Wednesday, April 24, 2013

What's the Moral of Beauty and the Beast?

Lyla's idea of a great afternoon always involves princess dolls and a doll house. She insists that I play with her and she ALWAYS has to be Belle from Beauty and the Beast and she makes me be Ariel from The Little Mermaid. I'm fine with my assigned character. I like Ariel and her prince, Eric. I guess Lyla likes Eric too. The first thing that her Belle dolls says during our play session is this, "Hi Ariel, I'm Belle and I'm getting ready to go on a date with Eric". She says this right to Ariels face! I'm forced to respond by saying, "I'm sorry Belle, but that's just not going to happen. Eric is my man!"  She starts the drama because she loves to watch Ariel cry her eyes out in the dollhouse bathroom and also because, let's be honest here, who really wants to date the Beast? Not my daughter, I hope.

 This scenario always makes me try to figure out the Disney moral of the Beauty and the Beast story. Whatever it is, I want nothing to do with it. I just flat out told my girls that I would be VERY disappointed if they ended up like Belle. Yes I know Belle is the princess who reads books, but come on, it hasn't helped her much. I would go ballistic if either one of my girls began dating an over sized dog, with obvious rage issues. Especially if said dog had held them prisoner in his castle.

Forget all the talking dishes and singing candlesticks. That whole story is a glorified, textbook case of Stockholm syndrome. I don't care how much you like the library inside the castle. If that rabid dog lets you outside for a snowball fight, you bug outta there as quick as you can. You don't stick around to find out if a little unnecessary kindness will soften  his A-hole, outer shell. He might seem nicer for a while, but what if in a few years you accidentally delete his show from the DVR, or forget to pick-up his dry cleaning. And God forbid you accidentally rent a shitty romantic comedy from Redbox. He's gonna go ballistic on you. Before you know it you'll be covering your bruises with concealer and spray tan. You'll tell your friends that you "fell down the palace stairs" or the "talking ottoman tripped you". I see your future with the beast Belle, and it ain't pretty girl!  It certainly isn't happily ever after, that's for sure.

Run Belle! You don't have to marry that handsome Gaston either. You can always get a restraining order against him if he won't leave you alone. You don't have to marry either of those guys because they aren't right for you. Move to a different village if you have to, just don't settle down with a rage-a-holic canine. You can do so much better girl. In the meantime, get some cats and some yoga pants. Buy a box of Zinfandel and fill your freezer with Lean Cuisines. Start watching Lost and Dexter from the beginning. That will fill those lonely Friday nights. Someone worth your while will come along eventually. Don't sell yourself short.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Writing Your Own Future

After writing about old journals, my next thought involved future journals. What do I want to happen next in my life? I like to write so I'm forced to look at this from that angle. Where should the story go from here? My life story that is. I'm a married 34 year old with a couple of kids. Is all the wild and crazy adventure over? Am I too old for a few more "out of the box" decisions?  An adventure maybe? Well of course I say YES to excitement and adventure...Dave, not so much. He's more practical, sometimes overly practical. Yin and yang, right?

Here is my proposed plan. I want to sell the palace. I want to simplify. By that I mean, buy a much smaller, much less expensive home and free up some "living money". Dave basically agrees with me up to this point. He would love to take a few great vacations every year. There's nothing better than getting up every morning and mentally doing the count down to your next vacation. Two or three trips a year would be so much fun to look forward to. Lots of adventure, lots of great journal worthy memories made, especially for the kids.

All that sounds amazing, but something inside me wants to take it a huge step further. I want to move for a year of two. I want to sell the house and most of the stuff in it, get a storage unit and roll out. I want to move our family to Hawaii for a while. Rent an apartment, get mediocre part time jobs there and just live in paradise for a bit.

 It's expensive to live there though. Rent isn't out of control (I've spent lots of time on the internet figuring it out), but everything else like gas and groceries are very expensive. We wouldn't get ahead financially, but we could break even, so why not? I think I need to move out of Utah for a bit. Not forever, just long enough to figure out what I appreciate about Utah.  So far I think the best thing about Utah is my proximity to my family and the cheaper living expenses.  I already know that I love living near family, but temporarily it would be fun to try something new. I think it would be great for my kids especially. What an amazing chapter that would make!

