Wednesday, July 29, 2015

I'm Going to Tell my Daughters they are Beautiful Every Single Day.

I've been thinking about this for a while now.
I've read a few articles that are titled things like "What you should say to your daughter instead of you're beautiful" or "Why I don't tell my daughters they are beautiful." And I think it's so sad.
Once upon a time (this means that I can't remember exactly where and who this story is about) I was with a group of people and they started talking about how they were shopping and found a shirt that said Beautiful Like Mommy. (take note, they also found a shirt that said Handsome like Daddy but they didn't care about that one.) They were appalled. They asked to speak to a manager so they could complain and eventually organized a petition that they sent to this store's headquarters and had all the Beautiful like Mommy shirt taken off the shelves, (once again, keep in mind the handsome like dad ones were still proudly displayed) The woman kept talking about how proud she was that she fought this injustice for her girls because she didn't want them to think that they were beautiful like mommy. Her daughters were smart and funny and confident, not beautiful. Now, I know what she meant. And kudos for her for fighting for what she believes in. I commend that. I typically don't. If the shirt bugged me, I wouldn't have bought it but that's the extent of my activism.
But here is what gets me. Why is beautiful suddenly the antithesis of intelligence? If someone is beautiful, does that mean that there is no way they can have anything else going for them? There was a kid in high school and me and my friend used to say that it wasn't fair that God gave with both hands. She was attractive. And smart. And funny. And athletic. I feel like that flies right in the face of this idea. There were lots of people like that. Girls and guys.
Sometimes when I'm out with Natalie, I'll tell her she is beautiful and other moms will glare at me. Uhm, hi, excuse me but my daughter can be told she is beautiful. That really isn't your business. Me telling her she is beautiful doesn't mean she is a dunce. I tell her she is smart and funny just as often as cute. I think it's nice when people tell me how cute she is. She is cute. Natalie is 17 different kinds of attractive. Why can't I compliment that? If I tell her she is smart, that's great. But you know what, if Sue Grocery tells Natalie how smart she is at the store,what does that mean? Uhm nothing. She doesn't know Natalie, she is entirely unaware of how smart she is. That is a completely empty compliment. Thanks for trying, I appreciate the thought but how is an empty compliment better than telling her she is beautiful? Telling her she is beautiful will help her to grow in confidence in that area of her life. Just like if I tell her she is funny, she will be funny because she thinks she is funny. Same goes for beautiful. I just don't understand at all why suddenly it contradicts each other.
When I was growing up, I was constantly complimented on how funny and smart I am. Thanks world, that's great. But you know what, I've never thought I was beautiful. Why you ask? Because people didn't tell me. Once in a while I would get oh you look just like your mom. Or you look just like Shelly and I have spent my entire life hearing how beautiful they are. I would also get you are a beautiful daughter of God. Which, maybe this is wrong, but I always took that to mean the same sort of thing as "sweet spirit."
I am so glad that I don't doubt my intelligence or my humor. I think I am dang funny. I make people laugh all the time. Honestly, it's probably my favorite thing about myself. And I am beyond proud that my kids have inherited a wonderful combination of mine and Jake's sense of humor. I am glad that I am smart. I know it. I am proud of it. I might not be Mensa material but I am able to teach my kids things and I can understand and comprehend things. I can keep up in conversations. I am going to teach these things about themselves as well. But you better  believe that every single day of their lives, they are going to hear how beautiful/handsome they are. It matters too. It's not the most important thing but it matters. And every time they hear it, they are just going to take it at face value. It's not going to mean they are stupid. It is in no way going to negate their intelligence. If the world wants to fight a battle, that in my opinion is asinine, do it, just keep me and my kids out of it. It's just going to mean that in addition to all the other wonderful characteristics they have, they are nice to look at too.

Thanks for reading.

They are saying Batman. Hence the open mouths haha

Friday, July 24, 2015

My First Favorite things about (insert person here) Blog

I'm going to start a little blog series. As often as I think about it/have the time, I am going to do a blog tribute to someone. Anyone. Jake, my dad, my brothers, my sister,  my neighbors, my in laws, my grandmas. Whoever. Some will be short. Some will be long.
I worry about how mean the world is getting. It devastates me to think that my kids are going to grow up in a time where people can say and do whatever they want under the guise of Anonymous782 on forums or even publicly on facebook but think it's okay because it's behind a computer screen. It's not okay. I am going to teach my kids to be nice. If it is the last thing I do, my kids will be known as nice people. And I am going to start by setting an example. I hope you enjoy these. :D


I like Jake.
He is a really good guy. For reals. So good.
I like to talk about him. I like to share nice things about him.
It's possible that there is nothing sadder to me than a woman/man that says mean or even slightly off putting things about their spouses.
I get it. Marriage is tough. Spending so much time with any one person is rough, man. But, wouldn't you be so sad if you heard your spouse saying some of the mean things you say about them about you? I would be. And truthfully, I rarely, if ever say anything bad about Jake.
Not because I'm so evolved that I don't gossip (because I do, I complain a lot too. I'm working on it. Growth is tough), but because in my opinion, there really isn't anything bad to say about him. There are probably, off the top of my head, only two things that he does that really bug me (and one of them is unbearably stupid haha). I'd say that's pretty awesome.
I have a friend who tells me often that she loves how I always say such nice things about Jake. I like it. But honestly, I don't even really notice that I do it. Sometimes I worry that people might think I'm bragging and maybe technically I am but I don't mean it that way at all. I just think it's nice to be nice.
You know that saying "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all"?
I like the flip of that, "if you have something nice to say, say it all."
So! here is my favorite things about Jake blog. (in no particular order because it changes from day to day.

