Monday, December 24, 2012

A Very Awkward Christmas.

I started a tradition last year that I didn't exactly know was going to be a tradition.

I'm a huge fan of awkwardness. So Chad and I took an awkward Christmas picture...I made an awkward card...and sent it out to a bunch of family and friends. We got such a great response from it that I decided to make it a family tradition. 

Best. Idea. Ever.

2011 Johansen Awkward Christmas
Meowy Christmas From the Johansen's!
Screen shot of our 2011 card from the website I ordered it from. ( - a super awesome custom order anything website) Sidenote: This is not our cat. We do not own a cat.
Fun fact: I was actually around 6 weeks pregnant in this picture but it was before we were really telling anyone. :)

This year we have a super cute "prop" for our awkward Christmas! She makes this tradition WAY more fun. Poor poor Shaylyn....she's in for a long ride with these parents of hers. So far though I'd say she fits right in to this awkward family, but you can be the judge of that...............

2012 Johansen Awkward Christmas
Made this year's card on -  so easy to custom make them! And also awesome that I got a great deal on all the cards from Groupon. 

This could be really embarrassing so it's a good thing we only sent this to 100 of our family and friends (and posted it here online for anyone to see)............

Have a very AWKWARD Christmas and a HAPPY New Year!!
(I'm not sure how we'll out awkward ourselves next year....we really went for it this year.)
The Johansen's
Chad, Brooke, and Shaylyn

Sunday, December 16, 2012


Dear Shaylyn,

You don't know this but something very sad happened Friday, December 14th. A really sad, angry, and confused young man went into a school and shot some very innocent little children. I won't even waste my breath trying to explain what that man could have possibly been thinking because nothing....absolutely nothing....can make me understand it.

Instead I want to tell you how it made me feel. How it made me hold you a little closer at bedtime. How it made me cry watching you sleep after you had a full belly simply because I knew there were mom's on the under side of the country who would never see their babies sleep again. How it made your dad and I have a conversation on "worst case scenarios" with something happening in a public setting and make a plan of what we could do. How it shook me to my bones to know we can't protect you from everything. How it made me literally nauseous knowing that there are terrorists in our own country attacking not only our own, but the ones that can't defend themselves.

This is just the tip of the iceberg on all the emotions this tragedy brought up but most of all it made me feel more love. Goodness Shaylyn...if I don't teach you anything else in this lifetime please let me teach you about love. It's so important to feel it and give it. It can turn anything around. I'm not just talking about showing love to your family and friends (although that's very important.) But send out goodness and love into the whole world. You don't have to grow up to be the President, a disease curing doctor, or anyone else with an "important" title in order to change the world. You have the possibility to change the world within you just by sending out love and goodness. This is exactly why you make me and your dad better people. It's our goal as your parents to show you by example how to live that way. Not only will you make the world a better and happier place...but can you imagine how happy your life will be too? Giving and receiving that much love and light? Now....let's be real....I am not always good at this. And that's okay. It's okay to not always be able to do this. But as long as there are other people in the world giving out that same love, they'll be able to pick you up when you need it. That's why it's so important to surround yourself with those people who are giving you that love too. It'll pick you up when you need it, push you when you need pushing, catch you when you're falling, and completely envelop you with warmth, security, and happiness. Hang on to the people in your life that challenge you to be a better person.

I'm so sad for all of those effected by the tragedy in Connecticut. Innocence was ripped right out from underneath so many beautiful children. I'm praying for everyone...the people that were taken away and the ones still with us.

Alright, I'm finished for now. Just know that I love you Shaylyn and you have so much to give this world and it's all within you!!

Your Momma

Friday, September 7, 2012

Shay is 1 month old!

Our little lady is 1 month old today!

Man she's growing so fast. These past 31 days have been incredible. Crazy. Awesome. Exhausting. Emotional. Fun. But most of all this past month has been so full of LOVE!!!

