Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Yoga Pants Debate

In the last few years, but particularly in recent weeks, there has been a lot of debate about the appropriateness – or lack thereof – of Yoga pants and leggings.  One blogger recently wrote a post about her decision to honor God and her husband by ceasing to wear the aforementioned pants.  Because her leggings were attracting lustful thoughts from other men.

As far as my ass is concerned, I’m certain that no lustful thoughts are being directed at it.  Ever.  But when it comes to yoga pants – which I wear so often my husband calls them my uniform – my entire lower half looks like I was beaten with a bag of quarters before packing my skin with cottage cheese.  Not exactly lust-attracting.

Thanks Ryan
*I do not own the rights to this image.


Either this “God-and-husband-honoring” girl has amazing legs or a highly elevated sense of self.  But I hope that she is also planning on giving up skirts, bathing suits, shirts, jeans, shorts, dresses, pajama pants, burkas, saris, makeup, skin, hair, sweat pants, boobs, undergarments, her face, and all of her limbs.  Also breathing.  And leaving the house.  Because lust and desire are always present, and clothes don’t typically stop someone from feeling attraction.  Oh, and also she should maybe stop placing the blame on herself for the actions of men.
                                                                                                                                    
I have also seen women body-shame other women about the way they look in Yoga pants and leggings.  Stop being bitches, ladies.  The way we look in specific pants shouldn’t deem them appropriate or inappropriate.  I mean, leggings and yoga pants are simply making our legs look like what they actually are: legs.  The nerve!  Unless your pants are completely see-through, you’re rocking a camel toe the size of the Grand Canyon, or your vagina is hanging out of a hole in the crotch, then I think you are likely fine.

When I am not at work or out on a date with Mr. B, then I am in Yoga pants.  Mostly because I have aspirations of going to the gym each day and I hate doing needless extra laundry.  But also because they are comfortable as hell.  They suck in my tummy a little and let me move freely as I play with Little K, walk The Girls, and run up and down the stairs all damn day in this godforsaken split-level house we bought.  And if I do go somewhere, I always hope the people I run into will think, “Geez she must work out all the time!  She always looks like she just came from the gym.”  But in all likelihood, they aren't thinking about me nearly as much as I think about me.

But seriously.
*I do not own the rights to this image.


Back to the husband-honoring thing...  The only conversation Mr. B and I have ever had about my choice of pants was this one:


Do you think these leggings are a little too tight?  I haven’t worn them for a while and I think I might need a bigger size.”
No I think they are fine.”
Are you sure?”
Yep.  But some of your Yoga pants aren’t looking so good.”
Excuse me?!”
Yeah.  The other day I noticed one of your pairs was looking kind of thin.  I could see your underwear through them.”
Oh my God!  Are you kidding me?  I wear Yoga pants to the chiropractor!  He has probably seen my underwear through my pants!  I go grocery shopping in them!  The whole town and all of the people who work at the coffee shop probably know what color my underwear are!  Why didn’t you tell me?”
Probably.  I thought you knew.”
What do you mean, you thought I knew?!?!”
I just assumed you didn’t care.”
Well I may not dress like I care, but good Lord, babe!  I don’t want everyone to see my underwear!”


He literally could not care any less about the pants I put on my ass.  Although I am a little pumped concerned that he is totally okay with the amount that I have “let myself go”.  What’s great is that every time I put on jeans and makeup, he is really impressed with my beauty.  It’s a pretty sneaky strategy.

The only time I have ever given my Yoga pants and leggings a second thought was after Mr. B’s helpful insight, and it was only to bend over in front of the mirror and check my underwear situation – which isn't exactly easy.

-Do I think that dressing appropriately for certain situations is important?  Yes.  I would not go to church in my bathing suit (though I really try not to ever wear a bathing suit).

-Do I think that there is a benefit in being modest?  Of course.  But modesty means something different to everyone.

-Do I think that the bagina and the ta-tas should stay covered?  Yep.  Particularly if a child’s head has deformed the lower and pregnancy and age have lengthened the upper.  Also for sanitary reasons.

-Do I think you should dress in a way that brings you comfort both physically and mentally?  Yes.  You deserve to be able to move your body unrestricted and with comfort.  

-Do I think you should feel shame for having a body or for having legs that look like legs?  No way.

-Do I think blaming specific items of clothing for creating lust is perpetuating Rape Culture?  100% yes.

