Wednesday, January 8, 2014


Ah, but it is yet the time of the resolution yet again, my pretties. Without looking at a calendar, I can tell the season is upon us…what with this 197 ‘Paleo’ pins, unreal 30 minute workouts boasting to get you looking like a Victoria Secret model in mere days, and let us not forget the noble plan of waking up at 5am to run a marathon before heading to the office. I get it. You all want to drop a few pounds around the middle so you look like Miley when you do your obligatory twerk on Friday nights at da club.

I truly believe that I have found the only fail-proof plan to look like a stud in the coming year. It is so easy, that anyone can do it. It actually works. And is completely feasible.

Marry a trainer.

I know, I know-you already have a husband. Or, you don’t know any trainers. Or you don’t want to get married. You know what I hear? Excuses. Do you want to be skinny or do you want to be happy? Because Lord knows those two things don’t go hand in hand. You’re either hungry enough to chew off your own grandma’s hand, or your jeans are cutting tiny seam-shaped lacerations across you muffin top.

Well suck it up, buttercup, because your recent string of pins tells me that in 2014 you want to look emaciated. Victory is only a marriage license away.

Boy wrote a pre-wedding workout that has been dubbed LGN ‘Look Good Naked’, a rally cry I use when I’m on the precipice of vomiting on the shoes of the bro who decided his desire for a job reference to get a position at my company was more important than my last 5 minutes of cardio. Will I what? Recommend you to our CFO? No. But I will regurgitate stomach acid, some Vitamin Water and the remnants of my kale salad on your Nike’s. You. Are. Welcome.

Let’s talk about how much I hate resolutions, regardless of the fact that in the future they will pay for an estimated 23% of my yearly income (you all know my stats are always completely factual).  Okay-so I happened to mumble mid-bite of my 19th chocolate chip that I wanted to get healthy in 2014. But the real question, fiancé, is WHY WERE YOU ACTUALLY LISTENING TO ME?! We all know that what is said in the sugar coma that is the Christmas holidays is akin to the garbage that comes out of my mouth after a bottle of wine. Nonsense.

Accountability. A four letter word of the worst variety.

You recommend I start the cleanse I was talking about? You think we should add more fish to our diet? Listening to the new Beyonce album doesn’t actually make me look like her?!

These are all the wonderful conversations you, too, could have with your trainer if you sucked it up and actually lived under the same roof as him.

I get it, you already ‘go to the gym’. You are ‘wildly self-motivated’. Your current man loves you ‘just the way you are’.

Let’s see who comes out on top in 2014.

Writer’s Note: I’m totally kidding. My fiancé does love me the way that I am. But seriously, I consider punching each and every one of you in the back of your thigh as you bound endlessly on the elliptical. Please stop being color coordinated at the gym. You aren’t fooling anyone. I see that back sweat.

Friday, July 26, 2013

You Chose Me

 I am more than likely the most difficult girlfriend in the world. I’m moody, sarcastic, and more violent than Boy would probably prefer. (No, I didn’t just punch you in the face. It’s a love pat. Because I love your face. Hard). More than once I have been described as a Sour Patch Kid, swinging from playfully cruel to sweet and loving in a matter of seconds.

Recently, as we were enjoying a delicious lunch on a sunlit patio, hand in hand, head on shoulder, dreaming about the days to come, something overcame me. I snapped. And punched the trash out of his sandwich. Smashed bread, and remnants of avocado lay strewn about the table, like a deli massacre, his face both amused and confused.

“You chose me,” was the only apology I offered.

Meant as a way to lay blame anywhere but on my own bipolar tendencies, the declaration rings truer than I sometimes want. He did indeed choose me. And equally as important; I chose him.

Our story is long and arduous, riddled with mistakes, doubt and an unworldly amount of patience. But instead of falling into love headfirst, emotions running high as we peered into each other’s eyes, stomachs full of butterflies, on top of the world, our relationship started by being placed on the line in front of us. Would we choose to cross the line, knowing the troubles, annoyances and worst faults of the other? Or would we choose to continue our search, hoping the next is a bit easier?

We chose each other. We chose this path.

Too often I find myself holding him at fault, reminding him of his imperfections with a passing comment meant to cut and reinjure wounds that we had laid to rest during our last spat. Slicing off the scab, my victory incomplete.

