Everett Eldon Clark


He's here! You guys. Everett Eldon Clark is here. And he's the best. Sure, he cries and I have only a vague idea what to do about it. But this is LEARNING people. And it turns out it is my favorite kind of learning. All you mamas out there -- I had NO IDEA how much love we would have for this little guy. People tried to tell me, but I just didn't know. I am loving every step of this journey of mamahood. And I feel so so blessed to have this healthy babe in our family now. The nights are long. The confusion is ever prevalent. But it's the best thing, I tell you what. The best thing.

Everett made his debut Friday, Oct. 17th at 8:26 a.m. He weighed 6 lbs. 13 oz. and measured 19.5 inches. I labored and delivered naturally with about 12 hours labor total -- pushing for only 30 minutes, which I was SO grateful for, since at that point I'd been up all night and was VERY ready for some rest. There is a girl in my ward who was telling me when she was in labor she actually had no idea. "I just went to the hospital because my water broke," she said. When she got there, turns out she was already 10cm dilated and was ready to push. Luckiest. Lady. Ever. Sadly, my labor was a far cry from painless (I would rate the last 2 hours at a 10 on the pain scale -- "worst pain imaginable, nothing else matters," according to the hospital chart. Along with a big old sad face and tears.). But my recovery has been heaven. No pain meds necessary and able to be out and about easily. So while labor for me was intense, and handled with very little poise and composure on my part (read as: lots of moaning and yelling and hunching over my hospital bed), getting through and getting this sweet babe in return makes it all easily worth it.

Ty was really the champion of the whole labor experience, though. At least, he was my champion. Rubbing my back while I was bent over the hospital bed wailing into a pillow. Helping me cope with the pain. Ever vigilant in praise and holding my water jug to my mouth for me in between contractions. And even sticking by my side and helping when time came to push (birth is not cute, guys. Or clean. Especially on no sleep and an empty stomach.) Seriously, I couldn't have done it without him. And it was completely special to go through such a life-changing experience together. Side by side. And kind of the perfect way to start our journey into parenthood together.

So we've just been alternating between hunkering down and enjoying lots of cuddles and figuring out what cries mean what, and getting out into normal life every once in a while these last couple weeks. Not to mention having lots of the sweetest visitors and well wishers. I tell you what -- people are the nicest! The meals and the gifts and the loves. It has made this transition so so much smoother. A sincere thank you to all the insanely kind people who have helped us these last couple weeks. And here's to the adventure ahead.

3 Years of wedded greatness


It's our anniversary! And while impending baby has kept us home this year (not to mention our favorite bed and breakfast is closing forever in a mere few days! what?!) we still plan to celebrate with a romantic meal today and maybe a little shopping. I would also love to go reenact that photo up above with my big ol' belly in tow.

Anyone who is married knows marriage is not a cake walk all the time. Because. You know. Pride and grumpiness and the wrong side of the bed and whatnot. But I would be lying if I didn't say it's the most wonderful part of my life. Having the amazing man I married by my side every day is unbeatable. Cause he's completely fantastic. And loyal. And patient. And forgiving. And silly. And really, how'd I get so lucky? I am looking forward to learning from and with him for the rest of forever.

The baby room + weekend recap


I officially passed the 38-week mark yesterday, which means a little less than two weeks until I'm full term with this little babe. Things have slowed down considerably around the Clark house the last few weeks as projects have wound down and I have started resting lots more. Read as: SO NICE. Although I still secretly want to paint the master bathroom in the next 7 days. We will see.

Ty and I did get a chance to venture up to Sundance this weekend though to hit up the annual Harvest Market. Due to inclement weather, the market was moved indoors to the same venue that we had our reception in. It was the first time we had gone back to the Reception Hall together since then, and it was fun to stroll around hand in hand, just a little shy of 3 years later. The rain and moodiness Saturday honestly made for the perfect fall afternoon in the mountains. And for some nice light in the nursery when we got home, so I snapped a few images to share.

So now all there is to do is enjoy these last couple weeks of freedom and relatively abundant sleep before our lives change forever with the debut of this little babe. I've had a total of THREE whole contractions this last week (hah) and every time I get slightly panicked with the thought of having to actually birth this baby. I keep hoping he will just kind of slide out without me noticing. Totally realistic, right? 





