Growing a Human

Friday, October 13, 2017

We aren't the best photographers and more often than not we forget to take pictures, unless they are of Cooper. So this is my best attempt of documenting this season of life. Good thing I don't have to know too much to grow a human - just eat. And I'd say I've been doing a pretty good job of that. 

Overall this whole pregnancy ordeal has gone WAY better than I ever imagined. I always thought I wouldn't be able to walk after my abs split (because I compensate so much with core muscles to help me walk). And loading a wheelchair was difficult enough as a paraplegic and I thought being a pregnant paraplegic would be nearly impossible to go or do anything by myself. But I have been substitute teaching, getting groceries, mountain boarding and all my other normal activities - with relatively minor difficulty.  One of my biggest concerns was my medications, but I found out that I could stay on my medication for my spasms which has been such a blessing - like huge huge huge. It's hard to function even with medication so thinking about life without my medication for 3+ months was so scary. After consulting with numerous doctors though we decided the benefit outweighed any risk and that there wasn't risk. It's been quite the pleasant surprise and I am so grateful. 

22 WEEKS

Phuket was the last stop on our trip & I was 22 weeks then. I really hadn't felt or looked pregnant up until this point. And even then I just felt pudgy in a swimsuit. But now with some perspective (being huge now) I look back at this picture and can see a little "bump"- but my lordosis & lack of glut muscles also make it so my back arches making my stomach look bigger anyway.  


31 WEEKS

I really am pretty terrible at documenting this whole human growing process. But honestly the whole idea of a mini human in me freaks me out. So I really try not to think about it too much. I take care of my body & am definitely not in denial anymore, but still tell myself that the kicks are just my organs digesting food. This lil nugget weighed in about 4.5 lbs around 31 weeks so I'm kind of hoping he comes a little early so he's not sooooo BIG at 40 weeks. 

32 WEEKS

My dad was in town & my mom demanded he take a picture so I ended up having "weekly" pictures for a two week streak. Also I finally got some maternity leggings and workout top so I started wearing more official "maternity" clothes. 

35 WEEKS

This is the first real maternity dress I've worn in public that was more form fitting. When I'm in my wheelchair and sitting I guess my giant stomach tucks away and people still hesitantly ask if I'm pregnant - it's pretty funny. But now at about 35 weeks people are finally confident enough that I'm pregnant that they'll ask. I'm not really one to shout it from the roof tops and share that I'm pregnant, but at almost 35 weeks it's getting undeniable and I really only have a few weeks left.  Standing & walking are getting pretty difficult without my normal abdominal muscles, but I'm still going strong loading my wheelchair, walking, teaching, mountain boarding and daily life. Except now the hills I mountain board are pretty tame - like the slightest up hill is quite the struggle. 

I'll tell you right now though - I am planning on cutting my hair. Not super short mom bob, but a long bob I think. Call it a mom hair cut or whatever you want. I've wanted to cut my hair since March/April. But I've held off to see if grows extra long or thick during pregnancy. Honestly, I haven't noticed much of a difference. 

Cooper has been extra needy ... I mean Cooper is always needy so who am I kidding. 



  
              

Stillness & Spiritual WiFi

Monday, September 25, 2017

In college was when I was at my peak of what I might call my "restless" phase. I didn't mind silence, but I hated sitting still. Sitting in class was a MAJOR struggle.  I'd paint my nails, color my notes or tie friendship bracelets to keep my hands busy. Sitting and watching a moving was almost unbearable. Most of the time if I was watching movies with a group of friends I would go for a run and be back before the credits started rolling. Even sitting in church my hands were busy tying bracelets, writing or coloring; I wasn't trying to be disrespectful, I just could focus and listen best when my hands were active. And all the sitting around you do a lot in college that people call "hanging out" made me anxious and all I could think about was going to DO something.

