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by Sara Burlingame

The clerk at Kohl’s just cheerfully asked me if I was pregnant. Rather than honk his impertinent nose I just said “no” very carefully and slowly. My “no” had five syllables.

So he followed up with, “Oh, did you just have a baby?”

With the patience of Clytemnestra I said, “No. And you should stop now.”

He asked if I was offended about 50 time. I smiled and said, “Of course not; women love being told they look pregnant.”

This made him break into a relieved smile and say, “Really? Oh good!”

I replied with my best pitying glare, “Of. Course. Not. Just. Stop.”

A gentle reminder: the only appropriate time to assume a woman is pregnant rather than overly fond of her own cooking is when the baby is crowning; no sooner.


It’s Not About That Bass

This isn’t the post I intended to write this weekend. But something happened that pushed it forward.

Translating Gendered DoctrineThe discussion on my recent post Mother: Where Art Thou? took an interesting, but familiar, turn. I intended the post to be mostly a personal expression of how I hoped for more knowledge about my Heavenly Mother and to support Julie de Azevedo Hanks’s music reflecting that goal. But (predictably, I suppose) it has become mostly a discussion of whether and why learning about Her matters at all.

It’s a typical pushback among Mormons. It always looks something like this, “Why are you making a fuss? If the church doesn’t already have it, the church obviously doesn’t need it. If the church needs it, it already has it and you are just too stupid to see it. If the church is lead by prophets and apostles of God, it’s just how it should be.”

Kind of like, oh, the filthy school of the prophets. That presumptive, treacherous Emma, who had to get all up in Joseph’s face about it. As if he didn’t have that whole Word of Wisdom thing already worked out in the Lord’s proper time.  [click to continue…]


Mother, Where Art Thou?

Missing in Theme

Proving again our oddity, Mormons proudly proclaim an acknowledged—but sparse—doctrine of Heavenly Mother. While the thought of a Heavenly Father without a corollary Heavenly Mother “makes reasons stare,” we spend most of our church lives behaving as if she isn’t there. And if she is there, well, she’s auxiliary.

Mother, Where Art Thou?

Even the Young Women theme—the Young Women theme!—ignores her entirely.

We are daughters of our Heavenly Father, who loves us, and we love Him…

All true, but of all church programs, isn’t Young Women one place where we could—and should—explicitly acknowledge that we are also daughters of a Heavenly Mother, that she loves us, that she was a co-creator of our spirits, that we are created in her image?  [click to continue…]


Paid Menopause Leave – Because I Deserve It

#LeadOnLeave Is Sooooo Darn Awesome!

Recently I’ve seen flurry of sharing of a Valerie Jarrett promoted piece of foolishness. Propagandize government enforced perks and progressives clamor to get on board. Publicize perks for doing nothing—with eeeeeevilllll businesses footing the bill—and they will practically hyperventilate.

Paid Menopause Leave

According to the fallacious video “The United States is the ONLY developed nation WITHOUT paid maternity leave.” Compare that American wasteland to the lustrous and caring Germany—where new mommies get 14 weeks off with full pay— and it’s apparent that we have it bad here in the suckland of the world.


First, let’s be clear that there is tons of maternity leave (including paid leave) in the U.S. of A. It’s just not mandated by the government. You aren’t “entitled” to it (yet) just because you have the ability and wherewithal to conceive a child.

Second, in the U.S. both business owners and employees have (some measure of) freedom. If you want a job that provides 14 weeks of paid maternity leave (read that: 14 weeks that the company has to pay you for not working, just because you want something for nothing—because womb), here are your options:  [click to continue…]


As a blogger and homeschooling mom of six, managing my time is paramount. As someone who loves organizing and planning—unfortunately sometimes more than actually doing the things I’ve organized and planned—I know the value of creating a schedule that will motivate action rather than just look pretty on paper. (Full disclosure: I have Gantt charts to track my kids homeschool work from kindergarten through high school graduation. Yes, I do.)

