Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Cole's Birth Story

So this blog has really been neglected, and although I don't use it as often as I used to, or would like to, it's rich in history, and has served as a great place to document things I hope to remember, and little Cole's Birth Story is one of those things I don't want to forget!

Again, here is a public service announcement this is a BIRTH STORY,  so it has some TMI and some details that could make someone out there uncomfortable, so you've been warned!

Also here is a link to Logan's Birth Story, in case anyone is interested

I feel like the last 3 weeks of pregnancy are seriously the most miserable time in life (okay that's a really unsympathetic, sarcastic statement,) but there's something that clicks in your mind when you hit the 38 week mark that is like "okay this baby could come any moment!!" And then all of a sudden you're at 39 weeks and your brain is really like "okay, I can't go anywhere far, I have to have my phone on speed dial" but you literally wait all day everyday for something to happen and nothing is happening and your brain starts to lose it....then you hit your due date....and everyone's texting you, and asking you if baby is here yet, and you feel like ripping your hair out waiting minute by minute for something, ANYTHING to happen. Oh that's not everyone's situation? Well it was mine...:) I was 41 weeks to the day when I went in to my midwife for my 41 week appointment. She has always said "I will not let you go beyond 42 weeks..." so I knew my time being pregnant was limited, but in my head going to that appointment, I was convinced I'd be pregnant for another week.

10:00 am When I got to the Birth Center, Nancy, my midwife, could tell I was miserable. I knew from making it to this point with Logan that today I would get a non stress test to make sure the baby was fine, and Nancy would check me, but as I started asking her about what we do when I come in for my 42 week appointment (bc I was convinced he would be in me another week), she said to me "oh Brittany, I'm going to  non medically induce you today! We are going to have this baby tonight!" HA! RIGHT! I literally had not had a single contraction, baby was not coming tonight. At that point she checked me...I wasn't dilated or effaced AT ALL....which lead me to be even more discouraged, so Nancy says "lets get things going!" My cervix was REALLY far back, so she was having a hard time even assessing my progress, but in this exam she was able to strip my membranes (not without a lot of pain on my end, and she was sweating on her end, it was not a fun experience!) She then said "okay come back at 2 and we will do the non stress trest and check you again, I think we will see some progress!"
Since the birth center is about 40 minutes from my house, Logan and I went to my parents house (they're only 10 min from the birth center.) My sisters and I went and got a pedicure and just hung out and then my mom, sister Kelsey, and I headed back for my 2 o'clock visit

2:00 pm Nancy hooked me up to the monitors for my non stress test. Baby was doing great! No signs of concern, but she noticed that I was having contractions every 5-7 minutes.....WHAT?! I hadn't felt a thing! When she checked me I was dilated to a 4!!!WHAT?! THAT WAS THE EASIEST 4cm EVER! Now she was 100% convinced baby was coming tonight!!!! She stripped my membranes again.....ugh I wanted to cry, that sucked, but I started having more cramping right away, so I knew things were happening. I called Kyle and told him he should come home, he had been waiting on that call for weeks! Nancy told me to come back at 7 to get checked again (or sooner if I needed to.)

I went back to my parents and started walking, bouncing on the medicine ball,anything I could do to keep labor progressing. With both kids I have been able to labor with all my family around, and for me thats super distracting and awesome, and keeps my mind off of the discomfort, it also helped pass the time. As 7 approached I was still having contractions, but was still not in active labor, so Kyle and I headed back to the birth center.

7:00 pm Nancy stripped my membranes for the THIRD TIME in one day...ugh that was miserable and I was over it, haha. But that was all it took to send me into active labor! At this point I was dilated to a 5, so Nancy said "stay close, but you can leave and walk, and I'll see you at 10pm" (Might I add, HOW AWESOME IS SHE?! She saw me 4 times in a day to get labor going naturally.) Kyle and I went and walked around a nearby park, and I was having painful contractions, but my water was still in tact so we decided to go back to my parents where I labored until 9:45 when we kissed Logan goodbye and headed back to the birth center for what I knew was the last time!

