Friday, January 31, 2014


So we made it - twelve blog posts, twelve months. Fifty two weeks. Three hundred and sixty five days. Eight thousand, seven hundred and sixty hours. ONE YEAR.

At one year old, Uriah is walking! Everywhere, all the time! He is standing up on his own, too, and occasionally running...?! When did he get so big?!

Uriah is 21 pounds (just 2 ounces up from his weight at 7 months, but we've been assured he's still very healthy!), in the 61%, and is 2 feet 6 inches tall, in the 62%. He is in size four diapers and 6/9-12 month clothes. He still has a few 6-9 month pants in his closet and some of his 12-18 months clothes fit with the sleeves or legs rolled up.

Uriah has five teeth with another one coming in! He's been teething for the last month or so, but has been taking it like a champ! There's been an excess of drool, a stuffy nose, some fussiness and tears and lots of fingers in the mouth, but this round of teething hasn't been too bad.

Uriah is off the binki! With the exceptions of naps and nighttime... I wasn't in a big hurry to get him off the habit, but I knew it would get harder as he got older, and it just sorta happened. Stephen and I decided to hide them one day, because for Uriah, if he saw it, he wanted it. For us, too, if it was there and he was fussy, sure, why not? He was teething and sick at the time, so he fussed whether he had the pacifier or not, so it was kinda imperfect, perfect timing! It just took one day and he stopped looking for.

He is eating solids four times a day, occasionally a fifth. This round of teething has left him a little pickier, he prefers cold food and nothing he has to chew too much. He loves to feed himself, and even though he makes a giant mess, I love letting him do it! Both so he can learn, but it's just so cute to watch him! He always offers to share, too! Bread of any kind is still his favorite. Uriah is still nursing twice in the morning, before bed, and a time or two during the day after his naps. I think it's mostly for comfort at this point, but I don't mind - I love my quiet one on one time with him! And when he falls asleep in my arms?! It's the best!

Uriah is (for the most part) sleeping through the night! He goes to bed between 7:30 and 8 every night and we don't hear from him until 5:30, when Stephen's alarm goes off. If he does wake up in the middle of the night, I no longer go up to rock or nurse him and he usually isn't awake for long. I'll nurse him when he gets up and put him back down until around 7 in the morning. It's an early wake up call for me, but I wake up when Stephen's alarm goes off, anyway, and I like that I get to get some stuff done around the house or for myself before Uriah's up.

He is taking three naps a day, occasionally two. His morning nap last an hour, 9-10, his afternoon nap lasts and hour and a half to two hours, 12-2 (ish), and his evening nap lasts an hour, 4-5. He's pretty flexible in his nap schedule, which is nice, though I try to keep a steady routine. If he's outside or out and about, it's easier to have him skip a nap.

"Tricks": So I don't think you should treat your child like a circus animal ;), but these are some of Uriah's "tricks" - He claps when you ask him to, when you say "yay!", or at the end of a song or book. He signs "more" and "all done" and we're working on "eat/hungry", "drink/thirsty", "please" and "thank you". He dances to all music (and it is the cutest thing!) He shakes his head 'no' when he's touching something or doing something he knows he's not supposed to, or when you say no. He gives kisses and 'loves' all the time, which is the sweetest! He says "momma", "dada", and "nana" (all directed at the appropriate people!) He points out everything saying "guh, guh!", but calls Stephen's helicopter the "caw caw", dogs "og!" and the guitar "gar!" He gives high fives and waves. When you say, "how big is Uriah?!" he'll spread his arms wide, and when you ask him how old he is, he'll hold up his finger, "one!"

