Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Farm Fun


I'm sure I've mentioned this before, but it bears repeating. The best role I play in life is that of "Aunt". My niece and nephew simply light up my life with their precious smiles, unending curiosity, hilarious quotes, and unceasing energy. They have a way of keeping me grounded and allowing me to see the world through fresh and innocent eyes. Their world is untainted and beautiful- and I desperately wish I always saw through their unjaded filter.
This past weekend the kids and I took a trip to Old McDonald Farm where we gallivanted around the property going from the petting zoo, to the hay rides, to the pumpkin patch, and of course to the majestic horses. It was an afternoon full of fun and excitement- and I for one felt privileged to have experienced it with them.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Mom Hair- I'm too young for it

Ok- deep breaths. I can do this. I can handle the abomination that is my new horrid hair cut.
It's just hair. It's just hair.
My hair does not define me. It only sits on top of my head for the world to see.
Wait- no! Its ok. I'm fine. The important thing is I'm alive. Reality check please!
I can rock any style right? Even if I came out of the salon looking like I had a forty year old "mom" do on my cute 21 year old body. I can still rock that. I'll set a new trend- who needs great hair when you have great confidence....
Now where do I get some great confidence... hmmm.
Maybe I'll steal some from my gorgeous model sister Bri.
Oh and did I mention- I have a photo shoot with her today. Not only is she tall and thin and beautiful beyond words, I have to stand next to her- with MOM HAIR!!!
Great!
My life ladies and gentleman.
No offense God- but your sense of humor is seriously lacking today.
*Sigh* Why can't I look cute?? Just once! I dont need a perfectly toned body or a clear flawless complexion. I dont need amazingly expensive clothes or top of the line make-up.
But as vain as it sounds- I NEED my hair. I need one thing I love. One thing I feel good about. I need one worldly thing I can hold onto and be proud of.
But apparently God has a different opinion- so this is what I'm stuck with.....


Tuesday, October 20, 2009


In the midst of the chaotic life I often lead, I've learned my survival depends not upon the food I feed my body, but rather the food I feed my soul. Its my "soul food" if you will. The things that make my heart happy despite bad circumstances or difficult trials. They're the things that bring me joy, ground my soul, and remind me of God's deep love. I can't imagine my life without dancing in my apartment while I clean, or without spontaneous road trips with girlfriends who make me laugh, or morning bike rides with my sister, or quiet picnics in the park, or reading under the shade of a big tree, or spending daily quiet time with the Lord, or tickling babies and hearing their sweet giggles, or eating ice cream with a fork right out of the container, or playing board games while drinking a beer, or roller blading at 10:00 at night, or listening to music in the car and letting it wash over me, or feeding my unhealthy obsession with all things reality TV related, or having coffee with friends at cute coffee shops. It's only by the grace of God I'm able to get through the mundane day to day responsibilities I have, but dont be fooled- I dont thrive on the mundane, I thrive on the moments that feed my soul, refresh my spirit, and give me a renewed energy to press onward.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

My Soul Sister

Ever since the day I heard my first Alanis Morissette song, I was addicted. I adore her free spirit, independent style, honest lyrics, and her love for all things humanitarian related. She's wonderful. I basically want to be her- ok on second thought I don't want to be her- but she is perhaps one of the greatest inspirations to me. So its no surprise when I received a email newsletter from NEDA (National Eating Disorder Association) yesterday that I almost fell off my chair when they announced Alanis Morissette had just completed the Bizz Johnson Marathon (26.2 miles!) with NEDA as her organization of choice!! I knew it- I just knew Alanis and I were kindred spirits!! Not only is she passionate about stopping eating disorders, but she also personally knows the pain of having one and now has a passion to raise greater awareness.
*SIGH* - I love it!
Here is Alanis Morissette's interview with NEDA:

1. What motivated you to run a Marathon?

I was excited to have my orientation shift from viewing my body singularly as an ornament to that of being an instrument…and I had begun running for the first time about a year ago, after having been inspired on my tour by watching my assistant leah run like a gazelle every time we would work out.

