My Letter to 2020

Dear 2020,

I think we can all agree that you were a ride. A journey. An experience from out in left field that no one saw coming. You were full of so many new things. New things I never thought would happen in my lifetime. There is so much I could say about this wild year.

But I’m just going to say this. I am thankful for it. 2020 did things for me and my life that I never would have done if it weren’t for such a wild year. I was forced to grow, to get uncomfy, to stretch, to rely on my gut, my intuition and my testimony. I was changed and learned how to be more secure in myself and confident in myself and my choices. I became a mom for the third time to sweet Flora (hands down the BEST part of the year, I became a preschool teacher to my boys, I was pregnant during a global pandemic, I learned more about the gospel while doing home church, I felt the bond within my family grow and I was reminded of what really matters in life. 2020 was the year of changing my perspective, and I have a lot of gratitude for it.

Sincerely,

A Brand New Me

THIRTY Trips Around the Sun

Today is my 30th Birthday, and I’m not going to lie to you, thats WEIRD. 30 seems like a really big number to me right about now. But hey, I hear all the time that your 30’s tend to be some of your best years. So I’m banking on that!

Now, keeping up with the tradition I’ve made on my blog for my birthday – here are 30 things about yours truly.

1. I strongly prefer winter over summer. I love the cold weather and the cozy, peaceful atmosphere it brings.

2. I’d rather watch tv shows instead of movies, though I love both.

3. I feel like I have a very creative brain, but I’m still figuring out how to channel it and put it to good use.

4. I hate doing laundry. So much. Hands down the worst chore. But the smell of laundry is absolutely one of the best things to happen to this world.

5. I avoid confrontation at all costs. It terrifies me.

6. Along with so many other people, I’m super into True Crime podcasts. It doesn’t help my anxiety one bit, but I’m so hooked.

7. I love to decorate. I plan to start learning more about it this year and incorporating that new knowledge into my new home.

8. Along those same lines, if I could go back and change my career, I’d be an Interior Designer. But I’d also love to be a Labor and Delivery Nurse.

9. I play with my belly button. I have since before I can remember. It’s comforting to me.

10. I don’t like being sore. I know working out is important and good, but the soreness that follows is a big downer to me.

11. I like pie so much more than cake.

12. Scrapbooking is something I’ve enjoyed doing for years. At the beginning of COVID/quarantine, I stared a COVID-19 scrapbook series and it’s one of the projects I’m most proud of.

13. My perfect day (aside from spending it at Disney with my family), would be spent staying home with my family in comfy clothes playing games all day long with really good treats.

14. Light orange is my favorite color followed closely by gray.

15. My favorite Disney attractions are: Disneyland: Haunted Mansion, California Adventure: Guardians of the Galaxy, Magic Kingdom: Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Epcot: Living with the Land, Animal Kingdom: Kilimanjaro Safari, Hollywood Studios: Rock’n Roller Coaster.

16: I only drive because I have to. I don’t like driving.

17. I’m very attached to my hair. Trims still make me nervous. It’s a part of me. When I hear people say, “it’s just hair,” I honestly cannot relate to that mentality at all.

18. When I was in labor with Flora at the hospital I got so hot. I’ve never felt that hot and uncomfortable and panicky because of my temperature before. It was miserable, and for some reason every. single. night. since I’ve had her, I think about that sensation.

19. I only wear/own Disney earrings.

20. I have a running dialogue in my mind at all times. Like very rarely does this not happen.

21. My biggest pet peeve is when people tell you your opinion is wrong. No it’s not! People are entitled to their own thoughts and opinions. Of course you can discuss and debate them, but don’t say they’re flat out wrong.

22. My current most embarrassing moment happened a couple years ago when I was watering the flowers in our garden. I went to adjust the hose and had it on full blast and accidentally sprayed a teenage boy straight in the face as he walked by my house. I felt so bad and was sooo embarrassed!

23. I honestly don’t know the last time I slept through the night.

24. I love being a mom so much. I grew up fantasizing about what it would be like, and it’s even better than my wildest dreams. There are hard days and moments, but it’s still something that fills me with joy and pride. I’m certainly not a perfect mom, but I have patient and understanding little ones who are soft either me and I love them more than they’ll ever understand.

