Wednesday, December 28, 2016

2016 Family Newsletter

We are terrible at updating our blog, but, since our Christmas cards this year invite recipients to check our blog for a family newsletter, we figured we'd actually do one this year.

2016 has flown by and has been a fun and busy year.  Here's what each of us has been up to:

Reagan is almost 2.  She is sassy, smart, and tons of fun.  She likes to try to keep up with her brothers - usually to boss them around a little.   She also loves her teachers and friends and school.  She is getting very vocal; it seems like she says a new word or phrase every day.  We treasure the joy she brings to our family every day.  

Mason turned 5 in August.  He is gregarious and funny.  He approaches life with an exuberance that should be the envy of everyone.  He loves his pre-school, and his peers and teachers love him.  He likes to ride his bike and play outside.  He is a picky eater, but loves french fries, yoghurt, and apple sauce - and, of course, cookies, skittles, and smarties.  He enjoys playing video games and watching cartoons with his older brother.  

Lincoln will be 8 at the end of January.  He is looking forward to being baptized.  He is a wonderful and patient older brother, who looks out for his little brother and sister and loves being around his family and friends.  He is doing well in second grade, LOVES math, is an excellent speller, and has become almost as voracious a reader as his mother.  He is a connoisseur of all things Super Mario Bros and can talk your ear off about it.  

Kelli continues to amaze all around her at every turn.  She is equal parts awesome wife, super mom, and excellent engineer.  She also currently works with the Young Women at church.  When she's not excelling in one of these areas she's busy reading one of the 215 books she's read so far this year... and it's not over yet.

Tyler remains busy between keeping up with the amazing crew above, being actively engaged at work, and serving as a counselor in the bishopric.  

We hope that all of you are doing well, that you had a wonderful Christmas and wish you the happiest of new years.

Much love, 
The Williams Family

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Ten on Tuesday - An Overdue Update

We have not updated our blog in a long time, so I thought it would be a good idea to fill in those who may still care on what we have been up to.  Since June of last year, we have...

1.   Had some more family pictures taken.  Here's one of our favorites.

2.  Mason turned two at the end of August.  He is a fun, happy, (pretty) laid back kid.  We are enjoying watching him learning to talk.  He LOVES to tease.

This picture was taken on September 1 - Mason's Family Birthday Party

3.  Lincoln turned FIVE at the end of January.  He likes watching youtube videos on the iPad (usually of kids explaining legos, other toys, or video games).  He loves his school and is getting really good with his numbers and words.  He is a good and patient big brother.

Lincoln, watching videos and being a good, patient big brother.

4.  We went to Utah in October to visit family and attend the blessing of a new niece.  The kids did really well on the trip.  It was great to see so many family and friends.

Kelli and our new Niece, Kaylee Jane Hutchison

5.  We enjoyed a fun Christmas.  Nana and Stormy came to visit and brought snow all the way from Boston.

6.   Daddy turned 35.  He's old and what hair he has left is starting to go gray.

Daddy's Birthday - See the gray hair?

7.  Mom had a birthday.  She turned 29 again.

Mom's (and Auntie Sara's) Birthday Party

8.   Tyler and Kelli celebrated their sixth wedding anniversary.

9.   Tyler got LASEK eye surgery in December.  It was a difficult recovery week, but the results are awesome.  He went from worse than 20/400 (off the scale, a -9.00 in both eyes) to 20/15.  He loves not having to wear glasses or contacts any more.

Pre-LASEK Surgery

10.   And, finally, for the exciting new news - WE'RE MOVING!    We have been outgrowing our fun little first home for some time.  The stars recently aligned and we found a buyer for our house without having to put it on the market.  A young family that we have known for a long time is buying our home.  We also found a new one.  It is much larger and needs a little TLC - which works because we love a project - but the bones and neighborhood are great.  We will do a longer post on the house later, and will, I'm sure, have a number of posts detailing our updates and remodeling.  We are super excited for the next stage in our family's life.

