What we’ve been up to + how we get through those crazy times


It’s been a minute since I’ve been blogging and I’ve missed it like crazy.  The past few months have been a whirlwind to say the least!  None of it was planned, it was a little scary, but definitely worth it.

We sold our house in Utah and within two weeks were packed up and moving to Arizona all while I was 7 1/2 months pregnant.  Little things kept going wrong during this process and if I listed it all out, you would probably think I was making it up!

Just to scratch the surface, my son was given a bar with cashews in it (which he’s severely allergic to) so after one failed Epipen we had to take him to the hospital where they gave him another one. Then, two days later my daughter was riding on the back of my bike with my husband and her foot got stuck in the spokes of the wheel and it broke the lower portion of her leg.  This all happened while we were packing up our house to move in two days.

At this point you’re probably thinking WHAT IS HAPPENING?! Buuuuuut it’s only the beginning.  My kids and I left before Ben and stayed at my parents house for one night in Arizona before we moved in to the rental.  Well, if you haven’t gathered already, Ruckus has terrible allergies. He has a list of food allergies, asthma and allergies to cats, horses and goats (which my parents happen to have all of) so I should have known better than to stay there but in my mind, I figured what harm could two nights do?  We woke up after the first night and he was having terrible allergy attacks, was short of breath and could not get comfortable.  You could tell he was in a lot of pain and I had hoped that his emergency inhaler would do the trick but it wasn’t helping in the slightest.  I took him in to the hospital and they couldn’t believe how hard his body was working to breathe.  We ended up staying the night and after lots of medicine, an IV and breathing treatments, he was finally back to his healthy self again.

To give you a little idea of why we moved back to Arizona, it was because we wanted Ben to go back to freelance photography because with his prior job, we rarely saw him.  He traveled for long periods of time and it began to take a toll on all of us but especially on the kids.  We love Arizona because this is the place we were both raised and we have lots of family and friends here but deciding to move back with no upcoming jobs scheduled, having to switch insurances mid pregnancy, not knowing where we would be living with Milo starting kindergarten and being nearly 8 months pregnant with all of this happening was scary.

The reason I am telling you all of this isn’t to complain, it’s to tell you about how even though everything seems like it can come crashing down at once, it will get better!  It doesn’t happen in an instant and in our case, things just seemed to keep getting worse before they got better.  But, if you work together as a team, you can make something great happen.  I think what helped in our case was rather than to sulk on everything that was going wrong, Ben and I looked at each situation and thought, “how can we fix this or make it better?”.  Don’t get me wrong, I had spurts of anxiety and my fair share of meltdowns but I knew if I sat there and dwelled on every terrible thing, nothing would get accomplished and nothing would get better.  So, we tackled everything one by one.  It didn’t get fixed overnight, even insurance took a good month to get worked out and is still a pain in my toosh, but it’s something we are striving to work out!  I’m not sharing every single thing that was happening during this time because well, who wants to hear about every single problem, the big and the small?  But you know what is crazy?  Those three months where nothing seemed to go right, everything has turned around, EVERYTHING.  Ben is now the creative director at an amazing company, shooting photos and doing what he loves, my kids are healthy, we figured out where we wanted to live, bought a house and even welcomed the most perfect baby boy into our family.  Life doesn’t happen how you want it to but that saying about turning lemons into lemonade, I GET IT! Don’t get me wrong, I know there are plenty of scenarios that you can’t simply fix but hopefully by trying to take care of yourself properly and responding by looking forward, maybe the burden can seem easier.

I’m so lucky to have been able to lean on some amazing people in my life and I hope to be that person for them and for others. These crazy times do get better and end up being little blips in your past!

Lot’s of love,


Our Story

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I feel like it’s been a century since I’ve done a family update.  Honestly, I don’t know if I’ve ever done an introduction post about our family because for whatever reason writing strictly about myself kind of makes me cringe.  I might butcher this but here it goes!

Ben and I got married when I was 19 and he was 22, so young!  We had known each other since I was 14 so it wasn’t something rushed but it’s like they say, when you know, you know.  We were both going to school and he quickly switched careers from becoming a Physicians Assistant to a photographer.  At the time I was thinking, “exccccuuuuse me!?”.  I was a little freaked out by the change but it was the best thing for us.  Ben has always been so incredibly creative and when he found his passion he ran with it.  I became a Physical Therapist Assistant and passed my boards exam while Milo was in my belly.

