A Taste of Fall (Capsule Wardrobe)

     Let’s talk about fashion for a moment. Namely, how I am learning to dress for fall and winter. Most of my life was spent changing out of one swim suit and into another, so actual clothing has only begun to become important to me in recent years. I’m not exactly living in a swim suit 24/7 type of place anymore. When we first moved here, I acquired a few warm clothing items from friends, family, and yard sales. Then I was pregnant, so it was pretty much yoga pants and my husband’s sweaters for awhile. Aside from that, I have essentially the same wardrobe I had in high school and college with a (very) small smattering of newer pieces, mostly birthday or Christmas gifts. It has been a loooooooong time since I went clothes shopping for myself.
     I was introduced to the concept of a capsule wardrobe at un-fancy.com and it immediately clicked with me. I basically already practice the concept so it wasn’t really a transition to arrange my wardrobe in this way, but I did feel inspired to get my closet and clothing a bit more purposed for my life now and purge much of my wardrobe from 15 years ago. (Gracious, that’s a long time ago!) I had to decide if I wanted to build slowly with high quality pieces or start over all at once without spending more than I thought reasonable. Since I had a wardrobe mostly made up of inexpensive pieces that still looked good enough after 10-15 years, I decided to stick with buying inexpensive items and start over with a new wardrobe for fall. Granted, my previous wardrobe items weren’t worn very often for much of that 15 year period and I didn’t have two kids wiping every stain possible on me, pulling on the hems or stretching the necks of my tops either (another reason I wanted to keep this inexpensive), so we’ll see how this works for this season.
     I have always been minimalistic when it comes to clothing. I decided a long time ago that I didn’t want to own more than 50 items. That has had to evolve since adding seasons into my lifestyle and I’m still not sure about a perfect number for me so I’m not focusing too much on a specific number. Maybe that will come later as I become more experienced with this, but for now I focused my shopping on a few goals:
  1.  Layers (I love layers! It has been so much fun to experience weather that requires layers!)
  2. Neutral without being boring (Texture and color that can be flexibly worn with several outfits.)
  3. Wife-worthy and Mom-worthy (I want to look nice for myself and my husband, but I am still breastfeeding and need baby accessibility in about half my outfits)

So, here’s a taste of things I will be wearing this fall. I’m excited about making different outfits with the pieces I have because I really like everything in my closet now.

Fall Capsule Wardrobe by shannon-mick on polyvore.com


Birth Story

I want to tell you a little about how I got into the birthing realm. My own birth story of sorts. I certainly didn’t set out to become a childbirth educator. It wasn’t anything I would have even told you I was interested in 4 years ago – because I wasn’t.

Back in June 2011, after I missed my cycle AND had 2 positive pregnancy tests AND visited an OB to confirm the positive results, I finally had to believe I was pregnant. It’s not that I didn’t want to be pregnant, I did. I just didn’t believe it had actually happened. I couldn’t wrap my head around believing there was a baby human inside me. I didn’t feel any different. Shouldn’t I feel different if something huge like that was happening inside me?

I knew I didn’t want to have a hospital birth. I hate hospitals. Just walking into one makes me feel sick. It’s always been that way for me since…as long as I can remember. I also fear another person sticking me with a needle. I would much prefer to inflict my own pain upon myself. Armed with those feelings, I sought what other options I may have. We interviewed a midwife who was nice and I’m sure she was very good at what she did, but I didn’t feel comfortable with her and she didn’t accept insurance. We toured a birth center next and I immediately felt at home. I felt comfortable, supported, and encouraged there. Thus began our first outstanding midwife care experience. This birth center required first-time parents to take a childbirth education class. I put this off for a long time because I had no idea which class to take – there are so many – and I felt this was a hugely important decision that I didn’t want to mess up. There was no option for pain control at the birth center and I had no idea what labor and birth would be like, so in a way I felt my labor experience hinged on choosing the right birthing class. Which is ironic considering I chose based solely on the conversations I heard from other pregnant women at the center during my visits there. Do you see the irony? I felt this was a huge decision and I ended up choosing based on what still-pregnant women were saying. I don’t know how else to say it other than it was meant to be that I chose to take a HypnoBirthing class because it changed everything.

To feel excited rather than worried, anxious, or afraid of birthing your baby is a gift.

I knew it while in the classes that this was powerful stuff. I felt it after classes and the days in between. My confidence began to grow. I went from feeling like I better be able to handle labor because I don’t have any other choice and women for centuries before modern medicine did it and so can I to feeling excited and confident that I would do it and do it well. That was such a gift for me.

After our baby’s birth, I felt the most confident in myself, the most satisfied with myself, and overall the best I had ever felt about myself in my entire life. I just birthed a baby. I just brought one of God’s created lives into the world. I did it. Not a doctor. Not my midwife. Not an epidural. I was in awe of how God designed my body. I never knew the birthing part of myself or my body before. I told Sean I wanted to tell every woman in the world about how birth could be different from movies and the expectations first-time moms especially are subjected to. His response to me was, “So do it.” Uh,…… yes! Really? I could? I immediately started making phone calls and found out there was a practitioner course offered 4 hours away from us in 5 weeks. We went! We stayed at my grandma’s house an hour away to avoid putting our newborn in a hotel environment and I drove 2 hours roundtrip for 4 days to take the class to teach the HypnoBirthing course. Sean was awesome! He took care of a 5 week old for 10 hours a day for 4 straight days all on his own. I hadn’t even done that yet!

Now I teach parents how they can have the birth experience they dream about and I couldn’t be happier with my work. I would never have predicted this is what I would one day do, but I am grateful the Plan was in place and I intend to expand upon it as I am able. My ultimate dream would be to create a small pregnancy/birth/postpartum sanctuary in a cozy bungalow someplace where I and other birth professionals will offer fertility counseling, labor support, placenta encapsulation, prenatal and postpartum yoga, pregnancy massage, aromatherapy, acupuncture, and lactation consulting in addition to HypnoBirthing.

It is good to dream. =)