In the third year of marriage

In the first year of marriage my marriage gave to me sweet good morning kisses, and someone to share in HGTV

In the second year of marriage my marriage gave to me comfort, stability, sweet good morning kisses and someone to share in HGTV

In the third year of marriage my marriage gave to me, really hairy legs, ugly underwear, comfort, stability, sweet good morning kisses and someone to share in HGTV

Here I am in the third year of marriage, marriage is still a place I fee like I entered yesterday, I can still feel the butterflies of walking down the aisle, and the warmth of the sun on our honeymoon. I look back and can’t believe enough time has passed from that day to be over 2 years away from it.

But then I look at the way things are now and I realize that a lot has changed over the past two years and some change. This weekend we discovered I was deeply in need of some new underwear, all my mine were getting holes in them or didn’t fit right anymore or were a style I wouldn’t wear everyday .. . not teacher underwear if you will. So when we stopped at the store I went straight to the underwear section,  I looked through all the “cute” read expensive underwear and then went over to the underwear I would have groaned at 3 years ago, the kind that comes 6 to a box, the plain colors, ugly read cheap underwear. I grabbed a box of those and went right back to my husband. He said, do you want one pair of the cute underwear, when I said no he was not upset and went right about his shopping.

Now a few other things have changed over the past two years, I no longer worry about having perfectly shaved legs around him, I also fart and discuss my stomach aches, underarm smells and sores, and essentially just tell him what is on my mind.  So all this to say you could say we are out of the “honeymoon” stage. . .if you must say that. But my marriage is full of laughter, love and I wouldn’t say that the relations department is any worse than in year one. . . I would say it is better because I am willing to just tell him whats on my mind.

Now I still get the sweet good morning kisses, now they may just be filled with morning breath as well, I still have someone to share in HGTV, and now he even understands what I mean when I whisper “Johanna would be proud” when we entered someones house, I get to forget about the annoyance of shaving my legs until I feel like it, and I get to spend way less on underwear. The best part is in my ugly underwear, with my hairy legs an stinky breath, while I am watching my 16th episode of Fixer Upper he still tells me that I am the most beautiful girl in the world.

-Rae

 

 

 

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To Be Seen.

Today I met a man named Gus, Gus had a light in his eyes and blue coat and ratty white hat, he was standing beside the Conoco barely making eye contact with anyone but expectantly watching every car that drove into the parking lot.

He was the guy that people see walking up to them and instantly get defensive, hide that last bit of cash they have in their pockets, avoid eye contact, make a quick shuffle back into their car. They guy in the parking lot that no one truly treats like a guy at all.

And there he was walking up to me as I started to pump my gas, and I was no exception I ducked my head in my car hoping he would pass by. Then I heard,

“Excuse me miss, sorry to bother you.”

So I spun around and met him with full eye contact, finding a man with the tiniest shimmer in his sad eyes, his eyes that said he would rather be doing anything than standing in that parking lot asking me for a few dollars.

He told me that he was staying in a motel, (which are strung every few feet around this part of East Colfax, a motel every block full of strung out junkies, children, dogs, people trying to get on their feet, and even a few hookers. He stated he was staying at one of these motels, with his 8 year old twin daughter, daughters that don’t but could have easily gone to my school.

He told me about his ex wife, and how they are all crammed in the one hotel room, he told me about the hotel with cheaper rooms down the street but that he didnt want to move his daughters again, and through all of this yes.. he asked me for money.

I didn’t give him any, mostly because I didn’t have any. But I did spend more time than the other people around talking to him, I did look him in the eye and learn his name. I did ask about his daughters and talk about the difficulty of getting to school everyday. I did take the time to see him.

And as he walked away I told him, “I am sorry Gus I hope you get the money for the room.” He simply looked over his shoulder and said, “We will.” I laughed and said, “Hopeful.” He simply replied, “Always.”

