Wednesday, February 29, 2012
= oh, Ahhnna! (the sarcastic, oh-you-are-so-immature version)
I know I shouldn't post things when I am feeling like I am, but, well, you know. I still do. And then I regret it. Good times.
But SERIOUSLY, I don't understand how/why people still think that if they email their friends/post something on Facebook/re-pin a picture, then someone will hand them money and gift cards. It baffles me that people still believe this spam-crud. BAFFLES me, I say.
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
How did they all get there? Did they all come at once or am I just finally noticing them?
Perhaps you may know that I suffer from anxiety. Suffer is a big word, but afflicted seems too strong and experience seems too weak. At times it feels like suffering. My chest cavity seems to tighten, my limbs feel weakened, my heart beats faster, and I feel like I could cry at the drop of a hat. And occasionally that hat drops, followed soon after by my tears.
Sometimes I know exactly what has caused this anxiety, and usually I can work my way out of it. It's not quite stress. Stress is something I feel when there is a lot of work to do or chores to accomplish. I know stress; it doesn't bother me too much. I actually accomplish a lot more when I have a little stress.
Anxiety is a whole other deal for me. It usually has to do with people and relationships. Like I said, I am learning how to work my way out of those moments.
Last February, I felt completely swallowed up in an emotionally-weakened state. I attributed it to the beginning of a second year of "disease testing" and no answers. I don't remember when the dark emotions went away, but I know that they did.
Here we are in February again and I am feeling the chest-crushing, super sadness hanging onto my shoulders and tear ducts once more. I want to blame it on SOMETHING. But, I know deep in the somewhere points of my brain that it isn't one thing. It just is. And I've got to weather this storm. It's not just anxiety. It's something more and less and inexplicable, but is.
I am afraid that this crack is going to grow and meet up with the rock chip of some other disgruntled part of myself which will rapidly make its way to others until I completely break. I know some people probably think that I shouldn't write about this on my public blog, but GUESS WHAT? I am tired of being careful on here in case I offend someone or write something that makes one or two people tsk tsk in my general direction. I have always tried to be my real self here. I know that I am a good person trying to be better. I struggle. I question. I brag. I pout. I hope. I try. I fail. I am only expressing what I am feeling. I might crack, to be sure. (Crack IS whack, by the way.)
I write to discover myself, find the things that I have buried or neglected as they make their way through my fingertips. It is discovery as much as it is shared experience. You might understand this, or it might make you feel a little better about your life. I don't know. But what I do know is that in finding my true self, I need to be my true self.
And currently, this true self is inexplicably sad.
Monday, February 27, 2012
I know that I've been giving pinterest lots of love and props over the least year. I am a fan, it is true.
But sometimes pinterest makes me want to pull my hair out. It can be so frustrating (for me) to look at the pins of those you follow. It's slowly killing my confidence. Those fetching pins*!
The pins of delicious-looking food, the I-must-make-this-for-my-family-type of food (and then eat most of it myself) are killing me slowly. But worse are the pins of sexy bodies and workouts that serve as fitness "pinspiration". Many times the food and fitness pins are right next to each other, making your head spin with guilt, hunger, self-loathing, craving, and false inspiration (because, let's be honest, I didn't look like those 18 year-old bodies when I was 18 years old).
Friday, February 24, 2012
Music makes the people come together (name that song and artist for a chance to win applause by comments).
And today I am sharing TWO songs with y'all. Mostly because I like, not love, both of them. And two likes make one love, in my book anyway.
Kina Grannis is a Japanese, English, Irish, French, and German singer/guitarist who grew up in California. Here is her cool video made with JELLY BEANS (wait. no sugar. maybe I shouldn't have. shoot.):
This next video is from Florrie, an English singer-songwriter, drummer, model. You know. Just like the rest of us. Some of her videos are hard for me to watch because she looks like a model lip-synching. Which I guess she is, technically, but it doesn't feel right. This video shows her more in action, let me know what you think:
have a good weekend, mes amis.
Thursday, February 23, 2012
Remember how I was all gung-ho about no sugar and a healthy body yesterday and Tuesday?
Yeah. Day TWO is tricky.
