Friday, December 31, 2010

Adventures in Snow Shoveling

As a young child, I owned a business with my brothers. Every morning during the winter months, we would wake early, bundle up in our warmest snow gear, and stomp through the neighborhood with shovels in hand and moon-boots on our feet.

This afternoon, Louisa caught a bit of that same "entrepreneurial spirit" as she worked to her heart's content shoveling both our driveway and our sidewalks clear of the freshly fallen snow. Her technique may need a bit of polishing (in order to avoid a sore back in the future), yet her intent was 100% pure.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sisters Make Life Beautiful

by Ella

Sisters are fun-loving companions.
Sisters are on-the-go laughing boxes.
Sisters are silly little girls.
Sisters are friends forever.
Sisters are always there when we need them.
Sisters know that there is always room for silliness.
Sisters make batches of fun cakes.
Sisters love to dance together.
Sisters are the best at filling up the room with sweetness.
Sisters dream of becoming mommies and rocking a little baby to sleep.
Sisters make life full of flowers.
Sisters make fairy leaf cakes.
Sisters build snowmen together.
Sisters shower each other with hugs and kisses.
Sisters make life beautiful.
I am so thankful for my little sister.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Ella's Warm Fuzzy:
Singing her Testimony

Last year President Thomas S. Monson, president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was asked what he would like for his birthday. He answered "Find someone who is having a hard time or is ill or lonely, and do something for him or her.”

Some Children, after hearing President Monson say this, started a "warm fuzzies jar". Each time they did something good for another person they were able to put a warm fuzzy in the jar. They kept going until the jar was full.

This year in our Primary, we are doing the same. Each week, children as assigned to report on their experiences of "doing good."

As a result, today Ella shared this thought in Primary:
"I sing in the International Children's Choir. A few weeks ago, I was able to perform at the Church Office Building for a number of delegates from around the world. As we entered, we saw a table full of Book of Mormons in each of the native languages of the delegates. I hope that my gift of song will plant a desire for each delegate to read the Book of Mormon, and know of the happiness that the gospel brings."

The following video "What Have I Done for Someone Today" provides additional insight:

Thursday, September 09, 2010

First Day of School

Both girls just outside the door
to a new year of learning.

This year, for the first time, both Ella and Louisa will be attending the same school! They are both so excited to see each other on the playground and in the hallways.

I, on the other hand, am not sure how I feel about my little girls growing older, bigger and more independent. I have loved the time we have spent together this summer and am not ready to see such a good thing end!

Ella seems to "know the ropes" and is willing to share her comfort level with school with Louisa. And Louisa, lacking such "expertise" has leaned on Ella for guidance (as well as hand-me-down shirts and socks!).

So, when the noon dismissal of Kindergarten came, I anxiously awaited the visual report of Louisa's first day...

...and her smile says it all: Success!

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Your Golden Star

by Louisa

You have a golden star inside of you; it helps you shine bright and be happy. You also have a golden seed inside of you. The seed grows and grows and grows so it is big. Know what that is? That's the Holy Ghost.

Today I learned about paying tithing. I know it is kind of hard, but we have our money to spend and save. I really want some special crayons that are from a different country that are not small but that you can write with, just like normal crayons.

When you are a little baby and you are in heaven, Jesus is protecting you. He never gets mad at you.

Once I saw a baby duck. It was really soft, but I didn't hold it. But it made me think about the seed and the star. That made me think about all of the times when I listen to my mom and I feel warm inside.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

2011 Teton Favorites

A few of our favorite pictures from the time spent this summer in our absolute favorite place on earth. We were fortunate to be able to share our vacation with most of the Dalton family!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

DesignMom: A Stillbirth Story from Emi Edgley

Today I am sharing my experience with stillbirth at DesignMom.
You can view the post here (as well as below).

Just before our one-year wedding anniversary, my husband Steve and I moved to Chicago where my husband would attend Medical School. Not long after moving, we excitedly phoned home to our parents to relate the news: “We’re going to have a baby!” Through months of anticipation, every preparation was made in for our baby’s arrival. Dresses were hung in the closet, blankets were carefully embroidered, and quilts were pieced. Little onesies and socks were folded neatly and placed in the dresser. The dresser was refinished, the cradle was readied, the room was painted. Most importantly, we had worked to ready our hearts by cultivating feelings of love and harmony in our home.