Running from Stillness
For years I had struggled with being still. My life was nonstop, but that's the way I enjoyed it. I found my moments of peace while I ran. The most "stillness" I had in life was when I was out running for an hour or so in the mountains. That is where I found my quiet, that  is where I found my peace - in running. After my accident stillness became my worst enemy. Nights were the worst; those hours of supposed stillness and rest were some of my most painful times. Nerve pain raged through my body, I was left alone for a couple hours at a time and my mind ran rampant. Then the CNA's would come in to turn and reposition my body and the nerve pain would rage on.

They did their best to keep me busy in the hospital, which was perfect for me. From 7 AM to 5 PM my schedule was filled with hourly fitness classes, physical therapy, occupational therapy, educational classes and much more. But due to all the broken bones in my lower body there were a lot of extra restrictions. Really what my body needed was healing and rest - or in other words stillness.



The weeks and months that follow my time in the hospital were filled with finishing up my spring semester classes, attending more physical therapy in the clinic and at home and even starting to walk. As I went back to school a month later I once again kept my schedule so busy attending school, student teaching & driving 3 hours 3 days a week for 2 hour physical therapy sessions helped me avoid the stillness that I was so afraid of. I kept pushing ahead, refusing to slow down or face the stillness.

For years I had literally been running from stillness and now even with a paralyzed body I was still trying to run from stillness. I started swimming and that brought an aspect of stillness into my life, like running had, but it was the kind of stillness I could handle - we'll call it exercise stillness. It was stillness on my terms.

Finding Stillness
But after I graduated, as I was trying to figure out my next steps I was faced with stillness. It was so awkward and uncomfortable for me. It made me face what I'd been running from for years, but especially all I'd been running from the past year since my accident. I didn't know how to handle the stillness until Cooper came around.



Before I'd wake up on a Sunday morning and go exercise in nature because I needed to be productive and didn't want to sit still with myself and my thoughts. But after Cooper I was able to just lay in bed for a little longer and pet Cooper. I was able to just sit outside and just sit with my thoughts in the stillness. Right now as I'm writing this Cooper is laying still at my feel - probably asleep, but still :)

Stillness brought me to my breaking point and made me face everything I'd been running from, but it also brought healing and peace into my life. Those moments of stillness helped me find answers and peace. It wasn't easy for me at first and it was extremely uncomfortable even painful at times. But being still has brought so much physical, emotional and spiritual healing into my life.

Being paralyzed hasn't made stillness easier. It still takes conscious effort to stop and find rest and peace. It's just not in my nature to want to sit still, even when my legs don't work like they used to. But stillness is so necessary for all of us to stop and look where we are going, where we've been, and maybe what we may be running from so we can truly find peace, healing and answers.

Spiritual WiFi

We live in a society now where stillness does not come about naturally. In fact it's almost praised to be so busy we don't take time to find stillness. Between balancing our daily lives of work, school, exercise, daily chores, different duties and responsibilities it's hard to make time for stillness. And then on top of that we are surrounded by social media and technology that tries to suck away any moments of stillness we may find in our day.

But here's the thing. I think when we avoid stillness and fill those moments with too much technology or social media - I think Satan is winning. He's not getting us to do anything terrible, but he's keeping us from being still, from finding peace and from connecting with our Heavenly Father. Now I'm not talking about just connecting and communicating through prayer. I'm talking about moments of stillness when an answers may come in the form of a small thought or feeling.

If Satan is able to take away our stillness he's successfully blocking us from our Heavenly Father. I almost think of it as those times when your cell reception or WiFi connection is minimal to none and you can't receive text messages of calls. When we shun or ignore stillness Satan is blocking our spiritual wifi or signal to receive messages from God.

As I think about my spiritual WiFi, I wonder how many messages never got through because my spiritual wifi was down or distracted by other things in life. I want to always be available to receive messages from God whether they be a big long text and realization or just a short simple text. I hope that you can find ways to seek out stillness in your life. It may feel awkward or uncomfortable at first, but as we practice stillness in our lives I know our spiritual WiFi signals can strengthen and we will can receive text messages and even phone calls with messages, peace and even answers we may be seeking.

This weekend as General Conference approaches there is an opportunity to hear messages from about about God.  I want to strengthen my spiritual WiFi signal before, after and always so I can be ready to listen and receive spiritual text messages. Click HERE to find out more or visit LDS.org



OH B O Y!

