What is next season for me and my family?
This has been the question I’ve been asking myself a lot the last few months.
I feel like I’ve been in a caterpillar state. The old has felt comfortable. But itchy. And somehow, not right. I‘ve been leaning into God’s presence more and his voice has spoken so clearly that it’s hard to ignore.
He’s asked me to step away from being online in the way I was, especially in my instagram space. A place I’ve found a lot of fulfillment, purpose, influence, and relationships. A place I’ve loved to serve others. I’ve kept it open for so long because I love to help people and for potential business opportunity. But as Surf Girls Design has grown more successful, my personal instagram has just become a secondary job that I cannot justify in our season.
And honestly, as my children get older, my convictions about social media grow stronger. As people try and hand them phones at every turn, I see how easily it can infiltrate our lives and make reality feel off.
As the gatekeeper of my house, I want to teach my kids FIRST how to thrive offline before ever handing them technology. If that is truly my conviction, me following them around with a camera is sending mixed messages. They did not sign up to be mini versions of Keeping Up with the Kardashians. Their memories deserve to be memories, not an Instagram strategy. Running a growing account that is completely built on the back of my family’s personal life is not where my heart is. It allows culture to infiltrate our home in a way I'm not comfortable with while my kids are little. I only have a few years of these formative ages and I want every moment of those to be intentional.
I've grown million dollar companies. And I love that they’ve always been an extension of my personal life, not dependent on my personal life. I continually find that when I let a business or a following ride on the back of my personal life, things feel yucky and off for me. The boundaries are necessary for me to live my conviction. And I want to raise children who live out their convictions fully too, even when it doesn’t make sense and runs counter cultural. We’ll teach them how to use social media when it’s appropriate and when they can use it to give back, and not consume. That time is not now.
SO! I’ll still be around, it’ll just be different. You’ll mostly find find me posting about our design and flips on Surf Girls Design! That will be my more active account. You can reach me there or via email. (email@example.com)
I'll probably post sometimes here on our blog. And my instagram personal account will stay up and I’ll share family updates every now and then. But it won’t be a play by play of my life. And that’s okay. I’m sad about it, because part of me loves sharing. But happy, because I know it’s the right and scary choice for us for our season. We will be moving on to 6 acres soon, and much of our time will be full with running a business and cultivating an intentional childhood and family life together on our little homestead.
I hope you will do scary things too and live out your convictions fully, no matter what they may be. It's ok to do new things in different seasons. Hug a real person more and like photos on here less. Get outside. Go for a walk. Find community. Show up in real life. There’s a whole lot of joy waiting there. And maybe you’ll run into me there too.
To my amazing followers who have followed me through many seasons and over many platforms, love you guys forever. ❤️❤️
Indy's Birth Story
Sweet Miraculous Indy decided to come a week after her due date on August 12th.
It seems I am always cooking my kiddos a little longer. I was convinced that a back rub from my dad is what put me into labor with Amelia. So after being a week late, I decided to give that ago again to see if my hunch was right. My dad and mom popped over our house and whenever he rubbed my lower back, I would feel a weird tingly feeling just like I felt with Amelia. I felt like maybe it was the night! After, Ryan and I watched a show and snuggled Amelia and then went to bed.
At 12am (just like with Amelia, which is weird!) I woke up with cramps and told Ryan I thought I was in labor. My water didn't break like before, but they were definitely contractions.
Around 4am, they were pretty annoying so I got up and showered. I blow dried my hair because I had just gotten bangs and wanted them to look good. Haha. Priorities! I told Ryan I was going to pack the bags and get everything ready. I was anticipating it all going WAY faster than with Amelia. By the time I got contractions, we ended up in the hospital a few hours later. Not the case this time.
By 7am, they were 20 minutes apart but stayed pretty consistent so we decided to wait at home until they got fairly unbearable. Amelia was not feeling the drama and kept crying when I would have a contraction. It was SO sad!