Loves: Tossing, kicking and playing with balls and balloons. He loves playing peek-a-boo and chase and always laughs when getting tickled. He loves pulling out clothes from baskets of laundry and his dresser drawers - he'll carry them around and throw him over his head and wave them around - I have no idea what he's doing but it's super cute and fun to watch! He really loves his blanket and his stuffed monkey, "monkey", and is always looking for them, carrying them around and giving them "loves". He loves being outside walking and exploring or playing at the parks, even just in our arms watching the cars and people. He's really into reading books and having books read to him right now. He loves animals - in books or the ones on the sidewalk, he points and stares and starts babbling. He loves walking and exploring, but still loves being held and snuggled. Two of his favorite things are dad's guitar and remote control helicopter - he loves playing with those with Stephen! He loves bath time and naked time (because what little boy doesn't?!) and listening to and playing music.

Dislikes: Homeboy hates getting his pajamas or coat on, I think because he knows what each mean (going to bed and going outside) and he'd rather just be doing those things instead of getting ready to do them! He's not a fan of being in his highchair with no food on his tray, getting his diaper changed, or sitting still (for pictures!). He doesn't like getting in the stroller or car seat, though he loves them both once we're moving. And we've recently discovered with this stuffed up teething nose, that he hates getting his nose drained, though I don't blame him.

I can't believe my baby is one... He is truly such a joy in our lives! He is so sweet and tender hearted, but so very much a boy - so active and busy! I can't believe he's walking and babbling all the time, so independent! He is learning so fast, now, and it is so crazy and such a blessing to be with him each day witnessing it all! It can't possibly get better than this!

Uriah Michael, you have shaped our lives and our hearts more than I ever thought possible. Our love for you is indestructible and never ending, and we are so truly grateful that God gave you to us. I look at you and am amazed - we made that! You are such a handsome, loving, busy, silly little boy and we wish for you a full and joyous life. Today and every day, we love you! Happy birthday, Uriah!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

our day

Inspired by this post over here at Annapolis & Company (one of the new blogs I am loving and mentioned in this post), I decided to share with you our day, because you care, right?

A typical day in the life of the Wall family... I thought it'd be a fun post to do around the time of Uriah's birthday (which is Friday...?!!) each year, to have to look back on and see what we were up to - where we lived, Stephen's schedule, Uriah's schedule, what we we lived. And I say typical because as much as I try to have a set schedule around here, Stephen occasionally works late or doesn't get to come home at all or Uriah's naps are off an hour or so, but you know, for the most part, this is our day. Living in Idaho, Uriah at (almost) one, in our third year of medical school...

5:30 am >> Stephen's alarm clock goes off and the two of us snuggle in bed, slowly waking up together. Or, really, we struggle waking up together... I hate that alarm.

5:35 am >> Uriah wakes up, without fail, five minutes after the alarm goes off. Stephen gets up and starts going about his morning routine - bathroom, breakfast, coffee, studying. I go upstairs to nurse and snuggle Uriah, who goes back down to sleep.

5:45 am >> I crawl back in bed to zone out on my phone - Instagram, Pinterest, email... I take awhile to wake up, so these few quiet minutes by myself in bed are necessary (for my happiness and everyone else's).

6:00 am >> I join Stephen in the kitchen to have a bowl of cereal while he studies across the table from me. We'll exchange kisses and dream talk between bites and book pages, but it's usually quiet time for the two of us.

6:30 am >> Stephen will head for the shower and I'll turn on some lights around the house, fix myself up a little bit, put away things I didn't get a chance to the night before, finally feeling a litte more awake.

7:00 am >> Stephen leaves for work and Uriah wakes up for the day. I'll go upstairs to change him, nurse him, snuggle him, rock him, and read stories with him. Uriah takes awhile to wake up, too, so we have a pretty slow, casual morning routine.

7:30 am >> Uriah will start to play with his books on his own and sit and read and play by himself, occasionally bringing me books to read or coming over for "loves" or showing me the new toy he's picked up.

8:00 am >> Uriah and I head downstairs to "wake up the house" - we open all the curtains and blinds, turn on more lights and get ready for breakfast (eggs, avocado and a handful of cheerios)

8:20 am >> This time before his morning nap is spent in independent play. Uriah will drag out books and toys onto the living room floor and contently play as I do the morning round of dishes, make our bed, fold a basket of laundry (all of which he loves to "help" with). He'll follow me around and do a lot of exploring, but is most often happy to be by himself and doesn't require a lot of attention.

