I once knew a woman named Blanche who was confined to bed for years. While I was in bed because of premature labor, we became telephone buddies. Before bed confinement, Blanche had been in a wheelchair for thirty years because of a mistake during surgery. After she returned home from the surgery, her husband left her. Blanche was left to raise her four children alone in her wheelchair. She had every reason to focus on what she had lost. In fact, she did for a while. She tried to sue the doctor. She was depressed and disheartened.

Then one day she told me that she looked into the eyes of her daughter and realized everything her child had lost.Blanche realized her daughter needed a mother who was happy and a mother who had forgiven the doctor and her father. She had every reason to be bitter after everything she had lost. Instead, she decided to focus on what remained.

In her later years she became bedridden. Blanche had one window in her bedroom from which she could see a single tree. During our telephone conversations, she would describe in intimate detail the intricate changes the seasons would bring to her tree.

"It is such a miracle to be able to see," Blanche said. "I have so much to live for."

Blanche used the same detailed descriptions when she spoke of her grandchildren. She saw beauty and blessings everywhere she looked because she chose to see with a grateful heart, even when her entire landscape was limited to a tiny bedroom where she was forced to use a bedpan. Blanche knew the only true power we possess is our ability to see life as it really is. Life, as it really is, is downright amazing under any conditions.

Blanche also understood the value of creating our own celebrations. She often called me to wish me a happy Tuesday. She didn't wait for holidays or birthdays to celebrate or share her love of life. She understood we have to be in charge of our own joy, and create our own celebrations-for life is short. She had determined to respond positively to the events and people in her life.

Pain is part of each life. Though pain is universal - suffering is optional. Our character development and personal growth is in our hands. Though we can't always change our difficult circumstances, we can always change our attitude. When we can can't change our circumstances, it is time to change our hearts.
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Wedding Day Catastrophe Or Miracle?

I know a couple who spent their honeymoon in the LDS hospital in downtown Salt Lake City. The nurses on the surgery floor taped two felt hearts, a large golden bow and a banner that read, “Honeymoon Suite” across the hospital room door. They moved the couple to the far end of the wing so they could get a little more privacy and hold hands on their wedding night. The bride was in one bed recuperating next to another bed the nurses rolled in for the groom so he wouldn't have to be too far from his bride.
The doctors and nurses who work in the emergency room said it was the first time they’d seen a patient arrive in the ambulance wearing their wedding dress.
As you can guess, this wedding day didn’t turn out quite as expected.

Aubrey and Kyle waited 31 years to find each other. After struggling through school on a dime with crowded apartments and tight budgets they both became doctors. Aubrey has a PhD in Anthropology and Kyle is an anesthesiologist.

How they ever found each other is a miracle. They were born a few days apart but on different sides of the United States . . . Aubrey in a small town in Utah and Kyle in a small town in Pennsylvania. They both attended BYU but never met each other. He went on a mission to Spain and she finished her master’s degree. Then she accepted a scholarship to the University of Pennsylvania and he went to medical school at Penn State. They never crossed paths. Sometimes it was hard to keep believing they would ever find each other.
Aubrey was living in Washington DC when she was invited to a birthday party in Philadelphia. Kyle was invited too. That was the first time they saw each other and something clicked. They found ways to get together even with extremely busy schedules as she finished her dissertation and he finished his first year of rotations. Then he started a three year residency in LA and she started a job at the Metropolitan Museum in NYC - opposite ends of the country again.
Eventually they decided they didn’t want to live without each other any longer. They choose Valentines Day, called the Salt Lake City temple and the plans began . . . red roses and Dutch irises to decorate the hall for the reception and red velvet cupcakes and chocolate dipped strawberries for refreshments. On a special date Kyle served Aubrey chocolate dipped strawberries just before their first kiss followed by dancing, a love song and a poem.

They decided to take pictures at the temple a few days before their wedding because a big storm was forecast on their big day.

Aubrey got sick late Thursday night but she brushed it off as food poisoning or the stomach flu. Then there was the wedding supper with both families on Friday night. On Saturday morning she felt weak and crampy but excited for the big day. On the ride to the temple she complained of pain in the lower abdomen but hoped it would go away.
Right before the ceremony the pain came back. Then just as suddenly the pain went away. Her father called for a wheelchair while her mother asked the temple workers to be brief.
The feeling in that temple sealing room was electric as these two made covenants to God and each other. Rings were exchanged.