-Do I think that it’s absolutely absurd for schools to ban the wearing of skinny jeans, Yoga pants, and leggings?  Obviously, yes.  It’s absolutely inappropriate for schools to sexualize the bodies of young girls.  Kids with raging hormones lust after one another no matter what kind of clothing is banned; and one person's clothing should never be the blame of another person's inappropriate behavior.



I also think it’s highly unlikely that God is as interested in your wardrobe choices as much as He is interested in your heart and mind and actions.  I doubt your husband cares if you wear spandex or jeans or lingerie.  I’m pretty sure that as long as you spend time with his lower brain on a fairly regular basis, he wouldn't care if you made your own clothes out of duct tape, rat hair, and glass shards – he just might not accompany you anywhere in public.

Be comfortable.  Wear leggings.  And thank you for keeping me In Good Company.




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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Breathe

Recently I was diagnosed with Adult-Onset Asthma.  Nothing is cooler than finding out you have asthma at age 31.  In all honesty, I’ve probably had Exercise-Induced Asthma my entire life; I was just never good enough at any sport for anyone to really look into the issue.  Running has always felt impossible – running more than 100 meters would cause me to gasp for air.  With the help of CrossFit, I have strengthened my lungs and can run 800 meters before I feel like I want to die.  Yet the hatred I have for running still burns deep within me.

In Good Company: Breathe
I do not own the rights to this image.

I am a big fan of the indoors.  Like I always say, I really do prefer my air to be purchased.  I think it’s because being outside makes me feel like a bag of shit.  Likely because my allergies (which are fairly bad seeing as we live in one of the worst areas for allergy sufferers in the entire country) have negatively affected the asthma I didn’t know I had.


In Good Company: Breathe
I do not own the rights to this image.


So back to the Adult-Onset Asthma.  I use a daily preventative inhaler now.  And also a rescue inhaler to use prior to exposure to cold, dry air, pollen saturated air, extreme heat, high humidity, and before/during exercise.  So, pretty much every day.

The difference has been incredible.  I am sleeping better, waking more rested, breathing more efficiently during workouts, tolerating outdoor air with not much more than itchy eyes, and I have more energy.  I guess oxygen is pretty important.

In Good Company: Breathe
I do not own the rights to this image.


My doctor and I hope that if we can keep my lungs healthy, my season of sickness each year – which lasts from Thanksgiving to Valentine’s Day – will become minimal.  If this happens, then I can probably avoid the allergy shots he suggested.

While I still prefer the great indoors, this weather we are having in Kansas right now is just divine.  I have felt a spark in my soul that I haven’t felt in a while.  It just feels…. cleansing.  As I write on this January evening, my windows are open and my curtains are blowing in the soft breeze.  I want to be outside.

Yesterday I took The Girls on a walk while Little K rode his bike ahead of us; then we went to the park.  Today Little K and I played baseball and football in the front yard.  It felt like a fleeting gift to have the sun shine down warm on my shoulders.

In Good Company: Breathe
Little K, Ruby Sue, and Daisy Louise enjoying the fresh air.


I know that winter weather will return before spring finally arrives for good, but until then I am thankful to get to breathe in the sunshine.




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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

If You Love Me, Let Me Sleep

Irritating habits.  We all have them.  I mean, I don’t; but you all do.  I’m certain that it is completely endearing that I interrupt people when they are talking or blurt out obscenities at inappropriate times.  I know everyone loves that I talk non-stop, and that I worry about everything, catastrophically over-think each situation, talk about my dogs all the time, whine, and roll my eyes a lot.
                                                              
I’m basically a thirteen year old.  See?  Adorable.

Probably my most annoying thing is my hatred of mornings, or at least it’s the worst as far as Mr. B is concerned.  People told me growing up that the real world would be a rude awakening to me and that eventually I would grow to be a morning person.  Well, not everyone.  While I was pregnant, one person rudely said, How do you think you are ever going to hear your baby crying when you can’t even hear your alarm?”  But I digress.

The thing is, my body and brain want to stay awake until 2:00am and then sleep until 11:00am.  The real world doesn’t work that way.  And everyone was right, it is rude.  I feel like mornings could probably come at a much more convenient time.  I act as a responsible adult on weekdays, and am often out of bed before Mr. B.  On days I go to work, I function with the help of mass amounts of coffee, and get where I need to be on time.  On mornings I need to go to the gym, I have coffee after my workout -- because I'd rather not have my coffee kick in while I'm squatting, if you know what I mean -- and I'm generally a few minutes late.
In Good Company: If you love me, let me sleep
I do not own the rights to this image.


