Thursday, February 14, 2019

january wrap up

I usually take down Christmas stuff within the first week of January, but this year I may or may not have kept things up until February.... I figured, why take down the things that are bringing me joy?  Jackson's hot wheels car agreed.

Josh and I had a certain special talk with Summer.  We're a few months late.  We had the same talk with Kylie right around her 8th birthday.  I highly recommend talking about sex with kids when they're 8.  They still trust you and they're not afraid to have frank conversations.  There may have been a few laughs but overall we had a great discussion.

It was a very cold and snowy January for us!  Between snow days, cancelled church, and sickness, I feel like we were home in our pajamas as a family A LOT.  

On the first Sunday that church was cancelled, we invited the missionaries over for brunch.  Jackson blessed the food and made sure to thank Heavenly Father that church could be cancelled.  Ha!  I will say, though, that we had a great opportunity to implement the Come Follow Me program at home.  I signed up for a monthly subscription that basically outlines the program for each day, with tons of activities and printables for kids.  Totally worth the $5 a month in my opinion.

The kids have had a great time in the fresh, powdery white stuff!

London began walking and also learned how to give kisses, which is just about the cutest thing I've ever seen.

We caught the last bit of a lunar eclipse.

The oldest had a birthday.  This makes her the oldest girl in the Activity Days program that I'm in charge of at church.  Crazy to think she'll be entering Young Women next year.

And that's a wrap!

I have an 11-year-old

How time flies...

My dirt loving, Cheerio eating, bubble blowing, cartoon watching little girl is quickly becoming a headphone wearing, mug sipping, cookie baking, art creating, group texting young lady.  I'm trying not to dwell on the fact that she will be DRIVING in 5 years' time.

Here are 11 things that I love about Kylie:

1. She is honest, even at the risk of getting in trouble, a quality I hope she keeps throughout her teen years!

2. Her laugh.

3. Her celebration of other cultures.  She can call me Mum, eat with chop sticks, and wish me a Happy Cinco de Mayo all in the same day :)

4. She has chosen good friends.

5. She's not afraid to GO FOR IT, whether it's joining a club at school, auditioning for a play, or trying on that new shade of lip gloss.

6. She is tender-hearted and kind.

7. She is a great big sister.  We love that she can babysit for quick errands!

8. She is naturally inquisitive.  I love that she loves to learn.

9. She is GOOFY!


10. She is a hard worker.  Intermediate school requires more organization and personal responsibility, which has been challenging for her in a good way.

11. She can memorize sports stats and movie quotes like nobody's business!

Happy birthday to this sweet, silly, smart, fun-loving pre-teen of mine.

London's 1 year stats

Since we were in Michigan during London's 1st birthday I didn't really document her stats or milestones.  It's crazy to think that it one short year's time she went from this...

to this.

Here are her 1 year stats:

Height: 28.3 inches {25th percentile}
Weight: 21 pounds 12 ounces {50-75th percentile}
Head circumference: 45.5 cm {50th percentile}

At each wellness check, London's doctor sends me home with a paper that outlines common behaviors and milestones for her age.  London is textbook!

"By now your baby should be saying mama, dada, using a cup fairly well, feeding herself with her fingers, waving bye bye, understanding some things you say to her, crawling, walking around furniture while holding on and possibly walking alone."

At one, London wasn't walking yet but she crawled like a champ and was cruising around furniture without a problem.

"One-year-olds are into everything and like to explore."

My favorite:

"Behavior problems often start now.  Most toddlers want to become independent yet they will often cling and whine.... Although this is normal behavior, it can be very annoying and it will try your patience."

Some other fun facts about London:

She typically sleeps from 7:30pm - 6:30am.  Her happy babbling lets us know she's ready to start her day.

She likes most foods except rice and broccoli.  Her favorite snack foods are cheerios, Gerber puffs, Ritz crackers, and bread.

Her favorite toy is her Fisher Price walker.  Although it comes with all kinds of gadgets and buttons, she prefers to just push it around the house.

She can say simple words like mama, dada, dog, more, hi, bye bye, thank you, uh oh, stinky, and mwah! {blowing kisses}

She is easily the calmest, happiest baby I've ever met.  She's content wherever we take her and with whoever wants to hold her.

She's a water baby!  She loves the pool and bath time.

She has 7 teeth -- 4 on the bottom and 3 on the top.  No molars yet.