Then the pain became so intense the paramedics were called, the ambulance arrived and Aubrey was carried out of the temple on a stretcher with her groom at her side.

They talked about not wanting to miss the reception while tests were run in the emergency room but the surgeon on duty told Aubrey and Kyle they wouldn’t be attending their own reception that night. Aubrey would need to be rushed into surgery as quickly as possible. She had a ruptured appendix and the situation was serious.
The reception went on without the bride and groom at their request. Each guest was video taped and friends and family took lots of pictures so Aubrey and Kyle could see the elegant red rose and purple Dutch Iris bouquets that decorated the hall.

A ruined day? No.
There were miracles everywhere.
The marriage still took place!
They planned to fly out the next morning after the wedding to Spain for their carefully planned honeymoon. This emergency could have happened on an airplane or in a foreign country.
AND they had pictures because of the storm warnings.

There are no ruined days – there are only miracles.
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"Look Mom! I'm the Breadmaker!" - How God Loves Us

One day I walked into the kitchen to find my young son surrounded by all the large containers where I stored all our flour, rice, sugar and pasta. He was busy scooping – sugar into the flour – rice into the sugar – pasta into the rice – you get the picture. The whole kitchen looked like a white billowing cloud except for my son’s innocent grin and two large blue eyes staring up at me.

“Look, Mom. I’m the bread maker!” my young son said as he looked up at me.

Suddenly it dawned on me that whenever I made bread I pulled out all those containers and started scooping. He was trying to be like me. My feelings of frustration melted into love. I was so proud of him for trying.
As we got busy cleaning the kitchen I realized God loves us like that.

No matter how big the mess or mistake we’ve made, God loves us and is proud of us for trying. For each of us He lovingly provides a Savior to help us clean up, restore, heal and move forward.

“Fear not, little children, for you are mine, and I have overcome the world, and you are of them that my Father hath given me; And none of them that my Father hath given me shall be lost.”(D&C 50:41-42)
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A Poem for my Five-Year-Old Grandson

Cowboy Logan
Grandma Baadsgaard

Happy Birthday Logan! I can’t believe you are five years old today.
Here's a poem I wrote just for you. I love you very much.

 When Cowboy Logan straps on his gun and yanks his hat down tight
You can be darn right sure, his mighty girth is an awful scary sight
Cause bad guys might be lurking in your backyard late at night
So Logan keeps his weapon cocked and turns on his flashlight


Cowboy Logan scales tall mountains covered in three feet of snow

Then takes a breather on his bear rug when the lights are low
For Logan knows that mighty arrows need the strongest bow
To launch good men into the world where ever they need to go

So cowboy Logan eats his broccoli and his spinach and his peas
Because he knows that fearless men can’t live a life of ease
He must be strong and valiant to find life’s important keys
For brave men can’t just live any old way they please.


Cowboy Logan takes his fears and stabs them in the night
With glowing swords and fearless heart he brings in days new light
For brave men know that living square is doing what is right
And never letting darkness block their brilliant sight

 Cowboy Logan has a grand place in the rodeo in the sky
Where all bucking broncos salute as they pass each other by
For Logan is a good lad and you never need wonder why

“Logan is our hero!” is what his family yells with voices high. 


You Are Valuable Because You Are You

I've noticed that when we are meeting someone for the first time we often ask, "What do you do?" It is a common question for most of us are curious about other's occupations.

I've also observed that as my children were growing up many people asked them, "What do you want to do when you grow up?" referring to what career they will choose. Prestige and the ability to earn money are often the result of what we choose to do.

So we grow into adults who focus almost entirely on what we do to feel good about ourselves. If we don't do enough during the day, we feel lazy. If we don't choose the right career or if we do something wrong, we fill our hearts with regret or guilt. More and more we learn to focus the camera lens of our lives on what we do.

The other day I was speaking with someone about my grandson Caleb. When people find out Caleb was born without a brain they often stand in stunned silence. Then they always ask, "What can he do?"

I know the question is innocent and I am not offended but I can't help thinking that they are missing the point. Caleb might not have a brain but he has a heart and soul. If I go through the usual list of important achievements in life, Caleb may not fit the bill. But I always long to explain that it is not what Caleb can do that defines him.

