October 10, 2019

Come meet me!

Hey guys! I am excited to finally be planning the next conference. It will be in Rigby, Idaho (by Idaho Falls) on Jan. 9th, 2020. Thank you for your patience and love the last few months as I adjusted and recovered. I will add in this post a video of some of the fights we had this summer. Also I will link here tickets to the event for my non profit A Reason to Stand. It is not a big auditorium like we have been using lately, so don't wait to reserve your seat. Can't wait to gather and see everyone again. .... ....

October 4, 2019

Love what matters


I always feel honored  when I get emails from Love What Matters  asking to publish one of my blog posts!

September 20, 2019

Bounce back

I have been thinking a lot about the words “bouncing back”. We live in a society that prides itself on snapping back after we are knocked down. Athletes are pressured to be back on the court ASAP after an injury. After a tragedy we are supposed to “get over it” and move forward. Jr. High girls watch movies of “girls their age” facing boy problems and looking like super models walking through the halls of their school, and wonder why their bodies aren’t making those changes in the ways they “should”. Moms are supposed to take a few weeks after pushing a small human out of a very small hole😬and return to work without any hiccups...throwing on their skinny jeans and taking on the world. Celebrities cover magazines showing before and after baby pics just weeks after giving birth. All the while post baby women—in real life—stand in line at the grocery store still in our maternity sweats, wearing an oversized diaper, and praying that no babies cry or Niagara Falls will cover our shirts—staring puzzled at pictures of what we think everyone believes we should be...looking down at our “ruined body” and shaming ourselves for not being able to do the same. 

So what other option do we have than to hate a body not capable of what we think we know it is supposed to be? We don’t leave room for imperfection...and definitely no room for time. We want it now! Just like the latest phones and gadgets, we don’t want to wait. Our ability to bounce back depends on obtaining that “happiness” right now.

We have spent our lives hearing and reading statements like, “when I lose ten pounds then I will be happy”, “if my nose was just a little smaller...maybe the boys would like me”, “once I get in shape I am going to put myself out there”, “hate your body? Want to love yourself again?”. Demanding that to love ourselves we must be different than we are—and we must find a way to be like everybody else claiming that their rock hard abs is what brings them joy. 

So when does it end? To all the girls who have passed by the magazines and wondered if they will ever measure up. To all the boys who stand at the gym mirror and behind them scan a room of enhanced peck muscles the size of their entire body wondering why they can’t look the same. To all the moms who drive around vans full of babies and granola bar wrappers and walk them in to school on the first day in their pjs and a messy bun, passing all the “real moms” in their workout clothes talking about how they already ran 10 miles, baked cookies for after school snacks, and decorated their front room this morning. To all the dads who barely have time to make ends meet, let alone work on getting their high school six pack back. I stand with you. These jobs we do, these challenges we face, they are hard. And living in a world that tells us we need to always be striving to be what we once were—and what everybody else already is—is one of those challenges....and—guess what—they are lying to us. 

God didn’t ask us to come here to learn how to stay the same, or be just like everybody else. He sent us here to grow and change. He didn’t ask us to bounce back. He asked us to enjoy this journey. He asked us to come and remember that these bodies are where our spirit dwells. Perfection can be found in our spirit that rests inside—but our bodies are never going to remain constant...and they will in fact never be perfect. They will hurt, they will change, they will fluctuate, they will grow...and until we die they will continue to be a imperfect home for our perfect spirits that are here to obtain a mortal experience. Sometimes we will love how our body looks and feels on the outside, and other times we will be grateful for the parts that still work, but until we truly see ourselves for what is inside those bodies...the mortal experience will continue to disappoint. 

Who we are meant to be does not lie in the past, it lies in the future. We don’t have to bounce back. There might not be many days where we feel like we are bouncing forward but today let’s start with just putting 1 foot in front of the other. Those days when we feel like our current state has slowed us down... we have to start asking “What am I learning here that I couldn’t in any other way? While He has me slowed down, what is God trying to say to help me remember who He sent me here to be?”

