Entries Tagged as 'Inspiration, Etc.'

third trimester update

Posted on: Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Two blog posts in one week?! Who adm I? This is what happens when I’ve ramped down most of my client work and have much more free time before #littlebabyburd‘s arrival!

Today I wanted to share a quick third trimester update on how things have been going during the home stretch of my pregnancy. I shared a second trimester update follow here and a first trimester update / baby announcement best place to buy accutane online here.  So today’s post covers approximately weeks 28-38 (today!). Here’s some highlights from the past few weeks as well as random info like how I’m feeling physically/emotionally, how we’re prepping for baby, what I’m reading, etc.!

38 weeks!

http://lizhingley.com/work/unltd/ THIRD TRIMESTER HIGHLIGHTS

So many baby celebrations – my mother-in-law threw a baby shower brunch in Southern California, my mom/sisters/aunts threw a baby shower in Ohio and last weekend, my besties through a baby shower here in SF. So overwhelmed and grateful with all the love for our little one! 💛 More photos from baby showers are at the bottom of this post.

Celebrating my FIL’s retirement in LA!

Getting our apartment / life fully prepped (or as prepped as we can!) for baby! The nursery area is ready for her, the carseat is installed, hospital bags are packed, etc. It’s almost go time!

Spending two weeks in Ohio over Thanksgiving and early December with my family. It was sooo good to catch up with everyone and spend quality time with my parents, sister, grandparents and other family.

Our family photo session with Minted 📹

Spending the holidays here in SF. It was really relaxing not traveling over the holidays and spending time in (empty) San Francisco. I also loved 1) going to typically busy places and getting in right away and 2) being able to easily park everywhere. 😛

Celebrating my birthday with E and Jack! It was such a special day – coffee in bed, Pilates, brunch at Outerlands, a beach walk, an afternoon nap and dinner at Frances.

The overwhelming kindness, generosity and love from family and friends throughout my pregnancy but especially in these last few weeks. People have been so kind and helpful, from offering to help us with random errands to sending sweet gifts and cards in the mail. Seriously, I feel so fortunate for such loving people surrounding me + bebe!

FEELING (PHYSICALLY): Large! I’ve gained ~25 pounds during my pregnancy and I can definitely feel the weight and heaviness on my body (obviously). Doing “regular” things like walking and getting dressed are much more difficult! I know several people who said by 38-39 weeks they were just DONE and very ready for baby to come out. I don’t think I’m quite there yet and I think it’s just because I’ve overall felt alright, minus some slight aches, pains and general uncomfortableness. I definitely have to eat smaller portions because I get full so much faster. During the third trimester, I’ve had on and off back pain. It was especially bad in my tailbone area at around 30 weeks to a point where I could barely walk for a few days. I also had a week or so (around Christmas at like 34 weeks) where I had intense pain in my left foot. Again, it was super difficult to walk and so painful. Thankfully, the pain went away (I just did the whole RICE – rest, ice, compress, elevate thing). Other than those two somewhat random painful, short-lived symptoms, I’ve been feeling okay physically! Oh, I’ve also been experiencing what Ashley from Sugar and Cloth coined “lightning crotch” – this really intense pelvis pain that comes in and out randomly almost every day. 😱

FEELING (EMOTIONALLY/MENTALLY): Excited to meet her! A little bit nervous about the labor process. In wonder of the human body. Incredibly grateful to have such an awesome, generous, loving and encouraging support system around me. Overwhelmed by all of it!

PREPARING FOR BABY: We are ready! 👏🏼 👏🏼 Or as ready as we’ll ever be! 😉H er room is ready and we’re all set in terms of “baby things” in the apartment, although I’m sure we’ll be doing diaper runs and last minute Amazon Prime purchases when she gets here. I have her dresser organized with newborn and 0-3M clothes with 3-6M in baskets in her closet and anything bigger in bins in the garage. Our apartment is outfitted with baby gear like the baby changer (we opted for this Keekaroo Peanut Changer), a rocker (with cute side table and lots of plants nearby 🌿) and her Moses basket. We also have our hospital bags packed — might share more about this in a later post!

READING: Mama Natural Week-by-Week Pregnancy Guide (each week), Ina May’s Guide to Breastfeeding, 25 Things Every New Mom Should Learn

WEARING: Just shared a big blog post about my maternity wardrobe HERE! In that post, I link to all the products I’ve been wearing on a regular basis. For the most part, I haven’t been wearing *real* maternity clothes and opted more for “transitional clothing” that will work during pregnancy and afterwards! I also just bought this black Modern Citizen dress that literally feels like I’m wearing a bathrobe, so I think this will be in heavy rotation the rest of pregnancy and once baby is here.

FITNESS: I am still feeling good enough to work out, but at a much lower intensity. I’m probably working out 4-5x/week and still doing a mix of swimming, prenatal yoga and prenatal Pilates. I also got a resistance band for Christmas so will try to do some resistance band reps on days I don’t work out for my arms/glutes.