I'm still moving forward, but these two pictures sum up my thoughts pretty well:
|both images pinned here|
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
I ate three beignets last night. It was a mighty gras mardi for me. Today, NO SUGAR. Good morning, Lent.
I've done the whole no sugar thing before. I'm not going to say that it changed my whole life and made me a better, healthier person. Because, let's be serious, it never has and if anything I've only gotten larger. Good times.
So, why again, do I try all kinds of diet changes and exercises and cleanses? I want to be healthy, of course. I want to run and not be weary and walk and not faint. But somewhere in my little head there is a size or ideal I imagine would make me feel happiest. I don't think I've ever looked like that image in my head.
The face I expect to see in the mirror every time is the one of me at about 26 with good skin and the perfect amount of mascara. I remember my Mom telling me that she still thinks her reflection should be the 25 year-old she imagines she is in her head. I didn't understand that until last year. It's amazing what a few years can do.
Jeffrey Holland said:
"I plead with... women to please be more accepting of yourselves, including your body shape and style, with a little less longing to look like someone else. We are all different. Some are tall, and some are short. Some are round, and some are thin. And almost everyone at some time or other wants to be something they are not! But as one adviser to teenage girls said: 'You can’t live your life worrying that the world is staring at you. When you let people’s opinions make you self-conscious you give away your power. … The key to feeling [confident] is to always listen to your inner self—[the real you.]'"
What is the real you? It isn't eating three beignets and then wallowing in self pity so that you consume a pint of ice cream and 2 slices of pizza (no. I didn't, but I know the temptation.) The real you is one that takes care, eats well, exercises moderately, dresses carefully, speaks kindly, and is true. Real to you.
What is really you? That is the key to confidence, I believe. Taking care of your body and discovering what it is that makes you YOU. Figure that out, work it, own it, LOVE it.
I feel like this is a bit of a rehash, but perhaps it bears repeating. YOU are unique. YOU are beautiful. Take care of your gift (your body) and love it in its current shape and form. Make it healthier, but don't worry about making it look like that fictional picture in your head (or that fictional picture in the magazine).
And just for giggles, I've included Tina Fey's take on media affecting our body image from her book, Bossypants. I've edited it a bit for my more sensitive readers.
"…But I think the first real change in women’s body image came when JLo turned in butt-style. That was the first time that having a large-scale situation in the back was part of mainstream American beauty. Girls wanted butts now. Men were free to admit that they had always enjoyed them. And then, what felt like moments later, boom - Beyonce brought the leg meat. A back porch and thick muscular legs were now widely admired. And from that day forward, women embraced their diversity and realized that all shapes and sizes are beautiful. Ah ha ha. No. I’m totally messing with you. All Beyonce and JLo have done is add to the laundry list of attributes women must have to qualify as beautiful. Now every girl is expected to have Caucasian blue eyes, full Spanish lips, a classic button nose, hairless Asian skin with a California tan, a Jamaican dance hall [behind], long Swedish legs, small Japanese feet, the abs of a lesbian gym owner, the hips of a nine-year-old boy, the arms of Michelle Obama, and doll [boobs]. The person closest to actually achieving this look is Kim Kardashian, who, as we know, was made by Russian scientists to sabotage our athletes."And we all know how that turned out. Or pretend like you don't know who Kim Kardashian is. Nonetheless, no thanks. I like me.
Say it like you mean it: "I like me!" Do it again. Ten more times. Now with meaning. Pump your fist in the air this time. "I like me!"
Hey, guess what? I like you, too.
part one in Learning to Love Yourself
part two in Learning to Love Yourself
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Last year I tried out Lent for the first time and decided it was a great thing. Sacrifice begetting spiritual and temporal enlightenment and betterment. Why would you not want that?
This year, I have decided that for Lent I am giving up sugar. This does not include fruit or ketchup. I am human, after all. Sugar: sweets, candy, cakes, ice cream, even includes most frozen yogurt, dark chocolate, cookies, lemon bars, kouing aman, popsicles, Cadbury mini eggs, circus peanuts, most granola bars, the leftover Halloween candy... .
