Almost 30 (or Whole 30 With a Few Modifications, or The Month I Ate Lots of Mayonnaise and Lost 11lbs)

For years I have been frustrated with my body and have been saying I was going to get back in shape. It isn't that I feel like I look bad, but I FEEL bad. After I got back from NYC in 2013 my life seemed to always be in shambles and I coped (more like didn't) by eating out, never having real groceries, and wearing leggings as pants (which means I didn't notice that my jeans stopped fitting...). I always felt sick, found it hard to bounce back after injuries, had periodic terrible headaches, gained weight, and overall was not that happy of a person. 

This year I decided I was really going to change. My brother is getting married in October (and its the only wedding where I get a plus one so I need to take advantage of that!) and I turn 30 in January so I've made this year all about me. All about feeling healthy, re-finding my hobbies, working less, working out more, and worrying about myself and not stupid guys or religion or anything else that has depressed me in the past. 

At the beginning of the year I did Nutrisystem and lost 10lbs. Its fine, the food is not terrible and it is relatively easy (and my mad shopping skills got it for SUPER cheap) but it had one major downfall, it did not make me change my habits. I could still eat the foods that got me in trouble and more importantly it didn't make me spend time and energy in creating my meals. So when my sister asked me if I wanted to do Whole 30 with her and my brother-in-law, I thought the more rigorous plan would be good for me. 

So here is my review of Whole 30 and why I love it so much.

If you aren't familiar with the program here are the Whole 30 basics:

  • No grains (wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, rice, millet, bulgur, sorghum, sprouted grains, and all gluten-free pseudo-cereals like quinoa, amaranth, and buckwheat)
  • No added sugar--real or artificial 
  • No legumes (including peanuts, beans and soy)
  • No baked goods or replacements for foods that got you where you are 
  • By eliminating these things you can heal your body and slowly reintroduce foods to see which ones are affecting you.

A lot of people get scared of Whole 30 because they feel like it limits their food so much that there isn't anything left to eat. For me, it meant that I had to prepare all my own food and that is what made it a game-changer. It wasn't easy, but it made me change (most) of my bad habits. Because I have done elimination diets in the past to see if I was sensitive to gluten, dairy and sugar I already knew the outcome. I am VERY sensitive to sugar but since I ate so much of it I just didn't realize how crappy I always felt. Because of this, I was not as strict with following every single detail (except the no sugar of course) of the program but adapted it to me. And yes, I have already gotten flack for that from other people who have done Whole 30 but since it is for me and only me, I don't really give a damn.

The first week I was really strict and did not deviate from the plan. Slowly, I did add in the occasional black bean and I bought the organic Mayo from Trader Joe's (you should make your own but I opted for choosing the organic option with no sugar or soy). I did not buy all organic meat; a lot of meat has added sugar so I tried to make the best choices and just not eat a ton of it in general. I also would let myself occasionally eat Salt and Vinegar chips as a treat, you are allowed to have potatoes but it is against the spirit of Whole 30 since it is fried and a "junk food" but since it has a built in stopping mechanism--aka your mouth starts to crack apart-- I felt okay about it. I don't regret any of these decisions.

Why I loved Whole 30 and will, for the most part, continue to follow it:

  • It made me spend time doing meal planning and prep. I became an active participant in every food that entered my body. I spent more time cooking--which is something I have always loved but have drifted from over the last few years--and for the first time in forever my fridge actually had food and I didn't make hasty decisions for fast food or treats.
  • I saved SOOO much money. A lot of people complain about the cost of Whole 30 but I naturally do not eat a lot of meat (and am working to eat even less) which is the most expensive part and it saved me from eating out which is WAY more expensive than a bunch of raw vegetables. 
  • I felt great. The first couple days I had sugar withdrawal which meant I had a killer headache, but after that everything felt better. I didn't need to sleep as much, had more energy, and my mood was better.
  • It gave me an excuse to call my sister everyday to check in (okay, we don't need a reason but it was nice to have someone doing it at the same time).
  • I didn't feel obligated to eat things I didn't want. You know what I am talking about, the treats at work, the crappy food at a social gathering--this gave me a reason to say no! 
  • I had more uninterrupted time at work because I packed my lunch everyday and did not have to leave to eat. I had something available whenever I was starting to get hungry and never got to that point where you are bonking from lack of food. I felt like I got more done and could leave earlier (to cook for the next day).
  • I broke my TERRIBLE soda habit. I realized if I didn't drink Dr. Pepper for 30 days I saved 7,500 calories and TEN cups of sugar. That math was a huge wakeup call. 
  • I finally learned how to make the prefect hardboiled egg and ate deviled eggs daily (not very many, don't worry, but they are the best snack!)
  • I lost 11 pounds in 26 days. 

Yes, I stopped before 30 days (which is why, among the other reasons, I called it "Almost 30") for a wedding, but instantly regretted it. I felt so sick the next day and it took me four days to get back down to where I was weight wise before my "cheat day." But, I plan on continuing with a few modifications so I am okay with stopping early. I will continue with the no sugar but I will eat beans, peanuts, and the occasional dairy (life needs cheese!). I don't really have any plans to stop this, I am wanting to do it when I am alone--since that is most of the time--but then allow myself to "cheat" when friends invite me out. For the most part I don't want to eat out any more, especially by myself--socially I am okay with it. 

