Sunday, November 30, 2008
growing up, decorating for christmas was an all day event. my mom is an interior designer and is really into holiday decorating--and it always looks awesome. like we paid a designer to do it. we had two trees, the family tree and the one in our front room that matched the decor. we had garlands on the stairs, a cute santa shower curtain in the bathroom, stockings and lights on the bathroom mirrors, a christmas village that has grown over the years, a nativity (that we painted as a family) in the front yard. i loved christmas in my house. our home was transformed, it was so magical, so fun. when we were a little older my parents got us each a mini-tree for our rooms, and let us put up lights in there as well.
every year since i was born, i have been given an ornament. a few, actually. one from my parents, one from my grandmother, and one from my aunt. the same with my four siblings. so as you can imagine, the older we got, the more full our tree became. the last few years i was living at home there was no way we could fit all of the ornaments on the tree. we had to pick about half of our ornaments to put up every year so the tree wasn't drowned in ornaments! as a kid i adored cats, kittens, kitties, everything having to do with them. so a lot of my ornaments are cats. i loved putting up my kitty ornament collection every year. i'm excited to put it up again this year.
i think we are going to have a really fun time with our tree and little buddy. we will be getting a lot of exercise keeping him away from it! i know he's not quite old enough to "get" the whole concept of christmas yet, but i'm so excited to start showing him everything. he is already enthralled by the lights in our garlands.
Friday, November 28, 2008
-------------------------------------------this article came from the ensign in august of 1986. i tried a few times to take a few parts from it to write this post, but found that it was impossible to do so and have the meaning conveyed well. this week, instead of sharing my personal experience, i will let this article speak for itself.
"I Have a Question"
by Carlfred Broderick, professor of Sociology, University of Southern California
"Q: So many children are abused, offended, and abandoned. If little children are precious to God, what justification can there be for permitting some to be born into such circumstances?
A: As children of God, we have been given the great gift of choice.
We may choose to help, or we may choose to hurt. Unfortunately, as the Lord explained to Moses, the iniquities of one generation are often visited upon the heads of following generations. (See Exodus 20:5) Anyone can see the truth of that saying by looking at many families in the world today. Often, troubled families seem to pass on their pain and darkness—virtually intact—to their children and grandchildren. The victim of one generation becomes the victimizer of the next.
On the other hand, the Lord told the prophet Ezekiel:
“What mean ye, that ye use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying, The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge? As I live, saith the Lord God, ye shall not have occasion any more to use this proverb in Israel. Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.” (Ezek. 18:2-4)
This scripture suggests that children need not merely replicate the sins of their fathers, but that each generation is held accountable for its own choices.
Indeed, my experience in various church callings and in my profession as a family therapist has convinced me that God actively intervenes in some destructive lineages, assigning a valiant spirit to break the chain of destructiveness in such families. Although these children may suffer innocently as victims of violence, neglect, and exploitation, through the grace of God some find the strength to “metabolize” the poison within themselves, refusing to pass it on to future generations. Before them were generations of destructive pain; after them the line flows clear and pure. Their children and children’s children will call them blessed.In suffering innocently that others might not suffer, such persons, in some degree, become as “saviors on Mount Zion” by helping to bring salvation to a lineage.
I have had the privilege of knowing many such individuals people whose backgrounds are full of incredible pain and humiliation. I think of a young woman who was repeatedly abused sexually by her father. When at last she gained the courage to tell her mother, the girl was angrily beaten and rejected by her.
These experiences made the girl bitter and self-doubting. Yet, despite all odds, she has made peace with God and found a trustworthy husband with whom she is raising a righteous family. Moreover, she has dedicated her energies to helping other women with similar backgrounds eliminate the poison from their own lineages.
I think of a young man whose mother died when he was twelve and whose father responded to that loss by locking his son in his room, then drinking and entertaining women in the house. When he would come to let the boy out, he would beat him senseless, sometimes breaking bones and causing concussions.
As might be expected, the young man grew up full of confusion, self-hate, and resentment. Yet the Lord did not leave him so, but provided friends and opportunities for growth. Today, through a series of spiritually healing miracles, this young man is preparing for a temple marriage to a good woman. Together they are committed to bringing children up in righteousness and gentleness and love.
In a former era, the Lord sent a flood to destroy unworthy lineages. In this generation, it is my faith that he has sent numerous choice individuals to help purify them.
In the days of Jeremiah, the Lord used some of the same language he would later use in speaking to Ezekiel:
“In those days they shall say no more, The fathers have eaten a sour grape, and the children’s teeth are set on edge. But every one shall die for his own iniquity: every man that eateth the sour grape, his teeth shall be set on edge.” (Jer. 31:29–30.)
Then he went on to say of this new, covenant generation: “I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.” (Jer. 31:33.)
Most of us, I believe, are acquainted with one or more of these valiant, struggling spirits. In the latter stages of their progress, they are easy to recognize and appreciate. But sometimes in the early stages they are suffering so much from their terrible wounds that it takes a mature degree of spiritual sensitivity to see past the bitterness and pain to discern the purity of spirit within. It is our duty and our privilege to befriend such individuals and to provide whatever assistance and support we can in helping them to achieve their high destiny.
Others of us may be, ourselves, the suffering messengers of light. Let us be true to our divine commission, forgoing bitterness and following in our Savior’s footsteps."
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
i am so looking forward to all of the wonderful food tomorrow, and more importantly the time with my family.
i am so grateful for my hubby, and my little buddy. i'm grateful for my parents and siblings, and in-laws, and extended family. we are so blessed to have so many people that love us.
i am also grateful for blonde jokes. so i would like to share one.
