I'm a Mom. I need adult conversation. I need to talk about the banalities and the excitements of life, and be understood by the masses. Most of all, I need feedback. Let's chat. You about yours, me about mine, us about ours. Let's find and discuss the Common Mommy Denominator.
http://trying2staycalm.blogspot.com/ The woman on this blog is doing a give away of David Bowman's art...he does some of the most beautiful pictures of the Savior with kids that I've seen. Just leave a comment on her blog to enter, and good luck!
Got a call this morning from a Steve Hymon...really nice reporter from the LA Times asking if, instead of including my letter in print, he could post it online in their LA Now section; it seems he's in the transportation division of the paper, and the editorial department passed on my letter to him.
We chatted for a few minutes, expressed our dismay at the ludicrous nature of the aforementioned incident, and he said he'd be using his reporter privileges to seek out the contact information for the offending driver and ask if he had any comment. Awesome, huh?
Anyway, wanted to give you all the update, and the link to my (edited for "privacy"...you actually have the license plate number here on my blog!) letter on LATimes.com. Enjoy! Ooooh, and comment, too...even better there than here! (And I'll never say THAT again!)
You know, seriously, I got back like 6 cards this year of the 50-some we sent out, and you'd think that that meant that some of these people died, right? Oh, no! All of them were people close to my age that I've known for years and years...and YOU might be one of them! Yes, you!
Did a card never come? Were you left wondering if the Bradshaws cared enough to send a Christmas greeting? It could be because your card is hanging out on my desk waiting for you to send me your new address, but I can't find your contact info to ask you for it. Whatever the reason (his heart or his shoes, he stood there on Christmas Eve hating the Whos), it's highly possible - probable, even, if you're enough of a friend to read my blog - that I have one for you and wound up with it again!
IF YOU DID NOT GET A CARD, PLEASE LET ME KNOW!!! (And maybe send me your home address via email while you're at it...or just ask me to delete your comment instead of posting it for all to see. That works, too.) I need to keep my address book CURRENT, people!
If you DID get a card, yay!, and thanks for being someone we want to send one to!
Much love and Merry (again, belated) Christmas to all!
I saw you the other day on the 10 East, sir. I was behind you for close to five minutes wondering why on earth you weren’t keeping up with traffic, why your brake lights kept coming on, and why you didn’t flinch when half a dozen people cut you off. It was when you swerved just a bit to the left, and then just a bit to the right that I became worried enough to pass, but the true horror of the situation didn’t set in until I began making my way around you.
You see, you were reading the Wall Street Journal. You may not remember the day, but I’m sure you remember the act, as it looked practiced enough.
I had been wondering if you were on your phone or texting on a Blackberry or some such, but then the Wall Street Journal flapped across your windshield – no wonder you kept such distance betwixt yourself and the cars in front (and pulling in front) of you – and suddenly I was more afraid of you than of the possibility of another car-to-car shooting on an LA freeway.
You were engrossed, sir, and as I made my way along the express putting distance between us, I caught sight of you a few more times in my rearview mirror, still reading your paper.
When did our populace become so self-absorbed as to believe that the Journal is more important than the safety of others (regardless of your own investing habits, Mr. 5WSK863) and so ridiculously overconfident to think we can safely navigate hundreds of pounds of steel while reading the paper/talking on the phone/texting our friends? You, sir, are a prime example of our American foolhardiness, with your utter disregard for your fellow man.
Please, put down the paper...for the sake of every commuter on the 10 East.
Much obliged, Jessica
(I'll let you know if by some miracle it is published.)
Christmas was wonderful, thanks for asking...and the kids had a fabulous time, of course, and were THU-RILLED to see a half-eaten cookie, mostly-drunk milk, and leftover crumbs on a plate courtesy of Santa...and we were thrilled to see them get all excited and tear through gifts and jump up and down and yell, "WOW!" That was the best.
We went with basic, educational, and active-encouraging toys this year...blocks and puzzles and plastic food and juggling balls and jump ropes and books and games and paints and playdough and things. Mia got a trike from Santa, and Tyler got mini styrofoam RC airplanes (meant for 8 +, but he's one very competant kid), and both have been VERY busy with their new things since.
I confess, though, I now understand why my mom always seemed so overwhelmed by Christmas and decorating and shopping and whatnot as a kid...and so relieved once everything was put away, though she never was eager to do it. As a kid, it's all so exciting, and the music is enchanting, and the decor is the stuff of dreams (even when it is limited), and the gifts are tantalizing, and the mood is always through the roof. As an adult, the music grates on you long about 2 1/2 weeks in, the decor is a responsibility, the gifts are a credit card disaster and a parking lot accident waiting to happen, and the mood is entirely up to you. Yikes. Yet another about parenthood they don't tell you about.
But all is well, the decorations are packed away, I'm already missing the music, the remaining junk food has found its was to the garbage, and I'm ready to take up my oil paint set and start painting...once Jason finds a minute to build me an easel. :) Oh, and he's wearing one of his new French cuff shirts today with one of his new sets of cufflinks. And looks REALLY hot.
So like I said, all is well. And Merry Belated Christmas.
Oh, and, yes...our couch and our carpet are that dirty, (the couch will be a playroom jumper some day, and the carpet needed replacing when we moved in but we told them not to bother because we'd only destroy new carpet anyway,) Jason DOES look that young, and Mikayla DID sit on her trike to open every present thereafter. Aaaaaah, Christmas...
I should be getting ready for church right now, of course...no, scratch that, I should be LEAVING for church right now...but I don't know if it's the whole cooped-up-during-Winter-with-the-heater-on-so-that-your-throat-dries-out-and-nose-stuffs-up thing or what...point is, it's now 8:46 AM and Tyler is still asleep. Maybe he doesn't feel well, maybe he was up half the night because he was cold, maybe he was lying awake in bed until 2 in the morning or he's catching up on long-missed sleep, I don't know. All I know is I went in there to wake the kids at 8:28 this morning (because, let's face it, they're usually up by 10 after 7) and though Goo leaped up to greet the morning, Tyler was lying on his bed and his giant bear body pillow sideways across the bed, curled into a tiny ball with only his pajamas for warmth in a 65 degree home. I summarily recovered him, bid him good morning, watch his eyes flutter briefly, and then he snuggled into his blanket and was again out like a light.
Some people would argue that I must tear him from the warmth of his bed to keep his daily schedule normal, and then throw on his slacks and reindeer sweater and drag him to an overly-air-conditioned church, but I am not some people. My kid is dead tired, finally warm, and apparently quite content, as evidenced by the snore he let out when I photographed his sideways-sleeping form. His sister, on the other hand, is happily ensconsed in a giant blanket with her puppy and watching Diego. (Ask her, and it's Dee-AAY-Doe.)
Luckily, we have Sacrament last, so I'm pretty sure we'll at least make it to THAT meeting.
And next week our church schedule changes to 11 - 2, which is just about the worst possible time to be assigned to church when you have mini-munchkins. Seriously. My kids eat lunch around 12:15 every day, go down for naps between 1 and 1:30, and will be absolutely stinking MISERABLE every Sunday from now on. The least I can do is give my poor (sleepy? sick? frozen?) son a break today. And if for some reason we don't make it to any of our meetings, well, such is life, and Jason will have to represent us. Sometimes the good of the one outweighs the good of the many, no matter what Spock said.
Never thought I'd agree with Captain Kirk. Huh. Stranger things have happened.
