Monthly Archives: June 2012

things i love thursday! (june 28, 2012)

Happy Thursday, my loves! This week has definitely been a crazy one — I thought I was in labor at one point! I’m not, don’t worry. But it won’t be long now before we turn this little bump into a little BOY!

THINGS THAT MADE ME SMILE THIS WEEK:

  • Getting a pedicure! Nothing like it when you’re pregnant.
  • Meeting my husband for dinner.
  • Seeing Kelby at work! Even though that was, um, unexpected.
  • Working from home, horizontally.
  • Fun triage nurses.
  • Saturday morning bible study, complete with delicious breakfast and challenging conversation.
  • Securing the nickname “Contractions McGhee”.
  • A last minute maternity photo session with Sammie and Zack! Even though it was roughly a thousand degrees outside. (See photo.)
  • Being awkward.
  • Seeing Nora and Zack play music.
  • Lazy and quiet Sunday mornings.
  • Going to my “happy place” via a full body massage from Emily! (I HAVE SEEN HEAVEN.)
  • Homemade cookies.
  • Long naps.
  • My friends.
  • Chicken wings.
  • Sleeping 12 hours. No but seriously that happened.
  • “Nesting” kind of. I guess. Not really.
  • Being able to watch my husband succeed.
  • Free food.
  • S’mores brownies. Yes, you read that right.
  • Being complimented on my writing.
  • Fantasizing about getting my “sexy swagger” back.
  • Seriously though. I have the best friends ever.

What about you? Love it up, people!

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a “real” mid-life crisis.

Yesterday, CNN posted an interesting article about a lady named Diane Butrym. Diane, like many women, suffers from an eating disorder. Her story, however, is actually quite unique.

You see, she hasn’t been struggling with this since she was a child or teenager, like most of us do. She went half of her life eating-disorder free. She actually fell victim to the disease in her forties.

According to the article, the disorder was triggered by a series of health diagnoses and injuries, forcing her to back off from her once very active lifestyle. And so, presumably terrified of the ramifications of her body changing, she became consumed with ED.

I suppose the reason the article exists is because of the story’s novelty. Even though I’m someone whom I’d venture to say is pretty educated on the subject, this is the first I’ve heard of someone going through this at a stage in her life when she’s supposed to “have it all figured out”.

So. This begs the question: did she always have these tendencies? Or were they born simply out of the loss of “control” over her body?

The answer to that question doesn’t matter. The reality is that the eating disorder epidemic is way bigger than I think any of us could have imagined and, something (perhaps lots of somethings) is perpetuating it. To walk around complacent, going about our business as if nothing is wrong, is just as detrimental as the oppressive beauty standards in this country, if not more so.

Honestly, I feel like I can kind of relate with Diane. This week, I am entering my ninth month of pregnancy. Pregnancy, you could argue, is a “diagnosis” of sorts. (Granted, there’s  been nothing bad or complicated about this pregnancy, praise God, but you know what I mean. It is a “change” that will leave my body in a much different state than it was pre-“diagnosis”.)

The other day, I looked at my husband, whose weight is currently only eight pounds heavier than mine. With terror in my eyes I admitted, “I might weigh the same as you soon. Please don’t judge me.”
“Why would I ever judge you for gaining weight while pregnant with my son?”
“Because. It’s such a big number.”
“When have I ever cared about how much you weigh?”

He’s never cared. But as as I near my due date, I’ve subconsciously started panicking over ways I can shed the baby weight as fast and as effectively as possible after I give birth. Images of Beyonce and Jennifer Lopez and Jessica Simpson and Mariah Carey flash across my brain and I’m wracked with the reality that I’ll never look the way I did before I got pregnant, let alone as amazing as these celebrities do mere weeks after leaving the delivery room. I find myself thinking astronomical things, unattainable things, things I might never think if I lived on an island, completely devoid of any Photoshopped images of supermodels or celebrities in bikinis.

Maybe if I try X diet. Or eat Y way. Or be sure to exercise Z times a day. Maybe then I can shed the baby weight before I go back to work. Or in two weeks. Let’s shoot for two weeks. 