In our journey to discover what is really eternally important we will find out that the more time we spend on others—and the less we spend obsessing about our bodies—that is when we will find joy. Heavenly Father doesn’t want us to bounce back. He wants us to spring forward. Through change and building resilience we will never be who we were before. We will become better. Today is what we have got. Live it. 

September 12, 2019

a strangers words

Love what matter publishes an old blog post of mine!


August 31, 2019

Love what matters

Scott and I took the kids up to Bear Lake this weekend to celebrate—what would have been—Emmett’s 39th birthday with his mom and their family and friends. 

Yesterday, on his actual birthday, an article I was asked to write about Emmett’s story was published on @lovewhatmatters . Ever since the beginning of this journey—of feeling this urge to share his story—I always felt like Emmett was the one who was pushing me to share, and he got to heal the most through others making a better choice from hearing about his mistakes. Some days I did it begrudgingly...angry that this was another mess I had to clean up for him. Now I know it has also been a gift for me—to be the voice he no longer has...and share the moments that changed everything. And they didn’t start with an affair and a gun...they started with little choices that all added up. Ultimately costing him his life. 

I used to wonder if he knew this would have been the outcome...if he would have stayed home to fight for us that night...or stopped it all from the moment he was tempted to look the wrong way. I will never know for sure, and that’s ok, but what I do know is that if he had a chance—if he was where any one of us are today...he wouldn’t waste a minute. He wouldn’t let a day go by when his kids didn’t know how special and loved they were. He would make every memory count...because he would know that in the end that is all we have. 

Thank you Love What Matters For asking me to write this article and giving me another chance to remember the grace in our story. 😘 
I know that even on the darkest of moments...it is because of Him that we are able to stand. 

July 12, 2019

7 week do over

7 weeks. Just sounds like a random number right? Ya. It probably is for most people. A seven week old baby. For me this milestone has been one I have been scared to face. 

A few nights this week I dreamed it all again—he was seven weeks old exactly. Too young to do anything on his own, too small to even sleep through the whole night. It was just him and me in the quiet house...waiting for an answer I promised him we would find. It was his crying I remember the most that night. The rest of it with the detectives is still a blur. Somehow my memories are more clear in my dreams, but lately it has been a six week old baby that has made some of them so clear. 

8 years. I have spent doing everything in my power to forget that moment. Therapy, thousands of dollars. Time. Energy. Pleading to be able to let go of this feeling of helplessness and abandonment. Sharing my heart through my healing in ways that I didn’t want to . . . all with a promise that it would help me heal. And I thought I had. Then the last two years I have had to relive some of the feelings I thought had long since past. This pregnancy and these first six weeks of her life have been—as I wrote in my book about the moment in my closet—a “do over” I didn’t know how badly I needed.

This week as I have stared into the face of a baby getting closer and closer to seven weeks old . . . I have watched her innocent eyes as mine have filled many times with tears. I am here again. A seven week old baby in my arms. This time to heal.

These silent fears that I have carried, I am here again...to feel them, so I can let them go.

So here is to letting ourselves feel the pain, remembering the story, moving forward and walking away stronger. This “do over” has been my chance to come face to face with the fears of things that took me down that dark lonely road. Not all seven week old babies will lose their father. Not all post pregnancy bodies will be cheated on. Not all men are the same. Not all rough days will end in murder. PTSD is a real thing. Triggers you never thought would mean anything all the sudden become moments that try to take the air out of your lungs. Through these PTSD moments I have remembered things I had forgotten about that seven week old baby. He was my life line during that time, but the one thing I had given him for seven weeks, that was his lifeline, was taken away. The day after the funeral my milk dried up and I could not feed him any more. I didn't know it then, but these last few weeks as I have struggled with mastitis and cracking, and so so so much pain nursing . . . my fight  to keep going has been more than wanting to keep nursing. I felt like I had failed Tytus, not just in losing the milk, but in letting him lose so much. What is crazy, looking back, is how much I let myself believe that any of these hard trials in this story were all my fault. It has been so empowering to reflect upon them again and have these quiet moments to say goodbye to the guilt of things I could not control, the pain of things that still hurt, and remember the strength of a girl who made it through them all. 

