Thursday, January 31, 2008

You are Beautiful

Lately, I've been thinking a bit about what is considered beautiful in our country. If you watch TV and movies or pick up a magazine, you are inundated with "beautiful" people. As far as the women go, they all have several things in common. The women we see held up as beauties here are thin with flawless skin and perfect teeth. There's not a blemish or dimple of cellulite to be seen. Their long flowing hair never looks frizzy or disheveled. We are led to believe that if you are to be considered beautiful, you must be held to this standard. Minus the airbrushing that got them there, of course.

As a mother of a young girl, these images bother me. My daughter is one of the most beautiful people I've ever met and I never want her to doubt that. I don't want her to think that her beauty is dependent on her pants size or the length of her hair. I want her to know that it is what you find in the heart of a person that makes them beautiful. It sounds so cliche but it's true that real beauty is from within.

Before my days as a Mommy, I was a church youth director. My "girls" in my group from middle school to high school would struggle so often to fit this deceptive mold of beauty. I've seen girls transform who they are into who they think they should be for the sake of being beautiful. What they didn't realize was that they were so beautiful just as they were. Thinking that they weren't good enough to be considered beautiful because of how they compared themselves to others was something that I so desperately wanted to help them see past. I struggled with this, though. Why? Because I was once a middle school/high school girl who was so busy comparing myself to others that I didn't take the time to see what an amazingly beautiful person I was. I thought my potential was wrapped up in how I compared to my peers. Oh boy, was I wrong.

I recently had contact with an author who has a message that is right up my alley. She has a project called, I Am Beautiful and a new book out for teen girls. We Are More Than Beautiful holds stories from teenage girls about what defines beautiful for them. Can I just say that I read this and, as a 30 something woman, actually learned something from these young girls. Woody Winfree is the author and she has graciously agreed to be interviewed by me for you all to learn more about this project. Stop in tomorrow and be blessed. She was also gracious enough to give a copy of We Are More Than Beautiful to one of my readers and details on that will be here tomorrow, as well. In the mean time, tell me how you inspire your daughters to believe that they are beautiful and develop that beauty that is within their sweet little hearts.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

What is Beauty?

I'm working on a post for later this week but I'm really interested to find out what beauty means to you. What does it take to be beautiful? If you'd rather, email me at runningfromthelittlepeople at gmail dot com and tell me what you think.

There will be another giveaway at the end of the week as well as a special guest here at the blog. I'm excited and can't wait to share with you! In the mean time, give me your thoughts and I'll be back tomorrow to tell you what I think about beauty!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

A Perfect Afternoon

Since early this afternoon, I've been in the kitchen. As a matter of fact, this is the second day in a week that I've spent hours in there. I couldn't be happier. I love to cook.

When Big Daddy was away, I still cooked but I could only spend short periods of time working on the meals that I made. Any longer than ten minutes at a time and civil war broke out between the little people. When I needed to make bread or other staples for the week, I had to wait until they were asleep. Now that Big Daddy is back, the little people in the house have someone to play with while I cook.

And, let me tell you, I've been cooking. This afternoon, I made bread, two batches of cookies and dinner. I even did dishes. As I type, I have a turkey breast in the oven to use for our lunches/sandwiches this week. Two days ago, I made a few batches of waffles to have in the freezer for quick breakfasts on school days. I finally feel caught up and like I have a good handle on our meals. My oven, mill and mixer are equally as satisfied with a job well done.

My favorite cooking to do is baking. I have finally gotten to a point where I feel comfortable changing up recipes and making them my own. I'm no longer afraid to experiment and make recipes work for us. A year ago, it never would have occurred to me that it was acceptable to change a recipe. I'm loving the freedom. :)

I'm thinking that I'm going to start adding a recipe to the blog once a week. I'm also back to posting more often than once a week so check back more often. Big Daddy heads back to work after this weekend and life is settled again. I'm so glad he's back with us, in case you can't tell.

Do you love to cook? What are your favorite things to cook?

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Love Is Blind

I am visionally challenged. With contact lenses or glasses, I can see perfectly. Take them away and we have problems. I'm not talking small problems like "Help, I can't see the chalkboard from the back row", these are more along the lines of "Help, I can't see how many fingers I'M holding up right in front of my face!"

Big Daddy gets a kick out of my poor vision. Let me set the scene for you. It's night time, in our room. I'm ready for bed and tucked in already. (Hey, hey, hey. Get your mind out of the gutter. This isn't that type of blog!) He's standing next to the bed talking to me and he makes a joke. Except it's the type of joke that I have to see his facial expression to make it funny. He gets done and pauses for me to laugh. I don't. He's confused. Suddenly, I catch on and say something like, "Honey, I'm sure whatever you just did is hilarious but if you want me to laugh, you need to come much closer and do it again." This started early in our marriage and is now a joke that plays out often.

