Who I Am

Aspiring author and speaker. Disney addict. All around nerdy girl, running on grace and gummy bears.

Currently counting down #40DaysTil40
and forever dreaming of Disneyland.

I invite you to tag along on my journey as I share my story, talk nerdy to you, and brag on my amazing kiddos.

God’s timing is ALWAYS perfect

Don’t give up. No matter how long it takes for you to see the desires of your heart fulfilled, rest assured that He has not forgotten you.

Forty Days Til 40

Counting down to my 40th Birthday

01

Day 1

So I’m doing a thing…I’m calling it 40 days til 40. In these last 40 days of my 30s I’m going to post one picture a day that represents who I am, who I’ve been, who I am still in the process of becoming. I’m not going to limit the pictures to my favorites, only the most flattering or even the ones that bring the best memories. I want this to be raw, real and authentic. It won’t always be comfortable, but I am tired of hiding and I am weary of wanting to be someone else. No matter what my opinion is of myself, I know that in Christ I am loved and accepted, beautiful and complete. But most of all…

I. am. enough.

02

Day 2

This picture explains SO much about who I am. LOL anyone that knows me well knows that I have this weird habit of smelling everything! I love this picture. It’s just so…ME.

I was unaware that this picture was being taken, so it’s completely candid, totally authentic. Just me being my truest self without fear of rejection…no insecurities, no shame.

My 2nd highest love language is gifts. I think you can probably guess, then, that I love opening up my stocking on Christmas morning. Truth be told, to this day I still look forward to discovering all the sentimental, silly or just plain random treasures that my mom finds to fill our stockings with. That stocking on the floor next to me is the same handmade stocking that has hung in my house every Christmas for as long as I can remember.

I love seeing pictures of myself where I am not faking a smile that I feel all too self-conscious about. Pictures that bring out all the things that make me feel uncomfortable about myself.

Once again, I will claim the truth of who God says I am.
His promise that assures that

I. am. enough.

03

Day 3

Tomorrow is day 3 of our annual PVC Kids camp, this year renamed PVC Kids Takeover…today’s picture is from one of the many kids camps I’ve had the honor to serve at over the past decade that we’ve been at Palm Valley Church. What an INCREDIBLE opportunity we have each year to spend time intentionally connecting with our elementary-aged kiddos.

This picture represents the Nik that I still think I am…this is the woman I see in my head but not in the mirror. It’s been a rough couple years looking in the mirror and not recognizing the person looking back at me. I am desperately trying to accept and love the body I am in currently. I never had a clue how much of my identity was wrapped up in my outward appearance until the very body I live in changed so dramatically. I am no longer the “little,” “skinny,” or “tiny” Nikki that I have (almost) always known. Yes, I need to do better and for the love of God I really ought to STOP EATING CHEESE! But you know what? I love cheese. And more than that, I love who I am on the INSIDE even more. I have been consistently going to spin classes once/twice a week, and I have started following the calling to write that God has placed in my heart. I have a stronger relationship with Jesus and with my husband. I have learned to forgive myself, but the loving and embracing who I am on the outside is still a work in progress.

I’m going to keep saying this until I eventually BELIEVE it 100%…I. am. enough.

04

Day 4

Gonna make this one short and sweet, since I’m EXHAUSTED and actually heading to bed early (for once)! 😆

This week was a total BLAST and I am so grateful for all the people I had the great privilege to serve alongside. Seriously…the best of the best!

This week I had blue hairspray in my hair making it crunchy for 3 straight days LOL so in honor of that one time I temporarily dyed the bottom of my hair teal…I present today’s picture.💙💙💙

05

Day 5

We ended the week by getting to celebrate Elijah’s 13th birthday, so today’s picture has to be one taken on MY 13th birthday.

13 marked the age that my mom let me start wearing makeup.

A few things about this picture…I remember so many details about this outfit and that night in general. I had my big 13th party with friends later on, but this particular night was just my immediate family…my parents, my brother, and both sets of grandparents.

We all got dressed up and went to a fancy dinner where my parent’s gift to me was my first CD player! It was one of the boom boxes where you could play both CDs AND cassette tapes. I remember my brother’s gift to me, my first CD, was the soundtrack to the Lion King. To this day that soundtrack still has the ability to transport me back to 8th grade.

