I’ve been thinking a lot about trust lately, and the magnitude of that word. It’s just this tiny little word that has such enormous potential, ya know? trust can forge bonds, create legacies, diffuse negativity. but mistrust? mistrust can breed jealousy, force disconnection, create fear.
I look at this season in my life that I’m currently in, with all of these new and exciting chapters that are just waiting to be cracked open, and I see all the different variables that could produce different outcomes. There is a lot of unknown for us right now. And I will fully admit, it can be somewhat terrifying at times.
But then I think about that word. trust. Jared and I trust each other, absolutely. We’re in this new crazy adventure together, 100%, and i could just squeeze his little head off when I think about how wonderful he is. He’s kind of great.
But we also trust in our Heavenly Father. We have faith that He is guiding and protecting us, that we will never be alone. He will endow us with the strength and wisdom and favor to weather any storm, carry us through any unknown. And that my friend, is dangerous. What could we be capable if we just trusted?
Seriously, think about it. If you had complete confidence in your gifts and abilities, if you truly knew that Christ was walking before you, if you really believed that “no weapon formed against me shall prosper”, what would you attempt?
Trust is dangerous. We are capable of the impossible, when we trust. When we have faith.
and i? I want to be dangerous.
Oxford trunk blazer(previously worn here) (sold out, similar here)// Target tee (size up for the slouchy look)// Bella Vita necklace via Blue 7// gap jeans (got them on sale, boo the sales over)// Shoe Dazzle boots (old, similar here)
I stinkin love ankle boots, throw them on with just about anything and they look darling. Here are three of my favorite ways to style ankle boots:
1// with a sloppy cuffed jean.
don’t ever think it, this style is meant to be laid back and chill. perfect with a worn in tee and a couple long necklaces.
2// with socks and a dress
not everyone is on board with the sock movement, but i gotta tell ya, i’m 100%. i think they look so sweet peeking out from a pair of ankle boots. pair both with a simple summer frock and you’ve got a perfect weekend outfit.
3// with shorts
there’s nothing better than throwing on a good pair of shorts, but they can seem a bit too casual sometimes. add a pair of ankle boots and you’ve gone from “running to get more milk” to an actual outfit. genius.
It seems really strange to be posting these snow pictures today, when it’s supposed to be 65 degrees, but oh well. It just makes me appreciate the Spring weather even more!
SO things my doctor didn’t tell me (HA you thought Hospital Hooplah was over? No chance my friend, it’s like a stone dropped in a lake. The stone might have sunk to the bottom already, but the water rings are still moving). “i’m going to gut you like a fish to perform this surgery and when you wake up, you will have 25 stitches across your stomach” might have been a good idea to mention before i woke up post-op and almost passed out from the sight. “you’re going to be so weak by the time you get out of here, you won’t be able to walk up the stairs” literally surprised the crap out of me. i had no idea i would be so weak.
but both of these paled in comparison to “three months after your surgery, you will start shedding hair like a bear after hibernation”
the whole shedding thing has been the worst. I know, I’m such a brat, boohoo I’m losing a couple of hairs, some people don’t have any hair at all. I know. I’m fully aware of how lucky and blessed I am. but. I’m a girl. and my hair is kind of my thing, and I’ve always been very honest about the fact that if I have a bad hair day, i might as well take a sick day because it just rocks my world.
and it hasn’t just been a couple of hairs. i’m being honest about this because hopefully some poor girl will read this and be more prepared for the Shedding Apocalypse than I was. Because standing in the shower and watching as massive clump after massive clump of hair goes swirling down the drain is not something you want to be unprepared for.
you’re probably looking at these pictures and thinking, “what the heck is she talking about” but THANK THE LORD for hair extensions my friend. so many extensions on my head. I know this is silly, and I feel so vain just writing this all down, but it’s a part of my journey. and it’s pretty much sucked. And I think that’s ok. It’s ok to admit that some things just suck. It’s ok to cry over a couple (hundred) strands of hair. have yourself a cry. and then get up, get yourself some fake hairs, and keep going. Admit that you’re scared your going to look like Gollum from LOTR soon, and then keep going. I think sometimes we think we have to be strong 24/7. we can never admit to pain or fear or sadness. and that’s just not true. The Bible says to “share each other’s burdens”. You can’t do that unless you admit you have a burden to begin with. (and then return the favor!)
