Sunday, December 1, 2013


i am still so full.
of gratitude.

it's a funny thing. to be a family. of and on our very own.
to sit at the thanksgiving dinner table together... and alone
a feast of turkey and cranberries and stuffing and tradition.
loving each other the most
and missing the rest of those we belong to - the worst.

but even still... this was one of the good ones. 
one of the best ones.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

when he's grown a foot or two...

today started out with it's regular sunday expectations. and for the most part everything went seemingly smooth. sunday-ing has definitely become a team sport in this household. and every sunday that andrey helps me to round up the khaki's and button downs - i thank my lucky stars that our sundays have begun to look like this consistantly.


lucas bore his testimony in sacrament meeting today. 

he tugged on my shirt and said:
i want to go up there.

i told him:
hold on. 

and to make sure that he had something in his heart that he needed to say. 
his little foot started to twitch and he fumbled with his tie for a minute. 
and then he stood and made his way up to the pulpit. 
his hand trembled holding the microphone - his lip quivered a bit. 
he spoke truth and wise old-soul words.
loud and clear with eyes focused on us. 
then proudly found his spot back on our pew.
i could feel his heart chugging.
and his relief.


andrey and i were married in a little chapel downtown. and those first few years of sundays together looked alot like a cuppa-starbucks, crawl back in bed, and football until the sun went down. they were dreamy. and snuggly (not gonna lie) but they were also a bit empty. and more often than not began to feel like just an extra day thrown into the mix of other days that felt the same. 

then came lucas. lucas jude. with his thump-thumping heartbeat that was bigger than anything else that i'd ever known. we'd wished for him for years. and in what would be the last few months of yearning and waiting for some/any sign of him - reminded me about prayer.
...and that it really works
i began to find myself on my knees more and more after that.

which eventually found me feeling extra brave on the back-row-metal-seats.
just me and my squirmy two year old.
those were hard days.
heart-achey days.
what am trying to do ??? days.
but we just kept on suiting up and showing up and soon we'd even add a squirmier gavin west to our sunday bench.

charlie grey was born on the sunday of the primary program nearly three years ago to this day. and lucas had an important part to say in the lineup of little ones. he'd been practicing. a lot. enough so that we knew he'd be so disappointed to miss it. and so as i snuggled my fresh little armful of baby boy only hours old, andrey scurried around the house to get the other boys into their handsome clothes. then he climbed into his slacks and shiny shoes, too.

he's been sunday-ing with me ever since. 

we've hosted several missionaries in our home over the years. for dinner, for lessons... always welcome. the boys adore them. and in a special holding place in my heart i've always felt that there will someday be a missionary meant just for andrey... 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

first day: pre-k

gavin west went to school. 
i've been waiting for the perfect minute to get all my gavi-thoughts out. 
but i've decided to just keep them sweetly tucked inside.

i watched him from the rear-view mirror on the way to class that first day.
in his carseat. backpack on. crooked smile. dimple showing. arms folded.
i've got that image safely tucked away, too.
i love that boy.
i am so glad that he is mine. 


Tuesday, September 3, 2013


lucas is on to week two of back-to-school and was soooo looking forward to getting his library card today. he'd scoped out the star wars section in the school library last week and was anxious to check-out ALL OF THEM. and today gavin and i went to explore his pre-school, meet with his teachers, learn about his new friends and find the hook with his name on it where he'll be hanging his elephant back-pack. 

he's "excited! not nervous!" 
ask me how i feel tomorrow when i send him off for a realsies. 

last monday we had our annual back-to-school sundae bar. it's officially tradition. and officially my favorite. i love that it's simple. that i can dress it up as much as i'd like to - or not. i love that they remember that it's coming and look forward to it just as much as i do. 

we filled our darby smart dino jars with the same ingredients we've used years before. kindness, bravery, obedience, happiness and last but certainly not least... we sprinkled the tops with a whole lotta love. my favorite part of the whole night is letting andrey tell them the things he wishes for them this school year and most importantly how much they matter to us.  it was especially exciting that we were celebrating gavin this time around, too. 

i must tell you that the hour before we sat down at the table together was nuts. they were whiney and grouchy and teasing each other. there were a few time-out's and a "get to your room!" and really - i was about to call the entire evening off. but isn't that how it always goes?!

we pulled it together. 
and i'm so glad. because we had a magical night at our kitchen table. listening to their little/big boy thoughts and worries, while we shared our hearts and sweet treats. there was even a little brotherly advice from lucas jude to go around.

i love these boys.
and can't wait to see what they do with this year.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

first day: second grade.

he was too nervous to eat breakfast. 
and mostly worried that he might get homesick during the day.
so we safety-pinned a picture of our family to a secret spot inside his back-pack and headed out the door. 

this boy is now this boy. 
and those green pants were all his idea. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Friday, July 5, 2013


i made a pie.
a get-out-your-sparklers-it's-independence-day pie.
a strawberry rhubarb pie. 

it was a blue ribbon beauty.
and about as americana as it gets.

i stuck it in the oven.
browned the crust to perfection.
and then we waited a few hours for that pretty little pie to cool.

just as the fireworks show began
we all gathered around the kitchen table
and enjoyed a delicious slice of strawberry rhubarb...soup.
a la mode.