Because I know I’m prone to disordered eating and the thoughts that come along with it, I’ve been disciplined in asking for prayer and support from close friends during that transition time. But my heart goes out to Diane, and other people (not just women) who may find themselves in that situation. Older, supposedly wiser, yet still waking up to the dark sound of an eating disorder within their heads, trapping them in webs of self-loathing and lies.

What if Diane was on that island, devoid of pop culture and beauty standards? Would she still be suffering from this disorder? I’d bet no.

No one, especially Diane, will benefit from this unless we speak up and out about it. If we keep drawing attention to this problem, hopefully we can eventually stop it. It may seem futile, like trying to derail a mile-long freight train, but I believe it’s worth it.

Never stop telling those around you how precious and beautiful they are just as God made them. Scars and all. Diagnoses and all. Flaws and all. And, even more importantly, never stop telling yourself that.

As for me, I’m going to start by telling my big, round belly how wonderful and life-giving it is and how the number on the scale has no power over me, or my worth, or my happiness. My body is doing exactly what it’s supposed to do. My son is healthy and strong and I can’t wait for my body’s grand finale — miraculously giving him to the world.

Have you ever found yourself in a similar situation? Suddenly thinking unhealthy thoughts or committing unhealthy actions that you’ve never experienced before, triggered by a huge change in life?

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things i love thursday! (june 21, 2012)

And another week is in the books, folks. Only five more weeks until I’m due to be a mommy. Despite the very real darkness of the week, I’m so blessed. And happy. Truly. I couldn’t ask for a better life.

Even the week of Father’s Day has been incredible. Check it out!

THINGS THAT MADE ME SMILE THIS WEEK:

  • SEEING CATIE for the first time in YEARS! Holy reunion, Batman! She is so wonderful.
  • Iced french vanilla soy lattes. (Yes, I’m “that girl” with a snooty drink order. Deal with it.)
  • Seeing a car seat in the back of my car. Eeep!
  • Free coffee.
  • A dinner date at Carrabba’s with sweet Emily. Oh, how I love that girl!
  • Hearing my sweet baby boy’s heartbeat. Never gets old!
  • Being “forced” to rest.
  • Having Zack and Sammie over for dinner and Sherlock. Amazing!
  • Shrunken pork.
  • Pool parties!
  • Having the Hooker family over for dinner and nursery organization. Thanks to them, we’re almost ready for this baby!
  • Watching baby Isaiah eat. Ha.
  • Being productive but still relaxing on Father’s Day.
  • Being able to buy presents for my husband for his first Father’s Day!
  • Actually having a reason to celebrate Father’s Day despite… you know… all the crap associated with it.
  • Imposing margaritas on friends who clearly “need it”.
  • “Graduating” from our childbirth class. Very bittersweet!
  • Non-alcoholic champagne. Delicious!
  • Pizza and baby snuggles with the Menendez family!
  • BABY ISAAC IS SO SMALL and he took a nap on me!
  • Getting my hair done by Ejoy on my lunch break. I love that — not only do I get to go back to work looking fabulous, I also get to spend time with a good friend during the day!
  • Good bible study discussions that may or may not have veered dangerously off course.
  • Raiding Eric and Shana’s pantry without shame.
  • Engagements, pregnancies, life changes, oh my!
  • Scheming for office birthdays.
  • Morning snuggles with my love.
  • Having the best husband/baby daddy a girl could ask for.

That’s it for me. This week was awesome. Was it awesome for you? Tell me so!

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my life as a statistic.

I love kids. They’re so innocent and sweet. They’re so naive to all the dark, horrible things in the world.

That is, until some vindictive adult comes along and enlightens them.

I remember one summer several years ago, I was babysitting three kids, the oldest of whom was five at the time. (Her name was Grace, which is all too fitting for the story.) Like most inquisitive kids do, Grace began to ask me a series of questions. Here’s how it went:

Grace: “Lindsay, where is your mommy?”
Me: “Well, she’s probably at home right now.”
G: “And where is your daddy?”
Me: “He’s… Well… I don’t know, actually.”
G: “You don’t know? Where did he go?”
Me: “I don’t know, Grace.”
G: “Did he go to Heaven?”
Me: “No, he didn’t go to Heaven. He just left.”
G: “He just left?”
Me: “Yes.”
G: “But why would he do that?”

