introducing: friday favorites!

Can I speak off the cuff for a second? (Psh. Why am I even asking? This is my blog, you guys. I do what I want.)

I’ve been pretty aware of all the ways I suck lately. Mostly, over the past week. I guess that makes sense, what with me going back to work and wrestling with what that means as far as my contribution to my home and family. It stands to reason, I suppose, that in this time of transition I might find myself struggling to focus on what is praiseworthy about myself. (Philippians 4:8.)

The truth is, self-love isn’t something you just achieve one day and then bam, you’re all better. I really wish it were that simple, but the reality is that loving yourself in a society that does its damnedest to point out everything that’s wrong with you takes daily discipline. It takes the strength to wake up every single day and look yourself in the mirror and say, “Hey, Self, you’re all right.”

Unfortunately, with everything that’s been going on in my life as of late (you know, having a kid and all) I haven’t really taken care of myself in that respect. Sure, I make sure I eat every day and try to squeeze a shower in here and there (I washed my hair last night, y’all!) but as far as putting forth the effort it takes to truly, honestly, take care of my self-esteem and consequential mental health, I’m falling behind. And it’s starting to wear on me.

An old issue I’ve struggled with in the past has reared its ugly head recently. The issue? Allowing myself to be loved without doing anything. 

I’d thought I’d beat it. I thought that, with the help of this blog and the people with whom I surround myself, I’d finally let that little part of me die. But, since stepping away from all the things I “do” for people in order to focus on my son and my family, I’ve started to feel as though I’m being replaced. Forgotten. Unloved.

While I know that isn’t the case, right now it’s hard to believe it. So, I’ve decided to go ahead and use this blog for what it was originally intended — a tool with which I can learn to love myself daily. I’m going to dust off the old “self-love” warrior training boxing gloves and start a new weekly post series on my blog. I’d like to introduce to you,

lindsay’s friday favorites!

On Fridays, as a discipline, I’m going to post a blog highlighting one thing about myself that I like, that is my “favorite trait” of the week. One thing, I might add, is just ME. Not something I DO. Just something I AM. It may be physical, or not. It may be an item of clothing I bought or a way I did my hair. It might be a book I started reading and the thoughts it provoked within me. I’m not sure yet. But all I know is that I’m going to commit to doing this every Friday to remind myself that I’m valuable just because I am.

I’d like to challenge you, my readers, to do it, too. On my Friday Favorites posts, I want you to comment the things you love about yourself that week. Nothing would make me happier than knowing that my struggles, and the disciplined nature through which I will try to overcome them, might actually be a positive influence in your lives as well.

And so. Starting next Friday, we’re going to do this. We’re going to start to love ourselves, one little blog post at a time.

back to the grind, consumed with mom-guilt.

I’d like to take this opportunity to give a standing ovation to all the stay-at-home moms out there. Bravo, ladies. Brav. Vo.

Y’all want some real talk? I’ll give you some real talk.

I’ve been a working mom for three days and let me just tell you — stay-at-home moms have it harder than working moms. (And, as an aside, stay-at-home moms who HOME SCHOOL? Psh. They’ve all got to be immortal droids or something.) I’ve been back in the workforce for almost three days and it’s like I’m in Cabo on vacation. Wooohoo! I can count on one hand the number of days that have gone by without me getting pooped on, and I can pee whenever I have to and not hold it until the baby’s asleep! (Okay, so maybe, based on that comment, I did stay-at-home mom life wrong. Whatever. Holding your bladder for five hours while consoling a colicky baby is legit, right? Don’t answer that.)

Anyway. Props to all you SAHMs. Major. Props.

More real talk. I miss my boy. Bad. 

The first day back was pretty great. I was distracted by all my new projects at work and the sweet welcome I got from my coworkers, seen here:

And the second day was okay, too. But once I got home, I realized that, at the end of my work day, I only have a few short hours with my baby until he’s down for bed which makes me SUPER. DUPER. SAD.

You guys. I’m in a downward thought spiral, here. My self-love is waning in lieu of mom-guilt. Does he still recognize my voice?! What if he grows up not knowing who I am? What if he thinks I’m just some weird lady who comes to his house and sleeps in his dad’s bed after being away for eight hours all day?! Even worse, what if he DOES know I’m his mom, but thinks I suck majorly because I’ve missed out on all the times he’s smiled as a two-month-old? What if, when he learns to talk, his first word is, “I-DON’T-KNOW-MY-MOM.” YOU GUYS?! HOW DO KIDS OF WORKING PARENTS NOT GROW UP COMPLETELY MALADJUSTED?! WHY AM I THE WORST?

