Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Little Things.

I have been taking time to retrospect on why I do not post as often as I had previously speculated.  (Can you tell I just took a midterm and I'm still on student mode? :) I think every blogger aspires to be something different, something extraordinary.  Each person on this earth is an individual- with individual thoughts, beliefs, experiences, and so forth.  At the same time, there is a LOT we have in common.

I guess I get a little timid when posting things because of how much of a critic I am.  I wish I could say I only do this to myself, but I don't.  I see blog posts about "How to love your spouse" and "10 ways to wear a scarf...", they're all great and informative- but I've realized that I'm a little afraid to be that copycat image of what everybody else is saying out there.

At the same time, while the things I write in my journal can be personal, I think that they can be of encouragement to others.  So my main goal in maintaining this blog is not only to document the newest Musson family's adventures together, but the little things that happen that lift the spirit.

Each Monday and Wednesday I student teach in a 6th grade classroom.  I absolutely love it!  I've been in the class for a little over a month and I am sad to say that during lunch, I have not taken the time to go play outside with the students!  This is weird to admit- but I actually enjoyed the alone time I received during lunch- it refreshed me.  Yesterday was different, though.  I felt a little more energetic than usual.  I opened the blinds (for the first time) and noticed students were playing 4-square.

WHAT?! How could students be playing one of my favorite games from elementary school? I needed to go outside.  Shortly after exposing myself into the cold with a sweater, uncomfortable flats, and skirt on, I played a few rounds with the students.  A few games went by when I noticed an adorable girl pacing back and forth while balancing on a nearby curb by herself.  I wish I had a picture to show how precious she was, I assume she was in 5th grade since I'm familiar with both 6th grade classrooms.  To give you a better picture, she looked like a 9-year-old version of AnnaSophia Robb.

I asked the girl if she would like to play with us.  She immediately looked up, as if surprised somebody was talking to her, then pleasantly replied, "No thank you."  I asked if she was sure and she responded yes.  I was relieved and happy to know she was satisfied playing by herself, so I continued in my intense game of 4-square.

Within a few minutes later the girl popped into the game!  I was surprised to see her standing in the court- I served to her and noticed that she had probably never played before.  Her little uncoordinated body squirmed around as she tried to play how she thought best.  The odd movements weren't the thing that stood out the most, but the huge smile across her face.  It made my day to see a student so happy to be involved.

Now, I hope it doesn't seem that I think I saved someone's life just by asking them to come play 4-square, haha.  Simply that our small actions play a larger role than we think.  Whether it had an impact on the girl, I do not know; but there is always something to be learned in every experience.

This short experience made me think about a few things:

First, everybody needs a friend. 
Have you ever come to the realization that you have TOO many friends?  You say to yourself, "wow, what am I going to do to get rid of some of these friends in my life?" ...Never! I think something a lot of us don't realize is that everybody could use a friend.  Why is this realization so difficult to come by?  Because we focus too much on ourselves.  We say things like, "I don't know why she didn't invite me..." or "wow, that girl has a lot of friends- it's probably because people just flock to her due to her personality." The thing is, what I've noticed about those with a lot of friends is that they go out of their way to make a friend.  It's easy to rebuttal this and say that it's easy for them to do, but regardless, this is the way things go.  This leads me to getting out of our comfort zones.

Second, experience what lies beyond the comfort zone.
Believe it or not, I went outside of my comfort zone when asking that precious girl to play 4-square.  I am not even going to attempt to explain why the task was daunting, only that I think it's only human to be comfortable with the people you're with and not "rock the boat" of life.  I read a book in high school called, 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teenagers.  It changed my life!  Plus, there's pictures everywhere, so I didn't get bored of it.  Anyways, I wish I could quote it perfectly, but it said something along the lines of nothing great is gained when you remain in your comfort zone.

Third, don't let doubts paralyze you.
When I first arrived to the 4-square court, I saw the girl and thought to myself a few things: maybe she's waiting for her friend who's in the bathroom, maybe she likes being alone, and so forth.  These thoughts pushed back the notion to extend an invitation to come play with us.  Sounds pathetic- right?  That I was about to talk my 21-year-old self out of inviting a 9-year-old to come play a game with me.  I think little doubts like these consistently arise in our minds and we use it as a tool to not do something that Christ would do if He was here.  These doubts are something I am trying to recognize more often and push them away so that I do the things that I know I should do.

Fourth, defeat your pride.
Quite often, I think to myself: why am I the one that needs to go up to that person and say hi?  Why can't she come to me? (Of course, this isn't referring to the adorable girl on the playground, but in general.)  It sometimes frustrates me that somebody you see so often, seems to go out of their way to NOT say hi to you.  What's up with that?  Regardless of the situation, I am still learning that sucking up your pride is a must.  Who cares who's 'turn' it is to say hello?  If we didn't have these little battles inside of us, we would do a lot more friend-shipping and a lot less judging.

Saturday, October 26, 2013


I love Pinterest! Who doesn't?  I don't know if this is weird, but random things usually spur me to write about something.  This time, it wasn't a comment that caught me off guard... but a dream!  In my dream, I moved into an enormous house.  Each bedroom was perfectly decorated, the bathrooms were immaculate, and the home was as spacious as could be.  I couldn't remember anything else, just that the house was my definition of perfection.  When I woke up, I wondered why I had such a random dream.

