Saturday, June 29, 2013

Standing Alone

Not too many years ago, the thought of gay marriage being legal would have been preposterous.  It was absolutely ridiculous to think that it could be a legally accepted practice, and yet so quickly, here we are.  This has really got me thinking and my mind has been churning. It does that a lot when things bother me, so I am just going to put it all down right here.

How did we get here so quickly?

Starting with the Baby Boomer generation, there has been a huge increase in divorce rates. Divorce has become the accepted norm. People don't have the staying power to just stick it out, make the best of it. Our society has become so enamored with feelings (which are so temporary), that those feelings rule the most important decisions of life.  "I just don't love him anymore." "Irreconcilable differences." "We grew apart." etc. etc. All these things are based on feelings.  The old attitude of sticking it out come hell or high water has vanished. So people take the path of least resistance.  And society suffers. Marriage has suffered.

Then marriage is degraded even more by spineless, haughty, egotistical Hollywood types who consistently say, "I don't need a piece of paper to tell me that I love someone."  And once again, marriage is degraded and debased to a worthless piece of paper.

Marriage has become so casual that it is like a masquerade ball, 'in' one season and then 'out' the next.  People wait to get married until they can spend a hideous amount of money on an elaborate celebration, high on form, but devoid of substance. Or they don't want to be inconvenienced at all, and don't get married at all. Just pretend marriage, but always with one foot out of the door.

And those elaborate, debt-inducing ceremonies end up in a divorce court only a few months or years later.

Or people are always looking for the bigger, better thing and make a mockery of marriage by jumping into and out of relationships at a sickening pace.  

Me, me, me, me.

Couple this with the massive amounts of empty pews. Everywhere across this country, empty, empty, empty. "I don't need a church to tell me how to be a good person." "I am spiritual, not religious."

I don't care what church...people just don't go. They worship at the alter of the New York Jets or Masters Golf Tournament or the Lake of Powell.  But not in a holy, sacred place where they used to learn to put off the natural man and follow Christ.

And so our society has so quickly lost its moorings. The foundation is cracked and quickly crumbling.

I have wracked my brain and tortured myself trying to contrive a logical, intelligent way of explaining why gay marriage is fundamentally wrong without linking it to my religious beliefs. Guess what? I have got nothing.  How can I come up with a cohesive argument with someone who worships at the altar of leisure and lasciviousness? Because it all goes back to what I know in my heart and what I believe because of the scriptures that I read. I can't prove it. I can't argue it away. And to believe in scripture, to believe in a God on high requires faith, endurance, patience, humility.

It is clear that the foundation of our society has been under a vicious assault over these past decades. Family is the foundation of society and strong societies are built upon strong families, and by this may I boldly declare a family as a married mother and father and the children of that marriage. Yes, I know there are other kinds of families, I get that. But what it all boils down to is that. Exactly that. It works. It is the ideal and what we should all strive to achieve. Anything else that tries to imitate and destroy that sacred structure is a lie.

I believe lesbian activist Marsha Gessen who lectured that gay marriage was a lie. The real intent is to destroy marriage. Oprah even preached on her show that she believes society has evolved past marriage.

I may feel like I stand alone here, but I am still going to stand and say unequivocally that gay marriage is wrong. I don't care how many pretty ribbons and trimmings you put on it, the package is stinky and an abomination. It is wrong.

I am not going to take the path of least resistance like these people here.

I want to be that guy with his arms folded. Right is ALWAYS right, even if you stand alone. I don't make my decision based on feelings or being one of the crowd. I know it is not popular. 

Now, in one fell swoop, I am considered a bigot, a homophobe, whatever.  It doesn't matter. I know who I am and what my relationship is to the people in my life and to my Father in Heaven. My record, my actions speak for themselves.

I take great comfort in this scripture..."Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life." -2 Nephi 31: 20

I must continue to have a perfect brightness of hope, and love God and ALL men. I will try my best to love everyone. 

