Posts tagged ‘Family’

Like It Is (Part 2)

This is the second post in this two post series. If you missed Part 1 you can click here. Basically, this is an honest list of things you need to know about childbirth. In no way is this list meant to scare future moms. It’s purpose is actually the complete opposite… I want you to be prepared. NEWSFLASH: Some aspects of childbirth suck. If I’m the first to tell you that, well, you cannot be helped! Really though, it’s really not that bad. But if you scare easy, you shouldn’t read. All others, read on!

16. When people ask if Stephen stayed up by my face or down by my Baby Exit Zone, I wonder how they gave birth. Based on the position of my body as I was pushing, those places are so close that there isn’t much of an option. “Did he stay up by your face?” “Yes.” “Did he watch the whole thing?” “Yes.”

17. While in the hospital, you’re given some mesh undies. They are these one-size-fits-all thingies. They may look ridiculous but they are bliss. I wish I could wear them every day.

18. You bleed for weeks. Don’t like pads? Too bad!

19. Incase breastfeeding doesn’t suck enough, you also cramp while you feed. Your uterus literally contracts while you’re feeding. So you get to feel a very strong baby try to suck your boob off WHILE your entire belly aches.

20. Oh and you bleed while you breastfeed. And I don’t mean your boobs.

21. Stretch marks often show up AFTER you have the baby. I thought I only had two stretch marks. WRONGO.

22. Post pregnancy is much like your first trimester. You are always tired, seriously hungry, and if you don’t take stool softeners, you won’t poop for weeks.

23. Boobs leak. And they don’t care if there are visitors in the room. Around day 2 or 3, bra pads are extremely necessary.

24. All the pregnancy books tell you to pack this and that in your bag. I even went out and bought a nightgown and robe to bring with me. Not necessary. I lived in their gowns. I wasn’t about to ruin my new gown with all my blood and… other fluids. In my opinion, all you need is: socks, toiletries, an outfit to go home in, a sleeping nursing bra, bra pads, and some DVDs.

25. Don’t buy a nursing bra until you have the baby. There is no way of knowing what size your boobs will be ahead of time. (And don’t expect them to stay the same size from one hour to the next.) This excludes one sleeping bra. They are thin so just guess a size and it should work. You’ll want it once your boobs start behaving like a leaky faucet and you have to wear bra pads.

26. The first pee after childbirth is the longest pee of your life. It also takes a lot on concentration and it’s awkward because your nurse is there to help.

27. When they put your baby on your chest the very first time, it’s very odd. On one hand you want to hug him and stare at him. On the other hand, you are very aware that he is covered in white stuff and he’s still attached to something that is still inside you. So you kind of just lay there awkwardly while the rest goes down. And have no fear, your baby will look MUCH cuter in about 30 minutes.

28. Even when the seconds are slowly ticking and you’re on your second episode of Home Improvement and third episode of Cash Cab, time still flies. Take notes if you want to remember it.

29. The hospital runs on weird hours. They bring breakfast around 7:30 and dinner around 5:30. I don’t know why they think we function on those hours. Many a pot roast has been wasted because mommas aren’t ready for dinner at 5:30.

30. It’s a blur. It’s crazy. It’s not easy. But it is the best day of your life!

September 23, 2010 at 7:34 am 11 comments

Like It Is (Part 1)

(I chose not to blog about Biggest Loser this season. It just seems unreasonable for me to try to take it on. But incase you want to know my thoughts and feelings on last night… I thought it was the worst first episode ever. I think it’s cruel to give people the hope that they are chosen and then rip it away. I wish it had been a real episode. And that’s all I’m going to say about that.)

Many people have told me that they love my Pregnant Pause posts because I’m honest and tell it like it is. I see no point in hiding the fact that pregnancy causes stretch marks and constipation and sore feet. I think you should all know what you’re getting yourself into when you decide to expand your family. Yes, babies are cute and they are a blessing… but your thighs are going to blow up. And your butt? It gets it’s own zip code. And did you know that there is a stage in your pregnancy when you can no longer fit into your maternity clothes?? Yeah, that’s a fun time.

But I’m past that stage. Now it’s newborn time. So I thought I’d share some honest info with you about childbirth and these beginning stages of motherhood. If you are a male, feel free to leave. Also, I’ve been compiling this list for about a week and it got to be pretty long, so I’m going to post this in two parts.

1. Movies lie.

2. Not all contractions are brutal and not everyone’s water breaks on it’s own. It is totally possible that you could be having “good” contractions and you have no clue. (Yeah… More on that when I post the birth story.)

