Sharing

Just a couple things I wanted to pass along.

Today at 6:00 p.m (corrected!). MST, Sister Elaine Dalton will be doing a live webcast with Voices for Virtue via Facebook.  If you’d like to watch or participate by asking questions, that link gives all the info.

Montse and Jocelyn will be hosting a celebration of The Family: A Proclamation to the World.  In preparation for that event, they are inviting people from all over the world to submit video clips of themselves/their families quoting snippets from the Proclamation.  Check out all the details at either one of their blog links (Click on their names above).

Also, you know that recently I shared some of my feelings about fighting pornography.  I’ve since come across a few more ways to do that, but one simple way is to go sign this petition to Congress about enforcing the laws related to the pornography industry.  It’s a quick way to make a difference.

Have a great weekend, everyone.  I know I will.  :)

Need to get out more?

Personally, I go back and forth between needing to get out more and wondering if we should go in public less.

But that’s not the point of this post.

I just wanted to remind you of a really cool, legitimate reason to get out and mingle with, you know, adults.

All of my grandparents have passed away.  (I know it seems like I just abruptly changed subjects, but stick with me.)  I have a book about their lives that was written from memories of their children– my dad and his siblings.  I am amazed by their lives, but there’s one part that always makes me get a little choked up when I read about it.  My grandparents had nine children and not a lot of money.  I bet it was a hard living, and it must have been, because at one point my grandma had what was called at the time a “nervous breakdown.”  She was temporarily institutionalized and received the modern treatments that were acceptable then, like electro-shock therapy.  (Have you seen A Beautiful Mind? The thought makes me shiver.)  No one knows much about what that was like for her.  She returned home and resumed all her responsibilities and life went on.  I knew her as a loving, talented, spunky grandmother that made great pies and good hugs.  I loved her and I miss her.

And now here I am, two generations later, raising three little children of my own in the suburbs.  And some days I feel like I might “lose it” too.  The noise, the to-do lists, the finances, the responsibilities, the laundry, the cooking, the carpooling, the [fill in the blank with etceteras... you know what I'm talking about].  I think of her often and how much better I have it than she did, and I wish, just wish I knew more about her real feelings and what life was like for her as a young and inexperienced mother.  How did she make it past those dark moments and just move forward and become so . . . majestic and wonderful?

And in part, my friends, that’s the reason I blog.  I hope that by writing down my stories, my own truth, that someday my daughters or granddaughters will read it and sigh.  Sigh for relief, sigh for camaraderie, sigh for hope.  You know, feel a connection that gives them strength.  I really believe that stories have that kind of power.

So. (Tangent complete.)

There’s this conference coming up that celebrates the power of story.  Even simple stories, like the day-in-day-out details of our families and our ideas and our feelings.  Like our BLOGS.

It’s called the Story @ Home Conference, co-sponsored by FamilySearch, Cherish Bound, and the Casual Blogger Community. The conference is March 9-10, 2012 at Temple Square in Salt Lake City.  Two days of workshops, lectures, and entertainment, all about telling your stories, tracing and creating your family history, and all the wonderful technologies available to make it easy and fun.  And the December discount package is still available!  Some people I know and admire will be presenting there, so I know it will be worthwhile. Check out the website, and make yourself a date to get out of the house and learn more about telling your own story.

Facebook link
Conference link
Conference registration link

The Power of Story, or the Day My Journal Heart Died.

I had a Hello Kitty Diary when I was 10.  I wrote in it on and off until I graduated from high school.  When I got to college, I was a little better about writing stuff down because I think I began to realize that I was at an age where all the little details of my relationships and activities had possible implications for my future. Once I started getting ready for my mission, my journal became more important.  I had excitement and fear and lots of fun going on in my life, and I wanted to capture it.  I was a meticulous journal-writer during my 18 months in Argentina.  I was having the time of my life, and I didn’t want to forget.  When I got home, I was involved in so many things, and my life felt so busy, but the mission habit was still there, and I kept a detailed record of the ups and downs of friendships, college living, school and work responsibilities, but especially dating.  There was much drama to behold.  I met Matt (almost 5 years later) and my journal was a place to capture all the magic of the miracle called falling in love.

