#BodyPositive the social media trend that has changed my life.

I am going to be very honest in this post, which is going to be difficult as I have only just recently been able say these things to myself.

About 6 months ago I was starting yet another diet. The 21 day fix. I have spent my entire life dieting and losing and gaining back the same 10-15 lbs. Around the same time of starting this diet I somehow stumbled upon the hashtag #bopo which stands for Body Positive. I was amazed at what I was seeing. Some of these BoPo warrior are women recovering from an eating disorder. Others are just amazing women who aren’t apologizing for not being an airbrushed model. I had the realization that if they can love their bodies maybe I could too.

I started to think about why I wanted to lose those 10 Lbs. Was it for my health? No. Does my husband want me to lose weigh? Definitely not. Does being thin make me a better, wife, friend, sister, or mother? Nope. In fact I would argue being compulsive about what I eat, which is what it takes a majority of women to be thin, makes us worse at all of those things.

So why do I want to be thin? I want to be thin because of my inflated sense of self. I think that if I am thin I am worth more. If I am thinner than my friends then I am a little bit better than them in some small way. It is shameful and embarrassing for me to admit that this was my horrid semi-subconscious attitude.

I believe in women supporting women. I absolutely need women in my life. I realized that my obsession with being thin was hurting my relationship with every woman in my life ( not to mention my husband and kids, but that is another story).

Over the last few months I have been learning to love my body for what it is capable of, for being strong and healthy, for birthing two children, for being the place I spend all of my time. I’m not stressing over the fact that I have had to go up a size in jeans, or that my arms are bigger or that my tummy isn’t flat and probably never will be. I love my body because it is my body and it is a vehicle to live my life. I want to eat and I’m not going to feel guilty about that. I am going to eat a lot one day, and not restrict what I eat the next day to make up for it. I am going to have a bowl of ice cream at night with Steve and enjoy it. I am going to work out because it feels good, not because I am paying penance for eating, or because I am trying to beat it into a arbitrarily decided shape of beauty.

As I have been learning this my jealousy of the women in my life is starting to melt away. When I see beauty in another woman I see their beauty and I am happy to see it, like a work of art. I can love them and enjoy their beauty because I don’t have to compare myself to them and find a way I am better than them to keep my ego intact. I can love their beauty because I love mine. I have never felt more free. You are beautiful, just the way you are, and so am I.

If you want to learn more please check out some of my favorite bopo warriors on instagram;

@nourishandeat

@Bodyposipanda

@omgkenzie 

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Writing Vs. Drawing

Rrrrrr, my writing fingers are rusty. It has been months and months since I have sat down to actually do some real writing. For the last year and a half I have been spending my free evenings drawing. Maybe this is a bad idea as I have very little natural drawing ability. I have a lot of perseverance, I have been plugging away at this drawing game with little to show for it other than a handful of sketchbooks filled with obviously amateur drawings and copies.

The problem is I really super love drawing. It is super cathartic, I love filling a sketch book, I love how after a while your hand just starts doing stuff and you are almost chasing what is coming out of your hand, just trying to keep up.

Writing is a guilty pleasure for me. I journaled through my entire teen years. It was a place for selfish, vapid, self pity. It was a place to spill every thought I had. I stopped journaling years ago, but have retained that self indulgent spirit in my writing. There is something completely satisfying about being able to get a complete and total thought out onto paper without any interruptions. I have a problem with over explaining, it makes me a terrible story teller, I can’t stand the idea of someone misunderstanding what I am trying to say. The horror. I never embellish, or de-bellish, its’s all facts with lots of facial expression and hand motions. Frankly, too many facial expressions, I practically need Botox at age 28. So writing is a place to put my complete thought into a neat little package and be done with it.

That being said I like the idea of becoming a little bit more proficient with drawing because it is a less selfish way to express myself. Sometimes a visual piece of art is significant because of the viewer, not the artist. A lot of the time when visual art speaks to me it takes me awhile to understand what it is saying and what I am feeling, and that is such a thrilling mystery. How does an image reach inside of a person and tweak a piece of their soul? And when the maker was making that piece of art, did they know what it would make me feel? Our mind-body-soul connection is very mysterious. The artist has to relinquish a large amount of control, and give it to the viewer. It makes me aspire to be less selfish with my writing, and to perhaps let a few things go unexplained once in a while. It’s hard for me to trust a reader, I want them to hear what I have to say! Is it obvious why writing is a self indulgent pleasure yet? I think it might be a good idea of me to have a creative outlet that is purely that, no explaining allowed, what comes out comes out and that is that.

