Entries Tagged as 'Personal'

second trimester update

Posted on: Thursday, November 9, 2017

Hi friends! I’m now two weeks into the THIRD trimester of my pregnancy (whoa) but wanted to share a quick overview of the second trimester (so weeks 13-27), for those of you interested! I had shared some pregnancy updates in my
first baby announcement post, so thought it would be fun to give an update on how things have changed since then!

It’s pretty common to hear that the second trimester is the best part of being pregnant (or the “honeymoon period”) because you feel the most normal, as you’re out of the morning sickness often experienced in the first trimester, but often not big enough to experience the uncomfortableness and aches/pains of the third trimester. Here’s all the dets on what’s been up with me and the little one growing inside me! Also, I wasn’t planning to share these publicly, but I’m amazed just seeing how the bump has grown, so there’s some photos of the progress at the bottom of the post.

SECOND TRIMESTER HIGHLIGHTS:

Traveling to Europe (Greece and Italy) for two weeks! And, thankfully, feeling really good throughout the entire trip.

Celebrating our second anniversary!

In the middle of the second trimester at 19 weeks, before our Europe trip, we found out the baby’s gender! She’s a GIRL!!! It was such a special moment during the ultrasound appointment when we found out and super fun to surprise our family (I did a group video chat with my entire family to tell them) and friends.

Feeling the baby kick for the first time. Annnnd, now she’s doing it all the time, which helps make it all feel more real and exciting! We can also hear her heartbeat and even hiccups. 💛

Trips to Nashville and Ohio! My sisters met E and I down in Nashville for the weekend, and I went back to Ohio with them to visit my parents and grandparents. It was super fun to spend time with them! My last visit with them was around 15 weeks, so the whole baby news thing felt a lot more real this time around.

Decorating and prepping our apartment for baby! Can’t wait to share more photos of the baby’s room soon! 😍

Hiring a doula! We hired the amazing Julia Peterson as our doula and working with her leading up to the birth has been so, so helpful and empowering.

20 weeks!

FEELING (PHYSICALLY): most obviously, I definitely “popped” and it’s obvious that I’m pregnant. I think the bump really started obviously showing towards the end of the second trimester…maybe around weeks 23-24? Other than that, I am way, way, way less tired than the first trimester. In those first few weeks (mostly like 7-13), I was so tired that I had to take a nap almost every afternoon because I physically couldn’t stay awake. During the second trimester, I really felt my energy increase. I did try to stay super attuned to my body and rest when I was tired, but it wasn’t the same all-consuming need to nap like I initially experienced. The acne I had in the first trimester went away completely (🙏🏻) during the second trimester, thanks in part (I think) to my probiotic vitamins. I also shared that I was really gassy in the first trimester, which I think wasn’t as noticeable or common in the second trimester. Towards the end of the second trimester, I really started to experience a lot more back pain, especially at the end of the day and while I’m sleeping. 😣 Unfortunately, I don’t think this is going to go away or get better, but trying to stay positive about it, since overall, I’ve been really fortunate in terms of pregnancy symptoms and issues. Overall, I felt much more myself and definitely more productive than the first trimester.

FEELING (EMOTIONALLY/MENTALLY): a lot of the feelings of overwhelmingness, stress, anxiety and panic subsided in the second trimester. I think having the news “out there” really, really helped. We told our family and close friends at 8-9 weeks in the first trimester and publicly shared a little after the second trimester began at 15-16 weeks. While I did experience some stress in the second trimester, it was more focused on the future and OMG WE’RE GOING TO BE PARENTS excitement vs. stress and worry about all of the testing procedures, possibility of miscarriage, etc. Overall, during the second trimester (and now) I’m feeling a lot more calm and at peace with the birth process and just being a mom in general. It’s obviously still overwhelming, but it’s shifted to more a really good overwhelmed vs. stress/pain/anxiety overwhelmed, if that makes sense. I’m super grateful that Eric is such a calm and stable person, because he often navigates me back to a more centered, peaceful view on all the life things. ✨

PREPARING FOR BABY: I’ve been doing lots of shopping for cute baby things! I’ve been told to not buy a ton baby clothes, because other people will do that for us, but it’s so hard. 😳 I’ve been in full-blown organizational mode, so sorting baby clothes and accessories by age/size. During the second trimester, we really started getting our apartment prepped for baby. We transitioned the walk-in closet off our bedroom into the baby “room” and put up removable wallpaper, set up the crib, etc. More to come! We also worked on our birth preferences with our doula during the end of the second trimester, which made me feel a lot more educated, empowered and excited about the birth experience.

