anchored in light

A lifestyle blog about finding light in every avenue of life

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Monthly Moments | October 2019

Somehow October flew by even though I feel like it was jam-packed with things. October was another hard month, but maybe less hard because it didn't feel like it lasted as long. I honestly hate feeling like I've had so many hard months in a row, not so much because I don't like them (which I don't) but because I feel like I'm a generally optimistic and happy person by nature. I feel like I haven't had a harder year than this one since my college boyfriend broke up with me. 

There were some really good moments this month that helped though. 

We've been trying to introduce blankets to Everly so that you know, eventually, one day, she'll sleep in a bed with blankets. So far she only likes them when she isn't in her bed and even then... not really.

This is how I make anything I want to cook while Everly is awake. I've been trying to do things like this more so that she can learn to cook, instead of just doing it when she's sleeping (because it's so much easier).

Brian and I created this tradition of going up to Provo River Falls around General Conference when we were dating. I'd gone up a few weeks before with my best friend and wanted to show him how beautiful the leaves were. It's a tradition that has stuck and I love it. Mostly because it's our tradition. Something that we figured out on our own and has become part of us. If we ever move away I'm not sure what we'll do to replace it, but I'm glad that we get to do it now and that we get to take Everly with us.

We had a baby shower for our little boy! I was really worried before people arrived that no one was going to come. Partly because that's just how I always feel before a party that I'm throwing (not that I threw myself this one), and partly because only 12 gifts on my registry were reserved or bought before the shower... I personally knew I had bought 10 of them stocking up for the baby through the previous months.

Luckily people came and we got some clothes for our new little guy! (Who is still nameless.)

This was just too sweet not to include. Brian runs a lot. Well, he runs far I should say. He had knee surgery over the summer so he's been working back into his normal running routines (usually a minimum of 6 miles, twice a week). So last Saturday when he got back from his run he was stretching and Everly decided that she needed to stretch with him. 

Everly's first trunk or treat experience and honestly one of the most awkward parent moments of my life. Our ward threw a trunk or treat, starting at 5. They were following the trunk or treat up with a dinner at 6. I didn't want to spend a whole hour trunk or treating (I wasn't even sure how I would do that) so I figured we'd show up a half an hour late when things were in full swing.

So we did. We got there about 5:30 and all the kids were over at the pavilion. There were a few people hanging around by their trunks but not very many (seriously like 2 cars had people by them). I figured that we had come after everyone was basically finished, which made sense because we were starting a full half-hour after everyone else. 

So we went around to the cars. Chatted with the people that we knew by their cars. We helped Everly pick out a treat at each unattended trunk and put it in her bucket. We even spent like 5 minutes chatting up some strangers by their trunk but they never offered us any candy so we awkwardly moved on. Finally, we finished going around to all the cars. I seriously felt so awkward by the end. Then they announce over the loudspeaker that they're going to start the trunk or treat!

At 5:40-ish.

I felt so stupid and awkward and I'm still a little mad that the few people who were by their cars didn't say a word to us about the fact that they hadn't even started the trunk or treat yet. 

I still feel awkward just thinking about it.

So yeah, that was my October! I'm mostly just looking forward to having this baby and starting a brand new year. 

Books I loved this month:

Harry Potter (1-4)

Podcasts I've loved this month:

I have been way behind on my podcast episodes which means I've been listening to a lot trying to catch up and maybe not getting as much out of them as I usually do. 

I've had a really hard time with insomnia lately. I'm not sure if it's because I'm pregnant or if it's because I have had a lot on my mind lately. If you have any tips for me I'd love to hear them! My latest attempt at not having insomnia is to take a half dose of melatonin if I've already tried going to bed and can't and then trying to go to sleep again in a half an hour. It worked once. Failed miserably the second time. Although that may have been because of my restless legs.

Anyway, thanks for reading! Hope you had a fantastic October and have a great November!

