Tuesday, July 31, 2012

i (phone) spy

follow the instagram fun @samajama

Monday, July 30, 2012

middle name

there are five girls in my family and none of us have middle names. so when chas and i found out we were having a girl, it felt natural to me to not give hero a middle name either. and when your last name is kelly, it makes even more sense to keep that as a future maiden name.

so it was just hero kelly. no middle name. simple and cool.

but then chas told me last week that he kinda wanted her to have a middle name. and because i love him more than watching friday night lights, the middle name brainstorming began. and i'm glad. because we found the greatest middle name.

hero marilyn kelly.

marilyn is my grandma's name. she was the most amazing, strong, angelic women to ever live. having her name paired with "hero" is such a fun, fitting combination. even though my grandma went through her whole life basically invisible to the world, she was nothing short of a hero to her family. to the very end, marilyn was a brave fighter but also the most gentle lamb. i love that we can honor her life this way.

p.s. check out hero's right hand in this pic. just a liiiiittle passive aggressive, wouldn't you say?
naughty baby.

Friday, July 27, 2012

we'd love to work with you!

after a two month break, i'm now accepting new sponsors for the month of august!

check out our affordable ad options and email youngpeoplelove@gmail.com to reserve your spot!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

some things are too cute not to share

i'm so glad when daddy comes home

there are two times during the day that i always love. 

one is in the morning. hero wakes up from her first nap, i feed her, and then change her diaper. that's when the magic happens. lying on the changing table, she is such a happy, silly girl. with a fresh diaper, she's a whole new woman and handing out the smiles for free. recently, she's even added the cutest little cooing sounds to the mix. (this is also when i become an instagramming fiend.)

my second favorite time of the day is when chas comes home. it's so nice to have his help taking care of hero and she just loves when he holds her. 

and yesterday, when little girl decided to only take one nap and do a lot of crying all day, having chas come home was, as he would say, "sweet, sweet salvation." 
unfortunately, however, last night proved to be just a hard, hard night. not even daddy's magic snugs could do the trick. 

it's a good thing her sad face is so adorable. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

out at the farm

we spent all day yesterday at chas' parent's farm out in fairview, utah. there was lots and lots of family there and my two little sisters even came down for the afternoon! back at home, i'm already missing the hammock overlooking the fields and mountains. ahhhh...

and hey- have you noticed the new blog design? i'm really loving it. feels so fresh and so clean, clean. feel free to poke around and check out the new and improved pages on the left!

and while you have fun with that, i'm gonna go change hero's third blowout diaper today. (this is real life.)


Sunday, July 22, 2012


chas thinks these jammies make hero kinda look like a boy. and, after seeing these pictures, i kinda agree. but look how squishy and cute she looks! mmmm hmmm! those hero cheeks are coming in nicely. 

in other news, our sunday today has been nice and lazy.
after church and snapping a few family pics together, we all had a fabulous sunday snooze. probably the best nap i've had in a long time.
and now i'm trying to think of what else we've done today but, other than eating...not much. 

how perfect. 

Friday, July 20, 2012

i (phone) spy

we're not instagram friends? we should be! 

follow along @samajama

have a lovely weekend!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

freedom is overrated

everyone always talks about how you lose your freedom when you have a baby. but we're like, "freedom? what's so great about freedom anyways?" 

being home together as a family is the greatest. we just love playing with our little hero. she's getting so big and cuter every day. such a funny gal. that pic of her and chas just kills me. 

 oh hey- freedom. don't let the door hit you on the way out.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

days together

me and hero's days together are pretty quiet. she sleeps and eats. i get myself ready for the day and do some chores around the house. sometimes hero helps me with the laundry. 

i like our days together. the slow pace is nice and different from what i'm used to. i'm not working at the moment and that's been different but nice as well. 

i had plans to continue teaching at uvu in the fall but, unfortunately, my night class had to be given to a full-time faculty member to fill their schedule. there's still the possibility that i could get the class back for the winter semester but i'm pretty bummed that i can't teach this fall. i was really looking forward to it. i've been teaching that class for three years now and i absolutely love doing it. the department gave me a list of available classes for me to teach and said i could have my pick but it doesnt look like any of them will work for me. double bummer. i just keep trying to remind myself that it must be the best thing right now. sometimes, a closed door ends up leading to an open window. 

and even if it's just a closed door and nothing more, that would be ok, too. sad, but ok. because even if i never teach again, i'll still have slow, quiet days with hero girl. and there's something about clean baby laundry and tiny baby socks that makes everything feel right in the world. 

