MENTAL ILLNESS & MOTHERHOOD

maybe you know that my husband & I were surprised by a beautiful, amazing, gorgeous, sweet-natured, PERFECT (of course) little baby girl who was born just over a month ago. her name is Iola, and we love her to bits and pieces. though not literally. cause that would be odd. and unfortunate. πŸ˜‰

maybe you also know that I have generalized anxiety disorder & clinical depression. the first time I remember experiencing a very-not-normal type of anxiety, I was only five years old, although it really came at me like a punch in the gut the summer after I turned 16.

if you’ve been around the blog for very long, you probably know both of those things. but here’s something you might not know:

mental illnesses like these run in my family.
and my husband’s family.

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and for this reason, I was never really sure I wanted to have my own children.

so…
sweet, freshly-diagnosed girl looking out into her future with theseΒ fears, this is for you.
strong mama in the double trenches of mental illness & motherhood, this is for you.
tentative pregnant gal who never had to think about this until you had to go cold turkey off your meds, this is for you.
anyone who loves a mama with a mental illness, this is for you. Continue reading “MENTAL ILLNESS & MOTHERHOOD”

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IOLA GRACE // THE BIRTH STORY

hi there sweet souls!

I ducked out on a month-longΒ hiatus from untidy grace (and most social media) for the month of february after our sweet Iola Grace was born… speaking of which…

yes! she is here! our darling girl is finally in our arms and it’s both easy and hard and beautiful and terrifying. we are completely overwhelmed in all the best ways, and we are equal parts out-of-our-minds exhausted & happy. ❀ she is the perfect addition to our family.

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((just after she was placed on my chest for the first time… be still my heart!))

it’s really important to me that I get to share the story of her birth. I think birth stories matter hugely because they are the stories of how we came to be, how we joined humanity in this wild flood of wild and holy chaos. they are the stories that contain the first moments of our lives, our first breaths, the first time we were touched and held and hands-on-loved.

birth stories come with waterfalls of emotion, too. there is always a bit of fear and panic entwined in the joy and expectation that surrounds the birth of a child. it isn’t all rainbows & butterflies, and sometimes that pain & panic can turn into trauma, deep physical ramifications, or postpartum anxiety & depression. I think ALL of it matters- the joy, the newness, the happy… and the fear and disappointment. all of it deserves a voice.

I will insert here a TRIGGER WARNING for those of you who had traumatic birth experiences. mine was, too, and I want to be sensitive to what you may have faced.

Continue reading “IOLA GRACE // THE BIRTH STORY”

IOLA’S COZY BOHO NURSERY REVEAL

I’ll keep the words short & sweet on this post, because I want you to totally enjoy all the photos of our little Io’s nursery! ❀

we finally finished up her part of our bedroom, and I am just so in love with how sweet and cozy and homey it is. it makes my heart happy to see her little space, and anticipate how so soon, a little girl will be living in here with us!

cozy boho is a pretty good description of the feel of her nursery, I think. I wanted to create a space perfect for cuddling, with smart and beautiful storage, and a vibe that could both mesh with an adult bedroom while also growing with her (I think these pieces can all be easily transitioned to a big-girl room as she gets older!)

so come on in & cuddle up in Iola’s cozy boho nursery… shhh, baby’s sleeping πŸ˜‰

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had to throw in a little bump picture because she’s gotten so big! (doctor estimates 7lb 3oz Β & SUPER LONG at her due date!) so much for fearing having a teeny preemie! Continue reading “IOLA’S COZY BOHO NURSERY REVEAL”

10 REALLY SHALLOW REASONS I’M EXCITED TO NOT BE PREGNANT

besides the obvious (and totally NOT shallow) reason of having my baby girl in my arms as opposed to my stomach, there are lots of reasons I’m super pumped to no longer be pregnant.

several of them aren’t shallow at all. being a family of three, getting to know this amazing little person, seeing my husband become a father…

and while I know that motherhood isn’t all sunshine and roses (I’ve seen the contents of a diaper, y’all), there’s so much good about it!

but today…? I’m celebrating the shallow & silly reasons why I’m excited for the next stage in this journey πŸ˜‰

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10 REALLY SHALLOW REASONS I’M EXCITED TO NOT BE PREGNANT Continue reading “10 REALLY SHALLOW REASONS I’M EXCITED TO NOT BE PREGNANT”

37 WEEKS PREGNANT // BUMPDATE

I can honestly say that I didn’t expect to be writing this post.

just 6 weeks ago we entered the hospital with my contractions less than 5 minutes apart to find I was at high-risk for pre-term labor, and were afraid we’d have a teeny preemie on our hands; in the 4-5 weeks that followed I was on a modified bed rest to make sure our Iola Grace stayed safely put until she was grown enough to be healthy out in the real world. (you can read the whole story here)

just before Christmas we were in the hospital yet again with more concerns, but (yet again), we were sent home and labor continued to hold off.

the pain has been excruciating. the emotional strain (and yeah even trauma) has been real. the heightened anxiety has been exhausting. and the contractions (now consistently every 10 minutes or less for the past few weeks) have been frustrating.

with each doctor appointment, my doctor expressed the doubt, but hope, that Io would stay put until the end of January. each appointment confirms that I am indeed getting closer to active labor by the day… but our little love has officially made it to term, which we never thought would happen, and we are both so happy & so impatient. (especially this mama who has been in early labor for 5+ weeks!!)

keep us in your prayers! mama is completely worn out and exhausted from the pain.
our girl Io is still looking perfect (as usual!), if a wee on the bit small side. ❀
dad is super ready to see his baby girl… and to have his other girl be less miserable. πŸ˜‰

we’re a hot mess over here, but we are hanging on! this sweet little soul has been desperately waited upon & joyfully suffered for. we can’t wait to see her beautiful face…

happy 37 weeks of life, Io girl. we love you!Β 

10 MOST-LOVED BLOG POSTS OF 2016

as 2016 comes to a close, and we get ready for 2017 to make her grand debut, I thought it would be fun to take a little trip down memory lane, and revisit all the blog posts from this year that were YOUR favorites ❀

this is a little countdown of the 10 posts that were the most-viewed from 2016, in the order of least views to most views (there are a couple of exceptions, as I didn’t include any photography or business-themed posts).

THANK YOU for all of the love you have poured into this little corner of the interwebs ❀ your encouragement, comments, and sweet emails & messages have made my days brighter and my heart lighter. you are why I write, friends.

are you ready?!

I am! πŸ™‚

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here are the 10 MOST-LOVED BLOG POSTS OF 2016

enjoy browsing through the highlights of this year on the blog ❀

Continue reading “10 MOST-LOVED BLOG POSTS OF 2016”