Back when we were first married and I had blonde hair

We had Milo 4 years after being married and man, was she the best baby, ever!  I’m not just saying that because I think she’s the coolest, she literally was the easiest baby.  She slept through the night at three months old and didn’t wake up crying, ever.  Milo transitioned from her crib to her bed like it was nothing, she potty trained easily and she was just an all around happy baby who loved nothing more than to shake her booty side to side every time music came on.

I then worked as a Physical Therapist Assistant for a little less than a year when we decided we would make the move from Arizona to California.  I had never lived away from Arizona and my family so the whole thing gave me crazy anxiety.  I started having extreme chest pains and didn’t sleep well at night all because of the idea of jumping out of my comfort zone.  I’m the type of person that has to have everything in order, everything planned out and our life pretty much as stable as possible.  Writing that out, it sounds kind of boring and lame.  But that’s just who I’ve always been.  My husband is the complete opposite, he’s ok with change and accepts it with open arms whereas my little brain goes into full on panic mode.  We’re really the perfect pair, if you can’t tell.  I think we make a nice balance because he teaches me not to stress about the little things and I teach him to make plans when necessary.

It’s funny to look back at it now because I think moving away and experiencing something new as a young couple was the best thing for us and our little family.  My anxiety kind of resolved itself over time and living in San Clemente, California will always be one of the most memorable and special times in my life.  We decided to move there because 90% of my husbands photography jobs were there and he was traveling there almost every week.  We had both loved the idea of living in California and I truly met the most amazing life-long friends while we were there.  I think Ben and I can both say we grew up a lot in the time we were there.  I think it’s mostly because we kind of discovered our relationship a little more by not having any family or friends around.

After being in California for almost a year, I found out I was pregnant with Ruckus.  Ben and I both agreed that we should move back to Arizona to buy our first home where we’d have something a little more “stable” (see, it’s the planner in me that probably suckered us back there).

I had baby Ruckus and this guy pretty much came out as a tank.  He was 9 pounds 10 oz and had the biggest head.  Of course, being his mom, I thought it was perfect and didn’t see what everyone else did.  One time a kid walked past and said, “holy cow, look at the head on that kid!” to which I quickly replied, “excuse me!?”.  See, I didn’t see it but now when I look back at pictures, I do.  Ruck was the sweetest little guy, he was always so happy and was so tough given all of his challenges.  Poor thing was always sick.  He had really bad allergies, asthma, acid reflux and at 11 months old he had to have surgery on his neck because he had a lymph node that was infected with staff infection.  How does that even happen?!  Oh, and one time I thought I was being a great mom by making him scrambled eggs when I quickly found out he is severely allergic and had to call 911.  Luckily, he was OK and now we know not to leave the house without his EpiPen. Despite it all, he was such an insanely good baby!

While we were in Arizona, we ended up finding what we call our “Palm Springs Dream Home” and completely remodeled the inside.  The house wasn’t huge, it wasn’t lavish, but it was our first and we were able to bring our vision for it into action together.  We tore out walls, we added concrete in the two step-down rooms, redid all the floors, cabinets, lighting, basically everything.  This house was the best and one of the main perks about it was that it had a big pool with a diving board.  Living in Arizona, a pool is almost mandatory during those hot summer days.  We would wake up every morning and go swim in the backyard, put the kids down for naps and go back out to swim once they woke up.  We pretty much lived in the pool while we were in that house.

After six months of being there Ben got a job offer at Backcountry.com and it was pretty much a no brainer.  A job where Ben would be taking photos of snowboarding, rock climbing, base jumping, fly fishing, surfing, etc.  What dude would say no to that?  We moved up to Utah and rented a home in this cute new neighborhood where we got to know and love each one of our neighbors.  We had been looking to buy a home but couldn’t find one that we really loved.  One day I got a text from my neighbor across the street that said, “Sidney is moving to Alabama and was saying she was going to be selling her home!”.  It had absolutely nothing to do with Sidney herself moving but everything to do with the fact that I had been obsessed with this white house on the corner and never in a million years thought we’d have the opportunity to buy it.  They had only been in the home for a few months after having it built so I think we were all surprised to hear they were leaving.  After getting that text, I quickly put on shoes, ran outside and walked straight over to Sidney’s house basically telling her I wanted to buy it.  Long story short, we did!  We moved in about two months later and are so happy to be in the same neighborhood and not only that but on the same street we had been renting on.  Not to mention, we absolutely love the house.  Thanks Sidney!  Haha.

