I’ve been feeling allergic the past few weeks. Lame. Runny nose, sneezy, and extra tired. I feel like the beach is a good place of refuge though, and I spent some nice time there this morning. My friend Katie and I took our little boys there and they played in the sand and rocks. Apollo splashed in the water too. So cute. He was just wandering around exploring the wonderful beach. It was so nice to be there with them and just sit and talk, and watch out cute boys. And since I’m sort of instagram fasting this week (go me!) I have to post somewhere of the adorable things Apollo does, so here I am on el blog. Love him so very much. Aaaand he really likes to makes smoothies with me. And recently I’ve started giving him his own cup since he’d take mine and wouldn’t share it with me. But today, he was sharing his smoothie with his little babies. ADORABLE. He was putting the straw in their mouths and it was so cute. 💕Okay, back to my resting. It’s Apollo’s nap time and I took a needed nap today too. Yahoo.
There was a special fireside with President and Sister Nelson last night, and they invited the youth to do a consecutive seven day fast from social media. This will help to lessen comparing ourselves with others, to waste less time, and to be more present. AND to have more time and energy to gather Israel and build Zion.
When I heard about it, I was fine giving up Twitter haha, since it’s useless and I’ve never used it anyway, I’d be fine without Facebook for a week, but not my instagram! Instagram is my jam.
SO last night I deleted my Facebook app, and committed to seven days without it. Not toooo much of a sacrifice. And then a couple hours later I deleted my Instagram app! Not sure if I’ll want to go the whole week, but I’m one day in and doing fine, except for the 30 times I tried to check Instagram and realized it was gone. :) I check Instagram frequently.
I didn’t delete my account. No way Jose. That would be silly. Buuuut I think it’ll be good to go on an insta fast, especially since the prophet said so. He knows what’s up.
That’s all I have to say. I would’ve expressed all this in my instagram stories…. but I deleted it. So I guess I’ll be blogging more! Cool beans, since I need a place to share my musings.
Okay, good news… WE WERE TEN MINUTES EARLY FOR CHURCH YESTERDAY and the first of my family to arrive. Wow. I basically had a revelation that IF YOU WANT TO ARRIVE EARLY, LEAVE EARLY. So, to get to church early, we just had to leave our house early. Simple. Yes. Monumental. Yes.
Here’s Apollo helping prep our free box of ripe bananas for the freezah today. What a doll.
Disclaimer: This is a long, detailed post about Apollo’s birth (and my birth as a mother). Feel free to just look at the pictures and read the end. It was super hard and most incredible, and know that I’m so grateful for my angelic birth team and I love being a mother.
I loved being pregnant. I loved feeling our sweet child move inside of me. I loved my pregnant body. And I was very much looking forward to meeting the babe who had been growing in my belly.
It was mid November 2016 and I was nearly two weeks past my two date. I’d been mentally and physically preparing for the birth of our baby for quite a while, not really knowing what to expect, but being very open to going with the flow. My mental birth plan wasn’t too specific. Basically, I didn’t want to be induced and I didn’t want an epidural and I didn’t want to wear one of those hospital gowns. But most of all, I wanted things to go as naturally as possible and I wanted people I love to be there with me.
Well, my loved ones were there and I didn’t wear a hospital gown, but the rest didn’t really go at all how I envisioned. However, I am so so pleased with my birth experience and felt so well taken care of. I look back on it with much fondness and gratitude, and despite the pain and exhaustion, it was pretty magical and extremely empowering.
Being almost two weeks past the due date, I was scheduled to be induced. Christopher and I went to the hospital at 8 am on Friday, November 18th. We checked in with a friendly nurse named Joy, who was childhood friends with my oldest sister. I had also substitute taught in her son’s preschool class a number of times. She was good and helpful in getting things ready, and told us that the process of inducing could take a while, but I thought I’d have a baby in my arms and be headed home pretty soonish. Soon I found out just how slow the process could be.
My wonderful wonderful midwife Julie arrived as well. She’s the best. I’m sooo grateful for her. I thank the heavens she was there for my whole birth process and we were both very happy to experience it all together. She delivered my niece, Natalie, ten years ago, and I was present for that magical time. And her oldest daughter, who is also a midwife and was at a couple of my pregnancy appointments, is a good friend of mine. So I was so happy to share this process with Julie, and to have her guidance and care throughout my pregnancy, birth, and postpartum time.