Little did I know that night in August of 1994 that in 6 month’s time EVERYTHING in my life would change. The following Feb. I would move to a new state where I didn’t know anyone, leaving my family, my friends, my church, my school…everything I had ever known up to that point. I would end up attending high school at a public school for the first time since I was 6 years old.

And you wanna know the honest truth? God knew that I needed that fresh start. You see, that little 13 year old Nikki was already battling extreme insecurity, feelings of inadequacy, and low self-esteem. She was already learning that who she truly was on the inside was both “too much” and “not enough” all at the same time. Not for Jesus, not for her family or her teachers, but for herself. Because those are the lies the enemy fed her, using mean girls to deliver cutting words that would do more damage than a hurricane inside the heart of a little girl who desperately wanted to me accepted by others. When words of affirmation are your love language, the enemy will make damn sure that words are his primary weapon of choice to wreak havoc on your identity.

So to that 13 year old me, I wish I could tell her that those words don’t define her…that she will NEVER be too much or not enough for God. Because He created her. He INTENTIONALLY created her to be exactly who she is. And HE loves and accepts her unconditionally.

It’s taken me nearly 4 decades to get to this point, but I am finally ready to stop apologizing for being who God created me to be.

I am more than enough.

06

Day 6

Another awkward 13 year old picture…the funniest thing about this is that the outfit I’m wearing looks very similar to what kids and young adults are wearing these days!

I’ve rarely felt comfortable in my own skin, let alone the clothes I wore. I have never been interested in fashion, and I definitely have my own style. I dress for comfort and functionality, not based on trends or what others think is cool or “in.” Jeans and a pair of Vans or Chucks is my go-to outfit that makes me feel confident and the most like myself.

Confession time:

Most days I look in the mirror and don’t recognize the person looking back at me…but on the days I FEEL pretty, I take selfies. The majority of the time I don’t post them but just keep them in a hidden album on my phone. I realize this sounds incredibly vain, but sometimes I need to look at these pictures to remind myself of the person I still envision that I am. It also helps me embrace the person I am today and who I am still in the process of becoming.

07

Day 7

This picture definitely looks like me! I love love LOVE corn on the cob. Even though it gets stuck in my teeth and my permanent retainer that’s cemented to the back of my teeth. It’s totally worth it, though! Corn on the cob with butter and salt…now my tummy is growling, but I’d take corn on the cob over watermelon any day. I have been known to eat 7 whole ears in one sitting.

Clearly from this picture I am enjoying myself.

One thing I’ve never been insecure about is my enjoyment of eating food that I love! I was a suuuuper picky eater as a kid. Now my favorite food is sushi, which just goes to show how much I have grown and changed over the years.

08

Day 8

And now I present to you the absolute CREEPIEST picture I have ever seen of myself.

I look so uncomfortable in this picture and I feel extremely uncomfortable looking at this picture. I don’t watch horror movies but this seems like something that would be in one.

Pretty sure that doll’s head is bigger than mine. Also, it reminds me a little of the Seinfeld episode where George Costanza’s girlfriend has a doll that looks like his mother. 😳

I told y’all…I’m gonna post alllllll KINDS of pics in these 40 days LOL!

You’re welcome.

*But for real, I’m sorry if you have nightmares tonight

09

Day 9

If there were ever a purely 80s outfit, this is it. Short jean skirt with bike shorts, crop top and LA Gears.

That’s how I rolled.

010

Day 10

Today my Oma had surgery on her sinuses. It was a really long day with some pretty major issues, which is scary since she is in her 80s. My mom and my Opa were at the hospital all day with her until this evening when they had to go home.

This picture reminds me of my Oma and Opa’s home that was a constant to me growing up.

This couch is also where I was sitting the day I prayed to ask Jesus into my heart.

My Oma used to always watch the 700 Club on the little tv in the dining room (the tv was across from this very couch). No one else was in the room when it happened. I’d gone to Sunday school since birth, I knew what sin was. I remember the man on the TV (Pat Robertson) invited anyone that wanted to start a relationship with Jesus to pray along with him. I did. I remember running to the back of the house where my mom and Oma were and excitedly telling them that I had asked Jesus into my heart, that I was a Christian now! I remember the look they exchanged with each other, the look that said they were surprised that I had prayed that prayer on my own, without either of them.

