Monday, December 22, 2014

Merry Christmas from The Whites

We only did Christmas cards our first Christmas married. Last year we couldn't afford it and this year has been a transition and I just haven't had the time.
We've had quite a year. We welcomed our first son Liam into the world on May 29. I turned twenty- four this year and Andrew turned twenty-six. My mom got married this December. My sister graduated high school and just completed a full load of classes at a local college.  We just moved back to California after spending a year in Washington and currently Andrew is working for a company called PSAV and I am a full time stay at home mama.

When I look back on 2014 I see many things. Growth for our family, together as a couple and individually. I look at an emense amount of healing. A season where we were forced to put all our trust in Jesus. A peace about what kind of ministry leaders we want to be in the future wherever and whenever God calls us again.

In 2015 I hope and pray for favor on our family. Direction in what God wants us to do. Growth in old and new friendships. A strong bond between our families. Living an active lifestyle. Staying open minded and transparent. Helping and listening to others. Paying it forward when I am able. Remembering God is on our side.

Thank you to our family and friends who have supported us, loved us and remained by us.

The Whites

Monday, October 6, 2014

// capsule wardrobe

I've been learning to live a lot more simple of a life. This past year was a huge hit on our finances. We cut out almost any extra in our lives. We started selling things we didn't use, like or need. We have flipped 180 from the life we used to live. We started setting budgets and making our extras very small. We didn't do this by choice. We had no choice but it's been humbling to really live on what you need. Not what you want. 

This led me to doing a capsule wardrobe. I took everything, and I mean everything out of my closet and storage and went through it all. I have three bags full of clothes to donate, a laundry basket and a half full of clothes I'm selling and about two storage bins of other seasonal clothes. I kept loungewear in good condition, workout clothes and the items above in my picture. ( there is a few not pictured and I have a couple items left to buy) but that's it! I feel so liberated and free of stuff. 

Stuff was consuming me. It was my escape to go buy material items when I was happy, sad or frustrated. I bought things out of impulse. Never for style, for, if it would last, or be a piece I could rotate throughout my wardrobe. I just bought things to buy them. When I look at my donate and sell pile I just see wasted money. Money wasted on things that I loved for a minute. I want to have clothes that just go together, fit and be stylish but not trendy. I'm a mom now and I don't have time to keep up with the latest trends. I just want to look out together and move on with my day. 

I plan to do this for every season now. It's so much easier getting ready and knowing I'm going to be saving money by not having to shop for clothes for three months. It will help me be able to put that money into savings, date nights or any other extra instead. 

If you want to know more about capsule wardrobes check out this link: 

Love Forever,

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


I posted this quote on my Instagram a few days ago. It really struck me in this season I'm currently in. 

I've been learning to live a simpler life. This has not been entirely by choice though. God had really been showing me a whole different perspective. 

I used to think I thought with an open mind. However, this has not been the case. I have literally been forced to depend on people, ask for help and use resources I never in my life thought I would have to use. I have been humbled, stretched in the areas of my life that I have tried to keep to myself, and learned how materliastic and selfish I still was. 

I have and am learning a lot. 

I have learned I can live without the extra. 
I have learned what I truly want in life. 
I have learned to spend money on things that will actually get use. 
I have learned to use up things like soap until it is completely gone. 
I have learned to become more generous. 
I have learned to say thank you and pay it forward when I can. 
I have learned to stop judging props and what I think their situations are like and listen with an open mind, ear and heart. 
I have learned to invest into people more instead of things. 
Most of all I have learned to stop trying to trust Jesus and just actually do it.

There is nothing wrong with a higher eduction, nice things or having financial success. However, when you come to the end of your life or even the end of the day do those things trump your relationships? Friendships? Family? 

I have been forced to stop and learn to live on less and invest my time more into my family and friends. At the end of the day, that matters to me. 

And coffee. 

But I know what extras I want in my life and what things are impulses that are actually covering up other things in my heart. 

I want to give Liam all that I can but I want him to appreciate things, not take them for granted. I want him to know that one season you could have plenty and one season you could have little but your attitude and perspective shouldn't change to much. 

I want to be a person who is intentional with my time and money. I want to invest in things and stop being such a consumer and a slave to wanting and always having more. 

I am thankful that I have been forced down to so little because it has helped my perspective and showed me what truly matters to me. To buy things that I truly love, to spend the extra money on things that truly bring me joy( like coffee!) and to always be generous regardless of what I think someone's situation is like. 

Living simple is not always simple. When you're intentional though you can really live a happier life without trying to fill up with extras that usually fade fast. Those are just temporary fixes. I have found more joy because I cannot have extras and it has helped me tremendously. 

