Sunday, March 29, 2009

Food Storage club?

Here's a thought...click on this...

Gathering Grub
(www.gatheringgrub.blogspot.com)

How about a place for those of us who want know about and share food storage deals and other stuff? I figure we can see how many people are interested, and maybe go from there. No fees, or sign-up's...just sharing.

I can add anyone who's interested as an author...then we could all post when we found deals, or had ideas, or need questions answered.

What do ya think? maybe? or maybe not.

Friday, March 27, 2009

We aren't crazy...just misunderstood

I just have to remember some of the great things I hear everyday. Not a day goes by without some sort of gut-busting laughter in our house. I think that God knew we needed 'Addi therapy', and sent her to brighten our days.

The girls have an amazing Pre-school teacher. They absolutely love her, and she is often the main topic of our days. I wish I had kept track of all the things they tell me...but here are some of the latest...


Addi: "Mom! Miss Windy told me about Jofess Smif today."
Me: "Really...Joseph Smith?"
Addi: "Yeah. He had duut flow-es (dirt floors) in his house. His Mom died. He had to beh-wy huh. Den, he got a new Mom!"
Me: "Ummm...you are talking about Joseph Smith?"
Addi: "Yeah...yuh know...duh guy on duh penny!"
Me: "You mean Abraham Lincoln?"
Addi: "Yah...duut flow-es!!"
***
Addi: Mom...guess what? Miss Windy said dat we can nev-ah, ev-ah, ev-ah play at pwee-scool again!"
Me: What do mean...never play again?
Addi: We wahs bad, weely bad. But yoo won't beweeve what!
Me: what?
Addi: Shez givin us one mo chance...like little bunny foo foo. Foo! (which was whew!)
***
Addi: I think Teach-ah Windy says I'm a whe-dough (wierdo) Cuz I'd ah-ways so cwazy in huh skool. I think she like whe-doughs A LOT!

***
Addi: Miss Windy's copy bwoke!
Me: her what?
Addi: huh copy bwoke. So guess what?
Me: What
Addi: Today's a lucky day! Lucky if huh copy is still bwoke. If Miss Windy's copy is still bwoke...we ah weely weely lucky!
Me: Why?
Addi: Miss Windy said it will be lucky for all the kids if the copy is bwoke, we won't have anything to cul-uh...and we will be lucky!
***
Addi: I had a dweem last night. Teach-ah Windy tuhned into a wose. (a rose) A biting wose. Den she came up to me and bit my nose all the way off!...she bite-ed my nose white off! I yelled at her to give me my nose back. It was so weh-ode (wierd)

Addi's getting better at telling the truth. But she still has her moments...
Her Primary Teacher told me that a few weeks ago, that in class, she told everyone that I was a REALLY mean Mom. She said that she cries every night, and prays to Jesus that I will be nice to her.
Yeah...that feels good.

She still has imaginary pets (no more imaginary friends...sad) Jack, her white horse, always goes with us in the car. Not IN the car, of course, following behind us. But for whatever reason, when we stop, Jack gets on top of the car. Whenever Addi says "Jack's on top of the car" Sof will bust up laughing! Then I laugh...and Addi gets upset.


Sophie calls her Pre-school teacher Miss Windy...or Miss Wendy-ah. Sof says she loves miss Wendy-ah, and calls her, her 'teach-ah fah-wend' (teacher friend)


Me: "Hey Sofa Loaf, how was your day?"
Sof: "I cut da colos (colors) of the paper...den she gets mad at me...and dat's a bad wuud. So I cut on dis side, on dat side, and on dis side."
Me: Okaaaaaay???

Sof: "Tu-day...Miss Windy took me in dah bafwomb, took off all my clothes and threw dem away, I was duh-tee...wahwee wahwee duh-tee. (dirty...really, really dirty)" (I must also add that as she's telling me this, she's wearing the clothes she went to school in, and they aren't dirty at all)

Oh what my days would be without these nuts. I wish I could freeze them today, and never have to worry about their friends, boys, or curfews. When Addi starts dating, I will tell her that Jack is always following her...and he'll give me a full report!

I really do wonder what that kid will be like when she's older...I guess a crazy adult can be called a variety of things...I think that 'eccentric' sounds good.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Getting off my High Horse (clothes horse)

(In case you are wondering...the images in this post are from a real designer's show...does it make you want to go out and buy an animal mask? hey! there in style!)

So I like to harp on superficial posts...things I find irrelevant or ridiculously immature. So this is my superficial post...because I'm a total hypocrite. (I really am...I like to think I'm mature, realistic, deep and genuine...well...maybe not-so-much) I am starting to get my Spring Cleaning itch...and decided to branch out and tackle the true source of my bedroom mess and clutter.

I'm sure that part of it's cleaning, but the economy is scaring the crap out of me. We are simplifying our lives, and living on less. It is sad that it takes such a drastic measure to bring this to the top of my priorities. I tried to simplify each room in my house last year, but it was not keeping things simple enough. That's why I'm embarrassed to post my true problem with such things...but since denial does not help me change...I tend to lay it all out.

