Tuesday, January 31, 2012

flowers

The product of Matthew's first lab in Floral Design. I love it when my husband takes awesome classes.
 

christmas baby

It seems like I haven't posted many pictures of Natalie lately. So, here are some of her from Christmas :)
 
 
 
 

Natalie has been quite the goof lately. She'll grab our arm, hand or leg, and blow on it, like she's giving us a little raspberry or something. Then she gets this big grin on her face and laughs. Haha. So funny.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

thoughts on modesty

Today in church we had our combined PH/RS meeting on modesty. It was actually pretty impressed with it, I have to say, because I feel like more and more some of the things that are said or implied along with modesty lessons really grate me. I suppose I should disclaimer that I do in fact dress very modestly, it is important to me, and I 100% support the dress and grooming standards of the LDS church. Anyway, here are some things that I was thinking about during the lesson, as pertains to modesty.

1. First and foremost, I think a lot of lessons (although not really the one I was in today) on modesty focus too much on "don't show cleavage, don't show your legs, etc", and then make almost the whole point of modesty is that you don't want to tempt men by exposing your body. The point of modesty is more about showing respect to your body and respect to God for your body, and to have confidence coming from your internal worth, and it is less about the amount of skin being exposed. (Especially when you consider the different standards of modesty across time periods and cultures. What is modest today would have been scandalous 150 years ago.)

2. I think it is awful that some people will tell young women that if they dress immodestly, they can become pornography to young men. No can do. Women are beautiful daughters of God, and it is incredibly offensive to call someone pornography even if they are wearing a shorter skirt or a tank top or something. And besides very demeaning, it is almost a way of absolving men of the weakness of their own minds. "I had no choice to let my mind go crazy, she was being pornography!" No. And no. Annnnd no.

3. For one of my professionalism classes in Dietetics, the professor had a women who had specizalized in fashion and helping people dress appropriately professional come speak to us. She had a lot of good points about professional dress, but one thing she said really bothered me. A lot. She told a story about a man who was struggling to overcome a pornography addiction, and when he went to church, some women were wearing (modest) clothing with lace on it--think for example DownEast shirts with the lace on the bottom. To him, this was "lingerie lace" and made him think about pornography. So, based on this story, this women told us all never to wear "lingerie lace" because it can make the men think of bad things. Does anyone else think this is absolutely ludicrous? Lace on otherwise modest clothing is not "lingerie lace" and I have every right to wear it without you making me feel bad about it.

4. Modesty is always focused on women. I realize that the reason for this is obvious--women have way more options for immodesty than men do. But the men/young men should also be instructed on modesty. If I shouldn't go running in a sports bra, then men shouldn't go running shirtless. They shouldn't wear overtight clothes, saggy pants, or basketball shorts that hug the crotch. And since part of modesty is showing respect to your body and to God, and wearing appropriate clothing, they should also be taught about what is appropriate clothing to wear to church. Personally, I don't think a colored shirt is church appropriate, just like flip-flops on women aren't church appropriate.

5. Related to point #4, I think that since the young women have lessons on modesty once or twice a year (or more), I think the young men should have lessons on modesty and respect that often as well. The modesty lessons to young women should be taught with the major point being respecting yourself and respecting God, but you don't want to use your body to attract attention, you want the focus to be on your inner worth as a daughter of God. The modesty/respect lessons to the young men focus on that you should respect the young women for their inner, divine worth, instead of focusing on their outward appearance (e.g. what they are wearing). You teach young men to treat women well no matter what, and teach them to keep their eyes on the girls' faces. This way you are focusing on the real principle of modesty, respect, and you are also teaching the boys responsibility for their eyes and their thoughts, and also teaching them how they should treat women.

In conclusion, modesty shouldn't be focused on how much skin you are showing as much as focused on respect and your self-worth, you should never tell someone that dressing immodestly makes them walking pornography, men should also be taught about modesty, and young men should have modesty/respect lessons just as frequently as young women do as well as be taught to control their thoughts. The end.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

the dumbest cheer ever

At the end of a basketball game when a school with a worse record is beating a highly ranked, or generally considered good school sometimes the student section will start cheering "Overrated". Seriously, this is in fact the dumbest thing you could cheer in this situation. Suggesting that the team you are beating is overrated cheapens your win, making it seem like they aren't that good, and that is why you are beating them. Or in other words, "We're not that good, so you must be pretty bad for us to beat you!"  That's what I hear when I hear "overrated".  Oh, and finally, if you just got done chanting 'overrated', why would you then storm the court?  You just said they weren't that good, anyway.

Monday, January 23, 2012

It happened one (or possibly several) Sunday

Okay so I'm the pianist in Relief Society. Sometimes it is kind of an embarrassing job.

I usually know ahead of time what the songs are going to be. If I'm not super familiar with it, I try to go to the church and practice it during the week, so I don't make a complete fool of myself while playing. That doesn't always happen, and I don't know every song in the hymnbook, so every so often I look at a song and think "Whelp, it's right-hand only accompaniment today." I'm classy like that.

And then sometimes, I do know the song, and I've played it before, and it is NOT HARD. Think for example "Sisters in Zion". Or a song I know really well like "I Know that My Redeemer Lives". And I totally goof up a section. Why did I just bomb two random measures in the middle?

I think I psych myself out, and then my mind has a spasm, and then suddenly I can't play.

Yup. This is awkward, and a long walk from the piano bench to my seat at the end of the song. I kind of just want to go sit in a closet and pretend nothing happened and no one saw. But of course everyone saw because I'M SO STINKIN' TALL!

