Monthly Archives: September 2012

friday favorite: my eyes.

Welcome to the first installment of an indefinitely long self-love blog series called friday favorites. Each Friday, I’ll post a blog highlighting something about myself I really dig as an act of self-love discipline.

And so, without further ado, this week’s favorite is my eyes. 

Pretty much everyone on my mom’s side of the family has blue eyes. Blonde hair, too. There’s no denying the European influence in our genes. But our eyes, and I guess mine for the sake of this blog, are especially rad. Not only are they cool because they’re a pretty color (not unlike the sky or ocean!) but they’re recessive. So that means that, eventually, they won’t exist anymore. People with eyes like mine will be just as mythical as unicorns. I love that! (By the way, I’m working off of the assumption that unicorns DID exist at one point, so don’t try to refute that with your “facts” and “science”.)

I’m practically a unicorn!

While I was pregnant, Dan kept praying that our son would get my eyes. Because of their unicorn-like tendencies, and Dan’s dominant brown eyes, I was skeptical. All babies are born with blue eyes, so for the time being, Dan’s prayer has  been answered. So that’s another reason I love my eyes — because I can see them in my son.

However, a good friend of ours was so bold as to say that, based on the shade of blue they are now, she thinks Dax’s eyes will stay blue like mine! What do you think?

Gotta be honest. I hope so!

Okay, now here’s the part where you chime in. Because I’m not doing this alone, y’all. What’s your favorite thing about yourself this week? Comment and tell me!

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Filed under friday favorites, gushes, life, psychology, transformation

things i love thursday! (september 27, 2012)

Happy Thursday, everyone! Hope your week has been great. Since coming back to work, Thursdays have a whole new level of awesome surrounding them because they mean there is only one more day to the weekend, which means only one more day until I can be with my little guy full time again!

THINGS THAT MADE ME SMILE THIS WEEK:

  • Getting YouTube videos of my son from Dan during the workday. PRICELESS.
  • “Fall” weather! (In Florida, all that means is that the temperature dips below 90 for a second. But it affords us the opportunity to bust out our boots, cardigans, and actually purchase hot lattes from Starbucks as opposed to iced.)
  • Speaking of — pumpkin spice lattes with soy milk. But not from Starbucks. From Redeye. (The Starbucks syrup turns my tongue orange which is NOT CUTE.)
  • Getting a visit at work from my two favorite boys! Dan and Dax! I even got Dax out of his car seat to snuggle him. Then he began to fuss because, well, I selfishly woke him from a nap in order to cuddle him BUT WHATEVER.
  • Being instructed by my husband to sit and just hold Dax and let him clean the whole house. WELL IF YOU INSIST…
  • Seeing the POOLES! Jack and Dax (seen above) are gonna be besties. They bonded over our awkward photo sesh in which we haphazardly propped them up against the couch and counted the seconds before Dax melted down (it was dinner time).  You can see how concerned Jack is. He knew the meltdown was imminent.
  • Eating dinner one-handed.
  • THE NOLES BEAT CLEMSON!
  • The Bears won, too!
  • Good night’s sleeps and productive nap times.
  • Being able to spend all day on Sunday with my little man.
  • Seeing Courtney again!
  • Getting an amazing voice mail from her as well. I saved it and wish I could transcribe it and put it in my BDF.
  • Meeting Ashley, finally!
  • Going jogging as a family.
  • Getting a lovely visit from Sydney at work, complete with breakfast and a latte! Nom!
  • Photo shoot outtakes.
  • Getting my hair did on my lunch break. (P.S. the last time I got my hair did, I was 35 weeks pregnant. My son is 10 weeks old today. You do the math.)
  • Free shirts.
  • Fitting into my pre-pregnancy jeans! AHHH it’s like I’m getting a whole new wardrobe, one pair of pants at a time!
  • Catching up via email.
  • Seeing other people hold and love on my baby.
  • The fact that none of the contestants got last night’s Final Jeopardy clue but I DID! #smarterthaneveryone #beavis&butthead
  • Gratuitous hashtag use outside of Twitter. #idowhatiwant
  • New, adorable stray cats showing up on our doorstep BUT PLEASE SWEET CAT GO AWAY BECAUSE, I’M WARNING YOU, I WILL ADOPT YOU IN A HEARTBEAT AND I CAN’T AFFORD ANOTHER CAT.  SERIOUSLY GO AWAY WITH YOUR CUTE SELF.
  • Lunch with Nora. Always a great conversation with that girl!
  • People randomly complimenting my appearance. That’s just. Wow. Music to a new mom’s ears.
  • Seeing THIS and hoping someone will make one for Dax before he’s too huge!
  • And, finally, smiles and laughs from my baby boy. They are too precious! (They’re also too quick to snap a photo as of right now. Soon, though!)

