Candle Addicts

If you love candles & haven't experienced Gold Canyon yet, you are seriously missing out! I love my Gold Canyon business & have been doing this for 10 years now. E-mail me for a free sample ( or visit my website:

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Just some highlight photos . . .

One of our many times "eating out" while living in hotels during our move across the country this fall. Chase just wouldn't give up that corn on the cob!

Chase's favorite thing about the hotels was the "buttons" on the elevator & the sliding closet doors. He would grab you by the hand & want you to sit in the closet with him while he played with the toys he stashed there. This is Jeff & Chase sitting in one of the closets.

When we moved into our apartment, the new fascination became the empty kitchen cabinets. Chase loved to climb in and out of them . . . and he loves his new bedroom closet with a sliding door!

Another new fascination . . . the new washer & dryer. Chase loves to help put the clothes in the washer & dryer and will sit and watch the washing cycle.

This boy really loves his soccer ball! One of our favorite things is when he throws both hands straight up in the air and yells "GOAL"! You'd think we spent time teaching him that, but we didn't. He surprised us by doing it out of the blue one day . . . must've been from the time he spent watching Jeff's soccer games last fall.

Oh what fun a pack of toilet paper can be! Chase got his hand stuck inside the roll!

Chase likes to spend more time on "laps" these days since he sees his sister getting all the attention that way.

New pictures of Elesiv . . . 2 1/2 weeks old.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Cross-country move & a new baby

Chase got to ride with "dad" in the van . . . they made quite a mess, but had a good time! The trip involved many, many viewings of Backyardigans, lots of re-filled sippy cups, and good snacks.

We wanted to do some sight-seeing, but the only thing we really did was a trip inside the St. Louis arch. It was an overcast day & we were the only ones at the top when we were there. We also got to pay a visit to my cousin & her family in Kansas City which was the highlight of the trip. We got to visit, go to her baby shower (our due dates were just days apart!) and Chase got to play with her daughter, which he loved!

The day after arriving in Colorado, we realized that finding a house in time for the arrival of the baby just wasn't going to happen. With the advice of our great realtor & friend, we decided to move into an apartment so we could be settled somewhere when the baby arrived & wait for our house to sell before taking on an additional mortgage. We moved into our apartment just a few days later, the day before Thanksgiving.

The day after Thanksgiving, I went into labor (Friday night) and Elesiv May Milius was born on Saturday at about 11am. She was born a full 2 weeks early and weighed 8 lbs, 4 oz and is just perfect. How thankful we were that we were settled somewhere & had a place to bring her home to. The movers arrived with our stuff on Monday (the day we were discharged from the hospital), and so we had a real bed to sleep in that night! For those who know how my delivery with Chase (first baby) went -- it was very, very difficult -- this was so much easier! 15 minutes of pushing, an epidural that worked, and she popped out on her own (no vacuum this time). I felt pretty good afterwards (considering I had just had a baby) and am up and doing things, trying not to overdo it. Soooooo grateful for such an easier delivery!

How grateful we were that we had attended church the week before in the area of our new apartment (even though we didn't know for sure that we'd be moving into that apartment). We were invited over to eat Sunday dinner that day with some people we met at church who were such a blessing for us through everything. They watched Chase when we headed to the hospital at 3am on Saturday morning & helped out all through the weekend, even picking us up at the hospital on Monday while Jeff stayed home to work with the movers.

My mom was scheduled to come & visit this week to help unpack our house since I was supposed to be soooo pregnant. Instead, she is now helping with unpacking our house & taking care of a new baby. I don't know how we would have been able to do all this without her!

Its amazing to me how everything can come together to work so perfectly when we don't know the beginning from the end. Throughout this whole experience, I have felt truly blessed and know that our Heavenly Father has been looking out for us & helping these tough times to be as easy as possible for us.

Here are some pictures of our little Elesiv! Chase just loves his new little sister & is adjusting pretty well (though there have been a few little tantrums), especially with a new house to get adjusted to & living in chaos & boxes!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Homemade Mashed Potatoes

I should've done this earlier in the week, but we've been so busy getting moved that I didn't think about it until today. One of my specialties that I love to make for Thanksgiving (or anytime) is homemade mashed potatoes. They're always a hit & so I thought I'd share my recipe with you:

5 lbs russet potatoes
1 stick of butter or margarine
16 oz. sour cream (can use light or fat free)
salt, black pepper, & garlic powder to taste

Peel & cut potatoes into small pieces -- I cut them into half, then half again, so that now you have quarters, then cut each quarter into 3 or 4 pieces. Boil until fork inserts easily. Drain potatoes & put in a large mixing bowl with butter & sour cream, then mix (with an upright or handheld mixer) or mash until well blended & mashed. Add salt, pepper & garlic powder until they taste just how you'd like them. Tasty enough to eat without adding anything at the table (butter, gravy, etc.)!

Friday, November 6, 2009

5 days & counting

Yep, 5 days until the movers are supposed to come (next Thursday). Our list is a mile long & we're crossing things off one at a time but it still seems like so much to get done. At least they'll be packing us up, but there really is so much that has to be done in preparation for them to pack us, like making sure we have everything set aside that we'll need from the time they pack us up until we get our stuff . . . and we don't know when that will be.

I'm really feeling this last month of pregnancy & starting to re-think the idea of traveling across the country at this stage in a pregnancy. Guess its too late for that! But I am doing some things to try to make it easier. I've never hired help for house cleaning before, but after the movers pack us up, I'm refusing to do the clean-up that needs to be done to get our house ready to rent or sell, so I'm going to hire someone to do it for me & not feel guilty about it one bit. We'll also hire carpet cleaners as opposed to doing it ourselves (like we've always done before). Yes, things will be a little more expensive than doing it ourselves, but the weight lifted off my shoulders is huge!

