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 Be ready for outdated posts galore!


One Day At A Time

so much has happened in the last few days. tuesday evening we picked up dan and chris is st. george. madison was so excited to see her dad! it had been 3 1/2 weeks since she had seen him. she went right to him and had the biggest grin on her face, it was so sweet. and she has wanted to be by his side ever since.

we picked up chris at the airport next and it was AWESOME to see him again! it almost felt like our family was complete again. he was pretty quiet though and it made us nervous. we headed to cafe rio for dinner and one of the employees said to chris, "so did you just get home from your mission?" and to keep things simple chris said yes. "thats awesome, i bet its good to be home, congrats!" is what the employee responded. chris said, "yep". my heart was ripped in two all over again! he said it had been happening all day. on the drive home chris admitted that in the back of his mind he had been hoping my dad and dallin were going to be at the airport to pick him up. watching the people i love suffering makes this so much harder!

wednesday we headed to the cemetary to pick out burial plots. after looking at the map and driving around we ended up at an area in the cemetary that was relatively new. it looked pretty empty and the trees are still pretty small and i have to admit i wasn't very impressed. we walked around for a minute and my mom stopped to look at the view. she noticed that we could see our cabin from where she was standing. it is up in cedar highlands, and we could just see the roof, but it was definitely there. my parents built their cabin a couple years ago and it is beautiful. they planned it together from the ground up and every part of it reflects them. it's a place of refuge and relaxation and a favorite place of our family. as we had a family prayer, we felt the Spirit so strongly and knew that we were in the right spot to bury my dad and brother. they both loved going to the cabin!

we actually got a chance to run up to the cabin yesterday with hannah, chris, dan and i. we sat around in the great room and it was perfect. it felt like everything was ok, and that dallin and my dad weren't gone. we sat and talked about them and what we might like to share at the funeral. it was really quick but very refreshing.

later that evening we went and watched my sister's cross country race. we are surviving on little sleep and a lot of stress but she still did awesome! she took third overall. it was great to get out and enjoy "normal life".

last, but definitely not least, was val imlay's visitation. she worked with my dad from the beginning and was a very dear friend of my parent's. it was beautiful - the music, flowers, display table, everything. it's great to visit with their family because my parent's love mark and val and vice versa, plus we can understand exactly what the other is going through. but it was weird; i felt numb, no emotions at all. i don't know if thats how i'll feel when it's my dad and brother in caskets but it was strange. maybe my eyes have dried up. :)

all in all we have been very busy. i never knew funerals were so much work, and we are trying to do two. but things are coming together and the good moments seem to becoming more frequently.


Looking Up

yesterday (monday), was a good day! still sad, still hard, but a lot better than the one before. sunday, i was the lucky one who answered the phone when the medical examiner called, asking about jewelry, wedding bands, dental records, major surgeries - anything to help them speed up the identification process.

but i felt a change in the tide that evening. after a long day of visitors and phone calls and tears, we recieved good news. first of all, the leavitt group, who owned the plane, have been so gracious and are trying to do everything possible to help the families of this accident. mark leavitt, one of the directors, went on sunday to see the crash site himself so he could come home and tell our families more about what they suspect happened. he reported back that the intitial impact of the crash was immediate and they didn't suffer. a peaceful feeling came over me. that was an answer to my prayers and now i am able to look beyond the accident and rememebr my dad and brother. (we also want to say that we know david white was a great pilot and my dad and his staff loved flying with him. i am certain that he did everything possible to ensure everyone's safety and that has never been a question or an issue to us.)

later sunday evening, we were able to visit with our bishop and stake president. it is wonderful to have pristhood holders in the home! i will never take that for granted again. pres. whittier let us know that pres. boyd k packer has been interested and involved in this accident and wanted information about all the families of the victims. church headquaters is watching this closely and that gave me a calm reassurance of their love for us.

one of the concerns amidst all of this has been kamber, my sister-in-law and what she will do next. within a 24 hour period we were contacted by several different people from SUU, offering assistence and flexibility, as they want to help kamber graduate this semester as she had planned. she was planning on finishing her last 3 classes this semseter, graduating, and then staying at home with their baby. again our prayers have been answered as she is being given all the support and assistence she needs, to graduate from college as she and dallin had planned.