I started the morning dilated about 3 cm and the baby was maybe positioned at like a 1 in my pelvis. I don’t remember exactly. But basically, baby was working its way down and my body was preparing well. So to start the inducing process, Julie inserted a prostaglandin pill in my cervix to help it dilate more. This was probably about 9 am. She left the hospital to attend her regular midwife appointments down the street, and said she’d be back in a few hours to check on me.
So Chris and I just hung out in our nice hospital room. :) I updated my instagram story to keep myself busy and to let the peoples know what was up. And I had my book called Birthing From Within. But I don’t think I opened it. I don’t think birth is a test you can cram for haha. Fortunately I had read bits and pieces of it while I was pregnant, which was helpful. My sister Holly came to visit while we were waiting, and she came bearing gifts! She brought a lovely smoothie and bagel shop bagels! Just what I wanted.
That soda isn’t mine, just FYI. But the water is! And wow, I was guzzling the water down. I drank so much, but I didn’t have anything else to do in my hours of waiting haha. Also, you might notice I am not in a hospital gown. YAY! And you might also notice my cat slippers. YAY! Those cat slippers were perfecto for the hospital time. So perfect. And my stretchy comfy dress was really perfect too. I hung out in that dress for a good while and it was so convenient to go to the bathroom in, which I did a lot because I drank so much water. And I felt modest and comfy and most importantly, not frumpy, so the dress was perfect.
Julie came back up to check things out around noon, and my cervix was still good and soft and I had maybe dilated to 4 cm. She went back to work down the street and would come back in a few hours. Chris and I just hung out. Chris took a little rest in the lovely sherpa blanket my sweet sister Holly brought. And the rest of our birth team came and hung out too – Mom, Chris’s mom RaNae, and my sista Holly.
When I got to the hospital that Friday morning, our weather was still very fall-ish. Leaves were yellow, ground was brown, and we didn’t have much snow. But throughout my hospital stay, Homer entered winter. It was cool to watch from my window and see the view of our town and mountains and bay. For the first many hours at the hospital I had lots time and energy to look out the window. I was having contractions, but nothing very uncomfortable. The only thing that had been uncomfortable was getting my cervix and uterus checked haha. It just doesn’t feel that great!
Then I actually felt like I was in labor. This happened in the early afternoon, maybe about 2-3 o’clock or so. My contractions had been pretty regular and frequent, but I didn’t really notice them at first. But then I began to and just felt kind of crampy. I stayed moving around as much as possible, because it felt better to do and was a bit more distracting. I breathed through them and swayed back and forth. I did laps in the room and walked some in the hall, shuffling around in my trusty cat slippers.
I hung out on my bed too, with lots of pillows, and with my trusty Simba. Here’s a picture that we stopped to smile for.
Chris was constant and present, and just what I needed. I was also so glad to have my mom, mother in law, and sister there with us. Buuuut dinner time rolled around and they headed to the ward Thanksgiving party. I wanted to go too, but I was in labor, and I felt it. :) We told them we’d let them know when things started moving faster, but they were still pretty quick at the potluck. And they returned with some food for us, mostly for Chris, because I wasn’t wanting much food, and the hospital supplied me with pretty decent meals.
Labor pains were increasing and I expected that the babe would be arriving sometime during the night. Guess I was fooled! Baby didn’t arrive for another 30 hours! The wonderful nurses (Susan at this point) prepared the tub for me and I went and hung out in there for a couple hours. Being in the warm water made things easier. And it was a family affair and everyone just watched me labor haha. I was still in pretty good spirits at the time and we were all enjoying each other. Holly was even kind enough to take a video of me with her super bright phone light… haha… I even still had my earrings on. Me so fancy.
My excellent midwife, Julie checked my cervix again, and I was dilating pretty slowly. I wasn’t making much progress and that was discouraging, so we eventually decided it was time for pitocin. Pitocin is like the hormone oxytocin, which your body produces and releases to get the uterus to contract and work baby out. We started out with a low level of pitocin, but as the hours went on and I was still progressing very slowly, the pitocin was increased, which really amped up the contraction intensity.
It was a looong night.
I think the pictures tell a pretty good story of how the night went. I labored through the night, often falling asleep between contractions, but not really getting much rest, and my beloved birth crew slept as the could too. And I’m so grateful for their support.
Morning came and I decided to use some nitrous oxide for pain relief. It’s fairly new to our hospital and you can use it as much or as little as you want. It is supposed to kind of just take the edge off the pain, but I don’t think I used it enough to make a difference. I wanted to go as drug free as possible, because I figured it’d be better for me and bebe, and I knew that women had been giving birth naturally since the beginning of existence. But I decided it’d be a good idea to try it out. I really appreciate my nurses and midwife though. They let me know available options without really pushing anything on me. They were so good.
