anchored in light

anchored in light

A lifestyle blog about finding light in every avenue of life

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Florida Trip | Moments and Things I Learned

If you follow me on Instagram then you know that we went to Florida for the last week and a half, a trip that I was kind of dreading... the reasons being that it was a lot of travel with a toddler who had recently decided that throwing up in the car was a fun thing to do on long car rides (think anything over 20-30 minutes). I do not handle that sort of thing well, so while she handled flying great the last few times, I was concerned that this time we wouldn't be so lucky, particularly we wouldn't be lucky on the car trips to and from Marco Island where we would be staying in a condo for 5 days. That was my biggest concern, but there were lots of little things that I was worried about along with it. I was worried about staying connected to my husband while we traveled (something that's hard when we're visiting his family and especially since we had a baby and have to share a room with her). I made all sorts of plans on how I was going to make sure that I stayed mentally ok for this trip. I made a vacations affirmations list (which I forgot about as soon as I wrote it). I planned to study my scriptures daily and pray daily. I planned to work out daily or at least most of the days on the trip. I planned to write in my journal. I succeeded in writing in my journal, but that was about it. The good news is that Everly handled all the travel as well as could be expected. She never threw up in the car, and she was pretty happy most of the time even when she was off her schedule and missing sleep! It turned out to be a really fun trip and while I did still have a few days here and there that were difficult (hello, Mother's day), I feel like I learned to better communicate with Brian about what we do on vacation. Not a lot of what actually happened changed (other than I got to sleep in a few times! Hooray!), but I felt like it wasn't just assumed that I would be there to take Everly. We worked together on deciding who stayed behind with her when she was napping or down for the night. 

One of the really cool things that we got to do while we were there was go through the temple with Brian's little brother. He's the youngest so it was the first time that all the siblings were in the temple together. It was really cool to see that come together and I know that it meant so much to Brian's mom that we were all there. It's something that I hope for our children someday, but also something that I recognize that I might not get. My mother certainly didn't get it. It's a rare thing and it really was a blessing to witness it.

This picture is kind of deceiving because Everly really didn't love the ocean. She only loved it in someone's arms, but the waves kind of terrified her. Not that I blame her. I'm not a play in the big waves kind of girl. I like when its calm and smooth.

One of the days Brian and his family went out on a pontoon boat. I was too worried about the drive over and how it would mess with Everly's schedule so we stayed behind. I ended up loving having that little alone time with her. We played on the beach, went for a walk, and got her down for her nap right on time. Again, Everly didn't love the sand, would only stand on our mat or walk around after I put her shoes on her.

On nearly the last day of the trip I asked Brian to start taking pictures of me and Everly. It's somethign that I do often without thinking for him, but not something that happens a lot for me. Honestly, I had been hoping that he would just want to take pictures of me, but I'm so glad that I spoke up and asked because he got some really cute ones. Ones I wouldn't have had otherwise. One of the things that this trip taught me was to really ask for what I want and need. To not be afraid to tell what I want, because if I don't ask, I'm not going to get it. Case in point, Mother's day was hard for me. We traveled for half the day and the other half of the day was spent getting ready for the trip. I had been hoping and thinking that Brian would take Everly for me when she woke up so that I could sleep in, or that he would make me breakfast. I asked him the next day why he didn't do those things, he said, "Oh, that would have been a nice thing to do." He would have happily done those things for me, but I didn't ask him for them, so he didn't do them. More often than not, the people around me would be more than happy to help me out or to do something for me, but they're not mind readers. Communication is something I swear that I never stop learning to be better at. 

The flight home was rough. I swear it was the longest flight of my life. (It actually might have been, since we went a longer route to avoid some bad weather). But we made it. We made it home! I'm so happy to be back.

