38 week Beauty Marks

imageLast week I found a stretch mark on the underside of my stomach and I cried for about 10 minutes. Then I cried again an hour later because I was mad at myself for crying over stretch marks. Then I texted my younger sister and then one of my best friends who although they both live miles away, they were able to cyber-snap me out of it. Because the truth is, all I’ve ever wanted was this baby. And everything that comes with it: excessive weight gain, stretch marks, swollen feet, all of it! But for some reason I felt so pressured to have things go perfect. People constantly tell me how horrible their pregnancies were and then ask me how I’m feeling and expect to hear the worse. Or they ask me how much weight I’ve gained or how sick do I feel. It’s like people expect you to be miserable or expect you to hate being pregnant. So when I suddenly saw that stretch mark I felt like I’d failed. Like “they” were all right. And I was wrong. That it’s not all baby showers, new monogrammed blankets, and pregnancy glow. They said I’d hate being pregnant and here I was crying over how pregnancy changed my body. I hadn’t been true to myself and I’d let vanity get me down. And that was what upset me the most.

But you know what? I think they were wrong. Yes I do have a stretch mark. But I like to think of it as my new beauty mark. And I don’t need to compare my pregnancy (or my body for that matter) to anyone else’s. Everyone’s story is different. And every story is as wonderful as you choose it to be. And as women we need to stop being so hard on ourselves, and stop being so negative to ourselves and to others about such a wonderful part of life that I’m so grateful I was given the chance to experience.

So I decided to share this photo on Instagram today, even though this is probably a little TMI (hello bra). And I’ve decided there will be no more crying, no more #FML or #FOMO, and I will smile at what this wonderful baby has given me. The most grateful, hard earned, desired beauty marks I’ve ever had.

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Farewell to 2015

Farewell to 2015! This was the year we went swimming with manatees, hiking with elk, and watched baby owls take their first steps only days after being born. The year we spent 2 weeks attached at the hip in a Volkswagen Beetle driving up the Pacific Coast Hwy, being silly, mocking Californians, and creating a slew of new “Priscilla and Will inside jokes.” The year we saw Ghostbusters on the big screen in Marion Square and re-watched all six Star Wars films in order. The year we celebrated our anniversary in Chicago and ended the year with a trip to San Francisco.  And the year we were told we could stop being cautiously optimistic and start being excited about the baby bump that grows bigger and bigger each day and who already brings us such joy as he kicks in the belly when Will reads to him each evening. This year we turned our tears of frustration into tears of joy and hope. And learned that we really needed to stop worrying so much and start listening to what life was telling us. And as I type this, it is 6:30pm on New Years Eve.  Will and I are both couch side with our pajamas on watching the Clemson Tigers play football. And I can’t think of anywhere I would rather be. (well, that and I don’t fit into much but PJs these days anyways!) So from our growing family to yours, we wish you a new year that is filled with love and joy!

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Love in Charleston

I have been trying to write a blog post about a new handmade dress, but every time I get a chance to sit at the computer, I end up lost online with news on the shooting that happened last Wednesday here in Charleston. And then I wind up ending the evening in tears. And while Will blames my excessive crying on the fertility meds, the truth of the matter is that my heart is hurting. I am sad for the victims and their families but also sad that this is the world that I live in. The fact that I even typed “Charleston massacre” into google is crazy to me. The fact that a they have drills in schools and in work places on what to do in the event of a gunman, is crazy to me.. We didn’t have that when I was growing up. I felt safe to go to church or to school. Maybe it’s because I am now grown up, more cautious, and more aware. Or maybe the damn truth is that American is not as “safe”as we would like it to be. I am sad because it hurts me that people can be so mean to each other. That people can have so much hate in their hearts. Hate that caused a 21 year old boy to feel the need to kill 9 innocent humans, including one very sweet library who actually helped me find a travel book the other day.

For several years now, I have lived my life in fear of guns. Every single day. I got so anxious at the movie theater the other day because someone came in through the outside emergency exit door. I was so sure it was a shooter with a gun. Of course it wasn’t. But the fear was there.  And I don’t want to go on about gun control because that is a whole different topic for another day.  And if you try to reason with gun enthusiasts about gun control they will always throw the “Guns don’t kill people. People kill people” argument on the table. But in the case of last Wednesday it was a person WITH a gun that killed people. This guy said out loud he wanted to start a racial war. That is the issue here. Hate in that boy’s heart that was fueled by racism. That is what it all boiled down to. But he also owned a gun. American has a real issue when it comes to gun control. Because I can’t think of a single reason why hate + guns combined is ever going to be a good idea.

