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Shirt: Stitch Fix | Jeans: American Eagle | Earrings: American Eagle

Confidence is something I’ve struggled with my entire life.

Looking back, I can’t really recall a distinct time where I felt smart enough, skinny enough, pretty enough or simply just good enough. It’s something that even Cory noticed when we first started dating. It’s not that it wasn’t obvious. I make it pretty obvious and confidence is something I’m still trying to improve on to this day.

I’m overly apologetic, I take things people say personally, and I really struggle with self doubt. I know we all suffer from this lack of confidence to some extent. No one is 110% confident in every single thing they do in their life. That’s just not possible. There will always be doubts and questions and that’s how we improve as a person.

One thing I’ve tried to work on towards my self-confidence is to realize that perfection isn’t attainable. Perfection is this sunny, special thing that’s set atop this mountain that isn’t accessible by hiking, climbing, or any other method. It’s just this impossible goal that we oddly set for ourselves– but why? Why would we set ourselves up for failure like that?

My goal for the past couple of years has been to really think about, pray on, and try to figure out how I can become a more confident person. Of course it helps to feel confident in the way that you look, but that’s not everything. Confidence is something that comes from the inside and while a nice new pair of jeans can help emulate confidence, it’s superficial and not long-lasting.

Why this long ramble on confidence today? Cory took these photos of me a couple of months ago and after I uploaded them to my computer I was somewhat surprised. I actually look more confident than I’ve ever felt in these photos. And it made me realize that I actually feel more confident than I’ve ever felt, as well. I’ve underwent a lot of changes in the last couple of years. I put my life out to the universe on this blog, I became a nurse, and I’m working my way through parenthood and marriage– all of which take a great deal of confidence.

I’m not saying I never have thoughts of self-doubt and inadequacy anymore, because I most certainly do. I still don’t feel skinny or pretty enough at times, but more often than not I feel this change in myself that feels so, so good. I stick up for myself, my feelings and my beliefs more than I ever have. I don’t let people walk all over me and I actually feel good about the person I’ve become. If I’m worried or anxious or feel uncomfortable in a situation, I try to just take a deep breath, throw my shoulders back, put a smile on and just go for it. I actually like myself and who I am.

My new personal definition of confidence:
The belief and certainty that I am enough and intentionally conveying self adequacy.

How do you emulate confidence in your life and leave self-doubt by the wayside?

Do You Know Your Terms?

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When you think of a full-term pregnancy, what comes to mind? Did you know that there’s been a recent change in “full-term” terminology? Let me explain, but first a little background of our late-term story.

I remember my pregnancy with Alea like it was yesterday. It was 40 weeks and 6 days of waiting and impatience and just dying to meet my sweet little girl. Throw in nausea and vomiting for almost my entire pregnancy, a little bit of sleeping discomfort and oh the struggle of leg shaving! Those last couple of months and especially those last couple of weeks are so uncomfortable, but I wouldn’t change them for anything.

Alea was born on April 3rd, but come March I was just ready to be done. I was over being pregnant. I honestly started trying all those “old wives tales” to try and induce labor and nothing would work. No matter how many squats I did, how many laps I did walking around the block or how much spicy food I ate, Alea stayed put!

And she actually wasn’t born until 6 days after her due date!

(She’s been a stubborn little stinker ever since, too!)

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Let’s talk a little more about the changes in definition to the “full-term” terminology. As many of you know, in the past, a baby born anytime between 37 weeks at 42 weeks was considered “term.” Now, that’s changed a little. Now, pregnancy at 39 weeks gestation is considered full term. They’ve also provided different “term” names for each weekly stage after 37 weeks. See below:

Why the sudden change, you might ask? Well, research shows that babies who stay in the womb longer have better results and fewer health concerns after birth. During those last 3-4 weeks, babies’ lungs, brain, and liver are all finishing their crucial development process. A baby born when these vital organs are still in development could suffer health problems after birth or throughout life as well as learning disabilities down the road. Babies born before 39 weeks have an increased risk of spending more time in the neonatal intensive care unit and tend to have problems with breathing, feeding and thermoregulation.

It may be uncomfortable those last few weeks, but waiting until 39 weeks to deliver (as long as it is safe for mom and for baby), can drastically improve your baby’s health at birth and beyond! It’s worth that discomfort you’ll endure. Trust me!

What can you do with all of this information?

First take a minute to let it digest. It’s a lot to take in, but do your own research as well. Check out the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development initiative and read-up more about why this change has occurred and what it might mean for your current/future pregnancies.

What do you think about the change?
What “term” did you give birth to your little?

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development’s Know Your Terms Initiative.

Almond Banana Cafe Protein Shake Recipe

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #PowerInProtein #CollectiveBias

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If you were a fly on my wall in the morning, you’d see that it’s really not my best time. I hit snooze until I absolutely have to wake up, I never shower in the morning (always at night) and I’m usually the one running out the door with seconds to spare. It’s always rushed no matter how you spin it, but not a morning goes by where I don’t grab a protein shake for work each day.

Here’s one of the easiest ones I whip up on the mornings I have a few extra moments to spare and on the mornings I don’t? I just grab the ready-to-drink shake and go!

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1. EAS AdvantEdge Carb Control in Cafe flavor
2. 1 banana
3. 1/2 cup almond milk
4. 1 tablespoon almond butter

I’ve become a bit of an on-line shopper lately, so I snagged my EAS AdvantEdge protein shakes at Can’t beat that– it just shows up right at my door.

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1. Combine all of the above ingredients in a blender. Add ice if you want it colder.
2. Blend until thoroughly combined.
3. Drink it up!

There are so many ways you can mix up this recipe and so many different ways you can add a little something extra to these shakes. They’re great on their own or as a base for a delicious smoothie! I’m thinking I’ll add raspberries, spinach and blueberries to the vanilla flavor next time!

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Mmmm! It’s so delicious. You’ll just have to try it for yourself. I love that it’s packed with protein and nutrients that will leave me feeling full all morning and last me until lunchtime around noon. It’s not loaded with carbs or sugars, either, but instead lightly sweetened with the added almond milk and banana and it still give me the energy I need to make it through my morning. It’s really the perfect get-up-and-go shake, let me tell ya!

What’s your favorite way to jazz up your protein shake in the morning?