I feel like every morning I wake up to a new baby. Her face and little body change so much each day! She's getting heavier and longer and gaining more control of her neck, arms, and legs. She loves holding her own head up when you hold her on your shoulder. I kind of feel like she shows off about it. She holds it up and looks around at people and the world like she's saying "yeah I'm holding my head up myself, no big deal." Her little face is looking less newborn-ish. She's starting to make noises besides her little cry. She smiles at people on purpose now...and not just involuntary gas smiles. (Evidence of that in the video I posted below!) We're really getting to know her, her schedule, her cries, and her personality. Granted, this is the only baby I've ever had to compare to but she is such a good baby. She's really laid back, LOVES to cuddle and be held close, sleeps and eats like a champion, and really likes it when you put your head against hers and tell her "secrets" by whispering in her ear. Sigh....we are so in love. She is just perfect.

My momma (Shaylyn's MeMe) arrived in California July 27th to be here for her birth. She just left on Wednesday so it's been our first couple of days just Shay and myself at home. Oh man...I could write a whole post on how much my momma has helped us around here for the past month. Physically she did all of the things Chad and I didn't want to do/think about when we got home with Shay. Planned meals and made sure we ate, cooked, cleaned, did laundry, held a crying Shaylyn while we took a break (or more than likely ate), watched a sleeping Shaylyn while I took a nap alone in my room, picked her up and gave her to me when my incision was hurting, made sure I put my feet up when we got home from the hospital in order for the swelling to go down (seriously the amount of swelling I had was really ridiculous, more on that in other post), and tons of other stuff that I can't begin to name everything here. Emotionally she did just as much for was great to have her around to provide advice and momma help. I loved just having her here and getting to spend so much time with her. And more than anything I loved seeing her with Shay. Oh it just hurt my heart to see them together and MeMe so in love with my little girl!

31 days ago I also gained a new respect and perspective on my own parents. Of course they've always told me they love me throughout my life...but I don't think I really understood how much and just what that kind of love meant until Shaylyn came along. So to my own Momma and Dad...thank you for loving me and my sisters so much. I get it. And I love you too. :)

A few days after Shay came home from the NICU, she had her first checkup with her pediatrician.  She weighed in at 7 pounds 7 ounces and grew 1/4 of an inch since birth. Her doctor was very impressed with her growth and told us we were both doing great breastfeeding. She couldn't get over how great Shaylyn looked. :)

Good news continued today at her 1 month checkup, doctor said she looked like a perfectly healthy and happy are her stats!
9 pounds 4 ounces (50th percentile)
21 3/4 inches long (75th percentile)


Goodness lady I just love you to pieces. It seriously hurts my heart.

Fact: The other day you were sleeping on my chest while I was watching tv. I was smelling your beautiful baby smell and feeling the weight of you on my body. Cue tears. I'm pretty sure they just came on because my heart was so full my eyes just overflowed with love.

I would say I spent 9 months waiting for you but I actually feel like you've been a part of me my whole life. You just decided to show your face 31 days ago.

Thank you for making me a mother. Just like your daddy, you make me want to be a better person. You take that to a whole new level, girl. And I will be a better person because of you. Speaking of your daddy, thank you for taking our love and marriage to a new height also. When you were born and my heart grew, it grew for your dad too. I didn't know I could love him more, but that was before I knew how much love I could give. Seeing the two of you together makes me feel so complete. And the way his eyes look when he's staring down at you...matches exactly what my heart feels too.

Well, that's all for now. You're sleeping next to me and I need to snuggle and smell you. :)

Love you for always and ever,

Thursday, August 23, 2012

It's a.......GIRL!!!

Shaylyn Kennedy Johansen was born August 7th, 2012 at 3:55pm!
6 pounds 15 ounces
21.5 inches long

Oh boy is there a lot to write about between the hours of 1:00am August 6th and 3:55pm August 7th! Not to mention the minutes, hours, days, and now weeks that have gone by since then!!

Chad and I plan to sit down and write out her birth story sometime soon but we just haven't got the chance to do it yet. Actually, that's kind of a lie. We have probably had the chance to do it, but it's such an emotional thing for us to think about that we've been putting it off. Because I was in labor for so long and so much happened during that time and then after she was born, there were holes in both our stories of things that went on and what we each experienced. We sat down for about an hour one morning when we were still in the hospital and talked through everything that happened. I don't remember the last time I cried that hard. Especially for it being deliriously happy and sad tears at the same time. Anyway, it's important to me that we write it down when it's still "fresh" so we can remember everything and look back on it down the road. I think it will also be pretty cool for Shaylyn to hear some day too. Hear about how dramatic she was even when she came into the world and maybe if she hears how rough she was on her parents during those first few minutes/hours/days, she'll ease up on us during the teenage years. What do you mean it doesn't work like that? :)

She is such a healthy and happy 2 week old now. And we think she's pretty perfect. Our hearts are completely full having her a part of our lives. We love you so much Shaylyn Kennedy Johansen!!!

