Monday, September 30, 2013

You're so vain.

"You're so vain, you probably think this song is about you, don't you? You're so vain."

My mom loved to sing this Carly Simons song to us as kids whenever we were acting a little too into ourselves.  By the way, my mom had a song for every occasion:  Washing your kids' hair? "I've gotta wash that man right outa my hair" from South Pacific.  It's a Monday morning? "Monday Monday, can't trust that day" by the Mama's and the Papa's.  There was a song for everything.  And primarily, the song for me was "Your so vain."

This week, my vanity back fired on me.

It all began a few months ago when I was visiting with a friend who is a P.A. and she noticed my eyelids.  Ok, I am about to reveal something deeply personal and shocking- and even point out one of my saddest flaws: I have puffy, saggy eyelids.  Promise you will not stare at them next time you see me!

I am not talking puffiness under my eyes from lack of sleep from staying up talking at the Weeds' house till 1:30 in the morning last night.   Although I have that too.  (And, let's be honest,  I enjoy the name drop of my most famous friends-but seriously- someone else needs to get famous soon, I am tired of them being my only famous friends!)  I am talking about my eye lids being puffy.

What? You have never noticed? (*phew*)
What? You have totally noticed??  (*aagghhhhh*)
What? You never noticed before, but now when you see me it is all you can look at? (*crap*)

I know you don't think you have ever noticed if someone has puffy eyelids or not.  But some women are blessed with smooth, flat, tight eye lids.  Picture Dana - if you don't know Dana- picture any girl on a cosmetics commercial.

Why does this model's eyes look so pretty?  It is her smooth, tight eye lids.  The perfect canvas for the beautiful art of make up.  You can clearly see the division between the upper and lower  parts of her eyelid.  There is room for shadow and light.  Because of this, there is depth and and an overall look of youthfulness and beauty.

These are not my eyelids.

And when my friend noticed this- she pointed out that there is a surgery that can suck the puffiness out of the upper lid giving you this effect.  And the surgery can be covered by Insurance.  My heart lept with joy at this news. 

Why do I care so much about my eyelids?  They aren't that bad, you say.  

Something about me: I L-O-V-E make up.  I have always loved it.  Not only for the fact that it makes my freckle face look less like a 12 year old boy and more like a 26 year old woman.  But I enjoy putting it on.  In fact, I look forward to doing my makeup from the minute I get up.  For the little artist in me, it is a chance to start out every morning with a fresh canvas and limitless combinations of color and light.  I have heard people say that women put on makeup for other women.  Nope, not me.  I put it on because I love it.  (And I guess I am OK with the results being that I look more attractive with it on)  So when I was told that my canvas could be surgically fixed to give me a better working space for my secret passion- I was thrilled!

This week I finally got around to going to see my friend's eye doctor.  I expected him to give me a referral to have this surgery performed and thus change my life forever.  When I entered his office on Monday I looked forward to the life changing event in store.

But much to my horror - he began to actually check my vision!  What? To get insurance to pay for it, I would need a legitimate reason?  Not just that my eyes get tired at night (from the added weight of puffy lids)  or that I was being deprived of artistic opportunity by my hereditary deficiency.  They wanted to see that my vision was compromised by my lids.  

Let's be honest, I have faked my way through quite a few tests.  Even lied on some (namely: the hearing tests I took in elementary school because I was terrified of getting a hearing aid).  But how to fake a vision test? I was clueless.

By the end of the exam he agreed that my lids were puffy and unsightly.  (Ok, he didn't say that - but he was thinking it) But he laughed at the idea that my Insurance would cover the procedure.  Then he told me that the reason my eyes are tired at night is not because of the added weight of heavy lids- but because I might be slightly far-sighted.


So instead of giving me a referral for an amazing cosmetic surgery- he handed me a pair of glasses.


I will admit that glasses can be a very cute accessory.  I even had a pair of fake lenses once because I thought it was kind of fun to look all smart and stuff.  But to have to wear glasses every day?  Forever? 

