Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Cool Mom's Club

The truth is, as grown adults, we still seem to have the Junior High mentality of hanging out with the cool crowd. Even when it involves something as innocent as organizing a playdate for just the benefit of socializing our children with one another. At first I didn't pay much attention to what was happening within my ward and neighborhood. I noticed all the stylish, super out-going mom's hanging out with mom's of the same nature. Nothing wrong with that. It's good to engage your kids in playtime with other kids. The children of the super stylish and beautiful mother's all took the part as their mother's, also very stylish and cute. Again, nothing wrong with that. That's awesome! To make my point, I decided I wanted to join in on the fun as well. I admit, I am not always super stylish. I tend to wear lots of exercise clothes around the house, I rarely wear a bra, and I do not wear makeup or do my hair very well. My long hippie hair hangs in my face, I have horrible posture, and sometimes I am a little too blunt or a little too social anxious to really feel comfortable around the cool crowd. But I have always tried to fit in and I think I will die trying. For the past couple of months, I have tried to organize play-dates with the "cool moms club" It has not been easy and I am not here to analyze why it's hard. I think some mom's just feel comfortable sticking within their own social circle of friends and only allowing their children to engage with certain children. That is fine. Today, However, I had an awesome playdate with a gal who is very similiar to me. We have very similiar personalities and we feel comfortable around each other. We decided to get together once a week and I am super excited for that. I know we will have a great time and Sunny will hopefully get enough stimulation and change of scenery that she may decided to start taking naps. As moms, I think we feel somewhat more pressure to be more social and interact with other moms a lot more then if we weren't moms. We want our children to have friends and be socialized. We want our children to learn appropriate behaviors and interact with other children for their own well-being. Sometimes as moms, this pressure can result in rejection. Some mom's may not want their children playing with your children, or some mom's may not want to be your friend for some reason. Whatever the reason may be, I feel that their is always someone out there who will want to have your in their lives. Today was that day. I was able to have much needed adult time and Sunny was able to play with other children at the playground. It got me thinking though. I am not always going to be there trying to help Sunny have friends. When she starts school, is she going to make friends easily, or is she going to be like I was, shy and isolated to some degree. School was not easy for me. Kids were not always nice to me. I was very skinny, very shy, and still as socially awkward then as I am now. I didn't always have the cutest clothes, or name brands, and I wasn't the cutest or most beautiful either. I was just an average kid wanting what every other kid wanted. To fit in. To be cool. To be popular. I want to share one particular story. I don't know why I started thinking about this today, but it's been on my mind all day and I need to share. When I was in 11th grade, I was in the school play, "My Fair Lady." I do not know how on earth I got selected to be in the play, I killed the audition, and I think the teacher, Mr. Eaton, who was in my ward, just felt sorry for me. Anyway, the musical involved lots of dancing and singing. Great, I love both, this would be perfect. The choriographer was a young gal about 23. She hated me. She didn't think I could dance. I admit, I was not the best dancer and my rhythem skills (as well as spelling skills, suck). Anyway, she had all the students gather in a big circle and she had me stand behind the circle so nobody could see me. I didn't argue, I just did it. I was shy and emberressed and did as I was told. Every night during the production, I continued to dance in an isolated area of the stage where nobody could see me. I felt worthless. She made me feel like I didn't belong there. During the two months of rehearsal, I began to develop a huge crush on this guy named Rick who was also in the play. Oh my gosh, he made my stomach flutter like none other. He was a senior, drop dead gorgeous, and the most popular guy in high school. He was kind to me. He saw something in me. He often came up to me and would put his arm around me or massage my back. He was a very flirty guy and very affectionate with all the girls, but when he did that to me, oh my gosh. I began to dream of him at night. He occupied my mind day and night. Being in the play was so worth it, just to be with him, despite the rude to me, dance instructor. One night, Rick came up to me and began cuddling with me. He showed a lot of interest in me and continued to focus on me and nobody else. I continued to pinch myself all night wondering why on earth this popular, gorgeous guy was hanging with me. Why not the other popular and more beautiful girls. I am not sure, but after the play that night, he came up to me and put his arm around me. He softly told another girl standing next to us that I was his girlfriend. I think I may have almost fainted with delight. One of the popular girls in the play must of heard him. She had always been unkind to me and immediately changed her demeaner toward me. She saw the most popular guy giving me a chance, and she began to warm up to me herself. The rude comments she made toward me never happenend again. If a cool guy like Rick could give his time of day to me, I guess I was cool enough. She began to treat me like I was cool from then on out. About six months after the play, my teacher of my dance class said we would be performing in front of the school and we would be able to wear her student's drill team costume for it. I was beyond thrilled. I had enrolled in ballet class in the community to improve my dancing skills and was even more thrilled that I would be able to dance in front of the entire school during a pep rally. I practiced and practiced harder then I ever had before. The night of the performance, I nailed it. I was perfect in every move. I was so proud of myself. After the performance, I changed and was walking the halls. The choreographer from, "My Fair Lady" passed me. I thought for sure she would make fun of me. Instead she told me she was so impressed with my dancing skills. I of course just nodded and walked away. Was I going to say thank you to her? No. This was the same woman who had zero faith in me during the play rehearsal. The same woman who treated me like I was not worth being seen. Now she had a reason to evaluate herself and maybe believe in the power of the success. To end, I just want to say that we are always going to face rejection in our lives. We are always going to feel inadequate at some point. I felt both, but I had people who believed in me. Who saw an inner beauty and strength in me that nobody else saw. Sometimes we may feel like a needle in a haystack. We may feel like nobody notices us, or nobody cares for us, but truth be told, some people may be facing issues of their own that we have no idea about. Our loving Heavenly Father sees all us children equally. He loves us all no matter what. He wants us to continue to stand strong and walk tall as his daughters so matter how we may be feeling. There is always someone out there who will see the light within us as He does. Let's all remember that in this big scary world, we may feel as small as the tip of an eraser. We may feel like we can easily be erased or forgotten. We are never forgotten. Every single person matters and every act of kindness, will always be remembered by that someone.

