Today I stepped on the scale and thought to myself, "Woah! Do I really weigh that much?!" I hardly ever weigh myself because I almost always know that when I step on the scale, I will be shocked at that stupid number that makes me feel depressed about my body. So, why does it make me feel bad and why do I care so much about a number that no one knows except for me? This question is crucial in my life right now because I have been eating healthier than I ever have in my life, exercising regularly, and feeling really good. So when I stepped on the scale and weighed more than I normally do, I was almost disappointed in myself........ WHY?! Growing up, I was taught to think that weighing less was better for some reason. Somewhere in that process of thinking that weighing less was better, I confused what being healthy really meant. I began to associate health with becoming thinner. Thinner is what I was aiming for in becoming healthier and so I wanted the number on the scale to go down in result of this.
When I was younger and began to struggle with thoughts of being thin and wanting to weigh less, I made it a point to not step on the scale very often. There was too much peer pressure to look a certain way, and I knew that I couldn't handle the emotional pressure of thinking about my body weight all the time. This doesn't mean that I didn't think about my appearance and my health, but I decided that other things in life needed my attention. So, there I began my quest of not weighing myself very often and trying to feel healthy. It actually worked better than I thought it would. In that stage of life when so many girls are talking about being thinner and losing weight, I tried to zone out and remember that I am a healthy, active individual. I knew I was never someone who would wear a size 2 and didn't really try to be that person.
So even in my quest as a girl in Junior High to not focus on my weight so much, why does that number on the scale still continue to effect my emotional well being? As a society (where I grew up), there is immense pressure for girls to be thin and be a certain weight. But want to know the real truth?? No one knows how much you weigh and no one really cares. No one ever actually has to know how much you weigh. It's basically a number derived from some scientists who decided on a numbering system based on gravitational pull. Makes it sound less important right?! Well to a lot of people, weighing themselves constantly and keeping within a certain weight range is everything...
In my life I have had multiple friends with eating disorders. One friend in particular has struggled with self-image issues for a very long time. Let me give you a little insight into her life…
Multiple times a day, she weighs herself in hopes that there will be a smaller number on the scale. Because her weight is so important to her, she endures binging almost daily (eating excessive amounts of food) because she is constantly thinking of food and how hungry she is, purging after she eats all of that food because she feels super guilty for eating that much, excessively exercising in hopes that it will also bring down her weight, starving herself when she can because she feels like depriving herself of certain meals or certain foods will help, not going out in public when she feels like she is not looking thin enough, taking sick days at work when she is not really sick (she just doesn’t feel like she looks good enough), and lastly, she will not even see her boyfriend or talk to him when she feels bad enough about her body image. My heart breaks every time I think about her because I know that she is battling with making sure that the number on the scale is tolerable in her eyes. In her quest to weigh a certain weight, she is actually hurting her body severely and depriving it of the health that she needs. This is a very serious issue and I cannot pretend to know the deep hurt that she feels every day, but I do know that I am very sad for her constantly. Pressure to look and be a certain weight are a real thing. So how can we begin to change the focus in our society to being healthy instead of caring so much about weight?
I know that we can start by being less judgmental, helping individuals with their insecurities, truly loving people instead of accepting them based on looks, and lastly, we can ultimately love ourselves for who we are. So, next time you step on the scale and see that random number, remember - if you are being good to your body, your body is very happy.
Happy is being healthy and that's what does and always should matter.
I'll never forget the time I was at Disneyland and I saw hundreds...if not thousands of people videoing the firework show. IT BOGGLED MY MIND!!!! WHAT? Aren't we supposed to live in the moment people? Doesn't that ruin the moment? First off, you probably won't ever watch that video, because watching fireworks on a video isn't half as exciting and exhilarating as watching them in person. Secondly, you can watch this EXACT same firework show on YouTube when you get home....I promise...it's there. Thirdly, YOU ARE MISSING THE FIREWORKS! Hello!!! They are right in front of you and you are worried about if they are being recorded or not!!! Oh, and your stupid selfie stick is in my view and now I can't see the fireworks. (They've now banned selfie sticks from Disneyland which I appreciate).
