Thursday, July 25, 2013

Little Crossfitter

After watching DH & me while we workout in the garage, apparently C has picked up a few moves....

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

It's Not About Me

Every now and then I come across a new (to-me) adoption blog and it's as though the author reached in my head and heart and put words to the emotions I'm unable to describe or explain.

In the 14 - almost 15! - months that we've had C, adoption is something I think about every day. Not because I feel any less toward C, as if giving birth to him would have made him more special. He is my son. It's that I remember that there is another woman to whom I owe everything. Every joy that I have experienced as a mother has come at a great cost to her. My joy came through her pain. I know she doesn't regret her decision - she has told me as much. In a beautiful way, she told me that my husband and I deserved the blessing - the gift that is a child. But she has also shared that there are those times when she is sad; when she misses him. How could she not??

The best is often brought about at the cost of great pain. As a child, it was hard for me to understand why Good Friday was called "Good." God was crucified. It's good because through that pain, through His Cross, Christ redeemed us.

Adoption comes from a loss - a loss of C's first family, of his first mother. Sometimes it just breaks my heart that he will know that pain someday. Now he is too young, completely unaware of his story. But someday, that pain will be there. I hope the love he feels from me and my husband, as well as his birth family, will help ease that pain.

C has been saying "mama" and "dada" for a while now. He tries to repeat words back to us when we ask him to - sometimes what comes out is pretty funny. :) Last week my husband and I realized that he is very clearly saying one word. He says it over and over again. "E-sus." Jesus. He recognizes Jesus in the Sacred Heart statue on the way into a church that we frequent for daily Mass. He recognizes Jesus on the Cross in our own parish. He recognizes him in the Stations of the Cross. He recognizes Him on the Cross outside the church where the scene is displayed from his Crucifixion with Mary and John at his feet. He recognizes him when we go to a church he hasn't been in before - he just knows. He raises his arms every time and says "E-sus!" Sometimes, like yesterday, he blows him a kiss without prompting. Each time it gives me chills.

His life is a gift. It doesn't belong to me. I'm only blessed - very blessed - to be his mother and to teach him about the One who made him, who designed him for His purpose.

My prayer for him is that someday he comes to realize the same thing I'm only beginning to understand.

It's not about me. It never was. It's about Him.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

How will you use your beauty? The Bikini Question

The Bikini Question

Swimwear has been on my mind frequently lately, as C and I have been at the pool most days that it hasn’t been raining. 

This is a fantastic video of a presentation by actress and swimsuit designer, Jessica Rey that I just saw in an article on Mercator. (Her swimsuits can be found here.)

I highly recommend watching the video - it’s just under 10 minutes - but here are the points I love that she makes. 

  • The bikini was invented in France by french engineer Louie RĂ©ard. He named it after the the site of the atomic bomb testing that year - Bikini Atoll. He thought the public’s reaction would be like an atomic bomb explosion and he was right. His design was based on exposing the belly button for the first time and he said it wouldn’t be a true bikini unless it could be pulled through a wedding ring. (Dang... that’s not much fabric!)
  • It was so scandelous that no french model would wear it so he had to hire a stripper to debut his bikini.
  • If you go to the beach today - it seems as though every woman is wearing one. It wasn’t an instant hit in the US however. In 1957, Modern Girl Magazine said it was hardly necessary to waste words on the so-called bikini because no girl with tact or decency would ever wear such a thing. One writer described it as a two-piece bathing suit that revealed everything about a girl except her mother’s maiden name.
  • Obviously, times have changed. A NY times reporter called the bikini the millennial equivalent to the power suit. What kind of power does it bring?
  • A Princeton study done asked How does the male brain react to seeing people in different amounts of clothing?
  • When men were shown photos of scantily clad women, the region of the brain associated with tools, such as screwdrivers or hammers, lit up.
  • Some men showed zero brain activity in the medial pre-frontal cortex - the part of the brain that lights up when one ponders another person’s thoughts, feeling and intentions. Researchers found this shocking because they almost never see this part of the brain shut down in this way. A Princeton professor said It’s as if they are reacting to these women as if they are not fully human. It’s consistent with the idea that they are responding to these photographs as if they are responding to objects, not people.
  • So... it does give a woman power - the power to shut down the part of a man’s brain where he sees her as a person, not an object.

Modesty. The word is often met with disdain. Does it mean we need to be frumpy, dumpy and out of fashion? 

Jessica’s goal is to disprove the age-old notion that when it comes to swimsuits that less is more. You can dress modestly without sacrificing fashion.

Her model/inspiration is Audrey Hepburn - she’s got some really cute suits such as this one named Holly:

Well, I probably won't wear my hair like this :)
Named for Audrey's character Holly in Breakfast at Tiffany's

Her tagline is - who says it has to be itsy-bitsy? Modesty isn’t about covering up our bodies because they are bad. It isn’t about hiding ourselves, it’s about revealing our dignity. We were made beautiful in His image and likeness.
Her final question in the video is: How will you use your beauty?

I confess - I used to wear them. Everyone did (still does, it seems) so I joined the crowd sometime in high school. I had some cute ones that I loved. And there is no doubt - they are much, much, MUCH easier to find than an attractive one-piece. I can remember one time while on vacation (years ago) that someone commented that they thought I was running around in my bra - not my swimsuit. Yikes! I remember feeling really uncomfortable, but I still wore them for a few more years. Finally, I really starting thinking about it more and realized it was exactly like running around in my bra and underwear... the only difference is the fabric.

What did you think of the video? And honestly asking - what are your thoughts on swimwear?
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