Monthly Archives: May 2013

when learning hurts.

I remember when Dax first learned how to sit up on his own — around 6 months old — I was so elated. “He will crawl soon!” I exclaimed proudly as I watched him poised upright and wobbling on my floor, a teetering heap of baby rolls. I fantasized about how fun it would be to observe him scurrying about the house, exploring new and foreign things — dust bunnies and misplaced laundry! — for the first time.

Dax learned to crawl about two months ago and I wish I could go back in time and slap me for not enjoying every second of stationary baby life. For every dust bunny and misplaced piece of laundry in my house, there are two electrical outlets and sharp edges of furniture. In recent weeks, Dax’s exploring has not so much yielded excitement as it has drama and pain in the way of his first bloody lip and, a couple days ago, his first black eye.

dax_bloody_lipI tell you what — as a parent, nothing makes you feel worse than seeing your kid get hurt. Really and truly. Even things so minor as this really rip at the heartstrings. (Particularly if your kid getting hurt means pouring blood all over you in the middle of a crowded store. Let me just say that’s not the most fun you’ll have in a Naples Wal-Mart.)

After both the lip and the eye, I went through a really restrictive period with Dax in which I wouldn’t put him down unless he was in his crib or Pack n’ Play, our two prisons of safety. This made Dax mad, shrieking mad, because all he wants to do now is crawl from here to eternity. But I couldn’t bear to let him do that because that might mean he’d get hurt again.

Might.

The thing that sucks about this is that in order for him to learn and grow, he’s got to get hurt. I really hate that. I wish he could learn things and navigate life completely pain free. I wish I could protect him from ever hurting but to do that would be to hurt him in a different way.

I was really afraid to move to Naples because I knew it was going to hurt. I knew that leaving my friends and family behind was going to be torturous on my spirit. So, for the weeks leading up to the move I avoided talking about it or thinking about it, lest it bring about the sting of loneliness and reminiscence. I put myself in a mental Pack n’ Play, safely encased in a mesh box of avoidance.

This past Sunday, as I parked and wrangled Dax out of the car and started walking toward our new church, the feelings caught up with me. My heart started beating violently and my Pack n’ Play collapsed on itself, letting a wave of sadness and loneliness swallow me whole. I couldn’t hear the nursery workers greet me over the sound of my own heartbreak beating against my eardrums. They smiled at us ever so sweetly and chatted about how happy they were to see Dax and I grinned right back an empty grin and floated mindlessly into the sanctuary.

Sitting in a long, rigid pew, by myself, in a room built to hold over a thousand people whose names I don’t know, I felt so small. I felt so insignificant. I still could barely hear anything — just the woosh woosh woosh of blood in my ears — and a lump in my throat grew to choking proportions.

Without the safety of the Pack n’ Play, I was suddenly crawling across an expansive, slippery tile floor and had just lost my balance and face-planted. Just like Dax.

At the end of the service, the contemporary worship leader came up to Dan and me and asked if he and his wife could take us out to lunch.

“Oh, thanks, but Dax hasn’t napped all day so Lindsay really needs to get home–“

“YES! PLEASE! Take us!”

I interrupted Dan so quickly and desperately that he shot me a look of surprise.

“Please,” I begged, “I’ve been hit hard by a sack of lonelys today and going out to lunch with new friends is the perfect way to make them go away.”

And so, we went.

With chopsticks in my hand, asian noodles in my mouth, and a kind, loving, generous family surrounding me, I picked myself up off the floor, put some metaphorical ice on my throbbing face, and put my Pack n’ Play away. Today, I continue to roam around and learn and feel and hurt, but also heal.

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things i love thursday! (may 30, 2013)

Happy Thursday, friends! Time to scribble down your list of gratitude. Here’s mine!

