Shut Up and Let Me Wear Leggings

It’s that time again, ladies! Fall has officially arrived and finally the cooler weather has started to grace us with its presence. With the cooler weather comes jackets, cute scarves, trendy boots and the dreaded legging debate. You laugh, but I think you know what I’m talking about. Every year somebody comes out with this year’s “leggings are not pants” post and it gets passed around social media like a runny nose at day care (you moms know what I’m talking about!) Posts like THIS, and even This Facebook group that calls themselves LANP (leggings are not pants) are strong supporters of leggings NOT being pants. The struggle is real and so is the debate.

Let me be real for a second. I wear leggings. I wear leggings as pants (GASP!) Shut up and let me explain. I am a stay-at-home mom of three small children. My wardrobe is 90% functionality 10% “cute”. Most of my days are spent in pajama pants I never had a chance to change out of or yoga pants because they are comfortable and moveable. Neither of these are flattering or “cute”. I have also been pregnant three times and my body has changed quite a lot through those pregnancies. Yes, I am a small person, (When I say small, I mean I’m the size of a freaking 12 year old and no amount of donuts, fried chicken or pizza is going to change that, because trust me, I’ve tried!) but my body has still changed and many of my clothes don’t fit like they should. Plumber jeans that show my crack when I bend down because the waist is too big. Church jeans (you know, the holy ones) that I finally have busted through and show off my granny panties (or not so granny panties depending on the day), but let me tell you about my leggings. I LOVE my leggings. I have leggings in several colors, they are easy to match with a shirt and I do not have to fight with the bottom to get them into my cute boots I’ve been dying to show off. And you know what?! They make me feel good! After spending every, freaking, day in sloppy, baggy, pee covered clothes, I love the way I look when I put on an outfit with leggings. For me its the best of both worlds. Its the comfort of yoga pants with the cuteness of getting all dressed up. So shut up and let me wear my leggings. I feel good in them!

Ok, stop! My “I wear leggings as pants” rule has some stipulations. So before you start announcing to the world that leggings are ok, YOU MUST FOLLOW THESE RULES!

  1. Buy the right size.
    Whatever your size, claim it! You are the most beautiful in the correct size for your body! PLEASE buy the correct size. *hint: If you can see through the leggings in ANY WAY when you bend or move, remove, return and back away slowly!
  2. Check your undies.
    Seriously ladies. Be aware of what underwear you put on when you wear leggings. No one wants to be able to see the ruffles, design or whatever. It looks trashy. Put your underwear on, put your leggings on and look closely to make sure that it looks appropriate.
  3. Buy a full length mirror.
    Seriously, while you are out getting leggings, get a full length mirror and USE IT! Put the outfit on, look closely in the mirror. Ask yourself if you would meet your mother for lunch in that outfit. If they answer is yes, you are approved to leave. If no, go change!
  4. Wear a long shirt.
    Leggings do not go with crop tops! I repeat: LEGGINGS DO NOT GO WITH CROP TOPS! Leggings are best paired with a shirt that covers about half of your butt. DON’T be walking around in a tummy shirt and leggings claiming its ok, because no. It is not. I usually wear a plain v-neck shirt that hits right around my butt peak (the part of my butt that sticks out the most….thus the PEAK). That way I am covered enough to feel comfortable and not like I’m trying to flaunt something I don’t have.
  5. If you are unsure, then don’t wear it.
    If you followed the rules, and are standing in front of your full length mirror questioning whether or not your legging attire is ok, it’s not. If you aren’t sure, then I am sure that you shouldn’t wear it, so dont!

 So I’m not giving up my leggings. I love them, they are comfy and they make me feel good. This fall I will be rockin’ my leggings with shirts, long sweaters, dresses and my boots. You have something negative to say? Shut up and let me wear my leggings.

Leggings

Yes, I’m rockin’ my leggings, boots and shirt! It is almost mid-night and I don’t care!

