Friday, May 29, 2009
Last week at book group we discussed a book I have loved for a long time, The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde.
It's a very entertaining, lighthearted, quirky book. It's a fantasy world, where the hippest thing is literature, good literature. There's a police force making sure people aren't selling fraudulent first editions, or coming up with fake copies of undiscovered Shakespearean plays. Where there are ardent cult-like members that are physically violent when it comes to debating Shakespeare or Bacon. It's a fascinating world where, you could actually pop into your favorite novel...and experience it...the sights, sounds and smells. There's clever word play, references to other literature... and witty humor. I adore the series.
So imagine my surprise when one of the questions asked during our discussion was about destiny. Do you have a destiny? Do you know what it is? Did you have a moment in time where you recognized what that destiny was?
I love how book group has the ability to start real conversations. That a clever, entertaining novel could encourage a profound discussion. As a side note, I'd love to meet Mr. Fforde. His mind must be a most fascinating one. To come up with such an intricate series of books, keep it all straight and inject it with so many clever treasures... astounds me.
I talked a little about what I thought my destiny is. Mine is to search for, stand for and defend Truth. I've felt that burden, challenge, since college. The other destiny is to learn, and mold myself from people, and experiences I learn from.
For example, my first job out of college I worked at a small boutique PR agency specializing in semiconductor, EDA and foundry clients. One of the women who worked there went on maternity leave and returned one day with her adorable baby girl. I was thrilled. I couldn't wait to talk to her to hear all about her lovely life.
So she stunned me when I asked "how are you doing?" and she honestly answered "I don't know who I am without my job."
I made a conscious decision then and there at 21 that I needed to know who I was outside of a job, outside of one day becoming a wife, mother...etc... I needed to know who I was as a woman, so that I never needed something or someone to know who I was. I wanted to make sure I didn't need any one talent, interest or image to feel like I was something/someone. That is a lesson I am grateful to have learned.
I also learned, living in a ward when my hubby and I were first married, that I wanted to do things I wanted to do, before having kids. I often heard these young moms who didn't complete college, sitting at home with a handful of kids complaining about being a mom. Complaining that their husband was on a business trip, eating out, while she was stuck with cereal and bathing four children. I didn't want to be that. I guess that's one reason I was adamant during college/dating to let people know I was getting my degree before I married. I was not going to be left without one. I was never in college to gain an MRS degree...I wanted a BA baby.
I also learned I didn't want to be that Mom... the one that had a degree, perhaps an advanced one, and then a high-powered career who stopped doing that to raise children, begrudgingly. A woman who felt she was above diapering, and wearing a Mom uniform. A woman who felt mothering was beneath her... one craving for that outside attention. I didn't want to be that, and felt any children that came to my home deserved better.
So I was grateful I had a career... it worked for me, my personality. Today, I have no desire whatsoever to leave my kids to chill at a job if we can work it so I don't need a job. I don't want, nor need, that self-gratification. I know how fleeting and unsatisfying the "what have you done for me lately" career world truly is.
I've learned that just because I'm also a mother doesn't mean my learning ends. It means I have a greater responsibility to thirst for knowledge. It means I need to be interested in the world around me. It means that because I am interested, my girls will be as well. I have a responsibility as a mother to demonstrate to my daughters how to search for, stand for and defend truth, I can't do that if I don't read, study and discuss.
I know there have been moments (like right after giving birth) when I had no interest whatsoever to pick up a book, but that was a moment, a season. Now that I have some time, I find I can't get enough. I love to learn. I love to learn new things, new perspectives, and find evidence to support thoughts I've always held.
I think as women we have so much potential and power. I guess... I am pretty firm in knowing who I am, what my destinies are and ... I like moving toward something, improving constantly. What is your destiny?
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
I don't buy it. I never buy it. I refuse to buy it.
I don't buy the race card.
If you try to sell me on it, I'd more than likely shred it to bits, pulverize it and then run it over a few times with a bulldozer. Clear?
I don't like the race card, nor do I try to use it myself. In fact, I think I work overtime to prevent that race card from ever sticking to me.
So with this hubbub of the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor (I will admit it is fun to say her name... nice tasting last name) I am seething.
If you are not familiar with me, you'll know quickly that I despise any kind of favoring based on arbitrary conditions such as race or sex... or length of toes, or belly-button lint. It's ridiculous.
So when I read comments of Sotomajor's in the Washing Times article here, that says this:
In 2002, in a speech in California, Judge Sotomayor said race or sex does affect a judge's rulings, and said because of that, a minority woman is a better decider than a white man: "I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experience would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life."
