October 29, 2019

A Daydream

I don't dream very often. When I do have dreams they are often nightmares. I can count on one hand the number of times I have received a dream from God. This dream I am about to share, is one of those. I have debated for sometime as to whether or not I should share it and right now I feel that I should.

Saturday August 24th, we got up really early to take the boys to see a hot air balloon festival. We had a really good time! When we got home we were exhausted. We put Bubba down in his bed and Bear laid down with me and that is when this dream happened-- in the middle of the day. This dream was so vivid, it is ingrained in my mind as though it happened yesterday.

I found myself in a hospital room. The room number was 102 or 105 (I don't know for certain, a 2 is an inverted 5). The room had a pale blue curtain with polka dots on it hanging down from the ceiling for privacy. I went into the bathroom of this particular room to relieve myself, but was unable to get the door to shut, this was frustrating for me and I decided to give up on using the bathroom.

A moment later a fuss was made over the loud speaker. Lights were flashing and things were in great commotion. I watched a woman with dark hair amble down the hallway.

Next thing  I knew I was sitting on a hospital bed watching the following events unfold in front of my eyes.

I saw this same dark haired woman from before sitting on a hospital bed. Her hair was big like Moana. I couldn't make out her face. Standing on her right side was a man with dark hair, he looked islander to me. I could sense that they were around 24 years old and college athletes.

On her left hand side were two nurses. One of the nurses was holding a dark haired baby. This nurse said, "I'm going to give this baby the best chance it's got." The other nurse replied, "You're nicer than most."

This young couple had not intended on getting pregnant and did not want this child. I felt such deep unconditional love for this child. I knew that this child was meant to come to our family.

I sat bolt upright in bed, drenched in sweat. At about that exact moment Andy walked into the room, he looked at me and asked if everything was okay. I told him we are supposed to adopt a baby and he said, "Okay."

Adoption is something we had been talking about, but we hadn't decided whether or not we would pursue it. I think God allowed me to see this dream because he knew I needed it. We aren't sure where this young mom is and we don't know how this baby will end up coming into our lives, but we pray for them both. We hope that this little one will join us sooner rather than later.

October 14, 2019

Bubba's First Time To The Dentist

I took Bubba to the dentist for the first time today. When we walked in the door I said to Andy "He has three cavities." Andy replied, "He has three cavities?!" I laughed and said, "Nope. He is cavity free."

Bubba did so good at the dentist! Several days before going to the dentist I told Bubba that we were going to go to the dentist in a few days. I told him that the dentist was going to clean his teeth with a toothbrush that made a "zzeeezzz" noise.

When we got to the dentist he was so excited because they had fun toys to play with in the front room. He treated me to a poopy diaper and then the hygienist took us back. He sat on the table and she let him pick out a toothbrush and she let him pick out a toothpaste and she started brushing his teeth by hand. He saw her special toothbrush and pointed to it. She showed him all of her special tools. Next thing I knew he was laying down with sunglasses on and she was cleaning his teeth. She flossed his teeth and gave him fluoride. Then the dentist came and looked at his teeth.

I was so happy to learn that he was cavity free. He did so good, he made me so proud! The hygienist was very impressed too. She told me most children don't get their teeth cleaned the first time to the dentist because they are too scared and they cry, etc.

I think it helped that we started brushing his gums with a rubber toothbrush before he ever had teeth. The switch to a toothbrush wasn't too bad. Bubba loves to brush his teeth. Some days he will spend thirty minutes in the bathroom brushing his teeth. Now to get him flossing on a regular basis.

To celebrate being cavity free and doing such a good job at the dentist I took Bubba to the store and he picked out a new toy. If you know Bubba you know that he loves Disney's Cars-- he picked out a blue tow truck and immediately started calling it Mater. 

Fun side note-- before we moved to Oregon I applied to dental hygiene school and was accepted. I felt strongly that I was not supposed to accept my invitation to this particular school. A few months later, work reassigned Andy to Oregon and then we started our family. Even though I didn't end up going to hygiene school, I get to play dental hygienist with both Bubba and Bear everyday. We brush and floss and fluoride.

