Sunday, August 31, 2014


I learned a hard lesson this year.  A lesson that I never thought I would learn and a lesson that quiet honestly I would have rather not had to learn.  In April of 2013 I found out my spouse was addicted to pornography.  I was shocked.  My world turned upside down.  I didn't know how to react and didn't know what to do next.  I felt like my whole marriage was a facade.  Nothing was actually real and he couldn't have really loved me, right?  I reached out to those around me for support and direction.  We were given support groups to attend, books to read, programs to look into and therapists to see.  It seemed like a lot to do but something that would help solve "the problem."  My husband started attending meetings and was doing well, I thought.

I very clearly remember telling him "One more time and I'm done.  You mess up and I'll file for divorce."  I gave him the WORST ultimatum that I could have given at that point in time.  In my mind I thought it would be enough of a "threat" to keep him away from the "temptation".  I thought at the time I would "save" him by telling him what he needed to do in order to keep our marriage in tact.  What I didn't know is that I was pushing him away.

He didn't need me to "save" him.  He needed to save himself.  He needed to have the desire to change for himself with me supporting him through the hard, trial filled, imperfect journey he had in front of him.  Looking back I wish more than anything my response would have been "We will get through this.  We can do this together.  There will be bumps in the road and that is ok because we will be honest and open with each other."

I didn't realize how detrimental my word choice was until I was told by my husbands ex-mistress that "He didn't tell you he messed up six months after he told about his problem because he was afraid you would leave."  Yes you read that right.  My husband through a series of choices that ruined a friendship, trust, and marriage, had an affair.  

As you can tell, by me posting this on this blog, it is something we are both very open about.  It has shaped us, created a stronger bond, and made us realize that keeping our story to ourselves will hold back the benefit of so many others.

How do I heal from the regret that I have?  How can you learn from my regret?  That is something that I know all too well.  In the moments of hurt, I pause.  In the moments of betrayal, I pray.  In the moments of distress, I take a break and realize that my words will not be taken back.  I want to handle each of those moments with love and compassion.  Each moment we interact, communicate, or parent we have the chance to shape the way those around us view themselves.  We have the chance to shape the way those around us view each other.  We have moments to create memories of love instead of memories of regret.


Saturday, August 30, 2014

Meet Kamri

Hi friends, I am Kamri.

I am a wife, sister, friend, and an adoptive mom to a gorgeous three-year-old boy. Many people say that they chose adoption to grow their families, but I like to think that adoption chose us. We spent seven years in the adventure of infertility before one amazing woman found us and decided to place her baby in our family. We are grateful every single day for that decision, and we love her and her family so much. We are currently working on adding another child to our family through adoption. Fingers crossed!

I am an advocate for higher education because I am an English teacher for Weber State University and Brigham Young University-Idaho. I love helping and teaching and watching people grow through education. Students find so much confidence during the semester as they learn how to express themselves through writing. It's amazing.

I love to read, write poetry, play volleyball, have fun with my little boy, and travel. I haven't been very many places yet, but we are slowly putting pins in the map.

I have learned that life requires a lot of faith, blind faith at that. We are and will be tested until we break. And then in faith we are built back up again.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Meet Jennie

Well, let's see.... where should we start?

I’m Jennie. I’m married to Ryan, and together we’ve created a wonderful family. We have a lot of fun together, but we also share some intense struggles and challenges. Ryan and I met when we were sophomores in high school. I asked him out our junior year. After the second invitation, he finally said yes. :) We've been together almost every day since - minus his two year mission for our church (Virginia, Ogden & Houston, TX – the joys of a bike accident).

We were married in 1994 on a FA-REEZING cold, December day. Three years after we were married, we welcomed our first little munchkin, Alexis Faith, to our home. Three must be our magic number, because every three years after that, a new little one would arrive in our home; Jackson Ryan (rare chromosome duplication < than 200 in the world), Collin Ryan, and Isabella Emma.

I stay busy being the CEO of our home, advocating for Jackson, reading, and staying in touch with friends. In addition to being a mom, I’m the director for the non-profit organization, Duplication Cares, which supports families facing Jackson’s diagnosis. With such a rare diagnosis, you can imagine that our group knows more about the duplication than our doctors. Much of our time and energy is spent helping our children to achieve their goals, and helping Jackson to progress in his life. In addition to my work with Duplication Cares, I’m also the Chairperson for the Utah Parent Center Board of Directors. The Utah Parent Center helps families who have children with disabilities ranging from learning disabilities to being medically fragile. We are master connectors, who work to teach and inform parents about resources in not only the medical field but in the community at large. We also offer support and training on a variety of topics such as behavior, ADHD / Anxiety, executive function, etc. Much of our time is spent helping parents navigate the educational system (IEP’s) that support a child with a disability.