I really was pretty patient with it all though. I wanted the birth to happen as my baby and my body were ready. I didn’t want to rush the process, but I also didn’t want to be in labor for forever. Labor was so hard. I knew each contraction was bringing my baby closer to me, but each time Julie checked my cervix, I wasn’t making much progress and I think I was stuck at about 6-7 cm for quite a while.
I really didn’t like being hooked up to anything. I had the pitocin drip connected to me and also baby heart monitor and contraction tracker strapped around my belly. It was uncomfortable, but part of my process. Things were not going how I envisioned or planned, but that’s okay. Things don’t always go as planned but they always work out.
The nurses were there for whatever I needed. Susan was there throughout the night for anything, and in the morning came Leah and Rebecca. Seriously though, my nurses were so good. And Julie, she was so constant and present, and she was tired too, but oh so helpful. I’m so lucky she was my midwife. She talked with my about breaking my water to help baby on its way out and so we decided to go forward with that. It felt funny when it happened – lots of warm and lots of wet. I think it helped baby descend quicker into the birth canal, but my contractions got way worse from there, from what I remember. Ugh.
About 10 am, I got back into the tub to labor in there. Chris got in with me. This tub experience wasn’t the fun family party that it had been 12 hours prior! And I’m pretty sure I peed on the floor too before getting in. Oops. Another shout out to the nurses for taking care of me and my bodily fluids! More on that later haha. And I was so grateful to have my mom and mother in law and sister there too. And Chris of course. They were all just what I needed.
Julie checked my cervix again. It is definitely not comfortable to have someone’s hand inside of me while being in labor, but she had to know what was going on. And same story as before, not a lot of dilating or baby moving down, so just a little bit of progress. I tried out the purple glittery birth stool and yeah, not as cool as I thought it’d be. It didn’t work well for me to labor on there, as much as I thought it might. I recall my contractions on the birth stool being pretty painful.
The next couple hours were definitely some of the most intense of my entire life. It was rough. So rough in fact, that there are no pictures or video!
My contractions were intense and long. I felt so much pain in my hips. I breathed a lot. I moaned a whole lot. And had to have someone pushing as hard as they could on my hips/love handle area. I remember Chris and Holly taking turns to do this. I did this in different positions, standing, leaning against the bottom of the bed. And then they put up the back of the bed for me to lean against that. Ugh. That’s where I have some of the most poignant memories. I can picture myself there, eyes closed, just breathing and moaning and whimpering, not sure how much I screamed. I don’t think I really screamed. But I said “oh my goodness” a lot. And I just remember wondering when it would end, and I remember thinking about Jesus and his physical suffering as I was experiencing the greatest pain of my life. I also remember peeking my eyes open and seeing some lovely roses that our friend Autumn had brought. Those flowers and the love she brought with it were a bright light for me.
Julie approached me about the idea of an epidural and expressed how and why it could help. Chris and my family thought it would be a good idea too and I was ready for a change!
It wasn’t very long after until Brian the epidural man was there. And wow. He did such an amazing job. Before he came I was having the most intense contractions for such a long time. I was exhausted and tense.
I had to sit still on the edge of the bed while receiving the epidural. This was especially hard while having a contraction, but I can’t tell you what a great job Brian did. He was so quick and efficient and the effects of the epidural seemed almost instant. Sweet relief. And here’s Chris and Julie, supporting me every step of the way. So grateful.
Shortly after the epidural I had my eyes open again and a smile on my face! They do “walking epidurals” now which means you can still walk and use your legs, but apparently it wasn’t always like that. The epidural served a wonderful purpose in helping my body relax so my cervix could fully dilate. It had been a good while that I’d been stuck around 7 cm or so, and at this point I’d been up for 30+ hours. I really needed a nap before the big push, and not just a 1.5 minute nap between contractions.
Nap time was lovely. I fell asleep maybe around 3 pm and slept for a few hours, with my trusty Simba by my side/on my big belly.
I woke up from my glorious nap (another shout out to Simba) and ate some, replenishing my energy. I had my last prego meal, resting a bowl of oranges on my belly. The hospital had pretty decent food, and everyone was so helpful and good to me.
