September 28, 2009

Good 'Ole Stuart

Sadie, my Mom, and I had a wonderful good time in Stuart, Florida last week while visiting my Aunt Charmaine and Uncle Jim. They really know how to make people feel welcomed.

Aunt Charmaine is an amazingly talented and creative person. She quilts, paints, cooks, and decorates. She doesn't just casually do these things, though. This woman wins awards and creates masterpieces! Also, her smile and jovial personality always light up the room. She is so fun to be around!

These are some of her paintings hanging around her house:

Uncle Jim is my Mom's oldest sibling and only brother. He may be the smartest person I know. I think he got a perfect SAT score! He went to MIT and earned a degree in chemical engineering and then went to Medical School at the University of Miami. He has my most favorite sense of humor: quick witted and intelligent. Also, he has a really warm, kind personality that always makes me feel at ease.

Now, on to our trip....

These first pictures were taken at a Children's museum.

(Sadie shown above steering the boat!)

(Sadie was really having fun with the blocks.)

(Joseph, do you like her shirt?)

(They had an entire mini-grocery store. Sadie loved, loved, loved it! She would have stayed there the entire day if we had let her.)

(Sadie can be seen above tentatively accepting a pretend cookie from the pretend bakery counter from Aunt Charmaine.)

(After the museum we went to this outdoor fountain play park for kids. It was right on the water and we walked out on the pier afterward. Again, Sadie loved every moment of it!)

(Sadie can be seen above responding to my question of: "how old are you?" She insists she's two!)

(Aunt Charmaine and my Mom got all dressed up and went for brunch at the Tea Room. They had a delightful time!)

(Aunt Charmaine and Uncle Jim's outfits seem so cheerful, don't they?!?)

(Sadie shown above chowing down after a long day of fun!)

Special thanks to Aunt Charmaine and Uncle Jim for making this post necessary :)

September 27, 2009

Family Health Pledge

About a month ago my siblings and I (along with our reluctant parents - yes Dad, I'm talking to YOU) decided to set a code of health for our ideal lifestyle and then take a pledge and try to stick to the goals. We call it "THE FAMILY HEALTH PLEDGE". Here's the outline:


  1. Increase your physical activity! __________ minutes/day.
  2. Watch less TV! _____ hours/day or _______ hours/week.
  3. Spend more time outside.
  4. Serve others! At least one good deed per day.
  5. Go on at least ______ dates with spouse per month.


  1. Eat ____ fruits and _____ vegetables per day.
  2. Eliminate sweetened drinks, junk food, and processed foods.
  3. Limit sugar/dessert food!! Dessert permitted ______ per week.
  4. Drink ____ glasses of water each day.
  5. Eat big breakfasts and small dinners; no snacking after _____pm!!


  1. Maintain good dental hygiene! Floss daily. See dentist biannually.
  2. Sleep 8 hours! Go to bed at _____ pm and wake up at _____ am.
  3. Read _____ book(s) per month; scriptures _____ minutes per day.
  4. Keep home clean and well-organized.
  5. Set monthly personal goal.

I'll let you know that I've researched most of these topics and the benefits from these activities are unbelievable!

There have been some challenges in me meeting my goals, mostly Sadie and/or I have been sick or teething for the past two months. But, we are both finally healthy at the same time so I hope to resume our morning walks and other activities.

Joseph created a spreadsheet in Google documents where we monitor our progress. Although I haven't been using it - I plan to start this week.

Now we are always joking with each other to 'stick to the code'. I am. Are you?

September 23, 2009

Ben's Birthday Party

(Sadie shown above trying to do thumbs up.
She pumps her hands open -closed - open - closed and thinks she's doing 'thumbs up')

(Sadie can be seen above helping Ben unwrap a present.)

(We have Shadow again - we have share custody with my parents.
Sadie absolutely adores him, but Ben and I detest him!)

(Sadie has decided she is two years old! When we ask her how old she is she now insists on putting up two fingers. She has even started pointing with two fingers and when she dances she puts two fingers up on each hand and wiggles.)

(Topic of most importance: what did we have for dessert? A mighty fine (if I do say so myself) Creme Brulee)

For more pictures from this day go to Sarah's blog. She has taken on the challenge of posting at least one picture a day for an entire year! Oh, and special thanks to Sarah who took these pictures :)

September 21, 2009

Happy 30th Birthday Ben!

30 Thanks On Your 30th Birthday

30. Thank you for always forgiving me when I steel your pillow at night and I think it's so funny.

29. Thank you for listening patiently (and acting interested) when I go on (and on and on) about the latest book I've read, or something I saw on Oprah, or some scientific study about the damaging effects of pesticides or plastics or cleaning supplies or whatever it is I'm paranoid about that week.

28. Thank you for muting the television when you are watching sports.

27. Thank you for moving to Florida so that I could be close to my family.

26. Thank you for always supporting me in my callings and magnifying yours so well.

25. Thank you for talking to me 'about your feelings' - I know how much you like that.

24. Thank you for never getting mad or raising your voice.

23. Thank you for getting out of bed to turn off the lights at night because I think it's a 'man job'.

22. Thank you for being such a great example and making me want to be a better person. You live the gospel more perfectly than anyone I've ever known!

