hillarygayle: (Hottie Camera)

I am the funniest mama because I took a photo of ancient dinosaur butts for him.

hillarygayle: (Hottie Red Queen)
Strawberry Sprinkles & Evil Elvis (bacon, peanut butter, & bananas on top of a glazed yeast). You don't even UNDERSTAND how amazing the Evil Elvis was. I'm going to have to place it as the single best donut I have ever had in my life.

Canadian Healthcare (which made me think of you, [livejournal.com profile] velvetpage!), Mr. Pistachio, Strawberry with sprinkles, orange cake. This is our "take home" box, because we were too stuffed to eat everything. Bryan & I had fried chicken biscuits (his with cheese, honey & spicy mustard and mine with gravy) as well as the donuts. We devoured the biscuits too quickly to photograph. The chicken was juicy on the inside & crisp outside, & perfectly seasoned.

A lady who seemed to be the manager asked us how we were doing & where we were from (they apparently get a lot of regulars so we stood out). Told her we'd driven there from Frisco and she was really startled! "That's a long way!" she said, which made me laugh. Your perspective is different when you drive 8 hours to a place. You drive 30 minutes from Frisco to south Dallas & that seems like nothing! She was familiar with our part of Arkansas, since her husband used to travel there for work, and then I made HER laugh by telling her I was originally from Weiner, Arkansas. :) No one ever forgets that, y'know?

Spotted at the Dallas Arboretum. I think I would like this lady.

Water Wall at the Dallas Arboretum.

We checked the prices, but ended up not going because it was expensive: $10 for kids & $15 for adults, so that's a base price of $40 before we even thought about adding on the "children's garden" access. It would normally have been completely worth it (it looks like an amazing garden!), but Ganon was whiny bear, and I'd rather not have an expensive experience ruined because Ganon was a beast.
hillarygayle: (PP Molly kicks ass)

My inlaws live in a very neat town. There are things I already knew I liked about it: the Sprouts market, the mall, the proximity to an Apple Store, the presence of many stores I love. However, I found some more things I love about Frisco during our last trip down there.

Frisco is a big city, even if it is a "bedroom community" for the Dallas metro. However, just 10 years ago it was a town of 13,000--smaller than Jonesboro. The city seems to remember that & want to keep it the best aspects of it. To that end, Frisco is really big on promoting its community stuff. Each Friday night during the summer, Frisco is showing a movie on the lawn at the courthouse, free to anyone who wants to bring a blanket & watch. They have a farmer's market on Saturday and while it was kinda full of flea-market type stuff this time, it really looked all local. They really push their downtown area, and I can't even BEGIN to tell you how much I'd love to live in those adorable apartments in that adorable downtown. There's a sushi restaurant downtown that ranks as mine & Bryan's new favorite, pushing even Sekisui Cordova out of the #1 spot. It's called Sake Toro, and like Sekisui Cordova it uses traditional Japanese sushi as a jumping-off point for a thousand incredible variations. Crazy sauces, spicy toppings, crunchies, different fish used in unusual ways. It's so awesome. The whole downtown area is just a great little place; almost like Sesame Street. It's within biking distance of Market Street, one of the best gourmet grocery stores I've ever had the pleasure of meeting. I happen to know there are lots of knitters in Frisco, and a nice local coffee shop to meet at. If there's not already a group, by george someone needs to remedy that. ^_^

I don't know where all this is supposed to go. Just to point out that I kind of like Frisco. I'm pretty excited about the prospect of perhaps moving there someday.


This is a remarkably sweet story: an unexpected path to parenthood.

I maintain that Twitter is pretty awesome. Arnold Schwarzenegger tweets about emergency landing. Get it from people who are there, whoever they are, you know? In fact, some of the CNN stories about Iran have been comprised entirely of tweeted quotes. I follow this person in Iran currently: Change For Iran.

For the first time, I know for certain that a patient I cared for has passed away. It's a very unique, indescribable feeling. This patient had been heavily sedated when I cared for them, so I can't say I knew them. I just don't want it to end that way for anyone: descending into sedation with no hope of coming back out, dead before you die. Empathy makes me a good nurse, but empathy is a double edged sword for sure.

Ganked from [personal profile] lady_ganesh:

If there is one person or more on your friends list who makes your world a better place just because they exist, and who you would not have met (in real life or not) without the Internet, then post this same sentence in your journal.

Oh HECK yes. Absolutely. [personal profile] cryfreedom and [personal profile] jorajo, I'm looking at you two first. It's strange to me, how startlingly STRONG my feelings for you two are, not so long after meeting you. I want to hug you and squeeze you and go to a DMB concert with you & [personal profile] quiara and sing & scream until we go hoarse. [personal profile] axelrod, you're another person who's made my world a better place by helping me to make it better for other people. In such a short time, you have broadened my horizons exponentially. Thank you.

Hillary Likes Clothing

I've been in a clothing mood lately. I managed to FINALLY get 2 maxi dresses at Old Navy not long ago. Normally Old Navy DOES NOT fit me unless we're talking plus sizes. Their regular sized clothes are cut for a straighter physique than mine (I am all plump curves; not a single straight line anywhere on me), and I often find that by the time they fit me in one place, they are huge in a different place, or way too small in another. These maxi dresses were very generously cut though, and empire waist, which is very flattering on me. I do have a belly, so I'm not sure why they don't make me look pregnant, but whatever! This one was so flattering I got 2 of them: one in cerulean blue and another in navy blue. They're the most comfortable things in the universe. There was one major problem with them (of course), and that's that the neckline goes ALL THE WAY to the empire waist. When I wear these things without a Lane Bryant cami underneath, it's like "HOLY CRAP here's Hillary's bosom!" It borders on indecent. However, I have about half a million Lane Bryant camisoles, so that is no problem.

