Friday, December 28, 2012

It was a little . . . Meh! My review of Les Miserables

The number one movie in the US this weekend was Les Miserables. I know many people who loved it, raved about it, and will be seeing it many times in the theater. I am not one of them. I want to give a little background about me before you all think I'm just a heartless critic that 'didn't get it.' I've studied both acting and voice since I was a child. I've gone to a specialty college and been apart of many performance groups over the years. I'm currently studying opera and have studied classical voice for years. Hopefully that will give you a good idea as to why I feel the way I do.

I'll start with what I liked about the film. First the acting was amazing. Anne Hathaway was amazing! Her death scene was so phenomenally done, I did indeed hold back tears. Her delirium was perfect. I loved her acting. Maius was wonderful! His voice was great and he did a wonderful job as a revolutionary. The other revolutionaries were great, vocal ability was fantastic and they all worked very well together.

Now . . . onto the things I didn't like. The vocals of the leads were atrocious. I had hoped for so much more from Hugh Jackman. Having done Broadway and theater all over the world, you would like he would be better. His speak/singing was so annoying. He couldn't go through a single song without dropping away and breathing the lyrics at the end of a phrase. It drove me crazy. Also, he held his sound way to forward, up in his nasal cavity. Anne Hathaway's voice was also extremely disappointing. In the song I Dreamed a Dream it didn't bother me as much as the rest of her vocals, but overall I felt they were lacking in more ways then I can count. Many of the secondary characters in the show had such better vocals then the leads. Because of this, the last 1/3 of the movie was where it actually started to get interesting. The sets all bled together because there was no change in colors or style. Everything had the pallor of one dead or dying; black, brown, tan, cream, coal. Anything that did have color was muted and dull. One other thing really bothered me. The scene of 'Master of the House'. Sasha and Helena were good casts, but that scene was so over the top, so inappropriate and crude that it colored my feelings for those two throughout the rest of the film. I know we aren't supposed to like those two characters, but seriously? A whore having sex with Santa where we see her straddling him shouting 'Oh, Santa!'. Was that really necessary? The whole scene's grotesque action totally put me off for a while afterward. Russell Crows portrayal of Javert while predictable was okay. His singing was mediocre, but that wasn't his fault. He isn't a singer, and he never professed to be.

While I enjoyed the acting of most of characters, overall the film was lacking in so much that I don't think I'll be watching it again. In the theater or not.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Season to be Thankful!

Always around this time of year we become focused on what we are thankful for, even more so then at Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is about the food (mother, I'm only here for the food!) But around December, we all begin to gather with family and friends, we start giving to everyone and everything, saying Merry Christmas to complete strangers, and remembering all the things we have been given. Giving thanks has been prescribed through the years as a way to feel better, extend life, create better health and to even heal terminal illnesses. Surprisingly, with all the benefits of being thankful, we focus more on the negative in our lives then the positive. Today I had a wonderful experience and wanted to share it with you.

Sunday was the ward choir Christmas concert in church. It was what you would expect in a ward choir performance to be. The older woman who has lots of volume, and not much tune blasting the soprano line. The kids choir that is so sweet, and knows only every other line. But it was somehow comforting, an old sign of the Christmas season that always makes me smile. The final song of the program was a joint congregational hymn of Silent Night. An oldie, but a goodie! Sometime during the program, little Michael had fallen asleep and was content in my arms. I was suddenly hit with an overwhelming wave of emotion. I could see Mary holding her sleeping newborn in her arms, looking down into the face of the savior, just as I was with my son then. I imagined her having gone on this taxing journey from her home to Bethlehem and giving birth in a strange place, with Joseph her only help. How exhausted she must have been after that ordeal, and exhilarated to have brought our Savior into the world. By the end of the song, tears were threatening to flow and I could feel the spirit of the Lord strongly in my soul.

Because of this I began to think of how thankful I am for different things in my life. Thing like my child, my husband, my family, living in a place where I can go to church without fear of being attacked for my faith. I am so thankful for the amazing gift from the Lord that is my singing voice. I have been to profoundly changed recently when it comes to my singing voice that I hardly recognize myself. Before, singing was wrought with fear, worry, anger, anxiety and self doubt. After some very revelatory (is that a word?) experiences, I realized that I was looking at singing all wrong and now feel such a deep desire to be good because the Lord wants me to be good. No other reason. He will use me in whatever way he chooses. And on that day I was overcome with gratitude for the Lord that he gave me an outlet for my love of Him and my love of the world around us.

As the Christmas season finishes up, I hope we can all remember what the true meaning of the season is. Remember that all we have has been given to us via our Savior, Jesus Christ. Remember that family is the greatest gift we can have, if it be a family of two or of two hundred.

As always,
          Love from my heart to yours.


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Fighting just to Fight . . . Never a good idea!

There is an idea moving around the interwebs that has sparked a huge conversation/contention about Mormon feminist and wearing pants to church on Sunday. Normally this wouldn't bother, and in most ways it doesn't. I think people have the agency to choose what to wear on Sunday. What does bother me is that someone has chosen a very sacred time during the week, a time where we recommit ourselves to the savior, into a political rally.

There is a time and place for everything. There is a time to air grievances and to express disagreements. The middle of a sacrament meeting is not one of them. Sunday is a time of worship, a time to remember and express gratitude for the sacrifice of the Savior. It is not a time to single out a group, or segregate yourself by 'taking a stand'. And it is has really bothered me that people who are proponents of this day are saying things like they are fighting the culture, or this is a way to identify others who have the same ideas or it's not political.

