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 Be ready for outdated posts galore!


Mrs. Mckay

the soon-to-be mr. and mrs.

{taken by one of her students}

i failed to announce that my sister-in-law, stephanie got engaged (3 weeks ago)!! robert proposed at stephanie's school, in front of her class, and had a student, another teacher, and even the principal in on it. they even put the good news up on the marquee for all the parents to see.

we are so excited for steph and robert! they are so good together.

plus, we can't wait for some little cousins for madison and grace. nothing bad about thinking ahead right?


The Bob




Salt Lake Tribune Article

an article about the crash was written for the Salt Lake Tribune and then republished in the Spectrum today. click HERE to read it.

a few thoughts about it:

*i don't necessarily agree with the statement "family members struggle to carry on". yes, it has been a struggle, and yes, it has been hard but "struggling to carry on" sounds desperate and hopeless. my mom once said she thinks it is amazing that we all kept functioning, and that we still are. what a blessing.

*even though the NTSB is still investigating the crash, and might be for some time - it doesn't change anything. the last thing anybody needs is finger pointing. so what if they find it was the pilot's fault? his family is mourning his loss just as much as each of the other victims families are mourning. so what if it was a faulty engine or any other part? the manufacturers wouldn't have done something deliberately. i wish in today's society there could just be accidents. leave it at that.

*it makes me sad that only 2 out of the 11 cities my dad traveled two are still receiving dermatological care. he worked so hard to provide his services to as many people as possible. at the same time, i understand why dr. colbert reaches out to only those 2 cities.

*on a lighter note - isn't my nephew adorable? sunny disposition is an understatment for him. his smile is one of my favorite things in the world.



"this is served as an excitement of the taste buds to both prepare the guest for the meal and to offer a glimpse into the chef's approach to cooking." thank you wikipedia! this is a term dan and i learned from Top Chef (it's a great show and we miss it - a downside of just having bunny ears).

i'm so behind on blogging that i'm giving you this amuse-bouche to get you excited about whats to come. plus my sister, hannah, said it was about time she saw recent pictures of her nieces on here. once again, grace is the neglected child with no picture. maybe next time!

I Left My Heart...

... in San Francisco High on a hill, it calls to me
To be where little cable cars climb halfway to the stars

The morning fog may chill the air, I don't care

~Tony Bennett

this post is lengthy. very. lengthy. so for the faint at heart, take a look at the picture above and know that we went to san fran and below to see that we had a blast. can't you tell by hannah's face? hair flying and tears streaming down her face from the wind, as she sat on the top of the double decker bus, crossing the Golden Gate Bridge... and i'm not telling you how long ago we went, because then you won't know how behind i am.

{this picture cracks me up - thank you kamber for capturing it}

*side note: the reason for going, you might ask? my dad was being awarded with a Presidential Citation from the AAD- American Academy of Dermatology- during an awards luncheon at their national conference, for his dedication to provide cancer screenings for rural communities. we (hannah, kamber and i) went to be with my mom as she received the award in his honor. and to make a fun trip out of it. with the two little nursing babies. who were troopers. needless to say, it was bitter sweet, as many things are these days. parts of the weekend were very hard for my mom- being back at this conference for the last time, where she had come with my dad. but she took everything in stride and put on a brave front for us. and we really did have a blast. again, refer to hannah's picture above. :)

apparently if you are still reading this, you want a more detailed version with pictures galore. that, i can do.

my stud-muffin of a nephew, porter

cramming four people, two car seats and all our gear into a minivan.
my first time ever in a taxi!!
and boy was the driver ornery.

hannah looking stylish at our favorite store of the trip - anthropologie. we could have stayed in there all weekend.

trying to be like hannah but not quite pulling it off

my mom found this sweater for hannah to wear on Easter Sunday. hannah almost bought it. ; )

eating dinner at the best food court ever, if you can even call it that. i was honestly stressed out trying to decide where to eat- so many places and all so good! we ate there a couple times. the actual mall- Westfield, was incredible. plus there was more shopping for blocks on each side of it.

porter and grace did great, as did their moms.
we nursed all over san fransisco.
thank you mom and hannah for being so patient!

