Let Your Imperfections Shine

I drove home considering if I should cancel our maternity pictures or not.

Poor Ann.

We’d already changed dates a few times due to schedule conflicts.

But today, today I wasn’t feeling beautiful at all.

I glanced down at my feet.

My ankles and toes were swollen so bad that my shoes were leaving impression marks in my feet.

I slipped off my shoes. Barefoot and pregnant is the story of my life these days.

Once I got home, I greeted Bandit and he peed all over my swollen feet. Maybe that was his way of trying to reduce the swelling?

He hasn’t peed on me in a while, but he is famous for spreading some “love juice” when he gets excited.

I slipped off my shoes and waddled my way upstairs. Bandit zoomed past me, eager to make me smile.

I looked in the mirror.

My hair looked awful. The humid weather had completely destroyed my hair, which was once straightened. I attempted to straighten my hair and apply some product, but my hair wasn’t having it. My bangs were looking greasy from sweating in the humid weather.

I glanced down at my fingernails. I had red nail polish that was chipping off.

I thought back to the maternity pictures I’d sent Ann earlier that day. The women in the pictures I found had beautiful hair…almost as if they went to a salon to get their hair and make-up done before the pictures. Their nails were painted perfectly – no imperfections or scratch marks.

I went into my closet. My wardrobe options are slowly diminishing with this growing belly, my swollen legs, and giant arms.

What should I even wear?

Earlier that day, Cayla and Jami (coworkers) told me that I looked SUPER cute on Monday. In fact, both the doctor and nurse complimented me on how adorable I looked…maybe I should wear that outfit?

I looked in the dirty clothes pile. Sure enough, there were the clothes from Monday.

Dirty.

Just then, I got a text message from Ann, “What time are you thinking?”

Justin wasn’t home from work yet. I thought about replying, “How about tomorrow instead?”

I glanced in the mirror one more time and then I looked over at Bandit, who was smiling at me from the bed.

My biggest fan.

Who always watches me good ready in the morning.

Who follows me around everywhere.

Who adores me no matter what I wear or how I look.

I looked back in the mirror.

This is who you are.

You aren’t perfect (and that’s okay!!!!!). 

You’ll have bad hair days that no one can fix (without taking a shower or hiring an in-home stylist).

You’ll have days where you go wearing chipped nail polish.

You’ll have days when you were jeans two times (or so) without washing them.

You’ll have days when nothing fits because you’re growing a little tiny human, who probably doesn’t give a darn what you’re wearing right now. And also- growing a human is amazing. 

This is who you are.

“How about 6 pm?” I text Ann back. “Justin isn’t home yet, but I am getting ready if you want to come over now!”

I walked away from the mirror – leaving behind my worries about looking perfect. I didn’t wash nor do anything fancy with my hair. I didn’t re-paint my nails. And I grabbed my dirty outfit from Monday.

Let’s do this.

Ann being Ann – told me how adorable I looked the moment she walked in the door.

Justin made me laugh as always.

And Bandit continued to smile at me and follow me around the house (probably hoping I was getting ready to take him for a walk).

We grabbed the props and went on our way.

And you know what? We had a total blast. I found myself worrying about my hair at times, but decided to just let it go.

“Your hair really doesn’t look bad,” Ann assured me once when I was trying to fix it. “I promise!”

Later that night, Ann sent me a message and said, “I’m looking at these pictures and you seriously one of the cutest preggo ladies ever!”

Notice she DID NOT say any of the following things that nearly stopped me from taking the pictures in the first place:

“I had to PhotoShop some better hair on you.”

 “I had to re-paint your nails using PhotoShop.”

“I noticed you had a few stains on your T-shirt, so I removed them using my editing software.”

I decided to let my imperfections shine and the pictures turned out wonderful! I was completely overwhelmed with the responses from the pictures too.  SO many people left such kind and uplifting comments. I think I read each of the comments about 5 times.

So thank you, thank you, thank you for proving to me that imperfections don’t matter.

And being beautiful always starts with a sincere smile and a positive attitude.

Thankfully I had some super fabulous co-models.

And finally, a BIG thank you to Ann Semon via Ann Marie Photography for taking these pictures. We absolutely love them …you did such an incredible job (as always)…can’t wait for you to meet Cooper!!

Much love,

Ashley

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