Thursday, December 12, 2013

we're all real women, even victoria's secret models

On Tuesday night was the somewhat infamous Victoria's Secret Fashion Show which aired on CBS.  It feels as though I've read hundreds of posts about how much Victoria's Secret is marketing to young girls, how they give unreasonable expectations about how women should look and a plethora of other things.  I've also seen so many articles about how "real woman have curves" or how the models should "eat a sandwich."  And I have some serious issues with ALL of these things....

If you don't want your children to be exposed to certain things, it is up to you to shield them from it.  Make firm boundaries and let your children know where you stand.  Yes, they had Taylor Swift as a musical performer this year.  Many, many, MANY parents believed this was wholly inappropriate.  Taylor Swift is well above the age of 18, a legal adult.  She made the choice to perform there, you have the choice to allow your children to watch her performance during the show or not.  Also, because clearly many, many, MANY people out there don't understand this.  Lingerie doesn't promote promiscuity, lowered societal standards does that. 

I have actually seen that the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show lets me know that these airbrushed and perfect women I see in the ads are not always perfect.  I can see their thighs jiggle, I can see they have some rolls or cellulite.  It lets me know that even the most beautiful and pinnacle of perfection women have little imperfections in their bodies. 

And, of course the most troubling things I seem to constantly be bombarded with regarding the Victoria's Secret Line...The Thin-Shaming.  It is no secret that fat-shaming seems to have always been a societal problem that people are trying to overcome.  So often we see tabloids showing and pointing out "beach nightmare bodies" or "Look at her weight gain!"  However, thin-shaming has become a more prevalent as the war on fat shaming has progressed.  Often we see the term "Real Woman Have Curves" and things emblazoned on photos of thin models tell them to "eat a sandwich."  In a world filled with so much inequality and hate, why on earth do we feel the need to find another reason to separate ourselves by something as arbitrary as physical appearance? 

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A gif showing the before and after photoshop of Kelly Clarkson
Body Shaming is, in my opinion, one of the greatest societal issues facing us today.  Both men and women are constantly bombarded by magazines of people airbrushed to perfection.  Society has given us ridiculous expectations of what our bodies should look like.  Ultimately, the best body shape is a healthy body shape.  If you are healthy as a 00, great!  If you are healthy as a 24, great!  I work to lose weight because I do not feel healthy at my current weight.  All body shaming is WRONG.  Too often I see internet bullies and real life bullies pestering both thin and heavy women about their bodies.  Neither is perfect enough.  Neither is good enough.  Body shaming needs to end.  The only way it will end is if we, as a society, make changes to how we all perceive those around us.  So, start today and join me in ENDING body shaming for all body types!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

why i hate facebook...and november plus some sunday enlightenment

November is a glorious, yet awful month.  To quote something I saw on tumblr, November is the Thursday of the year.  You just want it over so you can get to the good stuff.  November does have Thanksgiving, which does involve cranberry sauce, so it's not all bad.  However, there is one thing that just will always drive me crazy about November until the end of time (or at least until facebook goes the way of myspace)....

The gratitude posts.  

**DISCLAIMER** There are a select group of people who do these and I find them hilarious and amazing I AM LOOKING AT YOU AUTUMN NEVADA WILKINS!  Keep that crap up, because you're hilarious and we're related.  So how could you not be hilarious and awesome.

I see the beauty in expressing what you're grateful for.  I think it is important to be grateful.  However, naming things every single day just gets very....lame.  At the beginning of the month, people are coming up with amazingly profound reasons to be grateful in their lives.  And then by Thanksgiving, they start getting thankful for incredibly obscure things in their lives.  It's not the fact that people are expressing their gratitude all over facebook, it is the fact that as a culture we have dedicated one entire month to telling people how much we're grateful for things in our lives, then November ends and the usual facebook rants begin again.

After November ends we all go back to complaining about the things we hate in our lives.  My news feed is suddenly bombarded once again with pro-government/anti-government propaganda, complaints about significant others and the unavoidable articles about how EVERYTHING in the universe is going to kill you and your children.  To me, this attitude about gratitude is just wrong.

Gratitude should something you feel every second of every day.  Gratitude should not be something you have to work at.  As far as I'm concerned, there are THOUSAND upon THOUSANDS of things I see every day that I feel gratitude for.  And, no, I don't write about them on facebook everyday.  Heck, I barely blog about them all that often.  Because I see them and feel them in my heart.

Gratitude isn't posting things on facebook.  Gratitude is about seeing all of the amazing and beautiful things around us and just being...happy.  So, let's be happy year round, and not just during November when social structure tells us we should.

Also, this video is beautiful.  The Mimi Foundation sought to take Cancer patients and give them makeovers so they would be able to truly have a moment of carefree-ness.  It's quite beautiful.  Life is just grand, isn't is?

Saturday, November 30, 2013

a thousand words

They say a picture is worth a thousand here are a few thousand with some commentary to chronicle the last couple of weeks.

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This is Mose, the Potter family pet for the last 15 years.  He is still the best dog ever.

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Morgan Belcher, definitely the most energetic Belcher family member

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I was recovering from pneumonia and JD had started getting sick, but we still carved out pumpkins!

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Heading to my cousin's missionary homecoming (Also, we saw Catching Fire the night before...SO MANY FEELS! AH! IT WAS AMAZEBALLS!)

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My lovely cousin Anne

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He's home! Welcome back Elder William Pittam! Peru lost an amazing missionary. 

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Finn and Kent, I just love watching the cousin's babies play
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Thanksgiving dinner in Kemmerer, WY

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Yeah, I'm not wearing makeup and didn't make any attempt to get ready for the dinner.  JD also looks tired.  I cooked all day with my mom, JD was at work all day.  Yeah, I show you pictures where we're clearly not all put together or looking our best.  It is because this is our real life.  We're not put together all the time, and that's just fine by me. 
Family is great, friends are fantastic and life is good.  On non-put together days and otherwise.   