My fam all came back too, including my nieces and brother in law. It was good to see everyone and I was feeling great, and then it wasn’t too long and it was time to push! I wasn’t really feeling contractions too strongly, but I think I must’ve been fully dilated and baby’s head was descending. So I started with some practice pushes. My midwife Julie and nurse Susan kind of told me what to do and how to push. It was just like play pushing and I felt great and thought it might be fairly easy! It was not.
The epidural I received was like on a drip or something. And so before I started pushing it stopped being released so that I would still feel the contractions and be able to know when to push. I first started pushes on my side, and then for some reason I was pretty into the birth stool, in theory at least. It seemed like such a nice, natural way to birth! Gravity would help bring the baby down, rather than being on my back, where baby might not come out as easily. I had expressed not wanting to give birth laying down, but that’s what ended up happening, and it worked!
The birth stool was purple and glittery, so that was cool, but then I got back on the bed and I pushed while laying on my side for a good long while. I kept hearing I was doing great and so in my mind I was thinking baby should be here soon. Nope. Progress was still slow.
Pushing on my side wasn’t proving very effective so I rolled over to my back. For some reason I hadn’t really wanted to give birth on my back, but it’s what worked! Oh! And baby wasn’t coming out so they decided it would be good to empty my bladder. I had a big, full bladder in the way and he couldn’t get through the birth canal very well. So they put a catheter in my urethra and drained all my pee, and there was a lot. I peeked down and there was like a huge sack full of pee. It was not comfortable to have the catheter inserted and in, but it was very helpful in the overall progress. And they of course took it out once my bladder was drained. But I guess my body was so tense and all my efforts were focused on pushing that I couldn’t even pee.
I could feel the contractions but they were not nearly as painful as they were earlier in the afternoon. But HOLY MOLY, the pressure in my bum! Oh my goodness, it was so strong. I had a couple hours of intense pushing where I kept hearing everyone tell me “you’re doing so good” or “there’s the head” “the head, the head” “baby has hair” “almost there”… Okay. I heard all that for well over an hour and kept wondering where this head really was! I didn’t really know what was going on and I couldn’t ask. Too tired. I kept my eyes closed most of the time, but sometimes I’d peek them open and see my birth team supporting me through it all. There was also a cold washrag on my forehead which fell over my eyes a couple times which was annoying. But anyway… the pressure in my bum, so intense, and didn’t really get relief from that until the head was actually out.
After two and a half hours of pushing, my baby was finally arriving. My mom and nurse Susan both were holding my legs open helping keep me open. My mother in law was at my side, pushing me forward with each contraction. Chris was waiting to catch the baby by my midwife Julie’s side. Holly was also at the bottom, taking some pictures and video for us. And there were also a couple other nurses in the room, along with the OB doctor.
There’s a couple intense pictures and video with baby’s head out of my body, and pushing him out, and I look at those pictures in awe. Like, wow.
I am a warrior goddess. Women are.
A lot happened in the next few moments and it was all a quick blur of a couple minutes, where I was pushing with all I had in me and didn’t know much else that was going on around me. At some point they had put an oxygen thing on my face, which was bothersome, because I basically had a bag thing on my mouth, and then especially bothersome when the wash cloth on my forehead fell over my eyes, but I guess I needed more oxygen.
I remember feeling so much pressure and like my bum hole was going to burst. It’s so incredible to know what your body can do, that I can stretch, that I can open, that I can birth a baby. Wow.
When baby’s head was out, they realized the cord was tightly wrapped around his neck and it took some good effort to get it pulled off. Baby’s shoulders also got stuck in my pelvis so he wasn’t really coming out with much ease. I remember my nurse Susan just pushing on my belly to try and help baby out, and I was pushing as good as I could. And Chris’s mom was pushing me forward and pushing with me. I imagine everyone in the room was working hard and focused to help get baby out.
After 42 weeks of pregnancy, 30+ hours of labor, 2.5 hours of pushing…
Once the sweet relief came and my baby was pushed out, they plopped him on my belly, but just as quickly whisked him away when he wasn’t breathing or moving much. I totally had no idea that he wasn’t doing well or that there was any sort of problem. Zero idea. They were all just so fast and efficient with taking care of him. I did notice that things weren’t going how I had discussed earlier with my midwives, with a delayed cord clamping and me and baby skin to skin right away, but I didn’t know why and I was just quite relieved he was out!
Chris was over with baby at the table for the couple minutes and all I wanted was to hold him. I kept looking over happily and saying, “my baby!” And I didn’t even know if baby was a boy or a girl for a minute till Chris came and tearily said, “We have a healthy baby boy!”
