ENOCH – 15 MONTHS

Filed under: baby barden,bardenisms,just because,my family — admin at 10:44 am on Thursday, April 16, 2015

In February – Enoch turned 15 months. And Fitzy took some pictures.

That guy. Enoch guy. He’s certainly his own. It’s really unfair that the oldest is the comparison to all your other children. Maybe once you have more than two you stop comparing – but I tend to. And I need to stop. I want to encourage their uniqueness. And embrace their likeness.

At this point – two months later – he has all his teeth (except the back molars) and has crazy curls! He knows where his eyes are – his hair – nose – mouth – hands – feet – tummy. Sometimes ears. He doesn’t talk much. Momma – dadda – okay – da (for pa) – yes. Shakes his head yes and no. He will grab his kitchen grapes when he wants to eat grapes. He knows how to get in the snack cupboard. He gets his own shoes and coat. He loves to RUN. He loves to eat. And for not talking much – he communicates very well. He loves reading books. He loves puppies. He loves music.

Enoch – you are a darling. You love your brother. You love to laugh. You love tubbies. You are a happy guy and we love YOU!

I JUST SHAVED MY HEAD

Filed under: bardenisms,just because,my family — admin at 8:46 pm on Sunday, April 12, 2015

I just noticed that this is post 1801! Whoa! Seriously!

THIS – was the first blog post here – ever!!

I cannot tell you how awesome you all are! I’ve never paid attention to the stats – the number of subscribers – the followers – and I think that’s a good thing. For me anyway! Because it doesn’t matter – it’s never mattered.

Which leads me to share something with you.

I just shaved my head.

This morning. Before church.

I got my hair cut in February after a long and dramatic journey of trying to grow it out again. And while the stylist that I went to – did exactly what I asked her to – I didn’t love it. So I dyed it back to dark brown and trimmed the top. Easy enough. And then I went to the wig shop at the mall. Be. Still. My. Heart. And I bought 3 of them. And then I found some others on amazon – for $7. Each. So I bought them. And now I might have 12 – maybe. Most likely. A long red one. A long black one. A short black and purple one. A medium lavender one. A brown curly one. A short brown one. You get it. Because it’s fun. And I’ve always wanted long flowing hair. Beautiful hair that would never grow out of my head. So. Why not? I do LOVE my short hair – so I wear whichever hits my mood (and I’m not gonna lie – my outfit) that day!

So there I am – with my pixie.

And then I trimmed my hair yesterday.

Yea. No. I didn’t realize that it was the 1/8 setting. I mean – I realized that it was – but 1/2 was too long last time. So certainly 1/8 would be perfect! Listen – I’m really a smart girl – but sometimes – those common sense things – fly past me! So here I was with – this. I tried. Nope – just looked crazy. My hair is crazy thick and coarse. It lays however it wants.

This was not cutting it. So – I decided to just start over from scratch. Shave it and start from the base to grow out a pixie cut!

So there’s my hair. And there’s the wig I wore to church today.

There’s the one I wore Friday night. Seriously. SO MUCH FUN.

But the more I look at this shaved head – the more I love it.

And I didn’t do it as a rebellion. I didn’t do it to prove a feminist point. I didn’t do it to empower myself. I didn’t do it because I needed to be brave and let go. I did it because it was already really short – and it would be just as quick and easier to shave it off than try and fix what I had done!

And everyone says – you’re braver than I am.

But I have a secret. It’s just hair. Right?

If you’re needing your hair to make you beautiful – then you need a heart check.

And not just hair. If you need a wig. Makeup. A certain dress. A certain size. And that’s not to say that I don’t love those things. Like I said – I might have 12 wigs. And I’ve recently fallen in love with bright red lipstick. And that dress in that picture – one of my new favorites! (I’m a sucker for red-lined clearance deals on awesome stuff) I love a sharp dress and cute outfit as much (or more) as the next girl. But none of that makes me beautiful.

You gotta shine from the inside. Confidence. True Jesus given confidence in who He made you is the key.

And believe me – I’m NOT saying you need to go shave your head and explore your inner beauty. Not at all. What I’m saying is – it’s not about that. It’s about that confidence that Jesus gave you in Him. God MADE you and wants to walk this journey of being the best you can with you.

It’s just hair. Walk in the confidence that Jesus made you for a specific purpose.

And that you are living out that purpose. And that you are beautiful.

Because you really are.

I’ll leave you with this -

In January of 2013 – I wrote these words – and they still ring true today. So I’ll copy and paste the whole blog post. 

THANK YOU AUNT LORI

I can’t describe it – I’ve always had an awesome view of myself.

HA. Totally turned you off already right?

Hear me out.

When I was little I was goofy and awkward – weren’t we all? But I mean really goofy. I had – and still have – a fabulously awful head of hair. It’s thick and curly and unruly. It was usually styled into a lovely feathered bob or a crazy awesome mullet. Trout was a lovely last name to carry around as a middle school girl. Awesome. I was always a little thicker than most girls – but not fat by any means.

