Fly On The Wall: Low T Edition

Welcome to a Fly on the Wall group post. Today 9 bloggers are inviting you to catch a glimpse of what you’d see if you were a fly on the wall in our homes. Come on in and buzz around my house.

Buzz around, see what you think, then click on the links below for a peek into some other homes:

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My life seems filled with testosterone and nuts these days.  Two of my daughters have moved out, the third never home anymore and moving out soon.  All my conversations with man-child and my husband pretty much go like this now:

Me:  “Man-child, clean your room please.”

Man-child:  “Deez nuts ‘Merica”

Me:  …


Husband:  “Oh, I forgot to tell you I have a meeting after church.”

He tells me this…after church when we are about to leave.

Me:  “Seriously? You keep a calendar, why do you never know what’s in it?”

Husband:  “It’s low T babe.”

Low T?  My ass.  My husband could be accused of many things, low T is NOT one of them.

No matter what I ask, those are the two main responses I receive lately.  It’s enough to drive me to drink.  Men.


I don’t know how many times we get in the car, start driving down the road and the car is dinging like crazy because my husband has failed to put on his seat belt.  I put mine on before I even start the car, I don’t know why this has to be an issue with him EVERY TIME WE GET IN THE CAR.  He’ll put it on, weaving all over the road about a block from the house. I’ve told him that most accidents happen close to home.

He blames low T.

Husband:  “Well think of the life insurance you’ll get.”

REALLY?

Me:  “No, that’s not how this would work. You’d still be alive but in a vegetative state and I’d get nothing but the burden of caring for you.”

Husband:  “WOW. Just WOW.”

Me:  “Yeah my response is the problem here… PUT YOUR SEAT BELT ON!”


My son spends an inordinate amount of time watching YouTube videos or Vine.  He comes away with these nuggets of awesome.

Man-child:  “She showers with Pantene, but I’ve got watermelon (pronounced watermelone) to keep me clean.”

Man-child:  “He struggles to get the ladies, but dating’s a breeze with my watermelone Mercedes.”

Man-child:  “He struggles to lift the weights, but I’ve got watermelone to keep me in shape.”

Man-child:  “He tosses and turns to the sound of thunder, but I’ve watermelone to soothe my slumber.”


Man-child texting me at the end of the school day:

Man-child: “I might be late.”  He walks home every day.

Me:  “ok, why?”

Man-child:  “I have to find my phone.”

Me:  “But you’re texting me on it?”

Man-child:  “I lost it.”

Me:  “I’m confused.”

Man-child:  “I found it.”

Me:  “I see that, so why are you going to be late?”

No response.  Sigh.  I share the texts with my husband.

His response:  “Low T.”

Sleep with one eye open honey.


My sister sent me this in response to my blog about Personal Space Invaders.  I think this is genius and I must have one!

 

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When asked to pick one word to describe himself, man-child said:

“DOPE.”

Word.


Snapchat fun – my son would make a pretty girl:

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and I don’t even know…

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I showed these to my husband and his response…

yep.

“LOW T.”

You guessed it.

I’m about to show him what low T really means…


Now feel free to buzz around some other homes this morning ❤

http://www.bakinginatornado.com/2016/05/fly-on-wall-flirting-101.html

http://www.juiceboxconfession.com

http://www.menopausalmom.com/

Spatulas On Parade

http://singlemumplusone.blogspot.com

http://batteredhope.blogspot.com

http://dinoheromommy.com/ 

http://www.southernbellecharm.com

All Good Things…

“In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

Use Your Words

Today’s post is a writing challenge. This is how it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.

At the end of this post you’ll find links to the other blogs featuring this challenge. Check them all out, see what words they got and how they used them.

My words are:

barren ~ forget ~ calamity ~ sovereign ~ smooth ~ lofty

They were submitted by: http://climaxedtheblog.blogspot.com

I think I have mentioned once or twice, in passing, about my obsession love affair with Adam Levine. He’s inspired many blog posts over the years.

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Oh goodness, we had some really good times together.  In the day to day bustle of life, it’s easy to forget how true was our love, however imaginary brief it might have been. I’ve boxed away those treasured times in the annals of my heart’s desires, the memories too painful to revisit upon daily reflection. Our love was true.  Our parting, oh sweet parting, was the greatest calamity of our time. The love affair to end all other love affairs smashed upon the rocky shores of circumstance. The tidal wave of memories washing over me, bittersweet.

It’s difficult to fathom that he would willingly give up all this…

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For this…

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To each their own I suppose…

Our love a barren landscape now, stripped of the beautiful purity and divine emotion it once held sovereign. 

Our love defined the lofty expectations of the loveless and forgotten. A light to behold in the window of the heart, a beacon to all who gaze upon it, nevermore. Lost.  Adrift in the sea of bitterness and betrayal. Gone forever. Like the awesome twitter account I deleted in a fit of pique, that Adam never followed, even after months and months of campaigning, begging, pleading…but that’s beside the point. Or not the point rather. I’m not sure of the point, now that I think on it… Points are overrated.

For the record, Adam looked like this in the midst of our whirlwind love affair –

But with she-who-must-not-be-named, he has turned into this –

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DR. EVIL! I wonder if it’s smooth or stubbly…

AND this –

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SHE HAS RUINED HIM!