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Wednesday, October 23, 2019

An Open Letter to Our Baby Boy

I intended to write a lot more of these, but it's true, it's harder the second time around. Regardless, I am still so excited to add another member to our family. A little part of me worries that there is no way that I could love this baby as much as Everly (I think she's pretty fantastic 😉), but the other part of me knows that there is no way that I couldn't love this baby with everything that I am. 

As we get closer to labor I'm starting to realize how many fears that I have attached to labor. With Everly, I had no idea what I was getting into, and pretty much just figured I'd deal with things as they came. Which I did. Now that I know a little bit more about the labor experience, I worry about the labor being long (because Everly's was). I worry that because second babies tend to come more quickly that I won't have time for an epidural and even though I planned on going through some kind of natural labor program just in case... I definitely haven't done that. I worry that this baby will end up in the NICU (because Everly did). I feel like I have no real concept of what a normal hospital stay after birth is like because Everly was never in my room. I worry about how Everly will be taken care of, especially if I need Brian to stay with me at the hospital because last time I couldn't get in and out of bed on my own.

I'm trying really hard not to expect for the worst this time around, but also plan enough for it that if it happens I'm not crushed and things fall into disarray. 

Having babies is a wild ride. 

We did end up having a baby shower for this little one and I'm so grateful to the people that showed up and supported us. I was genuinely touched. 

Now I'm just trying to plan Christmas so that it's all taken care of before this little guy comes. 

Thank you so much for reading and for all your support! Each page view really does mean something to me 😊

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Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Stollen Recipes | Baked Apples

Baked Apples
Credit to Jill Vandertoolen for the recipe


6-8 Golden delicious apples (I have used all kinds of apples and they have all worked)
1 Cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 stick butter
Walnuts or pecans, and raisins
Half and half (for serving)

1. Preheat oven to 400℉ 
2. Spray a 9x13 pan. 
3. Peel and core apples. Place in the pan and fill the centers with raisins and nuts.
4. Melt butter and mix with cinnamon and brown sugar. Pour over apples (I spoon it over them).
5. Bake, covered, for 40-45 minutes.

Serve warm with half and half 😊

This is a Stoll family tradition for General Conference. I had never had this before I started dating Brian and I decided to make this for him so that he would feel like he was at home even though we were thousands of miles from his family. Honestly, I love making these now. I love how cozy they make me feel and I love making something that I know my husband loves. We make them for breakfast but they would make a great dessert. Just remember to get up early if you want to make these for breakfast unless those you love are late sleepers 😉

Thanks for reading! I would love to hear if you have any breakfast traditions or any Conference traditions!

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Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Cloth Diapering | One Month In

Before we jump into cloth diapering, I wanted to share my definition of "wholesome living". When I think of wholesome living, I think of living intentionally. I think of eco-friendly and non-toxic. I think of real butter and real cream and whole milk. I think of being content with what I have and using things until the end of their life, rather than when I get tired of them or itching for something new. Wholesome living to me is about being authentic and real and taking the extra time to be present or make a homemade meal. These posts will be about things I've tried to my life more in line with that vision of being wholesome. 

We are officially one month into cloth diapering so I wanted to share our experience. 

I thought I would start off with why we decided to start cloth diapering. Honestly, if you don't have a good "why" you are doing cloth diapering, then it probably isn't going to work for you. I don't care what I've read, or heard people say, having done disposables for over a year and a half, disposables are definitely more convenient. 

For me, the "why" came down to two things:

1. Cost
2. Better for the ecosystem.

Babies go through so many diapers and the thought that my babies' diapers will still be in the landfill after I'm dead after Everly is dead, and after her children have also lived long and healthy lives... it seemed a little too much for me. Since having Everly I have thought a lot about the impact that I am having on her and the world around us. I want to leave the world better for her and so I decided to try cloth diapering.

Like anything that I've tried to be more sustainable and eco-friendly, it has to be better for the environment, but it also has to work. I'm not willing, at this point, to do anything that is wildly inconvenient for me or is less effective. Well, less effective to a point. 

