Our Keepsake Journal is Here! 🎉

When I was a teenage girl I had low self-esteem.

Today I am not sure why. Looking at old pictures, I now see a beautiful young girl with the perfect body, curves in the right places, and a killer smile. I was no Heidi Klum, but I certainly could hold my own.

Then I didn’t like my curly hair because I didn’t know how to tame it. I didn’t like the ash blonde color (or grey mouse color as I unlovingly called it) I inherited from my dad. I changed my hair color every month until I finally stuck with a lighter shade of blonde.

I didn’t like my ears. They are not perfectly attached to my head and I thought for a long time I would need surgery to flatten their appearance (haha… silly me).

A boy ran me over with his BMX bike on my 6th birthday and ripped open my cheek with his pedal. I have a nasty scar on my cheek that faded away with time, but for years I was embarrassed about it (it’s barely visible, actually).

I didn’t like my teeth. Somehow I just didn’t lose my baby teeth until I was in fourth grade and when my grown-up teeth started coming in, they grew any which way they wanted. Not only did I have to have extensive orthodontic work, I also had to have teeth removed because they just didn’t all fit in my jaw. I was certain I would never, ever smile again in my life.

I didn’t like my C-cup boobs because a so-called friend told me to take the pencil test. If the pencil doesn’t fall down you apparently have saggy boobs. She had A-cup boobs and there was nowhere to put the pencil to begin with whereas my C-cup boobs held on to the pencil quite well… saggy boobs at age 16! Nobody wants that!
I didn’t like my arms because I felt they where too muscular for a girl.
I didn’t like my back because it was too wide. 
Then I was 135 lbs (61 kg), but I’m “only”  5’4″ (164 cm), which isn’t bad, but I didn’t like my belly because when I sat down I had a little muffin top (don’t ask me how much I still weigh 9 weeks postpartum, please).
I didn’t like my butt. I had wider hips and a flat butt that I also inherited from my dad (geez dad, why didn’t I get the good stuff! Oh wait, I got your hair, too. That’s pretty good!).
At 13-years-old I couldn’t fit in my mom’s bell-bottom jeans because my thighs were already wider than hers. Of course, I didn’t like those either.
I didn’t like my calves. My dad always said I had calves like a soccer player (or like his mother, a hardworking farm wife).
My toes had some hair on them and the same pencil-test friend said it was disgusting and no guy would ever want a relationship with me because of the three extra hairs growing on my big toe.
There I was– barely grown and insecure beyond anything anyone could imagine. I hid it well behind a tough girl persona: smoking cigarettes, riding a moped, wearing a black leather jacket rain or shine, baggy pants, and Army or Dr. Martens boots. I made sure no one would see or notice any of my flaws.
Despite all those flaws, I met the most thoughtful and kind young man twenty years ago. The first time I spent the night at his place and woke up in his arms, he told me I was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. Dragon breath and all. I was sure he had lost his mind, not put on his glasses, or was lying through his teeth. 
I am thirty-seven-years-old (at least for another month) and looking back I can only chuckle at my (silly) adolescent self.
The curly hair has gotten curlier since moving to North Carolina. When the humidity is bad, I look like Monica (from Friends) when she went to the Bahamas. But I know my husband loves my hair — crazy and all. It reflects who I am perfectly since I am a thinker and my mind is often buzzing with thoughts. Also, I am still the same color blonde and now it hides my grey hair… actually who knows if I have any since I haven’t seen my mouse-grey hair in twenty years. 
My ears never got that surgery, but they’re actually not as bad as I made them out to be. They hear perfectly and can listen for hours. They listen to my husband’s war stories and my children’s cries, songs, and happy stories. They listen to my friends and family in need. They have listened to many clients’ stories and I now passed them on to my #bonusbaby, so we have something visibly in common. That makes me proud.
That scar in my face was not the first or the last scar I got on my body. It tells a story and is part of me. Nobody has actually ever noticed it or asked me what happened, so it really isn’t that bad at all.
My parents paid a lot for the orthodontic work I had done and it shows. I love my teeth now and take great care of them. My dentist will tell you that I am a little obsessed with them actually, but in a good way.
My husband has always liked my C-cup boobs. Now they have grown into ginormous DD-cup boobs and they have fed #rainbowbaby for 26 months. I was able to donate milk to another Mama’s baby for a few weeks and they’re now feeding #bonusbaby quite properly. I would certainly fail the pencil test today, but I think they’re marvelous boobs for doing such an amazing job.
My arms are still muscular and they can carry quite a load. They carried my daughter when she was small, my #rainbowbaby, and now my #bonusbaby. Those arms can give amazing hugs to my husband, children, family, friends, and former doula clients.
My back has taken a beating when I flew off my motorcycle Superman-style, but it didn’t break when I had to be mom and dad while my husband was deployed. It carried our household’s chores, yard work, and more when my husband was too busy studying for his Bachelors and Masters degree and when he went through Special Forces training. It is strong and now has beautiful tattoos all over it reflecting my story. 
I am certainly heavier than I was in my youth, but those are just numbers and eventually I’ll get back to normal again. Right now I need the extra fat to breastfeed and make it through the sleepless nights all the while I manage a four-year-old’s tantrums and welcomed back our 19-year-old daughter who was abroad for a year. It is definitely a stretch accommodating all of the personalities in our house at the moment, but I am patiently enforcing diplomacy between all of them and praying for continued patience and wisdom.
My calves are still muscular, but I can walk for miles and they don’t get tired. I have walked with my clients before birth, alongside my friends, my babies and family. I will continue walking with all of them physically and spiritually, until the Lord comes again.
My butt is bigger and so are my thighs. I realized that my body composition is just different than my mom’s and I was never going to fit in those jeans… ever. If they ever come back in style, I’ll just get some in my size.
What is my size?
Do you care?
I am the perfect size.
In my next thirty years I am going to love myself more than ever, because this thirty-seven-year-old body of mine grew two perfect little humans. One with a lot of help and the other miraculously all by itself.
So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Check out our new Keepsake Companion Journal that pairs with our So God Made a Mother book!

