Welcome to the World Ella Jean Foret

On October 23rd, 2018 at 3:33 PM, I heard the most perfect sound - my baby girl letting the world hear her roar. I spent 9 months crying and waiting and hoping for that sound. I am so exhausted, I've been cut open and taken apart and sewn back together. I haven't slept in over 24 hours, my insides feel like they could fall out at any moment, her nursery isn't finished and I have a good 20 (okay, 30) pounds to lose. And this is the happiest I've ever been! My sweet Ella Jean Forêt, you are more and better and lovelier than I could have ever imagined. I love you more than life.

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The Night Before I Became a Mama

We literally waited until the LAST minute to take some maternity photos. This was the night before sweet Ella Jean was born. Thanks to my little sister Alysha for snapping these photos for us. 

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Baby Shower: It's A Girl

Blaise and I decided not to announce the gender of our baby because we wanted it to be a surprise. (But really, maybe it's because we didn't have a super cute reveal idea - where do y'all find all this colorful smoke anyways??) And from the very beginning, I said neutral colors only- NO PINK! Welllllll, I'm 35 weeks pregnant and I changed my mind! We had our baby shower this weekend and I have never loved pink so much! So, if you didn't know- now you know!

My mom and sisters overdid it on the balloons and I was pretty thrilled about. So many sweet friends and family members spoiled us with love and gifts. I could not be more thankful for the people in my life. 

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Lake Jocassee at Devils Fork State Park and A Few Thoughts on Week 25 of Pregnancy

Blaise would rather sit on the couch and watch Back to The Future or anything else TBS has to offer than drive an hour to the lake when it's more than likely going to rain. This is the first time in our marriage that we’ve had cable - or a TV for that matter, so I try to give him grace. But I have a very convincing “even if it rains, I promise it will be fun” argument and after a dramatic side-eye, he conceded. 

It did rain. But only a little. And I was right, it was still fun. We took a nap in the sand, had a picnic then kayaked around Lake Jocassee. 

This was 2 weekends ago when I was 23 weeks pregnant. It was the first week I started to feel confident in my bump. I didn’t like taking photos the first 20 weeks of pregnancy because I didn’t necessary look pregnant. Up until now, I just looked like I had a really good time at brunch. (And on most days, that was probably true.) But now, there is no hiding this little miracle. 

I’m just over 25 weeks now and there is no question I am sharing my body with a little babe- about 13.5 inches long, a pound and a half. The size of a Prairie Dog, if you will. When I feel little kicks, I try to place Blaise’s hand in the perfect spot so he can feel too- this has been successful 2 out of 832 times. Every night before bed, I look at him and say “But for real, can you believe there’s like this tiny person who we’ve never even met who is just living inside my body?” And we both start laughing. Because being pregnant is actually the weirdest thing. 

Everything I read about this stage of pregnancy tells me I am hormonal and probably acting crazy. Occasionally, I’ll check in with Blaise on the matter, “So, do you think I’ve gone crazy yet?” He says no- which means either I haven’t gone crazy. OR I have most definitely gone crazy.... because who's gonna tell a crazy pregnant lady that she's crazy? It’s hard to know anything about real life when you’re pregnant. Everyone lies to you. People will see me “You look SO good”… and I’m like “Really? Because I haven’t washed my hair in 4 days and I’m pretty sure I’ve gained nearly 20 pounds since the last time you saw me.” So, what scale are we going by? I look good compared to what - back when I still wore eye liner and could walk up a flight of stairs with out taking a break? Good compared to that? Or are you just a nice person and your initial thought of “My god, I can’t believe you left the house like that” didn’t seem appropriate?

Either way, I am appreciative. My self esteem is likely built off of white lies and I am totally fine with that.

25 weeks down, 15 to go...

TRANSITION: A Little Update On Life

Transition.

I’ve decided that is the best way I can describe pregnancy: a transition.

A transition from eating saltines to throwing them up, a transition from loving avocados to hating them, from being maddeningly uncomfortable in my own clothes to giving up and buying overpriced pants with a giant elastic band around the waist, a transition from the highs of each day to the lows - and trying to settle somewhere in between.

I’ve had to give up a few things I wanted to do this year while putting others on hold. But I’m learning to give myself grace while fighting the thoughts of feeling like a bad wife, friend or business owner. Taking care of that extra heart beating inside of me is everything right now. Thankfully, I married a good man who handles life with tremendous ease… or at least he pretends to. Probably so I don’t cry. Which only works out half the time.

We're in the process of moving. I have been in full nesting mode but instead of decorating and creating a comfy home, I'm boxing and packing and cleaning the one we’ve got. The one where we built the beginning of our life together. The one that will always be a special place where it was "just the two of us”. 

I have been on a mission to go natural this year. I started with the obvious: food. January went well - I did (mostly) Whole30. Then I got pregnant and switched from “eating clean” to “eating anything I can keep down” which turned out to be hardly anything. My daily diet consisted of bagels and popcorn for about 10 weeks straight. Soooo, that was cool. 

Instead, I shifted my focus to getting toxic chemicals out of our house. I’ve been obsessed with the Think Dirty App, my essential oils, and making my own deodorant and cleaning products. We aren’t there yet but SLOWLY switching out small parts of our life for better options. This is something I've been wanting to do for a while. But this little baby growing inside my belly has given me a sense of urgency. 

I’ve unintentionally neglected this space for a while. The past two years, I've been pouring myself into Asheville Folk (with no regrets!) But now, more than ever, documenting our life and growing family is the most important thing to me. (This is my very vague, noncommittal, non-specific way of saying I plan on blogging a lot more... Wish me luck!)