October 30, 2012

Tuesday Ten: Things I'm Looking Forward To:

1. To go to sleep tonight. Is it Friday? (And whoever said "you can sleep when you're dead" clearly has never experienced the kind of high quality naps that I consider myself an expert at. so he's a sucker.)

2. To see my sweet mama in 10 days (she's coming to visit me!) This picture is blurry, but isn't she beautiful?

3. Our first Thanksgiving on our own. We definitely would rather be with family- but since Clint's work schedule isn't allowing us to go home, I'm looking forward to having our own tv dinner I mean home cooked Thanksgiving dinner.

4. The York Pieces I have stashed in the cupboard for the glorious day called November 1st, when my "No Sugar Challenge" ends. holllaaa.

5. Christmas shopping. Christmas music. Christmas lights. Christmas colors. Christmas trees. Christmas baking. SANTAAA! (That part was meant to be read that in your best Buddy the Elf scream.)

6. Colder weather=colored/patterned tights.

7.  To dress my future child up as this fabulous cat lady. such a gem.

8. To ask the Walgreens manager if I can have their life size stand up poster of Taylor Swift. Plus her "Red" tour this summer. Not the manager's tour, Taylor's.

9. My TWO costumes for tomorrow- one for crossfit and one for the Halloween carnival/trunk-or-treat. They're both last minute/thrown together but they.are.awesome. 

10. Breaking Dawn Part 2. Don't punch me. I'll punch myself for it. 


October 26, 2012

My Thoughts on Teens & Social Media

I'm not a mother, but I do think often of ways I want my children to be raised, especially in this crazy world we live in. It seems scary to me- to try and successfully raise a family in a world with so many bad things around us, and my hat goes off to the mothers that I know who are doing a wonderful job of protecting their families.

In regard to this, something that I have thought about often for my future children/young teenagers, is not allowing my them to have any sort of social media. This sounds a little extreme even as I write it out, but let me tell you a few of my reasons why.

Number One. For some reason, people have the idea that they are not as responsible for the things they say on the Internet, as they are in real life. Have you seen this video of a news anchor who was bullied about her weight via the Internet? (you should watch it, her response is perfect and so brave.) Just because this bully didn't use his real name, he believed the anonymity was reason enough to be able to tell this woman that she was obese. I highly doubt that if he saw or knew her in real life, he would think it was appropriate to say something like that.

I have seen this type of thing way too many times. When I had a Twitter account, I realized that a lot of the things people were saying were things they wouldn't say out loud. A lot of the tweets were extremely rude, and I even noticed myself making a few sarcastic and snarky tweets because that's just the general atmosphere of Twitter. Basically Twitter is a place where you say the first thing that comes to your mind- and when you are mad, upset, or in a bad mood, it's going to show.

On Instagram, I see pictures of celebrities (you know me, gotta keep up) with comments calling them fat or ugly, or saying they aren't talented. I couldn't believe the first few times I saw this, and then I realized it is mostly teenagers and even younger kids who are writing these comments. (A few immature and clearly pathetic adults as well.)

My point is: We are allowing kids to live in a world where cowardly and hurtful comments made because one feels anonymous is ok, and as seen in the video I mentioned above, some adults believe that too. Bullying should not be tolerated in any circumstance, including over the Internet and the tolerance of this, as well as the belief that one isn't responsible for the things he/she says, is not something I want my kids exposed to. 

Number Two. I think it is easy for kids and teens to confuse their self-worth with how many followers, likes, comments and retweets they get. I realize that getting feedback from others is part of the fun of social media, and there's nothing wrong with that. The problem comes when people cross the line from these reinforcements being fun, to obsessing over them. I see so many people that comment on Instagram pictures saying things like "10 likes for 10 likes." Frankly, this is pathetic to me, and again, I have found that it is mostly teenagers. I just don't understand where the fulfillment comes from.

During a time that is so crucial to the development of self-worth, I don't think that it's healthy for a young person to be so reliant on social media for validity. Their concept of self worth should be coming from things with a lot more depth than the amount of likes they get on a picture. 

Number Three. Pornography and other harmful messages and pictures are everywhere. There is no avoiding it, no matter where you go, but it is especially present in social media. When I first got my Twitter account, I had about 10 new "followers" within the first few days who were fake accounts of basically naked women who had a link on their profile to some pornographic/adult website.

You can block these people, but not until after the fact when they have already exposed themselves to your son or daughter. I am especially anti-Twitter for this reason. I would say it is the worst of these social media sites, because at any time, one of these fake profiles can follow any person. No one is exempt from this and there's no way to avoid this if you have a twitter account, which is absolutely crazy to me.

Number Four. The distortion of body image. I have talked about this one a little bit before, but it is something that really hits home for me. I'm not going to go into a lot of detail, but there was a point in my life where I was obsessed with, and thought about my body image literally over 100 times a day. Not exaggerating.

With that being said, women are being bombarded by media images of what they "should" look like, and now young girls are being exposed to it all as well.  It is poisonous, and while that may seem like a strong word, I truly believe it. It is everywhere and I don't think there is a single person who can say these images don't effect their way of thinking.

There is clearly no way to avoid it, but in my mind, lessening the problem seems to make a lot more sense than allowing young girls to be exposed to it even more than they already are. 

