Thursday, October 18, 2012

because it really does take a village

I'm back! School has started, and therefore I am working again, and finding an hour to blog has become   as hard as I thought it would be. But do not be dismayed! Today is the first day of a 4-day weekend called 'fall break' here in Utah (formerly known as UEA), and blogging is at the top of my to-do list (along with many, many other things). So here I go crossing off one thing on my list (ahhh, that feels so good).

You know the phrase, 'it takes a village to raise a child'? Well I recently learned how true that phrase really is. On September 27 I celebrated my 25th birthday and I wanted to do something special to celebrate it. 25 is not really a milestone birthday, but in my own mind, it seems to be. Besides the fact that I can now drive a rental car (with paying extra to do so),  there is nothing very momentous about the number. But for me, half way between 20 and 30 seems important, so I decided to make it important to myself. I started thinking about what I would do, I found a blog post on pinterest (of course) about a woman who did 27 random acts of kindness on her 27th birthday. I thought about doing that, but logistics talked me out of it. Then I started thinking about my life up to this point. I have truly come so far and have experienced (at at times merely survived) so many things in my life. Perhaps the most defining times in my life have been my high school years, and post high school years. The former where I battled with (and nearly lost my life to) anorexia, bulimia, cutting, and depression, the latter where I found my way and became baptized as a member of the LDS church. But none of what I have been through would have possible without the support, love and friendship of so many people. In short, I would not be who I am today (or maybe even be alive today) if it were not for the many people who have helped me along the way. This pondering of my life, combined with the blog post I read led me to the project that would mark my 25th birthday. Write letters to 25 people who have helped me along the way, and helped me be the person I am today.

Originally I intended to write 25 separate letters, but as my deadline (aka, my birthday) approached more quickly than I realized, I decided to write to 25 people. On the top of my list was my mom, and she was the first letter I wrote. If you know anything about my relationship with my mother over the past 25 years, you know that my mother is a saint, she is my hero and a best friend to me, and I owe her so much (especially my life). Others on my list included my sister, grandparents, friends, my 5th grade teacher, people from my past and from the present, and my husband. When I started this project I thought I might just write an email to each person (because stamps are really expensive, and I had a better chance of finishing if I could send an email) but I decided good old fashioned snail mail would be better, and I think it made the process more meaningful for all those involved.

As I wrote each letter I thought about why I had put this person on my list (my list was much longer that 25, but I had to narrow it down or I would be writing letters for months). I searched my memories and my past, I put my thoughts and feelings to paper. Often they were letters of gratitude for things they did, whether they realized what they did affected me or not. At the end of my letter writing journey I realized how lucky I am to be alive. How blessed I am to have the help of so many people in my life. And although I only wrote to 25 people, there are dozens more who deserve a letter (and maybe they will get one at a later birthday). Because through this whole experience I have realized that it really does take a village to raise a child into a women, wife, mother and friend such as I.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

because we still remember...

I was not intending to do a post about about 9/11 today, however what I wanted to put as my facebook status was too long, so I decided to make it a blog post. So here is something I have been thinking about for a few days (yes, I have a constant running narrative in my mind of what to put as my facebook status).

11 years ago today I was a freshman in high school and I remember the moment I heard what happened very clearly. My mom was dropping me off at school, we picked up some of my friends who were already walking, they told us to turn on the radio. I also remember not getting any other information until I got home from school, and at lunch time singing the song "It's the end of the world as we know it" with one of my best friends (I realize know how awful that is, but we were 14 and had no idea what was happening). When I got home my sister was there, she had just driven from LA to Fremont that day with her friend, and all that was on the radio were reports of the events. When I got home all I wanted to do was watch the news, all my sister wanted to do was watch something else, so we watched the Disney channel. I pulled out a photo album I had of my trip to the East Coast with a good friend and her mom, it included a trip to New York City, and I had pictures of the World Trade Towers behind me. Living in California at the time, I could not have been farther from the devastation, but like so many others, the collective hearts of America were there.

I clearly remember so much of that day, and many others can relate. Sadly it seems something like this happens each generation, where people have a "where I was, and what I was doing" moment when they get the awful news, Pearl Harbor, the Kennedy assassination, and 9/11.

As I have reflected on the upcoming 11th anniversary of the attacks I was reminded of how long 11 years really is, even though it may not seem like it. The young women at my church were barely alive when it happened, and have no memory of it. The third graders with whom I work with, were born 3 years after the fact. To them this is something they have only heard about, seen in video clips on TV, and will read in history books in years to come. As weird as that may be to me, I am grateful for that fact.

In a world increasingly filled with war, genocide, religious intolerance, terrorism and all other evil and heart-wrenching things, I can only hope and pray that this rising generation never have to experience what we did. As Americans we enjoy a sheltered life, and while some will argue that the things I just mentioned absolutely do affect our children today, it does not have the same personal impact of what happened 11 years ago. I can only hope and pray that the things that we tenderly remember today stay a thing of the past, something that lives within the pages of a history book and in the hearts of those of us who lived through it. It is my wish that we never have a moment where news reporters compare a future tragedy to 9/11, as many on that day compared 9/11 to Pearl Harbor. However naive this may be, let us pray earnestly for those brave soldiers who are doing their all to make this hope happen and our government leaders (however much you may like or dislike them). Because while we still remember what happened, let us have hope for a future with out such a tragedy.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

because I still believe what I believe... Part 2

In an attempt to not leave anyone in suspense (and to distract myself from the things I really need to do, but do not want to) here is part 2, a continuation from my post yesterday.

Where last I left you it was past midnight and as everyone in our cabin snoozed away I was trying to keep my eyes open and the pamphlet "Are mormon's christians?", as well as try to understand all the big words they were using to prove their points. There were three main points that really struck me (to recap incase you don't remember) namely that mormons are not christians because... 1.)they believe that God and Jesus Christ are two separate beings with bodies (not in line with the traditional trinity), 2.)they do not believe that they are saved by grace alone (I have issues with this one), 3.) they believe we can become like God. So I read as much as I could, feeling confused and having so many questions, I gave into sleep and turned in for the night.

The next day went much like the first, but this time I had so many questions in my mind it was hard to focus on what the man what saying without firing back a question every time (mentally of course, but very distracting none-the-less). The workshop continued into the flaws of mormon doctrine, the flaws of Joseph Smith and other things that got the audience as a whole nodding their heads in agreement. Things were not sitting right with me, I couldn't quite put my finger on it, and then it hit me. Between the things this man was saying was wrong with mormon doctrine and what the pamphlet said, I was hearing a lot of what is wrong, but nothing telling me what exactly was right (other than it was not the LDS church).

