Wednesday, May 21, 2014


Navy Jo FINALLY came to our little family on Monday May 12th at 10:30 a.m. and she couldn’t be more perfect!! She was 7 lbs 12 oz and 19.5 inches long!

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Few hours after she was born. She was so alert and awake!!

I started contractions and went in on my own and was able to have a VERY successful VBAC!! I will blog about her birth story later when I have more time! But all I can say is it couldn’t have gone any better!!

Zach and I getting SUPER excited. Mind you this was after I got the epidural! There were no smiles going on before then! ;)

Time is definitely not on my side now. ;) I thought I was busy before but now a spare minute is hard to find, and if I find one, I am usually soaking in the tub or taking a nap! ;) So sorry for this long delay of her announcement!!

The first week I would title as ADJUSTMENT! Dakota’s birth was SO different because it was an emergency c-section and then for 2 weeks it was visiting him in the NICU…I never got to take him home and experience “normal” newborn life with him.

Physically I can’t even remember the healing aspect of it because I was SO focused on Dakota and him getting better I didn’t have time to think about me. Nursing was also different because all I mostly did was pump and give away that white gold to the nurses to give to Dakota. It wasn’t until I got to take him home 2 weeks later I experienced the real nursing experience.

So this go around has been completely different. Experiencing the physical aspects of labor and healing has been tough. Trying to nurse a baby who wants to sleep ALL day every day has been tough. I have resorted to a spray bottle to try and keep her up and even that doesn’t always work (mean I know! ;))

Adjusting to the emotional roller coaster that first week was quite different for me too. I’m not much of a crier or even very emotional but about day 3 and 4 I would just cry…for no particular reason at all. I would look at Zach being the cutest dad and cry. I would cry because of how much I love ms Navy Jo and then turn around and cry because I was unsure how in the world I was going to take care of Dakota and Navy by myself when my mom leaves. I would cry because how grateful I was that the VBAC went so smooth and then I would cry because I wasn’t able to pick up Dakota yet. It was all so weird and I was feeling like a crazy person. Luckily my sister and friend assured me that as normal and that they cried too! Zach wasn’t so sure it was normal! ;) I don’t remember feeling like that with Dakota but I’m sure I was…it probably just made more sense because he was still in the hospital and it manifested itself “seemingly” more normal! ;)

It has been an adjustment just managing 2 kids. I change a TON of diapers now and juggle trying to give Dakota enough attention between the millions of feedings that Navy needs. Dakota has his last day of school this Friday and I’m not sure how this summer is going to go but I sure hope I can entertain him enough with a little sister in tow!

Week 2 has already been SO much better! I feel like a “normal” person again!!! Physically I feel SO much better and emotionally I think I’m back to normal! ;)

Navy truly has been such a sweet, happy, and content little girl and I thank Heavenly Father every day for hearing my “order” I placed for a good baby and blessing me with one! By the 2nd night she was already going 4 hours at night between feedings and now has consistently been going 5 hours and even then, I am trying to wake her up to eat. She is pretty much just happy and content in her few moments in the day when she is actually awake! We think she is just gorgeous as ever but of course we are her parents so we will think that! So far most people think she looks like me but I can never tell when they are so tiny. I did look at a baby picture of Dakota and think she looked like him except for the eyes!

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It’s crazy how fast they change and grow!!

Dakota first met her in the hospital (don’t have that picture yet) but he didn’t really have much response to her.

When we got home he was kind of the same way. Slowly day by day he looks at her a little more. I’m sure he is wondering why I am always holding her on the couch so much (feeding her!) ;) He has started to smile at her sometimes though. I can’t wait for the day when she will just light up his world. I’m sure he is just waiting for her to wake up and play!!! ;)

He stared at her on the way home from the hospital…thinking who in the world is back here with me! ;)

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He sure makes Navy look so tiny!! I feel like he has grown SO much since she has come!!

His first smile at her! Having someone on the floor with him is pretty fun!! ;)

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We try and let him snuggle her as much as possible! We have to really make sure he doesn’t stiffen up with her in his arms or wave his arm and smack her! ;) Pretty soon she will be tough enough to take him though! ;)

Sure love these 2!! I’m excited to see all that the future holds for them and to see them grow to love one another!!

