Oh My Dash Turns One!

This week comes with so much anticipation as our little boy will be turning one on Friday (July 29). I have been reflecting back on the days before our little boy was on our radar, the days of watching my belly grow and to when I knew it was time for us to meet our boy. I thought I would write down some of my thoughts to help process this last year. Let me start by saying that I love my boy, I am completely obsessed with everything he does and I really do believe he is the cutest baby you will ever meet. This last year though has been one of the worst years yet.

Mike and I met in high school and got married a couple of years later. We always had a passion for travel and to experience new things. What I admire most about my husband is his dedication. Mike is passionate about his faith, his family, his music, his fans and spreading as much joy around as he can. We began a journey many years ago with YouTube and we will forever be grateful that we get to wake up and be creative and work from anywhere in the world. This journey may look glamorous when you get glimpses through photos and videos we post, but I can assure you that is not always the case. This journey has been filled with extreme highs and extreme lows, again we are very grateful for the wonderful experiences.

We have had amazing travel opportunities all over the world. In the fall of 2014 we were ecstatic to join our friend on her European tour. It was the best time of our life and I am so happy to carry those memories with our friends and with my husband forever. While on tour we started seriously discussing the possibility of adding another member to our family. A few weeks after being home all the signs that I was growing a human were there. The shock, excitement and freak out happened in our living room one Sunday night in November (you can check out our vlog channel for all the videos). The months of watching my belly grow were fun and filled with tough decisions as well. We packed up and moved from California to Tennessee, we bought a house, Mike made what feels like 100 music videos in a really short amount of time, we lost some really amazing friends that have left marks on our hearts, I had intense conversations with my dad that lead to having to create strong boundaries in our relationship, and my whole body constantly ached. The day came when I was 38 weeks pregnant and I felt my water break. We rushed to the hospital to be told that it wasn't my water and I probably just peed. Two days went by where I knew that I was not peeing and I started to get really worried. I met with my doctor and stressed that she take a test to guarantee me that it was not my water leaking and that our boy was safe and healthy. Two hours later I received the craziest phone call of our lives. A receptionist from my doctors office called to confirm it was my water and that I needed to hurry back to the hospital to be induced to begin labor since it wasn't happening on its own. I walked around that hospital room with Mike trying to keep me laughing and not thinking about the serious pain I was in, like I mean pain I will never forget and can't explain it's kind of just the worst torture. 13 hours passed and I was only dilated 2 freaking centimeters (I needed to hit 10!). Our boy had to come out so I decided to get an epidural to let me finally rest and two hours later he was really ready to come out. 20 minutes of coaching from my amazing doctor and husband our boy made his entrance and the world will forever be changed by Dash Michael Tompkins. His name means charming man, and one who is fast and that is definitely already so true.

We remained in the hospital for 5 days because his tiny little liver wasn't working just right yet, but the nurse finally came in and said take your son home and joy and fear overwhelmed us. That car ride home from the hospital is the longest and scariest ride of our life, he was just so tiny in that car seat. We were home and it was blissful and then the black clouds started forming over me. It took a little while but I finally identified that I was struggling with Post Partum Depression.

I was thankful to be able to get pregnant as I know this can be an extremely difficult road, my difficult road came as soon as I realized I was struggling with PPD. I would look at Dash and smile and love on him, but negative thoughts would constantly be flooding my mind. There is a terrible stigma with PPD that it filled with thoughts about death or that you could just take a pill and make it all go away, but in most cases like mine that is not it all. My journey was more filled with sadness one where my emotions were heightened in every situation. This made my relationships difficult, making meals or doing chores difficult, creating videos for our friends and fans difficult, my marriage difficult and looking at myself in the mirror difficult. It is a hard road to put into words and to translate into words especially to someone who has never felt it. I almost lost all things important to me including myself as I kept thinking I was a failure.

My doctor, my faith, my close family and friends and the unconditional love of my husband giving me tools with medication, prayers and words of affirmation are the things that I had to cling to. I will be writing more and speaking out more through photos and videos about PPD because moms are amazing and that first year is like no other.

I am so excited to celebrate my smiley boy this week and love on him forever, so much so that no women will ever be good enough for him ha! I have amazing memories that are etched so deeply on my heart from this past year, but I also have memories I want to bury. I am looking forward to a new beginning as we now have a 1 year old walking (almost) alongside us.

We are so excited to celebrate Dash Michael Tompkins, our happy boy, and we are ready for this next "new" year.

XOXO Kayla

ps. moms, whatever you are struggling with - fertility, PPD, having an angel baby seek help, find a community that understands and know you are not alone on the road you are on. Moms are AMAZING! Let me know if there is anything I can do or leave a comment below. Sending hugs and prayers.

Dash Michael Tompkins - 07.29.15 - 6lbs 9oz - 18.5 inches

Our Charming Boy


New Bloom

Too many people overvalue what they're not and undervalue what they are. These beautiful new flower buds on this tree in my yard are a great example that we have the opportunity to start fresh this season, this week, today!

