Brooke’s Baptism and A Big Goal of Ours.

Let’s rewind all of the way back to Saturday!   For some reason my body woke up at 4:30 a.m. that morning and I could not go back to sleep.  I think I was just excited for the day so I started getting some things done on my to do list and then once it got a little light, I went out for a run.  I finished 6 miles @ 9:27 average.

Then we had breakfast and got ready for the day!  I have had a few questions about our baptisms so I thought I would share here.  We are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  You can get baptized anytime after the age of 8.  We believe that 8 is the age of accountability and the point where a person can make the decision for themselves if they would like to be baptized.  We make promises with our Heavenly Father when we are baptized to take upon ourselves the name of Jesus Christ, to keep His commandments and to serve Him and we are promised blessings in return!  We talked a lot about this decision with Brooke leading up to Saturday and she had been counting down the days until her baptism for a while now.

Andrew baptized and blessed Brooke and the experience was beautiful.  We all felt so much peace and light.


Brooke and I drove over to the church together just the two of us and I loved having some alone time before her big day.


Knox will be getting baptized next month. Skye loved having her people all together.


We did a little decorating and had programs made for the day.


Afterwards we had a sandwich bar (I didn’t take that many pictures of the food) with croissants and rolls from Costco, an assortment of meats/cheeses/chicken salad and fruits/veggies.


For dessert we had these cookies and Andrew made the cake!


I wish I took a picture with everybody there but I didn’t really have my camera out much!  I absolutely love this picture of Brooke with my dad.  Brooke had all of her grandparents there, her parents/stepparents, her siblings (she has a little brother on her dad’s side too!) along with some cousins and aunts/uncles.  It was amazing to see everyone there to support and love Brooke.  It was an experience we will all remember forever. Brooke is so lucky to have so many people in her life that love her so much.


Brooke was able to spend the rest of the holiday weekend with her dad (the last time she had seen him was February because of Corona and she had such a great time)!   Skye has started to understand that Knox goes back and forth between houses but she was very confused with Brooke leaving because she couldn’t remembered the last time she was gone but Skye definitely bonded with Knox and they had a great time together.

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Andrew was thrilled because we started decorating for Halloween over the weekend.  One of our goals is to someday have a full haunted house in our backyard (Andrew talked me into this but I’m very excited too) so every year we shop the sales for things the day after Halloween to build up our stash.

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My Monday run was 4 miles on my sister’s treadmill while my sister was on the elliptical next to me.  The air quality was unhealthy in our area yesterday so we stayed inside and had a fun workout together.

A highlight from the day was going out for pie…

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And then it was the three of us for the rest of the day until Brooke got home last night.

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I loved watching this below… which one are you?  I’m definitely the early reacher!

What is your favorite holiday to decorate for?  To celebrate?

Does anybody wake up without an alarm clock (or child/dogs waking them up)…. Do you have a natural alarm clock that wakes you up at a similar time each day?

A question from Andrew> Growing up, which one of your parents were more likely to say YES to things?

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Aw, congratulations to Brooke!! Such a beautiful day! <3
(I literally told my kids on the way to school today that TODAY IS THE DAY WE GET TO START DECORATING FOR HALLOWEEN!) ;) The excitement will never go away. haha.


AHHH ENJOY MOLLIE! I have a feeling our families would get along very very well. Have a blast decorating and thank you so much!


Happy Tuesday! I really enjoyed reading about Brooke’s baptism. I’m glad it was a good day. Growing up, my Mom was more likely to say yes to things. I definitely took advantage of that sometimes lol. My favorite holiday to decorate for is hands down Halloween! I just love it.


Thank you so much Kimberly! Hahaha I think our kids know who says yes more too and takes advantage of that too. Let me know when you start decorating for Halloween! Such a fun time of year. Enjoy your Tuesday Kimberly!


Wow I can’t believe Brooke is already 8! I feel like I was just reading about her birth and loving her spikey hair. She’s so grown up. Congratulations to her and so glad she could have so many people she loves there to celebrate with her. That’s one lucky little girl ?


I love these pictures, and I love that Brooke was able to *choose* baptism! I may have my own beliefs, but I do think it’s a great thing when young people are approached as individual beings who can be accountable, who can make choices, and who are TRUSTED to make good choices. Teaching that from an early age becomes the foundation of self-awareness, independence, and resilience. And when Brooke is raised in a context of a mama who wants her to remember she is loved by so many people–man, that’s just gold right there. Solid gold.

I know it’s scary to share so much of your personal life and so much about children on the internet, but I *love* that your context of sharing about your kiddos is the idea of “the more people who love them the better.” Good job, mama!

