Webb Family Photo Shoot: Sweat and Lots of Laughter

Webb Family Photo ShootI was going to wait until the end of the week to share these with ya’ll, but since my body likes to go in and out of labor, I figured it’s better to get it out now before I push a baby out. After that, I’ll probably be out of commission for a little bit. So, in lieu of Middle School Megan today…

About a month ago, our good friends, The Macarages, drove down to Florida from Washington. Yes… they drove clear across the country for some vacation time with family and friends. We were dying to see them and their two little girls, Harper and Finley, and had a really great visit. Ashley has a photography business, Olive and Mae Photography, and wanted to give us a little family photo session. We’ve never done one before, as all of our “familly” pictures are either phone shots or ones we’ve tried to take ourselves. I was really looking forward to this photo session, as Ashley is great at what she does.

Webb Family Photo ShootThe shot above is probably my favorite out of all of them. I love that she captured the true nature of our little family, as we do laugh a whole lot together. I think Abe was talking about poop and it got us all going.famshoot7
Webb Family Photo ShootWe decided to take the pictures at Alligator Lake Park, where Daniel and I had our wedding ceremony. It’s a beautiful park, but the tricky part was that it closes early, and we needed that good golden hour light (which in the summer, is at like 7:30). It was also raining ALL DAY that day, but the sun came out just in time. We managed to get some really sweet shots. Daniel and I exchanged vows under that tree above in front of all of our friends and family. I can’t believe that’s already 5 1/2 years ago. famshoot6

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Webb Family Photo ShootI think a year and a half ago, I would have DIED at the thought of putting pictures of my huge, pregnant belly up on the internet for all to see. I think that explains why our pregnancy picture we shared with everyone from Abe’s pregnancy was a goofy one- my insecurity was so strong and I needed it to be funny to distract from the large-ness of my physique. But I wanted to go for it this year. There’s nothing to be ashamed of- I’m growing a human being in there. I looked up pregnancy photos and found a lot of cute outfit options (and a lot of not-so-cute/gross options as well), but I went with this dress from H&M. Green is my favorite color, and the dress was simple and comfy. I got Abe that cute little jean button down shirt at H&M as well, and those moccasins his Mimi brought back to him from North Carolina last fall. They are almost too small, but he was a sport and wore them for me anyway.

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Webb Family Photo ShootIt was so hot outside that day, even at 6:30 in the evening. We were all dripping with sweat by the time the owners came around to kick us out at 7. Abe was not the happiest camper, as he thought we were going to just snap some photos and then let him play on the playground- but we didn’t have enough time. I wish they would keep that park open a little later in the summer! Obviously the sun is still way up in the sky. Alas, it’s still one of my favorite places in Lake City.

You guys, this pregnancy has been completely different than my pregnancy with Abe, by far. Except for the recent going into labor a little early (which is what my body did last time as well), I’ve felt a lot less stressed out this time around. I know that comes with being familiar with the territory, and I’m so thankful for that. The first child is hard and scary because from pregnancy and on, you have nothing to reference and no idea what to do. Every decision feels like the fate of your child’s life is in your hands, down to the diapers you decide to use. I know there’s going to be plenty of new challenges I’m met with, as having two kids is completely different than having one (so I hear… I wouldn’t know). But I’m looking forward to meeting squishy Emery Levi and starting yet another new adventure.

I’m also really looking forward to normal pants and whiskey again.

 

 

Art Therapy and Water Colors

Art Therapy and Water ColorsI’ve always been an artist when it comes to the poetry and musical realm of art, and I’ve enjoyed it immensely. I love that I can write out the things that are going on in my head and then sing them to a tune. That ability has been very helpful to me since I was a child, as it’s been one of the ways I work through and process the things that happen to me and the things going on around me.

But sometimes, I don’t have any words. Sometimes, I am thinking and feeling things that I can’t write out, because I haven’t quite identified what those thoughts and feelings are yet. Do you know what I mean? It’s those times when you know you’ve got a lot in there but you don’t know what to say about it so you feel stuck; those times prove especially difficult for me, as I’m used to defaulting to words.

