Thursday, September 27, 2012


Sorry people...I accidentally put private on the video on the last blog it is public and you can see that cute little boy!! Thanks for the comments and letting me know!!! ;)

Monday, September 24, 2012

I LOVE this kid!!!

Some days are SO much better then others...and what makes ALL the difference is THIS smile!!
and this one...
and this one...

and this one...

and especially these two together!!
Grammy and Poppy have this magic swing that Dakota loves. It gets not just a smile, but a laugh EVERY time!!

 Today was one of Dakota's HAPPY days. One where the smiles and laughs just came without much effort. These days are like GOLD to Zach and I because they don't come super often and it brings a whole different spirit, feeling, vibe, EVERYTHING to our house! I didn't even want to put him to bed tonight because I didn't want this day to end. I hope and pray that tomorrow will be the same but honestly I don't EVER know what the next day could be tears for the three of us or it could be AMAZING! I always hope and pray for the smiles....that is what most of my prayers for Dakota consist of these days. Of course I still pray that he will get stronger, more coordinated, able to communicate, swallow and breathe better, be himself again, but I NEVER forget to pray for his smiles and for him to be HAPPY!! If that's ALL I ever got back was just his smiles every day...I would die a happy lady!

Dakota and his birthday present he loved from his cousins Andrew and Evan!

Even his nurse for school said today was one of his most happy days at school. She said that he smiles more this year in a day then he did the whole year last year. She also says he cries more then last year too so maybe he is just beginning to be more expressive with what he likes and dislikes. Not sure, but he is making some friends and that makes me VERY happy. Today there was a train of boys that LOVED to follow him around in the wagon.
(SO grateful for his awesome nurses that capture these moments for me...does my heart good!)

In each class there is a "typical" developing kid (basically means they don't have any special needs, they are just a perfectly healthy developing child) to be a model for the other kids. Today the nurse said that this particular boy told her, "I like Dakota. I want to do everything with him." Dakota probably doesn't even realize it but I LOVED to hear that. So happy that he is making friends and that he is loved by SO many!!!
Hangin with his friend Gia that came with her grandma to help us with therapy...taking a short break before more work begins. TOO cute!

Cousin Maelee LOVED sitting with Dakota in his stroller! ;)
Dakota got to ride Snowflake again!!! My brother Ty came down to Ogden to rope and brought Snowflake with him. Dakota was in heaven as him and mommy rode and rode!!

Saturday, September 15, 2012


Sorry for the overload. It usually takes me all week to even get 1 post done but when you are sitting on a plane fo 3 1/2 hours with nothing but an Ipad in front of you I was able to get a lot done! ;)


Dakota's Happenings

Dakota had his first day of school on Friday. He was supposed to start on Tuesday but we had a check up at primary children's so he had to miss it. :( 

First day with mom...I had to take him so I could get his picture...I am one of those embarrassing moms...Dakota just can't tell me that but I know! ;)

What a cute big boy.
(wish his shirt was pulled down...he is a little immodest...sorry! ;) )

He has a very cute teacher this year Ms. Kari. I knew right away I loved her because when I carried him in on the first day of school...usually the nurse takes him from me and starts to do things with him. But Ms. Kari walked right up and scooped him right out of my arms and took him to join in with the other kids.
Dakota and Ms. Kari
The nurses tell me her and the aids are so involved with him that they hardly have anything to do with him which is so different then last year. We loved his teacher last year too but there were a lot of kids in his class and a lot with some hard needs that needed attention. This year there is only like seven kids in the whole class so it is a lot less chaotic and obviously easier for the teachers to give him more attention.
His teacher brought this wagon from home just for Dakota so that he could have something to do while the kids play in the gym. (Lucky for me the nurse captured a picture for me and texted it to me! Love it!)
A new friend even pulled him around...they said he LOVES it!!

Cool headband!
After his first day...FINALLY home! (I missed it cuz I was at the temple but Zach was sweet and captured the moment. When I looked at it I realized our cute neighbor Gina was his substitute aide on the bus...she is the one standing in the bus! Thanks Gina!! ;) )

This year he is going three days instead of two. They wanted him to go four days but his dang mom was not down with that. I just felt like it was too much being gone cuz on Wednesdays we have to go to Logan for therapy so then EVERY day we would be gone doing something. Sometimes it is good to just be home!!! He gets to ride the bus both ways this year because the school was so sweet and willing to pick him up last and drop him off first for me so that he wouldn't be on the bus so long. It is nice for me because I don't have to load and unload his heavy wheelchair up in my car each day and it gives me more time but I will miss carrying him into class each day, seeing all of his classmates, and talking to the teacher.