*****NOTE: It is now later this evening, but I wanted to report that not only did Tyler not get up for a while more, it was 9:45 AM before he got out of bed!!!!! He hobbled over to me, asked for a glass of water (kid-sized, of course), and then drank 3 1/2 of them...followed by 1 1/2 pieces of French toast, 3 yogurt tubes, half a cup of grapes, half a cup of veggie chips, a huge serving of Mac N Cheese (Cheese Pasta around here) not much later for lunch, followed by a cookie, two servings of rice, some teriyaki salmon and two servings of teriyaki veggies, some chocolate, and 3 more glasses of water at dinner! Not sure what's going on...a growth spurt, perhaps? Either way, we missed church because I was making MORE French toast, opening ANOTHER yogurt tube, and doling out grapes and veggie chips. Cest la vie! At least he's healthy!*****
This was one a good one. See, Mikayla asks for water the following way:
She has recently learned a new favorite phrase: "Mia do eet!" (When you ask her to say "Mikayla" she says "Mia," so that has become a new nickname. It makes me think of Mia Farrow, oddly enough, but I digress.) This was followed shortly thereafter by "I did it," emphasis on the "I." (The phrase came into vogue, by the way, when Mikayla was hanging ornaments on the Christmas tree. After each ornament she hung up - or pressed against the tree and allowed to drop to the floor - came an "I did it!" yelled at the top of those little lungs.
So here's the good one, because thus far these are all just rather cute.
The other day we were taking Tyler to school and the kids had brought some water-filled sippys in the car...and once Mia was all buckled and ready to go, she said (the sippy sitting in her lap), "Mommy, battow-be."
I turned around and said, with mock teasing, "Mia, you HAVE water! It's in your lap!"
She looked down, perplexed, spotted the sippy, and yelled:
"MOM-MY, I BATTOW-BE DID IT!!!"
Okay, so it wasn't quite in the right order, but she has the general idea...and I confess, I like her sentence structure better.
I always knew my daughter liked to run around half-dressed...in a diaper...or undressed...but Kim was over the other day and we were doing Christmas crafts, so I whipped off her shirt (didn't want paint on it), threw her into her highchair, and let her go nuts.
When she was finished (and consequently wandering around in a diaper right after a diaper change), I asked Kim if she'd ever heard Mikayla get excited about being nearly-nude, and she said no. All I had to do was draw Goo's attention to her semi-nudity, and the result?
(At the top of her lungs...) "MOMMY, I NAY'DEAD!" (At which point, mind you, she threw both arms over her head like she'd just scored a touchdown.)
Nay'Dead. Yes, folks, I don't know what it is about the opportunity to run around clothing-free, but my little girl is never happier than when she's Nay'Dead. Must take after her mom. :)
So, I can't tell you about ALL of the Christmas crafts we did this season because some of those crafty things will be going out as gifts very shortly, but we WILL tell you about most of them...and I have to do this BEFORE Christmas, of course, because in a few days no one will want to hear about them!
We made ornaments this year...specifically snowflakes (from pipe cleaners and beads) and reindeer (from clothespins, a dowel, paint, googly eyes and pompoms). I'm gonna try to upload some photos, but with blogger lately, you never know. The snowflakes came from FamilyFun, and they look fabulous and sparkly, and are time-consuming and tedious, but quite easy. (For teeny hands, though, threading beads on pipe cleaners can be a little rough.) The reindeer idea came from some clothespin reindeer we had in our home growing up, and 50 clothespins I found at a thrift store for under $2. Jason cut a dowel into 1 1/2" lengths for me, and the kids had a blast hand-coating the dowel bits and the clothespins in brown acrylic paint. When they were dry, the kids watched Mommy glue on eyeballs, noses, tails and hooves, and had fun laying them out on the table just right to dry.
We made Christmas turtlenecks with Bella one day, when the kids used red, green, and gold fabric puff paint to decorate them, and they, too, came out ADORABLE. Though Miss Bella has hers at home and I couldn't photograph it for this blog entry, each one is uniquely that child: Goo's is covered in a crazy smathering of color, Tyler has his name and a couple handprints on his (with the R on one sleeve because he ran out of room), and Bella girl has lumps of color along with two matching candycanes. They're so cute it's surreal. We did a paper countdown chain with construction paper, of course, and Tyler and I made snowflakes for the windows, and we made yarn cardholders, decorated a wreath, and I've been knitting scarves like crazy...oh, and just took the kids to the fabric store so I could MAKE some of the same, super-pricey ones that are available from GAP and the like. All you need is some heavy, washed-and-softened felt or some neat lightweight t-shirt fabric. AWESOME.
Oh, and there are the cookies and things, of course...most especially sugar cookies bedecked with sprinkles of all sorts and Jason's famous dark-chocolate topped peanut butter cookies...which happen to be Santa's favorites, so we'd better get on making another batch!
And speaking of baking, Nona and Papa are at the door to make a gingerbread house with the kids, so I'm off! Merry Christmas!!!
It's official...we now have a pastry chef in the family! Kate graduated from cooking school last Friday after studying this last year to become a pastry chef, and we got to enjoy a viewing-and-tasting Open House experience on the 10th at her school...where we saw first-hand some of the crazy wedding cakes these people put out! I'm tellin' ya, there was a cake that looked like a stack of blue pillows with a golden genie lamp on top, a Mexican Day of the Dead wedding cake (I still don't get it), a cake that looked like a vase full of lillies, a Winter wedding cake covered in snow flurries, snowballs, and snow flakes, and - of course the best - Kate's & Partner's, a funky reverse wedding cake...3 square tiers in BLACK with WHITE polka dots! But the best part was the inside...it was a lemon wedding cake with a raspberry mousse in the middle!
And that's really saying something, because I tasted a bunch of those cakes (they all served little slices or cupcakes alongside of the same cake they used in the creation for the sake of tasting), and some of them were "okay," but some were NASTY with a capital N-A-S-T-Y!
Anyway, we're all relieved for her that it's over, and thankful that she is still happily ensconced in her job at Rosita's (?) Bakery as the head pastry chef whipping up new and tasty delights for their customers! Congrats, Kate!!! IT'S OVER, and you're a CHEF!!!
Because it's been, oh, more than 2 weeks since I posted anything, I thought I'd check in now. (Holiday seasons are the worst for blogging, as evidenced by the fact that most of my friends and family have added maybe one or two entries to their own blogs since sometime shortly before Thanksgiving.)
So, Jason is done with BH now, and thank heavens for that! This time around wasn't QUITE as bad, admittedly, thanks to my folks' willingness to stay over with the kids while I went up for a night the second week, and thanks to Jason's willingness to take on his whole crazy family in his hotel room during the 3rd week. My private trip up was nice and relaxing, and we went to The Stinking Rose on La Cienega (Ed Debevic's is closed, for those of you who were wondering why we didn't go there, and Spago is still way beyond our price range, for those wondering why such a foodie hasn't been THERE) and is was good times...more garlic in each entree (and appetizer and DRINK and DESSERT) in that restaurant than you can imagine! Seriously. We started with some garlic rolls topped by roasted garlic with garlic oil for dipping and fresh chopped garlic-and-parsley for spreading on top. Oh yeah, baby. He had lamb and I had rabbit (which is basically tough, greasy chicken...don't bother!) and both dishes were marinated in garlic with garlic-added sauces to accompany them, both coming with garlic mashed potatoes. Jason ordered a whole roasted garlic bulb, too, and we ate the cloves with a cute little fork by themselves. Oh, and we had gingerale, which actually burned my tongue...because, Jason realized, there was garlic in our drinks. I'm not kidding. At all. We opted to skip garlic ice cream for dessert and instead had a room service chocolate mousse thing back at the hotel...you can imagine our motivation for doing that. I kid you not, though, when I got home in the morning, the first thing my mom said (not knowing where we'd eaten) was "Boy, did you have garlic? You stink!" And I did. For a couple days. In fact, I was reliving that meal for a few days, smell-wise, in every sense.