1) Fighting the culture of the LDS church is like fighting all of Western culture. It's useless and pointless. You shouldn't wear pants to church because you want to fight against a culture. You should wear pants because that is the best thing you wear. The idea of 'Sunday Best' will always be a suite for men and a nice dress for women. If you don't have that, wear the next best thing. I don't feel like the Mormon culture is perfect, far from it. But making a political stand against wearing dresses is just silly. 

2) Wearing pants to church to help identify others who are like minded so you can band together creates separatism and a us vs. them mentality. You never want to create a group that is separate from the whole. Once that happens, everyone around you, including yourself, segregate this group. 

3) There is no way this isn't political. The feminist movement is a political movement, there is no way to separate them. If you are pushing feminism into a religion, it is political. 

At then end of the day, what we wear to church isn't the matter here. It is a group of people fighting against something that has nothing to do with the doctrine or teaching of the LDS faith. Pushing a protest, a worldwide protest, in the middle of a worship service where covenants are recommitted is inappropriate and a slap in the face of the Lord.  

Friday, November 16, 2012

First Day Away!

Off . . . off . . . and away!!!!

Tonight is the first night that I will be away from my son. He's three months old tomorrow. AHHH! How this came about: This last week has been really hard for me. Michael use to sleep almost completely through the night until about two months. He hit a growth spurt and decided he needed to eat twice a night. Well, the problem with that was he got use to getting up twice a night, so I've had to put him back to sleep around 2 am every night since then. But this last week has been horrible. He didn't want to sleep, would wake up around 11, cry and fuss, wake up again around 2, then at 3:30, then at 5 some night. He was just generally not sleeping well and because he wasn't, neither was I. Even when I did get to sleep, I didn't get into a good REM cycle. By Friday night (tonight) I was going totally crazy. Really having a hard time dealing with anything. Everything that hit me felt like it was a thousand times worst then it normally would. So, when Weston came home and saw me, he said, not insisted, that I take a break. More then going out for the night. But going out for the WHOLE night. As in over night. He's standing in the bathroom, ordering me to start packing an overnight bag.

My first reaction to this notion, was NO WAY! My son isn't even quiet three months (okay one day puts it as practically) and I'm supposed to leave him alone all night? What the what?

But after taking a nap I woke up feeling like it was actually a good idea. I started to pack a bag. However, it took me almost an entire hour to pack. For one person. For one night. An hour. I think I was stalling, do you? Before I left, I HAD to nurse Michael, change his diaper and get him into his PJ's. It was so hard for me to leave his side. He is so cute! His vocalizing has gotten amazing, his full range of vocals and he was cooing away when it was time for me to leave. I mean, how do you leave the cutest's baby in the world?

But I finally made it. I'm now alone, sitting in front of a computer without a son or husband to think about.

Strange. Very, very strange.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

To much, to fast

In life we have a few very basic things that we worry about. Food, shelter, money. These things come almost structured in our DNA to be worried about. But as I've gotten older, I've learned that there are many other things that we are now forced to pay attention to. 200 years ago no one asked the question, 'what do you want to be when you grow up?' Most people just did what their family did. Farmers, merchants, bankers, ect . . . While I admit that doesn't sound like the greatest of lives, it was simple. People didn't have the time or energy to worry like we do now. They went about their days focused on survival.

But NOW?

Now we worry about so many things, it ridiculous. The freedom of choice and the brilliance of technology have changed the way we live, and in so doing created . . . complications. Now when I wake up in the morning I have a hundred choices to make before breakfast. Do I feed the baby first thing, or should I wait until he gets fussy? Do I work out now or later? Should I check my facebook page now? Do I post something on blogger now? Should I look at my favorite news website first thing or in the afternoon? Should I watch a show while I eat breakfast, or read a book? These questions did exist a few centuries ago. But here they are, staring us in the face, forcing us to answer them.

For me, the questions that plague me are ones that are constant. What should I do with my life? Where do I go? Should I write today or practice music? Should I work-out? Should I go work for my father today or wait until tomorrow? There are so many things that are on my mind at the same time, it's a wonder I get anything done! Because with so many things that I am interested in and enjoy, I feel like I can only worry about one at a time. Example, right now I am focused on getting back into shape and working out. Because of this, it is hard for me to focus on anything else. So much of my brain is devoted to that one task, that I find it hard to focus long enough to write for NaNoWriMo, or to practice my music pieces. But the reverse it true as well. If I am focused on practicing music, there is little else that I find myself doing.

So this is my conclusion. We need to go back to a time when life was much more simple. At least, it would be nice to not have to worry about so much every day.

Don't you think?

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Life Has Changed

              My life changed in the blink of an eye on August 17th of this year. Everything that I thought I wanted, everything that I expected that I wanted changed at 7:21 am. I didn't realize it at first. It was a gradual change, one that snuck up on me with little to no warning. One day I just realized that the things I had wanted before in my life were now changed. And I have struggled with this changed like no change in my life. Suddenly things that were VERY important to me changed. I am now questioning many things in my life that had always been a constant, like singing. All my life I have wanted to sing. But it stuck me a few nights ago that even from the age of 6 years old, I have wanted to sing for fame and glory. I have wanted thousands of people to stand in a concert hall and yell my name as music blasts over the PA. I have wanted to make the rounds on talk shows, to be the center of attention. At the heart of my desire to sing hasn't been because I love to sing (which I do), but because I wanted worldly fame and fortune. There have been other reasons as well. Living this life for other people. One instance is a distinct 'in your face' that I CAN be successful and talented even if you didn't want me.
               In Elder Eyring's talk today in General Conference for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, he spoke about doing the Lords work and pushing aside your own worldly ambitions. Asking Father in Heaven 'what would you have me do' without interfering with the answer because of what we want. This was the talk that I have been waiting for through all of conference. I needed help because I was struggling deeply with my conviction to go back to school in January. Since Michael was born, I have felt a deep anxiety, fear and stress over going back to school. The many things that should have been exciting to me, have seemed only fill me with fear. And I have struggled with this sudden change in my feelings. My whole life has been centered around one idea, singing. What am I if I don't want to do it anymore? Or if I don't feel like I want a career in music? What if I don't want to be a professional singer? Can I break those social contracts that have been created my whole life, predicated on me being a singer? Putting on that idea, trying it on like a coat, has been one of the strangest feelings I have ever had. The idea that I don't pursue music professionally feels totally foreign to me.

