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 Be ready for outdated posts galore!


Hum your favorite hymn

i have had a stressful morning and it's not even 9 am!- madison woke up early and has been a grump, dan is home but unavailable because he's studying for a huge test on friday, and i have a list of things to do today that is a mile long because i am going out of town for two weeks. i was feeling overwhelmed and being a grouch myself - taking it out on poor dan and madison. we sat down for breakfast and i started some music and this cd was still in from sunday. i was going to change it but was too hungry to do it right then. within moments i could feel a change. i relaxed, felt calm and peaceful, and the Spirit was able to return to our home.

i have always known the importance of good music but i had forgotten really what a difference it can make. it changed the atmosphere in our home, and the feeling in each of us, so quickly. this cd is one of my favorites. it's from Deseret Book and it is hymn arrangements for solo piano and Paul Cardall is amazing! i love listening to music and enjoy a wide variety but when madison was born, the type of music we played at home, changed. i still have all my punk cds from high school that will forever hold a place in my heart, but they would sound so weird now at home or in our car. thankfully i think i am growing a little bit wiser as i grow older.


Swimming Season

our swimming season has officially begun! it has been 99 degrees but we haven't broken 100 yet - thank goodness! and we haven't gotten in an actual pool yet but madison had a chance to try out her little inflatable one we just got her. it's about 3 feet by 6 inches, and it's perfect because she can get in and out by herself and we can dump it out each time we use it instead of

trying to save the water and keep the bugs and grass out of it until the next day.

we went to my gma ellsworth's house friday afternoon, who just lives 2 minutes away, and she was able to watch madison enjoy the pool for the first time. i think madison's favorite part was playing in the hose as my gma filled up the water. i loved watching her splash and play and it was hilarious when she kept dipping her head down to take a drink. it was great to be so close to my gma since she is getting older, and it always makes her smile to see madison. hopefully the pools will heat up quickly - i am ready to start swimming myself!

we had a little cinco de mayo fiesta at our house (sour cream chicken enchiladas, spanish rice, and black beans - all homemade - and watermelon) with my in-laws last monday with mariachi music and all. madison's favorite was the watermelon. she puts huge cubes in her mouth and chomps away till it's gone or like in this picture, she eats it off the rind. madison would eat watermelon for every meal if we let her!

I Love You MOM!!!

i want to give a shout out to my mom for Mother's Day! i am surrounded by amazing women - my grandmas, my mother in-law and my mom. they have been wonderful examples of wives, church members, and especially mothers. i have learned so much and continue to learn so much from each one of them. but i want to express my thanks and my love to my mom specifically, since i wasn't able to actually be with her on Mother's Day.

i love my mom! she -

is beautiful
an achiever
is funny
loves food and is an amazing cook
the coolest mom i know
is generous
is selfless
can text as fast as any teenager
stayed home with all of her kids
went back to school and graduated from college because education is important to her
has great taste - clothes, food, interior decorating, music... everything
isn't afraid to be herself
always does what is right
instilled in me a love for reading
sacrificed for her kids when finances were tight
serves the community tirelessly
loves her family
is a wonderful grandma, even though she looks too young to be one!
gives us space to make our own decisions
and forgives us if they were wrong ones
is a best friend to me

this is a short list of things and reasons why i love my mom. she has been there for me through thick and thin, rain or shine and i have always known and felt her love and support for me. i understand better now, the joy and the pains of motherhood and i am grateful for the example she has set for me. the bar has been raised high! it's hard living far away, even though i see her often. but i am so grateful for the knowledge i have of eternal families and that my mom raised our family in a way that we believe in that and are living that. i am lucky to have been blessed with such a wonderful mom and i am grateful everyday for the lessons that she has taught and is teaching me and for all the time i have been able to spend with her. i love you mom!

(editor's note: i didn't have any pics of me and my mom alone, most of them are her and madison throughout the last year.)


Desitin vs. Butt Paste or Neither?

we are in desperate need of advice! what secrets do you have in dealing with diaper rash? not just regular, pink diaper rash. i am talking about going on two weeks, red, inflamed and swollen, chapped and starting to bleed, screaming, unconsolable child, diaper rash. a couple times it has started to heal and get better but poor madison has had the runs off and on this whole time which makes it come back in a flash. we have gone through numerous tubes of Balmex and Desitin, we've tried Butt Paste, steroid cream, anti-fungal cream, vaseline, petroleum jelly, and a mystery ointment recommended by a NICU nurse. my last resort is calling our pediatrician tomorrow.

so this is where YOU come in. please let me know if you have any advice for poor little madison and her parents who are finally at a loss about how to kick this nasty little diaper rash. i wish i had thought of this sooner!


Take Me Out to the Ball Game!

we had such a fun weekend! fri night dan and i were able to grab dessert at applebees (i ordered an oriental chicken salad as well- i LOVE the dressing!). sat we had a nice, lazy morning and then headed to the Diamondbacks game. i don't care for baseball, but it was still fun to get out of the house and go somewhere. we decided to take madison and she was wonderful! she was entranced by the lady sitting behind us who had inch-long, bright red nails and kept tapping them on madison's seat. we bought some food, despite knowing it was a rip-off - what is more American than eating a big ol' hot dog at a baseball game?

afterward we headed to Toy 'R Us to shop around for madison. we decided she needed some 'developmentally appropriate' toys. we came home with too much but it was so fun! she was pulling stuffed animals off the shelves about as fast as we put them back up; she was so happy to just walk around from toy to toy. in the end we got a bunch of stuff, but her favorite is s little doll umbrella stroller. she loves to push it EVERYWHERE around the house or outside. but she will NOT let her doll sit in it- she throws her right out!

it was just a fun, relaxed weekend and it was fun to be able to just spend good quality time with each other. (the only bummer was that we forgot the camera!)


Musical Prodigy

this is a VERY quick clip (literally 3 seconds) of madison playing a duet with her 2nd cousin emily at a baby shower the other night. she was loving it! my sister-in-law got this video on her phone. thanks lindsay!! sorry, i am not computer savvy enough to flip it.

i quit playing the piano in high school and will always regret it - just like everyone said i would! but i can't wait to get a piano so our kids can take lessons and maybe I will try to pick it back up again. who knows. that will be my first big purchase once dan is a full-fledged, income-earning docter.