I have so much in my heart right now
and don't know what to make of it. 

I've thought a lot lately.

And not just about simple things. 
Well, maybe they are the most simple things-
but I just make them intricate and massive.

I tend to get in a certain type of "mood"
when I watch old or timeless romantic movies.
Or movies that get to me. 
The ones that make you think 
and remember things you didn't even 
know you knew.

My husband will tell you that his wife
doesn't like to be disturbed when watching
a film or show. 

If you talk?
I kill.

If you hurt the sacredness of the movie?
Watch out. 

Haha, but seriously. 

Films will get my mind turning...
and my heart turns, too. 

And my whole world just swims
with wanting to get it all out.

Or go exploring.

Or run away to Paris and just 

My mother once told me
I was a bird that was never meant to be in a cage.

I was to always fly free;
free to spread my wings
and breathe in the fresh air
that this beautiful world has to offer.

I think she's right. 

I am a free spirit. 
I love to dance. 
I love to sit on the curb  and watch
the sunset.
I love to lay on the cool grass and just dream.

Dream of places I'd go.
The life I've had.
I think of people
and the beauty of their complexity
and good graces. 

I think of the divine hand that 
has in all of this. 

How he guides my life.

And doesn't want me to be in a cage, either.

Oh, to live.

I've learned in the last little while, 
that I make that choice. 

I choose to live. 

It is up to me to have a good attitude.
To make the changes that need to be made. 

I've pointed a finger or two. 
Saying that I'm the one who is hurt.
Why should I make the effort
to make things right?

There's every reason why I should. 

That's how it's supposed to be.
It's a grand design that all of us
forget too often. 

I, forget. 

I am so much happier when 
I am a big girl and

Not expect someone else 
to make my life better.

Have you ever thought of how wonderful
the ability to choose is?

The ability to feel pain and grief...
and joy and happiness?

Oh, the joy to feel pain.

Ha ha. 
YOU think I'm crazy.

But it's true.

For pain brings
the ability to know


Thank you, 
for letting my thoughts
find a place to rest, tonight. 



*She's 1*

A year ago
+1 hour from now, 
my beautiful baby girl was born
into this world.

I remember the anticipation 
as the nurse told me that in about 1/2 an hour
I would start pushing. 

Could the moment be so close?

Would I actually really be a mommy?

Or was this all a dream?
Had the last 9 months of feeling
my baby grow all been a 
pigment of my imagination?

I was going to be holding
precious baby girl in just a matter of minutes.

Heavenly Father
knew then that mommy and daughter
could no longer be separated.

It was time.

Time to be a mother.


Now that's better, huh,
sweet girl?

Together at last. :)

I know every mother in the universe says this, but:

It goes so fast. 
So fast.

I just can't believe it. 

2 days ago, I took some 1 year photos of Charlotte.
It was pretty hectic getting everything ready for the pictures
and I'll admit I was a bit stressed when I went inside to go get
my baby girl. 

Charlotte & I 
are best friends, 

So, she gets me. 
She knows when Mommy 
is stressed and needs some help and love.

I went in and picked up my baby girl, 
set her down...

....and, she smiled.

She just had a pleasant look on her face
and said to me with her eyes, 

"I love you, Mommy.
And that's all that matters right now."

I took a deep breath, 
and told her I loved her, too.

And that she was right-

Despite the stupido cat (long story, don't ask)
that kept intervening in my photo shoot, 
I had a great time capturing all the things I love about 

Let's be honest, though.
What's not to love?

If you've met my baby girl, 
you know that she's just so open
to spreadin' the love.

She just smiles and is happy
and will have you over to hang out

(If she could ask you :))

She just brings joy to your heart.
And that's all there is to it. 

Can I share a few photos with you? :):):)

{Caution!!: You may die from the melting of your heart
from viewing these photos.}

She kills me. :')

For Charlotte's little family party tonight, 
my hubbie made a video compiling of a bunch
of snippets of videos we've taken of Charlotte in the last year
and set it to the most adorable songs ever.
He showed it to me last night and I was

I tried to keep myself under control for Chad, 
ha ha, 
but had I been alone?

Don't even want to know. 
I would have flooded the living room!