And sometimes the person I'm talking to persists with detailed questions like . . .
"Can he see?"
"Can he move?"
"Can he hear?"
"Can he speak?"
"Can he eat?"
"Can he breathe?"
"Can he think?"

And though the questions are innocent they often leave this impression . . .
"Well if he can't he do anything, I feel so sorry for him and for you. If he can't do anything - what purpose can his life possibly have?"

Because our family was blessed to have Caleb in our lives for seven years we learned that what makes someone valuable is not what they do but who they are. Though Caleb's body made it almost impossible for him to do much of anything in a physical sense, his presence was enough for us. His divine and noble spirit was alive and well inside a body with severe physical limitations yet enhanced spiritual abilities. Caleb spoke to us without language getting in the way. He loved us and we loved him. His soul could light up a whole room.

So the next time you see someone like my grandson Caleb do not ask their family members what they can do. Do not feel sorry for them. Instead say, "Tell me about your child."

And the next time you are thinking dark thoughts about self or others because of something you or they did of failed to do . . . stop.

Allow yourself to feel the love of God. You are not valuable to God or those around you because of what you do or don't do. You are valuable because you are you.

Your existence - your presence - is enough.

And perhaps when we talk to youth we might ask, "Who do you want to be when you grow up?" For it is our inner qualities, like compassion, patience, gentleness, meekness, and love that are the true measures of a meaningful life.
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God's Love Can Make Us All Into Something Beautiful

People often speak to me about past regrets

and constant feelings that they will never be good enough.

Because we all make mistakes

and desire to be a better person than we are,

we can take hope in knowing

that God can take all the experiences of our life

and make us into something beautiful.

We don't have to be perfect to be perfectly loved by our creator.

Instead of constantly obsessing about our past mistakes

and present problems by thinking,

"I'll never be good enough."


"What was I thinking?"


"I can't do this."

we can choose to view our life experiences with gratitude

and ask ourselves,

"What am I learning?"

We are enough.

We are loved.

No matter where or what we are today

God sees what we can become

and helps us find our wings to fly.
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Mothers and Fathers. . . What You Do Really Matters

If you get discouraged and wonder if what you're doing as a mother or father really matters, consider that your influence will reach out to future generations.
"While resting in a hospital bed after giving birth to my tenth child, I answered a phone call from my oldest daughter.
“Mom,” April gulped, “my back hurts and I can’t walk.”
“Some people feel labor pains that way, “I answered. “Better get over here and get checked.”
“But what if it isn’t labor after all?” my daughter answered. “I don’t want to go to the hospital and have those guys send me home.”
Now I know most mothers and daughters don’t go into labor that close together but that is exactly what happened to April and me. A few minutes and pain pills later, I was in the labor room again, only this time coaching instead of pushing.
I became a new mother for the last time and a new grandmother for the first time so close together it left me panting. My husband and I used to watch our young children growing up and sentimentally lament, “Boy I hope it won’t be too long between the time we have our last child and when our first grandchild is born.” Little did we know.
Experiencing pregnancy, childbirth and new motherhood along with my daughter felt like a mystical linking of generations one moment and a medical experiment gone mad the next. My daughter and I raced each other for the bathroom, craved the same frozen yogurt and kept each other company in the waiting room at the obstetrician’s office. Everybody we met asked us if we’d seen the movie “Father of the Bride Part Two.” Talk about a crazy way to bond.
Yet the moment I saw my grandson enter the word, I was awe struck - like flying without leaving the ground. The circle of life, love and family didn’t end! My baby was having her baby.
There in that labor room as I stroked my daughter’s moist forehead, I realized in the most tender sort of way that everything I’d done as her mother for the past twenty-three years was worth it . . . absolutely everything. Every single moment I’d chosen to spend caring for my child was far more important than anything else I’d determined to do with my life. As I watched my first grandchild enter this world, I knew my part in the creation and development of his mother was my life’s most important work. I understood that the whole purpose of this life was bringing down children from God and helping them find their way back to Him.
Before that moment, I simply could not begin to comprehend the importance of loving someone. It occurred to me that a thousand years from now, my babies would still be rocking their babies and the miracle of life of life and love would go on forever. I also understood that taking part in the creation and development of another human being was the greatest way to give birth to my own best life. I’d never even imagined I could feel so much joy.
Now when I see an exhausted and discouraged mother, I pat them on the back and whisper, “It matters. Everything you are doing for your family matters – so much more than you know.” (taken from "For Every Mother" by Janene Baadsgaard)


