Mary Did You Know?

Thursday, December 11, 2014
And... on to another Christmas video that is incredible.

I saw this video two years ago and it has stuck with me ever since.
It hit me for the first time what it must have been like to be Mary.
Can you even imagine?
Giving birth to the Savior of the world, raising him, then seeing him die right in front of your very own eyes.
My goodness.
After seeing this video I thought more deeply about her role and how much trust God put in her to carry his only begotten son.
It's amazing to me really.
Also, I really love how this video displays his life.

All my love,
Aleigh Joy

30 whole weeks!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

I have been growing a tiny person inside of me for 30 whole weeks!
I can't believe it!
This little girl is everything Hunter and I have dreamed of, and we haven't even met her yet!
I can't believe that this time next year I'll have a 10 month old!
Hunter the other day, told me that he hopes she starts walking right away so he can run around and play with her sooner haha!
He is so excited to be our little one's daddy.
Little girl's name starts with an "O" so I think I'll start calling her Baby O.
I think she likes her name, she always responds to it.
She's a crazy little thing.
I'll be on an airplane to Miami next week.
I sure hope this whole flying while pregnant thing goes well.
If you have any tips, feel free to let me know :)

How Far Along: 30 whole weeks! Hello third trimester!
Maternity clothes: Just wearing maternity pants. Which I'm still convinced are the greatest pair of pants any woman will ever own. As far as shirts go, I could not have chosen a more perfect time of year to be at the end of my pregnancy. (ha, chosen) Seriously, baggy sweaters, sweatshirts, and layers are wonderful. 
Weight Gain: Why did I even put this question on here? I don't know... I stopped looking at the scale when I go to the doctors office a while ago.
Showing: More than ever! My doctor said I'm still looking pretty small but that's not how I'm feeling haha.
Sleep: I LOVE sleep! Nights are beginning to get a little rougher. As expected. Finding a comfortable position can be tough but once I do find one I'm knocked out. That is, until I have to pee. Which is often.
Best moment this week: Getting little girl's room ready! We finally cleared out the furniture that was in that room and started arranging her stuff. There's not much in there but it's still feeling more and more like a nursery and that is so exciting! Plus, her crib skirt is just the sweetest thing.
Weird pregnancy moment: I never thought that people actually put their hands on your tummy without asking when you're pregnant. Turns out they do. Yeah that's been kinda weird. 
Movement: She lovessssss to move around! She still throws parties between 2 and 3 in the morning every day. She absolutely loves when daddy talks to her and gives her high fives. She wakes right up when she hears his voice, and it totally melts my heart. She's such a daddy's girl! Whenever Hunter lays his head on my tummy she kicks that exact spot. She's so excited to play with him already :) She also really loves food haha. She squirms quite a bit about 5 minutes after I'm done eating as if to say "that was good mommy, thank you!" I really love her :)
Food Cravings: Anything breakfast and fruit smoothies. Those have been around since the day I found out but now I'm also craving peppermint, dairy products (so weird, I hate dairy!), cold hot cheetos (really, I just keep them in the fridge), peanut butter, potatoes, and corn. I've never liked corn. I tolerated corn on the cob but now I don't care what shape or form it's in... I want it!
Anything making you queasy: Thoughts of the dinner I threw up when I had the stomach flu. Oh, and bad breath haha! I swear I can smell it from a mile away. It's your best bet to just chew some gum around me haha.
Gender: They're still saying it's a girl so I'm still loving picking out pretty dresses :)
Best advice learned: Your birth "plan" most likely won't go as planned. I like to make lists, know exactly what's going to happen, and exactly what needs to be done. But, since I've never done this before... I feel SO unprepared! So, it was good to hear that I just need to go in with an open mind and let nature take it's course. 
 What I'm looking forward to: My shower! It'll be a few days after Christmas and I cannot wait to feel "ready" for her to come haha. I'm also so excited to see all my friends back home! Yay!

Well, that's all for this week!
By the time I do the next update, I'll probably be much much bigger!

All my love,
Aleigh Joy

He is the Gift

Monday, December 8, 2014
This Christmas has a different feel than most.
It's the first Christmas Hunter and I are spending together as husband and wife.
It's also the first Christmas season I have been away from my family members back home.
Hunter served a 2 year LDS mission so he is a bit more used to this than I am.
I'm missing picking out the tree with my dad. A tradition that's always been ours.
I'm missing wrapping the the presents my dad gets for my mom and placing them under the tree.
I'm missing the houses a few streets away from my parents that synchronized their lights to the music on the Christmas radio station.
And, I'm missing going to the mall with my mom and picking out the things I want for Christmas.
Though I do miss these things... I am of course loving being able to watch Christmas movies with Hunter, seeing lights in a whole new city, and starting traditions of our own.

Both Hunter and I loved presents growing up.
Our parents both gave pretty generous Christmases and we have very fond memories of Christmas morning. 
This year we are newlyweds, we are expecting a baby in February, Hunter is going to school full time and playing college football not on scholarship.
That being said... we don't have all the money in the world to buy fancy gifts for each other, or very many small ones.
Though we both are excited to go back home for Christmas and we are grateful that our parents are generous enough to still give us gifts, like I said before, it's just a little different this year.