We’ve been in Utah for a little over a year now and I’m not going to lie, it’s been amazing but has also had its challenges.  Coming from Arizona and living in California, I had no idea what to do or how to handle the snow.  I had to ask people how to properly dress your kids when its 10 degrees outside!  I know that might seem silly but I actually had Milo’s school teachers sit me down to tell me what kind of shoes to put on her and what kind of clothes to dress her in.  All I’ve ever had to worry about is a long-sleeved t-shirt or a short-sleeved t shirt!  Guys, I can officially say that I’m doing better and I think I pretty much got the gist of it, but it wasn’t easy.

I found out I was pregnant about 10 weeks ago and we are all so excited for another baby!  Pretty crazy to think that Ben and I will be outnumbered by these little munchkins but we can’t wait.  Is anyone else like me where you wish pregnancy took about the same amount of time as it does for a dog?  60 days sounds wayyyyyy better than 9 months, just sayin’!

If you’ve read this far, I’m freaking impressed.  I thought for sure I would have lost you in the first paragraph but I’m so happy you tuned in and are insanely educated on the life of us, the Christensen’s!

Until next time.


Ruckus’ Room

DSC08120DSC08123 (1)DSC08127DSC08139 (1)DSC08142DSC08156DSC08163DSC08181DSC08196DSC08202DSC08208DSC08232Room Details: Crib, DresserCrib sheets (similar here & here), Blanket (Under $20!), Leather Chair, Picture frame, Metal Basket (sold out, but I love this one and this one), Pouf (similar here & here), Deer (old, similar here), Woven wall hangingPiggy bank, Cactus, Pillows (also here & here), Stuffed animals, Wooden toysChandelier

Finally owning a home again feels amazing. We loved our home in Arizona and are really sad it’s now for sale because we feel like it is closure that we really don’t live there anymore. We were sad to be leaving our beautiful home in Arizona for a rental in Utah, but we just wanted to be able to spend some time in the city and really get a feel for what living there would really be like before buying again. And I can definitely say we love Utah! Our rental was great and we really lucked out because it was already so cute, but we definitely didn’t feel like it was “ours” and weren’t able to add touches that really fit our personalities and design style! We love the outdoors and we love bringing those elements into our home. I posted about Milo’s room here, and we have finally finished Ruckus’ room!

When Ben and I decided to design and decorate Ruck’s room, we wanted it to be simple, have clean lines, but still practical for him, Milo, and us to all play in. We started by picking a paint color because I knew I wanted to do an accent wall behind his crib. We lived in California for a while and we all love the ocean, so a calming blue was an easy choice. We ended up going with Behr in the color Ovation. I had this crib and this dresser before moving into our house, but I loved them so much that we kept them!

We wanted all of the elements in his room to be pretty kid-proof and easy to maintain. I found this amazing metal basket that I knew belonged in his room. I fell in love with the mountains when we moved here and I love the way the lines totally look similar to mountain range. This kid-safe cactus was a no brainer; we are all Arizona obsessed.

Mixing patterns and textures is something I love about designing a space. We really like natural materials so I use a lot of linens and leather and patterns with lines, dots, and geometric shapes. I would definitely say we try to go for a more mid-century modern feel, but with our own Christensen touch! And same goes for the toys. We try and support small shops and beautiful hand-crafted toys made from natural materials; they add a design element, just by themselves! We are definitely more minimal than most. We try and keep our spaces organized and I love that his room is so easy to clean, because if you have little boys, I bet you understand how quickly it can go from clean to a complete disaster!

This room would definitely be achievable even if we were in a rental, but I would have probably just used an easy, semi-permanent wall paper for the accent wall. We are all so happy with how it turned out and we love having spaces that our kids love to play in!