It was the first time the blonde was eating Thanksgiving dinner without her family. Trying to re-enact the tradition, she prepared a dinner for herself alone. The next day, her mother called to see how everything went. "Oh, mother, I made myself a lovely dinner, but I had so much trouble trying to eat the turkey!" said the daughter. "Did it not taste good?" her mother asked. "I don't know," the blonde said. "It wouldn't sit still!"
do you share my love for blonde jokes? what are some of your favorites?
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
i am really anticipating the next couple of weeks!
i have never understood why people don't like the holiday season. i know it can be stressful, but i think it is a good kind of stressful. growing up, i loved all of the baking that went on, the parties, the family activities, the millions of places we had to go. i've always been very lucky in that i have a big family to spend the holidays with.
i can't wait for thanksgiving. i mean, seriously CAN NOT WAIT. my mom is cooking. do you know how long it has been since i have been to thanksgiving dinner in which my mother was chef? far too long. my grandmother is from back east, so we have this delicious traditional cranberry orange relish. and we have mashed rutabagas...which are to die for. plus the traditional fixins....turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing (which i don't like, coincidentally), rolls, some kind of veggie. and this delightful jello my mom makes that has cranberries, nuts, and a bunch of other stuff in it, slathered with whipped cream....oh, i am just salivating thinking about it. and christmas lights officially go on that night!
friday we are heading back south to my parents to help decorate their house for christmas. it has been quite a few years since i got to decorate the tree with my siblings, so i am really looking forward to this. it will be fun to listen to christmas music and just be with my family.
then we get to decorate our house...put up our tree, hang our stockings, put up my christmas village, the nativity, the advent calendar hubby's mom made...sing christmas carols and love the holiday season more than anything.
next tuesday is my company party. we're having dinner at a really ritzy restaurant. (perks of working at a law firm where the attorneys make more money than i could even fathom.) here's what i'm having: "fresh atlantic salmon with seasonal risotto, covered in a traditional beurre blanc." hubby is having a hand cut new york steak with garlic mashed potatoes and fresh steamed vegetables. mmmmmmmmmm.
then the next weekend is crazy busy. hubby is taking saturday and sunday off from work, which i'm really excited for. friday night we are having a christmas party for a bunch of our friends. i am thrilled to death about this! i love doing stuff like that. i am still trying to figure out what games we should play. many of our guests won't know each other--any one have any good ideas? we are doing a white elephant, will be awesome.
saturday is busy busy. my friend jausi is having a baby shower, then we are heading to a giant tree display they do here ever year. i've been going since i was itty bitty, long before i can remember. i think that night we'll also be heading to a great christmas light display with my family and some friends that will be here from out of state.
sunday we're taking the trek to a really cool traveling anatomy display downtown. hubby has really been looking forward to this, and i'm pretty excited about it too.
so as you can see....tons to do. lots of stress! but i would much rather have this kind of stress than any other. there is a lot to do--but all things i enjoy. (even shopping, which will be extra fun this year because of our little buddy! even if we don't have a lot of money--we are still going to have an awesome christmas.)
i've already gotten one stress out of the way. our christmas cards are stuffed, addressed, and ready to go. all i've got to do is put postage on them and mail them in a couple of weeks!
so what about you? do you stress a lot during the holidays? is it good stress or bad stress? what are you looking forward to in the next month?
i'm so excited!
Monday, November 24, 2008
lucky for me i have a husband who loves me.
on a positive note (i'm trying very hard to be positive), hubby helped me put up the christmas lights. (yay!) i successfully stopped myself from putting up the tree. only three work days this week. i'm looking forward to my mom's cooking...drool...and we get to see my family two days this week. thursday, so we can be gluttonous, and friday so we can help put up the christmas tree. it has been five years since i've put up the tree with my family and i am really looking forward to it.
on a side note. i lost a bet. (one i knew i was going to lose, but you know, it still stinks losing.) byu, of course, got their butts kicked by the u of u on saturday. my husband is a utes fan. so because i lost the bet, i got to call my mother and say "byu stinks. they are losers. i am ashamed to be a byu fan." (if hubby had lost, it would have been much worse for him--he would have had to call her and say "i am humbled. i should have cheered for byu. the u of u football team is not worthy to stand in the presence of the byu team." and i would have laughed my rear end off.) as it were...he was the one giggling uncontrollably.
so here's to hoping, next year....
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
there are a few things i would like to share with you.
"no" does not mean "turn around and grin at mommy, then go back to what you are doing." "no," in fact, means, "stop what you are doing, right now please."
the cat runs away from you because she doesn't like her tail being pulled. she is wary of your adorable giggles when she comes near you. chasing her, no matter how fast you can crawl, is fruitless, although entertaining.
that food in a bowl on the floor? right next to the intriguing bowl of water? those belong to the dog honey, not to you. mommy doesn't enjoy mopping up water off of the kitchen floor.
we are just so glad we have a basket full of fun toys for you! these toys mean that the bookcase full of DVDs (which are not included in the basket) do not belong to you. throwing them across the room doesn't count as "playing with your toys."
you should be really careful about shoving things in your mouth--even things you're supposed to eat. it's pretty scary for mommy and daddy when you gag yourself.
mommy's hair is not a toy. neither is daddy's. (although it can be funny for mommy to see daddy's reaction when you use his chest hair to pull yourself into a standing position, it really isn't funny.)
the way you "sing" yourself to sleep is just adorable.
speaking of the sleep thing. i love that you take naps in your crib. but when you cry for 15 minutes, then nap for 10, then cry for 15, then nap for 10, it's not very good for you. you should cry for 15 minutes then nap for two hours. you are so much happier after a long nap.
