Thursday, April 30, 2015


i've been redoing this combo of stripes and camo a lot lately and i just can't stop! for me this is such an easy and comfy way to dress on days when its warm but still a little chilly. stripes and camo are always a go to for me. for when the warmer temps come around i would pair the top with a pair of boyfriend shorts and these same tory burch espadrilles. have an awesome day beauties and as always, thanks for stopping by! 
xoxo, tori

what i'm wearing:
espadrilles -- tory burch // jeans -- nordstrom // shirt -- urban outfitters // jacket -- forever 21 // 
Wednesday, April 29, 2015


hey loves!
so i have to tell you guys about my latest obsession...shift dresses. i can not get enough of them. i don't know if i like that they are flowing and fit well or if i could probably get away with wearing them as shirts too, but they are amazing. i feel like this dress was made for me. its one of my favorite spring colors (blush) and the detail on this dress is beyond words. i paired it with this hat, to cover my desperate need to wash my hair and a pair of fringe booties from target! i hope you all are having an amazing week. love you all! 

ps. i just wanted to add to you ladies, being "boho" doesn't mean you can't be modest as well as fashionable. i am a mom, so most of the more skin showing bohemian clothing wouldn't look good on me not to mention wouldn't be appropriate for me to be wearing. if any of you have questions on what to wear and how to dress modestly with this trend i would love to help :) 
email me --


what i'm wearing:
dress -- free people (cheaper version here) // shoes -- target // hat -- free people (cheaper here) // nail polish -- essie mint candy apple // necklace -- tiffany & co. //
Tuesday, April 28, 2015


Hey lovely ladies! 
So I know its been a hot minute (ok way longer) since I last blogged and I am sorry about that. I have been super busy and preparing some awesome things/giveaways/projects for exploratorifashion on top of dealing with all Jaxons doctor appointments and planning a vacation! Phew! I'm exhausted to say the least but God is so good and gives me the energy to just do it. I have also been taking that time where I'm so busy to relax on the blog front and update you via instagram (isn't technology so wonderful?) 

Here are a couple outfits people have been asking about the details to!
Hope you all had a fabulous weekend!

if you aren't following me on IG come say hi @exploratorifashion :)
xoxo -- tori
Wednesday, April 15, 2015


January 21, 2015 was a normal day just like any other. I got Jax dressed to head out the door for his genetics appointment. He had his shunt placed about a week prior and while in the hospital he had a lot of tests done. They assumed he had some kind of lysosomal storage disease but were unsure of which one. This appointment was to determine that. I did my research and I was prepared for them to tell Mark and I that we would have to give Jaxon medication or something of the sort to help replace what Jax didn't have. 

The nurse led us to the exam room and they weighed Jax and then told us "the doctor will be right in". Two minutes later the genetics doctor walks in. She sits down and begins to explain to my husband and I that some times people can have "bad" genes. She said that alone the genes won't do much but when the same gene matches up it can create a genetic disease. The disease that Jax had was called Niemann-Pick and she was leaning more towards type A based on all his symptoms. 

My mind started processing this and I started asking questions, 
"What do we do for him, like does he need a shot or medicine?" and the doctor replied,
"unfortunately because this disease is so rare, there is no known cure." 

When she said cure my mind started to race. No cure? So what is going to happen? She told us that because Jaxons lysosomes down break down everything they need to that eventually his organs would swell and become to large for his body. Then without thinking I asked, "Is he going to die?" and what she said next shocked me. She said that basically it is was a waiting game for him to pass away. 

I felt like the wind was knocked out of me, I literally felt my heart shatter into a million pieces inside my chest and the pieces where cutting my insides. I felt like I was going to throw up, cry and scream all in the same breath. I was looking down at my son staring up at me, with those big blue innocent eyes. Eyes that looked at me with such love. And I was being told he was going to die. There was nothing I could do to make it better.

A peace came over me that I had never felt before. I can only explain it in 3 words, The Holy Spirit. I had never felt it like that before. At the minute my whole world was crashing around me I was calm and collected in my thoughts. One of the people I loved most in this world was going to one day lay limp and lifeless in my arms. The agony is unbearable. No mother should have to feel such quiet and intense pain like that, ever. 

I haven't stopped being sad, not one day. I have moments of happiness and joy. I have belly laughs and good times but there is this underlying sadness that will never leave me. It will never go away until I am in heaven one day. 

