Designed by | Gooyaabi

Jack just started to say mama! I know he is just discovering different sounds and it is a normal developmental stage to say mama and dada without knowing what he is saying, but it is seriously the cutest thing and it melts my heart. Brandon was out of town in China when Jack started saying it, so I recorded it and emailed it to him while he was gone.  Now I will share it with all of you!

We've been asked a lot lately how the house hunting is coming. So I thought I would post about it and let everyone know!  It makes us happy when people ask how things are going.  We're very excited and anxious to be home owners... so we could talk your EARS off about the houses we have seen and the progress!

We have 3 offers in on houses currently.  They are all in Spanish Fork.  One of them we are the back-up offer, so we aren't thinking that one is going to turn out positively for us.  We are the first offer on the other two. They are both in the same neighborhood (Spanish Fields in Spanish Fork, Utah) and the exact same layout/style.  They have a lot of similarities and they also have a lot of differences which is nice.  We would be completely happy in either of these homes.

They are both short sales, which translates to "LONG SALE."

 House number one:

In short:
Has 2 mortgages, so the process is taking longer.

More details:
The first one is the one we posted about a bit ago here.  Great price, great house, lots of square-footage, needs a yard, needs a fence, needs paint, but has great new carpets. Unfortunately it has 2 mortgages currently, so we have to have our offer accepted by 2 different banks, which means the process will probably take twice as long.  We know the sellers accepted our offer, and the BPO was ordered (real estate appraisal.. not a real appraisal but they basically give their opinion on what the house is worth and then the bank will go off that opinion and decide whether our offer is acceptable of not) about 3 weeks ago and still hasn't been completed. So we are still waiting.

House number two:

In short:
Just put down the offer; so far so good.

More details:
The second one we put the offer down the day Brandon and I got back from out of town (so about a week ago). It has a great yard, only needs a fence in the very front, lots of square-footage, and needs all new carpet throughout the house.  So we priced out the carpet and flooring that needs to be done and submitted our offer based on the amount we will be spending once we get the house.  We know the sellers accepted our offer, the real estate agent has requested information from us, has submitted everything to the bank, and the bank requested more information. So it seems as though the bank is active at this point.  They also have a website they use to submit all information and to communicate with, which is supposed to expedite the process.  Let's hope! This house only has one mortgage currently so only one bank to work with.  We're hoping that when a BPO is ordered, they will consider the fact that ALL the carpets will need to be replaced and be nice on the price.

Anyways, wish us luck, say a prayer, and cross your fingers that one of these work out.  And they work out soon.  My goal is to be in a house for the holidays.  Wouldn't that be an amazing Christmas present to us?!

Thanks for all your support.  We love you all.

Jack's an amazing sleeper and always has been. We've been pretty spoiled. He started sleeping 8 hours straight in the night when he was 7 weeks old.  Then he started sleeping 10-12 hours around 9 weeks. He takes 2 to 3 naps a day for 2 hours each nap. We don't have to put him to sleep, we don't have to rock him or anything.  But he does have to be swaddled with his bear pacifier.  With those two things, he sleeps perfectly!

 We use the Velcro swaddle blankets and they've been great since Jack likes to sleep with his feet straight out and his arms to his side. Well he grew out of the small size and there isn't a medium, so he has been in the large for a month now, but he is too skinny for it! It is on the edge of the Velcro and now it won't stick anymore. So he gets his arms out and can't calm himself down. So we end up going in there and re-swaddling him so he can fall back to sleep.

Well he's now over 5 months old and we keep being told from everyone (seriously it must be the question/advice we get most often) that we need to stop swaddling him. So this week I've decided to focus on getting Jack to sleep without being swaddled with his pacifier on his chest.