This man who has so much more to deal with and so much less to deal with it with than I do, this man that walks his daughter to school from the motel and then goes to his part time job that doesn’t pay them enough money to eat and sleep in the motel every night so they have to choose one or the other. This man was Alway’s hopeful.

This reminded me that even if I can’t give everyone money, and I wouldn’t want and can grant them the simple act of being seen. Just to make eye contact and remind them that they are truly human and worthy of my time, we so often seem to step on and over these people, assuming that they are lower than we are for the circumstances in their life.

Gus helped me commit myself to seeing more people not just looking at them but truly seeing them.

❤ Kelsi Rae

Let’s talk about labeling people thick girls. . .

Urban dictionary

1. thick
nice ass, nice legs, not skinny, with meat on your bones. thickness is the shit.
Damn that girl is thick yo!
by Bryant May 11, 2002

2. Thick
A woman with a perfect body, filled-in in places that are, by nature, designed to attract the opposite sex, such as the thighs, the hips, the breasts, and the most lovely part of all, the booty.

thick_girl_quotes

I have never considered myself fat,  I have always had a booty and ever since I stopped playing competitive volleyball by boobs just seem to be growing exponentially. But despite the doctor telling me that according to my BMI I am obese, I have never felt fat or considered myself hugely overweight, I would never have said that body image or self consciousness has been an issue for me. . Until this year.

I started grad school in June, and by October I had gained 15 pounds, I only gained 20 pounds all of the four years I was in undergrad so apparently the Freshman 15 is really the graduate student 15. . and it killed me. I would look in the mirror and feel like I didn’t look as good in my clothes, they all of a sudden hung it different places and clung to all the wrong places. And getting on the scale. . FORGET IT! I avoided that bad boy like it was the plague.

No matter how many times Ben would tell me I was beautiful or that I looked good in an outfit, there was always a feeling in the back of my mind that it wasn’t true, That he wold have preferred me 15 pounds lighter like I was when we started dating. And then we got engaged and I thought I am gonna have BACK fat. and you know. . .

You can’t suck in back fat. so

So there I was searching for any way that I could loose this weight while maintaining my grad school/teaching/wedding planning life style. . I have started cooking clean eating meals during the week and eating 5 small meals a day. And I have lost 7 pounds since the new year. It feels good but I still don’t feel great

Then enters this Thick girl  thing. . . I have been boxing for a little over a year now and have become pretty comfortable with my two male boxing coaches, but in the last maybe month they have both referred to me as a Thick or big girl at different times.

One time they were telling another girl that if she was fighting me, I was a thick girl and she would have to ensure that I didn’t get a hit on her because I could lay her out.

The second time was last night and Ryan my coach, First started out with “You look really good, you can tell you have been loosing weight, keep doing what you are doing and by the wedding you will look great.” Then continued it with ” It’s hard because you are a big girl.” . . . EXCUSE ME!

What does that mean?

Now I don’t think that either one of them was meaning this in a negative way? They both genuinely meant it in a nice way. But as a woman that has been struggling with self esteem lately, I am unsure how I feel about these statements.

So I headed over to google to figure out what they exactly mean by calling me thick? All of the definitions are nice and one even is quoting as saying, ” The perfect body.” But something about this word just rubs me wrong. Now its not like I am going to hold this against them or take it too hard, but why should by body type be dictated by thick or thin standards.

Why can’t we just say, ” you look nice today.” or ” you are looking really good, keep it up.” Without associating these with a size difference. It doesn’t matter if you are a size 0 or a size 16, you are not your size. So why does making, “Thick” a good thing make it ok. A girl that is a size 0 may be struggling with her body image just like the rest of us and associating her value with the term thin would just make it worse.

Now some girls may take this as the utmost compliment, I don’t know. But I am not one of them. And if we are trying to live in this body positive culture I think that It is time to stop labeling women, positive or negative by the size of their body.

i am not a thick girl.

I am Kelsi, size 12. And I will look fabulous on my wedding day!

