Friday, August 31, 2007


Here it is: proof that I'm a nerd. I'm not sure how I feel about this. When I was answering the questions, I feel the ones I answered show I'm more "Internet savvy" than that I am a nerd. Yeah, ok, I'm justifying now.

I am nerdier than 44% of all people. Are you a nerd? Click here to find out!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Just some pics...

People keep whining about how much they need to see pics of my girls... I can't believe they don't want to read my dry essays... I mean, which is better? A picture worth a thousand words, or those thousand words? Or 3,000 in my case?.... Yeah, ok, you win. Here are a few...
Oh and just because this is such a long entry, don't overlook the last one-- it's also new.

Avril's 3rd Birthday.... (oh, the shame!)

the Birthday Princess

Yes, the shame. No, it was a darling party--- the shame is that it happened mid-July! So long ago I'll have to look up the date. I think it was the 12th or the 13th. I'm going with the 12th. Even so, it was a super fun party. We had it a little early (her birthday wasn't actually until August 4th) because all her little friends were going to be leaving since most of their daddy's were going out to their rotation sites the next week. In any case, we had a blast celebrating, despite the wicked weather (we were supposed to go to the wading pools, but it was rainy and slightly scary that day, so we just had it at our house).
Melody came over that morning and did a great job on Avril's cake. She mocked me for having a black cake for my three year old daughter, but I had the last laugh--- it looked wonderful and it was a perfect little butterfly! Anyway, here is a little slideshow of the party (and for those of you who came, thanks so much-- Avril had a blast and we miss all you who moved. Though I will take the opportunity here to rub it in your face that we still have cool people who stuck around PLUS new people who have, surprisingly, also turned out to be cool. So maybe you won't be missed as much as you hope.) (Ok, I'm only talking parenthetically now, but really that was just my angry, passive-aggressive jab at you people who moved. Yes, I admit it. I miss you terribly!)

Friday, August 24, 2007

A Girl and Her Puppy: Take II

Let's try this again. With a refresher on how cute this picture is, so there remains nothing to be said.
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Monday, August 20, 2007

I'm addicted...

70%How Addicted to Blogging Are You?

Mingle2 - Dating Site

Friday, August 17, 2007

These Things I Believe

Over the past year I have been in the society of many different people of varying backgrounds, beliefs and interests. Not to say that I haven't all my life, but let's face it: I grew up in Rexburg, Idaho. We all knew the black kid who went to our school. And we mostly knew the few non-Mormons. And that's how they're known-- a distinguishing name that is exclusive, not inclusive.

I've spent time in other places as well: I've lived in Buford, GA (a suburb of Atlanta), Kansas City, MO, Laie, HI, Provo, UT, and Warrenville, IL (a suburb of Chicago). However, most of my time in each of these places was spent in the society of a close circle of friends who largely had the same backgrounds and beliefs that I do. Up until now, my married life hasn't really been spent getting to know new people and make new friends.

This past year, however, I've been "exposed", shall we say, to a much broader and diverse social population. For one thing, I got on Facebook... which unless you join and participate in groups, it can also be reserved for those you already know. Initially, I shied away from groups, thinking that online friendships/relationships are somewhat creepy. However, I began to branch out and joined a few groups just for fun, as identifiers in my personality. Groups like "Center for Kids Who Can't Read Good and Want to Learn to do Other Stuff Good, Too" and "Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey" and "But Why Is All the Rum Gone?" Mainly groups whose titles said something about me and my personality or sense of humor and whose site I did not frequent.

Eventually, however, I began to join more serious, philosophical groups. I began with a group called "Who is John Galt?" For those of you who have read Atlas Shrugged, volumes can be read into that single question. The main thing I picked out of that group was that as Objectivists, it is entirely inconsistent with the philosophy to hold a belief in God. Unfortunately for all their theories, I do not in the least find it inconsistent with the philosophy, but quite the reverse: my belief in God and my beliefs about God (who He is and what His nature is) complement the rest of the school of thought quite nicely. And even more ironically, I think of John Galt as a Christ figure. And unless she's changed her mind about things in the afterlife, I know Ayn Rand is rolling over in her grave every time I say that. So my apologies to the brilliant authoress for corrupting her philosophy, but I think she can understand what I mean when I say that I cannot reject reality for another person's beliefs. (foreshadowing...)