August 17, 2019

A Moment Frozen In Time

Sometimes with the hustle and bustle of life I forget to stop and take in the little things. Yesterday morning there was a marine layer of clouds for some time. I took the boys outside and we watered the garden (this is usually Andy's job in the evening but he didn't get to it the night before). We picked raspberries, gave the chickens some water, checked for eggs and then I took a few moments to just watch Bubba. There was a small butterfly in our yard. When the butterfly spread its wings they were white and when it closed its wings they were green and blended in with the plants. Bubba saw the butterfly and he gleefully chased it all over the yard with his arms stretched towards the heavens saying, "Catch bubbafly." Each time he got close to it, he would squeal with delight. I loved watching the sheer joy on his face as he pranced around the yard in his green rain boots, gray shark shorts and blue dinosaur shirt. I didn't have my phone or a camera on me but this is a moment this is imprinted in my mind and on my Mommy heard that I don't want to ever forget.

June 19, 2019

A Breakfast Mishap

Yesterday I made scrambled eggs for breakfast with some cheese and sausage pieces in them. Bubba decided that he wasn't going to eat these eggs because the sausage was mixed in with them. I put his eggs in a container in the fridge and thought Andy can eat those on his way to work in the morning.

Fast forward to this morning. I pulled a bunch of stuff out of the fridge for Andy's lunch and I grabbed a container and asked him to warm it up for his breakfast. And then he left for work.

A few minutes later I was back in the fridge getting things out to make breakfast and I spied the container with the eggs. It took me a moment to realize what I had sent Andy to work with for breakfast...drum roll... green beans.

I instantly started laughing. I called Andy and asked if he enjoyed his green beans. He said he wondered if I would notice. He also said they were really good. We both started laughing. I laughed so hard I cried. Tears are streaming down my face now and I am laughing so hard I can hardly type. 

June 15, 2019

Color Run

Our Stake hosted a tri-stake youth activity at a state park near our home. I'm friends with the stake young women's president and she told me about the color run and suggested that we bring the whole family. With Andy currently serving in the young men's presidency, we thought "Why not?"

We loaded up both boys and our two strollers this morning and headed to Elijah Bristow State Park. Andy took Bubba in the double stroller with his stuffed pink monster. And I took Bear in the other stroller.

I walked 3.25 miles with a friend and Bear (this whole not being cleared to run thing didn't stop me from getting out). Bear slept almost the entire way. And Andy ran with Bubba. Bubba kept telling him to, "Go!" Sounds like they had a great time except for when someone threw green color on Bubba's stuffed pink monster-- he had a meltdown for about a quarter of a mile. I made sure pink monster got a bath when we got home.

After race snacks are the best!

Andy & Bubba.

It's not very often that Andy takes a selfie of just himself.

It was a lot of fun to see and visit with some of the youth from our old ward and to see the youth from our current ward having fun. I loved being out with our little family! It's these fun little excursions that are worth remembering.

Me & Bubba.

Bear chilling in the stroller.

Family photo- You can barely see the top of Bear's head peaking out.

June 12, 2019

Feeling Hot Hot Hot

We set a record here today in Oregon, the temperature reached 99 degrees. It made our morning walk a bit warmer than usual.

When we got home I hopped in the shower to rinse off the sweat and then started nursing Bear. A few minutes later Bubba walked in the room. He had in his hands a tub a vaseline and a thermometer. The tip of the thermometer was lathered in vaseline. Bubba tried pulling his shorts and diaper off while holding the thermometer and saying, "Up butt."

I can't tell you how hard I started laughing. Bubba was warm and wanted his temperature taken. We have only ever taken his temperature rectally a few times (that is what our pediatrician prefers when they get a high fever for a more accurate read).

I called Andy at work to tell him what Bubba did and he too started laughing. This is a Bubba story that we don't want to forget.