Things that made this trip easier for me:

-Gathre mat (seriously, they're worth the hype)
-Aloha Collection Beach Tote (folds down to nothing and carried everything that I needed)
-Coco and Kiwi Diaper changing kit (Everly actually loves to play with the mat and it was great to make the bed into a makeshift changing table)
-GoGo squeeze pouches (Everly ate almost nothing but these on the trip. Seriously.)
-Ice pack and cosmetic bag (aka makeshift cooler for Everly's milk)
-Book and Kindle
-My journal

Things I forgot on this trip:

-My shampoo and conditioner
-Everly's swimsuit (it made it to Florida, but not Marco Island)

Things I wished I had:

-A hydroflask (or something similar, for Everly's milk)
-My wildbird sling (I brought my Sakura Bloom Scout, but it just wasn't easy to use on my own and bulkier to pack than my sling)
-Regular headphones for the plane (although narrating what I thought was happening while watching Second Act and The Upside was pretty entertaining as well)

This trip was fun, and I'm so glad that I went. I do love that the more I travel, the more I figure out how to do it the best way for me and what little things make things easier.

Where are you traveling this year? What is your favorite travel tip?

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Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Stollen Book Club | Quarter 1

I heard once that you find what you are passionate about by thinking about the one thing that if people get you started on, you can go on and on forever about it. For me, that thing is books. I've always been a frequent flyer at the library and now that Everly is around, we go all the time. I'm just as bad (if not worse) when picking out her books. For me, I generally bring a reusable kind of grocery bag and when it's full (or overflowing) that's when I know I need to get out of the library. 

All this to say that I love books. I check out a lot of books, but I don't generally read more than half of them. Mostly because half of them turn out to be duds (books with too much language or too risque for my taste). The following books have been my favorite of the first 3 months of the year. I really didn't limit myself on how many I wanted to choose, just how many I really enjoyed. 

1. The Thing With Feathers By McCall Hoyle

I loved this book. It was about chronic illness and hope. I loved the Emily Dickinson sprinkled throughout the book as well. As I recall, it had little to no language and no sex.

2. The Year of Living Danishly By Helen Russell

This book seriously made me consider moving to Denmark. If not for the lack of sunlight for half the year and the bitter cold, I would be there. This book made me question how happy I was and how to be happier. I actually would rate myself 8-9/10. I realized while I was reading the book that the last little bit was really just things I was putting in my own way of my happiness. Things I wanted (temporally) but didn't have. It really helped me re-center on what I really need and want to be happy in this life.

3. The Great Hunt By Wendy Higgins

This was purely a fluff read. Just good old fantasy with not a whole lot of deeper plot than love... at first glance at least. I really do love how authors can weave in deeper meanings. This series (yes, it's a trilogy) really delves into prejudice and oppression of people based on fear. I loved the whole series but will warn you that there was one sex scene in the third book. 

1. Feminist Baby By Loryn Brantz
2. Feminist Baby Finds Her Voice By Loryn Brantz

Everly loved these books, probably because of the bright colors, and we loved reading them to her because we are all about girl power.

3. LlamaPhones By Janik Coat

We're definitely going to be buying this book at some point. I'm sure that the actual homophones went right over Everly's head, but each page has different textures. It's actually the book she's reading in the picture with Brian and it's turned to her favorite page "sent" and "cent". I'm already on the hunt for the rest of the books in the series. 

That's all! I'd love to hear what you read in the last few months and why you loved them! Who knows, maybe you'll see them featured as my favorites next time ;)

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Friday, May 3, 2019

Friday Moments | May 2019

Everly has discovered our backyard playset and it is both the best and the worst thing. I love it because we don't have to go to the park, but it also means that she wants to be outside playing in it at all hours of the day.

Everly had her first Easter Egg hunt. Not her first Easter, but her first hunt. She didn't quite get the point of it, but it was still really adorable to see her toddling around with her dad "finding" eggs.

So our normal walk time hit at the same time as a rainstorm. We turned back and I was going to just go back inside, but Everly decided that she wanted to explore. It was a little colder than I would have liked for her first play in the rain kind of day, but it was still so much fun to watch her splash in puddles and wander around.

