Sunday, November 23, 2008

No Doubt About It

Most people know I love to read. Every since I learned to read at age 5, I just can't get my hands on enough books. I do have my favorite authors but I also enjoy branching out a bit. I read a variety of genres. I am picky on the contents at times and therefore if I were to rate the books I read most would get a 4-5 star rating from me on a scale of 1-5. One thing about books is that every now and then I'll pick up a book that just hits home with me. It doesn't matter if it's fiction or non-fiction. If it's fiction it might be that a character says something that relates to me. If it's non-fiction it could be a chapter here, a quote there. Occasionally it can be the whole book.....such as is the case with my current book.

Currently I am reading No Doubt About It by Sheri Dew. It's non-fiction and she's an LDS author.

Now I don't know about any of you, but sometimes I double myself and the decisions I make. Even if I've prayed about them and know without a shadow of doubt at the moment I made them what I was to...I doubt them. Not all the time, just sometimes. Recently I began doubting a big decision. One I had prayed about, one I knew without a shadow of doubt at the moment where I needed to be, needed to stand on the issue. If you've read my blog a few weeks ago you might already have guessed.......this is regarding my yes vote on Prop 8. Seeing the backlash and knowing that not all of it was coming from the gay/lesbian community. A lot of it in California also comes from members of our own church who chose to vote no. Now I won't go into all the other reasons besides what I'd posted on of why I voted yes. But during this backlash the doubts crept in....did I do the right thing in choosing to look at this issue as a moral issue over a civil rights issue? The doubts were huge. I can't even express them in writing and you all know I can be verbose at times. But they were there.

Then that little still small voice said "Grab Sheri Dew's book out of that large pile of books you plan on reading on top of your dresser." (confession time's a stack of at least 30 books, maybe more) It was a still small voice but it was loud. So I didn't wait a second and started reading it. I've only read 5 chapters. But every single thing Sister Dew says has hit home. And the biggest nail on the head, the brightest lightbulb going off in my head that I had made the right decision for myself when I chose to view it as a moral issue and voted yes came when I read the tail end of Chapter 5...pgs 102-103.

"More than a decade ago, President Ezra Taft Benson issued this charge: 'There has never been more expected of the faithful in such a short period of time than there is of us. Never before on the face of this earth have the forces of evil and the forces of good been as well organized....The final outcome is certain--the forces of righteousness will win. But what remains to be seen is where each of us...will stand in the battle--and how tall we will stand....Great battles can make great heroes and heroines' (In His Steps, 8 Feb. 1987).
More than ever before, the Lord needs our faith and faithfulness, our vitality and ingenuity, our unwavering commitment and conviction. We are witnesses of the Lord Jesus Christ, the living capstone of all that has come before us and a vital link to all that lies ahead.
This life is a test. It is also a glorious privilege."

Wow, wow, WOW! That is why it hit home with me at this time.......I needed to make a choice. Whose side do I stand on? The world and the forces of evil or the Lord's side? Even if the Lord's side is unpopular with the world, with the minority or may make others angry because I chose to look at an issue different than they wanted, am I willing to stand on the Lord's side? And the answer came to me loud and clear: yes, yes, yes and YES!

Standing on the Lord's side isn't easy. We will get laughed at, made fun of, persecuted, protested against. It doesn't matter which religion you are, it's bound to happen if you choose the Lord's side in any issue these days. But if you've prayed about it and received your answer then the Lord will be there for you. He will help you rise above what the world flings your way. Choosing the Lord's side doesn't mean you have to be perfect either. It just means you are striving the best you can at any given moment to do what the Lord would have you do to guide you back in your journey to Him once again. With Heavenly Father NOTHING is impossible! We just have to make that first step, make that stand.

So I am here to declare that I have made that stand: I AM CHOOSING THE LORD'S SIDE!!!

Are you?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Happy Birthday Laura!!!!

