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Saturday, December 14, 2013


The title should say it all, but for those that have never met Noah, be prepared to have him to steal your heart from the get go, grubby face and all.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Blast From the Past

Since we are on the brink of a major snowstorm I thought I would bring back something from the good old days of summer.  I am not sure why after all the time I haven't posted I feel that a baby newt deserves top billing, but nonetheless here he is.  Sophie (and a friend I think, too much time has passed...) found him while walking the dog.  It is the smallest newt I have ever seen.



Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Self Esteem vs. Self Efficacy

Recently Aaron and I were having yet another discussion about my ability to make a laundry day turn into a five day long laundry marathon.  The best part of it is when it takes so long that when I am finished it is time to gather the laundry up and start all over again.  I know I am not alone in this. I hear people say things all the time about needing a "laundry fairy" or hoping laundry piles will disappear. 

Luckily for me, I married a laundry fairy (maybe I need a manlier name for him).  Aaron has a system for sorting, washing, drying, and folding the laundry that he has developed to maximize efficiency.  He is a laundry machine (ah there's the brawn), and I love him for it.

Being the well oiled machine that he is means that my laundry skills can be frustrating for Aaron. I think it might be how Lightning McQueen feels when he has to hang out in the Rust-eze sponsor tent; "I'm a precision instrument of speed and aerodynamics." Next to, "You know, the Rust-eze Medicated Bumper Ointment team ran a great race today. And remember: with a little Rust-eze - and an insane amount of luck - you too can look like me. Ka-chow." 

Where were we again.....? Oh yeah, laundry.  Our discussion became about how I react whenever I feel like I have been criticized.  Keep in mind that my definition of criticism is a little sensitive.  I get defensive very quickly and the longer the discussion goes on the less I talk and I shut whoever is criticizing me out, whether they know it or not.  That works out fine for outside criticism because I can sit here at home and grump and complain and move on, but when that criticism comes from your spouse who is your partner and who is affected by every decision, defensiveness and stonewalling are not effective forms of encouraging communication.

After a long conversation trying to figure out why I react the way I do, I came to the conclusion that I feel like I am working so hard and if you want to criticize either help me or leave me alone. Aaron fleshed it out even further suggesting that I have low self-esteem.  I didn't wholly agree with that statement because I know who I am and I know I have worth and that I have a purpose.  So Aaron did some research and found an article that helped me understand myself so much better.

 It hit the nail on the head.  I don't have low self-esteem; I have low self-efficacy.  My fear of failure or humiliation befuddles me and does exactly what the article suggests.  I can remember all the way back into elementary having a fear of "getting it wrong."  I see the same trait in Ben now.

My standards are set too high so when I don't achieve my goal for perfection all I can see are the imperfections.  I spend far too much time trying to perfect the imperfections.  I am afraid that others will see my failures and I will be embarrassed for thinking so highly of something so imperfect.  

Logical or not, this is how I think.  I am acutely aware of the flaws and faults in my work so when Aaron asks for something that needs to change because my actions are having negative effects on him (running out of undies and discovering it 20 minutes before he has to leave for work...etc) it just adds insult to my already self-inflicted wounds.

Knowledge is power.  I am not sure exactly how I will learn to be ok with mediocrity when I know the standard, but I am beginning to work on it.  I think I will go back and read Elder Dieter F. Uchtorf's talk about creation.