DAY TWENTY-EIGHT:: Happy Thanksgiving

Everyday I truly feel blessed for the life I have been given. It has had it's ups and downs, and I have trudged through many trials, but through all of that, I am Alive!

I am thankful for the trials that have put me where I am today. I am thankful for the good times that remind me how much I have been blessed. I am thankful for God, cause I know he is in control. I know he put me through these trials because he knows I can handle them, and he has a plan.

Every morning I get up and think to myself, the fact alone that I am living is a blessing. That I can carry a child in my womb for a healthy 40 weeks is a blessing. That I have a job, to provide for my family is a blessing. That I have the love and support from an amazing partner is a blessing. That I have access to clean water, power, heat, and public transportation is a blessing. My life is a blessing.

I am thankful.

This is the song I walked down the aisle to, when I married Tavis. It totally applies to my life. Bless the broken road that lead me here today.


Today I am thankful for Ceason.
I unfortunately hadn't seen her much this month, so I wasn't sure when I was going to post my thankful for her, but tomorrow is her birthday so I thought today would be a good day to do it.

Ceason is absolutely one of the friendliest persons I know. We first met at my wedding, She is married to one of Tavis' best friends, Brandon (who also happens to be my brother in laws little brother). They are one of the most adorable couples too, and have two of the most adorable little girls. She has been such a great friend and is also a very talented photographer. She has done both of my maternity shoots, and I felt so blessed to have her come and be a part of Harlie's birth and taking pictures for us then. She also came and did Harlie's newborns, which turned out beautiful.

I truly feel blessed to have Ceason a part of my life. I am thankful for our talks, our double dates, play dates, and friendship. :)
Maternity pics 2010
Maternity pics 2010
Maternity pics 2013
Maternity Pics 2013
Maternity Pics 2013

Newborn pics - Harlie

DAYS 22-26

I got busy this week so I will just post this.

You forget to be thankful for the little things too. 

DAY TWENTY-ONE:: Harlie Arianna

Today my beautiful Harlie turns 2 months old, so today I am thankful for her.

When Harlie was born, she had a large whole in her heart, and I am thankful that I can say, it sounds like the hole is completely closed. We still have to follow up in a few months to make sure, but all signs point good.

She (and Peyton) bring so much joy to my life. I'm thankful I had a smooth pregnancy that went to term, and a safe delivery to bring her into this world.

At her two month check she weighed in at 11 lbs 12 oz, and is 23 inches long. She is becoming so active and began rolling over from her belly to her back last night. Her big cheesy grins melt my heart and she loves to cuddle.

I feel so blessed to have both my little girls in my life.


DAY TWENTY:: My brother in laws Tylan and Tanner

Peyton absolutely adores her uncles Tylan and Tanner. Today I am thankful for them helping us run errands. Tylan watched Peyton and Harlie, while Tanner drove us around so we wouldn't have to be in the rain.
They have always been such great helps and we appreciate them so much. I really couldn't ask for better in laws. And like I said Peyton adores them and loves it when they come over or she gets to hang out with them (mostly cause they will play with her and they aren't mom and dad).

Peyton with Uncle Tylan, Aunt Tiana, and Uncle Tanner
(in the back Dad, Uncle Joe, and Uncle Trevon)


DAY NINETEEN:: My mom again

Today my mom is my hero again. So yesterday when our plans were interrupted it is because Tavis got a last second call to work with Gary. Unfortunately they didn't finish it all yesterday, and had to go back today. This was a problem because I also had to work today. Thus my mom came to my rescue she came and watched the girls for me. She also cleaned my kitchen (including the infamous dishes) and did a few loads of laundry too. I don't know how she did it cause even I struggle to stay on top of it while watching the girls. And then she also was somehow able to keep control of Peyton and get her to nap on the couch. Something I have never been able to do unless she is sick.

Thank you mom for helping us today.




Today is a shorter post. It was very exhausting and frustrating, and would not have been possible if it weren't for coffee.

Harlie has begun this thing of waking up at 5:00 am to eat, so by the time I am done feeding her it is 5:30 at which point I don't even want to bother trying to get back to sleep, because Peyton will be waking up at 7. So I got up, Made a pot of coffee, enjoyed my new girl scout Samoa cookie flavored creamer in it, then battled to get Tavis up, Made me another cup, battled him some more, made him a cup of iced coffee, Then we went about our errands, which got interrupted suddenly. Which resulted in a third cup of coffee.

So today I am thankful for coffee.



