Sunday, July 29, 2012


Dreams are categorized in different ways. Some dreams are things we long for but are seemingly unachievable. While others are goals we hope to reach through hard work and practice. And the more literal kind of dream are the ones that occur when we close our eyes to sleep.

It is the sleeping dreams that I believe are the most personal. No one can ever really experience a dream of someone else. They may unknowingly be the subject of a dream or a minor character, but they can never really see or experience the alternate or ridiculously creative universe they were a part of for a brief period of time.

Except, there are occasionally dreams people have in which they claim the visitors have given them a very real message or reminder.

I had a dream last night. It was more or less the cause of an extensive day of thinking and talking about my babies. I had the opportunity to sit and share pictures and experiences with many loved ones. And my Angels were all that were on my mind the entire day. I longed to see one smile, feel one little hand in mine and give one kiss. And so my day went perfectly normal as I carried the memory of those perfect children, right where they belong, in my heart.

The last thing I looked at before I went to sleep was some of their pictures. They are getting so big! And growing so much! Some have moved to Casas, some have teeth, and others are walking!

I fell asleep and immediately through the memories of past... I was transported back to that place that has become somewhat of a safe haven for me, SVP. I walked up and down the halls. It was night time there and I just walked and reminisced. I went into Tres and saw a scene I had seen so many other times on night shifts, all my wonderful babies asleep in their cris. I picked up one and kissed him. I poked my head into Dos and reminded myself to come back for one special little boy and give him a hug. And then made my way into Uno and couldn't help but to smile at the teeny babies sleeping soundly.

And then my dream as usual, took a turn for the original. There were women there and they handed me one of the Tres kids (I wish I could use names!) and I felt his little sleepy head resting on my shoulder as I followed the women. I laid him down on a table and changed his diaper. I recalled his sweet laugh from a place far away and felt his fingers close around mine. (*hint for me remembering later this kid is an Angel!*)

I showered his face with kisses and placed him back in his crib. As I was being ushered out I quickly ran into Dos and lifted the other little boy from his crib. I smiled and he did his perfectly adorable, eyes closed and wide open mouth smile. I kissed him and held him close to me in a hug. I put him back in his crib and my dream began to do what they normally do best and transformed. Suddenly I was in the middle of an action packed dream where there were no familiar faces and no familiar faces.

But, as I woke up this morning I could not have been happier. My subconscious knew where I longed to be that day, and so, it projected a near perfect experience one that felt like reality at the time. I don't believe that I was doing anything other than having a good dream. Seeing their smiles and remembering a place I had been recently. And I loved every second I it. I felt compelled to enter it into my "online diary" so that on days when my whole being feels so drawn to them I can take comfort in knowing that access to those memories are only a nap away.

I am continually awed at the many things we take for granted. And most of them are as simple as a working brain that is wired in such a way that it can produce thoughts that begin to feel like reality. Just one more testament that we are children of a divine being, a King even, far greater than we could ever fathom.

And some recent pictures of the babies:

Wednesday, July 4, 2012


The  Amazon was an ABSOLUTE blast. We hiked, swam, ate, played and even danced! The rooms we stayed in were beautiful! My only complaint was how hot it was. It was humid as its ever been and just so sweaty hot. I was dripping from the time I stepped off the boat… to the time we landed back in Quito and I could shower.

It was well worth the experience though. It was definitely once in a lifetime and I took full advantage of that!

The pictures tell the stories far better than I could ever articulate… So, I will let them do most of the talking in this post!

p.s these are ALL out of order?! Blogger messed up my order... So with no actual flow to my weekend in the Amazon... let's begin:
Maggots... or Grub. 

Yes. They are alive. 

Yes. Sam and I did each eat one. (Actual picture of that... coming later in the blog?!)

How I felt after... 

Kiss the cook!

About to float down the Amazon in our lifejacket diapers! :)
 We floated down part of the Amazon. We didn't see any alligator or snakes or anything!! It was SO awesome!! I loved every second of this trip!!
A night hike! Me, Janessa and Linnea. 

Us actually eating the grub. I love Sam's face. 

Arriving in the Amazon! Leah and Janessa. 

Riding on a really high truck... to take us to our canoe/boat that brought us to the lodge. 

Just monkey'n around. 

They loved her backpack! And just rummaged around! This is Brandi!!

Mikele and Leah! Thus begins our motorized canoe ride to the heart of the Amazon!! aka The Yachana Lodge!

They gave us a packed lunch. And my hair was going a lil crazy in the wind/humidity. 

The boat stopped for a bathroom break. It was a long boat ride!

I love my friend Leah. :)

These are kids from a local tribe/village a few minutes walk from the lodge we stayed at! I love Amazonian babies almost a much as my city, Ecuadorean babies!

Sam, Me and Janessa Hammocking. 

I LOVE SAM!! So pumped she's going to be in Provo!!!

Prettiest view EVER?

The random parrot who let us pick him up!

Abel took me on a spin on his motorbike!

A ginormous tree!!

Me and Sam arriving in the Amazon!

Just a scorpion on my face. NO BIG DEAL. 

Me and Janessa climbing the giant tree. This picture is US to a T. 

Or maybe this is more like us?! 

A cleansing ceremony from the Shaman. 

Just some war paint!

Learning to shoot blow guns... If things go south and I have to hunt/kill for my food at least I'm prepared!!

Some of my very best friends. 

Mikele and janessa and our warpaint. 

I could never learn to throw that dumb spear. So, I won't be as good of a hunter as I thought... darn. 

Another local boy. As you can tell.... we love kids. 

Teaching him American picture signs. :)

Wearing my backpack!

LOVE this girl.

We spent like 3 hours one night with the local kids... we taught them a bunch of american games. 

I have never been more happy anywhere. My two months in Ecuador were the best and happiest of my life. 

Nothing compares to being with these kids. 

She was adorable!!


More bathroom pictures. :)

One of our hikes. :)


Stretching the Earthworm out!

Photoshoot with our guide!!

Our beautiful Amazonian living quarters!!

Playing with the local kids... this is one of their games!!

Just riding the boat... it was our main form of transportation in the Amazon. And I loved that!!!
Ecuador holds my heart. The people. The children. The culture. The language. All of it. I can't wait to go back.