Tall Girl Update from Madison, WI

So I’ve been in Madison, WI since mid-September, 2012.  I’ve found that overall I think Madison is a wonderful town. Everyday I walk to work and even when it’s freezing cold, I feel grateful that I’m walking through a beautiful downtown, to a job that I’m passionate about, and that I work with people whom are equally passionate about their jobs.  We spend so much time at our place of employment that it’s very important to me we like our co-workers and that we enjoy our time at our jobs.  I’m grateful to have found this perfect combination.

I’m enjoying living downtown although I’m a little under-whelmed at my current apartment.  I think I’m paying too much for a living space that although is ideally situated, it’s not modernized and the setup is a little odd.  I expect I’ll be moving this summer.   I’ve already started looking.

My last post I talked about how 2012 was not a good year for me and how towards the end of 2012 I had started taking steps to create more a happy life.  I’ve continued those same steps and I’m excited for what 2013 has in store.

So far in January I’ve kept a pretty low profile.  I’ve spent this month working on myself.  I’ve lost 15 of the 20 pounds that I had gained (this has been SO hard and definitely not happened overnight, I actually started in December).  I’ve done this using Medifast and a combination of playing on my Wii and walking. I’m starting to be able to fit into some of my clothes and I’m feeling much better with my overall health.

I’ve been spoiling myself a bit too. I’ve been getting facials and I’ve found a wonderful hairdresser.  I’ve also been making plans for this year.  Starting next month I’m traveling to see friends I haven’t seen in quite a while and I’m doing a lot of fun things!  You’ll be hearing about it on the blog (and seeing it too through pics!).  I’m getting really excited for 2013!!!!  It all begins when I head back to Iowa next weekend and Dallas, TX later in the month for work, Las Vegas in March….and more!

So that’s my update for now.  I’ve got some really great things coming this year and for the first time in a long time, I’m excited.

Oh, and don’t forget the big one…I turn 40 this year.  We are going to make this year ROCK!  More to come…

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This is from Hawaii a couple of years ago…I was so happy and I see this type of happiness coming in 2013!

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My TALL Year in Review (Goodbye 2012)

I’m not gonna lie, I’m not sorry to see 2012 go. It was not a banner year for me for a multitude of reasons…and of course, I’m going to make a list because that is one of my most favorite things to do! Let’s start at the beginning:

The BAD

  1. Back when we were so happy...we were cute.

    Back when we were so happy…we were cute.

    I broke up with up with my boyfriend of almost 5 years.  It happened in January but I didn’t post about it until August.  It was too painful.  I thought he was ‘The One’.  We were gonna last forever.  We planned on retiring in France some day and even though we were polar opposites, we seemed to mesh very well.  We traveled everywhere together and we were always doing fun and weird activities.  I can’t remember having this much fun with anyone else.  I think about him a lot still and hope he’s doing well.  It still hurts…moving on…

  2. I battled depression.  Only those closest to me know this so I’m just talking about it now.  I’m very private about my personal life and I couldn’t open up about things the way I used to.  I come from a large family and have always had big circles of friends.  I didn’t have that in Portland.  I felt very much alone and it took its toll on me.  Depression sucks.
  3. I lost a best friend.  I had one bestie in Portland and now that I look back I believe our fallout was caused mostly by a 3rd party and a whole bunch of miscommunication.  It still makes me very sad.
  4. I started dating what I thought was a really great guy for several months….and then it turns out, he wasn’t so great.  That one stung….a lot.  He even met my family.  My college friends and I used to tease our friend, Robyn that she had a bad ‘picker’.  She never could pick out a decent guy until she met her current fiancée.  Crap.  Do I have a bad ‘picker’?  This guy had me fooled, I was totally starting to fall for him.  *sigh*
  5. And…I’ve gained 20 pounds.  Yep, I stopped working out and started loving on the food!  The good thing is that most people can’t tell, but I can tell and my clothes can tell.  The buttons on some of my pants are screaming for help!  I’ve got some really pretty clothes that I can’t exactly fit into right now because they simply don’t fit.  I’m not too keen to be looking like a mushroom cap or muffin top or whatever you want to call it.  Not cool.

