“Tell us about you/Who are you?”
That was the first question on the application, and I just stared at it. In the application I went with the word vomit answer, all of a sudden, I was typing and everything was just coming out and flowing out of me, much like I am about to do now. My life looks very different from the outside looking in, I am going to be real, and honest and raw and that is really scarry!
So…. who am I?
I am a wife. Yall…. my husband!!! It’s crazy how much you can love someone who drives you up the wall on a daily basis hahaha! He really is a great husband, dad and all-around person! He truly vales the meaning of partnership and I never feel like I carry any more weight than he does! But…. I am not the same woman he met 11 years ago. There have been so many changes in our life, we don’t have any giant issues or big fights, we have just changed and have to relearn each other a bit. There was so much of our marriage concentrated on first trying to get pregnant and then on trying to keep this tiny human alive!!! All of a sudden in the last year or two our daughter has become more self-sufficient and independent, and we find ourselves with more time together but it’s different now. We have had to take intentional time to get to know each other again and that’s hard. Sometimes we are not very good at it. We forget to schedule date nights; we don’t take advantage of the time after our daughter goes to sleep and we get too caught up in the day to day. But…. I love this man and he loves me and that is worth fighting for. So no, we don’t have this part all worked out yet, but we are aware, and we are doing our best during this chapter in our book.
I am a mom. This is a tittle I still struggle to feel like I deserve. There are many decisions that I made in life that have left me with regret, but there is one that left me broken. Without going into too much detail, let’s just say I was young, scared and thought I had no options. (I wish so bad I could go back in time and talk to my 19-year-old self). I made a selfish decision at that time that has haunted me my entire life. Fast forward and I was married, and we decided to try to get pregnant, I miscarried out first child, and I thought “yep, I deserve that”. I deserved to not get what I wanted and be punished because I made the most selfish decision I could have ever made instead of being strong and doing what was right. After my miscarriage I was unable to get pregnant and had to go through fertility treatment for 2 years. And then my rainbow baby came, my perfect, sweet, sassy daughter that I am fully obsessed with. I live everyday to do my best for her, to be thankful of this blessing I am not worthy of.
I am a Christian. You may be thinking “not a very good one” according to the previous paragraph. You are so right! I am not! My Christianity has been a struggle for me. I don’t go to church every Sunday; I cuss too much and mamma loves her wine. But I love God, we raise our daughter to know Gods love and grace. I have had a thousand conversations with Him, and I will never understand why he has given me the most beautiful blessing in my life knowing full well I don’t deserve them. I am humbled daily which makes me feel so incredibly guilty that I am not a better Christian. This one is a work in progress.
I am a friend. Friendship is incredibly important to me. I do not have a big family and I am not super close to some of the family that I do have. But the friends that I have…. THEY are my family! I am a person that loves big and easy! And once I love you, you are stuck with me!!! BUT here is the problem with my friends…. they are gorgeous!!! Its RUDE and I tell them that all the time!!!! But, this village of beautiful humans I get to call friends, have healed me beyond words. They give me support, strength and so much grace. They are the aunts and uncles to my daughter, and I love their babies as my own.
I am insecure. I am an 80’s baby which means I was raised in a time where low cut jeans were everything, Americas Top Model was goals and Brittany (Spears) & Christina’s (Aguilera) bare midriff was all we saw! Sprinkle in being “big boned”, comments like “that outfit is going to look so good when you lose weight” and add a mom who put a lot of pressure on how things looked on the outside and I think it’s fair to say my self-esteem didn’t have a chance! I have always been the “funny”, “good personality” friend…. We all know that that means !!! I am going to be the first person in a room to make a joke about my weight…. if I make fun of myself first, then I take away the power before anyone can make fun of me. I have filled the void of my self-esteem with being a people pleaser…. if people like me and I am worth something to them then I can’t be that bad right?
And then I applied for a Storyteller Session and was selected to have a once in a lifetime opportunity to do a photo shoot with Rachel and Justin… Yall know what I saw?
I am fierce. I am strong. I am HOT!
The stretch marks on my breast and thighs and stomach, show the life I was blessed to carry and bring into this world no matter if I felt worthy. The legs I tear down for being thick and chunky have helped me stand again each time I am knocked down. The body I criticize too much and curse at daily is filled with experience and trauma I will heal from! My arms that I refuse to wear sleeveless shirts to hide are used to hug and love people around me every day. Its so easy to see the flaws and imperfections, comparing ourselves to everyone else. Rachel and Justin gave me the gift of stopping time for just a second. To let me see myself and reflect on what I was looking at. I am not perfect on the inside or the outside, but Mamma still got it!! And with all the extra fluff comes growth, experience, compassion and so much love to give. On my own journey of self-love, I get to teach my daughter how to value and love herself first. I never want her to look in the mirror and talk to herself like I have to myself. I never want her to put more value on her outer beauty more than her inner strength. These are the things I get to pass on to my daughter…… and also these pictures because Mamma looks and these pics should be passed on foreverrrrr!!!!