Our Love Story: Part 2: High School Best Friends

If you missed Part 1 you can read it here.

The beginning of Junior year I had two different friends with crushes on this guy named Garren (Including my best friend). I had never met him before but it turned out I had Math 1010 and Chemistry 1010 with him. We started hanging out with him and his best friend Trevor around this time. We had a lot of common classes so we all ended up having “study”sessions together. I don’t recall a lot of studying going on and I usually ended up studying alone once the session was over, but we always had a good time.


We look like babies. This was senior year. I can’t believe it’s been 7.5 years!

Over time Garren developed a crush on Kendra and Garren and I developed a friendship. I had my first heart break that year from another guy in our class and both Garren and Trevor were there to tell me it was his loss. It was from then on that our groups of friends became one group. They were who we hung out with on weekends. I started to crush on Trevor so it all worked out.

The summer between junior and senior year was so fun. I hung out with the guys a lot because my girlfriends were out of town frequently. I loved getting to know Garren. He was the kind of guy I could just sit and talk to for hours. Around this time my dad said something about me dating Garren and marrying him some day. I rolled my eyes and told him, “Garren is like my brother. I could never date him.” (Oh if ever I could take back a sentence.) My friend ended up breaking his heart that summer. We were such good friends that I was afraid this would come between us so I did the only logical thing! I set him up with one of my other really good friends.


So this picture is an inside joke, but Garren and I went to a dance together and in the group photo he has his arm around me but isn’t touching me at all. I will have to scan it in. THis is me making fun of him.

Let it be known that Garren dated AND kissed all three of my best friends (two were even my bridesmaids later on). While I did date his best friend off and on we never kissed.

My heart was broken by yet another guy senior year and Garren was so patient letting me cry to him and telling me one day I would be with someone who would know just how special I was. (Yes he honestly said things like this to me)


155865_1521579277296_5988577_nThe night before I went up to BYU we sat on his driveway talking about the way things would change but how our friendship wouldn’t suffer the distance. We visited each other a few times that first year of college, and I, of course, traveled down to Cedar to go to his farewell before he left on his mission. I was seriously dating someone at the time, someone I thought I would marry. He would often ask questions about Garren and I always thought his jealousy was so funny and misplaced! I love how little I knew about my future.


The majority of our time spent together was us laughing. Still is :)


I just love this picture because I have loved these kids for so long! Now they are my nieces and nephew!



Baby’s First Email

When I was pregnant I was constantly on pinterest looking at the cute little crafts, reading ways to promote natural labor and decrease pain, and of course, reading as many parenting articles as I could get my hands on. I came across an idea to set up an email address for your baby when they are born. Throughout their life, on special occasions or memorable moments you write them a little email, attach a few pictures, and then at the age of 18 (or whatever age you see fit) you give them the email address and password.

The moment I read this I knew I would be doing it for each of my children. What a special (and relatively easy!) gift to give your child! I started out with telling Blair how excited we were when we found out we were pregnant. I have sent subsequent emails about her birth, her first holiday, her blessing and so forth. I imagine as the years go on there will be less emails sent each year, but I love how quick and easy it is. I imagine her saying something super funny or cute in the future and just  sending a little email off to her about the experience. I would have loved reading such things about myself! I also think I am going to have family write her an email on her first birthday, her eighth birthday (when she is baptized) her 12th, and then her 18th before I give her the password.

I am careful to limit myself because I want it to be special. Not something she opens up and is overwhelmed to find 150 lengthy emails. They are usually short, sweet and to the point. I always attach pictures as well because I am sure one day she will want copies of some of them.


I love finding ways to connect with my daughter. What are your favorite traditions you have started since becoming a parent?


First Food

So we have already established that Blair hates the binky and the bottle. I was planning on waiting til 6 months to start Blair on solids but decided to give it a go (in hopes of her sleeping longer than 2-3 hour stretches at night) at 5.5 months. She is not a fan! We have tried oatmeal and bananas so far. With oatmeal she gagged every single time we tried to put it in her mouth and would eventually throw up. With the bananas she would gag the first few bites, and then just look like we were giving her the world’s grossest food and turn her head any which way to get away from it. We are now to the point where she will not let us put it in her mouth. It doesn’t matter how hungry she is. She will wait to nurse. Stubborn little soul!