Sunday, November 17, 2013

sunday enlightenment

"I want everyone to know, you don't have to find out you're dying to start living."  -Zach Sobiech

Happy Sunday everyone.

If you have 20 minutes, the amazingly BEAUTIFUL full documentary can be found here.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

universal truths

So, I recently started re-reading one of my absolute ALL TIME FAVORITE books, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (P.S. Thanks to my BFF Cody for letting me borrow it and read it for the first time when we were teenagers...I'll be honest, I am not positive if I ever returned it...Probably didn't...moving on).  Anyways, the first line and probably one of the most quoted lines from literature ever goes a little something like this:

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.  -Jane Austen

And it got me thinking, what universal truths have evolved since Jane Austen published Pride and Prejudice in 1813.  I mean, certainly there must be a lot of's a few I've come up with.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that...:

No matter who you are, you have at least one top 40's song that you love.  Yeah, I'm looking at you music snobs who only listen to people I've "probably never heard of."  I've seen One Direction on your Spotify playlist.
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Yes...I am ashamed...

You can tell yourself just five more minutes on pinterest....then suddenly it has been an hour...

The aforementioned truth also goes for tumblr...I just can't quit you tumblr...

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John Green can't quit tumblr either...

Nobody loves being dressed up.  No one, if someone says that they'd rather be wearing a dress and heels instead of sweatpants and t-shirt, they are LIARS.

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Even the wig wearing and fake nails having real housewives love their sweatpants

Either you sing to yourself while doing almost anything, or you're not living life correctly.   

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Also, everyone loves puns....even if you don't like puns, you sort of like puns.  

It's really important to be nice to everyone.  Because, everyone is dealing with difficult things in their lives.  

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 Also, just for your own safety.  

So, another exciting thing happening in my life, I am starting the Beachbody Challenge program!  I purchased the Turbo Fire pack with the Chocolate Shakeology powder.  To be honest, I'm actually super about this!  My neighbor is a beach body coach and she's been awesome in helping me get started.  She helped me join a Beachbody Challenge Group (which I never even knew was a thing) and I'm honestly excited to start this.  I might not be as excited come Monday after the first workout, but right now I'm stoked.  

Sunday, November 10, 2013

the golden birthday

Disclaimer: So, I'm late night blogging at work because I'm on the graveyard shift.  All of the pictures from my Birthday extravaganza are on the hubs phone...which is at home with him.  So, this will not feature many pictures from the Birthday trip (hashtag disappointment).

Before the whole pneumonia saga began, I celebrated my Golden Birthday.

October 21st was a good day for me.  By some miracle, neither of us were working that day.  So, JD took me to Salt Lake City and basically let me have a field day.  Seriously, the man let me pick EVERYTHING.  And he didn't complain or ask to go somewhere else even once.  I'm almost 100% positive it took a lot of self restraint on his part, but I'm grateful for it.  We went shopping, I bought lots of makeup and clothes.  We ate at the Cheesecake Factory and JD told the wait staff it was my birthday, so they sang to me.  Which, while embarrassing at the time, I'm grateful he went behind my back and did it.  It made me feel special although it also made me feel painfully awkward.

I've always been a person who absolutely LOVES birthdays.  I love my birthday, I love other people's birthdays, I love it all.  I just think it is amazing to be able to have one day a year where you can feel be the center of attention without having any kind of guilt attached to it.  It's an absolutely amazing thing to have one solitary day a year where you can make things just about you.

20 was a great year, but it also came with some challenges.  I experienced my first year of marriage, which was amazing.  I changed jobs.  We almost bought a house.  We experienced a lot of heartache and tragedy with the deaths of three amazing people.  We dealt with the defeat of another house falling through.  We celebrated birthdays and anniversaries and new family babies being born.  We had lots of date nights.  We spent many an hour playing with our dog.  It was honestly a complete and total rollercoaster all year long.

However, it has been the best ride of my life.  I'm really lucky!  I have an amazing husband (who is pretty handsome on top of it), I have a great job, we have a place to live (even if it's not our dream place) and we're happy.  Not just happy, but joyful.  20 was a great year, but 21 is already even better.  I am so excited for the ride that is in store for us this year, I know so many things are going to keep changing!  However, I'm ready.

At least, I think I am.  

The one picture on my phone from the birthday dinner....because the Belcher's cannot go to dinner without constructing some kind of sculpture with whatever is available.  We're adults, I swear.  

Friday, November 8, 2013

the silent "p"

Yeah, Pneumonia. 

It all started out as a little flu, or so I thought.  I started feeling under the weather, coughing and congestion and some nausea.  I kept getting this weird feeling that I should try to get a doctors appointment.  But I wasn't thinking I was too sick and that point so I brushed off any sort of thought of getting an appointment lined up.  On Thursday (October 24th) I was starting to get really, really sickly.  I went into work and was promptly sent home by my boss.  So I rested up on Thursday night, expecting to be able to get back to work by the weekend.  Not so.  Friday I started getting unbearably ill.  Honestly, I was pretty much positive on Friday afternoon I was going to give up the ghost.  I was calling my poor husband, who was at work, telling him all of my symptoms.  He called his dad feeling really helpless trying to find something to help me because he couldn't leave work.  His dad suggested a few things I could do at home to try and make my life a bit more bearable.  It was helpful, but I still felt incredibly ill. 

By 6:00 p.m. JD was finally able to escape the cage that was work that day (obviously I'm exaggerating by using a metaphor for my own selfish purposes, we love JD's job generally) and get home to his sick wife.  He took a look at me, felt my burning forehead and said "Yeah...we're going to the Emergency Room." 

Alas, we made a trip to the emergency room.  I had a fever, my blood pressure was slightly heightened and I could not breathe.  At all.  I had two doctors and one nurse attending to me.  After listening to my lungs on the of the doctor's said "Eww..." (yeah, that was encouraging).  So, a chest x-ray was ordered, lots of blood was drawn (which my husband almost passed out during...heaven help him when the children come) and medication was prescribed after I was diagnosed with PNEUMONIA. 