I hate that there is this small "club" I am now apart of. This circle of mommies who have sick children. Who will never get to see them graduate from high school, who will never get to dance with on their wedding day or kiss their scraped knee when they fall from their bike. I will miss SO much with my son. There are so many milestones I will not get to capture. But one day, I will get to make up for all the things I will miss here in the physical world. 

For now I will do as many things with my son as I can. I will pray for healing of his body everyday! I will kiss him more times than he could ever need. I will hold him and rock him and co-sleep. I will stare and take a bizzilion videos and pictures. I will show him what faith looks like and I will tell him all about his heavenly father. I will do everything I can with him so that I regret nothing. 

I am not writing this post so that anyone feels bad for me or says "I'm so sorry" because honestly nothing can make this ok. It isn't fair and I don't understand any of this. I cry out to God and ask him why? I hope that one day my son no longer has this disease. I hope I never have to watch his smile fade and his body change. I so desperately hope my baby is the miracle. I cling to that hope because I believe my God can preform a miracle. He has before. 

I have this reoccurring dream of my husband and I and three kids. Holding hands at a playground, spinning in a circle. Our heads are thrown back laughing at something that is so funny. It looks like a tv commercial. So happy and free. I know one of those kids is Jax by his smile, but the other two are so foreign to me but so familiar all at the same time. And then I wake up just when I am about to remember who they are. I lie there with tear stained cheeks wondering, is this our future in a couple years or is this heaven? I guess I might never know. But boy, I so pray that dream comes true because even though I was dreaming it felt so real and I haven't felt like the real "me" since January 21, 2015.

<3 Tori
Monday, April 13, 2015


Happy Monday my lovely friends! 
I hope you all had a fantastic weekend + thank you for stopping by! 

So if you follow me on Instagram you might have seen my recent post about the tattoos my husband and I got for Jaxon. There was a lot of thought behind the symbolism of these tattoos for us. It wasn't a quick choice or something we didn't contemplate long and hard because we did. If you don't like tattoos this post probably isn't for you and I would greatly appreciate keeping your comments to yourself considering this was a very personal and sentimental decision for my husband and I, thank you. 

I guess we really started to consider getting tattoos of Jax's name after he was diagnosed with his Niemann-Pick but more recently as my husband Mark and I really considered this season in our lives.  I have three tattoos, now four and this was my hubby's first one. He was so brave and said it didn't even hurt! My wife heart oozes with pride for him, even with something so silly as a tattoo :) 

For a while now we have really been stuck in the middle. This season of our life can only really be defined as "the middle". There was such a beautiful beginning with my husband and I. Then we had Jax and a new season began, and that was more beautiful then I could ever imagine. And now I would consider this season a new one with all that has happened with Jax and his illness. Though I don't want it to define our lives, it has snuck its way in there. 

"You see, the middle isn't just a place of pain. Its a place of possibility. That middle ground is fertile soil for flourishing faith. The middle is where we decide what we believe about Jesus-- regardless of out circumstances." (Alicia Bruxvoort)

We may not know what the future holds and I'm ok with that. I have learned to love this middle that we are in. No matter what Gods plan for Jaxon is. Families are forever and so is this tattoo. It will always be a constant reminder for us of the love Jaxon has made us experience, the amazing soul he is and that Gods plan is perfect. He has placed us in this life with these circumstances and however "not fair" they feel, I will learn to love them. I will always love my son and I will always love my God. 

We could chose to let our middle shake our faith and question God, but we aren't. Our faith is our constant and I know Jesus is walking this road with us. Each turn and curve he is right beside us igniting our hearts with a fire of his promises. I truly believe that if we keep our faith and hold tight to his word we will be shown the glory of God through this horrific middle.

"Didin't I tell you that if you believed, you would see the Glory of God?"
(John 11: 40b, MSG)

"Do you see it now? We don't survive the middle by rewriting the story; we survive it by anchoring our hope to the One who has already scripted the perfect ending. There will come a day when no one will be stuck in the middle, with no more tears and no more pain. (Revelation 21: 3-5)" -AB

I am so grateful for a husband who lets me cry and vent and loves me even when I ugly cry! Our marriage is one, like most, that requires constant attention and work. We strive to create the best marriage possible. We don't sit back and watch the other one struggle, we do life together and that is totally by the grace of God. His divine intervention in my marriage is one I will never take for granted! 

