Mom, You Look Fat

This morning after I completed my half hour indoor power walk workout (with Jessica Smith, check her out if you are in search of a great at-home exercise program), I took a break at my kitchen table.  I’d not changed out of my normal workout attire just yet which meant I was in my sports bra and shorts.  My midriff was showing.  Now, after a workout, I usually feel pretty good, both physically and psychologically. Exercise wasn’t a normal part of my life until after I’d become a mother for the second time and about 15 months ago I added it in as something I strive to do daily, and I usually achieve that goal.  So, not only do I feel pretty great about myself in the moment after completing another morning of exercise but I feel… a long term satisfaction that is truly quite fulfilling.  Because I was able to overcome laziness and adopt this new lifestyle later in life and that makes me feel amazing.

So this morning, while I took a break before finding what clothes I was going to wear for the day, I had the proverbial rug pulled out from under me and my feelings of pride and accomplishment were almost squashed.  Almost.

Five year old son walked up to me and stated, while pinching more than an inch on my torso under my sports bra, “Mom, you look fat.”

I was stunned.  In my house, we don’t refer to one another as fat.  I’ve heard the kids call people outside of our home fat but I’ve been quick to remind them that it’s often a hurtful word.

I knew that the way that I responded mattered.  Not only did it matter because it could potentially shape the way he views and treats women in the future but it also mattered that my daughter would hear my response (as would my other son and my husband).

Taking a deep breath, I stood.

“Son, let me tell you right here and right now that you must never tell anyone that they look fat ever again.  It will not do you any favors and will get you no where good in life.  People do not want to hear that they are fat.  Furthermore, I am not fat and I do not look fat.  I am not skinny.  I am healthy.  I look fine for a woman of my age who has given birth to three children.  This is not fat.  This is healthy.”

He walked away.  My husband told him he had to apologize to me and then he came into the kitchen, grabbed me, kissed me and told me that I look fine.  Our son witnessed this too.

Not only do I feel good about the way I handled the situation but I also feel good about how far I’ve come.  Somehow, over the years, I’ve learned to love most things about my body.  Sure, there are a few things that aren’t ideal but I look fine.  I take care of myself and I work hard to keep myself not only looking good but feeling well.  My children witness this and it is my prayer that I will have taught them to have a healthy and realistic view of their bodies as they grow into adults.

Parks and Recreation Craft Exchange

Back in the fall, my awesome friend Amber and I did a Parks and Recreation craft exchange together.  I didn’t blog about it then because I was saving it for today… the day that the new season premieres!  This is a bittersweet day for a hardcore Pawneean like myself.  In just a few short weeks, the series will be over and my life will be forever changed.  While I realize that most people will think it’s ridiculous for me to be so emotionally invested in a television series, I am here to tell you that I don’t care what they think.  When The Office ended, I felt a giant hole in my heart that has yet to be filled.  Sure, I’ve gone on to fall in love with another show and I might even love it as much as if not more than The Office but that hasn’t had any impact on how much I miss my friends in Scranton.  It’s simply given me something to do while dealing with my despair.

I wanted to show off the things that I made for my friend in our craft exchange and hopefully inspire you to get crafty as well!  It all started when I asked Amber to make me a Pawnee Goddess vest, half joking, half serious.  Then I remembered that she’d been doing some awesome geeky craft exchanges with another friend and I realized that while she was making my vest, I could make her some fun stuff too!  And I have to say that I really like the stuff that I made and I had a blast while making them.

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I made five different items for the craft exchange:  needle felted bacon and egg brooch, Ron Swanson original drawing (by me) printed on card stock and cut into post card shape, laminated book marks… Star Trek and Harry Potter quotes from Parks (gotta love a geeky mash up and Amber is a Trekkie and she’s totally enrolled at Hogwarts), a Cones of Dunshire painting in acrylic on a small canvas, and, finally, a decoupaged Li’l Sebastian vase/candle holder.  Basically she can remember that magnificent beast by lighting one of five thousand candles in the wind or she can place a bouquet of flowers inside for a different type of memorial.  It’s really up to her.

Here are some closer looks at the items.

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Not bad for a first craft exchange if I do say so myself!

Of course, none of my items come anywhere close to matching the awesomeness of the items that Amber made for me.

