Being Home

The air is warm with summer, but light and gentle.
The first of the crickets are chirping in rhythm, hidden in a forest of grass and
the lonely barn owl hoots through the trucks of birches and branches of pine. 

My dad's footsteps come down the hall; firm and steady.
"Goodnight Sweetpea" he whispers as he passes Ashley's door.
"Goodnight Boo" he says softly as he treads past Katie's room.
"Goodnight Peanut" he murmurs as turns the corner by my door jam. 

I count the pinpoints of light in the sky; and make a wish before turning over and sighing.

"Goodnight Moon
   Goodnight Stars."

It's Summer

And I have an itching to go blonde. =]


remembering memorial day

memorial day 2010: weirdy dreams, sleep paralysis, studying hard core for humanities test tomorrow. Quizos cravings, homework down by the river, rain rain rain, jamba juice, family guy, new friends who make me laugh hard and who don't mind my random blurbs, death cab for cutie, "there are two of us, what can they do?" "they can still SHOOT us!" my life is beautiful.

Funny to think where I was a year ago. I had a crummy knee and I was just figuring out my hip problems. I was adjusting to life in Rexburg without my brother. That weekend was the first weekend I spent time outside of class with Dustin; where our friendship started. I'm pretty sure that was the day I said: "There is no R in New Hampshire" and he laughed at me and I felt so dumb. And now, a year later, my best friend is currently serving IN New Hampshire. I am in the middle stages of a long recovery process from getting my knee replaced. I finally have concrete plans to study abroad next year. I'm making all my own plans and I'm stronger in my testimony and in my faith then ever before. 
and as hard as my days may be sometimes and as much as I miss being down by the river with my roommates, and drinking Jamba Juice and watching family guy with Dusty; I have New England, a new knee, china, dunkin donuts, and an incredible family, ward and stake that are all supporting me as I work hard to overcome my trials. I will be sitting on the deck of my beach house this memorial day, in a totally different place and time then I was last year. 
And my life is still beautiful. 


I just realized...

that I have been home since April 11th and I haven't had gone to Dunkin' Donuts yet. 
this will need to be corrected ASAP.
also, there are creepy men digging up our septic and I am home alone.
I think I will take a nap now.


Grateful Monday!

I really liked everything about today. Seriously.
I woke up and watched a movie while I crafted.
Sheila came over to have breakfast with me and I got to give her a surprise. I loved seeing how happy she was at getting it!
I wrote letters to my brother in Seattle and to Sister Moore and burned mix cds for Paige, Tara, Misao and Jillise, which I need to mail this week!
After that, I worked on a huge service project for my parents/the stake for hours, and I loved feeling like I was helping out and putting so much time on my hands to good use. I loved knowing that the work I was doing was going to lighten a burden of my mom's shoulders and that it would bless the many stakes of New England this summer. I loved being able to give back to the church and I'm so excited for the opportunity I have this summer to keep giving back and serving.
I took a shower and then mom and I went to my first physical therapy appointment. I love my new physical therapist; she really knows her stuff, she makes sure I understand what is happening in my body and she doesn't talk down to me. And then I rocked my physical therapy appointment, because I was determined to, despite the pain and anxiety. Everything about learning how to use my leg again is hard HARD work. After a few minutes of just trying to squeeze my quad, I started to get muscle twitches and shakes. There is so much thinking that goes into moving my muscles in the right way and strengthening them. But I am determined to keep on rocking physical therapy and to learn how to walk correctly again. I'm going to walk limp free one day, no matter what.
Mom and I came home, and I called ILP and went over all the forms and visa applications for CHINA! AHHH! I have to start filling it all out this week and find my passport! I AM SO EXCITED TO GO!
We ate dinner and then Dad took us all out to an early evening showing of Pirates of the Caribbean 4 and we had a blast; laughing and being a happy family.
Came back home, and watched the season finale of M.I.O.B.I. with my little sister and now I'm going to eat some peanut butter m&ms and finish watching Harry Potter before going to bed.

I love being busy. I love living life with a purpose. I love how big service has been playing in my life right now and how extremely happy it makes me. I love seeing how being home right now; although it definitely has had it's set backs, is the right place for me right now. I love seeing plans for China coming together. I love my family and for the love and support I have here. And I love that I'm going to the beach house this weekend with Sheila and Gov and have three beautiful days of reading on my favorite deck, with nothing but the ocean and sea breeze and sunshine to keep my company.

