Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Well Done Sister Suffragette

It's come to my attention in recent weeks just how many of my friends pack lunch for their husbands to take to work. In fact, I , so far, have not found another friend who does not pack a lunch for her husband. Me, being a non-lunch packer, always assumed I was with the majority. I am actually shocked at my findings. Before this week, it had actually never occurred to me to pack a lunch for Spencer. He knows how to make a lunch as well as I do. If he wants to eat , he can make it. He's capable. I actually rarely make him lunch when he's home. Lunch has always been a do-it-yourself meal at our house.

I don't know how many of you know this about me, but I have quite a feminist streak. Enough of a feminist streak that if I lived during the Victorian Era, you can bet I would have been out marching with the rest of the suffragettes carrying my "Votes For Women" sign. I love staying home with my children. I know it is important, but it was a big internal struggle for me. There was one point, during my college years, when I was really excelling in school, that I considered the work force over child raising. I had so much going for me and so many people encouraging me. I regularly find myself jealous of Spencer off at school, furthering his education and have more than once considered letting him stay home and becoming his sugar momma. I had a hard time giving up my maiden name. My first year of married life, I hyphenated my name on all my school work. It wasn't until I was pregnant with Parker that I finally had my name legally changed for the sake of my children.

I won't continue to go into very much because a lot of it will probably make me very unpopular and bring up some hot button issues I don't really care to debate. When I was engaged, a middle aged man said to me (and I think I remember it word for word because it irritated me so bad), "Congratulations. You know what that means? Three meals a day. You'll be making him three meals a day for the rest of your lives." Oh no you didn't!!! You didn't just insinuate I'm in charge of cooking because I'm a woman!

Maybe it was that comment that subconsciously turned me off from packing Spencer's lunch. I don't think I learned that at home. I grew up in a fairly traditional family. My parents for the most part fulfilled the traditional male/female roles. I don't know mom...did you ever pack Dad's lunch? I only remember him going out to eat. I know she always helped in the yard, but I don't really ever remember my dad pushing a vacuum. And his idea of doing the dishes was usually assigning out jobs to me and my brothers (at least he included my brothers). He did make the occasional Saturday night omelette's. Regardless of the fact that they carried the traditional roles, my brothers and I all had both inside and outside chores and I certainly never felt suppressed as a female at my house. My parents had a very loving, cooperative, and healthy relationship. I don't remember my mother being any sort of a feminist, but I think she has picked up a little bit of it in recent years.

Spencer's family was similar in this regards....a traditional family life. Yet somehow, when we married, we never completely fell into those traditional roles. I luckily married someone who didn't
expect me to fulfill the traditional woman's roles in a household. I actually hate the word expect in regards to roles of husbands and wives. If Spencer ever expected me to do anything, I wouldn't do it for that very reason. Luckily he doesn't expect me to pack his lunch. Because we all know that isn't happening.

I have never felt that dishes, cleaning, cooking, and children are my sole responsibility. I tend to do more because I'm home more often, but not a ton more. Spencer definitely vacuums more often than I do. He makes dinner (and reads the recipe blog) as much as I do. And in the same way, I know how to fire up a grill, patch walls, work a compound miter, mow the lawn and kill spiders. We work together both indoors and out. I realize most of you who pack lunch for your husbands do it out of love, not expectations. But I don't feel I love my husband any less because I would never dream of packing his lunch. We share responsibilities out of love for one another.

I could write about gender roles forever. Just to keep the record straight...I truly love being a woman...especially in today's world. I fulfill MANY traditional female roles and love every minute of it. I have never once wished I were a man. And I am more than grateful to be a wife, mother, daughter and sister. I just don't feel it's my role to pack Spencer's lunch.

I am highly interested in every one's thoughts on the subject. PLEASE post comments. I'm including two polls on the side of my blog. Please place your vote...and a vote for your husband (blogging is one woman's role I take great pleasure in fulfilling). I'm anxious to see the findings.