2. How did you choose the National Eating Disorders as your charity of choice for the run?

I knew that the training for the marathon would not be sustainable if it weren’t for some star of Bethlehem for me to look to throughout it. Infusing the training with a real sense of purpose and contribution was what would make it possible for me. For me to offer up the run to this higher cause. I have seen the positive effects of movement (empowerment, attunement, care, considerate “fueling”, sleep, rest etc) and I wanted to offer this run to anyone who has had a fraught relationship with their food, their body and their heart and soul.

3. Were you worried that training for a marathon might trigger some eating disordered type behaviors?

I was worried, and it did. And I forgave myself. And was gentle. And I saw that there was no way for me to maintain a high level of energy to do the training if I was under eating or eating in a way that wasn’t caring. So the training itself created a great context and container for me to find a balance in how I fueled myself. I was able to tune into the subtleties of what made me run faster and with more fire.

4. What is your number one goal in this marathon? Is it about speed, the accomplishment if finishing or making a statement about getting healthy and overcoming an eating disorder?

I don’t know if an eating disorder can be “beaten” as much as it can be loved and understood into some personal version of harmony. I knew that the training for this would take my healing to another level. My main goal began with my wanting to finish it. As I trained, my goal began to run at an increasingly faster pace..which became the case. Super exciting.

5. How do you think you will feel after you complete this marathon?

Relieved, excited, exhausted, happy. Ready to celebrate. :-)

6. What would you tell people who become obsessed with over exercise?

It’s another sneaky version of bulimia. And that it too warrants gentleness and inquiry. Asking myself questions about why I ate more than I needed (was I staving off loneliness? Was I angry? Was I tired? Did I need snuggles and couldn’t find them? Etc) and then I would look to why I was training. what helped the most was the great structure to the training, its’ benefits were immeasurabe. Ie: I never really went above what I had committed to doing in the training, and my assistant leah and I were accountable to each other (SO important to have this!) and supported each other when we needed to take it easy. And also championed each other when we needed a little wind in our sails. So inquiry, gentleness, and accountability with a caring a wise friend all helped.

7. Where do you draw the line of healthy exercise vs. over obsessive exercise?

I am onto myself these days. So I can tell when I am being obsessive. There is a fiendy quality to the run (and often it is done when I am beyond tired, often at night. So too many late night time runs—not always—can indicate my being obsessive. I have the order of priorities: sleep first. Food second. Running third. So if I don’t have the first two nailed, I can’t run. So it incentivized me to nurture the first two. When I run healthfully I feel empowered and kind. When I run obsessively I feel nervous, stressed out and disassociated.

8. For far too long, eating disorders have been stigmatized and treated as lifestyle choices rather than the serious illnesses that they are. Do you understand how powerful it is that you are willing to stand up and advocate on behalf of NEDA and people struggling with these illnesses that they represent?

Yes I do. It has been at the front of my mind throughout the entire training for me. I have often become choked up on my runs because of it. This relationship with my body and heart and feelings and food and hormones and structure is so delicate and fragile at times…and is complicated in a way a lot of people don’t understand. There can be a flippancy and lack of empathy toward it based on people’s limited understanding. The care and sense of love and community around this subject that I share with fellow strugglers is all the more profound based on the massive misunderstandings that there have been around it. I am writing a book right now and I get into this subject even more in it.

9. Why do you think so many people remain silent about eating disorders?

There’s this perception that overeating is for the weak-willed. But you have never met a more steeled and brave and willfull person as anyone addressing weight and food issues. We are all very smart and steely and there is so much to an eating disorder beyond what people know. There is shame around it as well based on the fact that you often can’t hide your struggle. Many addictions can be hidden and swept under the rug. Often peoples’ struggle with food is evidenced physically. There is great shame that underlies this struggle. And added shame at the fact that there is not a lot of empathy for how intricate and complex the disorder is. I am happy to stand by people (and myself) in this healing, because I understand first hand how there are so many elements that play into it, far beyond the “self-control” admonition that if often hurled at us.

