butterfly quote about changeImage found on Pinterest, if someone knows who made it, let me know so I can credit them!

Today is the BIG day, y’all.

I woke up a little extra early this morning, and to be honest: I’m nervous. And when I get nervous, the best thing I can do is write out my feelings and get the jitterbugs out of my system … and then maybe take a Xanax. 😅

There’s a quote about butterflies having to become piles of goo before they can fully transform from their caterpillar selves into their magnificent butterfly selves, but I can’t find it this morning. Probably because it’s 5 in the morning, I haven’t had caffeine in days, and my hands are a little shaky.

I’m oddly not super anxious about the surgical part today – at least no more than I expected myself to be. I think because I’ve been prepping for this actively for 6 months and praying about it for 10 years … it just feels right. It feels like I’m going on the right direction. I am, however, a little apprehensive about what life is gonna be like after I get home from the hospital though, and the mental part after surgery. I grew up in an Italian family and grew as an adult as a military spouse – life was about food, gatherings, celebrations and oh – food.

To be honest, I’ve been trying to lose weight for 18 and a half years – which is exactly how old my oldest son is. I had him under extremely stressful circumstances as a single mom at 18 myself, and during my pregnancy I gained a lot more than I should have because I ate all of my feelings. Then after Randy and I got married and he joined the Air Force, I ate myself through those stressful six years; deployment, training, moving three times and having three more babies all in that time period. My mental health truly started to tank while Randy was in Afghanistan in 2008-2009 while we were living in Okinawa, and for the next few years I ate my way through worsening depression and anxiety.

Of course, then I had emergency gallbladder surgery in 2015 due to years of yo-yo dieting with the keto diet, and my life would never be the same. I almost died due to a terrible surgeon, spent 3 weeks in and out of the hospital, and developed Hashimotos disease as a result of the trauma. That then led to me developing thyroid cancer, which led to me losing my thyroid in March 2020.

All of this combined led to a 100 pound weight gain.

As of this morning, I weigh 100 pounds more than I did when I got pregnant at 18.

I’ve led the absolute best life I could while dealing with mental health issues, moving cross-country God knows how many times, restarting my photography business now six times, raising babies and being the best wife possible. But I’ve always put myself and my health on the back-burner, through all of it.

And today, we’re firing up those front grills for myself.

It’s terrifying though, because I’ve never been selfish like this. I’ve never said “no, me first” to anything ever in my entire life. I’ve always been the one to bend who I am to make someone else like me more, or adjust my schedule to make someone else’s life easier. I am a 2w3 enneagram to the core!! My Scorpio-ness plays out in my stubbornness for sure, but at the end of it – I’ve got a rough exterior and very, very soft inside. I might act tough and brazen, but on the inside I’m a quivering little caterpillar.

Well, friends: today I’m becoming a butterfly.

I don’t often ask for prayers, but today I am.

Pray that my anxiety does not threaten to overwhelm me.

Pray for steady hands and alert eyes for my surgical team.

Pray for Randy as he waits in the hospital for me.

Pray for my kids, who are waiting for me at home.

Pray for my mom and my dad, as they wait out in California.

Pray for my friends, who have cheered me on and lifted me up during this crazy process.

And pray for me again, that my metamorphosis will be everything I have prayed it will be.

Today is the Big Day: I’m Having VSG Surgery

June 30, 2021

butterfly quote about change

the latest

see services

Joy-filled photography for families, boudoir, high school seniors and weddings. I've got you, boo! 

Let's Work Together

I'm Ashley! Family and wedding photographer in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, but I travel all over the country to hang out with the most incredible people. I am obsessed with puppies, extra hot coffee, incredible light and firmly believe that love conquers all.

Meet Ashley

your photos should be

as fun as you are.

Forget "pretend you like each other" kind of family photos ... let's get real and have some fun!

tell me more!