Puberty Was Not My Friend

Puberty Was Not My Friend

Do you ever catch yourself looking back through old photos of yourself & you think, “who in the world let me leave the house like that?” Well that’s me then and that’s me now somedays. Sometimes I’m shocked that Anthony will be seen in public with me because I am truly a candidate for the next What Not To Wear show.

When I was a child, I was a tomboy to the EXTREME. If my brother wore it, so did I. I lived in slicked back ponytails, Harry Potter circular glasses, a T-shirt, my pants that zipped off at the knees that matched my best friend Matthew Imbriaco, and my clunky Etnies. I was the epitome of fashion and good looks. (Insert crickets chirping here) because I was most definitely not the cutest girl in my 3rd grade class.

Middle school was not much better unfortunately. This was the time that I decided I wanted to be “girly” for the first time since I told my mom I was not wearing pink anymore at the age of 3. We went shopping in the little girls section and I picked out all the lovely bermuda shorts a 12 year old could dream of that came with those cute little sash belts. I wore my camisole under my Aeropostale T-shirt and I was living my best life. Again, I was not the top pick with the boys by any means but this was the time where boys and girls were blossoming and puberty was snatching people up left and right.

Now, middle school Bryce was not the curvy, crop top wearing, James Charles makeup palette wearing teenage girls you see today. I was thin. I was awkward. I had braces and a horrible haircut. I was extremely under developed and overall lacking in anything womanly unlike the rest of my friends. Middle school was ROUGH when it came to the whole loving your body image. I used to get made fun of so bad for the lack of filler in my T-shirt. I can remember specifically in my language arts class where a boy who shall not be named because he may or may not read this blog sat behind me and would say, “Roses are red. Tires are black. Why is your chest as flat as your back?” And I’d have to come up with something equally as clever like, “God made me this way so I can run fast for track. I’m build aerodynamically.” Which lets be honest, was probably not what the cool kids were saying back then.

But man, kids can be so mean! It’s hard enough being a 12 year old girl in a sea of friends who look like their 18 already surrounding you. It’s hard when your besties are dating someone new every week and the only thing you want is for someone to notice you, just once. I wanted all the boys who didn’t want me back. Story of my life till 18 & Anthony honestly haha But puberty was most definitely not my friend. She was brutal in all forms. She gifted me with acne and oily hair. She came with monthly torture and severe awkward moments. She was beauty and grace to my friends and an ornery stinker to me. It wasn’t till lately do I feel like I’ve finally blossomed into my own self at 25.

I’m still dealing with acne. I still have messy hair. I’m still under developed compared to most of my friends and I’m definitely no Miss Congeniality. Or if I am, I’m like pre-Gracie Lufreebush before she got her makeover. I’m a hot mess express but I look in the mirror and I see the 3rd grade girl who’s now a woman and I’m happy with all the changes I’ve gone through.

This body birthed a gigantic baby. This body has breastfed for 14 months so far. This body gained 18+ lbs and then shed them. This body has survived all the hurtful words and silly songs sung about it. It’s survived heartbreaks. It’s survived broken bones and surgeries. Sure, it’s taken a long time to get to a point that it’s ok with who it is. But that’s the beauty of change. That’s the light at the end of the tunnel after you’ve learned all your friends bought their first training bra years before you did. Whether you blossomed early or late, you blossomed exactly the way you meant to. And you’re beautiful. You’re perfect the way you are. Even if you’re 25 and currently sitting here with pimple cream on your face. You’re gosh darn BEAUTIFUL my friend.

And believe me, if I can survive all the torment I went through then I promise you, that you can do it too.

You’re loved. You’re strong. Your blossoming into exactly who God crested you to be. Keep on blossoming.

Love,

Bryce

Anxiety

Anxiety

When I was in high school I wanted to go to everything and do everything. I’m guilty of coming home WAY past curfew and driving around all of town with my friends. In my mind I was invincible. I was brave.

But in reality I think I was equally as scared of everything as I am now, but only now I feel like it’s worse. I’m scared of everything. Big crowds. Being alone. Going to functions where I don’t know anyone really. Even going to functions where I know everyone.