It's Monday. I just put Jack down for his first nap. OMG I don't know if I can handle this! I think I have tried everything...
1. I rocked him to sleep while holding him.  I put him in his crib on his tummy with his pacifier in his mouth. He stayed asleep but woke up by the time I made it back to the living room.
2. I then flipped him over on his back and put a blanket around his stomach with the pacifier in the blanket and in his mouth. He then cried and kicked and I saw on the video monitor that the blanket was completely covering his face.
3. I went in to remove the blanket and left him without a blanket. He was all smiles as he saw me and when I left, he started screaming.
4. I let him cry for 20 minutes straight! He never calmed down. He just kicked and moved his arms.
5. I went back in there and held him to try to calm him. I finally got him calm again. I slowly started to lower him back into the crib and he started screaming again.
6. So I put him in the swing. I didn't swaddle him. I buckled him in the swing with his pacifier (maybe we will try one of the 2 things at a time). I turned on some white noise and left the room.  He sat in the swing awake for about 5 minutes then fell asleep.
7. He was asleep for 12 minutes until he started sucking on the leg of the bear pacifier and kicking.  Right now he's getting fussy again.

So now I sit here an hour after putting him down and he slept for a total of 12 minutes. THIS IS TORTURE!!! I don't know if I can do this for 2 more naps today plus all night, oh and multiply that by 7 for the rest of the week!

Help me! What can I do differently?
Ok Jack is a super skinny baby. He maybe has a total of 4 rolls on his entire body and they're more like skin rolls than fat rolls. So the title of this post isn't referring to him looking like a roly poly, but instead acting like one!

Jack learned how to roll over! He's been rolling from his tummy to his back for a couple of months now (but still not intentionally), but just started to roll from his back to his tummy! I think it's so funny. I'm so proud of our little man! I took some videos on my phone and thought I would share them with you.

He shares a little treat at the end of two of the videos, which I think is funny, and a normal occurrence around here, so enjoy!

P.S. Sorry the quality is awful!!


Jack at 5 months.
You know those infomercials on TV for a workout video that GUARANTEES you will lose half your body weight or some insane amount like that? And they have before and after photos of people who have used the video and lost the weight?  Is it just me or does the after photo seem a little far fetched? I always wonder if they get a picture of a completely different person, or if they just used photoshop to make them look skinnier. Well despite all that, I am a sucker for those infomercials. I even own some of the videos.  And with life as hectic as it is these days, I decided that these videos might be my only resource to a workout.  I try to go to the gym, but it doesn't seem to happen.  I tried running, but my body just doesn't run.  So the videos are the answer.  And I am here to be your REAL life example and let you know if these videos actually work or not!

So here is the collection of videos I am using.

1. 10 Minute Trainer
2. 30 Day Shred (Jillian Michaels)
3. Hip Hop Abs
4. So You Think You Can Dance Get Fit "Cardio Funk" workout video
5. Paula Abdul's Get Up and Dance workout video (classic.  Love this one)
6. Crunch, Tae Boxing
7. Core Cardio
8. Cardio Dance Jam
9. Just Dance 2 on the Wii (if you are wondering why this is on my list, then you haven't tried it! This is so hard. Try doing this for 30 minutes straight without a break!)

Brandon and I have been talking about losing weight ever since Jack was born.  During pregnancy, I gained a few too many pounds... and Brandon might have as well:)  So about a month and a half ago, we finally set a goal to lose some weight by Thanksgiving.  And if we both hit our goal, we get to go on a cruise next year. YAY VACATION!!

Our Goals:
Brandon: Lose 17 pounds
Steph: Lose 20 pounds

And two weeks ago, we finally started trying to lose weight. Go us.

So two weeks down and the results are:
Steph: Total loss of 7 pounds
Brandon: Total loss of 8 pounds

I'm gonna try to keep record of our weight loss, and any tips or helpful things we have learned along the way here on our blog.  So keep checking back to see how we are doing.

The last house we put an offer on felt like the one.  We both got all tingly and giddy whenever we thought about our new life in that house.  We looked up the church we would be going to, we talked to a neighbor who was super nice, we drove around the neighborhood, looked at the area, the river, the sports complex right by it, the parks, the stores and restaurants, and we drove to our brother and sister in laws house, Chris and Julia, to see how far it was from their place. 

