Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Just keep swimming

I'm just two days away from a break.  Just keep swimming, Nain.  Just keep swimming....then it is a little bit of a breather until 2014.  I like to think that 2014 will bring about some new perspective at the very least.  I will make sure that actually happens rather than passively sit by and wait for it.  I know some changes need to be made, while not all of them are within my control.  But before than happens, I do just want a chance to rest.  Relax.  And just be.  

In the meantime, Merry Christmas from Nain, T and Aubrey!  I'll write more before then but how can this face not make you smile?

Sunday, December 15, 2013


I've been delaying writing a blog post for awhile now.  I know it's been since Wednesday (honestly Monday because I wrote Tuesday and Wednesday's posts ahead of time) since I've written, and I have absolutely no motivation to do so.  I am completely fine writing for my freelance work because I don't have to be honest and open about myself in those pieces.  But this is my blog.  I make a point to not be fake when I write anything here, and I have done a pretty damn good job at that thus far.  

I hate to say I can't bring myself to be 100 percent honest right now with my posts.  As you all are aware, I have made a series of bad decisions, causing a lot of financial distress for my family.  And the nonprofit industry isn't exactly booming or lucrative.  But things kind of hit the fan and I hit rock bottom last week.  I'm not even sure how to write this so I maintain some kind of vagueness and integrity, but I consider the metaphor being thrown under the bus a good one for how I feel.  Within just two days my family's financial livelihood was torn apart.  Just days before Christmas and just days before the end of my office's official "work year."  Salary.  Cut.  Me?  Crushed.  And extremely worried.  

It isn't that T and I are poor by any means, but we are tight.  And I'm a huge part of it.  And I hate that.  I've made no secret of the fact that I struggle with depression either.  Well, after Tuesday and the blow I took and the aftershock it had on my family, crushed can be the only word to describe how I feel.  Well, no defeated.  And failure.  

I'm kind of in a dark place inside my mind.

I think I used the phrase "I'm a failure" or "worthless" more than I should in these past few days.  I am so very fortunate that I have T by my side and wonderful friends who know me better than I know myself and have grabbed my hand as I'm sinking even though I didn't want to be saved.  

I don't like this dark place, and I certainly don't want to stay here.   I know I'm blessed.  I know I'm fortunate to have so many things in my life - T and Aubrey.  I'm totally aware of that.  It'll get better.  I know God has a plan through all of this.  I found the above picture on Facebook and keep trying to remind myself that, among other quotes.  "When you're going through hell, keep going."  "God doesn't give you anything you cannot handle."  "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger." "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength."  I repeat those over and over in my head.  

But I think the first thing is to acknowledge it.  Having been thrown for a loop, the rug pulled from underneath me, I'm in a dark place, a hole if you will, but there is only way to go.  And that is up, and it's a good thing I have loving hands reaching out to help pull me up.  

(FYI - I love you, T.  Thank you for everything you are and do.)

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


I came across an article the other day regarding a woman who had bravely bared her post-baby body in a way to show what is beautiful.  So many people, she said, only view thin, washboard abs, etc., as beauty.  However, like so many women out there, she said her stomach "smiled" at her.  You'd have to look at the picture to get what she said, but the extra skin and fat from her pregnancy makes a "smile" in a way.  I knew what she was talking about if you can't picture it but only because she's describing my body as well.  
The sad thing are the comments she received from her post.  Here are the ones she included:
“A lot of fat women use having given birth to children as an excuse…. that’s the reality.”
“How attractive, fat and stretch marks, cover that up, I just ate.”
“Sorry, I don’t like it. I don’t think it’s attractive or appropriate.”
“There is clearly a fat epidemic that there never used to be. It’s from lack of exercise except when lifting hand to mouth. Stop being PC and just say it how it is… no excuses.”
“Sorry but if your (sic) overweight you don’t have curves. That’s just excess fat hanging of your body.”
“Embracing Big Macs more like it.”
It is so easy for people to be so hateful when they are hidden behind the computer screen, isn't it?  Looking at the pictures of her, she is FAR from obese.  Seriously.  Something she posted in her response was a picture of her and her children hiking and another one of her in a sports bra showing her post-baby stomach.  They were both taken on the same day.  Same person, same day.  In the one of her hiking everyone commented how fit she looked.  But once they got a look at her stomach?  Obese!  Lazy!  Fat!
There are some women out there who are super lucky.  They are the ones who leave the hospital in the jeans they wore before pregnancy and many are able to get their abs back with exercise and diet.  However, one size does not fit all.  I am one of those women.  After Aubrey was born, I was what I considered overweight.  I know I was.  I was overweight before I had her.  It showed in my blood pressure.  I needed help in dealing with it so I did seek medical assistance with a doctor and dietitian and managed to lose 30 pounds.  My blood pressure is the lowest it has ever been, ever.  I run 5ks and mini-marathons.  At my last appointment with my doctor, she congratulated me on reaching my ideal weight and healthy BMI.  I wear a size I haven't worn since high school.  BUT....I have that stomach.  I have those stretch marks.  I have that scar and the sagging skin and fat around it.  I complained the doctor about that, she smiled at me and said you can do ab work for that, but it doesn't make you unhealthy.  You had a child.  You're a mom.
So when I see that picture that this woman took in the mirror, I see myself.  I hate looking at that part of my body.  I know that's wrong, but I am one of those women who thinks "ugh, I'm fat."  And these people, these hateful comments are the reason why women like me feel like that.  Because we hear it out there, we see it.  
For God's sake, she had a child.  The things that women's bodies go through during and after a pregnancy - your body does not always just bounce back if ever.  My hips will never go back to where they were before I carried Aubrey and honestly, it's not likely my stomach will.  It just isn't.  But that doesn't make my body any less beautiful.  And I feel weird even just typing those words because I don't think my body is beautiful.  