READING: Mama Natural Week-by-Week Pregnancy Guide (and a ton of non-baby related books that I shared in this post)

WEARING: I really haven’t transitioned into a full-blown maternity wardrobe, but instead trying to weave in regular clothes with a few maternity pieces. During the second trimester, I bought a Bellaband, this amazing band that allows you to wear your regular, non-maternity jeans for longer. I was able to wear my regular jeans with the Bellaband until about 23-24 weeks. Woo hoo! In the second trimester, did pick up some maternity basics that have been great, including maternity jeans from ASOS (SO COMFY) and this black STORQ jumpsuit. I’ve been wearing regular non-maternity tops and sweaters (since most of my clothes are oversize and baggy anyway 😆) with leggings a lot, as well as flowy non-maternity dresses. In terms of footwear, I pretty much wore tennis shoes or my slides/mules throughout the entire second trimester (and now, too!). I’m working on a big blog post of my maternity wardrobe, so stay tuned for that!

FITNESS: Thankfully, I’ve still been able to work out and did so throughout the second trimester pretty consistently. When we were traveling in Europe (weeks 19-21 of my pregnancy), I didn’t workout regularly, but we did lots of walking. When home, I’ve worked out on average about 4-5x/week doing a mix of yoga, Pilates and SoulCycle classes. I have been doing more yoga at home (E and I are both obsessed with Yoga with Adriene) and also started taking prenatal-specific Pilates and yoga classes.

FOOD AVERSIONS/CRAVINGS: Same as first trimester – give me all the smoothies or just cold, fruity things! During the second trimester, I was definitely craving less healthy stuff. Usually I eat fairly healthy and WANT to eat fruits, veggies, etc. but I definitely wasn’t as interested in that stuff throughout the second trimester.

VITAMINS: Silver Fern Probiotic Vitamins and Care/Of Vitamin Packs (including a prenatal, calcium and fish oil vitamins)

HELPFUL PRODUCTS: Saje Pain Release Essesntial Oil (so helpful on my back), The Honest Company Belly Balm  and LEGGINGS!

Thanks for reading!

18 weeks!

20 weeks!

25 weeks!

27 weeks!

life update

Posted on: Wednesday, August 16, 2017

I have some fun and v big news to share today! We are having a baby! And whew, it feels really good to finalllly share the news publicly (I’m so bad about being secretive). 💛 Our little BB is coming in January, so he/she will share a birthday month with me!

We found out we were pregnant when the baby was about 5 weeks and now we’re at about 16 weeks! At first, and especially during the first few weeks, it felt surreal and didn’t quite sink it that yes, we are having a kid. A few weeks ago, we had an ultrasound where we felt and heard the baby’s heartbeat and saw he/she moving (dancing) – it was so cool to experience and really clicked like THIS IS HAPPENING.

This is obviously a totally new phase of life for me/us and there’s a lot of unknowns but I’m trying to remind myself that so many other life phases were unknowns too – moving across the country, getting married, etc. And, I figured out those new phases out and learned a lot along the way. And I will do the same with this whole pregnancy/mamahood thing too!

Thank you to everyone for being so supportive and encouraging and amazing and kind to us! My support system is truly one of life’s biggest and richest gifts and words can’t quite explain how much I appreciate the advice, kindness, celebrations and love from our family and friends. ✨

And, I happen to think Prince Jack will be the cutest big (furry) brother. 💛 What do you guys think? 😉

In case you’re interested, here’s some random updates about my pregnancy so far!

FEELING (PHYSICALLY): overall, really good! Fortunately, I haven’t been sick at all (🙏🏻), but I have been super, super tired. Like, must-take-an-afternoon-nap and still go to bed at 9pm tired. Since I work remotely, my schedule is fairly flexible, so I’ve been waking up earlier to start work at 7/8am and then taking an hour or so nap in the afternoon and resuming work in the afternoon/evening. The tiredness was especially true/all-consuming during the first trimester, but like clockwork, I’ve started to get my energy back after hitting 13 or so weeks. Whew! I’ve also been feeling a lot more soreness in my lower back/hips/obliques. Not surprising, of course, since my body is obviously going to expand, but still kind of painful. My Saje pain release essential oil has been a lifesaver! Oh, and my acne realllllly flared up at the beginning, which has been a not-so-great (but apparently common) pregnancy symptom. Oh and one more not-so-glamourous and pretty gross physical thing — the first few weeks I was super gassy. It wasn’t great. This symptom wasn’t one I heard about a lot so…maybe people just keep that super private or maybe I’m the only one who experienced this symptom. 😂

