Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Day 8: Best friends!

Of course Stefan is my best friend, along with my mom and sister.  But every girl needs some girl best friends! I have the best two ever.  They both served missions the first bit I was married. I am so happy they both got home soon before Oakley was born.  She is lucky to have two extra aunts! I was telling someone the other day that you have a baby and you realize who your true friends are. They have still stuck with me! And we talk almost every day.  I never was a girl friend type person. In high school I had a rough time with girls and  I really lost all of my close girls friends.  Even though I went to high school with both of them, we really became friends after.  Jenni and I became best friends on our Europe trip. And Kylee and I became best friends in college up at good ole Weber State. I look up to both of these girls so much! They are amazing with personalities that anyone would love and testimonies that radiate! I don't know what I would do without them! We were lucky to do a trip together before they both left and I got married. Even though they weren't really friends before, I am so happy that they both came and we had an awesome time!


The day after Halloween something amazing happens.... Hallmark Christmas movies begin. It is so great. I love this time of year, it's getting to be Christmas time, well at my house it basically already is. The tree is up, music is on and Hallmark movies are a constant.  When I lived at home, my dad and I would stay up and watch all the Christmas movies on Hallmark, then one year my mom finally started watching them with us and we joke around because my dad and I have already seen basically all of them.  But every year they come out with new ones.  They are the most predictable shows, with not the greatest acting, but they make me feel good and so happy! Stefan is not a big fan but I slowly am converting him because we have to watch them all the time! This is really one of my favorite parts of this time of year.

Day 6: Jeff and Bonnie

Jeff and Bonnie are my absolutely amazing parents. (who knows why I call them by their actual names) But  I got the opportunity to get really close to my parents growing up. I was the youngest and the last one at home, so I got a lot of one of one time with my parents.  The older I get the more grateful I get for my amazing parents. In every aspect, they are examples to me. They are some of the most non judgemental, spiritual, caring, giving, people who are also so fun and great to be around.  If I go into much detail I will probably cry.  But I seriously owe everything to them. I am grateful for the million times I call my mom everyday and she always is happy to talk to me. And how my dad and I can laugh together and share our love for sweets and watching good shows together... even when I eat all his oreos he still loves me. They continue to help me, teach me, and show me their love and examples still every day.  I hope I can be a parent like they are! I don't know what I would do without them! I love you Jeff and Bonnie:) 

Here are a bunch of old pictures of my parents and I, mostly before I got married. I was lucky enough to go on a lot of vacations with them, especially my mom, who really is more of a best friend than a mom haha. 

My cute dad took my friend and I to dinner. He is definitely known to do that! 

Of course I am grateful they gave me my other siblings.  The original Crosland 7 here at my grandmas funeral. 

Gratitude Day 5: Heat and Shelter

The thing I was very grateful for this day was heat and shelter. Now that it is cooling down, I am so happy that I can have a home that is warm and we are protected from the elements. Something so simple that we don't think about much, is something so many people all over the world don't get to have.

Gratitude Day 4: Prophet

I know I have been way behind on these. But I have written down everyday what I was grateful for that day, just didn't get around to blogging. So here is the catch up!

I am a member of the LDS church. I have a testimony of living prophets today. I am so grateful for Prophets who receive revelation and are able to see the whole picture that we always aren't seeing. I don't want to get really into this, but I am so grateful that we have modern day leaders to lead and guide us. I know that they are not perfect, but they teach us exactly what God wants us to know. I know that they are priesthood holders who are truly called of God. To learn more about the LDS church you can read about it here.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Day 3: My Calling

Every Wednesday night at 6:30 I drive over to my church building and meet with girls between 12-18 for an activity. We also meet together every Sunday for one hour during our church block. I absolutely LOVE my calling. These girls that I serve with are amazing. I love each one of them! I also love the leaders that I serve with, we have become the best of friends! I learn so much from the other leaders and my girls, they have made my testimony grow so much! I can't even express how much I love doing this. I am over personal progress and it has been fun to get to do it all again. It definitely is a time consuming calling and it gets overwhelming sometimes but I love it!! Here are a few of the other leaders. Missing Kelsey!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Month of Gratitude Day 2: Coke

Oh my love for carbonated/caffeinated drinks is not good.  But I feel like my days go much better if I get to drink my coke in the morning! Especially having a baby that doesn't sleep, ever, caffeine is basically a food group around my house. It definitely isn't good for me, but I feel like it helps me get through my day and overall makes me happier so I will take it!  My favorite drink place is Fiiz, which is conveniently very close to my house.  So let's just say I am a frequent visitor there. But their coke is really good, and their ice (The tiny ice my family calls poop ice) and their styrofoam cups are an added bonus. One day I will quit drinking... until then, it's something that I am grateful for! Hey, Oakley has her drink and I have mine! :)

Monday, November 2, 2015

Month of Gratitude: Day 1

For a little while now, every night while Stefan and I are laying in bed, we tell each other four things about our day. The best part of our day, the worst part of our day, something we learned, and something we are grateful for that day. I have really liked doing it, it helps us share more about our day together and to take a second a realize something we are grateful for.  Since this month is really focused on gratitude. I want to blog everyday this month about what I was grateful for the day before. Some might be long, some might be short and simple. Here's to November!

