Saturday, February 18, 2017

Discovering Reality

Perception is a pretty interesting thing.

I got a smart phone less than a year ago.  I honestly am still learning how to use it.  I don't own a fancy phone--it was one of the cheapest phones they offered.  I use it for a few basic things and I don't have a bunch of cool apps.

I started an instagram account and I regularly post photos.  Sometimes I post a photo with me in it but rarely.  On those rare occasions, I've had people comment on my skin.

"Your skin looks really good."

Each time I go back and look at the picture and think, "Yeah, it does look good.  Awesome."

Recently, I took a picture with my sister and she said, "Girl, what filter are you using on your phone?  I've never looked so good."

I proudly told her I wasn't using a filter.  We just looked that good!

A couple of days later my husband was giggling in the other room and came to show me this funny filter you could use to make your face skinnier and your eyes larger.  Creepily large.

He grabbed my phone to show me the built in filter on my phone and we discovered that my sister was right!  My phone was set to make your skin look better.  It was only turned up half way but it wasn't accurately showing how my skin really looked.

I was bummed.  Seriously bummed.

I mean, here I was thinking I had awesome skin and everyone else was thinking the same thing.  We turned the filter off and suddenly I didn't look quite so good.  How disappointing.

But here's the thing:  My skin doesn't actually look that bad (only sometimes). I see myself in the mirror every morning and I know what my skin looks like.  Sometimes I can look at myself and have a healthy view of what I look like and sometimes I don't say the kindest things to myself in my head.  But it's funny how other people can comment on my skin  and I think, "Yeah, they are right.  I look good" but then when I discover that they are all looking at my skin through a fake lens I suddenly don't feel so good about myself.  It's a shame that I can let myself be affected by any comments, good or bad.

This is a problem I've had for a long time.  I actually CARE what people think of my skin or my body or my clothes or hair or whatever else they can see on the outside.

That's just stupid.  I'm trying not to care.

Probably I care because people come up stupid filters that make us look like we don't actually look.  They make us believe that we should have those creepy huge eyes or skinny faces and blemish free skin.  The reality is, I have lots of wrinkles.  Because I'm old.  And I live a life.  And I smile and worry.  It's a shame that society today makes us believe that we shouldn't be that way and it's even more a shame that I fall for that lie.

Creepy eyes, skinny face, perfect skin

what my phone is set to make me look like

What I really look like

Sunday, February 12, 2017

November phone pictures

After getting home from Colorado Springs things kind of went downhill from there as far as the pregnancy went.  I began having regular contractions.  After going to the doctor for a threatened premature labor, I was told to take some medicine to stop the labor (I chose not to) and to be as restful as I could.  I had been pretty active throughout the pregnancy and went for regular walks but this was one of the last walks I went for before seeing the doctor.  They told me I couldn't go for anymore walks.  

We had a very successful Christmas season with so many orders.  Mike was amazing at keeping up with everything.  I really do not know how he did it all.  One of the orders was for this custom mantle piece.  They wanted three temples to stand on their mantle.  It was ordered unpainted.  I think it would look even better painted.  Mike did an awesome job designing this.

We made so many new products this winter.  We even had orders for names as ornaments.  It was really cool to see all the fun things the laser can do

After being told to be "restful", the boys and Mike really took over.  They picked up so much extra work around the house.  I was really impressed and thankful for these sweet boys in my life.  Will regularly made us breakfast

I broke the rules and escaped the couch for a hockey game with friends.  It was my first hockey game and it was so much fun!

Mike and Will took a quick trip to Maryland for the baby blessing of our nephew Lincoln.  While they were gone I had to help Isaac tie a tie.  Thank heavens for the internet.

We also watched a movie and had popcorn together in bed.  I made sure we didn't leave any popcorn in the bed--Mike would be so annoyed!!

working hard on cursive

I finished the Book of Mormon again this year.  I love this book

We had a spa day.  Piper loves to do nails.  She did mine and I did hers.  

For our spa day, Piper convinced the brothers to give us back massages

Primary Program and Colorado Springs

This was the first year where all of my children participated in the Primary Program.  It was Piper's first year and Will's last year.  The presidency had the older kids help as much as possible so Will got to hold the microphone for Piper's class and prompt them their parts.  Piper was not exactly the most reverent but I think that kind of goes with the territory for Sunbeams

Mike invited some friends over to make Camembert.  After it was ripened we went to their house and all shared the cheese together.  It was delicious.  

When sweeping, I discovered that Piper had secretly cut her hair.  Thankfully, you couldn't tell after doing a thorough check of her hair.

I had the opportunity to fly to Colorado Springs in November.  It was the first time I'd been to visit the grave since we left to move to Tennessee.  I went alone and spent some quiet time thinking and praying.  It was a sacred, peaceful time.

I was so pregnant by this time.  It was so much fun to visit with some of my very best friends.  These are some of the ladies that were instrumental in helping me through the death of Laila.  I have the sweetest feelings for these women.  

I went for a walk with my dear friend Bre.  We took the trail behind the house we own in Colorado

The Johnson's live in our Colorado home.  They are the BEST renters you could ever hope to find.  The house is immaculate and perfectly taken care of.  I loved staying with them.  They are a happy family who fills the house with the best feelings of love for each other.  I love this family so much and feel so thankful for the hospitality they showed me while I was there.  I was truly spoiled by them.

Fall happenings in phone photos

A family in the ward had a Halloween party for a bunch of teenagers and they invited our boys.  They felt pretty cool being with the teenagers and I was so impressed with the way the teenage boys treated our boys.  It was a really late night for the boys so they were ready to be in bed by the end.  Piper didn't go but she wanted to dress up like her brothers

Isaac decided he wanted to be a Pea Shooter from Plants vs. Zombies for Halloween so he made a paper mache head

Piper practiced being a big sister as many times as she could.  She could not wait for the baby to come.

We were able to go down to Chatanooga to meet up with my brother and his family for a day.  We decided to tour Ruby Falls together.

Lance and Nancy!

I was hugely pregnant

Chatanooga is such a fun town!  We decided to grab some lunch together and then go to a local park after the falls.  It was really a perfect day, so beautiful, and such a good idea to meet up in the middle.

Eli's hair blends in with the trees

Silly kids

A heart shaped food remnant

We had a Halloween party for Piper and her friends.  They boys put together some games for the kids.  Here they are making a spider web for Pin the Spider on the Web

The kids loved to feel the baby kicking

The boys wanted to earn some money so they worked the tables at the garage sale.

This is a really big hill at a park near our house.  It was such a beautiful morning that I had to snap a picture.  I often walk this loop while the kids play

Piper has a thing for Kitties and she had to have a picture when she saw this bale of hay made into a cat

God makes beautiful sunsets

The most adorable Kitty

Ready for trick-or-treating.  Isaac is a Pea Shooter, Will is a one man piggy back ride, Piper is a kitty, and Eli is a zombie

There are a bunch of homeschooling families in the area that are LDS.  We get together a couple of times a year for parties or field trips.  The pumpkin patch is a popular field trip.  

This year the pumpkin patch added a zip line

Our neighborhood is one of the only neighborhoods with sidewalks so it's a popular place for people to come to trick-or-treat.  We had a bunch of friends come join us this year