Monday, March 25, 2013

The Perfectly Imperfect Ending

This is the post I've been waiting to write for, oh, ever.

This is the post I've been dreading writing for a long while, too.

As my Twitter peeps already know, I am - ta-da! - with child:

Photo at 21 weeks - slightly more than halfway and already sporting a double chin / still wildly uncomfortable in front of a camera
Yes, I'm due in July just like a certain Princess Shinylocks / imaginary BFF with a baby girl. Yes, this means that the Ralph Lauren-style family of four, the stuff of my childhood dreams, is actually happening.

I'm ecstatic. (Duh.)

I'm still in shock, given the fertility fight it took to get here. I really mean that "shock" bit . . . I often find myself wandering into the soon-to-be-nursery, gazing at the growing collection of impossibly teeny-tiny girl clothes, wondering how it is that I get to do this.

I'm .  . . round-the-clock eating my (skyrocketing) weight in sugary carbs.

I'm also freaked out, to use the scientific phrase, by the impending challenge of wrangling two children at once, on top of the no-sleep-sanity-optional Hurricane Newborn normal. I worry about my ability to raise a baby girl when I have a complex mother-daughter kinda-sorta relationship myself.

I'm doing my best to balance all of the above by shopping for those teeny-tiny girl clothes and blowing up Pinterest with nursery design inspiration (read: HELLO, nesting hormones!).

***

It's a funny thing, going public with a pregnancy after having shared my struggle to get here. As utterly thrilled as I am, I'm also painfully aware that there are others in the fertility trenches who will read this and wonder, "Why her and not me?", who will sigh at yet another social media pregnancy announcement ugh.

Hence my hesitation to put this up at all - until I remembered the support you readers, all three of you, gave me and, indirectly, the spiffy Anonymous Husband too during that awful time.

I owe you a very humble thank you for seeing me through it all - not that this was the ALL OVARIES ALL THE TIME! station, but in between the Pretty bits - and wanted you to know this improbably perfect conclusion to a wildly imperfect beginning.

I'd also love to be a resource for anyone else dealing with infertility and/or PCOS in particular; please feel free to send me questions, frustrations, etc. (contact info at the bottom of this post). It so helped me hearing from others who had successfully conceived after being diagnosed that I felt I needed to overcome my hesitation and share my news here too.

***

And since I'm in the updating way today, I owe you an update on the big brother himself:


At almost 3, Master P alternates between being the most and the least charming individual I know. His language, creativity, and awareness have skyrocketed - we're living in the inquisitive "WHY???-land" now - and I'm just enough of a former lawyer to (mostly) be enjoying it.

On the flip side, his newfound ability to turn even the smallest of matters into a power struggle has me wishing I could just have a damned bottle glass of pinot already. He longs to be independent except for the ways in which it might make my life easier, having dropped his nap (SOB) and showing little interest in p-o-t-t-y training ("potty" spelled out to protect the innocent eyes of any Cheerfully Child-Free readers uninterested in my preschooler's bowels).

Oh, but the good days are just so very, very good. When he beams at someone and chirps, "Hi there!", when he expertly pilots his balance bike around the playground, when he excitedly talks about "baby sister!", there's no greater joy. Pinky swear.

***

On the joy note, as much as I've missed blogging and the blog community, stepping away was & continues to be a happy thing here.

This is SO taboo for a blogger to admit - I'm cringing with social media shame as I type this - but this site never resonated with you readers in the way I secretly hoped it would. After some time away, I finally admitted to myself that it bothered me. For the better part of four plus years I've been pressuring myself to make something happen here that just wouldn't. Frankly, if I didn't care about things gathering reader traction, I'd be journaling like any normal narcissist.

Other quasi-legitimate excuses for my time away include:

(1) When Mother Nature demanded in my first trimester that I "RELAX!", I was only too happy to listen. When Master P napped, I napped - and . . . oh, how I miss those naps. *tangential sigh*; I did this the last time I was pregnant too - gestating and blogging somehow don't mix for me.

(2) When the wee CEO nap died, POOF! went the time I'd previously spent writing & editing.

(3) BABY GIRL CLOTHES SHOPPING OMGEEEEEE! And . .  .

(4) As much joy as I've derived here, I've begun to suspect there might be a different creative outlet in my future.

Now I'm channeling that creative impulse (see above re: overpowering nesting hormones) into decorating the nursery and other hausfrau projects I never had time for while trying to make this here site happen. But for blogging, I wouldn't have even known I was inclined to be creative . . . not a bad side benefit from this little hobby, not to mention the virtual book of schmoopy-doopy family memories I've inadvertently created here, the friends like you I've met . . .

So my hiatus here remains indefinite as I chew on my next social media step. I'm thinking "next step" = the newly born Miss Pretty, then on to . . . I'm not sure yet, but there will be something. I strive to fail up, to fail better, stumbling along doing what I love in my next reading & writing adventure.

Until then, thank you. Pretty please keep in touch on Twitter or Pinterest or olde-timey email (ipickpretty AT gmail). xo

Monday, November 26, 2012

Of Breaks and Bits

You know when you're in a relationship that just isn't working for whatever reason, but because you're in the thick of it you can't see clearly enough to get why or get out?

That's what blogging became for me - it's not you, it's me. No, really - for whatever reason writing became more of a daily chore. More about reader numbers and meeting some invisible, entirely self-imposed expectations than losing myself in the writing and in the companionship, the original reasons I got into this here interwebs deal. Silly, isn't it? I don't know how I got there, but . . .