This year, the excitement hasn't been focused on the presents we are going to receive.
This year has been focused on the real meaning of Christmas.
The birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

I've always known that that is the real reason why we celebrate this season.
It isn't about the jolly fat man in a red suit, or the lights outside, the gingerbread houses, or the new sweater under the tree. 
But this year, it has been a whole lot easier to focus on the real meaning of Christmas rather than the commercialism that comes along with it. 

Yes we are still watching Christmas movies, our home has decorations up, and we have gotten a few small gifts for each other... but like I said before, the feeling this year is different.
In a good way.
Because "Maybe Christmas doesn't come from a store... maybe Christmas perhaps, means a little bit more."

I am so incredibly grateful for the gift that is our Savior, for his infinite atonement, and for the joy I feel knowing that he loves me. 


On the Topic of Motherhood

Friday, December 5, 2014
I have pretty much, completely, stopped answering questions on the Q&A forum.
Though there were several mild questions, the terrible judgmental, "not so nice" questions took over the majority.
I also very much appreciate the sweet comments that those of you very nice people left. They warmed my heart and truly meant a lot to me.
Before Hunter came home, all that really popped up were gospel related questions.
Then we got married, and the attacks on the way we are living our life together came.
Then, I announced that we are expecting our sweet little girl.
And, that's when I couldn't take it anymore.
Yes, we received several "congrats" but the judgments just never end and this topic happens to be quite sensitive to me.
So, it's about time I spill out some of those feelings and thoughts I have been having about my journey to motherhood.
I also realize I'm on the minority end of this topic so I'll probably get many of you that will disagree with some of, if not all of what I'm about to type.
But that is okay.
Because opinions are opinions, and I happen to have one of my own.

I grew up in a mostly "normal" American family.
I have a Father, mother, sister, and brother. My grandparents on both sides were involved in our lives and we saw them for holidays and got birthday cards from them.
I attended public school and my family belonged to a non-denominational church. 
I did sports, had lots of friends, watched Disney channel, ate dinner with my family every night, played with dolls, and day dreamed about my life in the future.
I remember a time when my neighborhood friends and I were playing a game.
A game in which we were pretending to be wives and mothers.
We stuffed our shirts with pillows and laughed at how funny we would look with pregnant bellies one day.
We stuck our dolls in strollers and walked them to the park.
We pretended our husbands got home from work and made our families dinner.
We did everything we saw our own mothers and friends mothers doing each day and seemed to fantasize over the day we would become that wife and mother in the future.
I used to set up a "restaurant" in the backyard.
I would make hand-written menus and wear an apron as I took my family's orders.
I found a love for cooking and baking quite early on.
Though I certainly felt and always knew that one day I would most likely have a family of my own, and live the life I used to "pretend play", there was a time when I pushed those thoughts aside and listened to the voices around me telling me I had to do and be something "more."

When I entered middle school I remember taking a class where we had to learn how to balance checkbooks and set career goals.
I was shocked that there were so many people in that class (in 6th grade), that already knew what they wanted to do for a career.
There were girls that wanted to be famous journalists working in New York City and had ambitions of being doctors, surgeons, and engineers.
I sat there wondering if I should even write down my thoughts of "wife," "mother," "team mom," or "cupcake baker."
I felt like I would get laughed at for setting such a "low" goal because even my teacher made it clear that if you didn't end up in a successful career you were wasting away your life.

So, my neighborhood games quickly changed from playing house, to playing business woman.
I would put on my moms fancy dresses and heels and pretend to be doing paper work all day. 
I would order take out after work and go home alone to my penthouse in the city.
I would argue with people on the phone and act stressed out every second of every day.
Because, that's what real life is like... right?

It seemed to me that the world was teaching me to become something much different than what I wanted to be because the role of a mother and a housewife was becoming less and less thrilling to others.
Women are competing with men in the workforce and feeling they need to do something other than raise their children to feel a sense of empowerment. 

When I got into high school I met a boy.
A boy that just so happened to treat me respectfully and valued my personal opinions.
This boy asked me what my plans were after high school.
I wondered if I should tell him the truth, or the story I had made up and told everyone else so they wouldn't laugh at my "low" life goals.
I told him that I would really love to be a mother one day. I would love to maybe even have a small business from home so that I could take care of and raise my children without worrying about someone else doing my job in daycare. 
He respected me for that. He respected me for seeking the most real important goal in life. And, he promised me that if we one day got married, he would do everything in his power to support our family so that I could stay home and be there for our children through everything. 
I married that boy, and we are now getting ready to have our first daughter.
And, I am beyond thrilled that I found a man that respects me and supports me in my goals.

I have my own photography business, I've had my fair share of jobs, I'm a wife, and soon to be mother.
And, I have never felt any less important than my husband.
He makes me feel loved and cherished.
He praises me for my accomplishments and thanks me for all that I do.
He recognizes the importance of womanhood and motherhood and he makes sure I recognize it too.
He thanks me for being selfless enough to bear our child and never misses a night of thanking me for the dinner I prepared.
He kisses me goodbye every morning and hugs me randomly throughout the day so that I continually feel loved.
He asks for my opinions and values my responses so that I know we are equal in our marriage.
He has taken a great deal of stress off my shoulders by going to school full time and working to support our growing family.
I feel happy with him, and I know that this is the way God meant for relationships to be.