About 1 second before she fell backward. Luckily she just fell back onto the swing and not off of it.

These blossoms... I'm seriously grateful for Spring. I just wish that the blooms lasted longer.

My favorite view from our daily walk. I imagine that if I were Anne of Green Gables, I would name it something fancy and akin to "the white way of delight", but I've yet to come up with something.

Everly decided that she needs to sit in this box. At first, I was like, "No, you barely fit, you'll break it" it's a nice box... but then I thought to myself, it's JUST a box. It was a birthday present to her and if this is how she finds joy in it, then I decided that it's ok. In case you were wondering, she hasn't broken it... yet.

We tried Pho at Costco while we were there picking something up and it was so good that I couldn't stop thinking about it and we ended getting some as takeout later. This was actually day 2 because there was so much it was enough for 2 meals. It was SO good. A little spicy, but good and now I'm on the hunt for a good Pho recipe.

We got to see our little nugget for the first time on Tuesday. I was honestly a little nervous going in. I kept thinking, "What if it doesn't have a heartbeat?" My mom miscarried at least 4 times so it's something I worry about, but as soon as we saw it's little heart beating and the doctor said everything looked good it was so comforting. 

This girl. Yes, she's wearing two sweaters and a puffy vest over it. And a hat. I was worried she would get cold. Yes, I'm that mom now. 

Currently Reading:

Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine

Currently Listening to:

Same favorites from last week!
What We Said
Find the Magic
Dear Hank and John
Writing Excuses

Goals for These Coming Weeks:
-Work out! Pregnancy exhaustion hit and my miracle mornings kind of died. I'm trying to find a new good time because waking up early has me dragging really hard all morning and during Everly's nap... I also take a nap. And eat lunch. Mostly just those two things.
-Journal every other day

Something to Take Away:

"That it will never come again is what makes life so sweet."

-Emily Dickinson

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Wednesday, May 1, 2019

How Affirmations Taught Me to Love My Body Again

It wasn't all that hard for me to embrace my body after I had Everly. While I had some rough patches during pregnancy where I felt more fat than like I had a cute bump. After I gave birth I was in awe of my own body. It managed to make and push out a human. It was feeding that human. Added to the fact that I lost all of my pregnancy weight without trying within a month of having her, it was pretty easy for me to feel good about it. 
Fast forward to one year later and I had a very hard time accepting my body. I was no longer pregnant. I was no longer nursing. My body had no other purpose than to take care of me. It was doing a fine job of that, but... it didn't quite look the way I hoped. The little things I let go of easily while I was nursing, like the tummy rolls of extra skin, and even the few pounds I had gained back (I went down to 10 pounds below my pre-pregnancy weight when I cut out dairy and eggs while I was nursing for two months) started to grate on me. 
I really didn't see the problem until my husband started telling me often to be nicer to myself. Somehow I found all the negative things I saw about myself falling right out of my mouth when he was around. Even as I was saying them, I knew that I was being harsh, but it was a deserved harsh, in my mind at least. 
This went on for probably a month while we were trying to get pregnant before I decided to try affirmations. It's funny to look back now on all the things I have been vocally against in my life that I've ended up coming around to. Affirmations are one of those things. I always thought that they sounded too... well, out there, to really make a difference. But I'd listened to some podcasts that mentioned them, read a few Instagram posts, and decided to try them. I wrote down 14 things, just a list of things that I wanted to believe and change about myself. This is what I came up with.