This is not a bash on any parents, nor am I trying to preach or force my ideas on anyone. These are simply my thoughts written out, as someone who regularly uses social media and sees all the negative things it can encompass- so I hope I haven't offended anyone. I also realize that we can't shelter our kids from every little thing, and that my opinion may change by the time I have kids (in 60 years ;) If you have an opinion on this subject, I really would love to hear it.

Hope everyone has a lovely weekend.

October 25, 2012

That Awkward Moment When...

Your husband finds out that you put a laundry basket in front of the bedroom door in case an intruder comes in while he's working a night shift and then he laughs at you and says "that'll stop em." It sounded like a good idea at the time. so whatever.

You are trying to wash your hair and body with your pinkies/ back of your hands because the rest of your hand is covered in blisters. It was really cute.

While cooking dinner, you run around like a chicken with it's head chopped off because all sorts of things are happening (need.more.counter space.)....meanwhile in the blogger world people are taking pictures of their food while they prepare it. how the heck do they do that? that's a disaster waiting to happen in my life.

You fit in better with the 14 year old Young Women you teach than any adult in the room. ("Girl, of course I've seen that episode of 'Good Luck Charlie.' Who do you think I am?")
...but on a side note you guys, this show is hysterical. My mom thinks so too.

You wonder why no one is parking in the bomb parking spot you managed to swipe, and you think to yourself, "this must be my lucky day." and then come out to your car 20 minutes later and realize there are 200 birds in the tree right above you, just doing what birds do best. Well played grocery store patrons.

Someone finds your secret diary, and they happen to be in it on page 1 through page 65.

not really. I found it on pinterest.

October 22, 2012

Real Life Grown Up Friendships.

Here's a scenario for you.
You're 6-years-old and you make your first friend at school. All because the two of you had the same backpack. or maybe you trade fruit snacks with each other. either one is grounds for a strong friendship.

And then from there, you make friends with her friends and so on. And that's kind of how you make friends all the way up to college- friending friends of friends. At least that's how it was for me.

Then you move away to a new state. And you're married. And you must be socially handicapped because you no longer have the 6-year-old ability to make friends. Basically you just don't know what the grown-up rules for making friends are. [All I'm saying is it would just be a lot easier if everyone wore backpacks so that I could at least befriend someone with the same as mine. [who's with me?]

Let's say you do think that perhaps you've made a friend. So then you have to figure out what the heck you do next. Boundaries, I think the adults call them...

Are slumber parties pushing it?
Do I buy us matching outfits?
Am I allowed to be friends with your friends?
At what point do I allow my sarcasm to seep into our conversations without you thinking I'm a jerk? Do my self-directed Asian jokes make you uncomfortable?
Is she just being nice to me because we go to the same church/gym/whatev? or does she think that I'm as cool as my Kindergarten bestie thought I was?
Does adding you on Facebook make me look like a stalker?
What if she doesn't like Taylor Swift?
At what point can we start sharing wardrobes?
Is she a hug or a handshake kinda friend?
What if she doesn't get the same enjoyment out of hearing Tim Gunn from Project Runway say "Make it work"?
How does she feel about making fake music videos? [good I hope.]

And then there's the problem of the significant other...
What if I want to be friends with you, but our husbands don't like the same football team and it ends in a full on brawl? That could get awkard.

And that, my friends (we're friends, right?), is the number one problem of being a grown up.
and that's a proven fact. check the research or something.

these lucky dogs.

October 18, 2012

No Sugar Progress and Something Pretty Awesome.

Two weeks from today I will officially be able to say that I lasted for 31 days with no sugar (including attending one wedding luncheon and reception, 5 days in Utah surrounded by goodies, 2 birthday parties, my anniversary, Halloween parties, and making cupcakes for a church activity without even having a single lick of the batter. it was traumatizing. think Edward trying not to eat Bella. I know, right?)

The first two days were the hardest, and then of course random on and off again days that are tough. You don't realize how many things you eat have sugar, like flavored yogurt, cereal, granola bars, etc. And then when I wanted to try and sweeten things up, I couldn't because we can't use any sort of honey, agave, or artificial sugar!

Even though it has been tough, I feel really good about it. I have lost a couple of pounds which I didn't really expect to happen. but the thing that I feel has benefited me most is the self control I have had to have in order to do it. For me, it just feels good to have control over my mind and my cravings. I sound like a Buddha. I don't even know what that means, but I'm serious about the self control thing.

The thing that has helped me the very most with the craving is my protein shake in the morning. Seriously, I don't think I could make it out alive without it. Because guess what my friends? After lots of experimenting, I have come up with an amazing mint chocolate protein shake with no sugar. let's freak out together.

I don't know why I didn't think of this sooner, but cocoa doesn't have any sugar. whattttt? So basically what I am saying is it is my saving grace. I honestly enjoy this shake more than mint chocolate chip ice cream. no joke. So even if you aren't on a sugar free diet, you should try it for a healthy alternative to a treat.

if you don't drink protein and aren't on a no sugar diet, you could always try replacing it with a carnation breakfast drink, slim fast, or some chocolate almond milk.

If you don't like mint, try this exact shake but leave out the peppermint extract to make it a chocolate banana shake which is absolutely amazing as well.

let me know if you try it and what you think. Enjoy!

ps. 4 days until the new T Swifty album. how's that for a treat, eh?

October 15, 2012

And here's to another year...

Happy anniversary to the one that swept me off my feet in less than one week.
So grateful to call you mine.