Search Results for: syd

Syd the Elf

Sydney dressed up as an elf for our RBM Christmas party this year. It was cute to see her carry out the white elephant gifts. Anything for a good laugh, right?
She thinks we were being nice letting her do this but we really just wanted the chance to laugh at her without getting in trouble. Afterall isn’t that what a parent of any teenager needs to survive the drama? It was just what the doctor ordered in this case.


How do I even begin to understand love?

I have learned a lot about love over my lifetime, but it has been different watching my kids experience love. When my heart hurts and is happy, it’s only my heart… well, I take that back as soon as I write it. When my heart hurts or is happy, it affects my parents more than I previously thought it would. I know this because as I watch my children love, and deeply feel all the emotions around it, my heart is much more involved than I ever planned.

I’m grateful that my children have all dated people who have treated them well. Of course they have their disagreements, but they have been good people who treat my girls like gold. As a parent of many girls, it’s something I worry about and pray for. Both Sydney and Kinley are married to fine young men and I’m proud to call them family.

We celebrated Kinley’s wedding on May 6th and it was a beautiful event! Hopefully I can share some more images soon. It was a wonderful day to remember!


Moving on, I haven’t had any time to blog. I’ve been so busy with school! I just finished up my Summer block classes. I took Psychology and Health. Health was pretty easy online, even on a block schedule, but Psychology went really fast! I studied around 5 hours average on most days, and I still only earned average on quizzes and tests. I loved learning about Psychology, but I really wanted the ability to digest it more slowly. Seven weeks was a lot for heavy reading and without any class discussion. In the end I actually passed my classes, I’m always shocked. I’ve never been a great student, as I constantly find random fun things to do instead of focusing on my studying. But now I work really hard and I still don’t get straight A’s. In the end I pulled an A- in Health and a B+ in Psychology. For me and situation (block class, having kids home from school etc.) I am completely happy with my results.


This week I spoke for United Way to the campaign managers of the fundraisers within each company. Because it is summer, I brought Brighton and Halle because they were bored at home. I like my kids to get a chance to see what I work on, if possible.


This week I went up to Trucco for a breakfast that was put together for all the landscaping guys. I haven’t talked much about business on my blog for a long time, but now we have five companies. RBM, Alpine Cleaning and Restoration, Trucco Landscaping, 5 Star Pest Control, and DoubleTake Carpet Cleaning. Jon is continually building and I support our businesses by supporting him and working in the community to create great relationships. We are a great team this way and it fits both of our strengths.

As I spend time in each of our companies, I see few differences between the people working – but mostly I see similarities.

I see good men and women working hard to support their families. Through exhaustion, long hours, heat, and adversity – I see leadership and devotion to support the people they love. It is a beautiful thing and it drives me to never give up and to keep pushing with them.

When you see sadness and despair on the news, remember that there is a lot more good than bad. There are great mothers and fathers fighting for their families, and this is more important than the craziness we can’t control.

And if your spouse is ornery and tired at the end of the day, try to have compassion for the hard work they do, both inside and outside of the home. In the end, it’s all for the same purpose, to support those we love.


Maybe I can get a little caught up on my blog now that I’m out of school for the rest of summer. I sure have a lot to say and I love being able to look back and read the things I felt important to remember. Have a great night!

Mother of the Bride

Kinley is engaged to be married to Mr. Ethan Brown on May 6th, 2017.

I’m pretty sure she was just born and so my timing must be off, somewhere.

On New Years Eve, 2016, we went bridal gown shopping with all of the girls (minus Sydney because she’s living in Florida) and let me tell you, I battled the thought of having six daughters for so long but when occasions like this come up, I’m always a bit overwhelmed with emotions.

“Come one girls, get in the car! We are going to be late!”

“Okay, mom!”

“Where’s Halle?”

“In the back.”

“Where’s Ella?”

“Right here Mom, you’re talking to me.”

“Oh, right, where is Whitney and Brighton….and our bride?”

“They’re coming.”


“Let’s GO!”