This season did not turn out how I expected but I'm grateful for it. I have been shown things I would have been blinded to before. Here is to living more intentional and simple. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

// two years

Another year has flown by. When I look back at our vows and remember saying, " for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, for better or for good, til death do us part" I reminded that marriage is a commitment in all seasons. 

Looking back at this past year I see many areas of growth,strength, vulnerability, humbleness and a deeper love for each other. Being in full time ministry hasn't been easy but God has shown us many areas of our lives we needed to hand over to Him. He took this past year to really do that. 

In the midst of it all He also gave us Liam. We are learning now how to be parents to our son and be married and in a relationship with each other. It's not an easy task and were taking it day by day but I couldn't imagine a better man than Andrew to be by my side to do it all. 

He's my best friend, a rockstar husband and now an amazing daddy to our precious Liam. I know each year will bring it's own set of ups and downs but knowing that I have Jesus as the center of it all and Andrew as my rock, we can accomplish anything.

I love you Andrew with all my heart. Thank you for constantly showing me compassion, helping me grow in the deeper areas of my life, keeping me sane, showing me how to relax and enjoy life, always striving after Gods plan for your life & for our family, giving me Liam and loving me like crazy! 

Here's to more years than we could ever count. We're just getting started on our journey and call God has on our lives! 

Love Forever, 
Chel Chel 

Monday, July 14, 2014

// Over the moon for mama

( I know he looks a bit cradled here. Little thing kept burrowing down!)

(Last Picture I took pregnant)

These last six weeks have been life changing. Every mom can tell you all the things you hear before having a baby but you can't understand it until after the baby actually comes. My whole life has been so flipped upside down & it's been joyful but also so overwhelming fearful too. 

(Look at that grumpy face!)

I always try to keep my life open, honest and real. I don't want people to peek in my life and just see a tiny Instagram square with just my highlighted life. I think sharing the best moments are amazing and fun but I like to share the not so fun too because let's be honest, sometimes you wonder if someone else is going through the same things you are or if you're just totally crazy. 

I posted a photo on my Facebook not long ago and just expressed how being a new mom felt to me. "Mama loves you Liam and I know together everyday we will figure it out."
I got an overwhelming response in a few directions. Some moms reached out and told me they went through the same emotions when they became new moms and were there to encourage me. New moms like myself reached out publicly and privately and just said a big, "Thank you!" for just being real and open and knowing that none of us are alone. Some offered advice, some wanted to cry together and mostly family and friends just out poured their loving thoughts. 

(This was the fourth onsie I put on him that day. He kept peeing everytime I changed his diaper)

(This was taken after he blew out of his diaper)

I knew entering motherhood wouldn't be easy but I never knew how emotional, draining and consuming it would be. So many ups and downs and twists and turns. I literally can be hysterically laughing one second, screaming the next, crying and then happy all over again. You really would think I was just completely insane but I promise I'm not. 
Coffee helps. 
And diet coke. 
And crack. 
Just kidding I don't do crack, but in all seriousness sometimes I feel like I'm on some sort of trip. 
Actually, slings help. Here is my small stash! 

Anyways, as I enter each day I know it will hold something different. My life is in moments and taking it hour by hour sometimes minutes by minutes. I enjoy the good and know the bad won't last forever. That babies change so much so fast that each phase is like a blink of an eye.

(He woke up about twenty minutes after I snapped this and just wanted to be held)

(all smiles that morning after a night of constant nursing)

Liam has already started to teach me so much about myself. More than I could ever put into words. My life has changed for the better even if sometimes I ask myself, "Why in the world did I do this?!" I can't give this one back at the end of the day but I would never want too either. 

(I was actually in a really bad mood in this picture but he was holding his head up like a champ so I snapped as many pictures and lived in the moment)
(He screamed about ten minutes after I took this and wouldn't nurse for about an hour until he was cooled off and calmed down.)

To any new mom, I get it. You're not alone. You're not crazy. At 3am when your sweet baby is so upset and you feel like there's no end in sight and you just cry to, I get it. When you look at that baby and just ask yourself, "How in the world am I going to do this?" God have us women such deep emotions and I know it's so we can love and take care of these sweet babies. Take everyday one moment at a time. Cry if you need too. Grab some coffee. Hold those babies close. We can't do it alone. I know I keep trying everyday to do it alone and it takes an army to raise babies. Know you're loved, you're a good mom and you're doing the best you can. That's what I keep telling myself at least. Or people do when I forget. Which is like everyday! 

