Bri Colorful

Archive for February 2011

– cooking chicken on the stove without setting the fire alarm off
– keeping the sink dish-free ALL day
– getting the laundry completely clean AND folded BEFORE Sunday hits
– getting all my homework done
– making my husband laugh so hard he cries
– going an entire week without morning sickness (yeah baby)
– visiting my sisters, talking with my moms
– eating all fresh, amazing food (and feeling super good)
– having quiet, undisturbed “communion with the Lord” time in the morning
– exercise
– a perfect hair and makeup day (I know, vain right?)
– getting my singing part down for the A Cappella Jam (March 11th at BYU – come see me!)
– making it almost halfway (and counting) through my first pregnancy
– getting my visiting teaching done
– being visit taught and just talking laughing with other women in general

but BEST of all….

feeling that baby wiggle all day long and smiling with tiny tears of joy at the corners of my eyes every time.

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Dear Mom

Posted on: February 17, 2011

Dear mom,

You deserve a shrine.

Seriously.

Here and now I take back every rebellious thought, word, and action. Remember that time I toilet papered the bathroom?  And when I made fun of pictures of you in the 80s?  And when I threw tantrums or said how no one could possibly understand how I feel? Or how about my entire fourteenth year? Can I take those back? Please.  Before karma takes it toll.

Every time I thought you didn’t love me, I should have recalled how you ate food to sustain my life when food was your worst enemy. You ate things you didn’t even like. I gave you gestational diabetes, and you had to stop eating your major food groups: Wonder Bread, cookies, chocolate….  You endured like a saint and then had five more kids after me!  I don’t think one day a year is enough to celebrate you. I vote we celebrate you once a month. You’re amazing.

Love,

Your pregnant daughter (with the stomach flu)

I found this post I drafted in September of last year and never posted. I hardly remember writing it. It’s not terrible; but not exactly anything to brag about either. I think I remember hating it immediately after writing it. But it should not go to waste, so here you are. I’m open to suggestions for a title or ideas on how to improve it.

In times o’ergrown with rust and ignorance,
A gainful trade the clergy did advance.
When want of learning kept the laymen low,
And none but priests were authoriz’d to know,
When what small knowledge was, in them did dwell,
And he, a God, who could but read or spell,
Then Mother Church did mightily prevail.
She parceled out the Bible by retail,
But still expounded what she sold or gave,
To keep it in her power to damn and save.
Scripture was scarce, and as the market went,
Poor laymen took salvation on content,
As needy men take money, good or bad;
God’s Word they had not, but the priests they had.

When past an hour, data is unsure,
The university keeps knowledge pure.
Collaboration of the mass of men
Cannot compare to educated pen.
Peer-review and painful process work
To make sure your citations you don’t shirk.
Want of employment keeps the student low,
To those who give degrees they, then, must go.
The price alone of daily time and toil
You’d think would be enough to buy the spoil
But knowledge asks a higher price today
Tuition, dues, and textbooks you must pay.

A click of mouse brings information… still,
For valid knowledge, you must pay the bill.

Warning: Ooey-gooey wonderfulness contained in this post. If you have a problem with mush, don’t read it. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

I confessed to a friend last night about being worried that I was misrepresenting myself somehow on my blog. I don’t think of myself as fitting the cupcake and glitz genre of some Mormon blogs, but if you find my style a little too “frilly apron” for you, you don’t have to read. What I was truly worried about was the happily-ever-after stereotype. I’ve read countless parodies on the “Mormon housewife and her perfect husband post” and my friend bluntly, but kindly, pointed out that I may actually fit the stereotype. Here’s the thing though … much as some readers might enjoy it, I won’t be posting about the tit-tats my husband and I get into over the toothpaste or toilet seat, and I think it would be rather foolish to keep a record of our misunderstandings. Don’t get me wrong here… we’re not perfect. We still have disagreements, but I feel like those moments, along with many others, are too personal to share.

