Friday, December 19, 2008


I could feel the hurt creeping in, seeping like smoke under the door and in through the cracks in the walls of my heart. I stood at work today, the sounds and smells and shiny sights of the season all around me and couldn't feel anything but numb. "How long," I wondered, "will I feel this way? How long until it's over and done with?"

How many more holidays will feel hollow and naked-- like imitations or pretend celebrations-- without her? I had gotten so content, so free, got so carried away with how happy I had been feeling, that I failed to anticipate how tinny this season seems without my momma. Then the ache came back and blinded me.

Last week I drove far up the freeway and spent a day with my friend Christmas shopping. We stopped for lunch at a restaurant I haven't been to since the summer Mom got sick-- one of those chain buffets that serves watered-down Ranch and mediocre parmesan bread, and the backdrop of countless meals growing up-- and I never could have anticipated the flood of memories that were unleashed over my heart as soon as I saw the big stack of chipping plastic trays by the front door.

Every vinyl booth, every soccer mom with her kids, every aroma of steaming soup and bland blueberry muffins seemed to awaken a fire of images, faces, conversations, and glances that hadn't been kindled in a long time. As I sat and ate the salad I always got as a girl ("Your salads are always white!" she used to say), and remembered how it never ceased to be our family joke that Dad was trying to build the 8th world wonder on his salad plate, I felt so full. So satisfied and alive. The memories didn't drain me but instead seemed to charge every electron in my heart leaving me drunk with contentment, buzzing and ready for more.

The season came alive in my heart.

But as I stood in that store tonight I could feel the thick gray smoke of grief begin seeping in slowly wrapping itself around my chest, its spindly fingers assuming their iron grip on my ribcage. It was less sharp this time than other times, less violent and violating, more like breath on a cold window- softly pervasive. Nothing felt alive but the grief.

And this is where I am.

I ache for how things used to be, and the fullness I was always blessed to associate with this season. Everything seems empty. My once brimming and happy heart, broken then seemingly healed, feels tainted again by this grief I so despise and there doesn't appear to be anything I can do about it.

I know this is the point where I should bring the hope around and talk about how it's all right and "Somehow I'll just grin and bear it..." and "It's all going to be okay." But to be honest that's just BS that you hang onto until the real good stuff kicks in. And God is way too good to me to just wax over it with a, "So here's hoping!"

To talk about the goodness of the Lord with a stiff upper lip is like trying to describe falling in love without using your hands. He is so rich, so elegant, so extravagant in his love for me- so epic in his healing, so flooding in the richness of his love, so heavy, but at the same time freeing, in his affection. I am intoxicated by his ardor, his desire, his all-encompassing passion. He is the answer to every sigh, every ache, every hungry gasp of my heart. He satisfies, fills, indulges, and quenches every desire I've ever known, but somehow this great satisfaction still busts open the seams of my soul and leaves me longing, gasping for more.

Momma isn’t here, that’s true. And it hurts. That’s true too. But what’s more true is his love for me, and how ready and able he is to fill every gaping hole in my heart, every fault line that’s weak from former brokenness. He loves me and he lays it on thick.

I am never alone, and I never have to feel afraid. I am never without love, never without care and affection, never without special gifts picked out to make my heart sing.

He is my warmth, my grace, my peace, my light and my strength.
He is my gift, my company, my benefactor and my blessing.
This is it... This is IT!
He is my wish, my hope, my story and my song.
Suddenly the room doesn't seem so smoky, the window clear not foggy... I can see again.

He is the answer to my heart's cry. And I am full and wanting more.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Happy Thursday

From the archives...

Consider this your official Thursday dance break.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

If I knew you were comin'...

I'd've baked a cake, 
Baked a cake, baked a cake.
If I knew you were comin' I'd've baked a cake,
Howd-ya do, howd-ya do, howd-ya do...

Oh wait.

Recipe soon...

Thursday, December 4, 2008


Currently reading:
Golden Boy by Clifford Odets. An incredible work by the legendary Group Theatre's first original playwright, this play about a scrappy young boxer named Joe feels like a shiny new penny. I played Lorna Moon, the woman having an affair with Joe's married manager, in a class in college and have been revisiting the text over the last few days and falling in love with it all over again.

