An Ickname

 My last post was mostly serious so thus by decree this one has to be as proportionally silly as that one was serious. Because that's how I roll, ya'll.

According to my Introduction to English Language class I took in college, words change over time. (Sounds kind of obvious, doesn't it?) Some of the things we talked about are how the article "an" came to be developed, at least partially. I don't remember what the principle is called anymore, but some words used to start with "n" instead of a vowel. These included words such as norange and napron. Think about it. The Spanish word for orange is naranja. Since writing (especially spelling) came long after language did and continued to change, it slowly became "an orange" instead of "a norange." Similarly, "a napron" become "an apron." Another similar change happened. Instead of the losing the "n," some words gained an "n." Thus that is how "an ickname" of the past became "a nickname" in its current usage. I have no idea how true all of this is. I'm just taking it for granted that my professor was right. I'm probably not explaining it super clearly because this class was years and years ago and my memory sucks now. (Mom brain.)

Anyway, my friend Jake (mentioned in this post) wrote a post about nicknames for his son and I decided to write about the various "icknames" I've had during my longish short years.

Nicknames have always been important to me for some reason. It's probably because one of my chief factors (and issues) in life is I have a great inherent desire and need to be special. And nicknames were always for special people and they always got them in special ways. Having a nickname meant being unique and having people love you enough to give you one. Thus, I have always sought for nicknames and cherished many of them throughout my life.

The obvious nickname for Tracie is Trace. I hated being called Trace when I was younger. It's probably because it's an actual word, with the first meaning coming to mind being a verb meaning "to delineate, sketch." I just always think of tracing, which I always considered a cheat even though I did it anyway in the 6th grade when having to draw Greek goddesses for a class and I got all this credit for being such a "good artist." Yeah, I never told. So it didn't count as a nickname. It wasn't until I got older that I started to view it as a sign of affection instead of a lazy substitute for a nickname. So, yes, bring on the "trace," unless I don't like you in which case you're forboden.

Related to Trace is "tray" which I'm saying right now I will NOT abide by. Seriously, call me that and I won't answer. (Unless you're my little sister who does what she wants anyway and I can't get her to stop.) The reason for my hatred of this nickname is when I was a young little Mia Maid there was another girl in my class who liked to pretend to be my friend but would really say mean and hurtful things about me behind my back. She would condescendingly call me "tray" as if we were the greatest buddest buds in the world. So, yeah, don't call me that.

When I was little my dad called me Monkey and Pumpkin. I don't know why. You'll have to ask him. I guess I was his little monkey probably always squirming and jabbering away like a monkey. Pumpkin isn't super special since I think he called all of us girls that one.

In the 6th grade I had a teacher who dubbed me the Doodle Queen because I always doodled on all of my assignments. I still doodle. Come look at my papers around the house. Common doodles include my name in various formations, flowers, cartoon guys, and geometrical shapes.

In junior high I had a friend who would call me Goth just because I hated it and wrote the word Goth on every page of my yearbook. Don't ask me why. I still don't know.

Also in junior high I became known as Tracie the Destroyer. This one is embarrassing for multiple reasons. For those who don't know, I was once shy and socially awkward. I also was known for being smart. (I was voted "smartest" in 7th grader.) Being known for being smart was tremendously embarrassing to me. Who wants to be that person? You might as well pin a sign on my head in fluorescent neon screaming NERD. I'm proud of my intelligence and geekiness and nerdiness (not the same thing) now, but in junior high, it was the kiss of death. Except for one small exception. The one time people want a smart person is when it comes time for a test. In my 8th grade U.S. History class we would play a test review game. The teacher would prepare questions that would be on the exam and write the answers on the dry erase board. The board would be COVERED with words in many directions. He would then divide the class into teams. Then he would have one person from each team sit with their back facing the dry erase board. He would then ask the question and the players would race to "erase" the answer from the board. First person to do it gets a point. The incentive to winning would be the winning team would get extra credit on the exam. Part of me loved and hated this game. I loved it because it was fun. And I was good. Very good. I very rarely lost. So people would fight for me to be on their team. One person in the class dubbed me "Tracie the Destroyer." It was a strange feeling, being mortified and pleased with myself at the same time. Incidentally, in high school, the same kid ended up in a different history class with me and renewed the nickname as that teacher also played review games. After awhile though I was forbidden to play because my team always won and the class would fight about it. Again, embarrassing. And not fair! It's not my fault that I have an awesome memory (prebaby) and am good at trivia and games. Anyway, that's that story.

