Just a Matter of Days Now…

Maternity photography on Vashon Island in Washington State on Lavender Hill Farm. Maternity photos with mom and baby's big brother Maternity photography on Vashon Island in Washington State on Lavender Hill Farm. Maternity photos with mom and baby's big brother Maternity photography on Vashon Island in Washington State on Lavender Hill Farm. Maternity photos with mom and baby's big brother Maternity photography on Vashon Island in Washington State on Lavender Hill Farm. Maternity photos with mom and baby's big brother Maternity photography on Vashon Island in Washington State on Lavender Hill Farm. Maternity photos with mom and baby's big brother

Maternity photography on Vashon Island in Washington State on Lavender Hill Farm. Maternity photos with mom and baby's big brother

Maternity photography on Vashon Island in Washington State on Lavender Hill Farm. Maternity photos with mom and baby's big brother Maternity photography on Vashon Island in Washington State on Lavender Hill Farm. Maternity photos with mom and baby's big brother Maternity photography on Vashon Island in Washington State on Lavender Hill Farm. Maternity photos with mom and baby's big brother Maternity photography on Vashon Island in Washington State on Lavender Hill Farm. Maternity photos with mom and baby's big brother Maternity photography on Vashon Island in Washington State on Lavender Hill Farm. Maternity photos with mom and baby's big brother Maternity photography on Vashon Island in Washington State on Lavender Hill Farm. Maternity photos with mom and baby's big brother Maternity photography on Vashon Island in Washington State on Lavender Hill Farm. Maternity photos with mom and baby's big brother Maternity photography on Vashon Island in Washington State on Lavender Hill Farm. Maternity photos with mom and baby's big brother Maternity photography on Vashon Island in Washington State on Lavender Hill Farm. Maternity photos with mom and baby's big brother Maternity photography on Vashon Island in Washington State on Lavender Hill Farm. Maternity photos with mom and baby's big brother Maternity photography on Vashon Island in Washington State on Lavender Hill Farm. Maternity photos with mom and baby's big brother Maternity photography on Vashon Island in Washington State on Lavender Hill Farm. Maternity photos with mom and baby's big brother Maternity photography on Vashon Island in Washington State on Lavender Hill Farm. Maternity photos with mom and baby's big brother Maternity photography on Vashon Island in Washington State on Lavender Hill Farm. Maternity photos with mom and baby's big brother Maternity photography on Vashon Island in Washington State on Lavender Hill Farm. Maternity photos with mom and baby's big brother

Dress: ASOS, similar here and non-maternity here // Julain’s Shirt: Gap, Shorts: Zara sold out

It’s just a matter of days now before we get to meet our sweet baby girl. I have been feeling excited and anxious all at the same time. I cannot wait to meet our baby and hold her in my arms. I imagine her to look like Julian, who at birth looked just like Jeff. I must say, part of me is a little nervous about having a one year old and a newborn! Any advice from you two-under-two mamas? I need all the tips I can get! Here are some fun tidbits about my pregnancy that I’ve never shared before!

How I discovered I was pregnant: It was just a week before Christmas and I went to Seattle to meet one of my best friend’s for a fun girls day. Jesse and I grew up together and now both have babies the same age. We started talking about how we were both feeling so bloated and sluggish after way too many holiday treats. Then we started talking about when we may try for baby number 2. After saying goodbye to Jess I walked back to the ferry boat thinking about our conversations. On a whim I bought a pregnancy test before hopping on the ferry. I took the test on the ferry ride home (so glam) and sure enough, it was POSITIVE! The best part is that Jesse took a test the very next day (not knowing about mine yet) and hers was positive too!

Who knew first: I called my sister that day to tell her the news! I wanted to surprise Jeff in a fun way, so I need my sis by my side to help craft a plan! Jesse knew right away, as well as our dear friend Ashley, who also discovered she was pregnant just days later! We could not have planned that if we tried!

How I told Jeff: On the morning of Christmas Eve I had Jeff open a very special Christmas present. I wrapped up 4 beautiful red Christmas ornaments with hand painted gold calligraphy reading; Jeff, Heidi, Jules and Baby. Jeff was so excited and shocked and over the moon all at the same time! We told the rest of our families then next day. Best Christmas ever.

