Instagram and a little about where we're at...

posted on: Friday, April 18, 2014






I guess I write this post not really knowing what to say, I know a "thank you" is in order for all of those that have helped us over the last month and my heart is full of gratitude for those that have shown us so much love. This past month's roller coaster of emotions felt like the carnival ride that would never end. And between the sickness and pain and sometimes the most somber moments of sadness I've been reminded that being strong is never skin deep. 

Lately, it feels like we've been living in this perpetual state of repetitive questioning, the questions and concerns haven't bothered me and the unceasing love for my family has been a reminder that people are good. Mostly I've been asked  "How are you doing?" at first my reaction was simple and direct about the pain but as time passed I began to realize more and more that I wasn't quite sure how I was doing. So in the most matter-of-fact way I don't really know where my emotions are at these days and I'm fine with not knowing or even understanding them completely. 

Two weeks ago or so John and I decided as a united front that it was time to sell off all our baby items (I know it may seem a bit rash)--basically the whole gamut of swings, clothes, shoes, bouncers, you name it, it's now gone. When it came to finally get rid of it all I had a small panic attack at the years of memories that were filled within each box, but as I went through each item one-by-one only trying to only keep the most precious and memorable pieces a weight slowly lifted off my shoulders. And it wasn't until the last thing finally sold that John and I realized we had made the right decision for our family. It seemed that holding onto each article of clothing and every morsel of babyhood had taken it's toll on us, it was like a small army of baby items had bogged us down in trench that could only be escaped by purging it all. And when it was all gone I cried out of relief and a bit out of guiltiness.

And as with all fresh starts I'm trying to find one for myself as well. We've been steam rolled over the last five years in terms of pregnancies and realizing the burden that each one has placed on our marriage made us realize even more that a break was in order. A break from babies, a break from worrying about the inevitable, a break from dreading the worst, and a break from feeling completely helpless. So we're breaking. I don't know if it's a permanent one or not and while I'm so sad, a sadness that seems so hard to even describe, I know my focus needs to be on being a wife and a mother to the people that I already have in my life.  

And I finished Whole30 yesterday, which has been a small victory for me and big victory for my pants. More on that later. Happy Easter, friends!


A baby.

posted on: Monday, March 31, 2014


I was pregnant and now I'm not. The finality of saying it stings more than I hoped it would. We had seen the baby, heard the heart beat and had begun to plan for its little arrival, but after a few months it ended. The heart beat was gone and a little piece of me had died. 

I was strong the first few days, even though the baby was still there, but as the hemorrhaging began I had to witness the loss leaving me. It was hell, in every way imaginable. The sickness, the labor pains, the blood, the passing out, the inability to hold my other children left me crippled for days and at the end of each night the sadness was so strong that I woke up in the morning weak with exhaustion.

Trying to remain strong for myself and my family was virtually impossible. The physical exhaustion left me helpless and at the mercy of others and our devastation was openly evident, it was then that family and friends began to carry our burden. They fed us, cleaned our house, rubbed the knots in my back, and tried to console in the best way possible and for that I will be forever grateful. I am so blessed to have so many wonderful people in our lives who at a moments notice would jump in the car or run down the street to help us. Thank you, you know who you are.

I thought I could muddle through my emotions after hemorrhaging for four days and then I found out that I would still need to have surgery. It was the crushing blow to an already unbearable situation. I cried. I cried out of sadness. I cried out of exhaustion. I cried out of pain. And when it was all I had left I cried out of sheer hopelessness. This body of my that had been so strong for so long was now fighting me in ways I never imagined and the lack of control left a burdening toll on my every move. Luckily, the surgery was quick which was a welcomed relief from the previous weeks of pain and a sense of recovery had finally been dealt my way. 

Looking back John was the strong one, he always has been. After each of our trialing pregnancies he's known who to call, how to keep our home in order, and what to say to keep us all functioning--he has rarely shown emotion and his calm and collected demeanor has been the anchor to our rocking ship. I would like to think that we could make it through any trial and while there are still things we haven't experienced yet (or may never) I know that through each pain staking experience that has been placed before us he's remained by my side through the tears and the pain. 


In the end, many have told us that we should count our blessings on the miracles that we already have--especially Brecken. And I do, everyday. But it still can't diminish the overwhelming sadness of having another miscarriage and the missed opportunity to be the mother to another child. I know God has a plan and that little by little my pain will heal and my body will find a way to mend, but for now my emotions are raw and the little life that was once there has left me with an emptiness that can't be quenched. It may sound a bit silly to make an issue when there are far worse problems in this world, but today this is my trial and it's one we've suffered before and more than likely we may have to suffer again. I don't know why this trial is ours but I hope someday to understand its meaning. 

For now I will miss my baby, miss the dreams of its future, and miss the hope of being its Momma here on earth. 