Monday, April 21, 2014

You Don't Know A Mother's Love Until You Become One Yourself

Mother's Day is approaching. It's my first one. Last year, I was pregnant. This year, I have an 11 month old. I never really quite understood what it was to be a mother. Mother's Day was just a day to honor mom, give her a card, and maybe some flowers. This year, as a mom, I know to go a little above and beyond that. I know what it is to be a mother. It is the hardest job in the world. You don't quite fathom the idea of what motherhood really is all about, until you become a mother. Before the gift of motherhood came into my life, I would dream about someday becoming a mother. I dreamed of mainly sunshine and roses, girly dresses, lots of kisses and cuteness, a perfectly clean house and a perfect routine. Lots of playdates and fun all day, and hardly any sleepless nights. Oh how perfect motherhood would be, I imagined. Haha. I am not saying that none of those things happened. But what I am saying is the reality hit me hard. Motherhood is not just sunshine and roses. It involves lots of beautiful things, but there is also lots of thunderstorms involved as well. Children, like pets, need constant attention. They need constant supervision. They need constant interaction. There are many sleepless nights, they get sick or hurt, they get tired and fussy, they need constant care ALL DAY LONG. It is a 24/7 job, and quite frankly, it's exhausting. Whether you are 21, or 35 like myself, It is a never ending job. It is a hard job and once motherhood enters, a woman loses a lot of her identity. Her identity becomes MOM. She doesn't have quite as much time for herself as she once did. Her main focus is on her child(ren). She puts her child first over herself. She feeds her child before herself. Everything is for child. A mother would give her life for her child. There is that much love. As hard as motherhood is, it is the most rewarding and highest calling a woman can have. Her pay is not in coins, but in love. It is worth the hard days and nights. Motherhood is a gift. It is a gift not to be taken for granted. For a woman to carry a child for 9 months is a miracle that is never to be devalued. One must love and adore a body that is capeable of creating and sustaining life. One must love a body that is incapeable of creating life. One must adore a body because it was created by God, despite what it is or isn't able to do. What an amazing body that has the ability to give love. All that is possible because of our loving Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. As mother's, we are partners with God in nurturing of life. Nurture can be of animals, plants, children, elderly, and ourselves. To be able to nurture life and love is the greatest achievement one could have happen. As women, we must always value our bodies and souls for allowing us to give love. For those who cannot give life or become pregnant, they have other gifts of nurturing and loving. Their bodies may still have the capacity of see, hear, walk, feel, and taste. One thing a body and soul always has the capacity to do is LOVE. Love is universal. As I think about Mother's Day approaching, I think of my own mom. She is a unique lady with a great personality. She is very fun to talk to and hang with. She has had many trials in her life. There are times when I feel sorry she is unhappily married. I know she is not happy in her marriage. I know she is married to a man who treats her oddly and belittles her. He has many great qualities about himself which you will learn below, but he is just not marriage material. He is a very isolated man who has learning challenges and behavioral issues. He prefers to be alone and read and rarely speaks to anyone because of said challenges. My mom, a very social woman, has had a very isolated 8 years of marriage with this man. When she married her husband, Frank in 2005, my sister, becky and her children immediately moved into his home. You see, he owns a home in St. George. It is not the nicest home, but it is very large and accomodates many people. Frank moved into my mother's home and Becky and her three daughters moved into Franks. Frank would become her landlord. Frankers asked Becky to pay him rent each month based on what she could afford. Becky agreed to pay 500.00. For a two level home with a huge finished basement and lots of room, that is a very good price. Within months, Becky stopped paying rent due to