That Positive Test | Round 2

It was March 8th, 2018.

I was laying on the couch in all my grumpiness when my boobs started to hurt again

I was dozing in and out, thoughts whirling through my head when my eyes shot open. 
It was like a scene out of a movie.

Ten minutes earlier I was raging at my husband about seriously who knows what when grabbed my pillow and blanket and stomped into the living room. 

Just that morning I posted a question to my mom group on FB asking why on earth my boobs were feeling achey when I quit nursing the month before without any pain?

Then it hit me.

I was pregnant.

I was freakin' pregnant. Now it all made sense.

I tip toed back to the room, slid under the covers and did my best to stay calm. Butterflies were dancing in my chest but I didn't breathe a word to Tom. I knew, deep down I knew, but I needed confirmation.


After Thomas woke up from his nap the next day we took a casual stroll to Target. Laundry detergent, birthday card, avocados and a box of pregnancy tests.

I got home about 2:30pm and although it was 6 days before my missed period and it wasn't my first pee of the morning I took a test anyway. It was a pack of three, what did I have to lose?

Peed on the stick, placed it on the counter and glanced at it back and forth as I saw the test start to read. The first line showed up right away.. my heart was seriously pounding.

And then there it was. The second line, although faint, was very much there.

"Oh dear. Oh dear goodness. Oh my. Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh. Oh dear. Oh dear. Oh dear goodness. Oh. Oh my. Oh my gosh." I said aloud over and over for what felt like 10 minutes.

We were pregnant. Three weeks pregnant according to the Bump app on my phone.

I couldn't wait to tell Tom.

I have to admit. I've been hesitant to grow our family. Between Finn and Thomas I feel like there isn't any more of me to go around!
But Tom? Tom's ready. Tom's been ready since Thomas George was 3 months old!

He got home from work and I ushered him to the couch. I had my phone hiding strategically on the TV stand, recording it all.

I sat him down and gave him a long sappy love note that I wrote early that day.

I apologized for raging the night before, reminding him that I'd love him forever, through anything.

When he flipped to the back my heart started to race.

I could see his eyes scanning the words: "Today I took a pregnancy test, sweet thang... and it was POSITIVE."

He instantly lost it. He cried. I cried.

Just blubbery, slobbery messes.

This family is growing.

A blessing. This little chia seed is already such a blessing.

And now I say, with much excitement, here we go again!

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I started a pregnancy diaries series with little George. I pretty much documented it all but missed the third trimester. I'm going to try to do a full series with baby number two! You can read George's series here.

CHANGES // Some Big, Gnarly Ones

I'm thinking I could label each month as CHANGES but I've been feeling it in March more than ever before.

Our Tommy George had his very first haircut last week. Dad really wanted to grow it out and I was ready to cut it. We both ended up loving the cut but did find a little compromise by leaving a rat tail blonde curl in the back. Man, it was emotional watching my baby turn into a little boy. So handsome.

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This month, Tom and I made one of the hardest decisions we've ever had to make.
We're moving home!
We will be heading back to the mainland mid-April. I can't believe it. Even typing it here I can't believe it.
The pieces are divinely falling into place and I sure can't wait to share more. Until then, I've been trying to document this beautiful town of Kailua, Hawaii that I've grown to love so much.

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Alright, I've got one more big one for you, you ready? If moving over the ocean wasn't change enough for us, we're adding another little human to the mix. That's right, this family is growing! It's still really early and our first appointment isn't until the first week of April but I just can't hold stuff like this in. Ever. So here it is!

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It's been a month full of big decisions... lots of packing, shipping and selling. I've got a bit of pregnancy brain going on and it feels like there are cement blocks tied to my feet making this whole experience really fun. LOL

I see the light at the end of the tunnel though... there's nothing like being closer to family and we're almost there!

I'm so excited to be in a 365 photo project, especially right now. A chance to document this special time in my family's life is something I know I'll forever cherish.

I'll be linking this post to the talented photographer, Laura. I really admire the light and composition of her work. Also, Laura and I are both in the first trimester of pregnancy which make it even more fun! 

Aloha friends and thank you so much for reading. 

See you next month!

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A Year in Photos - Thomas George

We got these monthly airplane stickers as a gift from Auntie Alicia and I was so determined to use them. I pictured myself compiling the photos at the end of the year to see the changes our little man made each month. It was more fun than I expected.

