An Ambulance Ride

When the newborn sleepless fog began to lift, Henry was about 4 months old. We headed to my parents for my dad’s birthday party. For whatever reason, Henry flipped. Like no other flip out before. Not a colicky thing, it was so much more intense… He would not stop crying, okay more like screaming, for anything! For like a really long time. He wouldn’t nurse, he wouldn’t sleep, he was just screaming. I couldn’t soothe him, Nick couldn’t, my mom couldn’t… and at one point I just broke down with an overwhelming fear something was wrong. This was the first of his episodes (it’s what we would end up calling them). These episodes would continue to happen in the next week or so and I was just chalking it up to just a really fussy baby with some clueless first-time parents.

Then the day of Henry’s four-month well visit came. It happened again… in front of the doctor… and he couldn’t stop… and I couldn’t calm him down. I was helpless. The doctor kept coming back into the room, telling me “I’m sorry if you can’t calm I’m down soon we need to talk” and she kept checking his pulse and heart rate. I knew something was wrong. He screamed his lungs out for probably an hour. His pulse and heart rate were scary high. Our doctor needed him to be check for a heart condition ASAP and an ambulance was on the way.

I was so scared. Not to mention I was so upset that even all of these nurses and doctors couldn’t do anything else but just pitying me and my screaming baby. Nothing anyone could do could was calming him. But wasn’t I supposed to know how? I’m his mom. But I didn’t…

Just as the ambulance pulled into the doctor’s office he had worn himself and fell asleep in my arms. This episode had finally ended. The doctor was still extremely concerned that he had this type of heart condition that essentially is that his heart rate would get so high it literally didn’t know how to slow down in these moments. Which obviously isn’t a good thing and would need to be managed.

Then there before my eyes was my baby was on a strapped to a stretcher going into an ambulance. A sight I will never forget and I know has shaped me into the kind of parent I am today.

Once we were at the children’s hospital, we had a pretty crappy experience but the most important part Henry was fine. His tests came back negative and we were diagnosed with a really high strung baby who would eventually grow out of it. Which as difficult as he was as a baby, thank God, that’s all it was.

I spent the rest of the year on eggshells trying to not set him off one of his episodes because truthfully, I couldn’t bear not being able to calm him. It was so embarrassing to me, let alone in public. Eventually we figured out what would likely set him off and got him on a strict schedule because it was the only thing that actually helped. He couldn’t be overtired and he liked knowing what to expect. Which left little time for outings and forget leaving him with a babysitter.

Throughout the year I’d say he was just a fussy baby. But really we had a fussy baby, I mean, we had a really fussy baby. Gosh, he even freaked the doctors out. He was freaking tough. Only a few people witnessed these episodes, just family really, who can attest to his stubborn screaming fits.

As time went on, he mellowed out. Like a lot. It’s like as soon as he could start talking he felt more comfortable. Don’t get me wrong, he can still throw an epic crying fit but more like the standard toddler would not the medically threatening kind.

Not too long ago, I started to feel myself relax and be able to enjoy things as thoroughly as I should without worrying so much. I think back and wonder if I did have postpartum anxiety … I think probably so. Did I realize it at the time? Maybe, but those stupid forms I had to fill out with a screaming baby in my arms didn’t do anything. Did friends hint that I should mellow out? For sure. Did they know the whole story? Would the even get it? Probably not because I wouldn’t go around anyone with him to witness it.

Why am I sharing it now? Truthfully, I don’t know. I just know writing it out was therapeutic, like a weight has been lifted and I will share it in case it can help even one person. Some days I find myself slipping back to that heavy weighted feeling in my chest and it’s hard. I know to most people I have outwardly seemed like I have it all together as a mom (maybe?😅) and it’s most certainly not true. We all have stories that shape us and this is part of mine.

Xo, Anna

How Would You Wear It? Chambray Shirt

Chambray Shirt

Hey, guys!

I’m so glad you are loving my new series on the blog. For this week’s “How Would You Wear It?”, I’m tackling the beloved chambray shirt. You know the shirt that you’re drawn to because, well, denim is life…then you quickly realize you’re never reaching for it?! I covered five ways to style a chambray shirt below. Mine is from Target and still available so I linked it and some of the other pieces that are still available there right here.

