Easter 2014

We were so lucky to have Kellen’s parents with us for Easter. We’ve been missing our family like crazy. Dawson was in Heaven with Gramma and Grampa. All weekend his little hands pulled their arms in every direction with a “Come on Gramma!! Come on Grampa!” On Saturday we went to the Desert Museum & had the perfect weather to explore. Of course Dawson’s favorite part was getting ice cream! Looking at the tortoises with Grandma was a close second.

DSC_0344 DSC_0346 DSC_0348 DSC_0351 DSC_0353 DSC_0354 DSC_0362I don’t know if a child has ever eaten as much candy as Dawson ate on Easter morning. This was our first year doing a real Easter egg hunt & slightly clueless I went overboard on the candy.. It was so cute watching Dawson pop open an egg and try to dump the entire thing in his mouth before moving on to the next egg. DSC_0367 DSC_0369 DSC_0375 DSC_0378 DSC_0380 DSC_0386 DSC_0389 DSC_0390 DSC_0412 DSC_0428 DSC_0438


^^ I have a feeling getting pictures with two kids will only get harder from here ^^

The Simple Life






DSC_0281Life is too easily complicated & made busy. It seems like our move to Tucson slowed things down. Or maybe my efforts to keep life simple are paying off. Either way I love it. I love the time I have to make our house a home & soak in every moment of Dawson’s toddlerhood. As we spend our days finger painting, play-dohing & singing silly songs my heart is filled to the top. I feel incredibly blessed in my roles as a wife and motherhood. Lately I have found my mind wandering back to this quote:

The demands on her were many and her tasks often repetitive and mundane, yet underneath it all was a beautiful serenity, a sense of being about God’s work. As with the Savior, she was ennobled by blessing others through service and sacrifice. She was love personified.

Being a mother is a sacred & humbling responsibility. One that I find myself taking for granted in the moments that test my patience & push my limits. Through the chaos and the quiet moments I am learning to be so much more than I’ve ever been before. The greatest of lessons I have learned & relearned a hundred times over is that I need my Father in Heaven. Without Him the days are long, patience is thin, and I find myself at a loss. With Him I am capable of being the mother I want to be. I am filled with serenity and I recognize that I am in the middle of God’s most sacred work.


Kellen told us a story about a high school friend the other day. This friend would save up his poo, leave it in a school bathroom, & walk away from the scene of the crime without flushing. He was soon known as “Poocaso.” Apparently Dawson was listening to this story a little too closely…

Today, nap time couldn’t come soon enough. I silently celebrated Dawson’s slumber with a rootbeer float & decided to pick up a book for the first time in months. Then I heard some suspicious noises. I opened Dawson’s door to see him standing there with the most innocent look painted across his face and poo painted all over his body.. all over the walls… all over the pillows.. furniture.. and blankets. I didn’t know whether to puke from the smell or cry from the frustration. So I did neither and tossed the little stinker in the tub. I sat there on the bathroom floor staring at my growing belly. I hoped baby girl would have better nap time manners. I hoped she would have a little less energy. I hoped.. and I hoped. And then my heart broke a little..

photo 1I had just wished baby girl wouldn’t be all of the incredible, special things that make Dawson who he is. I felt an overwhelming flood of guilt come over me. Lately, I haven’t been the mom I want to be. Sometimes I wonder if she even exists or if it will always be just me. Just me; impatient, unkind & completely unorganized. Or maybe I don’t have it all wrong and it’s just my idea of the mom I should be that’s all wrong. The mom I should be has endless activities perfectly planned to teach and engage my toddler. She has a perfectly clean house & she always looks perfectly put together. Let’s face it.. the mom I should be is perfect. So maybe I don’t really want to be her after all. What would she teach my children? That life never gets messy, people never lose it & everyone showers every single day?? She can’t teach my children the things that I can. The mom I should be can’t teach them that life isn’t perfect but with gratitude and a whole lot of faith it can be beautiful. Today as I scrubbed poo off the walls of my little boy’s room I learned a messy lesson & fell deeper in love with motherhood.photo 2


Let’s Talk About Grandma


We were eating breakfast this morning when Dawson smiled and began this conversation

D: Let’s talk about Grandma now.

R: You want to talk about grandma?

D: Let’s talk about Grandma!

R: Well.. both of your grandmas are very nice.

D: (while nodding) Grandmas nice!

R: Your grandmas are beautiful & sweet & they love you so much!

D: YEAH!!!! Grandmas love you!!

It made my heart happy that he knows his grandmas love him. It also made me really sad that at this time in his life he can’t be surrounded by their incredible influence like he has been since day one. Dawson truly does have the cream of the crop when it comes to grandmas. You will never meet more selfless, kind & loving women than Dawson’s grandmas. I feel very blessed to have their examples as I raise my family. So yes Dawson, we can talk about Grandma now and we don’t ever have to stop.



