Tag Archives: Amber vs. Ambrosia

Practically Speaking

Writing is a good way for me to search deep inside and figure out exactly who I am.

I thought that in writing about my non-womanly likes (and dislikes) would help me to stop comparing myself to other women who do enjoy crafts, baking, and romantic stuff.  Honestly, I compare myself to these highly talented women quite frequently.  It’s time that I recognize that though I have different interests, I am not less girly.

It worked.

In connection with this, writing out my thoughts also forced me to look at the logical side behind my words.   Since I am a very practical person, there usually is one.

For instance, my aversion to baking isn’t necessarily that baking isn’t fun, it’s that baking requires too many dishes and too much of my attention.  With little ones running around my feet (or hanging on my pants screaming), I can’t devote that much time to one item.  Also, as the resident dishwasher (literally we have no dishwasher), thinking about washing those dishes later in the evening is quite undesirable.  Especially if I want to make an edible dinner for my kids at some point before bedtime.

As for crafts?  They probably are fun, but my hands are so dry–no matter how much lotion I rub on them–that the very thought of touching paper screams paper cuts.  Cringe.  Even sewing and painting require me to be near textures that make my hands shrivel up in fear (and dryness).

(Romance is a topic of an entirely different post.  Though I will say this, it’s all my father’s fault.)

Just goes to show, you learn something new about yourself when you take the time to investigate.

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Man! I Don't Feel Like a Woman

Do you ever feel less than womanly?  I’m not talking about when you stay in your pajamas all day, I’m talking about your interests or non-interests.  I know I do.  Here are a few examples.

I do not like crafts. Let me rephrase that, I appreciate crafts, but I do not enjoy the art of crafting.  Sewing, making cards, scrapbooking– whatever requires creativity.  I have detested this since I was in grade school, when I’d have to make things like Valentine’s boxes, posters, and little things during art period and would inevitably feel sub par when I compared my stuff to my peer’s stuff.   Crafts do not interest me.  I hope my kids won’t pick up on this because we definitely do not have craft time around here.  They are lucky if I pull out a piece of paper and encourage them to color.

I can’t bake. This is kind of a lie.  I am sure I can bake, but I prefer not to bake.  Baked goods are rarely seen in our kitchen.  If you do find some, they were probably store bought.  Unless they look horribly mottled, then they might have been something I tried to make.   There is a good side to this: We don’t have a problem with junk food at our house.  Unless you include chocolate candy bars–which I don’t.  Survival, people, survival.

I prefer action over romance. I don’t mean romantic evenings with my husband, I am referring to romantic themes in movies, books, and TV shows.  When Ben and I married, I forbade him to ever bring chick flicks homes.  In my mind I think, how many different ways can a girl/guy get their love interest?  We are on a strict action/adventure, espionage, and crime show diet.  I believe we have been chick flick free for over 5 months now.  Thankfully, Ben is cool with this arrangement.  Though he doesn’t like that I boo/laugh at romantic scenes in the movies or television shows we watch.

While I don’t prefer chick lit, I will read it occasionally.  Especially if it is well written.  (I have some awesome blog friends (Melanie and Aidan) who write chick lit, and I’d read their stuff any day.  Well…at least those days that I’m not involved in my crime books. )

While my interests don’t always align with my girl friends’ interests, I don’t necessarily feel like an outsider.  Only sometimes do we clash–like when they want to have a craft, chick flick, or baking party.  Shudder.

Please tell me I’m not the only one.

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A Good Writing Workout

I am tired.  Extremely tired.  There is no apparent reason behind this exhuastion; both kids sleep very well through the night and I must get somewhere between 7-8 hours.  And yet, I am still so. stinking. tired.  It’s not just me, Ben also suffers from this…whatever it is. Is it the darkness?  Being a parent?  I don’t know, but, good gravy, I want my energy back.

Along with exhaustion, I feel a sense of disconnection from the on-line world.  A sort of apathy.  It’s not that I don’t enjoy reading your posts, it’s that I’m usually too tired to even try writing.  For me, if I don’t write a post I generally don’t read posts.  It feels like I’m cheating, I read something new from you but leave you with old reading material in my place.  Weird? Yes.  Whatever, it’s how I am.

My daytime hours are dedicated to the kids.  They are growing up so fast.  Now that Andrew is more mobile, he and Emily are busier than ever before.  And more fun.  We prefer to dance to our favorite songs (usually The Wiggles or The Jimmies), read our favorite stories, and walk to our favorite parks.  Plus, with Ben home in the mornings, I prefer to focus more on him than the internet.

Each evening, I debate between blogging, watching a show, and reading a book.  Generally, I choose a show because I can enjoy my dinner at the same time.  It also gives me a chance to rest my body and ease the pain.  When I’m finished with an episode, it’s usually time to clean.  The only chance I have to wash dishes and fold laundry without added, um, “help” from the kids.

