Happy Thanksgiving

Gunner's first parade!!! Sad we didn't go downtown to see it, but we did check out the floats! I'll post about that soon! 
(This was all written yesterday!)

Let me paint you a little picture of the house right now... My husband and baby are laying on the couch napping, surrounded by piles of clean laundry that haven't been folded yet. My dishwashers are full and beeping every few minutes to remind me they need to be emptied! I've got piles of toys and clothes and boxes strewn about my living room and an unmade bed covered in laundry (clean or dirty?!?). I am sitting on a barstool that has dried food on the seat and a pair of blue jeans drying on the back while I write this post! I am wearing the same jeans I wore yesterday, my hair is a mess, I haven't brushed my teeth, let alone put on makeup (unless the leftovers from last night count?) You may think I'm complaining... And on a normal day this rant would probably be a complaint.

But today I'm reminded to be thankful!! Something I wish I could remember everyday! I can't complain about having to empty and reload my dishwashers because I actually HAVE a dishwasher! A year ago I didn't even have one dishwasher, let alone two! In the city it is so rare to find an apartment with a dishwasher! I am SO blessed to have a dishwasher! Even more than a dishwasher, dishes, and food to fill those dishes! I am so grateful to have food to fill my belly everyday!

I can't complain all about all the laundry because I am so lucky to be able to do laundry at home! No laundromat for me! Plus, the fact that I do like 12 loads of laundry a week means we have an abundance of clothes! (Although you wouldn't guess that because I'm wearing last nights jeans?) As my family grows, so does my laundry pile! I'm so grateful to have a husband and baby to dirty those clothes! 

My living room is a mess because I have a busy, bright, baby that crawls around pulling wipes out of cases and unfolding my laundry and pushing cereal boxes across the floor! Gunner is absolutely one of my greatest and most precious blessings! I would never trade him for a clean house! 

I can't be annoyed at an unmade bed because I'm grateful that I have covers to keep me warm at night! Not only covers, but a house, with heat, and a roof! My heart aches for the people who are forced to sleep out in the cold! I am so deeply blessed to have a roof over my head and two amazing boys to share it with! 

My house is a wreck, and frankly I'm a wreck, but I'm so grateful to have a baby that keeps my life so happy and so busy that I rarely find the time to get the entire house clean at once! I'm grateful to have a husband that helps me hide things in closets and vacuum the crushed crackers off the rugs before guests arrive! I'm especially grateful for a husband that understands when he comes home and I'm still in my PJs and dinner isn't made. 

He is so great at celebrating the little victories with me! I did a load of laundry today! I made some cookies! I kept the baby alive another day! He'll tell me how I'm the best ever. Then I'll say, "No! You're the best ever!" Then we look lovingly into each others eyes and ignore the huge mess around us! Haha! I married the best man! I am so grateful for him and his hard work and dedication to creating a rich and full life for our family!

Although sometimes I curse him and resent him for taking me so far from home, in my heart of hearts I am grateful for the adventures he is taking me on! I'm grateful that he challenges me and pushes me to be better! I'm grateful that his parents taught him how to be an excellent Husband and Father! He is 100% the best decision I have ever made! 

I am so happy that I am a mother! I feel deeply and sincerely blessed that I was able to have a part in creating life, and now nurturing that life! I have learned more in the last 9 months than my entire life combined! Gunner has brought me more joy and happiness(and worry and shear terror) than words can describe! I am so grateful for his giggles and each new thing he learns, and when he falls asleep in my arms and when he waves to me from across the room. I'm thankful that he is healthy and growing strong and smart! I'm grateful that Zack works so hard so that I can be a full time mom! 

I could go on and on and on and on and on and on, because my life is so rich and abundantly blessed! But truly, it all comes down to just a few things! I am grateful for my Savior Jesus Christ! I'm thankful to have a Savior who knows me and loves me and has atoned for me! I'm grateful that my sins can be forgotten and forgiven! I'm grateful for a Heavenly Father who is constantly aware of me and knows my potential! He is patient and generous with me! He is quick to pour out blessings upon our family and I'm thankful to know Him and to feel His presence in my life! Without my relationship with my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, I would be lost and much more fearful for our future! I know that all that I have, all that I am, and all that I hope to be, is only through my Savior and my God! 