you are such a genius. you know when mommy and daddy are eating, and make a beeline straight for us. then open your mouth expectantly, like a baby bird. and 99% of the time you get fed.
it's great that you're so cute, even when strange old women say funny things to mommy and daddy then touch you. we cringe but you love it (i think).
even though you just love the price is right, drew carey just doesn't do as well as bob barker. sad you'll never know that.
i know you think that the keyboard on the laptop is just for you, but when mommy has to retype something three times, it's not so cute anymore. and when daddy ends up three screens back because you hit the backspace button so much, i think he gets kind of frustrated. along those same lines--power cords, vcrs, tvs, playstations, the power converter box for the computer, etc. aren't toys. neither are outlets. (good thing we have those plastic covers, huh!)
playing with mommy's cell phone is just fine, as long as you don't eat it. blackberries are food. mommy's blackberry is not.
i love you, little buddy. i am so proud of how much you have grown. you keep mommy and daddy running, and i'm sure that the older you get the more running we will do. it has been fun watching you go from grabbing fingers to grabbing eyelids. from playing with your hands to playing with everything you can get your hands on.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
sunday, my friend's step-sister committed suicide. the family has been having a very difficult time with it. then, this morning, her step-brother also took his own life. this is the third child in the family that has committed suicide--two years ago, her brother killed himself.
please, take a moment, and send your prayers and your positive thoughts toward her and her family. they need every little bit of love and support they can get, even if they don't know who is sending it.
go tell your spouses, your children, your siblings, your parents, every one you hold dear that you love them. make sure that they know how much you appreciate them in your life.
i read this excerpt from a book called "believing Christ" by stephen e. robinson.
"i was sitting in a chair reading. my daughter, sarah, who was seven years old at the time, came in and said, 'dad, can i have a bike? i'm the only kid on the block who doesn't have one.'
well, i didn't have the money then, for a bike, so i stalled her. i said, 'sure, sarah.'
she said, 'how? when?'
i said, 'you save all your pennies, and soon you'll have enough for a bike.' and she went away.
a couple of weeks later i was sitting in the same chair when i heard a 'clink, clink' in sarah's bedroom. i asked, 'sarah, what are you doing?' she came to me with a little jar, a slit cut in the lid, and a bunch of pennies in the bottom. she said, 'you promised me that if i saved all my pennies, pretty soon i'd have enough for a bike. and, daddy, i've saved every single one of them.'
my heart melted. my daughter was doing everything in her power to follow my instructions. i hadn't actually lied to her. if she saved all over her pennies, she would eventually have enough for a bike, but by then she would want a car. i said, 'let's go look at bikes.'
we went to every store in town. finally we found it-the perfect bicycle. she was thrilled. then she saw the price tag, and her face fell. she started to cry. 'oh, dad, i'll never have enough for a bicycle!'
so i said, 'sarah, how much do you have?'
she answered, 'sixty-one cents.'
'i'll tell you what. you give me everything you've got and a hug and a kiss, and the bike is yours.' then i drove home very slowly because she insisted on riding the bike home.
as i drove beside her, i thought of the atonement of Christ. we all desperately want the celestial kingdom. we want to be with our Father in Heaven. but no matter how hard we try, we come up short. at some point all of us must realize, 'i can't do this by myself. i need help.' then it is that the Savior says, in effect, all right, you're not perfect. but what can you do? give me all you have, and i'll do the rest."
i love this story. this little girl had faith that if she did what her daddy told her, and save all her pennies, she would get a bike. she did what he asked--but her father made up the rest.
the same it is with us, and Christ. we must have faith that we can be healed through the atonement. we must do our best, work our hardest, and allow the Lord to make up the rest.in going through the healing process following my abuse, i spent many nights praying in tears. pouring my soul out to the Lord, telling Him that i couldn't do it. that there was no way i could get through this, that i could heal and overcome this. it was just too hard. i was so discouraged. for years i believed that i would be miserable forever. and honestly, i still believe that sometimes. but the truth is that i won't be, if i do my part and allow the Lord to do His. sometimes our part is just like this story--coming up with sixty-one cents when the cost is a hundred dollars. that that hundred dollars is there for us. we must ask the Lord for His help.
as i come to realize more and more that i cannot do this alone, i am starting to ask for help. i am relying more upon the Lord and His strength. and i am healing. slowly--and many times painfully--but the result is there. the wounds are healing. the scars are fading. i will never forget what i have been through. i will never forget the pain and the struggle. but i can look back on it, and see it, and see how far i have come, and have no pain.
there is no way for me to fully heal without the Lord's help, and love, and understanding. but there is no way for me to take advantage of His help without first believing that He can and will.and He can help. and He will help. He wants to help, more than we could ever understand.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
if you create a new account, you will get 50 free 4x6 photos, one free 8x10, and one free 11x14 collage poster.
and, if you don't use the free shipping, you can order 20 holiday photo cards with envelopes for 20 cents, plus the cost of shipping. ($6.20, although the first set i ordered it gave me an additional 20% off--i'm not sure why or how--so it was $3.20!) you can only use one coupon code per order, so if you're going to do photo cards, do it separate from everything else you want free shipping on. coupon code: CARD08
so today i ordered nearly 150 4x6 prints, 2 8x10 prints, 3 11x14 collage posters, and 40 photo cards, for the whopping price of $9.40.
and if i had more than $9.40 to spend today, i would totally get some of their adorable christmas tree ornaments. i just love them. ($9.99-$16.99)
WOW! i know!
