2012 – The End

2012 was a great year personally.  I do this little questionnaire every year and it’s fun to look back at them and read what happened on a particular year.
1. What did you do in 2012 that you’d never done before?
 I traveled more in 2012 than in any other year.   I went to New York City twice, Indiana/Ohio to visit my Dad and go to a family reunion, and the hubs and I took a romantic vacay to San Diego.  That was my first trip ever to San Diego and I loved it.  We went to Cabrillo National Monument and played in the tide pools.  That was cool.  Mostly we lounged around the pool and enjoyed just being with each other.
2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
My New Years resolution for 2012 was to start working out more often, which I did until the first trimester of my pregnancy made me more tired than I had ever been in my life.  I’m looking forward to getting back into training for races in 2013.  Another resolution was to do the Little Red Bicycle race, which I dropped out of because my midwife thought it might be too dangerous.  Another resolution was to floss more, which I always make and break.  I had a rather lofty goal of reading a book a week, and that so didn’t happen.  I revised it to read 30 books this year, and I was so close to keeping that (I read 25!).  Alas, I’ve been too tired to read lately.  Another resolution was to eat out less, which we accomplished until this December.  And lastly I hoped for a happy and healthy family this year, and we were incredibly blessed with that.
3. How will you be spending New Year’s Eve?
Having a dinner and game night with my bestie, K, and our fams.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
Sadly, yes.  We lost my friend, Tiff, in May at the very young age of 34.  She and I met and became friends in high school. We were then sorority sisters in college.  Tiff was one of the purest souls who ever lived.  She was so sweet and kind to everyone.  Her death was rather shocking and I still can’t believe it’s true.
The hubs’s lost his great-grandmother on December 16th.  She lived to be 104 years old.  The first met her when the hubs and I were dating.  We had gone up to Brigham City for my family’s Christmas party and the hubs mentioned that his great-grandmother lived in Brigham and wanted me to meet her.  From the first moment I met her, Ula was one of the kindest people I’ve ever met.  She made me feel instantly loved and accepted.  We had an instant connection with our shared Danish ancestry.  I feel so blessed that my children got to know and love their great-great grandmother.  She was spunky, vivacious, and had a big heart.  We’re sure going to miss her.

5. What countries did you visit?

 I’ve still never left the country.  I’m lame like that.

6. What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?

More sleep!  More time to read.  And more patience for jerkfaces.

 7. What date from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
The day my daughter was born.  Meeting and falling in love with my fourth little baby-sweet.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
A healthy pregnancy, delivery, and baby.

9. What was your biggest failure?

 No failures, just things I need to work on like everyone else.  Having more patience, flossing more, controlling my ADD.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Nope.  I was actually pretty healthy this year, thank goodness.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
Besides all the baby stuff, Newsies and Wicked tickets.  I love my Broadway musicals.

12. Where did most of your money go?

 Mortgage, maternity clothes, baby stuff, food, kids, shoes, and books.

13. What song will always remind you of 2012?

 “Somebody that I used to know” by Goyte.  For most of the Spring and Summer I couldn’t get away from that song!  At one point I was so sick of it, but now I can listen to it and enjoy it.  And it has to win for coolest music video of the year.

 

“Gangnam Style” by Psy will also always remind me of 2012.  All 3 of my kids can sing the song over and over again and do the dance.  It’s gotten annoying at this point.

14. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Spending time outside.
15. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Feeling like crap.  However, it was all for a good cause.
16. What was your favorite TV program?
Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23 is my favorite new show.  It is laugh-out-loud funny.  My NYCbestie and I discovered it when I was visiting her for her birthday weekend.  We watched the entire first season (7 episodes) in one evening.  Now I’ve got the hubs loving it too.
17. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
Hate?  No.  Deeply pity?  Yup.
18. What was the best book you read?
Gone Girl was one of the craziest books I’ve ever read.  It was a wild roller-coaster ride that I couldn’t put down.  Goodreads voted it the best thriller of the year and I agree.
19. What was your greatest musical discovery?
I didn’t discover any new music that I absolutely loved in 2012.  But I went to the Counting Crows concert with my friend, Miri, in August and hearing one of my old favorite bands live was like rediscovering them.  I’ve loved them for 18 years and seeing them live took my enjoyment of them to the next level.

20. What was your favorite film of this year?

 Les Miserables  was not only the best film I saw in 2012, it is possibly one of the best movies I’ve ever seen.  I’ve loved the music since junior high and fell in love with the book in High School.  I’ve seen the musical live four times, so it was inevitable I would fall in love with the movie.
Also, Brave was absolutely amazing.  It’s so nice to see a strong female character who is a Princess who has more goals in life than finding a husband.  FINALLY!  Oh, Brave is a love story, but it’s a love story between a mother and daughter.  The animation is breath-takingly beautiful.
21. What did you do on your birthday?
The hubs, his mom, our oldest daughter and I went and had dinner at The Copper Onion in Salt Lake City.  We then went and saw Wicked at the Capitol Theater.  The kids spent the night at their grandparents while the hubs and I spent the night in a hotel in SLC.  It was great!

