Archive | November, 2011

“happy wife, happy life” times 4

30 Nov

Ahhhhh, polygamy. I’m very seriously fascinated with the whole idea of it. That doesn’t mean I’m interested in practicing polygamy myself (don’t worry Scottish). It’s just that I am a connoisseur of relationships and I love learning about unique and beyond-the-normal-person’s-comfort-zone relationships, and that includes polygamy. Polygamy is the practice of one man being married to more than one wife at one time. It’s a practice derived from a very conservative sect of the LDS (Mormon) church known as the Fundamentalist Mormons. I do not believe in their same faith so it makes sense that I don’t believe in polygamy, but man, do I respect it? Yes.

Did you know there is a term for one woman marrying multiple husbands? Cause I didn’t until now! It’s call polyandry. Apparently it was more common in Indian cultures back in the day. But if you ask a Fundamentalist they will tell you they do not believe in polyandry. Speaking awkwardly on behalf of the people who practice polygamy, I would say the biggest misconception is that polygamy is about a man’s need for sex. Hahaha. Ask any married man and he’ll tell you that having a wife does NOT necessarily mean you will be having tons of sex all the time. Marriage is a choice, a commitment, and a lot of work, so why would a guy choose extra nagging, oops, I mean more work! 🙂 If you want more sex, find a mistress. (please don’t do that though)

So, I’ve always been interested in this way of life but ever since the TLC show, “Sister Wives,” began airing in 2010, my fascination has grown in a positive way after seeing a family live this lifestyle up close and personal. The Browns are a pretty normal, conservative Utah family, now relocated to Las Vegas, except for the fact that the dad, Kody, is married to four different wives. These four wives call each other, “sister wives,” because as you can imagine, they develop really close bonds, bordering those of a sister. Personally, I love the concept of a sister wife, which is essentially a woman with whom you share your time, your life, your children, and most importantly, your husband. It is bizarre and it is different, but from what I’ve observed, they can be really loving and supportive relationships. I actually enjoyed the term so much that I encouraged one of my groups of girlfriends to take on the term as a nickname. Because why not? We all support each other through good times and bad, we celebrate big events and holidays together, and we share similar values. In my opinion, it’s the best part of being a sister wife. The worst part being, you share one man… which is obviously not the case between me and my friends.

Now I know it’s illegal to have more than one wife, and there is a ton of criticism surrounding polygamy due to child-brides and/or abusive husbands, which is definitely NOT OK, but those are select cases and not everyone in the demographic is doing that. The two biggest moral questions are, “What about the children?” and “Don’t the wives get super jealous?” Yes, what about the kids, how does it affect them, and also, how do the wives handle the intense feelings that come along with sharing the person you have the most intimate relationship with? Well, I can’t answer those questions, but I do think about them as well.

The whole reason I wanted to write about this topic is because I wanted to share part of this season’s finale of “Sister Wives.” Robyn (wife #4) just delivered her first baby with dad Kody. Everyone is over at her house to congratulate and rejoice in the happy news when Robyn asks to be alone with Meri (wife #1). Now you need some back story here, Meri has only one child with Kody while her other sister wives have multiple children with him. She has struggled with miscarriages over the years and at one point Kody asked her if she wanted to try IVF but she said no. Anyway, we’re back at Robyn’s bedside, moments after her home birth and Robyn tells Meri that she would like to be her surrogate. Mainly, she would be willing to carry and give birth to the child of Kody and Meri. What.a.gift.

Think of someone you know struggling to get pregnant, it’s very heart-wrenching isn’t it? Good things can come out of any thing, any person, and any situation. And even out of polygamy. Just… felt the need to share that.

Quote: “I never tell one client that I cannot attend his sales convention because I have a previous engagement with another client, successful polygamy depends upon pretending to each spouse that she is the only pebble on your beach.”

My name is Grumpy and I hosted Thanksgiving

27 Nov

How was your Thanksgiving? Mine was great and annoying at the same time. I was perfectly prepared to host my very first turkey day meal with only one recipe blunder (I forgot my Scottish dessert, Whiskey Mac Cream, needed to sit overnight), but overall, I was feeling good and ready. We had another couple come over and join the Scottish and I and between the four of us we made a wonderful Thanksgiving spread. We were pretty happy (OK, smug) because our turkey turned out so delicious and it was our first attempt at baking the large holiday bird. We had a lovely time watching football, playing cards, and of course, eating. But early on in the day I started to get a headache but just attributed it to dehydration. But then my throat started to hurt, and I was feel achy all over. Since I was cooking and cleaning for the majority of the day and by cooking and cleaning I mean mostly cleaning, (I think I washed my liquid measuring cup about 10 times because that’s how many times we needed it), I just assumed I was over-tired. But by 8 PM I was shivering with the chills and a fever and had to excuse myself to go to bed, where I stayed for the next 12 hours. This means that I missed out on early morning Black Friday shopping and boy oh boy, was I upset. My Friday consisted of sitting on the couch watching The Glee Project all day- horrors!! But then the rest of my weekend was pretty nice, we went to see a friend’s show on Friday night, and then on Saturday I dragged myself to Macy’s for some solo shopping. I ended up lugging my treasures home in the rain, which added to my crabbiness, but my time spent in Macy’s was angelic.