Tomorrow, we're actually taking a break! Jeff has watched on tv & always been interested in Punkin Chunkin which is only about an hour drive from us. We've wanted to go since we found out it takes place in Delaware, but every year something has come up (fertility treatments, difficult pregnancy, Jeff was out of the country, etc.). We were thrilled when we found out we'd barely be able to fit it in before our move, so we'll take a day to relax & have fun tomorrow & then we'll be back at it again!

Saturday, October 31, 2009


We enjoyed getting Chase dressed up and going to the "trunk or treat" & Halloween party at the church last night. It was lots of fun & Chase had a blast. He must've really gotten worn out because his usual internal alarm clock that doesn't go past 8am, went clear until 9:45 this morning!

I grew up with home-made costumes & always loved them so I was determined to do the same for Chase even though we got home from a trip to Colorado late on Thursday & I had to do last minute scrambling to get something together for him. Jeff is the artist, though, so he drew the muscles on the shirt, put together a much more stable barbell than what I had constructed, and even drew on the mustache. I just had to run around town & try to find a long sleeve white onesie -- more difficult than you might think! This one was a turtleneck in the girl's section at Kohls!

One picture standing still was the best we could get! Believe it or not, sticking the barbell between his teeth, was Chase's idea -- goofball!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Baby Shower

Thank you, thank you, to all my friends from church who organized & came to a baby shower to help us get ready for the arrival of our little girl in just 8 short weeks! We've been so consumed with getting ready for our cross-country move that we haven't taken the time to do much of anything for this baby, but now we have some clothes & some excitement over all things pink, flowery, and just plain girl-y! I'm definitely more in the mood now to start getting ready for this baby & we might even start talking about name possibilities again or start shopping for crib bedding and a few more clothes for when she first comes home! Thanks to everyone who came & for the adorable clothes & other gifts!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

I just don't understand & Uprooted audition video!

I went to Kohls yesterday in search of something new (in the maternity section) to wear. I came out empty-handed, yet again, but spent some time browsing the store while I was there. I was astonished to find that the shoe section was divided into "juniors" and "womens". I had never seen that before, so I thought I'd check things out. The juniors section was full of the cutest shoes & I thought, "Am I too old to wear these?" I figured the womens section would have maybe just a more refined version of those cute shoes, but when I got there, there was only maybe 1 pair of shoes that I even liked. Interesting change to the shoe department . . . wonder how that came about?

At least it gave us something to do. Chase came along & had a great time in the Kohls forward facing cart which was good since he's been rebelling against grocery carts & strollers these days. He also loved pulling the shoe boxes out as we went down the aisles. We took our time so that Jeff could put together some parts of our audition video for a new HGTV show called, Uprooted. We finished off the video after Chase went to bed last night. Here's how it turned out:

Monday, October 5, 2009

Test Prep: Carbo-loading!

Once again, I failed the first glucose test for gestational diabetes. The same thing happened when I was pregnant with Chase, but I passed the second test with no problems which meant no gestational diabetes.

So, now I'm getting ready for the second time around with the 3 hour glucose test (the 2nd test). I have to follow a special diet for 3 days that increases my carbohydrate intake to 300 grams each day, which is A LOT! I am so full and feel like I'm constantly eating to get in those 300 grams each day. Kind of fun to have an excuse to HAVE to eat ice cream, but by the end of the day when I'm trying to get in the rest of the things I have to eat, I do get feeling quite bloated!

Wish me luck on my test on Wednesday! Hopefully, we'll get the same results as when I was pregnant with Chase.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Sleeping on the Couch

That's where I'll be tonight . . . sleeping on the couch. I didn't do anything to make my husband mad. Instead, he has been making me proud all day long . . . finishing up the last of the painting in a 2 story stairwell that required some very tricky maneuvering of the ladder. That stairwell is right outside our bedroom and since its raining outside, the windows (which were open & venting the fumes) had to be closed. The fumes are bad enough that they're making my pregnant stomach sick, so I'll be heading to the first floor to sleep on the couch tonight.

Wow! I'm amazed as I look around at this house & how much we've done in the last couple of months as we're preparing to move. I sure would buy it if I was looking for a house in Maryland!

For those who might be wondering, we're still not sure when the move will take place. We do know that Jeff has been asked to start work in Colorado on Nov. 23rd. But we're still waiting on work to get the fiscal budget in place so they can start allocating funds for our move & get some things in place for us . . . like our trip out to Colorado to find a place to live and an appointment with a property management company to see about renting out our house instead of selling.

Its taken some faith on my part -- the one who always has to have a plan (well in advance) to know what is going to happen & be prepared for it ahead of time. But I have finally been able to "let go" and let it stop eating away at me. For now, we're doing what we can & preparing for what we can & then we'll deal with any challenges as they come instead of worrying about challenges we may face that may never even happen at all.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

50 Friends, 1 Winner!

I'm looking for 50 friends to participate in a survey and help me discover which new perfume fragrance is most popular! Here's how it will work:

1. You send me your mailing address (e-mail me at

2. I’ll send you a sample of 3 perfume samples, test strips like you see in the magazines

3. Try them out & let me know which is your favorite by Sept 29th

4. No purchase necessary but if you like it enough that you want to buy, I’ll give you a 10% discount

5. Everyone who tells me their favorite by Sept, 29th will be entered in a drawing to earn a $50 gift certificate from me (or $1 per person who responds); may be used to purchase the perfume of your choice, or anything else in our catalog!

*GC demonstrators are not allowed to participate. Anyone else in the U.S. is allowed to participate; one person per household, please. You MAY pass this on to friends who want to participate – just have them e-mail me at:

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Don't let the pregnant lady go grocery shopping!

On my recent trip to do the weekly shopping, I realized that having the pregnant lady doing the grocery shopping might not be the smartest thing for our budget! I went to the store, armed with a menu & a list of everything we'd need for the week, including some snacks so I didn't feel too deprived and came away with . . . frosted animal cookies, pineapple soda pop, hot dogs, ice cream, and chips -- all of which WERE NOT on the list. Of course, I got the items on the list as well & actually managed to stay well below my weekly budget, but I would've had so much more money left if all those extra items had stayed on the grocery store shelves. Oh well, at least I can blame it on the pregnancy & feel good about myself because the dr. says my weight gain is in the perfect range!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Love of Music

Those that really know me know that I have a passion for music. I've been singing & doing solo performances since I was very young, but unfortunately don't get those kinds of opportunities very much since high school ended :( I would love if I could find more ways to add music to my life & especially to my business . . . ideas anyone?

