Friday, December 2, 2011

Some Serious Catching Up

So we all know by now that I'm a horrible blogger, but I decided to have anther go at it and hopefully this time it sticks better. No promises though...

The last few months have been pretty crazy - I think summer is just like that, fun but crazy. From family camp outs to weddings to bbq's and culminating in a trip to DC over Halloween we've had a packed summer and fall. Here is a barrage of pictures and captions summarizing the last several months. Enjoy!

Mother's Day brunch at the Dodo

Garret & Kellie got married! We absolutely LOVE Kellie and have had so much fun with them so far. We're super excited that they live close and like to play games with us.

We had what appears to be our last "Building Your Nest"ers FHE this summer. A lot of our friends from our ward have moved, so that's been sad...

We went camping over the 4th of July with the Kaysville Roundy's and Garret & Kellie up in the Wyoming Uintahs by Bridger Lake.

We didn't get down to Fish Lake as much as we would have like this year, but we did get down for the 24th of July. It was my last trip down there with Mal before they moved to Tahiti... awesome trip.

More Fish Lake - just me & Aaron!

We had family pictures taken with the Madsen Family. We hadn't even started yet and it was going this great. :) Chelsy from chelsyann photography did an awesome job!

We had a blast at the annual Madsen Family Camp Out! It's one of only two annual events now for the extended Madsen clan and I look forward to it every year. This year we were at East Canyon. Good times!

Me & my cousin Courtney by fire light at the Madsen Family Camp Out.

More camping out...

Aaron and his brothers, Garret & Zach had a brothers trip up to the Green River Lakes. They had a very manly trip and the pictures are absolutely spectacular!

We also got up 4-wheeling with my family up at Soapstone! Covered in dust yet loving it...

I think this was from Aaron's birthday - he turned the big 3-0 this year, but I can't remember. This may just be one of our FHE SLC's with our good friends from BYU. It's always a party when this group gets together. :)

Aaron's cousin Tyler, I mean Elder Brinkerhoff left on his mission to California.

Aaron did some more hiking. He made it out on some good ones this year. I think this is going up to Lone Peak, but I can't remember...

Aaron rocking the mustache. He grew out his beard most of the summer and then shaved it down to the stache for a few days. All the ladies at church absolutely loved it! It was great.

We flew south to Arizona in October to support Aaron's cousin Jenna and her new husband Dave at their wedding. The weather was wonderful, the wedding festivities were great and we got to spend time with some of Aaron's cousins that we don't get see.

Aaron's sister Megan came to visit with her 1 year old daughter, Aspen (who we all adore), so we had a family day at the zoo! Lots of cousin love going on... so cute!

We celebrated Halloween before we left for DC with a FHE SLC at the Lillywhites! There was pumpkin carving and everything!!

Then we were off to DC where we spent Halloween and I presented at a national public health conference. The next several pictures are from our adventures in DC!

We caught up with our friends the Smurfs, aka the Hunters at a Halloween Party up in Baltimore.

We went to Arlington Cemetary. I had never been before and I loved it. What a fascinating & special place.

We also got to see the new MLK, Jr Memorial. It's quite impressive, but I have to say I still think it's a little ironic that he is carved out of white stone. I'm just saying... I didn't see that one coming. :)

The Lincoln Memorial. A must for us as Aaron proposed at the base of the memorial steps close to the reflection pond. We always have a moment there.

We got to meet up with some of Aaron's friends from Baltimre Kristen and Nancy...

This got wildly out of order somehow, but here's a fun shot of all the Roundy girls at Garret & Kellie's wedding. We do love purple.

Cohort bonding with 2 of my friends from my MPH program (Brea & Eli) at Five Guys in DC. It was so fun to see them. I got to spend a lot of time with my friend Alisha too but somehow I didn't end up with picture.

Aaron also got to spend some quality scouting time this year down at Bryce and up at the Smith's cabin. Sometimes I think he looks more like the young men than the leaders... I love it.

I think that is way more than enough for one post. Stay tuned in the next couple of weeks for news on our new house and our trip to the Caribbean! Life never really slows down, but it would be far less fun if it did!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Happiness Addendum

One feeling I neglected to express in my previous post was happiness. Although I was feeling deep sadness and sorrow I almost felt guilty because I was still happy. The feelings coexisting confused me, but I came to a profound realization that although horrible things happen to us they don't have to change us. The love of God is abiding and deep and provides joy in our lives in spite of the adversities we face. I was still happy because my life was still amazing and is still amazing. I have an incredible husband, the best family I could ever ask for and an abiding testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Even though I still have moments of sorrow and I may still feel sad, I am full of joy. Whatever happens I know there is a greater plan and that provides peace and resilient joy. Life is good.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

That Feeling

Lately I've been really feeling like I need to write down some of the experiences and feelings I've had lately, so I dusted off the old journal and started to form my thoughts. As I was mulling over everything a very good friend called me and I found out she recently had a miscarriage too. I realized in that moment that if I had been more open about my experience I could have been there for her. She would have known that I understand and we could have talked about it sooner. I'm not a super secretive person, but I deal with things in a very personal way. I turn to my Heavenly Father first and those immedicately around me second. I talk about these things, but usually not on blogs or in groups of people. But I know that there is someone out there who is feeling how I still feel, and this is for you.

