Thursday, May 31, 2012

a baby shower under the stars

See that babe? 
That's Holly.

You know. The wonder woman behind these knock-out invitations
Try not to hate her. 
She's honestly the closest person I've ever known to a real-life Disney princess. 
(But better than a Disney princess.)

The baby shower Holly put together for me was beyond magical. 

The setting was gorgeous (thanks to friend Cortney's backyard). 
Candle-filled mason jars hung everywhere and lit up the dimming evening sky. 
There was hand painted paper in a typewriter for friends to type up their best mothering advice for me. (Which Holly later bound into a book, of course.)
The base of every single eating utensil was individual hand-wrapped in yarn. 
The food and desserts were divine. 
The company was even better.
No detail was overlooked.

I was there, too. 

But, by now, we all know what I look like in either one of my two maternity dress options.
That, plus I apparently didn't get the cute-striped-top-with-solid-color-bottom memo. 
So that's kinda embarrassing. 

I just love these gal pals. 

giveaway winner!

Congrats, Erin! 

Email me at and we'll get you hooked up with your $50 credit from Lisa Leonard Designs

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

instagram update

Saturday is my due date. 
Still no baby. 

In the meantime, we've been eating sweet treats, watching Friday Night Lights, and sleeping in. 
Can't complain. 
But we're beyond ready to trade all that in for something better. 

Except for maybe Friday Night Lights. 
We just started season 4 and will probably (mos definitely) make time to keep watching even after baby girl comes. 
Some things in life are just too important to go without. 

Friday, May 25, 2012

my family time

are the best times. 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

guest post: the charming

(Maybe I'm easily impressed but when I asked Amy to send over some info about herself, THIS killer graphic is what I got in return! Be sure to check out The Charming for more awesome everything!)

I'm the blogger over at the Charming, where I blog about inspirations and the beauty in life.  Some quicks things you should know about me: I'm quite the dork; I have an intense passion for many things including public health, art, and my family; I am a cat person but I adopted a puppy over Christmas; and I am a part-time nursing student and part-time photographer.  I'd love to meet you and learn about what makes you tick.  

&& a thank you to Miss Sam for having me today!  I'm still so in love with the way she announced her pregnancy over Halloween.  I've decided that I am going to get that shirt for when I'm pregnant, just to satisfy the nursing side of me!

Have a wonderful rest of your day!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

days spent with a stripe-shirted boy

Last week, Chas stayed home from work for three days with a cold.

It was really fun having him hang around at home like a bum with me all day.
Felt like a surprise mini vacation!

We slept in.
Took naps.
Watched Cupcake Wars and dumb movies from Redbox.
Ate pizza (and cough drops).
Packed our hospital bag.
And got completely sucked into Friday Night Lights.

We soaked it alllll up, knowing this will be the last time that life will be like this.
Slow, quiet, just us two.

Good thing we both can't wait for that change of pace coming any day now!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

guest tutorial: tea for two

Ashley of Tea for Two is here today with an amazing tutorial for making an accordion book! 
You're gonna wanna pin this :)
Hello, I'm Ashley from Tea for Two. I blog with my sweetie, Daniel. On our little space you'll find the daily happenings and things of interest of two young people completely in love with each other. I like art and math, am studying graphic and web design, and can do “the worm”. He likes books and puzzles, is studying chemistry and physics, and is pretty good at ping pong. We are planning to get married, have lots of babies, and take plenty of trips to museums.

I want to share the things I am learning in art school. How to make a concertina book.
(I got my styrofoam borad from Wal-mart, and used an x-acto knife to cut it down.)
1. Fold your card stock in half, hamburger style.
2. Glue each sheet together, spines opposite of each other. This creates an "accordion" affect with your paper.
3. Using the hot glue gun, glue down the sides of the of your fabric to the back of the styrofoam board. (Fold the corners in to make the cover a little neater.)
4. After you've covered both boards, glue the inside of your accordion to your cover.
5. Now you can add things of your choice on both sides of the book.
6. Tie your ribbon around your new accordion book to keep it closed. (Make sure you make it long enough for the book to grow in size if you add things to the inside like picture, etc.)
I feel like the possible uses for a little book like this are endless! 

And be sure to check out Tea for Two for more cuteness in the making.

