Saturday, April 23, 2011

Remembering Church Callings

I don't really remember church callings that my parents had before I was about eight years old. I know that my mom served in the primary presidency for a lot of my childhood and during some of those years my dad was in the bishopric. He also taught my primary class when I was nine.

One calling my dad has had numerous times in many of the different places we've lived is being on the stake high council. I remember going with him to different wards in the stake to hear him speak and to see my friends on those wards. That was always fun for me. Plus, he is a good speaker and I always enjoy his talks.

Another calling my dad had at one time was in the young men's presidency right about when I was 12 years old. We had a ward activity, a dance, to which the beehives and deacons were invited. I remember dancing with my dad at that activity.

My mom, aside from primary when I was younger, often served in the Relief Society, either as a teacher or in the presidency. She is also a good teacher and always set a wonderful example to me of how to serve through her callings in Relief Society.

When I turned 18, my mom was the Relief Society president. I had no interest in attending Young Women's anymore, even though I still had half of my senior year in high school to finish. There were several other young women like me who were tired of Young Women's, but not really ready for Relief Society. She made the transition easier for us by making a separate Relief Society class for us taught by another young single adult sister, one who had just returned from a mission. We were able to connect with Relief Society and feel a part of it even though we were still so young and many of us still in high school. I think that a lot of young women who turn 18 during high school can kind of get lost when it comes to church. They are too old for Young Women's and have often completed the Young Women's in Excellence but feel out of place for Relief Society. I don't know how the other girls my age felt about it, and I don't even remember how many of them came to church and attended that class at that point, but it certainly helped me.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Wedding Dresses

A show that I've watched a few times in the last week has been "Say Yes to the Dress". It's about brides picking out their wedding dresses and all the drama that apparently goes on with that. I say apparently because there was no drama involved in choosing my wedding dress.

Shortly after my engagement, I went to a friend's wedding reception. I told her that she looked beautiful and that I loved her dress. She whispered back to me, "You're engaged now. Do you want to buy it? I'll sell it to you." I didn't even hesitate when I said yes. She and I were close to the same size and it was a gorgeous dress. It certainly saved me a lot of trouble trying to find one and helped her out financially. I did have to get it altered a little bit so it fit me better (she's a little taller than me), but it worked out wonderfully. I sold it myself when I was done with it and haven't looked back once with regret for not keeping it.

Besides, I didn't actually get married in that dress. I had been an endowed member of the church for three years before I got engaged. I had my own temple clothes already. So when we got married, instead of having to use an insert for the sleeves and neckline of my wedding dress, I just wore my temple dress. I still have my temple dress. So really, the dress that I got married in is still something I wear on a regular basis.

When I was watching the show, it got me thinking about how people put so much emphasis on something about the wedding that isn't really that important. At least, I don't think it's that important. (Of course, it's probably less important in a Mormon temple wedding anyway). And to think of the gobs of money spent on something you wear once, even if it is a huge event, seems just silly to me.

So what about your wedding dress? Did you go to great lengths to find the perfect dress? Did you have it custom-made? Did you buy it used? Do you still have it?

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Not a Baby Person

I've decided that I am not a baby person. With my last baby, after she was born, I really tried hard to enjoy the early months of her babyhood, thinking she might be the last, or at least was near the last. Honestly, I look back and can't remember the first few weeks at all--they must have been really hard to be sucked from my memory like that. When I try to remember, I just draw a blank.

This might be our last baby. We haven't decided for sure yet. So I'm trying, once again, to enjoy the babyhood of my baby.

But, to be honest, babies stress me out.

In fact, I think I start to de-stress with the kids when they hit about 3--so they're potty trained, talking, walking, mostly teethed, etc. They tell you what they want, they can feed themselves and dress themselves.

When my babies cry, I freak out. Even from the second they start crying. Even when I know that what they want is to eat or have a diaper change or just be held. The sound of my baby crying always freezes me for a split second. I always feel this desperation and dread seeping in when I hear that crying and sometimes it takes all I have inside to do anything about it.

I was never one to want to hold new babies, mine or other people's. I just don't really enjoy holding babies.

I really am trying to enjoy this very brief period of time, I am. But even my trying to enjoy it is adding an element of stress. When he cries, and I think, "oh no, not again," my next thought always is, "I need to just enjoy this. Why can't I just enjoy this?"

So that brings me back to the idea that I am simply not a baby person. Babies are cute. I like to look at them. But I really don't enjoy this phase. I really start enjoying my kids once they hit about three years old. I will keep trying to enjoy this, though, because I know how quickly it passes.

And really, isn't this just the cutest baby ever?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Royally Bummed Out

My best friend from high school is moving. I'm so terribly sad by this that it seems unreal and I can't seem to wrap my head around it.

When we graduated high school, we went off to different colleges, but we kept in touch and even lived near each other. She went to Utah Valley State College (now UVU) and I attended BYU. So she was in Orem and I was in Provo. After I finished college, she moved to Ogden and I moved to California. One year later, I got married in Los Angeles and she was the maid of honor at my wedding. One year after that, she got married and I was able to attend her wedding in Bountiful, Utah. After our weddings, I stayed in California for a year and then moved to Idaho Falls, Idaho. After she got married, she moved to Pocatello, Idaho because that's where her new husband was from and was going to school.

She was there for the birth of my first child. We moved back to California shortly after that and I didn't get to be there for the births of her children, but we kept in touch, by phone and email over the next seven years. She stayed in Idaho and we moved from California to Arizona and moved around Arizona a couple times during that time.

