Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Summer 2017: Montana/Alberta

Parker and I had 3 weeks off this summer and we spent those 3 weeks with our families out West. We visited my favorite places on earth with my favorite people on earth and it was such a dream. It doesn't get much better than that!

We flew into Calgary on Saturday, June 24th, around 6 pm and my parents picked us up. They took us home to Cardston where we spent the night. We got to go to church with them the next morning and listen to Camrie and her friends sing the most beautiful song in sacrament meeting. I could listen to them sing it over and over and over again! They have the voices of angels! We also enjoyed a delicious meal at Nana and Pumpas house that evening.

Then the Hollingsworths picked us up to go to Eureka, Montana for 5 days. We spent that time going on different hikes and nature walks, cliff jumping, and out on the lake (my happy place). It was so much fun! Parker fished a ton, we paddle boarded, and I just vegged in the sun on the floaty. I'm really happiest in my swimsuit in the sun near a body of water.

On Friday, my parents picked us up on their way to Coeur d'Alene, Idaho for some camping! As soon as we got to the campsite, they got the call that Bailey was going to have the baby so they unhooked the camper, dumped us kids, and my parents took off on the 8-hour drive back to Cardston, unbeknownst to the soon to be parents. They left at 11 pm and arrived at the turn off to Lethbridge or Cardston at the same time they received a call that it was happening so they went straight to Lethbridge. Craig started calling them again as soon as they arrived at the hospital but they held off answering saying that they needed to wake us girls and Parker up so we could be there for the phone call to announce the gender and how everyone was doing. They walked around the corner to surprise Craig and to hear that it was a beautiful baby boy! Parker and I were thrilled to be here for the arrival of baby Max as his due date wasn't until after we were supposed to fly home. He is such a little cutie!

While my parents were gone to meet the babe, we got a taxi and went to the beach. My parents spent a few hours with the baby and the new parents and then turned around to drive right back to Cour d'Alene. They arrived with just enough time to take a dip in the lake and then we went back to the campsite. We enjoyed time together on Sunday just hanging out and then went to Silverwood on Monday. After Silverwood, we drove to Lake Blaine with the Quintons to spend the 4th of July there. We loved our time on the lake and the amazing show of fireworks to celebrate this beautiful country!

The next day we went back to Canada and spent our days out in Beazer building a pretty dang awesome dam to make the swimming hole deeper. Writing this is making me want to go back so bad! We spent some time in Waterton with my uncle and cousin who surprised everyone by randomly showing up on Nana & Pumpa's doorstep. SO FUN!

After our time in Cardston, we went back to Eureka for about 5 more days spent more time fishing, more time in the lake and I couldn't complain. To end our trip we went to Banff/Lake Louise and did a hike and it was absolutely beautiful! I had a tear or two as we left the mountains toward the airport.

I've compiled a video of our trip and I'm so excited about it! Watching it brings me so much joy so I hope it will bring you joy, too! I'm by no means a professional video editor or filmmaker or anything but creating videos of our vacations is one of my favorite things to do! I'm quite proud of this one :).

Be sure the click the 1080p HD option to ensure the best quality!

Thanks, Hollingsworths and McMurrays for always giving us the best time when we come to visit! We love you!

xoxo, Chelan

Monday, August 21, 2017


I don't think I've ever really hated anything about myself. And for that, I count myself lucky because I know that there are a lot of people out there who are constantly plagued with self-doubt and self-hatred. Ok, so maybe I've hated my natural brown hair but I'm grateful for a sister that makes my blonde dreams come true ;) @hairbymatlin #hitherup. I've never been one to really doubt myself or be super insecure. But I have noticed that having a blog and being on social media definitely has taken a toll on me.
Image via Pinterest

I listened to a podcast episode recently from Awesome with Alison that I absolutely loved. Let's face it, I love allllllll of the episodes of this podcast but this particular episode just sparked something in me. It was episode 28 called "PUMP UP: Why it doesn't matter that other people are doing what you want to do!"

THIS. I get so caught up in the fact that I am one in a million bloggers. I am one in I don't even know how many Instagrammers and I've had the thought too many times to count, "What's the point? Why do I even bother doing this because I will never be as good of a blogger as so and so?" And it's not just about social media and my blog but with other things in my life, too. "What is the point of even decorating my house because it's not going to look as cute as the houses I have pinned on Pinterest?" or "Why even exercise because I'm never going to have the body that she does?" "Why should I share my story? There are other people that are better at this, they have better things to say, they are better writers, they take nicer photos, they go on cooler trips, they are more successful, etc. etc." I go through phases where I'm really good and I don't care so much about what other people think and then suddenly, I am obsessing over it so much that I have to 'detox' and delete my apps from my phone.

Ohhhhhh the comparisons. They have got. to. stop. I can't be the only one that does this, can I?

Well, Alison puts it rather plainly in saying that every single person on the planet has a unique language. We all have a unique story to share and no one else is going to be able to share the same experiences that we can. There are a million other bloggers out there that share similar things that I do. But "they do not have my voice. They do not have my words. They do not have my experience..... Our story is the only thing that is uniquely ours." And I feel called to share my story!

So I'm going to keep sharing my life and I'm going to continually *try* to not compare myself to anyone else. I am me and that's all I can ask of myself. It's time I quit comparing myself to others and start owning my unique voice. #uniquelyme #stopcomparing #ownit #selflove

Image via Pinterest

What are your thoughts on comparing yourself? Do you have tips to get out of the rut of comparing yourself to others and feeling inadequate? 

xoxo, Chelan

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Living Room Transformation & our Amish Country Adventure!

