Yellow Gerber Daisies


Grief blog

Here in UT, we live close to a beautiful cemetery. In front, there is a fountain that regularly catches Ledger’s eye as we drive by. Earlier this month, he repeatedly asked me if we could take a walk there. Day after day of him asking me, I finally said, “Okay buddy, lets go.”

Ledge jumped on his scooter, and I pushed Cannon and Cruiz and we took a walk on a busy road to get there. We stopped and let the boys appreciate the fountain up close, and then Ledger turned and and said,” Mom, let’s go see Preslee now.” I then understood why he wanted to visit. I knelt down to his level and explained that Preslee was buried in Idaho, and there are a lot of different cemeteries. (Death is such a confusing concept for kids) He was immediately heartbroken. I promised him we would visit soon.

The week of Preslee’s Angelversary, I suddenly became extremely homesick. And with Ledger still asking to visit his sister, Pat encouraged me to take the boys and visit. Pat stayed behind for work and I promised to be home on her actual Angelversary. My parents kept us busy, which I appreciate, but the highlight of our trip was definitely visiting the cemetery. If you live close to the cemetery, don’t take it for granted! I miss it.

Grief Blog

We stopped at a local craft store to buy new flowers fro Preslee. Ledger, who is obsessed with the color yellow right now, (Bumblebee, the transformer is yellow) immediately picked out a yellow Gerber Daisy and asked me if he could buy it for his sister. I know his request might seem small, but it was huge for me. He truly loves her. His connection with her blows me away sometimes. I could go on and on about all that he says about her, but I’ll save that for another time :)

  toddler drowning cemetery white headstone

After our visit, (and no pictures of the twins, they were banished to the car after repeatedly stealing the trinkets off surrounding headstones :) we thought we would give a kid friendly hike a try that my Grandma used to take me on when I was a kid. It’s super close to the cemetery, but to our surprise half of the hike was paved now (seriously?) but the boys were in sandals so it turned out okay.

cress creek child's hike
Ledger in the lead, Cruiz, and Cannon in the rear.
Left – Cruiz, Right- Cannon
cress creek

We didn’t make it to the top after Cannon sat down and refused to walk, when I bent down to pick him up, my camera whacked him in the nose and it instantly started bleeding. So I packed him down to the parking lot, and while I was cleaning him up, you can clearly see he was still pretty upset with me. Haha
Afterward, we enjoyed a picnic outside.

My dad was great sport and started a fire for a hot dog roast. The boys were thrilled!! When it was time to roast hot dogs, we found Cruiz in the corner with a cold hot dog in each hand, eating them as fast as he could! The one thing I miss about Idaho the most is the big back yards.

 hot dog roast

The next day, my parents had previously planned to take my uncle and his family boating, so we tagged along.

 Ririe Reservoire Ririe Reservoire
My uncle Greg was the man. He played with my kids, and even jumped in after Cannon when he fell/jumped into the lake by himself. Ledger kept jumping in, and would panic when he hit the cold water. Greg would crouch down and say, “Own the water, don’t let it own you. Be the Boss. When you are calm, the water is calm.” To my surprise it worked! Ledger still says it when he swims :) Towards the end of the night, Ledger jumped off the boat when nobody was looking, we all panicked for a minute, but he swam over to the dock all by himself. (Don’t worry, all the boys had a life jacket on the entire time)Ririe Reservoire child water skiis
Ledger waterskiing
Ririe Reservoire
The Wightman gang.
child water ski 
Ledger riding “Fancy.”
EZ ski EZ ski EZ ski Ririe Reservoire Ririe Reservoire orange boating flag
Cannon was obsessed with the flag.

Cruiz & Grandma 

We drove home on Thursday and made it home before Pat got off work.
And to my surprise, my sweet neighbor, who I’ve only known for two months, had a gift waiting for me. She handed me the most amazing vase with a poem and a picture of Preslee etched into it. Inside, there were yellow gerber daisies…Too perfect. The poem was written like it was from Preslee, and immediately had me in tears. For only knowing me about two months, I couldn’t believe the effort my neighbor put into it.
Thank you Kayli, we absolutely love it.
Thank you Patrick for encouraging us to go home, and thanks mom and dad for letting us visit.

Ohana Oasis {News Clip}


The local news in Boise, ID put together a story about Ohana Oasis, the retreat Patrick and I attended just a few months ago. I wanted to share, it highlights Heidi, the founder, along with one of the other couples that attended with us.

Thank you Heidi for inspiring me.

Watch the segment {here}.

Did you miss my post about Ohana Oasis? Find it {here}. 

Cannon and Cruiz Turn 2!