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My Babywearing Project

Group4

Babywearing group shot at our local park.

Happy International Babywearing Week! I have been planning on doing some fun things on my blog to celebrate and participate in International Babywearing Week (Oct 4-10). For those that are not familiar with this, International Babywearing Week is a week-long opportunity to celebrate, advocate for, focus media attention on the many benefits of babywearing, sponsored by Babywearing International. People all over the world wear their babies and this is a week to tell people how much we love it and share the benefits of wearing your baby.

So I put out a request to see if anyone would be interested in doing a mini babywearing photo-shoot to celebrate babywearing. I figured it would be a fun, small way to get real moms from the local community involved in a international event. I had such a wonderful response and my week soon filled up with mini-sessions of moms and their babies. Let me tell you, this has been one of the most fun weeks I’ve had in a while! It also got me thinking. I walked into this project hoping to learn more about photography, but I learned so much more than some photography skills when I was out there taking pictures of these moms. I talked with the moms, I listened to moms, I played with babies, and I did so much more! I realized early in my sessions that this was no longer about babywearing, but about moms.

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Shannon and her 8 month old baby boy in an Infantino Mei Tai

Moms NEED community but for some reason (time, family, work, etc) never seem to make it a priority. Moms need to be around other moms. We need to know we are not alone. We need to know that its normal to feel what we feel as moms of little ones. As I was doing my sessions, I cannot tell you how many times I heard how long its been since they got out of the house, or put make-up on, or just enjoyed the outside with their little ones. I don’t have the answer because I am guilty of not making this a priority, but it was very clear that community is important to being a healthy (and sane) mom.

TJ3

TJ and her 11 month old baby boy in an Ergo Galaxy

Moms with their little ones are beautiful. I don’t just mean beautiful on the inside, because let me tell you. ALL the moms I photographed this last week are immensely beautiful on the inside. (as well as on the outside, but I’m getting to that) Moms with their babies are beautiful (Did I already say that?) Every single mom that I shot had a negative comment about her own appearance. Every single one. While some moms were concerned about lingering baby weight, others commented about their hair or skin not being perfect, but as soon as they got in front of the camera with their little ones, they were glowing, radiant, confident moms. I hope they see the beauty and confidence in the pictures that I saw during the photo shoot.

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Maria and her 8 month old baby boy in a wrap.

These babies are happy. Let me explain what I mean. As moms we are always second guessing ourselves. Are we doing the right things? Are we raising our kids the right way? Is this what is best? My answer to these moms is YES! It was so obvious to me that all these babies are so love, so cared for and it shows. These are happy babies. I have had many photo sessions with babies and they are not easy. I’ve had newborn sessions when the baby refuses to sleep, toddler sessions where cooperation is just not happening, but these sessions were the EASIEST baby sessions I have ever done! These babies love their mamas and I think that is a great testament to how wonderful moms they are!

Shelby4

Shelby and her 8 month old baby girl in an Ergo Sport

It is not about the photograph, it is about the story. I went into these sessions hoping to capture some precious mommy and baby moments, but I soon learned that I was capturing a story. With each session as I took pictures and listened, I learned about each mom’s story. I learned an amazing story about how one baby got his name. I learned about how a new baby restored confidence in one mom as a mother. I learned about some of the hopes and dreams these moms have for their precious bundles. Every time I walked away at the end of a session, I was filled with joy that these moms would share these stories with me.

Mandi2

Mandi and her 3 month old baby girl in a Boba 4G

I would do photography for free. No, seriously. Photography has been a passion of mine since I was little and helping my dad in his dark room. I had so much fun capturing moments and making memories with these families that I would feel bad charging people for me to do something I love so much. I think that’s why I offered to do these. It was my project, my ideas and these moms were so gracious to go along with it. I want to thank these moms for taking time out of their busy lives to let me take pictures of them and tell a little bit about their lives!

Want to see more babywearing pictures? Check out the beautiful babies in my Babies of Babywearing post!