I guess she just isn’t ready yet! We will keep trying but we wont push it. We want to do things when she is ready! Clearly we are meant to learn a little lesson on patience.

Here is a video of her first feeding for your enjoyment!

First Try

2nd Take


Our Love Story: Part 1: Two Big Moves

I have been reading a lot of blogs lately. (Late night nursing sessions leave a lot of time to read!) Many blogs will have the authors love story within their posts. I went back to my blog and read the “our story” page. Since it is so condensed, I thought I’d better do a few posts to do our story justice. So welcome to part one ;)

In 2003 Garren’s Dad was offered a job in Cedar City, Utah. I don’t know the exact details of the move but Garren’s mom did tell me that he is the reason they ultimately decided to move. At first they didn’t want to move him when he was just about to start high school. He had a very good thing going with his wrestling team and they weren’t sure he wanted to move. That all changed when they asked him and he said YES, they should in fact move. He didn’t have any LDS friends and he could tell high school would be miserable without good friends.


Garren transitioned smoothly

Meanwhile, a slightly less mature me was throwing the temper tantrum of my life when my parents declared we were moving AGAIN. This would be the third cross country move to a place filled with mormons. Now don’t get me wrong. I WAS a mormon at the time. However we were not active at the time (and there were very few times in my life that we actively went to church) and none of my friends were LDS. I was popular and loved all of my friends. I was just about to start high school (I was in 9th grade at the time but in PA 9th grade was in the JR high) and the thought of moving had me convinced I would die. Plus they were moving me to, what I called, a truck stop in Utah.


I had a harder time

Garren and I moved to the same little city in Utah with in 8 months of each other and started school at the same high school. We wouldn’t officially meet for another year and a half but it’s the start of our story.

I have never believed in coincidences, but if I did, this would be my favorite one.



Flying Tips: When Your Baby Doesn’t Take a Pacifier or Bottle


Garren and I knew basically since Blair was born that we would be flying to Utah the end of June to have her blessed and spend some much needed time with family. I am not a fan of flying. Many friends, family members, and a certain spouse of mine can probably show you the scars on their hands from my fingernails digging into them during takeoffs, landings, and bouts of turbulence. Adding a baby had my fears sky high. So I did what I do best. I read every website, blog post and article I could find on the subject. I also asked countless of my mommy friends for advice. No joke every single thing I read or heard focused on one thing: binkies (and/or extra bottles). The pressure from takeoff and landing could really bother a baby’s ears so it’s important to keep a baby sucking on something. This had me in an absolute panic. Not only does Blair not take a bottle or pacifier, she wont even entertain the idea of one for a few minutes. So if your baby is like mine here are some things that helped me! (Also general things that helped)