I’m not sure what they did at they table but I guess they sucked stuff out of his lungs and wiped him off a little. And then we finally got to be together again after a long couple minutes! We’d been together for 9 months, so even just a few feet of separation for a couple minutes was too much for me. And I wanted to see my perfect baby!
These moments are magical, so I’ll share every picture I have of these early family cuddles.
And the mighty placenta! I didn’t get to see it in real life but at least there’s this little picture of it. The placenta is currently in our freezer and I want to plant a tree over it. Pushing the placenta out was a breeze! So was getting stitched up. I did tear some, but I think Julie did a good job at stretching out the perineum as I was pushing. Baby came out so slowly that there was plenty of time to stretch naturally. But anyway, pushing out the placenta and eventually getting stitched up didn’t bother me at all since I had just pushed a big bebe out of my body.
We were all so happy to meet our sweet boy and be with him and stare at him and watch and listen to every move and noise! I felt empowered and humbled and grateful.
And I feel especially grateful for these angels! Chris and RaNae and Holly and my mother <3.
And these angels! My nurse Susan and my midwife Julie. I could not have asked for a more perfect team. Sharing this experience with all these women and my husband was unforgettable.
Birth is vulnerable and raw and incredible. I loved it.
And the time with our sweet new baby was euphoric. Heavenly. Wow.
Postpartum recovery and the adjustments of being new parents are a different story and another journey. But here we are, a year and a half later, and life is good. We have some hard times, and we have some magical times, some boring times, some exciting times… and all of it is a part of our good life. And even with all the words I’ve written in this post, I don’t think I can adequately describe the love I have for Apollo and the joy that it is to be his mother.
WE LOVE MOOSE. Apollo and I were hanging out on the couch the other morning, and then he was like, “moo… moo!” So I turned around and HELLO MOOSE! This yearling bull moose was just munching on our grass and walking around our lawn and porch. The mama is seen in the alders in this picture and was later eating greens across the road. And then I went and changed Apollo’s diaper in his room, and guess who was right outside his window… the little bull moose again! It was exciting.
And the next day… here comes mama to the porch! Her little boy wasn’t with her, so I’m wondering if she sent him along his merry way so she can give birth soon. No matter how many times we see moose, it’s always exciting watching them, and it’s especially magical to reexperience life through Apollo’s curious eyes. Goodness, I love this kid. <3
This evening I’m totally sort of feeling like Goldie Hawn in Overboard after a long day and so Apollo is going to play with auntie Holly and his cousins until bedtime. It’s special party time by myself, which I’ve used to look at pictures of Apollo haha, but now I’ll play legos.
I remember learning the joke in elementary school where you stand behind your friend, and then ask what month comes after February…. MARCH.
And then you march and hit their bum. Classic.
March has been a good month around here. Apollo turned 16 months, I turned 29 years. There have been plenty of celebrations with those milestones, along with international women’s day, St. Patrick’s day, and now it’s Holy Week! I love Holy Week.
I really enjoy my days with Apollo. We spend most our time at home, but do try and commit to story time each Thursday at the library. I don’t like too many other commitments haha, and I don’t like anything to interrupt nap time! We go on lots of walks, play with legos, make food, clean up messes, color, read books, and enjoy cartoons.
This month we’ve enjoyed some special gatherings in our with friends and food. I’m really grateful for the people around me who enrich my life and make me feel good inside. And I’m really grateful for the nature at our doorstep. And I’m grateful for my sweet collection of legos!
I’m up late watching Saturday’s Warrior (1989!!), eating sourdough toast, and drinking tea. My boys are asleep. I should maybe be asleep, but I can’t seem to pull myself away from this classic eighties church movie!
It’s been a nice sabbath day. I like Sundays. They’re usually full of some good church time, some good family time, and usually Chris and I watching something on the tellie. Today it was Planet Earth II. It’s just really nice to hang out at home with Apollo and Chris – simple and lovely.
Apollo looked so cute and too grown up today. He’s such a perfect darling. I adore him. He’s been sleeping for a few hours and I’m almost ready for him to wake up so I can help him out of his crib and nurse him back to sleep in our cozy bed.
