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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

My First Maternity Session | 2014: The Year of Abundant Happiness

{34 weeks of pregnancy.}

Yesterday I had my first official maternity shoot -at least this baby gets one "first."  My pregnancy with Wilder was so new and wondrous, with Waverley it was filled with girly excitement, this baby has been more "welcome to the party" than "let's throw a party."
The party's started.  
We're not doing a baby shower (though I would like to have a casual gathering of friends just to say hello and visit before baby comes -just to celebrate friendship- but I doubt I'll get around to planning it.)  We're all just feeling so chill and I'm embracing it.

But this maternity session?  Oh my goodness.  So special.  I've seen a few sneak peeks and they are just gorgeous.  I'll share when I get the edits in the next few weeks, you bet your buttons.  

Thelma, owner of Divaz Fabula -a sister duo hair and make up team, came to the house to get me gorgeous. And she certainly did.  I've only had my hair and make up done three times in my life for photoshoots that were personal -not for my wedding, not for prom, just for one round of headshots, last year's creative shoot and this maternity session.

Before and After with hair/make up company Divaz Fabula

I've often felt that getting hair and make up done was on par to having a manicure.  It's something you should be good enough to do yourself -passably.  It's like ordering a coke at a restaurant when you'd be fine with water.  Maybe it's my Presbyterian (read: frugal) upbringing.  I won't splurge on handbags (hello, imitation vinyl at Burlington Coat Factory!)  You won't find designer brands in my closet (unless they somehow made it to the local thrift store -and, by then, they're "vintage" and highly appropriate for recreating Angela Lansbury's look in "Murder, She Wrote."  My favorite.) I just have a hard time spending money.  Unless it's for a bargain.  Or chocolate.
Tim Waters Photography, HMU Divaz Fabula.  34 weeks pregnant.
BUT, hiring Thelma -having my hair and make up done professionally- was absolutely worth it and I firmly believe that if you are going to have a professional photoshoot, you NEED to spend the money on looking your best.  Just from the sneak peeks, what Thelma did with my eye make up completely made my look and I love the photos 200% more than expected because of her work.  My photographer, Tim, said the make up was so flawless, he wouldn't have to do a single retouch.  As a photographer, that's a big deal.

It makes a difference.

Sunday morning I woke up from a dream that I had the baby, but nothing prepared.  Not a single diaper.  Logically, after getting ready, I headed to the store to stock up.

It was the sweetest shopping trip I believe I've ever had.  Standing in the various aisles at Walmart, I could be found hugging diapers with glee, tearing up as I picked out the lightly scented baby lotion I'd be lovingly rubbing into my baby's fresh skin, and laughing out loud, drunk on the thought of soon being in Babyland.  Now, baby can arrive and I'll be ready.  Wipes are under the sink.  Diapers are nearby.  Mattress protector purchased in case my water breaks in bed like last time.

Speaking of my bed, that's another thing that was ultra special about this maternity session.  Done in my studio, which doubles as our bedroom, this is where I'm planning on delivering.  Behind those double doors, I've created a birthing sanctuary in our bathroom.  Peaceful, soothing, filled with green plants, natural light and candles, I've been imagining the birthing scene and mentally preparing with this space.  Having my maternity session captured where the most intimate moments of our live have occurred (yep, TMI, but it's *true*) is just priceless.  So much more meaningful than if we shot in a random field or venue.  THIS is home.  THIS is where we live and love.  THIS is where we'll usher -as a family- our next member into our lives.
I cry just thinking about it.

Get your hair and make up did by a professional like Thelma.
Baby prep shopping at 34 weeks is FUN.
And I have pretty pictures coming that are so very special -and it makes me happier than a June Bug.

Side Note:
2014 has been the happiest year of my life.  Maybe it's the hormones, but I doubt it.  Most of it is due to changes we made as a couple and a family -a change of focus and how we spent our time.  We united where we had been divided, and coming together -re-prioritizing- has been the secret sauce to our happiness.  It seems every day I am hit with how tremendously blessed I am and how thoroughly happy I am right where we are.  I used to dream, "Oh, when we live here, I'll be happy" or "if only we had more money and could travel, I'll be happy," etc.  Now I wake up and snuggle with my hubby, overwhelmed by how lucky I am to have him next to me.  To see Waverley peek her little blonde head up from behind the bed and hop in for a few minutes together before the coffee starts brewing.  To watch my little boy so enthusiastic about the things he's learning, discovering and enjoying at this stage -as SOON as he gets out of bed.


That's the best way to define 2014: The Year of Abundant Happiness.
And I am so thankful.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

You don't want to read this. Fair warning.

So, I hugged a stranger yesterday.  That's not what I had in mind to write about, but it happened.  It was awkward and funny.  Someone I thought I knew, greeted enthusiastically, went in for a big hug and "So, how ARE you?!" and realized within 30 seconds... I've never met this person before.
I got her business card, though, and she seemed to dig the overwhelmingly friendly connection.
She's from out-of-state, so: Welcome to Texas, Sister.
We're huggers.

This... well, this is a majorly "TMI" post -you probably don't want to read it, just a warning.  It's about labor dreams.  But it's just too odd not to write about.

