Friday Favorites

one. Pay It Forward.

This morning a stranger paid for the woman in front of me. She then turned around and said, “Hey, I’m going to buy your coffee!” This is the first time a stranger has ever paid it forward when I was involved. I, of course, paid it forward and bought the man’s coffee behind me.  While I waited for my breakfast sandwich, I saw the act of kindness continue through the line of TEN people waiting in Starbucks.

two. You’ve been BOOED!

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Another reason why I love my school – the teachers are booing each other! In my pumpkin I received a “Trick or Treat” bag filled with pumpkin spice k-cups, a “Smell My Feet” bag with nail polish, lotion, and socks for ANNABELLE (so thoughtful!), a “Give Me Something Good To Eat” bag with garlic stuffed olives (for bloody marys) and then a Halloween bucket with Halloween pencils and an apple candle. So. Fun.

three. real life blog friends.

IMG_0948Yesterday Annabelle and I met my REAL LIFE blog friend Kim and her daughter Lia for a bit after work. She started reading my blog while she was pregnant (and due a week before me) and emailed me last year to chat about being pregnant. We became pen pals and when she told me she was moving to Georgia I knew it was kismet!

Now we are real life friends and our daughters – well we have big plans for them. Clearly Annabelle felt threatened by Lia’s cuteness (which she is seriously the cutest baby ever with the most adorable SMILE and dimples!). I am so thankful to have Kim and Lia in my life – they are from New York and I feel like we can really bond over not only being new Moms, but also being New England transplants in the South.

four. Bearitos Veggie Puffs. Get in my belly. Now.

bearitosAnnabelle, Brandon, and I are obsessed with these organic Veggie Puffs from Whole Foods. We may or may not have eaten a whole bag on Saturday. Then I went and bought 2 for $4 on Wednesday and we’ve already powered through another bag. I think we are addicted.

five. blog awards.

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I totally forgot about blog awards! A few years ago they were always going around… and then they disappeared. Thank you to Ashley from Girl Talk for the Lovely Blog Award!

Here are the rules…
1. Thank the person who nominated you
2. Add the One Lovely Blog Award to your post or blog
3. Share 7 facts about yourself
4. Nominate 15 bloggers you admire / read and let them know they have been nominated by commenting on their blog.
7 facts about myself…
1. I am utterly and totally obsessed with Christmas.
2. I like the smell of basements.
3. I usually have full shopping carts on various cyber stores at any given time, but never buy anything.
4. I have terrible vision. If my contact was to tear while at work, I wouldn’t be able to drive home.
5. I hate unnecessary noises – and my class is very aware of this.
6. I hate the heat and love the cold.
7. It took me years to appreciate my curly hair because I always thought it made me look nerdy. I blame Mallory from The Babysitter’s Club. Then Felicity appeared on TV and showed me that not all dorks have frizzy curly hair.
I am a totally awful blog reader these days because my life consists of teaching, writing my blog, and being a MOMMY/WIFE. I have zero free time to catch up on my bloglovin’ blogs… so I am nominate ANYONE who comments on this post with the Lovely Blog Award. =0)

Lies We Tell Our Children

Lies We Tell Our Children

1. “You’re okay!” – Whenever she falls down and bumps her head, I always tell her she’s okay… even if she’s not. Teaching first grade has taught me that when you act shocked or upset about a child being injured, their reaction is even worse that what it would be had you been calm.

2. They ARE real. Fairies, elves, sprites, Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, and Elf on a Shelf. I will keep up the charade that all these fantasy creatures exist until my kids are in college, or maybe until I die. My mom still acts like Santa is real and I am 29…

3. Sleep helps you grow.  I remember my Mom and Dad always telling me this… like it would keep me in bed longer. Who cares about growing?

4. If you don’t brush your teeth, they will fall out. Another lie my parents told me and another lie I believed! To this day I cannot fall asleep if I haven’t brushed my teeth for fear that I will wake up toothless.

5. What an amazing dancer/singer/artist you are! No matter how terrible my children are at something, I will never let them know. Their Mother is the world’s worst singer and I will sing for them like I am Alicia Keys and tell them they sound just like her too.

6. “I’m not mad.” The day is going to come where Annabelle accidentally destroys something precious or expensive in our home. I will be SO MAD, but because it wasn’t done on purpose (hopefully), I will smile and tell her, “It’s okay, it was an accident.”  And then I will need a big glass of wine to get over it.