Yesterday was day 1, I am grateful for the freedom that we have. I feel like I have heard a lot about this lately. I am grateful that I am able to write this freely, go to the church I want to, and do the things I want without being punished. I feel like this is something that I take for granted and we are so lucky to have! My mom gave a talk today about Pioneer Trek in her stake conference, and it really made me think how those people were so persecuted, and forced out of their homes. I am so grateful  to live in a place where I have close church buildings, temples, and freedom of religion.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Pocahontas costume!

My cute niece Callie came to me one day and asked if I would make her a Pocahontas costume for Halloween. I don't have much experience with sewing... really at all. But how do I say no to a 4 year old?? So I started thinking, and I decided to attempt it! Everyone kept telling me I needed a pattern... but that is not really how my brain works. So I just winged it.
Here is the necklace I made from felt

I dug through my bag of clothes to be donated and I had this shirt I bought for my dad that was printed wrong. I decided it would be the perfect fabric! 
I cut off the bottom and used that as the bottom of the dress, using that bottom hemline.

I cut out the front side of the dress from the back of the t shirt and then had to piece together two pieces to make the back of the dress. I used another piece from the back and a sleeve. To know the size, I traced around one of her dresses that had a similar shape, just slightly larger so I could sew the seams. 

This is the back that I sewed together. 
Then I sewed around the neckline and sleeves (with a double needle, which I learned how to do just from my instructions that came with my machine but it made it look a million times better). Then sewed the shoulders together and then down the two side seams. So then I basically had a tank top.

For the white fringe, I dug again through my old clothes and found a tank top I hadn't worn in years. I cut strips and then fringes in it. 

Made the bottom gathered to sew it on the top by sewing one long straight line on the largest stitch and pulled the strings! You can see how to do that here. Pinned and sewed it all together and done!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Motherhood: What I've Learned!

I feel like the past 5 months I have learned SO much. I've been thinking about writing down some of the things I've learned since becoming a mom. I thought about calling this post "Tips for becoming a mom" but who am I kidding? I still don't know anything I can't give tips! And I thought about calling it "things I wish I could tell my pregnant self" but then I think, who am I kidding, I wouldn't have listened anyway! So here are things that I have learned... Mostly the hard way!
1. Having a baby is a type of tired I never understood. I apologize to every woman who was a mom before me, if I ever said "I am tired" to you... WHY DIDN'T YOU PUNCH ME IN THE FACE? It's a tired that I didn't know existed. But somehow you are still able to carry on your day! Even though it consists of me more times than I would like to admit... putting milk in the pantry and cereal in the fridge... thinking my blow dryer was broken and it wasn't plugged in... and far more things that should never be repeated.
2. In the worlds of Justin Bieber... Never say never. When I was pregnant, and before then, I thought I had it all figured out... I would always say "I will never be the type of mom that does (fill in the blank)" I have done so many of these things that I said I would never do...
3. Recovery ain't pretty... Your body goes through some intense stuff when you birth a child! There is SO many things that people don't tell you... Just find a good friend you're comfortable with because you will probably call them a million times asking what the heck is happening to your body.
4. When Oakley's umbilical cord fell off... there was a little blood... and a lot of crying. Oh, Oakley was perfectly fine. I was the balling mother thinking I had injured my baby. Since you're so tired, your hormones are out of whack, those first few weeks I cried about a lot. Or when Stefan went to McDonalds and got breakfast and didn't bring me home some... there was a few tears shed. Dear husbands, IT'LL PASS. Your wife isn't crazy. She will be normal again!
5. This is something I saw even when I was pregnant. The thing that is the best for you could be the worst for someone else. Everyone and their dog will tell you their opinion. And every single person has a different one. You just need to figure out the type of mom you are, the things you think is best for your baby, and not think too much about everyone else's opinion.  This is probably been the hardest thing for me... STOP CARING WHAT EVERYONE ELSE THINKS. And realize that they are trying to help... even though you feel like you're being attacked as a parent on every thing you do. Just take a breath, and know that you're doing what you think is the very best.
6. I learned that I have to do something for myself. Or I would go crazy. For me, I choose to get ready every day. It is something that I do that makes me feel better about myself and I am doing it 100% for myself. All day long I am taking care of a baby and everyone else and I feel like it is easy to lose yourself! So I think it's so important to find something that you can do for yourself everyday. Even if it is just as simple as getting ready.
7. Make friends, or have a friend you can talk to. Motherhood really can get lonely! You are constantly with a baby, so I never would have thought I would feel lonely. But it is good to have some adult interaction throughout the day. Obviously my husband is home at night! But I feel like the days get long if you don't have people to talk to.
8. Stay off of WebMD. or really google in general... Babies do a lot of weird things that people don't think to tell you. So you will find yourself up at night looking this stuff up and it will make you think that your baby has some horrible disease.
9. I learned to love my husband in a whole new way. There is nothing like watching a man become a dad.  I feel like my love for Stefan and our relationship in general grew in ways I can't describe. It has been so amazing! He has been SO helpful. I really couldn't have done this without him!!
10. You are the first and the last. I am the last to bed, last to eat, last to shower, last to everything. But I am also the first person that is up with the baby, the first person people hand the baby to when she cries, the first to clean up the mess, the first person to take care of her. (of course my husband helps too)
11. I have a whole new respect for my mom. Thank you mom, for always taking care of me, loving me, and doing everything. Even when I know you must have been exhausted and worn out, you never showed that! I love you.
12. IT IS ALL WORTH IT.  The love that comes when you are a mother is indescribable. I really do love every second of it! I can't even explain how grateful I am that I have been blessed with this little baby. I love it!! To mothers to be who are reading this, I hope I didn't scare you away. IT IS AMAZING. I really love it so much.

