#FEELINGS

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good-morningThese past weeks have been a lot. The election happened. We got out and voted early (not a single person in line- what?) and then tried to distract ourselves and get work done all day just to help the time pass quickly. Around 6:45 I got out of my barre class and drove home, excited. I picked up some wine and planned to pop a mini champagne when our candidate (Hillary Clinton) won. In hindsight I know it’s kind of stupid, but I hadn’t considered any other possible result.

Well, you know how that story ended. There were tears. We were speechless at first. We barely slept that night. Then, the next day we talked and talked and talked and talked. It was the most connected week Jeremy and I have had in a while because we took the next few days slowly and spent so much time together, just talking.

I appreciate everyone who found a way to voice their opinions and feelings in a mature, kindhearted way. I’ve seen a lot of hate and judgement going around. I’ve seen a lot of fighting and finger pointing, but who does this help? What purpose does it serve? For the first time in my life, I’ve seen how politics can damage family relationships and cause otherwise wonderful people to act really mean. And I’m not ok with it.

There’s nothing wrong with being sad. There’s nothing wrong with being angry. But being kind is important regardless. Even when we are sad, even when we are angry. Kindness matters.

Jeremy and I made some donations. We’re staying engaged, getting educated and looking for ways to give more. We’re staying openminded and curious. I’m not saying we’re not a little bitter, but we’re choosing to channel our passionate feelings in a positive direction. I think that’s the best we can do for the moment.

I really loved this post that Keiko wrote.

And if you’re reaching this and you are mad that I’m not on the same “team” as you, don’t be. We don’t have to agree on everything to share our human experiences. It doesn’t make us enemies. ♥

Moving on, here’s some photos from our month.

willieWillie Nelson is the cutest ever.

flower-beds pennyMy brother and Penelope came to visit. It was the best weekend.

penelope-bloomThese little faces kill me. God, I love her so much.

redLoving being a redhead and wondering why I dyed my hair black for so many years.

messLook! Sometimes my house is messy.

our-kitchenSometimes it’s clean too. (This was taken on a very SPECIAL day, I’ll explain more soon.)

happy-birthday-jWe celebrated Jeremy’s birthday a couple weeks ago with our first trip to The Catbird Seat and it was a spiritual/black magic experience. Just wow.

vintage-wallpaperThe last un-renovated surface in our home (built in 1972). I actually love this wallpaper, but I’m going in a different direction for this room. Can’t wait to share.

love-youOur awkward family photo.

thumbs-upA photo I snapped during my recovery in October. By the way, after I shared that post I received hundreds of the most kind, meaningful messages from readers. Thank you. I’ve never been so nervous of sick-to-my-stomach to share something before, and you made me believe that opening up can be so worth it.

Jeremy and I are taking a vacation with The Shelton’s this coming week. We’ve been looking forward to it for something like six months and it’s finally here! We’ll take plenty of photos, don’t worry.

Leaving you with nothing but love love love.

  
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get-well-soon-flowers

Three weeks ago I had a breast reduction surgery. Before the surgery I didn’t tell very many people I was going to get it, like not even my parents. I know that’s terrible not to tell your family and close friends about such an important thing, but I just felt really awkward. And I still do.

Side note- if you are one of those friends and family people I didn’t tell, I’m sorry and I love you. :) 

Prior to the surgery I didn’t know if I would talk about it online or not. I didn’t want to and I hoped that maybe I could squeak by without anyone noticing. But now that I am somewhat recovered and I can wear normal clothes again I can see that it’s pretty noticeable and I decided that I’d rather talk about it on my own terms than to get random questions about it later or (or worse, dread or fear getting random questions). I decided it’s just easier if I open up about it! So here I am.

As early as sixth grade I can remember wishing I had smaller breasts. And in high school I remember the first time I saw a boy making fun of my breasts- kind of walking with his chest stuck way out. It was horrifying and from that day forward I always sat a little bit slouchier, trying to hide. 

In more recent years one of my photos was posted on a fashion website. For whatever reason there were open comments and I remember reading them. Instead of talking about the dress I was wearing, I read comment after comment about my breasts, my weight and my shape. I was sitting in a parking lot of a Starbucks sobbing when my husband got back into the car. Wow. People can be really cruel, and it was about something I had zero control over. I always say that mean comments don’t bother me UNLESS it’s about something I am already insecure over. You can’t really laugh that off. 

That was the first time I said out loud that I’d like to get a breast reduction. 

