We Went Camping

We rented a car and went camping in Burlingame State Park in Rhode Island for Memorial Day weekend. While the campground was a zoo (800 sites booked solid for the weekend), it plopped us in a part of the US we've never experienced. We spent most of our time exploring the area rather than hanging out at the camp fire. There were moments of perfection (our meal at Matunuck Oyster Bar) and moments of frustration (the boys woke up at 5am every day whyyyyyy). All the gear is still out in the front hallway. I want to go camping again this weekend so I don't have to put it away. I was thinking this spot on Fire Island. Or this spot upstate. Both are accessible by train. Seriously looking into it.


Best Mother's Day Ever

Mother's Day seems forced to me. There's always a nervous energy my house that day. Everyone has to be nice to mom! No fighting! Make her breakfast! Clean the dishes! Isn't she so special?! WE LOVE YOU!!!!

Ok. Thanks everyone. I know you do and I love you too. I feel it all year. But today you're all making me squirm.

And I always miss my mom on Mother's Day. Last week I was in Central Park looking at everyone walking by Bethesda's Terrace. There had to be hundreds and hundreds of people visiting the park. I would trade anything to have one of them be my mom. There's so many people on this planet and none quiet fill the hole my mom left in my heart. Mother's day reminds me of that hole. Makes me sad.

After trying to make this day work for so many years, Rob thought of an idea to make this the best Mother's Day everrr. I shouldn't be, but I'm always surprised when he does something that shows he knows me better than anyone. Like last Christmas he bought me a copy of Bad Feminist. I almost cried at his thoughtfulness. It was so good. And last week, he knew I needed to escape all this Mother's Day madness. I never said I needed to be shipped out, but that's exactly what he did. He surprised me with plane tickets to Puerto Rico. He left the hotel reservations up to me because he knew I would want to pick one. And he bought travel insurance just in case I thought it was a terrible idea and wanted to cancel. I thought that was a sweet gesture. But there was noway I was going to cancel.

So I woke up at 6am on Mother's Day, skipped breakfast, threw on my backpack, squeezed my family and said goodbye. I caught the train to Newark International Airport and was off to Puerto Rico by myself. I arrived starving in Old San Juan five hours later. The next three days were spent exploring, eating, relaxing, and even missing my family. It felt wonderful.

I would have never thought of flying away from my family on Mother's Day. It's seems rude, even sacrilegious. But for the first time in 15 years, I'm looking forward to next Mother's Day. I wonder where Rob will ship me next time.

Photos to follow.


College Update and Ordain Women

I'm so excited to attend Columbia University to get a masters in social work this fall. I'd like to think my college essay played a big part in my acceptance. I wrote mostly about my experience as a Mormon woman. Last Friday, I decided to edit it into a suitable profile for the Ordain Women, an organization of Mormon women seeking equality. I've resisted their movement in the past, but I've changed my mind. I want to help make the LDS church a healthier environment for everyone, especially my daughter. My sons. My family. Everyone. Gender Equality is one of the ways to make it happen. Here's the essay I wrote for Ordain Woman:

Hi, I’m Sharon. A month after my mom died of breast cancer, I flew across the country to attend BYU-Idaho. The year was 2000 and I was 18-years-old. While I mourned her death, I was drawn to messages about motherhood. I read quotes in my college textbooks that said, “Of course, as a woman you can do exceptionally well in the workplace, but is that the best use of your divinely appointed talents and feminine traits?” And, “The divine work of women involves companionship, homemaking, and motherhood” (Eternal Marriage Student Manual, 2001, pp. 347-349). As a life long member of the church, these types of statements always seemed complementary and I accepted them. 

Since I was convinced motherhood was God’s plan for me, I naturally made my goals centered around getting married and becoming a mom. By the age of 25, I was married, staying home to raise my three kids, and had callings in the primary and relief society presidencies. I was living the mormon dream. I knew unfavorable economic, political, social, and cultural institutions to women existed, but if asked, I would have denied I was experiencing one first hand.

It wasn’t until I trained for the 2012 NYC Marathon that I took the time to process my role as a woman. The more I ran, the stronger I became. On my long runs, I was able to spend a lot of time thinking about my role in the LDS church and realize the messages I received during my formative years were damaging, hurtful, and sexist. Over the next 3 years, I would spent a lot of time researching and redefining what womanhood means to me and what roles we should have in the world.

Through it all, I’ve come to this conclusion:

Even though BYU-Idaho still includes the same sexist quotes in their textbooks, I’m grateful for my time there. It’s where I met my wonderful husband, which led to having three amazing kids. It also gave me a strong desire to help eliminate all forms of discrimination and be empathic to issues women face today. Because of that, I regard my life in the LDS Church and my time at BYU-Idaho as a gift. Without these experiences, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. And I quite like myself because I realize what needs to be done.

Women need to be ordained. Not only in the LDS church, but in all religions. Gender equally needs to happen in all organizations. I want to help women, especially my daughter, live in a world where there are no limits. If submitting my profile here helps do that, sign me up! I’m here to support Ordain Women. I’m excited for change.

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Podcast 3: The Diet and Exercise Episode

This is not me. I know. 
Rob and I discuss our struggles with weight-loss and exercise in the latest episode. Check it out our goals and what motivates us. It's sure to inspire. Sort of. We're also on iTunes now. :)

Here's Erika and Mason. We mention them in the podcast. Erika is an amazing personal trainer. And Mason's the guy with the good bod . . . errr work ethic. ;)


Podcast 2: The Point is Rob Doesn't Care

Last podcast Rob and I declared our love for each other, this one ends in a fist fight. Enjoy! It's about our adventures staying in a hotel 10 minutes from our apartment. The indoor swimming pool and hot tub supplied us with almost all the material we needed to make a 15 minutes podcast. Thanks to everyone who listened to the last podcast. Hope you like this one. Feel free to turn it into a drinking game every time Rob says "The point is." or "I don't care." Double up when you hear him sing. It's sure to be a good time.

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Take a Break with Kyle Mooney

SNL Made this video for their 40th Anniversary Special but never aired it:

I still think my roommates are the worst. I say we keep 'em.


NYC Taught Me the Podcast: Episode One, Rob and I Declare Our Love For Each Other Sort-Of

Last Friday I came up with the idea to start a podcast with Rob. And we did it! It's short, 15 minutes. Hope it makes you smile while doing an otherwise boring job like loading the dishwasher. We had fun making it and exposing our unconventional love for each other. We plan on publishing one every Tuesday. Click play below. Links to some of the things we mention in the podcast below.
1. If it sounds like I was disappointed with Valentine's Day, I was. Because, I expected "an amazing, thoughtful, nearly flawless experience, one that is simultaneously fun and romantic, and a night I will remember for the rest of my life." There's no winning.
2. Rob nailed the clothes he got for me though. Here's the awesome cardigan and floppy hat he got me.
3. The article on Cup of Jo about Finnish people enjoying a quiet lunch. Sigh.
4. The microphone I bought Rob for Valentines day.
5. Open Table and Yelp because Rob thinks he discovered them.

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