Anyway, Jon Schmidt is one of my personal favorites to listen to. He is an exceptional pianist & I love the stuff he has composed. I just saw this video from him & had to share it. Hope you love it, too!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Trip to Gold Canyon Convention!

We recently returned from a trip to Arizona . . . yes, to visit family, but in reality, we plan the whole trip around the Gold Canyon Convention . . . its something we do every year & really enjoy! For more of our convention trip adventures, you can visit my other blog: And stay tuned to this blog for more details from our great vacation with our family!

One of the highlights of Convention is getting to spend time with the team members who are able to travel to Phoenix. This year, we had 9 of us from our team of nearly 200 who were able to make the trip & it was so much fun to get to spend time together laughing, crying, learning, inspiring & sharing with each other. My camera shy husband attended convention with us as well and opted to be the official photographer, so we could get some good shots of the whole team together. Here's a couple of my favorites:

Thanks, Ladies, it was a blast hanging out with you this year!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Harvest Time

We only have a small outdoor space, a courtyard, really, with areas for planting on the sides. We're also limited in our gardening due to HOA restrictions that say "no vegetable gardens" allowed. But, we have managed to do a little something & here's just a sample. The squirrels are finally leaving our blackberries alone (they stole all the ripe ones at the first of the season). Our Rosemary is growing strong as usual & there's plenty there if anyone wants to stop by & get some. The Basil isn't doing as well as it has in past years, but its getting there & we look forward to cooking with it!

Yes, that largest blackberry is as big as a quarter . . .
that's the largest one we've ever grown!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Teaching Times

I'm having a lot of fun and feel like I'm getting back into the teaching world a little bit. For teaching Chase animal sounds, I printed out pictures of animals from the internet, Jeff colored them, and then I laminated them. We have them hanging on his wall and will pull them down to go over the different sounds once a day or so.

The next project was shapes & colors. That was much easier, since I just created those in Word (including the color) and printed them out, then laminated them. In hindsight, I probably should have printed on colored cardstock instead of using up my colored ink; oh well!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A New Sense of Order

The parenting columns for Chase's age started talking about teaching your kid how to clean up their own toys a couple of months ago. I tried, but all he would do is grab stuff and spread it around more or throw it around the room. I was so frustrated & figured that I just didn't know what I was doing!

Then, suddenly, he just "got it"! Without me even working with him, Chase started to show a sense of order in things. He still likes to play with the empty macaroni & cheese box & tear the top into pieces, but now he puts the pieces inside what's left of the box, dumps it out & puts it all back in over and over again. He's one of the best helpers at Gymboree class for putting the balls back in the basket to be put away. He loves to hand me his clean clothes, one at a time, to be folded & put in his dresser drawers. To encourage him, I sometimes hand him trash & let him put it in the garbage can and yesterday, while I was washing doors (preparing to put our house up for sale), I let him "help".

Its so much fun & I guess I really shouldn't stress about stuff like that so much. Seems like there are just certain things that come naturally and in their own time.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Head Over Hills for Pink!

The buying of "pink" started a couple of weeks ago after the first sonogram, with just that 60% chance of a girl. Just 2 pink outfits to start with that I figured could always be given away as gifts if we didn't end up with a girl.

A follow up sonogram yesterday confirmed that the chance of a girl is a pretty sure thing. We got a great view (several times) that showed no "boy parts" -- so we're counting on that girl now, even though there's always a chance that we missed something.

That being said, I am not going to be one of those mom's who refuses to buy pink. I've never understood that, though I've heard a lot of it over the years. I've definitely seen cute things in other colors, but we'll be having a lot of pink in this house. I don't know; I guess I kind of look at it as a way of celebrating girliness! And after waiting so long to get our kids, I am celebrating all that I can! We did tons of blue with Chase & will do tons of pink with our little girl to come!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Time to Think

I have been so exhausted with this pregnancy that I typically don't wake up until Chase wakes up - around 8am and then I also need a nap at his naptime. It doesn't leave much quiet time for me during the day! Chase is great & can entertain himself quite a bit, but there's always the sound of his feet running around & his loud voice babbling on & on. I love hearing him, but I've felt a lot like my head is just always clouded up.

I am currently reading a series called The Kingdom and the Crown by Gerald Lund. It is a historical fiction trilogy that takes place at the time that Jesus Christ lived on the Earth. It is so fascinating & touching and I am really learning a lot from it. In the 2nd book, there's a quote from one of the characters that reads: "I want to have time to think. I want to lay on my back and stare up at the clouds and ponder what Jesus is asking of us, of me." I was so touched by that comment and knew that I was definitely missing that in my life.

So, the quest begins to find that "time to think". Now that I have a bit more energy in this 2nd trimester, I've started waking up earlier (most days). And Jeff takes Chase out for a walk or to Gymboree a couple of evenings a week. Its amazing what happens on the days that I get that time to myself to think & work on projects. Not only do I get a TON accomplished, but my head just feels so clear and that feeling of a clear head has just made all the difference in the past few weeks!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

15% off Gold Canyon is a sweet deal!

Gold Canyon is offering another great deal & I just had to let everyone know! If its time for you to replenish your candle supply, this is a great way to do it! Your order must be $50 or more & you can place the order on my website: If you prefer, you can call or e-mail me your order & I can place it for you for the same great price!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Moving On

What a week we've had! Between our "60% girl" (by the way, I've already bought my first pink baby outfit!) and now finding out that a move is in our future. Jeff applied for a "new job" which is basically a new job with the same company that will transfer us to a new location. We'll be headed to Colorado! We're excited for the change, to get closer to all of our family (in Arizona), and to get out of the humidity (which has been terrible for my rheumatoid arthritis lately).

