munchkin reads

i love this face. its like shes saying, "don't you see i'm busy here?"

its been a really fun week with grammy here! claire ADORES her, and my mom can't get enough of claire. we've been working away doing a little spring cleaning, and we are getting close to finishing my first quilting project. my sister sarah flies in tonight, and this week is going to be packed with tons of fun stuff! i'll get a picture of the belly up this week.... or whats there so far! i haven't gained much in that area yet, but i assure you, there IS a baby in there. we are finding out what little nugget's gender is on thursday morning- so excited! almost halfway done already :) hope your sunday has been as bright as ours was today! i can't get enough of the sunshine. we've walked to church the last few weeks and love love love it.

just curious- what do you think little nugget is? boy? or girl? i think its a girl, joe thinks boy. i think that recently i've been worried we'll see little nugget and find out its a frog or something. don't ask me why, but i don't want to be disappointed, and i'm not sure what i could possibly be disappointed in. whatever. cast your vote over there! --->


she's coming! she's coming!

mi madre is FINALLY on her way here to visit! i LOVE this picture from our wedding day. momma did so much for us that day, and she still does. can't wait to see ya grammy!


spring forward!

or not. lets just say, claire wasn't too happy about it.
church was a stretch with equally exhausted parents. its been a loooong week. we're hoping a lot of stress will be relieved this week, so i'm looking forward to it. i'm even planning on attending a relief society function- and plan on staying to whole time! ha. i'm trying to learn to love it. promise. anywho. lindsay came over for a few minutes and claire had had it by then. the following pictures took place.

claire, not the most flattering pic babe. but a REALLY good attempt at a self picture. i understand that you watch lindsay take hundreds of pictures of you two this way, but we have a few skills you need to learn first. smiling being the first one. (she really did attempt to take a picture of herself. she held the camera-lens towards herself-and held it there waiting for the flash. true story. ask lindsay. we just had to turn it on for her.)
thanks for cheering us up lindsay. glad someone got some snuggles in today because i sure didn't.



IF we were to have a boy this time around, and
IF we had an extra room, and
IF we had money to spend on anything we wanted,

THEN i would make it UP! themed. using above ideas.

BUT. we DON'T know yet. so it doesn't matter. we've just watched it three times this morning. not all of it, just claire's favorite part where the balloons come out of the house. because i love hearing her go "woah!" and shouting at the tv. you would, too.


silence. 'tis golden.

i am enjoying this brief moment of silence. joe is napping without snoring. claire is asleep away up in her crib. the heater isn't running, the fridge is taking a break, and the neighbors seem to be gone. no kids outside, all is still. i have a moment to meditate. and i'm thinking right now about the choices we make. i made a choice three years ago to date my best friend, and now i have the most precious daughter one could ask for, and another child on the way. the lesson in sunday school today was about abraham and when he was asked to sacrifice issac. claire was asleep peacefully in my arms, and i wasn't fully paying attention until the teacher asked the class what we would do if we had to sacrifice our child. i basically starting bawling as i blurted, this child in my arms? and i can't quite stop thinking about it. it was mentioned that most of us would willingly give up ourselves to save the child, but sometimes that is not what the Lord wants. how could i do that? then the lesson in yw was about forgiveness, and i spent a lot of time thinking about how we need to remember those times we've been forgiven, and the sacrifice our savior performed that we might be forgiven the things we do. but, in order to forgive, we must make that choice. we must ask that the Savior take away those feelings, and rise above it. He must be involved.

what that all boils down to is this: i know i'm not a perfect mother. but i'm working on it. the things i pondered today give me hope that i can become better. and spring is on the way, which makes me happy. the end.



this is joe speaking here, i felt like i needed to get on here and write a few things about katie. she is the most amazing wife and mother. it is always fun to watch her teach claire and she does an amazing job. she always talks about how she is "my child" because she is always into things and constantly putting herself in danger. but she gets all of her smarts and charm from katie. katie has been so great with her especially since i have been so busy lately and sometimes don't see her for almost 24 hours at time on some nights. she is amazing with the young women in the ward and always has the best ideas to keep things fun for them. i always admire how strong of a testimony she has and the compassion that is in her heart. my dad always told me that i should marry up.... i guess he knew me pretty well and knew that i would need to marry up to give me a shot at exaltation. well it took some trickery on my part, but eventually i katie consented to date and eventually marry me.... i obeyed my father and definitely married up. i don't even think my dad could have predicted for me to do as well as i did. one of the things i love most about katie is her 8 different smiles. my favorite one is the one when she is truly laughing and she squints her eyes (she hates this one but it's my favorite). i constantly try and make her laugh so i can see that laugh cause it brightens my day and makes all my worries go away. but what i love most about katie is that she has such a strong testimony and is always helping me get better so that we can stand together for all eternity.... that concept just excites me to know that i will have one of Heavenly Father's choicest daughters at my side.... I love you katie and i hope that you have an amazing Birthday!!!!


i reeeeeeally love hanging out with these ladies twice a week. maybe because they remind me of the good times i had in high school. part of it is because they love, love, claire. some of its because they tell me they love having us for leaders all the time. maybe its because they have the typical high school drama with boys, and it makes me smile that boys are usually the biggest thing they have to worry about right now. its definitely because although i'm only 22, i sometimes feel really old being a leader, and i stay young with them around. but i really love nights like last night. we made some collages of their future weddings and then went over to Abella Bridal where they put on some dresses. they were naturally shy at first, and worried about how they looked, but i thought they all looked so cute. and eventually all warmed up to the camera, and had a pretty fun time. these young women are all so special and i love watching them as their testimonies grow. a couple months ago there was a lesson that really touched some of the girls, and one made a comment she later shared with everyone she knows on facebook.

Sis. Daniels: "What can we do to be closer to God? Ashlee, are you raising your hand?"
Me: "No, but I can say something if you want I guess."
Sis. Daniels: "Okay, please say something(:"
Me: "I think that you have to start with the little things you do. You have to start listening to good music, and you have to stop hanging out with people who are going to influence you to do things that you probably shouldn't be doing. You have to actually start listening in Seminary, and not just be the kid in the back of the class that falls asleep every day. Because it's the little things that count. If you start listening to better music then that can put you into a better mood. Hanging out with people who aren't going to pressure you to do wrong can prevent you from making the wrong choices. If you listen in Seminary then it can lead to you wanting to read your scriptures every night. The little things can lead to a huge difference in your life. I think that's how you can strengthen your relationship with God. You have to want to be like Him. You have to listen during church and you have to do whatever you need to do to feel closer to Him. Uh... so that's what I think you can do to be closer to God..."

pretty sure i don't remember making comments on the fly like that when i was 15. guess thats what makes these girls so special. and i love them!


what a weekend

missed this little girl.... for a night. joe and i went away for a night and stayed here. it was awesome and we felt like we were really far away. lindsay stayed with claire and we are so grateful! shes the bestest. claire was happy and healthy when we returned. sunday wasn't stressful, and jill came down and hung out with us. we skyped with sarah and laura, and went to a great cultural fireside about china and haiti.

the best was yesterday. miss sassy pants thinks she knows more than us, and decided to hang out behind the blinds again. joe asked "claire, can you come out from behind there?" she peeked out, looked him square in the eye and said, clear as a bell and matter-of-factly, "um, no." and went back to what she was doing. i started laughing so hard i cried. i need to be more stern, but who can discipline that face?