kelsey, life

Revisiting my life goals from 1998


Yes, that is me up there. That photo was taken in late 1998 when I was 12 years old, when my scrunchy game was strong, when I routinely went shooting in the wilderness, and when I drafted this gem of “life goals” list of sorts (below). (I only chose this photo because literally EVERY photo I found of myself from 1998 was of me firing a .22, so why not this one?)

ANYWAY. My life goals from 1998. Well. I’m not sure that these were life goals in the sense that they were the things I wanted to do most. But they definitely were things that, as the title states, I thought I would accomplish by now-ish.

Here’s a breakdown of that list, in case you can’t read it in the photo.



Places I have traveled to:
New York

Marital Status:
1 Child
Buy a house

Pretty well off

Medical worker



Yeah, so, uh. About all that.

I’ve never been to France; I went to Florida the summer after I wrote this list; and if you count the six-ish hours I spent in New York City one time then technically I’ve been there, too.

am technically married, I do have (at least) one child, but yeah right if I own a house now, or will anytime soon. LOL for real.

I just laugh at the “Financial” section. So hard. How blissful (youthful) ignorance was/is.

As for jobs? Jesusfuck, I could never be a teacher (kids are so annoying); I don’t even like makeup or nail polish or hair stuff; I can’t act or sing or dance to save my life, and really have no desire to do any of those things; I guess I could count donating blood and stem cells and bone marrow as medical work; I did join the Army (twice), and I’ve definitely worked my fair share of receptionist jobs, once of which was at a hair salon and another that was at a tanning salon so that beautician one was kind of met.

Being a UCLA graduate student? Only in my wildest dreams, apparently. It took me 29 years to graduate with just a regular undergrad degree, and from a shitty online school. But hey, at least I did it and whatever.

Anyway, this list was hilarious to find and compare to my actual real life at (almost) 30. Maybe I’ll get the chance to travel to France and buy a house and bank a shit ton of money and go to grad school in the next seven months. But if not, no biggie. I’m pretty happy with where I’m at right now.

emma, home, madden

A peek inside Emma’s and Madden’s rooms

A peek inside my kids' cheery bedrooms via

I’m excited to share a peek inside Emma’s and Madden’s rooms today. Probably overly excited, honestly. They’re rooms are pretty…well, not boring. But nothing incredibly special, at least not from an interior design POV. They’re tiny and pretty barren but still. I think they’re rooms are fun and full of personality and cheer and when they’re clean, which has actually been the norm lately (shock), I sneak into them every so often to just hang out. My favorite part? They basically have 100% creative liberty over their rooms, which makes ’em extra fun and awesome.

First up, Emma’s room (because ladies first). A peek inside from her doorway. Immediately to the left is Madden’s room (you can see a bit of his doorframe).

A peek inside my kids' cheery bedrooms via www.kelseyespecially.comA peek inside my kids' cheery bedrooms via

Emma’s bed is Ikea (remember when it was a DIY teepee?!). It’s one of the two in the Norddal bunk bed set, which I 1,000% do NOT recommend you waste your precious money, time and sanity on. Seriously. Do NOT buy it. It’s a fucking pain in the ass to put together and incredibly rickety once it is put together. That shelf is Ikea too. Kallax. The bins along the bottom hold Emma’s sock and undies, pj tops, pj bottoms and princess dresses. The top shelves house her books, a few treasures, a princess wig and her bath shtuff. On top of the shelf she stashes more treasures. That pink wicker basket holds her pants, skirts and leggings.

A couple posters and a whole lot of daycare- and school-made artwork cover her walls.

A peek inside my kids' cheery bedrooms via

Above her bed is a giant wall map from Ikea. We use it to passively teach geography and plan incredible trips that we’ll probably never be able to afford. Emma’s bed is pretty much always made like that. She sleeps on top of her comforter (but under the fleece blanket) so that she doesn’t have to bother with making it each morning.

A peek inside my kids' cheery bedrooms via

And over to Madden’s room. There it is! See it peeking through the doorway? It’s just to the left of Emma’s handwriting on the wall.

A peek inside my kids' cheery bedrooms via

Madden’s room! For real!

A peek inside my kids' cheery bedrooms via

Madden’s bed is Bri’s old bed. We bought it from Overstock like seven years ago and it’s still going strong. It’s been passed down through all the kids! Madden’s bed always looks like this because he’s three and I don’t even try to “make” him make his bed.

A peek inside my kids' cheery bedrooms via

Madden’s got a Kallax shelf in his room, too. Same setup: clothes in bins across the bottom shelves, books and toys on the top shelf, random shit on the very top of the entire thing. And he’s wallpapered his room in original artwork too. I seriously love this so much about their rooms.

A peek inside my kids' cheery bedrooms via www.kelseyespecially.comA peek inside my kids' cheery bedrooms via

I didn’t take a photo of the inside of Emma’s closet, but it looks almost identical to the inside of Madden’s except she has a shit ton of dresses and a ginormous purple bin that holds all her stuffed animals and dolls.

