Saturday, December 17, 2011

Owl Babies

As requested from sweet little Rachel, here are a couple pics of those owls that kept me up all night. Silly little things. B chose a pink one to keep, and sold the rest (for fake money) as part of a third grade project. There's a little tutorial here (yes, I know hers are WAY cuter than mine) if you would love to make your own owls. I would suggest not trying to make 11 in one night. They are a wee bit more time consuming than they look!

And, yes, I know how important sleep is. I am a much calmer, sweeter, spontaneous dance party type of mama when I have had my fair share of shut eye. Without it, I am a little slower, crankier, 'please go watch a show so I can rest for 15 minutes' type of mama. But every once in seems like every lots in awhile...something requires my staying up past my bedtime to finish. Maybe the number 1 item on my 2012 goals list needs to be: GO TO BED!

But, not until January. There's simply too much to do for Christmas to spend my time sleeping!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Tired Prayer

Life this week has been a little bit on the insane side. I will have to fill you in on all of it in a few days when things {fingers crossed} calm down a bit.
For now, I will simply admit that some days, my prayers are more real than others. Today is one of those days. It was not a kneeling on the ground, head bowed, pouring my heart out kind of prayer, but an out loud, while driving, with maybe just a few tears threatening to fall from my tired little eyes type of prayer.
"Please help me to stay awake and not crash and not hurt my sweet baby boys as I drive them to swim practice, since I'm so crazy tired because I was up til four in the morning making those crazy owl ornaments for B's Product Fair at school that were due this morning; and I'm kind of freaking out because I didn't get to work on the things I was planning to for the church party I'm in charge of tomorrow, or the t-shirt project for the PTA that is also due tomorrow, since I was sewing, and stuffing, and cursing those blasted owls instead.
And thank you for caffeine. Amen."

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Oh, Christmas Tree

I have nothing against fake Christmas trees, well, I take that back…I have nothing against the people who own fake Christmas trees. Some of my favorite people in the whole, wide world decorate and gather round absolutely gorgeous counterfeit foliage every Christmas.
I, on the other hand, just can’t do it.
Every year as my sweetie and I snuggle up to trudge through the Black Friday ads, he elbows my side over every single plastic tree deal. You see, this is one of those little things in our marriage that we will never, ever agree on. He dreads chopping down our own Christmas tree every year, and I happen to love it. Seriously. I love getting bundled up, donning my little ones in hats and mittens and setting out on an adventure to search for our tree amidst a forest of hundreds. I love that our trees have great character. They are not pretty, in the eyes of most. They are weathered and sparse, and sometimes have two trunks, and sometimes have to be balanced by a ten pound dumbbell duct-taped to one side to keep them from toppling over {true story}, but they are beyond beautiful to me.
They exude character and life and contain a uniqueness all their own.
We came to a compromise a few years back, after a particularly disastrous year of little girls stuck in snowdrifts up to their chests in the middle of the Pike National Forest. Now, we visit the Merry Christmas Tree Farm up the road. There is no more hiking through 18 inches of snow in the National Forest, but we still get to peruse acres of forest land scattered with 6500 Scotch Pine, find our {im}perfect tree, and cut it down ourselves.
It’s still not a flawless system. This year, our four year old boy had a meltdown in the toe-numbing cold. I ended up trekking him and baby brother back to the car while Dad & the girls sawed down the tree - but we made lots of memories, and have a beautiful Charlie Brown tree to show for it. A tree that upon most first impressions, receives the reaction: “Oh…{silence}…did you cut that down yourselves?”

To which I always respond, “Yes, and I love it!”
And I do. I love the tree. But more, I love what it represents. That one little tree, standing in my living room represents more than just family time, and the onset of the Christmas season, and eternal life which the evergreen branches symbolize…my imperfect tree also reminds me that while others may see it as damaged or flawed, I see it’s simple beauty, it’s strength, and it’s majesty. I am not perfect. I am going to go out on a limb and guess that you are not perfect…but we have a Savior who sees our simple beauty, our strength, our majesty. We can rise to our great potential which He sees within us, or we can become what everybody else sees on the outside.
My little cockeyed tree helps me remember those precious things every year. I would say those thoughts of encouragement and divinity are worth the chapped cheeks, the occasional boot stuck in the snow, and the vacuum full of pine needles. So sorry sweetheart…I think I’m winning this one!