Monday, May 21, 2012

new hair

Spent way too much money and got my hair colored last week. 

My birthday is June 9th and since we probably (better be) taking care of a newborn then, I thought I might as well give myself an early birthday present. 

Happy Monday! 

Friday, May 18, 2012

giveaway: lisa leonard designs

Super excited about today's giveaway!

Lisa Leonard Designs offers an array of high-quality jewelry, decor, and wedding decor.
Much of her designs can be personalized and monogrammed as well.

I got this lovely twig necklace and have worn it almost everyday. I seriously love it.

Today, Lisa Leonard Designs is giving away $50 towards anything in her shop!

To enter: 

Must be a follower of Young People in Love.

For extra entries: 

Sign up for Lisa Leonard Design's newsletter at the bottom of their homepage.
Like Lisa Leonard on Facebook.

Good lucky, duckies!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

quite possibly the most amazing baby shower invitation ever created

Remember my friend Holly who helped me put together a vintage toy-themed baby shower for my cousin last year?
Now Holly is one of three members of a party-throwing dream team for my shower this weekend.

Holly handmade these invitations- all 40 of them.

And don't worry.
They're just full-on hand-sewn, dip-dyed fabric books.
They tell the story of me and Chas and include an image of my artwork.

Apparently you can use a printer to print directly onto fabric.

I cried when Holly showed them to me.

The woman never ceases to amaze me.
Sometimes I think she's just pretending to be my friend so I can feel better about myself.

(It's working.)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

guest post: The Bradley's

Today, Elizabeth from The Bradley's is here to introduce herself and her beautiful family. 
I really love what she has to say about marriage, the importance of kindness, and hopes for her children!
Aaaa-men, my sista.
Hello there! My name is Elizabeth and I'm a writer and blogger over at The Bradley's. 

I'm a homeschooling mom to a little girl that resembles Shirley Temple, only with blue eyes. 

I began blogging over a year ago at our family travel site; I had a ton of travel pics from Europe and Asia and wanted to put them up on the web. After a period of time, I wanted to have a blog where I could talk more about homesteading and our marriage, as well as our lives as artists, so I started The Bradley's. My husband and I both feel that in today's society both marriage and family are almost looked down upon, despite the media stressing they are pro family. Well, it's obvious they aren't. And they especially don't favor young marriages as TV makes them out to be a joke, and so called celebrities can't remain married for more than 48 hours (it seems). I wanted to show another side to 'young marriage' and just family in general, which is that it is the most important thing in the world, and strongly connected families create healthy societies.

My husband is a classically trained actor and that combined with us wanting to settle down in a homeschooling friendly community prompted us to begin the process of moving. Billy hopes to attend the Royal Conservatoire in Glasgow do to his Masters, which would be an incredible opportunity. In tandem with that, I got a job as the senior editor for an upcoming travel site, so we have some things to look forward to in the next few years. We also want to expand our family, and have plans to both adopt and have more biological children.

Our motto, although it may sound corny, is 'kindness always'. I stole that from my brother's kids book You Can't Have My Planet but really that sums us up. We strive to be kind to ourselves, to the environment, and to anyone and everyone we meet or encounter. We try not to judge others and being sensitive artists we don't like others judging us. We want to raise our kids to be considerate and inquisitive, as well as artistic and entrepreneurial. We also want them to seek God and follow their own unique path and relationship with Him. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

37 weeks

This is what full term (and my double chin) looks like. 


(And yes, I am down to exactly two dresses, one nice-ish top, and a pair of flip flops that fit me. This is real life.)

Monday, May 14, 2012

mother's day yesterday

I love my mom. 

We got to visit both of our families yesterday.
(...and eat four different desserts.)

We're so lucky to have our fabulous moms nearby! 
Little cryings is gonna love her grandmas. 

Friday, May 11, 2012

my baby library

Warning! Long blog post ahead! 

This is a post I've wanted to write for a while but have been hesitant to do so. 

Let me just say this: 

The decisions every pregnant woman makes about her pregnancy, birth, and baby is her own. The relationship between each woman and her growing baby is unique and different from the next. No one should ever be made to feel like a "bad" mother simply because her choices are different than someone else's. That's all part of the journey and adventure of motherhood. 

We get to make these important choices.
We learn as we go, we do our best, and we try to be understanding of and patient with others. 