At around 9am, they were 7 minutes apart and pretty strong. But I could still talk in between the contractions. I didn't feel like I could do that with Amelia's, so I told Ryan to go to his meetings and I would just call him when I needed him to come home.
Around 12pm, they seemed to slow down and almost go away. They weren't bad at all and I got so freaked out that I was in false labor and alerted everyone for nothing. How embarrassing! Ryan came home and brought me Wendy's. I was in good spirits and we made out a bunch and spent time together while Amelia napped. ;) It was such a weird thing to have no idea if you were gonna have a kid that day or not.
Around 2pm, the contractions started again. They were 6 minutes apart and way stronger. I kept thinking I was imagining it, and then a contraction would hit and I would yell "nope, it's real, it's real!!"
At 3pm, my sister and my mom came over. They brought me a yummy coconut milkshake. They also thought my contractions were super funny and decided to film them for me to remember. lol. See video below. Thanks guys ;)
At 4:30pm, is when it got bad. I felt like I couldn't breathe and kept saying "I feel like my bottom half is being sawed off!" Which made everyone laugh more. ;) Amelia was getting nervous and I couldn't talk in between them anymore.
At around 5pm, I told Ryan all the sudden "we need to go. I can't do it anymore." He knew it was time because I had been super stubborn up until that point. Amelia stayed with Auntie Cassidy and my dad and we left.
Ryan drove like a crazy guy to the hospital because I kept yelling "we waited too long. this was dumb! I can feel her coming out!" He was terrified, I'm sure. lol.
After checking in, I was almost 5 cm dilated and 100% effaced. Praise the Lord! I was so worried I wouldn't be dilated at all. I was in that level of pain with Amelia and had only been at 1 cm! So I was pumped I had made it that long. Ryan was the sweetest and talked me through every contraction.
At around 7pm, I opted for the epidural again at 7cm. I was proud to have made it that long and felt like maybeeee I could have powered through this time (never in a million years could I do it with Amelia's birth), but once I got it, I was so much more focused and calm. So yay for epidurals!
All my fam showed up around this time to root me on. And YES, I let them all in the room. Haha. Everyone is always so surprised at this. Do what makes you comfortable! But for me, I loved having all my siblings and family there to pray over me and celebrate. (and the rooms were big, so they could just hang out in the chairs and not see the private bits). :) Amelia hung out in the waiting room with her Uncle Dawson.
At 7:45pm, I started to get shaky and nauseous. They checked Indy's heart rate, but were having a hard time finding it. I was freaking out and so worried. They checked my dilation and it turns out, Indy was headed down the birth canal and that was the reason she wasn't fully in my tummy anymore. They immediately yelled for the doctor and started yelling at me to push.
Action Time: This was honestly the HARDEST part. I had no ability to hold the sides of the bed this time and felt really out of control. I panicked a little bit and kept asking my mom "can I do this???" I started crying because I was worried about Amelia and so scared about everything changing.
We took a second and my mom gave me the BEST mama pep talk. And my family prayed over us and for Indy, for protection and joy as she entered the world.
After this, it went SO fast and because they were worried about my oxygen, so they kept pushing me down in the bed. I couldn't push at all like that. Finally it got too hard and I asked them to turn the epidural off. Once they did, I could finally push hard. But I felt SO MUCH. It was WAY more painful than with Amelia. This time I was yelling and crazy and not calm at all. haha. But it all changed when she arrived.
Indy Babe Arrives: After this, I pushed twice and Indy popped right out. We were all crying and so happy it was over and she was here. I felt so much better once I SAW her. I had been SO worried that my first labor went so well, that something was bound to go wrong. But even though it was harder, everything went so right. God blessed us AGAIN. Every time we think he is done blessing us, he keeps lavishing us with his love.
We took photos, cuddled Indy, and prayed again. After a while, Amelia came in to meet her. She was so happy to see us and kept saying "baby" but I don't think she knew it was our baby. Seeing them together just felt right. It didn't feel sad or weird. It felt good. She was able to hold Indy a couple days later and has fallen right into being an amazing big sister.
