Monthly Archives: February 2013

things i love thursday: tallahassee.

I live in Tallahassee, Florida. Did you know that? Even though it looks and feels a lot more like Georgia, it is the capital of the Sunshine State and I’ve been here ever since the fall of 2004. That’s, like, forever ago.

I want to do things a little different this week. I want to dedicate my TILT list to the city I’ve now called home for nearly nine years.

sunrise

THINGS I LOVE ABOUT TALLAHASSEE:

  • My friends. OBVIOUSLY the first thing on here.
  • My alma mater! Florida State, Florida State, Florida State, woo!
  • It actually sort of kind of maybe has seasons.
  • The rolling hills. So unlike Florida.
  • Canopy roads.
  • Decent Pizza. And when I say that I don’t mean, “Tallahassee has decent pizza, I guess.” It literally means that my favorite pizza joint is called “Decent Pizza.” Try their margherita pizza and tell me it doesn’t CHANGE YOUR LIFE.
  • The farmers’ market on Saturdays.
  • Surprisingly good and authentic Thai food.
  • It typically (TYPICALLY, but not always) gets through hurricane season unscathed.
  • When driving around town, if you’re not paying attention, you can actually end up in Georgia by accident.
  • My church home.
  • The way it smells in the morning. (Way different in the afternoon.)
  • Midtown.
  • RedEye Coffee.
  • All you can eat sushi that isn’t gross.
  • Gumby’s Pizza.
  • Voodoo Dog.
  • Jim & Milt’s.
  • Evidently I eat a lot. LOOK AWAAAAY.
  • The local musicians here. Especially since a lot of them are my buddies.
  • Railroad Square and First Fridays.
  • Trips to St. George Island.
  • Jazz in the Park.
  • Seven Days of Opening Nights.
  • FSU Theatre.
  • The Warehouse.
  • The weird flea market.
  • The Tennessee Strip.
  • Leon Pub.
  • [Insert all the bars here].
  • Dance Tallahassee.
  • Gulf Winds Track Club.
  • 2 for 1 beers and ritas pretty much anywhere you go.
  • EVERYTHING ELSE.

Oh Tallahassee. You will forever be the capital of my heart.

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a clarification.

Yo. Readers. Sup.

I get a lot of comments on my blog, both in the actual comments section and on Facebook, that are really encouraging. Stuff like, “OMG don’t feel bad about yourself! You are great! You are lovely! Don’t worry about pleasing other people!” And so on and so forth. Very uplifting, very sweet, and very much what I need to hear sometimes.

But I need you all to know something.

I don’t write this blog to fish for encouragement. That is not my intention at all.

At this point in my self-love journey, I get all the encouragement I need from my own self-talk, the people closest to me, mentors, my faith and prayer time, and all the bags of salt and vinegar chips I can get my hands on. Fear not! I am not lacking in that department at all. I write this blog because I want to normalize and talk about the very real insecurities a lot of us women have that, for whatever reason, we feel the need to cover up most of the time. I write to point out what is real and what is true so that everyone who stumbles across my little corner of the internet can heavily EXHALE and think, “Thank goodness I’m not the only one.”

That’s really it.

Don’t get me wrong — this is not to say that I don’t enjoy your comments. I really really do. They bring me life and joy and peace. So keep them coming if you so wish. I just don’t want you to think that if you don’t comment on my blog a rebuttal to every satirical self-deprecating post I write, I’ll jump off the nearest bridge. Don’t worry. I won’t.

Unless the nearest bridge crosses over a river of chocolate. In which case, well… I can’t make any promises.

creep

Mmmm. River of chocolateeeee…

 

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trying to make it while trying to look like we’ve made it.

dax_7months

So. This happened last week.

Well. Uh. To be honest, the pictures were actually taken last night. But little Dax Arthur turned 7 months old on the 19th.

I know. I’m slacking a little bit. BUT WHATEVER, I WORK FULL TIME AND I’M A MOM OKAY? I’M SUPER BUSY, COME AT ME.