  1. Starve your Baby. Sounds cruel I know but I NEEDED Blair to eat during takeoff, as this is when the greatest pressure change occurs. She usually goes about 2.5-3 hours between feeds so for our 12:00 pm flight I fed her last at 8:45 am and then not again til takeoff. On the way there this was actually really easy. I just had Garren hold her and distract her until it was time to takeoff. It could not have gone better. She is usually done eating after about 5-8 minutes but she was so hungry she ate for nearly 20! So we had passed the “safe” zone well before she was done eating. The way back I was alone and proved to be much more difficult. She spent about half an hour crying in my arms before we started take off and ended up only eating her normal 7 minutes BUT it seemed to have done the trick because her ears never bothered her.
  2. Get an aisle seat. We flew southwest so it’s just open seating. Most people told us to ask, when we check in, if the flight was full. If not, to have Garren sit in the window and me in the aisle with baby, because who in their right mind is going to sit in between that? Unfortunately both flights were at full capacity. Probably because we had a direct flight to and from Manchester. Regardless. The aisle is where you need to be. If you can pick your seat when buying the ticket, checking in, or boarding be sure to do this. You will most likely be getting up to change the baby, rock/jostle the baby, or a thousand other reasons for needing to get up.
  3. Air Vent. Ok this one may be a complete hoax but I am now convinced. On an airplane the air is re-circulated. That means any sickness or germs are also being recirculated. I had read some where on the internet to make sure you have your little air bulb blasting air on you at all times. I did this on the way there and everything went smoothly. On the way back I sat by strangers and since the air things were above them I sort of spaced it. 24 hours later Blair had her first cold. YES IT MIGHT BE A COINCIDENCE. But it’s such a small, insignificant thing to try what can it hurt?
  4. New Toy. This is aimed for babies probably a little older than Blair but it worked out well for us any way. Buying them a new toy gives them something to play with that they have never seen (ummm duh?) so it should captivate their attention for a longer amount of time. I also brought her current favorite toy (Sophie the Giraffe) so that she would have something familiar through out the trip. This actually turned out to be a huge help when she constantly had to be in her car seat. I will definitely be doing this one for future flights since she will be older and have a greater desire to “play”. We also brought a tablet that had a preschool app that Blair finds entertaining on it. That helped for maybe ten minutes, but your kid may be more receptive.
  5. Ask for Help I am a pretty independent person and asking for help is not something I think of first, but being alone with a baby on a five hour flight I quickly learned how too. Listen. I had a baby 5 months ago. Things are still a little messed up. I can’t hold my bladder for 5 hours. Have you been to an airplane bathroom? I had no idea how I was supposed to go to the bathroom and hold my baby. Luckily the couple next to me were super nice, and thought Blair was the cutest thing in the whole world! They offered to hold her any time I needed to go to the bathroom and/or just wanted a break! I could tell they personally didn’t have kids though because he second she whined they were handing her back to me with a semi panicked look on their faces. It was actually pretty cute. I am so grateful!
  6. Let it Go. In the now famous words from Frozen. Let it go. Your baby will most likely cry, get upset or even have a complete meltdown. Yes other people on the plane may give you dirty looks. Guess what? You will never see them again. All you can do is your best, the flight will not last forever. Take a deep breath and just push through it. Stressing about what other people think gets you absolutely nowhere! I promise it will be ok!

Honorable mentions.  Blair is not quite old enough for snacks but I bet having plenty of those would help so much with older babies! I will definitely be utilizing that in the future!

Finally my cute husband met me at baggage claim with a coke in hand. WINNER.



Utah Vacation

I debated doing this post because I have a feeling it’s going to be HUGE, and I already have an album on Facebook documenting the experience, BUT I decided this blog is my journal and there is so much more to say about it!

If you know me personally you know I am not an airplane lover. I hate flying. It always scares me, but thankfully my love for travel always trumps my fear of flying. Well add a 5 month old baby into the mix and I was down right terrified. Every thing I read said “MAKE SURE TO BRING LOTS OF BINKIES AND EXTRA BOTTLES”. Good thing my baby doesn’t take either? Both flights (the second flight I was alone with Blair!) ended up going wonderfully. I am writing a “Surviving an airplane with a non binky/bottle baby” post that I will share sometime next week so I will give more details then! 10453468_10152170074127477_413190962093406822_n10437497_10152181650837477_1577528278068685624_n

The worst part of the entire trip was actually the drive from Las Vegas to Cedar. There was some ridiculous road work going and and we went 6 miles in a little under an hour and a half. Yes you read that right. It was crazy. Blair rarely cries so that fact that she had crocodile tears streaming down her face for the majority of that time was killing me. I have never felt that kind of desperation before. In the airport I actually “surprised” Jerry because I let Blair wear a batman (complete with cape) onesie. Needless to say he was stoked. It was so nice being greeted by him, Ashlee, my sister and her kids at the airport. I can’t believe it’s been nearly a year since we have seen all of them.


The next day was Blair’s blessing.

The first week was a whirlwind of seeing all of our family members before Garren had to leave. Blair go to meet all of her aunts and uncles, some of her great grandparents, all of her grandparents, and even her great great uncle who is one of her namesakes!