10:00 I was dilated to a 6 and only like 30% effaced, but at this point Nancy keeps you at the birth center because you can transition at any point. She went into her house (which is attached the the birth center) and Kyle and I watched "The Help" while I paced around having contractions about every 1.5 minutes lasting about 50 seconds. At 1am (as I was falling asleep between contractions) my water broke! It was weird because with Logan, Nancy broke my water for me, so to have it break on its own was a new experience for me. That moment was when I was clearly in transition. I started throwing up and lots of other fun bodily functions:) I'm always so impressed with my husband during this part of labor, he is always so calm and loving and holds my hair or my bowl or whatever I need him to do. I always feel an abundance of love for and from him in these moments.

I asked at this point if I could labor in the tub because my contractions were pretty strong. I love that tub! About 30 min in the tub I felt like I needed to push! I was so excited because with Logan's labor when I felt like I needed to push I was right and it was time to push, but with Cole I got out and Nancy checked me to make sure I was dilated and effaced enough to push and I was only dilated to a 7 and 100% effaced. Nancy and the doula, Ingrid, told me that even though he had dropped I still needed to wait to push until I was completely dilated. NOOOOOO...this was honestly the worst part of either labor, and the time when I literally felt like "I will NEVER do this again!" I remember having so many thoughts, and being brought to tears from the pain. I just felt like I needed to push and it was so uncomfortable. After another 45 minutes of these killer contractions, I finally said "I have got to push!" (probably not that calmly or kindly:) At that point I was good to go! Hallelujia

Pushing is my favorite part of labor. Its so painful, but so relieving after working so hard all day, and being so exhausted. Nancy told me she was nervous about Cole's shoulders being wide, so that had me a little worried that I could be pushing for a while, but it only ended up being about 12 pushes total.

I wish I could capture the feeling you have the moment you feel the baby slide completely out...I know that may sound weird and graphic, but it's slightly euphoric, and there really is an adrenaline rush, and you feel like you could conquer the world at that point because you just did something SO INCREDIBLE!  All that pain, all that hard work, slips away in that moment when they lay that tiny baby on your chest.

Friday, December 30, 2016

2016......peace out!

I was definitely not on the ball with the Christmas/New Years card this year, which is fine, that's life sometimes. I do however love reflecting on time. Time is SUCH a huge gift, and this year has been full of memories and experiences that were time well spent.
It's also been a year full of love. "Love is the fabric of life," and I have never found that to be more true than this year having our sweet little Lo Lo come into the picture.
Life has changed SO much having her around! She is spunky as can be, fearless, confident, but also incredibly loving and sweet. She has been an incredibly good baby from the get-go, sleeping through the night, eating ANYTHING I put in front of her, being flexible and go-with-the-flow, she's just been a dream! We really can't imagine life without her in it. Even though it's a lot harder to keep the house clean, I have to sweep 600 times a day, and I now am singing songs from Mickey Mouse Club House in my sleep, life with Lo is way more fun, and I can't believe in less than 2 weeks we will be celebrating her FIRST birthday (insert tears here). Where did my tiny little newborn go?!
Kyle and I have had a wild year (aside from becoming parents). After 7 years with his former job, Kyle took on a new venture with a different company, and is loving it! We took on the challenge of selling out house, which proved to truly be a challenge indeed. Two weeks after listing our house we had a full price offer, and we were ecstatic to find a more permanent home to live in. We found a house we loved, made and offer, and it was accepted. We had everything ready to go! The week our current house was set to close, our buyer walked away. That same week I also had a miscarriage, after an unexpected pregnancy with an IUD. It was a tough time for us, and after 2 more weeks of our house being on the market (and it hardly showing at all) we decided that we were going to take our house off the market and back out of our offer on the other house. We learned a lot from these trials, and although we still don't understand why it wasn't the right time for us to move, we felt at peace knowing that The Lord always has a plan, and when the time was right, we would be able to get into another home. A few short weeks later we found out we were expecting again, and we are ecstatic to be welcoming another little one in June!
It really is true though that we make our own happiness. Despite the sadness we experienced through various events this year, we have found so much joy in the little things. I love being home with Logan. I still work for a podiatrist a day and a half a week, and though I really enjoy my job, I will be a full time stay at home mom come June when baby #2 comes, and I'm excited for that new adventure. Kyle is first counselor in the Young Men's program at church, and he finds a lot of joy in spending time with the boys he works with. We have added 5 new games to our game collection this year, and have lots of fun having game nights with our friends. We got to do a couple weekend trips to Leavenworth, and two wedding trips to Utah, but no big vacations this year, Kyle and I are hoping to go somewhere just the two of us in 2017 (fingers crossed!!!) I got to enjoy playing on an all girls soccer team this past summer with some friends and my sister and that was awesome! Kyle and I also did a softball league with a bunch of friends over the summer, and a volleyball league this past fall. Kyle also played on a basketball league (we love our athletics!) It was fun to enjoy some of the action before being pregnant again :) We spent lots of time on the lake this summer, and Kyle got up on the wake board for the first time (unlike his cool wife who gets up everytime:) Of course we spend a lot of time with our families, who just ADORE our little Logan girl, we really are so blessed to have both sets of parents so close (and so willing to take her when we need a date night!!!)

