03/ 07/ 2017
I cannot get a handle on my emotions lately. Why does dream chasing have to be so overwhelming? Why can’t motherhood and Boss Lady-ing (I hate saying that) co-exist effortlessly? Why can’t my kids peacefully nap whenever I want to film or write? Why can’t my microphone be consistently plugged in so I don’t waste 24 minutes of that precious, peaceful time for nothing? Why can’t my kids drink their watered down apple juice instead of spitting it down my back. Why can’t editing videos be a quick 30-minute deal? But I think the biggest question of all is, WHY AM I SUCH A WHINER?
The only thing I hate worse than complainers is complaining. I never want to be one of those people dumping all their issues online, but here I am. Dumping. I realize these are 100% first world problems. I get it. But the thing about my depression is that these dumb non-issue issues are huge for me. They consume me. They make me cry eight times in one day. They make me run out of waterproof mascara faster than ever before. They overwhelm me to the point of anger and hopelessness.
I don’t know why I feel like I have to do everything all at once. My brain does this funny thing where it realizes I have a lot on my plate and then it’s like, “Hey, B, why don’t you get off your lazy butt and exercise or something? It’s not like you have a lot going on. Everyone else does it. Why can’t you do it too?” I think it’s because I have all these things I know are supposed to help my mental health and instead of tackling one or two sections on the self-care wheel like a normal person, I want to take the whole pie.
I REALIZE I AM SETTING MYSELF UP FOR FAILURE BUT THAT DOESN’T STOP ME.
And that’s how I end up here – curled up on my couch with tear-stained cheeks and a shirt crunchy from apple juice spit. It’s a cycle. One I used to go through a lot more often. I feel grateful I haven’t been back in this place for a while, but that makes being here now hard. I know this isn’t normal. I know I’m not being rational. I know I’m letting my doubt and feelings of inadequacy swallow up my confidence. I see it happening. I know it’s happening. But I don’t know how to stop it. It’s like I’m slipping on ice and I’m falling and I know I’m falling but I can’t stop myself from falling.
I thank the heavens every day for the quite moments I have when my heart feels light and my worries are paused. Whether it’s Cory randomly calling to tell me he loves me or watching the kids pile into Jude’s bed after breakfast to play sleepover. They are my sunshine. It doesn’t make everything better, but it lifts my heavy soul. That lift helps me get through the next hurdle. And I need all the help I can get right now.
Life is hard. Motherhood is hard. Balance is hard.
You’re not alone.
03/ 01/ 2017
Before we dive into the bashing, let’s take care of some business! My friend Lauren and I have decided to throw a Bachelor Finale viewing party! We’re calling it The Bach Bash Bash and we can’t wait. We’re really excited about getting together with you and bashing the crap out of Nick who will definitely spend half the episode crying. It’s going to be so fun.
If you’re local to Utah and are interested in coming, please fill out this form! It’ll be on Monday, March 13 at 7:00 pm. We’re watching it LIVE so come a little early if you don’t want to miss watching Nick dramatically stare at the ocean from his balcony.
It’s going to be a laid-back girls night with soda, snacks and drama! This party is open to anyone and everyone. If you consider yourself part of Bachelor Nation, we want you there. If you hate Nick but love snacks, we want you there. If you’re one of the 1% of the population who for some reason likes Nick, we want you there. I promise I’ll talk to you and love you for you despite your love for the devil himself. The point is, we love everyone and we want everyone there.
The only thing I love more than bashing on The Bachelor alone in my living room is bashing on The Bachelor with a group of ladies who GET IT. So bring a snack, bring a friend (or five) and come on over. It’s gonna be a rill good time.
When I first started this series, I had every intention for these to be weekly videos. But as long as this season keeps moving at a glacial pace, I’m going to keep combining episodes. It literally takes me an entire week to watch ONE episode of The Bachelor. It’s so boring I have to stop so I can focus on folding my laundry and then I forget to finish watching.