I can’t even…

I have no words… (’cause I used all 6 already, not that I’m braggin’)

I’m sorry I can barely even type, my eyes drawn to the horror that is that blonde monstrosity sticking up all over his head. He seems to be having trouble finding himself these days, could it be…dare I say it, because he is truly lost without me? I suppose we shall never know.

Oh Adam… As the saying goes, “all good things…” and all that. We must end the madness of our longing, that which will never be again.  The season has passed on our great love, and it’s time we both move forward, forging new paths, however…blonde or bald.

You have to let me go.  Choices have been made, promises given. I will forever treasure our time together, however brief. I wish you all the best in all your future endeavors.  Don’t worry, I’ll still be your faithful stalker follower on The Voice, cheering you on to success.

Just remember, any children you have with she-who-shall-not-be-named will never be as precious or beautiful as our own children would have been…

It’s with tears in my eyes, that I bid you…

ADIEU ❤

(I’m keeping the t-shirt though, and I might still occasionally wear it to bed and hug myself tight…)

Adam Shirt

“Nothing is impossible, the word itself says I’m possible!” Audrey Hepburn

Links to the other “Use Your Words” posts:

 

http://bakinginatornado.com

http://berghamchronicles.blogspot.com/

http://www.thediaryofanalzheimerscaregiver.com/

http://dinoheromommy.com/

http://www.southernbellecharm.com

http://notthatsarahmichelle.blogspot.com

http://batteredhope.blogspot.com

http://www.someoneelsesgenius.com

http://thethreegerbers.blogspot.ch/

http://spatulasonparade.blogspot.com

http://www.angrivatedmom.wordpress.com

http://climaxedtheblog.blogspot.com

Lucky Us: A Book Review (ish)

 

“You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me.” C.S. Lewis

Today’s post is a part of a series from “Blog With Friends”, which is a collaborative effort.  Each month, a group of bloggers publish a project based upon a specific theme or idea.  The projects are diverse, special and unique to each blogger, every month is different. The theme for March is Luck.  You can find the links to the other bloggers and their projects listed at end of this post.

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As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not particularly crafty nor much of a chef/baker, but I am a voracious reader.  I love books, all kinds of books.  I’ve only met one book, in my entire life that I absolutely hated.  Usually, ambivalence is the strongest emotion I feel against a book.  I either love them or meh…I could take it or leave it.  I hated “Angela’s Ashes” by Frank McCourt. I don’t know why.  I can’t even remember what it’s about really. I finished it, but I loathed every second of it.  It’s strange for me to have such a visceral negative reaction to a book, especially one in which I can’t recall any specifics.  I always finish a book.  Except one.  “Dianetics” by L Ron Hubbard was beyond strange and suffice it to say that I could never consider Scientology. It’s the only book I’ve ever started and didn’t finish.  I may put them down, read something else, but I always come back.  I can’t stand to leave a book…undone. I rarely read a book more than once with the exception of the Harry Potter series.  I read those books over and over and over again.  Every time a new one was released, I’d reread the whole series.

So when the theme for Blog with Friends was announced, I felt positive there was an interesting book out there with the word “luck” in the title. Otherwise, I’d probably never have picked up Amy Bloom’s “Lucky Us” to read. If I had to pick a favorite genre, I’d probably pick Historical Fiction. “Nightingale” by Kristin Hannah is the best book I’ve read in a year at least.  I never wanted that book to end. I’m not picky about what I read, but I rarely assign 4-5 stars to a book.  Most books are 3 stars for me.  I define 3 stars as entertaining and/or interesting. A 3-star book is a good solid read.  I might be able to put it down, it might take me longer to finish it than a 4 or 5 star book, but I remain invested till the end.

Unfortunately, I give “Lucky Us” 2 stars.

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I wanted to love this book, especially since I was going to blog about it. It held such promise and the reviews were solid. The book weaves a journey through the lives of two sisters, Iris and Eva, during the 1940’s. It explores the concept of family, both the family we choose and the family we are born into.

“There were my people: the abandoned, the unloved, the phenomenally unlucky.”

Is the path or course upon which we are set predetermined?  Are some of us just “luckier” than others, what part do our choices and decisions play in the twists and turns our lives take? Do we recognize the face of wickedness and deceit as friend or foe? How much does fate decide our present and measure against our future?

“My father quoted everyone, from Shakespeare to Emerson, on the subject of destiny, and then he’d point out that except for the Greeks, everyone agreed: The stars do f***-all for us; you must make your own way.”

Sometimes life can feel as if you are the lion on the cover, walking a tightrope with a zebra on your back, only looking forward, one step at a time.

If the book explored all of these questions and more through the relationship of the two sisters, their father, the friendships made and lost along the way against the backdrop of World War II, it might have been a fascinating read. It certainly held potential.

Potential that in my opinion was never realized.

Iris is vapid, selfish, self-absorbed and vain. Eva is infinitely more likable, but the book didn’t really explore the nuances of her character. Eva is loyal, steadfast and true. She’s incredibly book smart with adaptive survival skills. She blends into her environment, almost to the point of disappearing into it or being such a part of the fabric and nature of it and in such a way that you don’t even realize she’s there but can’t imagine her being gone. She’s the backbone of her little family.  She exists peripherally and yet remains the center of it all. Her whole life is a lie. She uses the lie, builds upon it, to make a life for herself, however small it might appear from the outside looking in. She’s brave but she doesn’t think so. She feels unloved, unlucky and forgettable. Unfortunately, the book doesn’t make her altogether likable.