So, its a good thing & we're so excited! The tough part right now is that we don't know WHEN! The person that Jeff will get all that information from is out of the office until Tuesday of next week. In the meantime, we're busily finishing up all those projects around the house that never get done . . . painting & little fix-ups that would've been nice for us to enjoy while we lived here, but at least they might help us sell the house (oh, please!).

I'm one of those people that always likes to know the future. Its hard for me to walk into the unknown, so while I'm very excited, all the unknowns of . . .

will it be before the baby is born & what doctor will I use when we get there
how long do we have to get our house ready to sell
will we be able to sell our house without going into extreme debt
where will we live when we get there
will we pick the right neighborhood

. . . well, those have me a little on edge right now. Looks like this will be one of those times that I get to practice some faith! We knew that buying our current house was the right thing & we feel good about moving to Colorado, so I'll just have to have faith that however it works out, everything will be okay in the end.

Monday, July 13, 2009

60% girl

We went for the "big" ultrasound today. This modest little baby kept those legs crossed the whole time. The tech got one small glimpse that made her lean toward "girl", but she said she could only be 60% sure. My cousin went in for an ultrasound a few weeks ago & was told 70% girl - a second ultrasound a couple of weeks later confirmed they were having a boy!

So, basically, we have no idea at this point, other than the facts that Jeff thinks its a girl, this pregnancy has been a lot easier than the last one, and this baby isn't as wiggly as Chase was. So, we're still hoping for a girl & leaning that way, but who knows what we'll end up with?

It was good, however, just to see the baby's heart beating & see the baby moving - a little bit. (With Chase's ultrasound, he was soooo wiggly; it was so different than this one.) I felt movement with Chase at 13 weeks and consistently from there on out. I'm now 18 weeks and I still don't know for sure if I've felt this baby move. Every now & then I think I might feel something, but I'm really not sure. So, it was so nice to see the movement on the ultrasound to give me the feeling that everything is alright.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

What to do with the buttermilk I bought by mistake?

Have you ever gotten home from the grocery store & wonder why you bought something, why it was even on your list? When we were first married, I bought stewed tomatoes, thinking I was picking up tomato sauce. I HATE stewed tomatoes & never use them in recipes.

On a recent grocery trip, I bought the buttermilk that was on my list. When I went to make the zucchini pineapple bread that I thought had buttermilk in it, I discovered that I had mistakenly looked at the wrong recipe when jotting down my list of what I needed. It turns out that no buttermilk was needed.

I don't usually make recipes with buttermilk in them since its not normally something I keep in my refrigerator, but this week I saw a recipe for pancakes that looked so good & since I had the buttermilk anyway, I tried it out. This was the best pancake recipe I've ever tasted! If you'd like to try them, you can check out the recipe at: Jeff doesn't like blueberries so we left those out & we didn't do the orange maple butter that is included in the recipe.

And, I do still have buttermilk left, so if you have any good recipes using buttermilk, please send them my way!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Making Lemonade

I grew up in a house with a lemon tree. I remember my mom juicing tons of lemons, freezing the juice in ice cube trays and then having a huge container of lemon juice cubes stored in the freezer. My mom would make fresh lemonade by adding water & sugar to the frozen cubes and fresh lemonade continues to be one of my favorite things.

Its been years since we've had a lemon tree, though at family functions I have an uncle that will bring a huge cooler of fresh lemonade & I always drink up as much as I can. Here, so far away from family, I've found that Chick Fil A has great fresh lemonade. You can even buy it by the gallon, but it is very expensive.

The alternative? Simply Lemonade that you can buy at the grocery store is pretty good -- the best fresh lemonade that I've been able to find at the grocery store. And when I was doing my shopping this week, I found a new favorite! Simply Lemonade now makes a lemonade with raspberry & its delicous! Olive Garden has a Raspberry Lemonade that I've always liked & I have to say that this one that you can buy at the grocery store was just as good -- though I do have to admit that I haven't been to Olive Garden in a while.

So, the next time you're looking for a treat at the grocery store, give it a try!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Toddler Velcro Shoes - part 2

So, remember a couple of weeks ago when I went on a rant about toddler sandals only being available with velcro & my little boy who lost a shoe at the mall because of that velcro (which is way too easy for him to get apart)?

Here's the rest of the story . . .

Jeff went out & bought another pair of sandals (velcro, of course, since that's all we can find) -- $22.00, since we couldn't find any cheap pairs at Walmart. After only a couple of weeks, we've lost another shoe! Jeff & Chase went out shopping with 2 shoes on Chase's feet & came home with only one. So, now we have 2 sandals left, but they don't even come close to matching each other.

Today, we bought our 3rd pair of sandals for this summer season. They were only $13 because I managed to find some at Target. FYI: If you're looking for toddler sandals, Target had some great deals, but your kid has to have slimmer feet than my Chase has - not a single one of the styles that were on sale would fit on his feet!

Stay tuned for part 3 of this story. Actually, I hope there won't be a part 3 and this will be the last sandal shopping of 2009!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Wordless Wednesday -

You should know I can't go completely "wordless"! This may seem like something I got from someone else, but it really is from our personal collection of pictures and we really were there, just a few feet away. It still seems surreal that we got to have an experience like that just a few months ago!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Needing a Toddler Schedule

So, enough of the posts about bad things. I'm moving on & won't be talking about my little one who is teething (1st molars) right now!

I've realized in the last few weeks just how much amazing growth Chase is going through right now. He is learning by leaps & bounds. I had heard that between 18 months & 2 years some amazing things happen & now I'm seeing what that really means, even though he's only at 16 months right now.

My little boy is very independent. There are days when I could just leave him by himself & he'd play & be happy. Because of that, its very easy to let him just do his own thing. But when I started to notice how much he was progressing (without any structure), I let the teacher in me take over!

