project 52–two


Most people will be about as happy as they decide to be. 


My mom (Gammie as you know her) has always told me that I was such a happy little girl. When I was going through my moody teenage years she would remind me of this and also the fact that my name means ‘merry’ – like I should live up to it or something. I needed the reminder – more than once. And there are days I still need it.

I can’t help but look at the three of you and soak up all your happiness and carefree spirits. I am one blessed momma to have three beautiful children, each of them so happy. I pray you stay this way. I’m sure we’ll have some of the same conversations, “you used to be so happy” – and it will be true. But I pray it lasts and it always stays a part of your lives.

There will come times in your life where happiness will be hard to find. Moments when you could easily choose discouragement, grumpiness, stress; but, I pray that in these times you will remember that you can choose happiness. You can decide to not let circumstances, people, things to steal your joy. And I hope that you will always remember what it feels like to be simply happy.





project 52–one


No one can ruin your day without your permission. 


babyC – 2013

Turns out it took me a long time to figure this one out. And there are days I’m still working on it. But the sooner you understand this, the easier life will be. People can get under your skin. They will get under your skin. But what will you do about it? If you’re like mommy you’ll let it happen, internalize it, analyze it, and eventually it’ll come up for air in a not so pretty way. If you’re like daddy (please be like daddy about this) you will let it roll off your back. Like really, truly, in a “i-don’t-care” fashion and move on. Because this is the better way! Don’t let people get to you.

Now there will be times when people need to get to you. They’ll say something to you that you should mull over and think about, perhaps self-evaluate. And in these times take what they said, make a change if necessary, and then move on. But don’t let it ruin you. Be bigger than the comments. Bigger than the criticism. Bigger than any words. You are strong, confident, genuine. And as long as you are all those things you will be okay.


I’ve attempted Project 52 several times and life has always gotten busy or crazy or something would come up keeping me from it. But this year I have a strong desire to complete it. I have chosen to turn this blog into more of a journal. A letter to my babies. And this year’s theme is one I can truly embrace now that our family is complete. I know who I’m writing to…all three of them. My goal for the year is to share life lessons with my babes and to teach them the things I want them to know about life. The things that we might not even notice as lessons but they are so important.



Thirty and Blessed


i woke up this morning one year older.


Some people may not want to see this birthday come around but i am quite excited about it. i have heard that 30 is the new 20. It is the new time to shine in life and to accomplish great things. Not sure what things i want to accomplish yet, but i know that God has something special in store for me. And, finally, at this time in my life i am at peace waiting on Him and His plan.

i thought about writing a list of 30 things that i’ve either loved doing or have made a great impact on my life. i was maybe going to put one big memory for each year of my life that has shaped me. And then i realized that all of my life has been about love. The first half (year 1-15) was filled with the love of family, friends, teachers. i am blessed to have the memories i do – ones that are filled with love and support. And then the next half (16-30) has been filled with the love i share with Nathan. The last 15 years have been spent falling in love, cultivating that love, growing the love. We practiced the love and demonstrated it by getting married. We have proven the love by having two precious, beautiful babies. And i pray that we continue our love for the rest of our days. i am so lucky to say that i have loved this man for half of my life. And i have. Every day! Every moment.

So today i am so grateful for the last 30 years of life and i look forward to the next. i wonder what is in store and i pray that i keep God the priority in my life and i know then that He will lead me to great places. And through Him i can do all things!


Thirteen: Day in the Life


Now this is a post that i really enjoy. It’s all about schedules and routines…something i love doing! If you know me well, you know that i love to schedule things. i have several calendars and am a bit obsessed with them. i’ve got the one on my phone, the one in my purse/diaper bag and one hanging in my kitchen. i have to say that i’m a little more excited about writing out my schedule than actually keeping it. There’s something about the planning out of it that makes me happy. i do try to stick with it!

The easiest way to describe our typical day is to just show you our routine…the times vary from day to day, but we mostly keep this routine on the weekdays. Weekends are a different story…

7:00 am: Mommy and sister wake up and she plays with toys while i read my devotions and sip my coffee.