Wow. This is getting depressing. But, I know from last year that it is not only good for my body, it is good for my soul because the sacrifice isn't totally selfish. I am not concerned with solely my body, but with showing my God that I am willing and able to give up something--albeit small--because I am aware and grateful for Him and His Son.
I also think I will devote more time to reading the New Testament again. Praying more, too. Oh, and I've got to get to the temple. Anyone want to babysit? That could be your lent: watching my kids can be a sacrifice. Heaven bless them.
And you? Are you thinking Lent this year? If so, how do you decide what you are going to give up? Do you make it all 40 days?
WANT MORE? Try these links:
Another Time I said NO to sugar
How Do You Do It?
Friday, February 17, 2012
I bought this song on a whim over a month ago and every single time it plays when in rotation I love it even more. No, really, I love it. LOVE. Emily West, "I Hate You, I Love You Again":
And how much do you want to record a bona fide music video in the streets of your town? I'd be lying if I didn't admit that it's a dream of mine. Sad, but true.
Thursday, February 16, 2012
Have you seen any memes about first world problems? They make me laugh. And then they make me feel like a big whiny baby. Which I think is the point.
Yes, Virginia, if you are reading this on a computer, then you are part of the first world. If you are reading this on your OWN computer in a room with a door inside a home, you are most definitely part of the first world.
|first world problems on quickmeme|
"I've had too much food for lunch and now I'm tired."
"I poured my cereal into the bowl before checking to see if we had milk. We didn't."
"Too late for a nap. Too early to go to bed."
"No place to put new groceries because my fridge is too full."
It's been the new zing-line for Alan and me when someone (us, included) complains about something so first world. "I hate when I'm watching two shows on tv and they are both on commercial at the same time."
"Oh, first world is so hard."
Got any first world problems to share?
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Wanna hear about the books I've read so far this year? Are you sure? Well, ok.
Going Bovine, by Libba Bray
What it's about: A high school boy is misunderstood and low on the totem pole until he is stricken with Mad Cow Disease. He then takes off on an adventure of a lifetime (or does he?) with a little person sidekick and a talking garden gnome.
Did I like it? I think so. Kind of annoyed by it, truthfully.
Would I recommend it? Probably not.
Beauty Queens, by Libba Bray
What it's about: A group of beauty queens are stranded on an island when their plane crashes. Only the strongest and most beautiful can survive. Complete with product placements.
Did I like it? I did. I laughed out loud on occasion (big deal for me). Some parts were trying too hard to be p.c.
Would I recommend it? To the right person, yes. I can't think of who that right person is.
When You Reach Me, by Rebecca Stead
What it's about: A young girl in elementary school tries to fit the pieces together in a puzzle that can potentially save her friend's life. Sweet, young, set in the 1970s New York City.
Did I like it? yes
Would I recommend it? yes. Especially if you like younger books and the fantastical.
A Visit from the Goon Squad, by Jennifer Egan
What it's about: Each chapter is a short-story, jumping time and speakers, by interconnected characters whose lives all join to tell a complete story of music, self-destruction, redemption.
Did I like it? More on reflection than during actual reading.
Would I recommend it? I don't know. Probably not. But the method of writing the author employed is fascinating and inspiring.
Nefertiti: A Novel, by Michelle Moran
What it's about: Nefertiti, the Queen and Pharaoh, and her sister, Mutnodjmet, are raised in a powerful family but sheltered until Nefertiti marries the son of Pharaoh. Fictional depiction of their rise and struggle.
Did I like it? yes, I did.
Would I recommend it? yes, I would.
Currently reading: Everneath, by Brodi Ashton
What it's about: High school girl, Nikki Beckett, disappears and reemerges six months later. Nobody knows that she has been living in the Underworld and has escaped for only six months as she tries to set things right with her family and friends. Think: modern Persephone.
Did I like it? Liking it. I am sure I will finish it by tomorrow, so that's a good sign.
Would I recommend it? I think if you like YA fiction, you'd like this.
Currently reading: The Heretic Queen: A Novel, by Michelle Moran
What it's about: The sister of Nefertiti, Mutnodjmet, is now Queen of Egypt. Hilarity ensues. (I am kidding. I just started it and love it already.)
