Sunday, June 29, 2014

Shimpin in the Bed

Everything sounds worse when you say "in bed" at the end of it. Maybe I shouldn't say worse...but it definitely makes things sound a little raunchier. It just adds a touch of inappropriateness to the conversation.

But sometimes, your bedroom makes an amazing transformation and you start trying to find ways to bring it up, and it's not always easy to segue neatly into bedroom talk. So you have to bring it to your blog instead.

I don't personally know the people who lived in our house before, but I do know this about them: they were indecisive about paint colors. When we moved in, most of the upstairs was the same boring beige, except for the master bedroom, which was half-BYU blue, half-white, with mint green doors. (The basement was fire-engine red, navy blue, poop brown, and this awful 80's mauve....but that's a different story.)

We like plain ol' paint colors, so the cougar blue and mint weren't really working for us. Which means that step 1 of this operation was painting, whiiiich means that Step 1a was moving everything out of the bedroom where it could nicely welcome Stephanie and Craig off of their honeymoon while they crashed with us for a week. Sorry about that unfortunate timing.

Anyway, here's the transformation!

Before, from the door

Before, from the bed. (You can kind of see the bed poking out....the air mattress that we slept on for two days while some friends babysat our bed.)
Paint, wood floors, a new dresser and bedspread later
Ta-da! I love it so much better now!
We still need to paint the doors, but just don't look at them and you can be amazed and happy like us. If you want to see the rest of the house, you'll have to come to our housewarming party :) Time / date / everything else about it besides the place still TBD.

(Okay just kidding, I'll probably blog about it all later. But still come.)

(You know. When we get all the details figured out.)

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

If you Love what you Know....

Two summers ago, I had the opportunity to be an EFY counselor. It was great because I never went to EFY as a youth, and because my brother went the first week I was a counselor, and it was just a wonderful time. One of the things that one of the many speakers said that has stuck with me ever since was: "If you love what you know, share it."

In that moment, it was simple for me to say that I loved what I know. Of course I loved it. I loved it as easily as I loved my own family. 

Since that time, I have watched as the religion and church I love have suddenly become a regular topic of discussion in sensationalist media. People are sharing what they know....and what they think, and what they feel, and sometimes, it is not because they love it. 

Most of the time when I read things written by people who want to share what they don't love, it made me annoyed, or angry. So I would go looking for articles that supported what I think, and how I feel. There are plenty of these, too - so I would binge-read a bunch of them, expecting to feel better. Because, confirmation bias, or whatever. 

But I realized recently that it didn't make me feel better. It just made me feel more annoyed, until I had an epiphany the other day. The quote I mentioned earlier came into my mind, along with this question: "What do you love?"

Hence, this blog. I'm Heather, I love what I know, and I'm a Mormon. 

-I love that I know, firsthand, what it means to grow up in a happy home. I love that I always knew my parents and siblings loved me, and I love that I have never expected anything less than forever with them. 

-I love that I know that I am a child of God. 

-I love that I know that Heavenly Father knows everything, and I love that I know that I can ask him anything. 

-I love that I know that one day, all of my questions will be answered. 

-I love that I know that my best is enough. And I love that I know when my best could be better. 

-I love that I know that I will have friends wherever I go in the world. Sometimes you'll meet a mean or grumpy Mormon, but in general, Mormons are nice, friendly people. 

-I love that I know that my sister Nicole is exactly where she needs to be.

-I love that I know that Stephen is not just mine for now, but for forever. 

-I love that I know that what I do in this life matters. The time I hope to spend as a mother may be trivialized by some, and rejected by others as a calling that is not important enough to be worth of their time and energy, but it is one that I have always felt I was meant for. One day. Don't panic, Stephen. 

-I love that I have always felt important in church, too. Ever since my first calling as the Beehives President, I have felt like my ideas were listened to, and I have seen things happen and change based on my suggestions. 

-I love that I have before me a legacy of faithful people. I love that I can feel my grandmas being proud of me when I go to the temple. 

-I love that Marjorie Pay Hinckley existed, and that someone put together a book of her quotes. 

-I love that optimism and joy are a part of our church culture. 

-I love the youth programs of our church - the dances, the Youth Conferences, the Treks, the awkward flirting in the hallways after Mutual every Wednesday. I love the Young Women's leaders I was blessed to have and who I hope to be like.

-I love the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and I love how BYU turns out awesome award-winning dancers. I love that we care about things that add beauty to the world. 

-I love the confidence that we put in our youth, to the point that we send 18-22ish year-olds out to represent the church. I love that my sister is one of them, and my brother will be soon.

-I love what a mission does for people, and I love how it changes them. I love the effect it had on my dad, several of my friends, and especially on the man I married.

-I love every time the primary kids sing in church. 

-I love EFY songs. Jenny Jordan Frogley is so wonderful. Also, Alex Boye. 

-I love that the kids I teach in school sometimes invite me to their baptisms, and I love the amazing spirit I feel when I go to one. I love their little examples to me. I love feeling their faith and being strengthened by it. 

-I love that I know that Joseph Smith was inspired. 

-I love that there is always more evidence for the church being uncovered. I love that all of the pieces of the puzzle aren't yet in place, but I love that if someone looks for evidence, they can find it. 

-I love that this church began with a simple prayer. 

-I love that Stephen and I got called to teach in Primary. 

-I love that our church teaches against smoking and porn. I love that it encourages family time, education, and going on dates. 

-I love that President Hinckley was so cute and sweet, and that he loved his wife so wonderfully. I love that some of his quotes are collected in a book for women, called "One Bright, Shining Hope." I love this book.