I realize that not everyone aspires to be a wife and a mother, I realize that some do aspire to do so but have struggled with infertility. 
I realize that there are many different circumstances in which lives are different than my own, and that is okay.
But, the point I wish to get across is that we really need to stop thinking that being a mother is not an important job.
In fact, I believe it is THE MOST important job.

I want my children to remember the first time they hit a home run, or scored their first goal, or sang a solo in the school play, and say "yeah, I remember my mom sitting in the front row cheering me on the whole time."
I want to be there for them at every crossroads. Whether it be going on their first date, entering middle school, or starting a new job.
I want them to remember their childhood happily with memories of a loving family and a mother who was always there for them.
I want them to know that I will always kiss them goodnight and love them unconditionally.
I want them to know that I am not their best friend, I am their parent and I will hold my ground, but I will never stop fighting for them.
I want them to remember their mom being there, and I mean fully there.
I want to see their first steps, hear their first word, and cuddle them when they need it.
I will not let someone else do that job for me.
And that is why I have chosen to stay home with my children.

I for one, will be raising my daughter telling her that marriage is a beautiful thing and starting a family is wonderful.
I will let her know that daddy loves her and mommy and wants only the best for us. 
I will explain to her that she truly can become anything she wants to be and that education is incredibly important.
I will help her see that even though women are absolutely not any "less" than men, they are definitely different and that is the way God designed us. 
I will help her see that many people have different opinions, thoughts, beliefs, and ideas and though we shouldn't judge... it is okay to be different, disagree, and stand up for what she believes. 

I can't begin to explain how excited, nervous, and overjoyed I am to begin my journey of motherhood.
I may not be looking forward to poopy diapers or sleepless nights, but I know that everything Hunter and I are about to go through, will be absolutely worth it.
Family is more important than anything else in this world and it should be cherished.
I hope and pray that this world will stop looking down upon stay at home mothers and realize that it is the greatest calling and job ever created.

All my love,
Aleigh Joy


Happy Tuesday

Tuesday, December 2, 2014
It's been a little while since I've rambled on and on during a post about recent happenings that really have no real significance or importance... but sometimes I just feel like talking. Well blogging... but same difference.

-I had been dreaming of my Thanksgiving feast since July. 
No, really. 
The thought of Mashed potatoes and gravy, fresh rolls, green bean casserole, and more gravy... made my pregnant self giddy. 
The week of Thanksgiving that's all I could think about.
 Especially since Hunter's grandmother is one of the world's best cooks. 
The night before, Hunter and I went to Target to buy pitch perfect and air heads. 
We laughed all night, then it came time to sleep. 
My tummy felt funny. 
Not baby funny, but like really not good funny. 
I laid in bed listening to Hunter breathe heavily as I wished I could just get comfortable. 
Then it came... the rumble... cue sprint to the bathroom. 
Then 5 more times. 
Then I think sometime around 4:30 am the real excitement came, and left. Really quickly. 
Everything I had eaten for dinner had left my body. 
And, I'll never eat that chicken and rice casserole again. Ever. 
I officially realized I had caught the stomach flu. 
The night before Thanksgiving. 
I felt like crying for the sake of all the mashed potatoes I so desperately wanted to eat. 
But, I couldn't even keep water down so the feast was cancelled in my world. 
Thank goodness grandma saved some leftovers for me to eat once I felt better. 
Let's make Thanksgiving a little better next year. 

-My little girl's bed skirt is the most darling creation in the entire world. 
Or at least, I think so. I can't wait to get her room all put together. 
Also, I'm 29 weeks today. 
She could easily be here in 10 weeks. 
Wow. Time. Flies. 
I'm so excited!

- I had a terrible day at work last week. 
It was kind of like Thursday mornings at our complex. 
The lawnmower guys obnoxiously wake me up. Every. Single. Thursday. 
So inconsiderate of them. 
I don't care if they're just doing their job. 
Or like trying to scrub melted cheese out of a pot. 
It gets stuck to the scrubber and there's just no way around it. 
I just love picking melty cheese off a dish scrubber.
 Cleaning cupcake tins is up there too. 
Oh, and it was really similar to going running on trash day. 
Have you ever done that? 
I have. Ew. 
Anyways, I think my daycare days have ended a few weeks earlier than expected. 
Because if I'm being honest here, I've never been treated so terribly at a job in my life. 
And I never will again. 
I so wish I could have just stormed out of that place and gave them a piece of my mind. 
But, I'm classier than that. 
And that's why I'm blogging about my frustration... HA! Jokes.

- It's a good thing I'm really going for this whole photography thing or else I would be twice as mad about said daycare incident. 
However, I truly believe that everything happens for a reason and I think that reason was so I could focus on my passion. 
I love love love taking people's pictures. 
What I like even more is when they are happy with their pictures. 
I did it! I found something I love doing :) 
Even if editing has taken over my life ;)

- For some reason I went to Target on black Friday. 
Well the real reason was because I wanted to see if they had any deals on cribs. 
They didn't. But I did score $4 movies and that was totally a win.
 Plus a legit Victoria's Secret deal with leftover giftcards! 

-Can someone please tell me what I want for Christmas?? 
All I can think of is things for the little miss growing in me. I'm such a mom these days. 

