Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Personal Progress

I was recently called as the YW personal progress secretary. Imagine my delight when Ellie made history after the prophet's announcement to have girls turning 12 in 2019 to begin in the Young Women program! So delighted! This is also the last year for personal progress- and so, while I am cheering on Ellie and all the beehives of the ward to recieve their medallion- I'm going for my second! I'm quite excited as we have laid out a plan- it is a lot to get done- but totally doable. I'm going to use my blog to journal much of my experiences because, let's face it, I never keep track of hand written journals and this here blog has a reliable system in place!

So off I go! Knowledge experience #2 (following the plan to knock this out in 9 months)-
My talents I've been blessed with and talents I want to gain...

My Talents:

Writing, easy going-ness, design/putting colors together, baking/cooking/reading recipes and knowing what my family will like, empathy, service, love, lettering, photography, word games, happiness, attract wonderful friends, good small kid mom, public speaking, testimony,

Talents I hope to gain:

Communication, Charity, letting go of my expectations and purely loving, knitting, cleanliness and order, being on time, healthy eating, exercise, scriptorian, work well with teenagers, simplifying, selflessness, aware of others always, restraint, singing/music, write music,

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Ollie's Poem

The Girl that Came and Left

She came with such a button nose- a head of dark thick curls-
She came with big and bright blue eyes, a truly special girl. 
She came to kiss her mommy and to learn from her dear Reese-
She came to play with Kashy, and she came with hope and peace. 

She went on little tippy toes- curls bouncing up and down.
She went sitting in a puddle’ of mud- all dressed to go to town. 
She went looking for her daddy, the two made quite the pair,
Her face aglow, her arms just so, he threw her in the air. 

Sunshine, cuddles, warm tight hugs, were how her days were spent.
A nose-wrinkled grin that stopped the crowds- the girl who came and went. 

She came to watch the waves roll in- they filled her with such joy,
The water spraying on her face- the wind her favorite toy. 
The waves rolled back to sea just as quickly as they’d come-
But she’d be ready for their return and dancing in the sun.

The waves are gone just for a time and so is this sweet dollie-
Christ’s love is washing over her- His treasured tiny Ollie.
She’s standing there and loving you – her light upon the shore-
The love He’s giving out to her, is there for you and more.

Faith and Peace and Love and Joy would be her heartfelt song-
While she’s away – sing this and play- the girl that’s come and gone.

She left living what’s most important- and twirling on the beach. 
She left pure unfiltered charity, and from her life we teach,
Of how to laugh and how to share and how to really be-
She left a gift of knowing Him and all eternity.

She left her family here for now but she is waiting still-
Her face aglow, her arms just so, you’ll hold her close and real.
She left looking for the Savior- the two make quite the pair-
Her work was done, she took a run, He threw her in the air.

She left her mission her on earth to live life with joy and zest.
Our hearts do burn, but she’ll return- the girl that came and left. 

-with so much love, 

Hillary Collette December 2018
Merry Christmas 

Monday, December 17, 2018

hogwarts - file back in 2016!!

Welcome to Hogwarts!

(could craig have the intro to the movie music here?)

Professor Mcgonagall- Lorna
Dumbledore- Brandon
Hagrid- Craig 
Sorting Hat- Hill

Professor McgonagallWelcome to Hogwarts! 

Now before you join your fellow classmates you must be sorted in to houses- 

Austins, Collettes, Wertzs and Thomases

While you are here your houses will be like your family (wink wink)

Your triumphs will earn you points – and rule breaking and you will lose points

At the end of the reunion, the house with the most points will win the house cup… 

The sorting ceremony will begin momentarily- but now before we begin professor Dumbledore would like to say a few words… 

Dumbledore:Let us give professor Mcgonalgal a round of applause (clap top of hand as seen in the sorting hat clip)- she has worked tirelessy in planning your schedules for the newest semester and I join her in saying- 

Welcome Welcome to a new year at hogwarts! 

I have a few reunion notices I wish to announce

The black forest is strictly forbidden

Also our care takers (the girls camp missionaries) have asked me to remind you that the fourth cabin on the right side, near the lake, 3 dirt paths down, 27 steps north- 42 shimmys to the left, 6 makarenna’s to the right- is out of bounds- to everyone who does not want to die a most painful death

For those new to Hogwarts- you will find the restrooms (point to locations)- be everso careful not to wake moaning myrtle. 

Please keep a close eye on your socks- dobby will snatch any left behind- I highly recommend keeping them firmly placed within the comfort of your shoes. 

You may be wandering camp wondering- just where is my army?  Rest assured- it is up my sleevy… (bodomm- ching) 

Please stay away from the poison ivy… if you happen upon it I will be sure to carry with me some of my healing cream-  “QUIT-itch.” 

Please be mindful as you cross the road between the Great Hall and your cabins. Look carefully for cars… don’t just be a follower like Crab and Goyle… and mind how many times you cross- we’d hate for you to be a doublecrosser like Slytherin. 