Parker and I went to Amish Country this last weekend with some friends and I left feeling all sorts of inspired so this week I decided that it was finally time to decorate our apartment. We've lived in our current apartment for just over a year now and I hadn't hung anything on the walls except for one little picture. If you've been a reader of my blog for a while now, you may remember my plea for help to find some pillows to go on our patterned couches and something to put on the wall above the couch back in September of 2016. Well, I finally bought some pillows and put some stuff on the walls and I'm quite pleased with the result. Is it magazine worthy? No. But it's homey and I think it reflects our my personal style pretty dang well if I do say so myself. Also, I know nothing about photographing home decor (or anything for that matter) so please forgive my lack of professional photography lol.

Let's talk more about Amish Country, shall we? Parker and his cousin Cody were kayaking together so Cody's wife, Kaitlyn, and I decided to go check out the shops in Amish Country. As we were driving along, we drove past a store that had a large banner with Joanna Gaines' face on it and said Magnolia Homes. I about jumped out of the moving car and I think I scared Kaitlyn a little bit with my enthusiasm. She didn't know who Joanna Gaines' was (don't worry, I told her she had to watch Fixer Upper ASAP) so I excitedly explained that she was only the best interior designer to ever walk the planet and that her style was my dream! Kaitlyn flipped the car around as soon as she safely could and I couldn't get into the store fast enough. It was called "The Peddler" and if I could live there, I would. It was the cutest home decor store I have ever seen and I really did want to move in right then and there. I fell in love with everything and I'm just itching to go back! Kaitlyn and I both bought some stuff there and it was so fun to just wander throughout the store!

We also went to the Christmas store (I didn't catch whether or not it had a name other than that...) where they sell Christmas stuff all year round. It's MASSIVE and was super fun to check out. I'll hopefully be going back closer to the holidays. Or maybe I shouldn't..... it might be dangerous to our bank account lol.

We met the men at the cheese factory, Heini's Cheese Chalet, which was hands down Parker's favorite place in Amish country. Maybe in all of Ohio, actually. You get to sample all sorts of different kinds of cheese including different flavors of cream cheese and cream cheese fudge. My favorites were the smoked gouda cheese, the peach cream cheese, and the mint chocolate cream cheese fudge. We also had the best root beer we've ever had there. We'll be back, cheese factory! We'll be back!

Parker and I wandered around the town of Berlin a little bit longer while Cody and Kaitlyn headed back home. We were totally enthralled with this cute little place, the shops, the horses and buggies, the food, and we really hope to go back soon! If you ever come visit us, we've got an itinerary planned out and you bet your bottom dollar Amish country is high up on the list!

xoxo, Chelan

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Our Love Story: Part 12

"Here's the thing about this love story of ours. It's long. And drawn out. And mushy-gushy. And even a bit cheesy. But it's true. And I've decided to take my time writing it, capturing all the special details of those moments I never want to forget. So if mushy-gushy, cheesy love stories aren't your thing, I totally get that. Just know that I'm writing this as a gift - to my family, and my children, and their future children - and also, for [Parker] and me - so that on those days when the kids are screaming, the laundry is overflowing and the bills are rolling in...on those days when it all just seems so hard, we'll have this to remind us of those first moments when we fell in love. And if sappy, detail ridden love stories are your thing, well then you've come to the right place." -Ashley Stock

To read the beginning of Our Love Story, click here

April 2015 - July 2015

Parker and I didn't get to talk to each other while I was on my cruise so we went from seeing each other every day all day/texting when we weren't together, to no communication whatsoever. So Parker was absolutely adorable and wrote me long messages on Facebook for when I got back from my cruise. He even had songs I should listen to while I read each message included at the beginning of each one. It was so cute and I loved coming home to that! I thought that Facebook had swallowed up all those old messages but I just went back and found them and I'm dying over them! They are such treasures!!!

The beginning of the first message. 

And this is how he signed the first one. *swoon*

Believe it or not, once upon a time Parker had a bit of an accent and it was the cutest thing ever. It was part of why I fell for him in the first place. It was kind of Southern-ish? That's the best way I know how to describe it. 

Anyway, after I got home from my cruise we had about 3 months until he was to go on his mission so we just texted, Facebook messaged, and Skyped as much as possible. We never stopped talking to each other and learned so much about each other during those 3 months. It was a really fun time in our relationship but I definitely and obviously prefer actually being together over long distance. However, in hindsight, I think it was good for us to have had so much time to just get to know each other before his mission. So many conversations (most of which were really trivial and the stuff I said was always cringe worth. Why was I so weird????!!!) and time spent chatting.

One thing I noticed about Parker early on is that I was always left wanting more! Whether that be conversation, just being in his presence, or kisses ;). With other guys I had liked, I got bored easily and lost interest after a short while. But with Parker, I never got tired of him. Ever. And I'm still not tired of him. He's my best friend and there is no one I would rather be with.


The "Messages Parker Sends to Chelan While She is Off Experiencing Major Cruisage" Series Soundtrack:

First Day of My Life - Bright Eyes

Oh, It is Love - Hellogoodbye

Kiss Me - Sixpence None the Richer

18th Floor Balcony - Blue October

What Sarah Said - Death Cab For Cutie

As Long As You Love Me - Backstreet Boys LOL

Collide - Howie Day

Endlessly - Green River Ordinance (I first heard this song while Parker and I were on a date and I listened to it on repeat while he was on his mission. It's my favorite).

And let me just end with this. He is the cutest and best thing ever. Can you tell I'm feeling nostalgic and love my husband?

Thanks for following along while I document our love story! It means so much to me! <3

Part 11