Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Those Offensive Boobs!

If you have been a reader or a customer or a friend for any amount of time, you know we are mad supporters of breastfeeding here at Elegant Mommy.

You also know how I feel about breastfeeding in public - even so much that I worked with SD Birth Matters and the SD Breastfeeding Coalition to get legislation passed in South Dakota to protect breastfeeding moms. The legislation states that moms can nurse their babies anywhere they are otherwise authorized to be. And guess what - the law goes into effect TOMORROW - woot!!

So, in honor of the protection now offered nursing babies and mamas in South Dakota, I thought I'd share this lovely and pretty awesome video on breastfeeding in public.....


I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. I mean - for real - her facial expressions!

Remember - you certainly don't want to offend anyone, so definitely DON'T nourish your baby where others can see - ha!

I love sarcasm.


Monday, June 29, 2015

Life, Family, Change...

Life brings us many changes over the years. Our hearts change and many times become more clear as to the path that is laid out for us. Many times those paths leave us with hard choices and rocky roads to navigate. Those roads are rocky many times because we have to consider more than just ourselves. God calls us to put Him first, then our family, then ourselves. We have to reflect and pray over our decisions to make sure that they are keeping those priorities straight.

When Corey and I first got married, I had no intention of having children. I felt very strongly about foster care and adoption and felt that was what we would do. However, Corey felt very strongly about having biological children. We had no problems getting pregnant and so we began our family in May 2004 when our son was born. At this time I was working at a large bank in the collections area and my goal was to work my way up the corporate chain. I wanted to be in financial planning and when I was passed over for a job in that department only because I didn’t have my master’s degree, I quickly enrolled to get my masters degree so I could someday have that job. We had another child, our daughter, while I was still working in collections and finishing that masters degree. I had no qualms about sending our children to childcare so I could work full-time. This is what was right for our family at the time. A few years later, I got an amazing promotion and worked for a different department doing a job that was AMAZING. About a year after I got this wonderful dream job, we found out we were expecting again. My work family was very supportive and allowed me much flexibility throughout the pregnancy and leave. When it was time to return to work, my heart had changed. I kept feeling a VERY strong hand on my heart that *I* needed to be raising our children. The words kept playing through my mind that God had blessed us with these children and I needed to be the one to raise them. I did go back to work but it just didn’t feel right. Don’t get me wrong, I still LOVED my job. I loved my boss. I loved my co-workers. But there was another problem that continued to lay heavily on my heart. During the summer of 2007, I got a “crazy hair” to start a website dedicated to buying and selling pre-owned maternity clothes. The website was just a fun way for me to do something different and meet a little need that I kept becoming more aware of. But now it was the summer of 2008 and I had 3 children and a business.

Wait, what?! I had a business?! I never intended to have a business. MY plans just a few years before were for me to foster kids and possibly adopt 1 or 2 and still keep working my way up the corporate ladder. I mean *I* had a plan. Where in the world did the hard pressing corporate woman go? When did I go “soft”? These thoughts rolled through my head a lot. I was trying to juggle it all…MY plans and the plans that I just kept feeling GOD was calling me to do. I was still working full time (at a job I loved remember), run a physical store and a website and have 3 kids under 5 years of age.

Something had to give. I cried a lot. That was the hardest year of our marriage up to that point. It was hard because no one had the same vision that I did. I now know that is not a bad thing, God didn’t lay these plans on anyone's heart but mine. It was only me that needed to be obedient to Him. So we decided that we would take the leap and leave my cushy income behind and pursue Elegant Mommy full-time – but more importantly *I* would raise our children.

2014-2015 has made 2008 look like a walk in the park. Our lives have been shaken up in so many ways. It has been VERY hard to try to remain positive. I know that I need an attitude adjustment most days. It is HARD to keep life’s balance. It is hard to remember that I have 4 amazing children that God blessed us with. He has also blessed me with an amazing and supportive Husband, who I don’t dedicate enough time to. He has also blessed and burdened us with doing everything we can to make Elegant Mommy and Educated Mommy a community resource for our area. I’m writing this post as a reminder to myself about where my priorities need to lay. God and the path that He has laid out needs to be first priority in my life. Then my family and then myself. It is a daily struggle to look at situations and decisions and decide if it is God’s path or if it’s my path.

Why am I writing this publicly on our blog? Because I know that I am not the only Mom struggling with this. I am just another Mom trying to do what God called me to do. It may not be what God called you for, in fact, I know it is not exactly what God called you for. He called you for your own unique path. Follow that path and do not pay attention to what other people on this Earth want you to do . YOU know what you have been called to do. No one else has to understand, but you need to be obedient to what God desires for you.

God blessed us with another amazing blessing in late 2014 and she has ROCKED OUR WORLD. I can’t even describe all of the ways that she has rocked our world. I was content with the place that we were at in our lives. I was able to keep up with the pace and lifestyle that we had created. But that is about to change.