June 11, 2019


I have been going to physical therapy since Bear turned six weeks old to work though some issues related to labor and delivery. When I first started going my physical therapist told me that is would be 4-6 months before I would be cleared to exercise-- more likely 6 months though.

Initially I was told I could ride and bike and or walk. I was devastated when I heard this. I love to exercise! I love being outside and being physically active. I have some fitness related goals that I set while I was pregnant with Bear and was anxious to get after them.

Roughly six months has past and my doctor told me to try running and see how it goes. The first night was great! It felt so good to move and be drenched in sweat. The second night was not so good. The third night went well. When I met with my doctor and told her how it felt and how things had gone she told me I wasn't ready yet. Maybe in another month.

I can't tell you how sad that news made me. I felt so defeated! It felt as though my goals were slipping right through my fingers and out of reach. 

I realized though that I had a choice. I could choose to sit there and mope about all the things I couldn't do or I could get after it with the things I can do to get myself as prepared as possible for the day I am cleared to exercise. I choose the later. Believe it or not, I feel like I am making progress.


Bubba recently started saying, "Okay" in response to just about anything we say. I'm not sure that he fully know what okay means, but it is sure cute to hear him say it. I love having such an agreeable little boy.

May 28, 2019

Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day Weekend is something I look forward to every year, not because we have any particular traditions but because we get to spend an extra day together as a family. Personally, I love my family and I love spending time with them.

This year my sister Sadie, her fiance Joel and his little boy Adrian came down from Washington to see us. We took them up to Leaburg to the fish hatchery. Joel had never been to a fish hatchery before and loved looking at the fish. Adrian slept in the stroller the entire time along with Bear. Bubba loved running around and looking at the fish.


Feeding the fish.

We all pulled a joke on Joel and convinced him that the sturgeon in the big display pond were really large trout-- it was awesome!

Joel and Bubba thoroughly enjoyed feeding the fish.

We played board games, shared childhood stories/memories, ate delicious food, laughed really hard and made new memories.

We also managed to squeeze in a hike. All of us went up Spencer's Butte. This was Bear and Adrian's first time hiking. Bear wasn't sure what to think-- he slept part of the way and then he was really unhappy and I ended up nursing him on the side of the trail.

Bubba sporting his favorite "red coat."

Love this photo of Bubba and Sadie feeding the squirrel.

Sisters. People thought we were twins.

The Face-- it's tradition.

Bubba and Adrian were incredibly excited when the wild squirrels would come up and eat out of their hands. Those two little boys became instant friends, it melted this Mommy's heart. 

May 10, 2019

The Hardest Trial Of My Life So Far

I have thought about writing this post for several years now. I have gone back and forth wondering whether or not it was worth sharing and if I shared what the repercussions would be. What would people think of me if they knew what happened? Would they believe me? Would they think I was crazy? At this moment it time, I feel that it is okay to share. Hind sight is 20/20 and I hope I don't regret this later. More than anything though I hope that by sharing someone else may find the tools, strength and peace they need in their life to get through something similar.

Approximately ten years ago, one of the hardest trials of my life began. This trial is still on going and honestly I am not sure if it will ever end in this Earthly life. That being said, I think I have come to accept the fact that it may not end in this lifetime and I am okay with that. To a large degree things are out of my hands and I am okay with the stance that I have taken regarding the situation I am about to share.

As I started to say approximately ten years ago, one of the hardest trials of my life began. This trial blindsided me and I didn't see it coming. I didn't expect that I would ever experience something like this in my life, I think that is part of the reason why it took me so long to figure out what it was I was dealing with and attempt to put a stop to it. At times I have found myself wondering how I could possibly be going through a trial of this nature. This trial is called emotional abuse. This trial is also called verbal abuse. This burden is not caused by my husband whatsoever, but by two extended family members.

When the abuse first started happening, it started off as jabs, sarcasm and criticism and I shrugged it off. As time when on the abusive comments became more and more frequent. Unbeknownst to Andy and I, gossip and rumors about me where flying. At times it was so bad that I felt like I was a celebrity with my face plastered to the front of a tabloid magazine.

