i fell down, but got back up again.

and in the moment where i almost lost myself, you were there to pull me back to reality, to my feet and remind me that you have my back.


i love it when daddy comes home.

i am so close to being in the arms of my daddy and really, that is the only thing i need right now.
he couldn't have come at a better time.
i just need the calm, understanding reassurance that he gives me.


and we peeled the freckles from our shoulders

the wind turns raw and damp
biting at your skin
smothering the smoldering remains of this autumn's seasonal burn

and we bend as the aspen do
bracing for the first taste of cool change on our lips
grasping onto those lingering echos of summer warmth inside our mouths
thin as paper and frail with dying embers
they tumble into memories

and the seasons turn.


oh brother.

today, i miss Geoff.

i would like nothing better than to be in the passenger seat of that little white eclipse, music pulsating through the seats and the purr of the manual transmission vibrating the doors; my feet on the dash and the heat blowing on my face and the solid tenor of Geoff's voice singing "you are loved" at the top of his lungs; green eyes wide with happiness and his chuckle interwoven at his missed notes. I would look at him and he would wait patiently for me to spill and once I had finished a five minute rant about why there were tears in my eyes, he would pull the car over in the temple parking lot so that the windshield was overlooking the Rexburg valley and take a deep breath.

"you are loved, sister." he would say. "don't give up. you are worth it; you deserve it, this is part of your plan, just trust in it. Trust the boy; listen to him because he knows you and he understands. don't give up, don't give in."

and I would take a deep breath and realize that he was right and that I do deserve love and that I am capable of being in this super healthy and stable relationship and that I should just listen to that boy, like Geoff said, because he is honest with me and we were meant for each other.

i just need a pep talk from Geoff.

four hour naps kill me

because then I stay up too late, not doing anything productive except facebook stalk, which is such a time waster and I just want to be sleeping, but I am wide awake and full of energy and stuff.
It's wet and damp outside and my knee is a bit achey because of the rain and I think about what I wouldn't give to wake up in my big bed back on the East Coast tomorrow and enjoy just one day of New England Autumn. Nostalgia. It's sinking into my skin and settling into my bones.

I just had one of the best weekends with some of my favorite people and I'm sad it's ending. This semester is going by too fast. I'm panicking a little; I need more time to do everything with school and work and the people I love. PANIC! at the disco. that was a good band; juli and i used to sing to them all of the time during the days of the '95 Jeep, top off, caught off guard in a summer rainstorm and getting drenched as we laughed hysterically, booking it home along the snake-like winding roads in londonderry, new hampshire.

I saw Juli this weekend, and I got to curl up in the bed with her and talk until the wee hours of the morning about everything under the sun. I got a lot of good heart to hearts this weekend, and i am so grateful for the insights i gained and for the advice I received and the hope that everything will work out.
i'm just all over the place; too much sleep is not good for me. four hour naps throw me off and make me in weirdy moods.

i'm going to bed now.


The way you make me feel is like...

Smelling fresh cut grass or being in the back of a jeep under the stars. Or returning home from a long trip or just driving with no destination during late summer evenings. It's like the feeling you get when you get an 'A' on your paper and your parents tell you how proud they are. Or when you hear your family laugh together or the whooshing of a tunnel when you drive with the windows down. It's like when you're outside on a hot summer day and your skin is pulsing with warmth and you have a cold glass of ice water. Or when you talk to an old friend after a month or two, yet the two of you are still as close as ever.

It's like the feeling you get when you hear your favorite song on the radio for the first time in a while, and you turn it up and feel so alive. When you get a letter in the mail from someone who is far away but it still thinking of you. Or lying in bed watching a snow storm, knowing you don't have to get up for hours and get to just lay in the warmth of your comforters for a long time. It's the way your stomach flip flops during a true kiss, or how your body feels when you take off in an airplane. Or when you drive around in the front seat of the car that belongs to the boy you like and even though you should feel scared beyond control because he's driving so fast, you feel so safe and alive. Yeah, that feeling.

the way you make me feel, feels good to me. 


life lately

i'm so....


i get to see Julianna tomorrow

And here is a trip down memory lane. These are all random emails passed between us. And a perfect definition of our friendship.