Order Now
So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Nina Leicht-Crist

Nina Leicht-Crist was born and raised in Southern Germany. Midwifery has been a lifelong passion, though after a long agonizing battle with (in)fertility, she quit working in prenatal and maternity care to pursue a career in writing and translating from home, so she could stay at home and raise her miracle babies. In 2017 Nina self-published an autobiography titled "Love, Faith & Infertility - a story of hope and special forces" hoping it would give someone the strength to keep going on their path to parenthood. It is available on Amazon.

Children Don’t Get Easier, We Just Get Stronger

In: Inspiration, Mental Health, Motherhood
Children Don't Get Easier, We Just Get Stronger www.herviewfromhome.com

“This too shall pass.” As mothers, we cling to these words as we desperately hope to make it past whichever parenting stage currently holds us in its clutches. In the thick of newborn motherhood, through night wakings, constant nursing and finding our place in an unfamiliar world, we long for a future filled with more sleep and less crying. We can’t imagine any child or time being more difficult than right now. Then, a toddler bursts forth, a tornado of energy destroying everything in his wake. We hold our breath as he tests every possible limit and every inch of...

Keep Reading

The One Thing Young Kids Need to Know About Sex

In: Health, Kids, Motherhood
The One Thing Young Kids Need to Know About Sex www.herviewfromhome.com

I currently have four kids in elementary school from kindergarten to fifth grade. My kids have not experienced any sexual abuse (to my knowledge); we have been very careful about any potential porn exposure; we closely monitor their involvement with pop culture through music, movies, books, and even commercials. While we might seem to err on the side of overly sheltering them, what we have also done is be very open with our kids about sex. We have told them the truth when they’ve asked questions. And have they asked some questions! Here’s a sampling of what I’ve been asked...

Keep Reading

I Don’t Have Anxiety—But My Husband Does

In: Health, Mental Health, Relationships
I Don't Have Anxiety—But My Husband Does www.herviewfromhome.com

I don’t have anxiety but my husband does.  We should have realized this years ago but we missed it. The realization came suddenly and as soon as it popped in my mind, it came out of my mouth. “You have anxiety.” I said. He looked at me trying to determine if I was joking or serious. “I am serious, you have anxiety.” His eyes left mine and found his phone. He picked it up and said, “Hey Siri, give me the definition of anxiety.” As the virtual assistant read off the definition she may as well have been reading my man’s personality...