10. Do you see our society doing any better in promoting health rather than size?

I do see there being many more books and articles out there about health. And that’s exciting. However I still see the skew being toward “health for skinny-ness” orientation. Weight loss or gain as an incidental aspect of becoming healthier is exactly that: incidental and unavoidable in a cause and effect kind of way. But ultimately a shift toward greater health is its’ own reward…the energy and sense of well-being and self-love and care are the great brass rings. Sleeping better. Improving our relationship with ourselves, with our feelings, with our sense of spirit, with our friends and lovers and family….it is a holistic shift…not one that is carried by chasing a number on a scale. I do notice that the shift in pop culture has moved toward a body composition conversation versus an outright weight conversation. I see that personalizing a lifestyle skewed toward healthful eating and movement and relating is the key piece. Because otherwise, any change is going to be temporary at best.

11. In your industry, do you feel a lot of pressure to be perfect?

Yes. And that has gotten more extreme with plastic surgery etc being so commonplace. Almost expected of you at this point. I do notice though, that I never feel more beautiful than when I am well fed, well rested and well “moved” as I call it (exercise/dancing etc). I feel so alive when my hormones and sensual pleasure is considered, when the spiritual and emotional aspects of myself are tended to. and when I am tuning in my wounded, fragile parts and my feelings with inquiry rather than food. Beyond that, make up and clothes and color and hairstyle become fun in an incidental, fun and secondary way.

12. As a terrific talent and role model, what would you tell young people struggling with eating disorders?

I would tell them that they are not alone. That they are not crazy. That they are not weak and faint-willed. I would tell them that there is a way toward love and care and self-acceptance, and that it is a process and that takes time, and that time is all we have. And that there is support here for us. And that unconditional love does exist. that there is a way toward a sense of beauty that transcends AND includes color and cut and whimsy and sexiness outside of the confines of what 2% of all human beings look like. And that health is the portal to the unique version of a felt beauty that we all possess.



Thank you Alanis!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Now that's more like it!

Its not about being "a size zero" or "plus sized", its about being your own natural healthy weight. Its about embracing the body God gave you and not shoving it into a size you were never meant to fit. Bravo to these brave and stunningly beautiful women! We need more images like these in our magazines.
Below is an interview with the amazing women in this picture. Although the video is a bit lengthy (10min) I highly encourage all of you to watch it in its entirety.
Enjoy.
P.S. Please support Glamor Magazine's effort to widen the definition of beauty by picking up an issue today. Thankfully, the magazine has now promised to picture women of all sizes and ethnicity in every issue they run! Hallelujah!!

video

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Femininity

I'm embarking on a new journey of discovery as I attempt to answer a simple question central to the soul of a woman- What is femininity? What makes us feminine? Or unfeminine? Does femininity mean frilly skirts, the color pink, high healed shoes, baking skills, and an Anthropologie wardrobe? Am I unfeminine if I prefer my stretchy sweat pants and men's Hanes T-shirt? What happens if I don't always fit the role of patient, loving, nurturing, and soft spoken? What if my spirit is not always gentle and quiet? What if I choose to wear dark colors or slouchy boyfriend jeans- am I less of a woman? Does it make me unfeminine?
As women we are constantly bombarded with images and opinions of what it means to be feminine. We've been taught that good girls don't drink beer, play sports, wear dark colors, or speak their mind. We're encouraged to properly accessorize, speak softly, keep a clean home, and send prompt thank you cards. And if these are the things that make me a women- boy am I in trouble! But what if we stop defining femininity in such narrow terms, if we open our minds to the true soul of a woman, what will we find? What makes women- all women- feminine??
"The emancipation begins neither at the polls nor the courts. It begins in a woman's soul."
-Emma Goldman

Tattoo

It may be hard to see my tattoo in this picture, but it is indeed there.
As a matter of fact, my tattoo will always be there.
It reminds me everyday of what a magnificent artist God is.
It reminds me that I am "fearfully and wonderfully made".
It reminds me that I am passionately loved by the God of this universe.
Its my permanent reminder. An unremoveable extremely sticky post-it note if you will.
As an artist once said, "A tattoo is romantic, unreasonable, thoughtless and eternal all at the same time. Therefore, I love them."