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Claim it and Let it Be Claimed

Claim it

Sometimes I feel like social media is just a trash can for people to dump on. In the same five minutes I can read a beautiful affirmation to moms for all they do and then a hateful post shaming a mom just because she is feeding her baby differently or birthed her baby differently. Enough is enough!

There has been a great push to celebrate moms in all they do. Because of the popularity of all-natural or “crunchy” moms, this push seems to be celebrating those moms that maybe have been shamed in the past; those that formula feed their babies, those that birthed their babies via c-section, etc. I absolutely love that ALL moms of all different kinds are being celebrated. This makes me so happy!

It’s about time to let moms be who they are do what the want without fear of shame from their mom peers, but I worry we are swaying the pendulum back a little to far.  I feel like I can’t claim who I am or what I’ve done for fear of someone misinterpreting it as mom-shaming. Because of my profession as a doula, I have always been sensitive about what I share and how I share it, but I feel like I can no longer proudly share my proud moments without fear of offending someone. I can no longer claim proudly that I had three completely natural, births or that I exclusively breastfeed my babies. You know what?! I am so stinking proud of myself! I am proud not because I did these things and you didn’t.  I am proud because it was my goal and I achieved it. Just like I would be proud of a career goal. Even though I have no desire to be a doctor, I am still proud of my friends that have achieved this goal and became one.

Honestly, I’m not looking for affirmation or praise. I am just telling you that you are not a better or worse mother because you did things differently than me.  Just because my goals are different doesn’t make one better than the other. My goals are only better for me personally because I set them, I worked hard for them and I achieved them. Your value of a mother is not dependent on my personal achievements as a mom. You are different, your family is different, your needs are different. Celebrate your differences and your own personal journey as a mom.

I am going to start celebrating my own personal journey as well. I am no longer going to feel shame or fear in expressing my proud moments! So I will proudly claim that I feel like a bad ass because I had three all-natural, un-medicated, vaginal births. I labored, I fought, I felt pain, and I made it through. I proudly claim that I have had a great hospital birth and I proudly claim I had two beautiful home births. I proudly claim that I have exclusively breast-fed all my babies and Baby G and I are still going strong. I am proud that I have almost four years (and counting) of breastfeeding under my belt. I proudly claim that I choose to stay home with my kids and love that I have the opportunity to do that.

So wherever you are in life and whatever you have achieved, claim it! But more importantly let other moms claim their victories and celebrate with them, no matter how different they look.

Claim it and let it be claimed!

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The Big Latch On 2015

On Saturday I attended a fun event of global proportions! Ok, really it was an event taking place all over the world as a kick off to World Breastfeeding Week. The Big Latch On  is where groups of breastfeeding moms get together at a set time and have their babies latch and breastfeed for an entire minute. The number of mommies and babies breastfeeding is recorded in hopes to break a record! It’s a neat way to kick off World Breastfeeding Week and is even cooler to be a part of a world-wide community of moms!

Baby G eating at  The Big Latch On. As you can tell, he is still learning to nurse the right way after his lip/tongue tie fix.

Baby G eating at The Big Latch On. As you can tell, he is still learning to nurse the right way after his lip/tongue tie fix.

The Big Latch On is a way to show support for breastfeeding families and communities and places that support breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is not just about mommy and baby, its about the community they are surrounded by as well. Studies show that if moms have a supportive community (especially their partners) breastfeeding is significantly more successful! But mainly The Big Latch On is an big overall event that helps communities create their own event to show support for breastfed moms and families.

I went to an event at BabyEarth. You probably have heard of it because it has a HUGE online presence in the baby world, but it has an actual store front too! And it’s seriously only like 10 miles from my house! How lucky am I?! (Now that I actually typed that, I’m wondering why I don’t go there more often!) They had quite a few information booths set up, adorable goodie bags for all the moms, and a whole bunch gifts that they raffled off, and guess what!? Baby G and I won!