So what do I do? That question has plagued me now for weeks. What do I do?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Easy and Hard

Being a new mom is both easy and hard. I never would have thought that it would come so naturally. Michael is also a really calm baby which is nice. In a full day total he may cry a half hour to an hour. It's wonderful! But there is this niggle in the back of my head telling me that this may only be a temporary situation. But for now, Michael is an angel and I love it.

This first six weeks has been an adjustment to say the least. Waking up every couple of hours is hard, but he is finally starting to sleep for longer periods through the night. A five hour stretch, nurse, then another three hours. The first five hour stretch is VERY nice! The other biggest adjustment for me is not being able to leave  the house on the fly. It takes twice as long to get into the car, and then dealing with the crying when he's upset in the car is also frustrating. But in those moments, when he is sitting quietly, looking around, I am filled with a sense of joy and peace. I'm so happy to be a mother. It really has made me feel totally whole!

Monday, September 3, 2012

The Day The World Stopped (or, the birth of my first child)

This is a very detailed account of my childbirth. It is more for my records.


On Wednesday the 16th, I was getting ready for bed and said to Weston:
         "We're going to go to bed one night, and the next night we are going to have a baby. It's that quick and we'll have our little one."

I guess I had a little prophetic moment there.

Thursday was the day everything got started. My mother stopped by to pick up some things from our apartment to store for us with my two niece and nephew Eli and Lyric. We were all planning on going to the pool at my mother's after for a much needed soak. However, life had different plans. At exactly the moment I rounded the corner to leave the apartment, liquid ran down the inside of my leg. I stood there in shock for a moment, unable to move. Weston was out the door already talking with the Elders who live below us and I yelled for him. But of course he didn't hear me. So I hobble/walk around the corner, and yell at him again: "Whatever you are saying, I take precedent!"

He comes running up the stairs and I tell him, 'My water just broke!' It was a totally surreal moment. The moment when I realized we were going to have a baby today. I jumped on the toilet and we called the midwife. They asked me to come in at 4:00p to get a check-up. Mom was still at the house, so we did some last minute clean up, got our bag together and finally headed out the door. The birthing center was only 5 minutes away so the drive was quick, but uncomfortable.

Once we got there the midwives did a quick check on the position of the baby, at the moment anterior, my vitals and the fluid. Shock and awe, it was amniotic fluid! I had figured that part out when the blood had started to flow. They sent me home and asked me to come back when the contractions had reached a point where they were five minutes apart, 1 minute long, for at least 1 hour (511). Since the contractions hadn't started in earnest yet, we decided to go to Beto's Mexican restaurant for some dinner. I am thankful because it was the last thing I ate for nearly 20 hours.

At home, we started to keep track of the contractions via an app my husband has on his phone. It was great! It took each contractions length between and duration, averaged them all out and also could send it to you via email if you needed to share it with someone. For the first hour or so (5-6p) my contractions were 3 minutes apart lasting about one minute long. We were starting to get excited, thinking I might be an anomaly and give birth to my first baby really quickly! Hahaha! Weren't we funny?! I was able to sit through most of these, just taking a moment to be quiet when they came. We were sitting on the couches across from each other and I remember thinking, 'this is really happening, we are going to have a baby'.

The contractions began to take on a strange pattern at this point. They would stay consistent at 4 minutes apart 1 minute long for four or five contractions, then one would be 10 minutes later. This pattern 4,4,4,10 or   3,3,3,15 lasted for the next 4 hours. I sat on my birthing ball, on the computer chair, but constantly with Weston by my side. My parents showed up having dropped off my niece and nephew off with a baby sitter, around 7ish. They were both crazy tired because they hadn't gotten any sleep the night before, and now, they knew they weren't going to get any that night either. I had always had this vision of what I wanted my hair to look like when I gave birth to my first child, so my mother and I sat and figured it out while I was in early labor. I sat at the computer and pulled up the how to on the crown braid for mom to do.

After a particularly long contraction, we decide to call the midwives about what to do next. They told me to get into the tub and see if the that helps regulate the contractions. The water was amazing!!!! The contractions did indeed regulate, coming every 3 minutes with them at least 1 minute long. We called them back after an hour and they told us to come over. HOWEVER, they both were in Orem, so we had to wait until 12:15am before we could go over. That hour went by crazy fast and suddenly we were having to drive over to the center.

The drive sucked! At this point the contractions were enough that I was having to moan through them and really zone out. The car just made everything worse. I put on the special place hypnobabies CD and listened to that on the drive over. Weston parked the car at the front walk way, pulling my door up to the walk way (and we subsequently left it there all night!) and we managed to get inside. I had a total of 3 contractions on the way to the center, stupid car!

Once we got there, they did a vitals check as well as a v. check. I was dilated to a 2 and 70% effaced. When I heard that, my little heart fell. I thought for sure I must have been farther along then that! Of course everyone say's that doesn't mean anything, but it was a little discouraging. After a quick discussion amoungst themselves, they said they wanted to send me home. WHAT? Home? There was no way in hell I was going to be able drive home in the pain I was in. They wanted me to try and sleep. At this point the contractions were strong enough that I was moaning through them, and they wanted me to sleep. Right. . .

