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 some chic pregnancy chalkboard pictures, I take the photo just as my life is. A beautiful mess. Unedited and not touched up.

Well, Christmas is over. Did anyone else wake up on December 26 with a distinct sigh of relief, paired with a euphoric feeling of that-was-fun-but-thank-goodness-it’s-over? Man, I am tired!

Now that the holidays are over, it’s a natural time of year to focus on getting fit and feeling your physical best.

In the spirit of this series, I need to be honest: I don’t.

For some reason, this pregnancy, I’ve really struggled with finding a balance between mothering, eating well and working out.

In my first pregnancy, I was able to go to the gym every weekday (because………. I had no kids), and since I was still working, I ate relatively well (because I could only eat what I’d packed in my lunch).

In my second pregnancy, I kind of went crazy, eating-wise, and found myself at my highest weight ever after giving birth. It took me almost a year to work off all the baby weight, and I swore I wouldn’t do that again.

Now, with this third pregnancy, I’m starting to feel like I’ve done it again.

With 2 little ones, everything seems harder. Grocery shopping, going to the produce market (where I was almost ticketed for leaving my kids in the car the other day), getting outside, even going to the gym. It seems like all of those tasks come with a few extra layers of planning and difficulty, now that I have 2 boys under 3 1/2. Naps, snacks, shoes, brushing teeth, sippy cups, diapers, potty-training, tantrums, fights.

I’m not telling you this to complain. I’m telling you this to be real with where I’m at in the preggo journey. It’s hard to balance it all. And I’m starting to learn that, the more kids we add to the mix, the harder these things become.

And then, there’s the eating. For the first 16 weeks, my morning sickness was so bad that I was lucky if I could choke down some Pringles and drive the preschooler to church without throwing up. Nothing tasted good. Nothing sounded good. By the time I started feeling better, we went on a 2-week trip to see family in California over Thanksgiving (bad eating), and then we got home just in time to prep for Christmas (even more bad eating). My total and complete lack of ability to enjoy food for 4 months segued into a month-long I-want-to-enjoy-food-again mentality.

Now, the truth is: I feel so far away from where I want to be, that I can’t help but think, There’s no point. (Oh, and it didn’t help that my OB told me last week that I’ve already gained way too much weight.)

I haven’t totally given up. I’ve walked or gone to the gym every day this week. Starting Monday, I also traded the donuts for green smoothies; the coffee for English Breakfast tea; and the Taco Bell for lunches like sautéed kale or homemade chicken veggie soup.

In truth, I really just want to feel good again.

I’m trying my best to give myself a break and remember that what my body is making is way more important than having skinny legs and a perfectly-round basketball-shaped torso. I need to constantly remind myself that my legacy is: my children, my husband and my heart as a mother. Not stretch marks and love handles.

(Thank goodness, right?!?)

24 Weeks

A Real Picture of Pregnancy: 24 Weeks

Do you ever feel like your kids always look so cute, but you can no longer dress yourself?

Case. In. Point.

This was taken on Christmas Day, and even though the outfit here isn’t the biggest offender, let’s just address that first. I mean, wow. My kids wore perfectly-coordinating gingham shirts and corduroys (later that day), but I was basically a hot mess of spandex and bright colors. Not that Christmas at home with 2 toddlers is a fashion show. I wanted to be comfortable, so I grabbed some teal leggings and added a glittery black maternity shirt. Then, I didn’t feel like blowdrying my hair, so I threw on a headband, put the rest of my hair in a wet ponytail and called it a day. (By the way, putting a thick headband on the I-haven’t-showered-in-48-hour, greasy hair days, and adding some earrings, sunglasses and makeup, is one of my favorite tired mom tricks!)

Now, let’s talk about the makeup. I mean, wow. Double wow. Basically, I’m so used to having to get ready in 5 minutes or less that I get into a lot of fashion trouble when I have too much time on my hands. (Like, say, a whole half hour.) The boys took super long naps on Christmas, so I had waaaaaay too much time to get crazy with the amazing e.l.f. eye makeup kit my sister got me. Teal eyeshadow, people! Teal!

A Real Picture of Pregnancy: 24 Weeks

LOL, my husband had the most frightened look on his face when I walked out of the bedroom. I told him, “I never wear makeup anymore, so I forget how to put it on.” #momgonewild

Alright, this post is getting long, but I hope you’ve enjoyed it and haven’t left by now. I wanted to end with my goals for next year.

Resolutions for 2015:

1. Focus on gratitude for the miracle of life that’s happening inside me, instead of discontent over my growing body. (See, I’m already making progress! Didn’t you think I was going to say “lose the baby weight”?)

2. Make enough money to cover this site’s monthly costs. When I started the blog in April, I never realized that there are significant monthly expenses that come with having a blog. My goal is to cover those monthly costs, so that this site can at least be in the black each month. I have a few sponsored posts coming up, and I’m thankful for your support to bring in a few pennies to keep this going!

3. Fold laundry more often. I say this every year. But every year, there is more. (Translation: this one won’t happen, but we put it here for good measure.)

4. Cut down on kid TV time. So far, I’ve been doing okay. I’m busting out the puzzles when they first wake up at oh dark thirty, and I’ve been trying to use more of the games and sets we have in bins in their closet, rather than turning on Planes for the zillionth time when they get up from naps. I would love your advice! Check out my second video blog and then leave your ideas in the comments section.

5. Be a more joyful wife.

6. Let the kids get messy. I totally saved my favorite for last. Any other moms out there hate getting out the crayons, paints, craft stuff, baking materials and even Legos because that just means more to clean up? Yep, I got ya. But I want to let my kids get messy more often. Let them enjoy creative play and making things with their hands. I actually already started this resolution the other day, when I busted out the washable paints in the kitchen. In the kitchen, people! Yes, I was so proud I even shared the moment on Instagram.

Baths were totally next, though. (I can’t give up the OCD completely.)

A Real Picture of Pregnancy: 24 Weeks Pregnancy Chalkboard Pictures

What are your New Year’s resolutions? Share them in the comments section below.

For all my past pregnancy updates, check out my whole series, A Real Picture of Pregnancy. And stay in touch! I’ll be posting my own ‘real picture of pregnancy’ until this baby pops out in April, so be sure to subscribe to She Just Glows for monthly updates.

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