So, I spent the next better part of the week in bed on anti-biotics and decongestants and cough syrups and Tylenol and using a humidifier.  Then JD started getting sick.  The second he gave a sneeze I got him a doctor's appointment.  He got checked out and was given an antibiotic.  He didn't yet have pneumonia but he was starting a pretty good cold that could begin pneumonia.  So, he then spent a couple of days in bed and then was all back to normal.  It took me MUCH longer to recover, but that's because I didn't go to the doctor right away.

Side note: if you are feeling sick and think you should see a doctor, GO SEE A DOCTOR.  DO NOT LET IT PROGRESS AND THEN FEEL LIKE YOU ARE ABOUT TO DIE BEFORE GETTING PROFESSIONAL HELP. 

Things I am grateful for during the pneumonia saga:
  • JD, even when he almost passed out when I was in the hospital
  • Antibiotics, Cough Syrup, Pretty much all modern medicine
  • Essential Oils, while I am a huge proponent for modern medicine and the amazing powers it wields, I also believe in supplemental care with pure essential oils (i.e. the Breathe doTERRA oil blend works about 1000x better than Vick's Vapo Rub) 
  • Prayer
  • Cozy quilts and blankets
  • Disinfectant Cleaners
  • My mommy's chicken soup
  • The close proximity in which we live to my parents (ya know, their basement...)
  • My dog
I spent most of my recovery among pillows, quilts and remote controls.

And this is my I hate the hospital face

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

f is for friends who do stuff together

About a month ago, I got a surprise facebook message from my amazing friend, Jordan.  Her husband and she were going to be in Idaho for a wedding and were thinking about dropping down into Wyoming to visit on their way back to Nevada.  She asked if that would be okay and my response was along the lines of ummm...HECK YES!!!

Two of our mutual favorite things include:

These dudes

and these dudes

Fun fact: The picture of JD is about 2 1/2 years old and from like our second date.  It is literally the only current-ish picture I could find on his Facebook of him alone.  And that isn't even his fedora...

Jordan and Jay got married the year before JD and I did.  After I got married we joked that we married the same guy in different sizes.  Both of our husbands love them some video games, sci fi, reading, all of the good stuff.  Jordan and I married total nerds, and we love them all the more for it.  

Jordan and I have been friends since....probably elementary school-ish?  We've been really good friends for about 7 years and our friendship just continues and continues.  You know how people say that you'll never see the people from high school again?  This is true for about 90% of the people I grew up with.  However, I still have some amazing friends from high school that are still my absolute best friends on the planet, even though we're all spread across the country now.  
It was pretty much an amazingly fun two days.  JD and Jay both had someone to obsess over the new Pokemon Games with, Jordan and I had a mutual married friend to be around and talk to.  We played an enormous amount of Nintendo games (P.S. Jordan and I hate Waluigi, and we're fairly positive both JD and Jay somehow cheated at The Game of Life), ate delicious food, watched General Conference and just had an overall amazingly fun time.

The overall visit was just a glorious escape from our everyday lives and got me thinking about how amazing it is to have friends.  Friends are the family that we pick for ourselves.  We're able to connect and build relationships with the people around us.  In my opinion, it is one of the greatest blessings we're given.  Society is built on people creating relationships and working together to create a better world.  And I'm really grateful to have friend and be apart of that. 


Saturday, November 2, 2013

oh hai

So it has been awhile...I'm basically going to be spending this week catching up on the blog so here are the basics of what has been going on:

  • We had our amazing friends, Jordan and Jay, come to visit us a couple weeks ago and it was glorious.
  • I celebrated my golden birthday by turning 21 years old on October 21st.  
  • I had pneumonia.
  • JD then started getting sick.
  • We spent a lot of time at our local clinic and hospital.
  • Halloween was nice, even though we're both still on antibiotics.
  • Not being able to work out is really difficult, never thought I'd ever say that in my life.
  • My birthday camera finally arrived a week after my birthday.  And it is amazing.  

And that is an incredibly oversimplified version of what has happened over the last like, month.

Blog posts are coming updating you on all of these individual events.  Thanks for sticking with me.

Also, I am having withdrawals from not seeing my BFF and former roommate.  Come visit me Mandy!  JD will build a ramp for you!  

Thursday, October 17, 2013

dear martha

Dear Martha,

I grew up watching your shows just about everyday.  My mother was, and always will be, a Martha follower and lover.  We have a million Martha Stewart cookbooks, my mom is always saying things are "good things" and admiring her website.  You were an inspirational woman.  You grew up in New Jersey, you built an empire out of nothing.  You created a magazine, you were a mother, you were then a single mother, you created books and television shows and websites and inspired a generation of women to make things from scratch. 

Martha, I admired you growing up.  Then the cracks in your perfect fa├žade started showing.  It started with the rude comments about people in interviews.  Then moved on the charges of fraud and a prison sentence.  Now, you continue with your elitist attitude and inappropriate behavior around other celebrities (including this interview where you told Bethenny, a self-made millionaire, that she was a pest).  With your recent comments, I'm totally over you. 

In a recent interview, you called out all of us "non-expert"bloggers.  But, I don't care. 

I don't care because I don't blog for you.  I don't care because I don't blog for my readers.  I don't care because I blog for me.  I blog because I love life.  I blog because I love connecting with other people.  I blog to find inspiration.  Essentially, I blog for me.  "Who are those bloggers?!" you asked in your interview?  We're empowered individuals who aren't afraid to share our lives with the world.  We celebrate each other, help each other and have an amazing community.

So, feel free to hate us Martha and are not expert selves.  We'll get along fine without you.  I mean, we've made it this far.

P.S. I love this Post from Lisette about this situation.  You go girl!

Friday, October 11, 2013

five {things i'm geeking out over} on friday

Newflash: I'm a total nerd.  I bet most of you understood that already and knew this, but I'm just coming out of the geeky closet "officially" for you today.  For the Five on Friday linkup that I love so much, even though I have neglected it the last couple weeks, I'm going to be sharing with you five things I have been GEEKING OUT over for the last few weeks.

