resolutions of 2011

here they are. here we go.

1. Straight A's Winter semester.
The last couple years, I always set a goal for a few a's, a few b's. But I think I need to set the bar higher for myself.  I want to prove to myself and my parents that I am capable of straight A's.

2. Do everything possible to be financially stable for this summer.
this means NOT using my credit card, saving up so I can get Cazz home after the winter semester and pay for him during the summer that I'm not working.

3. Knee Replacement
Well, this is already set in stone to happen next April. (i'm still in complete shock that it's actually going to happen) I guess I just want to be as prepared, mentally, emotionally and physically as possible to take on this surgery. There is just a lot that goes into a procedure like this, and I want to be able to tackle it and overcome it in the best possible way. The biggest part of this for me is to maintain a positive attitude throughout the whole experience. 

4. Write
This is in two parts. one: I want to be a dedicated pen pal to my missionary. Two: And I want to take the time that I'm off my feet for most of next year to write something. Maybe a book or novel or my life story. I don't know. I just want to write.

5. Read the Book of Mormon
I was thinking about this the other day, and I'm slightly ashamed to admit it, but I don't think I've ever read the entire Book of Mormon, cover to cover, in linear form. I know I've studied it, and I know that I've probably read the whole thing in chunks here and there throughout my life, but I want to read it, in it's entirety, from start to finish. 

6. Pick Piano Back Up.
Pretty straightforward. I want to relearn how to play, and I want to be able to play well. 

7. Be Better with my Time
I just don't want to waste away in front of the tv or the computer the coming year. I want to be better at budgeting my time and not procrastinating homework during the next semester. I realize that some of it will be needed while I'm in the recovery stage after surgery, but I want to be productive or accomplish something. I don't know what exactly that entails yet, but I'm thinking it will be something along the lines of working for/making things for my floor at children's. I have a huge desire to give back to the people who gave so much to me.

8. Take Better Care of My Body
this comes in a few different parts and is something I really want to master. I've grown really used to relying on someone else to look out for me, and I need to be able to do this for myself over the next couple years, for him and for myself:
1. Sleep more. (I need to kick the sickness I have right now completely in order to get my knee replacement)
2. Eat better. 
3. Swim 
4. Take care of my knee. Know when to say no. Know what the limits are and what adjustments need to be made. Make good choices about how far to push it.

9. Grow out my hair and stop dying the heck out of it!
I just want healthy, long hair again. And that means no drastic hair cuts and obsessive amounts of chemicals.

10. China
Start making plans, researching and maybe learning some Chinese so that I can be prepared to teach English in China in 2012. 

11. Stay Secure
In myself, in my relationships, and in my testimony. I know that this next year will have it's trials and it's rough patches and that I'm going to have a hard time without some people not being by my side. I just need to trust myself and stay secure.

I think that is it. Pretty hefty list, if I do say so myself. But I'm excited to tackle it.

I'm anxious for this next year. There are a few big changes headed my way....starting in 27 days. Everything that I've come to know and rely on over the last eight months is going to change.  I'm not going to lie, I'm nervous about a lot of things. But I'm positive that everything that is going to change over the next four-five months is going to be beneficial in the end. As my mom always says: "Bigger picture, Belle. Think of the bigger picture." My best friend leaving me for the next two years isn't the happiest thought. My best friend going to serve a mission and having the opportunity to help out so many people in Mexico, and learning and growing and becoming a missionary; having the chance to serve and bring truth to those who are looking for it and being able to grow and learn things for himself...that is the bigger picture. Getting my leg hacked up again and having to go through a 5-8 month recovery process to be able to walk again and not being able to go to school next fall isn't the best thought. Regaining stability, endurance, and becoming pain free and having the opportunity to teach in China in a couple years...that is the bigger picture.

I'm scared and nervous and anxious and excited and thrilled all in once. But I'm just going to hold on to the hope and faith that there is a plan; and that everything will work out in the end. I'm going to trust in my faith; without a solid footing in what I believe in, none of the coming changes would be endurable.

