Gratitude

“Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world.” -John Milton

Tuesday night I went to yoga with K. We like to go to a class that has a really exceptional instructor. Like most yoga instructors she asks the class to set an individual intention for the class. This week she decided that our intention for the class was to focus on gratitude. It was a really excellent class and I got more out of class than I thought I was going to when I came that night. I haven’t been able to go to that class in months and I forgot how much I need that calm, that meditation, that peace that yoga brings.

November is a hard month for me. This November 6th marked the 4 year anniversary of my mother’s passing. When I think of November and Thanksgiving of 2007 I can remember feeling very tender, very raw, very small, and profoundly sad. This year to mark my mother’s life, I went and laid flowers at her grave and told her all the good things that have happened since her passing. I believe she has been a witness to these blessings. I’d like to believe that she might be even facilitating these blessings as a Guardian angel.
And I think it’s important for me to remember all the good things that have happened since her death. It shows me that life goes on and good things will continue to happen. Bad things too, but we live for the good and grow from the bad.
So here is a list of things that I’m grateful that has happened in my family since my beautiful mother said goodbye to us in this life. I think she would be happy that I’m counting my blessings and not dwelling on the sadness of her passing.
1 – The birth of my 3rd child.
2- The marriage of my father and his wife.
3 – My brother graduating from college with his Bachelors degree.
4 – My sister-in-law graduating with her Masters and becoming a Physician’s Assistant.
5 – The marriage of my brother to his wonderful wife.
6 – My sister and brother-in-law purchasing their first home, which they love.
7 – My sister’s new position at work, my brother-in-law finding full-time employment in this economy.
8 – Our new home.
9 – My brother finding full-time employment after graduating that he enjoys.
10 – My brother and sister-in-law buying their first home and only living 3 miles from us.
11 – The hubs new position with a new company.
12 – My daughter finally getting the educational help she needs to be successful.
13 – All of our continued health and happiness.
And although I can’t help but wish she was here with us to experience these joys, she is never far from us. I hear her voice in my head all the time as I know how she would respond or react to situations. Most especially this Thanksgiving I’m grateful that she is my mother. Death cannot stop that. Her imprint is on my heart forever.
“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.” – Melody Beattie

The Great Pillow Caper

Sunday night the hubs and I were just settling down for a long winter’s nap when he asked where his other pillow was. I counted mine in the darkness and I had my required two that I need for neck support. He only had one and was feeling around the bed trying to find it. After some frustration he turned on the light. It had not fallen to the side of the bed or between our headboard and mattress. We then searched under the bed, our whole bedroom, and closet. Thinking the kids might have taken it because they were making the required pillow and blanket forts you do when your cousins are over playing, we searched their rooms. All of their pillows were accounted for and there was none extra. We even went down to our basement and ransacked the place. The pillow is still missing. The hubs was the last one out of bed on Sunday morning and he distinctly remembers there being four pillows when he threw the comforter over everything (which is our lazy way of making the bed). I sacrificed myself on the altar of comfort and let him have my extra pillow. I woke up with a crick in my neck and a huge knot in my shoulders.

Where on earth could that pillow have gone? Is there some sort of black vortex for pillows where they magically go for no reason?

Why must Bra shopping be so painful?

Fair warning, this is a rant. A rant where I’m gonna talk about lingerie (gasp!) and the annoying things women have to put up when purchasing said items. And I might even write words like bra, and boobs, and cup size! Okay, there are no “mights,” I’m gonna talk about that stuff. Turn back now if you are choosing to be pre-offended!