I am a serious 'clothes horse'. But it's not just clothes...it's clothes, shoes, handbags, jewelry, etc. I also happen to be a serious bargain shopper. Over the years I have collected a closet full of STUFF.

Because it all comes from the clearance rack, some things are cute...and some are not so cute. I'm always proud of the amazing steals and bargains I get. Whether I need it or not, if I can pay $25 for something that normally costs $100...it's a victory! (Also, I have jumped around so much in sizes...I have such a range of everything in many sizes)

I've always had a major shoe fetish. My first real job was at Famous Footwear. I loved that job! When I got into management, the store became my baby, so to speak. I took such pride in my displays and the cleanliness of the store. I loved working with people and learned respect for Customer Service.

Well...as the weeks went by, I would set aside shoes that I wanted. I had a store discount, and I could also get my size transferred from another store if we didn't get it in our shipment. Needless to say...when I left the company I had over 70 pairs of shoes. Yes, seven zero.

When I moved, most of the boxes I moved were filled with shoes. And they were heavy! I thought about getting rid of some, but I just couldn't part with any of them. They were all different and unique in their own ways, and I had an excuse to need every single pair!

Mike knew what he was getting into...when we started dating, Mike helped me move apartments. He mentioned (more than once) how crazy it was for a person to have that many shoes. A few weeks later Mike broke his ankle while we were playing basketball. Being the good girlfriend I was, I visited him with gifts and cards. While at his house, I found out he only owned 2 pairs of shoes...TWO!!! Tennis shoes and church shoes. I was shocked and disgusted at the same time. I felt such pity for him...I immediately ran out and found him two pairs of shoes. Granted, he does have a size 16 foot, so it's a bit of a challenge. But there is no excuse for only having 2 pairs of shoes.

I bought him another pair of church shoes...then explained he needed a black pair and a brown pair. I also got him sandals. Then he informed me he didn't think he had ever owed a pair of sandals. I was floored!

So there it is...a little background on my issues. As my weight fluctuated, my shoe size did not. I also love hats! And accessories are another 'one size fits all' purchase.

Over time, I have realized that I'm really swimming in a closet of a lot of crap! I watch all the HGTV shows on cleaning and clothing. I hear what their saying...but when that sexy '50% off' sign catches my eye, I lose all control. There is nothing better than red tags, yellow stickers, slash lines and as-is writing.

I went to see that 'shopaholic' movie. It was cute and funny, but extremely 'close to home' for me. What they touch a little bit on, was the reasons people have shopping problems. I really do believe it fills a void, its addictive, and can distract me from painful things I don't want to think about.

For me, it is like eating for comfort. I think I realized it about 5 or 6 years ago. I realized that buying a pair of shoes drastically changed my mood. I could be having a bad day, or feeling depressed...and a new purchase seemed to fix things. But shopping everyday is not a good way to become a happy person. Shopping is another comforting coping mechanism I need to control. I suppose it's better than drinking...but I'm not sure it's cheaper.

So I have taken on a challenge...I am ridding my closet. I am making sure I have the essential pieces of clothing, then discarding anything the has not been worn in 6 months. I will, of course, keep some seasonal stuff, and some trendy pieces. But the rest is getting bagged...literally!

So, in case you are as superficial as I am...and curious...here is the best plan I've found to simplify my closet...

I am hanging everything in my closet backwards. As I wear and wash it, I will hang it up normally. After a few months...I will go back through and honestly see if I would wear those things still backwards, and if they are worth the room they take up in my closet.

These are the essential wardrobe pieces. These items should be comfortable, nice quality, and expected to last a few years, or more...



Pants

  • basic black straight leg pants that you can wear with anything
  • black wide leg pants
  • jeans, one in dark denim, one with a worn-in look, another in the latest style
  • menswear-inspired slacks (think Katharine Hepburn)
  • boy-cut corduroys
  • (I removed the tapered leg 'Audrey Hepburn' slacks...my body type will never allow it)
Skirts
  • black pencil skirt
  • bias-cut skirt in silk or satin
  • denim skirt, straight cut and to the knee or a little below
  • tweed skirt in a brown shade for winter at the office
Dresses
  • little black dress
  • Suits
  • black pants suit in a classic cut to last you for years
  • skirt suit in a solid color, but not black or brown
Coats
  • wool or cashmere top coat for winter
  • cropped, belted trench coat in a girly color, like pale blue
  • cropped denim jacket
Tops
  • At least 5 different colors of fitted tee shirts
  • Several black tops with interesting necklines, like a square cut or sweetheart
  • basic white tee preferably fitted
  • 3/4 length sleeve top
  • white blouse
  • cashmere cardigan or twin set in a luscious sorbet color
  • thin sweaters in flattering soft colors like peach or pink
  • satin cami top
  • cotton wrap top
  • tee shirt with a crazy print, like tie dyed or a concert tee
  • comfortable hoodie
Shoes
  • 4-inch fabulous dressy heels for big nights out
  • 3-inch pumps for the office
  • 3-4 inch ankle boots with pointy toes
  • cute sneakers for running errands
  • Italian leather loafers
  • ballet flats
  • strappy sandals for play time
  • one pair of odd colored shoes, like kelly green sandals or fuschia flats
Accessories
  • silk scarves
  • strand of pearls in various lengths
  • gold hoop earrings
  • chandelier earrings
  • interesting pins as conversation starters
  • funky pendants
So the idea would be to follow this exact list...but I'm not rich enough or classy enough to get away with ALL of it. But it serves as a good guideline. These are classic pieces that will always work regardless of the current trend or styles.