Union Square
funny story: i wanted to get a picture of the four of us and started looking for someone to ask when kamber said, "wait, you're going to hand someone your camera? aren't you afraid they will run off with it?" thankfully, we got the camera back and have this picture to show for it. :)

i love you kamber!!!

i fell in love with this city.
it was amazing.
i want to go back.
who's with me?

loved this. a homeless man walking his dog, cat, and rat. i took like five pictures of them.

my favorite part of the trip was when my sweet mom pulled tickets out of her purse and said, "wait, what are these?" she surprised me (hannah and kamber were in on it) and got the 3 girls tickets to see Wicked. she stayed back at the hotel and watched grace and porter for us - i felt TERRIBLE leaving her there! but we had soooo much fun!

hannah is quite an experienced traveler and navigated us through BART - the subway in san fran. she's getting so old! (i took my hug ol' diaper bag to sneak in snacks. am i cheap or what!)

Wicked was incredible. i loved it! kamber and i saw it for the first time, it was hannah's second. she saw it on broadway, in new york city, on christmas eve. cool, huh!

hannah and Fiyero!!! what a cute couple, is there a chance he could be LDS?
oh well, hannah and david archuleta make acuter couple anyway.

we decided to brave the san fran city streets and walk home instead of taking BART. scary. but we made it, thanks to a middle aged couple who let us tag along beside them for safety.

Pier 39

i always think Azkaban not Alcatraz...

we took a cable car to the fisherman's wharf and had some amazing sourdough bread and my mom and hannah had fresh crab and clam chowder. my favorite was a hot fudge sunday from Ghirardelli Square. yummm!!!

little pastry shop in the north shore, the italian district. it took forever to decide what to try.

we tried out gelato too.

it was such a fun trip!
we fit a lot into 48 hours, especially with the 'twins' and their strollers.
i was exhausted by the time i got home but what a fun weekend.

thank you mom for making it possible.


World-Wide Church

the only sentence i understood during church today was, "temples are very important." we attended a branch this morning in rocky point, mexico. we gathered, sang, took the sacrament, and listened to the talks. i hardly understood anything, but was still able to feel the spirit.

the church is organized the same all over the world. i am grateful for that. i love that you can attend a ward or branch anywhere and have it feel like home, regardless of the people or the language.

on a different note - today marks seven months since the crash. that realization escaped me until this afternoon. i was nursing grace and looking out the sliding glass door to the ocean and waves outside when i remembered. i didn't anticipate the 22nd this month like normal. i am hoping that's a good sign.

as i reflected about my dad and brother, i thought about the last time we were together as a family. it was here, in rocky point, last may. we gathered for one last vacation before chris left on his mission. it was wonderful. great memories. perfect memories. ones i want to put in a vault - to save forever and never forget.

it's been a peaceful day. but i am especially glad to be in mexico for it.


You Know You're Tired When-

you use nail polish remover thinking its your eye makeup solvent.

i wondered why my eyes were burning...


Drum Roll Please....

we're going to...

and we are so excited!!! dan matched at both of his first choices: he will do his preliminary year at good sam in phoenix which means we get to stay put for awhile, and then in june 2010 we will move to columbia, missouri for three years of dermatology. once again, i am so proud of dan and all his hard work. he has earned this.

we could not be more happy!

*editor's note: pictures added for posterity's sake!


You're Gonna Wanna Read This For Our Big News!!!

we have anticipated today, for a long time. dan has worked, studied, lived and breathed medical school. (okay, he has actually had a really great schedule this semester - which is why we are in MEXICO even as i type this.) but it has been a long road.

when i first met dan, he was a business major, taking all the pre-reqs for med school.

our first semester married, he was studying and practicing for the MCAT.

next came the application process.

and then in the fall, he flew all over the country for interviews.

we got in a couple places and decided U of A was the one for us.

we've spent 2 years in tucson, and 1 1/2 years in mesa for medical school and dan graduates in may.

the end is in sight.

our next big step is residency, where dan spends several more years training for a specific specialty - he wants to do dermatology. this mean a new set of requirements, a whole new application process, more interviews. it comes down to a rank list. the students do one, the schools do one. then you wait, and everyone in the country finds out the same day.

well folks, the waiting is over. (you may not have been aware of any waiting! but it's over nonetheless.) today we found out.


derm is the 2nd or 3rd most competative specialty. every year more students apply than are accepted. that is why i am so proud than dan worked so hard for this. it wasn't easy, and to be honest, we were quite anxious, but it's done! he's in!

stay tuned for thursday when we find out where we will spend the next four years of our life! (if only they could tell us the same day!)


Gardenia (Reprise)

i mentioned that gardenia's are my Dad's favorite flowers.

well here she is in all her glory.

{Lansing's gardenia - by the front door.
Over 120 blossoms - someone counted!
May or June 1992
Tucson, AZ}

according to the caption on the back, in my mom's handwriting.

thanks to Gma F for finding and then letting me scan the picture.