I'm so grateful for this last year. I'm so grateful for the people it brought into my life; for the lessons I learned and for the person I became throughout the last twelve months. I seriously don't think I could have asked for a more beautiful year. And as I think about everything that happened and everything that it included (learning how to trust again, my best friend's wedding, spring semester, cancer free for four years, and falling in love) , I can't help but be so incredibly grateful for my life. and for the opportunity I have to live it and to experience every small wonder. Every once in a while, it hits me, out of the blue, that I'm not really supposed to be alive...that I got a second chance to live. Cancer was supposed to win the war, but I somehow came out on top. And I couldn't be more grateful for it. 

I'm overwhelmed with gratitude. I'm filled with hope.
this is my life. and no matter what happens, it is so. freaking. beautiful.

To all of my friends, readers, and strangers who stumble upon this:

Happy New Years! I hope 2011 will bring you beauty and hope and joy. I hope that whatever comes your way during the next year, that you will remember to breathe and think of the bigger picture. I hope you smile when it rains outside and that you will tell the ones you love, that you love them frequently because you never know when that opportunity might be gone. Don't live with regrets. Life is meant for making mistakes and learning from them. It's called living! Don't be afraid to get lost in the woods, or to get a little wet from the sprinklers! Don't be afraid to fall in love, it's one of the most amazing things you could ever let yourself experience. Don't be afraid to try new things, or to be happy on your own, either. Don't be afraid of yourself. Just go on adventures and appreciate the simplest things! Life is so beautiful! Don't let it pass you by, because you just never know when you might lose that chance to appreciate it. 

you are alive. 

all of my love,

Chelsie Caroline

last day of 2010

I always take the time to read through every blog post on the last day of the year. I like to relive everything and see how much I've grown. and let me tell you, I grew a lot this year.

anyway, here are some of my favorite posts from this last year.

April-a trip down memory lane 
July-We're even for now
August-Sunday Morning with Lynn
October-Fully Alive
October-and we peeled the freckles from our shoulders
December-Aslan's Country

and on that note, i'm going to take a nap.


a message

I run to you

"So, after Dr. Anderson explained what a knee replacement entails for me, my parents drilled her for 30 minutes about the pros and cons. Dad asked a lot of mechanical questions; mom covered the recovery process. It's a really intense surgery. It's more intense than my first one. It's scary. It's a really intense surgery. But she said that after I recover, I'm going to be pain free. Pain free. and that my hip problems will go away. And that I'll be able to move better, go up the stairs, endure more. so she looked at me and asked me if I wanted a knee replacement..."
"And basically...I'm getting my knee replaced the last week of April."
"....wait, WHAT? Chelsie! What?! really?!"
"Yes, really."
"I am so. happy. this is so. happy. this is the best thing I have heard in a long time!"
"Thank you. (lot's of giggling and big breathes and happy tears) So, I'll get my knee replaced in April, recover all summer and probably stay home during the fall semester and take an online class. Go back to school in the winter, and teach in China that summer. And than guess what?"
"You'll be home!"
"Yes! I will be!"
"And I'll get to run to you."


macbooks and fuzzy vests.

soooo, once upon a time, I dated (and still am dating) this boy who was (and is) really great. but before we fell in love and lived happily ever after, we were still in that process of getting to know each other and learn about each other and becoming friends. During one of the first times we hung out outside of class, he came over to study for a humanities test we had in a few days. (as you can see in the post below, clearly we loved our humanities class and didn't need to prepare much...hahaha). After playing a few rounds of SMASH on my N64, we decided to go back to his apartment to study. I trusted him with carrying my macbook; an essential tool to my life and studying. As we walked out to his explorer and he helped me into the passanger seat (which would become MY seat in the months to come), he jokenly put my mac on the hood of his truck! I freaked! Who did this kid think he was, putting MY MAC BOOK on the hood of his dirty automobile? He picked it back up after seeing my distress (although he thought it was hysterical) and got in the drivers seat as I snatched it back from his hands. And THEN! I discovered a chunk of my computer was MISSING! SNAPPED CLEAN OFF!

