Monday, June 30, 2008

Things I bought that I really, really dig...

I'm not a huge shopper, but a couple of things I bought lately are just too good to pass up, and too good not to pass along to my friends.


"The Immortelle flower defies aging - it never wilts or withers, even after being picked. Microcapsule technology concentrates hand-harvested essential oil of Immortelle, which grows in the sunny Mediterranean island of Corsica, in a formula that helps to boost microcirculation and increase collagen synthesis. A velvety, patented-ingredient moisturizer with proven wrinkle-reducing benefits."

Does that totally make you want to buy it? It should, besides it smells delicious and it really works fabulously. Doesn't the gorgeous little cobalt jar just say "buy me, buy me, buy me?".

Besides it's called "Immortelle" - I mean really, what more can you ask for. It's a little $52 jar of goodness that will make you happy.


Salt Water Sandals

Do you love them or what ? I have them in yellow, red and hot pink and I am contemplating buying them in brown and white - or maybe I need all the colors including the minty green.

I can't say enough.

The product description states: "Called the "Salt Water" Sandals because they stand up even in salt water. Flexible, high grade sole and heavy, durable leather straps for easy-going comfort and long wear."

Okay they need to hire a new copy writer because that is so boring and doesn't at all live up to the awsomeness of the sandal. Let me give a better description a whirl:

"The salt water sandal is total retro-cool. Uber comfort, and perfect for a day at the beach, around the pool and just because. You'll want them in every color. And doesn't someone hip like you deserve footwear that is equal parts urban and understated trend setter? Thought so."

You'll especially adore the price at between $28 and $35!



How cool and cute are these? The woman who makes them is an artist from Prescott. She swirls hot glass at 1700 degrees to make this jewelry she cleverly calls "eye candy".



I got the earrings this weekend and I totally already wish I had a lot more. Wish I had the necklace and the bracelet too. And lots of colors. SO cute. And SO not expensive. And you're supporting a local artist. ALWAYS a good idea! (if you're interested you can order from her website at eyecandybychelsea.com (I think these would make great unique gifts too)!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Familia, Famiglia, Famille....


How many kids is too many and how do people decide?

I've been thinking lately about how this has evolved over time within the mormon community.

When I was growing up most families I knew had 4 or 5 kids. Four or 5 was kind of "normal" - 6 wasn't very weird and 7 wasn't even that big yet. You weren't officially a big family until you had 8. But eight wasn't enough to be a big deal. In my ward growing up we had the Evan's family who had 11 kids and that was pretty big. But across the street from them was the Ferguson family and they had 18. So in my ward, anything under 18 was kind of ho-hum because the Ferguson's couldn't easily be topped.

We had 3. So we were kind of weirdos. The only other family with three was the Leathams and both Sister Leatham and my mom ended up having to adopt 2 of their 3 kids. Infertility was almost a mark of shame. My mom wanted more than 3 but it just wasn't in the cards.

On my street we had the Robison's next door with only 2 kids but they didn't really count because they really weren't very active in the church. So they were sort of considered heathan so that's why they only had two. Down my street we had the Neville's with 5 kids, the Smith's with 4, the Laddles with 4, the Peck's with 4, the Gallups with 5, and the Sessions with 6. Obviously the Robison's stood out in that crowd with their piddly two kids and we were just scraping above the point of garnering frowns from little old ladies with our 3. But everyone knew about the adoptions and the infertility, so it was forgiven.

My best friend had 5 kids in her family, and my other best friends had 5, 9, and 11 respectively.

Growing up I sort of envied all the sibling relationships and the sheer volume of people inhabiting their households. It seemed more exciting. Less boring, and more likely you could find a sibling or two who you really liked.

People didn't pray about how many children they were going to have. To my knowledge most people had the number of children they physically could have. There may have been exceptions. But I can say with certainty that at least among my friends families, every mom had the number of children she was capable of having. Birth control was sinful and that was that.

Sometime in my teens the tone on that topic changed. I specifically remember a talk in a general conference on the topic and it reallly stuck in my head that they were saying that the mothers mental health needed to be taken into consideration when having children. An exhausted and depressed mother is not really an effective mother.

As I got older, I realized that having 10 children, for me, would be crazy talk. I am somewhat impatient and not that type of person at all. Yet in some weird way growing up it had seemed like such a badge of honor to have a lot of children, that I had pretty much accepted that is what you were suppose to do if you could.

And I know people have their religious reasons sometimes why they think they should have a large family. But it never seemed to be about that to me - it seemed that it was just de rigeur.

By the time I got married in the late 80s, there were no more thoughts of having lots of kids for me. I knew I probably would never have more than 4 or 5 and I wasn't even sure about having that many.

