….. in awe

Now that’s a baby bump!! And, I love it. 

One of my favorite things ever experienced is pregnancy. The belly, the flutters that morph into full fledged and painful kicks and elbows as this life inside you “gets comfortable”, and the clothes. Oh, my heavens the clothes. **** squeals**** I love me some fashionable maternity clothes. There’s nothing I love more than my body during pregnancy. (After is a whole different story but we’ll cross that bridge in this summer!) The entire transformation makes me feel nothing short of beautiful, powerful, and special. Grateful and so strong. There’s no other act that makes me feel so empowered and womanly, feminine, and useful than carrying a life as it literally grows every part of itself inside of your body. And, slightly freakish at that fact that there is a person growing inside of another. But, how brilliant and creative? That one person can feed, fuel, and provide everything another could need from their own very being? 

I walk past mirrors still in awe of what is happening. A lot less shock & a lot more wonder & peace. Mixed with the misunderstanding of how I’m so large. Comfort is the name of the game and has been for a few weeks, so my unisex tees (another Loved by Hannah & Eli gem here!!) and dad’s tees are my go to these days. Because size matters and gone are the days where we squeeze into anything, ok? Nobody has time for all of that. I rub my belly in awe of this little girl’s life. Dying to see her sweet chocolately face and curious as to which sister she’ll look like, what traits of her dad’s she’ll have and pray that she doesn’t acquire my uncontrollable facial expressions. I look at these pictures just a literal week a part and wonder what we’re going to look like in 6 months……… because I’m not even halfway to cradling this sweet girl. I wonder what Christmas Eve will look like next year. How our family dynamic will change, how Rhyann & Logan will mature and handle their roles as big sisters. How the blend will happen and work. 

I wonder. Dream. Imagine. Pray. But most of all remain grateful and excited about my girl. So far she’s a dream. If not for the random naps that I can’t seem to control and this belly, the missed cycles, along with the ultrasound and hearing her strong beating heart through the Doppler, I’d never know I was pregnant. One day of nausea due to a food choice and a dizzy spell. So far, so good. More grace. 

Even my weight gain is a-okay. Blood pressure is excellent, and 2nd trimester constipation is a non-issue. Energy is pretty good for growing a human – I do take a power nap about 2p, but other than that I’m doing pretty well. I’m still taking my (plant based, vegan/vegetarian, non-gmo, gluten free) supplements and just moving right along. The girls know there’s a “baby sister” in mamas belly. Looking forward to picking up a few “big sister” books and getting them a bit more involved and excited about having a little baby in the house to share mama with. 

We’re ending the year well. Not at all how we planned, but I literally cannot imagine not having this sweet girl on her way. Funny how that is, right? The most unimaginable thing becomes exactly what you have no idea what you’d do without. Grace slathered all over me. 

Lastly, merry Christmas to you all!! I hope your year has been everything you have needed it to be – surprises and all! 



…. and, another one!

And, yes…..  I’m sure there’s  just one! 

Last year, as 2016 ended and 2017 began, I’d dreamt big and set hard goals. I’d felt very strongly that really great things would happen in the upcoming year and felt even more strongly about the fact that I’d reach my goals as one month faded into the next.  Therefore, I was going to achieve exactly what I’d set out to do. And, many of those goals, I met. 

As summer of 2017 rolled around, I began to dream of how 2018 would be a year of life change. A year of unreal, are-you-serious type of achievements and happenings. One where I could look at know that it was truly divine intervention and the Lord stepping in for me in many, many ways. I mean, so many good things were happening, if I was failing… it was forward and my successes made me so proud. Feelings of eagerness, excitement, anticipation, overwhelm (in good ways and sometimes scary ways) and the desire to work that much harder were a part of my day to day. … and, I was okay with the stress and pressure even though it  as hard and overwhelming because I believed that great things were coming. I knew life was changing as each day passed …… as change may happen suddenly but the work put in for that one second when timing + opportunity + favor all came together in a beautiful moment of manifestion of everything you dreamed and worked so hard for happens. That moment would be worth it all. I could feel everything becoming real coming even if I couldn’t see it at the moment. I believed.  I had faith

