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 Be ready for outdated posts galore!


One Soul

how great shall be {his} joy
D&C 18:15


Bow, Bubbles, and Buster

it's been awhile since i've posted many pictures of the girls and though it seems like not much has happened lately i somehow always have a million pictures on the camera. so here we go...

you might have noticed that madison generally has "crazy hair", as we call it in our house. and i love her dearly for it. but when she wants to get it fixed and actually holds still, it tends to turn out super cute. then my only problem is getting a picture of it, hence the side shot. she has a natural curl that with the help of little mousse, is SO fast and easy and cute.

here is my toothless 11 monther. where has the time gone!!! she's a speed demon when it comes to crawling, loves to climb on top of or all over anything and anyone, is about to take her first steps any day, and is every bit plus some, as spunky as her older sister.

madison, being the big girl that she is, has found she can put her stool up to the counter and wash her own hands after going potty (that's a story in and of itself). it was all fun and games until the bubbles got on her face .

grace is getting quite good at giving hugs and kisses and madison loves
when grace snuggles with her.

(just in case you're wondering, grace is wearing just her diaper, like 80% of the day. between crawling all over and getting filthy to finger foods 3x a day, we've decided half naked is the easiest way to go. don't judge. :))

these next pictures are from yesterday afternoon. we hear a knock at the door and there is brittley - one my beehives/neighbor/the girls favorite babysitter.
she brought buster with her.

grace is an animal fanatic but literally doesn't know what to do when she's up close to them. she gets so excited and just tenses up and shakes with hers hands in fists. buster was great though because he just stood there and let her get close. she loved him.

so did madison.



{this is my 200th post. crazy. between that and the 22nd coming up (or long gone probably, by the time i finally post this), making it 13 months, i was trying to come up with something to write and this is what resulted. warning: long and possibly boring - but this blog is my place for all that stuff too.}

i took lots of pictures when i was in cedar last - my dad's office and spa and various places around town that are named after/dedicated to him and the 0thers in the plane. they were edited and uploaded, ready to post. i planned on writing about all the tributes and how my dad left such a lasting and wonderful legacy.

i changed my mind when recently i received an email from a dear friend which made me think about 'legacy' in a different way. the email included a large attachment - a preview for a book of tributes about dallin, from his friends, for porter. it begins with this:

"This book is filled with memories, tributes, and pictures of Dallin that were sent by his friends. Porter Dallin, since you were not able to know your father during his time here on earth, we hope that you can see glimpses of the amazing man that your father Dallin was through reading our memories of him. We know that Dallin loves you and that Dallin is watching over you from above. You are the most wonderful legacy that Dallin left on this earth, and we hope that you will always be able to feel our love for you . The hymn “Each Life that Touches Ours for Good” describes how Dallin blessed our lives with his friendship and love. The words read:

Each life that touches ours for good
Reflects thine own great mercy, Lord;
Thou sendest blessings from above
Thru words and deeds of those who love.

What greater gift dost thou bestow,
What greater goodness can we know
Than Christlike friends, whose gentle ways
Strengthen our faith, enrich our days.

When such a friend from us departs,
We hold forever in our hearts
A sweet and hallowed memory,
Bringing us nearer, Lord, to thee.

For worthy friends whose lives proclaim
Devotion to the Savior’s name,
Who bless our days with peace and love,
We praise thy goodness, Lord, above."

i love that song; it was the opening hymn at the funeral. the attached file is 42 pages long and has been quite a tear jerker. it's also been the reason for many laughs, and in addition, a wonderful insight to just how influential my brother was in so many people's lives.

here are a few excerpts:

"Just being around Dallin made me want to be a better person."

"I have worked with and been acquainted with over 500 missionaries and it is fair to say that there was never a better missionary in the mission field, in our mission." (from his mission president)

"It would take most people 2 lifetimes to do what he did in his 23 years here."

"One of his companions said of him, "I have always said that there never was anyone as pure as him… he was an example for me of the pure love of Christ. Each day he taught me to love the Savior more."

this is the kind of legacy my brother left. this is how he and my dad lived their lives every day.

i will probably post the pictures of buildings and memorials with my dad's name one day; he left an imprint on the community that i don't think will ever be erased. but for today, after reading the stories, memories, and testimonies that were touched by my brother, i want to remember the importance of a different kind of legacy - of a quiet witness and humble servant, never judging and always finding the good in others, much like our Savior.

in the past year i've spent a lot of time reflecting on my life - my joys and successes, my mistakes and regrets, my goals and achievements (or lack of)... i've wondered what my funeral would be like, what would people say and remember about me if i died tomorrow? would i be happy with my accomplishments and my choices? would i be prepared to meet the Savior?

thankfully, i don't think tomorrow will be my last day - so i have the opportunity to do better and be better. i hope to build a legacy of my own; one that i can look back on with satisfaction. i've made clear and specific goals to help me stay focused and accomplish what is most important. i want to remain centered on my family and the gospel and i have two great examples of how to do it. if i can leave this life with a fraction of the legacy my dad and brother did, it will be more than enough for me.