Please keep cell phone usage to a minimum- Twitter is for Voldemort anyway… where he only has followers and not friends. 

Now don’t go on like harry’s glasses- makin a spectacle of yourself. When you’re through eating- clean up behind you. When you play with your fellow wizards- share and be kind. And when you go to bed- go to bed properly with prayers and a right ole tuck in. Oh and simply no broom flying above 40 kilometers per hour and no cursing at dinner. 

While you are here- prepare to be well fed… by the time you leave you’ll be so chubby the sorting hat will place you in all four houses. You’ll be so fat… even wingarium leviose won’t lift you and your neck will be comparable to that of mister dursely.  Beware of he who shall not be named as we stuff our faces with the sorcerors scone… and a great deal of jam and honey butter. And if you are curious- the cereal we serve here is hufflepuffs. I presume it will be to your liking. 

Are you catching all my jokes? If not- there must be something RON with you (make sign) – why so SIRIOUS?

If there is one rule- it is to enjoy this magnificiant family of yours…. On a scale of 1-10… could you possibly know how much they love you? It is quite more than 9 ¾. Collectively they are key in helping you uncover the true secrets of life.

And here we have Hagrid- for the secret of life. Found quite easily as we sit at the feet of prophets to teach us… 


Joseph B. WirthlinDon’t wait for tomorrow… be happy now! Be happy today! 

He also said, No one has failed who keeps trying and keeps praying.  And to come what may and love it! 

Henry B. EyringBy helping others come unto Him, you will find that you have come unto Him yourself

James E FaustFaith will be our strong shield to protect us from the fiery arrows of satan. 

M. Rusell BallardWhat matters most is what lasts the longest

Dieter F. UchtfdorfWe can choose to be grateful, no matter what

President HinkleyStop seeking out the storms and enjoy more fully the sunlight

AndBe careful of your friends. They can make you or break you

Ronald A. RasbandOur most prized friend is Jesus Christ himself. 

Russell M. NelsonYou are never too young to learn, never too old to change

And our dear Prophet, Thomas S. Monson teaches us many secrets to life, “As we arise each morning, let us determine to respond with love and kindess to whatever might come our way. 

Work will win when wishy-washy wishing won’t

He also reminds that weTruly need Him every hour.

Prayer is not just for times of trouble

Your Heavenly Father loves you- each of you. That love never changes. 

Dumbledore- I once said… and I’ll say it again- Happiness can be found even in the darkest of time- but only remember to turn on the light – Jesus Christ is the light. He is ready and waiting to bless us if only we follow him. And now! To be sorted into house… Professor! 

Sorting hat- Hill hiding somewhere 
Professor Mcgonagallbefore we commence- let it be noted that we do greatly wish to sort each o you into your houses- but seeing the greatness of your number we will call a representative up from each. And now… Carol- please make your way to the front! 

(Call up Carol- do not say last names)

Well aren’t you the ones- just pushin em out. Took quite literally multiply and replenish the earth eh? Since the last reunion you’ve added two beautiful babies- haven’t you. Why yes… 

Just as every Ron has his Hermione- Miss Carol has her David. Bravo- fantastic choice there. 

Traveling the country are you? Yellowstone honeymoons, Disneyland and Ohio. Before you know it- you may be taking off to Boston and such. 

Well I do say- within your group lies soccer and volleyball and piano champions… busy ones too. Parents bustling about to get you here and there and everywhere- I do say. 

Not always the most punctual but very very entertaining to say the least. All covet your dark thick hair and contagiously warm personalites- with some beautiful blondes in the mix I’d say. 

You’re quite ambitious- are you not? With a new practice opening in Station Park- may need to be seen there quite shortly. And farming up a storm. You’re teaching your children to work hard and be self reliant. Your making your houses into homes and whistling while you work. 

A day is made much much better with you in it- always leaving people better than you found them! You see the bright side in all things and are always giving of your time and love. You have strong testimonies and quick to stand up for what is right.

HAA!! I know just what to do with you!  You are most definitely an Austin! Austin family for certain. 

(Call up Barb) 

Hmmm- difficult- very difficult. Where oh where to put you?  The head of your family- one quiet sensible- one defying death at all costs- not to mention willing to risk lives of all nephews as well. Yes. Very difficult. 

You make the ordinary- beautiful! And you make the beautiful so much richer. This room cannot fathom their wedding receptions without your fine touch on every detail. You’ve helped us all to live happily ever after. 

Oh and the friendliest! People flock to you because you are such a friend to everyone. Is there a Riley in the house? Quite popular that boy. 

Ah- and quite handy I’d say- fixing houses and always a project underway- very talented indeed. With all that work underway- you were smart to escape to San Diego! And Zions! 

This is a year of new adventures! New baby, new jobs, new school life for one after gradutation- new skills of walking! 

You’re musical, your athletic- you’re playing football and ballet- nannying and beginning new things! 

Oh how we hope to adopt your love and service for others- it’s simply wonderful. You exude charity and patience.  You are faithful and devoted. Having you close is such a comfort- and you bring such peace. 