- I can't believe what amazing winter weather we have had here. 
I was so prepared for terrible temperatures and I built up quite a fear of driving in the snow. 
Well, I guess it's no where near over but so far, so good! 
I can wear a light sweater and feel just fine all day :)

- Lastly, I'm so glad the rest of the world finally joined in the Christmas spirit after Thanksgiving! Even if our tree has already been up for a month, it feels a whole lot more like Christmas when everyone else participates as well :)

I guess that is all for now!
Merry Christmas everybody!
I feel so happy because our Christmas cards should be arriving tomorrow! 

All my love,
Aleigh Joy

A Thankful Heart #3 (Round 3)

Monday, November 24, 2014
Here I am again at the start of another new week writing another thankful post.
I swear I JUST did this.
I remember wishing the days away so often while Hunter was on his mission, now I'm wishing they would just slow down!
Time is flying much too fast.
In other news, bath and body works had a sale on Wallflowers that ends tonight. They were $3.
Hello holiday scents.
In other, other news... We're going to Miami!
And I think the excitement just hit me today as I was semi-freezing walking out to the car.
I'm so excited!
And somewhat nervous about flying on a plane at 7 months pregnant.
It's a good thing we'll be flying with like 20 doctors. 
Thank you BYU football :)
Also, as of tomorrow there are only 29 days left til Christmas!
If you haven't started thinking about Christmas yet... then you're crazy.
But let's get on with what I came to this empty post page for now, shall we?

1) A healthy pregnancy
I think I've completely taken this one for granted. I cannot believe how blessed I have been with such a wonderful pregnancy. Tomorrow I will be 28 weeks. I'm in the third trimester now. (what?) And have yet to throw up. Or have a complication. Everything seems to be going for the most part, pretty well. I'm able to move around easily and I'm just beginning to get a belly. I thank my Heavenly Father every night for this little miracle that kicks away and throws parties at 2 in the morning. I thank him for blessing me with the opportunity to learn and grow as a mother. I pray that she'll continue to grow safe and strong. And I will continue to thank him for blessing me with a healthy pregnancy. 

2) My wonderful friends
This goes out to both new and old friends. I just recently started my own photography business. And, I can already tell that this is exactly what I want to do other than being a mother. I am able to go out for an hour or so and interact with people then I can come home and be with my little girl. I get so excited when my playback pops up of a beautiful image I know will make my client happy. I love it. Since starting this up, I have received countless texts, facebook messages, and calls from friends and family encouraging me to pursue this. I cannot begin to thank all of my wonderful friends for supporting me. Not only now, but during many other times in my life. We were overwhelmed (in a good way) with how many people were happy for us when Hunter came home from his mission, when we got engaged, when we got married, when we announced we are expecting, and even this past weekend when he played in his first college game. I love the relationships I have formed with such wonderful friends and I will forever be grateful for each of you. So, thank you all! :)

3) Sundays
This goes a bit deeper than the actual day. I mean more along the lines of the way we go about our Sundays. I love knowing that it is the only day of the week when we literally have nothing to do other than go to church. We sleep in, we go to church, and we come home to rest. I love that we listen to church music as we get ready for church. It invites the spirit into our home and prepares us to open our minds and hearts to what we will learn in church. I love teaching primary and hearing the prayers of the sweet children. I love going to sacrament meeting and reflecting on the love our Savior has for us. I love coming home and eating a home cooked meal, having family home evening, and spending much needed time with my husband. Sundays are the perfect days.

4) Passions/Talents/Desires
So, I'm trying to figure out how to explain my thought process on this one. I just love that everyone has something that appeals to them more than others. I feel passionately about photography, cooking, crafting, and numerous other things that fill me with a sense of accomplishment. My mom has run like 15 marathons. That has got to make her feel accomplished. My husband plays college football. Though it can easily be frustrating at times, I know he feels passionately about the sport and he desires to do his best. I love that Heavenly Father has blessed us each with different talents and desires to strive towards bettering ourselves in different ways. I've tried to "like" and desire to do many things in my life that I later found out just weren't really "me." I guess what I'm really grateful for is individuality? Somehow in my head all of these things are running together and I'm just very grateful that each of us get to be our own person. 

I think I'll do one more post after this one.
November sure flew by!
Here's to being thankful! And... mashed potatoes and gravy. And, green bean casserole. Yum!

All my love,
Aleigh Joy



Saturday, November 22, 2014
Last night the wives got to decorate the locker room for the senior football game this afternoon. 
I brought my balloons, streamers, and poster board and walked into the lavell Edwards stadium locker room for the first time. 
A million memories came flooding back to me as I had done this all of high school for Hunter as well. 
Of course these lockers are bigger, nicer, and more official. Oh, and it didn't smell half as bad as the high school locker room! 
But... It brought back the exact same feelings of excitement and pride for our team, and love and adoration for Hunter. 
I've loved watching him play all these years and I'm so grateful it didn't end in high school. 
I stood back and looked at his locker all finished, just as I had in high school. I smiled and pictured him running out in his helmet, cleats, and shoulder pads just as I had in high school. Only now, we're married. And next year, I'll bring our baby girl with me to decorate daddy's locker. 
I was sure feeling incredibly sentimental, and incredibly grateful that we get to experience this journey, and all of life's other journeys... Together. Forever. 
So here's to your first year of college football lovebug! I can't wait for the years to come :)

