“Real Life Stories–Women of Inspiration” My cousin, Lanie.

Lanie is my cousin.  So we’ve known each other since we were babies.  Growing up she didn’t live close to my family, but each summer she’d come spend a week or so at our house and I always looked forward to it.

Lanie is one of those people who are just good to their very core.  Very relaxed, down-to-earth, always up for adventure, and an amazing mom.  She’s also friendly, easy to talk to, and easy to be around.

And she’s one of those people who can have her hair in any style or color imaginable and still look amazing.  Score for her.

Real Life Stories

1.  Give me a quick peek at your story.
Well, my name is Lanie Wilkinson.  I am a 35 year old mom of 3 and wife of 13 years.  I always like to define myself as that first because those are the 2 accomplishments I am most proud of in my life.  I’ve moved around a lot in my life but most recently lived in San Francisco, Portland, and have recently moved to Utah.  I studied Special Education at Utah State University.  I love to read, cook, hike and camp with my family.  I love to experience new things and new places and I get restless if things stay the same for too long!

2.  Tell me about an “every day moment” you are grateful for.
My youngest is a 5 year old boy.  His sisters are both in school so it is just the two of us at home during the day.  Every day without fail, he crawls on my lap, puts his chubby hands on my cheeks and says, “I love you mama!”  It’s such a small thing but it melts my heart every single time and is such a gift to me!

3.  What is one ambition you have right now
I have always wanted to use my education in working with children with disabilities to help those in other countries where there are not services for those with disabilities.  My husband and I spent some time in Ethiopia a few years back and it was so heartbreaking to see that the people that had disabilities there had no way of working, no homes to take care of them, no school accommodations.  I would love to work to help develop programs to serve those people.

4.  If you could speak on anything to a large group of women, what would you talk about?
Ah this is a hard one!  To be honest, I don’t feel qualified to talk to a large group of women.  I get easily intimidated by all of the amazing people around me.  But I guess I would talk about the need we have as women and moms to be an influence for good in our children’s lives.  I think about this a lot.  As I have gotten older and have my own family, I see women that set amazing examples for their kids or other children in their lives.  I think we need more of that in our world.  We need to be examples of strong women who stand up for what we think is right.  That is what I want my kids to take away from me as their mom.

5.  What does the phrase “create a good life story” mean to you?
I love this phrase!  When I hear that I think of “creating experiences”.  Making memories with the people you love most sounds like a “good life story” to me.

6.  Tell me something someone taught you that made an impact on your life
I feel like I have been blessed to have a lot of amazing people in my life that are constantly teaching me things.  But I would say one of the most important lessons I have learned has been from my mother-in-law.  She has taught me to laugh about almost everything.  She has gone through a lot of hard things in her life but she has learned to put on a smile and find humor in almost everything.  I am trying to be more like that.

7.  Name one event in your life that has made a significant impact on the course of your life story
My decision to stay home with my children.  I know it isn’t for everyone and not everyone who wants to is able to.  But when we moved to San Francisco so my husband could go to medical school, I had an amazing job offer to work at an autism school in Oakland.  I knew the money would help with medical school but I had one daughter already and another on the way.  I knew they needed a parent to be available to them, especially with how busy Justin would be in med school.  I really feel like the decision to turn down that job and stay home with my kids has had more impact on my life story than almost any other decision I have made.

8.  What is something you want to accomplish you haven’t yet?
Lots of things!  Bike the Oregon coast with my family.

9.  What photographs are you most grateful for from your childhood or teen years?
I love the photos withy my grandparents and family

10.  What are you most proud of?
My kids for sure.  They are better than I could have imagined!

11.  What is the best parenting advice/tip someone gave you?
Someone told us one that before they had kids they had a million theories on parenting and since they’ve had kids, they have none.  I thought it was funny at the time but now I realize it’s true and you have to always be changing your tactics!

12.  Tell me something you are sure of
I am so sure of my faith

13.  What is your favorite quote or your life motto?
I always tell my kids to “Have a Sunshine Day”.

14.  What is your favorite part about yourself (not a physical trait)?
This is always a hard question to answer but I would say my ability to talk to people.

15.  What type of photographs do you wish you had more of?
Definitely more of us as a family.  I am always behind the camera and rarely get pictures of all of us.

16.  What is something you do to help drive away fear or anxiety?
Exercise and clean–they both make me feel more in control!

17.  What is your favorite part about being a mom?  Your least favorite part (just keepin it real on this question–I know you love your kids)?
Favorite part–seeing my kids grow into the people they are, watching the choices they make and how they learn.  Least favorite part–cleaning up after everyone, constantly!

18.  Tell me something about yourself that may surprise people
I really hate waking up in the morning.  I am NOT a morning person at all!

19.  What’s one thing you wish you would have known when you were younger?
How important it is to be nice to everyone!  I don’t think I was mean to people but I wish I would have always remembered to include others and go out of my way to be kind to them.  Now that I have kids in school I am constantly harping on them about that.

And for fun:

Favorite book:  The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Favorite family tradition:  Seafood on Christmas Eve

Something you enjoy doing with your spouse:  going out to eat at new restaurants

Talent you wish you had:  singing

Favorite meal:  Indian Food

If you never had to do one specific thing again, what would it be:  clean the shower!

Favorite show on TV:  Parenthood

Something that scares you:  tidal waves

Favorite thing about your husband:  his ability to leave work at work and be present with us at home

Something you can’t live without:  Ghirardelli dark chocolate and caramel

What’s something you think about often:  beach vacations

Thanks for doing this Lanie!!  Glad I get to claim you as family.

If you want to read more “Real Life Stories–Women of Inspiration” interviews, click HERE.

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4 thoughts on ““Real Life Stories–Women of Inspiration” My cousin, Lanie.”

  1. I agree, Lindsay. She is pretty amazing and she is always an inspiration in my life. I’m truly grateful every day for the blessing of having her in my life. She is always kind, generous, wise, caring, fun. I have always,said that when Lanie walks into a room she brings the sunshine with her. Thank you for sharing her wonderful gifts with others.

  2. Loved reading Lanie’s story – I also LOVED all the pictures of the adventures and phases of life that were included. Great series!

  3. I found this blog today and I just happened to read about 2 women that I know! Your cousin Lanie and I took dance together when she lived in Chicago. We were in the same ward and I loved hanging out with her. I was so sad when they moved away. She always had a smile on her face and was always nice to everyone. I also know cute Jacqui from the gym. She is a fantastic lady too!

    1. Jaynann,
      Whaaaat?!? That’s so crazy!! I’ll have to tell Lanie you commented 🙂 And if you go to the same gym as Jacqui you must live close to where I grew up (Sandy).

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