I am so excited that its officially the Christmas season because now I can openly jam out to Christmas music! I'm so excited to experience Christmas time in New York City! Holy Crap! How lucky am I?!? Christmas time is my very favorite time of year! I can't wait to watch Gunner experience his first Christmas and be surrounded by family and celebrate the birth of our Savior! YAY!

Happy thanksgiving everyone! I hope that you all are feeling as blessed as we are! Now bring on the snow and ringing bells and twinkly lights and hot cocoa and christmas trees!



Leaves, Tigers, and Bears.. OH MY!

We finally made it to the zoo (well like a month ago)!! After like 5 failed attempts, we did it! And even the Bronx Zoo at that (it's the best one!) One morning Zack slept through his alarm, so when he realized he'd miss his first class we decided we had to make it worth his while!

Wednesday is donation day at the Bronx Zoo, which means you pay whatever you want! That was ideal because we didn't get there until 2 hours before the park closed and I couldn't bear to pay full admission for 2 hours! Public transportation both simplifies and complicates our life. I'm still undecided about if it's better! Anyways, after a few buses we arrived with a well rested baby!

We thought since it was donation day that it would be packed. But it wasn't!! We were thrilled to find that we practically had the place to ourselves! I didn't even run over any stranger's feet with my stroller!! That never happens! We must have gone at just the right time!

I didn't have high hopes for Gunner's interest in the animals (mostly because I keep building up these moments in my head and then he sleeps through them.) But he was actually a little excited by them! And a few of the animals seemed excited about him. This tiger spotted him from across the enclosure and came straight up to the glass and just watched as Gunner talked and smacked the glass! It was one of the coolest things that's ever happened to me at a zoo!! (maybe for a second I felt a little like a national geographic photographer....)

The trees in the zoo are amazing! And it must have been the peak of the autumn leaves because the colors were wild!!! The weather was absolutely beautiful too! Gunner didn't even need his mittens, which he was thrilled about! He hates those stupid things!! 

That's one more thing checked off our NYC Bucketlist! It was an absolutely heavenly day! We'll definitely go back! There seemed to be a lot of construction so I think we'll have to check it out in the Spring! 

^^Gunner was obsessed with his little souvenir!^^




Zack tells me I sing the Batman song super out of tune or I don't have the melody or something... But I don't see how that makes it any different from the rest of the songs I sing!

Growing up we never got store bought costumes for Halloween! We were always something created from things around the house and basic craft supplies, which is why I was once a flower, a birthday present, and a girl scout (I was a girl scout in real life at the time). I like to think that instilled a deep desire for creativity in my Halloween costumes! But after weeks of brainstorming how we could combine my limited crafting skills with our even more limited selection of household items, we settled on a store bought Batman costume! 

At first I was super disappointed in myself! My mother taught me better than this! But then the second I saw Gunner dressed as Batman, cape and all, I about melted! I kept thinking to myself "oh he LOVES it!" But then I remembered he doesn't yet know the different between this and any other outfit he wears.

Gunner didn't nap well all day so right about Halloween party time he was melting down, basically begging for a nap. But, as mother of the year, I refused! He would NOT sleep through his first Halloween!

So maybe he was a grumpy Batman (I feel like Batman is grumpy anyways...so Gunner was probably just getting into character). But we went to the party and then took him trick or treating! I have been having this inner debate as to whether or not it's tacky to take an 8 month old trick or treating. I mean he's surely not going to eat all the candy...but a little tackiness never killed anyone.

Trick or treating in New York City is done a little differently! First of all, we didn't have to bundle up and brave the cold weather because we just went door to door inside our apartment building. There was a list in the elevator of all the people who would be handing out candy and we went floor by floor! Secondly, a man on the 8th floor was handing out beers to all the parents who were taking kids around.... Maybe this isn't just a NYC thing, but it was definitely a new experience for us! Hahaha!

I like to think Gunner enjoyed trick or treating, but how could he not! His dad carried him around like he was flying and  people were popping out from behind doors oohing and aahhing at him! Plus, we thought we'd let him carry his own bag, but mostly that just involved him hitting his dad in the face and eating it.