I did a lot of research into cloth diapering before we took the plunge and honestly I wasn't planning on cloth diapering Everly at all. I figured we would start fresh with this new baby, but as my "stash" (of cloth diapers) grew it seemed silly not to try it out now. That way we would have a feel for it before we tried it out when things were crazier with two kids and then we could start saving on diapering Everly now. 

If you're considering cloth diapering I definitely recommend talking to someone who has cloth diapered, check out the websites of a few different brands, and join the Fluff Love & CD Science Facebook group

Here were my main concerns before we started.

  • Cost to build a stash
  • Not knowing how much I would need
  • My husband maybe not being on board with trying it
  • Dealing with Poopy diapers
  • Washing them (how would I know if they were clean, what kind of detergent would I need, how long would it take me to wash and fold diapers...)

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of those concerns I want to first say what I love about cloth diapering so far.

1. I feel like I'm living more in line with my principles about doing what is good for the world instead of what is just easiest for me.
2. Everly has very sensitive skin and got a lot of diaper rashes before we switched. It wasn't uncommon for us to be putting Desitin max strength on her every few days for a diaper change or two because she was red or had a rash. We haven't had any issues with rashes so far. I have put cloth safe diaper cream on her twice when she was slightly red but other than that... nothing.
3. Cheaper. Yes, we've spent a lot building our stash, but I'm so excited to not have giant boxes of Costco diapers every month or so. We're in size 4 diapers now, so our stash (detailed below), cost us about 6 months worth of diapers, but our diapers will last us until she's out of diapers and hopefully through all but the newborn stage of our next baby. We'll even say 7-8 months worth of diapers if you factor in detergent and washing. Still SO much cheaper. 
4. They're way cuter than disposables. I love the diapers we've gotten so far and it makes me feel way better about letting her run around without pants on.

Here are the realities of each of my concerns for our family so far.

Cost to build a stash.

This kind of blends into knowing how much I would need. Once I decided what kind of diapers I wanted (we went with Pocket diapers, which are basically adjustable sized diapers that have a pocket you place an absorbent insert into) and found a brand that I liked, their website had recommendations on how many diapers I would need as a minimum to start. They recommended at least 14-24 cloth diapers. I started when we had 14 and continued to use disposables for nighttimes and nap times. Our diapers were from Nora's Nursery. We continued to build our stash to what I considered the bare minimum adding in 4 Grovia O.N.E diapers for overnight and an extra set of 10 inserts from Nora's nursery. All that comes to about $240. We would just buy a pack of diapers or a couple of the overnights per paycheck so it took us a few months to build to that point. 

Husband maybe not on board.

Brian is typically more eco-conscious than I am, so I was surprised when the first time I asked him about cloth diapering he told me he felt that it was more of a hassle than it was worth. 
I'd been considering cloth diapering since Everly was a few months old and we'd even considered biodegradable diapers (which are much more expensive than regular disposables). 
I continued thinking about it and did more research. I listened to a podcast on cloth diapering. I joined the facebook group. The more I learned the more I wanted to try it out. I was really worried about Brian not being willing to. In the end, his main concern was leaking (which is totally valid). We'd had leaks with disposables at times (mainly blowouts or overnight). I told him about everything that I learned and had him come with me to my cousin to talk about cloth diapering (she cloth diapered her twins).
In the end, he was willing to try it. We knew that if we decided it wasn't for us we could always sell our diapers and get some of our money back.


I'm not going to lie. Leaks happen with cloth diapers. I wouldn't necessarily blame this on the diapers though. When we started, I didn't have any extra inserts, which meant I couldn't double up. With cloth diapers, you need to change them about every 2 hours (which apparently you're supposed to do with disposables, but I never knew that) to avoid leaks. We had leaks mainly when I pushed it past the 2 hours, and occasionally when Everly had just had a lot to drink. For example, since we got the extra liners I can double line most of the time, but I still don't have enough to double line ALL the time. So when we changed Everly for the last time before her bedtime bath yesterday, I didn't use two inserts. I knew that it would be just over 2 hours before we were throwing her in the tub, but she'd had a lot to drink and she soaked through her insert... and her pants. It hasn't really bothered me much to deal with leaks, other than I feel like I have to be more aware of just how long it has been since I last changed her. 
Overnights have actually been amazing with the Grovia O.N.E. diapers. We have had a few times where she leaked through, but after being vigilant all day to change every two hours (she can actually go 3-4 hours if I double line, which I do if I know that I'm not going to be able to change her soon), it's so wonderful to put her down for 12+ hours and know that she's probably NOT going to leak through her diaper. If they weren't so expensive (and didn't give her the biggest fluff butt I have ever seen 😂), I would probably use them all the time instead of pocket diapers. 

