Summer... and a little October too!

Well, I officially suck at keeping a blog. But I think ya’ll already knew that! There have been a LOT of ups and downs this summer and now autumn so there’s LOTs to tell you!

June

If you haven’t heard by now (you must not follow me on Instagram lol) Baby Kerr is a GIRL! And her name is Penelope Jane! We had the best time doing a sex reveal party and celebrating Penny Girl (though we didn’t decide her name until after…).

Nick and I did find out before we announced it because we couldn’t wait! The nurse called me while I was at work and I had to clarify 3 different times that she said baby was a girl because I was so excited I didn’t want to hear her wrong or forget it or something weird like that! We decided to do the classic popping a balloon with glitter and since I didn’t want our apartment complex to hate us we did it in Penny’s nursery… BIG MISTAKE. If you have to use glitter, DO IT OUTSIDE!! It’s OCTOBER and I’m STILL finding glitter all over our house!

You can tell from my face, I HATE popping balloons haha, so don’t know why I went with that option. To celebrate, Nick and I went to Hopdoddy’s (one of our FAVORITE burger places here in Dallas) and splurged on some truffle fries #drool.

June 14th was our 4th anniversary which we celebrated by going to Sushi with Nick’s manager. haha It was a good time AND we got a free meal. We did our own thing that actual weekend which consisted of dinner at Seasons 52 (sooo good) and then seeing the movie ‘Tag’ which was really fun! So nothing too crazy but this preggo has been short on energy the. WHOLE. time.

We also decided on Penelope’s name in June! Nick actually picked it out from our “Approved” list and stuck hard to it. I wasn’t in a rush to decide her name cause we had like forever till she will get here (how do I write in past and present tense in one sentence??). We were walking to a diner for Brunch with Nick’s Office peeps and Nick was trying to talk me into just deciding it. Right as he said, “If we name her Penelope, she can go by Penny which would be kind of like naming her after your grandpa” I saw 2 pennies, right side up on the sidewalk. My grandpa used to ALWAYS stop to pick up any loose change, especially pennies and since he passed away the whole family has taken a penny on the ground to be a sign from him saying hi from the beyond. So when I saw 2 pennies I knew that was her name! Both Grandpa and Penelope approved it!

Mary also started helping me get baby stuff! Haha I love Georgia’s face peeping in the background of the picture for the stroller/carseat adapter. It was fun and made things really feel real (as if the pregnancy symptoms weren’t enough haha) to start getting things ready for her.

July

July started with Mary and I hosting the biggest party yet for the 4th! Since few people have family here we’ve all kind of morphed into each other’s families and support system with no clear dividing lines so when you have a party, you invite EVERYONE. It was SOO much fun that like all of us forgot to take pics! Luckily, a few people (Laura, Mary, & Chelsea!!) saved me and actually took some pics (even got me in one for proof!). It was SOO hot that day AND Nick almost got arrested! …Almost. Lol He and a few other people staked out the pool starting at like 7am because we had a group of like 40+ people so we NEEDED the prime spot and apparently some of the residents that lived right by the pool didn’t like that so they called the cops. The cops talked to Nick and were like, “It’s first come, first serve, man. You good!” and THAT’s the story of how Nick almost got arrested on the 4th of July.

We also had an impromptu flight to Utah to see my lil bro Ethan give his farewell talk! He did such a good job and it was fun to see him one last time (for 2 years) before he took off to serve in the Iowa Des Moines Mission. He’s doing awesome with all the corn and pigs haha but he really is doing well!

I also worked a lot for this amazing lady, Kelsey, and her incredible jewelry company Little Sycamore! I still work for her and it’s the best ever! I get to work from home and make pretty things with pretty stones and interact with pretty people all the time! Occasionally we have work partys and they are a hoot!

And of course there was lots of growing involved for me and Penny! I finally had to start buying maternity clothes for that awkward stage between looking like you ate too much and having a full-fledged pregnant belly. August was better about not being such an awkward stage.

I also had my 20 week appointment which is the big scan to check on Penelope’s development. She was soo active and such a diva! She made it really hard for the sonographer to check for cleft pallet and to make sure she has 2 eyes (which she does, no worries there) because she was sitting SO LOW and then moving every 2 seconds! We saw her cartwheel a few times and that made me realize that what I thought was gas pains was actually Penny Girl jumping on my intestines. Everything looked so perfect and by the end she was chillaxin with her arms behind her head, and her feet elevated and crossed at the ankles (there’s proof below).

