Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day: And Other Musings

First things first:

Thanks to all our military men and women who have sacrificed so much for the freedoms of this country.

I'm going to be honest, I don't have a theme for today. I don't have much else to say on Memorial Day, though I am grateful to our military for their sacrifices, that's about it. So, I've decided to give you a collection of random musings I've had lately. I know you've been waiting for it.

Fifty Shades of Grey

Probably not what you thought I was going to talk about next right? ;)

I have heard a lot of mention of "Fifty Shades of Grey" lately and saw a lot of vague postings on pinterest, but I didn't know what it was about. So, I looked it up on wikipedia. At work. Bad idea. Haha.

For those of you who don't know, apparently "Fifty Shades of Grey" started out as erotic/bdsm fanfiction for Twilight. The "author" then went and changed the names and got it published in a limited amount until it got really popular and now "everyone" is reading it. It has been dubbed "mommy porn." Awkward.


Here's why I don't think I will ever read this trilogy:

1) Anything that started with Twilight makes me sick.

2) Unnecessary trilogies are annoying.

3) Most importantly, the writing. I saw the books in Target the other day and read the back of the first one. Just by the description, I knew I would never buy these books. Then I started seeing quotes from the books on pinterest. 


The writing is so bad that I think I would be too distracted for it to succeed in producing the intended affect. I think it's the kind of book that if you get a few chapters in, no matter how bad, you just have to read the story until the end. But I don't think I'd be able to get past the awful writing in order to get far enough in that I'd care to finish.

(somebody shoot me now)

I do not mourn the fact that I will not be reading these books. I'm pretty sure I'll keep a few IQ points for abstaining. Sorry Grey fans.

Arachnophobia & My Own Crazy

I straight up have arachnophobia: the fear of spiders and other arachnids. 

 (this is the only spider picture I'll use because a picture of a real one would freak me out)

Basically, I don't like creepy-crawly things. Not a fan. I have learned to kill small, slow-moving spiders with a shoe, but that's about it. If it's big, fast moving or I don't have a shoe, I'm a crazy person. 

Tears, hyperventilation, the works. It's not pretty, folks.

But almost as bad as an actual spider is my own crazy.

I will often have the feeling that a spider is crawling on me. I will freaking lose my mind. Swatting at myself, increased heart rate, etc. Only to find out that 90% of it the time it's my own hair grazing my arm. 

Really? I just had a mental breakdown because my hair was touching me?! 

Of the remaining 10% - 9.5% is the wind and 0.5% is an actual spider. And that 0.5% is a pretty generous percentage. I'm a lunatic.

Update On My Trip & Running

Did I tell you guys this? The European Adventure trip with my lovely cousin, Jaclyn, is officially booked!!

Leaving July 21, returning August 4.  I'll have a few hours in NYC where I might go see the Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island, because why not?

Then I meet Jaclyn at the airport and we fly to Athens, Greece. A day in Athens, 2 days on Santorini Island (in a beachfront hotel!) and another day back in Athens.

Then we fly to Prague, Czech Republic where we have the day to ourselves, and the following day we start in Prague for our 8-day tour. We'll go to Moravia, Slovakia, Auschwitz & Birkenau Concentration Camps, Krakow, Poland,  Zakopane, Poland, Budapest, Hungary, Lake Plitvice National Park, Croatia, and Split, Croatia. And possibly some other stops I'm forgetting.

As far as my running goal- not happening. But don't lose faith, friends! I'm not running (or climbing many stairs) because my knee is really messed up from the fall back in December. Trying to run aggravated it enough that I saw a doctor. Tried Physical Therapy, but it wasn't helping. I might need surgery.

Since I wouldn't be able to get surgery and heal before the trip, I'm pretending that's not happening (it's not for sure anyway), so instead I'm trying to get it stronger before the trip. I joined a gym (whoa!) and I saw a personal trainer who helped me created a balanced cardio and strength training workout. So we'll see!

