Thursday, December 5, 2013


Thanksgiving was hard this year. I'm usually not very bothered about being away from my family on Turkey Day because I know Christmas is right around the corner and I'll get to be with them then. Also, spending time with JD helps ease the pain of being separated from my loved ones in Texas. But, this year JD worked all day and Lindsey was in Utah with me so I think some of her longing for home rubbed off on me. On the night before Thanksgiving, Lindsey, JD, and I watched For Love of the Game (one of my Dad's favorites) on Netflix. The movie is a tear-jerker for sure, but Lindsey and I didn't really lose it until the credits started rolling and we remembered how much we missed Dad. We just lay on the floor and cried. (Confession: I had to Google the proper present/past tense of lay/lie. It's confusing and I'm pretty sure I misuse those words a lot. Embarrassing!)  Needless to say, I'm so grateful we have modern technology to keep connected!

Despite missing my family of origin, I find a lot of joy in the multi-step process of creating my own little family.  One way JD and I are doing that is by integrating his family traditions with mine. Right now, I'm reading a book about being intentional with how you spend your time with your family. I've been thinking a lot about how I can apply some of the author's ideas in my life. One thing I want my children to know is how much JD and I cherish our families. I want them to love both families equally and know how much we honor and respect them. Whenever we decorate our Christmas tree, I am intentionally going to take the opportunity to talk about our families.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Peace for the mothers.

On Saturday night, my family attended the holiday party hosted by my work at Utah's Hogle Zoo. We saw the Zoo Lights display and had the chance to visit with Santa and Mrs. Clause! Tenley wasn't too nervous sitting on his lap and only got the slightest hint of a worried look when we stepped back to get the picture. While we were waiting in line, we had the opportunity to write a note to Santa asking him for something special on our Christmas wish list. . . 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Gay, innocent, and heartless.

I mentioned before that I recently read J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan. The characters must have been on my mind a lot because they seemed like the only suitable thing we could be for Halloween. With less coaxing than I first anticipated I would need, I easily convinced JD to don green tights as part of his Peter costume (he loves Halloween. . .) And then, obviously, Tenley was Tinkerbell and I was Wendy. 

Here's a few darling pictures paired with some of my favorite quotes from the book. 
(Sorry the photos are terribly grainy and low quality. I can't seem to figure out why!)

"When the first baby laughed for the first time, its laugh broke into a thousand pieces, and they all went skipping about, and that was the beginning of fairies." -Peter

 "A cradle is such a nice homely thing to have about a house." -Wendy

"There is nothing more pleasant of an evening for you and me when the day's toil is over than to rest by the fire with the little ones near by." -Peter to Wendy

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

10 Things Right Now | Tenley

1. Tenley has recently started walking with her hands right out in front of her like a zombie. It's so silly, but appropriate for Halloween, I guess?

2. Speaking of "appropriate for Halloween," she finally has two teeth growing in. . . but they're her upper lateral incisors. . . so basically she's going to look like a baby vampire soon!

3. She got a few push toys for her birthday, but she prefers picking them up and carrying them over pushing them in front of her. I'm impressed all the time with how strong she is.

4. Her hair is long enough for ponies and piggies and I'm a little bit obsessed with doing her hair.

5. She's drinking whole milk now instead of formula and I'm flabbergasted by how fast that gallon of milk disappears (I suspect more than one whole-milk-drinking-culprit in my house. . . *insert accusatory eyes*)

6. Sometimes she swings her arms in front of her when she walks around the house, as if to say, "ho, hum, what should I do?"

7. She sat with the people in the row behind us at church on Sunday (for about half the meeting) because she kept reaching over and wanting to play with them. Luckily, JD knew them because the daughter was in one of his tennis classes this past summer. 

8. Tenley is crazy about phones. She seems to always figure out a way to sneak our phones from us and start pushing buttons. She does not like it when we try to take them back. JD and I feel a little guilty about her obsession because, the truth of the matter is, she must have learned it from somewhere!

9. She has done really well at all the football games we've been taking her to this season. She seems content to people watch and hang out with her 'rents.

10. Lately, she has been so cuddly when she's sleepy. It's the cutest thing ever and I can never get enough of her sweet baby smell. 

Monday, October 28, 2013

10 Things Right Now | Summer

1. I've been reading the original Peter Pan for several weeks, but keep forgetting about it. Every time I spend a few minutes in the pages of Neverland, I'm filled with childlike wonder and awe. It really is magic. I'm going to finish the book this week. 