When my mom was here she captured what it is like sending Dakota off to school! ;) Thanks mom!
How many people does it take to get him ready in the wheelchair???

Loading on the ramp!

Me telling him to have SO much fun and be a sweet boy!

Had to pose with our FAVORITE bus driver...too bad she was just subbing for the day!

Going up!! Me telling him I love him and will miss him! (I don't think he cares as you can see!)

Almost there..."Have fun Dakota!" (I really don't stop until he is out of sight...crazy mom!! ;) )

And he is in!

And gone like the wind!
The only bad thing about this year is that there is only one girl in the whole class. Boys are great but it was the girls in his class last year that really gave him attention and liked to play with him. So I worry a little that he won't get as much interaction with the kids and because there is less kids there isn't as much interaction going on in the classroom for him to watch. So I hope that he will get the socialization that he loves and needs there.

He also started horse therapy in Taylor which has been so fun. My amazing parents paid for him to start a 12 week session. I wasn't sure how he would like it but he is so chill and happy on the horse. Before one session started he had been really fussy and ornery. I was almost thinking maybe we shouldn't go cuz it wont be worth it but as soon as he was on the horse he was silent. No cries, no whines, just chill. The second session he even smiled a couple of times on the horse and smiled when we got there. It is really good to help him with his head and trunk control and strength. 

The first session they found out I knew how to ride and they were short therapists to ride with kids so I rode with him and a therapist just told me how to position him. It was fun for me!
Kota and Mommy
With the therapist

Checking out that big thing!!
There are about 4 kids riding at a time and they work with the kids as they ride. They are all great people and do it as volunteers. It is a non profit organization. They are actually having an event coming up on the 29th to help raise money to care for the horses and keep the costs minimal for the families. So if you want to donate any items or come out and support I think they could use all the support they can get to keep it up and running. We will be there for sure!!!

Here is the info from the flyer:

Team Sorting Benefit

Saturday September 29th

 At  Legacy Event Center in Farmington.

 151 s 1100 w.

Sign-up 5 pm

Start 6 pm

$20 for 3 runs per person

Prizes for top 3 teams in each run plus additional prizes.

Drawing, silent auction, wagon rides and bake sale,

Money raised is for the Therapeutic Assets handicapped riding program, a non-profit organization.

For questions or to make donations please call

Cindy 801-745-5658 or 801-791-2761

Oh Brigham City

Have I mentioned before that I love where we live? I love our little town of Perry and the huge metropolis Brigham city that is a few miles away. ;) I love our local farmers and fruit stands...and most especially the millions of fresh peaches! I love seeing all of the fruit stands line the highway and little families outside their houses selling their fresh fruit and makes me happy.

I love our little neighborhood and all the people in it. I love the millions of kids all over the place...even the little 4 year old neighbor boy down the street that  likes to walk in our house when you dont expect it. 

I love that we are allowed to drive our ranger all over the streets of Perry and it is legal. ;) even to go to Walmart.

I love my group of hard core workout ladies that workout together with me at the local church at 5:30 three times a week and keep me motivated and sane. I love our little queit roads that we run on millions and millions of times.

I love the mountains that you see right out our front window that are just minutes away for great hikes, trail runs, and ranger rides. How many places can you live that you can literally run or ride your ranger right from your house to the trails??

I love Brigham City Peach Days that comes around each year. Zach and I took Dakota one night to walk around the crowd of people. The next day I ran the 10k race and ended up 2nd overall for woman with a time of 43:36 (7:10 average pace) After the race I hurried home, grabbed Dakota, and went to the parade (Zach didn't want to pooper). And then that night my parents got in town and we went to the hypnotist show which was freakin hilarious. (thank you to all of you brave souls that were willing to volunteer so that we could laugh at your expense ;) )
I love that Brigham City just shuts Main Street down for most the weekend and pretty much everyone comes out to celebrate, shop the booths, eat peach cobbler, and enjoy.

And I am most especially excited that on September 23rd te LDS temple is going to open right here in Brigham city!!!!