Monday, December 5, 2011

And the Winner Is...


Woohoo! I hope you are jumping for joy! It was super scientific. I wrote all of your names on slips of paper, threw them in a bowl, and the first one I picked out was Melanie.

So congrats to you! You win one professionally printed and mounted {on foam core board} 11x14" print of this darling, if I do say so myself, Christmas Cheer design: And bless you to ALL of my new followers! So happy to have you! If you would really love to have the same mounted print that Melanie just won - you can purchase it from my etsy site:

Congrats again Melanie, and THANK YOU to all who entered. It brings me cheer to see your smiling faces on my sidebar!

Lots of love,


P.S. Melanie! For some crazy reason, I can't send you a message over Google Friend, if you would kindly send your mailing address to , I will send you your prize! Thank you!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Candy Cane Mountains Recipe

I am not a food blogger. Nor do I have a fancy camera to take adorable pictures of food with. ~Though I have a sneaky suspicion Santa may have stayed up all night on Black Friday to snatch up a good deal on the next step up from our mini point and shoot. And I have a sneaky suspicion that Santa might tell you all about that night on the town in a later post. Keep your fingers crossed!

So a little distracted there. Back to the matter at hand.

I may not blog about food. But I happen to love it. I consume it daily, and I like it to taste good. I am particularly fond of baked goods. Homemade dinner rolls fresh from the oven, cinnamon rolls, cookies, pies~you know, all of the delicious carbs. Love them. Love them all!

As mentioned in the previous post, I had the good fortune of attending two, yes, two cookie exchanges this weekend. I was planning on being super savy and bringing different treats to each one, but it just didn't happen. A little thing called life with four kids who needed their mom outside of the kitchen happened instead. However, I found/tweaked/combined two recipes to create what I am calling Candy Cane Mountains. And let me tell you, they are di.vine. Maybe even my new favorite Christmas cookie. So, in the end, I was pleased as punch to present these at both parties. And I thought, maybe, just maybe, you might be looking for a new favorite Christmas cookie too. So here it is. Please, look past the point & click pic, and just know that these little sweets are beautiful on the inside. Enjoy!
1 C. butter, softened
1/4 C. packed brown sugar
1 egg
a/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 C. flour
1/4 tsp salt

1. Preheat oven to 320 degrees. Grease cookie sheets
2. Separate egg,. (you will only use yolk)
3. Cream butter, sugar, and egg yolk
4. Add vanilla, flour and salt, mixing well.
5. Shape dough into balls.
6. Place on cookie sheets about 2 inches apart, bake for 5 minutes.
7. Remove cookies from oven. With thumb, dent each cookie. Bake for another 8 minutes.

Let cool.. Then fill with filling

1/4 C. softened butter
1/4 tsp. peppermint extract.
1 1/2 C powdered sugar.

In a medium mixing bowl, beat butter, with electric mixer on high for 1 minute. Beat in peppermint extract. Gradually beat in powdered sugar. Beat for another 1 minute on high.

Top with Peppermint Crunch Baking Chips. {aka: Heaven in a bag}Share with neighbors, friends, your children, your childrens' teachers, or hide them all in your cupboard and keep them for yourself. They are just that yummy.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Christmas Cheer GIVEAWAY

Get your popcorn ready people, it's time for SimplyCumorah's first ever Giveaway!
Simply click on the "Join This Site" button in the right column under FOLLOWERS, and you are entered to win a high quality 11x14" print {mounted on white foamcore board} of this cheer inducing, ORIGINAL design:
I will give away one mounted print for every 100 followers. And yes, to you little doves who have joined previous to this post ~ you are already entered! Woohoo! I know you are squealing with excitement right now! Good luck!