But then you have to keep going. You cant dwell on your fears or your pain, or your hair shedding. You believe in the hope of tomorrow, you believe in healing and in God’s plan and you sing sing SING!!! to those little hairs so that maybe they’ll be like that plant experiment and grow big and strong, unlike the unloved, un-sung-to hairs that wilted and stopped growing.
for anyone who ever goes through surgery, here’s what you should know:
- about three months after surgery, you will start shedding like crazy. some people say it’s from the anesthesia, some say from the shock of surgery itself, whatever. all you need to know is that you will lose a bunch of hair.
- you won’t shed in any place that you would actually be OK with losing hair, like your legs or pits. Nope. Just your head. Good news! You get to keep your eyelashes and eyebrows.
- it won’t look like your balding, like great big patches of no hair. more like your hair just super super super thins out. i’ve probably lost about 1/3 of my hair, maybe more. I woke up one morning and started losing handfuls of hair in the shower, which went on for about a month, and then one day it just stopped. I had to cut about 4 inches off the ends though, they were just so scraggly and sad looking. BUT that doesn’t really matter when you’re wearing extensions anyway!
- GOOD NEWS! IT WILL COME BACK! I am here to tell you: don’t have a panic attack, don’t shave your head and start wearing wigs. IT COMES BACK. I’ve got about an inch long halo of hairs all over my head right now. Not really noticeable at all, except right after I blow dry my hair and they stick up around my part. I kind of like seeing them, waving around and growing all happy up there. I encourage them, keep growing little friends!
things you can do to help:biotin. drink lots of water, eat lots of healthy foods (which you should be doing already). take deep breaths. stop panicking. buy some hair extensions. wait for it to grow back. i know. the worst advice ever. but that’s about all you can do.
I walked into a public bathroom the other day and had one of the most awkward moments of my life. It was one of those restrooms that are vast and empty, where the floor is concrete and every drop of the faucet echoes a thousand times over.
I walked into a stall and got my self settled in ( guys have no idea how difficult it is for girls to go to the bathroom in the winter time. Hang your purse up, struggle out of your coat, search around for another hook, give up and toss the stupid thing over the door, find the toilet seat covers (why do they hide them?), find that it’s empty, lay the toilet paper down, finally FINALLY sit down). It’s so quiet in there, not even a little elevator music playing to break up the awkward silence, and suddenly I hear a cough and notice a women’s leg peeping out from the stall next to me.
now you might be able to go ahead and do your business when you notice another person beside you in the stall, but suddenly I could NOT. I got the giggles like no bodies business, thinking about how quiet it had been when I walked in, how the woman had not made a sound since I had been in there, and all I could think was that she had been sitting there the whole time, frozen, just waiting for me to…make the first move. And I just couldn’t do it. Then she starts this entirely fake coughing fit, rattling the toilet paper dispenser around and I’m about to lose it, I’m laughing so hard. Sitting on a toilet seat. Laughing at the lady next to me.
I finally took pity on the poor girl and flushed my toilet a couple times to make some cover noise for her. By this point I’m so unfocused that there is no way I’m going to be able to pee, so I give up, get my self situated, struggle back into my coat, heave my purse onto my arm, and walk out of the stall. I wash my hands, making as much noise as possible, and leave.
Poor girl. I really hope she was able to focus and get her business done.
target hat// forever 21 button down// asos dress// target boots
6 months, two surgeries, one postponed wedding, countless doctor visits, and one Tootie later, I am officially deemed healthy and whole (minus a colon). Monday afternoon I went in to the hospital for my final surgery to replace my small intestine back inside my stomach where it belonged. If you didn’t know, since September I have been living with an illeostomy (or Tootie as I liked to call it), a piece of your small intestine that is placed through a hole in your stomach and empties into a bag stuck to your skin. This surgery was a necessary step in my diagnosis of Crohn’s disease, which you can read about here.
to say that I am relieved that this chapter in my life is finally over is a bit of an understatement. there were moments of fear, embarrassment, pain, complete impotence and a total lack of self confidence that made me truly wish that I just didn’t have to be me anymore.
but…i made it.