So try to love your middle. We are all in this "layover" or "resting place" until we are able to have our forever ending with Jesus, in heaven, the best ending possible. Make the most of the middle you have been given.
All my love,

Tuesday, April 7, 2015


Hello sweet friends!

I just wanted to do a quick update for you ladies about Jaxon. He is doing so much better since being hospitalized and sick last weekend! Thank you for all your prayers, not a single one was wasted. A lot of people were asking what happened after I posted on Instagram about switching pediatricians so I figured I would just tell everyone here. I am in NO way trying to put down or throw anyone under the bus I am simply just stating facts and what happened to my son. 

So I noticed Jax was getting a cold on a Wednesday. By the next day, Thursday, He was coughing like a chain smoker and had so much mucus. I was really concerned so I called my pediatricians office but she wasnt in that day so I saw one of the other pediatricians in the practice. He saw my son, listened to his chest and told me he could hear crackling in his left lung. He told me he was going to put Jax on antibiotics and sent me home and told me to make an appointment for Jax to be seen the next day with his doctor. So I picked up the prescription and made an appointment. 

He wasn't doing much better by Friday so when I went in to see his doctor I explained this. They told me he had pneumonia. She told me to come in Saturday morning to be seen again to closely monitor him. I came in the next day and they gave Jax breathing a treatment and also sent us home with a machine so we could do it a couple times a day at home. Now at this point, not only was Jax still sick (but getting better) he started not eating and having intense diarrhea. I thought nothing of it until I realized he had thrush on his bum and in his mouth (caused by the antibiotic) by Saturday night he wasn't eating barely at all, he seemed like he was in so much pain, in his stomach. I felt really funny about it. I called his pediatrician and told her all his symptoms and she said that it was side affects from the medicine he was on and was going to switch him to a different antibiotic.
Sunday, we picked up the other antibiotic and gave Jax a dose and then he puked. We gave him another, he puked again. He wasn't eating and anything he was eating he threw up. I felt like he was getting dehydrated so I made a decision to stop giving him antibiotics and take him to the ER. He was miserable and I could not get him to stop crying. Its probably THE worst feeling as a mom when your child is sick and in pain and there is NOTHING you can do to console them! 

When we got to the ER that night it was beyond packed and busy but I knew he needed to be seen. He finally got seen and they said they felt comfortable sending him home after they did an Xray and saw he didn't have penmounia at all but something viral. He didn't even need the antibiotic and they said that because he was misdiagnosed that he actually got sick from taking the antibiotic. I guess it can kill all the bacteria in your gut, even the good kind. I knew his stomach was upset even though he couldn't tell me. You just know as a mom. It was so frustrating. We went home and by Monday he still wasn't doing well so long story short I took him back to the ER they admitted him for observation and told us he would need a few weeks to get back to himself. 

I was so discouraged. As a mom you count on your pediatrican to know what is going on with your child. Jax is special, he needs close care and they just weren't doing that for him. They were all so nice but they didn't seem to understand that my son has a terminal illness and he doesn't need to be any sicker than he already is, thank you very much! I made the decision with my husband to switch doctors and we are so thrilled with our new pediatrician. A child in her practice actually has Niemann-Pick Type C. Obviously its very different than Type A, but it has enough similarities that she gets it. We also know her nurse and I am very comfortable knowing that she is awesome and knows a lot so I know she wouldn't be working for a doctor that she wouldn't take her own children to. 

I can't say this enough, USE YOUR MOMMY INSTINCTS. If you feel like something is wrong or you are uncomfortable with it say NO, or ask more questions. As a new mom I am learning this slowly but surely. I have a right to say no and I have a right to ask questions without feeling dumb or like a psycho mom. I am so happy that I finally found my voice, I am Jaxon's voice and he counts on Mark and I to speak up for him. Knowing what I know now I wish I could go back in time and change who we saw from the very beginning. But I can't and all bad experiences I had helped me grow as a mom and I am thankful for them in some aspects. 

