Monday, January 18, 2016

2015 Photo Review!

Before I went through my photos from 2015 I thought it was a really boring year. However, it turns out it was a really fun year! We traveled a lot, and had lots of people visit us! 2 of my favorite things in the world!

The sun was in my eyes.

We desperately needed a second car, so in January we bought a commuter car. Lance really wanted a convertible. Not the best choice because it's hanging on for dear life right now.

In February I got a burst of motivation and started planning a big birthday party for Lily. We took tons and tons of pictures for her invitations. Her birthday is in March, and the party ended up being really fun! Even if we only had 2 kids show up.

Side note: The hardest part about living far from family is knowing your child doesn't have very many people to play with.

We took a trip up up to Jacksonville in March.

Lily and I loved going to see the baby ducks after they hatched in April.

I went to Vegas and Utah in May, while I had a sinus infection, bronchitis, and strep throat. Worst flight of my life, by the way. The flight was 6 hours after starting antibiotics and my ears were hurting so bad I was crying. Later I found out that I could have burst an ear drum and next time I should not fly while sick with sinus issues....

Lily started dance classes in June.

July was a really busy month.  Emilee came to stay with us. Lance and I celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary (and my makeup was on fleek!). We went to Cocoa Beach to try to watch a rocket launch. And I went to Utah (again) for a work meeting.

In August we went to Tampa We also got flooded and had our first hurricane warning where they gave out free sandbags to everyone.  I became a Jamberry consultant. And we took Emilee to some Disney parks!

Emilee left, and Betty came to visit us in September, and we spent 1 day at Epcot, and 2 days at Animal Kingdom.

The only activity of note for October is of our ward's Trunk Or Treat.  I do believe we were recovering from pretending to be normal people while my sister and my friend were here. ;-)

In November we went to visit my brother Jared (who lives in Maryland), and also visited DC, and Philly. Then a week later, they came to visit us for Thanksgiving!

In December I went to Utah again for a company Christmas party (no photos of that). And all of us went to Vegas for Emilee's wedding. Lily and I flew separately from Lance, but that is a story for when I post about Vegas (Coming soon!). :)

Happy new year!

Monday, January 4, 2016


I don't know how all parents feel about their children.  Judging by how I feel about Lily, I can imagine. But I have no idea how that grows or changes as you add more (although, I wish I did!).

Lily is my best friend.  She makes me a better person. She teaches me to have fun and laugh. She tests my patience and my communication skills. She makes me smile. She makes me cry. She's constantly doing things which cause me to glow with pride.

I feel sad when she makes wrong choices, especially when they are made because of a mistake I made, either in explaining something to her or being a bad example to her. I feel sad when I lose my patience with her and yell.  And usually within a minute I'm next to her cute little self, giving her a hug and telling her I'm sorry. Then we talk about why mommy got upset, and how we'll both try harder next time.

Selfie by Lily
She's three. But I feel like she's known me for a lot longer than three years.

I cry when she says, "Mommy, I love you."

I get sad and scared when I think about things I've been through in life, and decisions I made because I want her to be better and do better than I did. I worry about the friends she'll make and boyfriends she might have some day.  I want her to stay home and be my friend forever. But I also want her to learn and grow on her own. I just hope that she'll always be willing to share with me what she's going through.

We live in a world where if someone is happy, people want to make them sad. If someone is wealthy, people want to see them struggle. If someone is beautiful or liked by many people, others find a flaw or notice what's not so pretty about said person. If someone has something nice, people want to see it get ruined.  It's rare to find someone who is truly happy for your success, unless they themselves are also successful. And if they are successful themselves, they need to make sure they are MORE successful than other people.

Honestly, I think all the above is due to people's insecurities in themselves. I'm better learning how to listen for that, and not take things personally.  Like when someone brags about something, all I really hear is, "I feel insecure, so I'm telling you something that I hope will make you jealous."  I wonder if it surprises them when I respond with genuine enthusiasm.

Life isn't a competition.

Photo by Adree Keele

I'm off on a tangent, but the point I was getting at is that Lily is a beautiful, happy, fun-loving, caring person. I can see her having a lot of friends, but I can also see other people intentionally trying to hurt her.  And what will I do when that happens?  Hopefully before that day I can teach her enough about Jesus Christ and His love for ALL people so that she too won't take it personally. She'll realize their issue with her really has nothing to do with her at all, and she will still show love to those who treat her poorly.

I wish I had realized years ago that when someone treats you poorly, it really has very little to do with you - no matter how much the other person seems to think you are the problem. Happy people don't go around making other people miserable.

I pray Lily will never have fake friends nor will she ever be a fake friend. Both things I was guilty of.

And now that I've poured out my heart, here are some cute things Lily says and does.

The Washing Thing
Lily loves to help me around the house. This year I'm going to do better about getting her involved in housework because why in the world am I not when she enjoys it?!  Today we were doing laundry and she helped me sort it, and she also helped me carry clothes from the living room to the washing machine.  "I want to put it in the washing thing!" she says, or "*gasp* The washing thing!" when it makes loud noises or shakes due to being off-balance. She means washing "machine," but I love her mispronunciation so I don't correct her.