I'm seriously considering laser vision correction because I'd love to be able to just see the alarm clock when I wake up in the middle of the night. Instead, I wake up Big Daddy and have him tell me what time it is. Let's consider it his punishment for the scenario mentioned above.

Tonight I was insane brave and decided that I would shower without my contacts in. I'd already taken them out earlier because my eyes have been so dry lately and they were bothering me. There are some things that one just shouldn't attempt when they can't see. Included in that list of things is anything involving a razor. If you need me, I'll be the woman with little bits of toilet paper stuck all over one leg and three very distinct rows of unshaven stubble on the other. Don't hate me because I'm beautiful.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

He's Home!

I just wanted to check in quickly and tell you all that Big Daddy did arrive home safely! Brother, Sister & I have not stopped grinning since the second we picked him up last night. What a blessing to have him back with us. I'll be back soon to update and back to full time posting as well. Thanks for all of your prayers and sweet emails!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Don't Be Mad, Just Vote for Jill!

I know I've been so neglectful of you fun and faithful blog readers in the last...oh, four months or so. Can you hear me out there? Oh, good! I'm happy to report folks that I'm soon (as in, VERY SOON!) to be less focused on survival and the hole in my heart that has been here for four months and more focused on you. That's right! Big Daddy will be with us within the next several days and our family will be back together. I am giddy. I am like a teenager in love. Butterflies fill my stomach every time I think about it. Whew! It's been a long ride and I completely intend to share some of the lessons I've learned on this roller coaster with all of you. Of course, after we spend a couple of weeks holed up in the house with the ringers off and the blinds shut. But then, I'm all yours!

In the mean time, I have a proposal. I'm sure you have all heard of Jill Stevens, the beautiful young woman who is competing for Miss America and oh by the way, happens to be in the Army and has served this country proudly overseas. Ya'll, this lady rocks and almost makes me change my mind about the whole Miss America hoopla. Ok, not really. But, she impresses me to no end. TLC is letting America vote for a special "America's Choice" finalist. Go, vote for Jill! She's Miss Utah, so you will have to test your geography skills and locate Utah and click on the state and then vote for her.

I'll be back very soon with details of our glorious reunion!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Three Years Old

I can't even believe three years have passed since I gave birth to you. Those early days/weeks/year and a half after you were born are sometimes foggy in my memory because you slept so little and ate so often. From the beginning of your life, you have known exactly what you want and how you will get it. Rules were never an issue for you. You simply choose to believe they don't exist. I sometimes love that. Sometimes, it frustrates me and challenges me to be a more patient person. Whichever the case, it always makes me chuckle inwardly because it's so you.

There was never a better snuggler than you. When I snuggle up next to you and you put your chubby little hands out and curl them around my neck and say, "Come here, Mama", it makes me forget that there is a single thing to worry about in this world. Your cuddles have gotten me through the hardest times of this deployment. I know you have struggled with it as well and I hope my cuddles have helped you. You are so much like your Daddy that I often wonder if you actually got any of my DNA or if I was just a surrogate for his clone.

Sweet boy, your passion for everything you do, your ability to love people instantly and completely, your often volatile emotions are all things that I love so much about you and would not change for anything. Every single day, you come up with something to make me laugh and when I do, you are perplexed because you weren't trying to be funny, you were being totally serious. You are so laid back yet so intense all at the same time. You are my little mystery. You keep me on my toes.

I love you bigger than the world, Brother. Happy Birthday.

PS. No, you can't drive the car now that you are three, but thanks for asking.

PSS. Thanks you for all of the advice lately, I'll take all of your suggestions into consideration if you promise to do a few things for me: 1) Aim Better. Please. 2) Stop wiping off my kisses and laughing. 3) Don't fall of your bed anymore, it scares the daylights out of me. (This happened while I was typing this post!)

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Taking Advice from an Almost Three Year Old

In the past few nights at bed time, Brother has been giving me advice on how he thinks I could shape up my mothering game. Last night it went like this:

B: Mom, I have to tell you something.
M: Sure, buddy.
B: You don't have to say no to everything.
M: (slightly shocked) What do you mean?
B: When I ask you for stuff, you should say yes. And smile. You don't have to say no all the time.
M: (with my tail tucked between my legs) Ok, bud. I'll work on that.

I shouldn't have been shocked when another pep talk ensued tonight. But, I was. I guess I'm a little overconfident in my skills.

B: I have to ask you a question, Mom.
M: Ok, ask me.
B: Instead of throwing our stuff in the trash or giving it away, you could just laugh when it's on the floor.
M: (Feigning horror) What? You think when all of your toys are just laying on the floor and you don't pick them up that I should just laugh?
B: Yes! That's a good idea, right?
M: I'll work on that, Bud.

You can tell by these bits of advice the type of discussions we've been having. For the record, I do think we need to go through some of these toys and give some to charity. Thanks to my mom and her love of buying toys, our house looks like Toys R Us threw up in here.

I'm thinking of lending him out for motivation speaking events for Moms. Maybe the Blogher Conference next year needs a three year old speaker?