Sometimes it’s crippling. Sometimes I want to hide in my house, close my blinds, and not answer the door for anyone. I’m kind of thankful we still have yet to fix our doorbell because that way I don’t have to go to the door.. as crazy as that sounds.

I’m really not brave. But I’m a mom now and I want to be brave for Luke. I want to take him to the park without feeling like I’m going to have a heart attack at any moment. I want to go to the grocery store and pick items for a meal for my family without having to talk on the phone the entire time with a friend because I’m freaking out on the inside. I want to be able to go into a different aisle than Anthony and not tear up and bolt back to where he is. I mean I am 25 for goodness sakes. I should be able to do these easy things.

I’ve never talked to a doctor before really about my anxiety and I don’t take anything for it. I just learn to deal with it in my own ways and a lot of that involves staying in my comfort zone all the time. But I’ve come to realize that my life has plateaued because I’m letting my fear keep me down. So to combat that anxiety I’ve been working really hard on the following things:

  • 1. I joined a small group at my church.

  • So this was a HUGE step for me. I’ve been attending VLC for about 6.5 years with Anthony and we have never joined any groups. We stayed hidden in the shadows of the upper seats of the auditorium and that was safe for me. I could love God boldly up there where no one could really see me and I could sneak out the back and get back to my car quickly before running into anyone. And then I realized how sad that was and how I actually really wanted to be in the front row and I wanted to meet everyone and secretly I wanted to sing on stage. But that’s still not something I’m quite ready for yet haha So we joined a small group and even though it’s extremely intimidating meeting with a group of people that you know from passing the last few years but you don’t really know, I’m so glad we joined. I’m ready to make new friends with fellow believers in Christ and have people around me who will pray for me, lift me up, and love on me.
  • 2. I went to the public library and met up with a fellow mom who reached out to me on social media & now I have a friend for life.
  • Cece, girl, if you’re reading this.. thank you for continually asking me to meet you and G at the library on Thursday’s even though I kept not showing up for weeks. Thank you for not giving up on me. I was SO scared to meet you in person. Not because I think you’re remotely scary, you’re actually one of the most down to earth and welcoming people I have ever met. But I was so anxious to actually leave my house with Luke and meet someone I didn’t really know in a public place that I was anxious to walk into alone. It took A LOT of convincing in my own mind but I’m so glad I finally went and now we get together with our little guys weekly almost. I love you, thank you for helping me feel braver than I have in a long time.
  • 3. This blog.

    I know I took a long, long, LONG break from this blog. But writing has always been there for me. A big thank you to Ms. Ely, Ms. Castle, and Mrs. Johnson for always inspiring my writing since I was 12. I have stacks of journals at home that I write in and if I find a piece of paper I like to jot things down. Whether I’m sad, anxious, happy, stressed, etc I write it down. I write my prayers down, I journaled throughout my pregnancy, I write letters to Anthony, and more. In the beginning of Girl Behind The Frames, I wanted it to be anonymous. I wanted to be all moody and pour my guts out into these posts with no filter. I wanted to be able to say whatever I wanted and it wouldn’t matter who read it. I felt like if I could truly write about what I was experiencing, then my anxiety would have no control on the consequences that could happen if someone found out it was me. But instead l panicked and I didn’t make this blog anonymous. However, it’s actually kind of empowering to me to be able to write what I want (for the most part) and I can be honest with you all and you know that its just little ol’ plain jane Bryce over here.

    4. I’ve accepted that anxiety-ridden Bryce does not define me as a whole.

    I’m more than the timid person in the room full of people. I’m more than the mom who’s stressed at the store. I’m a wife, I’m a mom, I’m a friend, I’m a daughter, I’m actually big ol’ goober around the right people haha I’m known by God and He loves me and all my insecurities.

    If you too struggle with anxiety just know you aren’t alone. No matter if yours is minor all the way to major. It doesn’t have to define you or your life. Try going outside your comfort zone just once and you might be surprised what lovely things come your way. Or you can come hang out with me and we can be stressed together 🙂

    Love,

    Bryce

    Hi, I’m back!

    Hi, I’m back!

