Thursday, May 31, 2012

Bienvenidos Hudson Alexander...

We were such hard core garage sale participants that after we got home, Becky went into labor.  We were sad that she missed the birthday festivities but the excuse was legitimate. Since she didn't have an epidural, all the husbands complimented her on joining the "real woman" club. Kerry and I remain proudly part of the birthing wimps circle with no desire to ever move out. 
The family elevator full of anticipation on checking out the new twig on the family tree...
Even though Brock has doubled our offspring, the fathers and cousins had a bit of bonding in the corner.
Jaxson had a little whine fest on the hospital floor which made Liv stare. I'd probably whine too if all I had were girl cousins to hang out with. I'm sure he will be grateful for Hudson's manly presence.
All of us staring and enjoying the new born babe lying in a manger hospital bed.
Red and I enjoying the big day

Michigan round 2...

Perhaps you may be thinking, "Um, I thought you just went to Michigan 2 weeks ago."  Well, you're right. We did. The day we got back I was so let down that I begged Gar to drive back. I offered to drive the 9 hours while he slept just so we could go back for the weekend.  I then offered to give him money (which is funny since I wouldn't have a peso without him) which he declined.  Then I offered him a 3 hour back rub out of sheer desperation as he was going out the door to work.  He said very matter of factly, "Chelsey, I have no vacation days left. There is no possibility at all of us going to Michigan. None. 0 percent. So you should stop hoping for something that can't happen."  I let my Michigan dreams crash to the reality rocks when the door closed until an hour later when he called and said, "Chel, I don' t know what you prayed or what you did but the doctor I'm working with just told me that he is going on vacation for the week so the clinic is closed and we have a week off."   Let's just say I was thrilled. Since Mom watched Liv while we were in Denver making our little purchase, we only had Memorial weekend to hang out but we made the most of it.
We had garage sale mania with the ladies on Saturday followed by Pei Wei Chinese food and talking.
Dylan and G were having a competition to see who would be the first one in the pool for the summer.  I decided to unexpectly beat them both by jumping in with my clothes on.  We stayed in the pool about as long as it took to take this picture because it wasn't all the way heated yet. I suppose if I was being optimistic I would say it was "refreshing". 
Classic game night. Always fun. Always classic.
Since there are now 5, yes count them 5, grandchildren (all born in the last 2 years mind you) and only one high chair, we had to feed in shifts.  Liv was getting a little anxious for her turn.
This is a picture that both participants will hate and destroy so I don't really know why I took it.
Dyl and I have a tradition of getting a doughnut every single time we hang out. This time was no exception except we went for our secret doughnut run so late at night that all they had left was a box of crusty old 4th of July hard tac junk. For traditions sake, we bought them anyway.

Troy deserves his own picture because I learned that he is 3 months old and sleeps from 10 pm until 7 am. Ridiculous. Liv could really use an example like Troy in her life.  I'm having our next baby hang out with Troy as much as possible so it can rub off.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

One Year of Liv Living....

It's true. Liv has been gone from heaven and hanging out with G and I for an entire year.  There's no way to describe what a change happened to our lives since 7:13 am on May 22.  Even though she doesn't have a single gene that looks like me, I know that she was meant to be my baby.  I could go on for too long but the point is that I love Liv. Livy Mae has been with me more consistently in my adult life than anyone else. Every minute of every day, for the last 12 months this happy spirit has been my constant companera.  We wake up together, we eat together, we grocery shop together, we hang out in the mothers lounge at church together, we watch Baby Einstein together, I think you should be getting the idea that there is nothing we don't do together, so a serious party was in order.
We had punch in bottles so that we could better appreciate Liv's life on her birthday. We had a balloons, a dinner gift exchange and a Liv quiz with a prize.
Liv invited all her friends...
We did the classic cake. I included this picture because I look so much like a fish in attempting to model the perfect blowing form.  Liv didn't grasp the concept but she did love the cake:

Being a mom takes a lot of effort. It's more work and energy than any puppy or giga pet you can imagine and there really isn't anything comparable to it on Earth. A one year old doesn't really talk or do many tricks.  Even though she doesn't say anything, I feel like I know her better than anyone on Earth.  I can tell the difference between a "I'm super tired and I need to you put me out of my misery and lay me down for a dang nap" cry and her "I am just sick of being in this cart and I feel like making Walmart citizens stare so I am going to shriek" cry. 

