an ode to katniss everdeen.

Do you know what I’ll be doing this time tomorrow? I will be counting down the hours until I’m seated at the movie theater watching The Hunger Games at midnight.


Now, I know I’m only the four billionth person to say this on the Internet, but this book series by Suzanne Collins is seriously incredible. It’s everything I wish I could write and more. It’s my favorite series right after Harry Potter and, if you know me at all, you know that’s a huge deal. (Gotta give mad props to Emily for convincing me to read it. Shout out.)

This blog post is not about why you should read the books. I really don’t have time to get into it. (But seriously though, you should. Trust me.) This post is to celebrate a book series whose main protagonist is a strong, fierce, and, dare I say, kick-ass female. In today’s society, we really needed someone like Katniss Everdeen to which our young girls (like Emily, for instance) could look up. Katniss doesn’t need a man to take care of her. She knows what’s important in life. She has a feminine side but that, by all means, does not define her.

The other day, Dan and I were in Wal-Mart (for those of you paying close attention, yes, this was the same Wal-Mart trip that was the catalyst to me breaking down in a bathtub later, but whatevs) and while he was evidently poring over the purchases of the lady in front of us, I was furiously flipping through each magazine on the rack with Jennifer Lawrence (the actress portraying Katniss) on the cover and trying to consume as much information on the film I could.

I found that each article had one thing in common: they all compared Katniss to Bella Swan from Twilight.

And I about threw up.

If there is any fictional character that Katniss is like, it is not Bella Swan. If you ask me, Bella Swan is the worst heroine to show up in fiction since, well, ever. I would never want someone like Emily to look to Bella as an example of what it means to be female. Bella is weak, codependent, seemingly in love with the idea of being abused, depressed, and crazy. Katniss is strong, sacrificial, logical, level-headed, and, by all accounts, a B.A.M.F.

At any rate, I’m not writing this to bash Twilight. I have a lot of friends whom I greatly respect that read these books for entertainment purposes. But I bet they’d all agree with me on the fact that Katniss and Bella have about as much in common as I have with a dolphin.

So, rather than compare Katniss to Bella (because seriously, apples and oranges doesn’t even begin to cover it) I’d like to highlight all the reasons that Katniss rules. Period. Not in comparison to anyone else.


1. she supports her family.

Katniss’s father died in a mine explosion when she was only twelve, leaving her mother so distraught and emotionally detached from the family that she could barely even get out of bed. This caused Katniss to step up and provide for her and her little sister. Rather than crying about it and watching her mother let her family starve to death, she took it upon herself to learn how to hunt, gather, and trade so that her family would survive.

2. she volunteers for her sister as tribute in the hunger games.

She literally puts her life on the line in order to save her sister.

3. she’s a perfect shot.

She could kill anyone by just the snap of a bow and arrow. I mean. Dang.

4. she stands up for what’s right.

Katniss knows that what the Capitol is doing to Panem is injustice at best, inhumane at worst, and refuses to stand for it. At only sixteen, she stands up to something way bigger than herself.

5. she doesn’t let romance get in the way of what’s important.

Yes, in the books, there are two guys vying for Katniss’s affection. While she does consider this, it doesn’t govern her every move. What’s important to her is survival and protecting her family. Romance is an after thought. (Which is impressive because, hello, Peeta and Gale are both dream boats, am I right?)

All that to say, I raise my glass to you, Suzanne Collins, for writing a character that I believe girls everywhere should look up to. As someone who is tired of women being portrayed as meek, inferior sex objects, it’s refreshing to see someone like Katniss come in and shake things up a bit.

May the odds be ever in your favor!

things i love thursday! (march 15, 2012)

They say, “Beware the Ides of March!” But you know what? Today has been pretty rad, as has the rest of the week. I’m very thankful for a lot of things in my life right now, and I’m so excited to share them. So here’s this week’s list!


