Monday, July 21, 2014

Old Joy #322 or A Post About High Heels & Body Image

I'm in an Online Bible Study/Community Group with some Mighty Fine Ladies, and last week, we talked a lot about our blogs and becoming better writers in general.

We talked a little bit about "word vomit."  While, I'm not a huge fan of that terminology...



and





It is a good way to describe, "Just Getting Things Down."

A lot of words in a small amount of time.  Little to no editing.

And I thought I'd give it a whirl.



     I don't want to give a lot of revealing details because I don't want to embarrass the ladies I'm about to (nicely) mention.

     Last week, I went to an exercise class, and there were two really, really pretty girls in the front row.

     They could have been gymnasts...or ballerinas...or movie stars.  Fit. petite. tan. blonde. skinny.

I mean.  Let's be honest, their attractiveness was noticeable.

So, I thought to myself, "What must it be like...to be the hottest girl in the room?"

And I know "hot" is a relative term.  Tim would probably say, "They're too skinny."

And God bless Tim Young.  He has a record of preferring "curvy" girls.  

Hello. Have you seen me?

But in my book, they were hot.

And I realize...we all have different strengths.  And I know I value "thin" and "pretty" waayyyy too much.

I feel like (maybe I'm exaggerating), but if someone could say, "Pick your weight."  I would probably say, "Hi. I would like to weigh 95 pounds."

Even though I know my husband would not find that attractive (on me, personally.  No offense to all you petite gals out there).

What does it say about me- the fact that I would rather look like what I think is "hot" rather than what my husband thinks is "hot?"

And I'm starting to think this whole "word vomit" thing was a bad idea. ;)

Why aren't I asking....

What is it like to be the most generous person in the room? The hardest worker?  The most organized?  The most financially responsible?

Like, I rarely say to myself, "She is so generous.  I need to grow in that area."  Or, "She is so well-read.  I need to ask her for book suggestions."

But I often think, "I would pay $10,000 for her thigh gap."

And that makes me sad.

So.  There we are.

I don't know.  I need to try to value inner qualities more than I value the way other women look.

It's like...oh, you're pretty?  Come sit by me.  

     You know...those surveys where they ask little girls, "Would you rather be smart or pretty?" And everyone is appalled because "OMG...96.8% of the little girls said they would rather be pretty and what is this nation coming to...we have to save the children!?!?!?"

You all. 

     I would totally pick "pretty."  I KNOW the "right" answer is "smart." But I also believe you can handle anything as long as it is dealt with in honesty.  Thank you to my friend, Susan Smith Riewerts for The Best Advice Ever circa 2007.  ;) 

Maybe that is the wrong question.  Because it is possible to be both. 

So. There's that.  

     Also, I've stopped getting on the scale (for now).  Because the number is never good enough.  If it ends in a 6, I BEG for it to end in a 5 and when it finally ends in a 5, I'm asking why the last number isn't a 4. 

And that is not the pathway of Jesus.  


Word vomit, word vomit. Hardy-har har.

     When you see me accidentally going left when everyone else is going right it's because I'm actually writing blog posts in my head as I exercise. ;)

If we're going to compare, it should at least be in a healthy, well-balanced way, I suppose.

In other news...

     Two weeks ago, I bought a pair of heels.  I haven't owned a real-life pair of high heels in a long time. In fact, I remember trying some on about a year ago, and joking to the lady in the aisle, 

"The year is 2013, and I'm no longer wearing heels."

In hindsight, I was tired.  I don't mean "tired from shopping" or "just needed a nap."

You all.


I was tired.


And I think also a little depressed.  And out of shape.  Ha.  

Do you get the idea or should I keep listing thangs'?

So. I bought heels.  And I'm in love, I'm in love.  And I am like, 2 months, "off the nail."  
(I'm a 32 year old recovering nail-biter).

All good things.

I'm gonna be honest. I don't know how to end this...and I'm worried that I am making myself out to sound self-conscious and, as the kids are saying these days, "Cray cray." Read: Crazy.  When, actually the opposite is true, I suppose.  