Now, towards the latter part of the year I finally realized that I had to make some changes in my life or I was going to become someone who I truly disliked.  I couldn’t just sit there and be apathetic.  My Grandma Iva would be so mad at the way I was acting if she were here so I had to figure out how to better my situation.  And there were a couple of good things that happened in 2012:

The Good

  1. This is Robyn at her 40th birthday party which we totally rocked!

    This is Robyn at her 40th birthday party which we totally rocked!

    I visited my girlfriends in CO.  I’ve known these girls since college and although we may not see each other but once or twice a year, these girls ‘get me’.  We started out as friends back in Cedar Falls, Iowa and have remained friends ever since.  Thank God I have them in my life!

  2. I adopted a 4th cat.  Okay, so some of you may not see this as ‘good’ but I love this little guy with all of my being.  He makes me laugh and he’s so adorable I don’t know how anyone could not love him.  And he makes my little family complete.

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    His name is Shanks and he’s about 3 times this size now!

  3. I got a new job!  I love it!!!!!  I work for an amazing company, we believe in our employees, we provide them the right tools to empower them to offer excellent customer service, we give back to the community, we believe in training and education and attending conferences for learning and networking opportunities.  It’s a lot of work and a lot more responsibility but I LOVE IT!
  4. I moved across the country.  Well, sort of.  My pursuit of a new job took me across the country back to the Midwest.  I planned it that way.  The plan was to be within driving distance of my family and I accomplished that!  I’m within 4 1/2 hours of my parents and 5-6 hours of my sisters.  Before it took me a full day of flying and usually 2 flights to get home but now I can hop in the car.  Bliss!

So what’s 2013 going to bring me?  Actually, let me re-phrase that.  What am I going to bring to 2013?  I’ve got some pretty good ideas but I don’t want to share just yet.  No, I haven’t met anyone (Match.com still sucks) but I’ve been working on some goals for the year and maybe I’ll be willing to share them.  I think I’ll save that for the next blog.  I’ve been waiting a little too long between blogs so maybe that should be my first goal….blog more.

Dear Tall Men (Where are you?)

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I have a t-shirt just like this, it’s part of my dating criteria.

An update on this thing that is sometimes referred to as ‘Dating’:

I’ve been on Match.com for a little over 3 months searching for my other half and I have to admit, I’m sorely disappointed. I know I said I was going to have low expectations and high hopes and I really tried, but I couldn’t help but get excited every time I saw an email from a member of Match. My hopes were dashed each time. My entire life, height has never been an issue when I’ve dated. I’ve never cared about the height of the past men I’ve dated because I don’t want to miss out on a great personality. But this time I decided that I want to date ‘up’. I decided this because my last boyfriend was my height and I have to admit, I loved it. I want that again and unless some guy completely wows me, I need someone close to my height.

I’ve had 67 winks, 28 emails, 14 guys have favorited me, and my profile has been viewed over 600 times.  Setting aside the couple of guys who emailed me and I consider them to be friends, not a single guy has caught my eye.  At first I thought some of the guys were kidding around when I got an email from them and saw their profile.  But, I sent emails back just to be nice (most of the time).  And when I say kidding around, what I mean is they had profile pictures that they had obviously taken themselves either in the bathroom by a mirror or without a shirt on.  Very unprofessional.  But I tried.  I thought, “Hey, he’s probably really funny”.  Well, I’m here to tell you that they weren’t funny.  They were serious and a couple of them didn’t have jobs, or ambition, or a sense of humor and were actually quite disgusting.  Total flop.

I even emailed back the guys that obviously couldn’t read my requirements and were only 5’10” or 5’11”  Again, my mistake.  Wow.  I’d like to say what a total error this entire Match.com experiment was but I’m trying to remain positive.  It’s a delayed success.  Obviously I’m not meant to find my match, on Match.

Now on the other hand, I can’t expect the guys to do all the work so I probably should’ve emailed or winked at more guys than what I did.  I’ll admit, I only reached out to 5 guys.  None responded.  None.  Not a very big boost to my ego.