I chose him. Knowing it all, I chose him.  This wonderful man, who loves me in spite of me. I chose him.

The O.C. once taught me that ‘love is knowing all about someone and yet still wanting to be with them more than anyone else in the world’. That is about all the O.C. taught me that I have taken into my adulthood, oh, that and never dating the water polo captain.

My ‘and yet’ list may be long for him, but I can promise that his is longer. It is never easy to unveil your worst character traits, especially the ones you work hardest to hide.

1.    I have a wounding temper, and yet he steps into the storm every time.
2.    I gave up shampoo, and yet he still kisses my hair.
3.    I am selfish, and yet he remains selfless.
4.    I am flaky, and yet he is constant.
5.    I tend to laugh louder than most people scream, and yet he continues to tell me jokes in public.
6.    I show affection like a 12 yr old boy, and yet he grabs my hand.
7.    I make him eat vegetables, and yet he tells his friends I’m a great cook.
8.    I pee a little when I do my abs workout, and yet he does them with me.
9.    I don’t always act with respect, and yet he responds with patience.
10.  I am resistant, and yet he is always, unshakably persistent.

There are countless ‘and yet’ moments in every relationship you will ever be a part of. Why do we pretend that love should be any different?

If you claim to live in love, whether that is humanly or divine, you are claiming a life full of grace. Mercy must be underneath, around, on top of and through you. I have been hemmed in with love. Though easy to forget, the imperfections help us to see the true beauty of our lives.

What have you chosen that you complain about every day? Remind yourself that choices are not made once, but lived out and picked up daily. Choose those that matter. And choose them often. Choose them unfailingly. God chose you. And He will never back out of that.

“We Fall Apart” by We As Humans

You're a liar but I'm a coward so I can't throw a stone
We're so imperfect but so worth it because we're not alone

It's the wars that we wage, the lives that we take
For better or for worse

It's the lion we cage, the love and the rage
That keeps us wanting more

But isn't it beautiful
The way we fall apart
It's magical and tragic all the ways we break our hearts

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Enter: Boy

Who doesn’t appreciate a good story? A perfectly crafted narratively following the rollercoaster of a building plot. A slow crescendo from turning point to climax, sloping to the denouement. Ahhh but in love, don’t we expect something different, dearies. We expect a rising upsurge of emotions, cresting in marital bliss followed by bundles of overwhelming joy that have his nose and her mouth. Something a bit like this:

1.     Boy meets girl.
2.     Boy likes girl.
3.     Boy treats girl to a first date.
4.     Girl puts on her best Pinterest outfit.
5.     Boy in an awkward and precious fashion, plants his first kiss.
6.     Girl starts planning wedding.
7.     Boy and girl fall madly in love.
8.     Boy proposes.
9.     They live happily ever after. After their blog-worthy wedding.

But sometimes, just sometimes, a bit of the post-modernity fever slips in unawares. We all know that the Ayn Rand in me cannot follow the natural progression of any normal story. As such, sometimes it goes a bit like this:

1.     Boy meets girl.
2.     Boy and girl are dating other people.
3.     Boy and girl break up.
4.     Boy and girl date more people.
5.     Boy kisses girl.
6.     Girl loses her mind.
7.     Boy kisses 4 more girls.
8.     Girl dates 17 more boys.
9.     Boy meets girl’s family.
10.  Girl likes boy, so girl dates a different boy.
11.  Boy likes girl, so he waits patiently.
12.  Girl sucks at life for a while.
13.  Boy gets fed up and dates other girls.
14.  Girl gets unhealthily angry.
15.  Girl retaliates.
16.  Boy tells girls she is selfish.
17.  Boy and girl fall madly in love.
18.  Boy and girl go on their first date.

Life doesn’t always go according to your perfect plan. Luckily, your plan is stupid and doesn’t matter.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Pin in Private

There is a rampant disease among American women today. Pushing Restless Leg Syndrome and whatever Jamie Lee Curtis keeps talking about during her awkward poop commercials out of the way; this sickness has crept into the lives of 86% of females between the ages of 20-38 (statistics are the result of a stringent survey done via my web browser). You probably have it. It’s called Binge Pinning.