(If you are still interested in all of this...and want to continue to read...there is more)

So I have issues with knowing the type or size of things that work the best for me. Sometimes I think that this is based on the current trends. When I was in Jr. High...it was loose and baggy clothes, High School...a bit closer fitting, and everything tucked in with belts (belts were a big deal), and now I feel like we are expected to wear clothes as tight as possible (not what I consider flattering) and flat shoes (which makes my size 10 foot look like I belong to a traveling circus).

I read an article that simple stated...you should wear what flatters your body the most. It makes sense to me! You should be able to find things in style, that still flatter your shape and size.

I'm not sure why I feel the need to share this, maybe it's that I can have a copy to refer to later. Because while I plan on cleaning out my closet and following guidelines...I'm afraid I will need to remind myself of these things often. More often than I would like to admit.

So here were some of the other tips...





The Little Black Dress (LBD)

  • Fashion trends come and go and hemlines move up and down, but the little black dress will always be stylish. In the words of the great designer Karl Lagerfield, “One is never over or underdressed with a little black dress.” Sexy, glamorous and timeless, the little black dress is one of the most essential items in any woman’s wardrobe. Due to its versatility and slimming effect, it will flatter a woman’s figure and still allow her to demonstrate her personality through accessories which are updated every season. Team it with shoes in the colors of the season or silver and gold, rather than just plain black.
A Crisp White Shirt
  • Practical and versatile, with so many styles and cuts to choose from, a classic white shirt can be paired with jeans, well-cut black trousers or this season’s Silver Gray pants. Use it for covering up a bad outfit or unsightly bulges. Go for a men’s style for true chic.
A Cashmere Cardigan
  • With spring season’s floaty, feminine dresses, a cashmere cardigan is both practical and smart. Avoid hemline clashes with flowing maxi dresses by wearing a cropped cardigan.
Denim Jeans
  • Few pieces feature more prevalently in a woman’s wardrobe than a pair of blue jeans. Relaxed, simple and sexy – denims can be casual or elegant, depending on how pieces are mixed together. Combined with a well-fitted white shirt, denim jeans can inspire classic elegance and style. A low-waisted pair is kinder to more mature women if they are podgy around the middle. Any expanse of overhanging fat can be minimized by buying a size up.
A Trench Coat
  • Very Audrey Hepburn. The trench is a timeless piece full of mystery and intrigue. Wear it with oversized shades for a look ultra-mysterious. Sexy over jeans or well-cut pants, the classic trench coat will take you from season to season.
Ballet Pumps
  • For the times when common-sense must prevail over high-heeled chic. In the name of practicality, a pair of stylish flats are an essential element of any woman’s wardrobe.
High-Heel Shoes
  • A pair of classic black high-heel shoes are timeless, but don’t forget to be adventurous with seasonal colors. Impractical but sexy, a pair of ultra-high heels is a must-have to make any woman feel feminine and poised.

A Stylish Bag
  • In her book, Nina Garcia recommends that every woman should have a tote or shoulder bag, a clutch and a medium sized handbag. At least one timeless, classic bag in a woman’s wardrobe is a must. A great bag can really make an outfit, so choose one that flatters your body shape.

Whew! So there is my contribution to the world of fashion. My 411 on wardrobe tips. I sit and type to avoid really going and getting rid of all the things I don't need or use. Off I go to conquer the collection of bargains, which added up, is not a bargain AT ALL! Just a lot of wasted money!

I guess the fact is...if people see me at a department store, or any clothing store...I need them to tell me to go home and do my laundry!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Pack Rat...not such a bad quality

So...apparently I'm back on the bloggin' bandwagon! (or at least it's seems so) I just have a lot on my mind these days. I have two posts drafted and ready to back-date, and I'm sitting here with something I must share.

As some people know, I am a huge advocate of Food Storage. Last summer I almost had the opportunity to have a "food storage fest". I love to hear others share some of their experiences, and just talking about it gets me excited. I would love to start a group...like a storage therapy...where I can get every one's tricks and tips on food storage. It would be a good motivation for me to have to share each month how I did (or didn't) contribute and rotate my food storage.