Side bar: Shopping is my bliss. Well, one of them anyway. Lattes are too. Well, when I’m super relaxed AKA happy AKA enjoying some bliss, I tend to need to have a BM. I know, I know, what kind of person blogs about her BM’s? Just be glad I didn’t say “my poops.” Oops. But seriously, there is something about shopping that makes me so calm and happy that I just have to go go go! And Saturday was no different. I had myself a latte and I was walking around the beautifully decorated Macy’s in downtown Chicago and after about 5 minutes I knew it was time. Afterwards I texted the Scottish (who was well-aware of my grumpiness and sickness) that I had just done my duty at Macy’s and I couldn’t be happier!

Back to my holiday recap: I bought toys for my kiddos (buy one get one free), I got a holiday dress for the Scottish’s work party, I got the Scottish a gift, and I bought myself a scarf, hat, and smart touch gloves all in creams and pinks. Yum. Then we went to my condo to load up all my Christmas decorations and after that we drove to my nanny family’s house for a second Thanksgiving meal. Very fun and very filling! This morning we decorated the apartment and I forced the Scottish to MAKE MEMORIES with me (such as hanging our stockings, etc), but despite the decor and holiday music I still felt crabby about my sore throat. Of course, I had to get out a blog to all my lovely followers, but unfortunately, there was no disguising my mood. On the one hand, I’m super annoyed that I got sick, but on the other hand, I’m so proud of myself for pulling together such a wonderful feast with friends, and I can’t wait to host my whole family someday. Sister, I call Thanksgiving! You can host Easter. 4TH of July?

Sigh, back to work tomorrow people. But keep your thankful thoughts close to your heart. Now, if I don’t have some lunch soon (it’s 3:30 PM) I’m gonna pass out. So yea, until next time…

Check out these photos from our meal!

Quote: “Am I grumpy? I might be. But I think maybe sometimes it’s misinterpreted.” Harrison Ford

Keeping with Tradition

23 Nov

It’s Thanksgiving tomorrow!! So of course I’m going to blog about all the things I’m thankful for (duh, I love traditions)…hopefully you’ll take the time to think about the people and things you are thankful for too!

I’m thankful for my sister. I’m thankful for my brother. I was watching Oprah awhile ago and someone on her show was saying how important your siblings are because they are with you throughout your entire life. Your parents leave you too early and your partner finds you too late, but your siblings are there from childhood to old age. I think your relationship with your siblings is very immature and superficial when you are young, and I find (just like in every relationship) that it takes work to create an adult-type friendship with your siblings. Mine siblings are great, and so special to me; I’m blessed to have them in my life.

I’m thankful for warm showers. I know we’re all supposed to be taking shorter ones to conserve energy and water, but my morning shower is one of the best parts of my day. It wakes me up, gives me time to think, and relaxes me.

I’m thankful for my extended family. My grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends. (I love all my friends dearly and consider most of them family.) For some lucky reason, I have always been surrounded by amazing people. That’s sort of why I think it’s my job to write about humanity and relationships, because I have so many wonderful relationships in my life. Yes, that means you (unless you don’t know me, then it’s probably not about you.)

I’m thankful for my 2004 Hyundai Elantra. I definitely prefer luxury and quality when it comes to my house, my clothes, and other things, but when it comes to my vehicle I couldn’t care less! I’ll drive my Elantra as long as I can, especially now that it’s paid off. I call her my Silver Baby, and I love her not only because she puts up with my crazy driving when I’m pissed off in traffic, but also because she is the first and only car I’ve bought thus far.

