Thursday, December 30, 2010

Merry Christmas from the Madsen's

JJ at 7 months

Merry Christmas!

Dear Friends and Family,

This year was full of blessings for our growing family. On May 12, Barbie delivered the perfect son and our lives have forever changed. There were some slight complications with his lungs, so our little boy spent a week in the NICU to make sure everything was fine. We found naming him so difficult! The nurses nicknamed him Trouble, and after a week we settled on Joshua Joseph Madsen. We love our little JJ so much!

Barbie spent nearly half the year pregnant, and kept herself busy with sewing projects and mother groups when she wasn’t battling kidney stones. This fall she enrolled in a few classes at a local college right in the heart of downtown Chicago, steadily pursuing the goal of a bachelor’s degree. She loves it! She has also delved herself into reading, through a local book club group, which has opened her interests into whole new genres. But more than anything she has enjoyed caring for and teaching our new son. She’s a wonderful wife, mother, student, and friend, and I’m so proud of her.

Josh passed his much anticipated core examination, putting him one step closer to a Ph.D. He loves his studies and can’t understand why everyone wouldn’t want a Ph.D. in accounting. He’s finished with most of his course work now, and was quite busy this fall working with a professor on a research paper (something about credit ratings…). The university sent him to Singapore and London as a teacher’s assistant, and we appreciate the help of family and friends who came to help Barbie. Josh was called to serve as the Young Men’s President in our church unit, and has thoroughly enjoyed working with the local youth in ways he never would have expected.

JJ is changing every day and learning so much. He’s growing quickly (already 20 lbs.!) and everyone comments on his cute smile and blue eyes. In November his doctor prescribed a correctional helmet to address some acute flatness on his head, and he’s handled the transition perfectly. He is rolling all over the place and has started getting into everything. We still think he’s the cutest baby in the world.

We’ve had a lot of fun as a family this year. We turned spring break into a “baby honeymoon” and spent a week on the road visiting friends and church history sites. A summer road trip to Utah, Thanksgiving trip to Branson, Missouri, and various activities in Chicago were all wonderful. Mostly though, we’re just grateful to be a family.

We’re grateful to you, our family and many friends, for the influence you have on our lives. We wish each of you a meaningful Christmas as we reflect on the birth of our Savior. We hope you’re year has brought you joy.


Josh, Barbie, and JJ Madsen

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas Barbie

Gingerbread House Contest

We need some referee's for our annual Sego Gingerbread House Contest. Which house wins the trophy this year?

Friday, December 3, 2010


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Saturday, November 20, 2010

Attitude of Gratitude

Today has been an awful day. I know that this is a horrible depressing way to start a blog post, but there is an important lesson I have learned from this rotten day.
I woke up this morning grumpy and tired. Josh went to play frisbee early with other members from church. I am usually fine with this but since JJ got his helmet, nights have been a bit longer around here. I got up to take care of my beautiful child and felt no joy. I sat on the couch as he cheerfully played in his exersaucer. I thought to myself "how can he be so cheerful with that horrible thing on his head?" but he was as cheery as one could be. Meanwhile I was praying for his nap time to come quickly so I could go back to bed. This is how most of my day went. I just kept waiting for my day to begin and it really never did.
I have plenty to do and a huge exam to study for but for some reason my bad attitude kept me from progressing today. It was like a huge brick wall I didn't even attempt to break down. Instead I took a nap next to it and pouted about the cold weather.

Josh saw I was having a rough day so he decided to take me out to dinner. I would usually be elated over this venture but once again decided to complain how it gets dark at 4:30 and how my whole day is ruined because of it.
I have had many trials here in Chicago. Weather being one of them. Loneliness being another, or the horrible traffic or how dangerous it is. I have allowed these simple things affect my happiness and joy I feel in my life or lack thereof. I feel as though I have been acting so ungrateful after all my Father in Heaven has given me. I need to sit back and take in the bliss he wants me to feel. He has poured blessings upon me and he continues to do so. I have a beautiful baby boy, GORGEOUS! A loving and supportive husband. But what beats it all is that I know I have a Father in heaven you loves and cherishes me. I know I have a Savior who has atoned for my sins. The Lord has commanded us to do all things cheerfully. When I think of this I am reminded to not only do all things with good cheer but with an attitude of gratitude and be grateful for what I have been given.
This morning instead of being upset about the lack of sleep I got, I should have been grateful for the extra time I have been allowed to spend with my child.
Instead of complaining about how dark it is getting, I needed to show more gratitude towards my husband for taking a break from his busy school schedule to take out his whiny wife on a date.
Hopefully I have learned something from today and next time will remember President Monson's words as he spoke of the Savior "Let us follow Him. Let us emulate His example. Let us obey His word. By so doing, we give to Him the divine gift of gratitude."

Here are a few blessings in my life I am very grateful for.

This guy can always bring a smile to my face. I want to absorb him into my body. He is so happy and always smiles at strangers and we all know how contagious smiles are.
"A smile is very catchy.
And so when I feel sad,
I try to give a smile away,
And soon I’m feeling glad! "
I love these crazy people! They seriously rock! They are all so different and bring so many different blessings into my life. They are my lifeline.
Everyone needs a friend, and this is about the best they come. The kind that always know what to say. The kind that will love you always no matter what. I am so grateful that I have a friend like this. They are one in a million and not everyone finds one.

Above all I am grateful for this amazing guy who was crazy enough to marry me and loves me for all that I am. You are my rock and the shoulder I cry on. I love you more than words can say. Kocham ciebie.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Family Photos

My sister took some family photos while we were out in Utah this summer. We've finally got them framed on hanging on our wall! Thanks Jess, we love them.