(are you proud of my super savings, hubby?)
so get your cute little rear end on over to snapfish and have loads of fun!
you can thank me, of course. :)
Monday, November 17, 2008
yesterday was one of those days.
i don't know how many times i have put bleach in my bathtub to soak while i cleaned the rest of the bathroom, then scrubbed the tub. but yesterday i did it, then started scrubbing my toilet, and disaster struck.
a disaster that could have been MUCH worse than it was.
i was using a new kind of toilet bowl cleaner, and apparently the fumes from it and the fumes from the bleach don't jive. some deadly kind of awful chemical reaction occurred. within two minutes, my throat was burning and i couldn't breathe. the baby was in the crib, had just woken up. so i ran in the nursery (which is just down the hall) grabbed the baby and ran downstairs. i put him on the floor in our living room, held my breath, and ran upstairs to open all the windows and turn on fans, then drain the bleach water from the tub and flush the toilet to get rid of the cleaner. then i ran back downstairs to open all the windows there as well.
the house started to air out, but i had a terrible headache and was feeling pretty lightheaded. luckily, the baby seemed perfectly fine. i think because i was able to get him downstairs before the fumes really reached his room--it's a good thing i reacted so quickly! after i got dizzy, the baby and i went outside to sit on the front porch until my husband could get home from work.
hubby checked out the bathroom. the majority of the fumes had dissipated, but the smell of bleach was still very strong. he set up a big box fan, and we left the house for a couple of hours. upon coming back, it was much better. the bathroom still smells like bleach, but it isn't nearly as bad as it was yesterday.
when i realized what had happened, i was terrified. i (in my ignorance and stupidity) didn't think that the fumes mixing would cause a problem. i have cleaned my bathroom this way for years and years. i knew mixing chemicals was a no-no, but i'd never thought about the fumes. i will NEVER do that again. we are very lucky that we're both okay. i'm sure i lost a bunch of brain cells, which sucks, since i don't have a whole ton left to my name. i'm just so grateful little buddy wasn't hurt.
so learn from my idiocy. when cleaning bathrooms, use one chemical at a time. and my advice? never use bleach to clean a tub. use something else.
i won't be using bleach in my bathroom again, that's for sure.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
how big he grins at me!
the compliments we get from people about what a good baby he is and how adorable he is (because he is the cutest, most well-behaved baby i've ever seen!)
the way he watches me when i'm moving around
baby toes...baby fingers...baby hair (like cornsilk)...his BIG blue eyes...soft baby skin...his cute little baby bum...baby fat rolls on his thighs....tiny little teeth...
how he will crawl after me if i go into another room
the way he reaches out for me to hold him
when i pick him up he (usually) stops crying--even if someone else was already holding him
getting to cuddle with him when he eats. he used to be so cuddly--he wouldn't sleep at all unless he was being held. now he won't sleep at all if he is held. he has so much energy, the only time he will sit still and let me cuddle him is when he's eating.
getting up with him at night, when it's quiet and dark, and nursing him. i love to just hold him and watch him eat. (even though getting up a lot at night isn't so fun.)
watching him grow and learn new things. i can't believe how big he is, and how fast he is learning. i bet he will be walking very soon, and he's only 9 months old.
listening to the way he "sings" himself to sleep
watching him with my husband. he sure loves his daddy.
listening to him talk. he loves to hear himself make noise!
seeing him sleep at night, with his legs curled under him and his butt stuck up in the air.
getting to dress him in fun clothes, and watch as he grows out of them (so fast!)
having a reason to walk down the toy aisle at wal-mart :)
how he will reach out and touch my face when i'm holding him
seeing his personality emerge as he gets older
knowing (usually!) why he is upset, and what he needs, and how to take care of it
the way he climbs all over everything
how he puts a toy in his mouth and crawls around with it dangling
the sound of him panting like a dog--he loves to do that!
being so proud of him, and feeling more love for him than i ever thought was possible
learning more about myself, who i am and what kind of person i can be, just by being a mother
what are your favorite things about being a mommy (or daddy)? and if you don't have kids yet, what do you look forward to the most?
to be honest, i didn't know what it was. (yes, i am young-er, yes, i am into the technology world, and no, i didn't know what twitter was.)
basically, it's a status update. (i think.)
so i decided to create a twitter for myself. it is now on my sidebar. i would like to have twitter buddies as well as blogger buddies. so follow me on twitter. and if you have it, leave me a comment and let me know. i'd like to explore the twitter world and decide if it is something worthwhile or not.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
well, i'm not going to let it last any longer. at least i'm going to do my best. my house is a disaster, and because of the depression i have had no desire and no energy to do anything with it. then i've had anxiety and been even more upset because it's a disaster. it's a deadly cycle, i tell you!
so after i'm done with this post, i'm getting up off my rear end and i am going to clean. i am going to scrub my bathrooms. do laundry. wash my dishes. pick up the junk sitting out all over the place. vacuum. and then this afternoon i'm going to work in my yard and get it ready for the winter. and i am going to force myself to do it, no matter how tired or depressed i am. my strategy is this: if i force myself to expend energy, and get involved in a huge project, and don't stop until i'm finished, i will feel better.
my second strategy is this:
i am going to concentrate on the good, and the bad things will be taken from me. i painted this when i was in high school--and going through a similar bout of depression. i remember thinking i had to get rid of it. so i put my desires into art, and it helped immensely. as i depicted the light, the good, taking pieces of my unhappiness away, i felt so much better. the depression and the darkness was still there, chasing after me, trying to grab me. but i was running as hard and as fast as i could in the other direction.
so now, i am running. some times that running is really me dragging myself on my stomach. and sometimes it's inching forward very slowly. but as long as i'm moving i'm making progress.