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A Pawnee Goddess vest, a Shrinky Dink Pendant of my favorite Ron Swanson quote, a mug which says to “Treat yo’ self”, and a hand-stitched wall hanging of my favorite Leslie Knope quote: 


In times of stress or moments of transition, sometimes it can feel like the whole world is closing in on you. When that happens, you should close your eyes, take a deep breath, listen to the people who love you when they give you advice, and remember what really matters.”


I have amazing friends.

And I make a totes adorbs Pawnee Goddess, don’tcha think?

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Anyway, craft exchanges are a ton of fun.  Amber says that she likes craft exchanges because they help her feel closer to the friend with whom she’s doing the exchange, force her to set aside time to work on something she enjoys that she might not otherwise work on, and she gets to geek out on the chosen theme.  I can say that I liked the craft exchange for the exact same reasons.  I also enjoyed thinking up ways to incorporate Amber’s specific interests into my gifts (for instance, she loves to read so making her the mash up book marks made me really excited).

When preparing for the exchange, Amber and I swapped favorite quotes, characters and episodes before we got started in order to maybe spark some ideas for projects.  We also decided on three items:  a wearable, a household item, and a wild card.  Clearly, neither of us followed this guideline very well.

While this was my first exchange, Amber has participated in exchanges for Harry Potter, Doctor Who, Star Trek, and is about to start one centered around Studio Ghibli (what is this?  I must find out!).  She and I both have daughters who are in love with Bob’s Burgers so I’ve suggested that be our next exchange, and we can get our girls involved.  So four girl friends/two mother daughter pairs exchanging!  Weeeee!!!  Can’t wait so stay tuned for that!

Anyway, I hope that this post has inspired you and has given you some ideas for creative ways to process your grief as you prepare to say goodbye to our Pawnee family.  I must wrap this up now so that I can put in my Andy Dwyer earrings (yes, that’s a thing) and start working on dinner (waffles with whipped cream and bacon, I kid you not).

Above all, I am hoping that Ron Swanson was right when she said this:

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In fact, I’m downright counting on it.

24 in 2015

I don’t normally do New Year’s Resolutions.  Instead, in November, near my birthday, I reflect upon tumblr_mwh18ysraK1smhhjlo1_500the previous year and I adjust my life goals accordingly.  But this previous birthday didn’t feel the same to me.  Maybe because we were so busy with other things?  I didn’t have much I wanted to add or change about what I’d been doing so I guess maybe that’s a good thing?

Today is the first day of the new year.  After eating less than ideally over the holidays, I’m back on my paleo-sugar free diet (less because it’s the new year and more because, as of today, the holidays are over and I can put them out of my mind again for another ten months).  I’m planning to sit down with my three children and help them work on some reflection thanks to this awesome printable a friend shared and we’re also going to work on some goal-setting using this link as inspiration.

When the kids and I have our little New Year meeting, my intention is to share with them a goal that I came up with while on our trip so that they know we are in this together.  While we were driving to Florida a few weeks ago, I was investigating free audio books and free Kindle books to enjoy while trying to stave off vehicular-related anxiety.  I decided to combine the use of my Kindle app with the use headphones and listen to a free audio book while also reading along in the text.  Why would I do this, you ask?  Well, that’s simple.  Unless a book is a memoir written by a female comedienne (waiting not so patiently to get word that a copy of Amy Poehler’s Yes, Please is on hold for me at the library, Thank You Very Much), I have a hard time paying it any mind.  I blame the television.  Or, maybe more realistically, I have a touch of the dyslexia that my son inherited from me. Yay genes.

As a preteen I spent a lot of my time reading.  But after college, I stopped reading as much.  And when I did read, it certainly wasn’t what one would call a “classic”.  At some point, my having not read a lot of the great works started to really embarrass me.

So with the help of Project Gutenberg and Loyal Books, I can enjoy many of the classics I’ve previously missed in a way that allows me to (mostly) comprehend the material because I’m seeing it while hearing it.  Also, it’s nearly effortless and it’s free.

Each morning, I grab my iPad which I’ve ideally left on my night stand which I’ve ideally left there with a pair of headphones.  I listen/read for about 15-20 minutes and then I start my day.  Right now I’m over half way finished with The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells and, I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I actually like it.

Next up is Jane Austen because I’ve literally never read or even attempted to read any of her work.  After that, I’m not sure what work I’ll choose but the good news is that the two websites have a great deal of overlap so I won’t have any trouble finding something that works for me.

My goal is to do 24 of these books in the next  12 months.  This is in addition to my funny lady autobiographies.  Yikes!

Wish me luck!