I sit here today at my computer. Partly because its 100 degrees outside. But mostly I spent today inside reflecting. And while I continue to hope, pray, and wish that my dreams of becoming a mother come true one day,  if it does I want to make this promise right now: My child will never have such hate in his or her heart. That he will never feel he needs to raise a hand at someone. He will never feel the need to want to hurt anyone. And that he will love his neighbors, EVERY neighbor, no matter if they are black, white, transgendered, homosexual, disabled, or different in any way. He will fill his heart with love and only love and he will learn to pass that love along. Four days ago a jack ass, 21 year old tried to bring hate into my city. But my city is a strong one. Love has brought Charleston closer together. And I hope the rest of America will see that and we can all move together to show our children and our children’s children that we are better than this. American is better than that And it will be a better place if we stop being mean to each other, stop with the hate, and find ways to live together in peace.

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Three Years + Chicago

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I wear a lot of different hats these days. I’m a speech pathologist who works both a full-time job and a part-time job. I’m a “mother” in a sense to my pets and anyone who has pets knows that having a dog is a responsibility all on its own. I’m a friend. I’m a daughter. I’m a daughter-in-law. A sister. A sister-in-law. I’m a sewer. I’m a blogger. And I’m a candlestick maker (ok that last one was a joke).  Sometimes I bite off more than I can chew. I wish that 16-year-old Priscilla could see me now. How very popular I have become in my 20s and 30s.  I haven’t had a single weekend this year that someone hasn’t come into town to visit or we haven’t gone out of town to visit someone, or had a wedding, a baby shower, or a birthday party. But I absolutely love it.  I love having a calendar that is packed full with things to do to keep my mind busy and my heart full. But with all the go, go, go, I have to stop and remember that the most important hat that I wear is being a wife. And I have a co-pilot in this flight that I take through life. A husband who does not always want to be going and going. And with all the hustle and bustle it’s easy to forget that even though I live with him and he is the last thing I see before I close my eyes at night, the time I spend with my husband is just as important as all the other things on my calendar. It’s easy to forget to make a moment that is just for the two of us. But luckily once a year an anniversary comes around. And reminds us to fall in love all over again. So this year we celebrated in the Windy City with a quick but much needed side trip to Iowa to see my sister and her boyfriend. And  this week I celebrated the fact that despite my constantly moving, annoyingly loud, irrationally opinionated, sometimes clueless, cry-baby self, that this man (despite his better judgement and despite what I can only imagine were warnings from others) has put up with me for three years and still lets me have the honor of being his wife. What a lucky girl I am and I thank God, the universe, and anyone else that is listening that he stumbled into my life and swept me off my feet. And that three years later he still looks across a crowded room at me and smiles. IMG_6322 Its funny how my husband and the Cubs mascot make me look so short. You would never know that I am 5’10 but I promise that I am!IMG_2123IMG_6351It was so cold the first few nights in Chicago and all I packed were a few headbands. So I made a make shift ear muff and ending up looking like Tupac accidentally. IMG_6375 The flowers in Chicago were amazing!!! The city must of spent millions on tulips and that is no exaggeration. IMG_6392 IMG_6412 IMG_6390 Standing on a glass floor that was 1,353 feet high was probably one of the scarier parts of the trip. But you don’t ride the elevator to the top and then chicken out.

IMG_6396 More tulips in Hyde Park.IMG_6404 The Ferris Wheel at Navy Pier. Very touristy but you know. When it Rome.

IMG_6408 Do you have extra large bikes for rent? No, ok…

IMG_2100 IMG_2105 Fun at Millenium Park

IMG_2111 IMG_2120 IMG_2146 Don’t tell the Yankees but I was a Cubs fan on this evening!

IMG_2157 IMG_2159 The Art Institute of Chicago is actually kinda amazing. We were having some fun with the more popular pieces of art. IMG_2183 IMG_2196 IMG_2201 One of Frank Lloyd Wrights’ houses for my architecture enthusiast husband.

IMG_6255I love my sister so much. She keeps me young, active, in shape, and always laughing.