Three years later, at a panel discussion at Duke Law School, she seemed to endorse judicial activism on the appeals courts, telling students considering clerkships: "Court of Appeals is where policy is made. And I know - I know this is on tape, and I should never say that because we don't make law. I know."
... um... I say THROW HER OUT. We do NOT need this kind of a person in the Supreme Court. The purpose of a court is to INTERPRET, NOT make laws. The purpose of a JUSTICE is to be BLIND. Sotomayor fulfills NONE of these requirements. I don't care how many opinions she's written, how many cases she's overseen - it doesn't matter ... because she doesn't deserve to be a judge.If anything, it is further proof that picking people on arbitrary requirements such as race and sex is a FAILURE.
In other words... I am a BETTER judge than any white man - because... wait for it... I AM AN ASIAN WOMAN. There... that's it... I have better judgment. Really? Are we stupid or something?
Here's what I know. I am an American. I am unwilling to support someone wholly unqualified to uphold the constitution, and interpret laws, even if that means that kids can look at a minority, female and say, "whoo hoo, maybe I could be that one day." Running a government isn't a feel-good, self-esteem deal. It's about REAL issues, not touchy-feely, kumbaya crap. Have people lost their marbles? There are more important things than some kid's self-esteem. It's not the government's job to do that... I'll give you a hint... it's the PARENT'S job.
UGH... I feel like I'm screaming until I'm blue in the face. I have never, ever, thought Affirmative Action in any sense is smart. It's dumbing things down, it's creating a false layer of success - it's rewarding how many nipples someone has, versus that grey matter between their ears. I mean, c'mon! All this Affirmative Action lunacy has created a class of people who think reverse discrimination is justice. Am I the only one noticing that the inmates of the Asylum are running loose?
Anytime I hear Obama and his crew talking about someones life experience ...meaning their race... and then immediately telling people not to talk about race... I know they are selling me on a rotten bill of goods. Politics never felt so racy when politicians act more greasy than car salesmen.
She started talking about grounding into the earth, being grateful for the earth, for the food that sustains us, grown in the earth. I kept thinking, "thank you mother earth".
Driving home I thought of how nurturing motherhood is. How we provide the nutrients (good food, healthy living, education, etc) for our children. I thought about God. I thought about our Heavenly Mother. I know we don't speak about Her, she is so special. I started to wonder, is how we treat the bounty of the earth reflective of how we would treat our Heavenly Mother?
I'm not sure I can find the right words for what I was feeling as I drove home, but I almost felt like, we weren't worthy to know more about her, because we haven't been doing a great job of appreciating, and taking care of what we have here from the earth.
I don't know. But I do know I want to think more consciously of where my food comes from, how I treat the beautiful, rich earth, and how I can mother my children to appreciate it too.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
They UPHELD the PEOPLE'S VOICE... a voice that resonated not once, but TWICE.
More details later.
The interesting thing is... I've been feeling incredibly peaceful about the decision today... wasn't worried leading up to today - just peaceful. Although, now the reactions to justice and rule of law will also start it's screeching.
This stepping stone isn't the end of the work to preserve marriage, if anything it's just a taste of more to come.
Monday, May 25, 2009
Last week in Sunday School my friend Jaime's hubby, Carl shared about a book, The Art of Possibility. I am adding this to my goodreads.com list.
He gave us a little taste. We live in a world of measurements. A world where we measure our weight, our amount of cars, our square footage, our income, our number of associates, our baptism stats, our visiting teaching stats, etc...This world is a finite world of measurement.
I started to feel suffocated listening to this world. This world that strangles the joy out of life.
He then illustrated that instead of living in this finite world - we should live in the realm of possibility. In this world of possibility we're able to live with wonderment, with passion.
Most of us set goals. I do. But I also hate setting goals, when I don't meet them. I love them when I do...and I work my tail off to reach them. In this book it asks us to instead, set the context of what we wish to accomplish, not goals. Goals are limiting, the context allows our lives to unfold, and allows possibilities to emerge.
Each of us knows what was before this life, and what can be after this life. The truth is, that there isn't a pie chart for life. There's an infinite amount of "pie" (I hope mine is apple) for everyone, in every situation, in each of our possibilities.
I have been thinking about this all week. The message of that totally resonated with me. Like there's always been a home for this concept, but I never knew how to articulate it. I love that living with possibility is called an art form.
Today in Relief Society the lesson was about Provident Living - specifically finances. One comment went back to the same thing that I have heard over and over about. The commenter talked about how when she first got married she felt pressure to have the things her in-laws had, a home, nice furniture, nice cars, etc... but she realized that she needed to remember how old they were - that they weren't at that age/stage of life yet, and to be patient.