It has also grown, um, weird putting my personal life on the internet, particularly with more real-life friends - hi, real-life friends! - (yes, I have a few) (pinky swear) - reading here, a sort of one-sided TMI experiment that made for some awkward conversations.

I've hit this blogging speed bump before, and this too shall pass. I'll find a new path, a different way to enjoy writing. I do miss the writing, the picture taking, and - most importantly - you all.

Until then, however, backing away seems like the right answer, and I'm really enjoying the time it has freed up for me to re-focus on the little big things:

Thanksgiving 2012

After hosting Thanksgiving - for which I managed both to cook and not poison anyone (either accidentally or intentionally) - we're enthusiastically getting into the Christmas spirit. As soon as the turkey cools here at Pretty HQ, I'm unpacking ornaments and impatiently waiting until I can send out holiday cards:






Happy start to the holiday season, lovelies. I'll be here even if I'm not always here, drumming my fingers, wondering whether I can send those cards already . . .

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Housekeeping Note: W2WW Resumes on Tuesday, Nov. 20th

I owe y'all an apology, and it's not just for my overuse of "y'all" when I'm not a native Texan.

Usually I forget little things like my natural hair color, but recently I neglected to announce that What to Wear Where was going on a brief holiday. We'll resume on Tuesday, November 20th over at my girl Forever 29 with a Thanksgiving themed link-up.



Please forgive me - I know you've simply been BESIDE YOURSELVES with anxiety over this.

And now if you'll excuse me, I have some Martha-style baking to get up to for my first school fundraising event. Yes, you read that correctly. Blame the hormones, right?

Monday, November 5, 2012

Checking In & Child Cuteness

Hello again.

I'm doing well, I really am - and you?

So in my time off this here blog, one thing I've been up to is reading this mostly wonderful book, one line of which kinda hit me between the eyes:

There was some famous writer . . . who said you must be wounded into writing, but that you shouldn't write until the wound has healed.

That sounds awfully heavy for a blog devoted to all things Pretty, but since I've taken to writing more about personal life here lately, icky stuff included, it resonated.

Sometimes you need distance from a situation to share it without losing a piece of yourself (including, um, your sanity). I'm enjoying the break from cooking up content here while I just process things and, to use the scientific phrase, freaking stop over-thinking it all already.

Now I'm afraid I've created some bleak picture of me moping around listening to Alanis like it's dreary, Doc Marten-wearing 1992, when that couldn't be further from the truth . . . when I'm not busy with Master P, I'm happily spending more time puttering, reading, getting my house ready for hosting Thanksgiving (and Christmas - gulp), and generally doing the stuff that gets pushed aside when I'm in Winning the Internet Mode.

So if you'll forgive me - all three of you readers - I may continue to check in here more sporadically*, but here are some fall-ish wee CEO photos to tide you over. Because snaps of a total stranger's child are EXACTLY the cure for a Monday, right?

*Unless and until another fertility-hormone-induced mood swing changes my mind - speaking of, it's super convenient having those to blame. Feeling uninspired to write? Bad hair day? Embezzled millions? Talk to the hormones!

(By the by, the photos below were taken by my talented friend Z a few weeks ago while we were checking out an antiques market - can you believe she took these on the fly? And, no, she's not paying me to say any of these nice things - I just want any Austinites here to book her before she has her baby sometime in the next 5 minutes.)













More Pretty stuff soon - but not too soon - pinky swear . . .

Monday, October 29, 2012

A Pretty in Pink Sprinkle

Hello again . . . and welcome to I Pick Pretty, girly girl edition, in which I show you the pink, frilly details sprinkle I co-hosted last weekend for one of my dear friends - who also happens to be our family photographer and mother to one of Master P's future wives. Convenient, eh?

This isn't usually a party planning sort of blog, but it's Monday - we could use some Pretties, right? Right:



Here's what our guests saw as they entered Pretty HQ - anyone recognize the fancy IKEA easel? 



How does the saying go - "I brunch, therefore I mimosa?" Something like that.



Thanks to Simply Sweet, my go-to peeps for festive baked goods (as if there were any other kind); the guest of honor, who has an incredible eye for little party details, made those "Ready to pop!" cupcake toppers.



I bought that chevron runner you see there & was happy how it played off the pink and orange flowers . . . 



Notice how I only remembered to snap photos of the champagne and the cupcakes? That tells you a lot about my priorities, but it isn't the whole menu story. Thank goodness the mom-to-be / photographer snapped some of the Pretty details:

photo credit: ziem photography
There's my awesome co-host, who clearly has a hidden talent for game show hostessing . . .

photo credit: ziem photography

photo credit: ziem photography

Here's what we served:

Menu
mini-yogurts with granola ("mini" makes everything cuter, even granola)
assorted bagels with cream cheese
spinach and bacon quiche
macarons with lemon buttercream frosting
rice krispy pops
vanilla cupcakes with vanilla icing

photo credit: ziem photography
photo credit: ziem photography
Get it - the "pops" for the mom who is about to pop? This was yet another pun-tastic detail provided by Z herself. 



photo credit: ziem photography


And here are our guests, gorgeous mama-to-be included. These are some of my Mommy Mafia playgroup homies; you'd be hard pressed to find a kinder, more supportive, and irritatingly pretty bunch.

***

My girl Amy, who would totally be in my mom gang if not for the pesky fact that she lives a few states away, is hosting What to Wear Where, Halloween edition, tomorrow. I've got Stuff going on this week & am taking it easy on social media, tomorrow included, but please hop on over to Amy's and link-up!


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