I first met photographer Misty Bradley of Revel Photo at our Braid Workshop in May. I instantly took a liking to her – she was kind, funny, and warm. Over breakfast I revealed to her that I was thinking about starting a family but had my hesitations. What I didn’t know was that I was already carrying a zygote of a baby in that very moment. But Misty had a feeling – as many intuitive women do – that I was already pregnant.
When Misty spoke about her photography business at our workshop she shared passionately her vision of bringing back an era of women who have glorious portraits made. We’re talking Dynasty style glamour shots framed in gold and hung on mantles. After immersing myself in a Kinfolk-style Pinterest-curated world of desaturated images, lots of negative space, and pigeon-toed posing, Misty was verbalizing a pretty radical alternative – and I loved it. A few months later I announced my pregnancy and Misty generously pitched a shoot to me involving buffalo, mountains, dramatic makeup, and perhaps a little bit of nudity. Of course, I was in.
On our drive to the shoot Misty said “I’m not a photographer for women who want to look like their every day selves.” But nobody has ever made me feel more “me” than Misty did in these images.
“Hidden in the glorious wildness like unmined gold.”
- John Muir
When Jeremy and I first got together I was a self-proclaimed dog person. I straight up didn’t like cats. Not even kittens (and their tiny sharp claws). But I fell in love with a bonafide cat person who quickly moved in with two adolescent litter mates who were just over 6 months old. Enter Mister Scooty Boots and Dinahsaur. The cats (and the chores that come along with having cats) were very much Jeremy’s. I’m not sure if it’s the cooler weather or perhaps primal intuition informing our cats that big change is in store for our household, but they’ve both been extra cuddly and sweet lately.
Just yesterday, five years after this dog person here started sharing residence with two cats, I found myself in an after-breakfast cuddlefest with Mr. Boots.
I just didn’t know I could love a cat so much.
Dogs are easy. They’re emotionally available, needy even, upon first meet. It’s great for making fast friends. But cats… Cats need time – years even – to let their love make its way through that cool and detached facade. Or maybe it was just me who needed that much time to warm up.
P.S. Photos are from Jeremy’s Instagram feed – which features mostly grainy black and white photos of our cats.
P.P.S. If you are a cat lover check out the hilarious 2014 calendar of cats in costumes paired with classic literature quotes from Sarah Von Bargen. There is also the downloadable cat calendar (a dog version is available too!) from Design Crush featuring bloggers’ cats (including Mister Scooty Boots as the cover model!).
I woke up this morning with a lot to be thankful for. Earlier this week I wrote about being grateful for the little things that are easy to take for granted. But today I’m appropriately using the holiday to be thankful for the big, mind-blowingly amazing things. Obviously, this little baby I’m growing comes top of mind of things to be thankful for. It’s easy to be flippant about the funny side effects of pregnancy – from blaming immodest farts and burps on the baby, to the retro “down there” grooming situation (now I know why women in birthing videos are always rocking a full on ’70s crotch). The bodily changes are as hilarious and uncomfortable as puberty – but all of that aside… I am so incredibly thankful for this pregnancy. For this baby. And that I get to be his mom.
Field Notes & Other Observations:
• I went to the midwife yesterday. My belly is measuring at 32 weeks and the baby is positioned head down with his back curved against the left side of my body. I’m supposed to rock on an exercise ball (with my belly button pointing down) to coax his back towards my belly – which is the best position for birthing.
• We’re about halfway through our Hypnobirthing classes. One of my key takeaways this week is to practice “breathing the baby down” (vs. pushing) while going #2. Think about that the next time you go to the bathroom.
• I miss being able to lie on my stomach. Everyone tells you to go see movies and go out to fancy dinners before you have a baby but what I want to tell all my non-pregnant friends is to take a nap or read a book laying on your stomach.
• Jeremy knows I love watching the Victoria’s Secret fashion show every holiday season, so earlier this week he sent me a calendar appointment so I wouldn’t forget. But for some reason I don’t think watching lingerie models stomp down a runway covered in glitter and bronzer will be very good for my self esteem at 8.5 months pregnant.
• My most recent pregnancy craving is oatmeal – Scottish oats loaded with cinnamon, apples, raisins, pecans, and a dash of maple syrup.
• In related news, my chiropractor noticed I had more inflammation in my joints than usual – which made me that much more convinced that eating paleo (grain free) is best for my body.
Anatomy of an Outfit:
• Sweater – (I cut out the tags and can’t remember / not maternity)
• Tee & Leggings – BCBG (not maternity)
• Boots – Uggs
As Thanksgiving approaches and everyone on Facebook gives daily #gratitude I’ve been thinking lots about what I’m grateful for. And I’d have to say, lately, it’s been the little things. Fleeting and temporary moments of beauty that can easily be overlooked or taken for granted. Like a good hair day. Or fresh nail polish – before it’s had a chance to chip. Coming home with my favorite flowers from the grocery store. Kanye West and tie-dye. Long breakfasts and slow tea. Late night conversations with old friends that you never want to end. An extra minute of morning cuddles and hard kicks to the stomach (ribs & hips) from a sweet tiny human.
I’m grateful for the little things – the perfectly imperfect, impermanent, and ever-changing little things.
What little things are you thankful for?
I think one of the myths of the creative entrepreneur is that we never get weekends off. Sure, I’ve had to pull a few long hours here and there for a tight client deadline, or I am so excited about a project (like redesigning our Braid website) that I just can’t help myself from working a couple hours on a Sunday afternoon. But for the most part when I’m off, I’m off. Weekends are sacred. No emails, no writing, no designing. This weekend was no exception – and it was glorious.
But with that, Monday definitely still feels like Monday. So here we are. The very beginning of the week starts with a cup of tea and a look at the schedule for the week. To-dos are determined, meetings are prepped, and days are planned. And that’s pretty glorious too.
What’s your relationship with Monday like?
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Last week I was profiled on Design Sponge’s Biz Ladies series. Over there I share the journey of going from day job, to freelance, to business owner with my sister. Read more here.
I also wrote a post on The Braid Blog about going from doing to teaching – a very cool trend of people helping people that I’ve noticed other creatives really starting to embrace as a business model. You can read that post here.
Finally, our last Braid ECourse for Creative Entrepreneurs for the year will be Dream Customer Catching: Embrace Your Expertise and Attract What You Track. This ECourse is awesome for creatives who feel scattered when it comes to what they do and for who. It will be in-session from Dec. 13-22. As always, & Kathleen readers are invited to take our Braid ECourses for $50 when you register using the discount code ANDKATHLEEN50. Learn more here.