The winners will be chosen at random, and will be contacted via the Google Friend Connect 'Send a Message' button. Your names will also be listed here, in a contest winner post on Monday evening. So start following, start spreading a little Christmas cheer ~ yep, that's right, I expect you to run out and sing loud for all to hear right this second, unless it will get you fired, then wait to you leave the office to belt out that holiday magic that is within you~ and check back here Monday night to see if you are a winner! {No intent on inferring that you are not currently a winner in this grand thing called life...I am CERTAIN you are. I mean, if Charlie Sheen is WiNnInG, who isn't?}

Have a fabulous weekend! Mine is set to be chalk full of all things Christmas: Cutting down a *fingers crossed* Charlie Brown Christmas tree {the scragglier the better in my book}, baking for two cookie exchanges, singing in a choir, and attending a live Nativity in the rosy-cheeked, nose frosting cold with my sweetie and our little ones.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Pinterest and a Turkey Sandwich

Can I just tell you a little secret? I love Pinterest. But that's not the secret. I'm pretty sure everyone I know loves Pinterest. The real secret is that whilst perusing all of the beauty, the hilarity, the creativity, the gorgeous professional photography in, I sometimes start to feel a tinsy bit small. I start to feel the way I did my first week at BYU.

I had just graduated highschool three weeks earlier, with a two digit graduating class in a town of 1800 people. I knew how to conjugate a sentence, and I had all of my teeth. I was kind of on top of the world there. {I love you John Day. I really, truly do.}

It was quite a shock for me to be thrown into a world where everyone was pretty. Where everyone was intelligent. Where everyone was gifted and extremely talented. Where, it seemed, everyone could do all of the unique things that made me, me...even better than I could. It only took a couple days for me to realize that my pedastal looked more like a rickety three legged step stool among that crowd.

After reeling in new found self-sorrow for one full week, I was asked to serve as the Relief Society President of my dorm ward. While I fully understand now, that serving in that role in a student ward requires not even a smidgen of the time, effort and soul that it takes in a real ward, at the time, I felt a little overwhelmed. In part, because I wasn't really sure what a RS president did. I had, after all, only attended RS three times before I left home. But also because I thought there were several other girls who seemed better equipped to play that part. While serving, I quickly learned that what my sisters needed most, was just to know that someone knew them. Like me, most of the girls in my dorm were feeling a little lost, a little overshadowed ~and simply to know that someone knew their name, and cared about them made an enormous difference. I wasn't the prettiest, the smartest, the funniest, the most talented or the best dressed...but I was blessed to remember every single one of those girls' names and where they were from, and I got to know, truly, who most of them were. I couldn't recite any of those things for you today... but it made a difference at the time. And I mattered. What I did was important.

So after browsing Pinterest and beginning to seriously doubt my own abilities in comparison...I find the need to take a step back and remember who I am trying to make a difference for at this time in my life. Who do I matter to today? What have I done that is important - today? Often, my answers for those questions are: my babies. my husband. my close friends. And usually, the most important things I've done during the day are not writing or designing. They are usually mom things, like making a home lunch for my third grader, even though we were way behind schedule, because she was convinced she had a field trip today and needed to bring lunch to eat on the bus on the way there, and was panicking more with every breath that I might not have time to throw together a meal for her, even though I was 100% positive she was wrong, and knew with certainty that she would be in school, all day, and dining in the cafeteria ~ but instead of pointing this out to her and shooing her out the door like I felt inclined to do, I kissed her on the head, whipped together a lunch complete with oreos for dessert, and told her to call me from school if there really was a field trip form that I needed to rush to the office to fill out, but to not be disappointed if somehow she didn't end up on a special outing. That was important today. I mattered to her today. I made a home lunch, and I listened.
Those were my big accomplishments of the day. I can't really pin that achievement for everyone to like or repin. I didn't take a breathtaking picture of the turkey sandwich I made to go with this story. But, that doesn't matter. I am kind of a big deal inside my own home...and that's where it counts.

