I Like You Just The Way You Are

The other day my daughter Alisa took out the camera and asked to take pictures of me.
I told her I wasn't camera ready - I needed to curl my hair and put on some make-up.
She said that she liked me just the way I am.
Alisa is 17 years old. I am 63. I thought she would be embarrassed to have such an old mother.
Instead she has taught me that when we truly love someone we accept them just the way they are.
We don't love others in spite of their weaknesses and mistakes; we love them because of them.
We fully accept them as they are - wrinkles and all - for we see the beauty of their soul.
We realize we are all striving to be better than we are
. We are all worthy of love and belonging.
Aging is a beautiful process of learning how to deal with loss . . .
loss of children, career, worldly beauty, health and time left to be alive.
I'm so glad I'm not dead yet because I have so much to learn and so many people to love.
I want to keep learning, changing and growing throughout my entire life.

Life has been profoundly humbling for me.
I realize I don't have all the answers.

In the end I can choose to stay in the darkness or search for the light.
We do not come to grace. Grace comes to us.




My son John served a mission for two years in Denmark
for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
He shared his love of Jesus Christ and served anyone who needed a helping hand.
At the end of his service my husband Ross,daughter Alisa and I met him in Denmark and took a few days to to travel to the places where he served and where our ancestors are from. It was a magical trip because we traveled with John - someone who had grown to love the people and places in Denmark and spoke the language fluently. He drove us to all the interesting places and even knew the best places to eat. 
My daughter Alisa and my son John at the street sign that means Baadsgaard Way in English.
Inside one of the charming churches out in the countryside.
This church is typical of the white washed churches with red roofs.
Most of Denmark is close to the water. We loved the charming villages with sail boats all along our way.
We loved seeing the inside of the churches that dot the countryside.
Many church dated from the 1100 and 1200's.
All of the churches had beautiful alter pieces depicting Christ.
We loved the charming cobblestone streets with bright colored houses that are still being lived in today.
Many of the altar pieces were so stunning that they took your breath away.
At the northern tip of Denmark there is a place called Skagen
where the Katteget and Skagerrak seas meet and crash together.
This is an old German bunker from World War Two.
The Germans lined the beaches with mines to ward off an invasion from the Allied Forces.
This is John at a Viking grave yard.
This is Jytte Baadsgaard a facebook relative we were finally able to meet.
Denmark is surrounded with water and has multiple islands. I loved the fresh salt air and a handsome husband to hug.
Ancient writing from the Viking days.
This is perhaps my favorite Karl Bloch alter painting depicting Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane.
We spent a day walking through an open air museum that had houses from all over Scandinavia
depicting all the different time periods.
This is a statue of Hans Christian Andersen.
As someone who writes lots of stories I loved going to the museum and home of Hans Christian Andersen.
 John brought home a collection of his fairy tales written in Danish. I have my own copy in English. 
This is a typical street in the old part of Odense.
This is the place where Hans Christian Andersen lived and created his stories.
Deep in the dungeon of the Hamlet Castle is this figure, Holger Danske, in stone.
According to legend he will come to life and fight for Denmark if enemy forces threaten to destroy.
One of the beautiful ceilings in the Frederiksborg Castle.
The Frederiksborg castle is home to a beautiful collection
of Karl Bloch's paintings depicting the life of Christ.
This is one view of the Frederiksborg Castle and what itlooks like on the outside.
It is surrounded with water and a large manicured garden.
While visiting the Hamlet castle, period dressed characters from the Shakespeare play burst into the courtyard or palace rooms acting out the play Hamlet for visitors.
Another Karl Block painting from the castle placed in the prayer room of the king.
This is the Hamlet castle (Kronborg) where we walked from room to room
watching the play of Hamlet acted out in the castle where is happened.
This is the Statue of Christ in the Church of our Lady. I am kneeling at the alter.
Ross and Janene Baadsgaard at Nyhavn - brightly colored dwellings line the street
near a canal with lots of boats and barges.
John and Alisa Baadsgaard grew up together and missed each other for two years. Best buddies back together again.
This is the changing of the guard at the palace in Copenhagen.
As an author I love knowing that a character from the imaginative mind of an author has become a symbol of a nation.
Here is the Little Mermaid statue - a character from the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale titled The Little Mermaid.
I recently reread the tale and is does not end like the Disney version.
This is the palace in (Amelieborg Castle) Copenhagen. This is the winter residence of Denmark's royalty.
There are lots of people who ride bicycles in Denmark.
The most stunning sculpture in the Church of our Lady is certainly Jesus Christ. Yet the twelve apostles that line the chapel on each side were amazing and touching as well.
I loved going to the open air museum (Frilandsmuseet) near Copenhagen that had authentic farm houses, agriculture buildings, mills, shops, gardens, ancient breeds of domestic livestock, historic gardens, horse drawn carriages and Danes dressed in period clothing for us to see. This was 100 acres of delight for me.
All of the houses were filled with period furniture. 
Denmark has lots of interesting wind mills.
I enjoyed the interesting architecture and thatched roofs.
We were able to attend the Denmark Temple and do baptisms for our ancestors from Denmark.
The temple presidency and the matrons were so gracious.
It was so charming to walk through the homes of our ancestors and imagine what their lives were like.
We felt like we had stepped into the past and connected our ancestors in a way that truly touched our hearts.
Ross and John Baadsgaard. Father and son together again at last.


