10 Reasons I Have Become a Terrible Blogger

BrokenKeyboard

I’m sure there are deep, meaningful reasons behind my decline in blogging, but until I can figure those out, these are the best excuses I can come up with:

  1. My desk. Papers, papers, and more papers. Everytime I sit down at the computer, I am surrounded by the skeletons of unfinished projects.  For example: There are still stacks of Christmas card envelopes that I need to update addresses for. Also, receipts to file, notebooks full of random thoughts and lists that I need to determine if they’re worth keeping or not. Plus lots of stuff for …
  2. Teaching. I’m teaching a Doctrine and Covenants class at BYU right now. I love–absolutely love– preparing for the classes, but I’m not going to lie. It takes a lot of time, a lot of books, a lot of notes, and … a lot of ignored other projects. Oh, and I also teach Sunday School at church.
  3. Homework. Not my own, not my students, but my children’s homework. It will be the death of me. Every day from 3 until 7, I wage a treacherous battle of wills, wits, and unsharpened pencils. When it’s all over, I usually want to hide under my bed with a bag of chocolate chips.
  4. Crazy ideas. When my brain needs a break, I usually write some ridiculous status on Facebook or try to implement some long-desired project in my house (you know, as a distraction from the truly pressing projects). Just last night I decided to paint my pantry door bright blue. Sounds cool and fresh, right? Wrong. It looks terrible.
  5. The Book. This whole book-writing business is not for the faint of … time. I honestly think that the whole post-submission production process has required as much of a time commitment as actually writing the book. It’s okay, though. I am proud of it in a I-set-a-goal-and-actually-finished-it-all-the-way-done kind of way. And do you want to know something cool? It’s already available for preorder at Deseret Book! Seriously, like it’s a real book or something.  Go check it out.

So, there you have it. If you have asked yourself the question I have asked myself, “Stephanie’s blog used to be so cool; I wonder what happened?,” now you know. Well look at that, I don’t even have 10 reasons. That was only 5. I rest my case; I’m losing it.

Nonsense.

This is just stuff I’m thinking about. Please excuse the ridiculous racoonish graphic.

  1. I’m fascinated by this storm. The power and danger of Mother Nature is so intriguing, but I’m so concerned for the human element and fearful of what if may bring out in human nature.
  2. Last night, I loaded up my family in the car to go to a family reunion/dinner. We drove for an hour, and when we got there, I realized it is actually next week. As you can imagine, my family was thrilled, and claimed to be dying of hunger the whole way home.
  3. Do you have a very favorite best-of-all-time crock pot recipe? I want to start dinner already, and I’m feeling uninspired.
  4. The self-control part of my brain keeps telling me to go exercise, like walk (or if I’m feeling super crazy, maybe even jog a little), but it keeps being overcome by an urge to go eat cookie dough out of my fridge.  We’ll see who wins.
  5. I got to teach gospel doctrine class yesterday about 3 Nephi 17-19. I’m so in love with those chapters now that I can’t stop thinking about them.
  6. I have a dream that someday, in the morning before school, my children will eat breakfast without emptying the entire contents of the pantry onto my kitchen table, will not surprise me on their way out the door with some homework assignment they forgot to tell me about, and will actually be ready on time. I used to be a morning person before I had children.
  7. Can someone tell me why I can never bring myself to put away my own clean laundry? Anyone?

That is all. I’m sure your Monday is now complete. Carry on.

Pretty Darn Funny: An exercise in laughing and voting

I made a video of myself in my pajamas with no makeup on and posted it on the World-Wide-Internets for everyone to see. Why?, you might ask. Because I want to go to the Caribbean, and I’ll sacrifice my dignity for the opportunity.

Deseret Book is beginning a comedy web-series in April called “Pretty Darn Funny” about women and motherhood. I happen to be an expert on both.

Why are you laughing already?

Anyway, they’re running a contest to collect funny stories from normal (and expert) women like you and me, and the grand prize winner gets a Caribbean cruise. Please don’t misunderstand: this is not an invitation for you to run over there and post your own video because that would be… well, selfless. This is about me. And the Caribbean.

So go right here, and watch my video and then vote for it by pushing the little orange-ish “thumbs up” icon at the bottom of the video display. (It’s less than 2 minutes long.) If you feel so inclined, watch it and vote for it every day until March 31st because that would be awesome. If I win, I promise to send each and every one of you a postcard. Totally serious. See? I can be selfless.

Dumb dilemma

I’m teaching a fireside tonight about modesty.  Well, actually a little more than modesty. It’s called “The Beauty Paradox.”

So, while I keep scrambling around today trying to get last-minute preparations done (get off the computer already, Stephanie!), I keep having this nagging question in the back of mind mind . . .

