Monday, October 17, 2016

The Reason This New Song Makes Me Reminiscent

It was late October 2014, not yet halloween when I broke down sobbing while driving Sean and I home from the hospital. We were visiting a friend who had recently been in an accident and Sean fainted when she was talking about her injuries.

But that's not what this story is about. I was driving home because he was still feeling woozy and about halfway home a song came on called See Her On The Weekend by Andrew McMahon. It talks about his girlfriend being pregnant and at that moment, Sean brought up that one of our close friends was expecting. Without another thought, I shut off the song and broke down. Of course I was happy for them, but there was another reason.

It was early November 2013 when Sean and I were watching Rosemary's Baby. I had stopped taking my birth control because they were making me incredibly sick and irritable. Later that night, Sean and I decided we were going to start trying for a baby. I knew I had weird cycles, but I was still hopeful and every doctor I'd talked to about it said it shouldn't impede my ability to get pregnant.

Flash forward to our drive home. It had almost been an entire year filled with dozens of pregnancy tests and no luck. I had only one more breakdown before that during Mother's Day at church and it had been close to 6 months (I'm not going to do the math because). We got home, I was still pretty broken up (and happy for our friends) but I really started worrying. I didn't want to face that I might be infertile and we'd have to be trying for who knows how much longer.

It was early November 2014 when I came down with a really weird bug. I threw up 12 times in the middle of the night and had a pretty high fever. We were living with my parents and I was working as a special needs tutor at a nearby charter school. I went in to work the next day (a Monday) and told them about what I was feeling and they looked at me like I was crazy and sent me home. After a quick nap and no more vomiting that day, on a whim, I took a really cheap pregnancy test we had on hand (that came with our ovulation kit) and a very faint second line appeared.

Sure I was going crazy, I went upstairs to consult my mother. It definitely seemed positive to her, and luckily I had another nicer test in my bathroom. So, naturally, I took it and it also showed positive. I had no words. I had no brain power to comprehend. I was elated.

I know I've already written this post before, but I omitted one big important aspect. Infertility. It is the most terrifying, frustrating, and heart-wrenching thing a woman who wants to be a mom can experience. I know I've only had a taste of it. A bit, year-long taste. I couldn't imagine going yearS or having to do infertility treatments or being told out-right that I won't be a natural mother. I am so proud of the strength women who experience it have. As a little girl, I would stuff animals up my shirts pretending to be pregnant and I couldn't imagine having to tell that little girl that her dreams are impossible.

Flash forward to today and my little one is running around in a thermal shirt & diaper, waving around a ladle and repeating the same sounds over and over (and over and over) again. I turn on youtube and Andrew McMahon has a new song out. I've heard it before, but today was a little different. Milo's adorable baby-toddler figure, crazy hair, and beautiful blue eyes were watching the video with me and I knew all the waiting and wondering was worth it.

Milo, "You're the reason I'm still up at dawn, just to see your face."

(Disclaimer: the song doesn't have anything to do with having a baby, it's really just Andrew McMahon's voice that's the reminiscent bit. But still listen to the song because it's beautiful.)

If anyone is suffering from this silent demon, please know that I would be more than happy to listen to your struggles and buy you an ice cream (or cheeseburger, or whatever).

Love, Miss Ellen

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Sean's Pumpkin Pie Recipe

I go through kitchen phases constantly. Ellen teases me for it, constantly. When we got married a friend gave us a pie making kit (2 pie pans that are still my favorite, a rolling pin, and an apple peeler/slicer/corer). So naturally I started a pie phase, but it never really ended. I've tweaked almost every recipe I've ever found to be really good and have decided to start writing them down. So, seeing as it is Autumn, here's my Pumpkin Pie.

Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Puree

Preheat the oven to 350°
Cut a pie pumpkin (about the size of a volleyball) into quarters
Scoop out the innards
Place the pumpkin quarters skin down onto a foiled cookie sheet
Bake the pumpkin for about an hour
Pull the skin away from the fleshy part and dispose of the skin
Using a potato masher or food processor mash up the pumpkin


1 ¼ cups All-Purpose Flour
¼ tsp Salt
⅓ cup + 1 Tbs butter flavored shortening
¼ cup cold water

Mix Flour and salt in a small-medium sized bowl
Chop the shortening into the flour mix
Using a pastry mixer or two forks mix the shortening into the flour
(it will look chunky when you’re done)
Add the cold water in and mix together with your hands
(wash your hands and remove any rings)
You will end up with a ball of dough that can me refrigerated or rolled out immediately
Roll it out so it’s about 1/8 of an inch thick
Roll it up with the rolling pin and unroll it onto the pie pan

(Double this recipe if you want two crusts, but for Pumpkin Pie you probably don’t)

Pie Filling

1 cups of Pumpkin Puree
1 ⅓ cups of Sweetened Condensed Milk (1 14oz Can)
1 Egg
2 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Nutmeg
1 tsp Ginger
½ tsp Cloves
1 cup Hot Water

Mix everything together in a big bowl using a whisk
Dump it into the pie crust
Before it goes in the oven brush melted butter onto the crust and sprinkle it with sugar if you're really feeling crazy
bake at 350° for 1 hour
Halfway through baking, brush more melted butter on the crust. It will be worth it.

Sean Donner

Saturday, October 8, 2016


GUYS! Remember all the things I've been saying about getting things ready for a new project (because we are sooooooo done with dog boarding)?


We are only about a month away from opening up our own online business! We still need to finalize some designs, order our shirts, and finish building our website, but we have a hopeful launch date of

Just in time for Christmas shopping! 

I really am excited about this and hope everything goes well so we can meet our launch date! Sean and I made these designs ourselves and are getting our teeshirts hand printed by a local company and selling through our own site (rather than zulily, etsy, etc).

Here's a little logo teaser...

We're in the process of finalizing 6 designs to choose from. There will be a blog attached to the shop as well as future design contests, give-aways, guest bloggers, etc. We can't wait to show everyone our finished product and have you wearing our shirts!

Miss Ellen

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

On Religion

Hi, I'm Ellen and I'm a Mormon.

I really try not to talk too much about religion because, although it's a large part of my life, I don't like to exclude all my friends and family who aren't LDS. However, like I said, it is a large part of my life and I wanted to just take ONE post to talk a little bit about it.

Watch this video first.

That's very basic. However, it's also super informative. This last weekend was what is called General Conference where the General Authorities give new revelation and information about the gospel, as well as their own testimonies. It's basically a New Year's Eve every 6 months where we can regain our traction and make new goals so that we can become better members of the church and of society.

There are a lot of questions surrounding the church and, to be perfectly honest, even the most devout members have questions pertaining to the gospel. It's important to ask these questions so we can search out our own answers and learn more about this life and the next. The prophet and apostles (the highest leaders of the church) ask their own questions as well, and they share their answers with us during the conference. If you have questions, PLEASE ask. I would love to help answer what I can or guide you to find your own answers.

Of course there's a lot of weird parts of the church, but that is true with nearly every religion. Go to for answers to some of the weirdness that you may have heard. A pretty good chunk of the members are super normal people and would love to share their testimonies and knowledge of the doctrines within the church. That includes me, guys!

I know that this church is true and makes complete sense in the context of the universe. I know that the prophets and apostles are men called of god and only have the best intentions for the church. I know that God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost are real and that they answer our prayers. When we were trying to get pregnant with Milo, it took us a year and as soon as we started praying nightly together, we were blessed!

I'm no expert on the church, that's for sure, but I do have my own testimony and I hope that this sparks someone's interest.

Miss Ellen