga, or anything else for that matter that required me getting out of bed.  Bless my heart, Grae’s pregnancy was hard.  By the time I was no longer pregnant, I was anxious to get back in the flow of yoga.  However, my beloved hot yoga studio just around the corner from my home had moved across town.  Try as I might, I could not get it back into my daily routine.  The class times were off, or I would be too late driving through traffic, or – oh yeah – I had a baby who wouldn’t go longer than 45 minutes without nursing, so that also put a damper on things.  Reluctantly, and depressingly, I let my yoga pass go.

Fast forward two years and I had myself another newborn.  I had a strong appreciation for my body and a desire to take good care of it – which my body needed as that fourth baby really wreaked havoc on my bod.  I developed diastasis recti during my pregnancy, which is when the stomach muscles are stretched so much that they actually separate.  So what used to be my abs were now a very jello-y feeling substance that didn’t work properly.  The first step in healing diastasis recti is to do absolutely nothing.  You want the muscles to come back together before you start building them up again – otherwise, they build up separately and stay that way.  So now, along with less time for working out, I had less capability of working out as well.  But still, I needed (and wanted) to do something.

Then one fateful day, I loaded up my two babies in a double jogger that I had purchased from a facebook yard sale page, and walked around the block.  That day changed the course of my fitness journey.  In each day that passed, as I pushed my two babies in the stroller, I felt grounded.  My baby took his first morning nap in that stroller, while my ever-busy two year old sat still and quiet for the only time of the day.  I didn’t multi-task.  I didn’t email, or tidy, or feel like I should be doing something else.  I just simply put one foot in front of the other, and those moments of stillness and simplicity fueled me for the rest of the day.  Just like my yoga practice those years before, I found love for exercising.  In fact, it didn’t feel much like exercise at all – which is what I loved the most about it.  I looked forward to it each day.

This is how I got “in shape”.  And by that, I mean walking is how I got my body out of that sluggish, out-of-breath state that happens when you haven’t been working out for a long while (or ever).  So that is all I focused on in that time.

Then winter hit and going for daily walks with two babies got a little tough to do consistently.   So back to dabbling I went.  I toyed around with youtube workout videos, did a free week trial at the gym near me, but didn’t find anything that made me feel that grounded-ness like my morning walks or yoga had done.

My sister does BBG (Sweat With Kayla workout program), but she’s an actual athlete (runner), so I was intimidated, but figured I would give it a free week trial anyway.  To my delight, going for walks is a part of the workout plan, so right off I felt good about it.

I have found that with little ones and tight schedules, home workouts work really well for me.  I also love that it was only 25 or so minutes long.  The workouts are tough – in fact I couldn’t even get through one entirely for a couple weeks, but I did my best and found a new groove.  I do resistance workouts in my living room 3 days a week, and go for walks 3 days a week (or more because my babies love walks!).

There are a few reasons I love BBG – First because I can do it at home (but it also works well with the gym if you’re a gym gal), with very little equipment.  That makes it so doable for me.  Another thing I love is that it’s all women based, and there is a HUGE #bbg community on instagram.  The girls are always so helpful and forthcoming about works for them – not to mention inspiring!  I love seeing the progress pictures people post and the tips and tricks they share.  I also SUPER love that it’s highly encouraged to not focus on a number on the scale.  Progress pictures are recommended, which I feel are so much more productive anyway.  I don’t do scales, so this worked really well for me.  It’s the type of positivity and encouragement I feel good about – there is no body shaming, everything is so positive.

And last, and very importantly, is that it has really worked.  I just finished week 11 and I have seen such a change in my body.  My legs, abs, and arms are more toned – I’ve slimmed down a bit, but mostly just tightened up which is exactly what I was after.  I can tell I’m getting stronger each week as I can do more and more all the time, which is rewarding.  I’ve taken things really slow.  I’m hoping to make a real lifestyle out of exercising – so I was careful not to “crash and burn”.  I have weeks where I kill it (this week), and weeks where I skip more workouts than I’d like (last week), but I take it all in stride.  I’ve got a looooong time to get it right, no rush.

Most importantly, I’m enjoying it.  I’m feeling good in my own skin, I’m feeling stronger, and I have more energy.  So for now, this is a great fit for me.

There is a lot more to share about this – so I’ll be popping on to chat about this type of stuff here and there.  If you have any questions or would like me to go more into detail about a certain thing, leave your comments here and I’ll round them up for another post.

