Monday, December 22, 2014

Why I'm Not Going Home for Christmas

Yes I know the title of these seems harsh and unfeeling. It goes against every Christmas song that talks about going home (i.e. I'll Be Home For Christmas). Let me explain myself before you judge me too harshly.

I love my family. I really do. And I miss them all the time. I have many fond memories of Christmases past with the family. We gather together Christmas Eve for a fabulous dinner (usually a couple varieties of soups), along with salad, rolls and many delicious deserts. Once we have eaten we gather in the family room for a Christmas program which includes playing games, musical numbers, and dad reading of the Christmas story. Then we gather around the tree and open presents from each other. We like to keep family gifts and Santa gifts separate. Then we head to bed in anticipation of Santa coming to visit that night. In the morning, we get up early to see what is in our stockings. We all usually have a pile of gifts from Santa somewhere around the tree. After we have discovered the gifts left from Santa we have a big breakfast with quiche, waffles, pumpkin roll and orange julius. We then spend the rest of the day playing with our toys, doing puzzles, and watching our new movies. Sounds like a delightful way to spend Christmas doesn't it? Yes, the house if full of love and family.

So why would I choose to miss it this year you may ask? Well it has to do with one word. Single. The holidays are so hard when you're single. Yes, I am surrounded by family but you never get over the fact that I am turning 30 this year and am still alone in my life. I am so happy for my brothers and sisters who are married and have kids. I love my in-laws. I love my niece and nephew(s). But there is this hole in my heart that I feel ever so strongly this time of year.

When putting together my Christmas list of what I want for Christmas there are a superficial things on there like books, movies, clothes, etc. But my true Christmas wishlist has been for many years to has been to get married and start a family. Unfortunately, you can't find that in stores. 

But it's not just that I am single that makes the holidays hard. Eight years ago I was in a relationship with the only boyfriend I have ever had. He came home with me for Christmas and took part in all the festivities. But there was something that was not right with the relationship and I broke it off a few days later. Now when I go home for Christmas and participate in the festivities it hurts more than ever because I also feel like I am personally celebrating my own failure in life. I am reminded every year since of what I don't have and haven't had the opportunity to have since. He was the one and only guy who has ever wanted to date me and that hurts. I have truly believed for many years now that I am a rejected Daughter of God. Yes, you read that right. I am learning to not feel this way and most days I can get over it. But not at Christmas time. This is the time of year when I can't get over the fact that I am still single and there is no one that wants to start a life with me. Eight years of feeling rejected, hurt, and alone.

But when you are with family for Christmas you are not alone you say. Well it's hard to get over the fact that you are still single when your family constantly reminds you of that fact this time of year. Last year it seemed like it was a daily basis when someone would make some comment about my marital status. Whenever we went out of the house my family would constantly be pointing out men they would see without a ring on. In the temple my mom practically tried to throw me in the direction of guy with no ring. At a hockey game my sister was looking up the stats of all the men on the team and would point out each and every one that was single and of eligible age. My dad kept trying to make arrangements to meet up with a single guy from their ward. While I know they don't mean anything harsh by their suggestions and I know they are just trying to help, it really just increases the feeling of rejection and loneliness. 

So this year, as much as I would like to be with my family and I will miss out on being with them and all of the holiday traditions, I am going to run away. I'm catching a plane to Taiwan this year to explore foreign lands with other single friends. It is much harder to feel rejected and alone when you are with others who feel the same way. Call me selfish if you want. I am choosing to not spend Christmas Eve at midnight after everyone has gone to sleep crying my eyes out on the couch because all the married kids get the bedrooms. I am trying to make a happier memory for myself of a Christmas as a single person who is almost 30 where I don't feel alone during a time when I should feel surrounded by family.

So dear family, eat a piece of pumpkin roll for me and know that I love you very much.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Ugly Sweater Party

Our ward had an ugly sweater party tonight. I was opposed to buying a sweater that I would only be wearing once a year so I decided to make my sweater.  Im a Christmas tree. It was quite interesting being trimmed with all the decorations.