After putting my foot, my mother's foot and Weston's foot down, we made our way upstairs and into the tub.  The water was heavenly! I loved it! It was warm and soft and it helped with the contractions. That was until they asked me to lay on my left side. Laying on my left side was horrible. The contractions began coming faster and much stronger. I really didn't like being on my left side. They checked me again, and I was now dilated to a 4 and 80% effaced. 2 cm in 2 hours, I guess that was better.

Over the next few hours, I went into a few positions. On all fours on the bed with pillows propping me up (this position was okay, not as good as the tub, but okay), sitting on the toilet while holding onto Weston (dilated to a 5), and then again laying on my left side on the bed. This position began the hours that I call 'The Hell Hours'. The next three hours I never got a break. The pain would peak, then lesson, but never went away. Most of that was because Michael had decided to move posterior and with every contraction fighting what was happening. He would move, against the contraction, moving against it. The midwives were very surprised that he was moving during the contractions. Weston was able to watch as Michael would move during and between each contraction. It was making the pain about ten times worse the it needed to be.

The midwives had to keep reminding me to pull the tone of my 'ohhhs' down. Lower registers help relax the muscles and help keep them relaxed. At the peak of the contractions, my 'ohhs' began to sound more like 'aaah' then back down to 'ohhh'. But somewhere in the middle, my body began to push with each contraction at the peak. It wasn't that I was pushing, by my body pushed without my help. This was the strangest sensation because I was not in control of my body.

I was over the moon on the pushing. Once it was obvious my body was ready to push this baby out, the midwives had me set up on a birthing stool. A birthing stool is a horse shoe shaped stool that the midwives can sit on the floor beneath and see everything that is going on. Weston was behind me, holding my hands and supporting my back. I would bare down, pushing with all my might. I felt the 'burning ring of  fire' pretty soon, and even was able to feel little man's head just under the skin. It was the strangest feeling, the pressure of his head coming down the birth canal. It was amazing! I started to talk to Michael saying things like 'Come on baby', 'It's okay to come now', 'I want you to come', 'Come on, come on!' etc . . . The people in the room said it was very cute how I was talking to him.

Pushing was the best part of the whole birth process. It felt so good to push, to bare down and really give it my all. And after just a short 39 minutes, little Michael came out. His hand actually came out first, followed immediately by his head. When he came out, everyone in the room said 'There's a hand, it's a hand' but nobody explained why they were saying it. It wasn't until after he was born that they explained it to me. They had to turn his head because he was a little stuck, but once he was completely turned, he shot out like a bullet. I was so focused that it took me a few breaths to realize that there was a baby in my arms.

He was so warm and soft, his body melted right into me. The midwives quickly clamped the cord and Weston got to cut it. They handed Michael to Weston and quickly got me onto the floor. I didn't realize it at the time, but I was bleeding heavily. Enough that they were concerned about me hemorrhaging. Once on the floor they gave me an injection and my mother gave me a glass of water with helicrysm, a doTERRA oil to help with the bleeding as well. They worked on my stomach for a little bit, massaging me and checking me over. Because of the way he came out, I had a 2nd degree tear on my vaginal wall. But my perineum didn't tear, which was both a surprise and a blessing! Once they determined I wasn't hemorrhaging, they all picked me up and got me onto the bed, up on the pillows.

I finally got to really hold my little one. Because of the blood loss, I was pretty shaky and totally freezing, but snuggling with little man helped a ton! We got to hold him for an hour, looking at his total cuteness and beauty. He didn't have hardly any vernex on him. Because of the tests they took, they deduced that he was 42 weeks. He was 9lbs 10 oz, 21 inches long, his head was 14 1/2 in circumference and his APGAR was 10/10 at one minute. He was born at 7:21am, 17 hours after my water broke.

It was an amazing experience, tiring, but amazing. He was my little miracle. I was pretty shaky and exhausted for about two days until I was really able to feel the elation of having a new baby. But now, I can't imagine my life without him. He's only been with us know for 17 days, but it feels like he's been here for a long time.

Michael, moments after birth
Mommy and Michael a few hours after birth
The King and Crown


 


Beautiful Blue 




Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Responsibility and Respect Part 2

My parents hated bullies and couldn't stand it when others were intolerant to our beliefs or others beliefs. They would stand and support causes that they believed in, but would never tell someone that they are evil for believing what they believe. They always pushed us to get our own opinions about things while giving us their views about topics. I grew up in this household. I was never forced to believe what they believed. I learned respect from my parents. I never belittle anyone, never look at them like they are lesser citizens for believing something. People have different opinions, lifestyles, ethics, moral centers then myself and I'm fine with that. I have never, and I'll never, push my beliefs onto other people.

So why is it that when I give an opinion on social media (cough, cough, Facebook) people suddenly feel it's totally fine to attack, belittle, argue (not debate) what I've said. I have two friends that have very different opinions of things then myself. One have been a best friend of my for a very long time, friend #1. The other is someone I became close to about two years ago friend #2. Friend #1 and I have a great relationship and he will always be counted as a brother in my heart. But we also debate and discuss things all the time because we have such drastically different views. He is a feminist, and I honestly am more of a traditionalist. We disagree on government, sometimes religion doctrine, and many other topics. But we are still the best of friends because at the end of the day we respect each other. There is never any mudslinging or dirty talk, just opinions shared.

