New Blog!

You guys! I got a big girl blog!

I"m now over at balancedbodyblog.com

Go check it out and let me know what you think of it! It's going to be so fun with lots of new things!

Thank you so so so so so so so so much for following me and commenting. I love hearing from you guys so much.

xo Erin

Also I can't ever do anything half-heartedly so I started another blog that I would love you to contribute to so go check out thefavoriteslist.blogspot.com too! Love you guys!


2 Months

Well, since Emery is almost 3 months...A 2 MONTH UPDATE!!!

At 2 months, Emery is...
at the doctor. double chin for the win!

all smiles. She gets especially grinny when we waltz in the kitchen.

this picture makes me laugh every time

trying so hard to figure out her hands. Sometimes I think she purposely spits out her binky to practice hitting it back in. It's hilarious and adorable.

definitely doesn't stay like that!

still hairy. But I believe her roots are coming in BLONDE. Fingers crossed. Although I do love her ginger brunette locks.

drama queen

loving tummy time. I'm worried she will never learn to roll over. We put her on her tummy and she just lies her head down and once she even fell asleep. 

also fits in baby doll clothes

wearing size 1 diapers and 3 month clothes. She's in the 14th percentile for weight and 44th for height. 

blessing day!

a cuddler. Like her mom. 

the cutest baby ever! We love you Emery!!!


She's a Month! What?!!

back before she had eyebrows

Emery turned 1 (month) on Saturday. She is absolutely delightful! It has been the funnest getting to know this little munchkin and have her on this side of the belly. Here are some things about our little Emmy girl. Let's start at the top:

*She loves having her hair washed. Slash scalp massages in general. She's not entirely sure about the whole bath experience so we scrub her little body down, wrap her up in a towel and finish with her head, tilted back in the sink all salon style like.

however, she does not like to play aladdin

*Speaking of hair, it will NOT lie flat.
*She is a little drama queen. She makes the funniest faces and has more expressions than any new baby I have ever seen. She keeps us laughing.

*Holds her head up like a champ. Daddy does daily exercises with her and they're paying off. This girl is strong! She also likes to pretend she can crawl.
*Loves her pacifier and when put in her mouth she furrows her eyebrows, raises her shoulders, and brings her hands up to her face. She looks like a little baby boxer. Very serious business this binky thing.
*Hardly ever cries. It's more of a cough, sniff, sniff, sniff. I don't even know.
*Weighs approximately 8 pounds and wears newborn sized clothes and diapers but is starting to grow out of these...fast!
*Favorite place is Mommy's chest with her right ear over my heart. This is also Mommy's favorite place.

okay, so she is equally okay with lying on daddy
*Is a morning person? Is turning her mother into a morning person? What the what?
*Somehow gets cuter every day. How is this possible?!

We love this little girl so much!


Emery Quinn

So I thought it would be a piece of cake to write this, but alas, three things are making it particularly difficult:
1. The day was PERFECT and I am not that great of a writer to convey how perfect it was.
2. Bryson made this PERFECT video that pretty much sums up the day.
3. I'm holding a sleeping PERFECT baby as I type this one-handed.

There is just too much perfection in my life right now.

I'll do my best.

Emery’s birth story actually begins weeks before she arrived. We all know how much I loved (hated, really truly hated) being pregnant. Well, it somehow got even worse those last few weeks. I was diagnosed with a mild form of cholestasis. Which is a liver disease that makes you itch really bad and poses some risk for the baby. It was hell. Let’s not dwell on it.

Anyway, because cholestasis makes you high risk, I was scheduled to be induced at 39 weeks, if she didn’t come before then on her own. Each day leading up to the 30th dragged on. I became this itchy pregnant robot, consumed by thoughts of her coming. But I am living proof that sheer willpower will not make something happen. On the night of the 26th (a Saturday), I remembered I had posted this picture on instagram.

from elder wirthlin's oct 2006 GC talk

The 27th would be her birthday. I just knew it. I burst into tears. My Sunday was coming. It was just hours away. I would have my baby. 

