nothing like the first

Yesterday Evaleigh took an usually early nap.  By 4pm when her brother was on his 3rd nap she requested another one too.  So up to her room we went with choclate milk in hand and her favorite toy for the day, one of my old cabbage patch dolls.  She asked me to sit in the chair while she laid down and I held her hand through the bed railings.  After a while she looked back up at me with a huge smile on her face and I knew nap number two was not going to happen.

So I just climbed straight in to that toddler bed with her.  She was so excited to have me in there she scooted right over to share her blanket and pillow.  She started talking a mile a minute.  I love to hear the things that come out of her mouth.  "How is your day going?"  "Will you help me put my baby bunny to sleep?" "Do you see my hands?"  And then feeding me imaginary apples.  

We lay there in that tiny space all crammed up together, our bodies intertwined, chatting, giggling, and wiggling. For a moment I could remember what it felt like to have her little growing body inside of mine.  Her movements now even feel familiar to how they were then.  

About a week ago she and I were taking a shower together upstairs.  My mind raced back to when I was pregant with her.  I was still pretty early on, maybe 16 weeks or so.  I was standing in that same shower proudly letting the water run over my very small pregnant belly and it was the first time I remember feeling a distinct connection with her.  Then in that present moment to have her little two and a half year old body at my feet was such an interesting measure of time.  It was like I blinked and there we were.  

Lately I've read stories or come across women who have lost children.   I can't fathom the pain of it.  As I was curled up in the bed with Evaleigh yesterday I reveled in the bumps and knocks and hits my body would take.  To loose a child, I imagine my body would feel like it does after you've been in the ocean all day, when you go to bed at night your body still holds the memory of those ocean waves rolling over you.  I would crave those hits and jabs and hugs and tuggings and pullings.  My body has grown accustomed to their's.  I know my body would remember it.

Yesterday I was reminded that there is nothing like your first child.  I loved laying there with just her.  But there is also nothing like a second child.  And someday there will be nothing like a third or any that come after.


having babies together

(They lined themselves up like this on their own...in birth order.)

Having babies with my sister is the best.  She and I have always been close but bringing our babies in to the world together has taken sisterhood to a whole new level.  Evaleigh and Parker are 3 months a part and Avett and Kate are 3 weeks and 3 days a part to the minute.  
3:23pm: how did we do that? 
I love being able to talk to her about teething and attitudes and sleep schedules.  Going through this stage of life while she is doing it too is pretty special.

At this point we think it would be weird to be pregnant without each other, so babies # 3 will probably take some strategic planning.  

We're so grateful that our husbands are close.  Sometimes she and I worry they are a little too close, perhaps they'll run off to Mexico together someday.  

It's a really cool thing when your family turns out to be your best friends.


happy fathers day

Happy Father's Day darling. Thank you for being a really fantastic dad to our babies.  You make doing this parent thing a lot of fun.  You make the hard moments fun moments.  You have a way of melting the stress in the room and getting us all to smile again.  Thank you for having patience when mine is wearing thin.  Thank you for changing diapers, cleaning messes, and swooping in at the end of the night and being the closer when I don't have much left to give.  

I love watching you let the kids climb all over you and you throwing them up in the air.  You get smiles and giggles that I never could.  I love seeing how much the children love you and how excited they are when you come home for the day.  Thank you for always doing naptime with Evie when you are home.  She always says your name when I have to do it by my self, she loves you so much.  Thank you for working so hard for us and going to school, I know your schedule is crazy and you've never complain once.  I love hearing you sing her to sleep over the monitor and you are so sweet to sing, "just one more song" when she asks...and she always asks.  I love hearing you make up improv songs about princess castles and birdie feather.  I love that walking in on you and Evie at bedtime laying in the floor looking up at 'the magic'. Thank you for always taking the time to realize there is a special moment happening and calling me over to experience it with you.

You're just the best and we are so lucky you belong to us.  Happy Fathers Day.

Here are some of my favorite moments of you as a father so far!


where I'm spending the whole summer

About a month and a half ago I won a giveaway from Madera Co Wood Designs.  My dear friend Belen's fantastic South African boyfriend has a unique new business.  He makes gorgeous furniture out of wooden palettes.  His pieces are custom stained how ever you'd like to perfection.

While trying to choose what we would like I came across a picture of a wood palette swing and sent it to him to see what he thought about it.  Within a matter of minutes he was writing back with excitement and loved the idea of that project.  He drew up a sketch of how he would improve upon that design and was so eager to get it done and make it beautiful.  I was so impressed with his excitement and dedication to his work.  In 10 days from start to finish I had a beautiful new work of art to use in my yard.

The original idea was just a palette swing but he came up with the idea of doubling it as use for a hanging table.  He stained a dark 'm' on the top in a typewriter font.   I just fell in love with it when I saw it and I couldn't wait to get it up. 

