Tuesday, September 25, 2012

To Thine Own Self Be True

After a random conversation with my dear,dear friend Mary, she told me about an article she read. She said that "women don't ever speak positive about themselves because it's socially unacceptable." We seem to think as a society that giving ourselves credit for the things we do well is wrong. Well, how wrong it that??!

Ever since that conversation 3 weeks ago, I've been thinking a LOT about it and beating myself up (as usual) for the things I don't do, but I know that I can do but can't seem to figure out how to work into my life with two very busy kids.

But I'm tired of seeing my friends do thing that *I* love and can do for myself, but just can't seem to find the time for. I often think of myself as someone who is capable of anything, but can do so many things only mediocre and I'm not proficient enough to call myself great at just one thing. Backward way of thing? Yes.

So I'm going to toot my own horn. I'm going to list the qualities that I secretly love about myself and be ever so thankful that I've been blessed by God with and not be embarrassed or feel guilty about saying these.

My Awesome Qualities :

Sewing~ I can create a pattern out of my head and make it work. In fact, most of the time I DON'T use a pattern because it hinders me. Patterns easily confuse me. =P At this point in my life, I have yet to get back into it because I don't have a machine, but I am a good seamstress. Just don't ask me to make anything because I have no machine. But even after all that, I still prefer to hand sew. It's how I started. I love just sitting down and listening to a movie or music and sewing something by hand. It's incredibly soothing.

Cooking~ I am an awesome cook. Mary taught me that I can experiment and not worry about caring since, if it's terrible, you don't have to eat it or make it again. But if it's wonderful, write down what you put in it immediately so you don't forget when you want to make it again. Baking terrifies me, but I've never failed at anything I've made, so I don't know why I freak out so badly. It's not as if my husband is going to leave me if I mess up rolls or burn pumpkin bread. I need to start trying new things again once the weather cools down.

Party Planner~ I am a wicked hostess. I'm WAY into throwing parties and get-together's since we moved to a house. It allows me crazy creativity. There's something about it that makes my whole self come alive with excitement and tingles when I think about it. If I could do it for a living, I would.

Scrapbooking~ I have a milliondy things and pictures I have to catch up on and every time someone has a birthday, I get more and more behind. But, again, it allows my creative juices to flow. I love the idea of making things easier and going digital with those kinds of books, but I much prefer to make things by hand. I love making things, cutting things out, etc. all by hand. It gives a great sense of accomplishment when I see the spread I've created once it's done.

Photography Ideas and Settings~ Although I took a few photography classes in high school, I never really had the knack for capturing exactly what I wanted about 98% of the time. But I discovered that I'm an extremely creative person when it comes to making photography work; I can see things in my head the way I want them to work out, but I don't have the ability to capture it so I have to rely on people who have that talent to do that part. I'm also an incredible editor, something I learned and excelled in when I was in my classes. I think that comes with being an artist.

Cosmetologist~ Albeit it was something I was forced into and I really didn't have much of a desire to do it when I started, I discovered I have a special proficiency in what I do. It gives me great pleasure to help someone feel better and more confident about themselves. I'm getting pretty darn good with color, too. I think that trickles back to my art classes I took as a teenager. When I look at some one's hair, I get a flashback through all the color classes I took in art as well as in cos school. I see the color wheel almost immediately whenever I have someone in my chair. And actually, I LOVE giving pedicures. As relaxing as it is for the client, it's more so for me. Massage has a way of relaxing me when I do it for other people. I would have never believed in a million years something that I didn't want to become would be something that I really enjoy and gives me so much ability to create and learn from every time I do it. I mean, who wouldn't want to spend all day playing "Make Over"??

Organizer~ I take GREAT pride in my home. I've always had an incredible knack for organizing, but only recently have I figured out how to make it work for me in every aspect. I read this great article of how to organize your home and I cleaned and cleared out my house like a boss. My home is now ALWAYS clean. It might get cluttered with random piles of laundry or toys and trash might explode, but underneath all that, it's clean. The only thing that I need to do is a basic pick up. I now vacuum every morning, wash the dishes after every meal, and sweep every other day. If cleanliness is close to Godliness, I can personally attest to that because now that my home is always clean, I love my family more and worry less about messes because I know that it's not hard to clean up afterwards. There is nothing that can substitute a clean home for my level of sanity. No doubt about it, I'm a more loving mom when my house is clean. Are you seeing a theme here, because I am. I think I love to work with my hands. Very hands on type of person. =)

Musician~ I realize this is an incredible gift that I have been blessed with. But, only recently have I discovered how deep it goes. While talking to my mother last week, she told me that was I was really little while we were all at a concert, I covered my ears and said, "Mommy, make them stop. It's ugly and wrong." Apparently my ability for perfect pitch has been with me my entire life. I may not always have the ability to sing with perfect pitch (being tired, sick), but I always hear with perfect pitch. I admit I regret not staying closer to the piano, since I quit my junior year of high school after I learned to sight read all the hymns in the hymn book (parents requirement for quitting piano lessons) and I have a HUGE desire to start playing again.