This post is just to share what Chas and I feel personally feel good about in regards to little cryings.

If you do things differently, that's totally fine. 
If you're weirded out by some of this, that's totally fine too. 
This is only what we've come to really love in our preparation for being parents. 


After we first found out we were expecting, it became very important to me that, together, Chas and I did as much research, study, and preparation as we could for being parents. 

I've spent the last seven years of my life devoted to trying to be the best therapist I can possibly be. I've worked long hours, spent 10's of thousands of dollars on advanced education, studied my brains out, written a thesis, and have been wholly devoted to the clinical care of others. In short, I've stretched myself not only intellectually but personally as well in my journey to be good at my job. 

So if I've done all that, why wouldn't I put in the same amount of work and preparation for the most important job ever? 

So Chas and I set out to work. 
And here's what we found. 

1. The Business of Being Born

I was only a few weeks pregnant when we casually decided to watch this movie on Netflix one night.
We knew nothing about it but thought we might as well give it a go. 

This movie blew our minds. Knocked our socks right off. 

Before this movie, I thought midwives, natural birthing, and especially home births were for the chaco-wearing, granola crunching, hippy dippies. 
After this movie, Chas and I were seriously considering birthing centers and, if we had our own house, would probably have looked closely into the option of doing a home birth. (Crazy, I know.)

As it turns out, we are giving birth in a hospital but with a midwife (who we love).

I just loved how much this movie opened our eyes to a whole new way of viewing birth. It made me excited to explore all the possibilities for my birth that I had never before considered. It gave us new knowledge about birth and, with that, came a new feeling of power and ownership for our future birth experience. 

I'd also venture to say that this movie was the springboard for Chas and I wanting to learn more about methods of birthing and parenting that challenge the "normal" way of doing things in this country.

2. -- 4. The Aware Baby, Tears and Tantrums, and Helping Young Children Flourish 

I will be forever grateful to my sweet cousin's wife (a licensed clinical social worker) for recommending these books. 

First, let me say that I know, based on the cover art design of these books, they look ancient and hokey. I know. It's hard but just try to move past the out-dated covers. It's so worth it. 

Out of all the parenting books I've read, this series has the only books that ring completely true with everything I know as a therapist and professor of stress management. 

In fact, I remember reading the author's explanation of the physiological reaction that happens in our body when we feel stress and realizing that some of her description was word-for-word the same as the way I explain those concepts in my classes. I think that's when the love affair with The Aware Baby officially started. 

The basis of all three of these books is quite different from anything else I've read but, at the same time, feels exactly right on. 

Essentially, "Aware Parenting" revolves around the idea that children's entire range of emotions should be accepted and lovingly listened to without judgement. Babies and children should be allowed to freely express their sadness, anger, or frustration through crying and/or raging. 
After all their immediate needs are met, crying can serve as an important means of releasing stress. 

Have you ever had a really good cry? Have you ever had someone sit with you, listen to you, or hold you while you let out pent up stress/anger/sadness through crying without trying to solve the problem or stop you from crying? Have you ever experienced how loved, validated, and calm you feel after having a good cry with a trusted loved one? 

That's one of the main principles that "Aware Parents" offer their babies and/or children. 
And, speaking as a therapist, being able to learn how to fully accept, experience, and release difficult emotions in a safe, effective way is such a huge, huge life skill with far-reaching effects. 

All three books are great. I'd suggest starting with The Aware Baby and going from there. 
For a more brief overview of this style of parenting, check out the website here
Browse through the articles here as well. 

5. Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child

I'm someone who appreciates consistency and schedules. Both of which, I believe, are important for children as well. 

I like this book because it gives a really detailed outline of what to expect sleep-wise for your baby at very specific intervals/stages of life. 

I don't agree with everything in this book but I definitely plan on referencing it many times as little cryings grows and her sleeping needs change. 

6. Birthing From Within

This book is an art therapist's dream.

Again, while I don't agree with everything this book advocates, I do really appreciate the way this book explains how to use art as a way to explore your own personal feelings and fears about your pregnancy and birth. 

One night, Chas and I busted out some paper and oil pastels and, together, created some "birth art" drawings as described in the book. It was a really unique and wonderful way of discovering our thoughts and emotions surrounding little cryings. When we were finished with our drawings, we took time to explain to each other what everything in the drawing symbolized and the meaning it held for us.  
It was a really special experience to have together.

