Hey, look, I know things are a mess. I took a hiatus from blogging and decided to switch up my design before returning. Please be patient, because if you can wait out the mess it means REGULAR POSTING WILL RETURN SOON! :D


Sunday, May 16

Auction Winner

Congrats to Crystal! You won the charitable auction from Madchen Studios! I’ll be e-mailing you. :)


Wednesday, May 12

“Sexy” Is For Grown-Ups

I don’t consider myself a prude. But this video {via Jezebel} made me want to cry:
{sorry if it’s cut off on your screen}
I want to just be awed by these girls, by their skill, by their energy, by the incredible time commitment such a routine must have required. But I just can’t see past their outfits.
I get that dance outfits are not the kinds of clothes worn on a day to day basis. Tight leotards, cut off tanks, and itt-bitty skirts and shorts are common. But these outfits look like something from a Victoria’s Secret catalogue. And these girls look too young to understand the significance of that. If these girls were sixteen even I don’t think I’d care. In my opinion sixteen is old enough to make a choice to wear sexy clothes for a special occasion {hello prom dresses!}, because most sixteen year olds {provided they’re not living in a cave} have had sex-ed, have begun exploring what it means to be “sexy,” and so on. Speaking as a former theatre geek and a mother I don’t think I have a problem with teenagers wearing sexy costumes for a performance if they really want to. And I think a lot of dance, theatre, color guard, and cheerleading moms would agree.
But these aren’t sixteen year olds {or, if they are, they’re the youngest-looking, tiniest teenagers ever}.
These are kids.
These are girls who are too young to dress up in red and black, lacy, satin-y lingerie costumes.
These are girls who do not have the maturity, experience of knowledge to understand what “sexy” really is.
And that is why I had to hold back the tears while watching the video.
There will be time enough to dress sexy later. They’ll spend the vast majority of their lives as adults. They will have many more years of worrying about their looks and their sex-appeal than they will years of worrying about completing their My Little Pony collection. They will, all on their own, start to seek our and explore clothing that appeals to the opposite sex. They certainly do not need a dance instructor thrusting such outfits upon them at their age. Besides which, the shockingly inappropriate outfits committed one of the cardinal sins of the performance arts: they distracted from the performance.
And that brings me to another criticism as far as the theatrics of the number…why these outfits? See, when I say I’m cool with teenagers wearing sexy costumes I don’t mean it should be solely for the hell of it. Costumes need to fit the performance. There should be a purpose to them. And the sexual nature of these costumes seem to serve absolutely no purpose beyond “being hot” {and again, little girls and “being hot” DO NOT MIX}. As one commenter on the Jezebel site pointed out, not even the original music video featured outfits like these. Beyonce and her dancers wore dance leotards. So *why* if simple leotards are good enough for Beyonce did somebody decide that little girls needed to be sexed-up? And *who* is that someone? And if they are a parent *how* could they think those costumes were a good idea? And *where* are they so I can slap some sense into them?
What do you think? Would you want your child dressed like this for a dance number {a dance number that, I might add, was uploaded to You Tube}? Speak your mind in the comments.
Monday, May 10

What Will It Take?