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Prayer for my future husband

Lord God,
your Word declares that if I delight myself in you—if I enjoy and seek your pleasure above mine—you'll give me the desires of my heart (Psalm 37:4). Desiring a husband is neither evil nor selfish because marriage is honorable (Hebrews 13:4). At the beginning of creation, you proclaimed, "It is not good that man should be alone" and then you created Eve to be a suitable partner for Adam (Genesis 2:18). In the name of Jesus, I ask that you would protect the husband—a suitable partner—you have chosen for me. Because the covenant of marriage is sacred (Mark 10:9), I ask for a man of God. Please give me a husband whose love for me is only outmatched by his love for you; a man who will cherish me and build me up (Proverbs 31:28); a man who will honor me (I Peter 3:7) and our marriage vows; a man who will be a good father and provider; a man whom I will be attracted to physically, emotionally, and spiritually; a man who will love me as Christ loved the church (Ephesians 5:25). Keep me from attaching myself to another man out of desperation. I will not settle for a relationship that's second best, convenient, or one that feeds my insecurities. Guard my purity and give me the patience to wait. And when I meet him, confirm to me that he is the one. Release from me the baggage of past relationships, and prepare me for the man You have chosen to be my husband. Free me from any hindrances to a healthy and godly marriage: insecurities, habitual sins, selfishness, and emotional hurts. Dispel my unrealistic expectations that set me up for disappointment. I place my trust in you rather than my partner. In this period of waiting, I will look to you alone to be my companion and best friend. You are the one who redeems my life from the pit, who crowns me with love and compassion, who satisfies my desires with good things (Psalm 103:4-5). I will not be anxious, but as I present my requests to you, flood me with the peace that surpasses all understanding so my heart and my mind are guarded in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6,7). In this request, I commit myself to trust you and do good, to dwell in the land and feed on your faithfulness. I commit my way to you and trust that you will bring it to pass (Psalm 37:35)
Amen
~Author Unknown

Friday, October 9, 2009

Time to get angry

I'm not about to get on my "soapbox" and preach why this photo is horrendously offensive. I'm simply going to let you judge it for yourself. I'm posting it not because I condone it, but because I want you to get as fired up and as angry as it makes me. Keep in mind this ad is one that is currently running in multiple women's magazines today. Its sick.

Its Friday!

Friday nights are glorious! They mark the end of the busy week and the beginning of the oh-so-beloved weekend. Typically Friday nights are my evenings to embrace my inner nerd. Nothing says "why hello weekend" like a glass of wine, sweat pants, candles, and a good book. But not tonight. Nope- tonight I'm heading out with my girlfriends. It'll be a night of cocktails, laughter, and good company. Where are we going you ask??
We'll be starting off our night at Bar North for drinks
Then off to Jesterz for an improv comedy show!
Pictures of the evening coming soon.....
HAPPY FRIDAY everyone!!!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Learning

I'm currently in the process of finding out who I am. I find no shame in trying new things, going new places, and experiencing the world in a way not previously done. I will undoubtedly try and fail many times over. I will run when I should have walked and say things I probably shouldn't. But I'm not afraid to try. I'm not afraid of what others think of me, I'm not afraid of being different, and most importantly I'm not afraid to take a risk- big or small. I'm eclectic, inconsistent, and totally sporadic... and I love it. I've come to realize I am not defined by the things I have, the clothes I wear, or the talents I lack. I can only be defined by who I am in Christ. I'm letting go of judgment and criticism. I'm realizing I can't please everyone. I'm making peace with whoever it is I am. And most importantly, I'm choosing to follow God and seek His approval above all else. Don't get me wrong- I too judge. As a matter of fact I'm guilty of gossiping about my friends, envying what others have, criticizing the appearances of strangers, arguing with the people I love, saying things I don't mean, lacking patients when its needed most, and intentionally going against what God asks of me. I'm imperfect. But with each mistake I make I learn more about the woman I want to be. I'm learning to hold my tongue when my defensive urges come rushing over me. I'm learning to treat others with the same grace God shows me. I'm learning to open my mind to different ways of life. I'm learning my words to others are powerful. And I'm learning my opinions are my own and cannot be taken from me.
Yes, I'm learning- and I love it.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Not Me Monday