And if you were wondering what my favorite things to eat were and are:

  • Deviled Eggs (horseradish mustard, vinegar, salt & pepper, cayenne pepper, mayo)
  • Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps (shredded chicken, red onion, apple, sunflower seeds, grapes, mayo, onion powder, S&P)
  • Fajita Salad (chicken, bell peppers, onion, garlic, homemade seasoning mix, greens, cilantro)
  • Broccoli Salad (broccoli (or brussel sprouts), bacon, nuts, apple, and dressing (shallot, orange, lemon, oil)
  • Turkey Wraps (lettuce, turkey, bell peppers, horseradish mustard, avocado, tomato)
  • Zucchini "Pasta" (spiralized zucchini with homemade pasta sauce (tomato, garlic, onion, S&P)
  • Fruit Salad (my favorite right now is a mix of raspberries, kiwi, and grapes)
  • Chocolate Banana Shakes (this is my breakfast EVERY morning, coconut/almond milk, 1/2 frozen banana, chia seeds, baking cocoa)
  • Sweet Potatoes (just baked with S&P, so easy, filling and good)

But really, with vegetables, fruit, meat and spices as staples you can make ANYTHING.

and because I am proud of myself here is a photo comparison (apparently while getting more healthy I also progressively learned how to fix my hair...)

Before I started / Day 15 / Day 21 / Day 26

And if you can't tell that I feel more like myself, here are some photos from the wedding I attended last week.

I'll admit that this past week has been hard, I spent the first three days being SUPER strict to get back to feeling okay after the wedding but then I got a huge shipment at work (which was the first time I unloaded a semi with our forklift, I was so nervous but did great and my mechanic neighbor told me that he was so proud of me and I "was hauling ass!") and I let myself slip. Tomorrow is a new day and I am getting back at it. So if you see me in person, or just want to check in, encourage me to make good choices! I have about 20 more pounds to loose to get to my normal weight (the weight where I was most of my life and feel normal, not skinny just normal and healthy) but if I can keep this up I have no fear of not making my goals and getting to buy that kickass dress for my brother's wedding!

guilty pleasures

my nephew, in the tv zone...
You know the scene. You are sitting alone on the couch with remote in hand, finger on the 'previous channel' button. The show blaring on the screen is one that you shouldn't be watching but you can't break the spell it has on you. You sit with bated breath, ready to hit the button that instantly takes you back to the previous, 'safe,' channel as soon as you hear someone within 10 feet of the room.

This is how i spent my childhood. I wasn't watching racy shows (unless you consider Barney racy...), just ones that i knew would lead to endless shaming by my older siblings.

The Wonder Years
Season 2, Episode 8--Hiroshima, Mon Frere

Recently i was talking to my dear sister jenny, and she brought up the fact that us Davises have one major flaw: We love to ruthlessly make fun of each other. This might not seem that unusual or detrimental, and you might be thinking, 'Every family makes fun of each other. That is what makes the love-hate relationship between siblings fun!' You might think that is why siblings are fun, but it turns out they are fun because you do bad things together that you never told your parents. Indeed, they are your partners in crime. They are not fun when they are in “Hamster Patrol” mode (if you don't get that reference you NEED more of “The Wonder Years“ in your life). My siblings never sucked up my hamster with a vacuum — most likely only due to the fact that when you don't have a hamster it’s pretty hard to suck one up, and my other furry pet, a cat, was too big for the vacuum — but they did like to taunt me and each other about everything from pets to music to clothing to television viewing habits. And if taunting didn't stop you from engaging in the subpar activity they would take it upon themselves to physically stop you, like when my siblings hid my Joy School (pre-preschool) tapes in my underwear drawer so they could have days of peace from the rhyming rhythms (i didn't like to change my clothes or shower apparently as a toddler).
who could hide such a cute girl's tapes?!
Joy School graduation

The funny thing is that i feel like i spent most of my childhood foolishly hiding things i shouldn't have and flamboyantly showing things that truly were in bad taste or odd and were very much worthy of all the flack i got from all of my siblings.

For example, i didn't feel the need to hide:

• Knitting in movie theaters: Not only do my siblings know that dirty little secret but so do a whole lot of other innocent moviegoers.

• Singing show tunes at the top of my lungs in the shower: I'm sure half of the neighborhood could sing all the words to “Honey Bun” because of my frequent exploits.

• My love of infomercials: no explanation needed.

• Thinking a bowl cut was a good idea.

• Having my favorite television event be Nick at Nite instead of TGIF: By the time i was 10 i'm pretty sure i not only had seen every “I Love Lucy” and “Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour,” but i even had a giant coffee table book that i would frequent to brush up on the back stories of the episodes.

• Using all my babysitting money to rent classics from Hastings: What other kid was arguing with the
rental store that a not-rated film produced before 1960 wasn't going to have things inappropriate for a 9-year-old to watch?

• The fact that i not only was a mascot but campaigned for our school to get one.

My extensive homemade doll collection: It was creepy and mostly held together with Pintrest-worthy amounts of hot glue and the occasional staple.

• That i liked gold, so naturally i thought gold braces were a brilliant idea. Why was i so surprised when my siblings started singing “Ghetto Superstar” to me all the time?

• Lifetime movies: They are all about cheating husbands that get murdered by their wives and yet whenever the entire house sneaks off for the usual sunday nap i gravitate toward the terrible acting of Lifetime. Angels in heaven probably weep for my soul every sunday this happens. (did i say sunday, because they definitely have an iPad app so now it can happen anytime, anywhere!)

Yet i did hide such normal things as:
i hid who i liked cleverly under things like taped
down valentine's in my journal

• The fact that i was a girl and heaven forbid actually liked girly things.

• That boys are cute and sometimes i had/have crushes on them.

• Dancing. I might be a horrible dancer but being inept seems pretty universal.

• Writing. Did you know that it took me until college to willingly let people peer review my school papers and i was terrified to start a blog?

• Singing (not show tunes, just the regular type). At my dad's funeral in 2009 i had the first solo in a song that all the girls in the family sang. One of my sisters mentioned afterward that she didn't know that i could sing like that. Even weirder was the fact that most of my sisters are musical but i still never sang solos, especially around my family.
hard to believe she was the ultimate tomboy

• My love for crappy teenage music: Everyone goes through a phase liking something that is popular, but i felt like i had to keep it all secret. And with that i will admit that most of the time i spent on a bus on my way to ski team i was listening to Savage Garden on my Discman.