But she didn't come on Sunday, or Monday, or Tuesday. I'd been having regular contractions for a week, but no baby. All that stuff on the internet saying that early labor can last up to several hours was lying. It's DAYS. And then I got the call from the hospital that I never thought I would get: I would be induced the next morning at 7 a.m.

Deep breath. It was all coming to an end. A peace finally settled over me. She really was coming when she was supposed to. 

I woke up early on Wednesday, sort of in shock that this was really happening. Today was the day I would become a mother! We loaded up the car, made a pit stop to Sonic, and got to the hospital by 7:05.

Everything was so calm. No rushing to the hospital, no pain, nothing. It was all so different from what I had expected. We just walked in there like, "Oh, this is a hospital? I thought it was our hotel for the next couple of days?" It was too easy. My labor and delivery nurse hooked me up to all the monitors and said she hoped she would get to meet my baby before her shift ended at 6. I wasn’t very optimistic--my mom was in labor with me for 36 hours and pushed for 2 more. I knew I would probably have a similar experience. My cake walk had to come to an end, right? 

I was already dilated to a 3 when Pitocin was started at 8. (I guess that week of contractions wasn't all for nothing!) Forty minutes later I got the epidural, mostly because I knew I was going to get it anyway. And I was going to be here for a very long time so a nap at some point would be nice. 

I had had one contraction that I didn’t really like. One! 

The epidural had narcotics and made me feel pretty out of it so a lot of the morning was a blur. I know the dr. came in at one point and broke my water and I got the lovely catheter, but that's about it. I had brought In Style, Vogue, a card game, and a whole season of Gilmore Girls but I just sat there. (Obviously I was prepared for the long haul. You can't argue with genetics, right? I was going to be laboring all day, right?) I was put on my right side and the nurse said she’d be back in an hour to check my progress. Maybe now I would take a nap?

At 10:20 my nurse came back (it hadn't been an hour) and said that the baby's heart rate was dropping with each contraction which either meant that I was progressing really fast or she had the cord wrapped around her somehow. (But not to worry, it's not a big deal!) I figured it was the latter but she checked me, looked mildly surprised and said "You're at a 7 and almost completely effaced. If you keep progressing this fast you'll have a baby by 2." What?! This was hours before I expected. So I was flipped to my left side to see if her heart rate would do better (it did) and I texted my mom that this baby was coming soon!

texting one handed. cuz i'm a wimp and felt like my arm was falling off

My mom showed up pretty quick after that. Within another hour, the nurse was back to check me again and everyone's jaw dropped to the floor when she said I was at a 10 and ready to go.  She said baby's head was still pretty high up there so she would call the doctor and ask if I should start pushing now or if we should wait an hour for her to move down on her own. I told the nurse I would like wait if the doctor thought that would be okay. He did. So I was put in "rest and descend" mode while Bryson's parents rushed to the hospital. My pitocin dose was turned down as my body had taken over and the baby warmer was turned on. The next hour flew by. 

My nurse came back with all the lovely birth stuff, our parents left and I was put in the stirrups. She called my doctor and the nursery nurses (when they broke my water they noticed baby girl had pooped so they wanted them in there just in case) and told them I was going to start pushing. The nurse warned me that with first babies this part can take anywhere from 1-3 hours. Yep, I was ready for that...but wait! I had never done this before and I was numb down there! How do you push a baby out exactly? I mean, I'd heard it compared to pushing a piano through a straw. Also, I felt like I could really use a nap (again, the narcotics!)

My angel labor and delivery nurse was at my left leg, my angel husband at my right. A contraction started and I tried to follow instructions as best as I could. Pushing a baby out is probably one of the least attractive things a woman will ever do in her life, but I wish I could've bottled those (spoiler alert!) 20 minutes up and relive them a hundred times. I didn't feel the narcotics. I was completely there, but also totally inside my head, my body. Here was the moment I had waited for my entire life. Here was the moment I prayed for and begged for and cried for for those 9 miserable months. I was becoming a mother. I was becoming ME. 

