Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Random post

People often wonder how I can reconcile being mormon and loving LGBTQ(etc) people.  Their lifestyle certainly goes against my religious beliefs, and I'm not perfect enough to say "Jesus loves everyone so I do too" (because there's def some people I super hate- even if I shouldn't).  So why do I love them so much?  I have such a deep respect for the LGBT crowd, and even my non-mormon family just don't get how.  I think what I love so much is their courage.  I know a lot of people got all bent when Caitlyn Jenner unveiled herself in some grandiose media explosion, claiming that calling her journey "courageous" somehow diminished the courage others had in other areas of life.  Do I find ridiculous media displays courageous?  No, I find them (and all the Kardashians, really) quite obnoxious, including in your face displays of sexuality of any sort (homo or hetero!).  The courageous bit isn't calling some paps and having them photograph the heck out of you after you've spent tens of thousands of dollars on hair, makeup and clothing, which no regular human being would ever be able to afford.  The courageous bit is knowing that you will invoke the hatred of thousands of people who don't even know you, simply by embracing your true self, and still doing it anyways.  That concept, loving yourself enough to be who you truly are in public AND private, is not unique to the LGBT crowd.  But they are the ones that have it on VERY public display when it occurs.  I, as a heterosexual white christian, don't have anything provocative to display about myself.  I'm "normal" to society.  My lifestyle is completely acceptable by the majority of my country.  When you have a person who chooses one day to be true to themselves, and therefore put the most private, personal pieces of their life out on display, knowing full well they are going to be mercilessly attacked, THAT is courage, and that is what I respect.  They are told they are lesser, they are treated like scum, they are treated like they've chosen an evil path intentionally and therefore must be shamed and punished- simply for being honest.  Life is hard enough when you have people nit picking your clothing, your body size, your hair, and all of the changeable aspects of your life, but when you have people literally attacking you for who you are as a whole, that is insanely difficult and patently unfair.  So to answer the question, I don't love the LGBT crowd despite their gayness (or whatever-ness) in some pseudo-christian condescending way, I love them because they have the courage to be themselves.  If what they're doing is built upon the foundation of love, what is there to hate?  I firmly believe in the proclamation to the family, the family's uncompromisingly necessary role in the plan of salvation and all that the prophets have had to say about marriage being between a man and a woman (my thoughts on the government not utilizing the religiously affiliated word "marriage" and having ALL unions be civil thus further separating church and state, and also not denying any person any civil rights based on one religion's beliefs are posts for another day).  I have a firm testimony on the value of the traditional family, not only to God but to society as a whole.  But I also know that Jesus is love, and anything that is grounded in mutual love - true, honest, heartfelt love- and respect can not be bad.  To put it simply, I cannot for the life of me look at a couple so madly in love such as NPH and his husband, and their obviously happy and well-loved children, and think "these people are evil destroyers of society and must be stopped at any cost".  I just can't.

That's my 2 cents.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Like it was yesterday

My phone rang and it was my mother.

"Are you coming?"

I don't think I'll ever forget that.  It's burned in my brain forever.  There was so much confusion, nobody remembered to call me and tell me to come.  My mom thought I was lagging, when in fact I had no idea what was going on.

The kept gram on life support for me.

I remember when I realized this, it was the most profound, life altering realization I'd ever made.  One of my favorite people in the universe was dying, and her body was kept alive for one reason and one reason only: so I could say goodbye.  Everyone else was already there.

I will forever remember.

Telling Rob we had to go now.  Did I want him to come?  We'd have to find a babysitter.  Call the Relief Society president.  She'd watch the kids.  Pack a bag.  Drive the kids to her house.

Drive to the hospital.

Park.  Walk through the slush.

It all goes in slow motion.  I was hugely pregnant with L2.  I remember the clothes I was wearing.  I still have the outfit.  I remember walking into the hall.  Slowly walking down the hall, still in shock.  Turn right.  Call the nurse's station.  Enter.

Slowly walk around the nurse's station.  Everyone was standing there.  Everyone was in a daze.  Red, puffy eyes.  I didn't want to walk in.

The force that hits you when you see someone you love about to die.  I can't even put into words the weight of that force that hit me as soon as I saw her laying there.  My heart stopped.  Time stopped.  My mind went blank.  I didn't know what to say.  I was speechless.  My cousin told me to tell her how much I loved her.  My mom told gram I was there.  My mom took her hand and put it on my belly to feel baby L2.  She told gram to feel the baby, and gram smiled.  She smiled.  I could see her light blue eyes, tears dripping down the sides of her face.  She was there, and she smiled.

I got to say goodbye.

Then it was time.

We all moved to the next room while they took her off of all the machines.

Then we went back in and waited.  And waited.  Gram was weakly gasping like a fish out of water.  It was incredibly painful to watch. I couldn't wait anymore.  I excused myself to the bathroom and everyone tried to stop me, saying she could go at any moment.  As I walked out, I stopped and looked at the monitor at the nurse's station.  Her heartbeat was 56 bpm.  But I went anyways.

