October 10, 2014

FLASHBACK fridays: CROSSROADS

This is a post I wrote a few years ago.  It's a story about a time in my life when I was at a crossroads in my life.  Enjoy!

... 

In May of 2004, I graduated from Weber State University, earning a Bachelor's degree in Family Studies.  At the time, I had a job that was great while I was a student because of the flexible hours, but I always told myself once I graduated I would quit and get a job related to my field.

A few weeks after graduation, I moved into a new apartment and began working full-time for the same company.  My plan was to keep my job while searching for new opportunities.  I also had the plan to go to graduate school the following year.  It seemed like the perfect plan.  

Nearly six months went by and I still had not found a new job, but I wasn't frustrated. I figured it would take awhile. And in the meantime I was learning more about admission requirements for graduate school, getting used to the thought of living in Alabama and dreading the idea of taking the GRE.

One day, while I work, I received an e-mail from my supervisor.  She asked if I had heard about a job opening in a different department and wondered if I was going to apply for it.  I hadn't heard about the position and even though I knew this wasn't her intention, because she sent me that e-mail, I felt a little pressure to apply for the job.  

I had a week to submit my resume, and I spent a lot of time thinking about what I should do.  I knew I was qualified for the job and stood a really good chance of getting it.  I knew a lot of my friends (including Karen) were applying for it which made things kind of awkward.  I wasn't sure if I wanted to go through with it.

After a few days of thinking things over, I soon realized I was making a very critical decision.  A life changing decision. I knew if I applied for the job, I would get it. I knew accepting the job would change all the plans and goals I had just set for myself.  Without a doubt, I was at a crossroads in my life and I didn't know why.  All I knew is that I had to apply for the job, and I wasn't happy about it.

I submitted my resume and soon had an appointment for an interview.  

The day of my interview, I contemplated what to wear.  I had learned all the do's and don'ts of interviewing, including proper attire.  I knew wearing denim wasn't the best choice, so I wore a jean jacket.  I knew wearing perfume wasn't a wise decision, but I wore it anyway.  I knew I probably should put my hair up, but I wore it down.  I did what I could to not make the best impression because I was scared of getting this job.

I was offered the job.  And I accepted it.  And I knew it was the right decision to make, but still didn't know why.

Weeks later, something unexpected happen:  I began feeling different about a really good friend of mine. A friend that was a boy.  I was annoyed at these new feelings. This guy had been my friend for over a year, and I was satisfied with our relationship.  Suddenly, I was more attracted to him and wanted to spend more time with him.  A new job, now this?  I wanted to tell life I was tired of all the curve balls.

Fast forward at most 10 weeks (yes, that's right, 10 weeks) I found myself engaged. Yes, I was engaged  to this guy whom I had no interest in just months earlier.  It was insane.  Totally insane.  But, it made sense and completely the right thing to do.

I know not everyone believes in God, but I do.  And I know He lead me in a different direction than the one I had all mapped out for myself.  And maybe that was so I could marry Dustin.  Maybe it was to spare me from a situation that would've come about had I gone to graduate school.  I probably won't know the answers to these questions for awhile.  And that is okay because it doesn't matter.

What matters is that I am happy with my husband.  I'm thankful for the life we have built together and the many years to come.

I'm humbled to know that God, in all his infinite power and wisdom, takes time to guide me in the right direction.  And I'm so grateful I listened to Him!

October 9, 2014

the IMPORTANCE of being KIND

On Monday morning, I volunteered at my daughter's school to help with reading.  When I arrived at the school, I was told to check-in at the office.  As I was checking in, which was all done on a computer in the corner of the main office, I heard my daughter's voice.  I glanced behind me and saw her speaking to the school secretary.  She explained that her friend, who was standing next to her, had hurt herself during recess and needed ice for her cheek.

It wasn't until then that she turned and saw me sitting at the nearby computer.  We said hi to each other as the secretary told the girls that ice was available outside with the recess duty.  I motioned for her to follow the instructions, so she and her friend dashed out of the office on to their next destination.