It is a gorgeous temple and I already feel like it is my home, my safe haven, and it hasnt even opened yet. I had the wonderful opportunity to go and clean it for a few hours before the open house started. It was like getting a sneak peak and I fell in love with all of its intricate detail ALL over the place. It was such an honor to clean it...even though it was cleaner then my house already. :) I also got to help with serving refreshments one night during the open house. I loved serving for those four hours. I truly felt like I was doing the Lords work and wanted those cookies to look so good on the platter, the tables to be clean, and the floor free from all crumbs.
I got to go through the open house officially with my beautiful visiting teaching sisters. They are all wonderful and strong woman and I enjoyed the peacefulness and spirit that was there as we walked through together.
Thank you ladies!!
Then while my parents were here Zach and I went through with them. 
Love these 3!!
Love THIS guy!
Aren't they the cutest!!
Love MY temple! ;)

Love THIS kid!! (He got home from school right as we got home)

Love that because of the temple WE are an eternal FAMILY!!!
Now I look forward to going there and doing the Lords work, escaping the craziness and chaos of the world and my life, and pondering on the things of eternal value. I'm hoping at least while Dakota is in school 3 days a week to get to go once a week. That is my goal and now that it is so close to me I really have no excuse to not make it happen. So if anyone is ever wanting to go...let me know!! I always love company!!

Just What I NEEDED!!!

Just what I needed...

Zach and I just took a short little trip to Seymour Indiana. After feeling so overwhelmed and exhausted it was seriously just what I needed and couldn't have come at a better time. Not that I would have picked Indiana as my first choice to go for a little getaway...but it was perfect nonetheless.

So why Indiana??

That will have to come later on...hopefully soon! ;)
So we flew into Indiana Tuesday evening...rented our little tiny go cart...and drove the rest of the way to Seymour.

Zach HATED being in this tiny thing but it was like $30 cheaper so I said suck it up! ;)
We had to put our camera on our suitcases for this picture. As we were doing it someone shouted from their car..."Hey ya'll...want me to pull over and take your picture for you?" It was so freakin sweet but we already had our sweet set up so we didn't take them up on it. The people there were SO nice!!
We had no idea what to expect of the town or place. I was expecting bigger but it was this cutest little town with the NICEST of people. Zach was wanting to move there!!! It was beautiful green country and just a fun and chill little environment.

We woke up Wednesday morning and Zach had a short agenda.

The rest of Wednesday Zach was so sweet and let me shop for a few hours at an outlet mall that was nearby. He was so patient as he always is and I had a blast because I love shopping! Not that I even got tons of stuff but it is just fun. Zach can't comprehend how it is any fun...but he was a great sport. He even went to a little antique store with me! :)

The best part of it all was just relaxing and having no time schedule whatsoever. We didn't have to hurry back to make Dakota's food or get him into bed. Didn't have to get up in the night or get up early. I finally got some good sleep and it felt amazing!!

Zach and I got to spend a lot of quality time together and that is what we definitely needed too. We swam in the pool, ate A LOT of good food, cuddled, ate, laughed, and just relaxed. It was so perfect and MUCH needed.

We were excited to get back to Dakota and my sweet parents who came from AZ to visit and watch him for us. We are so grateful for our wonderful families who help us so much and let us get away without having to worry. I think Dakota had a lot of fun without us!
They enjoyed the veggies out of our garden while they were here...too hot in AZ right now to grow anything!

I don't think he was even missing us with that smile! ;)

Papa making Dakota do "a little" work while I was gone.

Telling Dakota what a good boy he is I'm sure!

Snuggle time

My parents bought him a brand new cowboy hat and cut off the back of it so that he could still wear it...It's a little hard to wear a cowboy hat when the back of your head is always touching something. It was SOOO cute and sweet of them and doesn't he look still like the world's cutest cowboy!!
He used to wear his other hat Nana and Papa gave him EVERYWHERE...until Zach accidentally left it on top of the car...sad day!

Papa took him out for walks and to pick the vegetables in the garden.

He loves his Papa!
(as you can tell Nana was the one behind the camera the whole time...she worked so hard while we were gone and we came back to such a clean house!)
Thank you mom and dad for EVERYTHING!!!
I'm a little more sane because of it! :)


Sunday, September 9, 2012

I'm just plain TIRED...

Yesterday was one of those crazy non stop days and in the middle of the day I sat down for a minute and complete exhaustion hit me like a brick from head to toe...inside and out. Not just the tired like a need a nap...I ALWAYS feel that was like an overwhelming exhaustion emotionally and physically. It's hard to explain but it hit me hard.

Later that day as we were driving in the car...things weren't going to well...Dakota was crying ...Zach was getting frustrated and angry...and I was just tired of driving and being in the car and listening to both of them. The tears silently and slowly fell down my face and the exhaustion of it all...of life...of reality...hit me again.

I wanted to just go to sleep for a LONG time and wake up and have everything back the way it was...before Dakota's accident...before Zach went blind...just a NORMAL life! Nothing fancy just a normal life that everyone around us lives.

