March 24, 2014

Coming to Grips with Feng Shui

My chi has never been right.  My mom birthed me naturally, no drugs – but something happened that fateful day to ruin my chi. Perhaps the fluorescent hospital lights?  Had crystals not been invented in 1977?

When something is wrong with your chi, you won’t know.  Deep down inside, in your subconscious, you might.  But you can’t even realize how terrible your situation is unless someone points it out to you.

Thank goodness, I stumbled upon a book about Feng Shui in the library display window.

“Fung what?” said Jake, my husband.

“Feng schway,” I said.  “Our energy is stuck.”

“Stuck to what?” said Jake.

“And I might be really sick.”

“Really?” said Jake.

“Because the corner of that desk points straight at my ankle when I sleep,“ I said.  “I’m surprised I don’t have ankle cancer.”

“Well, not yet,” said Jake.

I set about curing all the troubles I never knew I had with classical feng shui cures – like covering furniture corners with toilet paper.

“Now can you please bring the ladder downstairs?  And some red electrical tape,” I said.

He gave me a blank look.  “I didn’t even know they made red electrical tape,” said Jake.

“How else would people put red tape around their plumbing to keep money from going down the drain? It’s like $12.99 from the hardware store,” I said.

And more troubling than the fact that we have a toilet without a mirrored seat in our Wealth area, we have a space jutting out of our Helpful People area.  What if we get extra “helpful” people, jutting into our lives?  What’s the cure for that?

“Garlic breath?” said Jake.

Jake agreed to move our 500-gallon emergency water tank to the Career area of our home – a section symbolized by water.  It didn’t hurt that our career area is a dark, empty, cement alcove under our front porch.  Who says feng shui can’t be win-win?

And the very next week, my boss assigned me an exciting new project.  I’m now the conference director for our campaign to eliminate public health concerns for children.  Like pointy furniture corners – that really needs to be addressed.  I wouldn’t want to risk the public health of our children with pointy furniture corners.

Thankfully, my sons sleep in the Widsom area of our home, so we don’t have to worry about them anymore.

After a lifetime of unknowingly creating non-existent problems with the wrong paint color, I’ve now reconciled my chi with the universe.  Not that I feel any different than I did before.  But it sure was a great way to avoid my real problems. 

February 7, 2014

Coming to Grips with Trials

This is an excerpt a friend wrote about an experience we shared together. 

While serving a full time mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, I was transferred to an area with Polly Oveson Scott, back then I called her Sister Oveson.  We were really having a great time.

Our area bordered the Indian Reservation, which was not located on the "Mesa". There was a beautiful cemetery in our new area and one of my favorite things to do was to ride our bikes through it every day. The downside to this area was that it had a VERY steep hill coming in and out of it. So, it was a workout!

I ran a lot on my mission with Sister Stott, so I wasn't in awful shape. But, as you may know, bike muscles and running muscles are very, very, very different. So different, in fact, I don't know if they even touch each other!  

Anyway, the first few days in this new area had me red faced and on one particularly hot day I had to walk my bike up the hill. Polly, on the other hand, was a mountain biker before her mission, so she didn't have a problem getting up this hill.

After weeks of practice, I was getting better and better and very proud of my accomplishment. Then, one day it happened . . . I beat Sister Oveson up the hill! I was giddy! She was confused. It must have played tricks on her mind because for a solid week after that she could barely keep up with me.

One day while servicing our bikes, Sister Oveson noticed something . . . something was wrong with her bike. She was riding it while the brakes were stuck ON!

Now, this is how adversity comes into play. Riding that bike with her brakes on made it hard to keep up with me. Just like when we go through life and we have challenges  - some days we find it harder than others to just keep up. But, I will tell you a secret, when she fixed that bike? Well, her legs were stronger than an ox and she FLEW past me. It made her so much stronger having gone through the struggle.

We got a great laugh out of it, but it's also been a lesson to me about trials - although they seem hard and some days we feel like we just can't go one. more. inch. We can. And, if we have a positive attitude we will not only become better people, more dependent on the Savior and His strength, but we will also be stronger. Stronger than we ever imagined possible!

- E.B.

January 29, 2014

Coming to Grips with LifeStar

I'll be on the panel at this event.  So excited to help spread the word:).

January 27, 2014

Coming to Grips with Gracie

Just met Gracie at ALT SLC.  Wow.  Has my mom been lying to me all these years?  Is this my twin, separated at birth?  Albeit, my more talented, much better looking, twin who doesn't look or sound anything like me?

How did I not know about Pretty Darn Funny before?  I can't believe I've be missing out on this until now!

January 6, 2014

Coming to Grips with Thank You Cards

Dear Mom and Dad,

Thank you for (yet another) wonderful Christmas.

I adore the luggage and think of Audrey Hepburn every time I look at it - which is too often.

Ford is now emotionally and physically attached to the stuffed wolf you gave him. It should have been labeled, "Toddler Chew Toy". It is disgusting - the amount of slobber deposited in just a short ten days. Ford goes to sleep gnawing on it. He wakes up gnawing on it. And he eats his breakfast gnawing on it.

As for Ove, the car carrier has been adopted into the Toy family. It was a smooth transition - with the exception of Lego Semi-Truck, a toy that avoids conflict at all cost, who is currently cowering under the couch. As for Car Carrier, Ove sometimes places his calculator on top of it lovingly at night. Ah, such a heart warming scene on these cold winter nights.