That also being said I miss writing, so sit back, be quite, and listen to me, internet. I’m back.

Paedobaptism

I am itching to baptize my pre-schooler and baby.

*Large disclaimer: My husband does not share my beliefs at this point, and the contents of this blog are purely my personal beliefs. I respect my husbands brain and faith and will ultimately be subject to whatever he decides for our family.

I am not a studied Lutheran. If you have questions that contain one or more references to obscure theologians, or words that take a chapter of a book to explain, please dumb them down a little or field them to a pastor. I am just going to explain why I personally want to baptize my kids.

By the age of 13 I had an experience that made me see my sin clearly. I wanted to change. So what did I do? I made a promise to myself to, “chose to live for God”. In my mind I essential “chose God”. In action I read my bible daily, found ways to serve, went on some short term missions, and generally over spiritualized and over thought all of my actions and thoughts. I was in a constant state of motion that was, in my mind, closing the gap between me and God.

You would think that someone hearing about Jesus since infancy might have a better idea about what he actually did for humanity. But, let me explain why my actions were logical and happen again and again to people raised in the Church.

In regards to children many Non-Denominational or Evangelical church’s teach that we can’t know if our children are saved. (This is speaking from recent and direct experience with my Non-Denominational church). When my first born came along I started pondering how I was supposed to treat this little human. Should I treat him like a saved person?  I say “Calvin we must be kind to each other.” But why? Why am I holding him to this behavior? Do I believe it is just a good rule of thumb, is it Karma, do I think he will succeed in life if he is kind to others, maybe I just don’t want to spend the rest of my life with jerky people? Or is my explanation the same explanation I give myself. “We are to love others because He first loved us”. The why behind the behavior depends on the status of the heart.  Kids are simple. They believe what we tell them, they probably believe better than adults who tend to be plagued with doubts and worries. When I tell him Jesus took the punishment for his sin, he believes me. Easy.

So here is the thing that is messed up, At some point we start telling them to doubt their salvation. We darkly hint that we don’t know if they are saved or not. We wait until they somehow prove they are saved. Maybe they make a confession of belief at a young age and we semi-believe they are saved. We critically examine their lives looking for genuine fruit. It’s sort of sick. My parents were fantastic but this is sort of the environment that I was raised in. I was never sure if I was saved and I was always making new commitments to “follow God”. Horrible. I have heard many parents say stuff like ” You can’t really know if they are saved for a long time”. I have asked pastors if I should treat my small children like they are saved and haven’t gathered a clear answer yet.

Here is the deal. One of the doctrine’s  of Calvinism is called “Limited Atonement”. Meaning Jesus’ sacrifice was in theory large and powerful enough for the entire world but was in fact only for the elect. Therefore if you are not elect there is never the opportunity for you to be saved. Kinda weird, but whatever. When you baptize your child you are telling him that God’s sacrifice was for him, and he doesn’t have to do anything to prove he is saved. The only action left for him to do is to actually reject God. I don’t want my kids to grow up constantly doubting if they are saved or, wondering if they need to make a bigger choice, or sacrifice for God to prove they are saved. It ruins the gospel to insist they have to prove they are saved through their “fruit”, as behavior has zero say in the reception of our salvation.

When you subscribe to believers baptism you are sort of making it a “work”. In the dozens of Non-Denominational baptisms I have witnesses (and the two I took part in) the explanation was; Baptism is the first act of obedience as a Christian, and a public proclamation of faith. None of these are in the bible. The bible does say that Baptism saves, but that is another giant bag of worms. When you baptize and infant you are assuming a few thing; the infant does, and can have faith, The Atonement is available, and given to him, and the baptism is efficacious.

Paedobaptism, what a perfect rendering of the Gospel.

