Mormon Mommy Blogs

Confession (well, not really, it's not a secret), I spend a good deal of time reading a few Mormon-mommy blogs... for various reasons. They're cute, they're fun and most of all they remind of the option to stay at home and take care of a family, which believe it or not I haven't really 100% ruled out.

Recently a Salon.com article discussed this topic pretty much exactly:
Well, to use a word that makes me cringe, these blogs are weirdly "uplifting." To read Mormon lifestyle blogs is to peer into a strange and fascinating world where the most fraught issues of modern living -- marriage and child rearing -- appear completely unproblematic. This seems practically subversive to someone like me, weaned on an endless media parade of fretful stories about "work-life balance" and soaring divorce rates and the perils of marrying too young/too old/too whatever.

Exactly. And it's my choice to read them and feel good after I read them. This week especially I'm tired of being told to feel bad about myself if I want simple pretty things! Life is so ridiculously short. There is no after life, there are no mansions and clouds and families on a magical planet somewhere. But if that makes you feel better then go right ahead and BELIEVE that there's a place where we're all around 32 and happy. That's ok with me. I LIKE that people have faith, I think it's interesting and magical and at times very lovely. I also LIKE that I don't have faith, I like that I don't know what's going to happen. It gives me my very own taylor-made peace.

Just because I'm young and grappling with the term 'feminist' but definitely an Atheist doesn't mean that I don't have this picture saved on my dashboard:

It's Stephanie Nielsen before she got in her plane crash that left her body 80% burned. When she was just a young mother of 4 in a sort of not that great neighborhood in Arizona talking about how she bought a GUN to protect her family. Dear universe you know I don't agree with that, I don't agree with her political affiliations, I don't agree with her religion. But I love her, I love her sister a little more, and I check on those ladies every day from my desk 38 floors above central park. This picture makes me feel empowered.

I'm just making this up as I go along, like a lot of people, like a lot of women. I think it's an injustice to women to try to tell them that they've been brainwashed to feel a certain way... if something like being a Mormon, or putting on a pretty dress, or reading a fashion magazine makes you feel better and empowered I say AWESOME! Why would anyone try to take that away from someone because they're so mad at men and society? I certainty won't.

Just be yourself. If you want to talk about your religion, that's cool. If you don't that's cool too. With my marriage and my life I want to let everyone know from the get-go that I don't have any answers! I have zero. I'm not going to save the world. Not today, not tomorrow, not ever. I'm ok with that. I'm going to live my life the best way I can. I'm going to follow the Four Agreements because Bill Clinton told me to read it and it's the only book that has ever spoken to me.

I just want to tell you all that you can be whatever you want to be. Even if that is a mom, because there is no such thing as JUST a mom.
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Losing It.

I ate a bagel so fast this morning that by the time I remembered to take a picture of my delicious bagel, it was gone. So here's the coffee I'm drinking. Diet = no milk. Right before the holidays JCPE bought us an exercise bike, initially he wanted to get two and forgo the living room all together, but we compromised on one. It's AMAZING. At first I was having issues JUST being on the bike because I'm a legit crazy person and can't JUST ride a bike and watch tv. So JCPE bought a tray, that I'm pretty sure is for sick people. (Actually the amazon comments are amazing, one guy didn't like the design so he brought it to the local community college to get re-done and now it's fine... what? Weird).

So now I spend up to 2 hours every night riding the bike, watching TV AND on my laptop. My brain might explode and I dream about food every night... but so far I feel pretty awesome! There are parts of my waist that are brand new.

Location and attendee updates expected soon! Almost at the 3 month mark!
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A bump in the road

Determined not to change any of my past blogs (because that feels like lying, and really, the last place I want to lie is on my wedding blog!) We've hit a snag. Greg is no longer able to attend the wedding. Initially, when we thought of having a friend perform the ceremony we immediately thought of Greg. He is kind and he has been a part of our lives for a long time. Now that we're back to the drawing board we've been throwing some friends' names around but it's a lot of pressure and it's a lot to ask of someone. So we're thinking of heading in another route. Obviously nothing religious, but it might be nice to have someone who officially knows what they're doing! At least then, one of us will! Thank you Greg for offering to be a part of our day! We hope you can come to the party (which of course isn't planned, but it's the COLDEST day ever today so that makes me feel like we have time!!) Right now I'm liking the idea of having a woman do it... brains storming!
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Team = Assembled!!!!!

Color us EXCITED. Shissh just got REAL!