Dealing with poopy diapers.

I don't know anyone that likes dealing with poop. I had been emptying Everly's poopy diapers into the toilet anyway when we were using disposables (which it says to do right on the box) so cloth diapering didn't seem like it would add that much to it. Still... I was a little hesitant. I ordered Grovia's bio liners which lay inside the diaper between the diaper and that baby. They aren't very expensive and work pretty well. That said I don't usually use them anymore anyway. I learned that while you can flush them, you probably shouldn't (just like you shouldn't flush anything that isn't toilet paper or human waste. Yes, even your "flushable" adult wipes.), so it just seemed easier to not use them at all. Most of the time I can just dump the diaper and be done with it anyway, and for the diapers that require a little... scraping, I use a diaper cream applicator (basically a small silicone scraper) and wipe it off with a wipe.


Once you have your routine down, washing is actually pretty easy. I pull out the inserts when I change Everly so when it's time to wash (I wash every other day or when I'm down to 4 clean pocket diapers), I just dump them into the washer. The hardest part was picking a detergent. When you start looking into cloth diapering you learn that there are all sorts of detergents that you can use, but there are all sorts you should not use. Mainly because a lot of detergents contain things that will stick to your diapers and over time either damage the fabric or build-up and keep them from absorbing like they should. 
We went with All Free and Clear Powder detergent (the liquid is not Cloth diaper safe) because it was the cheapest and we were already using the liquid kind so it was a good place to start. I haven't had any issues with it so far. 
I hang dry the "shells" or the outside parts of the diaper and dry the inserts for an hour in the dryer. They are usually still wet when I pull them out so I hang those after as well. If I'm short on time everything that I have is safe for the dryer. The shells are pretty dry after one cycle in the dryer, but the inserts would definitely need longer. 

Cloth diapering has been different, but I'm so glad that we decided to give it a try. I fully recognize that cloth diapering isn't for everyone and I have no qualms about using disposables from time to time. It just makes me feel better knowing that every time I cloth diaper, it's one less diaper in the landfill. I plan on doing a series on sustainable switches that I try, and I'm sure that not all of them will stick, but the ones that do mean that it's a little better for me and my family and the planet. I love the quote about how it's not about a couple people doing zero waste perfectly, it's about all of us doing it imperfectly. Any step we take to be more sustainable, more toxin-free, and more wholesome is a good one, but I'm definitely never going to be perfect and that's ok. 

I hope this was a helpful look into cloth diapering! If you have any questions about it, please drop them below or send me a message! I'd love to answer them :)
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Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Poems of Motherhood | May 2019

May 1, 2019

Your "sick" cry always gets me
I hear it
I know
I'm about to watch you be miserable
I always hope it will pass
that I can be your safe place while it rages

May 3, 2019

So many quirks
swinging your arms
to assert dominance over your tiny kingdom
your growls
the way you hold yourself in a seated position
when you don't want to be put down

Some months I feel like I have poetry pouring out of me. I can watch the moments happening and hear the words of the poem I will write about it later in my head. Some months I'm just living my life and I don't feel it like that. In the next few months, I had almost no poetry written about motherhood. It makes me feel a little sad because I know that there must have been so many moments that I would want to remember. Moments that I didn't capture. I tell myself that it is ok. That I still journaled. That I still was present in those moments, but it makes me want to make sure that I don't let more months slip by.

Thank you for reading! I hope that you all read these and relate or that they inspire you to keep little moments that you love written in ink so that you can remember them. 

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