For Leah

What do you do when these are your best friend’s words?



You cry, you pray, you get angry, you get hopeful, you lose hope, you scream, you sit silently…all in a span of a few seconds.
It has become my routine every time Michele messages me or I see a post from her. I hold my breath with anticipation, never knowing what kind of news I’ll be receiving.
I am honored to be in the inner circle of friends receiving updates on her precious daughter, Leah, but honestly it is hard.

To truly understand the scope of what Michele has been through we have to rewind seven years to her first birth. Her son was unresponsive with a five minute APGAR score of 1 and had a one week NICU stay.
Her second pregnancy was plagued with the onset of a suspected auto-immune disease that resulted in partial paralysis and chronic nerve pain. Her birth, which I had the privilege to be present at, was absolute perfection. I remember her saying how thankful she was for her first traumatic experience so she could truly appreciate her daughter’s birth.

Thankful. My mind was blown that those were her choice of words.

Along comes her third pregnancy; another son. Her health had improved compared to her previous pregnancy and everything seemed to be pointing towards another perfect birth, but several hours into labor a prolapsed cord occurred and an emergency cesarean had to be performed.

Certainly with that much “bad luck” the odds would be to have a healthy fourth pregnancy, right?

August 28th, 2017

Michele’s name scrolls across my phone screen as an incoming call.

I knew before I picked up something was wrong. I don’t think I even said hello.

“Baby is incompatible with life.”

If my world was crashing down hearing those words I don’t know how she was repeating them.

We talked for a while longer about how the recommendation was to terminate the pregnancy and how if she didn’t it was unlikely she would even carry her baby past 20 weeks.

“Is there a heartbeat?” I asked.
“For now.”
“Then there is hope and you need a second opinion.”

Second, third, and fourth opinions came. None were as definitive as the first which offered no hope, but none of them were great.

Down syndrome, congenital heart defect, and other possible complications were all in the mix now for her daughter.

The longest six months of pregnancy followed. By the time Michele was 38 weeks along, doctors had given baby Leah a 50/50 chance at surviving birth, but would be unable to determine the severity of her other health complications until after birth.

She not only survived, she thrived!

“February 17th 2018
Today God delivered the impossible. 

Meet Amelia Marie Grace Eastin
7lbs 4oz
19.25 inches
Amelia meaning work of the Lord.
We will call her Leah because we love how she was unlikely in God’s plan and he made her central to the lineage of Christ over Rachel. Marie to have a piece of me and a bonus middle name cause shes already special so why not Grace. We will never forget that she certainly was not promised nor deserved nor earned but totally just a gift of grace.


Even with a nearly 3 week NICU stay postpartum, she was the best case scenario given all her medical conditions. She would need open heart surgery in the upcoming months to repair her AVSD and would need to be tube fed due to poor muscle tone.

Once Leah was released from the hospital it was time to adjust to the family’s new normal. For most people this wouldn’t resemble anything like life before such a special arrival, but Michele is not like most.

She kept life going for her three older kiddos, which included homeschooling, keeping the house running while her husband traveled for work, made it to Leah’s specialist appointments multiple times a week, and decided to open A Pocket of Joy Boutique. Yes, in the midst of everything she decided it was the perfect time to open her own business.

Blush Little Baby Photography

There were moments of frustration and fear no doubt, but everything pointed to a miracle baby that would thrive beyond what anyone ever imagined. Then the bad news roller coaster started.

Days before her scheduled heart surgery Leah came down with a cold. What seems like nothing to you and I can be life threatening for a baby with heart defects.

Surgery bumped 6 weeks.

Days before the next surgery date she began showing signs of infantile spasms.

Surgery bumped 4 more weeks

Then another cold.

This one landed Leah in ICU, and catches us up to what they are battling now.

One thing after another.



Collapsed Lungs.


Volatile blood pressures.


And yet she keeps fighting.

So what do you do when your best friend tells you, “we need something! Prayers. Miracle. New lungs. I  DON’T KNOW!” ?

You write out her incredible story in your own words, words that don’t do her justice, and share it with the world.

Oh I have so many other words to say, so many emotions that flood my mind every time I think about different aspects of their story. For now this is the best I can do.

I ask that you keep the Eastin family in your thoughts and prayers in the upcoming days, weeks, months. This is going to be a long battle, but we’re not giving up hope.

Despite her reluctance to ask for help we know that is one of the only burdens those on the outside can help lift.  If you feel led to help financially a GoFundMe has been set up, or you can message me for her PayPal email if you’d like to avoid donation fees.


Grammatically Incorrect, Personal

Creative Output = 0

When you’re a “creative” not producing anything creative starts to take its toll.

Things I have noticed over the past months of being unable to balance work, home, and creating…

  • my anxiety is heightened
  • if I do get a rare moment to sit and write I feel like my writing is crap
  • I’m feeling “lost” and unsure what to do with my life…apparently that’s just adulthood but I still don’t like it!
  • imposter syndrome
  • Lots of ideas that just make me mad when I’m unable to start expanding upon them

The year is more than half way over and let me tell  you, it’s been a hard one. Much harder than I expected (and I wasn’t expecting much).