Xoxo Kayla


Friday Thoughts

"Be who you are & say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind" - Dr. Seuss
xoxo Kayla


Fall Photos

Fall is definitely my favorite season - colorful leaves, sweaters, warm yummy beverages, crisp walks and probably the best recipes!! 
We tried to get the cute posed photos you pin from Pinterest, but those cant be real. Our little boy was not having any of it. I have learned thousands of lessons since becoming a momma, one of the biggest ones is to not to compare myself to others. I know I'm doing the best I can and I think he's a pretty happy baby :) It's always easier and way more fun to show off the best most cute version of ourselves on social media. Maybe we should all learn to be more vulnerable and stop beating ourselves up because no one is perfect. 
Xoxo Kayla


Peter Pan Nursery

I knew I was pregnant as I had many signs, but my husband thought that there was no way. Well the last Sunday in November 2014 I took a pregnancy test and it showed that our little family was going to become just a little bit bigger. This is was our announcement -> https://goo.gl/aExVBb

I have struggled with anxiety and crazy emotions over the past several years and really never thought of myself as a mother. There is so much fear and doubt that enters my mind about stepping into such a responsibility. My husband and I took our time prayerfully considering this next season of life and throughout our pregnancy and dreaming about this little child growing inside of me a peace has completely washed over both of us.

On February 9th, 2015 we had an ultrasound and the technician told us she definitely knew the gender of our child. We both looked at each other and said we just can't wait. The technician wrote the gender down on the ultrasound picture and sealed it in an envelope. We took the envelope to a bake shop and asked a very confused probably only 19 year old guy to open the envelope and decorate cupcakes blue or pink. Besides walking down the aisle towards my husband I have never felt more excited in all my life then when we opened the lid to the box at home and there were blue candies on top of all the cupcakes. Here is our gender reveal - https://goo.gl/PwwFgI 

We were living in Los Angeles and 8 weeks before our little dudes due date we packed up everything and moved across country to Tennessee. I have been dreaming about his nursery and have been buying pieces and crafting pieces along the way. My husband and I both absolutely love the book (and movie) Peter Pan. There is so much imagination and discovery throughout that story that I knew I wanted to have the theme of the nursery based off of it. 

We can't wait to meet our little dude and watch his personality come out over the next few years. I hope he is brave and adventurous with a curiosity that will keep us on our toes. 

I am very thankful that we were able to share such amazing news with our family and close friends and those moments will forever be etched into my memory.  Check out the reactions - https://goo.gl/GV23jj

We covered up his name that is stitched on to his Pirate Mast until he is born, we can't wait to reveal that too! We are now waiting until our little dude decides he is out of room and wants to come meet us. I am definitely ready not only because it is summer in Tennessee (HUMIDITY!!), but I'm ready to be a mother to our very special gift - our little boy.

Crib - Lolly & Me
Pirate Mast - Pottery Barn Kids
Arrows - DIY
Decor on Shelf - Hobby Lobby
Fabric Garland - DIY
Dresser/Change Table - At Home

You can stay updated on our little family by subscribing to our Vlog Channel on YouTube - Tompkins Life

Ps. Thank you to everyone who has contributed to our little dudes life not only through gifts, but through encouragement & prayer!


Encouraging Word

My husband and I are on social media a lot and we can sometimes be very vulnerable by showing parts of our life through video or tweets. There are a lot of people who watch what we do and read what we say and we do not take that lightly. My husband and I are so happy we are influencers with our actions and words, but so are you! It doesn't matter if you have 1.5 million people watching your videos, it matters about that ONE. You have the power everyday to be an influencer, to be vulnerable, to encourage someone. A smile, a word, a few dollars or maybe it's your actions towards loved ones and even strangers. 

This is a reminder to myself but now to you - be passionate about being an encourager just start by looking in the mirror telling yourself you are amazing (because you really are!) and the courage to affect just someONE today will begin like a ripple effect...if only you try.


Where You Go I Will Go

Have you ever thought, how did I get here? I grew up in many different houses, my parents just moved a lot. Some homes were way more fun then others, but our trailer home in Northern Canada is definitely one of my favorites. This home was small, parked on a dirt road with one way in to the "town" and one way out. There was a small lake, park, store and a one room school from kindergarten-->grade 12 (not a lot of people in this "town"). We also lived in an apartment which I thought was the coolest because on Halloween there were a lot of doors I could knock on that handed out candy not far from my door. Then skip many years ahead to when I made a big commitment to my best friend and became a wife. I had already learned how to be flexible and move from one home to another, and that didn't change once I got married. My husband and I are going to be celebrating 6 years of marriage in a couple of months and in that time we have moved 6 times (so far). We have even moved to a different country thousands of miles away from everyone we know, but that's ok because this saying is now stamped on my heart "where you go I will go". When I was at a conference last year and saw the pillow below I knew I had to have it propped up on our bed to remind us daily. 

My husband and I are one, we are a unit and I am very proud of our very strong connection. We are in the entertainment industry and with that comes a lot of temptation and insecurities. He is a musician and sometimes that means heading out on the road and somewhere at the beginning of this journey we made a pinky promise (yes that's right) to run through this life together side by side...literally. I am beyond thankful that we get to spend so much time together, and I know I will always be filled with joy and so will he if we continue to practice "where you go I will go".

XO Kayla