IMG_6259IMG_6262Hope you enjoyed these pictures from our trip. If you stopped by for some sewing project updates, have no fear. We are back in Charleston and I am about to dust off the sewing machine for some upcoming projects so stay tuned for that.

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January Recap

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This month felt like it was never going to end. I mean come on January… 31 days seems excessive. Lets speed along to spring time, shall we? I have never particularly been a fan of January. It’s cold. We all look so pale and sickly. Holiday vacation is over but summer vacation still seems so far away. Sales prices are marked back up to their regularly scheduled prices. And most of my favorite produce, with the exception of grapefruits, are out of season. And it’s cold. Did I mention yet that it is cold? This January, like most months of my life was a roller coaster of emotions but we made it through and here is a quick recap of some of the highs and lows:

1. I traveled down to Florida to grab a quick sun tan, eat my weight in papayas, and pick up my sister and her kids and drive them back to South Carolina. A short visit but one of many road trips I plan on taking in 2015. I learned that Sirius radio is definitely worth the monthly subscription, papaya trees don’t do so well if you bring one back home to SC, and that riding in the car for 8 hours with two kids under two years old will make you questions your sanity.

2. I pretended to watch the Superbowl and instead planned my upcoming Oscars party. Is is bad that up until this weekend Will and I couldn’t tell you who was playing in the Superbowl but we knew when the Academy Awards was airing, who was nominated for an Oscar, and who would potentially show up in a custom Christian Siriano gown? Yes I am turning my husband into my gay best friend.

3. We embraced our non-existent Asian roots by making homemade Pho noodle bowls, homemade pad Thai, and (my favorite) homemade Bimbimbap Korean rice bowl. Something about a big bowl of noddles or a big bowl of warm rice on these cold days always does the trick. And this cooking thing is not so bad after all. Maybe I will try my hand at some Mexican dishes next month.

4. Sewing clothes, sewing bags, and sewing cushions. I was kinda all over the place. I finished a few outfits for myself, made a diaper clutch for a friend’s baby shower, almost finished my messenger bag for Indiesew, and FINALLY completed the cushion for our living room bench. Now to get started on some colorful pillows to match!

5. I bit the bullet and hired a cleaning lady. She speaks no English but will be coming twice a month to do what we clearly don’t have time for or just don’t want to do ourselves. I felt bad about spending money on a cleaning lady but then Will reminds me that we are helping someone be employed and for that I am happy.

6. Not sure if they all feel very supportive towards the civil rights or if the third weekend in January just fits everyone’s schedule but Will’s side of the family gathered together once again for their annual family reunion on MLK Jr weekend. Such a fun time every year. You see, I grew up with only 2 American cousins that I saw only in the summers so I never knew what it was like to have a large but close extended family. Add that plus a weekend full of oysters, drinking, and lots of laughing and you can count me in.

7. And lastly, my uncle had a heart attack and survived. I should of found a better way to lead into that statement but I’ll just blurt it out instead. He had to have a stent put into an artery that was 100% occluded. Due to the magic of modern medicine and the quick response time from my uncle who noticed that something was wrong, my aunt who calle d 911 immediately, the EMS who arrived as fast as they could in a snow storm, and the quick transition to the OR …timing is what saved him. And my favorite uncle is still with us today. It really is a blessing. And a reminder tell the ones you love how you feel when you can because you never know what tomorrow holds.

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Forecast for 2015

imageThe weather forecasts for Charleston in 2014 was filled with dark clouds but it’s looking like sunny skies ahead in 2015. Of course I mean this metaphorically. In actuality, 2015 has been freaking cold so far with record low temperatures. (which is why I am currently in Florida with my sister’s family, escaping the 30 degree weather). I would have to say though that both Will and I are generally happy people. At least I used to feel that way. But I feel like the past year there was a dark cloud that’s always hanging over me and following me everywhere I go. It follows me to work as I hear newly pregnant coworkers talk about how lucky they are to not have morning sickness… as I sit in my cubicle and think, “damn I would do anything for some morning sickness.” It follows me to every baby shower I go to and every one-year-old birthday party. It follows me to Facebook as I read the status posts of friends complaining that their baby is teething. Oh how I would love to have a teething baby or even a baby with colic. So I avoid facebook, sulk in my desk at work, and complain to Will constantly. I’ve let this dark cloud hang over me everyday. I’ve built my world around trying to get pregnant and having a baby of my own instead of building my world around the rest of my life, what’s really important: Will, our marriage, our health, our family, our friends, and other blessings that we have. I’m working on it but it’s hard. I guess acknowledgment is the first step. But I do know  that the sulking and complaining in 2014 was not a good look for me and it’s time to change my perspective a bit. And go back to being the happy gal I used to be. So here’s to sunny skies and positive vibes in 2015. That’s my news years resolution. What’s yours?