Here’s to HAPPY and HEALTHY living!

Comments { 2 }

living with intention | when enough is enough

I am entering a season of serious intentional living.

I have found that intentional living sometimes comes in waves.  I get in the ebb of life’s grooves, and have to redirect myself to the flow.

I am coming out of a growing season, where I was looking outward at what was ahead in our lives as we made choices and navigated some difficult situations.  The answer to my prayers in this season though, was to instead look inward to determine our future.  It was not the opportunities that may or may not lay ahead for our family that was the answer to this certain question, but rather the contentment that was already enveloping us in this current season.

For the first time in our lives, we aren’t chasing the next dream.  We are living the dream we chased and caught.  I don’t mean that we aren’t dreaming anymore, or that we “have arrived”, but specifically, we worked long and hard for years upon years to purchase the house we currently live in.  We are now presented with a good amount of equity that would secure us a larger home, a home we could comfortably “grow into”, a home that could possibly be our “forever home”.  Yet, this particular opportunity of moving from our beloved little cottage came rather quickly for my liking.  We are always willing to do what is best for our family, but as we looked seriously into that, we realized that a bigger “more comfortable” home was just simply not what was best.  Or perhaps a more clear way to phrase it, is that a bigger home would not be “better”.

This answer became clear to us each day as we contemplated selling our beloved cottage – our three bedroom house surrounding now six people.  It became clear in the way we felt as we pulled into our driveway, admiring the jasmine we planted crawling up our columns.  The happy welcome our blue front door presents – the door I painted with a 6 week old baby Grae strapped to my body.  It became clear in the way we feel when our family crowds around the island for breakfast as we read scripture, discuss important family matters, or giggle as I dance around Mr. Miller, making him blush.  It became clear in the way we feel with all three of our girls snuggled into bed for the night – in their shared bedroom, as our precious son sleeps soundly in the room right next door.  It became clear in the way we perfectly fill up our living room – a spot that seems just exactly the right size for our family of six.  It became clear in the perfectness of me making dinner, babies coloring and snacking on the counter right beside me, and the sound of the big girls practicing piano filling our entire home.

We live in a little cottage – a little cottage we have worked hard on making our very own.  A little cottage that has our stamp in every single corner.  This little cottage may someday feel too small for  us, but happily, today is not that day.  And we don’t have to move into a bigger home because we can, or because that’s “what you do”, or because it’s expected to keep growing materialistically.

I think there is something to be said for chasing after a dream to accomplishment, but there is also something to be said when recognizing that enough really is enough for now.

It became apparent that happiness may await us in the next chapter of our lives, but one thing we know for sure, is that happiness is right here where we are already.  And for now, that is exactly enough. 

Comments { 1 }

Major Turns One | Birthday Fiesta

This year was officially the fastest year of my entire life.  The one year mark didn’t sneak up on me as much as it sped right to me like a semi on the freeway.  I couldn’t jump out of it’s way, and it was coming whether I wanted it to or not.

I love one year olds, but I also love 11,10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2, & 1 month olds.  I love every single drop of that first year of babyhood and it’s so bittersweet seeing my own little baby turn one.  I just want moooore time, is that so much to ask?  Just like double – or triple the time?  Anyway, his first birthday came and just like the rest of his life here with us, it was absolutely perfect.

 Major smashing his cake was maybe the cutest thing I’ve ever seen in my life.  He was HAMMING it up for all to enjoy.  We haven’t stopped talking about what a little charmer he is.

 We are in love with this boy like we never knew was possible.  After a year, we have found that being the baby of the family AND the only boy is a pretty sweet place to land in life.

 p.s.
Easiest party in the world to throw is a fiesta!
Double easy if your party is in the remote vicinity of Cinco De Mayo!
We may be having birthday fiestas as a new tradition. :D

p.p.s
Upon requesting for Mr. Miller to wear “anything colorful or that you’d wear in Mexico.” He came out wearing this shirt that was a hand-me-down Tommy Bahama shirt with a PEP IN HIS STEP. (Much to my dismay, and not-so-subtle suggestions to change several times.)
You may not know this about Mr. Miller, but he can’t wait to be an old man.
Tommy Bahama shirts, beige Cadillacs, and early bird buffet specials are what I have to look forward to with this husband of mine.
Hopefully I can hold him off at least until he turns 35. ;)

 

Comments { 3 }

the not-so-fitness post | healing my body image

I have shared a little bit about starting up Kayla Itsiness’ workout program.  I have gotten a lot of questions and I thought this would be the best place to share a bit about my experience.

