Being pregnant and fashionable feels really hard. For me, it's not so much the getting bigger. I've maintained a slow and healthy weight gain, so I haven't needed to buy many new clothes quite yet. But it's mostly because your body just feels....different.
Especially if you're dealing with morning sickness, bloating, and just being creakier feeling then normal, picking out the most fashion forward outfit is just not always my first priority.
Before I get into it, two things. 1. A belly band helps all your pants work with you as you grow in size. You can grab one at Target for pretty cheap and they have saved me. Check em out here. 2. Jewelry and accessories make any outfit and I LOVE supporting my fair trade company and our AMAZING artisans by decking out as often as I can in Trades of Hope jewelry, scarves, and bags.
Here's some ways I've made my current wardrobe work and found newer clothes on a budget to make picking an outfit much easier! (Hint hint: lots of thrifting was involved)
1. Thrifted, Oversized Jackets
I LOVE to thrift. Love, love, love it. It's not a quick experience and you need to commit at least an hour to looking through all the racks and finding things to try on and test out. But it's so worth it!
I've got a pretty good system down when it comes to thrifting and I love that I can spend $30 bucks and get 5 things instead of just one thing!
I picked up this boyish blazer (which was a brand popular 20 years ago). I had to cut out the shoulder pads, yes. haha. But I love that it's trendy and a little oversized. It'll fit my pregnant belly for quite some time and dresses up a pair of jeans and white shirt. Not an overly complicated outfit to think through in the morning, which I love.
2. Dresses, dresses, dresses
Dresses are the BEST because you only have to think about wearing ONE thing, not two! Plus, I tend to like my dresses a size too big and a little baggier. This fits perfect as my belly stretches. (My blue dress at the apple orchard was thrifted, others were from TJ Maxx and Shop Stevie).
Patterns have an easy way of making an outfit feel a little more glamorous then it actually is. Florals are super in right now, and they make life more fun and bright.
And, of course, I can't get away from my typical checkered adventury clothes. That's my signature style and I'll never really stray from it. :)
Both of my below tops are thrifted and were under $4.00
Umm, who doesn't love overalls? I wore them nonstop as a kid. I've continued to always have a pair for the last 10 years, when they were out of style and in style too.
Again, I generally buy things a size too big as I like things comfy. My overalls have good give and can stretch a few more inches for my belly.
I have a jean pair and a white pair, but love how the white compliments any shirt or shoe choice. Plus, just like a dress, I only have to think about wearing ONE thing. So much easier. :)
Morning (and night) routines are one of the most important things in my life. I was really struggling emotionally during a certain period of my life and I found that by setting healthy boundaries and routines (even in the midst of crazy traveling), my well being and joy increased dramatically.
I don't prescribe anything as being a fix-it-all solution. But I do think that we have trained ourselves to stop listening to our bodies. Learning to shut off social media and distractions to really listen to what we need will tell us so much. God designed our bodies to have boundaries, and if we are not respecting how we were created, we will be trapped by the broken emotions that come with being out of touch with this fleshly vessel we call home.
Here's just a few things that have worked for me in my morning routine:
1. Phone = OFF and OUT OF SITE
At night, I put my phone in the kitchen and turn it off. When I wake up, it is not near my bed and is not the first thing I go on.
I used to 'use' my phone as an alarm (alarms are $12 at Target, people). So everytime it dinged, flashed, or vibrated, I'd roll over and check to see who was liking, emailing, commenting, etc. As soon as I woke up, I'd convince myself I needed to 'relax' for a few minutes before getting up. Even when I turned my notifications off, the constant awareness that it was always there was too tempting.
I used to have a lot of trouble sleeping too and when I'd have nights of restlessness, I enjoyed having my phone to keep me company. You know though, as soon as I put my phone away, my brain started realizing that I didn't have to be "on" all the time, I actually learned how to sleep so much better!
I was also convinced that I needed to be accessible. I ran a growing company and if something happened, I needed to be available. I have loads of siblings I adore. What if something happened and they needed me?
All of these feelings naturally put in us a state of anxiety, because there is an expectation of what's to come. And we wonder why anxiety seems to constantly haunt us.
We also wonder why we feel feelings of worthlessness, comparison, or jealousy so often. Perhaps it's because before the hour of 8am, we've already read three news articles, looked at hundreds of curated photos, and read every new detail about our friend's lives. We can't blame social media for this. We have the power within us to put social media away. There's nothing wrong with others for wanting to post pretty photos, create art, and share their life's details. It's that you weren't meant to see it 24/7, late in the night, early in the morning, and at your most vulnerable times.
People will be okay without you being 'on' every second. You can buy an alarm and wake up the old fashioned way. And your brain will learn, over time, to rest and not feel that anxious expectation of missing out. Leave your phone for AFTER you've completed your morning routine.
2. Make your bed & some sort of breakfast
I admit, I still struggle with this. But making my bed (and/or breakfast) has this weirdly glorious effect on me. It gives me this internal idea that, from the very beginning of the day, my life is in order. A simple task completed well that no one else sees helps me feel ready. And it sets me up to be well disciplined through out the day.
