I know I don’t have an in-shape body. I wasn’t in great shape before pregnancies, during pregnancies, after pregnancies and I gained more weight while breastfeeding than I did while my babies were baking in the oven. I have stretch marks, I have cellulite, I have empty tube sock tee-tahs and I’ve gone a mean muffin top. My thighs are full of thunder and lightening. My arms could come in a close race with Drogon’s wings on Game of Thrones. My double chin game is strong and up until last year…I wasn’t confident sporting any of that in a swim suit. Over the last year I’ve talked with a lot of women about body image and swimsuit season. I’ve compiled a few key things I think are important for swimsuit wearing this season.
R U L E S F O R W E A R I N G A S W I M S U I T:
1. Have a Body. Love your body and teach your mind to respect it! Workout because you love yourself or don’t if it’s not your thing but love your body either way. Love the scars, the shape & curves, the stretch marks, the size..all of it; from head to toe. Love your favorite parts and your not so favorite parts. Love every square inch of the body that you wake up in every single day. Love the body that God gave you. Don’t let the world tell you what kind of body you should have or strive for. Your body is also just a part of who you are, it isn’t EVERYTHING you are. And last time I checked, I don’t think fluffy or out of shape is the absolute worst thing you can be in life. Be proud you have a body! Be proud of the things it’s done and will do!
2. Wear the swimsuit. Wear the swimsuit. WEAR THE SWIMSUIT. Wear the one that you feel lovely in. Wear the one that makes you happy. Wear the one you’ve been eyeballing for months. Wear the one that you love before everyone else starts saying what they don’t like about it. Wear the one that you and your subconscious are aggressively in love with. Stop comparing yourself to women on the internet. Stop worrying about the women on the side of you and what they’re wearing or how their body looks. Stop worrying if they’re looking at you or whispering things. That’s their character and their problem, not yours. Worry about yourself. Keep your eyes on your own paper. Stay in your own lane, even when the traffic sucks.
3. If you have children, rule #3 is for you. Mamas..we only have 18 delicious summers with our babies. What summer are you on? How many summers have you spent worrying about your swimsuit body while your children beg you to play? Forgive me if I’m hitting a sensitive spot but you need to hear this. Your children do not care about any of the things that bother you about your body. They care about your time and attention with them. Whether you are splashing in a pool with them, running through a tunnel of spraying water or hunched over building sand castles. Those are the memories they want and need. They will unfortunately learn about negative body image through tv and magazine but it’s our job as their parent to teach them to love their body no matter what. You’re the only person who’s worried about your body and what it does when you run, squat or bend over. Stop worrying about it! Teach yourself to love the skin you’re in. Make those memories with your babies. They’re only little once. They’ll remember the fun over the flab. I promise.
If you need a place to completely disconnect from everything and re-center yourself, reconnect with your spouse and get some rest..this read will be such a treat for you! My husband and I visited Boltfarm Tree Houses near Charleston, South Carolina. It’s tucked about 30 minutes away from the city in a secluded area just off of the water. There are so many beautiful oak trees towering over the grounds that you lose count. You truly get lost in how serene it is, which is exactly what my husband and I needed.
Nick and I did the math while sitting on the deck at the treehouse..so between my husband being a Lafayette Firefighter and owning and operating his own Dirt Contracting business, he works roughly 102 hours per week. Guys..there’s 168 hours in a full week! That’s insane right? And as for me..well, I’m a full time mama, blogger, influencer and beauty guide. So if there’s only 168 hours in a week, that basically means I work at least 1,714 hours a week. However, I have the ability to juggle all of my responsibilities but I can always count on there being zero breaks when it comes to the girls. Even when they should be sleeping, they don’t. Long story short, my oldest barely believes in naps anymore and my youngest is the most nocturnal little being I’ve ever known. Not the good kind of non-sleeper either. Moms, you know what I’m talking about. It gets rough sometimes but I manage to find the beauty in between. I like to think she’s the one who will teach me patience. I guess we can call this a “blesson.”
The ability to view a lesson as a blessing..
Needless to say, my husband and I desperately needed a break. We didn’t want the kind of vacation where we were on the go constantly with an itinerary. We wanted to be able to sleep in, relax and essentially do nothing since we are always doing something! I don’t know how the treehouse could have been anymore perfect. Tori and Seth Bolt poured their heart and souls into these treehouses. Every detail was so well thought out and didn’t go unnoticed on our part.