Can't stop listening to:
The new Coldplay EP (extended from their latest album Viva la Vida). So good it made me wonder how these songs didn't make the cut... And then I realized they did because Chris and the boys were good enough to release this. Hallelujah.

The Hotel Cafe presents Winter Songs. Sweet and tender, and a welcome contrast to the sometimes overly-saccharine songs of the season. "Winter Song" by Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson is the haunting and simple. The perfect late-night driving song.


The Jamie bag from J.Crew. After saving all my pennies and milk money and hoarding birthday checks from last month I was able to purchase this little beaut over the weekend for a steal. Come to momma.

And these are dominating my internet airwaves.

This is from Suz over at Alive in Wonderland (love her).

Original post here.

And this came to me from the lovely and so-funny-my-tummy-hurts Bake and Shake

Original post here.

I dare you not to laugh.

Monday, November 24, 2008


The rest of the country may be celebrating the national day of tryptophan and thanks on Thursday, but my holiday was yesterday.  I spent my Sunday (and Saturday) cooking Thanksgiving dinner for 50-60 people.  Scout's honor.  

I have pictures to prove it.

This is Kenneth.  He kisses me on the cheek every time he sees me.  Mmhmm.

"I better get a husband out of this."

Stephanie, my right hand woman.  Seriously, the best kitchen help a girl could wish for.

This is Cubbie.  I just... There are no words.

A man and his bird.  Jason cooked the two 20-lb. turkeys at two different houses and kicked some serious turkey tail.  Those babies were deelish.

Kudos to the turkey master.

The spread.  Ie: five heads of lettuce, forty pounds of turkey, 20 pounds of potatoes, ten pounds of corn, three pounds of butter, sweet potatoes, stuffing, 100 rolls, half a gallon of gravy, and TONS of love.

This lights my heart up. And then reminds me of all the dishes I have sitting in my sink.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 14, 2008


It won't do, to dream of caramel...
        To think of cinnamon, and long for you...

It won't do to stir a deep desire...
       To fan a hidden fire that can never burn true...

So goodbye, sweet appetite...
        No single bite could satisfy.

Thick Caramel

1/2 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
6 oz. sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt

Bring the butter, brown sugar, corn syrup and sweetened condensed milk to a boil over medium-high heat stirring to combine.  Then, with a wooden spoon, stir all ingredients together and then slowly add the milk.

Continue to stir for about 5-10 minutes until the caramel coats the spoon thickly. It is important to continuously stir the mixture.

Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and salt. Stir for an additional 2-3 minutes, allowing to cool slightly, then use wisely.

(Lyrics to "Caramel" by Suzanne Vega)

Saturday, November 8, 2008


My mom always used to say I had champagne taste on a beer budget. Lately it's been more like trying to satisfy my taste for French champagne with milk money. People usually assume I'm wealthy-- that my affinity for dressing well and carrying myself like a lady (most of the time, I hope) denotes a certain amount of money in my family's bank account. The sales ladies at Nordstrom always remember me. One afternoon when I was in my late teens I was musing about this fact out loud to my mother in our kitchen as she made dinner. "It's probably because they think you're rich," she snorted.

What most people don't know is that when I was a baby my dad worked as a pizza delivery man to support my mom and I.  When I was six I was too scared to tell my parents I had outgrown my shoes because I thought we might not have enough money to get me new ones.  On my ninth birthday, all my presents came from Goodwill.  Right now, nine and a half out of ten things in my closet were bought at a deep discount, and gas and grocery money usually starts getting tight several days before my bank account is replenished. That's just the way it is.

I've been without a job for a long time now, an internal war being raged between my fearful, Practical, Common Sense side that says, "Who are you kidding?! Get a JOB!", and my gut-hungry, aching soul that says, "If I have to do one more hostess/ coffee shop/ office job I'm never going to stop crying myself to sleep at night." Just recently I came to the point where a compromise had to be made and have now settled for a job selling luxury cookware at a chain store in Beverly Hills. I'm not sure how I feel about it. On the one hand, I know that I always like being in the store whenever I visit, so working there (hopefully) won't be torture, but on the other hand I feel so dissatisfied and quite frankly, gypped.

All I want is a job that will pay my bills and leave me feeling satisfied at the end of the day. That's it. It doesn't have to pay a lot, and it doesn't need to be easy... I don't even need a lot of recognition. I just want to feel good about myself and the world when I turn the key to my apartment every night.