Happy Christmas!

finalWe are looking forward to having a few days off to spend time with family on these last few days of 2014. This year will definitely go down as the strangest, most difficult year for us yet. We started off the year with so much sadness as we watched a friend lose his life to cancer at such a young age. We cried together while my oldest friend in the world Brittany mourned the loss of her father and then as one of our best friends lost her brother in a tragic accident. And then in July, we lost the tiny little miracle that was growing inside my belly. He or she was 10 weeks old, was the size of an olive, and had a beautiful heartbeat. One day it was here and the next day it was gone. We were devastated. The sadness we saw this year really broke us. But we learned that love can mend a broken heart. The love Will and I share together and the love that poured in from our friends. Friends that brought midnight tubs of ice cream and cried with us. Friends that left bolts of fabric and flowers at the door to cheer us up. The friendships that took Will for shrimping trips when it was needed the most and sat on front lawns with me drinking wine and eating cheese on Mondays at noon because…well…why not. We saw love this year as we watched a sister, a cousin, and friends say “I do.” And we felt love when we became godparents, laughing with family, and holding the hands of a nephew as he took some of his first steps. We are coming out of this year stronger than ever, filled with love, and optimism as we look into the future. We got through this year and I learned that with my family and friends by my side, I can get through even the worst of times. I wish you all a new year that is full of the joy and friendship that I have been so blessed to have this past year. And many blessings to you all for years to come.

Priscilla

An Anniversary Getaway + the Tank Dress

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This weekend we celebrated our 2nd anniversary. I still cannot believe how lucky I am to have had two great years of marriage under my belt with this man. The man with more patience, kindness, love, and emotional understanding than any man I have ever known. And while year number one of marriage was all rainbows and butterflies, year number two was a long and at times a tough year with some big losses and a little bit of stress. But together we made it and everyday I thank God, I thank Will, and I thank anyone else that will listen to me, that I had that man by my side through this year. We made it. So bring on year number three!

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5 Simple Ways to Live a Simple Life

I am not a simple person. I am complicated, I am a hot mess most of the time, and as I am sitting here typing this blog post on my ever so trendy IPAD, I am drinking a $6 Starbucks cafe latte, wearing expensive designer shoes, and stressing out about my “chaotic” weekend plans. I am not simple. But I want to be. I really, really do. Will and I decided around new years that we wanted to try to live a more simple life. And to not worry about stuff so much. The comedian George Carlin has a great stand-up routine about how Americans worry to much about their “stuff” (check it out on YouTube here. Its pretty funny). But both in the literal sense and figuratively, we want to live a life with less stuff. Less baggage. Less drama. And so today I want to share with you some ways that we have been trying to live a happy healthy simpler life. And as with any of my advice, remember to do what I say not what I do 🙂

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My Boobs Are Sore and That’s OK

I recently did a guest post for my friend Theresa’s blog “Journey to the Finishline.” Even though these thoughts are a week old I still wanted to share the post here in hopes it will give someone else out their some positive energy for their journey towards parenthood.

At the end of this month, it will be two years that my husband Will and I have been trying to get pregnant. And while most anniversaries are commemorated, this one will not be celebrated with a toast or a bottle of champagne. On Sunday afternoon I noticed that I was spotting. This was day 12 post ovulation. My boobs were sore, I was angry with every ridiculous comment my coworkers were making in emails, and I cried for 10 minutes after watching a Subaru commercial (You know the one where the puppy turns into a dog, then the young dog turns into an old dog, and all the while the Subaru stayed the same. It just got me). But these symptoms were all to familiar to me. This was not implantation bleeding. This was not a random occurrence. I was getting my period. Just like clockwork. The Priscilla of a year ago would of sulked in the bathroom for 15 minutes. But not any more. I cleaned myself up, walked back into the living room, gave Will a big hug and told him what was going on. Then I smiled and asked him what we should do for lunch. Because that’s what the Priscilla of lately does. I smile and keep moving on. And for those of you who are in the same infertility boat as me, I know what you are thinking. Continue reading