an open letter to my mom.

Dear Mom,

Happy birthday! It’s a blessing to be able to celebrate another year of life with you. I know aging isn’t always easy. We think of all the lives who haven’t made it to “28”, we can’t help but feel grateful to celebrate another year with you. Trust me, you don’t look a day over 20.

What a year it’s been! It’s been beyond special to watch you flourish as a Grandma this year. I don’t say often enough how wonderful you are in this role. My children adore you. I feel like I have this unique inside view watching what it was like to be a baby in your home 32 years ago. Your creativity astounds me. The games you make up to keep Kirsten and Logan entertained are nothing short of wildly amusing. Your patience knows no bounds and no matter what mood they are in, you will have them smiling and giggling in no time. You managed to get my kids to sleep in the early days in ways that were an art form – balancing one on your lap while patting a back, and rocking the other one in your arms with a blanket delicately draped over their cheeks. When I was too tired or foggy to process much, you took over feeding and sent me to a quiet room to pump and made grandmothering look so natural. I drank in your wisdom and was thankful for all the tips and tricks you taught me, and are still teaching me.

I don’t tell you enough what a great mom you were. If I had a dollar for every time I shared something “my mom did when I was younger….” and the amount of people who called you a genius, I would be a millionaire. You parented with patience, love and an extraordinary amount of creativity. It was something I took for granted until I started to realize how unique and special what I had really was. You instilled in me so many special things – a deep appreciation for Johnny Mathis and Eva Cassidy, a love for cooking and entertaining, a heart that prayed for the family of the person in an ambulance that passed us by on the street, eyes to see someone who needed a bouquet of flowers brought to them, or a hot meal dropped off, and the love to surprise someone with thoughtfulness, although I have yet to do a total bedroom makeover for someone while they are at a friend’s house for a day. J I learned how to garage sale well, give without needing recognition, how to put others first, and enjoy a nice bubble bath because of you. Your wisdom taught me to turn to prayer first and that it was important to “rise and shine and give God the glory glory.”

I find myself now, as a mom, doing things just like you and I know that because of the example I had set for me, these kids have a chance in this world. I pray that I can only do justice the wonderful example I have.

And now my heart is so full knowing that my babies have their grandma just down the street from them, not 2 states away. I know your move came at a sacrifice and I recognize the toll that transition has been. Every time you swing on by to say hi to K & L, or drop off a dinner for us, I am so thankful that you’re 6 minutes away and not 6 hours. I can’t fathom the thought of them not knowing who you are intimately well. The smiles you bring to their faces are priceless.

And today we get to celebrate YOU! And for that I am so very thankful. You were called to be a mother, and Mom, you do it so well. God gave you the greatest job in the world, and you leaned into Him and took on the challenge with grace. And while I no longer need diaper changes, you are always just a phone call away to talk me through a situation or give me your advice or unique perspective on a challenge. I appreciate that very much, even when I am too proud or stubborn to say so, which sadly is too often.

I hope you feel loved and celebrated today. You have changed lives because of the way you invested in mothering. LIVES. Not just Courtney and mine, but the lives of others that have been touched by your lessons and tricks, or that have spent a night around your dinner table being loved on with your hospitality. You have the most selfless heart I have ever known and I love you to the moon and back.

Thank you for being you, Mama Starlight. I love you.

With love,

Your Baby Starlight xoxox


little hands. 

I pray over these little hands every day. Both Kirsten and Logan’s. But tonight Kirsten’s hands caught my lingers and I can’t help but think about what’s ahead for them. These hands will experience moments of joy so grand they will clap together, and they will wipe away tears during moments of bitter sorrow; they will express frustration with clenched fists and they will hold her daddy’s hands during a father/daughter dance. They will clasp together in prayer, get scuffed during tumbles, find mine during snuggly moments and someday, maybe, be used to give herself shots, or greet her child for the first time. I’m overwhelmed by all the moments these hands will encounter. And as I pray, I also pray there are many things these hands never experience as well. And my heart aches to protect her from harm or hurt, and I find so much comfort knowing that Jesus knows the story of these hands already. He knows and He loves her even more than I do, which seems impossible. I’ve memorized her tiny knuckle dimples and I nibble her fingers with glee, and I am overwhelmed with love. Yet He loves her more. He created these hands. They are His masterpiece.