I’m thankful for the surgeon who fixed my lower back and helped me get the feeling back in my leg. There were so many people who helped me through that time, but a few need to be mentioned this holiday season. Thank you to the Scottish for sitting with me in the ER while I was in the worst pain of my life, for waiting at the hospital while I was in surgery, and for helping me with funds when the medical bills came through. Thank you to my boss for stocking my fridge, buying me vitamins, staying at the hospital during surgery, and never once pressuring me to come back to work before I was ready. Thank you to L dawg for the phone calls, concern, and being there in spirit, thank you to CBF for a monetary gift that was above and beyond, thank you to H for making the drive to come visit, thank you to the Sister Wives for your presence, phone calls, and just being around when I needed you most. And especially thank you to my mother who spent a week with me while I recovered. Best week ever.

I’m thankful that I am a romantic, not a cynic. I can believe in fairy-tales and happy endings while still being a strong, confident, and independent young woman. Amen to that.

I’m thankful for my Chicago family aka my Nanny family. I’m just so grateful for the love I’ve received from my kids. When I first started, I desperately needed that extra love in my life and I’m so happy God led me to them. And I’m thankful to my nanny parents for their encouragement over the past four years, not only have I learned so much about Chicago and life from them, but I never would have been able to buy a condo without their support and for that I am eternally grateful.

I’m thankful for the Scottish. He is wonderful for a billion reasons, but I’ll only name a few to spare those of you cynics from gagging. He’s a man’s man, he loves beer and football! When I crawl into bed at night, he rolls over to snuggle me, which is a big change from sleeping diagonally across the bed as he used to do before he met me. He lets me be goofy and crazy and dramatic and I never have to hide my real feelings. I think he’s the smartest guy in world because he’s patient and willing to learn. I feel like I’ve known him my whole life but it’s only been two years. He’s my other half, my partner, and I’m thankful he took a job in Chicago back in 2009 so I could be fortunate enough to meet him.

I’m thankful for my parents. More thankful than I know how to express. My parents raised me to be loving, respectful, and to work your life around family and not your family around your life. My mother taught me and continues to teach me how to care for others even when it’s difficult and how to be my own unique person. My father taught me how to work hard and how to take myself lightly even when things are tough. Both of them support my dreams no matter how scary or impossible they seem. They have given me more money than they truly have just so I could live in Chicago and be happy. I proudly take their bad qualities with their good ones because they are my parents and two of the best people I know.

Quote: “The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts. No Americans have been more impoverished than these who, nevertheless, set aside of a day of thanksgiving.” H.U. Westermayer

You know, big picture stuff…

20 Nov

What does God look like?

Is he male like people have thought for years because of the fatherly attributes associated with him? Is God a spirit with no gender? Is God a black woman because we want her to represent those in minority or those who are under-appreciated? Some of us believe that Jesus walked on earth as a human, but does God look human or is he just a presence?

I find this equally as fascinating as the question, “Does religion even exist?” I surround myself with believers and non-believers alike. I know people on both ends of the spectrum and I know that I fall somewhere in between. I do believe that there is something that exists that is greater than all of us and I believe it to be omnipotent and omnipresent. But what is it? Scientists say the world started with the big bang and religious faithfuls say the earth was created in seven days. Can there be a happy middle ground? Wouldn’t that be great if there was a place called “middle ground?” I bet it’s quite gray there, and I bet it’s a simple place where nothing really bad happens and nothing really good happens. But then I could believe in both sides of every story. I wouldn’t have to make decisions, and I could trust in…
democracy AND communism
fate AND freewill
evolution AND creation
Christianity AND Judaism
taxes AND tax breaks
pro-life AND pro-choice
Ashton Kutcher AND Demi Moore.

I don’t always know which side I believe in on what day, and I think there are so few things in life that are black and white. But for now, it’s enough for me to believe in God, but still have questions.

So, what does God look like? Well, God looks like everything. And I mean that, literally. God is the wind (the damn Chicago wind), he’s the sidewalk, the laughing child, the uptight old man, she’s the spilled smoothie, the googly-eyed couple walking down the street, it’s the couch you sit on, your dog you love, he’s the tall buildings and the beautiful plants, she’s the homeless veteran, the angry and alone single-mom, she’s your best friend, and your favorite pair of shoes. God is in books, on billboards, on TV, in stores, in your family and everywhere you look. For me, God is in all aspects of life and energy. Wherever you see love, God is there, wherever you see hate, God is there. Life isn’t always good, right? We all have bad days, really really bad days. Days that make you question everything in your life, but God is present during all of it. I don’t know if God is female or male or what God looks like, but I just know that I see God. I see God all the time.