When we were all in the car I turned around and said, “Girls….(“Here Mom goes again…”) This is a day we will all remember! Look how much fun we are going to have shopping for wedding dresses! I feel so blessed to be with you all on this special day.”

And with that, I slowly backed out of the garage while one of them got our music going. You see, we can’t drive anywhere without music. We have our favorite play lists and I’ve always prided myself on raising kids that appreciate the best hits from all generations. We decided which order we’d stop at the bridal stores, and we were off!

I’m not going to tell you that every dress was perfect or that the kids never got annoyed with one another, but I will say that it was a perfect day. We laughed and I was a little teary just coming to grips with the realization about what was happening. It was like her first day of Kindergarten, all over again, but in her woman body. I remember being excited that she was starting school because she was SO positively ready to take that next step in her life. And as we prepare for her big wedding day, it feels pretty much the same way.

Kinley is sure in her choice of husband. Ethan is going to be a wonderful addition to our family and I’m so proud of them both. Together they are building a unit that I believe will last through all of the crazy experiences this world can throw at a married couple. They will be wonderful parents someday and I couldn’t be more excited for them! They dance and sing together, they enjoy many of the same things, they are patient and kind with one another, and I’m most impressed by the time they take to genuinely tell one another that the love each other and do small acts of kindness, everyday. Of course they drive each other crazy at times (let’s be honest, who doesn’t) but they find ways to work through their problems. As a mother, I couldn’t ask for more.

Kinley tried on a ton of different dress styles, and by the end of the day she was determined to have someone make her dress. Honestly this stressed me out a bit because the woman she chose lived in St. George, and I kept having thoughts of a box showing up with her dress … that she didn’t like. I would rather her find a dress that she could try on right from the beginning so she could see if it was absolutely perfect. Well, we didn’t find that, but we had a great time trying!

That night we rang in the new year in a pretty chill way because some of us have been sick. Jon bought cazoos, party hats, and confetti guns – along with lots of food. We played scategories and toasted in 2017 with a little dancing, our traditional running in the snow without shoes or socks on, and watching the ball drop.

Well now here we are on January 5th already! Jon has been struggling with his back going out – even to the point that we took him to the emergency room to check for kidney stones. After many hours and tests, it came back negative. Although this may seem like a relief, we were very surprised and now I’m more worried about him because back problems have always been a struggle for him. He’s visited the chiropractor now and set up tests for an MRI to get more information.

Yesterday Kinley, Brighton and I went to another dress store. She wanted to try on more styles to see what dress cuts would work the best for her so she could begin the process of getting her dress made. To be honest, when I saw the dress shop that she made an appointment with, I was scared. It was beautiful…. too beautiful for words. But let me try.

The bridal store is in Salt Lake City and it looks like a boutique for wedding dresses. It was an old vintage house that had been remodeled for the bridal store. There were lots of windows around the outside walls, and beautiful dresses hanging on racks around the perfectly staged room. There were dressing rooms in the center of the big open area and to separate sitting areas where the bride could come out and stand in front of you on a beautiful stand, surrounded by mirrors. They interviewed Kinley about the type of dress that she was looking for and we were shocked to hear that they had an almost exact replica of the dress on Pinterest that she’s been wanting made! They brought us water, and the show began.

The first dress they brought out was the one from Pinterest and I could hardly relax as she tried it on because I was scared of the price tag. It was beautiful, to be sure. She was beautiful. As she spun around, asking for our feedback each time she tried on a new dress, I kept picturing her doing the same thing in her white baptism dress and holding her in her white baby blessing dress. Times flies…

And then it happened. Kinley walked out in a dress that settled the busy room into a hush. Tears filled my eyes as I looked at my baby girl in the most beautiful gown that seemed to be made for her. Every bridal dress is beautiful for someone, but this was Kinley’s dress. It was simple and elegant. It fit her body perfectly in all the right places and it was easy to imagine her wearing, perfectly.

Kinley’s face flushed red and she became teary… and Brighton and I began oooooing and ahhhhhing…. I saw for one moment that Kinley saw her own beauty. This world is so harsh on women and their self-esteem, but for that special place in time, I saw that she saw what I see every time I look at her. She looked pleased, excited, and at peace. I wish I could bottle that feeling up and give all of my girls a dose of it each morning before school. A mother’s prayer is that their daughters feel confident in their own skin, knowing what they know, that they are truly beautiful.