I love– really, really love– these journals.  I pull them out and reread them on occasion, and sometimes that results in several nights of marathon reading my life, chapter by chapter.  I started a new journal when Matt and I got married, and it included our life as newlyweds, my first real job, his graduation followed by job offers, our move across country, our first house, and a couple years later, the news we were expecting our first child, Grant.  I wrote about my transition into motherhood and all the adventures and adjustments, and tried to capture the essence of our little family’s life.  18 months later we welcomed baby #2, Clark.  I was really busy now, the kind of busy that rarely allows you to sit down and write it all out, but I tried. Almost 2 years later, I was expecting again, this time with our little girl, Natalie, and we moved from North Carolina to Minnesota.  Amidst all the boxes and unpacking, I put my journal and my scriptures on the bed in our new master bedroom, thinking it would help me remember where they were and find a special place for them.  I do not know what happened, and I still don’t until this day, but my journal disappeared.  I can only imagine that it somehow got tossed out with some packing materials.  I just don’t know, but, oh, how I mourned it.  It had my entire married life up to that point.  My journey to motherhood– lost.  The story of my boys’ births– gone.  I was sooooo sad.  And bitter.  And my journal heart died.

I didn’t even try to write anything down any more.  It was spite.  Natalie was born.  She sat up.  She crawled.  Almost a year had passed, and still no record-keeping.  Then I went to a sacrament meeting where the speaker was talking about Elder Ballard’s mandate to use technology for good, and I got stabbed with a message for me.  I could do that.  I should.  So I called up my brother-in-law, who is a graphic designer, and he walked me through the step-by-step of creating a blog and how to interact in an online blogging kind of world.  I was very, very green.  And on August 17, 2008, I wrote my first blog post, and by default, my first journal entry in over a year.

   So my oldest child, Grant, just lost his first tooth and I’m thinking to myself, “It wasn’t that long ago that he got his first tooth!  And he’s already losing them?!”  Other moms (the ones who had toddlers and preschoolers a long time ago and actually lived to talk about it) always say, “they grow so fast.  Enjoy it while you can,” and you know how inside you say stuff like “yah, whatever…  I’ve already planned in detail the first 3 weeks of activities once my youngest gets into school, and don’t even get me started on retirement…”?
Well, this tooth thing has made me think that maybe I do want time to slow down a little.  I mean, come on, kids are just never as cute once those big ol’ crooked horse teeth start growing in.  And now he’s starting kindergarten in a few weeks, and even though I’m thrilled about the tiny dose of “freedom” it might offer me, I dread the influence of “bad kids” and elementary school Darwinism once he’s out of my watchful eye.
I find comfort in the scripture in Ecclesiastes that says, “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.”  Then it talks about things like dancing, crying, etc., but I think that it really does mean every thing, like losing teeth, going to kindergarten, and retiring.  I can’t help but think that God wants me to take in each season and actually live it through, the same way I must live each season of the year . . . I can’t just skip ahead or pause or rewind the calendar.  So, I’ll just start to enjoy the toothless years in one child and the teething years in another and just take the moments as they come.  (But, seriously, don’t you think God must laugh a little when he puts those ugly big adult teeth in little kids’ mouths?)

So Diapers and Divinity was born, and the rest is history…. actually herstory, or MY story.  It is a record of my family, my feelings, my testimony, and the things that matter most to me.  My blog is the continuation of my Story, and it made my journal heart live again.  In the last general conference, Elder Bednar testified of the wonderful marriage of technology and family history.  I like to imagine that someday, my children’s children and theirs, too, will click through the pages of my blog and meet me… hopefully even like me, and learn what makes them who they are.  I hope something I’ve said or written will help them understand their own testimony and challenges even better, and give them courage to fight the good fight.  I’m a little ambitious, perhaps, but I want to be a piece of family “scripture” someday.