I belong to websites to help build my storage one week at a time. Last week I attended my bi-annual Macy's case lot sale. An event I look forward to every spring and fall. This year I made a great discovery...they have a sweet little booklet. It contains all the items and prices. You can fill it out with quantities and chose items you want. You give it to them...or call it in. You chose a day and time to pick it up. That's right "pick it up!" Yahoo! No more dragging kiddos around and trying to push a cart filled with 100 lbs. of canned goods. They get it all together for you, load it up and are ready to help load it into your car upon arrival. Genius! (and just a reminder...you can get a raincheck for anything out-of-stock, then pick it up later)

Here is what some of my Food Storage looked like after we moved here. (these pics are from the end of 2006)


I had to literally make paths to get around the basement. The paths were lined with food...but I had no clue what was really down there.

So...In coupon clipping and comparison shopping...I now have a food storage better than our regular food. We did get supplies of wheat...but most of our storage is made up of practical food I know the kids will eat. We did have to invest in another freezer...but thanks to ksl.com, it was well worth going and picking up a slightly used one. Ksl.com also saved me a few hundred dollars in the 'shelf reliance' units. I found one that was used in a display...and was missing stickers. And the other was missing a shelf. (which I picked up at the actual Shelf Reliance showroom) I love these units, I just couldn't pay that much. There was something fundamentally wrong with the unit costing more than the food it held. All I could think of was how much food I could buy for the price of those units! Luckily...ksl.com was my answer. (no...I don't work there, the don't pay me...although they should!)

Last year I also invested in a vacuum sealer. It paid for itself in the first two months. I can buy meats and things in much larger quantities...which is always cheaper.

I still struggle with rotating it. The kids help by sneaking down there and eating the fruit snacks, nuts and chocolate chips. I'm sure they are praying for a disaster, and look forward to a time when all that food can be consumed.

I also have struggled with water. I have smaller containers of water...smaller so they are portable. I'm not a fan of the big drums, but I'm not sure I can get all we need in small containers. (and they are too pricey) Really, what good is all the food storage if we die of thirst in a week? A little backwards!

I also need to find a reliable source of power. We have a propane heater and stove...but I think a generator is probably necessary...dang it! Again, what good is the food you have to cook without a way to cook it? yeah.

I recently swapped out the clothes and supplies in our emergency backpacks. (I have a great 72 hour kit menu with kid-friendly food you can fit into a large ziploc...I would love to put a bunch together and sell them. I think they would sell better than MRE's) The clothes in the packs were too small. And in a moment of celebration...I removed the diapers!!! YEAH!!! It didn't lighten the load any, but it sure felt that way.

Honestly, it has only been the last 4 years that we started getting our storage together. It seemed overwhelming at first, but once I got started I fell in love with watching it slowly grow. I'm not going to lie...when we moved two years ago, we got cussed out for the boxes of #10 cans. It was a pain to move it, but worth the work. (I didn't move any of those boxes...so it was definitely worth it to me. Probably not to Mike's brother though.)

I'm going to preach about the practicality of slowly getting what you need. Until Mike was called to be the welfare specialist, we were not the least bit interested in taking it all on. Mike's calling taught us about the church cannery and other resources available. We are really lucky to live where it's so easy to get what we need.

Speaking of practicality...food storage is really just an extension of the things you already eat and use from week-to-week. If you think about it, there are things other than food you might want. As a woman...there are quite a few things I would really hope I had a supply of :) Even just light bulbs, soap, shampoo, toothbrushes and toothpaste. Not things crucial in the first 72 hours of an emergency...but nice to have on hand.

I have amazing neighbors who are great examples of preparation. I love talking to them about things...and sharing my joy of Macey's case lot sale with someone who loves it as much as me! I am blessed to live around great people in such a great place.

So while our storage is still a work in progress. I must testify that getting it, really is possible. And while I hope we don't have to use it soon...I know there will come a time when we will use it.

I came across a fantastic and funny list on my friends website. So I'm going to copy it here. It kicks my butt in gear to read stuff and realize how much better I can be...

Top 10 Reasons Why I Don't Have My Food Storage:

10. My neighbors have a TWO year supply!
No, they don't. They don't have any food. Did you know that 85% of the members of the church don't have any food storage at all? If your idea of food storage is to eat someone else’s food...this is a really bad plan.

9. I've paid tithing for 20 years...the church can give me a little food.
Many members believe that when the times get hard, the church is going to come through like Joseph in Egypt. Absolutely not true. All the church storehouses and welfare farms across the country would only feed 4% of the members of the church. The church has been asking YOU to store food for 75 years. They're NOT storing food for you. Thus, another bad plan.

8. I'm moving in with my children / parents!
Really....that’s just a bad plan all by itself. But it points out that most members don't have a year's supply because they're PLANNING on eating someone else's food! Of course, since no one HAS any food, we have yet another bad plan.

7. I can't have a year's supply...without the bullets to go with it!
Have you heard this one?... "How dumb is that to go to all the time and expense of getting food...just to have some guy with a gun come and shoot my family to take it away?" Here's a better question. Are you afraid of the guy with the gun? Or are you more afraid of BECOMING the guy with the gun? What would you do if your children were starving to death? Would you lie? Cheat? Steal? Would you shoot your neighbor for his food? I guarantee....if you were watching your child starving to death, you would do anything you had to to keep them alive. If you don't have your year's supply, you are putting yourself in danger of losing not only your temporal salvation, but your spiritual salvation as well. So far, all the reasons we don't have our food storage involve eating someone else's food. Please, don't put your family's temporal salvation in other people's hands. No one is storing food for you. Not your neighbors, not the government...not even the church.

