Lilly’s First YouTube Video

Lilly loves watching other girls her age on YouTube, especially makeup tutorials. Yesterday she asked if she could try making one, of course I replied excitedly, “Sure!”

We edited a few spots out she didn’t want, but she was pretty much in charge of the entire process. She is excited about how it turned out and to make more in the future (actually she wanted to do another one as soon as this one was finished, but I said, “One per day is good.”

Pink Lemonade anyone?

Our city has a HUGE garage sell every year. People come from all over and there are generally 300-400 sells. Yes, it’s crazy… they even close school for this. (It’s on a Friday and Saturday).

Anyway, my daughter wanted to sell pink lemonade, so she made her sign while her dad made the lemonade.

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She did really well, and sold out, but hey it was only a quarter a cup. She kept the dollar bills to save for a doll she is wanting and put the change ($4 I think) in one of those children hospital drop off boxes (for some reason, she has an obsession over those).

Meanwhile, her brother tried to sell his Hot Wheels for a quarter a piece also… he sold a few this way, but I had another idea. I told him to put 5 cars in a baggie and sell them for $1. It worked like magic, he made $27 and still has so many cars you wouldn’t even know he got rid of that many. He bought a new video game and then saved the rest.

They had fun being entrepreneurs for the day! Great experience for them.

 

Our Birthday Girl

This November Lilly turned 7.

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She opted for a day of shopping and lunch instead of a party. She wanted to document the day with the GoPro, so we headed to the mall and had some fun.

We did this a few days before the actual day, because this year she was in the ballet production of Nightmare Before Christmas, which was amazing!  She was a zombie and an elf. My niece is also in the photo, she was a vampire. You can check out her awesome photography blog here if you like.

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Her brother also picked her out a gift and of course there was cake!

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Happy Birthday Lilly!

Just Keep Swimming

My daughter, Lilly, was 3 when she almost drowned. There were 3 adults and 5 kids swimming that day, all the kids had lifejackets on. It was an unground pool, going to 9 ft deep.

My daughter decided she wanted to get out and not swim anymore. So I took her lifejacket off.

I thought she was going to sit and get a snack, but then a few minutes later, someone said, “Where’s Lilly?”

We all started looking around and then my sister said something along the lines of, “Oh my gosh, she’s in the water!” She had spotted her in 6 feet of water, sinking lower and lower.

She swam over to her and grabbed her. I’m not sure how long she was really under, I think only a few seconds. She coughed up a little water, but seemed fine overall.

I was a mess and couldn’t believe I had let something like that happen when we were all right there. We took her to the hospital to make sure she didn’t have water in her lungs and was okay.

Thankfully, yes, she was fine, and is fine today. In fact, she LOVES swimming.

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My kids love to swim. We lived in Texas for a little over a year and during that time, our kids were 4 and 5. We lived in an apartment with an awesome pool and some neighbors (who actually taught my kids to swim).

They swim all the time now. They get compliments on their swimming, which is cool and all, but all that really matters is knowing they are safe.

I truly believe all kids should learn how to swim/tread water before they are 5.

There are too many sad stories that could be avoided if the kids could have at least kept themselves afloat for a few minutes until help arrived.

I encourage you all to get your kids swimming early. Swimming is so much fun, but it can also be a lifesaver.

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Ride Em’ Cowboy

There was a rodeo in town this weekend. My daughter rode a sheep last year and won 1st place (all the boys chickened out)!

This year my son decided he wanted a sheep trophy also, so off to the rodeo we wenthoping to bring home a trophy!

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This is called Muttin Bustin’. The kids are given a score and the top 3 spots get a trophy and cash money! Here’s Turner:

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Turner got a 77 with his ride, putting him in first place (for the moment).  Giant smile on his face, because he LOVED it so much!

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Here is his cousin Caden, scoring a 72, putting him in 2nd (for a while).

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By the end, Turner’s score held strong for a 2-way tie for 3rd place, and Caden with the 4 spot.

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He had an awesome time and can’t wait to try it again!  Now he’s got a sheep trophy like his sister 🙂

Here’s his video  

9 Things I’ve Learned After 10 Years of Marriage

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I was married pretty young, right after high school graduation, I was 18. Now I’m 28 and just celebrated my 10 year wedding anniversary.

This is us on our honeymoon in Hawaii. Crazy young love!

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It’s kind of a big deal to me.

Here are a few things I have learned along the way.

1. Stick up for each other-stay positive

Seriously, you have to be on each other’s sides no matter who you’re around: family, friends, co-workers, etc.  Don’t put each other down, It can be something as simple as saying, “Yeah, he/she is getting pretty lazy, the house is always a mess, or he/she never helps put the kids to bed, etc….” Sure those things may be true, but work on them in your own time, together. Try to stay positive at all times. Bring up your concerns in private and find a solution together. Bashing each other won’t solve a darn thing! We’ve had our share of this and it’s a slippery slope. When you start to talk negative about each other, somehow you start believing it… and it can be hard to get back on track.

2. Keep yourself looking good

I am a firm believer in this. My husband knew this before we ever got married. I truly believe keeping yourself attractive and healthy can go along way. Yes, it’s hard, but Anything worth doing, is hard work.

Start small and just keep encouraging/supporting each other. You will feel so much better!

3.  Be involved-truly care

Whether it’s your kids athletics, a new job, a new hobby… be involved and care!  Go to the game, actively listen to each other, support new hobbies that make them happy. Just showing up doesn’t count, you have to be hands-on, you need to truly care. This helps makes connections within your family and brings everyone closer.