It would be a lot of work to get to the point where it would really happen. There are a lot of road blocks and question marks standing in the way, but I still long to do it. Who knows if I'll ever convince Dave. I want to do all this stuff while we're young, versus waiting until retirement and hoping it all works out then.  Lately especially, I've been reminded that you never know how much time you've got. Maybe your investment portfolio would be massive by the time you're 65 (I dount it) and you'd have the means to move to an island, but what good will all that cash be if you aren't healthy enough (or alive) to do it? What if we're too tired then? To set in our ways? I want to share an adventure with my girls, while they're young and excited about spending time with their parents.

It's good to dream. Maybe I'll win this battle, probably not, but isn't this a good one? Who wouldn't want to do this? I'll just keep watching Hawaii Life and House Hunters International until I convince Dave that we just have to take a risk and do it.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


Did you ever write in a journal? I'm not referring to your first "diary" that had a lock on it, that contained your deepest darkest, third grade dramas. I mean a journal that you wrote in when life was just starting to get interesting. High school, college, those years.

I had a huge notebook that served as my journal for the high school years and my friend Sara upgraded me to a real journal when I graduated from high school. Obviously the book like journal is holding up much better than the spiral bound notebook and I'm so glad Sara thought to give me a really nice book for my post graduation journaling. Those entries are much more entertaining to read than the high school stuff.

So that leads me to my next question. If you did keep a journal, have you ever taken time to go back and read the stuff you wrote? I do it all the time. The high school stuff is embarrassing to re-read. My immaturity blatantly jumps right off the pages. I was pitifully stupid and practically soaked, head to toe, with drama. Most of those pages are painful to read. I want to hop in a Delorian equipped with a flex capacitor and go back to 1995 and smack myself. Honestly it just scares the crap out of me because I am currently raising two girls and quietly dreading the teenage years. I beg my daughters, please be smater than me!!!!

The "college" journal (Beauty school totally counts as college) is where the good stuff is. A lot of it was written in a drunken stupor at two in the morning, but it's pure comedy to read it back as a somewhat stable adult. Yes, it's also embarrassing to re-read, but if you sift through the stupidity, you can see little hints of a smart adult starting to unfold. I had a clear idea of what I wanted my immediate future to look like and in so many ways, it all turned out better than I'd hoped.

The hardest parts to read are the on again, off again boyfriend dramas. I wasted so much time in a dead end relationship and the worst part about it was that I knew how horrible the relationship was while I floundered in and out of it. I had very little hope that I'd ever meet someone that would be the right fit for me. I was certain that I would absolutely have to settle, from day one, if I ever wanted to get married. I believed that I couldn't truly just be myself and find real love that was fit for me. I aspired to it, but for whatever reason I didn't believe I'd ever find it.

That didn't stop me from going out with a wild spectrum of guys. Let me add that all these dudes are the absolute highlight of that journal. I met some of Ogden's most charismatic bar flies. Guys with lots of swag and game. Guys that would have been perfect for me if they'd just avoided a few bad decisions prior to our meeting. But that's life right. That's what everyone means when they say that the "timing" just wasn't right. It's so true. Timing plays such huge role in the world of love and relationships. You have to meet when the timing is right or it just won't have a chance to unfold properly.

I ran out of pages in my college journal at the exact right time. The book ends just after I met my future husband, Dave. It's a happy ending I'd say (after 10+ years of marriage I sometimes question that statement). I found a great guy and learned the major lesson that would finish that chapter in my life. I figured out that you don't have to settle. When you meet "the one", you won't have to work at making it work. You'll fall in love and the first few years should basically be a love tranced, breeze (the work phase of the relationship will come later). You won't have to play all the dumb games. If Dave wanted to talk to me, he called me. If he wanted to see me, he'd tell me. He wanted to be with me all the time and I wanted to be with him all the time. What a simple, yet refreshing concept. We wanted each other at the same time!  This is the magic glue that is so tough to find in the "dating" world. The timing was right. Are we perfect? Not even a little bit, but ultimately we both must want to be together, because we are.

