Thursday, August 22, 2013

Why WE love Dakota…Annie, Brigette, and Jena

Annie is my sister, best friend, hero, go-to girl, example, laugh until we pee girl all wrapped up into one!! She is also one of Dakota’s BIGGEST cheerleaders and fans! Of all my family (everyone lives in AZ) she was able to be around him the very most because in the summers her husband always comes up to UT for lots of things and her and her kids would always come and stay with us for weeks at a time sometimes.

She was also the one who was there at my mom’s with us when Dakota’s accident happened. She is the one who drove Zach and I to the hospital after Dakota left in the ambulance. There was just silence shattered with sniffles and sobs throughout our drive. There was nothing anyone could say to me that could make anything that was happening any better. I sat in silence with a constant prayer in my head and heart, trying to cope with what was happening to me in that moment. I can only imagine how hard that was for her to have to be the one with us.

She said to me with tears and with complete sincerity, “I wish this would have happened to one of my kids…not yours.” To this day, those words she spoke to me amaze me. I know dang well…especially after being the one who has gone through it, that I would NEVER be able to tell someone that and truly mean it as she did. As would most mothers. BUT she is SO Christ-like in every way that she would have truly been willing to change places with me and sacrifice one of her own precious children to save mine. She has loved and supported us through EVERTYHING…even throughout my whole life!! Wouldn’t trade her for the world!!!


So of course I had to ask her to write about sweet Dakota…here are her words:

What don’t we love about Dakota? He is in every real sense an angel, before his accident and after!!! We LOVE that Dakota has always loved his cousins. We LOVE that Dakota was SOOOOO polite at such a young age, I mean it was unreal! His smile and voice were and are angelic. His voice was very pure and innocent.

I can’t really express what Dakota has taught me without including his stellar parents! I mean they are literally all in one. They are the most spectacular team and one is not without the other!!!!! & the lessons are endless.

I personally LOVE that Dakota has strengthened my testimony about this life NOT being the end. He has helped strengthen my testimony of countless gospel principles! It is watching him and his amazing parents go through their everyday that is a pure witness of our loving Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ’s intimate involvement of our lives. (Especially if we let them!) Living with happiness and laughs would be impossible without that Heavenly blessing. Dakota has brought this into clear existence for me!!! He has taught me to change my whole perspective. When I don’t want to get up and go running or exercise I think “Dakota would do this in a heartbeat if he could!”. When I feel I can’t take another hardship or struggle I think of Dakota, of Tessie, and of Zack and kick myself in the large behind and think “buck up”!!!! Dakota has definitely taught me to STOP and enjoy my children, a priceless gift. That if milk spills don’t fret just be happy it can get spilled and it can get cleaned up. He has taught me that all things righteous and worthy are worth fighting for. I mean REALLY fighting!!! If I feel a relationship suffering or my testimony faltering you bet there isn’t anything I wouldn’t do. A stronger eternal perspective I would say.

Thank you Annie for being our sister, our aunt, and our friend!!!

Dakota was privileged to have 2 blog readers email him a message to share with him!!

The first one was Brigette…


I had a son pass away almost 5 years ago from a neuromuscular condition. He was 5 months old. Not a day goes by that I don't think of and miss him. I wanted to write to Dakota though because every time I see your blog and see an adorable picture of him my soul shines. I can see the love in his eyes and just feel his sweet spirit. I would love to just give him a big old hug. He brightens my day every time I see him. Thank you for sharing his sweet life and all of your stories of him. He continues to remind me that each day is priceless and no matter how hard we have it other have it tougher yet can still deal with it with a smile on their face. I pray for your sweet family. I can feel the amazing love and strength you have for your family just by reading your blog. I to live in Utah and would be happy to help any time. Being with these sweet kids like Dakota totally makes my day and helps me feel closer to my son and to heaven.

Thank you Brigette for being willing to share a little piece of your journey through life with us and for being one of Dakota’s biggest fans!! To read more about her story go here

The second was was Jena. She also happens to be a very special person to me and my family because she is the birth mom to one of my sweet nephews! I admire her so much for her unselfishness and sacrifice in giving up her sweet boy to bless my families life!!

Here is her message to Dakota:


Why do I love that little boy?  I love him, because of the shining example he is to his cousins. His family. His, friends.  I love him, because you can see it in him, that he knows. You can see him trying so hard, fighting all the way, and still, being strong.  You can feel his love, and his happiness. I love him, because how lucky are all his cousins, aunts, uncles, and so on, to have this example in their lives. Because, he is here:).
Love ya Kota Man!

Thank you Jena for sharing this sweet birthday message, for loving Dakota, and for being one of his biggest fans!!
To read more about Jena and her journey through the process of adoption go here


  1. Such a special boy with so much love all around the world. Big hugs Dakota and family!!

  2. I really enjoyed reading this post. Sweet words! -Chari Reynolds