Thursday, January 30, 2014

Christmas Wrap Up

Well I figured…before January is over I HAVE to write about ALL of our Christmas festivities! I know Christmas is LONG gone and January is already flyin by but better late then never!

We started off our Christmas celebration with a new tradition with the Friedlis.
The whole Friedli Crew minus Ryan, Lindsay, and Olivia

It was seriously SO much fun! We went to a little ranch in Eden where they take you on a horse and wagon ride to this most beautiful little barn thing with the most gorgeous Christmas trees you have ever seen to pick from. I am not a “real” Christmas tree kinda girl because that is now how I grew up and it just seems like a lot of work. I like the convenience of having a tree already strung with lights I can just put together! ;) But this place almost made me wanna change my mind!! It was magical!

Before you start they have a couple reindeer for you to admire! ;)
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And dogs! Poppy helped Dakota a lot! ;)

Then you load up onto the wagon. If it would have been more snowy they have a sleigh which would have been even cooler!!
All Aboard!! Even the dogs!!

Before you get to the Christmas trees they stop and take you right up to their elk. They threw them a piece of hay so they would come right up next to us!

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Check out this bad boy!!

Dakota loved this part! I LOVE these 2 faces!!

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Everyone enjoyin the ride!!

The GORGEOUS trees!!!
How to pick?!


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Dakota and Maelee!!

The lucky winner!!

After we were done they took us back to their barn where we enjoyed hot chocolate and Dakota enjoyed his sucker! ;) (Love his cute face!!)

I am already looking forward to next year! If you are a real tree person you must go here!!!

We spent a couple other nights doing our Friedli Family traditions which I always love! I am so grateful for the time and energy Doug and Vicki put into making Christmas so special and memorable for us all! They are the best!!!

Making Christmas ornaments…
Yes we lay Dakota on the kitchen counter…doesn’t everyone do that to their 5 year olds?! He loves it up there though!! He can see what's going on! You just have to stay right by him because he also loves to roll on the counter! :/

Houston helped entertain Dakota while he waited his turn…
He is such a good cousin!!

Then the kids got to open their new pajamas…

Do a Christmas parade in their new pajamas…

Dakota started as the leader but we were a little too slow! ;)

Then we read the nativity as the kids got to place the characters around.
Dakota’s turn! Grammy and Poppy are always so cute to make sure he is included in EVERYTHING!!

Then the kids sang us a couple Christmas songs!
Dakota mostly whined! ;)

And we finished the night off with each of them getting to put their new special ornament on our “real” Christmas tree we had picked out! Even Navy got her own ornament this year! ;)

And of course a whole different night the kids got spoiled by Grammy and Poppy and got a million presents! More then their parents and Santa bring Dakota combined! ;) Grandparents are great! ;)
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Dakota wasn't super happy during this point but I know he was grateful for all of his presents!

Dakota got to see Santa a few times this year. The first one was at the Perry City annual Christmas movie. They let all Perry residents go to a free movie on a Saturday and then see Santa afterwards. It is such a fun tradition! I love Perry!!!
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Dakota wasn’t too excited if you can’t tell! At least his cute friends we took with us were excited! Love their faces!

The second time around it was a whole other story!! Grammy and Poppy picked him up and took him to go see the Willard Christmas lights. Afterwards they saw that Santa was there so they are so cute and decided to take Dakota to go see him even though it is a lot of work. They asked him in the car if he wanted to go see Santa and he started smiling so they of course had to!
As soon as they put him on Santa’s lap he was all smiles AND laughing!!
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Maybe he could tell this was the “REAL” Santa! ;)

On the 16th of December Dakota and I packed up our 3 suitcases, feed bag, diaper bag, suction bag, and car seat and headed to warm and sunny AZ!!! We are seriously quite comical to watch in an airport. I’m sure EVERY person we pass just looks at me like I’m crazy…and I am!!! This trip confirmed to me though that I don’t think there is any way possible to go make this trip on my own once this baby comes!
Can you imagine a baby strapped to my chest, another bag, and another car seat in this madness?? Me neither!! My sister Katie was dying when she picked me up and saw all of this! Luckily she had a SUV!! ;)

Going to AZ ALWAYS make my heart happy! I love the warm sunshine, the hugs and kisses from ALL of my family, going back to the house I grew up in, riding horses, and just spending TIME with my family!! It does my heart good every time I get to go! I LOVE living in UT but there is something about going “home” that is just refreshing every once in awhile. I feel like I have to make up all the lost time in the 10 days that I am there! My poor parents, sisters and their families lives get put on hold so I can see them as much as possible but I LOVE it!!!