I LOVE hearing and being around my friends and sisters as they talk about their kids and lives because even hearing about how their kids were excited or scared for school...about the friends they made or lost...or how they were so naughty or great today...or EVEN how their husband took their kids somewhere or ran an errand for them...or whatever a normal persons life is filled with...I LOVE it and crave it because I don't have any idea what that's like anymore. I don't really know how Dakota felt about going back to his first day of school. I can guess but I don't really know! Was he scared?? Was he shy?? Did he like his teacher??? I don't know!!

The hard part about it is the more I thought about it, the more I realized that is probably never gonna happen for me. This is my life and it's not just a hard childhood stage that Dakota will grow out of. It's not just a hard job for Zach that one day he will get a promotion and life will be great. Dakota will most likely never be the boy I once knew and Zach may never get the chance to see this life!

Yes...I look WAY more forward to the next life then tomorrow...because I'm only 28 years old and I'm already exhausted from this life...and there is a lot more life to endure before I get to see my boy run again or watch Zach drive his truck again.

So for now...I will just lean on my Saviour and hopefully He will start to carry a little more of this weight for me because it is feeling a little bit heavy right now and I'm ready for a dang break!

Sunday, September 2, 2012


I told you I might be slow but I will answer! ;)

1. "I'm studying to be a SLP (speech language pathologist) and have been very interested in all the swallowing therapy that your little man gets. Is Ms. Vicki an O.T. (occupational therapist) or a S.L.P.? Is this at Primary Children's Medical Center?"

Ms. Vicki (who we LOVE) is a SLP. She has taken a lot of extra classes in pediatric swallowing and that is her main focus. She does not have any extra certification because to become a specialist in swallowing the only certification focuses on adult swallowing and she was most wanting to work with children. So instead of getting that extra certification she just took extra classes in the pediatric swallowing and has been doing it now for a long time. She actually works for Utah State University in Logan and runs a clinic there as well as teaches classes. During the school year we have students that work with her and Dakota as part of their hands on stuff. It is fun and they are great but I really see the biggest improvements with Dakota when she works with him alone in the summer. Can't say enough about her!! Before we started working with her everyone told me she is the best in northern Utah. Don't have anything to compare her to but we sure like her! If you would like to contact her and get more info I'm sure she would be happy to talk to you...just let me know! Good luck with your studies!

2. I keep dreaming of running...any tips on getting started? Really, just start?

So many people tell me what a great runner I am and that they could NEVER do a marathon let alone run a 5k...but the truth is honestly ANYONE can! You would be amazed at the variety of people you see...all shapes, sizes, ages, athleticism, etc at the start line of a marathon. I remember being shocked at my first one because I was SO nervous...can I really do this??? Then seeing old men, bigger woman, literally HUGEST variety of people up there and I thought...if they can do it I can do it. I still remember a guy probably in his late 50's or 60's telling someone he runs a marathon EVERY MONTH!! What?! I thought HOW does his body keep up with that??

Getting over that mental block of "I can't do it" or "it's too hard" or "it hurts" is the biggest challenge to become a runner. Trust's still hard for me, it still hurts me...but I do it anyways. Believe in yourself. I didn't really start running (besides being forced to in sports) until I was done with college ball. I still remember my first 10k (6 miles) thinking "I can't believe I just ran 6 miles...that is SO far!) Now that is just an average day of running. I felt the same thing about a half and thought I could NEVER run a that twice...that's for CRAZY people. Now I'm that crazy person! Some days you feel great, other days you think you are gonna's normal. I think the first couple miles are ALWAYS the hardest because your body hasn't warmed up. So don't give up after the first mile...keep going...push through. The farther you get and the faster you will build up confidence in yourself and get better and seriously just have to believe. (I know that sounds so lame but it is true). Be consistent. If I take a week or two off it is a struggle to get back to where I was before that. If you think you are going to get better at it if you run sometimes, stop for awhile and go back you won't. It won't get any easier! Start with a couple miles and if you HAVE to stop then walk for a second but TRY your hardest to push through...even if you have to go slow. You will feel SO good and be SO happy when you finish!

Some people say I love to run! I don't LOVE running. I love the feeling I get when I am done. I love the way it makes me feel the rest of the day. I love the energy it gives me. I love being outside and talking with the girls as I run...sometimes it is my therapy in 2 ways! ;) I think finding someone to do it with you is great too if you can. You can push each other and help each other...and when you talk you forget about the pain.

Hope this is helpful. I'm no running coach...this is from Tessie chapter 11 and maybe what works for me won't work for everyone! ;)