I Can't Like It
I'm usually really annoyed by any and all picky eaters. I find sticking your tongue out, or making any sort of "blegh" noise incredibly immature and rude. I honestly get angry and wonder if your mother taught you any manners at all. I know it shouldn't bother me so much, but it does. It's not so much that you dislike certain foods. We all do! It's how you communicate that, that makes a difference. And yes, I know some adults who still stick their tongue out, or mimic "gagging" when someone brings up a food that they don't like.  I'm getting angry just discussing this... Yikes!

Anyway... Lily is three and has recently become a bit more selective in what she will and will not eat.  When she doesn't like the way something tastes (which is AFTER she has actually tried it, by the way. If she refuses to try something she never has before she loses privileges.), she says, "I can't like it." It makes me giggle. I know she doesn't really mean "can't" but it makes my inner picky-eater-hater a little happier because it does reference that she tried to like it, she just can't! :-P

Honkin' House
Lily has this uncanny ability to find random and strange songs and videos on YouTube. Around Halloween she found this one about a haunted house: And she still loves it to this day. She knows ALL the words, and she also acts it out.  The song is pretty catchy, and the fact that Lily says, "Oh no, here we go, walkin' through the honkin' house, honkin' house, honkin' house, what do you see?" makes me giggle... So I don't mind playing it on repeat for her. It's just too cute!!

A Disney Ride
Lily also has her own version of Jingle Bells.  The words to the chorus get a little muddy here and there when she sings it, but one thing is always very clear: "So much fun, a Disney ride, a one horse open sleigh, HEY!"  Yeah, I don't correct that either.  Speaking of Christmas, her favorite Christmas song this past season was Jingle Bell Rock, so obviously she's on her way to be the leader of "The Plastics."

Maybe Later & Ah-morrow
I don't know what it is, but Lily can tell when we're too busy to do something that she specifically would like to. For example, if we are driving down the road to go somewhere and Lily sees one of those helicopter ride businesses, she'll say, "Maybe later go helicopter?" She obsessed with helicopters, and I'd love to take her on one, but I'm honestly terrified. Maybe someday!  But I just tell her, "Yeah, maybe later." and that seems to satisfy her. If I tell her, "No honey, not today." she gets upset.  I think it's so funny!

Just barely, we were listening to the "Honkin' House" song. Lily had me play it twice and then said, "Ok, no more! Maybe ah-morrow."  Hahaha!  I just love this little thing.

Honestly, for her entire life I have tried very hard to not ever tell her "no."  Not in an, "I'm spoiling her" kind of way, but in a way that I won't want her to remember me as not letting her do anything, ever. I usually tell her, "Maybe later." So if I do tell her no, she gets upset. It's funny because I can say, "Maybe later," and she'll forget forever, and it's fine.

That's Enough, Bingting!
If you know "Bingting" is Lily's name for Bentley, then I'm sure you can guess where this came from.  The missionaries were over recently, and Bentley was barking at them from her room (aka the office), and Lily yelled, "That's enough, Bingting!" She says that quite often, but having people over when she said it made me realize just how adorable it was. I said something like, "Well, you can tell what she hears from us a lot!" Then we joked with the missionaries about how I'm glad it's at least proper and kind, because a lot harsher words could be used for that annoying dog. Haha. :)

This is all I can think of right now. I love my Lily.

Photo by Adree Keele

Saturday, January 2, 2016

2016 Goals!

I made some goals last year. How did I do?  Not so great.

Monthly Enrichment night
I stopped going in the springtime. No real reason, I just got lazy. I won't be including this in my 2016 goals. It's just not a priority for me.

Cook dinner 3 times a week
I also stopped this sometime in the spring or summer.  We've been sick a lot this fall and winter and I know it's because we have been eating horribly.  I will definitely be trying this one again.

52 Week Money Saving Challenge
When Lance took the job with Disney, and unexpected expenses came up, the money we had saved disappeared and we stopped adding more.  We will be using a different money saving method this year.

Monthly date night
No, this was a big fail. I think we went on maybe 2 or 3 dates this year.  But I'm OK with that. I don't feel deprived. And Lily is really cool to hang out with.

Weekly crafts with Lily
Um, no. I probably did one or two.

Clean something (in my house) every day
No. I suppose I pick up here and there, but my house didn't get nearly the attention and scrubbing I wished I had given it consistently.

Remember friends' and family members' birthdays
I sent everyone a card except for Jared and my brother in law Chris.  Jared's I just kept forgetting. It's sitting here next to me, still. I forgot the entire time they were here. I forgot when we went to their house. I forgot when we met in Vegas. I just forgot!  I'm so sorry, Jared!  For Chris, his birthday is on Christmas, and I'm sure you can understand how I forgot to get him a card in the mail. But I feel terrible. Birthdays on Christmas are already an afterthought, and I feel horrible I didn't make more of an effort to recognize his birthday.

I did better on the goals I didn't share publicly, oddly enough. :)

My new goals for 2016 are different!  And while I won't be sharing the details nor will I be providing updates, here they are:

1. Get pregnant
2. Cook dinner 5 times a week
3. Save money
4. Walk 30 minutes a day
5. Quit soda
6. Travel somewhere I've never been