 I know her favorite bath toys and that she loves this ugly green plastic stegasaurous over all her light up bee bop girl toys.  I know that she and I both get really fussy during the third trimester of church and the teacher is going into overtime and it is not the superbowl. I know that sniffing like a dog and rolling on the carpet makes Liv laugh hard  and makes you look ridiculous.
I know that every morning after she bangs on her crib and does her morning alarm squawk, that it is one of my favorite times because we just lay in bed while she drinks a bottle and we read books and catch up on words with friends because we're both not quite ready to get out of bed.
 I know that she has caught the vision and  loves her nightly bath (mostly because when I let out the water so she'll get out, she sits on the drain).  I know that sweet potatoes are her favorite and that pears give her gas.  I know she loves being outside and that she goes crazy if she ever sees a dog. I know that she loves and uses her tongue better than anyone I know. I know that she loves the 5 little monkies book way better than the Pokey puppy book and that reading to her when she is tired is the best because she will cuddle for longer than .004 seconds.
I know she loves the windows rolled down in the car blasting Neil Diamond on the way to the grocery store, almost as much as I do. I know that she likes white grape juice over apple and which of her pacifiers work best to get her to sleep. I know that of all the best car toys, the empty Orbitz gum box is by far the most effective. It's so funny that she is so young and yet I know and feel her personality and her spirit so clearly. It sounds a little weird, but I really do feel like she is so patient with me, that she knows and understands my personality.
  I know that Heavenly Father knew that she is what I needed in my life and will need for the rest of my life. I know that she has one of the happiest, purest, loving spirits I have ever been around.  I understand Liv and know Liv and love her like no one else does.  It's a deep connection that I can't type because I don't understand it myself. 
 We aren't close because we have similar hobbies or activities or because we spend hours talking (not really an option when we communicate with nothing over 2 syllables and said in a really weird voice that people get when they talk to babies, I don't get this phenomenon) and yet I feel a love and bond with her that is unlike anything else. The kind where sometimes I just watch her sleep and I can't not kiss her sweaty cheeks and feel like part of heaven has serious thunder thighs and eats Gerber puffs. It's not just because we happen to share the same belly button, or because I think babies are cute.  It's different. She is apart of me, she is my life, she understands me, she dances with me, she sees me every minute of every day. I am connected to her and love her so deeply. 
I am so grateful that Live defied the nuva ring and came into my life and will always be my baby and one of my very best friends, no matter how many candles she gets on her birthday cake.

A little purchase we made last week....

We drove to Michigan and left Liv in the exceptional care of Grandma Seibold and flew to DenverWe were not sight seeing. We were not on vacation. We were not dilly dallying in the mile high city. We had a very serious and important mission: to purchase a home. We had less than 48 hours to find, offer and purchase a home.  I usually can't even decide on a pair of jeans to buy in that time so I was a little worried until we found this little nugget which we promptly placed and offer, signed a thillion papers and after writing a personal letter with our offer about why we were the obvious next people that should be mowing their lawn and living at their house, our offer was accepted.
That's right. We are now home owners. I would appreciate if you would refer to us as such from now on.
We are so excited and we have a guest bedroom on purpose.  That purpose that we intend on having guests, lots of them. This means you.  We know that we were mega blessed to find such a great house with such limited time.
We celebrated after a year long Cafe Rio fast by going back to G's favorite restaurant.  Before we got on the plane as I was brushing my teeth he said, "I have two goals for Denver: eat Cafe Rio, and find a house, in that order."  We did them both.
How could I not violate the airports privacy by taking a picture of this man?  We had a long wait so I had plenty of time to watch as everyone in line didn't crack a smile and acted like it was totally normal to see a 50 year old bald man taking tickets with a burger king crown on his head.  What the? I didn't even know Burger king crowns existed, or that grown adults in a professional career wear them.  Perhaps he was just feeling royal, or maybe it blocked the wind on his bald scalp, since I took a secret picture and didn't ask him, I will never know...

