Follow me on the crazy, hopeful, discouraging, funny, and ultimately successful (one way or another) path to parenthood while facing infertility.

Monday, November 28, 2016

#Microblog Mondays: Christmas Cards, Body Image Struggles

Well, the Christmas cards are ordered! I am dying to share pictures but Bryce wants me to wait, for THE MYSTERY of it all. It's killing me slowly.

I forget every year what it's like to try to find a format, a card template, whatever those things are called...because you have to sift through fake card after fake card that depicts a new baby, or a happy family, or, in the case of the company we used, one called "The More The Merrier!" that showcased a kissing couple in the background holding up the in-focus closeup of their ultrasound. Holy hell, when did THAT become a thing? No thank you. I did appreciate the many same-sex couple and family cards that were showcased. That made me forgive the company a tiny bit for the ultrasound nonsense.

We did find one that I liked, although there was one I REALLY REALLY wanted to use that was called "Make Your Own Merry" and was perfect for the "we're okay with all this waiting and a nursery that's still empty, sure" feel we had going. Too bad the text went over our faces and wasn't moveable.

I'm happy with the card we put together and ordered. I know it's crazy to spend money on hair and photographer for a card, but it made me happy. We've done a photo card together every year since we were married (that one was fun, a couple wedding photos to introduce us as a unit), and I have them all. I sort of want to make a display of them, because they do tell a story. Even if right now it's not the story we'd hoped for...

The pictures came out absolutely gorgeous. I discovered that I am hugely critical of myself though, and cannot believe the state of my jawline and chin and forearms. Why did no one tell me when you get into that middle age bracket your forearms get fluffy? I don't have the batwing arms at the top, but this forearm business is crazypants, and only shows up when my arm is at a right angle and holding something close to my body. Which seems like a picky thing to latch onto, but there it is--especially annoying because I do work out! I am trying so hard to love my body even though I felt that my dress didn't fit as well as I wanted (it was new and I wish I had had it tailored first), and in some poses it bunches around me fairly unflatteringly, and my chin wants a buddy, I have to remember that I am my own worst critic. I was sure I weighed more than I did over the summer after seeing my pictures, but actually I weigh a bit less. It drives Bryce crazy because he thinks I am gorgeous and sexy and loves a little extra fluff on me, and so why can't that be enough? I don't know.

But, the photographer and Bryce insisted that since I had my pretty hair I needed to do a couple glamour-y shots, and so I agreed and I'm glad I did. It seemed so frivolous, but Bryce said, "You need some pictures to remind you that you are beautiful as you are, to remember this time in your life." Okay, I guess so...so I changed into a simpler dress than I'd worn for the 1950s shoot and let the photographer pose me. Since those aren't on the cards, I'll share two here:

I love the smirk, like I have a secret.

I have this in color, too, but it's so classic in black and white. It's a bridal pose, but it worked and made me feel super glamorous. Do you see my little critters hanging about the window? 
That last one is my favorite. I don't feel like "UGH, NO MORE CHEESE DIP FOR JESS" when I look at it. I feel beautiful, and maybe a tiny bit like I can see myself through Bryce's lens. Something to remember when the Ughs hit me again, as they always do.

Want to read more #Microblog Mondays? Go here and enjoy!

* Photos by TresBienImages

16 comments:

  1. I love these photos! You look divine, but I love Bryce having you take these so you can have reminders that you are beautiful.

    I'm also terribly critical of my body image. Always have been. It's hard not to see the flaws and the flab. But we all have our wrinkles and jiggles. In fact, some of the most beautiful people I know have quite a bit. But at the end of the day I don't see it because their beauty to more than those tiny flaws. Their light shines through.

    Now if I can just apply that to how I see myself ....

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    1. Thank you so much! It's hard, right? I'm really good at telling other people to love their bodies and see the beauty, but I can't take my own advice. That Bryce. He's a good egg.

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  2. The black and white is gorgeous, very effective contrasts

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    1. Thank you! I was glad I picked that dress. It's a little dizzying though if you look too close... :)

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  3. Love how sweet and supportive Bryce is. I've been noticing some new wrinkles /smile lines lately which I don't like. I mentioned them to my hubby and he called them "cute"! I also need to try to see myself through his rose tinted spectacles more! I read this blog earlier: https://kazzymac.wordpress.com/2016/09/16/conversations-with-myself/ where the writer thinks about what her future 70 year old self would say to her and I was thinking it's a good idea for us all to try sometimes especially when we are worrying or feeling down about ourselves.

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    1. He's such a good egg! I am a lucky lady. I feel its hardest to accept that how you see yourself and how others see you is so very different. I think we're so critical to ourselves! It would be great to see through someone else's eyes. Oh, yes. Perspective is a great thing, thanks for the link! I feel like I could say some things to my younger self, too, even at 40. Imagining my 70 year old self giving me a pep talk is a good exercise.

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  4. Jess, my dear, you look GORGEOUS! I'm dying to see the Christmas card now!! I'm SO glad you did the glamour shots! You look SO good!! Serious, I'm jealous. Love the hair and makeup, too!!

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    1. Thank you! There were shots that I felt made me look seriously marm-y, but these were AMAZING. Thanks! I did the makeup, but am hopeless with hair. I totally paid to have it done, and had it for a whopping 3 hours before I took out the hundreds of pins holding it all together... :)

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  5. These are great and you look mahv-e-lus. Yay you.

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    1. Thank you! I feel like every once in a while you have to do something totally frivolous, but that makes you feel good about yourself.

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  6. I'm not sure which is the most awesome - those photos, or your hubby's attitude! Great shots, Jess! I love the idea of doing a yearly holiday photo, and I can't wait to see what you have in store. :)

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    1. Thank you! Oh yes, Bryce's attitude is always amazing. He is quite the guy. Soon, soon I can share the shoot... it makes me giggle just thinking about it. Thanks!

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  7. So beautiful. I just love looking at these photos, Jess. What a fabulous story arc you have accumulated. With more to come, for sure.

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  8. So glad Bryce and the photographer talked you into doing some photos for you, to celebrate you. The black and white photo is stunning! You look happy and lovely!

    Can't wait to see what your Christmas cards look like. My in-laws make their own every year. She is in marketing, so she has the skills and tools to get creative. One year they were too convincing with a mock election ad spoof that several family members tossed them in the trash not realizing it was a Christmas card! They have a framed copy from each year and hang them up during the holiday season.

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  9. Love the photos- especially the second one! We are all our worst critic so I love that Bryce is so supportive. I wish my husband was more like that....

    Can't wait to see your Xmas card!

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  10. Fabulous photos -- so glamourous! -- & I hope we get to see the card when it's done & public. :) I've done photo cards, not every year but every five years or so, and I'm very glad we did. This year I wanted to use a photo from our nephew's wedding -- I was hoping for an extended family shot with BIL & SIL & both nephews, or at least with the groom & his bride -- and the photographer did take several shots that included us in various groups. However, I didn't get anyone to take a photo with my own camera at the same time, and the bride & groom didn't get their photos until just this past week. So in the meantime, I went ahead & used a photo of just dh & me that his cousin took at the reception (I posted it on my blog before, actually). It's really a pretty good photo of us both & we're all dressed up. I like getting photos of ALL my friends, not just the ones with kids, and certainly not JUST photos of kids. I mean, I enjoy seeing photos of the kids, but I'd like to see my friends now & then too. I have one friend who has faithfully sent me photos of her two kids every year, but I haven't actually seen HER in about 30 years. :p

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