I believe strongly in the grace of God.
I am not a good christian by any means. I will admit I am a horrible sinner, but I believe that God is love and he forgives.
Today I am thankful for my faith. It has gotten me through some serious trials, and brought me to my amazing husband. Today we had Harlie blessed.
I am not like most people around me, I am not an active member of the LDS religion. I actually prefer to be non denominational. I believe the reason there are so many religions that revolve around the bible is because no one is exactly the same, we do not all learn the same, and we all need to find him in our own way. After being raised LDS for 17 years, I left it very abruptly after being treated in a very un christian way. A few years later I found The Rock Church, and I learned more about God and my relationship with him in the 3 months I was there, than I ever did in the 17 years I was LDS, but that was me. I know plenty of people who have found that relationship and been happy in the LDS faith. That is why I will not force my children into religion. They will be free to find themselves. I will have Christianity in my home, but they can find and build that relationship how they need. So I will introduce them to the different places of worship. Right now the only two I know of and go to are LDS and TRC.

That is why I had Harlie blessed today. Just like I had Peyton blessed when she was 4 months old. I find it an important milestone in their life. It was a beautiful blessing given by her Grandpa Albertson and Uncle Trevon.


DAY SIXTEEN:: Assistance

Has winter is starting to set in (today being a cold and slushie day) I am thankful for the assistance programs available to help me and my family. I have been working 2 jobs (or a job and school) for 4 years now. It has never been enough. Neither job offering full time or wages sufficient enough to support me and my family. Being the only steady income for my family is rough and honestly embarrassing.

I see so many of my friends on Facebook bash those on Medicaid and food stamps. It hurts and makes me feel guilty, but honestly if these programs weren't available I don't know where my family would be. We have been on food stamps and medicaid on and off for 4 years, and I am thankful that if my girls are sick I can take them to the doctor and I am able to keep food in my fridge for Peyton. I have also been on housing assistance for about a year and a half, so i'm thankful for them and that we were able to get on that program so I can keep a rough over our heads. All my income combined barely covers our essential bills (power, gas, rent, and internet), but then we don't have a car so I also have to pay about $20 a week to get to and from work. None of that including the diapers and wipes and other things we have to buy on a regular basis. So if these programs weren't available I don't know where we would be.


DAY FIFTEEN:: Daxton Cameron

Today is a special day. Today I am thankful for two people. The first an unlikely person, the second an obvious.

I am thankful to my first love, Clint. I met Clint in April 2005. He went to a different school than I did and it was entirely random and chance. It's weird I can still remember all the little details of the first time we met. We dated for 10 months, and I truly thought we would be together forever. When we broke up, I was heartbroken. He will always hold a special place in my heart, because we will always be connected.

17 weeks after we broke up, I found out I was 18 weeks pregnant. It is for that reason I am thankful to him. He blessed me with Daxton, and put me on the path that would lead me to find Tavis and have my beautiful girls.

I am so thankful to Daxton. 7 years ago today, I gave birth to this beautiful 19 inch, 6lb 11oz, little boy. Placing him in an adoption was one of the strongest things I have ever done. I can't say it was the hardest thing, I mean I used to say placing him was the hardest decision, but over the last year I have come to learn that placing him was an easy decision, very trying, but I always knew that placing him was the best thing I could have done, it was the right thing to do.

Placing Daxton was the fork in the road of my future. If I had kept, I would probably not have the life I have now. Actually I'm sure of it. It is all because of Daxton I am who I am. He is what has motivated me in life. Him and now my girls.

I am thankful I choose life for him, and that I choose a better life for him.

I love you Daxton so much, and I am so thankful you were born.

Daxton Cameron
Daxton and Clint
Daxton and I on his 1st birthday
Daxton about 18 months old
Daxton on his 2nd Birthday



Today I am thankful for my friend Bryn.

I first met Bryn in high school nearly ten years ago. She was my first friend at Mountain View, even though I was a sophomore and she was a senior. I am thankful for her friendship all those years ago. Taking me under her wing, becoming a mentor to me, and introducing me to so much life and other great friends. She was one of the true friends who stuck by me during my pregnancy and placement. So many good memories spent with her.

Today I am thankful to her because even though we haven't hung out in forever, and we hardly talk anymore, she came to my rescue. I was in need of a ride home from work, needing to get home faster than the bus would take me. She answered my public plea, taking time out of her busy evening to come and help me out. To me that shows a sign of true lasting friendship. I wish I could return the favor.

I have been blessed by our friendship and i'm thankful I can still call you a friend. You are such an amazing and kind woman. Thank you Bryn. :)


Today I am thankful for adoption.

A few months ago I posted about my relationship with adoption.

Nearly 7 years ago I choose life for my son. I choose adoption. I am so thankful to his adoptive parents, for opening their hearts and home. I am thankful to them for giving him the life he has, a life I would have never been able to provide for him.

I am thankful that through social media I have been able to now know my half sister who is ten years older than me and was placed for adoption. She was given a chance and is one of the strongest women I know.

I am thankful to Mette Nielson. She was one of my very first friends in high school and has remained to be my best friend and like a big sister to me. Mette was adopted, and when I was going through my placement. I was extremely thankful for her advice and for staying by me. I Love you Mette!