The end.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Happiness Makeover

More than anything in the world, I want my children to be happy.
I have four of them. And may I assure you, there are plenty of times when they are cranky, fussy, tired, feisty, crabby, onery, sassy, and sometimes, even downright angry. But underneath all of that, they are happy little souls ~ and I hope to high heavens that they stay that way forever.
On the days when I'm really, seriously working at being an awesome mom, I try to do things that will help them learn how to be truly happy in spite of the inevitable trials that will come their way.
On the days that I am just surving as a mama, I give them a sucker, wipe their tears and send them on their way.
I must have been in good mom mode when I re-vamped my little girls' bathroom, because I took the time to create this poster which, to me, exudes true joy. I think so much happiness comes from looking for good, being confident enough in yourself to be able to build others up, and knowing your divinity.
Now, everytime my little ladies brush their teeth, get their hair done, chill on the pot or hop in the shower, they read Audrey's sweet words.
Every girl needs to be reminded of these things. Even grown up girls.

*Print it. *Pin it. *Share it. Just remember the rules:

*{Give me credit for the design~thank you very much~link people back to this site to view, and, pretty please, do not use it in any way to make money. Following the rules will keep smiles on all of our beautiful lips!}

Monday, November 28, 2011

Smiling's My Favorite

Just because smiling melts hearts.

And just because I can't believe there are less than 30 days until Christmas.

And just because I'm having a slight panic attack right this second about that fact...

I have decided to give you an early Christmas present. Giving helps calm me down. And giving early...well, that makes me feel oh so accomplished!

Print it*. Pin it*. Share it*.

*{Just give me credit for the design~thank you very much~link people back to this site to view, and, pretty please, do not use it in any way to make money. Following the rules will keep everybody smiling!}

Merry Early {only by 26 days, yipes!} Christmas!

I hope smiling's your favorite too. :)

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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Forecasts & Focus

Today was a lovely day in Colorado. The sun was shining. The sky was blue. My kids ran, sang, and jumped outside in the seventy plus degree weather. All was right with the world. Yet, for tomorrow, the forecast shows snow, and a high of 32 degrees.

Today, while being the sort of gorgeous day that is meant to be spent out of doors…was also my weekly grocery shopping day. I made my long list, checked it twice {and good thing, I almost forgot pumpkin puree. Tragedy avoided!} and ran along to the store. I’m pretty sure I was humming Mary Poppins’ It’s a Jolly Holiday as I jaunted through the parking lot. It wasn’t until I walked in the doors of that large and spacious building that I noticed how completely packed the place was. You would have thought it was the Saturday before Christmas. Carts zoomed past filled to the brim with toilet paper and fresh fruit, water jugs and granola bars, flashlights and chewing gum. I packed my cart with every last item from my carefully crafted list, and when the checker asked me “So, you stocking up for the big storm tomorrow?”, I finally realized why the store was so crowded.

May I remind you that Coloradans are used to the snow. We live for the beautiful, calm, warm days before the storm…but are also well acquainted with the discomforts a blizzard brings. I don’t believe these shoppers were panicked, thinking they’d be stuck in their home for days, and so they’d best stock up on the essentials. I do believe that they had been warned. They had been told a storm was-a-comin’, and they simply didn’t want to be trekking to the market in freezing conditions to pick up the items they could have retrieved on a beautiful day like today. They were warned, so they went and prepared themselves for the worst to come.

Don’t you fret. This is not a lesson on emergency preparedness and food storage. I am way, way, way behind in that department, so I’m not even going to pretend to preach about that. This experience today did, however, get me thinking about how I should be prepping for the inevitable storms in my life. I think if I had a weeklong forecast of everything that was going to happen to me or my family, I could be fairly well equipped to tackle it all. But, in reality, no skinny little weather man in an ill-fitting suit is going to show up on my doorstep to predict the stinky things that will happen that day. He will not be there to tell me that someone will hurt my little feelings in a misunderstanding, or that my car will require costly repairs after breaking down on the way home from the airport, or that someone I cherish will decide to turn away from our shared beliefs, or that my little sweetie will need to be picked up from school early since he puked all over the snack table. The weather man will not be there to warn me about these misgivings, misfortunes, and heartbreaks, but I can be prepared to handle them all the same.