Here's the deal here, kids.

Motherhood is one of those words 
that's filled with so many things...
that little word just can't express all of it.

I am truly a changed person because of Charlotte.
I held her in my arms for the first time
and my whole soul said, 
"Oh. Why did ANYTHING else matter before this?"
Am I right?

The important things suddenly all fell into place.

I've been reminded of that with every little smile
and giggle that girl has given me this past year. 

Not every day has been great. 
There's been days where I've laid her down in her crib, 
burst into tears and said, out loud, 
"PLEASE, make her stop crying!
I don't know what to do anymore
and I'm so exhausted."

Or how about days where your body aches so much
and you're sleep deprived from a teething baby
and you have got to get out of the house 
and buy some food because all you ate for lunch
was saltines and beans because you couldn't get
enough energy to go before now?

Maybe it's that you know you and your hubbie
NEED a night out, 
but you can't leave because the baby's sleeping
Netflix it is?

I could go on and on about the hard days, 
but fact of the matter is...

It don't matter.

It all melts away when I go in to look at
my precious sleeping Charlotte
and look at her peaceful figure
and just feel so much love for her I could die.

When she looks up at me when she wakes up
and looks so excited to see me. 

When she learns to pull herself up with Mommy's help
and smiles because she's so proud of herself.

When she snuggles up to me because I'm her comfort
when she doesn't feel well. 

When I make her laugh.

When she eats so well
and looks so content. 

When she gives me kisses.

And the fact of the matter is, 
no matter how hard motherhood is?

I would live those hard days over and over
because my baby girl is in them.

I would do it all over again for her. 

She is my angel.
My beautiful spirit trying to help her 
mother out to feel joy in her life
and see the good things...
and the things that matter most.



Your mommy loves you.
But you probably already know that. ;)

This past year has been a whirlwind, 
but a beautiful one at that. 

Sometimes I lay awake at night and think, 
"Gee. I am the luckiest girl in the world 
to have my little Charlotte for my precious girl."

You are my best pal.
My forever friend.

I always sing my heart when I'm with you.
You get me. 
You understand me. 

We were meant to be together, ya know. 

Every minute with you has been so dear to me
and I will forever cherish all the time
I spend with you. 

My darling girl, 

Thank you, 
for you. 

You are a gift. 
A precious gift
that I was so graciously given.

Never forget the light you bring to others. 
The joy that comes to others faces when they walk
in the room and discover you are there. 

Your smile brings comfort and stability.
It lifts those who are sad and raises spirits.

You are so easy to forgive others
and love every bit of life you can get your hands on.

Never forget how much your Mommy & Daddy
love you, baby girl. 

Happy 1st Birthday, 
my little love.

Life is so much sweeter with you in it. 

I love you!!!

Loves, Mommy xoxoxo

"She leaves a little sparkle wherever she goes."


Mommy and Me

I really love her, ya know. 

Like, a lot. 

Charlotte and I get to spend lots of time together. Being a stay-at-home mom does that to us. ;) Now that Chad and I have moved back to Provo, I don't get to go to my mom's as often, so I have lots of alone time with Charlotte. Which can be so so great!...and kinda lonely sometimes, but we try to keep ourselves busy. Plus, Chad is now done with school for the summer (HOORAY!) so we get a bit more time with him, too. 

 I am so blessed to get so much time with my sweet girl. She is so funny and constantly makes me laugh! Charlotte just brings a smile to my heart, and I thought that this picture was a good depiction of that. 

I love it when she touches my face like this. She does this all the time when I feed her and I absolutely love it (except when her nails need to be cut and she's trying to rip my lips off). :) In those moments, it's more outwardly apparent that we have a special connection. Mama to baby connections are special, and sacred. There are those moments where I look into her eyes, and though she can't speak, I know what she's saying. 

Motherhood is the best thing that's happened to me. Charlotte has the purest love ever, and I never feel judged or any of that crazy junk that the world tries to bring into relationships or what have you. I am so lucky to be loved by her. I am so lucky to be called her mommy!

I love you, baby girl. You are my whole world and I love you to the moon and back!