I have been reluctant to put anything out there, because I am NOT a fitness queen.. but then I think that the “non fitness” type people are exactly the people I’d like to hear from with what they do to stay fit and healthy, so I’m going to share my story so far, instead of when I’m “on top” of it.  So take note that I myself am in the very beginning stages.

Before I post about my workouts, getting in shape, and the ever sought-after “how did I lose the baby weight?!” questions, I feel strong importance to tell you the whole story, and my story with body image begins before my fitness journey does.

I grew up having a lot of body-shaming talk around me, which probably had a lot to do with my poor body image all throughout my childhood and teen years.  I HATED my body, I was in a constant need to escape it.  I treated myself poorly, allowed others to treat me poorly, and I didn’t take care of my health what-so-ever.  As a teenager, I lived with my bachelor of a dad, so my idea of a “home cooked” meal was a can of Nally’s chili, or a frozen dinner warmed in the microwave… the only idea of “eating healthy” I knew of was crash-dieting, which I tried often, which looked more like harsh starvation of my body, and frustration when I didn’t look like Nicole Richie after my painful efforts.

Then, after years of sinking so deep into a darkness of not understanding my worth, and some devastating personal challenges, something miraculous happened when I got pregnant with my first baby.  I carried that baby to full-term, and without ever having done so before, successfully pushed her out of my body.  I did it! I gave birth to the most perfect baby girl.  Something happened to me as I sat in my living room rocking chair, that first time my milk came in – the milk that would sustain this angel baby girl of mine that my body just fully prepared for earthly life – I had a crashing wave of gratitude come over me for the healthy body I had, that I had treated so poorly, but had given me my life’s greatest joy anyway.  This is when I started viewing my body more as my friend rather than an inconvenient part of myself.

As Harlo grew, I wanted only what was best for her growing body.  I researched her nutrition diligently – how to make the healthiest possible baby food to feed her perfect little body.  One day as I was cooking for her, contentment filled my heart over nourishing her so well.  A whisper of a thought came to my mind, “Your body is just as perfect as hers, shouldn’t you be treating yours the same way?”  And that thought changed me.

I taught myself to cook.  I cut out preservatives and ate only real, from-scratch, fresh food.  I practiced gratitude for my body, and not only stopped talking negatively about my body (I strongly don’t want my children growing up in that environment), but I also stopped thinking negatively about my body.  When a negative thought came in, I would quickly catch it, and respond with a positive truth.  Rather than “I wish my thighs were skinnier.” I would replace it with, “I am so glad I have strong, capable legs that can chase after my little girls!”  At first I corrected myself a lot, and then after some time I didn’t have to correct my thinking as much, and even more time, not hardly ever.  A positive body image truly is something that can be learned, or perhaps it’s a bad body image that can be healed.  I am living proof.

After I had delivered Harlo and began my pregnancy with Stella, I knew my body could do this work.  I opted to deliver her naturally at home, because I knew my body was capable – and it was.  When my labor with Grae stalled, I knew my body could do this.  I trusted it fully, and again, it delivered.  The end of my pregnancy with Major, when my body had been stretched more than ever before, when I was at the end of labor pushing out the toughest baby I’d ever had to push out – I knew my body could do this.  Even during my miscarriage, when the doctors recommended a D&C and I opted out because I KNEW my body could do this.

As the years have gone on through my adult life, I have seen my body’s capabilities.  I have given birth on my bedroom floor THREE times, I have labored and stretched and been stronger than I would have ever imagined I could be.  I have withstood five sickening first trimesters, carried four babies to full term, my small frame feeling like it was busting at the seems, but still it pushed on cooking those babies well past “full term”.  As I suffered a miscarriage, I waited patiently while my body worked hard to hold onto the pregnancy it had created, even though the life inside of it hadn’t made it.  After that painful loss, I gifted my body with diligent yoga to help heal my mind, spirit, and my ever-capable body.  It was during that therapeutic yoga practice that I learned that my body was much more “athletic” than I had ever given it credit for, and how good I felt when I took care of it.

So you could say my body and I have been through a lot together, and it stands as the only thing that has stuck with me through every single life experience I’ve ever had.  This body of mine isn’t like my best friend, it is my best friend, and it’s a friend I care deeply for.  So after my body and I delivered this last baby, skin sagging, extra weight, muscles literally stretched to separation, 2 ribs permanently misplaced, and one tailbone that will never be the same from it’s time on the battlefield, it was an easy decision to take good care of the body that has taken such good care of me and my family.