Symptoms? Incessantly pinning every single jpeg you come across on one of you 73 boards on Pinterest. Because there is no other explanation for adding four different boxed brownie recipes adjacent to the nineteen ab workouts that you can do before the shower and look like that hot chick on your screen with the mini 8-pack. I mean, that’s feasible and all. Clearly it doesn’t defy the laws of fitness as we know it. Pinterest makes the rules here. And everyone who is creating these workouts is an expert. Duh.

Oh’s some stay at home mom, who is judging me and my hour long workouts, as well as my pitiful excuse for a dessert. “You didn’t include sprinkles, Oreos, a slice of apple and a caramel soufflé into one dish. Nor did you top it with a homemade edible replica of your child’s face? Pity. Peasant.” I hate those ladies.

Let’s get something straight here, Ladies. You are all doing a poor job of hiding your crazy. And for you single ladies out there? Let me tell you what isn’t healthy. Planning seven weddings. With no beau in site. Luckily for you, Pioneer women just started her week of’ impossible chocolate desserts that take twice as long to prepare and three times as long to cook as what is described’. Holler atcha girl. You now have something to do while you are watching TLC on Friday night picking out your perfect wedding dress…just in case of course.

I have your back. It’s called private boards. And all of you hookers need to get on that train pronto.

Look, I get it, you really like both mint and red, but you are really digging the whole grey and blush theme. And what if your parents suddenly hit the lotto or your new line of shabby chic furniture takes off and you can afford that $75k wedding. I know, I know. It’s possible.

Save us all some time and just start a Secret Board. Heck, you can even dedicate a board to each of your seasonally inspired weddings, and another one to those Ryan Gosling memes you so thoroughly enjoy.

If I have to hear one more girl say she just really wants a wedding ‘that is unique to her’, then I will literally kick a Corgi across the room. Thanks to Pinterest, and your idea-mooching lovelies, there is no such thing as unique ideas. Don’t believe me? Try clicking on any of those beautifully framed pictures popping up on your feed. Linked to another Pinterest board? Yeah, that’s because all you chumps are straight up licking up each other’s pins, in some Arkansas-esque incestual pool of DIY hell.

Just cover that trash up. Lock it away like your love of babies on a first date. Hide it along with your small, yet sturdy, collection of One Direction posters.

And for the love of Bette Midler, don’t show it to the guy you’re dating. Or to anyone who considers Sportscenter a hobby. It’s disconcerting enough to know your lady is planning your wedding when you haven’t even dropped the L word, it’s terrifying to know that every woman in America is doing the same, including the already married ones. Ya know, just in case.

Help stop Binge Pinning. Pin in private.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Dairy Aisle

On Sunday evenings, after a long run down the river, I always make my way to the grocery store. Sweaty, fulfilled and finally feeling ready to take on the inevitable heartache of the week to come, I fill my basket with the sustenance needed to nourish me throughout the week. Turns out, what my body needs more than vitamins and minerals is a rather large quantity of hummus and a family sized bag of pita chips…..for a family of one. I mean I got the whole wheat version, so don’t judge me. They are like little organic farms smushed into chip form. Way better than getting my chubby hand caught in the Pringles can.

Shivering in the dairy aisle, I wait patiently as the line of people in front of me slowly turned the cartons around looking for the expiration date, all of which are well over 2 weeks away. Each shopper snubbing the carton in the front for one of the newer, fresher, less sad versions sitting pristinely in the back, just off the milk truck.  One after another, these people would look the first carton over, deciding it looked too war-torn to be a part of their basket, too frazzled and bedraggled after its journey not only to the store, but its long stint of patiently and silently holding up the weight of the other cartons.

Finally at the front, my turn to choose my carton, I looked the first carton up and down, it’s beaten, crusty shell with one rather large dent at the top still bowing under the pressure of the row above it. And then, I grabbed the carton towards the back of the shelf.

Expiration date identical. Contents exactly the same. Yet, different because of the outer face earned from a life lived on a road with a few more bumps. A few more heartaches. A few more hard lessons learned.

Do you ever feel like that milk carton? Like the weight of the world is carried on your back, supporting the hardships of others by baring the burden of others. Crushed, beaten and less than perfect.

One of my unspoken fears (until now when I decided to make it public to anyone with a web browser), is that singlehood will leave me marred and unwanted. The carton in the front, too battered and scarred to be worth anything to anyone. It’s as if weekly, a new weight is added to the already crippling stack I tote around. Who knew your ‘carefree’ twenties could be so full of things worth caring about?