This week we’re talking Bimini adventures and home towns. We FINALLY meet sweet Raquel and choke back tears when we see how much money Corrine spends on one outfit for Nick. Hint: it was more than I paid for a semester of college. I didn’t mention it in my video, but I think Rachel’s brother-in-law should replace Chris Harrison as host because he’s hilarious and would be a breath of fresh air. But since bad things happen to good people, Chris will probably stay on as host until one of us dies.
It’s a real good time people. I can’t wait to see how many episodes ABC splits the Fantasy Suite episode into. *insert eye roll here*
OH! One more thing. I made myself a Facebook page. Feel free to like and follow along there for new videos and posts!
You guys are the true MVPs. I love you. I really do.
02/ 23/ 2017
Okay, that seems a little dramatic, but it is! It is physically impossible for me to step foot inside a Target and NOT check out the dollar spot. Those darned $1 and $3 items find their way inside my cart and before I know it I’m $31 dollars deep and it’s too late to tell Sonja the cashier I don’t want any of it.
Please tell me I’m not the only one who goes through this. I mean, it’s Target, I KNOW I’m not the only one who finds themselves in the dollar spot trap. I guess I just want to know there are people out there who find themselves buying at least five items every time I go. I’m pretty proud that I didn’t pick up any thank you cards this time. If only you knew how many thank you cards I have…
02/ 18/ 2017
Cory got sick on the first day of the new year and we decided to make a month of it. The kids got sick and now I’m sick and if this is foreshadowing what 2017 has to offer, I don’t want it. That was a bit dramatic. I take it back. If 2017 means cuddles and mediocre television and lots of hugs, I’ll take it.
I’m actually all sorts of jazzed for 2017. This is the first summer I won’t have an infant. Zeke will basically be a toddler and will (hopefully!!) be walking by the time summer rolls around.We’re going to Disneyland with my family this fall and I can’t wait. Cory and I have a lot of lists and camping trips planned. Looking back on this list, I guess I’m mostly excited for summer. Summer’s going to be a rill good time.
I’m also really excited to keep vlogging. I don’t know if that’s what you call what I do over on YouTube, but I never know what to call what I do online. I’m kind of just here, doing whatever I want. It’s very YOLO of me. I’m so proud of that dumb little channel. It feels so good to be creating something for me. I love motherhood so much. Being a mom has always been my first and biggest dream. But it is so, so good and fulfilling to learn a new skill (I’m looking at you, Adobe. Ya little devil) and to do something completely removed from my home life. Yes, I mostly talk about my kids, but this feels separate from that. I can’t explain it. But I feel so proud of myself for being brave and trying something new and sticking with it.
I’ve struggled with the thought of being openly proud of yourself. I used to get really awkward when friends or family told me they read my blog. Like, “Oh. What? I mean. Okay, yeah. Cool.” I think I thought it was cocky to think you were good at something. That it was only okay for other people to be proud of you and totally inappropriate to be proud of yourself. But you know what? I’m over it.
I don’t care if you think that’s dumb. I don’t care if you think I’m dumb. I’m doing this for me and if I can help other ladies feel less alone when it comes to their butter eating, phantom peeing children, you bet your bottom dollar I’m going to keep doing it. Motherhood can be so lonely. You’re surrounded by children all day and while you love them with all your heart, it’s hard to completely relate with someone who eats their boogers. (Yeah. We’re working on it.) I’ve found the more I talk about my motherhood, the less alone I feel. And not in a “I don’t have any real friends” way, but in a “Oh my goodness. Everyone cries over crappy take-out. These are my people” Sometimes you just have to put yourself out there and tell the simplest, seemingly inane stories about your every day life to realize so many other people have the same days and the same stories. We’re not as isolated as we think.
I’ve always heard it takes a village to raise a child. The older I get and the more kids I have (not an announcement) the more I realize that village is so much more than helping a stranger in the grocery store with a fussy baby. It’s about an emotional village. This world of social media has allowed us the incredible opportunity to create our own cul-de-sacs. We can handpick our neighbors. Dear friends – real or virtual – who cheer us on, who cry with us, who laugh with us, who celebrate our victories and who understand and share our dream of one day jumping on a tramp without peeing a little bit. I’m not saying I have to be your next door neighbor (save that for Sally and her award winning cookies), but if you feel like I’m someone who gets it (and you) enough to be in your neighborhood, I’m honored.
