Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Proving beauty is in the eye of the beholder

The lovely Sam at The life and times of me! recently bestowed me with the Beautiful Blogger award -- despite, or perhaps thanks to, the fact that I only post headless pictures of myself. Sam lives across the pond in the U.K. and has a super cool blog where she casually mentions ancient castles and places ending in "fordshireglenham." She is also on the waiting list for a service dog, which I am excited to read all about, considering the only command my dog obeys these days is "Hey, Evey, I dropped a piece of food on the floor, come eat it so I don't have to pick it up."

Anyway... the award.

Simple rules, as these things go. Post seven things about myself, and pass the award along to seven beautiful bloggers.

Seven Things About Myself:

1. Christmas is my absolute favorite time of year. I love everything about it -- the lights, the music, the tree, the gifts, the old guy playing his guitar by his Salvation Army stand at the grocery store, the sparkle of decorations. But I didn't decorate for Christmas this year. At all. The only three Christmas items currently in our house are the piano-playing Snoopy I bought for Bean at Hallmark because I am a total pushover, the silly light-up snowman ornament I got from the MOMS Club exchange, and the "button" my Mom sent us last year (like the Staples easy button) that plays Jingle Bell Rock when you press it, which has been one of Bean's favorite toys for a full 12 months now.* It wasn't our intent to be the Scrooge family, but between trying to rest my rapidly expanding body, DH traveling for work, the loft renovation project starting this week, and gift buying... well, it just didn't get done. Hopefully Baby Jesus will forgive me.

2. I spent many years of my life trying to be a perfectionist. It served me well in some ways; getting into my top college and having seriously great hair. But over the years -- thankfully! -- this urge has fallen away. Life is imperfect, and no matter how hard I push, it will always be that way. I am so grateful for the relief and joy this realization has given me, and I hope to teach Bean that certain things are worth doing half-assed so that he doesn't become stunted by obsessive anxiety and unrealistic self-imposed standards. Therefore, I accept nothing less than imperfection from myself every day. I am, you might say, a reborn imperfectionist.

3. When DH travels, I save the note he leaves me in the morning as well as all voicemail messages while he is gone because I worry about him not coming back. No, not out of fear that he's decided the wife and kids in his other "double life" are better than me and Bean and pooch. But God forbid, I worry that something bad could happen to him. (Yesterday I noticed that he added two items to his latest business trip packing checklist: "Miss Sunny, Bean, Twin A, Twin B, and Evey" and then below: "Especially Sunny." Both checked. If I have to share him with the Other Wife to keep him, then so be it!)

4. I watched the entire season of Glee -- every single episode -- even though I absolutely hated it initially. I really wanted to like it, because I do think life is generally better when set to music and choreography. But I found the characters overall unlikeable and the plot so unbelievable I was utterly distracted by the details (how did teenage Quinn intend on hiding a pregnancy from her parents for NINE MONTHS?). However, due to the number of people professing that this is The Best Television Show Ever, I kept watching and waiting to be struck by the show's apparent brilliance. Now that the fall season is over, I will admit to being ambivalent about it instead of actively disgusted. How's that for a good use of my time?

5. I have not eaten peanuts or peanut butter since summer 2007. I read that eating peanuts while being pregnant and breastfeeding can trigger a peanut allergy in your little peanut if he is predisposed to it. This is highly debated, and I haven't met a single other preggo who avoids peanuts -- and in fact, my twins book recommends eating it on crackers for protein. Plus, food allergies do not run in my family nor DH's family so I don't have any reason to think my munchkins are at risk. But I've seized on this as something I can control and do for my babies, and since I have been pregnant and/or breastfeeding for 30 straight months, I've not consumed peanuts in a long time. In general it doesn't bother me, but I do miss peanut butter & butter & banana sandwiches, as well as my beloved Reese's Peanut Butter cups. The things we do for our children!

6. I am really good at Minesweeper. Unless you are a professional player, I can probably top your fastest score on each level. This is because back in high school, our computer was in the office which overlooked the driveway. I would sit there for what surely cumulatively added up to WEEKS waiting for DH to come pick me up (*ahem* often late) for our dates, keeping an eye out for his car while playing Minesweeper over and over. (This was before the days of blogging and Facebook, naturally.) I would type trash talk in the Highest Score name fields, like "Sunny is way cooler than you." Obviously I was going for the irony.

7. I have a secret dream of being a gestational surrogate, like the fabulous Kymberli. I can't imagine a more incredible gift to give a couple than helping them achieve parenthood. Not only that, but it would be one final "eff you" to infertility for what it put me and DH through. And I've been getting a lot of compliments on my maternity clothes lately (well, the ones my Mom got for me at least) so it'd be nice to get one more run out of them. I'll be wearing tents within a month and that will be the end of that!

Beautiful Bloggers:

Martha at A Sense of Humor is Essential. She adds beauty to the blogosphere with her colorful pictures and colorful stories of life in sunny Cali.

Lori at Weebles Wobblog. Her posts on open adoption are particularly enlightening, but she also finds beauty in the world through mindful living and "Perfect Moment Mondays."