Monday, June 24, 2013

insert here: every patty griffin lyric ever written

i think i forgot how to write here. 
that or i'm afraid that once i start to type... i won't be able to stop.
that it will just pour out of my heart and guts.

that would bring so much relief.
but it would also tell the truth.
that day - that rain.
it was so heavy.
it pounded, pounded, pounded down.
and i stood on our porch and i watched those boys.
fearless and happy. really truly happy.
and i cried big hot and heavy tears.
and my heart thundered and pounded and swelled and ached.
and i never ever ever want to forget it.  

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


there's nothing quite like...
a fresh new month
and the promise of spring 
to cure a bad case of the blues.

dear may, 
please be good to us. 
love, lindsay

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

all i need.

all the art of living
lies in a fine mingling
of letting go
holding on...

-henry ellis 

Friday, April 19, 2013


while in my early twenties and going through a very dark and confusing time
i found myself living back at my parents home after trying a go at life on my own.
a boomerang child. that's me.
i like to say it more like i tried to leave my mother's nest a little too early.
and some might tell you that i never really left the nest again after that.
even though now i live hundreds of miles away.

i remember a particularly difficult day.
i'd been arguing with my dad.
and somehow in the heavy anger and behind a few slammed doors and loud words,
found myself out in my car.
my sister, natalie ran after me.
down the front steps and under the cherry tree we'd climbed as littles and sat herself right down in the passenger seat next me.
she wouldn't leave me.
i remember that i had to coax her back into the house so that i could drive away...

there are five years between me and the day she was born.
my first sister.
and no one was happier on the day she was born than i was.
she was my baby.

she is the prettiest one.
with the longest legs. and beautiful hands.
with her always tan skin and swooping lashes.
she is fearless and adventurous and so many things that i wish that i was.
she is brave.
and stronger than you'd think.

and while her story isn't mine to tell... i need her to know that i love her.

today i am holding the space for you.
i am praying.
my heart is heavy and i am breathing deep.
i want to go to you.
to hold you.
and plop right down next to you and never leave.

i want you to help me with a garden.
i want a mix cd of good songs from you.
i want you to make me something yummy.
i want to take our babies to the park.
i want more days with you. more good days.
i want to be able to tell you i'm scared.
that i am worried.
that i need you.

photography by alisha stamper 
lyric by the grateful dead

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

... and i will hold on with all of my might
just promise me we'll be alright...

mumford and sons  |  ghosts that we knew

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

the list.

i keep a good running list of things i'm wishing for.
yoooooou know - for special occasions. 
these are the ones that have made the official birthday wish list.
someone please tell my husband. wink!
did i miss anything?

one | two | three | four | five | six | seven | eight

Monday, February 18, 2013


i know that valentines day is soooo yesterday and that easter goodies are already stocked on the shelves but i'm still feeling all lovey. it's one of my favorites. maybe even THE favorite holiday of mine. and i'm not quite ready to pack it up just yet.

some classics:
-the year my first real highschool boyfriend met me at lunch hour with a long stem yellow rose (red roses were for conformists) and a mixed tape. it may or may not have included a selena song.

-the year my entire group of friends walked to mcdonalds for candlelit big mac's and some fancy date night bowling at the alley next door.

-the year my dad came home from work with with a handful of roses - one for each of his four daughters. along with a book he'd selected just for me and filled the front cover with fatherly advice and love.

-the year my boyfriend (a different one) rode a greyhound bus from college to deliver me flowers three states away. so irresponsible...

-the year andrey and i agreed to only exchange love notes. and ended up having our first real fight over egg drop soup and gross chinese food. the argument was about the food we'd be serving (or not serving) at our wedding. i left him in the pleather booth by himself. he met me out in the car with his love note... and we still got married a month later.

-the year i was very pregnant with our first baby and my love brought me home a box of handpicked chocolates (heavy on the salted caramels) a heart shaped pizza and the movie elizabethtown.  

-the year i took a pregnancy test and cried over my molten chocolate lava cake about the addition of a third babe so soon after the second.

-and this year. the year we sat on the living room floor and said something we loved about eachother. my four handsome valentines, all of whom are very aware that this is very much a girly holiday... showered me with kisses and sweet nothings.

