Archive for February, 2014

Birth, Tears, and Fears

February 24th, 2014

It’s a Mama-kind-of-Monday.  And with everything I have to do today, I wanted to take a minute and sit and relax with a cup of tea, and just think about “mom stuff” for a minute, before the day moves on to school and work and everything else.  As this upcoming birth fast approaches, I realize […]


Posted in: Mums & Mamans
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It’s a Mama-kind-of-Monday.  And with everything I have to do today, I wanted to take a minute and sit and relax with a cup of tea, and just think about “mom stuff” for a minute, before the day moves on to school and work and everything else.  As this upcoming birth fast approaches, I realize that I spend a lot of time flashing back to Piper’s birth, and trying to sort through my feelings and emotions.  Her birth was on the traumatic side for me, and it took me a long time to heal emotionally afterwards.  I have fears about this one that stem from her’s that I’m praying about and trying to figure out.

Some of you know Piper’s story, others don’t.  My intent by sharing parts of it here is not to join in on the one-upping each other that so many people do with labor stories- this is how mine was worse than yours… etc…  I just want to share some of my heart, and my fears, and maybe encourage some people who may have had similar circumstances.

I was sent to the hospital in an emergent state due to sudden onset sever preeclampsia, labor was induced, and 24 hours later Piper was pulled from me with forceps.  The placenta had failed, there was no amniotic fluid left, and she had ingested so much meconium that they had to suction it out of her.  My body never naturally went into labor, and nothing about the entire process ever seemed normal.  I felt like I was missing some sort of transition that comes with going into labor, and working through the process of delivery.  The medicine I had to be on to prevent seizures caused me to be so out of it that I have vague memories of the entire process, but not much is concrete.  What I do remember is not being able to see or focus on my daughter when they handed her to me for the first time.  I remember my husband crying and whispering over and over “don’t you love her so much?!”.  I felt nothing… I had heard all my friends who had babies say that holding their baby for the first time they feel this sudden rush of love and emotion like never before.  I had none of that.  And I felt horrible.  Like am-I-an-awful-mother kind of horrible.  It was all in the medicine but it defined so much of the experience for me that I still have a hard time looking back on her birth.  Because of the preeclampsia and risk of seizures, I had to stay on the same medicine for 24 hours after she was born. During that whole time I had double, blurry vision, barely any emotion, and only a few memories.  It took a very long time for me to feel like I had attached with Piper the way most moms talk about from birth on, and I don’t mean a long time as in just a few days…  Recovering from birth was painful physically, but it was a much longer and harder process recovering emotionally.  I felt like part of the experience had been taken from me, and nothing can replace those first few moments with your child.

My biggest fears this time aren’t the physical pain, but that things will be normal and I’ll look back on Piper’s birth and feel the hurt again.  Hurt that she didn’t have what this baby will, and that if things go normal this time, I’ll have fonder memories and a better time with this baby than with her.  I love her so much that it hurts to think that she and I had to miss out on that.

Everyone loves to talk about their birth stories, I want to be open about mine because if you’ve dealt with any of these emotional struggles, I want you to know it’s ok.  It’s ok to have an experience different from someone else’s.  It doesn’t mean you’re an awful mom, it just means you may have had more to work through at the beginning.  If you struggle with things like this, it means you’re a mom who loves your child so much that you still hurt that you didn’t feel that way at the beginning.  It means you’re doing things right, and it’s ok to move towards letting the past pain heal.

I struggled with depression after her birth, because I didn’t know how to deal with the emotional recovery.  Talk to someone, open up.  I didn’t, and now I’m still trying to figure out how to move onto the next birth…   Don’t compare yourself to other people’s stories and experiences.  What you have with your baby is your own.  Cherish that, and don’t try to live up to standards that don’t really exist.

We’re all working through our own kinds of pain and hurt, whether from a labor that didn’t go as planned or from something else.  My prayer for you is that you have the best support system surrounding you that you can have, and if not, please call me, I’d love to sit down with a cup of tea and cry and laugh with you.

Have a wonderful Mama-kind-of-Monday.

