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Babies and Bellies

It seems like every day I hear about a new pregnancy or baby being born. I guess that’s just the stage of life that I’m in right now.

I attended a baby shower for Caitlin yesterday and there were five pregnant ladies in attendance. Impressive! Also, I got word late last night that one of my close friends delivered her second child, a beautiful little boy. Now I will open up a little…the idea of babies/kids seriously freak me out. I enjoy visiting with my friends’ children but I ask myself all the time, “can I pull that off?” and “when will I ever feel ready?” My life feels so full and complete with all of the other things that I do – teaching, working, blogging, friends, family – that I wonder how things would shift and change to create a whole new way of life? I’ve definitely been in a state recently of evaluating priorities and determining what is important to me and I wish I could just see how it would all work out perfectly.

Babies have become the “new normal” and it’s tough when your mindset isn’t quite there. I admit that I have struggled Β to relate to some of my friends who have small children because so much is different about the way we live our lives now. I’m so happy for them but sad at the same time that things have changed in so many ways. As I was driving home from the shower and then later on a run, I couldn’t help but notice all of the families out walking and playing as they enjoyed a nice Sunday afternoon…and it made me smile. Maybe there is hope for me yet.

Back to that shower…

The first noteworthy thing to mention is that I put on a dress for the first time since December. This is my first maxi-style dress. I bought it on Saturday afternoon at Nordstrom Rack. I wasn’t sure if I could pull it off but I ended up really liking the dress. It was very comfortable and I got several compliments on it.

The shower was held at Fabo Cafe and I arrived to find a spread provided by Mellow Mushroom with several pizza options, hummus, bruschetta and Greek salad. Mellow Mushroom twice in one weekend? I’m a lucky girl!

I had a slice of gluten-free veggie pizza with salad on the side. I enjoyed catching up with some long-lost blogger friends as I ate.

Britney, Kelly and Jessie. Happy birthday wishes to Britney (today) and Kelly (last Saturday)!

We finished off lunch with a sweet treat. Gluten-free red velvet cupcakes from Polka Dot Bake Shop. I love Polka Dot’s cupcakes but had never tried their gluten-free offerings. The cupcakes tasted amazing and I would have never guessed they were gluten-free.

Then it was present time. We were all asked to bring a book in addition to our gifts and Caitlin received so many childhood classics. She’ll have a fully stocked library for the baby…and a dachshundΒ lamp. Such a cute and creative gift.

After pizza, cupcakes and a sea of onesies, I was ready to get outside and enjoy the day.

I contemplated going to a yoga class but a run sounded so much better. The temperatures were in the mid-80s and I definitely sweated like I was in a hot class. My Garmin saw numbers it hasn’t seen in quite a while and I covered 5.5 miles. Yes, for the record, that is a bug that drowned in my sweat on the side of my face. πŸ˜‰

After my run I showered and then proceeded to ignore everything I needed to do in favor of sitting outside with a drink and Real Simple. It was perfect. Dinner was a salad with arugula mix, baby spinach, tomatoes, avocado, goat cheese, broccoli slaw mix, dried cranberries, toasted pecans and salmon with lemon dijon honey vinaigrette. And two flourless peanut butter chocolate chip cookies. Yum!

Make it an amazing week!

{ 39 comments… add one }
  • Jessica April 30, 2012, 12:00 pm

    I’m definitely in the same boat. My plate is FULL, and while all my other friends are settling down and creating their families, i’m left to wonder if I’ll ever get to that point. I’m not pretending that I didn’t choose my own direction, but it’s hard not to want it all while being pretty set on not giving up the things that I feel make me…me.

  • madison @ toldinvain April 30, 2012, 12:06 pm

    I know I am only 22 but my friends all say things like, “I want to be married in 5 years or having kids in x number of years” and I feel the same way– that kind of makes me want to freak out! there are so many other things I want to / have to do first!!

    Also I love that dress! What brand?? I’m looking for a new maxi, I only have solid prints so far!

  • Maddie April 30, 2012, 12:16 pm

    love you for your honesty. let’s get mellow mushroom sometime soon!!

  • Gwen Poth April 30, 2012, 12:18 pm

    Gorgeous dress!

  • Caitlin April 30, 2012, 12:18 pm

    Well, I – for one – am extremely envious of your sweaty run πŸ™‚

    Thanks for coming!!!