Monday, July 16, 2012

out for a strollsy

it's been so hot. too hot for strollsy walks with the wee babe. 

but this evening, it rained and then smelled lovely outside. so after a dinner of pesto basil tilapia, fresh steamed asparagus, and yams, the three of us had ourselves a little stroll around the block. 

back at home, we watched jim gaffigan's "mr. universe" and laughed our eyes out. 

i just finished vacuuming and chas is now doing the dishes. 
hero is lying awake in her crib and will hopefully go to sleep soon. 

it's strange to think how totally different our life is now that hero's in the world. but, at the same time, it's not different at all. i'd say that everything is just better.

not different. just better. 

about this blog

lately, i've been wondering about this blog. what to do with it. what direction i want to take it in, if any. what role it should play in this new mommy life of mine. i worry that the only thing i post about now is my baby. i wonder if it's becoming annoying and tiresome to my readers. i wonder why i allow myself to let others' perceived expectations for this blog drive its content.

sometimes i want to write a farewell post and shut the whole thing down. i really do. i feel like it would be freeing in a lot of ways.

but i've also invested so much into this blog, over the years. to walk away from all this would be difficult and i don't want to do something that i'd regret down the road.

no regrets. as tim riggins would say.

so then i start thinking about, when everything is stripped away, what i want this blog to be all about. what i want it's core purpose to be.

there are a lot of blogs out there that feel like flipping through a magazine. plenty of pretty pictures, great style, and beautiful people. those blogs are just fine and fun in their own way. i, for one, am grateful for those blogs because they sometimes help me know how to dress myself when i'm feeling particularly dumb when it comes to glam and fashion.

but those blogs aren't me. and "young people in love" will never be one of those blogs.

so i think about what it is that i do have to offer with this blog.
and i keep coming back to honesty and connection.

sure i want my blog to look nice and heck, even have some pretty pictures every now and then but, when all is said and done, i want this blog to be an honest telling of my life and my thoughts. no hiding, no sugar-coating, and no watering-down of things like love and happiness.

if i can do that, i hope my readers will be able to feel a sense of connection, validation, and hope through what i share on this blog.

so thanks for listening.

about this morning

dear hero, 

today you are 6 weeks old. you woke up from your early morning nap and were all smiles.

you've always been a happy girl, smiling from day 2, but this morning was different. this morning felt like the first time that you really recognized me and were smiling because you were looking at me, your mom. and when you heard my voice, you'd smile even more. it was so fun to get to play with you for the first time like that. 

then i picked you up and held you in my arms in the rocking chair.

lately, when you're awake, you haven't loved being cuddled close but would much rather be held while sitting or standing. i've missed our cuddle time but love that you wanna do your own thing, too. but this morning, you let me just hold you close and sing to you. your favorite is "come what may" from moulin rouge (don't judge mommy). next, i started singing one of my favorite primary hymns, "i'm trying to be like jesus." you like that one too, although not as much as the one from moulin rouge. anyways. as i was singing, i was suddenly overcome with such a strong feeling of clarity and love. in that moment, life seemed so simple. so wonderfully simple. i came to a new understanding about life and my own role as a woman and a mother. it's all about love. love and making good choices. i felt so grateful for where i am in my life and the choices i've made to get to this place. to take care of you every day. to show more genuine love and kindness to those around me. to be happy with myself and what i can contribute to the world. 

i loved you so much in that moment, sweet girl. 

and the tears came. 

Friday, July 13, 2012

then & now

I still can't believe that my body just made this little person all by itself. 

Women are the coolest. 

Hopefully next week I'll have a fresh, newly updated bloggy look. 
We need some change around here. 

Have a great weekend! 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Happy Birthday, Banks!

