things i love thursday! (june 30, 2011)

It’s officially summer in Florida, which means our afternoons are dark and thunderstormy. But despite the angry weather, I’ve been in a pleasant mood all week and have been surrounded by so much love. Life’s good, y’all. Life. Is. Good.


  • Dinner and LOTS AND LOTS of wine with Jessica and Matt!
  • My husband cooking dinner for me and our guests.
  • Getting a text at midnight that reads, “I miss you already!”
  • Running out of the office because a coworker was in need of coffee and running into Eric on his birthday!
  • See also: doing a weird “It’s your birthdayyyyyy” dance in a crowded coffee shop.
  • Hearing the words, “Yeah, but they’re not as good of a writer as you.”
  • Working through lunch so I can leave work an hour early and get home in time to see…
  • BECKY! Best friend, bridesmaid, boobie-lover! Ohhh it has been too long! (See the AMAZING above photo!)
  • Finding two (super hot) dresses at Marshall’s for $40. (One of which is displayed in the above photo.)
  • $5 beach towel from my bestie!
  • Red lipstick and matching nail polish.
  • Experiencing my first Greek Orthodox wedding.
  • Tori and Ryan are married! Yay!
  • Greek dancing!
  • “Piano Man.”
  • Slow dancing with my man.
  • Random picture text messages to an old friend after lots of drinks.
  • Breakfast at Panera with Becky before she left. (She’s my sugar momma!)
  • Convincing Stratton to come out after church.
  • Key lime pie.
  • Dance class (always.)
  • A sweet coworker taking me out for Indian food! Vegetable curry, naan bread, soup, YUM.
  • Kicking TAIL at our ultimate frisbee game. There were only three girls, so I played pretty much the entire time. And we won! AWESOME.
  • Pot luck and bible study with my awesome small group. (Corn salad, what what!)
  • Being told I resemble a blonde Audrey Hepburn. (SQUEAL.)
  • Mocha frappucinos. Not vegan, not healthy, but super delicious. (Dear last 7 pounds I can’t shake, you’re welcome.)
  • Pregnant friends!
  • Constant encouragement from my best friend.

Alright friends. It’s your turn! What has made you smile this week? What do you love? Write it down and smile all over again. 🙂

your behind-the-scenes footage.

Though I’ve already written about comparing ourselves to other people and how dangerous it can be, I’ve gotten a lot of emails/Facebook messages about this topic recently, so I believe it’s worth revisiting.

A few months ago, a very dear friend of mine was “banned” (for lack of a better word) from Facebook by her husband. He changed her password so that she could only respond to messages, wall posts, and notifications through her Facebook app on her phone and not access the full-blown website. Why did he do this? Was it because he’s a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad husband who wanted to control his wife’s Internet usage? Did he find out that she was cheating on him with a dude she met on Facebook? Did she have some sort of an addiction to social media?

No. Not even close. He did it to protect her from insecurities born out of unrealistic comparisons.

In this day and age, I feel it’s safe to say that we are at a disadvantage when it comes to comparisons because of the Internet, most notably social media. Websites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace (lol), and even blogs really set us up to fail.

This week, I stumbled across a quote by a young pastor, Pastor Steven Furtick, who leads a church in Charlotte, North Carolina. He said,

 One reason we struggle with insecurity: we’re comparing our behind the scenes to everyone else’s highlight reel.

This quote fully encompasses the problem we face as both users of social media and self-love warriors. Let me dissect my own Facebook profile, for instance.

My current profile picture is one of me, all dolled up, and my husband from my friend’s wedding. To some, this picture is just a picture. But to others, suffering from the comparison disease, it could say a whole boat load of non-true things:

  1. I always look that hot and so I’m clearly hotter than you. (False. That picture was the product of me getting ready for WELL OVER AN HOUR. I was wearing lots of make up, red lipstick, and a black-and-therefore-naturally-slimming-and-flattering dress that, for those of you who know me can attest, I never, EVER wear. I never wear make up and I am forever rocking the tomboy usual of a super old t-shirt, jeans, and flip flops.)
  2. I have the happiest marriage on the face of the planet, and your marriage will never be as happy as mine. (False. As a matter of fact, right after this perfect picture was taken, Dan got cranky about all the things we had going on that day which catapulted us into an argument. Irony at its finest.)