Monday, April 28, 2008

The Joke's On You

Amanda tagged me to share my most embarrassing moment. I like to think I don't easily embarrass, but I've got some doozies. Since I'm more than willing to embarrass myself on my on the world wide web, I've got to give you a top three. (Actually, I can think of worse than the first two, but even I have a limit of what I'm willing to share on my these make good stories.)

So here they are in descending order:

embarrassing moment #3:
This was my junior year of college. Some friends and I were walking home from a Sunday night (church dress) ward was a mixed group...girls and guys...Spencer included. We get to the parking lot in front of our apartment and for what reason I'll never know, Heidi takes a pan of leftover potatoes she was carrying and slides it down the steep and icy drive way. Thinking it was my pan, I chase after it before it slides into oncoming traffic. When I've about caught up to the pan, I realize it's Heidi's pan, not mine. Just as I'm yelling out, "Heidi! The jokes on you...!" I slip in the ice and slide myself right down that steep driveway with the pan of potatoes. I happened to be wearing a full skirt which is now tangled around my waist. I had tights on, but you know what tights look like up at the top over a pair of underwear...less than attractive. Spencer apparently liked what he saw because he proposed a few weeks later. Seriously there was at least twelve people there to witness it...every one of them laughing in hysterics. I ended up with a broken tail bone and Spencer was laughing way too hard to help me up off the ground. To this day, he laughs himself to tears when we bring up that story. I'm sure it was a sight.

embarrassing moment #2: Also on a Sunday. I was 16 or 17. Church was over and I had seen my dad chatting with a group of young adults. He had been their seminary teacher and this group was now together because one of them had just got home from his mission and had spoken in sacrament meeting that day. I knew my dad was over there talking but I had got distracted in the hall, so a few minutes later, I went over to the group and put my arm around my dad and said, "Let's go home." Well my dad was no longer there and it turned out to be Joel Thacker (the freshly returned missionary) that I put my arm around and apparently wanted him to take me home. Niiiiice. They all had a good laugh at my expense.

embarrassing moment #1:
This one may not be as's uncomfortably embarrassing and has to do with monthly girl problems. If that disgusts anyone too bad, you can stop reading now. I had really bad periods in high school. When they came on, they came on a faucet. I played basketball my freshman year and showed up to a game unprepared to start my period that day. A few minutes into the first quarter, it happened. Seriously, in seconds time I was sitting in a puddle on my chair. For whatever reason, the entire JV boys basketball team came to cheer us on that day and sat directly behind us. I was mortified. I couldn't leave my chair for anything. The coach was nice enough not to make me play, but I had to get up during half time for a group huddle and game plan. Traci was there and kindly tossed something on my seat for me so no one had so see that awful puddle and someone else guarded my back. I couldn't bring myself to go to the bathroom because it was clear on the other side of the gym and I would have had to cross the court in front of the stands of spectators to see...besides, what was the use, I was already soaking. It was seriously awful. I should send that in to TEEN Magazine or something.

The first two are funny embarrassing...not at all embarrassing anymore, just funny. But that third one has scarred me for life. Not funny...just embarrassing.

There you have it. I'm going with the fam and tagging Mom and Jeff. Anyone else who wants to play, PLEASE do. I officially tag you. I love reading these stories.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Out Of The Mouths Of Babes...and Boys

This was my worst week in primary yet. I finally had to ban all chairs from the class room because the crazy kids couldn't keep them on the floor. And a member of the primary presidency is now in the regular habit of taping the light switches during opening exercises because the kids have some weird issue with turning them off. It's a major battle. I don't think any of their quotes have been as funny since the first week I started writing them, but they seem to be popular, so here it is by popular demand...Out of the Mouth of Babes.

A: We fast when we brush our teeth.

L: I choose the right by letting my sister brush her teeth first.

A: 'I like to move it, move it!' (We were playing follow the leader and when it was A.'s turn to be the leader, he sang this accompanied by a crazy little dance.)

