FACT CHECK.

Take a good, hard look at the photos above. What do you see?

To be honest, I didn’t see what my husband saw when he snapped these. Or what he saw when he decided to put them on social media. He saw a baby girl eating up (pun intended) the beach on a hot summer day. He saw a mom and her daughter in vacation mode. He saw his wife making memories with him and his family. Well really, when I asked him what he saw, he said, “I couldn’t really see anything…it was really sunny and I had my sunglasses on.” *Shoulder shrug*.

You know what I saw? I saw an intense widow’s peak from postpartum hair loss. I saw holy boobs because of breastfeeding. I saw thick thighs and a double chin. I saw sunglasses that all of a sudden look too small because my face is rounder than ever before. And I saw extra skin flaps and lots and lots of belly fat. Rolls for days.

So, no. This is not my typical blog post. It doesn’t fall under bruises, bows, or books. And it’s not really the content I ever anticipated putting on here. But I’ve spent the better part of the afternoon reflecting on these photos, coaching myself to NOT ask my husband to delete them or take them off social media. To NOT crop myself out of them. And I know if I want to be real on here, then I’ve got to be honest…even if it means being serious every now and then. The pressure on us mamas is so, so real. And it’s so, so hard. I owe it to myself and I owe it to all of you to let you in and see this side of me. In the span of 6 hours (we got home from the beach around 2pm), there are hundreds of facts that crossed my mind when looking at these photos. I forced myself to fact check every single one of them. Here are some of the ones I struggled with the most:

Fact: I’m feeding my kid a pouch of mangos, not all the fruits and veggies I’ve pureed myself.

Fact check: Who cares; fed is fed. Plus, I shouldn’t be self conscious because I made a choice that would make things easier for me at the beach.

Fact: Depending on the angle, I legit look like I’m balding.

Fact check: It’s only temporary.

Fact: I have lots of stretched out skin and rolls that are uber obvious when I sit criss-cross-applesauce.

Fact check: I don’t think my kids or my husband have ever once made note of extra anything on my body. I get the same amount of hugs, snuggles, squirmies, and hits. And I can eat my freaking ice cream if I want to; I earned it.

Fact: These boobs are enormous one minute, and flat, empty bags the next.

Fact check: My baby is fed because of me, and only me. No one else could give her what she needs right now.

Fact: Three babies in and my body is not, and never will be, the same as it used to be.

Fact check: I carried and birthed three freaking humans. (!!!!!) They are all healthy, and happy, and I am GRATEFUL.

Fact: Thank god for technology. It’d be really easy to fix this with photoshop or iPhoto. If the kid looks cute and I don’t, I can still salvage the photo of them by cropping myself out.

Fact check: Do I really want my kids growing up without any photos of me with them because of my insecurities? No.

Fact: I looked at these photos and the first thing I saw was all my flaws. Not the cute, happy, smiling baby next to me.

Fact check: I want my kids to grow up loving all humans, no matter shape, size, or color. And I want my kids to grow up accepting themselves exactly as they are because they are perfect. So I better start accepting MYSELF exactly as I am (no, I’m not claiming I’m perfect, at least not in that way, anyway). I am me, and that’s worth fact checking any day.

What do you want to read about?

As much as I can rattle off ideas for content or thumb through the photos on my phone for inspiration, I know there will be days or weeks where I got nothin’. I’d love for this page to be as interactive as possible. If you’re a fellow mom or teacher, or just someone who stumbled upon this page and wants to give me a run for my money, I’m game. Ask me a question, drop me a line, give me some feedback. If you’re a fellow blogger and happen to notice how much my page is struggling in design and/or content, give me some advice, I’m begging you!

My family

So by now you’ve heard about the two bruises and the bow in my life. And let me tell you they are my everything. But there are two other members of my family that you probably won’t hear as much about (on here anyway). My husband’s name is Mike and usually he thinks I’m all things corny, but surprisingly he’s been super supportive of my foray into blogging. So much so he even offered to pay half of my domain fees…he knows I’m a teacher coming off maternity leave surviving off a balloon check in the middle of summer.

Then there’s the dog…you know…the family member who starts off as your baby when you’re newly married but six years later turns into, Brady..who? whenever someone asks “Hey, how’s Brady doing?” Between toddler-tail-tugs and baby-bops, our not-so-little puggle Brady gets the short end of the stick most days, but he’s as loyal and loving as ever. At the end of the day, he completes our family…after all, he’s been here since the beginning.

Bruises Bows and Books…explained

Ok so I kind of explained myself on my homepage, but I know it’s not really clear and I don’t really know the first thing about writing a blog. I was kind of hoping I’d sign up, pick a template, and just have to fill in the blanks…how naive! I’m learning as I go and man is it a heck of a lot harder than you would think. My dreams of becoming @themotherchic or @livinginyellow or @dayswithgrey overnight are dashed.

Anyway…the Bruises and Bows section of this page have to do with my kids. I’ll share triumphs and trials of raising two (very different!) boys on the Bruises page, and I’ll share triumphs and trials of raising my girl on the Bows page. I’ll share the good, the bad, and the ugly, and you don’t have to agree with me. I’ll share tips and tricks for the education and development of elementary aged kids, including my own, on the Books page. My expertise is in reading and writing instruction, but I dabble in math too….my dear colleague, Tara, is the math specialist and my partner in crime at school, and she has taught me everything I know about raising mathematically literate kiddos.

I’m not so sure I’ll get any followers here, and that’s ok. If it just turns into being my own (public?!) diary, I’m cool with that. I was always into journaling growing up anyway.