Monday, December 31, 2007
It’s all around us. Fashion magazines, high-fashion models, celebrities—all around us are influences to be thin, sometimes dangerously thing. Most of us know that the images we see in magazines or on the movie screen are unrealistic. Yet, day after day, we continue to pursue unattainable goals of having the perfect body, with the perfect hair, and perfect skin.
Why do we have these images? More importantly, why is the media lying to us about how the average woman should look and feel? Women in America have a distorted body image because mainstream America is allowing body image to be manipulated.
We all know photo manipulation happens. Whether it’s a few pounds shaped off a woman’s waist or taking the wrinkles away from her eyes, nearly all images we see today have been manipulated in one way or another. For example, I used to work for a company that produced hundreds of magazine ads. One day I saw a picture of a woman going into one of the ads. I knew this woman—she was your average, stay-at-home, soccer mom. She wasn’t a model and she certainly wasn’t famous. When I saw the picture I said, “Wow! She looks great!” The designer informed me that he “shaved” 20 pounds off her thighs with Photoshop. I was absolutely shocked. The designer then told me that this type of photo manipulation is common. “It happens everyday,” he told me.
It’s this same type of photo manipulation that is bombarding our daily lives. Our world is flooded with these images that are completely flawed and unrealistic. The result is that plastic surgeons have booming businesses and more anti-depressants are being prescribed. It’s damaging our self-worth as women and destroying our social, emotional, and physical lives.
So, in the midst of my rambling soap box, I applaud Kate Winslet, Dove commercials, and the Spanish modeling world. Thank you. Thank you for taking a stand and helping women everywhere realize that we are beautiful just the way we are. Thank you for giving me a public example so I can one day teach my daughters, nieces, and granddaughters that there are real women in this world. And each is beautiful, no matter her pant size.
Friday, December 28, 2007
Thursday, December 27, 2007
His life-long goal is to go to Sturgis on a Harley Davidson.
She does not like to have her picture taken. Usually, she’s hiding behind someone else or making a weird face.
Now, K. He is my oldest brother and is by far the biggest sports fan I’ve ever met. And, he has a big heart, too.
K is married to E.
E loves chocolate! If you want to keep your chocolate, don’t let E see it.
Then I come in.
And I’m definitely the smartest, prettiest, and favorite child. Yup, that’s right.
Then, J.We like to play pranks on each other. He thinks he’s got one up on me, but you just wait! I’ve got a good one planned.
J is married to A.
I’m so glad he married her! We like to get pedicures.
J and A have two of the cutest little boys in the world.
C and M. They are the best.
C is full of energy!He loves to play trucks with the village.
I love M’s cubby cheeks!
And bringing up the rear is Coach.
Coach loves to golf. And he thinks he’s good. But he’s not a very patient teacher.
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
1. My mom and dad are hilarious when playing Cranium.
2. A “blue garbage man” will keep a 3 ½ year old occupied for hours.
3. There’s nothing quite like a white Christmas.
4. Even though I’m an adult, I still act like a 5 year old when it comes to opening my presents Christmas morning.
5. When my dad says that I got “stupid” presents, he means that I got lots of stuff I really wanted and needed.
6. My nephew sings the best rendition of Carrie Underwood’s “Wasted.” Even when he doesn’t “have enough time.”
7. I am not patient enough to put a puzzle together.
8. I like to be wrapped up like a burrito.
9. I want cheese fondue for Christmas Eve dinner every year.
10. When it snows, do not park your car on a slanted driveway. Because when you go to move, you might end up in the bushes.
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Friday, December 21, 2007
Last year, I heard of someone who sets goals by following a scripture. The scripture is Luke 2:52: "And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man." Here is a wonderful example for us to follow when it comes to setting goals.
Following this scripture, I will set goals to increase intelluectually (wisdom), physically (stature), spirtually (in favor with God), and socially (with man).
Let's just hope I'm still on track come February 1.
What are your New Year's Resolutions?
Last night, I had an overwhelming desire to write. This was a bit strange to me because I write all day long for work. Usually, I come home from work and don't want to even think about writing for at least 10 more hours. But last night was different. I didn't really know what I wanted to write about; I just knew I wanted to write. So that's what I did.
The song Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) by Green Day was in my head. And this is what came as a result of that song and my writing mood.
"It's something unpredictable, but in the end it's right,
I hope you have the time of your life." – Good Riddance (Time of Your Life), Green Day
Life is unpredictable. We don’t know where we’ll end up and sometimes we don’t even know how we got started. There are ups and downs; happy days and down right terrible days. Sometimes, we wonder what it’s all about. And then, one of those defining moments comes along. One of those times when you know all is good, that you’ve tried your best, and you have no regrets. One of those moments when everything, if even for just a small amount of time, is absolutely clear. You are certain. You are strong. You are headed down the correct path. When all the chaos of this life gets out of hand, it’s these defining moments that let us know that, “in the in it’s right.” It is then that I realize I’ve lived life the best that I know how. There are still plenty of things to learn and I have a lifetime yet to discover all the wonderful stuff in store. And I can’t help but think, even though my life has turned out differently than I ever planned, I certainly am having the time of my life.
Green Day got it right.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
By tomorrow morning, the snow will have feet tracks, the cars will turn the snow into slush on the side of the road, and people will be busy making their way to work and school. I will likely be among those cursing the crazy drivers who go way too fast on wet roads or lamenting the ice the is surely forming. But for one moment, all is quiet and all is well.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
This Christmas season, as we celebrate the birth of our Savior, I thought I’d make a list of things I believe in. This list is not everything I believe (because that list could get really long) but just some things I’ve thought about in the last few months. And when the world gets a little too much to handle, I think it’s nice to have a reminder of what it is we believe in.
