Category Archives: heather

nyc engagements: behind the scenes



Mom working as Brad’s stand in.


I swear one of those frozen yogurts was Hailey’s










Lunch break!

Lunch break!


Work it, babes!




Yes it is, especially with the DEVINES.

Yes it is, especially with the DEVINES.




Take note of my brother’s equipment…this isn’t all of it either.


As promised, here are some behind the scenes photos and stories. This is the condensed version, although it appears that I have written a novel about all the fun we had!  Our trip began with Brad not being able to get on the standby flight. Oh man! So sadly, he was left behind while Hailey, my mom, and I boarded the red-eye. The term “red-eye” is a very appropriate name for that flight because, oh my goodness, we didn’t sleep a wink! And trust me, my eyes were pretty bloodshot. Our cab driver from the airport was quite possibly the WORST in town, violently jerking the cab as he alternated from gas to brake, gas to brake, gas to brake. Whew! Was is hot in that taxi or was it just me? Oh my, it was warm in there, and then yes, you guessed it. I fully puked out the back window, stretching myself over Hailey’s lap. She quickly traded me places, rubbed my back as waves of sickness passed, and she reassuringly repeated, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry…” So funny!  What a cute little sister I have.

That first day was meant for exploring, to figure out where we would shoot the actual engagement photos the following day (aaaand we hoped Brad would arrive by then!).  We covered everywhere from China Town to Central Park, and had the blistered feet to prove it! Mom stepped in as Brad’s stunt double, if you will.  She was a bit short for the part, but we were able to make some excellent plans regardless.  Ha! Let me just tell you, my mom is the most fun person to travel with, it’s a laugh a minute. Hailey had plans to shoot bridal photos and video as well, so we needed to find a bouquet, and quick!  Thank you Trader Joe’s for having such lovely flowers. That night we splurged on dinner in Little Italy while we waited for Brad’s arrival (the restaurant pressed its own amazing olive oil!).

Brad finally texted Hailey around 11 o’clock to tell her his flight had landed. We had just finished creating Hailey’s special Trader Joe’s bouquet.  A bit later, we spotted Brad from our hotel window trying to get out of the cab, but it looked as if an argument with the driver was in progress…Mom panicked and called the front desk to ask them to go investigate. Turned out Brad and the driver were having a friendly, but very lively, discussion about religion!

Brad pulled out the mini-ironing board the next morning, and found the cord for the iron was about two feet long. Keep in mind that Brad is well over six feet tall, so it was funny to see him hunched over, trying to press his shirt. To his dismay, he later discovered that the cord was actually retractable and much longer than two feet.

We basically shot from sunrise to sunset on day two, taking a couple of breaks to eat along the way. The sandwiches at EATALY were so good that we ate there for lunch three days in a row! After the sun had set, we were spent, so a fun dinner at SERENDIPITY was a must. We laughed when a woman at a neighboring table purposely photo bombed Hailey’s Polaroid shot. “Oh no!  It’s a Polaroid! I assumed it was digital so it wouldn’t matter!” she apologized over and over again.

Day three started before sunrise, and we kindly kicked Brad out so he wouldn’t see Hailey in her dress until the actual shoot.  I did the best twist I possibly could in her hair, tucking in a few flowers, and off we hurried to the subway station.  Freezing cold morning!  Poor Hailey’s little legs were bare.  My brother Trevor would be landing in NYC soon for a layover before going to Bolivia to see his wife.  The plan was for him to shoot Hailey and Brad’s bridal video during his layover, and then catch a cab with us back to the airport.  His flight arrived late, so there was a real time crunch.

While Trevor, Hailey, and Brad finished up the last of the video, Mom and I hauled Trevor’s suitcases, backpack, camera cases and other equipment back to our hotel. We still needed to pack our suitcases, Hailey and Brad’s suitcases, and be ready for the cab to the airport. Let it be known that getting from the Brooklyn Bridge to China Town is no easy task when you are in a rush and loaded with camera gear.

At one point Mom dropped a tall, skinny camera case inside the subway–BANG!  Everyone around us jumped and were sure to notice the red “FRAGILE” sticker on top.  We laughed as we waited for another train because I thought Mom looked like she could be a street performer, toting an oversized clarinet in that case.  Unfortunately, Trevor’s giant suitcase wouldn’t fit between the escalator rails, so we had to heave it all the way up the stairs. When we reached the top, Mom dropped the long camera case again and this time it burst open!  Bubble wrap floated all around us as the bustling crowd tried not to trip over us.  Squatting to pick up the bubble wrap and lock the case, Mom practically did a backward somersault because Trevor’s backpack was so heavy on her back!  So there she was, laying on the floor, struggling to stand back up and all I could do was look away because I was laughing too hard.  Tears!  People staring!  Never laughed so hard in my life.  We literally had to run after that scene, huffing and puffing through Little Italy and China Town where Mom nearly took out a few unsuspecting Asians with a long metal glide cam.  It truly was miraculous that the four of us made our flights on time that afternoon, and that nobody was injured in the process!

