Thursday, January 17, 2013

Being Open and Honest with my Thoughts..

I don't usually like to blog about sacred and personal things about myself, I like to blog about the fun things I am doing, things that make me laugh, accomplishing goals, that sort of thing.  But I've had a few things on my mind lately, and after reading Ask Mormon Girl, I can pretty much summarize what she said.

I consider myself to be a liberal, feminist Mormon.  Gasp...did I just say feminist?  Oh my word, that word brings out the crazy in others at times.  After taking a diversity class last semester (one in which I believe every living person should take, it changed my life, it opened my eyes to what true diversity is, and my biases.  I think we could all use reminders at times at our biases because it's all about being aware!) Anyway, the word feminist has always been a hard one for me to accept about myself..until this class.  To be a feminist does not mean I am lesbian, does not mean I hate men, does not mean I am a power hungry female trying to take over the world.  In the words of bell hooks, a woman I have come to admire, feminism is simply, "a movement to end sexism, sexist exploitation, and oppression."  To me, it also includes letting everyone be the way they are without judgement or criticism.

 I have struggled the last few years with people in the LDS community who have judged me for being a "different" Mormon.  Again, this is something I don't talk about often, it's a very private thing.  But I also think that I am coming to truly love and accept this side more, and in doing so, need to be more vocal about it. I've been told my whole life how open minded I am, how accepting I am others, how Christlike my love is.  I consider that to be the greatest gift I have been given by God.  I really do look at others and seek to find the best in them, seek to listen to their views even if they are completely different than my own, and I especially seek out friendships with people who are considered outside the definition of what our world considers "normal" or "acceptable."  Because I choose to love others so openly, that has caused differences to appear in what the typical female Mormon is like, or in how others define how a "good" Mormon girl should act (not that that is wrong).

I have worked incredibly hard at not putting labels to myself or others, and it hurts me when I am labeled a certain way, especially with a recent and extremely amazing relationship that I have developed in my life.  This relationship has caused me to really reflect on myself, my beliefs, and what I desire most in life.  And it turns out, what I believe for myself doesn't match what others think about me.  Going back to Ask Mormon Girl, another Mormon feminist that I have come to respect and admire.  Her blog has made me feel, for the first time in my life, that I am not alone in my thoughts and feelings about being a liberal Mormon.  Surprise, surprise, there are more than just a few of us out there!  This is her words on having an interfaith relationship AKA marriage: "Will people have feelings about your interfaith marriage?  Of course.  They might be disappointed, overjoyed, or judgment, or supportive.  And their feelings about your marriage are their business....not yours." This was the best thing I have read about my experience in a while.  I have been so hurt by how others have reacted to my relationship, who have labeled it as something it is not, by the advice they felt that they should tell me without fully knowing or understanding my experiences, that I actually had to give a lot of people in my life a time out.  Turns out that what they think about ME, about MY relationship, is not pertinent to me because it's not my business!  What a relief!

 I have come to finally accept that I'm not the typical Mormon, I never will be, and I'm okay with that because I choose to love and see others as I feel Christ did (does) and that's enough for me.  One last thing that Ask Mormon Girl said that I LOVED:  And here’s the big story God gave us to make sense of all these situations:  you have a choice in this life–stay in the garden naked and simple, stick to your holding pattern, or make a choice, take a bite, get dressed and go learn something.  Be fruitful and multiply.  Fall in love, learn, make some mistakes, laugh, serve other people, reproduce, and let the whole story start again.  That’s what it’s all about.  

I think that's what I'll choose to do.  Because after all, this is MY one and only wild and precious life and I'm going to make it the best that I can!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Yes, It's been a while!

Holy cow, I've ignored this blog!  For good reason, though.  The last semester of Grad school was a doozy, along with working hard with this group of first graders this year, having a student teacher (which I LOVED and wish I would have done sooner, she was fantastic!), and spending any extra free time with my favorite guy (see pic below).   But guess what?!  It's now January, and I'm FINISHED with Grad school!  I don't get to walk until May, so it doesn't seem too real yet, but at least I don't have class at night and homework every weekend, I can actually focus on other things and read books other than textbooks, and spend time with other people!  My next focus is updating my resume, and start applying for jobs in Salt Lake area.  I'm taking a leap of faith because I'm ready for a change, as hard and scary as it makes me feel.  Change has always been hard for me, but has always been the best things I have done for myself, and I know that acting on my faith, it will all work out the way it needs to.

On another happy note, I spent my Christmas break in California!  Definitely much better weather than the below zero weather we have been experiencing here in Northern Utah.  Lots of fun at Disneyland, shopping at Balboa Island, and eating lots of yummy food!  Hopefully I'll have more pictures to come, but here is Bryce and I on New Year's Eve in Disneyland, so fun!

I decided this year not to really set a New Year's resolution.  I'm just going to focus on working hard, playing hard, and loving unconditionally!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

I'm tired

....and it's only been one week of getting back into my routine of teaching, grad school, homework, etc.  I don't remember EVER feeling this tired.  Is this a sign that I'm getting old?

Friday, August 17, 2012

In a quick nutshell..

