Gunner's First Birthday

I've thought over and over and over again about the things I want to say about celebrating Gunner's first birthday! And I've come to the conclusion that it will just be a confusing emotional mess. So instead, I'm just going to post some of my favorite pictures from his birthday party!

We had a house full of friends and tiny wild ones! Gunner was just basking in all the attention! 

I was so distracted during the party I forgot to take pictures of all the fun decorations! Here's the two pics I got! 

We had everyone write their wishes for Gunner as he grows! I love how it turned out! 

My sister made these adorable banners and over nighted them to me! She is just all around the best! 

The Cakes!!

The big cake for the guests was a vanilla cake with vanilla and strawberry fillings and lemon buttercream. I was so proud that I didn't blow it with the piping! (I use this recipe for my vanilla cake, I just replace the coconut milk with whole milk!)

Gunner's Cake was made up of his two favorite things in life: blueberries &bananas. It was a banana cake with lemon buttercream and blueberries. This banana cake is equal parts easy and delicious! Its my go-to for a quick treat (especially when I have over-ripened bananas). I got this amazing cake stand on amazon. I'm OBSESSED with it. I feel like I need to start making tiny things just to display on it. 

I maybe got a little emotion while we sang Happy Birthday. MY BABY IS ONE!!! 

He saw those blueberries and he was not shy about digging in! just wait.. 

He was ALL about the blueberries... until he tasted the frosting!

Aww YEAH! Thats the good stuff!!

He was covered head to toe in frosting! He was all shiny and sticky like a glazed donut. 

He needed a little milk to wash it all down! 

He probably ate like 80% of that cake. I couldn't believe how he just kept eating and eating and eating! His bath water was a gooey murky mess!  

Once our guests had left and the babe was in bed, we sat down and took a deep breath. We were both so overwhelmed with how full our life in New York City is. I was really bummed out about being away from family for such an important day in our lives. But, holy cow, did our friends make up for it. Sometimes I can't believe we've only been here for 6 months. It feels like we've known these people for years. 

We absolute could not have done this without our friends the Leals, (You can read her awesome blog here: Cooking Hat) They spent their entire day off helping us get ready for the party! I would have been an absolute wreck without their help! (THANKS GUYS!)

We are feeling so at home here and it's making us a little sad that we may be moving in a few months! I would not be disappointed even a little bit if we got to stay in NYC for a few more years! Fingers crossed everyone!!


P.S. I've been thinking about doing some post about baking. Would you guys read that? Or would it just be annoying because you're only here for pictures of my cute kid in the city? I'd love some feedback!!


Our First Family Photos

Zack has this really amazing cousin, Shanda, who is a crazy talented photographer! She did our wedding pics, and now our inaugural family pics! (Zack and I went back and forth about the use of inaugural...does it make sense there?)

I love them all and could barely decide which pics to post! I may have gone a little overboard!

So, what's your opinion on how many pictures is too many. As in, can I line my apartment wall to wall in them, or is that a little excessive?!? I love them THAT much!!

I can just imagine these on the wall of our future home, mixed in with photos of our family growing and the new adventures we haven't even dreamt of yet! I can't believe we're about to celebrate our THIRD anniversary. I'm so grateful for my silly little family! 

The last three years have been the best of my life. Learning to be a wife and mother has given me so much joy and purpose! I am so in love with where we are in our lives right now. I can't imagine doing anything else with my days, my years, my life!

I keeping wanting to press pause and live in this exact moment of life forever. I don't want anything to change. But, alas, it must. I'm so happy we have these beautiful photos to document our little family. These are our best shot at holding onto this sweet, amazing, perfect stage of our life!


P.S. If you live in Northern Utah and you're looking for a photographer, you HAVE to check Shanda out! 


Chinese New Year

The weather has been so bitter cold lately. The snow is so beautiful, at least when looking at it from the warmth of my apartment. Haha. But last weekend we had a little taste of heaven/spring! It was in the high 40s and we were not about to stay inside and waste such a gorgeous day!

