Elsie’s Maternity Leave (what to expect)

After 10 years of writing this blog both for fun and as my full-time job, I am taking my first leave. This week, Jeremy and I are leaving for China, where we will become a family of three on December 4 and stay to finalize papers until mid-December. We will be home in time for Christmas! We are planning to stay in Nashville this year for a low-key first Christmas together and a slow first few months full of creating new routines.

I will be taking the whole month of December off and then working half-days during January and February before returning full-time. I wanted to leave a couple notes here about what to expect and also how to follow our adoption story if you are interested in that.

First of all, don’t worry! Our amazing team has everything under control, and if I didn’t write this post, you might not even have noticed I was gone. Haha! I will have a few blog posts going up in December, but they are all pre-scheduled. Due to travel in China, I will be letting my co-workers respond to comments and help you if you have any questions, whether it’s about a blog post, our beauty box or our app. Our team is truly the best; they are so hard working and I owe them so much for giving me a chance to take a real maternity leave.

We have some exciting things going on in December … here on the blog you’ll have the BIG 12 days of giveaways. Our app, A Color Story, has a really exciting new +pack called Confetti that came out today. Oui Fresh has an incredible beauty box planned for December (like soooo good). Keely will be filling in for me doing unboxings and stories on ABM’s Instagram about the products.

During December my plan is to be offline quite a lot, but I will share quick updates on my personal Instagram account. I may turn off my DMs for a bit, but not forever. We plan to do a bit of cocooning and take things very slow.

Once I return part-time in January, I will share a big recap with you so we can catch up. I will also be updating my family blog which I created so long ago with the anticipation of having kiddos one day. I can’t believe that day is finally here!

Thank you so much for your support throughout our adoption! It means the world to me to know you are cheering us along! I love you all and am so grateful to share this incredible season of life with you. Love, Elsie

Credits//Photography: Amber Ulmer.
  • Safe travels and I can’t wait to hear about meeting your baby girl for the first time xx


  • I am SO excited for you guys! Parenting is challenging but so awesome! I know your little girl is just going to adore you guys. Safe travels and enjoy your time with your new little family of three (or five, including the pups)!

  • Congratulations elsie!!!

  • With the birth of my son I only planned on a month off too, but ended up taking the full 3. Don’t feel guilty if you need more time -you won’t get it back! We all love and support you and don’t mind if we have to miss you a little longer 🙂

  • Congratulations! It’s wonderful to see good news these days. December 4 is a great day to become a family of three! That’s my son’s birthday! He will be 11 this year. Enjoy it all! It passes quickly, but each step has it’s own beauty. Wishing you safe travels. May God bless your family with years of happiness!

  • Congratulations! I hope you guys take this time to really enjoy all the special moments to come ❤️ Don’t worry about updating your followers, we will still be here when you get back. Safe travels!

  • Reading all your posts right now (for the first time) and I can’t express enough my feelings about your adoption story. Such a touching and beautiful event in your life. Congrats from the bottom of my heart to you and your husband. I can’t even imagine how you both feel. Having a baby is wonderful thing and go to adopt a baby and take a trip to faraway country like China is unbelievable! Eventhough I don’t know you, I see you’ll be one great mum.I’m so happy for you two and so excited. Wish you all the best in this world.

  • So happy for you Elsie & family! I love how you have shared the situation with us and our community is 100% behind you – the space you have created here is so supportive. We can’t wait for you to be back & I’m looking forwards to all of the content in between.

    Holly from The Art of Being Holly xo

  • Dear Elsie,
    I am very happy for you and for your new journey as a family. As a new mom myself, I cannot think of a better job than being a mother…even if it is very, very hard and unpaid:-)))

    I would definitely take longer maternity leave. The time with your child is so precious and flies by so quickly:-)
    But then again, I am from Europe and we have paid maternity leave for a year. I guess mothers in the United States do not always have the choice.

    Anyway…love your Blog:-)))

    All the best

    Laura from Berlin/Germany

  • I am so happy for you and Jeremy! Sending prayers for your trip ???? And really take all the time you need offline, to be with your new little family ????

  • I’m so happy for both of you! I hope you enjoy this incredible time off, getting to know your daughter. Safe travels!

  • Congratulations to your growing family! Adoption is such a Beautiful Thing!



  • Enjoy your December! I am so happy for you are Jeremy! Nova is one lucky girl! 🙂

  • Congratulations! Wishing you a wonderful trip and so much goodness during your family cocooning.

  • Have such a wonderful time getting to know that sweet baby. You guys will be great parents.


  • I’m so overjoyed for You and Jeremy! Have a safe trip and may each moment of the journey be savored!

  • Congratulations! I’m so happy for you! It’s a huge trip and a big change but I know you’ll be an amazing mom to Nova. I can’t wait to hear all about it. Enjoy the time with your sweet family!


  • Congratulations!
    So excited to hear updates from you…when you’re ready????
    Praying you have a calm Christmas and a peaceful New Year!