And this is where my fitness story begins.

Suit : Target
Blanket : Wander Series
Photo : Sugar Rush Photo

Comments { 2 }

Easter weekend 2017

We doubled up on holidays this weekend celebrating our sweet Major’s birthday along with Easter, my favorite Holiday.  It was hectic and lovely and filled to the very brim with goodness and love. (I’ll post about Major’s birthday in another post)

On Saturday, we walked to the Art’s Festival which is my very favorite weekend in St. George.  Easter is wonderful everywhere, but I have a sneaking suspicion that it’s the best spent in our little Southern Utah town.  I have gone EVER single year my whole life and I love bringing my own children now.  I also love living downtown this time of year (and every other time of year, too, actually).  There’s just a happy bustling down the streets, trees blossoming into Spring, flowers blooming all over the colorful houses.  I love it down here and think I maybe never want to leave.

After the arts festival, our church ward had their annual Easter Egg hunt at the park.  Of course it was a hit:

After that, MY cousins were in town and they stopped by the Miller Manor for dinner Saturday night.  I was having too much fun to snap any pics, but I super loved having my cousins and aunt and uncle over for dinner.  It made me feel like a kid and a grown-up all at once, which is a pretty neat feeling.

******************

Easter Sunday, my honey spoke in another ward, so me and the little Millies (sans Stella who had woken up with strep!) headed to support our main guy.  Mr. Miller is a fantastic speaker in church, and with his new church calling in the high council, he is able to speak a whole lot!  I think it’s a perfect fit.

My Mr. Miller gave the neatest talk about that first Easter.  My favorite part of his talk is when he spoke about Mary and her broken mother heart, seeing her baby on the cross like that.  Jesus did the hardest thing anyone will do, but I think Mary had to do a big part of that too.  As I sat with my own precious baby son on my lap, my heart broke for Mary – someone I have grown to understand and deeply love since becoming a mother.  I love that my husband paid tribute to this sacred moment, and it’s been on my mind ever since.  The atonement and resurrection are so vast that most of the time I have a hard time wrapping my mind around it all, but when I can spend time pondering little aspects of it, I gain a testimony of the little pieces, and they weave together a testimony of hope, faith, truth, and love for my Savior and what He did for us.  

It’s amazing that the lives we enjoy today, the forgiveness we rely on, the happiness and hope we can feel is because of that sacred day when Jesus conquered death.  I have spent the last ten years of my Christianity learning to grasp this, and I’ve no where near mastered the enormity of this concept, but I’m learning, and I am awe-struck over the love our Heavenly Father has for us.

Easter is my very favorite holiday.  It’s one of simplicity and love and beauty, and I love it just as much now (more so, actually) as I did as a little girl.  Each Easter, as I line up my darling babies to photograph them in their Easter ensembles I am overcome with gratefulness.  Grateful that my life took such a wonderful turn back there somwhere, and that by turning my heart to Jesus Christ, I have created this beautiful life.  It never ceases to amaze me.  This year I had a bench full of MY own children, and nothing could make me happier.

Of course, Jesus isn’t the only man we were feeling extra grateful for this Easter.  Celebrating my only son’s first birthday on this special day felt a little like magic.  In his dapper little Easter outfit, my heart nearly burst right open.  I sure love my little prince!

As I mentioned, sweet Stella woke up in the night with a hot fever and felt miserable all day on Easter. (She was also sick for Valentines – what luck!) I brought her to the doctor Monday morning and she has strep!  Poor sister.  We had to skip on the cousin Easter-egg hunt at Nana and Papa’s house and my girls were SO bummed.  But you better believe Nana and Papa brought that Easter Egg hunt to them on Monday so they didn’t have to entirely miss out.  (Thank you Grandma for braving the sickness and letting us come to your house on Easter!  You saved the day!)

 It takes a village to raise a happy family, and I am so grateful for ours.  This Easter weekend was one of my very, very favorites.

Comments { 0 }

better than you think

I am working on respecting my own personal boundaries.  This has been so hard for me to learn.  I’m really good at respecting other’s boundaries, but when it comes to myself I will say “yes” to everything, wear myself completely out, just to please those around me.  This is not healthy for me, my family, or my relationships.  I have learned that lesson the hard way this past year.

