Some thoughts on a Monday


Is it awful if I admit that this stage is my favorite so far? 6 months is probably as close to perfect as it could get & I wish I could freeze time right now. Mason’s such a good sleeper again (hallelujah 🙌) taking great naps and sleeping through the night! He’s so energetic and playful and his little personality reveals itself a little more each day. He squeals with joy when we take him on the swing at the park. He’s easy to take places. He likes his routine. And he’s so excited when he sees us. It’s so fun to be his favorite people. And oh, the giggles he gives me when I tickle his baby chub and hold him upside down. And those soft, squishy cheeks, I could smooch ’em all day! And I do! One of my favorite things that he does is when he’s getting sleepy he grabs both sides of my head at the root of my hair and tries to give me open mouth slobers? Kisses? I don’t really know what he’s doing but it’s hilarious and I love it. I don’t love, however, when he wants to wrap my hair around his thumb and suck on it, yuck! He’s on the verge of learning how to crawl and while it’s so exciting and fun to watch him attempt to take on the world (or our living room), it makes me sad because it means he’s growing up and soon won’t be my baby who depends on me for everything. Mom problems.

Also on my mind lately, I’m so grateful for the community that is motherhood. I love having friends that are going through all the same things as me. We get to share our victories and our challenges and help strengthen each other. So thank you to each of you wonderful examples who let me text you daily and ask you questions and share my frustrations and humor me. It’s so nice to talk to someone who gets it and I’m sure Mark appreciates me not having to tell him every little detail like how many loads of laundry I’ve done today or about the nap Mason took😜


2013 Wrap up

I love to look back over the past year at New Years and see all the blessings that have unfolded during that year. I can never just pick one highlight of each month so sorry there are multiple pictures for some months!

January- we started 2013 at the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl. It was so much fun and something we will always remember! We also went to Kauai with the Warrens!


February-we added sweet little Leo to our family! He makes us smile and laugh every day.

ImageMarch- Rachel got her Mission call to Spain! Mark and I celebrated our 24th birthdays and lots of other family birthdays.

ImageImageApril- we got to go to the temple with Rachel, it was a great experience. I love my family 🙂

ImageMay- we got to meet our newest niece Coraline! Taylor turned sweet 16!


June- our family said goodbye to middle school and went to Courtney’s promotion.

ImageJuly- this was a busy month for our family. My mom, Rachel and me went to southern California for my cousin Natasha’s wedding. While we were there we hit up Disneyland. It was a blast! We then said goodbye to Rachel for 18 months and our family headed to Utah for a Barker family reunion. It was great to be with family and especially my 99 year old great-grandfather! While there I got to catch up with my favorite roommates and their husbands! It was definitely a highlight of the year.

ImageImageImageAugust- Mark and I celebrated our 3rd anniversary with a getaway to beautiful Jenner, CA. Mark is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I’m so blessed to share my life with this cute boy.


September- I went shooting with my little sister Courtney.


October- We were very fortunate to get to go to Hawaii for a 2nd time this year! This time we went to Oahu. I got to check paddle boarding off my bucket list, I loved it! We also threw a Murder Mystery Halloween party.


November- we celebrated my wonderful dad’s 50th birthday!


December- it has been a very busy month for us, per usual. We started the month off by going down to southern California for our niece Belle’s baptism. We obviously couldn’t pass up an opportunity to go Disneyland and see the Christmas Decorations. It was the BEST!

We also got to spend LOTS of time with family.

My dad took us to the Fight Hunger Bowl at AT&T Park to watch BYU & Washington State. We love going and especially love the perks of my dad’s job! Thanks Dad!

December was a tough month for our little kitty. He turned 1 this month! We had to take him to the vet a couple of times and also thought we were going to have to put him down a couple of time. It was emotionally exhausting but we are happy we get to have him longer. Hopefully 2014 is a little easier on him.




2013 was a good year, we were so blessed to have the opportunity to go to Hawaii twice, adopt Leo, send off the cutest little missionary, and spend lots of time with family and friends. I’m so grateful for everyone in my life. I’m excited to see what 2014 holds! Happy New Year!


Warning: Long over-due post ahead

So much has happened since I last blogged: Rachel, my mom and I went down to Southern California to 1. pick up her visa 2. go to my cousin Natasha & Wes’ wedding 3. see family and 4. go to Disneyland of course! We also sent little Rachy on her way to Spain for the next 18 months and then left the next day to go to Utah for a Barker Family Reunion. This going to be a long post with lots of pictures. Don’t say I didn’t warn you 😉

road tripRoad trip to Southern California

minnie earsNo Disney trip is complete without Minnie Ears

cars landWe have been dying to go to Cars Land, and it was well worth the wait!

photo boothPhoto booth at Natasha and Wes’ wedding

rachelRachel leaving for Spain

boating  Mark, Courtney, me and our cousin Robbie. Thanks Uncle Mike and Aunt Michelle for taking us! It was a highlight of the trip!

family reunionThe Barker Family

great grandpaOur family with Great Grandpa Flenniken. He’s 99 years old and so sharp. I wouldn’t be surprised if he lives to be 150! He’s the sweetest man I’ve ever met, I hope to be half the person he is.

familyOur family with Grandma Bev stepping in for Rachel 🙂

friends  One of the highlights of the trip was seeing these beauties and their husbands! They are two of my best friends and I’m so glad that it worked out that we could all get together for dinner. Glenna you are a trooper for coming despite being sick! And Melissa I hope your trip to Jacob’s Lake and the Grand Canyon was great! I love you gorgeous souls!