God has given us all our cross. If he hadn’t…he wouldn’t have told us to pick it up. The choice is not whether or not you have a struggle that God has laid at your feet, the choice lies in your reaction. Do you pick it up, daily, every morning dusting off the wounds and muck from the day before, knowing that there is only more to come? Or do you halfheartedly accept God’s will for your life? Journeying into the trenches of our broken world only when it is convenient to you.

There is beauty in the mess. Though your carton may look as if it has been to hell and back, your contents remain unscathed. We do not live in promises of ease and comfort, we live under the covenant of a Savior who will not let you go, and does not put you through anything that He himself did not withstand.

God’s will is not painless. It can be brutal, but there is a promise that He makes us that you can take hope in. Though difficult and seemingly relentless, it is full of a richness and depth that is incomparable to anything you will find on the wide path that so many choose.

As your carton gets hammered and worn, remember that hardships do not spoil the insides. The do not reduce the expiration date, leaving you half as effective as you once could have been. God has created in you a resilience, supported by His Spirit. A spirit not of timidity, but of strength, confidence and patience.

Let your bruises show as evidence of the war you have fought, for a prize that is unlike any other.

 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” Ephesians 6: 11-12

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Diet Dump Cream

Who doesn’t love a good diet, right? Can I get an Amen, ladies? C’mon. With the plethora of diet options out there, it is easy to stay on track, see results and more importantly, feel utterly confident that you are, indeed, worthy of the self-high five you inevitably give yourself in the mirror every morning. It’s like a little ‘say girl, you’re looking lovely. Congrats on not nomming on that cookie dough last night’.

Or so I thought...

Let’s make a few really important points off the blocks. I am not on a diet; this is a lifestyle (I’m judging myself too, don’t feel bad about it). You know what I’m talking about. Working out? Check. My life is one mid-jog faceplant away from being it’s own fitness video series. It would probably be called ‘Work Until You Pee Yourself’, since that seems to be a reoccurring phenomenon, evidenced by my little dribbles of wee smattering the local gym floor. Sorry, guys, but those side planks made my bladder hurt.

Since I have seemingly plateaued on my journey to looking stellar, I decided it was time for some drastic steps. Sayonara gluten and sugar. It’s been real. For two months, I shall go without you.

Now, I feel like a refugee struggling through a cookie-less desert: parched, famished and rather unpleasant.  Did I mention it’s only day three? Womp womp.

On my weekly mecca to the local HEB where all the hotties hang out, I took a quick spin down the diet aisle to grab some protein bars for my emergency travel stash. And by quick stroll, I mean I dawdled for twenty minutes trying to pronounce half the words so I could sound really trendy and fit….and so I could keep eyeing the CrossFit hottie that was sizing up the protein powder. Excuse me sir, but you look so familiar. Have we met before? You look exactly like my future husband. Weird.

That is when I saw it. The saving grace of every diet. Diet Ice Cream. Dairy free, gluten free, sugar free. I’m sorry are you made of magic? A frozen 150 measly calories per pint fairy dust? Did Gandalf himself conjure you up and set our paths on a collision course? Answer: Yes. You, my dear Diet Ice Cream, are made of chocolate and peanut butter, my two favorite things in the whole wide world, apart from cheese and my yoga pants….but I was wearing one and already had five varieties of the other, so you take the metaphorical cake today.

Rushing to get home and tear into this bad boy, I silently thanked the heavens for providing me with this treat that wouldn’t leave me standing in front of the mirror, regretting my decision as I prodded the various bulges marring my tummy.

Spoon in hand, me and the pint nestled into the couch for a quiet evening of the Travel Channel and some serious quality time with my sweet tooth, my excitement building as I took the first bite.

Wait. Something was terribly wrong. It was like the rancid lid of my garbage can opened up and crawled into my mouth, leaving a trail of disappointment and confusion. You aren’t from Gandalf, unless he pulled you from the fiery depths of Mordor and you are, in fact, made of Orc toots. I literally think I just put rotten protein shake in my mouth.

Maybe my body is just in shock from sugar deprivation. One more bite. Nope—it actually tastes worst. Even for 150 calories, I cannot force feed myself this travesty.