Mother~ There are a million things I could say about what I need to change, since we are always our own critics, but I won't. I'll focus on the good. While talking to my really good Stacia during a very long color appointment, I confessed that I felt I was failing at motherhood. nearly crying, I choked back tears in how I thought how terrible of a mother I was. She laughed ans said, "Are you drinking, doing, drugs, leaving your children on the streets to fend for themselves? No? Then you're a good mother." Then she asked me what some things were that I do do as a mother with my children and I listed them off: I play with them for a solid hour everyday nearly everyday with no distractions, I've taught them to pick up after themselves with their toys and to put their dishes in the sink, I sit down with them for every meal, I bathe them every other day, I brush and floss their teeth every night (I sometimes forget in the morning), I help them say their individual morning and evening prayers, we always read the Book of Mormon together as a family before bed, we have family prayer together every morning and night, and I sing them each two Primary songs of their choice before I put them in bed every night unless I have a soar throat.

There are many more things I'm good at and capable of, I'm sure, but these are the things that come to mind. As a mortal being, there is much room for improvement, but we need to stop criticizing ourselves. God has said, "Love One Another" which, includes ourselves. We cannot hope to help another person strengthen themselves if we do not first strengthen ourselves, love ourselves. I want to love me. If I wasn't worth loving, i wouldn't know so many good people and have such amazing friends, right? The same thing goes for you.

I would LOVE to see each one of you who read this to make and post your own lists so that I can add to it. This world is hard enough without praising each other for what we excel in. let us take time to love and appreciate each other. And also, let us take time to say thank-you and not argue with those who took time to give you a compliment. it's just as important to tell someone thank-you for sharing their gift as it is to accept.

I look forward to reading your lists in the near future. =)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

We Date Who We Marry

We often times get wrapped up in our everyday humdrum lives and it's easy to take for granted what brought  us together in the first place. We repeat the same stories, jokes and punch lines, et cetera to each other and constantly tell one another these things until we think we'll turn blue in the face. But there are those certain brief moments that time stops and we can connect on that level we did while we were first dating and become that young couple again.


We were sent out Saturday night without a curfew after a long and hot day at the beach with no shade by my parents who were visiting for a few days. Tired as could be, we tossed back and forth about where we should go since we're at the end of our summer money with just enough for food and a wee bit of gas. 

As we were getting to the freeway, we passed Golf 'n Stuff, but it was packed more full than I've ever seen it and I had no patience to do more lines. I wanted to go to Knott's, since I've NEVER been there (even though I've lived in LA for nearly 6 years), but of course that was totally out of the question. (Yes, I now realize there are lots and lots of line at Knott's, but remember I was tired and burnt to a crisp from all day at the beach.) We bantered back and forth and eventually decided to see a movie and ended up at the Long Beach Town Center. We got a decent parking place and walked past the fountains and splash pad to the Edwards 20 to see what was playing.

We looked at the marquee and narrowed it down to a 3, since we had no energy to stay awake through a movie that started later than 10 and over half the movies were rated R. I looked up one that I'd wanted to see on my phone and was shocked at the amount of indecent things that were talked about and we opted out on that one. Then I looked up that other two movies and we both agreed we didn't want to pay $12 a ticket to see anything. So we sat at the main fountain in front of the theater and enjoyed the cool air trying to figure out what to do, since I couldn't be out that late since I had to sing for church the next morning. 

I decided to hit up Ben and Jerry's since I knew that they serve frozen yogurt and smoothies. I ended up getting a frozen strawberry lemonade and Lars got something sickeningly sweet like he always does. Then we started to head back toward the parking lot. I spotted an open bench in front of the waterfall fountain we passed on the way into the town center and we sat, chit chatting and laughing, just enjoying each other's company. I laughed at his jokes because for the first time in a long time, I honestly thought they were funny. It was hard to want to go home, so we sat for a little while longer before we headed back home.  