Banker man turned 1 on Tuesday! 
His parents threw him a little family party with pizza, cupcakes, a banner, and balloons. 
The perfect celebration for our big wild man.
Oh yeah.
Hero was there, too. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

in which I blog about something other than my baby

I know it's only been just over a month since I gave birth but I'm already getting super impatient for my body to get back to it's normal, pre-pregnancy size. 
The extra chub-a-lub has outstayed its welcome and I'm so ready to start wearing cute, non-maternity clothes again.
I can't even tell you. 

So what happens when this excitement for real clothing options meets with being at home all day and the fact that fall is just around the corner? 

Online shopping spree!
(Tee hee.)

Today I snagged all these new essentials for fall 2012. 

I'm kinda proud of this group of clothing because, for the first time, I had some real direction in my shopping.

Usually when I shop, I just grab whatever catches my eye at the moment. This amounts to a lot of single, unique pieces- much of which looks similar- because, just like most people, I tend to gravitate towards the same kind of thing over and over again. 

So what my wardrobe really needs most of the time is good staples- basics that will work in a lot of different ways. 

This time, I actually used my Pinterest style board to help keep me focused on what I really needed instead of just what looked fun and appealing in the moment. 


I think I ended up with some great basics that will go nicely with the clothing I already own plus some fun little details like polka dots and a hot pink heart.
Yesterday, I also bought some army green and heather grey jersey fabric which will make some great pencil skirts.

So thanks for being so awesome, Pinterest. 

Monday, July 9, 2012

our "Aware Baby"

Hero just fell asleep and I feel compelled to write about our experience with her tonight. 

If you'll recall, I wrote a post shortly before Hero was born about my favorite baby/parenting books. In it, there is a series of books by Aletha Solter who advocates, among other things, letting babies cry freely while being held to release stress (after, of course, all their basic needs are met). When Chas and I read "The Aware Baby," we were both super excited about putting its principles into action with our new baby. 

So Hero came into our family and was/is basically a pretty great baby. 
She's almost never fussy and is just really content almost all the time. 
So we never had a chance to fully try out this whole "just let the baby cry in your arms" thing. 

Until tonight. 

After two whole days of what was likely over stimulation (being out and about, around lots of people) and not having consistent, good naps, the poor girl had had it. 

Starting early this evening, she began crying and crying. I was at my sister's house at the time and it took me, my sister, and my mom all trying different techniques to try to calm her down. Rocking, bouncing, binkie, shhhh-ing. Sometimes something would work. But it would only last a little while before the crying would start up again. And then we'd all try to calm her again. And something would work again. But then the crying would eventually return. It was exhausting and stressful. On the drive home from my sister's house with Chas, Hero slept in her car seat and I felt so...beat down is the best way to describe it. Beat down, tired, and feeling like a less-than-awesome mom.

By the time we got home- you guessed it- the crying had started up once again. 
Together, Chas and I tried the various ways of calming her. 
Nothing was working.
The back of my neck was tensing up with stress more and more. 

Once we knew the crying wasn't due to hunger, discomfort, needing to burp, or a diaper change, Chas and I both looked at each other knowingly and decided to finally try out what we had read about in Solter's books. 

So the three of sat together in the nursery.
Chas held Hero in the rocker and I pulled up a chair nearby.

We held her and let her cry.
And she cried. Hard. 
And we listened to her cry.
And we told her what a good job she was doing and that she could just let it all out. 

In fact, during all this, I almost cried a few times, myself. 

Watching Chas hold our daughter and lovingly listen to her cries and quietly reassure her was one of the sweetest moments of love I've ever felt in our marriage. 
One of those moments when I can't believe how lucky I am to have this guy as my husband. 

Little Hero cried freely for probably less than 10 minutes. 
And then she stopped.
And it was so interesting to see how calm, content, and fully alert she was. 
She eventually started up again but it only lasted for a very short while this time. 
And, just like before, she was calm, content, and alert when she finished her crying. 

Right before we wrapped her up and laid her in the crib to sleep, she gave us a few sleepy smiles.

There were some "unspoken" high-fives between me and Chas.

Both while she was crying and now, afterwards, instead of feeling frazzled and like a failure of a mother, I feel calm, confident, and happy.
It feels so good and gratifying to know, deep down, that this is what our daughter needed. That she just needed to have us hold her and listen to her cryings.
I loved being able to give that time and attention to her in the exact way she needed. 