It’s hard to believe that these two little boys are officially two years old!
The first year drug on due to an insane amount of crying, but this past year flew by.

Cannon and Cruiz,

You are wild little things, who keep us on our toes both day and night, but I can’t imagine life without either of you. I love your similarities, but love watching your differences even more. I have so much to say/document but I’ll save it for another post, because I only have about an hour (nap time) to bake a cake :)

Happy Birthday boys, we love you!
211 012ed

If this is blurry, watch it {here}

The Ride


It was a warm Idaho morning. I dressed Preslee in her pink little swim suit, packed what we needed in my purse, and drove to Rexburg to meet two of my friends at the splash pad. We spent the afternoon watching our kids play in the water. Preslee, usually a fish, wouldn’t go near the water that day. She sat quietly on a park bench, repeatedly glancing at me, and then gazing off into the distance. It was as if she was deep in thought and every time I picked her up off the bench she cried. Eventually I decided to try and lighten her mood, so I grabbed her little hand and led her towards the carousel.

Park bench 
Preslee watched as I handed a dollar to the teenage girl in chagre. We stepped onto the carousel and I could tell Preslee was intrigued, but still apprehensive. I went ahead and picked out a black and white horse, with a big pink bow on its side, the one I felt would be the best match for Preslee. Being a first time mom, I was excited and giddy, trying to coax a smile from my rather serious daughter. Eventually my excitement rubbed off and she too, became rather happy, flipping the reigns and signing horse over and over again…and then the carousel began to turn. Preslee immediately grabbed onto the horse for dear life, not sure why her mom had thrown her onto such a strange contraption. There she sat, going round and round, up and down, all the while a loud drum and unique music blared in her ears, making it difficult for her to hear me. She kept looking at me and scanning her surroundings, her facial expression read, “Why Mom? When will this stop?”


All the while, I sat to the right of her, cheering her on, reassuring her that everything was okay. Eventually her stone cold face turned into a smile, and she learned to embrace the breeze blowing her wispy blonde hair.


Today as I walked by a shelf in our home, a little pink image caught my eye.
As I stopped and stared at this framed picture, a connection was made.

Five years ago, I was forced onto my own carousel. When Preslee was found in the canal, my world began spinning. Up and down, round and round, and sometimes my grief, just like the loud music Preslee heard, takes over and makes it difficult for me to function or hear what I need to. In the beginning I was frightened, not sure what to expect. I grasped onto the reigns, begging for my circumstance—my worst nightmare, to come to an end—but it didn’t. And just when I felt all was lost, I looked ahead and spotted a loving Heavenly Father standing ahead of me with a smile on His face, cheering me on, coaxing me to let go, hoping someday I’ll understand the point of ride.


As I sit here and type this, I’m honestly in disbelief that today marks five years since our crazy ride began. Five years, 1,825 days, 43,764 hours, or 157 550 400 seconds without my daughter often seems like eternity. Though I’ve been consumed by intense heartache, pain, and tears, something changed this past year. I think part of it stems from keeping a daily gratitude journal, but I’m beginning to see the beauty of the ride. Though I will never stop missing her, I realize the growth that has taken place in both Pat and I. I’m beginning to see what a blessing it is to have an older sister in heaven for 3 little boys – who now have their own guardian angel. Sacred experiences have been life-changing, which has caused my testimony to grow in leaps and bounds.  
 Oscar Wilde 

 Today I’m grateful that I’m the one who gets to be her mom,
along with three crazy boys running around with strong little heartbeats.
Today Ledger was the one who wiped away my tear and said, “Mom, I miss her too. So much.”

FullSizeRender (1)
Sometimes the cost of a
carousel ride which enables one to feel the breeze, is worth the ups and downs that comes along with it.
I just have to keep on reminding myself that on days like today.

We’re five years closer to seeing you again, sweetie.
We love you.

Missing Her


My mind is filling up with thoughts about Preslee’s last week of life – due to the fact yesterday marked 5 years since her accident. Since I hate focusing on that difficult week, I found myself sorting through pictures.

Looking for happy times.

How my heart aches for her.

(Look at her little toes :)

Boy, did this girl have a gift to love. She was extremely aware of other people’s emotions which I haven’t seen in too many toddlers before. There were many different moments, right before we lost her, that I saw a glimpse of an older spirit in her tiny little body. At that time, I didn’t realize how rare it was because, well… she was my first.
But other’s were continually commenting about it.

Preslee, Moab, & Hospital 2010 081 edit2

There are so many things my heart wishes for, but won’t come true in this life.
We’ll just have to keep trekking on, leaning on the promise that families can be together forever.

preslee insta sand

We sure do love and miss you, Monkey.


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