More sisterhood in motherhood never hurt anybody.
11/ 21/ 2016
11/ 14/ 2016
Let’s talk clothes.
A few weeks ago I went to Target and Old Navy. Spring is nigh upon us and I needed something to wear other than maternity sweaters and leggings. I was so excited to go shopping. You guys, so excited. I feel like this is the first time in my life I have a clear vision of what I want my spring/summer style to be. No “branching out” to hip trends* just because they’re in. I want to stick to what I know I love, what I feel comfortable in and what makes me feel good. I’m at this awkward stage where I’m a size too big for normal sizes but sometimes too small/not built right for the plus size lines. Half of style is having confidence in what you’re wearing and heaven knows I don’t feel confident in half of what those crop-top, fringe vest, flower crowned youths today are wearing. Youths!!!
*Speaking of hip trends, can we make the choker stop? All chokers should have been buried with our 1999 time capsules and left to die.
I started at Target. My ride or die. My one and only. My tried and true. Target killed it with their maternity line last year and I knew their Ava + Viv plus size* line was current and cute. I figured I’d make out like a bandit, get everything I was looking for and call it good after one store. I was wrong. Dead wrong. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many fringed edges in my life.
I bought some press-on nails to help ease the pain and headed over to Old Navy. Anyone who thinks they’re too good for Old Navy needs to get out of the way so I can steal those deals faster. Old Navy is almost always good to me and I am forever grateful for their classic clothes that stay current without being too hip. I tried on shirt after shirt after shirt with little success. Then I thought it would be a good idea to move on to pants. As much as I love and stand by ON, I feel like I need to say, OLD NAVY MAKES THE WORST, LEAST FLATTERING PANTS EVER. But maybe that’s just me. Maybe Old Navy’s factory isn’t able to craft a denim that will cup and cradle and rock my booty as well as Levi’s does. My bottom is not the issue. Three children have not turned it into a potato lump. And I know this because Levi’s delivers. Every time. Levi’s are my apple bottom jeans always and forever.
Back to my story, nothing fit. Shirts were too tight, dresses too short, and jeans too hideous to even consider. So I did what any “emotionally stable” woman five months postpartum would do. I curled up on the dressing room bench and quietly cried until I was red in the face and hyperventilating.
I felt just like I did when I was 11 and swimsuit shopping with my mom. I remember being at Shopko and wanting so badly to get the bright purple, yellow, pink and blue suit from the girls’ section. I remember trying to jump and shimmy my body inside that large. By the time I was 11 I had pre-boobs. You know what I’m talking about – the boobs before your real boobs. The little fatty boobies that chunky babies get that never really seemed to leave my body. So even after I squeezed myself into that large, my chunky baby boobies made it so I needed some extra coverage. That’s what crying in that Old Navy dressing room make me feel like. I was back to being that chubby 11-year old whose pre-boobs were too big to wear a regular girls’ swimsuit but not big enough for a juniors’ suits with padded bra inserts.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about self-love and self-acceptance. If there’s one thing pregnancy and motherhood has taught me, it’s how to love and accept my body as it is. Sure there are things I can do to tone and tighten, but I think it’s crucial to love yourself where you are right NOW instead of 10 or 20 pounds from now. This newfound mentality doesn’t mean I’m immune from crying in dressing rooms. Obviously. But it does help me bounce back quicker and encourages me to keep on searching until I find clothes that help me express how great I feel inside. Because honestly, I feel like a real-life 100 emoji most of the time.
Different season, same issue.
I went back to Old Navy (will I ever learn?!) and cried. Again. But this time I left with so many more clothes that make me feel like the fanciest mom on the block. But instead of making you read more I’ll just link my video. I guess I should probably announce I’m YouTubing now. Which is essentially a glorified version of my snapchat, but it’s fun and I like it and it’s nice to do something for me. H8rz to the left.
