Stop It

A few recent events have got me thinking about how we treat each other, most especially the strangers we come near to, but don’t interact with and the internet we use to show our ugly side.

Last week my sister was in her car, at a stop light, when she looked over to find the passenger of the other car taking a picture of her with their phone. The passenger quickly retreated back in the seat when they made eye contact with my sister. This upset her. Why had that person taken a picture of a stranger? What would they do with it? You have to wonder that nowadays, will that picture now be a meme, meant as funny and possibly could be but at the expense of someone else? Or could it have been innocent enough – the individual taking the picture liked my sister’s haircut and wanted to do the same with their hair? Who knows – we never will.

The other incident was a post on Facebook. A friend had recorded, what I presumed was a stranger, dancing at a church event he was attending. If you know me, you know I appreciate those who can dance as though no one is watching, even though they are in the middle of a crowded room. I commented on the post to show my appreciation. The comments that followed however did not seem to be as positive, but not mean. Then a particularly mean spirited comment was posted, one that went on to attack the boy dancing, despite him being a stranger to the person who posted. The comment after that was from a friend of the boy dancing, who then tagged him in the video.  I noticed not long afterwards that the mean spirited comment had been deleted and more of the boy’s friends were positively commenting on the video. I checked back before posting this entry and there are so many positive comments and my friend explained that he had shown the video to the guy before posting it, and that they got along really well.  But the thing I am focused on is that one ugly, deleted comment.  

Because my point here folks, is that who we are and how we treat each other is, “never checked at the door” as Elder Holland would say.  I’m not here to preach how perfect I am and how imperfect the rest of the world is – I am just as guilty. I’ve been to thepeopleofwalmart.com; laughed at awkwardfamilyphotos; I make judgments on people who don’t follow the rules of common decency and walk on the correct side of the aisle at the store; I’ve poked fun at the pictures or videos of strangers doing strange things. But that’s beside the point, I shouldn’t do those things, none of us should. And with the internet it seems all too easy to put someone down.

Before the boy was tagged in the video it was easy for someone to post mean things, even though it was not anonymous like most websites where people troll. But the moment the boy received an identity, those commenting with identities (and profiles to display much more about them than just their names) retreated. Why is it that when we or the person we are commenting on lacks an identity we find it so much easier to be cruel?

We should strive to be kind always, otherwise how can we consider ourselves kind? I’m not saying we don’t slip, we lose patience from time to time, someone hurts us and our instinct is to fight back, with things like that we strive to be better after each failure (or at least we should), we apologize as best we can to the person we were ugly to. But what about what we post on social media? What we say about that stranger on YouTube who posted a video or had a video posted about them?  It’s almost worse online because we type our means thoughts. We type them and then we have one more chance to take them back, to erase them from ever being written but many times we hit SEND without a second thought. We hide behind a computer or phone screen and make snap judgments on a person we know nothing about.

I work with the youth at church, so this isn’t something new I’m thinking about – it’s just that recently I’ve seen (maybe realized) adults act the same as teenagers with cyber bullying.  One quote shared with the youth more than once in the past few years is from President Dieter F. Uchdorft from a conference talk a few years ago:

This topic of judging others could actually be taught in a two-word sermon. When it comes to hating, gossiping, ignoring, ridiculing, holding grudges, or wanting to cause harm, please apply the following:

Stop it!

It’s that simple. We simply have to stop judging others and replace judgmental thoughts and feelings with a heart full of love for God and His children. God is our Father. We are His children. We are all brothers and sisters. I don’t know exactly how to articulate this point of not judging others with sufficient eloquence, passion, and persuasion to make it stick. I can quote scripture, I can try to expound doctrine, and I will even quote a bumper sticker I recently saw. It was attached to the back of a car whose driver appeared to be a little rough around the edges, but the words on the sticker taught an insightful lesson. It read, “Don’t judge me because I sin differently than you.”

Might I suggest that we can change “sin” on that bumper sticker to anything: dance, dress, speak, look, think, etc.