That's well and good. But that's not the point. The point of the art of possibility is not to measure ourselves by someone's life metric. We are all different. We live in different contexts. We shouldn't be comparing ourselves to others. We will never, I repeat, NEVER be happy until we stop comparing. If that is one mission in my life to tell people NOT to compare with each other, I'll have accomplished something.
I remember when my husband and I were still newly married, sans kids. We married in '01 and bought a home in '03. My Mom's aunt or some such cousin... came to visit our home. She made a comment that irked me. She walked around and griped, "well, we certainly didn't have this when we were their age."
I thought about that. Why does someone's good fortune hurt her? I think perhaps she is busy living a life of comparisons. A place, where you are allowed only certain experiences at certain times, if at all. A life where there is only so much of the "pie" available in that tiny pie chart. To me she is living a finite life.
I've never been one to think this way. When I see someone meeting good fortune, I think, fantastic. Or if I see someone I'd like to be more like - I want to learn from them. Because I believe it's possible. I think we're much happier people if we stop using those silly, arbitrary metrics. Each of us is unique. We need to take stock about what makes us happy, why that is, and focus on ourselves, and our own little families. Other people's opinions don't matter. What do you think of yourself? What does God think? That's it...and we all know, in the quiet of our minds if we do things for ourselves, or for the praise/jealousy of others.
The art of possibility is available to all of us... each one of us can choose to stop using silly metrics and comparisons of who has what, who does what. If we all work at this I think a lot of that green-eyed envy will shrivel up and disappear. (I can hope for that possibility...can't I?)
I read recently about this woman living a "wild and precious" life. I like that. I want to be like that...so I'm going to learn, open my heart and embrace the possibilities. Join me, won't you?
ps. I'm hiking Feather Falls with some friends today...just us gals. This means my hubby has the whole day with girls... I'm starting to get nervous about if they'll be fed, be reminded to go pee and how the house will appear when I return home... anyone want to place a bet?
Post-Hike update - my hubby had a BBQ (chicken, ribs, NY steak, corn, pineapple... grilled...mmm) waiting when I arrived home. The girls had a fun day with him swimming, shopping, telling stories, buying treats. The house... in great shape. I am so lucky.
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Saturday during the beginning of Yoga the instructor started talking about a weekend class she was hosting at her home with a priestess and shaman or something. I sort of tuned out. But then she said something that I latched onto for the rest of the hour. She asked us to remove the violence from our minds. The violence we inflict on ourselves, in our heads, in what we tell ourselves in the silence. She said, "be grateful for your body, for what you can do, for what you have."
Have I had an internal hang-up about my body since ...um forever? Yep. Which is silly, because I look back and think, "wow you looked good girl". But I never appreciated it then. So I'm going to try harder to appreciate what I have now. I'm going to appreciate that I can run. I will appreciate my flexibility, my healthy limbs and able lungs. I'm going to say thank you to my heart that keeps this whole thing pumping, for the ability to breath in and out, to cleanse the air inside my blood. I'm going to appreciate what I can see, smell, hear, taste and touch...
To be grateful for what we have...how very zen.
Friday, May 22, 2009
I was running, and since I haven't found my head phones, I read the captions. I was watching the news and there was a story that stunned me.
Apparently Obama likes to exclude the already fawning press corps from attending certain events... and instead has his own film/media crew to produce a prettier picture from his perspective. Um... does anyone else think this is rather disturbing? See an example from this ABC news story I found online. The story illustrated seemed inocuous enough...but who is naive enough to think it'll end there... come on... the people of this country are so easily manipulated... I really think people want to be manipulated... otherwise... why would this have happened? Honestly... the easily manipulated need to pull a resonant Homer Simpson "DOH"!
What are we ... a freakin' dictatorship now? Wow...that transition from democracy, to socialism ...straight to a dictatorship happened in like... 100 days. Impressive.
I don't have a problem if he wants his own crew... IF he lets the outside media outlets in too. Let's face it... most of this country would rather stick their heads in the sand than face up to what they did to this country in the last election. And that... always scares the poop out of me.
...and NO I don't want OTV... whether that O is for Obama or Oprah... a BIG N-OOOOOOOOO.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Thank you for your public tantrum. You have further proved how totally, irrevocably, irrelevant you are. You should have never pulled your childish tirade. Now, not only do you look like an immature, petulant child, you're also a weasel too. Bravo!
In a time when the papers are becoming extinct... you are quickly creating your own demise. Bravo! Encore!
