Friday, May 29, 2015


This week was Max's last week of preschool. He actually participated in the tiny graduation ceremony which I was shocked by (usually he is extremely adverse toward anything with too many people staring at him). He had an amazing first teacher, we are so grateful for that. Daniel is happy, smiley, and very curious. The main thing that makes him cry is when brother makes screeching/screaming noises at him. This happens frequently because what brother doesn't love a good reaction?

Very excited for this weekend! I am taking a Moms with Cameras photography class given by my awesomely talented friend Hannah. Since it is in Seattle, I am managing to squeeze in some time with a few friends and family. Winning all around!

We are a car family. So many cars. Everywhere. Always.

Tickles from Dad.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015


Growing up my mom was always climbing. I remember sitting in my bedroom looking out the window waiting for her return. She was always so excited to go and returned smiling and happy.

It wasn't until I was older that I ventured out with her to climb the rocks she used for rejuvenation. I remember my first climb, grappling with the slippery rocks, my hands sweating with adrenaline. 

I supposed that climbing was much scarier than it was, but in reality was a thrill. I like describing it as a physical puzzle, your mind focuses on finding the right foot and hand holds to keep you going up and up and up. Finger strength becomes something you never even knew you wanted. There is strategy to climbing. Figuring out how to use your body to your advantage. Being taller doesn't always help, being smaller doesn't either. You take what you are, make it a strength, and climb just as high. 

My mom was unable to take us as children, but I am grateful that she encourages me to bring my little ones along. I never got to see her strength as a climber when I was younger, but I see it now. I see how strong she is and how capable on these rocks. I see how she shares the joy she has found, her enthusiasm spreading like wildfire. I am grateful for her help in holding babies and entertaining toddlers with fruit snacks so that I have the chance to grapple with the earth. 

Being given the space to find my footing and lift myself is a gift. To have the opportunity for my children to witness it is even more precious. 

I want them to see me work at it. I want them to see me searching, seeking for a strong hold. I want them to see me fall and be caught by hands that I trust. I want them to see me hanging there, letting my arms rest for a moment, then trying again. I want them to see me succeeding, reaching the top. 

I want them to see me smiling at the success and returning to that which brings me joy.

I want to see them finding the thrill for themselves.


Friday, May 22, 2015


It has been a good week. I am working on creating a better morning routine so that I don't feel like a slug waking up, it has been slow going but I think exercising first thing is the solution. I just need to keep convincing myself of that. This week Max got to visit a dairy farm for a preschool field trip. He requested that I not cool for Mom already. Daniel has become obsessed with our carbon monoxide detector which is in the hallway at crawling height. Like a moth to a flame he pushed the button and then cries big alligator tears at the mean noise.

Excited for this weekend, going on a date tonight and then enjoying our community's Spring Fest going on this weekend (for all this town lacks it has A LOT of small town charm to make up for it). Excited to enjoy some free entertainment, good food, and of course beautiful sunshine!

This baby and these dogs. Baloo on the left, Jasper on the right. Precious Daniel playing with both of their tails in the middle.

Already wrestling. Loving it so far.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015


There is the tendency to wallow, to stop and halt within grief. It feels impossible to move forward, unfair even. Life is catapulted towards an entirely different path than the one envisioned.

What was the point of moving forward? Something terrible occurred and I was powerless to stop or change it. In protest I imagined that doing nothing would show God how mad I was.

You want to ruin my life? Fine. I will waste what is left of it then.

I felt like a small child, logic and reason ceasing to make sense.

The more I held on to my tantrum however, the more out-of-control I felt. There were moments when my senses seemed beyond feeling, I was outside of my body in some dark corner. Light could touch me but I could not feel it. This need to blame God for all of my sorrow was turning into pain that multiplied.

I could not sit in the darkness and be bitter any longer. I focused upon that light and felt it once again. Felt the warmth and comfort it provided. I am speaking both of the Savior as the light of this world and of physical light. I remember sitting in my apartment at the time on the couch and just concentrating on the light hitting me. Nothing else seemed important in that moment other than letting my body feel warm.


It felt like a painstakingly slow process but eventually I figured out what keeps me away from that dark space. Prayer, studying the scriptures for perspective, time with family and friends, writing, and service were all key players. It was a choice to do something rather than nothing.

The light and warmth of the sun and of the Son have given me hope and purpose. The sun reminded me that something as simple as feeling the sun shine on your face has the power to brighten the spirit and my Savior has healed the rest.

He has helped me to live onward, trying my best to do good, to scatter sunshine! So on Saturday for the second year, I marched. I marched forward in memory of James. I marched forward thinking of this tiny life that has had immense impact not only in my life but in the lives of those around me. It has been a good thing. It is like sunshine warming my face.

Thank you to those who marched with me on Saturday for the March of Dimes. Your donations, physical presence, and texts of support brought me gratitude and joy. Thank you.

*Fist Bumps*

Friday, May 15, 2015


I don't know about you but this week was funky. I felt like parts of it were super successful and other parts total failures. Finding balance is finicky. You start putting more time and effort into one area and you end up neglecting another. But all in all, I feel happy with my efforts. If I really think about it, it is SO easy to focus on the hard parts of my week. The yelling and screaming, Daniel's constant need to be held (not SO awful but he weighs A LOT and sometimes I need space), the messes that multiply and spread and feel overwhelming.

They are all there, but if I really think about it, there were some super special moments as well. When working out with some friends at Church, I had asked Max to watch over Daniel as he crawled around the gym. He was so sweet and protective, just sat next to him mostly the whole time and brought him toys and even put Daniel's pacifier in my purse so it wouldn't get dirty! Or when I pick up Daniel he just gives the clingiest koala hug and rests his cheek against your own and laughs at your breath hitting his ear. It is the BEST.

