anchored in light

A lifestyle blog about finding light in every avenue of life

Monday, October 31, 2016

Monday Moments

Hey, everyone! Happy Halloween! How has your week been? I'm not going to lie, my week has been pretty great. 
Although I really need to get better at taking pictures. 

Yesterday the Captain and I went to Target and got me a new notebook for NaNoWriMo. I had originally planned on using an old notebook that I had lying around, but then I realized I'd already written in that one. We all know that you can't start a new novel in an old notebook (am I right?). Plus, I'll take any excuse to feed my notebook obsession.
This is one of those years where I'm really not sure what I'm going to end up writing about. I have a couple different ideas but I'm not sure which one that I'll stick with. 
Anyone else doing NaNoWriMo this year?

I tried the Blue Iguana for the first time as well! It was pretty good. No, I did not eat the beans (beans are not my favorite). We almost NEVER get dessert, so it was nice to try out the Caramel Flan (and I don't actually approve of spelling carmel that way, but that's the way that they spelled it). It was more chocolatey than carmely, but hey, still good!

This was actually on Friday. We went on a sort of double date to one of the Captain's friends' house. Her husband made these delicious burgers (maybe one of the best burgers that I have ever had in my life) and this hot chocolate. This hot chocolate was basically like drinking liquid chocolate. It was what I imagine this Pinterest recipe to taste like. 

And lastly,

I don't know if you've noticed all my currently reading books have been by this author. I could rant a bit, so I will... 
I love how all her characters have random quirks that feel real, yet also somehow relate to the story.  I also love that in the first book I read by her a main point of the plot was one of Madeleine L'Engle's books (she is my favorite author of all time).
I tweeted at her because I once read a Pep talk for NaNo by Madeleine L'Engle saying that she wrote all of her books out longhand. Which is actually how I started writing my first novel. So I've thought about writing out a novel longhand, because I write differently longhand than on the computer. Then, finding another author that I've come to love so much, I wanted to see if she wrote out longhand as well. And she actually answered me back! I am so amazed. 
Needless to say, I will be attempting to write out my novel longhand this month.
Wish me luck!

Currently Reading:

By Rebecca Stead

Some to-dos and goals for the week:

-Actually make those Brazilian cheese rolls
-Choose a plot before November 1
-Plan an amazing Anniversary date
-Be ahead on word count on Friday Night
-Dress up for Halloween

Something to take away:

"You miss 100% of the shots you don't take"
-Wayne Gretzky

Thanks for reading! I hope that you've had a great week! If you're doing NaNo let me know and we can be buddies!

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Thursday, October 27, 2016

Gender Equality in the LDS Church

Recently a blog post went viral in my small corner of the internet (aka, my Facebook feed) where someone had gender-bended all the roles in my church in an effort to prove that we as women are the lesser members of the church.

I'm not going to link back to the post for a couple of reasons, but suffice it to say that I felt it was unfair and would cause people to question things that they may not currently have a problem with. I also felt as well that it crossed a line of what should and should not be said about what goes on inside the temple.

I'm not saying the question of whether or not women have a legitimate role in our church isn't a valid issue, it is TOTALLY a valid issue. Honestly, it isn't one that I thought much about until Kate Kelly and the movement for women to wear pants to church (by the way, it doesn't say anywhere that you have to wear a skirt to church... moving on). Recently, though, it seems to have come up a little bit more.

I'd like to put my thoughts out for consideration.

I'd be lying if I said that the post didn't bother me, that I didn't consider it and wonder if maybe they were right. Was I really an equal member of my church?

Then I thought about what the rest of the world defines as success. A good job. A nice home. Public recognition.

To be fair, a woman's role in this church doesn't really include many (if any) of these things. Where a man's role in this church is to be out in the world; working, running the church, holding the priesthood... a woman's role is something else entirely. We are the nurturers. The ones who stay home with the children (in ideal scenarios, though these days a lot of us are working just like our male counterparts), who work in the home, but are seen as having to bow to our husband's will and priesthood.

However, if you look at a woman's role in our church by the standards of the things that really matter, and I think that most of us can agree that people are more important than things, relationships are more important than recognition.

In this case, I think you could argue that men really get the raw end of the deal.

As children, we have in inborn connection with our mothers. They carry us, they deliver us, and in most cases, they're the ones that we're crying for in the middle of the night. They are prominent in our memories. They way that they comforted us when we were hurt or sick. The way they just seemed to know what we needed, when we needed it. They fed us. It's a thankless job, but one that has a profound impact on us and our lives. They play a huge role in who we become.

Families are the building blocks of society, of civilizations, and our mothers are the ones who teach us from the cradle. They are the ones who truly shape our civilization and our society.