The Lizzie Bennet Diaries

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OH MY GOSH.  I die.  Essentially this is a modernized version of "Pride and Prejudice" as portrayed via Lizzie Bennet's vlog.  I'm obsessed with it and most are shocked that I haven't been following it since the very beginning.  I've been a longtime nerdfighter and love pretty much any project Hank Green is involved with.  I heard about LBD, but I didn't start watching mainly because at the point it began I was: PLANNING MY WEDDING.  However, now I'm over a year into wedded bliss (!) and my next semester of college won't be starting until January/February, so I have some time.  Plus, I'm on my four days off after finishing the graveyard shift at work, so boo yah!  Binge watching LBD! 

Super Mario Brothers

We finally bought Super Mario Brothers for the Wii.  I have never been so excited to feel so incredibly inept at something.  Seriously, I suck at it (it's been a lot of years since I've played Super Mario...) especially in comparison with my husband, who is ridiculously awesome at everything that I am terrible at. 

Benefit Cosmetics Watt's Up
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Okay, so this isn't really a geeky thing...considering it's a beauty product...BUT OH MY GOSH I AM OBSESSED WITH IT!  If you're addicted to Highlighting and Contouring (which I am, because I have a ridiculously round face...seriously, even at my thinnest I had a round face) this stuff is the best luminizer I've ever used.  It has a gorgeous color, it isn't glittery and it goes on so easily.  Love it so much.  Also, I use this Highlighting and Contouring technique from Maskcara, but I use different products because my skin tone is very light and acne prone.  If you're interested in learning about my makeup or skincare routine, let me know! 

POP! Vinyl Bobbleheads
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So, I talk about this is my "About Me" section, but I love the POP! Brand Vinyl Bobbleheads.  Seriously, it all started when my husband and I were dating.  We would go to Barnes and Noble for our dates all the time.  And one day when we were browsing I saw the most ADORABLE Princess Leia Bobblehead figurine.  Seriously, I was dying over it.  We didn't buy it, but I immediately looked up the brand and saw all of the adorable ones that they have!  Our first Christmas as newlyweds, my husband did get me the Princess Leia bobblehead and now we're slowly growing our collection.  Recently we got a limited edition Iron Man 3 one, which is awesome. 

Diet Dr. Pepper

This stuff has been my lifeblood the last few weeks.  Mainly because, rotating shifts mean no normal sleep pattern.  Meaning, caffeine is necessary.  And I HATE SUGARED SODAS.  Seriously, hate them.  They're way too sweet.  Plus, I grew up in a home where we never, ever, ever had sugared soda (my mom and dad are both diabetic, but it was a real blessing for me in the end).  It's so good!  However, I will admit I tried the whole "Dirty Diet Coke" thing that everyone has been so obsessed with...I don't get it.  I didn't like it at. all.  Blegh...

Thursday, October 10, 2013

third time will be the charm

P.S. I finally got my blonde back!  I love it so much, it's not even funny...

We have been super busy the last couple of weeks and I can't possible fathom all of my thoughts in one blog post ("My thoughts are stars I can't fathom into constellations"...John Green reference?  Anyone? Moving on...).  So, we'll start with Monday (September 23).  Later in the week, JD's little brother, Willy would be entering the LDS Missionary Training Center in Provo, UT and then report to Canada to serve a two year mission for the LDS church.  We intended to be with the family in Spanish Fork, UT on Monday night, then spend Tuesday and Wednesday "day" there before heading home on Wednesday evening.  JD was going to be working until noon on Monday, then we would head down to Spanish Fork, UT.

I'd been having some issues with my sinuses for a while now and was avoiding getting into an ENT until I was on my new insurance (because the $6,000 deductible my parent's had was not appealing).  So the week before our planned trip I called an ENT listed on my insurance who had great credentials.  They could get me in on Monday at 8:00 a.m., otherwise the next opening wasn't for a few weeks.  So, I took the Monday appointment even though my husband couldn't come to the appointment with me.  My mom graciously volunteered to take me to the appointment, then JD would bring our car and meet us in Salt Lake.

My appointment was with Dr. Alt at the University of Utah Hospital (P.S. if you live anywhere near there and have sinus issues GO TO THEM, they're awesome).  I had a CT Scan right before my appointment and then we walked over to the hospital clinic where the ENT clinic is.  After meeting with the nurse, then working with the doctor and his team of residents I learned that I am full of nasal polyps.  Again.

Since I was sixteen, I have had this surgery every two years.  Now I'm approaching 21 and having my third sinus surgery on December 20.  I was so upset.  I felt defeated, I wondered what was wrong with me, I wondered if there was something I wasn't doing to prevent them.  My doctor at the clinic was wonderful.  Even when I started getting teary finding out I had to go under the knife again, he was very comforting and supportive.  He is a professor at the University, he is performing tons of studies on why people get nasal polyps and what causes them for each individual case and (best of all) 95% of his patients haven't had to have the operation again.  So, I'm at least feeling confident this time around.

My husband was by my side the last time I had this surgery.  However, he was my just boyfriend back then and didn't have to deal with me 24/7.  So, this time around will probably be a bit of a shocker to him.  But, I have my fingers crossed that recovery will be smooth, we won't get any big surprises and all will be well.  I really do feel incredibly comfortable and confident in my new medical team.  They are caring, they are smart and they have cutting edge technology.  So, fingers crossed that we never have to do this again!

More installments of the last couple of week's shenanigans will be coming shortly.  Until then fellow bloggers!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

the book abuser and book preserver: a love story

(I couldn't find a picture on my phone of the hubs with a!)

My husband and I both love books.  We love reading, we love bookshelves, we love getting lost in stories.  We look forward to building a home with lots of bookshelves and teaching our children that amazing feeling of opening a book and having your universe changed.  It's a wonderful thing to have a spouse who also loves books.  However, when we first got married and were moving into my parent's unfinished basement apartment (the one we still live in, however we have more bookshelves now and better system) we were unpacking our books and my husband just about had a heart attack while going through my book boxes.  My books had dog eared corners, the spines were cracked, a few had covers taped onto the book.  He was pretty surprised when he exclaimed, "Do you not take care of your books?!"

