things i love thursday! (july 5, 2012)

Happy July, everyone! I hope you had a lovely Independence Day, which means that at least one person you were with yesterday emphatically exclaimed, “WELCOME TO ERF!” 

This week was a great start to what promises to be an even better month. I’m so excited about July, even despite the wretched heat. So. Let’s get to it!

THINGS THAT MADE ME SMILE THIS WEEK:

  • Entering my “due month”! I’ll most likely give birth this month! (Read: please GOD can I give birth this month? Please? PRETTY PLEASE?)
  • Having lunch with some of my favorite ex-coworkers. I miss those guys!
  • Also, Bagel Bagel is delicious. Oh, that I could eat there every day…
  • Spending Friday night with all my friends for Kelby’s birthday!
  • Getting to snuggle George the cat.
  • Spending the majority of Saturday in bed, despite having big plans for the day. (Being lazy or resting up? You be the judge.)
  •  Free car seats! Heck yeah!
  • A lovely double date with the also-pregnant Kubiaks, complete with (cooked) sushi and Marble Slab. DELISH.
  • My second massage session with Emily. So. Good.
  • Wendy’s. Yeah I said it.
  • Days off.
  • Free diapers! Thanks Amanda!
  • Canada Day! Even though I couldn’t celebrate it the way I normally do. (Read: Get slightly buzzed off of Canadian beer and lay around trying to sing “O! Canada!” with my best friend.)
  • Getting a text at 7:45AM from Ashley letting me know that baby Jack was on his way! YAYYYY! (He’s here now, by the way, and absolutely perfect. I can’t wait to meet him!)
  • Trying to go to a breastfeeding support group, only to find out it was canceled, so that meant that I got to have lunch with EJoy and Isaiah.
  • Watching Isaiah eat. (Read: gum.) Hil. Arious.
  • Being told by my doctor that Dax is NOT measuring bigger than 6-7 pounds. (I was worried, you see, because I just found out that my husband was 9 lbs 8 oz at birth. NOT COOL, MAN. NOT COOL.)
  • Early release days at work which means hanging out at coffee shops with the hubs.
  • Bubble baths.
  • Having a day off in the middle of the week.
  • The Amazing Spider-Man. Yeah. I saw it. (The kid they cast as young Peter Parker reminds me of what Dax might look like! ACK! #mushroomhair #bigears #socute)
  • Playing my mom’s lullaby for Dax on my belly. Yep, that happened.
  • Making fun of the Capitol 4th of July celebrations with my bible study.
  • “Philadelphia got The Roots!”
  • And finally… getting my “push gift” early! An iPhone! My husband rules! Thanks so much babe, love you! (I also promise to hold up my end of the deal and “push” your kid out of my body.)

What do you love this week?

a “real” mid-life crisis.

Yesterday, CNN posted an interesting article about a lady named Diane Butrym. Diane, like many women, suffers from an eating disorder. Her story, however, is actually quite unique.

You see, she hasn’t been struggling with this since she was a child or teenager, like most of us do. She went half of her life eating-disorder free. She actually fell victim to the disease in her forties.

According to the article, the disorder was triggered by a series of health diagnoses and injuries, forcing her to back off from her once very active lifestyle. And so, presumably terrified of the ramifications of her body changing, she became consumed with ED.

I suppose the reason the article exists is because of the story’s novelty. Even though I’m someone whom I’d venture to say is pretty educated on the subject, this is the first I’ve heard of someone going through this at a stage in her life when she’s supposed to “have it all figured out”.

So. This begs the question: did she always have these tendencies? Or were they born simply out of the loss of “control” over her body?

The answer to that question doesn’t matter. The reality is that the eating disorder epidemic is way bigger than I think any of us could have imagined and, something (perhaps lots of somethings) is perpetuating it. To walk around complacent, going about our business as if nothing is wrong, is just as detrimental as the oppressive beauty standards in this country, if not more so.

