. . . for Lauren and Lauren: July 2019

July 26, 2019

Wedding guest

dress: c/o shein

It's been so long since Chris and I have been to a wedding and we have two coming up in the next month. I love getting dressed for weddings, as my normal attire is pony tail, leggings and a tank top. I just got this dress and I think it'd be perfect for a summer wedding.  (It's $18 and you can use code Q3forlauren for 15% off your order.)   

Image Map

July 25, 2019

Sneakers and dresses?

dress: c/o shein

I've never been a sneakers and dress girl but I think I want to be. I love how it looks, so I'm starting with this outfit.  This dress is almost the exact same print of a romper that I wore a few weeks ago (here) and I love it. Super easy to dress up with wedges or dress down with a t-shirt and sandals or shoes.  (Use code Q3forlauren for 15% off your order.)  My Grand Canyon t-shirt is from Old Navy this summer.  We're off to Colorado on Saturday with my family and I’m ready for a week of vacation with my family. Happy almost weekend! 

Image Map

July 24, 2019

Food or Clothes?

romper: c/o shein

I just got this romper and it is so comfy.  I probably do not need any more rompers, but let's be honest I'd be fine not purchasing clothes of any kind for quite awhile.  I justify it to Chris that I spend just about zero money a month eating out and I'd rather buy clothes instead.  And when they cost less than $15 that's a meal right there! What about you? Would you rather go out to lunch or buy a new piece of clothing?

(Use code Q3forlauren for 15% off your shein order.)

Image Map

July 19, 2019

more sun. more swimsuits.

swimsuit: c/o shein

Another sunny day, another cute swimsuit.  I love this one and it's perfect for a family pool day.  Stays in place, high waisted and super cute.  And it's only $14! (Plus you can get an extra 15% off your shein order with code Q3forlauren.)  We spent the day at a fun pool near us for Addilyn's sixth birthday and we had a great time.  I'm having a hard time believing she is a six year old, and believing it is almost the end of July.  I am not ready to think about summer nearing the end!

Image Map

July 17, 2019

Invisible Illness

It’s been a little over a year since I’ve been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. There’s this middle ground I’d like to have between sharing the hard stuff and sharing my successes with my health this last year. And I never want to come across as complaining.  

So I almost deleted this list because it feels like one big list of ailments. But I think it’s valuable to share the pain to let people in and to let others know they are not alone.  And a reminder that sometimes we forget the story behind a picture.  

Just about every morning I wake up with stiff, achy fingers. Without a second thought anymore I immediately stretch my hands in and out of a fist. The same with my toes. Which I do all day long.  Both to stretch them out and subconsciously checking to see if I can bend my middle finger all the way down, something that I’m so rarely able to do. I try hard to wake up before Isaac daily, even if that means a 5 am alarm. One because I love the quiet time and starting my day off that way. But also because if I don’t have a half hour to stretch and loosen up my joints before the demands of motherhood, I start my day crabby and uncomfortable. 

If I drive a car for awhile my hands get achy. Doing a lot of dishes and cleaning or carrying my niece around leave my hands and wrists sore. I often have to modify at the gym when it comes to griping heavy weights. Or have to take breaks to stretch my fingers. While it’s gotten a lot better, sometimes simple tasks feel challenging.  Opening jars, cutting fruits and vegetables, buckling my kids car seats, pulling on leggings, the list goes on and on.  I feel pretty constantly overwhelmed with information I’m learning about diet and nutrition and spend a lot of time sorting through what to implement and how to find a balance.

I get tired way faster, and for someone who already needed a lot of alone time and space to feel energized, it feels like it’s a whole other level. Social things wear me out faster and I have to pick and choose what to say yes to and often worry that people think I’m antisocial or not fun. 

I’ve taken a lot of food out of my diet in attempts to control inflammation and sometimes going out to dinner feels less enjoyable and even stressful. * I take medicine every Thursday that makes me feel nauseous and fatigued the next day and a half.  So many tasks feel harder and I work to power through things way more than I used to. 

While each day all of these things vary in severity and it’s been a lot of ups and downs (thankfully a lot more ups), I haven’t had a day this year that there isn’t a daily reminder that my joints don’t work how they used to. I struggle often to fight my fears of the what ifs of the future and my physical health. I try to find a balance of hopefulness that I’ll figure this out and be pain free and accepting this is a part of my life. I’ve worked so hard to deal with my emotions and have grown a ton to handle this all as healthy as I can. Giving myself space to feel all the feelings. Angry, anxious and frustrated. But also grateful for all my body can do and for the support that I do have. 

So when I post videos of handstands or double unders or flexed muscle there’s often more behind the picture.  I use it as an outlet to deal with a lot of physical frustrations I’ve had with my health. And I try hard to focus on all the accomplishments my body has done this year. Then there’s part of me that is compensating for areas where I feel fragile or weak. And I post to share that I’m so determined to take control of my health to feel as strong and healthy as I can and want to encourage others to do the same. I know God’s given me a story to share and a voice to do it. 

Invisible illness can be so hard to carry. There’s only a few people in my life that I feel really safe to share all my feelings. The what feels like never ending aches and anxieties. I can’t imagine dealing with this all without support and want people to know that they are not alone. There’s space to share the hard without sounding like a bunch of complaints. And there’s space to share the successes without sounding braggy.  It’s a reminder to me that you have no idea what someone is going through. What’s behind a picture on social media or someone you see when you’re out. We make up so many stories in our head and if anything this has taught me that everyone has their own hard stuff they’re dealing with and I want to see that and give people space to share it, feel it and know they are not alone. 

Image Map