I’m not going to lie.
I’m disappointed.
Look, I don’t wanna lay on the guilt. That’s not how I roll. But if I’m going to be honest I’m gonna have to admit that I’m frustrated with the response I’ve gotten to my fund raising pleas and the charitable auction. Now, I’ve had some really generous donations from friends, family, and fellow former Mormons. And that’s great! That’s fantastic! They’ve given far more than I expected individual people to give. I appreciate it immensely.
However…what I hoped for, what I asked for was that my blog followers and Tweeps give a few bucks. I started out asking for $4, and then $3. But really, just a couple of dollars, less than a latte would be powerful if enough people did it. And some have. To them I say thank you. And some have given to the MS Society through other people. And a big thank you to them as well. But this blog has 398 followers. And my Twitter account has 1,237 followers. If just half of my followers had given 2 dollars I’d be well over my fund raising goal. If even just a third gave 2 dollars I’d be over my fund raising goal. So what’s up?
Look, I understand that some of my followers can’t even afford 2 dollars. I get it. I’ve been there. I’ve known what it’s like to not know how you’re going to pay for groceries. If this is you know that I understand. No worries. You can still help. You can blog about the MS Walk. You can tweet. You can post on Facebook. You can tell your friends, real life and online, about the auction. I had far more people tweeting and social media sharing on my behalf when I was trying to win the Sitscation contest and the Parenting By Nature blogging contest. Believe me, this is a far more noble endeavor. This is really important stuff. I’m not going to give you a deluge of sob stories but know this, MS sucks. MS is a big deal. And the MS Society cannot function without support.
So yeah, I’m bummed. If you’ve been wondering why I’ve been sort of absent the last several days it’s because I’m down. I’m disappointed and I just haven’t known what to say. I don’t want you guys to feel like I’m saying “hey, you suck! give me money!” That’s not what I’m trying to say. But I am confused. I am frustrated. And I do feel compelled to ask “what’s up?” I keep reading about the backlash against “mommy bloggers.” You’ve probably heard it all too; we’re all fluff and no substance, we’re catty, all we care about is getting free stuff for reviews and winning giveaways. And I’ve read some of the rebuttals saying “no, that’s not who we are! We’re a community! We care! We support each other. We work to help good causes.” I believe that. So I’m confused. This is a good cause. And I really didn’t think I asked too much: a few bucks and/or help spreading the word. Don’t think of this as me saying “you suck, give me money.” Think of it as me saying “help, please give the MS Society a hand.”
What will it take to motivate you? Obviously the auction, which I think is absolutely fantastic, hasn’t gotten you excited enough. Apparently my giving incentives {the honor roll for example} aren’t enough either. What if I did something crazy? What if I offered to let you all choose what happens to my hair if a certain amount is raised? What if I buzzed my hair off and vlogged it? What would it take to make you want to give? If there’s something more I could do, tell me.
So please, if you can spare $2 and/or 5 minutes I would consider it a personal favor. If you can’t give and feel weird about spreading the word when you haven’t donated yourself, don’t. I’m not going to judge. Help is help whether it’s money or time. And you shouldn’t be ashamed if time is all you can afford to give. Time is a precious gift. But if you can give, if you can skip your morning Starbuck’s once this week and donate instead then a lot of people, including me, will be very grateful.
Please help me out.
If not for me, for my mom.
Tuesday, May 4

Madchen Studios: Charitable Auction

Madchen Studios
Rachel of Madchen Studios totally rocks my socks. We got maternity, newborn, and family portraits done by her and they were fantastic {see some of ‘em here}! And every time I read her blog I’m just awed by her skill. Well, Rachel read about my fund raising efforts to benefit the MS Society. And guess what, guys. She’s donating her time and talents for an auction! You should be excited. You should be REALLY excited. Here’s the details:
Auction Item A {for locals only, you must live in or be willing to travel to Medicine Hat, Alberta to bid on this item}:
Portrait Session which includes:
  • 10 retouched images on a CD printable to 4x6
  • online proofing and sharing gallery
  • copyright release for portraits
That’s an approximate value of $300! Though, let’s be honest, good portrait photography is truly priceless. And Rachel isn’t just good, she’s amazing!
Auction Item B {for non-locals only}:
45 Minute Question & Answer Session via Skype, phone, or webinar on the subject of your choice:
  • photography
  • business
  • marketing
  • how to use your camera
  • how to take better portraits of your kids with or without professional equipment
Rachel’s a wonderful photographer, so learning from her is learning from the best. Seriously. If you don’t believe she’s an incredible photographer just check our her online galleries.
So, now that I’ve got you all excited about the items for auction let me explain how the auction will work.
  • You have until the 15th to place your bids.
  • To make a bid just leave a comment with your e-mail address, which item you are bidding on and the dollar amount of your bid.
  • Keep an eye on the comments. If you get outbid you are more than welcome to bid again.
  • On Saturday, the 15th I will close comments and the highest bidders win! I will contact the winners as well as announcing them in a blog post.
  • The winner{s} will be required to make a donation in the amount of their winning bid via my fund raising page. They will have until Monday morning {the 17th} to make the donation, at which time the second highest bidder will be declared the winning bidder.
Are you guys stoked? I’m stoked! This is a fantastic opportunity to get awesome photography/training and help a really great cause! So…
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