Saturday, April 18, 2009

in the thick of it

just giving an update... I'm in the trenches of writing my thesis (yeah!) Hopefully the first draft will be done tonight (or tomorrow at the least). I need to email it to the brave women who offered to be readers for me and on Wednesday (22nd) I will turn it in to one of my peers for their evaluation. The following Wednesday (29th) I will turn it into my advisor and do a presentation for the class. My semester is over. My grad career as a Master's student ends in just a week or so. How weird to be at the end of something. 

I've been going to school for the last ten years. I think I've only taken 2 semesters off (and had a couple rocky ones after the birth of both older kids), just taken two or three classes at a time. It's crazy to think it will be done within a matter of weeks. I'm excited, but wonder what I will do with myself. You hear that question so many times and always reply with a pithy word or two. But now it is real. I'm not sure about preschool in the fall. I should have taken this year off, but I still need to formulate a plan. I want to spend more time writing for sure and I've really grown fond of teaching writing. Maybe I will look for some part time work teaching. I've had a plan for so long and now... just not sure. But I will be done (for now at least)
This is what I've amassed in the last ten (or so) years:
1990-1994 - Provo High School: Not enough credits to be eligible for graduation
1995 - Obtained GED from Utah Valley State College
1995-1996 - some credits from UVSC (non degree seeking)

got married - relocated to Arizona - became a serious student

1999-2001 - (AGS) Associate in General Studies from Mesa Community College
(AA) Associate of Arts from Mesa Community College

2001-2004 - (BA) Bachelor of Arts, English Literature
Minor, Women's Studies 
Undergraduate Certificate, Writing

2005-2009 - (MA) Master of Arts, English Rhetoric and Composition

And I'm waiting to hear back if I will defend this summer or in the fall? So official graduation will probably be December 17th. Now the plan... pay back student loans and let Jason continue on in his educational pursuits or not...

Thursday, April 16, 2009

creative outlet

"Who knew that sewing would make me ... feel happy, feel like myself, give me a sense of accomplishment and purpose, help me be more patient and content. Who knew some simple stitches could complete your life? :) Maybe that's how it is in life, you need to find your own "stitches" whether its cooking, sewing, writing, organizing, scrapbooking, it's something and its YOURS. So, I'm grateful today that I was able to enjoy some simple stitches last night that put a smile on my face." - Stacey Reed

Thursday, April 9, 2009

how do you define friend?

(all prints are from the black apple - you can find her blog link on the side) 
working on the surveys for my thesis - I've been reading a lot of definitions of friends. Here are a few I liked :

1. "Somebody that is there for you when you need them or will help you even when they don't know you are struggling... (so I guess "Betsy" isn't a friend, I help her, but she never really helps me. It is a one sided friendship and I'm okay with that).

2. Someone that cares about you and wants to know your okay... spends time with you, calls, checks in, goes out to eat with you - and just spends lazy time together...

3. Someone who shares your history, feelings, and you can depend on.
4. Some one who likes you as much as you like them.

5. Someone that makes you a better person. Someone you spend time with little or long... Friendship should be easy.
6. Someone that sticks with you through everything, loves you, argues with you, gets over it and holds you up when life is crappy and someone you'd do the same for.

7. When your with them you can just pick up where you left off, even if you haven't spoken to them for awhile, and when life gets in the way of keeping in contact with each other you both understand.

8. Someone who knows your heart.

So after all that... here is what I've come up with:
The first person you think to call when you need something. Someone who annoys you, makes you mad, you cry with often, and laugh with even more. Someone you trust to help you raise your kids. When you see their name in your in-box or caller id you get excited. Someone you can admit your stupid mistakes or obsessions to and they still think your great. Most importantly... someone who could call CPS on you, but doesn't.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

All the things they should teach you in YW but they don't

This entry was written by my sister Allison's bff "Shana Darling" - I had to share... it is too funny not to. The original post with her kids pics can be found here. Side note: in my church (the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints aka Mormons) our youth group for girls is called "Young Women or YW" - Maren

"I think the church does a great job telling the youth NOT to have sex until they are married. I think the church does an even better job telling already baby-hungry girls how wonderful motherhood is. So while the young women know they aren’t supposed to have sex until they are married, they also know it’s like the best thing ever to have a baby and they can hardly wait to do it. And they do cute little service projects like making baby quilts for all the newborns in the Ward. 

And they babysit all the perfect Mormon barbie housewives’ perfect little children in their perfect little Mormon homes and the girls are ready to get married by age 16. I don’t necessarily think this is bad. I married young and had lots of babies young and I am practically perfectly happy in every way. Motherhood is wonderful and joyful and blissful. But it’s also gross and messy and awful and not fun and exhausting and frustrating. And while making baby quilts and attending casserole-making classes are great ways to prepare, I think Young Women leaders everywhere might do good to consider some alternative Mother Prep activites. Some of the following might include:

Washing diarrhea out of a small child’s underwear, helping the newly potty-trained child go diarrhea in the toilet, and then cleaning up the small child’s bottom. Yesterday while we were out and about, Caleb had just such an accident. Did anyone prepare me for such messy disasters? Not so much.