* shifty eyes *

My mom and I were talking the other day about how all of my friends, both from my childhood and my adulthood, keep popping out babies lately. Three of them came into the world in the past ten days. (Hi Joshua! Hi Parker! Hi Eleanor! You all are very cute! It’s nice to meet you! Sorry about all the rain!) A handful of friends are also pregnant right now, due to join the mommy club in the next few months. It’s quite exciting, but also sobering.

This revelation comes about a year away from my ten-year high school reunion. This is a bit scary. When did we all get here? When did we all become parents? Just yesterday we were (read: I was) waking up at 5:30 in the morning, even though school started two hours later, to flat iron our (my) unruly hair and apply copious amounts of makeup in order to look like we were (I was) the sole human(s) that weren’t affected by the awkwardness of adolescence. Just yesterday we were (I was) worried about whether or not our (my) skirts were short/long enough to make us (me) look older than we were (I was) but not too old. Just yesterday we were (I was) throwing shaving cream at each other in the senior class parking lot, pausing from all the fun to catch our (my) reflections in the side-view mirrors of random vehicles to ensure we (I) still looked “pretty”.  But today, we are (I am) leaving the house covered in pureed sweet potatoes and spit-up, furiously wiping ourselves (myself) down in the car on the way to work, scrambling to find babysitters so we can take our (my) husband(s) on a dang date.

How did we (I) get here?

Blah. I don’t know. But what I do know is that, based on the conversations I keep having and on the Facebook statuses I keep reading, one thing remains the same.

We’re all still trying to make it. But we’re all trying to make it look like we’ve already made it.

Last week, the Durrenbergers were in a funk. After letting Dan and I get used to long stretches of uninterrupted sleep at night, Dax was up several times wanting to nurse which, despite how cute he is, irritated us. Our exhaustion led to crankiness all over and it was like every word that shot out of Dan’s mouth was poison to my soul and every glance I gave him lit up all his insecurities.

All unintentional, of course. (Side note: Dax is officially cutting a tooth. I get it now.)

It was just a week. One, measly week in the almost five years of our relationship. But even still, it was enough to make me question everything.

Am I a good wife? 

Am I a good mother?

If I were either of those things, life wouldn’t be so hard right now.

All of a sudden I am reliving the days where I woke up at ZERO DARK THIRTY to literally burn my kinky hair into stick-straight submission before high school (shout out to all the flat irons that were manufactured before keeping your hair un-damaged was a legitimate concern). Just like back in my awkward teenage days, I just want to have it all together. But, more so than that, I just want to look like I have it all together.

I remember when I was still on maternity leave, a girl at church remarked about how put-together I looked. She was astonished that a new mom like myself could just effortlessly waltz into church on a Sunday, my newborn baby snugly sound asleep against my chest in my Maya Wrap, with the curls on my head falling into perfect place with just the right amount of makeup on to communicate, “Yeah, I made it here. And still look good. But whatever, I guess motherhood is just so easy. I don’t know what everyone is so upset about. We’re all sleeping great. And I just don’t have to try.”

The secret? I TRIED REALLY FREAKING HARD, OKAY? BECAUSE I AM INSANE SOMETIMES. I wasn’t back at work yet so if my kid fell asleep (notice I said IF) the first thing I’d do was curl my hair and put on makeup. Yes, even before I showered or took a nap of my own. Because  I wanted so badly to look like I’d made it already, despite the fact that my baby was only a few weeks old and only enjoyed two things — screaming and nursing. Not sleeping. Or like, smiling.

Just like on those days when I’d stroll into my first period class like, “What? This? Yeah, my hair is so gorgeously straight, just by nature. Nah, I don’t do anything really. I mean I have a flat iron but, whatever.”

That was almost ten years ago. Am I really no different?

I’d like to believe there are other people out there. Women who are planning their weddings and trying to effortlessly please everyone on the guest list. Dads who work two jobs to provide for their families and by the time they get home they have a strung-out wife and a crying baby to answer to. Girls who show up to their high school every day praying that the outfit they chose that morning doesn’t bring about the bullying accusations of thinner girls.

I’d like to believe there are more people than just me in this boat.

In the event that I’m right in assuming that so many of us are actually walking shells, imposters even, of our true selves, I’d like to challenge us all to just let ourselves be. 

Just. Be.

