My sweet Kaya June,

You’re the sweetest girl I know. I love the way you say “otay” and “oh thanks.” I love how you crouch down and peer into my eyes when you talk to me. I love how you pat me on the back. I love how you want me to hold your hand for “just onnnnne minute” when I put you in bed. I love it when you race down the hall and jump into my arms in the morning and when I pick you up at Grandma’s. I love when you share your blueberry bars with me. I love when you ask “Mama, tiss it?” when you get an owie.

You are so thoughtful and smart. A few days ago you told me to “look up, see tree” instead of watching you eat mac and cheese on our front steps. I can’t stop watching you, but I love that you remind to watch our beautiful world. I hope I can learn to see the world with wonder like you. I love when you squeal and shout “get out my face!” when the wind blows your hair into your eyes.

Is it possible to love someone with your whole body and soul? Absolutely. That’s how I love you.


You look just like your Daddy, but you’re Mama’s girl. 

I love the way you think. I love how you’re already planning your birthday party with your purple birthday cake just like mom’s that’s “coming up soon” even though it’s eight months away.

Last week you told me that you were going to Seaworld with Mikaila, your teacher at church. You named the friends who would be going with you and said I couldn’t go. It made me a little sad, but also proud. One day you will adventure into the world without me and I’m glad you’re excited about it.

I asked you who your best friend was and you said “Mama.” Can you feel that way forever, please? You’re my best friend in the whole world.

I love our coffee dates and our Target trips. I love that you never ask to try my drink, but tell me “someday Taya do that.” I love how you put your hands on your hips when you make demands. I love how you like to organize. I love watching your focused eyes and stance when you draw pictures. I love when you wrap up little objects like crayons in your drawings and give them to me as “speeeeecial presents.”

I love that you’re proud of things you do. I love that you’re a little shy, but also brave. I love when you tell me about your day and things you want to do.

I love that you can count to ten and sing songs. I love that you listen so well. I love the way you run “really fast, Mom!” I love how you jump when you dance.

Last week when you couldn’t sleep, I rocked you in my arms in the dark of your room. We stared into each other’s eyes and didn’t say a word. I’ve never felt so connected to someone. I think that was the most special moment in my world, almost like we were one.

Kaya June, you’re my favorite and I wuve you more than you’ll ever know.

– Mama


A chemical pregnancy

It always amazes me how supportive this community can be, even for a tiny diary of a blog like mine. I had an OBGYN triage doctor call me yesterday that confirmed that my situation, for a lack of a better term, was a chemical pregnancy. That term makes me cringe. I don’t know why. I guess because this doctor was specifically an OGBYN, she was more sympathetic than the E.R. doctor over the weekend who literally walked into the room and was like “SO YOU’RE NOT EVEN PREGNANT AT ALL.” She told me that they don’t consider this a miscarriage or a pregnancy. In reality, that’s a good thing, but it makes me feel like I’m in this strange place where this event only counts in my head. Like this experience never happened. Like my potential baby never existed. And just writing that last sentence fragment makes me feel really sad.

People so kindly shared their stories and wrote to me telling me to give myself time to grieve after my last post. And thank you to you all, I’m trying. But it feels foreign and almost unnecessary since the medical world tells me it was anything at all. Trying to help, Josh told me that next time I should consider not testing so early, but I know that my crazy self will. Because I need to know. Maybe not knowing would be less painful, but it somehow I feel like this deserves to be unforgotten. This experience has been so hard. There’s a definitive answer now, but it’s not one that makes sense to me, and certainly not one I like.

Some part of me really felt pregnant, even at just a few weeks. It’s confusing for me to not feel that way anymore. Even with the little things; like, I swore I was going to try to give up almost all coffee like I did with Kaya when I found out I was pregnant. And now after this, I feel guilty about drinking it. And I don’t even really enjoy it. I guess that’s kind of silly, really.

I keep seeing baby things and want to bookmark them to remember, but I can’t bring myself to do it. I think part of me blames myself for getting excited and “prepared” so early. Like somehow if I hadn’t started a registry to track what I’ll need or began thinking about turning the office into a nursery or didn’t talked to two people about trying, then maybe this wouldn’t have happen. I always say I’m not superstitious, but I guess I kind of am.