Evaleigh loved it too.  She was swinging standing up, sitting down, on her back, on her belly, and all sorts of ways.  She laid down for a rest on it and said, "Mama, I love my new swing."

I can't wait to use this new piece all summer and well in to fall! 

Go 'like' him on his Facebook Page to keep up with his work and for future news, giveaways, and posts!

You can contact him for custom pieces at: Africanidea@gmail.com


bucket list

Last Thursday while at the Songs of Water concert I was so moved by the music that I started thinking about what I wanted to do with my life.  There are two things I am certain I want to do and that is to stay close to The Lord and close to my family no matter what.  Other than that these are a few things that I'd love to spend the time in my life doing.  Bucket lists are a pretty personal thing but here is mine for the sake of posterity maybe finding it one day or an older version of myself looking back to see what I actually ended up doing.

Take a calligraphy class
Learn to play cello
Learn how to make a really delicious cheese from scratch
Take a floral design class
Start a Childrenhelp Georgia chapter
Become respit certified for foster kids
Compete in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions before I'm too old, just to hear what they have to say.
Travel to Greece
Travel to Israel
Travel to Italy 
Go to all of the LDS temples in the world.  28 down only 114 to go if they quit building them ;)
Spend two weeks in Nauvoo one summer as a family cast in the pageant
Write and record a gospel album with my husband
Go to every John Mayer, James Taylor, and Avett Brothers concert I can.
Read everything I can about the gospel of Jesus Christ
Learn to speak German Spanish Hebrew and Italian
Travel to the Sacred Grove
Perform opera and broadway again after all of the kids get in to school
Start a music school
Start a summer music camp for kids
Lactation consultant
Work with children in other countries
Start/fund an orphan home in another country
Go back to school for a masters degree in voice or vocal ped
Adopt a child/children
Serve a mission with John when we are old and gray

After showing John this list he said, "Well that's doable."  Glad I'll get to check a few of these off my list with him by my side.


the mark

Before I met John I was in the process of trying to put my mission papers in, for the second time (that's a story for another day).  I was also contemplating a masters program or trying to do some vocal studies overseas and pursuing an operatic career.  I had spent years and years of study in classical singing.  I had performed in countless operas and opera scenes, concerts, and recitals.  I performed in Atlanta, Boston, LA and Miami.  I even had the chance to sing on NPR when I was younger.  In my heart i'd like to think I was headed for something great.  I loved to sing, I was good at it, and it did something for my soul that nothing else could.

Getting married and starting a family was the last thing on my mind, I simply wasn't interested in it at that point in time.  I knew it would eventually happen for me but I wanted to go out in to the world and make my mark somehow.  

Then John Murphy came along and blindsided me and showed me all of the things I never knew I wanted and needed.  We got married, had a lot of fun, and a year later we found out we were pregnant with Evaleigh.  A year after she was born Avett was on his way.  

I've never once looked back at this life I was given. This life full of failed naptimes, temper tantrums, unexplainable diaper situations, crying, irrational requests, unwillingness to share, hurt feelings and eternal messes. It's also a life full of watching little people discover something for the first time and feeling pride for them in that moment.  A life of reaching out to hold Johns hand in the car when both of our babies are finally asleep on a journey home, and in that moment when I see him smiling back at me there is a sense of it all being right in our world.  A life of being beaten up and crawled all over just the moment I've laid down on the floor for a moments rest only to burst in to laughter because Evie is giving me raspberries on my belly and Avett is pulling incessantly at my hair.  

The three people who have made me a wife and mother have filled all of the inches I have inside of my heart right now. 

Just last Thursday I started jotting down my very first bucket list.   There are a lot of moments in my life where I get overwhelmed with all of the different things that I want to do and be.  But I've figured that the best thing I can do with my life now is raise up good and kind hearted people while loving my husband through it all.

That's sure to leave the mark I so craved before.  


lemon pizza

It's been two weeks since I had the best pizza of my life.  Last night I was craving Pizzeria Limone really bad so I decided instead of trying to figure out a way to get back 2,400 miles away to Utah, I would just have to do something at home as similar as I could.  

Lemon Pizza:


2 1/4 teaspoon yeast
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 and 1/2 cup warm water

combine in a bowl and let proof for 10 minutes

using dough hook then add

1/2 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup flax seed
2 and 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon salt

Let it rise in oiled bowl covered for an hour

Punch down, roll out on to corn mealed pizza stone, then add toppings.

For the Toppings:

Drizzle coconut oil on top of rolled out crust
add garlic salt
thinly sliced lemons
thinly sliced ham
and shredded pepperjack cheese
Top with a light dusting of garlic salt

bake at 450 for 18 minutes

It wasn't an exact replica that's for sure, but it was a delicious close second!
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