    I haven’t written to you all in a long time. Over a year to be exact. I can’t really explain to you why, other than the mere fact that I became a mom and time slipped away from me. I’m honored though that people have asked, “hey do you still write your blog?” I honestly thought no one would ever notice that I stopped. But wow, my heart is doing a little jig just knowing that someone out there read what I had to say.

    How have we all been? I know that I have been busier than ever before. Time is flying. I remember as a kid, I used to think time took forever. I would look outside and I’d see the clouds moving and I’d think to myself, “is it Christmas yet?” Only to find that it was still March. But now I look outside as an adult and I think to myself, “HOLY MOLY ITS ALMOST TIME FOR THE HOLIDAYS AGAIN? Didn’t we JUST celebrate Christmas last week?” And then I have a slight anxiety attack on the inside because I know the next few months left of 2019 are going to zoom by. So I try to cherish every single day I can.

    This entire year at my household has been filled with Intro to Parenthood 101: my baby is walking, teething, talking, and growing way too big for my comfort. Along with, How To Be A Supportive Wife: My Husband Is Going Through A Career Change. And let me tell you, these two “classes” are HARD doing alone. But yeah, Anthony either has been at work for job #1 or #2, at the fire department, or school. And don’t get me wrong, I am so so so blessed to have a husband who works as hard as Anthony does. He is a dying breed of man I feel. Not to be rude but it just seems nowadays that men my age are becoming lazy.. BUT not my dude. Anthony is working so hard to change his life and our lives as a family. I’m so proud to see him come home everyday telling me something new he has learned and to see him advance in life. He deserves it. But I’d be lying if I said it hasn’t been hard to be home alone these last 14 months and raising our little dude by myself most days. Have I mentioned I haven’t slept a full night since pre-baby. Y’all I’m tired.

    I’d like to just sit here and complain to you all about how tired I am and how I need a break and how I’m going insane somedays I think. But ain’t nobody got time for that. I’ll leave it for my Instagram feed haha (follow me at little__buck *shameless self plug here) instead, I’m going to be GRATEFUL and tell you that being a mom and a stay-at-home mom too is the best job I have ever had. Whether I’m tired for eternity and the bags under my eyes get sponsored by Gucci and Prada (because they are BIG and PUFFY) it’s all worth it. I have been blessed to watch my little guy go from this chubby potato of a human to this mischievous and brave boy. He can walk, run, climb onto furniture, tell me “no” any chance he can get, laugh, high-five & fist-bump, and hugs me while saying “mama” all within days I feel. His first year of life was here and gone in a blink of an eye and I got to watch it all happen. I am so blessed to have had that opportunity and it wouldn’t have been possible without a husband who was willing to do what needed to be done financially so that I could stay home.

    I have so much more I want to say but I’ll save those for future posts. Thank you again to anyone who has reached out to me about this blog. It made me so happy to know that I had someone out there who read my posts and felt like they weren’t alone. Because of you, I’m going to get back on the horse and get this blog going again.

    Remember you are loved. You are seen. You are known.

    -Bryce

    Every package is a gift

    Every package is a gift

    There is beauty to be found in every woman. No matter how the packaging she comes in looks- it’s all beautiful. Every bow, ribbon, sparkle, design, and yes even the scotch tape strategically hidden to cover the slightly ripped areas. She’s beautiful.

    Sometimes she comes in a smaller package and sometimes she comes in a bigger one.

    If you choose to base your opinions of her solely on her packaging, then my friend, you are missing out on the gift within.

    She’s outgoing, kind, determined, stubborn, emotional, loving, selfless, and more. She’s full of stories and wisdom. She’s full of hurt and pain. She’s trying to find out who she is. She’s adventurous and sometimes shy.

    She has more to her than the curves you feel around the edges of the package. She has more than the pretty ribbons she’s placed to capture your attention. She’s more than the size of the box she comes with.

    There are areas that scotch tape has been strategically placed to help cover her “ripped” areas. Almost everyone has some scotch tape somewhere helping hold them together.

    My hope is you’ll take the time to admire her for what’s inside and not just her outer appearance.