  •  My new (to me) SLR camera! I named her Ashley, in homage to her former owner. Some very important photos (our engagement photos!) were taken with that camera back when Ashley was just a wee photography student. My how things have changed — she’s only gotten more awesome!
  • A Saturday morning coffee date with Ashley, since she totally owed me coffee. (We had a bet on the gender of Durrenbaby, and I won! Well. I guess we all won, because I’m having a baby. And how can you lose?)
  • The weather! It’s definitely spring time here in Florida and I am oh so very thankful for that. We didn’t have much of a winter this year either, which also makes me happy!
  • Going for walks.
  • Rereading The Hunger Games to get amped for the midnight premiere!
  • Mentor-y type emails with Beth. She’s a smart lady, y’all. When I grow up, I hope I’m as awesome as her (and have kids that are as awesome as her kids.)
  • Pretty lip gloss.
  • Trace‘s goodbye party. I’m so excited for him, even though it’s going to be tough around here without him…
  • Solidarity in sobriety!
  • Kyle’s sweet fondant skills.
  • Funfetti cake!
  • Balsamic vinaigrette.
  • Random accidental coffee dates with my husband where we talk about deep stuff.
  • Seeing my buddy Sydney play music. She’s so talented! So proud of that little booger.
  • Making music and worshiping with good friends!
  • Sending my dear friends Evan and Suzanne out into ministry.
  • Silly conversations at T.G.I. Friday’s.
  • Being able to drop some background vocals on one of Evan’s jingles!
  • Thrugs. And thrug life.
  • Lunch with Chelsea and other newsies on Tuesday, lunch with Sarah at Panera (and scoring a sort-of-kind-of free Mary Kay compact that I get to fill with all kinds of goodies later) on Wednesday, and lunch with my hubs today. I’m a lucky girl!
  • Running into Tara at Crepevine! SO GOOD!
  • Free food: Bagel Bagel, Panera, and then Krispy Kreme. Y’all, I am the free food QUEEN this week.
  • My silly bible study.
  • An Idiot Abroad. What the heck, how did I not know about this awesome show before?
  • Being prayed for. Like truly, honestly, for-reals-style prayed for.
  • Getting to have dinner tonight with the bestie, her boyfriend, her little brother, and his girlfriend! WHAT UP!
  • Josh, your dreams have now become a reality. You are on TILT!
  • Flowers in my hair.
  • Psalm 91.
  • Life!

What an awesome week! What do you love?

things i love thursday! (march 8, 2012)

Happy Thursday, friends! A lot has happened this week and while there may or may not have been a hormone-induced 24-hour cryfest in there somewhere (again, may or may not) it has still been a week full of blessings. Here’s my list!


  • We felt baby Dax kick last night! And he really hasn’t stopped since. It’s so awesome!
  • Purple nail polish, courtesy of Emily.
  • Making it to the half-way point in my pregnancy! Hooray! We are halfway to meeting our sweet baby boy!
  • Empire waist dresses. I hated them when I wasn’t pregnant but now, I can’t get enough.
  • Spending a week being Emily and Levi’s parents.
  • #levitweets
  • Big, soft beds.
  • Lemonade.
  • Chinese food.
  • Holding babies, particularly tiny cute ones like Isaiah.
  •  “The Lorax!”
  • Peanut M&Ms.
  • The fact that I can keep listing food because, well, I’m pregnant and that’s life.
  • Emily’s chores playlist.
  • Having a jam session with Emily. (That’s right. I had a jam session with a 13-year-old violinist.)
  • Getting sweet gifts in the mail for Dax, including but not limited to, some awesome bibs from Ali and some ADORABLE little Bobux shoes from Rachel! SQUEEEEEE.
  • Homemade baby clothes for Dax, courtesy of my sweet friend Kelby!
  • Baby clothes in general. THEY’RE SO SMALL, WHAT THE, HOW IN THE, I CAN’T EVEN.
  • Cinnabon. Also, hearing Levi reason as to why I should give my share to him: “I don’t think all of that sugar is good for the baby…” “He’ll be fine, Levi.
  • Dinner at Calico Jack’s.
  • Yoga in the mornings.
  • Making plans with the BESTIE! Yeah!
  • My friend Evan is writing a jingle a day in March. You should really listen to them if you haven’t already. He’s a musical genius and is guaranteed to make you smile! Check him out here.
  • A late night, spur of the moment, pseudo-breakdown management rendezvous at Starbucks. (Thanks Lori!)
  • Text messages that must be “a God thing.”
  • Also, visiting the same Starbucks three times in one day.
  • RedEye Mocha Frappucinos. Oh my gosh. Live in my belly.
  • Getting a text from my husband that reads, “I bought you another book at Goodwill.” Seriously, he rules.
  • Getting a hair touch-up by my good friend Elizabeth Joy! No more trashy roots! (Plus good hang out time as well. It’s always helpful to have a stylist who also happens to be a great friend.)
  • BRIAN (my cousin, whose middle name is Arthur, from which Dax’s middle name comes) AND KATIE ARE ENGAGED! YAY! I’m getting a new cousin-in-law (whom I’ll probably just call my sister-in-law because seriously, cousin-in-law sounds too far removed…)
  • Saving up enough money to FINALLY (!!!) purchase my new-to-me Nikon D60 this weekend! Dude! I’m getting a FOR REALS camera this weekend! And oh yeah, I’m paying cash for it like a BOSS. (Which also means I get to see Ashley and maybe Mark this weekend! Dax and Baby Poole could high five!)
  • Spontaneous sushi lunch dates with the hubs. (Cooked, of course! Dax is a huge fan!)
  • An awesomely productive lunch meeting at Subway.
  • Making strides toward my “mom goals.”
  • My family, my husband, my kid, and my cats.
  • You.