  • Caitlin @ This Bride's Joyride April 30, 2012, 12:21 pm

    Honestly two years ago I actually said to many people that I never wanted kids. I even remember telling my friends that I was worried at some point I’d have to make all new friends (who didn’t want kids too). Now two years later, I’m engaged and I can’t wait to have a family. I’m still not ready to have a family quite yet but my mindset has changed so much from never wanting kids to absolutely wanting kids someday. You never know how fast your mindset or circumstances can change! I will say though that even though things change (and it’s hard not to feel sad about it) my current friend’s with new babies still love hanging out! They love getting to talk to a friend about non-baby stuff!

    I love the maxi dress! πŸ™‚

  • Chrissy (The New Me) April 30, 2012, 12:26 pm

    I’m almost 30, getting married in November, have a zillion friends with small kids…. and still don’t think I want to have children. Like you, I have so much going on, so much I still want to do, but most of all – I am really satisfied with my life as it is, and I don’t really want to change that. I guess there’s still time to change my mind, but I am perfectly content to the crazy Aunt to my friends’ lovely kids for the rest of my life.

  • Whitney April 30, 2012, 12:26 pm

    I am right there with you about kids! All of my friends around me are having kids and I don’t have any desire to be in that stage right now. Hubs and I have been married for a year and we are enjoying being selfish and enjoying each other. And I just know that my days of training for marathons would be diminished. My mom always says you will know when you are ready so I will just go with that for now πŸ™‚

    Good to see you running!! πŸ™‚

  • Tiffany April 30, 2012, 12:27 pm

    Sometimes its hard to imagine your life with a little one added to the mix but I’m sure when the time is right and you do have a baby you won’t remember how life was before the baby. Priorities change, and so does your life but in a very happy and positive way. It might be a bit difficult at first trying to adjust to a new way of life but once you get a routine set up and things flow more smoothly you will be quite content.

    From reading your blog it seems as though you have such a calm and positive view about life that I’m sure you will be a great mother πŸ™‚

    By the way the dress is beautiful on you! I’m looking for summer dresses too! They are perfect as the weather starts to warm up a bit! Summer time!! πŸ™‚ haha

  • Sara April 30, 2012, 12:31 pm

    I felt the same way about having kids – I knew it was something I “should” want, and I figured I’d regret it if I didn’t, but I was still somewhat ambivalent. I have never been one of those women who is obsessed with babies, and I’ve never spent much time hanging out with other people’s kids, so I worried about whether I’d be a good parent (and even if I’d like my own kid!) I am also a very type-A person who does not like changes to my routine (especially when it comes to working out – I have been an endurance athlete/runner for nearly 20 years) and I worried about my ability to adapt to the completely different lifestyle of parenthood. I also worried about whether my identity as a person (part of which is my identity as an athlete) would be swallowed up by the role of being a mother. Would I still feel like “me”?

    My son is now 5 months old and becoming a parent has been the most amazing journey. It does totally change your life in mostly wonderful ways (not gonna lie, who really loves dealing with a diaper blowout πŸ˜‰ but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I don’t feel like I had to sacrifice any part of my identity to become a mom – I’ve just added to it. I know it’s hard not to feel pressure to start having kids when you get to be a certain age or when all your friends are having kids (my husband and I are 34 and for YEARS we were the only people we knew who were our age and didn’t have kids). Just remember everyone’s path is different and there is no “right” time to have kids, if you choose to at all. I will say that I highly recommend parenthood and FYI, you will NEVER feel 100% “ready.” πŸ™‚

  • Whitney @ Whit Likes Fit April 30, 2012, 12:33 pm

    So I’d always wanted kids and felt like my life wouldn’t be complete without them and had always planned on having them a couple years after I got married. Well, now I’ve been married for almost 2 years and my husband and I talk about kids all the time. We still want them but we also love our non-kid life and giving that up would be hard and we’ve even had the conversation about whether or not I’d be ok if we didn’t have kids and I think I would? Who knows, we still have plenty of time to make the decision but I guess what I’m saying is that you never know where life will take you.

  • Kristy @ KristyRuns April 30, 2012, 12:36 pm

    I kinda feel similar. I want kids, but I’m not sure I’m 100% ready for the complete life change. It’s scary, but also exciting at the same time! P.S. Love the dress!

  • Laura April 30, 2012, 1:10 pm

    Love your dress! Maxi dresses are the best for summer! How does your husband feel about babies? It’s so funny because my friends with husbands all say their husbands are ready before they are! Ha! I got a little freaked out when my doctor told me she likes for her patients to be DONE with having kids by age 30??? Are you serious?!?! I told her that I had a verrryyy busy two years, then!! GOSH!

  • SD April 30, 2012, 1:36 pm

    You’re young and it’s good to have options. Just make sure you don’t wait too long if you feel that kids are definitely going to play a part in your future. The older you get, the harder it is, despite the media’s portrayal of celebrities having kids well into their 40s.

