Sunday, March 28, 2010

Fat-Bottom Girls

"The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things:

Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--

Of cabbages--and kings--

And why the sea is boiling hot--

And whether pigs have wings."

"But wait a bit," the Oysters cried,

"Before we have our chat;
For some of us are out of breath,
And all of us are fat!"

I'm never going to be a skinny girl. My hips will always be too big for skinny jeans. I'm always going to have an hourglass shape. I'm anything but petite.

But the time has come to do something about my weight problem. I've always been heavy. I've been overweight for 99% of my life. I did really well for awhile about losing weight and getting in shape.

I can blame any number of things: the strange hours I keep based on my work schedule, the fact that I can't seem to stay on a work out schedule by myself, genetics, all sorts of things. But the truth is, it all comes down to me. I make excuses for myself. I am my own enabler.

I know my husband loves me, but sometimes I wonder how attracted to me he his. I've put on about 30 lbs since we got married. Not knowing if I really wanted to hear it, but knowing that I needed to, I recently asked Curious George if he would be more attracted to me if I were thinner. His answer hurt a little bit, but it's become a big motivator for me. The conversation went something like this:
Me: Babe, would you be more attracted to me if I weighed less?
Him: What?
Me: You heard me, what do you think?
Him: Well, you know I love you.
Me: Yes, that wasn't the question. Would you be more attracted to me if I were thinner?
Him: Well, yeah, I guess so. Did we return that movie to Redbox?

Anyway, point of the matter is this. I don't look good. I don't feel good. I'm not comfortable in my own skin. I try and cook healthy and balanced meals. I try and get out of the house. But what it comes down to is this: I need to try harder. I need to do better. I need to BE better.

There are a lot of health problems in my gene pool that are exacerbated by being overweight. I'm only 25 but some of them are very real concerns. I could end up with diabetes, high cholesterol, hypertension, and any other number of risks. Being obese (there, I said the word: obese) can even make it harder to get pregnant. That's right: there's a link between obesity and infertility.

So, what am I going to do about it? I joined weight watchers. I've set up "walking dates" with a friend in my ward. I don't want to be the fat, funny one anymore. It's time for me to put my health first.

"The time has come," this walrus said,
"To try some different things:
walks --and fruits --and exercise--
and no more chicken wings--
and as this journey goes along
we'll see what the future brings."


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I Dream In Food

Our last question (For now. Don't worry, Christi, I didn't forget about you. I just need to read some Jane Austen first) comes from my good friend Tara:

If you could design one perfect room in your house, which would it be and what would it look like?
This one is totally easy, but I will still expound upon it for paragraphs to come. Hopefully I can find some pictures to illustrate my points. (Just to test how well Curious George knows me I asked him which room I would choose. He looked at me like I was an idiot and gave me the correct answer immediately.) I feel very strongly about one particular room being the center of any home. That room is the kitchen. I find that I spend most of my time in the kitchen, whether it be preparing meals, hanging out, or whatever. So, the room I would want to be perfect is the kitchen.

A few luxuries I would like:
~Plenty of storage space
~Gas range
~Double wall ovens (preferably electric)
~An oversized fridge/freezer
~Taller than normal counter height
~A restaurant-style hood over my stovetop.

I really love the look of antique-white cabinets. I would love for some of them to have glass panes in the doors, but definitely not panes in all the doors. Overall I think the french country style is lovely for a kitchen. I would like an island separate from the rest of the counters, maybe done in a different color wood but with matching counter tops. I think that butcher-block counter tops are great. I would also really like a tile backsplash to match the colors in the tile on the floor. Yes, tile is a must.

The following pictures are all fabulous kitchens. I would take elements from each of them to put into my own kitchen:I love the brightness of this kitchen. I also love the over-sized drawers, and how the floor matches the walls. And that sink? To die for!

I love the under-counter bookshelves and storage in this one. I would probably skip the pineapples, though. Too many canker sores.

Love the red island and the island sink in this one. I would love to have a red island in a sea of white cabinets. I also like the symmetry, it's the OCD in me.

This one is probably my favorite. I love the around the corner storage and the different colors of wood. And that pantry? Amazing! I love the main porcelain sink, but the smaller vegetable sink on the island. I love that the cluttered-ness of it just makes it look homey.

Oh my! That range hood and that fridge! Beautiful! Also love how the colors of the tile in the backsplash pull in the island and the floor. Gorgeous!