I am so thankful for a Father in Heaven who answers our prayers. He knows me. He knows my needs. He heard my prayer that dark night. I asked him for a do over. Since that prayer, I have been in many of the situations I would have had to face had Emmett not died. Realities I said I would have done standing by his side. The second time around instead Heavenly Father told me I was worth more. I was worth more than being forgotten and used. I was worth more than having someone sneak behind my back. I was worth respect, but before I could find it in another person . . . I had to stand up for it in myself. 

Maybe I would have stayed, that gun made the choice for me. Maybe I would have had to stop nursing, maybe I would have been in a different kind of fog for a long time, had I just found out about the affair without the murder. 

We don't know what could have been in all the WHY's to our stories. Life isn't really something we can plan or try to figure out why things didn't turn out different, but this much I do know . . . we cannot do it alone. You have a Heavenly Father  and a Savior who know you. They hear you. I can promise you, the darkness that you find yourself stuck in, or the moments that try to bring you back to it . . . He is the light to change that part of your story. When you feel alone, or trapped in a place you didn't choose, turn to Him. When you feel too angry to forgive, or too hurt to let it go . . . it is through His grace that you can and will find that peace. There is no story too dark for Him to not come and bring it light. 

When the pain comes . . . those are our moments to feel, work through, and ultimately let go. Grace in action. "Do overs" sometimes aren't possible in the way that we think we want them, but they are real. Don't do WHY, it only leads to more unnecessary pain. Do life. It is pretty amazing. 

This seven week old baby just wanted to say hello. And yes I promised you her birth story, and I will carry that through, but right now we have been busy showing her what living is all about. TIME. LOVE. and family. 

Hope you guys are having an amazing summer. When nap time is a thing and all these kids are back in school I will do more with this blog. Until then please follow me on Facebook or Instagram "The Moments We Stand". I will be posting more there! 

May 31, 2019

Our greatest purpose

Baby girl is here! Kennady Isla Boyson. Born May 24th, at 10:34 pm. I promised a few ladies I would write up her birth story. So stay tuned! She is amazing and perfect!!!! In this post I wanted to share some thoughts about motherhood, but here a few pics of little baby girl before I do. 

This week we have been working on our super powers. So far our biggest accomplishments have been nursing, sleeping, changing diapers—for both of us equally😜—late night parties, and there was even a moment a few days back I washed my hair. One thing I wish someone prepared me for—before I was a mom—was that some of these accomplishments in the weeks after you have a new baby are pretty hard and painful. Before birth they prepare us for the pain of childbirth...but I didn’t hear a lot about what comes next. All I remember thinking is that I might be one of those moms who slides back into her skinny jeans before she leaves the hospital, LOVES everything about nursing, or runs a marathon a month later. Let me tell you...reality—at least for me—is very different. I gain 60 pounds every pregnancy. I leave the hospital in sweats (and swollen legs), and rock them for weeks. Sometimes I am too sore to walk around; I tear up when she is hungry because my chest is so full of milk it hurts just to think about nursing. Some nights I am so exhausted I seriously wonder if I can do it all again the next day. And I know I am not the only one. So why do we do it? Moms. Why do we sign up to push a human out of a small hole; why do we sign up to wake up one morning to boobs that have quadrupled in size (think Dolly over night)? Why do we sacrifice sleep and time to do anything for ourselves without having to plan out time to go pee? When we have feeds of perfect bodies to compare ourselves too, and stories of people living “perfect” party lives...why do we sacrifice a “perfect” carefree story for one full of pain, cracked nipples, stitches, cellulite, little sleep, and an extra 60 pounds? I want to tell you why...because it is amazing. Because there is no greater calling we could be called to do. There is no purpose or award we could obtain that would even come close to the joy these little people bring our souls. We do it because for every picture of a perfect body our social media feeds feature...we have one of a tiny little face that in a matter of seconds changes our lives forever. I don’t have any amazing transformation pics...and I don’t care to anytime soon. I will not be ready for swim suit season this year, but I love my body for everything it has given me. I choose this. Being a mom is hands down the greatest accomplishment I have ever dreamed of living. This job isn’t for the weak...it is a sacrifice on every level—of body, mind, and spirit. And it is worth every minute. 