I'm in love with life. I'm in love with living it.
Happy Monday!


Meet Symone

She made killer homemade oreo cookies and lived across from me in 109. 
my third day in Idaho, my third day on being on my own, I found myself sitting in her kitchen, eating one of those oreo cookies. Little did I know that cookie was the start of a (almost) three year relationship with this sassy, funny, kindhearted "puerto rican" Washingtonian girl.
Meet Symone (aka Misao):

Symone is dvd collections, funny phone calls and good music. Symone is constant calls to her mom. She is puddle jumping in the middle of a down pour. Laughter and duets. She is a listening ear and sleep talking. "THIS is where I dance." Misao is hair dye and photographs and coloring books. She is scripture markings, sound effects and compassion. She is a woman who can take any army man. Errand runner, FIVES champion and my twin. Misao is courage to take on anything that comes her way and forgiveness towards anyone who needs it. Symone is happiness. 


I got a lovely little care package in the mail from my adorable roommate this week, full of fun and random things that made me laugh and made me happy. It was so thoughtful of her, but then again, Misao is one of the most thoughtful people I know. I was sitting here, thinking about how grateful and blessed I am to be able to say that I have lived with my roommate for two and a half years. People always look at us like we're crazy, because who gets that lucky with a roommate? 
Symone has pulled me through every tough time I have ever faced, has listened to me rant and has stood by me when I felt alone. She has never let me down, and always is there for me. 
Do you ever get those random waves of gratitude for someone in your life? You just all of a sudden realize that you wouldn't be standing straight if that person wasn't there, and that you can't see your life being as bright and beautiful without that person being in it? That happens to me a lot with some of my closest friends, but it happens most frequently with Symone.

I'm grateful for Misao.
I'm grateful for the way my life has been shaped so that we crossed paths our first semester.
and I'm grateful that we've been able to get through every tough thing thrown our way

Symone is not just a friend.
She is my sister.
and you can read her lovely thoughts and such here.


It's Official!

Dear Chelsie,
We are happy to inform you that you have been accepted to participate in the ILP program during the Spring semester of 2012. We congratulate you on being qualified to volunteer during a semester abroad!
Once again we congratulate you on being accepted to teach in the ILP program. We hope that this will be a great adventure and look forward to getting to know you as you begin preparing for this adventure abroad. If at any time you have questions or if there is anything the staff at ILP can do to help, please let us know.


Review Committee Chairperson


I love storms!

The way the wind hisses through the trees, the rolling boom of the thunder, the flashes of lightening, the heavy patter of constant rain, the black clouds that darken up the sky; everything that belongs to a perfect summer storm. I love them. 
And why?
Because of the chaos. Because of the uncertainty. Because of the spontaneity. 
Because sometimes, in this mundane, over-scheduled life; this waiting-for-the-weekend life that we all lead at one point or another, we just need the world to remind us that not everything is perfect. Sometimes nature can't handle the pressure. Sometimes the sky explodes. And always, it is the most beautiful display ever.

If people were rain, many tend to settle living life in a drizzle.
I choose to live like a hurricane. 



Take a step back. 
Look at yourself.
Look at yourself.
You are human. You are beautiful. You are so beautiful. And you can be anything. You can be everything. Do not hate because someone broke your heart, or because your parents fight; because your best friend betrayed you, because the kid down the street called you fat, stupid, ugly, worthless. Do not concern yourself with things you cannot control. Cry when you need to, then let go when it is time. Don't hang onto painful memories just because you are scared to forget. Let go of things that are in the past. Forget things that aren't worth remembering. Stop taking life for granted. 
Live for something
Live for yourself.
Fall in love. Fall out of love. Fall in love. Fall out of love. Fall in love. Do this again and again until you really understand what it means to really love someone. 
Question things. Tell people how you really feel. Sleep under the stars. Create. Imagine. Inspire. Share something wonderful. Make something beautiful. Meet new people. Make someone's day. Follow your dreams. Live your life to it's fullest potential. Just live! Do not wait for God, for often, God is waiting on you. Let go of all the horrible things in your life, focus on the beautiful and just live. And one day, when you are old, look back with no regrets. 



i really like eating honey-nut chex, reading books, editing prom photos and napping.
i also like the sound of the rain pounding outside my window
and the craving for hot lemon herbal tea, a hoodie and one big braid down my back. 
i like kind emails, words of encouragement and answered prayers.
and i like being alive.


snapshots on saturday

it's prom weekend!