CSC_0029

THINGS THAT MADE ME SMILE THIS WEEK:

  • A day out to myself.
  • ICED lattes. (Can’t play around with no hot lattes in SO FLA.)
  • Retail therapy at THE BODY SHOP.
  • Body scrubs, body butters, and a clearer face.
  • Making chores barters with my husband.
  • Leaving the screen porch open for the kitties.
  • The way Romeo curls up on his new scratch pad.
  • Cuddles with my baby boy.
  • ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT!
  • A familiar worship set.
  • Going out to lunch with new friends.
  • Memorial Day.
  • Introducing Dax to the pool for the first time.
  • Dax’s reaction to the pool. (See my darling above.)
  • Toting the kiddo along to staff meeting.
  • Cafeteria food and smiley fries.
  • Clean eating!
  • Fresh, locally grown, organic oranges! So delish!
  • Trying out new recipes (zucchini fries?!) for the little one.
  • Singing along to kids’ shows on PBS.
  • Going on adventures with my little man.
  • Old school throw back photos from high school! Thanks Scho!
  • Sunsets.
  • The way my kid looks when he’s trying to feed himself. (Hasn’t quite figured it out yet.)
  • My family.

What do you love this week?

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introducing: what i noticed for nora.

Moving to a new city is exciting, but the emotions of what you leave behind can definitely cloud your view of your new home. I’ve lived in Naples for fourteen days now, and I’ve absolutely been blinded to the beauty around me by the overwhelming sadness of leaving Tallahassee behind.

A few days ago, I was able to catch up with my good friend Nora on the phone. It was so nice to hear her voice and, for those precious minutes, Tallahassee didn’t seem so far away.

Nora, a Detroit native currently living in Tallahassee but who has lived in countless other places around the globe, is no stranger to this phenomenon and, in order to replace sad feelings with grateful ones, suggested I try to notice — like really notice — at least one beautiful thing a week about my new home and to write about it. I thought that was a good idea.

This week’s WHAT I NOTICED FOR NORA , or WINFN, (if you say it fast, WIN-FIN!) is a bit cheat-y because I actually noticed it before I talked to her. And how could you not?

Along the southwest coast of Florida, the sunsets are to die for. The few I’ve had the pleasure of ogling have left me breathless and thankful.

sunset

 

susnet_porch

[Full disclosure: I did take these pictures with Instagram but no filter! Swearsies! The sunsets here are just THAT pretty. For more sunset pictures (and a thousand pictures of my kid) you should follow me.]

I think this practice is good for anyone. Not just those of us who just moved to a new town and are desperately trying to figure out where/what/how/when/why everything is. Even if you’ve lived in your town for a while, try this. Try to discover something beautiful — even if it’s something small — about where you live and take a picture of it. This will force you to really notice it for all that it is. Creation. Splendor.

A blessing.

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i need a “thing”.

Before I start, I would like to sincerely thank each and every one of my friends that have reached out to me via phone call, text, or email to let me know that they’re thinking of me in my time in transition. It has given me life and I am grateful.

Okay!

A week or so before we moved, Dan and I went on a date. We went to a steakhouse for dinner and then saw Iron Man 3 (zomg RDJ you sly devil you, working your way into a date with my husband; embarrassing!). Halfway through dinner, I asked Dan to give me a quick recap of the first two movies so I could know what to expect for the third.

When he was done loosely wrapping up the plot, some things piqued my interest about the movies’ overlap with the comic books. So I started asking questions.

Like, a lot of questions.

And was genuinely interested.

We had a very lengthy me-initiated conversation about comic books. And then, we went to see a move about a comic book character. LIKE 80% OF OUR DATE WAS COMPRISED OF COMIC BOOKS. WHAT.

This is worth noting because comic books are Dan’s “thing”. Not my “thing”.

This got me thinking. Do I even have a thing? I asked Dan that.

“Writing! Writing’s your thing!”

“NO,” I snapped, “you majored in English. That doesn’t count. We can’t go on a date and have you ask me any questions about writing to which you don’t already know the answers.”

“That’s true.”

“I need a thiiiiiiing,” I whined, “preferably before we move to Naples so I can do that thing once I get there.”

Well. I got to Naples and, if the last week of me being at home alone staring at my rather cranky 10-month-old has told me anything, I still don’t have a thing.

