Back to NYC, Back to Me, Back to my Belabumbum
My first trip to New York City after our move to Santa Cruz in August was in late February this year. I was so anxious to stand amongst the towers of endless buildings and see if I felt any different than I did when we lived there. Secretly, I was hoping that the magic, mystique and feeling like I fit in there like a puzzle piece would have slowly dissipated once we relocated to what will ultimately likely be our forever home in California.
The moment the NYC skyline was in sight from my window seat on the airplane however, that same rush of excitement and relief came over me like it always did from the very first time we ever touched down at JFK. It’s interesting to grow up in a place and feel less and less like I belong there as I get older, and at the same time knowing that we couldn’t have relocated to a better place to raise our family. Our families and friends are here, and now Justin’s practice is here too. I want so badly to feel that anchored, NYC feeling about our home now, and while my own personal evolution feels slightly tempered here, I’m certain that it’ll come on it’s own time.
As glorious as ever, even-especially-in the snow.
It’s weird that I even miss the smoky hot dog carts.
I took the time on this trip to do many of the things that I love to do in the city but often couldn’t because I had the kids with me at all times. I stayed in a lovely hotel and worked in solitude, marveling at the levels of concentration I found amongst the peace and quiet. During the day I visited friends for breakfast or lunch, and then made time for picking up a few NYC essentials to bring home to Justin and the kids before meeting another dear friend for dinner. Even though I usually can barely relax when I’m not with my kids (granted, I can’t relax with them around either but it’s just different), I was able to treat those moments in my city as Me Time, and was the closest thing to therapy that I’ve experienced in a while.
With Julia Beck of Forty Weeks. The loveliest dinner, the loveliest friend.
The trip back to Manhattan this year came at about the 12 week mark of my pregnancy. Not only was I phasing out of the morning sickness, but I was also physically beginning to change quite a bit, too. Even the fourth time around, I’m consistently surprised at how vastly different each pregnancy has been from each other. There’s also a truly special feeling of knowing that this could very well be our last baby, and the whole, completeness that comes with knowing that is one that I’ve been really hoping for. I’m ready to celebrate every stage of this pregnancy just like it was my first, and because of that I’m going all out.
I visited my hairdresser and then went off to a very special photo shoot with Belabumbum, my favorite maternity lingerie brand, to document this fourth pregnancy in photographs in a light that I just wasn’t able to do with my other pregnancies. In a sense, this trip was very much about getting back to me, my city, and celebrating with Belabumbum.
I’m thrilled to finally get to share the results of that shoot. As comfortable as I am behind the camera, I am equally as uncomfortable in front of one, so this was definitely a stretch for me. The photographer was incredible though, and she was able to document a very happy, excited and content me.
Queen Bee Nightie
The session included catalog shots with a real model who was also expecting-who was completely adorable and also totally used to photo shoots like this, which eased my tension a bit.
And my favorite:
(necklace is Maya Brenner, Bi-Coastal: The apple and the state of California).
I know that while I’m grateful for these photos now, I’ll be even more so in a few years. Not to mention, the clothing itself is some of the dreamiest lingerie and loungewear I’ve worn, and that is in itself an awesome feeling. This time around, I’m constantly struck by how incredibly special it is to be pregnant, and how lucky I am to be experiencing it for a fourth time. The little things aren’t bothering me as much-the fatigue, the food aversions, the constant rotating of clothing, and the endless hormones. I’ve even started to feel the baby moving already, and each time I’m nearly stopped in my tracks by how amazing it is.
I am so happy and grateful to have a place in the world that affects me the way NYC does, regardless of whether or not I’ll ever actually reside there or not. It’s such a treasure, that city. Not just to me of course, but I like to think of it as my own and I carry it in my heart as though it always will be. My trip back to New York City was an unexpectedly full-circle experience for me, and one that I was really needing. I came home to Santa Cruz, and my family, feeling like I was ready to embrace our new life and new home and incredibly excited for the changes to come for all of us.
Completely content with my babies, including our fur baby.
Thank you to Belabumbumand Alex Solmssen for the gorgeous photographs, and helping me celebrate this pregnancy in the loveliest-and comfiest-way possible.
This post was sponsored by Belabumbum. All opinions are my own.
Sooo happy for you, that you are feeling good, and jeez looking soooo gorgeous! As a native Californian who now lives on the East Coast, I so get your feelings. And as a working-but-stay-at-home-what?? mom of three too, I know how much you deserved that business trip and therapy time. God bless. xo
Congratulations. You are the cutest!
I just love your blog, Twitter feed, Instagram….does this make me a stalker? I admire how you wholeheartedly share your family and your life with us. Your passion for your family is evident in everything you do.
I grew up in the Houston area but moved to Fort Worth for work. Now, this isn’t quite the bi-coastal trek you made, but for a young lady right out of college it was huge. For years after I moved to Fort Worth, I still referred to Houston as home. I felt that connection. Although I’ve lived here for almost 20 years, it still isn’t quite home, even though my husband and friends are here. To this day, I still glance at the Houston Chronicle’s web site every morning just to see what’s going on at ‘home’. I understand your feelings about New York.
Have a beautiful week!
Gorgeous photos!! So excited for you. You have such a beautiful, gorgeous family. 🙂
So thrilled for you! The pictures are just gorgeous!
Congrats on the new baby! Love you daily nap pictures.
Love this entire post. Everything comes full circle. All the forks in the road bring you to where you were meant to be. xo
Loved this post. I grew up in a small town in SoCal, left for 10 years and lived in San Francisco for several years before moving back to my little hometown with my husband (and baby on the way). I totally relate to your feelings… I loved the city life and don’t feel quite myself or at home in a place that should be so familiar to me. You explained your feelings beautifully! Hard to articulate sometimes… for me at least!
Jessica, I’m from Brasil. I love your children, thank you very much for sharing #theoandbeau! They changed my life!!! Sorry for my english, is very bad. But I love so much Theo e Beau! Thanks for everything!
Bye and kisses from Brasil!
Prettiest pregnant mama ever. xo
beautifully erutided (well, it is a word in my world:) tis well said, as always, you 1st are you, and you have a gift with words, i wonder if next you will draw again, may be new child will bring this in? and out? or later on? such hope for the future, love you, maura
What beautiful pictures. Such a treasure!
I 100% related to this post. After living in the San Francisco Bay Area for the last 6 years, my little family and I moved back to Indianapolis to be closer to family. I felt about California the way you feel about New York. We also had some fun little pre-kid weekends enjoying the hipster haven of Santa Cruz!! I felt more alive in Cali, like every day waking up to the endless sunshine felt like a brand new opportunity. You’d think I’d be happy and content in the place I grew up, but I’ve changed as a result of the amazing 6 years we spent on the West Coast, so it’s just different. That being said; I’ve really begun to embrace our new, slower pace of life. I’m sure you will come to embrace Santa Cruz in its own way, too. Having the ability to have your family outdoors year round is huge!
You’re also making me want to have a 3rd baby just so I can experience pregnancy one last time and truly appreciate it knowing it’s my last time! 😉
By the way, congrats on all the blog/IG/social media success! I think you’re living every blogger’s dream and every SAHM’s dream to be able to bring in an income while spending quality time with our kids, too. Soak it all up, mama!!