“He said, You know what Oscar Wilde said—women are meant to be loved, not understood. Applies to both of them, darling. And I nodded, although it seemed to me that I was going to be a woman too and I would like it if someone thought they should understand me.”

Eva was the product of an extra-marital affair between her mother and Iris’ father. She was literally abandoned on his doorstep by her mother at the age of 12. Iris’ mother had just died.  Both girls were left to raise themselves, dependent only on one another, eventually running away from home and striking it on their own.

Thus begins the story…

The father interjects himself back into their lives. They find a surrogate father of sorts, a best friend and companion. Love and friendships are found and lost and found again. The idea of family is reshaped and rebuilt throughout the novel. Eva and Iris lose each other along the way but perhaps find themselves.

The best I can say about this book is that the chapters were short and there were only 29 of them. The book felt like a movie preview. You get the idea or theme of the movie, a sneak peek at some of the best bits and a general overview of the subject matter.  You know which actors are playing the parts.  You know who wrote and directed the movie.  You know just enough to hopefully wet your appetite for more.  Hence the whole point of the preview, to bring you back, invest in a ticket. Imagine if the preview was all you ever got and the actual movie was never made or released. How disappointed you might feel, bereft, like you lost something you never fully possessed but believed that you wanted.

That’s how this book reads. You get snippets and sneak peeks but it’s just a snapshot.  Each chapter reflecting a glimpse, a momentary glance into the lives of Eva and Iris. It felt like it was written in a hurry.  Each chapter promising something it never quite delivers. There were times I actually scrolled back a page (I read everything on my Kindle) thinking I missed something. Ultimately, that’s how the book feels, like you’ve been left out, missing something crucial but you don’t know what or where to look for it.  You just know it’s supposed to be there and it’s not. It leaves you feeling unsatisfied and confused.

It will forever be filed under books that made me go

HUH?

I’ve never really written a book review before which may be obvious reading this blog post.  I write short review snippets on FB or Instagram. I share what I want to read, what I’m currently reading and what I’ve read but I’ve never really attempted to write a full-fledged review. I hate reviews that contain all sorts of spoilers, so I’ve kept this review deliberately vague in regards to storyline details and plot twists. I figure if anyone is interested they will pick it up and decide for themselves.  That’s the beauty of books.

The end of the book did tie everything up quite nicely I suppose.  It uses the image of a photograph to tell the rest of the story.  The story after the story.  It provides closure, nothing is left open-ended or unanswered.

“Lucky Us” was published in July, 2014 with 256 pages. Amy Bloom has published other novels which I’ve never read and this book didn’t make me want to pursue further writings from her.

Of course, this is just my opinion.  Books are so subjective.  I rarely read reviews, and I don’t normally use them as a basis for buying a book. Different subjects appeal to me at different times in my life.  I go thru reading stages.  I could read 3 books in a week or take 3 months to read 1 book depending on my mood and schedule. I love losing myself in a book, being transported to another time and place. If I can identify easily with a character, personally invest myself in the outcome, then I’m usually hooked. My goal is to be entertained, sometimes I learn something, about myself or others. Sometimes a book makes me question my thoughts or opinions, take measure of the status quo.  Books can be provocative or introspective. Books can challenge what you think and how you think. I love all kinds of books and I get something out of every one I read. I’m passionate about books and wish I could do a better job of translating that passion to paper.

You may not pick up this particular book and read it, but I encourage you to read something. Engage your mind or uplift your spirit, transport yourself to another time or space, invest for learning or pleasure, just pick up a book (or your kindle) ❤

“The things I want to know are in books; my best friend is the man who’ll get me a book I ain’t read.” Abraham Lincoln

Again, the theme is luck, enjoy my other blogger friends and their individual projects.

Baking In A Tornado

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Someone Else’s Genius

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Spatulas On Parade

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Home on Deranged

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The Liebers

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Cluttered Genius

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Luckiest Girl Alive

“Marriage is the highest state of friendship. If happy, it lessens our cares by dividing them, at the same time that it doubles our pleasures by mutual participation.” Samuel Richardson

Welcome to a Secret Subject Swap. This week 14 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.

My “Secret Subject” is: 

What is the luckiest thing that has ever happened to you?

It was submitted by: http://thelieberfamily.com

When I received my prompt, I was so relieved.  Whew!  An easy one! The day I met my husband is definitely the luckiest thing that has ever happened to me.

All week, I’ve been writing this blog post in my head.  That’s how I do it.  I compose a general outline in my head before committing my ideas to paper.  It was going to be epic!

A beautiful tribute…

The love story to end all love stories!

Except today, I’m pissed at him. Like really angry. Suddenly, I’m not feeling so lucky. My feelings have been hurt. My brain is filled with all the things I find annoying and aggravating about him.