If you've ever been around my family, you know that pictures mean A LOT to my mom. I'm sure we are not the only family who has someone who is "in charge" of getting pictures taken. There is always someone who doesn't want to miss any of the small moments. As life passes, we all kind of realize how fast time goes and how quickly we forget the little details that our life is made of. At the times when we'd like to reflect, we are so grateful for those people who decided to take pictures of every moment and who wanted to capture the small things in life. The flip side is that pictures can cause interruption to the flow of life, they can be posed and fake, they also can cause contention between the ones who want to take the pictures and the ones who don't think it's necessary. Oh, there's also the problem of "who get's to take the picture this time?".
1- Pictures can capture memories: The details in life like a baby's smile or a toddler's messy face are things that we just forget if we don't capture them. It is so wonderful to randomly take candid photos in every day life and on special occasions to remember the happy times so we can reflect on how good life really is and try harder to live in the moment.
2- Pictures can create memories: I have had so much fun taking pictures with my little kiddos...doing silly selfies and making funny faces. The act of taking a picture can give you something fun to do. The ritual of going to get professional photos taken is a huge part of our culture. When ever someone says "We have family photos today"....it's usually associated with an "I'm sorry" or "good luck with that"....because it seems like it's always a time to struggle to get everyone ready on time, keep everyone fed and happy, and try to get just ONE good picture where everyone is looking and smiling. But think of the memories that are being made, spending time together, taking pictures....it is a memory-creator.
3- Pictures can semi-ruin memories: In my family, there are a few people who are so sick of pictures that they refuse to be in any anymore....these are my grown siblings. Here is the problem, we are all having a good time, chatting, laughing, life is good. It's all of a sudden time that someone needs to go home. That person says they need to leave, packs up their child(ren), and they are walking out the door, when my mom says "We need a picture!" ......then we all GROAN in frustration. What timing! We can't talk her out of it because unbeknownst to us she has been wanting a picture all evening but hasn't told anyone. This brings up something that should be considered when taking a picture. TIMING. It is huge. A photo can add to the experience of an event if it is planned out well and everyone knows when it will be happening so it can go quickly and smoothly at a time that everyone is ready. When it is something that nobody wants to do because they are caught off guard, it can put a strain on relationships and ruin memories.
Moral of the story: Taking a picture can be a wonderful thing. It is so great that WE get to capture every moment and look back on times in our life that we can't remember perfectly. Taking pictures can be a destroyer of memories if used in the wrong way and taken to an extreme level. Let us be aware of how we are using our cameras and think about the moment and if it's good timing before we decide if we should capture it or if the moment...life...is just more important.
What does it mean to be truly happy?
As I was talking to one of my friends today, she asked me if I was happy. I paused, then said, "yes, why do you ask?" She simply noted that I sounded happier than I had in the past. I kind of shrugged it off, but was glad to hear that she noticed I was happier. Later, I ended up asking myself the burning question, "what does it mean to be truly happy? And why do I feel happier?"
A couple of days ago, Dawson and I found out that we are moving to a different part of Montana (that is much prettier) because Dawson got a job there. Let me just show you a little sneak peak of the scenery where we are moving to:
Soooooo pretty right? I know. You may think I am crazy when I tell you this next part of the story because this picture looks like a dream. Like it's almost too good to be true.
When I received a call from Dawson last weekend at 3:00pm on Friday, he called to say, "hey I got the job in Eureka!" Right then and there I knew that our lives would be different. I was nervous and scared because Dawson has a lot of family and friends out there... and I don't. Do you know how scary that is?!? Moving somewhere where you have no connections and the person that your with literally knows every person in the whole town?... I set down the phone and just kind of sat there not knowing how to feel or what to think. When Dawson came home from work, he came in the room and was happier than I've ever seen him. I congratulated him and tried to act happy because I truly was happy for him. It has been his dream to move back home his whole adult life. After this little interaction between us was when the phone calls came. One after another, family and friends called to congratulate Dawson on getting the job. As I was left in the room, I laid down on the bed and began to cry. I hated that I was reacting this way because I was very happy for Dawson. It was also weird that I reacted this way, because it was almost known by everyone that he was one of the most qualified applicants for the job - meaning that he was probably going to get it. It was like knowing something was going to happen, but not really planning on it happening. After Dawson got off the phone with his relatives and friends, he came in the room and asked me what was wrong. I told him that I was fine and that we should head to our movie. He asked me again because it was obvious that I was not okay. He looked at me and asked, "have you been crying?" There was no escaping now. He knew I was upset. I finally admitted to him that this was going to be a lot more difficult for me to move because I didn't know anyone. I also explained that I didn't want our relationship to be non-existent because we were moving to a place where we would be with people he knew all the time. Dawson seemed upset that I came to those conclusions because we hadn't even moved there yet. We talked through it a little bit and I apologized for acting sad, but I felt like I couldn't help my emotions in this situation. I was nervous and scared and needed some comforting. The next day I realized that everything was going to be okay and I began to feel better about things. My happiness should not be contingent upon the place that we live in. In reality it's more dependent on the people involved in my life.