E: I have to whisper something in your ear. When I went to the bathroom, I couldn't go pee because there was a baby getting his diaper changed in there and it was a boy. I didn't want him to watch me.

L: I show my sister I love her when I share my balloon.

During sharing time, Sis. N. asked the kids if they knew what was on her poster. A child yelled out: It must be a pirate map!

Sis. V. had a teacher walk down the hall during singing time to see how far she could get and still hear the singing. When she asked how far they thought she could get, one kid answered: To the end of the earth!

I really wish I had my pen and paper out during sacrament meeting. I'd say at least six or seven young men got up to bear their testimonies today. You'd think some one had promised them a candy bar or something. But I don't think that was the case. When one of them got up he encouraged the rest of the young men to get up, too...and they did. One by one we heard the simple and strong testimonies of these stalwart young men. It was awesome. I've never really lived in a ward where the young men get up to bear their testimonies...especially cool young men. Shoot, I never bore my testimony from the pulpit until college. I think I did it one year at girls camp and probably even at EFY and possibly youth conference. I was impressed. What a great group of young men. These are the only two comments I remember from them....and it's not word for word, but close. Again, I wish I had a pen handy. I really enjoyed testimony meeting today.

I just want to bear my testimony of the brotherhood in this ward...

When they split wards, I wasn't really happy about it. All my friends were in another ward. (Then, in an effort to retain is current ward friends he added the following.) Well not all my friends.

The youth are so fun.

Friday, April 25, 2008

We Were Merely Freshmen

I had a visit from an old friend a couple weeks ago. An old friend? Here in Texas? That's right. I have a good friend from college who lives less than an hour away. Just another perk of living in D-Town, I guess. This is Brooke. We used to think she looked like Meg Ryan, but the more I got to know her, the harder it was for me to see it. She was one of my roommates. Actually, I don't think I ever lived with Brooke, but I still consider her one of the "roommates."

There were seven of us girls. Me, Tammy, Heidi, Brooke, Jenni, Carrie, and Stutz. (Actually, her name was Carrie Stutzneggar, but we called her Stutz...have you ever known a group of girls to call one of them by their last name? Funny huh? Even now...though her last name has changed, I still call her Stutz.) We were all just lucky enough to be placed together our freshman year of college. A few girls already knew each other from high school, but as a group we were strangers. We started freshman year out in Merrill Hall and when freshman year was over and we were more than ready to get out of on-campus housing, we decided not to break up the group and we all moved together...three of us in one apartment, four in the other. Over the years we slowly dwindled down to one apartment as we got married or pursued happiness in far off lands. I was the second to last to go...Carrie out lived me by five months, I think.

I have never had a group of girl friends so close knit. Especially a group containing seven girls. We didn't fight. We still keep in touch. We are all over the U.S. these days. Some of us have enjoyed Thanksgivings together. Others meet yearly in Utah at Christmas time. Four of us don't have any sisters...which I think really helped our closeness. This was my first experience living with girls...sharing secrets, clothes and boys. I need the friendship of these girls. They are my sisters.

As I was enjoying the company of Brooke and her family that Saturday night, I was thinking how different we all are now. It is so strange that our lives, that were once so similar, are now no longer dependent on each other. I'm so glad our lives all crossed paths for those few short years during college. I learned so much from these girls and love them all so dearly.

I have about a bazillion pictures of us. But for this Flashback Friday, I'll just include those from Freshman year...when we first met. That was almost nine years ago. Can you believe it? We should plan a ten year reunion. I don't have a single picture of the seven of us together freshman year. Since I have so many other pictures from freshman year that will no doubt show up in another Flashback Friday, I am only including pictures that have no one else but us girls in them. So here's to never being college freshman again, but loving the memories.

Tammy was the one I actually shared a room with. We were seriously inseparable. We dated brothers or best friends quite often. We worked together for a while. We were even both music majors. I, however changed my major a year or so into it, but Tammy went on to sing at The New York Metropolitan Opera, Carnegie Hall, and you can currently find her in in an opera in England...just to name a few. I'm proud to say I sang a duet with her to win the Miss Merrill Hall talent show (displayed in the first picture).

eventually became my room-roommate. It's funny, I don't have any pictures of just her and I together freshman year. We weren't as close then. But now, she is my very best girl-friend. Check out how cute she is.