I was 3 years old. I still remember the feel of that scratchy old 70s-patterned couch.

That’s how I am. I’ve always been independent, able to compartmentalize and keep my thoughts and feelings close to my chest. Vulnerability is not a strength of mine…I’m working on it, though.

Tonight I am just praying that my Oma is able to get lots of rest and that her recovery goes smoothly throughout the next days and weeks ahead.

11

Day 11

This is by FAR my favorite picture of my brother and I. Actually, come to think of it I love EVERY picture of myself in this dress. I always felt beautiful in this dress, especially with my hair curled.

I look so happy, so confident. Today in a meeting we were asked a connecting question regarding what we most admire about our childhood selves. I was brave, curious, fearless and precocious. But most of all, I was confident in who I was.

I was completely OK with who I was until someone told me I had reason not to be.

Let me say that again: I was ok with who I was until SOMEONE ELSE TOLD ME I had reason not to be.

This reminds me of that time in the Bible right after Adam and Eve ate from the ONE forbidden tree.

As dads do, God the Father asks His children “where are you?” I always picture this scene playing out the same way a game of hide and seek with my own children would often go.

“Where arrrrre youuuuu? Where are you hidingggg? Daddy’s going to find youuuu.”

While you may think it’s weird that I imagine the God of the universe calling out to His creation in a sing-song voice, it makes perfect sense to me.

Because of this next part.

Adam responds to God’s voice by coming up with an excuse: “We were afraid because we knew we were naked, so we hid.”

Gods response? “WHO TOLD YOU THAT YOU WERE NAKED?”

Yikes. I feel like He sometimes asks me in that same tone, “Nik, who TOLD you that you weren’t good enough? Who TOLD you that you are not pretty enough or worthy of my love and forgiveness?”

Whose voice am I choosing to listen to? The voices of my past that condemn and try to disqualify me? Or am I listening to the voice of the God who knit me together in my mother’s womb. HE SAYS that I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

So no more playing hide and seek in the darkness, it’s time to step out into the light and reflect Jesus’ love and light to the hurting world around me.

12

Day 12

Meet Crabby, my rubber crab whom I loved very much but who somehow ended up on the roof of this house and found by my Opa years later. He had melted and stuck to the roof. So sad.

The thing that stands out to me
the most about this picture is the fact that I was BAREFOOT! One thing that not everyone knows about me is that I hate…HATE…being barefoot. I feel the most at home in socks and shoes, which I will wear around the house all day long.

Confession: I feel super uncomfortable when I go to someone else’s house and they ask me to take my shoes off (the only exception being the home of my friend whose daughter has had a heart transplant.)

I feel super vulnerable and awkward when I don’t have shoes on. Why is that exactly? Maybe it’s because I’ve watched Die Hard too many times. Perhaps I’m afraid I’ll have to run away and escape quickly and not having shoes will cost me my life. I have had recurring Jurassic Park dreams so that could have something to do with it.

Honestly though? I think it has more to do with feeling out of control. My shoes seem to give me this false sense of control like if I have my shoes on I can leave anytime I want, but having to “take my shoes off and stay awhile” signals a deeper level of commitment.

I wonder how that tiny girl with the pigtails felt having her shoes off that warm day in Fremont. She sure looks like she’s happy and comfortable to me! Maybe I should try letting go of control and go barefoot every once in a while.

#40DaysTil40 #Almost40
#Barefoot #Control #Writer #Identity #MoreThanEnough #NextRightStep #HopeWriterLife
#CompelTraining

40 Days til 40: Day 11

This is by FAR my favorite picture of my brother and I. Actually, come to think of it I love EVERY picture of myself in this dress. I always felt beautiful in this dress, especially with my hair curled.

I look so happy, so confident. Today in a meeting we were asked a connecting question regarding what we most admire about our childhood selves. I was brave, curious, fearless and precocious. But most of all, I was confident in who I was.

I was completely OK with who I was until someone told me I had reason not to be.

