Wednesday, May 16, 2018

How would you describe your style?

LookVine called me out recently for having casual style and being a fashion influencer (which I really don't think I am). They asked to interview me for their site and gave me a few questions to answer. It really got me thinking about my style and how it has changed over my 30 years of life. If I look back there are for sure some key fashion moments that I remember. The one that I most recently shared with my husband was, when I was rocking straight wide leg elastic jeans in the 6th grade because your girl was husky. To this day my mom will tell you how horrible she felt about me wearing those but she couldn't find jeans that would fit me correctly. But you know what, I don't have bad memories about those jeans. I remember wearing them with confidence!
If I had to describe my style now, it's still confident but it for sure leans to the casual side of the spectrum. I've never been one to glam it up without having a purpose for the glam. If you see me at church that's about as glam as I get. I've turned into this tee and jeans mama and I am OK with that. Solid basics are my thing and if I venture into any type of patterns it's normally stripes. I stay within a certain color palette because through like I said earlier, 30 years of experimenting with my style, I have finally found the colors and shades I really love. Denim is my best friend, especially if it has some type of stretch in it. Accessories are minimum and not distracting and shoes are always comfortable. 
I am the type of person that has an idea of what I am shopping for and if the store doesn't have it, I don't waste my time trying to make a second option work. Being 5'5' and curvy I know what stores fit and flatter my body the best, ASOS, Old Navy, Gap, PinkBlush, and H&M are my go-to's. I've developed a keen eye and can tell just by looking at a shirt on a hanger whether it will work for me or not. This mama has very little time to mess around with fitting rooms.

If I could give you one piece of advice as a fashion influencer (which I still am not), it would be to find the styles that fit your body the best. This comes with trial and error and patience. Having a friend or in my case a husband who will give you an honest opinion about your outfit and how it looks is pretty essential too.
If something you're wearing is getting complimented think about the shape, the fabric, the color, and how you styled it. Think about how you felt in that look and try and duplicate it with something you already have in your closet. Your style doesn't need to have any rules. Express who you are and wear what you like. Shop for what fits your body and don't worry about what the tag says (you're the only one who can see it anyways). And most importantly, if you wear it with confidence you'll always be best dressed, like me in the 6th grade rocking those elastic husky girl jeans.

So tell me, how would you describe your style? Give me one word and your go-to store!

-Bee

Check out my article in LookVine here!

Thursday, May 10, 2018

My love language is not gifts.

I am constantly reminding Fabian that my love language is not gifts. It seems that every time we have extra money or Fabian sees me eyeing something in a store he just has to buy it for me. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate it and love seeing the joy he gets from gifting me something but those gifts fill up my closet instead of my love tank.
So what's a love language? Our love language is how we communicate and receive love. By understanding our love language and our spouse's love language we can drastically improve our relationship. This works for friendships too! Understanding what your friend, spouse, or baby mama needs from you is super important. There are five of them, words of affirmations, acts of service, quality time, receiving gifts, and physical touch. Out of those five, one of them will stand out! Without even taking the quiz you probably know which one that is for you. So why am I sharing this now?

Well... Mother's day is right around the corner and I want you to think about how your baby mama would want to be celebrated. This goes for Father's day too cause that is coming up next month. Not all moms want gifts. Maybe she wants you to do something for her? Maybe she wants some alone time with you? Maybe she wants a card full of words? Knowing your baby mama's love language can make or break how you communicate your love to them. So let's break it down with some classic F & B mistakes!
Keep in mind that both our top love language is quality time, but my need for that is greater than his. And following that we both need words of affirmation. (You can see our results below)

When Fabian gives me a gift, yes like I said I do appreciate it but mama doesn't need new rain boots.

We don't make time for dates that don't include family members and our child. Easily a month or two can go by and we both feel distant from one another.

We run a red light and I say some disrespectful things about my husband's driving habits instead of thanking him for not letting my head slam onto the dashboard by braking too fast.

We just get too busy and over book our lives which leads to falling asleep before we can even say goodnight or how was your day?

I stay too quiet during the work day and don't send a cute little meme or corny quote from pinterest via text to my husband.

We Netflix but don't chill.

We expect each other to do things without any communication and then we get booty hurt and don't even acknowledge the other person when the task is completed.

Those are just a few of our recent errors but when we quickly corrected ourselves it's almost crazy how fast our relationship became even better. We planed date nights, we used our words to encourage, and we communicated better throughout the day and because all of those needs were met, it made our love for one another even better than it was before. We still hit rough patches every now and then but having taken this quiz and really understanding how the other person receives and communicates their love is some pretty important knowledge to have in that marriage tool box. Check out our results (Fabian is on the left and I am on the right). Learn your love language here!

