Category Archives: Funny to me

Let me out!

“I am not excited about this at all.” – Me on the way to The Escape Game Nashville

I said that because I wasn’t excited. At all. AND nobody wanted to try my ‘local lunch’ suggestion (have y’all been to Wendy’s? To. die. for.) so this was sure to be a bust of an afternoon.

Have you heard of The Escape Game? It’s horrible. They lock you in a room and tell you to start finding clues so that you can get out. Yeah, ask Kimmy Schmidt how much fun that is.

Anyways, my friends are nerds so there I was locked in a room with 6 other people trying to find a key. Or a code. Or mumbling, “This isn’t funny. Let me out.”

There really isn’t anything else to say about the experience because if you go I don’t want to accidentally give anyone a clue. So I’ll just explain what I learned about myself during the process:

  • I don’t like thinking.
    If an answer doesn’t appear to me in the first 4 seconds I don’t know it. I know I don’t know it. I give up. Uncle! I’m out. If there was a transcript of our Escape Game experience it would look like this:
    Me: Do y’all wanna buzz for a clue?
    Shelly: We just got started.
    Rebecca: Yeah, I think we can hold out for a little bit.
    Me: Ok…
    (45 seconds later)
    Me: What about now?
    Sarah: I’m gonna murder you.
    Laura: Leave her be. We don’t have time for murder.
  • What do I do with my hands?

    Everyone that cared about solving the puzzles would race around the room to ‘help.’ People manned the various locks and punch pads around the room ready to put in codes that other people were figuring out. I had no clue how to help so most of the time I was rummaging through things that I knew were empty or doing things that were completely unhelpful just so I looked like I cared. But the reality was I DIDN’T WANT TO BE THERE AND WHY AREN’T WE ASKING FOR MORE CLUES?!?!
  • The Dungeon Master had a crush on someone.
    I keep talking about getting more clues, but the reality is we got a LOT of free clues. Like, every time we’d get stuck a clue would pop up. The first couple of clues were real ‘clues,’ like they pointed you in the general vicinity of the next step. By the end they were like, “Ok, add that together. Now divide by 4. What do you get???”  “7. The answer is seven.” “Girl in the red shirt. Turn around. The answer is behind you. BEHIND YOU!”

    I don’t know who the Dungeon Master wanted to get with, but thank you for your fleekness.

  • It only takes one good moment to make me fall madly in love.
    Like, I said I was ready to give up around the time I got into Laura’s minivan. And most of the time I bumbled around like a sad idiot. But then my moment of glory happened. It was near the end of the game, we only had minutes on the clock, and we were stuck. “Hang it up, boys, it’s over” stuck. But then brilliance struck AND IT CHOSE ME!

    I swear that when I gave the answer to the near final clue everyone turned around in slow motion with the most “Did she really get it?! #Wut?” But the #wtf looks quickly turned to celebration because RUDY HAD SCORED! Or at least participated! Woohoo!

All things considered (and most of that consideration weighed by the game-winning Hail Mary field goal), it was actually kind of fun. And I might be asking every person I meet for the next week if they’ve played and if they want to play.

The best part? I have the memory of goldfish, so I could probably play the Heist over and over and over…

 

 

Project Runway: Otis & Lola Halloween Costume Edition

 

My mom was not that into Halloween when I was growing up. I mean, we got costumes and went trick or treating, but it wasn’t like she was trying to make sure her kids had the Best Costume Evah. Like most kids my age, we had costumes like this on Halloween:

Nothing homemade or particularly adorable. Just enough to look like we tried and deserved the free candy we walked DOOR-TO-DOOR to get (#btw, what is this trunk-or-treat nonsense?)

And then my mom got a grandbaby. And this costume thing? It’s a thing now. And she has opinions.

2011 – The Cheeseburger:

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I don’t know how we got this costume. I can’t imagine I bought it. Did someone give it to me? I think they did. Anyways, this was not funny in my mom’s book.

Lola Commentary – “Marie. This is not cute. He should have been a pumpkin. Pumpkins are cute.”

2012 – Superbaby:

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She was so disappointed in the 2011 costume that she got him this Superman costume. I will admit that she was right and he looked adorable.