Another personal favorite is TLee. This one is obvious. First name Tracie, middle name Lee. Put them together and voila, TLee. I still go by this one. My brother Tyler is the first person I remember calling me this. I was probably 17 or 18 and he started calling me TLee when I was working the floor (bindery work) at my dad's printing shop. I remember I started labeling all of my timecards TLee after that. I just loved having this special name. Now if I have to give initials for nonofficial purposes (like video game scores) I always use TLee. (As a side note, I've always loved my middle name, which is the same as my mother's.)

When I was 17 I was in a play of Cinderella that was for kids who were learning how to act. It was an acting and voice and dance workshop that put on a play at the end. (This was the beginning of me breaking my shy shell. I'll tell this story someday.) Anyway, in that workshop was a boy named Trevor. And he was cute. And I liked him. And one of the happiest days of my young life was when I found out he liked me too. Since I was ugly and fat and terribly unlikable, I was shocked that someone could like me. Anyway, as my first "boyfriend"--we never kissed or went on dates or even had much of a relationship beyond "liking" each other-- he gave me the nickname of Hot Queen Babe. Hot because I was, you know, hot. And Queen because I played the part of the Queen in the play and Babe because I was a babe. It's amazing how much a silly nickname can do for the self-esteem. Moving on.

Heidi gave me the nickname of TJ because we used to watch A Night at the Roxbury which had the line "Whatever you say TJ Hooker." This was sometimes shortened to Teej. I loved this nickname too. This nickname died after Heidi dated a guy named TJ.

Then came TMAC. Heidi's family (particularly her brothers) were into sports and basketball so they dubbed me TMAC  (as my maiden name is Tracie McNeil) after the NBA player Tracy McGrady. This name died after I got married though sometimes I go by Tbeck instead but it's not the same. I miss this nickname.

Now I come to my most commonly used nickname. When Austin and I started dating, he started calling me Princess which, after us mutually becoming obsessed with Homestar Runner, became Pwincess. And he is my Pwince. Yes, it's silly. But I love it. And Morgan is our Baby Pwince.

Other random nicknames include Queen of Cheese, which my friends and my mom called me. Because I'm cheesy apparently, in the corny, i.e., overly sentimental way. Why are both those words based on food? Why is food connected with sentiment? Yum. Yum. Anyway, I've also been called Captain Obvious for my penchant for stating the obvious. (If I were in a movie, I would be explication woman.) Austin sometimes calls me Queen of Random. And from time to time I've been addressed as Doubting Tracie, because I can be hesitant, skeptical, and reserved and tend to not leap before checking everything out first.

 And that's my icknames in anutshell.


Fancy New Trimmings--And Being True to Myself

OoooOO Look at my new blog layout! So excited about Blogger finally making things easier to customize. Now I can change it as often as I please. I'm going to try posting more frequently. I've been going through lots of different things lately. And I haven't been blogging about any of them. And I so desperately need to. Writing is a catharsis for me, a stress reliever. And since I haven't been writing, no stress has been relieved. For the Harry Potter fans, writing is my "emotional pensieve." It's so much easier to function once I just get it all out there. But instead of writing about stuff, I've been keeping it in or driving Austin crazy as he is the only person I've been really able to talk to about some things. (I've also been obsessing about certain other topics with other people as well.)

I can't sleep at night for various reasons. I have a serious sleeping disorder called "I stay up later than I should." And I should probably explain that because I know many people say they need to go bed earlier. But I'm willing to bet you're not high-fiving yourself on "progress" when you get yourself to bed at least by 2. Yes, I have a freaking problem. A very serious problem that is affecting pretty much every aspect of my life. And I don't know to fix it. "Just go to bed!" you say. It's not that simple. That's like saying to a smoker "Just quit!" Yes, I'm addicted to staying up late. I don't even want to stay up late most of the time. I even have a little voice in my head that says, "Go to bed, Tracie! Why are you still up? Just stand up and go. Just go. Just go. Do it. Stand up. Stop!" And I.......can't. I don't listen, not even to myself.

I've always been a night owl. Always. But I've always managed to get myself to bed by at least what I think are manageable hours (meaning midnight on weekdays and no later than 2 on the weekends, still averaging 7-9 hours on a regular basis). And when I've been exhausted in the past I've been able to go to bed earlier when I've needed to. Now it doesn't matter how tired I am, which is pretty much constantly. Whenever I do manage to somehow get myself to bed, I can't sleep or Morgan wakes up and keeps me up half the night anyway. So what's the use? I sometimes ask. I survive by getting as much sleep as I can on the weekends or sleeping when I get off work and Austin gets home.