Okay. So maybe my kid is adjusting fine. Maybe he’s two months old and doesn’t know the difference yet. Maybe he’ll grow up completely normal in spite of me. Maybe I’m the severely unhinged mental case who needs help.


I’m back in action, y’all! Back with a whole new set of insecurities! Let’s do this.

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!


  • 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?

tuesday tip — finding your sexy when you’re ______.

Disclaimer: So, this is my blog, after all. And this is the stuff I’m currently struggling through. If reading it makes you feel weird, sorry. You don’t have to read it. I won’t be offended.

The other day I came across this fabulous article that pretty much sums up every thing I’ve been struggling with lately as far as body image and self-love goes. If you don’t have time to read it, the title speaks for itself:

Who gets to be sexy? Is it me?

I’ve kind of touched on the subject before here and here but, sadly, I currently don’t feel like I’m one of those people who “gets” to be sexy. My husband and I have had several conversations recently (even creating a document about the mental blocks I have and the steps I need to take to overcome them) to try and get to the root of this problem (including, but not limited to: my past, including my ex who sexually abused me, my history with my eating disorder, etc.) and while these reasons are valid, I’m sick of them.

In my head, I think, I’ve always assumed that once I hit certain self-proclaimed milestones then (and only then) could I “get” to be sexy.

  • When I reach my goal weight.
  • When my face finally stops breaking out.
  • When I can figure out how to apply make up and not look like a circus clown.
  • When I learn how to properly curl my hair.
  • When I…
My husband, who is so sweet and wonderful and always trying to help, brought something to my attention the other day:
Dan: “Did you see the lady in front of us in line at Wal-Mart?”
Me: “No.”
Dan: “Oh. Well. She was at least double your size everywhere and was buying lingerie. I thought that if she could do it, you could, too.”
Under normal circumstances, I would have probably considered the legitimacy of his observation. But because I’m hormonal and crazy, I went home, drew myself a bath, and cried in it for an hour.
It seems like it’s only getting worse for me as I get rounder. This is probably shocking to you, but feeling sexy while pregnant is proving to be almost impossible for me. I know, I know. I didn’t see that one coming, either. Lindsay can’t feel sexy when she’s not pregnant? What do you mean she can’t feel sexy when she is? *Heavy eye roll.*

I’ve been searching for ways to try and rectify this. Really, the only solution I’ve come up with is only letting my husband touch me in the morning when it’s still dark since, at that point, I haven’t spent an entire day staring at my gigantic belly and focusing on how “matronly” and “not-sexy” it is.

But then (of course, while I’m struggling with this) Jessica Simpson (who has been pregnant for roughly three years it feels like) comes out totally butt naked on the cover of Elle like she owns the joint. And my husband goes ahead and says that it’s sexy.


Okay, world. I get it. It’s possible to be sexy while overweight. And it’s possible to be sexy while pregnant. So why am I still completely lacking in this department?

Oh that’s right — because the problem isn’t my body; it’s my mind.


I know not all of you are pregnant. And I know that not all of you struggle with “sexiness” in particular. But maybe it’s confidence. Maybe it’s spark. Maybe it’s being outgoing. But, if you’re like me, and you have this little part inside you that, for whatever reason, can’t come out because you’re currently _____ (fill in the blank for whatever that is: pregnant, over your goal weight, not making enough money, whatever) I’m here to tell you that your circumstance is not your problem.

It’s your mind.

I don’t have all the answers on how to change your mind (because if I did, let’s be honest, I wouldn’t have this blog) but here are some things that have worked for me so far:

1. be intentional.

Make an effort. When you think to yourself that you can’t be sexy, just think immediately afterwards, “That’s not true. I can be and am sexy.” It will be awkward and weird at first. But be intentional about it.

2. be persistent.

You can’t change your paradigm overnight. It will take some time. Commit to it because, in the end, it will be so worth it (or so I think).

3. be patient.