Just two days after being there we left the warm sunshine to go to Flagstaff for our Polar Express Ride with my parents and nephew Sutton! My cute parents planned this for us and I was so excited about it!
On the way down my mom read the boys the Polar Express Book to get them pumped!
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Dakota was excited…not sure what happened once we got on the train! ;)

We drank hot chocolate, ate cookies, saw the North Pole, Saw Santa, sang Christmas carols, and got our bells!! It was an adventure for sure!!
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After our Polar Express trip we then went to my sister Dawn’s cabin to spend a few days. All of my sisters and their kids came up and it was a crazy bunch of fun!!!

The kids LOVED the snow…especially since they don’t live in it! ;) So they spent a lot of time outside sledding and playing in the snow.
The whole crew minus Tori!

Us adults went out one day and tore these kids up in a snowball fight and made some pretty sweet snowmen. I had to teach them a thing or two about snowmen making since they aren’t used to this white stuff! ;)
We totally killed them! ;)


The finished product!

We had so much fun just laughing, talking, watching movies, playing cards, and just being together!
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We even had fun comparing our bunions we inherited from our mom! Thanks mom! ;) (I’m not even gonna tell you which feet our mine!  ;)) So sexy!

Me and my sisters/best friends!!

The rest of the trip went by so fast after this! Zach flew in, Christmas came, and then we flew out the day after!

Christmas day my mom had a whole agenda planned. It started off with riding horses and roping. We did our traditional adult white elephant exchange…always a good time! ;) The kids opened presents from nana and papa and so did we. Had some yummy lunch OUTSIDE! ;) The kids all rode the magic carpet ride. And we visited!!

The magic carpet ride is a lot of fun…but it’s DIRTY!!

Dakota didn’t love it! :(
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But we tried!!

We ended up just watching and laughing instead! ;)
Love the beautiful new Gilbert temple in the background! It is now having it’s open house, open to the public. If you live in the area you MUST go!!! I’m so sad I’m not there!!!

Zach got a little practice at what it’s going to be like with 2 kids! ;)
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He did pretty good! You won’t catch me trying to hold 2 at the same time! ;)

The best part of the trip is I got Zach to go riding with us! ;) You have to give him a little credit…he is NOT a cowboy AND he is blind! BUT it was quite hilarious to watch his face when his horse jumped the ditch and to hear all of his comments throughout! He was a good sport though. He did say he would rather be riding something with a motor though! ;)
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And of course Nana and Papa time made the trip ALL worth while!!
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It’s always so hard to say goodbye! Even though I know I will see them again soon I ALWAYS cry! Sure do love my fam and am so blessed for the love they continually show us!!

MERRY late CHRISTMAS!! Hope yours was filled with lots of love and laughter! ;)

Monday, January 27, 2014


Zach and I celebrated our 7 year anniversary over the weekend! I know every married couple feels this way BUT it is always crazy to think…it’s only been 7 years?! It feels like we have been together FOREVER!!! (in a good way of course! ;))

I made his short little slideshow that is a short representation of 7 years! ;)

I'm pretty impressed with myself because I am no computer whiz! ;) Luckily an app made it easy for me! ;)

One of my favorite things about celebrating our anniversary is that I can get Zach to watch our wedding video!!
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It only happens once a year so it is always so fun to go back to that day and remember all the feelings you felt and how happy you were!

It makes me smile to watch us on that very day and think how young and naive we once were! We had NO idea what in the world laid ahead of us but we were SO excited to start our new journey together! Sometimes I wonder if it would have been nice to have a heads up of what was going to happen to us in the first few years of marriage…but then again maybe not! ;)

7 years has taught us A LOT…REALLY FAST!!! It has been a rollercoaster ride for us. We have experienced the lowest of lows together as well as the highest of highs! Even though there were times where sometimes riding the rollercoaster got harder then I ever imagined and in our emotional stress I wanted to push him off the ride (figuratively…not literally! ;)) I am SOOOOOO grateful that he has been here by my side through every single piece of it!

