Sunday, May 21, 2017

Define Your Dash # 20: Active Goals

I had my big huge list of goals I wrote out in January and I am doing alright with some of them and failing miserably at others. For example, it is hard to exercise with a toddler. I'm still going to get in shape but it is requiring some serious creativity. On the other hand, I have kept up with these posts and am being more social with my ward and finally got up the courage to start my other blog.
So, I want to talk about that for a minute. I started a blog called Mommy Practice which, despite what all of the tutorials I have read recommend, is not a very good niche blog. It is all over the place. But for now that is okay. I purchased the domain and hosting in September and didn't get going forever because I got so bogged down in having everything perfect before I started.
I was obsessed with the idea of monetizing it right away in order to help bring in income. I have calmed down, realized we are okay financially, and am now using it as a learning experience. It has been so fun to write, and take pictures, and learn about graphic design and marketing (something I never did anything with in school). It has also caused much introspection and been a part of the reason I go out of my way to make my days more interesting and eventful.
I would still like to monetize it (or a version of it once I figure out what I am like the most) someday. But for now, I am progressing. I am learning. I have a hobby that I enjoy.
My new goal is to have a decent source of income from the blog by the time my youngest child goes to kindergarten (provided the government doesn't irreversibly screw up the internet).

Define You Dash # 19: First Best Friend

How do you define best friend? I know I have had a handful of people in my life that I would have considered my Best Friend at a given point.

When I was little it was probably Nathan Conder. We were raised side by side and spent crazy amounts of time together. Yes, we are still in contact and see each other at least a few times a year.

I had a best friend in first grade named Michelle Bodkin. I have no idea what happened to her but I do remember her being my first good friend who was a girl.

When I moved to Sandy my best friend was probably Miranda Peterson. We were good friends from second grade until fifth grade when she moved. I remember that being very hard and for a while, I drifted a bit. Lots of acquaintances, no best friend. We are facebook friends I think.

From sixth grade until the end of middle school my best friends were Karin Nizguritzer, Kelsy Jordan, Katy Ogden, Franklynn Stott, and Alisha Larson. The amount of time I spent with each as my best friend and the closeness of the relationships fluctuated quite a bit. I am Facebook friends with them still but I only have real relationships with Franklynn and Alisha at this point.

My best friends in High School were Alisha Larson, Franklynn Stott and Tara Smith. High school was a little bit different though and I feel like I had a wide variety of people that I got along with and hung out with. There were lots of weekend get togethers and Frisbee games. I worked with Franklynn and Alisha though and other than my family I would say I have spent more time with them by choice than any other people in my life.

Towards the end of high school, Nick became one of my best friends. He had been an acquaintance and casual friend for a long time but it wasn't until that last year that I started spending as much (or more) time with him than Alisha and Franklynn. I married Nick (and he is my very best friend), am still in fairly regular contact with Franklynn, and pester Alisha with texts almost daily since she moved away.

The first year of college was tough. Nick went on a mission, Alisha went to Idaho, and Franklynn and I spent so much time together that it is a miracle that we can still speak to each other. After floundering for a bit, I made some good friends in my singles ward, Ashley Kimball and Alicia Anderson (among others). I still see Ashley all of the time.

My best friends now (other than Nick), and they have always been there even if I didn't think of them as my best friends, are my family. I have had the opportunity to spend a lot of time with my Mom the past couple of years and have enjoyed getting to know her as an adult. I also see me dad, brother, and sister frequently and have excellent relationships with all of them.

I feel that I have been blessed with great friends throughout my life and have always had the relationships that I needed when I needed them.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Define Your Dash #18: What I Love Most About Where I Live Now

It is no secret that I really didn't like living in my current neighborhood when we moved in. We came to check out the ward after we put an offer on our house and it seemed great. It was full of lots of young couples just like us. There weren't a lot of teenagers but after growing up in historic Sandy that seemed normal.
It took us a little more than a month to start going to the new ward consistently because we were simultaneously trying to get Grandma's house ready for selling and our house to the point where it was livable. By the time we got there, our names had been read in (on a week we were at our other ward) and we found ourselves with callings almost immediately. Nick was put in the young mens/scouts and I was put into the young womens.
This was difficult for me. I didn't really get a chance to know anyone in the Relief Society because I was with the young women all of the time and I didn't know how to interact with the presidency I was put into. I have been in several presidencies during my life and I honestly didn't know what to do with this group. The communication was unlike any I had ever experienced and I simultaneously felt like a surplus member of the presidency and the overused (no one else will do it give it to Whitney) member of the presidency. As I reflect on the situation several years removed from it, I can tell that I had a slightly skewed view of what was happening and a less than mature attitude about what I was asked to do. In retrospect the whole experience taught me a lot. I also got to know and love many of the women I worked with but that took quite a while.
So, my original view of living in this house was not positive. I didn't particularly like my ward, aspects of my neighborhood scared me a little bit, my house was put together but not my dream house, and I was just so busy all of the time (this didn't have a ton to do with location but I think it made my whole perspective more negative than it would have been otherwise). I went to class Monday, a meeting on Tuesday, young womens on Wednesday, my parents on Thursday, and by Friday I was usually up for half a movie before I passed out. None of these things was bad but all of them after a ten hour work day each day (first year teaching) and my life was not what I wanted it to be.
Since then, I would like to think I have grown up a little bit but it is hard to know for sure since our circumstances are so different now. Five years later, I really like where we live. Our area is diverse socially, ethnically, and economically. This presents opportunities to get to know, serve, and be served by people from a variety of backgrounds.
I have a different calling, that I love, and have gotten to know a lot of people in the ward.

-As a side note, this was not an easy feat. When we moved in, it felt like getting to know people was a task akin to pulling teeth. People would get up on Sunday and bare their testimonies about what a warm welcoming ward we had and I would wonder what ward they had moved into. I'm not sharing these feelings to complain, I am trying to prove a point. We do (and I assume did) have a great ward. But it wasn't until I put forth the effort to get involved, and be the person who goes out of their way to talk to people, and plan stuff, that I made some good friends and started to like it. I think for some people the social aspect of life is easier. Maybe they are more naturally social, or their face says to people "come be my friend", or maybe they just happen to sit by the right people at the right time. I don't know. I just know that in my own experience, my best friends have been made when I am brave enough to leave my comfort zone and find them.

Anyway, I have a calling I enjoy (though I think I would enjoy any calling more now than I did then). I am a stay at home mom, I have a beautiful baby boy who makes me so happy. Nick is done with school and happier, life is just far less stressful than it was (or maybe the stresses are happy stresses now).

So, what do I love about where I live now?

The people I live by, my ward, the neighborhood, easy access to everything, and the fact that I am choosing to live here.