I was born July 5th, 1997 in Weber, Utah. I was the first child. Hope came along just a short 2 years later, then Andrew and then Luke.
We moved around a lot when I was little, I went to about 5 different elementary schools between Utah and Idaho so it was a little harder for me to make friends in my experience.
When I was in 5th grade my parents took our family to Disney Land to distract us from the fact that we were going to be moved to Idaho when we got back from the trip, we would be leaving all of our family who we had lived next to door to door the previous years.
I was devastated, no more sleepovers at grandmas house with the cousins or riding our bikes together around the cul-de-sacs all named after us (thanks to our grandfather) and all of that was being taken away from us.
We moved into our new house as a family in Ammon, Idaho just right outside of Idaho Falls in Eastern Idaho. This didn’t last long. After months from moving in my parents sat us all down on their bed and told us the news, “We’re getting a divorce”. I could say I was sad or didn’t see it coming or that it was upsetting to me, but it wasn’t. I was relieved.
I had grown up with my parents fighting constantly and they didn’t try to hide it. Countless times my mom gathered us all up and left the house for a couple hours to get away from my dad and his short temper. I remember as a child hiding in my room crying with my sister because the yelling felt like it would never end. I’m not bitter about that or anything that’s happened, or even towards them, i just don’t think they knew how much it was really impacting me and my siblings. As parent’s, they shouldn’t have handled their problems that way.
Being the oldest was hard, i had to be strong for everyone else. I was 12 at the time, Hope 11, Andrew around 7, and Luke around 4.
My dad moved shortly after the news came out. He moved a couple blocks away so we could go over there on weekends. I hated it, and him. I blamed him for the divorce and all of our problems. I didn’t want to go over there, ever. He didn’t know how to cook or entertain us, because he would always be playing a video game instead. What else should I have expected? This was how life was before the separation.
Not too long after, we got a big surprise. My dad had ran off to Utah to marry some girl he barley knew, oh and I forgot to mention, he met her on a dating website!
One day after being forced to go over there for the weekend, we showed up to 3 unfamiliar faces in our driveway. It was our new stepmom and brothers. Kari, Blaine the oldest one and then Porter.
Blaine was less than a year younger than I was so that was strange for me getting used to, and Porter was the same age as Andrew.
(Family vacation in Las Vegas in 2013. Hope on the far left then Andrew, Porter, Me, Luke and Blaine.)
Sometimes when I got upset about Shay (my father) running off to get married to some strange women from Utah, I just thought to myself at least he didn’t drag me a states over to live with some random person I didn’t know, then again, he brought them into our home. It took a while but we all eventually warmed up to each other. Still we’ve never been that close, I’ve always tried to keep my distance.
Years went by and we had moved around a couple of times from house to apartment to finally where we settled down. It’s a nice big neighborhood in the foothills of Ammon. We had a great ward, nice neighbors, and I loved it there, especially because I got my own room!
(Easter pictures in 2014, Brigham was just a baby!)
The best part about it all is 4 years ago my step mom, Kari got pregnant with my favorite little brother ever, Brigham. 2 years later she had another little boy, Kai. He was the sweetest little baby you could ever have. They’re the only reason that I didn’t cut all of them out of my life completely.
(Christmas of 2014, Kai is born, such a little baby! Oh and to introduce Brigham he’s the one sitting to my left.)
I moved out of Shay’s house with my sister the middle of my senior year, her junior year. Something happened where the cops were called and things went down that shouldn’t have. We packed our bags and didn’t look back.
From that point on I avoided talking to and seeing shay for as long as I could. I didn’t even bother to invite him to my high school graduation that June in 2015, he came anyways but I made it clear to my mother, Rebecca that he was not to come near me and he respected that.
I went off to college and that didn’t change, I still didn’t want anything to do with them.
Almost 2 years after moving out my, relationship with Kari and Shay has slowly started to build. I don’t want to be super close to them still and that might always be the case. The main reason i’m even still around is my adorable little half brothers. Since then, I’ve been able to attend sporting events, birthday parties and family reunions. I hope that things will always be civil but the present doesn’t erase the past.
(Our latest family picture, Blaine’s the center of attention because he’s about to leave for 2 years on an LDS mission to Mexico! Happy days!)