The ironic end to this story:

I went to the optometrist to fix my eye lids so that my make up would look even better and so that I could enjoy the eyes that I covet on other women,  and ended up walking out with a pair of glasses that completely hide the make up that I love putting on!  Who cares if you have the perfect smokey eye if your glasses cover it up?

I am still "practicing" wearing the glasses (with the lame- trial glasses frames) to see if I actually need them.  Riley loves them, and insists that I wear them.  I am not sold on the whole idea.  

I guess that is what vanity gets you.


Me and Macie and Glasses

Now the really depressing part. 
I took a million pictures to try to show you how good my make up looks and why this is such a tragedy for me...

 And none of them really showed how good I think my make up looks!  In fact, it hardly looks like I am wearing make up at all.  I guess I shouldn't be so sad about covering up my art work after all!

*** In case you can't tell, these pictures and post were actually taken and written over a year ago.  I have just been too annoyed with these pictures to hit publish. (I am not a good "self photographer" I guess.)  (And too embarrassed of my "four eyes" to wear them in public.)

*** Second disclaimer:  I did end up wearing my glasses in public and not a single person noticed.  Ironic.

Monday, September 23, 2013


On my way to church this morning I was already writing this blog post in my mind.  It was going to be a witty and chiding take on Mormons affected by Ward Boundaries.

(I think I should quickly explain some of this, for those that are not Mormons who have no idea what I am talking about.  One of the characteristics in the LDS church is that we are organized by our geographical locations.  Each unit of the church is called a Ward.  A Ward is defined by a specific geographic area.  Part of the logic in this outlining of boundaries is so that you will go to church with your own neighbors.  And therefore build relationships of support within your own immediate community.  All of our clergy and teachers are non paid volunteers living within those ward boundaries that are asked to minister and support those that live around them.  For some, this might seem to be a burden; being "told" where and when to go to church.   But for me, that has never been the case.  I have never felt like anyone has "told" me where to go, and what to do.  I feel that we are asked to follow these boundaries to best support those within our own neighborhoods.  And I have always felt blessed by those that I lovingly consider my "Ward Family".  The bottom line is that we want all of our members to be ministered to, loved, and accepted.  And it is easiest to do this when they are in your community.  Hope that was clear.)

I knew that today we would be learning about some boundary changes and that some of our Ward would be changed to participate in a new Ward.  I pictured myself, writing my blog, sort of mocking the "mormon culture".  I could make a point that boundary changes are like moving to another state while staying in your same house.  The lines drawn around our homes to define a ward may as well be the electric fence surrounding District 12 in the Hunger Games.  (This is where fellow mormons would laugh and nod).  I could also joke that changing wards is as serious as severing family bonds with a simple line drawn in the sand.  I sat in my "designated pew" at church and racked my mind for funny jokes and little mormonisms that relate to boundary changes, and reveled in the popularity this would bring to  my little Blog. (P.S. we don't have designated pews... but, man, we are creatures of habit)  But then they projected a map onto the wall for all of us to see.  And the redline that divided our house from the rest of my friends' houses was as sharp of a shock as any electric fence could be.  It's funny how without changing houses, or cities, or any move at all; I could instantly feel so far away.

Suddenly it wasn't funny anymore.  Suddenly I couldn't laugh at the idea of being "banished" to another ward and disowned by my friends at church. It all became real.

A year (and some months) ago when we decided to move in to Jennifer's basement, and rent out our own house (to save on money while JT is back in school full time) I knew this was the place for us.  I prayed and felt so strongly that the Lord wanted us to live here and not up in Seattle near campus.  I felt it had something to do with saving money, supporting our friendship with Jennifer, living near close friends, and staying in our ward. I had no idea it would mean changing wards.

After the announcement, on our way home from church, Riley started crying.  She doesn't want to move to a new ward.  She doesn't want to make new friends.  None of the other kids in the new ward will be at her school.  She won't know anyone.  She has a good point.