So. Hooray.  

In my next post, I'm going to be like, "HEY GUYS!  LET'S TALK ABOUT HOW WELL BALANCED AND NORMAL I AM!  EVERYONE ACT NATURAL!"  ;)  

One of the hardest parts about getting married is that sometimes, you will take a picture that you like of yourself...but your husband has one eye 1/2 way closed.  



Tim Young. Get with the program.

So you will have to post one of each. ;)



Also, this dress is a size 14.  I haven't worn a size 14 since Bush was in Office

Hold my coffee while I cartwheel down this here hall... in my new heels.  

Love and be kind. 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Hey, You: a post about prayer and your babies

So. Hi.

     Moms are on my heart.  I wish I lived close enough to every single mom I know on twitter and/or instagram just so I could squeeze their babies while they go to Starbucks/buy new shoes/ take a nap.

     On any given day, babies are either 100% on my radar or not on my radar at all. Uh. One of those statements is a lie.  Honestly, I keep my baby-related cards pretty close to my chest, but if you watch closely enough, occasionally, some small truths start to  trickle out.

So. There's that.

     Right now, my focus is on my physical and mental health & wellness.  Hardest ambition ever.  Am I right?  I hope there are lots of demons The Lord has helped me tame before we have kids. I'm terrified of having a daughter and not knowing how to help her love her body because I don't love my own. Double Yikes.  Is that the most difficult truth on the internet?  My most difficult truth. Yes.

With that being said, I've started running.

I love it.

I hate it.

I love it.

I sent my friend a text message from the arc trainer the other day.  After a sweaty 60 minute workout I actually asked her if it was possible for me to request a medically induced coma.

Ha.

Before I started running, I was super scared, guys.  I actually cried in the parking lot of the park. I'm not even kidding.

It is scary being out of shape and trying something new.  It just is.

In a moment of absolute desperation, I wrote Lucy's and Lucas' initials on my hand because they're my faves. and they make me want to be a better human being.  And those six little letters gave me courage.

LMJ
LGJ

On my first day back at the gym after an almost two week break (no one wants to sweat when they're covered in poison ivy), again I wrote their initials on my hand...along with a few other sweet babies I know.

And praying for those sweet souls gave me courage.  So I started to do it during every run, and when my hands ran out of room, I wrote them down on paper.

Awhile ago, I connected with a sweet gal via the internet.  She was having a hard time. I understood.  I reached out.  She  wrote back and offered to add me to the list of women she was praying for.  I agreed and it was the most humbling experience I've had in a long time.

It was one of those experiences that leaves you crying to your mother in Panera.  So. This is me paying it forward.

I will tell you this...

I've got a whole list of babies and new moms and women struggling with miscarriages/infertility that I'm posting on the treadmill when I run.  Run. Breathe. Pray. Run.

If you need baby-related prayers, I'm your girl.  I'll even write it on poster board if I run out of room.

I can't help but think of this, and it makes me giggle.



If you are struggling with infertility or a miscarriage or you have a tiny baby at home, hit me up.  I'd love to add you to the list.

You don't have to tell me any specifics, and I promise I will never publicly publish your name.

You can even anonymously leave a comment below with your initials or you can find me at cartwheelsdownthehall@gmail.com 


It's just that...now I'm running over 10 minutes at a time.

It's easy to give yourself a motivational speech for 1 minute and 30 seconds.

Not so easy for a minute and 540 seconds.

You guys.

So.  While I drag myself another 1/10 of a mile, I will pray for you and your babies and those of you with "resting in peace" babies and even your waiting-to-be-made babies- cause dang' if that isn't the stinkiest road to walk, right?

