Sunday, June 28, 2015

29 years.

yesterday - june 27th - my parents celebrated their 29th wedding anniversary.

(my parents are the couple on the far left)

my parents decided that instead of celebrating alone, they'd celebrate with the kids too, because 29 years ago is when this eternal family of ours began.

since all the older kids are busy being married and working, my parents took the two babies of the family (me and jackson) up to park city on friday night.

we rode the zip line, then headed to main street for dinner. 

by tradition, after dinner we walked through the cute little book store attached to rocky mountain chocolate factory, and then stopped by rocky mountain for a treat.

i think the reason i love this bookstore so much, is mainly because they have a CAT roaming the store, and you know.... i have an undying love for cats.

after walking along main street, we played some mini golf, and then called it a night.

i love my sweet parents, and my sweet family, i'm so blessed to get to spend eternity with them.

congrats on 29 years mom and dad! i'm excited to watch you guys grow old through the many many more years that're coming.

Friday, June 26, 2015

happy fathers day.

 this is clearly delayed - as most of my posts are - but i feel so blessed each and every day to have so many wonderful father figures in my life! i was feeling especially grateful and blessed this past sunday as we celebrated our dads.

here are a  FEW of the many wonderful men in my life.....

first, my grandpa reeder (grant). okay, how handsome is he?! and check out those muscles in the second and third picture, what a freaking stud! grant died from cancer a long time ago, i miss him lots, and i can't wait to see him again, i know our reunion will be so sweet.
majority of my memories with him are up at our family cabin, - the one he built himself! - he loved taking us on hikes and teaching us about all the different types of plants, i sure miss it. being up there feels so much like him, i don't know exactly how heaven works, but if our spirits are free to roam where they wish, i know he'd always be up at our cabin.

next, grandpa hill, (on the far right) isn't he just so handsome too? i don't have many photo's of him, but he's such an awesome guy, he's so easy to talk to, and he loves hearing about the new things i'm up to. he's at every dance performance and gives the best hugs. he's so supportive and loving. i'm so glad to still have him around.

next, my older brother. my oh my, words can't describe him. he's the best father and the best husband, he's such a tough guy, but suddenly his girls came around, and he turned into SUCH a marshmallow, it melts my heart. i genuinely hope to marry a guy like tyler.

 last but not least, my great old papa bear, this guy never fails to make me smile! ever since i was a little girl he's been such a goof ball and he's kept me laughing (even if it includes getting a pedicure with me) to this day he still supports me in everything i do, and works so hard to keep me comforted and to bring me peace. i feel so genuinely important to my daddy, after all, i am his baby girl. as most dad's do, he's always working to protect me and he's always trying to "fix" my problems. not to mention, throughout the years he's given me plenty of priesthood blessings, i'd truly be lost without those.

my heart goes out to all those families that aren't surrounded by loving fathers, these men are certainly some of the greatest people in my life.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

strawberry days.

having lived in pleasant grove my whole life, strawberry days will always be so near and dear to my heart, i've grown up with it and i have some of the best memories from it.
strawberry days goes on for one week every year in june, there are plenty of activities, but some of the most popular events are the concert in the park, the carnival, the rodeo, huck finn days, the parade, and of course, eating strawberries and cream, because that alone should count as an "event" right?!

now it may make me "one of a kind" considering i HATE the carnival (most people love it) but i think it's completely disgusting, maybe it's because i'm a germaphobe and it mega grosses me out, but i don't think you'll EVER see me on a ride from their.... ew.
 on wednesday, me, my mom, my sister in law, and nieces went shopping at this little boutique, the little boutique is in the same parking lot as the carnival, as we walked in, pais noticed the carousel, "riding a horse" was the ONLY thing she talked about for the next half an hour, so how could we not let her ride it at least once?! (don't worry, i didn't have to go on it with her - grammy took care of that - although, surprising enough, i would've been willing to go on it for her. anything for little miss)

friday night, my family headed to the rodeo, i got the honor of chasing this little cow girl around for majority of the time, it's rare she ever sits still! 

my brother and some of his buddies competed in the "wild cow milking" at the rodeo, this picture (below) makes it appear "calm" but there is certainly nothing "calm" about it! watching my brother getting wrecked by a wild cow was absolutely terrifying . his 'team' got 2nd place, this meant they got to come back and compete again saturday night.

saturday night i went to the rodeo with some friends i hadn't spent time with in awhile, when ever i'm not with my nieces i find myself missing them a whole bunch - no matter how long it's been since I've last seen them - my mom was sitting with pais, and sent me this picture, it put a smile on my face, she's in a phase of loving her "funny faces" i have no idea who taught her this, but i adore it!