9:00 am >> We'll head upstairs to read a book or two and then he's down for his morning nap. I'll take a shower, put my face on, get a snack (toast and fruit) and start a blog post or watch an episode of Friends.

10:00 am >> He's awake! This hour is very similar to our seven o'clock hour. Uriah will nurse (purely for comfort, I told you, he takes a long time to wake up) and we'll read a few books together before he's ready to play on his own.

10:30 am >> Uriah will get into his toys and books and dad's guitar, while I open up the blinds, turn on some lights and pick out his clothes.

11:00 am >> We'll go downstairs for Uriah's brunch (fruit) and turn on some music.

11:20 am >> The time before his afternoon nap I like to spend being very intentional with him. He's great at independent play, but I want to make sure he gets some good one on one time with mom each day. We'll play toss and peek-a-boo and walk all over the house. I always try to put my phone up and focus on Uriah - pointing out colors, textures, sounds, animals... Forty minutes of homeschool for my one year old ;)

12:00 pm >> Uriah will go down for his afternoon nap after reading a story or two. I'll do the afternoon round of dishes, start some laundry, make a grocery list, clean the house, do my hair (maybe), read, journal, blog... Once my chores are done, this time is spent in "me" mode.

1:30 pm >> Uriah will wake up and be ready to eat and play. We'll hang out upstairs for a bit, walking and playing before heading down to eat lunch (veggies, beans, fruit, bread, usually anything he can eat himself)

2:00 - 4:00 pm >> This is typically Uriah's happiest time of the day. It's his longest stretch of awake time and always my favorite because he's alert and happy and (for the most part) well behaved, so we use this time as our "do something" time. Weather permitting, we'll play outside, walking around the house, finding leaves and sticks, walking the block to the park to go down the slide, and then load up in the stroller and walk the neighborhood or through downtown. Weather not permitting, we'll go the grocery store, the library, to a friends or have friends over, or on a drive - anything to stimulate him, get him some fresh air or a change of scenery.

4:00 pm >> We'll come home or come inside and Uriah will go down for a nap while I start dinner in the kitchen.

5:00 pm >> Uriah will wake up and hang out with me in the kitchen, either ripping open all our cupboards or snacking in his high chair while I finish dinner.

5:30 pm >> Stephen comes home! Uriah will beg to be with dad, so Stephen will take him to see the globe, the rhino and the bells (their evening routine) and then into the bedroom so Stephen can get changed, all while I set the table and clean up Uriah's kitchen disaster.

6:00 pm >> We'll eat dinner as a family, one of my favorite parts of the day. We'll talk about our days and laugh over Uriah's enthusiasm for his food and linger over our empty plates talking, not wanting to start studying or do the dishes.

6:30 pm >> Stephen will take Uriah to play with the helicopter or with his toys in the living room, while I clean up the dining room and put dinner away, and quiet often, sit and watch my boys play together from the other room - it is such a sweet and heart warming sight.

7:00 pm >> I'll take over entertaining Uriah and Stephen will start studying. I'll start his bedtime routine with a bath, naked time upstairs, lotion, jammies, and some more quiet play time.

7:45 pm >> Stephen will join us upstairs to read Uriah a couple stories and get in his goodnight kisses while I clean up his room. Stephen will resume studying and Uriah and I will have time to rock and nurse.

8:00 pm >> Uriah's in bed and I'll get to working on the evening round of dishes. I'll clean up the living room, fold laundry, straighten up the house and zone out on my phone or the computer on Instagram, Pinterest, blogs, usually with a cookie and a glass of chocolate milk, waiting for Stephen to call it quits.

