Monday, January 30, 2012

Meme: Thoughts on bad weather, marriage, movies, motherhood and majors

I was tagged by Lara who responded to a meme. Now, not being an avid reader of blogs, I had never before heard of a meme. While, the concept seems similar to a chain letter -- something I'm not too keen on receiving and try not to forward -- the questions were interesting, and I was flattered to be tagged by a REAL blogger. Then I made my best effort to respond, only to struggle, write and rewrite, especially in response to the first question. So, sorry for the ongoing edits the last few hours. However, I'm finally happy with my response and don't plan to change it again. And, I found it satisfying to look around inside myself to try to understand my thoughts -- one of the reasons I love writing!


1. How do you cope with the yucky season where you live?

Right now the sky is a cool gray and it is cold. The day's half over and I don't anticipate much change in brightness or warmness, except that it will eventually get darker and colder. It will get better over the next month or two.

This is an interesting time in my life anyway. A great quiet after a torrent of busyness. For the last few months I've had the luxury of long, quiet hours with my two daughters. That sense of luxury can make even gray days beautiful. Some days as I soak in the warmth of radiant heating and look out the window above my row of fresh herbs growing on the sill, I dream of blue skies, warm afternoons and walks with my daughters, and berate myself that I don't bring them outside more. Maybe today. Still, the cold gives me a desire to stay in these small, warmly heated rooms. I will go out and hopefully soon. My husband and I go cross country skiing on date nights. (We found old-style skis for my husband and I for $10 a pair from a couple of snowbirds and were given a hand-me-down kid's pair for our two-year-old, and so it's not too expensive for our student budget.) We tried it once as a family, with Bridget in my Moby wrap, but it made me too nervous that I'd fall on her and she'd get hurt. She's only four months, after all. So, for the rest of this year if we take Bridget skiing, the person holding her will be on foot. However, the added stability of snowshoeing makes it something I can do with both my daughters. My two-year-old now owns her own snowshoes (her main Christmas present) and the younger one rides in my Moby when we go out. There are other things I love about this time of year. I enjoy watching the ice sculptures of palaces, people and imaginary beings rising up for Winter Carnival. Icicles, snowflakes, and dense forests seem almost romantic to me.

Inside with our radiant heating, my two-year-old and I fill our day with art projects, music, reading books, and occasional television shows, and I stay busy administering breakfast, snacks, lunch, naptime, potty training, along with washing mounds of laundry, cooking dinner, calling relatives, taking care of baby Bridget, etc., etc. So, I suppose I cope by cultivating a sense of wonder for the everyday moments, and also finding time to continue to develop my talents. When I do feel fear, depression, worry and so forth, I try to set a new goal with my writing or photography, or perhaps forget myself and look for someone to serve. (My mother would always tell me that when I was feeling bad for myself I'd feel better if I'd spend more time thinking of others). Or, sometimes I just need to get out and go to the library or on a walk. Lastly, sometimes I just try to accept that there's nothing wrong with having a good, depressing day now and then -- and then move on.


2. Tell me something you like about me or my blog? (I need a little self esteem boost lately)

You make your family a high priority and it shows in your life and in your blog. I admire your daughters' broad smiles when my daughter runs over to them in excitement and how they come up with funny games to play with her -- like Sophia letting Jackie push her and pretending to fall to the ground dead -- building up Jackie's confidence and helping her feel loved. I also admire their musical skills, cute personalities and fashion flair -- all a good reflection on their mother :) In addition, you have many talents, like singing, photography, and blogging, which you take the time to develop and use to serve others.
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3. Name a movie you can quote several lines from.
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I'm not a huge movie buff. So, I'll have to revert to the overquoted Princess Bride:
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"Maarrrriaage is what brings us together today."
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Oh, wait, I'm struggling to think of any more lines ...
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Did I mention I'm not a movie buff?
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4. Least thing you like about mothering.
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Car seats have to be among the worst, especially when you have a five person coupe, that with carseats added only holds four. While I want my children to be safe, the frustration of leaning over the front seat and putting them into the car seat, often meeting a loud, "No," from my two-year-old, and then taking them out has the effect of making me not want to go anywhere (I still do go) and if I need to do an errand, I'll always choose the drive-through option, where before I liked to go inside and talk to people face-to-face.
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5. Favorite thing about being a wife
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Always having a date. Of course, those dates go better because I was lucky enough to marry one of the nicest guys in the world. (So, cheezy, I know.) Plus, it's fun to work with him to raise our two daughters!
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6. If you could've majored in anything in college, without thought to what you'd do with it afterwards, what would it have been?
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I was fairly idealistic in college and wanted to be a writer. That's why I majored in journalism and later earned a Master's degree in American Studies, with an emphasis in nonfiction writing. I became a writer and plan to continue to write. I enjoyed those majors, although sometimes I have a moment when I wish I would have chosen something like teaching high school, speech pathology, dentistry or medicine, which are quite marketable and present so many options. But, most days I don't regret my majors. I'd still like to complete a couple of others, given unlimited time. For instance, I would have loved to complete a degree in fine art as I want a foundation in art theory. I also wish I knew a few more languages ... Really, I just like to learn EVERYTHING. I also miss math and some days wish I could go back and take calculus, and maybe physics (somehow I haven't taken physics since around Middle School.) I'm sure that would lead to some fulfilling conversations with my dad and brother Brian, who majored in math and physics, respectively.
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This is where I'm supposed to tag someone, I suppose. Oh, wait, I hate sending on chain letters. I guess I'll tag my sis', Christie, and my sister-in-law Tiffany. They'll like me anyway, after all. (Sorry you two, I'm not even a professional blogger and so there's no incentive at all to comply :) But, if you feel like it, I'd love to hear what you have to say -- and it's kind of fun.)

1 comment:

Lara said...

Thanks for playing, Karen! I really enjoyed reading your answers. Though I am totally with you on learning as many things as possible, I do think I would have to draw the line at calculus and physics. :)

I hate chain letters, too. With a passion, so I always hesitate to do these sorts of things...and I'm glad you did it!

My wedding cake

My wedding cake
My sister, Christie, made my wedding cake -- all five layers of it. It was fondant, covered in fresh red roses and green ribbon. For a more modern look she chose to make a square cake.

Trip up the canyon

Trip up the canyon
OK, here's the truth, what Renn and I really look like when we wake up. After our first backpacking trip as a couple, Renn's hair looked like grass growing on his head and mine lay flat and matted as we walked out of the mountains.

Karen and Renn in Mexico

Karen and Renn in Mexico
This is us on our last day at the Hummingbird Inn in Maneadero, Mexico. It was a fun week of service with Engineers Without Borders. Renn and other USU engineering students helped put in drain fields at an orphanage, The Gabriel House, for children with severe disabilities. I helped dig some holes and wrote an article for the newspaper about the experience.