Disclaimer** these are the things that I have learned. Motherhood is obviously different for every person! I don't want this to come off like I am preaching to anyone about anything. Just sharing my feelings:)

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Young Women's Wednesdays: Evening of Excellence

I've been in young women for about a year and a half. I have decided to start posting stuff I have done in young women's on Wednesdays. Last week was evening of excellence.  We did it earlier in the year than we usually do because our president is going to have her baby any day.  We decided on a Picnic theme. We had it outside in the backyard of the young women's president. I was horrible at taking pictures so I only have a few!

We did popcorn as our refreshment. We had a few different types. Tying in personal progress as we "pop into progress" we also had some vases full of popped popcorn around with gerber daisies in them.

As a part of the program I had a 8 girls build a picnic. I had a picnic basket up front full of supplies you would need in a picnic and each girl talked about a value. Here is a little summary of what I had each girl talk about as they pulled their item out of the picnic basket. 
Faith: (blanket)
The blanket is used to give us comfort, and also as a foundation to build our picnic upon. Just like the blanket, our faith gives us comfort in knowledge in the gospel. Also faith is our foundation for all other things to be built upon. We couldn’t build our testimony without faith.

Divine Nature (Plate)
The plate symbolizes Divine Nature. Without the knowledge of our divine nature, our life would be chaos. Like in the picnic, without the plate the organization of your food would be chaotic all over the blanket.

Individual worth (fork)
Just as a fork is one of the tools we use to feed ourselves, our individual worth and knowing that we are of worth can help to feed ourselves as well as others spiritually.  

Knowledge (cup)
We should constantly be thirsting to gain more knowledge, especially in the gospel, but also in all other aspects of our lives.

Choice and Accountability (food)
When we pack the picnic, we have to make choices on what we want to eat. In life, we make similar choices deciding whether all the choices which we make are going to nourish us and make us better, or harm us. 

Good Works (Spoon)
The spoon is used to serve ourselves our food.  So often with good works we are serving others, whether spiritually, emotionally or physically. When we welcome people into our lives we can feed them in many ways with our serving spoon.

Integrity (knife)
The world is constantly trying to damage and destroy our integrity. As we look at the knife, we can remember that our integrity is worth us defending.

Virtue (napkin)
To be virtuous is to be clean and pure, the napkin at our picnic helps us to keep ourselves clean.

We also did a photo booth and I had made all the props just free hand from cardstock. It was super easy and the girls loved it! We took pictures of the girls together and them and their parents.  Here are the other leaders and I. (missing Kelsey!)

If you are interested in me making invitations for you. Contact me at jessicrosland1@gmail.com

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Four Months Old!