Weekend in the mountains


Ty and I spent our weekend in the mountains. Because, when you live in Utah, isn't that the most logical thing to do? Beautiful, towering, pristine, gorgeous mountains out your back door so all you have to do is step right into them. You would think we would do this more, but the hiccup that often gets in the way is sheer laziness. And the desire to just plop on the couch every night and gorge on Modern Family together, since on select nights we can watch up to 3.5 hours in a row if we really want to :) Which had been happening far too many times as of late (read as sleepy, tired, hot pregnant lady). And so, Friday night Ty and I took a break from our regularly-scheduled lounging and embarked on a very needed, very lovely drive up into American Fork canyon.

We visited Tibble Fork and Silver Lake reservoirs, and played fetch in the water with Hank, and explored dirt roads, and took in a sprinkle storm while the sun was shining away (rain while the sun is out feels like the weirdest to me). We enjoyed epic views, and discovered the most fantastic camping spots, and held hands as we walked around in the dirt. And it was all so good and grand for our souls that we decided to spend our Saturday day in the mountains too. And our Saturday night, as we topped it all off with a bonfire amongst aspen trees complete with roasted marshmallows (pronounced marsh-mah-llows, not marsh-mell-ows). And can you believe it, the trees are already turning?! The reds are out! Fall is upon us. Fingers crossed we can squeeze in one more camping trip before winter sets in.

"We need to do this more," Ty said to me as we were driving home Friday evening. I couldn't agree more.















Baby Update: 31 weeks


Baby is pretty much what occupies all my time and thoughts these days. I literally keep forgetting my birthday is in less than a week (yaaaayyyy 32!). Thankfully I have a sweet husband who keeps reminding me and has planned a stellar camping trip to celebrate. But, in the mean time, back to baby.

Sunday I hit the 31-week mark, which means this babe will be considered full term in 5 weeks. And may come to our home in another 9 or so. What the? This is the nutsiest! We are going to have a real, live tiny human in our house SO soon. Ty and I were chatting in the living room when he exclaimed how, so soon, we will have a baby in the house ALWAYS. "Like...not just for a day or a week," he said. "He will ALWAYS be here." Which was equal parts fantastic and frightening. It makes me thankful there will be two of us to ease our way into this amazing parenthood adventure together. I have no idea what we are getting ourselves into, but I can't help but be really really excited for it.

I re-read over these 5 Wonderful Mothering Tips from Cup of Jo this morning, and they totally made me smile (especially the Babies Be Babies - "Your spouse is not the enemy..."). Among other advice, I've had a few friends tell me to snuggle our little guy like crazy when he gets here, and not to worry if nothing else gets done, which I really really liked (he's only little once, after all). I've also been informed that's it's okay to cry. A lot. And to feel overwhelmed and need a break sometimes. So, thank you for that. At least I will know I am 100% normal when those times comes.

The great news is we have nearly everything ready! Well, at least home speaking. The rooms are painted. The excess furniture is sold. We have places for guests to sleep. And a sweet friend of mine even commented that Casa Clark is looking quite fancy lately, so if that doesn't say "guest and baby ready," I don't know what does. If I wanted to go crazy, I would try and paint the kitchen cabinets and master bathroom in the next few weeks just for funsies (we'll see), but overall things are feeling much more settled and prepared in the Clark house for this babe as is.

On the to-do list still is devoting a Saturday morning to shopping to stock up on all the little essentials (both baby and non) so when he gets here we don't have to worry about if we have enough toilet paper or dog food or laundry detergent. I want to prepare as best as possible so when he gets here we can just savor holding him and loving him instead of rushing about. I also still need to read the baby books on my nightstand. ALL THE BABY BOOKS. What have I been doing for 31 weeks?!. goo. Wish me luck.

And, to round things off, here are 5 nicki-pregnancy happenings as of late:

1. Every time I leave one of my doctor's appointments, my doctor departs with the phrase "Keep being perfect!" as we exit the room. I guess low blood pressure and no crazy symptoms are much appreciated in his book. Mine too.

2. I haven't had much of an appetite in the evenings after dinner lately. It's kind of nice not to feel like I need to eat constantly. Plus, it saves me from some oh-so-lovely heartburn. Oh heartburn -- I really don't like you.

3. My hair has been abnormally dry with these baby hormones, which means that as of late I only wash it every 7-10 days. Is that gross? Okay. Good. Didn't think so either.

4. I recently purchased two pair of maternity pants. Life. Changing.

5. Overall, I feel like a freaking champion still. And I promise to be grateful EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. that I don't feel like an overly huge, uncomfortable pregnant woman (as I am sure those days are coming).