I love you baby, wherever you may be. 


to love life, to love it even
when you have no stomach for it
and everything you've held dear
crumbles like burnt paper in your hands,
your throat filled with the silt of it.
When grief sits with you, its tropical heat
thickening the air, heavy as water
more fit for gills than lungs;
when grief weights you like your own flesh
only more of it, an obesity of grief,
you think, How can a body withstand this?
Then you hold life like a face
between your palms, a plain face,
no charming smile, no violet eyes,
and you say, yes, I will take you
I will love you, again
-Ellen Bass


Whole 30 (and a recipe)

posted on: Tuesday, March 25, 2014


Last week I started doing Whole30 in a effort to try to get my body back in sync with itself. The program intentionally steers away from calling itself a diet because it's more focused around still eating food (and lots of it) but making a conscious effort to cut out grains, dairy, sugar, and processed foods with the hope of a giving a body a needed break from all the junk that seems to be put into it. 

The first day was hard, my body had become so dependent on sugar that by noon I was suffering from a migraine and shaking hands. Torturing myself didn't seem like enough so I decided to clean out our pantry on day one and it was then that I realized that I had been filling my body with between 200-500 calories of wasted junk a day. A chip here, a cookie there, a few reese's, a sip of coke, a bowl of popcorn--each portion was so small that I didn't think it was really hurting me until I looked at the overall picture and realized my careless eating habits were slowly contributing to a number of health problems. On Day 2 my body seemed to slowly be acclimating to the clean change but I was still so weak, I found that by keeping my body nourished all day long and never letting myself get hungry I was at less of risk of binge eating. 

My journey started with reading "It Starts with Food," this book was such an eye opener to the effects that food have on our bodies. Food can either be the best medicine for us or the drug that ultimately kills us. For weeks I had been procrastinating on starting because excuse after excuse would build up--I have a conference, there are holidays, I'll start on Monday, I'll wait until the Summer....they just kept creeping into my mind. But one quote from the book finally pushed me to the point of starting, "It is not hard. Don't you dare tell us this is hard. Quitting heroin is hard. Beating cancer is hard. Drinking your coffee black. Is. Not. Hard...." It just seemed like there was so many other things in this world that are hard that finding a way to limit the junk intake to my body for 30 days should just be...well, easy.

And the results after just 7 days have been so rewarding. I mean it's really hard to even put it in words. I have a 19-year-old flat stomach again, less bloating, no bags under my eyes, I go to sleep more quickly, I wake up refreshed--it really was the exact medicine I needed. Did I mention the weight loss? It really has been such an eye opener to how my food choices have been negatively impacting my body. 

If you're interested in learning more about Whole30 start here and here. I also have a Pinterest Board with lots of great recipes and tips and tricks if you need more insight. And what would a post be if there was an added bonus, made these bad boys last night and they were delish!

Whole30 Beef (or elk) Fajitas

1-2 Flank Steaks  (we used elk steak)
1 Roma Tomato
1 head of Romaine or Butter Lettuce
2 Ripe Avocados
Red Pepper
White Onion
4 Garlic Cloves
2 Limes
1 Lemon
Cumin
Organic Fajita Seasoning
Onion Powder
Salt and Pepper
Garnish: grape tomatoes and olives


Steak Marinade Recipe:
1 TSP Olive Oil
2 TSP Lime Juice
1 TSP Lemon Juice
1/4 tsp Cumin
1/4 tsp Salt and Pepper
1/2 organic Fajita Seasoning
1/2 tsp onion powder
2 crushed or minced garlic cloves

Guacamole Recipe:
2 Ripe Avocados
1 small Roma Tomatoe
1/4 C diced White Onion
1 TSP Lime Juice
1 tsp Cumin
1 minced garlic clove
Dash of Salt and Pepper

Sauteed Vegetables Recipe:
1 Sliced Red Pepper
1 Sliced White Onion
1 minced Garlic Clove
1 TSP Organic Fajita Seasoning
1/4 tsp Cumin
Olive Oil

Mix marinade ingredients together and pour of steaks. Allow them to marinade at room temperature for 30 minutes. While they steaks marinade mix all guacamole ingredients together and place in refrigerator for cooling. Begin cooking steaks on BBQ, depending on the size of the steak cook for roughly 5 minutes on both sides. While steaks are on the BBQ begin to saute the vegetables and ingredients, cook until the onions are a nice translucent color. Pull steak from the BBQ and thinly slice, mix in with the sauteed vegetables. Serve over lettuce and top with guacamole and tomatoes. 

Enjoy!