I hate to say how often I forget to honestly just BE with my husband. It's hard when your life is completely wrapped around two very small children, one of which is in the midst of potty training and the other not far behind. I forget to like myself and end up turning it outwardly to him thinking he'll think the same about me that I do, but he never does. And in this moment, you can honestly see that we were just happy to be together, loving one another. Tired as all get out, but more happy than I've been just to "be" in I can't remember how long. 

I really love this man and I need to start trying to like myself again so that I have enough emotional support under me to pass it on to him, because no one loves me more than him. No one. 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Rock the Boat

It's been a looooong time since I've posted. Let's face it, blogging just stopped being important since I started to write in a real journal awhile back. But I haven't and things are simply just busy and life is happening and time is sliding by without me noticing.

But tonight I'm full of emotions and just need some feedback, maybe to know that I'm a normal 20-something mom/woman and I haven't lost it.

I've been cleaning house like crazy the since yesterday and then my mother-in-law took both my son and daughter over night for a gift to me for Mother's Day. Needless to say, rather than turn in early to catch up on sleep since we're at a battle of wills with the baby concerning any type of sleep, I was buzzing from cleaning endorphins. Then when I finally lied sown for the night shortly after midnight, I couldn't sleep. All I could think about was the fact that the kids' doors were open and through the doors their curtains were open because I didn't close anything since they didn't go to their beds to sleep. I just kept thinking about how they were both away from me.

Now, to make things a little bit more clear, my husband and I started to watch reruns of The Wonder Years on our Netflix account and while I was overhauling the kitchen yesterday, I listened/watched to about 5 HOURS of the show. Today was much of the same thing, I overhauled the house, folded, sorted, ironed, and put away laundry to the voice of Daniel Stern's ever familiar voice portraying the adult Kevin Arnold. Now if you've ever watched this show as an adult, the things you thought were super funny as a kid, well they are still ever so funny, but the deeper meanings that are played upon actually make sense being well out of high school and college. Which brings me to what I've been thinking about.

Personal Pressure.

Many of my friends are pregnant again, most of them with their third children. And somehow, I feel like I'm missing out. I feel as though I should be on that baby wagon heading east, or west, or whatever. I feel like I NEED to be having another baby.

But I don't want one.

I had a scare last month when my period was 10 days late, which has NEVER happened since my period regulated after I got off birth control before I had my son nearly 4 years ago. My period happened ON TIME. And intimate moments just weren't happening due to the invasion of a daughter who woke up her brother when she came into our room, or vice versa. The fact I was late didn't add up. So I took 3 tests (like always~ two you could have a false positive, but 3 can knock either  false positive of negative out) and just as I had accepted the fact that I was going to be a mom of 3 (after days, hours, milliseconds of anger and hosility toward this possible unborn child) I checked and they were all negative.

I was happy, right? I mean, I'd been angry and up in arms about what to do with another child when I had SO much to do to be ready to accept and be ready for another child into my heart, arms, home, and family. But the fact was, was I was crushed. Devastated. I had already *just* decided and let the glimmer of excitement (and dreading the physically if carrying another baby without losing weight first) of another baby slip in under the radar undetected and the not-quite-real loss of it all hit me quite literally like a tether ball square in the chest.

The fact is, I'm not ready. I'm having many unexplained health problems that I need to get worked out (don't get me started), my kids are both going through their own power struggles as they learn and I try to teach them their independence (not to mention a million other things) and they're just about all I can handle. Strike that. They are ALL I can handle. So why is it that I feel so lost? Why do I feel like I'm being left behind? I don't want another child. And I feel a wall in my emotions about it. There simply is No room No time in my life now for another child.

But when I think about 3 weeks ago and the lost-that-never-was, I feel ever so sad and teary-eyed for something I'm not sure how to put into words and it's hard to quell the emotion that rises in my chest and the lump that forms in my throat because of it. I lost something. But I kept something as well. And with both, I'm clearly depressed and confused. Actually, I don't even remember what I was going to ask in the first place.

I guess it's just been so long and I've been so busy holding on so tightly to so many deep emotions that I just needed a place to unload. It's a hard uphill road doing it by yourself, keeping ahold of those heavyset emotions, and right now it's simply too much. I'm sad and tired and weighed down. So I'm leaving these things here. Please be kind if you choose to respond. I have so much I'm feeling and dealing with already and I'm likely to tip and spill if you rock the boat too much.