(loves snuggling next to me & I can't get enough of it)

(overtired baby!)

(Liam was actually crying here and Andrew was trying to get him calm to go to sleep.)

Liam, I promise to love you unconditionally. When you smile, when you're upset, when you're hurt, when you're angry, when the days comes where you're mad at me, I'm still going to love you. I never ever knew a love this deep existed until you came. Your mama loves you and together everyday we will figure it out. 

(True genuine smile. He was happy this day!)

Love Forever, 
Chel Chel 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

//My birth story

Liam was born on May 29,2014 and came into the world weighing 6 pounds 15 ounces and 21 inches long. He came out looking like a clone of my husband Andrew. I couldn't believe my eyes when they placed him in my chest after a very long and scary 38 hour labor.

It was May 28 at 3:45 in the morning when my water broke. This was his due date so I was ecstatic he was coming right on time! My husband and I did all the fun wives tales of trying to get this little guy out. My doctor told me the previous day that I was not dilated at all and was completely closed. If something didn't happen by the next week they would induce me and possibly have to do a c-section if that didn't work. My biggest fears were coming true or so I thought.
I wasn't one hundred percent my water broke so we waited 30 minutes and sure enough I was still walking around dripping like a faucet. We called our families to let them know the good news! My contractions started coming on so we grabbed our bags and off to the hospital we went.

It was about 5 in the morning when we got to the hospital. They checked us in and I was checked by a nurse to confirm my water did break. They also took my vitals and blood pressure. My blood pressure was really high. I thought well maybe I'm nervous I'm sure it will be fine. 

They took us to our room where we would stay and deliver. I started having stronger and more frequent contractions. They asked me about a million times if I wanted drugs. I refused and wanted to really try to have a natural birth. 
They keep taking your vitals and blood pressure and mine wasn't going down only up. However my pulse was good. My doctor came in and told me I had preeclampsia. ( Preeclampsia causes the blood vessels to constrict, resulting in high blood pressure and a reduced blood flow that can affect organs in your body, such as your liver, kidneys, and brain.) 
This could mean I could have a seizure during delivery and also put Liam's life at risk if I didn't get my blood pressure under control soon. 
Most women who get this it will show up later in pregnancy. Mine didn't until I was in labor. 
They put you on this awesome ( insert big sarcasm here) drug called Magnesium which makes all your muscles relax (great for contractions right?) and you feel hotter than the Sahara Desert. That stuff was awful. Then they put me on Pitocin to keep me contracting. I felt so awful at this point. I still didn't want an epidural so they gave me a drug similar to morphine. Bad idea. I felt even worse! Before that drug I contracted without pain meds for 14 hours. 

I eventually got the epidural because I just couldn't stand knowing this labor could last into the next day. Which it did, so I am happy I decided to get it. I was able to sleep that night which was much needed. 

I labored a total of 38 hours before Liam entered the world. My husband and his parents went to grab dinner at the cafeteria in the hospital. I was 7 cm dilated so they thought they had plenty of time. Within minutes after they left I told Andrew's grandma,who stayed with me, that I really felt like I needed to push. We called the nurse back in and I was at a 10cm! Andrew's grandma told them to hurry back up. I was so ready to get Liam out. I pushed for 45 minutes and he was out! My doctor was busy that day so he had another doctor he worked close with who would deliver. She was stuck in traffic and made it literally right after I pushed Liam out. It was the triage on call doctor that barely made it in with one glove on to deliver Liam. I was so done that I couldn't hold Liam in any longer. Sorry to the doctor who barely caught my kid! Opps!

Liam came out perfect! No breathing issues just very tired from the magnesium as well. It was a beautiful moment. Andrew's parents were able to be there as well as his grandma. Andrew's mom face timed my mom in during the birth so she could be apart of it. Our dear friend Andrea was also there to assist in anything we needed and to capture many pictures. I was so grateful to have everyone there.

We were told we had to stay in the hospital at least another 24 hours so that the magnesium could lower my blood pressure. We ended staying until Saturday afternoon. It wasn't ideal but it was nothing I could have prevented. I am now on way more medications than I ever thought I would be in my life. They are hoping to wean me off the blood pressure medicine but I am hoping not to get stuck on it for a very long time. My future pregnancies will now most likely have this issue. It's frustrating but there's nothing I could have done to prevent it. God has it under control and I have to trust in that. 

At the end of the day we were blessed with the most precious gift and I am thankful for the team of doctors, nurses and medicine that helped deliver him into this world. It wasn't what I had planned but then again now having Liam nothing is really planned anymore and I wouldn't change that for anything. 

Love Forever,
Chel Chel