1. He has a beard. Just for me. Truthfully, he doesn't like it that much. He likes not having to shave but that's it. I, however, love it! And he keeps it just for me. Isn't that nice?

2. He is kind. To everyone. Always. Jake is probably the most genuinely nice person I know. He's reserved but he treats people with respect. Always. (props to his parents for teaching him treat people well)  He never gets irritated with other drivers, kids, people, anyone. I asked him once if there was ever anyone in his life that he didn't like. He thought about it for a while and answered with "There was a kid on my wrestling team in high school that ran really funny. That kind of bugged me." Yeah guys, that's it. And even if that's not really it, he doesn't remember anyone bugging him! I think that's pretty amazing.

3. You can wake him up anytime and he doesn't mind. At all. For real. This is actually my very favorite thing about Jake. I know that sounds silly but it means so much to me. I can wake him up about anything. Anytime. He could literally have just fallen asleep 3 minutes ago and I can wake him up and he's fine with it. He doesn't get annoyed. In the five years, we've been married I have never known him to be annoyed when he woke up. Never. Read it again folks- never. In the five years we've been married, I'm pretty sure I've been annoyed every time I get woken up. (again, working on it. Growth is tough.) I can wake him up to change the sheets on Mikey's bed. Change a diaper. Make a bottle. Get out of bed and bring me the baby so I can nurse without having to get up because I'm a wimp about the cold. Just because I want to talk. It's a pretty great situation, team.

4. He laughs at jokes. All jokes. Even if they aren't funny or has heard them before. It's nice. It makes people feel good.

5. He wears BYU clothes on all football and basketball game days.  Jake doesn't care about doing that. I do. I like it. No, correction: I LOVE it! I bleed blue and white in a big way. And Jake plays along. (this is just one example of the many things he does just because he loves me, or his kids, or his parents, or anyone)

6. He is probably my number 1 biggest fan. (well maybe not more than my grandmas. They are pretty supportive too. <3) Jake is that guy that is always telling me how good dinner is, how good the most recent thing I made looks (even when it really doesn't.) and what is even better, he means it. He really thinks that I am amazing. That's a pretty good situation to be in too.

7. He has a terrible memory for people. Okay, I know this one sounds strange but it's pretty amazing to watch Jake interact with people when I know he doesn't remember who they are. People can't really tell that he doesn't remember them. And I think it's because he is kind. Regardless of who they are, he treats them well and as if they were best friends when they were 7 and haven't seen each other in 20 some years. I like it.

8. He is dedicated. Jake doesn't do things half way. He might do it slowly but he doesn't stop til it's done. I'm jealous- I'm a quitter.

9. He is his kids favorite person on the planet. Enough said.

10. He has 4 sisters and doesn't bully them. I have four brothers. And they are great. But there have been times in my life where I've wondered what it would be like to have four really kind brothers. (no offense)  I can't imagine that Jake's sisters have ever thought that about Jake.

There really is so much more that I love about this guy. But this is enough. I know some of these seem insignificant (like #5) but I think it's the little things that make life magical.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Summer Goals

Well this summer I decided to set summer goals so I didn't just waste it away.
Goal #1: potty train Adam. Yeah, I've pretty much given up on this. He hates it. Actually hates it. He screams, kicks, yells no over and over every time I try to our him on the toilet. You know what's nut so cool? A thirty five plus pound baby kicking a pregnant belly. Yeah, not so good. Also he won't tell us when he has to pee. He tells us after but not in tube to sit on the toilet. Uncool.  I'm debating on trying to train Natalie so I can have only two kids in diapers come September but who knows.

Goal#2: mop my kitchen. Okay don't judge but I suck at mopping. I spot mop but that's it. By the time the kitchen is clean enough to mop, I can't do it.  Literally can not. I'm too tired. But! Today I mopped. My friend Heather mentioned to me that she uses a steam mop so I bought one and it's great! Clean kitchen floor, check.

Goal #3: teach Adam his letters. So far it's going okay. He can sing the alphabet song but he is actually the most stubborn person I've ever met in my entire life. You cannot convince this kid to do something he doesn't want to do. Like practice his letters. Or sing the song. He does know A, B, C, D, I, L, M, X, and Z. Not bad I think.

Goal #4: teach Mikey the first four articles of faith. In preschool he learned the pledge of allegiance and I was listening to him recite it and I thought about how I was working with my then primary class to learn the articles of faith and I realized there is no reason Mikey couldn't learn those too. So we started a month ago and he knows 1, 2, part of 3, and part of 7. Adam also knows the first one. :) I'm very proud.

Those are my goals. And now here are some pictures, not related to my goals at all. Just because I like my kids and pictures.