so here's to scrubbing my house and escaping the darkness i've housed in my head for far too long.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
for the last week or so i've been really down. i don't have a reason to be, i just am. i'm tired all the time, i have no interest in doing anything, and if i could i'd just stay in bed all day and all night. last night, i went to bed at 7:30 and (minus the few times i got up with the baby) stayed there sleeping until 10:30 am. that's like 15 hours! it was FANTASTIC because i rarely sleep, but it was NOT fantastic because then i know i won't be able to sleep tonight. the sleep gods have decided i abused my new found ability to snooze and have now taken their blessings and good will away.
i'm sorry if i'm depressing the few of you that read my blog. because i really don't want to depress you. and i realize that my last few posts have not been happy or upbeat. please bear with me, this ugly cycle will turn again and i will soon be on top of the world. well, hopefully soon.
i just feel like my life is so...stagnant. my routine never changes. occasionally hubby and i will go out and do something, but never for very long. and ultimately i end up back at home, back in the same routine. pick up the house/avoid picking up the house. take care of the baby. go to work. watch tv. go to bed. toss and turn and sleep very little. get up in the morning and repeat. i have very little energy and i'm crabby a lot. when i do actually clean my house, i swear it takes twenty minutes and it's a mess again. so then i think, what's the point? i hate doing it, i have to force myself to do it anyway, and it takes every ounce of sanity i have. and then i come home from work and there are dishes all over, and toys all over, and the table is covered in stuff, and clothes all over the floor again. (i think there are trolls or evil gnomes or something that do it.)
so here i am complaining again. and i'm sure you don't want to listen to me complain. heck, i hate listening to me complain.
but now i'm off, back to work, and back to monotony.
any kind of good wishes, and good will, and prayers, and happy thoughts any of you feel like sending my way would be very much appreciated. i need to figure out a way to yank myself out of this hole i've dug. and at this point, i know i can't do it alone.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
1. i don't like spoons. if i could eat soup with a fork, i would. something about the shape of them in my mouth...i don't know. i even eat ice cream with a fork.
2. i can't whistle. i never have been able to. please, don't offer to teach me, don't exclaim your shock and suprise at my lack of whistling ability, and don't tell me that i really can do it if i do it your way. i'm pretty sure every time someone finds out i can't whistle they try to teach me how.
3. i cry in art museums. the sheer beauty of everything around me is overhwelming. sometimes it's just getting teary-eyed--and sometimes i really, actually, burst into tears. pathetic, i know, but (as i have mentioned many many times, haha) art speaks to me in a way that nothing else does.
4. in high school, my very first "accident" was me hitting my friend's car. i'd had my license for like two minutes, backed out of a parking spot but didn't go far enough. and hit her car. (remember that, kmo?) i was really embarrassed...
5. one of my goals growing up was to be a famous fashion designer and move to paris. i even took french in high school for that purpose alone. that goal changed when i was about 18 and realized that i wanted a family more than i wanted to be a designer living in france.
6. i love to putter around thrift stores, antique shops, vintage clothing stores, yard sales, and swap meets. you never know what you'll find!
7. i love toffee. my mouth is watering just thinking about it...ooooh....yum. toffee is the best thing EVER.
okay so now i tag....anyone who, like me, has writer's block, and nothing to do. :)
i have officially been staring at this screen for....oh....twelve minutes.
i just love it when i don't have any ideas for brilliant posts. (dripping with sarcasm, if you can't tell.)
and it took me twice as long as it should just to write that, because little buddy keeps pushing the backspace button.
so instead of writing a brilliant, well-thought post, i'm just going to ramble for a bit. in bullets. because bullets are the best.
- it's november 11, and it is veterans day. we should all stop and think about the sacrifices our men and women in uniform (and their families) have made for us, for our country, for our way of life. thank you for your service!
- this morning was fantastic. (there's that sarcasm again....) i got to wake up at 5 am to clean up after the dog, who had at some point during the night gotten sick all over the carpet. in five places. and our carpet is white. needless to say, lots of scrubbing later, i still can't get it all out, and we ran out of carpet cleaner. so later today hubby is going to get some cleaner after work and we'll see if that helps. our dog is sick constantly--she has seen the vet, she has gotten meds, it didn't do anything. vet says she just has a sensitive stomach and responds to stress by getting sick. it's frustrating, how often she is ill.
- i'm in a sour mood again today. (is it obvious?) besides the whole dog sick thing, i'm not really sure why. exhaustion? i'm not sure. but i'm annoyed today.
- i really, really, really could use a GIANT coke and a few HUGE chunks of chocolate. mmmm.....
- on a positive note, it's been raining. and i love the rain. rain is the best.
Sunday, November 9, 2008
today i have been in a contemplative mood. at times my life does not feel like my own. i think about my past, what i have seen, what i have done, what i haven't done, and it feels like a dream. i think about my future. i think about what is happening now. in two years will today feel like a dream?
i have so many regrets. i have made so many poor choices. choices that, at the time, seemed like the right thing. choices that i had no idea would impact me in the way that they have. even the smallest of choices can cause such a massive ripple effect that your life will never be the same. you will change. those around you will change. your life can become something completely different.
i make millions of choices every day. whether i am choosing not to attend church on sunday (and instead blog about it on normal mormons), whether i am choosing to put the dishes off until tomorrow, or even if i choose to wear the blue shirt instead of the red one. some choices don't matter all that much (like what shirt to wear) and some do--like church attendance.