Last week I took the kids up there for a night with Daddy, and they were SOOOOOO excited! In the lobby of the Hilton they have a display of a gingerbread city complete with HO train zooming through, and the kids went nuts, of course...and were made equally nutty by the giant Christmas trees and massive wrapped "presents" in the lobby. Oh, and the fish tank by the elevators. That was the proverbial icing. As I was attempting to check in and retrieve a key, Tyler spotted and zoomed to the fish tank, followed closely by Mikayla whose shriek of "FEESH! FEESH!!! FEEEEEESSSHHHH!!!!!!!!" echoed loudly off the marble floors and walls. I was relieved to note that the Hilton staff appeared delighted instead of irritated, and the bellman promised to keep an eye on the kids (who were directly behind me about 50 feet) while I got my room key. They loved the room, the balcony, jumping and rolling around and somersaulting on the bed, watching the TEN DOLLAR movie I ordered (Wall-E...SOOOOO CUTE!) and just generally exploring the room. We took them to Cheesecake Factory for dinner (and they did REMARKABLY well!), drove by the LA Temple to check out the lights, went back to the hotel and got them showered (YES, SHOWERED!) and ready for bed...when a party started in one of the ballrooms downstairs from us. UGH. I called down to the front desk and they told us the THUMP-THUMP-THUMPING of the music would continue until around 11, so Jason asked for a room change...and got one when the bellman showed up 10 minutes later with our new room key and to take our bags for us. (Nice to have Jason as a diamond member with Hilton!) They stuck us in a junior suite on the 6th floor which REALLY worked to our advantage...it had a couch with a pull-out queen-sized bed, just enough room for the kids, their stuffed animals, and the king-sized pillows we needed to line the bed edges so they wouldn't tumble off! They were out in MINUTES. The next morning we went down to the hotel restaurant for Jason's complimentary breakfast (he had an extra one for me and there was no charge for the munchkins), ate our fill, and he headed to work while we headed home to receive Bella. Non-stop action for the kids that day!
Last Friday was Jason's family work party at PwC, and so we took the kids to his office for a "Let's go see where Daddy works" afternoon and to see the special guest...SANTA! In fact, it was one of those things you have to RSVP for because Santa provides an age-and-sex-specific gift for EACH child. They had a big munchie spread, face painting and ornament-decorating, but the big draw was Santa. And can I just say, watching kids with Santa is THE BEST! Some are delighted, some are suspicious, and some - like Jason's coworker's daughter - suffer from abject TERROR at the idea of being seated on that fat, white-haired-and-bearded old man's lap. Poor girl was horrified having to be anywhere near him the whole time, and when they lifted her to sit her on Santa's lap (she's 3) she nearly had a stroke. People had to cover their ears for the screaming. Literally. Whoa. Now there's a kid who doesn't want to see Santa. (I have to admit, though, it was pretty dang cute, and I hope they got a really good photo!) I'm pleased to report that Tyler and Mikayla did GREAT, (Mikayla was mildly hesitant at first, but Tyler was a great comfort, relaxed as he was) and Tyler was DELIGHTED by his Transformer while Mikayla is STILL thrilled with her magnetic puzzle-like fishing game. Life is good.
Oh, and speaking of screaming kids, I can hear my kids attempting to out-scream each other in their room. Excuse me.
A = ADVOCATE FOR: Farmer's market shopping...or at least anti-Walmart shopping. B = BEST FEATURE: Brown eyes. C = COULDN'T DO WITHOUT: the Munchkins and my Hubby. D = DREAMS AND DESIRES: A "green" home, and the chance to get back in to theater somehow, someday. E = ESSENTIAL ITEM: Deodorant. F= FAVORITE PAST TIME: Cooking...sans fat-creation, reading or movie-watching. G = GOOD AT: A little bit of a lot of things, but nothing in particular. (Enjoying food doesn't count.) H = HAVE NEVER TRIED: Beluga caviar...yet. I = IF I HAD A MILLION DOLLARS: I'd buy and furnish a home, take a honeymoon, invest in retirement...and keep going. J = JUNKIE FOR: chocolate-covered preztels. K = KINDRED SPIRIT: You know who you are. L = LITTLE KNOWN FACT: I have assymetrical 2nd toes! M = MEMORABLE MOMENT: The first time I saw Jason. N = NEVER AGAIN WILL I: buy expensive clothes from anywhere but a thrift store. O = OCCASIONAL INDULGENCE: Sushi! Q = QUOTE: "C'est la vie!" R = REASON TO SMILE: Watching Tyler run and Mikayla bounce after him. S = SORRY ABOUT: a slew of things...I'm a longtime guilt fiend. T = TAG SOME FRIENDS: Cory, Jewels, and Kim. U = UNINTERESTED IN: Cleaning house when I could be playing with the kiddos. V = VERY SCARED OF: spiders! W = WORST HABIT: Not thinking before I speak...or not knowing when to stop talking. So, basically I just generally suck at conversation. X = X MARKS MY IDEAL VACATION SPOT: Le Carribbean... Y = YESTERYEAR DECADE OF CHOICE: The 70's...I was a helpless babe enjoying being spoonfed, sleeping 15 hours a day, and I was only in the 70's for a couple years, so I don't remember the clothes or styles. Z = ZODIAC SIGN: Crab. (Surprise!)
So, who'da thunk no one would be up for a cultural experience to the Korean Bathhouse? Huh. Couldn't've seen that one coming.
Anyway, it's been a while since I blogged...and it appears to have been a while since, well, ALL of you have done any blogging. 'Tis the season, I guess.
So, a catch up. That's what's called for. And here goes nothin':
I had a(nother) filling, Jason had a routine cleaning, Cory had a birthday (and Happy Birthday, Lady!)and so is now TONS older than I am, Eric had a birthday (and Happy Birthday, Sir!), Haley had a birthday (and Happy Birthday, Little Lady!) and is now...oh my gosh, she CAN'T be...SEVEN?!?!, Tyler is wearing his glasses (and everyone raves about how adorable he looks in them, which is far, far better than the teasing I was so afraid he'd receive), I still have fabulous vision, Mikayla has just started crossing her eyes to focus every once-in-a-while (sigh...apparently it's the people with the lightest blue eyes that wind up with the most vision problems, so thanks a lot, Keith...or is that Mom2?...either way, it's genetic, double-sigh), Roman cut Jason's hair and then Jason cut Tyler's hair, I saw Twilight with my old friend Ginny (who just had a baby like 4 months ago and looks FABULOUS, but that's no surprise since she looked fabulous before!) who was here with her extended family for Disneyland (former next door neighbor in Provo) and though it made me like Edward a little more, the special effects were the lamest I've EVER seen, Mikayla had croup (but Tyler's outgrown it) and gave me the adult version - laryngitis - which I'm still dealing with and currently sound like a smoker, Mom and Dad stepped in and gave Jay and I a couple nights off (with Jason's Hilton points for an overnight at the Doubletree in Dana Point and then our mini-splurge on a steeply-discounted stay at the Casa Laguna B&B in Laguna Beach...oh my GOSH, if you EVER want a romantic stay at a SoCal B&B...that's the one!!!), we had a quiet Thanksgiving with just us 4, a rotisserie chicken, canned gravy and cranberry sauce, mashed and yams and Pillsbury crescent rolls and roasted veggies and my homemade Dutch apple pie (which was delightful spending time in the kitchen with Jay and the kids and then peaceful relaxing afterward), had Jessica Garthe take some family photos of us and my folks and Kate & Victor (which I'm super-stoked to use in our Christmas cards!) and it was a fabulous experience (thanks again, Jess!!!), bought some more awesome Goodwill clothes on the cheap (including a stellar BCBG blouse WITH THE TAGS STILL ON!!!), ate at Mad Greek for the first time (yes, I know I've lived here most of my life!), put up and decorated the tree for Christmas, and to top it all off, celebrated Mikayla's 2nd birthday yesterday with my folks. And I sooooooo cannot believe that she's 2!