25. I love having my hair played with or brushed. Nothing feels better.

26. Late night chats with Craig in bed are one of my favorite things. Is therapeutic and calming. I look forward to those moments.

27. I have a birth mark on the left side of my neck and it just looks like my neck is dirty. I used to be self conscious about it, but I’ve since embraced it.

28. You know that saying that goes something like, “I’m not an early bird or a night owl, I seem to be some kind of permanently exhausted pigeon?” …pretty sure that was written for me.

29. My favorite quote, and my motto is by none other than Walt Disney. He says, “Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we’re curious … and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”

30. I try so hard to be a genuinely happy, faithful and positive person. I strive to be a light and someone people know they can turn to and know they won’t be judged or treated poorly. I hope I’ve made you all feel that way too.

Thanks for being here! Thanks for celebrating with me today by reading this post! I adore you all.

Final Goodbyes

Last week we said goodbye to our first home we owned. We lived there for four and a half years and I honestly loved all of our time spent there. It was a beautiful little home (built in 1943) with lots of character. The neighborhood was safe and happy with people who genuinely loved and cared for one another. I made lifelong friends in that neighborhood and I’m so grateful for that.

This was the home where we brought Emmett and Flora home from the hospital. This was the home where Harrison and Emmett learned to walk, talk, crawl, eat, run, etc. We grew as a family here and made countless memories. I’m forever grateful for our time spent here. I will remember this home with fondness for the rest of my life.

It was definitely time for us to move. It was too perfect of an opportunity to pass up. We felt good about it and still do, but that doesn’t mean that it wasn’t still a little heart wrenching to walk through it the final time, knowing I’d never be inside its adorable walls again. Bittersweet is the perfect term for it.

It was a great place and will always hold great memories. Now onto the next adventure.

Current Favorites

I’m pretty sure I haven’t done one of these in a while, and it’s probably because not many of my favorites have changed. I haven’t really dropped anything and I haven’t added many new things either. But I’ve dabbled a little in things I already owned and haven’t used in a while and unearthed some amazing stuff. And it’s possible I’ve already talked about some of these items, but that’s only because I love them that much.

These Hairitage hair products are some of my new products I’ve tried and I am hooked. Maybe you know, maybe you don’t, but I have a very sensitive scalp that hurts nearly constantly. I’ve talked to a dermatologist who told me it’s likely an outward manifestation of anxiety (awesome) and to use gentle products on it. I saw these were supposed to be gentle and also give special attention to your scalp so I snagged a few, and I’ve already felt changes!

A tried and true brand for me is HelloBody. Their skin care is phenomenal. It works, it’s clean, it’s gentle, it’s amazing. I recommend it all the time. I’m recently loving their Aloe line, though if you ask me, there isn’t a product they have that isn’t amazing.

Enough influencers were talking about the Bathpack hair oil that I gave in and ordered some and I see what the hype is about. I use this on the ends of my hair after I bathe and it does the trick. It also smells like heaven.

This ampoule from Earth Harbor is my newest, and most favorite, favorite on this list. It feels great and I swear my skin has looked brighter since using it. I’m obsessed with it.

These are two new lip products I’ve been trying out that are quickly becoming staples in my life. There is the Jouer essential lip enhancer and the INT lip oil. The Jouer one is a thick, creamy consistency that I put on every night. It is so hydrating and moisturizing and feels like it’s repairing what the cold months in Utah do to my lips. The INT is a slightly thickened oil that is sooo satisfying to put on. Instant moisture. I use it every morning. This duo is giving my lips so much TLC.

I know I’ve talked about these before, but I just can’t quit them! These are the LashSense and UnderSense from SeneGence. This mascara primer and primer are game changers for me. They both work and my lashes have totally grown and thickened since using them. I’m a forever fan.

I’ve had this FARAH blush brush for ages and haven’t used it. I’ve only kept it because it was pretty. Then a few months ago I decided to try it and instantly regretted waiting so long to pick it up. This is the PERFECT blush brush. I’m not kidding when I say this is the only blush brush I’ve used since trying it out a while ago.