 (in case you're confused, I don't look like this at all! haha!)

Um... now I want to take a nap, so I'm going to stop writing. ha! 

Enjoy the holiday weekend!! :)


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Selfish: Let's Be Honest

Everyone is selfish. To one extent or another, every single person is selfish. It’s in our nature. 

We’re made in the image of God and God wants to be praised. Even though we’re supposed to be praising him, how can we escape that tugging inside for someone to acknowledge and “praise” us?

Even the most humanly selfless person has at one time or another (probably many times) had a selfish thought, impulse, action, etc.

But it’s all relative isn’t it?

We each have our limits of the amount of selfishness that we can tolerate in other people. There’s always a line between “well, we’re all a little selfish, so I can understand this” and “who does she think she is? The world does not actually revolve around her!!” 

There’s also a limit that each of us can stand selfishness in ourselves. And that limit is as individual as we are. What one person thinks is selfish, another person might not. Or two people can look at the same thing as selfish but one thinks it’s a reasonable amount and the other can’t imagine ever being that selfish.

The problem isn’t that we’re all a little selfish, the problem is that our limits, our boundaries, our opinions on selfishness all differ. 

So when a co-worker is an incredibly selfish person in your eyes, but in their eyes they are not very selfish at all- sparks fly. Heads butt. Battles are started. Tension rises. 

It’s true of many situations. From the “tiny” things like one little kid not sharing with another...

to “regular” things like leaving a mess for your co-workers to handle when you go on vacation...

to “big” things like one country feeling that another country is making selfish decisions and in their mind it constitutes war. 

 (yes, I am aware this is a scene from "Saving Private Ryan")

To see a genuinely self-less person is not only rare, it can sometimes be somewhat off-putting. People don’t understand. 

Some stand in awe and wish they could be like that person (knowing that they will never make the effort to change)...

some try to ignore it or push it away, others try to find anything to pin against that person to “bring them down a level.” 

Just think of how different the world would be if every single person did one (additional) self-less thing a day. No recognition, no praise, no benefit of any kind.

At the age of 5, my niece started a crusade against litter. 

She would bring bags to the park and school playground and pick up garbage. She was outraged that anyone would litter and pollute the world. 

When she picked up litter, it was not for recognition, it was the simple fact that it needed to be done and she was going to do it. 

That’s the mind of a child. What can adults do in complete self-lessness?


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day: Word To Your Mother!

Happy Mother's Day to all the mother's out there! To the biological mothers, adoptive mothers, foster mothers, godmothers, soon-to-be mothers, mothers to those angels who have passed, mothers who have past and watch over their children, and women who are in some way or another a mother -  even if that means you're a mother figure to someone who doesn't have a mother or who needs an extra one. 

When I was little I had dreams of what to be when I grew up- a singer, a nurse, a teacher, etc. (I already knew I was a princess, so I didn't have to wish for that ;) ). But from even an early age I knew I wanted to be a mother. I would even tell my mom that when I grew up I wanted to be just like her - in all the positive ways :)

My mom is wonderful. Compassionate, kind-hearted, hard working, loyal, sweet, frustrating, flawed, a perfectionist, self-giving, smart, forgiving etc. etc. She taught me to be myself above all else, to embrace the good and the bad, to try even when I didn't want to. She pushed me, and she let me push back. Sometimes she didn't push me, knowing I needed to make my own decisions. 

My mom was a stay-at-home mom for the majority of my childhood. For many years she was literally my teacher as I was home-schooled. She actually did teach me everything she knew. She taught me how to be honest, how to treat people with compassion and forgiveness, how to stand up for myself and others when things weren't right. She also taught me how to clean, cook from scratch and manage money. She taught me math, English and the Love of Jesus Christ. 