Why yes! You are a Thomas!! A Thomas indeed!! 

(Call up a Collette…. Maybe Missy- since you will be dressed up?) 

Oh right then…. Hmmmmm- righhht.  I believe I smell a food snob- am I right?  Rolls, and salads, and a few too many desserts…. And teaching the littles to cook at an early age- future food snobs in the making. 

Ah and yes- you may affectionately be referred to as the paparazzi. You have a picture for every movie and lego set cousin daryl has… pictures of a reunion in Wyoming, blessing two new babies- with two on the way (umm- one- tomorrow!), a trip to maine and California, Hawaii, and Arizona. You have pictures of violin recitals, soccer games, basketball, art camps, Chinese camps, gymnastics, ballroom dances, scout, tennis, football, baptisms (3 this year!) … and so much more I’m tired just listing all the pictures! 

You are signing up for major house projects- one just buying 20 acres of land! You’re building chicken coops, chopping down trees, planting gardens and grass and decorating. 

Even though you just love to be together- you are separated by many miles with some in California and some in Alabama. 

While many of your men are missing their hair- there is much you are not missing! You are positive and love to talk- you are pursuing education and planning reunions full time.  You are witty and loyal and connected. You are happy…

And you are most definitely a COLLETTE! 

(Call up Sandy) 

Well I do say- I hardly recognize you without a costume on! You are more easily recognized as a wookie, Princess Lei, pirates, Hawaiin hotties, or Alice and Wonderland!  Everywhere you go- a party goes with you! You are fantastic at finding joy in the journey… dressing up and good food included. 

Oh and your missionary is home- you just aren’t the same without him. Well done- thank you most graciously for your valiant example to us all! 

And by Golly it didn’t take a sorting hat to put you right where you belong as a service missionary! Anyone who knows this family knows service runs in your blood. 

Quite the world travelers eh? Not exactly home bodies I’d say! Isreal, Jordan, India, Bolivia, Greece, Switzerland, Italy, Australia, and Hawaii for school and fun,? They should seriously consider naming an airline after you! 

Now I do say- I do not sense much sleeping going on in this house- and massive amounts of dole whip and Disney being consumed. 

You are hard working, adventurous, athletic, faithful, loving, high energy, brave, missionaries and kind. You always provide a listening ear and have true and honest hearts. You glow with goodness and spread sunshine!  You make every moment count! 

But of course you do- for you are a WERTZ!  Welcome to Hogwarts…. Which may very well stand for Hand Of God Wertz ;) 

ONE LAST REPRESENTATIVE PLEASE… let see- yes. (once they are up remind them they represent the entire group (Sorting hat for Petersons- call up anyone?)

You could be very great- there’s no doubt about that! It’s all here in your head. 

You want to be good- you follow the prophet. You have a testimony of the Savior and you let your light shine. Anyone who know’s you knows who you are and what you stand for. You serve, you forgive, you follow the prophet, you surround yourself with goodness and you endure to the very end. You have challenges and obstacles- but you move forward in faith. You trust Heavenly Father- and with Him on your side- you can do all things! You stay close to your family and close to Savior. You know who you are and you fight to return to live with him.  

Yes- I know exactly who you are! You are a Peterson- and YOU are a child of God! 

Welcome to Hogwarts!! 

Sunday, December 9, 2018


My heart cannot stand that you are 7 months old. But I hope to remember always- the complete joy. The total magic. I think you are the most wonderful baby... with a look that you always have a secret to tell. You smile every time I look at you- with the brightest eyes and the brand newest of teeth. Two of them at once! Your stick straight dark hair is as handsome as it come and your dark eyebrows and dark set eyes make you just dashing.

You are the worlds best snuggle baby- grabbing my face with your tiny chubby hands and making sweet noises as you love me. There is nothing better. You smell delicious. Still just like milk and shampoo. I tried once to feed you cereal- but it's hard to really give up only nursing you. So nursing you I do- all the night long. I know even this week we need to try solids out- I think you'll be happier that way. But, I've fooled myself to think maybe you can stay this magic age forever if I don't feed you green beans and rice cereal.

You reach up to be held, starting clapping your mini hands together and hum all the day long. You are content to be held all day if we'd let you. And your naps are short lived because you'd much rather have a warm body next to you- and so you sleep with us all night long too. And we let you- because you're perfectly wonderful.

I'm pretty sure you've said mama and that you often say hi. But maybe that's because I think you are the smartest and the cutest and the most darling.

I look at your sweet little face and cannot help but be in awe- in awe of you and in awe of Heavenly Father for give this perfect somebody to me. You are completely special and I love your every detail Wells. I'm so glad you are forever mine.

Funny Cal

Cal kept telling Dylan is was getting "call" (aka coal) for Christmas. We all the giggles and then he laughed and said, "You probably don't even know what call is!"

My mom told Cal he was getting really punchy and he laughed and said, "You're the one getting crunchy!"

