Our Story

I'm Tessie and he is Zach. We first met in South Dakota while he was serving a mission and I was going to school. To read the full story of how we met click here.

We got married on January 26, 2007 in the Mesa, AZ temple. We started a life together in Perry, UT.

We had our sweetest gift Dakota come to us on August 10, 2008.

We were just your average every day family living the dream until...

August 2009 Zach unexpectedly had swelling in his optic nerve which left him legally blind and changed our world FOREVER! To read his full story go here. We thought that this was going to be our big trial in life and that it couldn't get any worse then this but boy were we wrong...

On November 26, 2010 our sweet Dakota who was 2 at the time got into a freak accident where a fence panel fell on him and left him with a horrible anoxic brain injury (which is a fancy way to say that his brain did not get any oxygen for an extended period of time). He went from being our perfectly healthy boy to unable to walk, talk, eat, or even breathe on his own. He has progressed a lot since that day when he should have passed away...but still so far from where we hoped and prayed he would be. To read his complete story go here.

We welcomed our sweet baby girl Navy May 12, 2014. 

It took us a long time to feel ready to take on another little precious body in our family with everything we had on our plate...BUT she has been the most perfect addition we could have EVER added to our crazy family! She has brought happiness, normalcy, and lots more love into our home and she couldn't have come at a more perfect time!!

This blog started as a way to keep track of our fun family memories together but after Dakota's accident it turned into my therapy journal! It is VERY open, honest, and real! It is a place where I can write my daily challenges, experiences, and lessons learned...the happy and sad ones! I have never sugar coated ANYTHING I have EVER written because the fact of the matter is...EVERYONE will at some point in time face THEIR trial in life! I can guarantee you that!! It probably won't look exactly like mine (if it does please contact me! ;)) but it will be challenging nonetheless. I have a quote I love that says, "A real but manageable test for one, can be a  fiery trial for another." I believe with all my heart that God knows each one of us individually...He knows what each one of us can handle and what each one of us NEEDS! He uses trials to shape, teach, and mold us into who He wants us to become...and usually that means going through lots and lots pain! I want those that read my blog to know that I have struggled...I have had my bad and VERY dark and lonely days...BUT through time, through Christ, and through a lot of sweat and tears...I have learned, grown, and seen more clearly then ever before the hand of the Lord in my life!! I have come to know and feel what TRUE HAPPINESS really is and to appreciate the simple, precious things in life! I want everyone to know and see as they read my journey that after ALL the pain and struggle there IS light!! My trials have truly become my BIGGEST blessings!

Although our life is VERY FAR from perfect and is NOTHING like what we EVER pictured it being....it is as WONDERFUL as we choose to make it!!!

I truly appreciate with ALL my heart EVERY single person who has visited and read a few posts, smiled at some and cried at others, who have kept us in their prayers, and who have commented to us! We LOVE you and appreciate all the help we can get...we are all trying to get to the same place...just on different pathways!


  1. Thanks for always sharing your life with us all. You're an inspiration to many! xoxo -Abbey

  2. you are truly an inspiration. the strength and love you have for your boys and the Lord oozes through your posts. you have a gift. thank you for sharing.

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  4. I stumbled upon your instagram page and spent time looking at all of your amazing pictures and reading about Dakota and Navy Jo. I wacted to know more about what had happened to Dakota and your husband so I followed your link in your bio and have been reading a lot of you post. I hope that doesn't sound creepy haha but you are truly and inspiration and I love that you don't sugar coat the truth and how you are so Possitive about everything! You have 3 very incredible blessings in your life!!

  5. I’m searching for my Friedli ancestors and found your blog. My 3rd great-grandmother was Frena Friedli. She was born in Basel, Switzerland in 1820. She and her two brothers came over the Atlantic to Basil, Ohio in 1844. I wonder if me and your husband are cousins?

  6. Thank you for sharing. You write so beautifully and can tell are an inspiration many. I truly believe that we all need to listen, encourage, and support each other more than we do. Now I am going to dive into your story more. Camey Sant

  7. You have a beautiful family and an amazing bond. Your children’s faces light up the room. You are an amazing mum and an inspiration ❤️. Life is full of surprises and can change in a heartbeat, and you are showing that nothing will stop you having the best time with your family xx