Being a mom is a super power! Shoutout to all of you who do it with so much strength. You are my heroes!  

May 19, 2019

Always the plan

I have been ghosting all of you the past few months. What started with giving some freedom to someone I thought I could trust . . . ended in a reevaluation of what and who I want to be, and what I want this blog and my non profit A Reason to Stand to become. I have never been surrounded by so many “business” people driven by power and money, than I have the past six months; masked in the form of genuine hearts willing to help.

It has been healing to step back and compare watching others try to take something that didn’t belong to them, and realize that I still had a lot of pain from another time someone came and took from me something that didn’t belong to him. I have felt like my walls went back up, leaving me too afraid to be vulnerable—and in protection mode all over again.

After a month of preterm labor, and now a few weeks engulfed in all my efforts being used up in a desperate fight to no longer be pregnant . . . it is no surprise to me that I sit here at six in the morning, feeling a need to get out of my head what has been on my mind.

Protecting our children.

I am about to give birth to a child that is coming into a different world than the other five have lived. The last time I was here, I didn’t know it, but my world was about to shatter. There have been many moments through the last nine months that I almost felt inadequate to give her a home that she deserved. A pure—un-traumatized—baby why would she want a mother who has been so broken? The dude in my head has had a great time brining me back to the fear that I couldn’t protect my other kids . . . why would this time be any different? He has been truly creative at bringing back inadequacy to a new kind of level.

So I as I have pondered these fears, and worked through some of the trauma I thought had long since passed, I have realized a few things . . .

In this world—though she hopefully won’t experience first hand what her brothers and sisters went through—she will still need to be protected from it.

We live in a world obsessed with two things. Sex and Murder. Glorified at every turn, our children are constantly bombarded with marketing full of images depicting the Hollywood version of these two sins, but what they don’t tell you is how murder really feels for the kids who live it every day.

What they don’t tell you is that both of these choices—affairs and murder—shatter hearts. What they don’t tell you is that these kids effected by losing someone close to them at the hand of another person . . . lose their childhood—their innocence—in a single moment. What Hollywood fails to portray is the years that follow. They want us to think that murder is intriguing, they want our children to think that it is just part of life. Little do they know is how it really feels when it happens to you.

So what does growing up in a world of murder feel like? It feels like panic attacks at school when a Hollywood version book about murder is read out loud to a group of 8th graders. It feels like anxiety for weeks after a 12 year old plays a shooting game with all of his friends. Haunting nightmares after accidently seeing a commercial during a football game—a commercial about a cereal killer. Little kids scared to go up to their room alone. Kids afraid to go to school after a lock in drill. Tears in the night after someone says a simple phrase when not wanting to do a task at school,
Just shoot me in the head.” Words that in any one else’s world seem so simple—to children of murder—brings about an image that is all too real.

So to those in Hollywood who make light of taking a life . . . I want you to know that murder isn’t just a cool topic that—as my daughter’s eighth grade teacher put it—“keeps their attention because kids like this stuff”. Kids only like this stuff, because we have let it become commonplace in their life. I know for a fact that we wouldn’t let them read books about 10 different ways a sex addict raped someone—so why is it ok to have them read a book about 10 different ways a serial killer murdered people?

Our kids are being told lies. They are playing games that take away their view of the preciousness of every life. They are watching movies that glorify and give power to sex and violence. They are surrounded by images that take away the importance of fidelity and protection of life. Then we wonder why young kids bring guns into schools; we wonder why they do it in a way that they have no empathy for anyone else . . . it is because we have taught them that it is ok . . . and not just ok—we have let them come to believe that it is cool.

Our kids deserve more. They need us to care about what we let the world put into their heads. We need to protect them from the numbing effect of stories and games that fog their view of reality and fantasy. They need us to filter out the world, and teach them right from wrong. They need to learn empathy.

