Tuesday, February 28, 2012

on writing a book (part 2)

I've been in this book writing process for 1 1/2 years now.
There is still so, so much work to do. In some ways, it feels like I'm at the very beginning of the process. 

But then I remind myself that I'm not at the very beginning and that I have, in reality, done tons and tons of work on this project. 
And I really have. 

Like I mentioned in this post, I've recently decided to take the book a new direction and to include the perspective and insights of others who have also gone through a divorce. 
It's been a huge change of direction for me and this book. It feels exciting but also overwhelming. 
But mostly exciting. 

Over the last 10 days, I've been sending out questions to my divorced kindred spirits and receiving their responses. 

And can I just say something? 
There are so many amazing, stalwart, smart divorced women out there!

In reading these women's responses and getting a small glimpse into their experiences with divorce, I am continually blown away by how brave they are and have been in their life. 

I'm also blown away by how similar many of their stories are to me and my experience with divorce.

I keep finding myself thinking, "Where were these women's insights 7 years ago!?" 
I wish I could go back in time and show my 21 year-old self some of what these women have written and see if it would have made a difference in the decisions I was making at the time. 

Regardless, at the core of it all, reading about others' experiences and the knowledge they've gained through their divorce, has made me feel so much more...


To all of the above. 

Monday, February 27, 2012

a letter at 26 weeks

(We're still working on filling out the top of this dress.)

Dear little cryings, 

We've been together, you and I, for 26 weeks now. 
Starting next week, we'll be on the home stretch: 3rd trimester town, baby! 

Every day, I thank my Heavenly Father for each and every one of your little (and big!) movements I can feel. You are such an active, sassy gal. 

Yesterday, I found the perfect name for you. Now I'm just working on getting your daddy to agree. He likes it, so that's definitely a start. Don't worry, I keep at it. 

Speaking of your dad, lately he's been on belly button watch 2012. My poor little button is stretched to the limit and we're both weirdly excited to see it finally pop out. (Kinda gross.) 

On Thursday, we start a birthing class. Can't wait to learn more about you and what to expect on the day that you decide to come out here and be with us! 

We've also been busy reading up on the best ways to take care of you after you're born. We just want to be the best we can for you. We've fallen in love with Attachment Parenting theory and are excited to actually put what we're learning to good use! 

See you in three months, little girl. 


Saturday, February 25, 2012

hair cut

It was time for a change. 

Still deciding how I feel about it. 
(This was a good day.)


Sponsorship spots are open for March! 

Email youngpeoplelove@gmail.com to reserve your place!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

mmm yes, please.

Kinda reeeeeally loving this for a diaper bag. 

You can find it here
...and buy it for me. 

Ok, thanks! 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

valorie clark photography

How much do we all love that tree in the background of this shot?!

Check out her blog and drool over her travel photos like I did! 

Today, we have Valorie here to tell you all a little more about her work: 

To me, photography is all about finding the beauty that already exists in any place and any moment, then highlighting it. It's about being real and having courage. Sessions with Valorie Clark Photography are about having fun, being genuine, and laughing. Laughing A LOT.
Real simple. 


All that plus look how cute she is!
Give Valorie some blog love and have a happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

DIY birch tree forest mural

There is one huge wall, spanning 30 feet long. It's concrete, lightly white washed, and super gross. 
So we decided to do something about it! 

We loved how this project turned out and documented the process so you can make your own magical birch tree forest mural, too! It would also look great on a small, accent wall or in two-tone colors. 

First, we hit up Home Depot for some Frog Tape, brushes, rollers, masks (to protect little cryings), and paint. We scored a great gray all-in-one primer and paint by Behr in the "oops section." Only $15 for a gallon of high-quality paint! 

We used the Frog Tape to create the edges of the trees, leaving the white-washed wall as the actual tree, using all those imperfections and holes in the concrete to our advantage. We also put tape up where we wanted branches. 

With an exacto knife, we cut alongside down the edge of each tree, letting our hand wave slightly, and pulling off the excess tape. Because trees obviously aren't exactly straight up and down, this helped it look a little more realistic. Then, Chas did an amazing job of using the exacto knife to cut out the shape of each branch from the tape. 

