Monday, February 25, 2013

I GOT the for ALL woman

So over the last month I have been overwhelmed with the same the point where I feel like I have to share it! It is a message that I have personally needed but yet one that I think that ALL woman need to hear at times in our life!

Why?! Because we are WOMAN!! We are hard on ourselves!! We are ALWAYS comparing ourselves to other woman and never feeling quite good enough. And it's time to STOP it!!!

It all started with the most AMAZING little book ever! A sweet lady in my church talked about it in her relief society lesson and I was intrigued, so my sweet friend Jina gave me a copy of it for my birthday. It's just a short book that maybe took me 10 minutes to read but changed my life and perspective! It is called Beautiful by Jenny Phillips!! Every woman and girl NEEDS to read it!! It made me realize what beauty really is and made me realize that sometimes I am more focused on my outward beauty instead of my inner beauty, which is of course the most important thing and what makes us TRULY beautiful!!

I loved that book SO much I took it to my group of ladies I workout with and am making each one of them read it!

After this I had the opportunity to go to THREE different events that each talked about this subject in different but compelling ways, SO as you can tell it has been on my mind!!

At 2 of these events both of the speakers asked each woman to think of something that she likes about her appearance and SHARE it with the ladies around you!!! WHAT?! AAAAHHHH! I think every lady in the room felt a little uncomfortable and uneasy...there was a lot of laughter going on! Why is it so hard as woman to find something that we love about ourselves but so easy to tell our friends what we love about them?! Why is it embarrassing to tell someone that you love____  about yourself?! Why are we SO hard and critical on ourselves?!
"Be nice to yourself. It's hard to be happy when someone is mean to you all of the time."
Christine Arylo

We as woman need to love ourselves...inside AND out!!! We are daughters of a God who loves us!! We are created in his image! One of the speakers pointed out that he spent time to make each one of us unique. It is INCREDIBLE to me that all of us have a face, eyes, mouth, nose, ears, and a body, but yet each person is unique and looks different. Isn't that crazy...there are millions of people in the world and God took the time to make each person unique, different, and beautiful in there own way.
One beautiful quote that was shared was, "I'm not beautiful like you. I'm beautiful like me."

True beauty really is on the inside not on the outside. Think of someone who is beautiful in your eyes?? Really beautiful? It's probably someone who you admire not because of there outward appearance but because of the person they radiate with on the inside. They have a special glow to them! Have you ever met someone who is gorgeous outwardly but they are ALWAYS negative or mean? All of a sudden you don't think they are nearly as beautiful as you thought?!

If we could only see what our Heavenly Father sees in us...we would know how beautiful we really are!!! He gave us our beautiful body, talents, and gifts that make us who we are...we need to show him how much we love and appreciate them by really loving ourselves...every wrinkle, every stretch mark, every love handle, every split end, every EVERYTHING! ;)

There is ALWAYS going to be someone skinnier then us, with better hair then us, with prettier eyes then us, with better skin then us. etc. so if we continue to compare ourselves we are NEVER going to be happy! We will never love ourselves. That is what Satan wants!! One of the speakers pointed out...often times we are asking the wrong person if we are beautiful...Satan. If you got out of bed and asked him every morning if you were beautiful, of course he will bring you down and say a resounding NO!!! BUT if instead we got up every morning and asked our Heavenly Father if he thought we were beautiful...we would never go another day without feeling beautiful!!

"Nothing makes a woman more beautiful than the belief that she is beautiful."

Don't get me wrong...I'm not saying you don't ever have to workout or get ready ever again...I think there is balance in all things. Heavenly Father still expects us to take care of this beautiful gift of a body we were given (& our husbands appreciate it too ;) ) BUT don't make it your only focus and don't let that determine how beautiful you are!! You know me...I'm all about shopping (fashion) and I do love working out for the way that it makes me feel. It gives me energy, it helps me fight the battle of depression, it gives me a happy high that nothing else can give me! I need it! And of course there are TONS of physical benefits for your body to keep it strong and healthy! And I think every woman can attest to the way getting ready makes you feel as well! Sometimes just getting dressed, doing your hair, and putting on a little makeup can brighten up your day and make you feel good (and husbands appreciate that too! Lucky for me mine is blind so he can't tell! ;) ).

