Just start. I keep telling myself, just start it.
I’ve been holding off on writing this post for a long time now. Life has been a bit bumpy and often uncertain over the past many, many months and I’ve found that writing about food is one thing, but writing about life is just simply another. Often I wonder why we don’t have an Anti-Facebook, where instead of posting wedding photos, girls’ nights out, photos of our kids constantly smiling and clean, perfect houses, we instead just talk about real life?
I had a really bad fight this morning with my husband. The kids destroyed the house, wet the bed, peed on each other. Here’s what I look like when I wake up hungover: selfie!! Today I felt embarrassed when my credit card was denied, when I forgot about a play date or a scheduled visit to the dentist. A group of mean girls (adults mind you) tried to make me feel bad about myself. The list goes on.
Sure, plenty of you out there talk about recent horrific shootings, natural disasters, politics, etc. and some of you may even talk about what I mentioned, but do any of us really share?? Share real life? I don’t feel like we do, and I’ll be the first to say that I haven’t been.
Life has been hard, especially over the past year. There have been a lot of ups and downs, and out of respect and privacy for those that I’ve been going through this journey with, today is not the day to share what exactly has been going on. What I will say is that due to life in general, some very important parts of my life and what’s been going on have been out of the picture, socially, that is.
Today I have an announcement. And it may or may not be what you think. Something really special is going on and I’m ready to finally share it. I’m having another baby.
Normally, I announce this to the world as soon as possible: 7 weeks, 5 weeks, 4 weeks…but that was the past. This time around, and knowing that this will be my last, I wanted to wait until the time was right. I finally feel like it is now!
I am 26 weeks pregnant with my fourth baby and I am already in love with him or her.
I’m enjoying every kick, hiccup, and trying to even enjoy the growing pains. I am marveling at this miracle every single day. I love being pregnant, even though it is extremely difficult for me: nausea, insomnia, back pain, mood swings, the increasing inability to pick anything up off of the ground…
I tried to think of a cutesy or catchy way to “announce.” That’s the thing these days, right? So I tried to order a cute shirt—and the order didn’t process because the design I came up with on Cafepress infringed on a trademarked design. So, then I saw this cute top for me to wear to announce on Zulilly and tried ordering that—but they were out of stock. So then I just sat back and listened, waiting. Maybe the timing just wasn’t right. After all, there has been a lot more going on with me that was more important than a pregnancy announcement. I felt silly even worrying about it. So instead I put more effort into fine tuning my life, my every day. I worked harder on relationships around me, my house, my pets, my garden, my community, my business. And oh, my business, what an awesome distraction that has been! Talk about announcements—I don’t just have one baby on the way, I have two! Both coming this Fall!!
I finally realized that there was something holding me back. I felt like I needed to see myself pregnant: strong, sexy & beautiful before I could share this news with the outside world. I called upon my amazing friend, and beyond-incredibly talented photographer, Sarah Cramer Shields, and I told her what I wanted and how I wanted to feel. She’s lucky. She’s in a line of work, her perfect calling, where she sees the beauty in everyone. I knew I needed her help in seeing the beauty in myself and my situation. After all, this baby wasn’t exactly on my radar back in January. I thought for sure I would have another one when the timing was right but I was thinking a couple of years from now, after my business was launched. Not now. I needed Sarah (as a part of my community, my village) to show me myself in a way that I could feel proud of.
Having had issues about my body (who doesn’t) and struggles that span my whole life concerning my weight, being pregnant can be challenging. Luckily, I’m at the place I am now where I am fit, eat really well, and have learned in my thirties to take care of MYSELF. I buy a nice ($30) pair of sunglasses that don’t give me a headache, I cut and style my hair (new for me), I wear a good SPF moisturizer and drink plenty of water. Taking care of myself in this way is new, and I am embracing it.
I also had a recent revelation. I’ve stopped trying to look like anyone else, trying to attain the “right” thighs, arms, ankles, whatever. I no longer look at a magazine and wish I had the body that I see on the cover. I am really just happy with myself and the way I look. I’ve decided to look like my best self–and miraculously, my theory has worked. I love the way I look now.
So, here I was, at Sarah’s beautiful and calming studio, with my boys in tow because I couldn’t find a sitter, armed with multiple outfits and, after having managed to squeeze in a shower, hair that actually looked good! Oh, and a touch of makeup, too. I ran up her stairs, more harried than usual on a muggy June summer day because I wanted to do this for myself and I don’t even like getting my picture taken: I don’t do it often, I don’t do selfies really, I am shy & humble when it comes to photographing myself. That’s even more of a reason why getting photographed on that day was vitally important. And she understood completely.
After the photo shoot I left feeling calm, grounded, lucky to have a friend like her, and at peace. I haven’t felt that way in so long. I felt happy.
I am so grateful for Sarah, and for all of my friends, who have stood by me and helped me with all I have been going through lately. I am more grateful than any of them will ever know. I see the luck and charm of my life and I embrace it. And these photographs are proof of the confidence that I feel. All of you should do this if you can: have a friend show you proof of how amazing and gifted you are.
And with that, here I go… Off to finish the end of this pregnancy (baby’s due this October), get this beautiful business, Vie, off the ground, and get busy thanking all of the friends & family who have helped me get where I am today.