Overall, 2016 has been good to us! Life is so full of surprises, Kyle and I definitely never foresaw having two little ones in such a quick time span, but thank goodness God is in charge. Our faith in Jesus Christ remains the guiding factor of our lives, and we know that so long as we are obedient to His commandments, we are supported in our trials and are able to find joy in the journey! He has made our lives so much greater than we could have on our own! Here's to another great year in the books!

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Slowing Down and Writing

I decided tonight that I need to resume this little bloggity blog of mine for a couple reasons. The first reason is because I have an AWFUL, my mission was only 3 years ago, and thank heavens I kept super detailed journals, because if I hadn't, I would have very poor recollection of many experiences. So since realizing this sad but true detail about myself, I have become a recorder of many things. I take many pictures (which most people know I post all the time:) I also keep a journal, specifically about Logan and her milestones, but it seems that I struggle to keep a journal specifically for myself, and other thoughts/ events in life. Sometimes my hand just gets tired of writing, so this blog has been useful throughout the years. The second reason I realized I wanted to resume this blog is because just today I read about an expecting mom who was extremely young, and was killed by a drunk driver leaving behind her little toddler and husband. I decided to google her to see if I could find out anymore details about the tragic accident, and came across her blog. I cried as I read back on her thoughts about life, motherhood, and the gospel. I thought to myself "what a blessing that her sweet little girl can one day read these words from her mommy...." I want my children to have pieces of me whenever that day comes (hopefully not for many many years) that I am no longer with them...I want them to know who I am, and know about my life. If no one ever reads this blog, that is A-Okay with me, but I also am a firm believer in sharing out lives with others in hopes that we can gain strength through each others experiences.

Today was a tough day for me. I struggle immensely with unplanned time-I am a planner and a goer and a doer...I can't handle idle time unless it's a reward for a long day of doing and going and working and playing. It just so happens to be a Saturday and we had NO PLANS...nothing, my house is immaculate because we have it up for sale so it's been being shown so I've had to keep it clean (trust me this is the one time ever in the history of life that this will be the case;), and we hadn't planned to do anything....somehow our week had been so busy, that we never even discussed what we would do on Saturday- not to mention we are trying to save money right now so going and doing one of the many fun activities that costs money wasn't an option. If I don't have some sort of goal or plan for the day, I literally waste it away, and that is what I did...or what I thought I did...

Come 7 o'clock I was blessed to go to an all women's broadcast at my church with my good friend, and that literally turned my whole perspective of my day around. There wasn't one particular thing that was said that changed my mind or my heart, but more so a feeling of the spirit of God, that spoke very personal truths to me. I realized that my day was NOT a waste, in fact it was a blessing!
I got to spend the day with my sweet baby. We got to take a nap together, we got to watch the Olympics which I haven't watched in years, we got to take a bath together and play and read, she got to try Macoronie and Cheese for the first time and LOVED it. These little moments are what make life!!! Being her mom brings me more joy than I can comprehend, and how could I feel like a day was wasted when she loved the day?! She had a great day just relaxing at home being with me--how could I not feel the same?

