Sunday, August 3, 2014

Life is Changing…Hang on to your Britches!!

WOW!!! Life has been a whirlwind these last couple months and I don’t even know how to keep up with it physically let alone on this here blog!! I feel like EVERY single minute has been consumed by something, but yet at the end of the day I wonder what did I get done?! Just adding another dependent child to my day to day life I’m sure has something to do with it!! ;)

So here is a brief synopsis of just a few of the things going on in our crazy life!

FIRST: Most important of them all…is our life as a whole has been overwhelmingly AMAZING as of late!!! With Navy joining our family she has brought with her a sense of love, joy, contentment, gratitude, and HAPPINESS that at times makes my heart want to explode!! (I realize that sounds SUPER cheesy but it is the only way to describe it.) My heart is SO full!!! Their is a different feeling both Zach and I have individually, as a couple, as a family, and in our home that I can’t even put into words. I remember after Zach’s blindness and then Dakota’s accident never knowing if we would ever feel COMPLETE happiness in our lives. Slowly over the last 31/2 years it has come but over these last couple months with Navy in our lives it has changed dramatically!! Everyday both Zach and I are SOOOO grateful. There are still a lot of hard things in our life…a blind husband and a brain injured child bring with them a lot of challenges…life has not gotten easier…but it seems like we are being able to more easily overlook those day to day challenges and struggles and have a greater focus on the happy and wonderful things in our lives…like 2 beautiful and healthy children, a happy marriage, a roof over our head, the gospel of Jesus Christ in our lives, etc.


Their is happiness and hope in our lives stronger then it has ever been…and I think we appreciate it SO dang much because we went for such a long time without it!! We have felt what it is like to be in the lowest of lows so even though there are still a lot of unknowns and challenges we deal with daily…we can enjoy the happiness in our lives because nothing MAJOR is wrong! I don’t know if any of that makes sense in anyone elses head because the feelings we have are hard to put into words…we just feel them…but basically we are happier then we have EVER been in our whole married life right now…that’s what I’m trying to say!! ;) And it feels so good!!


Still trying to grasp that we will not be returning to this place we called home for last 7 years!! The place that we created every memory we have as a family both good and sad!! The place that we welcomed 2 beautiful children home to. The place that when Dakota was in the hospital I pictured myself going home to empty handed…seeing his toys and room and not being able to imagine him not there with me! The place that neighbors, friends, and family have come to visit us during the happy and sad times, and the place that has been our refuge to cry and laugh together!! Zach and I literally built that home together. We started it when we were engaged (crazy I know!). Zach picked about everything out since I didn't live here at the time…I was just happy to have a house as a poor newlywed! We literally helped do things on it to save money…I helped tile, Zach helped with the electrical and concrete. We both helped paint.


building house

It was hard to sell because it was OUR home. I couldn’t imagine anyone else living in it but us. BUT the stairs in that place are insane. To get to the front door you go up lots of steps and then once you get into the front door you HAVE to go up or down steps…and with Dakota man it was getting harder and harder and I knew it was time.

As we packed up and got closer and closer to moving, the tenderness in my heart for that place got stronger and stronger. On our last trip to get Zach’s trailers and to hand over the keys and garage opener it tugged at my heart string to know that we weren’t going be able to just walk in that front door or lay in that grass anymore. It was done…BUT I am excited for a new chapter in our life and a new place to someday call home…with no stairs and a more easier and convenient environment for Dakota.

Now just to figure out WHERE that home is going to be is the hard part!!! Until we find find a lot to build on or a house we love that will work, we are renting from some lovely poeple in our ward just about a mile away from our home. It is a sweet basement apartment with just enough room for the 4 of us! We really can’t complain! It worked our perfect for us to move into while we try and figure out life right now and what we are doing!! I will feel a lot better though once we have a plan for the next step! ;)

ZACH'S HAPPENINGS: Zach is still the hardest working blind landscaper I have EVER seen! He is truly amazing and works SO hard and overcomes all the challenges of being blind to provide for our little family!! It is quite miraculous to say the least! He has been blessed with a great full time employee that is reliable and honest and they both go at it every day in that insane heat!! His work is amazing and his perfectionist OCD comes out wonderfully in his work!! I just love him!!

