Spending Money

I'll be blunt. We got an HDTV. (Insert glowing halo and choir music here.) It's so sexy that we actually had to modify our entertainment center to get it to fit. Normal people wall mount it, but we were blatantly terrified for fear that it would fall and crash into a million pieces before we could watch anything. So we took a sledge hammer to all the little convenient shelves in our wooden entertainment center, which left a gaping space to put in a TV. With just about an inch left on each side, we got it in. Now we are consumed with watching Blu-Ray movies and playing Xbox.

My car is a trooper – but if I have the air conditioning on it putters out like it’s out of gas. Especially in 100 degree weather. More than once I’ve been on my way to see a client, and all of a sudden I am stranded on the side of the freeway pushing my car to safety. So I am going to buy a car. Right now I own my car – but I was thinking of getting something a little nicer and just make payments on it. Maybe a cute Beetle. My 6’4” husband can fit into those things like a dream. In any case, it’s gonna cost me.

I’m flying to Seattle this weekend to see my best friend from college. Needless to say, lots of shopping will be involved. She just bought a brand new Cadillac. You know, the one from the commercial that says, “When you turn your car on does it return the favor?” Yeah.

I haven’t actually MADE a meal in two weeks, excluding last night when I put pizzas in the oven. We’ve eaten every meal out.

I’ve spoiled myself lately with nails, hair, waxes etc…

Last night I kneeled at the side of the bed for prayer, and had an overwhelming need to request God’s help.

Please, please God let me win the lottery. And if that doesn’t happen, help me make more money at my job. And if that doesn’t happen remind me the next time I want to buy something that you will smite me with a bolt of lightning.

In all seriousness, I’ve found that spending money wisely is kind of another addition to the Word of Wisdom. Don’t drink coffee, don’t smoke, and don’t buy an HDTV if your car is a piece of crap. The church has been good about dealing with financial matters and how we should avoid credit cards, and be frugal as much as possible. I think I have just forgotten how to do that.

Spending money is easy. Be it on a TV, baby clothes, kids’ toys, husband’s toys, wife’s beauty regimens, even food and the necessities. Some people buy brand name things when the generic brand would work just fine. Some people pay only $400 a month for rent, and purchase a $4000 living room set. Some people live in squalor, and eat ramen noodles every day, and never go out and have fun.

I say there’s a happy medium. Granted, we should be careful of what we buy, and never use a credit card unless we can pay the balance off in full each month. But we should also realize that LIFE is what happens when you are saving up for it. (My own quote there, feel free to attribute it to me….) We need to budget for FUN. We need to budget for what makes us HAPPY. For example, going to a movie in the “expensive” theatre (vs. the $2 theatre) once or twice a month gives me an unnatural amount of joy. So I am going to do it. On the other hand, I could have definitely gone without getting my hair done. I could have gone without these stupid nails that make it so I can’t type. My husband could have used his old rifle instead of buying a new one.

We could really go on about this all day. I guess the point is to be SMART about what we buy. Honestly, thinking about Heavenly Father when I feel weak makes me much more likely to spend wisely.

What have you bought lately that you probably shouldn’t have? What are some tips you have for spending money wisely?

Stuff Mormons Like

I just found this site. http://www.stuffmormonslike.com/

It's hilarious.

Comment Response to Mo'Dar

Occasionally, I take a comment and make it public. Usually this occurs when the comment was particularly heinous or controversial and is easy to make fun of. Here's the newest one!

How does a shopper at Old Navy...etc....make one more likely to be mormon?

Old Navy offers a plethora of clothing for the young and old - much of which is suitable to cover garments. Not to mention the fact that Old Navy's are rampant in Idaho and Utah. Most people who shop at Old Navy aren't Mormon - it's all the Mormons that shop at Old Navy. Same with other stores. Just because you shop there doesn't make you a Mo'. It just so happens that Mo's frequent these store for a whole laundry list of reasons that I won't go into.

I shop at nearly all those places and am far from Mormon.

Again...not saying that shopping there makes you one. Saying that lots of Mo's shop there.

Pretty sure that all of my family enjoys those hoppies listed...how do any of those point to Mormonism...

I too enjoy hoppies.

Please enlighten me on the following: How is a male who is a white collar worker more likely to be mormon than a blue collar working male???

From personal experience, many of the Mormons I know have a white collar occupation. I don’t know why! Maybe it's where I live.

Isn't that a little egocentric???


My dear, I think that you have truely become one with them; which I'm sure was your goal. However, it is really sad that you are mature enough to make your own decisions yet have been so easily brainwashed. My prayers are with you.

Am I the one who is brainwashed? Are you're prayers REALLY with me? It is easy to point out the eccentricities of others. I simply do it about myself and my religion. We are a funny group of people and it can be easy to identify us. Besides, what's so bad about having children, having a loving Christian home, covering up, treating your body right, and doing the right things? If that's brainwashing then bring it on!