 If a relationship is hard in the beginning, I'm afraid you'll have very little hope of it ever getting easier. Grown up life and kids will complicate your relationship enough. You have to have some sort of foundation that is solid. Life will get tough. Marriage will make you long to punch your spouse in the face from time to time. But going back and reading that old journal helps me remember what life was really like before I met an uncomplicated, great guy. That's my foundation.

Give your kid journal. Let them teach themselves a lesson.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Happy Questions

The word "happy" is a big one. We all want this magical thing called happiness, but have you ever stopped to ask yourself what exactly that is? I think about the meaning of that word all the time. So far as I can tell, it's all relative. The definition of that big word is very personal. Your definition will be determined by where you're at in your life and your circumstances.

If you've lived an easy life, your answer will be vastly different than that of a person living with heavier burdens. I often hear stories of Americans visiting third world countries and seeing first hand the horrible living conditions of so many people in the world. The first assumption it that a person living in extreme poverty would be unhappy. But often it turns out that these people are the happiest. I don't know if the simplicity of their lives attributes to that or if their definition of contentment is skewed by their understanding of true hardship.

 Honestly, I've never lived true hardship. Electricity, plumbing and my ease of access to clean water has eliminated almost all hardship from my life. When all of our basic needs are met, we start creating problems for ourselves. We have plenty of time freed up every day to create drama where none exists. Survival has been removed from my equation and now I'm left to stress about my broken iPod and the difficulty of passing level 97 on Candy Crush Saga. My kids are also victims of this. Lyla can pitch a serious fit about wearing pants when she had her heart set on a dress or her Youtube video that just isn't loading fast enough. Tiny "problems" and minuscule dramas are far to easy to create in our heads when all our true needs are met and our lives are filled with excess. This is why it's so easy for me to feel like I have so many problems and a person living in a shack, walking miles for clean water can be happy. It's absurd, but true.

That being said, ask yourself these questions and get to know yourself a little better today.

1. Are you happy?

2. What is happiness?

3. What do you believe you need to be happy?

4. What did you once believe would bring you happiness that you have since learned doesn't?

5. Do you have any problems that are insurmountable?

6. Are you happy now that you've really thought about it?

Friday, April 5, 2013

Book Drought

The Great book drought has begun. I'm desperate and searching. I wish E-harmony had a site that lined up great women with amazing books. Sometimes I wish that I'd never read a really amazing book before, that way all the crap books they pitch to me on Amazon might actually hold my attention. I'm not super picky, but I hate reading super cheesy books, unless it's a cliche love triangle that really tugs at the old heart strings.

I fully admit that I loved the first Twilight book (and the rest of the series,   except for New Moon which drove me nuts because I am so team Edward). The Hunger Games books were wonderful too and they really held my attention. After the first 100 dragging pages of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, I got VERY sucked into those books as well. The True Blood vampire series was a hit with me also. I loved those books and I remember being so excited that it was going to be made into an HBO series. The first season was good, but then it spun out of control. I'm over the show and the books at this point, because I am so confused about what characters are dead in the show and who's still alive in the books.  It just confuses people.

 I'm not opposed to best sellers at all, but I struggle to find books that are the right fit for me. After I heard the hype, I did cave and I read the first Fifty Shades of Grey book. Yes, it was super hot and Christian Grey sounds like a nasty guy, but the story was dumb. I couldn't stomach the second book and I abandoned it after two chapters. I want an unforgettable story. I honestly can't even recall what the plot of Fifty Shades of Grey was. Sex, was that the plot? Can that be a plot? I guess so, but it's not really what I'm looking for.

I've got a new book on my nightstand, but I don't have a verdict on it just yet. It seems good so far, but we'll wait and see where it goes. Hopefully a storm of great books comes my way and the drought will come to an end.

I'm So Sorry Bruno

A while back I wrote a post about the big Victoria's Secret Fashion show. I still think the whole show is merely a vehicle for anorexic models to find their newest rock star boyfriends and maybe a little bit of network tame porn to boost ratings. They ain't selling lingerie! That's my opinion and I'm sticking to it.

