Friday, March 22, 2013

Finally... a post you can just enjoy.

I can't tell you how relieving it is to be able to write a post that is not going to offend anyone. I think I'm done with that for a while. It is way too stressful. So... welcome to happy bubble land full of smiles and sunshine.

This post will actually be kinda fun. Shelly Hadfield over at Shelly and Branson tagged me in a post where she was nominated for the Leibster award. It's no wonder because she has such a fun blog full of the cutest family you've ever seen. So thanks for tagging me. The rules are as follows:

1. each person must write 11 things about themselves that readers may not know.
2. answer the 11 questions the tagger asked, and then ask the people YOU nominate and tag to answer 11 questions.
3. choose 11 other blogs and link them in this post.
4. go to their page and tell them.
5. no tag backs!

So first, 11 things you may not know about me.

1. I have a unique personality- I'm a people-pleaser and yet I'm very opinionated. Sometimes the two don't mesh so well.
2. I love being pregnant! Thanks to my lack of morning sickness and the fact that I don't really get very big, I actually enjoy being pregnant! (Most days.)
3. I get restless. I am always excited to move to a new house or a new town!
4. I play the piano, flute and a little bit of guitar. Piano is by far my best instrument, but I'm working on guitar!
5. My favorite book is The Count of Monte Cristo. Ah.... so good. I could read it again right now.
6. My favorite animals are bunnies, seals, and foxes. And my favorite color is teal. I hate purple and orange. Yuck.
7. My husband's input: I don't put caps on anything. Toothpaste, juice bottles, makeup etc. Thanks honey.
8. I have 2 empty picture frames on my wall. We like to pretend they are long lost relatives of ours.
9. I haven't lived in a home that has cable or satelite TV for 14 years. I love not having TV! It's one of the best decisions Jason and I made when we got married- thanks to the great example of my parents.
10. I'm pretty picky when it comes to what I'll buy for my home or to wear. I do NOT like to buy anything at popular places and don't like logos or brand names on the things I have. I just like everything to be unique and seem like it's one-of-a-kind.
11. I have a natural knack for taking pictures. (At least that's what I was told in the 1 class I took.) And that's great! Because I love taking pictures!

Alright- now to answer Shelly's questions:

1. What's your favorite article of clothing?

Right now my favorite article of clothing is a shirt that my husband got me for Christmas (that I picked out) from Target. It's a maternity shirt with 3/4 sleeves and grey and mint stripes. I totally adore it. And I also got this new cardigan in the mail that's white and blue stripes with hearts on the elbows! Can't wait to wear it!

2. What's your favorite childhood memory?

When I was 6 or so our family went ice skating together. All I remember is it was pretty funny to watch my dad slip all over the place when I also saw him as a big strong guy. We didn't go out much so that was a special memory I've saved.

3. Scariest moment of your life?

10 centimeters. Need I say more? Seriously- all you can say is, "I don't want to do this anymore!" And your body just keeps on pushin'. 

4. One word that would best describe you?

Over-thinker. Is that a word?

5. If your friends and acquaintances were willing to bluntly tell you what they really think of you, would you want them to? Why or why not.

I don't think so. I pick up on people's thoughts pretty quickly and because I over-think everything, they don't even have to say anything for me to start evaluating myself. I'll usually take what people say into consideration, but it's better if they don't say it and I just figure it out on my own.

6. What is your favorite month of the year?

October! It's my birthday month and I have always LOVED the fall. I have to live somewhere with seasons when we settle down because the weather changing just makes me giddy. I love leaves and the smell in the air, wearing sweaters, going for walks... just everything about fall is exciting. 

7. Favorite restaurant?

Any mom and pop place with good burgers and fries. I'm a total "american food" lover. And the hole-in-the-wall little gems that you discover are the best kind. We just ate at a place called Big Judd's in Rexburg. Actually it was in an even smaller town just outside of Rexburg. We passed the place the first time and finally found it when we got cell service. It's a little burger place that had really great food. Thick, juicy burgers and hot, thick fries with lots of fry sauce. The only downside was that the place was totally filthy. Like disgusting filthy. So we probably won't go back unless it's to the sister joint in Boise.

