29 May 2019

A Leap of Faith

You may have noticed it's been
pretty quiet around these parts for awhile.
Occasional movie reviews but nothing consistent.
Well there's a good reason for that lack of commitment:
We MOVED!
 
Completely NOT in the plans for the year when we made goals,
NOT in even our minds really but here we are hahaha
 
 
 I've said here before that the house we were in was not 
our forever house.
It was the perfect starter home and we loved it dearly.
We started to feel the nudge sometime in the end of March.
First week of April we just decided to look around at
some houses nearby to see what was even on the market.
On a whim we saw this house (I had hated the pictures of it online)
and we fell in love with it.
And that's when the madness started hahaha

Within a week we had our house up on the market.
Guys I've never worked so hard for so long on something
(other than growing babies)
and we had multiple offers come in which was great.
We also knew that we couldn't afford this new house
without selling ours first.
Basically take the equity and roll it over into our down payment.
So we took a cash offer that seemed to give us the most wiggle room
in a new budget to work.

After the inspection period,
these buyers got difficult.
They now wanted pictures of the EMPTY house 3 days before close,
lowered their price to "help them with upgrades to the property",
and a few other things that I've honestly blocked from memory.

We could have backed out and put it back up and seen what would happen.
We could have done that,
but Andrew and I both felt prompted to just keep going.
We didn't want to lose THIS house.
It had been on the market for about 50 days when we saw it,
and we were the only offer on it but it was contingent
upon the sale of our house.
And if we had put ours back up and waited,
this house would probably be out of reach because they were
waiting for a certain period of time before they 
would open this house for more financing options.

And so, we plugged on.
The week leading up to Memorial Day was moving week.
We had to pack the truck on Wednesday so we could take pictures
of the empty house for them to wire the money on Friday
so we could simultaneously close on the new one same day.
Guys,
THIS WAS SO STRESSFUL!
 
 
 
We had plans to pack the truck and leave room for the mattresses 
so we could sleep one more night there and then be out by Thursday.
Well our water had other ideas and we were kinda forced out Wednesday night.
THANK GOODNESS for amazing ward members and neighbors
who allowed us to crash at their house and helped us with this move.
We lived out of our car for most of Thursday,
stayed the night with some friends,
and most of the day on Friday while we waited for the green light to move into
the new house.

Oh and did I mention this was also Rory's last week of school????
My poor girl didn't get a proper last week of school
and quite frankly I felt really bad that her teacher didn't get the same amount of gifts
or attention that her kinder teachers did last year.
All because of this move hahahaha

But as I sit here in my new office and type this,
I am BEYOND grateful.
We know for a fact that the Lord's hand was in this.
We've felt His promptings and love and peace while in the midst of chaos.
We're both so grateful to everyone that helped us in any way with this new adventure.


My saddest part of this move however was leaving my sweet girls.
My Young Women have been in my life for the 5 1/2 years we lived in that house.
I grew up with them as their teacher and I have loved them
as though they were my own
(and still do don't you worry girls!).
They surprised me on our last week at church with signed posters,
a Sodalicious gift card (it's like they know me),
treats and lots of tears and hugs.
They're my "babies" and I am sad that I won't be there
every week to see them anymore.
Lucky for us, we only moved like 5 minutes away so they are still stuck with me
as a friend and ally!

So there ya have it!
Now you know why it's been kinda silent on here for awhile 
and it may continue to be so while I unpack
and get everything settled away.
So bare with me while I try to work some pixie magic on this house
and make it into our true forever home!




22 May 2019

"Aladdin, The Princess, and The Lamp."

I will try to control myself
to NOT burst out in
"Arabian Nights" as I write this because believe me, 
it's a very strong temptation!
 
Last night I went with my mom to a screening of
Aladdin.
 
 
 
I'll be honest.
I walked into this with zero expectations because 
I LOVE the animated version of this movie so much I was skeptical.
 

Guys I was blown away by how good it was!
It was its own movie.
They weren't trying to make it completely the same way,
they made it their own!
I loved it.
 
