Saturday, December 13, 2014

The four words my daughter said that broke my heart

"Mom, and I skinny?"  Olivia asked me this question a little while ago while we were in the car.  It was heartbreaking.  Not because there is anything wrong with being skinny, that's not what I'm saying, but so often, skinny is associated with beauty and that was what she was doing.  She wanted to know if she was pretty.  And I wish I could say that I knew exactly what to say in that moment, that I pulled out all of my amazing mom advice and sayings and answered her question perfectly, but I didn't.  I was quiet for a second because I was sad that the thought ever came to her mind, and then I was angry.  This subject doesn't come up in my house.  We don't use the words fat, skinny, thin, or anything associated.  They have never seen me stand on a scale and I have never said in front of them that I feel fat.  I've said it in front of Hubert, of course, but never in front of my girls.  It is something I have worked so hard on.  I was angry because I knew it didn't come from me, it came from the outside, from television, from standing in line at the grocery store and looking at magazines, and from people.  I'm not stupid.  I know how the world is, what society focuses on.  But she's five, and barely five.  The first time I ever remember wondering that was in junior high, thanks to my mom who also never talked about things like that with me and never focused on how I looked, but more on how I felt.  I appreciate that more than ever now.  So, finally, I started talking.  I asked her what she meant by that question.  She didn't really know the answer either.  So I started asking more questions: "How do you feel?" "Do you have fun riding your bike?" "Do you like jumping on Grandpa's trampoline?" "Do you have fun running around with Ellie all the time?"

Her answers were all yes.  And then I said that being skinny isn't important, being healthy is.  Being able to run, jump, play, ride bikes, that's what's important.  She then said this to me, "Mom, you're not skinny."  Honestly, it was music to my ears because I'm not, but I am a lot of other things.  I said back to her that she was right, but what are some things I can do?  She replied with a few things that I am able to do, things that make me healthy.  This is so badly what I wanted to hear from her because I want her to strive to be a healthy person, not an unhealthy person.  Again, being skinny isn't bad.  Many of my friends are and they are fit and strong and healthy and I love them.

The conversation ended positively and she hasn't brought it up again and hopefully she won't for a very long time.  Having girls has been so wonderful, but there are so many challenges and I know this one will be a lifetime challenge.  They will feel insecurities and bad about themselves.  These things will happen, not if, but when.  I just didn't expect it to happen when she is five.  I love this little girl so much.  She makes me happy in ways I can't describe and my happiness doesn't come from how she looks, it comes from her belly laughs, her inability to not ever walk and only ever run, her love for dancing and watching her dance all over the house, her love for playing soccer and how she just wants to score "goalies."  Her smile if infectious.  She loves her sisters.  She's a wonderful little girl, not because of how she looks, but because of how she loves.  I'm so grateful that I get to be her mom.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Well, that's two less things I have to worry about

Well, I've made an important decision.  Actually, I made it about a year ago.  It's not terribly significant or life-changing, but for me, it makes me feel more like myself than I have in over 20 years.  I have decided to no longer color my hair or wax my eye brows!
I know, no big deal right?  And honestly, to me, it's not a big deal.  The first time I ever had my hair colored wasn't until I was in college and the same goes for my eyebrows.  But I started doing it because I thought that's what girls did when they grow up.  My cute friends always looked amazing with their blond weaved hair and perfectly shaped eyebrows whereas I felt like I had a pelt above my eyes.  And so it began, but because it was so unnatural for me to do, I did it pretty rarely and the color I always chose was just a shade lighter than my natural color.  But that doesn't mean it was any less expensive. And that's when I would do my eyebrows, too.  So, what was the point?  I guess I thought I would be less attractive if I didn't, have less friends, never get married.  All of these negative thoughts because of hair!  So as the years have gone on, it's gone to twice a year that I do this, but now, it's been an entire year and that made me think.  Does Hubert still think I'm pretty?  Yes.  Do I still have the same amount of friends, maybe more? Yes.  Am I treated any differently than my female counterparts in group situations?  No.  So, I'm done and I'm happy.  Now, I'm in no way saying that women who get these things done are shallow or vain, it's what makes them happy.  Most, if not all of my female friends and family members do this and they are beautiful!  But for me, this is what makes me feel beautiful and that's a pretty great feeling.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

If only I would have known this sooner

It's funny what happens when you turn 33.  At least, for me it was.  And it's not like on my birthday I had this great epiphany, it had been happening for a while before.  But tonight, as I was putting my baby girl to bed, in the quiet of her room where I just sit and think, I thought about the person I was a few years ago, compared to the person I am now.  I was pretty insecure, worried about what other people thought, unsure of my abilities as a mother and as a wife, and of course, self-conscious of how I looked.  But after I had Lucy, those thoughts slowly began to go out the window and I have to see it has been the most freeing experience.  Unlike after I had my first two children, where I was so worried about how I looked compared to all of the other very cute, thin, girls in my neighborhood, after I had Lucy those thoughts didn't even cross my mind. I finally realized that I just had a baby and my body is awesome for doing that!  So what if I gained a few (50 pounds), at least I have this amazing baby girl to show for it.  But, that doesn't mean I stopped being healthy.  In fact, I started working out sooner than with the other two, but not because I wanted to be skinny, it was because I wanted to be the healthiest person I could be for these amazing people: 