Mormons are funny creatures. Now that I am a full-fledged temple recommend-holding Mormon - I've developed pretty good Mo'Dar. This is "radar" only the kind that is exceptionally good at seeking the following criteria.

The Celestial Smile or "MoGee Lines." This refers to the outlines made by garments visible under the clothes. The celestial smile is the line formed by the neckline. "MoGee" is slang for "Mormon Garment."

CTR Ring. More obvious is the Choose The Right ring, worn widely mostly by RM's (Return Missionaries) and young adults.

The Haircut: The missionary haircut is seen throughout the majority of a young male RM's life. Haircut Mo'Dar for females is not accurate. However, you can usually be accurate in assuming a female with an RM haircut is NOT a Mormon.

Geography. There's a 75% chance that someone who lives in Utah is Mormon. About a 27% chance that someone from Idaho is Mormon. Of course this varies by city or town. Where I live, I would say there's a good 50% chance that some random stranger you meet is Mormon. In Idaho Falls - just 45 minutes away - that percentage jumps to probably 80%. There's some pretty sweet statistics at this site if you're interested.

Clothing. If your Mo'Dar is unable to decipher MoGee lines, or if the subject begins to feel uncomfortable as you examine them - pay attention to their clothing. Do the women wear capped sleeve shirts and long skirts or pants? Do the men wear button up or polo shirts? Young adults of the Mormon persuasion tend to dress modestly by comparison. This is more difficult to decipher as subjects increase in age.

Shopping habits. The likelihood of a subject being Mormon increases greatly if they are found shopping or working at any of these stores - Old Navy, Motherhood, OfficeMax, Costco, Sam's Club, Abercrombie and Fitch, Aeropostale, JoAnn's Fabrics, and of course any store with the actual name of the church or "Deseret" in it.

Occupation. The likelihood that one is Mormon increases if they have any of these occupations. For men: student, doctor, physicians assistant, computer hardware/software tech., dentist, or manager. For women: Teacher, Stay-At-Home-Mom, any type of service work, nurse, or dental hygienist.

House décor. If you've stopped by the new neighbor’s house for a visit, be sure your Mo'Dar pays attention to the house decor. If there aren’t readily any photos of Jesus on the wall, check for wall plaques with sayings like “Families are Forever,” Ensign magazines strewn about, or a framed family proclamation.

Office décor. First, note the subjects age. The younger the professional, the more likely they are Mormon. Then take note of photographs of family. 3 or more children will throw your Mo’Dar into overdrive. If neither of these things are noted, check for Mormon paraphernalia such as LDS mouse pads or plaques with inspirational quotes often used at the MTC.

Number of children vs. age of parents. The likelihood of one being Mormon is inversely proportionate to age, and directly proportionate to number of children. The higher the number of children and the lower the age of the parents increases the chances of Mormonism. For example, a 22 year old with three children is MORE likely to be Mormon than a 32 year old with four children. However, a 32 year old with 8 children is just as likely to be Mormon as a 22 year old with 4 children.

Age of Children. If the subject’s children are 2 or less years apart in age, the chances of them being Mormon are greater.

Last but not least, Hobbies. If you find a subject participating in any of these hobbies, they are more likely to be Mormon. For men: Video games, hunting, fishing, golf, blogging, and watching TV. For women: Scrapbooking, blogging, sewing, cooking (especially anything with Jell-O), or blogging.

My Temple Wedding

This past Friday (08/08/08) was not only the first day of the 2008 Olympic Games, but it was also the day my husband and I got sealed in the temple!

Two years ago on May 20 we were married civilly. It was a beautiful wedding atop a penthouse in downtown Boise. At that point we weren't really worried about getting sealed. We weren't preventing it from happening by our actions either - we just didn't feel ready. In school we tended to be nomadic, so we rarely attended church.

This year we settled down a bit, were able to go to church, and began to think about "Time and All Eternity." Picking a date is never difficult for us. May 20th is the date right between our birthdays - so 08/08/08 seemed like a cool date too. Not to mention that the infinity symbol (∞) has always been important to us as we used it to express our love when we were first dating. We used to say that our love could be represented by the ordered pair (-∞,∞) negative infinity to positive infinity. (Don't laugh.) How appropriate for a temple wedding - time and all eternity. (If you didn't notice, the infinity symbol is an 8 on its side....just making sure you caught that....)

Anyway, we were sealed around 8am. I think my husband's parents (and his whole family for that matter) were a little miffed that it was so early. They assumed I scheduled it for 8am because of our date, but really it was the only time they had available that day. (Which I was very surprised by.) My father-in-law told us he arrived a little late so we could be sealed at 8:08. Ha.

The ceremony was short, as I had expected. But we were sealed by my husband's grandfather, so it was extra special. As he was speaking the words, I payed close attention. Then, both my husband and my husband's grandpa began to cry. And of course so did my husband's parents. I tried to cry, but couldn't. I was way to happy to even shed one tear. I'm not really a "happy crier," so all I could do was smile.