Friday, August 4, 2017


We'll incase you missed the announcement: 
Cooper is getting a little brother coming November 2017

In other words I'm pregnant, I rarely say that out loud, but I've been trying to make it feel more real by at least typing it. (But seriously, how cute is this onesie we found with a mini Cooper/golden-doodle on the front?!)

I've been in denial for about the first half of this pregnancy. Part of it was I just didn't expect this all to happen so soon. I had complications that we planned on being in this journey for the long haul. After many trips to the ER over the past few years & finally some answers and a surgery last May, I felt at peace about it all and just told myself that with faith and God's timing it will come together when it's supposed to. Well someone upstairs thinks he's funny or knows what he is doing because either way this lil nugget is making his debut the beginning of November whether we're ready or not. 




February and March: The Cheeseburger Months. I don't really eat red meat at all, but for some reason I was constantly craving cheeseburgers - not a huge 1/4 pounder, just a simple kids burger.  Before I knew I was pregnant I just thought I deficient in some nutrient found in red meat. So during February and March we made lots of burger stops, which Trevor had no complaints about. Also I can't believe I had the energy for it but somewhere between the napping and eating I kept up on my mountain boarding and "ran" the Salt Lake City Marathon in March. Braden was able to ride as my "support team" and it's always fun to see such dear friends. 




Around mile 10 Trevor was waiting for me with Cooper. Cooper was so needy and right when I stopped he started crawling up on my lap. What a goofball. 

March & April: The Napping Months. There was excessive napping and fatigue which made April & March a bit of a drag.  I would teach all day and come home nap, eat, try to exercise and early to bed. Life was really exciting, as you might imagine. Trevor was in the midst of CPA exams so his study schedule was quite rigorous. He'd study late and I'd fall asleep by 9/9:30 PM. 

In March, right around when we figured out I was pregnant, I was in the midst of job interviews for a new school district. I was offered the job the same day I did one phone interview and after driving down and meeting with the staff I immediately felt like it was a good fit. But I had just found out I was pregnant a couple weeks before and struggling with what to do. I found myself confiding in a complete stranger, the principal, as I tried to weigh my options. Originally the job offer was for a full-time teaching position. Then she offered me a part-time job teaching position, as well as numerous other options. But in the end I realized that there was so much uncertainty and learning ahead of me. Just learning to balance my life between wheelchair, walker and crutches has taken me almost 4 years and so I can only imagine my learning curve for motherhood. 

May & June: Finally May came and I felt like I'd normalized. I didn't need constant naps and burgers and Trevor finished his masters & two more CPA exams. After our first ultrasound appointment I finally believed I was pregnant, but right after the appointment was done I went back into "denial". 

But with everyone coming into town for  Trevor's graduation I knew we needed to tell our families. All of the Masters programs at USU had their graduation ceremony on May 5th - Cinco De Mayo. So we decided  the best way to surprise our families would be with a little piñata surprise at Trevor's graduation BBQ. I need to find and take a picture of the creepy plastic babies Trevor wanted to fill the piñata with because they are absolutely ridiculous. The piñata was stuffed with these plastic babies, baby confetti, pink and blue rattles along with some candy and of course - the ultrasound pictures. At the beginning of June I finished up my first year teaching 2nd grade. We took the summer off between summer speaking engagements, moving, travel and just enjoying being together with a little break from CPA studies we kept plenty busy and the summer has flown by. 


