Photography: Michelle Roller
I can hardly believe that my third trimester is upon me and that my due date is less than 12 weeks away! It seems like it was just yesterday that we were wrapping our heads around the fact that we were having another baby and now suddenly here we are moving into the final stretch of this pregnancy. With this belly of mine seemingly growing inches by the day, I have started planning out some of the details for my maternity photoshoot and I couldn’t help but look back on these photos taken at the end of my first trimester for my pregnancy announcement/pregnancy reveal that were shared over on 100 Layer Cakelet and my instagram feed (but somehow never made it here which I’ll just blame on pregnancy brain).
It’s crazy to me how much younger the boys look in these photos that were taken just a few months back. We had embarked on this crazy travel adventure up the coast of California at the time and I suddenly decided that I needed a beautiful and unique way to announce my pregnancy. I explored instagram and reached out to several amazing vendors in the San Louis Opisbo area (where we were staying at the time) and threw this pregnancy reveal photoshoot together in two days time. Of course it was a whirlwind of emails and phone calls and driving all over town to pick up pieces for the shoot, but I couldn’t be happier with these photos. Mr.B thinks it’s quite silly the extent I go to for our family photos at times, but I am so grateful to have these moments in our life documented forever because man does time move fast when you’re chasing after two boys.
Photography: Michelle Roller / Location: Cass House Cayucos /
Florist: Edens Floral / Dress: Blackwater in San Luis Obispo
Black peacoat (or similar here) // Black Booties (or similar here) // Striped Maternity Dress (or similar here) // Cateye Sunglasses (or similar here) // Red Wireless Maternity Bra (or similar here) // Oversized Tote (or similar here)
Black Beanie (or similar here)// Glitter Phone Case (or similar here) // Pink Sunglasses (or similar here) // Leather Backpack (or similar here) // Oversized Sweater (or similar here) // White Sneakers (or similar here) // Black Maternity Bra (or similar here) // Maternity Leggings (or similar here)
Shopbop’s Event of the Season is going on now until Saturday morning! So now is the perfect time to stock up on your fall wardrobe staples. I’m sharing a few of my favorite maternity pieces (or pieces that can be worn during your pregnancy) to create two everyday fall maternity looks that will take you through your entire pregnancy, allowing you to be both comfortable and stylish at the same time! A few of my favorites fall maternity pieces are comfortable maternity dress that show off your bump (you can find some here), fun sunglasses (a few options here), a pair of booties (a must for any fall wardrobe) and a pair of sneakers for those later months of pregnancy (these ones are classics and affordable), maternity bras (because comfortable undergarments are a necessity during pregnancy!), and an oversized sweater (love this one). Happy shopping!!
Spend up to $500, get 25% off your entire purchase. Spend over $500, get 30% off your entire purchase.
SHOP MY MATERNITY LOOK HERE:
Raincoat: H&M (similar here, here, and here); Dress: ASOS (similar here and here); Bandana: Zara (similar here and here); Boots: old (similar here, here, and here)
So if you’ve been following along on Instagram, you know by now that we have made a huge move across the world from California (the only home my boys have ever known) to New Zealand. A few months before the move, I began mentioning often that we were moving, but rarely alluded to when and where because I wanted to make sure that we had everything set before officially announcing everything (getting the boys visas in order, letting Dustin’s job know, telling family and close friends, etc.). And then the months turned to weeks and the weeks turned to days and we were suddenly boarding a flight to New Zealand and I hadn’t even mentioned where we were going or what was happening. I’ve been getting lots of emails and comments and messages asking us what motivated our move to New Zealand and well, there are lots of reasons, but I’ll do my best to explain here.
Dustin and I have talked about living in another country (literally for over five years) – wanting to experience life outside of the United States and to let our children experience another culture – but we have been too terrified to actually take the plunge, constantly discussing the possibility and then just as quickly dismissing it as we came up with a million reasons why it couldn’t be done (financially, jobs, family, etc.). So it has been something that we have wanted to do for a long time and we finally just decided ok, let’s do it.
I have lived in California (Santa Barbara, San Francisco, and San Diego) for over ten years and Dustin has lived in California his entire life. For the past couple of years, we have lived in Southern California, where Dustin has a huge family presence, and there were so many things we loved about living there – being close to family, the great friends we met, living by the ocean, the weather, and the California lifestyle in general.