(In case it isn’t clear to you, I’m the vindictive adult in this situation.)

Sweet Grace; she couldn’t fathom a father just “leaving” unless he died. I hated being the one to break it to her that, sometimes, daddies just leave.

When I was a kid, much like Grace, I was pretty ignorant to the implications of growing up without a father. I knew that me not having my dad around was “different” and “not fun”. But, apart from those two things, I really couldn’t pinpoint the real pain of not knowing my dad. All I knew was that other kids had two parents and that I had one.

Father’s Day was this Sunday. You’d think that, as someone whose father removed himself from her life seventeen years ago, I would be used to Father’s Day. It would stand to reason that I’d grow increasingly numb to my fatherless disposition with the passing of each annual paternal celebration. It would start out with being a kid and just not celebrating some holiday it seemed like everyone else got to celebrate and then, as I grew older, I’d accept it and be completely over it.

That’s how it’s supposed to go, right?

However, on the contrary, each Father’s Day seems to be more painful than the last which means that this Father’s Day was the most painful by far.

On Sunday, our pastor’s message was about the Degrees of Fatherhood. He ended his message with the best Father (God of course) but, at the beginning, he spoke about the lowest degree of fatherhood: the “Sperm Donor”, or, the one to which I was born. As a part of his Sperm Donor speech, he also rattled off a list of statistics about kids who grow up under the same circumstances I did. (Click the link to go through them.)

As the stats scrolled on the screen, my eyes glazed over and my skin turned clammy. My gazed turned inward as he spoke. It all hit me at once — during my upbringing, I became entangled in an abusive relationship. I was raped. I was diagnosed with an eating disorder. I fell away.

I, too, had become a statistic. A statistic of the fatherless.

During the message the worship band, led by one of the most Godly fathers I’ve ever known, began to play another song. Not a worship song. But a song whose dirty power chords took me back to the nineties. As Eric sang the iconic first three words of Everclear’s Father of Mine, my heart sank even deeper. And, on the final verse, I caught my sadness in a rock hard lump in my throat. As I sang along, I clutched my swollen belly, and quietly cried.

Now I am a grown man
With a child of my own
And I swear I’m not going to let him know
All the pain I have known

Normally, my blog posts end on a rather encouraging note. A bright spot, if you will. But today, I don’t have one. And for that, I sincerely apologize. This week I am hurting and I am fragile.

I am a statistic. But I’m a survivor, too.

 

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things i love thursday! (june 14, 2012)

Happy Flag Day, y’all! (Is this seriously a thing?)

I’ve had about a week of good, solid, 8-hour-long sleeps, and I feel GREAT. Today is one of those days I want to turn on some really cheesy music and dance awkwardly around. Life is pretty great.

Here’s why!

THINGS THAT MADE ME SMILE THIS WEEK:

  • Did you know that Reagan and Swayze were buds? Evidently in the land of Photoshop, that happens. (See photo.)
  • Having dinner with my husband.
  • Stopping by the dance studio and seeing Ashley (who had fun gifts for Dax)!
  • Lunch with some of my favorite people, including Zack at Sonny’s and ECase at Boston Market.
  • ZOMG barbecue. I haven’t had it in forever!
  • Fun birthday celebrations.
  • Cards Against Humanity. Oh. My. Goodness. I almost peed myself a thousand times.
  • Purple shades!
  • Fun.
  • Buffalo chicken pizza.
  • Lunch breaks at coffee shops.
  • A whole day with Dayle and Janelle, who also had gifts for Dax! Spoiled boy!
  • Janelle’s “monkey butt” story.
  • Cupcakes.
  • Going to the movies!
  • A lazy Sunday (that was actually pretty productive).
  • Our second to last childbirth class. Eep!
  • Yoga pants.
  • Ice packs.
  • “Buy one get one free” kittens. (Don’t worry, we didn’t get any. But the fact that a deal like that exists!)
  • Going on a mini-date with the hubs.
  • Being offered beer by our server! She couldn’t tell I was pregnant!
  • Happy lunches.
  • Sleeping through the night.
  • Purchasing an exercise ball to double as my “birth ball”. Currently, it serves as something I can lay on to relieve back pain. Ahhhh.
  • Snuggling with Hamlet.
  • Old school Sonic the Hedgehog. (Always.)
  • The fact that my kid is gonna have such a great dad.