Serendipity Frozen Hot Chocolate

Polaroid photo bomb at Serendipity.

time machine


A friend of mine up the street asked me to build a “time machine” for the children’s class at church. The kids will be able to take turns pushing buttons and flipping switches until a visitor from the past magically comes through the time machine. Expected visitors include Adam and Eve, Lehi and Sariah from the Book of Mormon, and Joseph Smith. The visitors will then take a few minutes to share experience from their lives and answer questions. Great idea, don’t you think?

You can imagine the look on my next door neighbor’s face when saw me out back in the cold November dusk, spray painting a larger-than-life box as a storm was rolling in! “What are you doing?” she called out. “I’m building a time machine!” Of course!

birthday date

Clayton took me out tonight for my birthday. I mean, the Pinewood Derby the other night was nice and all, but…
I’d been wanting to go back to the Carl Bloch exhibit at BYU. I went there with my friend Emily in January, but I had all 5 kids with me, so we just kind of blew through it. Tonight we rented the iPad tour and spent some time enjoying all the uplifting and beautiful art of Carl Bloch. If you haven’t had a chance to go, you need to go! It runs through May 7th. These paintings are from different churches all over Sweden and Denmark, and this is the first time they’ve been seen outside of their homes, and all together in one place. It is well worth going. Make your free online reservations before you go.

I had heard this place was really good, so that’s where we had dinner. I love trying new places. Clayton, not so much, but he was a good sport since it was my birthday we were celebrating! The atmosphere was casual and fun, but after we were seated and started looking at the menu, we were like, “Hmm, I feel like an idiot…I don’t know what half of this stuff is…should we sneak out the door and go somewhere else?” But then our waiter arrived, and we all smiled at each other like we were so excited. I guess we’re staying…
You could tell this guy gets a lot of gourmet-challenged customers. He was a pro as he educated us and dumbed down the menu. We had some awesome gnocchi for an appetizer, and then some crazy salad with grapefruit, avocados, and roasted beets that Clayton passed on {fine, more for me!}. The pizza was fired in a big brick oven and was amazing. We both loved it. Our waiter brought a tiny plate with little dried sprigs of oregano and red chiles for crushing onto our pizza. I thought it was fun to go somewhere other than a huge chain restaurant {even though I like those too}. It was kind of an adventure.
The thing about eating out that gets me {no matter how inexpensive or good it is} is when they bring the bill and I feel so ripped off. I think, “Do you know how many groceries I could have bought with that?” Then I get a pit in my stomach. So dumb, I know.
In the end, my favorite part of dinner was the entertainment:


It’s true.
I’m in my mid-thirties as of today.
{How did that happen?}
Sunday night my mom did a birthday dinner, and after eating we looked through old photo albums. Back in those days my dad had a Justin Bieber hairdo, and my mom had her long wavy hair parted right down the middle. What a cute little couple! I need to scan in a bunch of those photos one of these days, they are priceless. We were laughing at my quilt patterned wallpaper, my Kermit the Frog doll {which is now in my kids’ toy basket}, and my fat squishy face. And Jodi, if you’re reading, there were some GREAT ones of you! There was even a photo of my childhood bedroom, all pink and baby blue. Hannah thought that was so funny, and I loved being able to show my kids all these pictures.
This photo in particular caught my attention…now I know why Olivia is such a handful. It’s payback time.
p.s. Look! There by my feet! It’s the Mary Poppins book I was telling you about a couple weeks ago. This was taken at my grandparents’ house. They were babysitting me the day my sister Cami was born. I was four days short of being two years old.

p.p.s. Guess what I’m doing for my birthday tonight? Pinewood Derby, baby!! Aren’t you jealous? Yeah…pretty lame. Clay and I will hopefully go out another night to celebrate my oldness.

hospital pics

I hate needles! Aren’t you proud of me?

Holding Will for the first time.
I always cry the first time I hear the baby cry, it is so amazing.

Ben is so happy to have a brother…
the look on his face when he came into the delivery room was priceless.

One day old.