I learned the importance of this by parenting what the world might call “broken children”. But guess what . . . the world is the broken one. God wants us to have empathy. And my unlucky children learned that the day their father was shot in the head. They care about what others are going through and how things feel for them. They care about every emotion I feel—sometimes to an obnoxious level. They cry when their friend’s parents get divorced, because they don’t want them to hurt. They ask for an extra ten bucks when their school is raising money for a student with cancer—not because they know him well—but because they ache for another in pain.

Emapthy is what we have to teach our kids, to care about every life that is around them. Empathy—heart for another person’s needs—is what changes everything. Empathy is what this pure child who hasn’t felt the effect of trauma is going to learn from her siblings who have lived a life full of it.

So little baby. You are coming to a family that some days has felt a little broken . . . but what I finally figured out: this was always the plan. You won’t see them as your broken brothers and sisters—you will see them as brothers and sisters who learned at a young age what it is like to care. They will protect you on a fierce level at every turn, because they will never want you to hurt. They will be your warriors, because they learned a long time ago that life is precious. They will give you their hearts, because they know what it feels like for hearts to be broken. You won’t see them as broken, because it is in their broken past that they learned how to love.

Empathy is love—caring about the life and needs of another person. In a world full of empathy there is no room for the world’s view of what makes us broken. God doesn’t make any mistakes . . . so little baby, I am ready to be your mom. I am worthy to be your mom. This was always the plan. My heart is ready to do it again, and I have faith that this time it will be different. It won’t be perfect—no life is—but what I can promise you is that it will be beautiful. A perfect kind of mess. The world isn’t what we are bringing you into . . . you are coming straight into our hearts—and we can’t wait.

God’s plan is beautiful . . . and I am so glad you choose us. This was always the plan.

March 28, 2019

From 0 to 5 kids in one day

My cute hubby was interviewed on a dad podcast last week. Go check it out! He shares his journey  of being a bachelor for 20 years...to now raising soon to be six kids.



March 11, 2019

Silence didn't break us

March 11th.  It is hard to believe it has been eight years. At moments it feels like it was thirty seconds ago, and others feel like it could have been a few hundred life times that have passed.

The fog always seems to try to find its way back into our hearts—I wonder if that will just always be a thing around March—yesterday I had more than one child struggle with the memories of this time of year. Memories can bring a lot of pain, anniversaries of trauma . . . those seem to be pretty instilled in the person that experienced them. It is hard to endure in your own mind . . . but nearly impossible to comprehend watching it in your child.

Since the moment I sat on my couch eight years ago—and was told many stories by detectives who had just left a crime scene, I have had more than a dozen people say to me how lucky I was that Emmett was killed, that I didn’t have to go through divorce and having him not want me as a choice.  And though I know they have meant well—and many of them only knew him from different murder mystery shows about our story (those never really portray the “body” as a human being)—I  have never once looked at that day as lucky. It was a moment that has tried to break me—and the five little people I was asked to protect—for the last eight years. I know if you asked them, they haven’t felt lucky, but blessed—we have been blessed. Blessed to have each other; blessed to see who are real friends are; blessed to see grace in our lives; blessed to fight for a relationship with our Savior; blessed to comprehend just how precious every moment of our lives really are; blessed to smile again; blessed to laugh; blessed to see each other, and share this journey together.

For them, I like to make this day about the love they had—in an imperfect man who died in a horrific way—and the love they get to carry with them through out their life . . . from each other.  So to my little warriors, on this day that is so hard . . . I want you to know you are my best friends. You did not deserve the pain you have had to face—but you absolutely deserve every blessing that has come as you have fought through it. Thank you for choosing me, believing in me, and holding me up on the days when I couldn’t stand. You are five of the bravest people I know, and by the amazing lives you are living . . . you are showing not only your Heavenly Father, but your father in heaven, just how brave you can be. Just like us—the parents who you hear cheer you on every day—I know they are too, and they couldn’t be more proud.

March 11, 2011: Silence Breaks

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