I don’t tell you these things to garner sympathy or to offer excuses; I write these things as an explanation.  My lack of on-line presence probably hasn’t been felt by anyone other than me, yet I feel the need to explicate my disappearance.

With the help of NaBloPoMo, I’ve decided to zap my blogging back into action.   That’s right, I am going to write every day for the month of November.  I believe that this will help me re-enter my old life; a life full of lively interactions with friends on-line and in real life.  Ben will soon be super busy with two jobs, so I need to kick my butt back into gear and throw myself into activity.

So long apathy.  Good-bye exhaustion.

Welcome home, energy.

(I don’t really know if my exhaustion will disappear, but I do hope I can start waking up earlier.  At least 15 minutes before my babies wake up.)

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Who Are You?

Sometimes I find myself wondering who I am.  More specifically,  who am I to you?   In this space I am a featureless person who occasionally posts life altering moments–at least for me–but mostly whines.  At least that’s how it feels.  Which leads me to wonder,  what kind of person do you think I am?

I cannot write funny posts.  I try and fail miserably.  My humor does not translate on-screen.  I think it’s because I’m sarcastic and, in real life, am usually poking fun at myself for things I’ve said.  Hey,  if I’m going to stick my foot in my mouth several times a day I might as well laugh about it!

If you were to hang out with me for a few hours–or even minutes–I wouldn’t even mention the woes I am experiencing.  I might say something and reference it to my miscarriage in a very matter-of-fact way because that’s how I am. For real, I shoot straight.  (That’s actually how I talk.)

The conversation would probably be centered on you as I ask you a million questions.  I enjoy getting to know a person in depth and can ask some pretty awesome questions–granted that I feel comfortable enough asking them.  Talking about myself is something I actually avoid.  It’s not as fun.  Unless I can share a lesson I’ve learned that might help you in some way.

When you read my words here,  can you picture a determined woman?  Who cares deeply about social issues?  Who researches how to be the best mom?

I tend to relax in a unique manner,  by watching shows or reading books that make me think.  Sitcoms and love stories tend to irritate me so I stick with things I like.  Shows like The Universe, Gangland, and The First 48 are my top picks.  It isn’t unusual for Ben to come home from work to find me conked out on the couch and The Universe playing in the background.  Heck, the only books I’ve read lately have been my Astronomy textbook from college and Ben’s Biology textbook.

I’m not all serious.  I have a playful side that comes out when I’m with my family and around Ben.  I smile and giggle very often throughout the day as I watch Emily and Andrew play.  My family blog is devoted to how silly my kids are and how much they make me laugh.

Here, though, I’m a different person.  This is my place to ponder, analyze, discuss.  Even if there has been limited amounts of that lately.  I enjoy the relationships I have developed with so many of you; the bloggers I have surprisingly connected with.

Yet.  I feel a change coming.  A shift.  These past few months have been emotionally and physically taxing.  I have evaluated myself–my passions, my dreams–at a deeper level than ever before.  What I found was a person that I am still discovering.  Not necessarily a new me,  but a different me.  Perhaps someone I buried once I graduated from school, thinking that part of me was over,  who is emerging when I most need her.

I realize this post is dancing in and out of subjects.  Confusing as it might be, it accurately describes my mind at the moment.  I hop from thought to thought, subject to subject, trying to maintain some sort of rhythm.  Presently, the pattern alludes me.

But.

I feel closer to recognizing it.

Do you feel your blog fully represents who you are?  Or, do you feel that a one-time meeting would provide a person adequate time to really get to know you?

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In Case You Don’t Recognize Me, I’ll Be Wearing Purple

This weekend is the big Casual Blogger Conference.  Since it is so close to where we live, my husband wouldn’t let me pass it up.  So I will be joining hundreds (thousands?) of ladies and men in listening to some awesome speakers like DeNae Handy, Courtney Kendrick, and Sue Marchant.  It’s even better that I actually know these ladies.

I know that hundreds of people will be fighting to meet me,  so I decided to introduce myself.  Virtually.

Me and my super cute baby and cool brother.

Hi, I’m Amber.  Thanks to a recent cold,  my voice now sounds like a deeper version of Phoebe’s sexy voice on friends.  I have dark blond hair and a smile that is permanently etched on my face (i.e. I have premature wrinkles).  Miss Flow’s recent visit left a few unwanted visitors on my face that I hope will disappear before the conference.  If they don’t,  well,  they don’t.  I am somewhere between small and average in waist size; although, this is covered up by healthy servings in the rear and chest area.

When I’m nervous, I talk extra fast, giggle extra hard, and say extra embarrassing things.  I also blush easily.  If you still can’t recognize me,  look for the lady with the extra red face.

I have an above average case of momnesia.  In mid sentence I may stop, look around with a confused expression, and start talking about something entirely unrelated.  Conversations may be choppy or silly but I do have something up my sleeve: I will be holding a cute baby.  Theoretically,  this provides you an easy out in any awkward or confusing conversations we might have.  I can’t guarantee it, but it’s worth a try.

He is much cuter in person. Go ahead, give his cheeks a virtual squeeze.