FOOD AVERSIONS/CRAVINGS: Again, I feel like such a boring pregnant person because I haven’t had intense cravings! From about 31-35 weeks, grapefruit juice sounded reallllllllllly good and I drank a lot of that. Other than that, nothing has been out of the ordinary, although nothing ever sounds SUPER good and tasty to me, especially around dinner time. I feel like I’ve been more indecisive, probably because I can’t fit as much in my stomach anymore!

VITAMINS: Still taking my pre-natal and probiotic vitamins 💊

HELPFUL PRODUCTS: not a product per se, but my morning coffee is V important (“my only vice”), Earth Mama Angel Baby third trimester tea (I drink every evening), my Minnetoka slippers

Thanks for reading!

on motherhood

Posted on: Wednesday, October 18, 2017

A few weeks months ago, we shot some family photos for our baby announcement and I also wanted to get some photos in this new mama bird tshirt. These photos were taken right around 14-15 weeks, so my regular jeans still fit and my stomach was still fairly “normal” size. Not the case anymore! This week marks 26 weeks into the pregnancy – we’re getting much closer to meeting our little babe!

Anyway, I really like how these turned out and wanted to share, along with some inspiring quotes I found about motherhood. Obviously I have NO idea what this whole parenting/motherhood journey will be like (aside from a very slim look at it from being a #puppymom 😉) but I am inspired by these beautiful words, and comforted knowing that everything will turn out alright, no matter what.

Photos by Lisha Wang // Mama Bird Tee via The Bee and the Fox 

“Years ago someone wrote [about me]: ‘She characterizes Molly Weasley as a mother who is only at home looking after the children.’ I was deeply offended, because I, until a year before that, had also been such a mother who was at home all the time taking care of her child. What has lesser status and is more difficult than raising a child? And what is more important?” – J.K. Rowling

“How you view yourself [changes]. I think that was the biggest change for me when I had my first son. I really kind of respected myself for the first time. I respected my time for the first time, and I respected the value of what that meant and what I was giving up when I spent it incorrectly or when I used it correctly. [My children have taught me] to not forget to be in wonder of all the things around you, as simple as they might be.” – Alicia Keys

“Nothing can really prepare you for the sheer, overwhelming experience of what it means to become a mother. It is full of complex emotions of joy, exhaustion, love, and worry, all mixed together. Your fundamental identity changes over night. You go from thinking of yourself as primarily an individual to suddenly being a mother, first and foremost. And yet, there is no rulebook. No right or wrong. You just have to make it up and do the very best you can to care for your family. For many mothers, myself included, this can at times lead to a lack of confidence and feelings of ignorance. Some of this fear is about the pressure to be a perfect parent. Pretending we’re all coping perfectly and loving every minute of it. It is right to talk about motherhood as a wonderful thing, but we also need to talk about its stresses and strains. It’s okay not to find it easy. And asking for help should not be seen as a sign of weakness.” – Kate Middleton

“[Motherhood is] the biggest gamble in the world. It is the glorious life force. It’s huge and scary—it’s an act of infinite optimism.” – Gilda Radner

“…now that I am a mother, I understand what Mother’s Day is about: it’s about looking through our lives and recognizing the act of mothering everywhere we see it, and more than that, recognizing that when any of us mother– when we listen, nurture, nourish, protect–we’re doing sacred work.” – Shauna Niequist

“For years I spent my life pressing pause on those things that are now my priority, like having a family. Now, I hit play. I formed a family, and it’s the most wonderful thing, the most important thing to me. And before, I used to be the center of my whole world and the beginning and the end, the alpha and omega of my whole world, and now my kids and my family are that one priority.” – Shakira

book recommendations

Posted on: Tuesday, October 10, 2017

reading is one of my very favorite things to do to relax, but i often only end up picking up a book before bed. while on vacation, i pretty much spent several days just reading straight through each morning, afternoon and evening – on the boat in Greece, along the beach in Positano, on flights and trains and in cafes. i ended up getting through a bunch of books and wanted to share some of my favorite recent reads! i love sharing (and receiving) book recommendations, so if you’re into reading and feeling stuck on what to read next, hopefully this list helps. 🤗

recent favorite read (maybe ever):

a little life by hanya yanagihara // this book was ranked the top book of the year by like, every publication. truthfully, the book rocked me and it was hard to put it down once I started. the book is truly beautiful and so, so heartbreaking and sad, and the author did an excellent job developing each character, to a point where you felt close to each one. and, the book had that strange power of haunting me after reading, where I continued to think about the characters and story afterwards.

easy reads (quick to get through, engaging storyline, iconic ‘beach read’):

crazy rich asians by kevin kwan // funny and fascinating (although fictional), easy to get through — a perfect beach read!

the kind worth killing by peter swanson // if you were a fan of gone girl and/or like psychological thrillers, you definitely should read this one!

her every fear by peter swanson // after i finished swanson’s other book (above), i immediately downloaded and finished this one in two days.

memoirs/personal essays:

drink: the intimate relationship between women and alcohol by ann dowsett johnston // this book explores patterns of alcohol consumption and abuse in women, telling one woman’s personal story of recovery with in-depth, shocking research about binge drinking among women and girls.