2. I haven't scrapbooked in months. This is very unlike me and I miss the creative outlet terribly. Each week, I have good intentions of getting some pages done. . . but then scrapping seems to repeatedly fall to the bottom of my "to-do list."

3. A lot of things seem to keep falling to the bottom of that list (not to mention just dropping off completely. . .) Mostly, I've just been playing and snuggling with my little one because I know someday I'll miss these days terribly. I sometimes use "cuddling time" as an excuse not to get anything else done ;) 

4. I wear the charm bracelet JD got me for my birthday/our anniversary almost daily. I love it.

5. Whenever I'm in Provo for BYU games or sister visits, I long to be back. I miss being a student. But when I think about the situation logically, I realize I'm older than most people on campus and it's okay for that chapter of my life to be over. It's simultaneously heartbreaking and thrilling. 

6. I really enjoy watching college football. 

7. JD recently convinced me to invest in the Adobe Creative Suite 6. I am both intimidated and excited by the thought of learning how to use all this new design software.

8. I recently re-discovered how much I enjoy Hershey's cookies-and-cream chocolate bars.

9. It's hard to believe my little brother returns home from his two-year church service mission this week. Argentina was lucky to have him, but we're so excited to get him back!

10. I started feeling really yucky on Friday night. When I woke up on Saturday, I could hardly move I felt so terrible. JD had been looking forward to camping all week and I didn't want to rain on his parade so we decided to go anyway. I was a little nervous, but it ended up being a very good decision. I just took it easy while JD did all the work of preparing food and managing camping gear. . . and somehow the fresh air and smell of the wild cured me. On Sunday, I was totally back to normal!
 (This picture is so funny to me! Gotta love that wild bed-head camping hair.)

Friday, October 25, 2013

Birthday for the babe.

Our little lady turned one on Friday and we had a few friends and family members over to celebrate. I made taco soup and JD prepared an incredible video montage of her first year that we watched with our guests. Tenley was showered with gifts and love; we are so grateful for all the people around us who love her so dearly!

I sewed her a party dress with some darling red and blue prints. Those ruffles! The Peter Pan collar! A matching bow! I die. I didn't want to deal with a zipper and/or buttons in the back. . . so it was a bit of a tight squeeze over her head. . . but, man, I definitely love me a good handmade outfit :)

Rather than pick a "theme" for the party, I opted for colors. It was easier for me to plan and make decisions that way. 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Fall in Utah.

Last Friday evening, my family drove up a canyon near our home. . . and oh. my. gosh. the sights were breathtakingly beautiful. The fall in Utah is so pretty! I'll go ahead and add "autumn" to the list of things I'll miss when we leave. 

Being up there reminded me of all the beauty that surrounds me and how much I have to be grateful for. The last week or so has been a bit rough for me. I've been discouraged by the government shutdown in the US, overwhelmed by the unknowns of the future, crestfallen by my husband's rejection letters from P.A. schools, disheartened by all the negative, horrible things happening on the news, and feeling mostly just low-spirited in general. I sometimes get this way. I'm one who feels things deeply and, on occasion, the sadness of the world just sits heavy on my heart. That's why I need nights in the canyon :) To be reminded of the earth's beauty. To remember the joy that can be found in the little things. To feel God close to me. 

(It also helps to have a dashingly attractive man and sweet-spirited babe around to ease my troubled heart!)

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Keepsakes for baby.

Today is October 12th. The due date of my first baby was October 11th (10-11-12!) of last year. I remember this day a year ago: I was anxious. I was a bit frustrated. I felt HUGE. I was ready, but also grateful to have a few more days to myself. I had no idea what to expect. I was worried I wouldn't know when I was in labor. I had so much on my mind. . . 

It's crazy that my baby girl turns ONE next week. A whole year. As you can imagine, I've been a little nostalgic as her birthday approaches. I love thinking about and remembering our time together so far! It's so important to me to record her life. Of course, I'm a big fan of scrapbooking and journaling, but I like to document her story in other ways too. I thought I'd share three special keepsakes from her first year of life as part of her b-day celebration. 