Our New House

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Ten on Tuesday (for Wednesday)

Kelli usually takes care of updating our blog, but she is plenty busy with her craft blog, so I thought I would give a "ten on Tuesday" post a try. It's been awhile since we've given any update on our family.  Here's what we've been up to in the past eight months:

1.  We had family pictures taken twice - in November and April.  We use Kim Greenfield and do her mini-sessions.  She does a great job.  Some fun examples (I'll let you guess which are from November and which are from April):

Lincoln decided he needed to do pushups.  Hilarity ensued.  

2.  Kelli and Tyler celebrated their Fifth - thats 5! - Wedding Anniversary on December 21.  We went on a cruise in early January to celebrate.  We went to Cozumel (which is fun since we went to nearby Cancun on our honeymoon), Isla Roatan (of Honduras), and Grand Cayman.  We were supposed to go to Belize, but that stop was changed to Costa Maya before we got on the boat and then cancelled altogether due to rough seas.  We had a great time, won trivia games three times (getting three ships on sticks), and enjoyed our excursions.  We missed the kids, though.  Some pics:

3.  We celebrated a fun Christmas with TONS of family.  All of Tyler's family was here; Jake, Courtney, and Bentley came.  Grandma and Grandpa Miller, Derek's (Tyler's brother-in-law) parents came for his graduation from UAH and stayed through Christmas.  AND Nana and Stormy came from Boston.  It was great to see everyone.  The kids had a blast and ate up all the attention.


A wicked flu went around.  Everyone except Grandma Miller (and maybe one of the kids) got it.  Tyler got so violently ill that it "enraged" his tonsils to the point it was difficult to swallow.  Consequence: second ever trip to the ER (for his own treatment)

4.  Lincoln turned four at the end of January.  He is so smart and loves being silly.  He loves super-heroes, especially Spider-Man and the Avengers.  He still loves cars and has recently really gotten into the Transformers.  This is how he chose to dress on his birthday:

You can read all about his great super-hero birthday cake here.

5.  Lots of Running: We have continued our running kick.  We ran the Skinny Turkey 10K in Guntersville on the Saturday after Thanksgiving (finished in around 68 minutes) and we both won door prizes - Kelli's was a bottle of chardonay, which we gave away:

In March, we ran a 10 Miler in Moore's Mill, AL, finishing in just under two hours.  It was brutal, but Kelli still looked great after.

At the end of April, we ran the Country Music 1/2 Marathon in Nashville, TN.  We finished in about 2 hours, 40 minutes. It rained the whole time and was cold, but, overall a thrilling and fun experience.  We would do it again.

6.  Lincoln suddenly outgrew his toddler bed.  He was constantly complaining that it was too small.  He even told us once he had a nightmare that his bed was too small.  We finally broke down and got him a new big boy bed.  He loves it.

7.  Mason is getting so big, and he has such a fun personality!  We are starting to understand more and more of what he tries to communicate.

8.  The boys are playing together so wonderfully! Here's Lincoln being the tunnel monster:

9.  We have a new niece.  Our sister-in-law, Courtney (Tyler's brother Jacob's wife) gave birth to a beautiful little girl, Brooklyn Olivia on May 29.  Brooklyn was born with some challenges that will likely make her sojourn on Earth a brief one.  We are, nonetheless, honored and grateful to have her as part of our family.  We have been so impressed by the faith and perspective that Jake and Courtney have shown throughout this process.  We are grateful to have been witness from afar as Brooklyn's special spirit has impacted our family.  We are also grateful to know that God has a plan and that His Plan is called the Plan of Happiness for a reason.  We are grateful to know that, through the Atonement and Grace of Jesus Christ, whatever happens, we will see Brooklyn again; she will be part of our family forever, and, someday, her body will be perfect.  We continue to send out thoughts, prayers, and love, to Brooklyn, Jake, Courtney, and Brooklyn's big brother, Bentley.