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I’m not sure why, but this picture seems to be the perfect picture to insert right about now.  Please note the butcher knife in my head.

Back to square one.  Well, kind of.  I guess you could say I didn’t really start out at a square at all.  I’m trying and I guess that’s the hard part.  One step at a time.

I caught a lot of flak for this the last time I posted about it.  The height thing that is. That’s okay, I’m a big girl and I can handle outside opinions.  But I’ll tell you, it’s what I want. I’m looking for a TALL GUY!!!  While I appreciate the opinions, I’ve had 39 years to figure this stuff out.  So (cute, fun, hilarious, etc) Tall Boys….come out of the wood work!!!  I’m waiting….

An update:  I’m adding on one more paragraph because the one thing I didn’t mention in this whole article is my height.  For those newbies that may not know, I’m 6’4″.

Tall Genealogy

I’ve been researching my family’s genealogy with my mom for over 10 years. It’s one of my favorite hobbies and it’s pretty exciting finding out about my relatives and my ancestors.  We’ve been pretty successful in researching our family lineage and we currently have 7,682 ancestors linked in our tree.  In fact, we’ve been able to trace our family back as far as the 1300’s in some of our family lines.  But one of the things that I’ve always wondered is ‘Where do I get my height?’

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This picture was taken in Europe 2 years ago. Tiny door, huh?  From the 1300’s!

My immediate family is tall.  My 3 sisters are right at 6 feet tall, my dad is 6’6″ and my mom…well, my mom is only about 5’6″ (although she still claims she’s 1-2 inches taller than that).  I have 2 first cousins both of whom are female and both are right around 5’11”.  Pretty much all of the males in my family are over 6 feet tall and the females are around 5’10” – 5’11”.  So which side of my family does the height come from?

Not surprisingly much of my family, from both sides actually, is from Ireland.  We’ve got quite a bit from England as well.  Then there’s a line from Denmark and Sweden too. And one line from Germany.  While I haven’t found any royalty or famous relatives we did have some of our kin marry an aunt of president John Adams.

So back to my original question.  Where does my height come from?  And how can I find out?  You can’t exactly find out how tall your ancestors are unless it’s written down somewhere or if there are stories handed down.  Now, military records can give you some indication of height.  I did find out that my great, great grandfather on my dad’s side was of medium height when he signed his World War I draft registration cards back in 1918.  He was in his 40’s when he signed up, which itself is an interesting fact, but I also find it interesting that he was of medium height.  His sons were all around 6 feet tall.  But what does medium height mean?

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Bert Henry Jennings – he was of ‘medium’ height. How tall is that?

My mom and I are currently on Ancestry.com and that’s how we keep track of our family tree.  What’s really neat about Ancestry is that it allows the ability for others to contact you if they happen to either be researching the same family member as you or if they possibly have a relative within the same family line.

Several years ago I had a relative contact me on my mom’s side and they gave me some wonderful information.  They told me that my mom had several great uncles that were over 6’7″ tall.  We had always assumed that all of the height in our family had come from my dad’s side of the family but it appears that my mom had a little height on her side as well.  Which is actually very funny considering that most of mom’s immediate family is actually very short.

I wasn’t sure about what to do with this new knowledge since I didn’t know if there was any way to corroborate this information so I turned to Ancestry.com.  I started to look up the military records for as many of the men on mom’s side of the family and there it was, proof that her side carries the tall genes too!  The military records actually indicate ‘tall’ and not ‘medium’ height.  This doesn’t give me actual height, but it does tell me they were above average.

I guess my height comes from both sides of the family.  I’d still say it primarily comes from my dad’s side, but it’s nice to know that we have a little on mom’s side too.

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I’d guess this photo is probably from 1982-83 ish. Mom is on the far right and she still appears to be somewhat tall with her tall, young daughters. I personally love my light blue shorts with red trim. Coke is it!

