Moments 01.2022

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January was an amazing month, full of celebrations, milestones and family fun.

“I can’t remember all the times I tried to tell myself to hold on to these moments as they pass.”

Welcome to “Moments” here on JoyFoodSunshine. At the end of every month I share a recap of our family’s favorite moments!  Here’s a snapshot of our life from January 2022!

Life lately

January was an amazing month, full of celebrations, milestones and fun.

Zach turns ONE!

Well it happened. My baby turned one. I try to focus on all the blessings from this past year of loving him instead of the fact that it went by way too fast.

But truth be told, I wish I could relive this year over and over again.

It was a year filled with sleepy snuggles and sweet smiles. Breathing him in, in every way I know how.

A year of last firsts and first lasts. When I unapologetically forsook lesser responsibilities to focus on ultimate ones.

A year where tears of joy and sadness flowed daily. Cherishing all the moments while mourning the fact that when they end, they fade into memories that become harder and harder to recall.

Just Say No.

This year I have reflected a lot on our life and family. And I realized that in my 11 years of motherhood, the one thing I wish I did more of is saying, “No.”

No to all the “good” opportunities that distracted me from ultimate ones.

No to the people who put burdens on me instead of helping me flourish as I learned how to be a mother to each new addition to our family.

No to other people’s expectations of me during these sacred years of raising young children. No, I don’t want to leave them and I shouldn’t need to explain this to anyone.

No to believing that because I do something differently, it’s wrong.

While I’ve gotten better at saying No with each child – and have done so unapologetically and often since Zach was born, I am certain I would’ve enjoyed my older kids more if I felt the freedom to just – say no.

Because saying no to certain things provides the freedom to say Yes to the things that really matter to me.

Yes to sleepy snuggles and long nursing sessions.

Yes to just being with my baby. Studying his face, learning his temperament, figuring out how to love him best.

Yes to being wholly needed and wholly present.

Yes to all the moments that we never get back once they’ve passed. Because it’s these moments that make the most wonderful parts of our lives.

So no matter where you are on your motherhood journey – remember that it’s always ok to say no to the world around you and yes to your baby. Because they really are only your baby for a very little while.


I don’t like to do much outside of my home when I have a baby. I don’t like being out late, I don’t like missing rocking them to sleep. So this time especially since Zach is my last baby, I just gave myself permission to just be with him.

Day and night I was here to make him feel safe and loved. I have spent every night since he was born nursing and rocking him to sleep. Every. Single. One. I haven’t watched a TV show in 365 days. I haven’t been out past 8 pm. I have just – snuggled.

Because snuggled up under a cozy blanket with my sweet baby boy is my favorite place to be. His cheek against my chest, I kiss his forehead and listen to him breathe. And all of a sudden 365 days feels like far too few – and I wish they could go on forever.

Birthday Celebration

We made him this chili recipe for dinner because he absolutely devours it, so we think it’s his favorite food! Then, he had his first taste of cake and his reaction was priceless.

He kept standing up making his sweet scrunchy face and laughing and just being a little ball of joy, as always.


I’m still nursing Z in the morning and at night. I just can’t let go. I was about to drop the AM feeding because he’s a biter (ouch), but then he got sick and I just had to keep going for a little longer. I’ve never nursed a baby this long, because I was always motivated to stop in order to get pregnant with another baby – but since we’re not doing that this time, I will hang on as long as I’m able!

First Haircut

Z’s hair had grown into his eyes, so my friend and stylist gave him a little trim. Somehow he went from looking like a baby to looking like a toddler in a matter or seconds. He wasn’t so sure about it but I just held him on my lap and he did fine.

Z is a smart little dude, and he has learned that he doesn’t have to do much to make the rest of the family give him attention. His current favorite thing is raising his arms so that the entire family says, “SO BIG” and claps for him!

Bethany’s Birthday

I’m not sure how my baby girl is 11 but here we are. She is a sweet, smart young lady who loves to read and bake! She literally told us the other day, “If I couldn’t read I would die.” So yeah, the drama has begun but if we’re going to be dramatic about something – let it be our love of reading.

For her birthday she is very particular about the food. So she chose cinnamon rolls for breakfast, then we went out to lunch at her favorite lunch spot (I took 6 kids out solo and actually had fun, felt pretty great haha). For dinner she wanted pistachio chicken (recipe is coming soon), pita and hummus. Then she chose Oreo pie for dessert!

We started a new tradition this year of going on “birthday dates.” My sister-in-law has done it with her kids for as long as I can remember, and I always wanted to do it but I have always had a baby I couldn’t leave!

Well since Z is one I decided it was time. So, thanks to an amazing friend watching our kids, Ritch and I were able to take Bethany out on a date just the three of us. We went to her favorite restaurant in Deer Valley and had a great time.

K is Potty Trained!

Coming in under the wire just a few weeks before her 3rd birthday – K is potty trained! I put undies in her stocking at Christmas and one day I was changing her diaper and decided enough was enough. So we started the potty training process even though she showed very few signs of actually being ready.

She only had one decent-sized accident and other than that has been great. I never rush the sleep-time training. So we still put her in a diaper/pull up for nap/nighttime but during the day she is totally good to go.

Essential Oils

I have been on a year’s long journey of replacing our household items with non-toxic products. This led me to essential oils! I shot a bunch of videos and photos documenting the process but I haven’t gotten around to actually putting them on the website! So in the meantime you can check out these pages:

I have been greatly helped already by these products, and look forward to sharing them with you!

 If you want to purchase oils please sign up using this link: Young Living Essential Oils and enter my number #31270904.

You can also shop my Young Living Website where I share my favorite products and bundles:

Things I’m Loving

  • Can Opener. I think I’ve shared about this can opener before – but I realized I hadn’t in a while and it really is worth talking about. We went through so many can openers until we found this one. It’s hands down the best. Works like a charm every time and really lasts.
  • Dryer balls. If you want to take a small step towards non-toxic living, replace dryer sheets with dryer balls. You can add a drop of essential oils (lavender for me), on each ball to infuse some non-toxic scent into your laundry too.
  • Embossing label maker. I love this thing!


Here are some recipes we made in January.


I always try to get a photo of all the kids together on birthdays. This is B’s!

Sleigh ride before dinner on Bethany’s birthday date.

We still do swim lessons every week at Aquatics Academy. If you are local and want to get your kids ready for the summer I suggest starting now (my referral code is 1532)!

All the kids got haircuts this month. I finally let Mara get a bob and she loves it so much.

Naomi lost THREE teeth this month!

A Sunday selfie!

Train of cuteness.



Z’s birthday celebration.

More cake pics!

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1 Comment

  1. Enjoy your children as they grow up fast!
    You have beautiful children! Enjoyed reading your story.💞