As soon as we arrived, we drove up on the most beautiful iron gate in the shape of all of the oak trees you see covering the entire treehouse farm. We drove up to The Honeymoon Treehouse and were greeted by Jared who is the General Manager of Boltfarm Treehouses. He gave us a quick tour of the treehouse we were staying in, explained all there was to do and encouraged us to unplug and enjoy each other and our time there. Afterwards, we swung on the hanging chairs on the balcony of our treehouse and just marveled the beautiful grounds and all that the treehouse had to offer.
The Honeymoon Treehouse featured a copper bathtub on a platform in the main room. The back wall in front of the bed was covered top to bottom with charming antique mirrors. The bed was probably one of the most comfortable beds we have ever slept on. When it comes time for us to replace our own mattress, we will probably be ordering the same Sleepy mattress with a pillow top like they used. On the side was the kitchen area. It was finished with an above counter copper sink, a miniature retro style refrigerator hidden behind the stained wood cabinetry and a dining area for two complete with an antique China set. Let’s not forget the old style record player complete with a basket full of old records to play, adult coloring books, pillows to sit for meditation and prayer, a legit picnic basket filled with everything an outside picnic would ever need and a little fireplace. Sounds like a dream right? That’s just inside the treehouse, that’s not counting the amenities outdoors!
Outside there was a gorgeous view of the water with oak trees giving the perfect amount of shade. Double bicycles, outside grill, pizza oven, jacuzzi, fire pit fit for snuggles and s’mores, outdoor shower and screened in room with a swinging bed complete with a screen and projector to play movies. Don’t all of these things just sound like heaven?
Every single thing I named made the Treehouse every bit of the experience we were promised. But every ounce of alone time, relaxation, peace and quiet with my husband was the best part of all. It was exactly what we needed in our 10th season of marriage. The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 4:18,
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen but what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary but what is unseen is eternal.
I felt this verse fit perfectly for everything I wanted to end with. Everything was serene and absolutely perfect at the tree house and we are literally chomping at the bit to plan our next stay. But it wasn’t just beautiful scenery that we enjoyed, it wasn’t just the quiet time we needed and it wasn’t just the opportunity to be the big kids we know we are at heart; it was the unseen that sparked magic because of the seen. Does that resonate? I think we can all agree that life happens every single day and we all fall short in allowing it to get in the way of the things that mean the most to us. Making time for your partner and the things that matter most to you will be one of the greatest investments you can make in your relationship. God and each other. I think the best love story is to be able to fall in love with the same person over and over again.
Being able to be with my husband where he was only my husband for a few days was bliss. I’m sure he would agree the opposite for me. We could just be our true selves for a few days with zero responsibilities except pouring ourselves into each other and reconnecting on a level that we haven’t been able to in years. It’s truly amazing how doing nothing is absolutely everything you could possibly need. We swung outside and enjoyed the views, took naps on the swinging bed outside, we showered outside during the daytime and nighttime under the moon and starts, we listened to Calming Guitar Playlist on Pandora; I highly recommend that soothing playlist by the way. I have listened to it every day since we have returned. It almost as if I was able to bring the tree house experience home with me. Not to mention, growing up as a musicians daughter, my father was always playing his acoustic guitar at random times throughout the day. It was an enjoyable part of my childhood. This kind of music is medicine for the soul. We also made our own pizza, we roasted s’mores, rode the double bicycles, drank wine, walked down the lane full of oak trees and got to see lightening bugs for the first time since each of us were children. That may seem like nothing but it was truly a magical moment for me, at least. We took the time to visit Charleston one afternoon and had lunch at a tavern that was downtown. Which was incredible by the way.
Writing all of these things and telling you how insanely mind blowing it all was just brings me back. Even though it was just a few short weeks ago, the thought of being there and what it did for my heart and soul has stuck with me. Like the unseen I mentioned before, it wasn’t just an experience, it was purifying and healing. I will never forget what that trip did for me and I cannot wait till we go back. Matter of fact, if you’d like to mention that I recommended BoltFarm Treehouses to you when you book your stay, you will be upgraded to a complimentary VIP experience..and We will be too upon our next stay!