Single Adulthood-It’s a Thing.

My first encountering with a working woman wasn’t until I was older. I was a lucky kid, my parents had it worked out so that my mom could stay at home and raise the six hellions. She was with us constantly, and I wouldn’t change it for the world. Growing up, I thought that I would be in a similar situation to my mother’s. I would be married young,I would have lots and lots of babies, and I would enjoy spending time with my family. I wouldn’t be working. It’s not that working was a bad thing, but it was the only thing I had seen at this point in my life.

Single.When I graduated from college I realized that was not going to be the plan for me. I wasn’t married, I wasn’t even close, I mean I had Tinder but it was getting me nowhere. I couldn’t be a stay at home mom with no kids, that’s just creepy. I was in shock, reality had finally seeped into my life and I realized I was going to become a “working girl” (not a street corner one, but a business one). My first thoughts of becoming a working girl where ones of anxiety and worry, but all of these fears have now been shattered. I left college and I got a job. At first I felt disappointed in myself, because I had wanted to become a mom, that is in no way a secret, and thought that my singleness was my fault (it probably was). I forged a new path, I have become a business woman- I wear work pants. I work 8-5. I have PTO. I have a desk. I have clients. I have a 401(k). I just finished my first book launch, it was an adventure and I loved every minute of it. I am working with a new client and am setting up a social media scope of work for them. If you would have set this scenario up for me 10 years ago I would have laughed, it was something that I couldn’t even imagine at the time. I would have thought, it sounds great but it’s not in my plan!

Plans change. It’s a thing.

In the culture I live in, getting married and having children signifies actual adulthood. I am 24, not married (yet…), and am rarely recognized as an adult. It can be frustrating and limiting if you focus on it. Since graduating college I have tried my best to not let my ringless hand limit me. Marriage is something of worth and should be sought after at the right time for you. Until you reach that time in life don’t limit yourself, live a life that you can be proud of, that when you do get married you can look back and have no regrets. There might be some who don’t ever have the chance to be married. don’t let that hold you back either, there are so many great things to be done that can impact many.

Okay perhaps it was a ranting post, but you get the point 🙂

 

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Being an Aunt.

I am a true millennial. You all know that. I live in my parents house and I don’t even get to live in the basement. In the past few weeks I have been trying to focus some of my time with my niece and nephews. I have realized how LUCKY I am to live with them. Even though they can keep me on my toes at 6 years old with their witty comebacks, I do enjoy their company.

best aunt everI thought without a doubt that my next roommate would be a husband. Boy was I wrong. On Sunday my newest roommate Madison moved in to the room right next to me. We share a Jack and Jill bathroom (she insists on calling me her roommate). She recently turned nine and is turning into a beautiful girl. It was so cute to see her move her things. I have never seen someone her age so organized, she definitely did not inherit her aunt’s messiness. She informed me that she would give me reminders about cleaning my room and will remind me to keep the bathroom up to her expectations. I was just hoping that she would leave me a passive aggressive note and then it would be just like college (that was passive aggressive)! I remember being her age and all I wanted was to be like my older sisters. She gives me a chance to feel like an older sister, something I never experienced. I can say she is one of my favorite roommates… She cleans, is quite, and calls me her aunt 🙂 Madison is wise beyond her years, I can unfortunately say that right now she would make a better housewife than I would. I love that she is always willing to serve those around her, even when she doesn’t want to.

hayes birthdayHayes…. It is hard to describe this boy. He is one of a kind. He is the smartest and most witty child I have ever met. He is full of good one liners and is protective of his siblings. Madison was his roommate before she moved upstairs. They spent every waking moment together. They are best friends. This morning I went down stairs to get my pop tarts before jetting off to work when I found Hayes. He was ready for school and hour early and looked kind of sad. I asked him how he was doing and he replied with okay… I asked him if he was excited for school, and he said kind of, and then it hit me… So I asked do you miss Madison? My seven year old nephew replied with yes, I do. Even though they live a floor away, they both miss each other. If that doesn’t melt your heart, I don’t know what will… Hayes has shown me so many things, but his pure love and passion is what inspires me most.

piercePierce, he is my little guy. When I say little, I in no way mean little. He is the size of a new born buffalo I am sure, his laugh and smile are more contagious than the plague.  There is nothing that makes me happier than when he comes and sits on my lap. Not only is it a good leg work out, but he is just so cute. He is a feisty little bugger with a tender heart. Some of his favorite things to do are to smell things and feel soft blankets. The other night I came home around 9:45 ready to go to bed. Pierce was still up and I decided it would be pathetic if I was in bed before my 1.5 year old nephew. He was wired and I was starving. It was the perfect storm. He followed me around and we enjoyed some mint Oreos. I couldn’t help but laugh as I watched chocolate cover his face. This kid can always eat no matter on a train, a plane, or in the rain. Pierce has taught me patience (in a good way) and has also shown me how innocent and precious God’s little children are.

