Axtell, UT

To celebrate the end of school and the beginning of summer, we took a quick overnight trip to Grandma Rugg's with Kira and Brett and the kids. We ended our last day of preschool with a bang, and then packed up and set out on the 1 hour and 45 min drive to Axtell. 
(side note- Hadley's weird eye thing going on. 2 weeks after this, and 5 days of anti-biotic eye drops later I am still not quite sure whats going on or if it's better or not... insert annoyed face.)
I think the best part was getting the chance to let the kids run around wherever, whenever. Being in such a small town with so much land, the babes got to chase "hot guts" (pot guts), play in the hose, dump dirt on their heads, and play to their hearts content. It was childhood magic in the making. And I know Jakes Grandma was so thrilled to see everyone. Hadley and Carsen are lucky to have the great grandparents that they do. 

Preschool 2014-2015

Another year of preschool come and gone.

I won't pretend I didn't get a little emotional saying goodbye to those kids that afternoon. The kids who started this journey with us our first year are moving up to bigger and better things. Including Miss Hadley.

Hadley turns 5 years old 2 weeks past the deadline for kindergarten. Which leaves us with practically a full year to keep her challenged, excited, and away from both of us losing our minds. So for both of our sanity, Hadley is going to a new preschool for her last year, and we are getting almost a whole new set of kids for ours. I don't know if will ever get use to all the change and growing up, but I'm grateful for the fun and enriching year we had, and I'm excited for new one that sits before us. 
For our last day of preschool, the kids performed their "Very Hungry Caterpillar" play (they made all their own props!), received their pile of treasures from the year to take home (nature journals, daily plans and writing practices, one of the books we made throughout the year, and a card from us), and that was that. Before I knew it the chaos had settled and each kid had hugged me goodbye before setting off to begin their own summer. It was over just like that. 

It was such an honor to be entrusted with those kids, and to have played a small part in their year. I love my title of "miss dani," and I am excited to hear it again next year. I also am excited to wake up knowing i have no where I HAVE to be on Monday/Wednesday/Friday at 9:30 am. 

Let the summer activities begin!

Bridal Veil Falls

The past few months Kayleene and I have spent a lot of time trying to get ourselves into better shape, and also to include the kids as much as possible. Most summers I pretty much find the most air conditioned area and focus on hibernating until September tricks me into thinking there will be cool temps. This year though we are killing it on being outside and getting our kids to enjoy the world around them.
I guess we will see if I am singing the same tune during July and August.... Pray for me, would ya?


It's the small little everyday things that I'm so scared I will forget. The small parts that are so easy to over look, but combined with the other small pieces, make up the whole of who Hadley is. Something like her regular "presents." -- a paper towel or a picture of our family rolled up and taped, sealed inside an envelope, wrapped in a produce bag, carefully tied up in a grocery sack, with a DVD taped to the front. Complete with a proud grin and an "I made this for you mom." We get those everyday, as do her real and imaginary friends.

When Hadley was really small I remember a friend saying she heard on the radio that parenthood was mostly hard times, with little moments of happiness spread out. But that somehow, those small moments made it all worth it. I remember thinking that it sounded like the worst gig in the world and that those small moments could never really make it worth it if it was that hard. But you know, being a parent is hard. In fact, it's one of the toughest things I've ever done. It's exhausting and it takes almost everything I have to be the mom I want to be, while still trying to balance everything else out. But those small moments, you guys, they will knock you over, in a good way, if you let them. Getting down and seeing from their eyes is such a privilege and it's incredible to be a part of. Even when the very next moment is dragging them to time out, or fighting over why they can't wear 6 pairs of underwear to church (yeah, she's done that), take comfort in those small moments. Because they are all around, they will come again, and when it comes down to it, they are what will matter when nothing else is left.

Spanish Fork Reservoir

Summer, you are so good. This year just keeps getting better and better, and I am not ready for it to stop anytime soon.

To you.

For all the dinners not eaten until they were cold,

For all the meals you shared all of your bites, 

For all the bathroom visits spent with tiny hands clawing their way under the door,

For all those consecutive sleepless nights spent praying they would sleep before they turned 18,

For all the tears and screams heard over sandwiches cut the wrong direction,

For all the times you knowingly left the house with dried vomit and food on your clothes,

For every day that your "taking care of kids" shift ended only for the "clean up and night waking" shift to start,

For every time you actually got through to, and understood, your "Threenager,"

For every sweet "I love you mom" you heard, even if it was an attempt to postpone bedtime,

For all of the goldfish and raisins you ate off off the floor in place of breakfast,

For the many hours you labored to bring a child from his first home into yours,

For every sacred nighttime nursing spent praying over your newborn baby,

For all the days and nights spent crying over the ache to hold a child in your arms,

For the many hours sat through in fear that you won't know how to raise them right, 

And for the fear you aren't living up to this daunting task of nurturing, teaching, and loving a child,

For all the quiet moments of meditation you asked to know what it really, really, means to be a mother,

For all the tears of gratitude you couldn't stop because you finally got it,

Here's to you, moms. This title of Mother we hold started far before the birth of a child, and it stands long after this life. Embrace it no matter what stage of life you are in, because it's yours. I see you, and I am so grateful to stand side by side with so many of you powerful women. This life of mine is so blessed and so rich. 

A time and a season

"To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under Heaven" source

Time feels like it is literally flying past me. The days are short, the months are short, the years are short - it's all short. I look back at this blog over the last while and I'm sad how much has gone undocumented. So much of Carsen's first year of life has gone unwritten, besides hundreds of notes tucked away in corners of my phone. Writing and sharing here has felt so overwhelming and so I put it out of my mind.  "a time and a season" though, I guess. And this time and season has been filled with self discovery and healing for me. There's been a lot of that going on, and it was so very needed. I'm almost in awe at the changes that have slowly made their way into my life and morphed into wonderful new habits. I can finally sit and think about the different facets of my life and feel pleased with each one. I can see clearly the growth I want as well, but I feel like I can continually move forward to that while still being confident and proud of who I already am. 

Slowly but surely, I'm getting ready for a little more. I've got my fingers crossed that the rest of this year is filled with a little less being overwhelmed, and a little more writing and documenting this life that I get to be a part of.