  • I am a good wife and mother
  • I am smart
  • I am beautiful
  • I have a healthy body capable of doing hard things
  • I am brave
  • I am patient
  • I am a hard worker
  • I am creative
  • I am kind
  • I am a good writer
  • I am a good friend
  • I can influence others for good
  • I will not let failure discourage me
  • I trust in the Savior and His plan for me
Each morning I would get up and I would read those to myself and repeat them in my mind. I've never quite gotten to a point where I don't feel completely stupid saying them out loud, but it worked. In almost no time at all, I stopped criticizing my body whenever I saw it. When things came up throughout the day that made me question one of those affirmations, I repeated it to myself and tried to make the best choice to make that affirmation a reality. 
Affirmations have done so much for me. It's such a simple thing, but one that I really do believe makes a difference. There are plenty of places that you can find pre-written affirmations if you have a hard time choosing your own, but if you'd like to try them I suggest asking yourself who you want to be, and then say that you are those things. Maybe think of things that you are hardest on yourself about and make a positive statement for that. You can have as many or as few as you want. I hope you'll try them. Let me know what you think!

Thanks for reading! I hope this post inspired you to love yourself a little more. 
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Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Poems of Motherhood | January


You fell asleep nursing
I could tell
by your breathing
the way your weight felt in my arms
by your latch
I held you a few minutes longer
let you rest with me


you walked
rejecting my hands for help
you wanted to do it along
so I followed
watched you test your skills
watched you grow up in 10 steps


you were tired
so tired
I could hear it in the way you cried
so I gave you a bottle
but it was the tiny tidepool of tears
gathered in your ear
that broke my heart


We went to church
you showed off your new walking skills
running into my arms
crinkled nose
big grin
I scooped you up
sealing the memory
of tiny arms
around my neck


I went through your poems
remembering when you were smaller
when you fit in the sink
it goes like sand
like water
then it's gone


We're drawing to our close now
the baby stage almost over
you'll never remember it
but I will
I'll always cherish you
no matter how big
or small


One year ago
your due date
one year ago 
you were just a dream
about to burst into reality
one year ago


We looked back
at the tiny moments
that made up your first year
your beginning
broken up into small pieces
have made a beautiful whole.

I've been writing these in my one-line a day journal and I've really enjoyed it. It helps me to remember to write the moments down every day and not over think it. 

Thanks for reading! I hope you all enjoyed them! :)

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Monday, April 22, 2019

Earth Day

You may or may not know that I'm well on my way to becoming a hippie. I think that I may have already gone this way eventually (some of my favorite books have some heavy environmental themes, and let's be real, books are basically my best friends), but having a husband that is environmentally conscious enough to literally walk our recycling to the recycle bin (about a half mile away) when we lived in our apartment that didn't have recycling, would be enough to push just about anyone this direction. 

Whether you're a hippie or not, or whether or not you even believe in global warming, I think that we can all agree that there are some things that are better for the environment than others. I don't think caring about the environment means you have to stop living your life the way that you like to live your life, or that you have to make drastic changes. I do think that we can each tweak a few things to be a little better and small things add up. 

Here are some things you can consider to help the environment:

1. Learn what is actually recyclable.

2. Shop small/local/ethically/sustainably made.
3. Consider Cloth diapering (or even just following the recommendation on the box to empty the contents of your disposable diaper into the toilet).
4. Use Menstrual cups instead of tampons or Thinx underwear instead of pads. Here is a quiz to find out which kind of cup you might want to try.
5. Buy metal straws to use over and over.
6. Use reusable grocery sacks. Here is a link to those produce sacks it seems like everyone has.
7. Reduce, reuse, recycle.
8. Use environmentally safe cleaners such as Branch Basics or Supernatural Clean.
9. Buy from the bulk food section instead of prepackaged. 
10. Buy seasonal produce.
11. Walk more places and carpool or combine trips when you can.
12. Buy reusable food sacks instead of a single-use snack, sandwich, or freezer bags.
13. Buy organically grown food.
14. Buy items from thrift shops or goodwill whenever possible.
15. Be aware of any local or federal legislation concerning the environment. Vote. For whatever you believe. If you want to educate yourself about the issues or how we affect the environment, my husband found these links.
Debunking Global Warming Myths
How Businesses are Responsible for most of the harm
This Changes Everything Book
We have 11 years to change