Currently reading: Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling, by Richard Lyman Bushman
Just started it. Alan and I are trying to read it together chapter by chapter, but I am already enjoying it and learning. Eager to learn more.
What I want to read: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, by Ransom Riggs (which is also a pen name I would like to have)
Have you read any of these? What did you think about them? Any new books you are reading that you are DYING to suggest? Bring it.
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
(READ PART ONE: HERE)
There are times when I am talking to my sister, Amy, and she will listen as I complain about my current living situation or my body or my whatever. "Someday," I'll say, "I will own a home and plant my roots."
To which she replies, "And then you'll be happy?"
It's become a joke. And THEN you'll be happy. When... then.
When I lose 10 pounds, then I'll be happy.
When I lose 10 more pounds, then I'll be happy.
When I lose fifty pounds, then I'll be happy.
I've lost too much weight and with it my boobs! EEk! When I get bigger boobs, then I'll be happy.
When I can buy new clothes, then I'll be happy.
When I can get a new car, then I'll be happy.
When I am done paying these car payments, then I'll be happy.
When I buy a bigger house, then I'll be happy.
When I can downsize and sell this big house, then I'll be happy.
When I am done having/birthing all of my kids, then I'll be happy.
When my kids are out of diapers, then I'll be happy.
When my kids are all in school, then I'll be happy.
When my kids are all graduated, then I'll be happy.
When my kids are all married, then I'll be happy.
When my kids come back to visit me, then I'll be happy.
When we make $XX a year, then we'll be happy.
When I get published; when I graduate; when I get married; when I run a marathon; when I move; when I change jobs; when my hair grows longer; when my teeth are whiter, when I win the lottery...
... then I'll be happy.
Be Happy For this Moment. This Moment is Your Life!
We spend our days hoping for better ones. We spend our money on products and procedures to make us better than we were. $40 BILLION was spent last year in the United States on weight loss products and plans. Not million, 40 BILLION DOLLARS! On hopes, not successes. $10 billion was spent on plastic surgery in the US. Apparently, we are not happy with our current moments.
Do you remember this post I wrote about a picture of myself that I used to hate? We always think that the future will bring better versions of our physical self, bigger homes, more money, more trips, more love. But... sometimes it gets worse. Our bodies definitely age and slow. Nothing is a sure thing financially. Next year you might be crying like I did for your current face/situation/body. We don't know what the future holds. We can't say much for sure about tomorrow. So, love today. Love what you have. Love who you are. You aren't getting this moment back.
So, why are you still reading this? Go do something great with this moment. Go kiss your reflection in the mirror. Write yourself a love note. Make your bed, dangit. Men are that they might have joy*.
Love it. Work it. Own it. Happy Valentine's Day to YOU!
Monday, February 13, 2012
Friday, February 10, 2012
Elizaveta: trained in opera, pop-esque singer/songwriter, pianist. Just like everyone else trying to make it big these days, right? I am so tired of people with real talent and training releasing great, new material. Come on, machine. Give us more Disney fluff and stuff.
On Elizaveta's blog, her "About Me" is hilariously simple: NYC-born, raised in Russia, spent some time in an Italian monastery, arrived in the U.S. & studied opera. The rest is history.
What do you think? Too much cool talent for you to handle or what?
Bon week-end, mes amis!
Thursday, February 9, 2012
|summer. one of several parks near our home. boys wielding swords, fighting off evil forces or something important.|
On the same street as the singing skateboarder, there is a bookstore. It has been around since 1977 in a little old blue house and it smells like paper and chocolate. At least once a week, some fancy-pants author comes to sign books and talk to us lay people at the art gallery a few shops down. Sometimes they have cookies.
You know that old man that works as crossing guard by the elementary school? His name is Bernie. All of the kids that walk to school say, "Good morning, Bernie" and "Thank you, Bernie" and he says, "Have a great day." He also gives really mean looks to cars that don't obey his sign holding and hand gesturing. Sometimes he yells at the kids who cross too soon. But on that one day when my five year-old was crossing and a car stopped too close to him, Bernie let that driver have it. I don't mind when he calls me "lady" anymore.