A peek inside my kids' cheery bedrooms via

That’s it. Nothing super special, but fun nonetheless. The kids don’t really use their rooms for anything other than sleeping. Sometimes on the weekend I’ll send them upstairs to play if I need a few minutes of calm, but for the most part playing in their rooms isn’t really allowed. I don’t know if this is a normal parenting approach or not. It seems normal to me because it’s the one I use, but maybe it’s not? Anyway…

I’ll share peeks inside Bri’s made-over basement bedroom once there’s enough light to get some decent photos of it!

happy list

Things making me happy this week | 29


Letting Emma make her own pizza and it turning out like it did* (*ADORABLE).

Using the laptop to Internet on the couch last weekend when Shannon came home. Total first world problem, I know, but holy hell it’s nice to not sit at the desktop in the kitchen every time I want to do something online. Sometimes I just want to be really lazy. (Shannon brought our MacBook with her to her work training since she’s also in regular civilian grad school right now and needs it to do homework for those classes, too.)

Candy cane tea.As seen here. Tried it for the first time Sunday evening. Definitely not a night-time drink, but it is good.

New books. Library books and “owned” books.

Putting together a few 12×12 Project Life pages for September!!

New paintings. New rug. New decor. Homegoods is the ultimate.

Picking up supplies for our summer and Christmas minis. I love how last year’s Christmas mini turned out, and how it covered only the 24-hour period spanning Christmas Eve evening through Christmas Day dinner, but I want to do something totally different for this year’s book.

And last but certainly not least: PUTTING TOGETHER A SHOP! There’s still a bit of work left to do with it and I think my Twitter audience is more of the target demographic than you guys, BUT I’m excited for launch (hopefully by the end of the month) and of course invite you all to take a peek once the store goes live. If it’s not your thing, that’s cool. If it is, that’s even cooler 😉 Sign up to receive a first look at this project, and a special offer to use at launch!

What’s making YOU happy this week?

project life etc.

Bahamas mini album

Bahamas mini album via

Two months later and I finally got around to finishing the mini album for our two-year anniversary trip to the Bahamas in July. I’m slaying at efficient time management around here, obvs* (*no).

I used a fun mini binder I found at Target MONTHS ago, because it’s awesome and was less than $4. Can’t beat that. The title page is a piece of coral-y glitter card stock (Michaels), with random alphas (Michaels) on an old Studio Calico blue tag. I included some writing on the back of the title page. Facing the writing is a white-striped transparency (Michaels) that sits on top of a fold-out map I took out of one of the tourist guide book thingies we were given at the airport when we landed. I used some fun patterned paper (Michaels) to cover up the random advertisements, affixed an old Studio Calico PL card, and paper-clipped on our plane tickets.

Bahamas mini album via www.kelseyespecially.comBahamas mini album via www.kelseyespecially.comBahamas mini album via www.kelseyespecially.comBahamas mini album via www.kelseyespecially.comBahamas mini album via

The backside of the fold-out map had another smaller map. I left that as-was. I included our last-minute, get-the-fuck-outta-here-QUICK plane ticket receipts and included the (v long) story on a piece of lined paper across from it.

Bahamas mini album via

A coaster from the hotel paper-clipped to a deconstructed gift bag I bought at HomeGoods about two years ago and our hotel room key and luggage tag, stapled to a piece of Dear Lizzy paper.

Bahamas mini album via

And now the photos!

Bahamas mini album via www.kelseyespecially.comBahamas mini album via

Pretty sure this is my fave layout in the entire album.

Bahamas mini album via Bahamas mini album via Bahamas mini album via

More glittered card stock because obviously.

Bahamas mini album via

A MAMBI sticker on top of vellum.

Bahamas mini album via Bahamas mini album via

Even more glitter card stock, a MAMBI “itinerary” sticker, and alphas spelling out the basic itinerary of our trip, which really should be the basic itinerary for any trip to the Bahamas, but most especially an anniversary trip to the Bahamas.

Bahamas mini album via www.kelseyespecially.comBahamas mini album via

That fun “you’re hot like summer” card was a Persnickety Prints freebie over the summer. I affixed it to a piece of transparency using double-sided tape, then affixed a photo on the other side of the transparency, also with double-sided tape, lining up all the edges so it looks seamless.

Bahamas mini album via www.kelseyespecially.comBahamas mini album via

I read four books in the five days we were there. Seriously.

Bahamas mini album via

Because the book wouldn’t be complete without a photo grid.

Bahamas mini album via www.kelseyespecially.comBahamas mini album via

And here were are at the photos depicting the real Grand Bahama Island.

Bahamas mini album via Bahamas mini album via Bahamas mini album via

That little red/orange sticker on the white card stock reads “wild & free” and is used in a completely facetious way. We were excited for our “wild” dolphin experience…until we saw the conditions in which the “wild” dolphins are kept. Hint: it’s not in the “wild.”

Bahamas mini album via www.kelseyespecially.comBahamas mini album via

A side-by-side of the resort beach and the local’s beach.

Bahamas mini album via

That “TRAVEL BRILLIANTLY” map “print” is actually the back of a Marriott receipt. It’s so perfect for this.