A few weeks ago a very wealthy man told me I was beautiful and gave me his business card. Later, as I walked up the steps of my aging apartment building and climbed the stairs to my old and beautiful abode, my thoughts wandered to what it might be like to be a "kept" woman. I wondered what this man in his shiny car and expensive suede loafers would think if he saw the chipping paint on my door frame, or noticed the frayed seam on the hem of my Target dress. Would he change his mind about me? Or would he deem me as worthy of more and buy me purses and bracelets and evening gowns, and maybe move me into one of the lavish condos in the building next to mine? Would he send cars to pick me up and take me on trips to expensive dinners in Vienna and Prague and Paris? Would he do that for me because he thinks I deserve it?

Right now I'm sitting here typing on my three year-old laptop in a 12 dollar tank top and my underwear. I'm surrounded by things I love: resting on the beautiful love seat my dad and I picked out at the consignment store for a hundred dollars, my first real pair of "expensive jeans" that do supernatural things for my butt slung over the back; I have pictures of my mom and friends and family hung simply on the wall, and my chipping pink discount dishes are all stacked in my kitchen cupboards. And I know who I am.

I may want nicer things someday, and am not ashamed to say that I can't wait for the day my gas budget is no longer a pressing issue, but here in this place, I am satisfied. I'm not pretending to be content with some office job, paying my own rent while my soul goes bankrupt, or feigning interest in an older man with the means to make all my material dreams come true, only to later realize I've lost what really matters. I'm in a beautiful apartment that I love, with clothes that keep my desires for beautiful, designer garments sated, and my forty dollar purse looks a lot more expensive than it is, thank you very much. I have friends I can't get enough of, and a family most people only dream about.

As for the job part, well... I'm still working on that. But somehow I think it'll work itself out in the end.

By the way, did I ever mention my name means Wealthy? It does. And I think now and forever, it fits.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


"Perspective on Tomorrow's Election"

Yes, we did produce a near perfect Republic. 
But will they keep it?
Or will they in their enjoyment of plenty, 
lose the memory of freedom?
Material abundance without character is 
the surest way to destruction.
Indeed, I tremble for my country when 
I reflect that God is just.

-Thomas Jefferson

Monday, October 20, 2008


A few things have been keeping me busy recently...

And the people keeping me busy.  (Just replace the three guys in the back with Reid, Ben, and Tracy, and you've pretty much got it!)

Momma's anniversary dinner.  I have incredible, incredible friends.

I don't really drink beer.  But I needed one that night.  (Everybody seemed to enjoy that very much)

This was the state of my refrigerator for about a week.  I'm not ashamed.  Sometimes the grocery budget's a little slim and you've got to live in baked beans and parmesan cheese for a bit.  (That Redi-Whip is not mine. ...Not that there's anything wrong with that.  And the bananas were for cupcakes... Obvi.)

Then I flew to Kansas City to surprise my best friend for her birthday.  One word: AMAZING.  Why am I not moving to Kansas City again?

Baby bear is growing so FAST!

Then I came home and have been drowning my ache for KC and BF with baking.  Lots, and lots, and lots of baking...

Consider yourself updated.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Daily Doehle

I just realized an explanation is probably in order...

My last name (Doehle), is pronounced like "Daily".

Does that clear a few things up?  
(Pun-wise, I mean...)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Blondie's Blondies

I've been nursing this recipe all summer, derived from this one at Culinary in the Desert, tweaking here and there until now, when I know- that I know- that I KNOW-- that this is The Best Dessert I've had in a long time.

White Chocolate Walnut Blondies

A sweet, caramel-ey blondie (the secret's in the maple extract!) with soft hunks of white chocolate and the earthy crunch of walnuts, this bar cookie is the perfect transition from summer's light sweets to the warm, gooey desserts of fall.

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon maple extract
1 cup white chocolate (chopped or in chips)
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

Preheat the oven to 350

In a large mixing bowl, beat together butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing until combined. Mix in the maple extract. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt, and stir until combined. Fold in the white chocolate and walnuts.

Line a 9" square baking pan with foil, overlapping the edges of the pan, then spray with nonstick spray.  Spoon batter into pan and then smooth the top (the batter won't spread very much in baking, so try and get it pretty even).  Bake until golden and puffed, about 30 to 40 minutes.

