Once upon a time i used to enjoy shopping. Actually i used to love it. I remember getting that "high"from buying some latest fashion and almost wetting my pants in anticipation of the event where i could show off me in my latest purchase. Gosh i even remember getting excited as a newly wed about grocery shopping. Researching new recipes and making up meal rosters. Almost glowing with pride as i pushed that trolley, with its spoils of white bread and full fat mayonnaise.
My enthusiasm dampened a little over the years as i slowly started putting on weight. Other factors like, modesty, wanting to be an individual and a tad quirky, $$ (i was on a childcare and hairdressing apprentice wage) the tired factor, and the time factor were all starting to take their toll as well. Then I became PREGNANT with Spencer and the thrill factor of shopping took a steep dive. The whole swollen ankles thing after standing all day as a hairdresser sucked even more when on the way home you had to do a quick shop.
Not to mention maternity is not a category clothes designers are used to hearing about let alone designing for. I recall a particular shopping trip to Carindale with Linc on a late Thursday night. I was desperate for clothes as i was literally bursting my seams and so off we went to face the beast:aka any Westfield shopping centre. I swear my blood pressure and heart rate go through the roof as soon as i step inside the place. So picture this... cranky, tired and 5mths pregnant Alicia breaks down in the middle of the isle, right outside boost juice. "I"M SO FAT...... sob sob."
I'd like to say thats the only time thats happened but its becoming more the norm. Its pretty hard to remain chipper when store after store inadvertently are telling you that your fat. The christmas spirit is lost when rude, snotty, untrained teenagers give you attitude at the check out. Patience is lost when you child is screaming his lungs out between the cereal isle and frozen section. I find myself psyching myself up to walk into stores.
So i had a pleasant experience recently with shoes. I walked into a store had a look around, like some shoes that i saw but discounted them quickly as i have an extremly wide foot with the added bonus of a high instep (thanks for that HF...). I started walking out and had the impression to "just go ask." LUCKILY I DID... the fruits of my obedience.
So yesterday i had a 2nd positive shopping experience. In a QUILTING SHOP! The thrill was back, i wanted to spend big time. I loved everything. Staff were helpful and polite. I wasn't being rushed or frazzled by children. BLISS. Its almost like your floating on air. You're feeling GOOD, REALLY GOOD, LIFE SEEMS GREAT, THE WORLD BECOMES A BEAUTIFULPLACE, ALL IS AS IT SHOULD BE.... then you turn the price tag over.
So those who know me know i'm a bit of a nazi for standards. Dress particularly, but also the music and things we watch etc. Lets start by saying I'm not about to be translated for living a perfect existance, i'm struggling just as much as the next. This is purely just a thought i had and quite frankly i'm a little tired of hearing that standards are not important. That your not going to go the hell if your wearing a singlet or watch a movie with some dodgy scene's in it. So here's my spin on things as to why standards ARE important, well to me at least.
We're familiar with the plan of salvation... if not then people please find your way to www.lds.org read about it, pray about it, and then live your live according to it. So then what is the purpose of this life? This is a primary question and lets all give it a primary answer.... to live with our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ in the eternities. And now for the Sunday School answer. We know that there are three seperate kingdoms in which we will be appointed after judgement. And if we want to reside with our HF and Christ then we will need to be in the Celestial Kingdom.... infact the HIGHEST DEGREE of the Celestial Kingdom. This is point 1
Point 2. We as a people believe in and are governed by laws. The law of the land is in place to offer protection and offers a basic moral code to its citizens. God is no different, he is bound by laws as are we. And lets just clarify God's laws are perfect. Generally the laws of the land are for protection and mostly fair.... not always. Why? because they are made, enforced and changed by man. God's laws are always fair, and even when we deem them "unfair" the assumption is made by a mortal with no knowledge of the "bigger picture." God's laws are also for our protection and for a moral code in to which we live our lives. Standards also fall into this catagory. They are for our protection. We also know that they're are higher and lower laws. For example the law of consecration... a higher law. Remember what happened with the 10 Commandments...