3. All nurses have the right to see and touch your lady parts. Be prepared for any nurse on duty to come “check” you… And on that note: Not all pelvic exams are created equal. Some are just awkward but some hurt like hell. Apparently there is a skill to it.

4. This is also true once the baby has made his arrival. Several times a day a nurse will come mush your belly and look in your panties. They act like this is a normal activity, it’s best if you act that way too.

5. A nurse even had me roll over so she could check to see if I had hemorrhoids. Thankfully she found nothing during her search. Her name was Pam, I will never forget.

6. Labor is pretty anti-climatic when you’ve got the drugs. It’s a waiting game. Once they break your water, they try not to check you unless it’s necessary because with every check comes the possibility of introducing bacteria to your Ladyness. So you just lay there and watch crappy shows on their crappy television that only goes channel up and only produces sound from a small remote attached to your bed.

7. When they say “Tell me if you feel like you need to have a bowel movement” what they DON’T mean is “Please don’t poop on the table.” What they DO mean is “When your baby is descending, you’re the only one that will know. So pay attention and let us know immediately. No pressure.”

8. Once you have the epidural, you lose all ability to hold in a fart. In fact, you will have no idea that you need to fart until you let out a “pfffft.” The first few times are shockingly, hilarious, and embarrassing. Eventually, you get used to it. Be sure your family is aware that you have no control over this. Your nurse won’t care.

9. The epidural sucks. SUCKS. Be prepared to repeat the prayer “Please relax me. Get me through this.” Over and over while tucked into your nurse’s chest. I hated it and I’m already dreading it for my next baby. However, I’m confident that it sucks less than the feeling of a human being coming out of my vagina. So I’ll take it! (More thoughts on epidurals during my birth story.)

10. When your nurse says that it’s baby time and you’re going to do some “practice pushing,” be aware that there is nothing “practice” about it. It’s real pushing, just without the doctor there.

11. I guess I probably should have realized this based on knowledge of what an epidural is, but you have to have a catheter. It sucks at first but it’s nice to not have to get up to pee every 15 minutes.

12. Another thing I should have known? When you have an epidural, you only push during contractions. Did y’all know this?? Okay so here’s the run down: You have time for three pushes during each contraction, then you have to wait. So…. breathe, breathe, push, breathe, push, breathe, push. Wait for 3 minutes. Repeat. What do you do during those 3 minutes? Nothing. Nothing at all. You twiddle your thumbs and try not to think about the fact that you are completely exposed under bright lights with 5 strangers and your husband in the room.

13. Breastfeeding sucks as much as people says it does. It’s also as wonderful as people say it is. I love that it’s MY time with Jansen… but it also hurts like hell.

14. When your milk comes in, your boobs turn into bowling balls. This is no exaggeration. They get about 4 times larger than normal and are hard as rocks. This is about the time you curse yourself for deciding to breastfeed. If I had been on the fence, I would have quit. It was frustrating. As my angel of a nurse said, “Well he is trying to latch on to a basketball, it’s almost impossible.” This stage only lasts about a day, if you can get through it, you can get through anything. (Note: This is a good time to learn to work your pump. It’ll save your life, your sanity, and your surroundings from an exploded boob.)

15. Also learned during this day before my wonderful nurse was on duty: Not all nurses are helpful.

Consider yourself educated… or at least halfway educated. The rest will come tomorrow.

September 22, 2010 at 7:29 am 25 comments

The Reveal: The Themeless Nursery

I’ve been talking about the nursery for months. You’ve given advice, links, and opinions. You’ve asked for pictures several hundred times and have been (semi) patient when I told you to wait. Now the day is finally here. I’m going to show you Jansen’s room.

There is so much love in this room. I’m not a decorator, I will never pretend to be. But I think this room rocks. People tipped their heads in concern when I said I wanted to paint the walls bright green. They hesitated when I said I wanted to take off the closet doors and hang turquoise curtains. But I had a vision. A vision of bright colors that didn’t include farm animals or trucks or footballs. A nursery without a theme. I am 100% satisfied with the way it turned out!

Many many thanks to Lauren for taking pictures of the nursery last weekend while I was sleeping. She took some fantastic pictures. There will be a changing pad on the dresser but that was in our room since Jansen is currently sleeping in a bassinet by our bed.



So? What do you think?