What does that look like for me to just be? At the moment, it means hitting the snooze button a few extra times in the morning instead of waking up at the first (way too early) alarm to style my unruly hair. It means not cringing at the thought of someone randomly coming over to my always-messy house before I get the chance to deep-clean it. It means not stressing over the fact that my baby ate non-organic bananas one time. It means taking Dax’s 7-month pictures when he’s actually 7 months and one week old. It means giving myself a freaking break.

Because despite what I think, I haven’t made it yet. And I might never make it. But I’d rather spend my days just living than trying to look like I’m living a certain way.

Ya feel me, homies?

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

words to live by: donna watkins.

dont_stumble

Don’t stumble over something behind you.

– Donna L. Watkins

Happy Friday. <3

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things i love thursday! (february 21, 2013)

I’m sorry for the lack of a TILT post last week. My life is like a Noxema commercial, y’all. I was too busy blogging about how to avoid buggin’ on Valentine’s Day.

CLEARLY I AM STILL ON A CLUELESS KICK AND I DON’T CARE WHO KNOWS IT!

Anyway. Here’s a love letter I sent myself. Sort of.

dax_happy_collage

THINGS THAT MADE ME SMILE THIS WEEK:

  • Um. Is that picture not the cutest? I know, right? Don’t you wish you could hug him through the screen?
  • My best friend got engaged and asked me to be her matron of honor! So fun!
  • Imagine Dragons. I’ve been so into them lately. I am so mad at everyone who failed to inform me of them before now.
  • Catching up with good friends over lunch, even if the service was a bit slow. More time for chit-chat, I guess.
  • My breastfeeding support groups. Feeding a person with your body can be hard, y’all.
  • Mentorships over email.
  • Mexican food.
  • Dos Equis + lime. Holy delicious.
  • Beer in general, as always.
  • “Nipple” cookies.
  • Hating on the face-eating Krazy Kat Lady. (She has recently evolved to become even more evil.)
  • Candy. Lots and lots of candy.
  • My sweet Valentine’s Day date with my hubs.
  • Friends who agree to babysit last minute.
  • Being in a Harlem Shake video. Oh Lawd.
  • Champagne and Spider-Man valentines!
  • THIS. EVERY YEAR.
  • Nighttime snuggles with my little boy.
  • Bridal showers.
  • Getting a new breast pump from the government. Shout out, Obamacare! Who’s your boo?
  • Watching episodes of Sabrina the Teenage Witch on Hulu+.
  • See also: America’s Next Top Model. WHY DID NONE OF YOU CRAZIES TELL ME THAT AN FSU GIRL IS ON THIS CYCLE? I’ve only seen the first episode but I’m already betting homegirl doesn’t last long. #liptattoo
  • Getting to hang out with my mom this weekend.
  • Apples to Apples and In a Pickle. I LOVE WORD GAMES! Squeeeee!
  • Catching up with my favorite students.
  • New babies! Hi Joshua!
  • Putting off the chores in lieu of vegging on the couch with my man.
  • Making musical revelations over text message.
  • Five Guys.
  • Sushi.
  • A year after we got robbed, we finally bought me a MacBook! YAY! It’s used and five years old but, apart from a dead battery and CD drive it works and it’s new to me! It is shipping out this week. Holla!
  • My friends.
  • My family, both biological and not.
  • You.

What do you love this week?

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

pro tip of the day: THEY DON’T MATTA.

Man, life is so exciting around here, y’all. So many of my friends are engaged, expecting new babies, starting new jobs, moving to new places. There are so many things worth celebrating! It’s so awesome!

But like. Sometimes it’s not. Know why?

Because everyone has an opinion. Opinions regarding your happy times in life that they want you to know. Because they’re under the delusion that they’re important.

My best friend got engaged last week (shout out!) and asked me to be her matron of honor (HOLLA!) so for the past few days we’ve been excitedly chatting about upcoming nuptial-related plans. It’s so much fun, but seriously, we’re already talking about what is “proper” and “polite” and which things we need to make sure we do and which people we need to make sure we consult and invite and blah blah blah because we don’t want to offend anyone.

Likewise, I’m going to a couple of friends’ wedding (is that grammatically correct? Like, my two friends are marrying each other and I’m going to that. Did I say that right? Anyway…) and just today the bride posted a Facebook status about how she was so over trying to please everyone.