And then I had to ask the inevitable…. “So, what does the dress cost?” and when she told me, I wasn’t surprised. We deserved it. That’s what you get when you find a dress that was hand beaded in Israel. And so we talked for a moment about how much she’d budgeted and saved in other areas. Our venue will be an on old park with huge trees and cobblestone walkways, and it was really cheap – SO we decided that since she saved money there, we’d better spend it here 🙂 but I really didn’t want to say yes to a more expensive dress unless she was absolutely, positively sure that THIS was the one. When she agreed that she was sure, she tried on her other dress options again. When she walked back out in the dress of her choice, we all felt magical again, and so it was done.

The cute girls helping us said, “Kinley, do you say yes to the dress!?” and so I quick got out my cell phone and video recorded her… “Wait!” I said, “Start again!”

“Kinley, do you say YES to the DRESS?!”

And so, with a huge smile and spinning on the top of the platform, she exclaimed, “YES!”

Maybe someday I can post that video, but not yet 😉



All my parents wanted for Christmas was a picture of the family. This may sound like a small request, but those of you with large families, know the truth. And so, on Christmas day, we all met at my parents’ house in the mountains, and trudged through several feet of snow in our backyard, and posed on our bridge.
It was freezing and neither the parents or the children had enjoyed any sleep the night before. Babies were screaming, kids were whining, parents rubbing arms and hugging to stay warm, while second guessing our sanity – and my poor brother, Dave, was RUNNING back and forth from the camera to standing in the picture beside us. Time and time again, the camera failed us, and I swear he ran a mile in total, through the deep snow.
At the last-minute, right when we were ready to give up and take what we could get, one last daughter of mine showed up. She had been late, and I didn’t think there was any possibility of having every person in the picture. But here she was, running through the trees to stand with us. Some people were still crying (we won’t say if they were kids or parents) and others were laughing uncontrollably. The sensible ones, like my husband, were making side comments about the unrealistic expectations we had of pulling this off…
And then it happened. CLICK. One moment in time, burned into history forever. Pictures are magical. There isn’t a smile on everyone’s face, and we don’t all match, and that’s okay! FAMILY is the most important part of life. They are the people who stick around through the years – no matter what. It doesn’t mean that there hasn’t ever been a fight or disagreement, but it does mean that we haven’t given up.

As I reflect on the past few weeks, I am overwhelmed with the goodness and support system these amazing people are my family. They always step in when needed, even if messes up their schedule.

When I was first married and we were struggling trying to put food not the table, I never even told my parents. I saw it as protecting them from worry, but what I realize now is that I robbed them of being able to support me in a huge time of need – and myself having love and feeling connected to them in very difficult years.
I try to teach my children this now, but I know that they will do what they feel comfortable doing – regardless. Life is messy. People hurt and get hurt. We let each other down, we make mistakes; but if we can take a chance and trust one another in our times of need, we can transform relationships. As we pray for help and pray for others, we may realize that we are the angels that can help to answer prayers. This is what can make our families stronger – finding vulnerability is one of the fastest ways to find love.
I think of my parents everyday as I recognize the way they were always seeking love, teaching love, and being an example of love. Every parent shows these things in different ways, and it looks totally different in our own home – but that’s the point. There is not one right way to parent. Love is intent and practice and identifying those unique traits we have to serve. Sometimes the best thing we can accomplish that day is to get out of bed. And other days, we might do everything we set out to do.
We need to give ourselves a break and not beat ourselves up. If the picture of our family sounds like screaming kids in the snow, while others poke fun or whine – it’s ok – because these are the imperfectly perfect memories that we will cherish forever.
(We were missing sydney and her little family that lives in South Carolina and she was almost ready to give birth and couldn’t fly.. so sad, but necessary.)

Baby Grace

I finally had a minute to share a few pictures of our time spent with Sydney and her little family. It was heaven on earth, and it feels pretty good to be a Gigi.