Monday, September 16, 2013

There are many paths to the top of the Mountain

There is a parable about a man who crossed a wide river in a canoe. When he arrived at the other side of the river, and set out to continue the remainder of his journey on land, rather than continuing to carry it on his shoulders up and down mountains and canyons, he left the canoe at the water’s edge  He left it because it had served its purpose for the portion of his journey for which it was useful.

There are over 7 billion people in this world, it is unlikely we're all going to see things the same way, it's unlikely we're going to travel the same path up the mountain.  But I think that's okay, because I believe that there is strength and value in a diversity of perspectives.  Rust and I have lived in a lot of different places, among a lot of unique cultures and religions.  As we've met people who are different than us and who have a different set of morals or values than we do, we have gained helpful insights and have come to a broader, deeper, fuller understanding about life than we could have on our own.

I didn't support marriage equality until I met a gay person and could see and feel the love she had for her partner.  I spoke poorly of illegal immigrants until I met a mom, who so much like myself, wants the best for her children.  I mocked democrats until I realized that they were voting their consciences as much as I was.  In short, I hurt people because I didn't know them, and I didn't take the time to know them or understand them, I just assumed they were wrong because they were taking a different path up the mountain.


I am a better person for knowing so many of you.

But we will never have unity, we will never have peace, we will never become one, if we all just close our minds, cover our ears, and remain cloistered within our separate schools of thought, zealously advocating for the supremacy of our own at the expense of all others.

And I've felt that expense.  I wrote earlier this year about how Rustin and I took our children and left our canoes at the side of the river.  We looked at the landscape around us and it seems more fitting to leave it at the water's edge as we continue our journey.  It is a different path than so many of our friends and family are on, but we know it is right and we have never been more happy.  The most that any just, merciful, and loving God can expect from us is to live in accordance with what we believe is right and true as best as we’ve been able to figure that out. We are doing that, and we have a peaceful conscience. My heart and mind are not troubled about where we are today.

People think I lost my faith when I left Mormonism. I feel I found it. I have faith that I can make things happen in my life. That my destiny lies within me.  I'm confident in my ability to use my judgment to choose good over evil and make 'moral' decisions in my life without an organization or person trying to tell me what that is.   I have faith that people (and especially my children) can be good, honest, true, generous and loving much more easily and readily without fear-mongering, and hope of a greater reward.  I have faith people can still make good choices when they are freely given all choices.  I believe in the higher power of love.  The power of humans to 'do good' for each other. 

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Monday, August 26, 2013

First Day of School and Other Things

I know out west everyone is starting school over the next several weeks, but we've been back for a little bit now.  I had one final end of summer bucket list rally where I unpacked my last box and canned jam.


My kids hated the jam (eye roll) and refused to eat toast every morning which is unfortunate because that's all we ever have time for, so I took an old, empty bottle of Kroger raspberry jam (that they devour) and filled it with a jar of the stuff I made.  I was pretty smug as I watched them spread it on their toast.


But they still hated my jam.  So there went my smug moment.

So then school started two weeks ago.  And Eli must have been super excited or something because he woke up at 3am and would not go back to sleep.  And I'm normally a huge fan of ignoring crying babies at 3am, but he was in body-shaking-almost-vomiting hysterics (as some of you were after the Bachelorette this season, am I right?*).  I tried changing his diaper, feeding him, sleeping on his floor, but what eventually worked was turning on America's Funniest Videos and then finally freeing him from his room at 6:30 am to very happy shouts of "Morning?! Morning?!"  And then I just followed him around while he played with the dining room lighting and jammed out on the piano:



But by 10am...


But nap time has to coincide with afternoon Kindergarten or mommy's going to lose her ever loving mind.



And you know what's awesome?  He naps every afternoon while Austin and Ashlyn are at school and I'm so happy and it's so quiet that I'm near tears and I dance a lot in my kitchen because I can sweep and there's no one there to make a mess for like 3 whole hours.  Just kidding.  I barely sweep.  I watch trashy TV all afternoon.  

So then there was the Color Run and my friends and I were made famous when this happened:


Warming up a crowd of thousands on stage was far more of a workout than the run because I ran a 7-year-old pace.  But she rocked it.