I realized that the night before, I scanned through my 'home' board on Pinterest, lusting after each and every pin... fantasizing what it would be like to finally be in that stage in my life when I could decorate my home however I pleased.  As much as I love Pinterest, it can be deadly.

While there are many pros to the site, I think as much as I love going on, it can be pretty damaging- only if you let it be, of course.  I hope my criticisms don't come across too harsh, or that being a student, I am not thankful for what I have.  This is definitely not the case!  Also, I do not know any more than anybody else- so I do not want to come across as a snob.  I guess, I just want those who feel discouraged by the images they see on Pinterest, that you should not let them phase you!  We do not live in a fairytale where we can have everything on Pinterest appear right before us.

#1: The glorious women.

The majority of women on Pinterest are a size 2.  The average size in the US is 10.  I found myself roaming the "Health and Fitness" section and got pretty down on myself.  I didn't even realize the impact all of the pictures, ideas, and advice had on my life!  Little did I know, I expected myself to look like them... which I found so silly because 1) half the girls are on roids who 'somehow managed to keep all the fat in their chest..' if you know what I mean, and 2) I always heard stories about how much media has an impact on our society.  I thought, "That's ridiculous! Why do people fall so easily into this trap???"  I believed that media impacted mainly teens so I thought I had escaped the deception- but this wasn't so!  I've learned that as long as I'm healthy, that's what truly matters.  I go to the gym everyday, eat well, and enjoy being active as much as possible.  What else can I do? Starve myself?  Heck no.


Don't get me wrong- I have great respect for those who are super fit.  I just believe that people are built differently due to metabolism and a variety of different reasons- so for girls to think that this is normal and that they should stop eating so that their body will morph into something they see on Pinterest, is absolutely ridiculous.


Now THIS is what I'm talking about!  Is this girl a size 2? Nope!  But she's healthy and strong because she's a member of the US Olympic Water Polo Team.  While I could have picked a lean runner, that would not prove my point.  You can be healthy and still have a little insulation- and that's okay!  I just wish pictures like this made it more often on Pinterest to show that this is something you could strive for too.

#2: The fantasy homes.

Ain't nobody's house look like the ones on Pinterest! Okay, maybe... but seriously, endlessly high ceilings, spiral staircases, ocean views, architectural ceiling beams, secret libraries, giant home theaters... the list goes on and on! Sure, there are some thrifty ways to spice up a room, but these things that are not commonly found in a home make a naive girl believe that this is the norm, and that someday, her sugar daddy will supply her with a home full of all these pretty things.


Of course, it's fine to dream... these are BEAUTIFUL and on my own board! So, maybe I'm being hypocritical by pinning these? I don't know, think what you may, but seeing so many images could make one feel inadequate by being unable to afford the money to live in a home such as these.  


As much as I tried, I couldn't find normal homes on Pinterest.  Here's one entry way... which I find no problemo with!  And it is much, much more realistic.

#3: The expensive clothes.

Honestly, the sewing tutorials are AWESOME.  And, of course if you find fabric at a nifty price, you could save yourself a buck or two.  But the clothes I see on Pinterest that link to "cheap websites" to help you save money, are not very cheap!  At least, they don't fall within a student-friendly budget.  My staple stores are TJ Maxx, Marshalls, and Ross.  There, I can get jeans for $20, shirts for $15, and dresses for $30.  These websites or even outfit ideas are far beyond what I can find at a store! 


This is a large cardigan I found off a "cheap" website... for $40... I'm not sure what the shipping was.  These guys typically go for $40, so it's not too bad of a deal.  It's just, when I think of "cheap" website, I think of something that I can't find in stores (the ones I shop at, at least:)


Can you tell how extremely awkward I feel when Josh is my photographer?  He starts to make jokes and laughs for no reason... he's probably the main reason why I DON'T have many pictures of myself.  Everybody give him grief when you see him.  Just kidding... back to topic.  TJ Maxx, Billabong for 15 dolla.  Moral of the story- as awesome as it is to turn to Pinterest to find those holes in the wall that have thrifty clothing- there's stores out there that have stylin', inexpensive clothes all around us!

#4: A girl's best friend- DIAMONDS.

I know this is kind of specific, nobody necessarily types in "diamonds" into Pinterest... but what I'm talking about here is a wedding ring.  I see so many rings pinned by people and I just think, poor thing... if only she knew how much that cost.  ALL the rings I've seen pinned contain at least one carat in the middle.  Not to mention the two half carat diamonds that accompany each side.


These are GORGEOUS.  Some girls love a big diamond, while others are satisfied with something more conservative.  Personally, I like a bigger rock.  1) They're sparkly (: 2) I have chubby, short fingers- if I had a teeny rock, I'm pretty sure my fingers would look even more like sausages! haha.


As a student, this is probably the average size ring I see.  So simple and sweet.  So girls, don't be mad when your husband can't afford that $20,000 ring!  When you're first starting out, you'll have something more conservative- unless you rob a bank ;)

In Conclusion.... (Can you tell I write too many papers?!)

I hope this doesn't seem like I'm bashing on Pinterest- I'm not.  It's great to dream! I do it probably too often ;) ...My only concern for younger women is that they build up these unrealistic notions in their heads that when a point in their life comes, they expect the best of the best.  But as we know, we don't live in a fairytale world.  As mentioned, I love Pinterest...  I just think it's important for people to be grounded and have hopeful and realistic goals.