21. Thank you for loving my family so much even though we're a little different! :)

20. Thank you for having such a great smile and sharing it so generously.

19. Thank you for helping out so much with chores around the house.

18. Thank you for taking care of me when I'm sick - you're really good at it. Remember when I got sick every 15 minutes throughout the night and you never left my bedside (or slept)? Thanks!

17. Thank you for being so selfless and always putting my needs before yours.

16. Thank you for not judging me or others.

15. Thank you for giving me Sadie!

14. Thank you for working so hard so that I can stay home with Sadie.

13. Thank you for putting so much time and energy into birthdays and anniversaries even though I know it's hard for you.

12. Thank you for treating me as an equal, and making me feel valued and important.

11. Thank you for helping me do night feedings for a year and a half! Thank you, thank you, and thank you!!

10. Thank you for being so wise with money, yet splurging sometimes.

9. Thank you for supporting me through my schooling and first year of teaching...I wouldn't have survived without you.

8. Thank you for filling our home with beautiful music - I look forward to hearing you play the piano every Sunday afternoon!

7. Thank you for all the wonderful foods and recipes you've introduced me to! Where would I be with out Indian food, panzerotti, or homemade ice cream?

6. Thank you for putting up with my craziness over the last year and a half as I learn the ropes of motherhood.

5. Thank you for being such an amazingly compassionate, tender, and involved father to Sadie.

4. Thank you for believing in me and making me feel like I can do or learn anything.

3. Thank you for being so calm and level-headed when I'm (sometimes) irrational and impulsive.

2. Thank you for making me feel beautiful and adored and so loved.

1. Thank you for marrying's the best thing that ever happened to me!

(Ben, I'm sorry for any and all embarrassment you may be feelings, but at least I didn't send you flowers at work or throw a surprise party!)

September 08, 2009


We have started an annual tradition of renting a boat when my siblings come home for the summer. It's something we look forward to and it's always a fun-filled day when lots of memories are made. This year was no exception!

Ben was especially adventurous this boating trip. No speed was fast enough for him and no maneuver could flip him despite our best efforts. One trick he thoroughly enjoyed was leaning far off the tube and skimming his hands along the surface of the water. We didn't think much of it until he woke up the next morning and noticed that his wedding ring was missing. After turning the house upside down without being able to find it, we decided that his stunts from the day before had cost him the symbol of our love and commitment to one another.

It was a sad discovery! I paid nearly $300 for that ring and he wore it just shy of 4 years. He has been walking around the streets of Florida with a naked left hand for the past couple weeks. I guess it's time to begin our ring shopping again....

(This may be the exact moment it fell off!)

(Ben and Joseph seen above trying to stand up. Shortly after this moment Ben attempted to push Joseph off the tube)

(Shown above are Julie and Alicia. Believe it or not, we had a serious conversation about how to loss baby weight all during this ride.)

(Sadie was practically perfect the whole day and even slept for the last hour or two in Ben's arms.)

(Kimmy seen above with the Bayside Bridge.)

To Ben's wedding ring, whatever beach you may be on: rest in peace as you sleep with the fishes. I hope you bring much happiness to the lives of your seamates, as you have brought joy to ours. We'll always remember you!

September 04, 2009

Fin or wave?

Ben and I cannot agree about this picture. To the right side of the picture there appears to be a fin in the background, so I think. Ben thinks it's just a wave. We didn't see any dolphins so we assume that was a shark. What do you think?

September 02, 2009

Miracle of Miracles

So, to most people and families this would not be a big deal, but it's a significant and unexpected accomplishment for us....Sadie survived an entire hour in nursery this past Sunday with out us!

Here's how it all went down: Ben had Sadie during Sunday School because I was teaching. Well, she decided to put on a little show for everyone by depositing a little present in her diaper. She even provided sound effects and a nice red, grunting face.

After I changed her diaper in the mother's lounge (which happened to also leak...yuck!) I asked Ben to watch her for a minute while I disposed of the diaper and cleaned myself up. Well, the mother's lounge is right next to the nursery, and the nursery leader (Marie) walked out into the hall to fill up the kids' sippy cups and saw Sadie. So, our dear little Sadie got of glimpse of all the kids playing and must have thought they looked a lot more fun than we did, because she attached herself to Marie and followed her right into nursery.

Upon emerging from the restroom and realizing that Ben was Sadieless I became a bit concerned. At first I thought he'd lost her or let someone take her (which she would never happily tolerate), but no, he informed he she had willingly chosen to go into nursery.

Walked there herself, even!

I waited around for 5 minutes - fully expecting her to have a meltdown. When that didn't happen I decided to go to class. I sat there the entire hour and then rushed to find Sadie after church had ended. Well, she was have a ball popping bubbles in the arms of the nursery leader!

Sadie is still very much a 'mommy's girl' and barely even allows Ben to hold her. I expected it to take 6 months to a year before she would stay in nursery without crying.

It should also be mentioned that this breakthrough happens to coincide with my new (for the fifth time) calling to serve in young womens. I was concerned about how I would juggle my calling and Sadie during church, but I guess this solves my problem!

Hopefully, each week Sadie will be as enthused and cooperative as this last!