    She’s a gift. Treat her like one. Don’t treat her as if she can be thrown away or returned due to damage. She’s exactly how she’s supposed to be in this moment of life. She’s exactly how God created her – so delicately and with so much intention to every inch of her.

    It’s important to know that. To know that she was made so wonderfully and she has a purpose in this world. That she’s capable of anything she sets her mind to and it doesn’t matter what size she is. She can be whatever she dreams to be. It’s important to know that her self worth doesn’t come from pretty wrapping or the fanciest decorations she uses. It’s what’s inside.

    Treasure her. Love her.

    And ladies, treasure and love yourself too.

    ❤️

    White walls

    White walls

    We have white walls finally painted in our nursery for our little boy. It feels fresh in that room now. Brighter. Like new beginnings.

    Which makes sense because it is a new beginning. I mean, we’re going from a family of three (we include our dog in the equation) to a family of four. The room that was always going to be a nursery one day is actually going to be a nursery now. It’s no longer the storage room of odd ball items. It’s going to be the room our little one falls asleep in every night and wakes up in the next day. It’s going to be where we dress him and change him. Where we say our good night prayers and give our good morning kisses. It’s going to have a purpose. The best purpose. It’s for our little boy.

    We still have a ton to do: paint furniture, build a crib, build a glider, put in closet organizers and shelves, decorate, etc.

    But just these white walls alone sure make my momma heart happy. It’s the start of something new. 💙

    Did you know I heard you?

    Did you know I heard you?

    To the old man in the corner of the coffee shop whispering when you see me walk by with my bump under my shirt, do you know I can hear you?

    To the younger girl (not by much) in the ice cream parlor pointing at my bump looking at me as if I’m fifteen, did you know I saw you?

    To the older woman asking me why I’m having a baby “so young,” did you think before you spoke?

    Did you take a moment to think of how beautiful a pregnant woman truly is? She is carrying life inside of her. She is literally growing a miracle. Her body is changing drastically every day. Her life is forever changed.

    Did you take into consideration the trials she may have encountered just to have that bump under her shirt? Maybe she has previously lost a baby before it was able to come into the world. Maybe she has cried countless tears. Maybe she has spent all her money on medical help to conceive.

    Maybe she’s been praying for years, months, days, or perhaps she was unexpectedly blessed. Did you take into consideration that maybe she’s riding out this pregnancy alone? Perhaps her significant other abandoned her or even her family. The ridicule she may already have felt was once again stinging her heart when she heard your comment as she walked by.

    Sir, when you whispered, “do you think she meant to get pregnant?” I wanted to turn around and scream at you. I wanted to say, “how dare you? Do you know how badly I’ve been wanting this baby? Do you know how much heartache I’ve felt? Do you know how much joy I feel every time he moves?” I wanted to tell you that I’m married, a college graduate, a working citizen, in my twenties, etc. But then I realized it was really none of your business. I shouldn’t have to explain to you that I am fully capable of having this child. I shouldn’t have to remind you how special it is to have life within.

    Instead, I turned around and walked out of the room. I was angered, yes. But I just rubbed my little bump, felt my son do a little squirm, and I thanked the Lord above that I was pregnant and that I was lucky enough to be his mom. And I knew that the Lord had fulfilled His promise to me.

    Sir, ma’am, young woman.. when you whisper, point, and question the belly you see under my clothing.. Don’t be alarmed when I just smile. Because I know that this pregnancy is not a mistake. My son is not an accident. Just like you yourself was not an accident. We are all on this earth for a reason and we are all miracles.

    “Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!” Luke 1:45

    Also, I don’t think it’s an accident that this verse means so much to me and that I’m also naming my son, Luke 💙

    Xoxo, Bryce

    Body Changing: Beauty Radiating

    Body Changing: Beauty Radiating

    First you were a dream that came to life through baby dolls.

    Then you were a slight fear during my teen years.

    Once your dad and I met, you became a constant prayer.

    After multiple negative pregnancy tests, you became something that felt unreachable and unattainable.

    But now, as I feel you move more and more in my belly, you are a dream come true. A fear that is no longer and has become excitement. You are an answered prayer. You are reachable and attainable because nothing is impossible through the Lord Jesus Christ and hope.

    You are my baby and I am your mother.

