I don't know why this amused me so,

But it did.

This is an email from my Mom.

hey everyone. We are in coppenhagen We do not have cell service. We are happy and eating lots of food. it is beautiful. drew will gain 20 pounds. kallie is on the A team. all is well. tell brett. jess loves him it makes us sick. it smells like pasteries and nicotine here. we love it.
the family

She's an English teacher, too.


fact, theory, conspiracy

Fact: If you have a blog, a facebook, a twitter, a tumblr, a flickr, and a formspring, you need to re-evaluate how much time you spend on the internet, talking to people you don't know in real life.

Theory: Planned Parenthood's main form of unwanted pregnancy/STD prevention is shame. They shame you into not doing something stupid. Particularly shameful? When the medical assistant asking you about your knowledge of "barrier methods" looks about 12. I felt like screaming I HAVE A JOB, A MORTGAGE, A MASTERS DEGREE, AND A MONOGAMOUS RELATIONSHIP, I DO NOT NEED PLAN B.*

I need to graduate from planned parenthood.

Conspiracy: Hipsters must all secretly hate each other. There's no way I'd let someone I really like go out with the hair/terrible pants/vintage grossness that some of these people go out with. I wonder what the end goal is? Who can convince the hipster queen to post the most unflattering photos of themselves online? In which case, I could probably name a few winners. But I won't. Along with being horrid dressers, hipsters are vicious. And I don't want to be labeled a "hater."

Isn't fact, theory, conspiracy a fun game? You can play too!

*When I'm embarrassed, I like to list my accomplishments to make myself feel better about myself. Funny how lots of papers resulting in lots of debt makes me feel better.


I'm sort of terrible at zumba.

Does that make me a bad Mormon?


it makes me sad when...


Facebook shows a picture of Glenn Beck and says "Many who like The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints like this."


because no one says "sidekick" when asked what they want to be when they grow up.

I know that every job has value and importance, and that there are also benefits to certain jobs (part-time options, flexible schedules, no need for expensive graduate degrees,) that other jobs don't have. So don't e-slay me when I say this:

Sometimes I get sad when girls only want to be (and are only taught to be) assistants, attendants, and aides to the main show in the career theater. Especially when we teach boys that they MUST be the main show in order to "provide."

Be the main attraction, ladies.


i said a boom chicka boom (in which i discuss girls camp, and get on an anti-twilight binge.)

I survived Girls Camp. Not only did I survive, but I actually enjoyed myself most of the time, which is sort of miraculous. I sort of suspected that the Girls Camp likeability range would hover in the 30% like 70% tolerate range, but it was actually the opposite. In fact, the time we cooked brownies over the fire, and ate them out of the pan while still quasi gooey was more 99% like 1% concern over germs.

But that was not the only camp miracle! I got some sun at camp (Not enough to burn, but enough for random older woman to cluck concernedly and over to rub Aloe Vera on my nose,) and it seems this sun may actually result in a TAN.

I hope you have your food storage ready, because clearly the end is near.

It really is odd though, to look in the mirror and see a tan healthy looking person instead of an albino sickly one. Furthermore, I can sort of understand now how people get addicted to tanning. I look pretty! And athletic! Let us tan some more!

Fortunately/Unfortunately, I am a major proponent of slippery slope arguments, so despite the fact that I look less like a Cullen, I don't intend to let this tanning business happen again. Would you like to hear my slippery slope argument?

If I tan frequently, I will get addicted, and then get skin caner, and then die, and then Dan will remarry some Mormon princess who will want to watch Living Scripture movies, and we will all be stuck together in heaven*, making me the eternal third wheel who wants to sneak into the Terrestrial Kingdom for diet coke and PG 13 movies, while my sister wife bakes the demons in hell casseroles and cookies.
Plus, when I'm tan, I don't sparkle in the sunlight. Oh wait, that WAS the Cullens

*There is no doctrinal basis in my post-life fears. That is an example of what I call "Crazy Mormon Thoughts." All Mormons have CMT, but some people try and pass them off Actual Church Doctrine, and try and teach them in Young Women's lessons, and that's when Stephanie gets something called "Rage." In more extreme cases, people insert vampires into their CMT, resulting in poorly written adolescent literature that sets feminism back 1,2033033030 years. But don't worry girls, he's only mean and controlling because he loves you. Anyway.


pray for me

I go to Girls Camp tomorrow.

Good news:

1. We have running water!

2. I am going as a leader, not as youth. This alone is the best part of camp. I will tell you why.

a. There will be no awkward fights over who gets to sleep in which tent with who. Girls are vicious, and someone is always left out. Usually because a group of girls decides that since they have been friends since elementary, they must all sleep in the same tent, and girls who they have known since junior high are simply not real friends and have to go sleep with the beehives.