My whole life, I’ve been surrounded by friends who paint and draw, and I deeply admire their craft and what they make. However, I’ve always been quite intimidated by this realm of art for myself. I’m very much like Abe (or really, he’s very much like me) when it comes to giving up easily on skills that don’t come as naturally as others. There’ve been a handful of times when I’ve sat down to draw or paint something, and it actually came out half decent and I’d feel really good. But 99% of the time, I put way too much pressure on myself to be really good at something I have no technical skill or ability to do, and it ends up looking like crap…. as it should, because I don’t know what I’m doing.

Several months back, I caught a glimpse of some abstract water coloring either on Instagram or Pinterest, probably both. I happened to be really overwhelmed that day, so I decided to pull out my water color palette and paper and paint how I felt. Abe sat down with me and did his own thing, which was wild and free; I love when kids paint. But, I told myself as I started that this wasn’t for anyone or anything, really. It was just to try and get out what I was feeling through a different medium than I was used to, in hopes that I’d be able to come to terms with what I was feeling. The painting above is what happened. The feeling that I had when I was finished was almost euphoric; I felt calm, relieved and emptied. I wanted to keep going, but Abe’s attention for painting isn’t very long and he was over it. I showed Daniel when he got home from work, and was able to talk about why I was overwhelmed earlier that day.

Since then, I’ve been painting with water colors as an art therapy for myself. In conjunction with writing and prayer, it’s quite useful and satisfying.

Art Therapy and Water ColorsThis was a piece I did one late night, when Daniel was gone for an event. I felt really upset and dark, but I couldn’t identify why, so I painted this. While I was painting, I talked to myself about being scared of someone breaking into our house and Daniel getting hurt on the job. After I was done, I felt so relieved and was able to sleep.

Art Therapy and WatercolorsThere’s this image I get in my head when I think about the human experience as it relates to depravity and the light of the gospel. It’s really hard for me to describe, so I decided to paint it. The red shape is the soul, and it’s got death roots sprouting out of it, as I believe that’s where we all start out. But then the green light is birthed and sprouts out from the bottom and begins to overtake all of the death until eventually it’s blotted out and we are free.

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Art Therapy And Water ColorsThese are two of my favorites, as they feel bright and comforting to me. The second one I call “The Dance.”

Art Therapy and Water ColorsI wanted to paint pieces for Abe and Emery, and I started with Emery’s. I didn’t know what I was going to do when I started it, but it just kinda came out. We had a little scare at 24 weeks, when I thought I was in super pre-term labor with him. At that point, we weren’t 100% sure what we were going to name him. Right before we went to the hospital, my friend Rachel prayed for me and asked me for his name, so I just said Emery. When she was done, I looked up the meaning of the name, and of course was overwhelmed with emotion when I saw that Emery means “brave”.

Abram is a biblical name, and was Abraham’s first name before God changed it. God promised Abraham that his lineage would be as many as the stars. Although we didn’t name Abram his name because we want him to have a GIGANTIC family, our hope is that the love in his heart for God and others will grow as big as the universe.

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Art Therapy and Water ColorsSo the above proves that I’m way better at abstract paintings than I am objects, haha. But that’s ok- I don’t have to expect myself to be good at something I’ve never done. This art medium has become something I really enjoy, and I want to get better, even if that means I have to work harder at it.

My Simplicity: Raw Honey and Coconut Oil

My Simplicity: Raw Honey and Coconut Oil

Disclaimer: everyone’s skin is different, so what works for me might not work for you and that’s ok! I have a friend who tried raw honey as a cleanser and it made her face really itchy, but oils work just fine. Sometimes it takes a while to figure out just what’s right for you!

