Sierra's View: 2019

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Sunday, December 8, 2019

Georgia One Year

Happy First Birthday to our Georgia Peach!

*These photos are from her first photos shoot the day before her birthday and on her birthday party.

You have been in our lives for an entire year, on November 12. I genuinely cannot believe it. This was the fastest year of my life (and I hear it just goes faster!).

You have brought so much joy, happiness, laughter, connection, spunk, tenacity and intelligence into our home. You love to socialize with any and all family and friends. You love all of your aunts, uncles, grandparents and cousins. You love babies and friends your age. You adore "big" kids, too. You love anyone who will give you attention ;). You are an extrovert, through and through. You love people and smile at the random people in the grocery store. Your smile lights up a room and you stop  being told what to do. You are independent and fierce. You LOVE all animals and anything animal related--stuffed animals, real live animals, and animals on the TV. You like to eat, but you would prefer to move and play. You still only have two teeth (I cannot believe it!) and are walking along things and pushing your walker, but not walking on your own yet. This is not a big deal, but I am so surprised because you are so physical and love to move and you were crawling by seven months. You love Baby Signing Time and any Disney move with singing. You are starting to absolutely love books and looking at the pictures. You love singing and music and clapping along with people who are singing to you. She is absolutely adorable with her cheeks and we love her so much inside and out.

Her first birthday party was so fun and cute! I did a Georgia Peach theme with Georgia peach sugar cookies, a white cake with a peach on it, peach banner, and fun pictures everywhere. She loved the attention, but was also very confused by it. She liked the cake, but thought it was even more fun to eat with a spoon. She especially loved it when her cousins helped her eat the cake and show her what to do.

We love this girl and don't know what we did without her!

Friday, November 1, 2019

Seasons of Change

I love living in Utah. I love the gorgeous mountains. I love the change of the seasons. I love that there are four seasons that I get to enjoy. I like that flowers grow in the Spring. I love the unreal colors of the trees in the mountains in the Fall. I enjoy the snow falling on Christmas morning. The hot summers definitely feel like Summer--swimming in lakes and pools. 
But there is something difficult about seasons changing, for me, too. 
I tend to struggle emotionally with change of seasons. I know it sounds crazy but I truly believe that the tilt of the earth and the change of weather truly affects people. I saw it with my students when I was teaching. When there was any change of weather, a Full Moon, or a season change, they acted a different way--they were more lethargic, or, perhaps, more energetic, depending on those factors. 
I find my body doing the same thing.
I find that the hardest change is towards the end of October, when it is changing from Fall to winter. I think that my seasonal affective disorder is very triggered and those few weeks are the hardest. The cold days and the dark nights are just the worst. Ha! 

My life is in constant change. Having babies and kids means your life is in a everchanging--hourly, daily, weekly, monthly and yearly. My life is constantly in a state of "figuring things out" and then it changes again. I just feel like I have the baby thing down and now Georgia is becoming a toddler. Then, in the next couple years, I'll have another baby again. And the cycle continues. It's part of life and it's amazing and difficult and worth it. It's true what they say that the only constant is change. 

I am grateful that I have coping skills for when I feel like my Depression and/or Seasonal Affective Disorder kick in. I am grateful that I can see myself spiraling and just giving myself grace to slow down and be intuitive. I am grateful that I am able to see those things in myself so that I can still take care of myself so that I can be a good mother. 

And I am grateful that Halloween is over and we can enjoy the Holidays. ;) 

Friday, October 4, 2019

Motherly Bodies.

Nine months. I carried you for nine months.
You caused me to become anxious, cry a lot and become depressed.
You caused me, even more so, to look in the mirror and rub my stomach in awe.
You caused me to itch, become severely fatigued and anemic, gain stretch marks and weight.
I am grateful that my PCOS body—hormonal, overweight, and prone to acne, birthed you.
I am grateful you came into my life.
I wouldn’t change my experience to have you in my life.
I cry thinking how much I love you.
You bring me so much purpose, so much joy, and so much happiness.
As I look in the mirror, I rub my stomach in awe.
Not for what you gave me, but what it has caused me to look like.
Stretch marks.
Fat. Lots of fat.
Saggy breasts.
Why do I focus on that?
Why can’t I focus on what you have given me?
You are worth the
Stretch marks.
Saggy breasts.
But society tell me it’s not okay.
Society tells me that I’m less than because of my weight.
Society, (perhaps my parents and family members and friends?) Judge that I look the way I do.
I’m tired of it.
I am proud of my
Stretch marks.
Saggy breasts.
They have given me YOU. Your strong personality. Your joyous smile.
My body has carried you, birthed you, and fed you.
My worth is not my weight.
My worth is not my weight.
My worth is not my weight.
Ten months you’ve been with us.
And I thank my body everyday.
Or, try to.

Monday, August 12, 2019

On Being a Mother and Not Going Back to School.

Georgia is nine months old today. I can hardly believe it. These past nine months have gone A LOT faster than the nine months she was in my stomach (and a lot more enjoyable). Being a mother has been so fun. I was genuinely nervous that I would not know how to be a mother, or even enjoy it because I have been in my "career" (even though my career was dealing with children). Don't get me wrong, there are days when I NEED to have some alone time, but Georgia is incredibly happy, social, and adorable  that it makes it so fun! I also think that being a teacher has helped me to multitask in many facets in motherhood (one kid--that's way easier than managing 30 sixth graders at the same time).
School starts next week around these parts and I am having a little bit of an existential crisis. "Did I make the right decision?!?!" Although making the decision to be home with G is the correct decision, it makes me a little bit sad to see all of the Back to School posts and all of the teachers getting their classrooms ready. I feel like I should be in my classroom getting everything ready. That is what I have been doing during this week for the past seven years and it's quite a change to be doing something different.
Life changes are a funny thing. Even though you know you make the correct decisions, the natural man in us "questions" ourselves and our intuition.