FEELING (EMOTIONALLY/MENTALLY): When I first found out, I was a mix of happy and panicked. This happened a lot faster than we expected, so I guess I was just thrown off guard a bit! The all-encompassing emotion I felt especially in the first 5-9 weeks was just overwhelmed. By 8-9 weeks, I had told my family and inner circle of friends and I felt immediately better. Their support and encouragement really helped me shift towards more excitement over fear and stress. It was also stressful for me to keep this huge life thing private, especially when in social situations (aka – after saying you aren’t drinking after a few times, it’s just kind of obvious). I think a lot of this stress and overwhelmingness came from 1) being bombarded with lots of medical info and ‘worst case scenario’ doctor stuff about testing, etc and 2) feeling a little bit like a loner in the mom department. I don’t know a ton of moms/families in the Bay Area and that felt startling and difficult- how was I going to do this?! Thankfully, a lot of those feelings have subsided when I was reminded, over and over, that I have so many supportive and loving people in my life (moms and otherwise) both in the Bay Area and all over and everything was going to be okay. More than okay!

READING: Bringing Up Bébé, Mindful Birthing and allll of the MOTHER articles

WEARING: I still fit into all my pre-pregnancy clothes, but have been wearing less jeans and more flowy dresses/casual leggings + tshirt combo. I don’t really want to purchase a ton of maternity clothes, so going to try to work with what I have for the most part (said while I’m still fairly small and haven’t grown a ginormous belly *yet*) But, I do have my eye on the Storq leggings, jumpsuit and tank dress and I’ll probably get the Madewell maternity jeans too. Any other cool maternity brands/clothes you guys know of/recommend?

FITNESS: I’ve been continuing to work out 5x/week, mostly yoga and Pilates, plus a few SoulCycle classes. Other than making some modifications to different poses/moves, exercising has been pretty much the same since pre-pregnancy. Working out (as always) has been super beneficial both physically and mentally. I know this routine will likely change as my pregnancy progresses/I get much larger, so if any of you have recommendations on pre-natal friendly workouts, send my way!

FOOD AVERSIONS/CRAVINGS: I haven’t really had any aggressive aversions. I miss sushi. I’ve been craving cold and fruity, so have been making a lot of smoothies (but that’s pretty normal for me). I’m also drinking tons of water.

VITAMINS: Rainbow Light Prenatal Vitamins and Silver Fern Probiotic Vitamins (which I’m convinced have really helped clear my acne and help boost my immune system)

Thanks for reading! More photos below – and thanks to Lisha Wang for snapping these photos of us in our apartment!

 

THIS

Posted on: Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Shauna Niequist truly is my patron saint or long lost big sister or something to that effect. I’ve read all of her books several times and find myself flipping through them, over and over, to soak up more wisdom and encouragement frequently. It’s like everything she writes, I am screaming YES YES YES out loud because her words hit so close to home and really resonate with me. I also like to think we would be besties IRL, but that’s for another blog post.

I recently started reading her latest book, Present Over Perfect, and one part of the What the Lake Teaches chapter made me stop and pause. I read it again and re-read and re-read and re-read. I showed it to Eric, telling him, “this is me! This is exactly what I need to remember every day!” and he agreed (and told me to print out these words). I read it to my mom, who said something similar; that I need to keep reminding myself of these truths over and over.

This was a powerful reminder to me – an extrovert, a die-hard people pleaser, an affirmation seeker – that I need to stop craving approval and acceptance from external sources and lean into what I know to be true about myself, what God thinks about me, and who I am without all of those compliments and affirmations and heavy expectations.

Here’s the excerpt. Hope you get as much out of it as I do and I highly recommend her new book! <3

But this is what I’ve learned the hard way: what people think about you means nothing in comparison to what you believe about yourself. Essentially, my identity depended on outwards approval, which changes on a dime. So you dance and you please and you placate and you prove. You become a three-ring circus and in each ring, you’re an entirely different performing animal, anything anyone wants you to be.