We are finally moving back to Sioux Falls. Moving back to Sioux Falls will be an enormous change for our family. Corey and I built our house in Hartford 13 years ago. In fact, this week will mark 13 years since we signed on the dotted line to own this home that we put so much of our blood, sweat and tears into. We brought 4 kiddos into this world while we lived here. We had some pretty amazing screaming matches in this house. We had some pretty amazing laugh til you cry sessions in this house. We’ve lived off of a VERY tight budget for 7 years so that we could stay in a house that was WAY above our new income level. We now are all at place of acceptance that we need to be in a different home for many reasons: Our life is in Sioux Falls and being apart as a family for 12+ hours per day is not a good long-term decision for our family, our income level will never be back where it was when I worked for that big bank and we need to adjust our living level to better fit our income level, and we want to live out our family’s path. The path for our family includes being debt free. We have a dream to be debt free. When we close on this home, we will be completely debt free (except for Elegant Mommy – but that will be debt free at some point too!). We are going to stay debt free for a little bit and we are going to rent. There are many people who look at us as a middle aged self-employed couple with 4 kids and see we are going to rent and their thoughts are probably not positive. But renting for our family for a few years is a VERY positive thing. You see if we find the right place to rent or lease to purchase for a few years, we will be able to save up a LARGE chunk of change to put a 20-25% down payment on the home that is perfect for our family. Those years will also give us the time to find that perfect home for our family.

This is where our family’s path is at right now. And it is the perfect path for us.


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Register At Elegant Mommy!

Did you know that Elegant Mommy has a Registry program?

Well, now you do! :)

Not only do we offer one, but it's super simple to use. If you are expecting and would like to register with us, just head over to our website (www.ElegantMommy.com), click on "Gift Registry" in the sidebar menu and follow the instructions to get registered with us!

When someone comes in to get you something from your list, you earn money on your Rewards Card and you will also get 5% gift card when you close your registry with us!

We encourage you to register with us for several reasons:

  1. Support a Local Small Business! Did you know that by purchasing from locally owned businesses, something like 3 times as much of your money STAYS local, going back to the community, than when you purchase from a national corporation? Elegant Mommy is always looking for new ways to give back to the community, and we will continue to do so. We have been blessed and want to pay it forward!
  2. Convenience. People who are purchasing from your registry can select and buy their merchandise either on our website (they just need to go to the same link you did to register) OR in the store. We even have super-awesome staff that will help them get exactly what you want!
  3. Continuing Service! Speaking of super-awesome staff, that's what we have! Elegant Mommy takes pride in hiring only the best, most caring, knowledgeable, and helpful staff around! When you make purchases from us (or have someone else make them on your behalf), you get that wonderful down-home service you have come to expect from us. We are here for you, even after the purchase has been made and you've begun using our products. If you need help, just stop on in or give us a call - we are here for you!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Thank You Daddies!

In case you haven't seen this video before you need to watch the whole thing in it's entirety. (I did post it last year about this time, but it's so good I decided I had to post it again)

For those dads who are there for their kids, who partner with moms to be the best parents they can be, who do what it takes to show their children what a good man is and does for his family, this is for you.

You are loved and you are appreciated. Thank you for all you do, and we here at Elegant Mommy wish you a very happy and wonderful Father's Day this weekend!


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

For Father's Day

Here at Elegant Mommy we not only love our Mommies (it is part of our name, after all), but we are so grateful for the daddies in our lives!

Because of that, we are offering a pretty great deal on gifts for dads - check it out!

If you want to join us in loving on the great dads in our lives and our kids' lives, take advantage and get them something awesome this Father's Day (it's this coming Sunday - don't forget!)!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Childbirth Professionals - Meet Lisa of Ovo Birth Services

What is your childbirth profession?
I am a DONA certified birth doula and certified lactation counselor (CLC)

Describe your profession and why someone would want to choose your profession for support in pregnancy and/or childbirth
I provide birth and breastfeeding support to families during pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. This often includes discussions about what a mother might expect during labor, how her team can offer education and options, and available resources and research related to her interests. A doula provides continuous, non-medical physical and emotional support during labor, birth, and early postpartum. I also provide lactation education during the prenatal period and lactation support during the postpartum period.

Why did you get started in your profession?
I received my bachelor's degree in Human Development and Family studies in 2006 and worked closely with families in the disabilities and mental health communities. I began learning about birth and ways to support women when I became a mother in 2010. I was inspired by the women around me and wanted to provide that same type of support to other women.

In detail, what is your personal childbirth philosophy.
I like to laugh and I believe that's generally true for others. Our bodies respond well in labor when we are relaxed and positively focused. Intuition and connection play important roles in the relationships among women and I think it becomes a critical in the partnership with the mother and her birth team.

If you could tell all pregnant women in the world something, what would it be?
Women trust their bodies when they know their bodies. I strongly believe that a marriage between education and intuition will guide us faithfully in most situations.

How long have you been in your profession? Are you certified? If yes, by whom?
I have been formally working with families and children since 2003, supporting women with breastfeeding since 2013, and have specifically been supporting women in birth since 2014. I am a certified birth doula with DONA International and a Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC) with Academy of Lactation Policy and Practice (ALPP).