I am thankful to Valerie Griffiths. I met Valerie almost 2 years ago at Ameritech. She has been such a great friend to me. I am thankful for her adoption and giving her a better life. She is so strong. Love you Valerie!

I am thankful for the strong women around me. The ones waiting patiently for the chance to be moms, and the ones making the biggest sacrifice, showing unbelievable strength, the birth moms.


DAY TWELVE:: Ashley Mitchell/BTG

This morning I got the pleasure of hanging out with Ashley. She is an amazing woman and leader of a wonderful adoption organization that I now have the pleasure of working with.

I am thankful to Ashley for starting Blessings in a Basket and the BTG (big tough girl) support group. I first met her about this time a year ago, when I shared my adoption story on the blog Smitten By. It was amazing and eye opening. I had gone the last 6 years battling my emotions and riding out my adoption journey alone, not knowing there were groups and pages like this out there. It has been the most amazing year, learning so much and coming to peace with my journey.

Ashley is such a strong, caring, and beautiful person. She gives so much. I am excited to be helping her in what little way I can. Thank you Ashley for all you do. You are an inspiration and a hero.

Show some adoption love


DAY ELEVEN:: Veterans day

Today just like everyone else I am reflecting and thanking the soldiers.
I'm thankful to my family members who served.

My Grandpa Newell - My mom's dad. I never had the chance to know my Grandpa Newell, he died right around my first birthday. He served with the Army in World War II.
Ever since I was little, I remember always treasuring the flag my mom kept in a glass case on our bookshelf, and when I was a little older and finally knew what that flag meant, I was very proud to be his granddaughter. I wish I had a picture of him but this will do.

Not the one my mom has, this one is off google.

My Grandma Kirkwood - My dad's mom. My grandma served out of Pensecola, FL has a member of the Air Force. Her job was to develop and interpret pictures taken by pilots. This is the only biological grandparent I have ever known. My dad's dad who was also Air Force and my grandma got divorced when my dad was only 3. Her stories from the military have always fascinated me.

My Grandma and I at my cousins wedding last year.

My cousin Cory - Cory is actually currently serving in the Marines. Right now he is home but he has been to the middle east. I don't exactly know Cory that well, we didn't grow up together like I did my other cousins. But none the less I am proud of him and am thankful for his service.
(no picture of him, without his permission)

My brother in law Joe - Joe is married to my sister Michele. I haven't met either of them yet, except through FB, because they live on the other side of the country. Joe is a member of the Navy, and even though I don't know him, I am extremely thankful for his service.
(again no picture, without permission)

Tav's Grandpa Jack - Recently Tavis' grandparents moved to Utah, and I have been blessed to get to know him better. Jack is a veteran of the army having served in the Korean war. He is such a sweet and gentle person, but a really hard worker. He shows me true patriotism, and I am so glad to know him and thank him for his service.

I am thankful to all the men and women, past and present, who have and are serving our country. Keeping us safe. I'm thankful for my friends and family who go months and years without seeing their families so we can be safe. And worse of all I'm thankful to the ones who sacrificed their lives for all of us. I believe our soldiers are true heroes. Thank you for all you do. 


DAY TEN:: My sister Michele

Not many people know I have another sister. A sister I have never met in person. When I was 16 years old I found out about Michele. I remember being angry that I had not been told sooner about this sister my mom had placed for adoption. Then when I was 17 almost 18 and found myself pregnant and making the decision to place. The situation I had experienced a year and a half earlier, really affected my decision and how I would do things differently with my own placement. Then when I was 21 years old, shortly before Christmas 2009, social media connected me to this sister I had never known. I received a friend request from her on Facebook and I couldn't believe it. This is the only way I've been able to know her, so far.

Anyways the reason I am thankful for her today is because of this birth mom and adoptee perspective. Having some emotions concerning my own adoption relationship with my birth son. I was able to go to her and talk with her about adoption. 

Over the last 4 years, she has taught me so much, and really been a true sister even though we did not grow up together, and we have never met. I feel close to her and can't wait for the day I can meet her. 
Thank you Michele.


DAY NINE:: Gary Proctor/ Matt Thompson

Today I am thankful for Gary. Gary is Tavis' boss with Stamped Asphalt. Tavis first started working for Gary in September 2010. I was pregnant with Peyton, and the job came just in the nick of time cause I was being laid off from my job. This job is seasonal and relies on good weather so sometimes jobs are far apart. I am thankful today because Tavis got called for a job today. It has been almost two months since the last one and It has come just in time. I'm thankful because Gary always calls Tavis first for work. I'm thankful because he understands Tav's social anxiety and they work well together. Gary is such a great employer and takes care of his people.