Since this is a special occasion,  I might actually do my hair.  I can’t make promises but I think my blow dryer and straightener will see the outside of the cupboard more this weekend than they have since my husband  bought them for me.   I may even wear earrings, makeup, and some shirts that do not have stains on them.   Since this may be pushing it, I am once again relying on Andrew’s extra cuteness to save me.  Heck,  maybe he will share some of his cuteness  with me.

There you have it.  See you at CBC ’10!!

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Dear 23-Year-Old Self,

Yes, I am finally back online.  It will take me forever to get caught up but so life goes.  While disconnected, I was thinking about this blog and realized I did not write myself a birthday letter; thus, this post’s inception.

Remember those goals you wrote when you were 12?  The sheet was short and simple–something like this (in no particular order).

  • Marry a worthy returned missionary in the temple.
  • Graduate from college.
  • Become a mom.

The goal you hoped most to achieve was motherhood.  You had no idea when that would come to pass and marriage seemed like a fleeting fancy, something that happened to those who were beautiful and witty, characteristics you (falsely) believed you lacked.

Yet, here you are at 23.  You have achieved those goals.  You are a college graduate–the first in your immediate family. You have married an incredible man who is everything you hoped he would be and more.  You have two beautiful children that bring unsolicited smiles frequently.

Motherhood was harder than you expected.  With school, you knew what was needed to receive that “A.”  With parenting, there is no syllabus with its accompanying assignment sheet.  You can’t check Blackboard for your grades.  There is no professor to explain difficult concepts.  So, the next time you envision that imaginary audience who groans and shakes their heads at your mistakes, remember that there is no imaginary audience.  When you make a mistake, it is okay.  Grow from your mistakes, don’t dwell on them.  When you do have a question, ask your friends.  You are surrounded by experienced parents who would not think you are a failure for asking.

Please forsake those insecurities that tie you down.  You are not the awkward teenager who once lived in her older sister’s shadow.  You are beautiful, vivacious, and benevolent.  You have a husband who would slay dragons for you.  You have a daughter and son who instantly forgive your shortcomings.  You have accomplished all the goals you once set for yourself.

People do not look down on you because of your choice to become a stay-at-home mom.  Stop using your education as a snobby reminder that you could have done more with your life.  This is your dream!  Even if someone thinks less of you, it is your choice to believe it or ignore it.   Instead of “if onlys” become the best mom you can possibly be.

Replace your doubt with trust.  You know what is best for you and your family.

Above all, trust your husband.  Trust your friends.  Trust your parents.  Trust your Savior.  Embrace forgiveness–of others and of self.  Hold fast to the truth that has constantly guided you.

Love always,

Me

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Finishing the 10 Things List

Hi friends.  My little guy has  been doing better and I am now back to my usual perky and silly self.  Or maybe that’s because it’s Friday.  You all know what Friday means right? Date night!! Okay, here it really means going out to eat.  Our weekly ritual.  It is what keeps me cooking during the week.

Moving on.

About that 10 things list, let’s see, I have 7 items left, right?  Anyone been counting?  Well, I say 7 items so 7 items it is.  I know I was going to do a day-to-day list, but my attention span is very slight.  Thus, I became rather bored with that idea. So, here’s a nice, smooth bulleted list of my last 7 things.

  • I often write comments and posts that are not completed thoughts.  Usually by the time I sit down to blog, I have only a few minutes so I am rushing through my comments before one of the kids wakes up.  Now you know why half my comments on your blog probably don’t make sense.  And why I jump around from freakishly happy to mournfully sad posts.  Sorry about that.
  • I am paranoid about hand washing.  I wash my hands AT LEAST 20 times a day.  If I know you don’t wash your hands (after using the restroom or changing diapers, that is), I will most likely not ask you to watch my kids (lucky you),  won’t eat at your house,  and will avoid letting you hold my babies.  Yes, it is that bad.
  • Hand washing isn’t my only tick.  If I find a piece of hair in my food, my appetite will vanish.  It will take me a few months to make that food again let alone eat it.
  • We don’t have a dishwasher so I am extremely anal about how my dishes are cleaned.  I don’t let Mr. B (or anyone else for that matter) wash the dishes because I know I will wash them again and I don’t want to hurt his feelings.  Hey, at least I have a heart, right?
  • We furnished our whole apartment with $300.   We went to hundreds of garage sales within a 2-month period, searching for the right furniture–kitchen table, queen sized bed and mattress, couches, end tables, bookshelves, desks, and dressers.  Obviously, our furniture does not match but, by golly, they are comfortable and make our apartment look cozy.
  • I will do laundry all week long and pile it up on our big couch.  By the end of the week,  there is no where to sit on said couch.  Classy, huh?
  • Mr. B’s real name is……Ben. I know, I know, we all have really plain names.  I am getting used to it now.

Now that I have virtually unclothed myself I am going to hide in my closet, er, I mean bedroom (I can’t fit in my closet).

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