With all the tape in place, we ran our hands along the edges, pressing firmly into the concrete to help really seal the deal. 
(Click here for pictures of just the wall and tape up.)

Next came the paint!

This is what the wall looked like after applying just one coat of our paint. 
We didn't really know what to expect with a dirty, unprimed concrete surface but other than taking extra care to fill in all the little random holes, there was no problem! 
The best part was peeling off all the tape. This was when we could really start to see our vision come together and it actually start to look like something!
The final step was adding the details to all the trees.
With a small paint brush, I carefully painted all the little horizontal line and knot hole details. 
The whole wall looks like this: 
(That's 18 trees total, folks.)
And, of course, we had to include this on one of the trees. 
(Chas' idea.)
I can't tell you how much fun we had working on this mural. 

It felt so invigorating and refreshing to have a big, creative project in process that we could both work on together. So, so much more fulfilling than watching a movie together or even, dare I say...eating cheeseburgers and onion rings at Hires?! 
Yup. I went there. 

We love how it turned out. Really love. 
Now, instead of a basement, we "go down to the forest" to do our laundry. 
And sometimes (every day since it's been finished), we go down just to stand and look in amazement at what we accomplished together. We're pretty proud of ourselves. 

Eventually, we'll get a huge rug to put down there and create a big play room area for little cryings. 

But for now, it's just our magical forest...
and occasionally ping-pong happens in the forest as well.

Monday, February 20, 2012

divorced? I want to talk to you!

If you don't know, I've been attempting to write a book about being young and divorced. 

Recently, I decided to play around with the book a bit more and see if I can't take it from being a mere memoir to more of a handbook, or how-to survival guide for others who have been unexpectedly affected by divorce. 

My idea is to, through the book, try and create a kind of support group, a community of women where thoughts, experiences, and knowledge gained may be shared. 

So this is where you come in. 
I need your help. 

If you have been through a divorce, I want to talk to you! 

(Or if you know someone who has been through a divorce, I'd love to talk to them!)

I have some questions and I'd love to hear your answers. 

I want to include more than just me and my perspective in this book. 
I want to include you! 

(All correspondence will be through email, kept strictly confidential, and may be as in-depth or minimal as you'd like.)

If interested, please email 


for more info. 


Friday, February 17, 2012

DIY sneak peek!

Welcome to our basement. 
Only, it won't be "just an unfinished basement" for much longer.

Last weekend, we started an awesome project and will hopefully put on the finishing touches within the next few days! 
We're almost done with the painting and it's looking killer. 

Stay tuned...

Thursday, February 16, 2012

I have come to an important decision.

Little cryings will wear nothing but jammies for the first year of her life. 
Might as well keep her soft, cuddly, and squishy for as long as possible. 

The demin, ruffles, and accessories can wait. 

I'm not a lover of pink-everything for little girls. 
Kinda dislike it, actually. 

But in jammie form? I'll take it :)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


On Tuesdays, in between my classes, I get to hang out with my nephew, Banks. 
The Banker Man, as I like to call him. 

He will be exactly a year older than little cryings and I can't wait to see all the naughty things he'll teach her. 

On Chas' side of the family, baby Evelyn was born a few weeks ago on Chas' birthday and we just found out this morning that another baby girl is going to join the family in July! 

That's three Kelly girls, all the same age, bashing around town. 

Get ready, world. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

I'm working alllll day today so we had our own Vday celebration on Saturday. 

Every year, we switch off who is "in charge" of Valentine's Day so one person can always sit back, relax, and get spoiled. This year, it was Chas' turn to be the planner and he did an excellent job! 

There was breakfast in bed, a candy gram, cute card (with a puppy on the front, of course), trip to Target to buy baby girl jammies, dinner at Ruth's Diner, and a stop at Home Depot to grab paint, tape, and brushes for our big DIY project. 

The night ended with us in our grubby "work" clothes taping of areas of a basement wall. 
(We know how to get preeetty romantic around here.)

Total Vday success. 

And let's not forget my dad. 
He's the father of five girls. 

