Tuesday, 27 August 2013

week seven & shirley temples

Entering WEEK 8 pretty soon!!

Everyone keeps asking me how I'm feeling and in a way I wish I had more to report! But the truth is, I'm still feeling quite normal, and some days I wouldn't even know I was pregnant at all. 

That means no fun cravings to declare!

But I'm sure the time will come when I'll be wishing I could go back to my 7th week...before I felt sick or craved pizza 24/7.  

Last night I went to dinner with two amazing friends, Steph and Sarah, and I was so touched when Steph suggested we all get Shirley Temples to toast my good news!

Those are good friends right there...foregoing the wine so that I wouldn't be jealous!

By the way...I shot my first wedding as a pregnant person this past Saturday (although technically I was pregnant for my August 3rd wedding but it was still so early), and I can't properly describe how freakin' EMOTIONAL I was! 

I must have cried at least 7 or 8 times...one of which was on the dancefloor to the song, "We Are Family"...explain that one!

Thursday, 22 August 2013

things i've cried about

1. How much I love the dog. 

2. A conversation between Beans and I about a phone call that took place while I was sleeping and apparently I wasn't very pleasant to talk to...and I had a slight breakdown at the thought that he hung up the phone and didn't think I loved him.

3. A 5 minute clip of the movie Up.

4. About 10 different moments in the movie What to Expect When You're Expecting.

I'll be sure to continue to update this list...

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

you need so many things!!!

Hey little baby, 

I just wanted to let you know that you require a ridiculous amount of objects. Little do-dads and thingamajigs that I didn't even know existed...

Apparently you'll need 10 diapers per day. PER DAY! That's just insanity! And there are all kinds of creams for your little bum bum and a whole variety of different fabrics for different uses. You'll be swaddled in one type of linen, laid to sleep on another, soothed after a bath in a completely different kind, and cuddled with yet another. 

And on top of the THINGS, you're also making me super hungry at times for things like General Tso's chicken for breakfast, and an endless supply of nectarines. And then I'll have 2 or 3 bites and be completely stuffed...it's so weird!

And all of this stuff is just SO EXCITING because they're pieces of the puzzle that lead us to YOU!

A little overwhelming, sure...but this is why I'm so glad that our friend Loraleah is doing it first. As I watched her create her baby registry last week, I just kept thinking about how I've already scored you your first friend...a little baby boy or a little baby girl to hang out with all Summer.

And just to give you a life update outside the womb, your dad and I enjoyed a beautiful weekend at the cottage...

Your dad got mad at me for swimming in the frigid lake because he thinks you got too cold inside my belly...little does he know that you're going to be a fish just like your mom and you'll brave any temperature for a little dip :)



Monday, 12 August 2013

spreading the news!

Little baby...over the last couple days, we shared the news of your existence with some of our most favourite people in the whole world.

My first stop was Loraleah's house, where I stuck this little flag into our cupcakes and asked, "wanna be pregnant together?"

Your dad played baseball with his team from work, and we told your Uncle A-ross, Uncle C-ross, and Auntie Kayla. Everyone is so excited about your arrival, and Auntie Kayla is already practising her out-loud reading skills so that she'll be ready for you. 

After baseball, we swung by Nana & Grandad's house and startled them by strolling in casually at 9:30pm. I handed your Nana a little note that said:

You're going to be a Nana & Grandad! (again!)

The term "hysterical crying" doesn't even do this reaction justice. Your Nana was jumping up and down, side to side, for no less than 15 minutes. You Grandad looked so incredibly happy. Tears were shed, and your Nana was still spinning around the kitchen while the men poured a celebratory drink.

We told your other Nana & Grandpa over brunch at Zak's diner in Kanata as soon as they got home from their Vegas trip :)

We've been trying to only tell people in person (minus your Auntie Danya who is still in Korea!), so the fun part is making all of these plans to get together with our friends and family. There's not a single person who is less than THRILLED about you!! 

And here are a few shots from a photoshoot I did for my bookclub on Saturday night...at the very MOMENT I told them I was expecting!!!

My first doctor's appointment is this coming Friday, where I'll find out the due date...but for now, we're going with April 16th according to the app!

Spreading the news is SO FUN!!!

Friday, 9 August 2013

pregnant. one to two weeks.

AUGUST 8, 2013 

Today is the day that your dad and I found out about you...

It's August 8th, a beautiful and sunny morning, about 28 degrees, and we are overjoyed. And I'm using that term lightly!


This morning, I took a pregnancy test, just for kicks...even after proclaiming last night that I don't feel the least bit pregnant. But your dad said he just "had a feeling."