We now have a schedule. Every day (instead of hit & miss), we'll work on specific animal sounds, body parts, active songs/activities, and skills. We tried it out last week & worked on:
Learning: nose Reviewing: belly button, ears, toes
Learning: what a cow says Reviewing: what a sheep & a chicken say
Learning: Ring Around the Rosies
Activities: gymboree class, coloring
Learning: how to drink from a cup

Well, everything went great . . . except the drinking from a cup. I think we'll try that again in a few months. For now, he just has way too much fun dumping the water all over himself! With everything else, the simple act of repeating every day (instead of every few days) helped him to learn so much faster. And he ended up LOVING Ring Around the Rosies. We play a few times a day & its so much fun to interact like that!

Also, for any other mom's who are looking for things like this . . . I looked everywhere for pictures of animals that we could put up in his room for the sounds we were working on for the week. NO LUCK! I finally did a google search for things like "cow coloring page" and found what I was looking for. Jeff colored the pictures & I laminated them & now they're hanging up on the wall. Because they are laminated, I can get them down & let Chase hold them as we review the sounds.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Date Night: Movie & the Hospital

We were pretty excited to get to go on a date yesterday. We were able to get a friend to watch Chase & could plan a nice time out together; we don't do it nearly often enough.

Jeff really wanted to see Transformers, so we decided to do that. We knew the theaters would be packed with most everyone having the day off, so we bought our tickets in advance & Jeff headed to the theater an hour before showtime. I stayed behind to get Chase ready & out the door to the babysitter (much closer to the start time of the movie) so that we didn't have to leave him for so long.

Everything was going smoothly & we were ready to head out the door, when I got a little rush of heartburn that I deal with during pregnancy. I headed up the 2 flights of stairs to our master bedroom to grab a Tums to settle things down. As I stepped into the family room, coming down the last stair, my ankle twisted and I heard a, "pop, pop, pop" as I fell to the ground. The pain in my foot was so bad that I didn't think I'd be able to get up but after a few minutes, I was able to hobble around a little bit, enough to get shoes on both Chase & myself and get out the door. I debated trying to call the theater & have them track Jeff down to take me to the hospital right then, but decided I'd try to tough it out. With horrible pain in my foot, I dropped Chase off & drove to the theater, now unsure of my initial decision to tough it out, as each time I had to press on the brake or the gas pedal gave me a lot of pain and not a lot of control over the car.

The walk into the theater was the worst of all, but I finally made it with just a couple of minutes to spare before the movie was to start. By the time I sat down next to Jeff, I started crying & was trying so hard to get myself under control. He volunteered to forgo the movie & head straight to the hospital, but I wasn't about to get up & try to walk again & figured we might as well sit through the movie.

Side Note: We were very disappointed with the movie - way too many crass sex jokes & foul language to fit my taste - and we wished we had just gone to the hospital instead! If we hadn't been in the middle of a row with tons of people on either side (too difficult to navigate my way through in the dark with my foot in its current state), we would've gotten up & left before it was over.

Anyway, after the movie, I managed to make it out to the curb with a lot of help & support from Jeff and he went & got the car to pick me up. We picked Chase up from the babysitter & went straight to the hospital. With a rambunctious 16 month old, we were glad the wait wasn't long. In fact, we were only there about 2 hours, total. The x-rays, showed no broken bones, but the doctor said there was definitely swelling inside my foot and I was diagnosed with a sprained ankle (funny, since its my foot that hurts & not my ankle!). They sent me home with an aircast boot that inflates to give support around the ankle and actually makes walking & even sitting even more painful than going barefoot. I can see how it would be helpful if my ankle was bothering me, though! LOL

So, instead of heading to the 4th of July breakfast at the church this morning & heading out to do some fun things as a family today, I've been stuck on the couch with my foot up & being iced. After all of that, I can actually walk a bit today, though not without holding on to something. So, Jeff pulled his old forearm crutches out & I've been using those. Jeff is great to take care of me ^ handle Chase & I just hope that the pain continues to subside quickly so I can be walking easily on Monday when he goes back to work.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Chivalry is not dead

On Sunday, Jeff got to attend nursery with Chase since I had to teach a lesson in Relief Society. The story he told me on our way home just made me melt!

Chase was playing with a football and a little girl was playing with a ball not too far away. One of the other boys came & took the ball away from the little girl. He then came & tried to take the football from Chase. But Chase held on with all his might and the boy had to put the other ball down in order to try harder to get the football from Chase. Chase finally just let go which caused the other boy fall to the ground, dropping the football as well. Chase reached down & picked up the football & the other ball & then went over to the little girl & gave the ball back to her. How sweet is that! I was so impressed that at 16 months he would think to do that himself.

Monday, June 29, 2009

I hate medical statistics!

I've learned from experience that medical statistics are not in my favor. Any time the doctor spouts of statistics that are something like 2% of people or 1 in every million, Jeff says, "oh, no!" because he's learned that I'm bound to be in that 2% or to be the one-in-a-million, when its not the best thing to be!

To give an example:
After the invitro that got us pregnant with Chase, I got a blood clot that got infected due to the procedure of removing my eggs. It took days & repeated doctors visits (all over the holiday weekend, by the way) to discover what was wrong . . . first it was thought that I was just retaining some fluid (as is common), then it moved on to a possible kidney infection or kidney stones, and as the pain increased & my white blood cell count increased, they finally found "something" floating around in my abdomen. Two doctors and an ultrasound tech were all gathered around discussing before I was sent to the hospital for further tests to see what "it" was. It turned out to be an infected blood clot, something that the doctors at our very renowned clinic had never seen before in all their years of doing these procedures.

There are many more stories & the odds just never seem to be on my side, but all that being known, I was positively optimistic when I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. At the time, we were getting ready to do fertility treatments & I was told that I wouldn't be able to take medications while pregnant or nursing, but that 80% of female patients with rheumatoid arthritis have no arthritis symptoms while they are pregnant! In fact, the doctor I saw (again, one who has been around for a while) said that she had never seen a case where rheumatoid arthritis symptoms had continued during pregnancy.

