Tuesday, August 1, 2017

July Self Portraits

One week shy of 15 months. She is officially the the same age as her older brother was when he weaned. Things were much different then - all of the comments from friends and family got to me and I felt pressured to stop. It's funny how after your first child things change. The comments don't bother me anymore. I don't foresee an end to this journey anywhere in the near future. I will not nurse her forever...so I'm hanging on to these moments.

An ode to my baby belly.
Motherhood changes you in ways you’d never imagine. I stand in the mirror and try to remember the body I lived in before my two sons arrived. My hands always find their way to my soft and jiggly skin below my belly button. I remember how tight the skin felt when my belly was full of life. It takes a daily consciousness to appreciate the journey my body has been on.

My stomach is like a passport stamped with all of my adventures. One of my favorite lyrics, thanks to the Goo Goo Dolls, is “scars are souvenirs you never lose.” My abdomen tells the story of a ruptured appendix, two corrective laparoscopic surgeries, two failed navel rings, and most important of all, two c-sections which sit right at my bikini line. My linea negra still hangs around thanks to the cocktail of hormones that allow me to continue to breastfeed my 7 month old. It pulls towards the left, likely because of all the internal scaring thanks to my ruptured appendix. The story you can't read directly from it is the years of infertility and pain in wondering if I'd ever get to hold my own children. I am proud to wear these battle scars as I snuggle my children.

In short, during my 33 years of life, my body has been through a lot. How can I expect it to look like it did 15 years ago? Does any living thing look the same after 15 years? I am thankful for my jiggly tummy, painted in scars. It has provided me with my two beautiful boys. Cut your body some slack, use it up and live life.

12 weeks.

Balancing work & motherhood is tough, but dang I want to remember these days. I'm an RN in an emergency room and work four back to back 12 hour shifts in a row. It's exhausting, and its my dream job. My oldest loves to cuddle and I try and give him some undivided attention each night when I get home before I put him in bed. So here I am, just walked through the door, still in my scrubs, and so happy to snuggle my boy.
Genevieve Williams 

I'm a big person, currently down 86 pounds in 3 months, I have never felt comfortable in my own skin. some days I want to curl up in a ball and some days I feel like the prettiest girl in the entire world ! today was one of those days, and even though I know I don't have the perfect body, today I felt beautiful!

This is so my life right now: messy top bun, comfy cotton t-shirt, my favorite coffee in hand, and my kids loaded up in the mini van. Seriously, as a mom, sometimes I feel like I only get through my days because of coffee and lots of prayer. Motherhood is exhausting... Thank God for Starbucks. 

"I just hope that she always looks at me like this."

This week we said goodbye to our first home; the first home we ever owned together and the house we brought our two boys home to . Change is hard and I know we'll miss this place but we're excited for this next chapter in our lives. We'll miss you 5 Harland View.
Robyn Gallaway

This is me and my baby boy, I hope he still looks at me this way when he's 17, I know I will! 

Liz DeGroff

Liz DeGroff

My husband is going to be so mad, if he finds out I shared this but I just can't resist! We have five other sinks that he could have washed his hands in, but he chose to walk right in front of my camera and use this one, knowing I was taking pictures. So in my opinion, he was asking for it. lol Our toddler and I may be the ones in focus but I think we all know the real star of this photo is... DAT ASS!

 I took this on the 4th of July on Lake Michigan in a place called Door County, Wi.  It is my favorite place in the world where my family has a cabin and has been coming for over 60 years.  I spend about a month here in the summer with other extended family from all over the country.  My two kids are running around somewhere with their many cousins.

Motherhood with twins, and a gold star if you can spot my toddler amongst the legs and bottles. The twins have started to get jealous if the other is in my lap, so lunch has become a complicated juggling job. And they aren't supposed to be using bottles, so that's a parenting win...But you know what? I'm IN THE PICTURE and that is huge.  I want my children to see me when they look back at photos, I want them to know that while I didn’t put on make up or brush my hair into anything but a ponytail for 3 years, I was there, I was stressed, but I was in love with all of it.