September 13, 2010 at 7:40 am 40 comments

BFF Friends Forever

This week has dragged on but somehow, at the same time, it has gone shockingly fast. But isn’t that the truth about life in general? Here we are and it’s January 14, 2010 and it seemed like just yesterday that we were entering the 2000’s. But how can it only have been two days since Tuesday? This week is dragging and I’m in desperate need of a Saturday with no alarm.

The funny thing about my blog-life is that I view my weeks in blog terms. Monday is usually some story about the weekend, then Ten on Tuesday (which TWENTY EIGHT of you participated in this week… amazing!), Wednesday is the Loser recap, Thursday is a day for me to stretch my imagination, and Friday is either a giveaway or Quick Takes. It keeps my week orderly which is great since it’s the only orderly thing in my life besides my planner.

It’s Thursday. According to my blogenda, that means I should be stretching my imagination. I tried to stretch it but it popped. I’m on the couch watching Stephen take over the Star Wars universe as a really cute Lego Darth Vader and thinking that you all probably wish that you could hang out with us all the time. Because really, nobody is as cool as us.

Tonight we were fortunate enough to watch about 20 minutes of the American Idol try outs… which, for the record, are the only episodes I’ve ever actually seen except that time in college that a girl made me watch a VHS tape of the episode where Kelly Clarkson won. I have no desire to watch people sing two nights a week only to hear them on the radio every 5 minutes for 2 years after the season is over. But that’s not my point. While we were watching, there were these two girls. They were very proud BFF Friends Forever and obviously don’t know what “BFF” actually stands for or else they’d know that the “Friends Forever” part was quite unnecessary. And dumb. They hugged and stared into each other’s eyes and looped arms like those girls did in the hallways of League City Intermediate before I decided to leave that school and go to a place with less arm looping and more tuition. You’re welcome, mom and dad.

What’s up with me and the run-on sentences today?

But really, it was sweet. And it reminded me a lot of you and me. We’re looping internet arms and staring longingly into each others’ web space… or something.  But then I thought, do you really know me? Sure you know me, I tell you things about me every day. But do you know me enough to be my BFF Friend Forever (not to be mistaken with Blog Friend 4 Ever, that role is already taken.) My assumption is no. Specifically because so many of you refer to me on your blogs or via google searches as “Chelsea from Roots and Wings” which is not actually my name. When you have a spare 2 minutes, click on the About Me tab there at the top. It’ll explain that my blog is actually a play on words, titled Roots and Rings (or R&R for short) and it’ll even tell you why I chose that name.

I’ve decided to nominate myself and, well, everyone in my life to answer your questions. In an effort to be your BFF Friend Forever (and more accurately, to have some fun) I’m opening up the floor. Ask away. Ask me or Stephen or my mom or my sister or my Blog Friend 4 Ever or Lyndsey. Anyone.

Stephen, why in the world do you pop Chelsea’s toes?

Momma, have you always had such cute glasses? Did you pick them out yourself?

Chelsea, tell us about this root.

Avery’s dad (Justin), how many poo diapers have you changed?

And so on. You are some of the funniest and most creative people I know… which makes me both scared and excited for my innocent family and friends (who are finding out about this at the exact same time you are, how fun is that???).

Maybe I’ll make a friendship bracelet for the person with the best questions. How’s that for incentive??

January 14, 2010 at 9:21 am 25 comments

I Wonder How Many Lies Are In This Post

Last night I was watching that show on CBS called “I Get That A Lot.” It’s about celebrities taking “normal people” jobs and pretending they aren’t celebrities. It was pretty interesting. With the exception of Gene Simmons, all of the other celebrities were recognized almost instantly. A customer would walk into the store and immediately say, “Oh my gosh. Are you Rachael Ray/ Julie Chen/ Tony Hawk/ Snoop Dogg/ Paris Hilton??” Then RR/ JC/ TH/ SD/ PH would say, “Noo noo! But I get that a lot.” The customer would argue with them, “What? No. You are RR/ JC/ TH/ SD/ PH! You have to be! You look just like him/her.” And it would go on, “No really. If I were RR/ JC/ TH/ SD/ PH, do you think I’d be working here??”

It was fun to see how quickly people recognized them and how different people acted toward them. Living the life of a celebrity means that you get recognized everywhere you go.

I would know, it happens to me all the time. Just last week, Stephen and I went to a NYE party in Austin. The second I walked in and people saw me with my amazing boots on, they ran up to me and said, “Oh my gosh! You are totally that girl from Roots & Rings!” I denied it over and over but they just kept on. Begging me for my autograph, asking if we can be real life friends. It went ON AND ON. It was exhausting.

(If you’ll buy that, I’ll throw the Golden Gate in free.)