I left the group when it became too heated and frustrating for me to read. I internalize things a lot and the things that were said regarding God in that group of atheists were honestly probably setting the scene for a nice, good ulcer down the road. Continuing in my search for others who felt similarly, I perused other groups, but met once again with the same arguments. Reading so many discussions (99% over-heated) in some ways helped me, because I was able to strengthen my own testimony by resolving in my own mind the concerns of others. But mostly, it was a source of pain and frustration. I longed to prove to these intellectuals that it was possible to be an intellectual and believe in God-- and moreover, I simply wanted to prove to them the existence of God on their terms, using logic alone. I knew there must be some way that I could do it, I just had to think harder and longer. I read the arguments of other Christians and shook my head, knowing they were futile in some and just plain embarrassed for the poor "intellectual" representation they were displaying in others. And yet I still had nothing to offer other than the fact that I knew what was there wouldn't satisfy. They wanted proof of God without faith, without feeling, without the Holy Spirit; yet such proof is not to be had-- faith is essential in knowing God: He set it up that way on purpose.

In one of these groups there was a discussion entitled "Give me one LOGICAL reason to believe God exists". A very smug physics student sat smiling out of his profile picture, just waiting to scientifically refute any and all arguments anyone could throw his way. And he did. No one could offer the infallible proof he sought. He had an argument for everything. It was honestly like beating your head against a brick wall. I read the arguments and had only the stomach for about three pages worth (the post went on for about 27 or so...) before I gave up in despair-- not because his words had any effect on my testimony, but because there was to be no budging of this man. He wasn't set up to hear truth, he was set up to refute what he thought of as a big joke. I was so frustrated, at once knowing that I was right, that the gospel is true, that God lives, that His Son, Jesus Christ came to earth and suffered through an infinite Atonement in order to offer us salvation and eternal life with our Heavenly Father-- and knowing, too, that I had no way to prove "LOGICALLY" and infallibly this knowledge. And then a thought came to my mind, accompanied by absolute reassurance and peace: "I am right". And I knew then, that for this moment at least, that was the most important thing. I didn't have to prove to this person-- or anyone else for that matter-- that God does indeed live. There will come a time when "every knee shall bow..., and every tongue shall confess to God" (Romans 14:11). That is not my responsibility, nor is it even in my power. The important thing was that I knew. The important thing is that I live according to what I know. The important thing is that I share what I know with people who are willing and interested. But there is no forcing the mind of man. God treasures our agency even above our righteousness-- He would that we would all be righteous, that we would repent and come to Him, but He will not force us into His presence. If He did, He would cease to be God.

So finally, I decided to leave these groups that were causing so much anguish in my mind and soul. Instead, I joined what I had deemed somewhat "cheesy" and perhaps a little flamboyent: I joined a group entitled The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Being a member of the church, in my mind, is enough. No need to join a facebook group, too... but after being in so many angry, argumentative groups, the thing my mind and soul needed most at that moment was to be among people who hold the same basic beliefs that I do. The Church is perfect; its members, however, are not and we each have varying degrees of beliefs and standards even among our own. We each judge each other to some degree or another on our standards. But ultimately, we have the same fundamentals. And it is such a relief to be able to roll my eyes and dismiss such discussions as whether or not tankinis are modest enough (seriously, this was on the discussion board) as opposed to dealing with the turmoil that accompanied discussions on the existence of God. I feel as if I can relax and enjoy the beliefs that I hold dear and not worry about offending someone or misrepresenting the church. And here, after a novel's worth of blogging, I come to my point.

I've been involved with another group here in the 'Ville. A wonderful group of amazing women (and some men) who are terrifically supportive and just fun to get to know. However, as with most large groups of women (and some men!), we have a tendency to offend each other and to get offended-- often at stupid things. Lately it has been stressed more and more that this group is non-partisan, and by that I'm not just referring to politics. I mean that it is a group that is very diverse and welcoming to all backgrounds, religions, races, and genders. And as such, it is important that it not be supportive or exclusive to one demographic or another. Largely, the problem is that since there are a large number of LDS in the group, there tends to be a lot of talk about church amongst ourselves, as well as gross assumptions made about other members-- namely, that they are also LDS. Now, some of these people-- who are not LDS-- find this alienating and offensive. And I'm sorry for them. That is such an important part of what we are taught to be: accepting and loving of those of different beliefs and backgrounds. We are not to be exclusive or clique-y. And yet, sometimes we are-- simply because we all come out here, it's new, we're new and we know no one. We meet people at church and flock to one another, unfortunately excluding those who don't attend our ward. And we're surprised when we get out here: we don't expect there to be such a large LDS population. We didn't come out here for it... we simply fell into it. Likely because we are a family-oriented group and ATSU is so family-friendly. We also believe that the body and the spirit are the soul of man, so a body/mind/spirit approach to medicine is right in line with the teachings of our religion. This surprise at seeing so many who share our fundamental beliefs translates into our over-eager friendliness to other members and our inadvertent exclusion of those who aren't members of our church. And in turn to the assumption that since there are so many out here who are LDS, anyone who shares our standards (sleeved shirts, whatever) is LDS, too. And we make offensive assumptions.

