Thursday, February 20, 2014

Where's the proof?

I don't actually know if this post will ever be published, but in the meantime...

Colonel Brandon and I were talking about recent posts we've seen on Facebook. A lot of issues with statements the LDS church has made. Some issue with a Mormon woman writing about her personal interpretation of the movie, "Frozen" and other random negativity. 

This post is not to upset my many family members and friends that could possibly agree with some or all of these things that inspired this post. This post is to briefly share my own reaction. Because I think many share the same ideas but don't vocalize it. Which is usually what I end up doing. Talking to close family and friends about it, but stopping there and letting everyone else comment. Now I am the first to admit I haven't compiled sources and done my research. So please don't think that's what this is. 

All I have is one question really. And this stems back from being a missionary on the East Coast and being asked so many times in one form or another, where's the proof? 

And to that person that is out there wanting me to prove that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true, I just have a few simple statements and questions. 

First, read The Book of Mormon and then tell me how Joseph Smith was the greatest con man in history. Getting millions of people to believe this book which was published when Joseph Smith was only 24, to then join "his" church and for what? So he could take all their money and get rich? Or be beaten, forced to move constantly, and eventually be murdered at the age of 39.

And then read the definition of "perfect" and "fulness." The fulness of something is not found in a group of people or a single person. Fulness is a noun describing the state of something being full. So unless you're talking about someone eating too much and having a full belly, it doesn't describe someone being perfect. Can God give the fulness of his teaching and gospel to someone that isn't perfect? If you believe in the Bible, then the answer would have to be yes. Adam, Noah, Moses, Isaiah were all given the doctrine, the power, the tools to teach the fulness of the gospel. 

And so was Joseph Smith and every prophet since to the living prophet today, Thomas S. Monson. 

But none of those people are perfect. They are righteous, but they, just like local Bishops and Relief Society members, are not perfect. 

So please do not discount the belief or faith that The Book of Mormon is true just like The Bible because of these imperfect people. 

Because both The Bible and The Book of Mormon promise the day of a restoration. And I know that day is here. 

So don't apologize for having a testimony. But don't actively try to stir things up and offend. Just love. 

That's what The Savior taught and that is the most important. So members of the LDS church don't sit and point out fault of others, because we all have it. And those that are no longer members or never have been, don't point your fingers either. 

Just love and pray for inspiration on how to handle deeply difficult issues we all face. And then go out and do your best to love and teach and inspire.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014


Do you ever feel mediocre? I just finished looking at Pinterest (geesh) and a strange thing happened. Instead of getting all mopey because I couldn't create or buy the beautiful things I saw, I found myself reading a blog post about financial tips and I felt so mopey that I can't save and budget like this blogger. I realize I won't go into debt to go on a vacation or buy pretty things. I know that I would never let myself go into credit card debt and I'm grateful the world hasn't gotten that strong of a hold on me. 

But then to look at the other side of things and have those same feelings. Getting depressed that I am not disciplined enough to budget and coupon. It just doesn't leave.

But I need to accept that I will be mediocre. In everything. I will not be an amazing chef, DIY queen, frenzie couponer, perfect budgeter, extravagant vacationer, fashionista, wealthy mom blogger, or a fancy home decorator. 

And today I'm okay with being mediocre.  

Update: I hope this post wasn't misleading in saying it's okay to not try and be better or not try to be great. My point for this was attempting to change my focus inward. In this world of many talents, it's okay to not be the latest and greatest. Do what makes you happy. Even if that is being a momma in the privacy of your home or calling a friend to help them feel better. We always say It's the little things that count, but let's actually believe that. It doesn't matter if the rest of the world knows who we are. Or what we do. Do what you love to do and love it. And of course strive to be a little better everyday.  

Thursday, February 6, 2014

My Life Unstaged

Alright folks. Here's the deal. I love looking at homes. I love seeing what people do with them to make them their own. Starting at the age of 12 I helped a family friend with their Utah Valley Home Shows. I always loved looking at all the homes with my mom. I am kind of nosey even. I've been known to look through homes when babysitting or feeding neighbors animals when they are out of town. Promise I'm not creepy though. Eh... Moving on.

So I also have this weird fascination mixed with frustration with all these "famous" bloggers and instagrammers. They somehow seem to have the latest and greatest of everything. Clothes, decor, furniture, etc. While this isn't true, I somehow believe it is. I find myself looking at my humble twin home thinking, man I would love to have new couches, white trim, a fireplace, and beautiful window treatmentsand pillows. 

But then I have other moments of pride when I see small corners and items that I love. Stuff that I got for a steal, won at bunco, or inherited from family members. I look at the gifts that have meant so much to me. The items I've moved with me from apartment to apartment. I love those moments of feeling awesome. 

Nobody has the latest and greatest. But we all have special stuff that make us happy. So why don't we share those. Not the perfect. Not the expensive. Not the latest fads. But the everyday moments that make us smile and make us crazy. 

So with the inspiration of a few friends' Instagram feeds, my own curiosity and fascination with living spaces, and the need to get away from my disillusion that everyone else has everything I want, let's share all of our own moments of #mylifeunstaged. 

Rules? There aren't really any. Just show me the rooms and items in your homes that you love. 

Here's my episode 1 of my life Unstaged. The bedroom. 


My bed. Man I love my bed. The first three years of marriage we slept on a 15+ year old mattress we inherited. Then we bought our first piece of furniture. A new mattress with a simple box springs and metal frame. I have thought about getting a bed skirt but it would just collect dust right?

My be surroundings. 

I always have a box of tissues by my bed. I've been known to blow my nose... A lot. People make fun of me for it. But even the thought of boogers in my nose gives me the heebie geebies. The newest addition to my bedroom are the striped pillows and bench. Both were Christmas gifts... From myself. (Am I the only one that does that?) and both were from Joss & Main. Now that is a cool store.  Especially when everything was an additional 20% off. 

And the black rectangle is my inherited laptop from Colonel Brandon. It has no battery life and is not sleek, but it works. 

And then Maggie's stuff can be found in every room. We have this new tradition of playing with toys on the bed while we watch Kelly and Michael in the morning.  

So there you have it. My Life Unstaged. Join in on Instagram with the hashtag #mylifeunstaged.  

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Maggie is her mother's daughter

Both of us have days like this. 

But we have good enough friends that still love us anyway. 

Starting tomorrow, I'm going to be trying something new on Instagram. So you can either follow me to participate or just unfollow me if it's annoying. I won't be offended :). But I'm hoping it will help me realize all the good I have and recognize the beautiful things that tell my story instead of wishing I could have everything everyone else has. Because I tend to do that more than I'd like to admit. 

If you want to follow along, my Instagram is @em_bastian. 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Maggie the Model: Emme + Ivy

Maggie had the honor of modeling for the new company started by my very good friend. I just got the pictures back today and because I have instagrammed waaaay too much the last few days, I'm going to post them here.

If you love what you see, check out the adorable leather bows and moccasins over at Emme + Ivy. And then schedule a photo session with Whitney.