After the workshop finished I waited around to talk to the speaker. I'm not sure exactly what I was trying to accomplish, but I knew that I had questions about what I had read and that this man could answer the evangelical side. I also knew that I wanted to tell him I was LDS, I did not want to sit silently in the back over the course of three days and say nothing (although in hindsight, people probably knew Daniel and I were mormon form the BYU sweatshirts we were wearing the whole week). There were several other people who wanted to talk to the speaker before me, I stood back and listened to their conversations, and mustered up the courage to continue to wait (instead of giving up and going back to the cabin were everyone was eating lunch and subsequently worrying about where I was). When it was finally my turn the whole place was basically cleared out.

I started off by saying, "Hi i'm Michelle and I live in Utah as well, and I am a mormon." As you can imagine intrigued filled his face. I started off by asking the questions I had from reading the pamphlet, basically, was I so naive to think that the differences in doctrine meant that we were not christians? And if what we believe is so wrong, then what church is right? I shared with him my conversion, and he shared with me why he left the church. And upon analyses we had quite opposite experiences. I was a person raised (starting about age 8) in a a christian environment, then at the age of 18 converted to the LDS church. He was someone who was born and raised in the LDS church and left it in his teen years. His main reason, he told me, was because as a teen he saw evangelical christians who talked about Jesus on a personal level, they had a personal relationship with Him, and this man wanted to learn more. I shared that I had grown up around mormons (my best friends are members, I went the church dances with them, even met with the missionaries once out of curiosity) but was never interested in their doctrine in a way that made me want to join their church, until I graduated from high school. In high school I went to christian summer camps, I did bible studies, and youth group activities twice a week. But when the church my family attended shut down, I was confused as to how that could happen. My friend Soren invited me to family home evening, ward activities and eventually to meet with the missionaries. I was skeptical still when I met with them, but everything that I did not understand about the church suddenly made sense. Everything they talked about, made sense. God and Jesus Christ are separate beings with bodies, that made sense to me (I could never quite grasp the concept of the trinity). The priesthood is Christ's authority on the earth today? Made sense. To my brain (which can be overly logical at times) it all made sense. I already knew who my Savior was, I already knew what the Holy Spirit felt like, I already knew God was always there watching over me, but now I  could know the rest.

The rest of the conversation I learned more about his point of view, but the differences seemed small, and I was still confused why others thought they were so important (me being naive again?). When asked the question I really wanted an answer to, I received a very disappointing and underwhelming answer. "So in reading the pamphlet it said that those were the things that we got wrong, then who has it right?" (to paraphrase, of course). **I will add this, even growing up in a christian church I struggled with why all the different sects were so, different. What is the right way to be baptized? Sprinkle or dunk? How often do you take communion (the sacrament)? Every week or special occasions. What happens to people who were not baptized and die? What about children and babies?** I was fully reading for some sort of grand answer but what I got was, "I don't claim to know who is right.....". He added something else but I do not remember what he said, but it did not answer my question.

We also talked about being saved by grace alone, as opposed to grace plus works. I still don't understand all the differences. I believe I am saved by grace alone,  but I need to do my best and do everything I can do to be the best I can be. If this is grace plus works, then yes I believe that, I guess. But I do know there is nothing I can do on my own the be saved. His explanation only made me more confused.

So what did I learn from all of this? I learned that people still do not think mormons are christians and why they believe that. I was exposed to the way some evangelicals look at mormons and at mormon doctrine (not all may think this way, but a lot do). Above all else I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the only true church on the face of the earth, I believe that because it has all the things I wanted answered, it a wonderful and divine way. I am so thankful for this whole experience. Going to Mt.Hermon with my family for this vacation I fully expected to have fun, to relax and to grow closer to those who I was with. But I never imagined I would question what and why I believe what I believe, and then come out the other side with a strengthened testimony, because now I can say, I still believe what I believe.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

because I still believe what I believe.... part 1

I'm back... again. It has been a while, life has ben busy (lame excuse I know, also because life is about to become exponentially more hectic). This post is one I've been mulling over and thinking about for a while, then it was kicked into motion by our recent (wonderful, relaxing, fun, amazing) vacation to California. So fair warning for those who want to turn back now, this is a blog post about religion, so be prepared for views that may not be fully aligned with your own. My goal is to portray my experience, and is in no way meant to offend anyone. So proceed and read at your own risk.

Our vacation had been planned a year in advance. My mom and her best friend made all the reservations and my sister and her family, and me and my family, had a year to prepare and to make it all work with various schedules and such. For 5 days we stole away to the beautiful Santa Cruz mountains (to be more specific, the town of Felton), surrounded by truly inspiring redwood trees, we stayed at Mt.Hermon. Mt.Hermon is a christian family camp. As a youth for 3 years I attended its high school branch, Ponderosa for a week long summer camp. I knew (and told my husband ahead of time) what would be our daily routine when we arrived. In the morning there was a chapel session (akin to a devotional) that included announcements for the day, sometimes a skit relating to the week's theme, praise and worship music, and a speaker. A short break then several workshops were offered. The afternoon was left up to us campers, and filled with much fun and relaxation. The evenings had a chapel session as well (almost the same as the morning but with a different speaker) and then activities available afterwards. I knew Daniel would probably be bored with the chapel sessions (he did not want me to interpret for him, so I honored his request), but other than that I had no qualms with our daily routine. The first night we arrived, there was a fun and yummy barbecue for all the families to enjoy together, information was given to everyone to let them know of the activities and workshops for the week. One workshop being offered was about Mitt Romney and Mormonism, I was interested in going and seeing what they had to say. My mom commented, "they probably are not going to say nice things", I responded "well, then maybe I can educate them". What followed was my own personal enlightenment.