Last night my lovely friend Carissa was in town from California, she technically lives in San Diego but she's currently a jet-setter traveling around the globe doing celebrity hair and makeup! So I wanted to ask her if she'd do mine for the wedding and I was NERVOUS about it! Then, totally without me knowing, JCPE went out for drinks with Dave, a friend from Burning Man. Juan texted me 'He said yes to photo the wedding!" And I was like, omg!!! So I asked Carissa right then and there, in a booth full of people and she said yes! yay!! Eventually it was just the 4 of us drinking and toasting and celebrating. It's SO FUN to talk about it with other people!! Especially our friends.

Part of me was like... I should show Dave what I like in terms of wedding photos... buuut you know what? I just want to let him go! He was like, I can only tell you that they're going to be just amazing! (He also said something told him that JCPE and I were going to last forever! Cute)

Thank you thank you thank you team!! We are so so lucky to have you!

Here they are (in no particular order):




Best secret wedding team pretty much ever!

In other news we're having location issues... more on that tomorrow!
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Pretty Sure Pandora Knows...

I keep getting ads for engagement rings! Ahh. For the record, getting married is hard! Like, hard to find a location! I'm turning into a full time bride to be tomorrow! This weekend I found a card that Juan gave me for my birthday last June that said for the bride to be! Man, I love that guy.
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Yesterday, I freaked out.

The other day I read an interview where Nicole Kidman interviewed Jennifer Aniston HERE via People.
The two actresses then get on the broader topic of family versus career. "I like to ask people if they would rather have a great love that lasts a lifetime or an amazing career where you go down in history," Kidman says. "Some people do answer that they want an extraordinary career."

"I know what I would choose," Aniston replies. "That's a no-brainer. I would choose the love of my life."

Ugh blah gross. That's just mean and a little unnecessary. Yesterday I sent an email to all my contacts and despite trying literally as hard as I could to make sure that it was correct I made a big mistake in it. And I freaaaaaked out. I sat on my bed sobbing. I can't do anything right seems to be the common theme in my life. I'm 28. I have no idea what I'm doing with my life.

But I have a little bit of hope. I have Juan Carlos, and I have him to support me in a career. Not just as an exchange for being unsuccessful. It's not one or the other. I will not believe that. Juan Carlos doesn't believe it either. I just happened to find love first. I WILL find a career that I love too. I will have both because I want both and I need both.

Anything else just isn't ok.

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Under Pressure Cleaners

Every day I feel like I think of a zillion things to blog about. This blog that nobody will ready for 4 months or so... but still.

Yesterday I felt like I did EVERYTHING wrong. It started the day before when JCPE and I were chatting rings and I started to be like "oh, maybe we can do this, or that, or call this guy or do this thing" and finally he was like "omg! stop!" Crapfest he's totally right, I need to stop meddling! I'm crazy! It's like when my parents were deciding to get married and my mom picked out a few rings and my dad bought the cheapest one (or so the story goes). So OF COURSE for me I would try to meddle my way into having a similar story even though I swore my whole life that I wouldn't.

I'm wearing my mom's ring now. It's beautiful. She gave it to me for Christmas last year and I love wearing it. It has actually be a perfect "on the cusp of getting engaged" accessory. It's taught me responsibility (how many times one can lose a diamond ring on the spice rack is actually quite impressive) and my mind always wanders to marriage. How I want my own to be, how my parent's marriage was...

So last night after a massive day of failure (when I literally couldn't make a food decision, did a random number generator, counted down Seamless web for 123 open restaurants and ordered Sushi from the original place I had considered ordering from) I was laying face down on my yoga mat in the living room. In that exact way where you can see all the dust and dirt on the floor. JCPE came home and I said "THE FLOOR IS SOOOOO DIRTY" he said "of course it is, there's a ton of snow and ice and dirt all over outside, it's winter." As in, he doesn't care. I care, but I'm not going to care too much.