So, today I revisited the question of what it means to be truly happy and why I am feeling happier lately. It just seemed ironic that my friend commented on my happiness this morning, when this emotional situation occurred over this past weekend. I came to the conclusion that true happiness encompasses the entirety of your emotional well being and how content you are with the situation that you are living in overall. An emotional feeling can turn to sadness in an instant, but it does not change the overall feeling of your surroundings. I am with a person who truly cares about me and I care about him. How amazing is that?! Loving people is one of the best remedies for living a great life. True happiness is setting aside fears, living in the moment, cherishing relationships and accepting changes when they turn your way. It's being human and having enough freedom to discover how to love people and overcome things in ways you never thought possible. I have so many opportunities for happiness in my grasp, so I'm taking them and adding them to my overall happiness because I can... And I will.
Photos above: Bottom left corner, Asher rammed into a girl at a restaurant and got a HUGE goose egg. Bottom middle: Chloe ties knots in her hair EVERYDAY, multiple times a day! Top right: Asher and a friend DESTROYED the nursery while a couple of us moms were having a fun time chatting in the gym. Other pics....hehe.
Recently I had the opportunity to attend a 12-week course to learn how to become more spiritually centered. It was COMPLETELY life changing. The course is just based on the principles of the teachings of Christ but put in a way that is more practical to applying to every day life. The biggest thing that I took away from this course is the word ENTICEMENTS.
Enticements: little things that hook us, or make us angry or frustrated momentarily. For example, an enticement is a kid spilling juice on the floor, a person cutting you off on the freeway, stubbing your toe, anything that might make you want to curse ;) These little enticements, according to this spiritual course, are sent to us to remind us to think of our creator, to remind us to "pray always", so that every time an enticement happens we can remember our Father in Heaven and hopefully overcome these little enticements that consume our every day lives. In the course it says that the average person will have 10-20 enticements per day. In our discussions, we discovered that mothers of young children are the exception to that. Young mothers usually have 200-300 enticements per day. These enticements consume my life...hence the fact that this course was life changing! From the moment a mother of small children wakes up in the morning there is whining, spilling, messes, headaches, tiredness, little things that make being hunky dory kind of hard. But if we use these little things to remind us to say a little prayer, or think of our creator, we can usually handle them a lot better and treat everyone around us with patience. The beauty of it is, if we really take the chance to commune with God each time we have an enticement, we will become "enticed" less and less. We will become more patient. We will become more spiritually centered.
Adversities: enticements or trials that last longer and have more emotional pull on our well being. The same tactics can be used, focusing on the spiritual rather than the temporal. Trying to turn toward the light rather than dwelling in the darkness. If you think of an adversity, there is a way to handle it in the light and a way to handle it in the darkness.
For example, about a year and a half ago I had what I would call an adversity happen to me. My hubby and I decided to go to a movie with my parents on a Tuesday night. We were not in the best financial situation. Hubby was just starting graduate school, we had just had a baby 6 months earlier, and we were trying to get our feet on the ground. We went to the movie, had a great time, then when we walked out of the movie, we couldn't find our car. We both remembered where we had parked and we knew that it was NOT there. It was stolen! Our only car was gone. We called the police and an officer came to help us. He went and looked at the surveillance footage. He said the guy that stole our car had walked RIGHT past us as we were walking into the movie! Creepy. Like an idiot I had left my wallet in the car, and there were a lot of other valuables in there like my glasses, hubby's Oakleys, some giftcards, $300 cash, etc... It seemed like the worst possible scenario to me. I DECIDED to go into darkness over this adversity. I decided to cry and wallow and worry and not turn to the light. My Hubby on the other hand CHOSE to stay in the light. That night, he comforted me and helped me realize that everything would be alright. Even though he was upset and disappointed, he chose to trust in the Lord. The next day we went out and bought a car together :) It would've been a little more fun if we had more than $3,000 in savings. It was scary putting $2,000 of that down on a car when I didn't even know how we were going to make money for the next 2 years. The day after that, we got a call, and THEY FOUND OUR CAR! We went to pick it up, it had been abandoned at a gas station in the west side of SLC. When we got to the car, $900 worth of stuff had been stolen out of the car including our car seats, giftcards, cash, wallet, Oakleys, glasses, etc... It also smelled like pot and there were burn marks on the dash...gross. It was definitely a different car.