Whew! That was a mouthful!
Anyway, I'll likely elaborate on a few of the above-mentioned items shortly, but in the meantime, suffice it to say that it's nice to have been really busy (and restfully unbusy) for a change...and nice to have my husband at home.
Which he isn't, now. He's actually in Beverly Hills. Again. For the next 3 weeks. And working through Christmas Eve Day. But the stockings are hung (on the wall) with care, the children are nestled all snug in their beds, and my new filling is singing (or is that screaming?) at me, so I'd best stop drinking this cold water, grab myself some knitting needles (I forgot that part...I've been knitting scarves up a STORM, so if anyone wants a handknitted scarf, leave a comment!) and settle in for an early bedtime tonight. After all, with Jason away, what else is there to do beside read, knit, and sleep? Oh, and blog. Which is what I'm doing now. And am now giving up until tomorrow.
So there's this Korean Bath House in Garden Grove I've been reading about (as well as reading about traditional Korean Bath Houses) and I want to try it. And I want to know who will go with me, because I think it'll be one heckuva cultural experience, and a seriously good massage/body scrub/lunch to boot.
There's a catch: It's 100% naked, 100% of the time. In other words, it'd be you, me, and a gazillon elderly Korean ladies hanging out in our birthday suits. Seriously. (If you're male, it wouldn't be you, me, and the old women...you can't come, so don't even joke about it, 'cuz we'll all just roll our eyes.)
That, and a full day at the spa will cost you, including the tip and a tasty Korean lunch or fruit slushie or whatnot, a good $75 - $100. But considering you can't hardly even get a massage for that price anymore (BEFORE the tip), it's really not all that bad.
And for what you get, it's not much at all! (Still a splurge, I understand, and I'm gonna have to "save up" for it myself, but...read on!) You get towels and robes and toothbrush and paste and razors and lotions and yadayadayada...you get to hang out naked, and since I don't know of any nudist colonies around here, it's a once-in-a-lifetime, people!...you get to use the saunas, spas, whirlpools, steam rooms, salt room, jade room, clay room, mineral room, and showers, (the salt room is quite literally hanging out coated in salt - talk about detox! - and the jade room is lying around on warm jade wrapped in blankets (a perfect nap while your body absorbs stuff) and the clay room is, well, just that, and the mineral room is where you sit in steam all coated in minerals and...well, I don't know why you'd want to coat yourself in minerals and sit in steam, but there MUST be health benefits if millions of Koreans do it!...you get to enjoy a FULL BODY, DIE HARD scrub that will remove EVERY TRACE of dead skin cells (not for the faint of heart or those with easily-irritated skin, I hear, but perfect for baby's bum softness!)...you get an hour-long oil massage combined with a hair shampooing and scalp massage...and you get to buy some yummy, tasty Korean food to feed your body after you've fed your (spirit? psyche? curiosity?) desire for uber-relaxation. I hear it's awesome.
Except, of course, that the ladies are going to stare at you when you strip down because you're a young white/hispanic/NatAm/black/basically non-Korean girl. (Did I get everyone? Sorry if I missed you.)
Oh, COME ON! You KNOW you want to try this!!! Unless you're squeamish about the nude thing, in which case you really DON'T want to try it. Hey, that's our generation/culture for you. But try experimenting with another culture, will you? Because I REALLY want to...but I really don't want to go it alone.
So I need a volunteer with culture to experience, a bit of money to burn (you don't have to do the whole thing, which won't require as much $$$), and a willingness to hang out neck-ed.
Who's up to the challenge? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? (Love that gag...)
Okay, you didn't really ask. Kate told you at Girls' Night tonight at MexiCasa about how NASTY my cankles were when I was pregnant with Tyler, and I promised I'd post pictures. And, oh, dear heavens, she was right. Nasty. So...enjoy. And Anna...exercise! DON'T BECOME THIS!!! (By the way...first the belly, then the FEET!) (And this is, what?, a week late because I, like so many of the rest of the bloggers in the world, have been having photo-upload issues. Sorry!) (And one more thing...these photos are NOT DOCTORED in ANY WAY. Makes them all that much more scary, doesn't it?)
You know who you are. I see you popping onto my blog once - twice, three times, four times - a day looking for who-knows-what. It's always the same...the same IP address, even. The same locale. Can't get enough, huh? And you don't even know me.
I know. The intimate details of my kids' Halloween costumes, my daughter saying "Hoe-Fain" instead of airplane, my son creating his preschool art with glue and some unpopped popcorn...wow, that's some juicy stuff. And if you were Mom2 (or Mom, sorry, didn't mean to forget you!) or one of my myriad blog-friends or hang-out buddies - or even an across-the-world-via-blog-comment-comrade, I'd understand.
But you're not.
So why stop by? Are my diaper-wipe deep thoughts really that engrossing?
Please, let me know. Because I'm really, truly curious why you keep hopping on my blog. Especially since if I walked through your neighborhood tomorrow, I wouldn't know you from Adam. (Not a reference to you, Cory!) And unless you study my photos online (which I suppose is a distinct possibility), you wouldn't know me, either. So go ahead and leave a comment, because it's not like I don't know you're there, you blog-stalker, you. After all, site meter rocks! (That WAS a reference to you, Cory!)
So, come on. Say something. We're all curious about why you're here, haunting the internet wonderings of a S-A-H-M.
Oh, and if you're not my stalker, you're welcome to comment too. :) Fun times, people, fun times!
Growing up, my eyesight was 20-15. Good stuff. If 20-20 is perfect, my eyesight was BETTER than perfect. It wasn't until I went to an eye appointment a couple years back that I learned I now "need" glasses...and those only at night for watching movies or driving, and EVEN THEN only if I want to "sharpen things up" a little. So, no biggie.
My husband? Pretty much the same story. Not only a couple years ago did he discover a need for glasses...mostly when he's working on his computer. Which is always. But that's beside the point.
So it came as just a little bit of a shock to us when Dr. Yu told us that Tyler needed to see a pediatric opthamologist. "WHAT? WHY?!" Turn out his vision ain't so keen. At all. We wondered why he's been crossing his eyes on and off the last few weeks, but when we asked him about it, he always laughed and said "I'm a space boy!" and we were never sure if he was just being 4, or if there was some sort of issue. Well, turns out there's an issue...a big one.
It's genetic, of course...just not the genes that have rooted in our individual bodies. See, Jason's brother Keith (and Wendy will attest!) wears glasses/contacts, and has since he was quite small. I remember Mom2 telling about how just after Keith got his first pair of glasses, he stopped what he was doing and immediately got down on the floor examining everything...because he could SEE! And I'm starting to think Tyler's going to be doing the same thing.
See, the pediatric opthamologist gave us a prescription...for slightly less than Tyler needs, but in the hope that with his "slightly too small," "extremely far-sighted" eyes, as he grows, the lesser prescription might help him self-correct...a little. But the truth of the matter is, Tyler will be wearing glasses or contacts every day for the rest of his life. And we're talking, "Tease me" bottle-bottom glasses that magnify his eyeballs like bug eyes, poor kid. But he's tough and he's gorgeous, so I doubt anyone will give him a hard time more than once.
