Monday, December 15, 2014

On Joy and Sunshine (Month Four)

 Oh, this girl just fills up my whole soul with that grin. She's become a mover and shaker. She rolls around everywhere when we lay her on the ground. In no time she'll be rolling from back to belly! She gnaws on everything in sight and drools like mad. I think teeth are around the corner! 

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Allison's Visit

My former college roomie Allison came out to visit us in December. We were so glad to have her! Mercy and Allison just loved each other! We can't wait for the next time we can all get together again.


Sunday, November 30, 2014

Mercy's First Thanksgiving

For Thanksgiving this year we were able to spend a few days in Lubbock with our family (and a few friends!). We had such a good time spending time together, and we're grateful we live so close to family now!

The grandkids with their Aba!

Friday, November 14, 2014

What's in a name? (Month Three)

 Three-month-old Mercedes. She grins all day long, but won't smile for the camera!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Family Portraits

We took family portraits in October. Taken by our sweet friend, Sara! We took them in beautiful Palo Duro Canyon at sunset, and we love how they turned out! 

One of my very favorite shots!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Mercy's First Halloween

For Halloween this year we all dressed as skeletons and spent a few hours at our church's Halloween party. It was so fun to dress up as a family and we hope to keep the tradition alive every year!

Our sweet little skeleton

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Halloween Vampire Nail Art

In the spirit of Halloween, I created a vampire-inspired Halloween nail art design! It's pretty easy and you don't need much to make it work! What you'll need: red polish, black polish, white polish, glitter top coat, clear top coat, matte top coat, two bobby pins, q-tips, nail polish remover and scrap paper.

The final blood-thirsty look! 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Mercedes' Blessing Day

We blessed our baby girl, Mercedes, this weekend at church. During a baby blessing, men from the church give a priesthood blessing to the baby as a way to formally give the baby a name, present them to the church and bless them in the name of Jesus Christ. For members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a blessing is a joyous occasion to celebrate the new baby with family and friends. It was such a day for us!

Our beautiful girl!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Dream Girl (Month One)

My one-month old


You started as a dream. A hope that grew inside me for months and years. It wasn't a dream that came without great anxiety. I longed for you in a way my heart has never ached for anything. And there was a large part of me that was terrified I'd never meet you.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Mercedes' Birth Story, part two

To read part one of Mercedes' birth story, click here

After Mercedes' birth I felt like I was on cloud nine. I was unbelievably exhausted but just in awe of this tiny person I had just given life.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Mercedes' Birth Story, part one

My entire pregnancy I assumed I'd give birth well past my due date. One, because I'm a first time mom and two, I figured it was karma. I was born 17 days late (sorry, Mom), so it'd only be fair if my pregnancy went late, too, right? Thankfully, towards the end of my pregnancy I wasn't a miserable mess for weeks on end as I hear many women are. But come a few days before my due date, I started to feel really awful — exhausted, uncomfortable, emotional, nauseous and dizzy. Dread started to set in as I imagined an extra two weeks of this state. Little did I know, our baby girl would be one of the few actually born on her due date.

I was due on Aug. 13, a Wednesday, and Sunday was when the "awful" kicked on. Monday morning I felt a few minor contractions and tried to fight any excitement — I knew irregular contractions could come and go for days on end before the real deal set in. Tuesday morning, around 7 a.m., I woke up after a measly four hours of sleep (thank you, tiny bladder and uncomfortable pregnant body) to the same irregular contractions. Since I couldn't sleep, I crawled into the bathtub to try and relax and started timing my contractions. Though the timing was still sporadic, sometimes 20 minutes apart, sometimes eight or closer, they were coming consistently and slowly getting closer and closer. 

Screenshot from timing my contractions. Every time I had a contraction in the tub my belly would get lopsided and I'd be able to see the outline of baby.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Showing, part 2

It took me a long while to look really, obviously pregnant, even with an almost 50-pound weight gain. But I did get there and it's so fun to look back at pictures and see my belly, and baby, grow.