Point 3. I'm sure I'm not alone in saying that, as a parent, i want the best for my children and its petrifying trying to raise my children in this world. In this day in age where good has been called evil and vice versa. We ask ourselves as parents and individuals, how do we protect and ensure happiness for our children? What tools or weapons can we use to fight the battle? We have many tools or weapsons in our arsenal just waiting for us to use them. Knowledge is one of them. "Teach a man correct principles and let him govern himself." Already mentioned above but worth mentioning again, we also have laws, commandments, standards. We have ordinances which are coupled with covenants which are purpose built for saving and exalting. There is also the power of the atonement with its purifying and saving abilities. Not to mention prayer and the scriptures. I'm sure i've missed something out but a pretty big arsenal if you ask me.
So now to culminate my above 3 points and try and verbalize my notion. Let me list the important statements thus far...
*I'm not going to hell if i wear a bikini or watch a seedy movie.... In answer, your probably right, however i seriously doubt that you'll be in the highest degree of the Celestial Kingdom. I would think (and lets not get carried away with the "Alicia your judging me" comments, hear me out) that in order to be deserving of obtaining exaltation and live with God in the highest degree of the Celestial Kingdom that we would be living to the best of our ability the higher laws. Especially to those who have received their Endowments. When we know better, we do better seems about right.
*Standards are not important... In answer, they are tools for our protection and we are able to choose if we want to use them. I have many friends with different standards to me. I love them dearly and they in turn (hopefully) are forgiving of me and my strong opinions.
My point is I CHOOSEto use standards for my protection. Put simply, i don't want to have trouble controling my thoughts so i don't want to watch crappy tv shows that in their light entertaining ways, lull us into passivity in regards to fidelity in marriage, honesty, the sacredness of sex, the importance of family and having to make sacrifices for it. Look there is more but I'll leave it at that.
I don't want my body to been seen to all the world. Look I'm pretty overweight atm so NO ONE wants to see my body, but the attitude that "if you've got it flaunt it" is wrong wrong wrong. Modesty in dress shows respect, it allows people to feel comfortable and displays to people who we are and how we feel about ourselves. So sure, go ahead and go swimming but you can still have fun in a modest bathing suit. Our world has almost if not already succeeded in completley sexualizing the female body. And in part everytime we "under dress" it is a sad cry for "LOOK AT ME." Women want to be beautiful and don't think thats at all possible if they "look" a certain way. I've met and befriended many a person that the world would not of labeled "beautiful," however their intelligence, or kindness, their very souls make a stunning sunset look dull. "The Lord look not on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh upon the heart."
I want music to uplift me, to give me motivation and to illustrate beauty and instill gratitude in my soul. I can enjoy sex without an unwanted pregnancy, guilt, a STD or anything negative because i chose one person who i married and had a commitment from to share that part of me with. I see the differance living standards makes in my life... Gosh its so much easier! I can make that distinction now after struggling to live some standards earlier in my life. Standards are not the enemy here. I refuse to allow Satan preach the lie that they are not important! If they're not important, if they don't matter then why did God reveal them to us?
If you choose not to live them, fine. But i will not have it said that they're don't matter and that they're not important.
So linc and i started watching grand designs again (on dvd, my valentines gift to him) because of the crap that's on tv. And while we were changing the dvd over we noticed Q&A was on (ABC - channel 2). For those who don't know Q&A is a political debate show, with politicians, financial, cultural experts and well as the odd journalist who all are offering their opinions to the public questions and statements. Great show. The topic emerged on Tony Abbots comments re: women's virginity being a gift and the giving of it not to be done lightly... something to that effect. I must find the actual statement.
Since last night i've read several articles, and i must admit i almost cried with sadness. Its quite apparent the world feels differently, male and female alike. One (female) journalist stated that its only a hymen and that a woman should be loved for her mind, soul and other qualities. Another article stated that its just sex and they don't want to be preached by any politician on how or when they decide to have sex. Gosh i feel like crying now as i type this. Other attitudes have been that he's from the dark ages and that this is a "old fashioned" view, or perhaps that its too late for anyone to start preaching this message at all, including politicians, religious leaders and sadly even parents.