Let's make if very clear - America is a place for people who rule. Not you hacks sitting in a dingy, cubicle office. We rule. We vote. We stick it to the folks we elect. It's OUR job. You want to know how we want the budget changed? STOP spending. Make cuts. Cuts that WILL hurt. Let's face it, these politicians have been running us dry... how could anyone be surprised that the people finally woke up and said, NO WAY, NO HOW... HELL NO. We don't want more spending when we as a state HAVE NO MONEY!!!
Have you heard the latest? The loopy legislature wants to increase gas taxes...but instead of letting the people vote on it - they want to add it as if it wasn't a gas tax... to pull an illegal maneuver on us... changing the definition of words to make it so. Let's just say, next time these fools are up for election - we'll remember - we're angry...and nothing... is going to cool us off.
Oh...and SacBee... remind me how great your circulation is again... oh, right nothing noteworthy to mention.
One of the people you so dismiss... you're in for it now.
See Michele Malkin and The Radio Patriot
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Monday, May 11, 2009
Maybe next year we'll check off something from my bucket list... I want to go to one of those gourmet, need reservations far in advance, Mother's Day Brunches. Know of any good ones? I am ready to start planning now.
ps. for those of you that have access to the family blog "crying over spilt milk"... posts are scheduled all week... I got busy. For those of you without access - email me... I might let you in.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Happy Mother's Day!
Friday, May 8, 2009
Phantom: Then I'm going to disappear you.
Phantom: Ok fine, I'll bring you back.
AGG: I'm going to crack your head.
Phantom: Ok, then I'll just disappear you again.
AGG: No, if you do that I'm, I'm, I'm going to THROW things at you.
Phantom: You better not.
AGG: I will.
Phantom: Try it.
*AGG runs from the family room to the office where I'm sitting*
Queen Scarlett: Sweetie, what are you doing?
AGG: I'm hiding from Daddy.
AGG: Daddy wanted me to disappear, that means he wants me to be dead.
QS: He doesn't want you to be dead.
AGG: Well, he disappeared me.
QS: He disappeared you after you disappeared him. He brought you back and then you tried to crack his head, so he disappeared you a second time. You started it.
AGG: I told Daddy to go to time-out and the garage.
QS: Sweetie, are you in charge of the house?
QS: No, you're not, you're not a grown up.
AGG: Yes I am.
QS: No, you are a child.
AGG: NO, YOU ARE WRONG! I'm four-and-half, I'm a GROWN-UP.
QS: No, you're not, four-and-a-half is a child.
AGG: I don't want to be a child.
AGG: Being a child is stupid.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Saturday, 10pm - hubby came upstairs to ask about him going to Anaheim for a SJ Sharks playoff game. I shrug. I decide he can. A half hour later I tell him he might as well take us all to Disneyland.
We decide at midnight that it is doable, after researching tix prices. I was up until 2am planning, making lists... because while the trip was spontaneous...I am still a planner.
Sunday, car ride down to LA after AGG had given her Sunday talk in Primary. We left around 4pm.
Monday, lunch at La Brea Bakery in Downtown Disney. Love their bread. I had their spicy chicken sandwich (YUM), Phantom had NY Steak Sandwich (which he loved), the girls split a grilled cheese and fruit plate. After filling our tummies we entered Disneyland. They are running a Two-fer for SoCal residents - so Phantom's best friend got us the tix. (SoCal residents can purchase 8 tix for people). We applied sunscreen - it was the perfect breezy, sunny day.
We hit main street, listened to the band, explored Aurora's castle. We had never seen that exhibit before. The girls were mesmerized and AGG screamed from surprise.
We happened to be in line for Peter Pan when my friend Amy showed up. So they joined us! After Peter Pan we did the merry-go-round and Dumbo.
After Dumbo we got in line for Small World and happened to have Amy's mom Linda catch up with us. They are even more stunning in person. They are each half my size. The girls had so much fun with Amy's girls.
After Small World we let the girls run around before we parted ways. Phantom wanted to take the girls to Star Tours. Unfortunately, DD is still too small (not 40" yet). Phantom took AGG and didn't think to tell her it was just a ride...not a real space ship. She was TERRIFIED. Thought she was really going to crash, bleed, crack... her words. Can you imagine? I felt so bad for her. She said she did not like the rocket, gravity ride. We also went on the car-ride thing in tomorrow land.
Then we hit the Jungle Cruise as our last ride before Phantom had to go to the SJ Sharks v. Mighty Ducks game. The Sharks were CRUSHED. I had a feeling that would happen - the SJ Sharks choke every playoff. On the car ride back to Phantom's best friend's home DD immediately fell asleep. AGG was up drawing for a bit. She drew Aurora touching the spinning wheel, and one of Prince Phillip waking her with a kiss.