I love being an aunt. There is no greater thing than being part of these little lives and seeing them grow up. I am one lucky aunt, not many people get to see their niece and nephews as the grow and learn every day. I have been very blessed to have them in my life!all three

My Anchor.

ANCHOR sinkingWe all make mistakes. Did that fact just blow your mind? It shouldn’t have, it is a well-known concept. I am one of those who have made mistakes. I have made some big ones and I have made some small ones there is no denying it. Looking back at some of the mistakes I have made, I think about them as if it was a storm and I am a ship trying to make it through. I could either let the storm overtake my ship or I could put on my xtra tuffs and lower my anchor and let the storm do her best. To master something you must work on it constantly, learn from your mistakes, and learn to always do better the next time. Like I said, we all have storms in our life; it was something we agreed to before we came down to earth. The fact is that most people forget in the midst of these storms that we have an all knowing captain, we have God. He is there to guide our ships; he is there to guide us home.  When a storm comes it is up to the captain to look out for his ship and his crew. God, as our captain, has prepared us for the storms that would enter our lives. He gave us an anchor. He gave us the restored gospel, modern day prophets, the commandments, scriptures, and prayer. God’s tools are not given to hold us back, but have been placed in our lives to keep us safe. We never know exactly when a storm will come, we are never sure when our testimony will falter, or when we will be tempted to step off the path. The one thing that is certain is that our Captain will always be there to lead and guide us. It is up to us to listen and lower our anchor and to do our duties as a crew member. My religion is my anchor. You can look at it and think that my “anchor” holds me down, that’s just the way you see it, and that’s fine. When I look at it, I see it as an anchor that keeps me from sinking so I can return to my captain again one day. I am a crew member, he is my Captain, He is God.

#lifeofaclarebear

(C)LV2014

Delivery Man

delivery manAs I mentioned in my Saratov Approach blog post my brother and I did a double header on movies last night. We decided to hit up the 9:30 showing of Delivery Man, starring Vince Vaunghn and Cobie Smulders (How I Met Your Mother). I’m a Vince Vaughn fan and so I knew I would enjoy this movie, what I didn’t realize is that I would LOVE this movie. Now, unfortunately there was some profanity, and the concept of the movie is a bit controversial, but the overall message in my opinion was great. The movie is about a man who donates his sperm to a sperm bank so he can earn money, he donated for 633 days and earned over $24,000. Towards the end of the movie you learn why he donated to earn the money, it was a sweet sentiment, with a slightly disturbing undertone if you consider how he did it. His sperm donations ended up fathering 533 children. Over a hundred of them come together and try to find their biological father. He is given a folder with all of the names and bio’s of the children he fathered. He is instructed not to look at it, but he does. He begins a journey to find each kid and become their guardian angel. One of his sons has cerebral palsy and lives in a home. When he first meets him he has no idea how to interact. As the story unwinds his love for him develops, it was my favorite part of the movie. The kid’s name is Ryan and he takes him under his wing and becomes a father to him.  While this is going on he is dating a woman who is carrying, yet another child that would soon make 534. The end of the movie was good and left me happy! Again, this movie is PG-13 and so I don’t recommend it for younger audiences, and it does contain swearing and some sexual innuendos.