I know I want to be better about how I treat people, those I know and love (and those I know and don’t love so much) but especially strangers.  I think we can learn a lot about ourselves by the way we treat those we do not know and do not have to look in the face while or after we have said things about them.  Be kind when you’re out and about (and if you see my sister, don’t take a picture.  She really didn’t like that), be kind when you’re on Facebook, snapchat, and other social media, be kind at home, work, school, even Wal-Mart.  And strive to be the kind of person people can trust when their back is turned to you.

And because I love Elder Holland so much and feel that one quote in a blog post isn’t enough – here’s one more.

HOLLAND

Googleimages – https://www.pinterest.com/pin/66498531971387763/

That Moment I Realize I’m in a Horror Flick.

I often feel like the bad guy from scary movies. You know, like Halloween. One of the normal characters is running away from Micheal and then you see him just walking like he’s on a Sunday stroll. In the end- Micheal wins. Somehow his walking is equivalent or better than their running.

Image result for michael myers running gif
Gif from here

That’s what it’s like some mornings when I’m trying to get Stormy dressed or to change his diaper. His heavy footed pitter patter echoes through the house and I walk silently behind, sure to catch up without breaking a sweat. Sometimes he gets away, but I always get my toddler in the end.

Out with the Old…

It’s that time of the year again…the time when I remember the goals I set for myself in January and then realize how badly I failed at them.  So let’s see how I did for 2016

  1. Writing – if I could write 3 hours a week I will consider myself doing well.  Also, I’d like to finish the novel I am working on.  I have not been writing for 3 hours a week, especially after I got pregnant and spent the last 4 months exhausted and vomiting…as for the novel – I don’t remember which one I was working on at that time.  If it’s the one I am currently working on, then I failed because I’m only 11 chapters in.  If it was the other one – done and burned.
  2. Church –be better about my calling and complete more personal progress.  I think I have passed this one, I mean, it’s not over til it’s over, but I completed most of my personal progress this year and I feel that I am doing alright as a leader (as opposed to failing miserably as a leader which is how I normally feel).
  3. Get more involved in Norwex – Norwex is as backburner as it can get for me.  Sometimes I think I give myself too much to do and other times I feel like I’m just lazy.
  4. Lose Weight – I made it to my pre-pregnancy weight before I got pregnant again so that’s something.  I have since gained.
  5. Stick to the budget – Close enough – I’m getting there 🙂
  6. Read 12 books (make ’em big).  I finished Wool and the Road and many, many other books but not Dune…I’ve decided that I have no interest in Dune.
  7. Develop my photography skills.  I’ve learned new things – just not one a month.
  8. Declutter and Organize my house!  I’m not going green because we didn’t de-clutter until two weeks before the new year.
  9. Family –Did pretty good, but not consistent yet.
  10. Go to the Temple – I went some – but it’s harder than I realized to get up there once a month, especially getting pregnant again.

The Sweetest Things

A lot has happened since I last posted.

Stormy turned one year old two weeks ago! I can’t believe it’s been a year. I’m finally sleeping through the night (mostly) again.  We celebrated his birthday on Memorial Day with a cookout in the park. Chewy and I both have large families so we figured that would be easiest.  I decided several weeks ago that I wanted to make a monkey cake for stormy, since we’ve always considered him our little monkey. I was nervous, because the only other cake I’ve ever done was a puppy paw for my sister’s birthday and that was just a round cake with four cupcakes up top.

When I started I was even more nervous because it didn’t seem like it would look anything like the picture from the pan.

IMG_3026

But slowly it started to look more like a monkey. #momgoals

It was humid, as is the norm here, but the temperature was good and the rain held off. Have I mentioned it’s rained most of the past month? Seriously it’s only been sunny and handful of days and Monday was not one of them.

_DSC0621.jpg
The adults and teenagers under the park pavilion.  All others on the playground.

 

 

_DSC0693.jpg
He was a little weirded out by everyone singing “Happy Birthday” to him.

We decided to give stormy sugar for the first time, Chewy and I are so prideful and stubborn that the more my family complained that we were waiting for a year to give him sugar, the longer we wanted to wait.  Seriously, babies don’t need sugar (well- no one does really but especially not babies). To our relief, he has no interest so far.