So when I think of my mother and my grandmother and their lives and their marriages I think mostly about how my Grandma told my mom that she wished she hadn't spent so much time cleaning right before she died. That was her regret, the house didn't have to be as clean as she made it, she could have spent more time hanging out. My mom has said the same thing, she's said she was sorry for being angry about messes. Not that I'll never be angry about messes, I totally will be. But, for now, I don't mind doing yoga in the middle of a dirty floor if it means that afterwards instead of swiffering and vacuuming and dusting... I can sit next to JCPE on the couch and cuddle instead, because that's infinitely more important. Thank you Mom and Grandma for teaching me that.
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On Life & Death

This weekend I have to go to a friend's father's funeral. The past two years have begun for us with January funerals. It's such a transitional time and such a strong event to begin the year with. In Committed one thing that she said that really struck me was when she considered a small private more elopey wedding and her young niece wasn't comfortable with that. She wanted an event. This is why, Liz explains, her grandfather told her to always go to funerals. It's not for you, it's not for the deceased, it's for the loved one to see you and register that you were there. So that when you run into them on the street or at a party they don't have to tell you the news. They know that you know. The same goes for a wedding, there's that weird look you give people who were married who's weddings you didn't attend like "oh yes hi oh omg congratulations!" JCPE and I are going to get that a lot. The first few weeks are going to be intense. A lot of yes, and really, no no REALLY. I'm grateful today for the opportunity to be married in private and celebrate with you all at a later date. Life, as it turns out, is too short not to celebrate, too short not to love, and too short not to attend.
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A Woman's Work is Never Done

Last night I pickled and canned for the first time. It went like this... I make homemade soup for JCPE all the time. He calls it peasant soup since there is no recipe, it's just literally whatever we have in the kitchen thrown in a pot to simmer for a while. Any veggies fresh or frozen, maybe some beans, maybe some cous cous really whatever. I also add a few bullion cubes for flavor but they have SO much sodium and they feel creepy and fake to me all of a sudden.

So, I decided to make veggie stock so we promptly went to costco where I bought 10lbs of carrots, 5 lbs of Celery and onions and peppers and cucumbers and sweet potatoes and 20 tubes of chapstick. I made all the stock I could, I made carrot bread, I roasted I steamed I boiled, I added to pasta sauce I did everything I could and still had a ton left. So I bought all the materials for canning (which, isn't easy... we went to Ikea and Target and finally had to order from Amazon and they sent FedEx AND UPS which are both impossible. They never knock and they won't leave anything at apartments... soooo why do you exist as a company?)

Last night after phonebanking with MYD I arrived home to find all my tools in place (and most of the ingredients? I'm a tad worried that pickling is more of a science than I'm used to... since my rule of thumb in the kitchen is to make stuff up). Anyway! They're in there with peppers and garlic and dill and vinegar and the cans sealed! I was so worried that I would have the little 'pop' in the morning when they were cold but it wasn't there! Sealed in! Now my carrots are in the cabinet over the fridge, dark and cold, to wait out the next three weeks before we can eat them!

Of all the things I do and I want and I feel for my marriage one thing that I cannot deny is my uncompromising urge to cook food for JCPE. I want to do things like go out of my way to make veggie stock so that the soup I make will be healthy for him.

In return JCPE makes the phone calls that I get nervous making. He asked Target about the canning stuff, he called the Intrepid, he orders take out over the phone because I can't handle it.

I guess it took all that to get to the point that I love that I know he'd just eat ramen without me and he knows I hate talking on the phone. So we look out for each other.

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I Should Run.

So back to the realization that I know absolutely nothing about marriage... at least, I know that. Let me tell you guys part the story of how we decided that this is what we wanted. It had been building up, the pressure, from family from friends from the 90% of my eggs that will be totally gone in the next two years. We'd been together for 4 years at that point last spring, when I was thinking about it. I remember a few little things. Like freaking out about place cards, at work in my free time on Green Wedding Shoes my favorite wedding blog. How, and I'm not even kidding, how does one possibly choose the correct place cards for sit down dinners? There are so many options! How do you KNOW which is right? So this was in my head one day when Julia, JCPE and I got dressed up and went to a Maker's Mark Kentucky Derby party. I wore awesome shoes. Knee deep in red wax and whiskey I looked down at my shoes and I thought. Man, I wish I hadn't worn these today... so I could get married in them. And I thought, Taylor, that's ridiculous. If you love a pair of shoes you can get married in them. It's your decision. So the seed was very deeply planted. Yesterday, as I thought about all the things that I don't know about being married JCPE imed me and said this: Juan: Hey btw you should run for office i'd vote for you me: are you making a list of how many times you have to tell me? and checking them off? Juan: maybe me: haha well thank you Juan: until next time Stirek Because you have to ask a woman to run several times. So right now at this moment I'm not freaking out about shoes or place cards  or even the fact that I don't know anything about marriage. Right now I'm thinking how the man who wants to marry me also encourages me and inspires me, and how he expects me to be the best person I can be. I wouldn't give him any less.
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We Are Strong.