……. and, then I found out I was pregnant. At four weeks, I realized that a life change was indeed slated to happen in the coming months, but not one that I expected, planned, was hoping for, or even…………….. wanted. Yup. I did not want this baby. Someone who, at one point in life (a life that seems so far in the distant past), ached for life to grow inside of her didn’t want the life that was currently growing inside of her. Didn’t want the lifestyle change. The girls and I were.. are…. perfectly fine as a trio. Didn’t want the judgments and stereotypes of an unwed pregnant woman. An unwed pregnant Black woman, at that. A growing belly and no ring is hardly cute, right? Didn’t want the responsibility of adding a new person to the mix – a new car, bigger home (or a more “cozy” current one), buying diapers as we’re thiiiiiiis close to getting out of pull ups, etc. etc. and the comments/thoughts of “well if you didn’t want ______, then you should have/shouldn’t have done ______.” Ya know? 😉 This was not my life. Especially after one devasting, “humiliating” life blow…… wasnt really in the mood for another. 

I wasn’t happy, yet rather quite humiliated. There were long moments of pure heeeeeeellllll no’s and ‘I’m not doing this. I CAN’T do this. Let’s not do this.” Researching and talking about options of ……….. termination. Lots of internet scouring and chatting with close friends who’d experienced what I was considering…… because another one? How would I? How could I? …….. manage? Sleep? Rest? Keep my house decently together on a daily basis (since it’s a struggle for me now!)? How much time do I have to make this choice? What would it feel like? What could I expect afterwards? …… What am I doing?!The thoughts of judgment that had came like rushing waters. Criticism. Disdain. Disappointment. Eye rolling. The shame. The self doubt. The guilt. The stereotyping. The statistics. The generalities. The thoughts fueled by fear & concerning myself with the wrong things bogged me down. It was hard. And scary. My belly was growing so quickly (as I learned happens with subsequent pregnancies, especially after a twin pregnancy) and I did all I could to hid it. Many friends I did life with & talked to nearly daily had no clue. No full body pics on social media unless I was in all black or was concealing this bump somehow, because I couldn’t deal. Outwardly, of course… yes. Everything was fine…. it had to be if I were to go through with this, no one needed to know. 

Finally, the decision to allow this growing ball of cells continue to develop was made with uncertainty, but the recognition that I just could. not. in good conscious. Instead, I choose a mindset of positivity and became more and more okay with this chapter of my story. 

We were going to add another to the party. The following four weeks were full of dreaming, purchasing a mini-van (which I adore), experiencing grace and gratitude. Learning to be at peace with what is and committing to enjoy it. I knew that my perspective and thoughts would make or break this incredible experience…. the best part is that they both can be controlled and guided. I can choose my feelings, responses, focuses, and what I allow to penetrate my heart. So, plans to celebrate and honor this life began. 

I’m a lover to gender reveals because they are so stinking fun. Full of hope and anticipation, I felt it was the perfect way to kick off this celebration. And, it neded to be documented so of course a photoshoot was planned. It would be perfect with a big black balloon reveal (you know the ones you pop and the pink/blue confetti falls?)! It was going to be fantastic! Because I knew that it was filled with blue confetti, it would be that much more exciting because a boy was on my mind. The pictures would reveal my pure excitement and thrill of a little boy who would chase his sisters and wear the cutest khaki shorts and polo shirts and a hat……… ah! He would be the perfect addition to toss in with all of these girls! 