I said it last week and I'll say it again......How do these kids grow up so fast? You moms know what I mean. One minute you are giving birth to them, the next they are walking and talking and one step away from being potty trained. Sometimes you wish they would be little forever, other times you can't wait to see what the future holds.

Today is a day for celebrating. Today is Laura's 3rd birthday. She came unexpectedly into our lives. Yes we were planning on having another child. But we had just sold our mobile home and we were living with my parents while we looked for a place to buy or rent. Also for almost a year prior the doctors were doing what they could to help me ovulate. Can't have a baby without ovulation I was told and I hadn't done that in nearly a year. Apparently I did once. Apparently we celebrated moving out of our falling apart mobile home. And it just took one time.

I remember the day we found out I was pregnant. With 5 adults and a 3 year old under one roof, we'd all passed around a bad cold. Then we all passed around a nasty stomach bug. Then I felt sick again but nobody else did. Mom woke one day and said "I had this dream that you were pregnant. Take a test please." She can be persistent so I humored mom. I took the test. Positive. Took 2 more tests....still positive. Took the test at the doctor's office....yep still positive. It's also apparent that I don't understand what a positive pregnancy test means even though it's my second child. hahaha!

The pregnancy seemed to fly by. I did have all day sickness again though not as bad as with Katelyn. I dealt with gestational diabetes from the beginning and not at the end like before. That wasn't too bad. The migraines were what got me. I could have lived without those.

This time around I had a choice....vbac or repeat c-section. I did my research. It all boiled down to one question and I knew what the answer would be. "Doctor, can you guarantee me a baby in under 12 hours if we induce or she comes on her own?" He laughed and said "You know we can't guarantee anything if you go the vbac way." I smiled and said "Then set a date to cut me open again!" So we looked at his calendar. He gave me 3 dates: Nov. 10 (Katelyn's birthday), Nov. 17th, and Nov. 24th (Thanksgiving). I looked at Katelyn, who was with me, "Do want a baby sister for your birthday?" With all the truthfulness of a nearly 4 yr old she said, "No mommy. I just want toys." I didn't want Thankgiving. That meant I'd be on liquid diet and no homemade stuffing. So the 17th it was.

Laura came into this world a tiny 6 lbs 4 oz and 17 1/2 inches long. She grew slow but steady until she was about 7 months. But I didn't notice til she was 9 months old that she wasn't just not growing but she was losing weight. She was so skinny it was scary. That started months of trying to get weight on this kid. Finally around the time she turned 13 months the 3 lbs gained, 5 lost cycle ended and she gained. She still gains slowly but she's gaining and growing and that's what counts.

She's our spunky child. Always on the go. A bundle of laughs. Smart....too smart for us sometimes "Mommy there are no carts! The customers need carts. We are customers. Tell them to get more carts!" Loves to talk, talk, talk. (hmmmmm, where does she get that from?) Has an impish sense of humor (Please give that toy back to your sister! (she licks it: Okay here sissy!). Looks like her mommy at the same age. Love meat, meat and more meat. Esp bbq ribs. Favorite phrase when ribs are served "Mmmmmm! Meat!" Won't eat a fruit or veggie to save her life. Loves to make friends...old and young. Just a bundle of energy.

So in honor of her birthday, here is her montage. And it's a bit long because she sat in my lap and helped me choose pictures and she got mad if I didn't choose some. Yeah you can tell who rules the roost in this house.

Happy Birthday Laura!
View this montage created at One True Media
Happy 3rd Birthday Laura 11/17/08

Monday, November 10, 2008

Happy Birthday Katelyn!

I know everyone parent says this every year. But I just can't believe that another year has come and gone. Esp. for Katelyn. For those that don't know or don't remember my birth story here is a brief version since without my husband home filling in the blanks, I really don't remember much of it all.

November 8th, 2001......Went in to be induced. Chose cytotec thinking it was the best option. Ha! All I got was hard, fast labor from the start. I tried to be brave. I think I last 12 hours before finally screaming for pain meds. I was given nubane for that. But the labor kept on coming, the pain kept getting worse, I still made no progress.