This I guess should include Matt Thompson. Sometimes you have to go to the beginning and be thankful for the path that lead you to what you are thankful for.

Matt is one of Tavis' best friends, and it was because of Matt that Tavis got the job with Gary in the first place. Matt has always been a really great friend to Tavis. I'm thankful that he has been there for him and been a good friend.

Thank you.

(don't have a picture of Gary)

Here is Matt at our wedding. :)

DAY EIGHT:: My job/education

Once again I have to post this the next morning because of work, but thats what I am thankful for. Yesterday I picked up a shift at the urgent care clinic I work at. It was a night shift so I didn't get home until 10pm, and I immediately crashed.

I am thankful for this job, even with how much it frustrates me because without it I would not be able to support my family the way I do.

It was a very spur of the moment decision to go to college to get a degree in Medical Assisting. Literally, I went to the college to talk to a ward member about what I would need to do to go to school to get a license in event coordinating and he was all like you could get more money for living expenses if you do our MA program instead. Being the only source of income, to go to school thats something I would need. So I said ok, and the next thing I know I'm registered and starting school the next day. I am thankful to Lora and Melissa, my teachers at Ameritech, and I'm thankful for all my friends I made there.

When I began my externship has part of my course to get my degree, that was a blessing has well. I went with a friend to her interview and was waiting in the car when she comes out and says they want me to come in and interview has well. So I go in and got a position has an extern. Then has I was finishing my externship the Physician I was working for pulled me aside, and asked what my plans were when I finished. I told him I wasn't sure cause all the jobs I was finding were in Salt Lake county and I couldn't travel that far for work. That is when he offered me a position at the clinic has an employee. Over the year I have become extremely thankful to Barry, Dave and Beatriz for teaching me so much. I'm thankful for the opportunity I have had to work there.


DAY SEVEN:: Darren Albertson (Tav's dad)

So after working a ten hour day yesterday, I basically came home, ate a cup noodles, and crashed so day seven is being posted this morning. The reason I am thankful for Darren is because he is also always there if we need help. Tavis and I don't have a car, so I usually take a bus to get to and from work.(and other places) The problem with the bus I take when getting to and from the clinic is it only comes every hour, So if I don't get off right at 5:00, I miss my bus home. Yesterday was such a case. I was so grateful that I was able to call Darren so I didn't have to wait another hour for a 30 minute bus ride home.

My dad isn't really there anymore and hasn't been for a while. I have some anger at him, but I also pity him. Darren has basically taken that role to me. I am thankful I can go to him and get advice, and he doesn't judge us. He is also an amazing grandpa to our girls. Thank you Darren for all you do.


DAY SIX:: Peyton RaeLynn

Today I am thankful for Peyton, My beautiful oldest daughter. Today she taught me patience and unselfishness, and for that I am thankful. She has so much energy these days and is learning so much. She has these weird quirks, for example: she repeats something until you acknowledge what she is saying. Like she will point at a picture of a baby and say, "Baby. Yep, it's a baby. It's a baby. Baby." and this is something she does with everything. It taught me patience today, cause has annoying has that is, she is learning and she wants to know she is doing something right, and I just need to be patient with her.

She has become such a good big sister. She love giving Harlie kisses, and tries to help us when Harlie is crying. Yesterday she sat by Harlie while I had her doing tummy time, and for the full 15 minutes she just sat there and talked to her. It was so cute and loving. I love her so much and daily she amazes me with how much she grows.

She has the most beautiful long blonde hair and light brown eyes, and looks so much like I did when I was little. She did however inherit her daddy's height, because for being only almost 3, she is already 3' 2", making her only 2 feet shorter than me.

Peyton I love you so much, and am so glad I am your mom.


DAY FIVE:: Megan

Today I am thankful for wonderful friendships. I will share more friends i'm blessed by throughout the month but today I am thankful for Megan. I was in desperate need of a picture of Peyton and Harlie together. So in a pinch I asked Megan if she had one from the newborn shoot she did of Harlie several weeks ago. Unfortunately she didn't, but she was so kind and amazing enough to come down to take the few quick pics for me to get one. She is such a great photographer and has taken some great pics for us. I blessed and so grateful when she volunteered to be our plan B photographer when Harlie was being born because she came in need.

I first met Megan in high school through the drama dept. but I believe she was more my little sisters friend than my own at that time. We were just acquaintances I guess you could say. I think the moment we really started to be friends was when I talked to her at my little sisters marriage sealing reception in 2010. I have loved our chats and the times we have hung out. Her husband and little girl are amazing has well.

Thank you Megan for all your help and your advice. I'm thankful for our friendship.

Megan and I at her baby shower - February 2011

Peyton's 1 month pics

A family pic - September 2013

Peyton and I

Peyton - 2 1/2 years old

Harlies newborns - September 2013

Me and My beautiful girls

Peyton and Harlie