Friday night we went to a place a little more VIP, a place where my type would fit in. Darrell K Royal Stadium. Home of the University of Texas football team. Heard of them? They are playing in a pretty important game tonight. My cousin (also VIP) was having his rehearsal dinner there.

Talk about class, my friends.

I wish this photo was a bit closer. But this is me and my classy family. Check out how gorgeous the stadium is. And check out how gorgeous this baby is. This is Sophie, you’ve met.

So we had BBQ and listened to George. We felt like true, rich UT Alum.

Saturday night was the wedding. At the Four Seasons. I told you that we were a big deal. It was GORGEOUS. Absolutely one of the best weddings I’ve been to. The room was beautiful, the food was fantastic, there was a FULL BAR, the music was great, there were tons of people there, and I was surrounded by many of my favorite people.

This wedding was so party-for-the-rich-and-the-famous that there was a man in the lobby rolling cigars for party favors. Good times! The only thing missing was my brother, SIL, and Miss Avery. They stayed home because the paparazzi would have had a hey-dey with the little one!

And because I can’t pass up a good plug for something I love, let me share my Sunday with you. The family met up for brunch at a place in Austin called Zax (<– link). We’re VIP there too. (I know, you had no idea I was such a big deal!) Their food is fantastic. Their Migas, well, there are no words. I’m pretty sure when I’m pregnant, Stephen will be driving the 3+ hours to get their Migas for me. They are dream-worthy. The portion was huge but I ate the whole thing. I couldn’t stop. I even unbuttoned my skinny jeans on the way back to Houston. It was totally worth it.

So that’s it. That is a typical weekend in the life of Chelsea of Roots & Rings. Or maybe not. Whatever. Want to see Sophie again?

And life is good!

Get your horns up, y’all. If you don’t know how, my mom and her sisters will teach you.



January 7, 2010 at 9:42 am 26 comments

Ten on Tuesday (12) – And Some Very Important Information

So yesterday I told you that today was a big deal for two reasons. About 3 hours after I published that, I realized that it was a big deal for THREE reasons because today is my one year blogaversary! Not quite sure how I forgot about that. So… happy blogaversary to me and happy blogaversary to you!

When I got into blogging, I was quite naive. I thought that I’d just have this little website and I’d write a little bit each day. I figured my family and friends would read it and thats about it. I had NO idea that there was like a whole blogging community out there. I never realized that strangers might actually read. And I definitely never would have thought that I’d actually meet others in real life. Weird.

Thanks to all of you for sticking with me and being part of my life. Every comment, every email, every bit of encouragement truly means the world to me. Thanks.

(excuse me while I put myself together… sniff.. sniff.)

Now it’s time for ToT! If you participate on your blog, feel free to use this button and add your link to Mr Linky below.

1. Are there any movies that inspire you to bake/cook?
The only one I can think of is Julie & Julia. How could you watch that and NOT want to cook??

2. What’s your favorite food blog and why?
Pioneer Woman Cooks – Why? Because it’s amazing.
Bake at 350 – She is so talented and makes me think that maybe one day I could bake like her.
Bakerella – Pure eye candy. Seriously.
Three Many Cooks – This is Pam Anderson (the chef, not the hooch with the boobs) and Pam’s daughter’s blog.
Kim’s Concoctions – I found her after PW came to town, she’s a Houstonian. I’m not sure why her blog isn’t super successful. Her recipes look fabulous and her photography is great. Check her out.

3. Who’s your favorite celebrity chef?
Ina Garten. I used to be annoyed with some of her mannerisms on television but I’m willing to look past that because she is BRILLIANT.

4. What’s your favorite kitchen tool?
Oh gosh. That’s difficult. I love my KitchenAid, although I don’t use it nearly as often as I should. I love cutting boards and spatulas. Oh Oh Oh, my knife (<– link). It’s amazing. I’m pretty much only going to buy this brand ever… for the rest of my life.

5. When it comes to cooking/baking, what’s your specialty?
I don’t have a specialty. I’m good, not great, at most things in the kitchen.

6. When in the kitchen, do you wear an apron, if so, any cute ones you’d like to share?
Normal day to day cooking, no. But when I am in the kitchen for a while or if I’m in an especially good mood, yes. I have a ton of cute aprons.

If you are one of those people without a cute apron, you probably ought to make sure you enter my giveaway (<– link).

7. Is there anything that intimidates you when it comes to baking/cooking? (ex. Pie crust, yeast breads, sauces, etc…)
Pancakes and rice. I can’t make either. I think the universe is against me.