I am so much stronger that I have ever realized. i have led a beautiful and very blessed existence these past 25 years and a part of me has always wondered if i would be able to withstand adversity when it hit me because of how loved and protected i have always been. but i realize now that it doesn’t work that way. being loved and blessed doesn’t make you weak. i could handle everything that was thrown at me through this because I knew that i had a family who loved me and a Father who was protecting me. Even when i didn’t understand, when everything felt too overwhelming to handle, I knew that I wasn’t alone, that I was loved, and that I was being cared for. i truly do not know how i would have come out of this if i hadn’t had that confidence in a God that is bigger, more powerful, and so much more loving, than me.
While i would never voluntarily go through this again, I’m grateful for the strength this time has given me, for the confidence in my faith and the confidence in myself. But it’s time to look forward, to plan for the future, and to get hitched to the love of my life!! wedding plans here we come!
what, i ask you, is better than velvet pants? nothing, i tell you. nothing. apparently the good people of downtown San Louis Obispo agree because I wore this when we were in CA and was complimented on my jolly green giant legs at least 15 times while shopping around. I do believe I love San Louis Obispo.
Also this sweater is the perfect blend of soft fabric and light weave so it’s a fantastic piece to transition to spring. Spring! warm weather! the sun! dresses! flowers! can you tell i’m excited for spring? am i little premature? maybe, but who cares! SPRING!
Here in Oklahoma, Winter means one thing: you’re going to get blown away.
It doesn’t matter how lovely and bright the sun is shining, or how beautiful the snow looks. 95% of the time the wind will be blowing like nobody’s business and you will be exhausted by the time you get back into a safe building. Cars doors get slammed open, shopping carts go flying across the parking lot, and hats are blown away, never to be found again.
So when I saw this gigantic fur Rachel Zoe coat on IG, I knew it was perfect for this Winter. Despite the fact that my dad laughs every time I walk out of the house. I’m warm and cute (in my opinion anyways) and impervious to winds and jokes alike.
Speaking of Instagram, anyone else obsessed with a good IG sale? I’m always finding cute little shops on there! If you sell on IG or if you are a fellow IG shopper, let me know! I’m always looking for another cute shop!
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! I have so many things to be thankful for this year and one of them is this lovely little blog and all of you wonderful people that I’ve come in contact with through it! You bring joy to my life. *hugs*
I really had no intention of sharing much about my surgery and all things related but these words just keep coming out of me and I can’t seem to keep them in. As I told my mom on the night before I was readmitted to the hospital, there is no such thing as dignity with this disease. So bring on the TMI!
Many of you have given me some very sweet words, encouraging me through this time in my life, and commenting on my attitude throughout this ordeal. The only explanation I can give you is that I have been gifted with this sunny outlook. I have been wonderfully blessed with an inner peace that literally passes all understanding, a calm confidence in my future and my God, and a reassurance that this is just a minor step in my path, a tiny little blip on the absolutely breathtaking future awaiting me.
But it’s not all sunshine and roses. I’m painfully aware of my situation and all of the possible negative outcomes that could be in my future. There are days that I’m scared, that I go to sleep crying, that I feel so desperately overwhelmed with what I’m having to face that I cry out to God, “please just take this away, I don’t want to have to do this anymore”. I’ve got a foot long healing incision and a portion of my intestine sticking out of my stomach with a bag taped to my skin for the next two months (otherwise known as an ileostomy) believe me I know what the words pain, embarrassment, shame, fear, uncomfortable, and alone mean.
But these moments are so very brief compared to the joy that I feel on a daily basis, just knowing that I’m alive and that I have a future. I am determined that these short three months will not get the better of me; that I will come through this victorious and with my humor intact. From what I have experienced so far, I am convinced that my relationship with Christ and my ability to laugh at myself are the main reasons why I am not suffering like I have heard others do with this disease and surgery. For example, I have named my ileostomy. Yes. It’s name is Tootie, named for the youngest Smith daughter from one of my favorite musicals, Meet Me in St. Louis, and…well for other more obvious reasons. Hey, if I have to have a bag stuck to my skin for three months, I might as well give it a name!
I’ve also started almost a competition with myself to see how many different outfits I can come up with that I love but still hide my Tootie. It’s actually a lot more difficult that I expected but I didn’t inherit the Hamilton stubborn streak for nothin!