What do you love this week?

a good body image kick in the pants.

I’m 20 weeks pregnant. I’m halfway done.

I’ve also gained ten (!!!) pounds, which is exactly half as much weight as my doctor told me I should gain during the pregnancy. In reality, I’m right on track. (Halfway there when I’m halfway there! That makes sense! Half a pound a week from here on out, right?) But as of right now, this second, I’m not doing so well. Instead of being a new mom, carrying around and sustaining a healthy baby boy, my mind is in the dark and can only see myself as a woman who has gained ten pounds in five months and can’t button her jeans which means she’s ugly, worthless, stupid, a bad friend, a horrible cook, a horrible mom, a horrible wife, who will never be a published writer…

Sigh. Isn’t it ridiculous how a bad body image can poison the otherwise awesome parts that make you you? Or am I just THAT mental?

I can usually talk myself out of feeling like a whale by reminding myself, Lindsay! You are building a life! But it’s hard to switch a twentysomething-year-old paradigm (that gaining weight is the absolute WORST thing I could ever do, save maybe intentionally running over a litter of kittens) just because I got knocked up a few months ago.

Today, HelloGiggles posted an article by Julia Gazdag that was the body image kick in the pants I needed, even though it’s not directly aimed at pregnant women. It’s a great reminder about the heavy implications and repercussions of falling victim to a broken society’s view of beauty.

This excerpt in particular was one I really needed to read today:

You’re not attractive because you look like the airbrushed neo-Barbie posing with a giant bottle in a vodka ad, or the limitlessly fancy red carpet starlet. You’re attractive because of how you tell a story, how your eyes crinkle when you smile, how you love a certain author so fervently, and any number of other trite rom-com clichés. Because there’s actually truth to those sappy monologues – the most attractive thing about anyone is what makes them unique, not what makes them blend in. Anyone who is more focused on your looks than your self is bad news and in all likelihood cares very little about you as a person, except to use you as an accessory. We’re women, not purses, and that means we can own our greatness instead of comparing it to that of others while vying for mediocraty.

To read the rest of Julia’s article (and possibly get the kick in the pants you need) click here.

a shirt a day keeps the drama away.

When I got married, I felt pressured to turn into the perfect wife — one who cooks gourmet meals, keeps a spotless home, and looks damn good 100% of the time, both in body and fashion — even though that’s not at ALL the person my sweet husband married. My new-found Pinterest addiction and my perusal of countless new and trendy fashion/homemakey blogs have done nothing but worsen that pressure. Have you seen this? There are about a hundred thousand fashion/homemakey blogs out there touting the idea that You, too, can be a fashionista! And a stay at home mom! And a Crafty McCraftsALot! And be perfect at all of those things! Just look how easily I do it with my $3,000 SLR camera! 

I think I’m starting to break under this pressure. I’ve regressed. You’ll notice that I’ve stopped trying to blog about my home or food preparations or fashion choices. I’ve retreated into a dark cave of blog-solitude where I merely write about things that piss me off about society versus the things I’d love to work on concerning myself.  By doing that, I’ve created an environment where it’s completely safe for me to fail at all of these things without each and every one of you reading about it. But yep, I’m failing. Here’s how:

  • Dan does all the cooking and most of the cleaning. Happily, I might add.
  • My workout routine has all but vanished since tearing my ACL and becoming pregnant (but hey, the occasional dance class and the weird prenatal yoga DVD I have are at least giving me some peace of mind for the moment. That, and the fact that at 17 weeks I’ve only gained 7 pounds.)
  • And my fashion sense? My “style,” if you will? Ha. Well. I wish I could say I have one. But I really don’t. At the moment, for example, I’m wearing brown sandals with a black striped cardigan. Yep. I know this is wrong. But I’m doing it anyway because I just don’t care.