November 9th, 2001.....Yep still in labor. Still in pain. I was given different meds for pain as nubane just wasn't working. Late in the evening or sometime the next morning they gave me nubane + morphine. Yeah, I don't remember much after that except. I was told by mom that I told Clark that it was all his fault this was happening and that I wished all this on my sister (10 years younger than I) one day cause "that &*%$$ has things too easy being the youngest." It was the drugs I tell ya....the drugs! Oh yeah and another day with still no progress. I had reached 75% effaced and 1 cm dialated and holding there strong.

November 10th, 2001.........Yeah still in labor. Nubane/morphine combo not working so good anymore. I'm in tons of pain. Screaming for c-section since night before. Lead labor and delivery doctor comes in, checks progress (see above....didn't get passed that) and says "get this mama prepped for c-section now!" I remember getting the spinal. After that I'm told I was awake for everything but I sure as heck don't remember. I remember hearing my baby cry (very loudly) and the nurse saying "daddy you may hold your baby girl" and the baby stopped crying the instant she was placed in his arms. But I don't remember anything else. I'm told I was in recovery quite a few hours.

In all it can be summed up as:

Labor......56 hours
Delivery......5 minutes
one 7 lb, 19 inch long baby girl.....Priceless

Katelyn has brought us so much joy in the past 7 years. Of coure we've had our struggles as well. She's our spirited child and we've had lots to learn to figure out how to parent a spirited child. Through it all, I've learned that she gets it from me so I'm learning new things about me as well. She's had her own struggles......speech delays that caused academic delays. But she's making so much progress that it's hard to believe she's the same child sometimes. Esp when we can't get to her to be quiet. We just have to remind ourselves that once we prayed that she'd talk more. LOL!

So in honor of Katelyn's 7th Birthday, here is a montage I put together. Of course I can't just choose pics from 2008. I liked so many, I started with Jan. 2007 and worked my way in order up til this past month. She's grown a lot in a year and it shows. Enjoy!

And Katelyn......Happy Birthday Little Little! We love you!

View this montage created at One True Media
Happy Birthday Katelyn 2008

Monday, November 3, 2008

Yes on 8

Some of you may not know this about me. Some of you may know this. I am not one to openly discuss my views in regards to politics. I feel it is just so easy to get into heated battles of words because two or more people try to sway the other to their point of view but in reality that will never happen to those who are firm in what they believe. However, I have learned during this election time that there comes a time when we all have to take a stand in what we believe no matter how controversial the topic. For me that topic, that issue, that belief is: Yes on 8. I'm sure by now most of you can see where my line is drawn.....I have two icons on my blog depicting how I'll be voting. But I still wanted to share my views on the whole thing.

First though please do NOT call me a bigot. If you truly know me, you will know I am far from. If you insist on still calling me that, let me share some definitions of a bigot with you. I looked in various dictionaries both online and ones I have on hand. They all pretty much said the same thing but these three stood out to me:
1) A person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her opinions & prejudices, esp one who regards or treats the members of a group with hatred or intolerance.
2) An intolerent person: somebody with strong opinion who refuses to accept different views.
3) A person who has strong beliefs and who thinks that anyone who does not have the same belief is wrong.
I believe in marriage between a man and a woman only. I understand and I accept that others have different views. However, understanding and accepting does NOT equal agreeing with or changing my own views. Wouldn't it be a boring world if we all thought the same thing 100% of the time? I think so. I don't agree with the gay and lesbian lifestyle. I believe it is against the laws of God. However, I do not hate those that live that lifestyle. I may not openly seek out to become friends with gays and lesbians but if a friend, family member, co-worker, neighbor, etc told me they were then I'd still continue to be their friend, I'd still continue to love that family member, I'd still interact how I did before with that co-worker or neighbor. Someone who is truly hateful and intolerant of the lifestyle would never do that. But I am LDS, I am Christian. I have certain beliefs. Those beliefs include marriage between man and woman only and families. Yes on 8 means protecting marriage means defining marriage as between man and woman only and the undertones of it involve protecting our children...which in my case, is my family. If I voted against it, wouldn't I then be called a hypocrite? In my mind, yes it does and therefore I must vote Yes on 8. But this does not make me a bigot. It means I am standing up for my beliefs. I understand that there are those voting no. That is okay. That is their right to do so. I don't agree, I don't understand, but they are free to vote anyway they want just as I am.