I also had really good intentions of eating super clean and following the Clean Simple Eats program but after the first meal of chicken, spinach, sweet potato crackers, and grapefruit aka: Citrus Chicken Salad (pictured) I gave up on following the plan and started picking recipes that I thought I’d like. I found a LOT of really yummy recipes through that program so it was really good, just that ONE FIRST meal was a deal breaker. I also got to watch Moose (MY FAVORITE) so of course there’s a picture of him haha.

August

August is the best because it starts out with one of my favorite days of the year, Nick’s Birthday! I love spoiling him and he knows there’s nothing he can do about it. He used to complain and try to get me to calm down but I think he’s just finally accepted that it’s never gonna happen and it’s so much more fun to just give in to me and my requests.

We went to dinner for his birthday but that was all we had time for since we flew to Utah for family vacation with the Kerrs the next day! We got to spend almost 2 glorious weeks with our families! My mom threw the cutest tea party shower for me and of course I didn’t take any pictures… But I got one with Allison, Gabe, and their sweet new baby Titus! We got spoiled and felt so loved by all our family and friends that came and supported us!

For family vacation we stayed at a fun cabin up Big Cottonwood Canyon because Nick’s brother Chris had football practice and needed to be close enough to do double duty. It was the FUNNEST week! We hiked (almost killed me but was amazing to do with my baby girl and hubs supporting me), saw the new Mission Impossible movie in the super deluxe luxury seats that every theater of all time should have, went cheese tasting in Heber Valley (SOOOOO good), got family pictures done by my amazing friend Summer Soelberg, had our annual Nerf War, taste tested and Sweet 16’d different flavors of Oreos (Lemon won ya’ll), and went to eat at so many good places! We also attempted to do an escape room… probably not the best idea for us competitive Kerrs. We totally got the raw end of the deal but I can tell you about that another time. We always have the best time together and make so many memories and laugh a ton! It was so nice to get out of the heat of Texas and be in the beautiful mountains of Utah for a while. I missed it so much!

August also was full of buying more things for Penny, working for Little Sycamore, Work Parties, and the RASCAL FLATTS CONCERT!! We went with like a bajillion friends and it was SOO much fun even though it was BLOODY hot! (“Fun” fact about Texas: it doesn’t cool down when the sun goes down… it just marinates until the sun comes back up in the morning). And Nick and I unintentionally matching for church which brings me an odd amount of joy haha.

September

Ya’ll, if you’re still reading, I’m seriously impressed. This is one long blog post and let’s just say, YOU DA REAL MVP!

I started out the month working on Little Sycamore stuff like a CRAZY person! I got over 31 hours in a week (normally I get like 15) but I was crankin out beautiful littles and seriously got addicted to it. My mom and sister flew out to help me get my house ready for Penelope to come! They did all the things that are soo hard for me to do with this big ol belly (like bend over or reach up high or basically like anything). And the nursery is almost done! Just need to get a few more things and then I’ll do a photoshoot to show it off cause it’s seriously the cutest! (I’m actually writing from the amazingly comfy recliner/glider/rocking chair right now cause it’s the only place in my house I can sit for chunks of time and not have my back/butt hurt. Thanks for the best gift mama!)

While my mom and sister were here Mary threw me and Penny a shower with all my Texas friends (well, almost all of them)! We were SO spoiled and it was SO much fun and I’m SO INCREDIBLY grateful for the amazing women who are my friends and family out here!

I also made Nick some “Reese’s Crack Bars” (as our friend Zach has dubbed them) and laughed at how he cut into them… he couldn’t wait for me to do it and apparently the circular shape threw him off haha #loveyouboo. We celebrated Bridget’s birthday with our friends from Nick’s work, and enjoyed the first day of Autumn (even though it’s still 80+ here… pardon me while I go cry).

But the first real curveball came while my mom and sister were still in town. We got a call from my dad that my brother Dallin has testicular cancer. They weren’t 100% sure because they’d have to do surgery before they could test it but from all the symptoms it looked just like it. He went to the doctor on Wednesday, Thursday he had a CT which thankfully came back clear, and Friday he had surgery. We tried so hard to get my mom back for his surgery but it just didn’t work out. Luckily, my dad was able to take the week off of work, my aunt was able to cancel her appointments to be with him and my dad at the surgery, and my grandma was there to help him recover all until my mom and sister could get back home on Saturday.

It was scary, but we were all surrounded by loving people who prayed for us and especially for Dallin. He’s doing well now and still isn’t “cured” but things are looking good and like they caught it in time. He’ll do a treatment later this month and then we’ll see where he’s at. We’re really hoping it is just a one-time treatment to make sure all of the cancer is gone.

…and a little October too!

I know it’s only the 2nd day of this month but yesterday was a pretty scary day.