Wow has it really been a few months since I last wrote a "Not Me Monday" post?!?
Well- that is just simply unacceptable.
Its time for another sweet round of denial.
Get Ready.... Get Set..... Its NOT ME MONDAY!!!!
Not Me Monday:
  1. I was NOT so excited that fall is finally here in Arizona that I slept with my window wide open only to find myself covered in annoyingly itchy bug bites this morning. I am NOT that dumb.
  2. I did NOT get totally excited dusting and vacuuming my apartment today. And I do NOT think vacuum lines are better than shopping.
  3. My dog Tirzah did NOT jump up into my kitchen sink, tear out my garbage disposal opening, and proceed to eat everything in the disposal. That would be disgusting and totally NOT something she would do.
  4. I did NOT spend over an hour trying to figure out what I would wear to work even though I knew the kids would most likely spill juice or some kind of bodily fluids on me at some point anyway.
  5. I did NOT let Ty(my 2 yr old nephew) go to town on chocolate covered raisins in the grocery store so I could get my shopping done.
  6. I am NOT currently listening to "Paper Planes" by MIA. Nope NOT me- I'm a good girl who only listens to music about puppy dogs and rainbows remember??
  7. I do NOT agree with Carrie Underwood when she says..."the more boys I meet- the more I love my dog"
  8. I am NOT desperately trying to rock the hippie head scarf even though it looks ridiculous on me.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Fall is fast approaching and my wardrobe cant wait!!!

*SNIFF SNIFF*
mmmmmmmmm.....
Is that Fall I smell??
Ok so maybe its not quite fall I smell yet, but rather my oh-so-delicious pumpkin spice candle burning.
Regardless, Fall in Arizona is fast approaching. My soul loves the cool refreshing mornings and evening breezes that tousle my hair about. Its pure magic. And after my very first Arizona summer, I'm more than ready to embrace the cooling weather.
With fall comes some of my favorite things- like colorful leaves, warm rich soups, scarfs, sweaters, boots, leggings, hats.... wait- what was I talking about again?? Oh ya, Fall. Its a beautiful time of year indeed. Just yesterday I decided to pull out my fall wardrobe and with the things I already have, reinvent my style. I'm taking the old and making it new. All day I've been dreaming of the fall'ish' outfit I'll be donning tonight as I gallivant around the Tempe art festival with a few equally fall fashionable friends.
This year I'm finding myself inspired by layers. Lot and lots of layers. I'm talking drappy sweaters, long necklaces, multiple scarves, and boots with leggings. Basically- if I can layer it, you can bet I'll be wearing it.
Here are a few fashion inspirations for you to drool over with me....









In the words of Rachel Zoe (AKA fashion guru)- "I die!"
"Nothing of me is original. I am the combined effort of everybody I've ever known."
~Chuck Palahnuik

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Today

Today I'm seeking peace.
Today I'm choosing to guard my heart as God calls me to do.
Today my prayers are filled with an over abundance of questions.
Today I have no answers, no warm fuzzy feelings, or empathy.
No, today I simply realize that God is the only one I cant live without.
His peace sustains me today...
John 16:33 – “I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Romans 5:1-5 – “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.”

John 14:27 – “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

Philippians 4:6-7 – “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Colossians 3:15 – “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

Romans 14:19 – “Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.”

Romans 16:20 – “The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.”

Job 21:23 – “Submit to God and be at peace with Him…”

Isaiah 26:12 – “Lord you establish peace for us; all that we have accomplished you have done for us.”

Proverbs 4:23 – “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flows the spring of life.”