It was a really nice fast Sunday today. Many inspired testimonies of Christ were born and those meetings always uplift me. For Sunday school, I taught the 12-13 year olds about the godhead and specifically, how we can recognize His hand in our lives. Great subject for a lesson and I like all the kiddos in the class too. It would’ve been nice if I had more than 7 seconds to prepare the lesson, but their teacher wasn’t there and a teacher was needed. I’m glad I can do a pretty decent job with teaching on the fly. And Chris and Apollo were both in there too and I liked that. I hope the kids’ testimonies of Christ were strengthened. Mine was.
The relief society meeting was great I’m sure. But I missed 90% of it by trying to put Apollo to sleep. He didn’t fall asleep till we drove home haha. Church time is difficult for nappers!
But I sure like it lots anyway.
Three days of yoga
Three days of tea
Three days of pad thai
Some positive thoughts
Some negative thoughts
Some ice cream
Lots of reflection
Lots of vision board ideas
Lots of love
Same good me.
Yesterday, happy 4 year anniversary to me and husband! We had a great time celebrating and had a good day with good food. I’m really grateful to have Chris as my companion through life and enjoy the life we’ve created, and especially the boy we created.
Soooo… winter solstice… a time where light returns to us! I love solstices. It can be a time of renewal and grounding. This morning when I woke up, I was totally feeling all inspired and motivated. I was ready to accomplish some goals and create new patterns and learn good things. There’s so much to look forward to at this time of year, and the present moment is so wonderful too!
But noooow, I’m overwhelmed with all the messes in my house, presents I want to create, things I need to wrap… Apollo has pooped twice and it’s not even noon, and I haven’t even had the chance to poop yet! Too busy keeping me and the boy alive I guess. We’re alive, but he’s had two good falls already today. He’s got a big red mark on his cheek and a goose egg on his forehead.
My tea went cold, there’s cheerios all over the floor, Apollo dumped over the laundry basket of clean, unfolded clothes, and I still haven’t showered. (But I am making the time to blog while Apollo prances around with his snack cup trying to climb on the table so I can remember these small details of a good life.)
So anyway… yeah. Happy solstice! May light keep coming our way!
(Apollo, my darling boy, sort of thanks for napping a half hour…)
My babe was born 13 months ago.
It has been the most joyous and exciting 13 months yet!
I’ve really been blessed with many wonderful chapters in my life so far, but Apollo adds so much goodness and spice to the mix. I love it. It is so fun to watch him learn and grow, and it feels so good to be loved and adored by him. I feel so blessed to be his mama!
I think everyone knows that I adore Apollo and that I love being his mother. But I also don’t want to forget who I am as an individual, as a woman, as Chelsea. So I think about that a lot, and about who I am and how I am and what I do.
And this time of year, I think about #lighttheworld! And presents and Christmas music and traditions and snow and cinnamon rolls and Christmas lights and Christmas movies and Rudolph and our homemade stockings and Christmassy clothes and baking and giving and loving… and the birth of Jesus! I LOVE CHRISTMAS TIME, as many people do.
And hooray hooray, because my sister, Stacy, and her boys and husband will be here for Christmas this year. I love the family together time and look forward to seeing my brother some too.
Back to my 13 month old BOY…
Apollo had a great day today. He woke up fairly well rested around 8 am. He and I played in his room while Chris got ready for the day, then he and Chris hung out while I got ready. Apollo and I went to my mom’s house to play with my visiting sister, Stacy, and her boys. That was a good time. Grandma’s house has lots of good toys and food. After a few hours of play, it was time for a solid 2+ hour nap. During nap time I made bread with my nephew and played legos with my nieces! Success. And then all of Apollo’s Owens cousins were over when he woke up and he was surrounded with love, and a dash of chaos. Chris came home from work and we ate and watched a Christmas movie. Apollo and I cuddled in our orange chair with some snacks and the movie. And then Chris and I gave him a bath. Apollo enjoyed some popcorn today, piano playing, climbing on the stool, table, and couch, and lots of cuddles. Can’t express how much I adore my baby boy, who isn’t as much of a baby anymore, but I refuse to call him toddler for a good while.
HAPPY 13 months to my baby boy! <3
I love a starry sky.
Looking at the stars makes me feel small, yet significant. It helps me feel connected with the people of the world and of the heavens. It grounds me to the earth and lifts me to the skies.
Chris and I went out to the driveway last night to give Edel some playtime and to watch the meteor shower. I loved seeing all the falling stars! And it was good to make Edel happy too with some ball chasing and fetch. That dog is such a ball girl.
In the past, when it’d be 11:11 or I saw a shooting star, I always wished for happiness. I was happy, yes, but it’s what was important to me and so I always wished for me of it. And for lots of it to go around in the world.