Little crossed ankles and scrunched up toes. My babies always have super pudgy feet.

"Hey Mom! Look! I am happy-mad!"

I hope you all have a great weekend and remember it's not too late to donate to our March of Dimes team. We are walking tomorrow! A sincere thanks to all who have donated, it means a great deal to me to know that I am surrounded by such wonderful souls.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Motherhood is Sacrifice

Motherhood is many things.

It is snuggles in the morning, hand-holding in parking lots, hip-carrying heavy bodies.

It is also repeating yourself a thousand times, picking up an endless flow of toys and books, holding firm a midst cries and shouts of frustration.

I never realizing how utterly hard it was. As a child and young adult I romanticized my days as a mother filling it only with fun, spontaneous joy.

The fun, spontaneous joy is absolutely there but it does not come without a price.

Motherhood is sacrifice.

It is giving up your mind, body, time, desires, and energy to provide safety, nourishment, and love to new life navigating this existence.

It feels like continuous tedious moments, never ending piles of laundry, lessons to be explained, meals prepared, life skills to be learned. It takes a great deal of thought, adaptation and commitment.

Your children invade your space and time and it can be incredibly frustrating. I have spent a great deal of my time feeling lost and pushing back against so much self-sacrifice. But the more I resisted, the more unfair it felt. Anger and frustrated increased ten-fold and there was a whole lot less spontaneous bursts of joy with all of that brooding going on.

I started praying often, that I would be more willing to accept the sacrifice of being a mother. Instead of muttering and murmuring, I would seek the light and search for how it is transforming me as a person (which includes transforming me as a mother).

The sacrifice of mothers is hard and often totally unfair. But it is sanctifying and by His grace we are qualified for the task.

What I never understood until becoming a mother, is the spontaneous joy I had always imagined often occurs because it is hard, because of the sacrifice. It is a glimpse of why it is worth it.

Friday, May 8, 2015


This was a stretching week for me. Kids do that to you.  A lot of not listening moments, crying moments, pushing moments, and over-tired moments. We are trying to work together on it though and I love my family for that. We keep trying, keep moving towards greater understanding and love. Now to pray for more patience as we work it out.

Trying to get pajamas on quick before bed....

A calm moment in between a raucous song for baby. Gotta get air sometime... 

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Light and Joy

This past weekend we had the opportunity to visit James' grave. It took awhile to find a good rhythm for our visits and for a long time I fretted over what to actually do when visiting. We have settled on bringing flowers (there were some beautiful wildflowers in a field nearby that we decided to pick), eating peanut M&Ms (something sweet), and we end with a prayer. We never stay for very long, but it always feels good to visit, to acknowledge the body that rests there even though we know his spirit doesn't.

During our visit, Daniel had to nurse and so I sat nursing in the sunshine and I was hit hard with overwhelming peace. Kyle and Max were a little ways away, looking down at the river below, and I felt all the warmth of the sun, of the love of my family, of the impact James has had on our lives.


I felt happy. This happiness felt so solid and deep and true that it startled me a bit.

When we started this journey, I felt like I was faced with two choice to grieve. I could choose to blame God or utilize Him. He promises in John 14:27 (the scripture we have on James' gravestone) that His peace in not like that of the world's. What he has to offer allows us to not be afraid or troubled. Through his Atonement, we are made better, stronger. He offers light and healing and comfort.

I had heard these promises over and over again and had applied them when necessary, but the immense need for them had never been felt as crucially. So I chose to believe. This was a choice I had to make every day and some days were easier to chose than others. On some days, darkness and bitterness crept in. Others, I could feel His love transforming my heart and spirit.

All of those moments when I chose light over darkness, hope over despair, joy over grief were small, minuscule moments. It was deciding to read my scriptures, to pray, to go for a walk, to dance, to fill my mind and heart and soul with that which is uplifting and good. It was choosing to find the lesson or principle, to sift for the nugget of wisdom in all of my experiences that led me closer and closer to feeling light for longer and longer periods of time.

So on Saturday, when I sat nursing a healthy baby in the sunshine reading over the words of John 14:27 on the gravestone I had a realization. I realized that the Savior's promise was true and I was living proof sitting right there!

He can and does provide peace. His peace is not like anything this world can provide for His peace reaches the deepest parts of our hearts, allowing them to be healed fully and completely.

I am so grateful for that peace, for it has brought the most unshakable joy to my life.

P.S. We are walking in honor of James' impact on our lives in 10 days. Click the link below to donate and/or walk with us!

Friday, May 1, 2015


Can we just be honest and realize that ultimately every Friday post was going to turn into a diatribe towards these kiddos....

They are my favorite every week, so instead of doing Friday favorites lets just keep updated on these fellows.

Max is the cheesiest cheese ball (takes after his father in that area). He was watering the concrete...because it was so thirsty...

Almost 8 months old and never holds still. Just gabbing away all day long, and those cheeks make it hard work.

It is almost time for the March of Dimes walk again this year! It ended up being a very positive and healing experience for me last year to do something in James' name and so I decided that I would do it again. March of Dimes is an organization that funds research for pregnancy and infants. Check out their history here

The walk is a little over 3 miles (NOT strenuous) in Yakima and after everyone walks it is like a huge party in the park. Bouncy castles, free food,  and entertainment (from my old show choir!) makes it super fun for everyone. If you want to join us in walking or donate in James' name check out here for more info, or shoot me an email if you have any questions. 

Thank you so much for your support in our journey of healing.