I had a good time with some close friends enjoying good food, wrapping presents for children in need in our stake and catching up with members of the ward.

Friday, December 12, 2014

No One Is Alone

So Valentine's Day tends to also be known as Single Awareness Day. It's a day that celebrates love, usually the love shared between significant others. When you don't have a significant other you tend to feel left out of the festivities and alone in the world. But what we forget is that you are not the only one who feels this way. There are many people out there who do not have a significant other, or who have lost their significant other. We may not know who those people are but my guess is that they aren't hard to find if you open up your eyes and look around. 

I love this song from Into The Woods that talks about how no one is alone. We all have Giants in our lives that seem to be tormenting us. We all feel lost in the world occasionally. We all have been deceived at one time or another. We all have made mistakes in our lives. But the thing to remember is that you are the one who decides how you will react to these circumstances. You are alone in making those decisions but know that once you make that decision you will not stand alone in it. Others will be there to support you. God will always be there to support you. He never leaves you alone although you may feel alone. So even though Valentine's Day is another reminder of your marital status just remember you are not alone. 

I really like this quote from the Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson Manuel. "We will never be alone if we live as we should, because our Father will always be with us to bless us. H wants us to be successful. He wants us to be happy. He wants us to achieve the good goals we set. He will do His part if we do our part."

No One Is Alone
Into the Woods

No one here to guide you
Now you're on your own
Only me beside you
Still your not alone
No one is alone
No one is alone

Sometimes people leave you
Half-way through the wood
Others may deceive you
You decide whats good
You decide alone
But no one is alone

People make mistakes
Father's, Mother's
People make mistakes
Holding to their own
Thinking they're alone

Honor their mistakes
Everybody makes
One another's terrible mistakes

Witches can be right
Giants can be good
You decide whats right
You decide whats good
Just remember

Someone is on your side
Someone else is not
Well we're seeing our side
Maybe we forgot
They are not alone
Cause no one is alone

Hard to see the light now
Just don't let it go
Things will come out right now
We can make it so
Someone is on your side
No one is alone

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Defying Gravity

So last night I did something I have never done before and was probably completely crazy for doing. I auditioned for a lead role in a church sponsored rendition of Stephen Schwartz greatest work Children of Eden. AH! What would possess me to do such a think? Well I love musical theater as we have already established and I love the music to this show. It would literally be a dream to play the role of Eve or Yonah. So I thought why not.

I have NEVER auditioned for a musical before so I had no idea what to expect or how to prepare for this. Thank goodness Kaylie went with me to help give some support and encouragement. It was good to have a friend there who had a little more experience and to follow her lead.

Well I don't think I will be getting a lead role or even cast in the show I am proud of myself for trying and it has given me a better understanding of what performers have to go through to get the parts they do. Between the singing, the dancing and the reading auditions I don't think I did horrible but I definitely do not have what it takes to be a performer.

The song I decided to use is another Stephen Schwartz favorite, Defying Gravity from Wicked. The lyrics express how I have been feeling lately as I have been trying knew things to change my life. The words are empowering to encourage me to break away from what I know and go for things that I have never thought possible before.

Defying Gravity
Something has changed within me
Something is not the same
I'm through with playing by the rules
Of someone else's game
Too late for second-guessing
Too late to go back to sleep
It's time to trust my instincts
Close my eyes and leap!

It's time to try
Defying gravity
I think I'll try
Defying gravity
And you can't pull me down!

I'm through accepting limits
'cause someone says they're so
Some things I cannot change
But till I try, I'll never know!
Too long I've been afraid of
Losing love I guess I've lost
Well, if that's love
It comes at much too high a cost!