Weekends are another story.  My perfect Sunday does not include a bra.  It does, however, include sleeping until 11:00, taking an afternoon nap, staying in my pajamas until it’s time to put on a new pair, and not brushing my teeth until bedtime.  Lazy and disgusting?  Yes.  Wonderful?  Oh yes.

In Good Company: If you love me, let me sleep
When I woke up from a Sunday nap to find Mr. B had taken
my one pop for the week.  This is the text he received.


Mr. B is a morning person.  7:30 is sleeping in as far as he is concerned.  This drives. me. insane.  Particularly because he begins talking the minute he wakes up.  And he’s so effing motivated.  This isn’t a bad thing, persay.  It’s just that I would much prefer to talk about important things or start ripping out cabinets at, say, 4pm.  But, Saturday mornings roll around and he’s all, Hey babe!  I have some ideas I want to bounce off you!”  And I’m all, I have some bricks I’d like to bounce off you right now.”  Or he says, Get up, I need your help outside,” and I reply with, I hate outside.  That is absolutely the worst possible way to try to get me out of this bed.”  He says, Come on, babe.  Get up.”  I say, If you really loved me, you would let me sleep.”

In Good Company: If you love me, let me sleep
I do not own the rights to this image.


I don't fantasize about male models or actors,  No, my fantasies come in the form of thinking about how wonderful it would be to go to sleep one night a month, and wake up on my own without anyone bothering me.

Even Little K is well aware of my need for 15 hours of sleep a day on the weekends.  I recently heard him say, Daddy, don’t wake Mommy up!  It will hurt her feelings!”  And that is how he got a pony.  Not a real pony of course.  Okay, I didn’t get him a pony at all – because, while he didn’t want Mr. B to wake me up, he has no idea what it means to let someone sleep (or poop) in peace.

Unfortunately, Little K seems to have inherited Mr. B’s sleep gene.  Sort of.  On Saturdays and Sundays he is up with bright eyes by 7:30, no matter what time he went to bed.  During the week, I have to drag his limp sleeping body out of bed at 7:00 (even after having gone to bed at 7:30 the night before) so he can sit and stare at his breakfast for 30 minutes while bitching about being hungry but not being able to eat because of something catastrophic like, you know, chapped lips, a hangnail, begging dogs, or lack of Ninja Turtle socks.  He’s five years old and I still have to dress him for school while he wobbles around like a drunken fraternity boy and begs to go back to bed.  I can’t even get mad at him – he’s speaking my language.

I think I am so resistant to being vertical on the weekends because I know that Mr. B is home.  I can rest and know that he’s got things taken care of – because he’s remarkable (and handsome, but that’s not really on topic).  After spending all week running hundreds of errands, driving a mom taxi, cleaning the house, cooking, taking care of everything household-related, working out, etc; it's nice to know that someone else has got this.

Caffeine is the only way around my morning loathing.  Mass amounts of coffee.  Mr. B and Little K have both learned that the promise of good coffee is the best way to raise me from that deep sleep I can only settle into on weekend mornings.  Little K whispered softly one recent Saturday, Daddy and I are going to get donuts.  Can we bring you a coffee?”  Yes please!”  Extra shot of ‘spresso?”  You know it.  Don’t forget.”  I won’t.  I’ll tell Daddy.”

In Good Company: If you love me, let me sleep
I do not own the rights to this image.


So, I guess I’m in the market for a pony now.





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Girdles a.k.a. The 9th Level of Hell

Monday, January 26, 2015

Butt-Crack Stretch Marks

A few weeks ago, as my shirt rode up my back, Little K took notice of the stretch marks that cover my impressive muffin-top.

Mom, what are those?”
What are what?”
Those… lines on you.  On your skin.”

The accurate answer of how skin stretches sometimes and leaves little scars didn’t even come close to entering my brain.  Because, science.  Obviously.

Well, buddy, when mommies have babies, God gives us awards on our skin.  So after I became your mommy, I got these blue ribbons as a prize.  Because mommies are special and these awards help me remember that.”
Oh.  I have one of those.”
What?  You do not.”
Yes I do.”
No you do not have any stretch marks.”
I do too!  It’s right here!”

At this point, Little K bends over, spreads his cheeks apart, and points right at his butt-crack.

See mom?!?!”

Laughing hysterically, I wasn’t even able to reply to him.  It was hilarious, adorable, and innocent all at once.  And I couldn’t figure out if he thinks maybe I’m really covered in butt-cracks all over.