Her favorite things that are off limits: the dog's water bowl and my box of ziploc baggies.

She took her first steps at 13 months.  She walked to Summer.

Everyone adores her, even perfect strangers 💗

2019 Word

My yearly word for 2019 is PLAN.  Now if you know me, you know that I'm already big into planning.  I appreciate organization and looking ahead.  But to be honest, I'm not the best at SCHEDULING.  Sure, I remember to schedule wellness checks, dentist appointments, parent teacher conferences, etc.  But I'm terrible at scheduling the optional things: date nights, lunches with girlfriends, kids' birthday parties, out-of-town visitors.

So, this year I'll be focusing on planning for those seemingly little things that make a big difference in our overall happiness:

The #1 thing I wanted to plan first was date nights with Josh.  I'm the biggest cheapskate around so it's easy for me to justify why it's unwise to get babysitters all the time.  But the truth is, we have the money for babysitters and date nights; we're just spending that money elsewhere {fast food}.  So together we sate down and talked about the changes we would be willing to make to allow for regular date nights.  They're so important and we felt like we were missing out!  I reached out to our next door neighbor who is a junior in high school and asked if there would be 1 night a week that she could consistently come and watch the kids for 1-2 hours.  She said Monday nights worked for her.  I said, "Done!"  

We have loved having this time together, and the kids have come to understand that Monday night = date night.  Our dates are not extravagant or fancy.  Sometimes we end up at the grocery store.  Other times we go to the gym.  But we do fun things too!  Recently we went ax throwing with another couple and had the best time!

The other thing that immediately came to mind when I thought about PLANNING was my health.  I particularly wanted to drink more water, which does not come naturally to me at all.  But I bucked up and bought a nice water bottle that keeps water nice and cold, and set a goal to drink 3 of those each day.  Some days are better than others but I can feel a difference in my energy levels when I follow through and drink lots of water!

Josh and I made other plans too -- financial ones.  Some big, some small.  We keep a budget but we're really good at shifting funds around so we can satisfy our wants :)  This year we set some specific goals to help us live better in the long run and be prepared for setbacks as well as FUN.

So there ya have it.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

2018 highlights

I'm sure if I asked everyone in my family what their favorite event was of 2018, they would all come up with something different.  It's been fun to go back and look at the pictures captured throughout the year - it's amazing how quickly we forget things.  Like London's umbilical hernia she was born with that ultimately fixed itself.  Or the kids' many art projects, notes, school projects, and field trips.  Or what our backyard looks like when it's not covered in snow :)

Here are some of our faves:

Welcoming sweet London into our family.  This is, without a doubt, THE highlight!

Attending a Sip n See party that my wonderful friends hosted for me & London.

Cheerleading!  Summer rocked it.

Legally adopting London 💝

Spending time in Michigan with family several times throughout the year.

Easter.  Definitely one of our favorite holidays around here.

Finishing London & Jackson's bedroom.  They love having a "sleepover" every night!

Visiting Summer's classroom at school and showing off her baby sister.  Instant popularity :)

Having family and friends attend our sealing in the Indianapolis Temple as we became a forever family.

Taking advantage of local treasures around town.

And soaking up gloriously sunny days.

Celebrating motherhood.

Attending various events at school.

And giving one last honk on the last day of school.  {I still miss that bus driver}.

Starting off the summer with a "little" project.  We put up a shiplap wall in our front room and installed vinyl plank flooring throughout the main level.

Enjoying lots of sunny, lazy, and/or fun-filled summer days.

Making a drastic change :)

Having family come visit us for various occasions throughout the year.


Heading back to school, but this time at a different building for a certain 5th grader.

Lots of silly moments at home.

A very special baptism for a very special 8-year-old.


Park days.

Vacations {Albuquerque}.

And day trips. {Dayton}

Discovering a passion.  Newborn photography is my FAVE.

Holidays with friends.

Fall days.

And of course, Christmas!

My yearly word for 2018 was TIME.  I wanted to set aside time, even when it felt inconvenient, to be with my favorite people.  I think I accomplished that!  For Christmas 2017 we gave each of the kids a coupon book where they could redeem a coupon for an outing or special date with a parent each month of the year.  That definitely kept me focused on my yearly word.  I was able to connect with my kids while baking cookies, painting nails, eating an ice cream cone, or simply watching a favorite movie together.  

Here's to many more wonderful moments coming up in 2019!