Happy Birthday Eden

Grandma Baadsgaard
I love you Eden.

When Eden jumps way up high
She can see the clear blue sky.
Then she crouches way down low
Finds all the potato bugs and so
She lets them tickle all her toes
Then rolls in a ball faking a pose.
For Eden likes to run and play
Ride her scooter then shout and say,
“I’m the mightiest princess with a sword!”
With tutu fluff and a growling word
She sucks two fingers upside down just so
Then twirls her hand in your hair high and low.
When you think she’s ready for sleep
She opens her eyes for one more peep
Gives you a punch and a squeeze and a kick
And just for good measure, a great big lick.
Then she looks up at you with those big blue eyes
And drifts to sleep by and by.

Happy Birthday Gabriel

Grandma Baadsgaard.
I love you precious Gabe.

In a world of darkness 
Gabriel came . . .
Angel of light

To Daniel
I’ve come to bring you good news. . .
God will deliver His people
From captivity
Then lead them back
To the land of promise

To Mary
I’ve come to bring you good news…
Thou are highly favored. . .
Blessed are thou . . .
Fear not
For with God, nothing is impossible.

To Us
I’ve come to bring you good news
This is God’s message to you.
You are my beloved child.
You are never alone.


Happy Birthday Emily

Dear Emily,
Happy fifteenth birthday to an amazing young woman I love with all my heart. As I’ve been getting your present together ready to send to you I’ve been thinking about all the wonderful memories I have with you.
I remember when you were born. We stopped by the hospital when your mother was in labor on our way to send Joseph off on his mission. I was so excited to see you when you came. You were my very first granddaughter. I remember how soft and pink and tiny you were and how much I loved holding you and rocking you.
I remember visiting you in all the places you lived while your dad was in school and starting his first jobs. You always had a loving sweet smile for me and I especially liked it when you would just sit next to me and let me soak you in for a while. I just love being around you.
I’ve watched you develop your talents in music, dance and art. I am amazed at your proficiency for such a young age. Anyone who gets you for a piano teacher is so lucky because you are kind, gentle and patient. You are also a lot of fun to be around.
I’ve watched the kind and patient way you treat all your younger siblings. They are so blessed to have you for their oldest sister. You are such a good example to them.
I have a picture that you made of the cabin that I leave on my refrigerator because every time I look at it, I smile and think of you.
I’m glad that you have a nice group of friends and that you use your time so wisely. You have a special place in our extended family as the oldest granddaughter.  All your nieces look up to you and want to be like you.
I hope you will always be kind, patient and loving with yourself. As you go through these next few years of school and dating, remember that you are strong, you are brave and you have an eternal beauty that shines from within.
I know that you will go through your life being a light and an uplift to all those who are blessed to spend time with you. You are a joy to me and I hope you never forget how deeply you are loved and how precious you are.
I will always be your biggest fan.
All my love,
Grandma Baadsgaard


Arianne and her family at Ephraim Days

Liam fixing the crust to cook in a dutch oven.
Jared and Logan at the blacksmith forge
Sophia making apple pie from scratch.
My daughter Arianne is amazing. She has learned to make her own soap, card and spin wool from sheep and her own angora rabbit, and weave the most beautiful shawls. She is part of a group of people who donate their time to re-enact the lost skills of our pioneer generation. She made period 1850 clothing for each member member of her family including herself, her husband and six children. What a gift to the community and to her children to keep the skills of their ancestors alive.
We had so much fun going to Ephraim Days today and watching them work their magic.
Arianne weaving a shawl.