Much much love, Katherine

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DBW: Take the Time

February 22nd, 2014

As soon as you have kids, life changes.  It goes a little crazy suddenly…  And it took us a long time to get back to finding our “us” rhythm.  Our chance to be adults, relax, and be in love with each other without worrying about baby this and toddler that and when does the next […]


Posted in: Dear Brides & Wives
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As soon as you have kids, life changes.  It goes a little crazy suddenly…  And it took us a long time to get back to finding our “us” rhythm.  Our chance to be adults, relax, and be in love with each other without worrying about baby this and toddler that and when does the next diaper need to be changed.  To just sit back and breathe and think about just each other.  I wouldn’t change adding Piper to our lives, or our soon-to-come baby #2, not for a heartbeat!  I’m just finally admitting to the amount of adjustment it took for our marriage…

All in all, we’ve had a pretty easy and oh so incredibly enjoyable marriage.  But adding a baby to the mix will throw anyone for a loop, and you have to have a strong foundation.  You have to still find ways to talk to each other about the things you talked about pre-baby, you have to still date each other, you have to still have moments to connect with your best friend.  And you have to open up and truly share what’s on your heart.  (That’s a hard one for me still!)

Chatting with a friend recently, I got some amazing advice that inspired me and has been wonderful for us.  At the end of Piper’s day, once she’s in bed, we sit down with a drink (it’s been juice lately, but the wine will come soon enough again… haha) in our new “parlor” chairs and just talk for a while.  We catch up from our day, we talk about goals and dreams, and we’re just us.  We sit down in a peaceful corner of our house and breathe for a minute.  As soon as weather permits, I can’t wait to move down to the front porch for our nightly “adult time” as Guillaume calls it.

These peaceful minutes have become one of the highlights of our evening for both of us.  We don’t make it to those chairs every evening, but every evening we do I can see the positive effect it has on our marriage.  When you love your children with all your heart, sometimes it’s easy to put your marriage on hold for a couple “minutes”, which easily turn into hours and years.  I can’t stress how absolutely important it is to yes, love your children with all your heart, but remember that you loved each other first.  Every night when he gets home, Piper squeals “daddy!!” and runs to the front door, it makes my heart melt!  And every evening, he picks her up and carries her into the room where I am, and tells her (in French!), “first, a kiss for mommy, then Piper.”  And without fail, every time he kisses me when he’s holding her, she has to make sure she’s not left out, so she leans in to make sure the next one is for her.  I can’t get enough of this kid.  Or her dad.

Take the time, it’s the things you fight for the most that are the most worth saving.

xoxo

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Tradition?

February 16th, 2014

And The Bride Wore White part 2!  Our February mini-series on picking your perfect wedding dress! “And the bride wore white”.  It’s a traditional phrase; you’ve heard it before a million times.  But why did she wear white?  Do you have to wear white?  What should your wedding dress mean?? Traditionally, a wedding represents a lifelong […]

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And The Bride Wore White part 2!  Our February mini-series on picking your perfect wedding dress!

“And the bride wore white”.  It’s a traditional phrase; you’ve heard it before a million times.  But why did she wear white?  Do you have to wear white?  What should your wedding dress mean??

Traditionally, a wedding represents a lifelong commitment and covenant between two people, who are making a promise to each other, in sickness and in health, in all times good and bad, to push through and stick it out.  No if’s, and’s, or but’s, divorce is not an option.  And traditionally white represents purity; a bride who is a virgin and a couple who have been waiting for each other.  But does this even exist in today’s culture?

I’ve struggled a lot with this post (as in starting it over and over again) trying to figure out what to say.  I have personal opinions and beliefs, and I’m not here to push those on you, but I would love to share a little more of my story with you, because I think it definitely defined some of what my dress meant to me, and I’d love to journey with you as you figure out what you want your wedding dress to mean to you.

For us, our wedding represented all of those things I listed above.  It was a promise, a commitment, and a decision.  And yes, I was still a virgin when I married my husband.  It was one of the hardest things I’ve done, and also one of the most rewarding, and I think it has had an extraordinary impact on our marriage.   But our culture today has defined marriage as something very different, almost like a toy to be played with, instead of something precious to be treasured, and that’s what I want to show my brides.  That each and every one of them is a treasure, and a precious jewel, and they deserve to be treated like that.  And they deserve to treat themselves like that.  Marriage, real and true committed marriage, is an extraordinary experience.  Someone who loves you for who you are, and someone who you’re not trying to constantly prove yourself to every waking minute is an amazing feeling.  And it’s all worth the wait to find that person.