Until the balloon popped in the parking lot of Party City at pick up. I bawled at the sight of the pink confetti. So much so that two women stopped to console me. These women congratulated, celebrated, and encouraged this woman-stranger who was a hot mess over a pink confetti and a popped balloon. It was so bad that my beautiful makeup had run and Rhy & Lo were asking “Mama, you okay?” “You crying mama?” Thankfully I was able to fix my make up and calm the girls as they bear forced me to take a picture of the moment. Sweet parking lot stranger-angels. Lol. It’s funny now, devastating then, but the only good in this bad situation is that I was together in time to take pictures with my pink balloon! Thank God I didn’t find out at the shoot! Nothing but grace!! Lol. …….. and, here we are. Joyfully making our way through the second trimester, continuing to believe the Lord for everything I’ve asked for. Believing that he will grant me all that I asked for. Do I still worry about perception, judgement, and feel shame? At times, but not nearly as much. If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the past few years is that life happens and nothing is certain. Does that excuse sin and bad choices? Never. But, that’s where we experience the patience, grace, and mercy of our God carrying us, giving beauty for ashes, and his comfort. Life happens to everyone… differently…. but to us all. We just have to learn how to hit the curve balls and make the play. All “good decisions” don’t always end up being the best for us and the “worst decisions” can, at times, land us exactly where we need and ultimately enjoying being. Why? Because all things work together for our good. All of the good, the bad, the indifferent. It’s all being pieced and woven together beautifully by an intentional God who loves us and desires to display his faithfulness to us daily. 

The good thing about the black balloon ordeal is that my friend also ordered a pink and blue balloon, so there could still be a reveal even after what seemed to be a catastrophe. And, it worked perfectly. 

So here I am…. soon to be mother of three little girls who will be my joy. It’s been an interesting last few months, an experience that I am so grateful for………. it’s stretched and grown me in ways I hadn’t expected,  but needed. 


Mama Bear t-shirt: Loved by Hannah and Eli; Skirt by Asos; Make up by Kristin Coyle; photos by Monica Walker


… through all of this

This season can be tough for so many people and for so many reasons…. and sometimes life can be tough in general right? Parenting is hard. Relationships are tough. Work is never ending. Laundry is, well…. always there, but I want to encourage you with the promises that all things truly work together for our good. That things can change. That we can hope in hard times. That there are blessings and good in all things – even if we have to wait a bit, dig a bit, and endure for a little while. Beauty can indeed come from ashes. And, of course…. gotta share some music!

I walked into church on Sunday feeling so heavy and stressed……… after a message of how belief, trust, & obedience can open you up to more goodness than you ever imagined- for yourself and others. Along with the reminder that God is truly with us HERE as we endure and experience it’s so hard not to believe that you can truly have peace, joy, and abundance while you’re experiencing uncertainty or fear or hardship. “All of this” that we go through is coming together for  our good + singing songs of how Christ is Emmanuel, how he is God with Us all of the time, permanently………. that truth eased this mama’s heart.

Then these lyrics from Lauren Daigle’s I am Yours brought me to tears and helped me to pull my shoulders back, apply my lipstick, and commit to my everything I have to handle that day with boldness. The understanding & comfort that I belong to Jesus + he has an incredible plan for me reassures me and allows me to face the day fearless because he goes before me, walks with me, and has hemmed me in. Everyone I’m in relationship with or have to deal with are written in his plans. And, everything that we are individually and collectively dealing with is going to come together for our good. The hard stuff. The incredible. The scary. The easy. The uncomfortable. The enjoyable. The unknown. The promised. ALL OF THIS is for our good…..

….. Check these lyrics out

So I rest in Your promises
Now I am sure of this
I’m Yours
Let the waters rise
I will stand as the oceans roar
Let the earth shake beneath me
Let the mountains fall
You are God over the storm
And I am Yours

… can you function? lol…. combine that with Philippians 4:4-7 where we are encouraged to not worry, but to pray about those storms the rainbows…  to thank the Lord for everything is doing and for what is happening around us, both the large and small. I mean everything from you not losing your sh*t while your toddler lost theirs?? (THANK YA, JESUS!!) to much harder things like waiting for much needed provision and healing for your heart or body! That stuff isn’t for us to hold… yes we have a responsibility to respond well, but the Lord isn’t overwhelmed by the things that we cannot handle. At all. Then, he gives us peace and comfort in return. And, it’s real and lasting. It allows you to feel joy and give you hope where you may have felt hopeless.

… here’s a bit more

So I rest in Your promises
Now I am sure of this
I’m Yours
No power is strong enough
To separate me from Your love
I’m Yours

The Lord’s love is bigger and stronger and tougher and wider and forgiving enough and unconditional enough and merciful enough to want to be in relationship with us, protect us, and ever willing to embrace us no matter what.

… good stuff right?