34 Weeks

Last time I was pregnant, I remember lamenting to SO MANY PEOPLE that I was afraid once I had a kid, that I would become lost in this total mom identity. The fear of slowly sinking into a world revolving around children consumed me.

I've been a mom now for almost 20 months and I laugh at that, and I think about how many of my mom friends probably patiently nodded as they laughed inside whenever I confided in them these fears. I think being a parent is a lot different than I imagined, but certainly a lot better.

It's better because I'm not the same person. We are challenged to think every day about how the things we do or say or how we react might shape our kid's life. Reactions - that is a big one, right? Actions are a lot easier than reactions, I think. I can plan out our day all I want, but when something unexpected happens, my reactions could be everything to how she sees us, if that makes sense. I heard someone say recently that as a mother, the tone that you speak to your daughter in will be the same voice she hears as her inner voice as she grows up. At first I was like, that's dumb. And then I thought about it and realized I hear my mom's voice pop up in my head a lot, and there's probably some truth to that.

And yet, being a parent is different than I imagined because nobody has yet forced me into listening to Michael BublΓ©. And I still wouldn't wear khakis. I had this mental image of the person I would become once I had Imogen, and I'm pleased to say it is just absurd to think that one life change would turn you into this predictably boring person that you don't want to be. I did cut my hair shorter, but I have always liked my hair better short. So take that. I like who I am. A baby doesn't change that.

We still get to make time for friends, and I get to sew or paint while Imogen is napping. Josh + I get to spend time together, or make pizza, or watch our favorite shows after she goes to bed, and I still read every night (something I was always afraid I wouldn't have time for, because I had heard so many other moms say they don't have time to read). You make time for the things that are important to you. Right? I remember even when Imogen was a newborn and I barely had any sleep, once when she was napping and I was exhausted beyond belief, I stubbornly stayed awake and painted my nails instead of napping myself. I just needed that. It sounds trivial but I remember it being such a big deal that I make that decision that moment.

I'm glad that this pregnancy, I've been able to focus less on my fears of losing myself, and more on the joys that are ahead of us! I'm so excited to meet this little guy, to raise a boy. We have a little over a month to go (hopefully no more!) and we are really ready to meet him. I can't wait to see Imogen become a big sister and to see them grow up together, play together, fight together, everything. And I'm excited to see Josh with his little son. Oh yeah, and hands in the air if becoming a mom made you way more sentimental? Holy crap. Probably 3 times a day I have to tell myself to pull it together because you just never know when something is going to make you emotional. ;)

Big thanks to my friend Chelsea who was kind enough to take these photos of me after our breakfast date in Tempe on Saturday! <3 The beautiful sculpture we found was created by artist Shelby Larson.

Outfit// Shoes: Lotta from Stockholm. Jeans: Old Navy. Shirt: Gap (altered into a short sleeve top). Bag: thrifted. Necklace: a gift. Earrings: Gorjana. Photos were edited with Stella from The Signature Collection - my fav!

Pregnant in the Summer in Phoenix

"Pregnant in the summer in Phoenix, that'll be fun." - said everyone. I used to laugh and shrug it off; after all, I was pregnant through a summer in Phoenix with Imogen. Just not THIS pregnant. So I wouldn't call it super fun, but it's definitely doable! And it's nice to have friends with pools. :) But let's be honest. Being largely pregnant doesn't really feel great in any season, right? So we're just trying to stay positive, and "it's a dry heat" is a really popular phrase around here but it's really true, although even a dry heat presents its challenges in figuring out what to wear some days.

Yesterday the high was 109Β°, but we had life to live and stuff, so we decided to head out, run some errands, and take some maternity photos in the bright mid-day sun downtown. I haven't been great at documenting pregnancy this time around, so it's been nice the few times that we've remembered to shoot. And with a toddler, you just have to shoot when you can, right? No more waiting for this magic hour stuff, because magic hour happens exactly one hour after her bedtime, and that would be fun for NO ONE. Oh plus, something about feeling massively huge and insecure (32 Weeks). :) I'm the type that gains weight everywhere when I'm pregnant and I can't really relate to most maternity style posts, but I've found a few things that have worked for me this pregnancy!

1. THESE jeans have been my go-to.

They're light weight (the only jeans I can tolerate in this heat!), cheap, and stretchy. I order a size up and get a shorter length and then use the hairband around the button trick. So far this pregnancy, I've tried so many pairs of maternity jeans, and these beat them all by far. And no... Old Navy is not paying me to say this. Hah!

2. Buying shirts that you can wear after baby.

Maternity shirts, while comfy and ruched on the sides, are going to all be banned to the back of the closet once the baby comes. You'll want nothing that accentuates your post-baby belly, at all. Ever. In fact, you'll want to burn all your side-ruched shirts. So after having learned that last time around, this time, I went for oversized, flowy shirts that I know I'll feel comfortable in while I'm working on slimming down my waist after the baby comes. This shirt I found at Anthropologie actually last time I was trying to lost post-baby weight, so I know I'll still want to wear it later! (side note: I do think maternity tanks are worth the investment. I bought a few early on and they're great for wearing regular shirts over, because you'll need that extra length coverage.)

3. SHOES ARE EVERYTHING.

Lord knows those cute little feet of yours are gonna change too. My feet grew a half size when I was pregnant with Imogen! I love these clogs (the ones I'm wearing are the low wood brown oiled nubuck clogs from Lotta From Stockholm - LOVE THEM) and I also love their classic clogs because of how easy they are to put on (who wants to bend over with a giant baby belly? Not me, ever). I love the low wood clogs for how just a little bit of heel makes a gal feel a little more dressed up... and yes, they're so comfy too!

And of course I had to end it with a few photos of the one of us who isn't totally awkward around the camera. ;) Hah! My little tiny dancer. I can't help but take photos of her if she's around. You know?

It's so crazy to think that there's a little boy in there that we are going to meet in a couple months and love forever. What's he going to be like? Is he going to be like a little smaller boy version of IQ? Is he going to be so chill, or really rambunctious? Is he going to have freakishly tan legs like his sister or blindingly pale legs like his mama? Whoever you are, little guy, we already love you so much, and you are already loved by so many of our friends and family, too.

Extra sources// Imogen's shirt is from Geo Fox Apparel. Her shoes are Mini Melissa. My colorful bag was a lucky find at Junkee in Reno, NV. And thanks Josh for taking photos of us!

Team Rhodes / Last Week in Missouri

On our last week in Missouri, before we packed the living room up (the rest of the house was in boxes!) our good friend Katie Day came out to take photos of us and I'm so grateful for her for doing this!! We did a little photoshoot trade (you can see the ones I took of her family with her cutie pie newborn daughter, Nora, HERE) and I can't tell you how much these mean to us. They represent the end of an important chapter for us, a home we loved, a place where Imogen spent her first year and lots of other firsts.

Thank you so much Katie for giving us these photos! It's crazy how much has even changed in the span of two months, and it'll be so fun to look back on these, back to the time when we only had one kid, and we had this crazy beautiful Victorian house, and I wasn't mega pregnant (only a little pregnant!). :)

And that's what happens when you try to dip a pregnant broad. ;)