Sometimes, The Answer is “No.”

Dear Evelyn,

If you are anything like me, this is going to be a thing that you struggle with too.

From a really young age, I never believed that “no” was an answer.  Not in an extremely defiant way, just in a way that I believed anything could be accomplished and there was no reason to halt it.

When I was 4 years old, I ceaselessly begged your grandpa to take off my training wheels.  He kept saying no.  Him and grandma thought I wasn’t big enough to ride a two-wheeler yet.  And grandpa was busy.  He didn’t have time to take them off, and put them back on, then take them off again.  But I wouldn’t stop asking.  No wasn’t an option.  I believe in myself.  Finally, grandpa took them off, but he said, “Kenz, once these training wheels come off, they aren’t going back on.”  As soon as they were off, I took off riding, and didn’t look back.

A little bit after that, I wanted to roller blade with my big sisters.  Grandma said I wasn’t big enough yet.  So one day I put Gina’s too-big roller blades on my tiny feet and took off.  Grandma & Grandpa realized that maybe I needed a pair of my own.

At the age of 21, I said “I’m going to get my pilot’s license.”  And everyone thought I was all talk.  No one took it seriously, until the day I had my license in my hand.

By this point, I had taught myself that if I wanted to accomplish something, it was up to me, and that there could be no excuses.  And that way, “No” wasn’t an option.

Well, Evelyn, I’ve had a problem.  Being pregnant has been a pretty big struggle.  It’s a tough ride.  Some days I feel really good, but a lot of the time I can’t even move out of bed.  The hardest part though is being told “no.”  I’ve had to learn my limits.  My limits have changed since being pregnant.  And sometimes I forget that.  I want to do the same things I used to do.  But then your daddy has to tell me no.  It makes me so grumpy!  I do not enjoy it.  I’ve always believed that if I put my mind to something, I could do it.  Even though I’m a girl, I can use power tools.  I can lay flooring.  I can change light fixtures.  I’ve taught myself how to do things because I didn’t want to count on anyone else doing it.  But these pregnant months have taught me to rely on those around me.  I don’t like it!  It’s so hard.  But I know that this is a lesson I’m supposed to learn.  Maybe this is the only way that Heavenly Father could teach me about “no.”  It seems like maybe I have never really listened before.

Just remember, that most of the time, when people tell us “no,” it is because they love us.  They don’t want to see us get hurt.  It’s not a way to take away our agency.  It’s to protect us.  You are worth these hard lessons I have to learn.  And before I know it, I’ll be the one saying “no” and you’ll be the one testing my limits.  I don’t want it any other way.  I love you little bean.  See you soon Christmas Miracle 🙂


The title of this post does little to convey my feelings right now, but hopefully I can explain myself a little better. Let me start at the beginning of this tale.

Once upon a time a husband and a wife bought the Green Meadow Manor. With DIY dreams they started tearing into projects. After scrimping and saving for almost a year and a half they finally had the money to do their big renovation: the KITCHEN.

This husband and wife settled on an IKEA kitchen. This would help cut costs, and because IKEA had a delivery service, a contracted installation service, and a countertop service they would have to suffer very little inconvenience. Or so they thought.

Things started to get iffy when the delivery guys were several hours late to deliver all the bobs and bits. As they unloaded piece after piece for this new kitchen the house started to fill up with IKEA boxes that had yet-to-be-assembled cabinets we started to notice a few damaged boxes. No worries they thought, we’ll just take those parts back to IKEA to be replaced. Things get damaged in shipping all the time so this is normal.

Well, those things got replaced just fine and all was right with the world. However, once the installers started to open boxes they found more damaged goods. That pile got bigger and bigger every day of the install too. After 4 runs back and forth to IKEA the kitchen cabinets were installed ahead of schedule and the countertops were on their way! It was frustrating to have so many damaged pieces but the husband and wife rolled with the punches.

Finally, after over a month without a functioning kitchen (granite counter tops take a while to get ordered in apparently) the couple were excited to have their plumber coming to put the last touches on the project (hook up the sink, dishwasher, and fridge). In preparation for the plumber, the husband decided to unbox the dishwasher for him the night before… and this is where I got so frustrated tonight.

I pulled the box off the dishwasher and after a quick inspection I found that it was dented quite badly in front. Now, this box was unloaded off the truck weeks previously and sat motionless on our floor until tonight. I didn’t want to unbox it earlier because I didn’t want it to be damaged. Go figure.

Here’s my tweet about it from earlier:

I know IKEA will replace it. The problem is that now I have my plumber coming out first thing in the morning and he won’t have a dishwasher to hook up. He can stub it out for me though and I can hook it up once we get the replacement from IKEA. It’s just such a hassle to have to load it up myself and take it down there.

So yeah, I would say I’m pretty frustrated.

