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One Year Later

I don’t know if it’s a blessing or a burden that with the change of the season from summer to fall that my baby also turns a year older. Today, in came the Santa Ana winds (for those of you not in Southern California- Santa Anas are very strong, hot, dry winds typically in the beginning of fall) and out went my first year as a mom. You can read all about my birth story here. I have so much to say, yet so little ability to express it today. Ugh, so many emotions! Moms, I know you know what I mean. Since I’m a little tongue-tied about how I feel today, one year later, here’s what I would tell myself a year ago if I knew the words to say.

Go with your gut, it won’t steer you wrong.

Sleepless nights will be nothing but a fleeting memory one day.

There is joy to be found in every single stage, even the difficult ones.

Wherever she falls asleep in your arms, stay there and rock her- everything else can wait.

Be grateful, even when it’s tough. She’s perfect.

Kiss her cheeks a million times.

Remember that toothless smile.

Reach out to others, they’re dying to help.

Read to her, sing to her, talk to her- everything wonderful she becomes is because of you.

Be kind to yourself, especially in the beginning.

Remember what those little eyelashes look like every night when she closes her eyes to sleep.

Hold those tiny hands.

Every memory will be special to you one day.

Give, give and give more even when you think you have nothing left to give.

And most importantly, if you’re trying your hardest there’s no such thing as messing up. You’re doing an amazing job.


We celebrated Leighton’s birthday on October 8th with family and friends at Underwood Family Farms. We had some of her favorite foods: mommy’s bolognese with gluten free penne, strawberries and melon and cucumber salad. There was feed for the animals and kids had access to all of activities that the farm normally offers like baby goat feeding, and train and tractor rides plus there was a harvest festival and heirloom pumpkin picking. We had picnic-themed decor and our favorite red velvet cake from Susie Cakes (same as our wedding cake). All around it was a perfect day!

Last year on my due date, October 2nd we went to Underwood as kind of an unbirthday celebration for the baby. Walking around seeing all of the families with babies and children and talking about what it would be like to bring the baby here the following October. I took the photo on the top that day and yesterday we went back to the passion fruit arches on the farm to take a photo one year later. 


Leighton’s First Birthday at Underwood Family Farms

xo, rootedinmoss

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Hope and a Future

No matter what religion you are or aren’t, we all have the same goals as parents. To help them prosper, hold them from harm and instill hope for their futures. Last week we baptized the baby and took a leap of faith for her future. I received a sweet card from a friend with a message inside, “How cool is it that the same God who created the mountains and oceans and galaxies looked at you and thought the world needed one of you too.” In a world so complicated, I love being reminded of the simple lessons we teach our babies.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11


Photos by Crystal of Votografie (@crysvotografie). And a big thanks to Julie of House of Sunshine (@house_of_sunshine) for gifting Leighton with this gorgeous succulent head crown.

xo, rootedinmoss

Forever Changed: A Rooted In Moss Birth Story

The morning of October 7th, my date to be induced at 40 weeks and 5 days, I woke up feeling like I was headed to the airport to make a flight in which I had no idea where it was destined to land. Nervous, curious, excited, scared… We ate a light breakfast, said bye to the puppies and headed to the hospital. My doctor, Samantha Stein (best doctor ever!), recommended that since I was still only 2 centimeters dilated that we induce by taking Cytotec orally which would provide me with the freedom to walk around, use the restroom and eat, unlike an induction with Pitocin which is administered by IV. My husband and I spent October 7th taking walks around the hospital campus in my own clothes (not a hospital gown), having much needed alone time and I had my “food bachelorette party” wherein I ate a deep dish pizza by myself with a fork and knife, chicken and vegetables with a mint lemonade, a lot of fruit, birthday cake and red velvet cake from my favorite bakery, and several blueberry muffins from Starbucks. It was really fun to indulge. After 24 hours and 4 doses of Cytotec, there wasn’t much progress beyond 2 centimeters. As much as I thought I wanted to show up at the hospital and have the baby several hours later, I really needed that 24 hours. Up to this point in my life, I had never had an IV, never spent the night in a hospital, I had never even sat on a hospital bed before! The experience of the slow induction allowed me to calm my nerves and become a witness to this process amongst the greatest nursing staff, giving me the ability to really be in the moment.