{it's been a roller coaster ride thus far,
but here's to 200 posts and
200 more to come!}


Caught In Action

just found in the girls room: two little rascals
{i should have known they were up to something since i hadn't heard them for awhile.}
madison said she was getting clothes out for grace to play with.
how thoughtful.

and then just now, as i was about to publish this, madison came up and said,
"mom, me get clothes out. you clean up."

oh madi, i love you!

and you too gracie!


We Have A Little Problem

we decided we wanted to go to a BYU football game this year, for old times sake. plus we're moving out east for several years and won't get another chance for awhile. dan is off for thanksgiving, which conveniently is the weekend of the BYU vs. Utah game. we're all for a long 10 + hour day in the car, each way, in order to be there.

as we were talking about all the logistics and what to do with the girls, dan checked online for tickets.

IT'S SOLD OUT. of course. it's only the biggest rivalry and most popular game of the year to attend. that put a damper on things.

but thats where you come in. if any of you friends, family, readers, or blog stalkers have tickets, see tickets, hear of tickets, anything at all, let me know! we'd LOVE to go and are willing to make a big effort to get up there! THANKS!!

{sorry if this shows up on your blog reader like 15 times! i'm trying to fix the font and somethings not working}


Sunday Listening

i love this cd. it's written and arranged by one of my favorite pianists, clyde bawden, to compliment mark mabry's Reflection of Christ photography. i'm not a huge mo-tab girl {though they are great} so this is more my type of sunday soundtrack. track 8 is my favorite.
it's on repeat.


For A Limited Time Only

{last may at my mom's wedding}

kamber and porter are back in utah!

they've been in tucson for the summer while kamber's been looking for a place to live more permanently. after seeing a TON of different places and probably getting WAY too much advice from everyone, including me, she finally found the perfect place. and it's less than 10 minutes away from us!


seriously, i am counting down the days. kamber is a breath of fresh air - always smiling and laughing about something and porter is the same. he has his dad's (and mom's) huge smile and it makes me feel closer to dallin. it will be so fun for he and my girls to play together. cousins!

as for utah, kamber is back to visit, enjoy the fall weather, see friends, go to general conference, celebrate porter's 1st birthday, sort through boxes, tie up loose ends, and pack everything to move to AZ in october. this is a big transition - bittersweet to say the least, but she's looking to the future with hope, knowing that everything will fall into place.

oh, how i love that girl!

{she is staying at my parent's house in cedar so anyone who'd like to see her, contact her there. or leave your email address and i can send you more contact info.}

{last week after his bath. it looks like crazy hair just runs in our family!}


Have You Forgotten

...how it felt that day?
{if you haven't heard this song, go HERE. i love it.}

i had forgotten today was 9/11 until i logged onto facebook and saw the status of many friends; some told where they were or what they were doing when everything was happening on that morning eight years ago.

i was sleeping in, since i didn't have morning classes. i heard distant voices saying things like planes, attacking, war, and towers and thought i was dreaming. then someone knocked on our dorm room door and told us what had happened. it wasn't a dream.

the campus-wide tuesday devotional was canceled and turned into a prayer meeting. i remember feeling anxious to meet in the Marriott Center, thinking we'd be a target with so many people in one place. {i obviously knew very little at that point.} as we walked there, i was thinking, "do i know anyone in new york? should i fill my car up with gas because there might be a shortage? is my family ok?" some of it was silly, some valid. i felt anxiousness, uncertainty and fear. these feelings continued into the prayer meeting and even through Pres. Bateman's message.

then we sang "Come, Come Ye Saints" for a closing hymn. slowly but surely, i felt comforted and sustained as we sang. so much was still unknown at that point, the future was uncertain - mine and our country's - but i felt so much peace. this hymn brought reassurance and strength.

"Come, come, ye saints, no toil nor labor fear;
But with joy wend your way.
Though hard to you this journey may appear,
Grace shall be as your day.
Tis better far for us to strive our useless cares from us to drive;
Do this, and joy your hearts will swell -
All is well! All is well!

Why should we mourn or think our lot is hard?
'Tis not so; all is right.
Why should we think to earn a great reward if we now shun the fight?
Gird up your loins; fresh courage take.
Our God will never us forsake;
And soon we'll have this tale to tell-
All is well! All is well!

