Oogie Boogie’s Bash, 2021

You already know that Halloween time in Disneyland is my favorite thing. I’ve already given you a post about our trip but I saved the best for last. So here it is! Enjoy our pictures.

We went with being the Fab 5 this year (Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Pluto and Donald) and my sisters were Chip and Dale. Our costumes were relatively easy to make and came together so cute!!

Gosh, I love it all.

General Conference Weekend LOVE

This weekend we went to Park City, Utah with my family to spend time together, but also to watch General Conference. In my church (hi, I’m a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Later-Day Saints), twice a year, our church leaders speak to us and truly, its one of my very favorite times of the year. Their words are so inspired and beautiful, and this year I felt a lot of hope and peace from the messages I listened to.

The message I seemed to walk away with was that I need to be looking outward a lot more. Yes, I am important and such, but I need to be looking at my fellowmen and see how I can help them. I can serve better, love more, accept more and help people feel loved and feel the light of Christ. I’ve always tried to be a good, kind person, this was just further motivation to do so more and with more intent.

I also cannot get over Camille N. Johnson’s talk where she invited us to let God be the author of our life story. She also talked quite a bit on letting worry and fear go and moving forward in faith. I felt like she might as well have stood at the pulpit and said, “Hey, Chelsea, this one is for you,” because it was quite truthfully something I desperately needed to hear and her lovely words hit me like a ton of bricks and I can’t stop thinking about them.

I also feel a real pull to strengthen my relationship with my Savior. I want to teach my kids more about Him, as well. I want to help build their little testimonies and make sure they know how much Christ loves them and wants them to be happy.

It was a beautiful weekend. I feel rejuvenated and excited to move forward on some new goals I’ve set for myself.

Memory Keeping

Since having my first child five and a half years ago, I’ve been wondering just how I would store my kids important papers/documents/keepsakes. Everyone has their own method that they’re passionate about, and I listened to so many ideas, but ultimately I (finally) landed on this, my own, method. I’ve seen this same idea all over the internet, so I’m not at all claiming it as my own. I’m just super excited about it so I’m sharing it with you in case you’re on the hunt for a good storage idea too! And believe me, if I can do it, so can you. It was super simple and very satisfying.

I ordered file folder boxes and files. The boxes I ordered came in a pack of 4, so I even have one ready for my next baby! Then I ordered a pack of files for each box – the packs I ordered came with 25 (I think) and there are several extra folders in each box, should we decide we need them for something in the kids future. I put the folders in the box and labeled them (in this order):

Baby

Toddler

Preschool

Kindergarten

1st Grade

2nd Grade

3rd Grade

4th Grade

5th Grade

6th Grade

7th Grade

8th Grade

9th Grade

10th Grade

11th Grade

12th Grade

Stats

Medical

Keepsakes

Documents

Then, with my cricut machine, I cut out their first initials in vinyl and applied them to the front and voila! Told you it was easy!

I don’t plan on keeping every single paper from school or piece of art they create (like adorable scribbles on scraps of paper, you know?) But I’m going to mindfully keep the papers that my kids worked extra hard on or are extra proud of. The papers that have a funny story behind them or are particularly adorable. The ones I think they’d be happy to see someday when they’re adults showing their own children their memories.

I have put the bracelets we wore in the hospitals for their births in the Baby folder, along with ultrasound pictures, etc. In the boys Toddler folders, I put the bag of clippings from their first haircuts. Things like that. I also knew I had to have a folder dedicated to their stats from doctors appointments. I’m obsessed with my kids stats so I wanted them readily available.

What else would you add?!

Powerful in a Sweatsuit

Did you watch WandaVision? The series just finished on Disney+, but you can – and absolutely should – still watch it if you haven’t already. I give it all the stars and all the thumbs up. Wanda Maximoff, AKA, The Scarlet Witch, has always been one of my very favorite MCU (marvel cinematic universe) characters, but I think this show put her at #1 on my list.