Thursday, October 3, 2013


Random ramblings of the evening:

Creativity isn't just painting or sculpting or composing or designing or drawing or making. To me, creativity means creating something- anything- that wasn't there before.  It's figuring out how to arrange your canned goods in a cabinet to make it more functional. It's coming up with something for dinner using only ingredients you have on hand. It's finding motivation to exercise when you aren't in the mood. Every person is creative in how they think, behave and respond to life situations. Please don't say "you aren't a creative person". . . because I guarantee, in one way or another, you are!! 

PS. Creativity could even be discovering how to eat a banana ;)

Sunday, September 29, 2013


I've been thinking lately about values and how I can better orient the youth I work with to what their values are. I've read through some online lesson outlines and group protocols centered on teaching children and adults about values. This compilation includes several interventions for clarifying personal beliefs and values- I went through them and completed some of the exercises in regards to my own life. One of the activities directs participants to list three of the "most nourishing people in their lives." Nourishing. . . that word has stuck out to me so much in my mind over the past week. I looked up the meaningWho sustains me? Who strengthens me, builds me up, and promotes me? Who gives me life, health, and growth?

Easily, the first person I thought of was my husband. He compliments me often, pushes me to develop my talents, and is my biggest supporter. He wants to see me succeed (especially in my business) and does a lot of behind the scenes work to help me (painting base coats of canvases, preparing packages, dropping orders off at the post office, caring for Tenley while I work, etc., etc.) I feel so, so blessed to have him  as my life partner. In so many ways, he nourishes me.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Some thoughts on beauty.

My dearest Tenley,
I feel like the easiest platform to communicate my thoughts right now is in a letter intended for you. Of course, you can't read it right now. . . but I hope someday you will. 
When I was in high school, I knew a handful of girls who struggled with eating disorders and had other body image issues. My heart hurt for them as they battled with the defeating thoughts Satan planted in their minds. I, myself, sometimes went through phases when I had obsessive ideas of how to look skinny and pretty (in fact, I still go through those cycles sometimes!) 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Week in the Life: Tuesday

My days look a little different every day because some days I work (I'm a recreational therapist at a residential treatment center for teenagers). It sure keeps things interesting! Here's a recap of my Tuesday September 10, 2013.  PS. I talked about the "Week in the Life" project here.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Week in the Life: Monday

This week I am joining with other scrapbookers in Ali Edwards' "Week in the Life" project. I love the idea of really trying to capture what my days are made of: routines, habits, meals, projects, moments. All the little things I don't normally remember to document and record. Here's a look at our Monday, September 9, 2013.

 A baby girl who insists on being as close to me as possible.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Football season is here!

Football season is one of my favorite times of the year. I love the energy and excitement in the air as fans cheer on their favorite teams. It's the best! Imagine the inner battle I faced when I was forced to choose between my Alma Mater, BYU, and my home state team, the University of Texas, when they faced each other on the football field last weekend. It was a dilemma, I tell ya! Of course, I couldn't pass up the chance to flaunt my Texas pride and ended up in burnt orange ;) 

My cousins are full-blown Texas fans (like front-row-in-your-face-bleed-orange fans) and we had a great time tailgating with them before the game. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Deep in the heart.

I've worn a Texas charm on a necklace since I moved to Utah 6+ (has it really been that long?!) years ago. That state. . . I tell ya. . . it's home. My family. My friends. My heritage. My heart. And every time I visit, I get an aching to move back. However, that's not the chapter of my life right now. Right now, I'm cultivating a good, sweet life right where I'm at. I've got a loving husband, a precious baby, giving neighbors, selfless co-workers, and caring landlords friends. But, my Utah life just got a whole lot sweeter because I picked up my own little piece of Texas at the airport today: my sister! Lindsey's starting school at BYU this semester and I'm thrilled out of my mind to have her close to me. Wahoo! 

Here's some more snapshots of our Texas trip last month:

Tenley with my Momma's sister, Wendy.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Beach birthday for me!

There's not many places I'd rather be than on a beach. I love the warmth of the sun on my back, the sound of breaking waves, the smell of sunscreen and ocean, and the squishy wet sand between my toes. I think it's safe to say Tenley inherited some of those beach-lovin' genes ;) 

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Ashley's Wedding.