In my neighborhood, there are a lot of artists and writers and lawyers and doctors and handymen and plumbers and engineers and students and shop owners and bakers and photographers and bankers and entrepreneurs and government officials and teachers and stay-at-home moms. I like that. Guess what, kids? You can do a lot of things in life. Isn't that fantastic? There are also a lot of women who are married and keep their maiden names or hyphenate the last name. Nobody cares.
We can walk to get some milk. Or go the other direction for some bagels and hot chocolate. Or walk a few blocks to really fancy restaurants. Two libraries are within 5 miles of our home. TWO! And four or twelve parks. One of them is ginormous. I run around it sometimes with my friend. When it snows, kids ride sleds down its massive hills.
We live really close to some hospitals. One of them is Primary Children's where kids from all over Utah and a few neighboring states come for serious things. My heart breaks a little every time I hear a helicopter over my house. And I say a little prayer.
I don't know how I could ever leave my neighborhood. The minute we moved here, it felt like home. We don't have a garage, no room for a trampoline, no space for an extra freezer, and we can see our back neighbors 7 months out of the year when the grape leaves are gone. But, BOY, it feels like it was drawn just for us and we were molded just for it. Oh, did I tell you that we've got trees that line the streets? We do.
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
This morning I woke up with a headache. So Rhett and I hung out in bed and he told me all about how smart he is and how many parts of his body he can name. Smartest two year old IN THE WORLD!
My plans for today's post weren't gelling. But so many others have written great posts today.
Namely, my husband Alan. He talks of murderers, heaven, hell, and what he believes. I am a lucky girl. GO HERE
My new friend from alt (well, I claim her, I don't know if she'd claim me) fantastically wrote about something I was thinking a lot about: smell (maybe because I was sitting next to her during the talk she mentions). GO HERE
Maurice Sendak--author of the Wild Things Are--was interviewed by Stephen Colbert. I laughed heartily at this. It can be offensive, but that's the way I like my old men. And my Stephen Colbert. GO HERE to see it. "The sad thing is, I liked it."
that's all I got today, friends.
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Saturday I had the, well, let's call it opportunity to speak to a group of neighborhood women about "Learning to Love Yourself."
I can hear your incredulous laughter on the other side of this screen. It is a bit funny, I agree. This is one of those age-old advantageous moments where the "teacher" was the one who needed to learn. And then gets to share it. win-win, y'all
Since Saturday, I have had
thousands and thousands of at least four people wanting to hear the nuggets of wisdom that were imparted. And since four is practically half of those who read this blog, that is pretty good ROI. Wouldn't you say?
This might turn into a mini series. Because I can say a lot more in thirty minutes than I should ever type into one blog post. As you can imagine, I also didn't even get to share all of my new-found expertise. There is a lot to be said about learning to love yourself.
A psychologist named Maxwell Martz suggested that superiority and inferiority complexes are opposite sides of the same counterfeit coin. When I compare myself to somebody else, regardless if it makes me feel better or worse than them, it is false. Fake. Counterfeit gets you nothing. No, counterfeit is worse than nothing, it gets you in trouble. If your soul is starving and craving positive affirmation of self love, comparison is negative calories.
Guess what? There will always be someone
smarter than you
thinner than you
richer than you
funnier than you
more successful than you
more creative than you
Just as there will always be someone
dumber than you
fatter than you
poorer than you
and so on
I am assuming that you don't feel any better about yourself at this point. Why would you? I feel worse about myself by writing those things.
If God wanted us all to be 5'10", blond, thin, volleyball players... we would be. All of us.
Get over it. You were made in the image of a loving Father. You are quirky. You are unique. You are beautiful. Look at your hands. Look at the way they bend and clap and scratch and hold things. Think of your ears and how miraculously they hear things, decipher sounds, and warn you. Your nose. Your eyes. Your mouth: that thing is crazy useful. Your body is simply incredible and cannot be replicated. Your personality and your mind work in a way only you can truly understand. Put all of those things together and you have something to offer this world that nobody else can.
Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is NO ONE alive that is youer than you!
