Letterboxing Galveston

I have been reading about Letterboxing (and Geocaching) for the boys for a couple of years now. But with all the traveling and moving and having a baby it never came to fruition. Finally, last week, I printed off all the letterbox clues for Galveston, TX (where we live) and we went out looking for our first letterbox!

The island of Galveston is long and skinny. When we are on the rides at Pleasure Pier we can see the ocean (well, we are right over it) on one side, and the canal just a few blocks opposite. The canal separates the island from mainland Texas. The first letter box we decided to search for was on the canal side. It was a beautiful drive and walk searching for it around the water.

I was about 100% sure that the boys would LOVE letterboxing. Basically over the past couple decades people have been hiding weatherproof boxes all over North America (and some all over the world) for others to find. You get a stamp for your family, and there is a stamp in the box. You have your own letterboxing journal and there is a journal in the box. You stamp your journal with their stamp and their journal with yours. There are clues and directions online for each letterbox, some harder than others. Its basically a dream come true for a child-a real, live treasure hunt!

And I was right, the boys were freaking out! Jarrett and I were having sooo much fun too. It felt like we were travelling again, just out wandering around with each other in nature-it was awesome.

There are about 15 letterboxes on Galveston, and dozens more between here and Houston. I think we will have plenty of treasure hunts for the next year. Here is us searching for our 1st Letterbox!

Happy Letterboxing!

Wylder Nation: Living Like a Warrior Gala!

I have never been to a gala before, so I had no idea what to expect. I knew to buy a fancy dress and bring a box of tissues since all our babies would be featured (it was for a cure for the disease that took them from us). But other than that, I was clueless to how amazing of a night it would be.

This was the first thing that everyone saw walking into the event center. It took my breath away-my beautiful son

Trek’s Papa T and Nana (my amazing parents) came to the event with me

Eileen: Quinn’s mom, Shannon: Wylder’s mom, and me: Trek’s mom. We were all together finally! We had all met separately, but this was the first time we were all 3 together. 

The rainbow babies Koa and Vesper meeting

Eileen and her baby-it was such an intense emotional and special night for all of us

galas are hard work for babies

my amazing parents

Wylder’s dad, Steven-the amazing man who put the event on-speaking at the gala

putting the babies to sleep (or trying to-hehe:)

This was very emotional for me (I think it was for everyone in the room)-to see all our beautiful children and wish they were still here with all my heart. And to watch to this foundation video for Wylder Nation. It brought me back to the day and moment we heard the exact words and felt the same feelings about Trek.

Shannon doing an amazing job speaking on behalf of her warrior Wylder

My friend Amy. We met through the blog and Trek, and then we hung out with our boys last summer when we were in Colorado. (we have something special in common-we each have 3 boys followed by a princess girl:) Her and her husband came to the event to support us, NPA, and Trek, it was so much fun to have her there.

the band at the end of the night was just too much fun!!! We had the best time singing and dancing!

Skyping Jarrett so he could see the awesomeness! I wished he could have come so bad!

amazing Warrior mom Courtney. Her son Garrett is currently living with NPA.

dancing the night away!

smooching our beautiful babies

The end to an amazing night!!! I did not have pictures, but there was a silent and live auction at the event and almost 200 people in attendance. You will be amazed and so happy at how much money was raised….. $110,000!!! Yep, that is the number needed to start research for a cure for lysosomal diseases, and guess which one they are starting with?! Niemann Pick Type A! I hope no one ever has to hear and feel what we did 2 years ago when Trek was diagnosed-that there is no cure.

Thank you Shannon and Steven and Wylder for this amazing night and all you are doing to find a cure for this awful disease-we love you!

 

Vesper’s 1st Trip: Colorado 2014

When I found out about the Wylder Nation Gala back in February, I knew I just had to go! It was just one month after Vesper was supposed to be born, so I knew she would have to come a little early in order to be able to go. She was born one month early, so I booked our plane tickets, and when she was 7 weeks old we headed on her first trip to Colorado!

My parents live there, so I knew it would be an easy and fun vacation. It was my first time to leave Peyton and Conner for more than one day, so I was worried and sad to be away from them. But thankfully they had the best time at Aunties house with their cousins.