I’m not sure why I didn’t think I was fat – when I was definitely bigger than most of my friends. When most of my very thin friends complained about being fat – when they were not even close. I guess I always knew that this was my body and I was going to be in it for a while – so I needed to love it for what it was.

And my Aunt Lori. From a very young age – she spoke love and encouragement into me. She told me I was beautiful and that I was worth it. She taught me to never let someone else determine my self worth. That Jesus held my heart.

I was the girl with all the guy friends – the tall goofy girl. With all the cute skinny friends. The girl that the guys called to say – hey – what does Sara think about me? Does Jamie think I’m cute? You are SUCH a good friend Danielle. Really? When was it going to be MY turn?

Aunt Lori would say to me – you can have a boyfriend any day of the week Danielle – you are worth it – BUT do you want to lower your standards? And while that advice crept out of my head at times – I usually lived my life by those words. Did I want to give up what I knew I was worth just to have a boyfriend? No way.

And while I was never the girl that got the guy that was way out of my league (in terms of coolness) – I was the girl that held my head high. I was the girl that was taller than all the other girls – and most guys – and managed to be awesome at it. I was a nerd. I may have been lame – but I was awesome at being lame. At least – I was in my own head.

One of my favorite teachers pulled me aside my senior year and told me what one of our classmates had said about me. He said – “you know – Danielle isn’t like the other girls. She doesn’t take crap from people and doesn’t let it get to her when people put her down. She stands up for what she believes in – and while I don’t share those beliefs – I respect her for her that. Cus I don’t know if I could do it.” That meant so much to me. So I WAS making a difference in taking a stand. I was being myself and standing out. Awesome. Now – that guy is one of the guys that gave me the most crap in high school – but I never let him get in my head.

Thankfully – Jesus was hanging out in there. I truly believe that my Aunt Lori was divinely chosen to be my Aunt. She was chosen to speak life into me and encourage me to be myself.

My sister and I used to call each other fatty – for one reason. We were not fat. And we were surrounded by girls that were not fat – thinking they were fat. Calling themselves fat. Obsessing about being skinny. It was totally foreign to me. You are BEAUTIFUL – why do you think you’re not?

I’m reading a book called – God Loves Ugly by Christa Black – it’s given me some insight as to why those girls didn’t think they were beautiful. It’s what prompted this post. I don’t know what it’s like to be an insecure girl. Until last year – I got a bad dose of it (which I am now cured of) and I totally didn’t like being in my own head. I couldn’t imagine living my WHOLE life that way.

I write this to tell you – YOU are beautiful. God made you with a specific purpose and plan in mind.

Having a positive self image does wonders. While I don’t think that I am exceptionally beautiful – I carry myself like I am. While I KNOW that I don’t have a gorgeous head of hair (like my ridiculous sister) – I do the best with what I have. While I am NOT the skinniest I could be at the moment – I dress to enhance what I have. My sister has lost over ONE HUNDRED pounds – and has inspired me. While I don’t need to lose a ton of weight – 25 to 30 pounds would be awesome. Then I would fit in my size 12′s – and that would be awesome. Not because they are 12′s. It has nothing to do with the number. Not because I would love to be 160 lbs. It has nothing to do with the number. I feel GREAT at 160 and I LOVE my size 12′s. What do I need to do – not eat like I’m never eating again. Stop drinking soda. Eat the right portions. Have an apple for a snack. Drink lots of water. Have willpower – when I get low – I call my sister.

I don’t write this to toot my own horn – to be conceited. It’s not my intent at all. I write to encourage you. Encourage you to LOVE YOU. I’m not saying I’m perfect. I have faults. LOTS. And I am always working on them – kind of – at least trying to – asking God to show me what I need to work on. Which again – is A LOT of stuff. I write this to tell you that how YOU feel about yourself makes all the difference in the world.

Be sure of yourself. Know that God delights in His creation. YOU ARE HIS CREATION. He delights in you. He has placed you in the lives of those around you for a reason – to be a light. SHINE THAT LIGHT.

There are LOTS of things I don’t like about myself. My crazy hair. The fact that I wear glasses. My giant feet. How I tower over everyone. My flat butt. My horrid skin. Now – you’re saying – those things aren’t true Danielle. But they are what I see is wrong with me – if I let myself get that far. But the truth is – I don’t. I don’t dwell on the things that I can’t change. I cannot change anything that I just mentioned. Not one. Why dwell on it. Instead of being sad about the things that I don’t like about myself – enhance the things I do – and then the things I don’t – don’t stick out so much.

Are you an Aunt Lori in someones life? Strive to be. My aunt wasn’t blessed with daughters – she has two awesome sons and a fantastic daughter-in-law (and two sweet grandsons) – but she poured into me like I was her own – which I was – in family and in Christ. Did you have an Aunt Lori in your life – thank her (or him) – for investing time and love into you. Pay it forward. Encourage and build up.

It makes all the difference in the world – I know – and people will notice your confidence and presence. Not your giant feet. Unless they are shoe shopping with you.