Tuesday, December 9, 2008

And Our Choice Is...

After many agonizing hours, days and weeks, we've finally decided on a medical school for Brent to attend. Brent has chosen to join the LMU-DCOM Class of 2013!

This decision was far harder than either of us anticipated. While we were optimistic, I don't think we thought he would be accepted to all four schools where he interviewed. Additionally I didn't expect him to like all the schools so much. We went back and forth and really struggled to make a decision stick.

During all of this we talked with students and their spouses at a few of the schools. As we got to know them and what their experiences were at each of the schools, it became even harder to decide. I could picture myself at each of the schools enjoying the location, the women I had come to know and Brent's experience as a student.

Before we sent off the deposit, the world was full of options and opportunities at each of the schools. One of the hardest parts of making the final decision was giving up opportunities we could have had at the schools we won't be attending. I hope to still remain in contact with the women I have met and to continue to bond over our shared experiences!

To illustrate how difficult this decision was, I'll explain Brent's attempt to compare the schools. He created a chart with a column for each school. Then in rows he listed all the things that were important to him and to me, e.g., classrooms, anatomy lab, library, parks, technology, etc. He had quite a list (16 in all). Then he ranked each school on a scale of 1-5, 5 indicating the school met/exceeded his expectations. After he went through each school, they were within a point of each other! Then he reevaluated and made the numbers more extreme. Then they were tied! So we crossed some off the list that we decided may not be crucial. The numbers were spread a little more, but still only 7 points between the high and the low. I looked at Brent and said, "No wonder we are having such a difficult time!" In the end we chose LMU-DCOM because it was the high number each time in categories both for Brent and for me.

I'm so excited to move to Tennessee and become familiar with another part of the country. I visited Kentucky a while back and fell in love with the greeness and the rolling hills. From what I've seen of the area in Tennessee where we'll live, it's more of the same! This choice was a labor of love and from it we've developed a real love for LMU-DCOM and the surrounding area.

Tennessee, here we come! (in about 7 months!)

Monday, December 8, 2008

A New Development

As Sammi was washing her hands last night she informed me "I want to do potty training!" OKAY! Let's go. Day 1. She's already used the potty once this morning! And we're off.

I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Most of the time on most days I really enjoy Sammi’s presence. I love playing with her, watching her play and listening to her endless conversations. But, sometimes, on some days I can’t wait for her bedtime. They are times when my parenting hat is falling off and I just want 5 minutes in the bathroom ALONE to straighten it out. Those are the times when I really see who I am and what kind of mom I am. Sometimes it’s scary because I don’t want to be that impatient, short-tempered woman and other times I smile inwardly when I can keep my cool and work through a stressful situation.

Motherhood is definitely a growth process. I'm not perfect (gasp, I know!). I'm trying to make more progress in being the mom I want to be than sliding down the slippery slope of impatience.

It's not all self-control and difficulties, though. Sammi and I (and Elizabeth, too) have a lot of fun together. There are many moments in our house filled with laughter and play. I just worry that Sammi will remember my worst moments more than anything else. Is this a common state-of-mind for the mother of a toddler?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A Good Hair Day

Can you believe she sat still for that!
What an angel.

Monday, November 3, 2008

2 Month Checkup

Elizabeth had her two month check up last week. I can't believe I've been so slow about reporting it! She is growing well. She weighed in at 11 lbs 13 oz and measured 23 1/2 inches long. She is definitely fitting into 3-6 month clothes now! I spent all last week packing up her newborn clothes and pulling out the new set.

Looking at all the clothes brings back such memories of when Sammi wore them. I can't believe how quickly the time has passed and grown up Sammi is. She amazes me everyday with her questions and understandings of the world around her.

Friday, October 24, 2008


I've been enjoying this very inspiring book about reading. It's called The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease. He covers a huge amount of research in a very easy to follow way explaining the benefits of reading aloud. He also makes it more accessible by tossing in personal anecdotes from his own life and the lives of readers who have shared their successes with him. My favorite thing he has said so far: "Parenting is not supposed to be a time-saving experience. Parenting is time-consuming, time-investing—but not time-saving."

That said, Sammi and I have renewed our interest in reading together. She's getting very interested in longer picture books. So, after reading about lengthening attention span I decided to try for something a bit more challenging. I pulled Charlotte's Web by E.B. White of the shelf and gave it a go. We have been reading it every morning during breakfast. We started Monday morning and today we reached chapter five! My throat was getting tired this morning so I set it down and Sammi said, "I'm not done yet!" I thought she was talking about her cereal but she informed me that she wanted me to keep reading!