As I took the test, it really didn't feel different than any of the other tests, minus the result. I sat on the edge of the tub and played with the dog while that little hour glass rocked back and forth on the digital screen. 

Pregnant. 1-2 weeks. 

My eyes almost popped out of my head and with a look of sheer surprise on my face, I carried it over to show your dad. I tapp

ed him on the back, he saw the test, he looked into my eyes, and we jumped on the bed. 


Little baby, we are just so excited about your arrival, you don't even know. 

I'm going to tell you some of the bizarre occurrences within the first couple hours of this news:

I immediately cleaned the kitchen. 
Because I didn't want you to think I was a messy mom. 

Your dad couldn't get the huge smile off his face, and literally told the first person he saw that morning about you. 

I drove a little slower than I usually do. Because you are with me. 

Your dad texted me every 20-30 minutes or so, saying things like: BABE! YOU'RE PREGNANT! BAAAAAAABE! (Just so I didn't forget.)

Your dad almost told the receptionist
 at work about you...he was THAT excited. 

I downloaded every pregnancy app out there, 
trying to find out my due date.

And I immediately started thinking about ways to tell our favourite people about your existence. Cute cards? Styled photos? So many things to decide!

I had the urge to buy a pair of little baby shoes
...within about 20 minutes after the positive pregnancy test.

This is the start of a new chapter, little baby! Everything in our lives will change because of you...and I just never want to forget August 8th and how much joy you gave us on this day. 

The crazy part is that I know it won't compare to the joy you're about to give us in the future...but for right now, it's the biggest deal in the world


P.S...you're the size of a poppyseed according to my favourite of the downloaded apps. Just so you know ;)

(REPOST) fertility update: the new plan

I've been known to say:

I feel less stress when I'm in control.

Although, before this year I wouldn't have said I was a control freak! Denial, I'm sure.

If you're new around here, I'll first let you know that my husband and I started trying to get pregnant in January. In fact, we even threw a party in celebration of my last glass of wine before really trying. 

But getting pregnant proved to be a little more difficult than we had originally hoped, and I found myself looking to the blog to write about how it was going. Thankfully, I received nothing but positive messages, countless emails, and a ton of support from my best friends. 

I channeled all of my frustrations into finding more ways to increase our chances of getting pregnant. I even started taking my temperature in the morning and charting it, in hopes of gaining some insight into this mystical thing we call "ovulation." 

I read the books, I subscribed to the appropriate forums on TheBump.com, I stated taking an iron supplement, started counting the number of days in my cycle...and after all that, I still craved more ways to be in control. 

I was days away from getting one of those expensive Clear Blue Fertility Monitor things...but luckily I met with my family doctor before I did. 

And when I expected him to put me on a whole new set of vitamins or send me off to a fertility specialist, he surprised me by doing just the opposite. 

He told me to stop.

Stop looking at the calendar, stop taking my temperature, stop TRYING to get pregnant every month. I felt like saying: 

I'll NEVER get pregnant that way!

But instead, I just nodded my head and told him I would give it a try. So I've surrendered control. Cold turkey.

I'm not writing this to say that letting go of everything I thought I knew will prove to be the be-all-and-end-all solution to the problem -- heck, I'm not even saying that Beans and I won't start seeing a fertility specialist if we're still not pregnant in the near future -- because this is just my update. A record, if you will, for myself to remember this step in the journey.

But if you see me while I'm out for lunch with a girlfriend or two, and you notice that I'm drinking a glass of white wine...it's all good. 

Because the new plan is just to live. 

(REPOST) letters to baby

JULY 9, 2013, 3:37am

I don't know anything about you.

I don't know your name...your gender...I don't even know when you get created or when you will be born.

You're more of an abstract concept than a real baby at this point. But I can tell you a couple things already. 

First: you're wanted. Your father and I so desperately want to watch you grow (right now we're really hoping you start growing from nothing any day now).

Second: you're going to change everything. Right now my days are both long and short, and although I can't speak for your father's days, I know that they will be changing just as much as mine. My mornings are spent figuring out what needs to be done for the day, and what can wait for tomorrow. My afternoons are spent debating between working on this or working on that. My evenings are spent waiting for your father to get home, and wondering what tomorrow will be like. 

I know that when you arrive, everything will be different. Time will be meaningless in a sense, but completely terrifying in another. I will no longer have a concept of morning, afternoon, and night because your schedule will override these arbitrary social conventions and you'll decide that 4am is a perfectly acceptable time for breakfast (I digress) ..but somehow weeks will blend together and I'll wonder where entire months went. I'm not emotionally prepared to be one of the mothers who says things like "I don't know where the time goes...it's like I blinked and you were a year older."