One day Andy and I received a phone call from someone in the family telling us what was being said about me when we weren't around. We were both shocked, surprised, saddened and hurt by the news. We couldn't think of what I possibly had done to be treated this way. At the same time we were grateful that this informant had the courage to tell us what was going on.

Frequently I would go off alone and cry by myself. I wondered how people could be so mean and cruel, especially when they were part of my own family. Where was the unconditional love? What did I do wrong? Why was this happening? How could people of the same religious beliefs as me act this way and think it was okay?

It was through talking to someone I trusted that I learned what I was dealing with was abuse.

Armed with this new knowledge that what I was going though, I began to stand up for myself as best as I knew how (I'm not one who likes conflict or confrontation). My abusers did not like it when I told them that what they were doing was wrong and needed to stop. And things got a lot worse.

Andy and I enrolled in counseling. We worked with our counselor to learn how to set boundaries and how to talk using I feel statements. At the time it was hard to go through counseling. Learning these new skills wasn't easy. We invited the abusers to come to counseling with us (for me that was a very scary thing). We thought we had worked through things and then we moved to Oregon.

Oregon was a breath of fresh air. I felt safer with the physical distance from those who had emotionally and verbally abused me. But the attacks against me resumed with our move. For a long time I asked myself why? Why was this happening? What did I do to deserve this? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why?

We met with our bishops here in Oregon and began meeting with a new counselor. We were pretty much given the same counsel from each of them. The most important relationship is the one that exists between me and Andy and our little boys. And if people can't be nice then they aren't welcome in our lives-- family or not. I was also counseled to continue to stand up for myself.

Even with this guidance, I still found myself asking "Why?". One day I had a paradigm shift. I was out walking and I realized that it didn't matter why these people were treating me this way-- it was wrong. Even if I knew the reason why, it wouldn't be logical or rational and knowing why wouldn't change anything because I myself would not accept it as justification for bad behavior.

I also realized that I am loved. God loves me, my husband loves me and I love myself and that is enough. Abuse is never okay. The way these individuals act, is a reflection of how they feel about themselves and they will be held accountable someday for the things they have said and done.

I find peace in knowing that I did nothing to deserve to be treated this way.  I find peace in knowing that I have forgiven them. I find peace through serving others and showing them that I care. I find peace in striving to be the best version of me.

When the thoughts of why begin to creep back in, and they do on occasion, I instantly tell myself that it doesn't matter why and the thoughts of why instantly cease.

One helpful quote that has helped me is from Rachel Hollis, she says,  "Someone else's opinion of you is none of your business." There is so much truth in that statement. More than that though, my worth is not defined by someone else's opinion of me.

I hope and pray for my abusers that they might find the joy and happiness in their lives that they seem to be lacking. I pray that their hearts might be softened. And I pray that they may see the error or their ways and have a desire to change for the better.

One day I found myself questioning what I have been going through and the stance Andy and I have chosen to take. Someone close to me shared with me a story about my Papa and my aunt.  At the time Papa had Parkinson's disease and was on the brink of death (he passed away when I was five or six years old). My aunt had been going though a trial of some sort and he asked her, "Will this matter in the eternities?" I have given Papa's question a lot of thought, "Will standing up for myself, my marriage and my little family matter in the eternities?" And I have come to the conclusion that it very much matters. I deserve to be treated with love and respect simply because I am a daughter of God. I am worth it. My marriage is worth it. And my little family is worth it. I hope someday when I am on the other side to be embraced in the arms of my loving Papa, Savior & Father in Heaven and that they will be pleased with me for standing up for myself, my marriage and my little family-- because isn't that what this life is all about? Loving families being together forever. If we won't fight for them, who will?

May 9, 2019

A Tale Of Two Brothers

I have really been enjoying watching my two boys interact with each other. Bubba has started saying, "Baby brother." He recently said Bear's name for the first time.