Feel free to exit through the gift shop now.  No purchase necessary.

I can't specifically recall having labor dreams with the other two kids, but the only dreams I've had regarding labor with this little person have had a very common theme.  Nothing that scary, thank heavens, but just weird.  You'd think I'd never given birth before.

The first dream, I was laying in bed in the middle of the night.  I woke up (in my dream, mind you) and my water broke.  Along with the gush of amniotic fluid, a grey, spongey matter expelled.  The thing looked like a loofa.  A grey loofa, but softer.  And -in my dream- it was COMPLETELY NORMAL.  Within a minute, the baby just slipped out.  The beautiful, gorgeous, healthy baby.  I turned to my sleeping husband and said, "Hey, Brian!  The baby's here!"

When I recounted it to him, he said, "That's the kind of home birth experience I'm after.  I'll just sleep through it."

Not.  Gonna.  Happen.

So last night, another labor dream.
It was daytime.  I was using the downstairs toilet in our home when my water broke.  And then... (seriously, where is this coming from?!) all of this spongey matter and (soggy) papery products started coming out of my body.  It looked like 10 lbs. of excess...um...excess(??) emptied out of me.  And my thought was, "Oh, huh!  I had no idea I had 3 rolls of toilet paper, etc. stuck inside of me!  I feel so much lighter now!"

(What is WRONG WITH ME?!)

Then I started to freak out a bit.  I was only 33 weeks pregnant and my water broke.  What do I do now? I didn't want to go to the hospital, but it seemed logical.  Thank heavens I woke up before I had to hop in the car and make the drive.

Ladies and gentlemen, I warned you.  It was certainly too much information.
But now I will have a record of my insanity for years to come.

Oh, thank you, Dear Internet.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Bitchy isn't clever, it's just bitchy | Reactionaries Versus Diplomats | And Poirot References -gotta love 'em

Lately I've gotten back to one of my favorite shows, Agatha Christie's  "Poirot" starring the wonderful David Suchet.  When I hear the theme music begin it feels odd not having a glass of wine and a gourmet cheese plate in hand, but there it is.  (8 months pregnant, whatchagonnado?) There is something sumptuous about this hourly indulgence with such a smart (in every sense of the word) little Belgian nestled in 1920s England.

David Suchet as Poirot by erebus-odora found on deviant art.
What's most endearing about this charming man?  True, he's quirky, picky, a bit prissy -I grant you- BUT: he's diplomatic and polite.  Sound boring?
Well, it ain't.

We are being trained -and told it's "cool"- to be reactive, unthoughtful, unfiltered individuals.  We rarely censor what we say or share -and it's easy to put our foots in our mouths with all the instant outlets for emoting: facebook, twitter, instagram, even blogging.  "I'm just throwing this out there..."
But what are we throwing out?  Usually negativity.

Complaining is rampant.
Griping is on the rise.
Acting badly then attaching a "don't judge me" at the end is totally normal.

We're losing the art of being graceful.
Why do people despise being....well, pleasant?

I get it.  Being "real," dropping the facade, admitting we aren't super women -YES.  True, I agree whole-heartedly!  But are we doing ourselves any favors by reverting to childlike, knee-jerk reactions.  The number of small business owners I know who gripe openly on facebook alone -UGH!  What are they thinking?  How is this helpful -to ANYONE?  Particularly anyone who is/was contemplating working with or associating with them?

I will always remember a former employer who -at least in all my interactions- was a perfect example of diplomatic behavior.  He ran a very successful company surrounded by emotional artists and the typical restaurant employee problems, yet never spoke an ill word of anyone -expect local politicians, but that was his job.  He handled issues gracefully and I always admired him for it.
And that, my friends, is a hard thing to do.

So who are our role models? Snarky reactionists -"Oh, they're so edgy.  I love their brutal honesty," or
pleasant people who weigh their words carefully?

Maybe it's because it's such a challenge to be gracious and we so often fall short.
We hate falling short -feeling inadequate.  But perhaps that's because we aren't trying -or aren't try hard enough.

I am NOT perfect -I continue to learn that in greater fullness with each passing year. But I know that I admire those who, above the circumstances, attempt to be loving speakers of truth and who strive to live in joy.  While the snarky reactionists may be entertaining, I certainly wouldn't want to work with them in any facet or spend any amount of time with them.

Too much sunshine and buttercups for you?
Well, as Poirot would share in sentiment, "Have a pleasant day, my friend."

Mid-Day Photo Break | Berry Springs Park | Heat of Summer

 It just felt right to grab my girl, the camera and head to the park.  She let me *gasp!* brush and curl her hair (thank you, young lady) and was okay with mama taking pictures of her.  Granted, no poses occurred, just Waverley in true form -which is always the best way to capture your kids.  I mainly caught the back of her; she's always on the move, engrossed in something, off on an adventure.

As luck would have it, we brought carrots for our personal snack and they were excellent in drawing out the sweet donkeys at Berry Springs Park, one of my favorite places in Georgetown.  Scratch that.  My FAVORITE place in Georgetown.

And this -THIS- is what my Waverley looks like most of the hot Texas summer.  Shirtless and happy being herself.


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