It's been an incredible first couple of months with Indy. It has also been so much easier emotionally for me because I knew what to expect and how to cultivate joy in the midst of a really emotional season. We've been enjoying our family of four and I could never imagine life without my sweet Indy girl now. I'm so excited to watch her and Amelia grow up together!
I had posted on my instagram a couple weeks ago that this pregnancy has just flown by! All the things I had planned on doing - a baby blessing party, maternity photos, getting our house ready - have all been put on the back burner as Indy is popping into our world so quick. We couldn't be happier, but I was feeling a little sad that I didn't feel like we got to properly celebrate.
And an amazing friend reached out and offered to take our maternity photos....only one week out from birth. She is such an incredible photographer and was so flexible....she even offered to dual write the photos to our memory card so we could quickly edit and post them. Seriously, if you're looking for someone in the central Florida area, Haley Martin with Native Expressions in the bomb.com. (Does anyone even say that anymore??) Oh well! Book her!
She snapped us doing what we do best....roaming around at the beach with Amelia, getting sandy, and making out way too much. We are so looking forward to adding to our fam in just one week.....we are ready for you Indy! (Especially Amelia, who is furiously excited for a baby sister).
We are so excited for baby #2's little life!
Watch below to see how we found out and how I told Ryan.
I bawled like a baby making this birth video, so much so that it’s 6 months late. Mom hormones, I guess. Whoops.
If you’ve ever wondered Amelia’s birth story, check it out below. (There’s lots of bellies and baby, so avoid if you aren’t into that sort of thing.)
I’ll just be over here crying and rewatching 1000x times. Sorry, Mila, your momma’s crazy and loves you a lot.
My 5 Newborn Baby Essentials
With your first baby, everything is so new and just a tad confusing. I remember making my baby shower registry and having to ask my mom for help on EVERYTHING. It seemed like babies needed A TON of stuff, some of it I had no idea about.
When I googled "the most important products for a new baby," I was met with a hundred articles with all kinds of fancy gadgets that I could not afford nor did I want cluttering up my house. Ryan and I have lived in a camper and tiny apartments our whole marriage, so you can say minimalism is an appreciation of ours.
Now that Amelia is out and hanging around our house, I can tell which products I definitely needed and which ones were just an added bonus.
Here's my list of TOP 5 Baby products
(yes, you read that...top 5. Cause you honestly don't need a ton more than that).
* Remember, this is just my own personal list because everyone has different needs. I did not include necessities like diapers, wipes, and things like nail clippers. These 5 products are the extra things that were lifesavers for me.
1. WildBird Slings
I got this as a baby shower gift and it is my MOST USED product. I put her in the sling the third day she was born and have barely taken her out since. She absolutely loves it and falls asleep so quickly. With wanting to get back into work a few weeks after birth, this sling made it so easy to have my hands back while still keeping her close.
Pictured is SongBird and Sparrow colored slings. :)
2. Hevea Orthadontic Pacifier & Pacifier Clips
I love my babe, but like any baby, she can be fussy. Her plastic pacifiers pop right out of her mouth, leaving me in an endless game of getting up to put them back in....only for them to pop right out again. This specific pacifier is super soft and leaves no marks on her face, while also staying in her mouth for SO much longer than the other ones. The pacifier clip is also super helpful so we don't lose the pacifier when we're walking out and about. (and functions as a teething ring when her little teefies come in. ;)
Pacificer Clip >
3. Baby Swing
Everyone told me these were awesome, but they really are. There's so many fancy ones, but the two I received as gifts are below and I love them. One rocks her side to side, and one is a true swing. (The swing works really well during the day when she wants to be rocked, but wants to see around the room).
Similar Swing >
Hey, friend! I'm Chelsie!
Stay a while and get comfy. <3