I plan on taking many, many photos of you.

Third: you'll be loved. Not that there's a void of love in our lives right now, because let me tell you, we certainly love each other and of course we love our little dog, but everyone says that there's a different kind of love on the horizon. And I know for a fact that there's room in our lives for a ton of love that's coming your way. 

Whenever you decide to come along.

I have no idea who you are, little baby...like I said, you're a concept. You're a haze of all kinds of unknown things. What will maternity be like? Will I be a good pregnant person? Will I whine and complain and be in a lot of pain and discomfort? Or will I be one of those women who takes well to pregnancy and carries that certain "glow"?

Will you be a little boy to dress in little overalls and shirts with choo-choo trains? A little girl to dress in baby pink tutus? You know I'll do either, because I can't see myself being a green & yellow mom. 

I should decide right now if I will be capitalizing the words "mom" and "dad" and "mother" and "father"...but right now those words aren't us, so how should I know whether I'm a mom or a Mom? Or a Mum! Or a mommy...mama... Is that the kind of thing you figure out before or after your little one is born? Before or after they call you one of those names?

Are you a Mom until you get called a Mama? 

See...these are the things we'll need to figure out. For now though, I think: mom, dad, mother, father.

Even though I said above that I plan on defying the "time flies" motif, I know that in a way it won't be long before I'm rereading this blog post and wondering how I could have lived without knowing this little baby... In the same way that I wonder how I lived and worked in this house all day without the company of the Weezydog... Was it just quiet?

And that's what I'll say about you!

Was it just quiet before you arrived?
Was it just about me and my needs?
Was life just simple and uncomplicated and generally well-rested?

Yes, yes, and yes.

The life I'm living now will become foreign to me as I get to know our new life together as mom and little-one. That's just so crazy when you think about it! It's a little scary, sure. But it's a good kind of crazy. I hope to remember that the quiet life was boring, and I wouldn't trade it for anything.

So, my wee-little-adorable concept of a baby, just know that we'll be thinking of you...and waiting for you to come on your own time. 

You'll be worth the wait, I just have a feeling.


(P.S. if you're wondering about the middle-of-the-night timing of this post...well it's because Ryan is away in Toronto on business and when he's gone, I tend to flip my sleep schedule and end up sleeping all day and working all night. I am undoubtedly most productive in the middle of the night.)

(P.P.S. I'm not pregnant. I'll save you a text message.)

tales of fertility...

(a note about this post: I wrote this entry as a draft, 
adding to it for each month of our "trying." I'm not even sure if it was ever
 meant to be published, but here it is. Because...why not?)

JULY 3, 2013
They don't call it a cycle for no reason.

It's not just the cycle between fertile days, ovulation, and waiting...because your emotions act in a very similar way, both month to month and generally. 

In the beginning you say: "we're just starting to try now, but it will probably take about 6 months." But inside you say: "we're going to be that couple that gets pregnant immediately. I just know it."

And that's a really hard thing to go through, because of the people around you. 

(I'm going to stop talking in you's and start talking about me...because really, that's the only side of the story I know.)

I wanted to get pregnant immediately. 

Why? Well, why not? It just seems great to be the couple who starts trying and then bam, yay! Happy things! Celebration!

I never planned on getting asked "are you guys STILL trying?" for most of the next year. But apparently the big lesson when it comes to fertility and family planning is to check your plans at the door. 

Now, here's the other thing...I was stuck between seeing myself getting pregnant immediately OR envisioning myself with serious fertility issues and big fertility bills to pay. 

Why? NO IDEA...but I wrote a little bit about it here if you're actually interested in the answer to that question. 

I'm writing this in month 7 of "trying." And let me tell you, 7 months is an eternity when you're watching the calendar every. single. day. It looked a little something like this:

Excited! Oooh! We're trying! We could possibly have a baby RIGHT AWAY and there would be a little baby at Christmastime! How fun would that be?

People are saying: that's so exciting! 
I'm thinking: I know, right?! We're going to get pregnant right away!!!!

Month 1 never works, right? No one just gets pregnant right away. 

People are saying: are you pregnant?
I'm thinking: seriously...that's annoying because OBVIOUSLY no one gets pregnant in Month 1. 

This is the part where it stops being fun to have people know that you're trying to get pregnant, because people start telling you about their friend who was "trying" for over a year and then as soon as they stopped trying, they got pregnant.

For each one of these months, there's something that makes you think you're pregnant every month. It could be that you've starting eating applesauce again and hey -- that MUST be a craving! It could be that you took a long nap that day so that must be extreme exhaustion.