No one should ever buy me multiple bags of peanut butter m&ms. 
I will devour them.



I used to blog a lot in lists, way back in the day. And now I'm back in a listing kinda mood. Lists make me feel organized. And help me see what I am doing and where I am going and feel productive. Sometimes, I make to-do lists with super minor things, like "Brush Teeth" just so I can have the satisfaction of crossing it off. I also have a million post-its on my desktop with random thoughts, songs I want to buy from itunes, blogging ideas, photograph plans, quotes and movies and books to watch. Basically, I can always count on myself to have some kind of list somewhere.

anyway. here are five things about today:

1. I've lost 10 pounds from my surgery, and I can tell! It's exciting and I've been working really hard to eat healthy to keep it off. So far, so good. But, I had a little lapse in judgement today and had my sister buy me chili and cream cheese and fritos so I can make my favorite dip. I figure if I eat it in small quantities, it won't be so bad, right?

2. I can now have a very simple, basic conversation in French.

3. My mom texted her friends more then I did today.

4. I am starting to feel inspired again.

5. Everyone in the world should read "The Time Traveler's Gift" by Andy Andrews. Seriously. It changed my life.


on a scale of 1-10

1. realizing that I bought the SVU season I had already watched on netflix.
2. getting anxious about unanswered emails
3. my grandfather nailing his fingers together with a nail gun
4. craving chili and cream cheese dip
5. baked potatoes
6. falling back asleep after the kids got up for seminary
7. Texting working pretty well today, despite the black hole
8. Glee!
9. Facebook messages
10. Knowing that I am loved.



200 hundred questions with "new friends" on facebook
fiber granola bars
cranberry juice
reading missionary blogs
Yellow Finches
freshly painted toes
Tylenol, Extra Strength, every six hours.

antibiotics the size of Texas
deflating balloons
rental cars
expired credit cards.


my mama bear

I remember the day we fought over eye-liner. 
I was a freshman from a small town in a huge high school, trying to blend in. My eyebrows were bushy, I hid behind giant hoodies and I just wanted to wear eye-liner, because not wearing it made me stick out like a sore thumb. And you refused, point blank, to let me wear eye-liner until I turned sixteen. I can't remember being more mad at you, or hating anyone else in the world then I thought I hated you at that moment. I was convinced you didn't understand, that you were out to ruin my life and that you couldn't possibly love me.

A year and half later, you stood by me in the hair-dye isle of wal-mart as we decided together that my hair should go out in a fire-engine red. You stayed up late with me that night and helped me color my hair so I could go to my last day of school for the rest of the year, determined to fight. You stood by my chair in the hair dressers three weeks later while my vivacious hair-dresser shaved off the dreds you had paid 80 dollars to put in. And then you took my best friend and I shoe shopping, and told me it was okay to rock my hat, because my head really was beautiful.

That year still is so foggy in my mind. I have snippits of being so sick that I could barely function, to watching scary movies while hyped up on anti-nasuea meds, to sitting in the waiting room for long periods of time while we waited to hear if the hospital had room for my treatment. I remember breaking down when I couldn't make it to my last band concert of the year; and when I was so lonely and felt so forgotten by everyone else in the world on day 12 of one of the hospital stays. I remember when I found out that Emily passed away and I had slept through it all, but you were awake and listened to the noises in the hallway of our floor. I remember the mouth sores and the four months of being pushed in a wheel chair and the 3rd degree sunburn that I got from band camp. But the thing I remember the most is you, always being there. You never left my side. You sacrificed so much in order to spend every night sleeping by my hospital bed in that horrid chair; you would wait outside the door to get my food, because the sight of the hospital plates made me sick and you would walk to the food court three times a day to get me those italian subs that I randomly craved during a methotrexate infusion. And through the very worst times; you told me to pull up my bootstraps and kept me going. When I was falling apart, I knew I could lean on you. Giving up was never an option because you were my mom. 

And now, I'm making my dreams come true and you stand behind me while I work on them. I'm still fighting to overcome everything placed in my way, and at the end of the day, I can still lean on you because you are my Mom and you have never let me down. You've taught me to stand strong against all opposition, and how to appreciate everything and everyone around me. You've taught me how to 'pull-up my bootstraps' and face each coming challenge with courage and determination. You've taught me how to be silly and how it's okay to be myself. I want to be like you when I grow up; and even if I can be half of the woman you are, I'll be lucky. 

