Wear the D@mn Shorts

This is a tale of self-confidence…

Last weekend we’d planned to spend some time with friends lakeside. The Friday before the trip I started brainstorming outfit ideas. I was thinking my cute swimsuit paired with my cut off high-waisted shorts.

‘But your thighs are so flabby and chunky. That’ll look terrible- all that cellulite and the scars. You should pick a different pair of shorts,’ I thought to myself.

Let’s pause my story and insert that I try very, very hard to encourage others to treat themselves kindly. It makes me mad when my mom nitpicks about herself or when my 10 year old cousin complains about her “fat” or when my friends are getting down on themselves.

“You aren’t fat, you have fat. Everyone does. It’s why you’re alive.”

“Don’t you dare talk badly about your arms/leg/tummy! That’s how you lift groceries or get from A to B or nourish your body!”

“You look great today! And who’s so important that you’d take their opinion over mine?!” 😉

Those are a few of my go-tos when it comes to encouragement.

But for whatever reason, that Friday afternoon I was hating my husky, pale, chicken-pox-scarred thighs. I’d like to say it was a fleeting thought, this discouraging self-talk, but it browbeat me into 30 minutes of outfit changes.

It’s funny… The internet is notorious for highlighting people’s “perfect lives.” That said, some of the most body-positive, encouraging, beautiful-inside-and-out people push their perfectly imperfect & totally embracing messages via social media (looking at you Lindsay, Aubrey, Chelsea, Dana, Christina). And I’m am 100% on board with that.

And yet I fall victim to my “zitty face” or “flabby tummy” or “chunky thighs.”

I’m usually extremely comfortable in my skin. My body is relatively healthy. I was given working limbs and organs. I am able to care for myself and others. Overall, I got very lucky with the skin I’m in. But we all have moments of weakness.

Fortunately, our moments of weakness happen at different times. When I’m feeling poorly, someone else is sending out positive vibes meant for me. So when you’re feeling badly, just know that someone is sending out those positive vibes for you, too. (Might I suggest any and all of those ladies up there! ☝️ )

I don’t think anyone is always positive and encouraging, but someone somewhere is always sending out some good vibes. So go seek it- it’s 100% meant for you. Someone loves you. They love your wide hips or your small shoulders or your pointed ears. Whatever features make you cringe in the mirror, I guarantee someone thinks nothing of it and loves you completely. And you should, too.

What I’m trying to say is: wear the damn cutoff shorts, my friends. ☀️

The Way We Talk to Kids

Today I need to talk about something that has nothing to do with me right now… but someday it will.

I feel so, so passionately about the way we speak to children. I think that our words make an incredible impact on the way they see themselves. If I’m ever blessed with a daughter I know that feminine compliments include words like beautiful, adorable, and cute.  I’m ok with these (and if she looks anything like my hubby then she will definitely be a cutie), but I need a few more words in her vocabulary. I want her to see herself as smart and adventurous and brave and determined. I want my kids to see”unique” as a positive trait. If I ever have a son I want him to know that “emotional” and “kind” are WONDERFUL things to be.

I got an email last week from a baby clothing store and this was part of the ad:

Baby Clothes

Typically I just scroll past these clothes (since my favorite Baby Elliot is only in 9mn outfits), but I found myself stuck on this ad.

Why, why, why do the boys’ shirts say brave, explorer, extraordinary and the girls say NOTHING? Girls get to pick between flowers or lace. Whhhhhhhhy?!

I am a feminist, but this is not a feminist post. This is my future mom-self thinking how much I LOVE that yellow/tan shirt and how I’d buy it for a daughter, but I would never put her in that floral jumpsuit thing-y. It’s a cute romper, but I want my daughter to have a choice between t-shirt or blouse, skirt or cargo shorts… This ad doesn’t give her a choice.

(I know that this ad is directed at parents, not kids, but come on… Not ONE adventurous shirt for the ladies.)

Let it be known right now: If I am ever pregnant with a daughter feel free to buy her whatever outfits you’d like, but please don’t shy away from blues, greens, and boy-associated ensembles. (I mean, if it says “Daddy & Son” probably leave it on the rack, but I’m good with trucks and bugs.)

Ok… on to the next point.

I’ve mentioned it before (like during the holidays), but I have a part time job at a kids’ clothing store. (No, it’s not the same one that sent me the email.) I took a few months off-ish, but I really like working there so I’m back to floor sales now.

While I was working last week a mom and daughter- maybe 10 or 12 years old- came in to browse. The mother was very put together and stylish, but the daughter was a typical kid: messy rained-on hair, athletic shorts, and a colorful tank top. I noticed that the daughter’s hair was just past her shoulders and curled into little spirals at the bottom. Yes, it was a little frizzy from the Ohio humidity, but that’s the nature of curly hair.

I asked the little girl if her hair was naturally curly. She said yes and her mother rolled her eyes. I said I thought it was very pretty- she’s very lucky to have curly hair like that. Her mother, with a look of disgust, replied, “No, she’s not. It’s a pain.” The little girl thanked me and quietly followed her mom to another corner of the store. All I could do was stand there and glare at the back of the mother’s head.

Why, why, why would you tell your impressionable child that her hair is “not good”?? She will go her entire life looking at magazines and television commercials of skinny, beautiful models with smooth, straight, flowy hair. As one curly-headed girl to another, let her have my compliment! (It took me +15 years to figure out how to manage my frizzy hair… now I love it.)

I know that 90% of the time it’s unintentional, but kids soak it up at least 90 % of the time.

Am I just being touchy or does that ad rub you the wrong way, too? Are you intentional in what you say to kids?

-Louise

I’m So Happy!

Do you ever get in a mood where you feel incredibly happy? My mood swings more than a jungle gym, but I just love love love when I’m feelin’ happy for no reason! Nothing has prompted today’s joy, but here are a few things that make me happy!

| Uptown Funk by Bruno Mars|
I just love this song’s groove! It’s so darn peppy and fun! It’s definitely been played to death, but when I’m in a good mood I still wiggle in my seat when it comes on!

| NASCAR |
Race days (which is not a Wednesday) just make me so happy! I love watching NASCAR and I love napping during the race! The white noise is amazing! Also, there’s nothing more exciting than a live NASCAR race! (Come ooooooon, April 19th!)

| Elliot Rose’s Grin |
Last night I got to hang out with my best friend and my favorite chubby cheek-ed baby! She’s 2 months old today and I just can’t believe how much personality she already has! When she makes all her faces I just feel so happy!

| Sugar by Maroon 5 |
This is another song that I crank up to max volume. The music video also gives me all the feels!

| Dog Smiles |
If you have a pup in your life does s/he ever just turn and give you that smile of pure bliss?? I love that! I swear mine do it when they think I’m proud of them (fetching a ball, walking without pulling, etc.). They also do it when we’re hardcore snuggling in the mornings. Enzo prances, too, which sends me into giggles.

happy

Do you get days of unprompted joy? What makes you happy?

-Louise