April 29, 2013


Today is my twenty-first birthday. I am twenty-one years old. And while the world may look at this milestone as a time for booze and careless living, I'm feeling particularly grateful for the wonderful life I've come to be living.

I'm grateful for life. For who I am, for the plan my Heavenly Father has for me. I'm grateful for my loving husband who married me as a teenager even though many people told him he'd regret it. I'm grateful for the faith he had in me. I'm grateful for my beautiful daughter and for the blessing it is to stay home with her each day. I'm grateful for the beautiful apartment we live in. For a wonderful ward, amazing friends and the chance we have to be living here in Baltimore. My life feels full and complete right now. Not perfect, I still have my trials, but I'm happy.

My expectations weren't high this birthday and my family can tell you that's never happened before. I'm just grateful to be here. Grateful that on April 29, 1992 at 5:01 in the morning my parents gave birth to a little girl. I'm grateful that I've had so many awesome birthdays and chances to celebrate me. It's true I would have loved a birthday where my husband didn't have tests to take and study for. And I really would have appreciated a day full of sunshine and a trip to the zoo with Madeline (especially after spending the past two days sick & inside), but a rainy day will have to do. I still love the rain. 

April 25, 2013

the gulf

 Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Gulf of Mexico. Also this is the last collection of pictures from our trip to Florida (you're all hoping ;) I mean come on, how long can I really drag this out?) 

It was a pretty chilly day on the beach. We got out of the car and thought, why are we all in swimming suits? But the benefit of a cool breezy day was practically having the beach to ourselves. Incase you couldn't tell, Madeline liked the sand with the protection of Grandpa, but wasn't wild about being anywhere near the water... 

It was such a fun week in Florida with little adventures, good food and lots of games. We can't wait for Spring Break next year!

p.s. more of our trip to Florida here, here, here & here

April 24, 2013

my favorite little things

It's often the little things in life that keep me going. A kiss on the cheek from my husband. Seeing the tulips bloom on my street. Hearing the early birds chirping. An afternoon with my camera or sewing machine. An email from a friend or a tasty treat like a frosting graham cracker. These are a few of my favorite little things.

April 22, 2013

my madeline

First let's talk about what an awesome blogging roll I've been on lately! At first I attributed it to being sick last week, but I'm still going *knock on wood*  These pictures were taken at a park near my in-laws new house in Florida. It was such a fun park and absolutely beautiful. None of that colorful, plastic playground equipment. Very natural, as if it was made to rest under the old southern trees forever.

My little girl is growing up, becoming her own little self. I'm in awe at all the things she's learning, the words she's picking up astound me. It really made me smile when she exclaimed "Where did it go?!" and someone else understood what she said. When did I trade my baby in for a little girl? It's pretty humbling as her mother to watch her grow. To know that even though there have been moments I've been lost and confused in the world of motherhood, I'm doing a pretty good job. I thought I'd share with you a few cute things she's doing lately that I hope to never forget. 

Usually Madeline answers 'yes' or 'no' to questions but lately after being asked something she's responded with, "um.... um... I.... um....". I have no idea where she picked it up, but it's adorable. She's also getting very good at signing 'I love you'.  Often times during the day I'll be doing my thing and she's doing her thing when she takes a break to come over and point to me exclaiming, "YOU!" (which means I love you). My heart melts. If I sign "I love you" to her she smiles as though it's the greatest thing to know I love her. That she knows how special she is and she's happy to be alive. My heart melts again. Madeline also loves blowing kisses, the regular kisses are pretty popular though too. She's attentive and expressive. Loves to help me with everything. Dishes, cooking, picking up, but especially laundry. Loading every thing into the washer, one thing at a time, pushing the button. She loves it. She's smart, kind, and knows how to put a smile on almost any stranger's face. She is my Madeline and I can't imagine life without her. A lot of people call her Maddie... and I struggle with that because she's my Madeline. I feel like her name fits her so perfectly and I can't understand why anyone would want to change it. I try to be polite about it, because really it's not that big of a deal, but no matter what, this little girl who is beautiful inside and out, she will always be my Madeline. 

April 17, 2013

then sings my soul

Spring has sprung and oh my soul rejoice.  We couldn't be happier to welcome all things spring into our lives. Flowers are blooming, people are out, sidewalk art proves children are enjoying fresh air and the birds are singing in the trees. They say, "teet teet" incase you're wondering. Madeline is kind of an expert bird caller. Even the field of dandelions outside our window brings a smile to my face. Especially when there's a tiny person cheerfully picking them and sniffing them, leaving a yellow hue on her fingers and nose.

I'm falling head over heels in love with our neighborhood. It's quite the melting pot. Lots of happy people but from all different walks of life. If I could live in a neighborhood like ours for the rest of my life (and if it were always spring) I think I just might be convinced to be a city girl