Honestly, I feel like I can kind of relate with Diane. This week, I am entering my ninth month of pregnancy. Pregnancy, you could argue, is a “diagnosis” of sorts. (Granted, there’s  been nothing bad or complicated about this pregnancy, praise God, but you know what I mean. It is a “change” that will leave my body in a much different state than it was pre-“diagnosis”.)

The other day, I looked at my husband, whose weight is currently only eight pounds heavier than mine. With terror in my eyes I admitted, “I might weigh the same as you soon. Please don’t judge me.”
“Why would I ever judge you for gaining weight while pregnant with my son?”
“Because. It’s such a big number.”
“When have I ever cared about how much you weigh?”

He’s never cared. But as as I near my due date, I’ve subconsciously started panicking over ways I can shed the baby weight as fast and as effectively as possible after I give birth. Images of Beyonce and Jennifer Lopez and Jessica Simpson and Mariah Carey flash across my brain and I’m wracked with the reality that I’ll never look the way I did before I got pregnant, let alone as amazing as these celebrities do mere weeks after leaving the delivery room. I find myself thinking astronomical things, unattainable things, things I might never think if I lived on an island, completely devoid of any Photoshopped images of supermodels or celebrities in bikinis.

Maybe if I try X diet. Or eat Y way. Or be sure to exercise Z times a day. Maybe then I can shed the baby weight before I go back to work. Or in two weeks. Let’s shoot for two weeks. 

Because I know I’m prone to disordered eating and the thoughts that come along with it, I’ve been disciplined in asking for prayer and support from close friends during that transition time. But my heart goes out to Diane, and other people (not just women) who may find themselves in that situation. Older, supposedly wiser, yet still waking up to the dark sound of an eating disorder within their heads, trapping them in webs of self-loathing and lies.

What if Diane was on that island, devoid of pop culture and beauty standards? Would she still be suffering from this disorder? I’d bet no.

No one, especially Diane, will benefit from this unless we speak up and out about it. If we keep drawing attention to this problem, hopefully we can eventually stop it. It may seem futile, like trying to derail a mile-long freight train, but I believe it’s worth it.

Never stop telling those around you how precious and beautiful they are just as God made them. Scars and all. Diagnoses and all. Flaws and all. And, even more importantly, never stop telling yourself that.

As for me, I’m going to start by telling my big, round belly how wonderful and life-giving it is and how the number on the scale has no power over me, or my worth, or my happiness. My body is doing exactly what it’s supposed to do. My son is healthy and strong and I can’t wait for my body’s grand finale — miraculously giving him to the world.

Have you ever found yourself in a similar situation? Suddenly thinking unhealthy thoughts or committing unhealthy actions that you’ve never experienced before, triggered by a huge change in life?

things i love thursday! (june 14, 2012)

Happy Flag Day, y’all! (Is this seriously a thing?)

I’ve had about a week of good, solid, 8-hour-long sleeps, and I feel GREAT. Today is one of those days I want to turn on some really cheesy music and dance awkwardly around. Life is pretty great.

Here’s why!

THINGS THAT MADE ME SMILE THIS WEEK:

  • Did you know that Reagan and Swayze were buds? Evidently in the land of Photoshop, that happens. (See photo.)
  • Having dinner with my husband.
  • Stopping by the dance studio and seeing Ashley (who had fun gifts for Dax)!
  • Lunch with some of my favorite people, including Zack at Sonny’s and ECase at Boston Market.
  • ZOMG barbecue. I haven’t had it in forever!
  • Fun birthday celebrations.
  • Cards Against Humanity. Oh. My. Goodness. I almost peed myself a thousand times.
  • Purple shades!
  • Fun.
  • Buffalo chicken pizza.
  • Lunch breaks at coffee shops.
  • A whole day with Dayle and Janelle, who also had gifts for Dax! Spoiled boy!
  • Janelle’s “monkey butt” story.
  • Cupcakes.
  • Going to the movies!
  • A lazy Sunday (that was actually pretty productive).
  • Our second to last childbirth class. Eep!
  • Yoga pants.
  • Ice packs.
  • “Buy one get one free” kittens. (Don’t worry, we didn’t get any. But the fact that a deal like that exists!)
  • Going on a mini-date with the hubs.
  • Being offered beer by our server! She couldn’t tell I was pregnant!
  • Happy lunches.
  • Sleeping through the night.
  • Purchasing an exercise ball to double as my “birth ball”. Currently, it serves as something I can lay on to relieve back pain. Ahhhh.
  • Snuggling with Hamlet.
  • Old school Sonic the Hedgehog. (Always.)
  • The fact that my kid is gonna have such a great dad.