When I met Grant, I was pretty sure I met the world’s most perfect guy. I don’t say it casually. I was really convinced, more so every day. I could list out his numberless positive qualities. I have several journal entries full of lists about him from when I was a star-struck 19-year-old, watching his every move. I consciously looked for imperfection, before I allowed myself to fall for him. The pursuit was hopeless. He was far too good for me. It’s the theme of almost every journal entry for months. I don’t write this hoping that you will fill the comments with affirmations of my own fitness for him. I knew I wasn’t good enough. But I kept hoping. And then he did something that made him even more perfect in my eyes. He asked me out. He liked me too. I filled my prayers to overflowing with gratitude that I could even have such a friend.

He has remained my greatest friend for three years now, through all the faith-building, heart-strengthening muck as well as “the good times.” ‎We, neither of us, is anywhere near perfect. I can admit that now that I am no longer 19. 🙂 But Grant is perfect for me. He’s getting better at surprising me on holidays like this most recent Valentine’s day. I’m afraid he’ll never be one of those people who throws a surprise party or spends the whole day taking you from place to place on a brilliantly-planned scavenger hunt … but then again, netheir am I. Instead, he does things like bring me breakfast in bed every morning during the first trimester, when I was too sick to move until I got 6 or 7 bites of something (usually crackers) digested. He tucks me in every night. truly. He loves making me laugh, and he is really good at it. He makes me feel safe, because believe me, I have some of the most ridiculous nightmares imaginable. He thinks every little thing I do has value and he cheer-leads me every step of the way. He does all these little things daily to show me how much I am loved.

We’re both getting better at being together; at loving unconditionally and speaking one another’s language. An article I recently read quoted Martin Luther as writing, “Marriage is the school of love.” The author, Eugene England, further commented that “marriage is not the home or the result of love so much as the school.” Grant and I have been in school in more ways than one. We still have a lot to learn; maybe I’ll have to relearn some things over and over. But as long as we get to take the test together, I’m in.

So there it is, an overly open blog post. My life isn’t “so perfect”, but it’s not back-ordered either. I don’t do a ton of crafts … honestly, I’m not very artsy. I like to crochet. Sometimes I microwave dinner. Sometimes I leave the dishes in the sink overnight. I am a B average student. I’m still trying to grow out of throwing the occasional teenage crying fit. I almost never wear nylons (I hate them). I tend to over-prepare for things (when I can find the time to). I go to church, I say my prayers, and I love my husband and family like crazy (even when they make me crazy). I am very excited to become a mom, despite thorough warnings about what I am getting myself in to.

I hope I dispelled some stereotypes for you, but it doesn’t really matter. The important part is I was 100% open.

I just woke up. I don’t know why I feel such a compelling need to share my dreams with you in this way, but truly, they are the most creative things I come up with (in my sleep … of course). My husband, Grant, walked into the room right as my alarm went off this morning, and I think my expression must’ve been something like a toad’s, because he was already laughing. Then I told him my dream …

“You, David (Grant’s best friend), and I went to one of those ridiculous Utah movie theaters that not only sells over-priced candy, but also has restaurants and little shops inside and that advertises the most ridiculous deserts you’ll ever see…” ( …and I might add, that Grant and I would never buy… 1. We can’t afford it. 2. We’d probably both be so sick afterwards that it wouldn’t be worth it. Grant didn’t eat a ton of desert growing up and my baby is so adverse to sugar that it’s unrighteous). [Here Grant nods because he knows exactly which “ridiculous Utah movie theaters” I’m talking about.]

“David wanted you to try a drink called “The Spicy Flamingo,” so we all headed over to one of the ridiculous little desert huts so you could each get one. Before I even knew what a “Spicy Flamingo” was, I heard the lady ringing up your total. ‘NINE DOLLARS?!’ [Grant chuckles]. ‘Grant, you can’t buy a drink that is NINE dollars!’ I was nagging you; it’s true. But seriously… NINE dollars?! You would NEVER. . .” [Grant is laughing hysterically.] (See! I’m telling the truth. Grant would never buy a drink for NINE dollars.)

