National Donate Life Month: Ruby Jane’s story

Did you know that the month of April is organ donor awareness month, or more formally called National Donate Life month. We have an incredibly moving story today of our friend and mama, Ani and her sweet baby Ruby. Hold your little ones extra tight today, and if you’re able, register to be an organ donor today!

A message from Ani:

Imagine holding your three month old child, and hearing the words, “Liver failure.” It was the worst day of my life to that point.I waited to hear the plan. I listened to hear what medications would cure her. I braced myself to hear the hefty cost of treatment. I even imagined the list of surgeries she would need, as a team of 15 or more people filled our hospital room one cool afternoon in April. I had been nursing Ruby when they walked in. They didn’t waste much time in sharing the diagnosis, and as it sounded more and more serious, I felt myself wanting to tuck Ruby deeper under my nursing cover. Only seconds before I had been looking into her eyes, dismissing the yellowish tint, while reminding myself, “Bad things don’t happen to good people.”

It didn’t take long to notice that most of the white coats in the room had the blue words, “Liver Transplant” embroidered under their names. They must have the wrong room. Transplant? As in an organ transplant? I listened, and learned, and felt my heart break into a million pieces as it was explained that our tiny daughter would need a liver transplant to make it to her first birthday. No cure? No medication? No treatments? She needs a liver transplant to survive. As a parent, it is our sole purpose to keep our children safe. It is our responsibility to provide what they don’t have. Looking at my sick daughter, and realizing that I was completely useless in making her better, was one of the darkest feelings I have ever felt.

Some comfort came when we learned we could be tested to be a living donor for her. That comfort was quickly replaced with anger and frustration, as myself, my husband, and a few others were tested, and all turned away as a matches. The small portion they would need from our livers, were each too large for her tiny body. She needed a child sized organ. So we waited. And waited. We waited mostly while in the hospital, our small family trying to stick together through the hardest of times.

We waited for a call. We waited for someone to come into our room, and say, “We found a donor! Someone is giving Ruby the gift of life!” We were waiting and praying for someone to make a hard choice, in an even harder situation. We didn’t know who they were, or what terrible events would leave them with the choice to donate their child’s organs to Ruby, but we prayed so hard for them in their grief, and that they would say “yes”.

We waited for 4 months, until Ruby’s little body grew too tired, and too sick to keep fighting. She passed away one week after she turned 7 months old. No one said, “yes”. No one was willing to donate to our sick, tired, and sweet daughter. There was a cure for Ruby. But we couldn’t pay for it. We couldn’t find it in a foreign land, tucked away in a tropical jungle. We couldn’t beg, borrow or steal for it. We couldn’t even ask for it! We just had to wait. Wait for a stranger to decide to say “yes”, and save our daughter’s life. I never imagined, even in my nightmares, that we would run out of time. I had so much hope.

The time to learn about organ donation is now. Making the choice to donate a loved ones organs needs to be made before being placed in the awful position to decide.
If we would be willing to accept an organ to save our life, shouldn’t we be also willing to give?

Read more about organ donation & Ani’s brave crusade for organ donation here.

April Fool’s for Kids



Happy April 1st, everyone! These boys are the biggest jokers around, so we’re going to have a little extra fun with them today! The most foolish part of this tradition is that with young kids, we’re going to be the ones that have to clean up any pranks we pull, so we might just stick to something clean!

Plastic toy insects in ice cubes, saran wrap under their sippy cups, sour cream in place of the creamy filling in an Oreo, swapping cereal bags and boxes, dressing up like your spouse (and vice versa) coming out to breakfast.

Here are some more awesome family-friendly ideas via Spoonful and April Fool Zone.

3rd Annual Easter Egg Hunt

Once we all had our fill of delicious grub, the hunt was on!

party, easter, egg hunt, kids, style

Because the party was all outdoors, and no real way to contain 20+ kids, we knew we’d need a great distraction! Between Easter Bingo and the most hilarious  “Bunny Sack” gunny sack race, they didn’t even realize the rest of the mamas were running around like maniacs trying to hide 300 eggs! (Gunny sacks found for about $1 each at our local farming supply store.)

party, easter, egg hunt, kids, styleOnce the eggs were all hidden we lined up the incredibly excited bunch (snapped hoards of Instagrams, of course) and let them go wild.
party, easter, egg hunt, kids, style

They all had their methods, some save their loot for the end, some eat it as they go.

party, easter, egg hunt, kids, style

Whatever your method, the candy will be consumed. We put army guys, tiny bottles of bubbles and stickers amongst the mix of sweet treats to try and lessen the sugar high and eventual crash.

party, easter, egg hunt, kids, style

We had them all wear their Sunday best, because we all love to dress them up nice for Easter, but that’s just one day! Why not get a couple uses out of these darling outfits?

party, easter, egg hunt, kids, style

We had such a wonderful morning, and hope you and yours have a wonderful Easter weekend, too!

party, easter, egg hunt, kids, style

Happy Good Friday, and Happy Easter!

Love, Nicole, Jenna and Emily (and the boys, too!)

party, easter, egg hunt, kids, style

Photography by Lindsey Orton.

Easter Egg Hunt Brunch

Photography by Small Fry Contributing Photographer Lindsey Orton.

Jenna has thrown our boys and their friends an Easter Egg Hunt now for three years running and we love getting to watch all these tiny friends play together, hunt for eggs, munch Awful Waffles (not awful in the slightest), and enjoy the fickle Spring weather. Luckily the sun was shining and we could shed our winter coats just in time!

Because food is generally what makes our world spin ’round, here’s what we ate:

Photos by Lindsey Orton

We were so grateful to the Awful Waffle for setting up their shop at our party and serving hot-off-the-griddle thick, Liege style, Belgian waffles. Drenched in Speculoos, strawberries, whipped cream, we were all in heaven!

Photos by Lindsey Orton


The Awful Waffle just opened up a brand new location right in the heart of Provo: 602 E. 600 South in the Village Complex. The store front is absolutely gorgeous and when you step in you really feel transported to some chic European cafe.

Photos by Lindsey OrtonTo balance out all the sweet, Jenna made her famous Ham and Cheese Sliders. They are so ridicuously delicious and are pretty much legend around these parts. A party isn’t complete without them. Recipe below! Photo by Lindsey Orton


We cannot thank the Awful Waffle enough for feeding us so deliciously. The owner, Ashley is a passionate hard working mom and has executed her vision so beautifully. Any locals, hurry to 6th street to check it out! We hear kids eat for $1 on Tuesdays, lucky ducks.

Wooden spoons by Sucre Shop, ombre table cloth made from this tutorial. Check back tomorrow for all the party festivities!

Keep reading for the slider recipe…

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