Thursday, March 31, 2016

Angela's Wedding

We've talked about kindred spirits, you and I, many times.  Angela is one of my dearest kindred spirits.  We met when she was 18 and I was 23.  She was a senior in high school and I was in my first real year as a teacher.  Even then I knew she was much more brilliant than me.  She is probably the smartest girl I've ever known.  And to think she wasted her brilliance on becoming a humanities major.  I kid I kid.  But after she graduated from high school she went to BYU where we grew even closer.  And then after working for the Church Art Museum for a year she went off to Harvard to get her masters and met her perfect MIT Engineer match.....  But what I love so much about Ang (as I call her even though it doesn't fit her at all! and I am sure her mother is horrified that I call her Ang) is when we are together we get straight to the deep stuff.  No idle formalities... straight to the heart to hearts.  And I sure love her for it.  Anyway, Ang got married.  And it was a beautiful event.

I did a terrible job taking pictures because I probably didn't want to be too obnoxious and I did have a 3 week old baby with me...
Terrible picture but look at this bow tie!!!
It was pretty darn magical.

 The food was AMAZING!  First, a darling poem with a rosemary sprig that made the whole room smell so delicious!  A strawberry spinach salad, yummy rolls, prime rib and chicken, roasted asparagus, mashed potatoes, and two different delicious drinks.  The food was amazing.  (Yes I know I already said that :)

THe only picture I got of the beautiful couple. And of course the cake was made my Angela's little brother!!!!

And us with our sleepy baby.
Sadly what wasn't pictured.... our discussion with the smartest boy I've ever known.... Angela's little brother.  I have so much hope for the future if for no other reason than that kid.  But that's another post for another day.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Mom Guilt

Something that I have never really understood is when the Brethren are talking to women they often tell them to quit being so hard on themselves.  And then I experienced mom guilt.  And now it all makes perfect sense.

Now that I am immersed in this world of motherhood I have been quite shocked by some of the things and feelings I have encountered.  There is so much pressure out there.  I say out there because honestly I cannot pinpoint where this pressure is coming from.  Sure we can say the pressure is from social media or from culture or peers or even just from ourselves... but  really it's not just one place, one person, one statement.  There is just a lot of freaking pressure.

And this pressure brings on a lot of guilt.

Knowing I would be a working mom, I knew I would feel guilt.  But the crazy thing is the guilt I feel is very different than what I expected.  I expected feeling guilty for leaving my baby to go to work.  What I didn't expect is the relief I feel every time I get to go to work.  Going back to my normal life was easier than I expected.  And that made me feel extremely guilty.  But I hesitate even writing that going back to work was easy because I feel like I am betraying my team - the working moms team.  I feel like there is this underlying competition between the stay at home moms vs. the working moms.  Each side trying to convince the world that their lot is harder.  And me saying that going back to work was easier than I expected suggests that it is easier than being at home.  But how ridiculous!!!!  How ridiculous that either party needs to prove to the world that being a mom is hard. But anyway that brings guilt.  Guilt that I have enjoyed going back to my normal life.  Probably the second happiest moment of 2016 so far was walking back into the gym and my workout class on an early Tuesday morning.  (Obviously number 1 was seeing Brad for the first time.) But still.... I feel guilty that I like having my life back.  That my whole identity doesn't revolve around Brad like it did for those 6 weeks.  And that brings the guilt.  I feel like Brad is our new pet that we keep around when we want him and we send him away when he's inconvenient.  (Obviously that's not completely true or else I would have got a heck of a lot more sleep last night....) But still I feel guilt.

Then I see cute professional photo sessions done with new borns and feel guilty I didn't do that.  Or I read that newborns are supposed to get at least 3 5 minute sessions of tummy time every day and I haven't done that!!!  Or I don't even have a cute outfit for Brad to wear at his baby blessing on Saturday!  What kind of mother am I?  (I kinda am kidding.... but seriously, this guilt!  It can eat you alive.)