monday we attended a briefing put on by the NTSB (national transportation safety board) and the red cross. it was a neat experience to be with the other families who are suffering, as we learned a little bit more about the accident, the investigation, and what will happen in the upcoming months. after that was a meeting with the funeral home to organize burial services and caskets, etc. i have been surprised at the amount of stuff that needs to be done.

through this whole thing it has been too easy to focus on just my family. there were eight other people also! i realized this more than ever last night as we attended a beautiful memorial service put on by SUU. as i listened to the the words being spoken, and cried through the music, i looked at the pictures of each person and was able to more fully grasp how this is affecting the whole community and not just my family. this was a tradgey for all of southern utah. but it was a special memorial that really touched me. it was wonderful to see everyone who came out to show their respect for each person who died and their family.

this had been quite long but i want everyone to know that we are doing well. we are listening to the calls and messages, and looking at the blogs and reading the articles. we feel so loved and supported as we are going through this. thank you for what each of you has said and done.

dan arrives in utah today as well as my brother chris, from his mission in japan. we cannot wait for our family to be together!

we have also finalized the services for this weekend. there will be a visitation on friday night, aug 29th from 6:00-8:00 pm at the cedar north stake center. on sat morning, aug 30th, the visitation will be from 8:30-9:30 with the funeral service starting at 10:00 am. it will be for both my dad and my brother. it may be broadcast to a second stake center in case of a large attendance.


a close friend sent me this text, "i'm so sorry that when you woke up this morning it was all still true. we are praying for you." it did feel like, at least for a minute, that everything was back to normal and i felt whole again. then the disbelief and ache and yearning came back. it's been a hard 48 hours. it seems that at any moment the door will open and there will be my dad and my brother and this will all have been a big mistake.

i finally got home to my parent's house late sat night and since then it has been a roller coaster. it is great to be home with my mom and sister and sister-in-law. there is such strength in families! and we have had so many visits and calls from friends and neighbors and family. each one brings a new set of tears, new pain, and new healing. it's been a day of hi's and lo's. we have laughed and cried and everything inbetween. a reporter and photographer from the Deseret News came down from salt lake and we got to visit with them for over an hour about my dad and dallin. they were looking for more information and stories about who they were and what they were like as people. it was so fun to sit and recollect and talk about these two men that we love and miss so much!

today i saw glimpses of pain so bad it just tore my heart in two; i have also seen glimpses that have reassured me that everything will be ok. i don't know why this had to happen to my family, or why we had to lose two members we loved, but i know that we are not given trials in this life that we can't handle. so we will make it through, persevere, and live lives that will enable us to be together again.

thank you for all the kind messages of love and support. it means so much to me and my family!


Families Can Be Together Forever

My Dad and brother, Dallin, died in a plane crash Friday evening on their way home from work in Eastern Utah. There were nine people from my dad's office plus the pilot and nobody survived.

I am still trying to process it. I was still in Missouri with Dan when I found out last night and I am on my way back to Utah today. Dan will meet us out there later this week. Our family is hurting, as well as all the other families. Dallin's wife, Kamber, is due with their first little boy next month. He was so excited to be a dad!

My Mom is doing great; she is holding our family together. Please keep us in your prayers, especially my younger brother Chris, who just left the MTC and arrived in Japan this week for his mission. It is hard to have him so far away during this, but we know he is where the Lord wants him.

I have so many emotions going through me at this point but even stronger than the sadness for our loss, is the peace in knowing we are an eternal family. What a blessing it is to have the Gospel in our lives! I don't know how I would ever find comfort in this situation if I didn't know that I would see my brother and Dad again. Thankfully, I do know that we will be together again. We are sealed as a family, to each other, for eternity. What peace and comfort that gives me! The Primary song "Families Can Be Together Forever" has been replaying in my head also. So simple but so true. I am grateful for my Dad, who was always an example to me, in every aspect of his life, and for a brother who truly followed that example and set one for me as well. I love them and will miss them both, but only until we are together again!