And I don’t have any ultra-wise words here. I wish I did. I’m just carrying the weight of knowing I’m not in control and daily am in the process of building my trust in the One who knows and writes our stories. Kirsten’s story. Logan’s story. And so, each day I’ll pray. I’ll pray He guides these hands into good, wise, and joyful moments. That they want to be His hands on this earth. And that He brings them comfort in the hard moments. And I’ll remember that just as He loves my babies, He loves me just as much. Oh my heart is so tender. I’m so thankful we have a God who cares so much about us, about every last detail, and sticks with us as we learn to trust Him.
Look at your own hands. What they have been through. Think about how your parents may have prayed over them when you were a child. Take in the significance of what your hands partake in on a daily basis. Lift those hands to Your Father and join me in asking Him to bless our hands and help us to become more aware of their power. Their power as they type words of either encouragement or meanness, as they prepare food, shake hands, clasp together with a loved one, brush a child’s hair. Use your hands to make a difference. Our hands have so much potential.

My dear children, I love your little hands. 


Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Minted and as a collaborator, I received free products. However, I would share only the best with you! All these opinions are my own. Using the links below does allow me the chance to make a few cents too, so if you choose to place an order, I would be so grateful if you use these links!

When Josh and I were on the hunt for the PERFECT birth announcement for Kirsten and Logan, we searched high and low for a card that would be perfect. Our search brought us to Minted, and goodness, I am so glad it did! We placed our order and LOVED that not only were there SO MANY options to choose from, but that they also do custom printed envelopes for FREE. This was a HUGE win for new parents and helped us tremendously get the announcements out the door!

So as we got ready to order our Christmas cards, I knew Minted was the place to go! And we just recently got them in and I just love them!

A few reasons we love Minted:

  1. They have a HUGE variety of cards, that are super easy to sort. Photo card – done! 1, 3, or 8 photos? Done! Christmas or Religious or Holiday language? Done! It was so simple to find our perfect card!
  2. You receive a beautiful quality card with the best paper around. They offer a gorgeous double sided stock as a signature standard, no extra fees for a creamy cotton texture that’s 137 lb thickness! This also means the photos print in excellent quality.
  3. Again, those free printed envelopes. DROOL. We had dozens of styles to choose from. All we had to do was upload our addresses in a template they give you in Excel and viola! (Also, I love that you can order your cards without uploading the document yet, which means if you want to place an order when a great sale is happening, *cough cough Black Friday*, but don’t have all your updated address ready yet, it’s no problem!
  4. One of my personal favorites … you are able to get unlimited proofs sent to you and work with your own dedicated designer. They don’t edit your text for you, so if you make a typo, that’s on you, (and I will be honest, I totally made one this year and it’s KILLING ME!), but they will make any and all changes that you notice and want changed even after you place your order. I saw the proof and didn’t like the way one of the photos was cropped and send my designer a note and he fixed it within minutes and sent me back a new proof! (Now if only I had reread my text on the back, he would have been willing to fix that too! ARGH!)
  5. You have a variety of color options. So if you like a card but you wish “Merry Christmas” was in a different color, you have options to change it! Want it to say “Wishing you a wonderful Christmas and New Year!” instead of :”Wishing you a wonderful Holiday season?” … Edit it! It’s so simple!
  6. It supports artists. Each design you are able to read the bio on the artist who designed the card, and when you receive your package, you get a personal note from that artist as well. My sister is an artist and I know how personal art is, and in a world where the mega companies are stealing ideas left and right, it’s so nice to be able to support artists in the beautiful work that they do.
  7. AND you can add a backer for a super low fee. There were tons of design options to choose from, with 1-4 photos and text. Super nice if you can’t decide on just one picture, or tend to get wordy like, eh hem, me. (BUT PLEASE PEOPLE, REREAD YOUR WORK! And not at 10 pm after you’ve had a long day with babies, haha.)

I know you are dying to see which card we selected …. But I just can’t give you a sneak peek until we mail them out! :) That said, here’s a sneak of the gorgeous envelope design we choose! Now all I need to do is stuff and stamp and we are done. (I will update with our card next week!)



Since I can’t show you ours yet, here’s a peek at a sample of their gold foil cards! I wish you could see the quality in person!

While I was shopping, I noticed these ADORABLE personalized gift tags that I had to add to my cart! They were SO reasonable compared to the store prices and I love that I was able to add all of our names which saves me from having to write them all 500 times. I can customize each one with my own ribbon or twine and was able to choose a fun back design too so I can jot who it’s to. Super cute right? Can’t beat it!


And lastly … dramatic pause … you guy know how much I LOVE stationary. Note cards, paper, planners, notebooks, even post-its, all of it is my JAM. So when I saw that they had a stunning real gold-foiled personalized stationary section, I just HAD to take a peek. And I fell in loveeeeeee.

Check out my new pretty pretty note cards! I am going to struggle to use them, let’s be honest, because they are so lovely and I never want to run out.


So, being that I found a company that I just love working with, I couldn’t NOT share them with you! As you hunt for your perfect family card, I encourage you to check out Minted! I feel like we have found such a quality company to collaborate with! Seriously, with Black Friday and Cyber Monday coming up, now is the PERFECT time to snag a deal and get holiday cards checked off your list! (Okay, and maybe some adorable gift tags too! And put some personalized stationary on your Christmas wish list! They have SO many amazing products like custom wrapping paper, foiled business cards, birth announcements, etc! Happy shopping!)

