“I am happy
because I have you.”
“I am happy
because I have you.”
… And exhale.
We made it through 2018.
There were times it felt like we’d never get through the year.
My pregnancy felt long.
The move felt, at times, impossible.
We started in Hawaii and spent a couple months in Arizona before finally landing back home in Minnesota.
I think we’ll talk about 2018 a lot as the years go by and it’s hard to believe it’s already a memory. I know for sure 2019 will be a bit more low key and I welcome that.
You know I’ll be here, documenting along the way.
Here’s a photo recap of 2018, choosing only three photos from each month. I completed my first 365 project and I couldn’t be more grateful for the year I chose to do so. I can’t wait to hold that book in my hands.
Many blessings my friends,
From Hawaii to Arizona to Minnesota -- I've been on a mission to document my bump progress every two weeks. It's been so fun to look back and see the growth each and every month!
I think 22 weeks is where I really “popped” but I can’t tell for sure!
I gained a total of 31 pounds this pregnancy… it sure felt like more! My hubby likes to remind me that I lost all of my muscle tone… lol. It’s true!
Oh well, I’m too busy with baby snuggles to think about any of that right now.
Busy with baby snuggles and grateful beyond measure for my body that created this miracle.
Warm days, cool days and the wind down of summer.
It was the first full month in our new house and as you can tell by the tardiness of my post, it was a busy one. (Will I ever not say that?)
We took the time to really settle into this place and dang that felt good. It was the first time we’ve had a chance to do so since we were in Hawaii at the beginning of the year!
All of our boxes are unpacked and I actually organized my kitchen! There are still so many projects to do, I’ll putz forever, but as of now, it feels like home.
One of the things that made September was going to the Renaissance Festival with my aunt. It has been so long since I’ve had a chance to go and it’s so fun to get lost in the magic. My all time favorite festival for sure!
My hubby picked up a work car which has made life so much easier already! With my appointments increasing to weekly, this felt so necessary!
The start to our 5 weekend of visitors began this month and it was everything I hoped it would be. I love being close to our family!
Soaking up every minute before the summer fades to fall.
We’re here, in Minnesota. Settling in a house. Preparing for baby and just taking a big exhale.
I almost feel ready to start reflecting on the year, what a year it’s been, but we still have a little living to do. Hope you are all enjoying the small moments and taking time to exhale in your own way.
Thanks so much for reading,
Sweet, sweet August in Minnesota. I don't know if there's anything better!
Crisp morning air and sun filled days... I've loved every minute of it and so has George!
It was a busy month, I'm sure each and every one of us could say that!
Walks to the park, a trip up north and spending time with family. We did the State Fair and a birthday party at the Mall of America. We celebrated our 3 year wedding anniversary and my 31st birthday. We had baby appointments and pediatric appointments and sure enjoyed the downtime in between.
The most exciting part of August though, was purchasing our first ever HOME.
We did it! We found one and they accepted our offer!
We got our keys at the very end of the month and it's been an incredible whirlwind of days since.
You guys, it feels like we've waited so very long for this moment and it's here. I cried twice on moving day. My greatest dream is to create place for my children to grow and flourish.. a place they can always come back to.. a safe, warm home with good food and so much love.
I see it here, I see it all here!
I've been dabbling in my dreams a bit and we've been almost too busy to fully grasp what it is I am doing here but I know there is magic to be made ahead.
Women. Photography. Art. Light. Words.
I have faith it will all come together at the perfect time!
I appreciate all the shared enthusiasm this month - family and friends, near and far, personal and social - you're all the best! Thanks for following as I document the biggest life transitions for my family. What a trip.
There are a few of us still going strong for our 365 Project Blog Circle. I'm so grateful for these talented women who keep me motivated to shoot every day. If you click through to Alyssa Kellert's post, you'll see a beautiful new website with a summer recap. These are the Days.
Onward to September!
After being in the desert for three months, we packed up and hit the road. Homeward bound!
It took us four days to get from AZ to MN.
Traveling at 22 weeks pregnant with a 1.5 year old that doesn't like his carseat and a small chihuahua that shakes and whimpers when he gets nervous... I really wouldn't recommend it to anyone! Those four days tested every ounce of our patience... but can you imagine the relief we shared as we drove across the Minnesota state line??