The last several weeks have been a blur as my summer has been wrapping up.  Celebrating Bryce's birthday 3 weekends in a row with Neal Diamond, dinners and a comedy club, and a weekend trip to Jackson Hole last weekend.  Since then, I have lived and breathed school, getting my classroom ready.  I love this time of year where I prepare for another year of teaching, ready for new changes, new students, and am always wanting to change things around in my classroom.  This year is no exception-I rearranged my whole room, causing me to have to organize and dejunk quite a bit, which is a good thing but has kept me extremely busy!  I'm LOVING how my room is turning out, though!   Here are a few pictures taken from this past week.  I didn't take a picture of my small group area or tables yet, they aren't ready!

My math manipulatives, organized and labeled for my students to use!
My whole group area/SMART board
My new reference "wall"
One view of my classroom library.  Love my new red rug from IKEA, bean bag chairs and pillows!
Another view of my classroom library.  Notice the cute tissue pom-poms.  Two of Bryce's nieces came and helped me in my classroom and helped me make these.  Darling huh?!
The two things that get me through most things in life:  Chili's chips and salsa, and Sonic's blue coconut diet coke!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

30 Reasons Why I'm Proud To Be Me-#8

I haven't done one of these for a while, and I have to get 30 in before February 18th!  So reason number 8 of why I think being me is so fantastic- How much fun I love to have.  I'm all about trying new things and experiences and they always turn out to be so fun!  My fun for tonight?  Watching Neal Diamond in concert.  Yeah, buddy!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


I've had a busy few weeks with getting some new things in my life that I absolutely love!  My MacBook that I have had for over 3 years had an issue with the video card.  I took it in to the Apple store and decided that I should just get a new MacBook Air because who knows if putting the money into fixing it will benefit if something else would happen.  I use my laptop for EVERYTHING!  It goes with me pretty much anywhere:  school, campus, Salt Lake.  I do so much work on my computer that I felt like I definitely got my money worth with all the school activities I created, with how many papers I typed, etc.  I am in LOVE with my MacBook Air.  It is thin and weighs like two pounds. 

I have also been looking for a cute cruiser bike to stroll around Logan in, but haven't been able to find one for cheap.  My good friend told me about one sold at a yard sale for cheap...and it's purple, the best color ever!  I picked it up today and I LOVE it!!  It's so cute!

And last, but by far not least, I got a brand spankin' new car!  I've been researching cars for the last month or so, and knew I wanted a Mazda 3 because it's a very cute car and fits my needs.  I was planning on buying one in October because that's when my credit card would be paid off, so I could afford car payments, something I haven't had in about 4 years!  Bryce suggested going to a dealer to research new and used cars, get my questions answered and get a feel for the car, so I agreed.  I wasn't expecting to walk out with a new car yet!  But the deal was too good to pass off.  I had to say goodbye to my Cord, the car that I have had over the past 8 years of my life.  We got through a lot together-starting my teaching career and taking me back and forth from Logan to Tremonton for my job, moving to Denver and driving back and forth from Colorado to Utah a few times, road trips to San Diego, Spokane, Las Vegas, and all over Utah.  I basically live in Salt Lake on weekends now and it got me through lots of weekend trips back and forth from Salt Lake to Logan.  I put over 150,000 miles on that car and it worked like a charm.  But it was time for an upgrade.  They let me trade in my car for a good deal as a down payment, and they were also doing a deal that I could wait 90 days to make my first payment, which fit perfectly into October being the time to first pay. It had 8 miles on it, has power locks and windows (something I have never had!), and key less entry.  It's black, shiny and SOO cute!  I will post an actual picture of it when I quit being lazy and send it from my phone to my computer.  I'm excited to see what adventures I have in my new car!  I'm also on the hunt for a good name for my car.  Any suggestions?

Thursday, July 5, 2012

To Portland, St. George, and Back!

This past weekend, I took a quick trip to Portland, a city I have never been to before.  I'm always a huge fan of going to new places and seeing and experiencing new things, especially food!  My dear friend Ellen recently received her Master's Degree from the University of Oregon (Yay Ellen!) and asked me to come up and drive back to St. George with her.  I've always wanted to see Portland, and summer is the perfect time to travel, so I agreed.  We spent a few hours in Portland-beautiful and green!  We ate at Old Town Pizza-yummy, but super creepy bathroom; walked on the river walk and saw some interesting people, and Ellen drove me by the Portland temple-stunning.  Then we headed to Eugene, where she lived.  She took me up to the University of Oregon, I instantly fell in love with the education building.  If I were to ever be crazy enough to get my PhD, I would want to get it there just for the sheer fact that the building is adorable!  The Olympic track and field tryouts were going on in the stadium, how awesome is that?!  I then helped her clean and pack her car, ate some VooDoo doughnuts (LOVED IT!) and we headed out the next morning at 6:30 AM.  We drove for about 17 hours-eating, sleeping, talking, laughing, eating and finally made it to St. George.  The next day, let's just say I slept for most of the day, and it felt fantastic!

On Monday, we drove from St. George to Salt Lake, where I stayed for a fun fourth of July celebration with my favorite person.  So in 3 days time I went from Portland, to Eugene, to St. George to Salt Lake.  Not too shabby!  I loved catching up with Ellen and seeing a part of the world I haven't seen before.  I look forward to going back to Portland someday and spending lots of time exploring the city even more!