I started talking a lot more with my friends who had come from those large families and you know what they all said? None of them wanted families as large as the ones they came from. My friend who came from the family with 11 kids talked about all the ways she felt ignored growing up as the 5th of 11. She talked about how no matter what she did to get attention, someone ahead of her had already done it. The lead in the school play? Your sister Rebecca did that two years ago. First chair in violin? You sister Kara did that 5 years ago. Lead soloist in the choir? Your sister Lanee did that 6 years ago. You won the award for best freshman artist? Ralph already did that. Everything she did earned her not much more than a pat on the head and sometimes not even that. She had a lot of resentment about it. When we were young I totally idealized her family. They seemed so perfect. But apparently, that was not how it felt growing up there.

I had a sense that how many kids I had were totally up to me. Well, me and my husband. It was our personal decision and no one else's. And I know where I got that idea - I got that idea from the church who told me under birth control in the Bishop's hand book (and on their website):

Birth Control

Children are one of the greatest blessings in life, and their birth into loving and nurturing families is central to God’s purposes for humanity. When husband and wife are physically able, they have the privilege and responsibility to bring children into the world and to nurture them. The decision of how many children to have and when to have them is a private matter for the husband and wife.



Notice it doesn't say anywhere there that you have to have as many children as you can. Notice also it says the number is a private matter for husband and wife. Now if you want to read further on that topic the church also says this:

God has a plan for the happiness of all who live on the earth, and the birth of children in loving families is central to His plan. The first commandment He gave to Adam and Eve was to “be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth” (Genesis 1:28). The scriptures declare, “Children are a heritage of the Lord” (Psalm 127:3). Those who are physically able have the blessing, joy, and obligation to bear children and to raise a family. This blessing should not be postponed for selfish reasons.

Sexual relations within marriage are not only for the purpose of procreation, but also a means of expressing love and strengthening emotional and spiritual ties between husband and wife.

Husband and wife are encouraged to pray and counsel together as they plan their families. Issues to consider include the physical and mental health of the mother and father and their capacity to provide the basic necessities of life for their children.

Decisions about birth control and the consequences of those decisions rest solely with each married couple. Elective abortion as a method of birth control, however, is contrary to the commandments of God.


Having children should not be delayed for shelfish reasons.

Husbands and wives are encouraged to pray and counsel together as they plan their families.

Sexual relations are not only for pro-creation but to strengthen marriage.

Issues which should be considered in planning children are health of the mother, emotional/mental health, and financial capabilities to provide.

Abortion should not be used as birth control. All other birth control is a private decision of the couple.

So I can be down with all of those thoughts and points. Wise thoughts. Good points.

But what is really weird to me is that after we moved to Arizona I kept hearing woman talk very weirdly about these decisions. One girl I knew said she wished she was done having kids but that Heavenly Father had not told her yet that she was done.

What?

Do we not have free agency? Did you not just say that you wish you were done? Does God not expect us to use our brains? I didn't know I needed some sort of revelation that I was done. Some sort of directive. What I thought I was suppose to do based on the information and advice given by my church leaders was to use my head, make a decision based on all the information available to me, make that decision in conjunction with my husband and then check in with God and let him know my thoughts - if he disagreed or wanted to tell me differently, then I guess he'd have something to say, otherwise it was my decision.

So that's what I did. And I never looked back. I always felt totally secure in that decision. It was right for me, it was right for my husband and I think it was right for my kids (though sometimes I wish Jordan had been a twin so she could entertain herself a bit more - but the upside is she and Brennan really do hang out a lot, which I don't think would have happened if she had a little sister or a sister her age). Basically I felt that I made a reasoned, thought through decision. I let God know what I thought. He and I talk everyday. He never disagreed with me so I thought that was that.

Still do.

So what is up with all the girls who think God will tell them when to stop? Why should God tell you that? I don't get it at all. And I guess if you really want to have a lot of kids, it's fine. But that's not what they say. They don't say "we really want to have a lot kids". That I can accept. It's not for me, but different strokes for different folks. I'm very laissez-faire about having much of opinion about other people's choices. What drives me insane is that they don't say that at all - what they say is "we are going to keep having them until heavenly father tells us to stop".

Doesn't the fact that you are saying that indicate to Heavenly Father that you're willing to have more kids?

I guess I'm a bigger believer in free will than some people.

I'm not really kidding about that either. I really think that I should make decisions and then consult God. Not the other way around.

There have definitely been times when God has had to step in with me and say "that's a bad idea". And when he does, I totally listen.

