Monday, September 3, 2012


Healthy living is for the birds. I miss the days long ago (four, to be precise) where I was blissfully fat and happy, struggling into my sole pair of fitting pants but oh so enjoying that slice of cheese pizza. Now my life is reduced to no dairy, no gluten, and no sugar. That pretty much means a hearty meal now consists of a nice gulp of air and a refreshing slurp of water.

Tonight I dined on gluten-free, yeast-free, wheat-free, taste-free bread. It came in a freeze wrapped package, like something you send, along with a profuse apology, up in space with an astronaut. Mmmm. I bought some vegan cheese to go with it, but my stomach recoiled upon the first jiggly bite.

On the plus side, my waist has trimmed down a bit, but even that is hard to enjoy that when you're suffering from a headache and longing for even just a little bite of fruit. You never realize how many products contain dairy and sugar until you actually stop and read the labels. It's amazing. I don't want a donut (although it wouldn't be turned away), I just miss the basics, like a bit of cream for my coffee and a slice of toast in the morning.

Those with severe food allergies, I bow down to you. This restrictive diet is not for the light of heart or weak of stomach. It's boring, bland, and repetitive, but alas, I should be grateful, because it is food (at least they claim). I'm sure I shall look back at this little venture and laugh at the melodrama with which I reluctantly embraced it, but that day is far, far off from today.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Independence Day

There is just something about fireworks. For some the feeling begins when they think about the hard-earned freedom fireworks symbolize in our country, that hard knot of pride in their chests that reminds them that we are Americans, despite anything and everything that happens to us. And I hope, as it is for me, the feeling is also one of immense gratitude toward the men and women who ensure that freedom, both here at home and overseas.

Yes, there is just something about fireworks. Just the anticipation of their beginning has us repeatedly glancing at our watches excitement. Then we finally hear the whoosh of a firework being launched, and we brace ourselves, knowing that something brilliant is about to erupt. I'd have to guess that it's one of the few things in life anymore that can truly stop us in our tracks, compelling us to gaze upward.

But I'm not watching the fireworks. I'm watching your faces. The sea of unadulterated smiles that swells as your world blazes with color. That look of pure joy. That's all the fireworks I need.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


If it's possible to smile throughout your entire body, then that's what I'm doing. I think back to where I was a year ago today, two years ago, five years ago, and although I wouldn't change a thing, I've never been so keenly aware and appreciative of where I am right now. Everything is just as it should be, and I feel like the whole world reached out and hugged me today to remind me that things are going to be okay, amazing even.

Happy birthday to me.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Tales of a Smelly Lunchroom

The other day I was waiting in the lunch line at school with a class of first graders when I felt a little hand start to rub my arm. Now for those who don't know (and why in the world would you know this?), I'm very self-conscious about my arm hair. I have quite a bit of it. And it's dark. Sort of like a gorilla. Anyway, this little boy looked up at me, still rubbing my arm, and said, "You are so fuzzy. Just like my dad." Wonderful.

I stopped in the cafeteria during lunch to tell a student that I'd missed him in school the last few days that he had been out sick. "Was it a cold?" I asked, about to tell him that I'd recently had one too.
"It's a secret," he said, beckoning me closer.
Why I leaned forward to listen is beyond me. I never should have asked.
"I had diarrhea. Real bad," he said seriously.

Earlier this month, I was standing in the lunch line with some fifth grade boys, and one became wide-eyed when I reached for a turkey sandwich.
"I thought you were a vegetarian!" he gasped.
"Nope," I replied. "How come you thought so?"
He still looked as if in disbelief. "I just always thought so. You look like you would be."
"How so?"
"Your face shape. Your face is shaped like a vegetarian," he said.
"Hmm, good point. Maybe I'll consider converting," I said as I walked away to devour my poultry.

I was walking though the cafeteria one day and was summoned by an excited first grader. "Guess what?" he said. Before I could guess, he blurted out, "My big sister got her period!"
"Uh, good for her . . .?" I said. Then I added, "How about we keep that private and let her break the news to others?"

Monday, February 20, 2012

All Right

When a few people asked me why I don't blog anymore, I really didn't have an answer ready. I guess in hindsight I can admit what I wasn't able to at the time: I was incredibly unhappy. Some people do their best writing when sad or distressed, but not this girl. The words just don't come.

I'm finally at a place where I'm starting to feel confident and at ease again in my own shoes. I'm not as on edge, wondering when someone is going to walk in and rip the rug right out from under my feet. Welcome back to solid ground.

It took much, much longer than I anticipated to get here, and I also think it meant waiting for the right person to come into my life. And whoever said you need to hit rock bottom before being able to fully appreciate the top was really onto something. I know there's no map, no promises, no guarantees, but I think I just might have found something incredibly precious. And I'm happy.