All my love,
Aleigh Joy

Ps. It gets better... He played in his first college football game today and I thought my heart was going to beat right out of my chest. My eyes were wet, my heart was pounding, and my hands were shaking. I've seriously missed watching that stud play. He's incredible. And he's all mine ;)



Monday, November 17, 2014

I'm SO excited about this post right now!
I can't tell you all how long I've been dreaming of becoming a photographer.
With the support and help of my husband, family, friends, and readers, I get to finally make this dream come true!
My photography blog is still a work in progress but it is up and running and I am thrilled about it :)
More shoots to come! :)


A Thankful Heart #2 (Round 3)

The weeks have seriously been feeling like days lately. 
I cannot believe how close Christmas is.
I can't believe that baby girl will be here (exactly) 3 months from today!
I can't believe football season is almost over. 
I can't believe 2015 is coming so soon.
Time is just crazy to me.
It always has been, but more so than ever lately.
So, here's to another week in November and another week to be thankful :)

1) My Baby Girl
I'm sure that half of the people I know think that I'm crazy for purposefully getting pregnant at 20 years old about 3 months into our marriage. But to me, she is the greatest blessing already. I really do feel that she is bringing Hunter and I closer together in a way we didn't expect. I love him deeper because we have created a life together. It's still crazy to me, that the two of us will be parents so soon but I really do think we are as ready as we'll ever be. She occupies a lot of our conversations and brings us so much joy. I cherish every sweet kick, even when she wakes me up early in the morning. We have three stockings hanging up right now. When I hung hers, I had to hold back the tears. I'm a mother now, I have a daughter, we are a family of three, and I've dreamed of this day for SO long. She has a name, and has for quite a while, and we really love it. Because we love it, we aren't exactly "announcing" it quite yet because I don't want anyone else's thoughts or opinions to persuade me otherwise. But I will tell you that she is taking my middle name, and it truly could not be more fitting. She has already brought us so much Joy, and I know she will continue to do so throughout the years. We sure love her :)

2) Both of Our Families
I must admit that I was a little nervous as to how getting married will change your relationship with the family you grew up with. I'm so glad that it hasn't changed much and that even though we are beginning a family of our own, we still are close to our own parents and siblings. 
I love going back to San Diego and seeing everyone. I also love when they come visit us! My parents just came for the weekend and it was so much fun seeing them and talking to them. I love the relationships we have with our family members and that they will always be there to love and support us. I'm so excited to see my parents become grandparents and Hunter's to become grandparents (for the 7th time) to our little girl. I know she will love all of them and feel so comfortable with her families. I love that Heavenly Father gave us families and has blessed me with truly the best families out there. 

3) Hot Water, and a Heater
I don't think I've ever been so thankful for a heater than I was on Saturday night. It was 27 degrees with wind at the BYU game. It felt like it was 10 degrees. I really should invest in a heavier coat... We got back to the condo and I could finally feel my toes. Taking a warm shower was the best feeling. I've always loved warm showers but I was SO appreciative of it this weekend. And will continue to be as the weather gets even colder. 

4) Knowledge
Knowledge truly is power and I'm beginning to realize that more and more as I get older. I didn't always try my hardest in school. I wish I could go back in time now and change that. Though there were definitely certain things we learned that I feel I'll never really need in life, there are plenty of other things we learned that I wish I would've paid more attention to. Being "book smart" however, is not the only way to gain knowledge. I'm grateful that my parents took me to other countries growing up and that I was able to see so many historical sights and gain a better understanding of other cultures. I'm grateful for the knowledge I've gained religiously, creatively, and academically. I have been trying more and more to push myself into spending my time learning about all the things there are to learn about instead of zoning out and looking at my phone. I'm also grateful for the knowledge I'm so close to gaining when I  become a mother. 

'til next week my friends!
Also, I'm grateful for all of you that responded to my post about $30 shoots! I'm so excited for each of them!
I still have some slots open before we leave Provo and would love to do pictures for my San Diego friends when we come home for Christmas! 
Email me, text me, or leave a comment to set up a time :)

All my love,
Aleigh Joy 


Tuesday, November 11, 2014
Hey Hey Hey!!
Check this out:

I would LOVE to take pictures for any of you!
I'm not limiting these shoots to just those three things... if you can dream it I'm sure we can make it happen!
Shoot me an email to set up a date and time before it's too late!
Also, I am located in Utah Valley

ps. I waited for my husband while he served his mission and I remember wanting to send him cute updated pictures of me and I realllyy wanted pictures of him coming home. If you're in the same boat aka a missionary girlfriend in need of pictures: I'll give you a discount ;)


A Thankful Heart #1 (Round 3)

Sunday, November 9, 2014
For the past few years I have dedicated a series of posts in November to recording many things I am thankful for.
They are both big and small, random and predictable, but I seriously love doing this!
November sure snuck up on me this year and I just remembered I haven't begun my thankful posts yet!
Our Christmas tree may be up (all three actually), we may watch a Christmas movie every Sunday, and Christmas music may be playing over here frequently, but that doesn't mean I have forgotten about Thanksgiving. 
So... Here's to being thankful for all the many blessings in my life :)
If you want to read from years past here ya go!

