January 15, 2017

INITIAL reactions

Several months ago, I read an article that had been shared by a friend on Facebook about what traits parents of successful kids all have in common.  According to the article, the traits ranged from having a college degree to learning math at an early age.

One trait in particular stood out to me:  a working mother.

After reading the article, I went back to Facebook and reviewed the comments.  Everyone loved all of the traits, and agreed with them, with the exception of the working mom.

I didn't know any of the women that made comments.  I barely knew the friend that posted the article to begin with.  But, because of their comments, I allowed myself to make all sorts of assumptions about them.  And what I assumed was not too great.

I consider myself a working mother.  While I am in no way the bread winner of our family, I work five days a week and contribute to our family's income.  I work to make money, of course, but also because I enjoy the satisfaction I get from completing a task that is separate from my motherhood responsibilities.

I took my anger and frustration to my blog and wrote a post criticizing these women for their comments about working moms.  But, before I published my thoughts, my mind was suddenly filled with doubt.  I started to wonder if the assumptions I had made about these women had any merit at all.

What I heard these women say was, "Successful children are not raised by working moms."  

But, maybe they meant, "Stay-at-home moms raise successful children, too."

I had a variety of different thoughts race through my mind.  I wish I could articulate how my perspective on this article, on the comments changed within a short period of time.  It really was a remarkable experience.  

And, basically, what I learned is this:

My reaction to something is not necessarily a reflection of intent.

I can think whatever I want, but that doesn't mean that I'm right.

Living in a world where it is so simple to respond to virtually anything within a matter of seconds, it's easy not to get caught up in our initial reaction.  

And sometimes our initial reactions are spot on.  

And sometimes they're not.

And so long as we're all aware of that, I think we'll all be okay.

January 1, 2017

JANUARY goals

I love Mondays.  Seriously, Monday is my favorite day of the week.  It's possible my love for the day stems from the fact that it is my day off from work, and even though that is a definite bonus, I'm pretty sure it's more than that.

You see, Monday is the day that we get to start fresh.  Typically, my Monday includes a renewed commitment to cook dinner.  Unfortunately, I never succeed.

But, that's besides the point.

Given my love for Mondays, it's probably no surprise that I love beginning a new year.  I've lived through enough new years to know that I'm pretty pathetic when it comes to resolving my new year's resolutions.  I'm awesome at making such resolutions, but the awesomeness stops there.

Given my track record, I have decided to make monthly resolutions in an effort to be more successful. For now, my resolutions will be simple and small.

Here are my January goals:

READ two books
The two books I have chosen to read are "Room" by Emma Donoghue and "Attachments" by Rainbow Rowell

WRITE four blog posts
I already have two posts in mind, and I think you will like them!

Those are my only two goals for January.  Small and simple and, given that I love to read and write, hopefully easy and enjoyable.  

Welcome, 2017!

November 14, 2016

a NOTE from me, a supposed SORE LOSER

"And to all the little girls who are watching this, never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and to achieve your own dreams."
-Hillary Clinton

As it became more and more obvious that Donald Trump was going to win the 2016 Presidential Election, feelings of shock overwhelmed me.  Complete and utter shock.  And as soon as the shock set in, so did my grief.

And my grief resulted in tears.  Lots and lots and lots of tears.

It's important to me that you know that I was completely surprised by my reaction.  I never expected to feel such pain when the person who I felt was so obviously qualified to be our next president was defeated by such a sorry excuse for a candidate.

I couldn't sleep Tuesday night, and I walked around in a daze on Wednesday.  I sat at my desk at work and watched Hillary Clinton's concession speech in tears, amazed that the people around me appeared to be functioning as usual.

As the days wore on, I decided I wasn't going to deny myself the experience of just being sad.  And I reminded myself that my feelings matter and that I have the right to feel them regardless of how that makes me appear to others.

It's important to me that you know that my sadness was not because Donald Trump won.

  My sadness was because I felt like I had let America down by not campaigning more.  I should've called people out on their inaccurate and outright lies about Hillary Clinton.  I should've canvassed more.  I should've made more phone calls.  

I simply should've done more in support of my candidate.

I grieved because, as Americans, we were so close to showing the world that we value female leadership by electing our first female president, but instead we elected a washed-up reality TV star that is the epitome of sexism.  I felt my value as a woman plummet in the sight of my country.

I've since began to feel better.  And, I've decided I'm not going to sit back and let the next four years pass by as if this colossal of a mistake never happened.  I've resolved to say more, to do more and to be more.  How can I not when I have two daughters to raise?



And if there must be a silver lining, I suppose that would be it.

I don't expect anyone to be feeling as I do.  And I don't want to be feeling this pessimistic about the next four years.  Let me say that again:  I don't want to be feeling this way.

But, I do.  

And I'm not going to apologize for my feelings.

And if that makes me a sore loser who simply needs to "get over it," so be it.