All of this seems confusing and sad and irritating and well, dumb. And on top of it, I’ve been realizing how I just need to slow down, deal with my feelings, and enjoy my life. I’m always planning and rushing and thinking of what’s next. I always talk about how I want to spend more time with Kaya, but really, I need to be fully there when I’m with her, not thinking of what I need to do or scrolling through my phone or planning the next whatever.

I’m going to start trying to enjoy the moment. And even when some of my moments are shitty, there is so much I do love about my life.


The Cassels, December 2017

At a loss

Is it possible to grieve something that never existed? On Valentine’s Day I took a pregnancy test and saw a faint line. Not believing myself, I sprinted to the nearest liquor store (struck out and went to another) to buy two more tests. One looked negative and the other faintly positive like the original. I chalked it up to being the 7-11 brand and called Josh who was on a man trip in Canada. I was nervous and uncertain and surprised as I told him about the faint lines. I remember him saying “wow” and “that was fast” and “Happy Valentine’s Day!” I told him they were faint so I didn’t feel positive and that I’d check again the next day. Another faint positive and a “not pregnant” on the digital one. I called Josh again and told him “I’m pretty sure I’m pregnant.” We were excited and still so surprised. Another “not pregnant” the next day, but those positives were getting me excited and I know the digital ones aren’t as sensitive. I made an appointment with my doctor for mid-March. I sent pictures of the tests for interpretation to my best friend. I got my hopes up.

I made plans in my head about my coming pregnancy, fantasized about the gender, fiddled around with my dream registry, and wondered what it would be like to have two kids. Josh came home from his trip Saturday night and it was so good to have him home! I missed him and felt extra close to him because of “the news,” as he referred to it. We talked about how weird the timing was since it was the first real “try” since stopping birth control and this was almost the exact same time we got pregnant with Kaya three years ago.

On Sunday morning, I started bleeding. It was brownish and pink and I cried in the shower with Kaya on the other side of the curtain. Josh was napping since he’d gotten up early with Kaya, but I woke him up and he snuggled me and told me it was okay while I sobbed. I called the nurse’s line and they told me to go to the E.R. if it got worse and to wait it out if it stayed the same. It turned dark red and increased. I hate leaving Kaya on the weekends because I feel like I hardly see her during the week, but I was scared and although I was certain it was the worst, I needed answers. I drove to the hospital and went to triage, the same place I went the night I checked into the hospital when I went into labor with Kaya. I guess I forgot that triage was for when you’re much father along so after they told me I was in the wrong place, they had me wait for a wheelchair to take me to the emergency room. Forty minutes went by and the wheelchair never came. I ended up driving myself to the other building and was hit with another smack in the face as I entered the same E.R. that Josh and I took an ambulance to after he collapsed in our kitchen a few years ago. That day changed our lives and I hadn’t been back to that hospital since. I waited alone in my room for three hours since I wasn’t a priority. The blood tests came back and turns out I’m not pregnant, and likely never was.

The doctor and nurse were surprised and couldn’t explain why I had multiple positive tests, no matter how faint. Different brands, different days, with those same faint lines. I left feeling heartbroken. I guess I expected to hear I was having a miscarriage, which would have been worse, but to feel like I made it all up in my head was also pretty awful. And beyond my mind, I feel like my body feels different. Like even though I wasn’t certain, part of me convinced my body I was pregnant for those few days. It doesn’t feel like a normal period to me, but my “feelings” can’t be stronger than the blood test. My nurse told me to listen to my body and that it doesn’t hurt to take another test this week, but I feel this odd sense of shame that I can’t explain. I feel like I made up the lines I saw and the changes in my body. I feel embarrassed. Josh has been great, but I know he’s a little disappointed and I hate that its because of me. It just felt so real and the answers don’t make sense to me because they really aren’t answers at all. I guess I also didn’t really realize how much I wanted this. And worse, I feel like I’m a little scared to try again. I want to, but I feel like I can’t trust even the boldest of double lines…and worse, I don’t trust myself anymore.