However, with friend #2, it's a totally different matter. She and I come from very different backgrounds. I'm highly religious, she isn't at all. I have very conservative views, she is extremely liberal. While I might not agree with everything she say's, I always try to remain respectful of her opinions and ideas. But when it comes to her respecting me and my opinions, she has no ability to share and move on. She has to be right and refuses to let me have my opinion. A recent conversation with her (via facebook, that evil center where people feel they can say whatever they want), I realized that no matter how respectful I am, she will never be. First she must always voice her opinion if she doesn't agree with something that I say or post. While she knows my views and that I will not be changing them, she insists on pushing her own views onto me. On posts about my religion (Mormon), she always posts how she doesn't agree and that I am being either ignorant or stupid because I believe it. Now she would never say that she does that, even when pointed out to her by others. She believes that she has the right to attack my views, while I should just sit back and take it.

Through these two drastically different people, I have learned what it means to debate vs argue. I have learned that there are those that will never respect my opinions, regardless of how respectful I am to them. I have learned that I will not put up with being attacked because I believe something different.

And sadly, I have learned that there are some people in life that will always live in a place of defense and anger.

Has respect disappeared in our society? After recent events, I have decided that YES. It has.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

My Testimony of God

Every journal that I start, the first entry is my testimony of God and his son Jesus Christ. It became a tradition after I realized that I hadn't written down my testimony for years and that thought didn't sit well with me. So now every time I get a new journal, I write my testimony at length for my posterity. It's interesting to go back and read what my testimony was as a teenager, and what is it now. My life experiences have shaped and changed my testimony, strengthening it. So I feel it only appropriate to share my testimony of God the Father, his son Jesus Christ and the truth that is the gospel. 

I testify that Church of Jesus Christ is true. I testify that Joseph Smith did restore the fullness of the gospel upon this earth, and that it will never be taken away again. I testify that I know that Jesus Christ died for the sins of this world. I know that it is only through Christ, through his atonement, we can join our families forever in heaven. I know that through his atonement I can be forgiven for my sins, receive the Holy Ghost as my constant companion and am not held by the chains of death. 

On a more specific note, I testify of the reality of the battle between good and evil; the righteous and the wicked, fought daily in our lives. I testify that the righteous of the world are under siege by Lucifer and his followers. This is not a battle being fought in a faraway land, where the effects do not touch us. This is real, every day and in every aspect of our lives. Is it not theoretical, it is literal. The devil wishes to destroy us, to bring us misery and to pull our souls into damnation. I have had experiences that have proven this to me. His desire to kill our spirits, to deaden the communications from heaven to earth, is very real and he will fight in any way to reach his goal. 

I also have a testimony of the help and strength we are given through the gospel, and through the atonement of Jesus Christ. While we are at war for our spiritual selves, we are not alone. God and Christ will never leave us to fight these battles alone. We have angels to lift us up (those seen and unseen in our lives), families to give support and love, and the very real companionship of the Holy Ghost. Never before has it been so important to do the 'Sunday School' answers; read our scriptures so we know of God and Christ, pray to our Father in Heaven so that we have open lines of communication, and attend our church meetings with open hearts and minds to learn of His teachings. 

The Lord know us personally, knows our struggles and our personal battles. Rely on Him, and call on His help, as I know he will give it. 

I say these things, in the sacred name of my Savior Jesus Christ, Amen. 

Friday, July 27, 2012

Respect and Responsibility, Have they really disappeared?

Since I was a child my father has told me "If you pick up one end of the stick, you have to pick up the other". His meaning was that if you make a decision to do something you can't choose the consequence. That goes for any decision you make, not just the bad ones. Growing up I have thought of that many times, mostly when I might be making a bad decision. The whole idea of cause and effect, action and reaction, choice and consequence is also tightly weaved in with responsibility and respect.


Over the last few weeks I've read news articles, watched videos and seen comments made by people about the government, religion, groups of people, and individuals that completely shock me. One such instance was a recent article I read on a news website, describing the mayors of Chicago and Boston deciding to ban permits to the fast food restaurant Chick-fil-A because the owner came out against gay marriage. Now I don't want to start a whole discussion on gay marriage, but I want to talk about responsibility and respect. Or lack there of.

 It is the responsibility of the mayor of a city to make decisions in the best interest of the citizens and business of that city. How is the city of Chicago benefiting from banning a business that will bring in jobs and serve their community? Also, when did a government body have the right to persecute a group because of their personal, religious beliefs? Isn't it the responsibility of a governing body to promote the free exchange of ideas, the freedom to practice a religion, and the protection of those freedoms and rights? In today's climate, I feel that if you have an opinion outside of the mainstream media, you are persecuted and subjected to harassment and hate acts. Example is the situation with Brad Pitts mother coming out against President Obama and homosexuality. The threats on her life,the wishes of death and the threats of rape and bodily harm were horrible. I thought our country was built on the ideas of freedom of speech, freedom of religion and freedom of OPINION.

Brad Pitt and Mother 
But what about respect? Is anything that is happening right now respectful of others and their views? No. When did our country turn into a place where only the mainstream media was allowed to have an opinion? In my life, I have had friends of many walks of life, all of whom have respected my personal beliefs, while I also respect theirs. The whole idea of the freedom to live the life you want, while respecting that same freedom in others has disappeared in our country. Now the only way to live the life you want is to live it the way the liberal media dictates.

 I believe we still live in a great country, but I wonder . . . How long until we no longer live in a country that will allow you to live your beliefs in peace?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Family, What Does it Mean?

