Juli Williams Lifestyle, Photography, Fashion, & Motherhood blog.

Baby #2 on the way

It's been a crazy ride to get to this point in this pregnancy, but we are still here. I kept questioning myself on wether it was time to share or to keep this pregnancy to myself and family, but I've been told by the doctor that everything seems to be going normal and I should slowly resume with my normal activities, so I'm taking baby steps.

I made my first doctor's appointment after a positive pregnancy test, to follow tradition with my first I only took one test and told myself to wait to be confirmed by a doctor. I got some blood tests done, and I finally got the call that I was indeed pregnant, followed by some not so great news, my progesterone levels were extremely low and that meant I was at risk for miscarriage. I didn't know how to take that. From the moment I took the pregnancy test I had been feeling like this wasn't meant to be, that there was something off, it was different from my first pregnancy.

However, I had to keep going, I had to keep living and going on with life as usual; but that's when small cramping began and I started seeing some spotting. I have to admit that at that time it was really difficult to pray, not because I didn't know that God was in control, it was because I feared His will for me wasn't for me to keep this baby. It's difficult at times to come to terms with the sovereign will of God when it doesn't go with our desires, and though I couldn't bring myself to pray, I knew that everything would be okay. That He was in control and that whatever the outcome He would be with me.

A couple of weeks of continued cramping, I awoke one night with a horrible sharp pain on my lower side accompanied with bleeding. I called my husband as my daughter had awaken as well and I cried to him, "I don't want to lose my baby, I don't want to lose my baby!" We called the doctor and she advised us to head to the emergency room. We dropped off our daughter with our parents and headed to the ER.

It was a long wait, and a very uncomfortable ultrasound later, that we got the good news that there was still a heart beat. It was the greatest feeling of relief in my life. I was able to go home, with the order to rest and take it easy as much as possible.

Saying that to a mom with a toddler. Ha. I knew this wasn't going to be easy. Thankfully my parents and my in-laws stepped to help me with Mia as I regained my strength. Being on bed rest, not being able to move much, to drive, and barely with enough energy to get out of the house for weeks, was really debilitating. But slowly but surely the bleeding and cramping stopped and I started to feel morning sickness. I honestly couldn't be happier to start feeling these symptoms. Let me be clear, I do not enjoy morning sickness whatsoever! But it did give me a sigh of relief that I was progressing normally through my pregnancy.

Finally four weeks later I went in for an ultrasound that showed a strong heart and a little squirmy peanut.

After a normal and pretty easy pregnancy with my first, I was given a preview of what millions of women go through. Losing a child in pregnancy has to be an awful and I think lonely journey for a woman. And even more difficult to lose a child after birth.

It makes me realize that I really don't know what things I will encounter as a woman and as a mother, but I do have the strong foundation of the greatest hope, in Jesus Christ, my Lord. I wouldn't know how to do this life without Him, and I don't ever want to know. I know even more than ever that my children are His, and His alone, and I've been given the amazing opportunity to see His work and plan in each of them. And for that I am so thankful.

Baby Williams you are already so so loved.

Family Christmas Cards with Tiny Prints

For about four years I've been in charged of creating my family's christmas cards. It is probably my favorite thing about Christmas all together. I love coming up with the theme for the photos, picking the card design and choosing and presonalizing all of the add ons, which I will be sharing with you below. There's so much to choose from.
For the past four years I have been using Tiny Prints to print our Christmas cards because I truly love their stunning and modern designs, as well as how easy it is to personalize every detail of our Christmas cards.

So let me share with you some of the many options I chose to personalize this years christmas cards.

1. Card Design
The first and more obvious are the card design. I am always a fan of gold for Christmas. I decorate my house in white and gold for the holidays because I feel it's very classy and less traditional. So this year I went with a gold glitter design.

2. Envelopes

Next, I also personalized the envelopes. Following the gold theme I chose these beautiful envelopes with small gold details. When using Tiny Prints, you can now address your envelopes for printing! Which means that you can now add the names and addresses of all of your recipients so you don't have to hand write each one. Seriously a time saver, as well as a great solution for this girl who has horrible hand writing, to make sure my christmas cards look super fancy shmancy ;)

3. Envelope Liners

The next thing you can personalize are the envelope liners, you can choose from different colors or designs, but this year I thought it'd be a nice touch to add a little message when the card is opened.

4. Personalized Postage Stamps

Finally, and probably my favorite is that you can save yourself a trip to the store for stamps and not only order but personalize your stamps too!

There are so many options of beautiful christmas cards and personalization options that can make your christmas cards so special this year. It really is one of my favorite things to do for the holiday season, and I always look forward to receiving christmas cards myself. It's such a special time to remind each other that we care and think about them.

Thank you to Tiny Prints for collaborating with my to create these stunning cards. I seriously could not recommend them enough.

Tiny Prints - Thanksgiving Sale

One Year Update

Mia has turned one and life has changed drastically. On her birthday I shared on my Instastories how quickly that baby stages passes. And oh, does it pass very fast! My now toddler, has brought so many surprises to our new stage, a lot of new learning experiences and some very sweet things like giving mommy cuddles and kisses on demand, I am soaking up every minute of that stage, and also letting her personality shine more and more.

We are at the stage where everything is "No". No, no, and no. I remember, before I had Mia, a friend that had studied childhood education had told me it was important to avoid saying "no" so much to children so they wouldn't always say it back. But oh, do I laugh at that now. Of course I want to say yes more! But when my child wants to play with the TV electrical outlet with multiple cables plugged in, all I want to say is "NO!". Of course, my husband and I have tried to baby proof the house as much as we can, but she somehow always finds a way to find something dangerous. I literally feel like I am just trying to keep her alive, more than parenting.