 the wild cow milking didn't go QUITE so well the second night, my brother was holding onto the rope that was tied to his cow, as the cow ran around dragging him, another teams cow ran him over, his shoulder popped out, and we could tell he was hurting bad, but the crazy kid STILL got up and tried to finish his "cow milking" ..... boys!

as soon as he was out of the arena, my dad took him over to the E.R. to get his shoulder popped back into place, thankfully it's not broken, we think it's just sprained, so he has a sling, and he's going to get an appointment with a specialist to make sure it's all good.
aren't those pictures of his shoulder just gnarly?!

now to rewind a little bit - saturday morning i went to the parade with some of my best friends, it was so so weird sitting on the side walk and just watching, i haven't been able to do that for - what seems like - years! i'm use to dancing in the parade each year, and it was sad not being up there, but it was so good to see my cute team dancing, they were looking good and i can't wait to continue watching them the rest of this year.
i'm already having strawberry days withdrawls, i think we need it once a month!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

158 days & baby steps.

remember this fun post? well exciting news, this past friday, after 5 months, 22.5 weeks, and 158 days, I was discharged!!
 i'm now on a program called iop (intensive out patient) and though it may not seem like a HUGE deal, considering i'm still up at my treatment center each day,  (but only half a day now, wahoo)
to me, the fact that i am not longer considered "hospitalized" and i am now considered an "outpatient" is a BIG deal to me!
Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step of your life. Tip toe if you must, but take the step. #ChitrChatr #EarlySubscribersPromo
only 3 of those 5 months, 13 of those 22.5 weeks, and 89 of the 158 days were spent fully hospitalized, when i stepped down from 24 hour care, to the part hospitalization program, it was a really really big deal to me! it maybe didn't seem like a big deal to many people, but  to me - it was!
this next transition down may not seem like a big deal to some people, but to me - it is.
as my mom continues to tell me - it's all about baby steps.
with each step down, I've received more "freedom" this is scary, because more freedom gives me more opportunities to relapse, and that's why i'm moving through the process slowly, because they want to be sure i'm ready to progress forward.
this is a big deal to me, this is exciting to me, and i feel really proud of myself.
i still have a long journey ahead of me, it's a long, hard process, but that doesn't mean it can't be done - because i'm doing it.
the dream is real

Monday, June 22, 2015

Stephanie Nielson

NieNie Dialogues

"{stephaNIE NIElson} My blog began in 2005. I write daily about whatever I am doing, mostly about my five children; Claire, Jane, Oliver, Nicholas, and Charlotte. I also write about my husband Christian (Mr. Nielson), my struggles, my blessings and my strong Mormon faith. In 2008, Christian and I were in a airplane crash. I was burned over 80% of my body. I am living a beautiful life despite pain and challenges."
(^^^from stephanie's blog^^^)

last monday was an absolute dream come true.
if you know me at all, you probably know that i am low key obsessed with stephanie nielson, she is the author of her blog,, and her memoir "heaven is here." (if you haven't read it,  please do, it is life changing) 

in january, as i was first hospitalized, i took stephanie's book with me, it had been a few years since i had last read it, so i figured it was time to read it again,  i knew how much comfort it'd bring.

often on the hardest days, the only thing that could bring me comfort was my heavenly father, and stephanie nielson. she is an example of strength, bravery, courage, and real beauty.
not only did she help me realize that we as woman can do really hard things, and motivate me to fight, she has also helped me realize how important the role of motherhood is.

the way she talks about raising her kids touches my heart and fills me with peace, hope, and excitement for the future. she looks at motherhood as her divine purpose on this earth, she loves caring for her family and children, they are important to her. 
she keeps me in line with what really matters.

me with stephanie herself.

in treatment, we're very sheltered from the outside world, i kind of  lived in a bubble! i got two 15 minute phone calls home each week, my parents and family were only allowed to come see me for a few hours each weekend, there were no cellphones, no internet, no social media, no t.v. (except for movies on the weekends) but you get the point, we had no connection to anything or anyone on the outside world, i didn't miss my cell phone, or instagram, or texting, (in fact it was REALLY nice being away from all that) but what i did miss, was reading my mommy blogs!! 

if you know me at all, you'd also know how important being a mom is to me, and mommy blogs have always been something that just excites, and encourages me, especially stephanies blog. as i told my therapist this, she talked with the rest of my treatment team, and they decided it'd be good for me to get the privilege of reading her blog a couple times each week, sometimes my therapist would pull her i-pad out in our sessions, and we'd read stephanie's blog together. this was such a blessing to my recovery!

many times after wanting to give up, simply reading about her journey through motherhood reminded me that giving up was something i actually really didn't want.

one day, after much contemplation, i FINALLY built up the courage to write stephanie, i shared my story with her, i shared my desire to be a mother someday, and i shared how much she has impacted my life in the best way possible, and i asked her if there was anyway she'd be able to come speak to me, and other girls and woman at center for change.