What do you love this week?

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Filed under baby love, commentaries, gushes, life, reasons my husband rocks

pop singers don’t eat.

In recent days, Lady Gaga has come into the spotlight for, ahem, “letting herself go” and gain some weight. Media outlets, like they tend to do, have criticized her new “fuller” (I put all these words in quotes because GOOD GOD SHE LOOKS BLOODY NORMAL) figure. To defend herself, she posted a couple pictures of herself online in her underwear with the caption, “Bulimia and anorexia since I was 15.”

 

Now, all of a sudden, people are coming up alongside Gaga to aid her in her new found quest to spread body image positivity and courage.

Yayyyy, right?

Bleh. Yes? I guess? But here’s what pisses me off about the whole thing.

I used to love Lady Gaga. I would dance like a damn fool whenever her songs came on the radio or in the clubs. My husband and I bought her newest record (which was disappointing, honestly) the day it came out. I can’t remember another artist for whom I went out of my way to purchase their stuff on the drop date. (Okay, there’s Hanson, but they don’t count because I buy their stuff BEFORE the drop date. Obviously.) But I stopped supporting her cold turkey recently.

You see, all of you are late to the “Lady Gaga Has An Eating Disorder” Party. We were all invited to that party years ago and I guess no one but me noticed her invitation to it… despite it being on Twitter. 

I stopped supporting Lady Gaga because she tweeted about eating a salad with the hashtag #PopSingersDontEat. It was almost like she was proud of it, like she knew she was “better” than the rest of us for foregoing calories in the name of thinness. I didn’t want to support anyone, ESPECIALLY anyone who women (and girls!) across the globe looked up to, who would publicly advocate such unhealthy behavior.

Because I struggled with an ED, I know that her tweet, and the thought process behind it, had ED written all over it. The desire for validation. The absurdity. The stubbornness. The emptiness. Everything about her tweet SCREAMED, “Help. I have an eating disorder,” but only NOW, when we actually see Lady Gaga give her ED a name, do we feel sorry for her?

Why is it that a tweet that LITERALLY STATES one is refusing food just gets swept under the rug, while a picture that states, in lesser words, I DON’T EAT FOOD actually gets your attention? It’s the same thing! Is it the sheer fact that now, a medical term — anorexia and bulimia — is tied to the behavior? If so, that’s horribly sad, because think of all the people who are currently suffering from eating disorders without diagnoses.

I was one of them. For those of you who know my story, you know I suffered from an eating disorder for TWELVE YEARS before being diagnosed. Twelve. Years.

After Gaga’s original tweet, that’s when we should have been rallying up alongside Gaga for body positivity! We should have tweeted back at her that nothing is worth damaging your body for, especially not thinness. We should have tweeted back at her the truth that she’s fearfully and wonderfully made. But we didn’t.

I didn’t.

Had Twitter been around back in the days I was knee deep eating disorder hell, I’m almost positive I would have tweeted something about how a Pepsi One (yep, throw back) totally counts as a legitimate lunch option. And you know what? I would have secretly hoped that someone, anyone, would tweet back at me, “Please, eat something more than that. You’re beautiful. You deserve to treat yourself better.”

Don’t get me wrong — I’m glad Lady Gaga is doing what she’s doing. I think she’s a beautiful woman, inside and out, who, like a lot of us, has been tricked by society to believe that her worth is only skin deep. And I’m not mad at her for doing this all of a sudden. What makes me mad is that THIS IS NOT NEWS. Poor Gaga practically threw a Hail Mary pass on Twitter asking for help and no on caught it. But now, she’s in the end zone doing a dance after rushing for a touchdown in her underwear, and NOW we’re paying attention?