With yourself! Know that some days, you’ll be on fire. You’ll be a sex goddess, even! But know that, even still, there will be some days when you feel frumpy and gross and some innocent Wal-Mart shopper is gonna show up at the register with cute lingerie and make you cry in a bathtub and you’re just going to have to let that be okay.

What is your “sexy” that you’re striving toward? Please don’t say I’m alone in this!

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.

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 — opinions are like…

Those of you who have been following my blog from the beginning know that it didn’t start out as a body image blog. It started out as a creative outlet for me to express my frustrations with working in the broadcast news industry. All of my coworkers who read it found it extremely enjoyable and supremely relatable.

All of my coworkers, that is, except for one.

That one coworker? Well. I can’t say anything nice about her, so I won’t say anything about her at all. (Thanks for the moral upbringing, Bambi!) But, upon finding my blog, she had a lot of things to say about me and none of them were nice. So, naturally, she pulled me into a closed edit bay and barked all of those horrible things at me while I stared at her in disbelief and sobbed.

After this confrontation I crumbled into a thousand pieces. My fragile self-worth fell in on itself. Coworker thinks I’m a horrible person? I thought. Well, then I must be a horrible person! At the time, I never thought I’d see the good in that situation. I thought it would forever remain a painful memory, another tell-tale entry in my Failodex.

The truth of the matter, though? That’s not what happened. While there was, no doubt, a world of trouble that came from that awful edit bay fall out, a whole heap of good came from it, too. That confrontation was the catalyst to me changing the focus of my blog to self-image and being a small part of a huge self-love revolution taking place around me. Because of that, I will be forever grateful to Coworker, no matter how horrible her opinion of me was/is.

There is a long-standing saying about opinions that, as crass at it is, is irrefutably accurate:

Opinions are like [butt] holes. Everyone’s got one and thinks everyone else’s stinks.

I don’t know who the genius was to first make this comparison, but he or she hits the nail right on the head. And, not only does everyone have an opinion, but everyone has an opinion about you. (Oh, and if you think it’s bad now, just wait until you get pregnant. My lifestyle choices and subsequent parenting methods have been criticized by countless people so badly already and my child isn’t even visible yet.)

At any rate, as much as I love the above quote about opinions, I’d like to modify it just a little bit.


It’s no secret that Coworker’s opinion of me was, dare I say, less than favorable. But don’t I know myself better than she does? Shouldn’t my opinion of myself reign supreme?

Yes. Yes it should. And the same goes for you.

Even though everyone has an opinion about you, the truth is that your opinion about yourself is the only one that matters. So the next time someone says something nasty about you, just remember this:

Opinions are like hearts. Everybody has one, but yours is the only one that keeps you going.

tuesday tip — mirrors don’t know you.

Today, one of my friends messaged me needing help and encouragement after a run-in with a nasty, lying mirror. You know the kind. We’ve all had our own encounters with these unforgiving monsters. From afar, these mirrors look like normal mirrors. But when you get up close to one of them to inspect it, it’s too late — you’ve already been lied to by this sad excuse for a reflection. As quickly as you can say, “Are my thighs REALLY that wide?” the mirror distorts your body into weird shapes (shapes, people!) that don’t so much as halfway resemble the way you know your body actually looks.

I’m almost one hundred percent positive these mirrors are manufactured solely for two arenas: dance studios and Hollister dressing rooms. Regardless, they unfortunately seem to be more prevalent than that.

So. What do you do when you come in contact with one of these dastardly little devils? Remember that mirrors don’t know you.


The thing you need to remember about all mirrors (but especially the mean ones) is that they only reflect some sort of distorted, backwards image of your appearance. That’s it. They don’t reflect the real you.

  • They don’t reflect how good of a friend you are.
  • They don’t reflect how you make people feel.
  • They don’t reflect the way it feels to hug you.
  • They don’t reflect your empathy.
  • They don’t reflect the way your family feels about you.
  • They don’t reflect the way your friends feel about you.
  • They don’t reflect how your children feel about you.
  • They don’t reflect how your cats (in my case, ha) feel about you.

The truth is, mirrors are like those acquaintances you had in high school that you thought you’d never see again but, through some freak accident (read: Facebook) you interact with from time to time. They may act like they know you, but in reality, if they had to explain you to someone who’d never met you they’d be extremely limited.