So I find myself in the middle of this. I don't believe I've ever made the mistake of openly assuming someone is LDS who isn't. I am very aware that while there is a surprisingly large LDS population out here, the majority still isn't LDS. So personally, I'm not guilty. However, I have a tendency to take responsibility for all other Mormon faux pas and overcompensate for them, trying desperately to show our non-LDS friends that we are indeed open-minded and accepting and that while occasionally some of us trip up with a silly mistake (and believe me, I'm sure the offender feels just as stupid and awkward as the offended), for the most part we are good people trying to live our religion as best we know how. Somehow, I think that I personally can make up for any number of others' mistakes by being ridiculously accommodating. And I've gotten to a point where I feel guilty if the topic of my religion is even broached, whether or not it's brought up by me. I feel anxious when I'm asked what church I belong to, because I feel as if I'm signing my own death warrant-- as if by informing them I am LDS, that I am Mormon, I am offending them by believing what I do. It's stifling. It's exhausting. And it's unfair. There's no need for me to sacrifice my own beliefs on the Altar of Political Correctness. I shouldn't have to feel as if I need to hide that incredibly important and vital part of who I am in order to protect the tender feelings of another. And the funny part is, I know it's all in my head. No one is offended at me being Mormon. In fact, left to my own devices, I think I'm a pretty nice, non-pushy, tolerant Mormon. I don't think I'm judge-y or assuming. I think I have an open mind. And the last thing I will ever do is push my beliefs on another person. In fact, I think I'm too close-mouthed about my beliefs and don't take appropriate opportunities often enough to share something so beautiful and precious to me. I'm so worried about offending or being pushy, that I swing the pendulum too far in the opposite direction.

Between the two groups, among others, I feel as if I've stifled who I am. I'm instantly wary and on edge whenever beliefs come up. So here, in my own personal blog, sponsored by none other than myself, I have every right to own my beliefs, every right to be LDS.

What are these beliefs?

I know that God the Father is a living god with a body of flesh and bone, that He is a being of personality, parts, and passions. I know that He sent His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ here to earth to show us how to live and who then atoned for our sins. I know that God created the heavens and the earth and all things that in them are. I know that we are created in the image and likeness of our Heavenly parents. I know that we have a Heavenly Mother as well... I long to know her again. I know that after this life, if we live true to ourselves and our beliefs, if we keep the covenants that we make with our Father, that we can live again with Him in the celestial kingdom. I know that in this afterlife, we can attain exaltation and be linked eternally with our families and all those dear to us. I know that through the grace of God and our own repentance and faith, we can eventually become like Him, gods and goddesses to create our own worlds.

I know that Joseph Smith was a Prophet of God. That God the Father and His Son appeared to Joseph when he sought them in prayer and that through him, the gospel of Jesus Christ was restored upon the earth in its fulness. I know that Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon by the gift and power of God and that it, along with the Old and New, is also a Testament of Jesus Christ.

I know that we have a living prophet, who today receives revelation from our God and leads this Church as God would have him do. I know that while our leaders are men, and as such are fallen, corrupt creatures with a disposition to sin, the same as any other man, that they are still led by God and taught by him and that God has found them worthy to lead His Church here on earth. They are men who have worked and repented and been sanctified by Our Lord, and still repent daily in faith, striving to become better, to be worthy of their callings. If God has found them worthy in spite of whatever flaws they might have, then they are worthy.

Finally, I testify of the eternal nature of the family and the saving power of the ordinances and covenants that are available to the worthy within the temples of God. I know that there is one path to God the Father and that path is through His Son, Jesus Christ. I love Him and I love His Son. I long to return to them, to behold their faces and to know that I am worthy to do so. I love attending church and singing praises to the name of my God. For me, singing is the purest testimony and the most beautiful worship and gift that I can offer.

I have bared my soul in this post. I seek to offend no one, only to establish what I have been stifling these several months. I beg that you take it at its worth-- to me, it is more precious than anything on this earth.

Friday, August 10, 2007


Introducing The Corporal (sleeping) and Kitty (looking). The newest additions to our little family. They are so cute and so fun and so lovable... and I have such mixed feelings about them! I guess we'll take life as it comes. I confess I'm a little nervous about it, though. Avril adores them. Good for her... kind of scary for them! She seems to think they are her own little baby dolls. She carries them around like baby dolls and I think drives them a little bit crazy. Kitty, more than The Corporal, though. The Corporal is super mellow (as far as puppies go) and just a little sweetheart. Kitty is more high-strung and all over the place. They are both so sweet, though. I may be in over my head.

