Tuesday, December 18, 2012

at our house

Cabin fever is hitting pretty hard at the Shirley home.  I've been sick with the flu and now a cold and terrible cough.  Little e bears up like a champion and has been so sweet.  Here's our stuck at home day 7 activity.  Enjoy :)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


Little e wants to be just like her mom.  Sometimes that scares me a little, but most of the time it's pretty adorable.  I've had so many days lately where I just can't get over how much I love being her mom - playing with her, loving her, and watching her grow.  Love.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

our sweet girl

I'm sitting here watching little e twirl and dance as one of her little toys sings songs.  (There's a reason she's so skinny, all the working out she does.)  Becoming a mom was the hardest adjustment of my life.  But as I sit here and watch my girl, I have to say that nothing else in the world brings me as much pure joy as she does.  She lights up mine and Jeffree's world.  She is so funny and silly and cute and sweet.  Not to mention ridiculously adorable.  She loves her Daddy (but I'm her favorite) and she's finally all cuddly.  She cries when Dad goes to work, she always wants to play outside, and she asks us to tickle her.  She could read or dance all day long and she usually does. 

I love my sweet girl.  Thank you, little e, for bringing so many beautiful moments to our family.  Love you forever.

Friday, October 12, 2012

who says

Did I mention I started a part time photog business?  It's true.  When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a photographer (I know - I wanted to be lots of things) and I've always been a bit obsessed with pictures.  For years I've thought of all the reasons not to jump in and call myself a photographer.  Everybody and their dogs are photographers, anyone can do it, I'm not that good, etc.  Then I shot a wedding video.  And LOVED it.  I'm serious.  It was soooooo much fun to capture all the goodness of the wedding day.  That got me thinking, why not?  I'm not the best, but I won't get any better unless I go for it.  So I did.

And guess what?  I really love it.  Little e might be sick of me practicing on her, but she'll get used to it.  

p.s. Feel free to "like" my facebook page.   

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

i belong

I just read a letter from a man who lives in Brazil, where my little sister is serving a mission.  I cried.

His family is beautiful and his words were sincere and beautiful.  I am so grateful for Becca's example in sharing the gospel.  I am so grateful for the gospel in my life.  It is true and brings me so much happiness and joy.

We love you and miss you, Becca.

have a beautiful wednesday

Sunday, September 16, 2012


I sent this to Jeffree when we were long distance dating.  Found it today when I was cleaning up my computer.  It's too cute not to share.  Go ahead and try it on your man and pretend like it was your idea.  You just might get a smile.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

tell me the stories

I'm not sure what I love more - little e and her dad reading together... or little e wearing leopard tights and converse star sneakers.  love them both.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

in a rich man's world

I'm grateful for parents who taught me to be self-reliant and live providently.  We never had all the nicest things, but we always had what we needed.  They taught us to avoid debt and live within our means.

Jeffree and I have been able to live the same way.  Of course, there are times when I think it would be nice to have some matching furniture or a new washer and dryer.  There are times when we can afford nice things, but we can also live without them.  And sometimes going without brings the greatest joy.  I am thankful for a husband who does what he loves and is able to provide for our family at the same time.  I am grateful for Heavenly Father, who really does pour out blessings so there is not room enough to receive them.  I am thankful for all the things I do have and all the things I've learned to live without.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

without wings

somedays it would be nice to spread my wings and fly away from all troubles and frustrations and disappointments.  but then i suppose i wouldn't amount to much, always floating away from the things i find difficult.

so instead, i will stick around and share a bowl of ice cream with my little girl.  because sometimes, since we can't fly away, it is nice to indulge just a little.

cheers.  or tears.  whichever helps you feel just a tiny bit better today.

Friday, August 31, 2012

a little love

I was searching for something in my email and I came across this beauty.  Here is a little story to grace your Friday.

Yes, that is a FAKE wedding announcement.  read on. 

Jeffree and I were at an institute dance only 3 days after our first date.  Jeff had a friend coming through town and thought it would be pretty funny for us to pretend we had just gotten engaged.  We borrowed a ring from his mother and sat out on his front porch, waiting for his friend to arrive.

We gave the performance of a lifetime.  We totally nailed it, right down to all the cliche phrases ("when you know, you know").  Jeff's friend, along with his traveling buddies, totally ate it up.  We had them completely convinced.  I remember that night as he drove me home, I told him, "I enjoyed being engaged to you."  The best part?  He wouldn't even let me hold his hand.  I tried to convince him it would be impossible to pull it off if we didn't touch each other.  He finally consented to my putting my hand through the crook of his arm.

A couple of days later we had these photos taken and Jeff's brother made our fake announcement, just to relive the glory.  Yes, it does say we are registered at pizza factory and D.I.  No, one cannot actually register at D.I.  Jeff checked.  I'm not sure about pizza factory.  :)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

health journal #3

It feels oh so good when I eat healthy.  It means I can consume more food for fewer calories (yes please).  Plus, I feel much better when I give my body the proper fuel.  I'm not perfect, but I do love learning about nutrition and feeding my little family healthy meals.  I promised a few people I'd post one of my favorite quick and healthy recipes.  On those days when you don't feel like making a meal, whip this up instead of going through the drive thru or popping a frozen dinner in the microwave.

Recipe adapted from Zonya Foco's Lickety-Split meals for health conscious people on the go (whew!)

Almond Chicken Salad 
Makes four 1-cup servings
181 calories per serving

1 can (8 oz)  crushed pineapple, drained
3-5 green onions, chopped
2 cups (12 oz can) diced cooked chicken, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup miracle whip light
1/4 cup nonfat plain yogurt
1/4 cup slivered almonds

Mix together and enjoy!