But now I’m thinking it’s time to wish for more love to go around. And then happiness comes from love. Anyway, lots of goodness to go around all the time to everyone everywhere everyday. :)
And good news! I just saved a bundle on car insurance…. by uninsuring Penelope who has parked to rest on my Dad’s lawn for another winter. Love that car.
And other good news… we got our Christmas tree! Thank you, tree.
My sweet Apollo is kind of sick. Not sure if he caught some sort of bug or if it’s just from teething, but it’s sad either way! So sad to see my baby sickie, but I enjoy the extra cuddles.
He was too tired and slept through our family Thanksgiving feast, and we missed him. There’s 9 adults and 7 kiddos here this thanksgiving.. that’s all of us for now! It’s so nice to be all together with Chris’s family and I’m really grateful for everyone’s efforts in making it happen and in making it great.
We did a fish pond today and got some fun presents, and we all wrote nice things about everyone on a piece of paper! That was a wonderful activity to life each other up and express our love and gratitude. I love Chris’s family and I’m grateful we’re all friends.
I’d really like to blog more and share my thoughts and memories and photos, but it’s kind of hard to do in my phone. And I get to sleepy and unmotivated to do it sometimes.
Right now we’re watching old full house episodes and it’s so good! I love it!
I love Apollo and Chris and I feel very blessed to have them.
And I love lots of other people too. So much to be grateful for and I’m working on recognizing all the abundance in my life. We’re blessed with so much!
I put up some Christmas lights tonight. How magical.
Been eating some very tasty popcorn lately.
Gone on a lot of nice walks.
Got rid of a bunch of stuff and it felt freeing!
Lots more to get rid of.
Wanting to waste and consume less.
I adore Apollo.
I love Chris too.
And our family and friends.
And Harry Potter.
I’ve been trying to listen to Christmas music lately, but I just don’t think I’m ready for it yet. I think I have more gratitude to work on first, and remembering that all my blessings come from God. My life is full of good people and things and God is love.
It’s November. And it’s crispy and cool.
Our pooch always needs a good walk in the morning. Actually, we could all probably use a good walk in the morning. I’m committing to more walks, and you can too. :)
I’m so grateful I have legs to walk! And a body that works, and a little boy to carry, and husband to talk to, and animals to laugh at. Gotta love walkies with my crew.
I went on bigger trail loop the other day, instead of just heading straight to the field with Edelweiss. My kitty kitsy cat, Bel, joined too, and I loved that. I had Apollo’s boots on, so when we got to the field, I took him out of the carrier and let him walk around. So cute. He’s a doll. <3 And he loves the animals and kiiiiiiind of says dog/Edel and kitty/kitsy.
I was thinking about Hawaii this morning, about missing the beach, sunshine, fresh produce, and BYU-Hawaii life. I miss it, of course. It was such a good time of life for me, especially looking back at it. Buuuut, I also love my life and where I’m at right now. I love home/Homer and I love experiencing life with our sweet boy. Of course each phase of life has different struggles and challenges, but each phase has great joys and highlights too.
Apollo just fell asleep for his second nap of the day. He’s maybe been transitioning from two naps to one, but I prefer two! And today we’re getting two! I loooove my bebe boy, and I love nap time too. Gotta refresh!
My baby boy is almost one year old. Tonight I decided to go through photos of his almost one year on earth, but I only made it one month in. This photo is from when he was 10 days old. My sweet little perfect boy!
I love Apollo so much. I love being his mother. I love how much he needs me and how much I need him too. I love how much he and Chris love each other too.
I have sleepy moments, moments where I want to check out and be alone, moments where I worry about my identity and who I am… but I love being a mother. It’s been a really wonderful year of motherhood and I think Apollo is the most wonderful little creature who is full of light and love.
We love popcorn around here.
We make it in our whirly pop with coconut oil, real salt, and nutritional yeast. And then we fill our extra large stainless steel bowl with it, and proceed to fill our bellies with it.
Popcorn time can get pretty messy, especially sharing it with Edel and Apollo. They both love popcorn and it’s so funny to watch them eat it.
I’ve had lots of thoughts I wanted to blog lately, but haven’t made the time to do it, not that I can make time. We all have the same amount of time. Maybe I just haven’t set aside the time. Or maybe it has nothing to do with time.
Anyway, time to go change a poopy diaper and then clean up all this popcorn everywhere!