I can’t believe we are a family of 4 now!!!

Sunday, May 11, 2014


There was a time 3 1/2 years ago I thought the gift of motherhood was going to be taken from me! As I saw my son laying on that bed, the thought that if he dies, then I am no longer a mom…RIPPED at my heart strings. The thought of that beloved title that I took for granted until that day was the hardest thing to bare!

Fortunately for me…that title wasn’t taken from me although Dakota’s ability to say “mom” was. Being a mom for me now LOOKS a lot different then what it did before that day, but being a mom MEANS more to me now then it did before that day!!

I learned from this trial that being a mom is a LITERAL gift from God! It is something that only He can give us and when he does give us that gift we must cherish it with ALL of our hearts…because he can also take it from us at any time.

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I was always that person that thought…that would never happen to ME! Things like this happened to other people I watched on the news…not me! Well…tragedy can strike anyone at anytime…including me!! No one is immune and no one can prepare for it.

So even though being a mom is literally the hardest job in the world and at times you feel a little crazy…never take the title of MOM for granted and cherish EVERY day you have with your kids! Because it is literally the best and most rewarding job in the world!!

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Happy Mother’s Day to all of you mom’s out there!!! And a very special Mother’s Day to ALL the woman in my life that are true examples of what a mother truly is…there are too many of you to name!

I just have to share my MOST favorite quote by one amazing woman and mother…Marjorie Pay Hinckley!
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Friday, May 9, 2014


Well…Navy’s due date came and went yesterday and still no Navy! I guess no one told her it was her due date!! We aren't sitting around fretting or upset though. We are just enjoying our one on one time with Dakota man until she decides to come!

I love my snuggles!!

We even took him to the Bear movie yesterday since she didn't come. We figured we will just keep partying and maybe it will make her jealous and she will want to come! ;)

I am pretty patient although Zach is getting a little frustrated since the weather has been so bad and rainy that he can’t work…he would love for her to come while he isn’t stressed in the middle of a job! ;) He is such a planner!!

Well…I am writing this post today…because I am already SOOOOO excited that the 2nd annual F2TK (Fight to the Finish) 5k race is getting closer and coming together!!

Last year was their first one and if you remember we did a Team Dakota!
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My heart was so full of love and gratitude to each of you who came out and supported Team Dakota and this great cause!!! I wanted to hug and kiss each one of these sweet people!!!!

Now those of you who know me know I like to run and go to races!! BUT this race was BY FAR the BEST race I have EVER done hands down!! Not because of the course, or the competition, or the awards BUT because of the spirit of love and celebration that was there. I wouldn’t even call it a race…because there was no competition, there was no winner, no awards, nothing of the sort. Instead it literally brought tears to your eyes to see the swarms of people each in their different color shirts representing a different team and person that was SO worth representing! There was just LOVE in the air and it was the coolest feeling ever being there!! I can’t even put it into words…but those that were there ALL felt it and walked away a better person…I know that for sure!!!

They had an opening ceremony that really brought the true meaning of it all together. We released balloons of each color representing each team!
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As you slowly jogged or walked the course you would pass by pictures of each person that the team was representing. Instead of being in a hurry to finish…I looked at each face in that picture and thought about that person…some I knew, some I didn’t. Those I didn’t I wondered what their story was and longed to know them. Those I did I smiled as I thought about their courageous fight in life and the example that they are to me!!

One of my most favorite people of course Dylan…I love that angel boy so much!!!! 2013-08-17 08.42.48
Dakota was trying to sign I love you too! ;)

But of course to see my sweet Dakota man’s face on his own poster sure made my heart swell!!! He is my greatest example of Fighting to the Finish!!
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Love that cute face SO much!!!!!

A team that struck me the most was yellow…I can’t remember their team name. But a young boy who was working on getting his Eagle Scout started this team. His goal was for each person on his team to push someone that was in a wheelchair. It melted my heart to see all of these kids like Dakota…who would LOVE to get up and run this race if they could…being pushed by loving hands!!
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Dakota thought they were pretty cool too!!!

