Friday, January 23, 2009

To thine own self be true...

The Miss America Pageant is tomorrow. I'll watch it, but I'll be honest with you, I used to be obsessed with pageant week. I checked the Miss America website constantly to get any updates on what was happening in Atlantic City/Las Vegas. We went to the 2002 Miss America Pageant in AC, and we've been to Vegas twice. I loved it. It was my Superbowl/march madness/NBA Finals all rolled into one. As of today, I haven't even checked the website? Why? It's just not the same anymore.

Miss America is changing, and I'm not changing with her. In an effort to "keep up with the times," Miss America has revamped and revamped---and you know what? It never works. Here's a little hint Miss America: Go back to who you've always been. TV has enough of "reality." People liked the glitz and the glamor, the elegance and the etiquette. These classic values have been replaced with modern camera angles and sexualized swimsuit poses. Where's your self respect girls? Do we really need to stand in our swimsuit with our legs apart? Yuck!

So what will bring Miss America's ratings back? I really believe that returning to her roots could change things. Do a classic, normal pageant. No quiz shows. No casual wear competition. No more reality shows to make girls more "real" according to Hollywood's standards. Bring back classic, hard-working, service oriented girls like Heather French. Bring back real classic glamor. That's what America wants. We want a Miss America we can point out to our young girls and say, "Be like that. Follow her example." I just can't do that with what we're presenting anymore. We have enough celebrities to show us "reality." Let's rise above that. Let's be a "real" lady.

Oh, and here's the tangent I went off on earlier and moved to the end:
Just look at this pose of Miss America 2008.

Are we meant to be provocative? Is that what we're being scored on? Last time I checked swimsuit was about physical fitness, not how far apart you can keep your legs while you're in high heels. (Oh, and I totally support the swimsuit competition, but not the new poses.) This isn't liberating women, it cheapens them---don't they get it? It's one thing to be attractive in a swimsuit, it's another to be one step away from those little black bars that block out inappropriate images on TV.

And here to contrast is the Miss America from only ten years ago. She's wearing boy shorts. She won. She doesn't look gross. She's a girl in a swimsuit. Did I mention she won?

Sorry about the tangent. If you know me you know how I feel about modesty. Oh, and to be fair, here's a picture (admittedly bad picture, but I don't have any others on my computer) of me in my hideously ugly swimsuit (which I was forced to wear and HATED). But see, legs closed and still able to be physically fit. And I made the top ten along with TWO other girls in one piece swimsuits.

And this isn't the Mormon in me talking, it's the self-respecting woman. And whatever about the two-piece/one-piece issue. The swimsuits they're wearing now are so skimpy that I wouldn't let my children watch the competition. And I doubt that many parents out there let their kids see it.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

A non-kid post

I figure every once in a while I should post on something that doesn't involve my children. One thing I like to think about a lot is the first year of our marriage. We had a great year. People always say it's a tough year, but we just had fun. One of the best parts was adjusting to sleeping in the same bed. For almost an entire year, every time Taylor would entire the room and if I were already asleep I'd shoot up in bed and yell, "What do you want?" or "Get out of here!" And that's yelling. At the top of my lungs.

Another thing we do is talk in our sleep. Well, Taylor mostly. He's crazy in the things he'll say. One night he woke me up to tell me how he made me a treat. I asked what he made (because this had never happened before). He replied excitedly, "Suckers!" I was perplexed as to why and how he accomplished this so I inquired. He explained, "Me and the linebackers made them during half-time." Okay... "And how did you make them, Honey?" "With hard candy and sprinkles!" You can imagine my confusion at the point. When I asked for clarification later it apparently came from late-night video game playing.

The video game playing also inspired this midnight conversation just after we got a new cat:
Taylor: "I need you to make the kitty a jersey."
Me: "For what?"
Taylor: "Well, he wants a certain number and the guys won't let him have it, so we need to make it for him.
Me: "For what?"
Taylor: "The kitty. For football."
He repeated this request a number of times. It never made more sense.

Other short gems that he's woken me up for, "Do we have everything we need for the reptiles?" (This was prior to our acquisition of any reptiles.) Me: "What are you doing?" Taylor: "Selling SHOES!"

And just the other night he woke me up to tell me, "I think I can really use your pick-up line in my thesis." "What pick up line, Honey?" "I don't know. I must be dreaming." After six years he's finally catching on.