My religious views are lyrics from a David Crowder Band song and my political views are a bible verse. All you Christians reading my Facebook, probably assume that I’m a better Christian than you. (False. FALSE FALSE FALSE. So much false here. I can’t even begin to explain to you how crappy of a Christian I am.)

Do I even need to explain this one? Bible verses. Oscar Wilde. Important guy X. Influential girl Y. I quote important people because I’m so smart and forward thinking. (False. I just really like what other people have to say because I’m fully aware that the people I quote on my Facebook are smarter than me in almost every way.)

Let’s just rename the “About You” section of Facebook profiles to, “Here’s where you describe yourself in the best possible light, toeing the line of narcissism.” Need I say more?

My friend was banned from Facebook because she was perusing the profiles of her friends and feeling depressed because everyone else seemed to have a better, more perfect life than her. She’s a mom, so her mom friends made her feel like she wasn’t as good at mothering as them. She’s a wife, so her married friends made her feel like she wasn’t as good a wife as them. And so on…

But! The thing to keep in mind is that Facebook profiles (as well as tweets, LinkedIn profiles, MySpace (lol) profiles, and other social networking sites) are only displaying the “Highlight Reels” of your friends. You cannot compare your behind the scenes footage with their Oscar-nominated lives. It won’t lead you anywhere good.

Could you imagine if our Facebook profiles displayed the things we are ashamed of?




I’m sure we’d all feel just a little differently about ourselves and how we compare to our peers.

And, as an aside, I really hope that none of you reading my blog assume that because each week I publish writings about self-love and empowerment that I have it all together and have the perfect life. Remember: this blog was created because I very much need but can’t afford therapy.

And oh! Look! A really unflattering picture of me! (And my friend Chelsea. Sorry girl.)

diet coke 12-pack: week of june 20, 2011

It’s Friday, Friday, gotta get links on Fridayyyyy…
Now would be a good time to get up and make yourself a bitchin’ sandwich because you’re about to spend an exorbitant amount of time trollin’ the webbernets.  This week’s 12-pack is pretty sweet, so without further ado…


Have a great weekend, friends! Stay gorgeous — see you next week!


things i love thursday! (june 23, 2011)

OH MY GOODNESS GRACIOUS. What a wonderful week! So many awesome things have happened in just seven short days. On a scale of 1-10, I’d say this week is a solid 9! (I shy away from perfection, otherwise this week would be a 10 for sure.)

Alrighty. Here are all the AWESOME things that happened this week!


  • EEEP! Romeo (my 5-year-old cat) and baby Hamlet were caught CUDDLING! (Sorry the photo is a bit dodgy — Dan took it from far away with his phone.) BAHHHHH CUTENESS!
  • Seeing really GREAT live music performed by my super talented friends for cheap.
  • Happy Hour at Chez Pierre, EVEN THOUGH WE HAD THE MOST ATROCIOUS SERVICE EVER. But hey. It made for some great laughs.
  • Rocking some red lipstick and glittery heels! I can be girly sometimes!
  • Saying goodbye to Evan and his empty cube.
  • Pancakes and ministry.
  • Zack and Mitchell the turtle.
  • Bible study with awesome friends.
  • Passion Party with Felicite, Ashley, and Kristi!
  • Ashley buying Diet Coke, JUST FOR ME! 🙂
  • Strawberries and grapes.
  • $3 bottle of white wine.
  • Playing keyboard and singing in the band on Sunday. Always makes for an amazing and fun time.
  • Calling my mom on Sunday to wish her a happy Father’s Day, since she had to be my mom AND dad.
  • On Sunday, when my husband was doing announcements at church, he recognized the fathers in the room and said something along the lines of, “I’m not a dad yet… right?” And turned to look at me on stage for an answer. In front of EVERYONE. So yes. I smiled. But I also blushed. A lot. And no, he’s not a dad. Yet.
  • Throwing a lovely birthday shindig for our boss at work and showing off my sweet balloon-blowing-up skills.
  • Dinner at Miller’s with another Ashley, who is in the process of changing the world.
  • Emails/Facebook messages to/from: Chrissie, Jessica B., Lauren, and Ali.
  • Getting a list of things Jessica loves about herself in my inbox. So amazing!
  • YOU. My lovely readers.
  • My friends.
  • My iPod.
  • My husband doing chores without even having me ask him!
  • My husband telling me bible stories to help me fall asleep. My favorite was when he started out: “Once there was a guy named Jacob. Well, he eventually changed his name to Israel, but that’s not really important. Anyway…” HA! Ohhh he’s so wonderful.
  • Baby Hamlet sleeping/purring on my chest at night.
  • Spaghetti.
  • Dance class!
  • Seeing Amanda at dance class! One of my favorite London babies. 🙂
  • Watching all of South Park Season 6 with Dan. SO GOOD.
  • Hearing people tell me that I’ve inspired them to start blogging. Well, garsh. :]
  • Boss is buying us lunch today from my favorite pizza joint! HECK YEAH!