Here’s my invitation for “thing” (hobby) suggestions. I’m open to mostly anything, except anything math related because, in my mind, 2 + 5 = purple.

Let me have it: what should be my thing? Comment. Go.

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Filed under life, transformation

things i love thursday! (may 23, 2013)

I think after yesterday’s supah-negativo post, it’s only fitting that TiLT would come next. I promise; it’s not all bad here. Naples really is beautiful and wonderful and I’m excited to be here. I mean check out the view!

the_dock

THINGS THAT MADE ME SMILE MY FIRST WEEK IN NAPLES:

  • The fact that driving down here with Dax was actually really, really easy. (I did end up with pee on my shorts but let’s save that for another blog post.)
  • Our first family dinner out on the town, which is where the above picture was taken.
  • Pitchers of GOOD margaritas.
  • Oysters!
  • Getting settled in our new condo. (Condo! Sounds so beachy!)
  • Late night texts amidst inebriation.
  • The Third Street Farmers Market, complete with steel drums and a male booth worker who happened to be overly excited about babywearing (I was wearing Dax) and breastfeeding! That’s right — a DUDE excited about babywearing! Nice!
  • S’mores beignets!
  • The worship leader’s wife offered to watch Dax for us on Saturday night so we could unpack and organize. So nice of her! I was even late picking Dax up and she didn’t mind!
  • My first Sunday, and all the nice people whose names I still don’t know.
  • Night time family walks around the neighborhood.
  • Our screened-in porch.
  • Renting The Emperor’s New Groove and shamelessly quoting the whole thing.
  • Delivery chinese food and sushi. Not on the same night, obviously.
  • The sunsets here on the gulf coast. Simply stunning.
  • My first staff meeting.
  • Laughing a little too much at my first staff meeting…
  • Confirmation cake!
  • Cooking dinner for us. When there’s an easy recipe to follow, I’m not so bad at cooking! Thanks, eMeals!
  • Hot n’ Spicy Cheez-Its and Cool Lime Refreshers at Starbucks.
  • Encouraging texts/emails/phone calls/voicemails from people I love/miss the most.
  • And most of all, my handsome, sweet, funny, smart, hero of a husband who is doing his best to take care of all of us.

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giving a crap.

Six days ago I moved from Tallahassee to Naples. Not even a week has gone by but everything is already different and changing so drastically that I can barely stand up straight. It’s as if the ground is moving swiftly forward beneath my feet and I have nothing on either side to hold to, either for stability or for stalling. We hit the ground running, as they say. (Stumbling, really, in my case.)

During my last bible study meeting with this guy before I moved, we spent the majority of our time fawning over ink pens, journals, and other writing instruments, particularly those that are well crafted and expensive because, he argues, if you’re going to write you might as well do so using the best utensils.

“Life’s too short to not give a crap about stuff,” he declared.

I wrote that sentence down in my journal the moment he said it and, while he carried the conversation elsewhere, I repeatedly ran over the phrase with more and more ink to make it stand out on the page.

Why? Because I find it way too hard to give a crap about stuff these days.

I think my Give-A-Crap turned off because I was moving away from a city and a community for which I have great affection and I knew, were my Give-A-Crap at all functional, I wouldn’t be. I would just be a walking, sort-of-talking-but-mostly-sobbing, mess of a girl. And no one likes a sad sack, am I right? I mean think of my poor husband, for example. To quote the always-lovely Emma Thompson from Love, Actually, “No one’s ever going to shag you if you cry all the time.”

boxes

Right now, our apartment is mostly unpacked and organized, but there is still quite the lengthy list of things that need to get done. I haven’t really started my job yet so, while my baby is currently napping, I really should be organizing my bedroom closet or unpacking the last few boxes or hanging pictures or sleeping or putting on some damn makeup for crying out loud or something rather than blogging but I just can’t do it because why. Who cares. I certainly don’t.