11/ 07/ 2016
Alt Nation was having an Emo Halloweeno weekend and playing all the songs you sung your heart out to in High School. I wish I could take credit for the title of this post, but I can’t. But you bet your bottom dollar I’m going to use it every Halloween from here on out.
Due to the adorable helmet on his head, Zeke was destined to be a football player. Due to my lack of creativity and desire to shell out $20 for another jersey and $40 for a toddler cheerleading outfit, Jude and Ez were his mom and coach, respectively. Ezra made the cutest little coach. He blew his whistle, threw his clipboard and yelled, “Come on guuuuuuuyssss!” like a pro. Jude excitedly said, “I’m Zeke’s mommy!” when we dressed her up but after the trunk or treat she said, “I wasn’t amommy, I was just Jude.” She didn’t say it in a sad way but it broke my heart all the same.
On Halloween, Ez and Zeke donned their cougar clothes and Jude asked to be Minnie Mouse. She ran around the house in a polka-dot blur yelling, “I’m not Zeke’s mommy!! I’m Minnie Mouse!” and it was the cutest thing ever. Luckily she’s too young to care about anything other than candy when it comes to Halloween, but it was still so fun to see her so excited about dressing up. You’d think this Halloween would teach me a lesson, but it didn’t. Like it or not, next year they’re all going to wear the group costume I have cooking and nobody can stop me! Not even Minnie!
During the month of October, we had a Halloween dinner at my parents, went to two Trunk or Treats (with ours and Cory’s parents wards), trick or treated in our neighborhood on Halloween and topped it all off with a pumpkin display and special treat bags from Mama Angel. By the time Halloween finally rolled around and I was officially over the whole ghouling season. By November first, it felt like Halloween lasted months. I’m beyond ready for turkey comas and festive fall decor again.
As we drove to the pumpkins, I couldn’t help but smile. I always wanted to be a wife and mom and have a family and holiday traditions. But it’s one thing to dream about and another thing to live. And Halloween night I realized I’m living my dream and that’s a pretty incredible thing.
10/ 12/ 2016
INSERT EYE ROLL HERE
I gave myself an at-home gel manicure last week and it’s already chipping at the ends.
I’m working on a new project and it’s making me all sorts of unsure.
When practicing and thinking goes so much better than the actual executing.
Jude and Ezra fighting nap time so hard and falling asleep the minute they hit their beds.
That 6:30 alarm clock every morning.
Literally any kid show on Netflix right now.
ALL THE HEART EYES
Fresh flannel sheets.
Creamy chicken and wild rice soup.
Ez and Zeke in matching jeans.
Jude in her new fall boots.
Cory in everything flannel.
Pumpkin. Spice. Bread.
Waking up to the heater.
Watching Cory read books to the kids before bed.
SUN GLASS GUY (aka: my favorite & most used emoji)
Earlier sunsets which translate to earlier bed times.
Making a big pot of soup on Tuesday that will feed us the rest of the week.
My blonde hair and slow transformation into Kimberly Noel Kardashian.
Needing a new fall/winter wardrobe because everything I own is maternity.
Jude asking to snack on celery at Costco.
My spooky chic spiderweb witch cloak.
And last but not least, and honestly most important…
The beginning of neighborhood treat season.
*Cue the hallelujah chorus*
09/ 29/ 2016
21-month Ezra is my favorite Ezra. He’s teetering the line between baby and boy and it’s the best balance of both. While the rest of him is stretching and leaning out, his dimpled baby hands and potato feet are still hanging on. His droopy eye is more pronounced when he’s tired. We went to the doctor a few months ago for a sick visit, the doctor on call asked me how long his eye had been swollen. I looked at her puzzled and she repeated herself, pointing to his droopy eye. “Oh, he was just born that way.” She looked at me like I was crazy but really she’s the crazy one for having that fancy degree and not realizing a cute eye droop when she sees one.
He follows Jude everywhere and copies everything she does. He wants so badly to be big enough to play 100% on her level. His vocabulary is growing and his comprehension is amazing but he still can’t express himself as well as he wants. He just started to form two word sentences and listening to him bark commands is the cutest thing. Especially when Jude’s in time out and he stands behind her wagging his finger and saying, “No JuJu!”
