loving the growing pains

Oh how easy it is to laugh at what I just said. Who loves pain? Why would you? Well since becoming a mama I have found that pain is inevitable but how we grow from the pain is what will determine what kind of mom/person we will be.

Not only is that sweet babe continually growing. nonstop. In every single way. Height, weight, hair, head, feet. Intellectually, emotionally, language, facial expressions. Learning everything from how to be nice to how to listen to and respond to mom/dad. BUT we are growing with them. Avyn is teaching me daily how to be more patient, how to love more, be a better person to not only her, but her dad and all those around me. She is always watching me and viewing me as her example. She uses me as her guide on how to act and react. Means I need to be on my A game — let’s be honest though that doesn’t happen everyday. Luckily there is a tomorrow to try again and work harder at being better.

So how can you not like these growing pains? Yes they test your patience and it makes you feel like you can’t do anything right BUT those sweet little brains are not meant to remember those early days {thank the heavens} which means you get to keep improving and growing each chance you decide to.

I have grown for the better and I can only thank my little Avyn for helping me realize I needed to.

Guess that is motherhood. The good and the not so good. It’s all worth it when your heart is bursting at the seams when you relive moments from pictures you captured {like these}

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She is my daily reminder to be better. To be happy. To love more. To show her what is good. I love her.

1 year. 12 months. 52 weeks. 365 days


This picture shows what was the beginning of the most life changing day of my life. The day Avyn entered our lives.

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Spring forward to now. I have a ONE year old. I don’t even know how it happened. They are not lying when they say those first 3-4 months fly by and how much fun it is to watch them learn & grow. Then the next 8 months were here and then all of a sudden I wake up and my chubby baby is crawling around thinning out, waving at us and dancing her cute little booty to Drake.

At one year old she is 23 lbs. 30 inches and the cutest little munchkin I could have ever hoped for.

She loves to wave at everyone. Claps her hands ALL the time to say yay me or yay in general 🙂 if I say “show them you’re a lizard” she sticks her tongue out and its the cutest!

She dances with or without music. A Happy little one but has the best scowl when she wants to.

Here she is the morning of her first birthday 🙂

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So since we go to Lake Powell every year and it will fall on Avyn’s birthday I wanted to make this year’s birthday the real deal.

I chose the coral gold and yellow “you are my sunshine” decor. Since she is born in July and is a little sunshine in our lives it only made sense 😉

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She was hilarious with her cake. She only poked it and licked her finger. Then I finally broke the cake apart and handed her a piece and she shoved it in her mouth. Then she must have been full (because she is a foodie) and she started feeding Ty & me. It was cute 🙂 I don’t think she much likes being crowded and watched. After all the fun, present opening and then cake eating — we put her in the bath and she was on a crazy sugar high. It was amazing 🙂 cracking us up. It was a wonderful day and I really enjoyed seeing how loved my little Av is. We are really blessed with incredible family & friends.

Can’t wait to see what this next year with my little boo holds ♥


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Ready or Not…

Not ready. nope.

She got teeth! Her two bottom teethers came in at around 7 1/2 months. {She is yet to bite me –hallelujah – cross our fingers}



{this was when they were baby buds coming through} {ps it is crazy how one day they are nonexistent then BAM they are there!}

So what do you ask am I not ready for? {since the teeth already came} Her to walk! I know my life will completely change once her mobility increases. Right now I have a roller and a scooter/pivoter. I know there are MANY fun new pros to having a walking babe like more independence & their happiness being able to get to things — but that makes me have to be chasing her nonstop. I am excited but fearful.

This little lovable monster loves to screech, holler, hum and blabber 🙂 and I love it. She is ever so curious. I can see her little brain working always.


She cracks me up daily with her silly face expressions and has started fake laughing or making a scrunched nose smile.

She is eating solid foods and loving it. Sweet potatoes are her fav. She likes oatmeal now {had to try it a couple times}. She loved oranges once upon a time — now she isn’t a fan. grapes, avocado, asparagus, prune baby food, apple sauce, crackers etc.

We had a little trip down to STG while Ty was out of town. Enjoyed the sunny weather. She got herself some Vitamin D and some Grandma Gibson time & Grandpa Gibson & Sydney time! She rocks that babykini like a model 🙂

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We have gone on a hike with Lex. I did some training with Victoria. Had a nice walk to Bridal Veil Falls with Ty. Celebrated Provo’s Birthday @ DevMountain with the Mayor.