Let me say that again: I was ok with who I was until SOMEONE ELSE TOLD ME I had reason not to be.

This reminds me of that time in the Bible right after Adam and Eve ate from the ONE forbidden tree.

As dads do, God the Father asks His children “where are you?” I always picture this scene playing out the same way a game of hide and seek with my own children would often go.

“Where arrrrre youuuuu? Where are you hidingggg? Daddy’s going to find youuuu.”

While you may think it’s weird that I imagine the God of the universe calling out to His creation in a sing-song voice, it makes perfect sense to me.

Because of this next part.

Adam responds to God’s voice by coming up with an excuse: “We were afraid because we knew we were naked, so we hid.”

Gods response? “WHO TOLD YOU THAT YOU WERE NAKED?”

Yikes. I feel like He sometimes asks me in that same tone, “Nik, who TOLD you that you weren’t good enough? Who TOLD you that you are not pretty enough or worthy of my love and forgiveness?”

Whose voice am I choosing to listen to? The voices of my past that condemn and try to disqualify me? Or am I listening to the voice of the God who knit me together in my mother’s womb. HE SAYS that I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

So no more playing hide and seek in the darkness, it’s time to step out into the light and reflect Jesus’ love and light to the hurting world around me.

13

Day 13

This picture is just too perfect. From the Disneyland shirt, to listening to music on a Walkman while swinging.

I LOVED to be outdoors when I was a kid. Playing in the dirt, collecting bugs, devouring as many raspberries as I could from my Opa’s garden, and most of all CLIMBING TREES. I always dreamed of having a tree house, but that never came to be.

My imagination made up for it though. I could spend hours outside by myself, I didn’t need anyone to entertain me and I didn’t need anyone to give me ideas about what to do.

I can’t tell you how many times I have heard my kids say, “Mommy, I’m bored” and honestly it hurts my heart and confuses me all at the same time.

I am not even sure if I ever uttered those words to my mom, because she almost always let me go play outside. I had plenty of imaginary friends to keep me company anyway!

I lived in a world of my own making, marching to the beat of my own drum. I may be more grounded in reality nowadays, but I definitely still put to good use the active imagination God gave me.

14

Day 14

My girl is at camp this week up at UCYC.

This picture was taken on the way home from her first middle school camp when she was heading into 6th grade. Now she’s going to be a senior in a matter of weeks. So crazy!

I miss going to camp so much.

Right now I am way too tired to write more, but I don’t want to miss a day and fall behind! I am creating consistency in my writing by working towards this goal of posting once a day. Some days the caption is longer, sometimes, like tonight, it is not.

15

Day 15

July is always a tough month for me if it’s a year I’m NOT getting to reunite with my Nerd family during SDCC. I don’t even know what to say about all the memories that are popping up on FB right now.

I don’t know what to say because there are TRULY no words to describe what the experience of Nerd HQ has meant to me and to so many others. Some of the hands down BEST times of my life were spent
with my Nerd fam in San Diego and Anaheim.

I attended my first NerdHQ in 2014 and my life was forever changed. I’m pretty certain my family and friends all thought I was completely INSANE for taking a road trip with 2 other girls I had never met in person to stay at a KOA with 3 more girls I hadn’t met in person to hang out with even MORE people I had never met in person.

Thank GOD I did. Those “strangers” that I initially met through Twitter became instant family. All thanks to this guy named Zac. One of the most authentic, kind, and down to earth dudes you can ever hope to meet…also one of the TALLEST dudes I could ever hope to meet LOL!

I didn’t think my Nerd HQ experience could get better than that first trip and I so looked forward to reuniting with my friends in 2016 after having to miss out in 2015 (due to an awesome family trip to Disneyland with both kids!).

My life was about to change AGAIN, as I applied for, interviewed, and was ultimately chosen to be one of the volunteers at Nerd HQ ‘16!

Getting to serve in this way was an experience unlike anything I have ever known, although taking our PVC kids up to summer camp comes pretty darn close!

My Nerd family just kept on growing and expanding, now I had even MORE friends and this incredible nerd army of support, love and acceptance. I had found my tribe.

I miss SO many things about Nerd HQ, but I’ll name just 3.