Anyway, lately, I'm really grateful I had 3. The perfect number for me.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

What Happens In Vegas Stays in Vegas






Except when you are a mormon mother, I'm not sure anything happens in Vegas that needs to stay in Vegas.  It's all pretty much above board fun.
Shannon and I have been going to Vegas for quite a while, though it has been YEARS since we have been able to get away.  I don't even know the reasons - kids, school, busy schedules...
So for one of my rewards
 on this diet I asked for a trip to Vegas with Shannon.  
I love going to Vegas with Kirk but that's  a whole different trip - Kirk does NOT want to spend the day in the spa.  
Here are some photos of us in Vegas and to hear m
ore about our adventures there you can mosey on over to the Shando blog.  
(this is the view from our room - we stayed at the Luxor this time so this is a view of Excalibur next door - we started out in a different room which had a view of the pool but which also had a leaking ceiling - or at least it had been leaking at some frequent rainy past - and stains on the window sill and general dreariness.  On vacations where something like this happens I am glad to be with Shannon because she has no problem calling up and telling the hotel staff how wildly inappropriate our acomodations are and that we would please like a different room - then she proceeds to let them know in great detail every possible problem until they relent and give us not only a different room, but an upgraded room - so we ended up in the new tower in a more expensive room with this view)











(this is me at the pool at the Luxor - see my smile, that is the smile of a woman who does not have to worry about feeding anyone, cleaning up after anyone, driving anyone anywhere, etc. etc.  basically this is me when I am totally relaxed which only happens on vacation)













(here we are in our room right before we left to go to "O" at the Belaggio - We took about 20 photos to try to get this because we are not teenage girls who take photos of ourselves all the time and kept not managing to get ourselves in frame - then we had to take it over multiple times because Shannon felt her skin was not quite taut and youthful enough so in this one she is simulating a taut face, but it mostly ends up looking like she is strangling herself - this is the only photo she will let me have here though I took several others of her but apparently her lipstick was too pink and her hair was not the proper shad of auburn and a plethora of other concerns and complaints so we should feel lucky that we get this one here to prove she was on the trip and I am not totally making that part up)
And basically the trip was fabulous - we ate yummy steak and chicken at the Bellaggio, spent almost a full day at the spa (more on that in the Shando blog) sat by the pool, walked down the strip, went to the movie, read our books and magazines and....okay I'll admit, played the penny slots for a while (look, I can't help it, I'm incredibly lucky, I almost never lose - I ended up ahead 50 dollars by the time we left vegas and all playing penny or nickel slots - if you think that's shocking or sinful.....I kindasorta respectfully disagree) 

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Bliss is...

Here is what I like to do while I am in Mexico:











And when I am not looking at my book, I'm looking at this:


Ranting Corelates to Inverse Hunger Ratio

Sometimes my political spouting off directly corelates to the amount of hunger I am feeling on a particular day. Sometimes my diet makes me cranky. (ask my husband)

I normally have tried to stay a bit clear of politics here because I know many people who read the blog are republicans and probably disagree with a lot of what I say. And I am fine with that because I think that's what makes the world an interesting place - variety.

I'll try to squelch my thoughts in this area a little more effectively in the future.

For more on my hunger see here

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

My Boyfriend & a Little Ranting

My boyfriend John Cusack just did an ad for Moveon.org

It's been mentioned here before that I love John Cusack

He admits that he's no more important and his opinion is no more important than anyone else but that it's important to speak up about things we care about.

I'm super tired of ridiculous oil costs in a country where our options besides sucking it up and paying are extremely limited, lack of healthcare for the needy (and though I have healthcare - some would say the "cadillac plan" I pay $800 a month for it, which many families cannot even consider and it's STILL not all that great if someone has to go to the hospital), no intelligent plan to help the immigration problems we (Or maybe I should say immigrants) face, Insane spending getting us into further and further debt, a war fought on false pretenses where I fear we will continue to lose lives for many years to come, fear mongering, greedy, greedy, greedy "the dollar is GOD" decision makers. I'm so tired of hearing 'let the market decide'. Yeah, let's keep letting the market decide when it makes economic sense to cover healthcare costs for the poor. Let's keep letting the market dictate when viable renewable energy will become our main source rather than fossil fuels. Because that's worked incredibly well so far.

I miss the 90s.

At least Richard Nixon had the balls to say "F*** the doomed". Now everything is just pretense and posturing.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

A Silly Quiz

This isn't very scientific but it's the short version of an often used well known personality test.

Interestingly, I don't think our personalities are completely static. At various time in my life I've been an INFJ, and a INFP depending on my current mood.

Take the test for fun and see what you are [these things are also what that whole 'gold, blue, orange, green' personality thing is too - there are 16 personality types, for the purposes of gold blue orange green they break them down into just 4 - but when you think about it and rank the colors in an order (I'm usually Blue/Orange/Green/Gold) there are really a lot of possible combinations.]

I'm curious what some of my friends are so leave a comment and let me know (that's the budding shrink in me)



You Are An INFP



The Idealist



You are creative with a great imagination, living in your own inner world.

Open minded and accepting, you strive for harmony in your important relationships.

It takes a long time for people to get to know you. You are hesitant to let people get close.

But once you care for someone, you do everything you can to help them grow and develop.



In love, you tend to have high (and often unrealistic) standards.

You are very sensitive. You tend to have intense feelings.



At work, you need to do something that expresses your personal values.

You would make an excellent writer, psychologist, or artist.



How you see yourself: Unselfish, empathetic, and spiritual



When other people don't get you, they see you as: Unrealistic, naive, and weak

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