7:30am: baby C wakes up and he plays with his toys while mommy finishes coffee and gets a few more moments to herself.

8:00am: Breakfast for both babes. They both LOVE oatmeal so that’s what we have. We eat, talk, and sometimes remember to read our devotion together – mommy is working on remembering this more often.

8:30am: Both kids play with their toys. Now that baby Em is mobile she plays with toys as well. Mommy cleans up a few things at this time and usually scarfs down some breakfast.

9:30am: baby Em’s first nap. Once she’s down baby C and i have learning time. We do a few pages in a pre-school prep workbook and then he watches a short pre-school prep video. He’s now working on sight words! Once this is over (usually learning time is around an hour) he usually either plays outside, with his toys or watches a show while i shower and get ready if this hasn’t happened yet…and by “get ready” i mean shower super quick and throw my hair up in a top knot.

11:00am: Em gets her morning snack and we get ready for our outing. This changes daily.

M: Grocery Store, T: Lunch with daddy, W: Playdate, Th: Swim, F: Storytime

12:00am: Lunch

1:00pm: Nap time…and yes, mommy naps too!

4:00pm: Usually this is when the babes wake up…but i’m usually up before this getting some down time. If the babes wake up before this time then they quietly play with toys…i may put on a quiet movie to help baby C stay quiet for Em. I usually am prepping dinner at this time and if the weather is nice then the babes can play outside.

5:00pm: Dinner

6:00pm: Outside play if weather is nice or babes play with toys.

7:00pm: Bath time

7:30pm: baby Em’s bedtime and C gets to watch one show before bed.

8:00pm: C’s bedtime.

PARTY! And boy, do i need it!

Twelve: Pet Peeves


I think after reading this post most of you may think i’m just an annoyed person…i’m sorry. But these ten things really do annoy me! But, again, i am writing these so that my babes know me and who i was when they were little. So this is just another something about me…please bear with me!

{Oh! and the above photo, if you look closely, baby Em is pinching me! This seemed like a fitting picture for a pet-peeve pose! Ha! }

10 pet peeves

10. Whining…yes, mom and dad, i know it’s karma. But i get it now!!! Please, just say what you want and don’t use dramatic, high-pitched tones when saying it!

9. Baby talk: unless you’re a baby then it’s okay. (Toddlers qualify, too!) If you’re talking to a child it still gets under my skin, but PLEASE don’t use it with adults. i may just be judging you a little.

8. Cell phone usage in a group: Come on, people! If we are getting together, especially to hang out, just put the phones away! It makes me feel a little replaced, or like i’m not doing my job of socializing with you. And i think you can handle an hour or so away from your phone! And, if i’m guilty of this, ever, please slap me!

7. Dishes in the sink: Yes, dirty dishes are just gross, but cleaned and rinsed off dishes…can’t you just use one more movement and put them in the dishwasher?! (Yes, obviously this is mostly a pet peeve at home. Okay, it’s mostly a pet peeve with hubby.)

6. Leaving grocery carts astray: Yes, i’m guilty of not putting them back in their correct spot all the time (especially if i can’t get a parking spot close to one of the cart “homes” and i have to leave my babes in the car). i’m talking more about the people that place carts randomly in the planter in front of the car – like in a bush. Or, what happened to me the other day – some man had the nerve to park his cart BEHIND MY CAR!! Like literally pushed it from behind his truck and placed it behind my car. WHILE I WAS LOADING MY BABES INTO THE CAR! Seriously?!?! This really hit a nerve with me!! Please just push it two more feet away and place it somewhere that doesn’t inconvenience anyone! Thank you!

5. Smacking: i think this is a given. Even my almost three year old eats with his mouth shut!

4. Space-crowders: Is that a word? i made it one. Please don’t get into my personal space – especially if you’re a stranger. And especially don’t get into my babes personal space! We all have our little, invisible bubbles for a reason! i don’t want to smell your breath, or vice-versa and i don’t want you to touch me. And please don’t lift the cover i so specifically placed over my baby for you NOT to touch them!