When i was talking to my sisters about what they hid as children, they mentioned things like riding their bike around the neighborhood with a Walkman so they could listen to Men Without Hats in peace and being total tomboys because 'girl things were stupid.' (For the record, the most tomboy girl out of our family — the one that made me feel ashamed to like girly things — didn't have anyone above her that said girly things were stupid but singlehandedly created this intense anxiety in both of us for no apparent reason. Oh and now both of us work in the cosmetics industry.) Especially when it came to music they got it — some music would be considered subpar and therefore warrant days of torture.

They understood what to hide and why. Apparently i did get that i shouldn't let my siblings know all of my silly habits, but i didn't get the memo of which ones.


there's a storm a brewin'
(Before the storm hit i managed to get out of NYC on one of the last subways/trains. I thought it would be a better option to wait out the storm with my sister's family. This turned out to be the best idea since many of the subways did not run for a full week and the apartment I was couch surfing in took in 4 other people that lost power.)

I have never been through a hurricane before. I have been through one natural disaster in my life--a flash flood--which i was in the thick of, completely unprepared. But the difference with that terrible storm, even though all of us that were involved thought at one point or another that this might be the last day the Davis family had ten living children, is that only a small portion of people were involved. The storm passed, phone lines weren't down, no houses washed away, no one was looting, and within a few hours we were warm and dry and doing okay.
you also spend a lot of time doing this.
which takes a very long time i might add.
For us Sandy passed relatively quickly and little damage was done. Two trees fell, one knocking out part of the back fence and one doing a little cosmetic damage to the car, and the power went out for a day--but that was it. When it is over and you are unscathed, you think all is well. We couldn't watch tv and our phones couldn't make calls or use data so we had no idea what was going on outside of the community we were in. It wasn't until i would get calls from my family in the west that i heard of cars floating in parking garages of the Financial District (where that apartment i coveted and almost recently moved into is located). It wasn't until i was texted by my boss that i found out that lower Manhattan had no power and she watched water pour down her street, sure it was going to come flooding into her apartment at anytime. And it wasn't until i got back to work a week later that i heard of apartments getting looted, even the baby's clothes were gone. But when you are in an area that wasn't hit very hard, it is easy to have a good time because you have no idea that somewhere else houses are washing away and over a hundred are on fire, until of course you are back in touch with the world and hear of the people that came out so much worse than you.

you spend a lot of time doing this during power outages
what we like to call 'Hurricane-opoly'

The thing that does amaze me though, are the attitudes that i have witnessed in upper Manhattan. These people never lost power and could see the news. They knew that the subway wasn't running because of flooding, they knew that lower Manhattan was out of power. They heard stories of looters. They saw footage of houses burning in Queens. They knew that houses were washing away in the Rockaways.

I heard these people complain that they couldn't get anywhere because of the subway, that they were getting fat from eating so much because they were cooped up inside (with a working fridge and means to cook...), that they wished people staying in their house (because they had lost power/heat) would leave. And then i went to church were someone said that they knew they would be okay even though they didn't prepare at all for the hurricane because God wouldn't let anything bad happen to them.

these are our 'we are sad that the power is out' face. BUT we could still shop at target--as long as you didn't buy any perishables--and play monopoly so all was right with the world. 

Last time i checked the church adamantly preached being prepared.

Not to mention that we are all God's children, are the people that lost everything somehow less so?

I was appalled. 

This week though, that person had a chance to redeem themselves. Instead of having church for the normal 3 hours, we met for 30 minutes in our work clothes and then headed out to the Rockaways to help rip out carpet, tare out drywall, move mounds of soaked belongings, and give hope to people that lost everything. For me, i think it was really good to go. There is a difference between knowing of the destruction and seeing it first hand. 

this is Gloria's house, the one I worked in.

in my family we call these toys Dudes.
this broke my heart a little,
but seeing family photos litter the street broke my heart a lot

Mormon Helping Hands goes into areas after first responders check the stability of structures and after insurance companies calculate damages. It blew my mind that two weeks after a hurricane hit things like fallen trees and soaked carpet hadn't been removed yet, but i guess that just goes to show how bad things are. We found a women who was trying to figure out how to take care of her 90 year old mother's house. She lived down the street and moved her mom to her house during the storm, which turned out to be the best decision. Her house was not damaged in the living area but her mother's main floor and basement flooded. The main floor was a good 5 stairs up from the street and still water poured in and soaked everything. One step on the carpet and your feet were wet clear though, all this after two weeks.

All of these people are still without power and heat. Many of them also lost their cars, some just up and floated away... If you are in the New York/New Jersey area i would highly recommend finding some time to go out and help. There is no feeling like having a complete stranger let you into their home and then give you the biggest hug--like they have know you for years--when you leave a few short hours later. It makes you realize how lucky you are and how much more grateful you should be for your health and basic necessities.

carry on carry on carry on

I had a friend that used to always say:

"life sucks and then you die"

I never really thought that was true, but i'm finding more truth in it the longer i live in manhattan...

My last blogpost was written from my office--after i had finally found my way back to my trusted SoHo in a cab--and successfully dried my sweat drenched body. At that point i thought i had braved the worst part of my day, little did I know that i would lug that stupid suitcase to a photo shoot, then haul it in the back of a cab, drag it up and down 34th street--as the MegaBus directed me to line after line, pull it along in downtown Philly and finally load it on a train. All of that was grand but exiting the train caused some fuss and loss of bodily fluid.

When i was at the train i called Jenny, 'um, something is wrong with my foot, i am pretty sure my heal is bleeding into my shoe and i have a growth on my toe...'

sisters, sisters, there were never such devoted sisters.
I was kind to my dear old foot on the train, that is until i almost missed my stop. I frantically jumped up, grabbed my suitcase and with one awkward gesture made it land directly on my toe growth. By the time Jenny picked me up i was hobbling along with my shoe was full of puss.