When we lived at home, he would get us each a rose every Valentine's Day. 
Now, he sends us an email, telling us all individual why he's proud of us and then attaches a picture of a rose to the email.
Never misses a year. 

Let's just say I've got the best two Valentines. 
The best. 

Monday, February 13, 2012


I can't stop myself from eating bowl after bowl of cereal for every and any meal.

I want to freeze frame mornings when Chas and I can sleep in extra late and snug to our hearts' content.

I find it mildly concerning when I realize the rate at which we're going through toilet paper, milk,...and cereal.

I want to soak up all of my friends' amazing talents. 

I decide to take the plunge and tackle my first big DIY home project with Chas. (More on that later this week!)

It really hits me that we have just about three more months left before we're parents. Yay! Yikes!

I can't believe how lucky I am when Chas picks out the hot pink giraffe print jammies for little cryings at Target. 

I feel like I never, never, ever want to move from our little duplex. I just fall in love with it all over again at least once a week. 

I feel like a really good person when I try to eat healthy for little cryings and drink a green smoothie almost every day.


Hey, all! 
Check it out! We have ourselves an official "sometimes..." series! 
So make up your own endings to these sentences, grab an official button, and link up!
(Just copy and paste the HTML code in the box below!)


Friday, February 10, 2012

turn the radio up

I have a love/hate relationship with the radio. 
Mostly hate. 

But sometimes, just sometimes, the radio introduces me to an awesome new song.
And then I love the radio for it.

Been listening to this since Wednesday.

You're welcome.
Have a wonderful weekend! 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

"How are you feeling?"

Before I got pregnant, I promised myself that I would try my hardest to not complain when pregnancy symptoms were difficult. 

It was always a bit off-putting to me whenever I'd hear a pregnant women talk about about how hard it is to be pregnant. The nausea, vomiting, fatigue, aches and pains, multiple night-time potty breaks, difficulty sleeping. On and on. 

Sometimes I wanted to just interrupt their little rant, grab them by the collar, and loudly (but lovingly) remind them that they were so lucky. They were pregnant! They were experiencing one of the greatest blessings and miracles ever! So all that other stuff that's hard??...Deal with it and be grateful you have the opportunity to deal with it! 

(How thoughtful of me, right?)

Then I got pregnant. 

Immediately, I started letting people know, whether they asked or not, that I was pretty tired that day, had a headache, or an upset stomach. 
Thankfully, I soon realized what I was doing and that I was doing it largely just because I could. 
It felt like a right of passage to be able to complain about pregnancy symptoms. Like it made the pregnancy experience more "real" or something. 

There is a balance that's been important for me to try to find during this pregnancy. 
I want to be genuine and grateful at the same time.
And I'm still working on it.

When people ask how I'm feeling, I don't want to be fake and say, "wonderful!" when that isn't the case. 
At the same time, I don't want to jump on the fuss buss either. Because, when it really comes down to it, I am doing wonderfully, regardless of how I'm feeling physically. 

How could seeing my tummy grow not be wonderful? How could getting to spend time with little cryings every day, just me and her, not be wonderful? How could feeling my little girl punch/kick back in response to my nudges not be wonderful? How could brainstorming names, decorating a nursery, and tiny baby jammies not be wonderful? 

It is wonderful. So wonderful.

So there are hard days. 

Days where walking from the living room to bedroom is so painful I just want to lay down and cry. 
Or when putting on my shoes, or standing up from a chair, or rolling over in bed at night requires gritting my teeth and pushing through the pain every. single. time. 

And then we have to cancel our much-anticipated trip to New York in March because of how hard it is for me to walk. 

That hard stuff is all real, too. 

But it's not what's most important. 

What's most important is that it's worth it. 

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

This morning, Chas taught me how to hock a loogie.

I've been getting over a bad cold and am in desperate need of this skill in the morning. 

Still in my jammies, I stood in front of the bathroom sink with Chas while he first demonstrated. 
Try to breathe from the back of your throat. 
Make your voice go really low. 
Now push it up and out. 

I hocked. 
And gagged. 
And spit. 
And spit again.
And had a coughing attack.

Chas laughed. 

I'm still learning. 