Lola Commentary – “See, Marie. When you try things work out.”

2013 – Handy Manny…ish:

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I think she thought she proved her point in 2012 and that I was ready to be a ‘good mom’ the next year, no help required. Wrong! I did what I do. I came up with a great idea (“Otis would make a great Handy Manny!”) and then suffered in the execution (“Crap. Halloween’s tonight. This mostly green shirt and kinda similar hat should be good enough…”).

Lola Commentary – “What is DCS’s number? This is unacceptable, Marie.”

2014 – Fireman:
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This year had potential, but my poor baby couldn’t really move his arms because that’s a 2T costume on a 3T kid. #ChubbyBabyInALittleCoat

Lola Commentary – “So cute! What do you mean it was too small? What do you mean it was the only size they had? What do you mean you didn’t buy it until today? You know when Halloween is, right? Every year it’s the same day. I give up. If you don’t want to obey that’s your problem. You know what God does when we don’t obey? Pray about this, Marie. You have a problem.”

2015 – Fireman Part 2:

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It fits. It was purchased IN SEPTEMBER. It is something he actually wanted to be.

Lola Commentary – “Don’t you feel better? You can breathe. There’s no stress. And he looks so cute. And so happy. Don’t you like it when he’s happy, Marie? Make your son happy. And your mom. And Jesus. Mostly Jesus.”

So get a real costume, y’all. It matters to Jesus.

5 on Friday: The Pretty Ballerina

If you hang out with me on Facebook or Instagram you might have noticed that I’ve been going to barre a lot.

No. Not the bar, Rory Gilmore. Barre. That ballerina workout thing I told you about a while ago.

I have probably gone to almost 20 classes in less than a month. 5 times per week for 2 weeks in a row.

I don’t even know anymore. But these classes are like crack.

Why don’t I just break this down 5 on Friday style?

One. I’m not falling asleep or gasping for air.

I have never gotten into yoga because it has always seemed kind of slow (I could be very wrong about this, I’ve only been to YMCA classes). And things like Crossfit terrify me because I am not made for weights or any kind of competitive environment. But barre is like this nice in-between. It’s slow enough that I feel genuinely relaxed and recharged at the end, but it’s intense enough that I also get that touch of soreness that hurts so good at the end of the day. The in-betweenness also makes it a great workout to fit in at lunch and get back to the office and not smell too bad.

Two. I don’t feel out of place.

Barre classes are going to attract people that are probably not… Poor Moms. Like Kelly said in her interview, it’s a premium service. I think my biggest hesitation was feeling wildly out of place, but I haven’t. Everyone is nice, and there isn’t even close to a mean girl vibe going on which I think is due to the instructors. Every instructor that I have met has been super friendly, helpful, and willing to answer any questions you have at the end of class. This really does set a friendly tone at Neighborhood Barre. I would say it took me about 5 classes to feel like I was ‘getting’ it, and every instructor assured me that this was normal which really helped me not throw the towel in too soon.

Three. I am celebrating my femininity. 

One of the first classes I went to one of the girls brought her man. He was a fit guy that probably played football in college or something, but barre was clearly not ‘made’ for his body. Now, I’m not saying guys can’t do barre, but it was neat to see that there are some things that a woman’s body is better at than a man’s. Getting on your tippy toes and squatting an ungodly amount of times is one of those things.

Not only are our bodies more suited to barre, there’s also something really subtle about the strength required for barre. The moves are small, you are moving your toe in a circle or pulsing ‘just’ an inch. And maybe the first one or two movements are ‘easy,’ but after a few seconds of the ‘simple’ move the muscle getting worked starts shaking like it’s trying to move a semi or something. On the surface it doesn’t look like much, but boy oh boy do you need to be strong to survive. And so I look at the feminine roles in our world, as moms, wives, daughters, and we look at the surface and we think the things we do (making dinners, planning vacations, comforting sad pre-schoolers, wrapping presents, etc.) ‘don’t matter,’ but they do! They are small movements, sure, but boy do they require strength.

Wait. I’m not done.