Yes, I know I'm in the picture, but I am pretty amazing.  Anyway, exercise was no longer a means to an end, meaning the end being skinny.  Now, there was no longer an end.  If you have ever been in my house, you would see all of my girls' one-month pictures on my wall.  When I would exercise at night, after a really long day of being a new mom to three kids and never being so tired in my whole entire life, I would look at their pictures while I worked out and remember that I wasn't doing this for me anymore, it was for them.  My family being my focus, instead of myself, has helped me so much.  

Also, my somewhat epiphany has made me come to the realization that I'm no longer in my 20's, my metabolism is much slower than it once was, having three kids really stretches out your skin, and "bouncing back" is no longer a phrase in my lexicon.  My body is different, which isn't bad, just different.  But I can say that I have never been healthier in my life than I am now.  I go running in the mornings, I try to eat as healthily as I can, although I do love Kraft Mac & Cheese, and I have recently stopped drinking soda which has been so difficult, but I feel like it's been worth it. Because I have been blessed with girls, it has become so important for them to never feel like how they look is bad, to never think of themselves as fat, to not associate the size of your jeans with how happy you'll allow yourself to be, and to just love who they are because they are incredible.  And I know that as they get older, these feelings will come, but they will never see their mother on a scale looking disappointed and talking about how her belly hangs over her pants.  In fact, if they ever comment about anything that has to do with my body that they think looks funny, I always reply with, "Isn't is awesome how my body made you guys?" 

Sure, it's not awesome no longer being in my 20's, but I am loving my 30's because I feel like I'm finally becoming who I was always meant to be.  I just wish it didn't take 33 years to finally feel like myself.  

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Assignment #4

Because my pictures for assignment 3 were kind of lame, I skipped putting them up, but I have loved doing our week 4 assignment which deals with two functions on my camera: The TV and AV function. When the camera is on the TV function, you control the shutter speed, but the camera controls the aperture. It's actually quite nice taking the guess work out of doing that. And when the camera is on the AV function, you control the aperture and the camera controls the shutter speed. I didn't like that one as much, but still fun to experiment with. But here they are:

Friday, February 10, 2012

Photography Class Assignment 2

Our assignment for last week was to work with flash, shadow, and more color composition. I will just be honest, I hate flash. I think it makes pictures and more importantly people look very washed out, so I never use it, therefore I didn't do a picture with flash. Whew. I'm so glad I finally got that off my chest. But I did do shadow and the color comp and it was so much fun. So here is my assignment.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Photography class

About a month ago, Hubert was glancing through the newspaper and saw that at the local high school there was a photography class that was being offered and he asked if I wanted to do it and of course I said yes! I have loved going and learning how to not only use my camera properly, but to also learn how to take a good picture because there is so much more thought involved than just pointing your camera at something and pushing the button. So last week, we had our first assignment which included depth of field, the rule of thirds, and color contrast. I cannot express the fun I had taking these pictures, and granted it's only three pictures, but I really enjoyed the time I spent working on them. So here they are!

Friday, January 6, 2012

A Moment...with Meagan

I haven't done this in a while and maybe because it feels like every moment I have is flying by because life seems so busy. But I feel like I'm having an off day, well, maybe an off week. Olivia isn't sleeping through the night and waking up at 6:00 am and doesn't really want to nap anymore and as I type this, she's throwing her bracelets onto the ground and yelling until I pick them up. Ellie had discovered her "sass," meaning that when I ask her to do something, her reply is often, "sorry mom, I don't want to." Hey, at least she prefaced it with a sorry, right? And although we love our house, it feels like it's getting smaller and smaller everyday and what we thought might be an opportunity to move into a bigger home presented itself, it might be off the table. There are other things, but there is no need to type them right now. But as I sit here wallowing in my self-loathing, wishing for a bigger house, Olivia to sleep, Ellie to be more cooperative, more money so that Hubert can go back to school to get his Masters, and to have Heidi Klum's body, it is unbelievable how much I have in my life that's good. My husband has an incredible job which has not been affected by this down economy, we are both very healthy, my "baboon's heart," as my brother Jake likes to refer to it as, is, according to my cardiologist, "healthier than most healthy hearts," my daughters and are healthy, happy, silly, girly, loving, giving, beautiful, unique, and wonderful. My house is in the best neighborhood anyone could ever ask for. I have amazing friends and a more amazing family. We have an incredible support system that is so undeserving sometimes. So even though some of those other things aren't going so great, sometimes I just need to take a moment and realize that I have a pretty wonderful life. Now, I am done complaining. And anyway, how can I be mad at this face?