The workshop was a three part series, over three days a man (who grew up in the LDS church and left in his teen years who still lives in Utah and his the founder of "Standing United Ministry") taught and lectured about the history of mormonism, what they believe ( and consequently how it is doctrinally 'wrong' as it is not a sect of christianity) and how to bridge the divide and talk with them (and convert them). Over the course of three days, I sat and listened with my mom, my sister, my brother-in-law and family friends (all of whom are evangelical christians). I will be honest, I felt out of place, I felt like a black sheep. For the most part, everything that man said was true, some of it may have been presented in a skewed light, but it was true none-the-less. My emotions ran the gamut, I was angry, confused, and defensive. I felt vulnerable and unsure.  He said things about the LDS church and Joseph Smith I had never heard (most  of which was entirely unflattering), he said things I did know, but when spoken aloud to a room full of skeptical evangelicals sounded awful. The man threw our names and dates so fast that it was hard to follow. He name dropped the boost his credibility, evangelical theologians and LDS general authorities alike. I will admit, the time he has spent in the company of so many general authorities of the church, makes me wish I could do the same. With the connections he had, it was obvious that he was at the forefront of this discussion. Day one ended with admonition to have this discussion about religion with love and openness, without defensiveness and hate. Some of the things and way he said things did not sit right with me, and I was not entirely sure why.

As the first workshop ended and I was confused and unsure of what to do. Afterwards the man had a table set up with pamphlets and books and dvds pertaining to the subject (mainly, how doctrinally mormons are not christians, and the success his ministry was having in Utah spreading the evangelical word) I bought a pamphlet that was titled "Are mormons Christians?". My immediate answer, yes! Of course we are! We believe in Christ, we are saved by Christ, we talk of Christ, the cornerstone of the LDS church is Christ! That night as everyone else was asleep I read the pamphlet. What I was faced with were the the doctrinal differences that supported the claim that we are not christians, and a lot of big words to explain and support that fact. I do not claim the be a scholar of any kind, least of all of religion, but I feel as thought I am fairly intelligent and well versed. It may have been that I was fighting off sleep and midnight had come and gone, but the words and terms the author used were way over my head, and I struggled to understand what I read. What I did understand was this: 1.) Mormons are not Christians because they believe that God and Jesus Christ are two separate beings with bodies, 2.) Mormons are not Christians because they do not believe that we are saved by grace alone, 3.) Mormons are not Christians because they believe they can become like God.

Once again I will state, I do not know everything LDS doctrine, but I do know some things and those statements hit me. Maybe I am just very naive, but do those things mean we do not follow Christ? Or Is the definition of Christian something that alludes me? The second reason mentioned was something I do not even believe to be true. However at the end of that day, and after reading that pamphlet I was entirely exhausted, confused and bewildered, not to mention all the questions swirling around in my mind. But I did still know that the Church was true, and I did still believe what I believed, but now I was confronted with the why and how, and that was something I would find the following 2 days.

To continue to blog would be entirely too long winded, so join me back here for part 2 for a date yet to be determined.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

because I worry... a lot

I'm back!!! I hope you did not think I gave up on writing in my blog (that probably won't happen until school starts and I get super busy again), I've had a good reason this time, I promise! Last week we took our long awaited and much needed vacation to California. For 9 glorious days we enjoyed the incomparable weather that the Bay Area and Santa Cruz montains have to offer (when we arrived saturday morning I was so cold I had to put on a sweatshirt!), spent time with friends and family, celebrated birthdays, went to the beach (Leo's first time seeing the ocean!), and ate lots of really yummy ice cream.

We needed this vacation in the worst way. Daniel has been so busy with work and school and his internship that we (Leo and I) spent more quality time with him during those 9 days than we have in a month. And even though I had been looking forward to this vacation for a year now, I did not realize how much I needed it either. It was probably our third or fourth day into the vacation when I honed in on the reason I was enjoying this vacation so much (besides the obvious aforementioned reasons). I realized before going to bed one night that I was not worrying about anything, and that was such a peaceful and relaxing feeling. I knew I worried a lot, but I never realized how freeing it would be to not worry.

If worrying was an olympic sport, I could compete with the best of them (my mother-in-law would probably win the gold, but I could be a contender). This summer has been particularly worriful (pretty sure not a real word). Between not having a job, figuring out my job for the fall, trying to be certified as an interpreter (to get a job now), car problems and everything with Daniel and his schooling, I have been on worry overload. Most of this worrying is tied to money (I hate money, dealing with it, trying to get it, not having it, etc.).

The problem with worrying is that I'm pretty sure it is genetic, it is so ingrained in me I don't know how to not worry. When my husband sees me getting stressed out he tells me not to worry. I love you honey, but that is the worst thing you could say to me in that moment. Telling me not to worry is like telling me to not blink, the more I try not to, the more I do it. I often try to recite the serenity prayer to myself... God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference. It helps in small situations, but often I have this underlying worry that is always with me, even when I am not actively worrying about something, it is there with me.

Having said all of that, the best unexpected part of our vacation was that I did not have to worry. I knew that no matter what I did or how much I worried, I could not change our life in Utah while we were in California, so I did not worry. I know that rationally worrying does nothing for me here in Utah either, therefore I should use the same reasoning and not worry, but it does not work like that. So while I miss my family and friends and want to go back and have another month of vacation just to spend time with them, the part I miss is the peace I had when I did not have to worry, because I worry... a lot.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

because some people need to be educated

**disclaimer: this post is in no way meant to offend anyone or is aimed at anyone in particular, but something that is directed more a society as a whole and something I need to get off my chest, so to speak**

This whole this started with a video going around on facebook of an 8 month old baby hearing his mother's voice for the first time, via a cochlear implant. The thousands of comments on this video were all to the effect of ,"oh how wonderful!" and "this made me cry!". I went to the facebook page where this particular link was shared from, curious to see if anyone else had a different reaction to this video. And someone did have a much different reaction, and then all mayhem broke loose (not really, but it felt like it at times).

In the deaf community, cochlear implants can be quite controversial. At what age are you forcing a child to have it vs them choosing it. By giving them the implant what is the hope? That they will be a 'normal' child, they can hear therefore there life will be better than if they were deaf? Will you use sign language with them at all? Or will you think a CI is enough for them to communicate verbally and no sign language is needed. The debate goes on and on. In the hearing world, CIs are seen as an amazing technological advance to help deaf children not be disabled anymore, end of story.

To understand part of this argument you must realize that CIs are implanted into a child's skull and can be incredibly invasive. They also do not miraculously make a child hearing. In some cases, when children receive an implant at an early age as they grow they decide they do not want to use it anymore.  There are also adjustments that constantly need to be made, as well as hard work with speech therapists, batteries that can be very expensive as well. CIs are not a quick, permanent, or all encompassing solution to being deaf.