her health problems. Frankers understood and allowed her to live in his house rent free. To this day, Becky still lives there, but has since moved out and has decided to live with her daughter Kayla and her boyfriend. Becky does not like living in St. George and decided she is too scared to go back. Three families are now living in Franker's home, including her 17 year old daughter and her family and two other families who have moved on in. Nobody is paying Frankers a dime in rent. Frankers decided he didn't want to ask them for rent due to disliking confrontation. His quite, reserved self is uncomfortable approaching people. Because of 8 years of living rent free in my mother's husband's home, this has created a lack of emotional support for my mother. She does not have the support from my sister, Becky or her children or the other family members that reside in his home. They love and adore frankers? Why? Well, he is allowing them to live rent free. Wouldn't you love a landlord who never charged you rent? When my mother has vented her feelings about her poor marriage, the families living in Franker's home would only take his side. They just couldn't side with my mother and her feelings. My poor mother has not had a very good support from her family due to the situation that evolved. Since they have lived in Franker's home, over 8 years, they have been rough on the interior and exterior of his home. They refused to do any lawn care, they have put a couple holes and dents in the walls, and have really had no respect for his home. Frankers continues to drive by his home, and often is in distress of what has happened to his home. Do I want to call these people moochers? Yes. They have taken advantage of a man who is slightly challenged and put themselves as a priority over him and his respect. Let's just say, it has created entitlement with my nieces and a sense of extreme emberrassment with my sister, Becky. I think anyone who has destroyed someone's home would have some shame. The crazy thing is, Franker's home has become a haven. It has housed up to 12 people. None of these people worked. My two neices who eventually got jobs didn't keep the job. If you don't have obligations to pay rent, why keep a job. If you get welfare and food stamps, why work? Okay, I am not going there. My sister's three daughters all had live in boyfriends also residing in the home, all three of her girls became teen mother's, and all three had their boyfriends and children living in the home with Becky. Becky had all her grandkids in that home. The home completely became ugly within months of wear and tear. I am not here to judge. I am here to talk about what is happening in our society. This story is an example of what is happening. A sense of entitlement, getting something for nothing, and having complete lack of respect for authority has become evident in our society. Teen pregnancies, wedlock babies, and food stamp and welfare fraud is happening within my own family. I will NEVER give names, but it is happening. It is wrong, but it's happening. I believe that individuals need to be self sufficient and responsible. We need to prepare for future leaders of America. Not future moochers. I am not here to judge, I swear. But come on, can you see where this is going. Three of my sister daughters have complete lack of respect for authority. They are all about getting something for nothing, never having to work for it. I am not sure why I wanted to vent about this. It really has nothing to do with Mother's Day. Perhaps it makes me feel more respect for mothers and what she has gone through. Her own family has taken the side of her husband over their own mother, all for the sake of their own selfishness. Getting something for nothing and honoring a person who allows them to get away with that. My mom has been through so much. She has been treated with so much disrespect from her own grandchildren. I admit I don't always agree with my mom and I don't always get along with her. But when it comes to always choosing her and always sticking up for her, I choose her. She is my mama Lukas, my baby girl. She deserves respect. All Mother's Deserve Respect. They gave us life and they would give their lives for us. No matter how silly, rude, crazy, annoying, bossy, controlling or amazing your mother is, all things aside, she is your MOM. It's about time we honor mom. The End.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