One of the most exciting and sweetest things that happened in May………was his INCREDIBLE invention The Sim-Pole Digger got OFFICIALLY licensed with a company!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Him signing the OFFICIAL contract! Oh yes you know we took a picture of this moment!! ;) (The best  part about this picture is that Zach is such a perfectionist he uses a credit card to write to make his letters perfectly straight…and yes he did this before he went blind! ;))

This is the invention he has been working on for YEARS!!! If you remember…a little over a year ago we went to the Hardware Show in Vegas (read about it here). He had several companies interested and looking at it from there and just in May he FINALLY was able to make an OFFICIAL deal and sign a contract with a company!! Now it’s not like the movies and we aren’t all the sudden going to be rich…I wish! ;) BUT we will hopefully at least get reimbursed for ALL the money he has put into the making of it, the patenting, and the attorney fees to get it to this point and one day hopefully we will get a little bit of a kick back once it hits the market. I literally am DYING to one day see that thing on the shelves of Home Depot! The biggest reward of all is just seeing my amazing husbands hard work, talent, and efforts pay off!! To know that his great idea wasn’t just great to us but to others!!! I am SOOOO proud of him! (He will be COMPLETELY embarrassed I even wrote about this! But it is a HUGE accomplishment and memory worth writing about!!) ;)

ME: I am just still me…nothing great that I have accomplished besides surviving! I think that is an accomplishment! ;) I am just loving being a mom to these 2 cuties and a wife to this handsome man! They are my world!
Fourth of July!! (Yes I totally did a mommy daughter twinner headband…didn’t even buy them at the same time though and plan it! ;))

Close up! :) I know I’m a total nerd and she will totally be embarrassed of this one day! LOL!!

Trying to get back into running again but it sure is a lot tougher with 2 kiddos and one nursing! ;) One day!! I would love to prep for another marathon again sometime in the near future...although just running 3 or 4 miles right now is such a challenge! :/

DAKOTA: Obviously if you haven’t guessed already…he finished his last year of preschool in May! This was a sad day for me because he had been at this preschool for THREE years now and I had fallen in love with his teacher, the preschool staff, and even his AMAZING bus drivers!!!

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His AMAZING teacher Miss Keri!!

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His happiest morning bus drivers!! I will miss their happy, sweet smiles greeting us every morning!! They hung that Woody and Buzz poster up just for Dakota above his window! They were always so sweet to him!!

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His cutest afternoon bus drivers! Just as sweet! Wish everyone could catch a glimpse of their big hearts!! Luckily Gina on the left is in my ward so I still get to see her! ;)

I know Kindergarten will be good and it is time to move on BUT I will miss these amazing people who have been such a HUGE part of ours and Dakota’s life! They have loved him and helped him and it’s hard to say goodbye! If they would let him I think I would let him stay in preschool for the rest of his life! ;) (I’m pretty sure he would be okay with that too!)

The first of the summer Dakota got to be on his VERY first t-ball team!! Our brother-in-law Beau was coaching the team for our nephew Houston. One day they just threw it out there that they asked the league if Dakota could be on there team and get a shirt too. They said he could so if we wanted to bring him we could. The fact that they even thought of him literally melted my heart and it was the first time I had ever thought…why not let him play t-ball! I guess I had just accepted the fact that that wasn’t going to get to be a part of our life BUT them bringing it up opened my eyes to WHY NOT?!

I had no idea how it would go or if Dakota would even like it. BUT that first day as we went out and the kids were all practicing before the game and I started playing a little catch with Dakota his face LIT right up and I knew…this was perfect!!!

Cutest t-ball player I have EVER seen! ;)

Oh the fun!! That smile is worth it all!!!

Batting was a little tricky but Poppy took him up there like a champ and let him bat just like all the other kids!! He started off just holding him but it was a little tricky so then we decided the stroller would work a little better. I’m not trying to brag but he did get a homerun every time! ;) (They let the last hitter go all the way around!)
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I’m not sure if this will be something we can do forever but I’m SO grateful Beau thought of Dakota and let him be a part of this wonderful team!!!
Uncle Beau holding him and Dakota’s girlfriend Hadlee is right next to him!!

At the end of the season Dakota even got the MVP award! Must have been all those homeruns! ;)
Getting awarded by Uncle Beau

Dakota and cousin Houston!

One proud boy with his trophy! Every boy deserves a trophy!

He has had A LOT of fun in the sun this summer! Swim parties at Grammy and Poppy’s of course are the most fun. They got him this sweetest shark that is SO perfect for him! It keeps him all the way out of the water…since his trach (the thing in his neck ;)) can’t get any water near it or it goes in his lungs, swimming is a tricky thing!

Just chillin!

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Grammy and Poppy always have fun things to do there!! ;) Houston is blowing him some bubbles!

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LOVE this cute family of ours!!

Cute cousins!!!

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Uncle Ryan even let us come swim in his sweet pool! We love the water!!

Dakota also got to experience his first splash pad (since the accident)!

It was quite a blast!!
splash pad
His very favorite thing there was when his dad would run him through the tunnel of spray! ;)

He even got picked up on by these cutest little ladies! ;) His g-tube caught their eye!
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Luckily his dad spoke spanish so he could interpret for Dakota and tell them all about him! ;) Seriously..THE. CUTEST!!!

