Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Fall Photo Reel

Now that we've caught up on our new 6-year-old (who would proudly tell you she's had all green smiley faces this week because she is NOT talking when the teacher is talking), it's time to go back (and forward!) and recap the rest of October and what appears to be 2/3 of November. Thanksgiving is a week from tomorrow and Christmas is 5 weeks from today! I love this time of year. Countdowns are my favorite and all the big/best days come at you fast from Halloween to New Year's- huzzah!

But! Going backwards- I realized I never blogged Halloween! As usual I put the bare minimum effort into their costumes and everyone had a fantastic time.

Landon was a swimmer (all items he already owned), Claire was Audrey from The Descendants (a reference few got but she was delighted by the fancy Chasing Fireflies dress I got for $12 off our neighborhood buy/sell page), and Cora was a mermaid (thanks to a dress I'd bought years ago on Amazon because it was super cheap only to realize it was super cheap because the sizing was WAY off and I'd only just re-found and the headband I'd bought to wear with my costume last year and then forgot to wear). Claire was THRILLED when I let her wear some of my makeup and suddenly she looked about 15 years old.

Cora also allowed a little eye shadow, which was a first that she had to show off to everyone. For all that she's in to dress up, she's remained staunchly anti-makeup. Also, after much debate Cora, finally deigned to wear a long sleeve t-shirt under her costume in the 30 degree weather even though "mermaids don't wear shirts OR JACKETS." Because realism is important when you're a imaginary/mythical figure.

Maggie was a pumpkin.

I was a mom keeping warm in two coats and a yeti full of hot toddy and James was coming in late from coaching swimming.

His costume was a surprise throwback to his Disco Stu of last year, this time with his dressy Chicago coat I hadn't seen in 10 years. He walked into our friend's house in his 3" fish platforms, open shirt, and a personal Disco playlist blasting out from inside his coat pocket. I'm not sure who this man is, but I love that I get to take him home at the end of the night.

Miles were walked in the freezing cold for candy while parents with booze wagons followed along. It was a great night.

My parents came for a visit that following weekend! We hit some favorite Fort Worth hot spots- the water gardens, The Bearded Lady (Pigmento sandwich- an improbable combination of bbq pulled pork, sharp pimento cheese, and blueberry compote grilled on sourdough- FTW), and Melt for ice cream after.

Maggie loves her grandparents very much and she was appropriately adored back.

We went on a long family walk to the park, with plans to eat our favorite brunch (Blue Mesa buffet forever!) after I taught my yoga class. My mom planned to attend, and at the last minute, my dad joined too! I got to teach both my parents their first ever yoga classes! And they loved it! My dad was so inspired he bought me a handmade mala I've been eyeing in our studio for months and months. It was such a special hour and the mala commemorates so much for me about my sweet studio and my yoga practice and teaching.

Brunch was wonderful and then my parents headed out on their way back to Houston while we wrapped up our weekend at home.

Other highlights:

Cora picked out her big girl bike with my grandparents' birthday money. She dressed to match it and loves it VERY much.

I voted in our local elections because we VOTE IN ALL THE THINGS.

Maggie still picks the girls up from school on Fridays and is still a perfect angel soft and wrinkly therapy dog.

Maggie has turned into a fire worshipping flame goddess.

When the fire is on, she's testing the strength of the fireplace gate. When it's not, she's staring into the cold logs, wondering why the goddess is not blessing her.

It's makes Maggie so happy when the flames deem her worthy of their warmth. Only then can her limbs be fully tucked and her tongue at rest.

Oh! back before Halloween I taught my yoga seminar! I was immensely proud of my stick figure visuals. You can't imagine how little artistic talent I have, so I practiced my stick figures on scratch paper, divided out the poster board with a ruler to play where each figure would go, and did many a pencil etching before committing to marker, but I think they really helped!

The workshop I created was called "The Yoga Dozen" and the idea was to really dive into the most common poses you see in any vinyasa yoga class. My hope was that beginners would then feel comfortable trying group classes, that home-practitioners could get the benefit of the in-person instruction and correction to take back to their mats, and experienced practitioners could get a tune-up on their own form and alignment and maybe find out how they could uplevel those and other postures. And it was so great!!! I was exhausted after the two hours were over, but I had corrected, adjusted, and cued every pose for every person and the feedback was really positive. I love love love teaching this beautiful, powerful practice.

We had a Friendsgiving at a friend's new house and I made the most delicious salad. It was a total pain the neck- I think I was in the kitchen for 4 hours making it after yoga on Saturday, but it was INCREDIBLY good. I highly recommend it, especially if you can get someone else to make it for you.

James has added some t-shirts and hoodies to his online store, something that has required a surprising (and yet not at all surprising if you know him and his obsessive nature) number of hours designing and then photographing them under blinding lights in our sun room.

My grandpa Nordin turned 90 this past Monday, which is a goddamn miracle between being shot down in Vietnam and rescued by helicopter under heavy fire and then having what should have been a fatal heart attack in Wisconsin two years ago. We're spending Thanksgiving with all four of my grandparents next week and I am so very thankful.