So, there it is... if I could have the perfect room it would be the kitchen. Someday, when I get my dream kitchen, will you come over for a chat and a little treat?


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Been There, Done That

Tonight I explored my inner child and went to the long-awaited (for me, anyway) release of Fablehaven: Keys to the Demon Prison. It was amazing! I sneaked out of work a few minutes early and picked up my little brother, McKay, for some good times at my old stomping ground: Cottonwood High School.
We were so excited to be there, we could barely contain ourselves.

We met people (creatures?) like Ephira...

and Muriel the witch...

and a fairy...

and my personal favorites, Newell (on the left) and Doren (on the right), the satyrs.

I even bought a t-shirt. How could I resist?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Oh What Do You Do

Another tough question from another new friend, Nature Girl:

If you had to give up something that you love to DO what would be the hardest thing? Why?

Wow, really? Definitely way to challenge me Nature Girl. There are so many things that I absolutely love. I love to cook. I love to craft. I love sewing, quilting, and creating. I love to take pictures. I love to spend time with my family. I enjoy hiking, going for walks, and just sitting outside in the sunshine. I even like to clean. It's true, I find it soothing.

But, I think the hardest thing to give up would be... experiencing new things. It's one of my favorite things to do, really. I like seeing new movies, reading new books, and discovering new bands. I like to try out new recipes, eat at new restaurants, and order something new off of an old favorite menu.

I tell Curious George all the time that I'm willing to try pretty much anything at least once. How can you ever learn what you like and what you don't like if you never experience anything new?

Think about it: if you couldn't experience anything new you'd be stuck doing the same things all the time. You'd have to watch the same movies and tv shows all the time. You'd have to read the same books over and over again (good thing I've read a lot of books, I'd be able to cycle through them for years!). You'd be stuck listening to the same music forever. And don't even think about gaining or losing weight, because you get the same clothes for your whole life.



I know, I know, I cheated. I'm sure Nature Girl intended for me to pick one particular activity. But I just couldn't choose because, really:

I would be so boring (or is it bored?) without ever experiencing anything new.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

This question comes to us from my fabulous friend Elmo:

What is your favorite quality of your husband?

What a fun question! I think I have a problem with undervaluing my husband. He really does so much for me and cares so much about me. He loves me despite all of my faults, neuroses, and passive-aggressive spells.

Before I share with you my favorite quality of his, let me give you a little bit of his background:

Curious George's dad joined the church when he married his mom. They weren't sealed in the temple, in fact they eloped. Shortly after joining the church and marrying my mother-in-law, he became offended by something and became inactive. Faced with the prospect of taking 2 (rowdy) little boys to church on her own, my mother-in-law soon followed suit.

Curious George attended church only sporadically growing up. He had a scout leader that would make him go to primary before he could go to scout camp. By the time he reached adulthood he was living full-fledged in a non-LDS lifestyle. He enjoyed partying, going to clubs, drinking, and having a beer with the boys while working on bikes.

He had friends from every walk of life. They came from different ethnic, religious, and familial backgrounds. And Curious George loved them all equally.

That's the one quality I admire the most about him: his complete lack of judgment of others. He doesn't care who you are, where you come from, or what you believe, he's going to give you the same opportunity to be his friend as he would anyone else.

He doesn't judge me for my silly little ideas, plans, or habits. He takes me at face-value for who I am.

I think he's the best husband out there... but who am I to judge?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A new friend, Anne, and a new question:

If you could give the world one piece of advice, what would it be?
Hmmm... this is actually a hard question for me to answer. I usually don't consider myself worthy of handing out advice, there is still too much I have to learn first. However, there are a few things that I know a little something about. First, a few small pieces of advice:
~You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. Kindness actually does count for something.
~Don't sweat the small stuff. If you spend all of your time worrying about changing the little things, you miss out on the opportunity to experience the big things.
~You have the family you are born with and the family you build. Hopefully they fit well together.
~If it's a beautiful day outside don't spend it indoors. No beautiful day is worth wasting.
~Learn to laugh at yourself.
~Everyone deserves at least one pedicure in their life.
~Apologize freely.
~Love openly. This can be a life-changing experience.
But most important of all: Love yourself.
It took me a long time to figure that out. I've spent the majority of my 25 years on this earth learning to love myself for who I am. For a long time I wished I was someone else. I wished that I had a different body. I wished that I had someone else's social skills. I wished for another person's sense of humor. I wished for somebody else's hair, wardrobe, you-name-it.
It wasn't until I grew up a little bit that I learned that all of the things I wanted from somebody else were the things that made me Me. When Curious George and I first started dating I really struggled with feeling like he was dating me because he felt like he had to, not because he wanted to. Because we'd been close friends for several months, and we lived in the same student ward, I'd seen the girls he'd been dating. He'd take a girl out on a date, and after he'd dropped her off at home he'd call me to hash over the date. It wasn't until we went to do a temple session together (and ended up doing sealings) that he figured it all out. Anyway, the point of this story is this: it wasn't until I was secure in our relationship that I figured out that he'd married me because I was Me. He loved my blue eyes, my sarcasm, and my little (big) redneck streak. He loved that I wasn't perfect. He loved me.
So, through years of poor self esteem, yo-yo weight loss and gain, self-deprication, and a general feeling of worthlessness, I finally learned that I am who I am. I am worthy of my Heavenly Father's love just as much as the next person. I am worthy of deep and lasting friendships. I am worthy of a happy and fulfilling marriage. I am worthy of love.
I think this sentiment from Buddha sums it up nicely:
"You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection."
Because after all, all you need is Love.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Fear Itself

So this question comes from your friend and mine... Anonymous:

What are you most afraid of/what scares you/what fills you with fear?

First of all, a few things I'm afraid of:
~Earthquakes (Ironic, considering I live on a fault line)
~Being an apartment-dweller forever.

But my biggest fear is being inadequate.

I'm afraid I'll be inadequate as a wife. I want to live up to all of my husband's expectations. I want to be attractive to him. I want to cook him tasty, nutritious meals, and I want to be the best wife for him that I can be.

I'm afraid I'll be inadequate as a mother. I don't have children yet, but I'm afraid that I'll be to quick-tempered. I'm afraid I won't be able to provide for them physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I'm afraid that they'll hate me as a mother, or worse, that they won't respect me.

I'm afraid I'll be inadequate in my career. Am I a good nurse? Am I not only competent, but also caring? Am I a good charge nurse (probably too early to tell on this one)? Can I continue to be adequate at the career I love, all while balancing my other life dimensions?

I'm afraid I'll be inadequate as a friend. I'm afraid I take more than I give. I'm afraid I monopolize my friends. Am I as good of a friend as my friends are to me?

So, I guess what I'll do is take these words from Nelson Mandela and learn to live by them:

I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.

And I will learn to not be afraid.


Sunday, March 14, 2010

What's Cookin' Good Lookin'?

A big thank you to my lovely friend Michelle for this question:

If you could have any career other than your current one, what would it be and why?

What an interesting thing to think about. When I was a child I threw around a lot of ideas of what I wanted to be. I could be a teacher like my mom, a marine biologist (I never quite realized that I'd have to move somewhere not landlocked for that one), a writer, or any other number of things. The one thing I always came back to, however was nursing. Nursing is what I was made to do.

Now that I'm an adult I wonder what other things I might be suited for. I could cut hair, run an in-home daycare, be a stay-at-home mom (I've been told that this is a full-time job, and I believe it!), do anything I want, really.

However, I think if I could be anything in the world I'd be a chef. I would love to be able to create things in the kitchen, to not have to use a recipe, to just know what flavors work well together. I wish I had the creativity to invent new things, flavors, and food combinations. It would be so amazing to have my own restaurant, or even be the head chef in a restaurant.

I love to cook, and I love to experiment, but if I could get paid for it that would be fabulous. Then, I would take that love of cooking (and the fabulous ability) and become the next food network star. I could be the next Paula Deen, Bobby Flay, or Rachel Ray.

In all reality I'm probably much more likely to end up on "Worst Cooks In America" than anything, but a girl can dream, right?

Faith Building Experiences

When I was growing up I was always taught that if I was able to serve in the church, I should be willing to serve in the church. I was taught to never turn down a calling, even if I didn't want it.

Just over a year ago I was called to be the primary chorister in my ward. The calling scared me, and that told me that I definitely needed to accept. I said yes and began a serious roller coaster ride.

This calling pushed me in ways I never thought it would. I was forced to be more organized than I ever had been. I had to prepare in advance, think of good ideas to keep the kids entertained but still teach the kids the songs.