Honestly, the biggest and best thing I think that we can each do for the environment is to shift our mentality. To think first of what will last longest, that we can get the most use out of, instead of just doing whatever is most convenient. I decided not too long ago that I was going to do my best to do what whatever was the best choice in a given situation, instead of what was most convenient. Would it be more convenient to just throw things away? Yes. Would it be the best choice? No. I don't think that you should beat yourself up for what you aren't doing. There's a lot that we aren't doing. There's a lot that I'm not doing. That's ok. I think that if we all pick one thing to change, it will make a difference. Once you've got that down and it's a normal part of your life, pick something else and add it to what you're already doing. I think you'll be surprised how easy it is once you've made the shift. So far, I am only currently emptying my baby's diapers into the toilet, and I bought a menstrual cup (which I never got the chance to use before I got pregnant). Everything else on the list is things I'm either working on or planning to work on. 

I am so grateful for this beautiful earth that I get to live on. I want to take good care of it, as well as I can at least, just like I want to take good care of my body. I hope you learned something today! I'd love to hear any other tips you have to help take better care of the earth! Drop them in the comments below :)

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Friday, April 19, 2019

Friday Moments | #1

Honestly, I missed Monday Moments, and I missed monthly moments. Monday seemed too intimidating (I really take Mondays slow these days), and monthly moments seemed too far apart. So I bring you Friday Moments. It doesn't have any fun alliteration and we're going to aim for every other week, but here we go :)

Everly has decided that this is how she has to carry her bottle. Also, she loves those little shoes. She has me put them on for her all the time by taking them and setting them on top of her foot. She clearly knows that's where they go but she has no concept of how to actually get them there herself. 

These two. :)

Everly had a grand time distracting us through General Conference... so glad that they publish the talks afterward! I have never gotten so little out of a conference before.

Took this after she decided to abandon my Mom and I on a walk. She decided to go out and explore on her own. It really is bittersweet to see her start to be more independent like this.

Seriously, if anyone knows where I can get cheap rain boots and rain gear for Everly, let me know! These rainy days were fun, but also killed me. I wanted to get out of the house SO bad.

This shoot was so cold. It rained. Snowed a little bit. Also, Everly threw up on the way home. Luckily it wasn't too bad and we were just a few minutes away. But I was still glad we got the photos! We're so excited for our new baby.

My little sister bought this dress for Everly because she saw it at the store and decided that she needed it. I've got to say, it's one of my new favorites. And yes, we let her play at the park in it on Sunday.

Our neighbors down the street were giving this play set away so we took it! Everly already loves teh little slide. We didn't make it out of Pajamas that day, but hey, we went on two walks and played outside for a few hours so I think it was worth it.

Shortly after this photo I made Everly actually sit in the stroller. She'd been pushing it for 15 minutes and I decided it was time to go home. She cried the entire way home. I'm still getting into my groove when it comes to tantrums, but I was so proud of myself for not giving in to what she wanted and staying calm even though she was really upset. I just spoke to her in a calm voice. Told her that I knew that she really wanted to push the stroller but that we weren't doing that right now. Hopefully I can keep my cool for future tantrums as well.

Currently Reading:

The Great Pursuit By Wendy Higgins (finished this. Good. One sex scene to skip and a few references to sex)
Ink, Iron, and Glass By Gwendolyn Clare

Currently Listening to:

What We Said Podcast
Finding the Magic Podcast
Dear Hank and John Podcast
Writing Excuses Podcast

Goals for these coming weeks:

-Miracle Morning (work up to 30 minutes of exercise)
-Be more present and focused (I've been using the phrase "I am here" to bring myself back out of my head)
-Meal Plan

Something to take away:

"I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly"
-John 10:10

Thanks for reading! I'd love to hear your goals and your current happenings! Feel free to comment or email me at :)

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