But isn't that the problem?  And these people aren't making it better.  

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Bucket list

I recently made a fellow writer friend who has gone through a bit of difficulty with her health this past year.  She has come out of it a survivor, which is totally awesome, but something she shared with me really stuck with me.  We were both going to be running in the Drumstick Dash on Thanksgiving, and she mentioned that doing a marathon was on her "bucket list."  While she was sick, she made a bucket list of everything she wanted to do before leaving this earth.  The scary thing is that was an actual possibility for her, so I could only imagine how she felt when creating it.  However, now that she is well, she is sticking to this list and seeing it through.  Life is too short, and she intends to live it to the fullest and not live in regret in "oh I should have done that."   How inspirational is that?  She shared some of her experiences, including a hot air balloon ride over the desert and trip to Europe.  

That left me thinking....if I were to create a bucket list, what would be on it?  Would I actually stick to it and see it through?  I brought that up with T on our date this past weekend and was surprised some of the things he had on his bucket list.  Some of them were things I never would have pegged him for, but I want to see him accomplish them because like what happened to this lady, life is too short, right?  

So I'm going to sit down and put it together and put it somewhere like our safe box.  And I'm going to do it.  It might take awhile, but like I said in my post yesterday with needing to create and treasure memories, I don't want to live my life in regret and hesitation.  Life is too short to not do those things you've always wanted to do.  

One of the things that at the top of this list?  Writing a book.  Stay tuned for more on that....

Monday, December 9, 2013

Making memories

Sorry for lack of content last Friday...that is what happens when I do the writing thing.  It's hard to keep up.  Plus, I managed to pull off a big work "open house" at our office.  So...busy, busy.  Actually I probably  have no excuse as Friday was a "snow day" for me and the Aubster, but seriously...doing any kind of "work" around Aubrey or even getting on the computer is a pipe dream.  I swear I'm going to hear the words "MOMMY!  BE BACK!!!" in my sleep.  Apparently anytime I leave her line of sight, this is her response.  And I was followed every time I went to the bathroom.  I swear, I just want to pee alone.  Serenity now!!!
It was a pretty chill weekend, minus the demands of a screaming two-year-old, but we did get some relief with a date night.  We finally got to use the Olive Garden gift card we won at the last marriage ministry event, so we went to church sans kid, dinner and then Target to finish up Santa presents.  It's not the most glamorous of dates, but it was fun.  We got a bottle of wine and of course, my favorite, tiramisu, for dessert.  The Santa thing was just a necessity, as there is no way we could pull that off with eagle eyes wanting to get everything we put in the cart.  
We were out for creating memories.  At the last marriage ministry event, we got an envelope of "mystery dates," where you had to take a sealed envelope and anything directed on the envelope with you.  This one was about memories - those from our childhood, dating, and now.  It was fun discussing times in the past and reliving those wonderful memories.  Something that we both noted was all of these memories were pre-Aubrey or even pre-marriage, which left us both asking whether we had become dull or "old married couple" too soon.  What happened to us?
I don't think that's the case, though, because I started bringing up fun times we had this past year just the two of us and those since we were married.  I think more than anything we seem to forget the ones post-Aubrey because we're both on autopilot as parents but also we focus so much on  being parents that we don't step back and take mental pictures of the memories we are also creating for us.  Those memories include Aubrey but they also include those times where we're alone, maybe out having fun or even just being home.  We both agreed we need to refocus and really take a step back and recognize those moments and memories.  
We have only been married for 3 years so I'm no expert but I can imagine this is something that is easy to fall into.  Some people don't ever recognize it until it's too late or never ever recognize it.  I don't want that to happen.  Some of my best memories ever have been with my best friend, T, by my side.  I look forward to those memories we have yet to create and I treasure all of the ones we have already created.
Speaking of creating memories....night on the town - 2 weeks away!  No kid for an entire night - yay!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