I went to Philly for a number of reasons:
      get out of NYC for some TLC
      unload extra crap from my apartment since stupid connie isn't letting me stay
      do laundry
      chew on the babies (or snuggle my nieces and nephew)
      babysit nora so jenny could run the Ragnar
      cheer on sarah and jenny on said Ragnar

      oh and photograph jenny and sarah....

yeah, if you couldn't tell, i forgot that one.

I not only lugged a 50lb suitcase to Philly (with only 1/2 of one wheel...) but I also had my camera bag that weighs about a bajillion pounds.

Oh the way to the Ragnar, after getting all three kids, a weeks worth of food, and my camera bag in the car, Mike asked, 'did you grab your camera off the piano?' Well crap, i have a bag full of extra batteries, lens, film, cards and no camera. FAIL.

i took this. i pushed the shutter and THIS came out.
Turns out i am really bad at using a point and shoot camera. All the photos that i took on a borrowed camera were terrible. Like real bad. So this is why everyone has ditched small cameras for the iPhone...

Rough Rough Rough.

Monday i came back to the city, but the weekend had more in store for me. Somewhere amid my countless hours on public transportation, train to bus to subway, i caught the flu. Did i mention that i have a friend who has been staying with me and sharing my bed? Yeah, not so great when you have the flu and sleep for 14 hours straight...

luggage losing wheels, people losing housing, shoes full of puss, only 3.583 friends in the city, and an unpaid internship--new york apparently never got the memo that i love it and it should treat me kindly.

this is what a race looks like when i remember my camera...
On the plus side, i am finally going to see Sleep Walk With Me this weekend and hopefully find that Awesome Brownie that i found my first saturday here. Oh and i found out i get $30 a week from my internship. That makes me like thiiiiiiiis happy, that's like 5 Shake Shack burgers a week! (or a week metro card--which is what i think i am supposed to use it for...)

On days like this, you just got to throw on Fun. and listen to Carry On:

If you're lost and alone
Or you're sinking like a stone
Carry on
May your past be the sound
Of your feet upon the ground
Carry on

Carry on, carry on

Breaking Amish
(this is totally the theme song for that new TLC show about a group of Amish teens that leave the faith and move to Manhattan, if they can do it, I can too, right? Right?! I mean, television never lies or anything, right? RIGHT?!)

oh did i mention that i am still haven't found a place to live for the next two weeks? The only two weeks that i have people flying out to visit me...

I might love nyc this weekend, but right now--at this very moment--i kinda loathe it.

if you would like to send me a package, i would not deny it. Especially if it was this camera to keep in my purse at all times so i never have another epic photography fail. This is a point and shoot i can trust!

i want to go to there

we dance alike 
I have found a new love, 30 Rock. Why oh why did it take me so long to realize exactly how wonderful this show is?! The best part of the show of course is Liz Lemon and well--lets face it--we are pretty similar.

When Lemon's bra fell apart at work, i applauded her creative solution of scotch tape.

When she ate a PopTart that she found under the couch, i was jealous, the rare PopTart is pretty delicious.

we both love photography
When she had a false positive pregnancy test because of the copious amount of Mexican Cheetos she ate, i thought of my addiction of Natural Cheetos.

When she wants a baby but can't find any guy she would want to procreate with, it reminds me how i have a 97% chance of not being impregnated by going to bed before 10pm on a regular basis.

When she curses wearing nylons and spandex and it reminds me that i believe that a man that hates women invented nylons.

and the list goes on.

So here are my favorite Liz Lemon quotes:

we all know i LOVE to eat
-Lovers.. oh, that word bums me out unless it’s between meat and pizza.

-You are my heroine! And by heroine I mean lady hero. I don’t want to inject you and listen to jazz.

-My heart’s pounding like I’m watching Oprah’s farewell season.

-Jack Donaghy is gonna kill me and then he’s gonna kill you and then he’s gonna fold us up in a pizza and eat us.

-I want to go to there.

um this doesn't quite fit, i have never seen a Harry Potter film
-Hey, nerds! Who’s got two thumbs, speaks limited French, and hasn’t cried once today? [pointing thumbs at self] This moi.

-Thanks, it’s my own recipe. I use cheddar cheese instead of water

-Man, three weddings in one day, I’m going to be in Spanx for 12 hours. My elastic line is gonna get infected again.

-No, I'm going to tell Drew that I'm having a little welcome to the building party for him but there is no party and then when he shows up I'll laugh and say 'oh it's the wrong night' and then he'll laugh and say one glass couldn't hurt and then I will put my mouth on his mouth.

i have a secret, i kinda loved the Oprah show, that is until my roommates told me that i wasn't allowed to watch it anymore
because Diana and i cried too much during her touching episodes...

And then today i felt like i had a Liz Lemon moment. You see, one day my friend told me that he looked me up in the church directory but couldn't find me. I of course gave him a hard time, "I am on the last page, my picture is pretty big, you can't miss me. Way to try and make yourself look good by saying you 'tried' to find me..."

So it turns out he was right. I am not in the directory, well not his or anyone elses but my own. Apparently the people that were putting the thing together didn't realize until they got to my house--to deliver my copy--that i wasn't in it. They promptly added me to the last page and gave me the only copy. This seems like something Studio 6h would do to Liz... everyone knows but her...haha

'you rang?'

When i was younger i always thought that it would be cool to resemble a celebrity. You know, have people mistake you for that awesome person, try and get free swag, etc. But then i decided that i didn't want this when i realized that the only 'celebrity' that i resembled was Zoey from the PBS show Zoom. My niece and nephew thought it was cool and would talk about it but it wasn't cool to really anyone else, me included.

I thought that was bad enough, then my sister pointed out an ever worse look alike.

I call my sister jenny like every other day, or like twice in one day if you are referencing yesterday... Lately whenever she answers, or leaves a voice message, she says 'You rang?' in this super nerdy/nasally/little boy voice. I couldn't figure out why she did this, i assumed it was just another random phase like when she talks like a duck or something weird. I finally asked her what the deal was and she goes, 'don't you remember watching Little Giants? That picture on your blog of you in my West uniform looks just like the nerdy kid who says that in the movie...'