Anyway, this post will have very small “spoilers,” if you’re worried about that. But mostly, I just want to talk about how…

MOMS ARE FREAKING POWERFUL

Here is why my brain is in this place, and here is how Wanda is also a part of this thought: In the last two episodes of WandaVision, Wanda is in a pretty intense ‘battle.’ She is kicking butt, defending herself and her sons and husband, protecting her loved ones and what she cares about, being super amazing and super powerful….ALL WHILE WEARING SWEATS!

I mean, let’s hear it for the queen!

It made me think of real life. I can’t speak for all of you, but I know I do a lot of my mommin’ while wearing a cozy sweat suit. I also know that sometimes it’s real easy for me to get down on myself because of not always getting ready or accomplishing everything on my to-do list. Or maybe I’m feeling a little guilty because I’m not the “perfect mom” I follow on Instagram. You know?

But then I watched Wanda, who was being awesome and so powerful. In sweats. I mean, will I ever shoot magic red orbs from my palms, be able to alter reality and control things with my mind? Unfortunately, no. But I CAN do amazing, awesome and powerful things in my sweats too!!

Toward the end of the final episode, Wanda turns into The Scarlet Witch, for real. It’s soooo cool – definitely still fan-girling about this. Then she dons her new superhero suit, which, might I add, is the best MCU costume I’ve yet to see. It’s an incredible scene, I won’t lie. But you know what? The new outfit isn’t what made her so cool. It was her and her actions. Sweatsuit Wanda is just as powerful as New Outfit Scarlet Witch.

The outfit, the situation, the location… that’s not what makes us powerful. We as moms, are doing powerful things every single day. And let’s be honest, we are probably in sweats. Our powers and things we balance, accomplish and work at are tremendous. We all have a little New-Outfit-Scarlet-Witch inside of us, we’re just doing it in our Wanda Sweats – and we are awesome! I hope you know that. I hope you believe that.

Not So Much the Room, But the People

We moved into our new home in early October. We loved our old home so dearly – it was perfect for us and had been the birth place of so many of our most cherished memories. I remember when we made the decision to move, I was sure we were making the correct decision, but I was also so nervous about leaving this home that we’d made ours. One day I was sitting in one of my favorite spaces in our old home, Flora’s nursery. I looked around at this little room we spent so much of our time making perfect for our baby girl and I felt a bit devastated, fearing I’d never love a room again like I loved her room. What if I never felt the love or connection to our new home that I did to our old home? It actually scared me. How could we love a place like we loved our old home?

Now it is January and we have been in our new home for almost four months. We took the first couple weeks making some changes to the home to make it fit us. I took time to really consider the way I wanted to decorate and put a lot of thought behind what I purchased to put around our new home.

Funny enough, the room we just barely finished, and now, one of my very favorite rooms in the whole house is…Flora’s nursery.

The second her happy, pink room was all finished, I sat in the chair in her room and surveyed the space. It hit me like a ton of bricks that, yes, a home and a room can be really special and seem irreplaceable, but what actually matters is the people in that home. I mean, yeah, a nicely decorated room can sure help how you feel about the room for sure. But I was so powerfully reminded of all those cheesy quotes, “home is wherever I’m with you,” and so on. It’s not so much about the home, the walls and the decor, but the people that are within those walls. It’s the relationships you have with them, the memories made with them and the bond you have with them. That’s what makes a home so special.

Mom

Yesterday was my moms birthday. She is all things wonderful, amazing, good, happy, peaceful and magic. She is the best of the best. I try so dang hard to emulate all that she is. Did you know I’ve never been embarrassed of my mom? Never. She’s always been my best friend and I’ve always been proud of that. I always wonder HOW she somehow managed to have that same relationship with all of her kids. We are all so close to her and tell her our deep secrets that I don’t know if its super common for kids to tell their mom. My mom knows everything about me and I know that all those things I tell her and pieces of me are safe with her. She has always been a safe space for me. She listens, understands and doesn’t make anyone feel bad for feeling or thinking what they do. She understands everyone is different. She doesn’t try to change people to fit her liking – she likes them for who they are. She is patient. She is the perfect balance of mom and friend.