#MaccDaddy was our favorite hashtag of the day



The past 6 months have been a whirlwind. I'll post about our trip during June and July in another post because SE Asia in a wheelchair is quite the adventure. Finally around 22 weeks I've hit the point were this whole pregnancy dealio started to become real. Especially on our flight back from Thailand, it started to become more difficult for me to sit up. Overall though, time has flown by and I've been in denial up until the last few weeks. We're not very good at documenting, but maybe when I have a real bump we'll try and take a few more. I'm finally starting to "show" if that's what you'd call this picture:

24 weeks (I'm pretty terrible at documenting so this is my best effort)

At week 28 I'll begin to taper off my medication for my muscle spasms. This was my biggest concern about being pregnant and now with only 3 weeks left, I'm realizing that it will be here before I know it. So all prayers and positive thoughts that I can handle my crazy spastic legs without medication would be much appreciated. I haven't been able to manage my muscle spasms on my own since I was injured in 2012. And the last time I tried to go off this particular medication I went through withdrawals and even CRAZIER spasms. But either way I start tapering off in 3 weeks.  I still journal plenty but I wanted to put together a little post to help document life. I have a whole little bit on motherhood, but I think I'll save that for a separate post, since I'm trying to keep these posts short and simple.












I Didn't Think Motherhood Was For Me

Thursday, August 3, 2017


I never grew up dreaming of being a mother. Of course when I was younger I assumed marriage and family would come with time, but it was never something I dreamed of or really desired. One of my concerns while dating Trevor the first time was that I knew he wanted to get married and eventually start a family. At the time that was something I didn't want at all; I wasn't in a place where I could even imagine motherhood and I really didn't even want that to be apart of my future. 

Being a part of a religion and culture that focused on family and marriage, I felt out of place. But I didn't let it weigh on me because I was so focused on recovery and healing in my own life and just getting a grip on the "new" me and my "new" life. It was while I was nearing the end of my counseling and I really felt like we had worked through a lot of ISH in my life. But during one session I remember sharing my disinterest in motherhood and marriage and trying to figure out what was wrong with me and why I've always felt different in that regaurd. We talked a length, but I didn't leave with a solution or new perspective.

Over the last few years, God found ways to soften my heart towards marriage and family. Not only did I become more open to these roles, but I realized that those roles as a wife and mother are a part of MY eternal and divine identity. With time and through study and prayer I began to learn more. I even started to share what I'd been learning at different speaking engagements; which only reconfirmed what I felt Heavenly Father had been teaching me. 

It always amazes me that over the past 5 years and my "talks" are always changing. I never use the same talk when I speak, I use lots of the same quotes, but the focus always seems to be changing. The last few years I've been learning that I am not defined by my my physical attributes, but by the spiritual attributes. But lately my study and learning has brought me to a deeper understanding of who I am. One of my favorite quotes has helped reinforce what I felt like I was being taught at the time.
"Female roles did not begin on earth and they do not end here...by developing a mother heart, each girl and woman prepares for her divine eternal mission of motherhood."
That first sentence is where it's at - "and they do not end here". Motherhood, even before I was pregnant, brought more peace and hope into my life - knowing that motherhood has always been a part of my divine nature, purpose and identity. Sometimes the thoughts of motherhood in a wheelchair/crutches/walker brings doubts and concerns into my mind. I'm still so unsure how I will accomplish tasks that are so simple for other women. I've grieved thinking about the moments I won't get to fully enjoy with an able body - running around with my children in the yard, standing and rocking a baby in my arms, hold a toddler on my hip while I stand and walk around. 


The reminder that female roles did not being here and they do not end here, helps reconfirm that I will one day have those opportunities because these females roles as wives, daughters, sisters and mothers are divine AND eternal. 

I know I will have these opportunities with my limited body on earth, but also eternally with a HEALED and WHOLE body - because of Christ's Atonement and the plan of salvation these opportunities "do not end here". 


Although I don't feel like the typical excited mother-to-be, I know if I love Cooper as my dog-child this much, I will definitely have more than enough of love for this lil nugget. And I take comfort in knowing that this role is apart of my divine identity and nature. So regardless of how I may be feeling from day to day, I know that it will all turn out alright because mothering is in my divine nature. I know it will still come with hard work and big learning curve, but that's what this life is all about. God has already softened and changed my heart over the years and I know that with his help I'll be able to handle motherhood regardless of my physical abilities.


Year ONE

Sunday, July 9, 2017

One year ago, with almost all of our favorite people in the same place, we decided to get married. It was seriously the best! I just wish we could have spent more time with everyone we loved so dearly. Our wedding day was a dream, not everything went as planned, but it was still a dream because of the people who were there. And every day since then has just been getting better and better. 