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Some key styling points:

  • Chambray tops can work with any colored bottom, whether it’s camo, black or the hot pink pants you have sitting in your closet. And don’t forget styling with darker denim looks just as cute if you can get passed the whole Canadian tuxedo deal!
  • You can see above that I tied the ends of the shirt together, I left it open to style as a more layered look and wear it totally classic. It’s easy to play around with depending on the look you’re going for!

So how would you wear it?

Xo, Anna

How Would You Wear It? T-shirt Dress

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Hey, friends!

A few weeks ago, I got on my Instagram stories saying that I realized how I wasn’t doing anything groundbreaking when I post my outfits of the day. I truly just want to be a space on the internet for real women to see how to wear their pieces multiple ways over and over again! Because that’s what we do. Well, that’s what I do! I got to thinking that I wanted to be more intentional about it and shared that with my followers which lead to lots of messages with positive feedback to do so. This week I went for it! I did underestimate the amount of time it takes to change, take pics, repeat, so I think some weeks are going to be more in-depth than others but I’m super excited about this series!

With spring on the mind and a request by a follower, I started with a t-shirt dress. This exact dress is from my good friend Laura’s boutique, Lane 51 last season (she does have it in a blush color now though)! If blush isn’t your color, here is another option from Target that comes in grey and a few other colors too!

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A lot of these pieces I’ve had in my closet for a long time now, but if something caught your eye, I will link similar items on the LiketoKnow.it app (a free app I use to make it easy to shop my looks in favor of a small commission) or by following this link!

So how would you wear it?

Xo, Anna

Galentine’s and Bridal Party Photo Shoot

Galentine's Photo Shoot

This past Monday, I was given the opportunity to play the role of a model in a bridal and Galentines photo shoot over at the Loveliest in Sewickley, PA. It was an afternoon of creative minds working together, laughs, and shivering in the cold for the photos! It was women coming together to share their talents with the world in such a beautiful way. We had so much fun and I think it shows through the photos even though with most of these women, it’s only my second or first time meeting them!

I just have to share some of my favorite photos with you all.

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This day couldn’t have been done without the talents of all these ladies below.

Bloggers/ Models: Jordyn, Leilani, Crystal

Hair: Katherine- The Lavendar Loft

Makeup: Annika and Raquel (Owners)- Glam to Go– Artists: Amanda and Rachel

Bridal Gown: Erin – Luna Boutique

Photographer:  Photos by Molly M

Charcuterie: Erin- Olive & Brie

Cookes w/ Names: Carly- Harper + Honey Bakery

Cookes for coffee: Marissa- Marissa Lynn Bakery

Pinata: Kayt- Hey Kayty Studio

Planning/ Floral: Hannah Di Cicco- Sip & Celebrate

Planning/ Studio/ Coffee: Kathryn Richardson- The Loveliest Co

 

It blows my mind on how organized and thoughtful the entire day was. I’m so thankful to be apart of it and I hope we can do it again soon!

Xo, Anna

Frozen II Event with Mystical Dream Travel

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Hi, everyone!

This morning I had the pleasure of attending the Frozen II Event hosted by Mystical Dream Travel. Originally, the plan was to attend with my little family of three but when Henry came down with a nasty virus, his big cousins (and my brother!) were MORE than happy to take his place for the morning.

Mystical Dream Travel is a local travel agency that has ten independent contractors who are ready to help you plan your next vacation or to their specialty, Disney! I had a chance to chat with Tina McHugh, the owner, and it is so clear that she has a passion for traveling and helping families create special memories that will last a lifetime.

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This team of agents cares so much about their clients that they host customer appreciation events like the one we were invited to today! We were given complimentary tickets to talk about our experience and I have nothing but positive things to say about this team. We were given fun swag bags full of trip planning info and Frozen goodies for the kids. When Tina found out I had a change of plans with Henry being sick, she was quick to roll with the changes and thoughtfully gave me a swag bag to take home for him and another one for my nephews! The agents also truly value making a difference in the community and asked everyone in attendance to bring an unwrapped toy for Beverly’s Birthdays. On top of that, there was a gift basket raffle with six different baskets to potentially win! All the money raised for the raffle also went to Beverly’s Birthdays which is a local charity that’s mission is that no child is forgotten on his/her special day. They have created thousands of birthday experiences for children in need. Definitely an organization worth looking into!

