Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Why I won't be attending the peaceful protest before Priesthood Session this Saturday

I went to bed just before midnight and was thinking about this topic and things I have read today and then my mind went crazy with a whole bunch of thoughts coming together in this great, cohesive post. So I got back up out of bed, came back out to the computer and began to type up my thoughts, thinking it would only take a half hour to type them all out. But it seemed that the more I typed out those initial thoughts, the more ideas kept flooding to my mind. I thought, "well this good, the kids aren't awake so I should be able to get it all out uninterrupted.

And then my 3 year old woke up and came out to sit on my lap for an hour.

And then my almost 3 month old woke up and needed her diaper changed and nursed back to sleep (along with a teething tablet - I think she's teething based on the amount of drool she has been producing and the fact she had to be held by either myself or my husband tonight when he returned home from work until we realized she was teething and gave her a tablet)

4 hours later.....  my 5 page essay is done!!!

I should write a book or something.

Oh yeah, I am.

Anyway, here is my essay on LDS Covenants.

Creative Commons License
LDS Covenants by Yvonne Russell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at https://docs.google.com/document/d/1lBDvl3dabj1OOZTtSR2z2yo1wcIDtRq1MnxVDmQvwss/pu.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

6 weeks post partum

We welcomed our third child into our home this summer. She is such a sweet little girl! I am still trying to figure out what her "Tips" alias will be so for now she is just baby girl. Tips Jr. And Miss Tips just adore her!!!!

I have received so many compliments and/or comments in the past 6 weeks since I first ventured out of our home following the home birth of baby girl.Quite often I get the surprised comments, "You look so good!" or "You look really good." etc. I know that the comments are sincere, but at what point did it become common for mothers to look "not good" following birth? Maybe my skin coloring looks better because I am wearing the correct colors for my type and that is it. Or maybe it's because I look so thin. Whatever it is, I hope to help avoid any comparing others may do by sharing this.

I used to listen to what the world told me I should think about myself and my body for most of my life. After the births of Tips Jr and Miss Tips, I was ashamed of my body. It was NOT the pristine body I had when I returned home from my 18 month LDS mission and was in the best shape of my adult life. I missed my flat abs. I sometimes mourned over them and felt "resigned" to this state of being.

As I started on a journey of becoming a better version of myself around the time Miss Tips turned 9 months old, I learned that resignation is different than acceptance. I no longer am resigned to the condition of my body. I accept my body in the condition it is. It is a beautiful gift from God! It helped me create another human being and bring her into the world of the living. Why should I be ashamed of my body after it has done what no man's body has ever done? Millions of women throughout the ages have gone through what I have gone through. None of us would be here if our mothers had not sacrificed their bodies' on our behalf. So why do we continue to look down upon a woman's body for not immediately returning to the state it was before she conceived her baby?

I think that the shift that has occurred in my mind in relation to my post-partum body is a combined result of a few things:

1) I have been Dressing my Truth for the past year. It has been well over a year since I have donned any black and I don't miss it! It definitely helped that for being as large as my belly got (47 cm the day my daughter was born), I never felt like I looked frumpy because I was wearing the correct colors and fabrics for my type.

  2) I read an article during this pregnancy written by a fellow mother of 2. One day, a few months after her second son was born, her older son asked her about her stomach and it's shape. She started to react in a manner to hide it and be embarrassed or ashamed by it, but then had the thought that her young son would only perceive her stomach as she perceived it. If she thought it was ugly or something to be ashamed of, he would think it was too. But if she told him how beautiful and wonderful it was, then in his young mind he would think so too. So she explained to her son where her "tiger stripes" came from and what a fantastic miracle it was that both he and his brother had grown inside of her and that the "tiger stripes" were where her body had stretched so they would have enough room during each of her pregnancies with them.

3) Third, Tips got me the book The Gift of Giving Life: Rediscovering the Divine Nature of Pregnancy and Birth by Felice Austin. It was a fantastic book to read the few weeks before baby girl made her appearance in our home. I gained a deeper understanding of the significance of the ENTIRE birthing process and can honestly say that I do feel especially privileged to have experienced what I have experienced THREE times! Pregnancy and birthing are definitely types and shadows of the Savior and his Atonement.

A shift has definitely occurred in my thought process of my now 7 week post-partum body. I find it truly is a gift from God. And despite having diastis recti this pregnancy (I realized it during the first trimester when I would sit up and my abdominal muscles would hurt... a lot), I truly am grateful for my body and for all that it is capable of. Looking back, it seems surreal that all three of my children grew inside of me for 9 months! And yet they did. Maybe that is why the birth process leaves a mark on our bodies - to remind us mothers of the gift we have given another human being.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Empowered Kids, Empowered Me

I gained some AWESOME insights tonight last night (as it is now past midnight)at the Kids Empowered class (https://www.eventbrite.com/event/7868854957) presented by Catherine Reed! I am really glad I went tonight because it gave me some more clarity and insight into a parenting moment I have had this past week.

