Cousin Time in the Desert

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while my general travel anxiety has decreased, when i travel with atlas my anxiety shoots up higher than ol’ faithful. now, to be fair, she went on 17 airplane trips before she turned one (including the U.K.). she’s a fantastic traveler but i had so much anxiety before this trip to arizona, because she hadn’t been on a plane since our last good/horrific trip to arizona over thanksgiving.

atlas was supposed to come on multiple other trips with us recently but poor child has basically had an ear infection since october. four days before we were set to leave on our original trip with ravery to arizona, the doctor forbid her to get on an airplane (i’m sure he wrote ‘air travel forbidden’ in her medical record). she had ear tube surgery about two weeks ago and seems much happy! yay!

so, reasons for my anxiety while traveling alone with atlas?

  • she hasn’t been on a plane in over three months
  • she hasn’t been on an airplane since she learned to walk
  • she’s ms. independent and very determined (a pleasant and challenging mix of me and my husband)
  • no other adults are traveling with us
  • feels too inappropriate to drink by myself with a toddler in tow (but will reconsider this)

thankfully – she did great on the flight out! because i had to cancel three tickets when she couldn’t go on the earlier trip (she was supposed to come to TN with us), i booked us a first class ticket! solid choice. solid space. solid snacks.

we had to sit on the runway after landing for 25 minutes, which is when she got squirmy (along with everyone else). thank goodness for stickers. best investment!

once we finally got off the plane, i was changing atlas and heard, “chelsea?” i looked around and was face to face with our friend kim from portland! she used to work with ravery and i was crazy how we were both at the right spot at the right time! best believe i took a selfie with her while inside the bathroom:

atlas and i had a great time in arizona! we overlapped for a few hours while our mama/mimi was there – extra fun!

yes, our mama is gorgeous and smart AND always, without fail, picks out the cutest matching outfits for the cousins!

this is the first time that the cousins have really cared about each other’s existence on a regular basis, which has been so fun! atlas is most definitely a giver of lots of love and hugs, sometimes to the extreme.

elizabeth has been very good with sharing allllll of her toys. it’s quite interesting to watch these two 18 month olds navigate the world of sharing, desire for what the other one has and what happens when we run out of animal crackers.

we ventured to a fun train park since both girls are currently very into trains. grandpop got to come along too (our stepdad)!

compared to a year ago, they are so very different!

how cute does my sister look holding two babies!?

super cute, right? good thing, because she is pregnant with baby #2!

i am soooo excited for my sister kendal and my brother-in-law! when my sister called and told me the exciting news, i showed appropriate and genuine excitement and then said, “sorry – not gonna be pregnant with you on this one.” then poured another glass of red wine. ha!

you know those moms on pinterest where you are like, how do they even come up with cute things and then execute them beautifully? well, that’s my sister. she’s a total pinterest mom and she’s impressive (mean that in the best way possible, sister)!

LOOK at their seriously adorable pregnancy announcement photos (their last name is mohr)

kaylin harding photography

kaylin harding photography

kaylin harding photography


also – if you’re in the phoenix area, my sister kendal mohr is a rockstar real estate agent in arizona! she can help you buy or sell your home! my husband constantly refers to her as ‘the nice sister’ so she’s super sweet and smart and fun!

it’s been such a fun and special time together! i am grateful that we are able to make our family a priority. though i am finding that toddlers are a special kind of exhausting, their unique personalities shining through have been so worth it!


  1. Roemet

    March 21, 2018 at 7:56 am

    Wish we could have been there but really appreciate the photos. Papa

    • chelsea

      March 27, 2018 at 12:35 pm

      we sure missed you! we need another eclipse to all gather again 😉

  2. Penny

    March 21, 2018 at 4:29 pm

    All the pictures are just great. Thanks for sharing them all! Chelsea you are a great mom and I am sorry you have anxiety, but you seem to be able to work through it just fine.
    Good for you. Hugs and Love Always, Aunt P

    • chelsea

      March 27, 2018 at 12:34 pm

      yes i thankfully am (usually) not letting anxiety get in my way because this trip was so fun and so worth it! thanks aunt p!

  3. Charlene Maugeri

    March 21, 2018 at 9:42 pm

    These are the cutest pictures and that pregnancy announcement of your sisters’ is super adorable and clever!!

    • chelsea

      March 27, 2018 at 12:33 pm

      she really is! i’m wondering why i didn’t get those genes? ha!

  4. Audrey

    March 22, 2018 at 6:34 am

    Yay for successful traveling!! And too funny that you ran into a friend at the airport!
    Your mom and your sister are both adorable (just like you!)! Her announcement is seriously the cutest. That’s SO clever. I love it. Congratulations to her. Mimi is going to have a tough job finding onesies to match those adorable dresses 😉

    • chelsea

      March 27, 2018 at 12:33 pm

      riiiiight!? i am totally jealous of their announcement – it’s literally perfection! that is TOO funny that you said that about my mom and finding matching outfits! she said the EXACT same thing and was being 100% serious haha

  5. Kate

    March 22, 2018 at 12:58 pm

    Yes, toddlers are definitely a special kind of exhausting! And congrats to your sister! Your response was also how I have felt every time my friends announce they’re pregnant with their second :). Also, no judgement here on drinking with your toddler in two…when we were traveling to my parents for Christmas, I took Aida inside to lunch while Matt walked our dog…Aida was in A MOOD, so I ordered myself a glass of pinot grigio. One of the managers walked by, looked at Aida, looked at my wine, and said “you deserve that glass of wine.” I was like “um, okay, thank you? Can you give it to me for free?” So I basically say go for it 🙂

    • chelsea

      March 27, 2018 at 12:32 pm

      haha glad i’m not alone, kate! i shall remember your pinot story for next time we travel! i also hope you got that wine for freeeeee hahah we gotta do what we gotta do!

  6. Lisa

    March 22, 2018 at 6:54 pm

    Awww it looks like everyone had so much FUN! And that really is a great pregnancy announcement! <3 Traveling with toddlers will always give me anxiety because there is just SO MUCH that could happen! But still worth it (mostly)!

    • chelsea

      March 27, 2018 at 12:31 pm

      oh man lisa! i just read your experience traveling with your TWO toddlers and whew. so much vicarious anxiety for you! it is usually worth it but the screaming – so terrible for the parents!