We've tacked the drawings to the refrigerator and I love that I now have that powerful imagery in my mind in preparation for birth. 

7. Hypnobirthing

This is probably the book that's most familiar to others. 

While I want to have a natural birth, and am preparing to do so, I also realize that since this is my first experience, I have no idea what to expect. But that's ok. I'm still doing all I can to confront the fear of natural birthing, move past it, and fill my mind with positive thoughts and real physical techniques to cope with the pain.

Having said that, I also want to be as open as I can to whatever happens during my labor and delivery. If, for whatever reason, I decide to get an epidural, I want to feel that that is totally acceptable as well. 

I will say that Hypnobirthing is the only birthing book that has made me genuinely excited to have the experience of giving birth. I love that. 


One last thing. 
This one may put you over the edge. 

I'm going to keep my placenta and have it encapsulated so I can take it in pill form. 


I know it sounds crazy but here's the thing:
I think it's going to be awesome and the benefits of ingesting your placenta are more than convincing for us. 

I've talked to women who have done this and, again, done some research on it. 
The testimonials I've heard first-hand are more than convincing. They are amazing. 

Benefits of doing this for the first few weeks after birth include: 
replenishes your iron
gives you more energy
helps with postpartum depression
lessens postnatal bleeding
increases milk production
balances your hormones 

Ummm, yes please? 

This is a great website to learn more about placenta encapsulating and this short video clip does an excellent job of explaining more about the scientifically-proven benefits.

If you can think of it as just taking a pill, and nothing more, then it doesn't seem nearly as bizarre. 

When I first told my mom about it, her response was, "Woah! Where can I get me some of those gross-y pills?!" 
Couldn't have said it better myself. 


So there you have it. 
I hope, if nothing else, some of this has peaked your curiosity or made you motivated to do your own study and research and find what feels most right for you. 

Happy pregnancy, birthing, and parenting!

low rider

Sorry to be a little MIA this week. 
My brain has been mush and lots of sleepless nights are not doing much for my energy level. 

On Tuesday, me and little cryings went to see our midwife. 
Baby girl had the hiccups while our midwife was listening to the heart beat. Pretty fun. 
Then, during an internal exam (not so fun), our midwife suddenly gasped because little cryings surprised her at how low, low, low her head is in my pelvis. 
This is great news because it means little cryings is locked and loaded, ready to go! 

The not-so-great news is this little low rider is causing some very restless nights for her mom. 
Like the other night.
Didn't fall asleep until 3:30am and then got up to go to the bathroom 10 times. 
10. Times. 

It's kinda the perfect training, though, because I will definitely enjoy having to get up lots at night to take care of my little baby.
That will be so much better than having to get up to take care of my bladder. (gross)


Stayed tuned because I've got some good things to share coming up.
Things like the most amazing baby shower invite ever, a great giveaway, and fun guest posts!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

some thoughts on blogging and photos

Sorry for the overload of instagram pics on the blog and lack of "real camera" pics lately. I don't know why it even matters but apart of my blogger heart feels like it does. 

I was actually talking to Chas about this little dilemma while we were at the farm last weekend. You see, I had brought our DSLR and planned on taking some nice photos of us there but ended up purposely leaving the camera in the car. Sometimes, I just want to enjoy the moment and the experience without having to worry about carrying around a big camera and getting good pics, ya know? When I feel like taking pictures becomes more of a chore than anything else, that's the signal that blogging is playing a bigger role in my life than it should. 

That's when instagram will just have to do. 

Thanks for coming back to this little blog even though the posts aren't filled with magazine worthy photos. 

I do hope that this blog is, however, always filled with just real life and honesty. 
Because I think that's what's most important. 

Monday, May 7, 2012

Kelly farm

Chas' parents recently bought the most magically perfect farm/ future retirement home out in Fairview, Utah. 

On Friday night, we drove out to see it for the first time.
It is a wondrous place if ever there was one. 

The house itself is a cute, cozy little grandma home. 
There's a huge yard with nice grass out back, double hammocks, two big rope swings hanging down from majestic trees, two guest cabins, a barn with chickens and a rooster. 
Horses and cows with tons of calves are nearby and, in the garage, was a box with a mommy and baby kitten. 
Just down the road is a yummy, tiny grill for all your cheeseburger needs. 