Your turn! Make a list of love!

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snow white and the twisted self-image.

I didn’t really like the story of Snow White growing up, particularly Disney’s famed portrayal of the narrative. Not that the story wasn’t, I don’t know, compelling, or anything. But the dwarves freaked me out, even if they did sing catchy songs about going to work, and Snow White herself seemed like a really weak protagonist. (Yes, I had these thoughts as a five-year-old.)

But, now that I’m older, I figured I’d give the “real” Snow White a shot. So, this weekend, one of my girlfriends and I went to go see Snow White and the Huntsman. I very much enjoyed the film, despite it being my first exposure to Kristen Stewart’s “acting” skills and the obvious fact that the story is much darker than Disney has ever led any of us to believe. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the real story of Snow White, sans Dopey, here’s the way it breaks down in a nutshell. (Oh, and yeah, don’t read if you don’t want to hear spoilers. I guess.)

Source

A pretty girl is born to a king and a queen. They name her Snow White. The queen dies suddenly from some illness which sucks. Some crazy sorceress lady who is unhealthily obsessed with an enchanted talking mirror (and also has some weird, creepy relationship with her brother) shows up and seduces the king. He marries her the next day, obvs. She then kills the king because, again, she’s legit cray cray. She locks Snow White in a tower because Snow White is, according to this talking mirror, the prettiest girl in all the land and she, Queen of the Cray, just can’t handle that. Snow White escapes and gets stuck in some horrible dark forest that screws with your brain a la a bad bath salts trip. (Relevant.) Queen Cray hires a very sexy, yet brooding and mysterious, huntsman to go find Snow White with the promise of bringing his dead wife back, even though she’s clearly not powerful enough to do that because HELLO THAT’S RIDICULOUS. Anyway, Hunky Huntsman goes and immediately finds Snow White face down in bath salt mud in the forest as if girlfriend was attached to some Snow White GPS monitoring system. She convinces him to help her escape Queen Cray instead of taking her to him. Even though he’s very distraught over the recent passing of his wife, he falls in love with her instantly because she’s gorgeous (natch) and agrees to help get her to safety. Meanwhile, Queen Cray imprisons all of the young girls in the land and sucks the life/beauty/youth out of them to remain young and beautiful while they age and die. It’s kind of Harry Potter/Dementor-ish, actually. Blah blah blah, there are some fairies and dwarves and craziness, and then Snow White is tricked by Queen Cray (who shows up in the form of Snow White’s childhood love interest) into eating a poisoned apple that “kills” her. But she’s actually not dead! She’s just under a spell that can only be broken by “true love’s kiss”! But no one talks about it! So when Snow White’s childhood love interest finds her all dead-looking, he kisses her sadly. But she doesn’t revive. GASP! Later on, though, Hunky Huntsman lays one on her that evidently does the trick. Snow White wakes up like she was just napping or something and then they go and fight Queen Cray and eventually kill her. Then Snow White takes her rightful place on the throne. The end!

Phew. Got all that? Okay. Much different than Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, right? And I’m not just talking about the lack of high-pitched singing.

So, let’s point out the most twisted flaw about this story (which, granted, was written approximately a billion years ago).

The main conflict of the story is that a girl is prettier than her stepmom (and I guess everyone else in the land, too) and the stepmom is just NOT OKAY WITH THIS. So much so, that she’s willing to kill any and everyone standing in her way of being the “fairest of them all”. (Side note: I’ve had fair skin my whole life and I’m still waiting for paleness to be in fashion. What gives?)

So. What can we learn from this?

Let’s say that Snow White represents us: you, me, women. Just by being born, just by existing, we are all “fairest” of the land. We are all beautiful, fearfully and wonderfully made, exactly the way we are, right? Well, not until some overbearing ruler (societal beauty standards) steps in with some stupid magic mirror (Photoshop, perhaps? The media in general? The diet industry? All of the above?) and vows to destroy us by any means necessary in order to communicate what is truly “fairest” in all the land.