Now this whole situation stemmed from the video posted on facebook, but the later events where in no way related to it. So as I looked on the facebook page that shared the video for any adverse reactions to the video, I found it. (Paraphrasing the comment) "Why do parents give a child so young an implant, i think they should wait until age 4 or 5, it seems like the parents are not accepting that their child is deaf". The comments that followed were nothing short of rude and borderline ignorant and demeaning. Most people were 'outraged' that he would suggest waiting 5 years, why would you make you child disable if you did not have to? Another quipped that the first years of life are the most important for language development, and delaying a CI would impair the child. The quote that literally made me tremble from being so mad, insinuated that the mentality the women had was uninformed and such a thinking was probably indicative of a person who also refused to vaccinate her children. I do not get angry or upset about very many things, but this is something that made (and is still making me) have a flurry of emotions. The ignorance of all these people was so frustrating to read, and really opened my eyes to the ill educated world that we live in. I had to post something in defense of the real problem, the view that deafness must be fixed for a child to have language and have a good life. I was so riled up I fear my comment may have come off as offensive, but it was so hard to contain myself. I added that deaf is not a disability, and that young children learning ASL is a wonderful and beautiful thing, and that CI are not always the best option. These people just didn't get that! The next commenter called me rude, and said if I have nothing nice to say, I shouldn't have said anything at all (where was her almighty judgement when the others were attacking the women who started this post.) If you want to see the full post go to Brio Birth's facebook page and scroll down to Nicola Lumpkin's post.

The posting got worse from there, there were some well meaning people and one friend of mine who commented and gave a wonderful perspective. I tried to figure out why this was all making me so mad. I have of course seen people being rude to each other on facebook before, but perhaps it was never such a personal topic as this. I realize now that my anger is directed at a two-fold problem: 1.) hearing people with the opinion that hearing is superior to being deaf (so why wouldn't you choose for your child to be hearing if you could?) 2.) and the general lack of knowledge about early language development and how wonderful and beneficial ASL can be (this relates to this first problem in the fact that speaking with one's voice is superior to signing). There was a time recently when I did not think such a point of view still existed about the deaf, today I was shown to be wrong. Here is a very poignant example, straight from my own experiences. Someone I barely knew asked if Leo was hearing or deaf, I told her casually that he was hearing (I am so used to the question, I understand the curiosity factor involved), and then the woman gave me a high-five complete with an "Oh great!" comment. I was so shocked I did not know what to say (definitely not a reaction I have ever received before). I wondered later what would have happened if Leo was deaf, would that same woman have given me a hug and told me she was sorry? I realize now that the majority of the people that have never had any exposure to deaf people would probably have the same reaction. It makes me mad (yes I really do feel mad about this) that people would think this way! There is so much more I could put into this post (obviously I guess i'm a little passionate about this), but I will end this now by saying this: assuming someone has a lesser or impaired quality of life because they are not the same as you, because they are 'lacking' in something which you believe to be vital to who you are and how you live your life, is the saddest and most infuriating thing I have ever encountered. Because some people need to be educated.

Monday, July 30, 2012

because love is not easy, but it's worth it

3 years ago today, at the right time and in the right place, Daniel and I were married in the Oakland temple. I'm not sure if I ever pictured what married life would be, it was just something I knew Daniel and I would do, grow old together. So without a clear expectation of what married life would be like, I cannot tell you if it has been everything I thought it would be. What I can tell you is that we have laughed till it hurts, fought till we cried, experienced happiness highs and frustrating lows, and through it all are continuing to redefine what love means for us.

I did not grow up within a home where a healthy and successful marriage existed. My parents divorced when I was 11, and although their tumultuous marriage was all I had ever known, I knew that was not the kind of marriage I wanted. Honestly, I did not ever think about marriage as a kid, my life was to adopt a child when I was 27 (that was seriously my plan when I was 9 or so). As I grew older into my teen years there was so much angst and tumoil within myself that thinking about my future in certain terms was not something I often did. Did I ever think I wouldn't get married? No. Did I ever imagine myself married? No. I just dated because it was fun (or in other cases because I did not want to tell the poor boy, 'no'). By the time I was at the ripe old age of 19 I was pretty much done with dating. I had a conversation with my friend Katy as we drove 12 hours from California to Utah, basically stating that I did not want to date anymore. The result of that decision? I started dating Daniel a few weeks later (funny how those things work out).

When I first met Daniel at church my friends who had taken ASL classes could communicate better with him than I could. I knew my abc's, colors and basic animals (can you imagine what thrilling conversations we had?). To this day I cannot remember how we communicated effectively the first few months (i'm sure if you asked Daniel he could tell you some funny stories about me trying to sign). I suppose we had to be truly smitten with eachother to date for so long without a strong common language between us. The rest is basic dating stuff, doing everything together, spending ridiculous amounts of time doing nothing together, but still loving every moment of it. When we had be dating for quite sometime (maybe a year) I started to wonder how I would know if Daniel was the one I was supposed to marry. I read an LDS book where a general authority talked about knowing he was going to marry his wife, and never asking God if it was right until after he had made the decision. Then there a moment one night after we went on a date when we were sitting on the couch talking, he leaned his head back and closed his eyes and in that moment I could see his face, old and wrinkled from age, and I knew that was the face I was going to see in 50 years every night before I went to bed and every morning when I woke up. I knew that we were meant to grow old together. Then we got married and everything changed.

No, I'm kidding! Well mostly kidding, things did change but in a good way. Our love and our relationship became more real, more gown-up I would say. I think all of that is to be expected and signs of a healthy relationship. I say it is to be expected but I, myself did not expect it (so any engaged couples out there, heads up!). During these 3 years I have been constantly try to figure out what is love, what does it mean to me and what does it mean for us. A while ago I started keeping a mental list of the little things in our marriage that I thought defined love.

Love is...
... letting me have the last ice cream sandwich, even though it is really yours.
... coming with me to hang out with my friends. even though you get really, really bored.
... driving to 3 different stores at 2 am (after working till 12 am and having to be back at work at 8:30am) to buy you nyquil.
... washing dishes after a long day at work, because I am sick of dishes everyday for the past 2 weeks.
... letting you sleep in while I get up with Leo (this one goes both ways)
... giving you massages almost everyday, even though you don't give them to me, because you suck at giving massages.

There are many more examples, but these are the ones that come to mind at the moment. The common theme thoughtout each of these is selflessness (you know, opposite of selfishness, i'm pretty sure it is a real word). And while neither of us are perfect (even though I like to think i'm a little closer to perfection than he is, I am so very, very wrong), we are perfect for eachother (or at least we are in the continual process of trying to be). So happy anniversary sweetie! It has been a crazy ride but i'm glad i'm on it with you, because this love is not easy, but it's worth it.