Also, it feels so good to get home and see a made bed, just beckoning for me to open the comforter and snuggle inside. It helps with my nightly routine too, as it lends to a sense of calm and peace right before bed.
As for breakfast, I really mean just make something and/or anything. Even drinking a smoothie, sipping a cup of coffee, or chopping up some fruit helps me feel more prepared. It has nothing to do with the food, but that little act of willpower changes my mindset. (especially when I could easily run out the door with my bed a mess, an empty tummy, and the feeling that I'm already behind.)
3. Pray, Journal, Meditate...
Before I pick up my phone, or hop on my computer, I take time to do something for me to mentally prepare for the day. As someone of faith, I pray every morning. Usually while in bed still. As soon as I wake up, I thank God for all he's given me. I pray about how I'd like the day to look and ask for joy and determination. I always pray for the power of the Holy Spirit to move in me that day and give me power over my own desires and struggles. I've found that praying for this has helped me through some of the darkest things. It's essential that I set my heart on heaven every morning with gratitude and put in the guardrails during the day my heart will abide by.
Sometimes I'll get up and stretch while I pray. Sometimes I sit on a blanket and face the sun, feeling it on my face and thanking him for his goodness. Often times I pair reading my Bible with this or I journal.
It doesn't have to look the same everyday, but a routine that allows you to take a moment and readjust your focus on what is most important to you will help your brain be able to handle all that you will need to do and see that day. And, I find that if I'm doing this everyday, when I hop on social media I'm not confronted with comparisons or the overwhelming anxiety of the news. My heart has been checked and put in it's place and I feel peace.
4. Make a list of what to accomplish that day
This is my fourth and final thing. It's easy for me to finish the above and then immediately hop on my computer and start answering emails. But then I start to live life by REACTION. I want to move with intention and not react to things. So before I start my work day, I make a list of the top things to accomplish that day. I use an online list maker and move things around in my day/week until I feel that I have a clear vision of how to get each thing done. Then and only then do I dive into my work/social media.
These are just a few things I do, but they have helped me get through many challenging periods of life. Little acts of discipline can seem fruitless sometimes, but discipline done over and over can have such positive long term effects. So try some of these things out (even as simple as they seem) for 30 days and see how you feel!
Okay, okay....not moving anywhere huge. But down the street counts, right? We are so excited to share that we are in the process of buying our first house....eek!
As many of you know, we've hopped around quite a bit since we got married. A tiny apartment was our first home of choice, and then we bought and renovated a camper....which was a blast (and what we really, truly consider 'our first home'), and since returning from our roadtrip, we've lived in a cozy and quaint apartment when we aren't traveling the world. It has been perfect for us, especially because we've been so used to living smaller.
Last year, we bought 6 acres to build a one-day farm on. I thought that would be the first move we made, but with a baby coming, rent going up, and the thought of building the perfect farmhouse feeling a little daunting, we decided to wait and buy something to live in and rent out as investment later.
Soooo.....we put in an offer and it was accepted on a 3 bedroom in our small Florida town. It's only a few streets over from my parents and siblings, which is awesome. It has the cutest fenced in yard (Darling can finally run!) and an extra bedroom for our soon to be babe.
We haven't closed yet and so it's still in process, but I couldn't wait to share the news! The house is a little Florida-y looking, but we are planning on doing some fun, minor renovations to bring in a farmhouse feel before we move in December. Make sure to subscribe on the right to get updates and photos about all of our home renovations. We love sharing our adventures.
Can't wait to share more soon!
Now that the first trimester is over, I wanted to blog an update to remember all of the
wonderful & weird things that happened during these last few months.
This is my first pregnancy and reaching the second trimester is such a gift. Not only
because I'm hoping the morning sickness will fade, but the pregnancy risk is much
lower and something I won't need to continually fear. Praising God for the protection and continual prayers.
But the last couple months have been exciting ones!
On a hot day in August of 2005, I met Ryan Antos. We were friends at first
and then some years later, he told me he liked me. We were 14 years old, little and awkward, but even in those years, we knew we loved each other so. It's been almost 10 years since the day when we confessed our affection to each other. As a teenager, I was terrified of the day we would separate. I was a realistic kid and I knew it had to come....young love never lasts. And so everyday I would write in my journal that if God could give me anything, I would ask for him.
At 19 years old, Ryan asked me to marry him and my faithful prayers, scribbled in a
worn journal came true.
We've been married over 4 years, and it has been everything I could have dreamed.
We've walked through hard things like everyone, sure. But I have been loved enough to
last me a lifetime and I have loved enough for a lifetime, and to know we still have a
lifetime yet to love one another brings me so much joy.
In June, we had started to talk about kids,
but weren't sure if we were ready yet. We
were both really enjoying our careers and
adventures. We traveled so much and I had
this weird, irrational fear that once a kid
came, all of it was over. So we decided that maybe we would wait another year.
At the end of June, God woke me up in the
middle of night and told me that I needed to start praying for my future baby and for
the faith to not believe my irrational fears.