For the last year I've been talking to my oldest son about how when he's ready he'll need to choose to stop sucking his thumb. I asked him last year how old he wanted to be when he quit sucking his thumb and he said, "Five." After he turned five in December I brought it up and he wasn't ready yet. Since he is the Sensitive child, I didn't push it because of what I learned when I tried to toilet train him 3 years ago and how that differed from when he finally took ownership of his toilet training experience just over 2 years ago.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Who says mason jars have to store wet food?

Thanks to Wendy DeWitt, I now know how even MORE valuable our Food Saver is. We wore out the FoodSaver I asked my parents to give us for Christmas 7-8 years ago, so for Tips' birthday this past May we asked his mom for a new one. It takes up even less counter space than its predecessor!

Here is the back story to my mini food storage project today: last year we got weevils in a LOT of our food. They originally came from some apricots we had dried. Anyway, they also got into the 25 lb bag of oatmeal we had at the time and the oatmeal also went somewhat rancid because it had been open   too long. Then last fall when I was in the throes of hyperesmesis gravidarium (really bad morning sickness), mice got into our house and I was really paranoid they would eat through the bag. So we bought some more 5-gallon food grade bags to store our bulk food in.

We thought we got rid of the mice (killed them all), but they showed up again two weeks ago. We finally got pest control last week. I am also realizing just how little room I have in my current home for big bags or buckets of food.

Last night as I was pondering this dilemma, it occurred to me that I have a TON of unutilized glass quart jars. So today I ran them through the dishwasher along with the lids to sanitize them all, and when they were dry I proceeded to fill the bottles with the 15 pounds of oatmeal that was still in the bag and vacuum seal the bottles with the regular mouth jar FoodSaver attachment.

I was able to put about 3-1/2 cups of oatmeal in each quart mason jar and filled 20 bottles. I calculated that since we eat 1-1/2 cups of oatmeal a day, we will go through 5 bottles every two weeks (eating oatmeal for breakfast 5 days a week). That means our 20 bottles (15 pounds) will last us 2 months. That is only one month shy of having a 3 month supply of breakfast food for our Monday-Friday breakfasts!

My kids actually like oatmeal AND since I soak it for 24 hours in any of the following: water + whey, water + kefir, OR water + lemon juice to break down the anti-nutrients in it, it is SO much healtheir (and cheaper) than cold cereal.

Anyway...just wanted to shatter my little project with you all. And now that I have the Samsung S4 for my phone, I am able to blog from my phone like I have always wanted to! (My first android phone didn't quite have the capabilities I wanted it to have). Yay!!!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

How to choose a paint color for any room in your house!

Often, when people learn that my bachelor degree is in interior design, ultimately one of the first questions they ask me is, "What color should I paint __________ (room)?"

This is something no interior designer can honestly answer when they enter a home for the first time. While the designer may have his/her own preferences, he/she is not the person living or working in the space, the client is! Because of that simple truth, I have to first doe some simple detective work before I can make a recommendation.

Often when clients hire me as a consultant, they merely want to have their color choice/theme/schematic to be validated, which I do after verifying what their vision for the space is and how they want to feel when they are in the completed room. Sometimes I offer suggestions that tweak their original color choice(s). Sometimes the client needs assistance in identifying what color(s) they want to use in the space and so that is what I help them accomplish. 

The tools, techniques and tips I use are basic and I believe that ANYONE can understand the process I use with my clients. 

What color you paint a room depends ultimately on what effect you want to achieve. I will ask my clients the following FIVE questions:
#1 What is your vision for this space/room?
#2 Is there a theme you want to accomplish in the room?
#3 Are you looking to make a statement in the room?
#4 Do you have any colors in mind for this room?
#5 A) Do you want a south or west facing room to feel cooler? (the hottest rays of the day come from the south and the west)
#5 B) Do you want a north or east facing room to feel warmer? (the coolest rays of the day come from the east and the north)

 Once these basic questions are answered I then proceed to make my suggestions based on my understanding of color psychology, which is actually founded in the physics of color. 

Isaac Newton was the first scientist to identify that light is the source of the color sensation. The ability of the human eye to distinguish colors is based upon the varying sensitivity of different cells in the retina to light of different wavelengths (this explains where color blindness originates).  Just as different types of music can affect our mood based on its wavelength and frequency (for example: Vivaldi's Four Seasons compared to anything from the death metal genre), color has the same affect on us although we are less consciously attuned to the subtle affects of color as we are to the affects of music.

Within the world of color there are hues (pure saturated color), tints (hue + white), tones (hue + grey) and shades (hue + black). Each has a different psychological effect on people:
1.      Hues are vibrant and striking - because they are so reflective, concise, and clear they are used to create a statement.  
2.      Tints are bright and animated - they create a light upward movement and can evoke thoughts of lightheartedness and fun.
3.      Tones are soft & subtle - they provide comfort, peace, calm and security.
4.      Shades are rich and dynamic - they provide visual texture and substance to a space .

In summary, to determine what color you should paint whichever room you are wanting to paint, ask yourself and answer my FIVE questions and from those answers you will have a clearer vision of what effect you want to create in your room/space. Once you know what effect you want to create it narrows down which palette you should choose your color from: hue, tint, tone, or shade. Once you narrow that down it is ALL about personal preference! 

by Yvonne Russell, Bachelor of Science in Interior Design from BYU-Idaho
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