Webster online dictionary:
1. a group of individuals living under one roof and usually under one head: Household
2. a: a group of persons of common ancestry: Clan

Grandma and Grandpas Edwards 50th Anniversary
But definitions normally get the feeling wrong don't they? What does family really mean, to the heart? For me this past few days has been very interesting when it comes to family. I have always been known as the one in my family to listen, and to support and help everyone around me. I like it, it makes me feel good that my siblings and parents are trusting enough to talk to me without fear of judgement or anger. I will listen, offer advice if I feel it is necessary, and let my loved ones talk until they are talked out. I always feel warm and happy after conversations like that.

However, there comes a time in every family where the one who listens, and supports and holds onto the fears or worries of those around them, needs help too. It's a strange concept, that people who never need help, suddenly need help.

I am a very independent woman most of the time. I'm sure my husband would disagree on this, but I feel that I try my hardest to do the things I need to without much help. I try not to whine and complain about things in my life. I accept and move on. But over the weekend, that changed in a big way. Being put on light bed rest (even though it's only been 3 days) I am getting extremely frustrated! My husband won't let me do anything. I get up to get something to drink and he scolds me and pushes me back to bed. He say's "We don't want to baby coming to soon." like somehow I need to be reminded!
White Family, Christmas 2011

As soon as my midwife gave the order (yes drill sergeant, I will not pack and move. SIR), I began to stress. How were we going to get everything done in time? How was I going to clean? What about my school work? What about unloading at our new apartment? My mind went into hyper mode and I couldn't keep the tears from flowing. I've never been good with asking for help and I was now in a situation where if I didn't, nothing was going to get done (or the baby would come early)!

But those that I love, that care about me really came up to the plate. A cousin that just moved back from Alabama, came and helped me pack up my kitchen (that included cleaning. She is a SAINT.) An Aunt who also just moved up from Nevada came with boxes, packing material and helped pack up our office (without being asked. She just showed up!!!) Later this week, my sister-in-law will be here to help. And my mother is coming two days to help clean.

Family means to me that when you need them, they are there for you, without question or excuse. They come when it means the most, even if you didn't ask. They don't ask for anything in return, knowing that when they are in need, I will be there for them.

Ohana means familyfamily means nobody gets

 left behind. Or forgotten.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Moving . . . What the What?

Dreams, meet Man! 
In my life, change has always come with a big price. Sometimes those prices are bad, but a lot of the time it is good. Getting married changed my life more then anything that has happened so far (I know that will change once I've had the baby), and the price was amazing. Eternity to the man of my dreams!

Other major life changes, going back to school the price was giving up a full time job that I hated. Changing majors, the price on this one was a little hard to pay because I had to start over from scratch and start a brand new program at the University of Utah. That pretty much is going to suck.

But this move comes at a major unopprotune time. The baby is rearing to go, my body has started to 'ripen' for his birth. I thought everything was going to be okay, that I wasn't straining myself and working to hard, but apparently not. I was put on quasi-bed rest for the next week so baby doesn't feel the need to come until at least 37 weeks. The price of this move is costing us a good ward, but a not so good neighborhood. I really love my little kids in nursery, and the women of the ward have been great to me. But getting out of our neighborhood is exciting.
Yes, please handle with care, unless you want
a crazy pregnant woman on your behind!

Moving right now seems like a mountain, and I don't want a price to be that my sweet little boy comes early. So my sweet wonderful husband has confined me to the bed. I got up this morning to make a protein shake and as soon as I was done drinking it he shuttled me back to bed. :) Sweet man!  So here I am on a Sunday morning writing in a blog and thinking about all the things I need to get done for packing. AHHH! Idle hands make an idle mind. At least they do in my case.

So for all the mommies out there that have moved while pregnant, what have you done to 'lighten the load' so to speak? SUGGESTIONS??

Halloween 2010

More photographs I ran into going through files on the computer!!! These are from Halloween 2010. Weston was the Mad-Hatter and I was the Red Queen from Alice in Wonderland. We made Weston's costume. He did a really amazing job on his costume! We love getting totally decked out for Halloween. Wait to see what we 'torture' our child with this October :)!





Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Harry Potter Party at the District Theater

I was going through my photo's today and ran across a whole slew of them from the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows Part 2 party that my family went to last  year. I don't think I ever shared with you guys those pictures and videos, so here they are!!!

It was a crazy fun night and my family all dressed up to celebrate. LOVE THEM!!!

My sister as Luna Lovegood and myself as Bellatrix Lestrange 

Cool poster that was up for all of us to take pictures with. 

My mother as Professor Trelawney (moving pictures)

My husband as Lord Voldemort 

Lord Voldemort and Nagini (with a random death eater)

Me getting sorted (I got Slytherin of course!) PS I made the dress! 

And here are the winners of the costume contest 
Left to Right: Officiator, Mad Eye Moody (aka my father who won!), Umbridge, Lupin




video




Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Selling a car, more like trial of patience!!

A few months ago, my brother-in-law left on his mission for the LDS church and we were asked to sell his car. At first this seemed like shooting fish in a barrel. There was a problem with the air intake valve, but I thought it wasn't going to be a big set back. Boy was I wrong. We've now had this car on the market for three months. THREE MONTHS! The last time we sold a car it was gone in a week. Literally a WEEK! Posted on Monday and sold by Friday.  


We originally posted it in May. We had a ton of response, lots of calls, lots of texts and lots of emails about the car. A lot of people came to see it, and without fail, every person wanted to take it to their mechanic. We had a few offers, but we both felt like we could get a little more. So we said no to the $1100, and also no to the $800. We pushed forward posting the car and showing it . . . with no luck. 


