Almost a week ago, my whole world changed forever when I became an aunt. I missed the actual birth because everything happened so fast but when I arrived, I saw the most perfect angel I’ve ever seen. A whole 6 lbs 1 oz bundle of perfection. Most babies come out looking all squishy and like little aliens, but this baby is perfect (I’m not biased at all). I haven’t gotten much sleep in the last few days, but it’s so worth it for my sweet baby niece. Just take a look!
I’m soaking in all the auntie snuggles and enjoying every second of her infant stages because even though they seem long now, they will pass in the blink of an eye. I can’t wait to see how she grows up and to see all that she becomes.
After months of coming into studio this summer and seeing all my coworkers’ dogs running around and ready to play, I finally decided to bring my own baby in. Ezra loves to meet people and go on adventures so I knew he’d fit in great. Sure enough he made so many friends and loved his time at the studio. Definitely the cutest DJ on the block! We took a tour through the whole office and he roamed inquisitively in and out of every room he came across. He got all the pets and stole the hearts of everyone he met, as usual.
Maybe next time I’ll bring his brother too. The two of them are the dream team together. The funniest part is that they do pretty well on leashes and act like dogs more than cats. Ezra and Elliot will definitely be more appearances at the station in the near future, so be on the lookout for their next adventures!
This weekend was the annual Isle of Wight County Fair and it was a blast! There are so many opportunities to enjoy this fall season; it’s full of all kinds festivals and adventures all over town! I may live in the city, but I can sure fit right in with the country folk too. I love the horses and cowboy boots, and the cowboys wearing them too. Yesterday, however, was the first time I saw a man ride a bull with my own eyes–like a real bull and not just that mechanical one at the country bars. Intense… but SO worth it. We got to pet bunnies and ponies and enjoyed many snacks throughout the grounds. The night finished with a great performance from Buckshot (pictured below) and Restless Heart. Check it out!
Well well well, another year, another hurricane that didn’t actually hit us. Last year I packed up my cats and evacuated to a friend’s house. We stocked up on snacks and movies but nothing ever came except some rain. The boys had a great time on their little vacation in case you can’t tell.
This year was much the same weather wise. We decided to stay home in our own apartment this time but we still stocked up on the snacks. The boys weren’t as interested in the rain this year. Instead, we all stayed in bed cuddling all day. It was a much needed rest. Hope you all made it out safe from the storm. Thank goodness we weren’t in the Bahamas or South Carolina.
A year ago yesterday marks the one year anniversary of my last knee surgery. The two years before that were filled with countless doctors appointments, MRIs, rehab facilities, and low moral as I endured repeated torn ACL and Meniscus injuries while dancing competitively at college. It’s a hard pill to swallow that the very thing you’ve loved and lived for for so long has caused you so much pain. I had always wanted to have a dance career in my early twenties likely at a theme park or cruise ship; but that was effectively put to an end my junior year of college. Three surgeries later, I have given up on that dream and found a new pleasure in music and entertainment. Though my knee has still not fully recovered, my spirits have.
Over the last year I have chosen to enjoy what life has to offer and indulge in the simple pleasures. These journeys led me to enjoy many Lime and Bird scooter rides over the last couple months; however, my last ride ended in a less than favorable outcome. I know we were just talking about them being removed from oceanfront due to their risk for injury, but even after my fall, I would still ride them again. If we don’t enjoy the little things in life, then what’s the point.
Did you know: Labor Day is the official end of hot dog season? Unfortunately it also marks the end of summer, but we had a Hot Girl Summer!! An old friend said to me the other day “wow it looks like you’ve been doing such great things this summer!” and I was really confused because I feel like I’ve just been working my butt off at my jobs and maybe going out once a month to enjoy the summer. But when I actually looked back at my Instagram from everything I’ve been doing, she was absolutely right! I went to several concerts, a couple trips, made some appearances at the beach, and had lots of family time.
I want to see how you enjoyed your summer in 5 pictures! I’ll go first.
In light of my recent shopping excursion where I found myself needing to shop in the plus size section of a store I’ve been buying clothes from for years, I decided to start a new workout routine and actually stick to it. 2 years ago, I used to workout 6-7 days a week and then after I tore my ACL/Meniscus 3 times over those last 2 years I have used that as an excuse to not workout… and I have gravely paid for that since.
SO finally I decided to make the necessary change. I began working out again… for a whole 10 minutes to ease myself back into it… and then I couldn’t walk or sit up for days. Pathetic, I know. I tried continuing the routine again the next day and physically collapsed on my floor. I gave up for the rest of the week so I could heal. Then I remembered that I should have never set my standards so high to start. It has been a long time since my body was capable of that kind of regimen. I have to honest with myself and what my body can handle these days. I find myself writing out work out plan after work out plan and lists of meals that will probably never be made that eventually gets buried in a series of notebooks I’ve collected over the years. But it’s time for that to officially change. It’s my second week of intermitted fasting and so far it is going very well. I’ve been meal prepping and finding more motivation to stay focused.
Also, my boss here has challenged me to quit drinking so much coffee. Today was my first day without my beloved beverage and I was tired the whole time. Not sure how well I will do come fall time when my favorite drink makes it to Starbucks, but in an effort to lose weight and gain money, I will be forced to forego the very substance that has made me a functional human all these years. I’ll keep you posted on the journey. Well wishes appreciated.