Thursday, August 9, 2007


So my family cracks me up.

This morning Avril comes into our room holding a framed picture of Jesus surrounded by some children under her arm.

"Mommy, Jesus is sad and so I have to make him happy. So I'm going to get him toys. I need to got to Wal-mart to get Jesus toys to make him happy, ok? So I need you to get me a car so I can go to Wal-mart and get some toys for Jesus because he is sad and I need to make him happy."

I told her to tell Derek her idea. She repeats herself to him. Now we're both trying not to laugh, and she is completely oblivious. She is very serious about her quest. But I suppose if she gave Jesus some toys, that probably would make Him happy. I can't say the same for me, but I think He'd appreciate it from her.

Anecdote #2:
We're sitting in the kitchen eating lunch. Derek says this to Xandri, "Hey there... do you want a bolus?"

Bolus: n. a soft, roundish mass or lump, esp. of chewed food.

A bolus?! What are you, a med student? Or better yet, a mother bird? A wolf even?

Yes, the man then proceeded to offer her his chewed up sandwich, which she polished up with satisfaction. This is the man I married. He feeds my child chewed up food. And terms it "bolus".

Thursday, August 2, 2007


She took it before I was fully in the pose and then missed when I was holding it more deeply, but it still looks pretty rad! Finally, I am the Scorpion Queen! Which photo looks cooler?

Idaho Women

Three men were sitting together bragging about how they had given their new wives duties.

The first man had married a Woman from Colorado and had told her that she was going to do dishes and house cleaning. It took a couple days, but on the third day he came home to a clean house and dishes washed and put away.

The second man had married a woman from Nebraska He had given his wife orders that she was to do all the cleaning, dishes, and the cooking.

The first day he didn't see any results, but the next day he saw it was better. By the third day, he saw his house was clean, the dishes were done, and there was a huge dinner on the table.

The third man had married a girl from Idaho . He told her that her duties were to keep the house cleaned, dishes washed, lawn mowed, laundry washed and hot meals on the table for every meal. He said the first day he didn't see anything, the second day he didn't see anything, but by the third day some of the swelling had gone down and he could see a little out of his left eye, enough to fix himself a bite to eat and load the dishwasher.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007


Lately I've been living too much inside my head. What do you mean "inside your head", you ask? Well, exactly that. I just think too much. Now, normally, thinking isn't a bad thing. Here are a number of "good" things I think about-- just too much:

  • religion
    • my beliefs
    • beliefs of others
    • reconciling the two
    • arguments in my favor
    • how to resolve good opposing arguments
    • issues that come up in my facebook groups
  • philosophy
    • much the same as above
    • Objectivism
    • how it can tie into Christianity
    • that Galt could ironically be construed as a Christ figure
    • how to reconcile the Law of Consecration
  • how much I want to get a master in theology and philosophy
  • less heavy things like
    • what I have to do today/tomorrow
    • what I have to do this week/month
    • what I have to mail/resolve/cancel/transfer/pay
    • my budget in general
  • SAA
  • my kickboxing and yoga classes
  • how to raise my kids
    • potty-training problems (night-time...)
    • feeding/sleeping schedules
    • naps
    • teaching/training
  • what I need to get next time I go shopping
  • what to do with my new puppies
    • new supplies, food, toys, etc
    • registration (?)
    • vet visits
    • housebreaking
    • what in the world do I do with puppies?!
  • how behind I am in my blogging
  • everything else I'm doing wrong or just not doing...
And that's just to name a few. I daresay nearly all of these are going on in my head every day all day long. The trouble with this is not necessarily that I'm thinking about all this. I'm sure any other woman you talk to could throw out a list a mile long as well. I'm sure I'm not unique in this. The trouble begins when I stop doing things because all I'm doing is thinking about what I have to do. It begins when I stop being a mother to my girls because I'm busy trying to figure out how to. It begins when I stop cooking my family meals because I'm trying to remember what's on my grocery list.

So today was a milestone. I hope I have a repeat soon, but I'm not going to get my hopes up. What happened today? I lived! I did things! Not just because they were on some list and I checked off everything I did, heaving a sigh of relief. Sure, I had a few things on my list, but I was done with those by 10am. And after that, I didn't stop and fret and worry about what to do next and the time I was wasting. I just lived. I did the things that are on my mental list without concentrating on what they are. I've thought so much about them lately that I have them all memorized anyway.

And honestly, I had a really enjoyable day. I spent time being with my girls, in the moment, thinking about them and giving them my full attention. I did the same with the puppies. In my yoga class, I was able to achieve an unprecedented focus, a sort of meditative state that I've fought for many times. I learned to let it come. Today, instead of my enemy, Father Time and I were friends.