Anyway, Tyler's eyes are a +7.00 in his right eye, and a +6.75 in his left. Ask Kim...she'll tell ya that that ain't good. The blessing there, though, will come when he DOES get his glasses next week (we filled the prescription today...thank heavens for vision insurance!) and can suddenly see things and detail he didn't know existed, and not even have to cross his eyes (to overcompensate for the strain focusing puts on his little eyeballs) to do it!
So in about 7 days, Tyler will have a remarkably little pair of (preferably BLUE, according to Tyler!) "easy twist" (read: nearly unbreakable) children's glasses with cute little C-shaped ear-anchors (to keep them from falling off or being lost during preschool play), and we'll post pictures as soon as we take them. In the meantime, Tyler continues to function...but boy, will he notice a difference soon! Counting down the days!
Fire, fire everywhere...and not the kind you cozy up to in your fireplace! Yes, it's true, Southern California is ON FIRE! The sun looked like a crazy red ball of flame today - that is, when you could see it! - and everyTHING and everyONE smells like an out-of-control bonfire. There are PILES of ash all over, and its falling from the sky...at one point, Tyler even pointed out the "snow" and noted it must be getting close to Christmas! (They must be teaching Santa and Snow at Christmastime in preschool, because he hasn't had snow at Christmas since he was, what?, 3 or 4 months old.) I actually took some pictures of the ugly yellow-orange smoky sky today, but I'm having trouble uploading photos, so stay tuned. (Those of you staying tuned for the pregnant ankle pictures, I'm working on it!)
So Jay and I were batting it back and forth, and we figure it's one of two things, but either way, Heavenly Father is ticked! He's sick of seeing his temples and churches surrounded by protestors, as we see it, (I'd say synagogues and mosques, too, but no one seems to be touching those...I guess it makes good sense that people who insist on political correctness are die-hard politically correct themselves, because it wouldn't look good for them to turn on people who aren't popular scapegoats!) and so now He's decided to step in.
Enter fire, fire everywhere, and here are our two thoughts: either He's keeping the protestors at home (so they can breathe without inhaling ash gasping for the breath they use to shout) so He doesn't have to watch His children ridicule His children, OR He knows that the media is covering NOT petulant children right now, but instead heroic firefighters, fire reports, and evacuation warnings.
Either way, I'll take smoke and ash any day over grumpy "CIVIL RIGHTS" protestors (I say that tongue-in-cheek, of course) sticking bigoted signs in the temple lawn.
Quick disclaimer: I'm sorry to any and all who have had to evacuate and or have lost their homes, just as I'd be if the fires weren't preventing protestation...I'm only thankful for the littlest bit of silver lining available to a member of a church facing public ridicule for encouraging their people to vote their conscience and support a cause. I don't mean to be trite or unfeeling here, so if you're about to comment and tell me how awful I am for welcoming some respite from the protestors, please know that I mean no harm and am not intending to add insult to injury. I hope those with homes in the path of the flames have the blessing of fire insurance and had the quick thinking to gather together their most precious possessions, or at least THE most precious possessions: their family members. Best of luck to them all.
But back to the point...at 6:15 now, the smell is lessened, less ash is falling, night is coming on, and it's time for me to bathe the kids! Have a great weekend!
Katrina - my sister-in-law, for those of you who don't know her - is one of the best-dressed, best put-together women I've ever met. Ever. Hands down. (Sorry, Cory. You're fab...but here's what I mean...) I love her clothing. All of it. She's a ruddy super-model. Dressed to kill. Looks like a million bucks. And every - count them, EVERY - time (can you count an "every"?) I ask her where she got her outfit/shoes/pants/dress/blouse/skirt/top/jacket/sweater/coat (she is always so perfectly dressed that I'm constantly asking), she tells me SHE GOT IT/THEM FROM A THRIFT STORE!!!
I'm SOOOOO serious, people!
And I smile and think, "Wow...too bad that sort of thing never happens to me," and move on.
A few days ago I was browsing ebay for "lots" of kids' clothes for the munchkins when, thrilled at the pricing on ENORMOUS lots, I was getting ready to place a bid...and saw immediately before I clicked "Place a Bid" that the shipping costs exceeded the going rate for the clothing. We're talking $5 for 15 articles of clothing...and $25 for shipping here, people. Which may or may not be reasonable; they DO have to find a box, pack up the stuff, tape it up, drag it down to the post office and send it off from Timbuktu. But I digress. I thought to myself, "If I've posted something on ebay and it doesn't sell, what do I do with it?" Answer: Since I don't shop exclusively at Polo or Gymboree or TCP, I can't trade them for credit at one of those fun little consignment-type stores, so...I DONATE THEM TO GOODWILL. (Most of you have DI; I have St Vincent de Paul's, the Salvation Army, and Goodwill.) If I do that, maybe other people do that!
So the next day it was off to SVDP's (practically across the street) to look into kids' clothes. Jackpot. All clothing was on sale that day for $1 per item (!!!!!) and I spent exactly $24...for 24 articles of kids' clothing. Some of it had been washed a time or two too many (but they're kids; they play, they destroy their clothes, and they certainly don't care if the train shirt has pilling!) and a couple pieces had negligible staining, but all in all...14 NEW PANTS/TOPS for Tyler and 10 for Goo!!! I had both kids with me, of course, so hanging out to look in the adult area wasn't feasible after an hour in the kids' section, but since Tyler was with Nona and Papa last night and today, it was just me and Magoo...
...and what did I do with her? Took her to Goodwill. For 2 hours. No, I'm serious. She hid amongst the clothes, darted back and forth between the aisles, rearranged all of my credit and debit cards in my wallet, hooked (and I unhooked so she could rehook) her shopping cart seatbelt (over and over and over...) and I spent...ooooooh, here it comes!...about $175. On myself, and for me alone. (That's not entirely true...Jason benefits too.) :)
And I learned something about Anaheim...or Orange County in general. Katrina would LOVE thrift-storing here. LOVE it. Why? Because OC'ers spend WAAAAAY too much on their clothes. We're on a budget (okay, ignore the $175...it was a fluke, and this entry is too long already) and I can't afford to spend $89.99 for the pair of perfectly-fitting, in-perfect-condition GUESS JEANS I bought today! Nor can I afford to pay $75 (buy one, get one half-off promotion going on at Express right now) for the 2 EXPRESS BLOUSES I bought today, also in perfect condition. People, that right there is only $10 shy of the money I spent today...and what did I get that made that $175 so worth the splurge? A new wardrobe:
3 blouses (2 Express), 5 tops (Express, Banana Republic, Gap, etc), 2 LEATHER jackets!, 1 LEATHER skirt from Nordstroms!, a floor-length black formal gown, a knee-length Rampage cocktail frock, 2 pair of shoes, 3 pair of jeans (1 Lee and 1 Guess), a pair of tan cords from Chico, and a couple other things I can't remember off the top of my head. (19 items plus 2 pair shoes in all!)
I feel like I robbed a bank, people!
And all I can say is this: Cory, you're right about well-made, expensive clothing. It's worth every penny because of the quality involved. (I'm an Old Navy and Target girl usually...)
And Katrina, you're even more right...the ONLY place to get it is a THRIFT STORE!!! THANKS, LADY! (Now come visit and lets go shopping!) (Oh, no, Cory!!! I've finally turned!)
However you spell it, my uvula (don't know the spelling on that one either!) has been wiggin' out for the last little while...(Kim explained why we end up hiccing up...thanks, Kim!) and I finally realized...I know how to cure it!
In fact, I've always known I knew how to cure it, it's just that, over the last hour, I seem to have forgotten than I know how to end it.
