Friday, October 11, 2013

Instagram = the new blog

I have a friend who is the most faithful and fantastic blogger. Even though she posts adorable updates of her babies on Instagram, she still manages to journal her family's goings-on through her blog. I admire it and I'm going to take a cue - the cheater's cue, but still, one is taken nonetheless.

This is from late September. Her outfit was perfect to usher in the fall coolness. And it was cute to boot. 

Bath time on Monday was filled with eucalyptus bubble bath. Someone's a little congested. Also, sick babies are the saddest. She's still sick. This was just the beginnings of a cold. Now she's drooling like a basset hound. 

Last week I was in charge of a little demonstration for Enrichment. Our evening was all about money-saving tips and resources around the house, etc. I taught the women how easy and simple it is to make their own laundry detergent. 
I made these little handouts for the sisters to tape to their fridge, laundry room, washing machine, wherever. I have my recipe pinned to a corkboard in the kitchen and use it every single time I make another batch. This one is even cuter and will replace it. I love when things turn out!

A few weeks ago (right after catering was finished, in fact), Elliot was 'running' down the cemented driveway. That little tyke is faster than you'd think she'd be. I went to grab her and she thought it was a great and fun game of chase until I got her arm just enough to nudge her and the poor thing tripped and fell SO HARD. She was screaming and bleeding. Once I calmed her down (and once I calmed down - this is scary stuff for a mom's faint heart!), gave her some cuddles and her blanket and binky, I took this picture to commemorate her first goose egg.
 It was way worse than it looked. She still has a scar on her cheek from that scrape, and the scab has been gone for at least 3 weeks. This still hurts me!

A few days later, Miss Invincible started climbing on EVERYTHING. Someone thinks it's okay to stand on furniture. It's not. 
But if you're going to do it, make sure you have on a cute outfit and sensible footwear. Priorities, people.

Since it's now Autumn in the Midwest, the annual pumpkin patch trip (minus daddy for this first trip) happened during Friday's normally scheduled Music Time. The lunches were packed and it was a slight breeze, but then quickly heated up. We got a pumpkin and a sunburn. And maybe just a bit overheated. The official annual trip really doesn't happen until all three of us go, so maybe tomorrow we'll have to venture over there. I love our pumpkin patch. We've gone several years, sans child, and it's just so much more fun with a little pumpkin of our own. 

Other days, when we're not surviving the wilderness, we're begging for things. I mean, sure, you can have another granola bar. Just please...those EYES! My will is no match for them. Yup, completely gone.

During the nights when Ryan's home, we sometimes get creative in our entertainment and instead of going to a movie theater like we would have in the past, we make our own.
On the bed.

Complete with popcorn.
and everyone gets their own bowl. (you can see her lovely scab here - tear!)

And during the days when Ryan's at work too long and someone misses their daddy, we go to our favorite place and mosey along, walking the aisles.
This is how we shop at Target. This was her first Target popcorn, and I think she was a huge fan. When it's too hot/humid outside to breathe, we go indoors. I'm not above bribery to keep her in the cart. Clearly.

We've also had lots of rain, which, you would think means the weather is nice and cool. (It's a fickle mistress, this Kansas weather. One day it can be in the 90s and the next day the high is in the 60s. I wish I were joking. It's bizarre.)
None of our windows are low enough for Elliot to see out of, so Ryan showed her how to move the storage bin around. She moved one of the storage containers around the room and settled on it under the window, watching the rain fall for a solid 5 minutes. 

 Scratch that. Ten minutes.

Other things I've done lately have involved power tools, wood, and sawdust. I'll have to post pictures when this is finished.

It's for the Tri-Ward Halloween Carnival/Haunted House/Trunk-or-Treat activity in a couple weeks.

As I mentioned, Elliot has started climbing things. Any- and everything she can scale. There's a whole new level of baby-proofing going on over here.
But with smiles and hugs and hand-holding like this, we couldn't ask for anything better. She's one of the happiest babies. 
And if we could get another 4-5 just like her, we would.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Elliot's Nursery

(This post was originally written a year ago but never finished nor published until now. ha!)

Well, we started the nursery projects in March and many props go to my mom, yet again, for finishing it up while I was learning how to be a mom with a tiny little newborn.

Let's revisit our list, shall we?
And guess what? I only have ONE left to do! Huzzzzaaahhh! The one I wish I would have finished sooner is the growth chart, but thanks to well-baby doctor visits, I can always go back and mark her height for the first year. Plus, those should probably go in a baby book of some sort, eh?

Want to see pictures? That's always what I like to see, so I'll share. It's funny looking at these, though, because you'd never know how many hours and how much work was involved but seriously, almost EVERYTHING was handmade, repainted, or altered in some way.                                                  

And of course, the prettiest thing in the nursery that took the longest amount of time.