To this day, my darling boyfriend swears that he didn't do it, and although I don't have any solid proof that he was the culprit behind the injury of my computer, I still like to sass him about it. (Love you, sweetheart!)

anyway, today I brought my mac into the store to get a new keyboard and a new charger and the OS looked at, because it has been running a little slower and tends to throw up the spinning beach ball of DOOM on general basis. I love the mac people. They gave me a brand new charger, they are going to replace my keyboard and the microphone, and take a look at the OS and hardrive, ALL FOR FREEEE because they love me and my bebe mac. Also, because I'm still under warentee. but still. happy! I've had my computer for almost three years, and the mac people always are so helpful and nice. PLUS! the guy who helped me today was basically a skinner, straight haired version of Napolien Dynamite. It made my day, he was hysterical. and he took good care of me and my computer.

needless to say, I'm without my computer for a few days while they take care of it. oh well, i'll survive!

In other news, mom tried to buy a fuzzy/furry vest from forever21 today right off the mannequin. It was pretty funny. turns out it was on hold, but she bought a really nice sweater instead. And we spent a good ten minutes putting feathered headbands on her head while she made faces. We were laughing pretty hard.

And I got my hairs cut! It's still long, but I got it all relayered and shaped and it now feels healthy and frames my face and my bangs are back in action! I love hair cuts, they make me feel brand new.

Tomorrow, mom and dad and I are heading down to my favorite city on the face of the planet, BOSTON! We're gonna be spending most of the day in Boston Children's, seeing my Orthopedic Surgeon. I'm hoping to make solid plans about getting my knee replacement done soon, so I can start making bigger plans about teaching in China, or going to Europe or serving a mission for my church. If this knee replacement can give me a more reliable, steady knee and more endurance and stability, so many opportunities will be opened back up for me. So. Fingers crossed that things go well tomorrow. I know that the odds are not exactly in my favor, with infection and hardware and the alleograph and the stress fractures. But I hope things will work out. I want to do so much with my life in the next couple years.

Ham and mac and cheese for dinnah, Iron Man 2 with my mom, sisters and adopted siblings (Leah and Alex tonight) and my favorite person's voice tonight. today has been okay.


your voice was the sound track of my summer

I was cleaning out my photo booth today.
totally forgot about this.
typical humanities class for us in the summer: sleepy Dusty and a sassy Chelsie.
i loved these days.
they were the start of everything. 

your eyes are the brightest of all the colors. do you know you're unlike any other?


resolutions revisted.

I've been dreading looking at these for sometime now, because I know that I wasn't the best at keeping up on these this year. Today, in sacrament, the theme was resolutions and goals for the new year, and the last speaker said that it was important to appreciate what little gain we make instead of dwelling on everything we didn't make happen. Sooooo...that's what I'm going to try to do as I go over these. I am so ready to write out my goals for 2011 though. I am making some plans and setting goals and feeling inspired. that's the best feeling ever.

1. Eat healthier/lose some weight/work out:
Yeah, I totally failed on this one, until the last three weeks of this semester, where Dusty and I planned out legit meals for the rest of Fall. We actually followed through on most of them and ate full dinners on a somewhat general basis. It was nice. I hope I can keep that up with my roommate next semester.
2. Follow my budget/be financially stable:
Okay, this one was actually a winner. I paid of my credit card and have since stayed debt free (up until this last week where I might have bought my mom's sweater with my credit instead of my debit) but that's no big deal, cause I just got paid and I'll pay it off. so. Check.