I can’t say enough good things about the AMAZING people behind this race who I love with all of my heart…one of the biggest Ann Smith who lost her sweet 14 year old boy to cancer. I have gotten the privilege of getting to know her more and more over this last year and man she is one of my biggest heroes!!!
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This is Ann and her cute family!!!

I was so privileged to get to help even a TEENY TINY bit by helping pick up all the shirts for the race in Zach’s dump trailer…that’s how many shirts and people they had come!!
Me and Chelsea…my talented friend that designs all the shirts and does all this behind the scenes work all for free! She has a heart of gold!!

We delivered the shirts to Ann and Becky at 11 clock at night a couple days before the race. Instead of complaining and acting like what a pain this was going to be to get all of these shirts delivered…they were SOOOOO excited for them to arrive…even though it was 11 clock at night. They opened up each of the boxes and looked at each team and just went on and on about each of the teams and how wonderful they were! I marveled at the sincere goodness in these 3 woman…Ann, Becky, and Chelsea who were spending SO much time, work, and service into something that they personally didn’t gain anything from. They are some of the most AMAZING woman I know!!!

Ann puts in countless hours and work to out this race together to raise money for The Giving Trees organization that she started and continues to do in honor of her sweet son Tyler. ALL the money they raise from this race goes to creating more trees that she puts gift cards and money on to give to other kids and people that are facing life-threatening things. They bring a tiny ray of hope and light into the lives of these people who are facing unimaginable things!!!

I have been in that dark place and I can tell you that every gesture of love, kindness, and support that you receive from others makes a HUGE difference in helping you feel your Heavenly Father’s love for you and to help you get through!!!!

So…I’m calling all and everyone that can join us again on AUGUST 9TH with Team Dakota to run or walk to celebrate and help this great cause move forward!!!! (It is the day before Dakota mans birthday so we will probably celebrate there with cupcakes or something…maybe make you where a birthday hat or something!!! ;))

Now until June 9th registration is $25. June 9th through July 9th it is $30 and June 9th is the deadline to join a team and get a Team shirt. I’m pretty sure that you can still register up until the day (for you procrastinators) but you won’t get to wear an AWESOME team Dakota shirt…you will get the race shirt which is still pretty awesome because it is Team Tyler!! ;)

To register go to this link and scroll to the bottom to where it says click to register. Find Team Dakota on the drop down. We look forward to seeing all your beautiful faces in our new team color this year…NAVY…for Dakota’s new sister!! ;)

Here is a collage of all the goodness of that magical day!!!!
Still makes my heart so happy to see and remember all of this goodness!!!!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Dear Navy,

You are 39 weeks and 3 days in my tummy right now
…which means you could be in my arms any day now!! I can’t believe how fast the time has flown from when we first found out you were coming and were as tiny as a poppy seed to now!!

Our love for you has grown EVERY single day and my heart could burst right now with how much love I have for you and I haven’t even gotten to see your tiny face or hold your little hands!

We are so excited, nervous, happy and scared for the day you come into this world!! It has taken your dad and I a long time to feel like we could bring another little person into our family after Dakota’s accident! We still aren’t sure how everything is going to go and how we will do it…BUT we know Heavenly Father told us it was time and because of that we have faith that all will work out and that you will be a HUGE blessing in our lives!!

I sometimes wonder if I know how to be a mom anymore to a healthy child. I have gotten to be a pretty good mom to a brain injured child…blending meals, cleaning and changing trachs, suctioning, therapy, diapers, etc. BUT sometimes I fear I won’t remember how to be a good mom to you. I hope that you will be patient with me as I try to be the very best mom I can to you AND Dakota!! I will have to relearn a lot of things! Physically I might get exhausted and lose my patience at times but I hope that you will understand!!
Navy, I won’t always be the perfect mom but I hope that I will find a way to teach you the things that are most important in this life. It has taken your mom a lot of years and tears to learn some of these things that I hope I can teach you while you are just a little girl!! Dakota has taught me SO much in his short 5 years of life about a lot of these things!! Because of him, I know I will be a better mom to you, then I ever could have been without him!!