There are many verses that I have been writing down or highlighting to inspire me or keep me motivated through this next month and a half-ish (woohoo!) that I have left until I have my checkup appointment and they will decide if I’m sufficiently healed and we can get rid of the Tootie forever and ever amen. I opened my verse app (get it here) the other day and was just floored by 1 Corinthians 10:15:
“No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down, he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it.”
It’s so true. I’m not the only one that has had to go through this, there are literally THOUSANDS of people who have had this surgery, and many who have had to deal with far worse than I have had. But all I need to focus on is that my God is with me every step of the way; he will never leave me. And this won’t get the better of me, this isn’t more than I can handle. God will give me the strength and the peace to face this every. single. day.
So when you talk about my amazing attitude or happy demeanor, know that it’s not me. I’m not that strong. It’s Christ in me. And while I might have bad days or low moments, they won’t keep me down for long. Not when I have this true JOY inside of me. Let’s call it joie de vivre, because it just sounds so cool and you guys know how much I like to pretend I can speak French.
Target hat (last year)// Riff Raff kimono c.o// Target bralette//Oxford Trunk tank// Target K necklace// 7th & West turquoise and feather necklace// Style Lately bull head necklace c.o// Forever 21 leather pants.. Riff Raff boots c.o
I go through phases with my clothing choices. I almost always gravitate towards the bright, loud, and obnoxious but this Fall I’m leaning more towards dark colors and relying on accessories, cuts, or fabrics to make the statement. If I had to choose my Fall favorites, this outfit pretty much encompasses them all. Wool hats, ankle boots, funky accessories, quirky tops and leather. Always always leather. Or pleather, to be exact, because ya right let’s just be honest, I couldn’t afford leather even if I was o.k with wearing animal skins.
Forever 21 Hat// ASOS tee// Gage Huntley necklace c.o //shorts borrowed from my sister// Riff Raff booties c.o //Target watch
Things are slowly, so slowly, starting to fall into a routine of sorts. My world that was quite literally shaken overnight completely off it’s axis has toppled into a new rotation, a new state of normal.
For those who have been keeping up with what I have officially dubbed Hospital Hooplah and for my inner secretary that needs an official documentation of all this craziness, let me give a quick official recap of this entire escapade:
7/26 the first day I can truly pinpoint as my first official Sick Day
August visited my doctor several times after spending the entire month battling nasauea, upset stomach, loss of appetite, and dizzy spells. Referred to a gastrointestinal specialist and prescribed steroids for a swollen colon. Possible Crohn’s Disease or Ulcertive Colitis diagnosis but unable to diagnose fully because of swelling.
August 31 Engagement party! One week of steroids and feeling MUCH BETTER
*unbeknownst to me, probably contracted the secondary infection around this time
September 9 admitted to the hospital for IV steroids and nutrients after symptoms reemerge even after two weeks of steroids
September 16, after another scan and testing, the doctors came to the conclusion that the removal of my colon was ultimately the only option we had left. After being on high dose steroids for a week and antibiotics to fight the secondary infection, my body was simply not strong enough to fight any longer and I was basically losing the battle. It was either surgery or take the chance of my colon self imploding.
September 18th 3:30 PM I underwent a full Colectomy (as in they removed my entire colon) with a temporary Ileostomy, to be removed during a second surgery planned for 6-12 weeks from now.
September 22 released from the hospital!
September 24th taken back to the hospital throwing up and severely bloated (side note: ever thrown up with staples in your swollen abdomen? hell. hell on earth.) Placed an NG tube in for a few hours (inner circle of hell on earth) and received IV fluids to allow my system to rest. Also realized I had accidentally been cut cold turkey from my steroids for 3 days which might have had something to do with the slowing down of my system. Restarted my steroid tapering off, 3 days of antibiotics, anti-nausuea, and morphine, and things start working again.
September 27th REreleased from the hospital!
It’s insane to write it all out. In almost EXACTLY three months time I went from being a fairly healthy 25 year old who has never even had stitches to….all of this. To say my mind is blown is a bit of an understatement. And yet when I sit here and look back on everything and see where I am at now the only feeling I can truly put into words is THANKFUL. I am so incredibly thankful, blessed, loved, and cared for. There is not one doubt in my in my mind that God had a plan and was in control throughout this entire fiasco. Nor can I ever doubt that God is STILL in control and STILL has a plan for my life and my future. How incredibly awe inspiring is my Jesus!!