The Saratov Approach

Saratov ApproachIt is not every day that a “Mormon” film hits the big theaters. Even though there are quite a few of us, it is not something that occurs often. I had been hearing great things about the newest one, The Saratov Approach, and decided it was worth seeing. So my brother and I decided to do a double header and hit up the $3 dollar theater. As the previews ended and the movie began, the suspense crept into my body and stayed throughout most of the movie. The movie told the true story of two Elders from the Church of Jesus Christ of Later-day Saints who were kidnapped. Elders Travis Tuttle and Andrew Propst were serving in Saratov, Russia completing their two year mission for their church, when things took a turn for the worse. The movie started off by showing one of my favorite mission traditions which was burning something like a shirt, tie, tights,or skirt, because you have reached a milestone month of being gone from your family. After the companionship celebrated they went back to work. Someone on the street had approached them and asked them to come teach him and his friend on Wednesday night. The Elders did not think too much of it at first, but as the appointment came one of the Elders felt uneasy. Even with a bad feeling they decided to continue to the apartment. Once in the young man’s apartment, they were taken captive and brutally beaten. The story continues as they are transported and held for $300,000 in ransom. The two Elders go through stages of fear, and by the end they are calm knowing that God has a plan for them and their captors. It was a wonderful story line that showed the power of prayer and patience. They were times when they could have taken a route to their safety, but they decided to follow the promptings of the Lord. In the end it led to their safety. I would recommend this movie to both LDS members and those of other faiths. What I thought was touching and a miracle from their trial was the fact that members of all faiths came together to pray for these two Elders. It showcased so many great qualities of all different faiths and restored my hope in a world that currently lacks peace. I can not imagine going through what the two Elders went through, all I can say is I am glad I already served a mission… I might be too scared to go after that 😉 Just remember that when you are on a mission there will be trials big and small but if you are being obedient you will always be in the hands of God.

Catching the Bouquet

Catching the BoquetWinter break just ended, and we all know what that means, the wedding rush is over. It is the perfect time to have a wedding because it is during college student’s Winter break. I can’t disagree, the time works out perfectly. The wedding happens, the multiple receptions, the honeymoon, and then real life starts when the semester begins. During the holiday season I attended two weddings. They were both beautiful, cold, and full of family and friends. The receptions turned out picture perfect and the couples were beaming with excitement at the start of their new lives. At one of the weddings the bride followed the tradition of throwing the bouquet. I was thrown into the pile of girls to catch the bouquet. The bride threw it, and my hands stretched out, I caught it… Did I mention it was my boyfriend’s little sister’s wedding? Pressure much? It reminded me about the catch of 2012 and the second wedding, my sisters. At previous weddings I have attended, the bouquet toss could be compared to the hunger games. I never fully understood what it meant to catch the bouquet, I just knew I needed to catch it, I didn’t know there were any stipulations. The competitor in me comes out and I have to go for it. This particular bouquet toss that I am sure will be referenced at my funeral happened not too long ago and has been referred to as the catch of 2012 a time or two. It was my brothers wedding, and it was the first time I realized that catching the bouquet was a thing. My older sister and I were both single as could be and so we were shoved into the melting pot of girls all hoping to be the one to catch the flowers, thinking it was just some party favor. I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into. I had no idea what would happen if I caught the bouquet and so I had no real passion, and then…I over-heard a friend of my new sister-in-law say she wanted to catch it so she would be the next to marry…. WHAT THE!? That was what magical power this glob of flowers carried? Standing in the mosh pit of girls, I decided I was already committed and if I got a husband out of it, I would consider it a win-win. My sister-in-law threw the bouquet. Once it left her hands, it was as if there was a BOGO sale on shoes at Nordstroms… CHAOS. I knew my only competition would be my older sister. The moment was fast, in my red, sister of the groom dress, I jumped for the bouquet and I had my fingers brush the stems, I thought Emily's wedding dayI’m next! Out of no where my sister body checked me to the ground. Her hands went for the bouquet, we ended up under a table taking out a chair.  Our dresses went up and I am sure people saw things that might make me blush if caught on camera (the photographer totally captured it). I checked my head for blood after my sister had tackled me to the hard floor. The good news of the bouquet debacle of 2012 was that my hands were still wrapped tightly around the long green steams, I was next. Now this whole thing sounds dramatic because it was. My sister and I still hear people talk about it (not always in the “impressed” tone our father uses to describe it). So it was official, I would be the next to be married according to the traditions from the 14th century. The reason I tell you this is because I can now consider myself a “myth buster.” Last weekend that sister who tackled me to the ground and came up bouquet-less tied the knot. She met her prince charming and together they started their lives. I am so happy for her and the person she has become. Her husband is one lucky guy, and we already love having him in the family. Together they will make great things happen, best wishes to you both!