A talk was brought to my memory while writing this by Diter F. Uchtorf called Of Regrets and Resolutions where he states:
" Isn’t it true that we often get so busy? And, sad to say, we even wear our busyness as a badge of honor, as though being busy, by itself, was an accomplishment or sign of a superior life.

Is it?

I think of our Lord and Exemplar, Jesus Christ, and His short life among the people of Galilee and Jerusalem. I have tried to imagine Him bustling between meetings or multitasking to get a list of urgent things accomplished.

I can’t see it.
Instead I see the compassionate and caring Son of God purposefully living each day. When He interacted with those around Him, they felt important and loved. He knew the infinite value of the people He met. He blessed them, ministered to them. He lifted them up, healed them. He gave them the precious gift of His time."

I am realizing more and more that it's not what you're doing, but who you're doing it with, and for, that matters. A full life is a happy life, but full doesn't necessarily always mean full of activities and events, full is the quality of the relationships we build, the time we spend with others, and the people we serve. 
Tonight I feel at peace. I feel a resolution to do better and to be better, and that is a good feeling. I love my family--they bring me more joy than I ever thought imaginable, and I owe all thanks to God who gave them to me. 

Thursday, February 4, 2016

A Birth Story: Logan Paige

 Many people have been curious about Logan's birth story, especially because I did things a little less traditionally, my sweet girl Logan Paige was born in a birth center with a midwife and zero medication. When people ask why I chose this route I have come to give the same answer, because I wanted to! I'm not anti medication, I'm not anti hospital, I am the furthest thing from a naturalist you could find, but I wanted to have a natural delivery, and I wanted to do it this way...there was really no other reason for it, and you know what...I will ABSOLUTELY do it again:)
Logan's birth story began on Saturday January 9th. I was exactly 41 weeks pregnant, and ready to lose my mind. I had gone in to see my midwife twice already that week and each time had zero progress towards labor (i was barely dilated to a 1 and 0% effaced.) I hadn't had a single contraction either, and my spirits were low. Kyle and I went in Saturday morning at 10am because I had been having some concerns the day before (we'll call the prego mom anxiety, there was really nothing wrong) but to calm my nerves my midwife, Nancy let me come in for a non stress test, and a urine test. At my appointment she decided to check me again, and to my dismay, still no progress. Nancy decided to be a little more aggressive in her exam, and actually stuck her fingers up in my 1cm dilated cervix..."maybe this will help some" she said. We didn't think much would come of it, I had learned to not get my hopes up at this point, and she sent us on our way.
Kyle and I had planned to go to my parents house so that Kyle could take down the Christmas lights for my crippled father (he had torn his achilles tendon the week prior). Luckily for us the birth center is only about a 10 minute drive from my parents house, and we had made sure to keep all of our birth center bags and diaper bag in the car, just in case. We got to my parents and, I assumed that we would be there for a couple hours and then leave. Around 12:30 I started having some slight cramps, I recognized that they were contractions and got excited thinking to myself, "finally! maybe I'll have this baby in a couple days!" (assuming that like most people I would have contractions for a while before going into labor.) That was not the case...
Within the hour my contractions had progressed. They were lasting about 30 seconds and were only about 30 seconds apart, so I was getting no relief. This lasted for about 2 hours before we decided to call Nancy. She said that my contractions weren't long enough to come in to the birth center yet, but that because I was having signs of active labor (throwing up) she would call in an hour to check in on me and we'd evaluate at that point. During that hour I labored at my parents house. It was nice to have so many people there to help me keep my mind occupied (in the 30 seconds I had between contractions haha). During that hour my contractions started lasting longer, about a minute to a minute and a half, still only about 30 seconds apart. When Nancy called back she said that she wanted us to come in at 5:30, which was an hour later, hallelujah, I was excited!
