Bold Beautiful Perfect: Amy
“Loving my body no matter the size or shape is the best form of self-care for me.” – Amy
I am a forty-something-year-old woman who whole-heartedly loves my family, my faith and my friends. I married my husband almost 23 years ago, and we have two boys. Our oldest son has a beautiful girlfriend who has blessed our family with our first grandson this past December, plus our bonus grandson who is finishing up kindergarten this year. Our youngest son will be graduating from MGCCC Perkinston Campus in May with his associate’s degree in Music and will be attending MUW in the fall to complete his bachelor’s in Music Therapy.
I have held jobs being a realtor, working with a home builder in Long Beach, managing physicians’ offices, working as a teacher’s assistant, acting as Executive Director for a non-profit association, helping families care for their children in our home for over 18 years, and currently, I’m working with my husband in his home maintenance & repair business. Yet nothing can compare to my job of being a mother and caregiver. That is who I am.
Some women lose who they are when they become mothers. I found who I was to be when I became a mother. Being a mom was something I’ve wanted since I was about 12 or 13 years old. My own mother was such a great mom for us four little girls that she inspired me to be like her.
We were blessed with two boys with completely opposite personalities. Our oldest loved sports. At one point in elementary school, he even played overlapping sports – football, basketball, and soccer. That was the year we had our second son, and my husband attended many cold games cheering him on while I had to stay home. Our youngest was musically gifted from a very young age. Although he participated in a couple of sporting events (karate and gymnastics) for a number of years, he landed on-stage as an 11 year-old cast in an adult musical (20th anniversary of Sweeney Todd) and has continued with music and theatre. We have travelled nationally and internationally with him performing and working with iTheatrics in NYC.
I have a little Yorkshire Terrier, Lilly, who has been with us for 12 years. What a pup she is!! I also have eight chickens who I love taking care of and reaping the rewards of that good care with fresh eggs!
I LOVE to garden! Roses, staghorn ferns, tropical plants, vegetable and herb gardens, flowering bushes – I love them all! Being outside with nature helps keep me grounded. Seeing all the colors, listening to the birds, watching the little insects running through the soil in my garden, then watching the plants grow and produce food for us makes me know that we serve a mighty God who holds our lives in his hands and has given us the means to survive in the crazy world.
As I reflect on what I’ve shared here, it all sounds like it has been a walk in the park for me. It hasn’t. There have been really down and ugly times. There have also been amazingly beautiful and fun times. It is the balance between the two that make our world go around.
How did you come to understand your inner beauty?
Coming to understand my inner beauty comes from learning to love me for me. I didn’t always have that capability. It was after a not-so-nice first marriage that I began to understand this. It took a wonderful grief and divorce recovery workshop to help me with this. I am the only me; God only made one of me, and I am special. One of my favorite quotes is from Audrey Hepburn, “For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.”
This project is all about inspiring women to see their beauty. What parts of your story can you share to help women to understand their own beauty?
A couple of years ago, I realized that although I would always be a mother, my time was getting short of being a mom who would be taking care of her sons. It wasn’t terribly hard for me when our oldest left for college because I still had our youngest at home who needed my care.
The clock was running out. What was I to do after he left for college? Who was I to care for? I had a partial hysterectomy in his 10th grade year and emergency appendectomy in his junior year of high school. I had always maintained a healthy weight; I was always the “tall, skinny kid” growing up and never had any issues with my health. I had a knee injury as a toddler which left me with right side arthritis in my knee and hip. I began gaining a little weight during his junior and senior years. It bothered me at first, but I accepted who I was at that time and was happy with a little bigger me. My tummy was a little larger, my thighs had grown along with my hips. My husband and I felt that it was a natural part of aging, and that it was okay for me to be a little bigger than I once was. Bodies constantly change. I was still smiling and happy on the outside. On the inside, I really didn’t like it at all.
In October 2020, I read a post from a friend who was beginning a fitness challenge group. She was a mother of two young children who fought breast cancer and won, but she was told that she’d never do a push-up again. Her story inspired me to join her challenge group. I joined in November and haven’t looked back. I had finally found who I was going to care for – ME! Loving my body no matter the size or shape is the best form of self-care for me. My non-scale victories are plentiful! I am stronger, healthier, have more energy, balance, flexibility, confidence and stamina. By exercising, eating better foods (but not depriving myself of foods I love!) and setting aside 30-45 minutes each day for me makes me that much more of a better wife, mother, grandmother and beautiful woman! I’d love to help women find their inner beauty!
What did the shoot mean to you? What did it feel like to be selected?
This shoot made me feel like a queen! I have never felt more pampered than I did that day by Brandi and Kasper! It was a fabulous experience! The day was centered around me, and I so needed that. It was such a relaxing and fun day!!
There are so many women from so many different backgrounds who are a part of Brandi’s Bold Beautiful Perfect movement. The stories of these beautiful women will be around for many years to come. I am so excited to have been selected and to be able to share my story in hopes that one day it may find someone who needs a little extra encouragement.
A few things Amy wants you to know before we close.
You are beautiful. You are loved. You are worthy.
You are beautiful, no matter your shape or size!
To book your own fabulous Portrait Session, contact us through the inquiry form below.
International Award-Winning Portrait Photographer
Brandi Stage is an international award-winning portrait photographer based in Bay St. Louis, MS. She creates an exceptional magazine-style photo shoot and timeless heirloom portraits for women, men, children and pets in her studio or on location.