So I challenge you STOP being a woman...kind of! ;) Quite comparing yourself to other woman! Quite complaining about the 5 lbs you still need to lose or that you don't like your nose or your wrinkles or whatever it may be! Look yourself in the mirror and say I AM BEAUTIFUL!!!
Take a look at your New Years Resolutions and goals...are they things of eternal value or are they all physical?! Write some goals that will challenge your inner self and make you become the beautiful woman God intended you to be and that He sees in you!! I promise not only will this make you more beautiful...but you will feel more beautiful and you will be HAPPY!!
"Happy girls are the prettiest!"

When we get old and pass away...your not going to want people to stand up and say..."She was the most gorgeous woman. Her hair was so shiny and soft, her skin was flawless, and she was always so skinny and tone!" HA HA! You are going to want to be remembered for the way you LIVED your life, the person that you were on the inside, the LOVE that you showed towards others, the service that you rendered, and the good example that you set for your posterity...and I hope that I will be known as someone who was a disciple of Christ! That is what we should work towards. That is what we should focus on and try to become! Not the supermodel on the front of our magazines that we all buy!!

This BEAUTIFUL song was sung at one of the events I went to and then just this last Sunday our beautiful young woman got up and sang it again! I am in love with it so I had to share. Listen to it...the won't be disappointed!!

Can't even tell you how many times I have listened to it!!!

Saturday, February 23, 2013


So my cute little entrepreneur husband's mind is ALWAYS turning!!! He is researching a new product and we need some completely HONEST & UNBIASED help! It will only take literally like 1 minute of your time. It is 4 questions that are simple. It won't link me at all to who you are...totally anonymous. Would you PLEASE take a second to click on the link below and take a super quick survey. THANK YOU!!!


Friday, February 22, 2013

Inch by Inch

Well, a post ALL about Dakota man is LONG overdue!! I am ALWAYS being asked how he is doing? SOOO many people love that boy and truly care about how he is really doing. A friend of mine asked me one time, "do you ever get sick of people asking you that?" The answer is NO! Not that I expect or want every single person I see to ask me about him...but I appreciate the fact that people truly care about him and want to know about him.

My sweet dad told me yesterday on the phone that a man in his church asked about Dakota and wanted a picture of him because his little children still pray for him EVERY day (it has been over 2 years now) and he wanted them to see who they were praying for. Things like this warm my heart!!

Every day is still a struggle and fight for Dakota and his parents...but we are doing good and we so appreciate the continued love, support, and prayers!  When I get asked the question how he is doing...sometimes it is hard to answer or explain because it is tiny little changes of progress that we see, not some huge drastic thing. I wish I could say, yeah he just started walking again, or said his first word. I still hope that one day those things might come out of my mouth. So I usually just say he is good...lame I know.

So I will try to describe what "good" means right now.
The biggest change, but that makes the MOST impact on our little family is Dakota's happiness. The first year and a half probably...the biggest struggle was that Dakota was crying or unhappy for about 90% of the time. Neither Zach and I do well with crying and when that is what you hear most of the time it is a bit stressful. I feared that this was what life would be like for the rest of our lives and prayed EVERY day for a change. It has FINALLY come. He is pretty consistently happy or at least content most of the time. Don't get me wrong we still have our moments and days when things aren't going so well (time out is necessary) but compared to where we were, it is AMAZING! Zach and I are both happier and are able to enjoy being his parents more and more because he makes life more enjoyable when you see that sweet smile! It literally lights us up. We still are constantly like...hurry come here, come look at him, look at his smile. I really don't think it will ever get old or taken for granted EVER again because we have experienced a time when there was no facial expression, to always a sad one, to now lots of smiles...if that makes sense.