Today he told the girls to stop touching his meatballs and then announced, "I call my muscles my meatballs!"

Oh Cal- you are the cutest! I loved coming to your class this month and making little kiss mice and reading Mr. Willowby's Christmas tree. You are so much sunshine.

Ruby and Christmas

I didn't know it- but apparently the 2 go together like holly and berries. She has been an absolute joy to watch- whether she's busy snipping, crafting and wrapping for hours on end in the art room (behind closed doors) or pulling out every plastic nativity and teaching Jane what Christmas is really about. She has a pencil drawn advent calendar on her desk and has written the elves a few notes asking them to please move.

Well, yesterday she just about did herself in with cuteness. With a sign pointing, "Santa this way," you would find a small girl dressed in my red blouse, complete with Cal's belt, black pants and shoes, a beard cut from my softest minky scraps- tied around with twine, white cinderella gloves and a makeshift 49ers hat to complete the look. She was absolutely daring, "ho ho ho-ing" and inviting the kids to sit on her lap. Jane knew no different and was completely content talking about christmas on "Santas" lap. We called for Ruby to come sit on Santas lap but she never had the chance (wink wink). She ran outside- changed outside (!!) and came back in a few moments later asking, "Did I miss anything while I was away?"

Oh my Ruby doll- you make life so sweet. I love you forever and your quickness to make other's smile, desire to always serve and you contagious love for life.

Friday, November 2, 2018

6 Months

It's moving day!

We've waited and waited with anticipation... and today peace, excitement and total joy are pumping through me.

I can't help feel a smidge of bitter sweet feelings at the same time. When we began our paperwork for the house I did the math and realized that, while pregnant at the time, our little baby would be almost 6 months old. It seemed far away- but I knew the time would pass quickly. So I vowed to enjoy him to the very last drop. And I have. A house is just a house (and how grateful I am for our new home!), but a baby is my forever and he's the best gift ever.

Wells this day came all too quickly- and I simply cannot imagine my life without you in it. You are magic. Pure perfection and love. You soften the entire feeling in our home... you are a magnet for every good thing.

Wellington's details:

you are always grabbing my face with both hands and seems to give me little kisses (you seem so young for this- but how I love it).

the darkest deepest brown eyes. hair growing in by the second- so handsome.

chunky in all the right places- due to excessive eating. you we are wearing 9 mon or 12 mon clothes. this makes me want to cry.

you love to be held. you are pretty chill these days too- but you always prefer a good snuggle. it only takes a little glance at you and you are all smiles and giggles.

cal calls dibs on holding you the second he gets in the car after school. the girls are catching on and now they fight over you. you are a party wherever you go- all the friends want to hold you and your siblings love to show you off!

amazingly you turned into a binky baby 6 weeks ago- what a blessing!

it scares me- but you love to sleep on your tummy, or in bed with us with your face in the covers. we love to snuggle with you so so much-  but a worry about these habits.

rolling and sitting and being big stuff!

the only problem with you wells- is I want 4 more babies if they will be anything like you. you are addictively wonderful and I am so glad I'm your mommy!

(wells must have been so excited to move- he hardly slept a wink last night! nursing all the live long evening and up before the crack of done. currently he is the amazing non-napping baby as well. and so I sit here typing, smelling his freshly bathes hair and loving him immensely. packing and cleaning can wait right? at least another 10 minutes. xox)  

Sunday, October 28, 2018


I have so much.

A darling baby, beautiful kids, an adoring husband, the gospel, dear friends and family, good health and (in 5 days!!) a brand new house.

But last week I felt like I was not swimming in gratitude. I also wasn't unaware or ungrateful- I was just swirling with busy mom life and last little changes that needs to happen to the house to complete it. My thoughts were more consumed with where they put the silly plug above the mantel rather than- wow! a brand. new. house. My thoughts tangled in to dos rather than just peace in my blessings.

And so I prayed.

I prayed to feel more gratitude for what I have. I wanted to really soak in all the goodness that is mine- and know the source that these blessings come.

The next day was more pure chaos. Too much really. Brandon had stayed up all night cutting out 75 pieces of 20 foot yarn for 3 first grade classes to wrap mummies for the Egyptian party the next day. We loaded that, Ruby's project and all the kids, early the next morning- where I thought I could do it all with no help. Brandon stayed to save the day for the first half (bless his soul)- but for another hour I bounced Wells, led the project and tried to keep Jane from smashing crackers in the carpet. I left totally sweaty but had to run (literally) to the store to buy ingredients for soup for the family halloween  party. I had one hour to make soup, completely clean the house, nurse the baby and wrap up costumes for the kids. I needed every minute- but got a text that they were coming 15 minutes earlier. Eek. Baby was crying, Jane was screaming (how does she not lose her voice?!) and I was exhausted.

Somehow I loaded the littles with one minute to spare. I've had a lot of crazy mom moments but for some reason this one seemed like a little much. I drove to the mailbox to find Wells outfit from H and M was huge for halloween and needed to return- the thought that he would fit the giant outfit before I knew it- crushed me. I want my baby to stay little and felt so sad at how quickly time passes.