I don't often have midnight God experiences
(though I wish I did!), so this was pretty
So I committed that every morning, I would take a good chunk of prayer time and pray
for our one day child and that God would prepare my heart and my faith for that time. I knew there'd be fear, but I prayed an end to the fear that kept stopping me from even
considering becoming pregnant. I was praying all of this with 2018 in mind of course, so we weren't taking any big risks and it was all purely for the future. ;)
Fast forward 3 weeks....
On a Tuesday night in July....on the way to a photoshoot, I stopped at home because I felt sick. I had a weird thought that I should take a pregnancy test....fully knowing there was no possible way to be pregnant.
But lo and behold.
I didn't really believe it when I saw it. I thought I had taken it wrong. I kind of just
pretended it hadn't happened because I was alone and freaking out, I told my dog,
filmed a quick video just in case it was true, and went on my way.
When Ryan came home later, I dropped the news, he was so shocked and overjoyed, and then we went to Target, where I took a bunch more tests. All positive. It felt a little
surreal. I didn't know how to respond and was just kind of in shock. Especially because only Ryan and I knew what I was praying for. (and of course, I've always prayed for our future kiddos, but this was a much more specific type of prayer that I was coincidentally beginning to pray WHILE I was pregnant). God is cool and weird sometimes.
Check out our pregnancy announcement video here.
I wish I can say the fear went away after
that, but the fear carried on for about 3
weeks. I stuck with my faith prayers and
worked through it. I blogged about some of my specific fears and how I conquered
them over at this blog post.
And I know you never stop being fearful,
but I believe in big faith and targeting
specific fears that cause anxiety, so that's
what I did.
This is something I learned after dealing with trauma and I've taught myself (with some help from good friends) how to heal (continually and in every new season) from the
kind of fear that crosses into unnatural anxiety. It isn't easy, but it's possible.
My fear eased up and faith and confidence started to kick in as we moved forward. Our month was a little crazy after that. 6 days after finding out, I hopped on a plane to host a 500 person event with Trades of Hope and my team. I had many speaking roles and
hosting duties, and it was a little overwhelming with my new-found pregnancy and the onslaught of morning sickness. But all of our Compassionate Entrepreneurs were SO
sweet to me and made it the BEST experience.
A couple months later, we were hit with Hurricane Irma and our entire town shut down for a week. Everyone was hunkering down, boarding up windows, and buying enough junk food to last them to the end of the world. It was a little crazy, but we got through
it and were not negatively impacted other then some flooding on our street. Our poor
town is still recovering though!
Around this time, I began to start to feel super comfortable being pregnant and was
starting to really understand my body and it's needs.
I found that, at least for me:
- I had morning sickness and the throw ups every morning, but it was not as bad as I thought it'd be. Honestly, you get used to everything. As long as I didn't let it interrupt my day and get me down, I could deal with it fine. (TMI: Also, drinking a TON of water as soon as I got up helped me throw up clean and easy without vomiting important calories. I just replaced the water later).
- Swallowing and digesting harsher food was a lot harder, so I need to drink water with every meal or I'd get indigestion. (Something I never had before). I wasn't exhausted or overly emotional like many said I'd be. Honestly, other then feeling a little bloated and having morning sickness, I felt pretty much like Chelsie. And I liked that. So far, so good! Not trying to diminish anyone else's experiences, but I like to share the good just in case it encourages someone too.
- Gaining weight is a lot harder then everyone told me it'd be, just because of my body type. So I have to intentionally go out of the way to eat more foods. I just
really like my fruit, guys!
- Exercising helped being sick, but lifting weights made me dizzy so walking helped a TON.
- Getting good books to research pregnancy INSTEAD of googling (and seeing all those terrifying, fear mongering things) was SUPER helpful in managing fear.
So maybe those will help you! Or maybe they'll just be for me to look back on and
Right at the end of the first trimester and the tailend of Hurricane Irma, we hopped on a plane to Washington D.C. I'm helping homeschool my brother this semester (#homeschoolkidsunite) and we planned a fun trip to help him learn some history. (Plus, it was nice escaping to some AC as we were out of power for a good part of the week).
So Ryan and I had fun galavanting around D.C., visiting our friend Elisabeth, seeing the historical sites, and visiting Mount Vernon. It was here that I was certain I saw my belly bump for the first time. I'm kind of lanky, so it's hard for others to see, but there is
definitely a little something going on.
Apparently, I'm now 15 weeks this week, instead of the 14 I thought. We went in for our 2nd appointment and heard the baby's heartbeat again and scheduled our appointment for finding out the gender, which is exciting!
Anyway, that's kind of a recap for you and somewhat for me. I want to remember all of my experiences and I love blogging, so I figured I'd let you in on some of the updates as well.
For the next few months, we have lots of exciting things planned including a trip to the mountains to see the leaves, a birthday/costume party, a gender reveal party, and a
Harry Potter marathon.
And of course, we are still adamantly praying in big faith for our baby and all that
he/she will be one day.
Until the next update. Thanks for reading, sweet friend!
P.S. The formatting is wonky in this blog post. I spent forevs trying to fix it and finally
gave up, but so sorry if it was weird to read because of it. <3
Hey, friend! I'm Chelsie!
Stay a while and get comfy. <3