Shaylyn's Mommy

p.s. I just re-read my last post I put on here at 10pm August 5th. Although I didn't know it (even then) but I actually started early labor just 3 hours later. Haha!! Life is funny, huh? :)

Sunday, August 5, 2012

38 weeks - Today is my due date.

38 weeks!
(July 22nd)

It's 9:57pm PST Sunday, August 5th, 2012.

I was supposed to become a mom today. The baby obviously has different plans. It's been an emotional roller coaster of a day. I just remembered this post I wrote back in October last year before I was pregnant. I read it, teared up a little, smiled a little, took a deep breath, and decided I'd write this really quickly and go to bed.

I kind of feel like I've been pregnant for an eternity but at the same time I feel like I just saw that beautiful little digital word "Pregnant" just yesterday. It's a weird thing. Whew, all of these swarming thoughts have made for a long emotionally and physically exhausting day.

Here's to another day I get to carry this baby in my belly before he/she comes out and changes the world. (At least my world....)

Excerpt from what I wrote on October 12th, 2011:
"Maybe you're pregnant right now and barfing all over the place (your sense of smell is already ridiculous so I can't imagine what that's like when it's heightened)....just remember how excited me and Chad would be to know that we were going to have a baby in less than 9 months. 
Maybe you're in the week of your due date and miserably waddling around feeling like a beached whale (and I'm guessing feeling a little anxious about going into labor)....just remember how your non pregnant self is sitting here right now daydreaming about what it would be like to feel our baby kick from the inside. You're so close to being able to see our baby's face, you can do it! And try not to feel too anxious...Chad will be there with you and he always seems to know how to make us feel better. Not to mention all of the awesome people I know you'll have in that waiting room......If you weren't about to push a human out of your vagina, I would feel more sorry for the hospital staff. :) 
Maybe you're getting impatient on a wait list for an adoption.....remember that your kid is out there in this world somewhere and the universe is just waiting for the timing to be right. (We both know how important timing is.) And it when the timing is will be perfect."


Thursday, August 2, 2012

37 weeks - Baby J's Room!

37 weeks!
(July 15th)

Baby J's room is finished!! 

Well...there are a few things I may add later on (a rug when I find what I'm looking for, and curtains) but it's definitely ready for the baby to arrive and I'm definitely ready to show it off. :) I really really love it and I'm so happy with the way it all came together. It's by far my favorite room in the house, although our place is pretty small and we don't have many rooms to choose from....but STILL it counts as my favorite! :)

Come on in!

Chad and I used to live in Colorado and our absolute favorite time for hikes there was in the fall when the Aspen leaves start to change. They turn this beautiful yellow color (almost unrealistic painted yellow) and the trunks are white all over. It looks SO cool when you're in the middle of them and it makes for a most peaceful place. I decided it would be awesome if we could bring the mountains and outdoors to the baby and this is what I came up with. :)

The bright colors and "happy" feel seemed necessary too.

The problem with my "vision" of the trees was that I am NOT a painter in any way shape or form. Luckily, my sister in law Donna is a rockstar and is a great painter so I asked for her help. I searched for a few pictures on Pinterest, printed them out for her as an idea and she did the rest. Well, I cooked really awesome snacks and dinner, made a lemonade stand with my nieces, and kept refilling her wine glass....but that's where my part in that ended. I mean seriously....I could not have imagined it turning out better! She did such an amazing job and I'm so glad she was excited to help me.

There are owls throughout the baby's room because the mascot at the college Chad and I went to (and met at) was an Owl. :)

The closet was a baby daddy project and he did such a great job! We started by removing the closet door, taking out the clothing rack and shelf that was currently there, painted the inside orange, and made the new shelving. So much more functional!