Last week I shared with whoever was reading the change in my makeup routine. It was sweet to read some of the comments from my friends on Facebook about how they are happy with how they look as well. It’s nice to look in the mirror and not hate what you see! I’ve had several conversations over the last few weeks about what I use to wash my face. Back when I was making Beard Sauce, I would use a variation of the beardly recipe to use for my own skin, which ended up turning into Broad Sauce. Sidenote: Beard Sauce was a beard oil I created because Daniel has had a huge beard for a decade, and the oil took away the itch and the dandruff. It also made it look good and smell nice too. It was an all natural product with no synthetic ingredients, and I also created a female version for a total body oil cleanse. It was a magical product. Due to buying a house, finding out we were pregnant and me planning on started to informally home school Abe, we decided to close up the Beard/Broad Sauce shop. Ending the business was a hard/sad decision, but if it was going to continue to grow, it would have required way more out of me than I was willing to give. However, it was a fantastic experience and so much fun!

I’ve been oil cleansing for over two years now, and I don’t think I can ever go back to store bought facial cleansers. I’ve used all kinds of variations and recipes to clean my face and hydrate my skin, but if I’m feeling lazy and don’t really want to pull out the beakers and syringes, I just spoon a blob of coconut oil in a little dish and use that to wash my face.

Recently, I’ve read several things on washing your face with raw honey. It seemed like a great idea, and I’m always looking for something new to try. You do have to be careful, though, about what you try on your face. I read this one thing about using coffee grounds on your face, but after a little more research, it turned out to be more harmful than helpful, as coffee grounds are too rough and can cut your skin.

I use regular and raw honey for all kinds of things in the kitchen, and I’ve never had any kind of reaction to it. In fact, local honey has always helped me with my allergies. The stuff, especially in its raw form, is filled with antiviral, anti-fungal and antibacterial properties, and is also considered a superfood. The “grit” in raw honey didn’t seem too harsh, but more like the feel of sugar.

I decided to try it out about a month ago. I put a small amount of organic raw honey (Trader Joe’s Brand) in a tiny bowl and took it into the bathroom. I ran the water so that it would get warm, but didn’t wet my face. I rubbed the honey onto my face the same as one would use a regular cleanser. and it was thick and exfoliating. I had to quickly dab my hand under the water to dilute the honey a little bit so it would spread better. Ladies- this simple process felt so good. After washing my face for a minute, I rinsed off the honey with just my hands and the warm water, and then pat-dried my face with a towel. I could tell immediately that my face felt tighter and very smooth, but not at all dry. I looked in the mirror and noticed my skin seemed just a smidgen lighter as well.

So far, raw honey leaves my face feeling better than anything I’ve ever used before. I’ve been cleansing with it for about a month now, alternating with the coconut oil every now and then (especially if I have the honey bee foundation and mascara on), because the coconut oil is way better at makeup removal than the honey is. I also don’t wash my face everyday, for two reasons: 1) I’m lazy and 2) it’s not necessary if you’re not stripping your face of its natural oils with store bought cleanser. Before I started using natural methods to cleanse, my face would get SO OILY only a mere few hours after I’d washed and pampered it. I found out several years ago that the reason that was happening was because the cleansers I was buying off of the Walmart shelves were not only removing bacteria (in a harsh way), but they were also stripping my skin of its natural properties, leaving it to overcompensate by producing more oil, hence the oily skin. Now that I’ve been over two years strong using oils and now raw honey, my face just doesn’t get oily anymore. I mean, it would require me going at least 4 days without washing to start showing signs of oily-ness. But I typically don’t wait that long to wash my face anyway.

So, that’s my current face cleansing routine. It’s cheaper, as a jar of organic raw honey from Trader Joe’s is only $5.99. It runs you about the same as a bottle of cleanser, but you blow through that cleanser way faster than you do the jar of honey. I don’t have to buy any moisturizers to make up for the post-wash dry skin, and I don’t have to buy astringent and oil blotting wipes to take away the oily-ness. My routine is so much more simple than it used to be, and in a life that is constantly bombarded by complexities and more stuff, I like all of the simplicity I can get.