Your turn! Make a list of love!

things i love thursday! (june 7, 2012)

YOU GUYS. IT IS THE MONTH BEFORE MY DUE DATE. Like. I’m due to have a baby next month. 

I can’t really wrap my brain around that right now, so let’s just get to this week’s list of love!

THINGS THAT MADE ME SMILE THIS WEEK:

  • Seeing my husband at my doctor’s appointment! (He was supposed to be in a meeting and not able to attend. That was fun!)
  • Staying up way too late watching My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic on Netflix in order to go…
  • DERPY HUNTING! (See photo.)
  • Lunch with Nora. Mostly getting my mind blown by the fact that she is only 3 degrees separated from Marshall Mathers.
  • Yes. That’s Eminem.
  • Seeing Elyse’s chunky little legs!
  • Bursting into tears while driving alone and thinking of my friends holding my baby in a few months. (Those were happy tears so they totally count!)
  • Dinner with the Hookers! They’re so awesome!
  • Getting to shower Heidi and Baby T!
  • Stopping by the park to say goodbye to a family at our church who is moving away. We’ll miss them, but the party was great! (Especially the cotton candy cupcakes! Yum!)
  • Eating out with my husband on “mini-dates”.
  • Being recognized at church on Sunday for a role from which I’m stepping down in order to focus on motherhood.
  • Hearing people compliment my son’s name.
  • Lunch with Lindsey. SO MUCH QUESO.
  • Dinner with the crew at Friday’s.
  • Our childbirth class, and seeing everyone get huger by the week. That’s amusing.
  • Baby Isaac is here! YAY!
  • Spending the night laughing and playing my new favorite card game with the Case family (even though I totally lost).
  • Bribing Levi to beat Dan. (Dollars have power to 9-year-olds, evidently.)
  • Gross lemonade.
  • Getting dinner with one of my favorite high school girls.
  • Iced vanilla lattes. Decaf, of course.
  • Braxton Hicks contractions! They’re weird and scary but they make me smile because they mean my body’s getting ready to do this thing!
  • Bible study, like usual.
  • My son distracting the whole of said bible study by doing the wave on my belly all night.
  • “Stoplies!”
  • Baby Isaiah laughs! So great!
  • Morning snuggles with the hubs.
  • When baby Dax gets the hiccups! (Got them right now!)
  • Life!

What’s on your list this week?

defining “enough”.

There has been a word that has been echoing throughout my life lately. And that word is enough.

I’m slowly but surely plugging through Jon Acuff‘s book Quitter: Closing the Gap Between Your Day Job & Your Dream Job and I came across a section yesterday that really resonated with me — defining your “enough”. 

In the book, he describes your definition of “enough” as the point of success you have in life where you don’t need anything else to be content. As for Jon, he wrote himself a letter when his blog became successful and turned into a book to remind him of what was “enough” for him. Here’s an excerpt:

But in the midst of this time I want you to remember that a few weeks ago (in March 2009) you sat outside with Jenny on the side of your house in the brown Adirondack chairs with the sun setting and you thought to yourself, “This is enough. I have a beautiful wife, a house to live in, two wonderful children, a job. This is enough. There’s no reason to chase money or material possessions when the book comes out. I have enough.”

Switching gears completely, I know I have been uncharacteristically quiet about it so far, but the Time Magazine cover heard round the world also bears this word.

