FOR YOU

12/17/14


My heart is so full right now. Thank you all for your sweet comments, words of encouragement, support, prayers, and love. And for you brave warriors who confided in me through emails, texts, phone calls... words cannot express the amount of love and admiration I have for all of you. I know that most people turn to blogs to read as a source of entertainment and inspiration. I promise that I will get back into the happy posts soon. But seeing as this is a lifestyle blog, and this has played out to be a huge part of my life, I feel like it's my duty to share every piece of me that I feel comfortable with. You come to my little corner of the Internet for truth, so here it is. After reading so many of your emails the other day, my heart ached. It astounds me to think of all the hurt that people can be going through on their own. You are not alone. If only we could all have stamped on our foreheads the trials that we are enduring or have overcome. We would all be a little kinder and patient and loving. We are all warriors.

My heart ached for those who felt they weren't allowed to be saddened by their miscarriages because they "weren't that far along". Stop it. Whether you were 2 weeks or 30 weeks, you endured a loss. If only for that mere moment of happiness that you felt in your heart. Those mere days you dreamt of your future with that sweet baby, and to have that stripped away from you. Those feelings of sadness and anger are justified. One day you were a mother, and the next you weren't. Do not allow anyone to belittle your feelings.

My heart ached for those who shared with me their struggles with infertility. Although I was able to get pregnant, because it was taken away from me those same fears of "what if" can so easily creep into my mind. "What if" that was my only shot. "What if" I have another miscarriage. "What if" I'm not supposed to have children. Stop it. Although I cannot promise you those futures you cry out for in your prayers, I know with my whole heart that our purpose here on earth is so much greater. No words I give to you will ever be enough but just know that there are sweet babies up in heaven who are waiting for you. And whether it be in this lifetime or here after, you will find them, and all your pain and sadness will be worth it.

My heart ached for those who had to endure miscarriages on their own. You are no longer alone. Look around you, share your heart, because I promise so much love and support will head your way.

I know firsthand how scary it can be to share such personal pieces of your heart with the world. We do not seek sympathy, but rather a common understanding that we are survivors, just like you, who are trying to pick up the pieces along the way. So do not look down on us. Instead, look up. I feel so grateful to know that I can be, if anything, a small voice for those who feel voiceless or are not yet ready to express their own thoughts. Just know that I love you, and I'm here for you. In the meantime, I will be playing "Here Comes The Sun" on repeat. Be kind to yourselves.
xoxo

photo image via.  

MISCARRIAGES AND MOVING FORWARD

12/15/14


I've been going back and forth about posting this for some time now. I've written it, deleted it, wrote it again, left it in draft format, and there it sat, collecting dust, and serving as a constant reminder of its presence every time I signed into blogger. There is no eloquent way to write this. I had a miscarriage. It was painful both physically and emotionally, and something, I am slowly learning, will be with me for the rest of my life. Moments will pass, milestones that you had mentally written down, that will go by unnoticed by anyone else but me and Eric.

Miscarriages are a funny thing. There are no badges of honor, no walkathons or t-shirts to encourage awareness. Most conversations about miscarriages always end with "Don't worry, I know other people who have had one too and went on to have lots of healthy babies." Of course everyone means well, but what I'm hearing instead is that my extraordinary sadness is in fact ordinary, insignificant, unremarkable. Why, at this moment, would I want to hear about someone else's miscarriage when I'm lying on my bathroom floor trying to lift a million pounds of failure, embarrassment and disappointment off my chest?

It's been a few weeks now, and still I catch myself crying out every now and again. Anger, sadness, loneliness. This holiday season has especially proven to be a hard one. We were going to surprise our parents Thanksgiving day by sharing the news. We were going to hold out and reveal the baby gender Christmas morning. Instead, there was no exciting news to share over Thanksgiving day, and there is no pretty envelope waiting under the Christmas tree.

I've been working hard to be kind to my body these past few weeks. Slowly getting myself back into the gym, eating healthier and taking lots of naps. Since miscarriages seem to be a big taboo I'll give it to you straight. Let's talk break outs for a second because that's happening. Your body already feels broken as it is, let's add a few pimples to the mix to really drive that stake through your self confidence. Hormones are also a b*tch! Never have I ever wanted so badly to have my period back. Food is a common enemy. For some reason all that ever sounds good is soup? And anxiety is off the charts! Let me tell you about my new pen pal, medical bills. Those things keep flying in like Harry Potter's acceptance letters into Hogwarts.

We've kept this miscarriage a secret for a while now. Only my closest friends and our immediate family were given the news. Truthfully, that was what I needed at the time. But now that a little time has passed and the scars are beginning to heal I feel ready. I'm ready to break the silence, to get back into my regular routine and to just be honest. You have no idea how much weight is being lifted off my chest right now just being able to type this all out. Who knew blog posts could be so therapeutic!

The best way I can express my thoughts now, moving forward, come to you by an amazing New York Times article I read a few weeks back. "I can tell you that I want people to know. I don't want it to be a secret or a shadow or something that is endured only alone. I want people to know that I have been through something, that I am tired but optimistic, that I've been knocked down but don't help me up because I can get up myself. It's fair, I think, to want witnesses for our suffering. But with the sorrow also comes hope. And after all, we are resilient creatures."

I thank you all for taking the time to read this, for your understanding and for your empathy. Please, positive comments are much appreciated. And for any of you who may be going through similar circumstances, feel free to email me. If only for a listening ear, I am here. I love you all, be kind to yourselves.
xoxo

photo image via.

