Thursday, July 31, 2014

Wait...Weight?!? (Part 1 of Who Knows)

I've been writing this post for a few weeks and haven't been fully ready to share because I'm not sure I'm all done wrestling...and it feels a little too vulnerable to put this out for the world to read when I'm not completely certain I'm ready for a dialogue. I've been processing it, I've felt less ashamed to invite others in and have found that I'm not alone in this weird, sad, painful wrestling match. And so I thought, maybe we could fight this thing together...whaddya say?

I've been wrestling with this whole body image thing lately. Which is frustrating for so many reasons: not the least of which is that I feel like this is something I should have conquered (or pushed past) as a teenager...or at least in my twenties. But that doesn't seem to be the case.

I have battled with my weight for years. Battled in the loosest sense of the word since I haven't done much to make great choices. I hated exercise and really liked delicious things like butter and cookies and mcnuggets.

And these decisions have been evident in my appearance.

In April, I decided to make a commitment to Whole 30. It turned out to be one of the craziest months I've had in years (both at home and at work), so there were many days I wanted to drive through McDonald's for a milkshake on my way home or order pizza for dinner because I was too tired to cook. But, I made it all the way through the month with only two hiccups and felt great.

I felt so confident in my ability (and desire) to make better decisions. I had more energy and could feel the difference in my eating habits, in my food choices and cravings--even my brain felt less foggy.

I also have nearly half a closet of clothes back(!!)

Though I am not the picture of health, nor am I at the ideal weight for my height, (and I have yet to lose my appetite for cookies or mcnuggets) I am not where I used to be...and I hope to continue to move toward health, not fall back to my old habits.

The other night, after a fight with my friend over what she wanted me to wear (sometimes we revert back to high school: raiding each others closets to choose outfits for ourselves and for one another), I realized that I may have a skewed version of myself in my head.

I still picture myself as a very heavy girl. I still lean toward baggy dresses (to hide my stomach and hips), long skirts (to cover my legs) and sweaters (to be sure my bingo arms are completely out of sight.)

The more I thought about this, the more I began to recall things people have said to me (or about me) over the years. People I had trusted, (and eventually learned that I shouldn't have) whose words carried--for lack of a better term--weight in my belief about who I am and how I appear.

I realized, though these people are no longer in my life, their words and opinions are with me everyday...many of them still the loudest voices shaping my self-image.

I'm starting to wonder if maybe, just maybe, not all of what they said is true.
And, if that's the's about dang time I weed out those lies.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Saturday Provisions

Last Saturday, after a V E R Y long and very fun week at work, I had to drop my car at the dealership for a part replacement. There are few things that put a damper on a relaxing morning like a one-hour line at 8am.

Fortunately, my brilliant friends, Jolene and Taylor, were there to salvage the rest of the afternoon. We made a delicious breakfast and watched a few episodes of Friday Night Lights before hearing that my car was ready for pick-up.

Since we were already out in Orange, we headed over to the Circle for lunch and ice cream.

Have you ever been to Provisions? The design is as rad as the food...

To the embarrassment of Jolene, I was trying to capture the other side of the market too.

I gave up trying to get the whole shot myself since Jolene was facing that direction...

After lunch, we walked next door {well, two or three doors down} to a la minute ice cream shop for my first liquid nitrogen ice cream experience. It was fascinating to watch all the science that went in to my tasty treat!

I had the espresso chip in a waffle cone...which melted quicker than I would have liked {I want to take my time with my ice cream, but I had to eat this super quick to avoid wearing it!} but it was really good while it lasted!

I'm certain this was the first of many afternoons in the Circle.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Shipwreck Island!

I was in two show choirs in High School: an all-girls group called Choralistics and a group of 13 couples {in matching blue sequins no less} called Soundsation. We choreographed, rehearsed and performed about a dozen songs each year. I loved it.

I still love to's easily one of my favorite things. 

So, when I realized that it would be part of my job to lead worship for our Children's Ministry Vacation Bible School, I did my very best to hide my excitement. Not to spare myself the embarrassment, but to spare my coworkers the discomfort that would have come from not knowing how to respond to my joy. 

I got to wear a Britney mic while I sang and danced for about an hour each day. That was my job for the week. Tell me this isn't exactly what someone who lettered in Show Choir was meant to grow up to be.

^^ The cast of players was full of friends, which only served to make the week more fun. Dom was a great sport--we made him do all sorts of silly stunts to make kids laugh at the start of each session. Including making them scream loud enough to knock this pirate hat off of his head! {So lame, I know, but the kids loved it!}

^^ Jordan {who I've known since he was in 7th grade} played Captain Bluebeard and spray-painted his face every morning.

^^ Between morning and afternoon sessions, we took the band {made of Jr High and High School students} to breakfast--and, of course, took a few photos.

^^ While we were eating on the patio at Ruby's, an older couple walked by on their way out. The man stopped at our table and dropped tiny paper airplanes he had folded for us out of the paper napkin rings. The boys, of course, made a game out of them...and before you knew it, Dom's coffee was ruined.

By the end of the week, the kids knew all of the song lyrics and dance moves...thought you might like to see a quick video of the action.

Seriously considering taking this show on the road. Let me know if you're looking for someone to sing and dance as you go about your daily life.

Monday, July 28, 2014

There's Something About The Ocean

There are so many great things about working with some of your best friends, but sharing days off is at the top of my list. Sharing days off means never having to convince someone to take a day off work to come to the beach with me. {Mondays are my day off, so this convincing thing has happened a lot.}

This summer, my friends and I have had a standing date with the beach...