However, after 8 months of pregnancy, I stopped feeling my baby’s movements. We were shocked to learn that even before being born, our baby girl (whom we named Eliza) had died.

When Eliza stopped living, I felt like a large part of me died with her. I had many questions — Why did I lose my child if I had been living a life that I believed made me capable of being a caring mother? Why did this turn out so differently than I envisioned? In times of sorrow, I found hope in this scripture: “Believe in God; believe that he is, and that he created all things, both in heaven and in earth; believe that he has all wisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth; believe that man doth not comprehend all the things which the Lord can comprehend.”

The loss of our beautiful baby taught me many lessons. As I internalized the loving truth that our Father in Heaven sent His Son to die for us, I learned the depth of a parent’s love. In the years that followed the death and birth of our daughter, Steve and I grew stronger together as a couple. We continued on, but it was difficult — there were still a lot of tender moments when I yearned to hold and teach my lost baby.

Our joy was immeasurable when, a few years later, we finally welcomed our precious newborn daughter Ella Jayne into our family. The first night after giving birth, I tried to rest, but I couldn’t sleep. I kept my baby with me. The nurses couldn’t believe that I had not utilized any of the pain medications offered for post-delivery pains. But I did not feel any pain, just pure joy! I counted her fingers and toes. I fed her. Steve and I held her, talked to her and rocked her. I was so grateful to hear her cries. I felt profoundly the need to protect her, love her and teach her. I continue to feel this! Ella is now 9 years old — and she lights up our lives! Being a mother is truly a gift of the greatest proportions.

A few years passed and we found ourselves longing for another child and for a sibling and playmate for Ella. We found ourselves seeking pregnancy through fertility treatments and procedures. Miraculously (and much to our delight!), I eventually became pregnant.

Week after week of my pregnancy, I had helplessly watched as conditions worsened, amniotic fluid levels dropped and the baby’s growth declined. Because of my past experiences, I knew her life was not in my hands, yet I greatly feared losing another baby. After a 6-week period of bed rest, I was admitted to the hospital for monitoring. We rejoiced when Louisa Kate was born healthy. Just like Ella, she arrived 5 weeks early and weighed 5 lbs. 2 ounces. Louisa is now 5 years old. She is lively and fun and unpredictable! I count her life and her addition to our home as one of my greatest blessings.

Helen Keller taught, “The marvelous richness of human experience would lose something of rewarding joy if there were no limitations to overcome. The hilltop hour would not be half so wonderful if there were no dark valleys to traverse.”


Facts About Stillbirth (A stillbirth is a pregnancy loss after 20 weeks in which the baby dies before birth):
- Worldwide, 4.5 million stillbirths occur each year. 12,000 women deliver a stillborn each day. (World Health Organization)
- In the U.S., of the 4 million births a year, there are 26,000 stillbirths. 70 women deliver a stillborn each day. (National Institutes of Health)
- Stillbirths per year roughly equal all infant deaths during first year of life. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- 60% of fetal deaths happen after 28 weeks gestation. The majority of stillbirths occur at or near full term.
- Many stillbirths at term happen in otherwise healthy, low-risk pregnancies.
- Medical research supports kick counting as an effective and reliable way to screen fetal well-being during the third trimester in both low- and high-risk pregnancies. If problems are detected in time, intervention may be initiated to prevent stillbirth.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Ella's Solo

Ella sings "Sleep Baby Sleep" for Carden's 3rd Grade Country Fair.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Good News!

Our home is under contract, with a closing date of May 6th. We feel blessed and so very grateful to have proceeded to this point so quickly.

Yet, we tearfully will be moving. Oh, how we will miss this home! We have loved living here and creating spaces that perfectly have met the needs of our family. We have loved being part of this community of friends as well as part of our wonderful ward.

We will, however, be staying in the neighborhood. We will be just 4 streets away (a hop, skip and a jump!), and hope -- regardless of location -- to continue to forge close bonds with our dear friends near and far.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

We're Selling our Home

For more information, jump on over to