This is Tammy and Heidi together. They knew each other before college.

This is Carrie. She is the only other girl, besides me, that came up not knowing anyone. She is the one that hung on the longest with me...and also became my room-room mate. We have shared many laughs and tender moments. I still highly value her opinions and advice.

The next three knew each other in high school, too.

This is Stutz. She had a boyfriend back at home and rarely spent a weekend with us. I guess it paid off...she's now married to him. She had the most awesome job as a "custodial engineer" at the junior high and frequently came home with half rolls of toilet paper.

When I went away to Utah for school, I didn't know a soul there. Brooke was the first one to make me feel included. I remember sitting at a ward FHE activity up the canyon...and feeling a little out of the conversation...she turned and chatted with me for the remainder of the night. I don't think I ever told her how much I appreciated that. Thanks Brooke.

I think this first picture is when Jenni and I shared a box of hair dye. Jenni was such a romantic. I loved listening to her talk about her ideals. She would read to us from the "rules" book. She went home the summer after freshman year and came back up in love. She married Eric a few months later.

Christmas Gift Exchange

Chocolate Chip Pancakes.

Spring Break Road Trip

Probably a romantic movie or something.

Temple Square

A Sunday Night In The Canyon

My First Snowfall

These girls really made my college experience.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Mr. Toad's Wild Ride

It didn't even occur to me that TOADS would be indigenous here. I should've known. DISGUSTING! Spencer tried to chase it out, but it got scared and has now burrowed deep in the unpacked boxes in our garage. I am paranoid to step foot into the garage. And what's unfortunate is that I planned to dig out an unpacked platter that I needed tonight. I guess my friends will have to settle for snacks on a regular old plate.

I don't deal well with reptiles.

****As a side note...I accidentally posted this on the recipe blog first. Yum!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Shooting Contest

I'm standing in the kitchen a few minutes ago and look out the window to see this:

Is that about the saddest, yet cutest thing ever?

Notice he's wearing a backpack.

After snapping a few pictures I ask Parker what he's doing. He said he was waiting for the shooting contest.

Kids are so weird.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Freeze Frame

So Saturday night we took our kids to the park...nothing special, just an outing at the park. I have to admit, I was dragging my feet a little. I had been cleaning and running errands and kept busy with Saturday things. I was tired and not really up for an outing to the park. It turned out to be one of the best family nights ever. I can't even tell you why. It was just a regular night at the park. We were the only ones there. It was one of those rare but treasured moments that you don't want life to change one bit. I could have lived in that night for the rest of my life and not been tired of it. I think this is maybe the second time ever I just wish my crazies could be kids forever.

Does anyone want to guess how many pictures I took? Anyone? 216. That's right. I just felt that the more pictures I took, the longer the night would last. I wanted to remember every second of it. The kids every expression and mannerisms. Seriously. It was just unreal to me that I have three kids that are so incredibly cute. Don't worry, I didn't include every picture. But it was certainly hard to narrow it down. There was nothing about them that wasn't cute.

Anyway, last Saturday will go down as one of those freeze frame moments in my kids lives that I will always remember...for no particular reason.





Could this kid look any less like me? Seriously. We look nothing alike.



for ice cream. The night was too good to not include ice cream...anything to make it last a little longer and keep the kids up even farther past their bedtime, right? This is the same Frosty I referred to here. Mom and Cindy were right...they do have the best soft serve ice cream I've ever experienced. Frosty was like a step back in time. The service was incredible. The place was booming with families on a Saturday night. Even families with teenage kids. It smelt so fantastic, you can bet I'll be back to try their burgers.

I just can't get over how cute they were on Saturday night. Luckily, I don't have to get over it (as Spencer pointed out to me).