July 31, 2012


On our drive across the country (the road trip that just got longer.... grrrr..... Thank goodness for wonderful family that let us stay longer/adjust our schedules!) we stopped in Nauvoo, Illinois.  This was the last settlement of the Mormon Pioneers before they made the trek west to Salt Lake City, Utah. There's a wonderful spirit in the beautiful old city of Nauvoo.  The church does such a great job of making you feel like you're really there.  Aside from the countless bug bites we all received from watching the Pageant (which by the way is amazing,  tears were shed...) it was a wonderful little stop.  Obviously we didn't take many pictures other than by the Temple.  It's such a beautiful Temple, though, so I didn't think you'd mind a few pictures.
 Jeremy got to see the Mississippi River for the first time! He was really excited.  
(In other Jeremy news, he also saw his FIRST FIREFLY!!! Just last night.  He didn't seem too interested in catching them in jars... but hey I'm still a proud wifey, let me tell ya)

July 30, 2012

feeling good

We all have one of those songs that just makes us happy.  So happy that you maybe blast it in your room, dance to it in your underwear and sing your heart and soul out to your hairbrush, right? ....no...?  okay good... I never did that either... ha. But if I did do that in high school or something, I probably would have sang and danced to Michael Buble's "Feeling Good".  

Not sure why I'm telling you all this other than to tell you that regardless of the fact that we've been on the road for a whole five days now, we are FEELING GOOD!  Regardless of the fact that we have driven 35 hours with an eight month old we are FEELING GOOD! Regardless of the fact that we have three more days to go and 16 hours we are FEELING GOOD! Our time in the car has been filled with rationing out toys, opening our Road Trip Survival Guide that my mom was sweet enough to throw together for us.  Deep conversations about our life, our future and how we're going to make the most out of the next four years.  It's also been filled with candy, way too many munchies and screaming to our favorite songs at the top of our lungs trying to stay awake for that last 45 minutes of a drive.  Life is GOOD.  And if you have to drive across the entire country, why not do it with your two favorite people?!

Every day we feel more and more that the Lord wants us in Baltimore.  And we know we are being blessed for our obedience.  

And just because I can I'll leave you with another great song that pretty 
much applies to our life right now.  Hope you enjoy!

July 24, 2012

moving, growing, changing

Life is crazy my friends.  Crazy crazy crazy.  And during all that crazy life keeps moving moving moving.  It seems like Jeremy graduated and we got to Spokane last week.  Yet here we are packing up our stuff, saying our goodbyes and starting off on an adventure that is going to change our lives forever.  We're excited and scared and we pretty much have no idea what we're doing. But here we go.  

Madeline is on the move, too.  She's on the scoot-crawl-stand-walk-around-furniture move. It's hard to keep up with her these days.  I still can't believe it's been eight months. Eight months since we headed to the hospital.  Eight months since we held her for the first time.  Eight months since brought her home.  In my head she's still this little baby that can barely hold her head up.  It was just yesterday and yet it was so long ago.  I look back at pictures and think,"That's Madeline? That teeny, tiny baby is now pulling to a stand?"  Parenthood is a weird and oh so wonderful thing.  I've loved almost every minute of it. I'm glad we didn't wait to start our family. It was the right thing for us.

These past few weeks have been the most stressful of my entire life. Trying to find a place to live and trying to figure out how we're going to stretch a small sum of money to insure just about everything there is to insure on top of the whole need to eat thing.  I honestly don't know how we're going to do it.  These past few weeks have also been the most wonderful.  The most fulfilling and the happiest.  I feel myself growing and changing every day and sometimes I'm surprised by the wonderful person I'm becoming. It's sad to say goodbye to family and friends that we love so much.  But I have more faith and confidence than ever that we're going to where we're supposed to be.  The Lord has made it very obvious that He needs us in Baltimore.  I'm so excited to discover some of the great things He has in store for us.  

"For to be spiritually minded is life eternal." 2 Nephi 9:39 

I hope you have a happy Tuesday.  Whoever you are, wherever you are, I hope you're happy. I hope you count your blessings.  I hope you accomplish the things that you need to.  And I hope you love yourself today and always.  