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Also monumental moment {because its few & far between when I even see her} we got to have Avyn meet her Great Grandma Gibson who is 95 years old!


Now I am 8 months going on 8 years! JK that isn’t funny. But she is growing up before my eyes. I can see that sassy sweet spirit coming out. She is going to be incredibly independent one of these days and I am gonna cry about it I just know it. I play dress up with her now ALL the time because I have a feeling she is going to be defiant in letting me do so later…

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Mom putting me in U attire to make dad crazy 🙂 but he still loves her and buys her pretty flowers.

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I have a blessed life. grateful for it and all those in it. happy mama.

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{the nursery}

I am slightly obsessed. don’t mind me being that mom who is in love with her baby girl’s nursery. took us….about 3 months to get this thing completed BUT hey give me/us a break. We had a new baby and moved into a new home.

here is the scene when you walk in 🙂 I really liked coral with gold and beige as her nursery theme. I am not a big fan of light pink/hot pink so I wanted a little more classic something I could easily turn into her toddler room OR a guest room if needed 🙂



this little bookshelf started out as a black piece and I used a little chalk paint to turn it into a fun accent piece for the room.



the shelves and decor

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k I cannot get over that chandelier. fit for my princess haha. It now makes the room. seriously I didn’t know I married a handyman until I put him to the test 🙂 I think I will keep testing him…

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The pictures in the gold frames above  will eventually be photos of my mom, ty’s mom, Avyn and myself as babies. someday soon I will get those from them

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WELL one room FINALLY done in this ongoing project called my home. Next is the living room and Ty needs to finish benches to complete our dining table.


{4 months}

I have a 4 month old. SO weird.

Time has flown by. Her doctor’s appointment went well today – minus the shots – no body likes those. straight up mama’s need a little something to relax us before that happens…

16 lbs 4 oz. 24.75 inches long. she is GROWING like a cute chubby weed 🙂


OH that eyebrow raise. She is a PROfessional at it. It is to die for. She does this one eyebrow raise with a smile every so often. I can’t. I laugh almost every single time.

the silly faces she makes. the smiles. her personality slowly starting to come out. it’s exciting.

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she has found her toes. it’s adorable. she is also crazy fascinated with her hands these days. like staring at them and moving them one finger at a time. it is seriously the best to watch her be so intrigued and interested — i love watching that little brain work 🙂

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she loves her daddy. beard. mustache. shaved. crazy energetic man. sleeping cuddle buddy. loves him. it’s my favorite to watch her melt tyler.

she has also started teething…I am 90% sure of it. drools like a river. gnaws like champ and will let you rub her gums…plus THAT drool. {bibs are our new friends}

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she had her first Vegas trip with the Richards family. girls shopped til we literally dropped and Avyn got to be strolled/carried around while we did so. she had had enough after 2 days. {a couple freak outs here and there but she did pretty good in my eyes}

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she is really starting to take notice of who she is being held by, what they are doing and just so much more aware. it’s fun to watch it all. I especially love seeing Ty’s parents or mine interact with her. It’s nice seeing someone love her close to how much we do. I really wish I could hire a videographer to just capture her whole life as she grows up and goes through all these changes. I don’t want to miss or forget any of it. instagram will have to do 🙂



that fur vest.

sleeping Avyn. can’t get enough {just check my phone — too many sleeping pics}

her sideways look with the smile. 1 of my million favorite things about her.

yup she has us wrapped around her chubby little fingers. love her more & more each day.

Blessings on Blessing Day

We had Avyn Mae blessed over Labor Day weekend at our new ward’s sacrament meeting. Tyler did such an incredible job. It was beautiful. She behaved so well. Didn’t even grunt 🙂

It was so wonderful to have all our family and friends come to be apart of her blessing. We had my dad come to town, Ty’s brother came back and our friends, The Ang’s, came from LA 🙂 Then of course all our awesome family from close by came.