I have already seen blessings and tender mercies happening to our family because of this experience. Keep us in your thoughts and prayers.



this may be a boring post, typing and no pictures, but at least skip down to the bottem, read my question, and give me your opinion! thanks!

i made it to missouri! after a long day of driving, flying, layovers, and more driving i made it to columbia and am reunited with dan! it's been a hard couple of weeks but i am so grateful for my parents for letting madison and i "move in" with them for several weeks and for babysitting madison so i could come out here and visit dan.

i haven't seen much yet with it being dark last night and cold and rainy this morning, but i think i would like it here! flying in and seeing all the green made me think i am ready to have an adventure and move far away and experience something new and exciting.

i am hoping to venture out today to explore the city while dan is at work but finding my way around, in the pouring rain, is a little bit intimidating. i would like to find a MIZZOU Tigers shirt to take back home - since i am growing out of all my current t-shirts!

question for all you bloggers that might see this in the next two days. on the way back to the airport saturday we will have time for a little bit of tourism and i can't decide between Independence, Liberty Jail, or Adam-on-di-amon? has anyone been to them and can give me some sort of recommendation?



this was a simple word with a simple meaning - wood, long and flat, used for building. a few years ago the definition of this word changed for me - several of the most important academic tests in our life (dan's specifically)! these tests significantly affect the likelihood of dan specializing in dermatology vs let's say, pediatrics or family practice.

after months of studying, hours of practice questions, and a very diligent husband, we received good news - dan did amazing! he scored very high and i am so proud of his hard work! CONGRATULATIONS!! dermatology here we come!!



i forget how much i really love utah, until i go back and am reminded of everything i miss - family, beautiful summers, fourwheeling, the cabin, snow shack, college roomates, and pastry pub. i love being able to get outdoors and enjoy the weather! which is not possible during AZ summers. our little family has survived the first two weeks of being apart and i fly this week to go visit dan. I am ecstatic! in the meantime we have been enjoying every minute of being in utah.

madison loves bananas but will only eat them right now if she gets to hold them herself!

girls day out, shopping in st. george. madison loved the huge candy dispenser and tried out the m&m's. she kept reaching her hand in looking for more.

at the cabin with the fam - hannah, madison, dallin and kamber playing cards.

hannah and madison getting ready to go fourwheeling at the cabin.

madison LOVED the four wheelers. i thought she'd be scared since they are so loud but nope! she didn't even hold onto anything until the way home and then she layed down and hugged the gas tank - apparently it was comfortable. please excuse my ever growing midsection!

grandpa ellsworth's turn to take madison fourwheeling. she loved it as usual. and she is so funny with my dad. he sits on the stand during church and madison waves and points and talks to him from the church pews. it's pretty cute.

madison loves going in the backyard and she walked down the hill and sat on the steps next to the pond and just drank her milk. then she stood up and walked back up and came inside.

macy and madison. what else can i say? she loves that dog and gets on top of her or lays down next to her any chance she gets. macy is VERY patient with her.

swimming in the backyard (i forgot her swimsuit). my parents yard looks gorgeous right now with all the super green grass, flowers, peach tree - i love it! except that i got stung by a wasp for the first time ever. it killed! my knee swelled up and it turned into a bruise later. thanks dallin for getting rid of the hive from under the hot tub!

madison has always loved bathtime but when there are new shampoo bottles to play with it's even better!

we have loved being up here and have another week + to go! but we miss dan/dad alot and can't wait till we are together again! (another couple weeks and we will visit him in TX during his next rotation- both madison and i!)


Absence Makes The Heart Grow Fonder

THIS is what i will miss MOST.

dan left this morning for missouri. after that will be texas, then new mexico, and then he'll be back home with us in az at the end of october. it was hard to see him off this morning but we got through it, although not without quite a few tears. it's going to be long, and not at all easy, but i know our relationship will grow stronger because of this separation. it sounds weird but we will have to depend on each other more than ever before. dan is an amazing husband and i feel so blessed to be his eternal companion.

really, the hardest part for me is that madison won't understand where her dad went. it breaks my heart to think about it. she loves her dad so much. she just clings to him when he gets her out of the crib in the mornings and wants to be right next to him from the second he gets home from school. dan is the greatest dad and madison absolutely adores him. we will miss him so much.

sorry for the downer - it's been a long morning!

editor's note: dan made it safely to missouri, got settled in, and starts his derm rotation today. madison and i are doing great and getting ready for our big trip (3 weeks in utah)!