I haven't read this book in so long. I forgot that Wilbur is a white pig and that Fern had to send him to her uncle's house to live in the barn. We were at Gardner's Village yesterday and ventured into the petting zoo. They just happened to have a white baby pig—just like Wilbur! Sammi was excited to make the connection between the two. It's just so much fun. I wish you all happy reading!

Dress-Up Day!

Elizabeth's first dress-up! Isn't she cute?

Baby M, the superhero cowboy!

Sammi Sam: I did it myself!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


There are tons of new posts and pictures today so scroll down until you reach a post you've already read!!

So, Brent has prepared, studied, sweated, traveled, and interviewed. And all that he has to show for that? Four acceptance letters to the four schools he interviewed with! I knew he was an amazing candidate, but he was a bit nervous. I'm so glad that he was accepted to a school and completely overwhelmed that he was accepted to four! Now we have options, but that means we have a major decision to make. We think we know, but we're not officially sure just yet. So for now I'll just tell the the four possibilities:
  • Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, Erie, PA
  • West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine, WV
  • Lincoln Memorial University DeBuske College of Osteopathic Medicine, TN
  • A.T. Still University Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine, Kirksville, MO
These are listed in the order of his interviews, so as not to indicate in which direction we are leaning. Once we know, we'll let you know! Any advice?

Baby Blessing

I know these are way overdue (thanks, Ann, for the reminder!) We blessed Elizabeth on October 12. It was a great weekend. Lots of family members were in town to celebrate Great-Grandpa Passey's 80th birthday. Unfortunately he and Grandma Passey didn't make it down because they were taking other family members to the airport. But, we really enjoyed spending the day with those who were able to come. It was a celebration of life and family. I am in awe of how precious little children are. They are so tender and innocent. It inspires me to be a better person and mother for their sake. I don't want the guilt of hardening them to this world (although I think it will probably be my fault in the long run...)

So, after church we had a nice lunch of my favorites! I made chicken salad sandwiches. I will have to post the recipe later because they were delicious! And even better the next day. I had my mother-in-law, Wendy, bring my favorite salad: spinach greens with cranberries and other yumminess with poppy seed dressing. My own dear mother brought Texas sheet cake, always a treat! And Grandma Chatterley brought homegrown and made grapejuice slushy mixed with Fresca. I don't know about anyone else, but I was in food heaven! The company was great, too:) We missed those of you who are far away. Don't worry, we show the girls your pictures and talk about you all the time!

Sleeping Baby

Isn't she a doll! I will never get sick of looking at my babies sleeping...

Sticker Day

I'm going out of chronological order today because these are cute and I felt like it! Sammi found the box of stickers on Monday and I let her go to town while I was tackling a veritable mountain of laundry. I found a cute little giraffe on the bottom of Sammi's foot. She was kind enough to share a star with Elizabeth.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

More From Discovery Gateway

There are lots of new posts today so scroll down to see them all!
These are pictures from Discovery Gateway (as explained in the post below)

Discovery Gateway

When we picked Brent up from his first set of interviews, we headed into SLC and hit the children's museum, Discovery Gateway. We were there at Christmas and it's amazing how much Sammi has grown since then. She played so much more with things. She still loved the water feature. She beelined right for it and we had to drag her away to see the other fun things. Her growth was especially apparent in the pretend play areas. She loved putting gas in the car, grocery shopping and playing in the garden.

More Sleeping Shots

She's just so cute when she falls asleep! The no napping thing is working well, although she crashes every few days or so. She is sleeping so much better at night and there's not more fighting over getting her to go to bed. She actually looks forward to her routine and climbing into bed!

Random pics from around the house

She really loves that purse. Oh, it warms my heart...
She's looking so grown up
Only a toddler could get her toys to defy the laws of physics!
We tried hot rollers for church. The picture doesn't do justice to just how cute her hair turned out!
The back was super curly!

Adventures with Grandpa

My dad was here quite a while ago and these are some of the fun things we did with him. Kim was here over labor day weekend, but somehow I don't have any pictures of her visit or our trip to the aquarium! How did that happen?

First we went to the Bean Life Science Museum (My favorite at BYU):

We also went to the zoo:

Monday, September 29, 2008

My First Giveaway!