People are saying: are you guys going to keep trying?
I'm thinking: I'm pregnant, I'm pregnant, I'm pregnant. Oh wait. NOPE. Seriously? When will this ever happen? And YES, to those people who ask if we're going to keep trying, we haven't resorted to adoption thus far but thank you. 

Still not allowed to throw around the term infertility (because technically that's anything over 1 year), but that's certainly the way it feels. This is the part where you decide to lay low and stop looking at the calendar so often and just "assume" that it didn't work this month. 

This realization makes you angry but leaves you with an unhealthy sense of control that at least means temporarily it will be easier. 

People are saying: don't be stressed out. My Aunt was stressed out from work and then when she took a vacation, she got pregnant immediately.
I'm thinking: Whatever, man.

(REPOST) honest writing

Something's telling me I should just sit down with a 
blank blog post and start writing.

About what? I'm still not entirely sure, 
but the word HONESTY seems to be flashing behind my 
eyelids at this very moment. 

So....maybe I'll just write. 

Life is really good right now. 

I feel a sense of purpose, I feel like my head is clear and I'm doing exactly what I'm supposed to be doing.

I feel like I have this amazing group of people in my corner, and that the relationships in my life are getting STRONGER. 

When I got home from MTH, I half-wrote a ton of blog posts, all of which were meant to be finished someday and a published with some sort of relevant photo at the end. One of those posts was about how running your own business from home creates a big strain on friendships, and I made this really awesome reference about how friendships are like baby ferns (think How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days), that need lots of love and affection. 

I realized that there were people in my life who I wasn't paying enough attention to! Great friends with similar schedules, in similar stages of life, who I'd just FORGET to text or email every once in awhile! Great friendships that just needed a little bit of attention to make them stronger. 

On another note, I've realized that my home is so much tidier than it used to be, and slowly but surely I'm working my way through the whole house to declutter and simplify. It's a wonderful feeling :)

I'm becoming more and more aware that there's so much stuff I want to change about my environment before bringing a baby into it, and it's keeping me fired up and able to dig away at those tasks. 

(My next BIG hurdle is the closet in the guest-room 
that will eventually become a baby-room...
that closet desperately needs to be totally gutted and sorted...)

Almost everyone I know asks me how the baby-making is going, at pretty much every opportunity possible, so I thought I'd give an update:

This is our 4th month trying, and it's completely stress-free and still very positive and optimistic. I think about 6 months is a pretty average time for people to try, which was confirmed by my family doctor recently. He has told me that anytime after 6 months, we will be able to go see a fertility specialist to get that ball rolling and figure out the next steps. 

I'm so glad that I've been sharing my stories about trying to get pregnant, because I've been getting a lot of really great advice from friends and family members, and it's pretty awesome that I don't have to feel weird about not drinking at social events. 

As I'm writing this, I can't help thinking that it would be an insanely boring post to read...but something was telling me to write it, and hey! documenting your thoughts at various stages of life is a fantastic perk for any blog writer!

I think I'll end this post with something I wrote yesterday:

Life is super simple right now. 
Each morning I wake up with very little written in 
stone on my agenda, and I make a series of choices 
about how I want to spend my day... 

For some reason I feel SO weird about writing this post, but at the same time I know that one day I'll be glad to have it. It will be a snapshot into what life looked like wayyyyyy back in 2013. 

My appreciation for that exceeds my embarrassment about baring my soul on the internet. 

I keep telling myself that. 

(REPOST) name your fear


This was a BIG topic at the Making Things Happen Intensive, and to be honest...I wasn't prepared for it. 

I had done my homework by making my goals for the year, lists of things I'm saying NO / YES to, and identifying some of my greatest distractions...but none of this stuff involved digging into my fears. 

So there I was, at the Carolina Inn in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, on the first day of the workshop, forced to take a 15 minute focused break, and make a big list of everything that scared me.

It was hard. The first thing I wrote down was almost "making a list of things that scare me"...

But once I started writing I instantly felt better, because as it turns out, a lot of the things that caused me anxiety or fear were actually things I couldn't control. 

Like infertility. 

Why should I feel fear towards the possibility of having infertility problems? Is it because of the conversations I've had with friends and family members about their own struggles with getting pregnant?

Is it because deep, deep down I'm convinced that no one gets to live their whole life without anything BAD happening to them, and so far nothing really BAD has happened to me, so...maybe this will be it?

I mean...how crazy is that?

How bent-backwards-crazy is that?

Especially when I have no control over it. Absolutely NO control. 

Up to now, I haven't experienced any stress over trying to get pregnant, and I need to keep it that way! A growing fear would probably translate into stress eventually, right?