yesterday i had an opportunity to see some girls that lived in the dorms with me my freshman year of college. nearly 50 girls were invited, but only three came--including me. we met for breakfast at the dormitory cafeteria. i didn't really know the other two girls that came my freshman year. at least not well. i knew who they were, i knew who they hung out with, i knew which room was theirs. but i never really knew who they were. as i sat and talked to them, i was amazed. amazed at how well we got along. amazed at how much we had in common, about how easily we could talk, about the experiences they shared with me. and i was sad. sad that a few years ago i had every opportunity to get to know them. to be friends with them. why didn't i? because i made other choices. choices that, at the time, seemed like good ones. looking back now, i see they impacted me negatively. i missed out on so much. at the very least, i missed out on years of friendship with these fun, insightful, and compassionate girls. and who knows what else i missed?
but not every choice i made has had negative impacts on my life. even some of the bad choices i have made brought about good consequences. some of the best choices i have ever made, some of the seemingly small ones, have created the biggest, most wonderful results. like that day in september of 2005, when i got fed up with sitting at home every night. when i decided to check out that website. that website, that a few weeks later, led me to meet the man who is now my husband. who is now the father of my beautiful son. who would have thought that one seemingly small choice would change my life forever? would change me for eternity? i am so thankful that i decided to push aside the stigma attached to internet dating. i am so thankful that that man decided to send me an invitation to chat with him. he has become my entire world.
i hope that as i continue to learn and grow i can make more choices like that one. more choices that produce joy, that produce love, that produce happiness in my life and those around me.
Friday, November 7, 2008
i feel that way a lot. and i know in my head it's not true, but for me "knowing" something is totally separate from "feeling" something.
like when i clean up the house, and it's a mess within twenty minutes. or when i do something at work and no one really cares. or when i spend time blogging and i don't get any comments. (hint hint) :)
i think my depression today has a lot to do with lack of sleep. it has been...oh...who knows how long...since i've had a good night's sleep. and poor little buddy has been pretty cranky for the last few days because he is teething. he cut his third tooth this week and his fourth is about to emerge at any moment. i'm also stressed out--but i'm not really sure why, exactly. financial struggles. but that's nothing new. lots to do at work. but that's not really new, either. the house that is a disaster. ha, that's also nothing new.
so why so melancholy today?
i'm not sure. maybe there's something negative in the air.
so how do i change it? what cheers you up when you're having a bad day? especially when you don't know why?
Thursday, November 6, 2008
it's the latest installment in my feature surviving life's experiences.
it's a really good one, i promise it is worth the read.
our Heavenly Father is aware of each of us in our times of trial. because we are His children and He loves each of us, He rejoices with us in happy times, and weeps with us when we mourn. as we come to understand this truth we will feel his presence in our lives and be able to turn to him for comfort as we begin to heal.
if any of you have not had the joy of reading the book "no doubt about it" by sheri dew--i am telling you to. not asking, telling! it is an AMAZING book and i believe that every woman in the church should read it. my senior year of high school, when i was participating in SOLE, my counselor recommended the book to me. i normally hate reading books like that. i can't even tell you how many religious books i have started to read and never finished--with the exception of all of those lds romance novels. they don't hold my attention. i get bored. i get confused. i have major brain overload. (how funny it is that i can sit down and read macbeth beginning to end and not have that brain overload thing, but i read more than a chapter or two of a religious book and my head hurts.) anyway. my mom had a copy so i decided to read it.
it was an amazing experience for me. suddenly i was looking at myself in an entirely different way. the biggest, most far-reaching affect of the abuse i've experienced is this: i have very little, and at times no, self-esteem. i will not go into details here--but i have been in the very depths of despair, as far as they can possibly go, because of the self loathing i have had. i have ups and downs, overall i am doing much better now, but i still have periods of time where i feel worthless. i am not worthless. i am a child of God, the same way each and every one of us are. one of the most vital pieces of knowledge we can have is this. and in healing from our pain, in dealing with our trials, in handling everyday life, we MUST know who we are. we MUST know where we came from and where we are going.
the following excerpts i will use are from sheri dew, in a talk she gave called "knowing who you are--and who you have always been."
sister dew, a former general relief society president, grew up painfully shy and with no self-confidence. one night her 16 year old niece and her friend had a sleep over at sister dew's. sister dew talked to them about her lack of self esteem. the girls asked how she got over feeling that way, and this was her response."i told them that the reason was a spiritual one: it wasn't until i began to understand how the Lord felt about me that my feelings about myself and my life slowly began to change."
how do we know how the Lord feels? how do we find out how He feels about us?
sister dew tells us that "there is nothing more vital to our success and our happiness here than learning to hear the voice of the Spirit. it is the Spirit who reveals to us our identity--which isn't just who we are but who we have always been. and that when we know, our lives take on a sense of purpose so stunning that we can never be the same again." (emphasis added.)
how beautiful that phrase is! "our lives take on a sense of purpose so stunning that we can never be the same again." and how true it is, as well. think about it: how often to use self-defeating language? how often to you push away compliments? how often to you get down on yourself, get discouraged, and depressed because of mistakes you make? how often do we look in the mirror and long to look differently? whether it is losing weight, a different nose, bigger (or even smaller!) boobs, a different hair color or eye color, that mole to go away? how much money do we spend a year buying expensive make-up and clothing to make ourselves look better, and ultimately to feel better about ourselves? there is nothing wrong with wanting to look beautiful. but we need to recognize the fact that WE ARE BEAUTIFUL, because WE ARE DAUGHTERS OF GOD. we are His children, made in His own image. we can change the way we view ourselves from a negative to a positive image."
as a people, we talk and sing constantly about who we are. three-year-olds know the words to "i am a child of God." the proclamation on the family declares that we each have a divine destiny. the second young women's value is divine nature. and the very first words in the relief society declaration are, 'we are beloved spirit daughters of God, and our lives have meaning, purpose, and direction.' and yet, with all our talking, do we really believe? do we really understand? has this transcendent doctrine about who we are--meaning who we have always been and, therefore, who we may become--permeated our hearts?