6. The boat and the 4 wheelers are taking up all my storage space!
(priorities!)

5. 3 letters....Y2K.
Okay, that's 2 letters and a number....but they're always making way too much out of everything! This is never going to happen!” (Every prophecy that has ever been given WILL happen.)

4. If anything DOES happen, the government will be here within hours!
(insert laughter) Did you know the government has been telling us that we need to have food storage? They're actually CALLING it food storage! We now have the government telling us to store food, water, medicines...whatever we will need to be able to stay in our homes for several months.

3. I can't afford scrap booking AND food storage.
The average food storage can cost as little as a dollar a day. We live in the richest society in the history of the world, and while there are cases where money may be a problem, most of the time it is a matter of priorities. We have chosen bigger homes, nicer cars, more TV's, computers, vacations ...everything is more important than our food storage. If I asked, "Who has a cell phone?" most of you would say yes. You pay at least $30 a month to have a cell phone....that's about a dollar a day...the cost of one year's supply of food for your child. Is your cell phone really more important than your child's temporal salvation? You have to make food storage a priority.

2. I'm waiting for the cannery to sell Papa John's dehydrated pizza!
Food storage has always had a stigma attached to it. If it's not wheat, beans and powdered milk, it's not food storage. Food storage can be sweet and sour chicken, tamale pie, chile and cornbread, beef stew, shepherd's pie, minestrone...even chocolate chip cookies! Your imagination (and your pocketbook) are the only limitations you have.

And the #1 reason why I don't have my year's supply of food?...

1. A year?? I thought it was 72 hours!!

You KNOW you should have your food storage. You WANT to have it, but it can be so overwhelming! How much do I buy? Where do I store it? How do I cook it? It seems like an impossible task.... but it's not. It doesn't matter if you use a system or just start buying extra food, the important thing is to do something.

Friday, March 13, 2009

weighing in on my issues


I reached a major milestone this week. On Thursday morning, I reached a weight I have not been since the beginning of 2002...I was only there for 6 months or so, and before that I hadn't been there since 1999. Next month I will most likely be in my wedding dress.

Most of the people in my life are very unaware of my struggles both emotionally and with weight loss...and I strongly believe, that for me, the two are inseparable.

I'm not EVER going to say "Oh it's easy, just eat right and exercise." For me it has been so different than that. To have my emotions so closely tied to my physical body has always been a challenge.

I can say that I've never necessarily hated myself or even hated my body. I just didn't like that way I looked sometimes. I'm not sure if that makes any sense, but it's just me.

I have always been athletic and regardless of weight, my body has always pulled through and done whatever I asked of it. I look back at a few things now and I can't believe how strong my body really is. Last April I ran a half marathon. I think this was a turning point for me. It was that first thing I had done where I felt limited. I realized that emotionally I was going through some crazy things...but my body was paying the price. I really want to do things without limitations. I am the type of person who sees limitations as more of a challenge, I enjoy pushing myself.

As last year continued...thing only got worse. There were family issues, neighbor issues, friend issues, religious issues...and I ate every single problem throughout the summer. I think I was disappointed that my half marathon didn't help me lose weight, I wondered if anything would. If running mile after mile after mile didn't shed any pounds...how could I be motivated to do anything else?

I guess I hit a turning point. It was when I was removed from my life, that I realized how much stuff I had been letting affect me. While Mike and I were on our Anniversary trip, there was nothing from my day-to-day...just me. I saw the price I had been paying, and the price Mike had been paying for all the insignificant things I was worried and bothered about. Being away, I realized really how insignificant most of those things were.

When it was down to my marriage, my relationship with the Lord, and my children...I realized how important (or not important) everything else was. Besides those basics, shouldn't everything else be positive...in a way of positively affecting the basics? Many things and people in my life were not helping me be a good wife, mom, or daughter of God. When all is said and done in my life...the things that were most important will be all that's left. Those other things will be viewed as obstacles or challenges.

When I came home, I made a goal to emotionally detach myself from anything weighing me down...literally. Anything which made me feel sad, angry, worried, scared...anything that wasn't positive. I've always been good at acting the part of a 'strong person', and in some ways I am. I can say and type a lot of things I feel. But behind closed doors and in moments of weakness, I can be struggling with a lot of pain.

It is hard to detach yourself from people. Food was actually one of the easier things to pull away from. It was pulling away from certain people, knowing that I still love them...but can no longer 'let them in'. I have to be on the outside of some of the relationships I was in the middle of. I'm not sure that even sounds right, but it all made sense for me. It was as if I was covered in leaches, and I had to pull each one off. Some, I could pull right off...while others had been there for so long, it was really hard to remove them. Things and people were literally sucking the life out of me.