Thomas George // February 1st, 2017 - January 1st, 2018

 1 Month Old ~

1 Month Old ~

 2 Months Old ~

2 Months Old ~

 3 Months Old ~

3 Months Old ~

 4 Months Old ~

4 Months Old ~

 5 Months Old ~

5 Months Old ~

 6 Months Old ~

6 Months Old ~

 7 Months Old ~

7 Months Old ~

 8 Months Old ~

8 Months Old ~

 9 Months Old ~

9 Months Old ~

 10 Months Old ~

10 Months Old ~

 11 Months Old ~ 

11 Months Old ~ 

 One Year Old ~

One Year Old ~

He's such a spunk -- more fun now than ever before. We love you Thomas George!

6 Surefire Ways to Pull Yourself Out of a Funk

I was 34 weeks pregnant sitting with one of my friends and she asked me, "Elyse, what is your biggest fear about becoming a mom?"

Here she expected me to talk about labor and delivery or maybe the sleepless nights or you know, the fact that I'll be raising a little human in this crazy world.

Nope.

Without missing a beat, I instantly replied, "Getting frumpy."

It was seriously what was keeping me up at night.

Am I going to totally lose myself in mommyhood? I pictured spending day in and day out with baby and no time to nourish my inner free bird.

So now, here I sit, with an almost one year old.
Did I dodge the frumpy life or did it get me?

I guess I could say yes to both of those. There were times I was most definitely so far in the pits I thought I'd never get out and then there were days, even weeks, where I was running on a mommy ass-kickin' high.

When I'm in a funk or feelin' frumpy I have to consciously choose how to spend my days.. choose to do what could pull me up when I feel myself slippin' into endless unwashed hair and a Netflix marathon of Friends

Oh! And you definitely don't need to be a mom to get into a funk -- all it takes is the routine of the adult life sometimes . A routine that MUST be shaken up every so often.

So alright, these are my musts musts.

1. MUSIC - MUSIC - MUSIC

I seriously had to get real with myself and turn off the damn TV because it turns me into an unhappy zombie to binge watch shows. I get sucked in so easy. Oh geeze, it's 2pm already and I've done nothing productive today.
Sometimes, it's nice for ONE day but not multiple days in a row.. at least not for me! I don't do well with that.
MUSIC just makes me feel happy and alive and I love hearing an old song that I haven't heard forever but LOVE. I love to dance and sing and jam and it just makes me really happy. So maybe you too?
CCR Pandora usually has me covered -- or I'll throw on my Island Vibes playlist on Spotify!

Make a kickass Spotify playlist of all your feel good tunes and let it lift you UP! 

2. Make Art

I struggled with what to make number one, this is such a close second. Don't let your creativity die, EVER. Make art, in some way shape or form, somehow, someway. Write, knit, draw, dance... take pictures! Whatever you have to do to keep that spark, do it... you don't even need to share with anyone ever, just do it... for you, for your soul!

3. MOVE

There are no rules attached to this one... no time commitment, no specific routine. Just MOVE in some way shape or form. Go for a walk -- that usually always works. Get on your Yoga mat. When you turn on that music from number one, dance. I've been dancing a lot, in the living room with a gawking one year old lookin' at me like I'm totally crazy but still, I dance. Find something that makes you feel GOOD (not punished) and do it for 5 minutes, or 10 minutes, or 30 minutes. Whatever you CAN do for however long you CAN do it. DO IT. 

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4. GO

Number four is a tad bit aimed at my mom friends, specifically my stay-at-home mom friends... and maybe you don't do this at all... but maybe you do. But - don't let too many days go by without leaving the house. You've got to go. And for me, two days at the house is too many, and three for sure so find something that is out of home and do it. GO.

5. Connect

Connect with others. I don't know about you but when I'm in a funk I tend to sort of keep to myself. I keep to myself to a fault. I know that each of us has that someone in our life that we can connect with -- be it your partner at the day's end, a phone call to your sister, a meet up with your mama (mama's always make things better) -- tell someone you love you're feeling funky and TALK to them. It helps. I know it.

6. PAMPER

Lastly, I asked my Earthen Women group a while back... what do you do to get out of a funk? This is a collective of their response: Make yourself feel good/pretty. Polish your nails your favorite color. Get your hair cut. If you don't normally, try putting on a little makeup or lip gloss. If it's in the budget, get a massage. SHOWER + shave (your WHOLE leg - haha) or even take a bath. Dress up in that thing you love but you're saving. You don't need to be extravagant (or hey, if you can/want to - then be extravagant. You're worth it.).

Alright, I think that's it for me. Do you do one of these already? What one do you agree with the most? If you're favorite's not here, please please share. I'd love to know.

Also, I should say that sometimes for me it just feels good to put the PJs on and be a slug on the couch and sometimes we need just that. Just not for prolonged periods of time, ya know. It's all about listening to your inner wisdom. She knows.