However, both roles are needed, they balance each other and work synergistically. Women aren't completely confined to our homes and men play their own role in the home. Men help raise their children and women have callings in the church and jobs out in the world. We're partners, not one above the other.

I have never felt that I was less important to my God than my husband was, or my brother was, or my father was.

True, there are not many stories of women in the scriptures, but having witnessed many amazing women in my short time on earth, I have no doubt that they were there. And just because they didn't end up in the scriptures, it doesn't mean that they didn't have a significant impact. It just means that a man was keeping the records.

As for the point made about our Heavenly Mother, that there isn't much said about her. I have pondered this as well. I've heard a few explanations, that we don't hear about her to protect her. That could be true. I have no doubt that if the way our God loves his wife is anything like the way my husband loves me, then he would do a lot to protect her. But, I think that there could be another explanation as well. This is my own personal theory and I'm not trying to suggest in any way that this is church doctrine. But, thinking about how our families are here, there's a good chance that they are similar there.

Is it really that far fetched to believe that our Heavenly Mother carried and nurtured us? That she raised us from a Heavenly cradle? That the same kind of intrinsic connection we have with our mothers here is the same kind of connection we had with her there? What better way to learn about and connect with our Heavenly Father than to send us here and give us some one on one time? Perhaps one of the goals of our life here is not only to grow but to grow closer to our Heavenly Father by relying on him instead of our Heavenly Mother. Our weekend away with Dad if you will.

I can't imagine, nor do I believe that my Heavenly Father would love his wife any less than my husband loves me. Watching the leaders of my church and how tenderly they love and honor their wives, I can't imagine Him loving or honoring his wife any less.

If you want to measure by standards of prestige, of public recognition, or success outside the home, then yes, you could easily argue that women are lesser, subjugated.

But if you really believe that the family is the most important thing in our lives, the relationships are the most important, and I don't think you could argue well that we are NOT a family-centered church, then a woman has a huge and vital role in the church. A huge and vital role in this world.

I'm sure that this doesn't fix everything. You probably still have some questions, and hey, so do I. So does my husband. But I know that I am loved by my Heavenly Father. I know a lot more than I have questions about. They call it faith for a reason. Someday I'll have those answers, but until then I'm going to trust in what I know and have faith for the rest.
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Monday, October 24, 2016

Monday Moments

Happy Monday! How has your week been? This last weekend was my fall break and I guess I did some fall things... a little ha ha. 

Raking leaves is seriously one of my favorite fall traditions. My family used to rake leaves for my grandmother every year, and somehow it just doesn't feel like it has been fall until I've raked some leave.

So, on Thursday I went to my sister's house to do Art times again. I'd been there a few hours when there was a knock at the door. My sister went to get it and The Captain and my little sister were on the other side of the door!
I was surprised that they were there, but the surprise didn't end there! My husband had coordinated with my sisters to surprise me with a Halloween Costume! The Captain asked me a few weeks ago what I would want to be for Halloween if money was no object and I told him that I would be Captain America. Then he put the wheels in motion. My little sister made me a shirt and made me a Captain America tutu and my older sister made me a Captain America shield. I felt so lucky that I have such an amazing family that would do so much for me. :)
Don't worry, there will be pictures coming.

My best friend hosted a pumpkin carving party on Saturday which was a lot of fun. Even if I didn't actually carve any pumpkins. I don't like carving pumpkins, but the hot apple cider had me feeling like fall had really hit.

Currently Reading:

Goodbye Stranger
By Rebecca Stead

To- Dos and Goals:

  • Make the Captain some Brazilian Cheese Rolls
  • Run 3 more times before the end of the month
  • Do a Halloween Photo Shoot
  • Brainstorm for NaNoWriMo
  • Plan some fun activity day activities
  • Start Journaling more regularly
  • Schedule our 1-year anniversary photo shoot
  • Decide what we're going to do to celebrate our Anniversary ;)
  • Make some Fall treats

Something to take away:

"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams"
-Eleanor Roosevelt

Have a great week! I'll try to get a post up on Thursday.

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Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Monday Moments

Hey Everyone! Yesterday was crazy so I didn't get this out in time! The Captain didn't feel well so I ended up going straight from work to pick him up! Then we had dinner with his Grandad last night so... yeah.

Quick story time:
So we went to Goodwood for dinner last night. I had only been there once, I'm pretty sure I got ribs last time. This time I was deciding between chicken crispers (yeah, they're basically chicken tenders) and the Strawberry Apple Pecan Spinach salad (it's a really long name), I mentioned this and Grandad asked, "No BBQ?"
So I decided I should get something barbeque instead.
So I got ribs.
I knew that I was going to be teased for trying to eat ribs with a fork and knife. It's not that I was trying to be dainty or anything, I just don't like getting dirty. And maybe that's girly, I don't know. 
Anyway, he then told me that I needed to eat it with just my hands and teeth.
I conceded.
Apparently I didn't clean my bones good enough.
Ha ha so next time I think I'll just stay away from the BBQ.