But there were some aspects of our life that we weren’t loving and we started feeling like we needed to make a change with our lives. One was the amount of time and effort Dustin was putting into work. During the week (every single week) he would be gone for three to four days in Los Angeles and I would be home with the boys on my own. Dustin was working around 65 hours per week (getting up in the middle of the night for a few hours every night even after a long days work and working on the weekends) with no vacation time, not many benefits, and still not living as comfortably as we would like. After two years of this endless cycle, it was starting to feel like he had his own life and the boys and I had our own life.
We really felt like we were stuck in “the ratrace” and we just couldn’t get out of it. Seemingly working harder and harder, but not really moving ahead financially or getting to where we wanted to be in life. We realized our family life and marriage life were suffering, and we really wanted to make a change that would put family life first.
We have also rented for many years as I have never been entirely positive of where I wanted to settle down and was always scared to buy a property and be stuck per say. But it was getting to the point where it was time to purchase a home for our family and choose a place to officially settle down for some time. With Holden getting older, it seemed like it was time to find a home and make it our own – a place where the kids could grow up. Yet, California property can be very pricey. I kept dreaming about a tiny house on a big chunk of land (so we could have animals) overlooking the ocean and to be honest, I’m not sure a piece of property exists like that in San Diego.
So when we decided that we wanted to find our dream home, a simpler life, and focus on our family and marriage for a little bit, we had to decide where in the world we wanted to move. Both of my parents are from New Zealand and I visited often as a child. As we seriously started discussing moving to another country, New Zealand was top of the list because of two things: (1) I have dual citizenship (which would make getting visas for the boys a little easier) and (2) I have a large family over here, both of which would make the huge transition to another country and lifestyle just a little bit easier.
So we finally applied for visas and said if we got them we would just go (we didn’t even buy our tickets until two weeks before we left, that’s how indecisive we were about actually taking the plunge).
It’s a new adventure and it can definitely be stressful thinking about all of the logistics when it comes to setting up a life here in another country, but we are also incredibly excited about the opportunities and adventures that lay ahead of us. It feels so good to finally be able to share this new adventure with you all and I can’t wait to share more!!
With a five year old (wow, still have to get used to that) and a one year old running around and a belly that seems to be growing outwardly by inches every single day, I need clothes that feel comfortable and allow me to move without restrictions. I usually opt for dresses as my everyday go-to because I have this weird issue about anything constricting my belly while pregnant, but maternity jeans with a good fit are a must for every maternity wardrobe.
Maternity jeans are a usually an investment and since you’re only going to wear them for six months at a time, it’s important that you choose the right ones. These NYDJ AMI Skinny Maternity Leggings are worth every penny and are a staple piece that will save your wardrobe when you just want to throw on a t-shirt and sneakers, feel comfortable with your ever expanding belly, and most importantly, flatter your figure.
wearing one of my hands down favorite, most comfortable maternity items by Isabella Oliver
Sometimes, with social media being such a big part of our lives these days, it is easy to get caught up in a constant game of “keeping up with the Joneses” and for some reason, seeing glimpses of everyone’s fall photos (you know, the changing leaves, the fires blazing in the living room, the cozy sweaters and knits) pop up on my instagram and pinterest feeds left me with a severe case of envy. In Southern California we were experiencing a heat wave and I almost felt as though I was depriving Holden of something by him not getting to experience the changing seasons and all of those special moments I remember from my childhood (jumping in leaves, building snowmen, etc.).
But with Thanksgiving quickly approaching I have been working on the mindset to be thankful for what I have and I found that when I started looking around and counting all of the blessings in my life (regardless of how big or small), I have found myself filled with gratitude for this life of mine (funny how changing your mindset can make the world look so different).
This season in our lives is just beyond perfect. I feel so incredibly lucky for this boy of mine who seems to be growing up by leaps and bounds every single day. More and more I feel like I am spending every day with my best friend – we can go to a cafe and stay for hours talking, laughing, and playing. We have been taking advantage of this beautiful weather and have found ourselves at the beach almost everyday for the past two weeks, playing in the sand and splashing in the water. And it’s days like the one pictured above that make me thankful for this city we call home.