Conclusion: we have been taken care of the last 2 years! I have had enough students to pay the bills and our online job lasted just long enough for me to build up my studio. We also had some miracles happen. Like an anonymous person left $300 cash on our front door after hearing our story....like what?! Who does that? The Lord took care of us. He always does. There's no reason to turn to darkness when the Savior has suffered EVERYTHING that we will ever go through. We just need to turn to HIM. Enticements are real and if we can use even some of them to remember to pray, our life will be transformed...and so will our character.
My first weekend in Montana was very different than my life in Salt Lake City. I know that you probably know that, but I am going to tell you about it anyways! On Friday (when I arrived), me and my boyfriend drove four hours to Eureka, Montana in order to be a part of a fishing tournament that would last Saturday and Sunday. I don't eat fish, so it seems pointless to be a part of a fishing tournament, right? Well, I wanted to be a good sport and go to hopefully have fun and hang out. On Saturday morning, we woke up early to begin our fishing trip. Within the first couple of hours, we caught our first fish!! Unfortunately it was what they call a "trash fish". So we ended up letting it back into the lake. After we let the fish back into the lake, only seconds later, a bald eagle swooped down and snatched the fish right up. Crazy right??! That is not something that you see every day. The rest of the day, we hung out with friends and waited to catch more fish... but they never came.
The next morning, I was told that the fishing tournament wasn't worth it and that we were going to go catch some fish in a different lake. I was like "okay, I wonder how this is going to play out." I had been fishing with my boyfriend a few times before this, but it was not real intense fishing. I was pretty much babied while he did all the work. We were going salmon fishing with his dad and were going to be there for multiple hours catching a lot of fish. I guess I didn't know how intense this would be. You know what it feels like when you join a sports team and you don't know anything about the sport but you try to be a part of the team anyways? Then on top of that, you are with people that you are trying to be-friend and are also trying to not look like a complete idiot?? Yep, that was me on Sunday. The sport was fishing (which I knew basically nothing about) and the person I didn't know very well was my boy friends dad.
When we stepped out onto the boat, I assumed that my boyfriend would be there to help me with every little step the whole time. Nope. This day made me realize that I have got to grow up some time haha... The first thing we did was made sure that our fishing poles were set up correctly. Then we pulled out the bait. I thought it would be some little plastic fish like it has been in the past, but boy was I wrong. My boyfriend opened a container and inside were freaking maggots that were died red. I was about to puke. I thought to myself, "if he thinks that I am going to touch those, then I guess I'm not fishing the whole time." He told me to put them on my hook and I said, "I'm not touching those." Luckily, the first and second time he baited my hook for me, but the freaking maggots kept getting water logged or would fall of the hook. When it was made clear that he wanted me to bait my hook with maggots, I slowly went to pick one up and put it on the hook. I was so grossed out and thought, "I'm not doing that again." Man was I wrong!! The rest of the time, I was expected to bait my own hook every single time those nasty maggots fell off. Luckily I became a little stronger and didn't want to look like a complete idiot, so I pulled myself together and kept baiting my own hook with the maggots.
At the time, I thought this was the worst part. I was wrong. After baiting my hook, I was of course supposed to catch a fish on my hook and successfully bring it into the boat in order to eat it later. Needless to say, the first FIVE fish that I caught, I brought them up into the air on my hook and either knocked them against the boat, a random pole, held them up in the air for too long, etc. With all of those rookie tricks up my sleeve, the first five fish I caught all flung back into the water and continued on their merry way with tons of other fishing boats watching and laughing at me because I didn't know what I was doing. On the sixth catch, I actually got it into the boat with verbal instructions the entire time. As I was getting ready to put the fish into the bucket, I tossed him over there, then he hit the top edge of the bucket, bounced onto the deck and back into the water. UGHHHH..... Really?!? At that point all I could do was laugh at myself because of how ridiculous that was. I was literally the kid on the sports team that could not catch a break and that no one wanted on their team. After that little stunt, I decided to put more effort into this whole fishing thing and try to not look like too much of a loser. That was a good call on my part because I ended up actually catching six more fish with success!!! I baited the hook with nasty maggots each time, pulled the fish into the boat in a straight line, took them off the hook, and carefully placed them into the bucket!! I was very proud of myself and fishing became a lot more fun once I began to get the hang of it :).