Poor little baby! He had a fever and then dropped to 96.5,
so the pediatrician had him on antibiotics through an IV in his tiny hand. So sad!

Cutest dad ever.

Ben was first in line to hold him when they came to visit the next day.

Hannah was so sweet, just kept standing by my bed,
all quiet {totally unlike her}, and smiling at me.

One happy big sister, and officially our middle child.

Olivia wasn’t sure how to react…she’d be laughing and wildly happy one second,
and then pitching a fit the next, completely bipolar! She’s doing a lot better now though.

I’ve been wanting to write all week, but you know…I just had a baby! Up at 1 am, 4 am, then Nina comes in at 6 am {“I’m scared!”}, baby up at 7 am again, then I’m up at 7:30 to get the kids out the door for school. My bedroom is strewn with burp cloths, the bed unmade, tiny diapers spilling out of the garbage can. I love it though. He won’t be a newborn for very long, and despite all the chaos, I’m enjoying it more than ever.
The delivery went great, just took awhile longer than I thought it would since my doctor had to go do an emergency c-section at another hospital. So the nurse slowed down my Pitocin and I had to wait my turn. Then the baby was slower to make his appearance than all my girls…the girls all came in about an hour and a half, and this little guy took about 3 1/2 hours. Can’t complain though! It was still pretty fast.
After he was born, Clayton was ready to take him out into the hallway for my family to see him {Clay’s family were all down at Lake Powell}. “What should I tell them his name is?” Hmmm…yeah, we still hadn’t come to an agreement on that.
“I still like the name James,” I said.
“I still like the name Will,” he said. “James reminds me of an old man. And I don’t want people calling him Jimmy.”
{Yeah, yeah. We’ve had this conversation how many times now?}

“Should we flip a coin?” Clayton asked. Nice! We almost did.
But then after I thought about it for a minute or two, I said, “Okay, well, I did name all the girls and you were always great with what I picked, so….okay, you just go ahead and name him.” After all, “Will” was on my list of boy names too. Just not my top pick.
“Okay, are you sure? You can’t go back on it, you know?” he said.
“It’ll grow on me,” I said.
Clayton was very happy about that. And that’s the story of how William got his name.
{I picked the middle name of Clayton though.}

Since he was born I’ve found out that I have several ancestors from England and Ireland named William, one of which shook hands with the Prophet Joseph Smith. So now I like the name even more.
Can I tell you how much I hate being in the hospital? I know some people love it, but I feel like I’m in prison. And the food…ugh! I wanted to check out of there the day after he was born, especially since we have no insurance and we are paying for it. But since he and I had both had fevers for a short time the doctors wouldn’t sign the discharge papers. My doctor had left on vacation that day so I couldn’t even talk to him, just the on call doctor that I don’t even know. Long story, but we ended up staying another night even though we were both fine that entire 24 hours. Cha-ching! There went another $1000. Do you know that we could stay somewhere pretty darn nice for $1000 a night? That actually would have decent beds and yummy food? I felt so trapped, and Clay had to stay home with the kids that night, so I was all alone. I felt like I would go crazy! So I decided to walk the halls for a bit.
As I was walking the halls, pushing baby Will in his little bassinet, a big old mean nurse pointed down toward the end of the hallway where I was headed. “Don’t go through those double doors down there or your baby’s ankle tag will set off the alarm.” I saw the doors she was pointing to, way down the hall. They were closed.
“Okay, I wasn’t planning on going through the doors, I’m just walking to them and back.” I said.
She put her hands on her hips and glared at me as I walked away from her. Suddenly, “WOO-WOO-WOO!” Horns and whistles shooting off, nurses scurrying around, and mostly glaring at me. I had set off the child abduction alarm by going through the OTHER double doors that were OPEN about 10 feet in front of the nurse’s desk. Thanks a lot, lady! Why didn’t you specify that is was THESE doors, and not THOSE doors down at the end?
Meanwhile, Clayton and the kids were downstairs, coming to see the baby. Apparently, the elevators and all the hospital doors shut down thanks to me. And I just wanted to go for a little walk. So that just added to my frustration that day. It’s pretty funny now, though, isn’t it?
There was one nice nurse who passed by me and said, “Don’t worry, that happens ALL THE TIME.”
So after Clay and the kids came to see the baby and had left, I decided to get the heck out of there for a while, and went by myself to walk outside and see the sunset. It was beautiful and warm outside. I didn’t want to go back into the hospital with all those rude nurses! I can’t even tell you how happy I was to finally come home with my new little baby Will on Wednesday!