So, with all this in mind, I want to personally invite you to what should be a fantastic, meaningful event: The Story @ Home Conference.  It is an event to help all of us create stories in the spirit of family history in our own way– whether it’s a high-tech blog with ads and polls, or a pile of family group sheets and name extraction cards.  All of it creates a story about who we are and where we came from.  Here’s some more info:

  • The dates are March 8-10, 2012.  I think you can do the whole thing or pick and choose the dates and times that work for you.
  • The event will be held at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building  and the LDS Conference center, both in Salt Lake City on Temple Square.
  • This is hosted by FamilySearch, but this is not a strictly LDS event.
  • Presented by Cherish Bound, a company that helps people create stories.
  • Tickets are just $79– quite reasonable, folks.
  • Go “Like” their page on Facebook so you can stay apprised of developments and enthusiasm.
  • FamilySearch has pre-reserved some tickets specifically for bloggers, because we are, after all, a very special kind of story makers.  There’s even a special conference track for bloggers.  Go grab your tickets soon, before they get released to the general public.  How fun would it be to have a little army of us mommy bloggers there, just giggling together on the back 10 rows?  :)

Above all, keep writing your story somewhere.  And don’t leave it sitting on your bed while you’re moving.  Just sayin’.

General Conference Meme

This is a fun idea to let us all share our personal highlights from General Conference.  A meme is a questionnaire of sorts that is a little bit “viral”– it gets passed around among several people online.  I teamed up with Lesa from Notes about Music to create eleven questions that might help you pay more attention and learn more from both the music and the spoken words at conference.

UPDATE:  The meme is now up and running, go here to participate.

Okay, so… Instructions.  Look for answers during conference (obviously, there are no “right” answers– this is all about your personal experience and thoughts.).  When conference is over, post all your questions and answers on your own blog, at your leisure.  Anytime after Sunday afternoon/evening, either go to Lesa’s blogor come right here at Diapers and Divinity (there will be a new post up just for this purpose), and you will find some fancy-linky-collector-thing where you can share the link to your blog post.  Then we can all read what you had to say and just have a big post-conference testimony-and-goals fest.  I really hope that made sense.  Without further ado, here is the meme:

General Conference Highlights, October 2011

1.  Who were your three favorite speakers?

2.  Which talk spoke to you the most?

3.  What was your favorite Hymn and why did it move you? Continue reading

Announcements. (Good stuff.)

Some exciting business, folks. Three exciting items of business.  I know, this place is just a party.

First of all, there’s still time to enter the contest for the free, autographed copy of Melanie’s book, Not My Type.  All you have to do is send anyone a thank-you note, and you’re in the drawing.  Go to this post to enter.  The drawing for the winner will be Wednesday night and I’ll pick up the book at the release party on Thursday.

Second, there are only TEN MORE DAYS until General Conference.  It’s no secret how I feel about conference.  (It’s my second favorite holiday after Christmas. Truly.)  Anyway, I’ll be teaming up with Lesa from Notes about Music to create some kind of General Conference meme that you can all participate in on your own blogs.  It will be a questionnaire about your experience with both the “music and the spoken word” that is conference. You’ll have it ahead of time so you can watch for answers during conference. Then we’ll have a big link-up thing where we can read all about everyone’s favorite moments and lessons.  So, basically, just get ready for that– it’s coming soon.  And as a personal side note, I can’t emphasize enough how much more you’ll get out of conference if you start now to think about questions you’d like answers to and pray about them in anticipation of hearing the Lord’s servants speak.  You’ll be amazed how many personalized answers you will receive.  Need something to get you in the mood?  Watch this video.  It’s fantastic.  And amen to its message.

Finally, I’m thinking it’s time for another Girls’ Night Out.  Mostly because I saw this and wanted some girlfriends to go with me.

LITTLE WOMEN: The Musical SCERA Showhouse II Friday, 10/7/11 7:30PM MDT

So it’s at the Scera theater in Orem, and I thought we could all meet there for the show, then go across the street (kind of) to The Chocolate, eat desserts and visit the night away.  Tickets would be just under $15 (a little cheaper if you have student I.D.). What do you think?  I’d love to have you come whether you’re a longtime blog friend or a quiet blog stalker.  It’s a great way to take a break, make new friendships, and well, you know, eat chocolate.  If it sounds fun to you and you’re available on 10/7, let me know in the comments, and I’ll send you more details.  Feel free to invite a wing[woman], daughter, girlfriend, whatever.  P.S. This invitation is null and void if you are a strange, predatory creep.  Just to be clear.  (Insert passive-aggressive smile here.)