In that moment, I couldn't help but be proud of my little girl for a few reasons.  I was proud she took the initiative to take her friend to the office and was confident enough to talk to the secretary.  But, mostly I was proud that she was being a good friend and that she showed concern and kindness towards one of her classmates.


It is easy for me to overlook the more gentle attributes my daughter displays.  I encourage her to do things on her own and for herself, and I know I put too much stock in her becoming independent and strong.  

This experience reminded me to reinforce the importance of kindness, thoughtfulness and courtesy to my children.  And I'm grateful for my daughter's example because if she can do it, I can do it!

October 8, 2014

INSTAGRAM wednesdays: DECOR by LL

My youngest daughter LL is so busy.  I can't keep up with her.  She is a little bundle of destruction!  She roams our house getting into any and everything she can.

A favorite adventure of hers is raiding the fridge.  I'm always amazed at what I find throughout my house.

 
Salsa, anyone?

For your convenience, here's some orange juice!

While I love my little LL, she can drive me crazy.  I don't want to get a lock for the fridge, but it may end up getting to that point!

Happy INSTAGRAM Wednesday!

October 7, 2014

the MODEST girl

I recently read a post on Facebook written by someone I don't know that went along these lines:

 "Parents, please make sure your daughter dresses modestly so my son doesn't get addicted to pornography."

{Ok, so that is a slight exaggeration}

But, it may as well been that blatant of a statement, which, by the way, infuriated me.

Regardless, I decided that, as a mother of two girls, I better get on this request of making sure my daughters are dressed a certain way.  So, I added it to my current To-Do list:

Monday: Take pictures of my daughters' wardrobe.  Send pictures to parents of boys for approval
{Note to self:  Research the most affordable place to buy pantsuits}

Tuesday:  Have a sit-down with my daughters.  Reiterate the importance of understanding the changes the male body experiences during puberty.  Make sure they understand how sensitive we should be towards our male friends.  
{Note to self: buy more tampons and Midol}

Wednesday:  Send an e-mail to Macy's, Nordstrom, etc., asking them when their new line of prom dresses with high-necks and sleeves will be in stock.  Find a full day to go dress shopping. 
{Note to self:  hire a good seamstress}

Thursday:   Take that first leap of faith by letting my daughter walk to a friends house by herself.  But first, review the family "code" word.  Buy some more pepper spray.
{Note to self:  Research self-defense classes}

Friday:   Encourage daughters to get good grades, and tell them I hope they plan to attend college.  Help them understand that exercising their minds is just as important as exercising their bodies.
{Note to self:  Research how to teach your daughter that looks are not the most important thing while simultaneously teaching her that she needs to look a certain way.}

...

Don't get me wrong.  I understand the basic principle behind the original post.  I have standards for my daughters and do not think they should be allowed to wear whatever they want.  And I'll do my best to make sure that when they leave my house they are dressed in a manner that I deem appropriate.

But, the bottom line is this:

It is not my responsibility, nor my daughters' responsibility, to make sure your son does not engage in anything improper or immoral, be it actions or thoughts.

That's your responsibility.  

But, mostly, it's his responsibility.

So, if you could take the state of your son's morality off my plate of things to do, I'd really appreciate it.

{#ohsnap!}

October 6, 2014

MUSIC mondays: BOY BANDS

Like millions of other Americans, my husband and I took our daughter Isabelle to see Frozen.  She didn't like it at first, but that slowly changed.  Before I could blink, our world had turned ice-cold and the only music I was listening to was the Frozen soundtrack.

After months and months of this, I decided it was time to introduce my daughter to her first boy band.  Yes, she's five years old.  That is how completely desperate I was to listen to something new.

Even though I grew up loving New Kids of the Block and pretending to hate Backstreet Boys and 'Nsync, I decided Isabelle needed her first boy band love to be current.  So, I bought two One Direction songs.  Namely, Story of My life and Best Day Ever.