This week I’ve had to let a couple people down by saying “I can’t do that.  I do not have the time/resources/energy/priority available to assist with that.”  It’s hard for me to disappoint people.  It’s REALLY hard for me to disappoint people – especially people I love.

But here are a couple of people I did not let down this week….

 And they (along with their sisters and dad) are worth all the “no”s I’ll have to build up the courage to say.

I am feeling a bit anxious (#recoveringpeoplepleaser), but peaceful about the boundaries I’ve put in place this week.  I never want saying “yes” to something that’s not important to turn into saying “no” to something that is important.

I needed this reminder this week:

“Be peaceful. Believe in God and yourself. You are doing better than you think you are.” – Jeffrey R. Holland

See full talk HERE.

Comments { 1 }

makeup monday

I am back in the swing of things at home after our busy, bustling March… It only took me 10 days into April to recover. ;)

Today I am excited to share a sweet makeover.  Did you know I have done makeup on the side for about 13 years?? It’s true.  I started up a little side business in High School doing  hair and makeup for prom.. then as I grew up that meant sometimes for brides and photos.. It’s always been a fun, creative past time of mine.  I think often makeup gets a bad rap for women thinking they “need” it to look better, but I disagree.  I think makeup is a fun way to express yourself, enhance what is naturally yours, and feel good as we head out into the day.  Today’s makeover is a perfect example of enhancing natural beauty.

Meet Scotty…

Scotty is one of the sweetest girls I know, and I have been lucky enough to do her makeup on a few occasions.  She has the most gorgeously shaped piercing blue eyes, and such a natural sweetness in her smile.  Scotty is graduating in a couple of weeks and so we got her ready for senior pictures. I did her entire face with Maskcara Cosmetics.

Colors used:
Highlight – White peach + a touch of moonlit under her eyes
Contour – Stone
Blush – Desert Sunset on cheeks and lips
Illuminator – Honey

Eyes:
Oak to line her eyes, and also shade her brows.
Bright Eyes to contour the creases.
Sabrina on her eyelids and just under her brows.

Application:
30 second HAC brush
i shadow everything brush for liner, brows and eyes
B squared blush brush
Every single thing fit right into my mini double decker!  Man, I love this makeup.

I do love doing makeup, but I also want to really teach people how to do their makeup.  I’m working on putting a package together that would do just that, as well as working on tutorials here on the blog.  If you want to see certain looks or have ideas for videos here, please share!

As always, I’m here to help! If you want to get started with Maskcara, email me for a color match and I’ll get you all set up!
Already know what you need? Shop HERE.

Comments { 0 }

ten years

The VERY first trip Mr. Miller and I ever went on was when we had been dating just a couple of months and we went to San Diego.  On our trip, we went to the beautiful Balboa Park and took a picture of us near the pond.  So when we found ourselves venturing back to the beautiful Balboa Park while we were in San Diego, all these years later, we had to find the exact spot and take a photo.

Writing the story of our lives together will forever be my favorite thing about this life.  I can’t believe ten years has come and gone since our first date.  Our whole lives have been packed in those ten years, and my goodness, they have been the very best of my life.  I am so so so grateful to feel the way I do about my husband.  He is the best friend I’ve ever had, the funniest guy I know, the hardest, most honest worker.  He is a person I admire, and hope to be more like each day.  I am also very grateful he felt the same way about me – and still does.  How lucky we are.  Not a day goes by that I’m not grateful.

On instagram, when I wrote about our ten year dating anniversary, someone commented, “wow! What an accomplishment that is!” and I hadn’t really thought of it like that, but it’s true.  We have seen many friends split up over these ten years together, and I’m grateful that every fight we’ve worked through has brought us closer together, not farther apart.  If there is a “trick” to a lasting marriage, I think that might be it.  Seeing each trial (big or small) as an opportunity to bring you closer together.  Each fight for us is a merit badge – and our marriage is better after we’ve worked through each one.  We had a lot of merit badges earned early in our marriage, and now our “merit badges” are usually earned a bit easier – we can get to the resolve a little quicker, and a whole lot more gently.  We have learned that our intentions for each other are ALWAYS in the right place, and that has been a blessing to realize.

