Trying to find exactly what I miss

Saturday, February 27, 2010

I'm currently reading Spencer W. Kimball's "Faith Precedes the Miracle." I enjoy studying the gospel through the prophets because I often find it is easier to understand. This book uses almost constant scriptural reference and although I have read the same scriptures before and do understand their intent I appreciate the insights of our past prophet.

In reading prophets teachings however, I sometimes feel my beliefs, the modern world, and their statements conflict. Occasionally, I struggle to understand and I'm not sure if it's my own stubborn, opinionated approach to life, or if there might be justice in my thinking.

Let me highlight my current hangup for the sake of receiving any insights those who stumble upon my blog might care to divulge.

It's from the chapter, John and Mary, Beginning Life Together. First conflict: p 128 discusses the error young women make in preparing for a career that they will not follow. He specifically mentions languages, mathematics and business. He continues to discuss the need for studies relating to homemaking and child-rearing. Although I agree that understanding children, and the ability to teach and cook will make motherhood (a role I do wish to someday achieve) much easier, I don't understand the logic behind criticizing these other degrees. We can't all major in Marriage and Family Relations! And what a sad world it would be if we did. I make the argument that though some mothers are amazing mothers because they tell great stories and cook and sew; are not other mothers amazing because they can instill in their young children a sense of entrepeneurship and the concepts necessary to go on and start successful businesses. Some mothers make homemade bread and some mothers buy their bread. Must we be so quick to judge one mother over the other. Is that not the great understanding of our Heavenly Father to allow all different women to be mothers, each with their different skills and talents to raise children with these varying talents? And what about those women who will not be blessed to have children? Should they also deny their talents in "languages and mathematics and business?" As a young women today, how is one to know that you will not be called upon to support yourself, and or a family? Heaven forbid, I were to get married and my husband pass away, I will wish I was a successful business woman with her MBA and the skills necessary to provide for my family with a job that only requires me to be gone minimal hours a week.

Another paragraph that got me, p 129 "You wouldn't want to work outside the home... broken homes resulting when women leave their posts at home. You will remain at home... and when John comes home tired, you will be fresh and pleasant." Ok, really. As you know, if you're actually my friend, I am a bit of a work-aholic. I love working. And although I would love the opportunity to stay home with my children, part of me thinks that I would still enjoy a few hours working when I'm a mom (paid or volunteer). AND, the whole bit about being fresh and pleasant when the hubby comes home tired sounds like a load of bull to me. Ok, I've tended children and I've worked 12 hour shifts waiting tables and we've all heard me complain about waiting but seriously, taking care of kids is SOOOO much more tiring. Kids require infinite patience and even more energy! I will try to look good and keep my house nice, so that my husband will want to come home... but to think that he'll be tired and I won't because I've "just been at home all day" is the biggest lie I've ever heard.

I don't want to be misunderstood as disagreeing with the basic principles of the church or saying that the prophets are wrong. I believe that males and females are inherently different with individual roles. I also believe that it is important for a mother to raise her children. I just struggle to fit these ideals into my life in the world today. Am I supposed to wait around sewing and cooking until I find a husband and have children? Should I not be so hard on myself for not working in my field and gaining work experience, because I wish to someday raise children? Is it valid to argue that perhaps the life we live is different than the life some of our prophets who preached these doctrines lived? I mean we face different challenges than even our parents twenty years ago, and our children yet will face new challenges. We live in a world that changes on a daily basis, and though gospel principles do not change, I believe that our approach to effectively living those principles might require us to adapt.

Many of those who read this blog are talented, college educated mothers whom I respect to the utmost, brilliant career women working on furthering their education, or students diligently studying their field of interest (shelli just finish stats!). What do you think? Have you read this book? What are your thoughts relating to the Church's views on women's roles?