Our reception was to be that night at 7pm in my mom's backyard. My mom, who is not a member, spent months planning a "casual reception." We later found out that planning a full on wedding reception may have been the same amount of work. We got an above ground pool, tiki torches, a gazebo, and barbecued burgers on the grill. My mom spent hours making greek pasta salad, mini quesadillas, meatballs, cheesy sticks for the kids, and raspberry punch with orange sorbet. The food was so good it was impossible to keep it on the table. Not to mention that my mom made her very first wedding cake. Two white three-layer teirs filled with orange cream and topped with snow white frosting. It looked so professional! As a gift, she topped it with a Willow Tree figurine called "Promise."

My husband's family didn't seem so eager to help on Thursday, and really made a few of us angry. Needless to say, there was a lot of drama on Thursday night. But by Friday night after we got sealed, it was like a weight had been lifted. No one was angry, everyone helped, everyone was in a great mood. The kids were running around, swimming and eating, and the adults from both families sat around and talked like civilized people. No one wanted to leave, and by nightfall the candles and tiki torches were the only things lighting the backyard.

I really didn't want that day to end. I am so happy that I can be part of a great family. Even though they have dysfunctions - it's awesome knowing we can all come together and have fun.

My Endowment

So this weekend was a big deal. I finally went to the temple to get my endowment. Not sure if that needs to be capitalized, but we all know it's important. Overall, it was spiritual, enlightening, understandable, and actually "fun." Not many people can use this word to describe their temple experience as we can see from the poll on the left.

My husband, of course, waited until the morning of my endowment to get his recommend signed by the stake president. After a panicky morning, we headed out with my husband's aunt (who was my escort) and his uncle. They are both around 60 years old, but both exceedingly good looking and filthy rich. Maybe not filthy - but we did arrive at the temple in their black Escalade, which was awesome. (Hey I'm poor, little things amuse me.) My aunt forgot her recommend of course - she's trendy, cute, feminine, and flighty. Affectionalty called the "Fancy Nana." But with a phone call, we were able to get in.

The number one thing I am glad I did before I went in was to prepare. I know you're not supposed to know what happens in the temple before you go - and I never really found out exactly before I went in. But I did have a better clue than a few of the other brides-to-be going in. I was briefed on each part of the endowment from a few different sources, and I also Googled it myself, being wary not to read anything from ex-Mormons that might reveal sacred stuff. All in all it went just as I expected, just in a little different format.

I feel so bad for a few of the other brides who went in with me. They looked lost, scared, and giggled a little at themselves. I was the only bride-to-be that looked like I had some semblance of a clue as to what everything meant. It's no wonder people think it's weird! I will say this though, I now know EXACTLY why all the things we do in the temple are sacred. And secret. I mean, anyone could find out all the information if they really wanted to online, so it's not really secret. But it wouldn't make any sense whatsoever to them. Everything we do in the temple has meaning. For a moment, I stepped back and looked at what I was doing from an outsiders perspective, and yeah, it's a little non-traditional. When you are actually in there, and you know why, and you know what it means - your perspective is so much more understading.

People who go into the temple unprepared are in for a "treat." Like I said, I can't imagine the times before temple prep classes, or the times when you couldn't really talk about it with your husband or anyone else, and you just had to get up and go. It's really vital that we prepare our young daughters and sons for what they will see, and be as specific as allowed. We assume that we can't discuss what goes on in the temple, but the truth is, we can! Just not a few specific things. So I say - talk about! Well, not at work in front of the Catholic guy, or in the movie theatre - but seriously - talk about it with the people who haven't gone through yet at home or in private together.

For those of you who haven't gone through yet, don't worry. There's no animal/virgin sacrifices. Thankfully, I was able to really listen to what everyone was saying. The whole thing lasts a pretty long time. We got there around 1:30 and left around 7pm. So it's hard to remember everything. But keep an open mind. Nothing is really surprising - it's just cool to be reminded and learn a few new things. A word of advice - get endowed on a different day than you get sealed. I don't know why people do it all in one day. I would be too busy thinking about my reception/dress/ceremony etc... than listening and learning. Plus it's a lot to remember.

Afterwards we headed back to our aunt and uncle's "mansion" where we openly discussed things. It was great not to have to dance around anything, and just be able to talk about it. I sipped strawberry lemonade from their crystal glasses and shifted with my silky garments. I actually really like my garments! They are the most comfortable things I've ever worn under my clothes. No tight straps, poking underwire, wedgies or anything! We concluded the night watching my uncle's video of the press conference for Stephenie Meyer (author of the Twilight series.) Since Stephenie is our cousin, he went down to San Diego for the Twilight movie event - and is all proud and excited. Yeah I'm jealous!

Anyway, this Friday my hubby and I are going to the Boise temple to get sealed! Wish us luck!