(photo by Emma)
As I often do when I have a free moment or two, I was scrolling through my camera roll, admiring the zillion photos of my babies. A few stood out today. In the few photos where I am actually in the photo (and not behind the camera) I am smiling.
I have a goofy grin in some, a loving serene smile in others, and a simple smirk in one or two. But mostly I'm smiling.
I am happy, don't get me wrong, especially when I am surrounded by my babies.
But behind the smile, there is sometimes a different story. Currently, I am on day three of a rather debilitating migraine. I made it to work on Saturday morning only to have to go home after a couple hours because I was too dizzy to hold a drill. I hated inconveniencing my office and hated even more so letting my patients down who had scheduled appointments that day. Saturday passed in a blur. I felt a bit better Sunday and went to church and spent time with other families, but all the while I had a pounding behind my eyes that made me want to vomit.
And today, I am not at work because my head hurts worse than it has in years.
I am grateful, because although infrequent (even rare) as it is for me to call in sick and spend the day recuperating, I have the option to do just that. I am grateful for childcare that can watch my babies. I am grateful for a husband with a good job for when I can't bring home my side of the paycheck.
And looking back to my own photos, I just think that in some of them I was exhausted beyond belief. In some of them my back was aching from baby wearing all day. In some I was just done pleading with my threenager to do something I asked for the millionth time. In some I had just gotten bit by a teething baby and shed a silent tear. But in all of those, I'm smiling.
It's like I refused, either consciously or subconsciously, to document that crappy moment in photo form.
All of this makes me think of what is behind the smile of that photo you see. I scroll through Instagram or that carefully styled blog post and think -- why does she have it all together?? I doubt my own abilities as a mother, homemaker, professional, wife. I see that serene image and wonder why my own life feels so chaotic.
But we all must look past the smiles sometimes. To relate on that other level. To know, because I do the same exact thing, that she selected that photo to post for a reason. And that for every picturesque photo we see, there is much more going on behind that smile and just out of the camera's view.
Look behind that smile. It's good for the soul.
Guys. GUYS. I have discovered the most gorgeous dress and I am pretty sure I'll be wearing it every single day from now on.
My friends at PinkBlush sent me this incredible wrap dress and I could not wait to wear it. I was so happy wearing this dress to church on Sunday that I twirled and twirled in front of my house, almost made us late, and even Emma wanted to join in.
I looked like a complete goof twirling in the rain but I felt so pretty that I could not help myself.
When I was telling my husband about the clothing's ease of transition from maternity to postpartum, he told me, "That's great and saves women money when they don't have to buy the whole shebang." Hahaha, yes very true honey.
Between my mom life and my dentist life, I sometimes forget to nurture the woman in me. Thankfully, PinkBlush has reminded me that I can wear all my different hats and still maintain my sense of self.
And now for some great news! You can too feel like a goddess in one of your own PinkBlush pieces. Head over to my Instagram to enter a giveaway with PinkBlush.
Eating: truffle salami from Trader Joe's (with lots of cheese).
Drinking: red wine and more red wine.
Making: two beds every day, one big and one small.
Cooking: Blue Apron meals, it's teaching me to cook and I love it.
Reading: (re-reading) The Harry Potter series and Pride and Prejudice
Wanting: to find the perfect Christmas present for Paul, I stink at it most of the time.
Watching: Golden Girls reruns.
Loving: Emma's loud giggles when I make funny faces.
Needing: some perspective.
Smelling: cinnamon whisks throughout my home.
Enjoying: those quiet moments after Emma goes to sleep and Paul and I can spend time together.
Wearing: cozy socks in the evenings. I hope it feels more and more like Fall come November.
Noticing: Emma's imaginative play and babbling all the live long day.
Appreciating: lotion, chapstick, and every other moisturizer during this dry season.
Hoping: I find a good associate position, one that fits my family's needs and does good.
Feeling: comforted by community.
Emma and I were taking some selfies this morning and I was overcome with an urge to write this little blurb that follows. I was just so happy in this moment that I wanted to share some thoughts with you.
When I first started writing on this little blog of mine (or this space as some call it) I did not really understand what it meant. I started off on good old Tumblr and just reblogged pictures I enjoyed, talked about this and that, linked up my Instagram and voila, blog.
In the beginning, I talked about dental school, A LOT, and occasionally I received some questions about life as a dental student and newlywed. Voila, dental student slash wife blog.
Later I started posting food and drink recipes, my random thoughts, advice about dental school, and this and that. Voila, dentistry slash lifestyle slash married blog.
When I found out I was baking a bun named Emma, I posted pregnancy updates, forays into pregnant dentistry life, and complaints about heartburn. Once she was born, I posted monthly updates, (almost) daily photos, and conversations with myself about motherhood, occasionally throwing in some dental stuffs now and again. Voila, lifestyle slash mom blog.
(Okay, I'll stop saying voila.)
But at the end of the day, I just write what I know. Since those early days, I have since moved on to Squarespace, invested in my own domain name, and annoy the stuffing out of my friends and family with my blog post updates on Facebook.
I am continually inspired by the multitude of greater and more talented bloggers out there (especially the multiple children mom bloggers, you ladies ROCK). I love the dentist turned foodie blogs. I love the creative designers with a flare for the feminine. I love the hilarious women with their daily updates. I love the crafters, the fashionistas, the poets, the sarcastic, all of 'em.
That is what has been so wonderful about my blogging experience. Substance and Soul has evolved with me. It reflects what is going on in my life right now, in this moment. It allows me to connect with people in similar and also not so similar circumstances. I get to chronicle my life and the adventures with my family whether it be for you, an audience of sorts, or for myself, years down the line when I want to remember what it was like in those earlier days. I have become more comfortable with my own blogging voice and I attempt to show true glimpses into my real life and my authentic self.
What I do know is that Substance and Soul will always be my special place to share with you. I wish to keep this blog as an accurate reflection of my current state. I don't see myself narrowing or broadening my niche, because I truly believe this is a good old fashioned life blog. It reflects my life - whatever phase its in and wherever I end up.
And I hope you continue to share this place with me.
And her too, apparently.