I like to wrap it in a whole wheat tortilla or stuff it in a pita half along with some lettuce or spinach.  When I've had my share of carbs for the day, I eat it with celery or on top of a lettuce salad.

It's seriously so easy to throw together.  Grape halves make an excellent addition as well.  

Monday, August 20, 2012

i won't give up on us

Last weekend I had so much fun shooting a wedding video for this lovely couple.

It was like filming a fairy tale come true.  They've been best friends for so long, and she has always been in love with him.  She waited and waited and went through a lot, never giving up on him.  And they finally got their happy ending.  But of course, it is only the beginning.

Congratulations, Steve and Suzanne.  I love you so much!  

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

reaching for something in the distance

There's nothing like a morning run to get the day started.  Even little e was excited to get going.  Here we are showing off our muscles before the run.

Our sweet one was obviously happier after the run.  While she loves to get in her stroller, she's even more excited to get out of her stroller.  Two miles later, here we are.  Still smiling.

I'm sweaty and gross and e is covered in carnation instant breakfast milk, but it feels good to know that no matter what else happens today, at least we got up and worked it.

Have a lovely Wednesday, friends.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

the land of the free

I confess that Jeffree and I have spent a lot of time watching the olympics.  We just can't help it.  The athletes are so amazing.

But I didn't quite realize the effects it would have on our sweet little e.  She gets just as excited as we do.  She climbed up onto the couch and got in slouching position, then fixed her eyes on the t.v.  I think she has a crush on Tom Daley.

Love her pose with her head tilted to one side.  

Not sure what our new past time will be once the olympics is over.  Go team USA!

Thursday, August 2, 2012


"There is no one perfect way to be a good mother. Each situation is unique. Each mother has different challenges, different skills and abilities, and certainly different children.... What matters is that a mother loves her children deeply and, in keeping with the devotion she has for God and her husband, prioritizes them above all else."  - M. Russell Ballard

Sometimes its easy to feel like others have all the right answers to raising my child.  But sweet little e is mine, and I am her mother.  The role is Divine, and as with all Divine roles, we will receive divine help to fulfill our role.

My sweet e is so precious to me and I love her so very much.  I often wonder how she can be so cute and smart and sweet and funny.  She's even gone all cuddly on me lately.  I feel so blessed that I was chosen to be her Mother.  

"Recognize that the joy of motherhood comes in moments.  There will be hard times and frustrating times. But amid the challenges, there are shining moments of joy and satisfaction."  - Ballard

Cherish the moments.

Monday, July 30, 2012

feel the sunlight kiss my face

Have I mentioned that the J man ran the Wasatch Back Ragnar?  It's a 198 mile relay race over the course of 2 days.  The runners run anywhere from a total of 13 to 25 miles divided into 3 legs each.  They run all day, all night, and well into the next day.  Jeff came home dead tired, but was so glad he competed.  (It was his first ever running event.)

Say hello to team "12 runners.  24 feet.  36 legs.  Do the math"

The team consisted of my siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, and some family-in-law.  I had to back out to attend a wedding, but plan on seeing me with my ragtag running for 8 miles uphill along a dusty trail next year.  After all, I can't let Jeffree's awesomeness surpass mine :)

p.s. each team chooses their name and there were some pretty funny team names.  my personal favorite - a team of all girls called themselves, "Not tonight, honey - I'm on the ragnar."  I had to explain it to Jeff. heehee.

Monday, July 2, 2012

one step closer

I was sorta super stressed when my little sis asked me to take her engagement photos.  Despite wind and a wardrobe crisis, they turned out really well.  It helps to have gorgeous photo subjects.  Here are a few gems.

I'm so excited that Karin is sealing the deal in August.  They had so much fun.  Also, a little shout out to ipiccy.com for being free and awesome.  Love the clone tool.  

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

the heat of the summer sunshine

I can't think of many things that our little e loves more than being outside.  

And there are few things I love more than her crazy, cute, strawberry-blonde hair and her gap-toothed grin.  I melt.

Monday, June 11, 2012

oh, the cuteness!

I confess, I think she's pretty cute.  The way she talks all the time and gets so excited.  The way she gives hugs and kisses to her best friend Valerie.   The way she looks for her dad when he gets home from work.  When she walks over to me and nestles herself into my lap.  And how much she enjoys looking at her reflection in the oven door.  The way she does her "exercises."

We're in love with our little girl.  She has everyone who meets her completely charmed.  And her dad and I are smitten.  

Here's to another week of adventures and love with our sweet little e.

Happy Monday!

Friday, June 8, 2012

i like to move it move it [health journal#2]

The title says it all!  You don't have to start training for a triathlon today to feel better.  Just start moving more.  You'll be surprised how much energy you have to move once you start doing it.

I've been sick all week=no exercise and to say I had an emotional breakdown last night would be the understatement of the year.  I felt like everything in my life was falling apart and of course Jeffree got the brunt of it.  This morning I was still feeling down.  I was trying to think of how I could make it up to my main man.  Then I realized that the best thing I could do for my relationship with my spouse (the best thing I can do for my relationship with anyone) was get out and exercise.  Yep.  I'm a better wife, a better mom, and a better me when I take care of myself.  So with screaming child in tow, I made myself get going.  Half a mile later I was already feeling better.  2.5 miles later I feel like I can do anything.  So make the change - get up and move it!

Some easy ways to move it a little bit more:

dance to your favorite song or music video
do squats while you fold your laundry or make your lunch
crawl after your kiddos
run a few laps around your backyard while your children play
do some stair steps
jumping jacks or punches
walk instead of driving
walk in place during your favorite tv episode

You don't have to go to the gym to burn those calories.  Just get out of your chair and move.

Happy exercising!