Thursday, December 22, 2011

Farewell, my noble steed

This week was the week to move from Provo to Colorado. We're subleasing our duplex so we had to move all of our stuff out - I hate packing. My top five lessons learned from packing:

1. Don't break down and cry on the couch
2. Start sooner
3. Don't break down and cry on the floor
4. Try to organize what you're packing - i.e. don't pack your tupperware away while you still have tupperwares in the fridge
5. Don't break down and cry in the closet

Anyways, it was a rough day, but we got it done. We put all the stuff we won't need in Denver in storage and loaded up the cars. The next day we started our trek to Denver. We both had to drive b/c we would need both cars in Denver, since we'll be here for almost 4 months. I was really scared about driving through the mountains, but I had my walkie talkie and Greg was helping me know what to do. Little did I know, our 8 hour trip would turn into a 16 hour trip, I would walk away from the day one car poorer and 2 citations richer, and we would spend 5 hours in Rifle, CO. (What's that? You've never heard of Rifle? Imagine that! Well, they have a Wal-Mart!)

When we were about halfway there, it started to snow. It wasn't sticking on the road (or so we thought), and Greg and I decided we didn't need to slow down. Everyone was still going 70 mph and I lost control of my car and crashed. It was really scary, but I didn't get hurt. Martha (my car) on the other hand... well she's a goner.

As I described in excruciating detail on the police report: I was going east in the right lane and started to merge left to avoid a car with its hazards on that was parked on the side of the road. When I started to merge, the car slid on ice and I lost control. It fishtailed for a while, and I eventually slid into the guard rail on the right side of the road, which spun me into a 360, across the median (which was actually a ditch), across the westbound lanes of traffic, through a barb wire fence, and finally came to a stop at on a little hill. It was terrifying, but I didn't get hurt at all, just a little bit of wiplash today. But holy cow, how lucky was I? Everyone was travelling 70mph and no one hit me. When I was going across the other lane of traffic, a car was headed for me, but I got out of his way and he didn't spin out. I thought I was going to die, but, thankfully, here I am.

There were 6 accidents on that half-mile stretch of road within 30 minutes of mine (and not caused by mine, thank goodness). Oh, and my citation? Careless driving. What the heck?

Martha - my noble steed

RIP Martha. You've been a good girl. Your bench seat will be sorely missed.

Monday, December 19, 2011

One Year Ago

I was out shopping for Christmas presents for Greg today (by the way, shopping for Greg is so stressful!) and I thought about how this is our first Christmas together. Not only our first Christmas together as a married couple, but our first Christmas even knowing each other.

"Are you kidding me!? You married someone you've known for less than a year? You're crazy!"

Yes, I did marry someone I knew for less than a year, but no, I'm not crazy. I guarantee we will have a happier marriage than some people who date for years before even getting engaged. Dating is about finding someone you're compatible with. That's pretty easy to tell early on. From that point on, it's about being selfless and committed. Greg and I had enough time to tell we were compatible. Now we work to nourish our love for one another as we grow as individuals, and, more importantly, as a couple.

Thinking about this made me think about where I was in life one year ago. The missionary I had been writing for a year and half had "broken up" with me. After a few days of being down in the dumps about it, I realized I had already pretty much moved on. That left me to just feel frustrated with love. I dated about 5 guys while Sam was gone, and could never feel a real connection with any of them. Part of that was because I was conflicted and always worrying about the future with Sam, but another part of it was just because there was no chemistry. So once I was really truly 100% single, I felt like I would never find love- and I had a track record to prove it. Granted, Sam wasn't perfect for me and there were a lot of things that really bothered me about him, but he was pretty much all I knew. I felt like I would never find anything close to that ever again. I was tired of liking guys who didn't like me or having guys like me who I didn't like or dating guys where there was mutual "liking" going on, but it just wasn't what I wanted. I had pretty much decided to stop worrying about it so much and just let whatever happened happen. I would try to be more social and involved, but I would stop thinking about guys so much.

Where was Greg one year ago? Last year, Greg was home for Christmas break telling his family that he didn't want to get married and that he had no intentions of meeting someone in college. He was enjoying being single and being able to do whatever he wanted with his friends, and he didn't want to be tied down! Marriage is for squares!

And then January 3rd rolled around. There was a social event type thing in our apartment complex. I was brave and went, even though I didn't know anybody. I kept trying to join in conversations, but everyone already had their own groups. Right before I was about to leave, I saw some girls who I kind of knew. They were talking to this really cute guy. I went up and joined in on the conversation, and before long, this guy's attention shifted to me. The other girls left at some point and this guy and I talked for a while before he had to leave.

And the rest is history.

(Greg being too awkward to put his arm around me on our second date)