In June I decided we needed to lower the price of the car, hoping we would get better response. Wrong again. We actually have less people interested in the car now, then we did before. But as my mother always tells me 'You don't need everyone to see it, only the RIGHT one.' So we soldiered on! However as the weeks come and go without any bites, I was starting to loose faith. Why does no one want to car? It's a great car! It works well and drives well, ignoring the revving in park and idle. Other then that, it is great!

Beginning of July, I reposted the ad. One last try! Just a few hours after the posting went up, Weston got a text message asking about the car. It was a younger girl and she was looking for her first car. What a great car for a first car!! Her father came to look at it in the afternoon, and this one was all on me. Weston was at work so I had to do it myself. AHHHHH! I'm not a good sales person and I was totally scared.

The father took the car out for a test drive, had a few questions when he came back, then left. However, he really wanted to make sure the car was available when he came back, because he gave me a $100 deposit. Wow! Things are looking up! He wanted to come back later that night to take it to his mechanic.

Later that night he came by (WOW) and took the car to get looked at. He was only gone for a few minutes, (like 15 min), which totally worried me. But when he came back, he said . . .

"We'll take a chance on it!" and handed Weston $1000 to add to the $100 deposit.

WE SOLD IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Monday, July 2, 2012

Sleep? Oh, How I Have Missed You!!

I have decided that sleep becomes a secondary necessity once you become pregnant. And that secondary necessity stay's secondary once the baby comes as well. The last few nights I have not been able to sleep. I am beginning to learn to function under little to no sleep. The world is slightly dazed, and the edges begin to blur out every once in a while. Oh dear! 



Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Nightjohn

Pain
The language of men
Hate
The feeling of men
Lust
The sin of men

Freedom
The quest of men
Joy
The joining of men
Love
The purity of men

War
The solution of men
Whips
The extension of men
Chains
The oppression of men

Safety
The desire of men
Hope
The power of men
Family
The substance of men

WHAT WILL YOU DO WITH YOUR HUMAN SIDE?

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Why Negative Birth Stories Are Not Helpful

The first time you see that white stick with two pink lines, or the word 'pregnant', the world stops. Any noise disappears, all thoughts stop as you look down on the indication that your life has changed forever. The next impulse is to share the news with everyone you know. When Weston and I found out, we called my parents and told them. His mother was in town and he called her to come over NOW! We were so excited that we didn't sleep much that night. There was nothing but excitement and joy in our house. We are having a baby!!!

But with the information that you're having a baby, comes the inevitable horror stories. Women who feel the need to share their horrific tale of giving birth. Our society has gotten very good at creating a social atmosphere of fear around something that is natural, beautiful and the closest to heaven we can be. Perfect strangers feel they can, and should, say whatever they want about your pregnancy/how to birth your child.


My first experience with this was at the Superbowl party that my sister was hosting. I was newly pregnant, only 3 months or so, and we had just started telling people outside of immediate family. A good friend of the family was also at the party, whom I really do love. We told her we were pregnant and she seemed excited, but immediately dove into her terrifying, horror film kind of story of giving birth. I sat there at the kitchen table astounded that instead of sharing in the joy and love both myself and my husband have for the little apple baby that was inside me, she told me a story that would make any woman want to get an abortion.

After that wonderful (eye roll) experience, I started to shy away from people that wanted to tell me their birthing experience. Being a big fan of the movie The Business of Being Born produced by Ricki Lake, I found a book called Pushed by Jennifer Block recommended by Ricki Lake. This book is a great informative book about the health industry and what they have done to the pregnant women over the years. While it was a good book, I found myself getting paranoid about what was happening to my baby and terrified I was getting of hospitals. I stopped reading it about half-way through the book because I was starting to obsess over what COULD go wrong.

Over the months I have created something of a bubble around myself and others that wish to share their birth experience unless I KNOW they are going to be positive and uplifting. Not that I want to ignore other people and their experience, I firmly believe in the idea that we create our existence through our thoughts and actions. The more a soon to be mommy hears that birthing is horrible, they will believe it is horrible. But if she is like me, determined to create a beautiful, peaceful, heavenly experience with my child's birth, we are reinforcing that belief through uplifting stories and joy and excitement.

So if we meet on the street, grocery store, or church, know that I love you; but I will stop you if you share a 'birthing horror story' with me. Help me create a beautiful birth of my little boy!


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Baby crazy!!!!

In the past, when siblings or friends have gotten pregnant, I remember being so excited because they were the ONLY pregnant women I knew. However, I feel like everything has changed. Everyone, I mean EVERYONE is pregnant.

A short list;
1. Me
2. Sister-in-Law (due 6 weeks behind me)
3. Sister (due 6 months behind me)
4. JH (due a month ahead of me)
5. A (due a month ahead of me)
6,7,8,9 Friends I'm connected to on Facebook are also pregnant

Really?! I feel like it's baby season!

But one great thing about having so many friends and family that are pregnant because I have people to talk to about what's happening to my body. Going it alone would be very very hard! Because of baby season, it also seems like everywhere I go I see pregnant women. I went to Winco with Weston to pick up some things, and I saw about 5 pregnant women doing their shopping as well. Apparently back in November, we were all very bored, or very cold!!!! :)


Friday, April 20, 2012

The Evils of Possibility

There is a part of me that really doesn't like the possibilities of time. With unlimited time, with the possibility of anything, comes a huge responsibility. What do you do with that time? How much do you want to do? Why is it so wrong to do nothing? But what if you try to do something, and nothing comes of it? You see what I mean. The 'gift' of time isn't something that I particularly like. I kind of like it when I am told what to do by others, so I don't have to have the responsibility of failure if it doesn't work out.

So I guess at the end of the day, what I really don't like is failure. All the little slogans in the world aren't going to change that. And trust me, I've seen/heard all of them (at least it feels like it). Nothing has made me feel better about failure. Failure sucks. Especially if it's in something that you care a lot about.