On October 8th, around hour 28 of my stay I got my first dose of Pitocin. Up to now, I had been feeling contractions but they were still somewhat irregular. At this point, the topic of an epidural was presented to me. My plan going into this was that I didn’t have a plan but I knew I wanted to feel the “pain” that everyone describes for myself as long as I could take it, maybe all the way through delivery. With the IV in, I was now committed to the hospital bed with my husband by my side. I have to say, I was never so excited to watch the Dodgers in postseason baseball. It was a welcomed distraction to my nerves and the unknown…I really looked forward to the game that day although I couldn’t tell you for the life of me what the outcome of the game was. After I began Pitocin I had regular contractions about two minutes apart. I was told that they wouldn’t get any closer together but they would intensify. The contractions definitely intensified around hour 33. I wouldn’t use the word pain for contractions but it was definitely an intense discomfort, for me in my hips and legs. My doctor had described it as period cramping times 100 and I would say that’s a good description. The worst part of contractions are not knowing when the wave of discomfort will be over. When my night nurse came on she asked me if I wanted an epidural and I began to cry. I wasn’t sad, I wasn’t any identifiable emotion, it’s just a big deal and crying felt right. She non-judgmentally asked me why I was considering not getting an epidural and I didn’t really have an answer. She kindly reminded me that there wasn’t a “Wall of Martyrs” that my picture would be on where others could come to visit and give me recognition. She and I connected right then and there! She was so right, what was I trying to prove? So at hour 38, and somewhere between 5 and 6 centimeters dilated I decided to get the epidural. This was a major decision for me, remember the whole I had never sat in a hospital bed thing?? Well I surely had never had a needle in my back! However, being in the midst of intense discomfort every two minutes will make you make brave decisions. The epidural is really not that bad. The build up to getting the epidural, calling the anesthesiologist, explaining the process, making your husband leave the room, prepping your back is all way more dramatic than actually getting it. I was definitely not completely numb from the epidural but I’m happy I got it when I did because I was able to relax and rest.  A few hours later, I called the nurse and told her I was feeling a little different and she told me it was time to push!

Throughout my hospital stay, the nurses had asked me what I would want during delivery to make myself more comfortable. All I requested was that the room had low lighting and calm voices and my requests were kindly granted. The doctor came in and explained to me what it really means to push. My amazing nurse, Michala, whom I feel I had bonded with told me not to by shy or wimpy about it. I’m always up for a good challenge! I closed my eyes each time and I pushed four times over the course of about twenty minutes. After the fourth push I opened my eyes and she entered the world into a completely calm and quiet room, she wasn’t even crying! The entire delivery was so quiet and calm, I couldn’t have planned it more perfectly! When they laid her on me she made little squeaking noises and rubbed her hand back and forth on my face, it was so, so precious. After 45 hours, at 4:55 a.m. on Sunday, October 9th Leighton Everly Moss was born 7 pounds, 4.25 ounces, 20.5 inches with a lot of little dark blond hair. During my pregnancy I kept thinking that I just wanted to get the delivery over with and behind me but I actually find myself wishing I wasn’t getting further and further away from that moment. The delivery itself was hands down the best experience of my life. I would do it again in a heartbeat…seriously! The only time I have cried since giving birth was thinking back at how wonderful the whole experience was. Much of that I attribute to the amazing labor and delivery doctors, nurses and midwives at Kaiser Permanente Woodland Hills. The level of care we received exceeded anything I could have possibly hoped for. They made me feel proud of every choice I made and milestone I made it through during my delivery. Steve and I left the hospital feeling cared for and encouraged to begin our new adventure with our baby. As I write this, I am 28 days postpartum. I have been kind to myself during my recovery and I have spent the last month relaxing and reflecting from my bedroom. Between feedings and snuggles I have laid on my bed and enjoyed the view of the outdoors from my big bedroom window knowing that the seasons are changing out there without feeling them for myself. I definitely have not been outdoors as much as I normally would during my favorite time of year. I have been watching day after day the sun setting a little earlier each night. A sentimental heart like mine never wishes for a moment to pass by too quickly. Undoubtedly, when autumn returns next year, I will feel the familiarities of the season again. The cool, dry air of late October, the autumn winds of early November and everything else that I love about this time of year. But for now, my heart is indoors, patient and still, as I am happily separated from what has always been familiar in my world. Enjoying that my season of life is forever changed.My Leighton girl is one month old today! Thank you to everyone for their sweet and encouraging comments throughout my pregnancy and since my delivery. We read all of them and appreciate everyone who takes the time to reach out.