He Died For Us

Today is Easter. I love Easter time. I think of our Savior, Jesus Christ and am overcome with deep emotion and gratitude. After having Sunny, I have felt so fast paced, always trying to keep up with her, that often I have neglected scripture reading or just sitting quietly and pondering my Love for my Heavenly Father and Savior, Jesus Christ. I feel guilt because they are my everything. They have given me everything. When I think of it, I don't own ANYTHING. Everything that I have, my car, my house, my clothes, my money, my food, water, air, earth, etc, all belongs to Him. I try to take the word, MINE, out of sentences because nothing is mine. Everything is His. He has given me a husband, a family, and eternal family that I am sealed to forever. I don't fear death as much because we are together forever, given that we keep the commandments and live righteously. There are times when I have pondered our savior's crucifixion. I have been overcome with complete LOVE and I can feel my body become hot with emotion. I begin to cry, and I cry deeply. I cry not only for the pain he endured that no mankind has ever experienced, but I cry because of the love he has for us all. He died for us. He died for us all. Is there any love that is stronger then that. Our Heavenly Father released his only begotten son for us all. I have so much respect and admiration for them, for Mary his mother including. I try not to think of those who mocked him, who abused him, because my heart begins to hurt. I know that there is good and evil in this world and part of our free agency is making choices. However, we must draw near to the Lord and keep sacred commandments he has given us, so we can return to him and be with him and our loved ones forever in which we are sealed to. I recognize that I am not perfect. I know nobody is. I tend to judge people which I know is wrong. I judge people who are not living correctly, or who choose not to attend church and keep the commandments. I judge people who live wickedly. Is it wrong for me to judge? Of course it is. I think my problem with judging is that I just have so much love for our Heavenly Father and Savior that when I see people living each day without giving complete gratitude to the Lord for everything they have, I immediately begin to hurt inside. Not for myself, but for our Savior. Here he gave his life and suffered for us all and then you have people out there who don't even respect that. People live in evil ways everyday and my heart hurts for our Savior who loves us all so unconditionally still, but must feel pain for those who choose NOT to keep his commandments. I have family who live in such a manner. It has hurt me on so many levels. It has caused me to be estranged from some of them due to their actions and behaviors. I still care for them, but I don't approve of their choices or behaviors. There is so much dishonesty and unrighteous living in my own family that sometimes I feel so disconnected to them. I know I need to improve and have more love in my heart as our Savior does for everyone, despite their choices and actions, and I know I need to work on myself to become more like Christ. Full of unconditional love and acceptance for everyone despite their choices. That does not mean I need to associate with them or hang out with them, but it means I must be an example to them and treat them all with love as Christ would. As today is Easter, I have been bothered by somethings. I am bothered by people and how they behave on Easter. Some people I observe treat Easter as if it's just a day of candy, baskets, bunnies, hunts, big dinners and gifts. Do they recognize Christ on this day? Do they teach their little one's about that the whole purpose of Easter? It saddens me that some people FAIL to really think about what Easter is all about. Without Christ's atononing sacrifice, we wouldn't even be here in the first place. It is not just about Easter baskets and candy, it is about CHRIST. Some people are just ridiculous and beyond stupid in how they leave out the most important elements of why we even celebrate a holiday such as Easter in the first place. I am trying hard not to judge them, but at the same time, I feel somewhat ill towards them for showing such complete lack of respect or honor for what Easter is REALLY ALL ABOUT. I will end this now. Happy Easter to all!!!!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Salad Bar Dinner Idea

Pictured above in random order is: organic greens, egg, garbanzo beans, cucumber, tomato, olives, manderin oranges, canned beets, baby corn, bbque chicken, bacon and avocado. Hidden valley ranch and sunflower seeds for dressing. Click to enlarge picture.:-)

Friday, April 18, 2014

I've Changed

I went to Zumba class last night for the first time in over a year. I couldn't keep up. I used to rock at Zumba. It was so easy for me. Perhaps because I was doing yoga and curves at the time and slept the night. I guess you can say since having baby, I have let myself go a bit. I suppose my diet is not as great as it once was, or my exercise, or my lifestyle. I am a huge fan of Dr. Phil's wife, Robin McGraw. I have read two of her books. I love how she stresses that we, women, need to start putting ourselves first. It's not selfish, she says. If mama ain't happy, nobody's happy. So true. So many wives and mothers constantly put their husbands or children before themselves. Robin believes that is why she lost her mother so young. Her mother always neglected herself and took care of her kids and husband first. She has made a point that we must make more efforts to put ourselves as a priority. It really got me thinking hard. I need to take better care of myself. I want to be the best wife and mother I know how to be.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

