1. I love being with my nieces. I don't have anything particular to say about them, just that I love them and here are some pictures.
We went to the park today (all wearing our BYU shirts). Whenever my nieces put their sunglasses on we say, "Stylish!". I kept taking pictures of them because they were so cute and Big Sis told me to take a picture of myself too. So here we are...STYLISH!
Me and Big Sis playing the faces game during resting time...too bad I can't remember any of the tag lines.
Baby Beluga. I love her. Need I say more?
2. This has been a great time of domesticity for me. And I can't tell you how rewarding and satisfying I find doing mom/home stuff.
First off, I get to make dinner every night. My sister and brother-in-law think I'm doing them a favor...actually I'm indulging in my rediscovered love of cooking! I understand now why people start recipe blogs, it's addicting. And I'm glad people do because that's where are all my good recipes come from (current favorite is www.thekitchn.com). Recent successful recipe: Hummus. Yummus!
I've tried two recipes so far. Both were delicious (one of which came from The Friend)! (And I learned how to make chips from real tortillas. Double yum!). I made some for a fantasy-themed young single adult potluck, hence the "Jabba the Hummus" on the right.
Second, I've been getting to help my sister with fun "getting ready for the baby" projects, like sorting baby clothes, rearranging the house, and sewing a new car seat cover. I haven't sewed in years! But this was the result:
3. I finally got to go country dancing! And it was AMAZING. Well, if you know me, you know I already love dancing, that's no surprise, add country and I was enthralled. So I must confess here that secretly I wish I was a cowgirl. Country music, cowboy boots, cowboy hats, and big belt buckles have a special place in my heart. So this dance hall had all of that. There was live music and some lady who looked like Dolly Parton dancing with her partner. In my heart I promised myself that someday I would come back to that dance hall either (1) looking like Dolly myself, or (2) with cowgirl boots and a big belt buckle.
Aside from actually dancing, my other favorite part of this experience was watching people dance. And don't you doubt it, my little relationship brain was ticking. Couple dancing is so interesting. Modern generations (and pop culture) do not normally couple dance the way past generations (and cowboys) have/do. I love watching couples dance who know what they are doing; the non-verbal communication (i.e. the leading and following) is captivating. He leads. She follows. It's as simple as that, and it creates a dance. As I watched, I wondered if our popular styles of dancing are in any way correlated with our dating and male/female relationship dynamics. It almost seems to me that what we've lost in dancing has also been lost in relationships, and even in our base ideas of men's and women's roles. I went home that night and talked to my sister about this. We decided that would be a great research study! (I'm putting that down as research study #31, which comes right after #30 which is my 'first date' lab, and before #32 which will analyze if people who look alike are somehow more attracted to one another).
Okay, but really, this is what I came away with: Men lead the dance along, and women give it life. Men are the leaders. Women are the life. Does that mean women aren't a part of the direction of the dance? No. Does that mean that men do not contribute to the life of the dance? No. But each have their primary role. This paralleled nicely with what I already know and believe about male/female roles and responsibilities, which is perfectly summed up in The Family: A Proclamation To The World:
"By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners."
Lead. Life. Do you see it?
As men and women, we each have different, but equally important roles to play on this Earth. And I am grateful that something so simple as country dancing reminded me and testified to me that this is true!