I tried prayer:

“Dear God,

I’m having a hard time loving my husband today. He’s a jerk. I mean really, don’t you see this, I mean you created him.  I’m not blaming you per se…but I mean… No, no I’m sorry God, this is not how I meant for this prayer to go. I’m struggling today. I need some divine wisdom, a calming touch, a deep breath.  Actually, you probably just need to hold me back from punching him in the face. ‘Cause THAT would feel good! I mean, it would feel terrible. Obviously, I don’t really mean that.  Except that you can see into my heart and you know that I actually do mean that exactly. I’m a terrible person.  An awful wife. Who thinks like this, I’m not a violent person. See what he does to me! I’m just really angry, and I need some help putting things into perspective.  Remind me why I love him? What?  You can’t think of anything either can you? Why so quiet?! Thank you for the beautiful weather today by the way. I opened the windows and usually that calms me, but today all I see is dog hair swirling around in the breezes. I should go vacuum. I don’t feel like this little talk is helping. No offense.  I’m sure you’re trying.  It’s me, not you. I want to be angry. It’s fueling my indignation.

We’ll try again later.  

Sorry.  

Amen.

P.S. You agree I’m right and he’s wrong though, right? Just checking…”

I went back through my workbook from a Bible Study on forgiveness I took, hoping and praying for inspiration. Everything I read just makes me more angry, because I quite strongly believe that I’m the injured party here.  My big offense was waking up this morning! Sorry my BREATHING angered you honey, tell me how I can make it up to you please?!?! Ugh!

Adam Levine never treated me like this when we were pretend married.

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Round and round I go. A vicious circle, never-ending. I tried meditation.  I took a long walk. Still angry. I indulged in a very Gone With The Wind moment, standing in my front lawn, shaking my fist at the sky. I felt very dignified, but I probably just looked deranged to any onlookers.

I wonder how many calories anger burns?

Oh goodness, he’s trying to call me right now.  I’m not going to answer, that’ll show him.  OMG he’s calling again. I’m ignoring you!  How does it feel?!?  Hmmmmm?

Now he’s texting me.  Sigh.

“Hello??” he says.

The nerve.

I remember when I first met my husband.  Our complicated history is not something I talk about very openly.

I had two concerns about dating him:

  1. he’s short
  2. he’s “churchboy” (my nickname for him)

I could probably best be described as agnostic when we met, which coincidentally happened to be at church.

I was a single mother. My divorce had been extremely difficult on me, both financially and emotionally.  I had 2 little girls and everything I’d ever dreamed or wanted for them (and for myself) had been shattered.  I was desperate for connection.  I was lonely. I didn’t have any family close by and any friends I kept from the divorce were single and interested in single-life pursuits, not changing diapers and wiping noses.

I remember giving my girls a bath and I just started crying.  It had been a rough day. An exceptionally rough day, and I just couldn’t pretend to be happy and cheerful in that one moment. I was watching them giggle and play and I just felt overwhelming sadness. This isn’t how my life was supposed to work out.  This was not the plan. In the blink of an eye, I found myself overcome with feelings of grief and guilt. I gazed upon their little blonde heads and felt with absolute certainty that I had ruined their lives forever. I should have done more, said more, been more…

My baby daughter looks up at me, with her big blue eyes, touches my arm and says: “It’s okay mommy, God loves you.”

The next Sunday, we got dressed up and went to church.

Where I met, “churchboy.”

I remember the first outing I attended with the church singles group was a family camping trip. We were all sitting down to dinner, and my future husband starts pulling out all of this tupperware, which he hands to the cutest little girl ever. I fell in love with her the minute I saw her. She was wearing overalls and sporting the most adorable braided pigtails adorned with girlie clips. She was 6 months older than my youngest and 2 years younger than my oldest. She looked so much like her daddy and boy did she adore him. In this tupperware, he had packed some chicken breast and asparagus tips…honestly, who packs asparagus tips to go camping! I suddenly felt the need to hide my bag of Cheetos and PB&J sandwiches.

He had a hole in his shirt though, which I found endearing.

Blending a family is no easy task. We experienced more than our fair share of challenges.

He was everything I never even knew I wanted or needed.

We dodged obstacle after obstacle, hurdle after hurdle. We somehow met each challenge, not always with dignity or grace. We each made terrible missteps, huge mistakes. We each carried pain from our previous relationships. We wore our grudges like armor, our fear like a mask. Our children needed to make adjustments. Sacrifices were necessary on all sides. On the outside looking in, we were a wildly successful blended family, hardly anyone even knew we’d both been married previously or that the girls weren’t all biological sisters.  The truth was ugly.  We were a hot mess. Battle lines were drawn daily.  His and hers. There were days I felt the rifts were as wide, if not wider, than the Grand Canyon, infinitely deep. Wounds barely had time to scab over before we were ripping them open again. We lashed out. We struggled. We fought. We questioned daily our decisions, our marriage, this idea that we thought we could ever make it all work.

Yet, we were both committed to doing exactly that, making it all work.  Somehow it did, it has. He’s my best friend. As mad at him as I am in this moment, I wouldn’t change a thing and I still believe with my whole heart that meeting him was the best and luckiest thing that has and will ever happen to me. We did struggle, but we also loved, laughed, hoped, dreamed and vowed to never give up.  We knew we had something special, something worth fighting for, no matter what.

