Thursday, February 26, 2009

Life's Lesson #2: Ask Forgiveness--Even If They Did Greater Injury

Second installment of the "lesser appreciated virtues".

#2 Ask Forgiveness- Even if They Did the Greater Injury to You

Young teenage girls have the ability to be more malicious and just plain mean than any other group of people (not counting criminals or terrorists, of course). Maybe you've been victim to the pack mentality before. I think most girls have been at one time. It is a vicious world in which you either perpetrate meanness or are the recipient of it. Unless of course you are more mature than the rest of the pack and can rise above all that. Unfortunately, I was not one of those amazing people.

I was the victim. All the time. From 5th grade to 7th grade, that was me. I don't need to tell you about the emotional damage these years wailed on my self esteem. I don't need to tell you about how little confidence I had or how I hid it with all my success in academics, music, and sports. By the time I had a group of friends in church who were so trendy and cool... and yet considered me part of the group, I was pretty much ready to follow their lead. Whatever it took to remain in good graces. Unfortunately, they chose another girl in our Young Women's class-- someone who just the year before had been 1 of 3 whom I invited to spend the night for my birthday-- to mercilessly mock. Not 'in-your-face' kind of teasing, but the oblique and yet oh-so-obvious whispering about her while she was in the same room with us, gossiping about her clothes or hair or whatever, and making snide remarks under our breaths whenever she answered a question. I joined in. Better her than me. That was my thinking. Where was loyalty? Where were courage and honor? Not anywhere to be found.

It wore on me. It did. But I kept at it. One night, after a particularly brutal mutual activity in which we sort of trailed her through the church (subtly, of course) snickering the whole time... I got an unexpected phone call. It was her.
I thought she was going to tell me off. I knew I had it coming. But I walled up my feelings and snuffed out my conscience by somehow convincing myself she deserved it and I was justified. I prepared myself for some snotty comebacks.

and I was completely caught off guard when she began to apologize.

She said she was sorry for whatever she had done to upset or hurt us, specifically me, and asked for forgiveness. You might think that I was woman enough to apologize back at this point. But to my everlasting shame, I added insult to injury by firing off those snotty comments and telling her she deserved every bit of it. I could tell she was crying, but that only made me feel worse so I had to act worse to bury those feelings. I kept up my haughtiness until she humbly apologized once more and our conversation ended. That was that. I was a monster.

But that humble request for forgiveness when absolutely none was merited snuck through my facade of sarcasm and pricked my numbed conscience back to life. I am glad to say I began to repent. It was my first real experience with godly sorrow and wading through the process to real forgiveness. I ended up having to break bonds with that group of girls... I did bear the consequences for that... but years later that humble girl would become my very best friend. Jennie Smith. Now a Hubbard. I respect her so much for the example she has always shown me. She's always been a cut above the rest of us, always already emulating the qualities to which I'm aspiring. And it all started when she was Christlike enough to ask my forgiveness... even when I had committed the injury.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Life's Lesson #1: Be Honest, But Not Rude

I thought I would do something fun for a couple of posts. I'm going to recount some experiences from my growing up years (and maybe some from more recently) that have taught me some of life's lesser discussed virtues. I hope that you will find yourself relating to these tales. Feel free to post similar experiences in the comments!

#1: Be Honest, But Not Rude.

When I was in Junior High, I kept a journal religiously. It was not about giving myself perspective, necessarily, or about discussing cute boys. It was really a chance for me to talk. I was very private growing up; always a great listener, but never feeling free to share my troubles or concerns with others. Maybe I didn't want to burden them, maybe I didn't quite trust them to understand, maybe I just didn't know how to share. One experience makes me think the last reason might have some hefty weight to it.

We had a new girl move into our ward. She was overweight, quiet, not very pretty. Nice, of course, but kind of dowdy or frumpy in both mannerisms and style. She just didn't strike me as all that "cool". Of course, I didn't write THAT in my journal. But I remember having a conversation with her one day that made me realize she was actually a VERY neat person, someone not only likable, but confident and trendy behind her initial quiet demeanor. She was really a blast to be around once she was comfortable around you! I did write about THAT in my journal.