Also, I would love to read all your thankful posts too!
Let me know if you join the "thankful heart" challenge! ;)

1) My Husband
Didn't see this one coming did you? ;) I know everyone thinks their husband is the greatest and of course I think mine is as well so I'll just say, my husband is the absolute greatest man out there for ME :) I loved him the first day I met him and I can't believe I was lucky enough to marry him. He's literally everything I could have ever dreamed of in a husband. He keeps me on my toes and never ceases to make me laugh. He rubs my sore pregnant feet and thanks me for carrying our child. He is so driven to be able to support our family and focused on the bigger picture in life. He is always reminding me what it means to be Christlike and he strives to better himself every single day. Everyone he meets loves him and respects him for who he is because he is always himself. A guy on his football team told him the other day... "Hunter, you're the perfect definition of a real Mormon." I just love that! He really does practice what he preaches. He loves me in ways I've always dreamed of being loved and will go out of his way to make me happy. He helps with dishes, he sweeps the floor, he always thanks me for making dinner, he patiently listens to all I have to say, he works, he goes to school full time, he plays football, and he is thrilled to be a daddy to our little girl. I married the man of my dreams, and I am beyond thankful for him.

2) My Camera
I invested in a nice camera around this time last year. I was so skeptical to spend so much money on one toy for myself. It was my first big purchase and it took me forever to decide if it was really worth it. I'll just say, it was SO worth it! I LOVE having memories preserved forever and I love that these images are good quality. I'm working on pursuing a business in this area and will hopefully have the courage to one day really get it going. Photography has been a growing hobby of mine. I've always been the one that is rounding everyone up for a group picture. I cannot wait to take pictures of our baby girl! If you need some pictures done for Christmas cards, let me know and I would love to take pictures of you and your family :)

3) BYU
I may not attend this school, but my husband does and I am SO thankful that we are here for his education. This university is perfect for both dating life and for married life. We have met so many wonderful married friends at this school. I love that Hunter is able to take religious classes for credits and that they pray before classes. I'm SO thankful for the BYU football program and what it stands for. I love that the team does firesides, watches Mormon messages during some meetings, prays together, are able to give blessings together, and even has a wives club. What other school has a wives club? There wouldn't be enough wives! It really is a wonderful school and the spirit definitely dwells on campus. I sure hope our children decide to attend Brigham Young University one day too.

4) Food to Eat
I have never had to worry or wonder if there would be food on the table for me at dinner time. That is definitely something I have taken for granted. Since being a newlywed and trying to balance everything out on a small budget, I have really understood how blessed I am to always have a warm meal in front of me. I LOVE cooking. I'm so thankful I am able to continue pursuing that love by cooking for my husband and being able to get all the ingredients I need. 

I'll end there today.
Those are just a few things I am constantly feeling thankful for, but there are many more to come!
I love keeping a list throughout my week and jotting down things I'm thankful for.
I love the happiness it brings me knowing that this life I'm living may not be perfect, but it is so so wonderful :)

25 Down. 15 To Go!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Hey, look! A baby bump!
I figured I should probably do more little updates before baby girl is here!
Because seriously, the time is going by SO fast!
She has a pile of clothes, a rocking chair, crib coming soon, hopefully a dresser in the near future, a bottle, a pacifier, diapers, and even some baby food. 
This is really beginning to feel Moore and more real.
We talk about her often and hope she's comforted by our voices. 
She totally already loves Taylor Swift, and pumpkin bread.
I think she's a daddy's girl already. Whenever she's sitting funny and Hunter tells her to move, she does. Like right away. I tell her to move, and she stays put. 
I found out that I have really low blood pressure. I guess that's better than high!
The glucose test will be happening at my next appointment. I'm less than thrilled about fasting for 12 hours.
If the whole saying that the more heartburn you have, the more hair your child will have is true... then baby girl will be born with hair clear down her back. THANK GOODNESS FOR ZANTAC!
I've been feeling really good for the most part.
Even though I'm getting really sick of the sharp pain I get when I sneeze, I wouldn't trade this experience for the world :)

How Far Along? 25 Weeks!
Weight Gain: I don't even know, I'm just trying not to care...
 Maternity Clothes? Still totally loving my maternity pants! So far I'm loving my motherhood maternity ones (and all the coupons they gave me) but the H&M ones are really awesome too. I'm able to wear all my old shirts still. and truthfully minus a few, I probably will the whole time. I've always liked looser fitting clothes.
 Sleep? Still sleeping like it's all I know how to do. I blame the fact that I wake up having to pee so often so I'm still tired once my alarm goes off. I mean I might as well sleep now right?
 Best moment this week? There were THREE baby blessings at church Sunday! Two were girls. I don't know the families but I still teared up picturing my sweet husband blessing our little girl :) Also, picturing her in the most darling pink ruffle dress she now has! Oh, and receiving a sweet package from my mom :)
 Weird pregnancy moment? Seeing my belly button poke out a little. That was definitely a weird sight for me. Also, running across the street and feeling slightly off balance... I was a gymnast and a cheerleader... I've always had balance. Now I run across the street and feel like I've never ran in my life! 
 Movement: Oh yes, little missy doesn't let me forget about her. She especially likes to have girl talk at 2 in the morning.
 Food Cravings: Salt, yogurt, almond milk, LOTS AND LOTS OF WATER, orange juice, and bread to name a few ;)
 Anything making you queasy? Even though meat almost never sounds good... I wouldn't say it makes me queasy anymore. So that's good!
 Gender: They're still telling us it's a girl! Which is perfectly exciting to me :)
 What I'm looking forward to: Looking pregnant instead of just "possibly pregnant" haha. 
Best Advice Learned So Far: Just ignore everyone. Okay not everyyyoneee but I'm pretty much just listening to my mom and a select few others at this point. I'll also pretend I didn't hear the "I bet your husband wishes you were having a boy" remarks. The "Just wait, your heartburn will be much worse soon!" And the "Oh look! You're starting to get fat!" comments. Like, really people? Oh well. 

