More family fun

Having family in town was too much fun. What made it the best was having Papa Bear (my dad) there. He doesn't do too many trips because his knees are not very nice to him. In fact, they are terrible to him. Poor guy. But he was such a trooper and went everywhere with us!

Love these two. Please excuse the bad shadows.

Teenager missing her friends. I remember those days.

Papa Bear always teaching us something new. I swear to you he is the smartest person I know. Ask him anything, and he can probably tell you all about it.

This thing is a shock collar for people who snore. Seriously. Only at a thrift store.

Talk about missing teeth. I asked him to give me a smile and this is what I got.

Bloomingdales samples on the top floor. AMAZING.

THREE people in my family won the lottery for Newsies. THREE! It was awesome and well deserved. They do it every time they have come to the city and never won. We had some people say "It's cause your mormon!" I asked how they knew. They said, "There is a million of you, and the young one has a BYU sweatshirt on!"

These two love talking. My Dad loved learning from Mr. D about the green buildings in the city.

A parade we came across. Not sure what it was for, but the costumes were pretty cool! We got a nice little show of many butt cheeks. Too many.

Thanks for coming fam bam!
Sure love you guys!


To be a people pleaser

My whole life I've been a people pleaser. I made decisions based off of others happiness.

My goal for so long was to always keep people happy. Say what people wanted to hear. Live my life the way I knew others think I should live it.

Derek on the other hand is not a people pleaser. When we were first married, if he didn't think your joke was funny, he wouldn't laugh. If he didn't agree, he'd tell you...sometimes. Now he is better at giving a giggle just to make things easier (most of the time), or staying silent when he disagrees.

So since a people pleaser and self pleaser came together (Derek and I), we have come to find a balance that I think is working out OK.

We have been so much happier since learning to not care so much what people think. I've also found that I'm able to relate to others better. I love that people know the real me, and not the semi-real me. It does seem like someone is always saddened or disagrees with our decision in one thing or another, but the biggest thing we've learned being married is YOU CAN'T PLEASE EVERYONE.

You just can't. We move to New York, someone disagrees. We plan a trip to Thailand, someone disagrees. I have a public blog, someone disagrees. I drink caffeine, someone disagrees.

All of this said, I also think it is important to be sensitive to what is important to others. Something not important to us may be important to somebody else. Just had to throw that out there because I knew it would be coming in a comment. :)

Long story short, I used to be a people pleaser. Derek and New York have changed me. They've been great changes. I'm happier. I'm living my life more fully. I'm more ME.

For example: I sneeze. A stranger blesses me. Before NY, I would have given some frilled up extra sweet thank you. I can now give a thanks without hardly turning my head, just as they didn't turn their head to bless me. And I don't feel like a jerk doing it.

A quote Mr. D recently shared with me that I enjoyed so much...

"I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody." - Bill Cosby

I would love to hear your thoughts on people pleasing. Are you a people pleaser? Where should the line be drawn?

PS... Central Park is BEAUTIFUL right now. Gosh I'm so in love with this place. We went for a little walk with the camera. Pictures to come. :)

PPS... Did you hear about the hurricane heading to the city tomorrow evening? I'm feeling so glad I took pictures of the park before all of the leaves blow off the trees. Hopefully I'll get another post in before we lose power (if we lose power). To be honest, I don't think it's going to be as bad as people are thinking, but I guess we'll find out! I feel a little excited, and a little nervous because we have no idea what to expect. We bought some snacks and water from the store that will hopefully last us a few days if we don't have power. Prayers are welcome.

Not-so-people-pleaser Mandy


Pigeon Diaries + a very important question

One day while out exploring with mi familia, we were swarmed by pigeons while eating lunch. We decided to mess with them a bit since they were messing with us.

We'd throw food out, let them swarm, then stomp at them and scare them all away. For some reason they kept coming back for more. It made for some pretty fun pictures. It was actually kinda scary taking them cause I would get totally swarmed by flying pigeons.

My favorite is the one of Ammon (my elder brother) with his arms spread and the pigeon's wings spread below him. 

Check it out!

Question of the day:

Do you load your bowls on the top rack or the bottom rack of the dishwasher?
There's some loading strategy exploration going on over here.


Dreams coming true + a little clarification.

Since getting married 2 and a half years ago we have dreamed of going back to Derek's mission in Thailand. We talked about it like it would happen, but wondered if it ever really would.

Well guess what..... IT'S HAPPENING!!!


We're feeling so extremely blessed to have this opportunity. I can't wait to go see this country that holds such a special place in Derek's heart.