I want to be her when it comes to mom. I hope and pray my kids love and adore and trust me in the ways that my sisters and I do with her. I want to be the kind of mom she is so I can have the same phenomenal relationship with my kids that she has with us.

She is the grandest. I adore her. I love her and I am so proud to be her oldest daughter.

Love you mom. Happy Birthday (yesterday)!

Big News!!

Eeeeeeee!!!! I am so happy to be able to finally announce this! We moved!! We are in a different home!

It’s so crazy. Honestly, a few months ago if you would have asked us if we had moving on our radar, you would have for a big ol’ NOPE for us! We planned on staying in our home for several more years. We knew how we could make it work and we felt good about it. But then an opportunity came up with the new house. It was an opportunity that truly, we would have been absolutely idiotic to have turned down. We didn’t make the decision quickly, and we discussed the heck out of the pros and cons. We came to realize that both options were right. Staying in our old home would have been fine. So would moving to a new house. So ultimately we just had to just decide which was more right.

We knew we’d be silly not to do it. So we did. We chose to move. This new home has so much more room. It is a good home in a good area. We feel good about our decision. It’s exciting!

We are still in the phase of trying to get used to it all. Quite honestly, it feels like it happened really fast. So now that we are in our new home and slowly making it our own and personalizing it, it’s all starting to really set it.

We feel really fortunate. We feel blessed and excited. Our kids (and dogs) have transitioned into the new home really well and things are going great. Now if only I could figure out how to decorate my new living room!!

I’ll be sharing more about the house and some of the projects we are tackling as we go. Thanks for following along! I really do appreciate you being here.

Toddler-Sized Faith

IMG_4210

Craig and I have a phrase that we seem to repeat to each other a lot, and that is, “the faith of a toddler.” We say this in times when your kid dives off of a chair and into your arms, absolutely sure that you’ll catch them. Or when they just know mom or dad can for sure fix something. You know, things like that.

Its been over a year now since this happened, but we gained yet another reason to continue saying, “the faith of a toddler,” and its a story I think about all the time because it really moved me. It was, without a doubt, a thing that happened in our family for us to learn from for years and years to follow.

We love to go on family walks. We always have. Sometime last Summer we were out on a walk on our usual route. Both our boys had brought a small toy with them. At one point we let Harrison out of the stroller to run around for a minute when we noticed he was tossing his little toy, a very small Woody figurine, up into the air over and over. We warned him to be careful to not lose it, and for a while he did fine, but then all of the sudden, Woody was nowhere to be found. Craig and I tried to recall where Harrison had stood the last time he’d tossed his toy, but try as we might we just could not find that tiny Woody toy anywhere – and of course, he was standing in the middle of a large, grassy field. Craig, Harrison and I looked for a while, desperately seeking this tiny little toy. 

It started to get darker, but we kept on looking. My sister had texted me around this point and I explained to her what was going on, then next thing I knew, my whole family and one of my sisters friends showed up to the field to help us look. I don’t even know how long we looked, but it was a long, long time. It was completely dark by the time we finally decided to call it quits and cut our losses. We walked back home with a very devastated Harrison. My family had stayed in the field a while longer and said a police officer even stopped by to help (probably because we all looked so crazy out there digging through grass haha!) but they too had no luck.

The next day we decided to look one more time – just give it a shot. At one point, Harrison approached me and told me he was going to say a prayer. It made me pause. I’ve always tried to teach my kids that there is never a bad time to pray. Prayer is always a good idea. I’ve also tried to stress to my kids that whenever you feel a need to pray, you should pray. I’ve taught my kids this – yet, in this moment, I hadn’t thought to pray, but Harrison, my (then) 3 year old, did. I was so proud of him and so proud of the faith he had. He knew that there was no problem too small to take to Heavenly Father. So he said a little prayer asking that he would find his toy, my heart melted and we continued searching. 