3. Read a lot more. 2-3 books a month that are not required for school
Totally rocked this. Beach week helped me a lot, and my young adult lit class had me reading over seven books this semester.  Oh, and yes, i have jumped on the bandwagon called The Hunger Games, and am currently re-reading them with Dusty. So much fun, and really great to share the passion I have for reading with the person I love. Check.
4. Buy a Digital SLR.
I decided to buy a point and shoot in May in order to take pictures for all of the weddings I went to, but I'm holding off on buying my SLR for a while longer. The whole "staying out of debt " thing was a bit more important. But maybe buying this will be in the cards for me this year, I'm taking a photography class next semester and if I really click with it, than I might invest.
5. Three A's in the winter semester, and bring my GPA up to a 3.5 by the end of the year
...well, on the upside, I didn't fail any classes, and I got all A's and on B my spring semester. My GPA is higher...but not that high. I'll just keep working on it.

6. Start every morning with a prayer.
For the most part, yes. Check.
7. Work on trust issues.
one name: Dustin. I've never trusted someone so completely and fully as I do him. It was a lot of work, and it took a lot of time and a lot of give and take and patience, but I am more secure in him, in us, and in myself than I have ever been in my life. Check. 
8. Go some place I haven't been before
Seattle/Washington State. Check.
9. Be genuine.
I'm a lot better at this, but I could always use work. I got to really work on this during the spring semester, and in meeting new people, I tried really hard to be 100% myself. so. half check?
10. Write letters/emails frequently to support my friends on missions.
eh. it's fluctuated. I forgot to send Geoff's Christmas package. oops.
11. Floss.
FAIL. Just saw the dentist this last week, and while I remain cavity free (by some Christmas Miracle), he scolded me for my lack of flossing.
12. Take care of myself better, physically and emotionally. Know when to say when.
A little better, but still needs work. But I'm going to try really hard this week to fight for my knee replacement, and I hope I can actually win that battle.
13. Learn to accept my flaws and understand that people who can't don't matter.
this is on going, all of the time. But I've started to see my flaws as a big part of why I had the opportunity to cross paths in life with Dustin, and that makes me appreciate them and who they make me a whole lot more.

okay, so, not the best, but I have made some improvements over the last year. Just gotta keep working on myself and keep setting goals and not forgetting about them. I'm excited to write out my goals for next year, because I am making some big plans and have some really big goals that I want to achieve. I want to make myself proud, I want to keep growing and progressing, and most of all, I want to be able to be the best version of myself that I can be. I'm inspired and I'm motivated and most of all, I'm loving this part of who I am. I just... I'm just so grateful. I'm so blessed.
and best of all, I'm happy.


christmas time is here.

i'm making plans and i'm setting goals and I have things to do and people to see and a person to become.
this is my life and i'm in charge of it and i have to take care of myself and do things for me.
i'm tired of waiting on what-ifs and maybes. I'm going to be proactive and not let cancer or anything else stand in the way of what I want to do and where I want to go and who I want to be.

that being said. I have some serious goals and resolutions to write out for next year. looking back on this time, a year ago, I honestly cannot believe how much has changed and the person that I have grown into. I'm really starting to love who I am, and to be honest, I never thought I would get to that point. A year ago, I was still trying to put myself together, I was still bitter and angry and resentful, I was having issues trusting people and I hated so many things about myself that I could barely stand to look at myself in the mirror. And now, a year later, I'm more confident and secure about who I am than I ever have been before, I'm in the most beautiful and inspiring relationship I have ever come to know of, I am finally figuring out where I want to go with my life and the things I want to accomplish. I feel driven and motivated and most of all, I feel loved for who I am, not who people think I am. and that's a big deal.

Christmas is such a beautiful day, because I always get a chance to reflect back on who I am and who I am becoming and everything that has changed or happened to me during the last year. Can I just say that I'm in love with this year? and I'm in love with everything that I have faced, overcome, struggled with or accomplished? I'm overwhelmed with gratitude. and with hope.

because, after all, groundless hope, like unconditional love, is the only kind worth having.


missing you.

live by the sun.
love by the moon.


a house is not a home.

i can drive my favorite windy roads
and sing my favorite songs at the top of my lungs.
i can be in New England and be cuddled with my kitty
and sit in my favorite chair by the wood stove
and watch the weather channel.
i can spend hours with old friends
and i can spend hours on my own.
I can talk with my sisters and go run errands with my mom,
and sure, that is the best part about being back East.

but it doesn't matter how busy or happy i seem to be.
i'm constantly feeling empty, a half, incomplete.
a dull ache in my chest that never goes away,
although it hurts more some times than others.