We were hooked. It was like love at first site. There were imperfections but we saw those as potential.  It was perfect for us.  So when we found out that they didn't accept our offer and took a different offer, we felt like our true love had denied us or something.  We never even got the chance to fight for it.  We still don't know how much the accepted offer was for.  I became distraught (even despite Brandon's post saying we weren't knocked down).   The house hunting slowed down. We were comparing all the houses we saw to the one we put an offer on. 

Until now.  Brandon went to Toronto this past week for work (such a big timer... I love it!) and I went and looked at a house while he was gone in the same neighborhood as the one we put an offer on.   And I put an offer on it! We faxed the paperwork to Brandon in Canada and $26 later, the offer was in.  The bad news is it's a short sale.  (At first we avoided short sales, but now it is impossible.  There are so many!)  There's also 2 mortgages on the house, so it has to be approved by 2 banks. Ergh.  But the good news is that the sellers approved the offer and it was submitted to the first bank last Wednesday.  So we're hoping for an exception in the short sale process and hoping we hear word soon.

Cross your fingers. Wish us luck.  This house is for us!
We are very biased parents.

We think our baby boy is the cutest person to ever be born.  But after watching this video, I think a few of you might think the same thing!  He melts our hearts.  Sometimes I get nothing done because I enjoy holding him and watching him laugh all day.  We are so blessed to be parents to this well-tempered, happy, sweet child. 

This video is just over 2 minutes long, but he laughs the whole time! Well worth it.

Congrats to "Unknown" for winning the Pure Sound earbuds. The random picker chose the number 6 comment as the winner but blogger did not post this person's name. However, I have received information that this "unknown" poster is Chad Henkel. Congrats Chad! You're a lucky man.

The following is Chad's guilty pleasures playlist.

I saw the sign - ace of base
cowboys from hell - pantera
salt shaker - lil jon & eastside boys
down - 311
genie in a bottle - christina aguilera


Nice Chad, very nice.

We'll be giving away more gifts so stay posted.
I had to cut Jack's hair AGAIN! He is now 4 1/2 months old, and it has only been 6 weeks since I cut it the first time.  But it only grows on the very top of his head! The rest of his head is balding. He is losing his hair so bad. Every morning when I get him out of his crib, the sheet underneath him is filled with hair. The poor kid.  I love his cute hair and it makes me so sad that he is losing it.  But the chunk on the top of his head keeps growing like a weed. What is up with that?!

Anyways here is a before and after shot to show everyone how cute he is!

What do you guys think?

Jack was blessed on June 5th, 2011 at 5 weeks old. He wore the cutest little white outfit that consisted of white suit pants (courtesy of Jared and Stephanie Marcum), a white button-down collared shirt from Gap, and a white paisley printed tie that I scored from Kid-to-Kid for $3.  His hair was styled, his tummy was full, and he slept through the whole blessing!

He wasn't too happy about getting dressed.
Family Photo .. including the peace sign!

We had friends and family over at our place after the blessing to enjoy some fresh summer foods.  It was so good to see everyone and to share this wonderful day with so many we love.

My sweet Grandpa and Grandma Ellsworth.  They passed away 4 weeks from each other and I miss them so much. I am so glad that my Grandpa was able to use his priesthood for his last time on this earth in Jack's blessing circle.

My Dad and baby Jack!

Sweet Julia helping in the kitchen

My aunt Nettie and my cousins Kaitlyn and Whitney
Friends came too! Brandon's friends from college
My friends from college. I am so glad they came!

If you don't love music you live in the wrong century. Great tunes can keep you going when you've hit a wall and I'm sure you have your favorite mix. This is our first giveaway and it's a good one. It's a pair of PUR-800 titanium driver earbuds.

PURE Sound has offered to give away these high-end earbuds to one of our readers. They're an $80 value and sound amazing! Just post a comment by Saturday at 11:59 PM and let us know the 5 songs in your "guilty pleasures" playlist. You know, those 5 songs you never want anyone to know you listen to on a regular basis. Don't worry, we won't tell. Just one winner for these babies so choose your songs wisely.