And so I trekked to h and m with an exhausted, somewhat overwhelmed, and pinch of sadness self.

And then I began to feel the spirit start to nudge me. I was in the store with tears in my eyes as gratitude, peace and love began to wash over me. I did what I need to do and then went to the car where the feeling continued and grew. I had many thoughts but the most overwhelming thought was how special my sweet baby Wells is. He is a true gift from God. God knows how my heart has hurt- and broken really. He can heal me. He will make everything ok. Better than ok- he has so much in store. And he has sent me this perfect baby boy who will always love me and be my dear friend and protector. I kissed Wells sweet little head and stroked his dark hair and was filled with love for him. Even know as I type this I feel the spirit testify this again. Wells is so special to him... all my kids are.
I drove my little Jane and baby to Chick filet and the spirit of love still lingered with me. While Jane played on the toys I snuggled and just devoured my sweet baby. He laughed and grabbed my face- kissing and loving each other. It was perfection.

I can count on one hand the times I have felt the spirit this strong- washing over me while pure love and clarity almost run through me. Where I am listening and feeling, but also praying at the same time that the feeling doesn't go away. It's comforting because for that moment I feel confident that I am loved and that I'm doing enough to be worthy to feel the spirit that strong.

I have felt the spirit this strong when I least expect it- but have been actively seeking guidance.  I felt this way one early early morning as I prayed to know if I was to marry Brandon. I knew without doubt I was. I felt it after completing the Book of Mormon with our small family after being encouraged by our stake president. I bore my testimony to tiny Ellie and knew without doubt Jospeh Smith really did see God and Christ and the scriptures are true. I felt it the night before Dylan's ordination as I read the scriptures very late at night as everyone slept. I knew that the next day would be peaceful- and it was. And I felt it this week as I knew Heavenly Father is blessing me now for all the prayers I've prayed, all the tears I've cried, all the work I've tried to do to what's right- he is blessing me. He loved me.

These experiences are very sacred to me. I am so grateful for them. I will use them as a driving force in my life and try to remember that Heavenly Father really does love me. I do hope though, that I can feel this more. I hope that not only can I feel love- but I can know better how to intentionally move forward the way God wants me to. I hope to experience the gift of personal revelation because I know that when President Nelson declares we will not be able to survive without it- that this is true.

I really do have so much. And I am grateful.

Dear Jake

Jake Jake the lady's Cake...

Just thinking of you brings a flood of gratitude for what a good kid you are. There is something very special about you Jake, and I'm the lucky one to have watched you grow. I can still see your little self in an elmo costume that your mama spent hours sewing, or watching you concentrate on a hand drawn masterpiece. I will never forget when you devoured a scavenger hunt clue wrapped in foil (what was I thinking?!) or your baby picture I carried in my wallet in your little hawaiian shirt. 

One of the most magical times in my life was spent living a city away from your family where we could have playdates weekly. You and Dylan would play endlessly while your mom and I talked about everything, photographed everything and ate just about everything. I could always bet that when you came over to our house- it was as easy as pie. You were- and still are- easy to please, full of gratitude, helping, darling, creative and kind... and how you loved to play with our fisher price cowboys. I could not have hand picked a better cousin for Dylan to love so much and your example and influence have been a tender mercy. 

You are in so many of my sweetest memories Jake- birthday parties, reunions, christmas times, meeting new babies, sleepovers, swims at the pool. You are a constant in a very sweet life- and have only made life sweeter. 

What I'm about to say, I know you already know. But it's so true- and so I must tell you again. The secret to life is making Christ at the center. Whenever I feel a little off- a little sad or disconnected- I know I'm only a few changes away from more peace and more love in my life. When I read my scriptures, say my prayers, trust his plan and up my game in living the gospel- blessings flood into my life. It's really that simple. And even when I'm more than a little sad or disconnected- if I keep doing good things- I am lifted. Sometimes the results are not instant- but when I obey, I cannot run from blessings- even if I tried. Blessing are there for obedience. 

My most favorite scripture is Helaman 5:12

And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.

Trials will come (I wish they didn't)- but help is always there (this I'm certain). I have had true miracles in my life that make me certain that God is so aware of me. Some time ago I woke up very early with a heavy hurting heart. I couldn't sleep and prayed to Heavenly Father that I needed to go to the temple that day. I told him I didn't know who to ask- everyone I would have thought to ask was either away, or I knew they had plans. When I ended my prayer (still quite early in the day before anyone else was awake)- my phone immediately dinged with an incoming text. My friend wrote: I would love for you to go the temple today and I will watch your kids. What time would you like to go? 

This is one example of many- and I know you will have many too- that Heavenly Father loves us. He knows us. He wants us back. 

I love you Jake. I'm so glad you're on my team- and I hope you know I am on yours... cheering you on and wanting every good thing for you. 