What a relief! To go a full 9 months without medications & without arthritis symptoms would be heaven! Then came my first pregnancy with Chase & an INCREASE in my problems with rheumatoid arthritis. That's right, not only did it disappear but it got worse. So, here we go on pregnancy #2 & I was hoping that this time the odds would be in my favor. All hope is gone now . . . and I've pretty much figured out that this is just how its going to be when I'm pregnant.

On the positive side of those pesky medical statistics, our two tries at invitro have both worked despite a 60% chance the first time & only a 30% chance the second time. So, I am grateful for that, though frustrated by the fact that less invasive measures didn't help us get pregnant -- which they never could figure out why!

Mall Walking

On a day like today, when the sun is shining bright & hot, it was nice to go to the mall for a walk. Its about a 7 minute drive each way for us, so it doesn't add that much time on to our walk, but it got me out & moving instead of just looking at the hot sun & saying, "no thanks, not today!". Chase loves it too because there is so much to look at as we walk around. Since Chase doesn't get up until 8:00, by the time I get him up & dressed & get breakfast taken care of, it's usually close to 9:00 and that's just too late to take advantage of early morning cool temperatures.

It was fun to see a whole family walking at the mall today. Kids are out of school & Grandpa & mom had them at the mall getting some exercise! But there were also serious walkers & some groups of friends who meet on a daily basis.

I love that the malls have opened their doors early to allow for walkers! To walk in the air conditioning in the summer is great & to avoid the rain (year-round), snow or just plain cold air is nice in the winter. We've been walking outside for the past few months since it warmed up enough but was still beautiful, but I think its now back to the mall for us!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Who thought of putting velcro on kids shoes, anyway?

Okay, I can understand older kids having velcro shoes so that its easier for them to take them off & put them on by themselves without mom & dad having to do it, but I'm talking about an 18 month old, for goodness sake!

When the weather turned warm, we had to get Chase a pair of sandals. I looked & looked & could only find sandals that either slipped off & on or secured with velcro (whatever happened to buckles?). I knew this option was doomed from the beginning. Once he figured out how to get the velcro open, there would be no keeping those shoes on his feet.

Well, he figured out the velcro pretty quickly, but because it was towards the back of his foot, he did manage to keep them on most of the time. Lately, he had started taking them off while we were out if he was sitting in the stroller & then I'd just shove them in the back pocket of the stroller & let him go barefoot. But we weren't so lucky on a trip to the mall last week. I looked down & saw him messing with his sandal & thought that I better just get those off his feet, but lo & behold, the other one was already gone & no where in sight! I backtracked the short distance we had come through the mall & even checked with the information desk with no luck at all.

So, we had to go out & buy a new pair of sandals. Once again, only velcro ones to be found & he's already taking them off. I can only hope that we make it through the summer without having to buy a 3rd pair of sandals!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Hooray for Nursery!

Chase did so well during sacrament meeting today . . . busy, but not too ornery or noisy. But the greatest thing was taking him to nursery today! In our ward, they let the kids come in (with their parents) at 16 months so they can get used to nursery & the parents can leave them there when they turn 18 months. It was heaven! It was so much easier for him to behave with other kids, toys & activities. We are done spending all of our church time chasing him through the halls & for that I am very thankful!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

12th Anniversary of Gold Canyon

SAVE $12!
Its a great deal that I plan to take advantage of myself!

Just place an order at that is $50 or more (by June 23rd) and enter promo code: CADW12year for a $12 savings in celebration of Gold Canyon's 12th Anniversary this month!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Husband of the Year

Jeff was my hero today! I've been so exhausted with this pregnancy and chasing Chase around. So, when Jeff got home from his early morning Sunday meetings at 8:30, he took care of Chase so I could get some extra sleep before 11:30 church. I slept until 10:45 and when I got up to get ready for church Jeff had Chase dressed & ready to go, plus he had packed Chase's bag for church and everything. Once at church, Jeff headed out with Chase to change the messy diaper during Sacrament meeting. He then volunteered to handle Chase for the full 3 hour block (we usually trade off each hour) so that I could attend Sunday School & Relief Society instead of walking the halls with a noisy toddler. I'm so grateful for a husband who is so helpful and thoughtful!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

My Maternity Clothes Woes

Why is it that whenever I'm looking forward to being pregnant I see the cutest maternity clothes & then when I actually get to that point, I can't find anything at the stores?

This week I feel like I've put on 20 lbs! I blame it on the baby even though I've been eating like crazy trying to keep the nausea away. When my stomach is empty, the queasy stomach is so much worse, so I try to keep myself full as much as possible. But really, the pregnant belly is starting to show itself as I'm reaching the end of the 1st trimester.

Anyway, along with the increased stomach size comes the need for maternity clothes. I feel good that I've lost a full size since the last time I was pregnant, but that means that none of my cute maternity clothes from the last pregnancy fit right. And clothes that don't fit right leave me feeling blah.

I've been shopping (& shopping & shopping) but run into the same problems everywhere . . .
1. not much of a selection
2. all the sleeves are too short for my very white & not so skinny upper arms
3. everything is too low cut for someone who doesn't like to show cleavage
4. the style of wearing clothes skin tight over your belly is just not my thing

So, wish me luck on my continuous quest to find maternity clothes & let me know if you know of any better options for maternity shopping out there; I could use some help on this one!

Trip to Arizona

Chase & I got to take a trip to Arizona a couple of weeks ago. Unfortunately, the trip was very quick & involved rushing around to visit as much family as possible. So, unfortunately, we weren't able to fit in any visits with friends. Sorry everyone -- hopefully we'll get to fit in some "friends" visits when we're in town for the Gold Canyon Convention in August!

Chase absolutely LOVED the time he got to spend playing outside, playing with cousins, and following around his grandpas.

Chase finally learned to give "hugs" in a very natural way as he hugged his cousin, Bryce, goodbye after our visit to their home. We hadn't been able to get him to give hugs before that!