^^ hahaha i love these pics! ^^

We gave him a twizzler which he completely devoured! Then a Kit Kat which he gnawed on and snuggled a bit! I think it was love at first taste! (Check out my Instagram for a super cute vid of him and his Kit-Kat) You should have seen his bath water after this experience. You know it's Halloween when you're bath tub drain is clogged with twizzlers!!


8 Airplanes, 3 Weeks, A Million Memories

As expected, the month of November has been crazy crazy! We've been jet setting all over the country so I'm going to mostly just post a bunch of pics because theres just too much to say and a picture is worth a thousand words!

At the last minute, I decided to go to Salt Lake with Zack for his nephew's baby blessing! I am so glad I did! Unfortunately, last minute plane tickets are rarely available on the flight you want, so Gunner and I were on different flights than Zack going there and coming back! I was so freaked out about flying alone with the babe, but the airplane was surprisingly the easiest part. The airports and security were the most complicated!

On both our flights to SLC we had an entire row to ourselves! It was heavenly! So Gunner and I snuggled up and went to sleep! Once he got a little antsy I put him in the seat next to me, buckled him in tight and he thought he was king of the world! He was waving at the other people and laughing and playing! It was hysterical!

Once we got to Salt Lake, Gunner was in absolute heaven! He had so many people doting on him and playing with him and talking to him. He was loving the attention!

The weather was absolutely gorgeous! We had a blast playing in Nana and Papa's backyard!

It was such a quick trip, but we were so glad we could be there for Nick and Brittany and little Leslie! I can't wait to watch as Gunner and Leslie grow up together!

I got back from Salt Lake on Monday night (after two delayed flights and a few extra hours in Philadelphia), and left for Chicago Thursday Morning! My cousin Randy was getting married so my Mom was coming out and getting together with her sisters. I was so excited to spend the whole weekend with them! I thought for sure I would be able to keep up with them, (since they are like  grandmas!!!) but they wore us out! We shopped for 11 hours straight one day! Can you believe that?!?! It was an absolute blast!!! This is how we kept Gunner happy!

We visited with cousins and aunts and uncles and Gunner met so many new people; again, he was in heaven! The wedding was so much fun! I love these pics I snuck of my mom and her siblings getting down on the dance floor!

 dying  over Gunner's new bow tie!
Brunch with all of my aunties and my uncle!

We were so busy having fun I didn't take nearly enough pictures, especially good ones with my good camera (these iPhone pics are less than ideal)! That always seems to happen when I'm with my mother! She and Gunner are like two peas in a pod! It is so much fun to watch them play together! Thankfully, we all flew out around the same time so they helped me through the airport and helped entertain Gunner while we waited to board!

A few days after I got home from Chicago, my three oldest friends, (Caroline, Corie, & Leslie) arrived for the weekend! Corie is getting married next year so we used that as an excuse to have a girls weekend! It was such a blast! I saw Leslie just a few months ago when her family came to Hawaii; but I hadn't seen Caroline and Corie since like 2001! After just a few minutes it felt just like old times! It was so funny, none of us have changed that much! We have the same dynamic and it was so nostalgic to relive old times and learn about everything going on in their lives! I feel so blessed to have them as friends and that we've somehow managed to maintain a friendship over 17 years!

We met in 1996 when I moved to Chesapeake, Virginia where I lived for 4 years! We had the most amazing time together! I think back over those years and how much these girls influenced who I am today! Some of my fondest and dearest memories are centered around the adventures we'd get ourselves into! To this day I remember the day I moved away from that neighborhood and it is definitely in my top 3 most difficult moves. I wish I could find a copy of the picture we took as I was leaving because its so tragic. Haha. Our faces are all beet red and we're all crying hysterically! I am so grateful for them, for the memories we have together, and for the friendship that still brings me so much joy today!

We saw just about everything there is to see in the city. Not really, obviously, but we did the upper west side, central park, midtown, chelsea market, high line, times square, rockafeller center... and a lot of yummy food along the way!!

What a fun couple of weeks! We all had such a blast visiting with friends and family! Things aren't slowing down yet for the Dupaixs! We've got lots planned for the next few weeks and a giant trip home to Utah for Christmas (4 WEEKS!!!). I cannot wait! 

I still haven't gone through my Halloween pics or our pics from the zoo, but I'm going to make it happen and I'll be posting it soon!