I'm sure this all sounds so selfish. It really is selfish. There's advertisements and commercials about 'making time for yourself' or Oprah said 'love yourself enough'. I really didn't see it that way. I kept thinking "whatever! I make plenty of time for myself...that's not an issue" For me, it was how I spent time on myself, the words I used, whether or not I was honest with people who hurt me or used me, and taking quick moments to realize 'it just doesn't matter' when I would be stressed.

I'm a huge fan of the Biggest Loser. It always kicks my butt that they lose 8 or 10 pounds a week. I would work so hard for my 1 or 2 pounds. Everyone would say, "but that's all they do...they exercise all day long" Now, it's always cheesy for me when they cry...or get emotional about things. When Jillian says "why are you here?" and blubbering tears come. Thank goodness for DVR's, it's my cue to hit fast-forward. (that statement will really 'date' me someday)

So, here's where I get cheesy...
I think that when you are pulled back, and you can look at your life, and ultimately yourself...without all the things that stress you out, or make you worry, or just people's stupid drama...then you see that basics that are left.

People who leave their lives and do the Biggest Loser miss their families and close friends. Do they miss their boss or work? their neighborhood? their kid's teachers? their crazy family members they dread seeing at yearly events? no.

I know it sounds rude...but I guess I had to get over that too! If I offend someone...I'm sorry, I really didn't mean to. If I don't like you...sorry, I can't pretend like I do. If you make me angry...I probably won't keep talking to you. If you hurt my kid...well...you get the idea.

With the emotions compartmentalized, I could see food for what it was. I LOVE food. I love to cook, and I love learning new things to cook. I love tasting new and exotic dishes. A bag of peanut butter M&M's is not new and exotic. I know how they taste (amazing!) and I can eat them if I want to. But I don't eat them because I'm in a fight with my Mom. I don't eat them because I had a long exhausting day.

I still find it hard to not eat for convenience. Unfortunately, fast food is nice and fast! and it continues to be fast at it travels straight to my hips! It's there the next day. Then I think, "I already ate crap today...what good will vegetables do me now?"

And what really pisses me off? If you can find healthy fast food...it might be fast, but it's not cheap! At that point I'd rather go home and cook something that tastes better. (I just can't fork over $7 for a salad with wilted lettuce, or $5 for a sandwich where they skimp on meat...come on!)

Blah, blah, blah...yada, yada, yada...
I just need to get it all out. And I need to be able to read through it again in my moments of weakness.

Mike and I both come from big genes. (and big jeans!) I've often worried about my girls. Will they be too thin? Will they be too fat? Will they struggle with body image and self-esteem? I pray daily that they don't! Jr. High and High School will come...I will have to take a back seat to their lives (luckily I'm a loud backseat driver) and they will have to make their own decisions. I'm really glad now...looking back...that I've had to learn the things I did. In Jr. High, I had an eating disorder which ruined a lot of me. I learned that people hold your emotional control. My emotional control at that time was taken by my Mom, my Dad, and my abusive Stepfather. When I took my emotional control back, I could see why I had no control over myself.

Ironically, I didn't realize that being obese was exactly the same issue. Only being at home, knowing how to cook, and having a kitchen full of food all day long made me want to eat, instead of not eat.

At 29 years-old, I didn't realize who had my emotional control. When I was 14, I thought those people took it from me...and I had to get it back. In many ways they did take it, children can't always fight for themselves. As an adult, I see that I gave am giving it away. It is something I give, they can't take it from me unless I let them. In order to get back my emotional control as a kid, I had to tell them exactly how I felt, what they had done to me, how it made me feel. (and I had to use explicit and horrific language to do so) As an adult, I can quietly step away and remove myself. I can take my emotional control back without confrontation, not necessarily without hurt feelings, but certainly without explicits...maybe. :)

I know I will blab on about this for a while. Maybe the next year or so, off and on. I feel that documenting my journey and struggles will help me sort things out...and give me something to look back and reference in harder times.

I certainly don't mean to brag or sound like a thin person who preaches about weight loss. I am comfortable where I am, and hope to be in the next month or so. I will never have a goal weight or size I guess, and I will never wear skinny jeans. I probably will never be in a single digit size, but I feel healthy and happy. If I don't make it to the elliptical or can find time to do yoga?...oh well, I'll try and fit it in tomorrow.

I may not have any qualifications to talk about physical and mental health...but I have a pair of jeans in every size from 4 to 24...so I guess in some ways I think I've earned it.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Big Love...and mass hate!

I've never considered myself as a "hater". I am a big believer of every one's own rights and opinions. I believe that free-agency is our greatest gift, and serves our purpose for life. I really debated whether to even give this topic any attention, because it doesn't deserve any. With that said...these are some thoughts.



Our family had the opportunity on Monday to attend the newest Draper temple. This is the newest of 13 temples now in our state. (almost 13...Oquirrh temple) It was absolutely amazing! Cori had so many questions. During the video presentation before seeing the temple, Addi kept yelling "That's is MY Temple, where I'm getting married" every time a picture of the Salt Lake Temple was shown. Sophie was surprisingly good and considering her age, she behaved quite well. My favorite was showing the girls the 'bride's room' and thinking about the day they will go to the temple.