She was mezmorized by the fire


Great, Great Uncle Ron Monroe and Great Grammy Gail


Great Grandma and Grandpa Allred

On the 4th of July Blair went to her first parade. She was more or less unimpressed but that’s ok. Hopefully next year it’s more exciting for her. She was in bed well before fireworks so I guess we are saving that for next year as well! Ever since Blair was born I have missed our families so much. This trip just solidified how much I look forward to living closer to them. We are so blessed with the families we have.


Kisses! Ok maybe she was just really hungry but I love it


I love being apart of this crazy family

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Even though my kids won’t have cousins their age, they will definitely be loved by their older ones! All of them were just constantly playing with her and making her laugh. I can’t even tell you what a wonderful sight it was to see. And yes we played matchy dress up a lot ;)


Macie and Blair


S and Blair

We took family pictures on Saturday the 5th and I am dying to see how they turned out! Hopefully we get them back soon. I will definitely post them when I do! Garren ended up having to go back to NH for school but Blair and I stayed until that next Saturday. Blair had fun doing things like dishes, cooking, play dates with friends from NH and having her first bonfire!


My favorite place to nurse and hang out with Blair quickly became the deck. We were taking in the view one night when she whipped around and looked up at me, moments like this make me exceedingly grateful to be a mother.


Nana makes every day activities so fun and exciting! Blair’s eyes were glued to whatever she was doing.


How fun (and random) is it that our friends from NH moved to Cedar?!


She finally decided she likes swinging


I love her posture here


I love their facial expressions


Already missing this spot. Our balcony is a lot less peaceful and filled with a lot of cigarette smoke from our neighbors down below :(

Blair and I were super excited to see daddy again but we are counting down the months until we move back out west! (10!). There are still some family members B hasn’t met but we will be meeting some of them in November when we travel to Texas for Thanksgiving! (Be still my heart, Blair will be flying with me to Utah in September for BFF’s wedding, all three of us to Texas in Utah and then home in May. My little traveler )




Blair Monroe: Blessing Day

Our main reason for going to Utah was to have Blair blessed surrounded by the people who love her. In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints we do not baptize babies as we do not believe they are subjected to that transgression. Here is the excerpt from True to the Faith:

Because of the Fall of Adam and Eve, all people live in a fallen condition, separated from God and subject to physical death. However, we are not condemned by what many call the “original sin.” In other words, we are not accountable for Adam’s transgression in the Garden of Eden. The Prophet Joseph Smith said, “We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression” (Articles of Faith 1:2).

Through the Atonement, the Savior paid the price for the transgression in the Garden of Eden (see Moses 6:53). He has given us the assurance of resurrection and the promise that, based on our faithfulness, we can return to dwell in the presence of our Heavenly Father forever.

Kids are baptized at the age of 8, when we believe they have to ability to decipher right from wrong.

Now to the actual day! We had just arrived in Utah the day before, so everything was a little hectic. We went to Sacrament meeting at church and then went home to let Blair take a nap and to get ready for all of our guests. That day was also the first time I have seen my best friend in over two years because I was in New Hampshire when she returned home from her mission! (And now she is engaged!! EEK!) Both of our families were there, we even had grandparents travel from Arizona and California to come see our little girl blessed. The feeling was so surreal witnessing my husband and other loved ones surround our daughter with love, hold her, and bless her with the power of God. The blessing was so beautiful, I honestly don’t remember a lot that was said but I will never forget the way I felt. Brings tears to my eyes just remembering it.

Blair was held by probably 40 different people that night and I was amazed by how well she handled it. She went down for a much deserved nap soon after the blessing.

Garren and I had a great time catching up with our friends and family and are so grateful to every one who came. I am also so grateful to my in-laws for helping it all come together flawlessly! There were a ton of other pictures but I cleverly forgot our camera in Vegas at my sisters. Hopefully it’s on it’s way here!


She wore my blessing dress :)

20140706_073243 20140706_072538 20140629_055209 20140629_055139 20140629_054859_1 20140629_054859 (1) 20140706_073320 10509601_10152181652827477_1164422248860611148_nIMG_4292For some reason we didn’t get pictures of Garren with her on our camera. I think Deniece got them? Any way if any one has copies of those pictures I would LOVE if you emailed them to me :)