3. Blinkers, people, blinkers!! They aren’t just convenient little concepts – it’s actually the law. Please abide by it!

2. Pride: i’m not saying you can’t have pride in yourself, but a little too much is annoying! Especially when you shouldn’t have that much pride about something…practice humility…it’ll get you much farther in life!

1. My number one, all time pet peeve – what i call “beating around the bush”: If you want something, just ask! Like i’m pulling out some gum to chew and you’re over there like, “hmmm, i really wish i had some gum”. EYE ROLL!!! Just ask me for some! i promise, if you do this around me i will literally ignore you and not offer you any just on principal! This is just an example…there are plenty of other “beat around the bush” moments that really get under my skin. Just say what you’re thinking…i’m not gonna bite!

Okay, so i was saving the last one because it is my biggest one…but i was stretching a bit. i promise i’m not walking around annoyed all the time. But these things really get under my skin and i think most of them do for others. It’ll be interesting as my babes grow and i learn about their little pet peeves – i already know some of baby C’s. But that will be another post for another time!


Eleven: Memories


You two are my most favorite. Your smiles and giggles light up my life and i’ve never felt so much love. It hurts. A good hurt. Kind of like when mommy tells you they are happy tears. Those are good tears and this is a good hurt. You will understand one day.

i wanted to capture my favorite memory of the both of you here so that maybe one day you would read it.

Cameron: one of my favorite memories of you is when we were in San Diego at your auntie’s house and we were celebrating your cousin’s graduation from high school. The group was all gathered on the grass outside the house when you wanted to wander into the sand. You hadn’t been a fan of sand the last couple times we were at her house and you weren’t too sure of the water either. But this time you wanted to explore. This time you walked your little self onto the sand and waded into the water. i was right there to make sure you were safe and you just wandered right into the chilling, cold water in all your clothes. i called daddy over so that i didn’t have to get in. It was so cold! But you loved it. You continued to play in the water until you were completely soaked and shivering. We wrapped you up in a towel and i held your little, shivering body in my arms as you smiled. You were so happy with yourself and thought it was the greatest thing ever.

i love your adventure. You continue to amaze me with your independence and desire to explore. You are intrigued by this world and i pray that you don’t ever lose that.

Emriya: You are only seven months old but one of my favorite memories of you happened just the other day. We were in Lake Arrowhead for the day while we celebrated auntie Sea-Sea’s graduation. We had driven down to the little town near the lake and had you and your cousin in the stroller. You couldn’t contain yourself. You screamed happy screams as i pushed you both in the stroller. You were adorable. Every where we went you squealed with delight. You made strangers smile and put a little sunshine in their day.

i love how happy you are. You enjoy life and love to make noise. i really think that one day i will be saying that you were singing since you were two months old. i pray that you keep your joy in this life and remember that you always have something to sing about. And that you always give a little sunshine to others.

Ten: Influential People


10 influential people in my life:

  1. Grandma – I remember her love for life. Her spunk. Her energy. She taught me how to read and to love learning. She was my first teacher.
  2. Mom – My best friend. She always made sure we had everything we needed and then some. All the heart to heart talks and the fun we had shaped me into the woman i am today.
  3. Dad – Never missed a moment to support me. Always present, always strong. Had the best advice. Taught me almost every life lesson i know. He pushed me to be a strong, independent person and i would not be who i am today without him.
  4. Nathan – Pushes me, challenges me, and loves me completely. My number one fan and biggest support. My other half and the balance to my crazy. His loyalty, humility and steadfast love is what keeps me going.
  5. Teachers – i am absolutely blessed with the teachers in my life. i have had so many wonderful ones and couldn’t even begin to choose just one. They all had an important part of my life and i am blessed to call them friends. They encouraged me to push my boundaries and always praised the good. They were our cheerleaders and our motivation for greatness.
  6. Carron – She is my mentor. Her love for Christ, her talent and gift for teaching children. Her leadership skills and her gentleness with others. She is strong and yet she is gentle enough to let God lead her. i want that in my life.
  7. Friends – Blessed by their lives. i am so grateful for the friendships in my life. They are strong and much needed. The advice, the long talks, the understanding when children are screaming in the background. The ability to always pick up where we left off. The chance that our children will be friends. Love your support. Love our friendship always.
  8. Fellow Mommas – The way they seem to have it all together but freely admit they don’t. From the classroom mom and soccer mom, to the working mom and the mom who does it all – thank you. You are who i look up to. The highlights of your life are what motivate me to be a great mom. We lift each other up and we support one another.
  9. Ellen – So i’ve never met her, but i think she’s pretty awesome. She inspires others to be kind and to love. If we all had a little Ellen in us the world would be a better place.

