Monday, January 25, 2016


It's official.  This little lady is eight years old!

I'm a little behind in my posting but Kylie had a wonderful birthday.  Thanks to everyone who took the time to recognize her on her special day.  She felt very loved! 

I got to spend some quality time with her this weekend and, I know I'm biased, but I think she's pretty great.  Here are 8 of my favorite things about Kylie:

1. She has a very big heart.  She notices when people are sad or feeling excluded and does her best to make them happy.

2. She is an exceptional student.  I appreciate that she has such a love of learning.

3. She has a fun sense of humor.  Josh and I were recently trying to explain the concept of seeing a glass half empty or half full.  She finally said, "Who cares?  I would just drink the water."

4. She's a wonderful big sister.  Josh hit the nail on the head when he said that she is her brother's hero and her sister's best friend.

5. She is patient with me.  She recently told me she loved me because I'm so kind.  I said, "What about the times when I'm not kind, or when I'm angry or grumpy?"  She replied: "Well that's just because you're tired.  I still think you're very kind."  Bless her.

6. She finds joy in the little things: a new pair of socks, a budding flower, or a special dessert.  She's very easy to please and I appreciate that she notices the effort behind the things she receives.

7. She's not afraid to dream.  She is still very into fashion and can often be found reading up on the subject or practicing her sewing in her bedroom.  Whatever she decides to be someday, I know she'll be great because she's not afraid of hard work.

8. She is developing a sweet relationship with her Savior.  She just...believes.  I love to listen to her pray because she's so genuine and sincere.  She makes good choices and learns from her mistakes.

Happy birthday, sweet girl.  I adore being your mom.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

I blinked

This week my little girl will be turning eight.

Wasn't she a toddler like yesterday???
In our church, turning eight is a big deal.  It's the "age of accountability" -- the age at which a child is capable of understanding the difference between right and wrong.  It marks the special time in their life when they can be baptized.

We are thrilled that Kylie has made the choice to be baptized and are so proud of the young lady that she is becoming.  She truly delights in all things good and strives to be an example to those around her.  

She has developed a love for the scriptures and can be found reading them often.


One of my favorite qualities about Kylie is her innate ability to love others and feel compassion for them.  Faith, hope, and charity come easily to her.  What a gift!


 We couldn't be more excited about her special day.  Here are the details:

Please come if you're in the area.  We would love to see you there!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

my 2016 word

I love new beginnings, don't you?

The chance to reflect, re-evaluate and start fresh.  This year holds endless possibilities and that makes me positively giddy.

I love setting goals.  I love them even more when they are simplistic.  Which is why I like to choose a single word to focus on for the entire year.

Last year my word was "create."  I realized that if I wanted my life to be a certain way, I needed to create my own opportunities.  This led to our family creating many wonderful memories together.

The year before that my word was "family."  I learned to cherish my role as a stay-at-home mom and focus on being present with my husband and kids.

This year, though, my focus is shifting.  

Are you ready for my word?

If you're a friend of mine you know that the spotlight isn't really my thing.  So instead, I'd like to focus on shining from within.  

This will be a year chocked full of hard work and devotion.  

I'll be devoting myself to spiritual growth.  I'm not a morning person but I find that when I wake up early and study God's word first thing, I'm much happier.

I'll be devoting myself to learning more about my passions.  What do I love to do that people can't get me to shut up about?  I'm going to make time for those things this year. 

And finally I'll be devoting myself to service.  God has been good to me.  It's only right that I give freely where He has already made me full.

Yes, I have a feeling that 2016 will be a very bright year.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

2015: Year in Review

When I think back on 2015, I can't help but smile.  It truly was a great year- maybe even our best so far.  Like with any other span of time, we experienced both highs and lows.
The year began with a tragedy.  Our nephew passed away after a brief - but sweet - 19 hour life.  We were all heartbroken but found comfort in each other and the knowledge that we will see him again.  I flew to Washington to attend the funeral and spend quality time with my sister-in-law.

 Kylie celebrated her 7th birthday by having a super girly tea party with her closest friends.

The kids enjoyed the winter weather.  Me, not so much.

Summer took a ballet class and loved every minute of it.

 We celebrated Valentine's Day by going to a Butler basketball game.

Summer got her eyes checked and came home with the cutest little pair of pink glasses.

For Josh's birthday we went to a Pacer's game.

My older brother, Kyle, came to visit.  Kylie's 1st grade class was pretty happy about that :)

Later, the rest of my family came down for a visit.


At 18 months Jackson became old enough to attend the nursery at church.  Josh and I were so distraught by this.

The Final Four was held in Indianapolis this year so we headed downtown to support the Spartans.
 Josh's company provided him a ticket to the championship game.  While there he bumped into David "The Admiral" Robinson.

During Spring Break, my good friend from high school came to town for a few days.  The kids adored him!
Kylie started her very first season of softball.  She was so cute!

Mother's Day

At the end of May we took our first ever for-no-good-reason family vacation to North Carolina.  Our week at the beach was bookended with visits to see some of our very best friends.  We LOVED it.

In June we visited my family in Michigan.  As you can see it was time well spent.

Father's Day

The girls (Kylie, in particular) took an interest in sewing so we tackled some simple projects.

Kylie also became more comfortable on her bike without training wheels, which she rode any second she could.

The completion of the Indianapolis Temple brought some of our favorite people to town.

Kylie started 2nd grade and Summer celebrated her 5th birthday. 

We bought our first house and were thrilled that we could finally put down roots somewhere!  Our sweet friends from church threw us a going-away party.

Summer started pre-K at a new school.  It took her a few months to feel comfortable but she's finally warmed up.  She loves it!

My brother, Kramer, came down for a visit.  The usual chaos ensued.

And some of our favorite memories were created in our very own backyard.

In October Josh and I attended the wedding of a really good friend of mine.

We geared up for Halloween and enjoyed unseasonably warm weather.

In November we took a moment to stop and count our blessings.
 The girls bit the bullet and got their ears pierced.

My brother stopped by on his way up to Michigan.  He taught Kylie a few magic tricks.
Our good friends also stopped by on their way to visit family for Thanksgiving.  Shortly afterwards, we followed suit.

 We spent the month of December soaking up the Christmas season.  Summer participated in a Christmas program at her school, where she learned sign language to "Away in a Manger."

We spent a week in Houston visiting a couple of Josh's siblings and their families.

I feel so blessed as I reflect on this last year.  We filled our time with meaningful activities, our home with memories, and our hearts with love.  It doesn't get much better than that.