Almost every move, especially the seat and leg work, leaves me closing my eyes praying for relief. Do you know what else does that? Labor. (Or so I’ve heard since I had epidural almost as soon as I got there). If you are preparing for labor I would highly recommend getting yourself to a barre class. Labor is a mental game of letting the pain wash over you, and believing this intense pain won’t last forever/kill you. Barre won’t just get your core ready for some pushing it can get your mind ready for game day, too.

Four. I value it.

I signed up for their special of unlimited classes for $100, and this might just be the Poor Mom in me talking, but I refuse to miss a class. Because every class I go to means I’m getting more bang for my buck. So I make sure I get to class in the morning because I don’t want to waste the money AND I actually get something out of the investment I made. Because true story? I have a Planet Fitness membership and I’ve been paying $10/month which has been a complete waste of money because I haven’t gone but maybe 3 times the first week that I joined. I was scared that an unlimited barre class  membership would be a similar waste, but since there’s enough skin in the game (or money on the table?) I’m motivated even when I don’t feel like getting up for the 5:30 A.M. class.

I really don’t know anymore.

Five. Sex.

Let’s just say that I haven’t peed when I sneezed in a while.

If you’re in the Brentwood area looking for a workout you’ll love, you should totally come with me one morning or afternoon (first class is free!). They have a challenge going on, and I’m planning to do 20 classes between September 14th and October 13th. I might be almost dead by the last two or so classes, but I’m gonna try!

Married Conversations

A commercial for a pad that promises ‘super fast absorption’ is on.

Mark: Ha. How on earth do you define ‘super fast absorption’? Are they timing it?

Me: Yeah. I guess my real question is why are they using that liquid to represent period blood?

Mark: Please stop.

Me: I mean, it’s not even really very liquid like, ya know?

Mark: Stop.

Me: There’s like tissue and blobs and it’s just not very realistic to compare it to liquid.

Mark: I’m sorry for bringing it up. I just wanted to talk about absorption. I’m sorry.

Me: 

 

Meet me at the NEIGHBORHOOD barre

When I was a little girl all of the ‘cool girls’ were in dance at places like Ms. Donna’s Dance Studio or Ms. Becky’s Dance Studio. I’d see the girls at school wearing their dance studio jackets looking like this:

And I was just like this:

Because I didn’t have a cool jacket or ‘dance on Tuesday night’ or cute dance recital pictures.

But that’s all about to change because Nashville’s newest Barre Studio, NEIGHBORHOOD barre, just opened in Brentwood and I’ve been invited to check them out! (There’s also a fun surprise for YOU at the end of the post)

neighborhood barre

Kelly Phillips is the owner of Nashville’s NEIGHBORHOOD barre and she was sweet enough to answer a few questions I had about barre and motherhood:

kelly-neighborhood barre nashville

Barre is becoming a pretty popular form of exercise. What makes Neighborhood Barre different?

It was so surprising to me how drastically barre methods could differ by studio. I definitely had the mentality of if you’ve tried one class you’ve tried them all, but each studio has developed their own unique core method with different exercises, class formats and even studio atmosphere.

Neighborhood Barre’s exercise program is based off the Lotte Berk method, a Russian ballerina whom many believe to have created the original ‘barre’ method of exercise. Similar to pilates and yoga, the Lotte Berk method concentrates on targeting ‘tough to tone’ areas for women for strength and flexibility training. How Neighorhood Barre interprets that is we focus on small, isometric movements that work target muscle groups to fatigue and then we stretch them out to sculpt lean muscle tone. We provide an interval cardio effect that is hard to find in other barre studios through shorter transition times between our exercises as well as extending how long we hold our ‘sprints’ and moves within each exercise, increasing your heart rate and allowing you to really embrace the shake at NB!

Edited to add: Here is more info about Yoga & Pilates!

One of the biggest things we pride our studio’s reputation on is our friendly, motivating and supportive staff. Our studio is a judgment-free zone and we embrace women with all body types and fitness levels. Each instructor provides thorough instruction and one-on-one modifications to each client throughout class to make sure you get the most of every time at the barre.

Lastly, we change our exercises in class daily, in fact you may never take the same class twice!, so you never tire of the same old ‘routine’.

