20 reasons for a 20th birthday

Top 20 Reasons why Lily is the Best Sister Ever:

Lily supports me 125% and encourages me to follow my dreams.

19. Lily still takes naps with me when I am tired.
18. Lily is a good friend to the people around her.
17. Lily is a good secret keeper. She once kept it a secret that I was making my parents a quilt for an entire year.

16. Lily is always willing to try new things
15. Lily is the best person to take to Disneyland because we always have a blast.
14. Lily loves Alan like he's her brother.
13. Lily is an awesome cook
12. Lily knows I love pandas and always tells me important panda information...and when I go to San Diego she humors me by going to the zoo just to see them
11. Lily loves books. When she was little she used to sleep with them under her pillow.
10. She is silly and makes me laugh

9. She is an awesome dancer.
8. She very very beautiful.
7. She is very very smart
6. She loves the ocean and knows lots about dolphins, waves, beaches and anything else that has to do with the ocean.
5. She knows lots and lots about music. I wish I knew like .01% of the stuff about music that she does.
4. She was my maid of honor at my wedding and wore a pink dress even though she hates pink.
3. She is always a shoulder to lean on and will help you out no matter what.
2. Lily makes sure you know she loves you
1. She is my best friend

Happy 20th birthday Lilster! You are the best sister in the whole wide world. And not just because you're the only one I have. =)


Two Years Ago...

A little over 2 years ago, Ly and Alan gathered with all their family and friends on the hottest day of the year and tied the knot. In commemoration of the best day ever, here are some of our favorite photos and a list of things Ly + Alan have learned since being married:

1. Sharing a bed is a loose term. It really means one person gets 90% of the bed and the other may or may not end up shoved onto the floor. Keep pillows and/or a blanket nearby for such events.

2. Always keep your promises. No matter what. Enough said on that one.

3. Flowers for no reason = an extra 5% of the bed at night.

4. Never suggest storing boxes of books/pandas/crayons outside in the storage shed. Even if your wife never uses them.

5. When planning a long road trip just assume you will do all of the driving. Even if your partner says they will help drive. By helping they really mean telling you to slow down or you missed a turn.

*photography courtesy of Sweet Memory Gardens. If you live in Utah and need some photographs check them out because they are awesome!



A few weeks ago the Lees spent a weekend at the beach. It was their last day and Ly and Alan were peacefully sitting in the sand, looking at the waves when suddenly Ly said "I want to go crabbing." And before Alan could mention what a bad idea he thought it was, he found himself leaving a Bait & Tackle store armed with chicken necks, rope, a net and a new found knowledge on crabbing.

As they drove to a recommended crabbing location, Alan tried to get the courage up to tell Ly that perhaps she wouldn't enjoy it very much. He did manage to mention how it might be really boring. However the look on her face was pure excitement as she babbled about having fresh crab and salmon for dinner.

Alan ignored the alarms that were going off in his head as he pulled into the parking lot.

The Maryland Blue Crab's Home Sweet Home

Well it turns out Ly is quite the accomplished crabber. Within 20 minutes she caught 5 crabs. She continued the adventure for another hour or so and had a grand total of at least a dozen crabs. Some were too little to take away so she threw them back and packed the rest in a little cooler on some ice.

To ensure people don't take little crabs home

During the drive home, Ly opened the cooler (which was at her feet, naturally) to "check" on her catch at least half a dozen times. Alan may or may not have mentioned that this was not necessary. When they were about 20 minutes away, the inevitable happened:

"Do you think we can throw the crabs back in that pond over there?"
"That's a freshwater pond."


Silence filled the car. Thoughts filled Alan's head of how he was going to handle this situation as Ly thought about death via extreme heat.

Once home Ly gently removed the crabs from their ice and placed them in various containers - to make sure they were alive. They were. She looked up at Alan hopefully and suggested letting them live in the bathtub. He sighed and told her that they would die anyway.

Needless to say, the job of actually killing the crabs went to Alan while Ly was in another room of the house. During dinner Ly didn't actually say or eat anything. Except to mention that she was now a vegetarian.

That lasted for a week before she broke down and ate some chicken.

RIP little crab


Per your request

Sorry for the lack of updates. I sat here for a few minutes trying to think of some sort of excuse (we were abducted by aliens...uh we went on worldwide cruise...uh Ly finally got a pet panda) that would adequately explain the significant lack of posts. Needless to say I couldn't think of anything so sorry will have to suffice.

Anyway. Here are some highlights of the past days (weeks? months?) since we've last posted.

1. Ly and Alan moved to an awesome new place that is across the street from the bookstore. It is also bigger, nicer, and cheaper. Ly loves the new place - and the fact that in the month or so of living here she has recently acquired at least a dozen new books and 3 new bookshelves.

2. Most of Ly's books are now safely out of their boxes and in the above mentioned new bookshelves leaving no room for any new books - a thought that encouraged the purchase of the shelves in the hopes that the amount of book purchases would significantly decline. However, Alan discovers new books on a weekly basis anyway. (Hello, hasn't the girl ever heard of a library?)

3. Ly and Alan recently discovered the awesomeness that is goodwill. We go on a weekly basis in search of old furniture to restore (a new hobby of Alan's), yet more often than not come home with 3 books - and no furniture.

4. Ly recently learned the wonders of spray paint and now likes to find various items to spray paint - picture frames, pedestals, candlestick holders, people, etc. This proves to be quite the messy adventure.

5. Alan has completed a million (maybe not a million but at least over a dozen) secondary applications for medical school. Now that we have paid all the schools even more money, we get to wait for them to ask us to fly across the country to interview...well that or reject Alan. But I'm sure it will be the former rather than the latter. Can someone invent a time machine and let it be May already?

6. We celebrated our 2 year wedding anniversary in July with a surprise trip to NYC. Does that mean we're no longer newlyweds?

7. Alan has managed to convince Ly that camping can be enjoyable, especially when you have a tent that keeps rain, bugs, and sand outside where they belong. The air mattress probably helps too.

8. Ly has spent a lot of time on her photography recently, and she would love to take some pictures of people for her portfolio. Any takers?

9. Alan and Ly attended numerous back to school sales (did we mention that the new place is also close to Target?) and only purchased 1 box of crayola crayons for a quarter. While she wanted to buy more than one box (obviously) she resisted. Alan danced for joy.

10. And of course, the most important news in our family is that the panda at the San Diego Zoo gave birth to a baby boy about a month ago. Ly (and Alan too) watches the live 24-hour video feed of the panda for hours at a time. He is adorable. Go see for yourself.