Monday, July 23, 2012

because i am thankful for tender mercies

Have you ever had a moment in your life where everything was going wrong? I had one of those moments today, and it all came to head when I was on the phone with my mom and was crying so hard I could barely talk. How did I get there? Allow me to explain....

Our (only) car needed to go to the mechanic, again. It had some mysterious affliction that two previous mechanics could not figure out, and I did not know if it would cost $50 or $500 (or more) to fix. On top of that the first mechanic we called was booked solid today, tomorrow is a state holiday, so wednesday is the earliest they could fit us in. That was not an option for us, so they referred us to another mechanic (that is the fourth one we contacted, if you are keeping count) and they had the same story as the other mechanic, but after I explained our situation I think they felt bad for me and said they would try to fit us in. This still meant we needed a rental car for today, tomorrow (because while the mechanics are off work, Daniel is not), and wednesday too. And did I mention how I am not working, so we have a reduced income right now? Cue me calling me my mom and having a complete meltdown.

So what happened? I eventually calmed down and things worked out (thanks mom!) and our car was fixed today and it was a relatively simple fix (please don't let that jinx anything) and we won't need the rental car for 2 more days. My husband would use the outcome of all this to point out that I should not worry about these things so much, I would then proceed to tell him that for me to do that would be like telling a giraffe not to have a long neck (that is just the way I am, you have to deal with it!).

The lesson I have learned over the past 4 days (that is how long this current car fiasco has been going on) is that God knows me, that He is watching over me, and that He gives me little tender mercies so that I can remember these things. Like on friday when I spent an hour on the phone with 4 different people, and eventually ended with the conclusion that the repairs and parts to fix the car would be covered under a warranty, and would therefore cost us nothing. Although that situation did not happen, I did not find out that it would not be the case until after I took my performance test (the second part of my interpreter certification test). I was able to fully focus on my test, and then shortly afterwards freaked out about the car. Or how I thought I would miss my friends birthday celebration because we had no car to drive to provo, but we were able to get a ride there and spend a relaxing evening with friends (thanks Aaron and Katrina, happy 25th birthday Dee!). Or how today we were able to get our car to the shop and a friend (thank you Jenefer!) was available to pick us up and drive us to the rental car place (who waived some fees because our car was in the shop). Or how I was still anxious about finding out about our car but then had a skype date with my friend Julie and her darling girl Eloise, and afterwards I felt so much better and happier. Or how when the mechanic called with great news and that we can pick up our car tomorrow morning. Or how my mom is awesome and I cannot live without her. The list goes on and on. I have a testimony from these past 4 days of the goodness of God and how much He cares for me; not by taking away my trials, but giving me ways to endure them. And because of all that, I am so thankful for tender mercies.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

because i miss going to the movies

The last time my husband and I went out to see a movie in a movie theatre was nearly 3 years ago, and I miss going. The movie theatre popcorn (so unhealthy but so buttery and delicious), the excitement and anticipation of a new movie, the dark theatre where you can steal a kiss (or two) and feel like you are in high school again, the list goes on. It may seem like I am romanticizing the whole experience (and I probably am), but it has been so long that now I dream about going to the movies. And why do we not go to the movies anymore? Because movie theatres in Utah do not have open captioning (or at least at any sort of convenient time or place, meaning not 30 miles away or during a weekday afternoon, for example).

For those who have no idea what that means, I shall explain, but first I will get this out of the way. My husband is Deaf. No, he was not born that way (he was born hearing and became deaf as a result of an illness at 22 months). His whole family is hearing (as is mine), and none of our children will be deaf (if they are it will be unrelated to my husband). I did not know ASL before I met him, we met at church and I took a crash course in sign language, and have been going ever since.

Now that we have the top 5 most asked questions out of the way, let me just say that movie theatres here in Utah do indeed caption their movies, but they do not often offer OC (open captioning). Most places offer RVC (rear view caption), which is a little screen attatched to a stick (not the best description ever) that fits into the cup holder and you watch the movie through that screen and it adds the captions. Daniel refuses to watch a movie with RVC (I don't blame him, they make you sit awkward and cuddling is not and option). OC is when the captions are put directly onto the screen, just like at home on the TV. In california there was a theatre that offered OC that we would go to often, here in Utah they offer OC but the times and places and movies are so limited it makes it near impossible.

All if this means that whenever I want to see a new movie, I try to forget about it till it comes out on DVD and we can watch it at home. It means no movie dates, no dollar movies, and no drive in movies either. 5 years ago (when I first started dating my husband) I was never aware about things like this (and anything else relating to the deaf communtiy for that matter). But in 5 years together I have learned a lot of things, and I am grateful for all of our experiences and our life together, but I do have to say, I miss going to the movies.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

because making potato salad makes me appreciate my mom even more

Today is my mom's birthday, happy birthday mom!!!!

Last friday I made (for the second time in my life) my grandmother's potato salad for a 4th of July party on saturday. To say this potato salad is my favorite would not be an accurate description, it is the only potato salad I like (I am not a potato salad snob, I promise!). This dish was at nearly every family summer gathering when I was growing up, and nothing can compare to it, but it is a bit of a time consuming thing to make. It involves scrubbing and boiling potatoes, then peeling them while still very hot, finely dicing vegetables adding just the right amount of vinegar, layering vegis and hot potatoes, etc. So as I was making the recipe (feeling rather crummy and tired as it was 10 pm) I kept thinking about how many times my mom has made this, how many hours she spent peeling screaming hot potatoes so I could eat my favorite potato salad, and it made me love her even more.

I will give a little background about my relationship with my mom, and you will see just how far we have come.

To write a personal history at this point in my life would be quite lengthy (think novel rather than short story), even thought I am only 24 I have been through a lot, but I will provide the reader's digest version for the moment (this is after all about my mom). My parents divorced when I was 11, and the rocky relationship started then. I lived with my mom, and did not want to have anything to do with my dad, or my mom at certain points. In high school I dealt with eating disorders and depression which landed my in various psychiatric faciltities and hours of therapy, all of this I did not think I needed, and blamed my mom for inflicting it all on me. There was a point in my life where I hated my mom more than anyone else in the world. Then one day I had an epiphany, I had been wrong all along and my mother was an amazing women.