Nick was working from home until his flight at 6pm which was really nice because he had had a looooong work week in Denver/Provo the week before. I had a doctor’s appointment where I was tested for gestational diabetes (still waiting on results but not too worried about it) and the doctor said Penny was looking perfect. But we were talking about my symptoms and she mentioned something about discharge that just wasn’t settling well with me. It was one of those things where you have to go home, observe your body and think about how things have been before you can really do anything because I didn’t have an answer for her when I was in the office.

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I was STARVING after taking the test (and a bit nauseous from all the sugar) so Nick and I got a mini lunch date together which was a lot of fun. We came home and went about our day. Nick got packed up and headed to the airport right when I had realized I needed to talk to the doctor because I was having the unusual symptoms she had mentioned to watch out for.

Nick had to go before I was able to talk to a nurse, and shortly after things got crazy. I had told the nurse what was going on and that I was worried I was leaking Amniotic Fluid. After she had talked to my doctor she told me to go to the hospital to Labor & Delivery right away. Nick was gone, I was shocked and slightly panicking (definitely didn’t see that coming), and most of all I was alone. Nick called me right after the nurse told me to go to the hospital and luckily he hadn’t gotten on his flight yet and was able to leave the airport and come to the hospital. I called Mary and she was able to literally drop everything and take me to the airport. Chelsea even watched JoJo so she didn’t have to worry about her.

I had never been to the hospital in an emergency situation and ya’ll, it’s scary. They do their best to make you calm and feel ok, but there’s only so much you can do when so much is unknown. They performed 3 tests to make sure I wasn’t leaking fluid. 1/3 came back positive (the Ph test) so they did a sonogram to measure how much fluid is in my bag and that came back with flying colors. The doctors on call determined it MAY just be a slight bacterial infection, but it also could be me actually leaking fluid slowly. So I’m on antibiotics to rule out the infection. I pray it is just an infection because if it’s a leak that could mean bedrest and/or Penelope making her debut early.

I have the best family and friends and support system! I am in awe that everyone was able and willing to come running when I needed it! THANK YOU to everyone reading this because YOU are part of that support system whether you’re here with me or not. And don’t worry, I will keep you updated on all things Penny!

XOXO meli

Change Your Life in 2018

"If you're bored with life- you don't wake up every morning with a burning desire to do things- you don't have enough goals."     -Zig Ziglar

On Instagram the other week I posted a photo with a caption on how to achieve your goals and I PROMISED I'd write a post about it... welp, HERE IT IS!! 

Now, I'll be the FIRST to admit that I'm not the best at achieving my goals... or even setting them to begin with. I'm definitely not one of those people who naturally has spreadsheets or notebooks of goals, dates, plans, and upcoming goals (*cough* nick *cough*). BUT, 2017 really taught me that I CAN have notebooks (or blogs) of goals and that I really can achieve them! For example: 

Going into 2017 I was going into my last semester at BYU. I was really overweight and just wanted to graduate and lose the weight. Through MANY hours of HARD WORK not only did I graduate, but I also had lost 20 lbs even though I had had surgery on both of my calves! 

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And if I can do that, YOU can do whatever you WANT TO! Hopefully, you have things you want to accomplish! I know I have some goals this year (I'm definitely sharing later) so let's accomplish them together! 

The MOST important thing you can do to meet your goals is to START! Time will pass whether you're working towards a goal or not. Just think, where do you want to be in a year from now? Do you want to be in the same place or even worse? Or do you want to make even a little PROGRESS? 

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So let's talk about the 4 steps I gave on my post and hopefully help YOU achieve your 2018 goals! 

How to Change Your Life in 2018:

1:    Write down EVERYTHING you'd like to accomplish 

It's not enough just to think about what you want to accomplish. You need to write it all down, the FULL idea/goal, and start bringing it into reality!. Writing often develops the idea more and it can also help change it in ways that make it BETTER and more REALISTIC for you to achieve! 

2: Pick 4-5 of those goals that are REALISTIC to achieve within the first 4 months

Especially when working towards something big (like losing a lot of weight) it's SUPER important to break your goals into smaller, more manageable steps! When you accomplish a goal, no matter how small, it is SOO motivating!! So make it easier for yourself and pick 4-5 smaller goals to swallow that lead towards the BIG goal. 

3: Write out a DETAILED plan of how you will achieve those goals & set specific DATES & DEADLINES. 

Isn't it so much easier to have step-by-step directions to the new restaurant you want to go to than just driving around until you happen to find it? Why not make it easier and give YOURSELF step-by-step instructions to achieve your goals? And if what if you want to take it to the next level? The answer is simple: ask someone you TRUST and who will be 10000% honest & upfront with you to HOLD YOU ACCOUNTABLE to the plan you set! 