Baby Update: 25 weeks


I just hit the 25 week mark! Which means only 15 to go. Which is crazy. And amazing. And crazy all at the same time. Our little babe is growing away though, happy and healthy. And it's seriously the weirdest (and the greatest) to have this ever expanding belly of mine. He's supposed to be about 13.5" long right about now, and he has started kicking / punching like a champion. For the last two weeks or so I've been feeling little arms and legs skimming the inside of my belly. And every time it feels like this amazing little reassurance that he's in there, just wriggling around and doing his thing. Two mornings ago though, as I was just lounging in bed after waking up, there were these three solid booms on the front of my belly; way stronger than the normal little tickles. It was like "Hey mom! Just practicing karate in here! Don't mind me. BOOM, BOOM, BOOM." And I honestly loved it. I hear that after a while all that squirming can get annoying, but for now, while it doesn't hurt, I am going to savor every last bit of it. It's such a special thing for me -- to feel him in there. And have these little interactions before he's even here. Plus, it's kind of amazing that he can actually make my hand bounce off my belly if he kicks it. The craziest. There's a little, tiny, karate human in there, people.

And just for funsies I put together this update, baby edition, to sum up the random quirkiness pregnancy has brought me lately:

Eating / so much. Hunger knows no bounds now a days.

Drinking / lemonade. So. Much. Lemonade. It's like the nectar of the gods, I tell you.

Practicing / going to bed early. As soon as 9:30 p.m. hits, I am out. It's THE BEST.

Mastering / proper pregnancy posture. I go through this mental checklist several times a day -- hips tucked, head up, shoulders back. I'm hoping it will help me avoid the pregnant waddle.

Learning / not to push myself too hard physically.

Trying / to keep my goal of running 3 times a week (only it's more like grandma-speed running recently. And I'm pretty sure the elliptical will shortly be entering the scene).

Playing / the "let's choose a middle name" game with Ty. A lot. Thankfully, I think we finally settled on one.

Finishing / painting the baby room and master bedroom. 1 ceiling down, two rooms and one ceiling to go. I will feel so much more prepared when these are done.

Reading / not enough of the baby books. I have at least 5 sitting on my bedside table awaiting me.

Remembering / how good it used to feel to sleep all the way through the night, without the now requisite trips to the potty. Also, I know potty is such a silly word. But I kind of like it. Potty.

Wearing / everything stretchy. Stretchy skirts. Stretchy dresses. Stretchy pants. Jeans and I are no longer friends.

Cooking / so many great things. Something about being exhausted and home all the time has made me fiercely into cooking lately.

Working / towards a really healthy financial state in prep for this little babe and my going to working part time.

Traveling / in the car only. I've taken a few of the worst plane trips of my life lately (hello nausea!), so I'm completely happy just to stay on the ground for the next 3 months.

Wanting / to throw away pretty much everything we have that doesn't get used on a daily basis. Nesting. Is. Real. Folks. To the trash with all the things.

A date in the mountains



Last Friday, Ty and I headed up into the mountains for the most epic-of-epic, evening mountain dates to date. I kid you not with that pronouncement. It was amazing. And we somehow fit an entire Saturday's worth of activities into a solid few hours. It's like we're superheros, really. Awesome-date superheros.

We started the evening off golfing (and by "we" I mean I sat in the cart while Ty killed 9 holes and I gave him intermittent good-luck kisses.) The course Ty chose was completely breathtaking; it wound its way up a local canyon and provided the loveliest scenic views. Which made me realize that sometimes I have a very hard time deciding if I like lookout views, or in-amongst-the-tree views more. You know. For when Ty and I buy our amazing mountain home one day. Right. But for real, I really don't know which views I like better. Which might lead to questions like should we buy the cabin overlooking the beautiful canyon or the one nestled in the trees overlooking the grove where the deer will come graze on the berry laden bushes? See what I mean? Super tough. But, yes. So.

Second, we hit up a small hike called Red Ledges up Diamond Fork Canyon. Then after a little hiking around and letting Hank swim in the creek across the road, we made our way up a windy dirt road to the saddle between Diamond Fork Canyon and Hobble Creek Canyon for a bonfire with, I kid you not, one of the prettiest views I have ever seen. We got to the bonfire spot just in time to get our fire lit before enjoying a pink-hued sunset complete with cotton candy clouds. Quite the perfect end to a perfect little evening in the mountains.