We pulled up to Lake Side Birth Center at 5:30, and my contractions were rockin! When we got in Nancy checked me, and I was dilated to a 3 and 100% effaced! She said that usually she'll only have people stay at the center if they're dilated to a 4 or higher, but since I was completely effaced (and progressing so fast) we decided it was smart for me to stay.
My mom and sisters showed up at the birth center to hear how my progress was, and when we decided we were going to stay Nancy put on a movie for us, and we all hung out on her comfy sofa. I was continuing to have extremely painful contractions, and Kyle was doing AMAZING at coaching me through them. He really was the perfect partner for labor! He was exactly what I needed, he comforted me exactly how I needed him to, and I was so blessed to have him there.
At approximately 6:30 pm I asked the doula (who had shown up within the past 45 minutes or so) if I could labor in the tub. She let me know that I could as long as I was dilated to a 6, so Nancy checked me and I was dilated to a 6, but my water hadn't broke, so she broke my water (which was the craziest sensation WHOA!) It was tub time! Getting in the tub was AMAZING! I can't say that the contractions were any better (they were actually the strongest they had been) but there was something SO relaxing and soothing about the warm water. Nancy and the doula (Ingrid was her name:) checked in on me periodically, but they let me and Kyle have our space while I was in the tub. It was so nice, however it was short lived because after about 25 minutes I called Ingrid in and told her I was feeling like I needed to push! She seemed a little shocked, and so did Nancy, but they got me out of the tub to check me, and low and behold they next thing I hear is Nancy saying "okay, on this next contraction I want you to push!" (apparently that meant I was dilated to a 10).
Pushing was such a relief after having had such intense contractions. It hurt, don't get me wrong, but it was a gratifying hurt because I knew what the prize was! I had three big pushes before we were able to see Logan's head. When her head appeared Nancy said to Kyle "okay come on down here, you're catching the baby." Kyle was NOT prepared for this at all, he had planned on staying by my head the whole time, but as he puts it, "he soon felt his legs moving and somehow ended up right down in the action." I pushed for another 25 minutes before our girl arrived. As mentioned, Kyle caught her and laid her right on my tummy. It was such a surreal experience. Logan looked right up at me and we made eye contact for the firs time. It was like she was saying, "hey you're that voice I've heard the past nine months." It was a surreal, life changing experience. Kyle was crying, which rarely happens, and we couldn't believe she was finally here.
She stayed connected to the umbilical chord for 10 minutes just laying on my belly and then Kyle cut the chord. Nancy went and weighed her and we found out she was 8lbs 8oz. Nancy was shocked because she was so skinny, but we soon realized she was a long girl, 21 inches! My family had been waiting in the other room and soon came in to meet our little Logan girl. Kyle's family arrived soon after. We enjoyed having them there for a couple hours and then cleaned up and headed home for our first night together.
It was all such a beautiful experience. I couldn't have asked for a more comfortable environment to give birth in. The atmosphere was warm, cozy, and positive.
Many people called me crazy for doing it the way I did, but I had a different attitude towards it. Nancy said in her book that birth is "hard work'' and I really tried to keep that mentality through the whole process...yes this is painful, many things in life are, but this is a short span of time, some hard work, and it will be over soon and the reward will be so worth it, and she is :)

 and that's our little story<3

Friday, September 4, 2015

Life Really Is Just So Unexpected

Well, It's been a while since I've posted anything on here publicly (I took a little break and used this blog as a blog for one of my online classes, but have been missing it being what it was intended for lately.) What is it intended for, one may ask? Well I guess over the years (and quite a few years I might add) I have been able to document my life through this blog. It was with me in college, it was with me when I decided to go on a mission. Various boys and relationships have been hashed out on this blog, a sense it has included many points in my "young adult life" as I've gone through many changes. As I reflected on it's purpose and how it's been in a sense, a journal for many years, I realized how much I have FAILED to record about the last year of my life, a year that has COMPLETELY encompassed the meaning of "Life Unexpected!" This is me, documenting what's become of me, and ultimately, what I've learned through this past year... So here goes nothing:)

