Anyway, I thought that for Lauren Day today I would introduce Lauren's family. And, first off ... Let me just say that I am SO grateful that the whole time I was trying my best to raise Clark, Stacie Cheney was trying her best to raise Lauren. 👱🏼👱🏻♀️ I hope that out there somewhere are three more mothers striving to raise daughters for my next three boys! I opened my Instagram feed this morning and found that Stacie had posted this photo, of the whole family in front of the Newport Beach Temple. I immediately showed her post to Geoff and we shared one of those grateful sighs. I'm not going to lie, initially it is a bit weird to scroll through Instagram and suddenly see your child in another family's photo, but I'm getting used to that. ❤️ And, I doubt I could have found a more beautiful bunch of people to pose with my adorable brown-eyed Clark-y boy. The best thing of all is that I know our families have much in common because of our shared faith in Jesus Christ and the hopes we have building strong extended and eternal families. I've not spent much time with Stacie or the Cheney family, but I feel certain that we want the same things for our two children starting their own family story 📝 🌳 and that is a great blessing and comfort.
On June 29th, 2007 I stood in a very long line—hours long. I actually paid my cute nanny, Jenna to stand in line for me for the first several hours. I later joined her and brought my kids. I wanted to be in the very first wave of iPhone owners (in Spokane) and I was. On July 4th, 2007 I took the above photo of me and this new wonder of technology—I guess you might say this was my first iPhone selfie! I of course knew very little about this hand-held device or what it could do (then) and I had no clue about what it would come to be able to do or how it would change my life.
In celebration of the iPhone's 10th birthday this week, here is my list of
10 THINGS I LOVE (TODAY) ABOUT MY iPHONE.
1. Instagram. I definitely DO NOT love everything about Instagram, but it is my most often used app, and I love that I can use this social media platform to SHARE my life, SEE what my extended family is up to and CONNECT to and follow other people that inspire me.
2. Alarms and Reminders. I'm being totally honest when I say that I've become quite dependent on the dings, rings and buzzers that keep me on track and on time—or at least as close to on time as possible. For example, I'm currently using the "illuminate" sound to help me stay on an eating schedule ... 8:30am breakfast, 11:30am lunch, 2:30pm snack, 5:30pm dinner and 8:30pm snack. I am a much happier person when I eat every three hours—a post for another day!
3. My camera. In the beginning, I thought it was so cool that my phone could take decent pictures. I now think of my iPhone as a great camera that also takes calls. I used my camera at least ten times as often as I make a call. It's hard for me to believe that I used to lug a big, DSLR camera around, but I did, almost everywhere. I remember the first time I read about photographer Chase Jarvis and what he was doing with his iPhone camera. He said, "The best camera is the one that's with you!" I knew he was right, and I began to get better photos with my phone.
4. Pictures on the go. I LOVE that I can access my iCloud library of images anywhere (as long as I have WiFi) I love that I can purge, edit and use my photo collection on the go. Having my pictures and as an extension many of my memories 100% accessible is AWESOME beyond words. And AirDrop? Best thing since sliced bread or Ziplock bags or maybe even both!
5. Anywhere learning. I'm a listener. I really like to be listening and my iPhone allows me to do this. I can listen to my scriptures, or podcasts or my latest Audible book, as I drive, walk or do laundry. I often recommend a book to Geoff and then we listen more or less together ... added bonus!
6. Shopping. What did I do before Amazon Prime on my iPhone? I. Don't. Know. Because, I honestly cannot remember. I also love that I can organize my apps and that all of my "shopping" apps are together. When I go to Michaels or Hobby Lobby, I have digital coupons ready to scan. And, Apple Pay?! My local grocery stores accepts it, which means I can ride my scooter to the store, sans wallet. FREEDOM!
7. Lists. As in the Reminders app. I have a Family list that I share with Geoff, a list for Costco, Fred Meyer + Yokes (local grocery stores), Target, Books/Movies, YW (my church calling) and Story (my new brand of products with Close To My Heart) I can empty my brain and keep running lists of to-dos. This is a very healthy and productive thing.
8. Notes. That's all. Just notes—about anything and everything and I can't imagine NOT being able to copy and paste or capture a brainstorm or now, even DOODLE in my Notes app.
9. Siri. Or Sir in my case, because he is a very attentive gentleman with a great Australian accent, ha! He is always at my beck and call to answer questions, get directions, set a timer or a reminder, send messages or play a favorite song.
10. Yikes, I'm running out of room. I'm going with Apps for #10. And, how can I possibly summarize my most used apps? There's Pic-Tap-Go and Rhonna Designs that use to edit and have FUN with my photos. There's DropBox, Keeper, Cash and Keynote that help me get things done and be more productive. I have access to this blog via the Squarespace apps and I can look up anything on YouTube or relax with my favorite Netflix or PBS shows.
I'm assuming I'll still have an iPhone tens years from now, but who knows for sure. I know that *almost* everything about my daily life and HOW I function in it is connected to technology via my iPhone. At least now I have my top 10 list so that in 2027, I can look back and compare. And for the record, here's the updated photo ...
It's Addie day today, but it's also her BIRTHDAY and I'm NOT home to wake her up and sing to her and make her 10 pancakes (insert sad mama face). But, it's ok. I'm headed home soon. She'll meet me at the airport and we'll go the Red Robin's or wherever she wants to go, as long at it involves a milkshake or at least a root beer float! I've spent the last 2 1/2 days in Salt Lake City, Utah at the Close To My Heart convention and it's been exhausting and completely exhilarating. I've connected with women from all over the United States and beyond, and Addie actually had a hand in this because during my presentation, I shared a little video that depicts my Love Story album, which I made shortly after we learned of Addie's learning disability.
