Tall Girl in a Wedding!!

Before you go thinking it’s my wedding, let me put aside that notion.  Mr. Tall Girl is proving himself quite elusive, although believe me, I’m still on the lookout for him.  (He’s out there.  I think.  Maybe.  I hope?)   I’m SO VERY proud to say I’m standing up for my sister, Heather and her fiancée, Noelle, this fall in Minneapolis, MN. Woo-hoo!

Now for those that don’t know me, this will be my 12th wedding.  Yes, you read that right 12.  I have been honored to have been in 12 weddings so far in my life.  I love weddings.  Period.  Love them.  I love being a part of them.  I love standing up, dressing up, waving as I walk down the aisle (at this point, I’m very comfortable walking down the aisle), the presents, the champagne, the wedding speeches, the tears, the dancing (I dance…a little), and THE BACHELORETTE PARTY!  Or parties, plural, as I believe a girl should really celebrate her pending nuptials multiple times.

The first wedding!  I was 21 years old.  See how my height was 'hidden'?

The first wedding! I was 21 years old. See how my height was ‘hidden’?

The hard part about being in a wedding has always been finding a dress long enough.  In the past I’ve gone to many, well-known bridal stores and they charge an extra $100 for the length in my dress.  But my sister is making is easy.  She said, “Get whatever you want.”

There will be two of us standing up for my sister (so far, anyway) and we’ve started looking for dresses.  Yay for being forced to shop for pretty dresses!  Crap – did you see the girly-girl in me just come out?

Here are 6 more of my bridesmaids dresses!  We put them to GREAT use at my 30th birthday party.  F.U.N.

Here are 6 more of my bridesmaids dresses! We put them to GREAT use at my 30th birthday party. F.U.N.   (Side note:  My hair is SO short!)

Another tough thing about being in weddings is…the height difference when you walk down the aisle with your partner.  Some weddings it’s a big deal.  Others, not so much.  I don’t think it will be a big deal in this wedding since we are all very tall.  And my sister, while a perfectionist, doesn’t care about this.

I am so incredibly excited about this that I could just pee my pants!  We have a shower coming up and a bachelorette party later this summer/fall (he he….look out MPLS/St Paul!).  To celebrate love…and I get to wear a pretty dress.

Now, let’s get working on my date for this big event.  It’s never to early to start thinking about my ‘Arm Candy’.  😉

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Walking Tall

I’ve started walking this past week. That’s my way of starting to get in shape. I’ve been so lazy the last 2 years and since I’ve got it in my head that I’m going to hike Mount St Helen’s this fall, I need to start somewhere.

Today on my hour long walk I encountered many, many people. It’s Saturday, the weather is amazing, and the Farmer’s Market is in full swing.  Usually on my walks I put in my ear buds, turn up my music, and don’t pay much attention to my surroundings.  Today I actually paid attention and I’m glad I did because as I was walking through a huge throng of people downtown, I heard someone comment very loudly, “Look at that beautiful height!”  Then I heard multiple others agree and some really nice compliments made me smile as I passed.  As graceful as a gazelle???  Me?  I pretended like I didn’t hear, but I did, and it gave me the biggest glow from the inside.

What I find interesting is that I was about 7 blocks to my destination and just before I hit this large group of people, all I could think about was “how much my knees hurt, and that little twinge in my back, oh sweat just rolled in my eye….”  And with that one comment (and the others too), I was walking on air.  All of my little hurts were forgotten.  In fact, I probably could’ve kept going for even longer than I did simply because someone made me feel good.

Look at the joy on my face!  That's how I fee today.  (That's Troy in the corner)

Look at the joy on my face! That’s how I feel today.

I overheard a few other comments as well, mostly from young kids.  You know, the point and ‘Look at that tall lady, mom!’  I don’t mind those.   I usually wave and smile.

So I guess today is a great day to be tall.  Sure glad I am.

Tall Attitude

I have an attitude every day of my life (my mother will vouch for this) and this morning was no exception. It started out like any other day…

I walk to work anywhere from 6:30-8:00 am depending on when I get up, what my schedule looks like for the day, and to be entirely truthful, my level of motivation. Lately, I’m all about work. So this morning it was about 6:45 and I was walking near the capital.  I decided that I wanted to stop at Walgreens to pick up some eyeliner.  I’m leaving for Mexico in about a week and it wouldn’t behoove me to run dry on eyeliner on my trip. Now Walgreens doesn’t open until 7:00 so I loiter out front for a few minutes.

I was minding my own business, playing ‘Tiny Tower’ on my iPhone and I hear this voice very clearly say to me, ‘Why you gotta be so Tall?’

In all honestly, I wasn’t in the mood.  It was early and I didn’t want to think about what clever comeback I could come up with.  So I chose to ignore it.

Again that voice, ‘Hey you!  Why you gotta be so Tall?’

I could feel someone crowding my space so I made eye contact with a very, very short woman who was glaring at me as if she had a personal problem with my height.  Immediately, I took offense.  I probably didn’t help the situation when I sniffed (probably arrogantly), looked her up and down, and turned away.

She got angrier, ‘I’m talking to you and I asked you a question?’

Softly I responded, “I heard you.  I figured that you couldn’t be that stupid to ask someone twice your size, a dumb question like that.’  I sweetly smiled and went back to playing on my phone.

She started to say more so I looked up and made eye contact again.  This time I wasn’t smiling.  Oddly enough, she moved on.

I am a nice person.  Way too nice, in fact because I tend to give people far more credit than they deserve but this woman got under my skin.  I ended up not getting my eye-liner.  I guess this means I’ll have to go back.  I should also mention, this did not ruin my day.  I actually told this story in a couple of my meetings and it got people to laugh, so all in all, I chalk it up to yet another Holli-experience.

Big hat, polka dots, water, and a smile.  Now that's a happy face!

Big hat, polka dots, water, and a smile. Now that’s a happy face!

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!

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…

IMG_6046

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

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?’

IMG_8045

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 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!