A year ago today I was home from school at BYU-I, approaching my final fall semester...I remember being excited to be done, but scared of the future and disappointed that I was 24 1/2,  about to graduate college, and had no prospects of anyone at that point to even seriously date. I had been dating a lot in the months leading up to that, so much in fact, that my mom had begun to get frustrated with me each time I'd call her and say "eh, I just wasn't into him" or "it just wasn't right." Now side note...being a member of the Church of Latter Day Saints or Mormon, there's often a lot of pressure that comes in your 20's to date and get married, in fact at the age of 24, I was considered "older" in my college community as a single woman (I know, I know 24 is not old!) But I must admit, I had always had the desire to find the right person and settle down, and it was frustrating to me that amid my efforts to date, I was having zero success.
During the summer of being home at my parent's house,  I had made a commitment to myself that I was going to attend a congregation at my church that was merely for young single adults. I'd known about this congregation for a while, but had a very negative mentality about it, assuming that everyone there were people I'd known growing up who hadn't moved away or figured out what they were doing with their life ( I know that was a rash judgment:) It had always been important to me to date and marry someone of my faith, because of how important my faith is to me. I NEVER in a million years would have imagined though, that after living in Idaho for 6 years, leaving on a mission to San Diego, and meeting people all over the country, that the person I would date and marry would be right in my backyard:) As I attended the singles congregation, I was informed about this "awesome guy who I HAD to meet!" Each week I was told that I needed to meet this guy, and as I would see him around I could tell that he had been informed of the same now things were awkward:)
Finally, on my last week of being home before going back to school (and after a lot of circumstances "fell into place") I decided to just sit by him and introduce myself (what'd I have to lose, I was going back to school in 3 days anyways:) Well to make a long story short, that lead to 4 hours of talking that night, an exchange of numbers, and a commitment to go on a date when I got home from school in the winter (HA....that's funny!)
A week into me being back at school, me and this handsome stud (haha) began texting every day, which lead to 4 hr phone calls, which lead to, skyping for hours at a time...we corresponded every single day, all day (which anyone know knows my husband is shocked by because he's not always a talker haha). I was shocked though. Here I was, in what should have been "dating central" Rexburg, Idaho, and I was spending every waking moment talking to a guy back in Puyallup Washington?! After a month of constant talking, I decided I should go home for a weekend to see if there was anything there (I mean we knew there was something there, we loved talking and had become best friends) but we wanted to see if there was ANYTHING there :) On October 11th we went on our first date and spent the entire weekend together. It was the most comfortable first date and weekend I'd ever had. Everything else kind of skyrocketed from there! He flew me home two weekends later, then came to visit 2 weeks after that, I went home again for Thanksgiving and 2 weeks later we went to San Diego together to visit my misison, and then 2 weeks after that he came to my graduation...all the while we were talking and falling in love. On New Years Eve of 2014 we got engaged. To say it was unexpected is an understatement. To say I anticipated it all happening so fast, is even more of an understatement. I am truly a believer that God's hand is in everything, and the timing of me and Kyle meeting and getting engaged was maybe not ideal in everyone's world (many wonder how you could make a decision that big that fast) but luckily for us, we knew our values were aligned, we knew each other on a much deeper level than merely physical, and we both wanted to get married and have a family.
Our First Weekend Together

Trip to San Diego

The Holidays

We decided on a short engagement, because we both had made the commitment in our lives to wait until we were married to have any sexually intimate relationships. We knew that a long engagement would only make that more difficult, so we were engaged in December and got married on April 11th of 2015 in the Seattle, Washington temple.
Our plan for starting a family was to wait a year and then hopefully, God permitting, get pregnant. That was OUR PLAN haha, that clearly wasn't God's plan because soon ( I mean very soon) after our wedding, we found out we would be having a baby...I think both of our initial reactions were shock. Here we were still adjusting to living together, and all that comes with being married, and now we had this new little person coming into our lives. It took a few days of prayer and fasting for us to be ready and okay with this news. Not that our little one was unwanted AT ALL, it was more an overwhelming, unexpected surprise:) We are now so excited and in love with our little girl coming January of 2016!