Do you have a business name> How can people contact you for pregnancy and childbirth support?
You can connect with me at Ovo Birth Services using the form at www.ovobirthservices.com or you can follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter using @ovobirth. I'd love to get together for tea!

Where do you practice?
I provide support in Sioux Falls, SD and surrounding areas including Brookings, Vermillion, and Luverne, MN.

Monday, June 8, 2015

It's Time!

We need to update our Facebook cover photo!

We love featuring your beautiful photos on our Facebook cover because YOU are what Elegant Mommy is all about! We are a store that is passionate about giving YOU the support you need all throughout your natural-parenting journey!

Do you have a photo (or 2 or 3 *wink*) you would like to submit to be voted on and maybe be featured? Any photo you submit should embody Elegant Mommy in some way - maternity, newborn, breastfeeding, babywearing, cloth diapering, natural family living, etc. As our motto states "From Your Baby Bump to Your Baby's Rump, We've Got You Covered"

If you have any snapshots or photographs (you must have copyright release) you would like to submit, please email them to us at photo@elegantmommy.com by the end of the day on Wednesday (6/10/15).

After we receive all your awesome photos, the Elegant Mommy's will choose some finalists, and then YOU will get to vote for the winners! And new this time, we will split the top vote-getters between our Facebook page and Chat Group cover photos! Woot!

It is always so fun to see your wonderful photographs - get them submitted today!


Friday, June 5, 2015

Baby Photos....Behind the Scenes

So, I'm not sure how many of you have had your adorable kiddos photographed by a professional, but I would highly recommend it if you haven't. They are trained to get some awesome shots and they are so great at editing the photos to perfection.

Back in April after the Great Cloth Diaper Change the awesome Stacy Avery Photography did mini sessions for those who wanted to get great photos of their sweet little ones in cloth. It was SO fun!

What makes it even more fun? When you have THREE babies about the same age (within 2 weeks of each other), just getting good at sitting, in their fluff, with two moms really close to avoid any injuries, and the other mom taking the photos.

Let the chaos ensue, and enjoy some of these outtakes....

From left to right is Ember (mine), Ryan (Stacy's), and Kate (Shelly's)

Ember: Yeah, I'm pretty happy
Ryan: Here, Kate, Let me just take that for you
Kate: What are you doing? I'm trying to sit here like a big girl - NO you can't have my necklace!

Ember: Yep - I like to smile - CHEESE!!
Ryan: Fine. If you aren't going to share your neckace you can just leave!
Kate: Whatever. I like my fist anyway.

Ember: Woohoo! Wait. What?
Ryan: Hey - what's over here?!
Kate: Hi there - I'm pretty adorable!

Ember: Woah!
Ryan: WTF!
Kate: Ha! I'm still sitting :P

Ember: What the....?!
Ryan: Kate, I really like your hair.
Kate: What the....?!

Ember: Look what I can do!
Ryan: So? I don't even care.
Kate: I'm so friggin cute I can hardly stand it.

Ember: What are you doing? Leave my ear alone!
Ryan: I'm the strongest baby in the world!
Kate: Ryan! Stop it!!

Ember: Let's be friends - here, hold my hand.
Ryan: I'm the studdliest baby around...I have TWO girls on my arms
Kate: I suppose I can forgive you for pushing me.

And.....the finished product. Are they cute or what? :)
What a fun day! Thank you, Stacy, for capturing the fun! I'm excited to keep doing this as our babies grow together :)

I hope you enjoyed these as much as we have!


Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Checking In With Pregnant Elegant Mommy Rebecca

And here is our other expecting Elegant Mommy....the lovely Rebecca:

1. How has this pregnancy been different than your previous pregnancy/pregnancies?
This is pregnancy number 4 for me and it has been harder on me all the way around. Probably because I've never been this old before. Ha! Thankfully I'm in the home stretch and can't wait for Baby to get here.

2. How has this pregnancy been similar to your previous pregnancy/pregnancies?
This pregnancy is similar in the aspect that it's been a healthy pregnancy and we're looking forward to another home/water birth complete with our awesome doula, midwife and birth photographer.

3. What is your favorite part of being pregnant this time around?
Favorite part of being pregnant this time around is how cute our almost 2 year old is when he talks to the Baby and lays his head on my tummy and cuddle with Baby.

4. What is your least favorite part of being pregnant this time around?
Least favorite part has been the physical ailments that have been magnified this pregnancy. I'm over the no appetite because nothing sounds good, heartburn, restless legs at night and wearing a brace for hip and back pain. It's been a long 9 months.

5. Have you felt good, bad, or both during this pregnancy?
Emotionally good, physically not so good as stated above.

6. What is the best thing about working at Elegant Mommy while pregnant?
I love working at EM in general, but it's a very supportive place to be while pregnant. I love talking to all the pregnant and new Mommies who come in to the store. Solidifies my love of being a Mommy and the importance of natural parenting.

7. What are you most looking forward to after baby arrives?
Looking forward to all the baby snuggles and our Babymoon as we bond while getting the hang of nursing, baby wearing and adjusting to being a family of 6!

8. Show us your belly!