“And then… you SHRUGGED and said, ‘Your water will cost just as much.'” (Oh No! This is a nightmare now. See Grant is seriously so respectful that even when I really do nag him, (Hey, working on it.) he would never respond so callously… so why is my subconscious mind making him the bad guy?) [Again, Grant laughing and thinking “no wonder you looked like a ticked-off toad when you woke up.”]

(Oh, it gets better.) “Then you went to get the drink… and what is a “Spicy Flamingo” you may be asking? It’s a red spicy drink FULL of candy! Seriously, the cup is so full of candy corn and other cheep candy that you can hardly fit any of the spicy drink in!” (At this point in the dream, I’m huffing with my arms folded burning holes into my dream-man’s head.) [Again, Grant laughs at my subconscious creativity.]

“I was so fuming in my dream that I went off to see another movie while you and David went to some super-hero flick.” (Something else Grant wouldn’t want me to do: go off mad and alone. The guy knows my imperfections all too well.)

“The dream ends with me muttering under my breath, because I’m lost in the maze of a theater and staring angrily up at a HUGE advertisement for RIDICULOUS looking funnel cake that one of the restaurants in the theater offers.” [Grant is sitting on the edge of our bed laughing so hard he is crying and telling me I have to write this down before I forget it.]

Before I was married, I dreamt of being swept off my feet by the most romantic man in the world. Now I’m lucky enough to be married to the most romantic man in the world… so what is wrong with my subconscious mind?!

I love the way Dallin H. Oaks speaks. He outlines his speech, it progresses logically, it makes powerful points using powerful quotes and stories, and comes to a gripping conclusion. I felt this same way listening to his talk from last Friday given at Chapman University School of Law. In fact, I started listening to the recording of the speech while doing my dishes and found myself so mesmerized that I soon realized I had moved from the kitchen sink to the computer where I could follow along with the transcript. His speech was entitled, “Preserving Religious Freedom” and you can find it here. It is not a speech based on any religious doctrine.

He outlined his four main points at the end of this speech which makes it easy for me to summarize them for you here, though he makes the points much more poignantly in his talk:

1. Religious teachings and religious organizations are valuable and important to our free society and therefore deserving of their special legal protection.
2. Religious freedom undergirds the origin and existence of this country and is the dominating civil liberty.
3. The guarantee of free exercise of religion is weakening in its effects and in public esteem.
4. This weakening is attributable to the ascendancy of moral relativism.

He concludes with an emboldening call to all religious denominations that we unite in the defense of faith in the public sphere:

“The religious community must unite to be sure we are not coerced or deterred into silence by the kinds of intimidation or threatening rhetoric that are being experienced. Whether or not such actions are anti-religious, they are surely anti-democratic and should be condemned by all who are interested in democratic government. There should be room for all good-faith views in the public square, be they secular, religious, or a mixture of the two. When expressed sincerely and without sanctimoniousness, the religious voice adds much to the text and tenor of public debate”

I hope you will make time to listen to or read it in full.  In one of my classes, someone pointed out that what is really needed is a short “Mormon Message”-like snippet of powerful quotes demonstrating each of his main points with video and music similar to this representation of Dieter F. Uchtdorf’s speech on creativity made almost two years ago:

In my Mormon literature class, we are discussing oratory, and I thought it was so interesting that as Latter-day Saints, we sit for hours at a time listening to people speak and are often inspired to action by such occasions (i.e. Semi-annual General Conferences, Stake Conferences, weekly Sacrament meetings, etc). How often, outside our faith, do we listen to the same form of oratory, for so long a period of time? In the world, messages that travel fastest are short and often humorous.  In order to get people to sit for a longer period to watch a movie, we give them a short trailer to entice them in.  It’s the way our culture is moving: faster, shorter, etc.  I think it is good to be able to appreciate both. Nonetheless, what works to get the word out is a flier-like handout that is easily accessible.


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