What exactly does someone WEAR to teach a class about beauty??!  I mean, you want to have some credibility, but you don’t want to overdo it and negate your whole message.  I’ve never met any of the people I’ll be teaching and they’ve never met me.  I’ve kidded myself in my mind about how they’ll probably expect me to pull up in a Mary Kay pink Cadillac or something and will be sorely disappointed when I roll in in a 10-year-old van with 158K miles on it and last week’s lunch leftovers in the back seat.

Maybe I should just wear sweats and a pony tail so they’ll all feel better about themselves.

Update: Please don’t look at any ads beyond this point.  I have no say in the ads that wordpress generates for my post, and I’ve been told some are inappropriate.

Unloading.

I hardly blogged at all over the last couple of weeks because I was just enjoying the down time of the holidays.  It really was down time– lots of laziness and mellow family “recreation.”  So nice.  But there are a handful of things that I would have blogged about if I felt like blogging, and I need to just unload them all… you know, get it out of my system.  So without further ado, a pile of miniature blog-posts:

  1. I gave my blog a makeover.  I felt like I needed to just simplify it and downplay all the diaper and baby imagery.  I have a complex because my blog title is Diapers and Divinity, and with the exception of one child in nighttime pull-ups, I’m actually now beyond the diaper stage.  I still like the title because the blog is still about the balance between the dirty side of motherhood and the divine side, but anyway, I’m letting the diapers go.  I feel old.  And free.  Ha!
  2. I also gave my hair a makeover.  I had like 6-inch roots, so thanks to a gift-certificate from my mother-in-law, I went and got it cut and highlighted.  I’m growing it out longer again, at least until summertime.  We’ll see.
  3. I took the kids and we went and got our portraits done as a Christmas gift for Matt.  I was overdue getting them done anyway, so it seemed like a good idea.  I don’t want to make you jealous or anything, but I’m afraid my children are just handsomer than all the rest in the world.  So sorry.
  4. Despite their handsomeness, they leave on lights EVERYwhere.  Matt is thinking about changing out all their light switches for those timer knobs that they sometimes use in hotel bathrooms for heat lamps.  Would that be weird?
  5. Natalie calls her pinky finger her “girl finger.”  She says all the rest are boys.  ??
  6. I gave a talk in church yesterday.  I think it went okay, but I forgot half the papers I was going to use and I still took too much time.  I get a little mad at myself for having zero grasp on the gift of brevity.  I did, however, really enjoy preparing and studying for the talk.  I wish I did a better job of studying the gospel that thoroughly even when I don’t have an assignment.
  7. I made a simple new years resolution.  I’ll just cut and paste from Facebook since I’m lazy:  “My New Year’s resolution this year: *Be Nicer*. Seriously. The stuff that bugs me is probably not going to go away, so I just need to get over it and be nicer. (Bite tongue, curb sarcasm, manage anger.) Funny, my mom used to always tell me “Stephanie, be nice,” and I would roll my eyes at her. Now, I’m pushing 40, and I think I’m finally starting to get it.”
  8. Along those same lines, for Family Home Evening last night, we came up with a family goal/motto for this year.  After discussing being nice to each other, showing respect, no yelling/arguing, etc., we adopted this line from the primary song “I’m trying to be like Jesus”:  “Try To Show Kindness in All That You Do.”  Anybody want to make me some cool graphic-designy thing that I can hang up on my wall?  Anyway, we’re going to work on that.
  9. I’ve been invited to speak at a fireside in a couple weeks in a random ward where I don’t know anyone.  The bishop would like me to speak to the young women and the women about modesty.  I’ve been thinking about it for a while and I feel like I know the general direction I’d like to go, but if anyone has any great thoughts or talks/articles to pass along, please do.
  10. This year I got down of my high horse a little bit and actually consented to let Santa bring my children a Wii for Christmas.  It was the only gift he brought for all three.  I have always been sort of an anti-video-game poster-mom, but lots of points won me over for some reason.  It was a bit of a gaming free-for-all over Christmas break, but today it was back to school, back to rules, back to chores, etc.  We’ve always had a system in place where they have to finish their chores before school if they want 30 min. of media time after school.  I have to say that having the Wii sitting in our family room made them pretty anxious to get their chores done this morning.  I honestly don’t mind all the active games like sports and singing/dancing, etc., so hopefully it will all be okay as long as I stick to my guns about time limits and what’s appropriate and what’s not.
  11. We also played some fun new games over the break.  The kids got Apples to Apples Jr., and they really like that.  We got a card game called Clue Suspect, and I’m pretty much unbeatable.  :)  We played a fun game called Telestrations with extended family, and we still need to try out a game Clark got in his stocking called Sorry Revenge.  I did splurge right before Christmas and bought a game table I’ve had my eye on for the last year at a local consignment store.  Despite temporarily suffering buyer’s remorse (even though it was cheap), it’s been fun to have.
  12. Here’s the one problem with a Kindle.  You start a book and you don’t have a good sense of how long it really is.  I started The Count of Monte Cristo a week or so ago, and I have been reading and reading and reading, and my little progress tab only showed me at about 33% done.  I really liked that first third of the book, but after reading and reading some more (like almost all the way to 50%) and starting to like it a little less, I began to wonder.  Well, I looked it up on amazon to see how long the real book is, and it turns out that the unabridged version I’m reading is (depending on the publication) between 1200-1600 pages long!  Sweet mercy.  So according to my calculations, I’ve probably read about 700 pages so far.  Someone please tell me it’s worth it to finish it, because right now I’m feeling like I’m in quicksand– in too deep to get out.  And since I’ve spent all that time invested in reading it, it’s like I have to finish it just on principle alone.
  13. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year, I really do.  Post-vacation transition is hard and a little depressing, so let’s make the best of it, shall we?

