This post is part of my series, A Real Picture of Pregnancy, where I document my pregnancy every 4 weeks. But rather than a perfectly-styled outfit, airbrushed makeup, a clean house and the usual pregnancy chalkboard countdown, I take the photo just as my life is. A beautiful mess. Unedited and not touched up.

I’ll be honest. Up until now, every photo that I post of myself, my children or my house on Facebook, Instagram and even on this blog are the result of at least 6 shots. Multiple angles. Multiple locations. And lots of critiquing. Which one makes me look the skinniest? Which one shows the least mess? Which one has the best lighting? Which one shows the best part of my house?

After the photo shoot, the photos are cropped and edited. Anything unpleasant in the background, whether it’s a pile of toys, a street sign or my arm fat, is cut out. Then, I auto-correct the lighting, the exposure and the composition. Sometimes, I’ll even add another layer of editing for a special effect: black and white, sepia or one of the other 15 amazing tones you can add on Instagram, PicMonkey or right on my iPhone.

In this experiment, I’m ditching all of that. (I cringe just writing it!) No changing outfits. No makeup touchups (if I’m wearing any to begin with). No perfect background. And no editing or touching up.

I’ll be honest. It’s been scary. But in exposing my ugliness, I’m showing that being pretty or put-together has got nothing to do with who I am. And the same goes for you.

16 Weeks

A Real Picture of Pregnancy Pregnancy Chalkboard Countdown

It’s finally getting chilly, and we’re loving every minute of it! This was taken after the boys had spent a full day playing in our lanai, where the screen protects us from Florida’s constant mosquitos, and the cold, refreshing breeze rushes right into the house. I love the crisp air. It almost seems like it’s cleaning my house, from the inside out. That sweet little boy wearing Spiderman undies is doing great at potty-training, and he challenges me and blesses me every single day. Oh, and the fridge behind me is at least 20 years old, and a few years ago, I spray-painted it in a metallic silver color so it would look like stainless steel. The paint has since started chipping away, but it makes an excellent beer fridge.

Sweats are everything right now, and yes, these are my men’s sweats that I bought for myself at Target. There is literally nothing better. On this day, I was too lazy to dig into our “shoe box” for my Uggs (which is really a big plastic box that sits on the floor to hold the excess shoes that the closet in our rental can’t fit), so I hijacked the hubby’s slippers and called it a day.

My husband took this picture of me on a Sunday, and since I started #screenfreesundays, every Sunday has been a refreshing reprieve from the constant connectedness of every other day. On Saturday night, I power off my laptop, iPad and iPhone. And as soon as I wake up on Sunday, I feel at ease. We also make an effort to keep the TV off for the whole day (although sometimes, during the boys’ nap time or around 5pm, we do flip it on for a football game or 2).

The red wagon in the background somehow got lodged in our lanai after we used it for Halloween trick-or-treating… which, by the way, was a disaster! I kid you not. Both my husband and I came down with a stomach bug on Halloween day. (What??????) I was sooooo bummed. I literally threw up at 10am, somehow made it to the toddler’s preschool Halloween party at 11am (thought it was food poisoning at that point or wouldn’t have gone), and then spent the rest of the day miserable in bed with flu symptoms. (Thank goodness my mom was visiting to help with the kids.) But you know how much I love Halloween, so once 6:30pm rolled around, my husband and I rallied so we could at least don our family costumes and take a few pictures. I made it 5 houses before the nausea took over and I had to rush home. But even still, I’m gonna say we really owned our superheroes theme this year.

Even if both parents were mid-stomach bug when this photo was taken. #winning

A Real Picture of Pregnancy

Looking at this picture really reminds me that being happy isn’t about what it looks like. It’s about who you are. How you feel. Your attitude. Your sense of gratitude for every single day.

And that’s something you can do, no matter how dirty your house or how baggy your sweats.


I’ll be doing this through the remainder of my pregnancy, so be sure to subscribe to She Just Glows for monthly updates! If anything, my grossness and dirty house will only make you feel better about yourself, LOL.