Monday, February 23, 2009

Stretchy Pants


“Never lower our dress standards for any occasion.  Doing so sends the message that you are using your body to get attention and approval and that modesty is important only when it is convenient.”  (For the Strength of Youth pamphlet)

It is a good idea to ask ourselves what our purpose is in wearing the clothes we do.  There is a fine line between wanting to look our best and wanting to show off our best.   You can look good without completely exposing yourself.  With that in mind, here are a few special occasions in which one might be tempted to lower standards.  

Formal Wear:

It can be very difficult to maintain standards of modesty since not too many elegant dresses come with sleeves and high necks!  This was always a challenge in high school, even in Utah.  Most girls sought out nice jackets to cover bare shoulders or had alterations done.  (Or as Aunt Joyce mentioned in her comment on Part 1, some mothers actually made the dress...a talent I'm afraid I don't have).  

Now I always understood that a sleeveless dress was immodest and never questioned it; thus I’ve been a bit surprised to find out that it’s not as common an idea among Mormon’s as I had assumed.  In the current “For the Strength of Youth” pamphlet it is quite clear on this issue however: “Young women should wear clothing that covers the shoulder and avoid clothing that is low-cut in the front or the back or revealing in any other manner.”  Let’s be realistic ladies.  What guy falls in love with a girl’s shoulders anyway? 


Other occasions, like Halloween, require costumes.  Even at these times it is important to remember to be modest and keep the same standards as every other day.  Even when pretending to be someone or something else, you are still the one behind the mask.

Recreational Activities:

Swimming is an occasion that could lots of debate.  There are definitely exceptions to many of the rules when it comes to swim suits, but deciding which rules is the tricky part.  Unfortunately, there is not detailed counsel in the pamphlet on this specific issue. I mean, who would really feel comfortable in a swim suit in front of the Lord anyway??

There are plenty of controversial guidelines when it comes to other sports and hobbies.  Our track and cross country uniforms did not cover the sleeves.  Are they immodest?  Runners’ shorts are often very short. Dance outfits are very often risqué for children of all ages.  Where is the line when it comes to improving performance or required team attire?  What do you think?

My opinions will come after yours.  But for now, keep in mind that we must be completely honest with ourselves and others when we rationalize the tweaking of modesty guidelines.  Is there a real purpose or are we just wearing stretchy pants in our room for fun?

Upcoming: My own opinion on these questions and what applies to babies.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Your Epidermis is Showing!

Modesty Part 1:

I remember a high school dance where a guy friend of mine took a nonmember friend. She wore a beautiful dress, except that it was sleeveless and low cut in the back. That meant there was a lot of visible bare skin. When we were in line for the group picture, her back was to me and the guy looked at me with a slightly uncomfortable/goofy/questioning look as he tried to figure out where to put his hand for the picture. I just laughed as I recognized how awkward it was for him in not wanting to touch her skin, but not really having a choice.  I was reminded in that moment of the importance of modest clothing for the sake of others as well as for myself.

Modesty has always been a very important issue to me, almost a preoccupation. I have always been taught and tried to practice to the best of my ability the principles of modesty. I remember discussing in Young Woman's class a story about a girl who had to completely change her whole wardrobe after she went through the temple. I made a personal goal that I wouldn't have to change my wardrobe at all when it came my time.

“Someday you will receive your endowment in the temple.  Your dress and behavior should help you prepare for that sacred time.”  (For the Strength of Youth pamphlet)

As strict as I thought I was growing up, I discovered that there is always room for improvement.  At Ricks College, Sis. Bednar gave an awesome talk to all the girls on campus that very directly and frankly discussed modesty issues. After hearing her fireside, I scrutinized myself even more carefully in the mirror each day to make sure all skin from all angles and movements was hidden.  I highly recommend her talk to every female. (Click here to read Reverencing Womanhood).

The "For Strength of Youth" pamphlet gives a clear outline of what constitutes immodesty: “Immodest clothing includes short shorts and skirts, tight clothing, shirts that do not cover the stomach, and other revealing attire.”  Perhaps the greatest modesty issue, particularly among recommend holders, is tight clothing.  Modesty isn’t just referring to the amount of skin exposed.  Clothing, shirts and pants alike, can be revealing without showing any epidermis.

Stay tuned for more thoughts on modesty including controversial issues of rule exceptions and questions of what applies to small children.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

On the Move

It's official...Luke's mobile!!
(footage coming soon)

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Annie's Home Remedies

Problem:  She has slight eczema in the bend of her elbow
Solution: Vanilla Yogurt (strongly resembles Hydrocortisone cream)

What was probably going through her brain:

My arm really hurts!  I'll tell mami again.  "Owie here."  My arm REALLY hurts!  "Owie here, Mami!"  Hey, that yogurt Mami just gave me looks a lot like the cream she puts on my owie.  A whole dish of it!  Thanks Mami.  Yep.  Works great!  Why is Mami laughing at me?  "Owie here."

(Sorry, no pictures.  Lee didn't want me to reinforce the fact that she was rubbing her vanilla yogurt on her "owie."  Didn't seem to matter because she has since used applesauce and cookie dough!  Hey, whatever long as she doesn't start eating the Hydrocortisone cream ...)
Who, me?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

My Little Trolls

I've always wanted to see these two pictures side-by-side because one reminded me of the other and I've thought they each looked like a troll. Annalee more so because of her lovely mohawk that haunted most of her baby-hood. Luckily her hair has since grown and she no longer sports the punk look.

Here are some more recent pictures of the two and you can see that they really are cute despite the previously pictured non-photogenic moment they each have had.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Luke Update: 6 Months

Weight: 19 lbs 14 oz  (97%)

Height: 26 1/2 in (50-75%)

Head: 43 (25-50%)

I realize this is a little late since he's been 6 months for a little over a week...can you believe it's already been 6 months!!  Crazy!  And he's huge!  Well, except for his head apparently, though his chubby cheeks make up for the small circumference of his skull!  He can get all over the floor now simply by rolling, turning in circles, and pushing himself backwards.  He still doesn't go anywhere too quickly, but enjoys finding new things to catch his attention, playing for a bit, then moving on.  


Luke started off pretty early sleeping through the night and he rarely cried.  Because of that, I over-reacted to his crying and awakenings and I think I spoiled him too much so that he started not doing too well at night.  I was always afraid he would wake up his sister if I let him cry for too long.  I have since found out that Annie is an incredibly deep sleeper and will not be easily disturbed during the night (though naptimes are a different story).  Anyway, so after a series of rough nights in a row, the last one being the worst of them all, Lee and I unconsciously slept through his crying the next night...well most of it.  We'd hear it and be so tired we'd both fall back asleep!  I guess that taught him  (and us) that he was capable of going back to sleep on his own!  We also decided it was time to start solids to see if that would help (and it has) so he wouldn't need a feeding in the middle of the night and I finally found the night light and replenished the light bulb so if we wakes up he recognizes his surroundings (pink sheets and all!) and feels safe.  

(Ok, so I finally did buy him some blue crib sheets but there was another set I liked better that I wasn't sure would match the nursery and so I might take back the ones I got in order to get the other ones and so in my indecision, my poor 6 month-old baby is still sleeping on pink sheets!)

As you can see from the pictures, we had a photo-shoot the other day and got some super cute pictures of him.  Take note of the classic open-mouth Luke smile.  That means he's super excited.  Isn't he adorable?