So, that’s a peek into our lives. While for the most part, we’re just your typical family, we also know our family is unique in that every aspect of our life involves planning and considering the needs of Jackson. When mood regulation and anxiety play a role in each moment of the day, other things like typical family outings, a spontaneous change of plans, and even spending time at home together can be a little like Russian Roulette. Sometimes good, sometimes…. really bad.

Forest Gump knew what he was talking about when he said 

While the challenges with Jackson’s disability isn't something anyone would choose, we also know there will be rewarding and joyful days. Hopefully our experiences navigating between the two will help someone else who is struggling. Hopefully we can all learn to enjoy life’s journey together.


Thursday, August 28, 2014

Meet Amanda

Having 13 kids and going anywhere is one way to make a statement, raise questions, or make heads turn. Driving a giant red van that can easily be spotted a mile away is also a sure way to stand out.

Standing out is something I’m used to.

I’m from Alaska, where we do speak English, and I didn't need a green card or passport to move to the “lower 48.” I’m probably one of very few people that can say they have ran an obstacle course while carrying a slippery salmon, wearing a sash and a tiara; one of my many adventures during my reign as Miss Bear Paw-Alaska 1994. I flew away to Utah when I was 19, met the man of my dreams, aka David, and didn't go back.

There is never a dull moment, or peace and quiet in our house, and the laundry is always taller than Mount Everest. We really do have 13 kids. In a few short weeks, my husband and I will be celebrating 15 years of marriage in the Bahamas - oh wait, that’s only if I can make my basement look like the Bahamas. As a family we love traveling, playing in the back yard, going to BYU sporting events, running a family bakery and acting crazy together. I have 8 beautiful daughters, and 5 trouble making boys: 3 kids by birth, 9 by adoption, and 1 foster baby.

I love being in the kitchen. Cooking and baking is my stress relief in life. I enjoy starting projects and never finishing them, and I’m a project supply hoarder (I like to buy everything needed and never do the project). I do love to scrapbook, sew, travel, plan trips, and anything I can find that helps me avoid cleaning. I’m a Facebook junkie, and don’t tend to have time to watch TV.

I am the wearer of many different hats. Aside from being a mom and chaos manager, I work as a Certified Health Coach. I love being part of many people’s lives and helping them achieve optimal health. It’s rewarding. I easily make friends with others from all walks of life. And strangely enough I tend to get bored if I’m not doing an excessive amount of things. I believe in living life to the fullest, and that all things are possible. I’m not afraid to be who I want to be, stand up for what I believe in, and be the change I’d like to see in the world.


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Meet Michelle

Hi! I’m Michelle…

I seem to be the “Grandma” of this group but I’m excited to try to share some “Sage Thoughts” that come with age.

First and foremost, I am a wife, mother, and Grammy. Bob and I have been married for 31-1/2 years and have been through many different phases of horrible trials and joyous blessings…sometimes all at the same time!

We experienced infertility for over two years and then were blessed with boy/girl twins. Almost two and half years later, we realized how busy we were with twins when we had our first “single” little girl. Less than two and a half years later, we were VERY surprised to receive our last little addition…another girl. Zack and Mallorie are now almost 29, Sammi is 26, and Maddi is 24. All are married to WONDERFUL people and we've been blessed with three adorable little grandsons. We never realized how much fun it was going to be to play “Grammy and Bumpa” but we LOVE every minute of it!

I’m also a member of the “Sandwich Generation” in that I am busy with my own children and grandchildren but I’m also the only caregiver for my mom. She is currently living in an assisted living facility and is nearing the end of her journey on this earth. It’s a blessing to be able to be with her and help her understand the eternities but also very hard to watch. It’s incredibly hard to want to be with her every moment but also know I have to take care of my other responsibilities. 

Seventeen years ago, with the help of an AMAZING husband and the kids’ sacrificing a lot of “mom-time,” I graduated college in three years and eight months (that’s from zero credits to honors!! Ya…I’m VERY proud of that!!).

I also love serving my Heavenly Father as the Primary President in my ward. (I’m a Mormon :)) I have loved learning the gospel in the simplest of terms and being able to teach and love the sweet little children in our ward each week. I love the gospel with all my heart and can’t imagine my life without it! I can’t wait to get to know each of you and share our thoughts on womanhood and all the blessed things that come with that title.