Love Your Curls

Love your curls. What a simple concept really. Teach your children that their natural hair is beautiful and it will perpetuate beauty throughout the world. However that seems to be such a difficult concept even today. We are trying to teach people to love themselves no matter who they are, black, brown, gay, straight, transgender. And yet we still have a commercial about teaching girls to love their curly hair?

For some reason that baffles me, I hope that all of these things are taught and that in future generations everyone feels comfortable and loves themselves in their own skin. However I feel like we still shouldn’t have to teach girls that their curls are beautiful, they should know it! When did straight hair become the height of beauty? There are so many great examples of women with curly hair that are gorgeous but as little girls we still look up to and identify with the straight haired beauties.

I can remember growing up when my mom would not let straighten my hair, (This was the case until I was 18). And I would envy all of my straight haired friends, I was convinced that their hair was magical and that everyday they woke up and didn’t have to do anything in order for it to be amazing. And while as I have grown up. And put my hair through hell trying to make it that magical straight hair that all my friends woke up with everyday.  I have found that they while they do generally have less prep work for their hair than I do. They also think my hair is amazing, just like I do theirs. My straight haired friends  This Hair Envy if you will is what led me to start this blog, and what concerns me today.

I cried when I watched this commercial, because I am still teaching myself to do this. Love my Curls; here I am 23 almost 24 years old trying to love my natural texture again. To wake in the morning, look in the mirror, say “My hair is HUGE,” and smile. Say this with a huge smile on my face because it was exactly what I wanted. I still find myself more often than not saying, ” My hair Is HUGE, and trying to find ways to make it smaller.” After a year of transitioning to my natural hair I am working it out, I just find myself not feeling as pretty when my hair is in its huge state. IMG_0689

This was my first successful Bantu knot out and I just cut all the relaxed ends off of my bangs and now have these curly bangs. This was day one I wore them out and by day two they are pinned up again. . . lets make my hair smaller shall we?

So at 23, as a almost completely natural haired women, I am reteaching and reexamine my Hair Envy, I am transferring my envy from the straight haired beauties of the world, because I will never have that hair, no matter how hard I will it to be. And becoming envious of the women in the natural haired world. Even though I may never have hair like those beauties, at least it is more of an attainable goal. And that way when I wake up in the morning, look in the mirror I will be like, ” My hair is HUGE, damn girl, you look good.”

So moving forward, lets teach our daughters that we love our hair, that we love them no matter how big their hair is, who they love or what they want to do when they grow up. Let’s just teach our children; Love.

So thank you Dove, I will: Love My Curls. 

❤ Kelsi Rae 

One 23 year olds evolving relationship with T. Swift.

T Swigt

Oh T. Swift what would I do without you, how would I know what it feels like to be 22 or how to shake it off who would have taught me that high school love sucks and sometimes the only way to get over it is by crying on the guitar I only pretend to own?

Now that being said T. Swift and I have been through a lot over the years. I can remember being 16 living in a small town, still loving country music ( back when T. Swift still claimed the country title) listening to her debut self titled album just hoping someone would love me enough to write “Our song” for me and then not even a week later feeling like ” Should’ve said no, and picture to burn” were the only songs that understand the tragedy of young love. Sitting in my car listening to teardrops on my guitar crying over one boy or another that I believed was the end all and be all of love. Thinking that if I just had a real guitar to cry on it would be even more poetic. Oh the tragedy of living a non-musical life.

Taylor_Swift_-_Fearless

Then her second album Fearless came out, and our relationship hit a rough patch. . . I just didn’t feel like she was getting me at all anymore. She was still singing about being 15 and falling in love and here I was a senior in high school now, thinking about leaving home, going to college and the last thing I wanted to be was in love.  I thought, T. Swift you gotta grow up, she was older than me so I thought we should have been thinking about our futures and not our pasts. Don’t get me wrong there were some songs that still stole my heart, to this day when anyone has wronged me I bust out some sad singing of “Your not sorry” and let them know that maybe I am not a princess and they are not a prince on a white horse, with “White Horse” But over all we were on a low, maybe T. Swift and I needed to take a break . . .