8. What's your favorite number?

11. Again, my birthday. But the number 67 seems to show up everywhere for me. Receipts, my student number in high school (11167), my starbucks partner number (1717161), the opening credits to my favorite show in high school (Roswell) and just everywhere. It's kinda crazy...

9. What is the nicest thing anyone has ever said to you?

The other night laying in bed, Jason said to me, "Honey, if it makes you happy, I'm behind you 100%." That just really got my heart fluttering. What support! He's the absolute best husband. 

10. What is your favorite Disney movie?

My 2 favorite classic Disneys are Peter Pan and Robin Hood (the one with foxes.) I could watch them over and over again. In fact, I wish I had them right now so I could fall asleep. Pregnancy insomnia is starting to kick in. I'm usually in bed at 9:30. 

I tag:
Sydney from Catching Pennies
Jessie from Team Allen
Leanne at Alldafferdom
Kristen at Home of the Millers
Jonique at The Beachs
Kate at The Best Recipe for Happiness
Deanna at The Richardsons
Sarah at Walk in Joy
Karma at Alis Volat Propriis
Elle at Elle Keeps Moving

Here are your 11 questions:

1. What time do you go to bed usually?
2. Did you love or hate school? Why?
3. What is a hidden talent that you'd like to develop?
4. What would be the ideal place for you to live?
5. What do you want to do when you retire?
6. Ever built a snowman? Sandcastle? Which is better?
7. What's your favorite game to play with friends?
8. Are you a good driver?
9. What do you hope to accomplish in the next year?
10. What is your favorite quote and why?
11. What is the thing that brings you to your happy place? (chocolate, baths, books, etc.?) 

Thanks for going along with it!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Did I mention I'm 23?

It's almost hard to type this because my fingers are shaking. I'm lost for words, but feel like there is so much I need to say. I've been told many times that I don't need to apologize, but I still feel sorry for anyone I offended with my last post. It was honestly written from a non-defensive mindset. But I realize that there are so many individuals with different circumstances and things can easily be misunderstood.

So, for the record... (I think bullet points will make this post easier to get through.)

  • I can't judge anyone. I put in an honest effort to eliminate judging thoughts of everyone I see or read about or know. I understand that only Jesus Christ can understand perfectly what you're going through and I have no place to say that you are or aren't doing something right. I don't want to be judged, so I just try to give everyone the benefit of the doubt and trust that they're probably better people than I am. 
  • Anybody who knows me knows that I have all the sympathy in the world for those who struggle with infertility. While I haven't, my mother has. I was adopted by the most incredible and courageous woman I know. She couldn't have children for 21 years and was just barely blessed with a little miracle. She endured the judgement of so many people over the years. I have never thought less of her for not being able to have children. In fact, I've cried many times for my mother because of her sincere to desires to be a mother and trying to understand what the Lord's plan for her was. So trust me when I say, my heart sincerely goes out to those who struggle with infertility. Your strength and faith is incredibly inspiring. 
  • This bullet point is most important because it clarifies what I think of the feminist movement in the LDS church. Here is my official statement. As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I believe that the family is central to the Lord's plan for all of His children. While I understand that so many people struggle with infertility, there are those who desire to put other worthy and good pursuits at a higher priority than raising a family. That is the trend that the world is following and it seems that it's becoming more popular in the LDS church to do the same. However, I understand that there is no cookie cutter for women in God's plan. We are all individuals with separate missions and desires. There are so many good things that women with no children do in this world. I thank God for their sacrifices and their valuable contributions to society. 
  • I believe that what the leader of the LDS church say is true. The decision of when to have children and how many to have is up to parents. We don't know how many children the Lord has prepared for those who are able to have children in this life and we don't have any room to judge or say that WE know what would be best for them. That's simply ridiculous. Those who have the opportunity in this life to marry and have children will prayerfully choose with the Lord how many children to have and when to have them because the Lord knows each family and each individual best. 
  • Last but certainly not the least of what I could write, please try to understand that I am one of the most imperfect people you could ever meet. Not to mention, I'm a 23 year old mother of one who clearly has a lot of living left to do. I'm still learning how to be more understanding, charitable, loving, nonjudgmental, and kind. I don't like to hurt anyone and certainly didn't do this intentionally. Please accept my sincere apologies if you were one who I offended. I hope I was able to clarify and help anybody who wanted to, understand where I was coming from a little better. 
Ah... I can breathe a little bit now. 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

