The Common Cold and a Case of “The Uglies”

Dear Diary,

When people say “the common cold”, I always think it sounds like not such a big deal. Well, once 5 people in your house have it, it’s a big deal. The weekend was a bit tainted by all the sickness going around and from what I’ve heard on Facebook and otherwise, we weren’t the only family who got “bit” by that bug. Lilly came down with it first, followed by Jadon, then Tim & I and then Matthew ūüė¶ It was pitiful. We were all po sickies together.I felt bad for Abby who had come to visit us on Sunday and stayed the night until Monday. Sunday night, Tim and I were resting trying to feel better and “catch up” with the kids who were already feeling a lot better so we were pretty chill. I¬†made a comment to Abby about how her being at our house was like going to visit really boring grandparents. Tim was sitting over in the big chair with a huge theology book (for one of his¬†master’s classes) and I was sitting on the couch doing nothing and watching random TV shows while Abby was laying on the loveseat. Every once in awhile Tim would mutter something to¬†me and I would say,¬†“What?” then he would say it a little louder and I would say, “Mmm.” or “Oh.” I am¬†kind of hard-of-hearing as it is, but when I’m sick, I probably¬†should get a hearing aid. I mis-hear or¬†miss that anything was said altogether. So it really was like being with 2 old folks for Abby. Poor girl.¬†Towards the end of the night though we all got into a really good conversation about relationships and other stuff.¬†It’s so funny that my baby sister is nearly 18. It’s¬†hard to imagine.¬†We went to the splash pad at Tempe Beach Park on Monday morning¬†since it was going to be the last day they were going to be open, and within about 25 minutes of when we started to play, I had gotten a fever and was feeling horrible. So we packed up and went home.¬†I curled up on the front seat like the sick dog I felt like and shivered with the chills all the way home till I¬†could get some tylenol. Then¬†I slept most of the afternoon. I felt horrible the rest of the day and thought, “This? This is what I get for trying to be the fun mom and take my kids to the park on Labor Day???” Boo.

Today I emptied out¬†Lilly’s entire closet (which if you’ve been in her room, you know it’s a¬†nice sized walk-in closet) and one by one the kids and I went through¬†EVERY article of clothing she owned (which was actually a LOT more than I thought)¬†to see what fit and what needed to be bagged up and given to friends.¬†Then we put all of her new clothes that I bought her for fall/winter on hangers and put the clothes that still fit back on hangers¬†and put them all back into her closet. Then we cleaned up and organized her room. This took all morning. Lame sauce. I had wanted to get Jadon and Matthew’s room and closet done today too, but alas, it will have to wait until tomorrow.

Like just about every woman on the face of the earth, I struggle with body image issues. Last night was no exception. Tim and I had gone to get our pictures taken. You know how you have this perception of how you look when you see yourself in the mirror, good or bad? Well, I’ve been working on it a lot in the last few years and I usually think I look pretty good when I look into the mirror. Of course I have my “fat days” like everyone else, but in general, I’m satisfied with what I see. Well, I guess I thought I looked a bit thinner than I did, because when I was reviewing the photos with the photographer after the session on his giant LCD screen that the whole place could see, I gasped in horror when I saw the shots of Tim and I from the back. This photographer had decided it would be “cute” to put down a beach scene background (despite my efforts to convey to him that all we wanted were traditional portraits) and have us turn away from the camera as if we were looking out to the ocean. SO cheesy when it’s not an actual ocean!!!! Tim and I were actually giggling almost uncontrollably, but we were good sports and did it anyway. Well, me from the back did NOT look like I had thought me from the back looked! I know they say that the camera makes you gain 10lbs, but I looked about 20 lbs heavier than I thought I did. I quickly and politely told the photographer/sales guy that we would not be needing those photos and he deleted them much to my relief. I finally picked a pose that showed as little of me as possible. Now I should have just laughed it off there and forgot about it, but it stuck in my mind. The whole rest of the night! It was ridiculous! We went over to Target while the pictures were being printed and walked around and I cringed as I walked on in front of Tim with Lilly. I thought instantly of the old nickname I had given myself that I tried so hard to retire when I started working on having a more positive body image, “Hippobottomus”. I squeezed my eyes shut tight to keep from tearing up. I wanted my highschool body back SOOO bad. I tried very hard to push away the voices of deception who told me I was no longer beautiful. I knew Tim thought I was beautiful…or was he just saying that because I’m his wife and he “has to” tell me that? Ugh, the bad thoughts were coming at me a mile a minute. On the way back to the picture place to pick up the photos, Tim noticed there was something amiss and he asked me about it. I tried to brighten my face up a bit and said I was fine. I was certain Tim had noticed every woman in Target and outside that was cuter and skinnier and fitter than me and had thought, “I miss when Ashley looked like that.” I shoud have known better though because that is NOT the man I married. The man I married loves me and only me and has eyes for only me no matter what I look like. (Praise God!) The whole way home, I cranked up the tunes trying to forget about the war raging in my head. Once I got home, we had a fast dinner, put the kids to bed and started on homework. I thought to myself, I’ll go slip into something Tim will like and that will make me feel better and beautiful. Sometimes that works for me and boosts my confidence and it did for awhile until I went into the bathroom and caught a glimpse of myself in the hard lighting of the bathroom in the full length mirror. Why do they have such harsh overhead lighting in bathrooms? It’s so unflattering to every body type! Anyway, I turned around and left and climbed into bed telling myself, “Okay, well I just won’t look in the mirror then.”¬† I got up out of bed and went to my closet feeling defeated and unworthy of wearing such “pretty” things and promtly changed into the biggest t-shirt I could find in my closet. I went back to bed and I realized how pathetic¬†this was¬†and as any self respecting girl would do at the end of a “fat day”…I grabbed my fluffiest pillow, stuffed my face into it, burst into tears and cried. Tim knows me well enough to know that when I get like this, it’s best to just hold me and let me cry. Trying to talk me out of my feelings does no good. He was very sweet and he just put an arm around me and told me he loved me and that I was beautiful to him and always would be and then that was it. I finished crying and felt a little better and went to sleep. I. Hate. Fat. Days. Today is better, thank God.

Well, I would love to do the Q&A part, but my little bear is protesting rather loudly that I am 2 minutes late for his feeding, so I’d better go:)

Till Next Time!

Ashley

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