The summer is coming, which is what brought this on. And after the summer, my first semester for the school of music at University of Utah. I can't tell you how much that freaks me out. Starting a new school, having a new baby, moving 'back' to a new city. It's all a little overwhelming.

However, I am going to set goals so the summer of possibilities doesn't drown me with it's enthusiasm.

1. Start and Finish my novel Taint
2. Work on 3 major Grand Opera aria's (still need to chose those three)
3. Read all the books on my YA lit list
4. Read at least one religious book per month (for those that need help, that's 4 books)
5. Start looking for crib, basenet, car-seat
6. Choose decorations for the nursery
7. Find apartment

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Doing the Budget


There are few times in my life where a shot of vodka, a glass of JD or a bottle of wine seem like the only solutions to a problem. But once a month, I find that I desire to get totally wasted in the middle of the afternoon. That's the dreaded day BUDGET DAY!

Weston and I didn't use to do a budget, but after a few problems with our bank accounts, we decided a budget might be a good idea. So, I got everything together, our bills, the budget sheet, receipts, a note book and a calculator. Sitting down with Weston to do the budget took a few days of 'oh, we should do the budget today' before it finally happened.

But my good heavens, are you kidding me? I hate doing the budget. All it does is show you that you really have no money after paying the bills. A total reality check of lack to money. AHH! I think about the people I know that are starting out and have really great jobs and make more then enough for the two of them. How do they do it? It would be nice to not have to worry constantly about money, but that's the way of life, isn't it?

Saturday, April 7, 2012

A baby, a baby, we're going to have a baby!!

I'm going to cut to the good parts, the parts that people actually want to hear. Not the months of morning sickness and not being able to move. The fun bits, like when I first felt the baby move and when we found out the sex. Those are the fun bits!!
I decided early on in my pregnancy that I wanted to try and do yoga to help loosen things up. So, after saying I would do it for almost three months, I finally did it at 17 weeks. The yoga video was horrible, jumping positions, not enough time between, frustrating music and explanations, so needless to say I stopped doing it halfway through. I joined Weston in the computer room and sat for a little while when I felt something. It was the same something I had felt during the yoga video. I had brushed off the feeling during yoga, but happening again, I couldn't. It was like a slight brush, slight pop inside my tummy. Weston was on the phone, and I motioned to him, "I think I just felt the baby!" He got this crazy excited look in his eyes and started to fumble with the phone. So cute!

After that first experience, I felt the little man move around more and more every day. Now it's a very common experience for me to feel his little pops and wiggles. Its such a reassuring feeling to know he's in there moving around.

Feeling my little boy, knowing he's in there, waiting to come out is crazy to me.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Reasons Why I LOVE Harry Potter





I started reading the HP books shortly after the third one came out. My 6th grade teacher was reading the first one to us in class and I asked if I could take it home over the weekend to read. I wanted to know what happened!!! So I finished it over the weekend and fell head over heals. There was a small space in our closet that I fit into perfectly, so I wrapped up in a blanket, got a flash light and read.
And read.
And read.
I read the book probably ten times in the course of that semester. Seriously. Then I got number two and devoured that one. A teacher of mine had just bought number three, and lent it to me for the weekend. Surprise . . . I devoured that one too!

But let's talk about what the HP series did for me. It gave me an escape, a world where anything could happen and the hum-drum world I lived it vanished for a while. I fell in love with the characters. They became my friends, my confidants and my heart. I was always so excited to visit the HP world because my friends would be
waitin
g for me.

Ron, being loyal and caring, in his own stupid way. His u
nfailing support of his friends (even when he's being an idiot, cough- book 4 - cough) gave me comfort that I would someday have someone that would stand by me through thick and thin. No matter what. His humor, saying the wrong things at the wrong time, always made me smile.






Hermione; she was the girlfriend that I think almost all of us wanted. She was smart, and was
more then willing to help you with your school work. You didn't even need to ask! But she would also listen if needed. She was there in the darkest of times, being a shoulder to lean on, and word of support and a hug of comfort. She was also very funny! Her intellectual joking and insulting was the greatest!







And Harry Potter. What do you say about the 'boy who lived'? He was more then a friend. He was almost an extension of ourselves. He was the reason we read the books in the beginning. His story of loss and triumph made us feel like we too could conquer everything. Even the 'Voldemorts' of our own lives. They weren't impossible. We did have the strength and the courage and the ability to fight the battles. We are good enough to believe in ourselves. We are the sculptors of our own fate. Harry was each of us, pointing the way to our better selves.

Thank you JK Rowling for giving us something to love, to cherish, and to pass on to our children.

WE WILL NEVER FORGET!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

School, Math and a stupid cold

It is officially the third week of school. Which means, I'm already starting to loose interest in my classes. I have four classes this semester.

Technology 1010 (fulfills my third physical science requirement)
Voice and Diction (looked like a fun class)
Adolescent Literature (seemed interesting)
Math 1010 (I have to)

The math class is Monday through Thursday and two hours on Tuesday and Wednesday. Talk about torture. I hate it! My teacher is quiet good, explains more then any other teacher I've had and I enjoy his lectures. The problem is the math part. I really hate the math part. It's worse that two days a week, it's 2 hours of math torture. Lame!!!

On top of school and the stress of new classes and crap, I also have a cold. A really bad cold. Like hacking up a lung, unable to breath, or sleep kind of cold. I spent the entire three day weekend in bed with a humidifier and a defuser. Wonderful time for me. Yippy! Stupid school, stupid cold. And unable to practice for my upcoming auditions.

AHHHH!