Lots of love went into this too....our friend Mark painted the inside with Chad one night and Chad's brother Ryan helped put in the shelving. :) Chad's mom and Aunt Holly gave us the video baby monitor, really excited about it!

How cute are these shoes? Oh and please don't mind the books in the background arranged in rainbow happened one day in a fit of pregnancy nesting....don't judge me.

The other side of the baby's room. Before it became baby's room it was a guest room. We were planning on pulling this trundle bed out of the room as we put the baby's things in there but then we realized it would probably be more functional to keep it in there for a while. We can still fit everything we want for the baby and it gives us a bed for guests as well. Our plan is to have the baby in our room at night in the bassinet for a while anyway and we'll have family coming and going for a while, so this just makes sense. 

Cute little owl paintings. No curtains yet, but if I get some I think I'll just do some simple white ones since there's a lot of color everywhere else. And I plan to paint the baby's name in the middle of these soon as we know what that name is! :)

We got the dresser two years ago from Donna and Ryan who didn't have a place for it and were ready to give it a new home.

Gift from MeMe. :)

This came in the mail one day with a note "To the little nugget. We wanted to give you your first John Deere. Love you, Great PaPa and MaMa." My heart melted. And the owl on the left is a bank from Auntie Melis and Rach so baby can save his/her pennies for college. :)

Picture from our wedding reception. We bought the (pregnant woman) figurine behind the picture from a vendor in the Dominican.

Cork board with some pictures and a few notes that have been left for Baby J. If you notice the middle picture....we feel every kid needs/wants a picture of their parents' butt cracks. It's completely natural.

Changing table we got from BuyBuy Baby.

I labeled each drawer of the changing table for the appropriate things inside. Obviously we keep diapers, wipes, and all the things you would need to change the baby in this one...

Blankets and swaddlers in this one...

I cannot wait to snuggle with our sweet little baby in this chair!! Nursing foot stool from Auntie Tracy (BuyBuy Baby) and works perfect since we didn't have enough room for the ottoman with the chair.

My sister Amy (also our maternity/baby photographer) made this from pictures she took in the Dominican. :)

Oh how I LOVE the blanket my friends Melis and Rachel got for us (Etsy). They didn't know at the time how perfect it matched the baby's room and especially the rocking chair. And obviously we all love owls. :) We ordered the chair from BuyBuy Baby, where you can pick out the material, color, and piping. It did take forever for it to come in though, so if you're thinking of ordering one do it early!!

Donna text me a picture of this clock she came across one day while at a Salvation Army and asked if I was interested. Umm...yes please! We painted the branch/leaves to match the wall. And gave Momma Owl's eyes a little makeover to tie in some color. :)

About four years ago we carved this exact thing on a tree on one of our favorite hikes in Colorado (Maroon Bells in Aspen-Snowmass in case you're wondering). So it's only appropriate we put it in the room too. :)

Dr. Seuss canvas made by Auntie Amy using our room colors. :)

The crib was passed to us from Donna and Ryan and it's been in the Vinal/Johansen family for years. My cousin Lacey and her hubby Ryan sent us the bedding from our Target registry. I thought I'd be looking forever for something that I loved but literally this was the first bedding I ever even looked at! I love all the colors and how happy it looks!!

Our favorite picture of the little nug in my belly. :)

See Baby?? The only thing missing in your room now is poopie diapers, spit up all over clean things, dirty onesies, an unorganized mess, sleep deprived parents, and YOU!!! Come on out and play! 
Or you know, whenever you're pressure. :)

Your Mommy and Daddy

Monday, July 30, 2012

36 weeks - July Fun!

36 Weeks! (July 8th)
Yep, bump is still there.

Pictures from some fun stuff we've done in the month of July!

Chad got to throw out the first pitch for a work event at a San Jose Giants game! 
Watching the game.
Picnic with the family at our favorite winery. :)

Cash and Grandma Connie

It was so fun having some of my family and Chad's family visiting us at the same time. :)

Zo, the tree climber. 

Autumn was so cute with my belly....she kept giving "her baby cousin hugs and kisses." :)

Tracy and me the day of the baby shower.
MeMe and me before the shower.
The cake Momma and I made for the 4th of July. 

Summer fruit in California is amazing and super cheap!! So spoiled to it out here.

This picture makes my mouth water.