1. My Nerd Fam…it’s now been 4 years since I’ve seen most of them. My heart hurts just thinking about the time and space that separates us. Rivers and Roads.❤️

2. I miss the epic, nerdy, dance parties. Ironically the BEST party of them all was the last year I was there in 2017. There was no Nerd HQ, but we had live cover bands and those nights were magical.

3. I miss Zac himself. I miss his laugh, his high-fives and his inspiring words of love and encouragement. Everyone should love others the way that man does. I miss being able to just walk around the corner and see his humble smile. I also miss his mad dance skills and his big, beautiful heart.

16

Day 16

Today’s picture represents the time when I first introduced my firstborn to the magic and majesty of Disneyland.

She was just under 3 years old and memories of that special trip will live in my heart forever. I remember some people questioning taking a child that young to Disneyland when they are too young to even remember any of it.

My response was simple: I’LL REMEMBER.

It didn’t matter to me whether she would remember or not, although I took so many pictures and we talked about it enough that it wouldn’t surprise me if she did.

I remember.

I’m honestly not sure if there has been a time that I haven’t gotten teary-eyed walking through the gates and standing in front of the big floral Mickey with the Disneyland Railroad station as the backdrop.

I get really emotional about Disneyland. Every. Time. I don’t think people realize just how much the park means to me. I literally get homesick for Disneyland and I know that when we go in 23 days the odds of me being an emotional wreck are pretty darn high.

This trip is also going to be emotional for another reason: this is very possibly the last time we will be in the parks all together as a family before Emmaline graduates from high school next May.

My babies are growing up way too fast. I’m so incredibly thankful for all the magic and memories that will last for a lifetime. ❤️

17

Day 17

My baby girl comes home tomorrow!!! I miss her singing, her silly accents and her hugs. I pray she didn’t get too “low on hug power” while she was away at camp.

My girl is one of the bravest humans I’ve ever known. She is talented, kind, and beautiful
inside and out.

She knows who she is in Christ and she allows her pain to shape her into someone who is more empathetic and attuned to the suffering of others. Bullying sucks, but she came out of it much stronger than I ever did.

I am so incredibly proud of her and eternally grateful that I get to be her mommy. ❤️❤️❤️

18

Day 18

My girl is home, our family is once again complete. Being these kids’ mommy is the BEST job in the world.

Being a mom is the only thing I ever knew for sure I wanted to be when I grew up. I knew I was meant to be a mother from the time I was very very small.

I am a FAR cry from perfect, but these sweet kiddos God has blessed me with sure make it a lot easier.

We have only taken 2 family trips to Disneyland with all 4 of us, so I am beyond excited to celebrate my 40th birthday making more memories with my 3 favorite humans on earth. ❤️❤️❤️

19

Day 19

10/29/95 - If you look closely you will see this date on the side of today’s photo.

This would have been the first of my dad’s birthdays we celebrated after moving to AZ in Feb. of 1995.

This picture was taken on the day my dad turned 36, which ironically enough is the age my brother will be turning in exactly 2 months from tomorrow. So crazy.

Honestly, when I picked this photo to be my picture for today I was just looking for a sibling pic of my brother and I.

We had a really fun and special family day today, celebrating my youngest nephew’s 12th birthday. After everyone but family had left and Jake had fallen asleep on the couch, my brother and sister in law and I sat around talking about Star Wars and how episodes 7, 8, and 9 are crap but how amazing Rogue One is. We talked about Disneyland and how excited we all are to be back in the parks again soon.

I wanted to find a picture of the 2 of us from when we were close to the age our kids are now. I would have been 14 in this picture, making Andrew 10.

Between the two of us we have 5 kiddos with ages spanning from 7 to 16. So weird to look back and realize how young our parents actually were vs. how old I FEEL now.

I’m so thankful for so many pictures that bring back such sweet memories of times when our family was the closest.

Moving from CA and everything we’d ever known really brought us together as a family. I’m even more grateful that our children can now grow up near each other and be as close as they are. What a huge blessing my family is to me.❤️

20

Day 20

I love old school film pictures that have the date printed on the photograph itself! The date of from 1988 means I was 7 years old.