The crucial journey, then, for me, has been from dependence on external expectations, down into my own self, deeper still into God’s view of me, his love for me that doesn’t change, that will not change, that defines and grounds everything.

I bet it all on busyness, achievement, being known as responsible, and escaping when those things didn’t work. What I see now is that what I really wanted was love, grace, peace, connection.

When you decide, finally, to stop running on the fuel of anxiety, desire to prove, fear, shame, deep inadequacy – when you decide to walk away from that fuel for a while, there’s nothing but confusion and silence. You’re on the side of the road, empty tank, no idea what will propel you forward. It’s disorienting, freeing, terrifying. For a while, you just sit, contentedly, and contentment is the most foreign concept you know. But you learn it, shocking as it is, day by day, hour by hour. You sit in your own skin, being just your own plain self. And it’s okay. And it’s changing everything.

After a while, though, you learn you weren’t made only for contentment; that’s only half the puzzle. The other part is meaning, calling, love. And this is a new conversation, almost like speaking a second language – faltering, tongue-twisting, exhilarating.

#nofilter // speaking words of love over our bodies

Posted on: Wednesday, June 15, 2016

“don’t say that about yourself.”

this simple statement, said to me during a facial by a lovely esthetician, really stuck out to me. while she was doing extractions (ugh, these are so bad and good at the same time) i apologized to her for my “gross skin.” and she called me out – telling me that i should never call myself or my body gross and instead speak love to myself. and that i shouldn’t apologize for my body, period. it was nothing deep nor profound, but her words were a wake-up reminder that the words we say to ourselves, about ourselves, are so important.

for the past nine (!!) or so months, i’ve been dealing with some not-so-ideal hormonal adult acne. i didn’t really have bad acne growing up, aside for some small breakouts during that time of the month, and it’s been really challenging to experience bad acne as a 27-year-old. i changed my birth control method last fall and since, i’ve been struggling with acne on my chest, neck and parts of my face. i’ve tried lots of solutions and continuing to treat it – topical lotions and creams, antibiotics, these murad skin clarifying vitamins (highly recommend as they seem to be what’s actually helping), the whole nine yards. and the acne sometimes comes and goes. a few weeks ago, my chest was really clearing up – no redness and barely any bumps – and i was so excited. it’s working! i’m getting better! and then, this past weekend, my skin flared up and is redder and bumpier than ever. sigh.

i spent the morning of my wedding day anxious and upset about my skin (pre-makeup pic below, where you can see some breakout on my chest. thank you Sarah for your magical makeup skills! ). I’ve spent many regular mornings in a bad mood, not sure what to wear or how to cover up the bumpiness, the red, the imperfect. now, with warmer weather comes swimsuits and skin-baring tank tops, and that brings a whole new wave of worry over my skin.

i know that there are much bigger and more important issues that people are going through, but this whole skin thing for me has been unsettling and upsetting the past almost-year. my self-doubt and self-hate gets all worked up when i look at my skin and i say things to myself, about myself that aren’t edifying, helpful or remotely loving. it sounds weird to say this, but looking at my skin automatically puts me in a sour mood and makes me feel grumpy and frustrated.

so what i’m really trying to do, slowly, even when it’s hard, is to speak love to myself and to my body. even when i don’t look the way i want or when my skin isn’t “going back to normal”, i’m trying to not freak out, but to instead take a deep breath and move on. i’m trying to not let the way my skin looks on any given day affect my attitude and mindset. i’m trying my best to find solutions that work for my skin type, continue talking with my dermatologist and try my best to alleviate the redness and bumpiness, but ultimately – not let my acne define me as a person or ruin my day. when words like gross or disgusting or ugly pop into my head after looking at my skin, i’m remembering to “not say that about myself” and instead give myself, my body, my skin, grace and love.

i don’t really know what compelled me to share this, as it’s not something i’m necessarily proud of sharing. i also prefer to share the pretty and inspiring and happy things on my blog, but i also want to share the real and honest. i’ve had my blog for 6+ years now, and it’s changed a lot, but i always want it to be authentically me, and right now, this is where i’m at.  it was helpful for me to write down how i’m feeling and what i’m experiencing and to read my feelings, put into words.  i’m just hoping that even one other person out there reads this and is reminded to speak love over their body and to not be quick to judge and condemn yourself based on the way you look. <3

xo

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