But I do have to say that being a mom has gotten a bit easier as time goes on. The challenges are different but I think just having been doing this for a year really helps get into the swing of things a lot faster. And it also helps that she is mobile and is learning to communicate, which at times, has made things a bit easier for me.

As far as work, I have no started working for an online website called Motherly. Which is a resource for mothers with inspirational articles as well as informative articles from planning a pregnancy to the preschool years. You can check out some of my articles HERE.

Working with Motherly has been a blessing. I love the ladies that I get to work with, and I love the causes in which we work to help mothers in every stage accomplish all the things they want to do in life.

As far as working from home, it's definitely been a challenge. Finding the time to work when Mia naps or after she goes to bed is so difficult at times, when that's the time I also have to cook lunch or dinner, or even just to take a break. It's definitely not easy and some times I wonder how I find the energy to do it. But because I love what I am doing so much, and I just cannot pass this amazing opportunity to get to have my dream job, it inspires me to keep going every single day. Motherhood is difficult. It is a constant act of serving and putting one's needs aside. And yet, I love it. I love my daughter, I love what I get to do, and most of all it has brought me so much closer to my family. And I am so thankful for each of them.

My Thoughts on Online Sharing as a Mom

Before I had my daughter I shared a post titled, To Share or Not to Share? where I talked about my limits when sharing online.

However after becoming a mom this topic got a little more serious because I am not just sharing my life, but now I'm making the decision to share my child's life online. So where do I draw the line?

This is a topic I started thinking about when I became pregnant with Mia. I had met moms who would share every single milestone and breakdown of their child's life and those who you would hardly think they were mothers because they never shared any pictures or information of their children online.

This, I realized isn't a simple answer. Most of us, as mothers, just want to protect and care for our children as best as possible. And answering the question of when to share and when no to share about our children is a question we should all think about.

Now as you know, I have a whole blog centered around the topic of motherhood, so I clearly have decided that sharing about my life and my daughter's life is okay. However, I do have my limits and today I'll be sharing my thoughts on this topic with you.

*Disclaimer: I understand each mom has their own beliefs and that we all make our own decisions when it comes to parenthood. My hope is just to bring up conversation about this topic, understanding we all do things differently.

I have decided to portray my daughter in a positive and beautiful light.

No, my child is not perfect, but hopefully if you look at my blog and Instagram you will see a beautiful, happy child. Now, I have not done this to deceive anyone into thinking she is perfect. I have done this to make sure that if she ever goes back and looks at the photos I have taken of her she will see the happy times. The times she will want to remember and not be embarrassed about the photos I posted. I do not want to share a photo of my child having a tantrum because, though she is a child and they do happen, I wouldn't want anyone to post a photo of me when I'm having a bad day and I believe she deserves the same treatment.

I want to keep some of her life private.
This is a thin line to walk through and I am making these decisions as I go. When she was born I was sharing a lot of her life through my social media accounts, and though I'm glad I did because now I can look back and see how much she's grown and changed, I have also decided that I'd rather share more of my life as a mom, than hers as a child. Because though I am a mom I also have other interests besides my child. So now I am trying to share more of my life through my social media rather than every detail of hers.

I will not share when she doesn't want me to share.
Obviously she is still a baby and cannot tell me when she doesn't want to be photographed. However it is my hope that when she does have the words to tell me I will respect her wishes. This is a decision I have also made with my husband. We have made it clear that though I am comfortable to share my life online, his life and most of our relationship remains private. And though at times it is not my favorite, I respect his point of view, because I know he is my #1 supporter behind the scenes. It is my hope that this will also carry through with my relationship with my daughter. And that she will be comfortable to let me know when sharing is okay and when it's not.

Not every moment has to be recorded.
This is a hard one to remember, because as she grows I wish I could keep her little for the rest of her life, and photos are my way to remember how little she used to be. But there are moments that I can keep in my memories instead of trying to capture them. Lately I've noticed that some her favorite moments are spent when we are together without the distraction of a camera or a cell phone. And so it should be. Because these are moments when she has my full attention. And though I might miss capturing that cute thing she did I know that is more important for me respond instead of trying to take a photo of it. Some moments should be kept just for us, and that is okay.

Most personal information should remain personal.
Before I had Mia I was somewhat careful about sharing phone numbers, addresses and specific dates and times. After having her I became extra strict with myself to make sure that I never shared this kind of information through my social media. Her safety is my first priority and though I cannot control everything that happens around us, I am responsible for making sure that our personal information remains private.

What are some of your beliefs on sharing online when it comes to motherhood?

A Little Getaway at the Diplomat Resort & Spa

For my Mother's Day present my husband treated me to a full day at the Spa at the Diplomat Resort & Spa. The hotel was beautifully decorated, with two pools, a splash park for kiddos and the most stunning beach views. My spa day and my stay has been one of the best presents he has given me. After being pregnant and carrying a little baby everywhere I go my back was full of knots and tight muscles. I've never enjoyed a massage as much as I have that day. Mia has given me the strongest arms I've ever had but the worst back with it too.

Now I understand why moms love to get massages for Mother's Day we literally need them, lol. My getaway was really amazing, the first day I stayed in the Spa for most of the afternoon and at night my husband joined me for dinner and took me to my favorite restaurant to get pizza, Andiamo! If you live in Miami and you haven't been you must. The pizza is amazing and since most of the restaurant is outside sitting at night it's an awesome environment. And it's pet friendly too! So bring on the pooches.

The next day we enjoyed our day at the beach. It was magical! Though by the end of it I did miss my Mia baby, it felt good to go back into my mom roll relaxed and refreshed. I hope you had an amazing Mother's Day and you celebrated all those beautiful moms in your life. They deserve it. :)