I love that you guys offer childcare, which makes it more likely a mom will take some time for herself. How do you make sure to take care of yourself so that you can be a better mom?

We wanted to offer childcare to give the opportunity for mom’s to incorporate fitness into their routine. It was also important to us to provide complimentary childcare at our studio – you’re already paying a premium for our premium exercise program and we certainly don’t want to deter moms to visit by nickel-and-diming you every class visit!

You have to take care of yourself to take care of others and as moms we tend to put ourselves last in line. As a mom to a nearly 2 year-old daughter, barre became a big part of my mental and physical well-being, pre-and-post baby! We want our mamas to be able to take an hour to focus exclusively on themselves and hit the reset button. These classes have me feeling stronger, healthier, more energized and more mentally centered than ever before. I find I’m a better mom and wife when I’m in a better mental and physical state. And I’ve truly developed so many new friendships at the barre, in particular through the mommy network here. It’s nice to be surrounded by like-minded women you can relate to!

Most of my readers aren’t rolling in dough. What kinds of specials do y’all have that a ‘poor mom’ in Nashville should know about?

Barre and other boutique studios are just that, a premium service at typically a premium rate. That being said it was a tough pill for me to swallow at first going from working out in my bonus room to joining a barre studio! But the results are what kept me coming back, and honestly investing that much money in classes absolutely held me accountable to get my butt in gear and get to class! It really does become an addiction when you start seeing the results!

We have many different offers and discounts to accommodate just about every woman. As long as you’re coming to class about 8 times per month on average, unlimited class packages are typically the most economical option. All new clients may take advantage of our one-time specials of one month unlimited classes for $100 as well as our 3 class pass for $30, if you’d like to try a couple classes first before you commit to a month unlimited. For our mamas we have a baby-on-board package (expecting mamas, barre is great for you because it is low-impact and we provide additional pregnancy modifications for safety and comfort), and a new mommy package (for moms with babies 18 months and under) of $125/month for unlimited classes for 3 months.

We have plenty of other special rates to accommodate most women (such as teachers, nurses, students, young professionals, and seniors packages) and also offer price incentives based upon the time commitment of your package, meaning the longer you commit to a class package, the lower the class rate! Lastly we’re always looking for women who want to earn barre benefits, including discounts and even free barre classes, by volunteering in our child care area and even helping out at the front desk, just ask us for details!

 

I have always wanted to be a ballerina. Will barre make me look like a ballerina?

You are definitely on your tippy toes at times in class, but there are no twirls or tu-tu’s here (unless you want to rock one, go for it girl!)! The ballet barre used in class is essentially like another piece of equipment we incorporate for balance, support, and core strengthening. Barre exercise will help you achieve that toned, svelte, ‘dancer’s physique’ since you build exceptional muscle tone without the bulk. And it will undoubtedly make you feel stronger, more flexible, energized and perhaps more graceful!

Anything else you think we should know about Neighborhood Barre?

No lie, that first class can be in-tense! Prepare to work muscle groups you may not have known you even had, and it’s completely normal to take breaks in class. We do encourage clients to take three classes with us before you decide if our fitness program is for you. This gives you a couple of classes to try out several different exercises and instructors, as well as gives your body the opportunity to acclimate to the method and technique. Because of that we want to offer all Poor Mom readers one week of unlimited classes complimentary! Just mention this blog post to redeem in-studio, over the phone (615-454-3785) or shoot us an email (nashville@neighborhoodbarre.com), and we’ll get you set up! We offer over 30 classes per week with class times ranging fro 5:30 am to 6:45 pm and free child care during select class times (reservations online at www.neighborhoodbarre.com or by calling the studio are required as space is limited!)

Questions about the studio or our classes we may not have answered here? Visit our FAQ page here: http://www.neighborhoodbarre.com/faq.php. And make sure to follow us on social media to be in the know of all current specials and exclusive giveaways!
Instagram @NeighborhoodBarreNash
Facebook @NeighborhoodBarreNashville
Twitter @NBbarre_Nash

Still unsure what the tuck we’re talking about? We offer ‘Breaking Down the Barre’ classes for new and current clients every 4 – 6 weeks (the next class will be Saturday, August 29th at 11 am!) that focuses on breaking down the technique and deepening your understanding of the exercise. Follow us on social media to learn more!
***

Did y’all see that? One week of unlimited classes BECAUSE you read The Poor Mom!