22. What kept you sane?

 The hubs, my besties, and Mountain Dew.
 
23. Who did you miss?
My mother. Always and forever.

24. Who was the best new person you met?

 My new baby girl.

25. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012:

 Illegitmi non Carborundum

Happy New Year!  I hope 2013 is as good as 2012 was!

New-Year-2013-Celebration-Wallpaper-600x450

New Years Resolutions

funny_cartoon_new_year_resolutions_calvin_and_hobbes

Resolutions are funny things.  We make them and then we forget them by February.  In January the gyms and weight loss centers are full of people bound and determined to meet their goals.  I know I’m so guilty of this making resolutions and forgetting them by the middle of January.  That’s why I’ve tried to my make my list of goals manageable and easily achievable.  When I get too overwhelmed, I just give up.  Here’s my list:

1.  Renew my gym membership and start training for a few 5K races.  If I get really ambitious, I might sign up for a 10K.

2.  Read 26 books this year.  That gives me two weeks per book.

3.  Finish our basement (this one really relies more on counting on other people to get things done).

4.  Not buy so many shoes and thin the herd of the ones I have.

5.  Spend lots and lots of cuddle time with my five sweeties.

The End.  That’s all I have energy to think about right now.

Are you being Abused?

This article showed up in my Facebook thread posted by one of the many organizations I have “liked” on Facebook.  I thought it was interesting and thought provoking.   I think a lot of us believe that there is only abuse when violence is involved, but abuse goes so much deeper.  It’s about control.

Here is a list of possible signs of abuse:

  • Monitors what you’re doing all the time
  • Unfairly accuses you of being unfaithful all the time
  • Prevents or discourages you from seeing friends or family
  • Prevents or discourages you from going to work or school
  • Gets very angry during and after drinking alcohol or using drugs
  • Controls how you spend your money
  • Controls your use of needed medicines
  • Decides things for you that you should be allowed to decide (like what to wear or eat)
  • Humiliates you in front of others
  • Destroys your property or things that you care about
  • Threatens to hurt you, the children, or pets
  • Hurts you (by hitting, beating, pushing, shoving, punching, slapping, kicking, or biting)
  • Uses (or threatens to use) a weapon against you
  • Forces you to have sex against your will
  • Controls your birth control or insists that you get pregnant
  • Blames you for his or her violent outbursts
  • Threatens to harm himself or herself when upset with you
  • Says things like, “If I can’t have you then no one can.”

There is a lot more important information on this website.  I would encourage anyone who feels like they may be being abused, or know someone who may be being abused, to read it.

Edited on 1/8/2013 to add:

I’m a big fan of the early seasons of MTV’s “The Real World,” back when the show was filled with intelligent people who had interesting things to say, talents to share, and ambitions beyond getting drunk and hooking up.  On the first season the oldest castmate was Kevin Powell, a teacher/poet/activist.  A couple of years ago on an episode of Oprah he shared that in the past he had been abusive and violent toward women and now through therapy he has changed his ways and has since gone on to educate others.  On Oprah’s website there was a list of other red flags of abusive behaviors to watch out for.

  1. He/she pushes too far, too fast, planning your future together right away.
  2. He/she hates his/her mother and is nasty to her.
  3. He/she wants your undivided attention.
  4. He/she must always be in charge.
  5. He/she always has to win.
  6. He/she breaks promises all the time.
  7. He/she can’t take criticism and always justifies his/her actions.
  8. He/she blames someone else for anything that goes wrong.
  9. He/she’s jealous of your close friends, family members, and all other men/women.
  10. He/she always asks you where you went and whom you saw.
  11. He/she has extreme highs and lows that are unpredictable.
  12. He/she has a mean temper.
  13. He/she often says you don’t know what you’re talking about.
  14. He/she makes you feel like you’re not good enough.
  15. He/she withdraws his/her love or approval as punishment.
  16. He/she pushes you to do things that make you feel uneasy, like taking the day off from work or even breaking the law.

Why I AM a Feminist, part 2

Almost 3 years ago (March 2010) I read a post by the infamous Mormon Mommy blogger, cJane Kendrick, about why she is not a feminist.  It inspired to me write my own post about why I do identify as a feminist, but it took me 15 months to write.  On Monday cJane published a post about why she now realizes that she is a feminist and why she claims that title.  She cites growing up believing boys were better than girls, her abusive first marriage, and working out an egalitarian marriage with her current spouse that has helped her evolve her views in her life.

