What’s up Tall Girl?

‘What’s up Tall Girl?’

I hear this phrase about twice a week on my walk to work.  It’s always from the same man and it’s usually right around the capital as I make my way around it.  It doesn’t bother me, in fact I usually look up, grin, maybe wave, and keep on walking.

The first few times he said it, he would then say, ‘Did you play ball?’  I’d answer it the exact same way until he finally said, ‘Didn’t I talk to you yesterday?’   It’s almost like he didn’t recognize me at first but now we have a mutual ‘morning thing’….and I like it.  It’s like being Norm from Cheers.

So, let’s see….what IS up?

I met another tall girl here in Madison.  My sister (6’1″) came to visit me a couple of weeks ago and we hopped around all day, having a drink and sometimes an appetizer, in as many places as possible.  We bellied up to a bar right in the downtown square and this is where we met our tall bartender.  She was 6’1″.  My sister and I started chatting with her about our different height experiences and this girl was so cool!  I love it when you meet tall, cool, chicks.  I think I made a friend and even better, we exchanged digits.

I got my heart busted up…again.  I let someone back into my life and probably should’ve waited til things were a little clearer before trying to jump back in.  It’s not like you can simply stop loving someone at the drop of a hat and I thought that he was ready to compromise and work towards the same goals.  At least that was the message I was getting…I guess just because it’s love doesn’t mean it will work.  Love does not conquer all, people!  Remember that…  Smile through the hurt (and eat).  Okay, don’t really eat but you know the drill.

Eating

Yum, yum gimme some!

I am going to Mexico in about a month!!!  I will probably be the tallest girl there,but I’m ready to have a good time.  I’m going with 3 of my closest girlfriends and I have a feeling we are going to make some great memories.  I’ve known these girls since college and I simply can’t wait to see them and share a lot of laughs.  I’ve never been to Mexico so I’m picturing tequila, beaches, tans, and some debauchery that I probably won’t be able to share.  Ha!

So while my 2013 so far has had multiple stops and starts and right at the moment I’m not ‘feeling it’, things can only get better.  This Tall Girl has low expectations and high hopes.  What more can you ask for?  Cheers to that!

Leffe

I found this beer in Bruges and I think it’s the most wonderful, spicy beer ever! Cheers!

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When is the 2013 fun supposed to begin?

I have been dealing with something for about 4 months. I blamed it on my move at first but then I finally broke down and went to the doctor (actually urgent care because it got so bad).  It really has nothing to do with being tall and the story itself isn’t going to leave you with a ‘feel good’ feeling or teach you a lesson.  And I can’t upload pictures at the moment because I ran out of space on my computer…but I want to share the story because, well, I tend to over share anyway and this really needs to be shared.

I got Botox about 4 months ago.  I’ve done it before, in fact I had a great doctor in Portland who was amazing!  When I moved to Madison, WI I had to find new doctors all over again including dentist and a primary physician. I went to this new ‘place’ which I will not name, to get my injections…I got the Botox and ended up, unbeknownst to me, leaving with an infected forehead.  I thought it was bad acne.  I blamed it on the change of weather.  I had these red bumps on my forehead that looked like pimples and I figured that when you move from a relatively humid climate to a drier climate, your skin suffers.

I remember when I first moved from Des Moines, IA to Denver, CO.  My poor face!  It was scaly for 4 months!  It took forever for my skin to acclimate to the weather so I assumed the same thing was happening here in Madison.  And then I woke up one morning about 2 weeks ago to a swollen forehead.  And when I say swollen, I mean my forehead, the bridge of my nose, my eyelids…I looked a tad like the elephant man. OR if you are a Star Trek fan, you could also say I looked like Wharf.  That huge forehead!! I’m posting a pic below that I took with a friend of mine on a recent trip to Des Moines.  I’m wearing a ton of make up but you can still visibly see the bumps.

Me and my friend John as well as my unwanted and uninvited bumps on my head.

Me and my friend John as well as my unwanted and uninvited bumps on my head.

Anyway, a trip to urgent care, a steroid topical cream, 1000 mg of antibiotics per day, and my face is finally starting to calm down.  My doctor believes it’s some form of staph infection.  Awesome….I’ve always said, and maintained, if something weird is going to happen, it will happen to me.