I have realized through our life experiences how much I have taken Zach for granted. I have come especially over this last year to REALLY appreciate how lucky I am to have such an INCREDIBLE man by my side. (I read Dr. Laura’s book “The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands” and that helped opened my eyes a lot. I recommend it to ANY wife! ;))

No…he isn’t perfect and neither am I BUT he LOVES ME and DAKOTA and NAVY with his whole heart and that is more then I could even ask for. There has never been one day that has gone by that I have questioned or doubted…does he really love me?! And I think that says SO much about Zach!

He is constantly showering me (even though he is blind) with compliments about how beautiful I am and what a perfect wife and mom I am. Of course I always just laugh and shake my head because I know that I am far from it…but to think I have a husband that treats me and loves me like I am is pretty incredible!

And the thing that melts my heart the most is the way he ADORES Dakota! He would stay home from work every day if he could just to snuggle and hold Dakota’s hand (because he has a hand holding obsession! ;)) To see him light up and talk to Dakota with so much love is what really makes me see how lucky I am!!!

Even though our life is SO far from perfect…Zach is what makes life so wonderful for me despite ALL the craziness and choas of it all! He is truly my BEST FRIEND and I love that I get to spend every day with HIM!
I often fear that my next trial (since I do wonder what is next…I realize there is never an end to the trials of life) would be to lose Zach. The thought of it just is unimaginable. I don’t live in fear of it every day because that would just make a person crazy…but I try harder every day to appreciate him and show him how much I love him because I know how quickly life can change! So that is my daily advice to whoever reads this today! Kiss that husband or wife of yours and treat them every day like it could be your last! Because I promise…those who have lost a spouse will tell you…they didn’t know it would be their last!!

For our anniversary we didn’t do anything too crazy! Doug and Vicki took Dakota for the night on Friday so we could have a night ALL to ourselves. That is always so magical! Hopefully I’m not the only parent out there that enjoys it as much as I do! ;) I do love Dakota but a whole night with just Zach is pretty awesome too! ;)

We went to the Movie Grille that night! It was SO much fun! It was our first experience and I would totally recommend it to anyone! You go and get to sit in these amazing recliner seats. A waitress comes and takes your order FOR DINNER! Then they bring you out your drinks and dinner (there is a tray attached) and you get to sit back and enjoy dinner as you watch your movie! It was a super fun and relaxing night!
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I was too chicken to ask someone to take our picture so this is a picture of our relaxing view…when the movie was over! ;)

Then we just went back home and relaxed some more. We of course had to watch Zach’s favorite show…Shark Tank! I love how into it he is! One day he will be on there! ;)
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He pulls the chair up so he can see better! I guess he has a good excuse to not sit by me and hold my hand! ;)

I of course loved the full nights sleep with no interruptions and sleeping in until I wanted to get up! ;) It was heaven just to have some complete alone time with the man I LOVE!!!

Hopefully one of these years we will take that cruise we are always dreaming about! ;)

Monday, January 20, 2014

100% Girl, Meet _____!!

A few weeks ago we had our big ultra sound at Mckay Dee Hospital to make sure everything was looking good! Our doctor sent us to the hospital this time around since Dakota was born with a heart defect so that they could look even closer to make sure the same thing wasn’t going on.
Even though I have prayed my little heart out to Heavenly Father to help me have no fear with this pregnancy…I was still a little bit nervous to go. I guess I have gotten used to getting bad news so I feel like I am always prepared to hear something bad.

BUT it was such a relief to see all of HER little body parts and organs moving and working just as perfectly as they should be. They did say that if she had Dakota’s same heart condition (which it isn’t genetic so the chances are slim to none) that it could show up later on BUT as for right now it was beating perfectly normal!! We couldn’t have been any happier and I left with such a huge smile on my face!


I was also of course excited for them to point out her little girly parts so I can know for sure it is a GIRL!!!
YAY!! We are SO SO excited about this! Even though I would have totally been happy either way…and I’m not just saying that…it has been WAY too much fun looking at girl clothes and thinking of life with a daughter! And in the back of my head I guess I have always felt like Dakota needed a sister to love on and care for him. ;)

We have already picked out her name…NAVY!! We love it and love her SO much already! We had 4 girl names that we loved but in the end we chose Navy. We have always loved the name Jade ever since we had Dakota so I was pretty sure her name would be Jade. But then before we were even trying to get pregnant Zach started liking the name Bentley. I really like that name too but I just didn’t think Bentley Friedli flowed and I was still feeling Jade. As we both went back and forth with these two names I heard the names London and Navy and all of the sudden those were the two names I was torn between. Zach liked them both and so we just sat on them for awhile.

