Friday, August 22, 2014

What makes our lives rich...

The past month or so we have seen a bunch of summer storms here in Utah.  I love love love the rain. Petrichor is the best smell on earth.

I recently had the opportunity to take family pictures for my sister and all of her in-laws.  They kind of live out in the middle of nowhere and it's really quite beautiful.  As I was talking back and forth with my sister that week, they thought about rescheduling the shoot because it was supposed to rain. Because of everyone's traveling schedules, they decided to forge ahead and I'm so glad they did. The rain stopped for a little bit and photos actually turned out really beautiful and the colors were so vibrant!

In the past little while there have been several rainy days and I started noticing the colors outside.  On rainy summer days, the grass and the treetops seem greener.

The colors just seem more vibrant and rich and I found myself pulling over on the side of the road several times to snap a photo with my iPhone because I wanted to capture the moments that were so breathtaking to me.

This whole week has been stormy and I've been loving it.  I'm excited to go outside after work each day to see what the clouds look like against the mountains and how green the grass looks.  And without really thinking about it, I started to think about the parallels this phenomenon (yes, I'm calling it a phenomenon) has to our lives.

All of those cloudy, rainy days make the world around me beautiful.  They make it rich and vibrant.

It's the same way with life.  Sometimes we have moments (or weeks, or months) of cloudiness.  And sometimes when it rains, it pours.

Wednesday, my husband's cousin lost her 8-month old baby boy Ryder.  Ryder struggled with heart problems right from the start.

In his short little life he had three very risky heart surgeries and spent most of his days at Primary Children's Hospital.  His parent's spent their days there too.

Ryder's name means Knight or Warrior and he was lovingly referred to as their little Heart Warrior. Although his life was filled with hard times and uncertainty, there is no question that he made the lives of those around him vibrant and rich.  He had the cutest smile and the most amazing eye lashes.  He brought people together to rally around him.  What an amazingly wonderful gift he gave us all.

So even though life is marked with trials and difficult days and months, I will forever be grateful for the beauty and richness that we receive from those experiences.  And every time I look at the grass or the trees or the vibrant, beautiful sky on a stormy day, I'll think of Ryder and the richness that his short time on this earth has given our lives.

P.S.  Their friend Crystal Spencer was kind enough to take some photos of Ryder before he passed and did a beautiful blog post about it.  At the end she posted a link where donations can be made to the family, and I thought I'd share it here as well. Ryder's parents, Jessie and Sam are still left with many insurance deductibles and other expenses which weren't covered.  Please consider donating (even $1).  The website even allows you to take off the fee when you donate so 100% goes to the Cannon family.  You can find it here. Thanks so much!


  1. Oh my goodness, I am SO sorry for Ryder's passing. My dd had heart surgery when she was 1, and has ongoing heart problems. It is scary, and to lose your baby is heart wrenching. I have prayed for your family. On another note, the pictures are beautiful especially the stormy ones. WOW!

  2. Beautiful post! I love your connection between the trials we have and it making life more beautiful. I am so sorry about the loss in your family. I am honored that I was able to be a part of it in a small way.

    1. Thanks Crystal. Your blog post was AMAZING. Cried through the whole thing. I'm so glad you were there to capture their last day!