Mr. Miller and I have never stopped dating, setting time apart for each other, treating each other like boyfriend/girlfriends do in early relationships.  I still tickle his back and arms each night, and he stops to get me drinks without me even having to ask.  I love serving him – not because I have to, or because he can’t do things himself – but because serving is such a sweet act of love, and I love him.  I love making him dinner, or whipping up a snack that will dazzle him.  I love folding his underwear and stacking them neatly in his drawer, even though (and especially) because he doesn’t expect me to.  We love each other, and we work on that love every single day.  EVERY SINGLE DAY, we work on it.

A game changer for our marriage, and where we found a firm foundation, is when we came into faith together, absolutely.  Our church has such a strong belief in marriage and family.  That is emphasized each week as we attend church, and we are so blessed to have that support in today’s world.  But even more than that, is the work we do at home.  Several years ago, I read the idea to pray for my husband and for my marriage each day.  I think this has changed me – and us – forever.  Each day I ask God to bless my husband in all his efforts, that his heart will be guarded, that the love between us will be blessed.  When I am frustrated or angry with Brady, I take that to God, and immediately I feel myself cool.  Praying before reacting is something I am always working on, but it has changed how we “fight” and how I love my husband.  This is a personal bit to share, but I hope anyone who needs to read it will find it as helpful as I did.

Along with being in love, and building a family, Mr. Miller and I really are dear friends.  I like to tell him things and hear his opinion on things.  I know he loves me enough to not just tell me what I want to hear, but sometimes what I need to hear.  He is gentle with me, he loves the quirks that make me me, and isn’t irritated by them.  He understands how I work after these ten years together, and that to me is invaluable.  The life we enjoy together today comes from ten years of working through life together, growing together, and getting to know one another more each day.  It comes from the hardest times, and the happiest times, and the every-day-joy that comes from the life and lives we’ve created together.  It comes from leaning on each other for support, allowing ourselves to be vulnerable, being strong for one another, fighting for our family and for our marriage, and thousands of days of choosing to place each other first.

Each day is a new opportunity to choose to keep fighting for love, and I pray we can both keep choosing each other every day, always.

Comments { 0 }

life + style

Last week I was in a swimsuit and shorts, this week I have slipped back into my “momiform.”
Life this week has been so good.  I have loved every minute of getting back to our normal life as the mama of my bunch.
It may sound silly, and my vacation was so nice and relaxing (and I caught up on 8 years of rest!), but distance does make the heart grow fonder, and as I was sailing the beautiful caribbean seas, there was no other place I’d rather be than right here at home with my family. <3
So this week, I am folding clothes with a happier heart, grateful to be the one tucking my kids in for bed and making breakfast in the morning.
Stocking my fridge and making our meals feels a little extra special this week.
Doing hair and kissing home from school feels like a true honor.
I’m not sure how long this extra burst of gratefulness will last, but I’m going to make a choice to keep it around for as long as I can.
When we strip down all the worldy aspects of life, all the rushed schedules, and impossible expectations – just to the simplicity of family – life is so wonderful.
I have no plans of getting out of my momiform any time soon.

This weekend is one of my favorite weekends of the year, General Conference.  I have planned some special brunches and snacks for my family, as well as some crafts and fun coloring books I picked up for my kids.  I love when my children have some things to do during conference to help keep the room quiet and filled with the spirit.  The church just released some new coloring books that I will be unveiling to my little Millies conference morning.  You can find them HERE or HERE for downloads, or at any deseret book store! They are perfect for what I was looking for.

For those who aren’t familiar with General Conference, it is where the leaders of our church prayerfully give talks with powerful messages that are always ALWAYS guaranteed to leave your spirit feeling renewed and refreshed.  I truly look forward to these messages twice yearly, and re-listen to them as I get ready each day.  They bring me such peace, and help me keep my life centered in the Gospel.  I am not the best at scripture-study (hoping to change that this year!), but I am sure an advocate and testament to listening to conference talks.  I hope all of you will join me! I’ll post about some of my favorites next week!

My most favorite jeans HERE
Living in these Target tee’s.

Comments { 0 }

Grae is THREE!