  • Michelle April 30, 2012, 1:36 pm

    First, sorry I missed you ladies at the shower! We were out of town for a family event πŸ™ Second re: babies…I know exactly how you feel. I have never wanted children and now it is so hard to relate my long time friends who have had children recently. We were at a two year old bday party for one of them the other day and all of my friends are talking about motherhood and birthing (etc) and I just sat there wanting to leave. I’m not so sure I will ever get to that stage in life!

  • Stephanie April 30, 2012, 1:43 pm

    I just turned 33 last week. I have two younger sisters and they each have two kids; my younger brother- and sister-in-law have two kids. My husband and I, both the oldest in our families, are the holdouts but we were never in a rush to become parents, and I’m still not feeling the pressure from myself or from our families. It’s just funny because we met in high school and of course our parents were worried about a possible pregnancy after we’d been together for a year or so and they could tell we were serious; now they wish we’d announce that a baby was on the way! πŸ™‚

    I was a babysitter extraordinaire and I enjoy my nieces and nephews (who live 2.5 and 12 hours away), and I can take my friends’ small children in small doses. I prefer babies to the toddler-through-kindergarten age range and maybe that’s what I’m afraid of – my baby will become one of those annoying little people and I’ll be stuck with him/her 24/7. (Just kidding…mostly.) I can’t give the kid back to its parent then just randomly meet up with friends for drinks and dinner like I do now, or go from work to the Y to the couch for TV time during the week.

    Like you, I’m comfortable with my life and I enjoy it. I think part of me is just scared of how big a change a baby would be, but another part is just being realistic – a baby would basically turn my world upside down and I like it right side up, thankyouverymuch.

    Don’t rush just to join the mommy club. As long as you feel fulfilled by your family, friends, work, and fun, you shouldn’t feel the pressure to have a baby just because “it’s time.”


  • Shana April 30, 2012, 1:45 pm

    I love your honesty… I feel the exact same way. Sometimes it feels like I’m being left behind when all my friends are married and having kids, but I really do love my life and know that I would not want to be where they are at… I am not ready, and I don’t know if I’ll ever be. That’s perfectly ok, but sometimes it’s hard to remember when the “norm” is to hit certain benchmarks by a certain age.

  • pamela April 30, 2012, 1:46 pm

    I read your blog every day but don’t often comment (for some reason I can’t comment on my iphone – odd). Anyway, you are still so young!!! I am 39 and have 2 little boys … but I didn’t even meet my husband until I was almost 31. He talked about kids on our first date and I thought he was nuts!! It’s OK to not be ready to have kids yet – you have TONS of time. Also, it’s OK to not want kids and to not have kids:) I have several friends with no kids and they have magnificent lives.

    I so respect the way that you live your yoga. You are DEFINITELY on your path – keep trusting it.

  • Nicole April 30, 2012, 1:46 pm

    Hi Jen, I have been reading your BLOG lately and love it! It’s fun and honest with some great ideas and inspiration. I am a 34 year old mom of 2 little ones and there is no doubt that kids will change your life. There is certainly not as much “me time” and the moments I can steal away are precious. But, there is no better fulfillment to me and I would not trade it for the world. I must say though, if I don’t get in those work-outs as much as I do, my opinion may change πŸ™‚ Check our my Blog when you get a chance. http://www.nibblesbynic.com It’s only been about 7 months, but I am having a blast with it!

  • Emily B. April 30, 2012, 1:56 pm

    First, love the dress, and I’ve never been a maxidress fan. Well done!

    Second- you definitely aren’t alone. I spent a long time not wanting kids. Then I got married and was ambivalent. My husband is super stoked about having a family someday, but I’ve been more of the mindset that yeah, I guess it will happen, but there’s too many things to do, and also dreading giving up my lifestyle in so many ways. Literally in the last two weeks, I’ve had the sudden realization that I’m ready and looking forward to it all. Professionally we’re still not quite there, but it’s nice to know that I won’t be freaked out when the time comes. Well, don’t get me wrong, I’m still PETRIFIED of the whole labor thing, but I’m not for the stuff after that anymore. So maybe it’ll also just change for you. Or maybe not. And that’s ok too. It’s between you and your husband, and whatever you guys decide will definitely be right for you.

