On Friday morning, we head to New Jersey for almost the entire month of August. Last year, I wasn't sure if it would be our last time to be able to do this, but we're blessed with the chance to embark on the journey again this year. My husband has been working overtime at two jobs for awhile, and it's time for him to have a real break. Luci Belle wakes up in the morning and after every nap asking, "Is it time to go to Mimi's house today?!" We cannot wait to swim, swim, swim at the Madison Pool, visit the farmer's markets and drive through nearby towns in the countryside. This year, Steven and I will also get an entire day in NYC all by ourselves which hasn't happened in years. And our family of three will venture to the Hudson River Valley for a long weekend to stay at a private home in the woods.
On that note, I do have to be completely honest about something...I've had to face some ugly feelings about my body this summer, about how different it is already. I feel so much bigger at this stage of pregnancy than I was last time. I fear what people will think of me when they see how much my body has changed. Blech. It's a daily struggle to remind myself that the second pregnancy is different, and who cares what size I am because my most important job is growing a healthy baby. And remember when I was so sick that I couldn't even leave the house for 2 months?
So as I embark on many days ahead of squeezing into my maternity swimsuit, I need to state clearly in writing that I am not going to miss out on the best parts of summer. These words serve as a great reminder...
"I'm going to live in the body God made me, not because it's perfect but because it's mine. And I'm going to be thankful for health and for the ability to run and move and dance and swim.
And this is what I'm not going to do: I'm not going to hide. I'm not going to bow out of things I love to do because I'm afraid people won't love me when they see my underbutt.
This is the promise I'm making: this summer, I'm not going to be ashamed of my body. Or at the very least, I'm not going to let a lifetime of shame about my body get in the way of living in a rich, wild, grateful, wide-open way." ~ Shauna Niequist, Bread & Wine
Truthfully, I'm disappointed that I still feel shame about my body, especially while pregnant. And it's got to stop. Now. There's a whole bunch of summer left, and I'm going to make the most of it.
Here are a few of my favorite moments from last summer in New Jersey...