Alright, so have an amazing year you guys!
I hope it's filled with golden moments and less funks. I'll be here, always! xo

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Searching for the Answer

"I would seriously cut off my pinky toe for some alone time. Seriously. Even just TWO DAYS." I dramatically whine to my husband over the phone.

He's about half way through his work trip on the East Coast and he's homesick for his family.

I see him there, staying at a nice hotel in DC, and I'm not going to lie, I'm jealous.

He wakes up, works out, gets a coffee, heads to the conference where he discusses important things with important people (adult conversations!) and gets to eat a tasty dinner at a lively restaurant before bed.

Damn right I'm jealous!

I've been stuck in an endless cycle of feeding baby, changing diapers, picking up dog poop while trying to keep up with the house.

It's been over a month since I've been anywhere without my 9 month old.

Now here's where things get funny.

My husband, well, you see, he's jealous.

He misses his boys and his wife. He see's my snaps of our son trying to walk and talk. As we FaceTime Thomas George is learning to clap and giggles while I kiss his toes. I tell Tom how intense his son's determination is as he tries to swim in the pool and we laugh, Finn nuzzled on my lap.

All he wants is his family.
All I want is some space.

FREAKIN' LIFE RIGHT.

So it got me thinking about always wanting what we can't have, the whole grass is always greener thing.

I'll never forget a Tony Robbins video I watched years ago, I'll do my best to paraphrase, he said that the biggest source of unhappiness is being in one place (location or situation) and wanting to be somewhere else.

Oh goodness, I can be so guilty of this. For someone who has studied mindful living and who has spent hours on a Yoga mat, you think I'd have a better handle on it. Patience is not my strong point and it's something I'll be working on until the end of time.

And, yes, it's good to have dreams and direction for what you want out of life and of course there are certain situations that should be left promptly... but generally speaking, living outside of the now can surely rob you from being happy.

There's got to be a healthy balance and I suppose since I'm writing this post I should offer up some sort of advice but this is something I'm still figuring out. An answer that I'm still searching for.

Is the key to happiness presence or gratitude?
Is acceptance the answer?

Maybe it's.... perspective.

I'm not sure right now. All I do know is that all we can do is our best and we've just got to keep truckin' no matter what. We've got to be grateful for what we do have because when you stop to really think about it, it's a lot.

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Second Trimester -- Pregnancy Diary Part 4

 19 weeks, just about 1/2 way there! 

19 weeks, just about 1/2 way there! 

Throughout the first trimester, I felt like... total shitty shit. Everyone said I would start feeling better once we reached the second trimester.
So as week 12 approached I got excited.. I was SO ready to feel good again!

- Week 12 came and went... so did week 13 and 14. I was still nauseous and could barely eat.
Finally as I hit week 15, I began to feel like a human again. What a relief... I was really starting to worry... and I just really missed FOOD.

- We decided to wait until the second trimester to tell the world, I have to admit, I was so excited for this. I couldn't WAIT to share that we were having a baby... to tell friends near and far. That'll always be the most fun for me.

- As for my energy level, I was still tired... a lot... BUT like they say, I did have bursts of energy from 15 weeks on - mainly in the morning - which was really nice and much needed. 

- I touched my stomach. A lot. My hands were always resting on my growing belly and I thought about being pregnant, ALL DAY LONG. It went a little something like this -- "I am pregnant. I'm going to have a BABY. I am growing a human, in my womb, right now. Amazing. Unbelievable. A baby."

- We had been living in a studio since we moved to Hawaii in 2015. It was perfect for the two of us and we never really needed more space... until now! We moved from our studio to a two bedroom during the second trimester. Hubs had quiet the workload but I was definitely helping out as best I could. We were really just happy to get into something a big bigger as we were expecting a lot of visitors once baby arrived!

- The beginning of the bump! My belly was growing. By the middle of the second trimester, there was no mistaken, I was a pregnant lady!

- We still hadn't purchased anything for baby yet. We were starting to receive gifts though. Little did I know that was just the beginning!

- GENDER REVEAL!! I kept going back and forth. I really thought it was a girl but could only picture a baby boy. Tom always thought it was a boy. 
We did our big gender reveal party during the second trimester.. it was SO FUN! I wanted a girl and I wanted a boy so I knew I'd be happy either way.
Auntie Coco took the envelope, she was the first person to know the sex! She filled a big black balloon with confetti and we all gathered at mom and dads house. The anticipation was nuts!
Watching Tom throw a fist pump into the air when we were showered in blue will not be something I'll forget. We began connecting with baby in a new way, it's a BOY!!!