Quote: “God is in the sadness and the laughter, in the bitter and the sweet. There is a divine purpose behind everything- and therefore a divine presence in everything.” Neale Donald Walsch

It’s neither here nor there

16 Nov

I have writers block. First off, I’d like to congratulate myself for making it through 9 timely posts before staring blankly at my laptop with no direction in mind. Secondly, I’ve decided to embrace this writers block because I find ignoring something only makes it worse. So, I’m going to continue to have writer’s block while eating skittles and watching HGTV (TLC has nothing good to watch on Wednesdays). I think I’ll have a go at stream of consciousness writing. The Irish novelist, James Joyce, well-known for his stream of consciousness writing, is my inspiration for tonight.

Last night I had the best night ever with my nanny baby Becca. She turned 5 this past Sunday and I told the kids that instead of buying them gifts on their birthdays, they were going to get “experiences” with me instead. Becca and I started at Starbucks (one of our favorite places) and after she told me, “It’s a special day so you can get a latte!” (Becca is helping me watch what I eat too), she asked me if this was the day for her “experiment” with me. Love it. After a latte and a vanilla scone we headed to a place where you can paint pottery. We painted over an hour and had a blast. Spending time with her is like breathing, it’s easy and we have fun no matter what we do or where we go. In general, I think that true love means being able to go anywhere with them. I can picture myself traveling all over the world with the Scottish and at the same time, there’s no one else I’d rather grocery shop with… and not just because he pays for it. haha. I’m so happy today! One of my close friends asked me to be her Maid of Honor. I’m already having a great time helping her with the wedding, and now I get to be even more involved. My goal is to focus on her wedding and stop researching how to get on the TLC show, “Say Yes to the Dress.” Sigh, it’s hard to be me. And it’s hard to be around me. I wish the skittles weren’t gone and I wish I kept more food in my condo. This place is barren!

Do you know what’s really cool? A floating toilet. As soon I finish planning a wedding, I’m going to start house hunting. I’m obsessed with home improvement and property shows. Ever since I bought my place I’ve been super interested in realty. I plan on keeping my condo for years to come, or at least until the market goes up and it’s a better time to sell, but my long-term goal is to pay off some of my student loan debt with the money I make on the sale. And someday the Scottish and I want to own property together. But that’s a long way off! The bank won’t even give him a credit card let alone a mortgage! We’re working on that. I have decided I need to spend more time in my condo because it’s getting a weird stale smell when I’m gone for too long and that’s not cool. I like when it smells like me.

I need a pedicure so badly because I’m pretty sure I could sand a piece of wood with the bottom of my foot. My friends and I have decided that Bradley Cooper is NOT the sexiest man alive. I’m cutting off my home phone line at the condo to save money and it’s making me slightly sad. I can’t wait to go shopping on Black Friday. I hope my turkey and especially my gravy turn out as good as Grandma’s on Thanksgiving. I ate too many skittles and I’ve spoiled my dinner. Good thing there’s no dinner to eat!

Quote: “Welcome, O life! I go to encounter for the millionth time the reality of experience and to forge in the smithy of my soul the uncreated conscience of my race.” James Joyce

Raw

13 Nov

I have to talk about something. But I’d really rather not discuss it so publicly. However, the blog is here, and if I don’t discuss the real issues in my life, then I’m not who I claim to be, and I’m not being true to myself. So here goes, I want to get married. Like, yesterday. 🙂 I want to start my life with my favorite person in the world and I’m like a little child impatiently waiting for that starting moment. My little nanny boy, Derek, was waiting for a certain toy to arrive in the mail this week and his parents had originally thought they had ordered two-day shipping, but it turned out that it was ordered with regular shipping and that meant waiting over a full week. Upon receiving this news Derek pouted for the rest of the morning, looking grumpy and dejected as if his world was over, and being the good nanny that I am, I attempted to shake him out of his funk. He then asked me if I ever had to wait for something to come that I wanted really, really badly. I tried to think of some toy that I really wanted when I was younger but nothing was coming to mind, so I told him I’m sure there was something but you need to learn to be patient because it’s just a part of life.

Then yesterday I had yet another Stephanie-induced, intense talk about THE FUTURE with the Scottish, and I realized being patient when you’re an adult isn’t any easier. I might think that waiting to get married is more important than Derek’s toy, but it’s not. It’s all relative and it’s always hard to wait, no matter your age. It’s hard to wait when you decided this was the man you were going to marry way back in August of 2010. (I was camping with my family and it just hit me, he was the person for me, “And the world cracked open.”) And it’s hard to wait when you share a living space together and continually strive to make it feel like your home. (The Scottish moved into the new apartment in August of 2011.) And it’s hard to wait when you’re a wedding-obsessed girly girl who’s been dreaming about this day since she was short, with glasses, and had never been kissed.