To end on a less serious note, there was a passage that just made me happy. Allow me to share: "There has grown up a deplorable exploitation of young women in queen contests. Practically every school, industry, political subdivision, celebration, and class must have a queen. There are queens for every vegetable, fruit, farm product, until it is ludicrous." Anyhow, he continues for two pages criticizing beauty pageants which just makes me laugh. Oh Utah and your beauty pageants...

I think I could win a title ;)

Look at this photograph, everytime I do it makes me laugh

Thursday, February 25, 2010

I heard this line (yes, I do listen to Nickelback, and no I will not apologize) and had to show my embarassing photos.

Sometimes, I think it's funny to put the whole orange in your mouth at once.

This is me Preggers! (Or prepping to be Juno for halloween)

Can't forget we only get what we give

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

As previously devised, I'm breaking my info into seperate posts. Read further if you missed post 1 and 2 and 3.

Last Month in Review, Post 4: German Discoveries (as defined in a previous post, these discoveries are not necessarily German, though they may be, more accurately is that I discovered them whilst in Germany).

1. Belgian truffles are the best. I mean melt in your mouth, delicate blends of sweet and bitter that leave you wondering what hit you and aching for more. Never understood addiction? Try a truffle.

2. I don't get to eat many German foods since I live near a base, and I'm American (therefore I cook like an American), but I tried currywurst. It was alright, but I'd pick a döner over it any day.

3. German windows are sweet! You can turn the handle up to just vent the window open from the top (the bottom is still attached), or you can turn the handle down to completely open the window (the side is still attached). I suppose it's nothing special, but I like them. Although no window screens won't be so pleasant come mosquito season.

4. The Germans believe in steam mops... and now, so do I. Awesome! I used this one called the Maxx clean steam mop. I love it! I wish I could take it home with me. Yes, I am praising cleaning supplies on my blog, don't judge. What's that scripture verse... Cleanliness is next to Godliness. Ha ha ok I don't think that's a verse but whatever.

5. At German parades they give out cups of beer. Sorry kids, no candy... we prefer depressants over stimulants.

6. I really enjoy biking to get where I need to go. I especially enjoy it when the weather is nice. It is not so much fun to bike when it is snowing. The other night I was minding my own business, biking home from work and the blue lights start flashing. The polizei pull up beside me and start screaming at me in German. I meekly reply I'm sorry I don't speak German, just English. They keep yelling in German, and then finally "Dangerous! Dangerous!" I said sorry, they muttered stuff and then left. Well, I think I'm aware that it is "dangerous!", but I had to get home. Geez, they could have offered me a ride if it's soooo dangerous.

7. Speaking of snow. I'm tired of it. Worst winter in 30 years here in Ramstein, Germany. I wish it would stop. But then I remembered sno-creme. Did anyone else make this as a kid? I'd go out and collect a bunch of fresh snow (before it was tainted (yellow) by some animal, or walked on by some child (said with disgust... like who walks on snow ;)) Anyhow, then you add milk, sugar and vanilla to the snow and mix. I think that was all and it made this milk shake slush something that I used to think was so good. Funny memory to randomly come back, and I have an inkling that I'm the only kid weird enough to have done this? Confirm or deny?

8. While on facebook lately, there's always this ad to make "a love child" and combine your features with someone else's to see what your child would look like. The pictures are hilarious (see below) and it's so tempting. I wish you didn't have to pay for it.

Don't give up, you got a reason to live

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

As previously devised, I'm breaking my info into seperate posts. Read further if you missed post 1 and 2.

Last Month in Review, Post 3: The Restaurant Life

Since I know you're all dying to know all about waiting tables in germany (and so Cary doesn't have to suffer through my endless drabble on this topic) I bring to you the difference between Mac Grill stateside, and the MacGreasy in Germany!

Here's the break down:

Gorgeous Restaurant! And for some reason that just makes it more fun to work in. However, it also means that I have to sweep those beautiful wood floors, which is not so fun.

