Monday, February 19, 2018

Celebration of Life

The past 2 weekends have been eventful for us, with our maternity shoot and our baby shower. If you follow me on Instagram, you've seen some of the pictures already. This won't be a long blog post, but I mainly wanted to share a few images with my blog readers from these special days.

We had our maternity shoot in Philadelphia, PA, and used the same photographer we used for our wedding ceremony. He is amazing and his website is here for more information and to book. Tell him Malik and Markeeta referred you!

8 months preggo

Then, yesterday we had our baby shower. It turned out beautifully, I have such great family and friends. I didn't have to do a thing except show up, they literally did everything. My bro-in-law and stepdad took pics for us, but while we wait for them to be edited and sent to us, here are some iPhone shots from some of our guests! :)

with my mom and nephew 

L to R: Sister, Uncle, and Cousin

Malik and I are just thankful, and so blessed. We appreciate everyone who took time from their busy lives to spend with us and help us celebrate our son. It means the world to us!!


Thursday, February 8, 2018

Embracing it all

I was talking to a close friend just a few days ago about embracing all of the changes our bodies go through as women to carry a child. I'll admit - I had often been afraid of what my body would do and how it would change when I ever became pregnant. This fear was more prominent in my 20s. I couldn't imagine things not being as tight or unflawed as they were (Lol). So many women are more than eager to share their horror stories of how their bodies used to look one way and then after kids, it all went downhill. I used to buy into that fear. Since getting older, and actually becoming pregnant with this beautiful boy growing inside of me, all of those thoughts dissipated. Sure, I had gotten some comments from some women here and there, telling my face was fat or I was "huge", but my sister and a good friend of mine got me all the way together. And I realized - what is happening in my body and to my body is a beautiful thing! How dare anyone try to make me feel bad or gross when there are so many women who would give anything to have this chance? To carry and bring forth another life? God has made our bodies these super powerful and miraculous vessels - I still can't fully wrap my mind around it when I sit and really think about it. Now, I look in the mirror and I embrace and accept and LOVE the new stretch marks on my thighs and butt, the way my face looks fuller and "motherly", and my ever expanding tummy. It's beautiful. I've had my husband take so many pictures of my body because I want to remember this, always. I want the memories of what God is allowing me to do right now in my life, and I celebrate it. So, if you are pregnant, or have been, and feeling bad about your body - don't allow anyone to body shame you. More importantly, don't body shame yourself! Your body will do what it needs to do in order to do this beautiful thing. Don't stress about the "snap back". Do all you can to be healthy and active, and enjoy the journey.

<3 KeetaRay

Thursday, December 28, 2017

As 2017 Comes to a Close...

Christmas has come and gone, the New Year is just a few days away. 2017 is coming to a close. From what I see online, and based on the events in the world this year, most of you are ready for 2018. I totally understand. I have been trying to focus on the positives, myself. I've had many great experiences in my life this year, and I am looking forward to next year being even better. I hope you can also reflect on the lessons learned and make 2018 more rewarding.

For awhile now, I'd say since maybe 2015 or 2016, I've periodically been taking a step back to just regroup and focus on what is important to me and my life. Something I've learned about myself is that, though it's great that I can be dependable and loyal and all that, I was constantly putting my own needs aside to support many who had no interest in supporting me or learning anything about who I was. I had to ask myself why, and STOP doing it. It was really hard for me, as these were people I held dear to my heart. But my efforts were never (or, very rarely) reciprocated. It became exhausting. Relationships can't be one-sided. Letting go was one of the best things I've done for myself this year, and that is why my own personal life has blossomed, I am sure. I've also been approaching a lot in life with a "less is more" attitude. It really helps me to keep it simple and find the beauty in everyday things that we overlook. I'm continually renewing my mind, and I look forward to what's next.

I pray that you all have an amazing New Year! I'm excited to be celebrating my 1-year wedding anniversary on NYE, enjoying my time off from work, and spending quality time with my family.



Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Reflections + Updates

The last few months have slowed me down a little bit, and I've had some time to process and reflect on things. This past year has been AMAZING for me, but it's been moving SO fast that it's nice to have some time to enjoy the blessings. I've also been re-evaluating my relationships with people in my life, which I do from time to time. It's good sometimes to see how things fit in your life as things change and as you grow. In less than 30 days, I will be celebrating my 1 year wedding anniversary. Our family has had a ton of milestones this year, with birthdays, my husband and I relocating, to preparing to welcome our first child together in a few more months. So, to be able to take it all in for a moment is so needed right now.

Speaking of welcoming my 1st child... My pregnancy has been going well so far. There have been no complications (thank God), just the typical pregnancy symptoms and aches/pains (which no one warned me about, btw). The hip & lower back pain, and occasional round ligament pain, are something else. My body pillow that hubs got me a couple months ago helps most nights but doesn't fully eliminate the discomfort. My workouts have been lightweight -- just walking a few times a week, and doing prenatal yoga stretches. I think this week I will start some light strength training (think squats, lunges). My weight and measurements are on-target according to my Dr, so - so far, so good. I've just been listening to my body and taking it easy when needed. On social media, I've been keeping things low-key. It's funny, I thought I'd be sharing every little thing online, but now that I am actually pregnant, the pregnancy and baby have become so personal to me that I'm very protective. There are some things I'd like to keep just for hubby and I, and now I do understand why some women choose not to share until much later or even when the baby is born. You open yourself up to lots of questions you may not want to answer (for whatever reason), and lots of opinions that you didn't ask for. Outside of that, people have been supportive and loving for the most part, and I appreciate that!! <3

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Trusting God's Timing... with EVERYTHING

I'll be honest. Trusting God's timing isn't always easy. Especially in the world we live in, where instant results and busyness are glorified. But from my own experience, and from what I've witnessed with others, not rushing some things has been a true blessing.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Women's Health: My Fibroid Story

2 weeks post-op at my follow-up appt

This is something I have wanted to talk about since having my own experience with fibroids and surgery to remove them in 2015. I put this post off, because of the fear of getting too personal. I'm a pretty private person but sometimes things need to be shared to help the next person. God keeps putting this on my heart to speak on, and I know so many women are struggling with this in silence (especially African American women like me). I recall feeling very alone and scared when I was dealing with this. I ended up having to have an open myomectomy to remove an 11cm uterine fibroid, and had to lean on a Facebook group for support. Sometimes, it really helps to hear from someone who has been through it and could give details so you know what to expect. So, here is my story.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Protective Styling

I'm still allowing my hair to grow out and I'm just trying to keep it as healthy as possible. I love my twist outs but my hair tends to get dry really quickly the more I wear it out. My favorite protective style right now is a part on the side, with flat twists starting in the front and combining into a low bun in the back. I can leave my hair like this for a few days for no manipulation, and my ends are tucked away. Wearing your hair up with your ends protected as often as possible helps to eliminate dryness and excessive split ends. Some of my other favorite protective styles are a high bun/top knot or small- to medium-sized twists pinned in an updo.