So I named this fear. I wrote it down in my MTH notebook, and followed it with a "because" statement, just like Lara asked. 

I am afraid of infertility 
because I haven't ever had to do anything hard.

I circled this statement 100 times and then furiously wrote out how CRAZY it was! How UNTRUE it was! 

Even though nothing BAD has happened to me, I've done some hard things. Even though growing my business has kind of seemed second nature to me along the way, I have done some hard things.

I've woken up on a Monday morning with 26 shoots scheduled for that week and felt completely helpless and exhausted beyond words. That was hard. It might not be considered hard in someone else's life, but that's always going to be true!

It wasn't until I said wrote it down, circled it 100 times, and scratched it out completely before I decided to just not be afraid of it anymore. 
BECAUSE it won't make a difference. 
BECAUSE Ryan and I can handle anything life throws at us, together. 
BECAUSE I can't control it.  
BECAUSE I have no reason to be afraid. 

I know I still haven't really elaborated on the Making Things Happen experience in much detail yet, but I am just so excited to be sharing some of these things I learned about myself, in a way that might just cause one or two of my wonderful blog readers to get out a piece of paper, write down their fear, and destroy it. 

The world would be a better place 
if everyone lived like their greatest fear didn't exist. 

(REPOST) a phone date with mrs. kelly

Not me.

My mother in law.

It had been WAYYYY too long since we'd spoken. And for absolutely NO reason...life just got in the way a little bit. 

So we had a phone date! And 5 minutes later, after the usual what's new? how's Ryan? any fun shoots this week? we started talking about the important stuff. 

In particular, she told me she was surprised that I blogged photos from the "We're Not Pregnant" party, which totally shocked me!

Why WOULDN'T I blog it?! It's a huge milestone! And a fabulous photo booth was involved! 

But I guess she raises a good point... 

People don't usually talk about that.

You hear your friends and family members say "We're pregnant!" when they're three months along, and rarely before that. I can only think of one person that I know who told me she was TRYING to get pregnant (and then obviously Khloe Kardashian, but I don't really know her). 

But in my mind, I absolutely had to write about it because, well...what if it gets hard?

What if trying to have a baby proves to be a big difficult challenge? What if Ryan and I have to go down this really long road of fertility problems? Knock on wood...but this is a serious train of thought for me...

If that ever happened, I'd have to write about it. 

My clients and ultimately, my friends, have supported me from the beginning, and in my opinion the more vulnerable I appear, the more they seem to love me back. 

I love that our 45 minute conversation lead to this post, because I never want to forget how it felt to throw it all out there and announce amongst a group of prospective clients, that we're ready for the next step. 

P.S...I call her "mom"...but "a phone date with mrs. kelly" just has such a nice ring to it. She would want you to know that. 

(REPOST) the end of an era

We wanted an excuse to have a party...

And I wanted to set a hard date on when my last glass of wine would be before we started trying to have a baby. 

Yes, friends...we've done the marriage part, and now we're starting to think about the next chapter. The sore feet, weird cravings, sleepless nights, goo-goo-ga-ga chapter :)

And thus, the "We're Not Pregnant, EVERYBODY DRINK!" party was born. The concept was simple...it was going to be my last night of partying before cutting myself off. And for all of my other girlfriends...it manifested in them celebrating their years of religiously taking their pills and NOT skipping to the baby chapter a little too early.

I know it's alright to keep drinking occasionally until you find out you're pregnant...but I'm 23. It's better to just throw a hard limit on it and know for sure that we've done everything we can to make a healthy baby. 

So, I made your typical spread of baked goods, you know...pregnancy test sugar cookies, planB cupcakes, rockets as birth control pills...

And then I gathered up your typical props, like oversize baby bottles, booze, cigarettes, soothers, "My Mom is Hot" bibs...

And we all had a great time being unfit parents in my living room photobooth:

And we even had faux-baby-shower games. Like who can name the most mixed drinks or brands of alcohol that have baby names in it...


Jack Daniels
Alexander Keith's
HeineKEN (this was Beans' addition, and it counted for a half-point)
Sam Adams
Prince Igor
Jose Cuervo
Kahlua (stripper names were deemed acceptable)
Captain Morgan
Bud (hillbillies are people too)
Tom Collins
...you get the idea.

Or who can blow up the biggest condom in 30 seconds...

I love my friends. And I love that the next party we throw might be an actual baby shower...

Beans telling a riveting story:

We have this one friend who makes the BEST faces everytime the camera comes out. I couldn't resist this collage.

Savouring my last glass of wine...

Onto the next chapter... :)

special thanks to my buddy Chris for taking a ton of these pics :) 
i was off duty for the majority of the evening thanks to him!