Thursday, April 16, 2015

Summer 2015 Hair

I've been combing (ha!) through recent trends.  Here's the bad news:  Long hair is still very much in.

 And the good news?

Some other people actually have long hair.  So hurray for you ;)

The ombre's seem to be going up higher towards the scalp this year.
And any color is welcome.  Bright is good!

Even the shorter looks are long in the ombre.

Having tried it all, I'll tell you I think lavender/purples are the most universally flattering.

And braids.  The looser and messier the better.  Oh Elsa, I blame you.

Finally the token short haired girl.  I picked this one especially because the curls are very similar to mine on a humid day.  She looks great, so I'm hoping I can pull it off too.

Let the season begin!

She Was Just a Girl

As the LDS Church continues to emphasize the importance of Religious Freedom, it is worth asking whether or not the LDS Church grants religious freedom to its own students at BYU — since most students who lose their faith do not choose it.  Instead, for many, a loss of faith is often the result of sincere academic study.  It is also worth noting that one’s status at BYU is not jeopardized in any way if he/she coverts INTO the LDS Church while a BYU student….only if he/she converts awayfrom the LDS church. To many, this feels like hypocrisy.  Source

I'm choosing to speak out because this is part of my story as well.  As an 18 year old I was led into a "confession" for an incident in which I was victimized.  According to the legal definition I was raped and when the perpetrator confessed in the mormon church, he gave my name as a participant and I was called before a middle aged man I'd never spoken to before and asked to "confess."  I didn't believe I was guilty as I had said No three times during the attack so I didn't want to "confess."

The mormon bishop I was meeting with threatened my membership in the church and my ability to stay at the school, including almost a years worth of credits (BYU-Idaho) if I did not  show "supplication" and apologize for the act.  My mom was cleaning a house in addition to her full time job in order to help me a little each month get through school.  I was keeping almost perfect grades in order to retain scholarships because it was the only way I could afford college.  My mom told me regularly how important this education was.  I really felt that the only way to protect my education and my family's investment was to apologize and live in a type of shunning for the coming year.

I did not lose my faith as the students in this meeting were illustrating, concerning religious freedom.  My mormon community was everything to me and I loved it.  That's why I chose to attend a church school.  I did however lose my sinless status because of this young man's confession and that was enough to threaten my education.  This is not religious freedom.  I was not allowed to protect my dignity.  I was not allowed to have any kind of victim support or a female perspective anywhere in the process.

I admire people standing up for their rights.  But I hope they'll remember to stand up for the rights of the weakest among them as well.  Rights are not just a luxury for the dominant and comfortable.  If they are a human right they should be for ALL humans.

They are just imperfect men

I've told very few trusted people about this part of my history this year and every one that is an orthodox mormon has replied with sympathy to the male church leaders involved that they are just men.  The LDS church has no paid clergy at the local level, so any member can end up being an ecclesiastical leader calling a young girl to confession as I was.  For this reason, in addition to (sometimes) sympathy each mormon hearing this story (including an LDS mental health professional two days ago) has reminded me to forgive these men for that reason.  I'm a forgiving person and I plan to.  But I haven't yet.  I forgave the young man who hurt me much much easier than I'm facing forgiving the men who shunned and exiled me from my community and threatened my education that I had sacrificed so much for.

I do agree they are human.  But also important to point out is that I was too.  I was a young girl away from home and living in fear from a traumatic situation in the first place.  I could have used some mercy, some grace, or even a hug from a woman.  I've yet to hear that young gay teenagers are "just kids" and so shouldn't be shamed into believing they are better off dead than living a gay lifestyle.  If middle-aged men in religious authority are allowed to make mistakes and not be held accountable could we show some of that grace to the kids?

No one else will say it.  But I will say it to myself.  She was just a girl.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

A Tiny Home Tour

Today I was thinking of cozy warmth and I started envisioning a tiny home.  I have dreams of having one to call my own someday.  As I was picturing it the thing that kept coming to mind was wood.  Wood walls to be more particular.  There's just something about it that seems so cozy.

So I decided to take you along for the ride and tour a tiny home that looks like my fantasies today :).
You can see most of the home in this one picture (below). The arrangement and layout is organized and efficient. Of course it has to be in this kind of size.

It's got its own standing shower, which is nice. And the copper is kinda unique, don't you think?

And here are the wood walls. Yay! And ah, the bed looks cozy.

This cabin in the trees has such a lovely location. Thanks for joining me in this walk through my dreams :).  Have you seen a home lately that looks like your dreams?  Tell me about it!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Life with Lupus and what I do to feel better (a list)

I'm all about a list even thought it's been awhile since I've done one here.  I was reflecting on some of the downsides of lupus yesterday as I got through my little "fever in the afternoon" thing I have daily.  However, this morning's meditation (disclaimer--I forced myself to meditate begrudgingly and it's really afternoon) inspired me to make a list of what helped, because that forced meditation really cleared my mind!

Lupus--things that help

  1. Heat -- bath, electric blanket, warm clothes, etc.
  2. sleep -- my first few months of treatments I needed (and got!) so much.
  3. stimulants -- I mean caffeine, but whatever your body best tolerates, I am really sensitive to it so I only take in a small amount
  4. fruits and veggies -- a nice green smoothie feels very soothing on my system
  5. comedy -- stand up on you tube or netflix, memoirs by comedians, funny clips
  6. self-help books -- I have enjoyed an endless supply with my kindle unlimited subscription
  7. the practice -- some great habits I learned from one of those books
  8. independent kids -- I have expected a lot out of my kids since I found out my oldest had Celiac disease and I wanted her prepared for the ways she'd need to take care of herself out in the world.  Thankfully my kids can all prepare some of their foods, do laundry, etc.  It has helped SO much when I've been super sick, although I still have to really relax my standards when they are helping :).
  9. Make-up -- I try to use nourishing products like BB Cream so I can cover the red lupus face at the sun time as I am applying sunscreen to protect myself from the sun, which can exacerbate lupus symptoms
  10. Haircolor -- this is not for everyone, but find something fun that puts a smile on your face each day.  My crazy colors did this for me.
  11. Meditation -- it yields new but always congruous direction each time.  Most of all it brings peace, but it also grows my love for myself, which has been really hard to do in any other way.  Changing my appearance is fun but does not bring confidence.  Knowing my inner soul makes me feel worthy of love and feel respect for who my soul is.
  12. my family -- I have learned the usefulness of asking for what I want from them and being grateful for what they do.  When I do both things I can see how loving and giving their souls are.  People do not read minds.  And their intent is almost always good.  My pride has to be put away to voice what I need, but it sure brings us all closer when we are honest in that way.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Braid Ideas

My oldest daughter has been growing her hair long and can braid it herself.  Even better than I can when she can't see behind her head :).  Since I have arthritis anyway I'll leave her to it, but I thought it would be fun to gather up some ideas for her to try especially this summer when she has swimming lessons or it's just too hot to have hair down.

Okay, so I guess there's some for the "hair down" days.  Happy braiding!


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