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Dear 9 Year Old Jackson

Tuesday, May 31, 2016
The last night of your 8th year
Here's where I posted about your 1st Birthday! 
This one is about your 2nd Birthday
Apparently I skipped your 3rd year. Oops. Here is a really good post about having a 3 and 2 year old though.
But I did write about your 4th. And here it is.
This is about your 5th. 
This is your 6th
Here's the 7th Birthday! 
And the 8th

And now, for the current!

Dear Jackson Chase, or Jack as we have affectionately started calling you,

You are the best! Just a minute ago you brought your keyboard up to me so I could write this post and you did it without complaining...even on your birthday. That's a big deal to me, because I use the birthday card allllllll day. You even started to pick up the living room because I told you it would be nice if it was clean for the party later tonight.

Right now, you are running back and forth like you do every day imagining who knows what. I've always wanted to ask but I don't want to interrupt you or make you stop doing it because I LOVE your imagination.

I love how caring you are. Two nights ago we came home from our trip to Legoland. All 3 of you were sleeping but when you woke up to come inside you grabbed Sadie's stuffed animal Pug and brought it to her because you know how much it means to her.

You are currently reading the 5th Harry Potter book and secretly, this is probably my proudest parent moment. Because, well, Harry Potter. Oh man. It just makes me feel so happy. You read incredibly fast. Lightening speed fast, yet another trait I think you inherited from me. You also inherited my stubbornness and my short temper both of which I love you so much for. It's easy to relate when you get so super mad and run upstairs to your room. I used to do the same thing.

I get compliments from friends who say you are so sweet. You are kind-hearted and gentle and I pray and hope and wish that never changes.

You really enjoy being around adults. You no longer want to sit at the kid table. You enjoy adult conversation even if you're still a little awkward. I can say that right? I'm thinking you won't read these posts for awhile. And if uou do, I hope you know I say that with love.

Just like me and your dad, you are a teaser. You tease me and you tease your sisters and you tease your dad. My favorite thing as of late is to ask you to drive to get me stuff and you play right back.

You've got your own YouTube channel and you have such a good video voice! I'm so proud of you for having the desire and for bugging us enough to make it happen! Here is a link to your channel (readers of mine, please subscribe! That would make an excellent birthday present!)

I love you so much Jackson! I'm so glad you were born 9 years ago! Thanks for being the best son ever! :-)

Life Lately

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Remember when I talked about how Spring makes me have anxiety (add to that, Allergies!)? Well, it's way worse right now.

So many things are transpiring soon. Is transpiring a word? I don't have enough internet to Google that right now so we are going with it.

In a couple of days, my sister who has been living with me for a long time is leaving. I am having crazy anxiety about it. She's my partner, my sister wife! Not really, but that's kind of what it's felt like during all of the times when David has left. She arrived shortly after we did and saved me from myself. My anxiety was high back then and went away after she got here. She's my bestie! Not only is she leaving now, we are also moving! I won't say when and I will say where: Italy. Remember when we originally thought that's where we were going? I refound a scrapbook where I had written about and then crossed out our PCS move to Italy, Germany.  Here we go again!

Nevie got a haircut! Thanks Chels! 

I'm finding it quite difficult to function. Not only are my physical symptoms pretty bad (general shakiness, upset stomach, diarrhea) but my mental state isn't super either. I am on the brink of tears but haven't yet let them out. I'm afraid if I do, I won't stop for days. I have places to be and things to do so that can't happen. Yet. I'll wait for a late night and/or a hot shower. lolz.

I think I'm writing about this because I want to end the stigma of mental health issues. My sister shared this website and it really got me to thinking about the whole taboo surrounding behavioral health. I've talked about my depression before, but I don't know that I've talked as much about my situational anxiety. I'm sure I'm not the only one I know that struggles with it. I've talked to my doctor(s) about it and I feel pretty confident with how I'm handling it so far.

Phew. This was actually just supposed to be an informational post about our upcoming move but thus, it turned into this. I've got to get back to my roots in blogging.

In other happy news, I got my nails done in Cheb. I call them my mermaid nails. I haven't yet taken a picture because I have plans for the picture. I need more sunshine and someone to help me though so you'll have to wait. Did you know they have the best Corn Flake chicken at this restaurant in Cheb? It's muy delicioso. It's in a cellar which makes it even cooler. Plus, that sweet chili sauce though. So if you're ever in the Czech Republic near the border of Germany, this is the place to go.

Also, Sadie lost her front tooth. It was so stressful. She was crying and so upset even before it came out. She has a fear of growing up. So do I. It's so cute though. I love the small lisp that accompanies a missing front tooth. I also love this girl. She is so amazingly thoughtful. Almost on the daily she writes me a note or draws me a picture of some kind. Warms my heart.

Before. You can see the tears in her eyes.  
Anyway, thus ends the randomness that are my blog posts. Hope you all are doing well!

4 Things You Should Know (but probably don't) About Instagram

Monday, May 16, 2016

They totally changed everything up!  As of a few days ago, the logo and the colors are all SUPER different. You know how you get on your phone and you go to your social media folder and you look for the logo of your favorite social media app? Well I keep getting super confused about where mine is. Because it's very different!

I do not profess to know that much about everythinng but I do know a few things about this app and the things I mention are somewhat selfish in nature because they apply to me and/or are things that drive me insane about other users. Which is why I'm starting with the most annoying one first. Can you please tell all of your friends and family about this one?

1) If your settings are set to private, your hashtags don't help you. Mostly. Unless you use them to find your own stuff, hashtags are a waste of precious space on your posts. Use that space to fill us in on more details on the pic. or your life. There are some of us who use hashtags as a way to find other posts or friends with similar interests. If you're hoping to gain followers, deprivatizing (lol) yourself is the way to go. Hashtags when your account is private does NOT allow other people to see your posts.

2) There is a VERY easy way to make your Insta pics into a book. This has been a really fun adventure for me and our family. They have LOVED getting these books in the mail. I love having a tangible book to hold and snuggle up to my kids with. They enjoy seeing themselves on paper. Isn't it weird how our kids don't know what it's like to flip through a freshly developed roll of film? Anyway, I think I've told you about this before but Chatbooks offers the easiest and cheapest way to not even have to think about getting your stuff printed. I am not endorsed by them or affiliated. If you use my code you do get a free book and I think I get a dollar off my next book but I don't really know. ha! It's so worth it though!

3) There are TONS of filters hidden in the app. Here's the real deal. I totally created a new Instagram account (@lisa_nickle) just to make sure I wasn't making this up. So unless you already knew this, then you're in for a treat.  When logged in to Insta, act like you are going to post a picture, click the arrow to get to the filter area, and THEN scroll allllllllllll the way to the right and click on Manage. You can check and uncheck to your hearts desire. So many to choose from!

4) Instagram now allows for 1 minute videos! I think that's pretty self explanatory and maybe not super helpful BUT at least it's something right? I really enjoyed watching the longer-than-15-second videos of everyone who has been to a Beyonce concert. Sad face. I'm mostly just jealous!

Hope you've maybe hopefully learned something! If not, let me know what I should know about Instagram please!