I should have known this pressure was coming back when I was pregnant.  I found it quite odd when people started asking me about my "birth plan". I quickly learned that means whether I am going to have an epidural or not. It is a really peculiar thing when you think about it.  Why in the world does it matter if a woman receives an epidural during labor to anyone else besides the mother and possibly her poor husband if she chooses not to?  It's not like we ask someone before knee surgery, "What kind of pain meds will be prescribed and how often will you take them?"  Once again there are two very opinionated camps when it comes to epidurals.  There are the victorious heros that act like they won the super bowl by not using any pain meds during labor and the guilty "wimpy" moms that feel the need to justify why they had an epidural.  WHY DOES IT FREAKING MATTER???  But I have learned this is the beginning of the mom guilt...

(Obviously I am in the wimpy mom club so I feel the need to suggest there is no need to talk about it.  If I was in the victorious hero club I would want to tell everyone)

When I started writing this post a couple of weeks ago, this was the main guilt I had felt.  But now as I am sitting on my couch holding my RSV and pink eye stricken baby at 3:30 in the morning, I have new guilt - the sick baby guilt.  In the 10 days of being in a daycare my poor little 6 week old came down with both pink eye and RSV.  What kind of mother doesn't at least find a day care that wouldn't give her infant pink eye???? Clearly not this one.

Then there is the nursed baby vs. the formula fed baby.  The disposable diapers vs. the cloth diapers.  The only chemical free soaps vs. the cheapest soaps we can find.  The 21 day fix moms vs. the just trying to get through the day with some chocolate moms.  The list goes on and on and on and on.  I am sorry if I am giving any woman out there anxiety just talking about all the pressure moms feel.

But it's just nuts the pressure.  And obviously the answer is easy.  Just let it go.  Don't care.  Don't let the pressure eat you alive.  But that my friends is a lot easier said than done.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Advice to myself the night before my wedding day.

I can't remember much about 3 years ago today.  I remember being surrounded by so many women that I love so so so so dearly.  I remember being stressed out of my mind.  Probably the only time in my life I have been so stressed I could not sleep.  So so stressed.... but luckily not stressed about the decision to marry Jason.  Just about silly things like rain.

I've been thinking... 3 years.  That really isn't that long in the scheme of things.  But the crazy thing is, I can't remember a life before it.  It seems like it's how it has always been.  And I am unbelievably grateful for that.  I love this world.  I love this life.

But as I've been thinking about 3 years ago, I've been thinking about what I would change.  What I would want to be different.  If I could somehow sneak into the Tiger room of Loraine's house in Glendora, where I slept the night before my wedding.... what would I tell myself?  What advice would I give?

I talked about advice for newly married couples back when Lars got married.  But this is different.  This isn't general advice.  This is exact, specific advice for myself.

I've been thinking about this for a few days.  So I thought I would ask Jason what advice he'd give himself.  Sometimes I am surprised at Jason's wisdom.  I was expecting something profound.  He thought for a second and said, "Work your guts out and you'll get into Dental School."  I laughed, "That's it?  That's your only advice you'd give yourself?"

So it made me think even harder.  Is there any advice I could give myself that would really make a difference?

Who knows.

But here's what I came up with.  "Words can be forgiven, mistakes will be made, it will definitely not always be all roses, but at the end of the day, it'll all work out and everything will be okay. Not only will it be okay, it will be great."

But of course this advice isn't just for a starry eyed girl on the day before her wedding.  This advice applies to life.  And the sooner we put our faith in God we can realize no matter what, in the end everything will be okay.

And just because I can.... a picture from our wedding day I've never looked at before.  I love how happy he makes me.  Oh and poppies.  I love poppies.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Brad's Blessing Day

This weekend we went down to Cedar to bless Bradley.  It was an absolutely amazing weekend!  So many people traveled from so far to meet Brad and support us on this new adventure.  I am so grateful for such a wonderful family.  We sure are lucky.  

The Whole Crew

The tasty food

The man himself.

Our new family.



My little baby.