Life is full of unexpected, sometimes disheartening, sometimes tragic events. How can I be prepared to face the inevitable? By being steadfast and immovable in my convictions of who I am, who I love, what I believe, and what my purpose in life is. I find that understanding and pinpointing these four foundations brings such clarity in the face of uncertainty.

In short: I am a mom. A daughter of God. A lover. A wife. A friend.

I love my husband, my children, my family, my close friends, my God.

I believe in God - the Eternal Father, and that His son, Jesus Christ lived and died for me. I believe I will be reacquainted with them and my family & friends in a life after this.

I believe that my purposes in life are to teach; to share joy; and to bring light to everyone I can.

These are the things that are important to me. These are the things I will remain focused on when things don’t quite go my way. Continual focus is one little way I can prepare for the tempests in life that will most certainly come.

What things are important to you? What are your loves, beliefs, and purposes? What is your focus today?

On the sunny days and the stormy days…these things are a constant. Now get out there, and go fill up your cart with love, belief, understanding and passion…because you never know what tomorrow’s forecast holds!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Life Lessons Learned at the Gym, Part 1

I do not, in general, love to exercise. Despite this, I unerstand that I need exercise. I need the clarity it brings to my otherwise fuzzy brain. I need the time to take a few deep breaths in, and remind myself how beautiful life is {even on days when all I've done is clean up poop & 28 cups of spilled juice, and the kids who created the poop & spills}. I need the strength it gives me to run and play with the above mentioned poopers and spillers, and I want to not be quite so jiggly in a, I peel myself away from my life once a day {minus Sundays} to dance, strength train, or run {actually, run is a really strong word – I am a jogger at best!} I have FINALLY after years of searching found a form of exercise that I actually, truly enjoy, while I am doing it. I’m not going to tell you about it yet…but I’ll give you a little hint: it starts with a Z and ends with umba. I had some major life epiphanies while shaking it with a bunch of sweaty ladies a few weeks ago, and will tell you all about it {aren’t you excited?!} in my next segment of “Life Lessons Learned at the Gym”.

But for today, here’s a little flashback of insight I gained last year between fastpaced sets of mountain climbers and lunges:

Every week, the masses flock to the Lori's Ultimate Conditioning class. We line up in the hallway awaiting the moment we can make a mad dash to set up our station with weights, a mat, a step, a band, a medicine ball if the workout requires it that day... And then chat until Lori takes her place at the front of the class. She steps up with her spikey hair, itsy bitsy shorts, and rippled physique ready to push us to our limits. {I'm pretty sure we all attempt to do exactly what she says, hoping that someday, our bodies might, in the slightest, resemble hers.}

Every week, it's a new workout. Something totally different. Always taxing. Always sweat inducing. Always high intensity. And always exactly what we needed. During the class, Lori will instruct us over, and over again that quality is more important than quantity. She constantly coaches us that, if we can

"only get 5 of the 8 reps in, but those five are awesome -- then great! I'd rather have you do five right, then 8 that are crap. Don't worry about what your neighbor is going to think if you can't do them all - because TRUST ME - they don't care what you're doing, they're too busy worrying about what they're doing!"

I've heard this every week for the last four months, and the magnitude of it just hit me yesterday. It's soooo true! How often do we try to do it all - just because we're worried about what people will think if we don't? How often do we think that every move we make, is being scrutinized by others, who really, truthfully, honestly, don't care nearly as much as we think they do.

The world really doesn't revolve around us. Our world might, but the rest of the world does not revolve around our mis-matched children, our shortcomings, our failures. I think I've spent a lot of my life fretting, worrying, and aiming to impress, when really, the only person who cares, or who is affected, is me. I am finally happy, fulfilled and excited about living my “five-rep” life! I am giving it my all, enjoying my story, and reveling in the beauty of my five reps instead of beating myself up over missing the last three.

So, the moral of Lori’s life lesson is to: Live your life - FOR YOU! For your kids, for your husband - for the people who matter in YOUR life... and not for the people you think are watching, or judging, or scrutinizing. They're too busy trying to live their life to really care.
Have a fabulous, fret-free day!