I am being serious when I say my heart was full the whole week leading up to the blessing and continued on after. I think part of that was due to my mom coming to town to help us get our house ready for people to come in. NO LIE – if she wouldn’t have came my house would have been a chaotic mess. She is my angel. Can never thank her enough for her help. It also could be all the rest of my family & friends who offered to help and then came over after to enjoy each other’s company. I just felt Ty & I were so blessed after that weekend. I mean I knew we were but it was just so unavoidably apparent that weekend.

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We kinda like her. a lot. she is my little doll.

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Luckily we got great friends and one of ours – Victoria – brought her camera to take some pics for us. love her. look how great these turned out. glad I got to capture this little sweet girl on her blessing day.


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She is seriously a doll. everyone says we should be thanking the heavens because she is an angel child.

6 weeks and she is sleeping anywhere from 5-7 hours at night. she LOVES to stick that tongue out like a lizard. makes the funniest faces. grunts still like it’s her way of communicating {pretty sure it is}. now she likes to coo and caw at us. i love that. we have heard her giggle a few times in her sleep – i die everytime. can’t wait until she does that more. she flails her arms & legs and loves the superman pose. fascinated by light and shapes {i think}. she really likes the water too! {my baby for sure} took her swimming and loved it both times.

can’t wait to see how she continues to grow and change — but I kinda can. Time is flying.

Avyn Mae

Wednesday, July 30, 2014. one of the best days of my life thus far. {tied with my wedding day/marriage to the man that brought me the next best day of my life of course 😉 }

prepare for too many details. I want to remember as much as possible.

at my 37/38 week doctors appointment a nurse approached me about a research study group that was going on for first time mothers. they are conducting a research study on whether it is healthier for babies and mom to be induced at 39 weeks instead of having to wait to be induced at 41 weeks {reasons: placenta’s functionality decreases, weight of child vs. c-sections etc}. after talking it over and getting more information from the nurse, Ty and I felt I had nothing to lose. I would either be randomly selected to be induced at 39 weeks, go into natural labor or I would be induced at 41 weeks – like all first time moms who go past their due date. plus I could chose not to do it at anytime if I felt uneasy about it. the one incentive to want to be induced at 39 weeks was not only to have my sweet little girl here but Ty’s brother, Johnny was in town until the 4th of August, so if I went over my due date he wouldn’t meet her until her blessing. so I opted to be apart of the study. once I had my next appointment I was 38 weeks, I was 50% effaced and dilated at a 2. { my thoughts: GREAT not much progression}….after a few days they called to put us into the study in a randomized program to let us know what group we would be apart of. we were put into the group to be induced at — 39 weeks — I got a little bit anxious and had a few butterflies now knowing EXACTLY when I would meet my little girl. so since I was technically 39 weeks on a saturday, they wouldn’t do the induction until the following week. so my induction was scheduled to begin the night of the 29th of July. I felt like that week and weekend were the longest ones of my life. I kept hoping for spontaneous labor but knew she was real comfy in there kicking my guts around so that was probably not gonna happen.

July 29th came and I was told to come into the hospital at 7pm. my mom came up to be there for the birth and to keep me sane after labor. since they inform you that you wouldn’t be able to eat again until after the birth, I had my “last supper”, which was a  tasty sandwich from Which Wich {yum}. then it was off to the hospital – got checked in and sat in the room and waited for the nurse.

Sharon, my nurse who I LOVED, came in to meet us and check my situation out. she let us know that I was 90% effaced and dilated to a 3.5/4. she then proceeded to let us know that since I was already 90% effaced they wouldn’t need to give me prostaglandin to soften my cervix and they could start the pitocin. she informed us that I would probably give birth somewhere around 3-4am. we told her Dr. Jacob, my doctor, was on call the next day. she called him and he said he would come in to deliver our girl whatever time it was – because he is that awesome — I hope he delivers all my babes, no joke. so we let that pitocin start drippin around 8:15pm. and my husband paced for the next 3-4 hours and gave Sharon the third degree {he asks questions and paces around when he gets nervous/anxious — its kinda cute}. although she said she really liked being asked questions — she was too nice so who knows if that is true or not.