Another fabulous idea might be some quick-thinking activities. Church members are great role-players, beginning in Primary. For example, a young woman could imagine she has six children, three of them are 3 and under. She decides to take them to the Aquarium for the day because that’s what a regular Mormon Barbie Housewife would do to stimulate her children and encourage intelligence. A few minutes into the visit, she allows the three older children to wander ahead as long as they stay together. Then, the 3-year old runs after them. Should this young gorgeous mother leave behind the twins and the stroller to snag the runaway? Or should she let the 3 year old wander ahead, praying no one nabs him, while she gathers up the other two babies and their belongings? And how ’bout that diarrhea incident? How exactly does that young mother deal with the mess with the other five children in tow, two of which are sound asleep in their car seats and the other three our busy eating their lunch and the bathroom is across the parking lot in the museum you haven’t paid to enter? Knowing how to make a quilt is great but knowing how to deal with these sorts of situations are invaluable.

You could spend an entire YW night on stain removal. Invite a member’s toddler to the church, have him step in some ketchup and walk around for awhile. Then teach the girls how to remove the stains as well as clean the child before he makes another mess. That will never happen in real life? It did in our home, just last night. You could also give a set of twins some green acrylic paint and let them go at whatever their little hearts desire. Mark and I are doing some painting in the bedrooms, a much needed chore after seven years of little sticky fingers running around the house. Last night while Mark was busy painting the ceiling in one of the bedrooms, I was playing Othello with Noah. Neither of us were paying much attention to the twins. When one of them finally appeared with green stuff all over their hands it only took me seconds to realize what they had gotten into. They had poured paint in a dish just like their Daddy and with pint-sized rollers painted a masterpiece of their own which included the carpet, my Sunday dresses and the wall. I really could have used a lesson or two in paint cleanup 

And we all know how great a lesson on what to do when your baby has the stomach flu would be. Wait until a family in your ward has the stomach bug and invite them to church for an evening of free babysitting. Let their kids drink lots of red koolaid and run around with lots of reckless abandon. The girls will surely learn how to catch barf in their laps and hands, remove vomit from clothing, carpets and furniture, and you can even make cute little handouts about how to feed sick kids teaspoons of fluid every fifteen minutes and what B.R.A.T stands for.

Really the ideas are endless. Multi-tasking like cleaning up vomit while making dinner and planning homemaking would be another excellent idea. Or how about a sleep-deprivation summer camp? You could put one of those newborn infant dolls in each of the Laurel’s tents and they could get their “I can still function on 15 minutes of sleep” badge if their baby is still alive by the end of the week. Want more ideas? Need to borrow a set of twins or a rambunctious toddler for an evening? We could totally help. Jericho just vomited on my lap about an hour ago and Denver sympathy barfed on the stairs. We could provide so many wonderful opportunities for your Young Women to fully understand the responsibilites of motherhood and just exactly what they’re getting into when they decide to become sexually active. And maybe instead of handing out condoms to the Young Men (which we all know the church is greatly opposed to) we could hand out Wet-Vacs and have them assist the Young Woman on an occasional joint activity. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?" - Shana

Here's my addition:

The YW’s who think you look so cute pregnant could come over on one of "those days" (laundry day here) where your clothes are either skin butt tight (the equivalence of wearing spandex) or your wearing a mumu with no bra - to see you 6 months after giving birth. They would want to rip their eyes from their sockets, hello. welcome to motherhood - (sexy, what a laugh), disgusting, celulite, fat, huge love handles, saggy boobs, acne, and all.

You know it doesn’t matter how many kids you have… kids are kids… And every family gets at least one “special” child. Mine is called James.  I think another suggestion would be to write a term paper (at least 16 to 20 pages), with at least 10 scholarly sources and have a review to turn in online by midnight for a completely different project. While taking care of a child that’s coming out both ends, keeping the other whiny kids occupied during spring break who want to leave the house, trying to keep your "James" from loving (aka dropping or smothering) your baby or better yet... just making sure you don’t forget to feed the baby, as well as prepare a lesson for church callings. Or try getting the 2 year old to unlock the car door in the middle of summer in Arizona. Good times. Motherhood is the best job EVER! - Maren

Do you have any fun ideas to add?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

another apron giveaway

We opened our Etsy shop today - and to celebrate we are giving away this apron. Just go over to the SSC site and leave a comment. In fact you can enter up to 3 times. Leave a comment on the SSC post, email a few of your friends to tell them about it, and or blog about it. So cool. 

Here is a link to our Etsy site. Christie & Jill have made a bunch of cute things! I haven't made anything for it yet. I have 4 half-finished aprons and I will post them once I finish up with school (I have to stay focused - as hard as it is sometimes)