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 Be ready for outdated posts galore!


Shopaholics - Revised

our night out started at Chandler Fashion Center

i got this swim suit from SHADE

black is supposed to be slimming, right? lets hope so.

next, we went here.

hannah got the first one and i settled for the second.

yeah. i wish. maybe next time.

while i was on diaper duty, hannah checked out Brighton. i love their jewelry. take a peek.

on our way to dinner we made a quick detour in the Animal Kingdom Pet Store. who isn't distracted by cute little wagging tails?

dinner was incredible. the Cheesecake Factory never disappoints. try the Spicy Chicken Chipotle Pasta. yum. i already ate the leftovers for lunch today. and of course we didn't have room for dessert - so we got it to go. here's what we ended up with: fresh banana cream cheesecake, lemon raspberry cream cheesecake, and chocolate coconut cream cheesecake. delish!

lastly, we headed over to this place so hannah could marvel at it's immenseness while checking out stuff for the dorms next fall.

we got home after hours and hours of shoppng, only to find madison in bed (grace went with us) and our babysitter doing the dishes. this is what she said to me, "why don't you just sit down and relax while i finish these."

i kid you not! believe me, she got a tip for that one!

hannah and i finished the night with this cute movie. although i had forgotten a few questionable parts. darn it. and i can't remember the last time i watched a VHS.

what a day.

{*just to clarify: hannah didn't actually buy a coach purse.
we both wished. in case there was any confusion!}


Dr. Daniel P. Skinner, MD

i like the sound of that!

dan graduated from the university of arizona medical school may 15th. it was really hard to take pictures inside and from far away - so this is the best we got.

above: dan being 'hooded' by two professers (the one on the right was a family friend and colleague of my dad's)

below: reading the hippocratic oath to become a doctor

it was kind of surreal to sit there knowing we were done with medical school. it has been our way of life for the majority of our marriage, but we are so excited for the next step: residency and pay checks!

dan's proud parents!
his sister, lindsay, came down to tucson for graduation also and we were so appreciative to have them all there. it was a huge day for dan. following graduation we had a great dinner at el corral, one of our favorite restaurants in tucson, and then stopped for some gelato, at frost, on our way back to mesa.

we started med school as a twosome and ended as a foursome.

the whole group

i keep saying 'we' but really dan deserves all the credit. he worked so hard at school and then came home to a wife and kids and more responsibility. i am so proud of him and all he's accomplished. he was able to persue the specialty of his choice and we will be excited to start dermatology next summer in columbia.

job well done!

WOW. where to start? i am super behind and have so much to say, so many pictures, not enough time and too little sleep. so here it is briefly, for now:

dan graduated from medical school (i am so proud of him!)
my sister-in-law, stephanie, got married
we drove to cedar city, followed by provo, then back to cedar
hannah graduated from high school
my mom got married (las vegas)
drove back to cedar, then home to AZ.

over 30 hours in the car, with our girls, in 10 days.


but hannah is here with us - to party for a week. i was hoping she'd come.

{buns of steel}

i love this girl.


Endless Capacity To Love

today marks 9 months. our lives continue to be changed because of this event. but i've realized that some change can be healing.

meet Mark Imlay:

he came into our lives at a time when we least expected it; but it's been a good thing.

i like seeing my mom happy and that is what he makes her. an added bonus is that mark knew my dad. his wife, valerie (affectionately known as Val) was also on the plane last august. she worked for my dad from day one and they, the Imlays, became very good friends of my parents.

my mom is lucky and so are we - my dad was amazing, in so many ways, and i am grateful for every minute we had with him. but mark is also an incredible man. not every family gets that twice. he sincerely cares about each member of our family and especially enjoys the grandkids; madison adores him. one of the things i appreciate most about mark is that he's a worthy Priesthood holder and he can take my mom to the temple.

which brings me to the big news:

my mom and mark are getting married.

tomorrow. in the las vegas temple. for time.

we are excited and happy for them. i am happy for them.

Elder Ellsworth, my wise, 20 year old brother in japan, said that our souls have an endless capacity to love. i have found this to be true.


All I Want Is Some Of This

may brought three graduations and two weddings for our little family to be a part of, spread out between two states and three cities. more on all that later. much later. after i get some of the above.

we are down to the last graduation and last wedding. back up to utah for us.

but the end is in sight. thank goodness our girls are great travelers.

it's been good to be busy though. we are taking advantage of dan's time off and know we'll miss this freedom when he starts work next month. now, if i could just get some sleep...


Me and My Gracie

where has the time gone?


Sometimes We Need a Little Reminder

i hate getting forwarded random emails (i know, it's a strong word). you know the ones i'm talking about - they circle around for a few weeks with an uplifting thought or funny video or cute picture and you get it over and over from everyone you know.

that's why when i got this one, i deleted it. all four times. but this morning i actually sat down to watch the video (dan recommended it) and i am so glad i did.

i am grateful for this 6 minute and 44 second reminder i received this morning. for the Spirit it brought back into my home, and the peace that i still feel from it's message.

do enjoy.


A Day In The Life

6:56 - "mom. mom. dad. mom. dad!" who needs an alarm clock when you have a two year-old.

