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

Ashley Horner’s Transform You Challenge – Weeks 1 & 2

Dustin bought me Becoming Extraordinary for Christmas. I follow Ashley on Instagram and saw her post about a Transform You challenge. It’s 10 weeks long and I figured I could totally do it, since the trainer is 12 weeks. My local gym, Ignite, was starting a 21 Day Detox the same day the challenge was starting (Mon. Jan 8th) and I was hoping I wasn’t getting myself into too many things. After talking with Dustin, the meal plan on Ashley’s trainer was sort of similar to the detox, so I went ahead and started it as well.

Can’t wait to look back on these posts at the end of Week 12.

To be honest, this is for me. If it helps motivate or inspire you and if it helps you feel like you can do the same, then heck yes!!

HUGE DISCLAIMER: I do NOT live by the scale or measurements. At all. I am overweight. I completely understand that I could potentially stay the same weight or gain more weight but in the form of muscle. I just want to be healthy and fit. For me, that’s being strong, whether I just feel it, or I look it. With that said, I have weighed myself to add it to my measurements because I can look at it and not feel discouraged if it doesn’t move much or at all. It’s all about how I feel. If you’re one to look at the scale and it’s gone up 5 pounds and you easily get discouraged, then this way isn’t for you. But it works for me.

Week 1: Where It All Began & I Told Myself To Shut Up


  • The first day was the TOUGHEST day for me. Took me 2 hours and 20 mins to finish and I didn’t get through the whole workout.
  • Getting used to whole foods again.
  • By the end of week 1, I noticed a change in my attitude, my skin was clearer (not 100%), and I felt like a beast.
  • Paid attention to my goal planner (Lara Casey’s Powersheets) every single morning. Stuck to my guns with my daily workouts, water intake, vitamins, and bible study!
  • I attempted every workout, didn’t complete a few workouts, missed one day during the week, and made up for it on my rest day.
  • I went to the gym in the morning (5am) and the evening (5pm).
  • Never been so sore, but it felt SO good!!
  • At the end of week 1, I was completely regulated. If you don’t understand that, it has something to so with the restroom. *ew*
  • Meal prep was a HUGE key in not falling off the wagon. And they are completely right when they say it takes no time in comparison to how much time you think it takes.
  • Mental battle was RIDICULOUS. I literally had to tell myself (internally) to “shut the **** up” because fear would sit there and say “I don’t know if I can do this”, “oh no, my muscles are shaking”. I got through it though and cried afterward. HUGE accomplishment.

Measurements (taken Sun Jan 7 at 8pm):

  • Weight: 235
  • Neck: 15
  • Arm: 15
  • Chest: 43
  • Stomach: 48
  • Waist: 45
  • Thigh: 28
  • Calf: 17.5

Week 2: Where I Had To Deal With Conflicts & Gained Confidence


  • I blew Day 1 away the next Monday, I completed the entire workout and had 30 mins to spare at the gym.
  • Meal prep again, killed it! Love having meals already planned. Hate making decisions because I get anxious. The less decisions, the better. Meal prep helps this!
  • Had work conflicts Thursday, didn’t get a workout in. Used my 5am workout Friday to bust through half of Thursdays workout.
  • Tailored a few of my 2018 goals and set myself a couple non-food rewards if I accomplish them. Dustin and I agreed if we stick to this not only for 12 weeks, but for the year, we’d go to an NF concert in 2019. So stoked to see him live.
  • Excited to start muscle groups on Monday. First 2 weeks are an all over workout and will probably be my go-to if I ever need a workout routine because they rock.
  • Noticed lots of improvement.
  • Participated in the private Facebook group, even have a few women who wanted to do a group text to send motivation throughout the weeks. Love having this community!
  • Ashley posted asking for volunteers for her Unbroken Foundation. Would love to help out with that here in the midwest. Going to answer her questions and send them off.
  • Skin is on point, though I’m pretty sure I have cystic acne. It’s not terrible, but they’re deep, and often red and sore. It never seems to go away. I’ve heard nothing but great things about Herbivore. Will treat myself to their skin/facial care items once the 12 weeks is over. Figure by then all the crap in my body should be long gone and what a way to reward myself for completing!
  • Love Lat Pull Downs, Row Machine, Shoulder Press, Tricep Extension, and Hack Squats

Measurements (taken Sun Jan 21 at 11:27am):

  • Weight: 223
  • Neck: 14.5
  • Arm: 14
  • Chest: 43.5
  • Stomach: 47.5
  • Waist: 44
  • Thigh: 27
  • Calf: 17.5

Gained half an inch on my chest, I assume because my time of the month is right upon me, idk. Still have to get to the gym today (like now!) and tomorrow starts week 3!

Peace, love, and sunshine!
– C


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,