Meet Martina

Hi!  I'm Martina... it's so nice to meet you. ;)

I am 37 years young and have a very lively personality.  I love to laugh, sing, dance, karaoke, read, learn, discuss the mysteries of the universe, study ancient civilizations, enjoy nature, hike, teach, travel, and especially play with my kids.

 I also love natural healing and use/teach about energy work and healing, essential oils, herbs, healthy eating, other holistic methods.  I love studying the body and the mind and how we interact with our world and beyond.  I especially love talking about how to find LIGHT in all areas of your life!  Learning to love yourself and finding freedom from all forms of darkness is a very important to me.... mainly because I have faced many dark and painful things (as I'm sure you will hear at some point). ;)

I am a mother to 5 kids... actually, I should say 6... because if I don't then it gets really confusing when I refer to my first born son who I placed for adoption and have now reconnected after 19 years!  He is amazing and we have so much in common!  I love him and his family so much.

Then I have 2 other boys and 3 girls.... the baby was a complete surprise!  At first, I was terrified to have a baby again - but she has been such a joy!

I am excited to be a contributor to this blog.  I think it will be a fantastic resource for mothers everywhere!  We are all Lionesses at the gate of our home and we can be nurturing, loving, protective, as well as fierce and strong.  I look forward to connecting to you in the future!  Together let's change the world - starting with our home! 

Remember you are 


Saturday, August 23, 2014

Meet Camie

Hi my name is Camie.
 Here's a little bit about me.  I've lived in Layton most my life.  I grew up loving softball, dance, and cheer leading.  I served an LDS mission in Italy.  I teach Sunday school to 14 year olds, which is so much fun.  My husband and I have been married 10 years.  We have 5 children...4 boys and 1 girl.  Their ages are 6, 4 (twins), 2 and 4 months.  We struggled a bit to get pregnant.  We tried for a year and after taking fertility drugs for 4 months, I got pregnant with my first son.  I got pregnant with twins (2,3) my first month of fertility drugs.  Then, surprise surprise, I got pregnant with my 4th son with no fertility drugs.  I guess my body figured out how to make babies.  I love my kids.  I don't know what I would do without them.  I especially love that I finally got a girl!
So life with 5 kids 6 and under keeps me pretty busy.  I also work as a dental hygienist 2 days a week.  The one thing I do for myself is run.  I love it.  It's a way to stay in shape and a way to have a little "me" time.  I'm training for my second marathon.  I love taking pictures.  If I had more time I would take a photography class and learn more about editing pictures.  I don't cook very well but I love to make birthday cakes for my kids.  The thing I enjoy most is spending time with my family, whether it be on vacation or just at home.  I love watching my kids learn and grow physically, mentally, and spiritually.  

Being a working mom with 5 kids can get a little tiring and stressful at times.  I try not to let little things get to me.  I try to live by this motto:
I would describe myself as a pretty positive person.  Lots of stressful things happen in life but most the time we can choose how we want to react.  I'm excited to share more about my experiences and thoughts about being a mommy.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Meaning of Motherhood

A few words that describe what motherhood means to me

putting your kids first, being a friend, being their cheerleader, 
listen, give good advice and support, endless supply of LOVE! 

 When I think about the word Mother I think of my beautiful mother, she is such an amazing woman. I try to be more like her everyday. She would give her kids anything even if it meant she had to go without. She was a daily example of selfless love.

Being a mother is the most rewarding and hardest job I have ever had. I love being the mother of two crazy boys. Is my life perfect? No. Am I a perfect mother? No. One of my favorite sayings about being a mother is:

I think this is something that we all need to remember. 

I see so much negativity lately with moms judging each other because they are doing something different. I love to get tips and advice from other moms! It helps me to know that I'm not alone in my daily battles, little or big.  Every kid is different which means there is not one way to be a mother.

Over the last few weeks I have been trying to focus on being more patient and calm with my boys.
 I have been trying to do a little better each day. 

Some of the things that I've been working on are getting upset less over the big things and the small things.  There are going to be moments, some times daily where it all feels like its going to fall apart.  Those moments are when I step back and realize it isn't the end of the world.  I'm also trying to raise my voice less, stopping to actually listen, and letting my kids simply be kids. I am realizing how fast they are growing up. They will only be little for what seems like small moments and I want those moments to be lived in and not endured.

My reality as a mother includes toys all over the floor, happy kids who can quickly turn into grumpy kids. Getting paid with kisses, hugs, and snuggles.  And of course my day wouldn't be complete without dressing up as a superhero.


