“We didn’t think you would make it out tonight.”  They meant because I’m pregnant, and it’s now 30something degrees here in Austin.  Tonight was the opening ceremony for the University COOP Celebri-trees.  I only have one long-sleeved shirt that covers my belly.  Two pairs of jeans.  Nothing feminine.  I just give up.

“Yeah, lately I don’t commit to anything, not even massages, because I never know if I’ll feel like getting dressed.”  Or showered.  Or made up.  Mostly all my clothes just hurt.  I’m nesting at home with Linus on my lap, writing television outlines and chapters for MOOSE, updating a baby registry, trying to figure out what else we’ll “need.”  But I did make it out tonight, and I was thankful that I had.  It was nice to be out, in the cold, seeing the smiling faces of the kids whose school will benefit from the proceeds of the COOP event.  “Thank you so much, Ma’am.”  And I smiled.  I’m totally fine with being a Ma’am.

Thank you for all of your ideas for my Holiday Foodie Tree.  Golden whisks, miniature bottles of maple syrup, olive oil, jams and honey.  Raspberry garland, pears, and star anise bundles.  No, no placenta on my tree.  Maybe next year when I have a nursery rhyme-themed tree.  There’s one photo of me and my chin and the designer who helped execute my idea, Rona (pronounced Rone-A).  Enjoy the start of this delicious season!  View photos >>

Foodie Christmas Theme Tree


  1. I love the festivness of it all, and seemingly a good cause. Enjoy, relax and have a nice (last baby free) holiday.

  2. Your tree looks GREAT. Good enough to eat. But that was the whole idea I guess :-) I really liked the Texas tree with cowboyboot on top, wicked.

    Will move from Amsterdam to London before Xmas, starting a whole new life, and seeing the Texas tree I have decided to make a Dutch tree in England with a wooden shoe on top and fake miniature Van Goghs as decoration.

    Am wondering what my South African boyfriend will say to that… :-)

  3. The pictures of the children are just amazing. The tree makes me hungry, although or because I am dieting for my Christmas dress. And you – you get more and more beautiful and you look very feminine. Don't care about the right clothes – you have a radiating, beaming smile!
    Best wishes from Germany

  4. The tree looks beautiful and so do you. I don't notice a chin. I see a woman w/ a happy face w/ great hair who did an amazing job. Really!! I/o being hard on yourself, look at the fabulous job you did. Just stand back and be proud. You deserve it, Ma'am.

  5. The tree is beautiful! So is the hair…not frizzy at all.

    And Andy Roddick makes me weak in the knees *sigh*.

  6. The tree looks gorgeous! Good grief Steph, please stop self-bashing and get some new clothes, even if they are…gasp…from Target. You're pregnant, you WILL get bigger, and you're beautiful and very fortunate.

    Nobody likes a chiken little.

  7. Steph, you look wonderful and so does your hair. Love the tree, too. Weird that it's in the 30s in Austin and in NYC today it's in the high 60s. Hooray!! Christmas time! Placenta Thumbprint cookies with blackberry sage jam for all my friends! I also hear you can cook up diced placenta like its pancetta and use it to top pasta. Sorry for the grossness, but the placenta thing is making me laugh. I have heard of folks burying it and putting a shrub or tree on top, but mock-calamari, ha ha ha ha.

  8. Ok what's with the false humility/ faux embarrassment? Are you like manically searching for compliments? You seem to always comment that you look 'terrible', your arms are 'fat', your 'chin'… I don't see a double chin. I mean, to say that about yourself in that picture with that woman, must make that other woman feel HORRIBLE. Not nice.
    'lifestyle connoisseur?' since when? It is now all babies/ new homes/ cooking/ relationship-woes. Sad. I realize people change and grow and you/others can rebuttle all you want, but I still miss old Stephanie.

  9. You look gorgeous actually, glowing and pretty, and I see no double chin. It must be weird to be changing so much, I don't know that I wouldn't think the same things as you. But objectively, you look fabulous.

  10. Hey, I HEAR YOU!… and I'm certainly not going to tell you to quit whining. In fact, whine on sister, whine on! There really should be a CLUB for pregnant women who simply don't like what pregnancy does to their bodies… ;)

    That being said, I do understand that you miss your skinny jeans, spiked heels, and your glorious pre-pregnancy mop of gorgeous curls. And, it's OKAY. Really.

    The nice thing about pregnancy is that it doesn't last forever…

    Just think how smokin' hot you'll be next fall carrying your babes (each balanced on an opposite, but impressively skinny hip…). You in a slinky, golden silk halter top and dangerously cute jimmy choos… your golden red curls draping over their cute, plump, giggling faces as you bestow them with quick, silly little kisses…

    It's really going to be just FINE. Great even…

  11. Ok, where is the hair disaster? Your hair looks PERFECT! (and being a curly-haired girl as well, I MUST know what you are using!!)