What you want your wedding to mean, and your wedding dress to symbolize for you is a journey you have to wander down yourself, I can’t give you those answers.  But I would love to walk with you down that road and help you discover and dream.  Should you wear your grandmother’s or your mom’s dress?  Maybe, maybe not.  Should you wear white?  Absolutely, if that’s the color you want to wear.  It’s your wedding dress, and you have to find its meaning for yourself.  Go through your box of clippings and your pinterest page, sit there and daydream about all your 5 year old princess memories, and take a minute to sit back, relax, and search your heart for what you’re really looking for.

“You have captivated my heart, my sister, my bride; you have captivated my heart with one glance of your eyes, with one jewel of your necklace.”  Song of Solomon 4:9  You are a beautiful, captivating woman, who should be loved and treasured, and feel like a princess in the dress of your dreams.  You decide what it means to you.

 

Next week, Part 3: getting into the shopping experience, all the little details, and what your must-haves on your dress list are! A little less serious, a little more fun, but still touching on everything close to my heart; YOU, my brides and friends, and making sure your day is perfect!

xoxo

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My “Real” Valentine’s

February 14th, 2014

Good morning and Happy Happy Valentine’s Day!  That day when society tells you to binge on chocolate, smell the roses, and spend lots of money on an expensive dinner, and that if you don’t have someone to give you all those things then you might just not be loved or pretty enough…  ouch!  I never […]


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Good morning and Happy Happy Valentine’s Day!  That day when society tells you to binge on chocolate, smell the roses, and spend lots of money on an expensive dinner, and that if you don’t have someone to give you all those things then you might just not be loved or pretty enough…  ouch!  I never actually had a “real” Valentine’s until I was dating my now husband.  I loved valentine’s day in elementary school, you know the kind, when everyone in the class brings something in for everyone in the class, and they get in trouble if they skip someone, so you’re safe, and you go home with a massive sugar high!  And then came middle school, where suddenly valentine’s were only from a “boyfriend” or if you were best friends with THAT girl.  And me, well, I never was…  High school calmed down a little, the pain of being left out wasn’t as bad because we were partially over our awkward middle school gangly zit covered stage.  But partially not…  Anyways, I was never the one to get the roses or the gold necklace or the box of chocolates, it apparently wasn’t my calling in life… I did spend one valentine’s eve making adorable DIY valentine’s for all my friends with one of my cousins, sitting on her floor, wearing super cute pj’s that we went out and bought specially to wear.  No big surprise the career I chose is it?!

Flash forward a couple years to real life, and “real” valentine’s.  Our first valentine’s together started one of my favorite traditions- we went out to breakfast.  (Fewer crowds than dinner, and oh so relaxing.)  It doesn’t happen very often that we get to keep the tradition, usually the day falls on a week day work day, so it’s off to the office with a hug and a kiss and a see you in the evening babe, but every once in a while…

So yes, I have found my Valentine, and my middle school fairy tale dreams of what the day should be do actually come true now, and yes I love it.  But if he forgot valentine’s day all-together I would totally forgive him in a heartbeat, because being married means that each and every day I get to be his valentine, regardless of whether that means a gift or not, and each and every day I have someone to say I love you to, without being scared in that middle school way that they’ll laugh in your face and talk about you on the bleachers.   I couldn’t ask for anything better…

xoxo

vday cover

Coming soon… Part 2 of the mini-series on finding the perfect wedding dress, and a new Dear Brides and Wives!

 

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Valentine’s Cards!