- Jesus Christ is the literal Son of God.
- Everybody has a little bit of good inside of them.
- The difference between a good leader and a great leader is this: a good leader says, “get that project done.” A great leader jumps in and helps get the project finished.
- If we all lived the Golden Rule, there would be less violence, less sadness, less heartache, and more peace, love, and joy in the world.
- Families are forever.
- It’s important to dress your body as it is now instead of dressing the body you wish you had.
- Time heals all wounds.
- Good friends influence your life forever, even after they’ve left your presence.
- If I’m having a bad day, the nephews will make it all better.
- Everyone needs to feel like they are making a difference in the world.
- Sometimes, it really isn’t all about you.
- And sometimes it is.
- Self worth has nothing to do with being pretty, being popular, or even being liked.
- I live my life the way I do because of an inner conviction of what is true.
- My outward appearance reflects that inner conviction.
I invite you to make a list of what you believe in, also.
Monday, December 10, 2007
Why is the line, “Christmas, Christmas time is here” from the Chipmunks song stuck in my head?
Kleenex with lotion is the ONLY brand of tissue to use.
What exactly does tall, dark, and handsome mean? Because I’d be willing to bet that someone who is married to a short, blonde, and ugly guy still thinks he’s “tall, dark, and handsome.”
And while we’re on that subject, what does “happily ever after” mean? Really, what does that mean?
Friday, December 7, 2007
Oh what a year you’ve been! I know we’ve had a love/hate relationship, but we made it through and I think we are stronger for it.
We started out the year so happy and perky. Remember that day one of my co-workers told me I was the happiest person he had ever seen at work? Oh, that was a wonderful day. I was so happy at that job and loved the people I was working with. Yet, there was always that nagging feeling that I wasn’t being challenged and that the experience probably wouldn’t last long. Oh, if I knew then what I know now, how things would have changed.
You brought me my second nephew, 2007. I love that little guy so much! And I love his chubby legs. I remember the day M was born. My brother called me at work to tell me that the baby had come, that he was healthy, and mom was doing great. Oh, and the baby had a full head of dark hair! That never happens in our family! As soon as I could I rushed to the hospital to meet my newest nephew. I held him in my arms and was overwhelmed with love. He was so beautiful! I turned to my brother and asked how old M was. He said, “6 hours.” I just sat there, staring at this beautiful infant and was amazed to realize that just 6 hours before he was with our Heavenly Father. April 24, was a wonderful day.
We made it through grad school, 2007! Believe me, there were times when I didn’t think we were going to make it. Like that time in 2006 when I had two of my hardest classes, trying to keep up with the homework, and going through one of my toughest times at work. I didn’t think we were going to make it! But we did. The feeling of walking off campus, knowing I was completely finished with my master’s degree, was one of the best feelings I’ve ever experienced. I felt so free, so alive, and so proud! When I walked across the stage June 2 and was “hooded” I felt overwhelmed with gratitude for the opportunity I had been given.
In the summer, things started to change at work. For the first time in over a year, I dreaded going to the office. I was so miserable! I cursed you, 2007, for putting me in that dark, dreary office with the most annoying people on the face of the earth! And to top it off, you brought me the hottest summer on record. The heat was scourging, I thought I would melt the second I stepped outside, and thoughts of cold, snowy days filled my mind with relief (and you know me, 2007, I do not like the snow).
Finally, the fall time came and I took a long anticipated vacation. I went to England, Scotland, and Ireland with my dear friend from BYU. We had such a great time. We basked in the history of a great nation, experienced new and exciting food (remember that grilled artichoke salad), and relished in the diverse and amazing cultures we found ourselves immersed in. That trip was incredible and one I won’t soon forget! So many pictures, so many conversations, so many memories…thank you 2007 for my trip abroad.
It wasn’t long after I returned home from my vacation that I found myself in the absolute worst situation at work. I was at a low point, feeling like I had failed, and at the mercy of my boss. October 10, one day after my year mark, I lost my job. I was devastated! How could this have happened? How did I let this happen? Why was this happening to me? I questioned everything and spent a good couple of days just being angry.
And then, 2007, you showed me the blessings behind this trial that had been thrust upon me. It didn’t take long at all for me to recognize the incredible love my Heavenly Father has for me. It was His mercy, His love, and His guidance that helped me through this rough time. I was only out of work for 2 weeks before the first job offer came in. What an incredible blessing! One I still don’t feel worthy of.
I realize now, why the trial of losing my job was necessary. Now, I’m challenged; now I’m using my master’s degree; now my talents are recognized. For the first time in my professional career, I feel like I can make a difference. It’s so funny how I had to experience that terrible pain in order to feel the immense happiness.
And now, as you come to an end 2007, I find myself so grateful for the past 12 months we’ve had together. We’ve laughed and we’ve cried. We’ve watched our friends take different paths and moved in new directions. Through it all, we’ve grown stronger and better. I look forward to meeting your brother, 2008, and telling him about all of our memories. Never forget me, 2007. Because I’ll never forget you. It’s been one heck of a ride!
Thursday, December 6, 2007
Monday, December 3, 2007
Saturday, December 1, 2007
Here's my Christmas tree. Sorry, I have no idea how to turn it the right way. This was, of course, before my indecisiveness kicked in. I've now added red berry branches, curiling willow, and gold ribbon.
A view of the new paint.
My nephew, C, at the Owlz game on Labor Day. This is a pretty typical picture of him.
A picture of both nephews with my mom and dad. M is kind of blurry here because my mom was bouncing him. And yes, my mom is going to be mad at me for posting this picture of her.
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