Wednesday, August 20, 2014


So I wanted to talk about something that we, as women and mothers, sometimes may find hard at times.
  1. the ability to do something that frightens one.
    "she called on all her courage to face the ordeal"

For a long time the biggest fear that I had was not being accepted.  Not being accepted by my peers, my family, my friends, even my teachers (in school and in church).  I would do just about anything in order to have people like me and accept me.  When I entered college I realized that my fear was completely holding me back.  I made a goal for myself each day to say no to one persons request.  If it was a request that made me stress or do extra work that would make me put something else on the back burner, I would say no.  I had the courage to start putting myself first.  I realized that after saying no to some things people still liked me and cared about me.  I could put myself first and not be alone.  My courage allowed me to gain a better understanding of love and acceptance as a whole.  This moment of courage in my life, the moment of putting myself above acceptance of others, set me up for many hard and painful moments in the future.

Part of my journey for acceptance and courage came in the form of an unplanned pregnancy.  My freshman year of college I got pregnant, with the most adorable miracle ever.  I knew that the path my life would be leading would be different.  My daughters birth father and I didn't see eye to eye, on just about everything.  We are more different than night and day.  I knew from early on it wouldn't be a functional relationship and I wanted more than that for my baby.  I made an adoption plan and in May of 2007 my little angel came to this earth and 4 days later into her mothers arms.

The courage it took for me, as a new mother turned birth mother, to place my child for adoption have changed my soul.  Shaped me as a person, and written lines on my heart that will forever be there.  I gave my daughter a chance, myself a chance, and her family a chance.  I had the courage to look my fear in the eyes tell it I'm in control and do what needed to be done for my child.  

Every mother has a moment like that.  Maybe it's only one moment and maybe it is many moments.  It could be standing up for your child who may have a learning disability.  Sending your child off to school for the first time, all day.  Making a dietary change for your child that a doctor may not understand but you feel is necessary.  Limiting technology in your home while others around you don't.  Countless things take courage as mother.  

Each day we are faced with moments where our fears, pain, grief, and doubt which may seem more than we can handle.  Each day we must remember that we, as women, have the courage inside of us to do what we feel and know to be best.  Each hour of each day we will choose to have courage for our families, our friends, and our peers.  Each day the courage that we have inside ourselves will turn into courage for the woman and mothers that we love the most.  Each new moment of courage will bring happiness, love, and joy into our lives.


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Meet Shannon

You know that one person in the group that is always the loudest and has everyone's attention?  Yea, well that's not me.  I am an introvert who really wants to be an extrovert, and I come across as an awkward girl who tries too hard to fit in.  Sarcasm is my method of communication, especially when I'm trying to socialize.  

Junior high drama does not interest me.  I'm more interested in how you and I can connect.  Finding that one thing that we both know and have experienced in-depth and building a solid foundation for friendship is what drives me. 

I love being married, and......well, second marriages ROCK!  I only say that because my first marriage lasted two months before I had enough.  So, in other words, this marriage feels like my first. Having a great husband and two boys is a blessing that I could never thank God for enough.

We each brought one child to the marriage and each day brings a new challenge and an opportunity for growth.  I'm a little slow when it comes to learning lessons and many of them seem to hit me at once. 

I went from a single mom, to a birth mom, to a step mom in a matter of just over two years.  Don't worry, I'll elaborate on future posts.  Can't give away all my secrets on the introduction.



The last few days I have been in a slump. One I've been sick, being sick is awful when you're a mom.  Two I've had a lot of fear and anxiety building up.  There are trials I am enduring that at times seem all encompassing.  There are days where functioning is hard, getting out of bed and getting ready for the day seems impossible.  There are moments where I just sit and cry.  Last night everything bubbled to the surface and basically exploded in a torrent of tears.  All moms do that, right?

As I laid in my bed awake, at 2 am I made a decision that tomorrow I was going to get out of my slump.  I was going to do something for someone else.  First on the agenda was helping a friend who just had surgery.

Sweet tooth fairy cupcakes and an essential oil blend to speed up healing, relieve itching and reduce inflammation.  I sat for a moment and talked with my sweet friend Kari and about all the struggles I've been enduring and the ones she has been as well.  It truly was like I walked in with a weight on my chest and walked out with wings on my back.  She may NEVER know the service she did for me but I am truly grateful.

Next on the list was school shoe shopping for the boys.