I'd sooner fly
Defying gravity
Kiss me goodbye
I'm defying gravity
And you can't pull me down

So if you care to find me
Look to the western sky!
As someone told me lately:
"Ev'ryone deserves the chance to fly!"
And if I'm flying solo
At least I'm flying free
To those who'd ground me
Take a message back from me
Tell them how I am
Defying gravity
I'm flying high
Defying gravity
And soon I'll match them in renown!
And nobody in all of Oz
No Wizard that there is or was
Is ever gonna bring me down!


Some days are better than others. Some days we just wish would end before they even begin. There are things that we must do in our lives that we don't always like having to do. For me it can be a work meeting that I know is going to be rough, or a talk that I really don't want to have. But I love the hope that this song brings in knowing that there is always tomorrow. How many lines can you think of about tomorrow? 

"After all tomorrow is another day." -Gone With the Wind

Annie, the Musical

The sun'll come out tomorrow
Bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow
there'll be sun
Just thinkin' about tomorrow
Clears away the cobwebs and the sorrow 'til there's none

When I'm stuck in the day that's grey and lonely
I just stick up my chin and grin and say, oh

The sun'll come out tomorrow
So you gotta hang on
'til tomorrow, come what may!
Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love ya, tomorrow
You're only a day away!

When I'm stuck with a day that's grey and lonely
I just stick up my chin and grin and say oh

The sun'll come out tomorrow
So you got to hang on 'til tomorrow, come what may!
Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love you tomorrow
You're always a day away

Tomorrow, tomorrow I love you tomorrow
You're always a day away ...

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

A Missouri Thanksgiving

I surprised my parents by coming home for Thanksgiving. They had no clue I was coming. It was great to see there surprised faces when I opened the door to my sisters house. We had a good time catching up that evening and then preparing for Thanksgiving dinner the next day.

Early in the morning we all woke up to my brother and his two kids arrival. Once the niece and nephew got in there was no going back to sleep. My niece cuddled right up to me as she was still really tired but didnt want to miss what was happening. Eventually we ate breakfast and continues to catch up and play with the kids. Then it was time to head over to my brother in laws family for Thanksgiving dinner. I supplied the Turkey veggie tray. Oh how good Turkey tastes. Yummy!

Kayla and Sam finally revealed what they were having. They told each of us to pick a pink or blue balloon depending in if we thought they were having a boy or a girl. Riley told me to pick a pink balloon. We all were supposed to blow put balloons up together and the color left standing at the end was the sex of the baby. All the pink balloons popped as we were blowing them up leaving the blue balloons left. Its a boy!!!!!

I had a nice nap after dinner and then we headed out to do some holiday shopping.  We braved the Black Friday crowds and headed to Walmart. It wasn't actually that terrible. I picked up a few more movies for the year and some roommate presents. Riley pickef out a pink shopping cart for herself that she pushed all around Target.   She woukd fill it up with other things for herself. When I asked her what we should get Kyte she said she would share with him. Her mommy says otherwise :) Kyre got a ball thing that you hammer which became a big hit the rest of the weekend.

We had a late night talking and playing games but it was ggood to be with family.

Friday we took the kids to the zoo. Kyre loved all the animals. Riley liked them as long as they were outside running around. She didnt like being inside with them. The elephants were her favorite. I was sad the penguins were still closed.

Saturday morning we went to see Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 1. It was pretty good.

After that we went to visit Uncle Ivan and Aunt Phyllis for a little bit before heading home to get a few more hours of play time before it was time for the kids to leave. I didnt want to say goodbye to my niece and nephew. Tears may have been shed.

Sunday morning we talked a while together before mom, dad, Kami and Cade left. I will see them sometime next year. After they left Sam, Kayla and I headed back to the Shilligs house to play games for the rest of the night. I am the Kings Crown queen!

Monday and Tuesday Kayla and I just hung around the house since it was freezing outside. We did some cyber Monday shopping and just enjoyed bring together. I love spending time with my family. It does make me want to move closer to them. Its good to know I will be back in the spring when my nephew is born.