  • Christina April 30, 2012, 1:59 pm

    I think the best advice anyone ever gave me is that you will never truly be “ready” to have a child – but at some point you may be ready to THINK about having a baby. Then you will be ready to get pregnant. Then you will have nine months to be pregnant and get ready to have a baby. You only have to be ready for the next step, so don’t get too caught up in being ready for something that is five steps down the road. To be honest, I was TERRIFIED when I found out I was pregnant (and I was 35 at the time!) – but I had nine months to adjust to the idea, and now my daughter is 3 months old and I couldn’t imagine not having her in my life. Just take it all one step at a time!

  • Stacy @ Say It With Sprinkles April 30, 2012, 2:47 pm

    I’d have loved to try both the gluten free pizza and the cupcakes, yum!

    I have to admit, I’m in the same boat with the idea of babies right now – completely terrifying, and I’m nowhere near being ready or excited about the possibility! I feel like there’s so much about myself and my life I still need to figure out. Everyone is different, and to each their own! =)

  • Brittany (healthy slice if life) April 30, 2012, 2:59 pm

    I hate that I had to miss the shower because I was out of town. It looked like fun and I would have loved to see everyone!
    SOmetimes I still look around and wonder how I got here, married with a baby girl. I love my life and part of that is ensuring that I make time to do things that make me, me. David and I both make sure we continue to grow as individuals and as a married couple while we expand our family. I couldn’t be happier, but think decisions about marriage and kids are incredibly personal in deciding when they happen and even IF they happen. To each their own!

  • jennyv April 30, 2012, 3:12 pm

    My husband and I will be married for 5 years this July and we’re the only ones out of our wedding party that do not have children… pretty interesting considering only one other couple had been married before us! That said, we are content in our life right now — we just opened a practice of our own which brings on its own level of stress — and adding a child to the mix doesn’t sound too great to us.

    There have been times where my mom-friends have said things to me like, “Don’t you want one?” as they are so excited about their own children… and all I can do is smile. One, because I don’t (at this point!) and two, you never know what’s in your fertility cards… time will tell! I’m just happy they are enjoying their lives — just as I am mine!

    I guess my philosophy is just to stay present — an age or relationship status doesn’t mean you have to have babies. πŸ™‚

  • Kristy April 30, 2012, 3:25 pm

    i’m 35 with no kids…yet. i’ve been married for almost 3 years. i really don’t think it’s anything you are really ready for though.

    i love maxi dresses and wear them all the time!!

  • Liaa April 30, 2012, 3:50 pm

    I can kind of relate to how your feeling with the baby thing, except for me its getting married. A lot of my friends are settling into relationships, long term stuff. Honestly, that freaks me out. I’m still young and don’t want to be married for a while, but I feel at the same time like I will lose touch with some friends if I’m not moving forward in life the way they are. Maybe that’s just a silly thought though. I love your dress, I don’t think I could pull or the maxi dress look!

  • Carrie April 30, 2012, 4:00 pm

    You know it’s an intense run when bugs are drowning on your face!

  • Jen April 30, 2012, 4:42 pm

    Im glad there are other people who feel similar to me! My friends are all havin babies right now and its lut my mother into baby mode. My husband and i do not want kids ever at least at this point. I dont nver anymore bc i once thought id never get married and now i am but the thought of kids just doesnt do anything for me. I love my friends babies but i honestly feel more love in my heart when i see a cute puppy than when i hold or see a baby. Oh well. We are happy with our lives but it can be annoying when people tell us that we will change our minds. I mean i guess we could but i geniunely feel its not for me. Plus im more open to adoption. I have so many friends who want a ton of kids bc ” they love them so much” then why not have one or two of your own and then give a good loving home to a child desperate for one? Touchy subject sometimes. Thanks for bein open. I feel like all my blogs are bein taken over by babies and while im glad for them i cant relate! Thanks for sharing!

  • Jess April 30, 2012, 6:26 pm

    Love your blog and your maxi dress! I completely relate about the kids issue!! I have always wondered if I would ever have that feeling of “I want a baby!!”. So far, haven’t had and don’t know if I ever will and both my husband and I are okay with that. Like you, we have so much going on and LOVE our life the way it is and can’t really see how a baby fits into that world! You will definitely figure out what is right for you! Hope you have a great week!!

  • kat April 30, 2012, 9:00 pm

    Well, I don’t have to tell you how I feel about having babies, we’ve had that discussion. πŸ˜‰ Suffice to say that we are SO HAPPY with our child-free lives, and at 37, I don’t see that changing. Too many things to do, other priorities. That’s really what it comes down to, is priorities. It’s either a priority or it’s not. If it is, you will happily sacrifice some wonderful things for it. If it’s not, you may never want to give up some of the things that come with a child-free life, and that’s OK. Traveling is high on our priority list (as is having money to put toward it!), and having kids is not conducive to that. Plus, we love our doggies. πŸ™‚ Do what feels right to you!