Love Always- Hill 

Dear Page

Dear Page- 

To kick off our school year I shared this quote with my kids that I love, "Don't shine so others can see you, shine so that through you, others can see Him." -CS Lewis. As I drove home last night- I thought- that is exactly what I love about you. You help me to understand Him better. You have such a contagious spirit to mine... I just adore you Page. I meant to write you a letter soon after we moved and time got away from me- but  everything I wanted to say came flooding back and so here we go! 

What I have learned from Page: 

To love everyone- regardless of flaws, mistakes, choices, gender, status, age and everything under the sun. Each is worth my time and efforts- and everyone has a story to tell and learn from. Each has value. 

The joy of a mumu- every. single. day. 

To be vulnerable, honest and real. I have tried since meeting you to not pretend that my life is perfect and allow others the same. It has drawn so much peace to my life and new friendships. It has helped me to understand the atonement and feel comfortable with me. 

To connect and to play- with my kids, with Brandon, with anyone. I have yet to flash Brandon on halloween... but it's in our future for sure...

There is always something to smile about. Even when your life is heavy and complicated (which I know you have and abundance of trials and tricky things)- you are always very aware of your blessings and it shows in your countenance. Being real doesn't mean being negative- you have such a beautiful way of balancing these two together. 

How to simplify after school dinners- and make changes in your home that focus on people... not fluff. 

To spend time often outside and do the things you love. 

To never stop learning and faithfully questioning.

To take responsibility for myself and not make excuses- I'm in charge of me. I'll never forget the story you shared of Nile being bugged you were late to her home once- when she's always late. You could have been defensive- but you just apologized and took accountability. I love that. 

The power of forgiveness and teaching it. I'm so thankful for clean ups- and patience you show to others as they make mistakes. 

Setting boundaries in such a loving way- and teaching that too... with parenting class and your example. Those classes and your personal experiences have been invaluable to me and Brandon. You are always so willing to share yourself. 

There is always time for people. Everything else can wait. And my people (husband and kids and myself) are priority... just like Meri knew you'd finish her PPI with her last night. 

To love life and bring joy wherever you go. 

You truly are one of the most intentional, positive, radiant, genuine, and beautiful people I know- and I am forever grateful that heavenly father gave me you. You have taught me how to be a safe place... and now I just hope to be it! 

I'll love you forever Page. And as you navigate the questions you've had this summer I pray that you will find the peace you've been looking for. I know Heavenly Father is aware of you- especially because you work so hard to be like him. 



Good Pride

Can some pride be good? Like thinking you have the most adorable kids created. Ever. Like your heart filling with so much love than you could ever imagine. When I see them loving each other, helping, forgiving, creating, laughing, playing- I'm certain there is nothing better. Here's a glimpse of them this sweet week....

Cal took quite seriously our plug to only say positive things to Jane (maybe she hears stinker a little too often)! He is constantly saying, "Jane you are such a sweet girl! I love you! You are so kind!" He is so committed- I've seen her bite, hit and pinch him and his first response is, "Oh Jane- you are so sweet!"

Jane announced at the dinner table with all the joy a 2 year old should can muster, "Cal- I am SO proud of you!"

You would have thought Wells won the world series as his siblings danced around him for sitting up for the first time.

Ruby was pleased to inform us that she made a basket in singing time from quite far away. "It was so great mom- everyone was calling me Michael Jackson!"

Cal was such helper the day we showed the rental. By the time I walked to the closet and back to the bathroom he had already put away my heating up straightener. He made my bed, reorganized the shoes and changed Wells bum without being asked.

Ruby and Ellie showed Jane the time of her life when they did a spa day- complete with a "sauge", "Parkly" Polish and a nice big bun on her head with the sock bun contraption. Jane took one look at her self and said, "I'm a donut!"

Dylan called me while my mom watch the kids and we went on a date to the Orchestra. Jane was wanting me- and Dylan was beyond sweet with her- he always is. He promised to snuggled and love her and lay with her.

When the kids came home from school the other day Jane gave them a group hug and said, "You are all my friends!"

When we went to drop off Ruby's Biography (President Nelson's pumpkin head) EVERYBODY new her. Adults waved "toodles" to her, kids lit up- she was a party and a delight everywhere she went! It was so fun to see. Her teacher also reported in Parent teacher conferences that many moms to boys had said- we haven't heard many peoples names- but we know who Ruby is!

Speaking of PTC- they are just about my favorite thing. To hear teachers loving all my kids and making such a fuss over them. Each teacher had nothing but positive wonderful comments. Cal's teacher said he was a dream student, Ellie's teacher raved and how helpful and kind she was to everyone, and Ruby's teacher just glowed with how much Ruby added to the class. Still- good pride right?!

Dylan passed Jane the baby she requested, "Oh he's a-big-enough!" She also says cute things like, "Don't spill me mom!" and "I bless youed!" after a sneeze. When Cal started playing Mary had a little lamb on the piano her face lit up and she immediately began rocking out- "I know dis song!"

Nothing new- but totally my favorite. Cal still tells me many many times a day, "I love you mom!"