My family joined again and we started combing through the grass yet again. Thinking about it now, I have to laugh thinking about how silly we looked. This field was on a main road and cars were passing nearly constantly. I told my family how Harrison had prayed about it and my dad made the comment that we better find the toy or we’d have to have a tough conversation with a three year old about how not all prayers are answered how we want them to be haha! 

It took a while, but guess what? We found it. My mom happened upon it and excitedly raised it into the air and we all celebrated! Harrison was overjoyed and we all felt a great sense of relief. The faith of a toddler is truly incredible and it reminded us all of something very important that day. There really is nothing we can’t take to the Lord and I’m glad Harrison made me recall that. Harrison victoriously took his Woody figurine home, and we then explained to him that after Heavenly Father helps us with something, we should pray to thank Him. He did that, and his little simple prayer of gratitude was incredible. I adore him. 

This all happened quite a while ago, but I still think about it all the time. The faith of a toddler is inspirational, and I’m thankful I’ve got some sweet toddlers to continually remind me of how important it is to keep your faith strong and to remember that Heavenly Father cares about everything in our life – even the tiny little things.

Baby Sister!

Flora

June 11, 2020

Details and birth story coming soon. For now, just know that we are all doing so, so well. Our hearts are full as full can be. We have already been so blessed by having this sweet little girl in our family! I can’t wait to share more of her with you later. In the meantime, I’ll be soaking up all the newborn snuggles, smells and sounds because this is my heaven on earth!

The Big Brothers

It struck me just recently that next month, these wonderful little energy-bombs are going to become big brothers. One of them will become a big brother for a second time and the other will become a first time big brother (and new title of middle child). Like, wow.

Harrison was born to be the oldest. He was born to be the big brother. I have no doubt, that just like he did when Emmett was born, he’ll take on the new title of Big Brother x2 easily and quickly. He has always had this responsible, caring, kind and protective manner about him. Even as an almost two year old when Emmett was born, he never skipped a beat once he became a big brother. He just is meant to be one. I can’t wait to watch him interact with his new little sister and to hear what he has to say about her. I can’t wait to watch him care for her and her well-being. I can’t wait to see them grow up together.

Emmett is going to be unpredictable as a big brother. He will be sweet, excited and so happy to have a baby in the house, but I can also see him being kind of rough, wild and at times, jealous about his new little sister. However, I know overall that he will be so proud of her and eager to show her off. He loves babies, so I can’t only imagine how much he’ll love his own baby. I think he will be fascinated in everything she is doing, even when she is doing nothing. I imagine there will be so, so many questions asked and I can imagine him trying to take care of her all by himself, sneakily, behind his parents backs. He will love her fiercely and I can’t wait to see that all happen. I can’t wait to see how he helps shape his little sister and how he’ll protect her (and probably also drive her nuts) as they grow up together.

I only have sisters, but I always wished I had a big brother, so I feel really excited that my daughter gets two of the very best big brothers, ever. They will each treat her, love her and protect her so differently, and I hope that she’ll always be grateful for them, even if she doesn’t want to admit it at times. I hope they’re always close friends and that they see how much they can learn from one another. I hope they form a bond that never breaks. I’m so excited to see it all. I can’t say that enough. I’m just so excited to see it all happen.

Of course there are the pieces of guilt and worry that sneak in before you add a baby to the family and change the dynamic of the family. But I’ve felt very fortunate this time that the guilt and worry doesn’t completely consume me. More than anything, I am consumed by the excitement and wonder. I keep hearing how a little girl will change the whole dynamic of our family. I keep hearing that Harrison and Emmett are going to be the best big brothers.

I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE IT ALL HAPPEN!!