Am I mom enough? Jeez, I guess not, since I don’t plan on continuing to breastfeed my kid when he’s tall enough to reach the microwave.

This “enough” has been unmistakably evident in my life as of late. Am I working enough? Am I making enough money to afford to be a good mother? Is my apartment safe enough? Does my husband love me and our son enough to never leave us? Am I volunteering enough? Am I praying enough?

As if my own standards for “enough” weren’t already too high, my whole life I’ve tried to live up to other people’s ideas of “enough”: being pretty enough, skinny enough, good enough, successful enough, Christian enough, smart enough, down to earth enough, fun enough, happy enough…

Just enough in general.

With a baby on the way and a seemingly unending laundry list of things to be worried about, I’ve officially given up. There is only so much I can do or be. When is being “enough”… well… enough?

And so, I’ve decided to take a page out of Jon Acuff’s book and define my own enough in a letter to Future Me, with the hope that I’ll refer back to it when I don’t feel enough.

Dear Future Lindsay,

At this moment in time, you’re probably in your cubicle at work, trying hard to focus on the task at hand, but finding yourself distracted by several things: the guilt that comes along with the fact that you’re not at home with your son; the fact that whomever is home with him is probably surrounded by the rest of the things you’re worried about; dirty diapers, dirty dishes, piles of laundry, and a litter box that is screaming to be emptied. You’re more than likely stressed out about the fact that you’re not entirely sure how you’re going to afford to feed your family something healthy this week, either. How many times a week can you have pizza before Congress decides it’s not a vegetable anymore?

Take a deep breath. Relax. Remember that you are doing everything you can. You are doing enough. You are  enough.

You have a husband who loves you and takes care of you and your baby. You have a job; even if that job doesn’t pay much, it does allow for you, your husband, and your son to have health insurance. You are part of a wonderful church community that loves you and cherishes your involvement. You are surrounded by countless friends and family who not only know everything about you, but love you regardless and want the best for you. You live in a safe neighborhood. And even if you don’t know the first thing about decorating, your house has character. Even when it’s messy.

You gave birth to a beautiful baby boy who clings to you in a way that no one else can experience. You are his source of life and sustenance. And even when he grows up to be a teenager and hate you, you’ll still be his Mommy. You’ll still be enough.

Above all of that, you have a God who loves you enough to die for you. He will never forsake you or leave you, even when you’re too tired to put away the laundry or vacuum or load the dishwasher. 

This is enough. You have enough. Remember that.

Love always,

Past Lindsay

P.S. Don’t worry about losing the baby weight. Seriously. Your husband will probably become inconsolable if you go back down to your original bra size anyway. Just embrace it.

P.S.S. Don’t eat the entire strawberry pie in the fridge. Sure it’s delicious but your stomach is going to haaaate you.

P.S.S.S. Has Michelle Obama found your blog and asked you over for dinner yet? Just curious.

What is YOUR enough?

the body image avenger.

A little over a week ago, I went with my husband on opening night to see The Avengers. Despite not giving two craps about the comic books, or the characters therein, I still thoroughly enjoyed the film. The writing was punchy and smart, and, for those of us who have no back story to go on, it was easy to follow. Partner that with phenomenal special effects and a conceited yet endearing Robert Downey Jr. spouting off one quip after another? Magnifique.

I will say, however, that at 7 months pregnant and growing, with a steadily shrinking wardrobe, a face that has exploded with zits, and hair that refuses to be anything but unruly frizz, it was difficult for me to spend two and a half hours staring at the immaculately gorgeous Scarlett Johansson, next to my husband who has publicly admired her beauty in the past. While I tried to focus on the movie, my thoughts kept interrupting me:

Is he looking at her? Does he still think she’s hotter than me? Of course he still thinks she’s hotter than me! She IS hotter than me! She’s Scarlett F—ing Johansson! And I’m a big, chubby pregnant slob! I’m pretty sure angels sing when she wakes up in the morning. Angels who, undoubtedly, have pictures of Scarlett hanging on their walls. Angels do not have pictures of me hanging on their walls. If they do, it’s only as a visual reminder for them to talk to God about arranging my appearance on TLC’S “What Not to Wear.” You know… as a favor to me.