I had the joy to go with Ellie on her field trip to the train station in Ogden. It was delightful watching her- and Wells was the main event with all her friends. She stayed up late the night before making everyone in her class some cookies.

Everyday Cal gets in the car from school and asks, "Can I watch Wells?" He sweeter than sugar with him- making him giggle, reading him books and being the very best brother.

Dylan is working so hard in school and getting straight A's. We all love to see him come home too with no braces! Looking so handsome and as cute as ever.

Brandon was tickling Cal and said he was going to get that little boy. Jane was so concerned, "He is my little boy daddy- he is my sister!" The next day Brandon and I snuggled and he kissed me with Jane near by, "Dad- why are you kissing my mom? Her is my sister!"

Last Sunday I substituted in Ellies primary class. I told some cute stories about her when she was little and she laughed so hard I thought she may come unstitched. In sharing time she sat close to me and held my hand. When the primary president asked them to think about a person who was happy and filled with light from living the gospel, Ellie leaned over and whispered, "I'm thinking of you!"

Oh my sweet kids- I am thinking of you always. You bring me so much light and love and truly make me want to be better. Thank you for loving me- and being patient with me as I am learning. You are my forever favorites.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018


Whobody changes their clothes 8 times per day (no exaggeration)

Whobody only wear princess dresses

Whobody ran away with Elijah- unlocking the front door and hiding in the neighbors backyard

Whobody screams as loud as humanly possible when Wells finally slips into slumber

Whobody earned a barbie princess mermaid that swims for potty training

Whobody slipped of the couch during FHE and smacked their head on the coffee table. Blood everywhere.

Whobody loves to read the Berenstein bear books before each nap

Whobody can be found loving there babies, tucking them in and saying sweet things like, "I am right here"

Whobody sits in timeout with folded arms and cross eyes

Whobody stopped a tantrum to enjoy mom telling what she loves about them- one for each finger

Whobody wanted to hear more so she lifted up her toes

Whobody did it back to mom saying things like "I love that you go poop on the potty" and then some nonsense words because she ran out of material

Whobody spends an hour painting perfect watercolor lines and circles

Whobody laughed during conference, "Him say pwivate pwayers!"

Whobody see the babe, sighs and announces, "He miles at me mom!"

Whobody jumps into the trunk each time I put them in the car to buckle

Whobody needs reminders that she can when she says, "I TAN'T!"

Whobody says, "I love you too!" and "You're my best friend!"

Whobody wants to know anybody's name (think construction workers: Juan, Jackson and Mike)

Whobody count to ten and hums "I know Heavenly Father loves Me!"

Whobody request Minnie mouse hair or wants "bums" on her head

Whobody is the perfect package of darling and trouble

Whobody says Whobody?

My favorite little somebody: JANE

(whobody came from a night during scriptures Jane turned to me and said, "Whobody makes you sad?") 

Monday, October 8, 2018

Follow the Prophet

On June 3rd, President Nelson asked the youth of the church to hold a 7 day fast from social media. I began right away. It turned into a longer fast with a family reunion in Wyoming and was a much needed break. My mind was clear and I was grateful to step away for a moment.

As soon as the fast was done, I was shocked how quickly I was hooked again... checking instagram the first moment I woke in the morning and wasting time each night that I could be spending with Brandon, tucking kids in a bit longer or even stopping at lights to see what the latest was. Because of the break I had earlier- I was well aware of the contrast.

And so I decided to be done with it. I asked Heavenly Father that if I could give up this thing I love, could he please give me added blessings in regards to Dylan's tricky situation.

Many blessings have come! I really have had added peace with Dylan. My expectations have changed, and almost always, I am accepting as weekends play out (with or without him) or as phone calls go often unanswered. Generally I feel total peace and happiness with the beautiful life I have been given.

My mind is so much more clear and disconnecting has only allowed be to connect more with my most favorite people. I feel closer to Brandon and have had more time to spend with Ellie, Ruby, Cal, Jane and Wells. Not even so much time- but my mentally energy and space is free with room to really think about what is the most important.

I would have never thought I was comparing myself to others- but I think Satan snuck in there because I now feel so much more gratitude for all that I have... and I have so much! Here I was building a brand new house with darling beautiful healthy kids, and I still wanted. To decorate, to travel, to whatever and whatnot. I feel so grateful now for my blessings.

I have done more real connecting with friends: calling and visiting the people I care about. Finding time to serve and create genuine space for people I care about. I have so many good people in my life- such a huge blessing.

Mostly- peace has come. Clarity. Perspective. Prioritzing. Hardwork. Accomplishment. Balance. It's not perfect- but it is so much better.

This weekend was historic as the Prophet announced 2 hour church and home centered gospel teaching. He invited us to read the Book of Mormon before January, create a temple schedule, study the RS declaration and yes, a 10 days social media fast. That part seems easy peasy now. But I will double my efforts to not waste my time on pinterest. I have recently been on instagram maybe 3 times for less than a minute to look at Jaclyn's new baby or to see my dad's latest painting- but I won't even do that. President Nelson also asked that I write down my thoughts as I am not participating in social media- so here is the so far and if new feelings or experiences develop- I will be sure to follow up!