Welcome to the party.

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Filed under commentaries, eating disorders, psychology, rants, the media

just the way i am.

Let me tell you about the first time I was humbled by my child.

Everyone kept telling me that I’d know I was about to go into labor once I started getting the urge to nest. I found that to be quite strange, as I’ve never had the urge to decorate much of anything in my life. Take my childhood bedroom, for example. Once I discovered that my favorite color was aquamarine, I decided to paint my room that color. It was a bit jarring when compared against the rest of our muted home, but I didn’t care. It was my favorite color and I was going to rock it. Then, on top of the wall, I plastered a bunch of posters of my favorite bands. I guess that makes sense when you’re twelve years old — like I was at the time — but I left my room exactly that way until I left for college. My poor mother was burdened with the task of bringing that room back to a state of decorated normalcy.

Despite my self-proclaimed “creative” disposition, I just. Don’t. Decorate. Period. (And Lord help me if I ever have to show up some place and look presentable. My fashion sense is almost as bad.)

But because every other mother on the face of the planet (read: planet = Pinterest) seemed to me to welcome their bouncing baby with a perfectly decorated nursery, complete with unique BUT SENSIBLE color palettes and adorable and probably handmade adornments, I figured I’d probably be no different, despite the glaring fact that that isn’t me.

When the 38th week of my pregnancy rolled around, I started to panic. That “nesting” urge had yet to kick in and our nursery was just an over glorified closet with a crib in it — boxes and bags of baby shower stuff that’d been thrown in there, piles of clothes that had yet to be washed or sorted, you name it. Babies R Us threw up in my kid’s room and, two weeks out from my due date, I’d had yet to do anything about it.

So I figured that if the urge to nest wasn’t going to organically appear, I had to force it. I started making lists. I color-coded those lists. I confided in other moms to make sure my lists made some semblance of sense. Then, I took my lists and used them to create a “Nesting Calendar” on Google. I shared that Nesting Calendar with my husband and declared quite boldly, “Dan! We’re going to NEST! We’re going to NEST because Google says so!”

The way my calendar worked out was that Monday, we’d do one project. Tuesday we’d do another, then one on Wednesday, and so forth, until Friday. At the end of that week, we’d have a nursery put together. Seems legit, right?

When the labor pains set in on Wednesday, I knew I was in trouble. Baby Dax showed up an entire week early, not even taking my Nesting Calendar into consideration. When we came home from the hospital on Saturday afternoon, I looked dejectedly in the still-closet-like nursery and sighed. I was already failing at being a mom.

Fast forward to today. Dax is nine and a half weeks old and the nursery STILL looks like a Babies R Us mine field. I’d take a picture but seriously you guys it’s so embarrassing. In order to get to the changing table, you’ve got to tip-toe around piles of new clothes, bags of breast milk storage, and towers of receiving blankets.

However…

I’m writing this on my husband’s desktop in our bedroom. I can hear that Dax is starting to stir from his morning nap. The sound isn’t coming through a baby monitor; it’s in this room, right behind me. My sweet baby boy, the little child I was so worried about nesting for, refuses to sleep anywhere except our bed.

Not his crib. Not his not-yet-nested nursery.

It’s almost as if, from the womb, he could sense that I was doing preposterous things like making lists and Google calendars and decided he’d make a beeline out of my uterus that week to put a stop to it.

“Mommy,” I can almost hear him saying. “You’re not acting like my mom. You’re not acting like the woman to who was called to raise me. You’re acting like someone else. Please, just let the nursery be a mess. I won’t use it anyway. Can’t wait to meet you, Mommy, just the way you are.”

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Filed under baby love, commentaries, life, psychology, transformation

introducing: friday favorites!

Can I speak off the cuff for a second? (Psh. Why am I even asking? This is my blog, you guys. I do what I want.)

I’ve been pretty aware of all the ways I suck lately. Mostly, over the past week. I guess that makes sense, what with me going back to work and wrestling with what that means as far as my contribution to my home and family. It stands to reason, I suppose, that in this time of transition I might find myself struggling to focus on what is praiseworthy about myself. (Philippians 4:8.)