And thanks to Lori for the sore muscles, and the validation to live my "five-rep" life!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Roadside Oasis for the Soul

I grew up in a car-trip loving family. All nine of us would pile into the family station wagon and drive all over the west. Back in my day, we didn’t have DVD players in the car. We didn’t have iPods or iPads or DS’s. But, we did have an in dash cassette player, and we sang. And sang. And sang.
My dad taught us old school folk & country songs, like “Dead Skunk in the Middle of the Road”, “Ole Slew Foot” and “Home Grown Tomatoes”. I learned a lot of great life lessons through those songs, like the fact that: But, he also taught us gospel songs, some obscure, like “Dropkick me Jesus Through the Goalposts of Life” and other, more well known songs.
On one of our trips through rural Oregon, in the middle of nowhere, several of us kids needed to make a pitstop. And there, like a desert oasis was a small shack, boasting a neon lighted “Open” sign. When we walked through the door, we realized this building served as the post office by day, and the local Tavern by night. We were there at night. This place was full of haggard, mangy bearded men, who wore bandanas atop their heads, and beat up leather vests. The ladies looked just as weathered – but without the beards.
They graciously let us use the facilities. And because we wouldn’t be purchasing anything from behind the bar…in a Partridge Family style moment, we thought the best payment to give them would be a song. So, my sisters, dad and I lined up in front of the bar, looked out at this tough crowd, and belted out Swing Lo, Sweet Chariot. As we finished our little rendition, that group rose to their boot-clad feet in one of the sweetest standing ovations I have ever witnessed. They clapped, they wiped tears from their eyes, and they hugged us as we left to get on with our trip.
I will never forget the sweet feeling of peace I had as I walked away that night. I left knowing that my Heavenly Father loves those bikers just as much as He loves me. I left knowing that I had listened to the whisperings of the Spirit, and in my teensy-tinsy little way, was able to share the Lord's light with a few of His precious children. And I left knowing that they had felt it, just as much as I did.
Thanks to a Dad who didn't just brush aside a little girl's whim to sing to a bar full of strangers, that was the most memorable car trip pit-stop I have ever made! Bless you, small town Oregon. Bless you.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Craving the Light

Ladies! Last weekend, I had the oppportunity to attend Time Out for Women with my mother-in-law and two of my husband's sisters. I usually attend this event with a measure of hesitation. I am not a lover of Mormon Pop music. Michael McLean is just a little too much for me to handle. I had to sneak out one year while a man {really wish I could remember his name} sang about how {insert seriously cheesy music here} "life is a lion's den!" and "we have to get out of the lion's den!" I was surprised to see ladies around me wiping their eyes during this performance, but hey...we all feel the spirit in different ways, right?

I continue to go to TOFW because #1 This mama needs a little time away in order to fully appreciate her little ones, and #2 I generally ADORE the speakers.

I will admit though, that while I I always look forward to the words I will hear from the inspired speakers, I really, mostly look forward to the words I will hear from the Lord. For me, TOFW becomes a place of instruction, outwardly and inwardly. I have learned to leave blank pages in my notes to be filled with teachings whispered from the Spirit. Those messages are treasures to me. I cherish them. I trust them. I direct my life to live by and accomplish them.

As I sat listening to the great Merillee Boyack, {seriously, the type of speaker that has you laughing one second and crying the next} my heart was being etched with her understanding of how to B.E.C.O.M.E. She was nearing the end of explaining the ‘M’, offering that to be Meek is essential in becoming, when the lights suddenly shut off. The microphone went dead. The entire building, {and we found out later, the entire block} had lost all power. Earlier in the day we had been told there was a fire in the building that had affected the power in much of the structure, but miraculously not our section of the venue. Even more miraculously, as 2000 women sat in the complete dark, there was no panic. No screaming. No mad dashes for the door. No requests for a break to track down the root of the power outage. We all shared such a desire for Merillee’s light, that we were not concerned about the darkness around us. We, the crowd, encouraged Sister Boyack to come down from the stage and stand among us; so we could hear her, that she might continue to share her wisdom with us. And she did. Someone handed her a flashlight. She stood on a chair, center-crowd, held the flashlight to her face campfire style, and shouted the rest of her address. Ironically, her next topic was ‘E’ for be Enlightened. We all had a quick laugh, and then returned to our state of absolute silence and stillness, so that we could hear her un-amplified words and bask in her sweet light.