Love and I'm here if you need me,






Monday, July 14, 2014

Six Easy Marriage Lessons



     Tim and I celebrated our six year anniversary on Saturday, and I'm pretty stinking excited about it.  Every year feels like a victory.  I love celebrating it.  I'm not entirely sure what kind of trouble we will get ourselves into this year  (We had an out of town wedding on our anniversary...so fun to share it with friends) so the wheels are still turning.  I love daydreaming about a quick road trip or romantic dinner somewhere.  The prep work is almost as good as the actual date itself!  Today, I'm sharing six lessons I've learned over the years that SHOULD have been super easy to master.  Sometimes, a gal just needs to take the long way.  Today I'm gonna try to spare you the trouble.  ;)  

1. Be kind.  This one needs no more explanation.  The choice is obvious (and HARD).  Choose kindness.  When you're both running late.  When dinner catches on fire.  When the milk gets left out.  


Just be kind.   

 2. Talk through the times when you feel out of control. Sometimes your spouse will struggle with things that are beyond everyone's control. For me, this is weight related. That's a loooong story and not at all what this post is about. ( I just wanted to give a relevant example).  It is hard for Tim to watch me struggle with my weight. He wants to "fix it" for me and he just can't. It's not an easy fix and not something I can control entirely, either.  We do the best we can. So. In the interest of time, that's all imma' say about that. 

How will you handle the struggles that are beyond your control?  

My advice?  Snuggle.  Hold hands.  Kiss good-bye and hello.  Fake it till' you make it.  Stay humble. Stay vulnerable.  Stay open.  Don't give up.  Go back to #1.  

3. You will never get this time back.  The band, O.A.R. has a special place in my heart.  They were hugely popular among  my friends when I was in college (They attended OSU).  They have a new song out called, "Peace." 

I always feel a little cheesy quoting song lyrics, but these words really spoke to my heart.  

We ran another off the tracks.  
That's time we can't get back, 
but we can save tomorrow if we try.    

With that being said, I'm a pouter.  Sigh. Pout, pout, pout.  Isn't that embarrassing?  So...just remember (again, I've learned this the hard way)

     
     Every minute you spend actin' a fool is a minute lost in the pursuit of a happy, Christ-filled marriage.  There will never be another date night/dinner/car ride EXACTLY like this one.  Don't waste it by acting like wifezilla.


  
     Oh. You wanted to see a picture of a reptile wearing a wedding veil?  You've come to the right place.  You're welcome. 

4. Don't make it weird.  If you're going through a tough season, try not to focus on the "weirdness."  Tim and I have had our fair share of "weirdness."  Strange distance.  Lulls in conversation.  Busy schedules.  Just recently, I found myself praying, "Lord, we're just in a weird spot right now."  But then I realized...maybe I was the one bringing the weirdness.  

Whatever you water will grow.  Don't water the weirdness.  <<< That sounds crazy.  

But seriously, am I right?  Now, I am trying to say/pray positive affirmations....things like, "Everything is going to be ok."  Or, "I'm so thankful for...."  

5. Remember, you chose him. Tim does not coddle me. He just doesn't and it drives me insane. When I am running late, and I'm frustrated, he is the first person to say, 

"Hi. You should have gotten up earlier." 

      
     So. Not entirely helpful but necessary at times, nonetheless. Whenever I start to get a little bit nutty about this, I just remember that I KNEW this about Tim before I married him, and that was my choice. I chose him. I knew he was like this. I need to get over it.  

Let it gooooo! Let it gooooo!  

6. Remember, you married a man. Everyone else's husband is a man too. The other day, we went out to eat.  I ordered a pineapple tea and I was suuuper excited about it. Tim was not. He just kept saying it was iced tea with pineapple juice in it and frankly, the whole ordeal left me a little bit indignant. (I just used the word "ordeal" when explaining a situation in which I ordered pineapple tea if that gives you any idea of what it's like to live with me #overlydramatic #ilovemesometea).  


     Then my friend told a story about her husband and baby names. My 30-ish weeks pregnant friend had asked, in desperation, in an absolute panic...

WHAT IF OUR BABY DOESN'T "LOOK LIKE" THE NAME WE PICKED !?!?! 

 And her husband was like. "It's a baby. Our baby is going to look like a baby. Let's just name it."    

     So. We are gals and we married men and men don't get too excited about baby names or pineapple teas. It's not personal.  It's just the way it is. 