I'm less thankful for the fact I'm still really struggling over gaining 10ish lbs over the last year or two and just being a size up/different from what I was two years ago. I'm EXTREMELY annoyed that it really does fuck with my head because every rational part of me knows I look fine, I feel great, and I'm as strong and healthy as I've ever been. But ugh, it is simply the truth that it is a regular struggle to talk myself off a ledge of self-loathing every time I'm reminded of something that used to fit but doesn't or simply fits differently. And then I battle the fact that if I really wanted to work at it, I probably could look the same because I am 100% just eating more than I used to, but I honestly don't want to work that hard or say no to delicious things and I don't really think I need to. But then I put on an old pair of pants and fuck, and so it continues, silently, in my head, on repeat, while I also internally yell that it's so superficial and ridiculous and omg I look FINE and I feel GREAT. And back and forth we go.

So I'm working on being intentionally thankful for the strength and flexibility I've built in my body, and for the love and camaraderie that is wrapped up in the great, whole, often-but-not-always healthy meals I get to cook for my family, and hope that eventually my inner critic will embrace those things too. Because I AM grateful for all of that and I'm deeply annoyed that my psyche is so distracted by the nonproductive self-defeating inanity described in the paragraph above.

Particularly because, as I always try to remind everyone, Maggie loves you (and me). And she thinks we're all perfect.

Even if she wishes you would stop talking to the neighbors on our walk because unlike some people, she's trying to work on her fitness.

Happy mid-to-late November to you all!


  1. This was wonderful! Thank you for sharing!

  2. Have you heard of the Health At Every Size (HAES) movement or Intuitive Eating? It might help you quiet the voices in your head about the change in your body. The culprit is definitely Diet Culture and disentangling it's hold might help you make peace. I recommend the Food Psych podcast ( or anything else in the Intuitive Eating/HAES genre. I'm sorry you're struggling with that at the moment and I hope it gets easier.

    As always love your blog! Thank you for sharing.

    1. Yes to all of this!! Food Psych is incredibly helpful.

  3. I am amazed you still have living grandparents. My last gp died when I was 14 (28 years ago) at the age of 89. My dad is now 78.

    The only way for me to lose weight these days is to not eat dinner. Or wine. Or anything sweet, ever. Is it worth it? Maaaaaayyyyybe. Haven't decided yet. The problem with a 10lb weight gain over 2 years isn't that it's a problem now (it's clearly not), it's that over 10 years that is 50 lbs. I know you know this so I will not belabor the point, and I am sorry if this comment makes you feel bad or anxious in any way. It's just something *I* think about for *myself*. It truly is a struggle to find the balance between loving yourself the way you are, and striving for continuous self improvement -- not just in physical appearance, but health, kindness, work, life -- really in every way.

    1. Well, 10 lbs doesn't actually have to turn into 50. I'm about 10ish lbs above my lowest adult weight and have been for years. It's never been hard to maintain this weight and once I got over the idea that I needed to return to that lower weight, I felt (and feel) great. I think my body is happy at this healthy weight, I don't obsess over what I'm eating, and - to me - that is the definition of self-improvement.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. Of course it doesn’t have to! It's just that it often does. I have to look no further than my own family for evidence of this. And honestly, there is a big difference between "obsessing" over returning to a previous weight and feeling terrible about yourself all the time, and changing habits so that it happens more organically. I'm sorry you have had such difficulty separating the two in the past, but I'm glad you feel great now!

  4. You look beautiful. The weight thing is hard. I'm about 6 lbs above where I'd like to be, but that 'like to be' weight would require way more discipline and I just don't have the bandwidth for that kind of discipline in my current stage of life (I have a 21 month old and we'd like to have another in the next year). I wish it was easier for us to be kinder to ourselves and accept what we see in the mirror. I try to remind myself to talk to myself as I would a good friend! It's actually gotten a little easier since having our son because I recognize how little time I have to invest to workout but I keep telling myself it's a stage of life that will pass and someday I'll have the time/energy to work out more often. Hang in there!

  5. I know you aren't fishing for compliments, but, you're hot! I can definitely relate, though. I'm thrilled for my kids' generation that it seems the body positivity messages are increasing. I was born in 1982 and I have no idea when I learned to equate thin with pretty but it's deeply entrenched. The you that comes through via your writing is full of an energy that has nothing to do with your looks--and I am betting those who love you certainly don't care about your weight. But I get it. Thanks for your honesty.

    1. Love this comment. Susannah, you seem like such a healthy, kind soul. And LL, you are my favorite blogger out there.

  6. Echoing many other thoughts here in saying 1) thank you for sharing this tough-to-talk-about feeling, and 2) I hope you find a more comfortable headspace in focusing on how your body feels and moves vs how it looks :)
    Also only somewhat related but the colours in that salad are so great!! Might try to attempt it this weekend (pending timing!)

  7. I'm up about 10-15 lbs from a few years ago, and the best thing I've done is just..... get rid of the old pants. Then they don't haunt me and I stop thinking about them.

    1. yes yes, agree with this. even with pretty much getting back down to normal weight from baby #3, so many things just fit differently in a way that depressed me, so finally, I said hell with it and bought new things that were cut differently and now it's not loathing/anger inducing when I go raid my closet.

  8. I don't comment here often but I felt compelled to do so on this post.

    Please get rid of your old clothes - you really look fabulous and there's no need to feel bad about anything to do with your body (as you mentioned). I believe that our clothes should not make us feel bad (check out Stasia Stavasuk on Instagram) and if they do, out they go. The most important thing is that you're healthy and strong!

  9. I just came to say "holy swimmers body". You re a stunning couple..