So as we continue to research my family I will continue to look into the height.  My sisters and I recently bought both of my parents DNA tests.  I’m not sure exactly how the genetic markers work within the tests and how Ancestry.com will match us up with relatives across the world, but I’m looking forward to getting the results back. I’m hoping to make contact with potential new relatives and find out if there is more ‘tallness’ that I’m not aware of.  Although heck…maybe I’m just an awesome anomaly.  I can live with that.

Either way, I love my genealogy hobby!  It’s so interesting and it keeps me busy.  If you are interested in checking out your own genealogy, here’s the link for Ancestry.com.  Have fun!

Tall Girl trying to help the Homeless

I’ve been in Madison, WI a little over a month now and I’ve really enjoyed my time here so far.  I live close to downtown and I get the opportunity to walk to work every day.  Which means, I walk by our beautiful capitol every morning and every evening.  Our capitol square is usually very busy with all walks of life and this also gives me the opportunity to people-watch as I enjoy my daily walks.  I have the mindset that people are weird, amazing creatures and I will never fully understand how people think or what causes people to act the way they act sometimes.

This picture has nothing to do with the story but I always like to have a picture.

I have a tendency to look around me as I walk.  Actually, let me tell you a bit about me before I go into my story.  I enjoy making eye-contact with people on my daily walk sometimes because this gives me a bit of socialization and preps me for my day.  Some days I’ll go about my walks simply thinking and looking but not really making eye contact and some days I’ll say ‘Good Morning’ to everyone I see.  It really depends on the day.  This past week I had an instance of more than a simple ‘Hello’.

I have this particular homeless man who when I see him in the mornings he has always said, ‘Hi Beautiful’ to me.  This starts my day off on a positive note and gives me an ego boost in the mornings.  Earlier this week my ‘regular’ stopped me on my way home.  He wanted to ask me a question.  Of course I stopped and said, ‘yes’.  He made a little small talk at first and then asked me if I could help him find a homeless shelter for the winter.  This tugged at my heartstrings a bit because winters in the Midwest are nothing to sneeze at and I can’t even imagine not having a safe (and warm) place to sleep every night.

I work for a State Housing Authority and while I don’t have any connections to charities or shelters, I figured it wouldn’t hurt me to ask around to see if I could find some assistance for this young man.  I gave him my business card and because I see him nearly every day, I said I would talk to him later in the week and share with him whatever information I could find.

Two days later I received a call at work.  It was Kyle.  He wanted to know if I had found out any information for him.  I really didn’t have anything to give him yet because although I had been asking around for him, I didn’t have anything substantial.  I let him know this and told him to give me a few more days.  About two hours later I got a call from my receptionist letting me know that I had a visitor named Kyle and that I ‘would know who he was’.

I went to meet Kyle in our lobby, with red-flags dancing in my head.  I had talked to him not two hours ago and let him know that I didn’t have any information for him, why was he here at my place of work?

I stayed in the lobby because it’s a public place and I didn’t want to take him back to my office since I work in a secure building.  He had dressed up as best he could by wearing khaki’s, a jean shirt, and a tie.  He even pulled his long hair into a bun.

After a quick hello Kyle asked me what he had come there to ask me.  He wanted to ask me on a date.  I was floored and completely rendered speechless for a few minutes.  While he talked about a few other things my mind was racing, ‘how do I get myself out of this situation causing the least amount of damage?’

I quickly interrupted him and said that I couldn’t go on a date with him but I would still try to help him find shelter as best I could.  Thankfully, our receptionist, the consummate professional that she is, overheard the overall conversation and quickly came to my rescue by printing out several pages for shelters and missions in the area and discreetly handed them to me as she passed by.

I then quickly ushered him out of the building and finally, caught my breath.

I’m not a scaredy-cat.  In fact, there are times when I should be frightened but because of my height, my attitude, and the way I was brought up, I’m simply not scared.  But I’ll be honest, I was a touch on the un-nerved side.  I don’t think I knowingly put myself in scary situations, but this isn’t the first time where I’ve done something that I thought was the right thing and it turned out to be not so right (I still don’t necessarily think it was wrong).