July 19, 2012

birthday boy

Jeremy turned twenty-four on Tuesday.  One more year and the man will have lived a quarter of a century.  I threw together a pretty pathetic, last minute BBQ to celebrate the occasion.  But it turned out pretty well.  Thank goodness for awesome parents who know how to accommodate their crazy daughter and all of her sky-high ideas.... What would I do with out them? 
Jeremy loves peaches so when I came across a recipe for peach cake I couldn't pass it up.  It was all from scratch, and pretty good, but there's something about a cake from a box.  Does it taste better because it actually is better? Or do I just like them better because of how easy they are?

I made him wear this cute little pin and he just about died :)  But what are wives for if they can't embarrass their husbands every now and then?

And then I kidnapped the birthday boy.  I made a reservation at a Bed & Breakfast in Coeur d'Alene a few months ago.  Jeremy never really wants anything for his birthday or Christmas.  "I have everything I need."  (Stark contrast to the never ending list I hand him about a month before my birthday...) But I knew that this year what he really needed was time.  Time with me that didn't involve distractions.  Well one distraction to be specific.  (I'll give you a hint: She weighs about 17 lbs, and she's a skinny little thing that loves to climb on anything and everything these days).  So I arranged for him to get work off (THANKS JON!) and we kissed our little baby goodbye and had a jolly good time.  Together.

Happy Birthday Jeremy.  I'm so proud of you and all that you're doing.  You never cease to amaze me by the way you lead our family and help me to be a better person.  There's no one I'd rather spend eternity with.  No one I'd trust more to be the father of our children.  Thanks for being my everything....

July 18, 2012

a day at the lake

One of the things my family loves most is taking the boat out to the lake and just spending some time together.  Last week we finally got to do that.  It was wonderful.  We went to Spirit Lake in Idaho and had the most relaxing and peaceful time. Madeline even enjoyed her first boating trip! Oh and we'll just pretend I didn't spend at least 45 minutes trying to get up on a wake board with nothing to show but a very sore back.....

July 16, 2012

CHINA: Have you ever been lost?

We took a train from Xi'an to ....another city.... that I can't remember the name of... and probably couldn't spell even if I could... anyway, took a train to our next destination.  After we got off this train ride we were supposed to two of the director's daughters as well as a van driver who would take us to the city where the beloved Eagles Wings Foster Home is located.  There were two exits from the train station and we didn't know which one we were supposed to take.  Once you went out you couldn't go back in.  For some reason we couldn't get ahold of the people we were supposed to and it was just a really scary half hour.  Luckily we were stranded by KFC where I attempted to order us some much needed "nourishment".  Language barriers are real people. 
While the sun is beautiful, it's quite uncomfortable to not see sky for ten days because of haze/smog.  It's not a good thing when you can stare directly at the sun with no consequences... 

boyscouts are useless when you're lost in China... just sayin' 

I'm pretty sure mom isn't actually crying... 

And cute Hannah stayed nice and positive the whole time :)

July 12, 2012

CHINA: More Pictures!

Here's some random pictures from the rest of our time in Xi'an.  
I think we were all amazed by the intricate detail that can be found everywhere through out China.  

Madeline was a celebrity!  Everybody was touching her, smiling at her, taking pictures of her/with her and some people even picked her right up! Without asking!  Who does that!?!  This picture was taken during breakfast at our hotel during one of our first days there.  Nobody was in the restaurant except Jeremy, Madeline and I so we left Madeline in her stroller to grab our food from the buffet (3ft away, tops).  I turned around after maybe a minute and the waitress had taken Madeline out of her stroller and was carrying her to the back of the restaurant to show all the other workers.  I couldn't believe it.  I quickly set my plate down and followed her.  And as soon as I had the chance I snatched my baby back up and didn't put her down again.  I really learned how much Madeline trusts me.  If I was a little uneasy about someone she could sense it.  This (in the picture above) was a friend of the waitress (the one who just picked her up and walked off) who obviously made me feel VERY uneasy and Madeline sensed it.  She really didn't want to be with her anymore.  But when one of our guides wanted to hold her I was more than ok with it and she happily obliged a little cuddle with just about anyone. 
I love being a mom.

On our last day in Xi'an we visited a Muslim market.  My favorite part about traveling is really being with the people.  Stepping in their shops, bargaining for the best price.  I love the sounds, the smell, the sight.  I just really love it.  And what a beautiful place to spend the afternoon, right?  At night the white things you see in the tree light up.  We were pretty bummed we couldn't see it at night.

How did I get to lucky!? She's so stinkin' cute!

Pig feet anyone?


 And there is the cutest baby in a hotel you ever did see!