So where to from here? I have to keep reminding myself that I had an extremely invasive surgery less than two weeks ago and that I have to give my body/mind/spirit time to REST. I tend to forget just how much I’ve been through recently and I want to be 100% NOW. My emotions run the gamut from laughing about needing help putting my pants on to fighting back tears because my entire day is scheduled around food and what I can/can’t eat, do/not do. No matter how little I want to accept it sometimes, this experience has changed me irrevocably and it’s going to take some adjustments on my part to cope with it. And that all takes TIME. Time that everyone is perfectly willing to give me except, it seems, me.
I am extremely physically weak. Taking a shower in the morning is a full blown adventure, while climbing the stairs can only be attempted once and then I have to take a nice long rest afterwards. Things that you would normally take for granted like sitting up or brushing your teeth are goals to be accomplished accompanied by multiple grunts and sighs and reassuring pats on the back. You never realize just how important your stomach muscles are until someone slashes through them and then staples them back together. Speaking of staples…
I feel very self conscious these days. I’ve always been somewhat confident in my body and how I looked (i’m a style blogger, you kind of have to have some confidence in yourself to be able to post outfit pictures for complete strangers to judge) but nowadays it’s a whole new ball game. Due to medications, almost three weeks in a hospital bed, and the surgery itself, my body has gone through quite the transformation. I’m currently sporting a lovely acne breakout that would rival any puberty-ridden teen’s face this side of 17, as well as the effects of shedding a high number of both hair and pounds from my head and body. It’s very disconcerting to look in the mirror and not recognize yourself. Frankly, my legs scare me if I look at them for too long. Add in the fact that my stomach currently resembles a train track and I’m having to learn to adapt to these new steps the surgery has given me to function on basic levels and well, can you blame a girl for feeling just a little overwhelmed at times? This outfit post was the first time I had gotten dressed since the surgery and it took me about 3 hours to accomplish. And I must say I was dang proud of myself! So proud that I rewarded myself with a 2 1/2 hour trip to Target (accomplished from a wheel chair, no worries I was a spectacle it was embarrassing) just to be able to get out of the house and say I did something that day.
In the Future:
One of the main things I have been asked is, “what about the future”? Well you’re guess is as good as mine sister. My job has been so incredibly understanding and I can’t thank them enough for working with me through these next couple of weeks/months. I’ll be slowly working out a schedule for work hours/work from home hours and will hopefully get into a more permanent routine when I get my staples taken out next week (thank the Lord)
As for our wedding, we have decided to postpone the ceremony until after I am 100% healed. So frustrating and disappointing but we wanted to be able to enjoy the planning process, and the wedding! without having to deal with this second surgery/post recovery phase. Jared has been so incredible, I just can’t imagine how I would have been able to survive these past few weeks if I hadn’t had him beside me. So while we have to put off the ceremony for a few months I think we both agree that it will truly be for the best. We haven’t set a date yet but we’re thinking sometime in the spring!
And for this here blog: well I have no intention of going anywhere. I’m going to write whatever random crap comes into my head, and I will more than likely share way more than my mother thinks is necessary. Without going into too much detail (though you could always research ileostomy if you wanted to be nosy), these next 3 months are going to extremely challenging for me, on the basic day to day level but also as a fashion blogger. My clothing choices are going to be somewhat restricted but I am choosing to take it as a challenge to continue this blog and continue to use my clothing as a creative outlet, whatever parameters or hindrances I may have. How much of that personal story I actually share here in writing I really haven’t decided. Initially I thought I wouldn’t share ANYTHING just because it’s so intimate and personal but I think that will depend on YOU, dear readers, and also depend on how these months pan out. If I feel that anyone might benefit from hearing my story well then I might share more that I first expected to. Or if I choose to say this is my blog and I’ll write whatever the heck I want then you best know now there will be no holds barred. So if you have experienced these surgeries or diagnosis LET ME KNOW! I’d love to hear your experiences as well, or to know if anyone would benefit from hearing mine.
But for now, I’m just going to leave it up to the experience and see what happens! This is an adventure, a messy, awkward, embarrassing, terrifying, educational, crazy, hilarious, depressing, invigorating ADVENTURE. It’s life and I’m just thankful to still be around to write about it, in all it’s beautiful splendor.
Target hat (old)// Urban Outfitters dress// Pacsun necklace// Target booties// Sunnies… i forget! whoops