I may be back in new england,
but for the first time, i'm not really home.


being sick

sucks. i have successfully slept away the whole evening and will be back in bed in just a few after i say goodnight to the love of my life. my throat is killing me and no amount of odwalla seems to make it feel any better.
and on top of that, i had this crazy awesome, super detailed dream about moving into this awesome apartment with my roommates and our guy friends. it was huge and our beds hung from the ceiling and we had a kitten and there were windows everywhere.
but i better go back to bed soon; tomorrow is a chelsie/daddy day and I am so excited for it.

I'm going to get at least two B's on my report card!

I somehow managed to pull up my english grade from a 71% to an 80%!!!!!!!

Dustin Carr, if it wasn't for you, I don't think I would have been able to do it.
thank you for the constant encouragement, support and love throughout the last week of school. For making me sleep when I was exhausted, for bringing me cheesy bread when I was craving it, for taking care of Cazz when I had no time and for starting the oven while I took care of other errands. And thanks for reading to me, and sharing cocoa bean with me and reminding me to breathe when I woke up late for my final. You are so stinkin' good to me!

you are my favorite person.
you are the best person I know, actually.
and the biggest blessing in my life.

and i love you!



I'm making plans and setting goals and figuring out my life, because this is my life and only I am in charge of where i go and what will happen to me.


I feel the beating of your heart
I see the shadows of your face
Just know that wherever you are
That I miss you
and I wish you were here.


times two.

Aslan's Country

Lucy: Aslan, will we ever meet with you in our world?
Aslan: You shall.
Lucy: How?
Aslan: Because there I have another name. You must learn to know me by that name. This was the very reason why you were brought to Narnia, that by knowing me here for a little, you may know me better there.


do you hear that love?

They're playing our song.

i have our last dance forever engrained in my memory.
what a beautiful moment. 


finals week.

one quote away from finishing my final, two days away from being back in my beloved New England. The sounds of piano fills my ears and soothes my soul. The smiles of friends across the room, the giving of gifts and genuine security and comfort of the four of us that have been together this whole semester. We're a bit of a family, in a way. And the boy in the yellow polo sitting next to me, working on spanish and facebook stalking; he's my favorite person. I love this moment, right here. I love everything about it.


this is our story, but this isn't our ending

Let me riddle you a ditty, it's just an itty bitty, little thing on my mind.
About a boy and a girl, trying to take on the world one kiss at a time.
Now the funny thing about, ain't a story without it, but the story is mine.
And I wish you could say, that it ended just fine.

We all want to know, how it ends.

Oh, happily ever after, wouldn't you know, wouldn't you know.
Oh, skip to the ending, who'd like to know, I'd like to know.
Author of the moment, can you tell me, do I end up, do I end up happy?

Inhale, breathe steady, exhale, like you're ready, if you're ready or not.
Just a boy and a girl trying to take on the world, and we want to get caught.
In the middle of a very happy ending, let's see what we've got, let's give it a shot.
Let's give it a shot.

We all want to know, how it ends.

Oh, happily ever after, wouldn't you know, wouldn't you know.
Oh, skip to the ending, who'd like to know, I'd like to know.
Author of the moment, can you tell me, do I end up, do I end up happy?

We all have a story to tell.
Whether we whisper or yell.
We all have a story, of adolescence and all it's glory.
We all have a story to tell.

Oh, happily ever after, wouldn't you know, wouldn't you know.
Oh, skip to the ending, who'd like to know, I'd like to know.
Author of the moment, can you tell me, do I end up, do I end up happy?

We all have a story to tell.


HE is WE

Their new album is AMAZING!
totally in love with it.
the end.