A Few Things On My Mind

I love typing because I can type very fast. I took many keyboarding classes in high school and it paid off. I hate writing. I am a horrible journal writer because I hate to write. I have very poor handwriting because I hate to write. I am a horrible blogger, but I have excuses for that. Sometimes there are things I just need to type....just to get it out. One day I will thank myself. The first thing I want to write about is friendship. I love friends, but I am horrible at making them. Always have been. There have been times in my life where I have met some very easy people, who just make it easy for me to become friends with. I have always been a rather socially awkward person. Not exactly shy, but maybe a tad bit reserved. My sisters on the other hand are social butterflies and have hundreds of friends on facebook. Maybe that is why I don't particularly like facebook. I felt it was too much of a social club of who has the most friends or who has the most comments or likes. To me, that is just ridiculous and somewhat high school all over again. But in my lifetime, I can count on both hands how many people I just click with right away. These people were met in high school, college, church or through mutual friends, but there are not too many of them. I have met people who are the talkers, the listeners, the distracted, or the awkwardly silent, stare at you without saying anything, people. There are many personalities out there, and none of them are bad, but some personalities just click with me right away. These friends know who they are. They are the kind that have awesome conversational skills. They show genuine interest in a subject and they offer feedback and advice when needed. I understand that when parents are joined by kids, it's very hard to maintain a conversation without being distracted, and that is expected. But when adults are alone, we really get a glimpse of all different personalities. We are all different, that is what makes the world go round. Some people are just blessed with the gift of good conversational skills. When you find people like that, you remember them. Another topic I want to talk about is Love. After having Sunny, I felt the greatest love I have ever felt. I have a great husband, but the love between a mother and child is beyond measure. I didn't know what real love felt like until Sunny was born. There are times when stress over burdens me or a lack of sleep takes its toll and I find myself snapping. I don't mean to snap, but the only person around to hear me snap is my most precious gift, Sunny. I don't want her to grow up and know me as a mom that snaps. I want her to see me as the kind, loving, and nurturing person I know I am meant to be. That is why tonight, I decided to make a pledge to myself. Never will I yell or snap in front of my daughter. She doesn't understand what stress or frustrations I may be dealing with that day. In her eyes, there is only unconditional love. I want her to remember one thing. Love. If I find myself upset, I need to leave the room and pray. I need to remember that some things are just too small to become stressed over. I want to cherish every second of Sunny's life. I want to embrace every second I have with my family and loved ones. I want to love every second of my life and respect my family. Life is too short not to cherish every second we have with our loved ones. A hundred loves and kisses a day if never enough, but is enough for the person feeling it.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Growing Up

I really need to get better at journaling and blogging. One day I will look back and not remember things I wish I would of documented. For the record, Sunny is still not sleeping the night. She wakes quite frequently which takes a toll on my functioning during the day. However, I am thriving and praying and I know Heavenly Father really makes mother's strong. I haven't gotten sick, I am able to take care of Sunny and somewhat myself, and I still know something about being a wife. I may not have dinner on the table every night or my house cleaned, but I am making effort to improve and that is what matters, right? So, I have a sticker on the back of my Buick that says, "Baby On Board" ever see that sticker? It is bright yellow and I got it at Toysrus (how do you spell that)? So anyway, I got it after Sunny was born because I thought that sticker would make other more drivers more cautious if they knew a baby was in the car. I am one of those people who have been rear ended too many times and I have become paranoid about that happening again. So, are other cars more cautious around me because of that sticker? Nope. Not at all. You would think they would be, but from what I gather, some drivers don't give a stinkin hoot if you have a baby in your vehicle or not. I have been tailgated, honked at, and even had a vindictive looking man step out of his vehicle and approach my car at a stop light because I wasn't making a left at the light fast enough. Well, for one, I was waiting for the green ar
row, and two, I could't see around me because of the intersection difficulties, and third, it was snowing for crying out loud. So that sticker may not make much difference to "some" drivers, but it should. Any mother would understand how cautious we are when we have an innocent baby as a bystander. What kind of world do we live in? Texting while driving, distracted driving and drunk driving, and ruthless people who are in a hurry and all about themselves, not caring about others' safety, even at the innocence of a child. Okay, enough of the ranting and rumbling. I want to talk about some milestones with Sunny (she is asleep right now, so I am typing extremely fast, hoping I can complete this blog post quickly so I can get some much needed rest myself). So Sunny has four teeth right now. Two top and two bottom. I believe canines and molars develop between 12-36 months. Anywho, Sunny has made a lot of use out of those new teeth, besides looking adorable. She is biting now. Ouch!! She still has not had much interest in finger food, so we are keeping with the pureed stuff. She is a picky eater and only takes a few bites a day. I was a little concerned at first, but read that BF is okay for the first year without a lot of solids if that is baby's preference. She is starting to dance and little to music, she is practicing running, she loves the swing, hates the slide, and loves to keep moving. She loves water and the bath and gets so excited when she is around anything water. I will try to post a few pictures. Right now our computer is slow. I hope everyone is having a lovely spring break. Isn't it exciting that spring is here!!

Tasty!

Tasty!
Mango Salsa (see January archive on right for recipe)