"She has hair!" said my nurse. And Bryson braved a look and confirmed that our baby did, in fact, have a lot of hair. Well I wanted to meet this baby who had a lot of hair. And I pushed with everything I had. I released those 9 months. The doctor was called, and 10 minutes later I was told to stop pushing because there was another human on this earth at 1:10 p.m. My baby girl. My little Emery Quinn.

You know that moment in life that we all secretly (or not so secretly) wait for; the moment where you feel like I have arrived? The moment where Harry kills Voldemort or Lorelei and Luke finally get together or Rapunzel brings Flynn back to life with her magical tears? That was my moment, ironically, in her arrival. Here I was. The real me. The best me. I do not believe there is anything else I could do in this life that would equal the pride I felt in that moment.

cell phone pics

I immediately burst into tears and my doctor put her on my tummy for just a minute before being whisked over to the nurses who had to do some serious suction stuff on her. She had swallowed a fair amount of meconium. Yummy. Everyone was talking and the doctor was stitching me up but I only had eyes and ears for our little Emery. After what felt like forever, they weighed and measured her. 6 pounds 14 ounces and 19 inches. 

Then I got to really hold her. There aren't words that can describe how much love I felt in that moment. Love for Emery and love for Bryson. The medical team wanted to take her down to the nursery right away but I really wanted Bryson to hold her before they took her down. He held her for about 30 seconds.This is the only thing about the day that I wish had gone a little bit differently. I wish we had had more time for that moment. I had been carrying this baby for 9 months and he finally got his turn to hold her. He finally got to be a dad. That was one of the images that helped me get through the hardest days--Bryson holding our little girl for the first time. But she needed to have the doctor look at her so they whisked her away. Bryson went with Emery and my mom stayed with me. 

best dad ever. i mean, he's wearing a Hogwarts shirt

I don't remember a lot after that (those narcotics hit me again with a vengeance!) but they took all the cords out of me and I started to feel more like myself, but exhausted. Even the easiest of deliveries is an emotional and physical roller coaster. I was so glad my mom was there with me because I wanted Bryson to be with Emery. He gave me updates (all positive) and told me she had my eyes. My eyes!

i wish i had a picture of my mom's face the first time she saw Emery. priceless.

It was about an hour later that they were able to take me down to the recovery room with a quick stop to the nursery to check on Emery. I was so excited! I had already forgotten what she looked like. I was wheeled over to her side and I can't remember what I said but she smiled at the sound of my voice and turned her head towards me. I reached to her tiny hand and she wrapped her perfect little fingers around mine. Emery knew her momma!  

I think it was another hour before I got my baby back for good. She was clean and all that hair was spiked with two yellow bows. I was finally able to get a really good look at what I had done.

the hair! the eyes! the nose! those lips!

That night, during a feeding it really hit me. My Sunday had come. On a Wednesday, but it came. My flawless little baby was here. I hated pretty much everything about being pregnant, but her birth was perfect and, dare I say, easy? I would give birth a thousand times over being pregnant again, but Bryson was right, like he always is. He told me over and over that the hard days would make her coming even better, that those nine months would help me love her so much more when she came. They did. But even more than that, I believe her spirit helped my spirit when my body was struggling to create her body. And Bryson held us all together. The three of us somehow made it through.

family of three!

In case you haven't seen it yet, Bryson made {this video}. And can I just say, this guy is my hero. The moms always get all the credit when it comes to pregnancy and birth, but I truly could not have done this without him. (A couple of business trips confirmed this). He encouraged me every day. He helped me stay positive. He brought home dinner when I felt too sick to cook. He gave me blessings. He constantly told me how awesome I was doing her whole birthday. And he works full time and goes to school full time so that I can stay home with our little girl. I don't know how I got so lucky to have him for a husband and as Emery's father.