Friday, December 16, 2011

In this last General Conference, Neil L. Anderson quoted this blog post in his talk called "Children." I'm not in any rush to have kids, but this article gave me a different perspective on what it will mean to one day be a mom. I'm always so worried about what being a mom means giving up - but there is a beauty in sacrificing to bring children into this world and to raise them to be good people.
Public accounting as a career is a huge time commitment. It's not a family friendly job. You hardly ever work just 40 hours a week. Most of the people who come to BYU to recruit are men, or women who aren't married or who don't have children. All of the men who have children have wives who stay at home with the kids. Sometimes, this really frustrates me and I feel stifled, knowing that I will have to balance my career aspirations with my family aspirations. I can't work 60 hours a week and raise my children. I'm frustrated by men who don't understand this, and I'm even more frustrated by an accounting program that encourages more women to participate but doesn't acknowledge this inconsistency. The inconsistency of having men come as guest speakers who tell the class "Don't leave public accounting until you've been there for 5 years" or who try to acknowledge a place in the profession for working mothers, but admit that you probably won't be offered that flexibility until you've been working for 3 years. Sometimes I am really, really bothered by this, bothered that even at a school like BYU, they don't address this issue. Bothered that the focus at BYU says "Big 4 Accounting or failure." I get stuck in this mindset that in order to be successful and use my degree, I have to dedicate my life to public accounting - or else I threw my potential away.
But, when I take the time to really think about it, I remember the importance of family. Traditional family roles aren't what everyone wants, but they're what I want, and if that means I have to give up some career aspirations in order to be the kind of mom I want to be, then so be it. If the career I had my eye on gets in the way of me being a mom, it's time for me to look for something else.

(But seriously, read the article if you have time. Way good.)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Hockey Fans

I've attended a few of Greg's hockey games, enough to know my way around being a hockey fan. Who cares about the rules when you can just scream mean and angry phrases all night? Here's a beginner's guide:

- When a player from the opposite team slips and falls on the ice, yell something demeaning like "Hey, nice twirl!" or "Ooooh, you're so pretty!"

- When a player from the opposite team gets anywhere near a guy on your team ( I mean anywhere near), start accusing the enemy player of pushing or checking. Make sure you're screaming at the top of your lungs. This tends to get some players frustrated, and maybe they will start pushing and checking later and get a penalty. *Note: Greg's league is non-contact, so they're not allowed to push or check. In a "real" hockey game, this would be pointless - everyone is pushing and checking. See below.

- When your team has the puck and a person from the other team is trying to swipe it away, yell threatening things like "Punch him!" or "Throw him on the ground!" *In Greg's league, they wouldn't actually be able to do this and get away with it, but it's fun to yell!

- Along with the above, when a player from the opposite team does get a penalty, voice your opinion about how dirty you think he is. "Get in the box you creep!"

- When a player from the other team has the puck and winds up for a powerful shot and then misses the puck, make him feel like a real loser. Phrases like "Nice hit!" or even a simple "You suck!" do the trick quite nicely.

- Of course, make generic comments about defense and offense, at the appropriate times. When they're near your goalie, cheer for the defense. When they're on the other side, encourage their offense. Who cares what's really going on.

- And last but not least, yell embarrassing comments at the goalie like "Wow, Greg is such a hottie!" The best way to embarrass him is to cheer for him when the play is nowhere near him

Well there you go! Now... come to Greg's hockey game next Monday! It's at 9 pm and they're playing Vivint, who is the jerk team they played a couple weeks ago where Greg got a penalty for throwing a puck at someone and Greg's brother, Nathan, punched a guy. We had a really loud crowd for the last game and it's looking like we'll have some good fans for this one too! So come! It will be fun!

What a hunk!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Dirty "F" Word

I am thankful for my feminist friends for encouraging me to really ponder what it means to be a woman. I'm thankful for debates they've caused in my mind as I battle these issues out. And I'm thankful for the strong women that they are and for everything that they stand for.

Feminism is somewhat of a dirty word in our culture. When I say our culture, I don't just mean BYU or even the church as a whole. For many people in the US, feminism brings up images of manly women, bra burners who don't shave or wear make-up as some sort of protest against femininity.

I don't remember who it was, but someone posted this article a while ago. As I read it, I thought "Holy cow! Of course I'm a feminist! Women are equal to men! Women are human beings!" I  talked to Greg about it and we were discussing the stigmas (stigmata? the internet said both were acceptable?) associated with feminism- you know, "Feminazis," man-haters," etc. Because of these people, some women are afraid to associate themselves with feminists - even though we all want men and women to be treated equally.

After I read this article, I considered myself a feminist. But over time, I have become more uncomfortable with feminism again. Why? I feel like a lot of people who focus on the idea of "feminism" spend way too much time being offended by things. Take for example this article, which attacks Victoria's Secret for selling sexy underwear because women shouldn't need to be sexy in order to feel good about themselves. Uhh... really? What is wrong with women wanting to feel sexy? I know you can go into all the psychology of it and say that the reason women like to feel sexy is for men and that's not fair! We're empowered women! But really? It's a store (a store that sells very high quality underwear and bras, I might add).

Another issue I have comes from seeing how some people struggle so much with their identity as women in the church because of their feminist beliefs. I've even noticed myself picking up on the slightest comments about the role of womanhood and becoming defensive about them. In the contexts of these struggles, this line in the first article stood out to me:
"Feminism also isn’t about trying to make women the same as men – in contrast, feminism recognizes the difference between the sexes and asks that both sides be treated fairly and equitably based on their unique needs."
So how is that different from the church saying that men and women have equally important but different roles in a family? What use is it getting offended about the truth of a mother's role as a nurturer? Maybe I just believe in a loose interpretation of some of these ideals, but I don't think that the core beliefs of the church limit women at all. The family proclamation doesn't say women should not be educated and should be stay at home moms. It just says "Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children." I think some cultural quirks have developed, which lead to the frustration felt by many women. But I think that women in the church have the freedom and the power to do whatever they want with their lives and to still be OK in God's eyes- as long as they remember their most important role as a wife and mother. Travel the world. Work full-time. Work part-time. Be a stay at home mom. Do whatever you want! Just remember who you really are.

I've ultimately decided that I'd rather be a feminist than not be one. But I'm not going to be one of those feminists who gets offended by everything.