To compensate, I think my son’s Give-A-Crap has jumped into overdrive. At 10 months, he suddenly gives a LOT of craps about EVERYTHING. My sweet angel baby who used to go down for naps happily now screams bloody murder whenever I try to put him down. As I am no stranger to hyperbole on my blog I have to clarify that I’m not exaggerating here. He literally screams so loud that I’m legitimately concerned. It’s so bad that his voice has actually become hoarse in the past week. I’m not joking, guys. Kid really gives a crap.

Last night he really gave a crap about being awake unless he was in my arms which kept me awake all night. It’s been awhile since that has happened (sorry to burst your bubble, new moms I know — the sleepless nights don’t always end when the newborn phase does) so I was quite the emotional wreck this morning. A ticking time bomb, all I needed was a stern email from my new boss to cause me to crumple into a heap of sobs on my new, south Floridian tile floor and weep for the better part of an hour while my husband tried to hold us all together.

All of a sudden, this morning, I gave ALL THE CRAPS.

I gave ALL THE CRAPS about leaving Tallahassee. And about the first week living in a foreign land with zero friends. And about how my husband and I have actually been in a fight for the majority of our new life in Naples. And about the fact that I CANNOT STOP SWEATING. And about the fact that no matter how many times I Swiffer this EFFING tile floor my feet are ALWAYS black after I walk around barefoot. And about the fact that we didn’t have internet until FREAKING yesterday. (I know. I know. All of these are first world problems. Which leads me to…)

I then gave ALL THE CRAPS about GIVING CRAPS about stupid, meaningless, arbitrary B.S. that, if I’m lucky, won’t even hold a spot in my memory this time next year.

That’s a lot of craps to give at once. Not sure if you’ve tried to give that many craps at one time but it is exhausting.

So. Instead of unpacking the last few boxes that need to be unpacked or putting away the clothes that are just in piles in our bedroom or starting the OVERWHELMING load of laundry that is staring me down, I’m writing.

Because this is the one thing right now that isn’t too exhausting to care about.

Thanks for reading my crap.

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Filed under motherhood, on the job, rants

things i love thursday! (may 9, 2013)

Dan and I have been enjoying a “staycation” of sorts. We haven’t moved to Naples or started our new jobs yet, but our jobs here in Tallahassee ended at the end of April.

It’s perpetually Saturday for us!

We’ve been enjoying this downtime before our big move and life overhaul. Here’s how.

dax_flower_1

THINGS THAT MADE ME SMILE RECENTLY:

  • I dare you to look at that picture of my baby holding a flower and not smile. I DARE you.
  • Fun photo shoots with Zack and Sammie.
  • Quiet lunches with friends and their babies.
  • Watching Dax eat and enjoy lemons and limes.
  • Waking up to the sounds of my baby talking instead of an alarm.
  • Dax crawls now!
  • He also pulls up and can sort of “walk” when guided. TIME SLOW DOWN OKAY.
  • The dang Publix Mother’s Day commercial.
  • Trying to navigate life as a work-from-home mom.
  • Girls’ night harassing Lane at his new job.
  • Spontaneous dinner dates with close friends.
  • Text message encouragement.
  • The giant smile my boy gives me when I walk into his room after he’s woken up from a nap.
  • Oh — he also WHISPERS now.
  • Treating myself to a sushi lunch.
  • Pedicures and a silly Starbucks run in with Syd.
  • She also painted a picture of me! Crazy!
  • Having a raw, gritty, authentic coffee date with Sarah.
  • Rori and her being an “angry black woman”.
  • New Girl and The Mindy Project.
  • Dax’s first trip to the Florida Natural History Museum with Libby!
  • Libby and Rori having Twitter. Finally.
  • Iron Man 3 and Robert Downey, Jr.
  • Okay, and Gwyneth Paltrow, too.
  • Steak and wine.
  • Date night!
  • Hanson’s new single and their upcoming new album. (SQUEEEEEE.)
  • When good friends just stop by.
  • Journaling with good pens and without lines.
  • Mole-Es-KEEN-eh.
  • There is evidently an Ultimate League in NAPLES! YAY! My new best friends!
  • Making the cats chase our laser pointer.
  • Making our kid chase our laser pointer.
  • Life in general.