It's been a while since I blogged last. Our little family traveled to Texas (we were gone 10 days) and I've been so busy I have yet to unpack. . . even though we've been home five days. Eek! I love traveling, but sometimes I need a vacation from my vacation, if you know what I mean. We had a wonderful, sunny, family-filled time and I can't wait to share cute pictures of our Tenley bug at the beach. BUT, first things first. . . my dear friend Ashley's wedding.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Our Weekend

Our friends Brad and Abby are in town from California! We have missed them so much since they moved away at the start of the year. We've spent most of the holiday weekend hanging out at the pool, playing games, and watching fireworks (like last year). We went to Provo for July 4th and sat outside the Stadium of Fire. Tenley was an angel baby and loved the fireworks again. Hope ya'll had a fabulous fun-filled weekend!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Patriotic Pancakes

Happy Fourth of July! This holiday is one of my favorites. I think my fondness for today may have something to do with my Mom loving it, too.  She always insisted we wear red, white, and blue on the Fourth and was devastated the first year I missed fireworks with the family because I went to church camp. Both her and my Dad are intensely proud to be Americans. Growing up, I never really noticed how that patriotism rubbed off on me. But, when I was in college, I had to write a paper about my upbringing and family traditions. I realized then how my parents had really instilled in me a love of country and a deep sense of pride in what America stands for. I really am proud to be an American and am so grateful for the freedoms I enjoy.

This morning, we skipped the parades and opted for sleeping in and making pancakes instead. Yum!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Taylorsville Dayzz

JD and I have been playing a "game" recently where we've tried to tell the other person every thing we know about them (we mostly do this when we are riding in the car and are bored of the radio. . .) Obviously, we know each other pretty well, but it's kind of fun and surprising to hear what the other person comes up with. Some things are basics: you wear this size shoe, this size shirt, this size hat.  You like this food, but hate that one. Other things are more deep: this was a spiritual experience you had as a teenager, this was something you wish you could do again, this was a time you were hurt by a friend. 

I like telling JD what I know about him and listening to him add on about the different stories of his life.   One iconic event of his youth that I had yet to experience was the magic of Taylorsville Dayzz (if you're wondering about the "zz" at the end of days, as I was. . . they apparently did that to match up with the Utah Ja"zz"). JD grew up in Taylorsville, where they put on a killer firework show every year. Last weekend, JD planned a BBQ with some of his high school friends and we met up to go to the big show. 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

My Vote for Babies.

There are a lot of new parents in the recreation therapy department where I work. One co-worker had a baby about a month before me; another had her son the day after me; my male co-worker announced his wife was pregnant shortly after we did; I just finished covering for my boss while she was on maternity leave; and the PRN we just hired has a 14-month-old. Whew! Babies! Other people often joke "there must be something in our water." Needless to say, we spend a lot of time offering advice, sharing tips, and exchanging stories. It's definitely been nice to have this little support group as I've transitioned into motherhood. 

Friday, June 14, 2013


When I saw this piece of scrapbook paper, I knew I had to have it. I loved the alphabet with so many fun patterns and colors, but I wasn't sure how to use the paper because I didn't want to cover any of those pretty letters. Enter exacto knife.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Sunshine and summertime.

Last night, we decided to kick off summer with our first trip to Seven Peaks, a local water park. It was hot and sunny and the water felt so good! Our Tenley bug wasn't a big fan of being dipped in the water, but sure enjoyed lounging on our laps as we floated the lazy river. And, oh! what a peaceful rush it is to have a baby lay calmly on your chest in the sunshine. Be still my mother heart. 

JD and I took our neighbor to this park a few summers ago and talked about how fun it would be to bring our own little munchkin one day. We still can't get over the reality of this darling little girl being ours. We are grateful every day to have her in our family.

Bring on the sunshine and summertime! We are ready.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A Sunshine Dress.

Tenley has a new dress and I'm basically obsessed with it. Yellow. Polka-dotted. Handmade with love by Gracy. Can it get much better? I dare say it can not!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013


We've been a bit sick around here lately. . . so things have been slow the last few weeks and we haven't accomplished much more than staying alive. But I'll tell you what- Tenley is still stinkin' cute as a sickie girl! She's eating vegetables like a pro, chewing whatever she can get her hands on, sticking out her tongue, constantly playing with her fingers, and desperately trying to touch whatever's in reach. She wants to crawl so bad, but hasn't quite figured it out (and we're still waiting for those teeth!)

We attempted a seven month shoot. . .

But Tenley mostly did this the entire time we were shooting:

Whatever makes the baby happy, right?!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Let the sun shine.