Crap. It is true, i looked just like the scrawny boy that is only remembered for blowing the biggest snot bubbles ever. 

Maybe now is a bad time to mention that this one time, mallory and i were so bored at my uncles house that we would blow our nose as hard as we could and then run to the mirror to see who's snot was farthest down their face. Oh the things we do to entertain ourselves as children.

the mommy closet

I have a confession.

I can't wait until i have kids.

This may come as a surprise to some, i generally like to stay in the mommy closet and don't admit that i want to have a litter of those snotty nose creatures crawling all over me like a jungle gym one day. But, just because i say i want kids, don't get this confused with being 'baby hungry' which implies to the hopes to be impregnated in the near future.

best nanny ever, can't you tell?
In high school i thought that one day i would have maybe two kids, and not for a very, very, verrrry long time. This was probably due to the fact that at seventeen i gave up the normal ruckus that comes with being a high school student to become a single mother of three at times. I was a live-in nanny for my older sister, though i didn't have her kids 24/7, i did have entire weekends, and the occasional week, where the kids were all mine. Those things that most women get accustomed to once they birth a child, you know, the gross stuff, i am already too familiar with. I have cleaned up my share of peed on carpets, blown out diapers, and the occasional-worst fear-liquid pooh that drips down your own leg because you made the fatal mistake of trying to carry the poor sick child to the bathroom. You know you have cleaned up too many messes when your favorite pastime becomes washing and folding laundry, it smells fantastic and doesn't whine or yell. The laundry room became my sanctuary.

It took me a few years after this to realize that yes, i do want my own kids. Not that i didn't love my niece and nephews, i did and still do for that matter. There is just something different when you realize that one day you will have your own kids that will be part crazy just like you.

Three and Five from Bethany Davis on Vimeo.

I am pretty sure that part of my recent fascination with offspring is due to this video that i recently shot and edited. I am in a beginning film class and was supposed to make a video with a story. As i was getting ready to travel to the east coast i decided that i might as well shoot some of the most adorable kids that i know in hopes that i could get something that could become a short film. I followed Simon and Ada around for a day and let them do what they do best, be kids. When i went to class yesterday my professor asked me why i created the video, my response was about how i wanted to create a 'home video' of sorts that i wished i had. My goal was to capture an average day instead of the generic holiday program or birthday party.

It's the normal days like this, caught on film, that make me want kids. I am excited to be able to mold little minds and play all sorts of random make believe games that I don't understand. I am ready to get away with: cutting the crust off sandwiches, tickle baby backs, have an excuse to buy the amazingly scented Johnson's Baby shampoo-that i may or may not use myself, coach soccer-teach that you can simply step on the other side of the ball instead of taking the entire field's width to go the other direction, watch Arthur on PBS, induct a children's section into my library, eat M&Ms out of measuring cups, and basically just be awesome.

my newborn photo,
 'i look like benjamin button' photo
 'lobster claw baby' photo.
One day i will be that crazy lady down the street that builds forts in her front room with her kids so intense, that she has to crawl through the tunnel of sheets just to open the front door. Until then, i will just keep winning the hearts of my many nieces and nephews as their favorite Aunt Bethy.

Let's just hope that i marry a super attractive fellow so my kids can take after him as a wee babe...

Maybe in the meantime i will also start writing a series of children's books. Have you seen some of them lately? Seriously, they suck. I could do this. I WILL do this. Jenny Kimball, get ready to become by business partner.

terrors in the night

this is us doing our scared faces, or how people look when
they wake up to my screaming and clawing them...
Today i had the following conversation with my sister Jenny:

            me-"Hey Jenny, remember that time last summer when we woke up screaming at each other? Yeah, last night i woke up to Milo freaking out and kicking me in the ribs, it was kinda like when you clawed me..."

            jenny- "You do realize that you are the only common denominator here, right?"

I have a long history of sleep walking, talking, dancing, singing, acting malicious etc. I remember when i was a young lass, only a few years old, waking up on the couch and not knowing how i got there. My parents didn't believe me when i said i got there in my sleep, well turns out it was true. 

Within the next few years my random acts of migrating from my bedroom to the couch escalated. I have always been one to go to bed fairly early, because of this my siblings were often privy to my antics. 

These antics included:

  • Carrying all my bedding upstairs, wandering back to my room where i stood curiously waiting for my sheets to reappear, or so according to Lynsey. 
  • Going to the kitchen, filling a glass of water, walking to Levi's room where i proceded to slowing empty the glass on his floor while glaring at him.
  • Telling Mallory to take out our nonexistent cat, because i of course, didn't do it yet.
  • Singing Mallory a song about how i flushed the toilet, doing a little ditty of a dance and then yelling "Make Way!" while i ran full speed and jumped on top of her in bed.
  • Getting dressed for school, usually before midnight, and then staring at the clock with my face pressed against it until it registered in my mind that it was not 7:30 yet. (this happened weekly).
  • Sitting up in bed, looking over at Mallory while pointing my finger as gun and saying, "Get out o my town..."
  • Yelling at Mallory for telling me that it wasn't time for school and to go back to bed, having Jenny come in to console me, then in between crying into Jenny, looking over at Mallory and glaring.

The instantes continued as i got older, generally it was just small things like waking up on the other side of my room or wandering around the house, but nothing terribly exciting. However, things picked up again when i got to college. 

our room, case and point
When i was a freshmen i shared a room with Diana. For a while we kept our beds on opposite sides of the room but soon it became apparent that i had a problem with keeping the area clean between our beds. This led us to pushing our beds together. This gave us ample storage space under the beds and made for entertaining evenings full of girl talk and slumber parties with our other roommate. However, moving the beds also planted the seed of sleep walking in both of us. 

