Sunday, March 13, 2011

A catch-all post

Tonight was a perfect spring evening. J returned from a fun (and expensive!) weekend at the Mountain West Basketball tournament in Vegas. We grilled tenderloin and picked romaine from the garden for dinner. Then we went for a walk around the block. The sky was streaked with pink and H kept pointing at the half-moon and saying, "Moo! Moo!" Then we played girls against boys, kicking the soccer ball. H was bored and checked out the neighbors' open garages for better options.

Life has been busy. And hard. And fun. I haven't mustered up the energy to blog about any of it, obviously. Along with blogging, here are a few things I also have not been doing:
  • Taking care of the broccoli in the garden--it died
  • Returning my library books on time (and actually reading them! Out of the last stack I only managed to read Wednesday Wars--thumbs way up--and The Red Pyramid--pretty good. And I had to keep each a week past due in order to finish them)
  • Visiting teaching (oops. And I'm in the Relief Society presidency. I should get on that.)
  • Losing those last inches around my stomach from when I was last pregnant
  • Planning something for spring break this week (yikes! I should get on that--need to be proactive or kids will fight the whole week)
  • Sleeping--H has been sick. AGAIN. coughing all night, up all night. and at 5:30am.
But let's not focus on what I haven't been doing. Let's talk about what I have been doing:
  • I blogged at Segullah earlier about sustaining the prophet. I feel like an expert on the topic (not on actually doing it) since I have now given 2 talks and 1 lesson about it in the last few months. And I love the photo of President Monson that I used in my Segullah post. Go here if you want to download it and print it at Costco.
  • I've been spending hours outside with H--pushing him on the swing, threatening to take away his bike if he rides it into the street again, and watching him write with sidewalk chalk while I try to read those library books.
  • Working on an article for Computers and Composition. Almost done! It's on online literacy sponsorship ("sponsors" meaning those who have something to lose or gain by promoting or encouraging another's literacy learning). I was hoping to get it off before spring break, but I'm not exactly running on time right now (let's face it, by "right now" I mean "in this lifetime").
  • Going to the gym--I bought a $25-for-3-month trial pass to a new gym and I'm loving going to the classes again. I got burned out of running and lifting hand weights.
  • I took part in a podcast at The Round Table: Inquiry and Insight into Mormon Womanhood last week. It should be posted on their blog sometime soon. They asked me to be a special guest and participate in the discussion on Mormon women and identity. Emily Jensen, the moderator, asked us questions about pressures Mormon women feel to be "an ideal Mormon woman" and how we can work towards getting rid of these false notions that Mormon women have to be a certain way, look a certain way, do things a certain way, or make certain choices in their lives in order to be "good." One of the most thought-provoking comments in the discussion to me was from Chelsea Shields Strayer, who said that, in her experiences living overseas, Americans seem, more than any other nationality, to rely on their communities to give them their identities more than on their individual ability to fashion their own identities separate from community norms and expectations (she said it much better, but I can't remember). I've been thinking about that because I'd love to raise my children, but particularly my daughter, with the ability to conscientiously construct a self-concept, to separate their beliefs about the self from others' beliefs. But I don't have the slightest idea about how to go about giving my children the tools to do this. Any ideas?
  • Speaking of Mormon women, I've also been writing a short reader's theater program for our Relief Society birthday celebration in a couple of weeks. I love the history of the Relief Society--the early Relief Society women did amazing things. I think one of the many factors that led to the amazing things they did was that they built on individual women's diverse talents, personalities, life situations, etc. I'll step off my soap box now.
  • I've been giving my kids piano lessons (while H jumps on my back, screaming, "Nay!" or tries to pound on the piano keys, or writes on random things with a crayon some other child left down while I wasn't looking); and I've been cleaning (the majority of the house--don't look in the guest room! Actually, you probably couldn't open the door to look in there. That situation will be rectified before my in-laws visit this Thursday); and I've been making dinners.
  • Lastly (because I'm getting tired--see list of things I haven't been doing lately), I've been painting. While J was away, I painted my bathroom cabinets and I worked on a new aspen painting for my living room. I'll take pics when I'm not so tired. . . . (maybe next month?!)
Wish me luck on spring break! Hopefully I'll actually blog about it.


Melanie said...

Glad you liked Wednesday Wars. It's one of my all-time favorites. I just finished reading it out loud to my 9-year-old who also gave it two thumbs up.

Madsen Family said...

Okay, I think I'm just tired reading about what you've been doing. It's pretty impressive. And it's funny, because when I was reading the bulleted section on Mormon Woman, I was thinking that I don't feel any pressure to be any certain way--I'm happy to just be me. I've learned my own limitations, what I'm good at, what I'm not, etc. But then reading about all you do/done, I did get this feeling that I should be/do more. So, I guess I do feel that pressure. Or more like, that guilt. Because I know I sure ain't ever gonna do all that you do. And while I admire you for it, I'll try not to be a little envious of your many talents....because I know that's not what you would want:)

draeves said...

Sounds like life is busy for you! Funny you should mention the RS readers theater--we just had ours this week, and I wrote the script for that (also focusing on the history of Relief Society). I'll have to check out the podcast. And read your essay (I haven't done it yet--I'm sorry! I'm still working on grading . . .)

bluestocking mama said...

Melanie, thanks for the recommendation! I loved it.

Jessy, I know what you mean. I get to a place where I feel good with who I am and my limitations (I'm never going to be the patient, easy-going parent, for example) and then it gets me again.

Rosalyn, no worries. It's spring break week. I put the essay aside completely until next week anyway.