the rules do not apply by ariel levy  // a lovely memoir from journalist ariel levy – lots of beautiful and heartbreaking parts, all woven into one book.

we are never meeting in real life by samatha irby // this was one of those laugh-out-loud books, filled with hilarious essays from samatha’s life. favorite chapter: an epic essay about her working out (in a prenatal yoga class while not pregnant and in an aerobics class for senior citizens when she’s only in her 30s)

important reads (with historical, cultural, sociological impact):

we gon’ be alright: notes on race and resegregation by jeff chang // important essays about the rise of the #blacklivesmatter movement and the different tragedies and protests that have happened here in amerca.

just mercy by bryan stevenson // this book, authored by the founder of the equal justice initiative (helping the poor and wrongfully condemned prisoners on death row), discusses death row, our (very messed up) criminal justice system and the importance of mercy and justice going hand-in-hand

evicted by matthew desmond // really loved this book – it was a fascinating look into eight families’ lives in milwaukee as they struggle to pay rent. it was a great mix of storytelling and real, disturbing facts about those living in poverty or less-than-ideal housing conditions in america.

the hate u give by angie thomas // this is actually a book aimed for a younger teen audience, but touched on the topic of teen activism after the main character witnesses a police shooting. it was easy to read in terms of understandable language, but definitely an important and loaded topic so not an “easy read” in that sense

UPDATE: hillbilly elegy by j.d. vance // this is a book I read a few months back, but a few people commented mentioning this book so I wanted to add to this recommendation list, as I really enjoyed and learned from this book. hillbilly elegy could also fall under the memoirs section in this post, as the book tells the story of the author’s family, while discussing and analyzing Appalachian culture and the white, working class population.

what’s the best book you’ve read lately? please share! my good friend rob just finished autumn by ali smith so that’s one book next on my list.  // image via

on holding space

Posted on: Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Something I’ve been really thinking about lately is the idea and practice of holding space for others. I’ve been reading articles, talking with a few people about what it means and journaling to try to hash out how I can be better at practicing holding space. Some people’s actual job is to hold space – like counselors, yoga teachers, Hospice nurses, etc., but I can also hold space for others simply as a friend, wife, sister, and daughter. And so can you!

So what is ‘holding space’ exactly? What does that even mean? Coach Heather Plett describes it as “when we are willing to walk alongside another person in whatever journey they’re on without judging them, making them feel inadequate, trying to fix them, or trying to impact the outcome.” 

This can be REALLY hard for me – as I’m a natural problem solver, encourager, and “fixer.” I love being able to quickly and effectively help people fix a situation and move on. I can think of countless times my little sisters have came to me with problems or issues and my natural instinct is to get a to-do list together, figure out how to solve the problem and tackle the issue head-on for them. And I always try to be their #1 cheerleader, giving affirmations like YOU CAN DO IT! You’re awesome! This situation is no big deal!. 

But – what if, rather than fixing it for them, overwhelming them with info/affirmations or monopolizing their emotions, I just held space for them? Again, to quote Heather Plett: “to truly support people in their own growth, transformation, grief, etc., we can’t do it by taking their power away (ie. trying to fix their problems), shaming them (ie. implying that they should know more than they do), or overwhelming them (ie. giving them more information than they’re ready for). We have to be prepared to step to the side so that they can make their own choices, offer them unconditional love and support, give gentle guidance when it’s needed, and make them feel safe even when they make mistakes.”

There are lots of situations where someone might need us to to hold space for them – death and moving and breakups and relationship issues and stressful work situations and disappointments and just every day, regular bad days. We don’t always need someone to problem solve or encourage us through these situations or days; sometimes, we just need someone to simply BE THERE. Holding space can be tricky when our inclination is to tangibly help or do something or create results because holding space implies a lack of doing, but just BEING. Your presence sometimes is enough and exactly what someone needs in that moment to facilitate their growth, transformation and healing. So that’s what I’m working on lately. 💗

This article that I’ve been re-reading over and over again shares some tips for helping you hold space for others, in case you want to learn more:

Give people permission to trust their own intuition and wisdom. 

Give people only as much information as they can handle.

Don’t take their power away – people need the autonomy to make their own choices. When we take decision-making power out of people’s hands, we leave them feeling useless and incompetent.

Keep your own ego out of it.

Make them feel safe enough to fail.

Give guidance and help with humility and thoughtfulness. A wise space holder knows when to withhold guidance (ie. when it makes a person feel foolish and inadequate) and when to offer it gently (ie. when a person asks for it or is too lost to know what to ask for).

Create a container for complex emotions, fear, trauma, etc. When people feel that they are held in a deeper way than they are used to, they feel safe enough to allow complex emotions to surface that might normally remain hidden. It becomes the space where people feel safe enough to fall apart without fearing that this will leave them permanently broken or that they will be shamed by others in the room. Someone is always there to offer strength and courage.

Allow them to make different decisions and to have different experiences than you would.

As always, thanks for reading! What does ‘holding space’ mean to you? When have you held space for someone else or had someone hold space for you?

Image via herehere and here

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