Sleep tight, little girl. 

Sunday, July 8, 2012

so here's the thing...

...my life now basically consists of five important activities: 

1. Feeding Hero. 
2. Burping Hero.
3. Changing Hero's diaper. 
4. Putting Hero to sleep. 
5. Taking Instagram pics...almost entirely of Hero. 

Life is good, my friends. 
Life is good. 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

my little sister is a babe

I didn't look that hott when I was 15. 
Still don't, actually. 

And that's all for today.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

1 month

Today we're celebrating America's birthday AND Hero's 1 month birthday. 
Such an occasion called for cheeseburgers...twice. 

Happy Fourth of July! 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

the first month is over and how bottle feeding saved me

Tomorrow Hero will be 1 month old. 

These past four weeks have flown by. 
And, to be honest, I'm glad they're over. 

Turns out, I was sort of a postpartum spaz. 
I'm doing much, much better now but those first weeks were really tough for me. 

Ever since Hero was born, I was surprised at how disconnected I felt from her. I kept thinking things would start feeling better, more natural and easy, but they didn't. I was having crying spells almost daily and felt mostly numb inside. 

And then there was the breast feeding. Oh the breast feeding. 
Although it was starting to become less physically painful for me to nurse her, I still didn't enjoy it. In fact, I almost hated it. Nursing felt only like hard work and nothing more. And what I hated the most was that every time she was hungry (which was a lot of the time), the smallest part of me felt angry and resentful of her because I knew it meant I had to nurse. That feeling was the absolute worst. 

I think my negative experience with nursing started to generalize out and taint my entire experience with Hero and motherhood. 
Suddenly, everything started to feel unhappy. I felt blocked off from all the feelings of love and joy that I not only wanted so desperately to feel but also knew I deserved to feel. 

My struggles all culminated the first weekend at the cabin. 

On Friday night at the cabin, through sobs, I told my mom and Chas about all this.
That's when we decided I should look into getting a prescription for Zoloft, which we did the next morning. 

That same morning I also discovered that I had Mastitis for which I needed antibiotics and had come down with one of the most awful stomach flu viruses I've ever experienced. 

That was a hard, hard day. 

It was such a blessing that I was at the cabin during that time. 
My mom and sisters took care of Hero while I was basically incapacitated for those few days. 
I love them so much for what they did for me during that time. 

Two days later, after much thought, prayer, and anxiety, I decided to stop breast feeding and switch to formula. 
It was one of the hardest decisions I've ever had to make. 

I felt guilty for allowing my body to simply absorb all the milk it was producing, milk that had so much of the best stuff in it for my daughter. Milk that was made especially for her. 
A part of me felt like a failure and a bad, selfish mother. 

But I slowly worked through all those emotions and the first day with bottles was the first day I started to feel truly calm, happy, and content with Hero. 
Those feelings continued to grow and become stronger. 

On day 5 of bottle feeding, I stopped taking the Zoloft. 

And now, a week later and a month after Hero's birth, everything feels like I always wanted it to feel. 
I can actually feel the love I always knew I had for her. 
I love her more and more every day. 
The crying has stopped and pure joy has replaced the numbness. 

And now, most importantly, Hero has a happy, emotionally healthy mom. 

I know I made the right choice. 
The right choice for me, for Hero, and for our family. 

a daddy's girl

Hero loves her dad. 

She especially loves looking at his face.
In fact, when she's really mad and nothing mommy tries calms her down, all I have to do is hand her to Chas. 
As soon as she looks at his face, she's a happy girl again. 

Sometimes I feel a little sad that I can't be the one to help her when she's her most upset but, then again, I can't really blame her. 

The exact same thing works for me when I'm upset, too. 

(This video was taken last week and I can't believe how much older she already looks now!)

Monday, July 2, 2012

a trip to the Romney family cabin

I just got back from a two-week stay at my family's cabin in Woodland, Utah. 

I'll tell you all about it soon but right now Hero is sleeping and I need to get other things done with this time. 
Things like a shower. 
Or a nap. 

Happy Monday to you!