To this day I still have moments where I am thoroughly frustrated with my mom, or annoyed and just want her to leave me alone. But regardless of all those moments, I know I can come to my mom with anything. I can tell her what's going on in my life, but I can also tell her when something needs to be fixed in our relationship. My mom has always encouraged my brutal honesty, as long as it comes from a good place- a place wanting to reconcile things and make a better world. 

To watch my mom as a grandmother is awesome. It makes me want to have kids even more, just so they can have her as "granna." I know my niece and nephews adore her and I hope as they continue to grow they see just how amazing she's been to them.

My family has been going through some stuff lately. Stuff not meant for this blog. But one thing it has shown me is how much my mom is a fighter. In many ways growing up I saw her as a bit passive- wanting to please everyone so just doing whatever was asked. But now I see that she is willing and able to fight when we don't even know what to ask for. 

I hope when I do become a mother, that I have the sense to impart on my children all of the things my mother taught me.

My mom is amazing. I don't think she always knows that. I don't think we tell her enough. But I am very blessed to have grown up with her as my mother and I only hope that others are as lucky as I am.

I love you mom!!

♥ J

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Feminists: Why did "Equal Rights" become "Anti-Men"?

I'm going to say it right now- I am not a feminist. 

The definition of feminism is:

the doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men.


an organized movement for the attainment of such rights for women.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm all about equality and I'd totally back this definition. But look around - the majority of "feminists" I know have taken this to a whole new level. It is no longer about equal rights, it's about men-bashing.

Anything a man says or does, any term he uses that a woman doesn't like is immediately wrong because he's a man. And that's just stupid, ladies.
Total cliche I know, but it was the funniest one closest to what I was looking for.
I have a co-worker who gets up in arms about the term "man cave." She says it shouldn't be called a man cave, it should be a "man or woman cave." OK, no. Let a man have his cave!

It gets him and his buddies out of your hair when they want to hang out. I'm sure you'd like a space to go with your girl friends - away from him - and that would be perfectly legit, right? And it's not like you can't step foot in there (someone's gotta clean, right? haha, totally kidding, I just had to!)

And that's my problem. It's no longer about equal rights, it's become about blame and making it so anything a man does is wrong. Well you know what "feminists"- how is that any better? That's not equality. You don't like it done to you, why do it to them?

Also, I think women get too easily offended. I mean, I do it sometimes, so I know. But just like with marriage, kids, friendships, etc. Pick your battles, ladies. Not everything is worth a war.

I was catching up on the voice tonight and Christina got all offended by a song a contestant sang because the censored lyrics were "I got 99 problems, but a bitch ain't one." Now tell the truth ladies, have you ever called another woman a bitch? Have you ever thought another woman was being a bitch? Have you ever been a bitch? I guarantee the answer is yes. It's probably good he doesn't have a bitch as a problem. Get over it. This isn't worth a battle.

But like I said, I'm all for equality for women. You want to work? Get equal pay? Start your own business? etc? Go for it. I wish you the best. But if you are a woman and you want to stay at home, raise children and make a lovely home for your family, that's OK, too. And a lot of times "feminists" look down on women who want this.

I'm very liberal in many many ways. But in some ways I'm traditional. As of right now in my life, I want to get married. I want to take my husband's name.  I want to be a stay at home mom (if financially feasible) and raise our kids. I want to clean the house and cook from scratch, just like my mom did. I want to find a man where I can genuinely and sincerely say these words to him:

Does that mean I can't do anything else? No. 

But in the words of my best friend- "A woman pregnant and in the kitchen? Sign me up!" ;)

I'm a very strong, very independent woman. I don't need a man to make my life OK or to support me. But I'd like one. I want to be in that balance between independence and dependence. Because dependence isn't weakness, it's finding security in another person. We aren't meant to live alone. We can do it, but why? I want that balance, that equality that feminists were originally looking for. But I won't try to lessen the value or box in men to get it. If I want full rights and respect, I have to give it to him as well. 

There's a lesson to learn here, ladies. Think about it.