I'm hosting a giveaway over on Inspiration for Crafting and wanted to invite you all to check it out and enter! It's a $20 gift card to CreatedbyMom.com. I met the gal who owns the boutique at the Startup Princess conference I went to on Friday. She is adorable and so put-together. I am definitely inspired by her vision and action. The giveaway opens on October 1 and will close on October 7 at midnight MDT. I hope to see your comments there!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Video Chatting

We had a nice little video chat with Brent this morning. Sammi is really starting to misbehave a little now that Daddy is gone. She is more whiny and easily frustrated. All that tries my patience and without Brent here to give me a break, it's been a growing experience for my patience!

But, like all things, it has its precious moments.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

It's Been One Month...

And how it has flown by, too. I did a trial run of the girls in their matching dresses today. Good thing, too, because Elizabeth is almost too big for her dress! My, how she's grown. They were adorable and it was so worth it (the sewing of the dresses.) Sammi also loved playing with her matching purse.

Brent had his first interview today. He was at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine. He said he thought it went well. He is driving to his sister's as I type this. I hope he gets there safely. We are missing him, but I'm glad that the interview went well. He has another interview on Monday in Lewisburg, West Virginia. Then we get him back on Tuesday morning. Good luck, honey!

Oh, and with Sammi not taking naps, she is actually asleep for the night! (as of 7:20pm) I hope she sleeps until 7:00am. Is that overly optimistic?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The End of an Era

As hard as it is to imagine, let alone do, the time has come for Sammi to give up naps. Gasp.

It was taking one and a half to two hours to put her down for bed and her naps were getting later and later (which also meant her bedtime was getting later and later.) Even for all that, she was still waking up between six and six thirty each morning.

So far we are three days without a nap. Granted twice she slept for a little bit in the car; however, she has gone to bed in a wink which is helpful when it's just me putting her to bed with Elizabeth. So the transition will probably be final. I think I need the naps more than Sammi does, but with a little bit of downtime during the day and more quiet time from Sammi going to bed earlier, the sacrifice is worth it.

Yeah, I'll let you know if I still feel that way in a week! Wish me luck.

Oh, and wish Brent luck. He flies out tomorrow for his first two interviews. Erie, PA first and then West Virginia. While I'm a little jealous, I'm mostly excited for him to visit Ann and go to Washington, D.C. I hope they have a blast. Take care of my honey, okay, Ann? Thanks.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Napping Children

Oh the beautiful sound of silence. Both of my girls are napping and I'm enjoying catching up on some much needed blogging! There are two more posts from today (including #100!) so scroll down and check them out! I love sleeping pictures and these take the cake! Mmmm, cake. I think I'll head to the kitchen next...
What I saw when I came up the stairs
Where Sammi fell asleep for her nap today
Baby Elizabeth napping in her yellow crib

Morning Routine

Recently Sammi has been waking up in the mornings about the time Brent is getting ready for work. I've been letting her trail after him and catching several extra minutes in bed resting. Once Brent leaves I usually get up with her and start the day.

The other morning, however, I was extra tired and after Brent left I stayed in bed and just let Sammi play. I could hear her and everything sounded fine. As the minutes passed, I started to put together the sounds I was hearing and realized Sammi was playing in a bag of stuff my mom had given me. I didn't think much of it until I walked down to where Sammi was and saw her beatuiful face! She had also smeared lipstick all over her hands and legs. She had effectively used up the entire tube of lipstick before I even got to try the color on! Fortunately the mess was an easy clean.

What's Your Name?

This is my 100th post! In celebration I will send 100 "memories" from the blog to the first person to comment. Oh what fun!

Sammi is going through this adorable phase of naming everything. She's really grasping the idea of names (like Sammi, Bob, Betty, Tyler, etc.) instead of just the name of a type of object (baby, kid, dog, boy, girl, etc.) As a result, she's been asking everyone we walk by, "What's your name?" Everyone has been very kind and answered her with their name and then said, "What's your name?" to which she replies, "Sammi" as she's already five feet away and onto her next introduction.

The other night Brent found his old wig and put it on in the bathroom. As he came out, Sammi took one look at him and said, "What's your name?" "I'm Daddy," Brent said a little sad that she hadn't recognized him. But I thought it was adorable. A much better reaction than being scared because he looked different. So we tried it on her, too. What a cutie!