And that’s it for this round of CeeCee’s Favorites! Have you tried any of these? What did you think? Why recommendations I should try!?

Happy December!!

Its here!! The most magical and wonderful time of the year is here!!! Raise your hand if you’re excited! *my hand shoots energetically into the air like Hermione Granger waiting to answer a question in class*

I cannot wait for all the great things this month will bring. I’m sure we can all agree that 2020 needed December. It needed this glorious, happy month. I don’t know about you, but I am wishing for snow, for lots of baked goods, candles burning constantly, wool socks galore and snuggling up near the fire place (because we have one in our new house!)

I have a few activities up my sleeve and plans for my kids. This is Flora’s first Christmas, and I know she’ll only be 6 months, but I still plan on making it great for her. I can’t wait for the boys to get fully immersed in it all. They both get it this year and they feed off of each others excited energy and it makes me emotional its so sweet. Don’t you remember when you were little and Christmas was so stinkin’ exciting?!

We are also going to focus daily on the real reason we celebrate the season – the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. We are going to have a a lot fun and do a lot of exciting things, but we are always going to go to bed reminded of the true meaning. We are going to celebrate that Christ was born and we are saved and truly happy through Him. I want my kids to know how special and magnificent that is.

Stay tuned as we go along this great month! I have some fun things in store.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Weighted Down

UGH

The world is heavy right now. Well, maybe not the world. But America certainly is. This election stuff hurts my heart and jumbles my brain. Its frustrating and hard. Most of all, it makes me really sad about how people can treat one another purely based off of their own opinion.

The phrase, “love one another,” keeps rolling around in my mind. I wish more people repeated that phrase to themselves lately. Maybe, no matter if Biden or Trump wins, and we all vowed to love our neighbor and the random stranger who’s opinion is different than our own, then things could turn out ok. I mean yeah, no matter who wins, things will change. People will still disagree and all that.. I just wish we could be kind. I wish we didn’t have to be afraid to put who we are voting for on social media for fear of terrible backlash and ridicule (not saying everyone fears it, just fyi, but some definitely do)!

I just want to get this off of my chest.

I still love you. You still have a seat at my table. Even if Trump wins. Even if Biden wins. I will still think you’re great. I will still be kind and respectful. I’ll teach my kids to do the same.

I know I’m saying all of this as a privileged, white, straight woman. I’m fully aware this election, and daily life, for that matter, isn’t as hard for me because of those facts. But I want you to know, my respect for a person doesn’t change because of someones political views, religion, race or orientation. I strive to treat everyone with kindness. I judge off of character, not individuality.

I believe we can be ok. But I also believe that for that to really happen, we need to BE KIND.

Eight Years!

Eight years ago this handsome fella and I tied the knot for time and all eternity. You know, on November 1st, 2012, I knew I was making a good decision by marrying Craig. But I’ve got to say, eight years later, I can honestly say I had no idea just how smart I was to be taking that big step in life. (imagine what I’ll be saying in 8 more years!) Wife-life with Craig is beyond words. I am a hopeless romantic and I also over romanticize things in life – such as marriage. But honestly, Craig’s made all of my dreams come true and then some. I’m not sure how I lucked out so much with him, but I am thankful for that blessing every. single. day.

Our marriage is a really, really good one. Definitely not perfect. Far from perfect. But we try really hard to continually work on it. We are happy together. We have made a really good life for ourselves and it continues to get better. We have been through a lot. Some days are plain ol’ awful. Some days hurt. Some days we communicate terribly and there is tension. But I’m so thrilled to say that most of the time, we are living our own little kind of fairy tale. We have three beautiful children together and we love them both so, so much. Our adventure as parents is our greatest joy. We have some similar interests and some vastly different interests, but we take the time to listen to, and support each other in all of their interests. We get better every day at understanding one another and how best to help and support one another. We laugh a lot. I feel especially lucky to be married to Craig because of the humor. He’s the funniest person I’ve ever met and he has me rolling more often than not. We have incredible conversations. We talk about anything and everything and its thought provoking, energizing, therapeutic and so bonding.