9:00/9:30 pm >> Stephen and I will get ready for bed and snuggle up under the covers to read Game of Thrones (or whatever series we're reading at the time). It's such a sweet part of my day - one on one time with Stephen. Occasionally we don't read, and just lay and talk and laugh and probably stare at pictures of Uriah on our phones.

10:00 pm >> We out.

Add in a few FaceTime dates with my mom and sister and that's our day! It's simple and maybe a little mundane, but I love our life, and I hope when Uriah's two or seven and there are other Wall babies and our schedule is busier and crazier and Stephen's working nights for weeks on end, that I'll be able to look back at these times and say I truly did enjoy it and soak it all up, instead of waiting for the next thing to come along. For now, this is us, this is our life. And I am grateful.

Friday, January 24, 2014

how i met Jesus

So, awhile ago, I shared with you some of my current thoughts and feelings and struggles about my relationship with Jesus. And in that post I wrote about how it was something I wanted to talk more openly about, with the people in my life, but also here in this blog.

So, recently, I had the chance to catch up with an old friend from high school through several long emails that made me feel like a kid again (Like writing a friend while away at summer camp, or something. Remember that, Ali?!) We hadn't talked in four years... FOUR! And a lot has happened in my life in the past four years, A LOT! And in my very long paragraph of fragment and run-on sentences of my last four years, was the mention of my baptism. This friend, last knowing me in high school, was curious about my baptism and my journey of finding faith, because he last knew me as an agnostic who didn't seem too curious in it all. And, he was right - that is who I was in high school. And though I'm sure my answer to his simple, polite statement of "tell me about your baptism" was much more than he was looking for, I got to tell him all about my experience of becoming a Christian. And! I enjoyed writing it all down and sharing it so much, that I thought I would do it here, as well. Lucky you, right?! (prepare yourselves for a long one, guys!) I haven't shared this story with many, not that it's incredibly deep and personal, but because most of the people I talk to about this kind of stuff, were with me somewhere in my journey, so they kinda already know how it happened. But as a step further in my faith, of talking more openly about Jesus and my relationship with Him, I share with you a love story, the story of how I met Jesus...

When I was little, I used to pray, to whatever God there may be. I didn't grow up going to church or really talking about God or religion in my family, so I don't know where it came from, but I used to pray. Less as I got older and entered high school, and they were always prayers when I needed something, never prayers of praise or thanks. So, somewhere along the way (probably when my mom was going to school and studying religion) I started declaring myself as agnostic. I thought there might be a "higher power", really kinda hoped there was, but I didn't care enough to figure that out, yet. I think I always planned on figuring it out, getting to know God, but I didn' t know how or when or why... So I continued on with that belief into college.

And then I met Stephen. The day I met Stephen, I was overcome with this feeling of... I don't even know! Sureness, maybe. I literally hadn't said two words to him, we hadn't even made eye contact, and I knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that I was going to marry him. It sounds so silly and hopeless romantic, love at first sight sorta thing, but I just knew. I didn't know how I knew, I didn't know what made me think that, but I didn't really stop to question it. I certainly didn't thank whatever God there may or may not be for the man that just walked in the room and I didn't think He was responsible for this overwhelming sensation.

Stephen and I started dating, and about six months later, when it started to head in the direction of serious (he was graduating and supposed to be starting medical school that fall but I had another year left, "what are we going to do?!", blah, blah, blah...) we broke up. Over the next month, after attempts at being friends and a couple actual dates and talks and talks and talks (why do we girls talk so much?!) about why we broke up, it sorta came out that there was this thing in his life that he kinda always pictured his serious girlfriend/potential wife to have, too... Jesus. He had started to really question if this non-Christian girl would be worth taking a year off before medical school. I was what he wasn't expecting, I was switching up his "plan". So I took matters into my own hands. If he needs to be dating a Christian girl, I'll become a Christian girl. I can play that part, sure. Now listen, my first attempts at a relationship with Jesus were totally 100% false. Fake. I started asking questions and reading books to keep Stephen around. I was interested, yes, in this beautiful, meaningful, relationship in Stephen's life, but I wasn't convinced I actually needed it for myself. I was convinced I needed Stephen and "pretending" to care about God and his faith was how I was going to keep him.