BOOK SIGNING For "Healing From Abuse" and "Healing From Neglect"

 I will be signing copies of my book "Healing From Abuse" at the Cedar Fort warehouse and store in Springville at 2373 W. 700 S. on Friday April 12th from 11-2. There will also be a way for you to pre-order a copy of "Healing From Neglect" at the event and I can sign a label to attach to the inside when it arrives. Also if you have a copy of one of my other books you want me to sign, please bring it down and I'd be happy to do that. Everything in the warehouse is on sale and there will be free food. Hope you can come. I'd love to see you and visit with you.


Dear Mothers Everywhere, You're Doing Better Than You Think You Are!

Most information out there that tells mothers something else we should be doing . . . like we don’t already know that. It helps to remember that real life is hectic and trying to do it all is impossible. We women try to do so much but never... give ourselves any credit and or celebrate our efforts. Mothers, in particular, are way too hard on themselves. In fact every mother I know is infected with a dreaded disease called . . . maternal guilt.

Seven deadly maternal guilt symptoms include:

1. No matter how much we have done right, we always focus on what we’ve done wrong.

2. Taking blame for all our children’s poor choices.

3. Believing that we have the power to stop bad things from happening to our families.

4. Thinking we should be able to handle everything.

5. The inability to slow down, do less and learn the fine art of muddling.

6. Never feeling good enough, smart enough, thin enough, or attractive enough.

7. Placing our health and well-being on the bottom of our things-to-do list.

Remedies for Maternal Guilt:

Celebrate who you are right now at every stage and age of motherhood by awarding yourself with one of these mother school degrees:

A.O.A. Associates of Amateurism We earn this degree when we stop feeling sorry for ourselves.

B.O.B Bachelor of Blunders We earn this degree when we stop being SO hard on ourselves.

M.O.M. Masters of Muddling We earn this degree when we master the fine art of muddling.

D.O. H. Doctorate of Humility We earn this degree when we give ourselves permission to learn and grow from our mistakes just like our children do.

Instead of focusing on how your children turn out,
focus on how YOU turn out.
Hang in there and keep smiling -
you're doing better than you think you are.
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Sharing Great Times With My Family

I was able to attend the Young Women's Broadcast
 with my oldest daughter April
and my youngest daughter Alisa.
That is the SLC temple in the background
where I was married and sealed to the love of my life,
my sweetheart Ross.
I loved watching the school play at my local elementary school
where my grandson Bradley played the part of Prince Charming.
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Grandma Baadsgaard
Happy Birthday Andrew
I love you so very much.
Thanks for coming to my house on your birthday.
Here's a poem I wrote just for you.


Andrew is three - so you better see
While two was just great, Andrew can’t wait
So up he grows from his head to his toes
Then takes a tumble on a bee that is bumble
And squishes tomatoes and grabs mashed potatoes

 Andrew is three – so you better see
That three is the best ‘cause there’s no time to rest
He glides in the swing till imagination takes wing
And runs down the street and sneaks lots of treats
Then shrieks to the sky as the birds pass him by

 Andrew is three – so you better see
He’s the king of the hill and the hero of real
When it’s time for his bath he finds inner wrath
Then fights dragons rare in all of his bare
For he can’t sit still without a making a spill

 Andrew is three - so you better see
He plops his sleepy head on his blanket for a bed
Mom kisses him goodnight and turns out the light
Then the moon begins to rise just as Andrew sighs
Then his eyes are half-mast before dreams are cast

Andrew is three – so you better see
He needs to be hugged and tickled on the rug
Then poof he is grown – and soon starts to roam
Who was all yours today, leaves to find his own way
         So shout hooray, for he’s all yours today!
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Blog Tour Interview for HEALING FROM NEGLECT

I have a blog tour going going on right now. That means different web sites are reviewing my soon to be published book and providing reviews and give-aways.
Here is the link to the latest one.
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Interview and BOOK GIVE-AWAY For "Healing From Neglect"

Here's a link to an interview and a great BOOK GIVE-AWAY for my new book HEALING FROM NEGLECT . . . When Those We Love Don't Love Us.
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