I don't know why I've felt so compelled to celebrate the Chinese New Year. Maybe it has something to do with the time I spent in Japan (except thats Japan, not China) or maybe its because it always looks so cool in the movies... But, I have been dying to experience a real authentic Chinese New Year celebration!

Friday night was the big fire cracker festival, and Sunday afternoon was the dragon parade. Unfortunately for us, Saturday was the only day we could make it down there. I was so bummed out, thinking we would miss all the excitement!

Once we got into Chinatown I noticed the stores were selling a lot of traditional holiday looking things, but there wasn't really any sign of celebrations. We were meeting Ellen at her favorite Chinese place (Tasty Hand-Pulled Noodles, it lives up to its name!) and as we turned down Mott street we found the party!

Everyone was shooting off fire crackers and there were streamers and confetti everywhere! There were a ton of cute little Chinese kids playing in the street and dancing. It was so colorful and lively! We met up with Ellen and had the tastiest hand-pulled noodles ever! This place is definitely a must-try!

We found our way back to the party and bought ourselves some fire crackers! This was like an hour PAST Gunner's nap time so he was not so excited about all the noise and flying confetti (but I was!) And it made for some awesome pictures!

After the police shut it down, we found our way to a cute little bakery in Soho (Little Cupcake Bakeshop) The cupcakes (and mini pies, and icebox cake) were heavenly. But, the company was even better. Guess who held the door open for us as we came through the door. You guessed it! Queen Latifah!!! (Did you really guess it?) She held the door open for us and then admired sleeping Gunner and his tiny little "Chucks". We all exchanged looks, confirming that yes, this was Queen Latifah and decided to play it cool!

Now, I'm seriously wishing we didn't play it cool because we have no proof of our encounter! Especially because meeting a celebrity is on our bucket list, but we can't cross it off without proof. Dang it! Next time, I'll just throw caution to the wind and go all star-struck/paparzzi!

Ellen and I are like good luck or something because we always see celebs when we're together. Like ever since we were kids! We've met Billy Crystal, Ryan Seacrest, Kathy Ireland, and NOW Queen Latifah. We really should spend more time together!! It is so much fun living close to her again. 

Happy Year of the Horse Everybody!


A Month in Utah, According to my iPhone

I think our favorite Christmas gift was a month long visit home! Even though we are loving NYC, we were ready for a little break from the city, and a reminder of what normal life is like for most people in the world! Like the smallest things were so refreshing! Driving in a car to go places, restaurants having places to sit, not looking into our neighbors windows from our bed, ect.

We were so incredibly spoiled! We were able to see both of our entire families (except one of my brothers), and just had an absolute blast! Gunner just LOVED watching his cousins play and learning from them(and running from them!) my favorite part was watching Gunner bond with my parents and Zack's parents. 

I think that's the hardest thing for me about living here. I so badly want Gunner to have a close relationship with his grandparents! I see how close my sister's kids are to my parents and it hurts my heart that Gunner is missing out on that! I keep thinking one day we'll be there, but the odds are pretty slim! 

Okay wow this post just took a depressing turn... Haha anyways! It was incredibly rejuvenating to be surrounded by all those we love the most! I got to spend almost everyday with my mom and sister and that was time that I cherish so much!  I feel like we just filled our tanks with love and memories and family to get us through the next few months away! 

By the time it was time to come home, we were ready to not be living out of a suit case and get back into our routine but goodbyes are never easy! We packed up and said our goodbyes the night before our flight, only to find out we didn't fly out for two more days... Oops! Haha! So we got a bonus day and had to say a second round of goodbyes! Bittersweet!

I didn't take use my camera much, so most of my pics are from my iphone (ew! I know!) So basically, here's "A Month in Utah, According to my iPhone"


//As far as "Gunner's First Christmas" is concerned, ask me again next year. Do any babies care about their first Christmas? Gunner was completely uninterested in opening presents, christmas jammies, ect. I keep feeling like I should write about the magic of Gunner's first Christmas, but if I'm being completely honest, he didn't feel the magic! So next year will be considered Gunner's first real magical Christmas!

So much fun in the snow! First time sledding!

We will treasure the memories from that time forever! Thanks for an amazing month family!!