Juli: I love seeing the countryside though.  I dont love walking through sheep/cow poo all day though. Speaking of which, a bird pooped on my head today.  Like for real.  Oh my gosh do you remember that time something peed on my head in your yard? I forgot about that
Chelsie: YES! I do remember that time when something peed on you. I think we were playing on the trampoline? Yes. And, welcome to the bird poop club. Did I ever tell you that I got pooped on when I was on the band trip to DC? Gage and I were sitting outside on a picnic table at a rest stop and all of a sudden there was this giant splat on my shoulder and Gage goes..."Chelsie...I think a bird just took a dump on you." Grossest thing EVER. 

Chelsie: I got CPR certified yesterday and I think I pulled my butt muscles doing it, because my butt is SORE!

Chelsie: So yesterday morning, every fire alarm in my house goes off as if there was a Californian Wildfire in my backyard. Was there any smoke? No, of course not! it took us five minutes to rip them all out of the ceiling and get the to shut up.
Juli: Hey Chelsie-face!
I was thinking about you today as we crossed South Dakota.  I'm sure I should have an explanation for that.. but I dont.  
Chelsie:  Liz brought her newest boyfriend, who is the size of a house and that was weird.

Chelsie: thank you for your level 50 text message today. it made my life.

Chelsie: i was saying that i will sit out in my garden and protect my veggies from the deer with my bow and arrow that i made with my bare hands like bear grills!!! bahahahhhaha. im going to the mall tonight to purchase some undawear, bootay shorts and a book. do you need anything while i am out?
Juli: I just wasted an unnecessary amount of time drawing you a calendar just in case you forgot I am coming home Friday!!!! :)
Chelsie: last night, for no particular reason, i was thinking about how we played amazing grace at my nana's memorial and how you attempted to decresendo on the last note with that pedal and like, stomped on it so it went from loud to nothing and i laughed out loud. 
Juli:  can I just say that your newest bumper sticker does not make sense. Edward Cullen cannot be the sexiest man alive, not only because he is a fictional character, but also because he is a VAMPIRE...and vampires are not alive. They are un-dead. take that twilight.

Juli: My Dishwasher!
Juli: DRYER!
Chelsie: MY CAT DIED!

Juli: Is your pule?
Chelsie: my what?


Chelsie: I was just thinking about your squeaky eye. and that time you thought you were a mermaid.
Juli: Well, you're still waiting for your owl from hogwarts.

bebe Juli and Chelsie (13 and 14)

cancer (17 and 16)

post cancer (17 and 18)

marriage (20 and 20!)

I am so lucky and blessed to have someone who has stayed by my side through the worst times imaginable and the best times possible. I am so excited to see her tomorrow and to see Jordan and for two of the most important people in my life to finally meet!


Did you say it?

Tell someone you love them right now. Do it. Even if you feel stupid, even if love isn't your thing. Even if you told them three minutes ago. Tell them that you love them with meaning. Even if emotion isn't your thing. Tell the person who you rely on, the person you trust the most, the person who you can't imgaine your life being empty of. Tell someone who changed your life, who made you a better person, who inspires you. Tell your mom, your best friend, you brother, your boyfriend. Tell them as if it's your last chance. Just tell someone you love, that you love them. 

Did you say it?

You never know what life is going to throw at you. And it will through a lot of things. Some come slow and with time and knowledge, some blindside you on some idle Friday morning. That's the way things are. And that's what I've learned to accept. Life will not slow down for anyone or anything; time and people and space, it'll all keep moving and changing and throwing things at you that you never see coming. You just never know.

So tell someone you love them. Because this is it. You never know when that opportunity will be gone. And most of the time, it's too late. Take advantage of the time you have right now. Make a plan. Set a goal. Live your life.  But every now and then, pause. look around. smell the roses. run in the rain. this is it.

it might all be gone tomorrow.

Did you say it?


Four Years Cancer Free!

Today marks four years of being completely done with Chemotherapy. 
and I am speechless.

