Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Sorenson Family 2009: Part I

I look at these pictures and my heart sings.
These are my three daughters:

~Elisabeth Elva~

~Lorelai Leigh~

~Alexandra Louise~

Lee Ann did a beautiful job of capturing their unique personalities.
Can you tell which girl keeps things lively around our house?

Tomorrow: The Sorenson Family 2009: Part II - Sisters

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


2 years ago I was in the midst of the darkest week of my life. Sadness, grief, and confusion were consuming my every thought. I had learned that my unborn child had a serious and most likely fatal birth defect. And even if she were to survive I would be left with the burden of raising a severely handicapped child. I felt like I had fallen into a terrible nightmare that I couldn't wake up from.

Now here it is, 2 years later, and I still feel like I am asleep. But instead of a nightmare, I am living a beautiful dream. The kind that you never want to end. Elisabeth survived; I survived. And oh what I have learned! About myself, about hydrocephalus, and about children with disabilities.

The truth is that raising a handicapped child is not a burden, but a blessing. The privilege of caring for a child so pure, so innocent, and so untainted by the world brings a daily reminder of the importance and purpose of life.

Do I regret the pain and emotions of 2 years ago? Never. It was an opportunity for self-discovery and growth. Having experienced that degree of heartache has made the joy that I feel now so much sweeter. Elisabeth has changed my world, and as I count my daily blessings she is always at the top of the list. I have said it before and I'll say it again....lucky, lucky me.

{photograph by Lee Ann}

***To read my account of the happenings 2 years ago, click here.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Tuesday Tidbits

  • Elisabeth's development is so confusing. Skills come and go. She used to roll over...and then she stopped...and then she re-learned...and then she stopped...and now she's rolling again. She used to say 'Mama'...but I haven't heard it now in weeks and weeks...maybe it'll come again? She was starting to get better at eating...but now she's struggling; especially with her bottles. Her suck has gotten very weak and she chokes on the milk every few swallows (this makes for a very frustrating feeding).
  • Tonight is American Idol. Woohoo! I wait all week long just to hear Adam sing. And then I rewind his performance and watch it over...and over...and over...
  • The perfect way to spend an afternoon is probably playing Memory while snacking on pretzels and cheese:

  • Thanks to Donald's Uncle Mike, the Sorenson's are now addicted to playing Dr. Mario on the Wii. And I am proud to say that in the Sorenson home, I am unbeatable! This of course is very hard for a certain husband to deal with. Ha! (Does anyone out there want to challenge me to a match? Email me. Game on.)
  • I injured my knee during the half-marathon. It's probably time to call the doctor.
  • We planted a new tree in the backyard on Saturday. I love it.

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Car Show

On Saturday the Nova was entered into its 2nd car show.

Do you know what goes on at car shows?

A lot of car talk. Men 'oohing' and 'aahing'
over things like engines (boring).

Me on the other hand,
I judge cars on how shiny they are.

"Ooh...Donald, look at that one," said Lisa as she
pointed to a shiny red 1960-something corvette.

Sadly, the Nova drove away empty handed.

(Did I ever mention that it won a trophy
at the last show we entered it in?)

One more thing:

Real men push pink strollers.

Friday, April 24, 2009

An Artist and His Art

Grandpa and Walt, working on Pirates of the Caribbean.

My grandfather, Claude Coats, was a Disney artist and imagineer for over 50 years. He took part in creating timeless classics such as Snow White, Cinderella, and Alice in Wonderland, as well as Disneyland rides including The Pirates of the Caribbean, The Haunted Mansion, and It's a Small World. He truly was a Disney legend and his art continues to inspire.

With that said, I am pleased to announce the opening of . Prints from his private art collection are available to the public for the first time ever! Hop on over and check it out....and maybe buy yourself a print....or two....or three. Click here.

My favorite is this number:

The original hangs on a wall in my mother's house. I can remember being a child and studying this painting. I loved everything about it; the rolling green hills, the trotting horses, the whimsical trees, and a dirt road leading off to a little house where I am sure there must have been a homemade pie baking in the oven.

In all honesty, I felt a twinge of sadness when I saw that this was one of the prints available. It holds a special place in my heart and I wasn't sure I wanted it made public. However, I now realize that it would be a shame to keep this treasure hidden from the world. After all, art is to be shared and enjoyed.

My grandpa was a world traveller. In his art studio there was a map where he drew lines from Los Angeles to every destination that he travelled. It was COVERED in lines. I was inspired. I knew that one day I too would have a map; and I do. Mine only has a few lines of course, but there is time. I imagine that most of my travelling will happen after the girls graduate. Donald and I will spend our golden years exploring the world....with Elisabeth by our side, of course.

But back to my grandfather. Many of his paintings are of his travels. I think that you might really enjoy this one:

And especially this one:

(Inspired by his vacation to Antarctica.
I told you...he travelled everywhere!)

