My Life Jackets In Grief

I was cleaning out my basement and organizing the clutter into “keep” or “trash” piles. I had made my way into Mia’s room and the trash pile was getting larger and larger. I added a few notebooks to the pile when I noticed a green “H” sticker on the outside. So I opened it up to find a “Dear Hayes” notebook! I had almost thrown this away. But, in my defense, Mia has a very bad habit of keeping everything she has ever been given, including candy wrappers. She is a hoarder through and through, bless her heart. Read More


Teen Love to Triplets Part 5

All of a sudden he was gone. I was so scared. I was scared that we were going to grow apart. Scared that we wouldn’t be interested in each other when he got home. And if I am honest, I was scared to death that he would come back from his mission weird. I couldn’t blame him if he did but I was horrified of that, nonetheless. Read More


Mourning on Mother’s Day

It was the end of July, 2016. We had just finished our 28 day stay in the hospital and we were so happy to be home. On a whim, we had decided to take all 6 of our kids up the canyon on a hike….some would most likely call “Silver Lake” an easy mountain walk, but when you are carrying 3 babies, anything is considered a hike! We had all the backpacks and baby wearing gear, along with a freshly filled load of milk for Hayes’ tube. Nothing was getting in the way. We had day dreamed of days like this while being trapped within the 4 gray walls of the hospital. Read More


Part 1 of a Series of Very Unfortunate Events

Here is something you need to know about me…I am notoriously embarrassing myself. I am a natural clutz that says and does all the wrong and entirely inappropriate things. Steve is always so embarrassed by me. So, for your enjoyment, and for Steve to cringe while reading this at his office, I am doing a new series of my most embarrassing slash ridiculously not ok moments. Taking it back about 11 years for my first of the series of “unfortunate events”. 😉 Read More


Unique Mother’s Day Gift Guide

As a child of no older than 3, I have a very, very early memory. One of those memories where everything is beautiful and ethereal and lit by the sun. Our next door neighbors were an older couple that took pride and joy in their yard. In particular, their walkway lined with large, fragrant rose bushes. I mentioned that I was no older than 3, but even 3 is pushing it…I was young. I still remember the magical feeling when I would walk along those rose bushes and run into a strip of ground that had several hand prints pressed into the now hard cement with names scrawled next to each pair. I would kneel down and fit my tiny hand into the middle of one of those hands, fascinated that someone was able to push into cement hard enough to leave an impression. I traced the fingers back and forth. I didn’t completely understand that these hands had been pushed into newly laid, wet cement but, I was amazed with it nonetheless. I swore to myself that one day I would figure out a way to have my own families handprints molded into a cement pad of my own. Freezing the documented magic forever. Read More


Go Gray In May

Today is May 1….the first day of Brain tumor awareness month. While I don’t intend to celebrate brain tumors, I don’t want to harp on depressing facts. We know brain tumors are depressing and devastating and I will share facts, but my goal is also to show that there is always hope and there is always a silver lining in this journey of life. During the month of May, every penny donated to the HayesTough Foundation will be donated to a brain tumor warriors family. Let’s spread kindness! Let’s spread hope!

My sweet friend Bianca Merkley is an incredibly talented singing artist and she has graciously given her talents to this cause. Her song “HOPE” is available on Bandcamp. You can download the song and choose the amount you want to donate. Whether it is 50 cents or more, every penny goes to a family in need. What I love about this song is that it’s intended to provide hope in all times of trial. Whether it is financially difficult times, marital troubles, miscarriage or cancer…we all have a story, and we can all use hope.

So gift this song to someone that needs that silver lining or gift this to your mom for Mother’s Day! Or gift a HayesTough shirt to someone that loves awesome shirts 😉! Let’s raise more money than we have before! And let’s gift hope to a family in need! We are #hayesarmy.

Link to purchase Bianca’s song.

Link to Donate.

Link to buy HayesTough merchandise.


Personifying Cancer

I woke up this morning feeling anxious and that all too familiar sick feeling. I had dreamt of Hayes all night, but not in a happy way. In my dream, Hayes was gone still, but I was going to the state prison to meet his killer….cancer. I had personified cancer in my dream and the hatred I felt for him was unlike anything I have known. It was as if all of a sudden I was able to direct all of the unfocused and figurative “Cancer took my child” anger at the “man” that killed my child. In my dream I was so scared to meet him and to finally see his face. I knew a piece of glass would be between us and in my dream I remember feeling a frustration that I wouldn’t have the ability to jump across the table and strangle the life out of the man that tortured my baby. But, I also felt relief that the glass would be there too because if I was being honest, cancer was the scariest man I had ever met. Read More


Top 8 Favorite Podcasts

Can I confess something? If you follow me on Instagram, you already know this about me. I am obsessed with podcasts….murder, true crime podcasts in particular! I have mentioned this before, but seriously, I probably have real issues. I now trust no one and my main goal in life has become to not raise a serial killer. Fingers crossed we accomplish that one. On a less serial killer note, I now feel like I am living in the 1950’s. “Be sure to drink your ovaltine”…..You win if you know what I am talking about. Read More


Teen Love to Triplets Part 4

It was the fall of 2001. We had graduated, gone on our senior trips and were both now living in Logan, Utah. A small town an hour and a half north of our hometowns. We both decided to live in the dorms. Steve was living with two of his buddies from high school and I was living with 5 random girls that I had never met before. We lived a short walk away from each other and needless to say, we were making that short walk multiple times a day!   Read More


Cruising Through the Strait of Gibraltar and Beyond

The cruise was my first ever. Barcelona had been so amazing that I couldn’t imagine anything comparing. We took off and began our trip south. I immediately was taken aback by the rockiness of the boat. But even worse than the rockiness was that we were headed straight for an oncoming cold front. Little droplets of the ocean would hang onto the bitter cold wind and sting my face. Steve and I would have to gear up to cross the outdoor walkway to the restaurants. Every time was a bundle up, hunch down, run to the other side. It was SO cold. But the excitement was tangible. We were headed for the Strait of Gibraltar.  Read More