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Who Does She Look Like?

To me, all babies look alike, and they all kinda look like old men.

So many people have been telling me that baby Pearl looks like my son. I thought it would be fun to look at some pictures of him and the other kids when they were babies and compare to see. Who does she look like?

On Christmas Eve, we took this picture of the kids. So here is what they look like now.


Here is Baby P at two months old. We finally got a picture of her smiling! That’s when you really begin to see what they are going to look like.


It was great to go through some old photos and enjoy the memories of each of my kids at that age. Here are some pics of my first baby, Baby E.








And photos of my second daughter, Baby A. Yes, she was a large-normous baby with tons of hair.








Here are a few baby pics of my son, Baby JL.







Finally, the 4th child, Baby R.


1-baby-r-4 1-baby-r-1




Who do you think Baby P looks like most? Baby E, Baby A, Baby JL, or Baby R?


or as R calls her, Baby Pear.


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Goodbye 2014, You Were A Good Year

It is crazy windy outside and everyone is asleep. The dishwasher is humming, the washing machine is turning, and a few candles are burning on the mantle. In other words, I really should be sleeping. But what I want to do is write a quick blog post to say hello and thank you and Happy New Year!

So … with the tired brain of a mom with a newborn (and 5 kids … wait, FIVE?) I will post a few blog highlights from 2014.


A funeral is not the best way to start off the year. But we did get to hug our friend Rachel and her two precious kids after they lost their husband and dad, Kevin, who had cancer. You can read Rachel’s blog here if you would like to hear their story and send her some love. I wrote this post after his funeral. It was a tough holiday season last year. I can’t believe it’s already been a year. Rest in peace, Kevin.


I was getting ready to publish my first ebook, a novel based on a true story, including how my husband Andy and I met and fell in love. In this post I shared an excerpt from the book that was about how my husband lost his front teeth when he was in 4th grade.



And in February I included a post that shared a love letter Andy wrote to me before we were even dating-also an excerpt from my novel. 



In March, someone turned 9 years old and had a sock monkey party! We made some cute decorations. And I taught myself how to make a sock monkey.






Oh, this was the year! I actually did it. I chose a book cover and published my first novel in April. So exciting!



We finally announced to the world that we were pregnant with number 5 in May. I was not happy about being pregnant because I was trying so hard to publish my book, and I get really sick when I am pregnant. Thank God, everything worked out and I was able to achieve some of my goals, even if I couldn’t do everything I’d hoped to do.


Not only had I received emails and messages from girls who loved my novel, but in June I also found out I had some great reviews, which was a dream come true.


It took  awhile, but I made a tutorial for how to make a sock monkey, and I opened an Etsy shop in July.




In August I wrote about how i used to struggle with depression.

I finally made it to the beach in Augustand it was so worth it. We live so close to the beach. Why don’t we go more often?


The belly continued to grow.



We started another school year, but this time I was home schooling two children instead of one.


This was the month of the 31 Day Writing Challenge, and my topic was pregnancy, including stories about natural childbirth and how I lose baby weight. I wrote most days, but not all.  


Another post was about how I thought I would never have kids.


 I made this cat craft for my kids and posted a free


Basically I spent all of November waiting. We waited for the baby to come on her own …



She finally decided to come … on Andy’s birthday!


Gosh, just four weeks ago. But have four weeks already passed? Sheesh, I am so tired. But I am ready for a new year, a new start, a chance to set some goals and live the way I truly desire to live.

Thank you so much for staying in touch! Thank you for your friendship, no matter how far away you are. Thank you for your prayers.

Ok, seriously, enough about me. What is one of your highlights from 2014? Please share!

xo, Chelsea

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Why I Made My Book Free

A lot of people ask me this question: “Why did you make your book free?”

Andy was the first person to suggest that I make my ebook free, only accepting tips from the people who wanted to donate. My first reaction was to tell him, “Yeah, I’ll consider that…” But in my head I was thinking, No way. I can’t afford to do that. I need to earn some money!

About 6 months went by, and I thought about it more and more. I downloaded a few free ebooks and became more and more familiar with the culture of giving things away online. People were giving away free advice, tutorials, prints, pdfs, and photos online, usually with the intention to draw the customer in to the real product they wanted to sell. For example, I found a free ebook about the 5 most effective blogging techniques, and at the end was a link to buy a certain blog theme (a theme is the template for how a blog looks. Some are free, some cost money, and some are custom made.)

So on a business level, the idea started to make sense to me: give the book away for free for exposure and to collect a list of emails of people who download the book and might become fans of my writing. But that still didn’t satiate my desire to earn some money for the endless hours I had put into my project, not to mention to cover the costs of hiring an editor and cover designer.

We took our kids up to Hume Lake with the college group from our church last year. It was the year my Bible study friends and I committed to reading through the whole Bible (which I highly recommend!) I had been reading about first-fruit offerings, love offerings, and offerings that were pleasing to the Lord. As I was singing to the Lord one night during the evening meeting, I prayed in my heart: Lord, if you want me to, I will give my ebook away for free. I’ll give away 100. No, I’ll give away 1,000!

The answer I received from the Lord that night was this: Ten thousand.

It almost knocked me backwards. I knew it was the Holy Spirit. Because that number never would have come from my own imagination.

My response was Yes. I didn’t understand why, but I knew it was from the Lord and I had to say yes. For some reason, God’s command to give away 10,000 free copies of my ebook seemed so right.

Then the leader at Hume asked us to write down with our left hand, or our weak hand, whatever we heard from the Lord during a time of listening prayer. What I wrote down, so slowly and messily with my left hand, were these words from the Lord: Love Andy. Give Freely. Pray.

Publishing, promoting, and receiving praise for my first novel–the motivation for all of it had to grow from those three actions.

Love Andy

Give Freely


Since April, I have already given away about 3,000 downloads of my book. I am almost a third of the way to my goal! But it doesn’t matter anymore, you know, how quickly I make it to 10,000. Because the emails and reviews I have received from girls who have read my book are so beautiful. Their enthusiasm and appreciation fill my heart, and that is the greatest reward I could ask for.

Do you have your free copy yet? Have you recommended it to the young women in your life who like a good clean love story? Please Share!

Click here to get the ebook in the nook format from Barnes & Noble. Or you can click the links below and get it in the Kindle (mobi) format or just a PDF. It’s also available anywhere ebooks are sold.



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