I was incredibly excited when they released the program theme for 2010: I Know That My Savior Lives. Amazing! Immediately I thought of probably 20 songs that I wanted to teach the kids, and then I heard the theme song for the year. It was beautiful! I taught it to my primary and teared up every time I heard those little ones bear testimony through song. "Yes!" I though, "This is my year."

And then today the bishop pulled me aside before singing time. Turns out our ward is reorganizing the entire primary, and all of the leadership is being released... myself included. A few people were being put back in, but not me.

I have never before cried when I was released for a calling. Today, I can't seem to stop the flow of tears. I will miss my primary so much. I will miss hearing them bear testimony through song. I will miss seeing their faces light up when the message of the song hits home.

So, for now, I will have faith that Heavenly Father has something else in store for me. Another calling will come that will stretch me, make me grow, and challenge me in new ways. I will miss my primary, but good things can, and will, come from whatever new opportunity presents itself next.

But I'm still going to cry.

Friday, March 12, 2010

I Love My Cousins!

It's that time again... time to start answering your questions. (If you still want to ask me one go here for the instructions) Thanks to my cousin Andrew for this little beauty:
On a scale of 1-10 how amazingly amazing are your cousins, and which one would you trade places with for a day?

I have some pretty fantastically, awesomely, amazingly amazing cousins. On a scale of 1-10, I would probably go with about a 12. I am very lucky to actually know my cousins and consider them some of my best friends. On my mom's side of the family there are 19 of us that range in age from 29 to three. I'm the third oldest, so a lot of my cousins are younger, but I still have a good relationship with them. I even lived with one of my cousins for awhile.

Anyway, I had a really difficult time deciding which cousin I would trade places with. We're all so different and doing such different things in our lives that it was hard to choose.

Would I be Greg, who spends his life in front of an audience (an audience of third graders most of the time...)?

Would I be Pete, who is going on a Mexican Riviera cruise next week?

Would I be Liza, the little one with a big personality?

Would I be Josie, the extremely athletic tomboy?

Would I be Haley, the only 16-year-old I know that speaks Latin?

Would I be Andrew and experience fraternity life for a day?

Then it came to me... I would trade places with Jake.

Jake is 18 (I think), incredibly sweet, loves his family, and has pretty severe Down Syndrome. Why would I trade places with Jake? Let me tell you:

~He always has a smile on his face.
~His family is right there with him, every step of the way. No matter what is going on, he always has a sibling there to help him through it, hold his hand, or offer words of encouragement.
~He's bald. How great would it be to always know what your hair is going to look like?
~The simple things make him the happiest. He loves Harry Potter, Parent Trap, and Herbie.
~Chili. Yeah, I want to see what it's like to love chili as much as Jake does.
~I want to know what the world looks like from Jake's point of view. I want to see what he sees, think what he thinks, and feel what he feels. I want to know what it feels like to communicate with other people the way Jake does.
~He has the ability to make anyone around him smile.
~The sweet, sweet innocence that he carries with him. He never offends, hurts feelings, or is passive-aggressive. Everyone is his friend. He doesn't care who you are, he'll give you a hug if you need it.

So there you have it: the reasons why I would be Jake for a day.


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Every Girl Needs Pearls!

Hey everyone, I'm still waiting for a few more questions to roll in, so be sure to check out my last blog post. In the meantime: here's a little project I've been working on. I've seen these around and fell in love with them, so I took a few supplies I had lying around, bought some pearls, and made myself one. (Don't worry, I'll give you step by step instructions so you can make yourself one, too.)Isn't it pretty?

The supplies:

~A piece of fishnet stocking or nylon about 1.5" x 8"
~Some pearls or beads (I used cream pearls)
~Two pieces of ribbon, whatever length you'd like.
What you do:1. Tie a knot in one end. Place a bead inside and tie a tight knot on the other side of the pearl.
2. Repeat with as many beads as you would like. I was making a short necklace so I only used 9. Double knot at the end.
3. Hot glue a piece of ribbon into the remaining stocking at each end of the beads.I didn't like the raw edges after I glued in the ribbon, so I used the leftover lace from the top of the stocking and made a flower for one side, and wrapped it around the other side. I secured both with hot glue.

The whole thing cost less than $5 and was super simple to make. I look forward to wearing it!
P.S.~I got the initial instructions for this at Get Craftin' (who is also doing a jewelry giveaway right now!).