I was pretty much shocked.  Seriously, didn't everyone's books look like that?!  How do you read a book without it getting worn?!  My thoughts were, "If you read a book over and over, it's going to wear.  But that's what makes it amazing!"  Yeah, JD thought a little differently.

At this point I was bound and determined to prove him wrong.  I said we should open up his book boxes and check out what terrible shape I was sure his novels would all be in.  Yeah...I was even more shocked when I found his books were in incredible shape.  No dog ears, no pages falling out, spines barely had cracks in them.  I couldn't believe what I was seeing.  "Do you ever even read these books?!" I blurted out.  His response was along the lines of, "Do you ever even care about the condition of your books?!"

To be honest, it took us a while to understand each of our book loving techniques.  I love to read and mark and love and devour every word to the point that the book looks nothing like when it was purchased.  I want to enjoy every little detail and mark and tab all of the pages and parts I enjoy.  JD loves to read and enjoy the books without ruining it.  He loves to preserve books, which is part of why we have so many antique books and are in pristine condition.  He sees books as invaluable and necessary to preserve for our someday children.

In life, you find that compromises are essential.  Whether it be with a professor, a spouse or a co-worker, sometimes you have to see that you won't always get your way.  Sorry to break that to you this way.  JD and I made a compromise that day.  I'm not as rough with books (Meaning I'm not dog ear-ing corners or ripping covers.  However, I still mark them and highlight because, duh), he's not as strict about his books (Meaning he won't have an aneurysm if there are highlighter marks or notes in the margins of our collection.  He now says it gives them "character," which really means he understands the saying, "happy wife, happy life.").  So, compromise makes life much easier.  Even over silly stuff.  Just an FYI for ya'll.

Peace out bloggers!

(Because I never got over the "peace out" thing that ended around 6th grade.  Deal with it.)

(P.S. This book = AWESOME!  Totally practical guide to just being a little bit happier.  I love it.  You should check it out.)

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

i hate my hands

Yeah, so I've always had a thing about my hands.  There's always one part of a woman's body that no matter how thin, thick, tan or pale they are, they still hate.  The hands are mine.  Even when I had that cute teenage body that I thought was fat (I'm angry at myself now for thinking that) my hands were just, bleh.

I was a nail polish addict.  Constantly buying up and finding new polishes.  Trying to paint my nails thinking somehow that would make them appear less childish and more womanly.  However, when I would get nervous I'd bite my poor little nails on my little hands down so far it wouldn't make a difference. 

Then I discovered something amazing: acrylic nails.  They were my life blood for a long time.  They made my hands look womanly, they gave me amazing confidence and they were just all around awesome.  I was a huge fan.  Then, I was getting ready to go to college and going and getting a set of acrylics all the time wasn't exactly cost effective on my limited budget.  So, the nails had to go...

Oh how I missed them.  However, last week my mom took me to a doctor's appointment in Salt Lake and afterwards decided we should get our nails done.  Especially after such a disappointing and upsetting appointment (more details on that later), I was thrilled with the prospect of a little pampering.  And, I'll tell you something...

I feel amazing. 

So, as I've talked about before, make sure to make time for yourself and do things that make you happy.  Even something as trivial as a set of acrylic nails can give you a whole new outlook on life. 

It also helped that I got my hair cut and colored later on in that week.  It was like icing on a very amazing cake.

Sorry that this post is just, blah...I've got a lot on my mind that I'll elaborate later.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

struggling is not failiure: as taught by elle woods

So, you may or may not have noticed but I kind of fell off the blogging-about-my-weight-loss bandwagon.  Mainly because, I've sucked at it the last little while.  I hit a plateau.  The pounds were  coming off and then suddenly they stopped.  My clothes were getting bigger (meaning I was getting smaller) but there were no major results showing on the scale.  And I was feeling like a failure.  I didn't want to blog about it because I felt like I failed my readers and myself. 

Still, there is one thing that will always make me happy and give me direction in life.  That is: Legally Blonde.  Seriously, Elle Woods is basically my role model.  After seeing that movie as a young'in I had a pull toward the law.  After graduating high school, I started out as a musical theatre major but eventually found my footing and passion for criminal justice.  Now I work in law enforcement, I'm seeking a business degree and hoping to attend law school at a later date in my life.  I'm a blonde (bottle blonde, I admit), I'm not your typical law enforcement official and sometimes I have to be a real a biz-natch to get respect in my profession.  Just like Elle, she had to go after what she wanted and stand up for herself to get it sometimes. 

So, in my latest struggle with weight loss I have found solace and words of wisdom from my home-girl and soul sister, Ms. Elle Woods. 

{one} Exercise will make you happier.  Even when you feel like it's going to suck so badly and you're going to hurt a LOT.  Exercise will boost your mood.  And make it so you don't want to shoot your husband.  Because I can almost guarantee that everyone feels there are time where you want to shoot your husband.

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{two} Some people will just never accept you for who you are.  And that's okay.  The most important thing you can do is be true to yourself and accept that you're good enough the way you are and find people who think you're perfect like you are.

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{three} Pink will always make you feel better.  Seriously, having a rough day?  Slap on some pink lipstick and pull yourself together, honey.  This is the exact reason I just got a pair of PINK workout shoes.  I have a whole new outlook on life.

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{four} Best friends are not only good to have, but necessary.  No matter what, they'll stick beside you and support you through it all.  So, don't fret.  Your best girls and guys have got your back.

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{five} Grab a good fashion/beauty/gossip magazine and relax for awhile.  You'll have a better outlook on your life afterwards.

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{six} Take good advice and forget the bad.  There will always be good and bad influences in your life.  It's up to you to listen to the good and leave the bad for someone else.

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{seven} Believe in yourself or no one else will.  Even when it's difficult to, take care of yourself and believe that you can make a difference.