I was talking to Juli yesterday and she said something along the lines of that when I was sick, she didn't believe that I had cancer and now that I'm better, she can't believe it's been so long ago. I agree. It seems like yesterday that walking up early in the morning to compete with other cars in the comute to  Boston just to recieve chemo was part of my everyday life. At the same time, it feels like forever ago that I had no hair, that I forgot what school was and that I was sick everyday for a year. I can't really explain what I'm feeling. A rush of emotions, disbelief, happiness, relief, and anxiety at the ever looming possibility of a relapse. I am more concerned today with midterms, history tests, weekend plans and teaching relief society! Recently, there has been more concern with my body freaking out, but it's still distant. Today is about being alive.

I reflect back on how thankful I am to be sitting here, to be writing this post. Four years ago, I never thought I would be here, I never thought this day would come. But I hoped. And sometimes, that is all we need to get through the hard days.

Some of you may know the story behind my make-a-wish, and many of you don't. My original wish was for an open holed flute, about a 2500 dollar instrument. Because of complications that came with the Make-a-wish foundation, I changed it and instead, my family and best friend got to go on a week long cruise during our April vacation my junior year. 
Unknown to me at the time, My Auntie M sent out a letter to many of my friends and family asking to donate to a fund so that I could recieve my flute. My high school band covered the rest of the funds, and four years ago, my Auntie M and Mr. Adams(my band teacher) presented me with the most beautiful flute I could ever ask for. How fitting is it that I will have the opportunity to play it at Stake conference this coming weekend. I am reminded about how many people love and care about me, and I am overwhelmed with gratitude.

I wrote this the last morning of my stay at the hospital, four years ago:

This morning I wake up once again to the never-ending droning of the IV pump, alarming me that the state of the fluids it is pumping into me is near empty and that I should page my nurse so that she can hang my next Liter of Liquid.. Like any other day in the hospital, I hit the nurse call button and quiet the alarm on my iv, my constant companion this last year. There is only one thing different about today. It’s the last time I’ll have to be woken by my pole. Today is my last day on 6N.
Yes, I am on 6N. Like last week, they had five beds open up over the weekend, and they graciously arranged it for me to move down to my home away from home for my last night. I even got to pick my own room. There is no other place I would rather be, finishing up my journey, than here, with the people it all started with. Even Susanne is on.
Yesterday was an emotional day. Molly, from the resource room planned a surprise end of chemo party for me, and all of my nurses signed a beautiful card, wishing me luck and to visit often. It’s hard for me to say goodbye to this place, even though I am so excited and relieved to be done with treatment But this has been my home for the past year, and these people have been the biggest parts of my life for the most of it as well. It’s hard to accept that I won't see my Susanne, Molly, Summer, Sarah, Elizabeth, Stacie, Katie, and Vicky, Theresa every month now. This has become my life, my normal, and its going to be weird to go back to...what normal was. What is normal anyways? I forget. This is my normal. Here, in this hospital. How do I go back to the way things were?
But I think I know the answer. I don’t. Life will never be the same for me or my family ever again. It will be better. We all have better, new perspectives on life, and understand the importance of living life to the fullest. There will be a whole new normal. Not the normal before cancer. And the normal during cancer. The normal after cancer. The normal where life is always beautiful.
Please continue to live each day to its fullest. Never take anything for granted, no how small and insignificant it may seem. Enjoy the simplest things that this world has to offer. Watch the trees turn colors. Smile when you wake up to the first snowfall of the year. Drive past your house when your favorite song comes on the radio and sing out loud to it. Smile when you wash the dishes. Hug someone you love. When the elevator breaks down, be thankful you have legs and can take the stairs. Eat dinner with your family tonight. read a book with your brother or sister or with your parents or child. Continue to love endlessly, unconditionally. 
So today, four years later, I sit in my room in Idaho and I remember every moment and every trial I faced to get here and see all of the beautiful blessings and people in my life who helped me achieve the impossible.
my life is a miracle. my life is beautiful.
I am in Idaho, surrounded by people who I love and who love me. 
Last night, I felt myself breathing in time with my favorite person and I felt myself being alive.
what a beautiful feeling; what a beautiful moment.
i am so grateful.
i am alive.