The truth is, self-love isn’t something you just achieve one day and then bam, you’re all better. I really wish it were that simple, but the reality is that loving yourself in a society that does its damnedest to point out everything that’s wrong with you takes daily discipline. It takes the strength to wake up every single day and look yourself in the mirror and say, “Hey, Self, you’re all right.”

Unfortunately, with everything that’s been going on in my life as of late (you know, having a kid and all) I haven’t really taken care of myself in that respect. Sure, I make sure I eat every day and try to squeeze a shower in here and there (I washed my hair last night, y’all!) but as far as putting forth the effort it takes to truly, honestly, take care of my self-esteem and consequential mental health, I’m falling behind. And it’s starting to wear on me.

An old issue I’ve struggled with in the past has reared its ugly head recently. The issue? Allowing myself to be loved without doing anything. 

I’d thought I’d beat it. I thought that, with the help of this blog and the people with whom I surround myself, I’d finally let that little part of me die. But, since stepping away from all the things I “do” for people in order to focus on my son and my family, I’ve started to feel as though I’m being replaced. Forgotten. Unloved.

While I know that isn’t the case, right now it’s hard to believe it. So, I’ve decided to go ahead and use this blog for what it was originally intended — a tool with which I can learn to love myself daily. I’m going to dust off the old “self-love” warrior training boxing gloves and start a new weekly post series on my blog. I’d like to introduce to you,

lindsay’s friday favorites!

On Fridays, as a discipline, I’m going to post a blog highlighting one thing about myself that I like, that is my “favorite trait” of the week. One thing, I might add, is just ME. Not something I DO. Just something I AM. It may be physical, or not. It may be an item of clothing I bought or a way I did my hair. It might be a book I started reading and the thoughts it provoked within me. I’m not sure yet. But all I know is that I’m going to commit to doing this every Friday to remind myself that I’m valuable just because I am.

I’d like to challenge you, my readers, to do it, too. On my Friday Favorites posts, I want you to comment the things you love about yourself that week. Nothing would make me happier than knowing that my struggles, and the disciplined nature through which I will try to overcome them, might actually be a positive influence in your lives as well.

And so. Starting next Friday, we’re going to do this. We’re going to start to love ourselves, one little blog post at a time.

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Filed under faith, God, life, psychology, transformation

back to the grind, consumed with mom-guilt.

I’d like to take this opportunity to give a standing ovation to all the stay-at-home moms out there. Bravo, ladies. Brav. Vo.

Y’all want some real talk? I’ll give you some real talk.

I’ve been a working mom for three days and let me just tell you — stay-at-home moms have it harder than working moms. (And, as an aside, stay-at-home moms who HOME SCHOOL? Psh. They’ve all got to be immortal droids or something.) I’ve been back in the workforce for almost three days and it’s like I’m in Cabo on vacation. Wooohoo! I can count on one hand the number of days that have gone by without me getting pooped on, and I can pee whenever I have to and not hold it until the baby’s asleep! (Okay, so maybe, based on that comment, I did stay-at-home mom life wrong. Whatever. Holding your bladder for five hours while consoling a colicky baby is legit, right? Don’t answer that.)

Anyway. Props to all you SAHMs. Major. Props.

More real talk. I miss my boy. Bad. 

The first day back was pretty great. I was distracted by all my new projects at work and the sweet welcome I got from my coworkers, seen here:

And the second day was okay, too. But once I got home, I realized that, at the end of my work day, I only have a few short hours with my baby until he’s down for bed which makes me SUPER. DUPER. SAD.

You guys. I’m in a downward thought spiral, here. My self-love is waning in lieu of mom-guilt. Does he still recognize my voice?! What if he grows up not knowing who I am? What if he thinks I’m just some weird lady who comes to his house and sleeps in his dad’s bed after being away for eight hours all day?! Even worse, what if he DOES know I’m his mom, but thinks I suck majorly because I’ve missed out on all the times he’s smiled as a two-month-old? What if, when he learns to talk, his first word is, “I-DON’T-KNOW-MY-MOM.” YOU GUYS?! HOW DO KIDS OF WORKING PARENTS NOT GROW UP COMPLETELY MALADJUSTED?! WHY AM I THE WORST?

