Friday, April 25, 2014

3 Loves: My Nieces, Being Domestic, Dancing

Now that I've started writing on my blog again I often think, "Oh! I should put that on my blog!". I'll try to sum all the fun things I've been doing and wanted to write about into 3 categories. (Warning: you are going to get a lot of stitched together pictures because I just learned how to do these. SO COOL! It's like 3 pictures in 1! Okay okay, I know this was cool 3 years ago, I'm behind the times, humor me).

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 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!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

It's About Time!

Well, I figured since I've been home from my mission for, uh (cough) over a year, I might as well start using my blog again!

If you are reading this you probably already know where I am and what I am doing, but I'll tell you again. I am living in Texas with my sister helping her out while she is on bed rest during her 3rd pregnancy. Baby 3 is due any day now and I am getting antsy. Once he comes that means my magical days here are numbered. Living with my two nieces has been, potentially, one of the best times of my life. Here are some of the priceless things I will miss VERY much:

  • Being woken up with my door slammed open and Baby Beluga coming in and saying "Hi Di!" and giving me a big hug and then promptly asking for "body lotion". (I have BBW lotion by my bed). I put a little on her hands, she rubs it in and then shoves her hands in my face waiting for me to smell and say "Mmmmm!"
  • Big Sis using this excuse to get out of bed when she should be sleeping, "Aunt Di, I forgot to give you a hug and a kiss!"
  • Singing "Give Said The Little Stream" and "I Am A Child of God" and "I Love to See The Temple" (at her request) to Baby Beluga before her nap.
  • Catching Baby Beluga singing to herself.
  • Reading "one more story" to Big Sis...the other day I think I said that 6 times before we actually stopped reading:)
  • Teaching Big Sis new songs during bath time. We've already mastered Mom's old "Mare's Eat Oats" song and are working on Ry's "I'm Peanut Butter and You're My Jelly".
  • Going to the swing park by our house and riding on the double-sided swing (now affectionately called Sven - from Frozen). We yell "Go Sven! Go!" and pretend we are racing to save Arendell and freeze all the nasty Texas bugs.

Sigh. This has been the best Mom Internship ever! I was made for this life. I will be so sad to return to my  normal work life. But, newsflash, I've decided to find work here and become a real least for a little while.

Monday, January 28, 2013

January 28, 2013 - Continued Craziness:)

Surprise...more craziness! I think I must just be prone to crazy situations. So I thought my last week in the mission would be smooth sailing, work as normal, trying not to have  a freak out about having to pack. Now the least of my worries is packing my bags...

So I live in a house with another companionship of sister missionaries, but we aren't in the same ward or sector. One of these other missionaries last Sunday started to notice that a bug bite she had was showing signs of having a staff infection (i don't know what this is but it doesn't look very good). Wednesday we have a Mission Conference and the mission doctor takes a look at it with President and they say she needs to go to the hospital immediately. They send her and MY companion to Concepcion and send me with the other sister back to our sectors till who knows when. That was on Wednesday and the sick sister is still in Conce and chances are she won't come back till next week. So here I am with this other sister...covering two wards and two sectors. Complete insanity I tell you. If I thought it was hard to take care of my sector, it's a piece of cake now compared to being in charge of two sectors!

But I like dramatic and crazy situations, it makes life interesting:) Makes for a good last week in the mission I got a new companion and had to split my time 50/50 to get work done in two sectors.

We are having a good time though. The sister I am with is awesome, she's from Argentina, so at least I get to speak Spanish 100% of the time (with American companions it is more of a challenge to speak Spanish 100% of the time). And we get along really well:)

The tender mercy in all of this is that the other ward is an old sector of mine, so I can help out a little more because I already know the ward, etc.

Talk about going out with a bang:) It is going to a be a great week though. We have English class where I have to say bye to all my students, then a ward activity Friday about the Book of Mormon. And Sunday is Fast and Testimony meeting, so I will get to bear my last testimony:) It is going to be sad for sure.

I have loved being a missionary in Chile, and I am sad to have to leave now because some really important things are happening in regards to growth of the Church here in Chile, but I know that God sent me here for the time I was here for a reason. There are people I have met and experiences I have had that have marked me and changed me. And now it is time to come home and put it all into practice.

I don't think I'll be writing again next Monday since I will be home on Tuesday, so rather than saying, till next week, I'll say


With love, for the last time, Hermana Bowns