Baby G and I were very excited to win a set of Phillips Avent bottles.

Baby G and I were very excited to win a set of Phillips Avent bottles.

Brian-The Birth Guy was also there helping with the raffle and giving some helpful breastfeeding tips for moms. Yes, a dude, talking about breastfeeding and giving great information…who knew!? I don’t know much about him except that he is a doula based out of the San Antonio area and is the only male doula in the area. Cool! You can read more about him on his website.

Moms, dads and babies watching a learning signs from Amy at The Signing Connection.

Moms, dads and babies watching a learning signs from Amy at The Signing Connection.

I will be posting more about World Breastfeeding Week and just about breastfeeding in general all this week! So keep eyes on my blog and check out my Facebook page for helpful tips and links!

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200 Likes Giveaway!

Yay! I have finally made it to 200 likes on my Facebook Page! I want to thank you for your support with a GIVEAWAY!

What is the giveaway?
A six-bead nursing necklace and bracelet set
Giveaway

How to enter:
1. Like Grace Faith Dirt Facebook page
2. Like the Giveaway Photo
3. Comment on the photo. Tell me when your little one got their first tooth (or when you THINK they will)

When does the giveaway start and end?
The giveaway starts on Friday June 26, 2015 at 9:00AM CST and will end at Midnight Sunday night; June 28, 2015.

When will the winner be announced?
On Monday June 29, 2015 the winner will be selected via a random name selector tool and the winner will be announced that evening.

Thank you for all your support thus far! I couldn’t do it without you!

Katie

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The Day After Mother’s Day

the day after mothers day

The day after Mother’s Day is weird.

Yesterday many of us enjoyed breakfast in bed, sweet homemade gifts from our kids, and even some free down-time to take a bath, get a pedicure or even do a little shopping. Our phones were constantly buzzing with “Happy Mother’s Day” texts, and our afternoon probably consisted of family around a table enjoying a good meal. The kids were super affectionate, and your husband extra helpful. If you are anything like me, you went to bed feeling happy, appreciated and blessed by your family.

Then we woke up today. It’s no longer Mother’s Day, and it’s Monday. Back to our regularly scheduled program. Many of us woke up to a crying baby, wet sheets from a toddler who had an accident, a preschooler who wants to know who the king of the dinosaurs was, and emails reminding us that bills are due. Ok, maybe that was just me, but I imagine your morning has some similarities. (Yes, we are really into dinosaurs right now)

It’s not that we don’t like it, but the day after Mother’s Day is weird. No one greeted us with flower or breakfast in bed. No special gifts and the husband is back at work. The Mother’s Day flowers are starting to wilt. Our family meal is replaced with toddler finger foods, and our “Happy Mother’s Day” texts are now replaced with reminders of what needs to get done that week. We know we are appreciated, but it’s hard to just go back to normal sometimes. There is so much talk about how we need to show moms how much we love them every day and not just on Mother’s Day, but it is hard to believe it when things go right back to normal the next day.

So to all those moms who woke up to a messy house, hungry kids and a huge to do list. YOU ARE APPRECIATED! You are loved and possibly most importantly, you are doing a wonderful job! When a case of the Mondays starts to get a hold of you, know that every day truly is Mother’s Day. You are so appreciated and the work, the hard, tiring, not so glamorous work, that you do day-in and day-out is so vitally important. When the coffee goes cold, and your patience runs thin, when the crumbs on the floor begin to resemble full meals, and you can’t remember the last time you had a full shower, know you are good enough, know that your kids love you, know that you are appreciated.

I am not going to say that these days are fleeting and to cherish every moment, because lets me real, I’d rather not cherish the moment my son has a screaming tantrum over a color of crayon, or 2 hours the baby is crying and inconsolable! I just want you to know you are good enough, you are loved and what you do is nothing less than remarkable.

The day after Mother’s Day is weird.

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