MIA – Week Four

Here we are, week four, the final post in my MIA series. Thank you to all of those who have been reading and reaching out to me as I have gone on this little journey through the month.

I have been reflecting a lot on why I started, what I wanted to be doing with the website, and where I am currently at in all areas of life. In some ways, I have certainly come a long way, in others, I think I maybe just tried too hard.

I believe I wanted to “do it all”. Outfit posts, business/product sharing, inspirations, recipes, etc. Which is all great, and I can do all of those things; however, I was trying to do it all at once, and at times, in a matter of a post a day. It all started off really well. I was able to reach people and grow a small following. I was even invited to be a guest on Local Lifestyles, our local morning TV show, which lead me to do an amazing and very fun photo shoot with Christy Lively Photography; the picture above is from that session.

I was able to get outfits together, find great businesses to share (which can still be found on my Shops I Love page!), and whipped up some great smoothies. I have learned that I should have taken my time in sharing though! I stated to realize that I was struggling a little to find something to share, what would people like, what would work, what wouldn’t?  I have taken so much time these last couple of months and learned how to plan out all areas of my life better, including my website.

I allowed the pressure of it all to get to me, and to make me feel like I HAD to post everyday. But, I don’t, it’s my site. I can post and share when I want to, when I have time. I can plan out posts in advance more, and create more “series” to help me organize my thoughts and help others.

I have started working on myself physically as well, and am starting to feel “better in my own skin”. I am looking forward to starting back into some Outfit Inspiration posts. I am hoping to have some fun food inspirations as well!

I want to hear from YOU though! What are some of the things I have done that you have liked? Is there anything you want to see more of, or that I haven’t done that you would like me to do?

Thank you again for being here, your support is wonderful!

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MIA – Week Three

 

Week Three

As time continued on, I was happy that I was able to find my way out of the Postpartum Depression. I also began to feel little more like I had a some control on myself and the “new normal” of adding second child to our family. We were finding a rhythm to our day, as well as a good nap schedule!

Coming out of this fog was a really great feeling. Our oldest daughter was doing great in school, and loved being a big sister. Mark helped out at home where he could, and I am forever thankful for his support and understanding. 

In June of this year, we had the chance to go home to Oregon to visit my family and our friends. Traveling with a 10.5 month old is about as fun as it sounds at times, however, we all did great and managed wonderfully on the flights.

We were able to do so much while there, and see so many friends. We stayed with my parents so we had a lot of family time. We also got to spend a few days on the Oregon Coast, which is my favorite place. We got to relax a little and just enjoy being a family of four. 

It was during this time that I began to think a little differently about the blog and gave myself some grace regarding it. I was a new mom, I had a family and a life that wasn’t happening in a screen. It was okay for me to take this time for ME, my daughters, and my husband.

I can be completely open and share that I was certainly struggling with my “post-baby body” and it was natural not to feel like doing outfits posts. I had to remind myself that it was okay to take a step back from everything, focus on what truly matters in my life. I had found my love of reading again, even joined my local Barnes & Noble Book Club, and was enjoying life with two beautiful daughters and wonderful husband. It is a very freeing feeling when you decide to give yourself time and understanding, rather than beat yourself up over somethings that are out of your control. It is okay to allow yourself space, to not feel like you have to try to do it all. 

It may have taken awhile, and I still have a long way to go, but at least I am starting to navigate this new area of life, of understanding and patience for myself. No one can do it all, not even me. 

MIA – Week Two

Thank you to everyone who took the time to read Week One, I appreciate the support!

Week Two

Our daughter made her arrival toward the end of July 2017, and I am pretty sure we spent those first 48 hours in the hospital just staring happily at her. The day it was time to go home, I held her in my arms and cried on my husband’s shoulder. “She’s ours, she’s really ours, and we get to take her home.” I was so happy my heart burst open; it was the best feeling could have after all we had gone through. All of that waiting, those months of hoping we’d find out we were expecting, only to find out we weren’t, lead us to this wonderful amazing day, she was here, she was ours, we were going home.

My parents had come in from Oregon to help with our oldest daughter, and for a bit after we got home. Having them here for two weeks was so wonderful. They took Riley on great adventures, cooked meals, snuggled baby Tenley, and helped however they could. My husband also took that time off from work. He popped into the office from time to time, but otherwise he was home. Riley was at the end of her summer break, so my house was full of company and happiness. I felt like I was always surrounded by love.

Then it seemed as if I had the rug pulled out from under me. The two weeks was up. My parents had to go back to Oregon, my husband had to go back to work, and two days later our oldest started school started. After having two weeks of support and love all around, suddenly, I was alone, with a newborn.

Of course I knew it was going to be an adjustment. Adding a newborn always is as such. I now had to plan out our day to be ready to get Riley from school in the afternoons, amongst other things, all around feedings and numerous baby naps. I wasn’t going to figure it out day one, I knew that. What I didn’t see (or feel) at first, was slowly creeping in.