Slowly, very slowly, that interest started to become real. I started reading things that intrigued me. Somewhere along the way I stopped doing it for Stephen and I started doing it for myself. I began to enjoy it, I looked forward to the time I spent reading my bible or talking about it with Stephen. I didn't understand a lot of it, I didn't like a lot of it and I questioned a lot of it, but my interest became true and 100% my own. (I think the switch happened when I discovered that Stephen would marry me as a Christian or not, baptized or not, believer or not. He wanted it for me because he believed it to be the best thing in his life, but it wasn't necessary. I, alone, was good enough.)

So, it's the summer of 2010 and we're dating long distance. After we separated, I struggled with building a relationship with God because I had so many doubts and questions, but I was still interested, so I continued to read and made very few feeble attempts at praying. One night, I was reading a book my then future sister-in-law recommended to me. In this particular scene, the man in the book was having a hard time with God. He was frustrated and feeling unloved by Him. He went for a walk on the beach and prayed to God that He would show him His love. This man was asking for a sign, proof that God existed and that He was listening and that He cared. Just as the man is about to give up and walk off the beach, a whale breaches in the water not too far from the shore. This man was the only one on the beach, this whale was meant just for him to see.

So, I'm reading this story going, gosh, yes! I need a freaking whale! You can only do so much "research" before you need a real, good, God given sign that He is real and you are loved and this is IT! So I prayed. I prayed long and deep and hard and honestly thought to myself that if a whale doesn't breach outside my window, I just might be done. So I waited. I literally sat on my bed waiting for something to happen. After a few minutes, I started crying. One, because how silly and stupid was I to sit there and actually think that what?, the pencil on my desk would lift into the air?! And two, because I was so disappointed that the pencil on my desk didn't lift into the air! I gave up and went to get off my bed when I looked at my nightstand, at the framed picture of Stephen and I... And I just knew. Stephen was my whale. That same feeling that poured over me the day I met him came rushing back and it all just sorta, clicked. God gave me Stephen, and Stephen gave me God.

I did a lot more reading and questioning and praying, but from that point on it was as if there never were other options. Of course God existed. Of course Jesus died for our sins. Of course!

The option to get baptized came up the next Spring when our campus ministry group was going to the beach for the weekend for that very purpose. I really struggled with the decision to get baptized or not - my faith was still immature and I didn't exactly have it all figured out (though I know now I never will). It was on Easter Sunday during the sermon that I was thinking about this decision. I decided to hand it over to God and ask for another "sign". I prayed (a very silly prayer) that if the band played a new favorite song of mine, that I loved so much, at the end of the sermon, well then that would be my sign and I would get baptized. They played the song. And I cried. My faith was still immature, but I knew what faith I wanted to follow, so I saw my baptism as an outward gesture to follow the God I'd come to know and love.

I was worried that my parents wouldn't understand, or wouldn't believe that my faith was genuine, or that they'd be disappointed... So I withheld a lot of this story from them for a long time. It wasn't until the Thursday before my baptism that I actually told my mom what I was going to do, and how I came to decide to do it. It was a tearful and emotional talk and I was so stupid for ever thinking they wouldn't care or be so proud and excited for me, but getting that all out in the open, made my decision to get baptized even better. It felt more real and more honest.

So, I was baptized in the Pacific Ocean (my very favorite place!) by Stephen (who was also baptized in that same spot) with my parents watching from shore. They bought plane tickets the day before and flew out last minute to surprise me. I started hyperventilating when the freezing cold waves hit my back and knocked me over! It was the most imperfect, perfect day.

My journey to finding faith was twenty years in the making, but it really took just one moment of clarity to finally see. One "God moment". One moment of, click! And I just knew. It sounds so corny to say "it was meant to be", but I truly think it was. Everything happens for a reason, right?