 Lots of things have changed since I took these pictures (in FEBRUARY!). One of these days when I'm super organized and all the stars have aligned, Elliot's clothes will be picked up, her crib sheets will be clean and the guest bed will be made. Then, then I'll take updated pictures. Hopefully that happens before she's grown out of the crib.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

In Which I Pretended to Be a Caterer

A few years ago we moved to Kansas and left our old and decrepit tax accountant back in Utah. We sent him our documents for taxes for the first year we moved here and never heard from him again. We're pretty sure he died. With our tax documents. He's probably buried with them, who knows.

Flash forward a bit and we found some friends who introduced us to a new tax guy. He's fantastic and quick and his wife is crazy and fabulous. Tax time for the Alexander family is no longer stressful in any way because of the blessing of finding the Draper family.

Mrs. Tax Guy is actually named Susan. She is so trusting and encouraging and this lead her to HIRING me to cater her youngest's wedding open house. Meaning, money would be changing hands. For food that I make. Their nearest and dearest would be eating things I make. But wait, there's more.

For one hundred people.


After I realized she wasn't joking, I kind of said yes. Susan gave me free reign on the menu. She described that she wanted it to be simple and elegant and a variety of hors d'oeuvre. I can do simple and I can do elegant.

Check. Check. CHECK. I can do this.

It was a learning experience and forced me to be extremely organized for the weeks leading up the open house. I had a shopping list for each day the week of. I had a to-do list for each day that week. I made way too much food and learned that 100 people will not eat 1000 items. But all the websites I looked up for advice told me to plan for it. Lesson, learned. Websites, wrong.

I wanted everything to be simple and beautiful. To do this, you just need simple ingredients with complex flavors -- and to make sure it's pretty.


I'd say so. Now, who wants to hire me next?

Friday, September 20, 2013


It always seems like tomorrow has the promise of greatness.

"Tomorrow I'll paint the rest of the trim downstairs."

"Tomorrow I'll do all the dishes, mop the floor, and maybe start on the dresser that's in the garage!"

"Tomorrow I'll start eating better. This cookie needs to be gone by then. *chomp* For sure, tomorrow."

But you know what the beauty of that is? There's always going to be something that comes up that can be done tomorrow.

Today is the day I've wasted snuggling my baby. Today I consoled her and rubbed her head when she bumped it while on a great exploration adventure under the dining room table. Today I drank my weight in Diet Coke. Today I had a meltdown when the great explorer wouldn't take a freaking nap. Today I felt the weight of 6 months of stress lifted off my shoulders when my husband's first real paycheck hit the bank account. Today I wept thankful tears when my sweet girl looked up at me with stars of wonderment in her eyes and asked without words, "what is this?"

Today is better than tomorrow. It always has been for me. I am a procrastinator by nature and have always looked for ways to do things tomorrow. But today? That's where the true magic and true life is.

So what if I don't get all the dishes done or the dog hair swept up off the floor for the umpteenth time this week. I have kisses to give. I have hugs to steal. A grand adventure awaits me in the gigantic cardboard box someone's daddy saved. I'm learning to live in the moment and seize today.

Tomorrow will come eventually. For now, pass me another cookie.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Well, It's Been Awhile.

You know when it's been a long time since you've {gone to the gym/gotten a haircut/updated your blog/spoken to your grandparents} and the build up and thought of just finally biting the bullet and accomplishing said task makes you want to crawl under the covers for the third day in a row? That's where I got myself. 

Somewhere along the line I feel like I lost my voice. If you scan through the archives, there's a lot more genuine Chelsea in there. I'm not sure why or when I started feeling some sort of pressure to write a certain way or even to keep up this little old piece of the internet {which clearly it hasn't been} {Kept up, that is} but it was there in my head, making me feel like I needed to have something fantastic to say or a project to show off. 

Last year I started working for a fantastic company and I saw a lot of my time eaten up by a 33 minute commute {39 with moderate traffic} and therefore some things just had to go. Like a social life. The working-girl coupled with pregnancy exhaustion was, well, that was that. No excuse, just explanation. Now I have the best and hardest job of all. Keeping Elliot alive and happy.

I feel terrible that my efforts have been less than stellar when it comes to documenting the sweet little life of the most beautiful girl. We waited so, so long for her and I've been enjoying almost every minute with her. Almost. The middle of the night marathon feedings have gotten old. {I need to take back my night!}

So, what I'll be doing for the next little while is trying not to be flustered and probably fudging facts and details here and there so I can have a bit more to show of the last 8 months than a life devoid of pictures of the chubbiest-cheeked, happy-go-lucky girl we call Elliot.

If I end up posting more than once a month, well...that's an improvement. When you're starting from scratch again, you can only get better. 

To end this proper, here's a picture from Christmas that I DIDN'T plaster all over Facebook already.

 Did your heart just stop a bit from the cuteness of that nose-crinkling giggle? Mine did. 
And the camera adds 3lbs.

You're welks.