Details: Pure Giveaway ends Saturday, September 17 at 11:59 PM. One winner will be picked and announced on Monday September 19. Giveaway ships anywhere in the United States. One entry per person. Winner will be picked randomly using
Well, it's happened. Our first home heartbreak. We got the email this morning informing us that the bank decided to go with another offer. The house we fell in love with just days ago slipped through our apparently monetarily weak little fingers. It's almost like our future pushed us off our tricycles and then laughed in our faces while a single tear dropped from our dejected little cheeks. Now that you feel utterly and hopelessly sorry for us I will say we will not falter! We've picked ourselves up off that unyielding slab of concrete, wiped the blood from our swollen knees and we're going to punch our future right in the belly! TAKE THAT, FUTURE!

(A photo of the house that broke our hearts.)

Our hopes are building again and we've wasted no time in our search. Another list of homes to see and a skip in our step that just hours ago was more like a body being pulled across loose gravel. We're even considering past homes we've seen which I'm sure all you "seasoned" home owners/seekers can relate to.

It's not easy being all grown up but it has its perks. Like buying the toys you could never have as a child. Or eating candy until it actually does spoil your appetite. Or even when your doctor tells you that you could lose a little weight. Yep. I'm an adult now. I knew it would come but my mind that says, "oh yeah, you look exactly like you did when you were 18," just doesn't want to deal with such adult issues. I'm getting up the courage to promise all of the digital world that I will run every day until this extra "plump" is gone. However, I don't really want all four of you reading this to be on my back about it. That's more stress than my clogged arteries can handle right now. Until then, I'll see what I can do to bring the 18, or at least the 25, out of me again.
There is nothing more that my wife would like me to participate in than writing on the blog. I didn't feel like I had anything interesting to say besides, "things are good" and "work is busy." I started thinking about it though; it doesn't matter if you have anything good to say, you make your wife's day regardless. I love you Steph!

Things are good and work is busy. If you find yourself being content with that sentence stop reading now. It will only get longer and more detailed. And by detailed I mean boring. And by boring I mean great for me to tell, not quite as exciting for you to read. Unless you like torture by words then by all means, indulge.

No pictures in this first post. Shame on me I know. I just wanted to write a bit about life as it is now and possibly a little bit about the road we're taking.

If you're reading this I'm sure you know, but little Jack was born on April 26th of this year. You know that feeling you get in your throat when you just mention a miracle. Yeah, I'm having that. Was it the most amazing thing I could ever experience, watching my son be born? It is no doubt above funeral potatoes which is saying a lot for a guy without a sophisticated palate. He's a heartthrob. At least for us. And for older women at the grocery store.

You won't meet a more proud dad than I. He didn't just make it into law school. He didn't just get a 34 on his ACT. In fact, he just started grabbing his toes the other day but he might as well have solved the energy crisis. He's such a little champion. He has conquered our hearts forever.

Then there is my wife. My strong, sensitive, immensely loving wife. I wouldn't and couldn't be the man I'm on my way to being without her. The end of that road is too far to see but she knows where it is and takes me by the hand and proceeds forward. She cares for the well-being of this family more than I care for anything Apple. Again, that's a lot. She's an amazing mother. Jack always comes before her desires and even her needs. It's been incredible to see how she loves him, how she cares for his every need. Even how she worries if something seems wrong. I couldn't have asked for a better mother for my child(ren).

Now me. I design headphones and everything around them. It's the kind of job you wish for but never seem to find. There's a bit of managing a creative team, there's a bit of writing and there's a lot of designing awesome stuff for people who love awesome stuff. Empire Brands has grown so much in the past three years and this is the beginning of our growth. Now that I'm in-house and the creative processes are streamlined, the sky is the limit. Remember, we're in headphones, not airplanes. It's a figure of speech.

We'll be buying a house soon and with that will come some re-____ of at least some things. We're so excited to have our own little piece of "the real life" and we hope to post some of the happenings here. Our talented and creative bother and sister-in-law, Chris and Julia, have done so many great things with their place and have really inspired the artist in me to make our place perfect. Or as close to perfect as we can get it before we move on.

