Some of my own personal favorite memories from ZJ's past year...
- ZJ absolutely wants to serve an LDS mission when she is old enough. She talks about it often. ZJ has no fear, so when our new neighbors moved in, she didn't hesitate to invite Michael to join us at church and then she flat out asked him, when the sister missionaries were in the neighborhood, if he wanted to be baptized. Michael joined us in our home for the missionary discussions and was baptized by Doug, only weeks later. She loves the gospel and loves to share it!
- Last summer, when Zaylee came to live with us, ZJ became a second mom to her. She took full responsibility for bathing her, helping with bedtime, keeping her entertained. I don't know how I could have survived that seven months without ZJ's natural maternal instincts! She's amazing!
- ZJ went through two surgeries this year... an appendectomy/exploratory surgery, only to discover that her "mystery illness" was rupturing ovarian cysts every two months for the past sixteen months. Each resulted in multiple visits to the ER, doctors, testing of all sorts and finally the surgery. Then, in winter, she had a tonsillectomy/adnoidectomy which kept her down again. She's brave. She's tough. To those who give her medical attention, her biggest focus not being on what they could do for her but was she gracious enough for their care. Proud mamma moments indeed.
- When Aylabelle was born, I went to Arizona to be with Liza for twelve days. I was mortifited at the thought of leaving the family for that long, but that's one of the challenges of being mom to bigs, mom to babes and Gram all at the same time. ZJ put me at ease, when on the third night in a row, she texted photos of the Pinterest meals she was preparing each night, including her now often requested dinner rolls! Have I mentioned that she's amazing?!
ZJ's birthday interview: (She was in quite the chatty mood this year.)
I WANT: a long board.
I HAVE: a great family!
I WISH: that I could fly and feel the wind in my face.
I HATE: tight shoes.
I MISS: Fancy. (Always the same answer...another year. I wonder if it will ever change.)
I HEAR: voices. (whispered eerily)
I WONDER: why people want to live forever. I just don't understand why you would want to. I was just reading a report about how people are trying to live forever. I think that's stupid because the Lord gives us plenty of time. We get our turn on earth and then it's time to go when He decides.
I REGRET: not asking permission to use Grace's shirt and stuff like that.
I AM NOT: quiet on the bus.
I DANCE: I got in trouble for dancing in class today. Mrs. _ had Pandora on and I was like doing this. She was like, "ZJ, you stop dancing." I was kind of embarrassed."
I SING: random songs.
I CRY: when I'm upset or when I've had a rough day.
I AM NOT ALWAYS: Last year, I said, "a girlie girl. Wait, I'm never a girlie-girl. Except when I go to the mall!" and that's probably stayed the same. I'm also not always tired.
I MAKE WITH MY HANDS: all sorts of things... bracelets and clips and earrings and food!
I WRITE: my books. I was writing one today. (She is definitely a right brain child!)
I CONFUSE: Math! (that's what she said last year too...and the year before!)
I NEED: a new fridge for our house.
I SHOULD: go out and bungee jump!
I START: Junior High next year!
I KNOW: I know how to count to a million. I know that the Church of Jesus Christ is true. I know that Heavenly Father lives and that He guides and protects us. I know that Jesus Christ lives. I know that my family loves me because they say it all the time.
How old will you be this year? Thirteen!
Nicknames: Bigfoot. Z-fry. and Zeej.
Are you taller than your mother? Yes!
Do you cry often during movies? Depends if it's cartoon or real. If it's a cartoon, I'll definitely cry. Like the movie Up, when his wife died, I cried my eyes out. I tend to cry during those but not during Titanic or ones with actors because I say thay they are not really dead, even though cartoons are not really real either and I know that.
What is your biggest pet peeve? OH! I KNOW THIS ONE!!! For example, when you are sitting at your desk and your neighbor's elbow is all over your desk! I want to be like, "COULD YOU MOVE YOUR ELBOW!" Yeh, I hate that. It really bugs me.
Favorite color: Black, White and Pink!
Favorite foods: Poppy Seed Salad and Waffles!!! Waffles are good! Especially your waffles! Oh! Today, I was talking to ___ and she said, "My mom makes the best waffles." I was like, "Um, ____. Do not lie to yourself. My mom makes the best waffles."
Favorite beverage: MOM! (as if I did n't know!) Sobe's... at the moment it's Orange Cream.