And that is just what we did. . we took so much of a break I totally forgot that she came out with another album in 2010 . . I looked it up and I guess she came out with Speak Now. . . Oh yes. This is the album that Mean was on. If I never had to hear that whiny, self pitying song again I would be happy. One shining star on this album was Mine, a sweet testament to maybe young 20 something love. But overall I could have forgot about about this album all together. .

So that is all that needs to be said on that.

So when 2012 rolled around I was a junior in college, had been living on my own for 3 years. I was 21 about to turn 22 and was thoroughly in the Eff boys stage of my life. That is when Red  came out, I originally thought, Taylor has already let me down once  I don’t have high hopes for this one. But The first time I heard, ” I knew you were trouble” I was sold.
Red

There she was my high school confidant had returned. She welcomed me back with a bang, with I knew you were Trouble, Stay Stay Stay, Higher Ground and Red.  But the song that got me, that made me fall back in love the song to write home to that made me say, thats it I have found the one mom . .. 22 . That song, that conveniently came out around my 22nd birthday just understood all of the 22 year olds in my life. It wasn’t trying to make us any more “thug than we were” it wasn’t trying to make us fall in love and get married, it was just letting us, ” Dress up like hipsters, and make fun of our ex’s” because really that is all we ever wanted to do anyway.

Now the real test. . could Taylor maintain this love affair with the young 20 somethings through another album. . So when 1989 came out and the Country Music population officially bid Taylor goodbye. We welcomed her into our hipster, pop alternative lifestyle with open arms. I resisted buying 1989 for about 2 weeks and it only took one trip to the gym a good set of headphones and a 30 minute run for me to know that this was going to be my 2015 love of my life!

There is a perfect balance of ” I don’t give a fuck” like Shake it Off, because really we all know that nobody likes you at 23. And some I can to what I want with Blank Space. As well as real world slow it down love with Get the girl, This love, and Wildest Dreams.

For Taylors generation of 22 year olds that she helped push through the first year of the “boring birthdays” she once again is making us feel like if anyone understands us it is T. Swift.

Cause we’re young and we’re reckless
We’ll take this way too far
It’ll leave you breathless
Or with a nasty scar
Got a long list of ex-lovers
They’ll tell you I’m insane
But I got a blank space baby
And I’ll write your name. . .

Because we don’t need anyone to validate us. . we are strong, we can take care of ourselves . . and if you want some of us ” we’ve got a blank space baby, we can write your name”

❤ Kelsi Rae

The bad bride blues. . .

So I think I am a bad bride.

I don’t love the spotlight, I don’t want to tell everyone every detail of the wedding and gush about the flowers and the colors and the dress. I love my fiance and I am so excited about our wedding. And its not like I am not on top of the planning, because believe me I am. I have the venue booked, the flowers picked out, dress ideas up the wazoo, the menu created, but I just want to keep all of that to myself. I share it with my fiance, my mom ( she is paying for it after all), and my best friend ( sometimes I even forget to include her.) And that is all. . .

People will find out I am engaged and immediately want to know all of the details, this seems to happen more to my fiance though, girls ask him all sorts of questions, and like really he is a guy he knows a lot but why as him about the wedding. But they want to know all of the details, I just give them a look like please random physical therapist that I just met, no I don’t want to share every detail with you.

Even people that I am close to and gladly share the information with when they ask, I generally don’t volunteer the information without prompting. I just feel like this is my thing, I get the pleasure of planning a party that is just about me and my man, and why do you need to know all of the details now, 8 months in advance? Most likely you are not even invited so you won’t see any of this executed. Now I love a good wedding pinterest board as much as the next girl, I think I am just uncomfortable with the direct attention that I receive as a result of this new found status in my life. My future father in- law so nicely reminded me that this day will be all about ME! Oh god, I thought to myself.