4. Have lots of [alone time]

It brings you closer. A strong marriage is the first step towards a strong family.

5. Eat dinner at the table

I love how we eat dinner as a family each night, not in front of a distracting TV, but at our kitchen table. We talk and laugh. We have discussions. It’s amazing. It is the one daily constant that I think our entire family enjoys. Besides, I like having a table to put my plate on while I eat 🙂 Dinnertime is more awesome at a table! And we believe our marriage/family is stronger for it.

6. Be grateful

Don’t forget to thank each other, or do something special every now and then. Whether it’s arranging a night out for a surprise, bring home their favorite flowers/candy bar, or even a back rub…. anything and everything is appreciated. It will keep you both smiling!

7. Keep jealousy at bay-trust each other

Just trust each other as best you can. If there is a reason you feel like you can’t, then talk about it, so you can move on and have a fun relationship without worry!  Keep each other happy and you shouldn’t have a problem with this one!

8. Paper, Rock , Scissors

This game has saved us from stupid arguments countless times!  Who’s turn to change the baby’s diaper, cook dinner, take out the trash, mop the floor, etc…. You can use it for anything — Seriously, try it!  We don’t use it as much as we did when we were first married, but it helped us out in those first few years, when maybe you need it most 🙂

9. Never give up on each other-no one is perfect, including you

Not many people know this, but we went through a rough patch during our 2nd/3rd year of marriage. Going back to #1, this is really the reason we probably had issues. We felt like giving up, throwing in the towel, but we didn’t. We got some help. We were in marriage counseling for almost 9 months. It didn’t seem to solve all our problems, but it was nice to talk-to put everything out there for the other to absorb. I really think it kept us together during such a hard time, it kept us from giving up on each other. If we wouldn’t have tried counseling it may have ended, or we may have stayed together, but had more unhappy times. It was the glue that held us together.

Don’t be scared to get help from someone, to talk to someone. It may be the lifesaver you need, even if it’s just buying you time to remember how much you really do care about that person.

On a side note: during our counseling, we were in a ‘I don’t really like that person anymore attitude.’ But we still had some good times, it wasn’t all bad. It was more like 50/50, but we both wanted it to be 100% happy again. And that’s what happened. When you want something bad enough, it will happen, don’t give up and TRY your best!

I am so happy. 

Marriage is a rollar coaster, full of highs, lows, twists and turns. You have to go with the flow, don’t be too serious, be light-hearted, laugh, have fun, and enjoy each other. Don’t give up so easily. Don’t take that other person for granted. Love them with all you have. Marriage is not 50-50, it is 100-100. You both must give 100% all the time to achieve the desired results. You must put in as much as you put out. And if you don’t like what you are seeing, then change it, don’t just give up on it. I promise it’s worth all that effort!

Screen Shot 2014-08-04 at 12.52.43 PMOur 10 year anniversary date!  We finally hit the mountain bike trails in NW AR for 2 hours and had a blast!!!!  Then we got our grub on at Billy Simm’s BBQ!

One Mile a Day

Around here, being active is what it’s all about.

We encourage each other to run, bike, swim, etc…. daily.

We go as a family with our 6 and 7 year old and run a mile, or ride the trails, or swim laps (actually, I don’t swim laps — not for me!)

We have been pretty regular on working out, but the last few weeks I’ve been thinking sometimes it’s just too hard to get in a long workout, or I just don’t feel like it, so I came up with a one mile mentality. One Mile. Each day. Minimum.

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Of course you can do more than one mile, that’s awesome, good for you, but for those days where you don’t feel well, or the day is jammed packed already… one mile is doable. It’s not much, but just enough.

It’s a great start for those who have trouble working out, or being motivated.

I wanted to challenge each of you to a mile a day. One mile. Walk, run, bike, whatever, just get up and move. Each day for one mile. You can do it.

You won’t regret it, and once you get the ball rolling, you will start to feel amazing and hopefully you will never stop. Maybe increasing your distance down the road. But don’t focus on that now, just focus on 1 mile. It could be a life changer.

1 mile a day. 7 miles a week. 30 miles a month. Imagine the awesomeness of accomplishing that.

Also, it is so much more fun to workout when you have an app like MapMyRun or RunKeeper to keep track of workouts. You feel good looking back on workouts, speed, calories burnt, etc. You can have friends and keep track of each other. Another neat feature are the challenges. You can win cool prizes for completing these.

My kids were 4 and 5 for this 3 mile walk in Houston. Kids need someone to show them the way to living an active and healthy lifestyle. Be their role model. Families that workout together, stick together :)

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My Bucket List

1. Fly in an airplane

2. Fly in an airplane with my kids

3. Visit Washington D.C.

4. Travel and visit all 50 States with my children before they graduate, passing through does not count

5. Go on a cruise

6. Hold a wild animal (wolf and lion cub)

7. Really help someone in need

8. Own a successful business

9. Retire with a million dollars in the bank

10. Climb Mt. Kilimanjaro

11. Climb Mt. St. Helens

12. Visit each continent

13. Complete a century ride

14. Skydive

15. Go white water rafting

16. Go on a real safari photographing the wild

17. Visit the 7 natural wonders of the world

18. Visit the 7 natural wonders of the USA

19. Go to Disney World

20. Camp on the Beach

21. Ride Horseback somewhere absolutely beautiful

22. Watch a Chiefs game in every Stadium

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