  • Becca April 30, 2012, 9:03 pm

    Love your dress! Very pretty. I think everyone has different goals, lifestyles, dreams and ambitions. There is no right or wrong, I think it is great that you are so honest. As long as you are doing what you enjoy and what makes you happy, that is all that matters πŸ™‚

  • annie May 1, 2012, 7:42 am

    thank you for this post. sometimes it seems as though i’m the only one w/ these feelings. i have never been drawn to babies or kids, but i guess assumed that my biological clock would start ticking at some point. but at 33 i still have zero desire to experience any of that. it is really becoming a sticking point in my marriage. he has always definitely wanted kids, and we both thought i would eventually come around, but i’m still not there and not sure if i ever will be. it’s very difficult to already feel abnormal, then have all of your friends and family constantly pushing, and on top of that have your feelings/choice hurt your marriage. anyway, thanks for letting me know i’m not as abnormal and alone as i sometimes feel!

  • Heather C. May 1, 2012, 9:08 am

    I’m 36 and my husband and I are childless by choice. We’ve been married 12 years (together for 15). I heard Oprah say a long time ago – “you can have it all, just not all at the same time.” I kinda live by that motto. I love my career/business. I love my dogs and my volunteer work. I love my routine. I’m not unfulfilled. I’m not longing looking at children playing with their families. I like kids – heck my husband is a teacher – but I don’t want to raise one. I figure if I wake up one day and I feel like I must parent, there are plenty of children in this world who need love. My mother has finally given up guilting me about not making her a grandmother. It really is the outside pressures that often cause the most problem. I had one friend tell me she wanted us to have kids so we could all be miserable together. No thanks. Oh – and we have a very interesting group of friends – older couples who have older kids, younger couples with no kids, same-sex couples, etc. It is every enriching to have such a diverse support group where you talk about more than poop and day care.

  • Tiff @ Love Sweat and Beers May 1, 2012, 9:55 am

    Awww, all the bellies are so cute! I know what you mean about friends getting to ‘parenting age.’ Ugh… I don’t feel old enough yet, though I know my mom was younger than I am when she had me. Oh well… to each her own. At least the food and the company was good, right? πŸ˜€

    (I’m not at all surprised to see Jen in orange, and I’m loving the maxi dresses!)

  • Angie May 1, 2012, 10:48 am

    Jen, you’d be a great mom now and you’ll be a great mom later! Love you!

  • Nicole May 1, 2012, 3:33 pm

    My feelings exactly–it’s hard not to feel like the odd woman out considering baby-making is currently not on my to-do list. And I feel a sense of shame admitting that it may never be…

  • Miriam@Bellaspire May 1, 2012, 4:28 pm

    I can totally relate!! I’m not nearly as busy as you are but I still can’t imagine having a baby right now!! It’s been neat watching Emily’s (Daily Garnish) transition into mommy hood. She definitely doesn’t blog as much but it still doesn’t mean I don’t read when she does. I’m sure you’ll know when the time is right, for now you’ve got the cutest little (furry) baby πŸ™‚

  • Madison @ Espresso and Cream May 2, 2012, 11:07 am

    Thanks for sharing your heart and talking with such honesty, Jen. I feel as if there is a lot of pressure to want to have children by a certain age, or all together. Although I’ve always thought kids were in my future and knew I wanted them at some point, now that my husband and I are married, I’ve been thinking about it a lot more. I feel as if we have such a great thing going that I can’t imagine wanting that to change. And some part of me feels like I’m doing something wrong for not having this crazy desire to have kids, especially when others ask me when we are going to. I hope that when the time is right, I do get that desire.

  • Heather May 4, 2012, 10:30 pm

    Thank you for your honesty–I have 3 little ones and have been a runner for 12 years. I’m running my 4th full marathon in June and just ran my 10th (I think) half marathonlast month. It’s tricky but I love that the other morning, my 3 and 5 year old kids thought their pajamas looked like running clothes and asked if we could go for a run. I couldn’t say no to that. So out we went on a beautiful morning. We spent 2 miles chatting, stopping, running, talking about the birds, etc. We came home and had a green smoothie for breakfast. It’s a journey and a balance. They are amazing little people and we teach each other along the way. There’s no perfect answer, things end up looking a bit more messy than they did before with kids, but things that were important to me before being a Mommy are still important now and still find their way into my life–and my kids get to see that. Anyway, just sharing my experience just for the sake of sharing. You are an amazing woman with gifts to give the world, within the walls of your home and beyond. Best of luck in your journey!

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