Good Little Eater

*disclaimer #1: this is an unflattering video of me and my arm. ignore it.

*disclaimer #2: grace can't sit up by herself yet, hence, the bobbling around in her bumbo seat.

*disclaimer #3: the cat isn't usually on our table - that's gross. she just wanted the rice cereal (weird) and i was too distracted by the feeding and filming to shoo her off at first.

with that said, here is grace eating rice cereal for only her second time! hmmm, i wonder if she likes it?


Birthday Girl!

i can't believe my little girl is already two years old! i can recall the day madison joined our family as if it were yesterday. and yet i hardly remember what it was like before she became part of our family. how time flies!

{my feeble attempt at being creative
and making homemade invitations}

we decided on a last minute birthday party and filled the day with some of madison's favorite things:

a family breakfast
belgian waffles (with the works - even homemade buttermilk syrup - YUM!)
too many presents - thank you all!
a horseback ride with her favorite babysitter
a trip to the zoo
dancing with her dad (on an outdoor dance floor with little white lights dangling above)

we kept the fun going all day long!!

i am absolutely, head over heels in love with my little girl. she brightens my life and always keeps me laughing. she has done an incredible job adjusting to all the change and traveling of the last 6 months and her tenderness and love for her little sister, grace, continues to amaze me. i feel lucky and blessed to have her in my life.

madison-i love you.


"Riding Along In My Automobile...

. . . my baby beside me at the wheel . . .

. . . cruisin' and playin' the radio,
no particular place to go."

-Chuck Berry

Amelia Bedelia

did you ever read those books when you were young? well, we have our own little version of her in our house.

madison climbed up on the table while i wasn't looking and i found her perched on the edge, sitting next to her plate, eating lunch. i asked her, "can you please get down onto your chair? you can sit, stand or kneel if you want, but you can't sit on the table - you might fall." she turned around to get down so i left the room to grab something. this is what i came back to.

not quite what i was thinking, but it worked! i wish i could have seen the plate transfer - she didn't drop one piece of food in the process.

Cavalia - (revised)

lucy is purring, curled up in my lap and i can hear grasshoppers chirping outside, while i eat peanut butter cup frozen yogurt and sit at the computer.

dan and the girls are sound asleep - peaceful and dreaming away.

my sweet hubby took me out tonight. how fun to dress up and go out on an average old tuesday! we will do this more often. he bought tickets to this show (click on 'video' to see a sneak peek) i had been wanting to see for some time now. so we made the trek over to scottsdale and it was well worth the effort. fairy tale meets cirque de solei meets dressage and horses. loved it.

we came home to a babysitter who said she rocked madison and grace to sleep, together, at the same time! so sweet.

now i am just waiting for the beep so i can take my last pan of chocolate chip cookies out of the oven - the dough left over from last week was just itching to be cooked.

last on the list... crawl into bed

the perfect end to a perfect night.


Happiest Place On Earth - Finally

you wouldn't know that by the look on madison's face! we'll have to go back to disneyland when she's older and knows why people walk around dressed up in costumes. she'll be less traumatized.

the carousel was the favorite for madison with dumbo as a close second and the teacups coming in third. luckily, she fell asleep for a couple hours and we got to go on our favorite rides: thunder mountain railroad, the matterhorn, and space mountain. and grace was content all day long. it worked out perfectly!

my sister-in-law, lindsay, came with us and we were so glad. madison LOVES her, and it was great to have an extra set of hands (especially when madison threw up in the car). but mostly we just loved having her company! she was brave to drive to california with two little kids and spend that much time with us but we are happy she did. thanks lindsay!

i had to take a picture of the yellow submarine - dallin loved it.

another scary monster. click on the picture to see a closeup of madison's terror

i love this picture

dan and his little white pony. love it.
what a good sport to ride the one madison picked out for him. :)

the end of a long day of fun - after Fantasmic ended (an awesome light/fire/water show)

this quick, last minute trip happened because dan had a test he had to take in LA. so we decided to make a vacation out of it and stop by Disneyland. the next day he aced his test while we girls headed to Santee Alley for some shopping in the downtown fashion district. after finding some great knock-off purses and some cologne we picked up dan and headed back to AZ, fighting LA rush hour traffic for a couple hours first.

we had perfect weather, it was such a fun trip and sometimes it's great to do something spur of the moment. and who knew the perfect time to go to Disneyland was february? we didn't wait in line more than 10 or 15 minutes for anything! anyone up for going again next year?