Favorite cold cereal: Captain Crunch, the original. That or Cinnamon Toasters
Favorite Smells: Cookies and waffles. (Said like the Donkey in Shrek)
Favorite time of day: When I get home and when I get to clean my room. I really like doing that. I like coming home from school. And I really like Saturdays in the afternoon.
What is your favorite game? Telestrations!
What book are you reading now? At the moment, I am reading, "House of the Scorpians" and "Haven". Not Fablehaven, just Haven, but it's kind of boring right now.
Do you play an instrument? I play the piano and I play my hanging chair... whenever I sit on it, there's sometimes music and I'll sometimes strum it and it makes a cool sound. You should hear it. I like odd instruments. (That beats the bagpipe from two years ago!)
What was the last movie you saw? That would be, Stardust, a movie about a falling star.
What is your favorite article of clothing? The ones that I like, I don't wear to school. I like to wear t-shirts that are comfortable but for school, I like lace stuff.
What is your dream vacation? I would like to go to Paris and visit the Eiffle Tower or Florida.
What do you love most about Dad? I like his sense of humor. And he always says "yes", most of the time. I like how he's always willing to help. There's a lot of things I like about Dad. If I were to name all of them, we'd be here like all day long and all night.
What do you love most about Mom? I like her soft and gentle voice. I like her kindness and understanding. I like how she's always on my side. I like how she's always wanting to do fun stuff with us. I like how she sings "the Poetry Man". (you'd have to be there to understand but it always gets a laugh out of her when I do it.)
If you were an animal what would you be? I would love to be a mermaid, if they existed. I know that it's like kiddish, but it would be cool to swim like that. Mermaids don't have to do dishes either because they can't touch water.
What is your favorite "me- time" activity? I like to rollerblade and craft in wide open spaces. (she's on one!)
What would choose for dinner every night? THat one's a hard one because there's so many good things but, let's see... pizza rolls, hot pockets, even though they are practically the same thing. Your yummy breadsticks (Thank you, Linda Johnson. Check the cooking blog, they are amazing,) Poppy Seed Spinach Salad with peanuts.
What is the emotion you feel the most? Excited!
Do you consider yourself outgoing? Laugh-laugh, "YES!!! Every morning, I say hello to everyone in the halls. This morning, there was a sixth grader walking in the hall and he looked like he didn't have an friends. I said, "HI! What's your name!? What's your favorite color? He just glared at me like this. I said, ' Did you have a bad morning?' And he just walked way. (She gets her shyness from her mom. ha!)
What are some of your talents? Rollerblading and crafting. Making people feel awkward by staring at them and saying, "Hi." I'm not the best cook, but that's one. (She's AMAZING in the kitchen. We are blown away that at 13, she can make anything!)
What is a word or phrase you overuse? I use "practically" a lot. And I say, "Anywho" a lot.
What was the hardest thing that happened to you this past year? I had surgery twice.
What is the best thing that happened to you this year? Ummm. I've learned to change my attitude! I've made new friends. I get to go to the temple and do baptisms now! Going to Young Womens and Girls Camp!! I got to go to Arizona!!!
The best thing learned this past year? I have learned to do more stuff with fractions. And to keep your head held high and charge the mountain!!
What was your favorite thing about being twelve years old? Ummm. I like that I was still a kid and I wasn't a teenage yet cuz like now, I'm not supposed to play with Barbies and I'll have to play with teen stuff.
What are you most excited about being thirteen years old? I don't have anything specific.
Is there anything else you want to say about turning thirteen? Turning thirteen is when you become a teenager. Hopefully, I can do teenager stuff! That's a hard question. Turning thirteen is cool and you get to do more fun stuff.
ZJ is such a wonderful "right hand". She's bold enough to speak her mind when needed, yet, quick to apologize if she is wrong. She is the bravest 13 year old I've ever known. Her humor is so unique. She does impersonations of people, can speak with any accent and picks up on others little quirky facial expressions and body language, so listening to her tell a story is like being there. She's just the life of the party. She's also quite the decorator. Her Paris-style bedroom is meticulously clean and organized most of the time. She's always dejunking or organzing something. One thing she can be heard saying often is "What can I do to help?" She's quick to stand for truth and righteousness and what's, in her opinion, right. She has a great attitude and a strong testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ. She's a great example. We adore this girl! She's amazing! We love you, ZEEJ! HAVE A WONDERFUL YEAR!!!