Allow to cool fully before lifting bars out of the pan using the edges of the foil.  Slice into 12 squares (or 6, or 4, or just get a fork and a tub of ice cream and go to town...).  Enjoy!

Monday, September 29, 2008

How do you say Doehle in Italian?

Um. Can we talk about how I just found myself on the Italian version of IMDB...?

I mean... What?!?!

Monday, September 22, 2008

724 Days

This is the time when everything starts to shake. My whole torso seems to shudder and vibrate with every shaky breath I take, pulsing in and out with grief. These are the times that make my head spin and my heart ache.

I was in yoga class last week, stretching and tensing my limbs in repetition in a darkened room. In the middle of class I suddenly found my body overtaken by intense sobs. One minute I was standing strong, arms stretched out, eyes locked straight ahead, the next I lay forehead pressed to the rubber mat, tears streaming up across my eyelids, through my eyebrows, and into my hair. Crying upside-down.

This is what it’s like. The grief just comes and hits hard and fast like a weighted blanket swung by someone very strong. Chest goes fuzzy numb and knees buckle. And then two hours later I’m fine. And by fine I mean “fine”.

No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear. I am not afraid, but the sensation is like being afraid. The same fluttering in the stomach, the same restlessness, the yawning. I keep on swallowing. At other times it feels like being mildly drunk, or concussed. There is a sort of invisible blanket between the world and me. I find it hard to take in what anyone says. Or perhaps, hard to want to take it in. It is so uninteresting. Yet I want others to be about me. I dread the moments when the house is empty. If only they would talk to one another and not to me.
(C.S. Lewis, "A Grief Observed")

This time around I’ve found myself feeling the same familiar hustle, and looking desperately for an avenue to let some of this steam out. I want to work like crazy and busy myself up to try and match the frenzied pace inside. Last week it worked. But here I am on Monday morning and I’m realizing I can’t do that any more. This week is the countdown, the home stretch. One week until it’s been two years since my sweet momma stopped breathing. It hurts so much it’s almost sweet.

I still miss her so much.

And this week I can’t take that away, I can’t make it better, I can’t drown out the echoing throbs that ache for the innocence I once knew. They say that in a car accident it’s best not to tense up, but relax into the impact. This week I have to quiet my heart that’s throwing a fit to try and protect itself, and stretch out on this bed again and relax into the throes of grief.

This week I have to take it.

But this week also holds a new promise, a new hope. As I look back on the last two years, the past 724 days without my mom, amidst the piles of ash and burned rubble, I see restoration. I see the moment He touched my heart and opened my eyes to his goodness again. I see all those nights I lay on the floor, aching so deeply I thought I’d throw up, and my sweet Lord came and kissed my face and told me it would be okay. I see the night just a few weeks ago when I laughed for the first time since she died. Laughed… Not just a giggle or guffaw, but a true, honest, straight from my belly and toes and fingertips, so deep I cried, laugh! For the first time in a long time, I had tears that weren’t from pain. I didn’t know if that would ever happen again.

So as I’m laying here, still and throbbing, I feel hope rising. This week is the end of two years of battle, two years of war. This week marks the end of another year of pain’s dominion. This week I will remember my momma’s sweetness, her soft strength, her quiet wisdom and authority. This week I will remember all the ways my ravaged heart has been sewn up and kissed better by the one who made it. I will remember how he’s promised to restore me and “make all things new”. This week I will remember his faithfulness, and how it’s made all the difference.

It’s all going to be all right.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Love and Marriage

I've always wanted to get married. I don't think it's very weird-- I'm a woman who was once a girl, and I was raised on Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, and marriage has always seemed like this glowing white perfect ending, this sailing off into the sunset of life, all swathed in white organza and lace.

Even though I now know that's an illusion, a well-meaning figment constructed by romantics and idealists like me, there is still this gorgeous, powerful allure to someday being one half of Man and Wife. Marriage is love, forever. What's not to long for?

I recently read an interview with Charlize Theron where she was quoted as saying that she would never get married to longtime boyfriend, Stuart Townsend, because she didn't believe in marriage and "I want to know that I wake up to Stuart every morning because I want to, not because a piece of paper says so."