-I love temple open-houses. I love that so much work is put into making the temples beautiful places. I love that it has always been this way.

-I love that I know that we may not always get what we want, but we will always have what we need. Heavenly Father knows perfectly what experiences we need to progress, and what people we need in our lives. He knows the material things that we need as well as the chances and opportunities that will shape us into the people we need to be. If you don't have it, you don't need it.

I have never believed that I know everything there is to know. I don't know all of the answers or even all of the questions that will arise.

But what I do know, I love. So I thought I'd share :) What do you love?

Monday, June 9, 2014

Oh the Thinks you can Think

I'm not normally big on negativity in my blog posts. I feel like when you start complaining - anywhere really, but especially on the Internet - it just comes across as whining, and you don't get a lot of sympathy, and then people named Anonymous have a field day picking you apart, and even when their snarky comments are riddled with poor grammar, it's not the reaction you were looking for, and that just makes it worse.

But today I am here to say all the controversial, snappy, rude things I have thought over the past week or two that I have not said, for one reason or another. Because I want to say them.

#1. To all the #yesallwomen people: Stop lumping me in with you. I am not afraid that all men are going to kill me. I do not feel like I am constantly sexually harassed and I have never had a problem telling a boy no. I know I've been really blessed, but I have met only a few boys that I didn't like or feel comfortable around and the rest of the time my experience with men has been phenomenal. I like them. I don't want my daughters to grow up thinking that men are the enemy. So let's just knock it off with all the "everyone agrees with me and if they don't make a big deal out of agreeing with me they're just keeping their agreement quiet because they are afraid." Because I'm not afraid, and I do disagree.

#2. To the radio announcer: You know what? You're NOT the supreme model of parenting that everyone else should aspire to. I mean, you're probably fine at it, but that doesn't mean everyone else sucks. And whenever you try to tell stories of people who suck at it, they don't sound all that bad to me, so. Calm down.

#4. To the babbly coworker: Please stop talking about all your deep dark issues from your past. If you don't know my name, then I shouldn't know that you lost contact with one of your sisters for years and that she kept trying to sleep with her boyfriend in high school but your mom kept intervening until your sister became a ward of the state, and then your mom wrote her letters every week. I shouldn't know that you hate your dad with the fire of a thousand suns, and that you refused to talk to your grandparents while your dad was living with them because you were afraid that they would show him pictures of you and your family and that was just unacceptable. And I really don't need to still be hearing about the staple that fell into your drink in January and sent you to three doctors' offices before you felt like your esophagus was no longer in serious jeopardy. Just, I mean, please. Filter.

#6: To the un-friender: This could apply to like 4 people. To be honest, I have been unfriended on Facebook way more times [4] than I can appreciate. In order to de-friend someone, I would have to just be totally uninterested in what they have to say. Like, they never do any updates or cool pictures, and randomly their name will pop up and I'm like do I know this person? And then I'll peruse their page and try to figure out who they are and if I am still baffled by the end of my stalk-sesh and I didn't even come across anything remotely funny / interesting / clever, then I will unfriend them. So to be unfriended by people who I am still interested in stalking is very irritating, and it better stop happening.

#8: To the Ordain Women chicks: This kind of goes along with #1, I guess. Because you are also trying to lump me in with you! Stop it! I'm not marching on Temple Square with you because I don't agree with you, not because I am afraid of the big bad men who dominate me in church meetings. I like cooking and I like nurturing and I feel very equal with my husband, so I'm sorry you hate your life / have unhealthy relationships / don't know how to assert yourselves in meetings / feel under-appreciated because of whatever. If you feel like you need more responsibilities, then you probably aren't doing all that you're supposed to do. There's a lot to be done up in here! Go to the temple or something. It's a church, not a political party.

#9: To the 2nd grader: Sit in the da*n chair. <--Sorry I'm not sorry that I really thought those words. I didn't say them! I just thought them.

#10. To the bug-lovers: I don't love bugs. I actually hate them. And I've got a heart of stone when it comes to killing bugs. I killed 8 yesterday. They were in my house, so I killed them. It's actually okay, because if I went to Africa, then I would be in the house of the mosquitos, and they would try to give me malaria and kill me. So you see, it all evens out. I get to try to kill them if they're in my house, and they get to try to kill me if I go to theirs. It's all about survival of the fittest, and may the best specie win.

#11. To the village idiot: Someone else said it best when we were talking about you and he said, "I feel like they are always like 5 minutes behind in the conversation. Like we'll all be talking, and then we'll move on past one subject, and they'll jump in 10 minutes later and try to talk about that first subject again." And usually, might I add, you are saying the same thing that someone else said. I'm convinced that you don't have many original thoughts. If you're going to regurgitate everything you read or hear, the least you could do is read and listen to things that are interesting or add depth to a conversation. And if that's too much to ask, then please never talk to me again. That is not a hyperbolic request. I literally would be happy to never exchange words with you ever again. And by the way, your hair is stupid.

#12. To the spouse of the village idiot: Listen, I'm sorry that your person sucks so bad. To be honest, I've never really liked them, but you are a different story. I genuinely liked you for the entire time I knew you, until very recently. Now you're just morphing into this weird person who seems upset that you aren't a woman in the 1960's, burning your bra and fighting for something real. Leave me out of your rebellion. It's annoying.

I think twelve rants is enough for now. Don't worry, you're probably not on this list....I'm most likely talking to someone else. I promise a positive post next time, but until then, feel free to vent in the comments. What did you want to say, but you refrained? Refrain no more! Say away! I've got no room to judge.