What do you love this week?

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naked and unashamed.

If you’ve been following my blog for any length of time, you might know that I was diagnosed with an eating disorder in 2007 and have since made it my mission to figure out how to love myself — inside and out — relentlessly. My blog has been instrumental on this journey. I’ve blogged my way through all sorts of self-love hangups, from navigating self-imposed pressures to be the perfect wife to finding my sexy.

I’m thankful to report that, in the past year, I haven’t had many reasons to turn to Ye Olde Blogue in order to make myself feel better about my self or my body. With God’s help (along with the assistance of my sweet husband and faithful mentors) I think that it’s safe to say that I’ve finally made peace with my own body and any chance of ED relapse is behind me.

However, regardless of my own personal growth, a recent chain of unsettling events has made me realize that this world is still, if I may be so bold as to say, effed sideways concerning the ways we women view ourselves:

+ My mom hasn’t had a nice picture of her taken in a while, so a few weeks ago she requested that I take one of her with my SLR. As soon as I was done she pleaded with me to Photoshop away some lines from her face.

+ During prayer requests at my bible study a week ago, a girl asked for a way for her to use her body to get ahead in life.

+ There are hundreds of leaders (male, of course) in the church community that have come out recently speaking against women for what they wear for being the cause of men to lust after them and even cheat on their wives. (Yes, read that again. The women are at fault for the men who cheat.)

+ Someone told me that of course I’m happy with my body because I’m beautiful. And there’s no way they can be happy because they’re not.

You know me — I can’t just sit back and not blog about how much these events (particularly the last one) infuriate me.

I’m currently fumbling my way through the book of Esther and trying to make sense of it; a story about a Jew girl who was integral to saving God’s chosen people because, quite frankly, some batshit crazy pseudo-king thought she was hot and, for that reason alone, wanted to “know” her. (This is, of course, the New Lindsay Translation of the story. I suggest you read it for your own context, even if you aren’t a believer.)

The other day, I hopped in the shower ever-so-quickly while my son was napping and gave myself the New-Mom-Speedy-Scrubdown, my ears tuned to the static sounds coming from the baby monitor in my bedroom. When I finished actually washing and found that, surprisingly, my child was still asleep, I stood very still and watched the streams of water race each other down my body.

For a while, I just stared blankly, sure my child would rouse any minute. But each second that passed with no sounds from the monitor, I would turn the COLD knob just a bit more toward the OFF position to allow the stream to increase in heat. As soon as my skin adjusted to the temperature change, I’d turn the knob just a little bit more.

I did this until the COLD knob was completely off and, though the water was scalding, my skin was comfortable (albeit considerably more pink).

Under the stream, my eyes surveyed my exterior and — as bizarre as it sounds — I marveled. I couldn’t believe that this vessel at which I was staring had done so much in its 27 years of life — danced its 10,000 hours, learned scales on the piano, grew and sustained another human life — and, yet, took the brunt of my own abuse for the better part of two decades. And then I thought about Esther.

And my mom.

And that girl from my bible study.

And men who blame their missteps on their victims.

And all the girls in this society that think their bodies are as deep as their worth goes.

And I got mad. Like. Really mad.

I think the main reason I got so mad is because I feel like I can’t do anything. I’m just one person in this giant effed up world and, as these recent events have pointed out, this issue is much bigger than me.

I said what I could say in bible study in order to encourage that girl. Ultimately I don’t know if anything I said made one bit of difference; I left feeling like something had been stolen from me. Perhaps that something was the notion that this problem is suddenly gone just because I’m not suffering from it anymore.

You know that played-out Goo Goo Dolls song from the 90s? You know, from the City of Angels soundtrack? Meg Ryan and that other dude? I can’t remember the name of it, but there is one line that sticks out to me:

“And you bleed just to know you’re alive.”

I think these events have served their purpose to cut me open and remind me that there is still work left to be done and that lots of people are still bleeding. And we’ve got to speak the truth to those people.

Because God knows no one else is going to.

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Filed under God, life, psychology, rants, the media, transformation