There ya have it!
The 25 week update :)
I can't believe we're already over halfway done until we meet this little girl! :)

Halloween '14

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Halloween definitely wasn't my favorite holiday growing up
I don't like scary anything. I tried to like it during one phase in my life.
Then I stayed up all night thinking a birthday balloon was a person.
Never again.
Good thing I married a guy that enjoys the "fall" side of Halloween much more than the scary part of it just like me!
This isn't our first Halloween together since we "dated" before marriage but it sure was fun having a husband to celebrate this "holiday" together :)

Every time I've ever carved a pumpkin, I get frustrated and just kinda give up.
So I was quite pleased that all I had to do was draw the outline for Hunter to carve.
I also washed, dried, and baked the seeds!
Also, we listened to Christmas music the entire time we carved our pumpkin.

Did you ever "boo" anyone growing up?
I hope you did.
It's seriously so much fun :)
Hunter and I did together this year and we loved it!
We sure can't wait to share these traditions with baby girl next year and every year to follow :)
Here's the link for the printable just in case you plan on doing it next year!

We went to a football Halloween party this year!
It was SO much fun!
I love that we have built in friends thanks to football.
One game we played was fear factor.
Hunter had to eat a ridiculous amount of jello.
He looked like he was going to throw up.
I was also paranoid the whole time that he was going to stain his white shirt,
I had to eat Harry Potter jelly beans and identify them.
I was pretty pleased with myself for knowing so many, not so pleased that I got the rotten egg flavor...
I brushed my teeth 4 times when we got home. EW!

Our couples costume involved our wee one this year!
I was so pleased with the way that shirt came out.
Who would've known my puffy paint collection from high school would be so handy later on?
Thank you Hunter for being a good sport and wearing that terrible mustache.
Ha, I love him! 

Yesterday, aka actual Halloween, Hunter was flying to Tennessee for football :(
I went to work and we took the daycare kids to the grocery store to go trick or treating! So cute :)
I also drank way too much root beer (I never drink soda!) and baby girl was not a fan of the carbonation.
Her kicks were definitely more on the aggressive side than the loving side yesterday

Well that's a wrap!
'til next year Halloween!
I'm secretly so happy that you've come and gone because I can now focus all my attention on Christmas without sounding too crazy ;)
Speaking of which... the first craft of Christmas is up on our Moore sisters blog!

All my love,
Aleigh Joy


The Bigger Picture

Monday, October 27, 2014

I'm typing this post as the little girl growing and developing inside of me has already kept me awake for several hours because she has decided to rest right on my bladder and stay there.
Talk about discomfort. 
But really, I love her for it.
 For letting me know she is in fact in there.
I know that she knows me, and I hope she knows how much I love her.
Last night I was sitting on the couch with Hunter and told him my concern that I hadn't felt her move all day long.
 As soon as I finished my sentence she kicked me, as if to say, "Don't worry mom! I'm fine, I was just a little sleepy today."
We played around with her for the next few minutes and completely enjoyed those sweet kicks.
We often talk about her little self and more often than not I catch myself tearing up thinking about holding her little body and kissing her baby cheeks.
We pray for her, we dream about all she will be, and we are preparing to be her parents.
Pregnancy is amazing for this reason. 
For the time you spend loving your child before you can hold them physically.
It is a time that Hunter and I have spent growing closer to each other so that baby girl has a loving home to be welcomed into.
We feel such a strong bond with this little one already.

However, I would be completely lying if I told you that pregnancy is a piece of cake.
I really haven't gotten very sick and have yet to experience a complication (and to all you mothers that do get sick and have numerous complications, you are a super hero to me) but I haven't quite felt that "pregnancy glow" that everyone talks about.
I vented to Hunter the other day about how my self esteem as far as self image goes has changed quite a bit since my belly began getting bigger and the rest of my body has began to swell.
Gaining wight isn't easy for me. Even if it is mostly out of my control.
I often look in the mirror and am not a fan of what I see these days. 
I'm used to a (mostly) flat stomach and being able to easily fit into my skinny jeans.
I now struggle to find a single shirt in my wardrobe that I feel comfortable in. 
It's silly. Really, I know it's silly that I'm even typing this.
I really do love knowing this little girl is in there and there are days that I actually do look in the mirror and think better thoughts. 
But, I'm caught in a very awkward stage of pregnancy where I don't feel that I look like I'm with child but rather that I'm just gaining some "newlywed weight."
Hunter hugged me tight after I let out everything I had been feeling and told me that he thinks I am beautiful and that he loves me more than anything.
He thanked me for being selfless and willing to be pregnant with our child.
His hugs alone were all I was really seeking, but what he said next is what really stood out to me.
I can't remember word for word but in my own words this is how my sweet husband comforted me.
Heavenly Father will bless me, and all of you other mothers, for bringing his children to earth and for having the desire to raise them and nurture them.