Bahamas mini album via www.kelseyespecially.comBahamas mini album via

On the back of the “TRAVEL BRILLIANTLY” receipt is the front of a greeting card I picked up at Target over the summer especially for this project.

Bahamas mini album via

Gold foil stars on vellum (Michaels) and some writing about how lame we were, going to bed before 9 or 10 each night.

Bahamas mini album via www.kelseyespecially.comBahamas mini album via

This is actually two different ocean photos that I cropped to make look-ish like it was one. Tricks, son.

Bahamas mini album via

Can’t see it very well in the photos (it’s much more visible IRL), but that glitter sticker says “memories.” I stuck it here and wrote a bit about our hotel, which was called “Memories.”

Bahamas mini album via Bahamas mini album via

The last morning of our trip we woke up extra early and headed down to the beach to watch the sunrise. I love how Shannon’s silhouette is right down there in the middle-ish.

Bahamas mini album via

…aaaannnnnd scene. That brush script paper is from a random paper pack Michaels was selling a few weeks ago, the flair is actually a pin from Hot Topic (I pulled out the fastener so it lays flat-ish on the page when affixed) and perfectly describes the overall vibe of (and feeling we had about) our, and the photo was taken right before we headed inside to get ready to head to the airport.

Bahamas mini album via

So that’s it. It took me forever to do because I had no motivation to do it because I wasn’t particularly excited about reminiscing about the trip because the trip kind of sucked, but not in a way that was so bad I want to block the entire thing out completely. BUT I finally did it and like with every new mini I make, I feel like it’s my favorite one yet, even though it’s the first travel mini album I’ve ever made. We definitely need to go on more trips so I can make more of these.

Hope you enjoyed taking a peek!

kelsey, lol

Reasons why having small boobs doesn’t suck after all

Dropping major bills on expensive bras? → Thoroughly unnecessary; I can’t even fit a “normal” bra, not even an A cup.

Worrying about gravity and sagging as I age? → Nuh-uh. There ain’t nothing there to sag.

Constantly reminding people (DUDES) “My eyes are up here!” → Literally never.

Boob-induced back pain? → Nope.

Titties flopping in my face while I’m running or jumping? → Not even once.

Busting buttons off my shirts? → Impossible.

That awkward gap between buttons on my shirt? → Not a thing.

“Time of the month” tenderness? → Doesn’t exist.

Gross boobage/cleavage sweat? Negatory.

Boobs getting in the way of laying comfortably on my stomach or buttoning my jacket all the way or putting on a cross-body bag or my seatbelt…or anything else? → Yeah, right.

So you see? Non-boobs aren’t so bad.


It’s no secret that I’ve long been insecure about my non-boobs. I was the kid who developed too late – just in time to get pregnant with my first child, breastfeed her and promptly have my boobs shrivel and shrink. I was 17 when I finally got boobs – good ones…a full C cup, which on my small frame was a-okay. I was 18 when I had Briseis and started 11 months of breastfeeding. And I was 19 when I stopped breastfeeding and lost my boobs. All the fatty tissue, all the muscle tone, all the shape, all of the self-confidence and positive self-image. And with each successive child (2, for those of you not in the know (get in the know)), my non-boobs got smaller…and smaller.

So here I am, 29 years old and wearing a sports bra with literally everything – fancy dress, work outfit, regular errands-running clothes, and even as my swim suit top – because I have nothing left to fill a regular bra. I’ve wanted new boobs since the second my shriveled and shrank away – soooo, for a decade. But in the past year or so that want, which was once incessant and so overwhelmingly in my head all the fucking time, has slowly dwindled away. I’m still not thrilled with how my non-boobs look when I’m naked, but Shannon is the only person that sees me naked and she doesn’t hate them like I do (or at all) so whatever, right?

I think part of being okay with my non-boobs is mental and emotional maturity that comes with age, part of it is learning how to dress my damn self in shit that makes me look and feel good, and part of it is being terrified of surgery (never gone under the knife before, for anything) and not wanting to risk losing what little chest strength I have when it comes to lifting. Plus, I’d go IN-FUCKING-SANE having to stay away from lifting for a minimum of six weeks, and my strength is more important to me than having big(ger) tits. Besides, the other day when I was looking through old photos of myself from when I actually had boobs, I felt like they made me look weird. Like, I seriously can’t even imagine what I would do with boobs. I honestly think that for how active I am, having non-boobs is the better deal.

So yeah. That’s that. I’m not happy with my non-boobs per se, but I’ve stopped hating my whole self because of them. Now I hate just them. And only when they’re naked (they look so weird after deflating following breastfeeding three kids). But seeing as how I’m not naked all that often, my exclusive non-boob hate is pretty inactive. Plus, said hate no longer interferes with every aspect of my whole entire life (mostly thanks to finding THE PERFECT sports bra (more on that later) and learning how to dress myself on top to not highlight the fact that I don’t have any boobs), soooo…yay for small/non-boobs after all!

PHOTO: Taken on my 17th birthday, back when I actually had some boobs. It’s a photo of a photo of a scan of a photo so sorry about the extra shitty quality…and the bangs. Sorry about those too.