I can’t really think of a positive way to leave this. I just feel deeply sad. I suppose better than Sunday, but still like a little part of me is gone. Josh said I’d probably feel this for awhile. I wish it would go away. I wish it wasn’t bothering my as much as it is. I wish I could just accept that I’m not and wasn’t pregnant and move on.

Snuggling my family a little more often these days and forever.

And now we wait

“Don’t be crazy. Don’t be crazy.” That’s what I keep repeating to myself, but GUYS I’M KIND OF BEING A LITTLE CRAZY. If my app is right (which would be impressive since my periods have always been pretty irregular), then I ovulated on Saturday. So we’ve been getting busy, to say the least. In my head, I keep telling myself that it’s going to take 4 1/2 months, since that’s how long we “tried” for Kaya, but I keep hoping that we somehow get pregnant right away. It would also be really weird because it would be almost the exact same time we got pregnant with Kaya three years ago. But who the heck knows? It could take much, much longer.

I keep telling myself to not go overboard with planning, which is totally NOT in my nature to do. I haven’t really decided what overboard is yet. Ovulation strips? Getting really into cervical mucus? (Is it bad that term still kind of weirds me out?)

Although I loved being pregnant and really look forward to hanging out with a new little person in my body again soon, I guess I’m not in a huge hurry. But know myself well enough to know that in a few weeks if I don’t see those two little lines pop up, I’ll be pretty bummed.

Whew, that was a lot of frantic rambling. On another note, Kaya is getting SO big. I swear she’s 10 feet tall now. She talks nonstop and everything she says makes me smile. Sometimes I just stare at her. I really didn’t know you could love someone with your whole self.

I think I only shared one of our newborn photos here. Weird. I keep staring at these pictures of this tiny little babe. I have them all over my desk. How did two years fly by so fast? This little baby to a chatty little girl full of spunk, sass, and sweet. My Kaya June, you have my whole heart.

imgsvr (1)

I wub you

So January 8, 2018 is going down as the best day in history. Kaya looked me straight in the eyes and said “I wub you.” Then, I leaped over and almost smothered her with hugs while saying I LOVE YOU TOO MORE THAN THE WHOLE WORLD.

It was the first time she’s ever said I love you to me. She’s said “love you” a few times, but never on her own like this. She usually says “I miss you whole world” instead. My heart has officially melted. It was the best feeling. This is true love, man.

On another note, here is a photo of her saying goodbye to me this morning while eating a banana:


How do I share?

I’ve talked about this a lot recently: although I know I want my family to grow, I’m so scared of sharing my time, body, and love with another person. I want to so badly and I know I can do it, but man, it feels so hard and foreign and scary.

Having one kid, heck, having a dog, was a weird adjustment for Josh and me. We seemed to drift apart while also growing more connected through Kaya. I feel like this last month is the closest we’ve been in a long time. I feel happy, more so than I have in a really, really long time. I feel like I (mostly) know what I’m doing as a mom and I’ve had time (or, to give myself a little credit, made time) to put a tiny bit more effort into being a wife, something that I never wanted or intended to neglect when I had a baby.

I’m scared that Kaya will feel alone. I’m scared she’ll feel like I’m choosing a new little person over her. I wish there was a way I could explain to her that she’ll always be my baby and that I will never love her less. She will always be my world. And she will be such an amazing big sister.

I’m scared that I’ll lose Josh again, and maybe even more. I want to stay close to him and I want us to be a real team. Having a baby is hard. It’s hard for me to rely on people and even harder for me to ask for help. I experienced that when I had Kaya and I know I’ll need even more help with a second.

And of course, there’s poor Hank who has been a lot more attached to me now that I’ve been giving him some attention.

Things feel right, right now. But I feel like they could still be righter (is that a word?). It’s funny that sometimes I start to think of having another baby as more of a sacrifice than a blessing. In reality, what an amazing gift I’m giving myself, my husband, and my daughter.

It’s hard to want something so much and fear it at the same time.

I am so glad that I have Josh by my side. He calms so many of my fears and is such a good support system and father. How am I so lucky?