At a loss


Toddlers.  Oh, toddlers.  We're having a new "stage" with Miss Aubrey, and I'm at a loss.

Little Miss Thang seems to not want to nap at daycare, or at least she hasn't the past three days this week.  Not only does she not want to sleep at daycare, but she throws an all-out exorcism for the teachers in order to not sleep.  It got so bad on Tuesday that I went and took her home early, thinking she was getting sick or something.  But she's not.  And the not sleeping thing is only at daycare.  Any normal night, we put her down for bed, she's wide awake, kisses us good night and does not shed a tear as we close the door.  We stayed at my parent's house at Thanksgiving, and she readily took a nap and went to bed at night with absolutely no problems.  So what gives?

There could be a number of factors, really.  It's not teething because giving her Tylenol and a teething ring do nothing.  It's not that she doesn't have her comfort item as she has both her Butterfly and blanket with her.  And she loves her teachers.  The one thing that could be causing a problem is Aubrey emulating the behavior of another little girl in her class who is not adjusting at all to daycare.  This kid cries the entire time she's there, and they believe possibly Aubrey is mimicking her behavior because the other child gets attention.  Regardless of what the reason is, my kid is coming home exhausted.  

She falls asleep as soon as we leave the daycare, and then after our commute, we inevitably have to wake her.  She wakes up, disoriented and cranky, just miserable all around.  She's that way until we put her to bed, as she sobs through her bath out of exhaustion.  It's just so sad.  And I worry about the fact she is not getting this much needed rest.  

The thing that hurts even more is when the daycare calls to tell me she is upset, and I hear her in the background.  I went and got her on Tuesday, but I can't keep that up.  All that will do is teach her that if she cries, Mommy will come get her, right?  

Otherwise, the kid is as sweet as pie during the day, according to her teachers.  It is not until nap time that she throws these inconsolable fits.  I'm at a loss.  I don't know what to do.  It's not something that's a general behavior because she doesn't do it anywhere except daycare.  So it's not like T and I could do something at home to fix it.  But it makes me physically anxious thinking of her miserable at school.  I find myself praying all day that she gets at least 30 minutes of sleep or at least lays there calmly during nap.

But I'm at a loss.  I hate this whole "not knowing what's really going on because she can't talk" thing.  

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Sweet little words

My kid is growing up too quickly!  It's not a bad thing per se, but sometimes it's just like "wow, I cannot believe she's doing all of this now!"  Her new thing is using words to form full sentences.  It is so amazing how something that is effortless to us is so new and exciting for a little one.  And to me, it's the sweetest thing I have ever heard.  

Yesterday as T and I were putting her to bed, after reading one of her favorites, Snuggle Puppy, T picked her up to take her to the crib.  She always takes books with her to bed and quietly looks at them until she falls asleep.  (What can I say?  She is honestly a book worm already and she can't even read.)  Well, the book fell from her hands so I bent down to pick it up for her, and I hear the words "Thank you, Mommy" and she leaned in to kiss me.  Heart.  Melt.  Seriously, those three words absolutely made my day.  

This morning I kept sneezing when I was changing her diaper and each time I did that, she said "God bless you, Mommy."  At first I thought it was just me hearing things but every time she kept saying it.  

She's so silly in that she'll point out body parts while we're dressing her, too.  "Nose," pointing to my nose.  "Eyes" basically poking out my eyes.   And I suppose we should stop calling her toes little piggies because she refers to her toes as piggies, but it is too darn cute.  

Every time we leave the living room and head up to go to bed, she turns to the Christmas tree and says "Bye-bye tree!"  

I'm going to eat these moments up while I can, as well as those moments like last night when she kept hugging and kissing on me.  I know she will not always want to do that, so I'll take these mental pictures so that I can remember them later in life when she's a teenager and too embarrassed to even be seen around me.  Until then, it's amazing, those sweet little words.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Taco Tuesday

Random Tuesday, folks...I sit here Monday night trying to figure out what to type, and all I have is this first one, and's not enough to justify a full post.