  • I cannot believe the day is almost here!! I can tell she is going to be such a huge blessing in your life. Enjoy every single tiny moment the next few months. Nova will always be your daughter, but there will only be one first look, first hug, first cuddle, and first flight home. <3 Sending you love and light!

  • I’m so excited for you both! I can’t wait to follow along on this beautiful journey with you.

  • This is such great news! So excited for you and Jeremy and to welcome home Nova. While we’ll miss your posts here, totally understand that this is the most important time for bonding. Excited for the newfound creativity and perspective you’ll bring when you’re back FT!


  • I am so glad that you are able to and have decided to take some much deserved time off to start your family. It’s so incredibly special that you have shared so many of your adoption story (and life) with your readers. My husband and I have been contemplating adoption for quite some time and your updates have been so heartwarming and impactful for us.

    I wish you and Jeremy safe travels and a smooth and happy transition home with sweet Nova.

  • I’m so glad you’re taking time off to enjoy getting to know Nova!!! This is such a special time for you and we are all SO excited for you! Take your time coming back… we will all still be here!

  • I started following blogs when Ashley from Under the sycamore was adopting their little one from China. It is so fun to follow along on your journey and I am so excited for you to hold your baby in your arms

  • How exciting! Enjoy your time with your family and soak up every second of being a momma! Your little girl is getting the best Christmas gift ever!

  • Have an absolutely relaxing, low key, restful, mindful, break, maternity leave, and start to your new family xx

  • I’m so so happy for you!!! Wishing you all the best with transitioning into a new chapter in your lives!!! 🙂

  • Elsie- you take as long as you need, seriously! Going back to work is the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and I love my job. If January comes and it feels too soon, just take more time! Work will always be there waiting for you. Congrats x100!

  • What a special time for you and Jeremy! Congrats to you two and happy holidays to your new lil’ family 🙂

  • How wonderful for you. Congratulations and wishing you every happiness.
    P.S. Absolutely adore the header photo for this post. It really caught my eye on Bloglovin! <3

  • I’m thrilled for you Elsie and can’t wait to see your first photos as a family! I hope you’ll take as much time as you need to enjoy your new family and embrace your new mom role! Enjoy your time off, it’s about to the best of your life so far! Lots of love to your entire family and have a nice trip to China to meet the little princess! xo
    Melodie | http://happymelodie.com/

  • So excited and thrilled for you and Jeremy (and little Nova too). Enjoy every minute of maternity leave. You deserve it! can’t wait for your family updates. As a mom of an 18month old I can tell you its tough keeping up with the little one but you will (mostly) love every minute of it. Wishing you the best! ~Megan

  • So very excited for you and Jeremy! You two will be wonderful parents to a very special little girl. Nothing but love for you three! ????

  • You will be in my thoughts and prayers as you, Jeremy, and Nova become a family. We’ve had many friends adopt internationally, from Russia, China, India… Each beginning of the story has been different (some children have been enamored with mama and won’t let her go, and caressed her face like she was the most beautiful and precious woman on earth, and one child wouldn’t stop biting my very sweet and loving friend, and said friend cried so much the first few days thinking that her daughter would hate her forever and ever), but a few years down the line, each story is the same – Love abounding, overflowing, greatfullness and joy and “she was just meant to be ours” sorts of feelings. Whatever your journey ends up looking like in the beginning, may you have all of the love, strength, patience, hope, joy, and peace you need. ????????????

  • Congratulations to you and the new father 🙂

    Having a child is the most wonderful and challenging gift we can receive! It changed my life. We have two wonderful girls and they are so lovely, so precious to my husband and I. I wish you all the best in being a mother 🙂

    And on a more personnal note, I must say that I find it really difficult to find the balance between motherhood and my professional life. I live in Québec, Canada, and we can take up to one year of partially-paid maternity leave. Even if we are really lucky, I find it a little heartbreaking to put a pause on my professional activities, when you love what you do. I want to say take your time and enjoy all these firsts moments. I hope you will be better than me to find your “equilibrium” 🙂

    J’aime tout ce que vous faites! Milles bisous à Nova.

  • Fantastic news, Elsie. I love following your story and wish you and your family all the best at this exciting time. I look forward to reading the updates when you are back to work!

  • Have a great maternity leave, Elsie. You deserve the time off for yourself! 🙂

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

  • Awe Elsie I’m so excited for y’all!!! You’re going to be a great Mama! Nova is one lucky little lady ????????????

  • We’re so excited for you! Can you give us an address we could send you all a gift for Nova? ❤️

  • Good luck, Elsie!!! I am so excited for you!!! I live in Chengdu, China and have been reading ABM for so many years. I can’t wait for you to visit this amazing country and see all of its neat and crazy things! So, so excited for you, Nova and the rest of the family. <3

  • I’m so so happy for you both. There is always room for more love and joy in this world and I can’t wait to hear the catch up in the new year. Enjoy!!

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