Mistakenly, at Little K’s well-child check, I told the pediatrician this story.  The pediatrician who, while an excellent doctor, has an incredibly dry sense of humor – if any at all.  The awkward – and laugh-less – silence that filled the room caused me to begin immediately and profusely sweating.  He cleared his throat, quietly thanked us for coming, and quickly left.

I suppose not everyone thinks I am as funny as I do.  The internet might be included in this.  Because, as you might notice, I wasn’t able to find any applicable stock photos in a search for “covered in butt-cracks”, “too many butt-cracks”, or “butt-crack stretch marks”.





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Saturday, January 3, 2015

Choose Joy - Stay Weird - Make Mistakes

On New Year’s Eve we celebrated the one year anniversary of being in our new house, and, as our typical fashion, we got C.R.A.Z.Y.  And by crazy, I mean we hung out in our jammies and let Little K stay up late enough to watch Ryan Seacrest count while the ball dropped.  All of this while I sucked on cough drops next to my eucalyptus humidifier.  Like I said, crazy.

We had planned to ring in the New Year with our dear friends, T and Ash; but, as 2014 has taught me over and over, things don’t always go as planned.  They were forced to hang out with their not-so-good friends Croup and Influenza instead of us.  While we were all disappointed to postpone their visit, it turned out to be a nice, relaxing evening.  And I was happy to finally complete a few projects around the house before the year ended (I replaced the curtain rods on every single one of our windows and finally put up my “black and white wall” in our bedroom).

Choose Joy - Stay Weird - Make Mistakes (In Good Company)
The numbers are significant to our birthdays and anniversary.

We very rarely make resolutions, but as we were putting a very sleepy Little K to bed, we talked about our hopes for 2015.  Mr. B and I both said we hope to eat healthier and exercise more; I want to quit drinking soda, go to church more and visit the zoos in our area; Mr. B hopes to go on a family vacation; and I want to look at my phone less and Little K’s face more.  Little K’s only hope for the New Year is to not have his birthday in the winter anymore – sorry buddy.

While we watched performers I no longer am current enough to recognize, Mr. B dozed off and I reflected on the past year and what it has taught me.  It’s been a rough one up until the very end (my car slid on the ice and hit a giant SUV two days before the year’s finish), but it’s also been a really important one.

I was given the gift of kindness and support over and over and over in 2014.  There were days where I was barely functioning, and someone would send me a message/email/text of support; once someone showed up on my doorstep with a basket of flowers, another time a card that still brings tears to my eyes when I read it and a coffee cup stamped with words of encouragement.  Coffee dates and phone conversations were the salve that kept my soul alive in 2014 (and naps – so many naps).


My heart felt particularly tender around my birthday and Christmas; I think because I had expectations of having had another baby by the end of the year.  Although we have long abandoned hope and effort of extending the human part of our family, I still felt very fragile and exhausted.  And, more than ever before, I was missing my dear sweet Grandma.  She has been gone 5 years, as she passed while I was pregnant with Little K.  But her absence seemed so much greater during this past holiday season.

I was given some very sweet gifts for my birthday and Christmas from friends and family, but the simplest and most thoughtful ones made the biggest impact on my aching heart.

My parents gave me the roll pan that had belonged to Grandma; a gift that made me cry big tears.  I finally was able to successfully make her famous rolls for Thanksgiving (doing all of the prep-work the day before Thanksgiving, which would’ve been her birthday, and using her roll pan), so the pan meant more this year than it ever would have.

Choose Joy - Stay Weird - Make Mistakes (In Good Company)


With the help of my Aunt Con and my mom (the photo-editing genius), I was able to give my sister, Ber, (and myself) a framed copy of Grandma’s roll recipe that is in her handwriting.  It was Ber’s turn to cry on this one.

Choose Joy - Stay Weird - Make Mistakes (In Good Company)
Next to my new Kitchen Aid mixer from Mr. B!

But the gift that made the biggest impact was a very sweet, very small, much unexpected gift from my friend Sar.  A few of my dearest local friends met me for coffee the morning of my birthday, and Sar brought with her a beautiful ring from Connected (a pretty amazing fair-trade store).  On it, were the words “choose joy.”  I told her, “I love it!  Thank you so much!  This will be my motto for 2015!”  She said she knew I’d love it, since she and I were both “word people”.

Choose Joy - Stay Weird - Make Mistakes (In Good Company)
I just love these girls.