It's been 3 weeks. We couldn't be more in love with our little girl.

this is my heaven


Just a Quick Hello

Today is my due date.
But hallelujah, my beautiful baby entered the world five days ago and I get to type this one handed.
It has been the best five days of my life.
Her story is coming soon.
But until then, enjoy this horrible quality phone picture of her from the day we brought her home.

she has the greatest dance moves


The Good Things of Motherhood

Mommas! Oh this post. I can already tell it's going to be a disaster. Such an internal dilemma I'm having. But here we are and I'm writing and posting it. Free speech! I'm American. I can say what I want.

But she's not even a mom yet. She doesn't know.

I know.

I've wanted to be a mom my entire life. Blame my religion, society, my own mother, but that was my ultimate goal. Babies. And lots of them.

Well, not too long ago, I got married. Yay! First step. Check. (And lest you think I married Bryson just for his ability to make me a mother, I assure you that that was not the case. Just an added bonus.) But I think we'd been home from our honeymoon about 3 hours before I brought up kids. Maybe it was 3 hours after we got married? I forget. Take a guess on how he responded to that. You mean you don't want to become a husband and a future father all in one day?!?!?! He didn't. He's weird. I know. But whatever.

So alas, I had to suffer through church surrounded by all these adorable children. (First time being in a family ward in 3 ish years.) I was like a kid in a candy store; constantly pointing out cute kids to Bryson who would just roll his eyes and try to focus on the speaker. I quickly discovered that I should silently admire. And this is where I began mom watching.

I saw these women with their diaper bags and three kids and was completely in awe. They had the life! I wanted a diaper bag! I wanted those cute little blankets to keep me warm during Sacrament meeting! I wanted to cuddle a baby for an entire hour! Man, they had the life.

And then we went to Sunday School. We sat in front of this cute mom with an adorable baby girl on her lap. Another woman commented on how beautiful her baby was. She responded, "Yeah, well, we wanted a boy but this is what we got." This is what we got? 

I wonder if the woman who complimented her was a mother. I wonder if she, like me, wanted to be a mother at that moment more than anything in the world. I wonder if she suffered from infertility and was told she would never be a mother in this life.

Then I went to Relief Society and I quickly learned that this was a place to vent about your kids. I left church feeling very sad and confused.

I thought it must be a fluke.

Another day, I was talking to a mom in my neighborhood about kids. She had waited several years before having kids and said it was the best thing they could have done. She encouraged me to do the same. "Just make sure you're really ready before you start having them."


I started noticing Facebook posts of young moms. Maybe they were trying to be funny. Maybe they were looking for likes. Maybe they were looking for sympathy. I don't know the motives. But I read things that made me feel embarrassed and sad for their young kids. Some of these moms I am very close to and admire in so many ways.

I began to think I was missing something. This motherhood thing must really be terrible. It must be a lot harder than I think. It must not be fulfilling and rewarding.

Well, in the midst of feeling terrible about all of this, the daughter of my Beehive advisor (yes, from 10 years ago) busted her leg and had to have surgery, rods, wheelchair, the whole thing. She posted updates throughout this hard time but they were very different from the trends I'd been seeing lately. Whether the daughter was progressing or not, she always put the situation in a positive light. It was an adventure and they were going to make the best of it! Heck, once she posted about how happy she was they made size 5 diapers to fit her little girl who had probably been potty trained for several years. Who are these people?!

Disclaimer: I am not this kind of person. I want to be. I wish I could've been the person who through those first few months of pregnancy had the attitude of, "Yeah, I threw up 5 times today before breakfast. At least it wasn't 6!" But I don't think this trait comes naturally to any of us. If it does come naturally to you, what kind of water are you drinking?! I need some.


Anyway, yes! It's hard! But it's good. It's so so good.