Bear loves laying on his changing pad. The other day Bubba grabbed his changing pad and laid it down next to his brother's, so he could lay down next to him-- watching this just melted my mommy heart.

Bubba & Bear.

The toys boys frequently have conversations in which they laugh back and forth at each other. I just love when they laugh with each other!

Bubba even goes up to Bear when he is strapped into his car seat and gives him a kisses. I have a feeling these two are going to be great friends with each other, like my siblings and I are.

May 1, 2019

Family Chant

The boys in my house do not like to dance. I on the other hand, love to dance! One afternoon, both boys were chilling in the nursery and I started singing the song from Remember The Titans that goes, "Everywhere we go, everywhere we go. People want to know, people want to know." I started clapping my hands as I was singing. And I changed the word Titan to our last name. And then I started dancing silly. Both boys absolutely loved it! Bubba started clapping his hands and Bear was all smiles. When Andy got home from work I started singing what has become our family chant and Bubba came running and started clapping his hands-- it was the best! It's the little things that make life wonderful!

April 26, 2019

Meltdown Mode

Shortly after I gave birth to Bear, Bubba started throwing lots of fits. My 85 year old neighbor told me that he was likely jealous that a lot of time, attention and focus was on his new brother. She advised me to not acknowledge or look at him when he starts to whine and throw a fit. I tried doing what she told me to do, it was hard for both of us. Bubba threw his toys at me while I was nursing his brother and I didn't acknowledge it. After about a day he realized that he wouldn't get attention by acting out and he stopped having meltdowns.

About a week or so ago the meltdowns began happening again, currently their are about 1-3 a day. I attribute these meltdowns largely to the fact that he is 2 1/2, testing his limits and at times jealous that all of the attention isn't on him.

Earlier this week while at story time Bubba had the biggest meltdown of his life. I'm praying he never has another one of this magnitude again. Most of the families at story time had already left. Two friends of mine from church were the only other people in the building.

I had just finished telling my friends about Bubba having meltdowns after Bear was born and what I did about it. Moments later Bubba started to get really frustrated with a toy, the toy was well loved and not working the way he wanted it to. I asked him to put it away so we could go home. He didn't listen and was quickly becoming more frustrated with the toy. When he handed me the toy for what was likely the 15th time to fix it, I opted to put it away instead of fixing it again. He flipped out. He fell to the floor in hysteria. He was kicking and screaming, he smacked his head into one of the bookshelves and then repeatedly hit his head on the floor (cement floor with a thin office carpet). He paused briefly walked over to where I was at this Bear and resumed his fit. It was then that I noticed the blood on his face. One of my friends took Bear while I tried to calm Bubba down enough to see where the blood was coming from-- his nose. This was the first bloody nose he has ever had and it took quite a bit to get it to stop. Not only did he get a bloody nose, he bruised his nose too.

I'm really glad Bubba was okay and that nobody else was there to witness the scene. One of my friends told me that I'm a good mom. She was impressed by how calm I was through the whole thing. She said she would have been yelling at her kids if they did that.

Being a mom can be rough at times but it is so rewarding. Tantrums and all I love my boys!

April 13, 2019

Bear At 4 Months

It is hard to believe that you are four months old already, Bear. For the most part you are a very chill baby. Up until a few weeks ago you HATED car rides and would cry almost the entire time we were in the car. I think you are finally getting used to the car and for the most part you are calm. You don't cry very much, usually it's if your tired, hungry or have a dirty diaper-- you know, the normal baby stuff.

Our photos started like this.

At four months old you are wearing size two diapers and twelve month clothes. Yep, you read that right twelve month clothes.

A darling Bubba wanted his photos taken too.

Sleep is hit and miss right now.

And then this happened...

You can roll on to your side, you have a great laugh and have recently discovered your hands and feet. You like to put your hands and feet in your mouth.

So we took some more photos without the belly badge.

To celebrate reaching four months old, we tried feeding you peas. You liked the peas you just weren't sure what to do with a spoon in your month.

We love you so much Bear and are glad you're part of our family!