Here is a video taken of him on his video monitor when he was supposed to be napping but decided to talk and laugh instead...
He is soo least him and I think he is!
(his thumb is glowing because that is where his sensor for his oxygen and heart rate is...just in case you were wondering. ;) )

Along with his happiness has come more responsiveness and alertness. This is where it is hard to explain but Dakota is definitely more responsive to things we say to him and we have found things a little bit easier to communicate with one another. It's like we are finally able to understand through his expressions, cries, and smiles what he wants (sometimes) and you can tell he is happy about that. Often times when he cries it is still a guessing game trying to figure out what he wants and we still are left guessing but it is getting better. For example, he will cry and you will ask him, "do you want ____?" He will either keep crying to say NO, stop crying and look at you got it, or sometimes even give you a smile to say YES!! He definitely shows signs that he understands what you are saying and that is SO awesome!!
One fun example was Zach's dad came up to help Zach put some holes in his slide that we crawl down because now he is using the holes (putting hands and feet in them like a rock climber) to help him push and pull down the slide and eventually we will climb up the slide. Anyways, they went out to the garage to work on it and Dakota started crying when they left. I asked him if he wanted to read a book and he just kept crying as if he wasn't even listening to me. Then I asked him, "do you wanna go out and see what the boys are doing?" He immediately stopped crying, looked right at me and smiled. I said okay let's go out there and see what they are doing and he just kept grinning and started giggling. He stayed out in the garage almost the whole time and was just smiling and happy to be in on the action. He wanted to be a big boy, not hang out with his boring mom!!!

We had his 2nd parent teacher conference the other day and we mostly talked about him transitioning to kindergarten next year. (yes...he is going to kindergarten...crazy!! I'm still wrapping my mind around that one) His teacher's biggest worry is making sure that his new teachers know that Dakota is a 4 year old boy (5 when he goes) inside of that body. He understands things and can make choices with his eyes and that he needs to be treated like the little boy he is...not a baby.
I have LOVED his teacher this year because she sees the boy inside of that body that he can't control. She sees what I see and wants others to as well.

These are a couple fun notes I got from school recently...

Physically we are seeing little changes as well. He is definitely stronger overall with his head control and just body in general. He still LOVES to roll back and forth but is just starting to learn how to get his body from his tummy back to his back. He still gets stuck and needs a little assistance but he knows that he needs to bring his arms up and is getting the hang of it and is able to do it by himself more then he used to. The smile he gets when he does it all by himself is priceless!! I love that he is proud of himself and understands that he accomplished something great!!

He is Mr. Popular at school! Not just with the kids in his class but all the staff. We will be out and about at the store or chiropractor and random people I have never seen will be like, "HI DAKOTA!!" They are usually other teachers or therapists at the school that don't work with Dakota but tell me, "everybody knows Dakota." His nurses that go to school with him always tell me that everyone that works with him...nurses, therapists, etc. ALWAYS say that Dakota is their favorite! I'm sure they tell that to EVERY parent but of course it makes my heart SOOOO happy to know that he is loved and valued by so many besides just his mom and dad. I love that people can see and feel of his sweet spirit when they are around him.

All the kids in his class have really come to love him as well. It used to mostly just be his best buddy Tommy but now all the kids are becoming more and more involved with him. There are 2 girls that he only goes to school with on Mondays and they LOVE Dakota and he loves him. The nurse tells me that he lights up differently with them then he does with the boys. He is a little ladies man! ;)
The other day when the teachers put his chair down on the floor for him to sit in in circle time the two girls hurried and sat on each side of him and held his hand during it. LOVE IT!!
The nurse captured it for me

She said he looked right at the brown hair girl and then gave this smile! ;)
That's my boy...go for the brunettes! ;)

He got invited to his very first birthday party for Tommy!! It was at the local bowling alley and it was so fun. Tommy was so excited to see him when we got there and introduced him to his grandpa. Tommy and his dad helped Dakota set up the little metal ramp so that Dakota could bowl too. Tommy would grab Dakota's hand to help him push the ball down. It was so sweet that they included him. It was during his nap time so we didn't get to stay super long before Dakota was done but I was so happy he was invited!

Dakota and super hero Tommy!!

Dakota is still going to physical therapy and swallow only every other week. His physical therapist is noticing his improvement in overall strength and has said we have had some of the best sessions ever recently. Swallow therapy we back tracked for a little bit cuz he went through a little phase where he wasn't as interested in eating...but we are getting back on track. He recently got introduced to peanut butter and now I think it is one of his favorite things!

I got to babysit my sweet friend Claudia's granddaughter 1 day for a couple of hours. I fed both of them at the same time and realized how far we still have to go. Dakota would take like 1 bite to her 10. We had fun though!

Dakota gets to bowl at physical therapy...