As a thank you to Kelly and NEIGHBORHOOD barre for their generosity I’d love it if you guys went and followed them on Instagram and tagged a friend (or 5) on this post because I think it’s funny.

What are your leggings telling you? #tuesdaytruths #tuckingtruths #sassypants #ourhipsdontlie #keepithighandtight #barrestrong #meetmeatthebarre #nbnash

A photo posted by Neighborhood Barre Nashville (@neighborhoodbarrenash) on Aug 18, 2015 at 5:12am PDT

I will be going to my first barre class tomorrow morning, and I’ll be doing an Instagram log of the adventure and using #PoorMomWalksUpToABarre so be sure to follow me there, too.

Question: Were you a dance kid? Did you have one of those cool jackets? How cool did you think you were because of it? The outsiders need to know.

Facebook Mom Groups

I didn’t even know Facebook Mom Groups existed until a couple of years ago. A friend told me to join the Nashville one because sometimes they had interesting questions/conversations about marriage post-baby. From there I found an entire subculture of mom groups on Facebook.

There were the Natural Moms. The Organic Natural Moms. The Organic Natural Crunchy Parents (because Dads are people, too!). The Religious Parents. The NOT Religious Parents. The Moms That Work. The Moms That Babywear. The Moms That Drink Wine at the Playdate.

If you aren’t a parent to a young child right now you probably think I’m joking. But I’m not. There is a Facebook group for every possible parenting style/theology/philosophy/circumstance imaginable. (Seriously, I was/am in a group for multi-racial parents and for attachment parents that work outside the home. NOT JOKING.)

I don’t actively check out what these groups are talking about, but every once in a while a conversation from the Nashville Moms will pop into my feed and I just thought I’d share the comments/questions that interest me the most:

“I’m going to get my boobs done. Anyone have any suggestions?”

The first time I saw this type of question on a local Facebook group I was like:

Why are you posting that question on a public forum?

But then I get curious. What does a person thinking about a boob job’s boobs look like? I mean, not actually look like, but, like, in their Facebook profile pic? Asking for a friend, of course.

The stalking begins.

“I just got mine done!”

Inevitably a whole bunch of women join the conversation and start talking about getting their boobs done, and I spend the rest of the day like this:

“My baby is vomiting/bleeding/hit its head/has ebola-like symptoms. Should I go to the doctor?”

I totally understand not knowing when something is an emergency when it comes to your child. Totally. But I like to ask people I actually know for their opinions so that I can judge who to listen to and who to ignore. I mean, how do you know if the person that just told you it wasn’t a big deal that your kid stabbed himself in the eye with a fork because cells know how to heal themselves and just put some lavender oil on it actually knows what they are talking about? How do you know if they graduated 3rd grade? How do you know that they aren’t an idiot? HOW DO YOU KNOW??? WHY ARE YOU TRUSTING STRANGERS?!?!

“I discipline my kids with kisses, they don’t know what the Internet is, and they’ve never even been in the room with a gluten. But I guess I just love my kids. *shrug*”

And then I go to their Facebook page to be all silently judgey while eating my Big Mac because #human.

“Any suggestions on the very best photographer/nanny/doula/first-world service that costs nothing or at least next to nothing. We are a family of X and we just don’t have money to throw around.”

or

“Ugh. Photographers/Doulas/Nannies are SO EXPENSIVE! I want their services, but those prices are outrageous! Who do they think they are?”

I know this attitude is everywhere, but I see it so much in mom groups. Everyone wants quality without compensation and it annoys me to no end, especially when they throw out the number of kids or their single-income status… Um, you know those are choices, right?

And who do they think they are? Someone with a service you want. #capitalism

“I just had the worst experience at (Insert Doctor/Daycare/Hospital) and I will never go back to that place again! Looking for recs!”

