***I'm determined to catch up on cataloging our family's events this year. Be ready for outdated posts galore!


our new friend jake!

tuesday was dan's 27th birthday and it was so fun! for me at least, hopefully him too. i made his favorite - candy bar cake - and his family came over for cake and ice cream. thanks skinners for stopping by! dan pooled all his birthday money together and we decided to purchase a propane grill. i have been wanting one for SO long and this works out great for dan because now he will get more meat for dinner. i am kind of picky when it comes to meat, but having a grill will fix that. what is better than char-broiled hamburgers, grilled pork tenderloin, or teriyaki chicken? i like my meat DONE, as in no red, no pink, pretty much black on the outside. dan likes his meat medium, so we'll see what happens. anyway... dan got home from work early so we went on a walk (in our 76 degree AZ winter weather!) around the neighborhood. lucky for us there were some families from our ward riding horses and they let madison and i take a turn. she loved it!! she was chattering like crazy, waving, smiling, and kept patting the horse as we went around the corral. i was a very nervous mom, but it was a blast and Jake was a very good horse. thank you Jake! and thank you julie for making it possible! we definatly want to have horses one day. thanks dan for letting us take the spotlight on your big day. we love you!!


old macdonald had a farm

we feel so lucky to be living in Lehi (it's really just part of Mesa but it's more rural and people who live here call it Lehi)! We have neighbors just a few houses down that have a bit of land and they have tons of animals - it's like having our own local petting zoo. madison and i walk down to the "zoo" a couple times a week to look at all the animals - cattle, buffalo, horses, pigs, goats - SO FUN! i think i like the animals more than madison, but we both have fun. she loves to wave at all the horses and this week she got to go horseback riding (with mom in the saddle of course!).

another picture of the mares and foals. at the end of the season there will be about 20 pairs! this pasture is just a short walk from our house. the foals are wobbly on their feet and adorable.

madison may not look very excited but she honestly LOVES to go see the animals at the nelson farm. she is just sitting there wondering why her mom put her down on something scratchy, like a bale of hay.

these puppies live down the street from us. they are half weinmereiner (spelling?) and half lab. they are the cutest little puppies and i would love to play with them everyday! madison loves them too but from a little bit of a distance. she was full of smiles and waves until all eight puppies swarmed around her like bees and tried to nibble on anything and everything. She's an animal lover, just like her mom!



60 years and counting

we had a wonderful Valentine's Day! dan left super early for work as usual and madison and i went walking with my dear friend haylee and her daughter kinsey. on the way home we stopped by our neighbor's "farm" to see all the animals (pictures and post coming soon). next, we moved on to a full-day of cooking. luckily madison took a very unusual 5-hour nap and it was a wonderful Valentine's gift for her mom! we invited my grandparents over for dinner to celebrate the day and honor their 60th anniversary. how sweet! (this pic is of a few years ago, celebrating 4th of july with yankee doodle hats) they are adorable and i hope dan and i are half as fun as they are when we are 86 years old.

so dan brought home some BEAUTIFUL red roses and a cute card and necklace (sorry ladies, i married the best man out there!), and we got the table all setup and ready for dinner. on the menu: slow-cooked pot roast with carrots and potatoes, gravy, garlic mashed potatoes, asparagus, AZ navel oranges, heart-shaped jell-o, homemade rolls and strawberry freezer jam. Happy Valentine's Day dan!! (i fixed him his favorite dinner) we finished the night off with marbled chocolate cheesecake hearts and chocolate covered strawberries!! yummm! like i said, a long day of cooking but it was worth it! it was great to visit with my grandparents - we love living close to them. we love you!!

here are the delicious chocolate covered strawberries - only four of us but they all got eaten!


a toddler...almost?

madison is WALKING!!!! she took her first steps about two weeks ago, at just 10 1/2 months (we are very proud). at first she would only walk if we coaxed her with food while she had some in both hands as well! and she was wearing the cutest little denim dress with red satin trim but it kept getting in her way to we tied it up in the back with a hair band. we posted this video on youtube for our out-of-town family and now that i am trying to be more blog savvy i will post it on here for your enjoyment (ignore the political discussion in the background).

now she loves walking! she just teeters around the house from one object to another. i can't believe how fast she has grown up. she turns one year old this month and it has flown by. i am so grateful for her sweet little personality and her smile just lights up everyone around her. it's so much fun to be a mom!!!