Chase had the best time playing outside at his cousins' house. Between the swings, slide, trampoline & all the cousins (& Aunt Stacey helping him around). He couldn't have had a better time!

Chase loved playing with Aunt Stacey's huge bear. He would walk around carrying him (even though the bear was bigger than he is) and one day just came in and flopped down against the bear to lay down on the floor. It was too cute!

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Art of Communication

Chase wants to communicate & wants what he wants which means that we need to know what it is he wants! Aside from dad, mom, hi, uh-oh & amen, the most important words in life seem to start with "B":

Ba for bye
Ba for ball
Ba for bath
Ba for what a sheep says
Ba, ba, ba, ba, ba (in a high pitched voice) for what a chicken says
Bubu for bubbles
Bu for bird

To let me know that he wants a drink, he brings a sippy cup to me & then walks to the fridge & hangs onto the handle until I get there.

To let me know that he wants something to eat, he points at the crackers sitting on the counter & screeches at the top of his lungs.

To let me know that he wants to listen to music, he points at the cd player.

To let me know he's unhappy with what I just did, he spreads his legs apart, bends at the waist & bangs his head on the floor (while still standing; quite an acrobatic move!).

To let me know that he's doing something he knows he shouldn't be doing, he says "no, no, no, no" while doing what he shouldn't be doing.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Great Gold Canyon Deals!

Just found out that Gold Canyon is offering a great promotion for customers who order through my website:

15% off + FREE shipping . . . its a great deal!

This is good through April 30th on orders over $50. All you have to do is shop at my website & enter promotion code: MD15FREENOW

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Official Announcement!

IVF (frozen cycle) . . . $3000.00
45 (& more to come) intramuscular injections . . . $500.00
saltines & cream cheese for morning sickness . . . $3.50
seeing a little "peanut" and heartbeat on 6 week ultrasound . . . PRICELESS!

As much as we both wished for & were scared of twins, that possibility is now gone -- at least this time around. We went in for an ultrasound today & were able to see the baby and his/her heartbeat. The doctor says that everything looks good . . . size is measuring correctly & heartbeat was perfect. We'll have one more visit at Shady Grove in 2 weeks before I'll be discharged to a regular OB.

I've been feeling some morning sickness - all day long, of course. Its not nearly as bad as what other people go through but just has me feeling a little crummy with food aversions and wishing that I could just go out to eat all the time. Of course, we've banned eating out this year (bummer!), with a couple of exceptions. One of those exceptions is for traveling, so I'm really looking forward to a trip to Arizona next week -- too bad Jeff won't be joining us :(

Anyway, that's our news! Due date is December 13th, so we'll get one more tax deduction in before the end of the year!

Celebrate Earth Day with Me!

I'm celebrating Earth Day with some giveaways . . . check out the details TODAY!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Easter Weekend

Easter weekend was enjoyable at home with each other. We didn't really do anything special. We bought some Peeps for Chase since we figured he would like those & my mom sent a plastic carrot filled with some candy for Chase. We did a very small Easter basket & the only thing Chase liked was the plastic carrot! He couldn't stand the Peeps and barely tolerated the other marshmallow candy, but it was fun to get a few pictures.

I woke up feeling dizzy on Sunday, so we didn't make it through all of our church meetings, but I was happy to be there for Sacrament meeting. I especially enjoyed a part of Katie Frank's talk where she likened the Savior to being the bright sky that is above a stormy sky when you're flying in an airplane. She talked about how the Savior is always there above the storms and reminded us that we just have to move upward through the storms of life enough so that we can see Him and the hope & comfort He brings. Of course, she said it much more eloquently than that, but it is an image that will always stick with me and bring me comfort.

Well, this one was the day after Easter. Chase was sitting on Jeff's lap after Jeff got home from work. Jeff had taken his shoes off but left them right in front of the couch & when Chase got down, he slid himself right into Jeff's shoes. Chase just stood there, not moving, knowing that he couldn't get the shoes to move with him. It reminded me of a picture I have of myself, wearing my dad's shoes when I was little & I couldn't help but snap a picture!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

About Me, About You!

This month, I'm celebrating 10 years as a demonstrator with Gold Canyon! I'm doing some contests on my business blog ( and thought I'd share my most recent one here since it involves some details about me. Here's a copy of that post:

As part of the fun with my birthday celebration this month, I thought it would be fun to share some little known facts about myself. I'll go first & then I'd love to hear back from you, either with a comment to the blog or a direct e-mail at (send me 5 facts that I don't know about you by April 20, 2009). Everyone who responds will receive either a discount coupon for a future order or a special gift for participating. I look forward to learning more about you. Please pass this on to any of your friends who may be interested as well! Now, here's some things you might not know about me:

1. I was born & raised in Mesa, Arizona.
2. I met my husband in 9th grade, though we didn't date until after high school -- oh, except for the one date to Senior Prom that we were kind of fixed up on.
3. I love to sing & perform; some of my favorite memories took place in high school choir!
4. I have one child & one (possibly 2) on the way -- we just found out! We're very grateful for Invitro (IVF) helping us to have children after 10 years of trying.
5. I'm the oldest of 5 children.
6. I'm a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
7. I used to do cake decorating (for weddings & everything!).
8. I've always dreamed of owning my own business since I was a little girl & had dreams of running a restaurant with all of my cousins & aunts.
9. I have a HUGE, close & supportive extended family -- grew up with cousins that were my best friends; even better, we all lived close together, most of us on the same street!
10. I love Chicken Alfredo Pizza from Olive Garden.
11. I try so hard to be organized, it doesn't come easily, but I am continually working on it.
12. My absolute favorite candle scents are the citrus ones: Cranberry Orange, Citrus Cream, Sunrise Tangelo, etc.
13. I graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in Elementary Education.
14. I was a natural blonde until I turned about 20 -- I've recently given up the dream & accepted my darker shade of hair!
15. My baby is a redhead; he takes after my mom (also a redhead) and many others on her side of the family.
16. My middle name is "Joy".
17. My sisters & sister-in-law & I recorded a cd last year - something we've always talked about doing.
18. The year before I got married, I had the opportunity to do a study abroad trip to Europe & Russia. We went to so many countries & it was such a great experience, especially since I got to be there with 3 of my cousins & we met a new friend who later married one of my cousins!
19. I grew up making many trips to Disneyland for family vacations.
20. My bedroom is done in red & black & I have a purple wall in my kitchen -- the first time I've used color on my walls -- well, other than "the blue room" that was my bedroom as a teenager, it was beautiful done in white with a few different shades of blue.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Why IVF?