How I felt: For the majority of the pregnancy I felt miserable. I’ve spoken candidly about that here and here. But as the end nears I feel healthy and excited. Albeit very tired and enormous.

What I craved: Carbs! Pizza, mac & cheese, lasagna! Also, fresh fruits like watermelon and strawberries. Any vegetable I saw would make me nauseous. If I could eat Molly Moon’s Salted Caramel ice cream daily, I would.

Greatest fear: This may sound silly, but I am just uncertain about what it will be like to have a baby that is not Julian. Jules and I get along like two peas in a pod. He’s truly my buddy. So I have a hard time imaging what it will be like to parent a baby that isn’t Jules. I keep saying things like “oh I hope she’s like her brother!” But of course she will have her own unique personality to bring to our family. One that deep down I know I will love. Even if she’s the exact opposite of her brother! I remember having the same fear of the unknown before delivering my Julian, and now he has my whole heart.

Greatest joy: Few things compare to that initial ultrasound when you fear baby’s heartbeat for the first time! But I will say, that as she’s grown, I have come to love her powerful kicks inside my belly. She throws me some zingers that can take my breath away! I am growing a strong girly in this belly of mine.

I am still on cloud nine over these maternity photos by the incredible Taylor Catherine Photography. We shot just before the sun went down on beautiful Vashon Island. The scent of this lavender field was out of this world!

Jeff and I both feel so blessed to be our baby girl’s parents. And she is the luckiest girl in the world to have Julian as her big brother. Just a matter of days now girly.

xx,

Heidi

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From the Heart

Beach maternity photoshoot, maternity photos by the water, white off the shoulder maternity gown, photography on beautiful Bainbridge Island Washington in the Pacific Northwest. Sharing honest struggles about pregnancy illness and battling hyperemesis gravidarum in pregnancy from vomiting to depression in pregnancy. Seeing the beauty in motherhood.

Beach maternity photoshoot, maternity photos by the water, white off the shoulder maternity gown, photography on beautiful Bainbridge Island Washington in the Pacific Northwest. Sharing honest struggles about pregnancy illness and battling hyperemesis gravidarum in pregnancy from vomiting to depression in pregnancy. Seeing the beauty in motherhood. Beach maternity photoshoot, maternity photos by the water, white off the shoulder maternity gown, photography on beautiful Bainbridge Island Washington in the Pacific Northwest. Sharing honest struggles about pregnancy illness and battling hyperemesis gravidarum in pregnancy from vomiting to depression in pregnancy. Seeing the beauty in motherhood. Beach maternity photoshoot, maternity photos by the water, white off the shoulder maternity gown, photography on beautiful Bainbridge Island Washington in the Pacific Northwest. Sharing honest struggles about pregnancy illness and battling hyperemesis gravidarum in pregnancy from vomiting to depression in pregnancy. Seeing the beauty in motherhood. Beach maternity photoshoot, maternity photos by the water, white off the shoulder maternity gown, photography on beautiful Bainbridge Island Washington in the Pacific Northwest. Sharing honest struggles about pregnancy illness and battling hyperemesis gravidarum in pregnancy from vomiting to depression in pregnancy. Seeing the beauty in motherhood. Beach maternity photoshoot, maternity photos by the water, white off the shoulder maternity gown, photography on beautiful Bainbridge Island Washington in the Pacific Northwest. Sharing honest struggles about pregnancy illness and battling hyperemesis gravidarum in pregnancy from vomiting to depression in pregnancy. Seeing the beauty in motherhood. Beach maternity photoshoot, maternity photos by the water, white off the shoulder maternity gown, photography on beautiful Bainbridge Island Washington in the Pacific Northwest. Sharing honest struggles about pregnancy illness and battling hyperemesis gravidarum in pregnancy from vomiting to depression in pregnancy. Seeing the beauty in motherhood. Beach maternity photoshoot, maternity photos by the water, white off the shoulder maternity gown, photography on beautiful Bainbridge Island Washington in the Pacific Northwest. Sharing honest struggles about pregnancy illness and battling hyperemesis gravidarum in pregnancy from vomiting to depression in pregnancy. Seeing the beauty in motherhood. Beach maternity photoshoot, maternity photos by the water, white off the shoulder maternity gown, photography on beautiful Bainbridge Island Washington in the Pacific Northwest. Sharing honest struggles about pregnancy illness and battling hyperemesis gravidarum in pregnancy from vomiting to depression in pregnancy. Seeing the beauty in motherhood. Beach maternity photoshoot, maternity photos by the water, white off the shoulder maternity gown, photography on beautiful Bainbridge Island Washington in the Pacific Northwest. Sharing honest struggles about pregnancy illness and battling hyperemesis gravidarum in pregnancy from vomiting to depression in pregnancy. Seeing the beauty in motherhood. Beach maternity photoshoot, maternity photos by the water, white off the shoulder maternity gown, photography on beautiful Bainbridge Island Washington in the Pacific Northwest. Sharing honest struggles about pregnancy illness and battling hyperemesis gravidarum in pregnancy from vomiting to depression in pregnancy. Seeing the beauty in motherhood. Beach maternity photoshoot, maternity photos by the water, white off the shoulder maternity gown, photography on beautiful Bainbridge Island Washington in the Pacific Northwest. Sharing honest struggles about pregnancy illness and battling hyperemesis gravidarum in pregnancy from vomiting to depression in pregnancy. Seeing the beauty in motherhood. Beach maternity photoshoot, maternity photos by the water, white off the shoulder maternity gown, photography on beautiful Bainbridge Island Washington in the Pacific Northwest. Sharing honest struggles about pregnancy illness and battling hyperemesis gravidarum in pregnancy from vomiting to depression in pregnancy. Seeing the beauty in motherhood. Beach maternity photoshoot, maternity photos by the water, white off the shoulder maternity gown, photography on beautiful Bainbridge Island Washington in the Pacific Northwest. Sharing honest struggles about pregnancy illness and battling hyperemesis gravidarum in pregnancy from vomiting to depression in pregnancy. Seeing the beauty in motherhood. Beach maternity photoshoot, maternity photos by the water, white off the shoulder maternity gown, photography on beautiful Bainbridge Island Washington in the Pacific Northwest. Sharing honest struggles about pregnancy illness and battling hyperemesis gravidarum in pregnancy from vomiting to depression in pregnancy. Seeing the beauty in motherhood. Beach maternity photoshoot, maternity photos by the water, white off the shoulder maternity gown, photography on beautiful Bainbridge Island Washington in the Pacific Northwest. Sharing honest struggles about pregnancy illness and battling hyperemesis gravidarum in pregnancy from vomiting to depression in pregnancy. Seeing the beauty in motherhood.