Now I did title this post asking when the fun is supposed to begin for 2013 and I’ve actually had some pretty good fun already.  I didn’t want to wait until I got my computer memory fixed until I posted another blog so at least for now I can update on my ‘not so fun’ moments of 2013.  There’s so many exciting things to come that this will not ruin my year…only my forehead, for now.

More to come!

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!

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!

Tribute to Kim Grimm

6 years ago a good friend of mine passed away on today’s date.  I saw a Facebook post from her mom this morning and it hit me hard.  I had written this blog post several days after I heard of her passing and I felt the need to share it again.  Kim was such a special person and life just isn’t fair sometimes.

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Approximately 20 years ago, in Junior High, I first learned of this girl named Kim Grimm.  I was a nerdy little 7th grader who was already 5’9″, had hideous glasses, bad hair, and just enough talent to play fairly decent basketball.  She was a scrappy, skinny girl who actually knew how to handle a basketball and could shoot better than most boys AND we were in the same conference.

I’m not going to say we were fast friends or anything like that, not at this point anyway.  In most rural areas and small communities, people generally know the standout players from each school within the school districts.  Kim was definitely the standout player for the Riceville Wildcats.  All through junior high and then through high school, we competed against each other in basketball and softball. Kim may have played volleyball and ran track, but for some reason I don’t remember.

Her team won some games and my team (North Central Falcons) won some games but I honestly don’t remember if one school was consistently better than the other.  Fast forward 6 years to my favorite memory of Kim from way back then.  We had both just graduated from high school and it was still summer, smack dab in the middle of softball season.  It was June 28th, 1991…my 18th birthday.  We were playing Riceville and Kim was pitching.  Riceville was up by 1 and I was up to bat.  Somehow I managed to hit the ball far into right-center field and even as slow as I was, I managed a double.  I got 2 RBI’s with that hit and we were up by 1.  We held our lead and won the game.  As we were slapping hands with her team she grabbed my hand, smiled, and said, “Happy Birthday Holli”.  How cool is that?  Her team just lost and she still wished me a happy birthday.  I’ll never forget it.  After knowing Kim I now realize that it was simply a typical Kim response.

That fall I signed a Letter of Intent to play basketball at Waldorf College.  I soon learned that one of my teammates would be Kim.  I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I was!  I had always gotten along with Kim and I liked the idea of knowing at least one person on the team.

Kim is number 20 on the bottom left.

Playing College ball was tough for me coming from a 6-on-6 basketball experience, but Kim took right to it.  She was one of those teammates who would run beside you when you needed some encouragement…and I needed it, a lot.  I have somewhat fond memories of Kimmy running beside me saying, ‘Keep it up Holli.  You are doing great.  We are almost done.’  Not sure I would’ve made it without her.

Many, many, many more great memories of basketball.  The time when I came into the locker room and Kim was wearing my bra…and I got mad at her.  Everyone else thought it was hilarious, but I didn’t.  Of course, Kim wasn’t the kind of person you can stay mad at for very long and we all had a good chuckle over how many pairs of socks it took to fill that bra up.

Our sophomore year and our struggle to make it to the National Junior College basketball tournament.  There was this awesome picture of Kim in the Mason City Globe Gazette paper and she’s running on the court with her arms in the air, we had just won our final game and cemented our place in the national tournament; The fun that we all had staying in the hotel room in Maryland and the one in Washington DC; All of us doing the ‘Ethiopian shoulder dance’ in the middle of the court. The entire tournament experience was one that I will never ever forget.  What a fantastic trip

This was our team picture that was in the Globe Gazette when we knew we were going to Nationals.

I also remember Kim and I looking across a stage at one another as we sat on the Waldorf Homecoming court silently making fun of each other.  I don’t think we believed that we were actually sitting in front of the entire school in basically a prom dress….

In February of 1997 I rode-tripped to CO to visit my sister and I stopped in Council Bluffs to visit Kim on my way.  Oh we had fun!  I remember going out that night and seeing some random Waldorf people that we totally hadn’t seen in years.  Another good memory.

My friend Kim passed away on Friday, November 17th  2006.  In March of 2000 she had been diagnosed with a blood disorder called Thrombotic Thombocytopenia Purpura (TTP).  She was a dear person with a great heart.  I’m sorry to say that we didn’t keep in touch as we should have however I kept tabs on her through my sister and her friends.  She touched my life and I’m sure that I’m a better person for having known her.  I still can’t believe that she is gone.