Soon Diana began to cause scenes of her own. One night she sprang up yelling something about slavery and began to run off the end of our bed. She occasionally gave me American History lessons too. She however, was not the only one to run-amuck in the night. My best episode was wandering out of our apartment in the middle of the night only to wake up with my forehead against the outside of the front door with my hand on the handle. The door was open and i was standing in just my underwear and a tank top, very scandalous for BYU. One more second and i would have locked myself out. Diana and i were also constantly talking to each other when one of us was getting up early to go to work and the other was still asleep.

That was four years ago, i haven't done much of anything since then so i figured i was done. But then came Jenny and our screaming match last summer.

(this is how i imaged we looked)

Ada's infamous 'Spin and Shake,' or how i
image her spinning around my room...
Jenny came to visit which meant that i was sharing my full size bed with her and her daughter, Ada, was sleeping on the floor next to us. Neither of us like touching people in our sleep so we are pretty good at sticking to our side of the bed. In the middle of the night we both woke up, arms wrapped around each other, nails digging in, screaming at the top of our lungs at each other. After a few split seconds of this charade, we both let go and lay back, trying to catch our breath. Ada however, was spinning circles on the ground screaming. We then began to question each other as to what caused the ruckus, to this day we both think the other person started it. 

The next morning while at breakfast Ada turned to Jenny, "Mom, i don't know who screamed first, you or aunt Bethany, but i was like number 99 scared..."

This is one of the instances that i want to replay when i am in heaven, i really want to know who screamed first.

looks docile and innocent, huh?
well not in the middle of the night,
i swear it was him...

Now this exact same scenario has happened again last night. Replace Jenny with Milo and subtract all the screaming. I am pretty sure at least three of Milo's legs jabbed me straight in the ribs. I swear he was having a night terror, but as Jenny pointed out, i am a common factor. 

I guess now that i live alone and don't have someone to notice if i scream in my sleep, i will have to wait until i am married to find out if i really cause others to have night terrors. I pity the fool that marries me only to wake up to my white knuckles digging into his rippling biceps...

23 years and counting

On more than one occasion my siblings and i have voiced our amazement that all ten of us have made it to adulthood. In your family this might not seem like such a feat, but the Davis family always seems to get injured more often and do more stupid things than the average family. (if you haven't read the post on my family, read this post now. or read this one.)

Okay maybe it isn't that we do more intense things, but there is a litter of us so it only seems natural that our family would have been based on survival of the fittest. That surely means that one of us should have unintentionally killed another while being more fit. Well, i guess as the tithing child i am glad this wasn't the case...

Since yesterday i celebrated me being birthed 23 years ago, let's remind ourselves how the last 23 years looked, bad hair and all (all being HUGE glasses).

But before all that bad hair, please remember what I looked like yesterday-keep this is mind when the unfortunate photos come along... like that second one... (don't worry that in the course of one week two 'friends' told me that i was one of the most unfortunate looking children they had seen...)

2011                                                                      1988
Yes, i know, i looked like an 80 year old man straight out of the womb.


i am pretty sure mallory was trying to kill me, not burp me...



is this a foreshadow of Loon Lake disaster of 1998?!




















and yet, 

somethings never change with age...


15 days in and I still have a hard time remembering that the year is now 2011. i still remember walking to the Boise Depot from katie's house for the big 2000 new year's party. there is no way that was a decade ago...

there is no way i am old enough to say 'a decade ago'

so what memorable happened in 2010? well let me tell you...

I turned 22. this involved a party with sugar cookies made to look like me, a homemade photo booth, and these fantastic boys that let me have the party at their house.

I assisted celebrity photographer Brian Smith at Sundance and met Miss Universe...

i flew to TN and then drove to SC to watch Jojo run her first (canceled) marathon. 
Thank you Myrtle Beach, for all the snow...

I photographed many a thing, one of my favorites being the Festival of Colors.

i was playing with this lovable pup, Milo, and did this to my foot. Jenny lovingly referred to me as 'Cankalicious' for weeks that felt like months.

i went to boise a couple times, visited/photographed my family and best friends from childhood.

i actually briefly dated someone (we are much cuter individuals in real life) and upped my dating quota with going on second dates for the first time ever. (like real dates)

i went to Lake Powell with Jojo's hilarious family and mike's quad nephews. 
quite the adventure.

 i flew to Idaho to cheer on Uncle Rico, I mean Thor, I mean Aaron in his first IRON MAN!
i also discovered that one of my many God given talents is trophy embellishing.

i learned that writing your calendar/to do list on your mirror and leaving dry erase markers in your bathroom leads to lots of good facial hair being drawn next to your important tasks. 
meet my niece, teen wolf.

i spent many an hour with these rag-a-muffins and we had a few photoshoots. 
some in the studio and some outside.

i found new fantastic friends in my ward,

and wowed them with my amazing acrobatics. 

i also spent a lot of time with my 'freshmen' friends.

then there was book club, at least a few. (we aren't so good at the whole once a month thing...)

and photography parties and more than a few classes.

then there was spur the moment jet blue deals that landed three sisters in new york together. 

and more expensive flights that landed two sisters in new zealand for thanksgiving.

 and of course the year ends with a christmas morning photo op on the stairs...

oh, and i met my first llama AND i managed to wear makeup everyday for a year. 
okay, almost everyday.

the end

Davises go all the way

apparently my last post inspired my sister to send me this paper that she wrote for a family history class. to prove that i was also part of this adventure, i decided to add the photos.

Davises Go All the Way

-written by Sarah Davis Bollschweiler

Snow. The Myrtle Beach Marathon was officially cancelled. Would-be runners sulked around the Sheraton Hotel lobby in yoga pants and Chaco sandals, their tanned faces creased with disappointment---some even with rage. 

“You’ve got to be kidding me,” one pony-tailed woman ranted. “I drove all the way from North Carolina for this?!” 

(jojo was THIS excited about the cancelation)
“That must have been an inconvenience,” my brother smirked. “I had quite a time getting here too. You see, I set out from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, two days ago, flew to Raleigh (my original flight here being cancelled with all this crazy weather), slept all night on the floor of the airport, hopped in a rental car and drove ten hours to Pennsylvania to get my sister who was snowed in, sawed up the thirty-foot fallen tree blocking her driveway, and drove all day to get her here in time for her first marathon. We’re a little disappointed too.” 