You’d think it would be easy for me to hate Scarlett because of all of this. Wish she never existed and all that. But the truth of the matter is, I think she’s just as bloody beautiful as everyone else on the planet thinks she is. And, today, she proved to me that she’s more than just a knock out.

Damnit, you guys. Scarlett’s sharp. She’s intelligent, a self-proclaimed body image warrior, and a fantastic writer to boot.

Touche, Johansson. Tou-freaking-che. You are a superhero, aren’t you? How can I ever measure up?

Anyway.

Scarlett wrote an article for the Huffington Post in response to tabloids making (wait for it) outlandish claims (gasp! who knew?!) concerning her body and weight loss in preparation for The Avengers. The article is bloody brilliant and should be read by everyone. Here’s an excerpt:

Since dedicating myself to getting into “superhero shape,” several articles regarding my weight have been brought to my attention. Claims have been made that I’ve been on a strict workout routine regulated by co-stars, whipped into shape by trainers I’ve never met, eating sprouted grains I can’t pronounce and ultimately losing 14 pounds off my 5’3″ frame. Losing 14 pounds out of necessity in order to live a healthier life is a huge victory. I’m a petite person to begin with, so the idea of my losing this amount of weight is utter lunacy. If I were to lose 14 pounds, I’d have to part with both arms. And a foot. I’m frustrated with the irresponsibility of tabloid media who sell the public ideas about what we should look like and how we should get there.

Check out the rest of the article here.

brb changing career path to become scarlett johansson when i grow up kthx.

things i love thursday! (may 10, 2012)

Happy Thursday! And, because I haven’t said it yet, happy May! I hope you’ve all had a great week. Mine has been filled with blessings. So let’s get right to it!

THINGS THAT MADE ME SMILE THIS WEEK:

  • Not one, but TWO baby showers! If the amount of loot we procured is any indication, our little Dax is already so loved (and spoiled rotten)!
  • Seeing a bunch of friends and family from out of town who drove 4 hours for my shower. Wow. So awesome!
  • TINY BABY THINGS. Especially things with ears and/or pointy heads, footies, and embroidered things sewn on the butts.
  • Getting a sneak peek at some of my friends’ wishes for Dax: I wish you would learn how to ride a bike before your dad. I hope you always laugh at your dad. I hope you have big ears like your dad. (Notice a trend?)
  • FINDING A NEW PLACE TO LIVE! And it’s so cute. I can’t wait to take pictures and show you. We move in this weekend!
  • Having sweet friends come over and help us pack all of our “berks.”
  • Writing in coffee shops, especially coffee shops at which my friends are employed.
  • A “medium” mocha frappe actually being a large. (Friends in high places, I tell you.)
  • Derpy Hooves. Every. Time.
  • Pizza.
  • The Avengers. Holy crap, you guys. I can’t imagine how good it must have been for the people who actually give a darn about the comic books because I LOVED IT.
  • “Hulk Smash Durrenberger.”
  • Robert Downey Jr. I mean, seriously.
  • Cinco de Mayo bible study and party.
  • Virgin margaritas that actually tasted good.
  • Queso.
  • You know, food in general.
  • Being asked to write not one, but two guest posts. (Next one is coming Wednesday… stay tuned!)
  • Reading on the porch.
  • CATS. Especially mine and tiny ones with sorta-broken tails.
  • “Tiiiines, tiiiiiiiiines, tiiiiines.”
  • Actually using Pinterest for wedding planning.
  • Going to church with Mom.
  • Dinner with friends.
  • Deep thoughts and conversations with friends via email.
  • Getting much wanted and needed birth/child rearing advice from good, wise momma friends.
  • Sleepy and snuggly baby Isaiah.
  • “Hey Lindsay… Isn’t cool how I knew it was you without looking?” – Levi is the best.

That’s it for me. What do you love this week?