Thursday, May 30, 2013

Today I'm Thankful For... kids. There really isn't any greater joy than watching your babies, babies of all ages, loving each other and playing together. It seriously cannot get any better than this.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Because Weddings Mean More to Me Than My Personal Playtime

The faux leather tiny red mini-sectional was packed. 2 of my daughter's friends sat there with the soon to be mother-in-law (who is also my friend, Shannon) next to me, my cute husband, the ever supportive dad, parked on an ottoman that matched the couch just to the side of all of us. We all waited, surrounded by mirrors pointing in every angle. To the right and left of us and even creeping up behind us, we were engulfed in all shades of white taffeta, tulle, satin and lace.

"Now which one is this?" we'd call out, watching her little feet under the curtain. Bare and nervous, pulling on dress after dress. "It's the one I REALLY want" she'd say before walking out to walk the little runway laid out in front of us.

A little platform of carpet in front of us was her stage and one by one she'd model the dress she had picked out. We'd oooh and ahhh and I'd snap photos and tell her what I loved about each one. "Oh the sweetheart neckline of this one!  It is so flattering!" or "Oh Kenzie, the tea length one in satin, it's got pockets!  You LOVE pockets!"

One by one she'd come out feeling like Cinderella before the ball, the fairy godmother in her changing room helping her to fit each dress to her body.

Finally, she came out in The One.

We knew it was the one by the look on her face the second she stepped out of the dressing room. For each of the other dresses, she'd look at us like "is it pretty? Is it ok?" but this one...she gave us a look that said "This one makes me feel like a bride..."

She had previously sauntered slowly up to the platform, taking meek steps, walking up to the mirrors and turning to the right and left, looking slowly up and down as we all took pictures with our phones. With this dress, she DANCED out of that room. She leaped up on that platform, turned to the side, spun around and then turned to us and said "What do you think?  Mom, look at this one!"

We knew before she even said a word that this was the dress. She went into the store wanting a very specific thing.  All lace, floor length, high waist. What we found for her was almost 100% the opposite. Minimal lace, tons of bling, a huge tea length tulle skirt with layers and layers of incredible femininity.

If you know Kenzie, you'll know that she's always been kind of a tomboy. She's played hard with the boys outside her whole life. When I imagined her in a wedding dress, I did NOT imagine her in a cloud of girly-ness but what we saw that day is that she looks perfect in exactly that. She looked stunning. It was incredible.

Today we went and bought the dress. The dress didn't look complete without a big  embellished sequined sash and we had to get that, too. And while we were there, she tried on a veil and whaddya needed a veil even though she didn't think she wanted one!

I'll tell you what, guys. Weddings are no joke. They're expensive, they're personal, they're a big deal and there's one more thing about them that we've realized. They are something you do for your kids because you love them. We may not have tens of thousands of dollars to pay for this wedding but we're going to make it happen. We're working doubly hard, both of us taking extra jobs to make sure this happens but like she said today on the way home, she knew from the day she got engaged that we would make this happen for her.

And that makes all of this worth every single stressful moment.  My kids are worth everything we do for them. Including both of us working to pay for something like this. While other people in her family coolly live their lives as if the kids were their "buddies" who they can go to lunch with occasionally, we work our butts of to make sure these kids will have an amazing wedding. They only get married for the first time (and hopefully for the rest of their lives) once and we are making this the best wedding she could ever want. 

It's only a couple months away and we can't wait to show you all of the details. More to come...

Thursday, May 2, 2013

On Self Loathing and Self Loving

I always knew I was different, I mean, that my body was different than what I wanted it to be. I remember being a little girl on the beach in Corona del Mar, California and wearing a little shirt that exposed my tiny little brown midriff. I still have the picture.

I recall thinking "am I always going to be fat?" even then. It makes me sad to think about that tiny little blonde baby feeling so sad about her body already. Where did this issue with body image come from? How did I think that I was fat back then???

I am now pregnant with my 8th baby. My body is still strong enough to carry this miracle but I wake up every day and look in the mirror and the first thing I do is to glance at my body in disgust. It's something I need to rid my brain of. It's unhealthy.

Thing is, when I'm alone with someone I love, I'm the most confident person alive. If I feel loved and beautiful, especially if the person has told me that they think of me that way, I'm like a superstar, ready to bare it all and give everything I have. It's a good thing and a bad thing.

Good in the way that I'm confident and open and that I feel sexy and beautiful and that's not a bad thing, right?

Bad in the way that I find myself crashing afterward because it's brain says stuff like "that was so dumb. Why did you show your stomach to him?"

Body image.

Self loathing.

Self loving.

Confidence and the lack thereof afterward.

Isn't this what most women go through?  Tell me I'm not alone here...

But for now, I really do feel pretty. I feel better now at age 40 than I ever have. Is that old age fooling me?  Am I just more comfortable in my own skin?

Today I feel pretty, tomorrow I'll avoid my own image in the mirror.  Ah, the life of a woman...