things i love thursday! (2011 edition)

This is the last TILT list of 2011! Wow. So much has happened this year! I am so thankful for all of the blessings I’ve received over the past twelve months. And so, I’m going to make a super-long-but-way-worth-it 2011 edition of Things I love Thursday! Enjoy!


  • Starting off the year witnessing Evan and Suzanne getting engaged! (January 1st.)
  • Visits from the Nicks. (January 1st.)
  • Going to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter!
  • Civil War Reenactments and other various random road trips with Jessica. (February 19th.)
  • The Rugged Maniac in Jacksonville. (February 26th.)
  • Ultimate frisbee!
  • 30 Hour Famine. (March 4th.)
  • A mini-vaycay to Jacksonville with my love. (March 17th-19th.)
  • Book club meetings.
  • Wine nights.
  • Potlucks and bible studies.
  • Babysitting Kylin Poole.
  • Being asked to be a bridesmaid for the first time!
  • Teaching J-hi.
  • Double dates.
  • Discovering my dance studio! (April 18th.)
  • Seeing Jonna.
  • Beach days, even when coupled with devastating sunburns. (April 29th.)
  • Playing music.
  • Bachelorette parties and wedding showers.
  • Getting soaked from the rain and huddling under an awning at Kelby and Kyle’s wedding! (May 14th.)
  • Having a girls night with Dayle and Leah and getting robbed at the same time. (May 20th.)
  • Being a part of Emily‘s 13th birthday. (May 24th.)
  • Visits from Chelsea. (May 27th.)
  • Finding Hamlet! (June 7th.)
  • Bringing Felicite to a Passion Party! (June 18th.)
  • Visits from my bestie Becky!
  • Tori and Ryan’s Big Fat Greek Wedding. (June 25th.)
  • Pizza and beer nights with Felicite.
  • Seeing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows pt. 2 at midnight with my friends, complete with MATCHING SHIRTS! I also may or may not have excitedly thrown my wand and accidentally smacked the girl sitting next to me. (July 15th.)
  • Driving to Cincinnati to see Evan and Suzanne tie the knot. (July 21-24th.)
  • Helping Chrissie make wedding invitations and decorations.
  • My best friend turned 26! (July 28th.)
  • Mine and Dan’s second wedding anniversary at the Melting Pot. I swear, it gets better everyday. (August 1st.)
  • Drinks after work.
  • Sending off three of my very good friends (Chelsea, Jessica, and Felicite) to bigger and better things (seminary in Texas, a new job in Miami, and a new job/life in New York City respectively.) It did made me smile, even though it also made my heart hurt and my eyes overflow. I miss them so much.
  • Randy turned 30! (August 23rd.)
  • Learning how to play disc golf!
  • Dinner and hangouts at the Poole house.
  • Our week-long trip to Chicago. (September 3rd-10th.)
  • Having ACL reconstruction surgery. Yes, it sucked a lot, but it got me back on my feet. (September 12th.)
  • All of the people who prepared meals for us and just came over to hang out with me after surgery.
  • Going to the beach in a giant leg brace.
  • Planning/executing a successful barbecue cook-off. (September 24th.)
  • Meaningful conversations centered around growth.
  • Ministry meetings over margaritas.
  • Surprise baby showers.
  • Kicking butt at physical therapy.
  • The Buddy Walk. (October 8th.)
  • Playing in a Journey cover band! (October 28th.)
  • Helping our friends Zack and Sarah move into their first house. (October 29th.)
  • Capitol Speedway’s reunion. (October 29th.)
  • Starting and WINNING NaNoWriMo! (November 1st-30th.)
  • Baby Isaiah was born! (November 2nd.)
  • Being in a Flashmob! (November 12th.)
  • Watching FSU kill Miami with my best friend! (November 12th.)
  • November 16th.
  • The Student Ministry Advance. (November 18th-20th.)
  • Spending Thanksgiving in DeLand with the family. (November 23rd-26th.)
  • Turning 26! (December 1st.)
  • “Our assets are frozen!” (December 2nd.)
  • My mom’s birthday (December 5th) and my brother’s birthday. (December 8th.)
  • New opportunities.
  • Worship and communion. (December 14th.)
  • Open house for Sally! (December 15th.)
  • Getting to hold little Isaiah for the first time. (December 15th.)
  • Our first Durrenberger family Christmas card!
  • Christmas parties and white elephant gift exchanges galore.
  • The Lord of the Rings Case Family tradition.
  • Losing Christmas for the second year in a row. (December 25th.)
  • Graduating (or, being discharged from) physical therapy. (December 28th.)
  • Knowing Becky is going to come up to visit for New Year’s.
  • And, finally, the continued success and joy I get from this blog.