Thank you all for reading and for caring about my family and I. It means so much to know I have people all around me supporting our journey. This mom gig is NO joke and I have such a respect for all you mommies. You all rock! I am so inspired by moms who can speak up and take charge. Its such a blessing that I can follow along with so many "mommy bloggers" and my mommy friends. You all give me such encouragement and I love you all! Thank you so much :) 

XOXO. Tori

Monday, April 6, 2015


My family and I had the best Easter and I hope you all did too! I loved gathering together and eating great food and just loving each other. I spend Easter with my in laws side of the family this year (every year we switch off) and it was awesome! Here are a coupe pictures from our day, of course Jaxon was the star of the show all day, other than Jesus of course :)
XOXO. Tori
Saturday, April 4, 2015


To say I am obsessed with this shirt is probably an understatement. I have literally lived in this, I also have the same one in white. I don't know what it is about them but they are just so easy to wear and comfortable but yet they give you a fun vibe. If you don't own a shirt like it, you need it because this is awesome for moms. You can dress it down for your day to day wear and then add a pair of skinny jeans and heels and you are ready for date night! I hope you all enjoy this look & thanks for stopping by! Happy Easter!

What I'm wearing:
TOP: Scout & Cloth // JEANS: Necessary Clothing // SHOES: Sole Society // BAG: Tory Burch // NECKLACE: Rocks Box // RINGS: Claires & David Yurman // LIPS: Revlon // 
Wednesday, April 1, 2015

| What Easter Means to This Mama |

This Easter season I wanted to take to the word. Dive head first into the story of Jesus and what happened to him on the cross, I wanted to really truly understand what happened that day. 
I know I was supposed to read the Easter story this year and really let is soak into my heart because of what I'm going through. For the first time I understood this story and the true meaning. I wept while reading it. 

I saw myself calling out to God earlier this year, "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?" just as Jesus had on the cross. (Matthew 27: 46)  But then I came to understand God was not forsaking Jesus that day or me today. He will never forsake us, that is His promise to us. I see my God through different eyes in this story than I ever have before.

"...He will not leave you or forsake you." 
Deuteronomy 31:6

I constantly say that no one understands the cruelty of knowing your child is dying, unless you've been where I am. But God knows. He watched his sons skin be literally torn from the cross for all of us. He watched his son die for the sins of His people. He knew it would happen from the very beginning and He didn't take it back! 

He weeps with me when I weep and He hurts for me when I hurt. To me this season is one I needed to deeply reflect on. To pull myself up off the floor, out of my sorrow and into the light of Jesus Christ. To fully understand the price that my Lord and savior paid for me. IT IS FINISHED. How amazing is that? Because of Christ I will get to know His glory forever and ever! 

Do me a favor if you're a mother, read this story through the eyes of God the father. Read this story as if Jesus was your son. Weep for Him and the cruelty that was unveiled that day. Let your tears flow for the people who mocked Him, for the crown of thorns that was ripping at the flesh on his precious head. Imagine your child being spit on in disgust by onlookers and being beaten right before your eyes. And then being led away from you to be crucified. Watching your child go through what Jesus endured is unfathomable. But God did it, He saw it all and was willing to let His son go through that for you and I. 

I am forever grateful for that. I am in awe of our God. I needed this story to shake me in a way that I never let it before because I was never a mother before. The price that He paid for me is a picture of His perfect love for us. I want to remember this story even after Easter passes. To constantly look back on this story if I ever have a doubt in my mind, if I ever question my circumstances. Knowing that the son of God gave his life for me is all the proof I need to believe. People say Christianity is blind faith, that you can't see it but you just believe, this may be true but I see now. I visualize this story as if I was there that day and for me, my eyes have been opened. I am no longer blind, I see God so much clearer than I ever have. I have come to know him more through my suffering and through the suffering that His son experienced for us. 

Listen to this song below after you read the story & close your eyes. Really listen to what is being said in this song. It brought me to tears.
Happy Easter to you all!

You Loved My Heart To Death by Shane & Shane

It's taken me some time to believe
That when You said it's done
That's what You mean
That when they drove the nails through Your hands
You did not recant
You didn't take it back

I drank the cup of death
It's running through my veins
I chose my pride instead
Of the glory of Your name
All the wrath of God that I
Deserve with every breath
Fell upon Him
And He loved my heart to death

It's taken me some time to believe
There'll never come a day
That You'll ever leave
That when I drive the nails through Your hands
You do not recant
You never take it back

Oh I drank the cup of death
It's running through my veins
I chose my pride instead
Of the glory of Your name
All the wrath of God that I
Deserve with every breath
Fell upon Him
And He loved my heart to death

You put it in the grave
Brought it back to life
Put it in the grave
Brought it back to life
Put it in the grave
Brought it back to life

Oh I drank the cup of death
It's running through my veins
I chose my pride instead
Of the glory of Your name
All the wrath of God that I
Deserve with every breath
Fell upon Him
And He loved my heart to death