Our faith journey has been rocky. We haven’t always stayed on the same page, I veered off the beaten track more than once. He remained steadfast and true in his belief, in his patience in the face of my doubts and fears. He never made me feel stupid or inadequate. My faith, or lack thereof, didn’t scare him. He loved me and he believed in me and he knew I would work it out and he’d made the decision to walk beside me as I navigated thru the twisty confusion my uncertainty and unbelief created in my heart and mind. He prayed for me. I envied his strength and convictions. I still do.

As it turns out, finding my faith was the easy part.  Living it out on a daily basis, now that’s hard. I wonder if God ever wants to punch me in the face? Probably. Sometimes I want to punch me in the face.

My feelings are still hurt, but now I’m also feeling nostalgic.  And dare I say it…loving.  Ugh!  It’s true, I’m thinking warm and gooey thoughts about the man whose head I wanted to rip off a moment ago. I mean, I’d still punch him, but maybe just on the shoulder…all affectionate-like. Ish.

He’s not perfect, but neither am I.

He is my best friend. He’s my person.

He changed my life. Meeting him, loving him, marrying him was the luckiest thing that has ever happened to me.

Thank you God. Thank you for bringing us together. Thank you for creating something beautiful out of the ruins of our mutual divorces and the inevitable fallout. Thank you for placing him into my life at the perfect moment. Thank you for blessing me, loving me, forgiving me. Thank you for opening my heart.

My cup indeed overflows.

Amen.

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“Marriage – a book of which the first chapter is written in poetry and the remaining chapters in prose.” Beverley Nichols

Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts.  Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:

http://www.BakingInATornado.com

http://berghamchronicles.blogspot.com/

http://www.thediaryofanalzheimerscaregiver.com/

http://dinoheromommy.com/

http://www.southernbellecharm.com

http://notthatsarahmichelle.blogspot.com

http://thelieberfamily.com

http://batteredhope.blogspot.com

http://www.someoneelsesgenius.com

http://thethreegerbers.blogspot.ch/

http://spatulasonparade.blogspot.com/

http://www.angrivatedmom.wordpress.com

http://climaxedtheblog.blogspot.com

Wishful Shrinking

“The beauty of a woman must be seen from in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides.” Audrey Hepburn

The other morning, leaning over to reach into my dresser, I felt something brush against my upper thigh, which quite startled me.  I looked down expecting to see some terrifying rabid rodent with ginormous teeth, but no…  It was just my boob.  A dose of humility is always a great way to start the day.

Another month has come and gone since I last updated my weight loss progress.  Here is the first set of pictures I took in January:

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and current pictures:

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I thought the towel turban was a nice touch this time.  I have a thigh gap!  You might need a magnifying glass and a little imagination but it’s there!  I have a mental picture now of everyone leaning into the screen scrutinizing the area around my crotch trying to find my minuscule thigh gap.  I’m feeling super awkward.  Ok, you can stop staring now.  Trust me, it’s there.

My current weight is:

208 lbs

I’m down another 5.7 lbs bringing my total weight loss to:

79.5 lbs

I’m so close to “ONEderland” that I can taste it, and it tastes good!

I definitely see the results in my face.  At my heaviest (287 lbs), I remember catching my reflection in a mirror and being shocked at the person staring back at me.  Feeling trapped inside yourself is the worst feeling ever.  Viewing yourself under the distorted lens of disgust, shame and embarrassment is a burden far heavier than the actual weight you carry.  I felt like me, but when I would see myself in a reflective surface, I experienced a moment of confusion trying to work out who the person was looking back at me.

That can’t be me.

I don’t look like that.

Do I?

I do.  I did.

Recently, the cover choice of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition made news featuring the 1st ever “plus-size” model, Ashley Graham.  According to Google, Ms. Graham is 5 ft and 9 in tall and weighs 201 lbs.  Her BMI is 29.7. Her measurements are 42-30-46.  I don’t know how often she works out or what she eats.  I don’t know her cholesterol or blood pressure.  I can’t really draw any conclusions about her overall health or physical condition, nor do I want to.

Is she beautiful?  Absolutely.

Is she healthy?  I don’t know.

Did my husband think I was beautiful at 287 lbs?  Absolutely.

Was I healthy?  Absolutely not.

Beauty comes in all sizes, shapes and colors.  Beauty can’t be measured by a number on the scale.  Beauty is subjective. Inner beauty eclipses physical beauty.  We were all made in God’s image.  We are all beautifully unique.  Differences should be celebrated. Beauty should be discovered in the things we do, the actions we take for one another or on behalf of one another. We allow social industry to define what is beautiful and then judge ourselves and others harshly when we don’t live up to these ideals.  We create buzz words like “fat shaming” or “skinny shaming” to condemn others and ourselves for accepting an image we all helped create and perpetuate. Beauty can be found in unexpected places and people.  A smile.  A laugh.  A sunset.  A kind word.  A kind deed.

Every person is distinctly beautiful with qualities, elements and attributes that make them uniquely diverse.  Diversity is beautiful.

Can you be overweight/underweight and healthy?  That is a different question entirely.  One that perhaps cannot be judged from the outside looking in, but still an important distinction.

Health can be measured.

Being overweight or obese creates a greater risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, stroke, sleep apnea, reproductive issues, and more.

Being underweight creates a greater risk of a weakened immune system, fragile bones, anemia, fertility issues and more.