Alana at Alana-isms. She is such a supportive, beautiful person in our online community. I am wishing her lots of happiness and a big blessing in the coming year.

Beautiful Mess at Life Induces Thoughts, Mostly Random. She is a wonderful example of surviving and thriving after a loss. An inspiration!

Kate at Kate's Plate. Her idea of beauty is a perfectly crafted and delicious meal. Mine is too, as long as I'm not the one doing the crafting. In that we differ, but I can still pass her recipes along to my hubby!

Michelle at To Baby and Beyond. It's a tough holiday season for Michelle, and although she may not be feeling beautiful, I really admire her strength and grace in the face of life's challenges. Hoping that 2010 brings the answer to her prayers.

Meg at Foster Family Blog. Her beautiful daughter (several months younger than Bean) writes the family blog from her perspective. Cutie patootie!

*I just remembered the fourth Christmas decoration in our house -- the fabric Advent calendar that DH's grandma sent us. She also included a bag of Hershey's Kisses, which I completely scarfed before finding out those were meant to go in the calendar and be eaten one day at a time. Yeah, right.



Sam said...

"fordshireglenham" - I love it!!!! ha ha ha!!!! Will have to find a castle and take some photos for you!!

Sam said...

If you're on twitter - I tweeted it!! - there should be a place in the UK called ""fordshireglenham" - perfect!! (as per Sunny in Seattle - http://bit.ly/60IF9N)

Kristina P. said...

I've thought about that if something were to happen to my husband. I would want to have some memory of him.

And I really like Glee. I'm not madly in love with it like the rest of the universe, but it's enjoyable.

Anonymous said...

A wonderful list of seven! We should all make list stash it away for a decade, then rewrite it without looking at the original list.

Ji said...

Great lists of seven beautiful blogger. I love all of them...

Outstanding work in group sense!

Michelle said...

Thank you so much for the award and your beautiful words!

BTW my sis ate all kinds of peanut butter during both her pregnancies and now both her children have SEVERE peanut allergies (and no one in either family has allergies). I do not know if it is connected but it might make you feel better about your decision. Peanut allergies are very tough to deal with.

A Mom in Jacksonville, FL said...

Awwww, thanks! I promise I'll get to this by the end of the week!

And kudos to you, you beautiful gal!

I enjoyed your list. And I have to admit that I love Glee. Though, I was in Show Choir in Ohio during my high school years...so maybe I feel a "connection" in some ways. :)

Martha said...

Thank you for this beautiful Award and The Gift of You!! Reese's Peanut Butter cups, eggs, trees, yummy!! I make peanut blossom cookies this time of year too. So glad all is well in the Twindome. Thanks again, ((Hugs))

Lavender Luz said...

I clicked over just because I think you are beautiful, too, and looky! There's a bonus here for me!

Wow -- this is some terrific company.

I do the same thing when my husband travels. And I someday want to go to Fordshireglenham. And have Worcestershire sauce.

Beautiful Mess said...

Aww thank you so much for the award! You're so sweet!

You're a stronger woman and a better mother then I becuase there was NO WAY I could've lived without peanut butter when I was pregnant. It was the only thing I could eat.

I loved your list! I'm sure Baby Jesus will forgive you. Next year you can dress all three boys up as little Santas and make up for the lack of decoration this year ;o)

Anonymous said...

Hello - I'm a fellow blogger on the world of Gestational Surrogacy, looking around in amazement and wonder at all the fantastic journals springing up to deal with this subject matter. I come at this from a different perspective -- my wife is the one doing all the work carrying the precious package as it were. I'm just along for the ride as a reporter and back massager! Good luck and if you're interested in a man's take on all this: http://www.guestwomb.com

Anonymous said...

I am absolutely with you on Glee. I watched it because everyone loved it and because I love seeing people break into song. But the characters are so unlikeable. Still, I have recently found myself wondering what would happen in the next episode, so I guess I've moved even a bit beyond ambivalent.

I also stayed away from peanuts while pregnant and breastfeeding until we knew that Zoe wasn't allergic to peanuts. We have no food allergies in our families, but my dad used to be a pastor for college students, and I remember him calling me while I was at college to tell me he'd had to do a funeral for a girl my age who was allergic to peanuts. It made a huge (irrational) impression on me.

Coffeegrl said...

The peanut thing was one I had a hard time giving up (esp. since doctors were unclear but I LOVE peanut butter). Turns out Sophie at 23 months - adores! peanut butter. Like mother like daughter I guess. Thankfully, she shows no sign of allergy. I'd feel like a terrible mother if I had to confess that I ate peanuts and peanut butter with wild abandon all while pregnant, nursing etc.!!

As for Glee, I was with you initially, but have found some glimmers of humanity and interesting character aspects within several of the characters - enough to keep me going. Also, I LOVE the music. I wasn't a show choir girl - but was in every kind of school choir that we had (there were 3) so I did my fair of performing and competitions. It's nice to see so much glamorous singing in a school setting!