I love Craig with all my heart and I’m not kidding in the least when I say I’m honored to be married to him. Its been eight amazing years and my love for him only grows with each day.

August 2020

August has never really been a month I loved, and to be honest, this year was no different. Like its great. Theres good things about it and good things have happened in it, but for whatever reason, its just not my favorite month. Its so freaking hot and thats not my jam. Its also so close to fall, which is absolutely my jam. So its just this weird in-between month that I don’t adore, but I don’t hate it either. I don’t know. Either way, I’m super excited for September. September never lets me down.

GOOD

  • Flora turned two months old, so she was finally able to be vaccinated! Thats always a sigh of relief for me. Another added protection for my little bundle of joy. It makes this mama happy.
  • We went boating with some of Craig’s family members and it was so nice. All 3 kids were awesome, the weather was beautiful. Being on the water is so refreshing for me.
  • This is stuff I can talk more on later, but some things have been developing in our family that have caused Craig and I to have these really deep conversations, pretty often. It was exciting and it made me feel so much more bonded to him. I love having this guy by my side in life. He makes things so great.
  • We started school this month. Home school. My brain has been all over the place with this decision. I still have some guilt eating me up because I feel like homeschool is going to deprive my boys from social interaction that they really adore. But overall, I feel good about this and I know that for us, its the right decision. Also, kudos to all the parents making these same hard decisions!
  • Speaking of school, Harrison also started Waterford Upstart, an online preschool. He’s loving it and doing really well in it. Its calming to know that if I totally blow it with homeschool, he’s still taken care of because of Upstart.
  • We have re-started potty training with Emmett. I don’t know if this is good or bad. It should be under a separate header called HARD. He’s motivated, but also at the same time, totally not. I don’t want to pressure him to do it if he isn’t ready (learned that the hard way with Harrison), but I also want to keep motivating him! Its tough.
  • I opened my home spa back up! Again, something I was really torn on. BUT its been so, so good to see my old friends/clients again! I’ve missed them.
  • Flora has started smiling, everyone! Best part of August.
  • We took a free day and went to Golden Spike, the Rocket Garden and Hill Aerospace Museum with my mom and one of my sisters. It was loads of fun. It was also very hot and exhausting, but it was so good. I want to take my kids on more outings like this.

NOT-SO-GOOD

  • We got suuuuper close to being in a wreck. Like within inches. It freaked me out. If we would have been hit, it would have all happened right on Emmett and Flora’s side of the car. My mind has traveled to so many scary places because of this dozens of times this month. I’m so grateful we were protected that day. But geez it scared the crap out of me.
  • I got so behind on housework in August. Why? I have no idea. Probably because we were too busy trying to have fun and do exciting things, but still. I should have made more time to take care of my home. I guess there’s a goal for September, huh?
  • I accidentally cut a chunk of my hair off. Luckily it was in the front and I’ve been able to make it mostly look like I’m just growing bangs out or something, but I was still thoroughly ticked about it. I watched my hair fall to the floor and burst into tears. I was cutting a string off of the collar of my shirt and my hair fell forward at the perfect (but not perfect at all) time.
  • My mental health is…well, not what it usually is. Sure, I’m 2.5 months postpartum, but its just messing me up. Like, I’m fine. But my brain is working overtime to keep things level and ‘ok’. Its hard. My anxiety is picking up, I can feel it. I’m starting to get my worried headaches and am getting sleepy and stomach aches are reoccurring – all tell tale signs for me.

HOME

  • My home is messy and chaos, but you know what? Its happy. I love my home, but mostly the people inside of it. My family makes things beautiful, no matter where we are.

Homeschool

Do you know what’s crazy? Just last week, I was 100% sure that Harrison would be going back to his brick and mortar preschool. I was training him to wear his mask for decent periods of time, I was making myself mentally ok with him being in a classroom, I was excited he’d be back around peers, I just knew I’d be sending him to school.