Plus, I know that I will get over this back-to-school sadness after like a day... Ha.

I am still tutoring throughout the school year and subbing one-two times a week so I will still have my "foot in the door" to keep my license up, so I hopefully will fill the void of being with students.

Don't worry, I am going on a girls trip this weekend to ease the pain ;)

Also, here is a picture of Georgia at nine months. LOOK AT HER. She's so stinkin cute.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Having an Open Dialogue in the LDS Culture.

It's been a while, eh?
This blog ebbs and flows with my life and I think that's how it should be.

I had a baby. This is Georgia. She is seven months old and I just love her so much I want to eat her (normal, right? How could you not with that face?). She's the happiest baby ever and brings so much joy to our lives.

Since having Georgia, I have been having so many thoughts about how to raise her and what I want to show her, as a mother.
Because of this, I have a bone to pick with some of the culture that I am involved in.
Me, opinions? Shocking, I know.

I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. To many of you, we are "Mormons." We have, however, been encouraged to not use this term because we believe in Christ. People seem to forget that we are Christians, but I digress. For the sake of this post, I will be using "LDS culture" to talk about the this particular issue.

Sometimes I fear expressing concern about the LDS culture because we, generally speaking, have a bad reputation. Too many people have misconstrued views and opinions of "my people" and I hate to feed the tiger, if you will. But, on the other hand, because I was raised in a different world that I currently live in (Raised in Oregon. Currently live in Utah), I feel like this discussion needs to be taking place.

*perfect transition here*

I like to talk. I am an introvert, but I enjoy conversing with others about real topics and issues and views (no small talk, please). I love having real relationships with people. It is something I value and that I put time into because it's important to me.
Because I value relationships and friendships, I find it incredibly empowering to have an open dialogue. I have always been an open book when it comes to my views, issues and personality traits. I find that I have nothing to hide and much to share.
But, I, unfortunately, have repeatedly seen too many incidents where people are not HAVING DISCUSSIONS ABOUT DIFFICULT THINGS.

It is hard to talk. Especially about difficult things. It can be awkward to have a discussion with your child, friend, family member, or spouse, but I am a strong believer that if we have an open dialogue in our relationships, so many more issues would be resolved.
I am constantly asking Tanner, "Why are people so scared to just have the conversation?"

I think the LDS culture struggles to have an open dialogue about difficult topics (i.e. sex, LGTBQ issues, racial inequality) for the following reasons:
1. Members don't have the skills to communicate difficult topics without feeling awkward or uncomfortable.
2. Members are too emotionally-tied to the situation or "feel too bad." Often people don't want to talk about a situation because they don't want to hurt other people's feelings.
3. Members don't have enough knowledge about the topic and aren't willing to see the other side or perspective and the lack of knowledge just leads to avoidance of discussing the topic at all.

It's not okay.
We need to talk to our children.
We need to talk to each other.
We need to talk!!!!!!!!

Have the discussion. Have the discussion with your child about sex and STI's. Have a discussion about what options there are if they choose to have sex.
Have a discussion with your son about consent and what it look and sounds like.
Have a discussion wiht your child about their testimony. Have a discussion with your child if they WANT to serve a mission. And if they don't, discuss ways to help their testimonies or other options.
Have a discussion with your spouse about your finances.  What are you spending money on? What expectations do you have regarding cost of living, etc.
Have a discussion with your spouse about your sex life. What do each of you like? What are you expectations?
Have a discussion with your child about their future and what goals they want? Do they want to go to a trade school? College? Masters degree.
Have a discussion with your children about having goals. Discuss with your daughters to have hobbies and goals...not just "marry someone rich." Help encourage them to pursue something that they love and to experience LIFE.
Discuss with your children the expectations of cleanliness and what that means.
Discuss with your children and friends about the temple. Guess what, friends? Did you know that you can talk about most of happens in the temple? Share!!! It's not a secret.
We need to have an open dialogue with your friends about motherhood and the wonderful, hard aspects about it.
Have an open dialogue with your friends about politics without getting too emotional or focused on your own personal political agenda.
Have an open dialogue about frustrations! With your career, with your religion, etc.
Have an open dialogue with your friends, parents, spouse, kids, about your emotional well-being.
Have a discussion with your daughters about getting married young and the dangers about that.
Have a discussion with your sons about what it means to be respectful to a woman.
Talk to your kids about body image and to be grateful for what their bodies can do.

And we need to be okay with others talking and struggling.
We need members who are willing to talk about their struggle with attending the temple and the real reasons why they aren't going.
We need members who are willing to talk about their struggle with their testimony because of addiction, mental illness, or just a change of beliefs.
We need members who are willing to talk! 
Because if we aren't willing to be talk and learn to see the other side, we are going to continuously be stuck and not progress.

It takes confidence, studying, and an open mind to have discussions like these. But I truly believe it is imperative and I would genuinely love to see it happening more. In relief society lessons, in homes, and in friendships, etc.

The entire purpose of our religion is to be Christ-like. Christ was not timid. Christ called people out. Christ was kind, but honest. Christ had discussions with people of all variety. That is how we progress, friends.

I want Georgia to grow up in a world where can feel like she can have an open dialogue and communicate what she feels openly. With me. With others.

Go have a difficult discussion today.
I dare you.