Sterling – 7!

This is my favorite photo of him to date. Thanks again, Olive.

My son and I

One that brings tears to my eyes the second I see it. I can hear that laugh just looking at it. I meant to post this the evening of his birthday, but I’m glad I waited. I had more time to soak in the memory when this photo was taken this summer during our Virginia Beach trip. One I hope not to forget for a long time.

Sterling (actually, both kids) was on cloud nine, traveling across many states (always asking how many we had left), seeing the ocean, meeting my family in person beats FaceTime every time, spending time with cousins, hot summer days, boardwalk walks at night, sand everywhere, being in a pool where he couldn’t touch, but could bravely navigate the waters by himself. My kids have been drawn to water since they were infants. I’m the same way. I can’t get enough of it.

I hope when he looks back on his life and thinks about how things could and should be, he sees photos like this one and knows all I ever want for him is that. I want him to know I’ve got him. To not only come to me when he’s sad, but to come laugh with me too.

He’s the sweetest boy, and I’m not just saying that because I’m his mom. He really is. He’s thoughtful, caring, empathetic, and he wears his heart on his sleeve. Always wants to be in charge of the younger ones, always teaching and helping. He loves snuggles, especially if you ask him first. He loves being outside. He loves hunting. He loves Imagine Dragons (I really want to surprise him with a concert ticket sometime!). He loves our disco lights and our dance parties. He loves dinosaurs.

Sterling, we love you so much. We couldn’t imagine life without you by our side. You can make us laugh any time. Your imagination is amazing. You love reading (something I’m so grateful for) and you love math. You’re our bb and you are a ray of sunshine.

Love you bubba.

Last Weekend at the Cabin

We got back late Sunday afternoon from one of my favorite places on earth, the lake cabin, owned by my great uncle and late great aunt. I’ve been coming to this place since I was a child, it’s where I discovered Harry Potter and I Love Lucy (The Long, Long Trailer being my absolute favorite). I watched my first Marilyn Monroe movie (Gentleman Prefer Blondes) and was fascinated with the music in Phantom of the Opera (and developed a love (and crush) for Josh Groban and his music).

I slept outside for the first time: on a cot, no tent, no cover, just me and the elements.I remember shaving my legs for the first time with one of my aunt’s nurses one summer. I remember jumping off the dock as fast as it took me to change into my bathing suit after our arrival (when we didn’t arrive at night), scared for my life a fish might come find me and actually touch me! I learned how to fish and caught lots of bass and even a few northerns (you wouldn’t catch me ever taking one off the hook though, I couldn’t bear to touch them). I remember camp fires, always with s’mores, always.

This place is a slice of heaven on earth, magnified by the amazing beauty of the space and location, as well as the memories it holds. This weekend was our last visit for the year as my uncle travels to California when the cold weather hits South Dakota.

The kids learned to play Go Fish and it was so much fun to watch them interact while playing. Sterling would raise his eyebrows every time he would ask if we had something. Harper would respond to our do you have questions with no, but I have a ______ and name another number she did have. It was super cute and we played at least one hundred times. I got to read more of Girl, Wash Your Face and it is so good.


One for the books, for sure! Already looking forward to next summer’s visits!

– Chelsea

27 Lessons over 27 Years

I’ve never been big on rules. I don’t believe they are meant to be broken. However, I think that people limit themselves to believing it’s the only way to do something or be someone.

I had this thought that’d I’d try to nail down 27 lessons I have or am currently learning.


  1. Pray hard for loved ones.
  2. Pray hard for enemies.
  3. Make time. After all, it’s precious.
  4. Pick the few, not the many.
  5. Go with your gut.
  6. Do not harden your heart.
  7. Give yourself LOADS of grace.
  8. Love. On everyone and everything.
  9. Take the time.
  10. Speak up.
  11. Go against the norm.
  12. Take care of yourself. Believe in yourself. Fight for yourself.
  13. Take photos, but put my phone down. I’m in love with Artifact Uprising.
  14. Take a day trip. 
  15. Kindness is never weakness.
  16. Allow others to decide for themselves.
  17. Support others.
  18. Monday’s aren’t all that bad. Quit living a life wishing for Friday.
  19. Show up.
  20. Decorate with whatever sparks your heart.
  21. Use your story to inspire.
  22. Start anyway.
  23. Turn it up and dance.
  24. Trust until you’re given a reason not to.
  25. Hold your head up. Fight.
  26. Loyalty is everything.
  27. At the root of everything you do, stay kind.


Keep On Shining,