I am still fighting to find a way out of this rut, and when I do my creativity will be the first thing to benefit from the breakthrough! 


Grammatically Incorrect, Personal

March Update…because I’m too lazy to think of a different title

Just write….something!

I’m sitting here aimlessly scrolling, seven browsers open, overwhelmed by all the things I want to get out of my brain and checked off my to do list

I can’t pick a place to start.

  • I’ve been unable to work on my current manuscripts for several weeks
  • I want to write a post about emotional and physical healing
  • I want to prepare my writing prompts for the next few weeks
  • I want to announce to the world I have a head cold / allergies putting me further into a funk
  • I want to write about my fitness journey and how I want to focus part of my social media (Instagram most likely) on that side of things
  • I have letters I need to write to my daughter
  • I need a new “real” job
  • My kids REALLY need to clean their rooms ;-P

My anxiety is acting up every time I look at the calendar. How is it the end of March already? Oh yeah that’s another thing I want to write about

  • Comparing 2017 March to 2018 March…does everyone’s life change so drastically each year? How do people follow the same routine and have the same job for 30 – 50+ years?

Definitely feeling some impostor syndrome in regards to writing. Feeling incredibly lazy as an employee. And 100% feeling like a sub-par mom.

This is turning into a much more depressing update than I intended, but it’s the truth at the moment.

**insert inspirational quote to turn things around**

I so badly want to have a completely different update for you soon!

Time to get to work!

Personal, Writing

2018 Goals

One month down eleven to go.

2018 is underway, and I have no idea what I’m doing with my life! 

I’m very checklist oriented and making my lists public keeps me even more accountable so here are my 2018 goals.


  • Publish a newsletter (no matter how small) during the first week of each month.
  • Finish the first drafts and have in the editing phase three pieces of work
    • I Will Never Be Her
    • Hallmark submission
    • Undecided third W.I.P.
  • Publish at least one piece
  • Create a presentation for high school / teen writing clubs on the self-publishing process
  • Attend some form of writing conference or class in person or online.
  • Be better about blogging


  • Get in shape. So cliche I know…trust me I know. However, I’ve reached the point where I have no choice but to get in shape or I’m going to go crazy. I think I’ve finally found the missing piece to the fitness puzzle for me: Strong Heart Fitness Ministry. I have never been so motivated or stuck to a routine this well (I’m only two weeks in…I’ve usually given up by now).
  • Go on a ‘vacation’ with my husband. By vacation I mean maybe a long weekend kid free. In 2017 we did this for the first time in the 8 years we’ve been together. We canNOT wait another 8 years.
  • Figure out what I want to do for a “real job”. I keep meaning to write a post on the crazy roller coaster I’ve been on in the job realm, but life keeps getting in the way. Let’s just say this is a difficult topic for me and I am really struggling to make decisions.
  • Be better about blogging. Yes, I see this as a personal goal as well. I have several other blogs / digital journals that have been neglected lately and that needs to change.

Wish me luck! 

Grammatically Incorrect, Personal

When You’re a Writer Who Doesn’t Always Want To Write Right…It’s Alright!

I’ve created a new category for some of my blog posts

“Grammatically Incorrect” 

because sometimes I like to write run on sentences…and sometimes I like to bullet journal…and sometimes I like to overuse ellipsis…

I have always tried to keep the incorrect writing to myself, but to keep this blog up to date (which I’ve been told by MANY people is key) then I have to allow myself to publish imperfect posts…on purpose!


Personal, Writing

June Updates

I’m somehow always caught off guard when I realize time is flying by. Trying to get into a new summer break routine has been impossible with everything going on. I’m trying to take one day at a time and trust that a semi-set schedule will eventually unfold.

In the mean time, here’s the latest on all my endeavors:

  • The Pin Cushion: My apprenticeship is in full swing. July will be even more intense as I work to check off all the piercings needed. Kimberly and I have set my ending date for the middle of August which I know will be here before I know it. I was also promoted to shop manager which was an unexpected and extremely exciting surprise. I am so thankful I found this incredible team to work for!
  • You Will Never Be Him: I think this may the first time I’ve shared the full title of the novel I’m working on! My manuscript is currently with my editor (ah!) and so far feedback has been great. Being my first experience writing, I have to say I am super nervous for whats to come next.
  •  Personal Life: the kids and I actually managed to get away for a mini “vacation”, I surprised my husband with a belated birthday party, and one of my best friends is getting married this week.
  • In other news: I haven’t been able to work on my website at all….I haven’t been able to blog at all….I have fallen off the workout wagon (again!)….I have gotten horribly lazy with my cooking and food choices….*sigh*

Clearly I still have lots to work on, but life is still heading in the right direction. Hopefully it won’t be another month before you hear from me again.

Personal, Services

And Now For Something Completely Different….

