80th Birthday Celebration

On Saturday, the Madsen family, along with over sixty guests (relatives, friends and neighbors) gathered together to honor and celebrate LaWona's 80th Birthday at a surprise three-hour open house at The Dance Hall in Fairview, Utah. Here are the highlights-

Is it a suitcase or a cake? My talented cousin, Heather, designed this amazing cake.

The party theme centered around LaWona's travels around the world.

There were scattered postcards on each table, globes, maps, suitcases and nautical colors.

Camie, Darcie and Marissa (during set up)

Left to right- David, Danny, LaWona, Bruce and Jeff (mother and sons)

My niece, Emilie, put together a fun slide show.

LaWona and a group of her friends stopped chatting to watch the slide show.

Cousins having fun together.

Marcus watching Grandma slice into her cake.

3 beautiful cousins and their lovely aunt.

Writing favorite memories down.

Opening a present.

A proud daddy.

A grandma having fun with her grandson.

Playing a game of zombie's attack!

A little cutie.

A full table of friends.

Mommy and daddy pushing their twins.

I've got your hat, Zach!

I love the Madsen side of our family! Every time we get together, it's fun times. And I love my side of family, even though there are some uncomfortable relationships there. I recently had the most amazing scripture study experience. I came across a scripture verse that I knew was meant just for me, and in that moment of clarity, all of my hurt and anger melted away and vanished. It was so freeing. Unfortunately, I still have some lingering anxiety around these family members, but I am sure in time, that too will resolve. I am most thankful for the positive relationships I have with two of my siblings and their families. I appreciate their love and support.

Now with Zach's recent diagnosis of MS, I've realized even more that the petty things in life simply don't matter. I am surrounded by a husband and four amazing children who love me just the way I am. We're not perfect, but we are a close, loving family. We are all strong in the gospel and that is an incredible blessing. To be able to go to the temple with my husband and oldest son, to have three children who love to go to the temple and perform baptisms for the dead, to have my husband and each of my sons honor their Priesthood, to have three children who are Seminary graduates, to have a return missionary and a teenage son who is looking forward to serving a mission when he is old enough, all of these are incredible blessings. It really makes a difference to raise children in the gospel and have high expectations of them. Whatever life throws our way, we will handle it together, as a family. We will always be there to lift and build each other up, centering our lives on our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ.

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