This brought back painful memories of planning my own wedding.

Then I remembered being pregnant, and preparing for my child’s birth…

Then I remembered just a couple weeks ago when I was told my kid wouldn’t know who his mom is because of the way I was choosing to parent…

And so on and so on.

Everyone has an opinion about everything, it seems, and, based on my own experiences as well as the experiences of those very close to me, they always feel like voicing them. Even if those opinions hurt.

So. I write this blog today just to say…

THEY DON’T MATTA.

Seriously.

So what if your great aunt BethyLou doesn’t want you to invite your cousin BobbyDean to your wedding because he still hasn’t sent her a Christmas card? So what if you co-sleep with your baby and your sister tells you you’re going to murder your child?

So. Freaking. What. They don’t matta!

Now, I’m not saying this is an excuse for you to be a total douche. But at the end of the day, you’re the only person whose opinion really holds weight. Own that. Know that. Be confident in that.

This post is brought to you by my broken GIVE A CRAP button and the exhaustion brought about by being a full time working mom that broke it. Cheers.

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cher horowitz on valentine’s day.

I’ve always been pretty apathetic toward Valentine’s Day, no matter if I had a “valentine” or not. I don’t hate it. I don’t love it. It’s just another day to me. My husband feels the same way. Each year we approach February 14th a little something like this:

“What do you want to do for Valentine’s Day this year?”
“Crap. When is that?”
“Tomorrow.”
“Oh.”
“Yeah.”
“Guess we should go out to dinner. Where do you want to go?”
“Oh I don’t care, you pick.”
“No, you pick.”
“Buffalo Wild Wings.”
“Sounds good to me.”

Even in my apathy, I do tend to think on and sympathize with those people out there who hate Valentine’s Day because the holiday makes them feel bad. I’m not writing today to say that that’s DUMB because, hello, I do everything short of throwing a tantrum on Father’s Day; I know what it feels like to lack something you think the entire rest of the world has.

I have been on a major Clueless kick lately, from sending text messages comprised completely of quotes to coming up with Cher-inspired hashtags on Instagram and Twitter. And so, because of my current re-obsession with the classic 90’s film, I turned to Cher for advice. (Which meant I just started reciting quotes in my head because I may or may not have the entire film memorized.)

“Tai, how old are you?”
“I’ll be sixteen in May.”
“Well, my birthday is in April so as someone older can I offer some advice?”

YES YOU CAN, CHER. I AM ALL EARS.

Cher_Clueless

To those of you who are hurting on Valentine’s Day, I totally get it. You are probably surrounded by a butt ton of love-sick, twitterpated morons and, with the curse that is social media, you probably can’t even look at your Facebook or Twitter feed until at least Monday to be in the clear of sappy, saccharine-sweet photos of overstuffed teddy bears and boxes of Russell Stover.

You might feel like the only person you know who is both a virgin AND someone who can’t drive.

Instead of crawling into a hole for the next few days to try and avoid these things that might trigger negative feelings within you, just ask yourself, WWCD? (What Would Cher Do?)

Answer:

…I did what any normal girl would do. I sent myself love letters and flowers and candy just so he’d see how desired I was in case he didn’t already know. 

That’s right, ladies.

Treat.

Yo.

Self.

Buy yourself some chocolates. Pick yourself up a bouquet of flowers. Make an appointment for a manicure or a massage. Run a bubble bath with a bottle of red and your favorite book.

And own that shiz. Seriously. Don’t walk into the flower shop and be all, “Blah blah blah, can I have a half-dozen roses because it’s Valentine’s Day and I don’t have a Valentine and I’ll probably be single forever and SOB SOB SOB SOB.”

NO. STOP.

Say something like this:

“I’ll have a half-dozen roses, please. Oh who are they for? Me, of course! I deserve them. I’m beautiful and lovely and amazing and these are going to look DANG GOOD in the living room I designed and decorated myself. Thanks for asking!”

Channel your inner Cher today, ladies. Make that cameo at the Val Party because you DESERVE IT.

Just don’t overdo it on the mochachinos; no one wants to spend their Valentine’s Day ralphing.

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