February 9th, 2014

    Happy Valentine’s Day from KEBridal!  For all you last minute shoppers and gift-searchers, we’re offering Valentine’s Cards!  They’ll be shipped out the same day you order, so hurry up and they’ll be waiting for you in your mailbox, ready to be signed and kissed and sent on.  10% of the proceeds from our […]


Posted in: Illustrations, Lingerie
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sample

 

 

Happy Valentine’s Day from KEBridal!  For all you last minute shoppers and gift-searchers, we’re offering Valentine’s Cards!  They’ll be shipped out the same day you order, so hurry up and they’ll be waiting for you in your mailbox, ready to be signed and kissed and sent on.  10% of the proceeds from our V-cards help support the Ivan Project, our project to help support orphans and families looking to adopt.  Have fun and tell someone you love them! xoxo

 

Set A: $15

3 Hand-painted cards: watercolor paper mounted on recycled brown kraft card.  Each card is unique and original, they’re each hand drawn and painted.  5” X 7”  Our specialty!

set 3

 

Set B: $12

8 cards, 2 of each design: Brown kraft card, 4” X 5.5”

set 1

 

Set C: $12

8 cards, 2 of each design: Brown kraft card, 4” X 5.5”

set 2

 

*Cards can also be ordered individually!  Set A Hand-painted cards are $6 each, Sets B & C cards are $3 each.

bra

 

 

To order: Send me an email at Katherine@katherineelizabethbridal.com or click the “Contact Me” button at the bottom of the page.  Let me know which package you want, how many, and your address.  I’ll send a confirmation email and ship them out same day, along with your bill.  (We’re working on a site with integrated shopping, but it’s not here quite yet… )  Shipping is free, and any orders over $25 will receive a 15% off coupon for our upcoming lingerie collections!

 

set 1a

 

 

Happy Valentine’s Day! xoxo

 

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And The Bride Wore White

February 7th, 2014

Or did she?!  A February mini-series all about buying the perfect wedding dress! There’s a story behind every wedding dress.  Who did you shop with?  Was it originally your great grand mother’s dress?  Did you buy the last one at a sample sale and have to fight tooth and nail with another bride for it?  […]

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Or did she?!  A February mini-series all about buying the perfect wedding dress!

There’s a story behind every wedding dress.  Who did you shop with?  Was it originally your great grand mother’s dress?  Did you buy the last one at a sample sale and have to fight tooth and nail with another bride for it?  Did it fit perfectly from the first minute, or did you fall in love with it even though it needed work?  Did you order it and the wrong one was delivered?  Yes, I know brides who all of these situations apply to…

There are so many hopes and dreams and questions that go into the search for the perfect dress, and I’ve been so looking forward to getting a chance to chat about it this month!  Everything from silhouette to color to who to shop with and who to listen to, and one of my favorites, off-the-rack or custom just for you?  Please ask any questions along the way you can think of, I’ll be so happy to answer each and every one!

I thought I’d start with my story, (since it never grows old talking about your own wedding!), and then we’ll take it from there!  No, I didn’t make my own wedding dress… (gasp?).  I had planned to all along, I had a book full of sketches, I knew what fabric I was looking for, I was all set.  And then…  A month after Guillaume proposed, I drove up to NYC for the weekend to visit him, and planned to fabric shop and dress shop (to try on various silhouettes and make sure I knew exactly what I wanted) while he was at work.  I had googled and made my list and knew what stores I wanted to venture in to, and off I was on my dress day.  I am a sincere lover of all things thrift and antique, I can lose myself for hours in a good shop, so not surprising the first place on my list was an Upper East Side designer consignment shop that used to be known for their bridal department.  I was shopping on my own, because remember, the plan was to NOT buy a dress… oops!  In the upstairs of the shop was a small bridal section with 20 or so dresses, a small curtain to change behind and a 3 way mirror with a small pedestal to stand on.  The lady, who I honestly have to say was the worst sales lady you could ever hope to encounter in the world of bridal (but I guess we should cut her a little slack, it was after all a thrift store bridal experience…) showed me around and said, “You’re only allowed to try on a maximum of five dresses, let me know when you’re ready.”  Seriously??  Oh well.  I was lucky, because I think there were only maybe 3 in my size that I liked, one that I loved.  And, the best part, it was still brand new with the tags!!  And it was by a bridal designer that I had always loved as a little girl, so it seriously felt like my special little moment.  I tried it on, and it laced up the back, so the lady said, “this is a lot of lacing, I’m not going to bother doing every hole, just one every three.”  Again, seriously??  Either way, I loved it, and I spent a really long time standing in front of the mirror considering my options.  Enough time that she got antsy and I had to ask if I could have a minute in the dressing room alone without her staring over my shoulder.  So I called up my MOH back in Va and she quickly googled the designer and style number trying to find the dress online so I could get her opinion (and find out the original price of the dress!)  and together we decided that we did love it, it was definitely the one.  Not to be dissuaded however from my hopes of making my dress, I turned it down at first and decided to go to the next store on my list to keep trying options on.  And within an hour I knew that that was a mistake and I ran back to the first store as fast as I could get there, terrified the whole time that some other bride would take it before I could get back!  It did take me a little while to get over the fact that I wasn’t making my dress like I had always planned, but the moment I put it on on our wedding day I had absolutely no regrets, and wouldn’t have wished things any other way.