Friday, February 8, 2013

four! finally.

for months we had been asking gavin if he was four yet to which he'd answer, 
nooooooo! i'm still threeee!
his uncle jeff had been asking for weeks if he could sing him happy birthday - to which gavin would put his hands up to his ears and give a stern glare (much like this one...) even talks of parties and cakes and presents were still followed by crocodile tears and cries of "i don't want to grow bigger!" i was almost certain that we shouldn't even plan a party for a day he didn't seem to be looking forward to. 

a few days before the dreaded birthday he started to come around. he decided on a store bought diego cake, made a simple gavin wish list and picked a few of his best friends to go on a little adventure with us. turning four was a go after all!

lucas and i stayed up late the night before to decorate the house while he slept. we were soooo excited! and to everyone's surprise gavin woke up on tuesday morning the happiest four year old ever.  while still rubbing his sleepy eyes he squealed, is it today? am i four... today?! followed by a long sigh and a whispered  finally
apparently he just didn't want to turn four until he really had to. 

my gavin is full of true character and i love him to bits.

get ready for a gazillion pictures of gavi-turns-four because it was quite possibly my happiest of mothering days. 

thanks to my dad we had a connection at a local airport for private planes and jets. gavin invited only his three closest friends - which in the end made all the difference. they were comfortable with each other and truly best friends. we were all able to happily interact without me feeling craaaaazy. lucas was still at school and charlie was at his cousins so it was really a day just for gavin. we loaded up into my mini-van and headed out on our adventure.

 (that is cody's monster face  he had me take a couple of re-takes to get it just right.)
we were given a top secret tour of the place. we saw all kinds of planes! we saw planes on the runway. planes starting their engines. planes taking off! we saw planes in the shop. and plane parts and pieces. airplane mechanics and airplane pilots.  they each took a turn in the cockpit and opening the GIANT hanger door. we were in little boy heaven. and the boys were so good! and asked the best questions! 
it was magic.
we headed back home a mini-van full of the happiest little boys. i overheard cody tell oliver, good thing we didn't fly away on a real adventure. my mom would've missed me. 

back at the house we partied. we sang haaaaaappy birthday to yoooooooou! and celebrated with perfectly frosted cupcakes and balloons. his friends gave him the best gifts. things they knew that gavin would really love. and i felt so grateful for this circle of sweet boys. crossing my fingers that they stay bff's forever. 

my baby is four. and four is best. i think i'll keep him this way. no more growing bigger, ok gavi?

Monday, February 4, 2013


i taught the lesson in our relief society class this past sunday afternoon. the topic was my choice and finally on saturday afternoon (of course) after months of pondering and praying... came to this:
weak things become strong through him. 

i have been learning to teach from the spirit and less + less from the manual and prepared outlines. the magic that happened during that one hour with my sisters was amazing.
we discussed.
we taught each other.
and we ran out of time.

"...if we are truly humble, meek, and reachable in the face of our weakness and we don't just give up... because we don't know how to do it or it isn't a reasonable priority today.  we don't stop trying to improve just because last year's new year's resolutions didn't make it to february. we keep working on our endless list: the less-than-stellar sunday school lessons, our impatience with our children, our lackluster prayers, our fifteen extra pounds, our irritability with coworkers, our messy garage, and all our other human weaknesses.  and as we do so we are open to learning, willing to prioritize and to be as prayerful, patient, and honest with ourselves and others as we know how to be.
...and when we are not, we try again, confident in God's love and grace..."
- from Weakness is Not Sin by Wendy Ulrich

we talked about our own weaknesses. and then we talked about how we overcome them. how they bring us closer to the lord. how sometimes we just need to shift our focus a little bit and how sometimes we even find strength in them...

PS: download your own 5x7 prints here. one for you and one for your neighbor.
oh, and read that book. it's good

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

making up.

g-g-g-gavin got invited to his first real birthday party! the invitation was dropped off at the door with his name on it. not luc's. not the stoyan boys. just capital G-A-V-I-N. gavin.

he was beyond thrilled. he carried it around all day. folded it up and stuck it in his pocket. and pulled it out for days. and days.

party day came. party day went. i forgot. and then felt horrible. 

so to make up for it - we invited his newly four-year-old friend over today. and met him at the door with balloons and cupcakes. nothing a little funfetti from a box, chocolate frosting straight from the jar and some a cappella haaaaappy birthdaaaay, dear everyone (just to be fair) can't fix. am i right??!

four year olds are funny. four year olds are best, really. 
and my silly little gavin will be four in two weeks! really. really?!
i can't wait to celebrate him. he's requested a giraffe party.
what in the world does that mean? 

ps: that squirrel shirt up there - anyone else see the resemblance? they're practically twins.