9 months ago

So I was looking through a bunch of my pictures on my computer, and found these photos! I realized I never actually posted them, so obviously I had to put them up! What a way to celebrate the day after my baby girl's due date, yeah?

{Nope, she's not here yet...little stinker. She is overdue!
Stop making Daddy and Mommy wait!}

We're gonna be parents!

I'm gonna be a Mama!

I know I've told the whole story before, but just for the sake of pictures, this was late one night after the shower. I had been sitting on the bathroom floor, waiting for my results. Then the Yes + turned up and I FREAKED. (Happy freak!) Plus a "oh my goodness....we're pregnant...oh dear..." freak. I went and showed Chad and he had the biggest shock on his face, and proceeded to keep that look on his face for the remainder of the night. Ha ha! We've come so far!

Love our baby girl. Can't wait to have her with us soon! {Did you hear that, Charlotte? Soon!}

Love always, 
Ally Jo


Dove Real Beauty Sketches

Belief in Beauty- Part 1

Lately I've been thinking about a subject quite a bit. And it's about time I write about how I feel about it all.

Since the beginning of who knows when, there has been such a focus on the women's body, whether good or bad. As time has progressed and the media has become more and more apart of every human's life (whether they want it or not), I, among many others I am sure, have noticed all the negativity around what a woman should look like.

Being a woman myself, I've had my times where I felt something could have been thinner or bigger or better. Awful to admit, but I feel almost every woman has had some thought or other in that direction. WHY do we do this to ourselves? Why don't we just look in the mirror and say, "Daaaaaaang, girlfriend. You is lookin' HAWT". :) How often do YOU do that? Look at that reflection and have a reaction like that?

Can I tell you a story? My story?

When I was a wee little teenager, I had an issue with my image, like every girl in the universe. I felt I had to look a certain way...dress in certain types of clothes...wear make-up in a certain way. Funny that I use the word "certain", because when it came to how I felt about myself? I wasn't "certain" at all. 

I came to a point where I didn't quite like myself as much as I should. Believe me, I wanted to. But I just felt the pressure of others around me. Of what the world was telling me to be. I just didn't feel....good. I felt like a mess of blah when it came to colors. But I didn't want to feel like that. I felt trapped. I knew I should feel beautiful, but I didn't. I was told I was a daughter of God, but I just didn't feel it, though I desperately wanted to. 

One day, I decided to do something. It was kinda spontaneous, really. I went into the bathroom and took off almost all my make-up. I left a touch of foundation and a small swipe of mascara, but that was it. Then I went into my bedroom, and took a picture of me on my camera.

When I turned the camera around to look at the picture, I was shocked. Hey, that girl is pretty. Was that...me? I couldn't believe it! I looked at myself and loved what I saw. Her skin was smooth...her lips were full...and her eyes lit up with her smile. I'll never forget how that one picture dramatically changed the direction of how I saw myself. 

Not long after, I had a personal spiritual experience that I would like to share. Late at night, I was praying by my bed. I was struggling deep inside to love myself and to feel that I was special. I was sick of playing the world's game of telling me what to look like and be. I was so sick of caring what people thought of me every second of the day. I prayed earnestly, wanting peace and my battle to be over. 

I went on to pray about other things, when suddenly, I felt a bucket of peace, as I like to call it, pouring over me. I felt calm, and almost like I was being wrapped in someone's arms. They were warm and inviting. My whole little soul filled with light and love. Then I heard these words come to me in my mind. 

"Ally, I love you."

 And I said back, "You love me...don't you?" And the arms around me seemed to give me a squeeze and the warmness increased. I felt the little pieces of my worried, broken heart piece together. I couldn't hold back the tears that had been dying to escape for a very long time. I finally knew for myself. I was loved. And I was a daughter of God. My Father in Heaven knew exactly what my young heart was going through and ached for my pain. My pain that may have seemed so little to others, but possessed my whole being for so long. I felt beautiful and far beyond the beauty of my face. But of my heart. 

Those 2 experiences I shared earlier changed the course of my self-image of myself. From then on, I have always known I was beautiful. I have loved myself and loved my body. Ya, I have an occasional day where the hair won't do what I want or I get caught up in little things, but overall? I am a much happier me. 

Now, a certain lady we all have heard of has been getting some ridicule lately from people. Lovely Kate Middelton. First off, kudos to this woman for being in her position. I'm sure she is attacked everyday. Beautiful wedding dress, too old fashioned, outfit not flattering, hair this, that-this-that-this-that. AH!!!!

Well, then she had a baby. And this hit pretty close to home, seeing as I'm a prego woman myself. The beautiful day came where she had her precious little one-the happiest day of her and her hubbie's lives. And how long was it before some stupid person/people commented on her image? That she needed to get on a diet ASAP to get rid of that little "after-baby" belly.? Etc. Etc.

This is what I have to say to them.

How DARE you.

That is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. To be able to bear a child is a miraculous gift. And the belly that comes with it is also just as special. Ya, this bump of mine tends to have its time for getting in my way and causing me some discomfort. But that bump is my dearest little baby's home. And I am blessed to have her so close to me...to feel her everyday. I wear this bump proudly. What a miracle of life. And ya, it takes some time for the belly to go down and what not. Of course! And even if we do gain some weight from bearing children, that is not a problem. Like I said before, it is a precious gift to bear children. (And fyi? Kate looks HAWT! Dang girl! Look at her after having a baby!)

So, world folk? Leave women alone. Let us love ourselves.

And if you need a pick me up? You ARE beautiful. You are GORGEOUS. You are classy. You are timeless. You are one-of-a-kind. You have a light in your eyes that is fit to you. You are meant to do amazing things. Don't let any negative thoughts of your self tear down your strength. You are exquisite in every way possible. You turn heads, baby girl!

"Nothing makes a woman 
more beautiful than a belief 
that she is beautiful". 

-Sophia Loren

Believe it. 'Cause it's true.

Love always,
Ally Jo



Found this gem today. Look at us. We are just babies!

Ah....I love my hubbie. He's been such a good friend since the beginning of our friendship almost 6 years ago. :) Chad is a gem! Love his guts!