We are still not near where I thought we would be with getting the trach out. He does great with his cap on (which means he is breathing normally and not out of the trach) most of the time unless he starts crying really hard. But the biggest killer is that he is still needing suctioning too often. He has a super strong cough  but still for some reason can't seem to get it all out by himself. I don't really get it but I don't feel comfortable moving forward without him being able to not need suctioned. :( It is okay though. Having the trach does have it's benefits...we get respite care because of it (which is 40 hours of nursing a babysitter ;) ). We hardly use it but it is nice to have to go out on a couple dates a month or if we need to go somewhere during the day.

In January Dakota advanced from a sunbeam to a CTR 5 in primary at church. He even got his first CTR ring (which stands for Choose the Right). Not that he needs reminded to choose the right because he is perfect already...but I guess he can wear it as a reminder for his mom and dad! ;) We aren't nearly as good as him.

love that little hand!!

Things Dakota loves right now (in no particular order)...being held...especially standing up and walking around with him (it's a back breaker though if you do it for too long), tastes of all kinds, standing up (with help of course), riding the bus, school most of the time, crawling down his slide (therapy), rolling, getting fed through his g-tube, getting suctioned when he needs it, spinning around in a chair or when your holding him, laying on the kitchen counter and hitting my cups that are hanging (and trying to roll off the counter...gotta watch him), being outside, watching Toy Story (all 3), laying in his bed when he is tired, when mom and dad sings and dances in front of him, attention of any kind, friends, riding the Ranger, sledding, & that's about all that I can think of at the moment.

Oh and just being a cowboy!! ;)
So happy!!

This is emarassing mom!!!

Love those eyes!!

Don't look at me!!!

U still there?!

Monday, February 11, 2013

29...It's FINE!! ;)

So on the 8th I turned the big ole 29!!! My last year of being in my twenties. I'm TOTALLY gonna live it like a rock star. ;)

It was actually surprising how ok I am with it. I think last year 28 freaked me out a lot more. Now I am embracing it. I worked hard for that year...I deserve to be another year older! ;)

I had an AMAZING birthday thanks to my AMAZING family and friends!!! Birthdays really are the best and I totally lived it up and soaked up as many days up of it as I could...and still am! ;) Zach thinks it's over but you know I always say...birthdays should be celebrated all week...I'm thinking all month now! ;) Month of February is mine!!! j/k

A couple of weekends before my birthday Zach had contractors school in Salt Lake. Since I am his driver...I had to take him down at 6:30 in the morning and wait around til 2:30 for him to be done. Because I have the BEST husband in the world...AND he knows I LOVE to shop, he told me to go shopping for my birthday while he was in class. It is a win, win for both of us...he doesn't have to try and have someone else pick up a present for me AND I know I'm gonna like what I get...cuz I picked it! ;)
Your gonna laugh at this...I started off my day free in Salt Lake (Dakota was at school and with a nurse) to shop until I drop, with a nap in the car!!!! I know I am so lame. But it was 8 a.m. and not many stores are open yet, I was tired, I knew I would need energy to shop, AND I love to sleep!! So after a little beauty rest I worked on my lesson for relief society (since that was my only time for that) then I went to fun stores that I rarely get to go to like Nordstroms Rack, Lulu Lemon (just to look ;) ), American Apparel, Forever 21, and Sephora! Great times!!

Once February 1 hit I started getting birthday wishes on was mad confusion on when my real birthday was...or people just know the month of February is mine! ;) It was great!!

Zach's parents were so sweet and took Dakota for a sleepover the night of my birthday. I'm not gonna lie...I looked forward to this ALL week! Don't get me wrong...I LOVE and ADORE my sweet boy but since his accident he has never slept the same. It has gotten MUCH better over the last 2 years but there is RARELY a night that goes by that I don't have to get up at least once, sometimes more with him. Even though it isn't for very long (change diaper, give meds, suction, or adjust him) uninterrupted sleep is not the same as a full nights sleep. Because Zach can't see good, it is harder for him to do things and he has a harder time falling back asleep (or so he claims ;) ) so I never make him get up. In the morning since I make Dakota's food I have to be the one to get up with him ALL the time because Zach doesn't know how to make his food. (It's a little too complicated to show a blind man so it's just easier to do it myself) So I'm totally not complaining but when people asked me what I was doing for my birthday, I would tell them SLEEPING!!! I'm so lame and old but my friend who just had twins put it perfectly. She said you aren't lame, you are just a mom...who appreciates the simple things like sleep, a time for a nice, hot shower, and a good meal that's not rushed. SO true...thanks Ashley for not making me feel so old and lame! ;) (even though i know i still am)

Just chillin with my Grammy and Poppy...loving every minute of it I'm sure!

