Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Year of Unstoppable Me

I am a HUGE goal person, so, of course, New Years is an excellent opportunity for me to write resolutions. On Sunday, I was teaching my Young Women how to set S.M.A.R.T goals. That is: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely goals. It got me thinking about my goals and posting them in public forum. A goal is only a wish if it isn't written down and I thought I might take it a step further by sharing my goals with everyone (I could use all the motivation possible, even if it is harassment by my friends).

-run a marathon 9/19
-climb a 5.11a 10/1
-lead a 5.10a 10/1
-do a pull up 10/1
-weigh my ideal weight +/- 5 lbs (depending on fat loss & muscle gain) 2/1
-maintain weight throughout year

-learn 3 new Spanish words a week
-read 25 books this year
-learn 4 piano songs
-learn 4 guitar songs

-Never criticize my appearance
-Say "I love you" every day to Parker and Matt (This is an easy one)

-Read the Book of Mormon 6/1
-Pray 2x a day
-Read scriptures daily (no exceptions)
-Go to the temple once a month

Maybe I'm being a bit ambitions, but I'd rather reach for the stars and land in the trees than reach for the trees and land in the mud.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Best. Thing. Ever.

Parker started laughing a couple of weeks ago. Awesome! It's quite the challenge to get a little giggle out of him. These videos show him laughing, but thankfully they do not show what we are doing. Embarrassing! After a full-blown attempt at making him laugh, I get really tired. So far my dad can get him to laugh the most. I don't know why. The beard? Maybe.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Real Beauty

Emotional abuse shouldn't be tolerated. Everybody knows this. But how often do we say abusive things to ourselves? Hopefully all of you are better at this than me, but I tend to say negative things about myself to myself or my husband. Among other things, I will criticize the way I look. Even if you don't say those type of things out loud, I'm sure that many of you have thought of them as you look in the mirror. Why do we do this? I put a lot of blame on the media. The way they portray women is not realistic. According to many movies or TV shows, a woman is only of value if she is "attractive." Their definition of attractiveness is, well, too specific and shallow. A women can only look a certain way and be a certain size. She must have beautiful skin, silky hair, the right size of breasts and butt. And if she doesn't, she isn't important.

I've also noticed quite the double standard when it comes to appearance in movies and TV. Why is it that there are successful male actors who are old or unattractive yet it is difficult to find their female counterparts. I've noticed that female news broadcasters are beautiful and thin, but that is not always the case with men. Just another way the media defines value in womanhood.

In reality, beauty comes in all shapes, sizes, and variety. We can look very differently and still all be beautiful. That is what God intended when He created us with such variety. Our worth is not defined by the way we measure up to movie stars.

I have decided not to say anything negative about the way I look anymore. I'm doing this for many reasons:
1) Harassing myself is a form of emotional abuse and is not healthy
2) By giving my appearance so much attention, I'm undermining the important things in life (appearance is not important when it comes to things like my eternal salvation)
3) I'm being a bad example to others around me like my little sister
4) Just because I don't look like them, I am still beautiful the way God created me
5) I would never wish others to think poorly of themselves, so why would I do it to myself

This is a small film made by Dove that represents the media's obsession with women as objects. It makes me sad to see that beautiful little girl and the horrible things she will think about herself if she doesn't grow up to look like the girls on TV. We were all that little girl and I hope we have the strength and wisdom to know what real beauty is.

If you were like me and criticize your appearance, I hope you will commit to end that emotional abuse to yourself.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Parker is Two Months

On Tuesday Parker and I went to his two month doctor appointment. Some words the doctor used to describe Parker were: strong, amazing, alert, impressive. I know I'm bragging, but that's what moms do, right? He now weighs 14 lbs. 6 oz which is in the 95th percentile.

This video shows Parker when he was in the hospital. He was only 8 lbs. 3 oz. back then. Pretty average. Now he is big and chubby! I'm kinda embarrassed. As you can see in the first clip, I look horrible. My face was all swollen from pushing so hard. A couple days later, you can see that some of the swelling went down, but I can't walk well yet. Walking normal took a couple of weeks.

Although he is being stubborn for the camera, Parker really does smile a lot. He just barely started cooing a lot as you can see in the last clip. He'll just talk and talk to himself and to me. I love it.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Family Portraits

Over Thanksgiving weekend I had the opportunity to take some pictures for both my family and the Rawlings family. I learned a lot from this experience that I believe will make me a better photographer. Please check out the pictures on my other blog: photography-by-ashley.blogspot.com .

The Rawlings at Garden Park Ward

Monday, December 1, 2008

I'm thankful for. . .

my family.
I am so blessed to have a husband who is loving, ambitious, supportive, and understanding. He is also a great father. Matt will do whatever possible to make me happy and always puts me first in his life. He is super busy with work, school, starting a business, and now his new church calling, but he always makes time for his family.

I am so blessed to have a healthy and happy baby boy. I never knew how wonderful motherhood would be until I actually became a mother and now I realize that it is the most rewarding role I can play in this life. I love Parker and his big smiles.