Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Spring. I love it. Here are some reasons why: flowers. bubbles. swings. trees. birds. friends. expploring. SUN. Ellie had a playdate with a new friend today. They love the same things I love. So happy spring is here.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Science Center in Baltimore

Spring break has been great! With Chris home we really have taken advantage of the chance to go out and DO something as a family. Monday we were in DC for the fantastic Terra Cotta Warriors, and Wednesday was our day in Baltimore. We hit the Science Center in the afternoon with two other med school friends of Chris'. The Center was fantastic. We opted to buy the year membership and come back again. The Newton's Alley was fun, with all kinds of hands on things for the kids to do. There was also a wonderful kids room (ages 3-8) that had a fabulous water table and other great things. The dinosaur exhibit was neat, and the kids enjoyed 'digging for bones'. It was two hours of great fun. We followed up our trip to Baltimore with dinner at Medieval Times. We had never been before and it was an experience. (Pretty pricey) but a pretty good show and the kids loved the costumes and the horses. It's not something I need to do again, but it was a lot of fun. When we got home we were all exhausted! Totally fun day, and we hope to head back to Baltimore soon.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Terra Cotta Warriors at the National Geographic Museum in DC

(Below is a replica of one of the terra cotta warriors. I took this photo. We were able to take photographs of this replica after the exhibit. All other photos of the warriors are

The National Geographic Museum in Washinton DC has brought the MOST amazing exhibit to our area. The 'Terra Cotta Warriors', guardians of China's first Emperor, Qin Shi Huang. In 1974 farmers were digging in fields outside of the Xi'an Shaanshi provence, and found this amazing discovery of funerary pits, and deep inside these pits are thousands of terra cotta sculptures. Qin Shi Huang had built an impressive mausoleum to house an entire royal court including sculptures of horses, warriors, chariots, archers, musicians, entertainers, and animals to accompany him in the afterlife. It is estimated that there are over 8,000 figures buried at this site, but only about 1,000 have been excavated. According to historical documents, the immense mausoleum construction began in 246 BC and required the labor of 700,000 workers. The emporer was 13 when this project began. Qin Shi Huang is responsible for establishing a universal currency in China, as well as a system of writing that is still used today.He is also credited for starting to build the first versio of the Great Wall of China. Image of Qin Shi Huang:

The exhibit was very interesting and even the kids seem to enjoy themselves. I was fascinated at the immensity and scope of the project that this emperor invisioned. Qin Shi Huang was very paranoid about assisnation attempts, and had many palaces built. He slept in a different one each night so that he would evade assassins. In 221 BC Qi Shi Huang successfully united the warring states of China under one ruler, and so he called himself the first emperor of China.

As we walked around the exhibit, I was amazed to read about the intensive process of building each warrior and statue. To this day, historians do not know how they fired and built the horses, they are so immense. The figures were intricately painted to represent and reflect its role and purpose in the court or army of the emperor.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Spring at our house...

Involves baking! Growing up my mom did a lot of baking with us kids, and I enjoy doing the same with my girls. They both love to be in the kitchen, mixing, measuring and sampling. When we make pies and cookies I try and give them dough to play with to make their own creations. This afternoon we made spring sugar cookies, complete with sprinkles. Ellie wanted pink frosting, and of course Sophia wanted blue, I wanted yellow, so we had quite the variety of designs. I tried a new recipe today for the cookies, and they are really GOOD! The dough has been chilling in the fridge for two days, so the consistancy was perfect.

We had a great time today. We are all feeling so good now that the warmer weather is here, (me in particular) I am so glad that spring arrives tomorrow. The girls are enjoying playing outside now everyday, and we are taking trips to the park and getting the bikes ready to be ridden. The days are longer and the sun is kind. Spring, such a welcome guest after our long winter visitor.

Monday, March 15, 2010

6 years...

Ago I sang my senior recital at CSUF. 6 YEARS! That day was a wonderful day, a culmination of SO many years of hard work, tears, sacrifice. I don't think I have written my story, about my journey back to school, so here it is, 6 years later, and I don't think I will cry writing it down.

I had gone back to school after a haitus from BYU, I had come home after I had broken off a short engagment and needed to escape all things BYU. I spent a painful summer trying to find myself again, realizing that I would NOT be returning to BYU, and this was a relief, no matter how much I thought I would miss my job, or singing in the choirs there. I started running again, started doing LOTS of things again that I had put on the back burner. I was digging myself out of a dark and scary place. I needed the Lord back in my life.

So, at the end of the summer of 2000, I started getting all kinds of wedding announcements in the mail from friends, 'weird I thought, how did I ever think I was ready to get married'. And I continued to dig. I decided to start attending the single's ward in my stake, and immediately made some great friends and received a calling in the RS Presidency. These things saved me. I found instant friends who liked me for me, who wanted me to be happy, and I met Chris. Chris and I hung out in the same circle of friends, and my initial impression of him was not great, I thought he was pretty arrogant, but he was intriguing. Well, needless to say, we were engaged 5 months later. He and I fell in love quickly, and I knew he was the man to mend my broken heart. It will be nine years this summer, he is a dream come true.

So, Chris and I were married in summer of 2001. I decided to get a job, help pay for LIFE since we were pretty poor. Chris was busy being a fighter pilot saving the world, and I was also attending classes part time at the Community College after being rejected by Fresno State. (Shocked and dismayed I was, how could they reject me??!) Turns out not enough GE requirements. So, I took Health, Speech, and a myriad of other courses to qualify to apply for acceptance to a California State school. I finally was accepted to school and in the Fall of 2002 began taking music courses at Fresno State, however, I was accepted as a SOPHMORE, and so the journey began to finish my degree. This was a blow, I thought, I have completed 5 years at BYU! I have to do two more years? Alright I said, I will. I want this, I want my degree.