My favorite floral piece <3

My grandpa Lee's chocolates made the perfect wedding favor. 

If you can zoom in on Christian's face (my brother-in-law) to the left of me. His face is priceless.
 From Tennessee to California, Missouri to Hawaii, and Maryland to Illinois and of course Utah - it meant so much to have my dear friends a part of my bridal party. SO MUCH LOVE <3



I'm pretty sure Christian is calling my parents out during his toast about how much they talked about Trevor while we were broken up. Look at their faces - haha. 



Now this may be confusing on my blog because I have different anniversary posts on the blog from my accident and now wedding anniversaries. But I'm pretty sure I'll be able to tell the difference, hopefully anyone else that reads this can too. 

I'm always all about themes and recording growth and change. So hopefully with these 10 (actually 11) questions we'll be able to track some of that progress and change. Hopefully after a few more years we don't move as often but I added #11 in for now as our lives consist of lots of moving before we hopefully settle into one place. Hopefully these questions do a good job recapping the good, bad and average our first year has held.

1. Favorite thing to do together?
2. What's the biggest change?
3. High moment?
4. Low moment?
5. What was the biggest concern or challenge you faced?
6. What are you looking forward to?
7. Did you start any traditions, hobbies or habits?
8. What has been your favorite place you've been?
9. What is your favorite foods or places to eat?
10. What are your goals?
11. Where have you lived?

1. Favorite thing to do together?
I just love when Cooper is able to be off leash and we are out exploring in nature all together. Whether that's playing at Bear Lake, hiking/running up the canyon or xc skiing. Just being outdoors all together is my favorite thing.

2. Biggest change?
The biggest change this first year held was the adjustment of grocery shopping and cooking. I used to live on my leftovers for days to the point I was sick of them. But now we rarely have left overs and if we do it's just enough for me to take to school for lunch, not really to feed us another meal. So I've been cooking a lot. 

The biggest change was getting used to sharing a bed with Brittany.  I'm used to being able to stretch out and now sometimes Britt is laying diagonal across the bed or snuggling up to me on my half of the bed leaving half of the bed unused.  Dramatic?  Maybe....

3. High moment?
High moment, hmmm. Just simply being together has been a high for me. Ah this one is hard, I'm still coming to terms with all of it, but realizing I could get pregnant was a huge relief. I wasn't quite ready to actually  BE pregnant, but we find out that I could so that was a major blessing and an overall high. At the time I was getting ready to go into a specialist and I had prepared Trevor that we would be in it for the long haul. My complications had nothing to do with my accident, but there were still plenty of other concerns that arose with pregnancy.

My high moment?  There are so many.  It's not really fair to ask for only one.  Well if I can only pick one I would have to pick finding out that Britt was pregnant.  I thought it might be a little bit hard for us to get pregnant so it was really exciting  and a blessing that Britt was able to become pregnant.  I also loved going back to Cambodia and passing 3 out of 4 CPA exams.

4. Low moment?

Low moment would definitely include my injury. I've really struggled with my leg spasms this year. And early on when I thought I might be pregnant I stopped taking my sleep medication which made sleeping and leg spasms really difficult to manage. I remember one day when I just couldn't stop crying; the lack of sleep probably contributed to the water words. But Trevor & I talked about and I realized I have only had a few hours of complete relief from my leg spasms in the past 5 years - 5 YEARS. Only 6-8 hours of relief when I had this spinal block trial done back in 2015. Other than that my injury is constantly wearing on my body and making simple things, like sleeping, a mountain to climb. I definitely had some good hard cries over that struggle, but I'm glad I went off that medication because I was right I was pregnant. It's been so comforting to have Trevor by my side though to talk me through it and to just hold me and let me cry because honestly most of the time there are no words and no answers.

The low moment from the last year would have to be not passing several CPA exams and wondering to myself if I was going to be able to pass the exams that are tied to success and progression in my profession.