Increased Productivity With Personalized Routines

In spite of my obsession, I’m not a stickler for very specific routines. Life ebbs and flows and urgencies arrive daily (sometimes hourly). Being able to accommodate those things is as much a part of planning as anything. But having a general framework around which to manage the various moving parts of life is very helpful for getting things done. The best routines are designed to fit your circumstances, personality, family, resources, and goals. The right routine is the one that works for you, motivates you, and takes you where you want to go in your life. Your goal is progress,  not stagnation or regression, with a personalized routine.

If you’re wondering how you can squeeze more of the best things into your days—while still accommodating the necessary and mundane—here are some resources for consideration. I’ll leave my general weekday schedule at the end of the post for your consideration.

[click to continue…]


March/April 2015 Open General Conference Thread

Yes, I know I should have opened this last week with the first session, but I neglected to. Please feel free to add your thoughts about the women’s session or any other session below.

Happy conference and happy Easter!


General Women’s Session

  • Sister Cheryl A. Esplin: “Filling our homes with light and truth”
  • Sister Carole M. Stephens: “The family is of God”
  • Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson: “Defenders of the proclamation”
  • President Henry B. Eyring: “The Comforter”

Saturday Morning Session

  • President Henry B. Eyring: “Is Not This the Fast that I Have Chosen?”
  • President Boyd K. Packer: “The Plan of Happiness”
  • Sister Linda K. Burton: “We’ll Ascend Together”
  • Elder Dallin H. Oaks: “The Parable of the Sower”
  • Elder L. Whitney Clayton: “Choose to Believe”
  • Elder L. Tom Perry: “Why Marriage and Family Matters”

Saturday Afternoon Session

  • Elder David A. Bednar: “Therefore they hushed their fears”
  • Elder D. Todd Christofferson: “Why marriage, why family”
  • Elder Wilford Andersen: “The music of the gospel”
  • Elder Dale G. Renlund: “Latter-day Saints keep on trying”
  • Elder Michael T. Ringwood: “Truly good and without guile”
  • Elder Quentin L. Cook: “The Lord is my light”

Priesthood Session

  • Elder M. Russell Ballard: “The greatest generation of young adults”
  • Elder Ulisses Soares: “Yes, we can and will win!”
  • Brother Larry M. Gibson: “Fatherhood — our eternal destiny”
  • President Dieter F. Uchtdorf: “On being genuine”
  • President Henry B. Eyring: “Priesthood and personal prayer”
  • President Thomas S. Monson: “The priesthood — a sacred gift”

Sunday Morning Session

  • President Thomas S. Monson: “Blessings of the temple”
  • Sister Rosemary M. Wixom: “Returning to faith”
  • Elder Jose A. Teixeira: “Seeking the Lord”
  • Bishop Gérald Caussé: “Is it still wonderful to you?”
  • Elder Brent H. Nielson: “Waiting for the prodigal”
  • Elder Jeffrey R. Holland: “Where justice, love and mercy meet”
  • President Dieter F. Uchtdorf: “The gift of grace”

Sunday Afternoon Session

  • Elder Robert D. Hales: “Preserving Agency, Protecting Religious Freedom”
  • Elder Kevin W. Pearson: “Stay by the Tree”
  • Elder Rafael E. Pino: “The Eternal Perspective”
  • Elder Neil L. Andersen: “Thy Kingdom Come”
  • Elder Jorge F. Zeballos: “If You Will Be Responsible”
  • Elder Joseph W. Sitati: “Be Fruitful, Multiply and Subdue the Earth”
  • Elder Russell M. Nelson: “The Sabbath is a Delight”

A social media conversation today started with this:

Is there a meme for Men Explain Mormon Doctrine? If not I propose that should be a thing—the tendency for, whenever a woman expresses concerns with some part of Mormon doctrine and culture, some dude to rush in to reassure her that it’s all okay and and then proceed to lay out his entire vision of Mormon Doctrine as though she’d somehow never heard any of it before.

Mormon Feminist MansplainingPredictably, it took just a few minutes for someone to use the word mansplaining to label this phenomenon. And then the revelrous sniggering began. Because, you know, never let a serious male mocking opportunity go to waste.