NATIONAL MALL AND MEMORIAL PARKS

12/3/14


I hope you aren't sick of my Washington DC pictures just yet. I'm telling you, this trip was unreal! The day we decided to hit up the National Mall and Memorial Parks, D.C. surprised us with 75 degree weather. We took full advantage of the day and rented bikes through Capital Bikeshare, riding around town and making stops wherever our little hearts decided. If you are in town for only a short while and want to see all that DC has to offer, I highly recommend these bikes. National Mall and Memorial Parks is quite bigger than you would imagine. I don't think we would have been able to see it all just on foot (or at least without our feet killing us by the end of the day). For just $7.00, you can ride your bikes around to each monument, museum or central location, leave your bike at a station, walk around, and then hop back on again to your next stop. Download the free DC Bikes app and it will tell you where the nearest bike station can be found. Whoever thought of this was a genius!

Sidenote: I kept telling Eric I really wanted to see the National Mall before anything. He reluctantly agreed and once we got there he said "What is this?!" in a surprised voice. I told him it was the National Mall, where all the historical monuments and memorials were. All this time he thought that the National Mall was a shopping center. Why he thought this when he's been to DC before, I will never know. I know he's going to be mad at me for sharing this little story with you all, but it was too good not to be shared! And he calls me the ditsy one...

It was so incredible to be surrounded by so much history and beautiful pieces of artwork. We were there for only a week but every time I got off the metro and walked up the stairs to see the Washington Monument my jaw dropped. How people can walk by that every day and not die of pure happiness is beyond me! DC, I love you!

ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY

12/2/14

Happy Tuesday! Hopefully you survived Black Friday and Cyber Monday! I missed out on Black Friday shopping this year. Instead we were on a 12 hour flight home that consisted of 3 plane changes, screaming babies and lots of coughing and sneezing neighbors. Yesterday I woke up sick as a dog... oh the joys of traveling over the holidays. I blame that old women sitting next to me who didn't understand the concept of covering her mouth. Boo! Oh well, traveling back to happier times.

Thanksgiving Day we headed to Arlington National Cemetery. One of the things I am always so grateful for is my country and the men and women who protect it. To my grandparents, father, my four brothers and sisters. Thank you! It was such a humbling experience to see all of those beautiful white tomb stones and the changing of the guard. To visit the grave sites of such incredible people who have made a difference in this world. The Fall season was still very present the day we visited, and all of those luscious trees, the impeccable groundskeeping and the backdrop of the Washington Monument was simply breathtaking. If you are ever in the DC area, please take a moment to visit this place.

FRIENDSGIVING IN D.C.

12/1/14

Happy belated Thanksgiving lovelies! Sorry for the absence. If you follow me on Instagram then you know that Eric and I just got back from DC. Can I just say that this place was absolutely incredible and the perfect little escape that we were both looking for. I love adding new pins to our map of places we have traveled to together over the past 10 years. Can't wait for the whole thing to be filled one day (fingers crossed)!


Our good friends Nico and Yara moved out to the DC area a few months ago and we just couldn't wait to fly out and visit. Friendsgiving was the perfect excuse! We changed things up and opted for a little Mexican fiesta instead of the traditional turkey (mainly because we didn't trust ourselves to get it perfect. Also, Yara grew up in Mexico and she is an amazing cook!!!) Don't worry, pumpkin pie was still involved.

Many pictures were taken during our week long stay, sadly none of the Mexican deliciousness and none with my nice camera (even though that was brought along). So excuse the iPhone photos. I don't want to drown you in all things DC just yet so instead today I bring you one of my favorite cities of all, Old Town Alexandria in Virginia. Honestly, this town is a postcard!! If I ever moved to the East Coast, this place would be numero uno. I better save up though, it's quite pricey, but worth every pretty penny and cobblestone pebble. Swoon!

Take it away Alexandria!!

BRAIDS, OUTFITS AND FLOWERS. OH MY!

11/21/14

I've been up since 2:30AM this morning. Oh the joys of early morning flights. So while I struggle here at the airport, I'll leave you all with a few pretty snaps from my phone lately. Braids, outfits and flowers. Oh my! DC, I'm coming for you! Eeeee!! Make sure to follow along on our adventures over on Instagram!

P.S. I'm obsessed with my new GIRL BOSS tee I got the other week from Style Lately (bottom left). Just in time for the holidays, Style Lately is offering HLL readers 25% off with the coupon code: LOVESTYLELATELY. Happy shopping!
xoxo


BRAIDED WRAPPED BUN

11/20/14

I had a few concerns from you guys after posting this picture on Instagram, that I took the plunge and chopped my hair. Don't worry my friends. Here is proof that its still long as ever. I am for sure in need of a nice trim and an updated color. The holidays is making it difficult for this to happen though. Where to put your money.

Well today I have a little hair tutorial for you all. It's super simple, but LOTS of bobby pins are required. At least for all my heavy haired sisters out there. Also, Eric and I are heading off to DC for the holidays tomorrow. I've never been so I am super excited to explore historical site and see pretty holiday decorations. Any suggestions out there for places to see/do/eat are much appreciated!! Make sure to follow along on our adventures over on Instagram!

Forewarning, I'm not quite sure why these pictures came out so fuzzy. It's a shame, because this braided wrapped bun was a masterpiece, if I do say so myself. You don't want to know how many bobby pins were in there. Curse you thick, heavy hair. But looks like someone needs a new camera for Christmas. That or lighting equipment. *cough cough*


To Create
step one: Part hair down the center and create two french braids. Secure with small elastic.
step TWO: Here is where the bobby pins come into play. Take one braid and start to create a low circle with the braid. Secure with as many bobby pins as possible.
step three: Repeat with other braid in opposite direction. Make sure to fill in the whole bun with your braids!
step Four: Go around and secure with more bobby pins until it feels completely secure.

Let me know if you try this look out by tagging me in your instagram photos @tanyajtaylor
xoxo