It's been so fun to watch the kids build {and very quickly destroy} sandcastles and bury one another{'s moms--since they're not quite old enough to sit still long enough to be buried themselves}

But, by far, it has been the most fun to watch the kids learn to love the ocean. 

I love the ocean. Love it. I want to be in the ocean from the moment we arrive at the beach until the moment we it. The three minutes it takes for sunscreen to dry feels like an eternity to me.

Deacon has been growing to love it's definitely taken a little convincing, but last week, we were out in the water for a long time for a three-year old.

All smiles--even after a surprise dunking...

which his brother absolutely hated.

Hopefully, as you're reading this, you're coming from {or heading to} the beach yourself.
If you're can rest assured that I am. And I'm enjoying it enough for the both of us.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Must Be The Way My Heart Is Fluttering Inside

I've been on the hunt for some new prints for my house. I keep finding myself adding posters of bugs and butterflies to my shopping carts.

Here are a few I'm considering...

Evidently, this is actually a thing. 

Also, I made a Spotify playlist of country songs that were super popular my Junior and Senior year of High the title of this post comes from one of those songs. Anyone recognize it?

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Vegas Vacation

My mom is the oldest of five girls; her youngest sister was in kindergarten when I was born. Needless to say, I kinda grew up with my aunts...the sixth sister in many ways.

They carried me around, dressed me in their clothes {and heels and feathery earrings} and photographed and filmed lots of dance parties. My aunts are so incredibly hilarious, fun, and thoughtful.

In June, I got an email from my aunt Gina {#2 of the 5} asking if my friends and I would be interested in three free nights stay at Caesar's Palace and two free tickets to see New Kids on the Block. She knows that my first concert {in 4th grade} was, I believe my exact reply to her email was "Uh, hell yeah!"

And so, we hopped in a car and drove to Vegas for the most inexpensive three days any of us had ever spent in that crazy city. 

^^^ Our friend Logan had just turned 21, so it was her first real Vegas experience. She'd never played a slot machine or had a drink in a casino. 

^^^ Friday night, my aunt flew home and Jolene {my roommate} drove in...and the mix of rest and play continued. We slept like twelve hours in a super dark and cold hotel room and then headed down to the pool.

^^^ That afternoon, as we headed out to do some shopping, we ran in to the future versions of ourselves! Obviously, we had to line up for a photo! The stranger that took the picture snapped about 50 and the progression is hilarious--you can practically see the resemblance in each pair as they look around and make faces through the snapshots.

^^^ We ate Secret Pizza in Caesar's Palace--twice. We were really trying for cheap yet delicious...and this place just hit the spot!

^^^ You guys. New Kids on the Block?! Amazing. It took me a few songs to stop giggling at the idea that it was a bunch of men in their early- to mid- 40s dancing and crotch-grabbing...but once they started "The Right Stuff" I was in.

^^^ Es didn't really know any New Kids songs, but she was such a great friend to go with me...she quickly fell in love with Joey McIntyre.

^^^ In addition to their songs, they played some great covers including I'll Be There, Careless Whisper, Hot in Herre, and Faith.

^^^ Several times throughout the show, the guys came running through the crowd. We were at the end of our row, so Es moved as quickly as she could toward the aisle to get a shot of her new crush: Joey.

^^^ After the show, we met up with Jolene and Logan, who had been waiting for us back at the hotel

^^^ Logan was a little defeated by having lost $20 on the Airplane! slot machines. We gave her one hour {and another $20} to break even before heading up to bed. I googled the casinos that had Airplane! but found a site that was out of date. She happily settled for a Titanic machine, calling Celine her hero, and won all of her money back! When the machine started to play "My Heart Will Go On" while ringing up her winnings, Logan burst in to tears with joy and excitement.

^^^ To finish off our hotel experience, we put on some cooling masks {around 1am} and Es struck her best "Hangin' Tough" pose...since she'd recently become a New Kids fan.

^^^ I left Vegas much fancier than I was when I arrived

^^^ What better way to start a 5 hour drive home than with some Dunkin' Donuts iced coffee and Chocolate Munchkins?! Come on DD--come to CA!

^^^ Logan jumped out of her skin when this coal miner began moving and talking to her during our bathroom stop

Part of Make July As Great As June was to visit Bass Pro Shops. I'd never been. Imagine my excitement when I realized it was on our way home from Vegas!! These girls were so gracious to spend 20 minutes wandering the aisles with me.
^^^ Does Does Doe
^^^ Posing for photos in a child's hat, in front of a bunch of kids not posing in hats is super cool.
^^^ Es made a little pit stop in the woods.

^^^ Enjoying the wildlife

^^^One last photo...complete with a "Hangin' Tough" Es, of course.

Thanks for the amazingly fun, relaxing and inexpensive {!!!} weekend, Gina! Next time you'll have to stay the whole time!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Swing With Me

About a week ago, as I drove in to work, I noticed two tree swings on the property between our church and the Care Facility next door. After lunch, I asked a coworker and our boss' daughter {who was in the office working on Vacation Bible School prep} to walk over and check them out!

I was a little skeptical of their durability at first, but once we got going--and it was obvious they would hold--it was so fun!

I'm pretty sure I'll be taking regular 'swing breaks' from work each day...feel free to swing on by and join me. {Get it?!}