Since that momentous day, I have been continually apologizing to my mother (for anything and everything I put her through in my crazy teen years), telling her over and over how much I love and admire her (I feel silly saying it so often and in so many ways, but she deserves it), and finding new ways all the time to find a new appreciation for things she has done and still does for me. I cannot count how many times I have been in a situation with my husband or my son and thought, "Oh my goodness, I need to call my mom and apologize for ____ (fill in the blank with whatever lesson I learned)". I am continually learning new ways to love my mom, and sometimes it is in funny situations, because something like making potato salad makes me appreciate my mom even more.

because i love watching him learn new things

Since summer started (when school got out on June 1, not the technical start on June 20, because summer is already in full swing by then) I have had the opportunity to become a stay-at-home mom. I haven't enjoyed every minute of it (wanting to find a job to help with income has been stressful, and staying inside the majority of the day hiding from the heat is no picnic either) but I have been enjoying my time with my little man. In June when Leo became 13 months it seemed like his mind opened up to the world around him. He started signing words (we had been waiting for that moment for 7 months!) and he can sign over 10 words now (daddy, eat, stinky, please) and can understand others (like sit down and kiss). In addition to added language and understanding words he has learned how to control his body (sorta). He can now put big plastic coins in a piggy bank slot (before he would try and try and couldn't do it so he would get mad and give up) and he can walk backwards and stomp his feet. And I have been teaching him how to dance (shake his head, move his arms and stomp his feet), it is the cutest thing ever!

My friend Katrina (hi Katrina if you're reading this!) works at an on campus pre-school at her college, i'm not sure if child development is her major (it is either that or photography, or something else) and although she doesn't have any children (yet) she has lots of experience with kids. She always talks about how amazing it is to see kids learn and experience things for the first time (she gets really excited when she talks about it). When we first had this discussion Leo was younger and although he was learning things (how to crawl, how to feed himself, etc) there was not a huge excitement factor (oh gosh, I sound like a bad mom now, I was really excited for those things, but now the things he does are even more exciting). Everyday Leo learns something new and am so happy that I get to stay at home to watch him discover these new things (however stressful it may make things). I am thankful that God gives me people in my life like Katrina who teach me new things and help me appreciate and look at my little man in a new way, because I love watching him learn new things.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

because i passed my test, but i still feel like a failure

I am back my dear blog! Did you think I forgot about you? NEVER! (Well given my track record with keeping a blog, I really do not blame you if you panicked and thought that you had been abandoned) I've been busy (sort of, I can't particularly think of why I was busy at the moment, but I assure you I had a good reason!) so this post is about what happened on monday (better late than never).

So this past monday I took the written test to become an interpreter, again (see post 'because failing a test does not make me a failure'). I was less nervous only because I knew what to expect this time and I had studied the things I didn't know on the previous test. The verdict? I passed. A passing score is 80, and I got and 80. I should be excited right? I passed the test, that is all I needed to do so I could take the next test to become and interpreter. Am I excited? Not really. Relieved and disappointed would probably be the two words that would describe my feelings right now. Relieved because I did pass, I don't have to pay more money to take the same test, and I can now move on to the next part. Disappointed because I got an 80, I barely passed. I just took this test the week before, how did I barely pass??? I should have gotten a higher score (because this is the kind of crap I put myself through) and that is what is keeping myself from enjoying this moment and be excited.

Shortly after I failed my first test a woman who had been helping me with the process called to give me some support and advice. One of the first things she told me was that some people have to retake the test multiple times (think 8 times, or more) until they pass. Then she assured me that I would not be one of those people. This should make me feel better about my score, right? Some people would have killed for an 80 on their second test, but sadly, that is no consolation to me. After I passed the test and I was scheduling the next part of the test, the proctor said to me, "now is the time you get to celebrate, go home and enjoy the moment". When he said that I tried to be happy, I really did, but there was that little perfectionist inside of me robbing me of that joy.

So here I sit, trying to be happy but there is that little part of me that keeps obsessing about my score, an 80. I'm trying, I really am because I passed my test (yay), but I still feel like a failure.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

because something did change, sorta

So over the weekend (friday, saturday, sunday) I challenged myself to stop and think and do something else before getting on the computer and checking facebook or pinterest for the millionth time. I made a list of 10 things (like reading the Book of Mormon or a church magazine, washing dishes, hang up and put away clothes, etc.) and the goal was to pick one of them and do it before I touched the computer.

How did I do? Well... I did really good, and really bad, and somewhere in the middle. Taking on this challenge over the weekend made it both easier and harder. For me saturday is one of my busiest days of the week, because my husband is home and that means the car is home. So saturday becomes 'run all your errands' day, and in that respect I did not have a whole lot of time to think about getting on facebook or pinterest. Sunday is a day usually reserved for going to church, I say usually because as luck would have it, Leo had a fever on saturday and sunday, which means mom and baby stayed home. Staying home meant the computer was just staring as me the whole time, mocking and taunting me to come over and take a little peek and the wonderful world wide web. I tried to stay away, I really did.

This whole process made me realize a few things though. For one, I went on the internet less when I had to "earn" it. Friday morning I wanted to check facebook, so I pulled out my Ensign and read (I did kill two birds with one stone because I had visiting teaching to do so I read that message while I was at it). Later that morning I wanted to go on the computer again, so I picked up and threw away pieces of junk mail and trash (we have lots of empty water and soda bottles that Leo insists on playing with, then 20 minutes later forgets about, how rude right?) and then proceeded to check pinterest. Then In the afternoon something changed, as I looked at the computer again wanting to just open it up and take a peek I was reminded of this challenge, and suddenly I was too lazy to do anything on my list so I gave up and left the laptop where it was. I will admit that come friday night and I needed an idea for dinner I went straight for pinterest, and justified not "earning" it with the fact that I needed a recipe for dinner, I was not going on for fun (though my eyes couldn't help but glimpse all the cool things people had pinned). This happened a few more times on saturday night and sunday too.

So my 3 day challenge is done, what now? Well, I want to do it again. I'm not sure why I have this weird desire to keep proving things to myself (like this keeping the blog updated) but this is something that I want to prove to myself that I can do, and that I can do it right (meaning not be a big fat cheater like I did before). It also probably has something to do with the fact that when I "earn" my internet time, I don't feel as guilty about being on facebook or pinterest, and I tend to be on it less. These are all positives in my book. So now I am onto the next leg of this challenege, 3 days was a sprint, 10 days will be my middle distance event. Working my way up to a long course 1500? We'll see, but for now 10 days (starting today, and yes I did "earn" my blog time right now!) is my goal, because something did change, sorts. But now I want an even bigger change.