 

First picture: Zach Mathers Photography-(not the catch of 2012)

What Makes a Mom.

the kriEvery year, 9 days after Christmas, my mom has a birthday. We both have a common understanding of birthday’s near Christmas (mines 9 days before) and sometimes we feel as if we get the “Christmas/Birthday” shaft. I have been thinking about what to get my mom over the past few weeks and everything I have thought of was just not good enough for my mom. How do you buy a gift for someone who has given you everything in this world? There is nothing I could give that could compare. I finally found some trivial gift that will soon be forgotten (which is okay). Today I wanted to reflect on the gifts my mom has given me.

She is selfless. The first gift she gave me was life. She carried me for 9 months and I know that could not have been easy. She went into labor during my dad’s work Christmas party on a snowy night, and had me without an epidural. I came out with the cord wrapped around my neck multiple times, but once it was cut off I was in my moms arms, safe. I have learned that to become a mother you must be selfless. My mother gave up her college education to have 6 hellions, who have become my family and my best friends. She provided a home for me where I could feel her love and learn from her and my dad. She has taught me the importance of being selfless.

She is kind. Ever since I can remember my mom has shown kindness to everyone who comes into her life. I have always been impressed with her ability to interact with people from all different life styles. She never lets a problem overshadow a person, she focuses on the person first and the problem second. She has taught me that I will never regret being kind to someone.

nutcrackerShe is compassionate. We always joke about how practical she is when it comes to us being sick. Most of the time she will say things like “you’re fine” or “you don’t have a fever,” but I know that she truly does care. I have not been given the healthiest body, it has required many doctor appointments and surgeries. I remember a particular day that my mom taught me a life lesson. I had just had my gallbladder, appendix, and fibromitiosis tumors removed. I was quickly released from the hospital with 5 holes in my stomach.  I was to stay in my Uncle Bret’s room in Logan before driving to Boise with my mom. Uncle Bret has down syndrome and is very particular about his routine. I was messing it up by sleeping in his bed. I remember laying in bed in unbearable pain, throwing up and having Bret wake me up every 15 minutes by saying “My room, you back better, go home.” I couldn’t handle it all, I just needed to sleep. My mom grabbed her pillow and slept in front of my door on the floor the rest of the night so I would not be bothered. She taught me true compassion.

When I think of all of the things my mom has given me, there is nothing I could give her to show her my true appreciation today. I think many times the role of a mother is over looked, or is looked down upon. I can say that without my mom, I would not be the person I am today. I hope that I can be half the woman you are, thank you for everything.  Happy Birthday to my best friend, my Mom, I love you!

 

Divergent

DIvergentI was recently sitting in a large comfortable theater seat preparing for the Hobbit when a preview of Divergent came on. In a matter of seconds I was hooked. After the longest movie I have ever seen (The Hobbit) was finished, I hopped on Amazon and purchased Divergent and patiently waited for my Amazon Prime to work its magic. I ripped the package opened to find my next Dystopian obsession, by Veronica Roth. I opened the book and was consumed, I began to read about the life of teenager Beatrice and the environment she came from. I enjoyed learning about the “factions” that ran their livelihood. At age 16 they have to pick a faction to live in, in my mind I compared it to the sorting hat from Harry Potter. It was something that would influence their entire lives. As I read the book I started to feel as if I was Beatrice, and that I was Divergent. That is how you know you are reading a good book. It is rare to read something that engulfs you and keeps you up at night turning the pages trying to find a good stopping point (there never was one). This book was filled with action and twists. Some of it was predictable, and it is definitely written for a teen reading level. The book did not include swear words which was refreshing, and it had a few references to sex, but did not escalate to a full on Bella Swan and Edward Cullen Honeymoon (which no one needs to relive). I truly loved this book, and I am not ashamed to say that I finished it at 11 on New Year’s Eve and went to Walmart to buy Insurgent, don’t judge me, my boyfriend was sick and asleep:)  One of the reasons I loved this book was because the main character of the book was a strong female. My feminist side came out in me, and every time she kicked butt, I’d think atta girl! The last thing I love about this book, is that it is part of a series and so my obsession can continue. I would recommend this book to anyone, I loved it and can’t wait to finish writing this so I can pick up Insurgent….

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