And don't forget to celebrate your baby mama and your own mama on Mother's day!
Happy Loving!
-F & B

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Family Planning [Mom & Dad don't read this]

"Would you like your tubes tied while we're in here," asked the doctor performing my C-section?
"No thank you, my husband would kill me," I replied!

While my husband and I were dating we talked about our future family and how many kids we wanted. I remember that conversation like it was yesterday. We were sitting in the parking lot of a Chili's waiting for friends when we decided we would have 5 kids and no dog. However, if we got a dog, we would have 4 kids. Fun conversations about our future family were sprinkled into date nights and shortly after our engagement those conversations became more serious. As we approached our wedding day Fabian and I needed to decide together our true family plan.
Both of us were virgins and had saved ourselves for each other. I never had a need to look into birth control or any family planning method but with our wedding day approaching I needed a plan. We had talked about birth control together but never really felt a peace about it and didn't think it was for us. We for sure knew we didn't want kids right away so despite not really agreeing on a plan I met with my OB and that same day I started birth control. The Nuva Ring to be more specific. I was fine for a couple months and didn't notice any side effects other than some moodiness. I was mostly concerned about weight gain but for some reason I lost that extra 5lbs right before my wedding. I stayed on the Nuva Ring for 4 months. Still no other true side effects other than moodiness. But this moodiness y'all was like a roller coaster. It had me going up and down emotionally at lightening speed. I was happy one minute and then in the next minute fuming mad giving everyone the silent treatment. My mood was all over my face and everyone could see it.

This moodiness began to affect our marriage and since we were newlyweds learning how to live with one another, cope with two different schedules, and lifestyles, being emotionally unstable did not help at all. We were arguing a lot and ironically our arguments were centered around not agreeing about this decision of birth control. Fabian would tell me, "you need to get off that thing!" I heard his concerns but I didn't want to get pregnant. I started praying hard about the decision I had made and God very clearly told me to stop taking it.

In my fear of getting pregnant before it was time, I choose not to listen to God or my husband and continued the Nuva Ring for another month. And just as you suspected we continued to arguing about it. It was ruining date nights, time with family, and basically our marriage. I remember clear as day the final argument we had and I remember the moment where I thought, "Enough is enough! God knows the timing of our child and I need to obey Him and my husband and remove this medication that is altering what my body is naturally supposed to do." So there I was sitting in our apartment listening to my husband tell me once again, "take that thing out of you!" That Sunday evening, I stopped taking my birth control.
As soon as I obeyed what God and my husband had said, our marriage was peaceful. We were on the same page and my stubbornness and fear of getting pregnant was lifted and we left things in God's hands. Now don't get me wrong we had conversations about protection and we were not careless. We simply were not going to allow ourselves to put fear into our intimacy. There is no fear in love.

I found out I was pregnant only 2 months after stopping my birth control. The moment I got to tell Fabian was one that I should've recorded but will remember forever. His tears of pure joy reassured me that we had made the right decision and that God blessing us for our obedience. Fast forward to now and Jax is about to be one. Our views remain the same when it comes to birth control. Although, I came home from my post-partum OB visit with a handful of brochures and that fear of getting pregnant tried to creep in again. But I knew we were not going to choose a birth control option.

I understand this is a controversial topic and my attitude towards anyone choosing a family planning method is basically this, "you do you boo." I think it's great that we as women have options but those options just aren't for me. It added fear into my marriage and turned me into a skinnier more moody version of myself. I'll keep the extra curves in order to maintain a peace in my marriage and keep fear out of the bedroom.

I want to know your experience with birth control. Did you feel great and find a good family plan for you? Did your mood get altered too? Let's talk about it and support one another!

-Bee

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Chicken pox at 10 months

Sometimes right when you think life is going great, germs come and throw off your family groove. Jax was exposed to the chicken pox a couple weeks ago and his body tried really hard to fight it off but the spots finally came out last weekend. I explained a little about how this happened on my insta stories but in case you missed it, long story short Jax was exposed to it through another family member. (PSA for all you parents out there: if you think your kid is contagious even a little bit please stay home) This could've been avoided but looking at it with a positive perspective we're glad that he is getting them out of the way when he is little. He can't really itch his spots and it seems to be a more mild case with no other side effects other than those pesky spots. While we get over this little setback Jax is getting extra baths, staying in his jammies all day, and has been getting all the extra snuggles and Elmo he wants. I think he may be through the worst of it, now he's just at the stage where he looks like a 14 year old boy who just started puberty. 
In this middle of all this fun Jax turned 10 months! 2 more months and we will have a one year old y'all! I know every mom says it but man... time flies by! Fabian and I talked about the big one year old birthday party and decided against throwing a big party but I have a feeling that might be changing. I mean not only are we celebrating Jax but we, as parents, kept a human alive for a whole year! That should be celebrated right?

