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    Tuesday
    May072013

    What I Wore: Mom 2.0 Summit 2013

    A quick story before I show you how awesome my hair looked on Saturday morning:


    Dove was the official title sponsor for the Mom 2.0 Summit this year. On the first morning of the conference Lisa Ling, Jess Weiner and Unilever Vice President Rob Candelino introduced Dove’s newest program to empower young girls and women called Girls Unstoppable

    The mission of Girls Unstoppable is promote positive self-esteem in young girls and women so that they - or WE - feel that we can do anything. So many women stop doing their favorite activities or are intimidated simply based on their looks. I’m going to write more on this later but  you get the gist: Girls are beautiful. Women are beautiful. We need to support one another and ourselves. 

     

    So, I’m sitting at the conference tweeting the hell out of this conversation. I’m thrilled when Lisa Ling mentions young women running for student government and taking positions in Washington and running for office. I was all huzzah! This is fantastic! We’re all unstoppable! Let’s stop being critical of one another and lift each other up. I wanted to find a way to reach out to Dove to work with them on girls empowerment when it comes to running for office because that’s what I do. I was excited.

     

    It was great.

     

    Fast forward to yesterday when I was scrolling through some photos of myself during Mom 2.0. I was not unstoppable. In fact I was so completely against what Girls Unstoppable stands for that I was devastated by my own poor self-image.

     

    I looked fat. I hated my arms. I didn’t look as strong as I felt after six months of three times a week Bikram. In one angle of a photo I looked like the size of a house. Why was my face so fat? I will be wearing a cardigan and long pants all summer. I might even rock a giant sweater tunic thing. Anything to take the attention away from my...well...ample body.

     

    I hated myself not only for my looks but because I felt so strongly and upset about my reactions. Would anyone else notice? Probably not. But I would notice and now I have this permanent image of me putting the ASS in MASSIVE.

     

    Days after thinking that women are beautiful and we can do anything I judged the crap out of myself. I did exactly what I hoped that other woman wouldn’t do to themselves. It wasn’t fun.

     

    So! I tell you that “quick” (HAAAAAAAA) story before showing you some of what I wore during Mom 2.0 because here is a photo of me in my bathing suit:

     


     

    The bathing suit that I removed the straps from on Thursday afternoon as I sauntered around the pool with drinks and talking to my friends. No one gave a shit about my boobs or my butt or my thighs or the terrible scarring on my chest after a severe allergic reaction. But! BUT! Everyone really liked that bathing suit (it's from Old Navy), that’s what. I need to remember that what I notice about myself very few will notice. Am I always happy with myself? HELL no. But do I want to feel better about myself? HELL yes. I am unstoppable. I need to remember that.

     

    Now let's look at some pretty necklaces and my hair.

     

     

     

    Dress: Old Navy.

    Necklace: JCREW Factory

    Earrings: JCREW Factory

     

     

    Dress: Old Navy

    Cardigan: Forever 21

    Head Scarf: Stolen from Susan Wagner at Mom 2.0 2010

    Necklace: Anthropologie

     

     

    Dress: Old Navy

    Necklace: Stella & Dot

     

    And my hair because it was epic:

     

     

    Hair: Genetics/God/California

     

     

    Friday
    Apr262013

    Does not include a fanny pack

    A few weeks ago I was asked if I wanted to go to Disneyland next week. On the outside I was all, "Sure. Yes. Thank you." On the inside I was all "ASDKFIJUJK OH MY GOD YES HELL YES".

    I haven't been since the late 90's and so my thought today - literally just days before I head to California - was oh my God, what will I wear? The last time I went I could comfortably sport shorts and a tee shirt and a fanny pack and white socks with black sneakers and I didn't give a damn. But now? Now I am supposedly a sophisticated almost 30 year old woman who wants to look cute and comfortable while running around California Adventure.

    Here's what I came up with. If you've been to Disneyland will this work? I'm thining of switching up the skirt (chafing...let's be real here) for coral linen pants or yellow jeans. And please note the multiple items with an SPF content. Because nothing says 'sexy' like wrinkles. Remember that, kids.
    Disneyland 2013

    Monday
    Apr012013

    The Grayest Month

    "As we struggle to make sense of things, life looks on in repose."  ~Author Unknown

    In grade school we are told that “April showers bring May flowers”. In Albany, at this time of the year, at one moment the sky is bright and a vivid blue. The next, everything is gray and then the rain comes. Mud gets all over my good shoes and I spend the morning wiping it from the crevices of my heels. The next day it starts all over again. My brother was born on April 9th and from what I’ve been told, it snowed that day. So, there’s always a possibility of that. It’s just the darkness that gets to me and how we can be on the cusp of tulips and warmth only to have it snatched away by an afternoon rainstorm.

     

    ***

    Maddie died in April. April 7th to be exact. Her mother and I were merely acquaintances at the time. We knew of each other’s blogs but we traveled in different circles I suppose. I met Heather and Mike one day at BlogHer in San Francisco when she came up to introduce herself to another friend at the end of the conference. The day that Madeline died, words ceased to come from me because babies don’t die. They can’t die. But she did. To be fair, I had spent the months prior wrapping my head around the finality of death after the quick succession in loss of my grandmother and then my aunt. But still, at 25, death was something that happened to other people and a far too distant for me. And all at once it was up in my face.

     

    Since then Heather has become my girl. My woman. If I had a boyfriend, that boyfriend would be my Heather. I sometimes wonder what I would think of her now if I had really known her then as I do now. My heart continues to break for her but this is the only Heather (and Mike) that I know. The ones who have gone through immeasurable pain. The ones who have a three year old running around but an urn on their dresser. What I know now about them is that their loss has moved them and forced them to move mountains. My friendship with them makes me want to be better person.

     

    ***

     

    Soon after Maddie’s death, Thalon died. That’s when I said fuck this shit and fuck death. But I tried to keep it to myself. Nothing bad should happen to babies or children; of that I am a firm believer. But there we were again.

     

    ***

     

    It’s April again. How do you explain the people who support you and respond, even when expect nothing but silence? How do you explain to friends and family those in the computer? Friends? Acquaintances? The people who live in the box?


    It’s April again and now there’s Dawn. Dawn isn’t a child but she has children. Dawn is sweet and kind and caring and has your back even if you could just use Google, she’ll tell you what she thinks. She’s good people. Dawn is dying of melanoma. Her husband wonders on Twitter how long it will be now.

     

    It’s April again and my heart hurts and I cannot give you eloquent words on death because they are not there. It’s inevitable. It’s part of living. It really fucking sucks. How about those words? The process, the end, the attempt to come up for air, the attempt to move forward. Heather has told me over and over again that you don’t get over a death, you accept it. She says it so matter of factly, but she’s right.

     

    ***

    I’ve run out of words, well, I can give you another FUCK THIS, FUCK CANCER, but that’s not helpful. In the end I’ve decided on this. Ready?: For every comment I receive here between now and Wednesday at 5 PM (I’m going away hence the short timeframe). I am going to assign one dollar to each comment. I will then split the proceeds of these comments between the March of Dimes and the Melanoma Research Foundation. I’m already going to give to both but hey, I figured we could make this a group activity.

     

    Now I am really out of words. I just hope you’ll join me.

     

    ***

    UPDATE: Dawn is gone now. She's gone. Fuck Cancer.

    You can contribute directly to Mike and her two boys here:


    ***

    UPDATE 2: 145 comments. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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