Jaxson has never owned light up shoes in his life (that acutally work) because I don't really love character shoes.  It seems like those are the only light up shoes you can find.  Check out these sweet kicks we found at Nordstrom rack in Farmington today.  He wore them out of the store because he loved them so much.  The puma lights up.  I'm totally fine with that.

Shopping with kids is stressful but seeing the smile on their face with their new shoes on their feet, priceless.  It seriously brought so much warmth to my heart.  


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Meet Roué Anne

Hello!  My name is Roué Anne

I used to describe myself as positive, petite and punctual...but then I became a mom and now I am just petite and I try to be positive at least once daily.  I am blessed to be a mother of 4 boys (hopefully one day there will be a girl thrown into the mix).

My oldest 2 boys are my angels and only lived on this earth for a short while.  My youngest 2 are what keeps me going every day and came to us through the miracle of adoption.   A little basic info about me is: I have been married to my hot hubby for 10 years.

I've moved over 30 times in my life.  I love the desert, swimming, acupuncture, crafting, scrapbooking, softball, BYU football, Netflix, planning parties, dirty diet coke, reading, sleeping in and family road trips.  I am a medical assistant who dreams of becoming an RN.

If I could live anywhere it would be in California.  And of course, I am obsessed with all things Hello Kitty!  Life has not gone according to my plan but that's ok, it all seems to work out in the end.  I would be lost if I didn't have my faith in my Savior Jesus Christ.  For I've learned that through Him...All Things Are Possible!

-Roué Anne

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Getting to know us

We are women who share one common thing, we are mothers.  I wanted to take a minute to introduce these women and how I personally know each of them.

She is an English teacher extraordinaire.  I've known her since I was in 6th grade (I think).  Her daughter and I were on the same soccer team and best of friends through Jr high.  She has super awesome sewing skills and is a grandma to the most adorable little boys.  She has so much experience and love to share with others, it is truly amazing.

Rouè Anne
Rouè Anne is my much smaller, much blonder version of myself.  We get along so well.  Seriously, our hearts are just like one in the same. She has so much love and passion to share and I'm excited for her to share it with so many.


Please note that 90% of my wardrobe comes from Chelsie's business.  My husband dreads the days I say "I need to run to Chelsie's house".  She is an amazing mother to 2 boys an such an inspiration to me.  In the short time that I have known her she has been such a light in my life.  I'm so excited for her to share her journey with all of you.

Oh the talents in this woman. She truly is inspiring.  As a mother of LOTS of kids she has an ability to care for the home and children it leaves me in awe daily. She has awesome skills in the kitchen and is continually serving others.  We have only recently become friends and I have been blessed and inspired by each time we have gotten together.


I believe everyone should have a "Jan" in their life.  She is one of those people that I know I can turn to and will receive no judgement but sound, loving, kind advice.  She has quickly wiggled her way into my life and heart and I couldn't be happier.  She is such a strong, independent, amazing woman.  I'm excited for her insight and perspective to be shared with so many.


I have known Camie what seems like my entire life. While she and I aren't the same age we grew up in the same neighborhood and went to church together.  Over the past few years I have watched as she has raised a small hoard of adorable children. She has done hard things with grace, and courage.


 Well first reason she is awesome is because she is my cousin. That is great news, right! She is also a wife of a husband who works out of town 3 weeks out of every month. She is a strong momma who has some super awesome painting skills and is a work out holic.

This lady right here is truly one of a kind. She has been through a lot in her life and has a testimony to match the trials she has endured.  She has a way of shining a light in your life when you think it isn't possible. She is an inspiration and amazing example.

First know she has seen me through some of my darkest hours. She is a light and beacon to all she comes in contact with. She has shown me time and time again the love, light, and faith will always conquer all.  She is a home schooling momma with tons of great insight into education.


This wonderful momma has only just recently touched my life just a few weeks ago and has had such a huge impact. Lily is a fit mother and is continually encouraging and inspiring other mother to be the same. I am so looking forward to the insight she is going to share with us.


This is a woman of strength, determination, creativity, love, passion, and so many other things.  I am so grateful that she came into my life when she did.  She probably doesn't know the way she's touched it but I am SO blessed to know her, and you will be too.

THATS ME! Why did I create this crazy blog with so many other mothers? Because we need to unite. We need to learn from each other. We need to protect our babies, friends, and family through the example and life of others. Over the past few months my life has been touched by women lifting my soul.  I want to do the same.

That is a brief run down. Over the next few weeks were going to be spot lighting each awesome mamma. Keep looking forward to the awesomeness that is to come!