Vesper and me about to board out flight-sweet tea and all

we thankfully sat by a very nice man, and we even had a seat between us to spread out in 

Do you recognize this pretty lady?! Eileen (Quinn’s mom) was also going to the gala. We knew our flights got in at the same time, so we met up for a hug in the airport.

My parents picked us up from the airport and we headed to their house. It was after midnight when we go there on Friday night, so we went straight to bed after scrubbing the airport germs off of Vesper. My parents had already met Vesper the week after her birth, but they were beyond excited to get to snuggle her again just 6 weeks later.

Nana getting Vesper ready for bed

Papa T and Vesper

My parents do foster care, so my mom has tons of baby gear. Vesper had the coziest bassinet for her naps

On Saturday we relaxed and my parents snuggled Vesper. And then around lunch my mom dropped me and Vesper off at Eileen’s hotel, so we could visit with my amazing friend.

hanging out on Eileen’s bed

Eileen, Vesper, and I then got all fancy for the gala and headed over to party and raise money in honor of our little warriors. It was an AMAZING night, but it gets its own post that I will share later.

The next day we had another fun event. My good friend from high school was having her bridal shower. And since I was not going to be able to attend her wedding, I was thrilled that I happened to be in town for her shower.

Vesper getting loaded in the car in her party dress

On the way, we stopped to visit Trek’s tree that is in front of my old high school. My friends in Colorado and my parents had help plant it after Trek died (for our 10 year HS reunion), but it was my first time to see it. It was perfect and I loved his plumeria on the stone.

my dear friend Shannon

Ashlie-the beautiful bride-to-be

It was so nice to hug everyone and catch up in person

congratulations Ashlie-you will make an amazing wife and mama one day

After a fun day with my friends (my mama got to come too!). We headed back to relieve my dad, who had kindly watched their foster babies so we could have a girls day. He ended up watching them a few more times so my mom and Vesper and me could shop, so we totally owe him.

Nana and us having pizza on a shopping trip

my dad putting Vesper to sleep (in a grandpa way-hehe:)

it worked!

Vesper with my beautiful mom

my dad walking Vesper around the restaurant so I could eat

My trip had another fun event in store. Jarrett’s brother, Jordan and his wife Jodi, had their second child 2 weeks after Vesper was born. So Vesper and I got to go over to their house to meet Jaxton and play with her cousin Jaylee. You can imagine all the bouncing and rocking that was going being it was the twilight hour for both the newborns-hehe:) We had a nice night, snuggling each others babies and catching up a little bit. 

Uncle Jordan and my niece Jaylee snuggling Vesper

I love this picture-Jodi rocking Jaxton, and Jordan bouncing Vesper

the way a mama looks at her newborn just melts my heart

and then it was burrito baby  photo shoot time!

Aunt Chelsea hearts Jaxton!

Leaving (barely) on a jet plane. They almost did not let me board because I did not have Vesper’s birth certificate. It had not come in the mail yet, and they said I needed a dr. note, or email, or anything with her name on it. Thankfully they were gracious because that would have sucked!

Nana getting in her last snuggles

Vesper’s first vacay was a major success!!! I think she will totally be ready for when we decide to travel again:)

10 weeks-a smiling Vesper

Vesper’s smile has not lost its allure, it probably never will. My heart still swells when I hear Peyton and Conner laugh, and their smiles are the highlight of my mommyhood. And no one will ever get tired of this guy’s smiles.

Trek’s first smiles (and wearing his favorite shirt again:)

I got bored of being home for the first time since her birth this past week. Usually an outing required us all to recoup for at least 3 days (seriously-we are such babies). But this week we hit the road every day and we all felt great! Vesper and her pacifier-let me say again-thank you paci! We can now go in the car all over town with a happy baby sucking on her pacifier, its such a relief.