BUT before I did get my sleep on...we did go out for a birthday dinner at Olive Garden. YUMM!!

I definitely enjoyed a lot of yummy food for my birthday too! (I love to eat about as much as I love to sleep and shop...sometimes more ;) )

I had TWO yummy surprises come to my doorstep from my sweet friends that I wish were closer to hug and tell them thank you!!

WOW...thank you Janelle!!!

My kind of bouquet...forget the flowers...I'll take these any day! ;)
Thanks Abbey!!

The night before my birthday my sweet husband asked what he could make me for breakfast...I told him doughnuts...the breakfast of champions! ;)
This is only 1 of the 3 that I ate! ;)

Zach made me another cake...he didn't have to walk 6 miles to the store and back this time. I had everything he needed on hand! ;)
Chocolate cake with confetti frosting...YUM! I told the ladies I workout with...maybe when I'm 40 I'll like a more mature cake! ;)

I don't think I ate 1 healthy thing ALL weekend...unless chocolate covered strawberries counts?! Your birthday only comes once a year...gotta live it up...right?!

I did get to start off my day by going to the temple and lunch with my sweet friend...couldn't have been any better way to start the day!
Thanks Sharee!

Got to go to breakfast at Jeremiahs with some awesome ladies...whom I adore! (forgot to snap a pic) Thank you sweet gals!!

I got to celebrate with Zach's family on Sunday. Zach's sweet mom let's the birthday person choose what they want for dinner and Navajo tacos and oreo cheescake it was!! Love our family!!
Our little fam

Check out that number on the candles! ;) (I love Dakota's face in the background...he is focusing for me!)

So proud of his mom!!

My happy boy just practicing walking...he is LOVING to stand up and "try" to walk (me helping him move his legs 1 at a time...every once in awhile he will get 1 up by himself...sure is trying! ;)

Besides my other most favorite present was from my parents!! They bought me a plane ticket to go down for the "girls annual luncheon" held in my grandpas barn. They have done it the past few years and I have NEVER gotten to go. :( Since my grandpa hasn't been doing too well I REALLY wanted to be there this year. They fancy up the barn...everyone (aunts, cousins, nieces, grandma) come in fancy hats, flowers, or tiaras for a fancy lunch where my grandpa comes to join us fine ladies. I AM SOO excited to get to go in March!! I love going down there for ANY occasion but this will be extra special! Can't wait...already counting down the days!!

Thanks to ALL that made my day SO special and for ALL the birthday wishes!!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Laugh Until....

"Laugh until  tears run down your legs." the quote that came out of my friend and neighbor Julia's mouth the other day. It was perfect for the title of this post. All you woman out there that have born children...can understand this! ;) If you don't...message me! ;)

Anyways...a couple weeks ago we had the funniest day ever and I was literally crying from laughing on the way home that I almost had to pull over. It probably won't sound that funny to's one of those you had to be there but I thought I would share...funny memories are the best!!

So we were sick of this horrid winter we have been having this year and wanted to get out of the house. We decided to take Dakota to Kangaroo Zoo. It is just a fun indoor place with tons of blow up toys...bouncy house, slide, basketball hoops, etc. Zach's parents had taken him there before but Zach and I had never been there.

We get in and walk up to the hugest slide in the place. Dakota will love this I thought!! The sign on all the toys said 150 lb weight limit. Zach (sorry to reveal your wight babe...not like you care) is 160. So trying to be obedient I said, "well I guess I'm taking him up then."

So I start heading up this super tall, steep, wobbly stairs, unable to use my hands to steady myself since I'm holding Dakota. I get about 4 steps to the top and it's getting super steep and I can feel myself losing my balance...
Next thing I know BAM...I am sliding down the stairs record speed holding Dakota out in front/above my head COMPLETELY unable to even think about trying to stop. Every freakin stair is rockin my world as it is hitting my stomach.