don't wake me up

there are some really beautiful things going on in my life right now.
breath-taking, pure and truly beautiful things.
and I will write about them soon.
but not just yet.

because I'm still afraid it's all too good to be true.



yep, i am wearing my grey shorts over my black leggings and my soft blue sweatshirt over a cream tank top and my hair is up in a messy pony tail and my bangs are pined back. I pretty much look like a ragga-muffin.

but i don't care.

take that world. take that!



okay, Chelsie Caroline. Enough is enough. time to put your head down and be that girl who loves to learn.
you can't let what if's and but's get in the way of the now.
you know who you are.
do work, girl. do work.

fully alive

I tucked my thumb into the pocket between our hands
and you gave me a bit of a hard time, but gave my tiny fingers a reassuring squeeze anyway.
the sky was dark and the air was damp and the grass glimmered in the light from the lamp posts
and the only sound was the spitting of the sprinklers, our feet slopping in the wet grass and our laughter echoing off the empty buildings.
we were drenched to the bone.
we were alive.


and just for a moment, everything is perfect.
my life is so stinking beautiful


17,280 breaths

The human lungs are one of the most essential organs to life. Their job is to transport oxygen from the atmosphere into the bloodstream. There are two lungs in the human body. The right lung is usually bigger than the left. If placed end to end, capillaries would extend 960 miles. The action of breathing is automatic; something that you don't normally think about. A normal respiratory rate is somewhere around 8-14 breaths per minute. Given 1,440 minutes in a day, that averages out to about 17,280 breaths a day. In an average person's lifetime, a person takes about half a billion breaths.

They call it lorazepam, but on six north, we refer to it as ativan. .5 cc's of the liquid form in the IV. That's all it takes. point five cc's of this clear liquid to slip away. And it really does feel like slipping away. The outlines of the world begin to blur and all of the sounds around you blend into each other. There is no distinction between the beeping of the IV, the purr of the fan or the monotonous drone of voices coming from the tv. Everything blends together and the only thing you can hold on to as the drug penetrates your system is yourself. Your body. The fact that your chest is still moving up and down and you can feel the air flowing through your nose and into your lungs. Even then, it only takes a few more minutes after the blurring starts to lose control of that. All of a sudden, there is too much air. It's too easy to breathe and you don't feel like you are breathing at all. Before you lose complete awareness of the world, the last thing you remember is not having enough air and having too much air at the same time and wondering if you are going to wake up after you close your eyes.

I've spent every night the last week laying in bed wide awake for hours, concentrating on my breathing. Memorizing the way it feels to inhale the air of fall and to push it back out. Trying to preserve with every fiber of my being the feeling of being alive. It's been tricky. I am filled with fear. There are times where everything around me is thick, heavy, pitch black and pushing in from all sides, crowding every corner of my mind. It's like a giant blanket of suffocating darkness pushing so solidly on my chest that I'm being constricted of air. 

Breathing is the only thing I hold on to when everything else is spiraling out of control. Concentrating on breathing reminds me that I am alive. That my life is a miracle. There are days when I wake up just being thankful to breathe. I am constantly questioning if I'm worth it, though. I know many beautiful people who I feel could live a lot better than me; do a lot more with their lives than me. I am not strong. and I am nothing special. I am just a girl from New England who has been fighting for a long time to keep going and who is finally feeling tired. 

But I'm still here. And I'm still breathing. My apartment is empty and the fall air is coming in my window. I can smell the damp earth and the slight decay of leaves mixed with my clean hair and my h2o lotion. I can feel my lungs expanding and constricting. I am breathing, heart-beating, alive. 

17,280 breaths a day. How many of those are we aware of? How many of those moments do we take for granted? How many minutes pass by, how many breaths go unnoticed and unappreciated? How many are shared with others? How many are spent alone?

So much held in the breaths of a day. So many moments where your breath is taken away. Standing in summer rainstorms, the sound of thunder rolling through the valley. The innocent laugh of a child. Driving fast with the windows rolled down. Finding yourself breathing in time with the warm body next to you. Laughter that fills your entire being. The smell of home. Warm tea and the weather channel. Swinging. Feet dangling in the river. Looking into the eyes of someone who loves you. 