Want to see more???
(click below)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Sleeping Arrangement

Barbara over at TherExtras posed a question on her blog last week asking:

How have you arranged your home
to enhance your child’s development?

This question immediately had me thinking of my Elisabeth. Her development is severely delayed due to brain damage and we are completely dedicated to helping her reach her fullest potential.

So how have I arranged my home to help enhance her development? Here is my answer:


Three little beds are arranged all together.

Three little girls get tucked into those little beds.

One baby girl listens to her big sisters
whisper back and forth in the dark.

And then she drifts off to sleep knowing that she's not alone....
that she's never alone....
that she is always surrounded by her family....
that her big sisters will keep her close and keep her safe.

What could be better for a child's
development than a sense of security
and the feeling of love?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The 'Half Birthday': Part II

Lorelai's half-birthday fell on Sunday.....the day we travelled the long road from Salt Lake City to home. Needless to say, not much celebrating occurred.

No worries though, we made up for it yesterday by presenting her with a unique gift; a half-present for a half-birthday! ( was only wrapped to look like half of a present....the gift under the paper was whole! lol)

Lorelai Leigh at age four....and a half.

For part one of this 'half-birthday' series, click here.

***On a side note.....this reminds me of that scene at the end of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory where everything in Willy Wonka's office is cut in half.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

High School Musical

I love music. I love musicals. I love all things Disney. And.... I have a 6 year old daughter.

All these things together mean one thing:

I love High School Musical (and I am not ashamed to admit it).

So imagine the excitement I felt this past week in Salt Lake City when my older sister informed me that the high school where they filmed High School Musical was a few blocks away.

And being the total nerd that I am.....I had to go see it. And then I had to be an even bigger nerd and pose for pictures while cars drove by.

Exhibit A: The Sorenson's being High School Musical-ish

Exhibit B: The real cast of HSM being
High School Musical-ish

We then went around the back to peek in the windows.
It was there that we found.....the cafeteria!

Exhibit C: The cafeteria

Exhibit D: The cast of HSM dancing in said cafeteria:

Here is where it gets really exciting.

My nephew will be starting high school next year and lives in the boundaries for East High!

But.....apparently it isn't so 'cool' to go to the school where High School Musical was filmed.

So....he wants to go to the 'other' school in town.

I told him that I would take this vote to the people. I present you with your choices.

Exhibit E: East High School

Exhibit F: Highlands High School
(the 'other' hiss)

Don't you agree that the right choice is East High?? I mean, come on....who wouldn't want to go to a school where the students break out into song and dance between classes?

Monday, April 20, 2009

I Made It....

Across the finish line!

Salt Lake City Half Marathon
April 18, 2009

The distance was worth it for this moment:

To my siblings Kristin and David,
and my nephew Matthew ~

Thank you! I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to share this experience with you all. Each of you inspire me in your own way and I start this week off feeling motivated to challenge and improve myself.

I am looking forward to next year. Go Cantaloupe!

With love,

Friday, April 17, 2009

Color 2009

I have been actively working on my 2009 resolution to add more color to my life. A big part of that has been taking boring, everyday objects and making them more beautiful.

For example:

We keep all of our balled up grocery bags in a leftover garbage bag box. Practical.....but far from pretty. So I decided to give it a quick and easy makeover:

(I love it.)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Our Little Tree

This little tree lives in our backyard.
We planted it there last summer.

I love how it's blossoms are white and fluffy like clouds.

Right now our tree is still small and skinny, but one day it will be big.

And its blossoms will blend with the clouds in the sky....and I won't know where one begins and the other ends.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Enter KaTrina's Giveaway!
click here!

Family Portraits

Our friend Lee Ann was kind enough to photograph our family a few weeks ago. She took hundreds of pictures! Click here to see just a few of them.

More later :)

An Adventurer

My sister is everything I'm not.
She is an explorer, an athlete, an archaeologist, an adventurer.

For the past month she has been in Belize studying ancient artifacts. Can I tell you how proud I am of her? My little discovering the world. Amazing.

I hope you are having the time of your life.
I can't wait for you to come home so I can hear stories of Belize! Be safe and try to keep away from those tick nests! Ewww...
Love, Lisa

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Easter 2009

Dyed eggs. Hunts.
Candy. Bunnies.
Pink dresses.
Food. Church. Family.

Monday, April 13, 2009

A Little Cellist

Click here to see a portrait of my little cello student, Lilly (who also happens to be Alexandra's best friend). Simply lovely.

Saturday, April 11, 2009


  • Watch Alexandra's soccer game.
  • Dye Easter Eggs.
  • Begin planting our garden.
  • Buy hair ribbons to match the girl's Easter dresses.
  • Shop for groceries.
  • Organize music in the parlor.

Friday, April 10, 2009

The Sorenson Family Garden

Last weekend Donald built a beautiful
raised garden bed in our backyard.
This shall be our first attempt at growing vegetables
{and hopefully not our last}.

Any tips and advice for first time gardeners?

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