Galveston just opened a children’s museum. It’s nothing fancy or high tech, but we spend hours there. So many play and learning and building stations. They recommend the play for up to 10 years old, so I worried about my almost 9 year old Peyton. But he jumped right in and they both get so excited to go each time we do. At $75 for a family membership for the whole year, well, we are there a lot.

making pizza with their friends

We had a fun cousin pool day at Aunties house this week. I recommend every one have a sister with a pool, its awesome. Especially since my sister is so sweet and held Vesper, so I could swim, well, float around in a floatie.

When I say cousin day, I mean cousins. Mine and Amanda’s 2 first cousins came with their kids, so there were 13 cousins hanging around.

thank you Preston (my 6 year old nephew) for getting this awesome shot of Peyton diving!

While we have moments that we intensely miss traveling, and will do it again. It’s days like this that remind me of why we decided to stay a little while here in America.

Vesper is wearing her cousins, Haylie’s dress (on the left) from when she was a baby!

Jarrett took an extra day off this week, so we had a little staycation on the island. We hit up the beach and went out to eat a few times. It was very relaxing and a great mid-summer break. He has been working on a new book, so we also gave him some alone time to write. 

I didn’t know this at the time, but Peyton told me later that Conner and him were talking about how if Trek was here, he would be sitting right in between them

out to dinner at our favorite fancy restaurant-The Grotto

this is Conner’s food haven-its the only place we let him order cheese (he is allergic), his stomach is usually a little upset, but he is in the BEST mood from the happiness of getting spoiled and ordering all his favorite food

Vesper had her first dip in the ocean, she seemed to like it. I was waiting until she started to smile, so I could tell if she liked it or not. There were no smiles, but the ocean is bath-tub warm and she kicked her feet around in the water and smooshed her toes in the sand, so I am pretty sure she is going to be a beach babe.

the Aquarium with my sister and nephews

And then the rest of the time we were home doing our usual. Being complete lazy bums. I let Vesper nap on my chest while I read Kindle books (wasn’t that nice of me?) ha!:) The boys played toys, made messes, played the Wii, and played outside. I cooked simple meals, kept the house clean, the laundry done, fed the baby, played board games, had photo shoots with Vesper, and watched movies with the boys. It was nice. And then at the end of the day, our favorite guy came home, and we snuggled and played with Jarrett until bed time.

the boys and I had a deep cleaning day for their room. We dumped every box and bucket out in the middle, and then put it all back a little more organized than before.

Amanda and I had a slumber party. Since we each have a baby that is dependent on our boobs, we decided to invite all the children too. The husbands were not invited. It was fun.

I ordered Vesper Honest Company diapers-we LOVE them

Auntie making us all homemade M & M blizzards

Peyton even gave me and Amanda feet massages (his idea!)

I don’t know why I love this photo so much, it makes me smile. If I had any more wall space for more photos, I’d frame it.

Jarrett was in charge of dressing Vesper for the day, this is how she emerged from the room:) Conner even found the matching Cinderella head band all on his own from the headband box.

Vesper had a long nap in our guest bedroom downstairs while I set up our new outdoor hanging furniture. I have been patiently waiting for Jarrett to give me the go-ahead to order a new hammock and some hanging chairs for awhile. This week was the week, and he even upped the ante and bought a grill.

the small blue hanging foot rest got its own spot. we had one on our lanai in Maui, the boys LOVED it for a swing

Peyton on Maui almost 3 years ago

I am pretty sure no house we ever live in will be complete with out hanging chairs. Me and Trek fell in love in our one on Maui, as you can tell, we used it so much I had to patch it. I ordered 2 for this house for me and Vesper to now swing in.

Have a wonderful week!!!

love, Chelsea

 

 

What to Expect Article: The Moment I Conquered my Fear of Breastfeeding in Public

I am slowly crawling out of newborn love land and actually wrote an article for What to Expect again (ok, not really, its 5:23 pm and I am in my night gown:) But anyhoo, the topic was breastfeeding, so I had a bunch of moments to choose from with these 4 nurslings I had (and now have with Vesper). But it seemed good to start at the beginning with Peyton, that was almost 9 years ago! But I remember every moment with so much happiness. Even if I did nurse him in a public toilet stall:)

breastfeeding on a dock in Utila Honduras

The Moment I Conquered my Fear of Breastfeeding in Public

on WhattoExpect.com