And I think that pretty much sums it up! What an awesome week, you guys.

What about you? What things made you smile this week? 🙂

my “happy” weight.

Something wonderful happened today. I ate my lunch at my desk today so, on my lunch hour, I went to Starbucks and got a deliciously nomtastic grande iced sugar-free soy caramel latte (yes, I am one of “those” people who have super pretentious coffee preferences) and went outside to sit at a table in 100 degree heat (mmmm heaven) to read by myself for an hour.

As I was getting situated, I caught my reflection in the large, glass windows of the shop. Today I am rocking my favorite dress (brown strapless with buttons down the front that comes to the middle of my thighs — this dress hugs and accentuates my figure in all kinds of wonderful ways) and a sparkly gold necklace, with my hair pulled back into a messy ballerina bun. I am looking quite adorbs if I do say so myself. When I saw my reflection, I couldn’t help but smile and think, “Hot damn, I’m a bit sexy.”

Ever have those days? When you just KNOW you’re beautiful? Today was one of those days for me.

It’s hard to believe that just yesterday I was having a mini-meltdown in my cubicle over my “happy weight.”

I stumbled across a certain “fitness and well-being” magazine’s website yesterday (and no, I’m not going to tell you which website it was or which magazine. I don’t want you going through the same crap I did. AND DON’T GOOGLE IT. SERIOUSLY. Save yourself.) They had a feature that, at first glance, looks pretty decent. It’s called “Your Happy Weight.” When I clicked on it, I was pleasantly surprised with it. They start out talking about how we women tend to diet and exercise to get down to a certain unattainable number and we beat ourselves up over never getting there. At this point I was like, “Yeah! Totally! What’s your solution?” And their solution is your “happy weight.” They had a calculator which, if you entered in your height, weight, build, and gender, would offer up your “happy” weight — that is, the weight you should try to attain in order to be comfortable and “happy.”

Well, at my current weight, I’m pretty peachy. But, in a moment of weakness, I second-guessed myself. I’m happy at my weight, I thought, but what if I’m not at my “happy weight” and I’m still happy? That wouldn’t be okay, would it?  I decided to enter in my information just to make sure I was indeed at my happy weight.

I’m sure you can guess where this is going.

According to this website, I need to lose over 30 pounds to attain my “happy weight,” which would put me at a weight I haven’t seen since 6th grade, BEFORE I HAD MY PERIOD. YIKES.

My heart sank to the floor. How am I ever going to lose 30 pounds, I wondered sadly. It will never happen. Even when I was 15 pounds lighter than I am now, at the peak of my eating disorder, everyone told me I was too skinny and looked sick. But evidently I can’t be happy unless I lose 30 pounds…

Wait. What?

LINDSAY! WAKE UP! A website calculator has no authority over your “happy weight.” Your happy weight is whatever weight you decide it is, not some Interwebs bot!

And, let me tell you what — regardless of what the scale said this morning, I will be at my happy weight today, tomorrow, and the next day. Not because of the three digits it reads, but because:

  • I know that it has no bearing what so ever on my self-worth.
  • I know I am healthy.
  • I know I am lovely.
  • I know that regardless of it, I am loved by others and by myself.

What about you? Have you ever stumbled across an ideal weight calculator online? How did it make you feel?

here’s your horrifying reality check of the day.

Good Morning America ran a story about a six-year-old girl who thinks she needs to lose weight. My heart is broken for her. Click the link and watch the video. The worst part is when the reporter gets a group of little girls together and shows them pictures of other girls and asks them to evaluate them. Sigh.

Why is this happening with our little girls? Girls aren’t born worried about their weight. We teach them to be. Something needs to be done. Now.

diet coke 12-pack: week of june 13, 2011

Another week has come and gone, and I’ve spent the majority of it LOLing and gawking on the Interwebs at some pretty great stuff. Check it out!