You’re going to tell me you have a juicy story, not tell me the details, AND then want my help? Yeah. That’s not how this works. You show me yours and then I’ll tell you mine.  

Any mom group behavior that annoys/humors/interests you?

Being the Magi

I was in the shower yesterday looking at my belly thinking, “What if I’m pregnant?”

I haven’t missed a period. Mark and I are practicing a fairly effective form of birth control.

But what if?

I mean, I’m pudgy. Is there any reason other than pregnancy that would explain my pudginess? I don’t think so. And I am noticing lots of smells lately. That’s definitely pregnancy.

But still there’s that whole birth control thing. But what if I’ve prayed so hard and so well that God was like, “Hey. Here’s a baby. No sperm required.”

AND MY NAME IS MARIE WHICH IS THE FRENCH FORM OF MARY WHO GAVE BIRTH TO JESUS.

I start writing a fantasy trilogy about a virgin birth to a great wizard that is forced to fight to the death in a sick government tournament against other virgin born wizards in my head, and totally forget that I wanted a baby.

***

I’m mad, and I need to take it out on someone.

“You don’t want a baby. But I want another baby. And we have to decide. We have to decide right now.”

I have to be somewhere in 10 minutes.

“Why do we have to decide right now?”

“Because I can’t have babies forever. And if we’re going to do this we have to decide now.”

Mark is very smart. He knows he is in trouble, and he starts speaking very slowly.

“Ok…”

“Don’t toy with me, man! Give me a baby or give me death!”

The drama has begun, Ladies and Gentlemen.

There is weeping and gnashing of husbands for the next hour. I don’t make it to the thing I was supposed to go to.

***

After hours of conversation I realize that I don’t want a baby. Not entirely. I mean, I would rather this unexplained pudginess be more baby, less Oreos, but I’m not all the way convinced that another baby will make me happy.

More than anything, I want Otis to have siblings. I want Otis to  have a family that grows up with him.

Otis loves his family. I don’t know that there’s anything that gives him more joy than being with his family. And it scares me because the youngest member of his family is 20 years old. In my head all I can think is that Otis will be absolutely alone for the last 20 years of his life, that everyone will die before him.

I want another baby because I don’t want my baby to be alone.

***

My siblings and I have this game we play, I’ll call it “2 versus 1.” On every single topic we seem to be split 2 vs 1:

2 of us were born in Hawaii, 1 of us was not.

2 of us will eat almost anything, 1 of us will not.

2 of us are legally blind, 1 of us is not.

2 of us can run like a normal human being, 1 of us cannot.

We play this game whenever we’re together. We recently agreed that it wasn’t really that fascinating, but we continue to look for how one of these things is not like the other because the DNA lottery is fascinating.

Otis might never play this game. That makes me want to cry.

***

I remember the man I made promises to. He is an artist. He is a thinker. He is a loner. He is a perfectionist. He is a protector.

On our wedding day I knew that I wasn’t marrying a suburban dad with 2.5 kids and a dog. I knew, from the very beginning, our life was going to be weird and strange. I knew I had fallen in love with an ‘odd bird.’

And my odd bird is asking me to help him. My odd bird is asking me to be grateful for where we are today, for what we have, for who we have. He needs something right now, and a new baby doesn’t make achieving that something easier. It makes it harder.

We’re both asking each other to sacrifice dreams. To sacrifice a part of ourselves. I am asking him to put down his career. He is asking that I put down the pregnancy test.

We are the modern day Magis trying to find ways to say ‘I love you’ without letting go of, what feels like, an essential part of our beings.

This is hard.

***

Sometimes I daydream about having twins.

twins

***

I don’t know how marriages work without sacrifice. Every member of the team needs to at least be willing to give up what they want for the other one. I mean, if you aren’t willing to give up your dreams then are you really on a team? Or was our wedding day just a casting call? Did I get married so that I’d have all of the roles filled for the show titled ‘Life’ starring, produced, and directed by me.

Sacrifice is not a fun part of marriage, but it’s essential.

I don’t want to sacrifice. I don’t want to hear Mark say, “Maybe we should have had another kid” when I’m 45 and too old to even dream about holding little babies in my arms.