7:05 - carpet cleaner came from Chem Dry. all i really wanted was one particular spot on the carpet clean and odor free. but it's not. even $65 and a professional cleanse later. my cats are on death row if they even think about peeing again.....

next, cuddling on the bed - madison "shhhhhhhhing" grace when she fussed - what a great big sister. priceless.

then, after a trip to the car wash (caked on mud from utah), home depot (wood for storage project), and to the skinners (my inlaws, for the saw), dan finished this:

i couldn't picture it when dan first thought of the shelves but they turned out great!
i am so excited!

in the meantime, madison was doing a little of this:

a little regression is normal right? :) and the sucker is from Operation Bribery (get madison potty trained) she even 'went' in the toilet for that one!

then she decided to cut up her snack (LIFE cereal) into a million tiny pieces to divide evenly between her two cups. this kept her occupied for at least 15 minutes!

to keep from going stir-crazy we commuted over to the local IKEA with lindsay and got some of these for madison and this for grace. she loved the high chair as well.

and so did her sister.
if grace is going to do it .... so is madison.

lastly, we finished with dinner from here. love it!

it's been a good day.


I Wish I Could Be

in two places at the same time.

we are back in AZ and the girls and i went to the mesa temple to see stephanie and robert's wedding pictures taken. steph looked stunning. it made me want to get all dressed up and married again. why don't we (LDS couples) ever renew our vows? ;)

back up in UT (our second home), hannah won a handful of these at her track meet.
four to be exact.

1st place finishes for the 4x100 and 4X400 relays, 3rd place finishes in the 100m and 200m dashes. this sister of mine is the same all-star cross country runner i've mentioned before. she has endurance and speed. not that i am bragging. at all.

wish i could have been there.

but we are glad to be back in AZ.

i think steph's glad we are too.

{so much to write about, so little time.
check back soon for more updates.}


Kamber's Graduation Day!

kamber graduated!

i am SO proud of her! and so is porter!
she has had to juggle so many things the last 9 months and i think she's done an incredible job.

ellsworth sisters,
since kamber IS and ALWAYS WILL BE one of us

kamber's family drove all the way up from tucson, az.

we attended convocation (i think that's what it's called - where Pres. Monson addressed us) in the morning and that same afternoon was the commencement of kamber and dallin's actual college. we walked in and found these signs on the backs of our chairs:

they had reserved seats for us in the front since dallin was going to be receiving an honorary degree. he was one semester short of graduating - it's pretty safe to say he would have made it. :) here's how it works at SUU: you have a little paper with your name on it, which you hand to the professor reading names up on the stand. people clap... handshake here... smile and picture there...your 10 seconds are over....

well kamber had two little pieces of paper, one for her and one for dallin. she was told they would briefly mention him and what happened, and present her with his diploma as well as hers. this picture depicts almost the exact moment when Prof. Wright explained Dallin's honorary diploma and why he wasn't there to accept it. she said, "his family is here with us today, if they could please stand." we were ready; we knew we were going to be asked to stand. what we didn't know and weren't prepared for, was the sound of the applause and the swell of the entire audience, rising to their feet, starting with the faculty, resulting in a standing ovation. i saw poor kamber, standing bravely on the stage, alone, holding dallin's diploma and hers, as they honored us, him, and especially her, by their reaction. it was an honor to be there.


Tonight was the Night!!! - Revised

after months of hoping and praying,
i was able to shake his hand tonight

President Thomas S. Monson
{prophet, seer and revelator}

*prayers are answered and dreams come true*

the who, what, when, why, and where that you might have been wondering:

when i first heard that pres. monson would be the keynote speaker at SUU's graduation last fall, i got goosebumps. my first thought was, "maybe we'll get to meet him some how." fast forward several months... it turned out that there was an invitation for my family to attend a dinner at the president of SUU's house, the night before graduation, honoring select staff, students and honorary graduates (which dallin was). we heard a 'rumor' that pres. monson would be in attendance but you never know with his schedule. that afternoon i drove by the president's house (how retarded am i?) to see if there was any sign of what the night would bring. several police officers in the area made things look promising.

we arrived at the dinner, took our seats and waited for the event to start, when Pres. Benson (of SUU) said, "Our special guest, Pres. Thomas S. Monson of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, is en route and will be here shortly." oh man, did that create a buzz in the room!

his car pulled right up to the door of where the event was being held and he walked in with his daughter, Sis. Dibb (YW general presidency), and his entourage of security personnel. pres. monson is TALL! i was surprised. and he was SO funny - cracking jokes left and right. his party got settled and then we ate an AMAZING dinner.

as we were scraping our plates clean of every last drop of food, the award presentations began - various retirees, valedictorians, other staff awards.... yada yada... then the time was turned over to pres. monson to share a few words.

i don't remember most of what he said, which is terrible. but i distinctly remember his ability to draw the Spirit into the room instantaneously. he would be telling a funny story (such as his wife staying home during the dinner - she was tired from the long day - because she was polishing her honorary doctorate she had received earlier that day) and then in the same breath testify of the things he knew to be true. he wasn't bashful about his knowledge of Christ. he was respectful but not hesitant to bring gospel doctrine into the message he shared. it was a humorous and uplifting presentation. i love our prophet.

when the evening ended we anxiously waited to see if he would be quickly escorted back to his vehicle or if he would mingle. there was no mingling, but we WERE able to shake his hand briefly as he walked past each of us to the door. he took my hand, read my name tag, made eye contact, and said my name. he has a photographic memory so i'd like to think if he ever sees me again he'll know my name. . . probably not. :) when he shook kambers hand he said, "ellsworth, i know that name." and quietly moved on.

there have been stories and experiences shared with our family, since the crash, that have let us know the 1st Presidency was aware of what happened. they were aware of each family and each person on that plane. i don't know what pres. monson meant when he said, "ellsworth, i know that name" but it meant a lot to me.

i am grateful for a church that is organized in such a way that we have a living prophet of God on the earth. that we have continuing revelation available to us and that despite being a worldwide church, members are taken care of down to an individual basis, whether it be by visiting/home teaching or other methods. i feel incredibly blessed to have opportunities in my life where my testimony is strengthened and edified and my faith is renewed. how incredibly lucky we are as a church.