The thing about my boys

Desi- He is now 14 months and refusing to walk, or even try to walk for that matter. He won’t stand by himself, even on accident. But what he lacks in bravery he makes up for in extreme adorable-ness. His curly strawberry blond curls are out of control, sticking out from behind his ears and frizzing out the back of his head. He even had a few baby dreads sticking straight out. I discovered I had to condition his hair occasionally. And his smile, my goodness. He has such crooked bottom teeth and the tops are huge with a giant gap. He smiles constantly, we are considering baby braces ( ; He has such an intense love of music. I have never seen a baby so excited by music the way he is. We will be somewhere and hear music and he will grab me by the shirt, look intensely almost panicked into my eyes and start head banging. He has a little music table that he stands at, pushing buttons to change the song and dancing like a crazy baby D.J. He loves to sit at the piano and bang his way up and down the keys bobbing his head like a baby Amadeus Mozart.

His kisses deserve their own paragraph. Recently he has started giving kisses quite generously, depending on the day. The manner of his “mahs” is so unique. You know when someone is confident in a complex skill they have? Imagine a baker creating a frosting flower, a nurse starting an IV, a beautician applying the perfect eyeliner wing, he has that aire about him when he gives mahs. It might be hard for some babies but he is confident in his skill in mah giving. It’s almost like he is downplaying how much  of a big deal it is. He leans in quickly hardly looking at you and plants a slimy little kiss saying “mah” almost distractedly. The other night I was out in the afternoon and cut my outing short so I could help put the boys to bed. I walked in on them all eating Dinner. Desi was so happy to see me he had to stop dinner and be held. Then he sat on my lap bouncing and slapping my chest laughing, then laying his head on my chest, then popping up to give me mahs. That boy breaks my heart. Every morning when I come down the stairs I am greeted by Desi crawling to me as fast as he can and laughing.

He doesn’t talk much but he likes to try and converse. He brings up balls a lot because that is one of his words. We will be walking or playing or driving and Desi will look at me intelligently and say”BAH”. There may or may not be an actual ball, but Calvin and I have noticed anything round will merit a ball discussion. It is constant, all day long, “bah, bah bah”. Poor kid wants to have something to talk about. He also has Doggy Vision. If a dog is anywhere in sight even if it is a tail glimpsed through the bushes through a window, we will know about it from Desi Doggy Patrol barking and panting.

He loves to read so much and gives his favorite books kisses  ( mostly Pat the Bunny. They had a happy reunion after being lost for a few weeks)

and

Calvin- Oh boy oh boy oh boy. This child asks more questions than an interrogation officer (is that a thing?). It is constant all day questions, most of which are quite complex. I am thankful for all my Podcast education at times. He will ask stuff like why doggies don’t get sick if they eat weird stuff, does lightning touch the ground? How hot is the sun? why does the rain fall to the ground, so many other things that require thoughtful answers. I find myself working through laws of science and talking about bacteria, and molecules, and God’s design a lot of the time. It so interesting to have stuff pointed out to you by a three year old that I don’t give a second though to all day long and is actually worth discussing. I take so many things at face value and the curiosity of a pre-schooler spills a fresh light on the world, I love it. And then there are the questions that I answer with “because I said so”. It may sound like bad parenting, but in my opinion, this kid is three, if I tell him to put on his shoes, go pick that up or put that down I don’t think he needs an involved explanation every single time. Sometimes the fact that your all knowing and wise mother said so is a perfectly solid reason in itself.

Calvin can be quite loving to those he loves. Every time he sees his cousin  he runs to him arms open for a hug and kiss. He gets a kick out of Desi even though he probably wouldn’t admit it if questioned. This morning Desi was sitting on the kitchen table showing off for all of us. I was watching Calvin’s adorable Asian face and he had such genuine pleasure showing in his eyes, it was breathtaking.

