Thursday, April 15, 2010

here goes nothing

Today, our oldest little lady turns two.


And today is the day I face the challenge that billions of parents have faced through the ages...the day so many of us hope for and also dread...

Today is the day I attempt to make a birthday cake that is supposed be recognizable as a particular item or character.

Let us pray.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

i can't e-shut up lately

  • For Easter celebrating, I bought myself a chocolate bunny at the dollar store but can't bring myself to eat it now that I've noticed it's "milk chocolate flavored." Flavored. It's not even milk chocolate. Flavored WHAT--wax?? Shudder. Oh, Dollar Store, simultaneously so disgusting and so handy.
  • Lesbian moms are friendlier than non-lesbian moms. Every time I go to the park or other public place where parents abound, I find this to be true. Why is this?
  • "Fan us on facebook" is an absurd and horrible phrase. How is this becoming common? Sounds like Cleopatra eating grapes while someone fans her with large leaves. BEING a fan of something is not the same as FANNING something. Normally I don't mind verbing nouns but this fanning business is a line I cannot cross and hope to maintain any linguistic integrity.
  • I distrust anyone with over 1,000 facebook friends. Something is fishy. If you have more than that, you're either fictional or you need to have a friend cleanse, because that is weird and overwhelming.
  • Speaking of things that make me suspicious...I also distrust people who mention their clothing size in conversation, people who compare stuff to Hitler, people who take a lot of pictures of themselves, and people who never eat dessert. How about you?? Anything that immediately makes you suspicious?
  • Conversely, I find myself immediately feeling more favorable toward those who don't mind dropping the occasional casual swearword, people who are nice to my children (even in passing, e.g., the stranger who smiles when my kid shouts "HI, BIKE!"), people who have uncomplicated hairdos, and people who appreciate a good fountain drink. How about you? Anything that immediately makes you feel good about someone?
Thank you for your time.

Monday, April 05, 2010

The Becks: Are Julie and Glenn related? (just kidding)

It's no secret that a few years ago, I began to love General RS President Julie Beck after she spoke at my law school. That love is through the roof! She really knocked it out of the park this weekend with her outstanding talk on personal revelation. I'm looking forward to when the written version comes out (Thursday, I think?) but until then, I invite you to just bask in a few of the most spectacular parts with me. Woopwoop!
  • Promised personal revelation comes when we ask for it, prepare for it, and go forward in faith trusting that it will be poured out upon us. I don't know if it was all the outlining in law school that did this to me, but I now think in bullet points and find myself putting everything I read/think/say/do into sections and subsections, so it really clicks for me when I get three-step instructions like this, e.g., to get personal revelation we need to (1) ask for it (2) prepare for it (3) go forward trusting it will come. Number three makes me feel like once I've done what I can,, I just need to forge ahead and bank on the fact that God will guide me, just like in the Book of Mormon when Nephi said "I was led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand the things which I should do." Know how they say you can't steer a parked car? Get this show on the road! After you do what's within your power to do (ask for personal revelation and prepare for it), it's time to move ahead, trusting that guidance will come. I've experienced that a hundred times but the get-off-your-butt-and-start-moving pep talk is always needed.
  • The ability to qualify for, receive and act on personal revelation is the single most important skill that can be acquired in this life. Whoa. Not only is that the most important skill, but it's one you don't need to rely on anyone else to develop. A lot of what we do in life is contingent on other people, on their ability to choose (or not choose), but the most important skill we can develop is between us and God. We don't need a middle man. Hallelujah.
  • This Eliza R. Snow quote she shared will be famous! Did you hear it and did it blow your mind like it did mine??
    "We want to be ladies in very deed, not according to the term of the word as the world judges, but fit companions of the Gods and holy ones. In an organized capacity, we can assist each other in not only doing good but in refining ourselves, and whether few or many come forward and help prosecute this great work, they will be those that will fill honorable positions in the kingdom of God. Women should be women and not babies that need petting and correction all the time. I know we like to be appreciated, but if we do not get all the appreciation which we think is our due, what matters? We know that the Lord has laid high responsibility on us, and there is not a wish or desire that the Lord has planted in our hearts in righteousness but will be realized, and the greatest good we can do to ourselves and each other is to refine and cultivate ourselves in everything that is good and ennobling and qualifying for those responsibilities."
    My constant desire for appreciation was covered in a recent post, but these ideas are significant and basically telling us to (wo)man up. There's plenty of important work to do, God is counting on us, we aren't dummies, we have a lot to offer and improve on and we can do it so get moving.
  • Finally, I was delighted to hear Sister Beck quote my very favorite part of Preach My Gospel that I clung to in the tough times of my mission. "When we have done our very best, we may still experience disappointments, but we will not be disappointed in ourselves. We can feel certain the Lord is pleased when we feel the Spirit working through us." WOOPWOOP! Maybe that's the rubric I should be applying to measure the success of my days. (p.s. I'm totally having a successful day, more on that later...)
Anyway, this conference was an especially great one in my book. Did you hear much of it? Are you growing to love Sister Beck more and more like I am? Isn't she impressive? Don't you love a good, substantive talk from a female church leader?? Doesn't she have a powerful speaking voice? Am I starting to sound more girl-crushy and/or fan-girl-esque than is appropriate??

Sunday, April 04, 2010

here i go

I've been having an intense fling with the Express Shelf at the library lately, a shelf of new-ish high demand books where the checkout period is shorter, no renewals. Perusing this shelf has led me to read more pop-culture-ish books than I normally would, including the recent trashy political tell-alls The Politician (about the John Edwards scandal) and Game Change. Reading books about semi-current events makes me feel more culturally literate, and also provides me with feelings of moral superiority because I'm not a power-hungry lunatic. This just in: most politicians are delusional, obnoxious, and lawyers. Coincidence?

The shelf has also led me to crack open the much-hailed book The Happiness Project, which is fascinating albeit a tad superficial. As you may know, author Gretchen Rubin spent a year trying to become happier in concrete ways, and every month tackled a specific goal, e.g., January's goal was to "boost energy" so she did things like exercise more, get more sleep, etc. (Note: a brief click tells me the blog is kind of lame, which is a bummer, bc I'm enjoying the book.) Anyway, she mentions she became happier when she stopped expecting a gold star for stuff. Just do it and enjoy it and ditch your need for someone else's appreciation. That's a big issue for me as a new-ish SAHM because I'm an attention whore (or as a classier friend says, "I require much love."). Basically, I need attention, and when you hang out with two (awesome) kids all day, it is fantastic in many ways but not so much dripping with accolades. So I spend a lot of time wondering if I am doing enough or if there's a rubric I can assess the day with or whatever. Obviously, you don't get a grade or a promotion or compliments from colleagues, and when you naturally need a lot of attention, it's kind of a let down (that is not a nursing reference). So you end up peppering your husband with statements that are acceptable from a six-year-old but bizarre for a grown woman, e.g., "Look! Look! I made dinner! Good job huh! Good job!? Do you like it? I swept. Did you see? I swept! Good job??" He will humor you, but still, yikes. Anyway, I'm not done with the book yet, but bits of it relate directly to my life in funny and thought-provoking ways. I've read about it here and there but if it weren't for the express shelf I would never have actually picked it up! It all comes back to that shelf, really. Will you read the book if you haven't already and then talk to me about it??

Speaking of which, the author read about Ben Franklin's Junto, a group of of 12 friends that met weekly for like forty years to talk about important stuff, and she liked the idea, and got a few friends together to be part of a regular "strategy group." I want one of those. How great does that sound?? A healthy discussion/debate with sharp people is like caffeine to me. Same with lunch dates. Well, and actual caffeine.