Beach maternity photoshoot, maternity photos by the water, white off the shoulder maternity gown, photography on beautiful Bainbridge Island Washington in the Pacific Northwest. Sharing honest struggles about pregnancy illness and battling hyperemesis gravidarum in pregnancy from vomiting to depression in pregnancy. Seeing the beauty in motherhood. Beach maternity photoshoot, maternity photos by the water, white off the shoulder maternity gown, photography on beautiful Bainbridge Island Washington in the Pacific Northwest. Sharing honest struggles about pregnancy illness and battling hyperemesis gravidarum in pregnancy from vomiting to depression in pregnancy. Seeing the beauty in motherhood. (Dress: Etsy; Custom Hair Piece: The Botanist Co; Photography by Janet Lin Photography)

When my dear friend and photographer Janet and I set out to do this photoshoot, I was already eager to share the photos with you all! I was thinking to myself how I would tell you all about how this is the perfect dress for a maternity shoot (true) and how wonderful and easy Janet is to work with (absolutely true)! And about how I was so excited to finally do a beach shoot on beautiful Bainbridge Island (true again)! But when Janet sent me photos I became overwhelmed by something else, and I wanted to share that with you instead. I felt overwhelmed with guilt.

Let me explain. During my pregnancy, I have battled hyperemesis gravidarum and have spoken candidly about how that has effected my life. From the non-strop vomiting, and all the way into an anti-nausea medication induced depression. After I had Julian and I looked back on my pregnancy, I would think to myself, “well of course you didn’t really enjoy it! You were miserable!” But in the moment, being pregnant, it is so hard to offer myself that same kind of grace. So, what do I feel, but guilt. Guilt for not loving and embracing pregnancy.  Guilt, for the days that I despised it.

I look at these photos and I feel like I can see myself in a different light. I can see the beauty of pregnancy. The miracle of it. The edges have been smoothed. And I feel guilt for not seeing it sooner.

