11 April 2016

coming home to jerusalem


as we drove up in elevation from the floor of the judean wilderness towards jerusalem, i was so incredibly excited to return to my favourite place on earth and to share it with my true love. i had daydreamed several times over the past nine years about what it would be like to go back to the jersualem center, and the actual experience was really, truly sublime. my whole body was tingling with joy as we approached mount scopus, parked our car, were escorted inside the gate, entered the beloved building and immediately took in the views through the wide windows overlooking the holy city. the boy was quite excited, too, and just like i did all those years ago, he fell in love with jerusalem very quickly.





i'm positive this is all sounding very annoyingly dramatic, but i really can't describe how special this spot on earth is to my heart. it is sacred in such a personal way and in such a global way.



we went on a little tour of the jerusalem center (because students live there, visitors can only access parts of the building, but luckily all the best bits!) and we both were quite full-up with joy and wonder. for me, it completely felt like coming home, in the sweetest way. i was just totally blissed out. it was the perfect way to start off our exploring together in jerusalem.

we dropped our stuff off at our airbnb and then headed to damascus gate. i was almost as excited to again go inside the old city through that familiar entry as i was to return to the jerusalem center. we made our way through the tangled (and so so so fantastic!) streets and alleys of the old city to mount zion and i was just buzzing with memories and delight and gladness.



^^ one of the best things about the old city of jerusalem, and tone of the things i was most excited to share with the boy! ^^

next up: holy thursday and good friday in jerusalem!

{as i continue to share photos from our travels in the holy land, i just want to make a quick, candid disclaimer: yes, i realize that i'm really awkward in photos holding my baby bump. the truth is, i'm self-conscious about my body right now - and going on a trip when lots of photos are taken didn't help much with that! as mentioned in my most recent "bumpdate" post, it's difficult for me to watch my body change in ways that i have pretty much zero control over, and to not compare or scrutinize. i feel like the way that my body is carrying baby makes me look really thick instead of cutely pregnant, and i'm just not a big fan of photos of myself (especially on a really special trip!) looking just quite laaaaarge rather than blessedly with child. so, for the first time in my life full of photographs, i'm conscious about how i pose in pictures...and clearly i'm still figuring out what "works"! i'm trying to find the balance between owning and appreciating my current body shape and taking appropriate measures to look and feel good :)}

15 comments :

  1. Charity - don't feel bad about holding your "bump" - your baby can feel it and it's comforting to both of you. So go for it, and enjoy it. And I can totally relate about the body changes, but don't let that spoil your fun or excitement! You look beautiful and radiant!

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  2. So the opposite! You are adorable and nothing about is not beautiful!

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  3. You should do what feels comfortable for you! I know you're a "minimalist" with your flat not having much space...but it's amazing how much more comfortable I felt in maternity clothes versus trying to make non maternity clothes fit right. Even just simple t-shirts designed to accentuate the "bump" made me feel more like a pregnant lady and not quite as unsure of myself!

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  4. You look amazing! You should not feel self conscious at all about your body changing. You are going to look back on these photos in a few years and realize you looked adorable and you'll smile at how sweet it was to carry your little guy around like that. Trust me! My little one is almost two so I have experience. I'm doing it all again now and am thinking waaaaay less about how I look.

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  5. Hi Charity,

    I can't really relate to how you're feeling because I've never been an expectant parent (though I hope to sometime sooner rather than later!) but I completely appreciate your struggle with your bump image, etc. I have a feeling I'll feel similarly when I am with bump. You look great, and just do what feels best to you! Easier said than done, perhaps, but just know that you're rockin' in!

    - S in Seattle (a long time, rarely commenting reader)

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  6. Have you ever tried mindful meditation where you again and again remind yourself gently to focus back on your breathing when your mind wanders off to somewhere else? I recommend you do this with these "body image" thoughts. EVERY time your mind wanders to feeling anything less that miraculous about your body gently, and with love, guide yourself to remembering what an amazing and lucky and blessed experience this is. Do not let yourself think about your body in anything less that a positive way. When it happens just guide yourself right away from it. You don't have time or mind space to waste on that negative junk so just don't remind yourself again and again and again not to do it.

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    1. i love this suggestion, thank you!!

      (by the way, i deleted your other comment because i felt that it attracted the very attention you were worried about :) thank you though!)

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  7. thanks for the nice comments! i think it may have come across that i am more self-conscious than the reality. i think my body is doing really awesome work and any worry about how i look is quite fleeting. just wanted to provide some transparency and any clarification in case the bump holding sends any other negatively construed message. i know it's totally normal to have some struggle with a changing body and i am enjoying learning from that challenge.

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  8. You are so stinking' cute! I remember, long, long, long ago my body changing and being both thrilled (after many miscarriages) and also uncertain as to what all was happening. I KNEW what was happening, but after being focused for so long on having a baby, what it meant for my body didn't really hit me until later. I, too, was happier in maternity clothes--perhaps as a badge of victory :). My biggest surprise was that my shoes didn't fit the last 2 months and was so grateful to borrow shoes from a friend. You are experiencing pregnancy in the exact way you are supposed to being doing it---feeling it, questioning it, sharing it. It's all the preparation for when the baby comes and you really have no control <3

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  9. Most pregnant women go through that stage of feeling thick. However...you look great. In the years to come when you look back on these pictures, your family will say...wow you did all that while being pregnant. They will only cherish you and your husband's love of traveling.

    My daughters add in all the countries that I visited before they were born because they say that they were with me in egg form and that counts a bit!!!!

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  10. I think nature will solve the issue in one or two months. :-)

    I loved the spices in the shouk! Since they were in the open, they smelled so strongly.

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  11. You look beautiful and healthy and strong. Your body is perfect.

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  12. Oh sweety, you look wonderful even if you might not feel that way right now. I have older school age kids and I remember going through your body image feelings. I was really thin before my first baby and gained a lot of weight with him...then I had twins so, yeah. I lost it all over time.

    One thing I will recommend, it doesn't look like you've taken the maternity clothing plunge. Find yourself a couple of outfits (and undergarments) that make you feel great. I never went for the super clingy pieces, but chose flowier tops and skirts/pants. Not only were they much more comfortable, but I got compliments all the time and actually loved how I looked and felt. It's all worth it, but I bet you already know that.

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    1. thanks! :) again, i'm not too worried about it, but i do want to be honest about it!

      i guess i should be glad that people think i can still fit into my jeans, but yeah, i am definitely wearing maternity clothes (mixed in with some stretchy regulars). i guess i either haven't chosen the most flattering ones or aren't filling them out right yet :)

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  13. These photos are so beautiful!! Thank you for these wonderful posts on your special journey - the nature, ancient ruins, ancient "not ruineds", the narrow streets, colorful wares (gummies and spices!), etc. are all just great to look through. You are a talented photographer!

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