It was a rough at first, but eventually Isabelle learned to love the greatness of boy band music.  And, now that I've had a break, I don't mind hearing her belt Let it Go every once in awhile.

October 3, 2014

CUSTOM-MADE spirituality

I've blogged a lot about the struggles I face taking my children to church.  There was the post about why we skipped church {and loved it} and the follow-up post about why I even go to church to begin with.  Even though I know I am not alone with my struggles with taking children to church, I usually feel alone each week as I find myself, yet again, dealing with an uncooperative child.

Church used to be a time where I could go to feel uplifted and renewed, ready to face a new week with a stronger conviction to do what is right.

Church isn't that way for me anymore.  And I miss it!  But, I realize this situation is only temporary and things will get better eventually; however, until that blessed time arrives, I made the decision to find ways to feel the way I used to during church outside of church.

One of the ways in which I've incorporated spirituality into my daily life is by listening to general conference talks in my car.  I have found great satisfaction, peace and comfort in doing this.  It is amazing how the spirit can be felt at almost any time and any place.


Here are a few of the talks I've listened to:

President Gordon B. Hinckley's address titled To the Women of the Church

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf's address titled Happiness, Your Heritage 

Sister Julie B. Beck's address titled Fulfilling the Purpose of Relief Society

and all the talks given at this month's General Women's Meeting

So, if you find yourself missing Sunday as being a day of rest and spiritual edification, I would invite you to think outside the box and find ways in which you can reap the benefits of feeling the spirit no matter what day it is.

This has made a world of difference for me.  I feel happier, more energized and a stronger desire to be the best person I can be.

October 1, 2014

to ROBERTA...

Dustin is incredibly difficult to shop for.  I pretty much go into panic mode whenever Father's day, birthdays and Christmas roll around.  He's not one of those guys that ever wants anything.  So, I usually end up buying him gag gifts like the latest Jonas Brothers album, which he never listens to {thankfully}, and ultimately the gifts become a waste of money.

This year was a little different:  Hillary Clinton released a new book and Melissa Etheridge came to Salt Lake City.  Just like that, I had Father's Day and his birthday all taken care of!

Dustin loves Hillary Clinton and Melissa Etheridge.  When Hillary writes a new book, he buys it and reads it and loves it and lovingly displays it on his bookshelf.


When Melissa Etheridge performs in our area, or near our area, we go to her concert.

The selfie Melissa Etheridge took during her Salt Lake City concert.  We were there!

While these two women may not seem to have much in common, they are both strong, independent and successful women.  They stand up for that in which they believe to be important.

I'm in no way surprised that Dustin gravitates to these type of women, because he was raised by a mother who carries such similar traits.

No, his mother is not a politician or a rock star.  She lives in a small town in Wyoming and loves it.  And even though she does not live a life in the spotlight, for as long as I have known her, she has been a very strong, independent, hard-working person.  She has had more than her fair share of tragedy, but continues to live life the best she can.  She is organized, thoughtful and keeps a nice home - a home that my daughter's love to visit.

Because of Roberta's influence on Dustin, I am married to a man that didn't seem bothered at all when I struggled with changing my last name after we were married.  He has never treated me as if he was my superior.  He respects and listens to me.  He supported me when I made the decision to go back to work.  He appreciates and acknowledges the effort I do to better our family.

And I know without any doubt that he considers me his equal.

Just last night, we were talking about the struggles of the day, and as he was describing his day, he said, "Well, you know how I feel.  You were going through the same thing at home."

Despite the fact that his day was at work and my day was at home with our daughters, he considered the work load and difficulties the same.  And I am SO grateful for that.

Roberta, I know you had a difficult day yesterday.  I know you were anticipating a fun-filled evening and that things did not turn out the way you wanted.

So, in hopes of helping you feel better, I just want to thank you for the woman you are and for the life you lead.  You are a great example to me and my daughters,  your granddaughters.  We are so blessed to have you in our lives!
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