At 31 weeks

Friday, August 15, 2014

Third Trimester Pregnancy Symptoms

My third trimester of pregnancy was a relatively smooth experience. My biggest complaint was insomnia and fatigue. Most nights I probably slept 4-6 hours, even with the use of Benadryl. I either couldn't get comfortable in bed or had to pee a thousand times thanks to a tiny, pregnant bladder. Thankfully, I wasn't horribly uncomfortable physically until literally just days before giving birth.

The strangest symptom I had during my third trimester was seeing white stars. There were two instances where I wasn't able to see for a few minutes. It was incredibly unnerving, but everything was fine. The doctor said it was just one of those weird, normal things. Pregnancy is something else!

And, naturally, the best part of the third trimester was feeling this sweet girl roll, move and kick around — even when it meant getting jabbed in the ribs!

Other third trimester symptoms included: leaking breasts, seeing stars, fatigue, headaches, nausea, insomnia, dizziness, rapid heart rate (related to dehydration), more belly stretch marks, occasional swelling (though I think that's more related to the heat), back ache (once or twice), feeling baby and change in movements towards the end.


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

She's here!

Our beautiful baby girl, Mercedes, made her appearance into the world at 1:05 p.m. August 13 at 7 lb. 1 oz., 21 inches long. She is a mild-mannered, skinny-legged little lady and we just love her to pieces!

Thursday, July 31, 2014


We've had fun recently with both my parents and my cousin Kourtney, and her husband Alden, coming to visit us in Amarillo. Both visits we didn't do a whole lot except for visiting — but honestly, that's the way we like it!

While my parents were here, my mom helped me nest by shopping and decorating baby girl's room. And my dad spoiled us, too — impulsively, which is what he's known best for!

My dad impulsively buying us a new TV. Mom helping set up the nursery

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

California Baby Shower

My mom and her girlfriends threw me a baby shower in California at the end of June. It was so fun to go home and celebrate the impending arrival of our baby girl with family and friends. The theme of the shower was "vintage" and it was absolutely beautiful!

The table in the entrance. The little dress to the left is the dress both my mom and I wore when we were blessed at church. Baby girl will be blessed in it, too! The quilt was my mother's when she was a little girl — one her grandmother made her. 

Friday, June 13, 2014

June N-town

With our move to Amarillo coming up, June marked my last month as the N-town editor. It was definitely bitter-sweet! Check it out here.


Sunday, June 8, 2014

Oklahoma Baby Shower

Some sweet friends from church threw us a co-ed baby shower/going away party this weekend. We were grateful for the chance to celebrate with our friends and say goodbye! Sadly, I was a bad picture taker and didn't take a single one myself and thus, missed a lot of photos with friends! Thanks to Andrea, one of my hostesses, for snapping these ones for me.

 With my wonderful hostesses Sandra, Andrea, Amy and Ann!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Alien Encounter aka Baby Kicks

Feeling your baby move, roll and kick inside you is one of the most surreal experiences. Words do not adequately describe it. Seeing it is about as weird as it feels. Case in point:

I swear she's about to burst through the skin at any moment. Straight up alien encounter over here.


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Second Trimester Pregnancy Symptoms

My second trimester of pregnancy was good, for the most part. Some days I felt really good and could almost forget I was pregnant, and other days I really struggled. The hardest part was dealing with dizziness and a rapid heart rate. It took me almost the entire 12 weeks to discover it was related to how well hydrated I was. Most mornings I would feel light-headed and couldn't catch my breath, but once I got to work and drank enough water I felt just fine! My nurse told me mornings were probably particularly bad since I hadn't been drinking water all night. Once I started drinking a glass or two of water before bed — and yes, I have to use the rest room in the middle of the night — I felt significantly better come morning and therefore, the rest of the day, too. 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Where Was God?

I recently interviewed the producer of a faith-based documentary about the May 20, 2013, EF-5 Moore, Okla., tornado called "Where Was God? Stories of Hope After the Storm." The movie follows a handful of families and individuals on their road to recovery after the tornado. You can read the full story here.

