Fashion & Beauty

Honoring My Grandmothers’ Life


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Earlier this week, on January 22nd, my family lost its matriarch; my grandfather lost the love of his life, my mother lost her mother and I lost a very close grandmother who will never get to meet the baby I’m carrying – a baby she was so very excited to meet.

I’m not confident in my ability to accurately depict the immensely incredible life she lived and it’s getting harder to type every word as I’m constantly wiping tears from my face, but I’ll do my best.

My grandmother was one of twelve siblings and married my grandfather right out of high school. Together they had five biological children and adopted two additional kids when I was about three. She worked odd jobs throughout her life; I most distinctly remember her working at a local bakery and then serving as a lunch lady when I was in elementary school and into early middle school. Sometime after that, she retired and took to babysitting her grandchildren and neighborhood kids.

Some of best memories of my grandmother are lazy summer days with her. During the summer, she would pick us up for the free movie days at the theater, we’d get pizza, go back to her house and spend the rest of the day in the pool. Even as we grew older, my now husband would spend some days poolside with me and my younger siblings.

At 4’10” and 100 pounds soaking wet, my grandmother was a little ball of fire that I’m sure most people did not expect. She had a get it done attitude, but a playfulness that made even the most tedious tasks lighter and upbeat. That same get it done attitude also landed her in some rough spots over the years. For example, the week before her surprise 50th anniversary part she started a bonfire on her property with gasoline – little to her knowledge she was standing too close and ended up in the hospital with some 2nd degree burns and no eyebrows. Even through all her trials, she always remained strong and upbeat with a passion for life I have only ever seen in one other person.

What no one tells you when someone passes is that the little details you remember about that person are the memories you’ll hold most dear and pull at your heart the hardest. When we were little, she’d used to tell us “pizza crusts make your eyelashes grow” and “the bruises on bananas make you beautiful” – I obviously have reservations on the validity of those statements, but I know I’ll be repeating them to my own children.

My grandmother lived a beautiful life, loved and is loved by so many people. Before she passed, she told the nurse at the hospital that she “had a beautiful house with a beautiful bedroom with sunlight coming in” and that’s where she wanted to go. Grandma got her wish, passing away peacefully in her beautiful house, surrounded by the people who love her.

Even though she’s gone, her legacy lives on in her husband, 7 children (5 biological and 2 adopted), 10 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren (with an additional 3 on the way). Although I feel like 25 years with my grandmother was not enough, I am grateful for the time I got with her. She will forever be in my heart and in the hearts of those who loved her.

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Pregnancy Update: 21 weeks!




T Shirt Dress similar here / Vera Wang Leggings / Knot Necklace

Yes, I know. I’ve been AFK AGAIN. Truth be told, it has been so insanely cold I haven’t gone anywhere or done anything besides have to do errands. What does that mean in my terms? No makeup and sweats every day. Between being pregnant and the super low temperatures, I have had no desire whatsoever to do any sort of outfit post. Luckily it’s warmer here and I’ll try to get my butt back in gear. Santa brought me a new (excellent used condition) lens for my camera, so I’m super excited to try it out! 🙂

On another note, I am officially (a little more than) half way through my pregnancy! You cannot imagine how good it feels to say that. 🙂 I’ll bounce off a few quick tidbits first and finish off with a more lengthy “story” for those of you who want to read it.

baby size: a carrot
bump size: obviously pregnant, still smallish

symptoms: swelling, acne
cravings: sushi

worst part so far: uncontrollable gas
best part so far: feeling baby kick

Baby Size + Bump Size
Our baby is about the size of a large carrot and weighs about 14 ounces. Oddly, for being half way through, I don’t feel like I look “half way pregnant”. People around me constantly say things like “she’s expecting? she’s so tiny” and “your bump is so cute and little”. Trust me, I do not feel tiny and although my bump is “cute and little”, it’s already gotten to the point where I can’t bend over fully and I can literally feel the boundaries of my uterus through my abdomen. (TMI? I’m pregnant – it’s all TMI. 🙂 )