Last November I took my first pregnancy test and it was positive. After that twinge of shock wore off Aaron and I were excited, but almost immediately I started having issues. I had some spotting, but nothing too crazy. At what we thought was 8 weeks we went to our first appointment and met with a great nurse who relieved a lot of anxiety and ordered an ultrasound just to make sure everything was on track. I can't even begin to describe the roller coaster of emotions I went through the following weeks and beyond. That first ultrasound didn't go exactly as planned, but by the end we saw a little life and found a heartbeat. Our ultrasound tech was amazing too; she was such a tender mercy. Those appointments were followed by a rhogam shot, another ultrasound and ultimately a miscarriage. The people around me were great but I felt like no one really knew what exactly I felt, but now I know what it's like.

I know what it's like to cry in the bathroom stall at work because I started bleeding again and I knew something was wrong. I know what it's like to spend your first anniversary in a hotel bleeding and dreading the news I knew I was going to receive at the doctor the next day. I know what it's like to see the ultrasound and realize that everything's falling apart. I know what it's like to pass impossibly large clots and not want to leave the bathroom because there's so much blood... to wish so much to stop bleeding and then weeks later hope so much I would start bleeding again. But on the other hand I also know how it feels to be pregnant.The joy of seeing that second line turn pink on the pregnancy test. The shock of realizing something real is growing inside of you.

I was only pregnancy for over 2 months, which isn't very long compared with the whole 9 most people go through, but it's significant to me. I know what it feels like to be nauseous all day and have to go pee what seems like every five minutes. I know what it's like to sit at work and the best I can do is hold my head up with my hands and stare at the cube wall (so I don't go blind from staring at the computer screen). I know what it's like to crash on the couch after work and never want to move again. I know what it's like to see the little smudge on the ultrasound screen and watch the little wave of the heartbeat line and marvel at the miracle inside me. Sometimes that has been the hardest part - to know what my pregnant friends and acquaintances are going through but not really be able to chat about it with them. To kind of be a part of this whole world of pregnancy and preparing for children, but not really be part of the club. Sometimes I kind of feel like I'm in limbo that way. I want to be supportive and relate my own experiences, but it's hard to know how to do that in a way that doesn't bring up all the sad feelings of losing a pregnancy so I usually don't. It's not that I don't want to share, it's just that I don't always know how. And sometimes it's still hard too. The emotion of the whole experience hits me at the most random times. It's still near to my heart, but if you ever need to talk about it I'm here. I may not know exactly what you're feeling or going through, but I know what it's like to have a miscarriage and I'm hear to listen and cry and love with you.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

A Life Well Lived

The past couple weeks I have been pondering a little bit about mortality and the value of a life well lived. My opa (grandpa) and an older man I grew close to on my mission, Brother Craft both passed away at the end of February. They had both been ill - in different ways, but both were ready to pass on. They lived very different lives, but in the end saw that theirs' each was a life well lived.

Attending the funerals and thinking of the many memories I have of these two men, but especially my opa has made me think about what constitutes a life will lived. What can we do that will allow us to live a happy life, bless the lives of those around us and then depart this life in peace? My opa knew the answer to these questions and lived them. He wasn't perfect; none of us are, but he was a selfless, kind man who has blessed my life (and many others) forever. His life was full of challenges and defining moments; the decisions that he made during those times shaped his life to become a life will lived. Our lives work the same way. We are faced with various situations and how we choose to respond to those define who we are and shape us and those around us.

How are others shaped by our decisions? My life was shaped by many of Opa's decisions. Among the big ones are his joining the Church, his fleeing East Germany and moving to America, his serving a mission in Austria and corresponding with and then marrying Oma, his decision to be involved in his grandchildren's life, and his selfless service in whatever was needed of him.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

My Crafty Side

Obviously a lot has happened in the last few months that I haven't blogged about. I hope to be able to, but I'm not making any guarantees. In short the holidays were amazing and we got to spend a lot of time with family! It was so nice not to be in the midst of a wedding and enjoy the time with everyone eating and playing games. We also celebrated our one year anniversary on December 30! I can't believe I am married to such an amazing person! It seems like we've always been together and that's such how it's supposed to be, but this year has also flown by. What a fun, crazy adventure! Along with all the fun, we've been working away and dealing with everything life has thrown at us.

A couple of weeks ago as things were slowing down and I had Martin Luther King, Jr Day off of work I decided to humor my crafty side and spend some time with my mom. Months ago I had picked up some fabric to make an apron, so I decided to actually do it. I have to say I did most of the sewing myself, but my mom helped me throughout the whole process and did a lot too. I think the apron and matching oven mit we put together are pretty awesome. The pictures don't really do them justice. :(

I also wanted to do something fun for my good friend Foss for her baby shower, so I crocheted around a burp cloth and bib for her too. She was my guinea pig as these were my first crocheted baby items, but all things considered I think they turned out alright.

Close up of the crochet stiches on the burp and bib.

The whole finished bib and burp and their coordinating backs.

Close up of the oven mitt lying on the apron.

The oven mit

The whole finished retro ruffle apron!
It definitely looks better in real life, but this gives you the idea!

Who knew I had a crafty side? It is all thanks to my mom. She is such an amazing seamstress/quilter and a patient teacher. I definitely wouldn't have a crafty side without her. Yay for Moms!!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011