I guess to wrap it up, if you would have asked me a year ago, where I'd be today.....Married and pregnant would not have been my first answer. But honestly, I wouldn't have it any other way. I feel so blessed, I know that God's time table is perfect, even if that means he waits forever to give us what we want and then gives it to us all at once:) His timing is perfect, and we can find happiness in every stage and moment in life. It's a journey that I'm thrilled to be on!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Oh So Cute

I am really blessed this semester to be taking an online marriage course. It's very appropriate for several reasons, one being that I just got married, and two being that I love anything that has to do with strengthening the family unit! This week I want to really focus on an element of our studies that stuck out to me, and is sensitive in many ways because I know people in the scenarios that I'm about to refer to. The topic I wish to touch on is cohabitation, and particularly having children out of wedlock. Now this post is not to make anyone feel guilty, or bad, because I do not think poorly about the people I know who live this way. I simply was incredibly impacted by some statistics I read in one of our articles regarding the decline in individuals who actually get married. It used to be that on average, it was the uneducated and the poor would cohabitate and have children out of wedlock. Today, however, middle America is accepting this as the norm! In fact according to The State of Our Unions Marriage 2012, 53% of women give birth out of wedlock! According to Jason DeParle and Sabrina Tavernise unwed childbearing has become “the new norm". This was just shocking to me, I think mostly because I feel, and have grown up believing that marriage is such a necessary part of life, and that there was a natural order and arrangement to things.
My husband and I decided not to live together before we were married, and we also chose to abstain from any sexual relations until after we were married. It's funny because when I went to the doctors office prior to getting married, the doctor found out I was engaged and asked if we had any children yet........I was shocked! I then proceeded to tell her, no that we didn't live together and were not sexually active and she gasped and said "oh my gosh that's so cute!" This to me was a funny reaction, "cute"? She told me she never saw patients my age who were abstinent.
What does this mean for society? For children? I think in general we can infer a number of things. For starters the institution of marriage is becoming less and less accepted. We know from statistics that children raised by single parents don't do as well in school, are more prone to get caught up in gangs, and are more likely not to marry as well. Likewise, couples who are not married, are more likely to break up, leaving  children in families that are separated. This is an epidemic that needs to be stopped! So many of our societies problems could and would be decreased, if there were stronger family units! We have an epidemic on our hands. A way of living that is SO accepted, it is "cute" when someone lives otherwise.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

GUYS. Care enough to change. PERIOD.

I've had something on my mind, and I have been silent from blogging for a long time...but this is a topic that just keeps coming to my attention time and time again, and I feel like it's an issue that needs to be addressed.
As women we are CONSTANTLY told how our actions influence men, and I am not arguing that fact one bit. The things we wear, the way we carry ourselves, our actions and behaviors can be extremely influential, and we are reminded of this on a regular basis so that we can be sensitive to the struggles guys are going through (keeping pure thoughts, pornography, etc.)
That being said....
There is something that guys do that is NOT addressed and it is very wrong, and a rising problem that contributes to a female mentality that is just as detrimental, Low self esteem and Negative body image.  Let me give you all a glimpse into several experiences I've had during my time at college that are not only heart breaking to those girls effected, but offensive to me and other girls who aren't even involved in these situations, yet are indirectly effected by the comments made.
Situation 1) Somewhere around my 3rd semester of college I was sitting with some guys in the school cafeteria. Of course the topic of dating surfaced and I started inquiring as to my friend's dating lives. As the conversation evolved a comment was made by one of the guys, "you know, that girl is cute now, but she definitely has fat potential." FAT POTENTIAL?! As a 19 year old girl, I didn't realize at the time the influence this statement would have on me for the rest of my life. I started wondering to myself "do i have fat potential? what do guys say about me behind my back? Is this the reason I haven't been on a date lately? Is that the reason these guys don't like me?" My focus on my body became a little bit more obsessive.
Situation 2) I have a beautiful friend. Seriously, she's a catch. She works out, she eats a gluten free diet, and she is super disciplined and fit. This girl served a mission, she is accomplished in her schooling, she is a natural leader, she's amazing. So my dear friend starts dating a guy after being good friends for a while. The word love is thrown into the equation by both parties, and what seems to be a serious relationship is forming. Fastforward a few months. This guy decides to break things off with said friend, out of the blue. When seeking closure and understanding of what triggered this breakup, boy expresses that one of his reasons for breaking things off is concern for the future; basically stating that it's in her genes to get heavy, and that he's afraid that she might gain weight and get fat and become unattractive to him.
Situation 3) I have another beautiful friend. Another great catch, adorable girl, very cute figure, who is an amazing student and super kind and giving. This girl was in her ward one Sunday and a cute guy sat down and started talking to her, being nice and naturally my friend thought, "oh he's cute," a slight interest occurred. Later through another guy, word got back to this girl that this same guy who was so friendly minutes before, told another friend that he would never ask her out because he thinks she's very unattractive. (this example is not to say that this guy HAD to be attracted to my friend, but is more meant to prove that saying things about people's looks behind their backs is hurtful and makes its way back to them.)