Symptoms + Cravings
I thought my worst symptom would be hunger. I was wrong. Then I thought the worst symptom would be exhaustion. Wrong again. Acne has been the (almost!) worst part of the process. I have NEVER had acne like this. My face has been consistently getting huge, swollen pimples no matter what I do and I told my husband that I feel worse now about myself than I did when I was almost 150 pounds. Mostly because of the acne. I can’t hide it and it’s right there where everyone is looking. I’m so embarrassed every time we go out because I’m supposed to have this beautiful pregnancy glow and I just look like I’ve been bitten by those spiders on Jumanji.

Honestly, pregnancy is not all cravings. People make it seem like that, but it’s really not. The first thing I started craving was peanut butter and chocolate. Yes, I did tear the entire house apart looking for those peanut butter balls we bought at a craft show, but it subsided and I haven’t gotten like that since. The second thing I craved was cheese and sopressata. I have now moved onto potatoes (all kinds – hashbrowns, fries, scalloped, baked), buffalo wings and the biggest one of all: SUSHI. Oh my goodness, the sushi. We have an all you can eat sushi/hibachi place where we live where you can order from the menu as many times as you want and they make it fresh. It’s incredible and we have literally been eating there every week for the past month and a half. No, I don’t eat the raw stuff – I actually don’t even care for raw sushi rolls even when I’m not pregnant – but I do still get the rolls with caviar on them.

Worst + Best
As much as I’d like to say that acne  has been the worst, at least I can semi hide it and medicate it. Gas is another story. I have never had so much gas in my life – I literally have to stop eating because of gas before I ever get painfully full. Oddly, it’s a blessing and a curse. A blessing because I stop eating, so I won’t gain so much weight as fast, and a curse because it’s horribly uncomfortable and terribly uncontrollable. Luckily we have a couple pregnant women between both of our families so everyone pretty much understands.

The baby has been squirming and kicking me constantly (my husband just felt the baby kick for the first time on the 12th!). At our big ultrasound this week, the tech and the doctor were both constantly commenting on how much the baby was moving – the tech even went so far as to say we’d have a soccer player. Music to my husbands’ ears. 🙂 The second best part is that I’m halfway through and that is just unreal to me! In another 19 weeks or slightly less, we’ll be meeting our very first baby! There are really just no words beyond that – I legitimately can’t even comprehend it. Come on, May!

People are still asking us if we’re finding out the gender. No. Are we waiting until closer to our due date to find out? Are we having a gender reveal baby shower? Are we keeping the gender a secret from everyone but we know? No, no and no. We simply want a big surprise when our baby finally arrives. Some people think that’s stupid – how will we know what color gear and clothes to buy?. It’s called gender neutral, folks and that’s what we want. However, to our surprise, just as many people are super thrilled that we’re not finding out until D-Day.

There’s more to it than just wanting a surprise. I’m 25 years old, I have been to my fair share of baby showers. Every woman knew what she was having and told all the guests; all of them ended up with a ton of baby clothes and practically nothing else. The other items they did end up with were all either boy colors or girl colors.

Here’s my thought process. If nobody knows the gender, they can’t buy gender specific items which means the gender neutral items will last me (in theory) through all my babies, girls or boys. If nobody knows the gender, the temptation to buy all those super cute outfits will be quickly thwarted by the fact that although there ARE gender neutral clothes, there just aren’t a whole bunch of them. As a rule of thumb, I don’t buy baby clothes for a baby shower unless the honorary guest is my sister – but then only as a supplement to other requested items that are NOT clothes. You have no idea how many times I’ve heard a sigh of relief when new moms to be open gifts that are not baby clothes.

The whole pregnancy process has been a huge roller coaster for us and we are eagerly awaiting our due date one week at a time. We cannot wait to meet our little boy or girl!

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tshirt dress LEGGINGS knot necklace