I loved it! I LOVED school. I had not loved college at BYU, but this experience was so different! I had two professors in particular that treated me like a collegue, I was the personal assistant for my voice teacher, and had a very close relationship with the director of choral studies. Both women are exceptionally talented and I miss them both. They both treated me like an adult, a musician, someone with insight and talent, they trusted me, and they both believed in my abilities and dreams. I have great memories of these women. They shaped my success in school, and ultimately helped me heal from my prior vocal experiences.

March 14 2004 I sang my recital. I remember feeling elated, fulfilled, accomplished, satisfied. I had never sang as well in my whole life. Two months later I graduated with my degree in Music Education with a Vocal Emphasis.

Life was good. I felt fulfilled, I was also pregnant with my little Ellie Anna, she was my little internal companion while I studied and sang and toured in Mexico with Chamber Singers, she was my little light even before she was born, she drove me forward and helped me complete the last few weeks of college. In May when I accepted my diploma, I knew an important part of my life had come to a close. My journey to obtain my degree was not an easy one, but so worth the effort.

I am writing this now because I feel like anyone should know its not too late to finish, or start over, or accomplish a dream. Singing choral music at BYU was a dream, and I loved it, but their voice program was not for me. I needed a hands on teacher that would teach me technique and guide me, not expect me to know everything already and do it myself. I miss my friends from BYU, and wish I could sing with them again. The music we made was incredible, and I will not ever forget it. I have some fun memories there lots of laughter and joy. But, I had to start over, to be humbled, to feel completely vunerable to succeed. I had to fall, and fall hard to realize that I needed to put my trust in the Lord; that trust helped me and I flourished. My voice grew, my spirit soared, and I have never looked back. Now six years later, I am contemplating masters programs. It's a new journey, one I hope to embrace fully.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


My little Sophia is 3! I can't believe it. Back when we were deciding about when to have our next baby, I really wanted to have one in the spring. So we planned for March, and while she wasn't 'technically' born in the Spring, she was born one week before spring starts. For me she is the return of spring, full of life, zest and sass. She is funny, SO SMART and sweet. Loves to cuddle, SING, play with play doh, 'read' books, play make believe and accompany her sister in ANY adventure. She is fiercely independent and loves to accomplish tasks by herself. She is confident and outgoing, a gregarious smiley child. Before she was born I didn't realize just how much fun it would be to have two girls next to each other, I am so glad, my girls are the best of friends. This weekend we are celebrating our Sophia. I am so grateful and thrilled she is my little girl.

Monday, March 8, 2010

It's Coming..

SPRING! I am so relieved! I have been anticipating this shift in the weather ever since the snow storm to end all snow storms hit. My soul and mind just doesn't fare well in the winter time. I feel trapped, confined, always struggling to be warm. Maybe its the California girl in me, but truly I feel like its my free spirit, always looking for something uplifting and joyful. Here is the promise of spring right outside my door, daffodils (I think) planted by the last owner of the house. I have been watching them peak out of the snow for a few weeks and I am looking forward to seeing them in full bloom soon.

Here is a wonderful poem from by Mark Slaughter: "Spring"
A sense of warmth is tapping at the door-
And hope, a feeling out from distant lore-
Or so it seems clears the deep refrain!
Emergin youth:a dormant lea awakes.
The raging colour, ringing loud, partakes
In annual birth-spring is born again!
A zest anew for nascent life
Begins in floral train:
Carriage one: a snowdrop thrill;
Carriage two, the crocus;
Number three, a daffodil- dancing
Drawing focus- as she would
Attention seeker!
How I love our spring-
The bold and sleeker feel I get
An inner glow, a ring!
I've paid the winter's chilly debt, so
Let's upon the wing!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Spring is coming! And wardrobe issues...

So, I am 19 weeks pregnant. If anyone who is reading this has ever been pregnant, they can understand that this mid point is one of the most frustrating of the 40 weeks. Why? Because you don't look pregnant, you look chubby. Nothing really fits, but you are too small still for pregnancy clothes. I tear through my closet daily trying to find something to wear that doesn't make me look a) frumpy b) chubby. I usually fail. In fact right now I hate everything in my closet. It doesn't help that we are on a shoe string budget right now and I can't really go out and buy some transitional clothes, I just have to be content with my normal pajamas and sweats and wait until spring hits. In the mean time, I love shoes. Shoes always fit, no matter how fat or chubby I get, I can always put on a cute pair of shoes and feel good. That being said I decided I want these:

Cute, huh? And oh yes, I do want them in gold. They will look cute with lots of things (including the blah black dress and pregnancy skirt I will be wearing to church for the next infinity). But they will have to wait. In the mean time I am so enjoying the sun that is coming out more, and the fact that the snow is slowly melting makes me believe that I will survive this lonely winter.

So while I wait for Spring, and my baby bulge to become a bump, I am loving watching my 5 year old play make believe and snuggling with my almost three year old before her nap time. I am enjoying preschool and tea parties. I am trying to soak up the sweet moments with these girls as much as I can. I know that soon my time will be divided even more with a new baby, and I want to remember how much fun it is to just have my girls. Ellie is reading so well right now. She read her ENTIRE talk by herself at church this week. Talk about a proud mama. I am ready to go to the local nursery and plant some spring plants. Spring is coming, spring is coming it's right around the corner.