Health is important.  We treat the question of beauty and health as if they are mutually exclusive.  My husband told me daily I was beautiful, but he worried for my health, because of my weight.  He believed me to be beautiful but he also knew my weight was unhealthy. Weight isn’t the only factor in determining health either.  There is emotional health, physical health and spiritual health.  Many factors influence how healthy we are in all aspects and areas of our life.  These are things that can’t always be judged or measured by just looking at someone.

I feel guilty that even though I treated my body like a toxic waste dump, I stayed surprisingly healthy.  I think of those that eat right, exercise, do all the things they are supposed to do and then walk away from a doctor’s appointment with a dreaded life altering diagnosis.  In my mind, I imagine them sitting next to me at a restaurant.  How they must look at me.  How I would have looked at me.  Why does she get to walk around healthy, treating her body so poorly and shamefully?

My health is a gift.  A gift I took for granted.  A gift I abused.  I’m blessed to have been given the chance to change my outcome.  I don’t want to screw this up, which is why I blog about it.  To hold myself accountable.

God gave us this incredible vessel and it’s our responsibility to care for it, to the best of our ability.  I failed to do this and I’ve suffered for it.  Those around me have suffered for it.  My children have suffered for it.  I’ve passed down a legacy of poor self-image, self-doubt and shame. What do they see when they look in the mirror?  How much have I contributed to the lens they each use to view themselves, both positive and negative thoughts and does one outweigh the other and which one?  These thoughts keep me up at night.  They are my biggest cheerleaders and support system outside of my husband.  I’m not fighting to be thin or a certain size or shape.  I am fighting to be healthy.  I want to be an integral part and active participant of their whole lives and the lives of their children and grandchildren and God willing, great-grandchildren.

I haven’t always gotten it right. I don’t pretend any differently with my children.  When I screw up, I say I screwed up.  I apologize.  I make it right.  I hope that while they will never see perfection, they will see someone who never gave up.  Someone who learned from her mistakes and wasn’t too proud or ashamed to ask for forgiveness, admit to being wrong, seek to repair and rebuild.  I want them to know how much I love them, not just in word but in deed.  I want them to know that I learned to love myself.  Not just the good parts either.  I want them to know that I became someone who looked in the mirror, and liked what she saw.  Loved, even.  I want them to be proud of me and to know that I’m proud of myself.  I haven’t always handled my struggles and failures with grace.  In some ways, I hope to serve as a cautionary tale to my children.  Time is short.  Time is precious.  Don’t be afraid to take on life’s challenges.  Learn from your mistakes and move on.  Be unique.  Be special.  Just be you.  Above all, I hope they always know how much they are loved. Forever and always.

I use self-deprecation and humor to address issues I find painful or difficult.  I’ve turned making fun of myself into an art form.  I don’t love my loose skin, cellulite or stretch marks.  I probably never will.  I cope by using humor.  I’ll make fun of myself, beat everyone else to the punch.  Internal dialogue is much harder to change than physical appearance.  My body is less a wonderland and more like a carnival, complete with fun house mirrors, sideshow acts and sketchy rides.  My boobs might droop to the ground but at least they don’t rest on my stomach any longer.  Progress!  I can see my feet again without having to suck in while bending forward.  See what I mean!  Poking fun of myself has become as natural as breathing.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished.  I can’t believe I’ve lost the equivalent of a 6th grader when it comes to weight.  While I do want to change how I see myself, I love that I don’t take myself too seriously.  I enjoy my sense of humor and make myself laugh all the time.  Sometimes at myself, but that’s ok.  The weight signified some serious emotional baggage, and I’m working thru it.  Perfection is not the goal.  Humor isn’t a mask I wear anymore, it comes from a genuine place of joy.  Joy in the space I now find myself.  Joy in how far I’ve come.  Joy in the little things I took for granted.  Joy in the big things I failed to see but now find opened before me.  Joy in the faith I thought I’d lost forever.  Joy in the fact that God never gave up on me. Joy in the fact that my husband and kids didn’t give up on me. Joy in the fact that I didn’t give up on myself.

I can’t change my mistakes or the errors in judgment I’ve made over the years.  I haven’t always been the mother my children deserved.  Or the wife my husband deserved. Or the faithful servant God wanted me to be.  I’ve found unspeakable beauty in the power of forgiveness.  In forgiving myself. In being forgiven.  In forgiving others. I took the path of most resistance.  It was mostly uphill.  In the snow. And darkness.  I might have also been naked…

However, I feel like I’m standing in the sun now, and the view is beautiful.

ONEDERLAND HERE I COME!  

“There is a kind of beauty in imperfection.” Conrad Hall   

Feel The Burn

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Welcome to a Fly on the Wall group post. Today 12 bloggers are inviting you to catch a glimpse of what you’d see if you were a fly on the wall in our homes. Come on in and buzz around my house.

Buzz around, see what you think, then click on the links at the bottom of my post for a peek into some other homes.

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“Having a little girl has been like following an old treasure map with the important paths torn away.” – Heather Gudenkauf

One of my most popular and most read posts of all time recounts the night my daughter’s vagina fell out.  You can read it here.  Crazy times. Every time my daughter calls me with some physical ailment or another, we measure it on the “vagina falling out” scale.  God love her, but she can be a tad dramatic.  I don’t know where she gets it.  Like AT ALL.  One time, she got a boil from an ingrown hair and was convinced she had ebola.  Dr. Google is her physician and he’s always presenting her with worst case scenarios.  I keep telling her to quit asking him.