our spirits long for us to remember the truth about who we are, because the way we see ourselves, our sense of identity, affects everything we do. it affects the way we behave, the way we respond to uncertainty, the way we see others, the way we feel about ourselves, and the way we make choices. it affects the very way we live our lives. so, today, i invite you to ponder in a new way not just who you are, but who you have always been."
one of the hardest things to comprehend, at least for me, is who i was before coming to earth. everyone has this loss of memory--thanks to the veil. president lorenzo snow taught that "Jesus was a God before he came into the world and yet his knowledge was taken from him. He did not know his former greatness, neither do we know what greatness we had attained to before we came here." he also taught that during the Savior's life "it was revealed unto Him who He was, and for what purpose He was in the world. the glory and power He possessed before He came into the world was made known unto Him." just as Christ was able to learn who He was and to know what His purpose on earth was, so can we.
sister dew says, "unveiling this knowledge would be easier if we could remember what happened in our premortal life. but we can't. we can't remember the glory of our former home. we have forgotten the language we spoke there and our dear companions with whom we associated. we cannot recall the 'first lessons [we learned] in the world of spirits' (d&c 138:56) or the identities of our heavenly tutors. we cannot remember what promises we made to ourselves and to others and to the Lord. nor can we remember our place in the Lord's heavenly kingdom or the spiritual maturity we achieved there."
there are some things we do know, however.
1. we know that we were there. we were part of the Lord's council, before the earth was created.
2. we were present when Heavenly Father presented His plan.
3. we saw the Savior chosen and appointed, and we supported it.
4. we were there, fighting on the side of truth, when satan rebelled against the Lord. president george q. cannon said that "we stood loyally by God and by Jesus, and did not flinch." (emphasis added)
because of our faithfulness in our premortal lives, we were chosen to be "among the elect whom the Lord has called during this 'eleventh hour' to labor in His vineyard. God, who say the 'end from the beginning' (abraham 2:8), foresaw perfectly what these times would demand. " president cannon taught that "God...reserved spirits for this dispensation who [would] have the courage and determination to face the world, and all the powers of the evil one," and who would "build up the Zion of our God, fearless of all consequences."
fearless. courageous. determined. faithful. elect. how can we not be filled with joy and purpose when we hear these words? how can we doubt ourselves? we fought without flinching, against satan. if we could do it there, we can do it here on earth."can you imagine that God, who knew us perfectly, reserved us to come now, when the stakes would be higher and the opposition more intense than ever? when He would need women who would help raise and lead a chosen generation in the most lethal spiritual environment? can you imagine that He chose us because He knew we would be fearless in building Zion?" (emphasis added)
even though we make mistakes, and in my case a lot of them, "the fact remains that we have always been women of God. we have repeatedly made righteous choices, on both sides of the veil, that demonstrate our faithfulness. We have so much more divine potential than we yet comprehend." (emphasis added)
the Lord taught abraham that he was among the "noble and great ones" chosen for his earthly mission before he was born (abraham 3:22-23). we are also among those noble and great ones. elder bruce r. mcconkie said, "a host of mighty men and equally glorious women comprised that group of the 'noble and great ones'.....can we do other than conclude that mary and eve and sarah and myriads of our faithful sisters were numbered among them? certainly these sisters...fought as valiantly in the war in heaven as did the brethren, even as they in like manner stand firm...in mortality, in the cause of truth and righteousness."
that is us he is talking about. we were there, fighting alongside our husbands, our children, our parents. alongside the prophets. alongside other courageous men and women."
noble and great. courageous and determined. faithful and fearless. that is who you are, and that is who you have always been. understanding that truth can change your life, because this knowledge carries a confidence that cannot be duplicated any other way. as we come to understand [this], we will feel a greater sense of mission and more confidence living as a woman of God in a world that doesn't necessarily celebrate women of God. we will cheer each other on rather than compete with each other, because we'll feel secure in our standing before the Lord. and we'll be eager to stand for truth even when we must stand alone--for every consecrated woman will have times when she must stand alone. we are the Lord's secret weapon."
something we need to realize is that we are constantly being attacked at every angle. we need to recognize that satan wants us to see ourselves as the world sees us, not as the Lord sees us. he tells us we are not good enough, not smart enough, not thin, cute, clever, or anything enough. "that is a big, fat, devilish lie. he wants us to believe there is no status in being a mother. that is a lie, an evil lie. he wants us to believe that the influence of women is inherently inferior. and that is a lie."
this is something i struggle with. ask my husband--one of my more common phrases is "i'm just not good enough. i just don't feel good enough. nothing i do is enough." and i am trying so hard to stop saying that. to start changing my perception of myself. because the Lord "seeth not as man seeth, for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart" (1 samuel 16:7). sister dew teaches that "the more clearly we understand our divine destiny, the more immune we become to satan. we will never live up to who we are as women of God until we overcome our mortal identity crisis by understanding who we are, who we have always been, and who we may become." (emphasis added)
here are some of the ways we can discover for ourselves who we are.
1. the spirit, which is key. we need to be able to hear what the Lord is telling us, through His spirit. this is how we can learn what the Lord truly thinks of us, and what His purpose for us is.
2. pray in faith, asking the Lord to show you what your purpose is.
3. repent regularly
4. forgive and seek forgiveness
5. attend temple worship
6. be obedient to the Lord in our minds and hearts
7. be honest with ourselves and with others
8. use your intellect to look at yourself objectively--as though the Lord were looking at you
9. make decisions that will make you happy. i have found that when i am happy i am able to see myself in a more positive light.