It wasn’t until I began drowning myself in all these trendy blogs and the black hole that is Pinterest that I really became concerned with this. Here’s what’s been going on in my brain:

Crap. I don’t know anything about fashion. I’m not a real girl. I’m not a good wife. And now I’m pregnant! I’m going to be that embarrassing mom! The one who dresses frumpy all the time! My kid is already hating me for this! But why doesn’t it come easily to me? Why don’t I look at things on hangers in stores and put outfits together? Why can’t I do it? Am I deficient? Did I miss out on some lady fashion gene?

It’s sad that I panic about these things while there are children in Rwanda who die before they’re three. But alas, I do. I panic about my appearance so much so that on more than one occasion, I’ve walked into my closet and thumbed through all 100 of my t-shirts and my eyes have welled up with hot tears.

I must look so stupid!

Well. Maybe I do. You know what, though? Maybe it doesn’t matter.

My friend Nathan (who also happens to be a middle-namer like me, shout out!) did an experiment where he wore the same shirt for 365 days. Granted, Nathan isn’t a girl awash in a sea of trendy wife/mom blogs, but he is a person who recognizes the importance society puts on outward appearances. So, without telling many people, he conducted a little social experiment. (You can read about Nathan’s experiment here.)

Spoiler alter: he lived.

Okay. So maybe I’m overreacting a little bit. Maybe the world will continue spinning if I wear t-shirts and jeans. Maybe it’s not the apocalypse of I don’t have the time to curl my hair in the morning or coordinate patterns (is that what you do with patterns? Coordinate them? I don’t even know.) Maybe life will go on, even if I choose to wear the same shirt for 365 days.


tuesday tip — be your own valentine.

DISCLAIMER: I’m going to write this as if we all went to grade school together in my little hometown. If you didn’t go to school with me, hooray for you! You get to pretend for a whole five minutes that you did!

Valentine’s Day in schools kind of eased us into reality, didn’t it?

Do you remember it?  In elementary school, we’d all come to school toting boxes of little cardboard Valentines, one for each of our classmates. No more, no less. Every one of us kids received the same amount of little I Choo-Choo-Choose You! cards stuffed in our paper sack “mailboxes” and, at the end of the day, couldn’t see straight from all the Valentine’s Day candy we’d consume together as a class.

Everyone got the same amount of love. Everyone was special.

But come high school, things changed. We all graduated from the communist love-fest that was boxed Valentine sets to “Candy-grams,” tokens of love that were purchased from student government. In case you forget, Candy-grams were carnation flowers with some candy and a sweet Valentine’s Day message attached to them. Adorable, right?

If one was bought for you, a member of the student government would barge into one of your classes and publicly deliver the Candy-gram to you in front of all your classmates to show just how adored you were. It was the ultimate Valentine’s Day popularity contest because, at the end of the day, the most popular (and, therefore, the most loved) people would be carting around the most carnations.

Most years, I’d be lucky to get even one. It’s true. I rarely got these Candy-grams.

(Here’s the saddest thing you’ll ever read: my undying defense of my high school popularity.) You know, I bet you it’s not because I didn’t have friends. Au contraire! I was one of those people who was friends with everyone. (Seriously. EVERYONE. How else would I have been voted onto Prom Court my senior year? SHOUT OUT!) It must have been that I didn’t get Candy-grams because I had so many friends that they all assumed that I was already getting my very own bouquet of Candy-grams and that they didn’t need to send me one more droopy flower to carry. (Sure, self, whatever you say.)

Sad, isn’t it? Anyway…

The truth of the matter, though, is that no matter the reasoning behind my empty-handed state on Valentine’s Day (I had too many friends, you see!) I always felt incredibly lame when I didn’t have at least one Candy-gram to show off. As cheap and fragile as those little flowers were, they carried on them the entire weight of my self-worth. If I had no flowers, I had no worth.

Sad. But true.

But, you know, that’s the reality of life. Life isn’t governed by the elementary school Everyone is special, everyone gets a Valentine! doctrine. High school Candy-grams really hit the nail on the head — some people love you, and some people don’t. Some people think you deserve a Candy-gram on Valentine’s Day. Some people don’t.

And that’s okay!


A couple years ago, I found a quote on my cousin’s girlfriend’s Facebook profile. I don’t know who said it, but after reading it, all my Candy-gram-less Valentine’s Days melted away into the background.

Remember to plant your own garden instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.

Sheesh. Amen, Whoeversaidthat. (FYI, according to Google, it could have been a hundred people.)

On this Valentine’s Day, whether you have a traditional “Valentine” or not, make a commitment to be your own Valentine first.