Okay. So maybe my kid is adjusting fine. Maybe he’s two months old and doesn’t know the difference yet. Maybe he’ll grow up completely normal in spite of me. Maybe I’m the severely unhinged mental case who needs help.

Anyway.

I’m back in action, y’all! Back with a whole new set of insecurities! Let’s do this.

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Filed under baby love, commentaries, life, psychology

my “normal”.

My baby boy is eight weeks old today. I know it’s cliche and all, but seriously — time flies when it comes to kids. These eight weeks have zoomed by me in a sleep-deprived blur. I feel like it was just yesterday we were being admitted into the delivery room and seeing this face for the first time.

But no. That was eight weeks ago. Those images, compared to the face I saw when I woke up this morning…

 

…blow my mind. He’s already grown and changed so much.

As you’ve noticed, the blog has been quiet these last two weeks. That’s been both unintentional (Dax has had reflux and colic going on which makes for one tired and busy momma) and intentional. I’ve been savoring these precious last weeks as a stay-at-home mommy. When I found that I had some time, I could either snuggle my boy or put him down and blog. Naturally, I chose the former.

A couple weeks ago, I went to a bible study at my church that is comprised of all moms. The newest mom there, I felt a bit awkward and out of place at first. I was the least experienced mother in the circle — still in the throes of nightfeeds and blowout diapers, and nowhere near potty training or choosing a preschool — and felt like I had nothing to offer. Despite my extremely outgoing nature, I spent the better part of the “socializing time” just sitting on the couch, staring at my feet, wondering if I could contribute anything worthwhile to the conversation. I decided that, nope, I couldn’t. Those moms had all been-there-done-that. It’s been quite some time since I’ve felt that strange about being around other people. (That also may have had something to do with my severe lack of personal hygiene but hey, showers are hard to come by these days.)

As we settled in to the devotion, I started to feel a bit more comfortable. A bit more like I belonged. I eased into the discussion and back into my normal skin as I listened to Margo, a good friend and the group leader, read that week’s lesson. It was called, Waiting for Normal.

I don’t remember the specifics of the story, but I do know that it was about a mom who compared her family life — her husband working long hours, never home for dinner, the kids on a weird schedule — with that of her neighbor’s — dinner on the table at the same time every night, the family always together, etc. Sadly, she deduced that her neighbor’s life was “normal” and hers was not. Therefore, she saw no point in trying to maintain a “normal” schedule until her husband stopped working such bizarre hours. She ordered pizza every night instead of cooking. She didn’t enforce a bedtime routine. She said she was just “waiting for normal” in order for life to be worth it.

That devotion was really convicting to me.

You see, when Dan and I first got married, we made an agreement to not have kids until we were in a financial position where I could stop working and stay home with them. Well, as you know, Dax came before we were anywhere near that position. The entirety of my pregnancy and the majority of the first weeks of motherhood, I’ve been fretting over our lack of “normal”. As each day would pass, my maternity leave running out like grains of sand in an hour glass, I would get more and more anxious about the fact that I have to return to work soon because that’s not “normal”. What’s “normal” is what Dan and I agreed on when we got married.

I felt like I was being held at gunpoint and forced to make a choice between my baby and my job. If I chose my baby, everything would be ruined. We wouldn’t be able to afford our apartment, our cars, food, or healthcare. But if I chose my job over my babyeverything would be okay.

Everything, that is, except for the fact that it’s not “normal” and my baby would suffer because of it.

Naturally, the end of the devotion came with the woman realizing that just because her “normal” was different from her neighbor’s didn’t mean it wasn’t “normal”. It was just a different “normal”.

Monday morning, I’ll walk back into my office after having eight wonderful weeks with my boy. The transition will be hard, of course, but the thing I have to remember is that this is my “normal”. I’m not choosing my job over my baby. I’m just choosing my baby in a different way. By going back to work, I’m choosing for him to have health insurance and clothes and diapers and every other baby amenity out there. Just because this isn’t the “normal” I envisioned for myself, it is our “normal”.

And it’s perfect.

 

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Filed under baby love, faith, God, life, on the job, transformation