- Oh the boobs. The boobs continued to grow during the second trimester and I really LOVE them. :D

- Water. I'm drinking all the water all day, everyday. I read something early on saying that the more water you drink the better and healthier your pregnancy will be -- so I went full steam ahead with hydroflask after hydroflask. I'm currently skipping all coffee and I'm the weird pregnant lady that doesn't miss alcohol in the least bit. 

- NAMES! It was nice being able to focus on boy names. Naming a baby isn't easy. We started throwing ideas around but hadn't decided full on anything yet. 

- I'm still the nap queen, not big into exercise. I could seriously sleep all day and wonder often how people have a second child? How do you care for a baby and grow another baby? My bed is my best friend and I sleep a lot

- The round ligament pain started in the first trimester and revved up good in the second trimester... what a weird feeling!! Amazed at my changing and shifting body -- it truly is a miracle!

- I really expected to feel baby move week 14/15 and waited patiently for him to do so... and nothing. I thought way too much but couldn't really tell if it *was* a movement or if it was just in my head. By week 20 there was no mistaken.. I have a boxing son in my belly and once he started really moving, he didn't stop. To me it felt like little bubbles or tiny tapping... tap, tap, tap. I love it. This is one of my favorite parts!

- I've always heard people complain about others touching their belly.. I didn't mind in the least bit! I loved letting people touch my belly and feel for baby. For the most part baby kicked and moved until someone placed their hand on my stomach, then he stopped. Almost every time but I let everyone try! He loves moving for daddy though!!

- I inspected my stomach every single week for stretch marks, nothing yet!

- At week 24 I bought my first maternity clothes. I just went to target and got a couple cute dresses and a couple ugly dresses. I wish I wouldn't have waited so long! Maternity clothes felt so much better!

- Pretty much went to bed at 8:30 every night. Sometimes 9 if we were feelin' pretty wild. Pregnancy makes you crazy! LOL

- I've been eating pretty healthy but I really really love my dark chocolate salted carmel bar from Whole Foods. I keep it in the freezer and eat one square to a half a bar every single day. No one says anything about it when you're pregnant -- might as well eat it UP.

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- Once I hit that 25 week mark I really started feeling big. Toward the end of my second trimester I couldn't sleep on my belly anymore. It's one of worst things about being pregnant for me! Having to sleep on my side and heave myself in and out of bed. OY.

- We still hadn't set up a nursery at all or purchased anything for baby. We weren't too worried about it... which looking back makes me laugh! What were we doing? LOL

- After doing a lot of reading, I started writing up my birth plan during the second trimester. 

- I had my gestational diabetes test and passed. Thank goodness. I wasn't a fan of drinking that crap but I did it and it's done. Good deal.

- At the end of week 27 I had gained 13 lbs. since my first appointment. I was surprised I didn't gain more because my body had changed so much. Tom said I just lost all my muscle... what a stinker. 

Baby is the size of a: PEACH
Length & weight: 8 3/4 in. & 1.5 lbs.
Mama's cravings: Didn't crave specific foods -- just warm and cold things. Still not the biggest appetite but it's slowly coming back!
Weight update: Gained 13 lbs. so far!
We're feeling: BIG. Excited. The half way point is so freaky, it gets more and more real! 
Highlight of the first trimester: Getting to share with the world and of course, finding out we had a boy on the way!
Energy levels: Still a slug for the most part but starting to do some walking!
Habits: Still doing my legs up the wall every night... continuing with the prenatal vitamin. Keeping a weekly journal about all the changes. Early to sleep. Lots of water. 

Thomas George // 7-months-old

Tom George turns 7 months old tomorrow.

Gosh he's changed so much this month.

He's crawling on all fours, he got his two bottom teeth, he pulls himself up every possibly moment he can, sits up like he's been doing it for ages and he loves to eat.

 The sun starting to creep into the bedroom early yesterday morning. As the light flooded our room I ran to grab my camera. This boy was crazy on the move and it wasn't even 7am yet!

The sun starting to creep into the bedroom early yesterday morning. As the light flooded our room I ran to grab my camera. This boy was crazy on the move and it wasn't even 7am yet!

 Too early, mom.

Too early, mom.

My absolute favorite part of the day is going to get Mr. happy boy after he wakes up. He is SILLY and he knows it. We play for a good 20 minutes before we leave his room. I sing, I roll, we peek-a-boo, I dance...  anything to make him laugh. His laugh is everything.

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 Since he started to pull himself up last week, every time I go in his room, he's standing... and he's proud of it!

Since he started to pull himself up last week, every time I go in his room, he's standing... and he's proud of it!

 Two bottom teeth! 

Two bottom teeth! 

 Raspberries at mom!