Happy New Year, friends! Cheers to 2012 — may it be just as awesome as 2011, if not more so!

video: girl’s rant targets gender roles, toys.

You go, girl!

Check out this adorable (and empowering!) video from CNN of a little girl named Riley who doesn’t understand why girls have  to buy pink toys. She’s not even a woman yet and is already questioning societal expectations — a girl after my own heart!

things i love thursday! (december 22, 2011)

Happy Thursday, my loves! Here is your weekly dose of love, courtesy of your good pal Lindsay.


  • Hanging out with Sally, who’s been in Cambodia for almost two years!
  • Snuggles with Isaiah!
  • Hot chocolate and decaf coffee.
  • The church staff Christmas party.
  • Baby Elisa Thompson! Yay for Heidi and Jamey!
  • Working it in heels.
  • Pickled asparagus! You guys, seriously. It sounds hellacious but it is THE BOMB.
  • The Breakfast Club!
  • “Anything Vanwingerden.”
  • Meeting Sarah!
  • Running Charades.
  • Sleeping in and electing a sabbath.
  • Physical therapy.
  • Being interviewed for a book!
  • Going out to eat for cheap!
  • A spontaneous dinner date with the Pooles.
  • Four (yes, FOUR!) White Elephant gift exchanges in a week. (Phew!)
  • My bible study small groups. All of them!
  • Rainbow sparkles nail polish.
  • Clever QR codes.
  • Happy Twitter spam.
  • Tomatoes.
  • The TomatoLandwich. (So good.)
  • No but seriously. Tomatoes rule.
  • Sparkling grapefruit Izze.
  • Burrito fest! “Make ’em all wet.” Thank you, Tijuana Flats.

That’s it! What about you, lovers?

tuesday tip — self-fulfilling prophecies.

Over the past week, my husband Dan and I have been in an argument. Don’t worry — it’s not a really bad one, and we’re not going to divorce over it, but it’s one that bears talking about on my blog, I guess, despite it being extremely embarrassing for me.

Dan: “You’re sexy.”
Me: “No, I’m not. I’m awkward and weird.”
Dan: “You’re only awkward and weird because you say you’re awkward and weird. If you said you were sexy, you’d believe it, too.”
Me: “No, because I’m not. I’m awkward and weird. End of story.”

Disclaimer: I apologize to those of you (my mom, my pastors, anyone who happens to interact with Dan and I on a daily basis, etc.) who read this blog and are now barfing in your mouths over my husband calling me sexy. Just mentally change the word to “awesome” or “smart” or “really good at everything” or something in order to ease your discomfort.

The result of this argument is never me feeling sexy. If anything, I feel worse — that is, less sexy and more awkwardly weird — than I did previously. Our arguments typically make my opinion (whether it’s wrong or not) stronger, and, presumably, Dan’s as well. And then, the following morning, I get out of bed and look in the mirror (ugh, stupid mirrors) and cringe at how strange and unsexy I am.


It’s no secret that the more we tell ourselves we are something, the more likely it is to come true (at least to us.) The more often we look in the mirror and say to ourselves, “I’m not pretty, I’m ugly,” or, “I’m not smart, I’m stupid,” etc., the harder it will be for us to believe anything else.

But the good news about this is that it works the opposite way, too. Could you imagine what your days would be like if you woke up every morning and looked at your reflection and said something like, “I am intelligent. I am talented. I am beautiful. I am loved.”? I imagine that, though strange at first, it would dramatically change things over time.

So you know what I did?

I painted my nails red. And put on some cute underwear. And, this morning, I looked in the mirror and thought to myself, I am sexy. Just saying it made me feel a little bit sexier. Not totally sexy and not not awkward and weird, mind you, but a baby step in the right direction, I reckon.

Let’s try this together, shall we? While I work on being sexy, how do you want to see yourself? What self-fulfilling prophecies do you want to come true about yourself?

body love.

If you ever want a good, interesting read about women’s issues, check out Rachel Hills’ blog, Musings of an Inappropriate Woman. She writes a lot of really hit-the-nail-on-the-head articles that make me pump my fist in the air and say, “YES! GO GIRL! GO US!”

Today she posted a guest article that, while not written by her, offers up the same feelings. As a matter of fact, I’m pretty sure I’ve uttered most of the words written here before.