Excitement, relief and a huge exhale.
After arriving in the twin cities we moved into a temporary townhouse. Did I mention we had a huge change of plans at the start of the month? My hubby had a job opportunity that he just couldn't pass up and it landed us in the suburbs of Minneapolis/St. Paul.
So now we're here, half unpacked and we're house hunting in a crazy way. I think we've seen close to 10 homes so far! The market in this area (I guess all over!) is just bonkers. We're close to finding "the one" though and I hope to have a super positive update next month!
Between the madness we've spent a lot of time with our family that lives here, it's truly been the biggest blessing. Oh, and the park. Clockin' hours in at the park!
My last bump picture of the month catches me at 24 weeks pregnant. Unreal how fast this pregnancy has gone... but I guess I'm not too surprised! We're all set up at the birth center in Woodbury for our first appointment and excited to be working with a midwife again!
We got the gender in an envelope this month and within a couple days opened it. I can't WAIT to share... we just have one more set of grandparents to tell first so definitely next month!
Thank you guys for reading. These photos are a part of a 365 project I'm participating in and we're already past day 200! What a year... so many celebrations and challenges, for all of us! The July round up is Kris and I. I love her perspective -- you can check it out HERE.
I feel a shift coming, yet again when it comes to this online space... but I'm not sure what it is quite yet. I think when things slow down enough, it will all fall into place. Photo journal, motherhood... excited to get writing again.
Wishing you all many blessings, always,
I thought maybe I'd be starting this month's review with news of a home purchase or a move to Minnesota, but we're just not quite there yet. I am certain though, that July will be our month to shake things up. This could truly be the calm before the most hardcore storm yet!
Things in Arizona have been hot but good. We've truly adjusted to the mainland well and I'm so grateful for that... that doesn't mean we haven't been antsy. I know I am going to look back at this time and wish maybe I would have just relaxed and enjoyed our down time a bit more. We're just so incredibly ready to unpack our boxes in a house and start getting settled. So ready. Patience, Elyse'.
My last bump photo of the month was at 18 weeks. I've reached the point in my pregnancy where although my bump is growing rapidly I feel pretty normal. I have energy again and that has been the best gift. Almost halfway to baby! Gender appointment is coming up... the question is, do we wait or find out!
Our little George has been keeping us on our toes this month. Besides being incredibly curious and absolutely adorable.. his temper is emerging and do I dare say a glimpse of the terrible twos? Melt downs for no reason, hollering at the top of his lungs when he wants something that just isn't possible.. stuff like that. My patience is being tested in so many ways this month! Add pregnancy hormones and I'm telling you, I have moments that I am just getting by!
We've never been closer to being home... or having a home. I know that the next life stage is right around the corner. We're opening and closing chapters (MN, AZ, HI, family growth etc.), exploring all opportunities (job changes, location changes etc.) and having some tough conversations along the way (maybe when things didn't play out as we first expected).
It's not always easy but it's growth and no matter what I know we'll make it through.
Thank you guys for reading. I'm so grateful for the gift of photography and this 365 group that I'm a part. It forces me to pause along the way during a whirlwind of a time.
As you know, I'm part of a blog series of talented photographers all over the US -- please click through to see their work and what they've been up to this summer. Up next is KRIS!
It just feels crazy to be writing this -- didn't I just write a first trimester post? I did! This time, however, it was an entirely different experience.
We found out really early we were pregnant with baby number two. According to the app on my phone I was only 3, almost 4 weeks pregnant!
The day I took the test, other than my boobs hurting, I felt pretty darn normal. I decided to enjoy it because I knew what was coming.
I found out with George at about 5 almost 6 weeks. Not long after I found out, I got so sick. I only ran to the toilet a couple times but I had full day nausea for 9 straight weeks.
With baby number two, I prepared myself for the worst..... but it just never came! (Praise the Lord, dance, shout and sing hallelujah!)
Other than feeling like a total slug in the evenings and having some foods just not "look good", I felt pretty ok! I was shocked.. so VERY different. Opposite first trimesters, that's for sure!