He had more interest in the plate the cake was on.  I even tried to give him a sugar cookie that my dad made. He promptly removed it from his mouth. I’m okay with that. He has his whole life to eat grandpa’s sugar cookies.
We waited to open his present until we got home. He was too distracted at the park but once we got home he kept going for the present.

We had the doctor on Tuesday for his one year appointment. Apparently it’s pretty impressive that I am still nursing Stormy…I personally like nursing a lot more than I thought, but I have started weaning because I will not be one of those ladies nursing a five year old. Stormy’s gotta grow up sometime.

Anyway, so Stormy has always been very good at the doctors. He is curious and watches what everyone is doing and sometimes the doctor lets him play with the doctor stuff for a second–but that wasn’t the case on Tuesday. The moment we put him down to be measured he flipped out. I guess it’s normal for them to start to develop apprehension. Doesn’t help that they pricked his finger later and then shot him four times in the legs.

By the end of that week both Chewy and Stormy had a stomach bug…I will only say that I am so glad all of that is over.  I don’t really like being thrown up on and my brain seriously didn’t know how to process that!  I think I’ve got it down now…but I’m not looking forward to that happening again.

So that’s the update.  Happy Birthday to my handsome little dude.  Can’t wait to see what year 2 brings!

Liebster Dos (as in two)

I’ve been nominated for the Liebster Award again.  This time by the adorable Tookii . I’m the queen of shortcuts, so rather than do the whole thing again, I’ll just add a link to my original post and then answer the questions from Tookii’s blog.  

TOOKII’S 10 QUESTIONS FOR ME

  1. How long have you been blogging?  I started blogging in 2008 over at Blogspot and moved over to WordPress a year or two ago. 
  2. Why did you start blogging? I started blogging as a way to keep my family informed about what was going on with me.  I am the youngest of 6 kids and was doing a terrible job of remembering to tell everyone when something happened (I’m not the only one who does that in my family – I didn’t know my grandpa had died until months after the funeral…)
  3. What is your most favorite blog that you have written? I guess my favorite would be my five best and my five worst dates (back when I was on Blogger)
  4. Who is your greatest inspiration in life? Wow – what a question!  I suppose I’d have to go with one of my youth leaders, Sandy, from when I was a teen.  To this day I still ask myself, “what would Sandy do?”  
  5. Why? – continue from last answer – I’ve never met someone who exemplifies charity so perfectly, no matter what you’ve done, she loves you and only wants for you to be able to correct it.  She has a way of helping me clear my mind to help me make decisions or to see that I already had the answer for a question.  She’s a spiritual giant.  And even though I’m in my thirties, I still say I want to be like her when I grow up.
  6. What was your favorite childhood activity growing up? I suppose playing barbies with my sisters, since it’s something they’d actually play with me.  Other than that, painting rocks with my brother (he’s 10 years older than me) because it was his chore, but I loved spending the time with my cool, older brother.
  7. Do you still do that activity yourself or with your children? I don’t do either, but I will probably paint rocks with Stormy when he’s old enough.
  8. If you could go back and tell your 13 year old self anything what would it be? Yo Lil’ Lildonbro, I’m from the future and I’m here to tell you, it’s going to get better (seriously, I think every 13 year old needs to hear that). 
  9. What is the greatest piece of advise you were ever given? Get out of your comfort zone, getting out is the best way to grow…and I’ve never regretted, hesitated YES, but never regretted leaving my comfort zone.
  10. What is one thing on your bucket list that you absolutely must do? I don’t know, I’ve done a lot over the last decade that I would probably never gotten to do if life had gone the way I planned it…so what’s left?  I guess have more kids and continue pushing that comfort zone.

Thanks again Tookii.  Love reading your blog!

Never too late to apologize. 

I feel the need to write a quick apology post. An entry that was never meant to be published got published. I use writing as a form of therapy at times and I was frustrated last week so I wrote. I just noticed today that I somehow published it and promptly deleted it. I want to apologize to the person it was about, even though I know that person doesn’t read this blog. I also want to apologize to anyone who read it. Therapy’s not pretty. I will write my therapy sessions on something not connected to the Internet from now on.