So all you moms out there. Can we all work on this together? Can we please stop focusing on the negative and enjoy the positive aspects of motherhood? Can we get to the end of the day and think on the two (or hopefully 10) good things that our kid did today and forget the bad? Can we encourage the new moms and the expecting moms and the want-to-be moms? Because holy cow we can find all the negative things to expect when we are expecting from Google on our own.

can't find a source on this. if you know it, let me know!

Tell us about how you felt the first time your kid said "I love you" or how they snuggle in your neck when they're tired. Tell us about their favorite bedtime stories and the pride on their faces when they learn how to do a somersault. Tell us about the excitement of the first day of school or the discovery of a ladybug.

Those are the things I want to hear. And I think those are the things you want to remember.


The Body Issue: Part 5

Remember how I used to do these? We left off with me not making the dance major...again. (Also, in case you missed it...Part 4, Part 3, Part 2, Part 1) Well, after feeling so calm and comforted that I had done everything I could do, I began to doubt. And I had a question:

Now what?!

I talked to the department head. We went over my audition and what the judges had said and basically I had had to reach a certain score and was just below that. I asked what I could work on and she gave me some vague answer. I asked what I could do from here. "Well, you can petition to try out next year. You just need a letter from a teacher giving approval and Rebecca already came and talked to me so you'll have no problems with that." I thanked her for her time and left. Wait, so why didn't I make it? I wasn't given a straight answer. I was already over halfway through the required classes for a dance major and it was starting to get difficult to register for classes because I wasn't an "official" major yet. They'd said no to me twice already, did I want to risk it a third time? I had planned on graduating the semester after tryouts! Was I really so horrible that they couldn't handle having me in the major for another year?! (These are the thoughts that kept me up at night).

Well, I thought long and hard and decided to keep dancing. It wasn't until February that I felt like I was in the wrong place and needed to get out. I looked into other schools. I looked into other majors. Nothing felt right. Nothing felt like what I wanted to do. I wanted to graduate in dance from BYU.

And then it was my roommate's birthday and all she wanted for it was a back massage. Well, I had had a lot of massages and I thought I had a good idea of what felt good and how to do it. She had a massage table from doing eyelash extensions so, what the heck, let's see how good I am. Looking back, I know I was terrible. I know I did the strokes the wrong way and I knew nothing about using body weight. Regardless, she said "You're really good at that. You should go to massage school."

So I went in my room and looked up massage schools. I found a couple and called about tours. First one was a total joke and it's good I had another appointment or I probably would have just dropped the whole idea. I talked with the admissions lady at UCMT and signed up immediately. School started in 2 weeks and I felt excited about my impulsive decision. I was still at BYU full time so I signed up for night school. I would graduate in a year.

My first day I was nervous and excited. I was surrounded by students who were very different from the BYU crowd. The teachers were eccentric and swore. I was completely out of my comfort zone. But these people loved bodies. And they didn't look at them by height or weight or flexibility or strength. They looked at how a shortening in the lower back muscles had caused a lengthening in the abdominal muscles. They looked to see if shoulders were even, and if not, does she carry her purse on her left shoulder? It was scientific, not subjective, and I loved it.

I learned how my body works. I gained a whole new appreciation for being able to bend my finger or feel my heart beat. I caught a glimpse of how complex each system is. I learned to look at my body in terms of function and health, rather than aesthetic.

At UCMT I met my best friend, Tiffany, who also happened to introduce me to my husband. After wondering for months (years) why I hadn't made the major, I realized that if I had made it, I wouldn't have met two of the most important people in my life. I feel like I got the better end of the deal. (I don't feel like this is the only reason why I didn't make the major, or why I was supposed to go to massage school, just the best reason).

A few months in, I dropped out of BYU and switched to massage school full time. Dance was a wonderful and fulfilling part of my life. I learned so much at BYU. But it was a phase. I was never meant to do it professionally, or even for my whole life. Which brings us to Part 6.