I get to the bottom and am just laying there. Zach in the meanwhile had been stairing at the slide on the left waiting to see us come down. He sees this shadow drop in his words, "like off a cliff."

He says (this is what is most hilarious), "Was that you?" Did you mean to do that?" Since he is blind...he couldn't tell if that was us, if we were going down a slide, or what in the world was happening. At the moment it wasn't that funny cuz I was still in shock, but after I recooped and reheard what he said to me in my head I couldn't stop laughing!!!

Don't worry, Dakota was completely fine and I just walked away with a sore stomach and a couple slide burns on my hands.
Needless to say I said screw the sign...Zach you are taking him up!!!

The freakin stairs. This picture does not do the size of this slide is huge!

Almost to the part where I fell

Dakota loved it!!

Zach decided to get brave and let Dakota go down this massive slide by himself. I was nervous at first but thought...heck, he is 4 years old...let the kid live!!

I filmed it for all to see! (Don't turn us in to DCFS) His little body looks so stiff and funny going down but the smile at the end says it all!!!

It was such a fun day. We rarely get to do things as a family that Dakota actually enjoys doing so of course it made my whole day, my whole week, heck my whole year!!
Trying to roll on the dinosaur

Mommy and Kota

Happy as can be!!

Playing with dad

Captured his cutest laugh!!
I realized how much I kiss his face after watching this video. Between Zach and I, I'm suprised he doesn't have bruises all over his cheeks from us insanely kissing him. If he had control over his movements or words I'm sure he would smack us and say, back off poeple!!!

Later in the day (which made the day even more funny) we took Dakota to the AWESOME chiropractor here that we go to like 3 times a week. Zach was carrying Dakota and I sat down in a chair. There was one chair next to me on my left but no chair on my right. Zach can usually tell the shadow of a chair so I don't ever tell him like where to sit or anything. But for some reason on this day he wasn't able to tell. He walks to the right of me and kinda bends down. I wasn't sure what he was doing...the thought never even crossed my mind that he didn't notice there wasn't a chair there. Next thing you know BOOM, he is sitting on the floor, their little garbage can smashed beneath him, holding Dakota in his arms. We both busted up laughing. Luckily there were no other people in the waiting room...just a few people behind the receptionists desk. I'm sure they thought I was such a jerk for laughing at him so hard but it was pretty dang funny.

Once again...Dakota was fine! Poor kid though is probably thinking his parents are crazy at this point though! ;)

Since it has been so cold we haven't been able to use Dakota's fun sled much. It's no fun sledding if you are FREEZING cold! It finally warmed up to the 20's last week (which felt like spring since it had been so cold) so we got a crew of friends together and headed to our trusty field!

With 1 ranger, 2 4-wheelers, 2 sleds, and several tubes...we lived it up! It started out a little rough though. Since we had had SO much snow our bikes couldn't even keep mocing thorugh it. The wheels kept spinning out until we hit dirt. The boys put there heads together and pushed the Ranger around a big circle until it was good enough to at least keep moving and then went round and around to make a trail.

After that it was all crazy. We started off all about the kids but by the end it was all the adults trying to throw each other off the tubes. Not sure who had more fun the kids or adults but it was a blast!!

Josh got off the trail as you can see and needed a push. Luckily my husband is super strong! ;)

Julissa and her girls.

The Jones Family ;)

Hadlee fell in love with the Hanckocks puppy they brought. She was it's full time babysitter!

Dakota just being a stud riding in the Ranger...being so patient, sharing his sled with his friends, waiting for his turn!

Hadlee, Janelle, and Paislee

Just mingling

2 of the cutest boys I have ever seen!!! ;)

Finally Dakota's turn...riding with mommy!

The cute Lynch that not the cutest thing ever!! Kimora was SO strong and held on to her little sister for a long ways!

Ty and Janelle

Hadlee and Kimora...cute girls!

Boys being boys!

Zach taking the kidos for a ride

Jake and Hadlee

Daddy and Kota relaxing and being silly

Paisle was done

Dakota getting some kisses from the puppy

Lovin on him

This is how we all felt by the end! ;)

We ended the day with some good ole Dixie grill...YUM...doesn't get much better then burgers, fries, and a shakes! ;)