5. What was the biggest concern or challenge you faced?
The biggest challenge and concern goes right in line with the high and my low. Really just looking ahead and feeling so uncertain of what's to come. I'm torn between worries about my medication, pregnancy, spasms and  how I will do certain seemingly "simple" tasks of motherhood. I try not to think ahead to much and just tell myself we'll cross that bridge when we get to it. But honestly having Trevor along for these same challenges and concerns I know we'll figure it out together. 

Biggest challenge I faced was getting through school while trying to knock out some CPA exams.  Doesn't seem like it was that bad now but between school and CPA exams there was too much studying.

6. What are you looking forward to?

I think I'm most looking forward to embracing being a dog mom and human mom. I love being a dog mom and so with time and learning I know I'll love being a human mom too. And just supporting Trevor. These past few weeks as he's started the new job and back to studying for another CPA exam I really find a lot of fulfillment in that. I still have this desire in me to figure out what else I'm supposed to do with this life of mine that was spared, but for now I'll try and gracefully enter into motherhood knowing that those other things can still come. I'm also really looking forward to Trevor finishing his CPA exams and seeing him become a dad because he is already the funniest and sweetest dog dad. 

I am looking forward to welcoming my son into the world.  I think it will be very challenging to raise a child; sometimes I wonder if I can take care of myself.  I am excited to have him in our home and hopefully compete with my sister for the cutest grandbaby.  I know Brittany has done her part; fingers crossed I don't make the baby ugly, we've got stiff competition in Danni and Ben.

7. Did you start any traditions, hobbies or habits?

Well this is a mix of my hobby and habit. I really loved taking Trevor out XC skiing for the first time and I definitely want that to become a tradition. With work and baby I know it won't be often, but just making it a tradition and outing that we do in the winter. I've already started counting months and will look at some warm baby clothes so we can go in March maybe?

Britt and I went to Bear Lake a lot over this past year and camped which I want to be one of our traditions.  I would like to go on a big fancy trip with the Bryan Fisher Travel Company but I don't think that will ultimately be a long lasting tradition.  Fiddlestixs!!!!  I don't know how I feel about the tradition of answering these questions every year.


8. Where's your favorite place?
Favorite place we've been together is hard because we have been a lot of places this past year. Between Hawaii, Bear Lake & SE Asia there are things I loved about each trip. But I'd have to say Bear Lake last summer before I started work & Trevor started school. It was just so fun and laid back and Cooper could be apart of the traveling :) But Cambodia was a close runner up because it was so amazing to see how much love the people had for Trevor and vice versa and all the love I felt just by being married to him. And hearing Trevor speak with the members and locals was so fun for me. He really did so well; I only saw him struggle to think of a word or how to say something once.

My favorite place that we've been this past year would have to be Asia.  It was good to go back and see the people I lived with for two years of my life and to be able to introduce them to my family.


9. What is your favorite foods or places to eat?
Favorite foods and places to eat. Well I feel like Chick-fil-a is always a win for us. But I've personally loved our pit stops at A&W for my burger fix this past spring.

Favorite food to eat is chicken and waffles. Ate it at Chili's and loved it but I'm willing to eat it anywhere.

10. What are your goals?
Goals would have to be just finding our new balance with our new roles. With Trevor's work and a new addition on the way I think we just want to try and do our best at being consistent with scripture study, prayer, exercise etc.  

My goal is to finish my last CPA exam soon so I am available in the evenings after work to take care of my son and to spend time with Britt.  I also want to run 2-3 times a week so I don't get morbidly obese or just a little fat.  I want to keep the apartment clean and nice for everybody and I don't want to strangle Kaaren for living with us until Christmas.



11. Where have you lived?
We've been living in Logan while Trevor finished up his Masters program at USU. It was a small one bedroom apartment that was definitely a tight fit for us (and all my medical equipment). It was bittersweet to leave Logan, but we weren't sad to say goodbye to our "first apartment". Our new place in Clearfield has a two car garage, lots of natural light and although it's not a full home with our own yard, it's one step closer. 

Over this past year (2016-2017) we have lived in Logan, UT while I finished my masters in accounting at Utah State and we now live in Clearfield, UT to make my commute to Ogden or SLC manageable.