So this morning wasn't as darling as Monday's but that's ok. 
Still special. In it's own gross way. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

in which I tell you so much more than you ever wanted to know about my hair

Since high school, I've been playing this game with my hair. 

I grow it out long. 
Love it. 
Start getting bored with it. 
Color it. 
Love it again. 
Start getting bored with it again. 
Think about cutting it but remember how long it took for me to grow it out. 
Get over that. 
Start really hating it. 
Chop it. 
Love it. 
Want long hair again. 
Grow it out. 


My hair is great because it grows pretty quickly. 

I'm also not one of those people who are attached to their hair. 
But I am one of those people who have thin hair and a square face which often limits what I can do and makes long hair easily stringy and gross-y. 

I've done the pixie cut twice. 
Loved it both times but hated growing it out. 

I've done bangs but they make my face look even rounder. 
And my hair won't let me do side swept bangs. It just falls in my face, straight down. 

And then my artistic side just yearns sometimes to be expressed in my hair. 
A wild color. 
An unexpected but killer cut. 

You don't want my problems. ;) 

Better get back to google images of hair cuts. 

Monday, February 6, 2012

this is what I woke up to

I'm still resting in bed. 
Chas is up and has gotten ready for the day. 

And now he's standing at my bedside with little crying's bunny jammies. 
He's holding the hanger under his chin.
He's humming a quiet tune and, with his two free hands, he's making the jammies dance along. 
He told me he was just doing some practicing for when little cryings is in those jammies. 

Who knew a Monday morning could be so wonderful? 

Friday, February 3, 2012

busy bees

Life has been busy lately. 

Last week, Chas' sweet, sweet grandma passed away. 
It was good to see her go so peacefully (at 1am on her late husband's birthday) but we will miss our Red Lobster dinner dates with her. 
The funeral this past weekend was lovely. I don't think I've ever laughed so hard at a funeral. The perfect party, just the way Nan would've had it. 

Chas' birthday on Wednesday was swell. 
It started off with the birth of a brand new niece, baby Evelyn! 
For lunch, we had Hires cheeseburgers and onion rings with Chas' brother's family from New York (in town for the funeral). 
The birthday boy came home from work to balloons, some birthday cards, and a special present. 
I got him a sweet remote control helicopter which we'll be playing more with this weekend, including building an obstacle course. 
The two of us had a special rotisserie chicken and homemade mashed potatoes for dinner and I did all the dishes while Chas played with his helicopter. 
Then we went with some friends to see "The Artist." (If you haven't seen this movie, stop everything you're doing right this second and go, go, go!)

And now, as I'm writing this post, Chas is putting together our new rocker glider for little cryings...and I'm double fisting a huge bottle of Tropicana orange juice (yup- we're back to that). 

February isn't going to slow down much. 
But that's ok because once February is over, I'll be in my third trimester!

Holy crap. 
How did that happen? 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

make believe

There are times when I feel like everyone around us are real adults while Chas and I are just pretending. 
Many of our friends are couples our age. But sometimes, it seems age is were the similarities end. 

The husbands are getting MBA's, law degrees. They are working full-time jobs with benefits. They are planning internships to exotic and exciting places. 
The wives are mothers to multiple children. They often play the role of a "single mother" while their husbands work long hours or are studying for the next final exam. 

Then there's us. 
I have a Master's degree. Chas doesn't. 
We don't work long hours. 
We're both artists. 
We don't have kids. Not yet, at least. 
We don't have health insurance or job security. 
We'll probably live in good old Salt Lake City for a long time. 

I don't mind the differences. Not at all. 
We're just doing our own thing and we're very grateful that it's working for us. 

I love the way our life is right now. Peaceful and happy. Very little stress. 
Sometimes I feel nervous about crossing the divide and becoming a "real" adult. I worry that we'll get smacked in the face with the stressors of "real" life and we won't like it. I worry that we'll miss this time of "pretending."

And maybe we will miss it and maybe that will be ok. 
Maybe we can miss aspects of our old life while still treasuring the new kind of peace and happiness that will be ours to enjoy.  

I know having a child will change everything and I love that.
I'm ready for that. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

birthday boy

Today Chas is 28.
Happy birthday, my love!