Okay now that I've explained these 3 situations...I'm gonna really lay all my thoughts on the table...
Do you realize what you are doing? Do you realize how many girls these statements and words effect? Do you realize the long term ramifications of your shallow and ignorant statements?
Imagine your future daughter, or your niece, some little girl that you ADORE. Imagine holding that precious little girl in your arms, and then imagine her growing up and some guy saying one of these hurtful shallow things about her. Imagine someone telling her she's unattractive and her going home crying. Imagine her being dumped because she could "one day become fat."
When you sit and tear apart the imperfections of another girl, not only does that destroy her feelings about herself and her self worth, it plants those ideas into the minds of all girls who hear you. IT IS A GROWING ISSUE. Girls start to look at themselves wondering if people are saying the same things about them. They think, "If that girl has fat potential/big hips/thin hair/too much hair on her arms/big hands etc., imagine what they think about ME." It puts that imperfection on every girl who isn't perfect.
It is the work of Satan to make us forget our divine potential. To take away our virtues, to forget our divine worth, and to make us an object. WHEN YOU SAY THESE THINGS YOU ARE OBJECTIFYING A WOMEN AND YOU ARE MAKING HER BELIEVE THAT HER WORTH LIES IN HER APPEARANCE RATHER THAN HER CHARACTER and THAT IS NOT TRUE.

Guys, do you realize that there are CUTE, AMAZING girls who have never been on a date? Do you realize that they ask themselves everyday "why am i not dating?" "what's wrong with me?"Will I ever get married?" "I don't look like the girl he just said was 'hott' I guess i am not hott." "Am I too heavy?" "Is it my nose?" "Are my boobs too small?"

Do you realize when you tell a girl you don't want her because she might get fat she asks herself, "if he thinks this, does everyone think this? Will anyone EVER want me?"

 There's NOTHING wrong with them...but you have found plenty of reason to point out why they are not "perfectly attractive." Or why they won't remain attractive. Do you really think you're free of the plagues of balding? Of acne? Of Back hair? Of gaining weight? I can guarantee you will not look like you do now, forever. We're going to have to deal with your imperfections, so what makes it any different for you?

This is a plea to everyone. Guys, yes, but also women,moms, leaders, humans in general. We need to be more Christ-like. We need to be more kind. We need to see humans as more than a physical body. That is so not the most important thing, and yet we are falling trap to making it our main priority. It is wrong to classify someone because of their attractiveness. You don't have to be attracted to everyone, but you DO need to be kind, and you DO need to be aware that physical flaws are inevitable, and you're setting yourself up for a long hard life of plastic surgery and eating disorders if you're constantly expecting perfection from your significant other. So get over yourselves and stop thinking there's someone more perfect or better. Your missing out on some pretty amazing women.