But I guess I'd rather have Tim behave that way than have him be like...


OMG IS THAT PINEAPPLE TEA!?!?! 





Do you know what I mean?  One of us has to be hysterical and one of us has to be the stoic/brave/realist when the zombies attack.  


It's ok.  I'm making peace with my role, and I'm learning to make peace with his.  


Is it weird if I end this post with, "Love you."  ?


Well.  I do.  I believe in marriage, and the fact that you even took the time to read a post about how to have a better one speaks volumes about yours. :) 

You can do it. Don't give up.  


Love and I'm here if you need me. 



Monday, June 23, 2014

Ways to Go

Uh. This post is all over the place, but if you can just get through it, there's a fun song included to start your Monday off right and a suggestion for a new app.  Ready, set, go! 

June! Where you goin', June?

Gah!

Imma be real cliche' right now and say, "This month has flown by."

Some highlights include:

-A trip to The Zoo with Tim's family

-Helping with Pre-K Vacation Bible School (totally my jam)

-I planted my garden (tomatoes for days, yo).

- SWIMMING!!!

     Did I forget anything? I'm pretty sure I did.  I'll have to tell you more about some of those things later.  Like. The garden needs more than just an "honorable mention," am I right?

     Anyway.  Tim built these really AMAZING- looking speakers, and we listened to this song on them last night.  I loved the video and just had to share.  I giggled through the entire thing.  I need to add this song to my running playlist, for sure.



     I also love it because, looking at this band, I know my parents would be like, "Who are these people?' and it makes me feel young!  Like I'm 29 again! ;)

     Also, have you tried the new Amazon Prime Music app?  We LOVE Amazon prime.  For $99 dollars a year, you get FREE two day shipping, videos and now this free music.  Grouplove has lots of free songs on this app.  This is not a commercial, I pinky promise!

 Love and a skeleton onesie,

Monday, June 9, 2014

Twitter Made Easy: A Beginner's Guide



   

     I am so excited to participate in my first "Make a Difference Monday" link-up.  I've heard great things about this link-up, and I SO admire the ladies who are heading it up.  

Huzzah! 



     So. Guess what! This is a post about twitter!  I don't have a huge amount of followers and I honestly don't tweet everyday.  However, for the longest time, I didn't really "get" twitter.  After a few quick tips from a friend, it quickly became one of my favorite social media sites.

     I'd love to "pay it forward" and help someone else get started.  It can be a really overwhelming world to navigate alone.

     Here are a few things I've learned along the way.  If you want to "up your game" when it comes to twitter, these suggestions may help you get started!


 Participate in conversations. Sometimes, if it's obvious the conversation is just between two or three people,  don't jump in. However, if someone's asking for book suggestions, sharing a coupon, favorite app, or trading pinterest pins- get in on that action! It's a fun, casual way to be more present and get involved.

Keeping that in mind...

 Be Confident.  Remember- you're adorable. You need to act like you're the most popular girl in the High School Cafeteria. When it comes to "tweeting" at people and joining conversations, just go for it & be confident. People want to hear from you. It feels good when someone new follows you or favorites your tweets. (Even though I'm totally aware, our worth doesn't depend on the number of followers we have, etc. it's still fun to invest in something like a twitter account, and watch it grow). With that being said, help a sista' out. If you GENUINELY liked a post...retweet/favorite away!

Be a good neighbor. Reach out. If you read a blog post that really resonated with you, find the author on twitter, and let them know. Again, be genuine. Don't ask for anything in return. Just say hello, and express your appreciation. I truly believe that with twitter (like most things in life), if you put out “good things,” then “good things” will come back to you.

Trust your readers. Abbreviating my tweets was is really challenging for me. When you run out of room (and you will), it's okay to use “t/g” for “together” or “fin” for “finished.” Give your followers some intellectual credit. They'll get it.

The ampersand is your friend. ;) 




Break old habits. I often use “...” and filler words like “actually” and “oh.” Stop doing that. 140 characters go fast...especially if you're tweeting at someone or want to include a hashtag.