As much as he wants to be big, I often find him gravitating toward Zeke. On Monday we went to Dinosaur Park with some friends and while the big kids played in the sand, Ez sat with Zeke and Moses. He handed them leaves (that they both immediately put in their mouths) and kept patting their backs saying, “Ya kay?” He’s always the first to run to whoever is crying and pat their back and kiss their sadness away. Bless that sweet bull of a boy and his tender heart.
Ez is the first to wake up from the synchronized afternoon nap. Every day he stops at the foot of the stairs and holds out his hand for me so we can climb the steps together. We spend the rest of nap time snuggled in bed, sharing “nacks” and waiting for Jude and Zeke to wake up. Even though life is more exciting with all three kids awake, I think Ez keeps waking up early because he knows nap time is our time. Before bed he grabs his “bak” (blanket) buries his face in it and runs toward me saying, “Nuggle! Nuggle!” Cory, Jude, Ezra and I snuggle on the couch and read our pile of books, waiting for Ezzy to interrupt us halfway through for prayers.
As sweet and snuggly as he is, he is definitely entering the toddler phase. Homeboy can go from playful puppy to hulk in less than a second. He’s been really into screaming until his face matches his hair. It’s a high pitched wail I’m sure can be heard three streets over and is usually accompanied by a body slam to the floor. I forgot how much *fun* almost two-year-old’s can be. His rage is balanced by the sweetest apologies and it’s literally impossible for me to be angry at him for more than three minutes. How can I be when I’ve got those big brown eyes staring up at me while he squeaks out, “Sooowwy mama” and pats my back? Seriously, how?!?!?!
Instead of beeping like a car he “vrooooms” and instead of neighing like a horse he clickity-clacks like their hooves. When he meows like a cat he uses his whole face. He scrunches it up for the me- and drops his jaw to the floor for the -ow. He’ll snack on apple and if I’m not actively watching, he’ll eat the whole thing. The only show he requests these days is Beat Bugs, but he’ll clap with the best of them for the Little Einstein’s rocket. His favorite song is “Monster Mash” and whenever he hears it, he stomps his feet over and over while chanting, “mashmashmashmash.” Sometimes he stops to shake his head really fast, but he’s usually just stomping and mashing and laughing like a maniac.
Ezra at 21 months is the best Ezra. He’s funny and sweet and stubborn and strong. He’s shaping out to be as great as Cory and there’s really nothing more I could hope for. Except that maybe I’ll always be his favorite and he’ll never want to leave home because I’m the best mom with the best snuggles and the best snacks. (It’s going to be a dark day in the Christensen household when Ezra moves out. Lots of crying. Lots of wallowing. Lots of “Monster Mash-ing” in an attempt to stomp my tears away. I can’t wait.)
09/ 12/ 2016
Earlier this year Cory and I talked about celebrating our anniversaries with experiences instead of gifts. When he asked what I wanted, I told him I wanted to “go somewhere” for our anniversary. That’s it. I’m so fun to work with. He asked me if I wanted something fancy or fun. I picked fun and he told me we were going camping. It was completely unexpected and absolutely perfect for us. He’d been planning this trip for months and last month we finally got to go.
I dropped the kids off at my parents and Cory picked me up. We headed to his office to switch out trucks and load up the trailer. Before heading out he surprised me with a mixed tape (can I call it a tape even though it’s a CD? Whatever, I’m going to) titled “Campy Annivers4ry”. The tape was a clear violation of our “no gift” rule but it was so sweet I didn’t even care. Also, who’s crazy enough to complain about a thoughtful, surprise gift?! When Cory and I were dating, he made me one and it was one of the sweetest things. All I ever want are mixed tapes. I might be getting a little cheesy here, but I love them so much because I consider them declarations of love. They always make me cry and I feel so special and loved every time I listen to them.
We loaded up the truck and the trailer and headed up to Evanston for the night. We stopped at Taggart’s for some dinner on the way. Taggart’s is a must-eat in my opinion. Their fries are battered and fried to crispy perfection. Their ham & apple wrap on a homemade pita is Cory’s favorite. I got a wrap this time but kept eyeing the burgers a table over. The buns looked like buttery pillows and have haunted my dreams ever since. I need to make another Taggart’s trip before winter just to get my hands on that bread.