Why would you want to be anything else? Feed your soul with affirmations of what you truly are. If you need to, take away those things that feed the counterfeit comparisons. Stop getting "health" body magazines. Don't tour the Dream Homes. Take a break from blogs that tend to leave you feeling less than. Chill out on Pinterest (especially the pictures of 17 year-olds with six-pack abs and words of diet inspiration written next to them). Pray that you can stop comparing yourself to your friends, sisters, co-workers.
You--your body, your soul, your mind, your personality--are amazing. Think of all of the things that you are. Fill your mind so full with what you are, that there will be no space to compare yourself to what other people are.
You are important.
Monday, February 6, 2012
I may be her mother, but I am still a tough critic.
Some of her jokes are funny, don't get me wrong. The fact is: SHE TRIES! Often. When she scores, she scores big.
Most of the time, though, I might say something like, "Keep working on it" or "I see where you're going, but it's not quite there."
Occasionally, I'll just give her a big "WOP wop wop wo-o-p."
The best part about those moments are not my own incredibly realistic sound effects, but her response back to me.
Her retort: "You just don't get it."
Right. It's my fault. It has nothing to do with the fact that it made no sense and was not funny. I'm just not witty enough to understand your superior humor.
I love it. I love that she is that confident. Truly.
Imagine if stand-up comedians were that confident. They tell a really bad joke, get a "boo" or two, and they laugh it off with a "oh. you just don't get it."
It makes me laugh every time. Work it, Maggie. The Queen of Puns! (as she has dubbed herself--but when she says it, the emphasis is on PUNS, and about half an octave higher than the other words.)
I may be a bit hard on her, but she really is quite punny.
What? Oh, you just don't get it.
Friday, February 3, 2012
There is so much to love with this song. Have you heard of the band Elbow before? This song has me mesmerized: "Lippy Kids."
What do you think? Yay or Nay?
Thursday, February 2, 2012
Once a week I get to go and help out in Ashton's kindergarten class.
Remember going to kindergarten? It was all about coloring and learning your letters and tying your shoes. Well, these kids don't learn to tie their shoes (darn velcro!). And they all know how to read. It's serious business, this kindergarten in the 21st century.
Last week, there were two dice that each kid got to roll that would spell a word. For example, one die had the first letter of a word ("S") and the other had the second part of the word ("AT"). And then the kids would all yell out: "SAT"!
Super fun, right?
Ashton--my very son--had his opportunity. First die: "T". Second die: "IT"
All the kids yelled it out.
It IS a word, really. So good job, five year olds! Let's quickly move on, shall we?
Oh, and looks like Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow this morning as he was pulled from his resting spot. Six more weeks of winter. If they are anything like the last six weeks, I'm not worried. It's been pretty mild around here. Last Groundhog's Day we made cupcakes. I don't know what we'll do today. Any suggestions?
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Remember how I went on and on about giving up veganism and embracing meat?
Boy. I feel like a grease monkey and am desperately seeking vegetable respite. I think I ate a dozen hamburgers last month. Which would be about as many as I ate in the last five years or so. Say it with me, "YIKES!" (could be the reason I've been experiencing a whole lot of this! <---[that's a link])
I have been dreaming about vegetable and bean soups. Fruit. Herbs! I have been eating them along with my hamburgers and (ahem) the dozens of cookies I've been trying out. But I just really want to eat lots of soups.
This Sunday is the perfect day to start fresh and new with loads of Soup Herbals! I shall call it Soup Herbal Sunday! So catchy, right?
I think I will make a lentil soup with some basil, cumin, red pepper flakes, celery, carrots, onion, bay leaves, and thyme, just for fun. Doesn't that sound delicious? Maybe with a slice of crusty bread.
No? You have a different idea to celebrate Soup Herbal Sunday?
Just in case, I found a few really good-looking pictures of foods that could be great for a party this Sunday while watching men play around on a field wearing really tight pants and chasing a skin from a pig.
2. Slow Cooker French Dip (perfect if you plan on attending church services)
3. Ham and Cheese Pretzel Bites
4. Surprisingly healthified Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip
5. Chocolate-dipped Football Strawberries
Happy Soup Herbal Sunday, friends!