Then we took engagement pictures last weekend, two hours of a camera in my face and I was so uncomfortable. . but according to #theknot, that is supposed to prepare me for 8 hours of photos of me on the big day . . well #FAIL!

Speaking of The Knot, they have things on their wedding checklist I can’t even imagine, having the time, money, or desire to do for my wedding. They have suggestions like start a pampering week, getting a massage, manicure and pedicure ( ok this one I might do) hair done. . all weeks before the wedding for a trial run and then do it again. I don’t even think I will trust someone else to touch my hair the day of my wedding, but that is more a result of my hair- crazed ways than anything else. But I have no time to spend weeks focusing on “pampering” myself. Will I look good, yes, but that does not take weeks of preparation. Is this something women do on a regular basis? Maybe this is why my wedding won’t even cost 1/4 of the average cost of a wedding in America which is over 25,000 dollars!!! That is the cost of a new car, that is over double what my future hubby just spent for a car. That is ridiculous, who is paying for these weddings, I get anxiety thinking about the few thousand dollars people are dishing out for mine I couldn’t imagine spending four times that much, what do you even spend all that money on?

With all of the pinereset and instagrams dedicated to weddings and brides and engagements I feel like I am the only one that feels this way, do all women automatically crave attention when they get engaged? Do we all become a little narcissistic for 8 months of our lives? Is there a secret bridezilla ready to spend daddy’s, mommy’s, hubby’s and her own money on center pieces and massages, and the 1000 dollar wedding shoes I used to crave so much, inside every woman. Maybe I just haven’t let my bridezilla out yet, we will see when she surfaces over the next 8 months . .

Signed . . . the bad bride

❤ Kelsi Rae

Friendsgiving . .. this is how family is made

So last Sunday, the Sunday before Thanksgiving, we did our friendsigiving, which I know for many people takes many different forms, this could be a party after the family thanksgiving, an excuse to get drunk really at any time. But for us, it involves the 6 of us getting together and having a true thanksgiving meal and then having our annual ginger bread house competition. Which you are welcome to vote in. . . FullSizeRender

In order not to sway your opinion I will not tell you which one was ours. .. but needless to say we won.

In a way Friendsgiving is all I have ever had, my thanksgiving is not a large family gathering, my family does not gather in that way, my mom and I are the only members of our family for over 1000 miles and no one really puts in the effort to come see us, given we have stopped putting in the effort to go see them as well. But thanksgiving has always been a hodge podge of about 4 families my mom became friends with in her early 20’s as these friends, got married, had children and at this point, as their children are having children the gathering as grown from about 6 to over 20.

And has become my favorite day of the year. I long for the loud political discussions, where no one agrees. The potluck style meal in which we have all been bringing the same pieces of the glorious meal for as long as I can remember. And since my mom hates to cook this means we bring olives and pickles to eat before the meal. But this is what I look forward to, none of the awkward forced family relationships, well at least minimally. We all want to be there. And when asked about my family, these are the people I discuss. When writing family narratives in college these were the people that filled so many pages. And in August when I get married, one of these men will be the man to walk me down the aisle and give me away. Maybe more traditionally since my father is not in the picture this would have been done by an Uncle. but this man is as close to a father as I have ever had and if that isn’t family then I am not sure what is.

On Sunday, I began wondering if this is what their first thanksgiving’s together were like, a gathering to share in friendship and give thanks for the people we choose to have in our lives, that God has placed there so that we can make our own family. And I hope they were I hope that the beautiful gathering I hold so dear grew from something this simple. Because then I can imagine in 20 years, when we all have growing children we can still be gathered around a table, in a family home and not an cramped 1 bedroom apartment like we are now. But as we sip wine and watch the children make the gingerbread houses we can think back on the simplicity of how this day began. And remember the days over the years, where Friendsgiving became a day we cherish, where Friendsgiving became a day for family. . .