Dear Silk, Let me be the first lactose intolerant person to say you suck for not bringing back the seasonal chocolate mint silk.  Seriously.  I love that stuff, and for 11 months I have dreamed of this chocolate, minty goodness.  Only to be disappointed that you are not making it this year.  No warning at all?  

And what's up, Target, with offering chocolate mint milk?  So you can let my husband enjoy this delicious concoction in all its glory, rubbing it in my face that I will become violently ill if I were to drink it?  What the hell?

That's it, I'm buying some mint syrup.  

Houston, we have a problem.  T and I are signed up to run a race Saturday morning, and not only is it going to be cold but also snowing.  Pushing a 35 lb toddler in a running stroller in the snow?  I'm not sure my body can do that.  Must figure out alternate plan ASAP.

So Aubrey loves our tree, especially the Sesame Street ornaments on the bottom.  These promptly come off the tree as soon as we get home.  It's kind of sweet.

She's also obsessed with lights.  If I turn on one of our living room lights, I must immediately turn on the one across the room or she will literally pull me there to turn it on.  Come on, Mom....get with it.  

Kids shows are kind of disturbing.  I love Sesame Street but some of the stuff on there just blows my mind.  Aubrey loves Lazy Town,'s from Iceland if that tells you anything, and no way in hell will I ever let her watch Cailou.  The other day the Wiggles were on, and when did they bring on a female Wiggle?  Mind. blown.

I think we have a makeup date night this weekend.  I don't want to jinx it because our sitter has had to reschedule twice on us, but keep your fingers crossed.  We need it.  I love me some Aubrey, but holy cow, I could use a time-out just every now and then.  Single way do I understand how you do it.  Mad props, you get mad props.  

In addition to a date night, I'm in desperate need of a girls evening.  L to the YN, you down?  

Speaking of girls' nights, back in the day at IU there was this amazingly delicious but cheap Mexican place that had a weekly "Taco Tuesday" where you could get the most amazing tacos for $1 each.  Hence my title.  I could so go for one of their potato tacos.  Sounds gross?  No, more like amazing.

I realize that I sound like some kind of douchey teenager with half of what I'm writing here.  I swear, I haven't lost my mind.  It's watching Finding Bigfoot.  I think Bobo is rubbing off on me.  

We had a monumentally crapptasitc Monday so keep your fingers crossed that today goes well.  Hope you all have a good day, too!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Gobble gobble!

I'm totally not okay with the fact that the long weekend is over.  Just in case you were wondering, I feel I should tell you all this.  But at least Christmas is like three weeks away so I guess I'll take solace in that.  Anyway, we had a pretty decent Thanksgiving. In good Nain and T style, we started it off like a bunch of crazy people at the ass-crack of dawn running in 20 degree weather.  We spent the night at my parent's house the night before so we could leave Aubrey with them and not subject her to our insanity.  The race was through Broadripple, and it was a 4.65 mile run (I am sure there's some significance to that number...), and I'm pretty proud.  I did 4.65 miles in 54:54:6.  That is an 11:48 pace which is an all-time best for me.  I was exhausted but still on my runner's high.....

And then my jam Ol' Dirty Bastard "Got your money" came on....and that made me even more excited, or perhaps I was just experiencing lack of oxygen at this point.

But I felt like I could relate to Ol' Dirty Bastard.  I mean, every time I get paid for writing I sing this song to T.  I'm such a G....

We headed back to my parent's house for merriment and cheer.  And like any good family holiday, that involves beverages.  Port in one hand, Merlot in the other.

Tired but relaxing and having a good time.  I joked that we never get pictures taken together anymore.  That's what happens when you stop dating, right?

Aubrey had a ton of fun with my family, especially her cousins...

Trying to walk in Papaw's shoes...

Mommy's little turkey....

The next day T and I decorated after Aubrey went to bed.  I must say decorating when you have a 2-year-old is tough with the "will she break this?" or "will she be able to reach this?" with everything.  She was so excited to see the tree the next morning.  Mommy took the opportunity to take a few pictures for Christmas cards.  Here are some sneak peaks....

Well, this one isn't a Christmas card one...but I wanted to take a picture with my girl.

Isn't she the cutest little Santa ever?

Alabama v. Auburn game tragedy aside, it was a pretty good holiday.  I look forward to another one, because did I mention how not happy I am to have to get back to the norm?