 As always, thanks for your love, support and help.

 Love you forever.


January 2, 2014

Coming to Grips with 4-Year-Old Plans

“Mom, I know how to keep Satan out of my brain,” said my four year old son, one evening while eating his bedtime snack.

I stopped doing the dishes and looked at him.

“When I have a bad picture in my brain, I just chop it out.”

“Cool,” I said.

He chopped the air with his little hand.  “Chop. Chop. Chop. Chop.”

“That’s how I do it.”

“Awesome,” I said.

“And I make good choices.  That chops him too. Chop. Chop.”

“And I don’t be mean to people.  And I don’t hurt people.  Chop.  I do those four things.  Chop!”

“Then, Satan won’t bother me!  And I’m FOUR, so it’s perfect! Four things!”  And he raised his pointer finger in the air and nodded quickly.

How did we get to this point, where my son was telling me his plan to combat Satan? 

This is my best guess: we talk openly and frequently about all sorts of topics from how pornography hurts your brain to Don’s collection (from Dinosaur Train). 

We include our son when we make plans – any kind of plan.

I guess that’s how we got to this point – a tender moment when my son explains his plan for ensuring he doesn’t think bad thoughts or do bad things.

Or maybe he’s just a mutant . . .

I should check to see if he has a belly button. 

December 6, 2013

Coming to Grips with My New Job

It's not everyday you stand in front of a giant group and talk about pornography.  Or share your most embarrassing secrets with 12.5 million people.

Wait, for me, it's my job.  And I love it.  I'm so grateful to be a part of such an important movement. Women for Decency will be rebranding with a new name and website soon, and I'm so happy to be part of something so meaningful.

Thanks to The First Lady for asking me to speak at her UpLift Families Conference.

Also, if you missed it, my husband and I were interviewed on The Mormon Channel.

Thanks for all your support!

November 13, 2013

Coming to Grips with The Voice

Is anyone else having trouble staying away from The Voice? 

I knew it was bad when two seasons ago, my three-year-old wanted hair like, “Terry McDermott”.

Pretty much every single time I combed his hair, he said, “Mom, comb it like Terry McDermott.”

And then, this happened . . .

At a stoplight, we pulled next to a man with long hair and a beard, and he said, “Mom, there’s Nicholas David. Does he live in Salt Lake?”

So now, it’s banned.  I watch it on the sly, while he’s at pre-school.  Because, trust me, I just can’t abide it when he says, “Mom, why can’t you grow a beard like . . . ?”

October 9, 2013

Coming to Grips with 10 Ways to Improve Your Dating Life

Are you single?  If so, here's the advice I wish someone would have given me.

Married?  Stop giving your single friends terrible advice.  Here are 10 Dating Tips that really work:

Dear Single Women Friends:

1.  You have not met your husband yet.  Let go of the past.

2.  You do not need to lose weight, have perfect make-up, or wear the latest fashions - but you must be willing to date yourself.  Imagine the male version of yourself – that's who you're going for.  If you wouldn't want to date your(male)self . . . consider making a change.

3.  Do not be friends with guys.  Pick a female friend to fill in as your companion until you find your husband.  If you want to go to a movie, ask her.  She'll pay for herself, which is an added bonus.

4.  Don’t compete with your friends for men. If a guy you're interested in asks your friend out, you have your answer: he doesn't like you.  Yeah! Isn't it better to know the truth!

5.  Create an imaginary boyfriend.  Just pretend he's away on business. If you have a boyfriend (even if he's imaginary), you'll feel better.

For example, my imaginary boyfriend was named Jack: a blonde Norwegian Chilean.  After his career with the US Navy Seals ended because he didn't want to work on Sunday, he settled on the simple life of ranching.  I met him when my best friend Beth's motorcycle broke down (I rode in the side car).  He took us in, and I fell in love with his gluten free baking and the fact that he hates basketball.  He loved my organization skills and my ability to quote movies. But alas, I had to go back to my teaching job, and we dated long distance. Jack never saw Jake (my real husband) coming.  He took it hard, but in the end it was best for both of us.

6.  Read He’s Just Not That Into You  Warning: there are a few swear words.  Just say'n.  Also, I do not condone pre-marital you-know-what. Please substitute the word kiss for the "s" word throughout this book. This book changed my life. So even with those caveats, I recommend it.

7.  If you're online dating, get professional pictures for your online profile: one close up of your face and one full body.  For the third picture, use a candid picture of you with friends – pick one where you're actually having fun (not just posed that way).  If you have no pictures like this, go out and create some fun moments with your friends.  Don't use selfies.

8.  Write 20 men a day using the Quick Method.  Only write men who look nerdy.  Nerdy guys make the best husbands.

9.  Avoid the Catfish – don't have an online relationship that never materializes into real life.  Invite them to call or meet as soon as you’re interested.  If he won't do it within three weeks, stop writing him.

10.  Don’t worry if you get unkind messages back from the Quick Method shotgun approach.  You’re looking for your husband, and there’s only one of him.  The unkind ones are clearly not your future husband, so they make it easy for you to find the man who is right for you.

There you go.  My gift to you.  By the way, Jack is still available if any of you would like to be set up on a blind date with him.