As absurd as his ordeal sounded when he recounted it, Aaron relished the opportunity to share it with someone---even this stranger (now looking quite bewildered) ---because if there’s one trait he values above all, it is persistence, an attribute thoroughly saturating the Davis gene pool. In our family, when you do something you go all the way. 

Maybe the original source of our thoroughly thorough behavior is my mom: how a woman with ten children could have the most immaculate kitchen cupboards in town (not a stray grain of sugar to be found) still mystifies me. We knew that when she asked us to clean the bathroom, she meant CLEAN the bathroom; so while all the other kids in the world (if they even had to clean a bathroom at all) haphazardly squirted 409 here and there and gave the counters a quick swipe, we were supposed to bring our bathroom up to hospital sanitation standards. Of course, Mom’s perfectionism had its perks too, especially when it came to cooking. We knew that while other moms might call tossing a frozen chicken pot pie in the oven “making dinner,” our mother would always make something delicious from scratch. No gluey instant potatoes or crumbly cake mixes at our house... no way.

(Joseph Dyer was not involved in the B17 incident,
he is part of another article)

My dad’s stick-to-it-iveness exceeded even my   mother’s, his life driven by an obsession that began in his youth. As a boy he dreamed of airplanes, read all he could find about them, and even almost succeeded in stealing a four-engine B-17 in his rebellious teenage years in a failed attempt at running away (a secret kept from my mom for decades). Nothing---not even my grandfather’s attempt to reform him after the B- 17 episode---could keep my dad from his dream. In adulthood he acquired an airplane in a more legitimate (although still unconventional) fashion: he designed built his own from scratch. His Starship Alpha, a boomerang-shaped single-seater, was modeled after Jack Northrop’s flying wings of the 1940’s. (I suppose Dad decided that since he was doing something crazy like building his own airplane, he may as well build one with some style.) Most of my early childhood memories of Dad involve his airplane: hearing him talk about it, driving to the airport to see him work on the airplane in his hangar, watching him fly it, and bragging to my friends that my dad had made the cover of Popular Mechanics (as if they—or even I, for that matter---really knew what that meant).

As Davis kids, we learned by example what it meant to see something through to the end, whether it was something as simple as baking a cake or as complex as building an airplane, and though all ten of us kids have a bit of persistence built into us, Aaron seems to have been given a double portion. I remember, for example, watching him at age twelve or so spend months building a two-story playhouse for us kids, doing almost all the planning and work by himself. So when Aaron promised my sister Jenny he would be there for her first marathon, he meant he would be there beside her for the whole 26.2 miles, no matter what.

On that snowy morning in Myrtle Beach, while most other runners slept off the beer they had sorrowfully drunk the night before, Aaron readied himself for the race. For him, hardship made the event all the more important, and since he’d come this far, by golly, no “official cancellation” could stop him. Instead of filling out the standard “medical information” required on the back of his race bib, he scribbled with a sharpie in large capital letters: “Shoot a flaming arrow through my heart and float me on a barge out to sea.” Then he pinned the number to his breast, ingested his final energy gel, and knocked on the door of my sister’s room. He was ready to escort Jenny though the streets of Myrtle Beach, whether anyone else showed up or not.

With Aaron by her side, Jenny covered her first ever 26.2. He cheered her on, told her the kind of stupid jokes only brothers can tell, waved at drivers who honked in camaraderie, ran ahead to build snowmen and throw snowballs. The rest of us (no Davis event is sparsely attended) followed in my minivan, stopping occasionally to hand out Gatorade and snacks. My husband and I even ran the second half of the race along with Jenny. But Aaron was there every step of the way, and four and a half hours after the official Davis family marathon began he escorted his little sister across the finish line because he is Davis, and Davises go all the way.

if i die, send me out on a barge with flaming arrows

my family: we are intense. i have been told i am intense more than once but then i realized that i per say, am not intense, but my family and my growing up are.

we are intense for a number of reasons but my personal favorites are endurance/pain tolerance/athletics.

though i may not be the most shining example of a true athlete, i can always pretend, right?

meet my family:

first, of course, there is my Dad.

really, he should have been in the circus. i never got to witness his super human strength first hand, but he did like to talk about all of his conquest like:

-walking off a 40 foot platform on his hands to dive into a hot springs
-walking on his hands down flights of stairs at BYU
-tightrope walking between two buildings at BYU
-doing a giant (when you flip all the way around a bar with your body straight) on the free bars in gymnastics (too bad he didn't mean to do the giant and ended up flying off the bar and landing on his head on the hardwood floor..)
-balancing his body between two chair backs, one under his neck and one under his heels
-building his own jet ski in high school (the 50's)
-riding his motorcycle down as many flights of stairs as he could find at BYU
-surviving a major plane accident is pretty impressive too.
      -okay all of his plane stuff was impressive, stealing a B17 bomber at 17, making the cover of Popular     Mechanics... you name it, it was impressive

then there are other members of my family:

meet Aaron or Thor as he likes to be called

(if only i had the photo of him standing on a mountain in garbage bag 'jacket' downing the can of easy cheese... oh he also had a gotee, yes, it was just as gross as you imagined. no, worst than imagined.)

-this summer he became an IRON MAN! go Thor! he only lost a few toenails, and sadly it was before the race began
-he was on the National Guard marathon team
-has qualified for the Boston Marathon more than once
-hikes 50 milers like no ones business

he is also known for completing adventures that most, sane?, people would have stopped. Like the one time with the dangerous zip line, or the hike into Loon Lake that was hellish battle against the ungroomed trail with a mountain bike on his back, or our families personal favorite: the freak flash flood at Loon Lake that left Aaron with 5 younger siblings walking through ice water and hallucinating. 