MIRROR: “Who? Lindsay Durrenberger? Yeah, I know her. She’s about 5’6″ and has dirty blonde hair that’s kind of wavy and kind of curly and has a weird cowlick on the right side. She also stands weird because her left knee is wrong or something.”

PERSON: Yeah but I mean, what’s she like?

MIRROR: I just told you, didn’t I?

The only true part of the mirror’s evaluation of me is my height and hair color. My cowlick is on my LEFT side and my RIGHT knee was torn.

See? Mirrors don’t know beans about you. Don’t let them dictate your worth because you are SO much more than what meets the distorted eye of a piece of reflective metal.

secrets, secrets are no fun. secrets, secrets hurt someone.

Well. You all know how I feel about Victoria’s Secret, and you also know how I try to avoid anything that triggers me to hate my body. So it should come as no surprise to you that I took a pass on the Victoria’s Secret fashion show.

It’s not that I didn’t want to watch it. Every bone in my body wanted to. Though I didn’t outwardly verbalize my desire to spend my evening staring at lingerie models and secretly plotting my next eating disorder relapse, lest my husband consequently decide domestic abuse is now how we do things, I kept rationalizing the idea to myself.

  • I’ve come so far! It probably won’t be a big deal. The worst thing that could happen is it inspires me to lose weight and hey, that’s like, healthy, right?
  • I bet there will be a lot of celebrities there. And who doesn’t love celebrities?
  • Oh, goodie! Kanye West is performing! Maybe he’ll steal a microphone from one of the angels and totally go all Taylor Swift on her in front of everyone. I wouldn’t want to miss that!
  • Lingerie pretty. Me want look.

But at the end of the day, my inner self-love warrior won out and I chose to put my attention elsewhere. (Finishing my NaNoWriMo novel, thank you very much!)

Today I stumbled across this article by a man named Ryan Beckler and it confirmed everything I feared about watching the show. Here’s an excerpt:

A commercial break allowed me to check my social media streams. I was pretty shocked at what girls were posting/tweeting:

  • “BRB, starving myself. Thank you, VS fashion show.”
  • “Victoria secret fashion show = going to throw up to make myself look that good!”
  • “Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.. now I feel like a whale =[ “

Huh? What the hell? Something is seriously wrong here.

The rest of the article is a great reminder to all of us women that being dangerously thin and hating ourselves is not attractive! If your end game is to snag a man (and if it is, let me wag my finger at you for a moment and remind you to switch your focus to learning how to fall in love with yourself instead of waiting for another person to validate you) vowing to never eat again on Twitter is not the way to go about that.

Read the rest of Ryan’s awesome article here.

it’s my potty and i’ll take a picture of it if i want to.

Remember how Dan and I went to Chicago last month? While it was definitely an amazing week, getting to Chicago proved to be quite, um, trying. Because it costs roughly $23,497,324,234,876,234 (give or take) to fly out of Tallahassee, we had to fly out of Jacksonville. And, naturally, the cheapest flight was also the earliest (8AM) so we had to be at JAX around 6AM. Our options were: stay the previous night in Jacksonville or hop in our car at 4AM and drive two and a half hours to Jacksonville.

We chose the latter because we are super duper broke. And Dan was so excited to go back home (he’s from there — have I told you this already? I married a Chicagoan, which I think is impossibly cool…) that he woke up at 2AM. Of course, this means that I also woke up at 2AM. (The never ending curse of a light sleeper.) We danced around our house until our alarms sounded at 3:30, then packed up our Camry, and headed east.

And we traveled. A lot. After all was said and done, we finally landed in Chicago around 12:30PM local time, 1:30PM “our” time.

All that to say, the goings-on of our first day are rather fuzzy, I’m afraid. But. When I went to the bathroom at the Jacksonville airport (at around 6AM after already being “up” for four hours) I had to take a picture of it. Not because I was deliriously tired (though I most certainly was) but because of how the entrance was decorated:

Isn’t that incredible? It’s all different kinds of women, all shapes and all sizes! Though some are a bit ridiculous (is that a banana-shaped woman I see?) I love the message! That we’re all different, but we’re still women, no matter what we look like.

And just so you know, the men’s bathroom was done the same way. But I already looked really stupid taking a picture of the outside of ONE bathroom let alone TWO. So. There you go.