5 Y E A R S

Monday, March 13, 2017




Normally as this time of the year approaches, I start to think about the accident and plan some way to celebrate being alive. But after last years reenactment, I found closure. I went back and claimed the experience that changed my life. The word that kept coming to mind last year was: FREE. After that rappel I felt so free - free from the accident and my injuries. Free from everything that had been holding me back. And so this year as March 12th approached I remembered, but my mind didn't seem to dwell on all the events that March 12th holds. I realized that the reason I used to write so consistently was because I was in the midst of learning so many new lessons including coping with the grief and change I was experiencing in my life. I wrote because I was still processing it all; I wrote to find healing and understanding.


Now that I've found that healing and understanding in my life I don't have any new realizations in my life at this 5 year anniversary. But I did remember a significant lesson I learned within the first few days after my accident.



Before March 2012 life seemed to be going my way in every way- emotionally, socially, spiritually and physically. But I was in a stage of life where I knew God had a specific purpose for me and I was trying to seek out His direction. I wanted to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I wanted to teach others about the joy that I experienced from knowing God and Jesus Christ. My prayers revolved around serving a mission, but for some reason I kept getting a giant NO of an answer. I couldn't understand why God wouldn't want me to dedicate this time to serving and teaching about Him. After months and months of struggle, I finally accepted His will for me and decided not to go. Then I began to ask Him about my work opportunities for the upcoming summer. I still felt like God had a specific purpose for me, but I couldn't figure out where he wanted me to go. I had two incredible jobs lined up and my heart was pulling me in both directions, but I had to choose. I prayed and prayed and didn't received any answers until I came across this scripture in D&C 62:5  

“…As seemeth you good, it mattereth not unto me; only be faithful and declare glad tidings unto the inhabitants of the earth…” 


At the time I thought I understood that it didn't matter which job I took, as long as I continued to serve God and remain close to Him. What I didn't know then, was that God had a completely different mission in store and it truly "mattereth not" which one I chose because  less than a month later I was involved in the accident that changed the course of my life forever. When I was paralyzed, I was called on a new mission. I've learned that His plan for me involved a lifelong mission that allows me to speak to hundreds and thousands of youth, young adults, adults and countless strangers.

Often times people ask me:


Didn't you have a bad feeling before the accident?

My sure answer is NO. In fact, those moments right before my accident were some of the most peaceful beautiful moments I can think of in my 21 years of experience. I sat on the red rocks looking up at the night sky in complete awe of it's beauty and serenity. Just moments before my life was forever changed, I was overwhelmed with peace. 

 I have come to learn that God does not make "bad things" happen, but sometimes He ALLOWS them to happen.

I know God had a specific mission in store for me and this accident is a part of my mission. While a lot of pain and grief have come from my accident, even more JOY has followed. Not only does God have a specific plan for me, but He has one for you too. Sometimes our prayers are not answered the way we want because He has a different plan in mind.


1,826 days
1,826 days since I last ran or jumped around on my own two feet. 1,826 days filled with neuropathic pain. 1,826 days of intense muscle spasms. 1,826 days of small steps and hard work.  Some days were filled with grief and sadness others were filled with resilience and determination. Some passed painfully slow others flew by in a blur. Seasons of sorrow were folled by seasons of joy, but in the end I'm still me. We each have the same 24 hours in a day, it's not as much WHAT has happened to me. It's about how I've chosen to react and move forward. In these past 1,826 days I student taught and graduated from college ON TIME. In these past 1,826 days I commuted and spent endless hours for physical therapy. I worked 4 different jobs and finally ended up teaching again. I brought home Cooper and become a dog mom. In the past 1,826 days I found my passion for exercise and the outdoors again cross country skiing. In the past 1,826 days dates I dated, broke up, dated and married Trevor. These 1,826 days I've travel everywhere from Hawaii to San Fransico and the African continent and all the way across Europe. The past 1,826 days may not have been filled with running, but those days have been filled with just as much adventure. The past 1,826 days have been filled with just as much joy, love and laughter.

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