The MUSIC!
Let's talk about this for a minute.
The music is INCREDIBLE!
Naomi Scott was my biggest surprise of the entire thing,
her voice is amazing,
her portrayal of Jasmine just made me so happy.
We already knew that Jasmine was "NOT a prize to be won",
and Naomi portrays her with such grace and power
that I was happily stunned by.
 
 
The dancing!
They combined Bollywood with hip hop and I DIED!
IT WAS SOOOOOOO GOOD! 
It's amazing to see different cultures meld into 
one beautiful interpretation of events.
 
On that note,
let's mention how AMAZING it is to see
actors that are actually FROM the culture being represented!?
This casting was done incredibly,
including Will Smith.
A few naysayers have mentioned that he doesn't fit this or that mold,
or belong in the cast because he himself is not of the same culture.
Um guys, he plays THE GENIE.
the BLUE Genie for crying out loud!
He belongs just fine.
 
I fell in love with this movie and 100% recommend it for kids and adults alike ;)
It's super fun and very entertaining,
and you'll be singing
"Friend Like Me" for days!
 
 

24 April 2019

"We're in the endgame now"

 
 
"How many did you see?"
"14,000,605"
"How many did we win?"
 "1"
 

 
 
After the MCU devastaed us with Avengers: Inifinity War -
Thanos won.
For the first time, our beloved heroes lost.
Utterly and without closure.
the time has come to settle the score for as
Tony Stark said from the beginning
"Earth's Mightiest Heroes.....
If we can't protect the Earth,
you can be damed sure we'll avenge it."
 
 
This movie is long.
3 hours and 2 minutes to be exact.
Altough I'd say it's more like 3 hours and 10 minutes to include the first part of the credits.
And trust me when I say,
it doesn't ever give you a break.
It starts without warning or even a recap.
Just BAM!
So use the bathroom before,
maybe skip the drink and popcorn,
and just enjoy the show.
 
I enjoyed everything about this movie.
Everything.
I walked out and immediately wanted to go back and watch it again.
It's not just the story I will go back for either.
The way it was filmed,
the MUSIC!!!,
everything spectacular we've come to expect from a Marvel movie
were all there and then some.
 
Movies you NEED to have seen before seeing Endgame:
Avengers Infinity War.
That's it.
Captain Marvel is a good idea to see just so you can know who
she is and what she can do but it isn't essential
while Inifinity War is most definitely.
They don't have the luxury of recapping the last movie 
before delving into this one so you've been warned!
 
If you're thinking of taking your kids to see this I have a slight word of caution:
unless they've seen Inifinity War, and survived watching that,
I'd wait a bit before they see this.
There's nothing bad in the way of bad words or sexual innuendos
but it IS intense and doesn't let up really at all.
And there is, considerably, a lot of fighting.
 
My own kids won't be seeing either of these until they're a little bit older
only becasue they're not emotionally mature enough to handle them yet.
Will they avenge the world like they've promised:
"Whatever it takes."?
Go see it in theaters starting April 26th and find out!
 
(and then talk to me cuz I'm DYING to talk to people about it!!!)
 

20 March 2019

We need to change the story

  Most of you know that I am a member of
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
and I have a calling (volunteer position) of teaching
the Beehive class who are 11-13 year old girls.
 
This year we are having the girls teach with us 
and they get to pick the lesson.
I was surprised when one girl picked
"Why is chastity important?"
as the lesson we would teach together.
But I was also humbled knowing that she felt comfortable enough
to suggest this one, without even giggling, and prepare for it.
 
I knew I needed help with this myself so I went
on Instagram for opinions and insights on this sensitive subject;
specifically, what you wish you had been taught
as a young woman that you didn't know until you grew up.
The response I had from my friends and colleagues on social media
was astounding.
So many amazing insights and differing perspectives
and I'm going to share them here because this is a conversation
I feel we ALL need to have with our children.
Especially our sweet girls.
 
via
 
As a youth myself I remember this lesson and feeling the blush
come up on my cheeks just hearing the word chastity.
That lesson was always a source of embarrassment and uncomfortable.
But I never felt like I was being guilted or told I wasn't enough ever in those lessons.
I was also incredibly lucky to have my mom and her two best friends
as my teachers for 5 of those 6 years in Young Women,
so the lessons, while weird, were never to make me feel
like my only worth was in staying pure.
 