100 Things To Teach Evelyn

100 Things To Teach My Daughter

1.  You are absolutely and undeniably unique.  You are one of a kind, and there is no one like you in the world.  BE YOURSELF.  It will draw people to you for the rest of your life.

2.  Life is not a race.  Never compare yourself to where the people around you are.  Your plan is different than anyone else’s plan.  Remember that.

3.  Always set goals.  Even small ones.  We are creatures of progression.  Post your goals where you can see them and always picture yourself accomplishing them.

4.  Lists are your friend.  Make them, and enjoy the glorious feeling of crossing off an item.

5.  Step outside your comfort zone.  You’ll be surprised.

6.  You’re never too old for Harry Potter.

7.  Everything is always okay in the end.  If it’s not okay, then it’s not the end.

8.  Nothing you do can make me stop loving you.

9.  Pay attention to the way Grandpa Brad treats Grandma Trudy.

10.  Beauty truly comes from the inside.  Believe that.  The media lies.  Don’t compare yourself or your looks.  Comparison is the thief of joy.  You were made in God’s image.  He doesn’t make mistakes.  You ARE beautiful.

11.  Read your scriptures.  It has the answers to all the problems you’ll face.  And if you don’t think so, read harder.

12.  We don’t stop playing when we get old.  We get old because we stop playing.

13.  Friends will make or break you.  Seek out good friends.  Be the kind of friend you wish you had.

14.  Don’t be a people-pleaser.  Just be honest and do what’s right, even if it’s not popular.

15.  Live alone at least once in your life.  You will learn more about yourself in that time than you ever can imagine.

16.  When you start feeling sorry for yourself, find someone to serve.  Do something nice for someone.  Making cookies is a good start.

17.  Chronic complaining is unattractive.  Develop your problem solving skills.  If you aren’t willing to make the proper change, you aren’t allowed to whine about the problem.

18.  There are things dogs understand, that people don’t.  Cuddle one of the puppies when you’re having a sad day.

19.  Never deny an adventure.

20.  Don’t lose the Eternal Perspective.  As long as you can remember that Heavenly Father knows what he is doing, small trials become trivial.  He sees more than we do, and it’s all for something.

21.  NOTHING in the world is more important than the temple.  Always keep getting to the temple your goal, and stay worthy of it once you’re there.  No activity, drink, behavior, or lifestyle is better than the blessings the temple holds.  I promise that.  Get there.  Stay there.

22.  Keep a journal.  Write your story.  It’s therapy.

23.  Your daddy works so hard to support our family.  He loves me and you so much.  He makes time to laugh and have fun with us every single day.  He is happy and patient.  I don’t know how he does it, but make sure you find someone like him to marry.

24.  Don’t be afraid to do things yourself.

25.  Part of doing things yourself is making mistakes.  Mistakes can always be fixed.

26.  You never know who is watching and looking up to you.  Never forget that you are always an example to someone.

27.  Be kind to everyone.  Even strangers.  You don’t know what they are going through.  Treat everyone you meet like it’s their birthday.

28.  Hard work will get you further than anything in life.

29.  Learn to see the beauty in the world.  It’s all around.  You just have to open your eyes.

30.  Take road trips often.

31.  There is more to life than money.  Money can never make you happy.  Debt will rot your soul.  Avoid unnecessary debt.

32.  Music is a language best understood by the heart.

33.  Don’t believe anyone who says U2 is lame.

34.  Laugh every single day.  A sense of humor is worth gold.

35.  Happiness is a journey.  It’s a mood.  It is NOT a destination.  You can be happy amidst trials.

36.  Always eat breakfast.

37.  A bowl of popcorn and Singing In the Rain will mend a heart.  Gene Kelly and his tap-dancing feet will take your problems away for 1.5 hours.

38.  Camping is one of life’s greatest pleasures.  Do it at least once a year.

39.  True love is doing the dishes together and inside jokes over silly things.

40.  You’re never too busy for a long bubble bath.

41.  Celebrate your heritage.  It’s good to be Greek.  Grandpa Pulos is one of the most amazing men who’s lived.  Learn about him.  Follow his example.

42.  I will never get mad at you for staying up too late reading a good book.

43.  Be detail oriented.

44.  Original NES nintendo will never go out of style.

45.  No excuses.  Just woman-up and get things done!

46.  A good pair of running shoes is an investment.

47.  Trust takes a long time to earn, be so careful to not break that with your friends and family.

48.  Make friends with your cousins.  Those relationships get even better with age.

49.  Treat yourself to a cold Dr. Pepper

50.  There’s no such thing as too many pillows.

51.  Your name holds special meaning to us.

52.  A strong man isn’t threatened by a strong woman.

53.  Womanhood is a gift.

54.  The painful truth is always better than a messy lie.

55.  Good communication is a skill that should always be worked on.

56.  When it rains, pause to go jump in a puddle.  Dance, while you’re at it.

57.  Never go a month without a kitchen sink.  Save your sanity.  Learn from your silly parents.

58.  Understand your worth.  If someone isn’t willing to treat you like a daughter of God, they aren’t worth your time.  Don’t ever ever settle just to save yourself from being alone.