Immediately when I read it I knew I disagreed with it, but couldn't figure out why. I mean, it sounds romantic and free-- love unfettered by politics and law. What was it about this declaration of free love that felt wrong? As I thought about it throughout the day, I pondered my parents' marriage, my best friend who wed when we were both 18, and so many married people I know and respect. I thought about how I've always longed to be married, and can't wait to commit to be someone's other half for the rest of my life.

Marriage is the deepest form of human love. I truly believe that. And love is not affection, it's not infatuation, it's not an emotion or a feeling-- it's a state of being. It's an all-encompassing presence of heart that puts another person before yourself and honors them above all others.

When a man and woman get married, when they choose to spend the rest of their lives with each other and ask the state to stand as witness, what they are really saying is, "I choose you. I choose to love you even on the days when I don't feel like it, when the emotions aren't there, when you hurt me and don't treat me like you should. I choose you above all others. Because you are the most honorable, trustworthy person I know and you are worth loving. I give my heart to you in exchange for yours. And on those days when I really, really don't feel like loving you, I commit to anyway, because you're worth it. I choose to honor you with my love and my life, forever."

Someday I will stand facing the best man I have ever known and give him my heart. I will look in his eyes and hold his hands in mine, and entrust my entire self to him as he swears to always choose me. He'll give me his heart in return, and I'll vow to choose him, to honor him until the day I breathe my last. I will choose to love him, to be love to him, and he will choose the same for me.

We're going to be a great team. And I can't wait to meet him.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Ready for My Closeup

Baby's gettin' a little press!


Photograzing (My little cuppycake was on the Serious Eats home page all weekend!)

...and now Cupcakes Take the Cake!

This is the point where I act all low-key and humbly thank everybody for liking my cupcake so much... Screw that-- AAAAAAAHHH!!! I'm so EXCITED!!!!!

But no seriously, thanks for liking my cupcake so much. :)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Please sir, I want...

S'more cupcakes!

What can I say?  I'm getting a little adventurous...  With September in full gear I figured this was the perfect time to compose a farewell ode to the waning days of summer.  And what says summer more than chocolate, marshmallows, and graham crackers?

Soft, yellow cake enclosed around a sweet Hershey Kiss, topped with marshmallow cream icing, drizzled with hot fudge, and sprinkled with salted graham cracker crumbs.  Amen.

S'more Cupcakes
1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
24 Hershey Kisses

1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 cup marshmallow cream
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
up to 1/4 cup milk

1/2 c. hot fudge ice cream topping
1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line two 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake papers. In a small bowl, combine the flours. In a separate bowl, combine milk and vanilla. Set aside.

In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar gradually and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. 

Add the dry ingredients in three parts, alternating with the milk and vanilla. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated but do not overbeat. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl to make sure the ingredients are well blended. 

Carefully spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them about three-quarters full. Drop one unwrapped Hershey kiss into each cupcake tin, pressing down slightly so only the tip peeks out. Bake for 18-20 minutes.

Combine butter and marshmallow cream in a mixer until well combined. Add sugar and vanilla. The mixture will probably be really stiff. If it is, add milk a little at a time until it's spreadable but still thick. If it gets runny, just add more powdered sugar.

Cool the cupcakes in the tins for 15 minutes. Remove from the tins and cool completely on a wire rack before icing. When cool, frost with marshmallow icing.

Then take hot fudge and warm it slightly in the microwave before spooning into a plastic bag
(I like to use a product called "Hershey Bar in a Jar" that tastes just like a melted Hershey bar so they REALLY taste like s'mores). Cut off the tip and pipe in a little design on the cupcake. In a bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs and salt. Spoon onto cupcakes.

Consume in mass quantity.


Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Mish Mash, I was takin' a bath...

WOW! It has been so long.  Forgive me, I've been running around like that proverbial headless chicken...  Here are the highlights!

Home last weekend to visit Best Friend before she up and moves away.  Looks like I'm going to be spending a lot of time in Kansas City.

On the drive home I got my very first flat tire.  Here's how it went: 

Rumble rumble rumble
Jostle jostle jostle
Get out of the car to check tires/ fluid
Rumble rumble rumble
Jostle jostle jostle
Turn radio up
Call AAA
Crawl in the backseat and take pictures of feet for an hour

Made it home.  This is Buster and my morning routine.