And we finally picked out a lot and a house where we will live forever!**  It's perfectly situated within walking distance to the elementary school, at the end of a cul de sac that butts up to a future park, and is across the street from the neighborhood pool.  It's just sadly lacking a lot of trees, but is right between two wooded common areas.



And the builder was nice enough to let us completely customize our floor plan, which was just finalized today.  
So I guess that's it for another 6 months until I get around to blogging again.

*There are not enough drugs in the world to get me to watch that show, so I have no idea what I'm even talking about.

**I hesitate to say that, because every time I have we've moved within 6 months.


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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Teacher Appreciation Week

I love elementary school teachers, and I know they don't get nearly enough recognition or credit for their hard work which is why I love Teacher Appreciation Week.  

Austin wrote a letter to his teacher tonight.  But after a lot of hints (tell her why you like her, tell her she was a great teacher, tell her your favorite thing you did with her this year), he did his own thing...

I hope she feels appreciated.


Dear Ms. Terri
Do you have a basement?
Love, Austin


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Friday, April 19, 2013

The Day I Mooned Everybody

Like most moms, my life is really glamorous.  Today was typically so.  I woke up 15 minutes late with Ashlyn at the foot of my bed whispering just slightly louder than my alarm clock, telling me it was time to get up.  She's a sweet girl.  And it's a good thing that out of the five of us, one of us doesn't sleep in.

You can tell just by looking at her that she's got it together.


The two boys are a bit of a challenge in the morning.  Austin pretends to sleep so I have to dress him and drag him downstairs.  Eli squirms and fights me because he's trying to launch himself down the stairs.  And then as soon as my back is turned, he grabs the cinnamon sugar, dumps it out and then rubs it in his hair.


Maybe people will just assume that he's freshly bathed since he smells so sweet?  I can only hope!

And then demands begin.  Eggs for breakfast, no waffles, Eli has my toy, where are my shoes, my homework?, I spilled the milk, I forgot to pack my lunch...

We're out the door in time, but the damage to my kitchen is already done.  And usually stays damaged because the rest of our day is much the same.  

At noon, I wake up Eli after a much-too-short-nap to either pick up Austin or drop him off.  Today it was speech therapy. And because speech is only half an hour, and that is much too long of a time to leave Eli cooped up in a little office, but much too short of a time to do anything else, we struggle finding things to do.  Today we went to the grocery store where in ten minutes I haphazardly put items in my cart I thought I needed (nope, turns out I didn't and still have only half of the ingredients I'd need to make a meal).

And then we sit through Ashlyn's awards ceremony, clean (while the boys unclean) the kitchen again.  

I of course try to get a nap in while Eli gets one, but again it's much too short and I had to wake up Eli early so we could run somewhere else.  Today I crossed my fingers that Kroger carried Barbies because it was on our way to Ashlyn's sleepover.  She's only staying until 11pm though.  Get used to it Ash, the lameness of your parents is only going to get worse.

So by the time I buckled the kids in again, listened to another 45 minutes of a Pixar movie I've never seen, but have memorized, another stop at a fast food joint because I had nothing for dinner, I was cursing the traffic and debating what I'd throw at Rustin if he dared mention the bran flakes on the floor (probably from yesterday) or ask "Do you have anything planned for dinner?"  

But he didn't ask that, he takes enough "dad days" to understand that it is completely possible to be so incredibly busy and get absolutely nothing done.

But you know what he asked instead?  

"Did you know that there's a hole in your pants?"  You guys, "hole" was an understatement...


Almost my entire back pocket was ripped off.  And I was wearing fluorescent pink panties.  I have this vague recollection of leaning against something today and it getting caught and pulling on my pocket a little, but I don't remember when that was.  I spent the evening trying to convince myself it was on my way home from the birthday party (where I met 5-6 of Ashlyn's friend's parents) and after Kroger (apparently the place to be on a Friday), and after speech therapy at the elementary school, and awards ceremony, and of course the other grocery store...

But now I've decided that I don't mind that I mooned half of my city.  It's been that kind of a week.  And I lead that kind of life.
  
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