Jax has been consistently using his baby signs to tell us, mas (more), leche (milk), and all done. We've been working a lot on please and thank you because we would love for that to replace the karate sounding grunt he makes when asking for something. He also is soooo ready to start walking. He has been cruising along anything he can find. The couch, the dining table, the bathtub, he even takes one of his toys and will downward dog through the hallway. I am hoping we can see his first step but I have a feeling we're just gonna turn around he is going to be running.
I've had some people ask me about us speaking both Spanish and English to Jax and how that is working. Well here's the thing about babies, they are a clean slate. The more we teach him the more he learns and Jax responds to both languages. I would say our home and lifestyle is 50/50. Fabian is the one who speaks the most Spanish in our home. I am not the fluent parent but I am doing my best and am for sure learning more as we teach Jax. We listen to Spanish songs, are around family members who speak both Spanish and English and are submersing him in his culture. I love that Jax is going to be bi-lingual and that we can give him that gift as his parents. We're hoping in the next couple months we can get some words out of him, it will be interesting to see which language he speaks first!

Any first birthday party advice? Did you decide to do it big or small? Smash cake? Taco truck? Tell me your thoughts cause it looks like not only should we start saving but we should start planning too. 

- Bethany & Fabian 

Thursday, April 5, 2018

What happened to my birth plan?

I think it's safe to say that I watched about 100 birth story videos on YouTube with the anticipation of having my own story to tell. This mama likes to plan so after hearing what happened to other women I made a birth plan that Fabian had agreed to help me follow. Keep reading to find out how nothing went according to that plan.

Very early on I had decided that I didn't want anyone else in the labor and delivery room with us. Baby daddy and doctors, that's all I wanted. We both decided that we would have some time to ourselves doing skin to skin with our baby before family members were allowed to come in and join us. We would tell our families though and if they wanted to wait they could. My family was in Michigan so other than a couple phone calls and some face-timing we didn't need to do much. I had planned to push baby out so I was 100% getting an epidural but did not want pitocin. I heard a lot of negatives and positives but I knew that I was not going to be able to take the pain especially if it lasted for hours. Fabian also told me that was not going to look and not to expect him to cut the umbilical cord because he was scared. A couple more minor things that I wanted in my birth plan was to go to the hospital after eating one more time, taking a shower, and I didn't want to battle any traffic on our way to the there. With that plan in place and bags packed we just waited for my water to break.
My water broke at 4:45pm on a Friday afternoon. There was no time to shower so we grabbed our stuff as I glanced at the clock and said to Fabian, "we're gonna hit traffic." On the way to the hospital he asked if I wanted to grab a burger to eat. When my water broke he was on his way to pick up dinner but had to turn around without the food. I said, no to the burger. I was dilated to a 4 so we had some time to wait and since I got my epidural they started pumping me with, pitocin. Since Fabian didn't eat dinner either, his sisters and parents joined us while we were waiting and flooded the room with the smell of Whataburger. After being in labor for 11 hours I was finally at a 10 and it was time to push. I pushed for 2 hours but nothing was happening. Baby would move a little but then go back up. Fabian's mom then came into the room and my mom was on speakerphone, I pushed for another hour and after the sweetest compliment that I have ever heard, "you have a very petite pubic bone," we knew Jax was not going to fit. C-Section.

I can honestly say that as they prepped me for a c-section I felt so peaceful. I knew the birth plan had changed and there was nothing I could do about it. They quickly wheeled me into the operating room and as I listened to the doctors and nurses just casually chatting away I was very aware that they were about to cut me open to get my son. I was a little relieved to know that the pushing was over and that I wouldn't rip or tear but knew that my recovery would look a lot different than what I had planned for. None of that mattered, I was about to hear the first cries from my son Jax.
Jax was born at 7:37am on June 17, 2017 weighing 9lbs and 2oz. I didn't see him get weighed or measured and I was unable to do skin to skin with him right away because I was shaking so badly, it wasn't safe. Family followed us back to our room and we all celebrated the birth of our first son. Later when I had calmed down and we were alone Fabian told me, "love, I know I said I wasn't going to look but... I saw it all. I even saw when they pushed on your belly and something popped out. The doctor caught it in a pan." We have videos and photos because my husband was the one who got to experience all the firsts with Jax.