Oh, speaking of Cheers, I saw the guy from Cheers when I was in Ojai, CA. I think that’s my first movie star maybe. Anyway, kinda cool, kinda normal, since famous people are just like we are.
I love produce from the farmers market. Especially those carrots. Yum. Alaskan farmers market (or garden) carrots are the best. I’ve been making more of an effort to buy our produce from the market because it 200x more delicious and 2,000,000x healthier and more sustainable and all sorts of good stuff. And the price is very comparable with the grocery store. I realized this and realized my love for the farmers market and so, yeah, support local is maybe what I want to say. Delicious and nutritious.
To counteract the healthy goodness of food I make with farmers market produce, there’s chocolate, and slices of fat olives pizza. Too much chocolate and too many slices…
So basically I’m proud of the good food I’ve made lately, and of all the good produce in my fridge, but I’m not proud of all the chocolate I ate today. Shoot. Chris brought me some chocolate and flowers yesterday which was a really lovely surprise, but now the chocolate is gone… and now that Apollo is asleep I’m thinking about what I want to do for Chelsea time and I’m thinking of making cookies. Or I could put away my Costco groceries that I’ve been moving from counter to table to floor, the ones that have been out for three weeks or so. I just need a place for them!
Marie Kondo says that things don’t get cluttered or messy as long as they have a place to go, and as long as it sparks joy, or something like that.
Hmmm… what else…. oh! I could share some family pictures that our good friend, Sara Reed, took for us! She took pictures at our wedding too. Btw, I made some of these black and white. I don’t really know how to edit photos too well or what coloring looks best, but to each their own. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But our family pictures are very lovely and make me happy! I love looking at them. Good pics are worth it.
I love my family and I’m so glad to have Chris and Apollo and our home and our animals. Glad Sara could document some of these precious moments for us! Now I need to print them and splatter them all over all walls.
Also, I love Chris and Apollo and our home and animals, BUT I do get bothered by them, sometimes, except not really Apollo, and not really the cats haha. But the love is still there! Even, or maybe especially, amidst the ups and downs.
I’ve been kind of holding on to summer, not ready for it to be over. I think because there’s plenty of things on my summer bucket list that I didn’t complete and because I didn’t adventure as much as I wanted. Buuuut maybe I should just turn my summer bucket list into a fall bucket list and add to it. That sounds like a good plan, Stan. I also need to finish blogging some summer fun we had.
Apollo’s first summer. It was great and thankfully we did a little bit of everything and got to spend time with lots of our loved ones. My dad was home most of the summer which was awesome. It’s always nice to have him around. And my mom, Holly, and nieces live here, so that’s lucky! And my brother is in Kenai, but I didn’t get to see him enough this summer. My sister Stacy and her boys came up and visited for about a month. “A month!” and I loved that. Chris’s mom and her husband came and visited too. And mine and Chris’s BFFs also visited at different times. Soooo good times in AK with some of our favorite people.
Chris and I spent a bit of time in Utah, Wisconsin, and California with family and good friends, which took us out of state for most of July. Summer is not the time to leave Alaska, but we had great trips out of state anyway. And here it is September and the weather is changing. Adios summer. You’ve been good to us.
A couple days ago it was still very nice and sunny and Apollo and I played outside with the neighbor boys for a while, and enjoyed our trampoline. It still felt like summer. And it felt like it was the end of summer. Especially since I FOUND TWO FOUR LEAF CLOVERS, which a big item on my summer bucket list. It was so awesome that I found them, or maybe they found me. :)
And then yesterday, it was very very fall-y. Gray, crispy weather, with yellow leaves falling and wind blowing. My nieces walked over after school and I had a great time hanging out with them. We worked on fall bucket lists and ate some chili that I whipped up supa fast. I’m now accepting that fall is here and embracing the new season.
Some carry over items from summer bucket list:
make bread, hand lettering, summit pass?, build something, walk Bishops to Diamond Creek, continue to minimize and simplify, grow something, Book of Mormon
Some new items on my fall bucket list:
temple, new passports, build a fort, go on a picket with a basket, do Homestead trail, weave something, make pumpkin pie, DIY Halloween costumes, make more musics, AK staycation, Captain Cook state park, drink lots of tea, yoga class, get Apollo’s birth certifico :), and clean the garage!
AND SUMMIT PASS, one of my favorite places in all the world… I’ve been going there for a loooong time and we haven’t made it yet this year. Not sure if I should give up on that Summit Pass dream till next year or still try to make it happen in the next couple weeks… decisions decisions.