Later that day, I received a text message from her that was maybe even more touching than her gift.  She said, “I hope you have had a wonderful day!!  And I wanted to explain the ring a bit…  …I know it’s been a really hard year and it’s really hard to find joy in all the sadness or frustration or madness, but when I saw the ring I thought you have been choosing the joy.  And I’m so proud of you for that.  So it’s a reminder to keep doing that!!  Keep choosing joy when it doesn’t look like there is anything to be joyful about!  …  Love you, friend!!”

Choose Joy - Stay Weird - Make Mistakes (In Good Company)

I have been blessed with amazing friends (who give me more credit than I deserve).

Choose Joy - Stay Weird - Make Mistakes (In Good Company)
I do not own the rights to this image.

A few years ago, someone I knew was going through a particularly difficult time.  I attempted to encourage her by saying, “don’t let this steal your joy”.  Although she received the words as being unkind, I want to keep those words for myself in the front of my mind.  If I am having a rough day or if I feel the black waters of depression seeping in, I want to say to myself, “Don’t let this steal your joy.”  And if I forget, I will have the ring from Sar as a daily reminder (I put it on a chain next to my favorite cross).

Choose Joy - Stay Weird - Make Mistakes (In Good Company)
I do not own the rights to this image.

One of my favorite blogs is Momastery (I love her Facebook page too) – her story is just amazing.  Ironically, on a day I absolutely needed it (because people can be really cruel, name-calling jerks), she posted this response to a question from a reader:

“’Dear G,
I want to write, but I’m afraid of the criticism.  I’m sensitive like you and I’m afraid that if I put myself out there and get slammed it will be so painful.  Love, S’

Dear S,
It will!  It will be so painful.  Getting slammed will be the worst.  I cry about it all the time.  They told me it’d get easier, but it doesn’t.  If you’re sensitive enough to be a good writer – you’re probably too sensitive to be apathetic about the response.  When they don’t like it – it’ll hurt.  But at some point you just say; So What?  I can handle a little ego crushing.  Getting your ego crushed is like stubbing your toe – you think you’re gonna die and you have to curse a lot, but the all-encompassing sharpness of it passes pretty quickly so you can get on with things.
Getting criticized for doing your thing is painful – but it’s not as painful as NOT doing your thing.  And you know – people do painful things all the time that make them better.  I think pain might be underrated completely.  For me – it usually precedes something really freaking beautiful.
Anyway.  Don’t forget – you don’t have to be so tough that it doesn’t hurt, you just have to be tough enough not to quit.
I’m JUST tough enough.  Bet you are, too.  Write On, Sister.
G”

I think she is right, pain is underrated and it usually precedes something really beautiful.  Sometimes pain teaches us more about joy than joy itself can.  So while I will to choose joy this year, there will be some pain – and that’s okay.  Because hiding hurts worse than not doing my thing.  And I like doing my thing, my way.  I’m weird and maybe a little “tacky” – but I like me that way.

Choose Joy - Stay Weird - Make Mistakes (In Good Company)
I do not own the rights to this image.

Life's hard.  Choose joy anyway.

Choose Joy - Stay Weird - Make Mistakes (In Good Company)
I am not a Joel Osteen fan, but I really like this. 

I like being the weird friend who says awkward things at terrible times.  I like being the Left-Leaning-Independent in a community of staunch Right-Wingers.  I like being someone who can give good, wacky, honest advice.  I like having a heart that is true and good and kind – albeit a little weird.


Choose Joy - Stay Weird - Make Mistakes (In Good Company)
I do not own the rights to this image.


And finally, in the words of Neil Gaiman, this is my last wish for myself, and for all of you for 2015:

“May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness.
I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art – write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can.
And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.
I hope you will have a wonderful year, that you’ll dream dangerously and outrageously, that you’ll make something that didn’t exist before you made it, that you will be loved and that you will be liked, and that you will have people to love and to like in return.”
And, most importantly (because I think there should be more kindness and more wisdom in the world right now), that you will, when you need to be, be wise, and that you will always be kind.
I hope that in the year to come, you make mistakes.  Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world.  You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.
So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself.  Make New Mistakes.  Make glorious, amazing mistakes.  Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before.
Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work, or family, or life.  Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.
Make your mistakes, next year and forever.”

Choose Joy - Stay Weird - Make Mistakes (In Good Company)
I do not own the rights to this image.


Choose Joy.  Choose Happy.  Stay Weird.  Make Mistakes.  Thank you for keeping me In Good Company.



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