Wow. Projecting much, Childbride? Anyway. I will be sleeping in the tent with the leaders. As adults, they must at least pretend to be friends with me.

b. I am an adult and I can bring any contraband I want, and there is no one to confiscate it. Yes, that means I will be bringing diet coke and I don't care if you judge me. If I am going to spend the better part of a week hanging out in a tent and eating food with dirt in it, (I don't get the appeal of camping,) I am going to have a beverage. I will also be bringing copious amounts of candy.

Moving on,

3. Our stake had the good sense not to impose some ridiculous theme on us. (Including but not limited to: Disney princesses, sayings that don't make sense (It's not the number of breaths we take, but the moments that take our breaths away,) or any other such nonsense. This is good, because I would not be able to tow that line without a hearty degree of cynicism. And the last thing my precious and righteous* young women need is a leader who is addicted to caffeine, hates camping, and makes fun of quasi-religious gatherings.

*Seriously, it's a post for another day, but my young women are waaaaaayyy more righteous than me. None of my laurels have even kissed anyone, let alone made a point to make out with as many of the young men as possible. (Still projecting.)


living in utah gets more amusing every single day.

It finally happened- someone asked me if I was struggling with fertility problems- the only possible explanation for being 23, married, and childless.


it is the hottest, after all

One of my friends was asked to give a modesty lesson to the Young Women in her ward. (No-Mo translation: Give a speech to the female youth of the congregation on dressing appropriately.)

She asked me for tips (Because I teach High Schoolers, I'm a teen whisperer...)and I wasn't very helpful. At all. She asked me if I remembered any good modesty lessons from my youth, and, even though I had a bunch of great YW leaders growing up, I don't remember any modesty lessons that really stirred my soul. Let's face it, it's hard to feel spiritual about long shorts and one piece swimsuits.

Furthermore, while the cynic in me could not identify any awesome lessons, I could identify some that fell into the following categories:

a. Unnecessary.

b. Offensive.

c. Ineffective.

Let's start with the beginning.

a. Unnecessary: I was never one to wear bum-cheek-hanging-out-the-back shorts, or boobalicious prom gowns. I'd nod and smile, and maybe read an excerpt from the Strength of Youth (No Mo translation: A teen handbook that helps you end up on a mission/not knocked up), and leave totally unaffected.

I just don't feel the spirit when I'm being told what not to do. I mean, I'll not do it, but I probably won't experience a great spiritual awakening every time I buy a besleeved formal dress.

I imagine a lot of youth feel the same way. Teach me about how to receive answers to prayers, and you just might impact me. Teach me not to look like Katy Perry and I will nod and smile. I wasn't going to dress like that. Still won't. Thanks.

Plus, give an already modest girl too many lessons on Modesty, and it might turn into....

b. Offensive. Sometimes, after the billionth lesson on SLEEVES SLEEVES SLEEVES, I'd start to get a little annoyed. Do you think I'm secretly slutty? Dumb? On the verge of a sexual rebellion? I get it. SLEEVES.

Even worse though, are the horror-story lessons from Mormon mythology. The lessons about how it's important to dress modestly, because if you don't, a boy might look at you! And think lustful thoughts! And when he gets addicted to porn and can't go on a mission IT WILL BE ALL YOUR FAULT.

Because teaching girls that their god-given bodies are evil is a GREAT way to bring them closer to Heavenly Father.

And lastly, there were those lessons that were just...

c. Ineffective. I've already covered the fact that I've never owned a pair of daisy dukes. But I knew girls who did, and I'm pretty sure their Laurel leader telling them not to did jack squat after the lesson ended. Why? Because it isn't the Laurel leader buying their clothes/ letting them out of the house. If their parents think tank tops and short skirts are okay, (and these could even be, gasp, good parents,) then the girl is going to wear them. Especially when modesty, despite the guidelines in the Strength of Youth, still harbors a whole lot of gray.

What does it mean to cover the shoulders? Don't tank tops cover the shoulder? Or, if you're like one of my friend's parents, does covering the shoulder mean only t-shirt style sleeves and beyond? (Seriously. Girl was not even allowed a cap sleeve.) If Sally down-the-street thinks tanks are okay, is she immodest just because her Laurel Leader has made a business sewing sleeves onto spaghetti strap cocktail dresses?

Can't we just talk about Jesus at church?

Apparently not. So, e-audience, you tell me.

How do we teach our girls to be modest?

(Or, if you have tips on What Not to Say/Horror Stories from Your Youth, I would be happy to hear those too. I'm nothing if not equal opportunity.)


conspiracy theory

Sometimes I think those "Keep Calm and Carry On" posters are Mormon code for "Shut Up and Act Like Everything is Perfect."