Friday, July 31, 2015


There's something so vulnerable about getting your house photographed. You feel like your mistakes are on display for everyone to see. What was once a private, personal space will be picked apart by strangers as they walk through the hallways and rooms that contain your life.

The humble, seemingly out-of-the-blue way in which this major life change is occurring reminded both of us of when we bought this house. In fact, we can't even remember what prompted us to buy in the first place.

Several months ago, Ben saw an opening for a job in a field he's been interested in for some time. I encouraged him to apply.

"What about your school?" he asked.

"If you get it, we'll worry about the details later," I nodded.

With all the details now in place (I'll be taking a year off of school to become a resident, then take some transfer credits at another university, and finishing with some long-distance credits from BYU next winter), we'll be off to Indiana before the end of the month! We are excited for the adventure that awaits us as we start fresh in the Indianapolis, Indiana area as we start this new chapter of our lives.

Friday, July 24, 2015

The Next Phase

new growth on a old tree

Life flashed before my eyes. We are closing one chapter and beginning another. My life used to be consumed with BABIES. Babies, babies, all day long. While my kids are certainly not grown up (Cheyenne is now 4.5, Delaney 3, and Ephraim 20 months), and are we are not done having babies, my kids are getting older.

The BABIES phase was very carefree. We would pick up at any time and decide to walk to the park. Or we would spend three hours just playing with friends. And it didn't mess up any schedule if I needed to just sit and hold a cranky baby. My house was always a disaster, but I was okay with it (my house is still a disaster, but just less so, I guess). Our life was VERY unstructured, and I liked it that way. I loved the freedom of this stage.

Old photos-- these were a year-and-a-half ago

Now, I'm starting to notice a need for scaffolding. More structure. My kids are no longer content following me around in whichever way I please.  They have their own agendas. Places they would like to go, or people they would like to see. And pretty soon Cheyenne will have some type of preschool to go to, creating a hard break on the BABIES phase and into the KIDS IN SCHOOL phase.

sorry Mom-- my kids always have dirty faces
I'm not mourning the carefree-ness of the BABIES phase being over, I can't seem to shake my laissez-faire attitude even if my kids are getting older. But God has been working at my heart to help me see that structure is a good thing, and I am excited about our future.

It also fills me with so much hope. Kids really DO get older and things DO change. It's hard to see, sometimes, when you are in the middle of it. I guess this is a post to show my gratitude for motherhood, for life, for dreams. Life is long, and change happens imperceptibly. We love to watch this series on Sundays and one of the boys talked about how his greatest longing is to have a spouse he loves and a family of his own. I remember as a kid feeling exactly that way. I have seven older siblings, and I've watched from a young age as they've grown their families and created lives together. I've always wanted that. And now it's here. Life is beautiful, and God is great. May I ever be grateful.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Delaney, a soul in-the-making

Delaney's little head is resting on my shoulder, fast asleep. With her peaceful breathing and her dead weight pushing against me, I take time to contemplate this little soul in-the-making.

Delaney is incredibly light-hearted. She loves to laugh and make jokes. Sometimes her dad and I lay in bed and night and replay some of her antics or try to remember the funny way she comes up with to say things. It brings us joy and happiness. Will you allow your humor to continue to add joy to your life, or will you settle for sarcasm, which hints of contempt, I wonder. Choose joy. Your gift of laughter is to be a boon to dark days, a panacea for people, and yourself, who are weighed down with burdens.

Delaney has a special gift, kindness and charity. She gives when others would hold back. It's simply natural to her. Stay true to that, my heart calls out to her. This world is full of selfishness and hate, it's easy not to taste the beautiful fruit of giving. It's part of who you are, I can see it, here, in infancy form.

You have but little toes and little fingers, yet. You probably won't remember this stage of your life. This is what it looked like, your soul in-the-making. You will learn and grow and change, yes, but I can see God in you. And God is who you forever will be. Cheyenne once told me, "Hey Mom guess what? Did you know that even Mommies and Daddies are a child of God? Even when you grow up, you're still a child of God! Isn't that great?" Yes, it is great! Our identity never fades or diminishes, a part of you forever.

 I love you, Lane.

Love, Your Mother

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Here and There and Everywhere


I put the girls in a short summer dance class. They loved it.

Sunset in Kansas on the 4th of July
a camel in Kansas

the view from my sister Heather's front window in Ohio

For our 6th anniversary, Ben and I stayed at a bed and breakfast in literally the middle of nowhere. We played horseshoes as the sun went down.

We had a little rental car mishap and ended up having to drive to Salt Lake right during dinner time so we stopped for some food. Can you tell Ephraim was glad that we did?

I love these women I get to call my family. Some of my Flake cousins and lots of babies, babies, babies! I love having these women to look up to and to use as a sounding board. I am so grateful the Lord has given me this huge support system. I cherish it.

One of my cousins who is especially dear to me is my cousin Kristen (but who is she not especially dear to? She's incredibly likable, fun, down-to-earth, and kind!). Kristen and I are close to the same age, we took a couple of college classes together, started dating our husbands at the same time, and then got married in the same summer. We had our first babies weeks apart, and now we both have two girls and a boy. I always look forward to the time I get to spend with Kristen, and the strength and wisdom I gain from her. Families are so amazing aren't they? I thank God for the beautiful family I am a part of!

a new washing machine means...the box would make a really great house.

Spending time at one of our very favorite parks here in Provo.

these kids