But I also don’t want Mark to look back and wonder if he used his gifts as fully as he could have.

What a pickle.

***

“Fine! I’ll have your baby!” I yell in a lame attempt at reverse psychology. We laugh. Together. In the middle of this we’re still together.

***

We are in the middle of the questions. There aren’t neat and tidy answers yet. I probably shouldn’t even be writing this.

His dream is still alive. My dream is still alive. We are doing the dance of marriage and figuring out how to put each other first without losing ourselves. We are figuring out how to stay on the same team, even when it feels like our goal lines are in completely opposite directions.

Even if I don’t get ‘my way,’ I can say, without a shadow of a doubt, that this season has made me fall even more in love with the man I chose to be on my team because in some weird way we were able to almost always fight for each other. And that’s a gift in itself, isn’t it?

Working the Flow

I have spent the last 3 weeks getting up early and doing a quick, not-easy-for-me-but-I’m-sure-you-could-kill-it workout before I start the day. No one in the world would expect me to be up which means I’m completely free from the guilt of someone expecting me to be somewhere or work on something.

It’s like I’m invisible.

I hadn’t had any trouble getting up early and working out. It’s been, dare I say, fun? I liked the energy boost and the nice feeling that came with carving time out of my day to take care of me.

But this morning? This morning I moaned at the idea of jumping up and down while a YouTube fitness personality shouted fitspiration at me.

I knew this feeling well. Just like clockwork I get to this point every month where I just want to hide. I don’t want to be energetic or creative. I just want to curl up with my inner circle (that would be Mark, Otis, and the cats) and pretend there’s an ice storm raging outside.

I  have always known this about myself, but I wasn’t very good at figuring out when I was in a ‘valley’ until I was out of the ‘valley.’ Instead I’d berate myself for not being disciplined enough to stay with a workout routine or dread the fact that I just signed up for a weekend full of “girl’s nights” when I’d rather spend the evening like this:

I watched this Tedx Talk about menstrual cycles last year (maybe?):

ETA: Becca from Betty Becca (make her part of your reads) is one of my best friends and most favorite internet finds. After she watched this talk she went and found the speaker’s website, Flo Living, and forwarded me all of the tests to find out how to optimize the sheet out of our femininity. Love to your ovaries, peeps.

She talks about becoming a partner with your body instead of constantly fighting it. She talks about how there are 4 different stages of our ‘cycle.’ That there’s a time where we’re most creative, where we’re the best at communicating, a time where we’re more into details and planning, and a week where we’re most able to receive information from our ‘gut.’ She talks about looking at our bodies as tools to master the world with instead of as projects in need of improvement.

This information (here’s another great post on the subject) sat in the back of my brain for a while until two months ago when I decided to start putting this information on my calendars:

calendar

 

Orange Highlighter means I’m ‘reflective’ and Red Scribbly Line means I’m ‘creative/energetic.’ I had been tracking my cycle in the Period Tracker app for a long time so I used that information to give me a decent idea where these times would fall.

So when I woke up this morning not really ‘feeling it’ I immediately thought, “Am I going into the reflective cycle?”

AND I WAS.

Instead of beating myself up (because talking crap to yourself is never a good idea), I decided that for the next two weeks I’d get up early, but I’d do something a little quieter and more meditative like barre3 or yoga or pilates. Or maybe I’d just do devotionals and pray and journal. Because the goal for the morning invisibility time was to take care of myself, not do things because someone somewhere thinks I should.

Keeping this information about my cycle in my calendar is changing my life. I don’t feel overwhelmed or overbooked all of the time. I feel good about saying no to invitations and random ideas I come up with, or at least putting them aside until my energy levels are at a better place. And when I know I have to be ‘on’ during one of my valleys I respect that I’m withdrawing from the energy bank account and make a point to make deposits in other ways.