stephanie is a busy woman, and she's spoken for crowds of over 20,000, (and i'm sure she's been paid a pretty penny for that) but she didn't even hesitate to let me know that she'd love to come speak to us. i was absolutely thrilled. she is so selfless, her constant service touches me.

when the day finally came, i was ecstatic.
i nervously waited in the lobby for her, as her and her husband walked in she greeted me with a big loving hug.

i then led them down stairs, where everyone was waiting to hear from her, i introduced her (which was intimidating) then turned the time over to her, and took a seat on the front row next to christian - her husband. (i felt pretty cool ;) )

she shared her story about her plane crash, she talked about the long painful journey of healing, and returning to her full time job as a mother. she talked about gratitude for her body, because bodies can do and withstand amazing things. she talked about accepting her new appearance, and that her kids don't look at her any differently, because she's the same mom that she has always been, and she is not her body.

even though i have heard her story many times as i've read her book, it still made me tear up (as it always does)

i feel so so blessed to have had the opportunity to not only meet her, but to hear her story in person.
as she left, she told me to keep in touch, and she let me know that she can't wait to see me with kids of my own.

(christian, stephanie, and me)

last monday was such a blessing for me, and i know it was a blessing for every other girl at center for change, i don't think she even realizes how much her kind words and actions have blessed and touched my life!
thank you once again stephanie. 

Saturday, June 20, 2015

california pt. 3

the next day we woke up and watched gilmore girls in bed for awhile, it was nice to take some time to lounge and relax.
around 11 we put on our suits and headed to huntington beach (our families favorite beach)

on our way to the beach we stopped by the liquor shop, (don't worry, we don't drink) 

the liquor store has a little deli in the back of it, and surprisingly enough they make the yummiest sandwiches, so we bought some lunch and took a little picnic to the beach.

after lunch we took long naps on the beach, took some pictures, and played in the water for a bit.

soon enough, it was dinner time, so we walked to main street for la roccos, as you probably already guessed, it's been a family favorite since i was in junior high, this is probably THE favorite, upon request from our fam, we ordered a whole box of pizza (and some garlic knots) to take home to them, they were estatic. 

after dinner, we shopped.

as snack time rolled around we decided we'd make smores on the beach, but there were no available fire pits, so as we walked back to our car, to find something else to eat, we walked past some people with a fire going in their front yard, we figured, what do we have to lose? so we stopped and asked if we could roast a couple marshmellows real quick, they were so sweet and were excited to let us join in on their fun. 
i love nice people, making new friends makes me happy.

after snack, we took a walk along the pier. around 10 we realized we had totally planned to rent and ride bikes on the beach, but never got around to it.
then conveniently enough, we saw a group of boys with bikes and little "wagons" attached to the back, so we paid one of them to take us for a little ride along the beach.

perfect end to our short - but amazing - california trip.

the next morning we woke up, packed, and were on the road by 9 a.m. 
as sad as i was to leave, it was nice to see my family again, i missed them. 

until next time california! 

Thursday, June 18, 2015

california pt. 2

the next morning we slept in until 11 (i wasn't joking when i said we were pooped after 14 hours of running around in the hot sun) me and heather made instant oatmeal and ate it in bed.
we eventually got up, got ready, and then headed to lunch.

food was challenging for me, so i decided to eat at places that my family use to go whenever we'd visit heather (she use to live in huntington beach) that way, i had a positive memory to associate the food with, and that made it a bit easier. 

so for lunch, we stopped at an old favorite, t.k. burger. it's just this little 'hole in the wall' place, and it looks incredibly ghetto, but it's also (surprisingly) incredibly good!

after lunch, we headed to newport beach to do some shopping.

and of course, wherever there's a photo booth, we ought to stop and take pictures.

i'd never before seen a pet store 'on the beach', but with first glance at this kitten, i fell in love with this place. luckily for my mom, she was $1,000, otherwise, i may of just ended up bringing her home with me.

when snack time rolled around, we headed to balboa island to try out their famous 'frozen banana's'

i must admit, i wasn't too impressed. sprinkles are photogentic, but they really aren't all that tastey.

we shopped around a bit more, then headed back to our hotel room to get ready for an Angels baseball game! 

did you know you could buy $5 baseball tickets?! because either did I. 

the view wasn't great (hence the $5 tickets) but the atmosphere of baseball games are too fun. 

and we ate corn dogs for dinner. because what's a baseball game without a hot dog? (or corn dog, same thing)

when there was only 2 innings left in the game, we walked down to the fifth row, the nice view was fabulous for the small amount of time we had it. 

the game ended late, so once it was over  we headed back to our hotel to get some sleep so we could be all rested for a day at the BEACH.