I just read an article from eurkeastreet.com.au, written by Catherine Marshall.
I realise that by proselytising on sex I am employing an outdated and irrelevant technique, broaching a subject on which she is already well informed and over which my right to exert control is rapidly diminishing.
The beginning of the article seemed in favor of Tony Abbotts statement but as a mother she feel powerless to teach the message to her daughters. Again.... how sad! If parents can't teach and influence their own child then we really are in BIG trouble.
Here we go, it begins. I'm usually a glass half empty type person and become skeptical of those who see it being delightfully full (preferably full of chocolate milk, I digress). In fact when i'm feeling at my lowest it actually makes me angry that they go about deciding to be happy and positive about current situations. Strange? Well i guess at the time of any emotion it seems appropriate and makes complete sense, but life is full of moments of retrospect and reflection and i guess while i'm writing this i'm having one of those moments. I guess for some its natural to be optimistic and positive about one's future. I would think that it must require at some courage to "decide/choose" to feel this way.
Linc and I watched Julie & Julia on Friday night, and a progression of thoughts stemmed from there. I turned to him and shared with him a recent epiphany i had re: me. Want to know what it is? I don't think i'll ever "love" my body, the way i look etc BUT i am beginning to fall in love with my MIND! The way i think, my opinions, convictions, what i believe to be important, what i want to learn, what interests me etc. At this point Linc was quite bemused and just sat listening like a good husband. But there's more.... How is it that the mind that i'm beginning to love and understand can dream wonderful dreams, create and imagine wonderful things and just process the many eclectic and mostly wonderful things that enter into it, can, in a instant "switch" and absolutely sabotage me?
Its said that we choose our own attitudes. And to be fair i believe we do, but i've found that over time my depressed mind habitually chooses for me. It takes monumental effort (which i usually don't have) to force these thoughts (which lead to attitudes and actions) from my mind and replace with the happier, healthier alternative.
Rather deep for a first blog. Shall we change tone....
So one of my loves. Well FOOD. Love to cook without the interruptions of children. Really enjoyed cooking up the Christmas parcels for friends and family from last year.
Here's the recipes for the Strawberry Vanilla Bean Cordial and Lemon Butter. Let me know if your interested in the Almond Shortbread, Truffles or Tomato Chutney
Strawberry & Vanilla Bean Cordial
900g castor sugar
40g citric acid
*Wash and remove stalks and halve the strawberries
*place in large bowl (that has a sealable lid) and give a little crush with a potato masher to release some of juice
*Slice lemon thinly into rings and place on top of strawberries
* Sprinkle over sugar and Citric acid
* Fill saucepan up with water and while waiting for it to come to the boil cut your vanilla bean in half and scrape the vanilla out, add to the water along with the pods themselves.
*once water is boiling pour over the strawberry mix and stir until sugar is dissolved.
*Seal the bowl with the lid and regridgerate for 4 days. Give it a stir once a day
*Now the fun part. First strain the whole mix through a colander, then a sieve, then a muslin clothe (heck i just used Brooklyn's baby muslin wraps).
*Then its time to funnel it in to the glass jugs using a funnel
*Lasts about 3-4mths in the fridge
-Great with mineral water, or water itself, in milkshakes or as a icecream topping etc just keep in mind its alot stronger than store bought cordial
(To bottle it up i usually just use the good ol glass water jugs that are about $3 each from Kmart)
There's heaps of other ideas so just google cordial for different ideas etc...
2 cups sugar
6 eggs lightly whisked
3 good sized lemons
Optional Add Zest of 2 Lemons
*Wash Bottles and Lids and place in oven at about 160C at beginning of process
*Place all ingredients in a double boiler over a low heat until the butter melts
*Increase heat and continue to stir until it thickens (this takes quite a while)