Mommy brain at its worst, people.
So I just de-regulate my own breathing...breathe hard and quick two or three times (all through the mouth), then one long, slow breath, then a few short, faltering, repetitive inhalations, (I don't know how better to describe it...you'd understand if you saw it!) and repeat the process at random for, oh, I don't know, 20 or 30 seconds.
Never ever fails me. Except this one time. But that doesn't count. Besides, a spoonful of sugar and a glass of water solved that case of hiccups.
Anyway, next time you get the hiccups (which, in this house, we HATE), try it! AWESOME!
Crayon off a wall? Baby wipes (plus elbow grease). Pop tart filling off upholstery? Baby wipes. Ballpoint pen off your Sunday dress? Baby wipes! Black, smelly croc shoe-guck of your little one's feet? Baby wipes!!! Stinky mess of a baby's bum? BABY WIPES, OF COURSE!!! Lipstick off a sweater? Well, thankfully I've never needed to try that - yet - but if you have, let me know if it works!
Man, these things are indispensible. I take them EVERYWHERE, and you can't imagine how often they come in handy. Messy face arriving at Grandma's house? I whip one out! Sticky hands from the after-doctor sugar-free lollipop? Another baby wipe bites the dust. And Costco and Sam's Club both have those pop-up-type containers with plastic top closures (so you don't have to depend on a stick-shut sticker that will eventually fall off and be lost leaving you with air-exposed wipes) and they come in boxes of, what? a million? for about $20. I'll tell ya, once Goo's potty-trained and I run out of wipes, I may have to head back to Costco and invest in a last-forever box, 'cause these things ROCK!
So, Cory directed me to this counter-thing for your website that allows you to track who is visiting your blog and when, and it is the coolest thing EVER! It tells you not only who - AND their IP address!!! - but where they're from, how often and exactly when they visit, how they got to your site, how long they were on it, where they went after your site, and what pages they clicked over to while on your site. It's BRILLIANT!
In the last few days alone, I've had hits from New Zealand, Korea, two opposite sides of India, Germany, Quebec, and ALL OVER the US. I can't tell you how fun it is! So, Cory? When your little PG self visits my SoCal self, I see when you came by and what you were looking at! SOOOOO fun! Since I've been tracking visitors for, oh, close to 2 weeks now, I can also see how many times (and what time of day) Mom2 has been stopping in seeking out new photos of her grandbabies (pretty often!) and I have living proof that Jewels is still alive!!! (Come on, you were wondering, weren't you?)
So, a big thank you to Cory for hooking me up, (GENIUS on SO many levels!) and if you're interested in doing it to your blog, let me know and I'll pass on the info! FUN TIMES!
You know, it's not that I love their food - by any stretch - but there is just something about those breadsticks!!!...especially when you order a half-and-half of marinara and alfredo sauce to dip them. Holy cow, it doesn't matter whether you're sick and dying, grumpy and miserable, or suffering any number of ailments...those things will lift you to the heights of comfort and joy.
Comfort and joy. Ugh. Too early for Christmas.
Anyway, yum. All I can say is yum. The rest of it? Glorified Chef Boyardee. The breadsticks? Another order, please...and doubles on the sauce!
Trunk or treat was great...we only wish we could have brought the cars indoors for an inside-lighting trunk or treat. (Cars inside? Just imagine!) Anyway, here are Luke and Leia. I know they're twins, yadayada, but you have to admit, these two are a pretty cute pair of sibs! And yes, Mikayla is trying to eat the plastic...I guess she figured she'd get to the candy eventually! (She got sick of her wig after one go-around, by the way.) And just wait until I figure out how to make Tyler's light saber glow blue!!! In the meantime, I'll work on some of the others, but these are the best...and we may very well end up going to have pictures taken so we can get a good, professional-type Skywalker Family Group Shot! Stay tuned!
Protesters like crazy at various LDS temples...the list of Yes on 8 donors being circulated (with as many of the LDS individuals and groups on it identified as possible) so that no on 8'ers can harrass members and the church...harrassment and intolerance from angry no on 8'ers in general...truly, friends, did you ever think you'd see a day where Mormons were persecuted this widely again? The church does not generally involve itself in politics, of course, EXCEPT where moral issues are concerned. Not since the extermination law was presented, however, have we been so widely abused and subjected to such bigotry.
Someone please explain to me why no on 8'ers are so eager to engage in the bigotry of which they accuse us? Why they don't act like "grown ups" and just pursue legal avenues to complain? Speaking of which, if prop 8 should never have been on the ballot, why are they only complaining about it NOW?
Sigh. I am just so done with politics, people! Moral issues? I'm there, which is why I'm discussing hate against the LDS church now...but politics? It's been a few days...aren't we done yet?
No, really, it's true. I just won something else...and it started when I was a kid.
But I digress. Cory turned me on to a site devoted to various authors (mostly authoresses, actually), one of whom is one of her most favorites, and I recently signed up for a contest that they had at Halloween to win one of a number of novels for free.
Two days later, the authoress of the book I'd won emailed to let me know I'd won "A Virgin River Christmas," by her (Robyn Carr), and she was putting it in the mail. I got it today. It just made the NY Times Bestseller list. And Robyn's interested in my opinion once I finish it. Awesome.
But that's not the first time something like this has happened.
When I was quite young, my folks had taken us to Disneyland and they had this big promotion going on stretching from the teacups to Small World with all these "fair" games. You had to pay to play them, kinda like over in CA Adventure now, but my parents didn't want to fork over the cash. I begged and begged and begged, and they tried to explain that it was akin to betting, and that I wouldn't win...we'd just be out the few bucks to play. I begged and begged some more, and they decided to teach me a lesson. They relented, handed over the cash, and I chose the ring-around-the-bottle tossing game while they sat bag smugly, waiting for me to lose.
On the first toss I ringed one of those puppies. And what was my reward? A puppy. A giant stuffed dog that was quite literally as big as I was. In fact, I had to sit by myself on the Matterhorn and belt my enormous puppy in in front of me. And because it was so huge, my dad had to carry it out of the park for me. Heehee.
But that was a fluke, right? We moved on to another game because my sister wanted a turn. It was a frog-to-the-lilypad sort of game where you bounce a hammer on a lever and a frog flies off to try to land it on a lilypad cycling through the big pool of water in the middle of the tent. My sister had a few tries, and when she got to her last try and hadn't won, she asked me to do it. And I did. It. I won. Nothing quite as spectacular as the dog, mind you, but it was a stuffed frog of considerable size, and my sister was thrilled. So much for teaching me not to gamble!
A few years back I entered a contest on a radio station in Utah to reveal my most embarrassing moment. It must have been pretty embarrassing because I won...a $100 gift certificate to a local electronics super-store. I used it to buy our first DVD player shortly after we got married.
Some time after that, Jason and I were at Thanksgiving Point for something-or-other, and I ran around the place trying to enter a contest at the last minute, which I did successfully.
Now, you see, I can feel whether or not I'm going to win things. I don't know how I know, but I know. And I wanted to win the IMAX tickets for the T-Point movie theater...but I didn't feel it. I knew I was going to win something, but it wasn't those tickets. They were the 3rd place prize. Then the 2nd place prize was given away. There was a family sitting nearby who were holding hands and crossing their fingers for 1st place, but I leaned over to Jay and said, "Too bad I'm gonna win this one...and I don't even want it." Then they announced that Jessica Bradshaw had won the first place cast iron dutch oven prize. Huh. I didn't even know what a dutch oven was until Jason introduced me to the miracle of dutch oven cooking, and we used that puppy at least a dozen times before we moved away from Utah...maybe more. We brought it here, forgot about it, and it sat on our porch during a rainstorm, rusted like crazy, and we dumped it...but that was maybe my favorite prize of all.