    :) Jocelyn

  12. Stephanie clearly sees herself different than we all do. I don't see any of the "faults" she describes and although we look at the photos and only see a beautiful pregnant woman, something in her clicks and sees what we all know is not there. Her response to me? "I'll post those other photos and show them my chins/fat arms, fat face", as if we would see any different. This isn't just a Stephanie issue and it doesn't help accusing her of fishing for compliments or telling her she looks great. Nothing anyone can do except Stephanie. We can't force her to see.

  13. I am not, and have never been, one of those people to put myself down, just to hear how wrong I am. "Oh God, I look so fat" just to hear, "no way. You're fab." That's not me. I'm just off the phone with my father.

    "I think there's some chemical in your brain when you're pregnant convincing you, you look ugly, even though you don't because your mother was the same way. I mean, she pretty much always felt ugly, even though she wasn't, and especially when she was pregnant."

    I added more photos, so you can all see what I see. Now, I'm also aware that the lighting was crap and the angle of the camera was way down low, so it wasn't flattering, but still. Now, keep in mind, I don't really care. I'm THRILLED that I'm having lovely little babies with lovely little mittens and sweet smelling things. And I'm not obsessing over my weight at all, but it's still hard to see photos of myself that look like these. Believe me, I know these are good problems to have. I can still bitch. It's what I do. I'm a New Yorker.

    *I cannot bring myself to buy any longhorn tshirts. It's just so not me. And I refuse to buy the babies any longhorn blankets or mascot mobiles. I'm just not there yet and don't know if I'll ever be.

  14. I think anybody can bitch about anything- good problems or not (and from NY or not NY), but not on a blog that is read by like whatever %age you have now reading this thing, and all your readers are devoted, money-paying (your books)slaves to your every paragraph.

    * When did you start using your middle name so widely? To change from Stephanie to Stephanie Tara is like a complete name change. I think you should just stick with one brand- no middle name- it's how more people will know you.
    * You don't look too bad. No need to justify. I would look 1000x worse to have beatiful twins and a gorgeous house in Texas and fans drooling at me!

  15. The tree is beautiful, i love the angel topper. I need one of those for my alcoholic family. ;)
    Girl, you look great..

  16. Anyone else want to get back to the subject of an incredible charity event during the holiday season helping kids with adorable faces acheive and strive?! Geez, you all are self indulgent assholes!

  17. Ms. Klein,

    Thank you for being there for us last night and designing such a beutiful tree.

  18. First of all, Mattie is right…well, perhaps "self-indulgent assholes" was a bit harsh but kudos to Stephanie and the other celebs that helped out at such a great charity event.

    Second of all, my boyfriend was flipping through the channels last night and stopped briefly on the Food Network to see what some show titled "Winning Holiday Cookies" was all about. It was the last segment of the show and they start with something about being in NYC during the holidays or something like that. I was only half paying attention and reading a magazine. Anyway, I look up to see none other than Ms. Stephanie walking down the street. They were doing a feature on a cookie exchange you did back when you obviously still lived in NYC. I told my boyfriend not to change the channel and yelled "I know her." Of course I don't actually know you but I feel like I do and as soon as I mentioned a few things about you, he realized who I was talking about since I share various stories from your blog from time to time. Very impressed to see you on the Food Network. What a great segment…and I love the idea of the cookie exchange. I wonder if its too late to plan something like that here in my neck of the woods. Happy Holidays!

  19. Do we ever see in us what other people see? I see a beautiful radiant redhead, but I know I never see myself as attractive when other people do. It's what I do as well, maybe it's more a female thing to pick apart my faults, but when you don't feel beautiful, nothing anyone can say can convince me I am. Some days we get over it and other days forget it. Great post though…

  20. The tree is gorgeous, but the HAIR! WOW.
    Pleeeeease tell us what you use?
    My leave-in conditioner was discontinued, and after a straight-haired childhood, I am NOT equipped to deal with curls.
    Also, at the risk of contradicting your sartorial complaints ;)—where did you get your shirt? I love it! Looking at the pictures and reading what it says on your tummy made me get all, “Awwww, that is so perfect for Christmas. And charity. And kids. And on a pregnant belly—Honey I know what I want for Christmas!!!”

  21. i think that it does help hearing from people (who can be brutally honest) that you look beautiful. It would be worse to feel bad about yourself and to hear a bunch of people affirm that you are in fact ugly. Of course it is in your head, but its nice to have people look out for your feelings and help through a tough time.

  22. Oh Stephanie, I feel your pain when it comes to pictures. I am absolutely brutal on myself when it comes to photos (mom told me years ago I'm not photogenic…it really stuck). I can have a million people tell me I'm beautiful in pics, but mom's voice is the strongest "some people just don't look good in pictures". PS – my mom is the most wonderful person in the world and would never intentionally hurt my feelings, I think she thinks she's trying to help.

    All that said, you look beautiful.

    Happy weekend.