59.  Girls can like Star Wars too.

60.  Never play the victim.  If bad things happen, it’s for a reason.  We rise from the ashes.  We don’t feel sorry for ourselves.

61.  Wickedness can NEVER be happiness.

62.  Faith has a short shelf life.  Never assume you’re “safe” from falling.  I made that mistake, and it was hard to fix.  But always remember, it CAN be fixed.  It is just really really hard.

63.  The Atonement is for more than just sins.  It is for broken hearts, sadness, depression, struggles, and anything you need strength for.  It is always available for use.  Don’t ignore it.

64.  It’s not your place to judge.  Ever.

65.  Forgive.  Even when they never say sorry.

66.  Don’t ever count on somebody else to make you happy.

67.  There’s no shame in having milk and Oreos for breakfast.

68.  Be brave enough to try new foods at least once.

69.  Fresh peaches on vanilla ice cream is the best thing you will eat all summer long.

70.  Be the first to volunteer when someone needs help.

71.  Go to the mountains often, even if only on a drive.

72.  Get a library card.

73.  Fight for what matters.

74.  Learn something from everyone.

75.  Nobody likes a know-it-all.

76.  Mean everything you say.  Keep your word.  Don’t trifle words.

77.  Don’t live in the past.  You can’t drive forward if you’re stuck looking in a rear view mirror.  You will keep crashing.  Look FORWARD, and occasionally glance back to keep things in check.

78.  Don’t wait for things to happen.  Make them happen.

79.  Drink lots of water.

80.  Most of the things you worry about never happen.

81.  I will always want to hear from you.

82.  Being passive aggressive is immature.  When you have a problem with something or someone, do the right thing and talk to them about it.  It’s hard.  But it’s better.

83.  Never attack the person.  Attack the problem.

84.  It never hurts to ask.

85.  You can’t change what people think about you.  Be your best self, and that is enough.

86.  Cardigan weather is the best weather.

87.  If you’re bored, organize your closet.

88.  Go thrift shopping often.  The DI is our best friend!

89.  Girls can use power tools too.

90.  Get to know yourself.  And LOVE yourself.  But remember, it’s not always about YOU.  Think of others, and be there to lift them up.

91.  Your life has a reason, and you have a great work to do.  Look for opportunities around you to make a difference.

92.  Being consistent is the best way to not have drama.

93.  Pay your bills on time.

94.  People watching is never a waste of time.

95.  If someone tells you getting your pilot’s license is impossible, they are wrong.

96.  You are a creation of two people’s eternal love.  No one has loved anyone more than I love your dad.

97.  Marry someone who is fun to be around and makes you laugh.  If you can’t laugh together when you accidentally put a third cup of Siracha into your meal, you’re going to have a hard time.

98.  Climb trees.

99.  Take LOTS of pictures.

100.  You are the master of your fate.  You are the captain of your soul.
“It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.”

Half Baked

Hey there Banana what’s it like inside my tummy…
Well Evelyn,
We know you’re a girl.  Guess what little thing?  We are HALF WAY DONE.  Today, we’re 20 weeks.  Does that mean we can start counting down?  You and I have had quite the adventure in the past little while.

You make me pretty sick.  And I would be SO mad about it if I didn’t love you so much.  But I love you, and I’d do anything for you.

Continue reading “Half Baked”

Little Lemon

Dear Lemon (That’s how big you are now),

I wish I had more words to write. I don’t really have many. Tonight you went to your first rodeo (well, WE went to the rodeo, but it was so loud I’m sure you could hear it). It was fun, but we left early because it was so crowded and hot.

This past week your Mom and I have been enjoying swimming in our new pool. I think you have been too because your mom hasn’t been as comfortable as I’ve seen her in that pool since we got back from Disneyland and found out we were pregnant. It’s weird to think about the prospect of being your dad. I just can’t picture it. I know that I have been feeling more ambitious lately though.

I got a new job recently so that your mom can stay home with you and not have to worry about going back to work. That is awesome. It’s more pressure than any other job I’ve ever had (my gray hair can attest to that), but it’s good. There are lots of good things about the job too, like more money, more perks, and good coworkers.

Continue reading “Little Lemon”

All Good Things Must Come To An End


I decided to combine the last two days of our Disney trip into one post.  On our 2nd to last day, we broke out our matching shirts.  They were a fantastic shade of Ninja Turtle variety colors, and Keep Calm Disney-themed messages.  I think we nailed it.

We got to California Adventure an hour early, so we could run straight to the Radiator Springs Racers and beat the hours and hours of lines for the new ride.California Adventure


Continue reading “All Good Things Must Come To An End”