Monday, July 2, 2012

because i am a domestic goddess

My house may be messy, I may have dirty dishes in the sink, and I may have not mopped my kitchen floor in.. well, in a while; but I am a domestic goddess! Last night I made yogurt, from scratch! I am so proud of myself, I feel a little silly, nevertheless I made yogurt, and it wasn't even that hard. I found the recipe/idea on Pinterest (of course) and it was easy as pie to make (well, i've never really made a pie from scratch before, but everyone says it, so i'll take their word for it). <-- This is the website where I found the recipe that I followed, and it is all done in the slow cooker, which is awesome, because I love my slow cooker (I haven't always had such an affectionate relationship with slow cookers, my mom could share a story or two). There is something so satisfying about taking ingredients and transforming them into something else, I feel down right rustic pioneer-y (minus the use of a slow cooker and pasteurized milk and store-bought yogurt). I was so excited to see my yogurt this morning (you have to let it sit for 8 hours for the magical transformation) that I couldn't sleep! I woke up at 7:30 (before both my boys) and could not go back to sleep, I had to see what happened! It is nothing short of awesomeness, not only do I not have to buy yogurt at the store (Leo is not a fan of drinking milk, but he will eat yogurt, so that is a daily staple), but I will not be buying sour cream either (after straining out liquid with paper towels, a colander, a bowl and something to weight it down overnight in the fridge, voila, sour cream!). And I can use it for making ranch dressing too! Seriously my mind has been thinking all day about what I can do with my lovely yogurt (short of saving the world, it can do anything, i'm sure of it). That is why I am so darn proud of myself, I made yogurt from scratch because I am a domestic goddess!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

because something needs to change

Ever since school got out and I became 'unemployed' I have been trying to figure out what to do with myself everyday. Being a one car household means hubby has the car, I have my 2 feet and a stroller, that is if I decide to leave the house. The first few days of summer break I was on a roll, while Leo took his naps I washed dishes, cleaned, vacuumed, made granola bars, I was super mom (not even close, but I felt proud of myself). Then Leo would wake up, we'd eat lunch then go for a nice long walk, come home and repeat. Then something happened, the novel idea of being home all day wore off. By thursday I was dragging my feet to do anything productive, and I blame this on Facebook. To be fair, Pinterest should equally share in the blame too. Obviously blaming inanimate websites is a huge cop out, but that is how I feel! Today I must have checked those two evil websites at least 20 times (i'm not sure if that number is even close, but I checked it a lot today). See what crazy powers those websites have?? Don't say I did not warn you.

Anyways, as I was in my kitchen today, ignoring the things I needed to do; sweep and mop (which can partly be blamed on Leo, every time I get the floor clean and sparkling he ruins it! darn babies...), wash dishes, clean the stove and counter tops, etc, I noticed the large pile of magazines on the kitchen table (that also needs to be cleaned off). Not just any magazines, The Ensign and The New Era, church magazines that I had not even opened (enter major guilt trip). Then I got to thinking, as I went onto the computer for the 21st time today, this needs to change. I saw a post on pinterest (it is an evil, evil website, but it still has good ideas) about things to do before you turn on the computer or turn on the TV. So running with that idea I decided to do my own list.

1.) Read 3 articles from a church magazine.

2.) Read a chapter in the Book of Mormon

3.) Wash dishes for 15 minutes

4.) Pick up 5 things and put them back where they belong

5.) Fold or hang up 15 pieces of clothes

6.) Find 10 things that need to be thrown away (junk mail, food wrapper, etc)

7.) Earnestly pray for someone

8.) Stretch (arms, legs, neck)

9.) Make something and clean up afterwards (birthday card, scrapbook page or even a new recipe)

10.)Write a note to someone

This will be a hard concept for me, so my goal is to do this for the next 3 days (friday, saturday and sunday), baby steps people, baby steps. I will report back on monday, and then maybe set a longer goal or if I fail miserably, set an even shorter goal (one day at a time?). I really hope I stick to this, because something needs to change.

because hydrogen peroxide and baking soda are my new best friends

This post really should be titled "pinterest is amazing and how did I ever live without it", but that title is a little broad, so I have narrowed it down to two amazing things I found on pinterest.

Up until about a year ago I only used baking soda for baking (it is a shame, I know) and until a few months ago I never even used hydrogen peroxide, for any reason. Both of these facts make me so sad, my life was so incomplete before I learned the wonderful ways to use these two wonder-products, and I didn't even know what I was missing! But now I have seen the light and I will no longer live in darkness! (If i seem dramatic it is only because I am so EXCITED about what I have found).

Two things that have changed my life (not my whole life, my the part of my life that is slightly OCD about getting stains out of clothes)..... homemade oxyclean and how to get rid of yellow underarm stains. A few months ago, after Leo started eating solid foods, he started spitting up after eating. In some cases it was an hour or two after eating, and 10 minutes after I finally took his bib off because I thought he we were in the clear. Inevitably his spit up would get onto his clothes and within a week I had a little pile of stained clothes, and did not know how to get those stains out. Up to this point the biggest stain to tackle was poop, which is no problem for the mighty fels-naptha soap, but round two sweet potatoes and bananas? That was a challenge. People on facebook suggested oxyclean, but do you know how much that stuff costs? More than I was willing to spend. Enter pinterest . From the blog, one good thing by jillee, I found homemade oxyclean, and my life was changed! Hot water, hydrogen peroxide and baking soda, add clothes and let soak. It works!!!! I do it in my bathroom sink and at times have forgotten about it for an hour (or two), and they still look great, it is AMAZING!

The 'how to get rid of yellow underarm stains' came from pinterest too, and the same blogger in fact. I tried it with a lot of skepticism, but it works! It requires some elbow grease, but there is nothing quite as satisfying as seeing those ugly yellow stains disappear before your eyes (truthfully I did one side of a shirt and not the other just so I could see the before and after results, I let it it dry in my bathroom and every time I went into the bathroom and I had to check my results, I was so impressed with myself). And all it is a few drops of dish soap, a couple capfuls of hydrogen peroxide, and I used an old toothbrush to scrub so I dipped that in some baking soda.

Maybe it is because I am a little weird, but seeing a yucky stain disappear by using two cheap and non-toxic products, makes me really happy. And as I sit here writing this I cannot wait to go tackle the rest of my wardrobe that has those nasty yellow under arm stains., because hydrogen peroxide and baking soda are my new best friends.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

because failing one test does not make me a failure (at least that is what i am trying to tell myself)

Yesterday I took the first part of the Utah Interpreter Certification test, and today I found out I failed. To receive a interpeter certificate I (and anyone else for that matter) needed to take a written test, pass with a score of 80% or better, then I can take a second performance test, that test has 5 parts and each is scored and critiqued by a panel of 9 people. If you pass all 5 parts of that test, then congratulations! You can now legally interpret, for pay, in the state of Utah.