Dump complete.  Carry on.

It’s a good thing I’m so educated.

I have a master’s degree.

However.

This is an actual conversation I had with a 16-year old employee at the drive-thru window of a local fast-food restaurant.

“You can order whenever you’re ready.”

“Hi. Yes, I’d like one twist ice cream cone, but do you have one that’s smaller than the large?”

“We have a small.”

“Oh, okay.  I’d like a small please.”

“Is that it?”

“Yep.  That’s all.”

“Okay, your total will be $1.92 please.”

“Um, does the small cone cost more than the large cone?”

“No, they’re the same price.”

“Well, the big banner out front says the large cone is $1.00.”

“Right.  The large is $1.00 on special, and the small is $1.00.”

“But you said my total was $1.92.”

“No, I said ‘$1.00. Lane 2 please.’”

“Oooh. (nervous laugh) Sorry, I guess I misunderstood you.”

A few minutes later, the girl came wandering back to my place in line and took my dollar and gave me the ice cream cone.

As I drove away, I realized I never did go get in Lane 2.

I hope Grant appreciated that stupid ice cream cone.

And I really hope that I’m smart again when I get resurrected.

Mid-week Mind Dump

Just some stuff that’s been filling up my brain:

  1. I stay up too late at night.  It hurts the next day, but I love the quiet time after the kids are in bed. No matter how disciplined I try to convince myself to be, I never go to bed early.
  2. Getting children out the door for school in the morning is really like herding cats, only more slow-motion.  Maybe everyone needs an earlier bedtime.
  3. I do not want winter to come. Curses to cold weather.
  4. Natalie and I watch Cupcake Wars together.  Yesterday she told me her strategy for making a cupcake for a particular challenge:  mixing seaweed with cotton candy flavoring and pulling sugar to make a box car to put on top.  She’s 4.  I’ll start saving now for culinary school.
  5. Speaking of saving, I have a lot of great ideas for Christmas gifts this year.  Unfortunately, I have no money to buy any of them.  That whole thing about “it’s the thought that counts” is totally bogus.
  6. Yesterday was my mother’s birthday.  My mom is a wonderful woman.  You should meet her because everyone who does automatically has a better chance of getting into heaven.  Happy Birthday, mom.  I love you.
  7. I did something yesterday that I don’t remember ever doing before in my life– JOG for 40 minutes.  It wasn’t pretty, and I think I walk faster than I jog.  Cue the apocalypse.
  8. I need to drink more water.  Like going to bed early, I’ve been telling myself to do it for years.  But I don’t.  I’m surprised all my innards haven’t shriveled up by now.
  9. I really like the Preach My Gospel manual.  I’ve been studying it for an ongoing Relief Society activity/class I teach, and it’s been a great way to fuel my scripture study.
  10. I decided I’m going to start re-memorizing all the scripture mastery scriptures.  Between this website and a scripture mastery app for my phone, it’s pretty easy.  I’ve only done 1 Nephi 3:7 and 1 Nephi 19:23 so far, plus 2 Nephi 2:25 and D&C 10:5 with my kids, but I’m feeling it.
  11. Does anyone have a perfect bread machine recipe for whole wheat bread?  My sister sent me one, but I’ve ruined it twice.  It’s me, not her.  Recipes for Dummies are recommended.
  12. Tuesdays are my crank-out-the-laundry days, which means I get to watch lots of TV while I fold and sort clothes.  I’m pretty much all caught up on my shows now, which currently include The Biggest Loser, The Sing-off, Cupcake wars, Sweet Genius, Top Chef: Just Desserts and Chopped.  Um, all but one are food shows, mainly desserts.  Do you think they cancel out a 40-minute jog?  Great.
  13. I’m in charge of Grant’s Halloween class party, but I delegated out the entire thing, and all I have to do is show up.  That rocks.  I really did try to help out, but all the volunteers were so dang ambitious, and hey, more power to ‘em.

Dump complete.