Guest post: Body love

I’m sick to the back teeth of girls who look perfectly fine talking about how they hate their ‘flabby’ thighs or their (non-existent) love handles. It’s simply attention seeking and fishing for compliments. Just because you feel bad, doesn’t mean everyone else should. We’ve done this as a society, made women feel as though they can’t just be happy and confident and accept their bodies because there are too many women who don’t. Self esteem is to do with your self, don’t try to get everyone on that sinking ship with you. No amount of me saying how much I hate my pinky toe is gonna make you feel better about what you have going on. Let’s just all get real.

Seriously! Let’s get real.

things i love thursday! (december 15, 2011)

Another week is on it’s way out and DID YOU KNOW THAT CHRISTMAS IS A WEEK FROM SUNDAY? I sure didn’t until yesterday. Yikes! It’s been nice knowing you, December, but I see you’re on a mission to get the hell out of Dodge so I won’t hold you up any longer. So, on to it! Here are all the things I love!


  • My lunch appointment on Friday.
  • Board Game Night with Lori.
  • Awkward Family Photos-style Christmas cards!
  • Random trips to Georgia.
  • Good live music by this guy.
  • Hot cider.
  • Meeting old friends.
  • Sleeping in.
  • Shopping and finding really sweet deals!
  • Bonfires with friends and fellow artists.
  • “Gourmet” s’mores and melted shoes.
  • Hearing Emily say she looked up to me and Dan, “…because you’re nice. And you visit me in the hospital when I dislocate my knee.”
  • Promising lunch meetings.
  • The therapists at my physical therapy clinic.
  • High of 75 in December.
  • Talking about our awkward stages.
  • A night of worship and communion, even though it made me burst into tears. (See above photo.)
  • Hugs, especially when they’re accompanied by the words, “You can do it,” and, “I promise.”
  • Peace.
  • Three part harmony.
  • God and grace.
  • My amazingly talented group of friends.
  • Late night dinner dates.
  • Hamlet’s cuddly nature, even at 6 in the morning.
  • Spontaneous sushi lunch dates with the hubs.
  • The hubs in general. I am so blessed by him.

That’s all I’ve got, folks. How about you? What do you love this week?

the reality is…

Can I tell you something embarrassing? Like, really embarrassing.

I watch a lot of reality television.

Phew. There, I said it. It feels good to get that off my chest.

And, mind you, I don’t watch good  reality television, if there even is such a thing. I watch the worst reality television I can lay my eyes on.

When I was in college, my roommates and I would build our weekly schedules around Flavor of Love and Charm School. Now, my husband and I plop ourselves in front of the couch each Wednesday (or, at least we did until last week’s finale episode) to agonize over the goings-on in America’s Next Top Model. Pleh.

The results of me and my roommates consuming the former were mind-numbing at best, character-damaging at worst. If I was lucky, I’d turn off the TV after watching those shows and feel moderately entertained and then I’d walk my happy self to my bedroom to finish studying or doing homework or any other productive activity. On the flip side, if I wasn’t so fortunate, I’d find myself audibly judging the people on TV as if I knew them in real life and really hated them.

I can’t speak for Dan, but the result of me watching ANTM is equally as disappointing — either I turn off the TV and silently vow to never eat again until I can score a modeling career before I turn 27 because “Dominique did it and has two kids and STILL looks better than me! I’m such a failure!” or I yell at the screen about how “stupid/annoying/ugly/lame/obnoxious” the girls are and, sometimes, even about how much I actually loathe them. (Sorry, Alexandria. You got the brunt of my hate. Oh, and Lisa? Girlfriend, no one wanted you to win. Sorry. Everyone wanted Allison to win. It’s alright, boo. Keep those obnoxiously reflective hater blockers on and tell us all to shove it.)

I didn’t see the problem before, but now, it’s painfully obvious and makes me cringe.

Because Dan and I will be parents one day, I’ve started really thinking about the types of media we consume. Not only reality television, but all the TV we choose to watch. And the movies. And the music we listen to. The video games we play. The magazines we read. Everything. Could it possibly be harmful to us? Or, an even more disturbing thought, could us consuming this stuff be harmful to our children? (Of course not in a “drinking a bottle of wine each night when you’re pregnant” way, but in a “Sorry sweetie, Mommy can’t tuck you in tonight because the finale for ANTM is on and I’m pretty sure there are going to be girls crying and fighting and cussing at the producers and you know I love seeing pretty and skinny girls in anguish, yippee!” way.)