Our little family, our life together and our families here and beyond make me so very happy. Hopefully I can repay some of that happiness in some little way.
Jack has grown pretty quickly over the past 3 months. And so has his hair.  It has always been an attention getter and the topic of all conversations when he is around. In fact, I sometimes count how many people stop to talk to me about his hair when we go out and I tell Brandon when he gets home... it is fun! 

But his hair started to get a little out of control. Brandon tried to convince me for about 3 weeks that we should cut it. Well last night our kitchen was turned in to a barber shop as I cut Brandon's hair and Jack's hair.  I normally cut Brandon's, so that was no problem. Jack on the other hand wanted nothing to do with getting his hair cut. He was screaming the entire time. I am ashamed to say I did a horrible job, but when it is styled like we usually do his hair, you can barely tell the mistakes I made.  

Anyways, here is a before and after comparison of his wild and crazy locks. 

This kid is going to break hearts when he is older!
So I originally posted this and then realized that the photo doesn't really show that much of a difference. In person, this onesie is being pulled so much it is showing his cleavage!

So, do you see a difference?

I am just catching up on the blogging.  Wow this is hard work!  It is like a full time job.  I think I need advice from all you bloggers out there how you get it done.  I have the hardest time.  I swear whenever Jack is sleeping, there are 10 other things that have priority over the blog.  So it gets pushed back to the next day and then again to the next day, and now 3 months back!  So here, the journey of "living in the past" begins! Enjoy:)
Mother's Day
May 8, 2011

I celebrated my first Mother's Day! Jack was 12 days old. So we didn't do much, but I surely enjoyed it!
Here is a picture of me and Jack the day Jack was born... April 26, 2011.

This is Jack and I on Mother's Day. Jack is 12 days old here.

Jack at 12 days old.
I look at this and can't believe he was ever this small!  

Brandon surprised me. I woke up and there was a path of love notes and rose petals beginning at our bedroom, taking me to the kitchen. Then in the kitchen there were my Mother's Day presents!  He got me a fondue set and flowers! 

My presents!

Family photo on Mother's Day

So we did fondue for dinner. But we did not take pictures of it. Sad. But we ate lots and it was delish.

Father's Day
June 19, 2011

Brandon celebrated his first Father's Day!

Here is Brandon and Jack the day Jack was born... April 26, 2011.

Here is Brandon and Jack on Father's Day. Jack is 7 weeks here. (And looks a little funky. hehe)

Brandon got a gift card to Sonic (for those days at work when he doesn't come home for lunch) and Jack got him a book for them to read together!  One of Brandon's favorite movies is Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs. And he has never read the book! So Jack decided it was a MUST to get that book for them to share :)

And Jack insisted on signing Brandon's card! So here he is holding the pen right after he signed:) 

At church Jack decided to let everyone know that he had some "volume in the pants!" He tooted so loud when the sacrament was being passed out.  And it didn't stop! It was the longest toot ever. Everyone started to stare at us and all we could do was laugh.  We are proud parents :)

Jack hung out with his cousins all day.  We went over to my cousins place for some super yummy food and celebration.  Russ and Cyndi were so nice to include us on the family BBQ!  Here is Jack with Oscar. They are about 9 months apart.  And technically they are 1st cousins once removed, but that doesn't sound so cool, so we will call them cousins. 

And Jack wore his 'I heart daddy' onesie all day.  And he looked pretty awesome in it.  And yes, those are leg warmers, and yes they look adorable on him!

Here are some pictures of Jack having fun.  He is so cute, sometimes I can't help myself with the camera!

 He is so so cute!

Jack and I went to Colorado at the end of June. Brandon had a design conference in Chicago and I didn't want to be home alone. I  was am a new mom so being alone with a newborn all day everyday was not in the cards.  I will post pictures of Colorado later (Brandon needed my digital camera for Chicago so I borrowed my sisters, but her memory card is special and doesn't fit in my computer.. we are still trying to get them), but while we were there, we participated in a promotion at the Cherry Creek Mall Gap where my Mom works.  If you made a purchase, you got a free photo session with Danica Larsen.  Well here are the photos she took.