10. influence others for good. be uplifting those around you. as sister dew says, "is there anything more meaningful a mother or grandmother or any of us can do for the youth we love than help them begin to see who they really are?" this goes for everyone--not just the youth. our spouses, who are hard on themselves. our friends. sometimes even our own parents.
"women of God who know who they are have unusual and sometimes unexpected influence."
i know that when i am able to see myself more as the Lord sees me i am happier. i am stronger. i am able to deal with life's tumults better. my scars begin to heal. i recognize that although i have endured difficult trials, and am still struggling with them, i am a strong, faithful, and courageous woman. i always have been. if i can fight satan, if i can do so without flinching, of course i can fight him here on earth! of course i can make it through this! of course i can overcome my lack of self-esteem. i know that each of you can do so too. how do i know this? because i know that each of you are also counted among the "noble and great" the Lord has sent to earth. i know that each of you are His children, that He loves you, that He is there to comfort, guide, and strengthen you.we can all discover who we are, who we have always been, and who we will become.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
found this through a friend today: voting with gum! brilliant. apparently it's a guerrilla project and i thought it was hilarious.
this time tomorrow we'll have a new president. (at least we'd better.) does that scare/excite anyone besides me?
what do you think of the new prop 8 commercial attacking the church? i would vote no on 8 (you already know that) but i completely disagree with this ad. it is ridiculous--so much hate, so much disrespect. on BOTH sides. how pathetic, that we all can't be adults, can't be respectful of differing opinions.
i copied this really cute little sign and "thankful turkey" that rarely home mom posted on her blog. i have literally no thanksgiving decorations, and i'm a nut for decorating. i have no money...does anyone have any cute ideas for decorations that i can make with things i already have?
very interesting editorial i saw perusing the news world today, about blogging--and how to stay safe while doing it. especially for people who post personal info and family pictures online. (as you can tell i try very hard to stay away from that--although i do have a private blog with pictures and stuff on it. it was eye opening, to say the least.) i would highly recommend taking a look at it.
it's getting closer to christmas! i'm trying (not really succeeding) to be un-annoying and stay away from christmas music. although i have succumbed a few times. i'm looking for some good music i can download. what are your favorite christmas arrangements? i wish we had more thanksgiving music....i think adam sandler's thanksgiving song is about it, though, outside of the two or three hymns we've got.
Sunday, November 2, 2008
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Police are asking for the public’s help finding a missing Anchorage wife and mother.
Police say 39-year-old Sheila Kathleen McBroom was last seen on Monday during a traffic stop along the Seward Highway. A state trooper suggested she pull over and rest after she stated she was feeling tired.
Her family reported her missing the next day.
1. receive approximately one million invitations to join "yes on prop 8" groups on facebook
2. notice that approximately one-third of your facebook friends have changed their profile pictures to "yes on 8" logos
3. notice that approximately half of your blogger/facebook/myspace friends are posting about voting yes on prop 8
4. get really, really sick of it
5. join about five "no on prop 8" groups on facebook so that people will notice that you do not support proposition 8, or the church's involvement in politics
6. hope that by being passive aggressive people will stop sending you crap about voting yes on 8. especially when YOU DON'T LIVE IN CALIFORNIA (AND EVEN IF YOU COULD DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT YOU WOULDN'T) ANYWAY. and most of them know this
7. post about being passive aggressive in a passive aggressive manner on a blog that hardly anyone reads anyway.
8. count down the minutes until november 5 and the stupid election will be over. finally!
9. hope you don't really offend anyone by this blog post even though very few people read it and if they're offended it's pretty sad anyway because you are allowed to have your own political views, even if they do differ from the church. and besides it doesn't make you any less faithful and besides that it is no one's place to judge
10. decide you probably shouldn't be passive aggressive, so you actually post your views on another public blog called "normal mormons" (partially to stir up controversy, chuckling evilly, but also partially to express the view you've been bottling up inside) so that people can know what you think and discuss it
so everyone should go read and discuss my post at normal mormons now.
Saturday, November 1, 2008
i have been sick. sick, sick, sick, and for awhile there i thought i was going to diiiiiiiiiiiiiiieeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. okay, i was being dramatic. food poisioning or some kind of bug or something. but miserable. i woke up about 5 am halloween morning sicker than a dog. spent almost all day in bed moaning and complaining. hubby came home from work early to help take care of the baby and take care of me. sweet man, he is. i missed my work party...we missed taking the baby in his costume to hubby's work, and all in all it was a pretty disappointing day. we made an appearance at a party some friend's of ours had that night because i was feeling a little better, and since it was little buddy's first halloween (and we bought costumes) we wanted to show him off. poor hubby, i know he was disappointed. so was i. halloween is, after all, my favorite holiday of the year, and i spent it wishing i could be put out of my misery.
but on the plus side, hubby as a banana and little baby as a monkey were the cutest things in the world! i went as a zookeeper (harhar) and although i was pale and dehydrated and falling over i think the three of us were pretty darn good looking. but can you seriously believe it's november already? i sure can't. time has gone by so freaking quickly.
well, i'm back off to bed. it's 2:30 in the afternoon. little buddy is napping and i will be shortly. (still feel like i got hit with a truck, although i can actually keep big people food down. yay!)
just a little sidenote--kathleen who blogs at so grateful to be mormon has gone missing. her family has no idea where she is or what happened to her. at this point she has been gone nearly a week. she is a sweet and kind woman. please pray for her. even if you don't believe in prayer--it couldn't hurt. send all of your good vibes to her and her family. we are all hoping they will find her safe.