While I was talking to Steven, the producer, I discovered that one of the women in the movie is a woman I took several pictures of on May 20. I thought her face looked familiar in the trailer and remembered it from the pictures I had taken. I showed Steven and he told me about her.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Associated Press awards

I recently earned two recognitions at the B Division of the Associated Press/Oklahoma News Executives competition.

I earned third place for "spot news" for my story covering the May 20, 2013, EF-5 Moore tornado. You can read that story here.

I also earned second place for "general news" for my story covering the May 20, 2013, EF-5 Moore tornado. And I honestly have no idea which story it is referring to — I think either this one or this one.


Sunday, May 11, 2014

Amarillo by Morning

Palo Duro Canyon outside of Amarillo, Texas

Nathaniel was lucky enough to have graduated with a job. I am at once incredibly proud and jealous! Nathaniel accepted a position with Child Protective Services out of Amarillo, Texas. We are both excited for the opportunities it will provide for him!

Mother's Day

For my May column I wrote about my mamma's — my own mother and my mother-in-law. I gave my mom the column as the card to her Mother's Day gift. She bawled! I call that success! Read my column here.

With my mom and mother-in-law in 2010 at my bridal shower.


Saturday, May 10, 2014

Nathaniel's graduation

Nathaniel graduated this semester from the University of Oklahoma with his bachelor's degree in sociology. I am so proud of him! Nathaniel has grown a tremendous amount as a student over the last few years. He went from academic probation after his first semester at OU to the dean's list his last semester. He is also the first in his family to graduate from a four-year college. Way to go, Nathaniel!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

On roller derby girls, hot dog costumes, photo bloggers and macaws

Sometimes my job is serendipitously fun. Covering the second day of Norman Music Festival was such a day.

Honestly, I hate writing stories on large festivals like Norman Music Festival because the story relies totally on man-on-the-street interviews. These types of interviews are usually awful and boring, and only occasionally really spectacular — if you're lucky.

The makings of a perfect night at work.

Friday, April 25, 2014

In the Newsroom

The average newsroom isn't a glamorous place. To be frank, ours feels like a dungeon — it's in the back of the building and there's no windows. Most things are aged more than is reasonable. Like the desks. Lord knows when those were purchased. But still, this is where the magic happens.

I sit next to the photographers' desks, and our lead photographer Kyle Phillips often experiments with his camera while I sit at my are some of his creations taken while I work at my desk.

Taken April 25

Thursday, April 24, 2014


I always assumed when I was pregnant that I would show quickly and get huge. That has not been the case. My body has shifted dramatically, though! When I was only about 10 weeks and had only gained about six pounds, I had gained two inches onto my waist line. I have also gone up a cup size already, and trying to embrace my already DD bra. YIKES!

In November before I found out I was pregnant, and around 17 weeks. I'm a little more pouchy here.

17 weeks and pre-pregnancy. I think you can see the adjustment on my waistline here.

At around 22 weeks it started to become more obvious, and not just look like I was chubby!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Dana's poster

My dear friend Dana recently commissioned me to create a poster for one of her friends, with the saying "Start by doing what is necessary, then what is possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible." The quote is something they use to encourage each other at work. At first we envisioned the poster with color, but after completing it, we both felt maybe the design would be stronger in simple black. And thus, two posters were created.

The two final products, both created with ink. The color image is purple with gold leaf on the bottom.


Monday, April 21, 2014

You know you're pregnant when...

All the reasons I've cried thus far:
  • My boobs are going to get comically big.
  • I'm going to get fat.
  • Pure exhaustion.
  • Nathaniel is cute. Yes, really.
  • My carbonated water exploded when I opened it.
  • Nathaniel squished a single, solitary ant. 
Thank you, pregnancy hormones, for making me a crazy person. The best part is I'm usually laughing and crying at the same time because I realize how absolutely ridiculous I'm being.

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