Ally Jo


Growing Pains

There has been a lot of neglect the past few months when it comes to this blog. To be honest, this girl over here on the other side of the screen has been having a writer's block. Even my journals haven't seen strokes of the pen for awhile. It's very much not like me. However, life has been a bit of a....challenge?...I guess you could say, and so my writing heart kinda shut down without my permission. I simply had too much bottled inside to let it all out. But now...the cork has come off. And some sharing must spill onto the page.

Here's an honest truth that must be said. EVERY SINGLE HUMAN out there has challenges. Ha-I know, hard to believe, right? No, but seriously. I know we "know" that, but do we really believe it? Or have you fallen captive, like I have before, in looking at a certain person/family and thinking "Wow, they may have a few little bumps in their road, but in all, they are so put together! They do it all!". Ya. I know every one has challenges, yes. But I have had moments where I still look at someone and don't see all that is underneath. Which, we all know...the underneath stuff is rich, and full of life.

There is so much left in the unknown in this cosmos of a "world". Have you ever looked at someone you know, then found something out, and totally been blown away with what has happened or is currently happening in their life? Well, that's happened to me! I have had NO IDEA a lot of times. And it's kind of amazing. What's amazing? People. Every time a little thread unravels itself to me about something or someone, I am just over taken with awe, because somehow...we are all still standing! We are all still pushing a long and trying our best to smell the roses along the way.

Now, I have been on the other end. Being the one with lots of stuff happening under the surface, or unseen from the public eye. And that can be a crazy place to be. Am I right? Some things I've struggled with may seem little...and maybe big, based upon who's wondering. But I have my heartaches, just like everyone else. Things like dealing with change...being misjudged...sleep deprivation...relationship problems...my body changing after having a baby (wait...I'm never gonna have that "high school girl" body again? ;))...anxiety...pride...lack of faith...I have fallen victim to all these. And in the last few months, quite a few, if not all of these have happened at once. Kinda overwhelming for me little self. I fell into the trap I have found before where I ask myself, "Am I a good person? Do the people who were once apart of my everyday life and feelings and breathes even know I exist anymore? I felt so good about life and myself and like I was on top of the world...but now I almost feel completely opposite".

And he had me right where he wanted me. He had me twisted in his evil lies and corrupt thoughts. I swirled around in negativity and guilt and he laughed in my face at the pain I felt.

Well, like all stories, there are good endings. :) No, I don't mean the one where I drive away in a chariot into the sunset and life is perfect. I mean the real endings. The ones where I get back on my feet and keep going on the journey before me. This is happening for me.

As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, I believe that a loving Heavenly Father and Savior, Jesus Christ is constantly watching out for me. They don't take breaks. They don't say, "Alright, good game. We'll be back next Thursday". They're the 24/7 kind that know exactly when I decide to think less of myself, compare myself to others, and forget that they care. So, of course, they knew exactly what I was hurting myself over. And, like always, they send the best medicine that gives the perfect remedy.

Some remedies are small, and some are big. I had all kinds flying my way. First and always, my husband is always thrown in to save me. His kind, encouraging words are always given at the perfect time. He constantly reminds me of my beauty, inside and out and that his love never runs dry. Even when I've gotten down on my post-pregnant body, he has always been there to hear me, but build me back up on my image. It's nice having eyes that see your body has perfect every moment of the day and night. :)

I then had a leader and friend from my young women's days approach me a few weeks ago. Ah, sweet friend of mine. :) She came up to me where our paths crossed and told me she read my blog...and just filled my whole heart up. All the cracks were fixed with her kind and healing words. Here, I didn't feel forgotten anymore, like I had before. She built me up, as her usual self does, and gave her love freely. If you're reading this, dear friend, I thank you again for taking the time to be an answer to my heartfelt prayers.

Next, life changes came quickly. Sometimes the Lord moves you (this case, literally) to give you a new perspective on relationships and those who are apart of your life. I'm still not perfect, but I've had the change I've needed to to heal some damage and enjoy all those who are contributing to me and my family.

It wouldn't be right to not mention my family as part of my healing process. My mother, blessed angel that she is, has listened to hours and hours of babbling on and wiped every tear. She's always been that way, but especially in the last few months, I have felt an over abundance of love. And the rest of my family has supported me as well and gave me the comfort of their faces and hearts, like they always have since I was little.