In All Seriousness

I've often wondered if there are little groups of men who get together, paint signs, protest, and refuse to go to work or buy power tools because they want to stand up for "mens rights". Is there such a thing? Is there a movement of guys who hate being expected to earn a living, be able to fix things, and be tough and manly?

This makes me raise the question that I'm sure many of you have raised yourselves. What is the LDS feminist movement? I would sincerely like to hear the true beliefs or feelings of those who consider themselves Mormon feminists so that I may better understand where this stemmed from and what needs to be addressed. This movement has caused me to do some extra reading and find out what the LDS church really says about women. I discovered that my favorite theme (perhaps because it applied to me personally) was motherhood. Here are some of my favorite quotes on motherhood found in LDS talks. I should have been more broad in my selection of authorities, but these ones just resonated with me. They are my favorite because they explain God's doctrine of the family so clearly and beautifully that they're indisputable. So please, before you get offended, just take it from those who are spokespersons for the Lord. If you're already offended, just keep reading. You're going to like these.

My thoughts tonight are specifically centered on women and their unique and beautiful role in the plan of happiness. 

Julie B Beck: 

"Knowing and defending the divine roles of women is so important in a world where women are bombarded with false messages about their identity. These voices offer a counterfeit happiness, and as a result, many women are miserable, lonely, and confused. The only place Latter-day Saint women will learn the whole and complete truth about their indispensable role in the plan of happiness is in this Church and its doctrine.
The things women can and should do very best are championed and taught without apology here. We believe in the formation of eternal families. That means we believe in getting married. We know that the commandment to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force. That means we believe in having children."

I highly recommend this talk. It's called What Latter-day Saint Women do Best: Stand Strong and Immovable. The entire thing is empowering and enlightening. I love how bold Sister Beck is! 

Sister Beck also has a very well known talk called Mothers Who Know. Yes, it was very controversial. But the Lord doesn't change His doctrine. I believe that because the world is shifting so far away from the truths we have always held dear to us, the difference between women of the world and women of the Lord is becoming far more prominent. This makes it more difficult to be a woman of faith and to stand immovable. Here are a few quotes from her excellent address.

"Mothers who know desire to bear children. Whereas in many cultures in the world children are “becoming less valued,”2 in the culture of the gospel we still believe in having children.President Ezra Taft Benson taught that young couples should not postpone having children and that “in the eternal perspective, children—not possessions, not position, not prestige—are our greatest jewels.”4 Faithful daughters of God desire children. Some women are not given the responsibility of bearing children in mortality, but just as Hannah of the Old Testament prayed fervently for her child (see 1 Samuel 1:11), the value women place on motherhood in this life and the attributes of motherhood they attain here will rise with them in the Resurrection (see D&C 130:18). Women who desire and work toward that blessing in this life are promised they will receive it for all eternity, and eternity is much, much longer than mortality. There is eternal influence and power in motherhood."

I just can't get enough of this talk. Read the whole thing! All I can do is add my testimony that I believe there is so much power in motherhood. The blessing of creating a human body and influencing that spirit's life more than anyone else possibly could is a huge responsibility. Do you realize that the Lord has placed the responsibility of shaping the views, beliefs and destiny of the entire human race in the hands of mothers? There is no greater role! I am grateful for the women in my life who don't need the praise of the world, but simply the approval of the Lord as they live their humble lives of service and discipleship. Motherhood brings true joy. Joy which can not be found anywhere else. 