I was bummed out my parents had to go home, of course, I missed them and had days where I felt sad; but that wasn’t all that was going on. Everything soon began to feel like the biggest task. I felt heavy, and as if I couldn’t smile. About one month in to having a newborn, the Postpartum Depression had arrived. When I say nearly everything was hard, I mean it. Caring for Tenley seemed to be the only thing I could do.

Sometimes it comes in like a flood, other times it slowly rises and you can’t even fully tell it is happening. All you know is that something is wrong, off. One day in particular I just couldn’t even feel really anything. I have dealt with depression and anxiety for most of my life, however, PPD is a different beast. I did what I could to get through my day, but all I wanted to do was to disappear with my baby.

One evening, I basically did just that. I just couldn’t do anything anymore, even sitting in the living room was too much. My husband was making dinner, our oldest was hanging out in the dining/kitchen area. I had been nursing the baby on the couch and she started to doze off a little. Without saying anything, I just got up off the couch, went upstairs to our bedroom, gently laid her in her Rock N Play Sleeper (best thing ever for newborns), and just laid on my bed feeling numb.

The picture above was taken during that moment. She held my finger for a bit and that was everything to me, that seemed to be the only thing I could feel. My husband and oldest daughter hadn’t even noticed we had left the living room. After a little time had past, my husband came in and just held me for a little bit. I was so thankful that I didn’t need to say the words, he just knew. He left the baby and I to just be for a little while, until I felt ready to go back downstairs. That’s finally when I was able to release a little of my numbness, and I cried. The kind of cry where you make no noise and your tears just fall and fall.

Postpartum Depression is different for everyone who experiences it. Thankfully with the help of my therapist, and support from my husband, I was able to get through it. It took time, patience, and giving myself some grace. There was a lot of other things I dealt with during this time, and I honestly just don’t want to get into it all. Postpartum Depression is a highly personal journey, and I just hope that by sharing a little piece of mine, it helps another woman be able to find a way through hers.

If you are struggling with Postpartum Depression, depression, anxiety, or any other mental illness, I encourage you to find the help you need. Talk to your partner/spouse, a trusted family member or friend; find a good therapist. Remember that there is nothing wrong with you, and there are people to help guide you.

Stay strong, stay beautiful, stay kind.

MIA – Week One

Picture taken four days before her arrival!

I feel as if I have been mentally writing this post for over a year, yet am not fully sure exactly what I want to say. It’s not easy, and being honest is always difficult in our social media world these days. I really feel the need to share the journey of the last two years though, and shed some light on why I went MIA.

I started this blog in 2015, and have really enjoyed sharing various outfits, recipes, and fun products from small businesses. I loved watching the inspiration it gave to others and have had fun being able to connect with so many people!

I am sure if you follow me on Instagram you have seen posts and updates on my life and happenings. I just felt like I was finally ready to sit down and get back to blogging. While I am not fully sure where it will take me this time, I am looking forward to starting again.   Over the next few weeks I will be sharing various bits and pieces of my life; and hope that you enjoy reading along.

Week One

Two days before Thanksgiving 2016 I found out I was expecting with our second child, we’d find out in January we would be having another girl. My husband and I were over the moon, as we had been trying for a year and a half, and were close to thinking that God didn’t want it to happen for us again. What was even more fun was that we were leaving the next day to head to New York to spend Thanksgiving with his family. We were able to keep the secret all weekend, thank goodness!

I was trying to keep up with posts during the early stages of pregnancy. Unfortunately, I am one of the women who does not have a fun first trimester, at all. Unless I was sleeping, or trying to lay in the fetal position on the couch, I was incredibly nauseous. Like, right on the edge of losing my stomach…all day…but never did, kind of nauseous. (Trust me, it’s as bad as it sounds.) This was the first slow down of the blogging train.

As I moved into the second trimester, I was feeling better, my baby bump was growing, and I was only fitting into certain clothing. I am sure that many would say it would have been the perfect time for me to do some Maternity Fashion; sure it would have been. However, in all openness, I was not feeling that attractive, and was wearing the same few outfits. I felt a little like I had lost my touch, and the train slowed down even more.

Eventually I did find that the train pretty much stopped, and I just wasn’t posting anymore, and of course, it is easy to simply continue to NOT post, to not share. Why though? Well, preparing for a baby, with a school ager (or any age older child, our just any baby whether it be first, second, or fourth) is busy, and at times chaotic. Looking back, I should give myself some more grace for letting the website become “stale” for a bit. Family and time with our oldest daughter before adding our second, was much more important that spending time on my site.

In June of 2017, a little over one month before our second daughter was due, I took a full social media break, and I loved it. I had so much fun spending time with my husband and oldest daughter, creating so many fun memories. This was one of the healthiest things I have done and it helped to put a lot of things into perspective. Don’t get me wrong, I love many aspects of social media and connecting with others, but it simply doesn’t need to consume that much of my time.

Life isn’t happening inside of a screen, it’s happening right in front of us. As Ferris Bueller said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

Next week I look forward to sharing a bit about life after baby girl arrived! What was life like when you were adding a baby? Have you ever taken a social media break? I would love to hear your thoughts, comment below and let’s discuss.