I however, failed the written test. I got 75%, which is a failing mark (by the way did I mention I FAILED). When I found out this morning, I cried. I texted people to tell them I failed, then my mom promptly called me, she knows me so well. I am still having a hard time figuring out why it is I was/am so devastated (okay, devastated is probably an exaggeration, but I feel really, really crappy about it and myself, so that is the word I am using). And being the overly therapized (not a real word but it should be) person that I am, I now have to analyze this situation to death. No offense if those two people who may actually read this, switch to browsing facebook instead of reading the rest of this.

To be fully and completely honest, I was nervous wreck going into the test, and did not think I would pass it. I have taken 2 ASL classes, and that is where my formal education relating to interpreting ends. Everything else I have learned from my husband, reading a few books, and my general experience in the deaf community. The written test is all about Professional Code of Ethics, what famous person in deaf history did what, ADA laws and so forth. So did I think I would pass? No, but I still hoped I would pull it off somehow, and that does not stop me from feeling like I do.

I suppose it is because so much was riding on this test. Passing this test and the subsequent performance test would give me a job. A much needed job, that would help our current financial situation. Maybe it is because I am a perfectionist, and failing anything it a direction reflection on my personal worth.  Maybe it is because failing this, means I should not be an interpreter all. Rationally I know the later two reasons are ludicrous, but my rational brain has never won out against my emotions, so here I sit, doubting my self-worth, my intelligence and my ability to help provide for my family. All because I was 5 questions short of passing a test. So I have to keep telling myself, over and over, that failing one test does not make me a failure.

because saying please is not that hard

This may be the plight of millions of concerned and well intentioned mothers everywhere, teaching their children and freaking out when they don't 'learn'. Leo is 13 months old and if you ask my mother, he has to be one of the smartest babies to have ever lived. I, however, am very concerned about this child's development. Why? He won't say 'please'. Now before eyes are rolled at my first-time-mother over reacting response let me fully explain the situation.

** I am now going to explain my life like there is someone out there who is reading this that does not now this information already, mostly because I want to keep up my personal delusion that there is indeed someone who is reading this that has stumbled upon my humble blog and is reading it because they find it interesting, or witty, or pathetic, or whatever**

Daniel, my dearly beloved is Deaf. Yes he can kinda sorta read lips, but he uses sign language, and that is how we communicate with each other, and that is how our child(ren) will. Now i know there is this huge 'baby signing' movement happening all over. And I think it is great! Teach your child language so they can express themselves and you don't have to go crazy trying to figure out what they want when they point to that cupboard up there (cookies, cracker, peanut butter, tuna??? what do you want!!!). With that being said, teaching Leo how to sign is less about 'baby signing' and more about him learning language to communicate with his dad. Leo's first word? Phone (lets be clear, I do not talk on the phone that much), second word 'daddy', and words that followed were 'more', 'stinky', 'eat' and 'nice' (as in, nice hands, we don't hit mom or her glasses so they fly off her face).  Seeing Leo say all these words was very exciting, and it still is when he learns a new word. Now being a mom, and in my infinite mom wisdom (note: heavy sarcasm), I thought a good word to teach him next would be 'please' (think rubbing a flat hand in a small circle on your chest). 'Please' encompasses so many things that he cannot yet sign but he wants everyday. You want to be picked up? Say 'please'! You want a bite of my food from my bowl? Say 'please'. You want me to do x, y or z? Say 'please'. What a wonderful word it is! Will he sign it? No. All I ask is for one little pat on his chest, just an acknowledgment that my two weeks worth of on going effort is not all for naught. But validation is not something he is willing to give me easily.

Now rationally I know there is nothing wrong with him for not saying 'please'. That is also the same rational part of me that knows that even thought we won't say or sign 'mommy' that does not mean he loves me any less (or that he loves daddy more because he will say 'daddy'). I do, however, feel like, this is some sort pre-meditated baby manipulation just to let me know, not everything will be easy (as if I needed that reminder). Okay, I do not really think that. But I do think, every time he refuses to say please, 'seriously child? saying please is not that hard'.

By the way, this is my SECOND post today. And yes that is both a miracle and a new personal record.

because everyone is doing it

Here goes attempt number two, me trying to have a blog. I suppose having a blog is not the problem; having an updated and regularly used blog is the problem. Admittedly, I have never been good at keeping a personal record, of any kind. Every time I open up my journal I cringe to see when I have written last, up to a year in between journal entries? Yes, that has totally happened. In fact, I started a journal when Daniel and I got married. I wrote in that journal everyday, for two days. Our three year anniversary is now approaching, and that journal is pathetically sparsely filled.

With that being said, here is my attempt at a blog. Why start now? Because everyone is doing it. Seriously, I see so many links on facebook to cute blogs with witty posts and pictures of family outings and daily life goings on (I have no shame in pointing the finger on this one, Julie Cannon, you put me to shame, and I love you). And don't even get me started about Pinterest! EVERYONE has a blog, making deliciously tempting recipes, displaying cute crafty projects, blah blah blah. Will i have a blog like the aforementioned, most certainly not. Mostly because I am the worst person at posting pictures, I could blame it on the fact that I do not know how to post pictures on a blog, but that is a lame excuse. I'm sure I could bug my husband enough to teach me how, but I am lazy. And if i am going to keep an updated blog, I do not needed the added pressure of making it look nice and fancy!

Who do I think will read this blog? My mom (hi mom!), Julie Cannon because I will post on her facebook that this is all her fault and she will be intrigued and come check it out. Other than those choice two, probably no one. However, this blog may be more about proving a point to myself than anything else. Can I keep it updated? Can I do it for more than a week? Well, we'll see. My other reason is less about proving something and more about me. That's right, I am doing this for me! I miss writing. I have joked to my family before when I was in college, i'm not sure what my major will be, but I know I can always major in english. At the hardest and darkest points in my life, writing helped (a little, but it helped). I loved writing short stories in high school. I love expressing myself through the written (or typed) word. And since getting married and more so, becoming a mom, I do less and less for me, and more and more for my boys. So here is my effort to turn on my writer brain, and do something with the internal narrator I have going on.

Wish me luck, I hope I come back to this blog!