Then one morning Zach woke up and out of nowhere said, “I think it should be Navy.” I of course loved them both but when he said that it just felt right. So…unless something crazy happens before she is born I think we can officially say, MEET NAVY!! ;)
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These ultra sound pictures are still so unreal to me! It is crazy how much they can see. They still look a little alienish to me but I think she is just adorable already!! She had her cute little arms up by her face most of the time so this is the best we got!

I am 24 weeks right now and feeling GREAT!!! I am passed the completely exhausted and tired phase and I am getting bigger for sure but not so big yet that I am completely uncomfortable, so I am enjoying this phase right now! Time is flying by though!! I remember with Dakota feeling like he was NEVER going to get here but this time around it seems like she is coming way too fast!! I am completely happy that I get 40 weeks to prepare myself but it seems like it is all happening really fast and she will be here before we know it!!

This is me at 21 weeks…it’s about time for another pic! ;)
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I always feel like such a nerd getting a picture of just me!!

I started feeling her little kicks at 17 weeks, which was quite a bit earlier then Dakota. They have gotten stronger and stronger every week. She is a strong little girl and she moves a lot more then Dakota used to. Zach thinks that means she is going to be hyper…I kinda hope he is wrong! ;/

I don’t really have any strong cravings or things I can’t stand but I do tend to crave more then normal (which normal is a lot for me anyways) chocolate chip cookies and doughnuts. Those are two things I loved before I was pregnant but now I LOVE them! ;) Especially if I’m anywhere near a Paradise Bakery…there chocolate chip cookies are to die for! ;)

We are still so excited and nervous about this little girl! We know she will put a major spin on our little already crazy world but we know she will bring us a lot of joy too!

Monday, January 13, 2014


I am still alive!!! (Thanks to you couple followers that commented and said you were worried about me cuz it has been so long! I appreciate that! ;)) It has been so long since I have been able to sit down and write a post! I have missed it!! There are a few reasons why I have been MIA…

1. Just straight up busy. Seems like there is never enough time in a day…EVER!! (Can’t imagine what throwing a new baby in the mix will be like!)

2. We were in sunny AZ for Christmas for 10 days and how can you sit down at a computer when you could be laying and playing outside in the sun?? We definitely spent as much of our days as we could outside and with friends and family…loving every minute. (more to come on our trip later!)

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I even got Zach to ride horses with us! It was hilarious!! He says he would rather ride something with a motor! ;) Dakota definitely doesn’t get his cowboy from his dad! ;)

3. I have had such a mix of emotions over this last month from highs to lows to everything in between that I haven’t even known how to express it. The few times I did sit down to write I couldn’t put into words what I was feeling so I just gave up.

I feel like December was such a happy and sad month for me! I LOVE Christmas time and I LOVE the spirit that it brings! I love the happiness, excitement, the love, the kindness, the generosity, and just the plain old goodness that Christmas brings! It is a joyful time and I definitely spent my time leading up to Christmas reflecting on the true meaning of Christmas. Since Christmas at our house is A LOT different then most, it is easier to remember the true meaning of Christmas. As much as I wish Dakota could show excitement about Santa, the Elf on the Shelf, Rudolph and the reindeer and all of the things that make Christmas so magical for little kids…he doesn't. (Although he did give Santa a big ole smile when Grammy and Poppy took him to see him at the Willard Bay lights!)
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The fact that our Christmas is so different then everyone else's used to make me sad. I used to feel like I was missing out. Now I have come to accept and even enjoy a little bit the fact that I don’t have any distractions from the true meaning of Christmas. Dakota actually has taught ME how important this day really is…to celebrate the life of our Savior, his birth, his great example, and his death! And because of that greatest gift…I will one day get the best gift ever…to see my little boy run into my arms again and tell me that he loves me!! And to see my husband be able to see again the beauties that are all around him.

I loved Elder Holland's talk last conference when he talked about this great day he said, “I bear witness of that day when loved ones whom we knew to have disabilities in mortality will stand before us glorified and grand, breathtakingly perfect in body and mind. What a thrilling moment that will be! I do not know whether we will be happier for ourselves that we have witnessed such a miracle or happier for them that they are fully perfect and finally “free at last.”” Oh man…I can’t wait!!!

So this Christmas I had some of my highest highs reflecting on what a sacrifice God made for us to allow his Son Jesus Christ to come to earth…to be born in such a evil world…knowing how much he would have to suffer and endure and one day die…all so that we can live again!! How grateful I am for that most unselfish and loving gift this Christmas season and EVERY day!!