Regardless, when it comes to gay marriage, I fold my arms boldly across my chest and I stand alone.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Swinging Girl

A few weeks ago, Julia figured out how to swing on her own. She needs a good push to get going, but she surely has figured out how to keep the momentum up. I wouldn't say that she is as determined at swinging as Eli, but she gets the job done. Well done, Miss Julia.

Friday, June 14, 2013


I made a critical error a few weeks ago when I let Zach check out a prank book from the library. Now his world revolves around pranks. He bought a prank book, wants to get a prank kit, and has pranks on the brain.  He always tells me that the pranks are harmless, but they can be really annoying when you are the target.

For dinner last night, I started to pour the syrup and it was clogged. Gotcha, Mom!  Haha!

I woke up this morning and looked at my phone and it said 10am. Then I verified with the clock in my bathroom and it said 10am and I about freaked out. Today was not a good day to be late because Raef had chamber music camp that he could not miss.  The house was so quiet. How could it possibly be 10am? No little ones were awake. Unprecedented. 

Gotcha, Mom! Haha!

Then Raef went to put his shoes on and the knots at the eyelet opening hindered this from happening.  Raef was a good sport, but I tell you. That kid is gonna have it coming real soon.

I am going to get you Zach.

Word to the not let your kid get a prank book from the library. Like. Ever.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

My Week

We did lots of things this week. On Monday night, we met our friends from Lehi for a fun night in the park. Draper does a free concert series during the summer and it was the perfect night to enjoy music and a picnic. The best part was that the artist was Peter Breinholt. When we lived in SLC a long time ago, before any kids, we would play cards all the time with Kristin and her husband Brian.  Whenever it was at their house, we only listened to Peter Breinholt. Kristin is a huge fan. It was fun to be able to share this with her. And the kids had fun too.

She even got her picture with the man himself!

Kristin, with Peter and her kids Izzy and Tim.

Tuesday was another day of violin/viola lessons. Raef's new teacher Aisha lives in Sugarhouse and teaches out of her basement.  Basements in Sugarhouse have a pretty low profile. There will come a time when his head will be touching the ceiling, as some times his bow does when he is playing.

Zach was determined to make cookies this past week and I relented. Of course, he chose the messiest cookie there is to make, sugar cookies.  There was frosting everywhere, but the kids were happy.  Raef diligently put the final touches on the last cookies, making sure they were all equally frosted. The two of them made the cookies from A-Z.  They even got all of the pans and bowls washed as well.

I decided to start tackling the garage this week. It seems even worse than before.  But I am working on getting all of my projects done to tie things up out here. I finished one dresser and am currently tackling an 80's china hutch my grandmother gave me.  It was not a family heirloom, so I don't feel guilty about giving it a major face lift. I hope it turns out okay.

 Yesterday was a lot of fun. I woke up super early and picked up Melanie so that we could conquer the yard sale world.  We did pretty good and then stopped for a birthday breakfast at Food For Thought, a quaint family bakery in downtown Draper. The food was delicious and the hot cocoa with homemade marshmallows were pretty darn good also.

On Saturday evening, we went to a ward picnic. Julia got herself dressed in this ensemble and then did her "pose" for the camera. She was rocking the pink.

Our next door neighbor Merrill loves to restore cars and he has quite a collection.  He brought this baby up to the picnic when we were finishing up. Wow, huh?!? It is an original 1925 Yellowstone tour bus. It can break out into a crazy fast 40 mph's when it gets randy.  Harry and Julia had fun warming up the back seats.

This pretty much sums up my week in pictures. It didn't seem like I did much but I guess there was more than meets the eye. I am going to keep on working on that garage and all the projects that are in there.  It will keep me busy and keep my mind off of being pregnant. That is always a good thing.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

A Little Bit of Mayhem

Today was a bit crazy. I am just very grateful that it didn't end badly, because it could have turned out a whole lot different. I was in the basement with Raef and Eli when I heard a bang and a scream.  These are pretty typical sounds in our house, but for some reason I knew this was different. I sent Raef up to investigate and then I heard frantic pleas for help. It is absolutely terrifying as a mother when you are arriving at the scene.  I just kept telling myself to stay calm, no matter what I was going to see.