We'll find the place which God for us prepared,
Far away, in the West,
Where none shall come to hurt or make afraid;
There the saints, will be blessed.
We'll make the air, with music ring, Shout praises to our god and king;
Above the rest these words we'll tell -
All is well! All is well!

And should we die before our journey's through,
Happy day! All is well!
We then are free from toil and sorrow, too;
With the just we shall dwell!
But if our lives are spared again to see the Saints their rest obtain,
Oh, how we'll make this chorus swell-
All is well! All is well!"

if you are unfamiliar with this song, watch/listen to a beautiful rendition of it HERE by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

lastly, is a video about a 9/11 survivor (made or endorsed by the church) that i watched on a friend's blog today. {thanks andrea!}

let us remember what happened that day.
let us remember those lost and living.
let us remember those fighting for our freedom.
but mostly, let us remember that "all is well".


Just A Few Things

*we replaced our air conditioning filter last night - for the first time in 2 years! did you know they're supposed to be replaced quarterly? now its much quieter, much cooler, and much more efficient. we were wondering why our electric bill for our little apartment was over $200 each of the past couple of months...

*madison has become our little parrot. two of her favorite phrases right now are 'just a minute' and 'not yet'. apparently i say them all the time.

*we're playing flour battleship tonight for YW's (i work with the Beehives/12-13 year olds). we'll be throwing little bombs of flour back and forth over a tarp suspended between two volleyball poles, trying to hit each other. sounds fun except it will still be over 100 degrees outside.

*i was giving madison a bath this morning and i said,
"ok, can i rinse your hair now?"
"no, not yet!" (as i mentioned before, a favorite phrase of hers)
"ok, when?"

*grace just discovered that doors can open and close and tends to shut herself in the bedrooms. getting a 10 mo old to back up out of the way when she's on the opposite side of the door is quite a task.

*i hate to iron. i only iron on a very slack need-to basis. this leaves dan to iron all his own clothes. does that make me a terrible wife?

*today i went out front to water our plants and shut the door behind me. shortly after, i heard madison twisting and turning the knob, trying to follow me. i moved to help her open it and found the door locked. thats right. locked. my two girls on the inside and me on the outside (grace was sleeping, thankfully). i tried not to panic while explaining to madison how to unlock the door (in the back of my mind i'm thinking - ok, does this warrant a 911 call if she can't get it open?) after a painstakingly slow and agonizing 45 seconds madison got the door unlocked and i could finally (i know, it was less than a minute, but still) breathe easy. now we have a spare key...

*lastly, we went to the library today- madison loves it. she runs from shelf to shelf pulling off books and then runs back to us excited about her new find. after about an hour we left with a huge bag full of new books but madison had eyes for only one. we've read it at least 5 times already.

it's called "My Big Boy Potty".

oh my goodness.
(she says that too!)


Bird Watching

we've been going a little stir crazy over at our house and are waiting impatiently for the temps to cool off some more so we can start playing outdoors. {yesterday we lasted about half an hour at the park before giving up.} in the meantime i'm trying to find fun stuff for us to do to keep busy.

this morning i saw a hummingbird flitting around outside our house and decided we should get a feeder for them. that entailed a trip to our dandy walmart. one hour later we left with a hummingbird feeder, matching dresses for the girls, several other random things and ALMOST a fishbowl starter kit and a new goldfish. no more going to the store to pass the time for me! we mixed up some sugar water when we got home and hung the feeder outside our front window. between lunch time and nap time and everything between, the hummingbird feeder was forgotten.

but when madison woke up this afternoon i asked her to look and see if there were any birds yet. she scampered off to check it out and excitedly came running back.

"mom! come on, come look!"

there were two little hummingbirds sitting on the feeder.

now we are bird watching till dad gets home.

{madison ready to walk out the door to walmart, purse in hand -
cramming her last few fruit snacks in her mouth}


Rise and Shout...

...the Cougars are out!

{BYU - 14 vs OU - 13}

beating the 3rd best team in the country in the opening game
of the season makes for an exciting fall of football.




madison just learned how

and she's pretty happy about it

grace was feeling left out

so madison went to cheer her up

grace wasn't too sure about getting a kiss

but decided she liked it

then little miss madison decided to see for herself if she'd burn her feet on the sunny concrete because she didn't believe her mom

her mom was right.


Post-Dated, Again

this is mostly for the sake of my mom, hannah, and kamber, but for anyone else interested also, go here to see pics of our vacation in scottsdale when my mom and hannah came to town.

and here is a random picture of grace to make this post a little more interesting. how can someone with so little hair, get it that crazy, while sleeping?