If the Prophet says it- I will do it. I am so thankful for his guidance and challenges that will keep me on the path- hoping to return to Heavenly Father with my whole family.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Did I ever write these down?

Ruby thought we should leave Wells with mimi for a day out- because she was boobs.

Cal didn't want to play the board game that Ruby was hoping for. Ruby said she would snuggle him that night and without thinking twice Cal said, "Ok fine!" With a giant grin.

I broke the sad news that we would never own a dog. Cal said, "Oh man! I always wanted a chawewe!"

Jane went potty and we called to tell Brandon, "Do you want to give me a high five daddy?" Then she accidentally dropped the phone and she apologized for dropping him.

When I was holding Jane the other day I stood up and she was very concerned, "Don't spill me mommy!"

Cal asked me who was the cutest of all our babies- I said I could never choose- they've all been SO cute. "I wouldn't be hurt if you said Wells mom, because he is the cutest baby ever!"

The Cutest Kids in the Whole Wide world... no really

As soon as little miss muffin rolled from bed, we primped and painted her nails the most sparkly pink. We packed her snacks in her silver purse and headed out for our big date to- the aquarium! Just me and my Jane Bo and our handsome boyfriend Wells. It was simply delightful to have her to myself. She was giddy and grateful and pretty darn easy (minus the meltdown when I opened her hershey bar somewhere between clownfish and seahorses- to think! the nerve I had to not let her do the unveiling). She was so fun to talk to and teach... soaking in all the butterflies, snakes, fishies and birds. We marveled at the spinning, silly penguins and she jumped if a sting ray snuck up on her with just glass between them. She took my hand and asked me to sit and watch the sharks... unloading string cheese, grahm crackers and baby oranges. I loved watch the silhouette of her braided pigtails against the exhibits and when she wanted to take off her shoes for a piggy back ride I had the better judgement to say, "why not?" She braved the suspended rope bridge and she studied bearded dragons eating crickets in amazement. I adore my Jane!

Ellie is known for her amazing abilities to sleep in (hmm... I wonder who she gets that from?!). So imagine my surprise when she was wide awake in her bed early one school morning. (I won't say she was probably equally surprised that I was the parent waking her up)! Apparently she couldn't sleep because she was thinking about Tanner Brockbank. Oh Tanner- we have heard more about you that any crush by a landslide! Ellie just lights up when she talks about him- which she does each day reporting that they look at each other and smile. A lot. And he is the funniest and cutest boy ever seen- not just in the 5th grade. Today she said when she holds Wells, she pretends she's married to Tanner and that's her baby. She's completely giddy and smitten. I adore my Ellie!

4:39pm at our house looks something like this: toys every where, Jane at the easel, Michael Jackson blasting through the house while the kids "do chores," kitchen explosion: bread rising, potatoes mashing, ground turkey browning, cookies cooling, baby screaming- pure chaos. And then the doorbell rings. Panic. But it's Ruby doll- with a special delivery in hand to her "Momther." I'm treated to a scavenger hunt- with requests to write cursive together and she's all set up to give me a foot rub. She's so thoughtful, , very creative and truly funny (like we she asked Brandon if booby traps are when something reaches out, grabs them- and shakes them around! HAAA!). I adore my Ruby!

It is a known fact that Calvin worships his daddy. How can you blame him? As we drove away together last week Cal said, "Dad- I am going to love you forever and ever- every day, every week, every minute, every year- I'll never miss a day of loving you dad! You too mom. But dad- wow. I love you." Cal loves others easily- and truly is the easiest to love. I had the privilege of taking him on his school field trip to the zoo- he was magical. He could have run off with first grade friends- but he was so tickled to have Jane their and would put his arm around her and show her all the animals- talking so soft and sweet. He told me 20 times he loved me and was having a great time. His faces just glows. There are so many details of Cal that are so endearing to me: how often he says, "real fast" with so many stories to tell, how unselfish he is and always telling us/his sisters, "whatever you want- I'm ok!", how loud he talks, his love for baby Wells- changing his bum after school and always wanted to play with him- so aware, wearing dads big bye shirt to bed, his true quickness to forgive. He was SO helpful the other day after FHE and I could tell he was thinking about our lesson... "Mom- am I being a peacemaker?" I adore my Cal!

Baby Wells- every morning we wake up snuggling and I kiss your face while you smile and laugh and grab my face. You are almost 5 months old and it's simply the best little stage... not mobile or making messes, but so so happy and easy to please. You rub your hand back and forth while you nurse, gut laugh at a moment's notice, roll over on your tummy to sleep and make every day a truly special day. You can't see your sweet face without wanting to drop everything and just eat you. Today you were sad in the car unless I help your tiny hand and I wished you could stay small for always. You are so special to me! I adore my Wells!