This is a photo we snapped at home on Sunday. I love my family.

Happy and Sad Days

We're both feeling a mixture of emotions right now. We have a beautiful, happy, charming boy and feel so blessed and lucky to have him. We're a bit sad because this little boy has a misshapen head and needs to wear a helmet for the next 6-9 months. He got his new 'friend' yesterday, and so far I think it's much harder on mom than it is on JJ. What do you think?

Saturday, November 6, 2010


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The many faces of JJ

I love my baby boy so much. He is so happy and fun. He is typically in a good mood and completely content just chewing on his fingers. But lately more sides of his personality have been shining through with all his new facial expressions.

Fingers: This is his typical two fingers in mouth face. He really can't get enough of his fingers. He is pretty much obsessed with anything that goes in or comes out of his mouth. ex: fingers, tongue, feet, etc.KISS: I wanna be a Rock Star!

Scaredy Cat: I think he really thought we were going to make him go hunting. He looks so scared.
Bright Eyes: everyone is always complimenting JJ's eyes, he really does have bright eyes that exude happiness and joy!!

Loogie: drool, drool, drool.... what else can I say this kid loves to drool.

NOOOOOO: "please don't make me sleep!" face
"let me see if I can touch my nose with my tongue" face.
Gag me: How many fingers can I fit in my mouth.
Bored: Come play with me!
Blah: I want to lick your face.
Monster attack!: RAAAWWWWWRRR!
More Please: Yuuuuummmmmy!

That's all folks...

p.s. his 4 month stats were

Weight:16 lbs 8.5 oz

Height: 26 in.

Head Circumfrance: 17.25 in.

90th percentile in everything! we have a big boy!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

JJ's Surprise

I took this on my phone at the doctor's office yesterday. He got his 4 month checkup, and was so excited he did this:

Monday, September 13, 2010

Two Months of JJ

We've done our best to keep track of our little wiggle worm's growth over the summer. We missed a weeks, but it's super fun to see the small changes that gradually emerge. Tonight he just laughed at Mommy while she read him a story--we think he loved the rhyming and bright colored pages. Being a parent is just so much fun!

JJ has become so much fun! His personality is emerging, and he definitely recognizes mom and dad. He seems overjoyed when we pick him up after a nap, and just loves attention. He is also easy going, and can lay on his mat, sucking on his little fists and completely content.
Here's some of his big milestones so far:
  • Typically sleeping through the night (7pm to 6am)
  • Rolling over from tummy to back (looks more like falling over when it happens)
  • Nearly sitting up on his own
  • Standing with a lot less "wiggle"
  • Weighs approx. 16 pounds!
  • Eats 7 ounces every 3 hours during the day
  • Grabs, pulls, and even chews on toys (managed to pull one toy off his play mat!)
  • Laughs spontaneously, without being tickled (this is just so cute)
  • Rambles and babbles to strangers everywhere
  • Has been exceptionally good to babysitters

We love him so much!

Summer Summary

We can't believe that summer is over. We've been super busy with trips around the world, so now it's time to catch up on our blog. We figure this is mostly for us, so when Josh gets Alzheimers, Barbie can show him just how good a life he had, even if he can't remember it.
We made the bold decision to drive out to Utah, so Barbie could have a car while Josh traveled. It was quite fun to stop and rest every two hours, feeding JJ at random convenience stores and parks. He did really well, and everyone survived.
Barbie thought she'd be able to see some cool stuff here, but it turned out to be merely a gas station.
Mitchell, South Dakota is known for having an amazing corn palace. I guess once upon a time it was actually made entirely out of corn each year; now only the walls are covered with corn, while the building itself is brick and concrete. Bit of a disappointment.
Mount Rushmore, however, wasn't a disappointment. We spent a morning here, with Barbie scrambling over rocks and tourists to get the best possible photo. Neither of us had ever been here, and it was worth the extra three hours of driving to get here.
I love this photo. Doesn't her face belong engraved in rock as well?

Summer Summary Continued

Here are the rest...
JJ is getting so good at tummy time!

Josh and JJ on the swing! Wee! I think Josh enjoyed it more than JJ...

Barbie's mission companion got married this summer. Barbie was so excited she was able to be there and catch up with other mission friends! She also got to help throw Clarisa a bridal shower.

It was so nice to be able to get 4 generations together!

JJ's first camping trip! He slept for 10 hours that night! We should live in the woods, we might get more sleep that way!

JJ was bundled up super warm! He looked like an eskimo, with his arms sticking straight out!
I unfortunately missed both Barbie's birthday and our anniversary due to travels. I tried to make up for it with dinner at the Roof, a nice Utah restaurant located on Temple Square. Really elegant!
JJ got to meet his great Grandad Joseph Howard, after whom he got his middle name!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Dear Wife,

Do you know how much I adore you? You are strong and reliable when challenges arise and our family needs you. I'm sorry I had to leave you this summer--I know it can't be easy taking care of our little boy on your own. Yet I know our son is safe in your watchful hands. Your love binds our family together, weaving our lives into a beautiful tapestry. Thank you for doing this. Thank you for missing me, yet taking care of our family while I'm away. I need you. I miss you. I'll hurry home. Please always be waiting for me.


Your Husband

Sunday, July 18, 2010


We visited family in Naperville this weekend and had a blast. On Saturday we were invited over to swim at a neighbor's private pool--the perfect setting to test out JJ's breaststroke! Barbie bought a cute swimming shirt and shorts, and so he was looking hip. He wasn't really interested in splashing around at all, but the rolling motion of the pool put him right to sleep. We now know how to get him to sleep when all else fails!

Thanks Nancy and Daren!