My sister and I did art together for a few hours last week. I loved it :) Our styles are totally different, but I kind of liked that too. 

The Captain is allergic to pretty much anything fuzzy, so he developed a love of reptiles, so on Saturday we went to the Reptile Expo. It was fun, and I'll admit, I even ooh and ahh and coo at the snakes now. Even if I don't want one. A chameleon on the other hand... We could be like Tangled in real life!

Currently Reading:

By Kenneth Oppel

(so far so good!)

To Do:

-Get Visiting teaching done!
-Start plotting my NaNoWriMo novel
-Plan some more art to do with my sister
-Make a fall treat
-Get the Captain ready for his Half Marathon
-Plan some fun things for fall break

Something to Take Away:

"You are always responsible for how you act, no matter how you feel. Remember that."
-Unknown (to me)

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Thursday, October 13, 2016

Why I Changed My Name

Not too long ago, someone that I know posted on Facebook about changing her name. She "wasn't getting married" (she was totally about to get engaged), but wanted to know what people thought about women changing their names. Whether they did or didn't and why. 
I had just gotten married and just changed my own name. I thought about the reasons why I did it. Did I do it because I had to? My husband had told me on more than one occasion that he didn't expect me to change my name to his, that he might even be willing to change his name to mine. Was it culturally forced on me? 

I thought about these questions and really, for the most part, put the topic aside. I didn't comment on the post and just let it ruminate a bit in my mind.

Recently she posted again about how she would not be changing her name when she got married and so I thought about it a little more. She said that she thought it was sad that women so quickly abandon the name that they have carried for 20+ years for someone else's name. While I respect her decision to change her name, and I understand where that comment comes from, I wholeheartedly disagree with the sentiment. 

My whole life I was raised to believe in families, that while I may have a career, and I may never even get married, a family was the most important thing that I could do in my life.
I agreed, and I disagreed. 

I wanted that fairytale ending. The husband, the house, the children. However, this wasn't all that I wanted. I wanted to be a scientist, I wanted to be a writer. I wanted to be anything but JUST a housewife. I hadn't learned to value the term the way that it ought to be valued. 
I decided pretty early on that I didn't want to get married straight out of high school. I wanted to defy that stereotype. I wanted to get married at 23. I'd already have my degree, I'd have some life under my belt, and maybe even the beginnings of a career. But I'd be too young to really be considered an old maid, even by Mormon culture standards. 

So when I hit 25 and finally got engaged, feeling very much the old maid, but still wanting to defy expectations, I seriously considered keeping my name. It was a part of who I was. I was proud of it. I'd treasured that name for years, and I'd known for quite awhile that the family last name was dying out unless my brother had the 12 sons I'd wished on him (2 down, 10 to go!). When the Captain said that I could keep my last name, I said, of course I would take his last name, but I still harbored a little dissent in my mind. Should I really leave my last name behind when I got married?

I thought a lot about what we do to identify ourselves, how we label ourselves in so many different ways to define us and who we are. I'm a runner. I'm a writer. A blogger. A dabbler. A name defines us in a way that we don't really get to choose. It has meant extra punishment for me when teachers realized that I was related to someone they didn't like. It has meant community when I've gone to the Scottish festival, even with people I'd never met before. But the real truth is that I didn't leave any of that behind when I changed my name. I simply added a new layer to the ways that I define myself. I am both now. 

Ultimately I decided to take his last name. For many reasons. It wasn't that it was expected. It wasn't that I felt that my husband would disapprove if I didn't, or that anyone would disapprove if I didn't.

I was proud to be his. I was proud to bear his name. It was a solid definer of how my life was different. I almost wonder if it's odd for boys to keep their last name, because, for me, the changing of my name was a new start. A line of before and after. With one "Yes" over an altar, I had changed the names of my immediate family from siblings and parents to just the Captain. Stoll was the beginning of my fairy tale. Like adding Princess to the beginning of my name. I was moving into the castle and through thick and thin, he would be my partner. 
FOR ME, it was an important step. It was an exciting step. I still love to hear the little kids mangle it and the people who knew me before stumble over it. To me, it's a happy reminder of who I belong to, and who belongs to me. 