Here are some ways you can do that:

  • Write a love-note (ahem, or Candy-gram, whichever you prefer) to yourself.
  • Style your hair in a new way.
  • Pamper yourself — give yourself a facial, manicure, pedicure, the works!
  • Take yourself and your favorite book out to dinner one time this week. (This sounds bizarre, but it’s so fun! I love doing this!)
  • Sleep in at least one day this week.
  • Hang a picture of yourself in your favorite outfit in your cubicle, office, or bedroom.
  • Go. For. A. JOG.
  • Make an I’m More Awesome Than Anyone playlist and BLAST IT. (Artists on mine? Avril Lavigne, Paramore, and all kinds of other cheesy girl-rock. I am not ashamed.)
  • Buy a sexy, maybe even non-practical pair of underwear. Even if you’re the only one who sees it, dang girl! Work. (If you’re a dude, a shiny new pair of boxer briefs can probably help, too! Though I can’t be totally sure…)
  • Make cupcakes and share them with your favorite friends.
  • Buy fresh flowers and put them in your kitchen.
  • Fill in the blank with whatever you love to do.

The old adage is so true; if you can’t love yourself first, you’ll never truly (healthily, fully, wholly) love another. Start today by being your own Valentine.

How can you love yourself first today? Comment and let me know!

tuesday tip — consume wisely.

If you’ve got a spare 8 minutes lying around somewhere (8 minutes that, I assume, you haven’t already wasted on Tumblr or Pinterest) watch this trailer for Miss Representation, a documentary on the media’s representation of women in America.

Miss Representation 8 min. Trailer 8/23/11 from Miss Representation on Vimeo.

As a Mass Media Studies major (I went to college, did you know?) I’m the first person to be privy to the amount of media each of us consumes each day. From billboards to magazines to television shows to commercials to movies to music to whatever else, we are inundated with messages like the ones shown in the trailer ad nauseam. But the thing that really caught my eye was the statistic that says that the average American teenager consumes an average of over 10 and a half hours of media each day. That’s insane. That is, quite literally, almost half of all the hours we have in the day and, depending on a person’s sleep schedule, the overwhelming majority of one’s waking hours.

These or our teenagers. Our daughters. Our sons. Our future.

I’ve written before about how I’m absolutely no help when it comes to grocery shopping. All I do is gaze desperately into pages and pages of tabloid magazine garb, all to suddenly find myself crawling my way out of a body-hating depression while my husband has to single-handedly line up and pay for all of our groceries. And, like I said, I’m a person who is already aware of the effects of the media on our perception of the world. What does this mean for those of us who do not know?

Naturally, after watching the trailer, I came to the conclusion that I’m never having kids. I won’t. I won’t bring my precious babies them into a world that will jam this skewed message about women down their throats. Oh crap, I thought. What if I accidentally get pregnant?!  Then I decided that if I accidentally get pregnant, I’ll snatch my babies up and run away to the woods somewhere and form a community a la The Village minus the creepiness and never let them know of the horrors of the outside world.

Then I remembered that I’m ridiculous.

It makes no sense for me to tell you to run away or lock yourselves up in a closet and avoid media all together. Even though that would most definitely put a band-aid on the problem we have developed in this country, it certainly would not fix it. Whether we acknowledge it or not, something is wrong with this picture. Running away from reality is the last thing we need to do. We need to stand up to this problem, look the media in the face, and let them know how wrong they are.


Since, unfortunately, living in this world means consuming media, we’ve got to learn how to consume wisely.

First of all, avoid those triggers. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Once you know what triggers negative self-image, you can begin taking steps toward defeating those triggers and robbing them of their power over you. If reading fashion magazines puts you in an overwhelming funk, or makes you swear off calories forever, don’t read them. You can acknowledge their existence without consuming them. And, when you do so…
Talk about it. If you feel icky about a certain message that’s being communicated in the media, chances are, that message is icky. Your feelings are real. They are valid. Tell other people about how you feel about advertisements, or episodes of Two and a Half Men, or whatever else. Open up the conversation. Ask those around you what their opinion is on the matter and, if necessary, challenge their viewpoints (without having to drop a dollar in the Douchebag Jar, of course.)
Give context. If you’re in a position of influence to the younger generation (parents, teachers, youth leaders, counselors, older siblings, etc.) don’t be afraid to address the issue with these impressionable people. Just because they’re younger than you doesn’t mean they’re not mature enough to handle it. If nothing else, I’d guess they’re already feeling the effects of these negative messages and could benefit from your older and wiser influence.

The media is pushing out a very real message to our society that our teenagers are consuming almost the entirety of their waking hours. Don’t let the media have the last word on our kids’ self-worth.

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.