Monday, January 16, 2012

its just a few days

 Some mommy-daughter time together while Matthew has been out of town this weekend:
 
Its been super fun. False. It actually has been super boring. I mean, I like being with Natalie, but we get plenty of quality time together every day. Basically it would be a royal bust of a three day weekend, if not for the fact that Matthew is finally getting the root canal and other dental work he's needed for two years (much cheaper to fly Matthew to New York for my uncle to do his dental work free of charge than to pay for it out of pocket here). So we're very happy that he was able to do that.

And we're very excited that he is coming home tonight.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

cheesy wheezy

In the last few weeks and months, both Matthew and I have thrown away many clothes that have finally bitten the dust. Gaping holes, torn, too stretched out to wear modestly, that sort of thing.

We're kind of sad about it, both because we liked the items being thrown away, but also because we are moving on from the clothes that we've worn as we were dating, engaged, and newlyweds. It's like our newlywed life is leaving, too. It makes me rather sad and nostalgic. I don't care if it is sappy or silly, in a lot of ways I just want us to stay newlyweds forever. Like this:

Saturday, January 14, 2012

new favorite movie?

Several other people I know have mentioned this movie on their blogs, and I am here to do the same.

I could throw up I loved this movie so much.


Yes, I have had it pointed out to me that "I could throw up" is usually associated with negative things, but nevertheless, but right now, I feel like it perfectly describes how I felt about this flick. 

Of course I loved the beautiful shots of Paris (no surprises there), but I also loved the mystique of the midnight adventures, and the magic of it and how passionate the characters were. It was amazing.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

keeping up with the latest and greatest

Over Christmas break my mom took pity on me and my one pair of jeans, bless her heart, and took me shopping with some of her Kohl's cash. And I got SKINNY JEANS!

I know, I'm only about three years behind the times, but I love them. I really do. Some skinny jeans are too skinny, if you know what I mean. These aren't too skinny, they are practically perfect in every way. And now Matthew and I can be matchy matchy!

Gotta run. Natalie is unloading my purse, scriptures, and Matthew's folders. Peace!

Monday, January 9, 2012

MN vs. UT

Besides the naming scheme of Minnesotan cities, a few differences between Minnesota and Utah stood out to me during our five week long jaunt in the Midwest.

1. Driving. No one is surprised to hear that Utah drivers are fast, but what really surprised me was how stinking slloooowwwwwww Minnesota drivers are. Seriously. I would say the average speed limit in Utah is 65 mph, and everyone goes over. In Minnesota, especially around the Twin Cities, the speed limit is 55 to 60 mph, and people consistently go under. Seriously, at 55 or 60 mph, many cars would go under the speed limit. Drove me nuts. I was zooming by people when I was going 4 miles over.

2. Baby Food vs Pet Food in Grocery Stores. In Utah grocery stores, you have huge sections of an aisle, if not a whole aisle, dedicated to baby food, diapers, formula, whatever. In Minnesota, you have an aisle with approximately 25% of it dedicated to baby stuff, 50% dedicated to pet stuff, and 25% dedicated to other random stuff. Using this very scientific study involving exactly one MN store and one Utah store and my very accurate percentages, I can definitely conclude that Utahans love children more. Okay not really, but it is interesting...

3. How Many Children? I had several people in Minnesota ask me "Do you think you'll have more children?" That question really surprised me. Of course we're having more kids. In Utah, the question would be more like "How many children do you want?"  or perhaps even "Why aren't you pregnant again already?"

And there you go. Minnesota and Utah are different.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Minnesota themes

Even though I was born and raised in Minnesota, only recently have I've realized how many cities, especially around the Twin Cities area, are named after trees or water. For example:

Stillwater
Maple Grove
Apple Valley
Oak Park Heights
Bayport
Woodbury
Oakdale
Cottage Grove
White Bear Lake
Maplewood
Waterville
Coon Rapids
Ham Lake
Maple Island
Lake Elmo
Inver Grove Heights
Roseville
Roseport
Pine Bend
Prior Lake
Grainwood
Shorewood
Hazel Park
Golden Valley
Lino Lakes
Lakeville
Shoreview

I know there are more than this list,and this is mainly just the Twin Cities area. Like I said, Minnesota is all about trees and water.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

2011 food favorites


Last January, I made a goal to try making new food during 2011. I would say I accomplished that goal, as I regularly made a variety of things that were new and different to me and Matthew.

In no particular order, some of my favorite foodie adventures from 2011:
Strawberry Bruschetta          

I have to say, this has been a fun year. Matthew also has really enjoyed it, which I am very happy about, as he in general tends to be pickier about his food than I am. It's been a good time! I will, of course, keep trying new things and whatnot, but I think I won't post about it anymore. I'm sure ya'll are sick of hearing me talk about food all the time :) Peace out!

December

I'll admit, there wasn't too much new food trying during December, as we were in Minnesota with my family FOR THE WHOLE ENTIRE MONTH!!!!!! Yes, it was that awesome. More about that later. We did, however, eat a ton of dang good food. Anyway, here are the two new things we made:


Potato-Leek Pizza: Very good. A thin layer of potatoes, a healthy layer of leeks, some bacon and goat cheese and voila, a yummy pizza. We actually made this for Pizza Night, where we had this pizza, a meat lovers pizza, strawberry chicken bacon pizza and mango, mozzarella and basil pizza. Nothing but good times! (Source: Pioneer Woman Cookbook)
South of the Border Sandwiches: Just a fancy name for something very simple, but my family loved, and so we made several times. Toast slices of french bread rubbed with olive oil or butter in the oven until slightly crisp, then top with some cheese (we did munster and cheddar), a tomato slice, an avocado slice, and some green onions. Delish. (Source: The Girl Who Ate Everything)