7. “If you lie, your nose will grow like Pinocchio’s nose.” This is kind of mean.. but I don’t tolerate lies (unless I am telling them to my kids hah). 

8. ” I have eyes in the back of my head.” Teachers like to use this with the little kids too. They totally buy into it.

9. If you aren’t good, you will be on Santa’s naughty list and receive nothing but coal and reindeer poop for Christmas. My children will never receiving coal or reindeer poop in their stocking… but I will tell them this every year.

10. … I am sure there will be more than 10 so I am leaving this one blank. 

We all say that we never want to lie to our children, but sometimes little white lies must be said! What kinds of “lies” have your parents told you or YOU told your children?

The Body in the Mirror

Ever since high school I’ve had a distorted image of myself. I think it stemmed from what was probably an innocent incident…

While stretching during Field Hockey practice, one of my “best friends” told me I had cellulite on my thighs. I had no idea what cellulite was… and she showed me how her thighs, when she sat cross legged, were smooth. She told me to sit cross legged, and then pointed out the bumps and dimples all over mine. She said this was cellulite, it was fat on my thighs, and the only way it would go away was exercise and diet.

I was so confused – I played field hockey 5 days a week and danced 6 days a week. I went to the gym during off season for Field Hockey. How could I exercise any more than I already was? And I didn’t eat “bad,” so how could I be fat? From that moment on, I would never think about my body in the same way again. 

I remember studying my legs in the full length mirror in my bedroom. I studied my butt. I then started looking at my stomach and my arms and my hips. I hunted my body for cellulite. I grabbed my inner thighs where they would touch and would pinch them so hard, hoping it would somehow make them smaller, that I would end up with tiny fingerprint bruises. Sure there was some cellulite – and even a few stretch marks – but nothing abnormal on a 14 year old girl. I wasn’t overweight and I wore a size 4-6 in jeans, but I felt fat. I felt disgusting. And when I looked at my body in the mirror, I didn’t see myself. I saw someone else.

Body Image Disorder

I compared myself to everyone I knew. I stared at other girl’s legs every time they sat Indian style and looked for signs of cellulite. I wanted other girls to have it too because if they did, then maybe I was normal. But of course when I would see a girl with it, a girl who didn’t care what her thighs looked like, a girl who wore short shorts and bikini cut bathing suits without any sign of self consciousness, that didn’t change my opinion of myself. I still had fat tree trunk thighs that dimpled and puckered whenever I sat down.

What probably made my obsessions worse were that some of my friends felt the same way about themselves. Misery loves company right? I remember sitting around the lunch table with my best girlfriends discussing how fat we were. We talked about diet pills. We talked about laxatives. We talked about ways to not eat. Some even talked about ways to get rid of what we already ate…

Things worsened in college. I actually developed what was most likely an eating disorder but I was never diagnosed with anything. I would count calories, exercise obsessively, and weigh myself multiple times a day. I never got as skinny as I wanted – my clothes didn’t become bigger like I hoped – but the numbers on the scale went down. So I was pleased with myself and with what I was doing. In college I found out about the “thigh gap” and boy did that drive me crazy. 

My distorted body image issues continued for years… until I gained 27lbs while I was pregnant. In the beginning of my pregnancy, I felt fat all the time. My clothes felt tight and as the numbers on the scale went up too quickly in the beginning. I became worried that I was going to be miserable my entire pregnancy. Then one day I looked down and saw my belly move. I saw that there was actually someone inside me – someone who needed me to be healthy – and I stopped caring about the numbers on the scale. I embraced the weight gain and the changes that happened to my body. Granted my knees hurt, and it was hard to breathe, and my boobs were ginormous and swollen, I LOVED how my body looked.

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After I delivered Annabelle, my baby weight came off quickly. Between breastfeeding and eating dairy free, I was below my pre-pregnancy weight in less than six months. For the first time in my life, I thought I looked too skinny. I still think I look too skinny, but the doctor says I am healthy. I still have cellulite on my thighs, but it doesn’t bother me anymore. To me, it’s just a symbol of my womanhood. It’s a sign that I am normal. The stretch marks on my thighs that I used to wish away? They are no longer my obsession. I’ve been blessed with my daughter, and someday I will tell her my story. I don’t want her to spend the many years I did looking in a mirror only to see someone else looking back.

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