It's moments like this (finding Chase sleeping with his feet up on the wall) that keep me going & keep me smiling even through the intramuscular shots. Can you imagine sticking that size of a needle into your hip every night? Even better, every 3 nights there's 2 of those . . . one in each hip! Boy, I'm sore & bruised, but Jeff finally found the right area for the injections that doesn't hurt AS much. Tomorrow's the big day for the invitro transfer . . . wish us luck!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Thank you's all around!

A giant THANK YOU to Vicky Collins for getting us a great refund again this year! She knows exactly how to get the best deals for those of us with our home based businesses and does a great job (

Thanks to the great refund we have coming (which will be going directly into paying down our student loan), now we KNOW we'll be debt free (except the house) by the end of this year!

Thanks to mom & dad & Dave Ramsey ( for the inspiration to get out of debt!

Friday, March 20, 2009


This week we've been working on discipline! I used a great book called On Becoming Baby Wise (given to me by my great sister-in-law, Sheri) when Chase was first born to get him into a routine. I loved the results since it meant my 7 week old was sleeping through the night & I could get my sanity back!

So, I started realizing the need for some instruction in this new pre-toddler phase that Chase is in and turned to Baby Wise again -- this time to Book 2 that deals with 5 to 15 months. Well, we're very late in turning to the wise counsel in this book, but have gained so much from it already!

We had done one of the things mentioned in the book that you shouldn't do. We baby proofed the house to the point that there was nothing within Chase's reach that we didn't want him getting into. That meant that every morning we had to pull the blinds up out of his reach, unplug the nightlight & recently had to cover up the tv buttons in the family room & have started "locking" the oven so he couldn't pull it open.

When I started reading the book, I realized that we weren't teaching him anything by doing this . . . this cute kid had not learned what "no" means or how to obey or have self-control. Now, granted, he's only 13 months old, but in the last week, following the guidelines in the book, he will now leave something alone if we say "no" and stays away from the items that we've already taught him to keep out of.

We have a much happier household now, even though Chase wanders around the house saying, "no-no-no-no-no-no"!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Vote for Chase --- cutest kid contest!

Help us pick Chase as the winner of the Cutest Kid Contest held by our local radio station. Unfortunately, they cropped the pictures so you only get a close up of their faces; it was tough for even me to find my own kid! (This is the picture we actually submitted; he is rather cute, don't you think?!)

Go to
click on the cutest kid contest icon on the top left
select "group 2"
then vote for Chase M.!

He's on the 20th row
2nd from the left
marked "Chase M."

Or hit "control" & "f" on your keyboard to bring up a "search" box. Search for "chase"; he's the only one on the page.

Once you find Chase, click the button next to his name, scroll to the bottom of the page & enter your e-mail address & click on "vote". You'll get an e-mail with a link that you have to click on in order for your vote to count. You can vote as many times as you want, but have to use a different e-mail address each time.

We appreciate all votes! Please pass this on to anyone who might vote for our kiddo!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

From Snow to Sun and Back Again

The cold weather has kept us inside a lot, which has meant lots of having fun & goofing off while playing with Chase. A couple of weeks ago, we were supposed to spend the Saturday on a family outing. With no ideas of what to do, we took the advice of a family friend & drove up to Boyd's Bear Country in Pennsylvania. Its this huge barn that is set up with Boyd's Bear brand stuffed animals in all sorts of different & fun displays. We just walked around, took pictures & bought Chase the cutest stuffed hedgehog that he just loves.

The next night, it started to snow. We got enough snow over the night (Sunday night) that Jeff's work was closed for the day. Again, we stayed mostly inside & played with Chase . . . well, at least Jeff did. I got to spend the day putting our taxes together . . . at least they're done now! We also ventured outside for some pictures & video of Chase in the snow.

By the end of the week, it had warmed up and all the snow melted by Saturday. We decided to take advantage of the warm weather (who knows if it would come again before the end of the month or not?). So, we drove to Pennsylvania again, but this time to Philadelphia. We got a little lost coming into downtown, but ended up finding our way back . . . using the scenic route which involved an extra $4 toll to cross the Ben Franklin bridge. We stopped by the Reading Terminal Market - but it was too busy & crowded to be able to stop & eat with having Chase in the stroller. So, we headed on to the historical sites. We saw the Liberty Bell and headed to Independence Hall (just across the street). By the time we reached our tour time for Independence Hall, Chase was soooo ready for a nap. Tired & cranky and not falling asleep, so we missed out on the tour & headed home instead. Guess we'll have to make another trip another time.

Just playing . . . all cooped up inside during the cold weather. Chase brought over this ring, stuck it in my mouth & then bit the other side -- makes you wonder what they think about when they come up with funny stuff like that.

Don't know what this is exactly . . . just Chase being Chase!

Chase & his hedgehog from Boyd's Bear Country.

The 4 story high Boyd's Bear Country barn.

More playing inside while its snowing outside. Chase has been quite fascinated with his tongue lately & all that it can do!

The view of the snow from Chase's bedroom window.

Chase tries to balance in the snow.

Doing pretty well!

Ooops; lost that balance after all!

Play the above video to see Chase's first experience with snow.

Jeff & Chase in front of the Liberty Bell.

Independence Hall

Chase has that same heavy, furrowed brow that his dad gets!

Play the above video to see Chase playing outside of Independence Hall in Philadelphia. He's a little bit of a chatterbox here and still trying to figure out how to walk in those new shoes.