❤ Kelsi Rae

Dear White People. . . A review through the eyes of the hair obsessed

So when I saw the trailer for the movie Dear White People I was excited,  I couldn’t wait to see this “complex” black movie that had more substance to the characters than a Tyler Perry movie. Something that looked at the relations of twenty something whites and blacks. So when it came out I drug my white boyfriend along and said, come on it will be funny you will like it. Thinking to myself, shit you might hate this but this movie is for me.

So as a self proclaimed hair obsessed I watched the evolution of the four main characters hair throughout the film, and noticed some interesting trends, so lets look at those four main characters.

Sam- the mixed girl that becomes the face of the black power movement at her college through her Dear White People radio show. They make sure that you know that she is conflicted about where she fits in, is she too light skinned to run this movement, does the term Redbone offend her? You bet it does.  So she rocks every updo you can think of. She makes sure that you can tell her hair is natural throughout the entire movie. But you know being a mixed girl her hair might not be as curly as some so she doesn’t go and rock the full on fro, and you never see her hair down until. .. enter the white guy she is seeing on the side. Of course none of her black movement friends know about this.  It is not until she accepts her ” malato” ( as her white man calls her) ways and steps out of the spotlight to do what she loves that we see her beautiful hair out of it’s updo. When she embraces this “true self” of hers she then wears her hair down, and of course walks off into the sunset holding the hand of said white guy.

Leroy- Oh ya you have to throw a gay guy into the mix to make it complicated right? So Leroy the black guy that never fit in with anyone in high school, felt more discriminated against by the black students than the white students. Case and point someone in the movie tells him that ” you are only technically black” he has no home at the school. And is rocking a huge, unkept afro. He slowly meanders his way through all of the houses on campus and ends up back at the traditionally black house, he then finds himself at the most racist party and finds his place in the community. Is surrounded by his fellow black students and oh ya, gets a fresh cut. Now that he doesn’t have to hide behind that fro right, no need for that stereotype anymore. No way he could have just liked it.

CoCo- Oh CoCo, she is probably the one I am supposed to identify with, right, this girl that doesn’t feel strongly about black/white relations. Doesn’t come into college wanting to change the world. And maybe even wants to be white a little to much. And yet here I am writing a very racially fueled blog, guess I don’t fit into one of these pretty boxes, or maybe I am just more like Sam. But CoCo she is the only girl prominent in the movie that has a weave, or straight hair for that matter. You know, if you care about your race you are clearly a natural girl. Because how you choose to style your hair completely defines your stance on political issues. CoCo ends up dressed up at the “black party” in a white wig, and her line that stuck out to me, ” They don’t give a damn about no Harriet Tubman, they buy Jay-Z tickets. . . because they want to be us and for one night they got to be.”

Troy- Troy the son of the dean of students who has had a grudge with the white president of the school since forever. Troy that dated the presidents daughter because his dad wanted him too. Troy that became just a little bit “blacker” when he was around the white students so that they thought he was the cool guy, but was very “put together” around his fellow black students so that they would respect him or something. He made it clear to everyone that he did fresh cuts, he made it clear that his hair was important to him, important to keep short and clean. But of course gotta keep those waves in it, unkept nappy hair just wont do. Until he begins to stand up to his daddy and embrace himself, then it is a sideways cap and shaggy hair.

It is amazing to me the things I can see through the lenses of hair. And it is not that I have a problem with any of these characters I identify with a piece of all of them. But that is just it, a piece. Making this complex black movie still tried to put all of the pieces of a culture that has changed and evolved into pretty little boxes that are easy to identify. Sam wrote a book in this move that lets people take quizzes and identifies them as, oofta, nose-job, or 100. These boxes in themselves are a problem, what no one can ever try to succeed in a certain way without being an oofta, I can’t love my white boyfriend without being a nosejob?  I have made it a point in my life to stay clear of debates like this one, and here I am. . . so maybe I am more like one of these 4 characters than I want to believe. But here I am and that is not going to change.

If you loved this move that is great, I do not want a debate out of this . . this is just what the hair told me.

Yours truly

The Hair obsessed