8. What’s the weirdest gadget in your kitchen?
Apparently I posted without answering this. I skipped it at first with the intention of looking through my kitchen to find the answer. I can’t think of anything. Maybe our snow cone maker? Our table top s’more set?

9. What’s your go-to music for cooking/baking?
I like to have Food Network on the television in the background. It’s nice to know other people are cooking along with me.

10. After several failures, what do you do to motivate yourself to get back in the kitchen to try again?
I usually whine and say, “But I’m NOT a bad cook!!!!!!” and Stephen tells me that I’m not a bad cook. And then I yell at the person who put the recipe on their blog and photoshopped the picture of her dough before posting it on her blog so that her favorite reader would see it and think that her dough was wrong… over and over. Ahem ahem. (No, you will never live that down Taryn.)

(I have no segue here… deal…)

Today is a big day for another reason. It’s the season premiere of The Biggest Loser! Which means that my life now had meaning again. Dramatic? NOT AT ALL! Okay, maybe a little bit.

But MOST importantly today is my momma’s birthday. She’s pretty much the best momma in the world. She’s cute and funny and wonderfully thoughtful. She knows how to make people feel welcome and she is extremely generous. She loves Jesus, my daddy, and her kids– in that order. Just as it’s supposed to be. Her house is so cute and she has the cutest glasses in existence.

Tell Mommy happy birthday! Check her out, how is she a Nana?

So cute! I love you Momma! I’m so glad you get to see me on your birthday, I know you’re excited about it. I’m sure it has nothing to do with the fact that your granddaughter will be there also…

(If you’re participating in Ten on Tuesday, leave your link here. Just click on this button and it’ll give you a spot to add you link. If you aren’t participating you can still click this button and visit other people. It’s always fun to get more kitchen advice!)

January 5, 2010 at 8:26 am 35 comments

The Reason My Sister In Law Deserves An Award

The average newborn is 7.5 pounds. The average woman is 5’4. These are things to remember throughout this post. Another thing to remember: excluding C-Section (which she did not have), there is only one way for a baby to get out of it’s momma.

This is my sister-in-law, Laura. Next to her is my brother, Justin. This was on our cruise over Spring Break.

Neither of them are average, as you can see. Laura is like 5’2 and probably about negative 100 pounds. She is tiny.

She was getting pretty big the last month or so of her pregnancy. She hadn’t gained a single ounce anywhere but her belly. About two weeks ago, the doctor told her that Avery was probably about 7 pounds. Doctors can be wrong. Did you know that? This doctor was either wrong, or Avery is super-human.

Family, friends, strangers, and internet. I introduce to you…. Avery Claire.

All (not average) 9 pounds .02 ounces of her. I would say that they switched the babies in the nursery but that’s not possible. Justin saw it happen. Live and in the flesh.

Tiny Laura + Chunky Avery = … do the math. Laura needs some major recovery prayers.

Proud daddy. (Let me take a moment to gather myself…. my brother is a daddy…. oh my gosh… my brother… is a… daddy…)


Those are my parents. Mom and Dad, what are you new names? Word on the street is that my mom may go by Nana. I haven’t heard any rumors about my dad yet.

That’s my sister. And my niece.

Stephen, me, my bangs, and Avery. Have I ever told you I have tiny, bony wrists?

I’m smiling because I’m dreaming about holding her thighs. I love fat baby thighs. They are one of life’s great joys. She didn’t want her thighs squeezed last night but she told me I could do it in a couple weeks.

I know, I know. SHE’S AMAZING!

The whole family, minus Laura.


Welcome! We’re so glad you’re here and healthy. I can’t wait to get to know you and love on you. You are beautiful and so very special to all of us.

I hope your birth wasn’t as traumatic for you as it was for your parents. The doctor thought you could use that time in there to cook a bit more but it seems like you’re quite done. The buzzer should have gone off a few weeks ago.

I hope you don’t get mad at me when you’re a teenager for putting you on the internet. It’s just that so many people wanted to see your pretty face.

 Miss Avery, I love you so much and already miss you. Can I please pinch your cheeks?

Aunt Chelsea

Leave some love for Justin, Laura, and Avery!

December 30, 2009 at 9:56 am 51 comments

Ten on Tuesday (11)

Happy Tuesday, friends! This week we are talking about Christmas. A condensed version of the questions is listed to the right if you click the Ten on Tuesday button. Feel free to participate on your blog of in the comments.