I am thrilled about the new look and feel of this bloggity-blog. As most of you probably know, I opened an etsy shop a few years ago. It started as a way to share and sell things I love to design and create. When I was brainstorming about shop names way back when, my thoughts kept gravitating toward the idea of sunshine. Warmth. Light. Happy days. Something about my name being Summer. I liked it.

As most of us do at times, I struggle with having confidence in my work. I listen to the self-defeating thoughts that I'm not good enough or imaginative enough or original enough. BUT, even though I may not be the very best, I know I have creative talents and instincts. I know I find incredible joy in the process of creating. I know I want to share that. I want to nurture that. I want to build on that.

So, without further ado, welcome to The (new and improved) Sunshine Space. This is my corner of the internet where I hope you'll continue to come for inspiration in regards to happy everyday living, bright and inviting home decor, and other fun craft projects. I plan to continue sharing about myself and my family, at times including ideas for things to make and do that have brought warmth and light to my life.

I'm not sure what'll come of this, but I hope you'll stick around for the journey. I've spent so many hours thinking about and brainstorming for and re-working this project.

Take a look around. Click on my social media buttons. Admire the new design (by the fabulously talented Emily White). Ooo and ahh over my logo. But mostly, keep on letting the sun shine.

Thanks for your support!


Friday, May 10, 2013

First time uncle.

My brother Isaac is about as cute as they come in his interactions with Tenley. He just turned 12 in March, but he's so tender and loving with my girl. . . sometimes I'm blown away. Love you, Ize!

Supplies: Green polka dot paper, letter stickers- Echo Park; Blue/green/yellow/white cardstock- DCWV; Office tab- Basic Grey; Colored polka dot paper- Project Life; Black pen- Zig Memory System; Number stickers- Studio Calico; Other- white brads, blue thread.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

I Want to Remember.

One night last week JD and I traveled up the canyon near our home to cook hamburgers for dinner. The babe fell asleep on the way and slept the whole time we were gone. . . so it was practically  like we were on a date alone together! The mountain air was refreshing, the food was tasty, and the company was pleasant. While JD was preparing our burgers, I wandered over to a nearby stream. In my few moments of reflection, I kept thinking, "I want to remember."   

I want to remember nights like this one. I want to remember the evenings we spent together, intentionally trying to connect and build our relationship. I want to remember the exhilarating rush of still being so in love with my husband. 

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Baby bows.

I know there are gaggles of online tutorials of how to make bows similar (or nearly identical) to these ones, but I thought I'd share how I make felt baby bows. These are seriously easy peasy, but oh so cute!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Park baby.

Our girl is growing too fast! 
It's crazy how she can seem so big to us, but still be so little at the same time 
(she's in the 9th percentile for weight and 15th for height). 
Last week we took Tenley to the park for the first time. 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Waffle Love.

The Waffle Love truck has been making its way around Utah County and finally made it to our little neck of the woods. We (mostly I) couldn't resist splurging on some extra crispety-crunchy sugar-y goodness topped with the prettiest arrangement of juicy red fruit. Yum!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Cutest. Baby. Ever.

The cutest baby ever (and I mean ever!) turned six months old this week. Tenley can do so many things now. . . sit up, army crawl, reach for toys, play peek-a-boo, laugh at funny faces, throw major hissy fits, hold a bottle by herself, copy sounds we make, suck her thumb (much to our dismay!), and capture just about anyone's heart. If you want to indulge in her almost-unbearable-cuteness with me, I'll let you have a peek at her six-month photo shoot. . .

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Study breaks.

Over the last few weeks, JD has needed a few "study breaks." He's been majorly bogged down with schoolwork- preparing for (and taking!) the GRE, trying to figure out Organic Chemistry, and prepping for his final exams. The most memorable "study break" we've had so far was taking Tenley to meet the horses in our neighborhood. 

Monday, April 8, 2013


Around these parts, the sun is starting to shine, literally and figuratively. Spring is just around the corner and the light and hope of a new season is definitely energizing me.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Pancake breakfast.

This morning was one of those lucky ones when all of our family was home and awake at the same time. JD didn't have to go to school to study, I didn't have to go into work, and Tenley was in an alert, playful mood. So. . . we decided to celebrate Thursday morning with pancakes! We even went a little crazy and threw some peanut butter M&Ms in the mix.  Sure love this cute little family of mine.