That little shop on the Upper East Side is still there, and when I pass by it every once in a while I get a little smile and happy memories flash by.  They have since closed down their bridal department, and I was one of the last lucky ones to walk out of their doors with literally my dream in my hands.

Oh, and my big blooper of the day:  Somehow I didn’t know you had to have an appointment when trying on bridal gowns at real bridal salons…  Oops!  The second store I went to looked at me like I was insane when I walked in the door.  Here’s a bride all alone, no maids or mom tagging along, no appointment, and no clue.  It makes sense now, and it probably would have made sense then if I had thought a little in advance, but I guess the excitement and the romance sometimes take half your brain cells away.  (And pregnancy takes away the other half now…)

That’s just the dress part of the story, the rest of the weekend brought us our wedding rings, our save the date picture, and the start of many more memories.  Brides, what are your dress stories?!  What are your dress dreams?  I can’t wait to hear, and I can’t wait to share the next part of the mini-series- Your Grandma’s Dress: family traditions, family pressures, and what your dress means to you.

xoxo

Bignon_189

 

Photo thanks to Richmond Photographics | www.richmondphotographics.com

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The List

February 1st, 2014

What is it that you miss doing?  Do you write a million things on a list to do during the day and sit in bed at night and realize you barely got to any of it?  And then when you do count up the list of what you did, it’s full of diapers changed, meals […]

 

What is it that you miss doing?  Do you write a million things on a list to do during the day and sit in bed at night and realize you barely got to any of it?  And then when you do count up the list of what you did, it’s full of diapers changed, meals made, faces washed, furniture washed because little hands didn’t get washed, books read, and read and read again, toys played with, toys cleaned up (sometimes), baths given, bottles made, and pacifiers found…  I think “vacuum and dust” has been on my list for the last two weeks, along with laundry and making/hanging curtains.  Maybe tomorrow, at least for the vacuuming and dusting.  And I have a never ending list of things I want to sew- things just for fun, just for me, and I can’t even remember the last time I got to pull out my sewing machine for something other than school and work.  I’m living the life I never could have imagined, and sometimes I can’t tell if I’m running ten steps ahead of myself, or ten steps behind.

But what I’ve come to realize, is that it’s ok when baths and books are the most exciting thing I do all day, because they’re two of the most exciting things for one of the most important people in my world.  And lists, well, they were made to have things crossed off and added, and sometimes it’s just the list in general that needs to be crossed out.

I’m learning to be organized, and still figuring out how to keep a clean house, and I will admit that the days I get the most done around our home are the ones when people are coming over because I feel like I’ll be judged.  And I sit down at the end of the day and look at my lists and have to remind myself that it’s ok that three quarters of my goals didn’t happen, because Piper’s books got read, and she cuddled with me and showed me where her toes and fingers were, and the pretty nail polish that’s on them, and then she said “pretty”, and signed “thank you momma” when I gave her her lunch.  So all in all we’re doing ok; business may not be moving forward as fast as I wish, and the lack of curtains in our house is getting a little ridiculous considering how long I’ve had the fabric sitting in my office, but we’re happy, healthy, and we’re a family, and we’re figuring it out together.  I hope you do too, and that you never feel overwhelmed and underaccomplished when you’re doing the things that really matter…  I struggle with it, and I’m slowly learning and growing.  It’s my prayer that you can figure it out a little faster than I did/am doing!  And coming soon, as I’m working through this learning process, a new list of goals and a new calendar schedule and a new way of planning our life out.  I’m tired of sitting down at the end of the day and having to remind myself that an unfinished list doesn’t mean failure, it just means another chance tomorrow to keep moving forward.

 

p.s.  I am most definitely the person that adds something to my list that I’ve already done, just to have the fulfillment of being able to cross it off…