My sincere apologies to those I may have offended. I know it is easy to offend when writing about such a sensitive subject. I feel it is my job as member of the Lord's church to stand steadfast and immovable in defense of the most important part of God's plan- the family.

*An important side note: I am very close to many incredible women who have struggled with infertility. I feel deeply for them and know that they deserve no judgment or criticism. So many women desire so deeply to have something that seems to come so easily to others. If you are facing this challenge, please know that I love you and am praying for your peace and happiness. I do not desire to hurt anyone and especially those going through this hardship. I know the Lord has incredibly important missions for ALL of His children, whether that is through the opportunity of motherhood or some other avenue.  

Thursday, March 14, 2013

My life... in all it's glory.

Sometimes I wonder when this "happy bubble" of mine is going to pop. Is it going to pop? Or is it possible to have a ridiculously happy life? I've been thinking about this for some time and haven't come to a conclusion yet on whether my life is actually perfect or if I'm just delusional. I could think of things that need to be changed or that could make it better, but every day I find myself thanking God for giving me this incredible life.

Occasionally I come down from the clouds and do some serious life planning as my best friend, Whitney, would call it. I just feel more organized when I sit down and plan out my life over and over again until I have perfect plans. Things never go exactly as I planned, but having a plan gives me a kind of outline to follow when I feel a little lost. Just to write things down and make a chart and a to-do list gives me a little peace of mind.

Recently I ran into a self help motivational book that was like a gold mine for a planning freak like me. It's Jack Canfield's Key to Living the Law of Attraction. Now, at first I thought, "Oh please. Not another 'law-of-attraction-get-rich-and-famous-powers-of-the-universe' kind of book." I'm really not into the secret or it's copycats. But I'm always on the lookout for a great motivational book on applying practical keys to success. When I started reading it, I realized that it's actually all about the power we each have to shape our lives into what we want them to be. It's empowering when you realize that you can create the life that you want to live. Rather than letting life happen to you, use your time to plan out what you want and go get it! My other favorite books on this topic are As a Man Thinketh and The Power of Positive Thinking. I suggest both of those as a quick read if you're looking for some help changing your life.


I found a great outline for goal setting. You can't achieve your goals if you don't know what they are! So, if you're up for it, or just looking for a good way to organize your thoughts (like me), here it is.

The categories of goals are:
Personal goals (things you want to do, be and have)
Relationship goals
Health & Body Goals,
Career and Education Goals
Recreation Goals
Financial Goals and
Contribution Goals

First, make a "T-chart". On the left side, for each category, write what you don't want. This will help you figure out what you really do want. On the right side, write the opposite of what you don't want in a sentence or short phrase. After you've finished, cross off all of the don'ts and combine your list of things you do want into a dream list. If you really want more on this, email me. I just wanted to give you a quick glimpse of what heaven looks like for an organizational, have-to-write-everything-down kind of person. Completely this chart makes me more motivated and gives me some vision.

So even though my life is blissfully happy, it's only because I want it to be that way and of course because the Lord has been SO incredibly present in my life and gives me joy every day.

I just realized this post is not very well written. Hopefully this doesn't scare any of you off. I just needed to get something down.

The End


Um.... ok. You can stop reading now.

Monday, March 4, 2013

A baby brother

This weekend was one of the best. On the way to Boise I said, "make sure I take lots of pictures this weekend" to my husband. How many pictures did I come home with? Not one. Well, a couple from the trip down and the trip back, but not a single picture of my adorable baby brother or wonderful (huge) family! I can officially be fired from my job as our family photographer.

Regardless of my lack of evidence, we had a wonderful time holding my precious 6-week old brother and witnessing his blessing at our church. To be fair, we were there for less than 24 hours and tried to spend as much time as possible with everyone. One thing we did accomplish on the car ride home... (drumroll please)
We have picked a name for our June baby boy! His name will be Matthew Kent Horlacher. We're already calling him Matt and can't wait to see what the little man looks like!