anchored in light

A lifestyle blog about finding light in every avenue of life

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Poems of Motherhood | February


You love your cake
this time
with so many
gathered around you
if you ever forget
how loved you are
I hop you'll watch the video
and know


You're back to 2 naps


We woke to snow
piled high
it made me want to toss you in it
but you have no snow suit
so we watch it fall
through panes of cold glass


you rolled
you fell
down the stairs
when I close my eyes
I can still see you
eyes frightened
body out of control
I can still see it


You cried
Daddy was gone
just you and me in a strange, dark house
so I held you
tucked you close against me in our bed
realized just how long you'd grown


I remember thinking
is what I want to remember
falling asleep in my arms


I love how you yell
to hear your own voice
to hear how it echoes off the walls

Thanks for reading! :)

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Friday, May 24, 2019

Friday Moments

We made it back from Florida. I am definitely one of those people who loves to travel and loves vacation, but really appreciates home when I get there! I remember walking into the kitchen and saying "I missed this kitchen" It's so nice knowing where everything is, and what you have, and what you can make with it. It's nice to be able to get back to routines again.

Everly and I went for a walk in the rain because apparently it always decides to rain just as we are going for a walk lately. I almost didn't take her, but I wanted to go for a walk and it wasn't raining THAT hard. It's certainly a change from the Florida heat and sunshine that it only took me a day or two to get used to (still not used to all this rain and gloomy weather yet).

Everly has decided, since Florida, that sitting in the bath is overrated (but nor does she like showers...). 

We went with Brian to an appointment and afterward decided to get Zupas. Honestly, it was a bit of a disappointment all around, but the creme brulee was still good. Everly had her first bite of creme brulee. She was a little hesitant to try it at first but then kept going "Mmmm" afterward, so I think we have a fan! 

Everly's new favorite game is stand by the tub while Daddy is showering and make him hand her toys one by one. 

Ever since I had my yoga mat out a month or so ago Everly likes playing with blankets and mats (particularly her changing mat). This morning she dragged this blanket out and made me lay it out nicely. Then she sat on it and turned all around on it and signed "help" whenever it got a little wrinkled so that I would lay it smooth again.

She's been quite the character today. I'm so glad that she's such a happy girl. Especially since she decided that 5 AM was a good time to wake up crying this morning.

Currently Reading:

Bookishly Ever After by Isabel Bandeira
The Great Library Series by Rachel Caine
Flicker and Mist by Mary G. Thompson
A Ring of Endless Light by Madeleine L'Engle

Currently Listening to:

All the same Favorites! If you have anyone I should check out, send them my way!
What We Said Podcast
Find the Magic Podcast
Writing Excuses Podcast
Dear Hank and John Podcast
"Woke Up Late" by Drax Project
"Walk Me Home" by P!nk
"I'm a Mess" by Bebe Rexha

Goals for These Coming Weeks:

Work out (still working on this one)
Journal Daily
Meal plan for the month/quarter
Scriptures and Prayer daily

Something to Take Away:

"Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve."

-Napoleon Hill

Thanks for reading! I'd love to hear what you've been up to and what your goals are for the next few weeks!

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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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