Tuesday, May 31, 2016

May 2016

From May 2-6 my birth bud, Kenna, came to visit.  We had such a great time!  The best part about it is that we have known each other for so long and just get each other.  She is like a fourth sister to me.  Our parents went to school together, joined the military at the same time, and we moved around to the same places together.  The places our families have lived together are Maryland, Texas, Germany, and Las Vegas.  Then we were both at BYU together.  

On Monday when Kenna arrived we took her to Downtown Disney, because who can come to Orlando and not get a taste of Disney?  We introduced her to my all-time favorite sandwich at the Earl of Sandwich restaurant, the “Holiday Sandwich.”  Cranberry, stuffing, turkey, gravy…all in sandwich form.  Then we took Ollie to the splash pad right outside the restaurant.  It was his first introduction to a splash pad and he loved it!!  Watching the expression on his face brought me so much joy.  I love experiencing life through his eyes.  Then we got a shake from Ghiradelli’s…which I am in love with.  Luckily, Kenna is too!  I also love that she is a self-proclaimed “chocolate snob”, because it meant we were guaranteed to find delicious, high-quality desserts during her visit! J  As we were walking back tot the car it started to thunder, and lightening, and sprinkle, and then downpour.  The rain came down so hard that we decided to wait it out in the House of Blues merchandise store.  Little did we know we would experience a little bit of Florida history that night.  We literally experienced a flood!  It was raining so hard and for so long that we witnessed store employees lining sandbags at the doorways.  It kept coming and coming and we laughed that we couldn’t believe what was happening.  We saw people walking in the rain and it was up to their knees!  We passed the time by FaceTiming with Sandra, Kenna’s mom.  She is a second mom to me and is so hilarious.  Love her!!  Finally, we braved it and ran back to the car, laughing about the memory we would be able to talk about for years.

Tuesday we ventured to Wild Florida!  It was so fun to introduce Kenna to Jared’s beloved workplace/second home.  He puts so much love, time, effort, and stress…into WF.  We took her on an airboat ride and we saw lots of gators.  Then we walked through the wildlife park and saw lots of animals.  Then, a life-long fear of Kenna’s was tackled…Kenna held an alligator!!  Named “Fluffy.” J  She’s had a fear of them for a long time, and when we approached the exhibit where you can hold a small alligator I told Kenna it was now or never…she could continue to be scared of them or she could conquer her fear, with her best friend by her side, and be able to talk about this for years. J  After much coaxing, she did it!  I haven’t stopped laughing at these pictures since. J  Next, we wandered over to the sloth exhibit.  Kenna’s brother Logan loves sloths and Kenna paid to participate in a “sloth encounter” which allowed her to hold the sloth…all to make Logan jealous :) Then we ate some yummy lasgana/pizza that was being catered down there (think lasagna pizza, interesting but yummy!), then we went home so I could teach piano lessons, and then went outside to play with Ollie.  Then something cool happened…the cutest Chinese-grandma neighbor across the street came out with her grandson and came across the street to play.  We have lived here three and a half years and I have never seen or talked to her, and she came over all on her own.  It was so sweet to watch Ollie and Issaic play together (we found out his name after lots of hand signals and motioning J  The grandma doesn’t speak English and we don’t speak Chinese, although Kenna did get her friend on the phone who speaks Chinese).  We couldn’t verbally communicate but it was a really sweet experience to spend time with her and I’m grateful she had the courage to come over.  Then we had Mexican Scramble for dinner (a family favorite among both our families, it’s similar to taco salad), and watched Beyond the Tank.  It’s kind of a “behind the scenes/follow-up show” to our beloved Shark Tank.  

On Wednesday I asked Kenna if she’d be willing to help me with a craft…because I am so not crafty and needed someone to hold my hand in order to get it done.  I wanted to make a Sacrament Meeting quiet book for Ollie.  So we ventured to Walmart, bought the supplies, then we stopped at the mall to walk around.  It was fun to look the American Girl Doll Store, the Cake Boss bakery, but it was so crowded.  Then at home we worked on the quiet book.  It was so fun to do that together!!  We had a great time reminiscing.  Then when Jared got home, Kenna and I went to the temple.  Unfortunately there were not enough men for the session to be held, so we did sealings instead.  But that was amazing.  It was just so neat to be in the temple with her.  Then we grabbed my and Jared’s traditional post-temple treat – a shake at Twisty Treat!