The truth? I have a large chest. No, I’m not going to tell you the exact cup size because that’s none of your biz. But let’s just say I long for when I was a single D. That seems like many moons and many bras ago.
And bra shopping is torture for those of us with a large rack. I was shopping with one of my besties, K, once and we were at a high-end department store. I told her I needed a new bra since I was done nursing a baby and wanted a bra that didn’t unsnap at the front for easy access. She decided to go look at other things while I perused the lingerie section.
This is why I shop in high-end department stores for bras…someone actually helps you! The nice sales lady came over and offered to measure and fit me. (Tip #1 – Have yourself measured and fitted for a bra at least once a year. Weight change, hormones, babies, etc. can make your cup size fluctuate. Just because you’re a 34B now doesn’t mean you always will be).
I swear she and I spent about 45 minutes in that dressing room together trying on every larger bra that they had. We finally found a perfect (and comfortable one) and I was on my way. Some time during that K texted me asking me if I was still alive and still trying on bras. She went with me up to the register where I proceeded to drop about 80 bones on that sucker. K said that she had never spent more than 15 minutes shopping for bras or more than $25 on one in her life. Oh the sting of jealousy!
The truth? I buy expensive bras because they’re more comfortable, they last longer, and I just don’t want to let the girls sag. It’s not an attractive look. At least, it’s not one that I’m comfortable with.
And that’s because, I worked with a girl at a retail store who insisted that she was a perfect size 36C. Well, I tried to gently suggest to her that she should go in for a bra fitting because 70% of women wear the wrong cup size. And yes, I knew that before Oprah enlightened me with her bra knowledge. Well, this girl was droopy, and the front of her underwire poked out when it’s supposed to be flush against your skin, and yet she clung to the ideal of a 36C. Nothing I could say could get her to change her mind! I hope she was able to get a bra intervention from someone who was willing to me more direct with her than me.
To me, I’d rather spend the money not to droop and maybe admit I’m a size I’m uncomfortable with just so that the girls look right. Don’t hang on to a number if it’s not the right one! Just like it’s not better to squeeze yourself into a size 4 when you really should be in a size 6. The right size makes you look smaller and better. Just sayin’.
So another thing that makes shopping for a bras painful is the styles. I’ve noticed in department stores all the cute, sexy bras only come in smaller sizes. All the bras my size looks like something my grandmother would wear. I don’t think it’s wrong to want a cute, sexy bra in my size!
That is why it was a literal miracle when my friend introduced me to Bravissimo. (Tip #2 – Find a store that caters to your size and style. It will save you a lot of frustration). They specialize in bra sizes for women from a D to a KK cup. I can’t even picture what a KK looks like. But I digress. And their bras are cute. Really cute! And they’re not sad grandma bras. Total liberation. The downside? They are based in the UK and the shipping fees to America are rather steep. But darnit, I’m willing to pay for a cute, sexy, well-fitting, comfortable bra.
I also like that they are linked with Pepperberry that specializes in clothing for curvy women. Most standard manufactures cut shirts for a B cup. That means a lot of pulling in the chestal region and the number one reason I stopped wearing button front shirts a long time ago. It’s hard to find a shirt that fits me in the shoulders and the waist while being big enough for the girls. And I refuse to wear potato sacks or mumus. There is nothing wrong with wearing clothes that make you feel attractive and show off your shape. There is also nothing wrong with wearing clothes merely for function and not giving a sack of crab apples about fashion.
And as much as I love a helpful sales staff that can help fit you and find the right bra for you, it is a little awkward being expected to take your shirt off for a total stranger in the dressing room. (Tip #3 – the awkwardness of being topless with a total stranger should not deter you from getting a fitting. Besides, every sales staff person who has fitted me has been extremely professional). I twice had a funny experiences at a great little lingerie boutique on the Upper East Side in Manhattan called Linda’s. My NYC bestie took me there on my second trip to NYC to buy a perfect fitting bra. Linda was there and insisted she measure me first before I was allowed to purchase a bra. Having not prepared for this moment I did not know what to do. I’m a garment wearing Mormon girl, which is not a problem when I step into changing booths with sales staff in Utah. It is a problem in New York where some people don’t even know what a Mormon is. This was our conversation.
Linda: Take off your shirt.
Me: (Awkwardly taking it off while muttering “um”)
Linda: I’ve never seen anyone wear their bra over their t-shirt before.
Me: (Contemplating all the multiple ways I could respond to this, decide on the truth). Actually, it’s religious underwear.
Linda: What religion?
Me: Mormon
Linda: (with a disgusted look on her face) Oh.
Then she proceeded to tell me I was bigger than I thought and how could I ever think I was the size she was because it’s so clear that she’s hecka smaller than me.
Gosh, I love New York.
Linda did help me find a really good bra. And I’m pretty sure I wore it out.
Between my first trip to Linda’s and my next (roughly 3 years) I discovered Bravissimo. But I wanted to go there again to see what I could see, so the NYC bestie took me there once again.
This time I prepared ahead of time and did not wear my garment top. Instead I kept it in my bag so I could put it back on after bra shopping. I don’t mind talking about my religion, but not while I’m topless with a stranger trying on bras.
I asked the sales girl to measure me again because the bra that I was wearing from Bravissimo felt a little small in the cup area. She confirmed that the bra I was wearing was one cup size too small to which I groaned. She said, “It’s a good thing, work it girl.”
Then she proceeded to find me a couple of really cute bras. But not before she lectured me on wearing a white bra. You see, at Linda’s the worse sin you could ever commit is wearing a white bra. It just isn’t done. She told me that white bras were aesthetically undesirable and it was better to wear a nude bra. Normally I’d agree with her. And if I wasn’t a garment wearing Mormon girl I’d probably be all nude bras all the time. But it looks pretty silly to wear a nude bra over a white garment top. Talk about bringing more attention to the girls than necessary.
But I knew the white bra lecture was coming. Linda had given it to me 3 years prior. And I didn’t really feel like I needed to justify my white bra wearing decisions to a girl that wasn’t going to get it. Again, explaining your religion when you’re topless with a stranger…not appealing!
So I bought two bras that were not white because Linda does not carry white bras in her store. Never will a white bra ever sully the threshold of her store! Well, that is until I go back again.
So, it’s annoying when buying bras that you have to be topless with a stranger while they lecture you on their own personal biases in lingerie color. When else in life does a total stranger get a say in the color of your underwear?
Another traumatic thing about bra shopping? Sports bra shopping. (Tip #4 – A good sports bra is your best friend. Spend money on the best. Saving yourself from whiplash is worth it). Even my sports bras have underwire in them. They have to, otherwise I’d be the most popular treadmill user at the gym. And I can’t just go and buy something off the rack. I’ve never seen a sports bra in a department store that actually comes in a regular bra size. They all seem to come in S, M, L, and XL. I can’t just buy an XL because it will be too big around my rib cage. So I even special order my sports bras from Title Nine. They are a great little site that only features the best in women’s sport wear attire. Because I can’t trust the girls to just any old piece of cotton and elastic while I’m getting my Zumba on.
It sucks not being able to just walk into Target and buy any old cute bra I see there. They don’t come in my size. I know. I’ve looked. And I have to lay down a hefty chunk of change just to get a bra that fits and is comfortable that doesn’t make me feel like an 82 year old woman. And if I have to look to a great company in England for that, by golly, I will. And yeah, dealing with opinionated sales clerks so you can be measured and have a right fit can be annoying, but very, very necessary.
So, all you women out there who have complained to me about your small racks all my life in an effort to show me that the grass is greener in my bra, you just spent a few minutes in my world. Sound fun? I promise I’d trade the constant knots in my shoulder blades any day for a smaller rack. What I wouldn’t give to be a 36C without a surgical intervention.
Man, all this talk about bras makes me want to take mine off and sleep. The restful sleep of a woman with good support.

