happy birthday kylie!

happiest of birthdays to the cutest little sister in the world!

i begged my parents for a sister for years and years.
finally when i was 9 years old, my dad told me a secret...
my mom would be having a baby in 8 months!
i was the first one to know, and i had to keep it a secret from everyone.
i'm pretty proud of my 9 year old self for not telling anyone for months.

somehow i knew the babe was going to be a girl.
i was just meant to have a sister.
after sharing the same room with her for 6 years
and being her weekly babysitter while my mom worked night shifts,
i feel almost like a second mom to kylie.
i can only hope my own little girls are half as cute as she is!

i love her to pieces and don't know what i would do without her.
can't believe this precious little sister of mine is 15 years old.
she has turned from the cutest little baby to the most gorgeous teenager.
those boys better keep their hands off!

happy birthday kylie!



lemme get serious on you here for a minute:

life can change in an instant.

you always hear that, but you don't actually think it applies to you.

your life is going great, you've got it together, you have great family and friends...
sure you may complain a little bit,
(curse that girl who bought the shoes you wanted first)
but who doesn't complain every now and then?

but i have learned that life really can change in an instant.
you can't take anything for granted.
things you thought were impossible suddenly become an unwanted reality.
because even the most solid rock in your life can be moved.

i have had my share of these moments.
when i found out something about someone i trusted completely
and the ground was pulled out from beneath my feet.
when i thought that someone i loved was indestructible
but then a phone call came that changed everything.
when it seemed that cancer was only something i heard about on the news
and then suddenly it became real life to my family.

as much as i wish i could erase all of those moments,
and shape my reality to be just how i want it to be...
life just doesn't work like that.

thankfully i have the best family and friends in the world.
i am so grateful for them,
and try to tell them i love them every time i see them.
(i say "love you, bye" to everyone, sometimes even random sales people on the phone.

but most of all i am grateful for a heavenly father who loves me.
who knows better than anyone what i am going through at any moment,
that i can turn to when it seems like there is no one else,
and when the impossible happens, i know will be there without fail.

"i have been driven many times upon my knees by the 
overwhelming conviction that i had nowhere else to go"
abraham lincoln


love love love

as you can see from above, i am trying to type with a sleeping couch hog pup and a husband by my side.  but let me just tell you, i couldn't be happier.  dawson got back in town today after being gone for FOUR nights (annual snowmobiling trip, boo).  i worked night shifts while he was gone so that i wouldn't have to sleep home alone at night.  since i didn't want poor dash to feel abandoned, he spent the long weekend at my parents house.  it was a good idea in theory, right?

i have come to find out that i am not meant to live alone.  after just 4 days of working all night and sleeping most the day, then being alone for the few hours i had before work, i had borderline fallen into a depression.  and by borderline i mean completely.  i had to call dawson before work for pep talks so i didn't turn my car around and drive to my parents house.  am i making myself sound mentally weak? so be it.

anyway, bottom line.  it made me realize how grateful i am for my boys.  even if we're just hanging out at the house watching 4 hours straight of downton abbey (not that we just did that or anything...), i am perfectly content.

so now that i have made this a mushy love post, i am going to finish up with our valentines day celebration.  we faked like valentines was monday since dawson was going to be gone on actual valentines day, and we celebrated all day long.  does it seem like all of our celebrations involve lots of unhealthy food?  don't judge us.

surprise breakfast of homemade german pancakes // shirtless husband // beautiful roses // 
dinner at marketstreet (thanks to a gift card) // fondue at melting pot // the movie side effects // 
episodes of dexter in bed // early bedtime since i worked the next day // perfect fake valentines day


shanghai part 1

the bund

did anyone see the new james bond movie? well we did, and i was so excited to go here ^^^ because bond goes here in the movie. it was just as cool as i was picturing it in my head. p.s. have i ever mentioned how i think dawson is james bond?  the similiarities are eerie.
pearl tower

i was very impressed with dawson because even though he is afraid of heights, he had no hesitation stepping out onto a glass floor 863 feet over the ground. i was expecting to have to be the calm, brave one and coax him out there to take a picture, but he had no problems. besides some sweaty hands.

lunch and wax museum

is anyone noticing how every meal is almost the exact same? well i was at this point.
these were real grown up chinese women shoes^^^
back when they used to bind their feet, the ideal size was 3 inches.
would it surprise you if i told you that it was the male gender who convinced them this was attractive?

acrobat show

hotel time

what better way to end a night, then having two chinese women come up to your room to give you a massages? don't think of it as creepy, think of it as great room service! it was $20 a person for an hour and a half head to toe massage.  talk about a good deal! it was a little lot different than an american massage, but still very worth the money. plus, the little asian ladies that gave us chinese lessons during the massages were so sweet! but maybe i just liked them because they kept telling me i looked 18 years old.

and to top it off, we ordered some american food to our room.  ^^^
nothing has ever tasted more heavenly than that club sandwich and sweet potato fries. (remember how i mentioned i might have been getting sick of chinese food at this point?) definitely worth the FORTUNE it cost.