But wait! Some good news! A close friend of mine sent me this article from the Discovery Channel which states that, according to a recent study, reality TV isn’t as harmful to people, particularly to young girls, as I had previously thought. Here are some interesting nuggets from the article:

Seventy-five percent of surveyed girls said the programs have inspired conversations with their parents and friends. Some girls even said they take inspiration from the shows, with 68 percent agreeing with the statement that the shows “make me think I can achieve anything in life,” while 62 percent said the shows have “raised their awareness of social issues and causes.”

Besides the suprising findings on the positive influence of reality TV, the survey found image may not be as critical in teen girls’ minds as expected.

The majority of girls in both groups reported that they did not think a girl’s value is based on how she looks. Sixty-two percent of reality TV viewers (and 72 percent of nonviewers) responded “No” to a question asking, “Do you think a girl’s value is based on how she looks?”

Thus only 28 percent of nonviewers (which represents most teens) say a girl’s value is based on how she looks, and (perhaps even more surprisingly given appearance-oriented reality TV shows) only 38 percent of reality TV viewers endorse that “beauty myth” idea. That most girls reject the idea that their value is based on their appearance is encouraging news.

Now, as excited as that news makes me, I don’t know that I’m completely sold. In my own personal life, I feel as though reality TV has damaged my character somewhat, even despite my acknowledgment of its poor value. I’m curious to know what the girls would have said if the question on the survey was, “Do you think SOCIETY values girls because of their looks?” It’s true that the fact that these girls don’t think their value lies within their appearances is undoubtedly encouraging. But I thought that at one point too and, at the same time I also thought, “But, even still, society will never find me beautiful and so it doesn’t really matter what I think.”


Despite the findings of this survey, young girls (and boys!) are being diagnosed with eating disorders younger and younger each year (see this story on CNN) while the consumption of all media (not just reality television, though that is certainly included) is steadily on the rise.  So, while the article makes some hopeful points, I have to consider the source. Not only does Discovery Channel have its very own set of reality programming, it is also owned by Discovery Communications. DC also owns several other networks, most notably TLC, which showcases such gems as Say Yes to the Dress and, my personal favorite, Say Yes to the Dress: Big Bliss.

I’m not saying I think the study is totally bogus. I have a lot of faith in people and trust pretty much everything I read, hear, or see. (It’s what got me into this mess in the first place, I reckon.) But I do believe it offers up some good points about how to put these programs into perspective and have real, honest conversations about them with people, especially young children. And that is supremely valuable.

How do you feel about reality television and girls’ self images?

things i love thursday! (december 8, 2011)

Well friends, I suppose my birthday week is officially over. But it was so great! I have so many reasons to be thankful. Here’s a list of all the rockin’ things from the past seven days.


  • Turning 26! (It still counts, right?)
  • My mom’s birthday on Monday!
  • It’s my brother’s birthday today! Woo!
  • Making music! On my birthday!
  • Awesome cards that make me cry and gifts that validate my passions.
  • Not having to essentially work two jobs anymore due to NaNoWriMo.
  • Lunch on the boss.
  • Christmas movies!
  • “Our assets are frozen!”
  • “Tiny Tim… who did NOT die…”
  • Cinnamon apple cider. Yum!
  • Making fun snowflakes ornaments.
  • Putting up our Christmas tree finally!
  • Sleeping almost 12 hours on Saturday.
  • Watching my friends Carl and Zack try to eat 12 quarter pounders with cheese and two pounds of fries EACH in 30 minutes on Saturday.
  • “Are you SMELLING me?!”
  • Epic Harry Potter double feature, complete with a projector, butterbeer cupcakes, and (of course) all my friends!
  • New songs.
  • Nights at home with hubs.
  • Falling asleep while he plays video games.
  • Bubble baths.
  • Dinner at Bella Bella with Matt!
  • Bubble BREAD (you know, as opposed to baths.)
  • Watching the Food Network while I work out. Ironic and fun.
  • Bible study shenanigans.
  • “BFD.”
  • New hair styles.
  • BABY ISAIAH! So tiny and so cute!
  • No queso for perros!
  • Thrugs.
  • Going shopping with my birthday money and buying things I want for a change. (New earrings and boots, yes!)
  • 75 degree days in December.
  • My adorable, supportive, loving husband.
  • My friends.
  • My family.
  • Writing!

Alright! That’s my list. What do you love this week?