Just a reminder that if you participate on your blog this week, you’ll receive an extra entry in this week’s giveaway. So be sure to add your link to Mr Linky below. Also, if you’re big time, add my ToT button to you post.

(Edited to add) This weeks’ questions come from Sarah at Sojo Blog (<– that’s a link). She’s a real life friend of mine. She and her husband live in Germany right now. Go visit her blog. Thank her for her fun set of questions and see how she answers them. If you’d like to contribute a set of questions, send me an email via the “Contact Me” tab.

1. When do you put up and take down your Christmas decorations?
Well this year we didn’t do so well. Only half of our decorations made it up. (And only half of our Christmas cards made it out… Unfortunately I didn’t keep track of which ones were sent so I have no way of knowing who else I’m supposed to send to. On a related note, if you want a late Christmas card from the Hursts, send me your address! I happened to have some spares laying around now!)

I like to keep our decorations up until New Years, at least. I don’t see why it’s okay to have them up so early but then tear them down the day after Christmas. Doesn’t seem right to me.

2. What do you do to simplify the holiday season?
Drink wine. Kidding. Sort of.

I start shopping early. And I remember the TRUE reason for Christmas. I have a hard time understanding why non-Christians celebrate Christmas. Do they know that they are celebrating the birth of our Savior?? Certainly they don’t actually think that Christmas is just a random day to give everyone gifts and put a tree in our living room. Right? Oh wait… that has nothing to do with the question. Moving on.

3. What do you do to remind yourself and your family what the Christmas season is all about?
Simple, we talk about it. We go to church together and spend time together. Maybe it’s just me but I think it’s sort of hard to ignore the true meaning of Christmas.

4. How do you spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day?
It changes every year. The only non-negotiable is that we go to church on Christmas Eve. We eat tamales and chili on Christmas Eve after church – so far this has happened every year on my mom’s side, dad’s side, and even Stephen’s side. It’s something that I love.

5. What is your favorite Christmas tradition?
Favorite? No way of knowing. I love the tamales and chili, I love Christmas Eve service, I love getting fun socks in my stocking (Cousin Kim gets these for us), I love watching my dad get excited about the gifts he buys my brother and Stephen. I really love the sweet potatoes. We have the best sweet potatoes. They are better than yours, I promise.

By the way, did I ever show you the picture of my sister making sweet potatoes over Thanksgiving? She was completely grossed out by the sound. (Sorry sister, I love you.)

By the way, to the person that Googled “What do Texans eat on Christmas?”… let this be your guide. And doesn’t anyone else think it’s weird that someone would Google that?? Like we are some other sort of species or something??

6.  Did you do the whole Santa thing growing up? What do you like/not like about continuing the tradition?
Of course we did the Santa thing! Stephen and I will definitely carry on that tradition with our kids. It’s fun and exciting.

I know there are a lot of people who hold the mentality that “kids these days” are so spoiled and they don’t need more things. And what sort of message are we giving our kids by giving them a bunch of stuff they want but don’t need?? In a way, yes, I agree. Kids are spoiled. But that’s not the point. The point of Christmas is that we got a gift that we TOTALLY didn’t deserve. We are spoiled, rotten sinners… but God knew better and gave us a gift. So I don’t think it’s all that bad to mirror that (obviously in a much smaller, less awesomely miraculous way) and give our children a wonderful gift.

That’s my opinion and I’m sticking to it! Plus, my mom says that when you stop believing in Santa, he stops coming. And I really need my annual Cherry Chapstick replenishment in my stocking.

7. What is your favorite Christmas cookie?
Those peanut butter balls. Oh yum. I’ve never made them. I should. Anyone have a good recipe?? I also love shortbread and forgotten cookies and those peanut butter cookies with the kisses on top.

8. How do you take your egg nog?
I don’t take egg nog. I give it back immediately. Gross. It smells gross and looks gross. And the name?? EGG NOG. In the words of my brother: disgrossting.

9. What is your favorite Christmas carol and why?
Oh Holy Night. Why? Well, have you ever heard it? It beautiful and the words are perfect. And did you know that it was the first song ever played on a radio? True story. My friend, Louie Giglio told me. (Just so we’re clear, he doesn’t know we are friends.)

10. When was the last time you had a white Christmas?
A few years ago. I think it was 2005? Couldn’t tell you. Scroll through the comments, I’m sure some of the Houstonians will know. We cam out of Christmas Ever service and it was snowing. It was magical.

Your turn! Click this logo to add your link or to visit other ToTers.