Keep Reading

This is What Life is Like For a Mom Who Wears Hearing Aids

In: Health, Journal, Motherhood
This is What Life is Like For a Mom Who Wears Hearing Aids www.herviewfromhome.com

I’ll never forget the time I was standing on a dock in the middle of a lake, casually draining my long hair of water, soaking in the summer heat surrounding me. Little did I know, my right breast had escaped the clutches of my bikini top; it must have popped out when I dove into the cool lake. But because I wasn’t wearing my hearing aids—I can’t wear those babies in the water—I couldn’t hear those back on land who were calling at me to shove it back in. So, there I stood, clueless of the fact that I was...

Keep Reading

Welcome to Periods in Your 30s and 40s

In: Health, Humor
Welcome to Periods in Your 30s and 40s www.herviewfromhome.com

Do you remember that day in the fifth grade when the boys and girls were separated for the “Sexuality and Development” talk? Some nice old lady health teacher came into your room and gave you some straight talk about how the next few years were going to go for you. It was awkward and shocking and you knew your childhood would never be the same. When you hit your mid-thirties, there should be some kind of Part Two to that conversation. All the ladies need to be rounded up, lead into a dimly lit classroom that smells vaguely of pencil...

Keep Reading

How Can You Love an Abusive Man? I Did—Until I Decided to Choose Myself.

In: Health, Journal, Relationships
How Can You Love an Abusive Man? I Did—Until I Decided to Choose Myself.

He walked over to the table I was sitting at with some friends and casually, yet confidently, pulled up a chair. His voice was deep and he had a luring accent that immediately caught my attention. His distinctly cut jawline along his perfectly trimmed beard made him seem older, I thought, than the age I’d soon learn he was. Our paths had crossed before like two ships in the night, forbidding us from ever quite meeting as we did that day . . . eye to eye, energy to energy He chatted with me and our mutual friends for a...

Keep Reading

I’m Not Sure How Long I’ll Need an Antidepressant to Feel Normal…and That’s OK

In: Cancer, Child Loss, Grief, Mental Health
I'm Not Sure How Long I'll Need an Antidepressant to Feel Normal...and That's OK www.herviewfromhome.com

I tried to wean off of Zoloft and couldn’t. And that’s OK. I had never really been aware of the world of antidepressants. My life has been relatively uneventful—with the normal ups and downs that most of us go through. I knew people on medication for depression but never understood. How can you be THAT sad that you can’t just be positive and make the best of your circumstances? How can someone be THAT unhappy ALL the time to need medication? I didn’t get it. I felt bad for people going through it. Then my 2-year-old was diagnosed with Stage...

Keep Reading

To the Mom With the Anxious Soul

In: Journal, Mental Health, Motherhood
To the Mom With the Anxious Soul www.herviewfromhome.com

I see you, mama. You’re the one sitting alone at the family party. You’re the one hovering a little too close to your sweet babies at the park. You’re the one standing in the bathroom at work for just a moment of quiet. Your thoughts are swirling constantly, faster and more fearful that a “regular” mama. You find yourself spaced out at times, and hyper aware at others. You’ve heard the words “just relax” and “everything is fine” more times than you care to count. Sometimes you wish you could make everyone understand why you are the way you are...

Keep Reading

I Am My Child’s Advocate—and Other Valuable Lessons a Stay in the PICU Taught Me

In: Baby, Child, Health
I Am My Child's Advocate—and Other Valuable Lessons a Stay in the PICU Taught Me www.herviewfromhome.com

What started out to be a normal Thursday ended with a race to the children’s ER with my six-month-old. I was terrified. My adrenaline was pumping. My baby was struggling to breathe. The day before, he had been diagnosed with RSV. A simple cold to most healthy toddlers and adults turned out to be life threatening to my infant.   Once we were admitted, I knew this was serious. I knew he was in danger. I could sense the concern and urgency in the doctor’s voice. I knew the gravity of that wing of the hospital he was being wheeled...

Keep Reading

To the Young Warriors Fighting Cancer, You Are Superheroes

In: Cancer, Child, Child Loss, Health
To the Young Warriors Fighting Cancer, You Are Superheroes www.herviewfromhome.com

Most people never get to meet their heroes. I have, in fact—I have met many heroes. These heroes didn’t set out for greatness; they fell victim to a terrible disease and faced it with courage, might and bravery like I have never seen before. And when we talk about this type of battle, there is no such thing as losing. whether the battle ended in death, life, or debility, each of these heroes defeated. My heroes are the innocent children who battle cancer. I high-fived, hugged, wept over, laughed and played with my heroes for 10 years as a nurse. And you better believe I...

Keep Reading