So one day she spent the night. I remember being amazed again at how cool she was, and I was chagrined anew at my original prideful judgment. I wanted to tell her how much I esteemed her. But, since I was not very good at sharing my feelings, I decided the best way was to read her that journal entry. The one where I "discovered" how cool she was. I can remember how she picked at the fuzz on my blanket with an awkward look on her face when I read things like:

"I used to think 'Julie'* (all names have been changed) was fat and frumpy and weird, just a dumpy slob. But now I know she is fun!"
"Just goes to show that though the outward appearance might be fat and ugly, she's really great and I shouldn't have judged her"

Notice that these comments are really self-deprecating... but they also say some pretty mean and blunt things about her. And I READ that to her... What was I thinking?

She got really quiet around me after that. Our friendship never felt comfortable again. All because I was totally "honest" with her...but I was rude. Even when I was trying to explain how cool she was to me, I was insulting her. I always regretted that. Twice over. Once for misjudging her in the first place and Twice for telling her so bluntly about it.

Moral of the story: write a nice letter. Tell someone how much you like them, not how you 'got past' their flaws. Be honest, but not rude.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Baby Boutique GiveAway

I don't even know the owner of this baby accessories boutique, but I think her stuff is ADORABLE! There are so many coordinating bows, ribbons, and flowers that I would LOVE to get for Gwen. I have to remind myself of the difference between needs and wants... maybe for her 4 month "1/3 birthday" celebration? :) Scroll down and check out the example flower headband on the right hand side of my blog. Anyway, so Lulu's Boutique is having a give away that I'm all over! If you are interested in checking out the cuteness, visit the blog here:

and if you want more info about the giveaway, go here:

For some reason I couldn't get the Blogger "insert link" button to work for me. I'll try again later, but in the mean time I hope supplying you with the addresses and my testimonial of the cuteness will peak your interest sufficiently!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Hilarious and Cute Videos... Mostly for Mama Allan's Baby Fix! :)

Gwen is quite the talker!... :)
Here's the second installation of Gwen's noises:

sorry this next one is so dark. Just enjoy listening to Gwen practicing her Elk calls!

installation number 1 of Gwen 'talking'

Gwen says "happy birthday, Grandma!" :)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

How Much Would You Pay, No REALLY?

Guys, I need your help. All of you. Even those of you who rarely comment, please do this time. I'm starting up my Etsy shop and would like to get an idea of what people will REALLY pay for my artwork before I price it. I need to make some money and would love to pull a profit, but for starters, I'd like to see things sell. I realize many or most of you aren't exactly rolling in the dough, but that is precisely why I need your input. I want to know what kind of price tag the general public-- from many different stages in life-- would be willing to dish out the greenbacks for.

This is the first of 2 such 'survey' posts. I'm focusing on the 2-D stuff (drawings, paintings, prints, etc) here and will do 3-D sculptures, stained glass, and hand-sewn books in a future post. Some of these things I'm not actually going to be putting up for sale because they adorn my house, but I would like to know what they are worth for future projects before I invest time to create similar things. Please, please, PLEASE leave me your thoughts in the comments! Which ones/styles do you like? How much would you pay?

These watercolors of people range in sizes. i could do anything from 3x3 to...HUGE!

pencil drawings 11x15 each

onions 12x12 oil on canvas covered masonite

these are all kinds of other mediums: computer, pastel, charcoal, acrylic, etc.

these observations are many different sizes. The water glasses are 4x4, "God's Grandeur" is about 9x7, paper is 10x12, sheet is 6x8, lamp is 6x6. All pencil on paper.

this series are individual 5x7 pen and watercolor paintings.

11x15 (peppers and mixed produce) and 11x6 (drink) watercolor

This is about 15x22 pencil on paper

Limited Edition Original Print "Dance Anyway" Intaglio 11x15

these acrylic paintings are from HS. about 8x11 each.

These 3 pencil drawings are each 15x22 inches.

This pencil drawing is 22x44. I could do individuals too.

each one of these watercolor paintings is 11x15

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Help! I need your suggestions!

Any suggestions from you moms out there who have ever had a baby go from sleeping 1 1/2- 2 1/2 hour naps to only sleeping 30-45 minute naps? Seriously, I don't get anything done... come on, let's here how ya'll got through this! Anyone know why she might not be sleeping well? I had hoped it was just a growth spurt and she'd be over it soon, but we're going on a week now...How long does it last? How can I get her to go back to sleep if she wakes up so soon when she is wide-eyed and bushy tailed and not even drowsy? Help me out folks!