Kaya the comedian

Kaya is basically the funniest person I know. She does and says so many silly things every day. I feel like I’m constantly laughing. She is starting to talk exactly like me, which is hilarious. (Did I just call myself funny?) Here are a few examples from the last few months (with a few little photos from throughout 2017):

Kaya February2017

Kaya June, February 2017 (Sniff, sniff ;))

  • Sides? Sides? Toutch!
    • Sides = nursing. Yep, still doing that, but mostly just at night. Toutch = couch. Girl knows what and where she wants stuff.
  • Mama, where are yoooouuu?
    • This started on 11/24 (I actually wrote it down!!) when she woke up from her nap. She just shouts it over and over again and it’s so cute (slightly less so when she’s trying to convince me she doesn’t need a nap). When I came into her room that day she said “Miss you whole world.” This is seriously the most special thing she says/does. Since the beginning, when I pick her up after work, I always say “I missed you so much! I love you more than the whole world.” Now, her way of saying I love you is “miss you whole world.” It’s the BEST.
Kaya June2017

Kaya June, June 2017 (Fun in the sun)

  • Actually, boots.
    • She’s starting to get pretty sassy and she corrects me (and sometimes herself) now. I said “Oh! I like your shoes!” and her response was “actually, boots. -_-” She’s also said “Jacket. Actually, shirt” and probably a hundred other versions of this. I LOVE her personality and she talks non-stop these days. This age is so fun! (But should I be scared that she’s already correcting me???)
  • Mama’s daughter.
    • Sometimes I tell her she’s my best friend to which she smiles up at me so adoringly and quietly says “Mama’s daughter.” I don’t know why, but that smile paired with those words make my heart swell.
KayaOctober 2017

Kaya June, October 2017 (Happy Halloween from an unmasked flamingo!)

  • Baby shark little bit, otay?
    • So, I guess at some point along the way I caved and let her start watching videos on the iPad. To defend myself, she’s only ever watched two movies/shows, and the stuff she watches on the regular are just little sing-songy YouTube kids things that she’s actually learning from. Baby Shark was the first video she watched (I think) and although she’s pretty much over watching that one, that’s still how she asks to watch the iPad most of the time. That or iPad? iPad? with a sly little persuasive side eye.
  • Pweaaase
    • This one is self-explanatory. Basically anything with “pwease” attached to it makes my knees weak. She’s so dang cute even when she’s trying to get away with stuff. The biggest sentence she’s said so far (makes my mama heart proud) is “I need help close this pwease.” I mean, is it just me or is she a super mega-advanced two-year old?
  • New princess
    • So I’ve never been one for cutesy pet names, but I definitely call her my angel or princess from time-to-time. I changed into my new jammies I got for Christmas and she called me a “new princess.” Sometimes she says “oooooh beautiful” when she looks in the mirror or I brush her hair, which is adorable, too.
Kaya December2017

Kaya June, December 2017 (Happy New Year!)

    • She definitely whines no a lot (typical two-year-old, right?), but what I’m talking about is when she tells jokes. She’ll say something silly like “Hanky wear shoes? NOOOOOOO!” and then laugh and laugh. Also, how cute is it that she calls him Hanky? Or even better, Hankers.
  • Alllllll by self
    • Kaya sandals on allllllll by self. She loves trying things all by herself and usually tells me about it proudly. There’s also a lot of “YAY KAYA!” coupled with lots of clapping. I love that she’s proud of what she can do. The look she gives you when she shows you something she’s proud of is the absolute sweetest. She’s becoming a little girl now and I am so proud.
  • I’m stuck!
    • Basically, she puts an arm or her head slightly in or on something and shouts “I’m stuck!” I have no clue where she learned this, but she thinks it’s funny and it’s always amusing finding her in a weird position that can be easily escaped.

Okay, so most of those were more sentimental than funny and they were probably mostly only funny to me, but there you have it: some of my fave moments of 2017 are officially up!

*A few notes: First, I am frickin’ so grossed out by worms and I just noticed that in that first photo there’s a squished dried up one. So EW. Also, look how long her hair grew over the course of a year!!! This year went by even faster than the first!