I inherited my mom’s big teeth and even bigger laugh. I’m cool with it. Justin was able to capture both of these things that make me so-very-me in one photo, and while examining it and laughing at myself, I couldn’t help but wonder why women are so dang hard on themselves. We are all unique beauties made in God’s image, and that’s something worth celebrating in every shape, color, and size. So for today let’s have a little less critiquing and a little more high-fives all around to every single thing that makes us “us”!
“One day I will shave my head. I don’t know when that day will be, but I want to. When I had long hair, I always felt like I had to look pretty. With short hair, I feel more fun and free.”
-Julianne Hough / interview in Self magazine
My grandma spends her winters in Southern California, keeping warm and spending her days golfing and eating lemons (or so I imagine), and it’s always a happy time in our family when she returns to rainy Oregon in Spring to reunite with the rest of us pale people. We miss her smile and wit when she’s gone. There’s no one like her.
When she returns, there’s always a big belated birthday party to celebrate all the grandchildren’s birthdays that she’s missed. She can’t stand missing parties, so this tradition has been around forever. I find it slightly unnecessary (who really needs gifts and birthday parties at my age?), but I love how happy it makes her, so we do it. This year, a little birdy told her that I’m trying to eat a plant-based/Vegan diet, so we couldn’t go to pizza like we normally do. I’m officially the black sheep in my pizza-loving cake-eating family. Someone has to be.
So as we are catching up and opening presents, I spot a few tins of nuts mixed in my birthday bag (???). Granted, one of the tins was cinnamon and brown sugar almonds, but still–nuts. From my grandma. Queen of chocolate and all things sugary and sweet. Meanwhile, my sister is drooling over her bag of chocolates and candies she found stuffed in her goody bag. I only wish I could have witnessed how it must of pained her to buy me… nuts.
When we were leaving, she turned to Justin and said (dead seriously and shifty-eyed, I might add): “Don’t be too healthy. It makes me nervous.”
There is no one like that woman. God bless her for reminding me not to take life to seriously and to put myself in a sugar-induced coma every now and then.
I was busy cooking in the kitchen (making a mess, splattering sauce, dropping knives, and cursing under my breath like usual) when you muttered those lovely words.
“I just want to put you in my pocket.”
Dumb grin on your face.
“What does that mean?”
Hair disheveled and the makings of dinner splashed across my skin and clothes.
“Because you’re so cute.”
Bless that man and his love for me. And shame on me for not basking in his compliment, for immediately thinking of the 3 lbs. I’ve gained and for letting my eyes ever-so-subtly glance down at my thighs. Shame on me for putting myself down instead of thanking God that my husband finds me adorable, even when I’m cursing like a sailor at another botched dinner-attempt and furrowing my brows at the disaster that is my kitchen every night.
The other day he told me I was the prettiest girl he’d ever seen.
Why didn’t that stick?
Today I will feel pretty. Today I will feel cute. Today I will feel loved. And I will practice it again tomorrow, hoping that a habit will form somewhere along the way.
Sometimes I miss living closer to town where there are sidewalks and a Target nearby. Convenience. More connected to people and things. Consistent internet connection where I can watch Hulu and Netflix at any given moment. Closer to the movie theater and Barnes & Noble.
Other days, like when I read about how social media is used in horrific ways that dehumanize people (Stuebenville, Ohio rape case), I’m happy that I live on a farm where the internet only works half the time and I wake to the sound of goats and chickens every morning. I’m thankful that Marz and I take walks on dirt roads in silence and watch the sun come up instead of being “plugged-in” first thing in the morning.
My prayers are with that girl and that town.
ps. This article on the whole topic really impressed me.
“A party without cake is really just a meeting.” –Julia Child
Winter was for taking long naps on the weekends and pushing to-do lists out of site.
Winter was for snuggling with Marz in the warm house more than braving the cold and taking her on walks like I should have.
Winter was for eating healthy meals and ending the day with dessert every night and not caring.
Winter was for watching a disgusting amount of TV shows on hulu and forgetting the last time I read a book.
Winter was for crying my guts out and feeling every feeling I wanted to feel with complete abandon.
Winter was for chopping my hair off again on a whim and getting more tattoos and feeling alive.
Winter was for becoming a recluse and feeling impatient.
But that was winter. And hello, Spring. You snuck up on me, but when I saw you, a weight was lifted off and I can finally breathe. Now that you’re here, I feel ready to make change happen, take more walks, choose joy, and read a gosh darn book.
We are all waiting expectantly for something over here. I don’t know if it’s the time change and knowing that spring is starting to wake from its slumber, but I find myself waiting and hoping for everything to change and at the same time for nothing in particular at all. Just waiting.
Marz is acting unsettled and getting into mischief all the sudden–getting sprayed by skunks and tearing the ears off any plush toy that I once held dear. RIP penguin from antartica. So long my sweet lamb.
Justin is waiting for job openings and June’s promise of a graduation ceremony. Sometimes I think I’m more excited than him for this next chapter in his life. I don’t even pretend to be waiting patiently. I’m not. This kind of waiting is sandwiched between anxiety and exhaustion. The worst kind of waiting.
And I am waiting for a shift in my heart to occur. Not that I can pinpoint the endpoint, the goal in sight, but I feel it in the deepest cracks of my soul that a change is on the brink, and without knowing what it will look like or feel like, I’m ready to welcome it with open arms.
Find your rhythm fragile heart. I know you can do it. I’ll be here waiting.
Sometimes I get the overwhelming feeling that all I really want in life is to be able to dance like one of the dancers from the Step Up movies.