Oh, and my before I go, my all-time favorite. I woke Taylor up because I'd had a terrible nightmare. I asked him to hold me. His answer? "You just hold me, it'll be alright."

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Is this that funny?

I laugh to the point of tears every single time I see this card or think about it. Taylor's parents sent it to Claire for Halloween. It came with blank monsters and a bunch of stickers to decorate the monsters. I put Claire to work on it one day when I was trying to get things done. She worked a little on it, then held up one sticker to me, "Look, Mom. Poop!" Well, I was busy and didn't really pay attention. Later she repeated the excitement over another "poop" sticker.

After she used all the stickers she proudly brought the card over to me to view her final product. I was impressed with how well she got the eyes in the right places; she got the mouths in the rights places; one monster got hair in the first place, and another got horns and a nose. She even improvised with one mouth and made it a nose.

The best part though? Right under their tails was the "poop" stickers! (For those of you without toddlers who don't deal frequently in poop, I've added a couple arrows to show you where the stickers are.) Now, to the experienced eye these stickers would be scars, but to a three-year-old, definitely poop. I'm laughing now just looking at it. I get that smile that just won't quit to the point where my cheeks hurt when I see this. Am I crazy? Do you think this is funny too? I like that she thought it was poop. I like that she put it in the appropriate place.

Oh, and what's on the green guy's hands. I think it was supposed to be eyebrows, but she made it either a bracelet or icky knuckle hair. You choose.

Anyway, I've laughed a lot over it, and finally remembered to scan it to share with all of you. I'm considering sending a scan to the card maker. They'd probably like to know that they made poop stickers.

Primary Prayer

In Primary today a little girl gave the opening prayer. I nearly laughed out loud more than once. "Bless all of us who are brothers and sisters that we won't be rude. Bless us that when we drive anywhere that (long pause) that we won't get pulled over. Bless us that when we drive anywhere that we won't fall into any big holes in the ground or anything like that."

Too funny.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Look at me now...

Although this is a month late in coming, here is where we are with my eye today (well, actually on Christmas Eve with my grandma):Not bad at all. I can live with this. There will be one more surgery for a little padding and straightening of the upper eyelid and a little tuck in the corner of the lower eyelid and I'll be good as can be for the next 2-8 years. I'm happy with the outcome. This is what I expected in the beginning. It was just one year and one week instead of 6 weeks. I am almost to the point where I can leave my home without thinking about where my sunglasses or pirate patches are. I am also at the point where I can start to learn things from this experience. Lots of people ask what I've learned through this trial, so I thought I'd share a little.

First of all, this was a physical and somewhat mental trial. It was not a trial of faith. I don't believe that I've spent a second questioning God, His love for me, or His plan for me and my family. Maybe that's because I spent to much time feeling sorry for myself...

The biggest thing I learned was to take each day for what it is. I think I've spent so much of my life thinking "I'll be happy when..." For instance, here are a few of the things on the end of that thought: when high school is over, when I become Miss Utah, when I'm NOT Miss Utah anymore, when I'm married, when I'm done with school, when we get pregnant, when the baby is born, when the baby sleeps through the night, when we get into dental school, when we get into an MFT program, when I have my eye surgery, when the next baby is born, when we have a bigger house, when, when, when, when.

Well, have you ever noticed that when all of those "whens" come true, you miss the befores? I don't think I'll ever miss looking like a, well, whatever I looked like, but I did decide that I couldn't spend a year of my life miserable every day and just waiting for the next surgery---especially when there was no guarantee of a better outcome. It's weird, but I completely lost hope for my eye to truly get better, and in losing that hope, in losing that "when" to hang on to, I found hope. Weird. I learned a huge life lesson. I really learned that life is not what happens to you; I learned that life is what you make of it. I learned that if I truly wanted to be happy that I had to take an active part in making myself happy. I can't rely on others or circumstances to produce happiness for me. This is not a new concept, just one I hadn't really actively followed.

As I said, I've never questioned God. I think it's because some pretty crazy (good and bad) things have happened to me in the past, and I'm grateful for each good and bad thing that has happened. I have learned and grown from every experience, and that is obviously God's plan for me. I don't know that I'll ever know why I had to experience this, but I do know that God's will plays a part in our daily lives. And honestly, if that's the only explanation I ever get, that it was "God's will," I think it will be good enough.