Alrighty lovelies! That’s all for this week. Enjoy your weekend and I’ll see you next week. ❤

things i love thursday! (june 16, 2011)

Phew! What a week it’s been! Lots of good fun and craziness ensued, accompanied by not enough sleep. I need a stiff drink and a nap, but all in due time. For now, today is Thursday, and our focus is love. So here we go!


  • My friend Heather posting the above picture from the late 90’s on my Facebook. OMG. So much is going on in this picture that I don’t feel comfortable broadcasting to the Internet. But. Just know that we’d just experienced something very special that had to do with the band Hanson. (Also, stalking isn’t bad when you’re just a teenage girl, right?)
  • CAN WE TALK ABOUT HOW AWESOME MY SHIRT IS?! (I’m on the left, btw.)
  • Hamlet the kitten and Romeo the cat are besties now! (And by “besties” I mean they wrestle a lot.)
  • My cats are named after Shakespeare characters. Calling out to Hamlet always makes me smile.
  • Zack’s birthday shenanigans!
  • Orange Blossom Pilsner 2.
  • Cornhole. Even though I’m terrible at it.
  • Libby’s sobering comments at dinner. I don’t even remember what it was this time, but it was along the same lines as, “Helen Keller was a real person, you guys.”
  • E3Kids pool party!
  • Donuts and watermelon.
  • Water slide.
  • Taking a 4 hour nap.
  • Dinner at Gordo’s with the hubs.
  • Bowling! And granny shots!
  • Beer. Always.
  • The lead pastor at our church came up to me and told me his daughter gets excited when I teach junior high. That’s a pretty big deal.
  • Lunch at Olive Garden with Dan and Christie. Too. Much. Food. We will miss her while she’s away, but she’s doing awesome things in Guatemala!
  • Randomly driving to Monticello, the city where we spent our wedding night, and seeing the creepy/sketchy/weird Chinese restaurant from which Dan got us surprisingly tasty take-out for our first married dinner together.
  • Driving with him.
  • Conversations at Chili’s about McDonalds porn. “You know the rule, right?”
  • Romeo, Hamlet, Dan, and I all sleeping in the same bed. It’s hilariously cute. I also accidentally drop bows on poor little Ham because he likes to sleep right between Dan and I near the pillows.
  • DANCE CLASS! I was so sore afterward, but it was awesome!
  • Having my husband cook for me!
  • Falling asleep at Barnes & Noble. Really. Who does that?
  • Iced sugar free soy caramel lattes.
  • Getting our first WIN for the summer ultimate league! Wooo Buddhalicious!
  • Chocolate cupcakes.
  • Making changes in life.
  • Bible study and the hilarious banter afterward.
  • Levi talking to me about Harry Potter.
  • Experience Joy on my lunch break!
  • RYAN CABRERA and my best friend!
  • My husband admiring me while I get ready in the morning. He’s so adorable.
  • Praying for my friends.

Alrighty! That about does it. Lots to smile about this week. What do you love this week? Let me know! ❤

Pool Party ePiphany.

See what I did there with the title? PPP? Clever, no?

Okay. Am I the only one who is absolutely blown away by the fact that it is already the middle of June in the year 2011? Seriously?! Where has the time gone! Anna Nalick knew what she was talking about when she said, “Life’s like an hour glass glued to the table.” Slow down, life! There is so much of you I want to enjoy before I assume room temperature!

Many of you know I am married to a children’s pastor. If you didn’t, well, I am. Don’t let that scare you off, though! I promise I’m still cool. Watching Veggie Tales and Bridesmaids in the same weekend is totally in bounds for me.

Anyway. It’s mid-June. And June means summer. And summer means pool parties. And pool parties mean bathing suits. Oy vey.

This past Saturday, the hubs threw a pool party for the church that was sponsored by the kids program. Being the good pastor’s wife I am, I woke up supercrazyearly to accompany him to the local pool to help set up. Even though I was tired and cranky, I didn’t mind because I love to support my man. (And there was gonna be free food. Let’s not forget the free food.)