I know they are my kids, because about halfway through...Lexi said "Is there a reason we are all walking so slow?" I said it was because other people in front of us were probably stopping to look at things. She said "Well then they should step aside and keep the line moving" That's my girl!!

Mike and I were able to attend the temple last night. My cousin is going on a mission, and we really wanted to show our love and support.

Being the oldest grandchild in both my families, I remember all my aunts, uncles and cousins attending almost every major event of my childhood. Now that the younger cousins are getting older...I worry that they don't get all the support they should from extended family. It seems that we are busy with our own families now, and they seem to get lost through the years.

It was a wonderful evening and I am always grateful for the opportunity to go and receive the peace I feel at the temple.

With all of that aside... I was made aware of recent claims that HBO will be airing an episode in regards to the temple. This is both disturbing and saddening on a number of levels. This is what I think...

I feel that the people of Islam have probably been the receivers of more religious criticism and offense than any religions in my lifetime. Muslims have been misunderstood and have been on the receiving end of very ignorant and uneducated people. This makes me very sad for them.

I truly think that the freedoms we enjoy in our country are amazing. Our freedom of speech is a human right which no person should be denied. I agree that while religion is not above criticism, apparently respect for ones religion is no longer viewed as human decency. This is not an issue of human rights. This is an issue of respect for religion.

I wonder what religion the writers and director's at HBO belong to. Maybe some are Atheist. My assumption is that these people are detached from God, or a a belief of moral responsibility. It proves what a sick and twisted world we are living in. Horrible tragedies happen everyday...and yet people are surprised. Asking... how could this happen? I wonder how it could surprise anyone at this point. Look at the morals of people controlling things and making decisions!

Along with an 'apology' these were the words HBO exec's offered:
"the series' creators defended the temple scene, saying it's depicted with reverence, and adheres to guidelines from a former Mormon who was hired to ensure accuracy."
Key phrase there is 'guidelines from a former Mormon'.

How thoughtful some people are. To offer and apology BEFORE hurting someone instead of after hurting them. Hummm... Imagine our society if that were the case with all of us.

(wavy lines blur the screen and fade to the following scene)

Bully: You know...I am sorry that I'm going to stick your head in the toilet. And I'm sorry I will then flush the water with your head still in there. Geez...I'm sorry if that isn't pleasant for you.

Victim: Ummm...thanks?

Does that make it hurt less? no. Perhaps it helps prepare the boy a bit...maybe hold his breath earlier. All the other guys will still love to watch it all go down, right?
(eat THAT screenplay HB-shmow)

I used to be a loan officer and funder...10 years ago. I feel like it's the same as if I did a loan for someone and publicly gave out all their financial information. I not only cannot sell someone a loan without working with a lender... I certainly cannot give out personal information.
Luckily...there are laws against such horrendous behavior...and not laws against the behavior in the current religious situation.
Speaking of laws, anyone who knows the covenants made with God in the temple, knows that the wrath upon these people will be nothing small. They will be the ones held accountable when all is said and done. Public broadcast of that judgment day would be a hundred times more entertaining than anything HBO could ever hope to produce. You could name it 'Judgement Day'...how creative.

I find it strange that they can have a show about 'Mormons' when it is really not about Mormons. Is it different than a show about devout Muslims who are terrorists? Is that why we thing every brown-eyed, brown haired, middle-eastern looking person has a bomb and is out to get us?

Muslims a peace-loving people. Do people look at what Islam and the Qur'an teach about violence and terrorism? I can say that it wasn't until recently that I knew some of the similarities between Christian and Muslim beliefs. Muslims are just as horrified as we are at the terrorists acts of violence, yet they get the blame of threats and attacks after each incident of terrorism due to the media monster.

Muslim extremists make up such a small fraction of the Muslim world, yet they receive most of the attention because of the terror they cause. Saying that Mormons are polygamists...is as correct of a statement as saying Christians follow David from Waco, TX and Muslims are terrorists.

While what Mormons do at the temple is not public knowledge...neither is a lot of religious and personal things. People are bothered that you can only enter the temple with 'special permission'. They are hoping to see 'secret' things about Mormons. Well the words secret and sacred are very different. This HBO show changes nothing for those of us who hold the temple sacred. I think that we still need to be careful not to talk about sacred things. Even if they are public knowledge or random strangers ask about it.

I know that atheist's take showers. I would not feel the need to WATCH an atheist take a shower. It is true...we all have different habits and routines in our shower. I am glad that we aren't fascinated with knowing each others shower secrets. I am Mormon...does it bother you that you will never have the 'special permission' to know what I actually do in the shower? Well...that's between me and my shower...and HBO can't take that away from me.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Lexi-Looski, Miss Magoo-ski

It was brought to my attention that I do not blog about Lexi...it is true.

I don't mean to leave her out, she just seems to fly under the radar. So this post is dedicated to my sweet sexy Lexi.

Lexi was born the day before my 22 birthday. If only for minutes...she made me a 21 year-old mother of two. Ha!