This picture was taken at the hospital in San Francisco after my Grandpa had his quintuple bypass surgery. You can see the “zipper” from his open heart surgery peeking through his hospital robe.

I remember so many things about this season in my life. I remember the drive from Vacaville to SF to bring Grandma to visit Grandpa in the hospital. I remember the smell of the hospital, like canned green beans and gravy…and I definitely remember spending Thanksgiving in the hospital cafeteria.

I remember they told me I wasn’t allowed to go in to visit my Grandpa…I started crying and throwing a fit demanding that they let me see him. I cried and yelled “I’m not a dirty little kid, I’m not sick, my grandpa is going to die and I won’t get to see him and it’ll be all their fault!”

So they let me see him. My grandpa never smiled in pictures, but I know he loved me. His lack of smiles in pictures was a huge part of his personality.

My grandpa went on to live for many more years, finally dying at 86 from multiple myeloma cancer back in 2008.

What a beautiful legacy he has left behind for our family.

21

Day 21

My baby boy.

Most of the time people automatically think Elijah looks just like Jake…same build, similar personalities, etc.

But when I see pictures like this, and really any picture of his sweet smile, I realize he definitely does have some of my features as well.

He does not have his daddy’s lips or smile, which I actually LOVE. I am pretty much obsessed with this boy’s laugh and his sweet cuddles.

He may be officially a teenager now but he’s not ashamed to still hold my hand walking across a parking lot, or to kiss my cheek in public.

You see one of Elijah’s primary love languages is physical touch…this is actually the same for BOTH of my kiddos.

Guess which love language is lowest for me. Yup. Physical touch ranks at the very bottom for me.

I believe this is why God gave me not one but TWO children who need to be physically close to me to fill their love tanks.

Hugging on my children isn’t always easy for me, but thankfully I have a daughter who is the most self-aware person I’ve ever met in my life.

I pray that Elijah will learn to articulate his feelings and needs the way his sister does. But then again, that is another trait he has unfortunately inherited from me.

Vulnerability is another thing that doesn’t come easily for Elijah or I…particularly when it comes to letting people know what’s really going on in our hearts or minds. We don’t like to talk about our problems or ask for help.

I’m getting better. It’s been a long road, and I know the journey may never be over completely. Learning how to open yourself up to people after you’ve suffered emotional abuse is not a switch you can just flip.

I just pray that my sweet boy always knows that he can come to us for help…and hugs.

22

Day 22

Today’s picture brings back an awful lot of different feelings.

I asked Emmaline what “time period” tonight’s picture should be from and she suggested a picture from the time after I graduated high school but before I was pregnant with her.

This was the Christmas after I turned 21…and also after I had left my ex-husband about 3 months prior.

I look so happy in this picture. I look so…free. Like I’m smiling a real smile. But the truth was that I was trying to figure out WHO exactly I was. I became someone…someTHING that I could never have imagined in a million years that I would become.

Thankfully, by God’s grace it was but for a season. He loves me far too much to have let me stay in my self-destructive spiral forever.

I had grown up being the epitome of “the good girl.” I was proud and I was self righteous. Boy, did I have a lot to learn about how weak I really was.

I always explain it this way: it’s as if there were some invisible checklist in my head of things I would never EVER do…and then one by one…check. Check. Check check. Check check check check. And on and on it went, me falling deeper into this black hole of truly living OF this world instead of merely living in it.

For the first time in my life I felt like I was the one in control. I was in the driver’s seat and could finally dictate who could and could not hurt me.

I knew I was still saved of course, but I was acting like a stubborn toddler with my arms crossed over my chest declaring to the world and to God, “No! I’m going to live my life MY way right now, thank you very much!” And I did.

BOY, did I ever. A lifetime of being the good girl and I threw it all away in a matter of about a year and a half.

I hurt so many people along the way…my family, but God’s heart most of all. None of this came as a surprise or shock to him of course. But He protected me and blessed me through it all.

First and foremost, God gifted me with my sweet baby girl. What a blessing she is. I give God all the glory for every part of my story.

23

Day 23

When I was 31 I finally got my first tattoo.