Nine: Passions


This post is all about four passions i have in life. The problem is, when i began to write this post, i wasn’t sure what my passions were?!

Hubby has always told me that i don’t really have a hobby…and i would come back and tell him that people were my hobby! If people are with me, then i’m having fun! What can i say? i’m a true example of a people person. Even if there is something i absolutely enjoy, if i’m doing it by myself it’s not fun.

That being said, passions are a bit different. These are the things that give our life meaning. The things that make us want to wake up in the morning and go. The things that compel us to live meaningful lives.

Here are four of my passions:

  1. My family: My love for them is strong. If you asked me the most important thing to me in this world, it would be them. All of them. From my own little family of four, to my parents and sisters, all the way to my aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents. Even my adopted family – the people who aren’t blood but they sure feel like it. They are my world. Any chance i get to spend time with them i take it. From holidays to just a quick visit, they mean so much to me.
  2. Being a mommy: Like i’ve said many times before, i have always wanted to be a mom. It was always a dream of mine and what i wanted to do in life. i wanted to take pride in raising my babes and teaching them everything they needed to know in life. And now that two little people call me mommy, more than ever it is exactly who i want to be.
  3. Teaching: If i never step foot in the classroom again, i will still always be a teacher. From teaching my own children to giving advice to others, i love to help and nurture. It is in my nature to guide, support, and mold as best i can.
  4. Planning and Organizing: Those who know me know that i love to plan and organize. Some of my family calls me the “cruise leader” because i always have a plan and order to situations. If there isn’t a plan i want one! It just makes me feel better. This passion has also given me the chance to wedding plan and party plan. This is something i would like to do more of when my life isn’t all diaper changes, naps, and play dates.


Of course my life has other passions, but these are the ones that stood out to me today.

Eight: My Dream Job

Hillari and Nathan-095

i have always wanted to be a cosmetologist.

If you asked me 15 years ago what my dream job would be, it would include me being in the field of cosmetology and owning my own Day Spa. i pictured a relaxing setting with rooms for facials and massage and also booths for hair, make-up and nails.

Why didn’t i pursue it? Well let’s just say that i’m lacking in the “art” department…

Funny story – i decided i would apply make-up on a friend one evening. Turns out, instead she looked more like a character in a horror film. Black-eye and all. i know that this is something that i could learn mostly. But i also believe that the other half (the bigger half) of this career is talent. And this talent i am short of!

So it’ll remain a dream for me. i get to live a little part of it though…i trim baby C’s hair and i’m sure one day will get to style baby Emmy’s all pretty. And i’m okay with that!

Seven: Three Wishes


If i was granted three wishes i would wish for:

  1. To always have just enough money. Because i don’t want to live a crazy, expensive lifestyle and i think that having a budget and savings is important. But i hate the stress of money and the anxiety it brings crunching numbers and all. So just enough for what we need would be perfect.
  2. To never worry about what others think. i worry way too much. i wish i didn’t. i try to be kind and genuine to others and it still leaves me over-thinking conversations. Wish that i could just let this one thing go.
  3. My children to always be happy. Because what mom wouldn’t want this? As long as they are happy i am happy. And what a wonderful life it would be to find happiness in every moment.