However. I’m not going to lie to you. I had a minor panic attack about being seen in a swimsuit in public. Well, no. I take that back. “Public” isn’t the correct word. “A giant group of non-anonymous people that I have interaction with weekly” sums it up better. I honestly wouldn’t have panicked if I was just going to be seen in “public” because what do I care what the public thinks of me? Ha! I couldn’t care less! If you are some random person on the beach staring at me in my bathing suit judging me and my body, frankly, you should get a life. Or a snow cone. I’m sure you could find a snow cone stand somewhere near said beach. (okaymaybeIcarealittlebitshutup.)

But I care bunches about what people who know me actually think.

You see, when I’m wearing normal clothes, I can get by on merely my wit and candor. It’s quite easy for me to dazzle people with my personality while I’m rocking my usual t-shirt and jeans combo. But something about being almost naked and wet around people I’m familiar with always brings on a whole new feeling of awkward shame. Over the years I think I’ve developed some sort of Pavlovian response to bathing suits that goes a little something like this:

Bathing suit -> people I know see me and find out how awful my body is -> these people decide I am not worthy of love -> super body shame -> discomfort -> sadness.

So as I was getting ready for the pool party on Saturday morning, I was mentally preparing myself for the impending pain. I put on my swimsuit, glanced begrudgingly in the mirror and…

Nothing bad happened.

As a matter of fact, something remarkable  happened. The automatic response I was so used to experiencing was replaced by something a little like this:

Bathing suit -> admiration -> comfort in my own skin -> body pride and acceptance -> confidence -> fun.

Ahh! No way! Is that possible? I mean, I’m not a size 0! How can I possibly be okay with my body in a swim suit? Well. Somehow it happened. I even let Dan take a picture of me!

So then. What changed? Well. Probably a number of things. Here’s a list of things that I think contributed to my shameless pool party epiphany:

1. Eating right and working out.
Okay. This is kind of duh. But I know that I make pretty good decisions when I eat and I know that I stay active. So, ergo, I just feel better. I feel healthy. I feel good. And, if I’m doing all the right things to take care of my body, then why be ashamed? That’s what healthy looks like. That’s what happy looks like. And if anyone wants to hate on it, that’s too bad.

2. Even the most judgmental people aren’t as judgmental as you think they are.
The only time my “body” was scrutinized was when Emily pulled me out of the water to show her friend my deformed, bony, misshapen dancer feet. And we can all laugh about that because if you’ve seen my feet, you know they are a hot mess.

3. Life’s too short (and fun) to worry about it.
Saturday morning I realized that there is so much more to life than looking perfect in a swimsuit. Like water slides, for example. You can’t simultaneously have fun on a water slide and look good. No one can do it. Just have fun. It’s possible. I promise!

Exhibit A: Myself on the water slide.

4. A bangin’ swimsuit. (Thanks, Target!)
The swimsuit I wore was the first one I purchased based on how it looked on me and not what the size label said. Ugh. I actually don’t even know what size it is. And that’s such a relief. Take it from me, people. Don’t purchase bathing suits that are a smidge too small because, “Well it says MEDIUM and I wear a MEDIUM so it fits!” I can understand the fear of labels but the truth is that your “size” label does not matter. Buy and wear a suit that makes sense for your body type.

5. I’ve been doing this a while.
I’ve been on a journey of self-love for a while, and only now am I starting to really notice the changes. If your next beach trip does not result in epiphany, that’s okay. Remember that this is a journey, and not a destination, and you have important milestones throughout the way. You may even have some wrong turns in the process. Will I be as confident on my next beach trip? Maybe, but maybe not. It depends on the day. But the important thing is to keep. moving. forward.

Why do I write this? Because I know I’m not alone. It’s summer, and I know that some of you reading this may experience the swimsuit anxiety attack soon (if you haven’t already.)

It’s summer. It’s dang hot out. And you’re beautiful just the way you are. Don’t be afraid to be comfortable in your own skin.

diet coke 12-pack: week of june 6, 2011

Legitimate bloggers do this thing at the end of the week where they give their readers links to other cool stuff on the Internet. Because I want to be a legit blogger when I grow up, I’m gonna start doing that. Each Friday I’ll put out a list of the cool things I found while trolling the interwubz that week  and, because I’m oh-so-clever, call it my DIET COKE 12-PACK.

(I’ll give you a moment or two for your applause for my genius to die down. Done now? Cool. Let’s move on.)


That’s all, friends! Have a great weekend. Oh I almost forgot! I’m giving you a homework assignment:

Hug someone who needs it.