My darling baby girl, our sweet Grae Golden, turned three years old.
Truth be told, her birthday was the 26th, but with Mr. Miller and myself not getting home until that evening, we decided to celebrate her birthday on Monday when we could all be together as a family.  She never noticed and had a great birthday!
After a week away, I couldn’t have been happier to be home celebrating our special girl.
She was so happy to see us home, and so happy to be turning THREE.
All Grae wanted was a “pitnic” with her two best friends, Quinn and Sunny (who happen to be the little girls of my two best friends!)
We ate the traditional “birthday pizza” from pizza factory on the back lawn, all the spring flowers in bloom.  Our girls hopped on the tramp and ate cupcakes and giggled and filled my heart with all the love I could hold.  Gratitude for Grae, our happy home, and our wonderful friends.
Grae is a true star of our family – if you follow along here or on Instagram, you already know and love Grae, I’m sure.
Grae is our “spicy” child.
She is spunky and fierce and more adorable than you could imagine.
She is funny and quick-witted.
She can be so tender and sweet.
She is such a great big sister – she loves that baby brother of hers to pieces.
She has what I like to call “baby rage” which is when you see a baby and your thoughts are so overwhelming they go to a violent place.  She often has to hug major through clenched fists and teeth. ha! (see also: cute aggression)
She melts her daddy into an absolute puddle.
She tries my every last ounce of patience, but somehow fills me right back up a minute later.
Grae is smart as a whip – sometimes a wee too smart for my liking.
She loves having a cold drink in hand, just like her mama.
If her drinks dips anywhere below freezing cold, she’ll tell me “I can’t drink it! It’s old!”
If you ask her favorite color, she’ll say pink, but she always wants blue.
As she’s been approaching 3, I’ve been talking about potty training.  Every time I say “Should we go potty on the big girl potty today?” she’ll say “Maybe formorrow.” or “Maybe Thursday.” or “I can’t do that!” with an exasperated look.
She loves “Macapony and cheese” and “peanut butter and sandwich”.. which she requests daily.
Although she still likes Peppa Pig, the center stage lately is Poppy from Trolls and anything Dory related. (breaks my heart a little – Peppa will always have a special place in my heart!)
She gets the songs from Trolls stuck in her head all the time and it makes my life.  Hearing this tiny girl sing “Everybody! Shake your hair and move your body, whoa-whoooooa – sunshiny day!!” is pretty much the best thing ever.
She loves anything tiny – tiny toys are always a hit (and she got PLENTY of them for her birthday).  She shoves her small figurines into little purses and backpacks and packs them around and takes such great care of them.  I’m always amazed how she knows when one is missing and usually exactly where to find it.
After our week away, Grae was the most excited to see us home.  She keeps saying to me, “mommy you came back! I’m so happy for you!” and keeps giving me spontaneous eye-closed-tight squeezes.  I love her!
She never stops asking for things or eating as long as she’s awake.  I haven’t had a full, uninterrupted hour during the day since Grae was born. :D
Grae is such a special little girl – we are constantly in disbelief that she was able to come to our family.
She plays such an important role in our family, and we are so glad she is ours.
Happiest third birthday, my darling Grae Golden!

(dress Old Navy)

Comments { 0 }

guess who’s back?

Me!

 

Last week, Mr. Miller and I took a 9-year-late honeymoon to the Caribbean.  I will be chatting more about that soon.. we had such an amazing time and I am excited to be writing for Today’s Mama (as I was doing on my trip).

But even more amazing than the Caribbean sea with my one true love, was getting home late last night, crawling into my own bed, and waking up to our children this morning.  You know your life is pretty happy when the crystal blue seas pale in comparison to the color and light your life is filled with.

Mr. Miller, I loved being your fellow honey-mooner, but I love even more being the mama to your babes and your day-to-day wife.  Let’s do that again (but not for a really long time, I missed the kids too much!)

I hope you’ve missed me like I’ve missed you!  If you’re here, leave me a comment with something you’d like me to write about in the coming weeks (ANYTHING!).  I need a little help to get back in the groove of daily writing and some requests would be most helpful!

Kiss Kiss!

Comments { 3 }

springtime

Watching my little Major discover his first Spring will go down as one of my favorite parts of our first year together.

Something in me lays dormant over the winter.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the holidays as much as anyone, and there is definitely something to be said about cozying up in side around a fire while it’s cold outside.  But I am a summer girl in my soul, and each Spring I feel like “ah, there you are.  I have been lost without you.”

This week I have kept the schedule as light as possible and have spent the majority of the time (not folding laundry) playing outside, swinging on the porch, bouncing on the trampoline, taking a few extra walks, going for drives with the windows down.  This is the mom I hope my kids remember the most – springtime mom.  Not ornery, cooped-up winter-mom that hangs around in January.

It’s 70 degrees outside and I feel like… myself.

God bless spring!

Comments { 1 }