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Sunday, September 22, 2013

femme is not fragile

So, as I've said before, I work for Wyoming Highway Patrol as a Port of Entry Officer.  I don't carry a gun but I work with Commercial Vehicle Enforcement.  Most days, I work alone or with one other person.  We're a 24/7 Port of Entry, so we have tons of shifts.  Meaning, we're "shift workers."  Which translates to, rotating shifts (two weeks of afternoon shifts, one week of day shifts, one week of graveyard shifts).  A vast majority of afternoon shifts and ALL graveyard shifts are one person shifts.  So we spend a lot of shifts alone.  The other night I had a group of truckers in the port while I was writing them overweight permits.  The men were talking among themselves while I worked and they kept commenting about how a "woman like me" shouldn't be left alone without a man here.  I heard this and it troubled me.  So I asked them what a "woman like me" meant.  Their comments were the following:

"A pretty, young woman."
"Someone so feminine."
"You're too beautiful to just be left alone."
"Oh come on, you wear nail polish, your hair is done up fancy and your face is made up.  You wouldn't stand a chance if a man attacked you."

So this begs the question, since when did being feminine translate into being fragile?

It is a common misconception that being feminine in the work place translates into being "unprofessional."  Which, to be frank, is a load of crap.  The Webster's Dictionary defines professionalism as: "the competence or skill expected of a professional."  Is there anything about the way you dress that is involved in this?  No?  That's what I thought.  Also, I've found in the professional settings I've worked in, my femininity is appreciated.  Employers like employees who take care of themselves.  Who look good for work, who give a good image to the company.  It's a definite pro to be feminine in the work place, at least in my experience.

For some reason there is a social stigma that being feminine means I am completely against the feminist movement.  Let me be very clear about this: Being feminine does NOT mean I am trying to appease misogynistic gender roles.  It means I genuinely like to look pretty.  I believe that the government shouldn't be allowed to make decisions for me just because I have uterus.  I believe that we all deserve to have a fair shot at getting paid the same amount for the same job.  I believe that women's rights matter.  Not because I am some man hating woman how likes to burn my bras in my spare time.  It is because I am a feminine woman who happens to care a great deal about making my own decisions and earning a fair living.

Another is that because I am feminine, I have no idea how to be an "independent woman."  Guess what, I am probably the most fiercely independent woman you'll ever meet.  I love being married, I love my husband and I believe that we complement each other perfectly.  However, I don't believe that we "complete each other." The idea that you are not a whole person without someone else is ridiculous.  Of course you're an entire person with certain thoughts, ideals and ambitions.  You are that person regardless of if the other person is there.  Femininity does not mean lack of independence.  
Relating to the point previous, being feminine not only signifies that you're completely dependent on someone else, but also gives the impression of weakness.  For some reason, because I like to dress nice and put on make up, I am seen as weak.  In a society formerly dominated by misogynists and with some still promoting the male dominance today, women are fighting the battle of showing that we are not the "weaker sex."  At work, I have had drivers threaten me.  I have had people call me expletives.  I've had drivers hit on me.  However, I've still been able to hold my ground.  Just because I like to look pretty, DOES NOT mean I am weak.  When drivers belittle me or threaten me, I stand up for myself and tell them to get out of my building before I get a trooper to make an arrest.  When they hit on me, I tell them to back off because I'm married (also, even if I wasn't married I'd probably lie and say I was...because yeah, not interested).  I am a strong woman.  I don't feel the need to be bullied by anyone, regardless of gender.

So, let this be a lesson to you.  Femininity has nothing to do with personality traits, job performance or dependence on men.  Femininity has to do with loving your female gender identity.  Femininity has to do with liking to use make up.  Femininity has to do with liking to wear dresses or looking pretty.  I'm sorry that because I wear makeup there are societal assumptions made about me.  I'm sorry if it makes you uncomfortable that I can wear nail polish and also stand up for myself at the same time.  

Also, I'm sorry this became a much longer post than I intended. And I'm sorry if you feel this is preachy or weird.  I just have strong feelings about how I should be treated, regardless of how I look. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

the elusive honeymoon phase

So, a few nights ago I got to have a nice conversation with one of my best friends.  We're tight and kind of the classic opposites attract friendship.  I love it.  Emma often is caught saying "Why do I have a friend that is so girly?!"  She loves me, it's all good.  :)

Anyways, we got to chatting about our lives, our husbands and all of the other things going on.  Somehow we started talking about the "honeymoon" phase that everyone always asks newlyweds about.  Emma was married in December, so she's often asked about these things each day also.  People are always asking me, "So, have you left the honeymoon phase yet?"

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I've never understood this elusive honeymoon phase people speak of.  I mean, is there really a period of time when literally EVERYTHING your husband does is adorable?  Because, I can name a lot of things my husband does that are absolutely not adorable.  Example: Hanging his pants on our over the door towel hooks.  Seriously, not a big deal (better than on the floor) but just drives me bananas.  Just put them in the hamper!

I think part of the joy of marriage is seeing that not everyday is a fairy tale.  Marriage involves a lot of hard work from two people who have to be completely and totally dedicated to preserving and protecting and nourishing that marriage every. single. day.  Now, I'm not trying to scare my single friends out of getting hitched with such a bold statement, I say it because it's true.

Marriage isn't always sunshine and lollipops.  While dating, I thought that marriage would be a piece of cake.  We dated for almost two years, we'd been friends for five years.  We knew each other pretty darn well. However, when you are actually with someone 24/7, living with them, being with them and having nearly no separation time, it's a totally different thing.  You find out little idiosyncrasies, you learn that they have habits that annoy you and you see that neither of you are totally perfect.

However, I also find myself hopelessly and disgustingly in love with my cute husband.  There are days and times when I just think how lucky I am, how good it feels in his arms, how I still get little butterflies when he kisses me.  (I know, it's so adorable you could puke)  So, this all begs the question, What really is the honeymoon phase?