Now I’m not suggesting that my approach to this information is ‘right.’ I mean, if you’re a J you’re probably thinking that the point of any discipline is to do it even when you don’t feel like it and that I’m doing it wrong. And the P in me is basically like:

But why not pay attention to what our minds, hearts, and bodies need? Why not go with the energy instead of against it? Why fight a fight that doesn’t need to be fought? And with that fortune cookie wisdom I give you this so we can all remember that we don’t all have the same gifts and approaches to wellness AND THAT’S OK:

Five on Friday: Otis the Meme

It is Friday. And I have stuff to do. But here I am making memes with random pictures I have of my child. I don’t know how you define winning, but I’m pretty sure I am.

This is a great one to use when you start blocking dumb people from Facebook. OR WHEN YOUR SISTER SAYS SHE DOESN’T LOVE HER NEPHEW! (I probably didn’t use Bye Felicia correctly, but I feel that I deserve points for trying.)
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This is great because we all know that little kids, NOT their mothers, are always trying to put up a “Everything’s great over here!” front on Facebook. And I have no clue where he got his fake smile game from.
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True story: I didn’t know that playing “Wonderwall” was a thing now. I thought everyone played “Freebird.” I feel old.  addtext_com_MTIyMDMwNDc0MDE

His ‘just woke up’ pictures are my favorite.
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I didn’t work very hard on this caption, but I’d be surprised if you got this far anyways.
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Things I Highly Recommend

This is a random post of things I will root for until the day I die.

Barbie: Life in the Dreamhouse

This is a show on Netflix that Otis watches. First of all, boys can watch whatever the heck they want to watch. I still think it’s amazing that people are all about girls playing with ‘boy toys,’ but that there is still something weird about boys playing with ‘girl toys.’ Humanism, people. Learn it. Love it.

Second, Barbie has an undeserved bad reputation. Barbies, and all dolls, are a fun way for children to practice relationship skills, practice storytelling, and dream big dreams of being a model/astronaut.

Third, this show is done so well I thought it was a joke at first, like someone doing a parody of Barbie, not the actual Barbie people. But I was wrong. This is official Barbie content.

Barbie is the perfect balance of humble and confident, and you can’t help but love her. Chelsea, the youngest sister and future world leader, owns my heart. And Ken is everything any girl would want in a husband. They do a great job of telling an interesting story, making fun of the Barbie brand, and making me laugh.

My neighbors

Two different neighbors have cut our grass for us this month just because.

This might be a normal thing, but I’m used to neighbors just ignoring you or yelling at you for parking in “their grass.” Anyways, we’ve come home to cut grass twice, and, well, I just love our neighbors.

Jane the Virgin

This show is my jam. And bread. And peanut butter. This show is my pb&j.

If I wrote a television show this is the one I would want to write. It has an opinion, but it doesn’t have an agenda. It’s super smart. And it makes fun of itself (I’m starting to realize that I love it when a person/show/entity can make fun of itself).

Also, Rafael/Justin Baldoni is perfection:

The next time you’re like, “What should I binge watch on this perfectly gorgeous day?” you should hear me screaming, “JANE THE VIRGIN! JANE THE VIRGIN!”

Praying

The other night I woke up with a horrible toothache. Like, I seriously considered finding pliers and just getting rid of the problem on my own. I laid in bed and started praying hard. I firmly believe that that time that I was attacked by a dog the Holy Spirit told me what to do (let the dog bite me before I ran away) and protected me from literally losing my entire leg. So I thought I’d ask about how to make my toothache go away without pliers.

And so I heard the Holy Spirit say rinse with salt and water.

But my faith is small. VERY SMALL.

So I googled to see whether salt and water was a thing. And it is a thing! It said that it’s a good way to survive a toothache until you can get to a dentist.

If the Holy Spirit AND Google were suggesting it I figured why not.

Except here’s where the road diverged. I went to bed and it was still hurting so I kept praying. Specifically, I prayed for that tooth to just be healed for all of it to go away. And then I focused on my toes so that I could fall asleep.

And then I woke up.

And my tooth didn’t hurt anymore.

At all.

I am not kidding when I tell you that this is what I was doing when I woke up:

And then I was like this the rest of the day week:

Prayer. It works.

$33
Speaking of prayer, the Nason family is really close their goal and getting their world ready for THREE NEW BABIES. If you have an extra $33 it would be awesome if you threw it their way because they need all the help and prayers and Jesus they can get.