That is so hard for me to say. I do not by any means want to seem ungrateful for the daughter that is growing inside of me. I am very aware that pregnancy loss and infertility are something that many women struggle with. Women I know personally and those I do not know. Even my dear friend Janet has experienced great loss as a mother and written beautifully about it. And so, the guilt over not loving pregnancy keeps piling on.

I am blessed beyond measure for my daughter. And I need to come to terms with the fact that pregnancy is not easy for me. That yes, on somedays I cried to my husband that I couldn’t do it anymore. That I wanted my old life back. And the worst, that I didn’t want to be pregnant anymore. I have tears in my eyes as I type that because it breaks my heart to confess how dark things were for me. But it is the truth.

Offering yourself grace is not always simple. And I think we as women struggle with it particularly. So, I am vowing to see myself and my pregnancy differently. I am choosing to see myself and my experience through a different lens, and to embrace it from here on out. Even if that’s just a few more weeks. I’m choosing to embrace it for the joy and the miracle that it is. But, I am also choosing to accept the darkness of those first 6 months. And to not feel the guilt and weight of them any longer.

Moms, you don’t have to love pregnancy.  You don’t even have to like it to still be grateful and appreciative of its gifts. But you don’t have to feel guilty for feeling the way you do. Feel what you feel, and remember that, like most things, this too shall pass. Sending love and grace to all.

xx,

Heidi

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Springtime in Seattle

Springtime in Seattle! Beautiful cherry blossoms at the University of Washington. Gorgeous Seattle attraction

Springtime in Seattle! Beautiful cherry blossoms at the University of Washington. Gorgeous Seattle attraction

Springtime in Seattle! Beautiful cherry blossoms at the University of Washington. Gorgeous Seattle attraction

Springtime in Seattle! Beautiful cherry blossoms at the University of Washington. Gorgeous Seattle attraction

Springtime in Seattle! Beautiful cherry blossoms at the University of Washington. Gorgeous Seattle attraction

Springtime in Seattle! Beautiful cherry blossoms at the University of Washington. Gorgeous Seattle attraction

Springtime in Seattle! Beautiful cherry blossoms at the University of Washington. Gorgeous Seattle attraction

Springtime in Seattle! Beautiful cherry blossoms at the University of Washington. Gorgeous Seattle attraction

Springtime in Seattle! Beautiful cherry blossoms at the University of Washington. Gorgeous Seattle attraction

Springtime in Seattle! Beautiful cherry blossoms at the University of Washington. Gorgeous Seattle attraction

Springtime in Seattle! Beautiful cherry blossoms at the University of Washington. Gorgeous Seattle attraction

Springtime in Seattle! Beautiful cherry blossoms at the University of Washington. Gorgeous Seattle attraction

Springtime in Seattle! Beautiful cherry blossoms at the University of Washington. Gorgeous Seattle attraction

Springtime in Seattle! Beautiful cherry blossoms at the University of Washington. Gorgeous Seattle attraction

Springtime in Seattle! Beautiful cherry blossoms at the University of Washington. Gorgeous Seattle attraction

(Sweater: Free People, similar, Dress: c/o Magnolia Shoes (so soft!),  Purse: c/o SheIn (only $30!), Wedges: Nordstrom, Lips: MAC Crosswires // Julian’s sweater: hand-me-down, Overalls: Gap, similar, Shoes: Nordstrom)

If you caught my Spring To-Do List a few weeks back, then you know that visiting the cherry blossoms at the University of Washington was number 1 on my list! I still remember the amazement I would feel every year after returning to UW following spring break. The quad would be filled with these stunning blooms and you could feel the magic in the air. It also meant that summer was just one quarter away!

Every year the UW announces an estimated time when the cherry blossoms will be in full bloom. You can even watch it on live stream! This year we visited in the first week of April. My friend and photographer Whitney, who took these amazing photos just before the sun set and the rain began to fall.

I was so excited to be able to share this beautiful sight with Julian this year. Since we live on Bainbridge Island, we caught the ferry boat over to the Emerald City. We strolled through campus, and I swear it must have looked like Disneyland to my one year old! You could see the amazement in his eyes! He ran around and played in the fallen petals and jumped in every mud puddle. It was nostalgic to visit UW again, and these beautiful blooms were exactly as I remembered. 