The cool thing about this story, when viewed through this metaphor, is that — spoiler alert — Snow White is the only one who can defeat the Queen. They are tied together due to some spell and/or curse. Therefore, Snow White is the “chosen” one, if you will, that must drive the sword through the Queen in order for her to actually die and allow for Snow White to rightfully reign.

I think the same holds true for us. Because we are women born into this society, we have been “cursed” since birth to be abused by a beauty-obsessed world. However! We are the ones who hold the power to destroy its influence in our lives and regain rule over our self esteems. By looking in our own mirrors and seeing ourselves the way we were meant to be seen, beautiful inside and out, we are doing the same thing Snow White does to the Queen at the end. We stare Queen Cray, and everything about her that makes us feel bad about ourselves, in the face and say, “No! You are a liar! You are evil! I’M the fairest of them all!” And, in doing so, swiftly drive a sword right through her.

Only then can we regain our rightful place on the throne of our lives.

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secrets.

I love being a writer. I love writing this blog. I love to tell stories. I love expressing things about myself and others openly and honestly. Over the years, there have been many blessings that have come from my willingness to share my secrets with the world.

But there have been many negative repercussions from my openness as well.

Lately, I’ve been very in tune with some sacred echoes in my life.  The first echo I wrote about concerned the word “enough” and what that means for me and my journey. But even before that, and since then, I’ve also been really struggling with the idea of secrecy in my life.

Right on schedule with my internal struggles concerning this idea, Rachel Held Evans published a blog post about the sanctity of secrets in the public world. As soon as the title popped up on my Facebook feed, I knew it wasn’t coincidence; based on the title and summary alone, I figured that Evans’ blog post was specifically and divinely written for me. Clicking on it and reading it confirmed what I already assumed.

Here’s the excerpt in Evans’ post that really wrecked me:

As a girl who makes her living (and finds so much joy in) sharing her questions, ideas, insights, and experiences online and in books, the value that Jesus places on secrecy can be a bit disconcerting. All writers struggle with this, I think, but with our access to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and You Tube, it’s easier than ever before to slip into the assumption that unless something is shared, it didn’t really happen, it didn’t really matter.

Lately I’ve been feeling that way — that if I don’t blog/tweet/Facebook/Instagram about my life, my life isn’t really happening. Just the other night, when I was suffering from yet another bout of insomnia, I snuggled up against my dead-to-the-world husband. In his sleep, he leaned down to kiss me on the forehead. It was so wonderful and perfect. But right after it happened I became wracked with conviction because the first thought in my mind was, I can’t wait to blog about this.

Throughout my pregnancy, I’ve been bombarded by so many people, some I know and some I don’t, about the decisions Dan and I have made about our birth, child-rearing, nurturing, etc. And, for the most part, I’ve been completely candid and open about everything. Even when people disagreed with me. But it turned out that I was so open that, as my pregnancy progressed, people began to assume that they’d be able to be at the hospital when I went into labor and, in some extreme cases, actually in the delivery room for my son’s birth.

Before, I was so excited about becoming a mother and I was so thankful to have so many people share that sentiment with me that I didn’t think much about it. But with the “real deal” swiftly approaching, I’ve been really feeling it on my heart to protect those precious moments with my son and my family. Which is why the only people that will be in the delivery room when I have my son will be me, my son’s father, the doctors, and the nurses. (If I could somehow convince the doctors and nurses to not be in the room, I would, but they’re kind of a package deal at the hospital.)

But it’s not just the birth that I feel the need to protect. It’s not even just my son. It’s so much more than that. It’s the meetings I have with friends. It’s the books I read and the scribbles in my journal. It’s any and all things I am otherwise all-too-eager to share with people, no matter their influence in my life.

Don’t get me wrong. It will take all kinds of restraint to not blog/tweet/Instagram every moment I have with my baby, especially the first six weeks when I’m on maternity leave and up to my face in burp cloths. And this is not to say that I won’t blog as frequently, or as openly, but the discipline of keeping my real life and my family life still mine and not the Internet’s is one that I believe any writer/blogger/social media user should try to implement.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Check out Rachel’s full article here.

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