A few of my favorite art pieces right now

posted on: Wednesday, March 5, 2014



I never really viewed my parents as artists until much later in my adult life. My Mom has always been an amazing seamstress with a specific knack for developing patterns and putting them into motion. Need a BBQ cover? check. Want a cover for a kindle that will also house cords and a phone? check. She really is amazing. In addition to her sewing skills she has also been blessed with an amazing mind that can draw almost anything from memory. My Dad while also amazing at drawing has a unique set of skills for putting those images on leather, whether it be making a saddle or designing a pair of chaps. Now that I'm older I look back and see how each of their unique skills transcended down to each of their children in one way or another and it really feels me with a sense of pride and a checking accounting that spends way too much at Joanns....

In addition to being creative my parents also owned a blossoming archery business in the heart of Utah County when I was young. My Dad spent a good portion of the winter traveling around the country to trade shows and while gone he seemed to always acquire a new piece of artwork whether it be a bronze sculpture or painting on each trip. Each item would arrive home in either a well traveled tube or already matted to a perfectly fit frame. I never viewed having nice artwork around our house as anything out of the ordinary and it wasn't until I went to college and took a few pieces with me that I understood--college kids don't have nice artwork in the homes. For a few reasons... :)

Today, John and I still appreciate the value of good artwork. Even though we live in a rental where the thought of putting a hanging display on the wall would send our landlord into frenzy it hasn't stopped our love of finding unique pieces for our home. And let me tell you, it's a crime we can't decorate these walls--stark white, perfect natural lighting--it's a match made in heaven really. 

So I've settled for more creative measures of decorating, and most of them require resting the artwork on mantles and credenzas. Whatever the case, when we do finally get back into a house of our own again each of these beauties will have a special place. 

 here's my two cents:

one//Caitlin Connolly is by far one of my favorite artists. This piece entitled "I'm tired. I'm tired too." was hot of the press when I bought it and there was something about it that just spoke to me as a parent of young kids. Every time I look at it I envision a scenario that plays out daily with John and I. The way the woman's hand rests on her knee and how the man in gently leaning in towards her just speaks leaps and bounds to the relationship of this couple and their enduring love even though the restless (and sleepless) times. I could probably go on and on about my favorite pieces but I would say it is well worth your time to view them for yourselves here

two// I own this moose. It's not white but it is the same moose. It hangs in our kids play area and there is just something about it that screams modern//funky//Montana. I figured I could get away with putting it in our house because a) it's a moose b) John has a thing for taxidermy c) this is kind of like taxidermy but cheaper. He would say no to that rationale. But it's in the house and for a woman who would prefer to not be completely rustic this still provides a little bit of a "natural" element with a modern touch. Find it here.

three//So I stumbled upon Lady Noel a few months ago on Instagram. The juxtaposition of flashy colors used to turn an ordinary bear into something with flare is just too cool to pass up, right? Again, I think I could get away with this in my house for the same reasons as above bear=Montana. Montana=manliness. manliness=John. Find said bear here.

four//I have big plans for this print. When we finally are in a house of our own again and I have the liberty to go a little crazy this bad boy will be in Brecken's room. Because this kid is all about warm fuzzy feelings and hugging. Lots and lots of hugging. I mean lots. Find it here.

There you go folks. enjoy.


30 before 30

posted on: Tuesday, March 4, 2014


I haven't blogged much lately. I've struggled with finding my voice and rather than write crap I decided to step aside to take a breather. This blog of mine has morphed over time and while it has been a steady avenue for chronicling my tiny family it hasn't always been the truest form of myself (as I'm sure most blogs are). The struggles to write honestly run deeper than trying to find the right words to type and somewhere inside me I knew that my own feelings of self worth and identity seemed to be the common triggers for my lack of motivation. Not too long ago John asked me what my hobbies were and for the life of me I couldn't think of any. And even more alarming I realized I had been using my children as the crutch for not developing my own talents--I'm too busy. Someone has to parent. I'll find a hobby when they go to school. You know what I mean.  My identity has become so attached to my children that my own sense of self-worth was lost somewhere along the way--their happiness is my happiness? And honestly, how am I to write if I don't have interests of my own? sad. I know. 

So I threw away all the ice cream turned off the Netflix and sat down late one night and decided to write down all those things that I have wanted to do but never did because of one excuse or another. After awhile the list seemed so daunting that I finally decided to capture 30 goals just for myself.

Here it is: 30 before 30.

Do something drastic to my hair.
Read at least 10 books.
Try new recipes.
Start playing the piano again.
Send more packages.
Help someone in need.
Make a dream into reality.
Plant a garden. (I kill plants).
Be published.
Reupholster a piece of furniture.
Go on a road trip.
Eat something new.
Try fly fishing
Take a photo-a-day for thirty days
Date my husband.
Learn to be more forgiving.
Ride a bike more often.
Spend more time outdoors.
Learn how to make French macarons.
Finish a daunting project.
Keep weightlifting. just keep going...
Do something spontaneous.
Play in the ocean.
More phone calls.
See a Broadway show
Learn to let go.
Go on a one-month spending cleanse.
Conquer a fear.
Do more random acts of kindness.
Visit some place new.

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