Recently Calvin had a cute little adventure. Our neighbor got locked out of her house and stopped by to ask if Calvin would crawl through her doggy door and unlock her front door from the inside. When we got there I explained to Cal what his job was. He crawled right in and quickly requested best be passed through the doggy door, for moral support I suppose. After a few tries he got the door unlocked. I was so proud of his for not getting frustrated or mad after the first few tries and getting the door unlocked so sweetly. Our neighbor was ecstatic and gave Calvin four quarters in appreciation. When Steve got home we were talking about what he could do with his quarters and suggested the vending machines at the pizza place. They have super cool little ninjas for a quarter and he could get four! Then he says, ” Or I could give it to Samia!” Samia is a little Compassion child our church’s Sunday school sponsors. He was so excited to giver her all his money. And he then spent the next week cleaning everyone he knew out of their change, so he could give it to Samia. It was so sweet to see his little generous an genuine heart.

We have entered a new stage in reading lately. The progression has been fun with Calvin. I started reading to him as a newborn, because I was a up-tight, get-everything-right first time mom. For awhile It was like reading to a doll. Then around 3-6 months I would strap him in a seat and read to him, he liked it ok. Finally around a year he genuinely enjoyed it. his favorites were Jane Pfloog, Richard scary and Jane Krantz. After awhile we moved on to wordier and longer books. Dr Seuss, and lot and lots of library books. Then one day, a few months ago I checked out a Tintin, for myself to read. It was all over after that. I have spent the last few months only reading Tintin, we re-newed all 10 of the books the library had as many times as was allowed. Now the comic book section is the thing. We have discovered Lego Ninjago graphic novels as well as some star wars and Spiderman that are kid appropriate. I used to dread reading comic books out loud, but I have gotten used to it and am now really enjoying this stage. Even Ninjago is kind of clever. The characters actually are not all that bad, better than a lot of novels I have read. Calvin lays in bed at night with his Odyssey tape running and his flashing on reading books. My little nerd-ling.

He is getting so big and so smart and so capable. I hate to see my baby growing up but it is exciting too.

My boys. I blessed with what I do not deserve. Thank God life isn’t fair.

Happy Birthday Baby.

9

It has already been a year since our dear little Desmond Porter Lee was breathed his first breath. What a whirlwind of a year it has been. It has been long and short at the same time. But everyday is a blessed by my little Desi.

He is a bundle of sweetness. When he is tired instead of getting grumpy he gets rummy and starts laughing like an insane baby, it sounds like a machine gun.

He loves French fries, cheeses, Horton, and me. I love that I am still his favorite. He won’t take his morning bottle from Steve, but insists on laying I bed with me. He laughs when I come into the room of I haven’t seen him in awhile. It makes me feel pretty special to be his mommy.

He continues to heartily embrace his babyhood. His first birthday came and went and he is nowhere near walking. He doesn’t even stand or let go of furniture when he is playing. He has 4 very crooked teeth and I don’t think he has any word association yet. Except for maybe “hot” but that is up for debate. Despite this I believe he is a genius.

His hair is ridiculous and curly and sort of red. He sucks his fingers constantly. He loves to read “Pat the Bunny” and “Where is Baby’s belly Button” (genius, remember?).  Everywhere I go people comment on his beautiful blue eyes, the kid is going to get a big head ( its already in the 85th percentile). Someone finally had the lack of tact to ask me if “he was mine”.

He loves to lick the floor when we go someplace new. he has to get a feel for the texture of things. So gross. His face is so stinky. It kills me, I can not get enough of it. He has become quite demanding and opinionated. If Calvin takes something from him he shouldn’t have (garbage for example) he looks right at me and screams, screaming for justice I suppose. And when he is done eating he grunts and twists around in his high chair so expertly annoying have to get him out right away. he has perfected the annoying whine , no mother could stand it for more than a few seconds. Never mind the chores I will just try to wash dishes with one arm instead of listen to that whine for one more second. Also, past 3 pm he must be held at all times. My poor arms.

Desi, my little bundle of joy. Please stop growing. You need to stay my sweet naughty baby forever.

1

Baby Sand Monster

2

My boys, I love when they play together.

3

Ugly French fry face.

4

Greedy shake face.

7

soulful and tired sucking the fingers.

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When crawling he likes to carry something in his mouth since his hands are otherwise occupied. Try to take the thing away and you will get reamed.

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We Buddies.

I look like a scary witch mother.

I look like a scary witch mother.