It was Julia standing in my carpeted living room screaming and bleeding profusely.  I could see all limbs were attached and quickly determined that it was her hand.  I took her to the sink to wash off the blood and found a small gash below the knuckle of her pinky.  She had fallen into the mirror that was sitting on the ground. It was the mirror that was stuck in decorating limbo. I didn't know where to hang it, so I just left it on the ground.  That was a mistake.  I am just so grateful that she didn't cut herself more severely. My prayers of safety and protection were once again answered.  God is good.

Zach was almost as upset as Julia was about the incident. He was playing with her and caused her to fall into the mirror. Poor kid.  Raef stayed calm like me and the two of them did a great job cleaning up all of the dangerous glass.

Then after lunch Eli had an epic meltdown. It had something to do with wanting to hold the hose when they were playing with the Slip 'n' Slide, but not wanting to get wet. His endless crying really stressed me out. I sent him to his room but could still hear the insanity. My stomach started to hurt and my frustration level was at the peak. Of course, this was right about when Rinar decided to call me.  I was hungry, stressed, and generally frazzled.  Mommy needed a time out.

Thankfully, after at least an hour of crying, Eli stopped. Julia was acting just fine. I got to sit in my recliner and bring the blood pressure down a few notches. The frozen lasagna was a blessing in disguise. The kids ate their dinner, Raef put them to bed, and Zach cleaned the kitchen. 

Thankfully, the day is over.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Back to Nature

First of all, I am doing well with this pregnancy. I feel pretty good and have a fair amount of least enough to get stuff done.  Heartburn is always a problem, but I am dealing with it the best I can. Since my laptop blew up, I have been a bit lax getting blogs written.  It just takes more effort to walk myself down to the basement and sit in front of the desktop. Laptops are so much easier. It accommodates my laziness.

Since we have moved into this house we have made a concerted effort to walk more.  Many things are much closer. The main thing is church.  It only takes us 10 minutes to walk there with little legs.  For the first couple of weeks, there was a lot of complaining and the wah-mbulance almost had to be called a few times. But the kids are now used to it. I just wanted to say that walking has been such a blessing. Continuing with my thoughts from the previous blog, I am becoming  more acutely aware of connectedness.  The cyber world makes it easier to stay in touch with people, but we become more emotionally disconnected.  It really is not much different with the car, if you really think about it.

I have realized how disconnected I have been from nature.  It didn't help that I spent seven years of my life living on Mars, I mean Las Vegas.  But still, I have found myself being very lazy when it comes to the car.  I think I use it way too much for our family. My new attitude is...Why drive somewhere when we can walk?  We walk to church and I make my kids walk to Boy Scouts at the church building also.  We also have a park around the corner and we definitely walk there. I have been walking to people's houses whenever possible, as well.  But it has been such a blessing.

I do feel more connected to nature.  We are all going slower and therefore have time to notice stuff.  I can hear the birds singing and see strange things, like a little fluffy white dog chasing a car down the road, or stop and say hello to the horses who live in a field by our house. We wave to a lot more people when we walk and Rinar loves that.  There is a lot going on for that stretch of road and if I was driving, I would miss it.

Just this last Sunday, I was walking with Harry and he was asking me lots of great questions.  We stopped multiple times to look at ant hills and strange insects and foliage in the trees.  I told him the names of the plants that I knew and held his hand and talked to him, just the two of us, with no interruptions. I have also enjoyed watching my kids and how their confidence grows each week as we make the trek to church and home again.

And it seriously cracks me up to see someone pull into their driveway from church, a mere five houses from the building. They are really missing out.

But even without the walking, my kids have been enjoying nature in other simple ways. They have become fascinated with snails and spend hours digging them up and playing with them.  Harry and Julia love finding insects, and especially Roley Polies.  Harry calls them "Holy Holies" and Julia calls them "Roley Holies". They will also enthusiastically report on any bumblebee sightings. It is simple things that they are seeing and experiencing, but the moments are priceless. I cherish them.

And I cherish every walk we take. They grow stronger and smarter. Nature is a blessing and I am so glad I can be back in it.
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