One day a short while ago, this same daughter and I were taking our daily walk with her new puppy and I notice she’s kinda walking funny.  I’m torn between ignoring it and asking her about it.  I just never know what she will say.  She has a tendency to overshare.  On the one hand, I’m thrilled that she trusts me enough to talk to me, really talk to me, about anything and everything.  On the other hand, there are some topics I would be happy to avoid…forever.  I watch her continue to kinda waddle along until I can’t stand it anymore and I ask her.  I should have kept my mouth shut.  When will I learn.

Apparently, she’d had a rough day a couple of days ago.  This guy she’s dating had come over to her apartment to hang out, and when he arrived, she’d been crying.  Naturally, he asked her what was wrong, and she proceeded to sob all over him, recounting her tale of woe.  Basically, if it could have gone wrong, it did.  It was one of those days where a thousand tiny things go wrong, and you just get overwhelmed by it all and want the day to end.  Taken individually, none of these things were a big deal, but piled up on top of one another…well, sometimes you just need a good cry.  He patted her on the back, listened and then offered to make her tea.

Feeling slightly better, she accepted.  Tea sounded comforting and perfect for the situation.  She gave him a watery smile in appreciation of his thoughtfulness.  One moment, she’s cradling the cup in her lap waiting for it to cool, the next moment she’s accidentally dumping the entire boiling hot contents in her lap.  She jumps up screaming hysterically, ripping her yoga pants off.  Her date just sitting there on the couch in stunned silence.  I’m looking at her horrified as she tells me this.  She looks over at me and says “Oh, and did I mention, it’s also that time of the month?”  Oh no.

me:  “So you stripped down naked? Like…completely? With him just sitting there?”

daughter:  “Mom!  I dumped scalding hot water all over the crotch of my yoga pants.  I just wanted them off, panties and all.  I don’t think he noticed the pad though, you know with all the screaming, I’m pretty sure he was panicking and not really paying attention.  I hope so anyway. I kept my shirt on though.”

me:  “omg, well are you okay? I can’t believe you didn’t call me.”

daughter: “What could you have done?  Yeah, I’m okay, I mean I have burns all over my vagina, and it hurts to wear clothes, or walk, or sit…or do anything really. But I am walking better today at least.  I was walking really bowlegged at work, and now it’s more of a slight waddle. Like a pregnancy waddle.”

me:  shaking my head

daughter:  “Yeah so I ran into the bathroom and sat on the toilet, it was excruciating, I couldn’t think what to do.”  Her date brings her an ice pack.  “Yeah it was kinda awkward, him helping me hold the ice pack to my crotch, because I’m shaking so bad.”

me:  there are no words.

daughter:  “I’m pretty sure that’s not exactly how he imagined seeing me naked for the first time.”

me:  I’m speechless.

daughter:  “Really I’m fine.  Don’t worry.”

me:  “You and your vagina are going to be the death of me.”

daughter:  “Mom, don’t be dramatic.”

me:  “You know I’m going to write about this right?”

daughter:  “yeah, I figured.”

me:  “I’m taking that as approval.”

daughter:  sighs.

A week later, she breaks her hand.  Sigh.

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Man-child turned 10 last month.  His birthday was on a Thursday, so we decided we’d let him skip school that Friday.  He was super pumped.  On the following Monday, I put a note in his folder.  I might have fibbed.  A little.  I mean he did have a big piece of birthday cake.  A stomach ache wasn’t exactly a lie.  Exactly.  Ish.  I pick him up from school and ask him if he gave the note to his teacher.

Man-child: “Yeah I gave it to her.  I told her you lied though.”

me:  “WHAT?!?!”

man-child:  “Well, mom…come on, she wasn’t buying the tummy ache.  She knew.  And you didn’t raise me to be a liar did you?”

me:  stumped.

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My son left his iPod on the coffee table in front of me, and I notice his screensaver.

Unknown

Then my husband sends me this requesting I buy it for him:

Hello

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meet

tree-985515__340

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I used to worry that my husband and I wouldn’t have anything to talk about when our kids had all flown the nest.

husband:  “I find that I poop before the gym and then I need to go again when I get to the gym.”

me:  “How is that even possible?  Are you cutting it off before you’re finished?”

husband:  “No, I feel done when I’m done.  I’m not holding it back, it’s just like after moving around a bit more, I’ve jogged some more loose.”

me:  “I’m happy if I go once a day. I need to drink more water.”

husband:  “I can’t imagine going less than 4 or 5 times a day.”

me: “Well, you eat a tic tac and you have to poop it out.  Do you have an eating disorder?  Do you weigh your poop?”

husband:  “Is that a thing?”

me:  “Well, I saw it on a criminal minds episode once.  A girl with an eating disorder kept a food diary with her poop measurements.  So I guess so.”

husband:  “huh. The more you know…”

Clearly, my fears were unfounded.