This will be our first trip alone (besides our honeymoon in Bear Lake...which was, well, you know how honeymoons often go. ;) I was so overly tired, ended up sick, it was freezing, and we both had a lot of homework while there. But just being together, alone, with no one else to please or see, was oh so nice.) FOR REALS. We sure love trips with our families too, but we can't wait to have our first big vacation adventure with just our little family.

My cute little Elder. I can't believe how young he looks!

And one of my all time favorite activities. Reading letters between Mr. D and I from his mission. But my favorite part about it is watching Derek laugh so hard at the things he said in his letters. I love how hilarious he thinks he is. :) He really was always so entertaining.

And because I think this topic needs a little explanation...

We are so blessed to live in NYC. We absolutely love it here, and feel so grateful for this opportunity. I think that my blog and facebook make it appear that we live this easy life full of playing and adventure only. Maybe I need to do a "real life" post to clear things up a bit.

When talking to a few people here and there about trying to get this trip to Thailand going, some have mentioned that "you don't need a vacation, you're living one!" or "You live in NYC, you could just count that as your vacation." I have mentioned this before back here, but I've even been told that my life is "too easy".

Well sorry to break it to ya, but life isn't all rainbows and lollipops out here. The first 8 months of living here our schedule was as follows: I woke up at 6:30, left for work at 7, got home between 6-11pm depending on my schedule that day. Derek was working long hours at his internship followed by night school that didn't get done till 9 or 10. It was exhausting. But if I were to post our everyday lives, I'd bore you to death, so I keep it to the highlights.

Moral of the story: We love our lives. We love NYC. We are so grateful for these opportunities we have. We're so busy. We are working our tails off to make these experiences a possibility. We have lots of student debt. We're doing our best to make happy happen. And we're excited and scared to figure out where life will take us next.

Thanks for listening :) I appreciate and love your support, excitement for us, and thoughts. xoxo


The next step. Modeling?

It seems a popular topic of conversation in our home lately is where life will soon be taking us. Our journey is soon over in NY, if we choose to move, and our life choices will have a bigger impact than ever before. Derek will have a big boy job, school will no longer be a part of our lives, house shopping may be a possibility, and we dream of little babies  (my favorite topic of conversation, of course).

It's all more stressful than I thought it would be. I thought that all of this school, loans, and hard work would be the stressful part. But I'm believing more and more that life isn't getting easier. All of the "older and wiser" tried to tell me, but I can't help but occasionally have this vision of how perfect and blissful life will be when we're settled in a cute little home, with a little baby to snuggle. Why does saying "little" make things sound so endearing?

As stressful as it all is, it is fun and adventurous. We are living life today having no clue where we will be in 8 months. We don't know where we're going to live, what jobs we will have, nothing really, except that we'll have each other and still be making happy happen.

The other day we got this picture from our dear friend Stephen. Maybe serendipitous? We'll consider a modeling career. Not really. We'd heard we were seen on a bus or two, but now it's been proven to us. Thank you, Stephen.


Our favorite house guests

They're here! All of them! Except for our missionary.

We went to bed Wednesday night with an empty family room, and woke up with a full family room of sleeping beauties. Wouldn't ya say?

Before they woke up, I was off to watch the twins. Luckily I was able to bring the kids along all day and we were all pleased as punch about that. My family LOVES kids and the kids LOVED them. We had so much fun. Seeing my family with all these little kids I nanny and adore sure makes me excited for some kids of my own. I think it makes my family a little excited too. Actually, I think it makes them more frustrated that we don't have kids of our own yet. I heard a few, "Well if you'd just have kids!" or "You should have like 2 kids by now!". Patience is a virtue. :)

We spend a few good hours at the Museum of Natural History. Love that place.

Always finding joy in the simple things. This kid is ALWAYS entertained.

My little brother is positive "this must be what the atoms look like in Mickey Mouse's brain!"

Remember that Serendipity date night? Well we've decided to do the same as a family. Tonight we're watching the movie, and tomorrow we're going to go get some yummy frozen hot chocolate.

These boys, or should I say twins (the glasses and the jackets...awwww), can't stop talking. Seeing my family and Derek love each other so much tugs at my heart strings.

Tonight we saw Mamma Mia. Darling. A little risque for the little ones, but we all couldn't help ourselves from dancing. Sure love that music. Notice my dad's arm. He's copying the picture. He's such a goofball.

It's so chilly here in our corner of the world! I'm loving it, but I'm starting to feel like Fall was forgotten. It seems like this happened last year too back in Utah! We're still waiting for some pretty colors on the trees. Seeing all of the beautiful colors in Utah makes me a little homesick for those pretty mountains!

And in case you were wondering, YES we have 9 people living in our apt right now.
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