But then early this week I just kept thinking about homeschool. Then, when I’d try to block even the possibility of homeschool from my mind, something would cause it to pop back in. People would post on instagram about their decisions, a news article would show up on my Facebook feed, someone in the family would say something — and all these things kept bringing my mind back to homeschooling Harrison.

I feel lucky that my only kid in school is only in preschool. I feel confident that I can teach preschool level curriculum. I think this decision and these promptings would be so much more difficult if I had kids in higher grades (so lots of respect to you parents that fall in that category). So one day after homeschooling had yet again entered into my mind, I decided to let it in. I decided to toy around with the idea and see how it felt. I wasn’t committing to homeschooling, I was just feeling it out. So I read some stuff about it, got some ideas, looked on Amazon for supplies and talked to Harrison about the option of homeschool.

Guys. It felt really good. The whole time I was embracing homeschool I just felt peaceful. Not that regular school didn’t feel peaceful — but it didn’t feel like this, either. The option of homeschool just felt right and I couldn’t deny that.

Quite truthfully, I feel that whether I sent Harrison to school or kept him home to do school here, both options would be good for him. I’m not against either. But ultimately, one just felt more correct for us, and thats homeschool.

Now that I’ve committed to this path, I’ve been eagerly scouring the internet trying to find the best things for our ‘classroom.’ I’m also excited because I’ve decided to have Emmett ‘come’ to preschool too! I’m actually looking forward to making lesson plans and teaching both my boys. Its going to be a lot and will surely be overwhelming or chaotic at times, but I’m ready for it. I feel good and I feel ready for this. What a crazy time we are living in, right? Never did I think that my parenting would include homeschooling my kids because there is a global pandemic thats giving that option so freely. Just crazy.

I just want to say, that no matter what you choose – homeschool, regular school, distance learning, etc, I applaud you. These are not easy decisions. These are not easy times. We, as parents, try so dang hard to do what’s best for our own kids and that can be so trying and difficult. I know we are all ultimately doing what’s best for our own unique situations. We’ve got this! We are all amazing, no matter what we decide to go with.

With this all being said, if you, too, are choosing to do homeschool – let me know what resources you’re using!! I’d like to start school in the next couple of weeks and am trying to round up all the things I’ll need! Also if you want to bounce ideas off each other, lets do that, too!! And lastly, if you live around me and have kids somewhere around my kids age…play date?? The biggest thing I’m feeling guilt over right now is that Harrison loves socializing with kids around his age, and he won’t be getting that as much, not going to an actual school.

Have a great day! You’re all awesome, strong and wonderful!

The Start of Something New

…it feels so right to be here with you, ohh!

{bonus points for you if you know what thats from}

On Monday I committed myself to something, and I have every intention of staying committed. I started exercising and paying attention to what I’m putting into my body. I am feeling so motivated and empowered and am actually very excited for this journey I’m taking myself on.

I started working out a few weeks ago right around 6 weeks postpartum, but long story short, I just lacked the motivation. I also didn’t feel all the way healed, because while I exercised a lot still hurt and didn’t feel right. So it was a short lived thing. But now I am about 10 weeks postpartum and feelings leaps and bounds better physically and mentally, and I’m ready to do this.

I want to be clear about something though, I’m not doing this to lose weight. I’m not doing it to get my “pre-baby body,” either. I’m doing this to feel good about myself. I’m doing this to do something good for myself. I’m a mom and a wife — so I spent the good majority of my days doing things for others to make them feel good. But I need to do things for myself, too. I need to make sure I’m feeling good, as well. I’m totally a believer that when you’re putting yourself as a priority, you’re a better person all around. I need to do that. However, if I do lose some pounds and tone my body up while on this journey, then awesome – I’ll have worked hard for it, so I’ll be proud of myself. But ultimately, I want to keep my body, my wonderful body, healthy and happy.

I’m excited to start this! I’m excited to feel stronger, feel more confident and get back that body confidence thats so easy to lose when you’ve recently had a baby and all you see is flabby, stretched skin, extra pounds, stretch marks and a tired face. I’m doing this for me – to feel like me, again, and I’m ready!

Do you have a goal? Start today!! Lets reach our goals together! Lets motivate each other! We can do this!!