Pssssst …. use coupon code BF2017 by 11/24 and get 20% off your holiday cards and 15% off of everything.

top must-haves part 1.

This post contains affiliate links to Amazon. While there is no additional cost to you to use these links, I do make a (small) commission if you choose to purchase any of these items through my link. If you do – THANK YOU! Okay, now that I’ve disclosed that, happy reading! 

Today I am sharing our TOP 10 favorite baby items! These are our MUST HAVES, the items that should be on every registry, in every household, and totally saved us. Okay, so yes, these are just our opinions, but we just love these items! Stay tuned for part 2 of our must-haves which will be twin-product focused! If you’re still waiting for your baby, don’t let this post discourage you! Skip it today and save it for tomorrow, because I truly believe one day you will be buying items for your child! HUGS!

Fisher-Price Auto Rock ‘n Play Sleeper: Okay, so not only did my babies LOVE sleeping in these months 0-4, (in fact Kirsten still loves to nap in hers!) but the fact that we could turn them on to have them gently rock them to sleep, is AMAZING. It has a sound feature and the “rocking” portion can run for 30 minutes or 6 hours. Our pediatrician recommended using these, although it’s always important to have you check with yours as well. But the auto feature is what was so nice. Plug it in, walk away! They are recommended to babies up to 25 pounds!

Miracle Blanket Swaddle: My girlfriend Jana told us about these swaddles after we had a few frustrating weeks of our kids breaking out of their Halo sacks. These swaddles hold their arms down gently but use a wrapping technique that makes it pretty impossible to break free from. My kids had a strong moro reflex and as soon as they were swaddled, they began sleeping soundly for 8 hours straight by month 2. These truly are “miracles”!!!! I can’t recommend them enough for newborns!

 Baby Merlin’s Magic SleepSuit: This sleepsuit, a swaddle transitioning product, is truly magic!!! Once the kids outgrew their miracle blanket, I needed something that would still muffle their moro reflex and keep them feeling safe and secure, but wasn’t something that was something they would want to break free from. All of my twin mom friends RAVED about these suits and let me tell you, they were right to rave! It took us a few nights for them to get used to their arms being out and moveable, but it’s so nice because they can self-soothe with their hands now and it offers a little more freedom. Even better, the company encourages you to send a picture of your child in it to them when you get it, and they will help customize your fit to ensure it’s just right. The fleece kind offers a little more weighted muffling and the cotton kind is a little lighter weight. I was nervous my kids would sweat in them, Logan especially because he runs hot, but that has NEVER been an issue! In fact, the first few nights I noticed their hands were a little chilly so now we use these mittens on them and its PERFECT. I can’t rave about them enough! My kids sleep soundly at night for 12-13 hours straight…I never want them to outgrow them, haha! (These are recommended for back sleepers in cribs.) (Pssst, hop on over to their website to read more about it and use discount code CHELS15 for 15% off your own sleepsuit now through the end of November! There are two sizes, 3-6 months (12-18 lbs.) and 6-9 months (18-21 lbs.), so if you have one size, stock up on the next size with this great deal! Or wait till Black Friday or Cyber Monday and layer your deals! YAY! And check out my post on Instagram where we are giving away a FREE sleepsuit to a lucky USA winner between now and Wednesday 11/22!)

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Baby Susher: This thing is gold. I kid you not. I saw this product when we registered and laughed at the fact that someone would actually buy it. We skipped registering for it and at my baby shower, a girlfriend gave it to me and told me of its magic. Skeptical, we kept it and when the babies were a week old, we brought it out. And, OH MY GOSH, let me tell you, it is wonderful. As soon as it starts shhhhhing, our babies stop making noise. We turn it on at night and they fall asleep to it’s gentle shush’s and I have even brought it to the doctor with me for shots. It goes with us in the car if we have a long trip ahead and works like a sleep trigger for their little eyes. I am so thankful my friend gave it to us because it is such a great soother!

Nail Frida: I always was nervous about cutting my babies nails because I have heard horror stories, but this nap clipper makes it so easy! Its angled on bias so it’s virtually impossible to clip something other than nail. It cuts the nail so easily and you can see exactly where you are clipping thanks to the “spy hole”. My kids actually enjoy when I clip their nails! Love!

Windi Gas and Colic Reliever: This product has saved us. There have been times when our babies have been in pain from gas and using one of these with a little coconut oil and a tummy massage literally helps them go from tears to smiles on the changing table. It’s the best way to quickly, gently, and effectively relieve their little tummies from trapped gas. AMAZING. I would recommend every parent keep a box of these by their changing table!

