Monday, November 26, 2012

2 Years Ago Our Lives were FOREVER changed

Today marks the 2 year anniversary of the day my little world was shattered to pieces. Thinking back to that day makes me physically nauseous. It's the day my perfect, healthy boy sacrificed his little body and brain to teach his mom and dad and SO many others around him how to appreciate the little things, how to love more deeply, and how much we need our Savior Jesus Christ in our lives.

I didn't think it would affect me too much's just another day. Every day when I look at Dakota I am reminded of that day...why would November 26th change anything? But it has been different already. I shed a few tears of sadness but mostly I just wanted to hold Dakota a little tighter, kiss him a little more, and just appreciate his sweet face.

Every day is still a challenge to cope and handle what we have been given, BUT I have learned a lot along the way and today I am grateful more then ever to have my sweet little Dakota to hug and hold.

I think he knew that this was gonna be hard time for his mom because this last week and a half he has been EXTREMELY happy and sweet and SO fun to be around. He knew I needed it now more then ever. He is the smartest and sweetest little angel I have and ever will meet.

The other day Zach  (who is not always the most positive thinker) told me...I started thinking...if Dakota turned back to the healthy boy that he once was today...would I miss anything from the way he is now? He said YES I would! So if there is something to miss...their is something to be grateful for! Then ended's easier said then done.
It is SO true. Even though I still desperately miss my active, healthy, and playful boy...there are SO many things about the way he is now that I love. It's a different kind of love that I can't even describe. But my heart is full with love and gratitude for HIM!!

My sweetest friend whom I met only because of Dakota sent me this AMAZING poem and necklace. She said not to open it til today...I was tempted ;) but waited and I'm SO grateful I did!
It has a D, an angel wing, a cowboy boot, and his birth stone!

I have to share the poem she gave me because it is PERFECTLY written for my brave little Dakota. I truly believe he chose to suffer for me and anyone else whose lives have crossed his PLEASE read it and cry with me! ;)

Not too long ago in Heaven there was a little soul who took wonder in observing the world. He especially enjoyed the love he saw there and often expressed this joy with God. One day however the little soul was sad, for on this day he saw suffering in the world. He approached God and sadly asked "Why do bad things happen; why is there suffering in the world?" God paused for a moment and replied, "Little soul, do not be sad, for the suffering you see, unlocks the love in people's hearts." The little soul was confused.  "What do you mean?" he asked. God replied, "Have you not noticed the goodness and love that is the offspring of that suffering? Look at how people come together, drop their differences and they become motivated by love alone."

The little soul began to understand and listened attentively as God continued. "The suffering soul unlocks the love in people's hearts much like the sun and rain unlock the flower within the seed. I created everyone with endless love in their heart, but unfortunately most people keep it locked up and hardly share it with anyone. They are afraid to let their love shine freely, because they are afraid of being hurt. But a suffering soul unlocks that love. I tell you this- it is the greatest miracle of all. Many souls have bravely chosen to go into the world and suffer- to unlock this love- to create this miracle for the good of all humanity."

Just then the little soul got a wonderful idea and could hardly contain himself. With his wings fluttering, bouncing up and down, the little soul excitedly replied, "I am brave; let me go! I would like to go into the world and suffer so that I can unlock the goodness and love in people's harts! I want to create that miracle!"
God smiled and said, "You area brave soul I know, and thus I will grant your request. But even though you are very brave you will not be able to do this alone. I have known since the beginning of time that you would ask for this and so I have carefully selected many souls to care for you on your journey. Those souls will help you create your miracle; however they will also share in your suffering. Two of these souls are most special and will care for you, help you and suffer along with you, far beyond the others. They have already chosen a name for you."

God and the brave soul shared a smile, and then embraced. In parting, God said, "Do not forget little soul that I will be with you always. Although you have agreed to bear the pain, you will do so through my strength. And if the time should come when you feel that you have suffered enough, just say the word, think the thought, and you will be healed."
Thus at that moment the brave soul was born into the world, and through his suffering and God's strength, he unlocked the goodness and love in people's hearts. For so many people dropped their differences and come together to show their love. Priorities became properly aligned. People gave from their hearts. Those that were always too busy found time. Many began new spiritual journeys, and some regained lost faith- many came back to God. Parents hugged their children tighter. Friends and family grew closer. Old friends got together and new friendships were made. Distant family reunited, and every family spent more time together. Everyone prayed. Peace and love reigned. Lives changed forever. It was good. The world was a better place. The miracle had happened. God was pleased.


I ran across this video as I was searching for something. It was when Dakota was just barely 1! Had to share it because I love that sweet face and laugh!!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Halloween & Hunting

It's almost thanksgiving so i figured I better get my butt in gear and get Halloween out of the way. :) Two of my favorite things about fall is Halloween and hunting. The two are not related in any way but they are both fun.