Then, there's my precious Charlotte. Oh, my patient, loving Charlotte. My girl never judges me. Loves me no matter what the weather or inward battle I'm facing. She always greets me with a smile, and holds me when I need her arms more than she needs mine. She often whispers with her beautiful face, "maybe you don't feel like a perfect mother, mom. But you are the perfect mommy for me". She is such a gift and my inspiration. I want nothing more than to be someone Charlotte will look up to. So, I will do my best to be that mom she deserves and always give her kisses, even when her cheeks are raw from them. :)

And of course, my loving Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. They never cease to give out continual patience with my faults and weaknesses. I may be a stubborn girl, but they wait for me with love, to realize, time and time again, that they are always the answer. Their love is never-ending and eternal. They are there to help me in my hours of grief. They prompt me to do what is right, help me fix my problems and give me buckets of love to calm my troubled self.

It wouldn't be right to go on and not testify that Jesus truly is the Christ. Not just a mere minister of good that once lived on the earth, but the Prince of Peace and Son of God, who was sent to die for my sins. He indeed rose from the dead and rose again, as the resurrected Christ. I know all of this to be true. He is my Savior. Through all of the things I have gone through and continue to go through, He has ALWAYS been there.

This is quite the novel, but it's more for myself than anything else. For whoever may read this, know that you also are not alone in your struggles and pain. I know it can be very difficult...but know that you are never alone. You need not feel ashamed or embarrassed or hurt. Only feel that your Savior is there to comfort you as well. You really do matter and are remembered and cherished. Your body is beautiful. Your family loves you. Your soul is precious above anything and you are loved. Never forget these things.

I'm still not perfect. I still have my rough edges and hard days from time to time. But I am continually progressing, learning, and getting one step closer to who I can become.

All my love,



At the beginning of my senior year in high school, Chad took me to Homecoming. Yes, he was graduated but we were best friends and he was about to leave for his mission, so we thought it would be fun to go together! For part of our day date, the boys took us to this wonderful park in SLC and we took some pictures. There was this one in particular that we took in front of a door with some pillars. I didn't pay too much mind to it till all the sudden, my best friend became my loyal pen-pal on the mish, which turned to writing to my true love ;), which turned to dating when he got back, which turned to engagement...etc, etc. Chad ALSO proposed to me at this park, so I thought it only a must that we reenacted the picture now that we were engaged!

So then on our 1st anniversary, we went to the same park after doing some sealings at the Salt Lake Temple (where we were married!). Of course, we had to take the same picture in the same place once again! And yes, I was largely pregnant, so it was fun to see the drastic differences in the progression of the photos. :) Almost 4 years in the making for this little sequence!

Date. Engagement. 1 year of marriage + baby. Who knew. :) I love my best friend!!!!

Ally JO


My little Man

I was going through my husband's pictures on his computer and found some real treats. :) Must I say, not to brag or anything {I'm going to anyway}, but my husband was a SUPER CUTE kid. Like, seriously? Such a "to die for" boy.

Oh my GOODNESS!!!! Look how adorable!

So cute. 

Chad has ALWAYS been a super smiley, happy person. I mean, look at these photos! I swear he came out of the birth canal smiling. And I love that he is STILL so positive and high spirited. There have been numerous days where I was sad or upset and Chad got me to laugh within seconds of entering the room. That's why I married him! Love you, sweetheart. :) 

I'm so lucky!

Ally Jo


Sweet Finds

Shortly after we took Charlotte's newborn photos, we lost our memory card! We were just sick about it because it had a lot of pictures from the hospital and what not. I was so heart broken because she was just 2 weeks old when we took her pictures and all the other photos were priceless! But, luckily Chad had uploaded some of them at the hospital and I hurried and took more newborn photos of Charlotte {the ones that are on Facebook}. Well, a few months ago, WE FOUND THE MEMORY CARD! It was SUCH a relief and a real treat to look at her pictures again! Here's just a few I wanted to share. What a precious girl! She was so tiny...can't believe it!

What a sweetheart!!!

Ally J