Boppy Lounger: These things are just lifesavers. They saved us day in and day out for the first several months of parenting. The babies loved to lay in there, eat in there, rest in there and they were easy to throw in the car and take with us too. A must. We still use them every day for story time. The kids love to snuggle up in there. Buy. Buy. Buy.

Wabi Sterilizer: I spend a significant amount of the day is washing bottles and pump parts. Literally dozens of pieces a day. When we were using Dr. Brown bottles for their reflux, it was even more pieces! We got some sterilizing bags but quickly realized that microwaving two parts or bottles at a time for a few minutes, then hand drying them, or worse, needing to let them air dry (so much time!) was just impractical. Josh researched this sterilizer and it has been the BEST purchase we have made. I wash everything with this soap and hot water, then put it in the sterilizer and an hour later, not only are they sterilized, but they are fully dried too. All it takes is a splash of distilled water and it’s ready to go. I know, the price tag makes it seem like a luxury, but for us, it’s a must. Especially because the alternative would be a million drying racks on the counter. I cannot emphasize enough how helpful this has been.

Bandanna Bibs: We love these bibs! They are so soft, so absorbent and unlike “big kid bibs”, have multiple snap options to make them fit all different sizes. They come in fun patterns, wash great, and we literally have dozens because we got through so many in a day. These are a great shower gift to give!

Weleda Diaper Care Cream:  This diaper cream came recommended by a friend (thanks Emily!) and I am SO glad we listened! This diaper care cream has been amazing on our kiddos sensitive skin and has never NOT worked within an application! It’s organic and comes from Germany, and a little goes a long way. Instead of mineral oil that most rash creams use, they use a beeswax which is more breathable and safe. We use the body cream on their bums over night as a moisture barrier, their face cream on their cheeks, and even their lotion and shampoo/body wash. It’s our favorite! (PS – There’s a sample kit with a good variety of products to try! Christmas list idea!)

Runner Up #11 …. because I couldn’t cut it!

  • Sit-Me-Up Floor Seat: These little chairs have been amazing now that the kids are sitting up more. They fold flat and are super lightweight and offer a much better sitting position than a Bumbo. A perfect option for the kiddos as they get bigger!

What was a favorite product of yours that I may have missed? Or might not know about!? Comment below! I love hearing what your babies loved! And if you try any of these items, let me know and share what you think!

Stay tuned next week for our Twin Edition! :)



so very special.

Every morning I dance with each of the kiddos and we sing a song I made up that goes something like this … “God made you special, so very special, there’s only one Kirsten/Logan in the world … God made you special, so very special, there’s no one else like you in the world!”

(So creative, I know. I clearly missed my song writing calling. HA!)

But as I sing these words to them, I want them so badly to know how much I love them just the way they are and how much I appreciate the little things about them that make them unique. And I pray that they always know how special they are … and that they celebrate the things about themselves that make them perfectly Kirsten, or perfectly Logan.

This world comes at us often and tempts us to compare ourselves to someone else. It tempts us to stop celebrating the little things that make us uniquely us, and instead, encourages us to become a chameleon to whatever is trendy, or might make someone like us more. And it makes me sad as a parent, to think that my children might be tempted to change from their authentic self, to make someone else like them more. (Imagine how that makes God feel!)

Don’t we do that as adults? We feel the pressure to talk a certain way, or dress a certain way, or laugh a little quieter, or  steer away from a bright color that we love to wear, because we don’t want to stand out? Has anyone ever fake-liked something just to fit in? I know I have.

What if instead of trying to change ourselves, we began each day singing my little song to ourselves …. God made you special, so very special, there’s only one YOU in the world!

Here’s the thing – People need you to be you.


They don’t need you to fake it till you make it.

They don’t need you to try to copy them, or pretend to be someone you aren’t.

They need you to be you. To bravely be you. To be confident in who God made you to be.

This means you don’t have to apologize for crying over a commercial. It means you don’t need to shy away from wearing something you love just because it may not be in style. It means you need to embrace the body God gave you, regardless of what fruit shape it may be. It means you need to share your story, your heart, your words, your passions, with others.

And you may not be for everyone. And that’s okay. But when we start to snuff out who God made us to be, it only weakens our connection with others who might be a perfect match for us. Friendships need to be created from our authentic selves. My mom always reminded me that we don’t need to change for anyone. Not the way we talk, walk, dress, or act. Let them like you for you. Her words still ring out in my ears today.

So as I sing these words to K & L, I imagine God singing them to me too. I made you special. So very special. There’s only one Chelsea in the world. I made you special, so very special, there’s no one else like you in the world! I am learning more and more, that loving ourselves, is a beautiful form of worship to the One who created us.

Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb. I  thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration—what a creation! You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, the days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day.” Psalm 139:13-16 MSG