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Before we knew it, it was time to head to our seats! We got seated and Tina gave a heartful thank you to all the attendees and a little shout out to me for covering the event (thanks, Tina!). Then we were anxious to hear who were the lucky winners to the basket raffle so you can only imagine the excitement when I won! There were a lot of really cute themed baskets like Disney Princess, Stars Wars and Disney Game Night. I won the “Very Mickey Christmas!” basket which was full of fun Christmas themed Mickey Mouse items. Henry, who is currently Mickey obsessed, was so excited when I came home with this win! After the raffle excitement settled, it was time to watch the highly anticipated Frozen II.

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To no surprise, Disney nailed it… AGAIN. The rich storyline and Olaf’s little zinger’s made it just as compelling to adults as the kiddos. I’m seriously contemplating buying the soundtrack because I think the music is even better than the first!

All in all, it was such a fun morning with Mystical Dream Travel. I have no doubt that their trip planning services will be just as well organized and executed as this morning’s event was. I cannot wait to book a trip to Disney with them in the future!

Thanks to Mystical Dream Travel for having us!

Xo, Anna

Happy Blog-iversary to Me!

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Woohoo! Another year in the books. I know there are a lot of people who wonder why I chose this little hobby of mine and I realized never really shared my blogging story. So what better time than now?!

In November 2016, the company I was working for laid off our entire team. I was pretty devastated at the time, but it was actually the best thing for me. I wasn’t even happy working there and it was beginning to be too much because I was also working for Stitch Fix part-time. With my full-time job off the table, I wanted to market myself for a job in the actual field I wanted to be in and also get back to writing/creating.

I’ve been actually blogging off and on since 2012. I recently found my old blog after some heavy googling. It’s still out there and it’s pretty crazy how things have changed! Hah! Any guesses on it’s name? Anyway, I was ready for a fresh start and I opted for dropping the blog name to rebranded as just me, Anna Hinkle. I built a website that I love and shortly after Stitch Fix promoted me to be a full-time stylist. So my energy went back into my new job and still not 100% blogging.

As life went on, my son was born and I stepped down from my full-time position into part-time so I can spend most days with him. I underestimated how time-consuming and exhausting it can be to work and raise a tiny human in the same space. To this day, I know I can be better as I’m not always consistent in posting but this whole thing is genuinely fun for me! I enjoy the connections, flexing my creativity and writing. My blog content ebbs and flows with life, but I promised myself I will always get back to it because my little space on the internet makes me happy.

Lately, my blog has given me some fun opportunities to work with companies I love which has been such an exciting milestone for me. I also got accepted the Rewards Style program (aka LIKEtoKNOW.it) which allows me to make a small commission when you purchase off the links I share. For the people who are using my links, I seriously appreciate your support!

I truly find so much joy in sharing my life with you all and the connections we have made. Thank you, thank you thank you for your ongoing support! I can’t wait to see what the next year brings!

Cheers!

Xo, Anna

P.S. If you think we’d be a good match in working together, my inbox is always open at annahinkleblog@gmail.com!

Finding Confidence in Motherhood

Finding Confidence in Motherhood

Hey mama,

Have a seat, let’s chat… Becoming a mom rocked my confidence, which is actually super ironic considering I look pretty damn put together in this photo and I truly believe all moms are superwomen. That is literally one of the only things I remember saying immediately after my son was born… that I felt like a superwoman (ask my husband!) So if anything I should feel more confident than ever right? Well, I don’t.

Before becoming a mom, I was in a few successful sales roles speaking on behalf of companies to new strangers on a daily basis, which isn’t really a job you can have without confidence. I also knocked on everyone’s dorm door during my first week of college to introduce myself and make some new friends. Two things that actually make me squirm now. Where did THAT confidence go?!

This happens to so many of us, whether it be hormones, deciding to stay home majority of the day, the changes in our bodies or the enormous weight upon our shoulders to raise this tiny human right all while gripping on to our last bit of identity before we were born into our new role as a mother.

Read that again. Because that’s A LOT. A lot of newsness and just a lot of quick change of things that are really, really important to many of us.

But I’m here to remind you that you are superwoman and we are ALL a work in progress, mama. Whether you bounce back “quickly” or not, it’s OKAY. It’s taken me closer to two years to really feel a build on my confidence again. I wish I could wave a magic wand over all of us and poof it would be there… but I don’t. What I can give you lots of support, encouragement and like many have done for me in this process.

So keep your chin up, pour some more coffee, and keep going. I’m rooting for us because we deserve it.

Xo, Anna

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