December 22, 2009 at 7:30 am 32 comments

That’s What He Said

I took myself a mini-vacation this weekend. Jealous? Yeah, I know. Stephen and I took his family to Galveston for the weekend to stay at Bella Rose and have a fun-filled family get-away. There were 8 of us: Stephen and I, his parents, his two sisters and their boyfriends. There are a few things you need to know about this group. First, we are a loud bunch. Second, a few members of this group have a tendency to repeat phrases over and over until they are no longer funny… then they repeat them a thousand more times until they somehow become funny again. This weekend the two phrases of choice were “Oh, piece of candy” which apparently comes from an episode of Family Guy or South Park or something, and “That’s What She Said” which, well, if you don’t know where that comes from you can just stop reading my blog right now because we will not get along.

The problem with weekend trips is that you really only get one full day of vacation. Everyone arrived on Friday and we stayed up long enough to unload the cars, chat a bit, and my SIL’s boyfriend to have a cold burrito from Buc-ee’s. Then the eight of us took turns brushing our teeth and getting ready for bed. We needed a good night’s sleep, we had a long day of doing nothing ahead of us. You really don’t want to be tired for that.

We all woke up on Saturday morning at different times. Eventually everyone was up and dressed and we headed to the Sunflower Bakery for some very necessary blueberry pancakes. We ate until we couldn’t speak anymore and then we ate some more. I am obviously overreacting when I say that we ate until we couldn’t speak anymore… because there is really never a time that the 8 of us can’t speak. Not possible. We stuffed ourselves back into our cars and headed to the beach. Texas tends to be bipolar when it comes to weather so we weren’t quite sure what to expect. The great state gave us some beautiful weather but it was a tad too cold to be beaching so we just walked around, took a ton of pictures, and watched Stephen and Shawn chase some crabs.


For some reason I think it’s funny to take a picture of someone taking a picture. It really never gets old for me. I’m aware that it probably gets old for you so I will old post that one, not the one of Stephen taking a picture with his cell phone and his tongue sticking out.


This is the Hurst family. Please ignore my monstrous feet!

We had plans to go to the botanical gardens at Moody Gardens. We got ready to go and then as we were just about to load into the car we realized that we didn’t know where we were going. We called Moody Gardens to figure out where they were located. My brilliant sister-in-law jokingly asked the guy on the phone if the had the botanical gardens. Umm, no. They are closed. Soooo, on to plan B. Problem was that we didn’t have a plan B. We didn’t even really have a plan A.

We eventually decided to head to The Strand and walk around a bit. Remember what I said about the two phrases that were repeated?? Well imagine taking those phrases to a street with three candy stores and a Gay Pride Fest. Phrase number two was edited in honor of the weekend’s events. Hence the title of the blog. Obnoxious? Yes. Slightly inappropriate? Yes. But often outrageously hilarious? Absolutely. Let me just say that if you’ve never had the opportunity to be within ten feet of a gay pride fest, you’re missing out on a lot of leopard print belts, short shorts, giggling, and (oddly enough) plaid Keds. Who knew?

We shopped, visited the Elissa, went to the candy store to watch them make taffy, etc. etc.


Incase you can’t read that sign, that’s the Ike water line. My father-in-law is 6’7… so yeah, it was really high.


That’s a piece of aluminum. There was this machine where you pick a letter, pull a lever, pick a letter, pull a lever, and on and on until you spell what you want. It presses each letter onto this coin. Stephen made one for me. It says, “Stephen Loves Chelsea Always.” Other coins floating around were “Shawn and Heather,” “Ndrev Loves Courtney” (Andrew wasn’t very good at it…), and “That’s What He Said 2009.”


Don’t you love him? He’s so cute. That was at the Elissa. Nothing exciting was going on behind him, he’s just THAT excited to see a ship! Later there were a bunch of men climbing up with harnesses. Stephen was convinced that they were going to repel down but they ended up just doing some work on the sails. The anticipation left us underwhelmed.

Anyways, that’s not what’s important about the weekend. The important thing is that for dinner we had two delicious Pioneer Woman recipes followed by a chocolate cheesecake that made us all die. It was a great food weekend. And since that’s really all I require out of life, I would say that this weekend was one of my favorites in my recent memory! And it may or may not have something to do with sharing an old-fashioned chocolate shake with my hubby!