He used his cousin Maelee to warm him up!
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Cousins are the best!!!

One of the coolest things of all though…is Dakota man got his SWEET bike!!!!!!!!!!! YAHOOOO!
We got it right before Miss Navy was born so that is why I haven’t gotten to write about it! We got it all set up with the help of my mom and Zach!
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Got him all strapped in and adjusted!
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It fit him perfectly like a glove!!!

Then we took our VERY FIRST family ride around the block!
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It was SUCH a HAPPY day!! Not sure who was most excited!!

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Dakota sure thought it was pretty cool though!

Here is a video to see more how it works in action! ;) (Don’t mind my cheesy narration!)

Since then we have been on LOTS and LOTS of bike rides!!Dakota bike
It has been such a huge blessing to have!! We kinda wore him out right when we got it going out EVERY single day! It does require work on his end so he can’t go for long periods of time before he gets tired and worn out. So we have taken a little break now and again and then he seems to enjoy riding much more!!!

I can’t say thank you enough to our AMAZING friends who got this for him!!! We will forever be grateful!!!!!

NAVY JO: She turned 2 months on the 12th of June!
She is chunking up if you can’t tell! ;)

The best words to describe her is heaven sent!! She is seriously the most perfect little baby I could EVER have asked for!! I know she was hand picked just for our family! Heavenly Father knew we could only handle so much…so He made her perfectly for us!! He must have given her A LOT of lessons before she came!! ;) I’m pretty sure he told her that her parents were already a little crazy so she needed to help make life as smooth as it could be so we didn’t turn more crazy! ;) She is the happiest, most content, great sleeping baby EVER!! I thought Dakota was a good baby but she may outdo him! She is already sleeping 9-11 hours at night. She only fusses if she is tired, hungry, or right when she is put in the carseat.

When you look in her dark eyes she seems to know SO much! It is hard to describe but I swear she is just filled with knowledge! Not book smarts…I’m not saying she is going to be the smartest kid in school…but she seems to know what is going on. She is only 2 months but I swear she has a VERY old soul! She just has this look that tells you…I know more then you! It is wierd but both Zach and I have noticed it and even my sister Katie when she came to visit said…she is so smart! (And obviously she wasn’t spouting off her ABC’s or anything! ;))

She is definitely chunking up if you can’t tell! ;) Dakota was never a chunky baby so it is a little different but fun!I love her little squishy rolls!!! At her 2 month appointment (which was a couple weeks after she turned 2 months) she was 12 pounds (63%), 23.25 inches tall (71%), and her little head circumference was 41%.

She is in a size 1 diaper although she is starting to blow out of those quite regularly so we may need to go up!
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Luckily though…when girls blowout all over their clothes…they still have accessories to keep them rockin!! ;)

She has outgrown most of her newborn clothes and is in 0-3 months! That makes me sad and makes me think I can’t call her a newborn anymore! :(

About 6 weeks she started cracking smiles but you had to really work at them! Now they are becoming more and more often and easier and easier to come by!
ESPECIALLY at her dad!!!! They sure love each other!!

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WOW…Double chin!! ;)

She still can’t keep a binky in…what is the trick all you mom’s?! I have literally tried EVERY brand of binky!So she still resorts to her thumb, fingers, hand, or blanket…and still often gags herself…but it is cute!! ;)
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We blessed her on June 1st…but I will be updating a whole blog post on that special day soon!! :)

She is a little light in our family and she brings so much love and happiness! Even Dakota is starting to come around!!
He LOVES her floor mat! One day I left him laying a little distance away from her like I always do…since he can’t control his movements all the time and has been known to wak her in the face or I fear he will roll on top of her…and walked into the kitchen. I came back a minute later and he had done a full log roll and was right next to her. If you can’t tell on his face he was pretty proud of himself!! ;) And miss Navy was just chill and content sharing her mat with him!

I die over these two!! Can’t wait to watch them continue to grow and love each other! (At least that’s what I’m hoping for!)

WHEW…hopefully now that we are settled for a minute I can keep up with this blog again! ;)


  1. You are the best Tessie! Zach did an amazing job on our yard and We always try to put our recommendation out there. That whole signing with a credit card cracked me up cuz Doug does the same thing. Like father like son huh? Your kids are darling! Love ya! See you bright and early Saturday! (Not sure I'm ready for it)

  2. Try a wubbanub! The animal attached is weighted so it stays in place and as they get older they can find it in the dark easier. Saved us a ton of trips!

  3. Love love love. Thanks for the great update. That little Navy... just too cute in her little headbands. I'll have to start stocking up. :)

  4. Oh how I loved reading this! And it made total sense to me when you explained how you are enjoying your happiness because nothing major is wrong! Thanks for such a great update! xoxo