^^ My mom's iPhone pictures of my baptism weekend. 
It truly was the best gift to have my parents there, loving and supporting me! 
Thank you, mom and dad! ^^

Thursday, January 23, 2014

taking stock 003

So I said I was going to make this a monthly post, and then never managed to make it two months in a row... New year, guys! Maybe this time it will happen.

Making: plans.
Cooking: currently, nothing. though i do wish there were cookies in the oven.
Drinking: chocolate milk. and probably not enough water.
Reading: game of thrones - stephen and i's nightly ritual.
Wanting: just about everything on my pinterest "style" board right now. i'm purging my closet of all the things i say "no, i'll keep this. i'll wear it someday" about. well "someday" came and went about a year ago and i'm finally pulling them from my closet. and while it should maybe feel nice to have less hangers in my closet, i really just want to go shopping and replace everything i took out.
Looking: forward to my playdate this afternoon, a girls brunch on saturday, church on sunday...
Playing: chase, peek-a-boo, tickle, follow the leader... you name it, we're playing it.
Wasting: time caring about things that shouldn't matter. when will i learn?
Sewing: really, though, i should just delete this one.
Wishing: "that you believed in superstitions, then maybe you'd see the signs..." (it was the fist thing that popped into my head. i couldn't resist) ok. wishing for deeper friendships.
Enjoying: uriah at this age. walking, babbling, laughing, growing... i can see him learning, constantly, and it is such a joy to be apart of it.
Waiting: for baby to fall asleep. this round of teething hit him hard and he is hurting.
Liking: that my house is clean, my bed is made and the dishes are done all before morning nap. go me!
Wondering: what stephen is doing right now...
Loving: the said man in the line above. uriah had a rough night last night and stephen showered me with snuggles and kisses in bed this morning and then made sure i stayed in it as long as i could.
Hoping: for a warm (ish) sunny day so i can take uriah outside to play. it is his favorite and i am queen of the world in his eyes when i open that door. it's a win, win situation.
Marveling: at life. i mean really, though. do you ever just stop to think about it? whoa.
Needing: a shower. and a baby gate. and groceries.
Smelling: warm cinnamon vanilla scentys. worth every penny, dad, thanks! ;)
Wearing: a smile. baby fell asleep!
Following: my heart.
Noticing: a more set schedule around here. and i am welcoming it with open arms, as it seems to be working out pretty well for us.
Knowing: that one man's opinion is just that, an opinion. it doesn't mean truth.
Thinking: i could really use a cookie right about now... there really aren't any in the oven?
Feeling: good. happy. content.
Bookmarking: new blogs. fellow instagram/blogging mommas that i've come to adore.
Opening: my sock drawer. my feet are always freezing and i've refused to buy a pair of slippers since the death of charmouse and chartreuse. it just wouldn't be the same.
Giggling: over uriah's reaction to seeing nana's cats on facetime. we need a pet.
Feeling: ready.

^^ a completely unrelated picture, but you guys! those baby blues! i swoon ^^

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

lay your head to rest

Ok, so the lightings not all that great, and it isn't much, but it's our cozy little corner of the house where I get to snuggle up with my husband at night and fall asleep to him scratching my back, and that's where I lay when the sun starts streaming through the window and that same wonderful husband rolls over to kiss my cheeks awake. (Ok, usually, the crying baby upstairs wakes us up before the sun comes up and it's much less picture-esk, but that didn't sound as romantic)

The dresser we found for $30 and spray painted together this summer. The photo booth pictures you can't see too well on my jewelry box are from the day we got engaged - he had the ring in his pocket, people! The bedding, end tables, headboard and rug are from Ikea. Our lampshades are covered in sharpie, mine in my favorite bible versus and Stephen's in the lyrics to our wedding song. Cougar kitty sits on my nightstand (along with all my current reads) because I'm still a six year old girl at heart. Annnd that's that! That's our bedroom! Unless you want to see our bathroom, I think the home tour is finally complete!