(Ten on Tuesday tomorrow. If you’re a blogger and want the questions ahead of time, email me. Most of you said you were cool with getting them Tuesday morning, but if you’re a planner like me, I can send them to you. chelsea.hurst (at) hotmail (dot) com)

October 26, 2009 at 9:17 am 25 comments

Dogs and Babies Aren’t Exactly The Same

Today is October 6. We are approximately 42 days away from my 25th birthday. (It’s November 17th, for those of you who aren’t good at counting.) I graduated from college two and a half years ago. I started a job a few weeks after that. I married a very handsome man a month or so later. Which means I have been married for a little over two years.

That handsome man and I bought a house almost two years ago. November 16, 2007 to be exact. I changed jobs a few months later to do work that didn’t make me want to jam a pencil in my eye. In January of 2009 one of our clunker cars bit the dust and we spent a long (ha!) 48 hours carefully deliberating and test driving one vehicle and visiting one dealership before purchasing our first SUV, also known as a baby-mobile.

Do you see where we’re headed? Most people do. Graduated, jobs, married, house, car… what’s next?

My blog. In the timeline of Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Hurst, the blog actually came before the SUV. But it has taken on a whole new life and is now a much bigger part of my life than it was 9 months ago. So I would say that Roots & Rings is the next big event in our lives. But obviously blogging isn’t really on most people’s “Things To Do As I Grow Up” list. Most people’s next step would be a baby.

No this isn’t the post where I announce to The Internets that I am pregnant. I am not. So settle down and just read my story.

Stephen and I have been in open discussion about babies since we got married. It was never a talk that scared us. We figured we’d wait about two years and have a baby. (Incase you already forgot the timeline, we are 3 months past the two year mark and we don’t have a baby. Sometimes people don’t know what they are talking about when they set goals.)

A few months ago we went to Home Depot. In the back of the parking lot was a truck with a dog crate next to it. They had a sign propped up against the truck that said “PUPPIES.” We got out of our baby-mobile and intended to walk into the doors of Home Depot but somehow found ourselves walking toward the truck. As we were walking across that parking lot, Stephen enthusiastically said, “Oh! We could get a puppy!” I laughed at his ridiculousness and told him, “Okay. You have a choice. You can have a baby or a dog.” I could see the grin on his face, “Fine! A dog!” I knew his dirty tricks, “I don’t mean that you get one now and one a year from now. You get one. Period. And you don’t get another until the other is gone.”

Meaning this: Unless the Lord thinks I can handle twins (please, oh please Lord, don’t think I can handle twins!) I will not have two babies at once. I will not have a baby and get pregnant immediately afterward so that I have kids extremely close in age. I know my stress and migraines and massive knots in my shoulders- I know I can’t handle that. So this also means that I will not get another dog (Rookie was already part of the family) and then have a baby. The dog would have to be gone by the time I visited the idea of a baby. Are you following me?? The Hurst family will include a man, a woman, a dog, and a baby. Once that baby turns into a little kid, we’ll visit the baby idea again. But another dog does not fit into this equation unless the baby doesn’t, or unless the other dog doesn’t. I can’t see either of those happening. Hence, my proposal to Stephen which I will repeat now because this was quite a tangent and your eyes are probably glazed over. “Okay. You have a choice. You can have a baby or a dog.”

We played with the puppy but chose not to get it. Partially because we’d rather have a baby. And partially because the puppy was a pit bull and I will NEVER have a pit bull and a child in the same house. I don’t care to hear your thoughts and feelings on the matter. This is my opinion and I can choose that. Moving on.

Every now and then we experience what it’s like to have two dogs. My mom’s dog comes to visit often. Our pups play and sleep and bark and have a merry time. The two dogs have two separate potty rituals and two separate morning rituals. It makes me more responsible to have two of them around. My dog is chill. She sleeps when I tell her to go night-night. She eats when I say “good girl.” She potties when I tell her to go potty. She’s easy. Molly is different. She’s tiny and prissy. She sleeps when she feels like it. She eats about once a day, one kibble at a time. And don’t even get me started about her potty.

Molly is more like a baby than Rookie. She needs more attention and love. She can’t be alone long. If you’re not watching her, she’ll put anything in her mouth. And she’s scared of storms. She stayed at our house over the weekend and it rained the entire weekend. It was good baby practice. Or maybe good birth control? (Just kidding, mom. Please let her keep visiting us!) 

I love cuddling with her and cradling her like a soft little baby. When I do this it makes me think that maybe we could just get a tiny puppy to cure our baby fever and postpone the expensive step of expanding our family. But then I wake up in the morning to find out that Molly is so scared about the storm that she’s pooped a pile of tootsie rolls in my closet. At least I know my future babies won’t do that!

October 6, 2009 at 8:45 am 18 comments

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