To me, I find moments of the honeymoon phase every day.  One morning a few weeks ago I was super annoyed with JD.  I was just getting back to work, JD had a day off and I came home and there was a new little mess from him eating lunch in the living room.  We had a little argument about it, he cleaned it up and I was just annoyed.  After he was done cleaning he came into our room and cuddled up close to me.  He held me, kissed my forehead and told me he loved me.  I was just so overcome with love at that moment that all of the frustration I had earlier just swept away.  That was a honeymoon moment. 

My point is this, the honeymoon phase doesn't have to end after you've been married a certain amount of years.  Honeymoon joy and love can be found each and everyday.  Even on days when you just want to put your face in a pillow and scream.  Believe me, I've done it.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

7 habits of {not very} effective people

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**This post was inspired by one of my husband's all time favorite books is The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey (thank you Grandpa Hoffman for giving that boy good literature that helped make him a good man).  **

Everyday at work I meet some wonderful people.  Seriously, truck drivers are some of the most interesting people you'll ever come across.  However, I also meet people who make me wonder how they're still alive.  Not only does this happen at work, but pretty much everywhere.  The grocery store, the post office, my Facebook news feed, etc.  I mean, really, how do some of these people make it in life?  They clearly are not exhibiting the habits of highly effective people, but are exhibiting the habits of NOT VERY effective people.

Now I want to help out those who read my blog from making the same mistakes I see people make all the time (and mistakes I may have made a time or twenty).  Here's what NOT to do, ever...ever, ever, ever if you want to be an highly effective person (or just be taken seriously in life).

1. Post vague Facebook statuses about "him/her" "not understanding" or "not loving" or whatever the heck else.

I mean, really, I have no idea who "they" are.  I don't care to know about the problems in your personal life.  Honestly, you're probably my friend on Facebook for one of three reasons 1. We're actually friends and I honestly love you and care about you, 2. I need to see what people I went to high school with are doing or not doing with their lives now, or 3. You have really cute babies or animals that I love seeing pictures of.

2. Gossip about people.

Honestly, I just get annoyed when people talk behind other people's backs.  If you have a problem, just tell the person.  At least if that's me.  And those that spread the gossip that other's say, just get a life.  I don't care if so and so thinks my hair looks funny.  And I think you're silly for telling me they said that.  Honestly, who gives a rat's behind?

3. Pretend to be stupid.

This annoys the heck out of me, especially when women do this.  When did intelligence become something that makes us unattractive?  Seriously, educate yourselves and don't "pretend" you don't know things.  It's a good thing to have knowledge!  It shouldn't be treated like some weird thing that will surely prevent you from ever landing a man.

4. Paging Dr. Facebook.

I understand that you might not know what some bite really is or why your children's barf is blue.  However, I don't want to see pictures of it, hear about the nasty symptoms or anything of that nature.  If you really have a medical question, look it up on WebMD like the rest of us...and, always CONTACT YOUR REAL DOCTOR!

5. Staring.

This is one of my absolute biggest pet peeves EVER.  I hate when people stare at anyone for any reason.  I get on my husband about this all the time, because he has stare-itis or something.  He stares at things all the time and it annoys me to death.  So yeah, I don't care how weird you think something or someone is, DON'T STARE!

6. Need to tell you how to do things.

No, woman at the super market I am sure you know that Diet Coke will eventually kill me and give me cancer.  It's staying in my cart, but thanks. 

7.  Being unkind.

I will never understand people who are just hateful when they meet people.  Honestly, everyone is having a difficult trial that we don't understand.  Everyone struggles with something.  Why make it more difficult on them by being so mean?  Regardless of the circumstances a person is in, we're all in this together.  Why not make the journey of life easier for someone rather than make it more difficult? 

**Disclaimer: I have had this post sitting in my drafts thinking it was too harsh and that I'd read it later.  I read through it today and didn't change one thing.  Sometimes, you just have to let your feelings get out there I guess**

Thursday, September 12, 2013

back at it

Well, I am both happy/sad to report I am back at work again.  On Saturday we opened the Port back up after they painted and gave us new flooring.  Then they tried to replace our windows, and the bricks holding the building together started crumbling.  So, we'll see how long this lasts before they have us out again. 

You know, I absolutely love my job.  And I feel very lucky to be able to say that.  Not very many people can say they love going to work.  However, I really do.  It's exciting to learn about how interstate commerce works.  It's exciting learning about all of the laws for my state.  It's interesting and different everyday.  I love it.

However, it's still a bittersweet thing.  Namely, I now have no time with my husband.  I do shift work, JD works Wednesday through Saturday.  I have two weeks of swings (afternoon shifts), then a week of days and a week of graveyard shifts.  When I was on administrative leave, I was able to spend all of my husband's days off with him.  Now, we only have a few coinciding days off, so time spent together is in short supply. 

Last night was one of the few nights we have together, so we rented a movie and grabbed some dinner to have an impromptu date night.  While we laid on the couch watching Now You See Me (husband's choice for the rental wasn't bad!) I just felt so peaceful.  Neither of us were rushing to work, doing homework or anything else.  We were just able to be together with no demands.  It was lovely and perfect.  I longed to have more moments like that, but unfortunately  that's not possible.  Oh well, working means that we'll treasure these little moments more.

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Us Circa June 2013 on our anniversary escapade

Sunday, September 8, 2013

treat yo' self

I feel like I sometimes harp on this a lot, but SELF CARE IS SO IMPORTANT!  Perhaps I harp on this particular thing because for so many years I neglected taking care of myself.  I constantly and consistently put others needs before my own because of my low self esteem (that's another topic for another day)  And it worked for a while, until I finally had a nervous breakdown.  I couldn't do it anymore and I realized that I needed to come first. 

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Now, I know so many people who feel like putting themselves first is kind of selfish.  They say that we're supposed to be selfless and serve other people with everything we have.  While I do believe this is true, how are we expected to care for other people when we can't take care of ourselves?  Shouldn't our top priority be ensuring we are in tip-top shape to handle life around us?