The term has popped up in hundreds of LDS discussions—mostly surrounding gender issues—the past couple of years. It’s garnered more overexposure than Hillary Clinton. For those of you who have been spared inundation with the vacuous descriptor, you may have reamined blissfully unaware of this critical conversational term. For you, here is the definition:  [click to continue…]


Remembering Robes

I’ve written about Robes before. He comes up in blogging and social media and conversation regularly. My kids who were too young or unborn during the Boca Raton days know his story. Or at least how his story intersects with ours. All my close Utah friends know him by name, even though they never met him. He’s just one of those guys. And not because he died too soon, just because of who he was and, I’m sure, still is.

Remembering Robes

18 years ago this week a bunch of friends attended our monthly GNO dinner. On the way home Sue, Patti, Kim, and I talked in the car. Kim was worried about Robes’ upcoming MRI. He’d been having odd, inexplicable symptoms for a while. We were sure the procedure would just rule out anything really bad.

A couple of days later, Robes called to ask me to speak in Sacrament Meeting on the upcoming Easter Sunday. (He also happened to be our bishop, but we could only call him “Bishop Patton” either when the stake president was within earshot or when we wanted to annoy him. (The latter being a not unfrequent occurrence, in retrospect.))

After chatting a bit, I said, “Hey, how did your tests go?”  [click to continue…]

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Book Review: Mormons Say and Do the Darndest Things

As a child I poured over my parents copy of The Devil’s Dictionary. The older I got, the more of its humor I understood. I felt so smart with each new enlightenment.

Mormons Say and Do the Darndest ThingsNow, thanks to one-time (well, really eight-time) Mormon Momma author Janiel Miller, we have an LDS version for your amusement. Introducing the one, the only Mormons Say and Do the Darndest Things.

Janiel is a gifted humorist in the very best Erma Bombeckian styling. She’s clever, witty, and endlessly (did you read that Janiel?) self-abasing. The last serves her writing, but doesn’t match the person. She has every reason to be arrogant, but instead she’s lovely inside and out.

I was delayed in my efforts to review the book because my sons (ages 11 and 14) kept sneaking off with it. They would show up at lunch or dinner with a bit to share. Usually it was something like “Fear Not the Apocalypse, for I Have Beans” (because beans in any context is unquestioningly hilarious) or the definition of apple beer (because beer in any context in unquestioningly hilarious, as in, “Hey, mom, can I have some beer. … I mean root beer? Hahahahahahaha bwahahahahaha”).  [click to continue…]


Emotional Labor – The Injustice of It All

Hear ye, hear ye, there’s a new injustice in town! Forget the war on women, white privilege, and ecological carnaage. A greater demon is in our midst!

Emotional LaborThe latest whinge du jour is emotional labor. You know, that age-old problem of oppressed and misused hirelings being coerced by Big Management to be decent to other people while on the job. (I know! I’m just as outraged as you!)

Not only are all the huddled masses without marketable skills and/or creativity forced (in that progressive #firstworldproblems #poorme #donotreallyhavetojustdonotwantto kind of way) to work minimum wage jobs that—get this—only require the skills sets they actually possess, they also are figuratively bludgeoned into being nice to their customers!

As author Ned Resnikoff of the illustrious mscnbc.com tells us:

A Starbucks barista’s job is more than just serving coffee. [Wait for it…] She also needs to be polite, even friendly, to the customers. [The injustice!!!] If she does her job correctly, then maybe the customer will walk away feeling like the barista was actually happy to serve him—that it was not only her job, but a genuine pleasure. [When we’d prefer he realizes she wants to throat punch him for drinking coffee.] In many jobs, that sort of projected enthusiasm may just be a way of earning some additional tips on top of the employee’s base pay. But in other lines of work—including the occupations which fuel America’s growing low-wage service sector—proper emotional responses are mandatory. [As in they have to be nice, even if they don’t feel like it! Oh!]

Did you read that? She doesn’t just huck frothy hot beverages at the people paying her wage. Her oppressive, greedy, filthy-rich (obviously to all three) employer requires her to hand the cup to them politely and—the height of indecency—with a smile! Can you imagine? Not only must she provide him with his drink of choice, she must attempt to make the experience enjoyable!  [click to continue…]