Like wedding rings, I love that our name binds us together. No, I don't think that having the same name makes us any more or less committed to each other. Deciding to keep your maiden name after you're married is just as valid a choice as changing it, just like deciding that your life dream is to be a housewife is just as valid as deciding you want to be a lawyer, or that you want to be both. What's right for me, isn't always right for you. But let me assure you that I did not cast off my maiden name without any thought, that I did it for my husband, or for the benefit of anyone else. I changed my name, and I changed it for me. For how it makes me happy. 
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Monday, October 10, 2016

Monday Moments

How was your week? Mine was pretty good. I'm starting to adjust to my work schedule a little better so that the weeks don't seem quite so long :) I'm still trying to love every day and not just the weekends, but I'm not going to lie to you. Every single one of the following photos was taken on Saturday.

I must have taken 12 photos of this peak. I have never wished so hard for a big fancy camera so that I could show you just how beautiful those fall colors were against the snow-capped peak of the mountain. The Captain was kind and didn't say anything no matter how many times I told him, "Just one more picture" He stopped and let me take the same picture over and over and even carried my camera for me. 

We went to a wedding and didn't have a card, so I quickly made this. That counts as a card right?

This sunset was so gorgeous as we drove to the reception! I took a lot of pictures of this, too. Every time I feel like people are going to judge me for taking pictures of wildflowers (for the hundredth time) or sunsets (for the hundredth time... that day) or my food at restaurants I'm always amazed by how they really seem cool with it. Especially the Captain. He has to deal with it the most, but either he's a really good actor or he really doesn't mind. I can't say how much I appreciate that.

At the reception! They had this beautiful hand-lettered sign. I must say that it was all gorgeous. They held it in a greenhouse and I highly approved. It was a great night. After it was over we came home and watched An Affair to Remember. I had seen it before, but the Captain hadn't and I think he really liked it!

Currently Reading:

Everything I Never Told You
By Celeste Ng

I actually just finished this. It totally hooked me. But I will warn you that there is the occasional swear word and you're going to have to skip a few scenes.


-Write more
-Spend less time on Social Media
-Plan a great date with the Captain
-Practice Handlettering daily
-Try a new recipe
-Couple Scripture Study every single day

Something to take away:

"You must master a new way to think before you can master a new way to be."
-Marianne Williamson

I hope you all have a great week! I'd love to hear about it :)
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Monday, October 3, 2016

Monday Moments

 Hey there! Happy Monday! I had a great week last week. All the weeks lately have seemed pretty long, full of chores and things that need to be done, but this last week seemed a little bit more managable. 

Last Monday I decided to do more than my traditional entree only for dinner and actually made three separate things. I told the Captain to enjoy it, but not to expect that it would happen all the time now. I was still pretty proud of the fact that I got everything made though.

My very last sheet of watercolor paper. I was completely stumped on what to do and so I kind of just messed around. Now I have to decide how much I really need new watercolor paper. I got kind of spoiled having it. I'm not sure I can go back to messing around on regular paper now.

Because we were in the mountains for the broadcast of Women's Conference, the Captain and I watched it for Family Home Evening. I loved the call to "Rise Up in Faith". 

View from the parking lot of the Oqquirh Mountain Temple. (Bet you never would have guessed!)

 The Blonde Joke and I went out to lunch on Friday at Gardner Village. This Lemon Artichoke pasta was SO good. Plus, it was great to see them both again.

 Oh, and there was this tiny alpaca there that just about stole my heart!

Last year before General Conference in October, the Captain and I got up early and headed to the mountains to see the leaves and the Provo River Falls. It's now kind of a tradition that I hope we can keep up for years to come. The sunrise is always spectacular and the leaves seem like something out of a fall magazine. Absolutely beautiful. This time we were even privileged to see a rainbow over one of the mountains. I tried to stop and take a picture, but by the time we stopped the rainbow was gone. Even still, it was a sight that I won't soon forget.

Finally, as you know from my last post. I've been trying to focus on being more grateful lately. I've fallen into the trap of comparison too often and feeling sorry for myself. Thinking more of what I have done than remembering all that has been done for me. So this quote from the first talk of Conference really hit me. What will I give in return for the many things that I have been given? When I stop to think about it, I've been given so much more than I deserve. More than I really could have hoped for in so many ways. I love that this quote reminds me to remember and to look forward.

Currently Reading:

When You Reach Me By Rebecca Stead

I actually just finished this and really loved it. Now I'm just looking for my next book to read!

Goals for this week:
-Run 3 times
-Get back into core work daily
-Record memories in my journal daily
-Think more of others
-Manage my time more wisely by avoiding social media
-Practice more basic handlettering skills
-Plan a date for the Captain and I

Something to take away:

"Never stop doing your best just because someone doesn't give you credit"

Thank you for reading! I hope you have a great week! Tell me all about it in the comments!

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