A few months back I entered Ana Winegar's name (anyone heard from her lately???) into a radio contest to win her and her family some Disney tickets before he shipped out again to Iraq, and they won...but so did we. We got a set of Disney tickets too for having been the ones to nominate her. We sold some of them on ebay and made a couple hundred bucks to pay for our family vacation, so we REALLY scored, and it was overall an awesome thing.
I don't know, people...maybe the heavens have been kind to me with my winning luck because most everything else goes so ridiculously badly, or maybe they've smiled on me with my luck to shut me up and keep me from whining about things going ridiculously badly. (Not that my life is going ridiculously badly...I just whine a lot.) Either way, I have a new novel to read, and I'm going to start on it asap...as soon as I finish Brisingr. Anyone else reading the new Eragon book?
Either way, I just win stuff. Not a bad talent, eh? Talent? No, what is it? Not a bad...thing. Eh. What do I know? I just win stuff.
A little red, kinda looks like a teensy cut, but otherwise, just fine. No pus, no major swelling...good to go. Thanks for your desperate concern. Wait, no. (I can't blame you either.) Thanks, Kim, for still being willing to be friends with me, even if I'd had my left arm amputated. That means a lot. :)
Today at the farmer's market - or maybe it was somewhere else, and it just didn't start hurting until then - I managed to pick up what appeared to be a splinter in the top (on the first joint) of the forefinger on my left hand. It looked kind of odd, really...rather like an uber-thin thorn, or (arachnaphobe here!) a spider leg...and itched and hurt like CRAZY, getting progressively worse during the, oh, hour or so it was in there. It was so miserable (and, of course, I do have that weird thing about stuff sticking into or out of my skin, so that compounded the problem) that I actually abandoned one of my favorite things (grocery shopping!) to head home and get that splinter out!
After soaking it in hot water (to no avail) and trying to extract it via tweezers, I went for the big guns: I sterilized a pair of nail clippers and started cutting off (tiny little) bit of my own flesh. Within moments I had exposed the (WASP PROBISCUS?!?! No, not really, but I'm still trying to think of things that stupid splinter looked like, because it didn't look like your average wood splinter!) thing in my finger and removed it with the tweezers, and it looked great...nothing in the wound, no issues, no problems. So I forgot about it.
Until a few hours ago, when that tiny little area had swollen to a huge pink lump and looked all pussy and felt all painful. No idea how it got infected, or if that THING in my finger was somehow deadly (a venomous fly's pincer???) but, MAN, did that hurt. So I set about cleaning it out...ripping off additional swollen flesh, scrubbing it down, squeezing and bleeding it out, saturating it with rubbing alcohol and finally covering it first with neosporin and then a bandaid.
It still hurts, mind you, and I'm wondering if that was enough. I guess we'll see tomorrow, right? If I miss blogging for a few days, you'll know it's because I'm lying in a hospital bed, my left arm having been amputated to stop the spread of the poison. However, if I DO blog in the next couple days and forget to say anything about my (miserable, agonizing) finger wound, you'll know it's because it's fine, I'm healed, and I've basically just forgotten. :)
For some time now, I've been receiving some really ugly and foul comments on my blog from a woman with the above-mentioned name, all regarding prop 8. Interestingly, she's never once argued a valid point or had any sort of intelligent argument...just been incredibly hateful, which is exactly what she's accused me of being since I'm in favor of 8.
So here's the interesting test: Since Prop 8 has won, I'm interested to see if she blasts me as a bigot again "destroying the families of her gay and lesbian friends". It's been about 2 days now with no word from her (because I refuse to post or reply to her hideous comments), and I'm wondering if she's finally given up.
By the way, I'd like to make it known that I'm NOT against civil unions, which allow "partners" the opportunity to enjoy all the rights and privileges of opposite-sex couples as far as benefits, etc. (I am AGAINST same-sex couples being allowed to adopt or "create" children, but that's another matter entirely.) I think anything that encourages long-standing support and relations is a good idea, "gay" or "straight". I AM against redefining marriage, however...and voted that way, and am so thankful that it passed! The voice of the people may not prove to mean very much to liberals (particularly in the long run, when already we see them beginning court cases against Prop 8's passing not hours after the people have spoken!) but in the meantime, we took a stand, said our peace, voted our hearts, and did what we know to be right.
We were slandered and stomped on for it (check out the anti-Mormon ad that the no campaign created...some of the most obscenely bigoted crap around!), but we survived...and won.
And now that it's all over (and what a relief that is!) I will support President Obama (though I certainly did not vote for him, he will need the support of the people to fix the myriad things wrong with our nation) and get on with life...
...and leave politics to my political blog! Thank you for your patience (and SUPPORT!) in the fight for Prop 8...and stay tuned to see if Sarah is a gracious loser, or a grumpy girl. :)
Does loving gays have to include accepting committed gay relationships as “marriage” and not “civil unions”? Am I required to abandon my faith in order to vote?
I have a few gay friends and love them dearly. One of them has a boyfriend, and he's a really great guy. Should he elect to enter into a civil union, I'm happy to grant him his rights as a committed partner in a relationship; commitment is a wonderful thing in that it leads to built-in support and understanding. But "holy matrimony"? Not even he expects my little Mormon self to go for that!
Did our forefathers expect us to ignore our religious beliefs in order to cast a "real" vote? Why was separation of church and state ever instituted in the first place? So that we would not be forced into a national religion, but could select the belief or our choosing, and so that the pope or any other leader of a given religion could not rule over us. Never would the writers of the Constitution ask us to separate our beliefs from our vote - to vote against our conscience out of someone else's idea of "fair" - but instead to vote according to our conscience, and by default, my conscience involves the intensity of my faith, so my vote will, too.
People, when it is you and your God and your ballot alone in that voting booth, there is one question and one question only that is pertinant...and that question is not "what is fair?" but this: WHAT WOULD JESUS DO? In fact, in all matters of life, that is the ONLY question. And He has answered it repeatedly, in my opinion...that we hate the sin, love the sinner, and stand up for what is RIGHT.
What Would Jesus Do?
I believe the answer is to vote Yes on Prop 8, and for those of you who are our family, Yes on Prop 102. (If you're going to argue another point of view on His opinions, please support it. Thanks.)
Jason wrote something beautiful and important in defense of Prop 8. It follows:
According to Jeffrey Satinover, M. D., a psychiatrist and member of the Department of Politics at Princeton University, there is no more important reason to prohibit same-sex marriage than the effects it would have on children. "In every area of life, cognitive, emotional, social, developmental ... at every phase of the life cycle ... social evidence shows that there are measurable effects when children lack either a mother or a father. ... The evidence is overwhelming. Mountains of evidence, collected over decades, show that children need both mothers and fathers.
"This statement was made by Greg Quinlan, a former member of the homosexual community, who testified before the Ohio Defense of Marriage Act in November, 2003. Quinlan claimed that the physical and mental devastation caused by homosexual behavior, and the cumulative effect of that behavior "is incalculable.
"Two extensive studies published in the October 1999 issue of American Medical Association Archives of General Psychiatry confirmed the existence of a strong link between homosexuality and suicide, as well as other mental and emotional problems. Youth who identify themselves as homosexual, lesbian and bisexual are four times more likely than their peers to suffer from major depression; three times more likely to suffer anxiety disorders, four times more likely to suffer conduct disorders, six times more likely to suffer from multiple disorders and more than six times more likely to have attempted suicide.