The handwriting in my notes is slightly muddled and slanted, as it was written in the dark, but the message is unmistakably clear. The masses, the individual, the church go-er and non-church-goer alike, all crave light. And when faced with the opportunity, will choose the Lord’s light above all other sources. The Spirit spoke clearly to me instructing me in the ways the Lord needs me to be a light, right now, today. Like Merillee, we all have the ability to be a light, to strengthen those around us, and bring clarity and peace, even while surrounded by darkness. The Lord needs us to be that light, and we can be that light. I will forever be grateful for this lesson taught on a dark and rainy day, in a blacked-out Denver Expo Mart, filled with sisters yearning to be filled with the true light of Christ.

Loved it. Looking forward to the next installment, even if it does include the wacky Lion's Den song!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Welcome from a Real Mormon Housewife

My dear Sisters…this is a blog for you. This is a place of humor, inspiration, and beautiful words. A place you can run to in between loads of laundry and carpool duty to remember why what you do really, truly does matter.

I am a graphic designer, a six foot tall woman who still loves a good set of heels, a mother of four, and I am REAL Mormon Housewife. What does it take to be a real Mormon housewife? While we come in many shapes, sizes, colors and from diverse circumstances, there are a few basic requirements. The following is an explanation of how humble little I, fit the bill:

Requirement #1: BEING MORMON I am 100% Mormon - or rather, 100% a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I was born into a super-strict LDS family, and am one of seven children. We had family home evening, yawned through early morning scripture study, ate more tuna casserole than anyone should ever have to, attended seminary at 5am, volunteered for any and every assignment possible, and in general, put on a FABULOUS show of cleanliness, righteousness, humility and love to anyone that was interested in watching. But of course, as is usually the case, things weren’t quite as perfect behind closed doors.

Requirement #2: BEING A HOUSEWIFE This is the first time since I was ten years old that I haven't had a "real" job. I come from humble circumstances, and any extras including more than the 3 school outfits, and one pair of shoes that were provided to me per year, were purchased with money I earned myself. I was THRILLED to be able to start earning the big bucks as a paper-girl when I turned ten, and haven't stopped working since. I have had almost every job under the sun, from farmhand & waitress, to Marketing Department consultant. Although I worked from home, the company I was working for recently went out of business, so now I officially and solely am a stay at home mommy to four little ones, and am a REAL housewife. I cook, clean and loathe laundry daily!

Requirement #3: BEING REAL This requirement is a little less cut and dry than the others. You can be real in so many different ways...but for me, it means that I love the gospel, I have a testimony of Christ, I support the priesthood, I serve when called {I've been everything from a Primary Worker to Relief Society Pres.} but I am honest and REAL enough to admit that things aren't always what they seem. We live in a culture of what I call Sunday Faces. These beat the best poker faces any day of the week, HANDS DOWN! We are cheerful, and giving, and put together and always have a sweet answer when someone at church asks us how we're doing, when really, on the inside, we're screaming: Terrible! I'm doing terrible! My two year old pee-ed on this dress during sacrament meeting, my husband's not talking to me because there weren't any clean whites again this morning, I wrote my five year old's talk on the back of the program two minutes ago, and I just want to drop everyone off at primary, go home, eat some oreos and put my feet up!

I am finally at the point in my life where I am absolutely OK with being real, and hope my perspective of reality will bless you as well!
As a side note: I was not born in, raised in, nor do I now reside in Utah. I had the pleasure of attending school there - but left as soon as I graduated. There is just something a little un-real about living in a never ending fashion show of blonde bobs and skinny jeans. Utah takes the Sunday face to the seven-day-a-week extreme, and that's just simply too much pressure for me. So here I am, in a very religious city, surrounded by great Christians and Baptists, and a growing population of LDS members. It's fabulous, and I can close my blinds, and hide out for a day or two, and no one in my ward calls the bishop to report that they're concerned for my well-being. How great is that?