Meet Dustin

Dustin is watermelon chapstick and pina coolata sobes. Dustin is the laughter that fills your chest before the story is told. He is the smile in between sentences, and genuine character. The voice that soothes a weary soul at the end of the day. He is scribbled post-it notes, phone reminders and neatly folded laundry. Hide-a-keys. New tools. Tow ropes. Dustin is loud music and good base and feeling infinite. He is a constant furnace of warmth on a cold day. The protective arm around my shoulder on icy nights. He is stubborn generosity ad compassion. A millions shades of blue, like shattered glass reflected in the sky. Endless. He is the smirk of mischief. The wiggle of happiness. A sigh of contentment. The sleepy smile in the morning. Dusty is freckles and worn hands. Climbing. Adventures. Drifting. All wrapped into heartfelt laughter. 
Dustin is faith in the plan. He is hope for futures. He is love. He is home.
He is everything to me.


i am an implosion of emotion.


mama bear.

"I told him that I am a mama bear, Belle, and that I take care of my cubs and that he is one of my children and if he doesn't take care of himself, I will come out there and kick him in the butt, and than take care of him. and I meant it. He's a part of you, so he's a part of us."

he fits. what a beautiful thing.


a reminder.

we won't say our goodbyes,
you know it's better that way.
we won't break, we won't die
it's just a moment of change.


why are you running away?

i need to run.
just for an hour.
fifteen minutes even.
just a few moments when my knees are stable enough to let me dig deep into the earth and push forward as fast as possible.
just a little bit of time where i can push myself so hard that my lungs feel like they will burst inside of my chest.
just a split second to feel every bit of my body being used to it's fullest potential.

i need to run.

i'm writing myself to tears and that never happens.
i can't find my words, and that also never happens.

i just can't escape from the thought of running.


keep fighting

I hope this doesn't weird you out, but I just wanted to tell you that you are amazing. I am learning about Pediatric Cancer right now, and I am just so incredibly moved by strong people like yourself who experience it first hand. I have seriously considered working in Pediatric Oncology for so many reasons. I find it so inspiring. I just wanted to let you know that although I don't personally understand, I understand from a medical point of view a small scale of what you have gone through in your experience have have the utmost respect for you!! I really hope you are doing well in every way possible and wish you nothing but happiness, you deserve it.

i am just chelsie, but this was the needed encouragement to keep fighting the infection in my leg right now.


Handicapped Passes and Pay Raises

Today, I was driving to school and one of my new favorite songs came on the radio. and there is nothing better then just turning up the volume and singing along at the top of my lungs and not caring how horrid it sounds, 'cause it's just me and the Cazz machine. It's one of the best feelings ever.

Want to know what else rocks? PAY RAISES! Even if it's just a baby one, they rock.

Been a somewhat productive day already, and i like those. I woke up with my alarm, finished some assignments up, made it to class on time, despite the crappy roads, and rocked my presentation. I renewed my handicapped pass for campus without any problems, and that was a huge relief. I can't begin to explain how much crap I get for having one, because people don't see me as handicapped and often think that I'm just making my problems to be more severe than they are. It's frustrating. But whatever. I take what comes my way, as long as it keeps me on my feet and my knee safe.

And now I'm waiting for Dustin to get out of class so we can eat some lunch in the crossroads before I go to work. Then it's a three hour shift at the office, a huge tornado of a room to clean when I get home, some Grey's with my girls and homework with my favorite person.

I realize that A lot of my writing lately has been about this one person in my life right now and I'm sorry if that is getting old or boring. Truth is, every day, it gets more new and exciting to me. I'm constantly learning about myself, about him, about love, about everything. It's kind of a beautiful thing.

Oh. New Chelsie word of the week. "toothnail." Don't even ask. I'm just an english major who can't make words.


a snapshot.

I can see the day he wrote his name on my feet in hi-liter after we sat doing homework together for a few hours. He made me a peanut butter and nutella sandwich and as I sat on his kitchen table with my back pressed against the wall, he pointed them out to Jake. He didn’t get it right away, but it didn’t matter. His name was on my foot, and my heart and I knew that night that even though it would wash off soon, he had a piece of me. He was a piece of me.