So I'm admitting I have a problem. At least one. Another reason I haven't been writing is because I haven't wanted to self-reflect or haven't wanted to let people know what I really think or feel. And now that I think about it, maybe that's part of the reason why I don't go to sleep at night. I haven't been honest with my feelings or haven't done or said what I really want to say and do. I know most people probably don't care about what I think or feel. And that doesn't bother me. I mean, who am I anyway that someone would listen to me? But the fact that I've been censoring myself, on my own blog, well I'm being disingenuous then. I'm so afraid what other people think of me that I'm not even honest about who I really am or what I care about in my own personal space.

And I'm thinking....that's gotta change.

So, hi, I'm Tracie. I'm a progressive LDS feminist who is passionate about many things, one of the chief being birth advocacy.

*EDIT* Another change I want to mention is that I have deleted my list of links to family and friend's personal blogs I follow. But don't worry! I still read all your blogs (if you update more than a few times a year). Just via Google Reader instead of the links that used to be here. Bu the links can still be found for anyone who used to use my links to get to other blogs. You can find the list on my profile page instead of my home page here.


Dear Austin

I was still in school when Austin and I were dating. The semester we got engaged I was taking Marriage Preparation at BYU. (Highly recommend. Probably one of the best classes I've taken in my life ever.) As one of the assignments in that class, I was to write a letter to my fiance explaining why I wanted to marry him. In honor of our four-year wedding anniversary, coming up later this month, I'm posting my letter to him, written four months before we got married:

Dear Austin,

     I know that there could have been someone else for the both of us. We could have (and I guess we still could if we really wanted to) changed our minds and found someone else. But we didn’t. After fourteen months and against sometimes insurmountable odds, we are still together and going strong. I know that before we started dating I told you that I could never marry you. I was wrong. I was wrong for so many reasons. To further clarify, I would like to tell you all the many reasons why I’ve decided to marry you when I know that it could have been someone else. First and foremost, I’m marrying you because I love you. I have known love before, but it is never been as deep or as meaningful or as comfortable as it is with you. Though I know that love is not all you need to get married (despite what the Beatles say) I have always felt it important that I marry someone I truly love and not someone that another person tells me I should marry or because it’d be convenient or because I couldn’t find anyone else. So I’m glad that I’ve found someone that I can love throughout this time and for the time to come.
     A second huge reason I want to marry you is because you’re my best friend. You make me laugh like never before. You understand me. I can read your mind. I know every face, every gesture, every motion that you make. Ours is a relationship built on trust and friendship. I know that we would have never made it this far if we didn’t have the rock of friendship to build upon. It has kept us together when times have been rough.  Because you are my best friend we respect each other and our respective thoughts and feelings. Being my best friend also means that you get my jokes and I understand yours.  We sense things that others don’t. I enjoy being with you. I have never had as fun with another person than I do with you. I can completely and totally be myself whether I’m makeup-less, having a bad hair day, being a total spaz, being completely moody and irrational, or being silly and immature. I’ve never had that with anyone else as much as I have it with you. You let me be myself. You don’t make me afraid or frightened to reveal all my sides whether good or bad. I can share my thoughts, feelings, emotions, fears, embarrassments, bad news, good news, irrationalities, rantings, anger flashes, and stupid comments with you without fearing your reaction.
     Another reason why I want to marry you is you give me confidence. I have shared with you my hopes and my dreams and you never send them crashing down. You cheer me on.  You cheer me up. You raise me higher than I could be without you. It is you that gives me the strength to keep trying, to not give up. You believe in me. You think I’m amazing. I’ve always wanted that kind of support and I’ve finally found it in you. You make me feel like I could do anything, that I could accomplish anything simply because of who I am.
     I want to marry you because I think you’re going to be a fantastic father. Kids run to you like they run to the icecream man. They trust you. They love you. Watching you with my nephews and nieces has made me look forward to the day that we can bring our children into the world. You make me feel like I could be a good mother. I want to be a good mother and bring children into this world and together raise them to be a righteous example to the world.
     These are just a few of the biggest reasons why I want to marry you. I could probably write on for pages. I want you to know that I know that you’re not perfect. And we both know that I’m not perfect.  But you make me want us to become perfect together. We may both have a long way to go, but I know that together we can and we will make it. I love you, Austin. More than anyone. And I can’t wait until we can finally start our lives together.

Love you always and forever,

To Cut or Not to Cut?

The votes are in! I will be cutting Morgan's hair soon. I'll do a post when I actually get around to doing it.
The votes were evenly divided between trimming, cutting, and waiting. I waited anyway (mostly out of laziness). Only one person thought we should let Morgan grow a mullet. It's starting to head that way, but sorry, we won't be keeping it like that. Stay tuned for pictures and a post on cutting Morgan's hair! Ooo Fun Stuff. My life is so boring. (More exciting...Morgan is almost 1!)