Tuesday we went to California Adventure. Our first stop was Ariel's Grotto. Did you know they take reservations 60 days in advance? If you are planning to do a character meal - make a reservation in advance so you don't have to wait.
We were quite pleased with the Ariel's Grotto dining experience. The food was surprisingly good. I had the Cioppino. Loved it. Then the girls were able to have their own time with each princess. They were in awe. They are at this age where they totally think it is real. It is magical. If they were 10 or so - the magic of this age wouldn't be the same. It was cute to hear AGG point at each princess and tell her with unrestrained excitement "I HAVE YOUR MOVIE!" DD was so happy to see Jasmine. She couldn't stop peppering her with questions "Where's Aladdin?" "Where is the magic carpet?" "What is Rajah doing?" Jasmine was the sweetest - she took time to talk to both girls. Cinderella also took the girls to do a little dancing. It was magical watching the girls.
After the lunch we rushed over to Playhouse Disney. They do a show with Mickey Mouse Club, Handy Manny, Little Einsteins and My Friends Tigger and Pooh. The girls still love Little Einsteins. We happened to be in line when my friend Greek Goddess met up with us. Perfect timing.
The show was fun - they loved it. It's just 20 minutes so ... we wished it was longer. After that we headed to Monster's Inc. The girls love the movie and have fun hearing Roz say at the end "later Dudes". DD is a fan of saying "I'm watching you Wozowski, always watching".
From there we ran into Minnie Mouse, and headed off to A Bug's Life land. I need to let the girls watch this movie. They had fun on the rides suited just for them. I think we hit at least four rides there. After that we parted company with my lovely friend. We headed over to Soarin' Over California. It was the one ride I'd actually wanted to ride that was sort of adult-ish.
Unfortunately, DD was too short. It was also too late to do the baby swap. So Phantom and AGG were able to go with my hubby's best friend and wife. I'll have to go next time. It was really fun seeing how exhilarated my sweet AGG was after the ride. We'll have to wait for DD to reach 40" to go again.
We were able to head back over to Disneyland. We rode on Alice in Wonderland, Storybook land boat ride, Casey Junior train, and the Merry-go-round. Sitting on the merry-go-round, each of us on individual horses was just the perfect moment. It was the perfect way to end our trip. I was so happy and peaceful I felt like I couldn't contain anymore joy. Fun having a little family.
Then it was time to get some food. We headed to the Mexican place in downtown Disney. After dinner the girls danced a bit outside the restaurant, to the music playing, then again at the tram line. Then they were so cuddly cute with each other on the ride back to the car.
We thought they'd be dead asleep by the time we got back to Phantom's friend's place, but no...
Wednesday we headed back home. We stopped at Anderson's Pea Soup in Santa Nella per my fabulously sassy bike riding friend, Sally and Chuck's recommendation. Incidentally, this restaurant was featured in a show on E... the one with three blond ditzes and an old dude. (heh)
We made it home in time for me to make the girls some dinner, have my hubby throw them in the bath and then I was off to a Kindergarten Q&A session.
Needless to say... it was a fantastic trip - and an even better night's sleep in our own beds.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
I've kept the blogging up, for us. I've met some amazing people in the four years I've been blogging. I've never felt like stopping. I have a block sometimes, often, but have never thought about calling it quits. I think because I'm blogging for me, for my girls... for my family. I like it that way. If you happen to find something interesting or comfortable or crazy - that's the icing on the cake... that's what they say anyway...I'd rather have some gourmet chocolate, thank you very much.
Taken by Wendy Whitacre of Blue Lilly Photography
Monday, May 4, 2009
My friend the Greek Goddess has a great guide to Disneyland. We had a great time meeting up with her while we were there.
She has a lot of great tips... but the biggest - is THIS YEAR DISNEYLAND IS FREE ON YOUR BIRTHDAY... but YOU HAVE TO REGISTER HERE!!! GO DO IT NOW.
Oh...and Happy Birthday!
I may change it... we'll see. I might just get tired of the abbrev... I'm steady like that.
Avant Garde Gal: Daddy, I want a brother.
AGG: I want a brother please.
AGG: I want a brother because I love brothers!
Dauntless Daughter: No!
AGG: YES, I need a brother!!!
AGG: YES, I SAID YES!!!! *scream*
DD: *SCREAM* NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO*SCREAM*NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO *SCREAM*
Phantom: SILENCE FIENDS!