He will bless us for the struggles we endure during pregnancy and the trials we will face after. 
He will bless us for nurturing and loving these little ones.
He will bless us for all the times we spend getting up to pee in the middle of the night while our baby is sitting on our bladder.
He will bless us for the countless doctors appointments we go to and the moments we spend worrying when we don't feel any movement.
And, he will bless us for the months we spent not fitting into our old clothes but instead setting aside our pride and embracing the changes our bodies go through to bring his children into this world.

I needed to hear my husband tell me that there is a bigger picture.
He helped me realize that pregnancy and having kids is so much more than pretty nurseries, having the best baby shower, wearing the trendiest diaper bag, cute monthly pictures, the dreamiest birthday parties that took months of planning, and comparing our changing bodies to what they used to be.
I know I saw it before because this is what I chose, but I'm grateful that my husband helped me remember that I see and understand the bigger picture.
Having children is part of Heavenly Father's plan that he designed for us.
I know I can lose this baby weight, the heartburn will subside, my ankles will go back to normal soon enough, and my jeans will still be there in a few months.
But for now, I will look at these things as a reminder that I am creating an eternal family with my sweet husband, that our darling little girl will be here in about 3 and a half months for us to love forever, and that I am fulfilling my dream and purpose of becoming a mother and following His plan. 
I still have quite some time left of being pregnant and I'm only going to get bigger from here, but for now I will remember what a blessing it is that I get to be a mother and I will continue to remember that there is in fact, a bigger picture.

All my love,
Aleigh Joy


Falling Leaves

Thursday, October 16, 2014
I'm experiencing my first real fall (since I can remember) and I'm SO loving it!
Fall in Utah is GORGEOUS!
The mountains have the most beautiful leaves all over and every time I walk to the car my boots crush all the crunchy leaves.
The air is a little more crisp and the nights and mornings are much colder.
I can wear boots, sweaters, and scarves already and I'm just not used to that.
Also, I've had several bowls of soup and cups of hot chocolate and that just makes me so happy!
Seriously, I love it.

Not only does it look like Fall outside, but this is my first fall I got to decorate inside!
I love the warm colors filling our home, it's really gotten me in the holiday spirit!
Call me crazy... but I'm already planning out Christmas decorations :)

All my love,
Aleigh Joy


Our Little Girl.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014
So, now that I'm 22 weeks... I should probably do an update of some sorts on this sweet little girl growing inside of me.
First off, oh how I love her so!
I feel like I already know her so well.
At both ultrasounds so far, she has cooperated perfectly and let us see everything we needed to.
She's also incredibly wiggly.
At first I couldn't tell if I was feeling movements or uhm... gas... but I'm so beyond sure that it's her now.
She's an early bird. Just like daddy.
In fact, when I'm struggling to take Hunter to his early lifts she kicks away and flips around until I start laughing and get out of bed to take him.
She loves when I drink lemonade, and so do I so I can tell we're gonna be best friends already. 
She's not a huge fan of me sleeping on my side, that's okay cause it doesn't feel so good on my shoulder anyways.
She's been so kind and hasn't made me throw up still.
My doctor is very pleased with her progress thus far.
Everything is growing exactly how it should and that makes for a little bit of a calmer mama.
Although, he is a bit concerned that her daddy was 11.5 lbs at birth. He'll be watching me carefully. 
I'm still not completely showing. Whenever I tell people I'm pregnant they seem shocked...
But trust me, I feel pregnant! My body is definitely changing and she pokes out a tiny bit more each week.
Her little profile in her pictures makes my heart melt.
Daddy loves his little girl and loves to sit in her rocking chair already.
Goodness we love her.
I cannot believe she'll be here in 18 weeks or less!

Here's a little bit more of an organized update on little lady:

How Far Along? 22weeks 
Weight Gain: Around 15 pounds already! But my doctor said that's just on track. I feel like a whale
 Maternity Clothes? Maternity pants for sure! They are heavenly! Though the bump hasn't completely arrived my hips have definitely widened making the button a little harder to snap ;)
 Sleep? All. The. Time. I require like 10 hours of sleep every night if I ever wanna get anything done.
 Best moment this week? Just movement. That always puts a smile on my face :)
 Weird pregnancy moment? Dreaming about this little girl being a baby giraffe that Hunter and I totally loved... what? Apparently that's actually quite normal. So weird.
 Movement: YES! Such an active little thing. I love it!
 Food Cravings: Salad, fruit, and french fries mainly but I've worked up quite an appetite since the first trimester.
 Anything making you queasy? Still even the thought of raw chicken kills me. I've definitely gotten better since the first trimester but I'll never look at it the same!
 Gender: 100% girl! Bring on the tutu's hair bows and pink!
 What I'm looking forward to: Getting her nursery underway!

And that's all for now!
My blogging game is lacking but I'll try harder I promise! 

All my love, 
Aleigh Joy

Ps. How sweet is this? :)