We may have gotten back home much too late, and definitely with some droopy eyelids, but thankfully the next day was Saturday. And Saturdays are made for lazy, 10-a.m. mornings and leisurely trips to the farmers market.
How breathtaking is that golf course?

The view from our hike at Red Ledges

Ty and some evidence of beavers in the area.

We ran into these lucky ducks cows and their million-dollar-view grazing lands on the way to our campfire spot. 

And it's a ...


Last Friday morning Ty and I headed into the doctor's office for my 20-week ultrasound. We are 100% in the "finding out the gender camp" (hello, first time parents here!), so I had been looking forward to this appointment for quite a while. As we walked into the main building and were about to get into the elevator, Ty turned to me and asked what I thought the gender was. "Boy." I said. "What about you?" "Girl." he answered.

And team boy came through for a solid win! When the ultrasound tech wrote "BOY!" on the screen as she saw the gender, my little heart leapt. We are seriously over the moon. And I am so grateful everything is looking happy and healthy with him. It hasn't fully hit me what this new adventure is going to be like, but I am so looking forward to seeing Ty with our son. It's just going to be so sweet.

My Grandpa the Acrobat


In his younger days, my Grandpa Stillman was a professional acrobat. That's him, on the bottom in the white trunks. Performing in night clubs and on the beach for spectators circa 1935, that's how he made his living (and I'm sure whooed my grandma). When I was younger I was in gymnastics for quite a few years. And I remember visiting my then-elderly grandpa in his trailer home, and him spotting me on my back handsprings in his yard, giving me tips. "You gotta whip your legs around" he would say as he made a quick circular whipping motion with his arms. He's since passed (and I am no longer a gymnast), but I will always cherish those memories.

When I came across these pictures taken by Hans Wild for LIFE Magazine at a school for acrobats, Gymnase Saulnier, in Paris in 1947, I was transported right back to my days of instruction at my grandpa's hip. Their rudimentary setting. Their "athletic" clothes. Everything is just so wonderful. I mean, just look at the instructor's beret.












 Are those not SO great?! Man. Charm galore. And now, a few more of my grandpa for good measure.










Tale of two picture frames


Just before our wedding in 2011, Ty and I received the cutest drawings of us from my niece and nephew. One of me in a purple wedding dress (of course). And a blue one of Ty. Needless to say, they warranted some framing and we decided to display them at the wedding because #1 we love them (the kids and the drawings) and #2 we thought they were adorable (the kids and the drawings).

They found their way to our home after the big day was over and have found homes on a few different walls over the last couple years as we've changed decorations and rearranged rooms. Most recently, though, they had been sitting on my bedroom floor waiting to be hung.


I knew I wanted them in the bedroom (I mean, look at those naked walls!), but couldn't decide the best place for them. So yesterday I decided was the day to find them a new semi-permanent home. So after work I rolled up my sleeves and went to work.


In an effort to make as few holes as possible in the walls, I grabbed a couple dark colored pillow cases and taped them to match the size of the frames. Then, to give the proper color contrast, I taped a couple pieces of 8.5 x 11 in. sheets of paper on the fronts for good measure. I proceeded to hang them with tape around the room to give myself a good visual of the positioning I would like best.

I had four options in mind: 1. Either side of the bathroom door. 2. To the right of the bathroom door. 3. Over our bedside lamps. Or, 4. directly overhead above our headboard.



It took a few rearrangings, a few going back and forths, and a few walking in and out of the rooms, but I ended up settling on...



Straight up over the headboard. I actually had a small debate between to the right of the bathroom door and above the headboard, but in the end I really liked how over the headboard added a height to that side of the room that I didn't even know I was missing. And I like that they are a bit front and center when you enter the room. The room is far from finished, but I am liking this new little addition.

Now, I just need to get some curtains up. And paint these walls. And possibly add some shelving. Plus a slew of other house projects I have had on my mind. My list of "To do before the baby comes" looks something like this:

1. Paint bedroom (May)
2. Hang bedroom curtains (June)
3. Paint baby room (May)
4. Buy baby furniture and accessories (May - August)
5. Frame and hang baby-room artwork (by August end)
6. Buy ottoman for nursing chair (by August end)
7. Arrange baby space (by August end)
8. Paint kitchen cabinets (June?)
9. New kitchen countertops (June?)

Numbers 8 and 9 are quite ambitious, but we will see how this all goes along. The good news is we already have gotten some very sweet baby-essential gifts from friends and family, and we have secured a carseat, stroller, and humidifier. So, a few less things to add onto the list.