Well, five years passed by and I still hadn’t acted on it. It stayed in the back of my mind on my mental to-do list, but I wasn’t brave enough to take the steps to get the surgery done. I was scared. That was most of it. I don’t like doctors and hospitals and I was scared. I hadn’t ever had a surgery before.

Then this past summer I started getting really bad back pain. So bad it made me nauseous. I considered getting acupuncture or massages, of course, but the last thing I need in my life right now are more appointments that interrupt my work week. And I knew deep down that this surgery might be the solution that I really needed for the long-term. So when I was at my gynecologist and then my family doctor I asked them if they thought I would be a good candidate for a breast reduction surgery. They were supportive and encouraged me to get more information. Being new to the area, it’s always a little scary finding new doctors etc… but when they both referred me to the same surgeon I felt good about that, like maybe it was meant to be. 

So I scheduled my scary appointment, I went in and did it. And I ended up scheduling the surgery really fast, for just a few weeks later. I had put it off for so long that once I finally got the courage up to start the process I wanted to finish it right away, just kind of get it over with. 

Leading up to the surgery I was terrified. I’m definitely one of those people who struggles with going to the doctor and hearing details about medical stuff, and I definitely had to hear a LOT of details. But, honestly, it wasn’t that bad. With every step I felt completely supported by Jeremy and my doctor and that was all I really needed. 

The day came and I was in the hospital at six am waiting for my surgery. It wasn’t as scary as I expected it to be. And it was the best feeling ever when I heard a nurse say, “Elsie- you’re in the hospital in recovery now. Everything went fine.” I went home that same day and spent a lot of time sleeping and slowly working my way back up to a normal active day over the next week. The recovery was/is pretty brutal (the worst of it is behind me now), but I feel good about my decision. 

For my health, my posture and my self-confidence I am glad I had the surgery. I went down two bra sizes, which didn’t sound like much to me before the surgery, but it’s a big difference. First of all, my back feels AMAZING. I didn’t think I would notice a difference in the short term, but there is a night and day difference. It feels so good. A huge relief. And I don’t feel at all insecure having really good posture all the sudden. 

The other difference is everything fits. All my adult life I have sized up on clothing or just not been able to wear a lot of different styles. I felt more comfortable in loose clothing, but since I am only 5’4 tight clothing was always more flattering. Anytime I would wear something loose a bunch of people would ask if I was pregnant (always a treat for the ol’ self esteem!). All this wouldn’t have mattered all that much, except that I am a blogger and it’s my responsibility to be able to feel confident in photos and videos on a regular basis. 

I had so many breakdowns in the past over just not feeling like I had anything to wear. My body type was SO specific and there was a huge list of styles of clothing that just didn’t work for me, it was limiting and frustrating. I realize that this might come off as really vain (and please know that this is hard for me talk about) but really I just wanted to blend in, be average, look pretty good- I was never trying to be a model or anything. I just wanted to be able to get dressed without feeling really insecure. I did the best I could, and I truly didn’t hate my body. I was always reminding myself to be thankful. But it was a huge struggle to get dressed and be in photos. Whew- it feels really weird but good to share all that with you. I hope you don’t judge me, but even if you do- I feel good sharing what I’m sharing. It doesn’t matter because I’m happy with the choice I made. 

And that’s it. It’s over. 

This morning Jeremy  spontaneously asked me if I wanted to go to breakfast at our favorite spot. I ran into my closet, threw on a dress that I was too insecure to wear a few weeks ago and FELT CUTE. I ran out the door and just couldn’t shake the feeling of happiness. I’m so thankful. Thanks for reading my story.

ps- If you’re considering getting the same surgery I advise you to go talk to your doctor. That’s the first step. The details are different for everyone. xx 

pps- For the past few weeks I was locked out of this blog. I FINALLY figured out how to get back in, so I have a bunch of catching up to do. More to come…

  
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Time Machines

Sometime last year, around the time we were moving I think, Jeremy told me something he heard on a podcast and I’ve never stopped thinking about it.

It was someone interviewing a bunch of elderly people asking them if they had a chance to travel back in time in a time machine where they would choose to go?

He said about half of them said they wouldn’t want to travel anywhere and the other half all pretty much said the same thing. They wanted to travel back to this certain, very specific stage in life- the newlywed and having children phase.

It meant so much to me because every day since I imagine myself as a grandma being able to travel to HERE and live a day now. It’s so special, just hanging out with Jeremy and doing regular things. I don’t know the future, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we’re living the best days of our life right now.

I hope that wherever you are, this post helps you to appreciate today.