    There are moments when I have to remind myself of this. There are moments I become frustrated that I can’t fit into my high waisted shorts this summer and I have to put on maternity ones instead. Where the band around my belly practically goes up to my shoulders and I have to get things in bigger sizes. I feel rather large some days as I watch my belly button slowly pop out and ribs that used to show, fade away under the bump. My boobs are actually boobs now. Something I never thought I’d ever have under my shirts (all my itty-bitty-titty friends can understand I’m sure.) I have the linea nigra from my belly button down and I thought that would bother me, but the darker it gets the more I find that I love it. My back hurts more frequently and my feet have hit the point of swelling after a day of work. My underarm hair grows at the speed of light and I’ve been finding some dark patches of skin randomly. My face acne finally cleared (hallelujah amen!) but it moved to my shoulders so that’s kind of a bummer. I cry randomly and I pee my pants when I sneeze. I’m starving but get full really fast. I don’t like the smell of turkey bacon but I love when your dad makes me breakfast burritos for dinner. I’m also a regular at Aztecas now and they should sponsor this Pregnancy. You LOVE enchiladas and Chile rellenos and I’m perfectly ok eating them everyday for you if I could. So again, Aztecas.. sponsor me please. Help a sister curb her cravings.

    You are my baby and I’m your mother.

    My body has changed and I used to fear the idea of being “bigger.” When you’ve been the “skinny” girl all your life, you get a little freaked by the rising numbers on the scale. I used to think that I’d look in the mirror and be very discouraged by the image looking back. I thought “there is no way I’m going to be able to gain 20+ pounds during pregnancy.” The idea of stretch marks used to freak me out or loose skin in places. I have always been extremely self conscious with my outer appearance. But for you, (in a healthy manner of course), I would do whatever I could to help my body be the perfect home for you to grow in.

    I have never felt more beautiful and more empowered than I do when I see this belly in the mirror and especially when I feel you move inside. You are the dream I’ve had from the youngest of ages.

    Thank you for making me a mother and thank you for our quiet moments together when you move to the sound of my voice alone.

    See you in August, Luke.

    It’s a Boy!

    It’s a Boy!

    What a day it has been!

    Full of food, friends, family, and blue confetti that I’ll never fully get out of my yard or house.

    But it was sure worth it.

    Well, it’s official news folks! Anthony & I will be welcoming a little boy into the world this August. After all the negative pregnancy tests and tears, we finally know exactly who we created. It’s been a wild ride so far and I know it’s only going to get better.

    A BOY!! What?! We thought for sure we were having a girl. Don’t get me wrong, we are extremely excited to be having a sweet boy, but we were a little saddened that our “girl” dreams weren’t truly accurate. Or at least for this baby 🙂 maybe next time we will be having pink confetti everywhere. But nonetheless, we are so grateful that the Lord chose us to raise this young man.

    I’m looking forward to “momma’s boy” moments and to see him follow around his older cousin Ailish. They will be 18 months apart and it will be so sweet to see them play. It’s my parents first grandson and that in itself is such a cool feeling knowing they will have one of each now. As for Anthony’s side, this will be the second great-grandson and second grandson. And on my side (cousin wise) this will be the fourth great-grandson.

    I’m SO thankful that my baby is going to be surrounded by a bunch of tiny cousins to play with and grow. I was the youngest grand baby on my dads side and all of my cousins were older than me so I didn’t have anyone tiny like me other than my brother. But my boy will have lots of other boy cousins to be rough and tough with and that makes me so darn happy.

    I feel him squirm a bunch now and I think he knows that momma and daddy know he’s in there now.

    Oh Luke, the more I feel you kick the more I can’t wait to meet you in person.

    My house will be filled with my dudes. My big dude (Anthony), my medium dude (Odie J our dog), and now my little dude. I’ll be the only girl but that just gives them all the reason to spoil me right? 😘

    How lucky are we to have so much love around us and this little one. Blessed beyond measure for sure.

    Stay tuned for all my Luke adventures to come. It’s going to be the best adventure yet.

    Xoxo, Bryce the boy momma

    Who Am I

    Who Am I

    When someone asked me the other day what I thought about myself, I didn’t know how to reply.