How I came to feminism was much, much different than cJane’s.  I didn’t grow up believing boys were better than girls.  In fact, both my parents strove hard to teach me that boys are not better than girls, girls are not better than boys, and that girls were every bit as capable and smart as boys are.  My mom worked for the federal government in Washington D.C. for 10 years and was the first woman to go against dress code and wear a pantsuit to work.  My dad was raised by a strong, hard-working woman and has three very smart and capable sisters and has always shown that he believes in equality of the sexes (and by equality I mean of equal worth).  Because of my parents, I was raised to believe that I could be and do anything I wanted.  The truly shocking thing for me was going out into the world (you know, the cold harsh world of elementary school) and having people treat me like I wasn’t as smart, capable, and strong as the boys because I was a girl.  And this has pretty much continued whenever I have left the safety of home and family my entire life.  Like the boy who laughed at me at church because I said my dad was at home doing laundry, (“boys don’t do laundry, you idiot!  That’s a girl’s job”), or my Geometry teacher who on the first day of  my sophomore year explained to the class that us girls should expect a lower grade than the boys because girls’ brains just can’t compute Math the way that boys’ do, or when I was expected to do the dishes in my cooking class because I was the resident keeper of that magical vagina that makes dish washing possible, or when I got into the adult world and found out people’s expectations of me were based on my gender and not on my capabilities or interests.

Feminism to me has always been about choice.  In cJane’s article she talks about the growing pains she and her husband went through when figuring out parenting responsibilities and that ultimately they have a system now that works for both of them and respects and honors each other’s life paths.  That is great for her and shouldn’t we all be allowed to decide what is best for us and our families without some 3rd party trying to enforce gender roles or what they think the “ideal” is on us?  Shouldn’t my husband and I get to decide together that both of our educations and careers are important to us and work together to support each other in pursuing those things?  While co-parenting, while sharing household responsibilities, while being partners to each other?  Why should my life fit into some box because someone else said so?  And if someone wants to pursue a more traditional path, shouldn’t they be allowed to do that without judgment?

In my last post about why I’m a feminist, I listed some reasons why (and I apologize because switching to WordPress from Blogger made it so it did not format the same and it’s not as pleasing to the eye as before).  Here are more reasons I have accrued in the last year and a half.

  • Because a 14 year old in Pakistan named Malala Yousfzai was shot by the Taliban on October 9, 2012 for demanding to be a girl and receive an education.  
  • Because I read Half the Sky this year and it changed my life.
  • Because I care that women are being sold into sexual slavery all over the world, including my own country, like they are chattel and not real human beings with real lives, emotions, and pain.  They are treated like objects of someone else’s base pleasure and discarded and used like trash.
  • Because this past election season men like Todd Akin (R-MO), Richard Mourdock (R-IN), Roger Rivard (R – WI), Joe Walsh (R-IL), Tom Smith (R-PA), John Koster (R-WA), and Paul Ryan (R-WI), made some horrifically awful statements about rape, pregnancy, and women.  But what restores my faith in humanity are the voters who turned out in droves to tell these men to stop talking about rape and women’s bodies like we’re too stupid to understand science, fact, research, and duh, our own life experiences.
  • Because a 20 year old newly married girl with no life experience told my sister-in-law she wasn’t doing the right thing for her child by working full-time and going to school.  Because 20 year old newly married people with no children and no life experience should be considered the experts on what’s best for individual children and their families.
  • Because I’m tired of man splainers trying to tell me what I really mean, what my experiences really are, and what I should think and feel and believe and say and do.  Stop it, man splainers…it’s really old.
  • Because it really bothers me that at McDonalds my kids can’t just have “the toy” they have to say whether they want the “boy toy” or “girl toy” as if toys had genders and it is only acceptable for boys to play with one type of toy and girls another.
  • Because I should be able to leave my house and not worry about being sexually assaulted, but that’s just not a reality for women.
  • Because 11 year old girls (little girls) are being blamed for being gang raped.
  • Because I am a human being with autonomy over my own body, thoughts, feelings, experiences, knowledge and I allow all other human beings domain over their own lives as well.
  • Because I’m a child of Heavenly parents who love me and my sisters just as much as they love their sons.

So, I have to say brava to cJane.  Not because she came out as a feminist and all, because I read her blog regardless of how she self-identifies, but because she is a famous Mormon woman who has been speaking her truth a lot recently (her political leanings, her abusive first marriage) and it takes a lot of courage to speak your truth and let people say what they will about it. It’s not easy to have a big platform that reaches an audience of hundreds of thousands and invite them all to judge you.

I heart Anne Taintor

After my NYCbestie gave me a couple of Anne Taintor magnets a few years ago, I fell in love with her retro style combined with funny/sarcastic sayings.  I literally spent an hour the other day viewing everything on her website and laughing out loud.  Don’t worry, all my kids were in school (no really, I’m letting them be raised by wolves).  I was looking for Christmas cards that would make my bestie, K, laugh and it worked.  Now the only question is which one is she going to send out!  This magnet made me laugh in particular.  Not because I feel this way, but I imagine that’s how a lot of 1950s housewives felt.

anne taintor