It's ok to sound a little abrupt. You may not get to end every tweet with a cute smiley face, question mark or re-assuring “ok?” and THAT'S ok! People are used to a certain element of abruptness with twitter given the character limit. You can always lighten the mood with your second reply.

Divide your tweets.  If you want to tweet something, but run out of room, use numbers or “...” to indicate that there are more posts coming.

For example, sometimes I might use (½) and write my tweet, then use (2/2) to finish my thought in a separate tweet. You can also use the hashtag #seeprevioustweet

     I've read that some people find this annoying, but I'm (obviously) not one of them- ha.  I find it helpful and I like having the option of tweeting (and reading) more than 140 characters.  

Schedule your tweets. I use buffer app to schedule my tweets, and I find it really helpful! 

In closing, here are four of my favorite accounts to follow! 

Jim Gaffigan  (Just for fun)! 

> Jeff Goins  (Excellent resource for better writing/productivity)

> Lauren Dubinsky  (Funny, pure of heart, CATS!) 

> Nadine  (Sweet, Pure of heart) 

You can find me on twitter here! >>> @HollyCartwheels

Are you on twitter? I'd love to read what you have to say! 

Was this helpful?  Friends, what other suggestions do you have?  Let me know if you have questions! I'm no expert, but I'd love to help! 

Love and clever hashtags! 




Saturday, June 7, 2014

Where are The Girls? (non-urgent reflections on dog ownership)


Here's a disclaimer for you. Happy Saturday. ;) 

     We often call our dogs "The Girls."  I added the phrase "non-urgent" because I didn't want you to think they were missing.  Is there someone out there I can hire to write my post titles for me?  Is that job a real thing?  Ha. 

     I assure you...they're right here on the couch as we speak.  They are awake for about 15 minutes before they are scheduled to take their first nap of the day, and they wouldn't miss the opportunity to nap for the world.  Ha. 

     Last weekend, Tim was out of town, so I spent the night at my parents' house.  Noel spent most of the car ride in my lap with the window down.  We loved it. 

     She just...you know... had her head out the window.  No big deal. I was driving East...so the sun was setting behind me  and sky was doing that thing where it's all dusk on the dashboard and orange in the mirror. I kept watching Noel in the mirror. Eyes closed.  Ears flapping. Nose up.  I didn't get a picture because of all the driving, but trust me... it was gorgeous, and I want to remember Noel that way forever. 


     You know, you hear stories about older people who lose track of time and start asking questions about things that happened a long time ago. 

     I hope I have such strong memories of these dogs that when I'm 95, I'm still asking, "Where are The Girls?"  

If that makes any sense at all. 

Love and two mighty fine dogs, 

Friday, June 6, 2014

Proof of Life #322

Hi! Did you know I'm still alive?

I totally am.  How exciting is that? ;)

     Right now, to be quite honest- I'm a little more focused on my health and wellness (read: weight loss) as opposed to blogging/social media right now.  That's such a hard balance.

So.  I'm trying not to worry if this hallway is quiet...as long as I'm getting some other thangs' done. :)

     With that being said, I've been spending a lot of time outside.  We have an old bird's nest in one of our "eaves."  << Is that what you call it?  And there's a busy, little robin that keeps popping in and out of it.  I don't know if it is too late in the season for eggs, but I've got my fingers crossed for some baby birds this year.

More proof of life.

     This guy was just hanging out on the sidewalk the other day.  So confident...like..."I ain't afraid of gettin' stepped on!!!"  Just as I was starting to think he might be dead, he flew away.  << There's a sermon in there somewhere.  ;)




     I took Scarlett for a walk, and when her beard is wet, it makes her shadow look like a monster.  Doesn't she look like the scariest, snarliest creature ever? I don't know if you can see it, but Tim cut her tail fur so it looks like a lion.  Oh, Good Grief.



And a fresh strawberry to carry us out!



What have you been up to?  Tell me everything! What's good in your life? 
Love and a new zinnias!