Was it naïve to think that ice cream, removed of everything that makes it ice cream, would be worth my time or consumption? Probably. Sans cream, it is simply sugary ice. Remove the sugar and apparently you get the farce sitting before me, useless, disappointing, not even a semblance of its former purpose maintained.

My dating life, like my culinary life is on a diet, simply removing the excess, paring off the ones that prove unnecessary for my emotional nutrition and growth. Not that they are inherently bad or unhealthy, but if missing the essential ingredients needed to make the partner I am looking for, am I doing us both a disservice for snacking on a treat that I know will not sustain my hunger?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Lady Dates

Standing in my skinny jeans, staring at the mirror, wondering yet again if I should go with the red shirt or the orange. If I wear the red, I should wear my blue scarf, but with the orange I can wear my favorite necklace. Are scarves in? Do people still wear chunky necklaces? Do riding boots say, ‘I’m trying too hard’ or ‘I dabble in the equestrian arts’? I just want to get this right. You know what they say: first impressions are the hardest.

As I sat at my desk today, trying to focus on the task at hand, my mind continued to wander towards tonight, towards my moment to shine over a cup of pretentious free-trade coffee, each wayward thought sending me into squirms that made my coworkers ask if I had gas, or if that last sugary snack made my pants too tight. It is just that I have been anticipating this day for a week now, silently planning how it would go, hoping that this one will actually work out. Will continue. Will make it past one casual encounter. That this time, I won’t push too hard, or be too much or worse, not be enough.

Tonight, I have a date, but more importantly than any date with any man, tonight is girl night.

Girl dates are the ugly stepsister of traditional dates of the male variety. They are more intimidating, more difficult and more crucial to my current life. With dudes you make a wrong move like dribbling wine down your shirt and simply move on to the next, chalking this up to a comical loss, another story to pull out at a party. Mess up with girls? And you have just brought a pile of judgment down upon yourself, like a stack of books tipping in a library, the embarrassment growing with each tumbling tower. Mess up with girls, and you continue your path along the tundra, alone and without shelter from the difficulties singleness brings.

Female community is an integral piece of our social world and yet the task of finding women who ‘get me’ is more challenging than anything I’ve ever faced. I would rather run the Boston marathon than make another blind attempt to fit into an already-tight posse of ladies.

In high school I had my sports teams. Girls who suited out with me in the wee hours of the morning, our camaraderie solidified as we ran suicides for another failed free throw attempt by the gangly freshmen. As our huffing lungs filled up on the scent of shellac and rubber, our bond grew stronger, unbreakable even. We could read each other’s passes without looking, the product of countless pick-up games at the catholic church, but even more so, they could read my thoughts, the product of countless conversations in hushed tones as we bumped down the country roads on our way home in the bus.

In college, I paid for my friends by joining a sorority, my monthly dues finding me more than just lame parties and enough t-shirts to outfit a small country. I found my soul mates. My sisters. My balance. The force that always brings me back to earth, grounding me in faith and accountability, enveloping me in brutal honest love. 

Basically, I’ve never had to work for my friends. They always existed as a by-product of my schedule. Now, when no pre-made network exists, I find myself embarking on a journey to piece-meal my circle back together. I find myself ‘dating’ around, the end goal not a husband, just some girls to do life with when ‘doing life’ looks nothing like what I imagined.

I never knew the importance of the women in my life until it no longer existed. The age old adage of 'you never know what you have.....until you graduate and they find husbands and move to Chicago and get a puppy' never sounded so true. So maybe I added some ish into that one, but the point remains; life is not as full without your friends. We were never intended to live without community.

This post-college world puts an interesting spin on my relationships, both current, past and future. I have been so blessed with female friends in the past, that the idea of trying to recreate the unbreakable bond I have with them seems like a waste of time. No one is that lucky. And yet-girl night party of 1 is the lamest Tuesday night known to mankind, so it's time to buckup and cross your fingers that there are some girls in this city that don't mind yoga pants and poops jokes because I have those in spades.

Venturing towards adult friendships may be the most unexpected challenge I have come across thus far. It never crossed my mind that friendships don't just fall out of the sky. I always knew that finding a man would be difficult because I am only looking for one in a sea of options. Little did I know, the search for my female posse would be just as elusive, and yet wildly more vital.