- The best best part of the first trimester, again, is telling people! Everyone cries! We had fun calling our family and friends to spread the news. I also blogged about our positive test because I can't NOT tell people. It's hard for me to keep it to myself once I know. We shared sooner this time around.
- I didn't have any real cravings with Thomas George... but that was not the case with this pregnancy! I've had quite a bit of cravings. I like HOT & SPICY! (I hope this isn't a sign of what this baby is going to be like, lol)
Seriously though, I am taking hot sauce down like it's going out of style. I've been eating more bagely type foods which I'm not stoked on but I'm just so happy I can EAT during my first trimester at all! I'm hoping to move to more fresh kind of foods soon!
- We're sort of in between home right now so when it comes to maternity care I'm doing my best. I did my first appointment at Castle Medical Center with the midwife that delivered Thomas George. We got to see the little bean and hear it's heartbeat. My first question was: Is there only one in there? Phew, ok.
Now we're in AZ and I might have to do one appointment here. I am hoping to establish care with Robin, a family friend and midwife back home in Hibbing, MN!
- Hormones have been pretty up and down. I cry for some of the weirdest reasons. One day I asked Tom if he thinks TG will want to go to Hawaii when he gets big because he was born there. Then I thought, what if he wants to move to Hawaii and I cried. I cried and cried thinking of him leaving. He's 1.5 years old.
Things like... seeing a beautiful dress online in an instagram ad and crying because I would never fit into it right now as my body gets bigger and bigger. Just weird things like that. Just cry. LOL
- Bring on the maternity clothes. I started wearing maternity clothes right at the end of the first trimester. No shame. Comfort number one!
Baby is the size of a: LIME
Length & weight: 2.13 in. & .49 oz.
Mama's cravings: HOT SAUCE and spicy foods! Cold apples.
Weight update: < 5 lbs. ~ I didn't actually weigh myself until later in the second trimester in which I had gained 5 lbs. so I had to have gained less in the first trimester!
We're feeling: Excited, ready to settle into a home, happy for TG to have a sibling and we are dying to know if you're a girl or a boy!
Highlight of the first trimester: Once again, telling our family!!
Energy levels: TOTAL SLUG!!
Habits: Long morning walks, legs up the wall every few days, prenatal vitamins!
It starts with a decision. You make a commitment to yourself backed with discipline, determination and grit.
For the past two years, my husband Tom has trained at an Ironman level. Not only have I seen him at the finish line wrapped in glory, lights and a cheering crowd but I've also seen him in the trenches. The grueling hours, weekly sacrifice and that early morning wake up 6 days a week.
I'm excited to share a sliver of his story with you. This is what it takes.
When I got the final assignment for my Visual Storytelling class at the Define School, Tom came to mind right away. He does this day after day and I wanted to help him see it from an outside perspective.
I'm so proud of him and he truly inspires me to do what it takes to make my dreams come true.
Anything is possible if you're willing to put in the work.
Lots of love and Aloha,
It's been a nice first month back on the mainland! I thought for sure I'd be having Hawaii withdrawals by now but I'm doing pretty good!
On May 1st I found myself making the drive up to northern Minnesota. We were only home for 6 days and our main focus was house hunting! It was so hectic and went by quickly! This past week we were signing a purchase agreement so as long as all goes well we just may have found a home!
Our little chia seed is now the size of a pear and this pregnancy is flying by! At the end of this month I'll be 15 weeks pregnant.
When I was pregnant with Thomas George it felt like it took forever to get to this point... but right now I feel like I just found out.
Yesterday I asked the hubby to dig out my maternity clothes. Does it get more real than that?
I'm so grateful we had the opportunity to slowly transition to the mainland. This time in AZ was relaxing and allowed me to gather myself before making our (hopefully) final move.
But I'm ready.
I'm so ready to unpack and get settled.
The road life is starting to get to me, starting to get to all of us!
When you hear from me next month, I hope there is a photo of us standing on the stoop of the new Jokinen house -- ready to be made a home.
The photos in this post are part of a 365 project that started January 1st. I've taken a photo a day, every single day. I could never have stayed motivated doing it on my own and have relied heavily on the support of the brilliant group I'm a part of. You can click here to see some work of the other talented photographers in the group starting with Alyssa!