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


 If we ever get a garage (preferably an entire home) and we get to have one of those cool top secret NASA key pads where you have to enter a code (I was always jealous of my friends that had those) I already know what secret numerical code I will pick: It's 522. There, now you know and in the future can come in through the garage any time you want.  There is not a more significant day in my entire life than May 22. Ever.  Allow me to point out why with some descriptive pics.
 We'll start with the most recent, last year on May 22, 2011:
 Not to be outdone by the year before that:  May 22, 2010
The biggest day of my life. 2:00 pm. I walked into a sealing room as Chelsey Savio,  holding hands with my math tutor I met 9 years prior and walked out of those doors as Chelsey Seibold and it is the best decision I have ever made or will ever make. That doesn't mean that every second of the last two years has been us looking like this:
 with photo shopped billowing white clouds and my hair curled with G staring longingly.  I find it physiologically fascinating that men and women have the same shaped heads because their brains are so different. 2 years is the length of a mission. 2 years is the length of an elephant gestation/pregnancy, It feels so short and yet at the same time, it feels like I have always been married to G. 
  I have learned so much in these 2 years. I have learned how G likes his scrambled eggs, to save receipts, that the little lid on the top of the dryer is for collecting lint and needs to be changed (a story for another day), that it turns out exercise really is important, that scripture study and checking ESPN are essential and must be done daily, that Garretts prayers don't hit the ceiling and that he really speaks with the Lord,  that men have way more gas than I ever imagined, that loft refers to a golf club not a room, that G prefers fruit gum to mint, that a king sized bed is a necessity.
 I have learned that trust is everything in a relationship and that there is not substitution for integrity, that nuva rings don't work and that G still loves me even when I am a puking whale, that hitting a golf ball is secretly ridiculously boring but that G loves it so I tolerate it because I love to be with him, that G did not want to leave me when I lit the cookbook on fire or couldn't cook anything but french toast and that true love is so patient. I have learned when we got married that:
 is a true statement. I have learned that the definition of responsible is Garrett Seibold, that making out is always fun, that Gar can kick my trash at bowling any day of the week, that you can still have a healthy marriage and be deeply in love and still have moments where you want to give your spouse a wedgie, that I love not scraping my windshield in the winter, that I could never be a parent without him, that men still laugh at the same things that are funny to pre puberty boys at scout camp,  that G was so handsome when he would wear my favorite polo and cologne and play with my hair; but he is even more handsome when he is wearing his sweatpants and glasses and is pulling wads of my nasty hair that has clogged the sink out of the drain, smelling like drain-o and not complaining. 
I have learned that  that bowls are to be loaded from back to front, not front to back in the dishwasher, that LeBron James exists, that  G can hold his own when we play words with friends, that Axe is better than Old Spice deodorant, that being held when you are crying for no reason is always the answer, that you can still be attracted even when you both get love handles, that men don't have any need to chit chat about nothing, that you never regret being thoughtful even if it's extra work, that going to JCPenny during the tie and shirt sale is helpful and 16 1/2 is the right neck size, that a happy marriage requires effort from your heart every single dang day, that laughing hard together is critical, that G has a far better sacrament meeting reverence stamina than I will ever hope to achieve in this mortal probation, that just doing nothing is still something when we are together and some of my favorite moments.
 I have learned what is right is far more important than who is right, that G calls the hair on his chest his bear rug and it makes me laugh, that you really should get your oil changed, that we never naturally pick the same movie at Redbox, that betting for back rubs is great unless you lose too many game in a row and then your fingers cramp, that a large tater tots with fry sauce and cream slush are a must every time you pass a Sonic, that I inherited my own private Drivers Ed teacher on road trips.  I have learned that true love is not romantic notes and tachycardic texts, but when G gets up with Liv at 3 am because she soaked through her generic brand Huggies impersonation diaper and when he comes back to bed, spoons me and kisses me for a minute even though he thinks I'm asleep.  I always love that and it makes me smile in the dark.
I have learned that Garrett Seibold is so right for me, the biggest miracle blessing to ever hit my world, that I had no idea I could love someone so deeply and completely, with every cell in my soul. I have learned that there is nothing better than being married to the right person who you want to "do life" with day in and day out, the exciting thrilling days, the soul stretching trials, the boring blah mundane and everything in between,  photo shopped billowing clouds or not. 
I will never understand why I got to marry who I did. I think I am going to have to live the rest of my life worthy of the scam that I pulled because I know without a doubt that I didn't get to be Chelsey Seibold because of my own makeup merit and flirting skills.  He really is a gift to me because Heavenly Father knew exactly what I needed and someday maybe could deserve.  There is no relationship on Earth like marriage. None. It's a vulnerable thing to seal yourself to someone and realize that they will know every weakness, every insecurity, every dragon breath non mascara wearing morning you will ever have and still trust that they will want to be yours, and hold nothing back for the rest of forever.  CS Lewis said:

"To love at all is to be vulnerable.  Love anything and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken.  If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal.  Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries, avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness.  But in that casket, safe dark, motionless airlesss, it will change.  It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable."

Nothing changes you more than giving yourself fully to someone else and knowing that they are doing the same.  That you literally offered over an altar, all that you are and all that you want to be, love handles, weaknesses, and all  to another imperfect person that is going to spend his life trying to love you perfectly.  
I love this quote by Erica Jong. I have no idea who she is but she said something cool, so here it is:

"Do you want me to tell you something really subversive?  Love is everything it's cracked up to be.  That's why people are so cynical about it.  It really is worth fighting for, worth being brave for, risking everything for.  And the trouble is, if you don't risk anything, you risk even more." 

There is nothing deeper, more meaningful, more important, more joy bringing or effort requiring than  marriage. Garrett Seibold isn't just something I added to my life, he is my life.  If you think about it, who you marry is what your life is.  Eventually Liv will learn to walk (hopefully) and fly away from the nest, go to college and seal herself to a suitor of our choosing; extended family is forever but it's not like we have Christmas or family vacation every day; living a good life and not killing people is important so we can see Heavenly Father but after we hop on some clouds and  meet Him that will only take a few minutes because He has a lot of children and then He is going to say nice to meet you send G and I to be with...G and I.  Garrett Seibold IS my forever and I am so thankful.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

A solution...

We have a new problem with our offspring. She is a messy eater. I fully recognize that she isn't yet 1 years old and I'm not expecting her to use a cloth napkin and a fork. When I say messy, I mean seriously deliberately destructively messy, it's not like an occasional accident or a couple of smashed bananas unintentionally fall to their death on the carpet.  She is deliberately conscientiously able to make each meal cause for a full bath.  One way I have solved this problem with my mothering genius intellect is to strip her down before feedings.  This however, is not helpful because the main problem is that whatever she is eating, she smashes in her hair.  She does not like her nursing home, pre chewed mush in a jar anymore and likes to feed herself.  This independence is a wonderful milestone except for the fact that we have to wash her hair after every feeding because she always ends up wiping whatever is in her hands, in her hair.  I finally solved this problem once and for all yesterday morning:

I call this genius invention shower cap feedings and will do them until she comes out of her "smash food in my hair" phase. If you need further evidence look at the photo below and she persists in trying to smash her toast into her hair that is now protected....
  I don't know how long it will last so if anyone has an better suggestions, I'm open.