Substance and Soul

Family conversations

MotherhoodSamantha WetterholmComment

While changing Henry's diaper.
Paul: Hey momma, Emma put diaper cream on Henry's butt.
Emma: Yeah!
Paul: Maybe this can be your job from now on Emma.

After Emma threw a rosary at Henry.
Samantha: Emma, we do NOT throw Jesus.


After a long day when I was tapped out.
Samantha: Eating a bowl of cereal and a glass of rosΓ©.
Paul: HOW can you have milk and wine together.
Samantha: Spoon to mouth. Like this.

Emma: When I grow up, I want to be a mommy. 


While reading my Bible in bed one evening.
Emma: runs and grabs her own Bible and sits down next to me
Emma: Dear Jesus, help Jesus. Come to our home. Thank you for our blessings. Don't worry Jesus, I'm right here. 

After I sprained my foot and was elevating it in bed.
Emma: Are you okay momma? Don't worry, I'm always here. I'm going to close your door so you can have some quiet time. Tell me if you need anything. Shuts the door. 

Something crashes in another room.
Emma yelling from the other room: I'm not doing bad things!


Henry crying.
Emma: I didn't hit him. Or head butt him. Or kick him.

Getting ready for a Labor Day BBQ. 
Emma: I want to wear a dress to the party.
Samantha: I want to wear one too. Should daddy wear one? What about Henry?
Emma: No momma. Henry doesn't have any dresses, he's too small. And daddy is too tall!
Emma: Just me, because I'm a big girl.

Emma noticing that our bed was not made.
Emma: Oh my goodness daddy! You didn't make your bed! 


While leaving the shopping center parking lot.


Busy season

HomeSamantha WetterholmComment

(With a video!) 

Things are busy 'round here. BUSY. Busaaaay. B to the U to the okay I'll stop.

We are in the throws of a busy season of our lives. It's hectic. It's stressful. It's perfectly wonderful. It sucks. It's the best. It's every emotion. It's draining and fulfilling all rolled up in one busy package.

I'm thinking I will do a huge brain dump post soon (ish) but until then you can keep following along on Instagram

But I'll leave you with this giggle. I've watched it ten zillion times and I crack up every time.

Happy Wednesday! 

Henry's first day of pre-school

MotherhoodSamantha WetterholmComment

And a new class for Emma!

Henry started pre-school today. He's in a class of one to two year-olds and he looks oh so tiny compared to those giant 18 month-olds. He was crying at drop off but his new teachers said he had a great day and I'm sobbing thinking about my two TODDLERS. 

*Insert sobbing emoji here.*

Emma showed him the ropes and Paul and I are looking forward to ONE drop-off and ONE pick-up. WOOT!


(See Emma's first day at the same pre-school last year here.) 


Henry at one year

MotherhoodSamantha WetterholmComment


One year ago, at 7:27 pm you sprang forth (<-- ew) earth side and our lives have been forever changed. This has been a year of new adventures and growth of love and gray hairs.

You are such a special little boy -- full of life and energy and sass and laughs and screams and smiles.

He's walking, he's talking (mama, dada, and screaming a lot), and getting into everything. He's already a climber and brings more chaos than I thought was possible for someone so small. But he's the sweetest snuggler. 

What a blessing this boy has been in our lives. I cannot always believe we have these two beautiful children, but there you have it.

Let's look back at this past year shall we...

Happy birthday my sweet boy.


Well, that was scary

Dentistry, LifeSamantha Wetterholm2 Comments

You know that expression my life flashed before my eyes...

Well it's true.

This has been quite a week and I don't really know where to start but here it goes. 

About a week ago (last Thursday, 20 July around 2pm to be exact) I experienced one of the scariest moments of my life, if not THE scariest.

For some background, I work in Oakland, CA in the Fruitvale district, an area with an infamous reputation for crime. I work for a non-profit health care organization with multiple locations serving low-income families and patients.

I love what I do. I mean, I REALLY love it. Public health was not something I envisaged for my career when I applied for dental school but flash forward from that carefree, 21 year-old to now to a wife, mother, and passionate, public health dental provider for my patients.

But there are inherent dangers in working in this environment and at this location and I won't get into all of them now. But you can only imagine what they may be in the most dangerous city in California. I'm not naive to them. But I sometimes the realities sit on the back burner of my brain when I am treating my patients and providing oral health care. 

Well, last Thursday I had a reality check. Right across the street from my office door is a sweet woman who sells fruit and other Mexican street food. A coworker and myself had a hankering for some fruit with chili when our lunch break started. As we were paying for our food, I heard arguing and yelling down the street. Usually I tune out the specifics of yelling on the street because honestly, it's every day. But this day was different. 

As the yelling and shouting came closer and closer, my coworker and I proceeded to cross the street back towards our office door. We were fewer than 15 feet away when a man rushed to our sides shouting at a group of men on the corner. While shouting profanity and threats of, "you're going to have to pop me" over and over, he grabbed my coworker's arm. 

And I was staring down the barrel of a very real and very scary gun. My blood froze.

What we did not realize initially was that the reason this man rushed towards us was to stand behind us. As in, use us as a shield. Because... he was arguing with a group of men posturing and pointing a handgun right at him, also known as US. 

My coworker yanked her arm away from him and the group of men quickly got into their car and drove away. 

With tires squealing and my heart pounding, my feet, almost on their own accord, hurried me to the entry way of my building before I let out a big, OH MY WHAT JUST HAPPENED, followed by about four signs of the cross. 

A gun. 

A real life gun pointed at my face, close enough for me to see the whites of that man's eyes and his finger on the trigger.

During my lunch break, my coworker and myself relayed what had happened to our other coworkers who shared our lunch room, just a few people. I am sure I seemed frazzled, but I (surprisingly enough to myself) kept calm, ate my lunch and said, I can't believe that just happened over and over again.

The reality of the situation did not really strike until I returned to the clinic and was ambushed (in a professional way) by the chief dental officer, the assistant to the CDO, a representative from HR, and one of Oakland's finest patrolling the outside of the building. After taking our statements and offering the phone number of our Employee Assistant Program, they let us go home early.

I drove home in a daze, walked up my stairs, fell into Paul's arms, and utterly wept. I squeezed my kids harder than I could have imagined. And I thanked God for my life.

This is going to be a process. I've heard things like "PTSD" and "war zone" and "trauma" thrown around. But the reality is, I'm not okay. I don't know exactly how I feel, but it's not good.

I have had panic attacks and cold sweats. My sleep is interrupted. But I have my life. I have my husband. I have my kids. I have my family. I have my friends. I have my faith in God's plan. And thankfully, I had all my guardian angels on overtime that day. 

I celebrated my 6th wedding anniversary and my 28th birthday with this reminder of my mortality looming over it all. But I am grateful for so many things. And being able to come home to my children and husband is the biggest one. While this is something that will take me a while to work through, I will continue to show up to work. I will continue to serve. And we will see how things go from here. 

Birthday breakfast with my best people.