Note: I made those pajama pants myself in 8th grade home ec.  Represent.

Big ol' goodbye party.

Spent some time with BF and this little nugget.

She's an incredible mom...

But seriously, how could you not want to take care of this guy?

We have quite a relationship already.

This weekend I shot a web-series where I played a homeless lady (totally shutting down your social filter is more fun than I should admit), went to the beach, had a big grown-up sleepover at a home with the biggest, most gorgeous kitchen I have ever seen, went to a football game and watched my alma mater kick some serious tail...  Oh and did I mention I baked three batches of cookies and a chocolate layer cake in there somewhere?

That's just how I roll.

More soon.

Sunday, August 24, 2008


Home for the weekend. Spending as much time with this guy as possible.

Be back soon.

Saturday, August 16, 2008


I spent a large part of my life somewhat to very overweight.  Now I weigh a hundred pounds less than I did in high school and I’m baking cookies and cupcakes like flour is being discontinued.  Sometimes I pass windows and mirrors and have to double take because I rarely recognize the blonde I see reflected wearing the same dress I am.  Every once in a while when I’m brushing my teeth or checking the hem of my skirt, I catch my own glance in the mirror and have to stop and take myself in.  It’s not a vanity thing, I don’t think, but more of an information-gathering exercise. “Oh, so my nose does that now…  My eyes look different this way.  My arm looks like that…  Oh, so my legs look like this when I do that...”

I don’t feel like the chubby girl I was in high school any more—I didn’t even feel that size when I was that size—I feel like the very curvy, well-padded girl I was at the halfway point:  fifty pounds less than when I walked across the stage to get my diploma, but still big enough to be “plus-sized” for several years.  I feel like that girl every time I leave the house, every time I go to a restaurant, every time I enter a crowded room.  Pretty but slightly ashamed. 

But I think I’m coming to terms with it, I think slowly and ever-increasingly I’m coming to understand who I am and what I look like in this new body.  Never in my wildest dreams would I have believed that I would EVER be the size I am right now.  I dreamed and longed to be this exact size, but only ever in the deepest, most secret recesses of my heart and imagination because I thought there was no way it could happen.  I honestly didn’t think it was possible unless I went on Survivor or something…

But now here I am, and things are not as I always imagined they’d be here in this daintier, bonier land.  Men don’t approach me as much as I thought they would.  In fact, I think I get less attention now than I did forty pounds ago.  I still can’t wear a bikini.  That sucks.  It’s a little more uncomfortable laying in bed with my laptop now that my hipbones are more prominent, and unpadded chairs can only be occupied for a few minutes at a time. I get cold easier.

I don’t really feel like I’ve won.

Don’t get me wrong, there are many advantages to being a woman on the cusp of being underweight in our society…  Right now I’m sitting in a painfully trendy cafĂ©, and I know I fit in.  My hair is curled, and my emerald sundress is pulled down off of my tanned, lean shoulders.  I never have to think if I’m the biggest girl in the room any more, or wonder if a store’s largest size will fit me.  Dainty little flip flops with wispy straps always felt ridiculous on my pillowy feet, and now a delicate gold sandal hangs from my pedicured foot…  I can wear “skinny girl sandals”.

But sometimes I wonder what it all means.  I think of all the people who slave away at the gym and read about celebrity diets and are practically killing themselves to be thin, to be beautiful, to feel what I feel…  And it doesn’t seem worth it.  This?  This is what I agonized over for so many years?  This is why I cried myself to sleep so many nights?  This was the holy grail, and now I’ve got it and all I am is confused.

Nobody ever tells you this in Weight Watchers.

The victory that I’ve found, however, just comes back to all the truths I knew when I was bigger, but never allowed to sink in: that regardless my size, no matter what I look like in that dress or those jeans, I am beautiful because I am a daughter of the King.  And better than I look in the perfect outfit, I am more stunning, more outrageously beautiful holding a baby I love, or talking with the old lady at the supermarket who likes my sweater, or sitting on the cold bathroom floor with my sick friend in the middle of the night.  My heart makes me beautiful.  My smile can set the world on fire.  Not because of who I try to be, but because of who He is making me to be.  And that is worth finding.  That is worth seeking with all my heart.

I just wanted to be beautiful.  And I think I’m getting there.