4: AFTER achieving 1-2 goals, pick 1-2 NEW goals from your list & repeat steps 1-3

If you follow this, you're ALWAYS going to have multiple things to be working on. This one is SUPER important for me because I can't JUST work on one at a time! There are SOO many things I want to accomplish that doing one at a time would just take WAYY too long! AND sometimes I have to wait for something to happen (outside of my control) before I can move forward with that goal so I need something else to work on, OR I get a little bored and need to change it up a bit to keep things a little spicy

In the end, there's only one thing that really matters, DO WHAT WORKS FOR YOU!! If you don't know where to even start, try my method. If it doesn't work for you, figure out WHY it isn't working and change it until it DOES work for you! 

But what do those steps ACTUALLY look like? Take a peak at a few of my goals that I'm kickin off the year with:

  • Lose 26 lbs of FAT by the end of the year (that's 2.17 lbs per month) 
    • To achieve that I will exercise 6 times a week. From January to May I will do a full body lifting workout on Mondays and Thursdays and run Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, & Saturdays. I will exercise at the SAME time EVERY DAY (5am is best for me--sleep cycles) and I will track and adhere to my macros. I will also drink 2.7 liters of water (without caffeine) a day. From May through December I will focus on 3 different 12 week lifting programs while maintaining my cardio fitness. 
  • Read at least ONE book per month that broadens my intellectual, cultural, spiritual, or emotional horizons. 
    • Create and curate a list of books to pull from

So there are 2 of my goals that I'm going to be working on throughout the year! I hope its helpful to see mine and I WANT & NEED ya'll to keep me accountable! Don't be afraid to reach out and ask me what I'm reading or how my running/training is going to check up on me! 

I'd love to hear what you're working on this year! Drop a comment below!

 

XOXO meli 

Cat & Kyle Nordhagen - American Fork, UT

MERRY CHRISTMAS and a HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! 

Meet Cat & Kyle Nordhagen! They are absolutely amazing! I met Kyle my senior year of college at BYU while I was serving at the Executive Director of Marketing for the Marriott School Student Council. Kyle was part of the most amazing group I've been a part of to date! My committee was so awesome that we would have game nights and that's how I met Cat! Annnnddd that's how I found out the Nordhagen's secret: GAME CONNOISSEURS.  

No joke. Nick and I have been introduced to SOOOO many incredible games like Monopoly Deal, Quiplash, Fibbage, and Drawful (to name a few). Now we know where to go to fund the best games! And I'm sure if you asked them, they'd be happy to share their wisdom with you too!!!

Games aside, this session was a DREAM! We went up American Fork Canyon in Utah for the greenery and dramatic scenery but we were blessed with THE FIRST SNOW OF THE YEAR!! It was sooo magical! I had flown out from Dallas the day before and I was ready for the cold! If you've read my last couple of personal updates, you know how much I've been craving sweater + boot weather so when I got here and not only got my beautiful mountains and sweater weather AND I got beautiful, magical, SNOW I was in HEAVEN!! (Also freezing my bahootie off but that's another story) 

I hope your Christmas is amazing and filled with magic, games, fun, and amazing food!! (Of course!) I'd LOVE to hear what your family traditions are, gifts you got, funny stories, etc. in the comments below!!! PLEAAAASSSEEE SHARE WITH ME YOUR LIFE!! I love it. Seriously.

 

XOXO meli

Tengberg Maternity Session - Dallas, TX

Brady and Mary Tengberg are not only the most amazing people, but they're also some of my closest friends... AND they have a dog named Moose. 

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Meet Moose

 

The cutest, sweetest lil guy ever!

Nick and I met Brady and Mary our senior year at BYU while Nick was recruiting for a management consulting firm that Brady had summered and signed a return offer for. They generously took us out to dinner to get to know us because that's what you do when you're recruiting for management consulting! As we were leaving the dinner I turned to Nick and said, "I DEFINITELY could be best friends with Mary!" and that was it! We were friends. 

So when Mary asked me to take her maternity photos I quite literally SQUEALED in delight! She wanted to split her session into two parts: homey lifestyle & colorful outdoor.

I had THE most fun at this session! I realized how important it is to have a good dynamic with the people I'm photographing and working with! If I can't have fun then my clients won't have fun and then those happy, candid photos that I love so much won't ever happen because everyone's grumpy, nervous, or uncomfortable. So I'm learning to focus on my interactions with people and create RELATIONSHIPS. Because that's what really matters at the end of the day! If I could have all of my clients be my good friends, then life will be AMAZING! 

XOXO meli