Wherever you may be in the world, the cherry blossoms at the University of Washington are a site you must see with your own eyes. Living in Washington state, spring has always felt like a season of renewal and new energy for me. Fresh blooms, bluer skies, and lighter rainfall are all welcomed warmly after the winter months. The frogs and ducks return to their ponds and all of your friends come out of hibernation. Hey guys! Springtime in Seattle is pure magic, and I hope that you get a chance to see the cherry blossoms for yourself sometime soon! The blooms never last long, so be sure to time it right! 

Also, if you’re on or near Bainbridge Island, you must check out Magnolia Shoes where this dress is from! I am obsessed with how soft this fabric is, I could sleep in these dress!

Huge thank you to Whitney Coudray Photography for the photos. I cherish these and so many more that I didn’t post 🙂

xx,

Heidi

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Sharing Our Special News

Pregnancy announcement photos, maternity photography. Baby number 2 on the way, 2 under 2!

Pregnancy announcement photos, maternity photography. Baby number 2 on the way, 2 under 2!

Pregnancy announcement photos, maternity photography. Baby number 2 on the way, 2 under 2!

Pregnancy announcement photos, maternity photography. Baby number 2 on the way, 2 under 2!

Pregnancy announcement photos, maternity photography. Baby number 2 on the way, 2 under 2!

Pregnancy announcement photos, maternity photography. Baby number 2 on the way, 2 under 2!

Pregnancy announcement photos, maternity photography. Baby number 2 on the way, 2 under 2!

Pregnancy announcement photos, maternity photography. Baby number 2 on the way, 2 under 2!

Pregnancy announcement photos, maternity photography. Baby number 2 on the way, 2 under 2!

Pregnancy announcement photos, maternity photography. Baby number 2 on the way, 2 under 2!

Pregnancy announcement photos, maternity photography. Baby number 2 on the way, 2 under 2!

Pregnancy announcement photos, maternity photography. Baby number 2 on the way, 2 under 2!

Pregnancy announcement photos, maternity photography. Baby number 2 on the way, 2 under 2!

I am so excited to finally share with you some big news! As you can see from my growing belly, we have a bundle of joy on the way! Baby Stephens is due this summer and we couldn’t feel more blessed. So many of you already guessed our news! You guys are good 🙂

This pregnancy was a bit of a surprise for us, since we had wanted to wait a little longer after having Julian to get pregnant. But sure enough, as soon as Julian decided he was done breastfeeding (just days before his first birthday) we got pregnant again! I have really really tough pregnancies, so truthfully, I was not looking forward to another pregnancy just yet; and this pregnancy has been no exception. I have been vomiting every day, mostly all day, with frequent visits to the Emergency Room for fluid hydration, and multiple anti nausea regimens. This goes way past the suggested treatments of ginger tea and Preggo Pops; trust me, I’ve tried it all. Early on in pregnancy, I was diagnosed with hyperemesis gravidarum, just like I was with Julian. I want to clarify, hyperemesis is not “morning sickness.” This has been a debilitating illness that has left me basically bed bound for months. I could go on endlessly about this diagnosis, but I think I’ll save that for another post. But, just so you know, this why I have been MIA since Christmas!

We feel so fortunate to be expecting baby number 2, as our Julian Koki is our whole world. But, truthfully, this illness makes it challenging to acknowledge that it will all be worth it, especially on the worst days. Also, the idea of having 2 under 2 has me a little nervous! But I know in my heart this baby will be the perfect addition to our family. My baby, you are so loved by so many, and you hit the jackpot with the best big brother (and fur brother!) around!

Thank you all for bearing with me through this difficult and exciting time! I cannot wait to share this next chapter of our lives with you. We couldn’t be more thrilled!

Dress: Paper Crown, older, similar here and here // Boots: Hunter // Lipliner: Soar, lipstick: Kinda Sexy both by MAC// JULIAN: Sweater: Tucker + Tate from Nordstrom, similar // Pants: Tucker + Tate //Boots: Hunter

Also, huge THANK YOU to my friend and photographer Ashley Loyer for editing these photos for me! My husband took them, but I am still learning my way around Lightroom. Thanks for helping out a friend Ashley!

xx,

Heidi

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