xo, rootedinmoss

A Rooted In Moss Baby Shower

I have life-event denial. When I was getting ready for the shower on the morning of July 10th I kept thinking I was attending someone else’s event not my baby shower! My husband and I decided to throw the shower ourselves with the help of some very special and talented people (more about them below). The thought of sitting on a throne and having guests watch me open gifts turned me off completely to the thought of having a shower altogether. So, I decided to throw tradition out the window and host a co-ed party for a woman and a man having a baby (not a baby party). The theme was “A Delivery for the Garden”. There were no baby games (like melted candy bars in diapers) but rather guests were invited to take part in a make-your-own bouquet bar and treat themselves to custom-made jewelry. We snacked on delicious brunch bites made by bestie Nicole and enjoyed the beautiful views provided by the La Casita Del Arroyo in Pasadena, California. Guests left with eco-friendly planters from Urbana Sacs, planted with succulents which were, of course, rooted in moss.


Invitations from minted.unnamed Vintage china and flatware from Otis and Pearl Vintage Rentals. I cannot give enough complements about this company and Gretchen, its owner. Otis and Pearl has been one of my favorite Instagram accounts to follow. She and I have been following each other for years and I am so happy I finally had a reason to browse and select from her amazing gallery of rentals. unnamedunnamedFloral arrangements and bouquet bar by good friend Dawn Holland- sorry she’s not for hire!
Bracelet bar by An Old Soul Jewelry. Genius idea by my bestie Nicole, owner and operator of An Old Soul Jewelry. Guests treated themselves to custom-made bracelets using semi-precious stones and crystals. A big thank you to Amy, one of Nicole’s artisans, who made all the jewelry on the spot for guests to take home after the shower. Eco-friendly planters from Urbana Sacs. Another company that was such a pleasure to learn more about. Carolina, founder of Urbana Sacs, approached me a while back interested in collaborating with the blog. We both agreed that the shower would be a perfect opportunity to work together. Her products are right up my alley and I’ve never see anything like her “sacs”. The sacs are made out of washable paper (how cool is that!?) and can be reused again and again. There are infinite uses for these sacs which range in size from x-small to large (products also include grocery totes, lunch sacks, yoga mat carriers and more) but for the purpose of planting you can plant and water directly into the sac itself. This is how I style my personal Urbana Sacs at home. ↓ It delighted me to have guests come up to me as they were exiting and say they felt like they were leaving the shower with more than they arrived with. Exactly what I wanted to hear!


In lieu of a card, we asked guests to bring their favorite new or used children’s book with a message to Baby Moss inside. Hands down our favorite part of the shower. Not only did we not receive a single duplicate but our baby now has an amazing library! We are so excited to read these to her in bed each night just as our parents did with us. Keeping what seems like an old past time alive- reading a physical book that you actually hold in your hand without a screen– excites me. We loved reading each and every message written to Baby Moss. It’s been a particularly inspiring experience for me to connect with people on a level I never have before. We appreciate all of the love already given to our daughter and we hope you will continue to encourage her to root herself in whatever inspires her soul. 