It’s so embarrassing to write this all out, but I’m frustrated! I’m 28, I want the normal 2.5 kids, the house, and I’m so lucky to have found the man of my dreams so I can start this journey. The Scottish has been incredibly patient about my occasional impatience, but sometimes I feel like my head will just explode. He and I joke heavily about how I try to rush life, about how I have trouble living in the present, and how I’ll be disappointed because he’ll never be able to propose exactly the way I imagine he will in my crazy head. If therapy were covered in my pathetic excuse for health insurance I’d be there in a second! Do you ever feel like you can ruin things just by being yourself? I do. I know everything works out in the end, and my time will come, and I trust that God has a plan. I also trust that my very shy, doesn’t want to be the center-of-attention but loves me more than anything boyfriend, will work up the courage to propose. But the sheer joy and excitement I feel about the possibility of planning my wedding and marrying the smartest, most caring, loving, sexy, tall, balding, bears-loving, whiskey and beer-drinking, hilarious man I’ve ever met, makes me react like a ten-year old boy.

I can say with confidence, this won’t be the most unappealing thing you’ll read about me. Cheers until then.

Quote: “…then I did the simplest thing in the world. I leaned down… and kissed him. And the world cracked open.” Agnes de Mille

Bitten by bugs

9 Nov

I feel so strange. My creative outlet has always been acting, so why has my creative mind been wandering lately? (Does that sound dirty to you too?) I was bitten by the “acting bug” at age 11 while twirling around in our fifth grade class play. I played one of the sisters, and I remember it had to do with a stranger knocking on our door and a lantern. I remember the twirling specifically because it was such a profound experience for me. It was the light bulb, the big moment, and the clicking into place feeling that most people don’t get until AFTER they’ve declared three different majors. I was so young yet I was so certain that I was going to be an actor for the rest of my life.

My Uncle tapes each of us grandkids every year at Christmas and has since I was little, and when we turn 18 we get to watch our videos…all of them. It’s both fun and scary to see my haircuts over the years, my glasses disappearing after I got contacts in 6th grade, and my fat year of high school- junior year was brutal! The whole family gathers around the TV and we all enjoy watching the lively Q and A. As the eldest grandchild, my videos were the first to be watched, and I think it’s an understatement to say it took awhile. My uncle tends to ask the typical questions like who’s your teacher, who are your friends, and what’s your favorite book? But he also asks important questions like, what do you want to be when you grow up? Every Christmas up through my 10th birthday I answered, (and I wish this was a joke but it’s not) that I wanted to be a cashier. I just wanted to beep items across the scanner at the grocery store, a simple yet attainable goal. But starting at age 11 and up, my answer changed to “actress.” That’s pretty early on to decide the rest of your life, I mean, it never even crossed my mind to be a doctor, or a teacher like my mom, or even a ballerina. So when I was recently bitten with the “Writing bug,” a few years ago, I felt taken aback. This didn’t fit into my life plan.

This past year I was forced to quit a show for the first time ever because of my back surgery. PS Never have back surgery. And suddenly I was forced into a theatre hiatus that has turned into a year-long break. And even though you can’t seem my face as I write this, I won’t pretend that I’m OK with that, because I’m not. I’m embarrassed and I feel like a phony. I call myself an actor, and I trained in a conservatory-based program at a great school, but I haven’t been in a show for so long that I’m beginning to feel out of touch. Our professors at college told us we’d be auditioning more than we’d be on stage (which is extra true for me now), and I still attend shows as much as I possibly can because part of being an actor is watching good art as well as participating in it, but I can’t seem to shake this dejected feeling. I explain it to friends and family as being artistically dry. Therefore, I’ve decided to do something about my creative desert and tap into this other passion that has been courting me for the past few years. I’m re-directing my energy and focus to writing, hence the blog (insert happy music here). And it’s not just starting a blog, it’s applying for editing and transcribing jobs to gain more experience. It means reading more books and watching less TV. It means revisiting the novel I started back when I was 23 and fresh out of college. I’ve always thought about pursing publication at some point, but the question is, where to start?
These are my ideas:

A memoir (duh, I like talking about myself)
A book about communication (the key to any successful relationship)
A quote book compilation (I collect them, why not share them?)
A book about the life of nanny (advice from a veteran)
A book about being an artist (it’s a unique life and it’s a poor life)
A children’s book (fairy-tales and animals, what’s not to love?)

I won’t ever stop acting, I can promise that. But sometimes you gotta hit pause in one area to nurture another. The quote this time is from my high school theatre teacher, who told us all one day during a rehearsal, and I paraphrase: “You should only be an actor if it’s in your blood. If you have to do it. Don’t do it if you don’t have to.” Mrs. Potter

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