So this Halloween was much better then last. No trip to the hospital...just a healthy and happy boy. While I was in AZ Dakota got to go to the pumpkin patch with grammy, poppy, daddy, and his cousins. He is a spoiled and very loved little boy.
The crew minus Poppy

Grammy, poppy, and the grandkids

Kota and Poppy
Maelee loves Dakota!!

Picking out his pumpkin with dad

Loves his daddy that's for sure!

He got to dress up in his handsome, manly pirate costume for school and have a Halloween party with his friends.
Waving bye to his mom! :)

Then we had a family Halloween party with Zach's family. Zach's mom once again went all out with a fun and creepy dinner, fun games, and of course costumes. Now I wasn't sure if we could top last years costume of a tampon and period...but I think we did pretty good. ;) As soon as I saw this costume online I knew it was THE ONE!
It was simple and funny...that's what I'm all about.

Everyone looked pretty dang awesome especially our little pirate!!
The whole gang (except Ryan & Lindsay :( )

What a cute family photo...I think I will frame this one! ;)

The Hadleys

Grammy & Poppy...I mean Shrek and Fiona with the grand kids.

The LaRoses

Grammy and Poppy
Check out that bling!
Cheers with our ghost drinks

Game for the kids

Dakota bout to land on the winning picture! ;)

He is not very humble...sticking his tongue out at the losers!

Us girls playing a candy corn game...I'm not gonna lie...I tore this one up...I didn't know I was so good at transferring candy corn with a spoon by mouth! ;)

Zach tore this game up...spitting out a pumpkin seed the farthest!  I was SO proud!

Houston getting ready for the doughnute eating contest!

Fortunately my husband is also very talented at eating doughnuts with no hands...

CHAMPION!! I guess we are just a really talented couple...we can't help it! ;)
Halloween day we decided to try out Logan's main street trick or treating. I thought this would be perfect for Dakota because it was such a nice day and trying to take him to people's houses....going up all their steps just didn't sound very fun. So on main street he got to stay in the stroller and go into the fun stores and get a treat. Luckily we were accompanied by the amazing Morrison family and Stoan his future roping buddy was such an awesome helper and friend for us. He would hold the door open for us, pick a candy for Dakota and give it to him. It was so much fun especially with great company!! Thanks Emmi!!
3 Handsome boys!!
The rest of the night we got to stay home and pass out treats to our cute little neighbors!!

Pheasant hunting just closed today. It has been the only thing on Zach's mind for the last two weeks. Pheasant hunting by far is Zach's most favorite thing to hunt. If he had his sight he would probably be gone 24 hours a day for the 2 weeks it is open. It is fun to see his excitement and love for it. So as any wife of a blind man would do (at least i think...i don't know any) i try my best to get all pumped and excited about it too and gear up to go walking for hours and hours through thick brush, corn stalks taller then me, in the snow, in heavy HOPES of a CHANCE to jump one of those bad boys up. If I knew for sure there would be a pheasant in that field I would be fine with walking. But after awhile of just walking and not seeing anything your start to wonder...are pheasants even real?! ;)
You have no idea how thick this brush is!

Now I would like to think that I'm a pretty tough girl. I can handle a lot physically but after a couple hours of that pheasant hunting I am pooped. I guess hunting is not in my blood like it is Zach. He doesn't get how I could get so tired after a couple hours of walking when I can run a marathon but it is so different.  I try not to complain but I have to stop and take a couple breaks and tell Zach to slow I think he gets the hint. ;)

Once blind husband out shot me. It is seriously amazing and a little discouraging to me at the same time. I wish I could capture him on video though because it puts me in awe every time he shoots.  After a couple hours of walking and not seeing anything we decided to try out this corn field. As soon as we took like 2 steps into the field out pops this pheasant. I was so shocked I couldn't even think to get my gun up and next thing I see is Zach shoot and that thing fall. Luckily we had our friend Jake's dog with us cuz as soon as it hit the ground it took off running and Rugar grabbed it. Zach was like a little kid at Christmas and so was I. It totally changed our mood and got the adrenaline going. After a couple more passes through the corn field out pops another one right in front of me...I shoot...I miss. :( it was a little depressing. When you walk for a few hours and finally get your chance and sucks!!! So we decided to target practice on some pigeons flying by and Zach was 2 for 2 and I was 0 for 2. I can shoot a clay pigeon but when it comes to the real thing I think I better retire or start practicing more. Zach is always so cute and encouraging though and tries to compliment me anyways..."that was such a good spot, you pulled up really fast." I'm sure inside he is thinking there is no hope for this girl! ;)
Isn't he so handsome!

This is a little scary picture of me but hey it was a long 4 hours of walking okay!