She was the easiest pregnancy and labor I had, by far! We lived in our condo in Orem while I was pregnant. My good friend, Aja ,would walk with me every morning. We walked for at least 3 miles, clear up until the last 2 weeks of pregnancy, when the inevitable 'bed rest' came. I gained the least amount of weight during that pregnancy...and while Cori was napping, I would turn on the baby monitor and swim in the pool.
I am a HUGE fan of summer, so emotionally and physically, I was a pretty happy camper. Mike was still two semesters away from graduating. I decided to needlepoint a patch for her baby blanket. (I look back now and have NO idea why I felt like doing that! I never had done it before, and have never done it since!)
After unexpectadly being induced, contractions started. I had the BEST epidural ever, I could still move my legs and everything. So 45 minutes after contractions, she was born at 12:49am, weighing 6lbs. 10oz. and 23 inches long! That's right...long and skinny! All the nurses kept telling me how beautiful she was. They said she looked like a 'c-section' baby, her head and face were amazingly beautiful!
She had a best-friend within 10 minutes of being born. Cori adored her! She came home, and we spent lots of time together, because Mike still had a semester left at BYU.
We picked up our walking and she started going to the park every morning from one week after she was born.
She was SUCH an easy baby. She was always happy, but in a way of just being content all the time. She was quiet and shy. She looked just like Carol, Mike's mom. With thick dark hair, fair skin, high cheek bones, and the fullest heart I've known. Her middle name is Carol, and then Mike's mom passed away when Lexi was only 5 months old.

Lexi fell in LOVE with my sister Nicole. Nic was pregnant with her first baby and we took a trip to California while our hubbies were our-of-town. Lexi wanted to be with Nic 24/7. The girls called her a-boo, because Nic played peek-a-boo with them all the time. Lexi would get so excited when Nic would hold her...so excited that she would pee on her. Seriously! More than once, Lexi would shake her hands up and down, get a huge smile, giggle, then pee right through her diaper. That's real love!


Lexi was shy, which was different for our family. She was soft-spoken and emotional. She is the kindest person I know. She is very thoughtful of others, and very sensitive. You know that song by Jewel..."be careful with me, I'm sensitive, and I'd like to stay that way"...this is Lexi's song.
She had two years of pre-school before Kindergarten. She loved her class and her teachers.
She is now in second grade. Lexi loves playing outside. She loves to swim, and play at the lake.
I was determined to teach her to ride her bike. At the end of the summer of 2007, I made her try it. She was not happy with me, but I thought it was good for her, the whole "she'll thank me later" type thing. She didn't like it, but I kept pushing, then it got too cold. At the beginning of the summer of 2008, I pushed it again. She was getting close, but she was miserable. I left her alone, and figured she wouldn't learn if she didn't want to. A week later, she taught herself to ride her bike. She had been going to the church parking lot to practice. When she came home to tell me...I thought she was probably just coasting and balancing. Nope! She was amazing, and took off to ride like a pro. She just needed me to leave her alone and stop pushing her. It had to be on her terms, without pressure, and without anyone watching.


She and Cori are best friends. They have their moments, but are very good to each other. She is very very good to her little sisters, and the first to volunteer to help them with anything. She is extremely selfless, and would give anything to help someone.


Lexi has recently started reading more often and really likes it. She loves stories and pretending. She is my deep thinker. I often find her talking to herself, making faces and body gestures as if she's debating or telling somebody where to go! I wonder if she has a theater production constantly going on in her head. She is dramatic, and loves role play or act parts. And although she's still a bit shy, she is rather confident. She'll raise her hand to answer questions, she will volunteer to do things in public, and stand in front of a crowd. She HATES to be laughed at though...it's probably the thing that will bring her to tears faster than anything else. Even if it not directly at her, or about her, she doesn't like to feel the center of laughter. She will take an audience...as long as they don't laugh!
She is smart, and a great listener! Lexi is extremely obedient and behaves so well...especially for a 7 year-old.
She asks me to come to her class and wants me around whenever possible. I was her room mother in Kindergarten and first grade, and she is always so proud of me. When I come to school, she hugs me and still kisses me on the mouth in front of her entire class.
She played basketball this year and did great! She works hard, and follows directions. She really does her best, and doesn't complain. In many ways, she is still the content baby she was seven years ago.
She is thankful and appreciative of everything! She thanks me for things I would never think of.

I love her so very much! I am excited to see her grow and become the person she wants to be. I'm look forward to watching her find her place in this crazy world. I have no doubt that she will do so much good and be an example to so many others. She teaches me to be different, not to push or expect conformity. She teaches me kindness. Like with riding her bike, she teaches me patience. She is what is called and 'old soul'.


There was a quote I heard a long time ago.
'Children are not things to be molded, but are people to be unfolded'

Lexi really teaches me that I need to gently 'unfold' her. She is delicate, even fragile sometimes. And while I am her mom, she had unfolded me in so many ways. I am so thankful for her, and appreciate her patience with me. She came to this earth much wiser than I may ever hope to be.