“by grace”

As of now it’s still my only tattoo. I already know what I want on my other wrist, though: REDEEMED

I had completely psyched myself out about how badly I thought it was going to hurt. So I braced myself for the worst. But as SOON as my tattoo artist started I looked down and said “is that it?”

I absolutely love my tattoo…it’s outward facing so that I can use it as a conversation starter. I’ve had several people ask me about the meaning behind it. I love getting to share about God’s grace and what He has done for me.

Now as I’m about to turn 40, I realize that I’m long overdue for another tattoo.

24

Day 24

This handsome guy turns 45 tomorrow. Boy, what a journey our marriage has been.

Through the good, the bad, and the ugly, one thing has remained:

This man of mine takes such good care of our family. He loves his children, he loves me. He doesn’t merely express his love in words or affection, but he proves it through his actions.

I always joke that I married MacGyver. But it’s true. My hubby can fix pretty much ANYTHING.

I could never count the number of parts he’s replaced in my car, the appliances he’s fixed in our house, or the assortment of broken things he’s superglued.

He is a master designer of Christmas lights, master Lego builder, and electrical wizard.

He calls me his sexy nerd and he enables my love (ok SLIGHT obsession) with movies and all things Disney.

He is my sexy Star Wars nerd and will binge-watch Marvel and LOTR with me. In fact, the first movie we ever saw in the theater together was LOTR: The Two Towers.

Today’s picture is from our first family trip to Disneyland with all 4 of us. Getting to walk through Galaxy’s Edge just the 2 of us last Feb. just the 2 of us was just about the most romantic thing we’ve done in almost 16 years of marriage.

So tonight I celebrate the birth of the amazing man that I am blessed enough to get to call my husband. I don’t deserve him, but I am beyond grateful every day that he chooses to love me. Especially when I’m not very lovable.

25

Day 25

One more post dedicated to my birthday boy. He may be 45 today, but we have truly grown up together these past 17 years that we’ve been together and almost 16 years of being married.

We are definitely looking our ages lately that’s for sure, and more than anything FEELING ourselves getting older.

Our bodies are out of shape and out of whack, with lots of “snap crackle, and pops” as my BFFer would say.

We look forward to one day playing with our grandchildren, but that means we have to take better care of these bodies.

When life gets so busy that you fall into bad habits, it’s hard to pull yourself out of that vicious cycle.

But my baby is worth it. Our kiddos are worth it. Our future grand babies are worth it. My mental health is worth it.

We’ve had a lot of fun dates over the years, but the “adults only” play dates at the children’s museum are for sure some of my favorites. I hope they bring those back soon!

26

Day 26

Planking. Anyone remember the short period of time when this was a thing?

For those of you lucky enough to have skipped this moment in history that has thankfully LONG
since gone the way of parkour and the iPod touch, “planking” involved lying facedown on pretty much any surface…like a, well, plank.

The weirder the place the better.

The idea was someone would then of course snap a picture as proof (because, pics or it didn’t happen) and then post on social media.

Why, I do not know. What I DO know is that my friends and I all thought this trend was quite ridiculous and decided to do some planking of our own JUST to see if we could figure out the allure of the thing.

Turns out it was rather fun…about 2 weeks before I turned 30, I decided to climb up on top of a soda machine at a bowling alley. I had never felt cooler.

I have always been the one that’s up for anything and will do pretty much anything to impress people.

I once won limbo on roller skates to impress a boy. It didn’t work. BUT for the rest of my life I’ll be able to say that I did that!

I’ll also be able to prove that as a grown woman and mother of 2 children I once planked on top of a super dusty soda machine at a bowling alley.

Come to think of it, that doesn’t really sound impressive at all anymore.

27

Day 27

I LOVE this picture.

It really showcases so many of my nerdy passions all in one place!

Jake took this while we were waiting in line for Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout last Feb.

I was TERRIFIED to go on that ride, but as soon as I stepped off I wanted to go again just so I could actually enjoy the experience LOL!

I was so nervous about what was going to happen that I literally just squeezed onto Jake’s arm the entire time to the point where he said I was floating above the seat.

I’m looking forward to riding this again in a couple weeks, this time with the kids too!

OH HEY, FOR BEST VIEWING, YOU'LL NEED TO TURN YOUR PHONE