So here it is.

I don't know how many breaths I have left. No one does, really. And I don't think any one ever really gives that much thought unless they have faced death; until they are watching their life hang in the delicate balance of the between. But I've faced that. I face it every day. It's scarier than you could ever imagine. I have my moments where I forget to breathe. Where I can't. Where it is physically impossible for me to get enough air. 

But I have to try to not let that get to me. I have to keep breathing. I have to keep being alive. Not just "get up, go to school, go to work, go to bed" alive. The alive where I sing loud and I dance around when a good song comes on. The alive where I spend time with people I love. The alive where I do the dishes with a smile and I take the stairs because I still have two legs. The alive where I give to everyone who has ever given something to me. The kind of alive where I go for it all; the no regrets, the "I'm going to let this happen and I'm going to go for it and I'm going to love every second of it because I'm alive and that is what life is for." The alive that makes me remember how beautiful my life is, no matter what happens.

I hurt. all of the time. everything hurts all of the time. 
But I'm alive. 
I'm in love with my life. I'm in love with the people in it. I'm in love with breathing.
I'm in love with finding myself next to that warm body and wrapped in protection and security and comfortable silence; the only sound of our lungs breathing in time. I'm in love with everything that makes me who I am and has helped me become who I am.

So, remember to breathe, Chelsabelle, 
and be fully alive.
life is so beautiful.
and everything will be okay.

I love you all.
Remember to breathe.
i know i need to write.
but i seem to have lost my words.


remember to breathe

and everything will be okay.



everything is really great right now.
but still, something has me totally unsettled.
can't place my finger on it.
or maybe i can, and i just don't want to admit it.

i'm just. unsettled.

high places and loving faces

I tend to stay quiet for a while. Sometimes I try to sleep it off, because slumber is the closest thing to complete escape. Close your eyes, block out the world and stop the constant noise in your head for a few hours. Make it all go away.

When there is no time for sleeping and when I can't stay quiet anymore, I rant.

Today, i found myself walking around in circles in the purring laundry room below your apartment, ranting about everything and not getting anywhere in particular, saying the same things over again. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Like the song your roommate is in love with and won't stop playing, morning, noon and night, in the bathroom and in the kitchen and in the car. Repeat.

and you held out your hand and paused me in the middle of the same four words that wouldn't stop tumbling out of my mouth and helped me climb on a ledge and looked at me with that smirk that you only seem to reserve for me and said: "go."
I was confused for a moment. I was bent down kind of awkwardly so I wouldn't hit my head on the ceiling and you were looking at me with such patience, waiting for me to continue my tirade; waiting for it to click.

and then I realized.
I need to be high when I rant. I feel better when I'm standing on things.

and in the moment where I almost forgot myself, you remembered me.

thank you for being my friend.


i generally dislike mondays

especially when i am awake at 6:30 for no reason and I went to bed at 1:30 and slept like crap the whole night. I kept on dreaming that I had to write this huge paper for my history class and that it was due today. It was like American Government in the winter all over again. THE HORROR!

I'm looking at a long day today, filled with class, work, and lot's of homework. Once I leave my apartment, I won't have more then fifteen minutes to myself until after 8:30 tonight.
But on the upside, I'm supposed to get my new phone today! I hope it comes through, that would make me happy!
Conference Sunday with my roommates was amazing, I got to write improv with Vicki for a while and someone complemented me on my writing. That makes me warm and fuzzy, because maybe I am actually majoring in something that I'm good at and that is good for me.
I got my hair done on saturday for an excellent price and I love it.
And my favorite person came home last night safe and sound.

Time to get moving.
Have a happy monday!


a message

And I'm not gonna stand and wait
Gonna leave it until it's much too late
On a platform I'm gonna stand and say
That I'm nothing on my own
And I love you, please come home.

My song is love, is love unknown
And I've got to get that message home.

Love Coldplay. Love Russell, who can play Coldplay on guitar and who sings with me and promises to teach me how to play it on my own one day.
Love quiet friday evenings with tea and good books. 
Love knowing that i'm loved. 
Love lyrics that resonate within me.
just loving life tonight.