And when I came back, everyone was hugging.

"She's gone."

"I know."

My mom closed gram's eyes.  Or someone did.  I remember someone doing it.  It was all a blur.  It was just after 7pm.

I don't remember much after that.  I remember thinking of my kids, that I had to go pick them up so they wouldn't worry.  I remember explaining to them that gram was in heaven.  After that, not much.

Exactly 2 weeks later I had a baby.  At the same hospital.  It didn't go well.  I had emergency surgery.

4 months later I was back in the hospital.

2 weeks later I was back in the hospital.

2 weeks later I was told I had cancer.

4 weeks later I was back in the hospital.

I don't think anyone could ever explain how mortal I felt during every moment of 2014.  How fragile I realized life is.  You cannot even BEGIN to fathom what it feels like to watch a loved one die, or to be told your babies might have to live every second of the rest of their lives being loved, hugged, punished, hurt, taught, and raised by someone else.  It is so impossibly painful to comprehend.

NOTHING in this world matters more than those you love.  And I will never stop trying to give my babies every last bit of my love.  It is what gram did for her babies, and grandbabies, and it is her legacy that will live on through me.  Life is so short and so fragile.

I miss you, gram.  Thanks, again.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

10 things I love about our new house

I'm not going to say they're the 10 BEST things about our house, because honestly, I love so much about this house that I probably couldn't pick the top 10, but there are a few things that I am absolutely in love with in our new house, and I want to share them with you.  Why?  Because I wanna.

1.  Second floor laundry room.  It. Is. AWESOME not having to haul my laundry up and down stairs.  It cuts my laundry time by a lot, and it makes me not want to do it less.  Get that?  I used to hate going into the basement to do the laundry.  It was dark and stinky.  So dark, that when we moved here and I put the washer and dryer into the well lit laundry closet, I saw how filthy they were and cleaned them.  Like super cleaned them.  It was bad.

2.  Hardwood floors.  My kids are messy.  Particularly the Ham and the baby.  But instead of hauling out the carpet cleaner every time they spilled something (hah... yeah, that never actually happened) I can just sweep/mop it up.  No more crunchy carpet.  No more mystery stains.  No more ick.

3.  My stove.  It's new.  It has cast iron grates that join together in the middle so I can make a truckload of tamales if I want to (and I really really do want to).  It has these honkin burners that look like a flamethrower got squashed, and it boils water in a nanosecond.  The oven heats up fast.  Like super fast.  And it displays the temp digitally in real time so I can see if it's just about there or not.  It also has a keep warm setting which I intend to use for baking bread.  Which I actually do.  Just not currently because my house is a pig sty.

4.  The hose sprayer doohickey on my kitchen faucet.  The head of the faucet pulls out and has a sprayer thingy that works 10x better than that beside-the-faucet jobby we used to have.  Cleans the baby's tray in a second!

5.  The neighborhood.  So far the kids have been outside playing until dark every day it hasn't rained.  There are 5 families with kids in elementary school within 3 houses in either direction.  A kid in E's class is 2 doors down, and a kid in A's class is across the cul-de-sac from us.  The moms all watch each other's kids when the other has to go pick up a younger sibling or run to the store or what have you.  It's AWESOME!  I actually got to figure out a few things without being pestered incessantly the other day.  I am in LOVE with our neighborhood!

6.  The school district.  Our old town had a great school district, but A was not being challenged at all.  He was being sent home with books he breezed through in 2 seconds.  They were reviewing letters.  A was getting bored.  Here he is being challenged already, is having to think outside the box, and is doing difficult stuff!  His math homework was sudoku.  Seriously.  I couldn't even do it!  He didn't get it 100% but he was so close!  I love that he's being forced to work and think hard.

7.  Giant closets.  We have his and hers walk in closets.  Need I say more?  Mine even has a window! :-)

8.  The giant basement.  I don't even know what's down there.  There could be a 5th kid down there for all I know.  But one thing I do know is that my closets are not crammed with crap I couldn't find space for.  Hallelujah!

9.  Along the same lines... my pantry.  It's huge.  Yes, it has wire shelving, which I despise, but that is so easily fixable.  I just did food shopping, while hungry, and our pantry still has bare spaces.  It's huge.  It's awesome.  And it has a childlock on it now because Ham has decided he likes going in there, closing the door, and secretly snacking on all the kids' lunch snacks.  *sigh*

10.  The garage.  L2 likes to fall asleep in the car.  Now I can actually leave him asleep in the car, just keep the door open and listen for him to wake up!  He gets sleep, I get things done.  It's a win win!  Plus I wont have to shovel off my car come snow time (you know... next weekend.)  LOVE IT!

I love my house.  I love it so good.  I actually had to clarify to my husband that I didn't want to marry it and have little vacation houses with it, because he was getting worried.  Maybe I lied a little.