Then there are the runners:

Jenny and Sarah are ROCKSTARS

-don't worry that she has TWO kids and still has a freaking six pack. rockstar
-she also completed her first marathon even though the official race was canceled due to a freak snow storm in Myrtle Beach, SC
-at her first official marathon she qualified for Boston! Huzzah, that is how a Davis does it.

-last summer, at the Wasatch Back Relay, Sassy passed runners left and right even though he had a serious baby bump going on
-she also recently qualified for Boston with Jenny
-she and her husband Luke (who also just qualified for Boston) were named the 'Fastest Couple in Knoxville, TN'
-she consistently runs through her pregnancies until she is about to pop that sucker out

Next we have Levi:

-he used to go to Utah to compete in rock climbing contests when he was still in high school. he won a lot too (not to mention he turned his bedroom into a rock climbing room...)
-he builds longboards and has had his few brushes with death (like crashing so bad that the road cut through his leather jacket)

oh mallory... darling mallory...

-LOOK AT THAT SIX PACK! i love that even when she was little mallory was pretty rock solid
-she played soccer for years, though this image doesn't show her talent, it does show her personality...
-always on the 'A' team for volleyball
-set records left and right for the triple jump

Mike may look laid back, but he is pretty intense too, just look at the sweet surfing injury

-mike thinks that the right job is the one that allows you to go surfing on your lunch break. he has taught both lynsey and mallory how to surf, if i move to LA i assume i will be next.
-he also did the Wasatch Back relay and a Mud Run in LA

the Champion of the family:

my brother in law lane is not only an avid runner but was part of the World Class Athlete Program for the Army. He even went to the Olympic trials. (He also won a slue of races but I, for the life of me, can't remember the names...)
he also had the mile record at South Jr. High for over 20 years at just over 5 minutes

S'Lynsey or Rynsey...

This one time lynsey got: Scarlet Fever, strep, croup, and staph all at the same time, needless to say it kind of messed her up BUT she still played soccer, did cross country, track and is the most flexible of the bunch. She can do the splits or a scorpion at any given time. oh my rubber sister.

though i don't have any images of her kicking butt at limbo, i think that going to aerobics that Richard Simmons teaches is pretty amazing. he liked to call her and her friends skanks. apparently it is a term of endearment coming from good old 'sweatin to the oldies' simmons.

and these were the people that I had images for. there of course, are more.

my teachers in high school were still talking about Mary when I was in their classes 17 years later. She was a pretty impressive volleyball player and the like.

at the age of 12 Katie won State for gymnastics. She also did track and volleyball.
She is also a personal trainer and we (my six sisters and i) have unanimously agreed that if all 7 of us got in a fight she would reign supreme. 

noting is more attractive than recovering from ankle reconstructive surgery.
my 18th birthday, the same day i had cartilage removed from my hip

And then there was me, the tithing child.
i like to think that i am athletic. i played: soccer, volleyball, basketball, tennis, track, and was on the ski team. But alas, due to a few incredible soccer injuries i had hip, knee and ankle surgery by the time i reached the ripe age of 18. 

could i have been way more awesome if i hadn't been hurt?!

well, i am trying to live up to my family and have started running again. i do not love it on days like today when it is a whopping 33 degrees outside, but it has to be done.

i am getting excited for Ragnar Wasatch Back Relay 2011, the Davis Flying Wings are going to be the most entertaining group around, hopefully pretty athletic too.

but, if I don't survive this winter and training, send me out on a barge with flaming arrows like a Viking.

Aaron has said over and over that we have 1000 Viking ancestors that you can call upon to complete a strenuous activity, and if they don't, well, you can go out on a barge like a Viking

i am an artist, i think this proves that.

this is happiness

my sisters used to make fun of me because apparently i would say basically everything i liked was a 'simple pleasure' (prime example: walking up to someone's front door and being engulfed by the scent of clean laundry because the dryer vent is by the door), well its true, i like a lot of things.

here are my most recent favorites:

cupcakes and congratulations from friends
"i knew you would get in, its in your name! BarFAny"
oh Cameron...

finding my bathtub covered in colorful drawings and loving notes

using the bathtub crayons to do math while i shower.
(i happen to thoroughly enjoy math)

coming home from work to fresh baked cookies
and it isn't even close to Christmas

'Fat Booth' on the iPhone.
$0.99 well spent.

having a panda wielding guns greet me when i park at my office.

life is good.

cookie says...

Needless to say, lately i have been a stressed out basket case.
I have this great fear that i am a lazy person, then i think about my day and realize that is a crazy idea.
I have become somewhat of a workaholic the last year or so. It isn't rare for me to spend over 9 hours a day at work. Heck, last week I worked 9, 10, and 11 hour days plus my other two normal 8ish hour days and a few hours on saturday. Most likely that equals 50 hours of work.

i am a cosmetic selling rockstar.

But here is the dilemma, i have about a billion other things to do besides work. Among other things, i am applying to the bfa photography program in exactly 12 days and THAT should be my top priority. I have been somewhat frustrated with my portfolio and my major in general which has made this nearly impossible to work on. And what is my coping mechanism for stress? avoid it like the plaque, (hence all the work), and clean. Well, I have committed to working half days and my house is quite clean (there are even two fresh flower arrangements and my bathroom drawers and closest are organized and cleaned out) i guess that means that i don't have any excuses and i have to start creating.

i talked to my sister last week and vented about life, life-it kinda sucks at the moment, and she told me i needed some r&r and should fly out to the east coast (i have this great thing called a delta airlines voucher that is itching to be used). She also said that if i don't go on a vacation that i need to go to a spa or something and relax.

i guess the fortune cookie gods thought the same thing:

i texted this to jenny,

jenny: "listen to the cookie!"
me: "i always listen to cookies"
jenny: 'me too. they are the only tasty treats i trust. donuts always get me into trouble."

and that is why i call her when i am annoyed with life.

the end.

and by end i mean back to that portfolio that is looming over my head...