#StillWithHer

September 8, 2015

we GLAMPED on LABOR DAY

Over Labor Day weekend, my family and I went to Conestoga Ranch in Garden City, Utah.  We had an absolutely fabulous time, and if you're into the idea of "Glamping" you'd enjoy it, too!  Plus, it's just a short drive to Bear Lake, other restaurants, raspberry stands, etc.

We stayed in deluxe tents.  Our tent had a queen size bed and two twin beds with plenty of room to spare.  Each tent has it's own picnic table, fire pit and chairs.  The employees will even make a fire for you!

 

All of our bedding and towels were provided.



This building housed a convenience type store and about a dozen or more bathrooms, some of which included showers.  Soap, shampoo, conditioner, etc., was all included.


We embraced the glamping lifestyle and did not bring any of our own food because there was a restaurant just a stones throw away from our tent.  The food was fabulous, and is actually open to the public even if you aren't spending the night at the ranch.  I loved how open it was.


The ranch also has a few other sleeping options.  One is the a grand tent.  We would've stayed in one of these had there been availability when we booked.  I heard these have electricity.


You can also stay in one of these wagons.  
 

We had a lovely time, and may have found a new Labor Day family tradition.
 

September 4, 2015

She'll only be LITTLE ONCE

I feel like I've been posting a lot about my house lately, but this is something I have been wanting to write about for awhile.

Pinterest is a really great tool for getting ideas for practically anything.  When my oldest daughter was growing out of her nursery and ready for a "big girl room" I went to Pinterest to get ideas on how I wanted her room to look.  I really wanted it to be light, bright and modern without an overload of characters - Disney Princesses, My Little Pony, etc.  I especially didn't want character bedding.

I pinned this picture and thought it was adorable.


But, my daughter had a different idea.  She wanted My Little Pony Bedding.  She wanted her My Little Pony coloring pages displayed on her wall, and she organized and taped them on to her wall ALL BY HERSELF.  In a nutshell, she wanted her room to be a reflection of who she is, not who I am.  That's what MY room is for.


As much as I hoped for a Pinterest-worthy room, that's not how things were meant to be.  And, I'm learning that that is okay.  I'll probably frame her pictures just so they're protected a bit more, but other than that, the room will stay as is.  

She'll only be little once.

September 3, 2015

a PLACE for EVERYTHING

There was a time not long ago that our house was sort of in disarray.  We were in the process of moving the girls into the same bedroom and transitioning the nursery into a play room.  Things didn't quite go according to plan (life, amiright?), so things got a little disorganized.

Okay, so it really wasn't that bad.  But, it did stress me out and give me a bit of anxiety.  Again, not anxiety like I know other people experience, but, in all honesty, it was sort of a depressing time for me.

I know that sounds weird, but it was sort of an eye-opening experience for me.  I learned that I really get bothered by clutter and am somewhat obsessive when it comes to everything having a place.  I don't think I'm unhealthy about it all.  But, if we don't use something I get rid of it and never look back!

Over the past few weeks, I've worked on certain areas of the house that have needed a little TLC.  That "one drawer" that everyone seems to have in their kitchen now has bamboo organization boxes.  I've never used drawer organizers like these before {shocking, I know!}, but they really help keep things in place and prevents items from being stored unnecessarily.  Our oil drawer was also in need of a face lift.  My daughter helped me label each bottle, making it much easier to find whatever oil I'm looking for.


The laundry room was in need of some serious help.  I have learned that I love things to be up off the floor, if at all possible.  It makes things so much easier to keep neat and organized.  I'm secretly in love with these hooks.


Another view of the laundry room.  We found these shelves at Walmart and the storage boxes at Ross.  They have revolutionized this room.  Dustin questioned whether we'd be able to keep things organized, and I can honestly say we have!  For me, the trick really is having a designated spot for everything and not holding on to things that aren't needed.


The laundry room may or may not be my favorite room in my entire house.

I still have a few projects, one drawer in particular, that aren't quite finished.  After that, I'll begin the painful job of decorating.  We've been in this house for over a year and our walls are still mostly bare.  I just can't seem to commit to any one idea.  Any suggestions are appreciated!

September 2, 2015

THINGS i CAN'T do

Sometimes I think the Internet is exploding with examples of how good we are at certain things.

So, I decided to change that by posting two examples of things I, in all sincerity, cannot do:  shuffle cards and draw.

I attribute my poor shuffling skills to having small hands.  For reals, my hands haven't grown since 5th grade.  Maybe everyone's hands stop growing at that age.  I'm not really sure.  All I know is that I have small hands; therefore, I cannot shuffle cards.


video

Another thing I cannot do is draw.  Exhibit A is my best attempt at drawing a cat.  Clearly, I have no talent in this area.  Like, absolutely no talent at all.


In some ways, I find it fascinating to think about how we're all really good at certain things, and horrible at others.  I'm sure, with some time and effort, I could learn to shuffle cards appropriately and draw a cat that actually looks like a cat.  But, I really don't want to.  So far, I've survived life without talent in those areas, and maybe it's best to just leave it to other people and focus on the things I can do.

What are some things that you can't do?
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