Addie has received special services since she was a toddler and she has always been behind on the development curve. She has struggled in school from the get go. Her first grade teacher sat me down and said, "I've never seen anything like this. Addie is adorable. Socially and behaviorally, she is right on target, but it's like she's lost ... she isn't registering and she is developing strategies to make her look like she knows what's going on, but she doesn't." Long story short, in December, 2015 Geoff and I met with the doctor who had previously spent several hours testing Addie. Dr. Guzzardo told us that Addie would most likely NOT finish high school, that she would not drive, get married, or be able to live independently on her own. WHAT? My Addie? Did she pull the wrong file? Is she really talking to us about Addie? There is a reason that this is the first time I've written about this experience and this diagnosis on my blog. I will never forget sitting there next to Geoff, as we received this news. It was akin to standing on railroad tracks, watching an oncoming train and not being able to move. It was DEVASTATING. I lived under a cloud for the next several days. There was much prayer and fasting. Geoff and I talked, a lot, and I talked to my parents, siblings and others who I trust. A few days later, we gathered all of our boys together, sat them down at the kitchen table and shared this news with them. Now, looking back. This moment is what I most want to remember—four big brothers absolutely committed to the life long welfare of their little sister. There was zero hesitation. And, now is probably a great point to say that I REFUSE TO BELIEVE THIS JUDGMENT about Addie. Yes, she does have some serious challenges ahead of her. She will likely struggle a great deal, and I don't know what milestone achievements will remain outside her reach for now, but I do know that she is in our family by the grace of God—that she is supported by many wonderful extended family members, friends, teachers and others who ADORE her. We trust in God and know without a doubt that He is in charge. Our family is an eternal family and we know that the trials and limitations and the sometime devastating difficulties that are a part of this life are not for forever. They are designed to test us, refine us—drive us to our knees for sure—but ultimately draw us closer to Heavenly Father and each other.
This is the little album that I created to help me process the overwhelming emotions that I experienced after Addie's diagnosis. For me, the creative process is powerful. It provides me with important insights and it's almost always healing.
Addie is without a doubt the very best thing that has happened to our family. The miraculous story of her adoption and the JOY and LOVE that she brings into our home are worth any struggle that lies ahead.
Today we celebrate ALL that Addie is and show her how very much we LOVE her. She is my BFF for reals and I can't wait to give her a BIG birthday hug.
Trey graduated from Central Valley High School on Saturday, June 10th. Since Taft and Addie would still be in school for another full week, we decided to take a quick road trip to Seattle, just the two of us. We left on a Tuesday morning and returned Thursday afternoon—so, quick!
My parents live outside Seattle, in the small town of Carnation, so that is usually where we stop first and stay, but they were in Utah visiting, so Trey and I drove straight downtown to a store that we found when I Googled, 'cool design stores' It was SUPER high end fashion and home decor—like $900 T-shirts, but we still looked around. We then wandered into and out of a few other stores. Found a bathroom and enjoyed some Molly Moons ice cream! After that, we headed to the waterfront. Wandered some more, experienced the new Wings Over Washington ride (similar to Soarin' over California) and ate at Ivars.
For a while now Trey has talked about pursuing Industrial Design in college. He talked to a friend who is working towards this goal and preparing to apply to the ID program at BYU, but he wanted to learn more, especially because he was preparing to register for classes this fall. I did a little search online and found Tactile, a firm in Seattle. The owner was super responsive and invited us to come meet with a couple of his team. Aaron met us at the door and showed us all around and then Jeff joined us in the conference room and they showed us a recent slide presentation they put together for an event or convention. Talk about generous. We probably spent two hours there, and Trey was able to ask lots of questions and get a really good feel for what they do and what he wants to do. It was AWESOME.
We spent the rest of Wednesday exploring. Walked through Pike Place Market and then drove over to Fremont, because it's a super creative part of town. We stumbled upon the Theo Chocolate factory and took a tour—delicious—and then headed to west Seattle to stay in our first-ever airbnb. We were going for cheap, so we rented one of two rooms in a guy's basement, and we didn't really interact much. In fact, we never even saw the other guest and we talked only briefly with the host, but it has been on my TRY list for a while.
We woke up on Thursday to rain and decided to just head home, but it was a GREAT time to be together and make some memories before Trey officially launches in early September.
I get write about my darling daughter in-law again today. This past April, Lauren graduated from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. She majored in Public Health with an emphasis in epidemiology. Yes, she is smart too! I think this photo could easily grace the cover of the BYU class catalog or something. Lauren has worked for a local physician (urologist) part time during school, but that wasn't an ideal situation, so now that she's all graduated, she has been on the hunt for a new job—one that she loves enough to do full time and she is now in her second week of training.
Lauren now works at Banyan Healthcare Marketing. Banyan, formerly Social Dental is one of those super-cool start up companies that has found a welcome niche for their services. They help dentists—and now other healthcare professionals—effectively use new media to educate patients and potential patients and then create monthly campaigns that are EASY for them to use so they can engage patients and keep the conversation going. I'm going to post a couple of videos, so you can see what I'm talking about. The extra cool thing is that Clark wants to be a dentist and Lauren is going to know exactly how to help him effectively build his practice.
I'm so proud of this girl (woman really) for how hard she has worked to be where she is today. I am loving being the mother-in-law and watching her and Clark in their first year of marriage. They are building something really special.
This first video is an example of the short video profiles Banyan creates for the clients.
This next video is an example of the monthly campaigns that Banyan creates for their clients. Let me tell you ... I DO NOT remember trips to the dentist being this fun when I was a kid!