Raspberries at mom!

Oh my curious little muffin. So interested... fascinated by the world around him. He has to touch, taste and ok I'll be honest, destroy everything he touches. He wants to make noise, reach up to the top shelf, and play with anything that isn't really a toy. 

I love the way his eyebrows go down when he is concentrating hard. The way he raises them when mom is being silly. The way he smile grins when his daddy gets home from work... and the best is that cute little laugh he does when he sees the jar of food.

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Thomas George.

We are so proud of you.

That Positive Test -- Pregnancy Diary Part 2

 Honeymoon April 2016 -- Corniglia, Cinque Terre, Italy

Honeymoon April 2016 -- Corniglia, Cinque Terre, Italy

"It's a boy!", said the mime as Tom and I were strolling by.

We were honeymooners, walking a cobblestone path through Venice.

He caught me off guard and I got offended! I know I had eaten an entire pizza and way too much gelato each day but did I look PREGNANT

Thanks a lot dude.

Tom and I joked about it because:
A. Mimes aren't even supposed to talk
B. I was definitely not pregnant


We got back from a magical 14 days in Italy.

As we adjusted back to being home, I just wasn't feeling the best. "Jet lag," I thought.
"Too much pizza and gelato, maybe. I'm not used to eating like that."

BUUUUUT .... it wasn't going away. So I bought a pregnancy test.

It was a lazy Saturday morning and we were putzing around the house when I decided to take it.

I unwrapped the stick, peed and quickly set it on the bathroom sink. I went and laid on the bed thinking over and over again, "No way, just... no way."

I sent Tom in first. He didn't have to say anything because when I saw his jaw drop open with a look of complete shock, I knew. It was positive and our lives were never going to be the same.

We were going to have a baby.


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I don't know about any of you other moms out there but I felt like the first woman in the world to ever see a plus sign on her pregnancy test.

I felt excited, nervous... like.. ok.... what do I do now?

Nothing had changed and yet it felt like everything changed.

It felt so wild.. but I'd soon find out that that is the only way to truly describe this whole experience. 

Wild.


Continue Reading...

The Pregnancy Diaries

Long Before Baby -- Pregnancy Diary Part 1

"I'm never getting married.", I said. And I meant it.

All throughout my teens and early twenties I was pretty set on never tying the knot. 

Having kids? Nope. It really didn't even cross my mind as a possibility for my life.

There were too many places to go, too many things to see and to be honest my motto was: I do what I want.

The untraditional felt best for me. I didn't want to just check boxes and I never wanted to do something a certain way just because that was how you are "supposed" to do it.

For the majority of my twenties, it was just me. Everything I owned fit into my car and I liked it like that! Life was good.

Theeeeeeen came Tom.

It was 2013, and I was finishing up school. I was ready to get out of Las Vegas and do something new. Having lived on Maui briefly, I always wanted to go back. Hawaii became my biggest dream.

I was doing my research on making my way back to the islands when I decided to reach out to Tom. We graduated high school together in 2006 and after school he lived on Maui for three years. He had returned to the mainland and was living in Arizona when I sent him a Facebook message.

"Hey Tom, it's been a while, hope all is well! I'm thinking of making my way out to Hawaii, just curious, why did you leave?"

He wrote me back and let me know he missed living there everyday. He gave me some really good insight and after reading his message I landed on his profile.

Tom was tall and so darn cute. He just got back from Europe! "What a cool dude.", I thought. He was running races, snowboarding and traveling all over. Hmm.

We wrote messages back and forth for a couple days just catching up... it had been 8 years since we graduated! Tom mentioned that he was going to be in Vegas THAT WEEKEND and asked if I wanted to grab lunch.

That was that. We went to lunch and I swear to you, that day, I knew I was going to marry him.

 February 26th, 2013 -- Tom flew to Vegas to have lunch with me. Little did I know, two years later, he'd be my husband!

February 26th, 2013 -- Tom flew to Vegas to have lunch with me. Little did I know, two years later, he'd be my husband!

Falling in love with Tom was so easy. He made everything better. He was fun. He made me laugh like no one else in the world and he made me want to be the best version of myself.

I fell for Tom fast. (Who was I?!)  It was tough for me to let my guard down and yet I just trusted him. He loved me and I loved him, so much

When Tom got down on one knee a year and a half later, in Hawaii, I said yes. I don't think there was anything in the world I was more sure of. It is funny how things happen and it's funny how things change.

As for babies? It was a very distant thought although it strangely crossed my mind. We were both pretty unsure and there were no absolutes. When it came up we decided that would be a bridge we would cross WAY LATER. 

First, travel!


Thomas George -- Birth Story