Before I had Dakota and as he was just born, I wanted so bad to teach him to be the smartest kid, the most talented kid, politest kid, the best at sports kid, and of course the cutest. Now I realize that (except for the politest) I don’t care if you are ever ANY of those things! You will learn your ABC’s one day…I will never stress about teaching you that! If you never ever are able to catch a ball or be the best dancer on the stage…I won’t even bat an eye about it!

All I hope and dream for you is that you have a HUGE heart that knows how to love!! I hope that I can teach you to love EVERYONE no matter who they are, what they have done, or what they look like. That you will love and serve others as your Savior did! That you will NEVER treat anyone unkindly or judge another! I want you to have compassion in your heart even while you are young. I want you to be the kid that stands up for someone being made fun of, reaches out to someone who is sad or lonely, or gives a hand to someone that has fallen down! I want you to KNOW what compassion is and feel it in your heart…even when you are only 3!! I want to give you opportunities while you are just learning to walk to love and serve others! I won’t ever shy away from sharing the difficult things that are going on around us in fear that you are too young or it might scare you! I want you to know that there is SO much heartache in the world…not to bring you any fear…but to teach you what an important part you can play in helping ease the pain in others hearts!!

I want you to know where you came from, who you are, why you are here, and where you want to go!! I want you not to just learn and memorize the words to I am a Child of God but I want you to REALLY know what they mean!! I want you to know who God is and how important he is in your life!! I want you to live every day for Him and be the daughter of God He designed you to be!! Navy you and every person that comes into this world has an unlimited potential to be something AMAZING!! But only your loving Heavenly Father who is sending you here to me can help you to see and know the potential that is inside of you!!! I hope that you will learn at a young age how to pray and come to him to seek the guidance that I know you will need…as I have needed it…to help you on your journey back to him!!

I wonder how I will be able to teach you all of these things…I know it is a lot to learn! But I know that this is what I will focus my daily efforts on and I know Dakota will play a HUGE part in helping you to learn all of this as well!!

Navy, our family is a lot different then others. You will grow up and find that out as you go to friends houses. You will see that your brother is different then most and your Dad can’t do some of the same things other dad’s can do. Many people have told me you are so lucky to come into our family…you may wonder if that is true when you see all the challenges that you have to face on a daily basis with our family that other kids don’t…BUT I hope that one day you will see how those challenges are really blessings and that you are a pretty lucky girl!

I hope that you will love Dakota with ALL your heart!! I hope that when you look in his eyes and see his sparkly smile that you will see pieces of heaven and that they will remind you of where you came from and where you hope to go someday. You will have to be really careful, helpful, and patient with Dakota and sometimes you may wish that you had a “normal” brother that could wrestle and play with you BUT I hope that you will one day see how lucky you really are to have an angel right in your very home. If you let him, he will teach you the things that are MOST important in this life!! Not through anything he ever tells you but through his sweet, sweet spirit, his eyes, and his smile. He knows more then your mom and dad will ever know and he can help guide you through this crazy life you are about to live!! I hope that you will feel the love he has for you in his heart and that your love for him will be just as strong…even if you never get to hear his voice tell you I love you…at least in this life!

Navy, your Dad may not be able to always see your beautiful face, play catch with you, or take you for a daddy/daughter date on his own as much as I know he would love to!! But I promise he will ALWAYS love you will ALL his heart and he will give you the world and that is what truly matters!! He will play with you, laugh with you, cry with you, protect you, hold your hand (a lot!!) and be your biggest hero! He will be the best example you could ever have as you grow up and start to wonder what kind of guy you want to marry!! I hope that you will always be patient and helpful to him!! He will need you to be his helper sometimes…he will need you to be his eyes at times to help him do things. I hope that you will have a loving, serving, and happy heart and that you will find so much joy in the time that you get to spend with him!!!

Navy…we LOVE you SO much! We can’t wait to see your beautiful face, hold you in our arms, and give you all that we have to offer…which to the world may not look like much but if you could see in our hearts it is so much!!
I know your Heavenly Father is preparing you right now…whenever you are ready we will be here waiting!!!

All our love,
Mom, Dad, and Dakota