One part of the show that I do like is the music. They always have great bands and singers playing live on the runway and it makes the show tolerable to normal women. Justin Bieber was there and that won me over for sure. The Biebs can do no wrong (I don't care if you smoke a little weed Biebs, you deserve it. You work hard and that Selena Gomez break-up was probably tough on you. You should drink a little liquor too, I don't care if you're underage. I won't judge you a bit.). They also had Bruno Mars perform. Before that performance, I will totally admit that I HATED Bruno Mars music. I would change the channel immediately if his horrible "Grenade" song came on the radio. I didn't get it and I didn't want to. Well, it turns out that he's a hell of an entertainer on a stage. He's got charisma up the yin yang and it's enjoyable to watch. I still didn't care for his songs, but I knew that he was a little firecracker and I could get on board if he was singing the right tunes. That being said though, I still talked a lot of trash on him in my Victoria's Secret post.

Fast forward 6 months and I'm sold. This tiny little fella put out a new CD and I've only heard a few songs, but I love them. This "Locked Outta Heaven" song that he played at the Grammy's with Sting is fantas-mic! This is some grade "A", kick ass pop music and I love it. I even bought this track, with real money, on iTunes and so I felt like he deserved an apology.

I'm sorry Bruno. I was wrong. You're Grenade song is still HORRIBLE, but you've outdone yourself with this new song and I can officially say that I like you. My running shoes thank you!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Candid Kids

Anyone that's friends with me on Facebook knows that I have some funny kids. I'm always (probably too much) sharing the hilarious, random comments that my kids say. I can't help it though. These kids really crack me up some days. My oldest, Sasha, is usually the star of these posts, but Lyla is really coming into her own with the one liners.

Last week we were eating breakfast and out of nowhere, my four year old says, "So after Jesus made me, was I just like out in space with my space helmet on?" I'm not exactly sure myself on the details of her where abouts before she was born, so I told her that I didn't think so. I guessed that she was in my tummy at that point. She then said, "With my space helmet on???" I don't know kid.

So the other day we are sitting in a waiting room with several strangers and a woman smiles at Lyla. My daughter then looks at me and very loudly says, "That lady just smiled at me mom. She smiled because I'm the cutest thing she's ever seen in the whole wide land." Everyone in the place sort of giggled a bit. A few minutes pass and some people leave the room and new folks arrive. It's pretty quiet now and Lyla has new information to share.

"Who did that fart?" I quietly shake my head at her, hoping that she'll stop. This kid goes C.S.I. when it comes to flatulence. She won't stop until she solves the case. It plagues her.  "I heard a fart mom. Who did that fart? Sasha, did you do that fart?" I am about to crack up, but I shake my head again, encouraging her to drop the subject. Sasha tells her that she is NOT responsible for the fart and tells Lyla to stop it. Lyla then says, "Probably one of them did it", and she gestures toward the strangers in the room who are desperately trying to ignore my kid. Now I am embarrassed for all of us. She then thankfully wraps it up with this little gem, "Well, maybe I probably did it. Sorry!"

In the end, I'm just thankful that it was the fart thing she latched on to. At age four, it could have been a lot worse. Lyla has hit an age where she is certain that any woman with an over sized belly has at least a couple of babies in her tummy. I will be mortified if this guess of hers is ever revealed in a quiet waiting room. We usually hear that one at grocery stores or restaurants where other noise drowns it out. We also get Sasha's fashion police comments like, "Wow, that outfit is VERY inappropriate. I can see way too much of that ladies boobs. She really needs a belt too mom, because I can see the top of her butt. Who's mom would let them dress like that?"

Inappropriate is one of the most used words in this house. I like that the kids are getting a feel for what is appropriate and what seems very inappropriate, especially when it relates to clothing choices. It probably doesn't help that they read US Weekly magazine while they get their hair done each day. As soon as those kids step foot in my salon, they simply can't sit down in my chair without grabbing a gossip magazine. They love to critique every one's ensemble. No one is safe, not even Miley Cyrus's dad, Brad Pitt.

Brad Pitt
Billy Ray Cyrus

Sasha is absolutely certain that these two people are the same man. They are both Miley's dad, and they both need to tell Miley that her outfits have been VERY inappropriate lately, and that her hair looks better longer.

Honest too a fault I guess. I shouldn't enjoy their comments nearly as much as I do.