Chas and I are in love with this place. 
Back at home, waking up the next morning, we both admitted that we wished we were waking up at the farm instead. 

It will be so fun to spend some summer weekends down there with little cryings. 
I just love having special places like this where you can escape to and be with just family and do nothing else. 

Friday, May 4, 2012

too easy, too good margherita pizza

Earlier this week, we had our first harvest from our garden. 
Lots and lots of fresh basil. Mmmm.

So last night we decided to try making a margherita pizza. 
And we totally succeeded. 

It took less than 10 minutes to throw together and seriously tasted as good as the expensive restaurant version. 
And that's coming from Chas- who lived in Italy for two years and so is kiiiinda a pizza snob. 

Here's how we made ours: 

Margherita Pizza

1 Boboli thin pizza crust*
1 can of peeled crushed tomatoes
olive oil 
1 tomato
fresh mozzarella cheese
fresh basil 


Spread about 1T olive oil over top of crust
Spread about 1/4 can of peeled crushed tomatoes over crust
Slice tomato and distribute evenly over tomato sauce
Slice mozzarella cheese and place on top of tomatoes 

Bake pizza directly on oven rack (for that nice, crispy crust) according to crust's directions.
In the last 4 minutes of baking, throw on the basil leaves and continue baking pizza until crust is golden brown.

Sprinkle a bit of salt and drizzle some olive oil on top to taste. 


*We usually make our own, homemade pizza crust but found that the pre-made Boboli crust was excellent and a good, super-fast alternative. 

Mama mia. 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

babes faves

Some favorites from my Pinterest baby board

Yesterday was my first baby shower, given by my co-workers at the psych hospital. 

I was thinking how interesting it is that each of my baby showers represents a distinct group of very important people in my life. 

There's my co-therapist colleagues. 
My family. 
Chas' family. 
And my neighborhood girl friends. 

Little cryings gets four showers. I know. She's one lucky girl. 

We are already feeling so loved. People are so nice, so generous. Sometimes it's surprising how much people are capable of loving, giving, and serving someone else. 

A simple thank you note in return often seems kinda lame in comparison to what has been given to me and little cryings. 
And it's not just the baby shower parties. 

It's co-workers bringing homemade cupcakes they've made after a full day of work. 
It's family offering their homes, time, and money.
It's my younger sister giving me her car seat and letting me borrow all her maternity clothes. 
It's friends bringing out huge boxes of their baby gear and, without a second thought, letting me either have or borrow practically all of it. 
It's the never-ending enthusiasm and excitement felt from you, dear blog friends, every step of the way.

We are so blessed. 

And I know it's not enough but...
thank you. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


I've done my last day of working at the hospital. 
I finished all my grading yesterday. 

And now the transition from working girl to mommy girl has officially begun. 
This will be the first time I haven't worked since I was probably fifteen years old.
(Although I do hope to continue teaching just once a week and filling in at the hospital a bit starting in the fall.)

But for a while at least, my only job will be little cryings. 
How glorious.

All that's left to do before she comes is baby showers. 
(First one- my work shower- is today!)

As for Chas and I, we are spending lots of time relaxing and snugging. 
Sometimes we just lay in bed quietly together. 
There isn't always much to say. And that's ok. 

We've already discussed the same things many times: 
wondering what she'll look like. 
how I hope she has his eyelashes. 
how our relationship will change. 
how much fun we're gonna have with her. 
how I'll wake up Chas in the morning by standing her on his chest and then sitting her on his head.
how we'll have to share her and take turns holding her. 
how I'll take a blanket outside and have some summer yard time with her. 
how soon she'll be here. 

It's fun to talk about all this again and again. But now, for the most part, I think we're just in a place of calm, resigned waiting.

We're waiting for our lives to suddenly and forever change in just one day. 

We're waiting for her. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

how my iphone sees it

I've been working my way through this pile of final papers. Grading, grading, grading. 
The view from our kitchen window. 
Strawberry ice cream in pink depression glass for Sunday dessert. 
35 weeks.
Made coconut cupcakes at midnight. 
I live in this dress/skirt.
Sunday dinners at the in-laws are the yummiest. 

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