So…the moral of my story is this: it doesn’t hurt to want to help people, but sometimes it is better to let the professionals handle it.  I can always volunteer at a shelter or soup kitchen rather than try to assist someone personally.  I wish I could say ‘Lesson Learned’ but knowing me, an odd situation will present itself again and I’ll unwittingly make a decision I potentially may regret.  But as long as I know I’m always trying to do the right thing, then I’m okay with those decisions too.

Again…the picture has nothing to do with the story except I do try to do the right thing. And that makes me happy with who I am.

Tall girl in a new city

I’ve lived in Portland for almost 5 1/2 years.  I moved here in April of 2007 from Denver, CO where I had lived since July of 2003.  I moved for my dream job and my dream city both of which were happening at the same time.  I was excited, happy, bursting with energy and ready to embrace both city living and my wonderful new job.

One of the pictures from my going away party from Denver, CO back in 2007. That’s almost 6 years ago!

But now, my rose-colored glasses have fogged a bit and I think it’s time for a change.  I lived in Des Moines, IA for about 5 years before Denver and I’m thinking it’s time to get back to the Mid-West.  I miss my family and I miss seeing my nieces and nephew growing up.  And I really miss my sisters and my parents (and Grandma!)  So what’s a tall-girl to do?  I think it’s time to get closer to home.

Once I had made the decision I had to figure out where in the mid-west I should end up.  I picked 4 cities: Des Moines, IA; Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN; Madison, WI; and Chicago, IL.  I figured any job within this 4-point radius would be feasible provided it fit within my salary range.  AND, more importantly, it had to fit within my ‘happiness’ range.  This means that my next job must make me happy.  I want to lead a team and help people.  I used to do this and it made me extremely happy.   It’s SO important to me that I be happy doing what I love.

SO….what does this all mean….

I recently found the job that looks like it could be that perfect fit.  And it happened to be in Madison, WI.  Everything happened so quickly it was a blur.  And now, as of yesterday, I’m in Madison, WI.  I’m beyond thrilled.  I have that feeling again…the one that makes me want to embrace the city and the job.  I’m ecstatic and in my gut (which is the most important tell-tale sign), my gut says this is the right move.

There’s a tall club here and one in Milwaukee that I’m planning on joining.  I’m living downtown next to the capital so I’ll be within walking distance to all of the ‘weirdness’ that everyone here has assured me I will see.  There’s a University here where I can see college football and tailgate (although I will never leave my IA Hawks).  And best of all, I’m within 5 hours of my family.  I can actually come home for Christmas this year and maybe Thanksgiving too!  Bring on the homemade egg-nog!

So, with a fresh new city and a fresh new outlook I’m ready to get out and make some memories to share with you.  Now, if only my furniture would arrive….

More to come….in Madison, WI!

Where my Tall Girls at?

Today’s answers to a small portion of the questions:  I’m 6’4″.  I played basketball.  I played volleyball.  My parents were tall.  My sisters are tall.  My whole family is tall.  I buy most of my clothes online.  I DO date shorter men.  I DO date taller men.  I date men, period…..

The questions got to me today in case you didn’t notice.  Usually I can shrug them off with an answer and a smile.  Most of the time I’ll flirt or crack a joke but not today.  Today I was ‘off’.  I wanted to yell for back up!  Where were my tall ladies when I needed them?!?!  I need a horn to summon women over 6’2″ or maybe I’ll just start traveling in my own tall gang.  That’s right, tall women traveling in packs!  Perhaps that will make me look (and feel) normal on the days I don’t want to deal with it and keep the questions at bay.

Crossing the street and a smile for those people that yell naughty things at me!

What I find even more interesting is the car full of young’uns that yelled some really choice (umm…flattering in a construction worker-type way) words at me when I crossed the street, something about me being a ‘something tall, something-something’ and I could ‘do something’ to one of them that probably would make my mom blush….it didn’t make my night like it usually does.  Typically I love that sort of Portland weirdness and I walk away feeling like a million bucks.  But not tonight.

Now granted, I’ve got a lot on my mind as of late but for me not to like shouting boys…weird.  And even weirder, for me to not like random weird acts of Portlandess that involve ‘boys.  Now THAT’s weird.