Slowing down, when life give you an opportunity

Written and Photography by Monica Lopez / Model: Hannah Rangel

submitted piece to Bella Grace Magazine

It’s nice when you get a chance to stop and take life in, sometimes it can look like a set back; unemployment, or even an accomplishment; the day after graduating school, or sometimes it’s something beyond your control.

Last January, I wasn’t feeling well , I left work early to  see the doctor. After the medical check up the nurse walked in casually and said, “Congratulations, you’re pregnant”. I sat there trying to picture what my life would look like with a baby. I’ve always been a free spirit, traveling around the world, or spending all day at the office. My husband and I been married for two years, and we talked about having a baby all the time, he would warn me how much our life would change.

Every month I was psychically changing, and so was my life. I couldn’t move as fast as I once did, my productivity suffered as I slept most of the day. I could no longer focus reading, multitasking on my phone made me nauseated. I was forced to slow down.

The pace of my fast food, running out the door, grabbing a coffee  and climbing towards success  was on pause. Once my daughter was born my focus was on taking care of her. I was lucky if I was able to get out of the house. I no longer had the luxury of spending hours in front of the computer making things, the moment I would start a project she would wake up from her nap. When it was time to go back to work, I had the expectations life would go back to normal, but my normal no longer existed. I couldn’t help and feel my new purpose in life was to take care of my daughter. It’s a decision that every new mom has to make whether she wants to work or stay home with the baby. To my own surprise,  I made the decision to resign and be a full time mom.
After a few months at home, I started to see someone else in the mirror looking back at me.  I no longer had a title with a team to lead to make me feel special. My inbox was zero and days would go by without receiving a text messages.

I wondered what else could I do with this new pace of life. I now had time to give attention to the things I always said I’m too busy for. I started to ask myself questions; What do I enjoy doing? How can I help others? What do I want to do with my creativity?  For the first time in my adult life, I could use my skills of photography, and producing videos for the pure enjoyment.

When I would take my daughter to the park, I would take my camera with me and take photos of the trees.  I would film my daughter when my husband and I would take her out for walks and edit videos about her. When she was busy playing with her toys, I started to spend time writing on my blog.  After her bath, we would discover new stories as we read together. Because I was home all day and trying to save money I had to learn how to cook healthy food for my daughter and us. I also had to think of new things to do as entertainment now that I was on a written budget. I started to scrap book and document every month. I returned to my love of journaling and writing about the things I’ve learned.

My daughter gave me the gift of slowing down.  I was discovering how passionate I am about creativity and the role it plays in our health.

My life is completely different from a year ago. My daughter is growing so fast and I’m able to take the time to be with her, teaching and playing with her everyday. She is seeing the world for the first time and showing me how to the same. 

I needed to lose myself in order to start all over and rediscover who I now am. My younger self never thought this far, now that I am living it, I’m not sure where to go from here. My story isn’t done. Life has given me the opportunity to create adventures I haven’t even dreamt of.


Bellagrace is a magazine written by its readers. The magazine accepts articles and photography submissions so I wanted to adventure out and tell the story of my transition to a baby centered world while staying creative.

Behind the scenes photos:

Make a gift for someone you love


One of the first things I created was a birthday card for my dad when I was a kid. I enjoyed the process of looking for a photo and putting everything together. I didn’t know what I was doing at the time was what graphic artist use to do before personal computers. I didn’t care about the label, I was making something special for my father on his birthday. 

I learned one way of discovering your creativity can be found when you make a gift for someone you love.  Taking the time to think of something special for them can spark creative ideas inside of you. I found a blank journal at the Goodwill and thought how I could transform this old journal into a gift for my mom. The more I brainstormed about it, the more excited I became about the project.

I decided to document it and to share it with you. I hope you are inspired to make something special for someone you love. And who knows, you might just discover a new piece of your creativity you didn’t even know existed.

Life update as Parents

She came a month early, and some how I knew she would. We were on vacation when my water broke. I had taken the weekend off from work. I wondered what would have happened if I was in the control room and my water broke, who would take me to the hospital? Who would take over? I was lucky I had my husband with me. He drove me and talked to the nurses. It was hard to believe that we would leave this place with a baby. For years all we never knew was each other, and now we were going to have a combined person that has both of our DNA.

The baby had to pass a series of test before she was able to come home with me. I knew in my heart she was going to be okay, from the moment I prayed I wanted a child early 2017, I knew God was going to help me through every stage.

Now I write this at home, and she is six months taking her nap. A lot has happened since the first ride home from the hospital, sleepless night, arguments about if she is getting enough milk or how much should we feed her with everyone who came in contact with us. To this day, she is nursed and I wonder if she is getting enough milk, and some how she keeps growing. She is a miracle, and now that I think about it, we are all miracles. How did we make it this far?

I daily think about my own parents. I now remember moments of stress when they made a decision that would impact our lives. I remember my mom saying in faith when they wanted to buy a house, and my dad giving her a look like I’m not sure if I can do this for you. I remember seeing a house news clipping in her bible, and her telling me, “one day we will live in a house like this.” For me, it was easy to believe her. I had the child like faith, and I believed everything my mom told me. When we finally moved in to a house, I took it for granted how easy it all was.

And now its my turn to walk in faith for the sake of my husband and my daughter. Though she is just a baby, she is watching me. I pray with her the moments I get scared of the great unknown.
Last week was my last day at work. I have jumped all in to motherhood, the reality is that I did what I knew needed to be done. I needed to be with my daughter and raise her. I wanted her for so long, and now that she is here, it was time to embrace the gift I was given.
A part of me misses working and I know I will make videos still, but now the safety net is no longer there. I guess now the net I will fall into is God’s loving arms.

Today I read in the Bible when Mary told Jesus to do something when the wine had ran out at the wedding they were attending. Jesus told his mom the time had not yet come but she insisted and told the wedding servants to listen to everything Jesus tells them. He told the servants to fill the jars with water, when they poured the water for the guest it became wine. It made me think about my situation. I know God has spoken to my heart to be home with my daughter, but it doesn’t help I am worried we will no longer have wine in our jars. God is asking me to listen to everything Jesus commands, and that means to bring my water of jars to him, its His job to turn my water into wine.

Guess its time to start putting water in my jar labeled blog 🙂