I'm glad we don't fight over eye-liner anymore, and that we spend out time trying to learn French together and laughing at how pathetic we are at it. I don't hate you, Mom. You're my best friend. Thank you for everything you have done and continue to do for me.

I love you, Mom.
Happy Mummy's Day.


an odd assortment of things.

I tend to drag anything I stumble upon to my desktop
and I've acquired a little collection of random and unrelated things that I want to post about.

hi, i would love to live here. this is awesome.

"I am free"

the to-do list lately.

oh tumbeasts.

that is all, from the sunny northeast coast,
Chelsie Caroline


five years ago...

i was in the same place.
unable to walk, half of my left leg taken apart and then literally screwed back together
and my life paused while i fought to regain some little piece of normalcy back.

but the difference is that today...
i stand firm in my beliefs and
i know that everything happens for a reason.
i love who i am and what i stand for and who i've become from fighting for the last five years.
i know what it's like to work hard for something
and to never give up.
i know the value of true friendship, and true love.
i've learned how to stand up for myself and my body
i believe in miracles

but most of all:
 i am cancer free.

five years ago, my life changed forever.
and today, i've never been more grateful for that day.


musical wisdom

"your eyes have got to do some raining if you ever are going to grow"
-Bright Eyes

"it's simple, so says the captain: Face forward, move slow, forge ahead"

"when it's all been said and done, it's the things that are given, not won, are the things you want in life"

"life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans"
-John Lennon

"castles made out of sand melt into the sea eventually"
-Jimi Hendrix


i believe in miracles.

this beautiful scar and brand new knee:
this is a miracle for me.


Post Script:

I seriously am so blessed to have the BEST team of doctors in the world.
My oncologist and my orthopedic surgeon not only have saved my life
but have worked hard to keep me alive after initial treatment,
and to improve the quality of my life, instead of giving up on my case
and to make my dreams (such as teaching in China) come true.

Not only do I love being a New Englander,
but I know there is a reason why I was born and raised here:
being close to one of the best cancer treatment facilities in the world is one of them,
and having the opportunity to be inspired by people who look at me for who I am instead of what I am (a patient).
They make me want to change the world.
and you really can't go wrong with people like that.

We are New Englanders

I like being a New Englander
and I like being with my family
and I like it when we do classic New Englander Family things:
like watching the Bruins in the playoffs,
all screaming, clapping and jumping around at the intense game!



it's been three years since i was last on crutches
and being back on them is a big adjustment.

just over a week ago, i got out of bed when i wanted to
and i went to the kitchen to grab a snack when i was hungry
and heck, i could even stay up late in my living room watching movies on the big tv.

but now, i'm back to the whole routine of:
walkie talkies to wake up mom when i need to go to the bathroom
and going to my room at nine so that my leg can be properly propped up
and asking my sisters to bring me a sandwich so i can have some lunch.

it's really hard to give up that freedom of walking
and of relying on knees that work (or in my case, just getting me places)
and sometimes it is frustrating to not just get up and go when i want to.

just concentrating on getting down the hallway is hard work.
heel. bend. toe. extend. heel. bend. toe. extend.
and then i get to the recliner in the living room and sit out there.
i've already read a whole novel and mastered a basic introductory conversation in french in the two days i've been out of the hospital.
and tonight, i convinced my mom to let me stay in the living room after everyone went to bed so i could finish watching a walk to remember (yeah, i know)
and as i slowly made my way down the hall, my crutch hit a ruler that someone left on the floor and slid out from under me.
i didn't fall, but i put way too much weight and bend on my left knee.
and i had to wake up my mom to get me back to my bed.

basically: this is not easy.

but they never said it was going to be easy.
they only said it was going to be worth it.
i'm almost five years cancer free, but i've still got plenty of battles to fight because of what it left me with.

and i'm not complaining.
because i'm learning so much about myself and about family and about sacrifice and service and love
it's a never ending lesson
and sometimes i get tired, and sometimes i need to adjust
but at the end of the day, 
i have to remember that
i have two legs
and i am alive.

and with time,
and patience and hard work and prayers and faith,
i'll have two knees again someday
and i'll be able to go get that midnight snack that i'm craving right now.

remember to breathe, chelsabelle,
everything is going to be okay.