The religious implications of being married at the very core make me furious. The Atheist that I am cannot resist the urge to shake at the core [see, I said core again! It’s shaking] and yell – well, yell some not nice things that involve bad words and all caps and exasperated sighs of disbelief. Sigh [another sigh, not my day]. It’s not my place to say anything that might make you angry at me, or to say anything you feel like you need to defend yourself [that might make no sense, I've edited it a zillion times!]. You can do whatever you want, and so can I, that’s the point. It’s just that. I’m so sick of hearing the same thing read at weddings over and over, and I am eternally grateful that however spiritual my partner is, he is willing to coexist in my life where I enjoy watching Easter Parade, giving gifts at Christmas and being blissfully at piece with the notion that nothing happens when you die, so just live a good life while you can.
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Today I remembered that I had Liz Gilbert's Committed on my ipod. I had started 'reading' it before but didn't really get into it (I gave it 16 minutes).Today I had to lug my computer into the city so I left my kindle behind and decided to begin the book again. Perfect timing for someone who just realized that... woah, hey! I might not know what marriage is about. It's true. We've lived together for 3+ years and we share a lot and we've been through a lot, but being married is going to be different. Just by design.

When I look at JCPE I feel very very almost extraordinarily like, I can't wait to see you when we're old. It's going to be a long path, there's going to be a lot that happens. I feel ridiculous saying that. Well of course a lot is going to happen, and it won't all be good, and it won't all be expected, but at least we'll be together.

In Committed the first thing that struck me (in the first hour or so) was the idea that no matter what happens you have a place to sleep together and how important that is. Just the laying down and going to be together and waking up and starting each day together (and like I told JCPE at dinner today, he could totally murder me if he wanted to, but he doesn't, that's trust there my friends!). I'm looking forward to finishing the book and the next few months really settling in and trying to understand what marriage IS.

JCPE burnt a pot full of coffee on the stove today and the entire house smells like burnt coffee... but it's ok because he was talking to Greg on the phone! Our good friend who agreed to officiate the wedding! He, and the guy from Rosa Muerta, are the only people who know! Greg, thank you for going on this journey with us.

I'm talking to Gugs on the phone right now! Hi Gugs! I'm pretending that we're still going to get married in PR! Please don't kill me when you read this in May!
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Today we made the website!!

Wooo (ok, Juan made it) (and I freaked out just in case someone types in taylorplusjuan.com before April 30... I mean, they totally could right, because that's hilarious?)

Welcome to the archives! Sometimes (a lot of the time) when I'm bored I find random blogs of happy couples, and I look into the little window to their lives and I think, wait I'm super happy too! Then I spend my day looking through the archives at their happy lives... soooo.... HELLO Assistants!!! Welcome ladies! It's awesome that you made it this far, I'm happy to give you something to do today!

Anyway! We're nervous and excited! I'm going to post a lot in the next 111 days (yeah, signed up for theknot.com today) so it'll be a lot of content but hopefully it'll help explain why we did it this way!
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Our 2010 Holiday Card

We have had a such challenging and amazing year! Taylor has been President of the Manhattan Young Democrats. Juan Carlos founded an environmental non-profit called "White Roof Project" dedicated to lowering energy costs in big cities. Among a zillion other 'after-school' activities!

The most important thing we've committed to this year is reducing waste and clutter! Not only did we donate a ton of stuff to charity, but we're counting this as our ‘official’ holiday card! Feel free to print and tape to doorways and mantels!

We're spending the holidays in Charlotte, North Carolina with the Pineiro Family and are looking forward to seeing the Stireks in Las Vegas when our good friends Indika and John tie the knot this May! All the best to you and yours this holiday season and beyond!

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Are You Serious?

Yes, we're totally serious. We eloped. Crazy, right? Don't worry we didn't tell anybody! I know, I know we wanted to have you there with us too, and we WILL call you! This is just the easiest way to let everyone know at the same time! About a year ago we made the decision that we wanted to have our special day be just for Taylor and I. The more weddings we attended the more we thought, man this just doesn't feel like US, and yet we really want to BE married. Then we had an epiphany, we can do it any way we want! So we did what felt right, and had a private ceremony and a secret honeymoon!

Taylor has been blogging for the past 5ish months so check out the archives to get a sense of the journey! Inside you'll learn exciting things like the evolution of "Team Pineiro," decor and clothing decisions and most importantly  how someone planning a wedding can STILL be SO SO surprised by an engagement!

We're looking forward to telling everyone and celebrating together!

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