When we moved up to Utah in 2009, she also moved to Utah, within only a week or two of our move. Since then, we've spent lots of time together. Our kids, who are close in age, are friends and even attended each other's birthday parties. She taught my two older boys piano lessons for several months. We've had play groups with other high school friends and girls' nights out also.

But now she is moving to Arizona. Could be a pretty permanent thing. We might move back to Arizona sometime in the future, but I wouldn't be surprised if she moves back to Utah or Idaho at the same time we move back to Arizona. I'm so sad.

My kids will need a new piano teacher. All the fun plans we had this summer-play groups, girls' nights, taking our daughters to the Princess Festival, going out on a double date for our anniversaries (she got married one year and one day after we did ), going to our 15-year high school reunion together, canning peaches, and just being there for each other, all gone in the blink of an eye.

Usually I am the one moving. I haven't ever really experienced a very close friend moving away from me. I will see her again and probably often, since my parents still live in the Phoenix area and we go down there at least once a year. Her parents and siblings live up here in the Salt Lake area, so I'm sure we will see each other. But it's been so nice to have her close by after all these years since high school and college only to have to go separate ways again.

I'm so very sad.

Religious Blogging

Can I be honest here?

I am a follower of Mormon Mommy Blogs.

I also follow a Christian blog called Women Living Well.

Can I just say how disappointed I am that the writers of MMB are not usually as frank and straightforward about religion as the writer of WLW?

Sometimes I feel like we Mormons are so afraid of being accused of being judgmental that we water things down when it comes to our beliefs. We don't want someone to be offended by what we think or believe and leave the Church, so we water it down.

Courtney, the writer of WLW, never does this. She frankly tells it how it is. She does it in love but she never waters any of it down. I get more of a spiritual uplift when I read her blog posts that are centered around religion and home and family than I ever do reading MMB, which I think is sad, since the contributors to MMB share my religious beliefs. Sure, I share some of the same beliefs as Courtney as well, but there are many differences. Yet the biggest thing I think I see is that Courtney is never bashful about proclaiming a profound belief and testimony of Jesus Christ, whereas the writers of MMB don't seem to openly share that as much.

And really, to be honest, I can't explain the differences. I just know it's there. And I'll see new posts on my dashboard from MMB but am almost always disappointed by the content, whereas with WLW, I am always excited and eager to read what she posts.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Favorite TV Shows

I did not watch a whole lot of television when I was a child. I don't remember if that's because my parents didn't really allow us to watch very much TV or because I just wasn't interested. I just don't remember much TV from before I was in the sixth grade.

When I was in the sixth or seventh grade, though, a favorite show that we always watched together as a family was The Wonder Years. That show starred Fred Savage. It was a show about a young boy, early teens, growing up in the 1960's, named Kevin Arnold. Much of it revolved around the social ups and downs of adolescence, as well as some family issues. My favorite episode was one that was a parody of the original Star Trek, where three of the girls that Kevin liked were torturing him into deciding between them, similar to an episode of the old Star Trek. I thought it was hilarious. Another episode I remember quite well was the one in which a geeky girl, Margaret Farquar, has to work on a project with Kevin. Of course, he is embarrassed that he has to be seen with her, and she has a crush on him, and it all ends in him hurting her feelings but learning that even the nerdiest people are still people with feelings. Most of the shows ended with good messages like that.

Another show we watched as a family when I was in high school was Home Improvement. That show starred Tim Allen and was about a man who lived in Michigan who had his own cable tool show, a wife, and three kids (all boys), and the mishaps that happened to him. I liked it because it was quite funny and, like The Wonder Years, it usually had some good messages. I even enjoy watching the reruns today and seeing them from the perspective of a married mother of boys rather than the perspective of a teenage girl.

I know I watched other TV, but those were two of my favorite shows.


Last night I had a nightmare. I've actually had quite a few heartpounding nightmares lately. They always involve something happening to one of my kids. I think I need to keep a dream diary so if and when I ever seek counseling, I might be able to share some of it and get some insights.

In my dream last night, we were playing at a park. The park had older playground equipment. Those of you who lived in Richardson might be familiar with Heights Park. Think of the rocket there, or actually anything on that playground. Not the safest equipment by today's standards. In my dream, there was a similarly high platform to the rocket at Heights but it was more like the submarine in design. In my dream, I was at the top of it with my kids, but I was holding the new baby. My daughter, who is three, got too close to the edge and slipped off, falling all the way to the ground below.

In my dream, my parents were both there. My dad was on the ground, and he was the first to go over and investigate. When I got down to the bottom, he was just standing there looking at her. She was limp and lifeless, but still breathing, so I scooped her up and yelled for someone to call 9-1-1. Nobody acted, so I found my cell phone and dialed. The 9-1-1 operator wouldn't listen to my story and kept interrupting me, telling me that there were certain conditions to be met before someone would come. I was frantic. I carried my daughter, with everyone who was there following me, to my grandparents' house, which was nearby. My grandpa (my dad's dad) was there too. He knew a guy who knew a guy and was able to get the EMT's to finally come. They came and whisked her away. I went along.

In the end of the dream, she was on life support with a breathing tube and we were all just waiting to hear what the prognosis was. Then I woke up and realized it was all just a bad dream.

During the dream, though, it all seemed so real. I should have known it wasn't when my grandpa was in the dream because he passed away about 6 or 7 years ago. But I have had many very similar dreams. One involved my third son getting run over by a lawnmower. Other dreams have involved my children slipping under the water and drowning just out of my reach.

I think I have worries that I won't be able to balance everything and that I feel overwhelmed with all the kids, because most often I have these terrifying dreams right before or after we've had a new baby.

I am so glad that I woke up and that it was only a dream. Because it would be horrible to experience something like that in reality.


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