I don’t really decorate for holidays, except for Christmas. We get a teeny tiny tree from the grocery store, and we have white twinkle lights and some cheapo silver and red balls we put on the tree. Not fancy, but it works for me and Tom and our little apartment. And we have some of my yiayia’s Christmas dishes (yiayia=Greek for ‘grandmother’) that we use on Christmas day. It’s hard to decorate when you live in a small apartment, you’re always working, and you have two cats that are lovely and adorable but who are, even at the human age of 11.5 years old, little robotic destruction machines. One day when we have a house and when life feels more stable and Tom and I each can only work one job (and when I actually have a job that is fulfilling again–that prayer train needs to continue, as it’s been SO HARD for so long), it might be different. There might be a holiday wreath or doormat thrown into the picture, and maybe even a table cloth in fall colors and one in spring colors to match our white everyday dinner plates. But that’s probably it. ;)

My favorite holiday to CELEBRATE, though, is hands down birthdays. To me they’re the truest holidays. Any religion can have or dispute a holiday. Any country can create a holiday to give government workers a break. Some holidays–like mothers day–can bring so much sadness to people. And there are other things that people just don’t celebrate. But it is ABSOLUTELY UNDENIABLE that your life is better because of the people who are in it, and it is a FACT that each of these people was born on one specific day. So no matter where the chips may fall at any point in time–an easy season of life or a more challenging one–your life is able to be sustained because of these amazing people who fill it with love and beauty. So when it comes to birthdays, I get giddy and SO EXCITED, almost as if it was my own birthday. They’re simply the best!!!

Hope your day in Utah is SO GOOD today :)


HEY STEPHANIE! Thank you so much for sharing that and I totally agree with you about the benefits of giving kids choices and need to do it even more often! Thank you for your thoughts, they really made me think! Yiayia… I didn’t know that was Greek for grandmother and I love that! Hahaha ‘robotic destruction machines’… your comment made me smile so many times! I am continuing to send prayers about your job hunt and I truly hope that you find the perfect fit for you (that allows you to work one job at a time) soon. Wow, I love what you said about birthdays too and I totally agree, it is a day that each person gets no matter who/what/where they are and it’s just beautiful. Thank you so much Stephanie, I hope your day is a beautiful one too (are you still in Atlanta?)!!!


We ARE still in Atlanta…we are too broke to go anywhere, and Tom at least loves his job. ;) but he knows that I don’t want to be here forever.

Finding fulfilling work is very hard. It’s made even harder when you’re in your early 40s…entirely switching careers…and there is a global pandemic and a significant economic slowdown! Some days I feel more patient than others. Today—I’m honestly just tired of applying to jobs, feeling entirely alone in this, and feeling like maybe I am the only one who believes this career change is possible.

But anyway. People struggle even more than this and I try to balance an awareness of how it feels with an understanding of my more intellectual thoughts AND gratitude for what I already have. :)


I am glad that Tom loves his job and I can’t even imagine how hard that must be to switch careers during this time in the world. I BELIEVE IN YOU and I am cheering for you. Don’t minimize your stress/heartache of what you are going through because there could be ‘worse’… there is enough empathy for everyone in their struggles! You are doing amazing friend!


Congrats Brooke! What a beautiful day. Glad all of you from
both brookes dads family and your family could join together! Kudos for making that work!!

Waking up – I sometimes wake up on my own, but would never stay awake voluntarily … I can ALWAYS fall back asleep, and would probably stay asleep until 10 am every day if I could – but yes, kids, dogs, and work beckon!

I actually dont Really like decorating for anything – my mother in law is an actual Martha Stewart though, I swear her house could be in any magazine – so I give her a budget and she decorates for the holidays for me!! I am so lucky that she loves to do this for us!!


Thank you so much Andrea, I am really happy with how it went! Can you imagine a 10 am wakeup every day?! That would be amazing! How fun that your MIL is so talented at it, you’ll have to send me pics of what she creates for you guys. Hope your Tuesday is a beautiful one!


Congratulations tor Brooke! It looks like a really lovely day!

Where and how do you guys store your Halloween decoration stash? I’m limited on storage space, and wonder what strategy you use.

My parents always said yes to “just one more chapter before lights out”. And it was NEVER just one more chapter ;)


Hey Amy, thank you so much. We luckily have a shed that has a ton of space for all of these decorations so I don’t have any great tips, I’m sorry. I’m like your parents, I can’t say no to the kids wanting to read more. Hope you have a fabulous day Amy!


Oh Brooke looked so lovely and glad she had so many family at her Baptism!

I wake up around 6 each morning though we spent the long weekend camping and we slept 12 hours lol! We were so tired haha.

Definitely my dad was more likely to say yes lol. My mom did not let us get away with sneaking treats lol.

And Christmas is my absolute favourite holiday to decorate for. I like the lights , the candles etc. Maybe because its the thick of winter and decorating makes the place more cheery.

Have a wonderful day Janae!