Besides my beliefs playing a part in why I'm voting Yes on 8, there is another reason as to why I am. I am choosing to copy and paste here because I have a little one needing my time and because this person explains it better than I:
California voters passed Proposition 22 in 2000 by more than 61%, saying that a marriage in California is between a man and a woman. Earlier this year, four activist judges based in San Francisco wrongly overturned the people's vote, legalizing same-sex marriage.
The Supreme Court’s decision to legalize same-sex marriage did not just overturn the will of California voters; it also redefined marriage for the rest of society, without ever asking the people themselves to accept this decision.
In 2000, I was part of the 61% who voted that marriage should be between man and woman only. When that was overturned, I felt that was a slap in the face saying "your vote really doesn't count." I began asking "If judges can do this with prop 22, what other issues will they do this with?" So by voting Yes on 8, I am letting my voice be heard again, letting the judges know that I am unhappy with them overturning my first vote.

I believe one of the consequences of this overturning and a No on 8 vote is that it opens the door wide open to openly teach about gay marriage and homosexuality in our schools at a young age. I recently found an interesting article about this, I urge you to read it if you haven't already, esp if you live in CA and have children in school or who will be in school in the future:
Please do not tell me that certain things are not taught in schools. I have a daughter in 1st grade. I went to our district website and looked up the info for myself. Here is part of the curriculum under History-Social Science for 1st graders in our district:
"Recognize the ways in which they are all part of the same community, sharing principles, goals, and traditions despite their varied ancestry; the forms of diversity in their school and communtiy; and the benefits and challenges of a diverse population."
Sure some of you might be thinking "but it says nothing specifically about same sex eduation or teaching about gay marriage" or anything along those lines. But you can see where if Prop 8 is not passed that it opens the door wide open to any teacher who wants to discuss it in class whether through a book or an entire lesson on it. Don't tell me that I have no voice as a parent because I send my child to free public schools. Remember nothing in life is free. A portion of our tax dollars goes towards that free education......the free education that my child is receiving. So yes, I do and should have a voice in my child's education. First grade is much too young to learn about these kind of things in my opinion, esp without my knowledge. So my vote is to prevent this from happening further.

My Yes on 8 vote is not taking away the rights of gays and lesbians. I refer you to the California Family Code section 297.5:
Registered domestic partners shall have the same rights,protections, and benefits, and shall be subject to the sameresponsibilities, obligations, and duties under law, whether theyderive from statutes, administrative regulations, court rules,government policies, common law, or any other provisions or sourcesof law, as are granted to and imposed upon spouses.
They already have the same rights, protections, and benefits of spouses. Those rights will NOT be taken away. In the same light, a Yes on 8 vote is not telling them who they can or cannot love. They will still be free to love who they want to. But a Yes on 8 protects my freedom to belief one of my core Christian beliefs.....that marriage is between man and woman only.

Now I am not asking you to go out and vote yes. That is not my goal here. My goal is for those that so strongly disagree with me and call me names like bigot can see where I am coming from. I do not ask that you agree with me. I only ask that you respect my choice to use my freedoms to vote how I want to vote, to understand why I'm voting the way I am and respect that I am doing this after much thought, prayer and study for myself and my family. If any of you are offended by my entry I am sorry, this was not my intention.....I just felt it was time to not be silent anymore and to share some of my main reasons as to why I'm a supporter of this proposition.