Of course, since no one is actually "telling" me what to do, I could stay in this ward.  I could ignore the counsel (heck, I have 3 kids at church, I could say I was distracted and didn't even notice the map with the changes!), I could just keep coming to the same place with the same people.  I could use the excuse that the house we own is still in this ward, and that eventually we may be moving back to that house.  I could explain that my 3 year old does not do well with change and is going to scream and cry when she sees a new nursery.  I could even point out how my daughter closed herself in her room this afternoon to cry because she was so sad.  Any of those reasons would justify bending the rules a little.

But I am not interested in bending any rules. Not because I am a rule follower (which I am, and it drives me nuts!!).  Not because I feel like someone is forcing me to make these changes (because I don't).  Not because I think I am too good to bend a rule.

I don't want to bend the rules, because I believe in them.  Really believe in them.  I support the organizational structure of the church.  I believe it is to the benefit of the members to be supported by their neighbors.  I believe that these boundary changes are not implemented to make Riley cry or to pull me away from my friends (or the best calling ever!! Teaching Relief Society once a month!) or to test my faith. (Shockingly, I don't think that everything revolves around me... most things, but not everything.)  I believe that this is done for the benefit and improvement of the members of the church.  And since I want the improvement of all members of my church, I am willing to change wards to do that.

I don't know what the exact benefits and blessings will be by following this counsel.  I don't know if Riley will end up loving it, if I will be strengthened by a new friendship, if JT will grow in a new calling.  I do know that we will be blessed.  We will be blessed for our obedience.  It is the price I pay for peace.  It isn't an easy price.  And I don't do it out of guilt, or fear, or weakness.  I do it out of love.  And not just love for the members of the church, but love for my Savior.  I also know we will be blessed for our willingness.  Things always work out.  It is that simple.  And the more willing I am to submit my will to Heavenly Father's will, the sooner things seem to work out.

So Riley and I may be teary eyed for the next few weeks as we make the transition from old friends to new (while living at the same address, so weird) and Macie may will cry when she steps into the new nursery, but I am confident that we will have peace.  What began as a funny, almost satyrical post, actually ended up being very tender for me to write.  And even more tender for me to live.

P.S.  Is it weird that I am most sad about changing Volleyball teams?  I had so much fun on Tuesday playing with the Crestwood Ward!  I don't think I will ever have that much fun again!! (insert Riley's pouty face and door slamming)

Saturday, September 7, 2013

A little flashback

So what if it is September? And I am suppose to be posting pics of the adorable outfits my kids wore on their first day of school.  Or maybe a picture of the delicious breakfast and fabulous child friendly lunches they took with them.  So what,  I am a bit behind.  So I am not be quite ready to post about back to school.

I should probably be posting about the fun we had this summer.  The vacations with perfect photo opportunities.  The outings and picnics and bike rides.  Maybe even the 4th of July.

But I am even more behind than that.

So here we go.  Easter.

I pretty much love dying easter eggs.  (Too bad I can't stand hard boiled eggs, the smell, the texture, the taste, the smell...) And I was happy to see that my kids inherited that love from me.

Can you tell I am feeling lazy? I am not even adding any captions to the pics.  Yep. That is just how I roll today.

Riley and Macie sharing eggs during our neighborhood Easter Egg Hunt. Cute.
If you think sharing eggs is cute, holding hands is even cuter.

And being Easter Bunnies is cutest off all.

(these were lollipops, like ring pops)

That was our Easter.  Hopefully by January I will be able to post our summer.  (which was wonderful)

And so that you don't think that our Easter was purely eggs and candy,  here is a picture that Riley drew for Easter.
Jesus Christ, resurrected with Riley.  Pretty sweet, huh?

I feel like that may have been my most bland blog post ever... oh well :)  Just wanted you to all know that we are still alive and kicking (even if I haven't been blogging).  Of course, since the pics are from Easter you really don't have anything current to go off of....