Remember that one time when I told you…

Remember how about 5 posts ago I told you we were packing up the family homestead and moving our small family to Washington? Well, if you don’t here is a refresher for you.

Well, the good news is things have changed. When the hubs was hired on at his new job with a “High Tech Company” one of the stipulations was they wanted us to relocate to the Seattle area. After a lot of thought and prayer, we decided this is where we needed to be. The opportunity was too good. Of course we were sad about leaving our home, our family, our friends, our church family, our neighborhood, and my job.
But then there was some restructuring that took place and the boss that hired the hubs is not the same boss he has now. He has been doing this job for 3 months now, working from home in his home office, and traveling when necessary. His new boss was kind of questioning why we needed to move when the hubs is 2 hours from anywhere in his territory. There are also some great opportunities for his company that he can only pursue for them here. So he gave us the choice to move or to stay.
We decided that as long as it wouldn’t harm anything we had going now and as long as they knew that if the opportunity arose for the hubs to have a greater advancement than where he is now and a move is required (and we will agree to that), then we’d prefer to stay in Utah.
So we’re staying. For now. Well for the foreseeable future.
A lot of people were worried that us not moving meant some sort of demotion for the hubs. Well, it doesn’t. The only thing that is different now is the company isn’t going to be spending a hefty chunk of change relocating us (and neither will we).
To say I’m relieved is an understatement. I had some serious guilt going over taking my kids out of a school, again, and moving them away from their family. We’re lucky to have family nearby that is so supportive of us. To have family that it hurts to think about living without. My kids are very attached to their grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins. It was hard thinking about taking that away from them.
Also, I’m more than relieved not to have to leave my beloved job. I couldn’t even bring myself to tell many clients, and now I’m glad I don’t have to. I don’t know how long the Lord wants me to work there, but I will continue to until I feel like my work is done.
So that is our news. I would have never announced a move on here unless I was 100% certain it was going to happen. And at that time it was 100% certain. The funny thing is, the week they told us we didn’t have to move is the same week we had our landscaping and yard put in so we could put our house on the market. I’m glad we don’t have to anymore.
I don’t think we’re going to live in Utah forever. In fact I’m pretty sure at some point we are going to end up in the Pacific Northwest. I’m just happy for right now, we are staying.

Favorite Quotes

My very smart sister and I were chatting the other night and she wrote this quote to me. I liked it

so much I’m posting it here.

“Sovereignty is the state of not giving a damn what people think because you are the King and

Queen of your life.”

You’re welcome.

Girls run the world?

Have you heard Beyonce’s new song, “Run the World (Girls),” which is supposed to be a girl power anthem? Well, the first time I heard it I thought it was incredibly untrue. A cool friend of mine posted this video to Facebook, which is a retort to this song. I don’t know who this woman is but she perfectly articulates everything I thought about this song, but couldn’t put into words. So awesome, I love it so much.