When I say we went camping I mean, we went camping. The kind of camping Ron Swanson would be proud of. We didn’t have a trailer or any BIFFY’s nearby. We slept in a tent (on a queen-size cot with an inflatable mattress. We may be outdoorsy, but we’re not crazy!), cooked on a camp chef and dutch oven and peed in the open. I became a self-proclaimed forest potty expert over the weekend. I learned it’s best to full-on crouch/squat instead of attempting a wall-sit position. Squatting allows a more direct flow and honestly helps cure any stage fright you might have when peeing in a forest. And trust me, there is going to be some stage fright when peeing in a forest. I’m not going to apologize for being TMI because one day you’re going to have to pee in a forest and you’re going to remember I told you to squat not sit and you’re going to be *so* grateful.
We found a great spot tucked behind the main road and close enough to hear the river. We set up camp, made a fire and roasted hot dogs for lunch. Then we loaded Babe the Bronco up with our fishing gear to go catch us some supper. (I feel like you have to say supper instead of dinner when you’re camping or doing anything pioneer related. Saying supper when referring to a regular dinner at home comes off pretentious and not pioneer-y. So if you’re not camping or catching your own dinner, don’t call it supper. Ever.) I caught the first fish but Cory caught the most. I’d never fished a day in my life before I met Cory and was honestly surprised I loved it as much as I did. Even though we’ve been married for four years, I still refuse to touch the fish but that doesn’t stop me from trying catch as many as I can. And by “can” I mean the proper amount I am allotted each day by the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.
Fishing isn’t as quick or glamorous as the movies make it seem. There’s a lot of waiting and hoping and reeling and casting and waiting and hoping. Waiting for a bite gives you so much time to think and Lilly Lake is one of the prettiest places to think. I thought of the first time Cory took me fishing. It was my first birthday after we were married and at the same lake. Lilly Lake and the Uinta’s will always have a special place in my heart because of that trip. It’s where I really felt myself starting to become a Christensen. Where I saw what summers would look like with our new family. Where I learned to cast and caught my first fish and fell more in love with my patient husband as he taught me how to fish and continually pulled moss off my line.
My favorite part of every day was taking the Bronco out for a drive. We zipped past the quakies and bounced with each rock. On Friday we loaded her up with soda, snacks and shooting supplies. We found this great area overgrown with grass and surrounded by trees. We propped our soda cans on a felled tree and practiced our aim. Again, I shot the first can but Cory shot the most. I almost wish we’d camped in that area because it was so lush and calm and green. I guess that’s just a good excuse for us to go back. On our way back to camp, we hunted for firewood on the side of the road. Anytime we saw a promising pile, we’d stop the car, jump out and load it up.
Camping breakfasts are the best breakfasts. There’s something about pancakes, eggs and bacon cooked in the outdoors that make them so much better. Actually, I should rephrase my statement: camping food is the best food. Anything cooked over an open flame is dynamite in my book. This was our first time cooking dutch oven and, not to brag, but we totally killed it. We made chicken cordon bleu and it was out of this world. We figured out how to cook crescent rolls over the fire and felt so fancy.
I’m so grateful Cory planned this trip for us. It was exactly what we needed. A quiet few days with no distractions, no kids and no schedule. It gave us a chance to connect and relax and enjoy this beautiful world. Cory and I have never been camping together and I think he was surprised to see how well I took to it. I know he was impressed when he saw me hiking down the mountain with a giant log in each arm and kicking another ahead of me for firewood. I may not look it, but I’m a pretty woodsy woman.
I know I’m a month and three days late getting to this, but, Happy Anniversary, Cory. I love you forever and ever. Thank you for always making me laugh and keeping me sane. Thank you for holding me together when I’m falling apart. These last few months have thrown me for a loop and your endless patience and love have helped me find my footing again. There is no one else I would pee in the woods for and there is no one else I would rather build a life with.
I love you, Zin. Always, always, always.