I get paid hourly! Yeah, yeah, i got paid hourly in the states, but $2.13 an hour doesn't count as pay when it's all taken in taxes and every check is void. Here it's actually a sizeable sum.

Hourly pay affects Tips :( People think that because it is europe and because we get a pay, they only need to tip 10% or not tip at all. I'm sorry, are you receiving the same crappy service you get in German restaurants? Do I act inconvenienced by your visit to my restaurant? Do you get anything other than your every whim satisfied whilst sitting in my section? That's right. You get American service, from Carla (meaning even better than necessary service). You always have a full drink (refills free of charge), your food is hot, or cold, or whichever modified way you require it, you get a smile, regular visits, and I even clean up after your little brat that you let empty every single sugar packet! So TIP like an american... Capiche?

Sorry about the rant, but yeah lots of peeps tip 10%, which sucks... however, thanks to the servicemen of my country, wink wink, I average good tips! Gotta love those tables of single guys!

It is so much busier than in the states. Due to a lack of options,(chili's, a crappy burger place, or the Mac-a-tuna) we are regularly on a wait. I also usually have a 5 table section (9 tables last saturday, yikes) and I usually have at least $800 in sales... which when you figure somewhere between ten to twenty percent tips, it works out pretty well.

The cooks here suck. Nothing against my German friends in general, but most of the cooks are German and there's a very different work ethic. They generally do not understand terms such as hurry, rush, on the fly, today, and the like. They figure people will get the food when they feel like making it. However, 40 minutes to make a fettucine alfredo doesn't exactly fit into the American service I described before and this sometimes creates a lot of stress where I'm concerned.

Also on the slow end are the bussers. Oh wait, yes, that's correct we have bussers. And yes I do bus all my own tables. The bussers here are worthless, but I still owe them 3% of my sales at the end of the night. Back home we as servers choose how much we tip out the bussers. This system can hurt the bussers because there are stingy servers; yet, mandating tip out bites because there's no incentive for the bussers to do anything, and it can be anywhere from 20 to 35% of your tips, which bites.

The fellow servers here are definitely different. The majority smoke, got married before age 20, have several children, and look about 18. There's a server who works here with his fiance and girlfriend. The servers cuss in, at, and around tables, and then hit up the strip clubs and brothels after work or drink beer until 6 in the morning. I suppose this isn't too different than most restaurants, but it's interesting to come back to this setting after serving in Provo, Utah for so long. Don't get me wrong, I still work with some great people... just different.

I don't have a car. This kinda sucks. I bike occasionally, but people are also really nice about giving rides to and from work. Everybody carpools here and doesn't seem to make a big deal out of it.

Overall, it's just a job. I enjoy it because I get to do what I'm good at, I stay busy, and I generally make as much money as I want to put effort into it. I don't think I'm necessarily making life long friends, but it's not exactly the bonding scene that Provo Macshack is either. It'll do for now, but I'm looking to get out of the restaurant industry when I get back.... if you know of any positions, ideas, suggestions... let me know!

Don't let go, you got the music in you

As previously devised, I'm breaking my info into seperate posts. Read further if you missed post 1.

Last Month in Review, Post 2: Metz, France

This was a short trip, but a fun first taste of France.

-Capri's worn with stockings to brave the winter cold. Awesome fashion statement. Really. C'mon, you don't want to try it? For heaven's sake, why not?

-Like luxembourg, I appreciate that I can gather bits and pieces with my meager french from all those years in high school.

-We ate at Le Monte Cristo. The waiter didn't speak a lick of english, which actually proved to be rather difficult and our first complete lack of verbal communication in Europe (us Americans always expect to run into english speakers... perhaps because we usually do). However, the waiter was really nice and we employed excellent universal sign language to acquire a delicious meal.