Here's us fishing with a much better attitude towards the end of the day, and even though I don't like fish, I actually ate three of the fish we caught!!
There are so many things in life that seem like they should come easy or things that you wish you were as good as another person at. Well that's not the case. I am a city girl now living in the country where things are no longer easy for me. I am a foreigner here and will probably continue to feel like I'm on a bunch of new sports teams trying to make my way to the big leagues. Even though it's hard, I am really liking it here. Montana's a beautiful place filled with tons of new opportunity.
Pregnancy does some WEIRD things to your hormones. If you've ever been pregnant, you know what I'm talking about. One minute I'll be hunky dory and everything will be wonderful and happy, and then the next minute I'm crying on the phone with my oldest brother quitting my job. Here are a few stories that should make you giggle a little at the irrationality of it all.
CARLS JR. STORY: When I was pregnant with Asher, Jordon and I were on our way to see "A Christmas Carol". We were in a hurry. I suddenly NEEDED a HUGE drink of water. We stopped at Carls Jr. There were 3 cars in front of us, and they each took FOREVER. So by the time it was our turn I was already on edge a bit. We ordered a large water. When we got to the window they said it was $3. I was flabbergasted! $3 for a water? I freaked out and kind of yelled at the guy through Jordon and said "$3? Give ME A FREAKING LEMONADE" Jordon was embarrassed. Hehe. Again, pregnancy does weird things to you.
BLOWING UP AT THE IN-LAWS: The title kind of speaks for itself right? This was when I was pregnant with Chloe. I had spent a couple of days cleaning, organizing, and going through my in-laws stuff to see what they should throw away, etc....kind of a spring cleaning if you will. After a long day and deciding to throw away this HUGE bag of bionicles? I think that's what they are called. One of my in-laws starts to argue that he might need them some day....but I had already discussed with the mother-in-law that it was okay to give them to DI. When he started fighting me on it, I FREAKED OUT! I don't even know what I said. I think I said something like "I'M DONE, I CAN'T Do This Anymore"....I stormed out and went on a LONG walk. This actually happened the day before I graduated from BYU with my Masters in Vocal Performance :) heheh.
QUITTING JOB STORY: Around the time that Chloe was born, I started a small job. It usually brought in anywhere from $100-$500 per month. I was managing apartments in NYC for my brother Brennon on a site called Airbnb...(if you've never used Airbnb to travel, you should, it's way cheaper and better than a hotel). Anywho, for some reason, this job brought a whole slew of crazy stress along with it. The toilet is broken, people complaining that the apartment's not clean enough, people can't get the key, people can't open the door, people lock themselves out of the apartment. Here I am in Utah trying to solve all of these ridiculous problems. I can't believe I didn't quit sooner, but I was supposed to be done with this job by the end of this month (May). Yesterday, a problem arose that I was not ready to handle in my pregnant state. A guy was complaining about his stay and that the bedroom and bathroom doors wouldn't close properly. I offered him $30 as a sorry. He wanted $250. So here I am trying to be nice to this guy by offering a little reimbursement and now he's turning around and asking for a WHOLE lot more. This usually gets me in trouble with my brother because it's his money. When my bro called me, I knew it was going to get messy. Right when he said "He wouldn't have asked for this much money if you didn't offer anything in the first place"....I started to cry, I blew up and said "I thought you knew I hated this job" etc. etc. etc.... Right then and there, Brennon said he'd take over, so I quit my job 2 weeks early....all because my pregnancy hormones are CRAZY!!!
As I was writing these stories, I realized that they all happened about a month or so before the baby was due. So I guess the moral of the story is...don't come near me around that time....JK. I guess these are just some funny things from my past that have happened, I'm glad they are over, and I'm glad I had pregnancy to blame them on ;) I love my kids. I'm so blessed to have them! Even if it meant being an ornery cuss while they were in my tummy. If you have any of your own crazy blow-ups during pregnancy, I'd love to hear them so I know I'm not alone ;)