Thank you so much Kristine! Sounds like you had a fun weekend but you NEED to get in bed early tonight. I can’t wait to decorate for Christmas too. Thank you Kristine, you too!


My mom would always tell us to ask dad so I guess she was just passing on saying no?? Haha

I wake up at 530 every day and rarely need an alarm. I always set one but I usually wake up about 528.

Congratulations to Brooke on a beautiful day! It’s so special to be with family and celebrate your faith.


Hahaha I say that to the kids a lot too:) It is so interesting that our body can do that… 5:28! Thank you Colleen and I hope you have a wonderful Tuesday.


Thank you so much for sharing Brooke’s baptism with us. We all have so much to learn from each other and I really appreciate your willingness to speak openly about your faith.

Many, many blessings on Brooke. May peace, hope, joy, and love flow from heaven above and fill her life forevermore.


Thank you so much for your sweet comment, it means the world to all of us! I hope your day is a beautiful one, Clare!


HUGE CONGRATS to sweet Brooke on her Baptism. Such a memorable and special day for all of you.


Thank you so much Donna! I hope you are having a wonderful morning!


Congratulations to Brooke and to all of you! I think it’s so great that you hosted an event that Brooke’s entire family could attend – it’s so gracious and warm of you and I think growing up in a warm environment is one of the best possible things for kids :) Enjoy your week!!


Thank you so much! It really turned out so well and I am so happy there was so much love there. Thanks Liz, you too!


As a child of divorce, I just want to give you a HUGE kudos for including Brooke’s dad and other part of her family in this event ❤️ My parents couldn’t be around each other for events like this until my brothers and I were adults, so I just love seeing Brooke get to spend her special day with everyone!!


Thank you so much so much Christina, that means a lot. I am so sorry that you had to go through that, you are so strong and I am glad now that you guys are adults that everyone can be together. Have a wonderful day!


Congratulations on Brooke’s baptism! I do think it’s more special when you get to choose it yourself.

I think I like decorating for Fall/Halloween and Christmas equally.

My Dad was the one who said yes more, and didn’t get upset about little things. He was still strict, but more with a “let the kid be a kid” attitude versus my Mom who had the attitude that “kids should be little adults.”


Thank you so much Anna! I hope you have a blast with all of the decorating this year. It’s so interesting to hear how everyone’s parents did things! Thanks for sharing and enjoy your Tuesday!


I got baptized when I was 7, so reading about Brooke’s baptism brought back a lot of happy memories. I’m glad she was able to be surrounded by all her loved ones.

I love decorating for Christmas (it’s really the only holiday I decorate for) and celebrating Easter. Both very important days to me.

I only use an alarm if I absolutely have to be out the door super early. I’m usually awake before 6 a.m.

My dad was definitely the one who said yes. Unfortunately, he learned to say, “Go ask your mom!”


Off topic question from your beautiful post about Brooke’s Baptism:)
What size do you were in a normal shoe vs your Brooks running shoes?
Have a great day Janae:)


I can’t remember who was more likely to say ‘yes’ to us growing up but with my kids it is definitely me and they know it! If I say to ‘go ask your dad’ they know the answer will be no and that I don’t want to be the one to say it.

Thanks for sharing Brooke’s baptism. Both of our children were baptized as babies but they can also rededicate themselves when they are old enough to choose. My husband and I actually got re-baptized when our son was and it was pretty special for us to all do it together.

I love those videos showing the different types of runners! So funny and true!


Congrats to Brooke! What a beautiful blessing and a special day it must’ve been! I think it speaks volumes that you DIDN’T have your phone out that much. Your presence and mindfulness to Brooke and your family is what is important in life!
My gosh, Janae…the kiddoes are growing up so fast!!!! And you and Andrew look like you are aging in reverse!!!! What is your secret!?!? Divulge, please!



What a beautiful way to celebrate and honor Brooke. I bet she was thrilled to have so many family members there showing their love and support (and I am sure she felt it from those who were not there, too!) I hope you rested after all that, I’m sure it was mentally, emotionally, and physically and tiring day and weekend. Many of us understand how family events can *feel* when some of our past and present come together. Sounds like it was a good situation since the day was about Brooke. I appreciate things like that coming up because it is really life and reading about how others view this or handle it is reassuring.

What was the flavor of that amazing looking cake?! Yum!!!

How fun for Skye and Knox to hang out together. Your kids are so cute.

Answer to Andrew-I’d say both. If it involved anything adventuresome or random, my dad. Now that I think about it, I think my dad said yes more. Unless he had a gut feeling it was something my mom would be totally against, then it was a no.


Congratulations, Brooke! What a special day.

And Andrew- that cake! Wow.


Dad for sure said yes more than Mom!

Favorite holidays are Fall/Halloween and Christmas

Yes my body naturally wakes up at the same time even on weekends but I still set alarms just in case!


Congratulations to Brooke and her entire family!

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