Although I had my highest of highs…my lows came because at the times when we were celebrating this greatest holiday with family and fun…Dakota man would be so ornery and crying. I don’t know why or what it was but it seemed like every activity that should have been so fun and happy (and all the other kids were so excited and happy) Dakota was out of control crying and mad!!! I just wanted to crawl into his little head and figure out what was going on. Overall, Dakota is SO much happier and content then he has ever been since his accident but when it comes to planning specific activities sometimes he loses it and I can’t figure out what it is or when it will happen!

Zach and I have described these moments to each other as “leaving our bubble.” We love our life and accept the changes that have come with it when we are home as a family and there is no one to compare what a “normal” life is like to. But when we step outside to an activity that involves “normal” and Dakota is so ornery when every other kid his age is having fun…then we realize how different and “hard” our life really is! We all the sudden find ourselves comparing what life should or could look like and how much easier and freeing it would be to just be “normal” again.

For me it took being on the Polar Express train. My cutest parents took Dakota and I along with my nephew Sutton to Flagstaff (which is a few hours away) to have special time together on a Polar Express train. I was SO excited and looking forward to it! I had never been and I thought this would be something Dakota could do and enjoy!!

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Getting ready to board!

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All Aboard!!! We are ready to go!!!

It is just a little train that treats you like you are on the “real” Polar Express. You get hot chocolate and cookies. They read the Polar Express to you and then you sing Christmas carols while they take you to the North Pole. You get to look out your window and see Santa in his sleigh. Then at the end Santa gets on the train and gives you your magic bell. Sounds SO fun right?! It was for ALL the other kids and their parents. As I sat there watching the kids sing and dance in the aisles as their parents videoed them with huge smiles on their faces I couldn't help but well up with tears as I held Dakota, stiff as a board and screaming crying for no apparent reason.

It’s times like those when I think…who am I kidding?? Why did I think this would be fun?! This happened not just on the train but opening Christmas presents with the Friedli’s, doing a nativity story with the Friedli’s, exchanging presents with Winterton cousins, etc. All of the other grand kids were happy and excited for these events as they should be…and Dakota…stiff and crying! I don’t expect him to have the same reactions as the other kids but to just see him content would be nice! Maybe one smile?!

But don’t get me wrong…it wasn't all sad…it was just such a strange mix which made December so hard and wonderful at the same time!!

I think pregnancy and the stresses of life are just getting to me too! ;) Dang hormones! I’m allowed to blame it on that right?!

Our life is all just kinda up in the air which creates more stress then normal. We decided out of the blue at the end of November that we should put our house up for sale!!! We LOVE our house and where we live but our house has a split level entry and outside and inside their are just way too many stairs to be realistic with Dakota. So far he has been little enough we haven’t worried but as he is growing and only going to keep growing…we realize this house is not gonna work much longer. So we just listed it ourselves without a realtor since we aren't in a big rush and want to try and get what we want out of it. BUT the big question we keep getting…where are you going to go?? is stressing me right out because we have NO idea!!!! Who puts their house up for sale and has no idea where they are going?! Oh just the crazy Friedli’s!!! We would LOVE to stay in Perry because we love it here but if Zach keeps working at this new job in West Haven it is not realistic to stay here! He carpools down to work each morning but then me, my cute friend Jina, and Zach’s parent’s and grandparents take turns bringing him home from work each day. I am SO grateful for their help that they give us BUT it would be a lot easier on everyone if we just lived closer.

We also would LOVE to build a custom home for Dakota. That is our dream one day. One with EVERYTHING on one level, wide hallways, a bigger room with lots of closet and storage space for all of his medical supplies, a bigger bathroom with a better setup, and just a house with a lot more room and openness so that he can be involved wherever we are. But as much as we want to just start building that today we don’t feel like financially it is the smartest decision quite yet so we will probably just try and find a home that is mostly one level (which is hard to do in UT). Since we don’t know where we are going we might have to rent until we figure that out…depending on how fast our home sells.

So…there is SO much up in the air right now and then bringing a baby in the mix of it all in May just makes life even more interesting! ;)

So basically to sum this random post up CRAZINESS is all I have to say!!! I am still alive but CRAZIER then ever! ;) But hey…life wouldn’t be any fun if it didn’t have a little crazy in it…right?!