Oakley turned four months old last week! Today we had her 4 month appointment... which is always so sad when they have to get their shots. But she took it like a champ. She is 13 pounds and 24.5 inches. I have absolutely loved having her in our lives and can't imagine life without her. She loves to roll, laugh, talk and snuggle. Happy four months little one!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Oakley's Birth Announcement

Three months late, but here is a birth announcement I did. Oakley Mae Brown born May 12, 2015 at 5:20 pm weighing 6 lbs 12 oz 19 inches!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Camping on the river

My cute husband Stefan is a camper... I am not.  So I braved the wilderness and we took our two month old baby camping! It's not that I don't like being outside. I LOVE the outdoors. I can even do the dirt and bugs. I really just didn't want to take little Oakley deep into the mountains (FORTY ONE MILES). But I actually enjoyed it! Oakley was a champ! It is nice to see the beautiful world without the distractions of everyday life.  We went with Stefan's twin sister Paige and her husband Morgan and their two bull mastiffs (along with our dog) which was fun because we don't get to spend a lot of time with them. Stefan's parents came up for a few hours on Sunday and Monday as well! After the what should be 5 hour trip there turned into an 8 hour drive... we made it and had a great time! Traveling with babies makes everything take longer...  We were gone for four days and it flew by! This is the family vacation that Stef's family did every year and now I can see it as a tradition in our small family as well. Also, I would tell you where we camped... But Stefan swore me to secrecy that I won't reveal his favorite camping location.
Stef is the breakfast chef around our house! He makes a big breakfast every Sunday for us so he made our breakfasts there!

Early morning walk

The mornings there were really cold, so we had her really bundled.  She reminded me of the kid on Christmas story haha she could barely move!

The first day I really tried to keep Oakley's face out of the sun... But I was unsuccessful and her face was fried.  The rest of the trip she sported this hilarious hat. But it did the job!

My dog Roxi was in heaven. 

One day Morgan and Stefan were fishing and while they were getting the hook out of the fish Roxi jumped up and hit the fish off and bit down on the hook and it went through her tongue. She ran down the river dragging the fishing pole!! It was horrible!! 

The Twinners

Us and our dogs. 

Cute Paige and Morgan

The view from our camp

Where Oakley spent a lot of her time

There was horses all over on our drive up and back! I loved it!

All the girls 

My fisherman! 

Since I was a virgin camper with a baby. I wanted to share a few things I was happy I had with me or happy that I did!
1. Baby swing-  Even though it takes up a lot of room to get it there I was so happy I had it! It gave Oakley a place to lay protected from the dogs, kept my arms free when I needed it and off the ground and not just keeping her in the trailer. . And when she got a little grumpy I would just set her in it! 
2. Pack n Play-  Oakley actually didn't sleep in it, but I set it up outside and sometimes she doesn't want to be held and she just wants to lay flat and kick! So it was perfect.
3.That hilarious baby hat pictured above- If I would have had it on her the first day she wouldn't have gotten super burnt. 
4. Essential oils- as always, I had my oils with me.  Since Oakley is still so young I didn't want to put bug spray on her little skin.  So I made a concoction of 5 drops Lavender, 5 drops lemongrass, 2 drops peppermint and 2 drops thyme, (all doterra) then put it in a small glass water bottle I have and filled the rest with water.  It worked like a charm!! I had quite a few bites when we left and she had none! And not to mention she smelled great! Also when she got her face sunburned so bad I put lavender and coconut oil on her tomato red face and the next morning it was back to normal!!
5. Split up your meals- this is something my family always does on family trips. We assign the breakfasts and dinners to different families for each meal who cooks the meal for everyone there and so then you don't have to cook every meal. This way I feel like you can enjoy your trip more so you aren't feeling like you're constantly cooking. We did lunches separately! I thought it worked out perfect. 
6. LOTS of clothes for baby and yourself- you don't have a washing machine there obviously. So plan enough meals for LOTS of outfit changes. Because they always have blow outs and puke all over you when you're at the least convenient place. 
7. Outside/campfire blanket- I brought one blanket that I used around the campfire. This way I could just unwrap her and take her inside and she didn't get so stinky and gross from the campfire. I loved that I did this because then she didn't have all of her clothes and blankets smelling like campfire and I was able to keep her cleaner. 
8. Large hand sanitizer- For obvious reasons, but I was happy I took my big massive one because we went through A LOT in our short trip!
9. Extra binkies! this is one thing I learned the hard way.  Oakley loves her binky and on the car ride down I slammed it in the car door... so it was bent in half. Luckily I could bend it back as much as I could and it was still usable, but I was regretting not bringing another. 
10. Cornstarch, cayenne pepper and old socks Luckily I didn't have to use these there, but I have many times other places. But I brought them and I had a piece of mind. If you have a dog like mine, I swear she cuts her feet, rips off a toenail, gets a stick stabbed into her foot or something that has her foot bleeding often! I figured it would happen there, so I brought my supplies and I am sure it works just the same on humans:).  Just put cornstarch on the bleeding area and cover with an old sock. Then I tape the sock on her foot but not too tight. Then put cayenne pepper on the outside so they don't bite it off. Sadly, this didn't work for my accident prone dog and her new tongue piercing. But I figure it comes in handy if you're camping with a dog because they're constantly running through the sticks! 
11.  A good husband- Seriously I couldn't have done it without him! He did all the trailer work, which I have no idea what to do. And helped so much with everything!