so I had made no decision prior on whether I would get an epidural. I told myself I would just see how it went as I progressed. we let the pitocin work its magic and Sharon would check me every hour. time was irrelevant to me at this point – just working through the contractions. at first I felt the contractions were like period cramps. I was sure if that was all it was I could endure that! well i was naive. when the nurse came to check on me and told me I was a 5. I asked her when she thought I should get the epidural if I decided I wanted it. she suggested once I start having to breath through the contractions, then at that point I should consider the epidural. so I kept enduring. braving it. I started to feel the contractions in my lower back wrapping into my front but mostly the lower back. kinda like when you do yard work and are hunched over forever, the sore back feeling but then it began to get crazy intense. I could feel myself getting uncomfortable with each contraction. I kept enduring. my silly husband would point out to me when a “big one” was happening on the monitor…YEAH I know. I can feel it. He once made me laugh in the middle of a contraction and I thought I would lose it- smack a fool- because laughing at the same time that muscle is so tense was like hitting your funny bone but x20. it hurts SO bad but I was laughing because of what he had said. I told him no more of that… eventually I came to reason with myself, I could continue to tough this out and get myself dilated further, maybe to a 7/8 but I knew I didn’t really want to feel anything close to what a 9/10 felt like and I definitely didn’t really want to feel the pain afterward {squishing my belly and whatnot}. AND I was slowly getting that irritability for no reason other than: pain of contractions + people I love that are not in pain = irritated pregnant lady wanting everyone out of that room. so since I knew I really wanted my mom, marissa, susan, ty and melissa to stay in the room for the delivery, I knew it was going to be better for everyone overall once I got the epidural. I believe I was at about a 5.5/6 when they gave me the epidural…then from that point on, it was bliss. I slept a little. enjoyed what was going on around me. such a good idea. eventually they came in and broke my water as well. when that happened they informed us that there was meconium in the water {baby poop} so once she was born they would have to have the NICU team there just in case she swallows any of the fluid. one thing NO ONE mentioned to me that would happen that I feel like a lot of women forget about was the shakes. I literally COULD NOT stop shaking. they gave me a warm blanket in attempt to help calm it down. both my mom and Sue said how they forgot about the shakes. Ty even told me to stop shaking — unfortunately I can’t control this adrenaline rush silly husband.

once the time came to push it was about 4:45am ish. Sharon called Dr. Jacob to come and she prepped Ty & I for what I needed to do to push. we started the process. contractions started, I pushed. Sharon was great and to my wonderful surprise, so was Tyler. I totally expected him to be grossed out, pacing around or not sure what he should do, maybe even passed out but he was really great. kept coaching me through each contraction to push harder to get our little girl out. everyone kept saying how much hair she had. it felt surreal. like was I really bringing a little human into this world right now?

Dr. Jacob said “one last push Nicole and I want you to lean forward to watch this one…” as I did what he said, I saw my sweet Avyn come into this world. seriously, no words can describe that feeling. and then another bizarre feeling of having all that space freed up inside me. my mind was blown. it’s extraordinary how for the last 3-4 months my body hasn’t felt like my own because I have been sharing it with that little one then –BAM- in an instant I feel that space we shared unoccupied and that occupant is staring at me, screaming and I have no words to describe the love I have for that little one. its beyond this world, that’s all I know.

I think I started to tear up and then they took her immediately over to the NICU in the other side of the room to make sure she didn’t have fluid in her lungs etc. she wasn’t making enough noise and I was getting worried. she had made one scream when she came out but nothing since….then the NICU team talked amongst themselves and finally took her off to the NICU. Tyler followed them. panic must have been apparent on my face because Dr. Jacob kept reassuring me that everything was fine. she just wasn’t expanding her lungs completely so she needed to be put on a nasal CPAP. he said she got a good apgar score and nothing to worry about….so we waitied. Ty sent pictures to us from the NICU. I was in love. all i wanted to do was to hold and kiss that squishy little face. and that is all I have done since that day.

Avyn Mae Richards was born at 5:39am on July 30. 7 lbs 12 oz. 19.5 inches. I believe in total I pushed for 50 minutes and the whole labor and delivery was around 9.5 hours.

I got to finally go see her after an hour. again tears of joy streamed down my face. I really did underestimate how much love I would have for her and my husband. she was perfect to me. and still is.

I have found a new immense appreciation to mothers. especially my own and ty’s. they have been amazing during this new adjustment period. I could NEVER have done this without them.

also BIG thanks to Melissa at Moxie Shots Photography for capturing these amazing memories for us. she has caught some of the most important moments in my life and can’t thank her enough!

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