Friday, January 29, 2010


Today was a sad day for the Madisons.
a beloved family pet
had to leave this world.

His quality of life was going downhill.
The difficult decision was made to let him go.

He will be missed.

He was a loyal companion
and provided comfort to each family member when they needed it.

Roopy Dog.

50bday-roopus-max2.jpg picture by joiester

What a peach.

I can only imagine

so many new sensations...I would make faces too!

50bday-roopus-max1.jpg picture by joiester

Mom is 50?!

I can't believe that my mom is 50 years old.
that is pretty young considering my age,
but she doesn't age in my mind

I remember when she turned 49
I told Lindsay that we needed to plan something BIG.

Then life happened for the next 11 months.

Luckily, we pulled everyone together and it was a great time!

50bday-roopus-max.jpg picture by joiester

My favorite parts:

Turning JONES soda into JOAN'S soda
Getting her best friend from high school to drive 3 hours to see her
Having a house full of family and friends that love my mom and much as I do!

Monday, January 18, 2010 with the new!

Finally getting used to the fact that I am a Utahn again.
Trying to start the new year off on a positive note.
So much to be thankful for
and loving every moment
instead of always hoping for something better.

I would miss everything if I didn't savor every moment with Max,
because he is a new boy every morning.

He learns something new everyday.
A couple days after Christmas,
when he was just over 4 mos. old,
he cut his first two teeth on the bottom.
He is ALL BOY and likes to make this
growling face at me when we play with
his stuffed puppy.

He is always watching
everything scary
and now starting to
imitate the things we do and say.

He has figured out that his arms
are quite useful
for reaching and grabbing
at everything that he

At times, he can't decide
if he wants to laugh
or cry.
Daddy loves that Max
can be having a total
meltdown and yet still find
it inside himself to smile and laugh.

Adam can get him laughing the most,
but he always wants
Mommy when he's had too
much excitement and starts getting
hungry and tired.

I am sooo over the drooling.
He will soak through
two or three bibs a day.
Now he wants to test out
his new chompers on everything
he can get his
hands on, not excluding Mom's hair
and anything that ISN'T his toys.

Sitting up presents a new challenge.
There are a
lot of core muscles involved
which means a lot of
baby clenching, grunting, & groaning.

He is getting very strong and
so far his attempts
to sit up look more like

C'mon Mom, I'm workin' here.

Here's a glimpse of the chompers.
I have to pull
my fingers away quickly
before he snaps like a

Once he is able to get himself
upright, he has a
lot of trouble keeping
himself around 90 degrees.

I guess if my noggin were
that gargantuan I would have a hard
time staying upright too...

But sucking on his toes
is a suitable diversion, and he is really
taking advantage of his flexibility....

We may have a
baby contortionist on our hands...

But after about 60 seconds
he just can't take it anymore and I
have to lift him up
and this is usually the look I get...

What a life.
Ahh to have giant thighs
that people just adore.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Out with the old...

The last two months have been a whirlwind (warning: awful pun ahead) and now we find ourselves in Hurricane, Utah. Some of you may be wondering how this came to be. Some of you may not care and if that's the case, I don't know why you are reading this blog anyway.

Believe it or not, there was a series of events that closed 2009 for us that started with getting kicked out of prison and ended with the disappearance of sea lions from San Francisco's Pier 39. I know it sounds strange, but if you have few minutes perhaps I can explain...

San Quentin.
san-quentin-aerial-angle.jpg picture by joiester

san-quentin-prison-front.jpg picture by joiester

I don't pretend to know anything about it. I have yet to write much about it in this blog, because it has been the black cloud in our lives for the past 18 months. We've worn out all the jokes about how Adam has "served his time in San Quentin" or "done his 18 months in prison". I
love the daily quips about getting "let out of prison on the weekends" and "work is prison". These all stemmed from the fact that Adam was one of the construction managers working on the new hospital inside the prison. This entire post could be a political rant, but I need to conserve energy for motherhood.

On average he put in 12 hour days for them, but at one point he was leaving at 6:00am and not getting home until 9:00pm and I sometimes wondered if the inmates weren't getting a better deal in their gated seaside community.

Construction on the hospital has ended and the company decided that his career would be ending as well. As he has reflected on the whole experience, he has tried to describe to me his working conditions. I don't think I will ever understand what he had to endure going to that place everyday. The glimpses he has given me in describing certain situations and interactions would have made me come home crying every night. I am in awe of the personal sacrifice. That he would take care of me and Max despite the personal cost, is something that I am eternally grateful for and love.

Of course, the experience wasn't entirely negative. In fact, we both can look back with certainty that our choices led us to the place we needed to be. There were too many coincidences, wonderful people, and beautiful experiences to think that anything was a fluke or mistake.

For instance, if any of you know Adam or have even met him briefly you know that he had a lot of energy. Some of the things I love most about him are his zest for life, sense of humor, and zany antics(although he will claim that I don't laugh at his jokes anymore :))

This past 18 months he was an Office Engineer and full-of-energy Adam, who has worked outside with his hands most of his life, was forced to sit behind a desk, stare at a computer, push papers, and talk on the phone for 12 hours a day. For someone with a slight touch of ADD this was no small task, but he has come out the other side with a whole new skill set and is now applying those skills to the stone masonry business he had before in order to bid million dollar jobs!

I digress. We can't really say that we didn't see this layoff coming. It was in the back of our minds for the last half of the year, but not official until October that we would be finished at the end of November with HenselPhelps. It is the nature of the construction industry. There was no upcoming work(along with other contributing factors to the layoff of which I don't wish to discuss) and Adam was cut loose.

Adam felt relieved.
And anxious.
Hopefully California won't be handing out IOUs instead of unemployment checks.
We still have yet to received an actual payment.

I am happy for Adam. He is returning to his old self.
I didn't realize how stressed-out and tense he had become.
I am reconciling myself to leaving Marin county. It's not the county I'll miss--it's the ward members. And the weather.
I have grown rather fond of them. Leaving here is harder than leaving home when I was 18. I cried myself to sleep many times thinking about it. I can't explain why.

We needed them.
They took care of us.
They needed us.

I love them.
I still cry sometimes when I think of them.

It was a beautiful Christmas celebration with our California family.

We decided to come to Hurricane.
To the house where Adam grew up.
His parents now live in Toquerville a few miles up the highway.

Lindsay came.
shef02copy.jpg picture by joiester

We packed. Remember that guy that wouldn't stop talking?
David M. stopped by to say farewell. I love David and I miss him. He enlightened us and I will write more about that later.

We drove. And drove. Max did well.

We arrived. We cleaned. And cleaned.

Went to Vernal for a break.
shef03copy.jpg picture by joiester
My mom's a great barber! Tori says the funniest things.
shef01copy.jpg picture by joiester

Had some more fun with family up north...shef13.jpg picture by joiester

jones14.jpg picture by joiester

jones13.jpg picture by joiester

Drove back down.
Cleaned more. Painted. Cleaned. Painted more. Had Christmas here and a little PS3 Rockband with the inlaws...hilarious. Still cleaning. The air is so dry, I have two vaporizors going at night trying to make the transition from the coast.
I'm a wimp.

So many details are lost to me. I did read that the Pier 39 sea lions had disappeared. Adam and I just figured that once we left the bay the sea lions must have thought what's the point!

Stay tuned...