I know some people who think "If I am dressed and eat food, I'm caring for myself.  Yay me!"  WRONG-O.  While those are aspects of self-care, there is SO much more to the mix than just the essentials for living.  There's a lot of work that goes into having a perfectly aligned and healthy mind, body and spirit.  So, how do you do it? 

I'm not about to tell you exactly "how" you should take care of yourself.  Because, it's YOU.  You know you better than anyone else, so you know what steps are needed to take care of you.  (wow, it took such strength for me to type "you" that many times in a row)  Find a routine or care plan that works best for your situation and your body.  I'll share with you how I try to find moments in the day to take care of myself.  Often, I have to CONSCIOUSLY find times in the day to ensure I'm caring for myself and take time to do so. 

I try to dedicate at least 30 mins of "loving movement."  That term is from Fly Lady and I absolutely love it. Loving movement is essentially, exercise.  If I think of it as "exercise" I don't want to do it almost instantly.  However, exercise really is loving movement for your body.  It's doing physical activity to strengthen your body and make you feel good (even though you may not think you feel super good during the work out).  And it is so important for your body to move it!

Another thing I find super important to completely clear your mind.  I try to find time during the day to pray, read and meditate to find a spiritual center.  This probably sounds really strange and hippy-ish to a lot of you, but I think it's super important to find a way to clear your mind of stress.  You can walk the dog, listen to music, take a nap, find whatever works for you.  That's just the method I use to completely and totally clear my mind for a couple of minutes. 

Monthly I try to do something specifically for myself.  Maybe getting a massage, maybe getting a pedicure, maybe getting a manicure, maybe getting my hair dyed, maybe go shopping.  Whatever makes you feel good about yourself.  Take time to do it.  Treating yourself makes all of the difference in your mood.  Find something that makes you feel good and do it. 

I've seen this quote around pinterest and even on my little sister-in-law's twitter, it's easily become one of my favorites. 
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So, make sure you take care of yourself, love yourself, be happy and don't forget to treat yo' self in the coming week. 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

currently i'm...

Listening: to my husband playing Halo 4.  I will never truly understand the intrigue.  However, I do love playing Lego Harry Potter on the Xbox.  I will own you at years 1-4, I have yet to beat 5-7...

Loving: having the turtles back in our living room.  I don't think I've mentioned this before, but we have two little red-eared slider turtles.  Their names are Jimmy and Minnie.  We've had them for a little over a year.  They're lake turtles, so they love water, but also need space to bask on a rock.  We've had them in our bathroom for awhile, but I wanted more counter space.  It's nice having them out here.  I love sitting and watching them.  They're SO funny! 

There's Jimmy, in all of his rock climbing glory.  See the little thing that looks like a rock underneath in the shadow?  That's Minnie.  She's the shy baby turt.

Thinking: We drink a lot of Sunny D.  Really, We just bought a thing of it (I don't know what to call the bottle that doesn't have a handle, because a "jug" has a jug?  Maybe I'll come up with that word and patent it and make millions.  Oh yes...) two days ago.  It was gone by today.  So I bought two more at the store.  The hubs has already drunk half of it. 

Wanting: my lovely package from Sephora to arrive.  Yeah, Sephora had a sale.  And I live 2 1/2 hours away from the nearest store.  So I went online and purchased some of the lovelies available.  I'm a beauty product hoarder.  I love to try EVERYTHING!  So, I got a few old favorites and couple new tryout items.  P.S. I've heard AMAZING things about Benefit Cosmetic's Watts Up.  I ordered one, I'll let you know if it is as cool as it looks.

Making: a baby quilt for my friend...who's baby is already 2 months old.  Yeah, it'll be done before she's too big for it.  Promise. 

Wearing: Jammies, my wedding ring and my Tiffany ring.  It's this ring here.  Simple, no diamonds or anything.  But I love how dainty it is and the fact it is my first ever Tiffany's piece.  Perhaps someday I'll add something else to my jewelry collection from Tiffany's...maybe I'll even step it up. ;)

Sorry for the lack of creativity today.  It's been a much busier day than I expected.

Monday, September 2, 2013

i'm not cut out to be a housewife

For the last two weeks, I've been on administrative leave from work.  And, currently the leave is indefinite.  Black mold was found at our Port of Entry, so we all were forced to vacate the building and make doctor's appointments.  The state has yet to decide what they are going to do (i.e. bring out an office trailer for us to work from or just keep us on leave until the building is up to code) so we're all getting paid to be at home.

I don't have any children, so you're probably thinking "What a sweet deal, Megs!  (You call me Megs, because we're tight, yo) You're so lucky!  Staying at home without any kids to take care of."  Hahahahahaha, you're hilarious.  Because...I am really not a huge fan of this whole "housewife" thing. 

I have an impulsive need to be productive.  So, I've been going through things, organizing things, cleaning everything in sight.  I HATE CLEANING!  What is happening to me?!  I've been cooking dinners, which is actually super relaxing for me.  I love to cook and make good food, but then I am actually around to have to CLEAN UP THE KITCHEN!

Here's the thing, I have a compulsion to keep myself busy...all the time.  It's one of those lovely traits from my amazing mommy.  So, in not going to work daily, I've been trying to find other ways to busy myself.  I've cleaned, organized, cooked, prepped, done a million things that are TOTALLY out of character for me.  And, newsflash, I don't like it.

I don't mind cleaning, but it sure isn't my favorite thing.  My favorite type of cleaning it tidying up on one of my days off and always keeping the bathroom immaculate (I have a thing about the bathrooms being spotless at all times....I'm weird, I know....).  However, being home and around all of the little projects I have just been working on each of them.  And it is killing me.  I'm more exhausted than ever, I'm feeling like I constantly am not doing enough, and I'm getting really antsy being around the house all day. 

Seriously, stay-at-home mama friends, I have no idea how you do this.  I'm exhausted, tired and worn out...and my only child is a black Labrador that spends most of his summer days outside.  I've got a lot of respect for all of your stay and home moms who work so hard every day.  I, personally, cannot WAIT to get back to my job.