    I mean, obviously you want to reply with “Well I’m pretty darn great, duh.” And then maybe add in a hair flip and walk off like you own the joint.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    Lets be real friends, I am definitely not all that and a bag of chips. And don’t I know it too!

    But I started to really think long & hard about who in the world I am and just exactly what I thought about myself. It’s SO easy to think about ourselves negatively, I know that I am absolutely my biggest critic. Plus I’ve had my fair share of other critics not holding back about what they think of me. And if you’re anything like I am, then you take those words to heart and you let them take over your entire life.

    But how often do we actually look at ourselves and think positively?

    How often do we think about all the people we made smile today? Or maybe all the things we’ve achieved. Perhaps we could even look at ourselves in the mirror and instead of seeing the outer exterior that we tend to criticize, we could take a look at our minds, heart, goals.

    Now a days when I look at myself, I see my baby bump growing. Before, I would have been so upset by the weight gain and the fact that I don’t fit in “size small” anymore. That would have mortified me before. But now I see it as something so beautiful. And I see a mother in the mirror. I see the heart that has been longing to love and yearning to help nurture. I see a womb that has been perfectly created to be the right atmosphere for a growing human. I mean c’mon people, I AM GROWING A HUMAN! And if that alone doesn’t make me feel good about myself, then maybe the attitude I have to serve others will.

    Maybe I could answer the “Who I am” question by looking at a room full of people I love and knowing I’m loved in return. And I could say, “I’ve lived my life well if I can fill a room with people that I love.”

    Or maybe I could say, “Who am I? Well, I’m a wife.” I could look at the way my husband and I have connected and how we can spend every second together and not get tired. How we feed off each other’s creativity and silliness. How we both love the Lord with all of our hearts. How we pray for another daily. I could tell someone that I’m a fervent prayer warrior. That I have a list of things and people that I make sure I think about before bed.

    I could totally answer the question with “I’m a dog mom” because my little fur babe is my life haha

    But on a serious note, who do you think you are?

    Are you a good friend? Do you drop what you’re doing to help someone? Do you live your life to serve others or do you live your life waiting for others to serve you? Do you see someone who is worth loving and do you try to reciprocate that love outward?

    When asked the question, “what do you think about yourself?” I know now that I can reply with this:

    I’m Bryce and I’m a hot mess. But I’m stitched together with the best intentions and a heart full of love. I mess up a lot, and I’m definitely nowhere near perfect nor will I ever be. But I’m exactly who God created me to be, and I’m happy with that.”

    Now, what’s your answer?

    Comment below and let me know what you think about yourself 🙂

    Xoxo, Bryce

    17 weeks

    17 weeks

    I haven’t posted a blog since we announced our pregnancy 5 weeks ago!

    Can you believe that was already f i v e weeks ago?! This pregnancy is flying by so quickly and I’m just trying to soak up every last second that comes with each week.

    17 weeks has brought some new things with it:

    1. Bump is definitely starting to shape itself – I am egg shaped
    2. Nausea is not everyday but seems to occur when turkey bacon is being cooked
    3. Quickening is happening! 💕💕 I’ve felt the baby move a little bit and I become so overjoyed each time
    4. Slowly not being able to see my toes from my view 😂
    5. Maternity pants are the first jeans I’ve worn in about 3 years and I still dislike jeans unfortunately
    6. Officially can’t sleep on my belly anymore
    7. My belly button is getting hard (is that common?)
    8. The anticipation to know this sweet babes gender is getting more & more severe! We can’t wait for April!

    Each day that my maternity pants seem tighter and my belly gets bigger, I just can’t wait to meet my sweet tiny bean. I’m so excited to feel more kicks and wiggles as the days come ahead. Especially for Anthony to be able to feel the movement, he is such a good dad already. He’s been so patient with my cravings, my itchy skin with it stretching and helping me put lotion on, carry heavy things, massage my aching muscles, and more.

    We are blessed beyond measure to be parents and we can’t wait to share more moments with you all!

    Did any of you mommy’s have any weird symptoms during your second trimester? Comment below and let me know 🙂

    Xoxo, Bryce