Now looking back on my birth story, I wouldn't change anything. Not even the stench of Whataburger in our labor and delivery room. However your littles come into this world whether vaginally, a c-section, a surrogate, adoption, at your home or in a hospital. Once that baby is in your arms it won't even matter.
Everyone's story is unique just like their babies. Whether your birth went exactly as planned or if everything just happened and you had no choice but to go with the flow. Rest assured that God's hands were all over you and your baby. His plan is always the best one.
Happy National Cesarean Awareness Month! Feel free to read more about my birth story here

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

The one with the ladder.

Last week I shared a post on instagram mentioning a marriage miscommunication about a ladder. A few of you asked about it and found it comical so I thought I would bring you in on "the one with the ladder." Enjoy a good laugh, learn something, and feel free to share something similar because no marriage is perfect y'all!

Fabian had been completing a project in our kitchen that required a 6 foot ladder. You see our galley kitchen opens up to our dining room which is where Jax normally plays when we all return home in the afternoon. On this particular day we all returned home at the same time and were getting ready to go on a walk to the park to take some photos. After seeing the ladder leaned against the wall for the second day in a row I stated, "that ladder really isn't safe there." I could just picture Jax pulling it over and something bad happening.
Long story short, this escalated into a full blown argument. We started calling each other out for stuff that we weren't doing at home. Silly stuff like washing the dishes, picking up after ourselves, seeing things that need to be done and just doing them without being told. I said the phrase, "I am not your mom," and Fabian said the phrase, "well you have two hands just like me." After all of that we still decided to go on the most awkwardly silent walk to the park still not having resolved anything. Since I was the one who thought it was not safe, then I should move the ladder right? Well, I expected Fabian to pick up after himself since it was his project.

When you enter into a relationship and marriage your role is to serve. Serving your spouse brings equality to the household. Fabian is not better than me and I am not better than him. Sometimes we forget this when phrases like, "I always," or "You never," come out of our mouth. Serving each other is about helping one another and being apart of each other's lives. The more we do life together and the more we invest, the more passion we have in this awesome thing called marriage. 

So who won the ladder argument? Well, we both lost. We were prideful and chose not to serve one another. However, the ladder did get moved, apologies were made, and the passion in our marriage... yea we still got it! 

Monday, March 19, 2018

Just a girl with a dream and a camera.

I have a board on pinterest called, "words." It's full of motivation words that keep me inspired. There is one quote on there that simply says, "doing what you like is freedom, liking what you do is happiness." You see, I work in an office or simply put... for the man. (Technically for the woman since the company is owned by a woman. Yay #girlbosses) This job is not my passion. I mean... I am an accountant with a Early Childhood Development degree. That doesn't add up, right? I am good at what I do and I work hard but it's not my passion and it for sure doesn't leave me with the freedom and happiness that I would like to have daily.
 
Photography on the other hand... it brings out my creative side. It allows me to capture a memory and a moment that will be remembered forever.
I worked as an assistant for a photographer when I was younger but I was never the one behind the camera. Honestly, I don't think he trusted me with his equipment and I didn't trust myself with his equipment. Working for him taught me a lot about posing, interacting with families, and how to get the grumpiest kid to smile.
 
I purchased a Canon EOS M when I was 22 and used it for blog photos and of course my 365 project on Facebook. That camera was stolen on my honeymoon. I bought a DSLR shortly after we returned home from our honeymoon and began to learn my way around it. I was then asked to start managing social media for my church. I loved that I could capture images that showed passion, life, and laughter from everyone on a Sunday morning. It gave me a new creative outlet that my office job did not allow me to have.
 
Once I found out I was pregnant I knew I had to capture every little moment! Bump shot after bump shot I started sharing images of my journey through motherhood. When Jax arrived, the game changed and I was probably taking about 200 photos a day just of Jax. I didn't want to miss a wrinkle or roll. Plus, I wanted to capture every stage of that full head of curly hair!
 
Through capturing images of my family a passion was lit to take my camera and capture more families. I want to find their story and share it through an image and create a forever memory for them. Whether this image is going to be used on social or printed for their home I want to be the one to capture it. LaVidaVera Photography is my happiness.
 
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