Ready for random?

Life is changing for me (when is it not?). I’ll be updating this site over the next week or so to reflect those changes and what I’ll be offering.

The website design and social media marketing aspect of things didn’t take off as planned and that’s ok. It’s really ok! It opened doors I never expected.

Two major things have happened that I am very excited about.

  1. Not having a ton of clients allowed me to focus on my novel. I’ve completed the first two drafts and am sending it off for preliminary editing in a few short weeks!
  2. Remember that part time job I mentioned a while back? I became a receptionist at a piercing shop which has turned into an apprenticeship!

So get ready the extremely random assortment that is Kelsey’s life!


Personal, Writing

13 Reasons Why

One week ago, 13 Reasons Why was released on Netflix. In that time (less than actually because we didn’t start watching until Sunday) I have watched the entire series, purchased the novel, and read entire said novel.

Why does this hold any significance in my life? 

A) I don’t read. Literally I can count on one hand the number of books I’ve read since graduating highs school (The Hunger Games trilogy and Redeeming Love if you’re curious).

B) The reason I was introduced to this story is very exciting (to me at least).

It all started 2 months ago at my writing critique group. A couple of the other members mentioned that the excerpt I brought reminded them of the style and voice author Jay Asher used in 13 Reasons Why. I asked them to jot the title down in the margins of my paper for reference later.

My plan when I began my first attempt at a novel, and joined the group, was to finish draft one before attempting my hardest to get into reading for leisure. I wanted to see if I felt I measured up to the books out there.  I didn’t want to read anything before my first draft was complete to avoid outside influence on my writing.

Soon after that meeting I heard the title again, this time announcing the Netflix series. I knew I’d be watching as soon as it came out! In the middle of the first episode my husband pauses the show and says, “Is it just me or does this remind you of your book?”.

I can tell you, my young adult novel has nothing in common with 13 Reasons Why, except that it deals with teenage relationships. Yet, I could sense exactly what my husband was referencing.

Half way through the series I was too hooked to only watch the show. I HAD to find out how Jay Asher wrote such an incredible piece of work. I began reading the novel on Tuesday, which was fun and challenging since the series and novel are quite different in regards to time line.

After finishing both, all I can say is wow.

I know it has been controversial, but I imagine this book has saved lives. There are always two sides to every story and even more opinions, but my view is, it is an incredible piece of work I could only dream of coming close to.

The fact that someone even remotely compared my story to this piece is flattering, intimidating, terrifying, mystifying, and passion igniting.

Mr. Asher, if ever I become a published author, your name will be on my list of thank you letters to write.

((edit 3 months later to add: I know there are many negative stories out there about the impact this book and series have had. I’m sorry for the pain anyone has endured, but it does not change my view. Had this come out a year earlier I can’t tell you what my opinion would be since I was in the throws of my biggest battle with depression at that time. Please know I do not compliment this show out of naivety. For my writing journey and in my personal life it has been a source of inspiration.))

Kick Off, Personal

What I Have Gained By Losing My Set Income

Diving head first into the unknown has never been a forte of mine. I like to carefully think things out and have a set plan before moving forward. So when I decided to leave my full time position for a part time one without an exact plan in place I thought I might have lost my mind. I have been working since I was 15 years old with very little time off; it finally caught up to me.

I realized that despite loving the line of work I was in, I am not physically or mentally made to do the same thing over and over again. I need variety, freedom, and space to create. I have found all of that by moving to an irregular, unpredictable income. While it is internally terrifying, I haven’t felt this good in a long time!


Here’s a look at my past 8 weeks:

I have taken my kids to the park more times than I did all of last year combined

I have had time to sit, play, read, and color with them

I have been able to take them to play dates with their friends they have missed

I have been a better mother.

I have been able to do a Bible study with my husband

We have had more time to parent together

We have enjoyed dinner with each other without feeling rushed to prepare for the next day

I have been a better wife

I have been able to tend to the yard that has sat neglected for over a year.

I have kept my home clean (well as clean as it can be with two small children).

I have spent more time with our family dogs

I have been a better steward of the possessions I have been blessed with.

I have gone out for coffee with friends I haven’t seen in years

I have been able to attend a Mom’s Night Out

I have been able to engage in meaningful conversation with others online and in person

I have been a better friend.

I have recovered from major surgery

I have begun working out for the first time in years

I have been able to go to sleep on time

I have become a healthier me.

I have accomplished all of this while still:

  • Working part time for the birth center
  • Building two websites and maintaining a third
  • Writing a combined twenty blog posts for all of my business and personal sites (twenty one if you count this post)
  • Relaunching / promoting my doula business and networking with local professionals
  • Writing forty pages (and counting!) of my childbirth curriculum
  • Attending one birth
  • Capturing and editing well over one hundred photographs
  • Managing or co-managing the social media for 3 Facebook business pages
  • Writing 25,000 words for my novel

I am a hard worker and a fierce believer in the fact that my dedication will pay off.

This will work!