Baby Bump + Man Burps

I’m just gonna put this out there and say that pregnancy can be ugly & totally embarrassing. Between the weight gain, acne, wild hormones & hair growing in places in shouldn’t.. it can get a little discouraging. This is supposed to be the most beautiful experience of your life right? It is completely beautiful but then there’s this whole other side of pregnancy that’s maybe a little too embarrassing to mention. Suddenly you’re filled to the top with all this air that comes out of both ends and you can’t even control it. I could out-burp my husband any day of the week when I’m pregnant(that’s probably not something to be proud of). And then there’s the weird cravings.. like the time I ate an entire bag of beef jerky in five minutes. The heartburn, cankles, sleepless nights & let’s not mention the stretch marks.. it’s tough. All of that complaining aside, pregnancy is something I feel so blessed to be experiencing again. I would toot, burp like a man, & cry uncontrollably for a hundred years if it meant bringing a special spirit into our family. 

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Lately there have been lots of changes going on in my life. Big ones. Small ones. And everything in between. I live in a different state. I shop at Fry’s instead of the Smith’s that Kellen & I have been going to since our first grocery shopping trip as newlyweds. I can’t drive ten minutes to my mom’s house when I’m having a tough mommy day. Sunday dinners aren’t spent with grandma, grandpa & the our little Mexican brothers. There’s no more girls nights & playdates filled with talk of saggy mom boobs & dreaming about how our kids will grow up together. The glow of the Logan Temple doesn’t cover these dark desert nights in a blanket of peace. The familiar is gone & in its place is change.

I’ve always had big dreams of change, growing up & moving out into this great, big world. Now here I am and do you know how it feels? It feels big. And I feel very small. I could say I’m homesick. I could blame it on the hormones. Do you know what I think it is? I think that somewhere between Northern Utah & Southern Arizona I lost myself. I forgot what an incredible person I really am. I forgot how I spent seven months without my sweetheart & came out a kinder, softer woman. I forgot how happy I am when I’m making other people happy . I forgot that I’m beautiful, strong & filled with courage. I forgot that I am a woman of great faith. So here’s to remembering who I am & who I would like to become.View More: http://kyleeannphotography.pass.us/dawson

The Darndest Things: March 2014 Edition

I’ve come to the conclusion that the things that come out of my little boy’s mouth are way too funny to not be recorded. And so begins “The Darndest Things”. My plan is to do a (hopefully) monthly edition of silly things my sweet boy says.


The best of lately:

While eating dinner..

K: Mmmm Daws you should try your chicken.

D: No! I don’t like garbage!!

While looking at puppies…

D: Oh! Doggie I love you!! So fluffy! I love you doggie! I love you!!

While shopping…

D: Mom?

R: Yeah?

D: I friends all babies. I friends ALL babies.

While getting ready…

R: Dawson you get to play with Colby today!

D: No. I don’t like that. I like Cora. Cora is fun! I play Cora.

(He totally loves his friend Colby & talks about him nearly 24/7. You just can’t compete with a cousin when it comes to fun.)

On Sunday morning…

R & K: Dawson are you so excited for nursery today? You get to play with all your friends!

D: No. I don’t like that. I don’t like nursery.

On Sunday evening…

D: I go nursery. Nursery is fun. Toys fun. Snacks.

While climbing up on the dining room table…

R: Dawson you need to get down, that’s dangerous.

D: No!

R: Okay, then you can go in timeout.

D: Mommy I love you! I love you Mommy! Mommy is beautiful!

(He totally knows how to weasel his way out of anything..)

Captain Underpants

DSC_0228This little boy is one wild child. With his endless amounts of energy & unquenchable curiosity he keeps life exciting. I couldn’t tell you how many times a day I look at him with complete awe & disbelief that he’s mine. Like two peas in a pod we were made for each other. I’m convinced that he was sent from Heaven especially for me. The little stink knows just what to say to melt my heart when he’s about to be in trouble. I get lost in those big blue eyes each time he slows down just long enough for me to get a look at them. And that belly ^^ gets me every time.
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The Sweetest

I’ve always known my little boy was sweet but now I know he’s the sweetest. He has been so very patient with his sick mama the last few months. It’s despicable the amount of times we’ve watched Despicable Me 2 & getting out of the house is a rare occasion. I’m sure there were a few people who secretly wished this upon me after my unbelievably easy pregnancy with Dawson. I can count on one hand the amount of times I felt the tiniest bit of nausea with his pregnancy. With a little bit of a rough start to this pregnancy I’ve really learned to appreciate & admire all that women go through to bring these precious little people into the world. It truly is a miracle and one that I feel very blessed to experience. And just to add to all the sweetest Dawson has learned to say two things that would melt any mommy into a puddle:

“Mommy is beautiful!!” & “I love you Mommy!”

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Desert Rain

We’ve been looking forward to one thing since moving here; a desert rainstorm. It’s something Kellen & I had never experienced and it seemed like it would be magical. When the rain started coming down on Saturday we were overjoyed. Nobody loved it more than Dawson. He immediately asked for his little red boots & stood anxiously by the door as Kellen & I tore through the last of the packed boxes to find them. As we drove around that afternoon we saw rivers where there had been dry desolation only the day before & every plant in sight had added ten shades of vibrance.

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