This post is sponsored by target.

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Celebrating life is more than pretty decorations or even a great tasting cake (although those things definitely help). I’ve learned a lot from my kids over the past years as to what revelry really is. There was a time not that long ago that I missed out on enjoying the simple moments of revelry with them, because I wasn’t comfortable in my own skin.

I think for a lot of us who go through changes and transitions it can be hard to get used to the new normal…

But I’ve been learning that we don’t have to let the change define us. This is never truer then during swimsuit season. ;)

We can live in our own bodies and enjoy exactly what we have. No more missing out on the celebration that is happening around us.

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Growing up, I never really struggled with body image in the sense that girls often do. I had a strong body, was constantly active, and grew up eating healthy food. Our appearances were not a focus in my home, and it never really occurred to me to be anything other than confidant in who I was.

Then I got pregnant with twins – the joy! As many of you know from following my story with IVF, we had a rocky pregnancy. I was cared for by an amazing perinatologist during our pregnancy, who subscribed to the 20 by 20 rule. The concept is if you can gain 20 pounds by week 20 you have a much stronger chance of going full term and having healthy babies. So I did it. It was cheese danishes, ice cream, and protein shakes all day long for me. Plus double cheeseburgers, which I had never eaten before, but craved everyday while I was pregnant.

I hit the marks, but as many of you know week 20 is just when your body is getting started putting on weight. EEEK! I left my pregnancy with full term twin babies, no time in the NICU, and a nice issue called Diastasis recti that occurred because my petite frame gained so much weight in such a short time.

Can I be totally honest? I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

Healthy babies are worth every pound gained.

The result is that unless I choose to have surgery to fix the large tear in my abdomen (which would require me to spend 6 weeks on my back, so obviously never), I will never again have the same frame I was so used to my entire life.

We all change and go through transitions like these for one reason or another.

For a number of years I shied away from this new ideal of what I looked like and in many ways allowed it to define me. But life is just too short for that… and I surely don’t want to miss out on all the fun my family has jumping into lakes, laying poolside, and sliding down slides.

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Here a few of the things I plan to not miss out on this summer (because it is fun to plan summer on a snowy winter day):

  • Wearing Cute Sunglasses and pose with my daughter (who has just learned to take selfies) on the beach.
  • Packing everything we need for a day in a cute bag and heading up to the lake.
  • Bringing along a trunk full of beach balls to surround us as we swim.
  • Jumping off the diving board for our annual cannon ball competition.
  • Swimming with the sharks in La Jolla (we are headed here this summer).
  • Paddle boarding with kids in tow.

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Having the right mind set about the summer before it even begins is super important. Here are 3 ways I’m preparing for having a great summer break.

1. Loving the process

When I step back and realize all my body has done, it’s hard not to love it. Stopping to reflect on why my frame has changed and the process it has gone through is helpful to allowing myself to enjoy the summer fun.

2. Being healthy

Although it’s not about a scale or an ideal, when I am healthy and taking care of myself I always feel more confident. Starting that now, and not waiting till June, will allow me to be ready, strong, and feel my best when the pool opens up.

3. Finding the right style

Finding bathing suits I am comfortable in is not as easy as it once was, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Taking the time to start early and find the right suits can really make a difference in how I am able to enjoy the summer. For me: tummy coverage to help me feel more comfortable with where my body is, a sturdy neckline to hold up to playing with kids in the water, and fun accessories to liven up the suit help me to be the most confident pool-side. It is really helpful for me to be able to mix top and bottom sizes for a perfect fit. With Target.com’s free shipping and return policy, it allows me to try on as many different bathing suit combos as I need to at home, with my own mirrors in front of me. So much easier.

How about you? Do you still struggle being carefree and confident in a suit? Have you missed out on celebrating life because you didn’t want to be poolside? Let’s not allow those issues to hinder our revelry any longer. This summer join me in a pledge for #NoFOMO.

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(Photography Β©A Subtle Revelry by Erin Holland).