To wrap things up, it was a wonderful couple of weeks. It was harder to say bye to Rachel than I thought it would be, I assumed I would feel like she was just going back to school for the semester. I think the difference is that I can’t just pick up the phone to call her or text her when I feel like it. But 18 months will fly by and will change her life forever. I’m so proud of her and this selfless decision she has made. She’s already been in the MTC in Madrid for 3 weeks. If you want to read her emails you can follow her blog at

camping, 4th of July, fireworks, family and love

Ok so here is a picture recap on the past couple weeks! We went camping with the Hibbards, Hulls, and Bairs, it was soo much fun! Then we went down to Utah for the Stadium of Fire where David Archuleta and Brad Paisley performed, it was amazing, me and Mark sang the whole time 🙂 Then we came back up to Idaho for the Rexburg parade and the firework show in Idaho Falls. The past couple of weeks have been so busy but so much fun.
 I can’t believe how fast this semester has gone, I’ve been a college graduate for a whole semester now…weird. 
Camping at Teton Canyon

The Stadium of Fire

We went with Dave, Lauren, Belle, Brad and LuAnn

Jimmer was on the big screen…Mark was ironically wearing his Jimmer shirt haha

Brad Paisley was so great!

The Rexburg Parade (yes, Rachel stood in the street with all the kids to catch candy, and a piece of candy landed right in Mark’s elbow!)

At the Melaleuca firework show (this was the 3rd year Mark and I have been at the firework show together)

I got a longboard so we went on a longboarding date 🙂

I love summer! I wish the weather would stay like this year round, then Rexburg wouldn’t be so bad.

S’more friends

This weekend we went camping with some of our new couple friends, the Hibbards, Hulls, and Bairs. It was so much fun. We got a site in Teton canyon, literally right under the Tetons, it was beautiful. The river ran through the camp grounds.We spent lots of time talking around the campfire, hiking, having contests to see who could stand in the ice cold river longer and getting sun burnt (after layers upon layers of aloe, my near 3rd degree burns have turned into a nice tan :), oh, and we saw a Moose! Tara and I chased it! Mark and I had a great time and are so grateful for awesome friends.
When we got home yesterday we were completely whipped out! After doing laundry and showering we laid on the couch and couldn’t move. I felt so horrible. I honestly think I may have gotten a little case of heat stroke. I went to bed early. This morning we both woke up feeling just as exhausted. And to make things worse, its back to real life. I had to go back to work and Mark had to go back to school. Not that my job sucks or anything, don’t get me wrong, it’s a great job and my boss is wonderful but I would much rather take a lazy, mental health day. But I can’t…so I guess I’ll just be in this weird mood all day.

 Peter, Tara, me, Mark starting out on the hike
 Tara, me, Bonnie, and Diana at the river
 Hanging out around the fire
 Beautiful background
 Everyone on the hike!
 Right after we set up camp
Me & Tara!

hey Chris, it’s your birthday!

Yesterday was our best friend Chris Murray’s birthday! He and Mark have been best friends practically since the day they were born. Chris use to call Mark “Marky Lauren” and Mark called Chris “Chriffafer.” They both have come a long way since then! 
I was privileged to meet Chris pretty much the day I got to Rexburg in the fall of 2007. Mark and Chris were roommates and we became fast friends. Chris has always reminded me of the big brother I never had. He is hands down the most thoughtful and considerate person I have ever met. I remember our first Thanksgiving break I was going down to Utah. I think Mark had already left to go home to Utah and Chris called me just as I was about to get in the car and leave. He showed up in my parking lot with a bag of treats for the drive! Seriously, how thoughtful! 
I just can’t say enough good things about this guy.
Last  night we threw Chris a surprise birthday party at Craigos! We told him that we were going to take him and Rachel on a double date with us. While we picked up Rachel everyone met at Craigos, thanks to Kyle for rounding up the troops! It was a great surprise.
After dinner Mark and Chris had a flag football game so a bunch of us girls went to support Gandolfs’ army (that’s their team name…aka crogermad, that’s all their names put together, chris, logan, eric, mark, chad)
Every time they would score a touchdown or do something cool we would all scream “happy birthday Chris,” I think they were really embarrassed, but it was fun.
Anyways, thanks to all who came for Chris’s birthday.
Love you Chriffafer!
P.S. I know it looks like there were only 5 of us there but I didn’t even think about pulling out my camera until after everyone had already left 😦 There were probably about 20 ppl there!
Birthday boy!
 The boys
 The camera doesn’t add 5 pounds to Chris, it adds 2 feet!
 He’s like the brother I never had
 Chris & Olivia!
 As you can see, they’re great friends 🙂
 She has all the looks in our family…
 Sisters think alike…we both got Chris kites!
 love my baby girl
 Best friends!
 Liv kept playing with matches so I told her she was grounded…this was her reaction! Priceless!
 yup I have a candle in my ear…and I like how my arm frames the bday boys’ face!
 Love these girls, they always make me laugh!

 haha love this pic!
 cute rach…
 obsessed with matches
 this was rach when she was 6….
 lookin good as a 22 yr old!
 Best friends since they were born 🙂