-Cora: the French Wal-Mart. This store is like the highlight for Americans all over Europe. Germans don't believe in convenience and only taking one trip once a week to obtain all your shopping needs. The funniest part to me, is that at least half of the brands are American. (And we wonder why they don't like us... it's really just brand envy)

-Le Patisserie and the chocolate shops are everything you ever imagined. Delicious rows of delectable little morsels waiting to taunt your tastebuds for only 3 euros a bite. Yeah, that's right 3 euros (5 bucks) a bite. So worth it.

We've got the dreamer's disease

Monday, February 22, 2010

Ok, due to a three week absence from blogging I'm going to break my post into 4 segments to make it more digestable and favorable to your palate, a.k.a. nobody reads a post that's too long.

Last Month in Review, Post 1: London

(I'll keep this like the Atlanta review... top ten and tidbits)

1. Broadway Shows! I got to see Les Miserable and The Lion King. Both were amazing! I enjoyed Les Mis more for the music, but The Lion King's set design was breathtaking.

2. Crossiants- the breakfast of choice in London. Yeah, they are good. Especially the chocolate ones. However, I'm not sure I can convert to the crossiant a day diet.

3. My first hostel experience. This was a great experience. The hostel we stayed at was really nice. It's like a dorm room with two bunk beds, lockers for 4 and a small (very small) bathroom. It's clean and just has basic sheets. So you bring your own towel and toiletries. It reminded me a lot of EFY/Youth conference where we stayed in dorms. It would have been perfect; however, I unfortunately was sick my second day in London, and flu like symptoms need to be nursed with a fluffy comforter and basic cable. **Note to self: when getting sick, hostel is one of the least favorable locations**

4. The Underground is easy and the most affordable travel option in London. Also they advertise these magical gnome gummies (two of my loves smooshed into one!), alas I never found these magical gummies though.

5. Portobello Road. (Famously depicted in the movie Notting hill) A market that takes up several miles on the street, there are many different shops as well as street vendors. They sell everything from antiques, jewelry, shoes, food, bikes, paintings, clothing, souvenirs... you name it, they probably sell it.

6. Castle tours are more enjoyable than the actual castle. Or perhaps I am just a sucker for the Beefeater's cliche jokes...

7. London has lots of free museums, which when you're spending as much as you are on everything else, is a pleasant bonus. I loved the Natural History Museum! Definitely worth your time if you're headed to London.

8. Traveling in cold, winter months is a bit of a downer. It's not so bad if you stay well bundled... however, this doesn't make for good pictures. On the bright side, there's a lot less tourists, some activities are cheaper, and you don't have to worry about the sunburn...

9. Overall, London is a more expensive place to visit (think NYC) but it's a lot of fun, and you can definitely adapt the trip to meet your budget. It was fun to have a balance of the regular tourist trap sites as well as other attractions. And Broadway is a must... really what better way to spend an evening?

... Oh are you waiting for No. 10? Right, I suppose I said this was a top ten list... eh, how about just ending with some fav. pictures?

If I were a boy... I think I could understand

Sunday, February 21, 2010

I apologize for my lack of blogging, especially in light of my promises to blog on a regular basis upon moving to Europe... as I have new discoveries worth mentioning daily. However, I find that between e-mailing, facebooking, g-chatting, skyping, and generally explaining things on a regular basis I don't always posess the desire to "journal" my adventures on the blog. However, in an attempt to get me going on documenting the last month, let me just share my most recent discovery... for my outdoor/adventure female readers.

I present to you....

Yes, the freshette. "If you are an active outdoor woman you know what a hassle it can be trying to urinate when restrooms are unsanitary or unavailable. The alternative of having to get halfway undressed can result in exposure to the elements and embarrassment. This is where the Sports & Travel Freshette plays a vital role, Allowing you to urinate while standing, requiring minimal or no undressing!"

For the low price of $23.95, you can relieve yourself standing up!

As much as I find this amusing and somewhat funny, I can't help but think I would have paid 24 bucks to have this while hiking Timp.

a) Brilliant or just weird?
b) Would you use this? In what circumstances?
c) Technicalities... are these devices ever as easy to use as they seem?