After a few straight days of pheasant hunting I was happy to head to AZ for thanksgiving early. It hasn't stopped Zach while I have been gone. He went out every day without me by himself, with his dad, and with Jake. He is pretty convinced he hit 2 while he was out by himself but obviously he has a hard time finding them by himself and with no dog. I think he is ready to buy a puppy!!!

Sunday, November 18, 2012


 1. This is totally off the topic, but where did you get your entertainment center? It is EXACTLY what I have been looking, a tiny spot for the TV, and SO many good shelves for all of the cute holiday decorations.

We got our entertainment center at IKEA probably 5 years ago. It has been fun with all the shelves to put things in but it wasn't made out of the nicest material. It has already gotten a lot of scratches and dents in it just from regular wear and tear. I am ready to distress it up some more and repaint it to give it a little more spice since I cant afford to buy something new.

2. I saw the bra costume off pinterest, but couldn't figure out how to make it! How did you fashion yours to look so good?
Our costume was seriously so easy and took just a few minutes. We bought some big bouncy balls at Walmart for a few bucks a piece and 3 yards of fabric. I literally just took the fabric and wrapped it around Zach in the shape I wanted it to be. I cut the side to make it more like a bra shape and cut the strap and tied it all together in the back. If you saw the fabric not on, it looked so randomly shaped.  I'm sure there is a better way to do it but I was just trying to do it in a hurry and it worked out good enough. We only kept it on for the very first of the party since its not really ideal to hold Dakota with a rack that big! ;) Hope that helps.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Giveaway Winner & Fun Freebie for ANYONE

So the random lucky winner of the My Memories giveaway is Trish Booth!!!! Trish leave me a comment with your email and I will get you the coupon code to download the software! CONGRATULATIONS!!!

As always if you didn't win...stop crying...there may be a couple more chances before the end of the year if you can be patient! ;) Or if you have to have it NOW use the coupon code STMMMS234 for the software at checkout and get $10 off which makes it only $30. Do your Christmas shopping early! ;)

SO FOR THE AWESOME My Memories FREEBIE (which I get one every other week to give out)...sit down for is these ADORABLE take out gift boxes. Now if you're like are ALWAYS scrambling last minute to find something cute to put a little treat or gift in for someone...since you didn't plan ahead. These are perfect that you can print right out from your computer, cut out, and fold together. No more running last minute to the store...I HATE that!!

(Just click on the link to download directly to your do have to own the software to access them)

Take Out Boxes!!
Remember that the Take Out Boxes will be available for free only until November 19th.

These boxes are super cute when they are done! Check out the

tutorial found online at

Also for you fashion lovers out there like me!! Cute Shabby Apple is offering 10% off their "RED" dresses until November 10th! Here is a link to dresses included Just put in RED as your coupon code. If you haven't checked out their stuff you at least have to browse. They have everything from jewelry to dresses to maternity to kids to workout!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

One Proud MOM!!

I'll probably never get to have that bumper sticker that says, "my kid is an honor student" or the one with a soccer ball and Dakota's jersey number on it BUT...I'm thinking about making my own bumper sticker that says "MY KID LEARNED THE COLOR RED!" ;)

For almost every mom out there...when your child learned their colors you were probably proud but not as proud as THIS MOM when I went to Dakota's parent teacher conference in October. I have said it before but I'll say it again...I LOVE Dakota's teachers!! I loved them last year but this year I love even more. The teachers treat him like a 4 year old and work with him on the same things that the other kids work on. They were working on colors with the other kids so they said that's what Dakota will work on to (along with other things that he needs. ;) )

They started at first holding up two colors and 1 always being red and would ask him to look at the red. He never got it right at first but over the last little while has begun to get it right almost every time.

I also learned that they think his FAVORITE color is blue...such a boy! ;) They let him choose which color to put on his art stuff by having him look at it and he always would choose blue. So one day the teacher decided not to put blue in as a choice to see what he would choose and he refused to look at any of them. WHAT A STINKER POT...stubborn like another man I know that lives in this house! ;) They added blue back in and that is what he chose!

To add to my MOMMY PROUDNESS I got this note from Dakota's teacher just the other day in his back and forth notebook.
Tommy's parents asked if Dakota would be interested in having a play date? Tommy talks a lot about Dakota and would love to have them get together. Let me know and I will give you their number.

Now Dakota has a lot of kids that love him and are his friends BUT most are friends because their parents are friends with us and they talk about Dakota to them and instill a love for him in them. BUT this is Dakota's first REAL friend since his accident that loves him because of him and wants to play with him outside of school! He had some GREAT girlfriends last year but never got asked to hang out outside of school. So of course this made my heart SOOOO happy that this sweet little Tommy who is just a normal healthy little boy (I'm sure with lots of friends) wants to play with my sweet Dakota!! Now I just need to figure out how to word all of that into MY bumper sticker! ;)

Dakota and Tommy...his friend and protector!!
A couple more pics when the firefighters came to visit!

Look at my little fireman!!