A study by Susan Turrell entitled "A descriptive analysis of Same-Sex Relationship Violence for a Diverse Sample," and published in the Journal of Family Violence (vol 13, pp 281-293), found that relationship violence was a significant problem for homosexuals. Forty-four percent of gay men reported having experienced violence in their relationship; 13 percent reported sexual violence and 83 percent reported emotional abuse.
According to science, there are hundreds of nuances about men and women that even newborn infants can readily distinguish and that make a difference in the way the child develops. Yet their voice isn't considered in this great debate.
Society's compelling interest is to ensure not only the mere propagation of the species but humankind's well-being too, which is the whole purpose of heterosexual marriage. Heterosexual marriage is a societal structure and without it, society crumbles. And yet this is precisely what the courts have done. And they're doing it without any impact studies, and have ingored the voice of the people.
The two most recent posts are actually from a few days ago, but unfortunately, some No on 8'er found my blog and used it as a forum for personal attacks and inappropriate language, so I've had to do two things: delete the original posts to abolish the untoward comments and repost them, and then change my blog so that all comments will be required to be approved by me before they are posted.
I apologize for the inconveniece...I for one love to see my comment pop up on my friends' blogs immediately...but I will not tolerate foul language or accusations of bigotry due to my exercising my first amendment right. If "Sarah" wishes to repeat her comments - appropriately - I will be happy to allow them in the comment area for discussion, and the same applies to anyone who disagrees with my point of view, but please remember to keep your comments family-friendly and respectful.
Thanks, everyone! And thank heavens this is all almost overwith! Great to see so many of you at the Prop 8 door hanger and sign posting activity this morning!!!
All the No on 8 ads are getting to me...not swaying my vote, of course, but kinda pissing me off.
Here's the thing about "fair": Life isn't fair. It will never BE fair. It isn't fair to bad people, it isn't fair to good people, it isn't fair to religious people or atheists or blacks or whites or the poor or the wealthy...it just isn't fair. It's nice to strive for fairness, but there are ALWAYS extenuating circumstances, so what is "fair" to one person certainly isn't to another. Was it "fair" for 4 judges to overturn the will of the people? Was it "right" when the majority had stated their desires for their state?
And the very word "unfair" sounds to me like a the word used by a tantruming 5 year-old. "That's not fair, Mommy!" Shut up, kid, and deal with it like we all do.
So it's "not fair" that I don't want to use the word marriage - a definition I believe to be "God-sanctioned union" - to describe a bastardization of that union? Then I'm being unfair, and I'm totally okay with that. I'm entitled to my view, and whether or not Prop 8 passes, (pardon me for sounding like San Francisco's mayor!) I'm never going to think of homosexuals as "married" to one another, "like it or not."So that makes me a bigot, right? The idea that I'm refusing to recognize the "holy" matrimony of two people based on their sexual preference? Because argue it as you like, but I sincerely believe that that is what homosexuality is: a preference. But we'll get to that. You see, I don't care about the color of a person's skin. But I do think that just because someone wants something doesn't always mean - particularly for the sake of the rest of society - that they should get it. Gays want me to call them "married." That's what they WANT. It's not like their civil rights are threatened here...life and opportunity are there!...and I'm not trying to remove either based on the color of their skin or their sex. I'm not even removing opportunity based on their sexually-driven desire to unite with another person...again, civil union!
And I know a number of gays, bisexuals...no trans-gendered individuals, but I'm sure someday I'll know a few of those, too. They're great people, and I love them, and I accept their companions as their chosen companions...But I can HATE THE SIN and LOVE THE SINNER. Hating a sin is not bigoted. Which brings me to "wrong." All the no ads claim it's wrong to "do this" to gays. No, people, what is WRONG is the SIN of homosexuality. I know no one wants to throw this out there because it's too much of a far-right idea, but according to scripture, according to the church (and many many other churches, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and so on!) and according to Jesus Christ, homosexuality is SIN. It is a sin against nature and a sin against God.We are all tempted by different things. My grandfather was tempted by alcohol...to ruination. Some are nymphomanics. Some are tempted by homosexuality. It is when we allow ourselves to indulge in those things by which we are tempted that we commit sin and perpetuate addiction to that sin. Don't drink. But I'm tempted. So I drink. And I like it, so I drink some more. And I am an alcoholic living under the influence of alcohol, and I SIN.
At some point every homosexual on the earth decided to give it a try. To kiss their first same-sex person. To form an emotional AND sexual attachment to someone of their own gender. It is not experiencing the temptation to commit homosexuality to is sinful, and those kinds of preferences and desires do not make them bad people, just as those who crave booze or drugs or porn or any number of sinful items make those people bad. It is giving in that is the sin.
And sinners are not, by definition, bad people. Those who struggle with homosexuality are not bad people. Instead, they are tempted by something that doesn't tempt me. But rather than fight it, they yield, "come out," and suddenly define themselves by who they want to sleep with.I am a religious individual. I view homosexuality as wrong - as sinful - and I have heard a considerable amount of talk lately stating that those who REALLY "love Jesus" and "believe on His name" wouldn't vote away a gay's "right" to marry. If a Christian is really a Christian, they would "love their neighbor." Christ defended an adulterous from death by stoning. He loved her, but he did not excuse her behavior. In fact, rather than vote to make adultery legal to prevent her from the possibility of being stoned in the future (or to prevent other individuals so-tempted and who gave in to that temptation from being stoned), he told her to go and to sin no more. His admonition was one of love, faith, and hope that she would make a better choice.
If Christ were here, would he vote yes or no on prop 8? You, of course, may argue it as you like, and he is NOT here with us (again...as yet...) to vote in this election...but I believe his servants on the earth - President Monson and the 12 - have told us how he would vote. They have admonished us to fight and, Lord willing, prevail in this cause.And even if the church had nothing to say about this MORAL issue, I believe it is safe to say that the Savior of the world would have fought tooth and nail to prevent something that is a sin before God and nature from becoming even more tolerated...or being embraced, as is the case here. He would have embraced those individuals living lives that indulged in homosexuality, but not have embraced their sins. Quite the opposite. While loving the sinner, he'd have spoken out boldly against the sin, overturned the money-changers' tables, as it were.
And I, as one of his (horribly inadequate but very determined) disciples, can do no less.
I'm not sure exactly WHEN it happened, mind you, but I was on my way to the car this morning after my workout with little miss Mikayla, and TWO of the three YES on 8 stickers on my car were missing...RIPPED OFF the car, in fact! And WE'RE the intolerant ones?!?!?!
I had one next to my gas cap, one on the back bumper, and one on the right side of the car in about the same place as the gas cap sticker...Now I have one on the right side of the car.
I have not, however, been dissuaded from expressing myself! Thanks to Maureen Christensen, who gave me a small STACK of Yes on 8 bumper stickers, I have one on my stroller (which we took to Disney the other day...aaaaaaah, the irony!), one on my oversized wallet that I take with me everywhere, and TWO MORE waiting in the wings to replace those that are missing from my car!!!
How cool is that that I just happen to have only TWO remaining, and I need just TWO MORE to get my car back "up to speed".
I haven't fixed the lighting in any of the other photos yet (but not to worry...I will!), but in the meantime, here's the Skywalkers!
By the way, anyone wondering about the change in the blog? If so, I haven't been able to post pictures for the last couple of weeks, so I went through, saved my old entries (for journaling purposes) to my hard drive, and am starting from scratch...I deleted the whole blog and redid it. If anything is missing, it'll be up shortly, and I'll go ahead and let the blog start from my Nov. 1 posts. If you want any of the older posts (ie. the family photos!) let me know and I'll email them! Love to all! Thanks for your patience!!!