10.  Tyler has finally updated a weight loss blog he started a long time ago.  It was private, initially, but he recently made it public.  If you're interested in his journey to date, feel free to check it out here.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Ten on Tuesday

1. I got out of the habit of doing a Ten on Tuesday post here when I started doing Ten-Pin Tuesdays on my craft blog, and that needs to change, so here we are.

2. Mason turned 1 at the end of August!  And then the day before he hit 13 months he started to crawl on his knees instead of pushing with a foot and pulling with his hands.  Go figure. 

3. We finally ordered that new jogging stroller, and we've done two long runs with it so far.  The 4-miler was a wake-up call that pushing a jogging stroller changes the game significantly, so we were pretty happy just to finish our 5 miles this past weekend.

4. Lincoln has started saying that he wants to do things "all day."  For instance, "I want to watch Spider-man all day" or "I want to eat little pop-tarts all day."

5. As I cut Mason's chicken nuggets at dinner last night, he looked up at me and sweetly said, "yay-yoo."  Which I'm pretty sure translates to "thank you."

6. Tyler and I want the family to be the Avengers for Halloween, so we introduced Lincoln to some of the superhero cartoons, and we've created a monster!  He's officially obsessed. 


7. Mason LOVES the bath.

8. I'm almost caught up on my Project Life album, and I've posted the first 20 weeks of the year on my craft blog.

9. We visited my parents in Boston last month!  Pictures might be posted one day.

10. Lincoln loves taking pictures.  He took these shots (and MANY more) before church a few weeks ago.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Wastin' Away ;)

As some of you may have heard, Kelli and I have been doing Weight Watchers this year.   I have decided to enter Weight Watchers' Celebrate Success Contest.  Preparing my submission helped me realize how much progress I have made.  This was helpful because, sometimes, it feels like my progress has been very slow.  I thought I would brag a little and share the 400 word essay and the before and after pictures.  Please forgive the indulgence (and the shameless plugs I included in an effort to win the contest).  

First the essay:

I have struggled with my weight/health since high school.  Each year, I would say to myself that "This will be the year!"  But, every year, I failed to deliver.   
At the beginning 2012, I had reached my heaviest ever (pushing 265 pounds).  I had high blood pressure and my HDL cholesterol levels were too low.  I was on medication for both problems.  I was severely out of shape.  I got winded easily.  Just the thought of running could do it.  My knees and my back hurt.  It was  increasingly difficult to keep up with my two little boys.  With heart disease in my family, I was afraid that I would not live to see them grow up.   
Then, I saw some pictures my sister took during my son's third birthday party at the end of January (my before pictures).  I hated the way I looked and how heavy I had become.  This was it.  Something had to be done.  I told my wife that I was going to try Weight Watchers.  She was still trying to lose some baby weight after the birth of our second son and decided to do it with me.  On February 7, we signed up together.   
Weight Watchers proved the key to the door that would finally lead me to success.  Just following its guidelines for better eating, I immediately began to see results and became excited about the process.  In addition to my wife, my mother and sister joined Weight Watchers, as did a co-worker and her husband.  We encourage each other in our process and journey.  A group of friends from church also got together in a friendly get healthy competition.  
Since starting, I have also taken up  
Now, less than seven months into my journey, I am down more than 40 pounds to the lowest I have been since college, and am on track to meet my goal of weighing less than 200 pounds by my birthday this December.  My blood pressure is down to normal levels and my HDL is good.  I am off all medications.  I run three miles a day, several days a week.  I will be running my first 5K in October and my first 10K in November and my wife and I are training for a half-marathon next spring.  I am happier, healthier, and I like myself more.  Finally, this was the year...thanks to Weight Watchers.  

Now, the before picture (taken at Lincoln's birthday at the end of January) - at 265-ish pounds:

Now, for the (temporary) after picture taken today, August 29, 2012 - at 218 pounds:

I still have a way to go, but am pleased with the progress I've made thus far.  Many thanks to Kelli, my family and friends for their encouragement.