E-scooters are the future! But VA Beach is trying to get rid of them. So not fair! Norfolk has lime scooters which are basically the same thing and since I live in Norfolk, I ride those all the time. I mean, yea I did fall off one the other day, but joke’s on me because the scooter was already stopped and I only fell because it’s hard to walk on cobble stone haha. I got an even worse wipeout carrying groceries upstairs from my gravel parking lot.
Point is, they’re so much fun and effective! It’s a great way to explore the city and get from point A to point B more efficiently. There will always be something new and scary around the corner but we need to grow with the technology (and appreciate that they’re cheaper than uber). Take my poll on our Facebook and let me know: Will you still bird/lime around the city or do you prefer other modes of travel !
(Warning: this is an open letter to anyone struggling with ED and self-image. Includes candid remarks a; all names have been removed or changed to protect the owner’s identity)
I used to be addicted to shopping; I wasn’t able to go into a store and leave empty handed. Whether it was a new pair a shoes, a purse, a whole wardrobe change, I was always so excited to show off my new finds. But that all changed last year but not because I ran out of money, because I fell out of love with myself.
Over the years, I have struggled with body image and self-love, battling runs with bulimia, crippling anxiety, and relapse. It’s so easy to fall victim to the unattainable standards of beauty the media portrays and I sure did–am. From the time I was a kid, I was always the heaviest of my friends. I could never play the trust fall game and be the person “trusting” because even if the other person tried to catch me, we’d both still fall down. Growing up, my sister and best friend were always rail thin and encouraged to eat more sweets and fatting foods while I was offered vegetables or a glass of water. When I would indulge, I found myself sluggish and wearing the pounds I was ingesting instead of burning it off with high metabolism like the others. Every time I looked in the mirror, I saw a distorted image of what my body actually looked like. I would poke the skin on my belly in disgust and wave my arms at the mirror to see how they jiggled when in fact I was wearing a size small/medium top and size 5 pants. This sort of experience weighs heavily on a child, and especially on a young girl entering puberty. That’s when my first bout with my eating disorder began. After lunch at school every day, I would sneak off to the bathroom after all the cliques of girls had left and make myself throw up in the stall. Then I would rinse out my mouth, pop in a piece of gum, and head back to class. I thought in order to be desirable to the cute boys on the football team, I needed to look like the cheerleaders, even if I couldn’t tumble to save my life. This went on for longer than I’d like to admit, but I finally kicked it by graduation… only for it to return three short years later.
College was full of new experiences and possibilities… and vices. There was a Chick Fil A on campus and as a commuter, my sole expense at college was food. I met new friends for lunch at the buffet in the dining hall and made sure to load up my plates so I was sure to get my $11 worth meanwhile they would use a meal swipe just for a salad or soup because if they didn’t use it, the meals wouldn’t roll over to the next semester. These patterns quickly led to the “Freshman 15” and boy was I angry again. By junior year, I decided to join the dance team at my school. I couldn’t wait to wear the cute sparkly crop tops with our school letters, and hold pom poms, and dance at our football games. But unfortunately it proved the exact opposite. Our very first physical test of the season was a timed mile. Coach wanted us to finish around 7-8 minutes… I took 10 and finished last of all my teammates. I crossed the finish line panting and heaving, holding my side that was cramping worse than I remember possible. She said, to no one in particular but seemingly directed at me, “get your things. And if you’re going to throw up, do it in the grass and then catch up,” I guzzled water and then lifted my oversized team duffle bag and shuffled after my teammates who were already tailing coach to the next event. I was in the gym every day with the girls. We were lifting the same amount of weights and running the same pace on the treadmills next to each other, but they were half my size and could have solos and lifts in our dances because they could just float through the air meanwhile I sat out many of the dances.
Halfway through the semester our coach gathered us all together after a football game (parent’s weekend to be exact) and as we all stood in our huddle with our arms around each other, our parents waiting eagerly to join us for pictures and congratulations, she said through a fake smile, “everyone, forget your crops tops even exist as part of your uniform anymore. Until everyone on this team looks good in them, we will not be wearing them.” We all looked at each other dumbfounded and then at her. Her smile grew and then she bellowed loud enough for our parents to hear “5-6-7-8” and we all chanted “CNU Storm!” and disassembled. I hardly had time to process what just happened before my mom and aunt ran over and pulled me into a big congratulatory hug. I let the hug last long enough to choke back my tears and be able to blame my watery eyes on the fake eyelashes that had been digging at my eye the whole game. Immediately after that game, I began only eating one meal a day, if that, and opting for a salad with no dressing instead of the Chick Fil A or pizza. We had another set of team pictures done around this time where we got to wear whichever combination of uniforms we wanted. I chose my favorites and anxiously awaited the finished products. When they finally arrived, I was temped to just delete the file since I detested the way I looked in almost all of them. Below are some of the photos. I weighted 135 lbs and had about 20% body fat. That just goes to show you how deep my disorder was engrained in me.
Fast forward to today when I have gained a solid 40 lbs from these pictures and found myself perusing the plus size section of the store since none of the “cute” clothes could even think of making it over my hips. Even though I’ve had 3 reconstructive knee surgeries during these last two years, I gave up on getting better–gave up on myself and now I really AM the size I feared I was all these years.