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Man-child and I love to spend our weekend nights playing with the filter on Snapchat.  We really know how to live it up. If you’re wondering what my husband is doing during this funfest…he’s tilted back in his favorite chair, eyes closed, mouth open, gently snoring.  He’ll grunt occasionally during our antics, letting us know he’s annoyed by all the laughter.  Sometimes he’ll ask when we are going to bed? I’m not going to bed at 7pm, I don’t care how annoyed he gets.  Be jealous.  Here are some of our favorite outtakes:

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MC (man-child) Kardashian

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I’ll leave you with this horror show 😛

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“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” Confucius

Buzz around these houses next:

http://www.BakingInATornado.com

http://www.juiceboxconfession.com

http://www.menopausalmom.com/

http://www.someoneelsesgenius.com

http://spatulasonparade.blogspot.com/

http://singlemumplusone.blogspot.com

http://batteredhope.blogspot.com

http://www.gomamao.com

http://dinoheromommy.com/

http://notthatsarahmichelle.blogspot.com

http://www.southernbellecharm.com

A Pig and an Owl Walk into a Bar…

“Words are singularly the most powerful force available to humanity. We can choose to use this force constructively with words of encouragement, or destructively using words of despair. Words have energy and power with the ability to help, to heal, to hinder, to hurt, to harm, to humiliate and to humble.” – Yehuda Berg

Use Your Words

Today’s post is a writing challenge. This is how it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.

At the end of this post you’ll find links to the other blogs featuring this challenge. Check them all out, see what words they got and how they used them. 

My words are:

velvet ~ ham ~ spanked ~ batman ~ owl

They were submitted by: http://dinoheromommy.com/

I’ve carried these words around with me all week hoping inspiration would strike.  Well, strike it did.  In the form of one man-child.  

Yep, man-child strikes again.  In the car.  

man-child: “Mom?”

me: “Hmmm?”

man-child: “I know what I want to be for Halloween.”

me: “Halloween?  You know it’s not for like…8 months right?”

man-child: “Yeah.”

me: “Well it seems a bit early to be planning Halloween, just sayin’.”

man-child: “Yeah well…do you want to know what I decided to be for Halloween?”

me: “Sure.”

man-child: “Ask me?”

me: “Ask you what?”

man-child:  sighs

man-child: ” Ask me what I want to be for Halloween!”

me:  sighs

me: “What do you want to be for Halloween?”

man-child: “I’m not telling you, you have to guess!

me: “I don’t feel like playing the guessing game.”

me (thinking): wait!  I think I have a way to work my words into a blog post about this conversation!  I’m brilliant!  Yay me!  Whew, such a relief!

me: “okay okay, I’ll guess.”

man-child: “yay!”

me (thinking) you have no idea kid!

me: “A pig?  Cause you know, you’re such a ham?”

man-child: “A ham? Mom (shaking his head), if I was a pig, I’d totally be bacon. But NO!  Wrong guess. Guess again!”

me: “hmmmm. Let me think.”

me: “A red velvet cupcake?”

man-child: “What?!  Mom! These are terrible guesses. Are you even trying?!”

me (thinking): if you only knew…

me: “What do you mean? That was an excellent guess!”

man-child: “A cupcake mom?!?! Why are you being weird, guess for serious! A cupcake… I mean, come on!” 

me: “Desperate measures kid! Desperate measures!”

man-child shaking his head.

me: “Ok.  Ummm.  Let me think.  Okay! I got one!”

man-child: waiting patiently

me: “a sad Carolina Panther fan after getting spanked by the Denver Broncos?”

man-child: “Mom!” (face palm) “Do you even know me!? Just forget it.  BATMAN!  I’m going to be BATMAN!”

Confession: now I was pretty sure he was going to say Batman.  The movie is coming out very soon and the whole Batman vs Superman debate is a regular feature in our house.  If he hadn’t said batman, that would have sucked, but I’m sure I could have worked it in a conversation somehow. I’m pretty impressed with myself, working these words into our conversation.  I’d pat myself on the back, but I’d probably throw my back out.  Of course now I just have one word left…

man-child: “Oh, I have jokes. Wanna hear them?”

me: “Sure.”

man-child: “What do you get when a dinosaur fights with a pig?”

me: “I have no idea.”

man-child: “Jurassic Pork!”

man-child laughs hysterically at his own joke, which is actually funnier than the joke itself.  

man-child:  “What do you get when you play tug-o-war with a pig?”

me: “No clue?”

man-child: “A pulled pork!”

man-child: bhahahahahhahahaahhahahahahahahahahaha

man-child: wipes tears from his eyes

man-child: “ok, one more. Ready?”

me: “Go for it!”

man-child: “What do you call a magic owl?”

I almost wrecked the car when he said my final word! We need to take this show on the road! I’m laughing before I even know the punchline which makes him laugh harder so he can barely tell me.  I love this kid so much!

man-child: “A Hoo-dini!”

Brilliant!

May you be as excited for your weekend as this precious pup!

“Let us celebrate the occasion with wine and sweet words.” Plautus

Links to the other “Use Your Words” posts:

http://bakinginatornado.com

http://berghamchronicles.blogspot.com/

http://spatulasonparade.blogspot.com/

http://www.thediaryofanalzheimerscaregiver.com/

http://dinoheromommy.com/

http://www.southernbellecharm.com

http://notthatsarahmichelle.blogspot.com

http://www.angrivatedmom.wordpress.com/

http://batteredhope.blogspot.com

http://thethreegerbers.blogspot.ch/

http://climaxedtheblog.blogspot.com

http://www.someoneelsesgenius.com