For others, they were not as lucky.
They got the "chewed up gum" or the "mud splatted white fence"
lessons of guilt and worthlessness should they transgress.
The worst thing some one shared was of a leader saying in a lesson like this was
"what man could ever want someone that wasn't clean or pure?"
When I heard that from this incredible friend 
I felt like I personally had been punched in the gut.
What a horrible thing to say!
 
While the law of chastity is there to help keep us pure
and IS important to follow,
that does not diminish our worth in the eyes of God
if it is broken or a mistake is made.
It shouldn't diminish anyone's worth
in our own eyes.
 
 via
Most of the time in our religious culture 
(almost regardless of which religion it is),
women are shunned if they transgress with this law.
I feel that this is so egregious and horrifying.
Instead we should be so loving and open and willing to help them heal.
 
How do we help them heal?
We talk of the healing power of the Atonement.
The power of the Atonement is overwhelming when you start to understand it.
Jesus Christ literally suffered for ALL of our sins.
He did this so when we mess up,
NO MATTER WHAT,
if we repented of and forsook it,
He would remember it no more because He already atoned for it.
That is something amazing to realize.
 
 Even if you do transgress in this way,
you can recover,
You can be healed.
You are still so loved beyond measure.
He will never forsake you,
believe on that and your healing will begin.
A friend equated it to a broken bone:
over time you nurture it and it will heal,
so will your heart.
 
 via
 
An amazing woman opened up about how she
wished that she had been able to be more open about her changing body.
But she felt that every part of her was sexualized and therefore
felt embarrassed to even think about asking.
She feels that maybe if that had been more out in the open,
she would have been able to recognize the times when
she was being sexually assaulted and been able to do something.
 
So much of what we're taught and discussing needs to change.
 
We need to teach more about what our bodies are capable of:
growing human beings, feeding those same babies,
preparing to hopefully be able to conceive those babies as well.
We need to change the story of breasts being nothing but things to oogle at.
We need to change the story that women are inherently sexual 
and want that at all times.
We need to change the story that women are the only beings "responsible"
and the only ones that have to "deal with the consequences".
We need to change the story that our girls have to be constantly
worried about becoming a sexual object by anyone of the opposite sex.
 
This lesson started as just the question of
why is chastity so important?
It became so much more to me personally
as I read story after story of heartbreak and abuse.
Moms. Sisters. Leaders. Teachers.
we need to change how we speak to our young girls and boys.
Chastity is a hard thing to describe and explain to a room of preteens.
I want to change that.
I'm not saying we share intimate details with other people
however
I believe that an open communication channel between
kids and adults they trust is imperative.
Be open about what our bodies will naturally do
and want to do.
If we make it so taboo to even speak of 
who will they go to for answers when things are hard?
I want my kids (my young women included) to feel comfortable
to come to me with any issues they may have.
I may not have all the answers they seek,
but I can help them find them.
 
We have a long ways to go in our society
to change how we perceive things.
I only hope we have enough time to teach our kids this:
Sexual feelings are natural.
You're supposed to have them, it's ok.
It's also ok if you don't have them right now. 
Sex itself is a wonderful natural gift we've been given
to show we love someone else so much.
But it is also so much more than physical.
Save that experience for the one
you know will treasure you forever.
Someone who will stand by you no matter what.
At the right time.
In the right place.
 
via
via
But also this:
You are loved even when you make a mistake.
You are worth more than all the treasure of the earth.
NO matter what.
 
I want to wrap every single one of these amazing ladies 
in the biggest Mama Bear hug possible for being so brave
and sharing these very intimate experiences with me.
I also am sending a virtual hug to any and
all who may be dealing with this now.
 
If you have felt shamed for anything,
please know that I see you.
I hear you.
I hold space for you and
want you here!