  23. i think it's totally normal to feel this way. i thought pregnancy sucked. of course i was sick most of the time but even towards the end, when i was feeling better i felt like a beached whale, couldn't sleep well, had to pee non-stop, felt greasy and generally revolting. when i was very sick with morning sickness, the doctor explained that babies are parasites on your body – and so that even though i wasnt eating he was extracting all of my nutrients to grow. basically you have two hungry little beings who've hijacked your body. it is not an easy thing physically. so don't feel like this is a weird feeling. also the last trimester drags ON AND ON AND ON. the thought of getting bigger than you already are is depressing!

  24. You did look very nice! I was trying to check out your wedding ring, looks nice! Cannie wait to see your wedding pics. I do hope you find it in your heart to share them!
    Phil, what a guy!

  25. Hey Stephanie,
    I have the same body image disorder. It's called being a Greek Jew, and judging by my parents, it'll never end….

  26. The tree looks great! The kids are cute, but it sure is a very sad sight to see all of those little Texas Longhorns. haha. PS I totally cannot wait for the new book. Write fast! :)

  27. You look radiant. Your hair looks particularly red these days, too. Maybe it's the lighting. You look great. I don't know that I even have any pictures of myself pregnant since I refused to keep any memories of a time I really felt bad about myself.

    Having been through it 4 times though, it does get a little easier each time you go through it and have things go back to some resemblance of normalcy after the fact. But it doesn't take away the hormonal roller coaster you're stuck on now til the ride's over and your precious babies get here.

    The tree looks great and seeing all those smiling children's faces makes it entirely worth getting out of the house, even when you don't feel like it.

    Hang in there!

  28. Since a few curly-haired people have asked about what you use, I thought I'd endorse an amazing product I love. I hope it's ok w/ you, Stephanie. It's not as if I'm getting any kick-backs, and you might like it too. It's called DevaCurl Mist-er Right Herbal Cleansing Tonic. I spray it on after I shower, and it keeps my curls soft and lively w/o making them sticky and hard. BTW, I got a kick out of "lifestyle connoisseur". :o)

  29. You look like a normal, healthy, pregnant woman. If your post about being in your bathrobe is any indication, you are going to be in big trouble as far as emotions go during your last trimester. I don't even want to think about post partum, especially if the weight doesn't come off as easily as you want.

    You need therapy in such a huge way. It comes through in post after post. Going to therapy is not an admission of failure. Not going and not doing anything about your feelings, however, is.

    It goes beyond hormones. Everyone responds to them differently, so to chalk it up to that is a cop out. For the sake of your kids, your marriage, yourself, I'm not sure why you wouldn't do it, especially while you have the time. Who knows…it might open up a new layer of your writing.

  30. I'm with everyone else here, I don't see the fat. I see one chin, fabulous hair, and a fantastic tree.

    When a friend was pregnant she was obsessed with this website called Shape of a Mother (http://theshapeofamother.com/home.php) where mothers post pictures of themselves during pregnancy or after pregnancy in all of their stretchmarked grandeur and attach a story usually. It made her feel much better. I'd get 'oh my god at least I'm not (blank)' calls in the middle of the night. I think she found it comforting. Maybe you will, too.

  31. It's natural with twins to feel a little top heavy. I didn't want pictures taken of me with my twins, and now I regret it..and I don't have anything to send into Shape of a Mother! But it is for sssssssuuuuuuch a short time in your life. Two or three months from now you'll be completely changed again. 'Nuff fretting. Nothing you can do to change anything until after they're born…so let 'em grow!

    And if there are chin(s) (I don't see any) shooting "up" at you with a camera like some of thes photos do, would only emphasizes it/them, wouldn't it?

    Remind Andy Roddick to stop by Kona like he usually does on his way to the Australian Open. One of my twins (age 11) is getting really good at tennis and Andy is his hero.

  32. Just wanted to post my support – because I know you're not fishing for compliments… you're just feeling "bleah" and no amount of hearing "No, you don't have a double chin" will change how you feel. I know….I've been there….Still trying to tear up all pregnancy photos of myself and my pregnant chin!

    Hang in there Stephanie and be good to yourself…I know you feel like crap, but you DO look wonderful!

  33. I agee wholeheartedly with A- re: therapy and I find Diana's comment about being a Greek jew terrible- I am not jewish, I am 1/2 (first generation) greek and I don't understand where Greeks get some sort of bad rap on body image? I pray it doesn't all harken back to Jennifer Maniston's comments years ago that being greek she had 'big breasts and big hips'. I love being Greek, would never ask to be another culture (except my mother's culture as well) and hate when people knock it without any backup. I realize Jewish people like to use that as an excuse for some bad feelings and manners, but every culture can claim that. It's sort of lame…
    That said, Stephanie you look great and yet don't know why you keep bringing up how badly you think you look. Just enjoy what you have, and find a great Austin therapist. I love therapy, and I don't feel it demeans me at all, and there is time and money to find to use towards it.

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