I also bought a brown maxi dress for Ty's (one of my double cousins) wedding. I tweeted a photo of it the day I bought it. Anyway, only one thing was bugging me about the dress itself, and that's that my belly pooch was messing up the very elegant drape in the front. There's a ruched bust with a set of almost-pleats hanging down from it. The center one is the longest, and then the ones on either side get shorter & shorter. It's a neat effect if you do not have a pooch in the front that messes up the long line. Now I'm not someone who thinks there's something wrong with my body instead of the outfit, but this one tiny thing was NOT keeping me from buying this dress, so I brainstormed how to fix it. I remembered I'd bought a pair of Spanx Higher Power panties to wear with a pair of pants the Christmas after Ganon was born. Yesterday I decided to give those a test run to see how hot they'd be during this insane summer. I put them on under one of my Old Navy dresses & wore them to Ty & Jenny's outdoor engagement BBQ (this was way more fun than expected!). It was hot as hell, but not hotter than it would've been without them, really. When I tried the brown dress on with the Spanx underneath, behold! The drape falls perfectly. I'm stoked. I'm planning to wear the dress with a bright white, tunic-length button front shirt I got at Lane Bryant, and I'll be buying some bulky beaded jewelry from Earthbound Trading to wear with it all. Sounds very summery & casual dressy. I think I'm going to like it a lot.

Speaking of Lane Bryant, BRA SALE! I only buy bras when they're on sale, and I've been needing some for a while now. Cut for an in-depth discussion of having breasts )

Today Bryan & I are ostensibly organizing & cleaning in the house, but we're going very sporadically. We sit down to piddle with something, and then we get up and clean a bit more. Then we get distracted by something shiny, and then get up & organize something else. We're so happy & content when we're together, and both so laid back. We sap each other's motivation. ^_^


Sometime after it became clear that Weight Watchers was causing me to have seriously disordered eating, I "discovered" body acceptance on my own. It was tenuous & rooted in the fact that Bryan found me attractive no matter that I was larger than the "ideal woman", but it was there. Then I found people online who felt the same, and it got stronger through solidarity with other people. None of us saw why we should further hurt ourselves with starvation diets when it was clear our bodies had reached a stasis. Unless I starved myself, my body was not going anywhere below 210 lbs, and when you're hungry it means you NEED TO EAT. Hungry people don't function well, and that is a simple medical fact. So I can't see a diet that keeps me hungry as anything other than self-abuse. Anyway, that's where I've been for a long time, until a strange moment last night.

At Ty & Jenny's engagement party, we were playing silly games & doing silly things, and as per usual, I was running about with a camera, snapping photos of everyone when they least expect it. I tend not to be in the middle of my own family gatherings. Though I'm a social butterfly with my friends and online, in my family I prefer to stay on the periphery. I don't know why this is, but it's always been that way. Possibly because I'm VERY different from most folks in my family. Anyway, at some point they began to play tug of war. I laughingly took pictures as they played the first 2 games (in which each family in turn let go to make sure that either Ty or Jenny got dunked in the swimming pool between them). During the 3rd game, however, they played to actually see who would win. I noticed that there were more people on Jenny's side of the rope, and I don't know what possessed me...but I put the camera down and went to our side of the rope. Though there were more people on the other side, my family doesn't grow frail people. The thinnest person in my family is my sister, and that's because she's constantly on a diet and works out like CRAZY 5 times a week. The rest of us are not very tall, but...you remember how Pa always called Laura "stout as a little French pony" in the Little House on the Prairie books? That's us. We are a team of stout little ponies. Fewer people perhaps, but there was quite a bit "more" of us. ^o^

I grabbed the rope, planted my feet, and we started to pull. It was HARD, but I noticed something. A couple of times I grit my teeth, kinda half-yelled so I wouldn't do a Valsalva manuever (that's when you hold your breath & bear down; you can make yourself pass out like that--don't do it!), and pulled with every muscle in my body. Every single time I did that, the rope moved heavily in our favor. We won in a big way; 3 or 4 of Jenny's family members had to let go so they wouldn't fall in the pool. That moment I realized that physically, I am a seriously strong woman.

I think I had a revelation of sorts. I am not thin & frail like the ideal of beauty and that's more than okay with me. Thinness has it's own merits (many of the fastest people are quite thin, like my classmate Zak for example), but I have mine, too. I am 5'4", which is fairly short, and I weigh 205-210-ish lbs. I am stout, solid, and strong. There is no doubt that Zak could outrun me, but there's also no doubt I could pick him up and carry him. If, heaven forbid, I was ever forced into a physical altercation (I'm thinking truly combative or abusive patient here), I would be able to more than hold my own with most people. My classmates often come and get me when they need help turning or moving a patient. I have no problem moving even very large medical equipment. My body does exactly what I want it to when I'm working in the hospital. When I thought of myself as strong previously, I always thought of it in personality terms, or the strength of my character. I really like this new image of myself as physically strong. My mom used to say she was "fat as a water buffalo" but last night I began thinking of myself as "strong as an elephant", and found I rather like the comparison. An elephant isn't a swan, but it has it's own kind of grace, it's own brand of elegance born from strength. My thick thighs, my solid hips, my big arms--these things all contribute to that strength. For extra bonus points, I am very soft and huggable, and children who need a hug will cling to me like no tomorrow. Ganon uses me as a pillow--heck, sometimes Bryan uses me as a pillow. My plump self is strong when I need to be strong, and soft when I need to be soft. I'm not just at peace with that. I LOVE that. Instead of just being "okay" with being heavy-set, I actually find that I LIKE me this way.

Even more extra bonus points: Molly Weasley is a plump, strong redhead. Enough said.


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