Monday, March 8, 2010

Who's Up For Round Two?

So, awhile back I played a fun little "Getting to Know Me" blog game. Since I'm feeling a little low on bloggable material right now I thought I'd revive the game.

So, here are the rules:
1. You ask me a question. In return, I'll devote a whole blog post to answering your question.
2. You can ask me anything you like, but please keep in mind the others that read my blog (for example: my mother, people that stumble across me from Mormon Mommy Blogs, etc).
3. Be creative! Challenge me, make me think, stretch, grow. If it is a mundane question, I'll still give it the consideration as the others. Keep in mind how much more fun it is for me to write, and you to read, if the question is humorous, thought-provoking, or unusual.
4. Leave your question in a comment on this particular blog post. I'll answer the questions as they roll in.

Let the games begin!


Sunday, March 7, 2010

I Can't, I'm Allergic

It's true, I really am allergic.

I used to tan with the best of them. I spent summers running around with no sunscreen, peeling off my sunburned skin, and enjoying the tan underneath. Let's be honest, I was pretty much skin cancer in the making. Anyway, I was generally baked a nice golden-brown. And I never even had to use a tanning bed. And then I turned 20.

While in St. George this weekend (a wedding, some family time, and a baby blessing. Oh my!) I spent a little time relaxing on the patio between events. I plugged in my ipod headphones, grabbed a book, and basked in the warmth.

That's when the trouble always starts. Every year I forget that the sun and I no longer get along. That lovely golden, glowing orb was my best friend all spring, summer, and fall. Now it's my worst enemy. If I spend more than about 5 minutes in direct sunlight I break out in a lovely allergic rash.

My upper arms and my chest turn red, bust out in little bumps, and itch like mad for days on end. I began to wonder if there was any respite from my ailment. I did a little research, and lo and behold, it actually is a real condition. It's called Polymorphous Light Eruption, or PMLE for short. (You can read about it here if you're curious).

So, back to my original story: somewhere in the midst of white weddings, lots of food, and seeing baby Jenna blessed, I got attacked by the sun.

I guess it could be worse... it hit my mom for the first time on her honeymoon in Mazatlan.


Monday, March 1, 2010

Life Unplugged

I've received a lot of good feedback about our e-free week. I've had several people tell me that they want to try it, I've been asked throughout the week how it was going, and I managed to do the most important thing: I reconnected with Curious George.

Let me quickly give you a little background into what the day-to-day is like in our house. I work three 12-hour shifts a week. Two of these are at night, and one is from 11 am to 11 pm. This works pretty well for us, because Curious George generally works from 4 am to 1 pm. So, generally speaking, I spend a lot of time at home alone during the day. This is traditionally my peak internet usage time. However, I would usually leave it open in the background, just in case.

Anyway, this week I can't believe how much I accomplished. I pieced and sewed (completely, from start to tied and finished) 2 baby quilts. I had a great time learning how to make fabric flowers and experimenting with different fabrics pairings. And I started working on my soon-to-be china hutch. My phone rang a lot more than I was used to, because people couldn't just shoot me an email or facebook message. It was nice to actually hear some voices. I also did some serious reading.

As for my marriage: we actually talked. It was more than just he occasional "Mmm-hmmm" or "Sure." We spent some time together doing things we both enjoy. I spent a lot less time being angry, annoyed, or bugged by little things. Our house stayed cleaner, we both got more sleep, and we enjoyed some quality time with friends and family.

We also set down some new ground rules for the internet:
1. When I'm home alone my time online is limited to 2 hours. (I know, that seems like a lot, but I'm taking baby steps)
2. When we're home together the internet is turned off unless we're looking at something together.
3. Any purchases I want to make, I have to see if I can buy it in the store first.

And now a few highlights from the past week:
1. I was featured on Mormon Mommy Blogs. You can check it out here.
2. Our tax return came. Hooray!
3. We decided to stay put in our apartment for awhile. We'd love to buy a place, but I think we're in a good place for now.
4. A (wretched) dinner at Chili's (but the company was great) and some fabulous bowling at Sue Rich. I actually beat Curious George by 20 points.
5. A phone call (and a very sweet letter) from Hawaii letting us know that Elder Hatch would be safe from the tsunami.

All in all, a great week. How was yours?


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