The cutest big-eyed fish :)

The finished product

Ollie loves it for about two minutes at church...but hey, that's two minutes :)

Thursday my friend Lindsey took us to Disney’s Animal Kingdom.  Yay!  We first went to the Lion King show which is so good!  Those actors are so talented, the costumes and lighting are amazing, and Disney is just magical.  Then we went on the safari ride and saw lots of animals.  After, we let the kids have a break and play at a playground.  Then we went to the Finding Nemo show, which also is just plain amazing.  I am so impressed with Disney.  By this point though…Ollie was so tired.  It was past nap time and he was just a wild thing.  One thing I love about Ollie is how much he loves his sleep.  He is a great sleeper.  But, I think I trained him to love sleep so much in his crib.  He never ever sleeps outside of it.  Not in the car, not in the stroller, not in my arms, not on airplanes, but boom, the second you put him in his crib, he’s out.  Luckily we’re rarely out past nap time, but in the rare event we are, he fights it.  So during most of Finding Nemo I was out pushing him in the stroller trying to get him to sleep, but his poor body was just fighting it.  But the funny thing is, as we were walking towards the exit of Animal Kingdom, Kenna pointed to Ollie and he was ASLEEP!!!  The irony.  Later that night we went to the cutest little town near Disney called Celebration.  We strolled past the cute stores, drooled over the perfect white houses with porches and rocking chairs and red doors, and ate delicious macarons and ice cream while witnessing Ollie have the cutest laugh attack ever as I swat away mosquitoes that were attacking us. 

Lindsey, Tayli, & Ayden

Lion King show

Let's zoom in on that:

Beautiful town of Celebration

Ollie eyeing that macaron

Friday we went to the beach.  Kenna sent a hilarious picture to her dad who’s a dermatologist to make him proud of my sun protection efforts.  Meanwhile, his cute daughter was laying in the sun in her swimsuit, without sunscreen.  Both she and her mom love the sun and over the years her dad has just accepted the hard truth of his own family’s ironic love of the sun.  On the way home from the beach we had a great conversation about marriage.  Kenna asked me, “If you could go back and tell yourself things about dating and marriage that you know now, what would they be?”  That was a great question.  I’m trying to remember what I told her…Kenna, do you remember?  Haha.  Basically, that marriage is amazing, and that it’s as good as you choose to work at it.  The more effort you put into it, and put your spouse first, the better it is.  It’s such a selfless thing but such a rewarding thing.  I also told her that differences are good.  It took me a long time to figure that one out, but once I did, it really impacted me.  Coming across the quote, “Differences are the salt of marriage” a while ago really changed my perspective.  Also, that when you find a man who 1) treats you like a queen and 2) loves the Lord more than he loves you, you've found the right one.  Once we got home, she had to pack up and I drove her to the airport. L  I am SO grateful for the time we were able to spend together.  I love you Kenna!!!!  LYLASEAD.

Can he get any cuter?!

The rest of May was great!  

A fun mutual about Individual Worth.  Love these girls!!

Me & my YW partner in crime, Beth

Jared's brother Ryan got engaged to Melinda Moon!!
I played volleyball and sang in the Highlites a capella choir with Melinda in high school.
All those years ago carpooling home from volleyball each day, who knew we'd marry brothers :)

Had a wonderful Mother's Day.

Love my boys so much

Then the next day was my 26th birthday!  Jared was so sweet and listened to my "birthday whisperings"...he gave me a table that will greatly help when hosting events at our house, and a Target gift card which just sings to my soul.

He helped me hang our newest picture frame which I love.

Another best friend, Macy, wished me happy birthday and included the cutest pics from childhood.  

Then we enjoyed a dinner at Chilis and enjoyed the molten chocolate lava cake for dessert.

I love spending mornings outside watching my sweet squirrel whisperer

Chubby feet problems - shoes won't fit! 😍

Determined to get a toy under a car

We had a fun baby shower for our friend Amanda who is expecting her first girl!

Cutest little girl clothes and cute cute frame by Rose.

We finally got water barrells purified and filled for food storage

Best way to end mutual - at Chik fil A!

Cutest bro and daddy

Cute buddies
Seth & Ollie

For our 5 year anniversary we went to an awesome dinner show at 
Disney's Hoop-Dee Doo Musical Revue.  It was a blast!!

I made this cake for a scout fundraiser. 

We said good-bye to our beloved Berrys.  They were the Florida Orlando mission presidents for the past three years.  They were also the bishop of the singles ward in SLC that Jared and I met in, fell in love, and all that good stuff that awesome summer of 2010.  We were so excited when they got called out here a few months after we moved here.  It's been a little piece of home seeing them at our ward occasionally and at other church events.  We love them!!

Tried out a new splash pad

Went blueberry picking!!  Ollie loved it :)

The climbing stage is in full force 

Climbing.  Ugh
That couch has since been turned around facing the wall.  

Okay everyone, if there's a "top 5 purchases one should make in their life," Club FHE is one of them.  I saved Christmas and birthday money until I could afford the $250 package of 54 FHE lessons (52 weeks and an Easter & Christmas lesson).  It is a dream come true!  Each week's lesson comes with a lesson plan AND visual aids AND the cutest little magnet board.  Basically they do all the prep work for you and you just read it over prior and then teach your family.  We've used it a few times so far and I love it.

My top four things I will tell everyone I know about:

2.  The sleep training book, On Becoming Babywise
4.  Club FHE

I dressed Ollie for the plane ride to SLC and for some reason he just looked so big to me...
my baby is not a baby anymore!!