Invitations- Minted, www.minted.com, Delivery in the Garden by Susan Moyal

China and Flatware- Otis and Pearl Vintage Rentals, OtisandPearl.com, Vintage China: Golden Floral Collection, Flatware: Vintage Gold Flatware, Instagram: @otisandpearl

Bracelet Bar- An Old Soul Jewelry, ShopAnOldSoul.com, Rootedinmoss favorite products: here, here, and here, Instagram: @anoldsouljewelry

Eco-friendly favors- Urbana Sacs, UrbanaSacs.com, Planters from shower: Creative Sac XSmall, in White and Sand, (Silver sac featured in my home in the color Shine), Instagram: @urbanasacs

Custom water bottle labels- Evermine, www.evermine.com

Dress- Parker, Tesoro Dress


Give Love Back

It should come as no surprise to those who have been following me for some time that I love love and my absolute favorite holiday is Valentine’s Day. I have heard there are people out there that think Valentine’s Day is a retail holiday (I actually think you can make that argument for any major holiday) or that it’s a day in which taking an inventory of love is forced upon us. Luckily, for me, I don’t know any of those people! 🙂 We love the excuse to celebrate love. As soon as February 1st arrives all I see is pink and red and we often eat heart-shaped food- it doesn’t hurt that my husband totally plays along for me.

All this talk about love definitely reminds me of the love I give and receive from my garden. My garden is a source of love in many ways. It gives love to me by always providing me with something new to appreciate. It produces a physical gift in the abundance of itself as way for me to give love to others. And it gives those recipients a way to share love back with me when they tell me how the plants I’ve given them have grown, multiplied, and have been given to others they love.

I feel so grateful that nature always gives me something new to see and love always gives me a new reason to write. In the spirit of my favorite holiday I’m partnering up with General Pumice Products for a giveaway to my readers and Instagram followers! We will be giving away a 15 lb. bag of pumice and succulent cuttings from my garden (see entry details at the end of this post or on Instagram.) Pumice is a volcanic rock made of hundreds of microscopic pores. When added to your favorite potting soil, there are many useful benefits for your garden. The tiny pores on the surface of the pumice act as microscopic reservoirs storing nutrient-rich water, vitamins and minerals. Pumice not only releases stored water quickly which brings oxygen to the root zone (very important for succulents!) but it also allows carbon dioxide to escape and enables air circulation. This process saves on water costs and improves water conservation by absorbing water quickly and slowly releasing it back into the soil when needed. Talk about giving love back to your plants! I have been adding General Pumice Products pumice to my garden (stay tuned for a post about my garden overhaul with pumice) and it has been so beneficial as Southern California experiences an increase in precipitation due to El Nino. I’m very excited to help you give love back to your garden too with one of my favorite products!


Valentine’s Day Projects with General Pumice ProductsGiveaway details:

  1. Must be following @rootedinmoss and @sexysucculents_(the account for General Pumice Products) on Instagram
  2. Must tag three friends on the photo announcing the giveaway
  3. One entry per Instagram account
  4. Must be a Continental U.S. resident (sorry no AK or HI entries)
  5. The prize for this giveaway is a 15 lb. bag of 1/8″ pumice and a variety of succulent cuttings from my garden. Both items will be shipped separately.

Check out generalpumiceproducts.com for more information about their products. 

Once. Again. Forever.

Joshua Tree

New Year’s Day 2015

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Valentine’s Day 2015

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May 1, 2015

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The last photo (above) was snapped with my iPhone in the very last moment of available light.

Joshua Tree has a way with me. The trees are truly alive. There can be no other human in sight yet you feel hundreds of distinctive lives around you. My hopes for each trip I’ve made to Joshua Tree have been to shoot an amazing sunset. While each trip has posed unique and individual weather and scenery offerings, May 1st was a trip to remember. I felt so privileged to be there in that moment, completely alone (my husband had gone for a sunset jog). I found myself shaking my head in awe, repeating thank you, thank you, thank you. Thank you to myself for being in the moment, thank you to my husband for always being willing to go the extra mile with me for an adventure, thank you to my dad for being up there somewhere in that sunset, and thank you God for a greatness and glory that is limitless. I always say, the sunset is God’s way of letting us know that it’s good down here but it’s great up there.

I went once. I traveled again. And with this memory I will stay forever.

Where have you seen your most amazing sunset? I’d love to know!